Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Dream Alchemist (Somnus Book 1) by Joanna Chambers ~ Guest Post, Review & Giveaway


We are delighted to welcome Joanna Chambers to Sinfully today… she’s popped in to chat about her latest novel The Alchemists Dream and lets us in on some fun facts about the series… including a very droolworthy Brandon Flowers.

You can also check out our Liza’s review and enter the giveaway for your chance to win an e-copy of the book.

Don’t forget, through out December we are running our December: 5 for ME! ~ 5 for YOU! Giveaway… all you need to do is answer the questions on our posts during the month of December.



Five fun facts about The Dream Alchemist

Here’s five fun facts about The Dream Alchemist and my writing of same:

1. There’s loads of stuff about myths and fairy tales in the book. Two big inspirations for the specific story in book 1 about Bryn and Laszlo were Sleeping Beauty and The Snow Queen, but there’s also a general layer of stuff that went into the world building. I took a lot of that out of Welsh mythology, however, I was conscious throughout writing the book that lots of human societies have regarded dreams as meaningful and therefore dreamwalkers from other countries may look at things in different ways from my characters. I hope to play with that a bit more in future books.

2. I tend to have muses for my main characters, because I find it helpful to have a clear sense of what they look like. Bryn was based on Brandon Flowers from The Killers (see below) though readers should feel free to select someone else of their own choosing, lol…

Brandon Flowers

3. There’s a running theme in the book about reality. When is something a genuine experience and when is it not? So, we have the MCs experiencing things in the dream world – are those experiences real? And we have characters who are impaired in different ways (Laszlo doesn’t feel emotion; Bryn struggles to feel physical sensation) questioning how real their experiences are for those reasons. In many ways, this theme was me musing on the act of reading. I’ve long been obsessed with the whole question of what reading *is* and how we file away and characterise the sometimes intense emotions (indeed physical sensations) we experience when we read. Sometimes when I read something that just *gets* me I get a physical pang, in my gut. Isn’t that real? You can check out one of my old reader-blog posts on this topic here.

4. Nanette’s couch is a real couch. Like with my characters, a lot of objects I talk about in my stories are real things. This particular couch was a couch in a student flat I lived in when I was 20, but sometimes, if it’s an object I’ve not seen in person or can’t ready-reference, I’ll google images before I write about it. I do that a lot with my historical writing, with clothes and everyday stuff. I lose hours, days, over stuff like that.

5. Harking back to fun fact #3, I have a little crush on Laszlo. And how is that not real?



The Dream Alchemist (Somnus Book 1) by Joanna Chambers

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Title ~ The Dream Alchemist (Somnus Book 1)

Author ~ Joanna Chambers

Publisher ~ Samhain Publishing

Published ~ 2nd December 2014

Genre ~ M/M Paranormal Fantasy Romance



goodreads add to


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.


Liza’s Review

Bryn’s a dreamwalker who has trouble juggling his abilities along with his daily life. Laszlo has spent a lifetime and a lot of therapy avoiding his dreams. When the two men come together in the world of the Somnus the repercussions start to have an impact on their real world lives. Brought together by dreams, driven by an attraction they don’t understand and can’t seem to fight instead they have to find a way to work together to fight another, far more insidious evil.

I loved this book. Bryn was such a little cutie who always wanted to help others, but he was struggling with his second identity as a dreamwalker. He had manifested his abilities at such an early age and had always thought that his powers weren’t anywhere near as good at Dylan Black’s for example. Dylan is an enigma in this book – I didn’t want to like him and decided by the end of the book that I didn’t. The epilogue in this story helped me see that maybe I was right.

Laszlo was everything a cutie would look for – tall, good looking and supremely confident. Moving through his world unable to feel anything but anger – until he looked at Bryn. Then there was a whole stack of confusion, and a lot of lust. It was nice to see that attraction morph into so much more as the story progressed.

The way the author created two distinct worlds – the daily life of both Bryn and Laszlo combined with their shared dreamscape was extraordinary. This was not a sleep time filled with white clouds and fluffy unicorns, but that is what made the whole story line that much more believable. The secondary characters were as believable as the MCs and I always appreciate it when that happens. Although there wasn’t a lot of laughter in this story, there were glimmers, little snippets of daily life like when Laszlo had to have caffeine to keep him awake, that made me smile as I read them.

This was an unusual story line complete with the monsters that haunt our nightmares. There is clearly going to be a sequel to this book, and I am totally looking forward to it. Hopefully we will learn more about Dylan and the enigmatic Finn. But if you are looking for an unusual love story complete with an alpha male and a cute scruffy twink type that has more strength than he realizes, then you should definitely give this one a try.

Buy it Here




Meet Joanna Chambers

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.




Joanna is gifting one lucky reader an e-copy of The Dream Alchemist. All you need to do for your chance to win is enter the Rafflecopter below.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


December Giveaway

The Alchemists dream


  1. "The Mistress of the Copper Mountain" by Pavel Bazhov

  2. I loved Perrault's Bluebeard. Not sure though it counts as a fairy tale?

  3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

  4. It may not be a Fairy Tale but I love "The Nutcracker"

  5. I love Beauty and The Beast and all the variations I've seen.

  6. Frog Prince, because of the Muppet versions!


  7. Probably Beauty and the Beast.

  8. My favorite Fairy tale is snow white. :3

  9. Beauty and the Beast is a favorite of mine.

  10. The Ringing Singing Tree or Das singende, klingende Bäumchen, a German tale in the style of the Brothers Grimm.