I can barely restrain my inner fan girl today. Here for a special Q&A, we have bestselling author, and fellow Canadian, L. Marie Adeline, the author of the smash hit S.E.C.R.E.T. series!
It wasn’t long ago that I picked up the first book in this extraordinary series, S.E.C.R.E.T. I was immediately hooked and dove right into book 2 S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared. Book 3, S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed has just been released, and my hands are itching. I can promise you this trilogy will not disappoint. Set in New Orleans, it is the tale of Cassie, a lonely woman who stumbles upon a rather unusual society of women. Her life is forever changed.
I’m so pleased L. Marie Adeline has answered some questions for us today, and to make the occasion even more exciting, she is doing a giveaway of several S.E.C.R.E.T. bracelets (North American giveaway only, please).
So pull up a chair as L. Marie tells us how S.E.C.R.E.T. came to be.
When I set out to write my erotic romance trilogy, S.E.C.R.E.T., the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon was at a fever pitch. And though I understand the appeal of those books, I really wanted to toss something new into the mix. Something fantastical and fun, something involving real people—restaurant workers, lounge singers, journalists, shop keepers—something erotic but still pro-women, pro-men, pro-adult sex. My erotica had to dovetail with my own beliefs, or I couldn’t do it.
I came up with the idea of S.E.C.R.E.T., a trilogy about an underground group of women who grant one lucky female candidate her wildest sexual fantasies for one year, each fantasy growing in intensity, each designed to teach her a little bit more about her self, helping her develop more courage and confidence as she goes along. It’s the healing side of great sex, minus obsessive “love” and inner goddesses.
That’s how Cassie Robichaud, Dauphine Mason, and my newest star candidate Solange Faraday, who you’ll meet in S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed, came to be. But I wasn’t sure the search for personal fulfillment, true love and sexual ecstasy would break through. (Heads up, the only sexy billionaire in my book is feckless, and it’s 100% virgin-free. Also, ‘domination’ is only one of the many sexual flavors on offer.)
However, my trilogy did break through, climbing towards the top of bestseller charts in some of the thirty-plus countries that publish it. I thought it hit a nerve because of the hot sex. But S.E.C.R.E.T.’s growing readership tell me they love that my books feature real women, most of them over thirty, struggling with real relationship issues, in a real city, New Orleans. Mostly readers tell me they love the fact that my books are as racially diverse as the city itself. And since I’ve written a couple of well-received literary novels under my real name, Lisa Gabriele, I care deeply about plot, authenticity, great dialogue and pacing.
At the core of each S.E.C.R.E.T. installment is also a love story, and as each character wends their way towards their happily ever after, each grapples with very real questions that every woman faces: What do I really want from sex and love? Is this the right person for me? Do we have what it takes to make it last? Can I satisfy this person completely? Should I? Am I enough? I hope you enjoy my trilogy about three very different women, with very different sexual histories and appetites, each finding the love (and mind-blowing sex) they didn’t even know they were looking for. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did writing these books. And though I’m sad they’ve come to an end, it’s nice to have the complete set. So if you’ve been curious, join in on the S.E.C.R.E.T. And if you’re a fan already, my sincerest gratitude. I couldn’t persevered without you.
Rosanna Leo) As authors, we often intersperse some of our own traits in our characters. How much of you resides in heroine Cassie Robichaud?
L. Marie Adeline) To be honest, I’m nothing like Cassie, who is meek and mild and cowed by life after a long marriage to an abusive man. I am pretty bold and bossy and would never have put up with what Cassie put up with. (BTW: I would also never ban the word bossy! I loved being called that as a kid!) But I can certainly relate to her insecurities. No woman feels 100% hot all the time. We all need a little boost, a little support now and again. And S.E.C.R.E.T. aims to provide that.
RL) You are a Canadian author (go, Canuck smut!). What led you to choose New Orleans as a setting?
LMA) I chose New Orleans because it’s a naturally sensual setting: the food, the music and the city has a steamy Southern atmosphere. It just sets the mood. I love Canada, don’t get me wrong, but half the year it’s cold, very cold, so getting naked is not high up there with desirable activities. Plus I had a boyfriend from Louisiana and we used to spend time in that city. I just fell in love.
RL) Obviously readers have responded to your work. What sorts of comments have you received from readers? Do they wish S.E.C.R.E.T. existed? (Because I’m really hoping it has its basis in fact-LOL)
LMA) YES! I get that all the time, testament, I think to striking a balance between fantasy and reality, and how hard it is for some women to realize their sexual desires. For some that wish is very real. I even get comments from readers who believe it exists! I think it’s because the group is comprised of normal women who live and work in a real city. That was the trick, I think.
RL) I loved the addition of Dauphine’s story in book 2, S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared. Will we see another new heroine in book 3?
LMA) Oh yes! I can’t wait for readers to meet Solange Faraday, a 40-something headstrong TV journalist who has a hard time surrendering to S.E.C.R.E.T. She really lives in her head, and is a control-freak, so among all the characters, she’s the one I relate to the most. She’s also a single mother who has put her sex life on the back burner, something I think a lot of readers will relate to.
RL) I adore Will and Cassie. Without giving away too much, what can readers expect in the third book?
LMA) More Cassie and Will, of course, and more Jesse. This is not going to be an easy Happily Ever After to get to, and hearts will be broken. But Cassie ends up with the right man for her, as do other women in the book—including Solange of course, and Matilda!
RL) What is next for L. Marie Adeline?
LMA) I am working on a small novel under my own name Lisa Gabriele, and of course, I’m still working in TV and radio, with projects lined up in both media. Though I am relieved to have the trilogy complete, I am planning on writing more erotic romances. They’re so much fun! I just hope readers who’ve stuck it out this long will accompany me to the end of S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed. It’ll have all been worth it, I promise.
A S.E.C.R.E.T. NOVEL
SECRET Revealed bares all—the final book in the hot bestselling series.
The only thing that Cassie Robichaud has ever really wanted is Will Foret, the love of her life. But when Will discovers that Cassie is part of S.E.C.R.E.T., an underground group devoted to helping women experience their deepest sexual fantasies, Will breaks it off. Heartbroken, Cassie dries her tears and devotes herself to helping the latest S.E.C.R.E.T. recruit, Solange Faraday. Cassie also reignites her relationship with sexy bad-boy Jesse, even if he can never love her as deeply as Will did.
Meanwhile, beautiful, brilliant Solange, a local news anchor and divorced mom, has a great career but a wilting love life. She rekindles long-lost passions, going deeper and hotter than any other S.E.C.R.E.T. candidate before her. Will Can Solange find what her heart most desires? And when Will realizes he’s made a tragic mistake, will Cassie be able to forgive him? In the end, As both women blossom sexually as sexual beings, they also discover that ecstasy and true love is are closer than they ever imagined.
SECRET Revealed is the explosive, sensual and sexually-charged finale to the bestselling S.E.C.R.E.T. trilogy.
L. Marie, thank you so much for joining the ladies of Love, Lust and Laptops. Your books will always been on my favorites shelf and I know the same goes for many of our readers.
For a chance to win a S.E.C.R.E.T. bracelet, comment here and tell us which of the S.E.C.R.E.T. fantasy scenarios appealed to you most. If you haven’t read the books, tell us what your secret fantasy would be! Don’t forget to leave an email address where you can be contacted.