Audio Spotlight & Excerpt: Good Girls Curtsy + Author Interview

Good Girls Curtsy Banner

Title: Good Girls Curtsy

Author: Dena Nicotra

Narrator: Kendra Murray

Length: 5 hours 26 minutes

Publisher: Dena M. Nicotra

Released: Dec. 31, 2020

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 

MayVee Baker has lived by the rules that shaped the edges and sharpened the corners of her existence since the earliest days of her childhood. Common courtesies, pleasantries, etiquette, and smooth manners formed her behavior and served as her compass. Even if it meant silencing her voice and sacrificing her own needs. She lost herself along the way.

Now she will need to challenge everything she knows to find herself, live the life she deserves, and raise her daughter to know how to slay her own dragons.

Acceptance, understanding, forgiveness, and grace open a pathway to finding our true selves.

 

Q&A with Author Dena Nicotra
  1. Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    1. Other than some publication delays that were out of our hands due to the pandemic, It was seamless. Kendra Murray is a consummate professional and we’ve worked together before. She made it a very smooth process.
  2. Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
    1. I think that any good book can translate well in an audio format, and there’s such a demand for it in our society today.
  3. Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    1. Not at all. I think that I was more focused on telling the story as a whole. That said, I definitely heard the characters in my head.
  4. How did you select your narrator?
    1. Kendra Murray and I worked together on another book I wrote called, “Simple.” She has a gift as a storyteller, and I am delighted to have such a great partner to help bring my stories to life.
  5. How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process?
    1. It only took one sample recording and we were off and running! We have a great rapport. I think I’m really lucky, because Kendra just gets me and my vision. Once the writing is done, it’s entirely in her hands and she brings it to life.
  6. Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    1. Yes. We worked very closely on character traits, pronunciations, and even backstories when applicable.
  7. Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    1. Oh yeah. I wore those bobby socks in the third grade. Aside from that, there are definitely some characters in my book that are loosely based on real life inspirations. I study people, and I always patch traits together that I’ve stored in my head.
  8. If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    1. I’d use it in a heartbeat! I love the concept of time travel! In fact, the first books I published (The Weaver Series) are based on the concept of being able to manipulate time and events. If I could use it, I would go back to my first year in high-school and I’d enjoy it more. Especially that 1965 Mustang I used to have…and I wouldn’t make a left turn in front of that car thinking I had the right of way. I was fine, but my car? Not so much.
  9. If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
    1. That’s a tough one, because I mash traits and cobble characters together from bits and pieces of people from different points in time that come together to sort of flesh out the characters in my head. For example, I see a younger Calista Flockhart as MayVee (think of the movie “The Birdcage). Maybe Neil Patrick Harris as Danny. Richard has bits of Jonathan Van Ness, especially his gorgeous hair. I definitely think of Harry Connick, Jr. as Lou (think of the movie “Hope Floats”). Deidra is a cross between Janeane Garofalo and a dear friend.
  10. Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    1. Not for this book, but it has happened with other works.
  11. What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    1. I believe that any talent takes nurturance and practice. If you love to write, make the time and never give up. Tell your stories!

good girls curtsy

Dena Nicotra was born in Southern California and grew up between the busy city and a small town in Arkansas. She is a copywriter, freelance journalist, and holds a degree in Communications. She currently lives in a small desert town in California with her husband and one very spoiled little dog.

She’s mom to two grown sons that she calls her sun and moon.

​When she’s not writing, she can be found in the kitchen cooking up something special for family and friends.

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Kendra performed in numerous plays in high school and college, and directed a play for her senior project, which earned her the school Drama Cup. She apprenticed at, and managed the Box Office of the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, Mass. She performed, produced and directed radio plays with Petaluma Radio Players. Kendra narrates audiobooks across many genres, as solo narrator and as duet narrators with her husband, Ralph Scott, all available on audible.com. She frequently “speaks” in character voices for her dog, Gandalf, and her cats, Merlin and Saffira. She has two young adult children and a stepdaughter. Kendra is an avid knitter and spinner, and is very crafty.

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Audio Spotlight: Broomsticks and Board Games + Character Profiles

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Title: Broomsticks and Board Games

Author: Amy McNulty

Narrator: Danielle Daly

Length: 7 hours 4 minutes

Series: A Spooky Games Club Mystery, Book 1

Publisher: Crimson Fox Publishing

Released: Jan. 5, 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

 

Dahlia Poplar is a genuine witch, an unofficial gofer, and Luna Lane’s only cursed resident.

With a werewolf best friend, a vampire ex-boyfriend, and a ghost for a hanger-on, Dahlia is far from the most unusual dweller of her sleepy small town, but she’s the only one unable to leave. Dahlia has to perform at least one good deed per day – or she’s one step closer to turning to stone.

