(Available from Broadway. $9.99 for digital/ $15.00 for print)
Synopsis: 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.
A quickie interview with L. Marie and about erotica and her debut novel, S.E.C.R.E.T...
Erotica has been around a long time. Why do you think the genre has now broken into the mainstream?
L. Marie: There's been some speculation that the rise of the e-reader has made it less fraught to read erotica in public. But I don't know if that is the only explanation. I think E.L. James happened to write a book that has really vivid characters and a lasting romance at its core. And word spread like wildfire. I also think that women have always read scandalous books and told one another about them. But TV and films have become increasingly racy, sometimes teetering into soft porn, so in a way these books are mirroring what's happening in other areas of pop culture. But I would suggest erotica was there first. Things have just come full circle.
You've worked as a TV and radio producer for more than twenty years. How has working in television informed your writing and vice versa?
L. Marie: The two worlds really complement each other, I've found. Ultimately, it's always about storytelling, regardless of the genre I've worked in: radio or television. And I've never been a snob about it. Luckily, the TV and radio gigs I've had have always been so satisfying, often as satisfying as writing a book or a script.
What advice do you have for other aspiring writers who are thinking of penning an erotic novel?
L. Marie: Good erotica is just a good book with racy bits. But I don't think it's enough to be able to write sex scenes. It's always about the story and the characters, regardless of the genre. I was lucky enough to have been sitting and writing when Cassie showed up in my mind. That is how it works for me. Sorry, I wish I could list a bunch of hints, tricks, and tips, but the truth is you just have to sit and write and wait and then write some more. And do it every day at the same time (pre-dawn for me). Then you re-write.
Interested in reading an excerpt? Click here
Some reviews for S.E.C.R.E.T:
Jessy's Book Club: " All in all, I love the theme of sexual emancipation. I feel like women will identify with the book. I can’t say I was ever the feminist but I not so secretly wish this secret society exists. I give it 3.5 Stars."
Lost in a Great Book: " If you enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You, this is a great next step for you. If you haven’t put your toe into the erotic genre pool yet, this might be the perfect first step for you. This is a more sophisticated novel, filled with rich characters and a fantastic setting that plays a big role in setting the stage for a sultry piece of fiction."
Smexybooks: "The erotic scenes are sexy and well done in relation to the ten steps but that is all. It is merely a series of brief sexual encounters. They are short and sweet with no real emotional backing, once again confirming my belief that Cassie isn’t really enjoying the encounters beyond a superficial level. I was also dismayed to find we don’t learn as to why the men are part of it and what they get out it it. I can’t believe it’s merely for sex yet nothing is given to challenge this belief. I would have loved some one on one time with one of the men, just to hear what their motivation is." C+.