outlineCMlogoThe Carrie Mae Foundation

The at home make-up sales company, Carrie Mae, was founded in the early sixties by Carrie Mae Robart. As she nurtured her dream from a small business operating out of her garage to a multi-million dollar industry leader, Carrie Mae realized that make-up alone could not solve all the problems in the lives of her consultants. Thus the Carrie Mae Foundation was born. Part non-profit, part black ops force, the Carrie Mae Foundation helps women solve those little problems that just can’t be trusted to a man.

Press and Reviews for Ms. Lanier’s Memoirs
by BETH KANELL, Kingdom Books

Best Caper Espionage, in HIGH-CALIBER CONCEALER, Bethany Maines #3

 Women have been hiding their skills from their boyfriends for generations. It’s called flirting. But when high-ranking Carrie Mae covert agent Nikki Lanier finds herself getting serious — as in, living together, maybe long term — with CIA agent Z’ev Coralles, she’s got more to hide than her firearm skills. Just as she comes close to seizing a major drug dealer, she’s got to back off for Z’ev’s own take on the sting operation underway. And after all, even the CIA doesn’t realize what the Carrie Mae makeup company really is: dead serious about helping women in the most competent and permanent ways. And dangerous. (Did I mention firearm skills?)

So it’s a good thing in HIGH-CALIBER CONCEALER that Nikki’s entire team is the corporate equivalent of grounded: laid off for two weeks, as a penalty for killing a bad guy without the right approval, while Nikki was out of the country.

Bumped into her own reluctant vacation, Nikki heads for her grandmother’s farm near the Canada border, the place where Nikki grew up, loved and smart but almost dumbed down … until Carrie Mae recruited her, years back, and set her onto a growth path where she thrives.

One easy revelation turns out to be firearm skills, after all: Nikki’s grandmother, adapting to the times, has her own handgun and wants Nikki to catch up. Much more challenging is the rapid shift of who’s in which rooms at the old farm, as not only Z’ev but also Nikki’s team of Jane, Jenny, and Ellen land in the midst of what looks like a classic DEA operation gone wrong, surrounding the old home place and pitting Nikki’s loyalties in several directions at once. And, oh yes, her mother pulls in, too.

“Well, this seems to be going well,” said Jane carrying a stack of plates.

Nikki stared at her in disbelief. Sometimes she thought Jane existed in a parallel universe. “My mother is offering to show my boyfriend my junior high photos. Jenny is draped over my ex-boyfriend, which would be a lot less annoying if he didn’t look so happy about it. And Ellen and my grandmother are attempting to discuss ammunition using mime, since they don’t want my mother to notice.”

“I know! It was adorable.”

Good thing somebody’s having fun, because Nikki’s choices are rapidly narrowing. Oh, she’ll stop the drug operation — that’s the easy part. But managing her family issues, especially once the family secrets start coming out (including a big one she didn’t know about), is much tougher. And what happens to her romance if she’s got to take charge, as she’s been trained to do so well?

The first Carrie Mae spy-plus-spoof action novel that Bethany Maines brought out wasBulletproof Mascara, with Nikki’s rocky road through being recruited and trained; thenCompact With the Devil caused some dangerous side-effects of laughing too hard while reading in bed (as in, irritable husband syndrome — but those elephant issues, how could I help it?); this third Nikki Lanier adventure, with a tamer crime situation but a much tougher management conundrum, may be the funniest yet. And it’s clear from the finale that there’s a fourth title coming soon (Glossed Cause — one chapter included as a teaser).

If you’ve ever wondered what would have happened if James Bond and, more importantly, Q himself had been born savvy women … here’s the answer. But much, much funnier.

Enjoying Tim Hallinan’s Junior Bender series? Have a hidden stash of Donald Westlake’s caper mysteries? Love to tackle a good spoof on Sherlock Holmes?

