From the Author
This drama and psychological thriller was very difficult on me emotionally while writing it.
According to the FBI, hundreds of thousands of children areat risk for being trafficked or exploited for sex. Many people think only poor,hungry immigrants--desperate for a home or food-- are forced into prostitution.The facts tell a different story. Of the sex trafficking cases confirmed duringthe period of January 2008 through June 2010, about eighty-three percent ofvictims were American citizens. Additionally, 40 percent were children. Mostwere female, and the average age of these girls was twelve to fourteen yearsold.
The bottom line is this: child sex slave trafficking isalive and well in the United States of America. It isn't just a problem of"other" countries. Additionally, the children who end up in this lifestyle inthe United States are seen as whores instead of victims.
I realize the story I am telling has little chance of comingtrue for any of the real victims of these crimes. Regardless, the fact thatunderage girls are for sale in my country angers me, making me wish the victimscould have a mighty form of revenge. With this in mind, I created ThereWas a House, where at least in fiction, somebody pays for their sins.
I in no way take the pain and abuse countless girls havesuffered after being trafficked lightly. No one really ends up at a "Rêve" norwould they find the owner of such a house as easy to manipulate or as lax as mycharacter Antoine Chevalier.
Regardless, fiction gives us a chance to hope. My hope is forour country to start acting much more aggressively toward traffickers. Untilthen, we have to open our eyes and realize this is happening here, every day.The girl may not end up in a limo on the way to New Orleans, but somewhere outthere, maybe right now, a young girl is being taken. She won't become a prostitutebecause she enjoys it, is stupid, or has no morals. She will become aprostitute because she has no choice. Many are runaways, who saw running astheir only option. Unfortunately, they end up simply trading one form of hellfor another.
Once we all wake up and realize the value of these girls,things will change. Until then, I dream. Until then, I pretend by writing thissaga. Until then, the vast majority of the time these girls only revenge willbe--unfortunately-- fiction.
House of Pleasure is the first book in this saga. That is howthe johns see a house of prostitution. In reality it is anything but. Stepinside of this world with me for awhile. Take a good look. The pleasure thesemen find comes with a very high price: the pain and torment the girls endure bothwhile being forced into working as a prostitute and prior to becoming one.
-Caddy Rowland (October 2013)