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
About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”