11 November 2014

Win a copy of Forcing the Ace

The contest is now closed. The winner was announced at "Winner of Forcing the Ace."

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that a Canadian book had recently been published with a dedication that read, in part, "To the kids at magic camp".

You may remember that a little over a year ago, writer Erin Thomas visited Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Camp.  She was doing research for her recently published novel, "Forcing the Ace."

I was generously provided a copy of the book to read.  Read it I did -- all in one night!  Although the book is intended for children ages 11 to 14, I really enjoyed it.  (Say what you will about my smarts or reading ability!)

Here's the teaser from the back cover:
Sometimes the real magic happens offstage.
Alex wants to enter the Silver Stage magic competition, but he needs a sponsor. Jack, a veteran card wizard, is willing to take on the role, but only if Alex agrees to team up with Zoe, another young magician—and Alex’s rival. Working with Jack and sharing the spotlight with Zoe, Alex comes to see that there are other ways to be a magician besides competing—and that magic is about entertaining people, not fooling them. 

I am impressed with the ease with which Erin writes about the technical aspects of performing.  She mentions Tarbell and Erdnase.  There's a nicely placed Vernon quote.  References to Copperfield, Blaine and Neil Patrick Harris made me smile.  The idea that magic can be used to help with physical rehabilitation (much like Magicana's My Magic Hands program at Holland Bloorview), is a nice addition to the story.  Some adult magicians could stand to learn one of the performance lessons realized in the novel.

It's not all hard work and sleights for the characters either.  There's plenty of pre-teen and teenage drama to keep readers entertained.  The bits that are specific to magic, are fairly accurate.

My favourite line in the book is one in which I'm paraphrased.  Five hundred points* to the first person who can identify that line.

If there's a young reader in your life who likes magic, this would make a nice gift.  (Or perhaps a giveaway to audience members or birthday children.)

Pick-up a copy to see what magic shop influenced Erin, or to see the fictional novel helped along by so many Canadian magicians.  On the Acknowledgments page Erin mentions, among others:  Tom Ogden, Dana M, Jeff Pinsky, Jen and "Magic" Mike Segal, Lee Asher, Shawn Farquhar, Aaron Fisher, Justin Flom, Bobby Motta, Dan Wiebe, Ali Shelley, Alex Seaman, Chris Mayhew, Rosemary Reid, Quinton, Phil, C.J., Griffin, Charles, Ben, Tyler, Mike, Johnah and Phil H.


I have been offered a copy of the book, "Forcing the Ace," from the Orca Limelights series (an ongoing series of performing arts novels),  to give away to my readers.  The winner will receive a hard copy or an e-version of the book (winner's choice).

I will be holding a random draw to determine the winner.  (There will be one winner.)  The draw results will be posted Wednesday, November the 19th, 2014.

To enter:
  1. Leave a comment on this post, with a piece of advice you'd give to a a young person starting out in a performance art.  (You do not need to be a magician to enter the contest.)(Your piece of advice could simply be, "don't stop!")
  2. Leave your name, along with a way that I may contact you (e-mail address, phone number, website, Twitter handle etc.) so that I can notify you if you win.
  3. If you win, you must be willing to provide your full name and contact information for me to share with Orca Book publishers.

The fine print:
  1. To participate in the contest, you must be 18 years of age or older.
  2. One entry per person.
  3. This giveaway is open to Canadian residents.  (This contest adheres to the Quebec Sweepstakes Laws dated Nov-01-2014.)
  4. This giveaway is void where prohibited by law.
  5. If you experience difficulties leaving a comment, you may e-mail it to me for posting.  (I am not responsible if your e-mail is misdirected or gets stuck in my Spam folder.)
  6. You must be able to use the book as offered.  (No cash value will be offered.)
  7. The odds of winning depend on how many people enter the contest.
  8. Contest closes Tuesday, November the 18th at 11:59pm EST.

With thanks to Amy Collins from Orca Book Publishers for generously making this book available to you!

*  To borrow a phrase from Drew Carey in "Whose Line Is It Anyway?", the points don't matter.


  1. Practice! - Lee Asher (Lee at LeeAsher.com)

  2. Work on one thing at a time when you are just starting out. Roger Boucher (.com)

  3. Be willing to take a risk and try. Tara Hutchinson

  4. This is a Twitter entry from @RobertLAMAR: My advice?Prepare. Practice. Perform. Perfect. Repeat.

  5. This is an entry from Jay:

    READ MORE BOOKS ABOUT MAGIC! There is SO much knowledge and wisdom to be gained from books. They are always (IMHO) your best investment (in terms of both time and money).