24 April 2011

Guest Author: Lacy Danes

This week, we're welcoming Lacy Danes, as she celebrates the release of her latest Samhain romance, House of Sin, set in 19th century England. It's available now. Lacey joins us today to discuss her novel and give away a copy! Here's the blurb:

Her most important duty—serve the master’s pleasure.

Emily’s dreams are simple: a life of dedicated service at a respectable estate, and a strong marriage filled with love and devotion for one man. Portage Place, the manor where her parents apprenticed, seems the perfect place to start. Though it is whispered that all is not as it seems behind its grand façade.

The rumors, it turns out, ring with truth. The halls are saturated with sensuality, desire and lust. Despite the scandalous duties she is asked to perform, she is determined not to stumble on what could be her first step toward her dreams. Dreams that, lately, have included the manor’s fiery haired groomsman.

A promise to watch over his younger half-brother brought Adam to Portage Place. For the first time in five years of enjoying the delights of the manor’s unbridled debauchery, Emily’s innocence touches the protector that still lives deep in his core. This house of sin may have ruined him, but he will see to it that it doesn’t ruin her.

It seems, however, that behind every door lurks a conspiracy to bind Emily in velvet chains of desire. Until the only way out is for Adam to take the biggest risk of all…

Hello all and thank you for having me at Unusual Historicals. I am Lacy Danes and my new release, House of Sin, is the book I am talking about today.

House Of Sin is a historical erotic romance set in Victorian England. This was my first attempt at writing in this period. However, I have read my share of erotica written from this time.

Not only had I not written a story taking place during the Victorian period before, but I also had not written about a servant. So I had a bunch of research to do. I knew from the beginning of the story that my heroine was from parents who met and fell in love during service. I also knew and that my heroine was forced into work at a house that was scandalous. My heroine is Emily Grey. Her position is at the grand estate Portage Place working under the butler Mr. Waterton.

Some great books that I read to get an idea about servant life were:
The Servants Hall
Not In Front Of The Servants
What the Butler Saw
Upstairs & Downstairs

Each book gave me different information about what it was like to be a servant. For a quick reference on daily routine, Upstairs & Downstairs is amazing. It lists out what a maid’s daily schedule looked like as well as other quick details about what their life was like.

Maids’ schedule:
5:30 am Clean Kitchen Floors
6:00 am Heat Water
6:30 am Wake Seniors, lay and light fires, lay servants’ breakfast, deliver nursery breakfast.
7:30 am Water and tea trays to family, empty chamber pots
7:45 am Servants breakfast
8:30 am prayers
9:00 am Family breakfast
9:30 am Clear and clean
12:00 pm Lunch, servants hall and nursery
1:00 pm Family lunch
2:30 pm Clear Lunch, rest
4:30 pm Tea-trays for household
5:30 pm Servants’ tea, nursery tea
6:00 pm Lay dinner, help in kitchen
7:00 pm Family dinner, serve and clear
9:00 pm Servants supper
10:00 pm Bed

This made me realize that even though servants were very busy, there were short times of rest during the day. Those times could very well be filled with naughtiness. Grin.

The other books provided great information on exactly how much the servants were aware of in the house, as well as the differences between working in a bachelor’s home and a home of a family. 

The Lady of the house held all the morals of the house. If a maid worked for a bachelor, it was very likely she would never gain employment with a family, as her virtue would be called into question. It also reflected poorly on the Lady of the house if one of her servants showed poor morals. In my book, House Of Sin, there is no Lady of the house.

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about the research I did while writing my story, House of Sin.


Thank you, Lacy. Please leave a comment to win a copy of House of Sin.