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A Short Story by S.G. Rogers
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Release: June 22, 2012
Editor: Richelle Putnam
Line Editor: Nan Swanson
Cover Designer: Winterheart Designs
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 on a silver key that 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?
As she stared into his handsome face, Cypher was glad her heightened color hid the blush that crept over her cheekbones.
“I’m so sorry,” she said. “I wasn’t looking where I was going.”
“I’m rather glad you weren’t.”
The man gave her a crooked grin, and Cypher’s breath caught in her throat. After he loosened his grip on her arms, she took a step back. Tall and well built, the man wore a smart suit with a splendid brocade vest and a gray bowler hat. She’d only ever seen clothes like that in newspaper illustrations. Cypher suddenly wished her loose-fitting school uniform were more flattering. The man tipped his hat and bowed.
“Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lord Joss.”
A delicious shiver ran up and down Cypher’s spine. Just then a haughty voice rent the air. “Caught yourself a local have you, Joss?”
A dark-haired man appeared, clad in a splendid blue Cauldian military uniform, a royal sash, and a sneer. As he approached, several soldiers clustered nearby, their hands on the hilts of their swords. Cypher cast a nervous glance back at her friends, but they’d disappeared.
“Not at all, Prince Ewan,” Joss said. “I was in the young lady’s way.”
The prince’s gaze strayed from Cypher’s beautiful features to travel down her body. By the time his eyes returned to her face, the man wore an appreciative smirk. “What do they call you?”
She flicked a glance at Joss. He gave her a tiny nod.
“Cypher McCall…Your Highness.”
“McCall? You must belong to that tavern down the street. A barmaid, then.”
Cypher bristled, but Joss offered her his arm. “We’ve kept the lady from her business far too long, Ewan. I’ll escort her to her destination, and then we can resume our business.”“Make haste. I find the delights of Plentiful are wearing thin,” the prince said.
About the Author:
Originally a native of Southern California, S.G. Rogers currently resides in Savannah, Georgia. She considers herself fortunate to have lived in some of the most magical places in America. When she’s not writing, she enjoys practicing martial arts. She’s owned by two hairless Sphynx cats, Nikita and Houdini.
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