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Cassie Robichaud’s life is filled with regret and loneliness after the sudden death of her husband. She waits tables at the rundown Café Rose in New Orleans, and every night she heads home to her solitary one-bedroom apartment. But when she discovers a notebook left behind by a mysterious woman at the café, Cassie’s world is forever changed.
The notebook’s stunningly explicit confessions shock and fascinate Cassie, and eventually lead her to S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T, an underground society dedicated to helping women realize their wildest, most intimate sexual fantasies. Cassie soon immerses herself in an electrifying journey through a series of ten rapturous fantasies with gorgeous men who awaken and satisfy her like never before. As she is set free from her inhibitions, she discovers a new confidence that transforms her, giving her the courage to live passionately. Equal parts enticing, liberating and emotionally powerful, S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T is a world where fantasy becomes reality.
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"I, Cassie Robichaud, solemnly swear to serve S.E.C.R.E.T. to the best of my abilities. I will do what is necessary, what is right and what is within my power to assist in the execution of sexual fantasies for our participant(s)..."
And so begins S.E.C.R.E.T. II, which opens with Cassie's initiation into this mysterious organization, one that helps women experience their most potent sexual fantasies. Cassie spends the next year as a "S.E.C.R.E.T. member-at-large," not quite a guide, she'll assist Committee members (including two new ones, Kit DeMarco and Angela Rejean) in recruiting men and helping to execute a new inductee's fantasies.
After a false start with the first potential inductee, Cassie makes the acquaintance of Dauphine Gray, a 31-year old who works at the Funky Monkey vintage clothing store on Magazine Street in New Orleans. Geeky, gawky and easily distracted, Dauphine has no idea how attractive she really is because her face is forever in a book. Reading is her passion, music is her pleasure, and Dauphine's all but given up on sex, especially after a painful rejection that still haunts her. Then Cassie and the women from S.E.C.R.E.T. show her it's possible to reignite that flame.
Meanwhile, Cassie must work through her resentment over losing Will to Tracina and their future baby. But when paternity questions surface, Tracina threatens to expose Cassie's S.E.C.R.E.T. membership to the one man both women love. Will Tracina expose Cassie to Will, and if she does, what will he make of his secret love's S.E.C.R.E.T. life?
Check out our interview with L. Marie Adeline as she discuss all things S.E.C.R.E.T.!
Letitia: Who is L. Marie Adeline? Who is the woman behind the words?
L. Marie: Well, I like to say I’m a left-handed Gemini, which sums me up pretty well. But I’m actually an author and TV producer living in Toronto, who made an odd little detour in her forties to write erotica. But I’ve always written about women and their internal lives. Adding the sex part is new, but so much fun!
Letitia: S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared isn't your typical girl meets guy romance. How did you come up with the idea of S.E.C.R.E.T.?
L. Marie: It came to me in an instant really. I think what writers do is start with an internal “What If..?” type question when they’re beginning projects. I know I do. And in this case the “What If…?” was essentially, What if a woman WANTED to have a rich erotic life but had no idea where to start? Worse, what if this woman hadn’t had sex in a while and had no idea how attractive she was? And then the idea of an underground group of women who orchestrate sex fantasies for each other came to me, and the plot kind of flowed from there….
Letitia: What was the hardest scene to write in S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared? Do you have a favorite scene?
L. Marie: I agonized over the sexy tango scene in S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared; the sheer choreography of limbs and legs and lips, and what goes where. I went back and for with my editor a few times on that scene. It’s also one of my favorites, to answer part two of your question. The chapters conjuring up Buenos Aires, a city I lived in many years ago, were so much fun to write, and it made me miss that beautiful city! I hope my book provides an exotic glimpse into life there.
Letitia: If you could cast the movie version of S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared, who would play Cassie? Dauphine? Will?
L. Marie: Cassie: I love Michelle Monaghan, and Rosemarie DeWitt….maybe Katie Holmes??
Will: Mark Ruffalo is my number one choice, but I also love the actor who plays Deacon on Nashville, Charles Esten.
Dauphine: I love Isla Fisher or Amy Adams.
Letitia: While writing S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared, what music did you listen to?
L. Marie: Mostly a channel on Songza called “Muted Jazz”. It’s sexy, has the undercurrent of New Orleans to inspire and set the mood, and no lyrics to distract me.
Letitia: What is the most unusual resource you have ever used while writing?
L. Marie: An old Creole Cookbook, with the weirdest recipes. I found it in a used bookstore in New Orleans, and I use it to come up with the menu for Will and Cassie’s new restaurant upstairs from the Café Rose. The food has to be old school, but with a new twist. I want make the cushaw casserole, cushaw being a Cajun squash.
Letitia: Can you share with us what you're currently working on? Or what we can expect from you next?
L. Marie: I’m half way through writing book three of the S.E.C.R.E.T. Trilogy. There will be a new candidate who’s strong and smart, but has really neglected her sex life. And Will and Cassie’s relationship will reach its resolution. Their Happily Ever After has been really hard won, but I hope worth it!
About the Author
L. Marie Adeline is the pseudonym for the best-selling author Lisa Gabriele, who has written both novels and non-fiction.
S.E.C.R.E.T., the first installment of an erotic trilogy is published in more than thirty countries. It was a bestseller in several countries, including Canada where it was #1 for several weeks.
S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared, the second installment, will be published Oct. 15th, 2013.
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One randomly drawn reader will win a paperback of S.E.C.R.E.T. by L. Marie Adeline – and one randomly drawn reader will win a paperback of S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared by L. Marie Adeline! Open to US and Canada. Please follow the Rafflecopter widget directions and terms and conditions. Giveaway ends at 12:01am on 10/23/13.