Today, I have a guest! I invited Etta Stark over to share a little piece of her first book His Lordship's Apprentice. I started reading this Victorian era spanking romance over the weekend, and then I decided I need to stalk her (what? you guys don't do that?).
I found her blog and was cracking up at some of her posts. I got in touch with her and invited her over, I do appreciate a sense of humor. Also, her book had me captivated from the very beginning. I love that it's not only set in the Victorian Era, but the Lord in her book is a magician, a peer to Harry Houdini. An interesting backdrop to a sweet romance. If you haven't had the chance to read it yet, I would highly recommend it.
I'll turn it over to Etta now!
Hello! Casey has invited me to pop over here and plug my book, His Lordship’s Apprentice, so here I am. I am still crazy new to this whole writing business. His Lordship’s Apprentice is my first book and was published just over a month ago. I haven’t been invited onto anyone else’s blog before so I shall just be on my best behaviour. Right, be polite, compliment the hostess, don’t spill anything on the carpet, and don’t nick the silverware.
His Lordship’s Apprentice is set in the late Victorian period (1899 was the date I had in mind although I don’t think that it’s explicitly stated anywhere). Its two main protagonists are Lord Hardcastle, a successful stage magician who performs under the name of The Marvellous Marvelo and Violet Plover, a scullery maid who becomes promoted to Lord Hardcastle’s onstage assistant when she shows an aptitude for both showmanship and hiding in teeny, tiny spaces.
One of the reasons for using showbusiness as a backdrop to the story was it made the idea of love between two people with such wildly different backgrounds as Lord Hardcastle’s and Violet’s not entirely unbelievable. The Victorians didn’t usually pay a great deal of attention to their servants but I liked the idea that Lord Hardcastle’s respect for her onstage talent would far outweigh any concerns about her social class.
It was fun to have her start off as a servant then progress to magical assistant as well as developing the personal relationship between the two characters. Having a Master/servant relationship at the beginning of the book meant that the first couple of times Lord Hardcastle spanks Violet, it is in a purely disciplinary context. He is correcting untoward behaviour on her part and she has no choice but to submit to him. (Although I think they both enjoyed it even then!) As the story progresses the spankings become more obviously linked to love and sex.
I have included a few different excerpts from His Lordship’s Apprentice on my blog so have decided to use a different one here. This is a new and exclusive excerpt – not available anywhere else! Well it’s available in the book itself, of course. Along with even more words. Seriously, there are thousands of the things. You should totally go check it out.
The excerpt comes from a much longer conversation between Violet and Lord Hardcastle following their Engagement Ball. It’s all been a bit emotional for Violet one way and another, but the couple are getting to know one another better here. Lord Hardcastle has been answering Violet’s questions about his sex life and now she’s moved on to spankings.
I really enjoyed writing this whole scene. Sometimes when I’m writing dialogue scenes the whole writing process suddenly becomes very easy as though the characters are just chatting amongst themselves without any interference from me at all. (Other times it’s more like how writer, Charlie Brooker, described the process: “like slowly dragging individual letters of the alphabet from a mire of cold glue.”)
I hope you enjoy the below snippet. It doesn’t contain any actual spankings but they do talk about it.
"Have you spanked any of the women you have been intimate with?"
Lord Hardcastle paused for a fraction of a second. "No," he responded. "I haven't."
"What about the servants? Have you punished any of them the way you did me when I let the dove escape?"
"No. That was a first."
"But you had a cane in your study?"
"My father's. The previous Lord Hardcastle was a great believer in corporal punishment. I believe Mrs. Davenport was disciplined a fair bit by him when she was younger."
"Mrs. Davenport? Really?" Violet couldn't help a giggle at the thought of stern Mrs. Davenport at the receiving end of a spanking by Lord Hardcastle's father.
Lord Hardcastle continued, "I think he always assumed that I would follow suit so the cane remained in my study. I never felt any desire to use it until I met you."
"You saw me and you knew that you wanted to hurt me?"
"Oh, that's unfair. I knew that I wanted to correct you. And you must admit your behaviour certainly warranted correction."
"You knew what you were doing, though. That wasn't the first time you'd wielded a cane."
"Violet, I went to one of the most expensive public schools in the country. If it taught me nothing else – and it probably didn't – it taught me how to receive and administer a beating."
"You were beaten at school?"
"Not much. I was an exemplary student – so much so that I became a prefect and then Head Boy. Believe me; I have caned a fair number of recalcitrant students in my time."
"Did you enjoy it?"
"No. The idea that it might be enjoyable is something that has only occurred to me recently." He fixed his eyes on Violet. She could see fire burning behind those smoky grey eyes. "Do you enjoy it?" he asked
Violet felt herself turn bright red and her heart began to hammer so loudly beneath her ribcage, she felt certain Lord Hardcastle must be able to hear it. "I... I don't know," she answered. "It hurts like hell. But I don't want you not to do it. I like knowing that you might."
"Very well. That will suit me fine. Now, young lady, it's time you were in bed. Your own bed unfortunately, not mine. Thankfully, that will no longer be the case a week from now."
His Lordship's Apprentice is available to buy at the following links: