*Shutters rattle. Mistress eyes the windows* What is that?
*Minion scurries to lock them down* Sorry, Night Mistress. The wind’s kicking up a bit out there. It must be the horses.
From the carriage. Remember? You invited a few famous guests.
*Mistress checks guest list* Ah, yes, Minna, Suzanne G. Rogers, and Mr. Rhule. They’ve come good. *Mistress opens door* Hello, dear Suzanne! it’s good to see you again. Mr. Rhule, always a pleasure. love your outfit, what is that the Lecter collection? It’s fabulous.
Rhule: Why thank you, my dear. Actually, it’s from the Poe collection.
*Mistress taps nails* It’s wonderful. I have to get his number from you before you leave, don’t let me forget. Folks, author Suzanne G. Rogers has come for a spooky show-and-tell and a spot of tea. Welcome, Suzanne!
Suzanne.: Thank you for having me, Mistress! Today I brought an excerpt from my romantic fantasy novella, Minna & the Valentine. In the story, Minna won’t acknowledge her magical powers because her beloved father hates wizards. Then handsome Evan Valentine appears to ask her help in closing a rift in the universe. In the following scene, Evan gives her a tour of the castle where he lives with his wizard mentor. To her surprise, the castle residents are not always alive…
Upon entering the library, Minna covered her open mouth with her hands. The collection of books spread out before her was larger than any library she’d ever seen before. Sumptuous leather bindings stretched on as far as the eye could see—but the books were not the only impressive feature. Huge paintings graced the walls, and freestanding sculptures lent the library the feel of a museum, although several reading corners allowed for a cozier experience.
“Absolutely amazing,” she said finally. “How do you find anything?”
“Can I help you, Miss?”
A ghostly figure appeared directly in front of Minna. Startled, she reached for Evan’s hand.
“Hello, Mr. Rhule,” Evan said. “Allow me to introduce Minna Westerfield. Minna, this is our librarian, Mr. Rhule.”
“Deader than a proverbial doornail,” Mr. Rhule said. “I’m not offended by the observation, I can assure you. It comes as a shock to me daily.”
Rendered speechless, Minna stared at the elderly gentleman, clad in a suit and tie fashionable decades prior.
“Mr. Rhule was a longtime employee who decided to stay on after he died,” Evan explained. “We’d be lost without him.”
“I had no relatives I wanted to join in the hereafter, you understand,” Mr. Rhule said. “Work always was my life. It has now become my death, too.”
Minna tried to remember her manners. “It’s very nice to meet you.”
“I’m just giving Minna the tour,” Evan said. “We’ll see you later, Mr. Rhule.”
“I’ll be here.” When the ghost laughed, the vibrations made Minna shudder.
Night Mistress: I can see where a ghostly librarian would be very disconcerting…to the uninitiated.
Suzanne.: It would take some getting used to. *sips tea* Mmm…I taste almonds. How very peculiar.
Night Mistress: No, no almonds. We used only honey, some rosehips and plain old Camellia sinensis…..
*Juli takes Suzanne. Aside* I’m not sure about her recipe. She keeps saying she didn’t add anything weird to the tea but…well, I wouldn’t drink anymore if I were you.
*Juli tries her best to look innocent* Just warning Suzanne about that thing in the graveyard.
Mistress: Oh, yes. That. *snort* I haven’t been able to track it down yet. Never fear, my dear, Suzanne. I won’t let it get you, but yes, she’s right. You might not want to dally on your way back to your carriage.
Rhue: Is it something to worry about?
Mistress *sprinkles crushed bay leaves around Suzanne Minna, and Rhue* There. Now, I don’t think you’ll have any trouble on your trip home. *hugs* Have a happy Halloween, my dears!
Can Minna and Evan save the universe before their romantic attraction leads to disaster?
Minna & the Valentine is available at Amazon,and wherever e-books are sold.
About the Author
Suzanne G. Rogers lives with her husband and son in romantic Savannah, Georgia, on an island populated by deer, exotic birds, and the occasional gator. She’s owned by two Sphynx cats, Houdini and Nikita. Movies, books, and writing are her passions. Check out her blog at childofyden.wordpress.com.