Sunday, October 30, 2011

Why I Find Country Houses So Fun to Use as Settings

Hi, lovely people. I hope you enjoyed my excerpts from Love Through Time and Weekend at Wilderhope Manor. This time I'm back because I'd like to talk about another thing the two books have in common besides ghosts – they're both set in country houses. There's a reason for that... I love 'em!
Seriously though, I'd like to dish the dirt a little bit on why I find country houses so fascinating and why they're so much to use as settings.

I spend a lot of time in country houses, or manors, or whatever you want to call them. It's what I do for fun! I'm lucky because I live in England, where we have an abundance of the places that are open to the public. I'm naturally a very nosey person (if I was being polite, I'd say inquisitive) so generally, the more rooms I can see, the better. Even if lots of rooms are open to visit, I'm still always intrigued by the doors marked 'Private.' I want to know what's behind the doors, is it still furnished, are there still elements of the past left behind... my mind works overtime.
Regardless of those things, though, the houses really do captivate me. I'm a bit of a history buff and I always find myself wondering what it would have been like to live in the houses when they were in their prime, how people would have behaved, what they would have done for entertainment. The naughty side of my imagination inevitably comes up with decidedly more mischievous ideas, like what people got up to in that four poster bed, was that carpet beater really only used for beating carpets...
Add that to the seemingly endless hiding places, dimly lit rooms and creaking floorboards and you have the potential to write lots of different stories set in exactly the same place!
I don't write historicals because I'm a wimp and too scared of getting important details wrong, but I adore using the houses in contemporary stories and allowing elements of the past to slip into my tales. And that's exactly what I've done with Love Through Time and Weekend at Wilderhope Manor. Both stories are set in country houses, which play a large part in the plot.
Love Through Time has a young woman going to work in a country house, working on conserving the books in their impressive library. But, without giving too much away, she stirs something up and ends up getting involved in the past events of the place and having ghostly encounters...
Weekend at Wilderhope Manor has a lesbian couple spending a weekend at a manor for a joint murder mystery and Halloween weekend event. They're going about their business and having fun with the events that have been laid on, but they soon find out that there's more to Wilderhope Manor than meets the eye.

Westbury Hall is a stately home with a fascinating past, and when book conservator Emily Stone starts uncovering it, she’s startled by what she finds . . . .
Emily arrives at Westbury Hall with a job to do. She’s to clean and conserve all of the books in their impressive library, preserving them for future generations. Not long into her stay at the house, she bumps into the night guard, George. She’d expected an old, balding guy with a comb over, so the hunky chap she actually meets is a very pleasant surprise. The introductions complete, George leaves Emily in peace to get on with her job. But when a falling photograph sets off a chain reaction of ghostly events, Emily and George are thrown together in order to find out who—or what—is causing them. Their investigation uncovers a tragic past, a lost love, and a stunning secret.
When Stephanie and Jenny go to a Murder Mystery Halloween weekend at Wilderhope Manor, they’re expecting fun and games. But following creaky floorboards, spooky noises and an alarming encounter in the Manor’s grounds, the girls begin to wonder if there’s more to Wilderhope Manor than meets the eye. As they find frequent comfort in one another’s arms – and their bed – will the girls discover what’s causing the bumps in the night, or will they run scared?


Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story - so she did. It went down a storm and she's never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Noble Romance, Ravenous Romance, Summerhouse Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour and Seducing the Myth. Find out more at You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Both books are on Goodreads, so if your bank balance is already groaning under the weight of all the books you're buying – please add Love Through Time and Weekend at Wilderhope Manor to your to-read list! If you follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook, too, as well as checking out my website, you'll be able to find out about any giveaways I'm running.

Thanks so much for popping by to read my posts. Don't forget to leave comments in order to be in with the chance of winning the prizes being given away as part of the event. Also, don't forget to head over to the Whipped Cream Blog where I'm talking libraries, as well as interviewing two of my characters.


Jean P said...

Always fascinating looking through old houses and imagining who lived there and what their lives were like.

Debby said...

Country houses have so much personality. It would be easy to set them there. Fascinating
Debby236 at gmail dot com

Cherie Marks said...

I love the legacy of an older home. Such great fodder for imaginative stories.

authorcheriemarks at gmail dot com

Na said...

That looks like a really quaint house. I like places that are rich in history and often old mansions and cottages have this. It's easy to imagine it being haunted.

K D Grace said...

I also love the rooms marked 'private' and the no-go areas. They are always exactly the areas in old houses and ruins that I want to go into. Those and the fabulous hidey-holes and dark corners. You just don't get those in new houses.

Michelle said...

Very, Very Busy. Blog posts, release parties all over the place this weekend. Happy Halloween Lucy.