Sunset Empire

She may be guilty of arson,
but she didn’t kill

the burned girl haunting her.


Elyse Pthan blames herself for her father’s death. She stayed out past her curfew, and he was killed in a car accident when he went out looking for her. After the funeral, her house burns down, and Elyse is accused of setting the fire. Homeless and worried for her daughter, Elyse’s mother moves her family to Astoria, Oregon to live with the strict grandmother they never knew.

Enraged by her grandmother’s rigid rules, Elyse discovers the terrible heritage her mother kept hidden. Her family may be responsible for the 1922 fire that nearly destroyed Astoria, the death of a girl who longs for vengeance as she haunts the tunnels beneath the city, and mysterious disappearances spanning hundreds of years.

Helping her uncover the truth is Phantom, an enigmatic and surprisingly attractive boy, considering his scars, his talent as a pickpocket, and his status as the local social outcast. A boy with a hidden weapon and a dark heritage of his own, that could turn him from friend to hunter.

Sunset Empire is a love letter to the Oregon Coast, blending mythology and fantasy with the area’s history and culture. The story showcases a number of sites Oregon readers will recognize, including Fort Stevens State Park, Shively Park, the Liberty Theater and Astoria’s infamous underground tunnels.


“Sunset Empire (Volume 1) by Melissa Eskue Ousley is a fun story, a mixture of fantasy, paranormal, and just downright creepy at times. It is part thriller and starts off on a high note, just getting better as the story moves along. The story is peppered with nuggets of historical information and myths from the area of Astoria, Oregon, adding an interesting dimension to the plot. The plot is good, with plenty of twists and turns, and is full of vivid descriptions that bring the story to life. The characters are well developed, brought to life and easy to identify with. Although this is touted as a young adult paranormal story, I believe that many older readers would enjoy it as well and I was pleased to see that Ms. Eskue Ousley has set the scene very well for the next book – I will be reading it.” -Readers’ Favorite

“Ousley’s talent for weaving a chilling story will keep readers enthralled as they struggle alongside Elyse to discover where the true monsters lie.”
– DelSheree Gladden, USA Today Bestselling Author of Invisible

“Sometimes it’s hard to tell the monsters from the heroes. Sunset Empire is a fun, creepy, Pacific Northwest fantasy to be enjoyed by young adults and adults alike.”
-Lisa Reid, Lucy’s Books

Sunset Empire is available on Amazon and debuted in the bestselling young adult box set Secrets and Shadows!


© Melissa Eskue Ousley 2015