Handbook for Mortals
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Publisher: GeekNation Press
Date of Publication: Aug 15, 2017
Number of pages: 448
Word Count: approx. 107,000
Cover Artist: Ryan Kincaid
Tagline: A young woman goes to Las Vegas to join a magic show only to learn that falling in love is more dangerous than magic.
Zade Holder has always been a free-spirited young woman, from a long dynasty of tarot-card readers, fortunetellers, and practitioners of magick. Growing up in a small town and never quite fitting in, Zade is determined to forge her own path. She leaves her home in Tennessee to break free from her overprotective mother Dela, the local resident spellcaster and fortuneteller.
Zade travels to Las Vegas and uses supernatural powers to become part of a premiere magic show led by the infamous magician Charles Spellman. Zade fits right in with his troupe of artists and misfits. After all, when everyone is slightly eccentric, appearing ''normal'' is much less important.
Behind the scenes of this multimillion-dollar production, Zade finds herself caught in a love triangle with Mac, the show's good-looking but rough-around-the-edges technical director and Jackson, the tall, dark, handsome and charming bandleader.
Zade's secrets and the struggle to choose between Mac or Jackson creates reckless tension during the grand finale of the show. Using Chaos magick, which is known for being unpredictable, she tests her abilities as a spellcaster farther than she's ever tried and finds herselfat death's door. Her fate is left in the hands of a mortal who does not believe in a world of real magick, a fortuneteller who knew one day Zade would put herself in danger and a dagger with mystical powers...
Handbook for Mortals is the first book in the series of this urban fantasy, paranormal romance series by author Lani Sarem.
Following Zade through the trials--and romance--of finding her own place in the world, readers will identify with their own struggles to fit in, reflected in the fantastic, yet mundane world of Zade's life.
Handbook for Mortals is in development as a motion picture set to debut in 2018.
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Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/BWegIoTJO2g
“Hopefully I wasn’t interrupting something important,” Mac said, with no attempt at feigning actual sincerity. I could tell he didn’t care that he had interrupted, or that he had been rude.
“Just kindness.” I responded. I don’t think he expected my answer to be truthful, and he looked taken aback. He had probably expected me to say “Oh, no worries! Nothing important.” He made no comment, but backed off a little. When he continued talking, he had a bit less snap in his voice.
“I’d like to schedule a crew call for you once your contract has been signed. You, me, and all of our techs, so we can go over your trick and map out how it will be safely implemented into the show.” He knew that calling what I had done a “trick” instead of an illusion I would take as a slight. It’s sort of like telling someone who had just won an Olympic gold medal and was proudly wearing it around their neck, that their necklace was cute. Mac kept incessantly tapping his Sharpie on the side of his clipboard and shifting his weight between his feet.
I stood up slowly and calculated, looking him square in the eye, which probably surprised him a bit, since he was at least six feet tall. I’ve always enjoyed the luxury of being a tall girl. I’m five foot nine inches and so while I don’t usually tower above any guys I know, I can definitely look them directly in the eye. Most girls who at five feet five inches (which, I believe, is an average height for a woman) have to look up. My height was an advantage that I never took for granted and here, again, I was happy that I didn’t have to look up to him—figuratively or literally. In heels I could even be as tall or taller than him and I’ve always loved that part about being the height I am. I half smiled and slowly spoke, “Maybe you misunderstood. I don’t show anyone how it’s done. That wasn’t just for the audition. I handle this illusion on my own.”
Mac held still for a moment, and then glanced up from his clipboard, looking irritated. He pursed his lips and flared his nostrils. The tapping stopped. He dropped the clipboard from his stomach and held it in his hand while pointing his finger directly in my face. “Listen, lady, I don’t know who else you worked for, but we don’t do that Lone Ranger stuff around here. I’m the technical director and in charge of everyone’s safety, no matter how stupid you want to be. You do what I say, and I keep your pretty self from getting hurt. Got it?” I’m fairly certain he growled at me as he spoke.
Myriad thoughts ran through my head and I’m pretty sure several seconds passed in silence as we stared each other down. I could feel my hands tightening into fists. I really did want to punch him. I could see it happening. I’m not strong by any means but I’m also not a wimp. I wouldn’t have broken anything, but he would have been bruised and sore. I quickly ran through the possible outcomes of punching the technical director on my first day of work. It didn’t really seem to be the best idea.
