Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Smoke and Mirrors: A Vampire Romance by Elise Nelson #PNR


Smoke and Mirrors: A Vampire Romance
Elise Nelson 

Genres: PNR, Gothic Romance, Vampire Romance
Publisher: Shattered Glass Press
Date of Publication: May 25, 2021 
ISBN: 1777632935 
Number of pages: 409 pages
Word Count: 120,857 words
Cover Artist: Covers and Cupcakes 

Tagline: In the shadows, nothing is ever what it seems

Book Description:

Caroline Blake is a young reporter with a past almost as cryptic as her future. She never put much stock into her late aunt’s eerie tales of monsters and demons until she takes an assignment to cover the elusive Ashdown family’s Harvest Festival. As part of her assignment, she must live at the family’s mansion for six weeks and help prepare for the event.

No one has seen the family since the tragedy that occurred at the last festival almost thirty years prior. As the only female reporter on-site, Caroline must hold her own while uncovering why the family closed their doors all those years ago.

Perhaps the most challenging part of her assignment is dealing with her working partner, William Ashdown. The handsome lord of the house seems bent on testing her patience every time they meet. Still, there is something intriguing about him that she can’t ignore.

Caroline is soon swept into a world of generational secrets, unsettling mysteries, and unexpected romance. Amidst all the uncertainty, one thing is sure: in the shadows, nothing is ever what it seems. 

Excerpt 2:

“You have each been paired with someone in the house whom you will shadow and work with over the next few weeks . . .” her voice trailed off as someone from across the hall caught her eye.

“Ah, here my brother is now. William, dear, come greet our guests!” Her voice was melodic as it moved through the room. She raised a hand above her head, as if to coax her brother over.

I couldn’t see the man in question; I was in the back of the others, and he was coming from the opposite end of the room. But judging from the fact that he hadn’t been there to greet us, and from his silence now, I’d say he was avoiding this very moment. Soon enough, however, I heard footsteps and Evelyn’s jubilant laugh. “Ah, William, please greet our guests. They wondered why the lord of the house wasn’t there to say hello to them when they arrived.”
There was a brief awkward silence, as it was clear that none of us had asked for him, and
William likely knew it. “It’s a pleasure,” he said finally, his deep voice tight with bored insincerity. I tried surreptitiously standing on my toes but still couldn’t see him very well. The men in front of me were blocking my view. I liked to think they weren’t doing it intentionally, but I had my doubts.

I could only see part of his head and one of his shoulders, fitted in what appeared to be an extremely expensive black suit. Despite how new and crisp it looked, as dark and fine as any suit

I’d ever seen, it still wasn’t as beautifully dark as the hair that fell softly on his forehead. Smooth and thick, like the feathers of a crow. His fingers moved through it as he continued.

“Thank you all for coming. We look forward to your stay.” His voice was cavalier, and it was clear he didn’t want to be here, which I found odd. Why wouldn’t the lord of the manor want to greet his new employees and shake our hands? Wasn’t he the one who wanted us here?

My acceptance letter had come from him.

“William is very busy,” Evelyn said, the words rushing from her lips, “but he will be joining us for supper tonight. Isn’t that right?”

There was a small pause before her brother replied. “Yes, of course.” He stepped closer in my direction, and I glimpsed his profile briefly before he turned back one more time and added,

“I will see you all then, and we’ll have a proper greeting. Now, if you’ll excuse me.” He smiled stiffly, and I wondered if anyone else could tell how little he wanted to be here. He was about to turn away when he saw me.

Our eyes locked. The faux mask he’d worn to feign pleasantries disappeared like smoke. His mouth fell partly open, and for a moment, it was as if we knew each other. As if we always had but had just forgotten. Yet, he also seemed so new to me. Like I’d never seen someone who looked quite like him before. Someone whose eyes looked into mine so unabashedly. Someone whose single glance left me breathless. A rush like white-hot fire burned against my skin, and I couldn’t look away. I didn’t know what it was about him, but in his eyes I saw something familiar. As if he were a memory or a dream I’d long forgotten.

About the Author:

Elise Nelson is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comics, and articles. She has published under a few different pen names since she was nineteen and has been published in literary periodicals, including The Nassau Review and Essig Magazine. She has also worked as an editorial intern for Christopher Matthews Publishing as well as a writer and editor for many other companies, magazines, and websites. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boise State University, where she studied English literature, creative writing, and multimedia storytelling. She is currently a writer and editor for and enjoys writing Star Wars fan fiction in her spare time.

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