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!
By Joanna Chambers
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.
Roscarrock House, Porthkennack
The new mare was as fine a horse as Nick had ever seen. Proud and lovely with her dapple-grey coat, ivory mane, and delicate, high-stepping legs.
“What do you think of her?” old Godfrey asked, without looking at Nick. He leaned over the paddock fence, his eyes on the mare, but Nick could hear a betraying note of eagerness in his tone. “Do you think Isabella will like her?”
Nick, who’d been chewing on a stalk of grass, spat out a stray seed and said, “Those are two different questions.”
Godfrey gave an impatient sigh and turned his head. At seventy-eight he was still hale, a big man with a shock of silver hair. There was a slight stoop to those broad shoulders these days, and the big hands gripping the top of the fence were spotted with pale brown marks, but he was as active as he’d always been. Still rode every day.
“Answer them separately then,” Godfrey demanded.
Nick watched the mare canter round the field, in no hurry to respond. He knew that Godfrey hated that Nick didn’t rush to do his bidding like everyone else. In a way though, Godfrey liked that about it him too. Or, at least, he respected it.
At last Nick looked at Godfrey and gave his verdict. “It’s rare to find a grasni as fine as this one.”
A brief flicker of distaste crossed Godfrey’s face at Nick’s use of the Romany word, but his satisfaction at Nick’s approval soon chased it away.
“It is,” he agreed. He respected Nick’s opinion on horses more than anyone else’s. Said that Nick had an instinct for them. Sometimes he said he should have left Nick in the stables, working with the horses, instead of educating him to take on the elevated position of Godfrey’s steward. But that was usually only when he was irritated with Nick.
“I’m not certain, though,” Nick continued, calmly, “that she’s the right animal for Miss Isabella.”
“Why ever not?” Godfrey demanded, his grin falling away.
Nick smiled, watching the mare as she tossed her head. “Just look at her. She’s a handful.”
“Isabella is a fine horsewoman,” Godfrey snapped. “She has a wonderful seat—better than her brother.”
Nick ignored that flicker of bad temper, his expression neutral. Godfrey was a domineering old martinet who controlled his household with an iron hand and sought to control everyone else who came into his vicinity too, but he couldn’t control Nick.
He might be Nick’s employer, his landlord too, but Nick made sure Godfrey knew that if Nick had to walk away from his position and his cottage, he’d do it without a second thought. And he never let Godfrey see him getting riled. He reacted to all the old man’s bluster with the same calm equanimity.
No matter what it cost him to do it.
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! http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/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.
Connect with Joanna:
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!