Tag Archive for: Nikki Lanier

Nikki Lanier in the Hot Seat

by Bethany Maines

In today’s blog we’re interviewing Nikki Lanier, the star of the Carrie Mae Mysteries and the upcoming Glossed Cause by Bethany Maines. The interview questions are selected questions from Marcel Proust’s Questionnaire of 35 questions intended to reveal an individuals true nature.  So read on to find out what makes Nikki Lanier tick…

1. On what occasion do you lie?
Most occasions? Sorry, that’s an awkward question. I have to lie to most people on a daily basis. The Carrie Mae Foundation, the non-profit charity branch of Carrie Mae Cosmetics, and my employer, has the extremely simple goal of “helping women everywhere.” But the Carrie Mae founders realized early on that helping women sometimes requires a silk glove of diplomacy and sometimes an iron fist of enforcement. Basically, the Carrie Mae Foundation is part non-profit, part black ops force. And I’m part of the iron fist, but I can’t tell anyone. My boyfriend—the CIA agent—just found though… I guess we’ll see how that turns out.

Nikki Lanier

2. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A Saturday afternoon at the beach with my friends, my boyfriend, no one shooting at me and no phone calls from my mother. You wouldn’t think that would be so hard to achieve, but it’s been difficult. My friends all work for Carrie Mae, my boyfriend works for the CIA and my mother doesn’t know when to butt out, so getting a free Saturday rarely seems to happen.

3. What is your greatest fear?
That everyone will find out that I’m just faking it. I know they say imposter syndrome is a real thing for women, but I just keep feeling like everyone else has it more together than I do. I mean, yeah, I can speak five languages, but one of those is Latin. And OK, so I can shoot pretty straight and I know how to get into AND out of a bar fight and a foreign country, but I still can’t shake the feeling that other spies have their stuff way more together. Oh, and my other greatest fear is that my father will try to steal the Mona Lisa.

4. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I have a tiny bit of a temper and sometimes something will just set me off. Next thing you know, I’m force feeding someone their lipstick. I have to say though, having a job where I get to punch people on the regular has cut back in my occasional outbursts. Mostly. Sort of. I think.

5. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Sigh. My hair. I think I’m finally at a place in my life where I’m OK with being a red-head, but there was a lot of my childhood that I hated it. And even now, it just seems to have a mind of its own.

6. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My boyfriend, Z’ev Coralles. He’s got these brown eyes and this voice that just makes me melt. How am I supposed to resist him? I know I should. My boss would be a lot happier if we broke up, but… He knows how to salsa and then there’s his derriere. Don’t tell anyone, but it should probably have a few poems written about it.

Val Robinson

7. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Does being a selfish jerk count as a trait? My father and my ex-partner, Valerie Robinson, think they can just walk into my life and mess up everything. They don’t apologize; they don’t even care. They just make messes and I’m the one that has to clean up. It would have been a lot easier for me if Val had just stayed dead after I dropped her off that bridge in Thailand. But Val never does what she’s told, even when she’s being told by a bullet to the chest.

8. What is your motto?
I never had a motto until I started working for Carrie Mae—they have quite a few little sayings. Most of them come from the founder – Carrie Mae Robart, she was a tobacco heiress, who turned down her father’s money to start Carrie Mae Cosmetics in her garage. She used to cross-stitch little sayings onto pillows. Currently, my favorite is, “Sunscreen, waterproof mascara, and a silenced .38 will take you just about anywhere you want to go in life.”

Find out what adventures Nikki is up to next in Glossed Cause!
Top Carrie Mae agent Nikki Lanier’s nemesis and ex-partner Val Robinson has returned from the dead and she wants Nikki’s help.  When Val said that Phillipe Lanier—Nikki’s long-absent father—had been kidnapped, Nikki dropped everything—friends, family, boyfriend, to fly to the rescue.  But soon Nikki realizes that her father’s kidnapping may not be what it seems and she may have just tanked her life for one of his ridiculous schemes. As Nikki and Val arrive in Amsterdam, Nikki realizes that if wants to her life back, she’s going to have to not only stop an international arms dealer, but convince her boyfriend, CIA Agent Z’ev Coralles, that she’s not the bad guy and that Carrie Mae isn’t a terrorist organization. But with Philippe refusing to be rescued, and an INTERPOL agent gunning for Val and Nikki, as well as making moves on Z’ev, Nikki is starting to doubt her own abilities. Can she do it, or is it a Glossed Cause?

