Tuesday, November 27, 2012

That Voodoo That You Do, Dr. Mesmer!



Please welcome O.M. Grey. She's guest posting today.

Animal Magnetism. When we hear those words now, we think of some steamy chemistry between us and the object of our desire, but the original term was coined by Dr. Franz Mesmer, a German physician from the 18th century. He used the term to describe the relationship between humans and everything else. The concept was based on the theory that everything in the universe is somehow connected. Mesmer believed that the life force, or "vital fluid," within a person could get blocked, interrupting the natural flow and causing illness. It's quite similar to the Chinese "Chi" and other Eastern Traditions and Medicines. Although Dr. Mesmer isn't really known for animal magnetism, he is more known for Mesmerism, a term stemming from his own name. Dr. Mesmer would sit before his patients and look deeply into their eyes, whiles his hands hovered all over the bodies. These people felt deep changes and often went into convulsions. Mesmer's followers were amazed at the altered states of these people and the power of suggestion. They took mesmerism across Europe throughout the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

A Scottish Physician named James Braid took the practice of Mesmerism a step further, coining the term "hypnotism." Braid practiced his expanded method extensively as well as gave lectures on the subject. He is known as the Father of Modern Hypnosis and is the first hypnotherapist. 

The mad psychiatrist Dr. Zachariah Pilkington in The Zombies of Mesmer was a student of Dr. Braid's, but normal hypnotism wasn't enough for Dr. Pilkington. With it, he mixed steampunk technology in order to mesmerize masses. First he used it as a means to control his rowdy patients at Bedlam, but then his delusions of grandeur took over. This sociopath builds an entire army of mesmerized zombies, and he has set his sights on controlling Queen Victoria, herself, in order to rule England and thereby the world. It is, of course, up to Nickie Nick to stop him.

The Zombies of Mesmer - Blurb
Follow Nicole Knickerbocker Hawthorn (Nickie Nick) as she discovers her destiny as The Protector, a powerful vampire hunter. Ashe, a dark and mysterious stranger, helps Nickie and her friends solve the mystery behind several bizarre disappearances. Suitable for teens, enjoyed by adults, the story is full of interesting steampunk gadgets, mad scientists, bloodthirsty vampires, and mesmerized zombies. This paranormal adventure is sure to appeal to fans of Boneshaker, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the Vampire Diaries.

Steamy magnetism and sultry mesmerism find their way into most of my romantic work. Even the darker side of seduction, a more realistic look at some liaisons, containing things like betrayal and manipulation, have their place on the pages of my fiction and nonfiction, alike. Please read more on my blog Caught in the Cogs where you can find a plethora of relationship essays, mostly focused on the darker side of love and alternative relationships, as well as free fiction, podcasted fiction and nonfiction, and love poetry. 


Special thanks to Helen for hosting me and my Gothic Victorian Holiday Giveaway today. This package includes all three of my books (The Amazon.com Gothic Romance best-selling novel Avalon Revisited, the YA Steampunk Paranormal Romance The Zombies of Mesmer, and my collection of short stories, love poetry, and relationship essays Caught in the Cogs: An Eclectic Collection), all gift-wrapped in Victorian finery and  adorned with a wax seal and a handmade antique gift tag. I drew the bird illustration myself, and the back will have the recipient and gift-giver penned in calligraphy. On top of all this, you will also get your very own Amigurumi Voodoo Doll, crocheted by me. It comes with its very own pin, so you can do what you will to whomever you will. Visit my blog today for folklore on the Voodoo Doll and how to personalize your very own Voodoo Doll, as well as the Amigurumi pattern I used to create this little guy.

  
Enter to win this great giveaway simply by commenting below and asking me a question. The contest is open through Friday, November 30th. I'll be announcing the winner on December 1st over on my blog as well as in the comments here. Your comment below gives you one entry. Gain more entries by Tweeting, sharing on Facebook, Tumblr, and Goodreads. 5 more entries for each share, just be sure to make a note of what you do and where you share in the comments below. If you tweet, make sure and tag me @omgrey. PLUS, you can gain 25 more entries for buying one of my books, either in paperback or on Kindle/eBook. Just state that you did so below and email a copy of your receipt to steampunkgrey (at) gmail.

Each day this week I'm visiting a different blog and giving away something new. Join me around cyberspace and enter often! Check my blog for the entire schedule and see how you can win A KINDLE!

Buy The Zombies of Mesmer on Amazon in paperback or the Kindle . Buy Avalon Revisited on Amazon in paperback or on the Kindle, also available via Barnes & Noble and wherever books are sold. Buy Caught in the Cogs in paperback or on the Kindle .
Please find out more about me and my work, listen to free podcasts, read free short stories and poetry, and get author-signed books on my blog Caught in the Cogs . I would also simply love for you to connect with me on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads. Indeed!