Fortunately, the residents of Luna Lane have plenty of tasks for Dahlia to complete to avert the curse until Cable Woodward, fetching professor and nephew of her elderly neighbor, stops by for the semester on sabbatical. Attempting to help Cable’s uncle work through the trauma of losing his wife, Dahlia uncovers the man’s collection of board games, which leads to him reminiscing about the long-forgotten Luna Lane Games Club.

Dahlia reestablishes the Games Club, only to find evidence of a number of horrible demises connected to the original group. While trying to uncover the truth about the deaths, Dahlia has to fight off her curse, protect her elderly neighbor from becoming the next victim, and most vexing of all, keep Cable from figuring out Luna Lane’s supernatural secrets.

Only, with eerie board games like these, there may not be a loser – or even a winner – who survives.

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Dahlia (sometimes “Lia”) Poplar: age 30, 5’8”, long, wavy red hair, sharp eyebrows, hazel-green eyes. Witch partnered with Broomhilde (“Broomie”), an enchanted broomstick that acts like cat. Suffers from a curse inflicted at birth. Every day, while the sun is up, she must complete a good deed without relying on magic. If she fails, she grows a stone scale on her skin. Her left arm is covered in scales, though she usually manages to do her good deed in time—unless she’s distracted. Her mom passed away ten years before; she lives alone.

Cable Woodward: age 32, glasses, dark, wavy short hair, 6’4”, muscular, brown eyes. On sabbatical from teaching American literature in Scotland. Cable spent his childhood traveling the world with his single mother, Ingrid, who had him later in life. Ingrid grew up in Luna Lane and suggests Cable visit her brother during his time off from work. She just doesn’t appear to have clued Cable in to the fact that the supernatural exists—and paranormal creatures call Luna Lane home.

Milton Woodward: age 85, spotted skin, thin, white hair. Milton has dementia, which has worsened since the passing of his wife, Leana, a few months before the story begins. He used to run the general store, Vogel’s, which he sold twenty years before to the Mahajans. Dahlia’s next-door neighbor and Cable’s uncle, though he didn’t see him in person much during Cable’s youth.

Goldie and Arjun Mahajan: age mid-50s, plump, on the shorter side, black and grey hair, Goldie a beauty. They run Vogel’s, the town’s general store, and love to stay busy. Goldie is especially protective of Dahlia and loves to play with Broomie. Both are amateur matchmakers. Their sons, Hitesh and Zashil, Dahlia’s childhood friends, moved to other cities for college and stayed there after finding their spouses.

Draven: age unknown (at least 500), deathly pale complexion, tall and trim but with defined muscles, long, blond hair like a rock star’s. Likes to wear dark leather. Runs the local pub First Taste and lives in an elegant Victorian with Ravana, his sire, and Qarinah, a newer vampire. Dated Dahlia for several years after she turned 21. They had a hot and passionate romance, but his ego and inability to apologize led her to break up with him a few years before the story begins.

Faine Vadas: age 30, wild, brown hair, 5’3”; curvy. Loves to dress in vintage styles, like a pin-up model. Dahlia’s best friend since childhood. Her husband, Grady, is 35, tall and thin. They run the local café, Hungry Like a Pup, which is connected to First Taste. Their kids are Flora (girl, 7, tall), Fauna (girl, 5, short, puffy pigtails), and Falcon (boy, 3, troublemaker). All five of them are werewolves, though they only turn during the full moon.

Virginia Kincaid: died in 1911 at age 20. Ghastly white, often transluscent, dressed like an early 20th-century Southern Belle. She’s a ghost who’s very social and talkative. Easily offended, a gossipmonger, and a flirt, Virginia has a complex about cheaters and will get very angry if she thinks anyone is cheating in even the most harmless of ways.

Sherriff Roan Birch: age late 50s, bald, handsome, wrinkled, with a gut. Dahlia considers Roan like a father since he was always helping her mom out when Dahlia was growing up. Everyone knew Roan harbored an unrequited love for Dahlia’s mother, but he never let that get in the way of an earnest friendship. Since no crime happens in Luna Lane, Roan has a pretty easy job—until Dahlia uncover clues that indicate there’s been a murder.

Eithne Allaway: age unknown, long, white hair, tall and willowy, dark eyes. The mysterious witch who cursed Dahlia at birth, most likely because she hated Dahlia’s witch mother. She’s been gone from Luna Lane for decades, but when things start going wrong, Dahlia suspects the witch’s involvement.

Amy McNulty is an editor and author of books that run the gamut from YA speculative fiction to contemporary romance. A lifelong fiction fanatic, she fangirls over books, anime, manga, comics, movies, games, and TV shows from her home state of Wisconsin. When not editing her clients’ novels, she’s busy fulfilling her dream by crafting fantastical worlds of her own.

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Narrator Bio

Danielle Daly hails from Long Island, New York but hopes you can’t tell that when she’s reading to you. Grateful for her many years of experience in narrating stories for various short story fiction podcasts, the opportunity to narrate audiobooks for a wider audience is a dream come true.

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