I leaned into him so closely that it might have looked like to an outsider that I was about to kiss him. I huffed a little and my words were slow and deliberate. “I understand this is your job and all, but I don’t think you’re listening to me,” I hissed. I tapped his chest with my finger and he jolted a bit at my touch. He looked at me like I was speaking some kind of foreign language.
“I’m not listening? Lady, you need your ears cleaned,” he snarled back. He turned around to walk away, as if that was the end of our conversation. If he was trying to piss me off more, it was working.
I grabbed him by the shoulder, stopping him in his tracks and swinging him around to face me. My face had flushed and I’d raised my voice to a full yell. “And you need to get some manners. I’m not showing you how it’s done, okay? If we have a problem I can go to another show where the technical director doesn’t have a God complex. I’m not a girl who needs a knight in shining armor.” I was practically snarling at him.
Mac gritted his teeth and looked like he might hit me, but I knew that wasn’t really an option for him. Guys like him didn’t hit women, no matter how mad we made them. He laughed loudly. “Ha! Good luck finding a Technical Director who will treat you like the princess you clearly think you are. If I found you locked in a tower, I promise I’d leave you there.” Mac whipped around again and this time saw Riley, who had been standing just a few feet away from us the whole time. Riley was pretending not to be paying too much attention, but you could tell that was all he had been doing. I couldn’t blame him. Mac glowered at Riley and barked, “Where’s C.S.? Riley, go find Charles. Now!”
“On the move,” Riley replied with a nervous, almost panicked look on his face as he ran off to the side and disappeared.
About the Author
Lani Sarem always wanted to work in the entertainment industry. She began acting at age 3 and continued to act and perform through her early years. Lani started writing scripts when she was 11 and over the years has done everything from writing, acting, band managing and helping start and work festivals. She's managed bands like the Plain White T's and Blues Traveler and toured with everyone from Ryan Adams to Gnarls Barkley. Lani has appeared in films like Mall Cop 2 and Jason Bourne. Make sure to catch her in her latest film Trailer Park Shark on the Syfy channel this July as Roxy.
I have read a lot about this book in the last few days, but I'm going to ignore it and base my review on the book itself. I was given a free copy for an honest review. The idea of someone with magic, working on a magic show seemed like an interesting story.
There are many issues with this book. Over looking the issue of copyright infringement through the use of several song lyrics, the main character is quite unremarkable. In fact she seems quite conceited at times, but because she stammers when nervous she is supposed to be relatable.
The love triangle doesn't hold up well. Obviously drawing from other books, the author tries to create tension between Mac and Zade, but it is completely unfounded. He becomes angry and rude for no reason. There is no chemistry between them. Then there is the 'nice guy' Jackson. It doesn't hold up.
The book is repetitive to the point of being condescending to the audience. It states a point, then again, and then a third time in a couple of sentences. Along the lines of - he was short. I couldn't believe how short he was. Looking down on him, because of his height... It made it very tiresome to read.
A dramatic event such as one of the performers needing CPR from Zade is poorly handled. Zade starts CPR, then it jumps to Mac arguing with another guy. Then the woman is being taking away by paramedics!! No description of what is happening, of she revived her or anything.
I tried to give this book a chance but two thirds of it could easily be removed as repetition and still have a story. Not recommended
A Moment of Clarity
by Robert C. Brewster
In a small town, in the smallest county in the Florida panhandle, a twenty-five-year-old cold case murder is re-opened. A new female police officer visits a seniors’ residence to find out that the prime witness in the case, Jacob Jeebs, was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last year but is still in the early stages.
Both the judge and the sheriff are locals, and have been in their jobs for over thirty years and remember the initial investigation very well. In fact, the two of them along with Jacob Jeebs have been fishing together every Sunday morning for almost three decades.
This new information might lead to a conviction of the main suspect from twenty-five years ago. But what would the legal ramifications be? An Alzheimer’s patient has never testified at a trial of any kind before.