29 comments:

  1. Interesting concept for a story!

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  2. Have you ever been hypnotized? I saw a hypnotist at a comedy club years ago and it was funny what he made people do. (My husband thought it was all an act though.)

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    1. I've seen that, too, Diane. Makes you wonder if they were plants in the audience. Guess I'd have to be one of those hypnotized in order to believe it was real!

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    2. I've had some hypnotherapy, but it's not the same as hypnotizing like in a comedy club.

      I think it probably is an act, but who knows! I'm with you, Helen, I'd have to be the one hypnotized to believe something like that was real.

      Hypnotherapy is interesting, though. In my experience, it's just about relaxation and a feeling of safety. You're conscious the entire time.

      But to be totally "put under," if that's possible, would be very scary. That would take a lot of trust!

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    3. It does take a lot of trust. But you will never do anything that you would not do.

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    4. There are some that say anyone is capable of anything under the right circumstances...so....

      ;-)

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  3. I'm loving the concept. I've spoken at events about mesmerism among other occult subjects of the Victorian era. So what inspired you to use this subject matter?

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    1. I wanted a zombie novel without the zombies being of the undead variety. My husband had came up with the name The Zombies of Mesmer, and I ran with it. :)

      It was fascinating research!

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  4. Such an interesting concept. Each blurb I read about this book just makes me want to get it in my hands even faster. I like hearing the historical background behind it, too. Learning things I hadn't known before.

    Do you see yourself writing any other genres?

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    1. Wow! I love reading that! Thank you, Lanae!

      I've written a nonfiction book called Publishing & Marketing Realities for the Emerging Author under Christine Rose, as well as YA fantasy under that name.

      O. M. Grey writes steampunk romance, but I can see that changing in the future. As Olivia, I also write a lot of nonfiction on relationships, mental illness, and domestic abuse. I really enjoy writing nonfiction, so we'll see about that.

      As far as other fiction genres, it looks like my next O. M. Grey novel will be more on the side of adventure than romance, but we'll see.

      What is your favorite genre?

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    2. I will absolutely be looking up your other works, now that I know.

      I read so many different genres, but I always like a good paranormal romance.

      I do like the adventure genre, as well. I'll read just about anything, so long as it can hold my interest. And I try hard not to ever quit a book, so needless to say, I've read some bad stuff. lol

      I got my husband into reading, so we have a nice collection of Clive Cussler books started, too.

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    3. I've never read Cussler. Not yet. Would you recommend him? I know a lot of people would. He's quite popular.

      Thanks for your interest in mine...and for your help earlier today. xo

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  5. I didn't used to like zombies but I think I'm starting to warm up to them (is that possible?) This is an interesting take on the concept!

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    1. Thank you! So pleased to hear you're warming up to zombies! It will certainly work in your favor during the upcoming apocalypse. ;-)

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  6. Do you also knit? It's amazing what one can do with a bit of year and a stick or two.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    nrlymrtl at gmail dot com

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    1. I don't knit, but my husband does. :) -- I've thought about learning, though. It is amazing what one can do with a bit of yarn and a stick, all right.

      I've found it very healing to crochet lately. It's nice to peacefully create.

      Thank you for your comment and entering the contest.

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    2. My older sister knitted, and my mother did both knitting and crocheting. I tried to learn, but failed. No matter what size knitting needles I used (and I tried some giant ones), my knitting would be so tight I couldn't get the needles through. I finally gave up.

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    3. I understand that keeping the proper tension in the yarn is much, much more difficult in knitting.

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  7. There are just some things. like knitting, that I find way too frustrating.

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    1. Agreed. I'd have to add fighting with my internet all week during this blog tour to things I find way too frustrating. I kid you not, it took me 2 hours to post this reply. Yep. It's been a fun week. :/

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  8. I like your zombie concept much better than the usual undead ones! I see you are offering a voodoo doll. Does voodoo play a part in any of your stories?

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    1. Not yet, but it certainly will in a future story. It's far too interesting to not have it appear in a story. :)

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    2. You won, Janel! Please email me with your address and any dedication requests asap.

      steampunkgrey (at) gmail

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  9. Will you be trying different magic systems as well?

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    1. I'd very much like to. Do you have a favorite one? Suggestions?

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  10. A favorite topic of mine, the interconnectedness of all things. Amazing how science comes around to prove philosophy if given the freedom to explore it, isn't it?

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  11. Absolutely.

    It's a favorite topic of mine, too.

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  12. Thanks to the help of Random.org, we have a winner!!

    Congratulations to Janel Gradowski!

    I've also announced today's winners on my blog, so please email me from there with your address and any dedication requests.

    Thank you all so much for participating, and I hope you will consider buying some of my work.

    Peace.

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