Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bounding for Books Blog Tour

May 27, 2009 - In an effort to promote their books, six children’s authors published by Guardian Angel Publishing team together to tour the blogosphere in a two-week long virtual book tour.

Bounding for Books Blog Tour will last from June 1st until June 15th. Blog stops will include reviews, interviews, spotlights and inspirational articles. People who leave comments will be eligible for prizes.

Participating authors include:

Mayra Calvani, author of Crash!,

Jennifer Gladen, author of A Star in the Night,

Donna Shepherd, author of Dotty’s Topsy Tale,

Kim Chatel, author of A Talent for Quiet,

Margot Finke, author of Rattlesnake Jam,

Shari Lyle-Soffe, author of Nothing Stops Noah,

Also joining the tour is Joy Delgado, publisher and illustrator of Zooprise Party/Fiesta Zoorpresa,

Each author will be hosting another author three times a week (on Monday, Wednesday and Friday) for the duration of the two-week tour. For more information, visit

Aggressive book promotion is a must these days for all authors, but especially for small press authors whose publishers don’t have the resources for expensive advertising. It’s wonderful to see authors team together like this in order to bring visibility to their books and their publisher.

For readers and book lovers alike, this is a wonderful opportunity to check out the latest print and electronic titles for your children’s summer reading.

For more information, contact Mayra Calvani at mayra.calvani(

Visit the publisher’s website at

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Review - Magickeepers: The Eternal Hourglass Bk 1

by: Erica Kirov

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (May 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1402215010
ISBN-13: 978-1402215018
Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches

Magickeepers: The Eternal Hourglass is simply amazing. This is a story of great imagination, magic, and the power to believe in oneself. For lovers of Harry Potter, this new series by Erica Kirov is sure to be a huge hit. Geared toward middle school age children, I sincerely feel that Magickeepers will find an avid audience that far surpasses that age range.

With summer on our heels and many young voices complaining that they are bored, or have nothing to do, Magickeepers will provide that engaging entertainment that both parents and children will love. This is a story that will engulf it's reader and send them on a wondrous adventure of good vs. evil and magic galore. I dare not forget to mention the powerful yet protecting white tigers, polar bears and a rare breed of horse called Akhal-Teke.

Within this amazing story, the author brings to surface such known names as Houdini and Rasputin, powerful people of their time, and sure to pique the reader's interest to read about these people outside of the walls of Magickeepers. The delightful way that Ms. Kirov intertwines historical facets throughout Magickeepers, brings an even greater dimension to the story.

As young Nick Rostov turns thirteen, his life is suddenly twisting out of control and he wakes up to discover himself in a strange room, complete with a ceiling of clouds that actually appear to be moving before his very eyes. He is told that he is a gazer - a rare and powerful talent from a long family line of magickeepers. His mother tried to escape while she was pregnant with him, only to have her life taken away by a powerful Shadowkeeper, leaving her infant son behind to be raised by his loving yet "normal" father.

It is shortly after he awakes in this strange room that he is told of his family linage and the struggle the Magickeepers face to keep themselves and their powerful magic hidden from the Shadowkeepers. Once Nick comes to join the family, however, it is not long before Rasputin finds him and tries to strike a bargain. Nick has something powerful that Rasputin wants and he will stop at nothing to get it. However, will Nick be able to discover what that desired object is before it is too late? Can he save himself, as well as the Magickeeper family that he has come to care about?

The ability of an hourglass to turn back time is a powerful tool, though a highly dangerous one, if it is placed in the wrong hands. Magickeepers: The Eternal Hourglass is a story that transcends time and age. It is sure to become an instant hit and I, for one, anxiously await the next installment in this magical series.

Now, to give a sense of the writing talents of the author, Erica Kirov, and a peek into the story itself, I wanted to share a couple of passages from the story.

pg 15-16:

Suddenly, Nick saw a flash. He jumped, quickly moving his head from left to right as if to shake the images from his mind.

"He can see!" Madame B. whispered loudly. "Tell us, my leetle one. Tell us."

Nick blinked hard several times. The crystal ball was foggy now, but he could make out a scene. His temples pounded, and for a minute, he thought he might throw up. The room felt hot. "I see..." He squinted. "I see a desert. It must be Las Vegas."

"Never assume, zaychik," the old woman warned.

"Sand. Lots of sand. It has to be Vegas. And there's...the sphinx. It's Vegas. The Luxor Hotel."

"Do you see neon?" Grandpa asked.

"Hmm, funny." Nick looked hard. "I don't. Wait...there's a pyramid. And camels."

Grandpa leaned forward. "Go ahead, Nick, what else?"

"And...and there's a man, in robes. And around him are men with swords."

Grandpa slapped Madame B. on the arm. "I told you!" he beamed.

"He's...there are birds around him. The men are cutting the birds' heads off with swords." He pressed forward, his nose almost touching the ball. "And he's making them come alive again. The man in the robes. It's a trick - an illusion. He's a magician!"

Nick's head ached, and he fell back against the chair feeling strangely tired. The crystal ball looked like a regular glass ball again. "What happened?"

"A vonderful thing," Madame B. smiled at him. "A most miraculous thing. Our world has been waiting for you, child. You, Nicholai Rostov, have the gift."

pg 55-56:

..."Well, antiquities, my dear Kolya *(as a side note, this is Nick's nickname in the story*), have been robbed and stolen, gained by trickery and forgery, and even murder, throughout time. Magic relics are no different."

"Magic relics?"

He nodded. "Magic takes many forms. The relics can make some spells more powerful, more potent. My great-great-grandfather foolishly believed he was becoming part of modern society by trading the hourglass for the watch. But in reality, the Eternal Hourglass was far more powerful than he even realized. He never should have let Houdin get his hands on it."

"Who was Houdin?"

"An illusionist. The father of modern illusions. Trickery with ether, sleight of hand, and magnets and automatons."

"Was he related to Harry Houdini?"

"Houdini took his stage name from Houdin."

"So was the watchmaker a Magickeeper?"

"He wasn't one of us, but he bribed and traded for magic relics. After the hourglass was traded, it then switched hands many times throughout history - and has been lost to us. Like so many of our relics. We spend a great deal of time hunting for them. The lesson here, Koyla, is that we learn from the past. We must honor and treasure every bit of our magic as sacred."


I sincerely hope that you get a chance to read this wonderful and imaginative tale by Erica Kirov. What an excellent book for parents and children to share and talk about together! A great way to add a bit more fun to summer!

*overall rating 5/5


About Magickeepers: The Eternal Hourglass:

What would you do for an hourglass that stopped time?

Nick Rostov's father is the worst stage magician in Las Vegas. He can barely pull a rabbit out of a hat. So it is a strange morning indeed when Nick wakes up to find himself on the top floor of the Winter Palace Casino with a promise from the greatest magician in the world to teach him magic.

And not just stage magic. Real magic. Nick sets out to learn about his mother's family, the strange Russian clan of magicians that secretly run the Winter Palace. But there is a catch: Nick has the sight, the ability to see into the past. And so it must fall to him, with only his cousin Isabella to help, to pick up the long-buried clues and unravel the mystery of The Eternal Hourglass, the only magic artifact ever created that can actually stop time.


About Erica Kirov:

Erica Kirov is an American writer of Russian descent. Though she is not from a family of magicians, she is from a proud family of Russians, and she grew up hearing stories of their lives there.

Erica lives in Virginia with her husband, four children, three dogs, parrot, her son's snake (she really hates snakes), and a pet hedgehog. She is busy at work on the next Magickeepers novel.

You can visit Erica Kirov's
Blog here:
Magickeepers Website here: