Narrating is so much fun with characters like Ziva! I’m happy to say Kiss & Makeup, Book 2 of Stephanie Damore’s Beauty Secrets Mysteries, is now available.
Ziva has her work cut out for her in this one. She has friends to get out of trouble, frenemies giving her trouble, and some nightmarish wedding planning to deal with for her best friend — on top of a business launch. My brain would explode. However, Ziva’s stays intact. (I don’t think that really counts as a spoiler, what with it being a cozy mystery and not, say, The Walking Dead.)
If you’re in need of real-world relief and some light fun, you can buy on iTunes, Amazon, or Audible. (If you’re NOT already an Audible member, it’s easy because Amazon owns it. Same username/password/account… No, worries about that. “All restaurants are Taco Bell.” (Free audiobook code for Kiss & Makeup for the first 10 people who get this pop culture reference–without an internet search–and contact me about it.)
Click to buy Kiss & Makeup on Audible (This will save you from searching that title and experiencing the momentary confusion of finding the same title on a book written by Gene Simmons, although I imagine his book would be a break from the horror that is our current news cycle, as well.).
Happy listening and wishing everyone a peaceful New Year!
Listen to an excerpt from Kiss and Makeup: Beauty Secrets, Book 2
MORE Girl Power! Coming of age in the alien, post-apocalyptic age.
I love YA. I love coming of age stories. I’ve been binge-watching Stranger Things (Well, an episode nightly, which is the definition of binge watching when you have younger children and force yourself to be an adult and go to bed when the credits role.). Anyway, at the start of season 2, the opener starts with a bunch of twenty-somethings. Whaaa? I turned to my husband and said, “If they don’t have those young teenagers in it this season, I’m out.”
So when I checked out the audition script for Girl Vs and saw young Rhyan taking out aliens one scene, and in the next struggling to find her place in the ragtag band of survivors she’s fallen in with, I was all over it. Xela Culletto, the author, had me hooked.
Is it warm and fuzzy? Nope. But there’s hope.
Now, I’ve read and listened to a lot of books, and one way to turn me off is to tell a story that probes all the dark sides of human nature and then end it with the message, “life is hard, see?” Nope. I mean, yup, yes it is, but I don’t need a relentlessly dark reminder of that. I have the whole, real-life thing for that.
Anyway, Xela Culletto does NOT let knife-wielding heroine Rhyan get off easy, but there are breaks of humanity and caring throughout. There’s hope. And that’s what all that dark angst is there for, right, to make the ray of hope shine all the brighter? (I get this vague feeling like I’m plagiarizing Samwise Gangee there, so now I must watch LOTR, again. After Stranger…And I guess adulting it means an hour of LOTR a night, so I can be an approximation of a rational parent in the morning.) Recommended for lovers of girl power, post-apocalyptic science fiction or fantasy, those who occasionally muse “Maybe I SHOULD become a prepper…”, and for YA old enough to handle darker themes though on-screen human-on-human violence is very limited and the language clean.
Makeup and Murder is out! This was a fun narration project for Stephanie Damore. Stephanie writes cozy mysteries with comedy and romance sprinkled throughout.
I love narrating a main character you can really root for, and Ziva Diaz is rock solid. Cozy mysteries are, by definition, a light read, but Stephanie kept surprising me with more and more layers of girl power in the story. I’m not talking superpowers or just Ziva’s sleuthing skills, but friendship, loyalty, courage, honesty.
Cozy Mystery meets Chick Lit meets Chocolate
There’s a real chick lit vibe to it, too. Sure, there’s romance, but Ziva’s journey doesn’t revolve only around her (super hot) romantic interest. Her work, friendships, family…they’re all important to her and help drive the story forward. Refreshing. Recommended for lovers of cozy mysteries, listeners who need to find some fun to balance out the yuck in the world, and anyone who’s hosted a selling parties, and for anyone who’s ever had a girl’s night start out fun…and then just get surreal!
Yeah, I’ve been there, too.
If you’re a true chocolate lover with low impulse control, I’d suggest having some on hand when you listen to this audiobook or risk an emergency trip to the grocery store!