Loud Neighbors

Bulletproof Mascara Villain: Val Robinson
I was kept awake last night by Nikki who is flirting with
her ex-boyfriend.  This is a problem that
I know Nikki is love with her current boyfriend – Z’ev.  Why is she behaving this way? What could
drive her into the arms of another man? How do you explain this kind of
behavior, young lady! The real problem, of course, is that writers are crazy
and we listen to all the voices in our head and sometimes the voices are quite
loud.  In this, case the edits for my
third Carrie Mae Mystery are demanding to be heard and dealt with.
In general, the edits are going quite well. Each edit is
adding the layer of depth and realism that really make a book sing.  It’s like adding jewelry to an outfit; a good
round of edits can make the entire thing sparkle.  Unfortunately, some edits can cause a chain
reaction changes through-out the book. 
Suddenly an author can find herself questioning the timeline (does this
scene need to be moved to Tuesday?), the continuity (were they eating peach or
blackberry pie before?), and worst of all – would the character really do that?
All of my characters are quite real to me. I have entire
dossiers about their past.  There are
pictures. There are idiosyncrasies and favorite swear words and moral codes and
lines that each character wouldn’t cross. But the gray areas, such as, “Would
you kiss your childhood sweetheart in the moonlight on a warm summer’s night?”
are sometimes harder to negotiate. 

But making the big decisions, like who gets to kiss who, is
why I get paid the not so big bucks. 
Although, if you want to find out if Nikki gives into temptation you’ll
just have to pick up a copy of High-Calber
in November 2015.
Bethany Maines is the
author of the Carrie Mae Mystery series and 
Tales from the City of Destiny. You can also view the Carrie Mae youtube
video or catch up with her on 
Twitter and Facebook.

So a Man Walks Into a Bar…

Look, it’s My New Short Story!
Bethany Maines

I have a theory that short stories are like jokes.  There’s the set-up that establishes
location and characters. A man walks into a bar with a duck on his head.  Then
there’s the action that moves the plot forward. The bartender says,
“Sorry, we don’t serve monkey’s in here.” And the man says, “It’s a duck.”
then there’s the ending. The bartender says, “I was talking to the
  There’s always more that can be added to the joke, such as
why the man had a duck on his head to begin with or who won the fight after the
ending, but the joke doesn’t really need it.  And there’s the challenge to the author – to figure out what
is the right amount of information and what is just an explanation of the why
the man is wearing a duck hat.
Tomorrow, I’ll be releasing my first e-short story,
Supporting the Girls, (available from Amazon, ibook, Barnes & Noble, and Vook) so you will be able to judge for yourselves whether or
not I selected the correct information. Supporting the Girls is a new adventure for Nikki Lanier and her covert
team of Carrie Mae make-up ladies. 
(If you haven’t read my novels Bulletproof Mascara and Compact With the Devil, you may need to understand that Carrie Mae is a
make-up corporation, specializing in at-home sales and make-up parties, that
also happens to run an organization of female operatives that help women

And I may have gotten a little carried away while I was working
on my story because I also made a video. 
But when you have a “great idea for a movie” (you have to say that part
like Jean Claude VanDamme), you know a videographer, and you’re friends with an
entire karate school of awesome people, suddenly an action movie doesn’t sound
like such a far-fetched venture.  Head over to youtube to check it out!
It’s possible of course that my joke isn’t that good, or
that possibly the joke is on me, but tomorrow you will have the opportunity to
judge for yourselves and I’m hoping I hear laughter.  But… um… you did read that part about how I’m friend with an
entire karate school, right?  Let’s
just say, I’d better hear laughter. 
Leave a comment to below for a chance to win a free copy of Supportingthe Girls!