This one’s better. Write to me when you’ve read all three. Yes, they’ll be best if you start with the first book. But if you’re impatient, dig right into HIGH-CALIBER CONCEALER and then get the others underway. Available at online retailers, or order them through the local bookstore, or have the fun of getting yours signed, directly from the Tacoma, Washington-native author: https://bethanymaines.com

Crystal Lee Patriarche, the She Knows Book Club Director, and founder of Book Sparks PR, picks fun summer reads on the Daily Dish at SheKnowsTV, and Compact with the Devil is her choice for a Fashion & Beauty read!



St. Louis author Susan McBride is giving us her top book picks for May.  Watch on Great Day St. Louis!



Compact with the Devil is book two in a new series about Nikki, a girl who thought she was trying a new career to get her mom off her back. But Carrie Mae is so much more than selling makeup; it’s a super secret agency of female international spies. In book one, Bulletproof Mascara, Nikki was just getting her heels wet in the business. Now in Compact with the Devil she is seasoned and ready for anything, um, or almost anything. Hopping from country to country in Europe to protect Kit Masters, international rock star, while recovering from an unexpected break up with Z’ev, her hunky CIA boyfriend, was not what Nikki had in mind. And she missed Christmas. And lost her luggage.

I loved this book. I mean, come on! International spies covering as your local Carrie Mae distributors? Genius and original. Nikki is Stephanie Plum crossed with Charlie’s Angels. She is not afraid to bust in, kick your butt, and then help you find the right shade of blush. A combination of humor, suspense, romance, and intrigue make Compact with the Devil a perfect summer read. Light but certainly not fluffy, it’s what you need when you want to relax and be entertained.

This series is my new favorite mystery/chick lit since Janet Evonovich’s Stephanie Plum. I cannot wait for more. I highly recommend both Bulletproof Mascara and Compact with the Devil, although you do not need to read them in order to appreciate these books!

by BETH KANELL, Kingdom Books

Can espionage be riddled with humor and still provide an intense and believable plot? Bethany Maines proves that the answer is yes in her new thriller, Bulletproof Mascara. An international cosmetics company named Carrie Mae (say it out loud) is dedicated to the women it serves: “Our sales consultants provide needed income for their families and affordable, quality cosmetics for women everywhere.” That’s what the indomitable Mrs. Merrivel asserts as Nicole — Nikki — Lanier begins to question just what the deeper side of the corporation, the Carrie Mae Foundation, is up to. If she’d been a bit more introspective, Nikki might have noticed that her own background in martial arts and multiple languages wasn’t exactly the typical setup for handing out beauty samples. Carrie Mae’s recruits have serious work to do, upholding the rights and safety of women around the globe. That’s why Nikki is getting firearms training, as well as a set of highly improbably devices that can be hidden in lipstick tubes, powder compacts, and other feminine accoutrements.

Nikki’s first mission turns tough on day one, as her partner Val, whose capabilities range from scaling walls to picking the perfect pair of shoes, keeps abandoning Nikki during their rescue operation in Thailand. If it weren’t for having to prove her mother wrong, Nikki might cut and run. At the same time, there’s a possible CIA agent (male) chasing either Nikki or the same criminals she’s confronting. There’s no chance for “kiss and tell” because everything from elephants to international trafficking demands attention. Although I rolled with laughter every chapter or two, the situations never slipped away from “this could really happen!” Maines provides a merry and snugly plotted rejoinder to John Burdett’s Thailand crime fiction, while creating in Nikki a modern-day, well-groomed, James-Bond-in-lipstick. And Atria chose well in offering this fun read as a chunky trade paperback.


You definitely want to get in on this high-gloss, action-packed ride that follows Nikki from unemployment to infiltrating the secret ranks of Carrie Mae’s international espionage organization for women.

Soon she is in Thailand investigating the disappearance of a human rights activist, dealing with a wildly dangerous and unstable partner, and trying to juggle her new romance with a might-or-might-not-be-CIA hunk. Booklist says, it’s “a madcap romantic adventure that is a humorous as it is action-packed.” SheKnows Chick Lit says it’s just plain fantastic and fun.