How can you put him on the witness stand? How can you not? He is the only one who knows the truth. Will the defense be able to tear his testimony apart or will the prosecution defend the validity of using a witness who can’t recall what he had for breakfast this morning, but can remember an event that happened years ago in astonishing detail? ‘A Moment of Clarity’, is a ground-breaking legal drama that answers those questions in a compelling, creative way.
The Piranha and the Goldfish
By Carole St-Laurent
The Piranha and the goldfish (Oscar and Marla): A piranha and a Goldfish share a friendship like no other. From carnivore to vegetarian, this story will warm your children’s heart. Ages 4 to 8
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"Not Again! The Adventures of Breanna and Allyson" by Sarah Hays
Blurb: It is a story based on the real-life events of her daughters. Allyson is always getting into trouble and Breanna has to get her out of sticky situations! Sometimes, it’s hard to be a big sister! But, through it all, they’re the best of friends!
23:27 by H.L. Roberts
Blurb: Fame. Money. Glory. These were all the things that you would expect from being famous. The bait that the producers of the industry would tempt you with to get you on their side. What they don't tell you though are all the inner tragedies that come along just as quickly. They don't tell you about the heartache that occurs when you realize that this wasn't what you wanted at all. They don't tell you about the pressure that's always on the verge of crushing you when you're forced to do everything that the public demands for and not what you truly desire. They don't tell you about the self hatred that would soon take over your entire being at the thought that you will never be good enough. No - they don't tell you these things at all. But, Lilith Rose will. When Lilith Rose, lead singer to one of the most famous rock bands around gets tired of all the lies and secrets that comes with being famous. She decides that it's time for all of it to stop and ends up revealing everything on a Facebook live stream. The result... "Part of me wants to die tonight, part of me wants it to be an accident, and part of me wants someone to notice and save me." - Lilith Rose
Lizzie in the Land Beyond by Susan McDonough Wachtman
Blurb: Hijacked by witches, kidnapped by a dwarf and enraptured by river sprites -- will Lizzie ever manage to go home? And if she can, will she want to? Lizzie is an exhausted honor student and an enthusiastic amateur folk singer. She wakes one day in a strange and terrifying new land. The women who revive her tell her she can never go home because they scooped her up when she was about to die. Lizzie must somehow navigate this fantastic land, try to determine how she got fished out of her life in the first place, help the people of the land understand that they are about to be colonized, and find a way, if any, to get home again. But if she does find a way — will she really want to go?
Summer of Love: Lips and Verse by Charles Edward York
Blurb: Summer, the time of sun, fun & reflection, the time when the soul has a chance to expand and contract. The time for someone to fully breathe and connect with the world around them. These 55 poems by Charles Edward York, poet activist, is a spontaneous exploration of his inner and outer universe during the summer of 2017. Some of these moments are intimate and others spiritual and philosophical. Either way, a summer one will remember.
Author: Karina Espinosa
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Cover Designer: Laura Hildago
Publisher: Black Quill Publishing
Publication Date: Aug. 11th, 2017
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Bodies drained of blood are scattered around New York City. With a serial killer on the loose, Mackenzie Grey is obsessed with solving the murders. She dives into her work at the Supernatural Investigative Unit to forget about the events that dismantled her Pack a year ago. When the killer makes Kenz the target, she falls down the rabbit hole and discovers she has a lot more to do with these murders than she realized.
As her past creeps up behind her, she must swallow her pride and seek aid from old and new friends.
In the epic finale of the Mackenzie Grey: Origins series, she will finally become the wolf she is destined to be…
Karina Espinosa is the Urban Fantasy author of the Sins of the Fallen series and the Mackenzie Grey novels. Infatuated with travel, pop culture, and the need to write everything down, she spends much of her days in front of a computer working on her next book, shopping online, and listening to music. With nomadic tendencies, she is currently resting her head in South Florida until the itch to move strikes again. You can usually catch her on Facebook, Instagram and live-tweeting during episodes of Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Orphan Black. Follow her on social media!
OMEGA: (Pre-Order): http://amzn.to/2uO1rGF
When a very disagreeable resident of the exclusive River Bend Retirement Resort is murdered, bestselling mystery writer Miriam Lipsky has to find the real killer to save her dear friend from prison. She finds the retirement home seethes with intrigue, passion, and jealousy. To make matters worse, it's hard to distinguish what residents actually saw from what they imagined.
