Join me for a live conversation about Cemeteries

DATE CHANGE: Despite the podcast being called Tombstone Tuesday, this will take place on Wednesday, March 17 at 4 pm CT (or 2 PT). Tui’s getting her vaccine on Tuesday.

Tui Snider, author of Understanding Cemetery Symbols and Six Feet Under Texas, has invited me to come chat about cemeteries. You can join us live on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc8atGbwYis

We’ll be taking questions from the chat, if you have anything you’re dying to know.

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Cemetery Season begins now

Cemetery season is starting early this year. I’ve already been on two podcasts to talk about graveyards and travel:

Something (Rather than Nothing) with Ken Volante: https://open.spotify.com/episode/4WyvBI3A5WgIqeJUSOejRN?si=V4CThu30QL2IESwbxeiAkg

Ghost Magnet with Bridget Marquardt: https://open.spotify.com/episode/3wAvGv98DvKVDDBURHEPGy?si=-iaUGgVyQq2IivHelzEr-g

Coming up next month will be the Books & Travel podcast with Joanna Penn. I’m not sure of the date yet, but here’s the homepage: https://www.booksandtravel.page/listen/

Things have been slow on the cemetery book front this year. While I’ve been waiting to sign another contract, I’ve gotten two fiction books out:

What if Romeo had wings and Juliet a barbed tail?

Angelus Rose is the second novel in the succubus/angel series I was writing with Brian Thomas. Of interest to cemetery folk is that the book visits three cemeteries in LA. It’s available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop.org, Indie Bound, and Smashwords.

Finally, my brand-new collection of short stories, Unsafe Words, came out on Sunday.

From the back cover:

In the first full-length collection of her edgy, award-winning short stories, Loren Rhoads punctures the boundaries between horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction in a maelstrom of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. Ghosts, succubi, naiads, vampires, the Wild Hunt, and the worst predator in the woods stalk these pages, alongside human monsters who follow their cravings past sanity or sense.

Unsafe Words is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indie Bound. It should be up at Bookshop.org and Smashwords soon.

I hope to get back to work on the cemetery updates soon. In the meantime, tell me…have you had a cemetery adventure lately?

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Vacation on the Amazon River

My dear friend Jeff is on a mission to travel to all the ends of the earth. Ten years ago, he fulfilled a lifelong dream and took a cruise down the Amazon.  He sent me these photos from the cemetery along the way.  With his permission, I share them with you.

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From Jeff’s note:

First, a context photo, since I do not know much about this graveyard.
We stopped here to go for a swim on a sandbar on an island in the middle of the Rio Negro (the branch of the Amazon we were on).  The water was warm and we just spent a few hours standing up to our necks in the water that was cooler than the air.  If you look, you can see that people are drinking beer while they stand, with our residence floating in the background.
This graveyard is at the high point of this sand bar.  On wet winters, I suspect that this graveyard would be under 1 meter of water. Typically, it seems to be right at the high water mark of the river.  When we got there, the crosses had all been freshly repainted.  The roller was still sitting there with paint on it.  Talk about a graveyard with a view!

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Loren again:  Someday we’ll be able to travel again. In the meantime, you can check out Jeff’s other exotic adventures on Cemetery Travel:

You can see Jeff’s photos of his trip to Cuba here.

See his photos of the graveyards of Croatia and Bosnia here.

His pictures of Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh are here.

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My New Cemetery Project

I am starting to work on a new cemetery book, sort of a sequel to 199 Cemeteries To See Before You Die. This one will focus on lesser-known, even more beautiful cemeteries.

Here’s the pile of research books I’m starting with:

So my question to you is this: do you have a beautiful cemetery I should consider for this book? I would love to get suggestions for places, especially outside the US.

You can drop a comment below or use the contact form above.

Thanks so much for your help!

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Respectable Burial review

Respectable Burial: Montreal's Mount Royal CemeteryRespectable Burial: Montreal’s Mount Royal Cemetery by Brian J. Young

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This may be the most boring cemetery book I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a lot). I bought a shrink-wrapped copy without paging through it because I’m fascinated by the cemeteries of Montreal, but this book turns out to have few photos of the monuments in Mount Royal Cemetery — and even fewer color views of the cemetery itself. That’s one strike against it.

Rather than illuminating the history of Montreal through the people buried in Mount Royal Cemetery, this book focuses on the business of running the cemetery, including minutiae on cemetery board discussions on how to police the behavior of visitors. There is a whole lot of detail about how burying the poor was seen as a Protestant duty and the rules the cemetery board consequently put in place to punish families who needed assistance burying their dead. Actually I found that quite interesting, although it went on and on.

Often, the most interesting stories in the book appeared in the photo captions, which described some of the controversial figures buried in Mount Royal. It made me wish I was reading a book comprised on the captions, instead of the main text.

To be honest, all things being equal, I prefer to explore Catholic cemeteries over Protestant ones, because Catholic cemeteries tend to have more sculpture and more detailed epitaphs and I can get a better sense of the people buried in them. Perhaps the same can be said for books about Catholic cemeteries vs. Protestant ones?

If you’d like to complete your cemetery book collection, you can buy a copy of Respectable Burial from Amazon: https://amzn.to/38wTMiW

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

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