Mystery, Suspense, Horror, Young Adult
“An engaging, creepy mystery packed with emotion and heart. A fun novel with just the right amount of darkness.” - Scream Magazine
Winner of Amazon’s reader-powered Kindle Scout program. Seventeen-year-old Lisa Jacobs is determined to solve her father’s gruesome murder. But before she can investigate in her own small town, she is forced to spend the summer with her Uncle Clayton, the owner of Grand Hallow–a massive funeral and mortuary operation the size of a small city. Her move to Grand Hallow only deepens the mystery as she begins to suspect the strange and chilling occurrences there are linked to her father’s death. With the help of her acid-tongued best friend and deadbeat brother, Lisa must unravel the secrets of Grand Hallow–before it’s too late. In the Graveyard Antemortem is a mystery/suspense novel with a healthy dash of horror.
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Without warning, I felt a hand grasp my shoulder. “It’s the morgue,” said a deep voice directly behind me. Startled, I spun around to see a man who looked remarkably like my dad. The resemblance took my breath away. He smiled cautiously. It was my dad’s smile, the one that formed into a mischievous smirk no matter if any mischief was in fact intended. He had his same soft facial features, his salt-and-pepper hair, and his hazel eyes. It was uncanny. It was as if I were looking at my father all spruced up for a graduation or wedding, wearing a suit and clean-shaven. Only it wasn’t him. Just some pieces of his DNA. He held out his hand. And as I shook it, life came back to my stunned lungs. “Hello, Lisa. I’m Clayton.” He cleared his throat apprehensively. “Your Uncle Clayton.”
“Hello,” I replied meekly. “Thank you for all of this. I mean, taking care of my dad’s funeral.”
“It’s the least I could do,” he said while wringing his hands.
“You’re telling me,” snapped Tina. “A room next to the morgue?”
“I do apologize about that. If you and your friend would be more comfortable—”
“It’s fine,” I assured him. He adjusted his collar and looked down the hall behind him as if someone were watching from the shadows. He was pleasant, yet seemed preoccupied, his eyes shifting every which way. It could’ve just been his nerves. I imagined he was just as nervous meeting me as I was meeting him. Yet it also could’ve been because he was simply incredibly busy with the responsibilities that came with running such an enormous and complex place.
“So.” Tina couldn’t help herself. “Why did you want Lisa here so bad? She was just fine in Ruthsford, ya know.”
“Tina!” I protested, secretly wanting to hear his answer.
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About the Author:
My stories tend to have a dark twist. And I like to mix different genres depending on where the story takes me. I wrote a short novel titled ‘Cracking Grace,’ a dark fantasy that explores relationships, loss and spirituality. ‘In the Graveyard Antemortem’ is a mix of mystery, suspense and horror. Join my email list at www.stephenstromp.com to keep up-to-date on my new releases.