The Waking of Shadows

It was true that he hadn’t uttered her name to her, not once. He couldn’t bring himself to. He had felt as if withholding that single word could keep him removed, detached from her somehow, as futile as that was. And even more so, he worried the sound of his voice would betray him. That she would hear all he felt for her, wrapped up in that small package of her name. There would be no more hiding it. The truth would be out in the open, lingering between them.”



As a descendant of the very first ghost hunter, Adelaide Collins is considered royalty among members of The Ghost Society – an institution dedicated to eradicating the paranormal. When sent through a portal to the year 1882, to join other modern-day hunters on an assignment, Adelaide arrives with an unexpected case of amnesia.

Timid, shy Adelaide is terrified of this foreign world full of shadows and ghosts. As her presence in the past claims the attention of a powerful Priestess and her entourage of ghouls, Adelaide becomes a helpless target. With her life now at risk she undertakes hunter training with Chase Ryder, the boy who’s made it clear she’s an unwelcome addition to the group. Soon, despite his apparent disinterest in her, she begins to fall for him. But hidden beneath his cocky and impulsive nature Chase is keeping secrets, and it’s not just how he really feels about her. 

Chase is determined to protect her with his life. Even if he might be the reason hers is in danger. 


The Waking of Shadows is a completed, unpublished, YA Historical Fantasy by Melissa Armstrong. It is the first in a series of three books for which Melissa is actively seeking representation.


Praise for the Book

This is definitely the kind of book I would expect (and fully hope to) see on the YA shelves in book stores.
Amy Braun







The Waking of Shadows Playlist:

Polaris by Jimmy Eat World

Hurricane by MS MR

The Moment We Come Alive by Red

Hanging On by Ellie Goulding

Hey Now by London Grammar

Night Drive by Jimmy Eat World

End Of All Time by Stars of Track and Field


Echo by Jason Walker

Lost Year by Mutemath

Ride by Cary Brothers

Disintegration by Jimmy Eat World

In My Veins by Andrew Belle

Pieces by Red

Crash by You Me At Six

Clipping by Mutemath

Strong by London Grammar

Hear Me Now by Framing Hanley

Figure 8 by Ellie Goulding

Harder To Say by Ry Cuming

23 by Jimmy Eat World

So Far Away by Red

Through The Static by Stars of Track and Field

Dark Doo Wop by MS MR

Metal & Dust by London Grammar

Stranger by Katie Costello

No Response by Mutemath

The Lightning Strike by Snow Patrol

Circles by Ludovico Einaudi/Greta Svabo Bech

Shimmer by Fuel

Ghosts by Gabrielle Aplin

Ghost Town by Mads Langer



An excerpt from The Waking of Shadows…


October 1882

The crypt was nothing more than a leftover husk of the past. Motionless, dead leaves were gathered in the corners, borne from breezes of days gone by that had swept them from life. The stale air, leaden with a taste of the macabre, was thick in Chase’s throat – the familiar sense that something ominous enveloped him. He swept the gas lamp in a slow arc as his eyes scanned the darkness. Chase was anxious, but it wasn’t because of the location. His anxiety stemmed from the necessity of what he was there to do.

“They’re not here,” said Lawson, glancing about him. “The son of a bitch was pulling your leg.”

“He wasn’t,” Chase replied with the assuredness that always accompanied him.

He looked over at his brother, one year his junior. Lawson was almost as tall as him, their hair the same shade of brown. There was never any mistaking they were brothers. They looked too much alike, even with Chase’s longer hair and Lawson’s lighter, almost hazel eyes. There, on the wall behind him, hung an unrolled parchment.

“Law, behind you.” Chase approached his brother’s side to read the black inked words, but let his eyes slip away when he noticed it was written in an ancient language he didn’t care to attempt deciphering. “What does it say?”

Lawson shook his head in disapproval. “You know, if you spent half the time studying as you do flirting with girls, you could read it yourself.”

“Just read the damn thing,” he said on a sigh of exasperation. He continued to let his eyes graze about the empty room as Lawson silently read beside him.

“Well, Burns was right,” said Lawson. He held a glass bottle filled with a dark, thick liquid, that he used to point at a line of words on the parchment. “It says you have to paint them.”

With his thumb Chase absently stroked the token in his pocket – a pocket-watch he kept hidden from his brother. Why an old, broken object like that would help his situation was beyond him. Chase had tried to open the watch earlier only to find it wouldn’t budge. But Wilkie Burns told him it was a necessary bargaining chip, so he took it without question.

“I’ll be the one to do it,” said Chase.

“Sure,” Lawson nodded light heartedly, “that’s easy to say when we haven’t found any remains. I’m telling you now, if they’re buried under the floor, you’re on your own. I’m not lifting a finger.”

Chase barely heard his brother, staring at the curious parchment: a talisman bearing instructions and warnings. “Painting them.” He shook his head in deliberation, and turned back to the open room. “What a weird way to…” Chase trailed off, focused on a flake, a piece of dust – he wasn’t sure – that fell from above, drawing his gaze upward.

And then he froze, heart as silent as the tomb around them.

Lawson followed his line of sight and cursed under his breath.

Twelve corpses lined the ceiling, staring down at the brothers with grim and skeletal faces. They laid flat against the stone, their arms crossed over their chests as if they rested in graves not pressed to the roof by unseen forces. Hollowed eyes gaped at them but the boys kept their wits, used to such unsettling scenes.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Lawson asked.

Chase nodded, reaching out. “Hand me the blood.”

But his brother made no move, only to glance over at the parchment again. “You haven’t forgotten that if you’re the one to do this, they’ll be coming after you?”

Chase had his attention fixed on one of the decaying bodies. Her dress, dry and brittle, had been webbed over by spiders. A gold ring, inset with a large ruby the colour of watered down cranberry juice, hung loose from the bone of her finger. “She’s the only one I’m here for,” said Chase.

“Yeah,” agreed Lawson, “but the scroll says if you free one, you free them all.”

Chase met his brothers’ stare with steeled resolve. “Well then, once I’m done I’d better get the hell out of here.”


A synopsis of The Waking of Shadows is available upon request at

They surged together like waves breaking in a rough sea - nothing else to do but collide.