Title: Seductive Shadows
Author: Marni Mann
Genre: Erotica/Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Booktrope (http://booktrope.com/)
Charlie is a passionate, sensually-inspired art student, desperately seeking an escape from the abusive past that haunts her and a tragic accident that emptied her heart. Scarred and unable to love, her yearning for physical pleasure leads her into a tantalizing, dangerous world of power and seduction. The anonymity of the deal offers security; the money brings financial freedom and the madam is the mother figure she longs for.
But the thrill of the mansion and its arousing dominance quickly fades when she meets renowned-yet-mysterious Cameron Hardy, whose intense baby blue eyes send a nervous flutter through her core. Cameron is sexy, and not in a subtle way. He stimulates Charlie’s art, her intellect and her desires. Just as he begins to break through her emotional boundaries, she discovers a devastating connection between her past and her scandalous work at the mansion, shattering everything she thought to be true.
Provocative, intoxicating and erotic, Seductive Shadows is the unforgettable tale of a young woman’s self-discovery as she learns to forgive, to love and be loved, and to find redemption amidst a remarkable journey that will captivate your mind and stimulate your soul.
This book is for mature audiences. It contains explicit language and sexual content.
Barnes & Noble link:
About Marni Mann:
A New Englander at heart, Marni Mann, now a Floridian is inspired by the sandy beaches and hot pink sunsets of Sarasota. She taps a mainstream appeal and shakes worldwide taboos, taking her readers on a dark and breathtaking journey. When she’s not nose deep in her laptop, she’s scouring for chocolate, traveling, reading, or walking her four-legged children.
Connect with Marni Mann:
Excerpt #1 from Seductive Shadows:
I felt the change in the air as he approached me. I held in my breath, waiting to find out
why he had gotten so close.
“I realize you can’t move your hands, but the sheet is sticking up in the back. Can I tuck
it in for you?”
My eyes held his, and I nodded.
His shirt brushed past my bare arm as he moved to my side, and then the small of my back. Gently, he folded the sheet into me. His skin was as warm as mine.
“Anything else you want while I’m up here.”
He was in front of me again, his hands in his pockets. His stance wasn’t casual and neither was the look on his face.
I shook my head even though there was so many things I could have asked for, so many things I wanted from him, but silence was the safest answer.
“Then hold still,” he said, heading back to his canvas. “I need to finish the outline of your body.”
He didn’t say the word body different than anyone else. It just sounded sexier coming out of Cameron’s lips.
Excerpt #2 from Seductive Shadows:
He dipped his head, his lips stopping just above my earlobe. His fingers traced the skin below my jaw. I expected words to come out of his mouth, but instead it was a tiny moan. And then a breeze of cold air as he moved over to the bed. He sat on the edge, hands resting on the mattress, after he unknotted his tie.
“Come to me.”
I stepped past the pole and around the end of the bed. His commands and the way he expected to be obeyed enticed me. They weren’t cruel or threatening. His voice, his words, his whole persona was deliberate and inviting. The need from my other sexual partners had often been a turn off, but Jay’s tone was just the opposite.
“Slowly,” he said.
With my chin pointed down, hair falling over my cheeks, I looked up at him as though he were my master. If this was the role I needed to take on for tonight to impress Victoria and make her proud, I was ready to abide. Our eyes met, and his breath quickened. I bit my bottom lip and took a step forward. My toes danced over a broken slab of mirror, pausing for several seconds, and I took another. Landing just a foot from his lap, my fingers caressed the buttons of his shirt, and when I got to the bottom, I started back up.
“Take it off,” he said, his eyes never leaving mine.
I pushed his top button through the hole.
“No,” he said quickly. “Yours.”
With a shadow cast over the mansion, can Charlie and Cameron overcome the destruction of their pasts and rebuild their future, or will the revelation of painful, shocking secrets pull them back into the darkness?
PRE-ORDER link for sequel, Seductive Secrecy* (available 10/24):
EXCERPT FROM BOOK 2 - Seductive Secrecy:
A gust of cold air burst through my body, tightening every muscle and clenching my lungs. The feeling was always the same, and it only came when I thought of that place…when the memories were thicker than the lessons I had learned by leaving there.
I set both brushes in a jar of water and walked across the hall to the apartment. Then I moved through the kitchen, my hands yanking at my sweater, lifting it over my head and releasing it once I got to the entryway of the bedroom. I peeled off my black skinny jeans until I reached my knee-high boots and dropped both along with my pants in front of the bathroom sinks. My panties and bra fell before I stepped into the shower and turned on the water.
The wall of glass that separated the shower from the rest of the bathroom began to fog, and the marble under my feet turned warm. Windows spanned both sides, overlooking different sections of the Back Bay; below the ledges were niches that held our bottles of shampoo and body wash, and benches for us to sit on. The back wall was a mosaic, an abstract. Water shot out from every direction, spraying from all sides as well as the ceiling. There were even streams below that covered my feet.
My skin was sweating now. Drops of scalding water ran off my body. The places that were being hit directly by the jets had turned a bright red. But it couldn’t stop the chill that continued to spread beneath my flesh.
Six months had passed since I’d left the mansion. I didn’t think about it as much as I used to, but when something instigated those thoughts—something like the mirrored floor in the painting—I had a hard time calming them down again. I still wasn’t sure how I was supposed to process what I had done there, what I had allowed to happen and how much I had once enjoyed it. Part of me didn’t want to take it back; part of me could barely keep down the bile that threatened to rise when I remembered. But that time in my life had gotten me here. And I was here, unlike some of the girls I had shared that house with.
I moved closer to one of the shower heads and pressed my hands against the cold marble that tiled the wall, leaning into the stream of water. It massaged the top of my head.
