Stephanie Elmas
Author of Illusion and The Room Beyond
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Illusion
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Illusion - Launched 2017

From the grime and squalor of Victorian London's East End comes Walter Balanchine: a workhouse boy with no knowledge of his parentage and a thousand tricks bubbling at his fingertips. Together with his best friend, Tom Winter, he creates a magic show that will change their lives.

Wrapped within London's murky lanes and the rolling Somerset countryside comes a story of love, loss and undying friendship. Will Tom and Walter enable a beautiful heiress to escape from a grisly marriage? What will Walter discover about his own past? What spell will he conjure up next with Sinbad, his beautiful black panther, at his side?

Illusion is a novel of unexpected twists and turns. It explores the early life of Walter Balanchine, one of the shining stars from Elmas's first novel, The Room Beyond. The story focuses on a man who should have been an outcast; who should have disappeared into the mud and grime of poverty. However, fate has very different intentions for Walter Balanchine. This enigmatic and eccentric character cannot help but shine ...


The Room Beyond

When Serena begins a new life working for the Hartreve family at 36 Marguerite Avenue she falls in love, not just with its eccentric and alluring inhabitants and their world, but with the house itself. Number 36 is a beautiful Victorian London mansion that has remained in the family for generations. Serena feels that by being here she has escaped the ghosts of her own sad childhood and found a true home, but she soon discovers that behind its gleaming surfaces Marguerite Avenue is plagued by secrets and mystery. Why does such a beautiful tranquil street seem sometimes to shimmer with menace? Is everyone in the family quite who they appear to be? And just what is it that the family is trying to hide from her?

It is 1892. On a hot summer night scented with jasmine, Miranda Whitestone hosts a dinner party at 34 Marguerite Avenue. Watching helplessly as her husband is seduced by her glamorous neighbour Lucinda Eden, she can have no idea of the consequences the evening will have.

For the history of Marguerite Avenue is more chilling than Serena could have imagined, and the fates of two women - the beautiful renegade Lucinda and the 'good wife' Miranda - will reach out from the past to cast a shadow over Serena's own future.

The Room Beyond is a thriller that delves beneath the romance and grandeur of a London house and finds a family haunted by the legacy of past wrongdoings. As the suspense grows and the fog thickens, will Serena be able to give up all that she has come to love? Will she ever escape?


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