Playlist for S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared

I like to listen to music when I write. It sets the mood and helps me maintain a certain rhythm to my writing. Plus Dauphine Mason is a music fan, expert, and snob. She was fun to write, and this was a fun attribute to give her, especially in a city like New Orleans. I spent the better part of my writing digging around for the kind of music, sometimes obscure, that she would listen to and love. And Cassie’s story is always musically evocative for me, but this time Matilda inspired one of my favorite writing tracks. Take a read and then a listen.

Song & Artist Author’s Notes

Dancing On My Own


Dauphine, a massive music lover, often finds herself in clubs, listening to the music. But she won’t admit she’s still nursing an old heartbreak, and there’s a matching defiance in this song, and a need to punch through that sadness with the line “I’m giving it my all…” (Chapter Two) It breaks me up, because I remember that feeling of pretending you’re not sad, trying to show everyone you’re alright while dancing extra buoyantly. Meanwhile, you’re fooling no one.


G.G. Shinn

This is the only video I could find of this so-called “blue-eyed soul singer”. This song, Mathilda, matches our Matilda’s own strut as she makes her way across Audubon Park to meet Cassie, (Chapter Nine) and recruit a couple of men. Shinn still operates a blues club in Alexandria, Louisiana. Rumor has it you can’t wear sunglasses, flipflops, shorts or sleeveless shirts; it’s a fancy joint.

We’re Just Friends


I love the lie at the center of this song; it’s almost “Me thinks you doth protest too much”. And I love this line “If love’s so easy, why’s it hard?” Cassie gets involved with a musician, Mark Drury. When he comes in to the café to see Cassie, (Chapter Eleven) Will’s face drops. She tells Will they’re “just friends”. And of course, she’s “just friends” with Will, right? Right? Reminds me of that line in the song, “I’ll come back to you, it’ll be brand new…” There’s much hope and sadness in this song.

Tango Esquina

Carlos Gardel

This song! This dance! These dancers! I couldn’t find a good video of a three-person tango (Chapter Twelve) but love the battle, the muscularity of this dance; it’s hard to tear your eyes off a couple in the throes of tango. And so it’s a little voyeuristic. And nobody does tango better than Carlos Gardel, a true Argentine legend.

Femmes en la Majeur

This short film by Norma Leal is hot: two women tango dancing. And not just because of the Saran Wrap! You have to watch to see what I’m talking about. If you’ve read S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared, you know exactly how this inspired me, from the setting to the lighting…to the incredible chemistry between them. Right down to the last giggling frames.

Reconsider Me

Margaret Lewis

God I love her and I love this song. I dare you to not to sway around your living room when it’s on. Go ahead, try it. See? Can’t be done. Now imagine you’re Dauphine, a rabid music fan, and a certain someone is singing this song right at you—at Tipitina’s! (Chapter Sixteen). Can you imagine her resisting him? Me neither. The song is also apt when thinking on the trials and tribulations of Cassie and Will’s union. They’ll get their happy ending, but man it’s going to be hard-earned.

Willie Mae

Professor Longhair

You know that moment when you know someone’s “The One”—when you bond over a shared love of a book or movie, or in Dauphine’s case, a song? Yeah, THAT moment happens in Chapter Sixteen as well. Anyone seen my Willie Mae out there? I want her.

Sexy and direct.

Use Me

Bill Withers

At the end of S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared (Chapter Twenty-One) two conflicted people sit in a darkened truck. We don’t know what they’re going to do next, kiss or fight. This is the precise song that would play over the credits of the book, if books had credits.

Too Bad

Sarah Yolanda Durning

My friend Sarah Yolanda Durning is a talented writer (she composed the readers’ guides at the back of S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared!) and a phenomenal singer/songwriter with the band, Elijah Ocean. I want to share a song she co-wrote that was inspired by “Will and Cassie”; you’ll know why when you listen. It’s called “Too Bad”.”

Listen to the playlist on YouTube: