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 fa├žade.

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.


Lacy Danes said...

Happy Easter!

I am so glad to be here today. Ask a question about my research on any of my stories and you will be entered to to the drawing for one of my books!


ClaudiaGC said...

Happy Easter to everyone!

I've just read an exerpt of House of Sin on your website and I'm very intrigued! I like the fact that there is no Lady of the House in your novel. ;)
I loved to watch Upstairs Downstairs (the new series as well) on TV. Have you seen Downtown Abbey? I know it's not Victorian but it shows a lot about the life of servants at that time.

Lacy Danes said...

Hello ClaudiaGC,
I have been meaning to watch Upstairs Downstairs, but have not yet. I have heard wonderful things. I also have not seen Downtown Abbey. Though I just googled it an it also looks great!

I know it is not servant oriented but I am really looking forward to seeing The Crimson Petal and the White. Victorian set. The book is amazing. BBC has started playing the miniseries, but I tend to watch shows when they come out on Cd.

StacieDM said...

Hello Lacy, Happy Easter!

I think House of Sin sounds so interesting. I love looking into the lives of servants. They see and hear all. Gosford Park was great at illustrating that.

I am currently enjoying the Masterpiece Theatre mini-series of Upstairs/Downstairs that takes place several years after the TV series.

Congratulations on branching out into historical erotic romance. I can't wait to read House of Sin.

user1123 AT comcast DOT net

Lacy Danes said...



Upstairs/Downstairs does sound very interesting. I have it on my list of shows to check out.

I LOVED Gosford Park. So many great actors, and the story line was filled with intrigue and twists!

Tegan (writing as Danielle Lisle) said...

Hi Lacy!

I have read all your books and if that is not enough of a tip, I’m a HUGE fan! *blushes* Animal Lust was the first I read and I fell totally in love with the brothers... Orin especially. I also adored Lily in Being Wicked.

House of Sin sounds like another one of your amazing stories. I love that you have chosen to write the servants story and not from a nobles side like most historical’s seem to verge to. I can’t wait to read it!!

Lacy Danes said...

Thanks Tegan!

Animal Lust was a blast to write. I love blending paranormal with historical. I have another novella series of brothers I am working on now that are also historical paranormal, but I am doing dragons this time.

Tegan (writing as Danielle Lisle) said...

WOW! Dragons! Can't wait!

Alison said...

I love the idea of a story set amongst the servants - much more intriguing than another Duke!


Lacy Danes said...

Thanks Alison!

I enjoyed the research into a servants life. I hope you enjoy!


Lacy Danes said...

I will update my site and FB page when I have more information on the series.

So check those for dates.


Tegan (writing as Danielle Lisle) said...

Lacy - Can't wait!!!
I check out your site regularly in fact. I use your 'Historic Sex' page with the older words used for...um, certain things *wink* often. I have found it a wonderful resource. Hope you don’t mind.