Miriam finds she has to search for the killer while juggling an autistic grandson, a divorced daughter with a tendency to choose the wrong man, her best friend's overly friendly husband, and a stalker who who leaves her more and more threatening notes. To make matters worse, her rabbi who won't take no for an answer when it comes to fixing her up.
Miriam, a widow after a disastrous marriage, has given up on love. Just when she is sure that part of her life is over, someone new appears from a very unexpected place.
Murder at the River Bend Retirement Resort is a cozy mystery with a sleuth who has to learn on the job. Despite her best intentions, Miriam makes mistake after mistake and yet moves ever closer to discovering a cold blooded killer who has no remorse.
Miriam uses her skills as a mystery writer to help solve a murder at the local retirement home. When her friend is accused, she must investigate and help prove his innocence. An entertaining read with well developed characters. A must for mystery fans. I would definitely recommend it.
Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats
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Daddy told me years ago that to succeed in life I need a strong plan, the right tools, and the gumption to follow through. His words of wisdom helped me get elected homecoming queen, become co-captain of the cheerleading squad, and voted on the student council. Now I plan to use them to help me pull off my first burglary.
My plan is solid. I’ve also never backed down from a challenge, not even last year when Brittany Thomas became overly friendly with the entire football team in a sad attempt to deprive me of my crown. People say I started the rumor about the rash of STD cases spreading through the boys’ locker room faster than a brush fire. I didn’t, of course. Why start gossip when the squad of doctors from the local Health Department did it for me?
I take a deep breath as I enter the Trinity Building. At almost four o’clock on a Friday before a three-day weekend, the place is deader than a PTA meeting. It helps that today is the hottest July first on record for Central Texas and the air conditioning in this building is dismally subpar. The Trinity Corporation may claim to have the most upscale rental space in town, but one look at the gold leopard granite floor paired with peach-painted walls shows that’s a downright fib.
The only guard on duty leans back in his chair and sucks down a Sonic Route 44 Coke like his life depends on it. I wave as I pass the security desk, wearing a megawatt smile and fully confident in the strength of my lavender-scented Lavanila deodorant—vegan, of course. Deputy Dawg gives me his usual perv stare before returning to the comic book balanced on his knee.
Centex Therapy, LPC occupies most of the first floor office space. A small bell tinkles when I open the frosted glass door. What decorum the overall building lacks, the waiting room has in spades. Brown leather chairs sit on a bamboo rug and pastel paintings from local artists brighten the walls. A tall grandfather clock in the corner softly chimes four times. This late on a Friday means the room is empty of other patients. Perfect.
Jane, the receptionist, fans herself with a copy of Country Living. “Cutting it awfully close, Gracie. Go on in.”
Dr. McDozzle gives me a pained smile as I enter the room.
“Good afternoon, Miss Mason. Have a seat.” For a head shrinker, he’s incredibly formal. And a non-Texan, who hates football and sweet tea. I haven’t learned much more about him in the last month, but that’s enough to get him tarred and feathered if word got out.
The leather recliner squeaks when I sit down. “Thanks for seeing me on a Friday, Doc.” I twirl a strand of newly highlighted platinum hair around my finger. It goes wonderful with my bubblegum pink manicure. “Mr. Anderson, Daddy’s new lawyer, is now insisting I have two sessions a month with you. Of course, Mama’s lawyer says once a month is just fine, seeing how I’m such a well-adjusted high school senior and all. Almost a senior, I guess, since school’s not started.”
Dr. McDozzle straightens his glasses. “Yes, well, your parents do seem to have quite the barrage of attorneys involved in their divorce. Have you worked on the homework I gave you during our last session?”
This is such a waste of time. My parents have spent the last five years embroiled in a divorce dirtier than a greased pig-wrestling contest. Both sides of the family have more money than sense, much to the delight of every lawyer in the tri-county area. Not that I want my parents to get back together. Anytime they’re within spitting distance of each other, the tension between them gives me a migraine. Besides, if they hadn’t split up, I never would’ve met Ben.
