Friday, December 2, 2011

12 Days of Christmas with Joanna Chambers

Today I have fellow Carina Press authorJoanna Chambers as a guest. I'm sure you'll enjoy her post. When I read it, I couldn't believe I hadn't already bought her book, and I went and changed that quick fast. Really looking forward to reading it.

Without further ado... Joanne...

Hi everyone! My novel, The Lady's Secret, is set around Christmas time, with some of the major events of the novel occurring in the early hours of Christmas morning, so I was delighted to come and blog about Christmas on Rachael's blog!

The Lady's Secret is a Regency-set historical romance. The book was loosely inspired by Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, twelfth night being the last of the twelve days of Christmas commencing with the 25th of December and ending with the 5th of January.

Twelfth night was traditionally a night of merry making, to mark the end of the festive season. It's often associated with the Lord of Misrule, a lowly person, such as a servant boy, elevated to a kingly status for the night's festivities in a reversal of the usual order. This may have its roots in the Roman winter festival of Saturnalia in which masters dressed as servants and men as women – when the 'natural order' was turned on its head. It's funny to think that a festival as cosy and homely as Christmas has this deviant side!

It's all great stuff for a romance of course. The upsetting and subsequent restoration of the natural order has illustrious romance roots. Ever since Cinderella swept ashes out of her hearth, romance heroines have been being deprived of their places in life and forced into disguise to assert their rights.

And my heroine is no different. Georgy Knight dresses as a man and takes the role of the hero's valet in order to search for evidence of her and her twin brother's legitimacy. It's all good role-reversal stuff for twelfth night! Of course, the hero finds her out and that's when the fun really starts!

I had lots of fun with my winter setting. Lots of snow and frost and wintry landscapes. Not to mention light and dark—in deepest December it gets dark very early in Britain (before 4 o'clockin the afternoon where I live) so I developed a complete obsession with how dark it would have been in each scene. My protagonists are always fiddling with candles!

And that makes me think of that surprising moment on Christmas Day when you look out of the window and see that it's getting dark. And you close the blinds or curtains and turn on the lights and you feel that gratitude to be safe and warm when it's so bleak outside.

And you know it's the same feeling people have been having—and celebrating—for centuries.

Merry Christmas all!

You can find Joanna at:

Twitter - @ChambersJoanna

Facebook -

If that post intrigued you, here's the blurb for The Lady's Secret:

London, 1810

Former actress Georgiana Knight always believed she and her brother were illegitimate—until they learn their parents were married, making them heirs to a great estate. To prove their claim, Georgy needs to find evidence of their union by infiltrating a ton house party as valet to Lord Nathaniel Harland. Though masquerading as a boy is a challenge, it pales in comparison to sharing such intimate quarters with the handsome, beguiling nobleman.

Nathan is also unsettled by Georgy's presence. First intrigued by his unusual valet, he's even more captivated when he discovers Georgy's charade. The desire the marriage-shy earl feels for his enigmatic employee has him hoping for much more than a master-servant relationship...

But will Nathan still want Georgy when he learns who she truly is? Or will their future be destroyed by someone who would do anything to prevent Georgy from uncovering the truth?


Carolyn Crane said...

Great post! I love how you pay attention to the mood of the season in TLS, the Christmas mood and just the wintery mood (almost as much as I love when Nathan finds out Georgy's secret!) Also, it gets dark BEFORE four there??

Joanna Chambers aka Tumperkin said...

Thanks for having me over Rachael.

Carolyn - sure does! It's almost 3pm now and it's already getting dull.

Robyn said...

I love role reversal stories, and Christmas stories... so the combination is sure to be doubly good!

Rachael Johns said...

Carolyn - getting dark that early was hard to get used to when I visited!! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Thanks again for your fab post Joanna.

Robyn - I love role reversal stories too. Can't wait to read this one :)