The drops that filled my ears blocked any noise that was around me. I could taste the product that drizzled from my hair—the spray I had used to hold my curls and the oil that gave it shine. My eyes closed and I inhaled the steam, trying to find a place of relaxation.
A place where the images and the screams would quiet to a dull moan.
And just as I found it, just as my palms no longer kneaded against the stone and my back didn’t pump and arch to find that place of complete comfort, just as I had finally gotten used to the temperature of the water, his arms wrapped around my chest. His hands cupped each of my breasts, his thumbs grazing my nipples.
“Why didn’t you wake me?” he whispered into my neck. His lips followed his words to my skin, his tongue circling the spot just to the side of my throat. It didn’t matter how often he had roamed my body, or how many times, it still felt so new, so unexpected.
“You need your sleep…” I told him. As soon as he touched me, I completely lost my voice. All I had were my desires, and they consumed me.
“I need you more,” he breathed.
There will be 3 winners in the Seductive Shadows Tour Giveaway!
Grand Prize -- Kindle Paperwhite & Seductive Shadows e-book
Runner-up -- $25 Victoria's Secret gift card & Seductive Shadows e-book
Third Runner-up -- Seductive Shadows paperback
Becca Ritchie is a carnivore of pop culture, television, film and of course YA and NA books. While in college, she worked at The CW television network and put her vampiric knowledge to good use, blogging about hit series and swooning over actors’ abs. When she’s not blogging, she writes novels and has teamed up with her twin sister for their New Adult novel ADDICTED TO YOU. Available July of 2013.
Krista Ritchie is the mind behind popular trading website YA Book Exchange and created Nawanda Files, a book blog that also features books into movies news. When not pouring over entertainment news and the newest releases, she spends her time working in the science field. She’s happy to join forces with her sister, harnessing their twin powers to produce the first in a New Adult series.
1. What’s a typical day like in the life of Marni Mann?
I usually wake up between 5:00-6:00a and with a very large cup of coffee I head straight to my computer. I enjoy writing really early in the morning because I’m not distracted by social media, phone calls, or email. The quietness usually lasts until about 8:00 and that’s when I shift to marketing. For the rest of the day, I alternate between writing, marketing and some form of communication, and that could continue into the evening or stop at around dinnertime. When the words are really flowing, I have a hard time switching them off.
2. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
It was an emotion that lived inside my chest - it still does - and it trickled down my arm, to my hand, and released through my fingers. When I was younger, the emotion only dulled when I held a pen. Now it’s satisfied when my fingers are resting on a keyboard. It’s very difficult to describe the feeling, but writing has just always felt right.
3. Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote?
I believe I was five or six and it was a book about the dog I wanted. I even drew my own pictures. I can’t say my drawing has improved since then, but my writing definitely has. ;)
4. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way, either growing up or as an adult?
Because every author has such a unique voice, I’m constantly inspired and influenced by their creations. There are authors I’ve been reading for most of my life - like Stephen King - and some I just found last month. I’m honestly a huge fan of the written word and I’m willing to read just about anything.
5. Where do you get your ideas from? Do they come to you or are they inspired by true events?
My books always start with the main character and all of my protagonists have come to me in dreams. Some of my books have been inspired by true events or have been triggered by certain images that I found and others have just come to me.
6. Do you work with an outline or just write?
I use an outline. It’s never too detailed, but it highlights the major points I need to hit. The filler between each point is completely organic.
7. Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you get out of the funk?
I have and it’s horrific. I reread the notes that readers have sent to me - I save every single one of them, even direct messages, emails, and social media shout outs - and I use their words as fuel.
8. What part of the writing process is the hardest for you, whether it’s first draft, rewriting or editing?
Editing is the most difficult step in the process because it’s lengthy, extremely detailed, and it’s when every point and thought needs to seamlessly blend together.
9. Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what do you listen to?
Music is a necessity. It has to be playing super loud, too, and it’s usually something a bit dark with heavy beats like dubstep or Swedish House Mafia. Something that gets me moving in my chair, but also triggers creativity.
10. What inspired Seductive Shadows?
I was inspired by several images: the masks from Eyes Wide Shut, a mirrored floor, a few pieces of art, and the different emotional and physical layers of sex. The challenge was finding a way to weave these all together.
11. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? Hardest?
My favorite scene was the first kiss between Cameron and Charlie. It had been building for such a long time that the embrace was just a powerful moment to write. The hardest was the scenes between Charlie and her mother. They had such a broken relationship and her mom was just a horrible person. Emotional darkness can be really challenging to write because those moments are extra sensitive and extremely personal.
12. Which of your characters would you like to meet in person and why? What would you say to that person?
I’d like to meet Cameron because he’s absolutely beautiful and who doesn’t want to admire that kind of hotness in person? I also believe he needs a good listener and he could benefit from a heavy emotional purge and that’s exactly what I would tell him.
13. What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author?
Someone once said that I didn’t give one of my books my full effort and I didn’t try hard enough. As authors, we have to understand that not everyone is going to like the stories we create, our characters, our voice, or even us as people. That’s life and the difference of opinion and we’re all entitled to form our own. But when I take on a project, the project completely owns me in every aspect and I put everything I have into my work.
14. What has been the best compliment?
It’s hard to pick a best because I’m just so honored that readers take the time to contact me, that they’re willing to share their emotions, how the book affected them, and what they loved about it. All compliments are truly cherished.
15. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Write as much as you can. Every writer has his or her own unique voice and it’s impossible to find that voice unless you experiment. My other piece of advice is read everything you can get your hands on because behind every great writer is a great reader.