Today I am so pleased to welcome Joanna Chambers to Joyfully Jay. Joanna has come to talk to us about her latest release, The Dream Alchemist (I adored this book and gave it 5 stars!). She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Joanna a big welcome!
To sleep, perchance to dream
About ten years ago, my husband told me that he had learned to control his dreams.
It wasn’t that he could do anything that he wanted to—it began with no more than him developing an awareness that he was asleep and in a dream—but eventually he was able to exert some influence over what actually happened. He learned too that if he found himself in a nightmare and realised he was dreaming, he could escape by yelling and yelling till he woke up; that he could actually connect with and control his sleeping body. That was how he saw it—that if dream-him yelled long enough and loud enough, his sleeping body would eventually read the memo and do the same.
Cue me waking up in the middle of the night to the sounds of his inarticulate shouting.
There were lots of inspirations for The Dream Alchemist, but that, I suppose, was the most obviously direct one (although my dreamwalkers’ abilities are rather more sophisticated than my husband’s blundering attempts to persuade a dream version of Kylie Minogue to… Ok, you do not need to know that).
This idea of my husband being able to control his dreams was interesting to me, not just because it’s something I’ve never experienced, but also because so many of my dreams are concerned with lack of control. One of my recurring dreams features me trying to discipline an unruly dog, only to realise—usually after I’ve just tapped the thing sharply on the nose and scolded it—that it is in fact a tiger, and I am alone in my childhood bedroom with it. In another, I’m trying to drive a car, unable to see out the windscreen because I’m having to slide down in my seat to reach the pedals—and even stretching like that, I can’t push them down properly.
So it’s probably unsurprising that ideas around control became one of the key themes of this book. As a dreamwalker, one of my heroes, Bryn Llewelyn, has extraordinary abilities in Somnus, the world of dreams. In the real world, however, he’s a messed-up wash-out who binges on caffeine to try to keep his waking-self awake, tempering the worst effects with booze. My other MC, Laszlo Grimm lives a far more disciplined waking life, but that very discipline has a choke hold on him in ways that will come to horrify him.
Both of my heroes have issues with self-control. Both of them experience anxiety when they feel out of control. And both of them need to learn to trust themselves—to trust that they have inner reserves that will carry them through whatever trials lie before them.
What about you? Do you dream? And if so, are you usually in control, like my husband, or flailing around like me?
When the sun goes down, their passion awakens…and so do their nightmares.
Centuries ago, a man with Bryn Llewelyn’s dreamwalking ability would have been a shaman or a priest. In this time, he’s merely exhausted, strung out on too much caffeine and too little sleep.
Sleep means descent into Somnus—an alternate reality constructed of the combined dreaming consciousness of ordinary humans. A place he’d rather avoid. Trouble is, his powers don’t include the ability to go without sleep indefinitely. At some point his eyes close…and his nightmare begins.
As a teen, the treatment that cured Laszlo Grimm’s sleep disorder stole his dreams—and his ability to feel emotion. Petrified of needing more “treatment”, he clings to familiar rituals and habits. But lately his nightly terror has returned, and when he meets Bryn in the real world, the man seems hauntingly familiar. Not only that, Bryn awakens feelings in Laszlo for the first time in years…
Slowly Bryn and Laszlo realize they are both unknowing pawns in a plan of unspeakable evil. And that their powerful attraction could release the destinies locked within them—or be the instrument of their doom.
Joanna Chambers always wanted to write but she didn’t find her muse until she rediscovered her love of romance novels after the birth of her first child. These days, Joanna lives in the UK with her family and finds time to write by eschewing sleep and popular culture. You can find Joanna at her website, www.joannachambers.com, friend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @ChambersJoanna and connect with her on Goodreads.
Joanna has brought an ebook copy of The Dream Alchemist, along with a $25 ebook retailer gift card, to give away to one lucky reader along her tour. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter.
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I finished The Dream Alchemist and I thought it was good. The premise was really interesting.
I enjoyed reading your post I’ve never heard of anybody being able to have some sort of control in their dreams that sound really cool.
I haven’t read anything by Ms. Chambers, and based on her Goodreads reviews, I’m missing out on a lot. I’m adding “The Dream Alchemist” to my to read list right now.
I think it would be fabulous to have control over dreams, I never seem to remember my dreams fully. I’d love to read your new book. Thanks for the giveaway.
One of my recurring dreams is driving a car and no matter how hard I push the brake, it doesn’t slow down properly. So I’m definitely with you on the dreaming. I usually wake up with my heart pounding!
Sometimes, I can control my dreams a bit or convince myself that it is a dream and I need to wake up. This usually only happens when they get really bad.
Thanks for the post and contest! I have The Dream Alchemist on my TBR list; it sounds fantastic.
I have that too with bad dreams. When I was little and had a recurring monster dream, I would make my dream self lay down and “play dead” so the monster would pass by. I could always wake myself up when I became aware I was having a bad dream.
I have an interesting relationship with dreams as well. Thanks for the giveaway the book sounds great.
I’ve already read The Dream Alchemist and loved it. I think Bryn and Lazzlo are great together, and the world of Somnus is full of interesting possibilities (and stories).
Great job, Joanna!
I enjoy anything to do with Alchemy. Count me in.
I haven’t read The Dream Alchemist yet but I am so looking forward to it!
Sounds very interesting, thank you for this great chance!!!
I’m intrigued by the premise!
I wish I could control my dreams like your husband. I always never know what going to happen next in my dreams.
As a child I had some weird dreams that really scared me that I would have over and over. As I’ve gotten older, I have gotten to the point that sometimes I can recognize that the dream doesn’t make sense and basically work my way out of it. It doesn’t always work, but I’m grateful when I can do so.
Looking forward to reading this one! It sounds right up my alley. I am an avid dreamer. I can only describe my dreams as big budget action movies in crazy vivid realism. Its sometimes very cool and sometimes insanely scary. I guess I have a super overactive mind. 🙂 or maybe I should stop reading until the wee hours of the morning…hehe
Great post& giveaway!
I’m pretty sure I’m not able to control my dreams… but I’m a light sleeper and it’s fairly easy to wake myself up to stop the dream when it gets too bad.
My husband is a lucid dreamer, just like yours. I wish I were. I often have nightmares and, even though I awake from them, when I fall back asleep I fall right back into them. Is it any wonder I’m an insomniac?
Dream Alchemist sounds very intriguing indeed!
Thanks for the interesting post. I have very vivid dreams but I don’t have control over them like that.
Please count me in. Thanks
The only time I can “control” my dreams is when I no longer want to be in the dream. I can force myself awake some times it takes what seems like quite a long time but eventually it does work.
Thank you for the post. This sounds like a really fun book to read. Thank you for the giveaway chance.