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Cypher–A Ghost story by author S.G.Rogers

*Night Mistress listens at door* Good it seems like that mob has settled down.Maybe my ghost soldiers helped.

Hmm? Oh, yes, around here, we like ghosts. We often wonder what the fuss is about ghosts. *Mistress eyes ceiling* See that shade up there near the rafter? We get them almost every day. Why you humans hem and hah about them is beyond me. I mean, they’re just looking for a home. Mind you, I can’t let them all into my home, so my dear guests, feel free to adopt one or two to take home with you. Please? I swear they’re all nice fellas.

“Better than some vampire maidens.”

*Night Mistress peers across room* What? What was that Juli my dear?

 *Juli the minion coughs* “Nothin’, my lady. What were you saying?”

*Mistress glares at Juli* “Yes. Right.” *aside: Do you believe her? I’m not sure I do. Anyway, as I was saying, not all ghosts are to be feared. Tonight we’ve kidnapped–I mean, invited, an author who agrees. Suzanne, dear, you wanted to speak a bit about this? Don’t be shy, you may have the podium whenever you’re ready.

Thanks so much, Mistress, and Juli, for allowing me to guest at your castle! You’ve heard the saying:

Lord, deliver us from goulies and ghosties

and long-leggedy beasties

and things that go bump in the night…

(c) Toby Ord, courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Deliver us? I think not! The paranormal has caused a delicious shiver down the spine probably since the beginning of mankind.  All Hallows Eve, however, is the one time we let our interest in the spirit world run rampant.  Halloween was my favorite holiday growing up, and I still get a kick out of it. Demons, imps, ghosts, and apparitions make their appearance in my own literary work from time to time too, and I don’t even have to wait for Halloween to let the genie out of the bottle.

My novelette, Cypher, is a ghost story, of sorts.  In it, a horrendous earthquake razes the castle that houses the royal family. Almost everything and everyone on the castle grounds are destroyed…or are they?  Almost ten years after the quake, a young woman in a neighboring town is haunted by bad dreams of the event.  Are they dreams or memories?  If so, can her memories resurrect the past?

The solution is found underneath the castle ruins, in the catacombs…

*Mistress rubs hands* Oh, I do hope they’re simply horrible nightmares! Those are always the best! Can you give us a little taste of your story, Suzanne?

Excerpt:

The tunnel up ahead was caved in and impassable. Cypher’s shoulders slumped.

“I-I don’t know any other way around.”

“We passed a lot of other passageways,” Joss said.

“I don’t know where they lead. I always stayed in the main tunnel so I wouldn’t get lost. Joss,

Spanish Dungeon
© Kacpura | Dreamstime.com

perhaps we should go back.”

“Shh.”

“What?”

“I hear something.”

“What do you hear?”

“A ringing.”

“The air isn’t that good, Joss. I imagine your ears are ringing.”

“No, it’s like a bell.”

Cypher cocked her head to listen. Moments later her eyes grew wide. “I hear it too! Do you
think there could be somebody else down here?”

“I don’t know, but it’s getting closer.”

Joss put his arm around Cypher and held her tight. Someone or something was approaching, and they were trapped in a dead end.

Although she has no memories before the quake that destroyed the kingdom of Augury, Cypher McCall holds a steadfast hatred of the repressive Cauldian regime now ruling the country.  Because her magical gifts are deemed subversive, she does her best to avoid detection.  Unfortunately for Cypher, however, she’s too beautiful to ignore. After a Cauldian contingent arrives in her hometown, a chance encounter leaves her repulsed by the arrogant Prince Ewan and attracted to his distant cousin, Lord Joss.

When she learns Prince Ewan plans to tear down the ruins of nearby Castle Augur, Cypher vows to stop him.  Although handsome Lord Joss tries to protect her from his vindictive cousin, Cypher can’t bring herself to trust the enemy.  At the same time, nightmares and dreams nudge her toward reclaiming childhood memories.  She stumbles across a silver key she hopes will unlock her past, but first she must confront a long repressed horror at the Castle Augur ruins.

Can Cypher evade Prince Ewan long enough to recover her memories? Is Lord Joss all that he seems or is his charm a ruse to ensnare the unwary? Finally, will the knowledge of her true identity tear Cypher apart or empower her to restore everything she ever loved?

Cypher is available at MuseItUp Publishing (all formats), Amazon (Kindle), BN.com (Nook) and wherever fine e-books are sold.

So, does something wicked or supernatural this way come?  I sure hope so.  ‘Cause it’s Halloween just around the corner and everyone can use a good ghost story.

~ S.G. Rogers

*Mistress eyes minions*  What is this stuff about Halloween being a day for ghosts? Every day’s a day for ghosts!  Why do you people think otherwise?

*We’ll talk about it later, my Lady*

I see, well, since we have a little more time, I’ve persuaded Suzanne to offer some of her lovely author swag, including a magnet and postcard of Cypher!  Pick the way you’d like to enter. Either like one of her books on Amazon HERE, like her author page on Facebook HERE, follow her blog, or follow her on Twitter HERE.

Let us know which way you entered by leaving a comment on the Night Mistress’ site, here, and we’ll pick a winner on Sunday, November 4th. So, let’s hear your thoughts on this topic, and you just might win some goodies. 🙂

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