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Friday, October 29, 2021

Book Review: Smoke and Mirrors: A Vampire Romance by Elise Nelson + giveaway

Smoke and Mirrors: A Vampire Romance
by Elise Nelson
May 25, 2021
Genres: PNR, Gothic Romance, Vampire Romance
ISBN: 1777632935
Number of pages: 409 pages
Word Count: 120,857 words
Cover Artist: Covers and Cupcakes
In the shadows, nothing is ever what it seems

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.

Smoke and Mirrors felt like a new twist to an older style of writing. I read a reviewer who said it reminded her of "Dark Shadows" and dang I wish that thought came to me! But I have to agree, it does have a major flavor of time past.

Written with some well-thought-out characters, which helped the story flow along from page to page. At times a little too "wordy" for me, but readers who love the written word might sink their fangs into this one a tad deeper. There's not a huge helping of alpha male, yet that doesn't pull from the overall story of the leading pair making that connection.

I would have enjoyed some harder-hitting action and I do love that darker turns, however, overall this one was enjoyable and I would certainly continue the series down the road. I think a lot of potential is here, this saga grows on you as it goes like twisting vines. But in such a good way!

Getting 3 and 1/2 Sheep


I could never forget that day. There was an eerie stillness in the air as we stood there, waiting. Chills dimpled deep into my skin, and I swore it was watching me. It was watching all of us. A thing too far away for us to see but close enough to feel the slimy chill of its gaping stare. Like the unnerving lick of a wild animal. Or being scratched in that spot of your back that you can’t quite reach.

I could never forget how it all felt. The stale air clasping my skin, as if paralyzing me in place. The blind panic coursing through me. The sound of muffled breaths and stifled cries suffocating the air around us while we did our best not to make a sound.
None of us really knew what we were waiting for, and somehow that made it worse. Maybe we wouldn’t have been so utterly petrified if we’d known what we were up against. But we didn’t. We just stood there in the dark, the dewy mist of twilight teasing our tired eyes, and tried not to scream.

My aunt always told me to beware of the monsters in the closet. Of demons and shadows. Mythical beings she read stories about at bedtime. Creatures from the corners of our eyes and the echoes in our footsteps. She sang me eerie lullabies of cautionary tales, sinking in stories rich with disaster and fear so I would recognize any such creature if I ever saw one. When she’d speak these rehearsed sermons of the undead, her hands would tremble, and her eyes would go wide and far away—the shocking blue around her pupils turned into stagnant crystals ready to drop and shatter at any moment. It was as if she had left this world altogether and I had to wait for her to return.

I always wondered where these stories came from and why Maggie recited them to me every night before I went to bed. As a teenager, I thought she was simply out of touch with reality— that there was something about her that wasn’t quite right. I heard it when she spoke and saw it in those wide crystal eyes. Her lyrics never made their way into my mind, at least not until I was much older. They just swirled inside the little head that she cradled and brushed before bedtime.

I was a very protected child in a small home, in a small town, hidden deep within Western Europe.

When she died, I left the only place I’d ever known. I had no one else in Fairbrooke worth staying for.

So I moved to Brakerton Heights.

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.

Tour Giveaway
1 Vampire gift box with a copy of Smoke and Mirrors: A Vampire Romance
2 copies of Smoke and Mirrors: A Vampire Romance

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  1. Gorgeous cover. Sounds great! Thank you.

  2. The cover is amazing! I love the colors and design.

  3. Sounds like a great read. A bit gothic.