*Looking for the next modern day superwoman? Check out this exclusive update with author Bethany Maines and comment for a chance to win a Prize Pack: a copy of Compact with the Devil, a Medium dark blue T-shirt with the words “Agent” printed across the back, and The Write Stuff Bookmark.
Bethany Maines is back to discuss her new sequel to her debut novel, Bulletproof Mascara. Bethany’s novels are action-packed thrillers that have been described as The James Bond of Chick Lit. During the day, Bethany works as a graphic designer for an architectural firm. At night, she’s helping her main character, Nikki Lanier, operate within a cosmetics company’s international espionage operation. In her spare time, Bethany has a third degree black belt and teaches Karate to kids. Her sequel, Compact with the Devil is out!
1) Tell me about your fabulous new book:
Compact with the Devil, is the sequel to Bulletproof Mascara. This time Nikki is facing the dual threat of work politics and a terrorist as she tries to save the life of European pop star Kit Masters.
2) Compact with the Devil brings back Nikki Lanier, the kickass spy in league with Carrie Mae cosmetics founded to help women from all over the world. First off, I loved your previous novel, Bulletproof Mascara. Secondly, what fabulous cosmetic devices does a spy like Nikki have at her disposal?
Well, unfortunately due to a slight luggage snafu, Nikki actually ends up getting more of the fabulous cosmetic devices used on her than she uses on the bad guys. But there are knock-out injection rings, steel whip belts, and stylish knife-proof gloves.
Well, with this series I have several goals that I think of as “mission parameters” – there has to be an exotic locale, action sequences, and fun, and I have to show Nikki’s growth as both a spy and a woman. I’d recently been to Paris, so I knew I wanted to set it there, and it is the city of romance, but I just wasn’t sure how to get there. But while I was kicking around for a plot, I ended up watching Hard Days Night with the Beatles. I just loved the atmosphere of fun and all the frantic running around. And I thought… “What if the Beatles had been spies?” It all sort of snowballed from there.
4) Nikki’s investigating a Basque anarchist who may be planning on killing a Carrie Mae operative which leads her to a bad boy pop artist on tour. Can you give us some juicy details of what happens? Does Nikki really break up with CIA agent Z’ev Coralles and gets fired?!
Both of those things are true!! You have no idea how hard it was to make those two break up! But Nikki and Z’ev have issues; issues that can’t be resolved if one of them is in South America with another woman. Then throw in Kit Masters, the pop star, who is devilishly handsome, flirtatious and well, just a little bit in need of being rescued… Well, let’s just say it’s recipe for sparks to fly.
5) What is at the true heart of this book?
Fear, and overcoming fear. Kit Masters is afraid that he can’t be creative without alcohol and drugs. Z’ev is afraid that Nikki’s hiding something from him (he’s right of course) and he’s afraid of losing her. Nikki is afraid of what Z’ev would say if he really knew about her job. And in a sense, she’s afraid of becoming good at her job and stepping into a leadership role. Being the leader means that you take responsibility for your actions, but also the actions of people you command. Nikki’s pretty afraid of that sort of responsibility and she’s afraid that it will separate her from the people she loves. But at the same time, she’s driven to help people who need her. So she has to choose to overcome her fears and step into the role she was born for.
6) Is Nikki Lanier a modern day Charlie’s Angel or female James Bond?
Too funny! And the answer is… Neither! Charlie’s Angel’s, while totally awesome and very similar to Nikki in their fashion sense, are being bossed around by a dude on a speaker phone. Nikki takes orders from another woman (Mrs. Merrivel), and just occasionally she doesn’t take orders at all. Which is much more similar to James Bond, of course (who doesn’t love Judy Dench as M?), but James Bond is fairly callous and hard-hearted (a requirement of his job, true), but also kind of a man slut. My brother and I once figured out that James Bond averaged 2.5 women per movie – the good girl, the bad girl, and usually some random girl in the first reel. Nikki does not believe in killing because the government said so, she believes in saving people. And also, she’s pretty monogamous.
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Every name is assigned a random number. The more you enter, the more numbers are assigned to your name. The range of numbers is put into a Random Number Calculator and the winning number is chosen! I’ll announce the winners on May 9th! Once contacted, the winner will have three days to email me their mailing addresses. If I do not receive a reply within the allotted time, I will pick another winner. Good luck!
*If you were a female spy, which make-up ammo would you want to try out: Pepper Spray Perfume, flash grenade lipsticks, acid nail polish or knockout breath mints?
For Example: Gimme the Pepper Spray Perfume! The perfectly concealed bff whom will back you up every time!