Ben’s the son of Daddy’s ex-girlfriend. Until four months ago, they all lived together in Daddy’s condo. Ben is a sophomore at the local college and is truly hot, in a geeky, stud muffin, save-the-world, kinda way. Crushing on my almost stepbrother might seem a bit sketchy, but it’s legal—I Googled it twice.
Which means it’s time to start step one in my Get Ben Plan.
I toss my hair over my shoulder before pulling out a pink glitter notebook from my Eiffel Tower-shaped mini-purse.
“You wanted me to write down my feelings about my parents’ shared custody thing. Honestly, I don’t understand why the lawyers are so panty twisted about me spending a week with Mama and the next with Daddy. It means I get double the wardrobe. Hello? What girl would say no to that? It’s way better than Heather’s situation. I told you about her last time, I think. The girl with the hideous frizzed-out curls but drives a cute BMW Z4 roadster? Anyway, her parents are insane.” I continue a steady stream of babble until Dr. McDozzle’s eyes glaze over.
There’s no clocks in the room, but Dr. McDozzle keeps checking his watch. I’m sure the poor man created a nice therapy plan for me, but I’ve completely derailed it. Mama always says a girl has many tools to choose from in her arsenal—perfectly curled hair, well-placed boobs, and endless chatter are my faves. Besides, Daddy’s been paying therapists a fortune for years to show the divorce court how concerned he is about me. Dr. McDozzle’s earning his car payment today.
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Netflix — A writer’s inspiration for a cozy mystery series
Is it just me or is Netflix addicting? With an endless number of movies and television shows, and no commercials, us mere mortals don't stand a chance. And, I must say that I am happy they're around. In fact, there's one series of shows, I have enjoyed many a night. The show is better than warm milk (and doesn’t give me bad breath), but we'll have to become better acquainted before I give up what program I'm talking about. I also usually enjoy a bit of Netflix while I eat lunch, and during many of these, I was exposed to the television show Hart to Hart, which premiered in 1979.
Maybe you watched it on Netflix, as well, or know the show otherwise, but for those not familiar with it, Hart to Hart was about a self-made millionaire and his wife. They were both beautiful—inside and out—but murder was always around them. I fell in love with the couple and the interesting, yet light take on murder solving. This show inspired me to write the McKinley Mysteries—with twists thrown in, of course.
Meet Sean McKinley and Sara Cain. Two murder detectives working for Albany PD, who are partners on the job, but long to be far more than that. Unfortunately, love, it can complicate everything, and for these two, it's best they remain friends for the sake of their careers. But, what if, by some miracle they could both walk away from their day jobs... Would that be enough to change everything?
I’m tempting you to find out for yourself in The Day Job is Murder. Oh, and did I mention there’s a murder investigation sprinkled into this series introductory short story, too? Yep… Romance. Humor. Murder.
The bad guys aren't the only ones on his radar…
For Albany PD homicide detective Sean McKinley, catching killers is the easy part of his job. Working next to his beautiful partner, Sara Cain, is what’s difficult. It might have something to do with the fact that he’s fallen in love with her, though. Fortunately, she feels the same way about him. But she’s convinced they should just be friends.
If only there was some way to change her mind…
For more retailer links visit: http://carolynarnold.net/the-day-job-is-murder.
About the McKinley Mysteries:
Romance. Humor. Murder. Are you looking for a murder mystery without all the graphic violence and foul language? Something that you can enjoy in an afternoon and walk away feeling good about afterward? How about a dash of humor and romance? If so, meet former detectives Sean and Sara McKinley. When a billionaire leaves them all his money, they no longer have to work, but they find themselves sticking to what they’re good at—solving murders. Undercover, off the books, and around the world, they’ll get to the bottom of things…and romance it up along the way.
This is the perfect book series for fans of Hart to Hart, Castle, Colombo, Monk, Rockford Files, Psych, and Magnum PI.
About the Author
Carolyn Arnold is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series and has written nearly thirty books. Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark, POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.
The Day Job Is Murder features Sean and Sara, two cops who are secretly in love, but neither is willing to make the first move. Then Sean gets news that he has inherited a fortune. An entertaining read which was heavy on the romance factor and a good starting point for the series. I would recommend it.
I AM AN AUTHOR, BLOGGER AND A JOURNALIST.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”