And just call Bethany Maines the new 007 of Chick Lit. Can’t wait for the next book in the series.


Fellow beauty junkies, do I have a book for you! Released today, Bulletproof Mascara by Bethany Maines, $10.12, is the tale of Nikki Lanier, a linguist who joins a top-secret group of woman spies posing as door-to-door makeup salespeople. The company name? Carrie Mae. (Hmm…sounds awfully like Mary Kay…) Nikki’s secret training includes learning her way around spy tools disguised as makeup: acid nail polish, pepper spray perfume, grenade lipsticks and exploding foundation. Unsurprisingly, Nikki’s background in languages, combined with her dual Canadian-American citizenship and martial-arts training, makes her a natural spy, and she combines forces with veteran spy Valerie Robinson to rescue an abductee who’s been protesting the Asian sex trade.

I won’t give away the book: suffice it to say, it’s a breezy page-turner, full of action and fun. While it’s hardly Dostoevsky, Bulletproof Mascara is light and amusing, perfect for a lazy weekend or long plane flight. (One review aptly described it as what happens when Avon Ladies meet Charlie’s Angels.) Beauty addicts, you’ll enjoy!

Bulletproof Mascara Bethany Maines. Atria, $15 paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-7432-9277-1
In Maines’s delicious spy spoof debut, wide-eyed linguist Nikki Lanier joins the “confidential side” of Carrie Mae, a cosmetics giant like Mary Kay or Avon, whose charity foundation uses covert means to help women. Nikki doesn’t bat an eyelash as she undergoes rigorous training at the company’s academy in Santa Clarita, Calif., where female spies are stylishly equipped with gizmos like “pepper spray perfume, flash grenade lipsticks, mini-scanner compacts, knockout breath mints, acid nail polish, plastic explosive foundation, and stiletto stilettos.” With Valerie Robinson, a jaded pro, Nikki embarks on her first mission, to rescue Lawan Chinnawat, “one of the loudest voices protesting the sex trade that flourishes throughout Asia,” who’s been abducted. The plot takes a few surprise twists before reaching the exciting climax. Maines deftly combines humor with action in this fashion-forward thriller, which will remind many of such TV shows as Charlie’s Angels, Alias, and Heroes.


Bulletproof Mascara.
With a linguistics degree and no other prospects, Nikki Lanier takes a job with the philanthropic arm of Carrie Mae, a cosmetics company, to get out of her mother’s house. She doesn’t expect the training to involve target practice, intelligence techniques, and identifying explosives disguised as make-up. The Carrie Mae Foundation is actually a network of secret operatives charged with protecting women around the world. Nikki passes her training with flying colors. Her boss, the enigmatic Mrs. M, then pairs Nikki with flinty agent Valerie Robinson and sends them to Thailand to find the missing director of a women’s clinic. Mix in double agents, human trafficking, and repeated run-ins with a charismatic stranger who’s hiding something, and Maines turns in a tale full of surprises. This debut novelist may lack polish, but she makes up for it with a clever premise in this madcap romantic adventure that is as humorous as it is action packed.


With the success of Consultant Nicole Lanier’s “fictionalized” three previous memoirs comes the release of, Glossed Cause. Remember, when answering questions about the novels to smile, laugh and look questioners directly in the eye. Do not waver from your cover story – we are only a make-up company. We are not spies. We would never dream of meddling in international politics, or assaulting known terrorists and/or CIA agents. We are only women.


Thanks to everyone who joined the celebration! The launch party was hosted by King’s Books, and featured mini-makeovers by Che Mel. Thanks to Jason Ganwich for the event photos!


Thanks to King’s Books for hosting a second Carrie Mae shindig! The Parisian themed event featured chocolate croissants and a live accordion player. Check out the gorgeous photos from Patrick Snapp !