A warm love bytes welcome to author Joanna Chambers visiting our blog today in honor of her newest release “A Gathering Storm, part of Riptide’s Portkennack series.
Joanna talk about inspirations and there is also a giveawayto participate in!
Welcome Joanna 🙂
Hello, reader friends! I’m Joanna Chambers and this is the blog tour for A Gathering Storm, my new Cornwall-set historical romance. I’ll be sharing thoughts on my experience of writing about eccentric Victorian scientists, pragmatic Romany land stewards and unscrupulous mediums – come and comment to win a copy of the book and a $25 Riptide gift card!
Real Life Inspirations
One of the things I love about writing in the historical genre is that you get these moments of inspiration that hit you as you research. And even better is how serendipitous those inspirational moments can end up being.
With this book, I had one of these golden inspirational moments when I read about John Braid. John Braid was a 19th century Scottish surgeon who inspired not one but two separate, yet oddly connected, aspects of this book.
Alex Beecroft, in her original Porthkennack ‘Bible’ wrote snippets about a few potential characters. One of these was Sir Edward Fitzwilliam, a Victorian scientist trying to pierce the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead using electromagnetism.
I immediately called “dibs” on him. I WANTED him for one of my heroes. As soon as I had him, the research began. I read and read and read about electricity and magnetism in the nineteenth century.
One of my research sessions took me down the path of reading about St Elmo’s Fire, an electromagnetic phenomenon most commonly encountered at sea. However, there was one very intriguing and rather different account of St Elmo’s Fire, I came across, given by John Braid.
He wrote of riding home one night in a storm, his hat pulled low over his face, and seeing a strange glow appear over the brim of his hat. Of little sparks appearing there. I liked this account so well, I found I wanted to know more about this man. It turned out he was a surgeon, and a published writer.
He had written a book called “Neurypnology”, a debunking of what was then known as mesmerism – and that he renamed hypnosis.
Well. Down the rabbit hole I fell… Mesmerism, hypnosis, clairvoyance and spiritualism. I read and read and read. My plot began to come together.
My notebook was a mess of indecipherable scribbles. But a gap remained. How to link these things to that hero I’d been given? Sir Edward Fitzwilliam, a Victorian scientist trying to contact dead using electromagnetism… I found the link in John Braid’s book, in his account of discovering the true process of inducing an hypnotic trance.
He explained how the subject’s gaze should be directed into a slightly strained upwards squint. That there was something about the concentration required and the direction of the subject’s pupils that brought about the trance state.
It was then I thought of that earlier moment in John Braid’s life, years before. When he rode home in a storm and witnessed a strange glow above his hat brim… And so it is that A Gathering Storm begins with Ward – Sir Edward Fitzwilliam – on board a ship, mesmerised (literally) by St Elmo’s Fire above his hat brim, about to experience something unforgettable…
About A Gathering Storm
When grief-stricken scientist Sir Edward Fitzwilliam provokes public scorn by defending a sham spiritualist, he’s forced to retreat to Porthkennack to lick his wounds. Ward’s reputation is in tatters, but he’s determined to continue the work he began after the death of his beloved brother.
In Porthkennack, Ward meets Nicholas Hearn, land steward to the Roscarrock family. Ward becomes convinced that Nick, whose Romany mother was reportedly clairvoyant, is the perfect man to assist with his work. But Nick—who has reason to distrust the whims of wealthy men—is loath to agree. Until Fate steps in to lend a hand.
Despite Nick’s misgivings, he discovers that Ward is not the high-handed aristocrat he first thought. And when passion ignites between them, Nick learns there’s much more to love than the rushed, clandestine encounters he’s used to. Nevertheless, Nick’s sure that wealthy, educated Ward will never see him as an equal.
A storm is gathering, but with Nick’s self-doubts and Ward’s growing obsession, the fragile bond between the two men may not be strong enough to withstand it.
Now available from:
Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur’s Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.
This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Charlie Cochrane, Garrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.
Check out Porthkennack!
About Joanna Chambers
Joanna Chambers always wanted to write. In between studying, finding a proper grown up job, getting married and having kids, she spent many hours staring at blank sheets of paper and chewing pens. That changed when she rediscovered her love of romance and found her muse. Joanna’s muse likes red wine, coffee and won’t let Joanna clean the house or watch television.
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To celebrate the release of A Gathering Storm, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit and a copy of A Gathering Storm! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 22, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!