Smoke and Mirrors: A Vampire Romance by @enelsonauthor is a Trick or Treat Bonanza pick #gothic #pnr
Title: Smoke and Mirrors: A Vampire Romance
Author: Elise Nelson
Genre: gothic romance, romantic suspense, romantic mystery, vampire romance, paranormal romance
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.
The mansion was heavier than it had been in years. Every clock was silent, every room filled with unease so thick you could almost reach out and grab it. They were the most dangerous creatures on Earth. Why should they be afraid?
Still, things moved forward. The clocks ticked on the walls, the floors creaked. Everything led to the study, where all three of them nervously shifted. The woman in the group was deep in thought. Her amethyst eyes stared off as countless thoughts rushed through her mind. She absentmindedly moved a sheet of her lustrous black hair out of her face and let it pour down her back like spilling ink.
Everything was off now, their daily lives no longer mundane. The usual comfort of routine and boredom had completely evaporated, and Evelyn couldn’t tell if that was a good thing or a very bad one. Nothing was the same, and they knew it never would be again.
“I didn’t think there would be so few,” she said, her fingers lingering on her lips as she looked at the papers on her husband’s desk. He hummed thoughtfully in his chair beside her. She leaned forward, placing a hand on one of his broad shoulders, her face close to his as she craned her neck over the back of his chair. Her brows were heavy against her moon-dipped eyes. No one knew what to say or do.
She continued looking at the papers, her forehead crinkling. She almost didn’t hear William move to meet them in the corner of the study.
“Are you really that surprised?” he asked, crossing his arms.
She sighed and looked at her brother in exasperation. “William, what do you want?”
He raised a dark eyebrow and walked over to her. “You know what I want, Ev. I want you to call this whole thing off.”
Her eyes widened. “Don’t be ridiculous!”
“I’m not the one who’s being ridiculous. You know this is dangerous. We have been in a delicate state for decades. Why are you opening the floodgates now?”
Her face hardened as she inched closer to him, fury practically steaming from her ears. “You know we can’t keep living like this,” she said through gritted teeth, “We have been confined up here for far too long. I’ll go completely mad if I have to do it any longer, and I’m sure you feel it, too, whether or not you’ll admit it.” Her expression softened. “What’s the point of life if we cannot truly live?”
“Ha!” he barked, shaking his head in disbelief. “Evelyn, you of all people should know that we don’t have the luxury of living actual lives. We just breathe and hope we don’t get killed, or worse.” His eyes flickered toward the wall, his jaw clenched, and she knew what he was thinking.
After a long, thoughtful pause, she let out a heavy sigh and looked at him. “William, I can’t live the rest of my life—whatever you choose to call it—up here all alone. I miss being able to go out and mingle. I’ve been cooped up here for too long.”
“You do get to get out. You and Charles go out on your trips all the time!”
The look of fury returned to her eyes and reflected in the rising volume of her voice. “You know what that’s about, William, and don’t you dare tell me you truly believe that’s the same thing as going out and living!” The last word echoed through the spacious room. The void that swallowed her voice was just another painful reminder that no one ever visited and that they could have no company there.
The three of them stood still, not even breathing their usual, uneven breaths. When it became clear that she wouldn’t change her mind, William nodded and backed away. “Alright, Evelyn, but you’ll regret this. Mark my words. This won’t go the way you’re hoping it will.”
“William,” she said as he left, like a mother disappointed in her child. She hoped he’d turn around and reconsider. Talk things out. But she knew it was no use and that him changing his mind would be a bigger feat than this festival going smoothly. Still, she hoped for both, especially the latter. At this point, it was too late anyway. She’d already made up her mind. William would just have to deal with it. Come what may.
She let out another sigh and pointed to the applications on her husband’s desk. “Reply to the ones we’ve gotten. Beggars can’t be choosers, I suppose.”
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If you could dress up as anything or anyone this Halloween, what or who would it be and why?
A vampire! I always love dressing up like a vampire. I love creating new looks to mesh fashion with vampiric vibes.
Explain why your featured book is a treat to read:
This book blends mystery with the paranormal, all wrapped up in romance, too. It’s perfect for October because it’s suspense, has a lot of mystery, and features vampires!
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card.
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Canada account to win.
Runs October 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on November 1.
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. Upon publication of her latest title, Smoke and Mirrors, she made it onto multiple Amazon bestseller lists for vampire and gothic romance. 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 Jotaku.net and enjoys writing Star Wars fan fiction in her spare time.
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