Monday, September 25, 2017

NBtM: Keepers of the Stone by Andrew Anzur Clement

Keepers of the Stone
by Andrew Anzur Clement


GENRE:    Historical Young Adult Fantasy



Keepers of the Stone. Book One: The Outcasts

In a far corner of the British Empire, a mysterious girl gallops away on a horse, fleeing for her life.  Malka has sacrificed everything to protect an all-powerful stone from falling into the hands of the malevolent Urumi. The last in a Sect of thieves, the girl is a trained killer. But will her lethal skills be enough to defeat the Shadow Warriors and their superhuman abilities?

The fate of the stone may depend on Stas, a courageous youth born into exile from a country that is not on any map. Nell, his friend since childhood, has been caught up in the Dark Order's evil designs. The young outcasts must confront demons, real and imagined, with the help of mystical new allies. Their journey will take them to distant lands and change their lives forever.

Keepers of the Stone. Book Two: Exile

Stranded on the American frontier, Malka must stop at nothing to safeguard the all-powerful stone. She has come under the protection of a snarky felinoid – a shape-shifting girl who traces her lineage back to the court of Vlad Dracula. They must rescue with Henry, the American orphan whose thirst for knowledge could help decipher the clues to the next leg of their journey – if the Urumi don’t kill them first.

Alone in yet another strange land, Stas mourns the unthinkable loss of his friend, Nell.  Cryptic messages offer new hope. But the Dark Order has devised another strategy to outwit the band of misfits. Plans are betrayed and alliances are formed as history points to the final objective of their quest.

Keepers of the Stone Book Three: Homecoming
Stas and his companions have made their way to the partitioned homeland he has never visited. He dares to hope that Nell may be alive. The doomed princess Bozhena vows revenge on the Shadow Warriors, who have enlisted Malka’s most bitter enemy in their latest plot to control the powerful stone.

With the help of a streetwise gypsy girl, the unlikely travelers must outwit the Urumi and deliver the stone to its final destination. All they have to do is put aside the differences that threaten to tear them apart. The secrets of the past hold the key to the history of the future.


Excerpt Two: (Book Two: Exile)
Nell made up her mind.
She continued to back towards the door, holding off the servants who had followed her from the hall. She could hear the kitchen staff closing in behind her. Obviously, she could not fight them all. It was time to make use of her only remaining advantage.

Suddenly, Nell dropped the knife and bolted for the door. The servants moved after her in a wave. But, the Egypt-born girl managed to use her small size to evade them all. She reached the door and pushed upon it. The unvarnished paneling gave, allowing the escapee into the refreshingly brisk air of freedom.

The girl had not gotten two steps beyond it when a sudden force knocked her down and to the side. She looked up to see a dark form, flanked on its right by a formally dressed middle-aged man with brown hair and bleary eyes. There was nowhere left to go. Nell sat next to the exterior brick wall of the manor, subdued. She stared up as the black figure moved again.

It rushed toward her, colliding with her head. Nell felt her own skull make a cracking sound against the building’s masonry.

Then, all was silence.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Andrew Anzur Clement departed his native Los Angeles at the age of nineteen, with a curiosity for far-off lands. He quickly discovered an insatiable wonderlust that has led him to live, work and study in many fascinating places around the globe. Now in his late-twenties the unabashed opera fan is based in Europe. He continues to travel and read widely, finding new inspiration in the places he discovers. In his ‘other’ life Andrew is an academic researcher, focusing on  nationalism and identity formation. He enjoys including insights from his research in his books and the characters he inhabits.
On social media:
Purchase Links to book one (Books two and three already out):

Interview with Andrew Anzur Clement
1. What is your favorite part of this book and why?

It depends on my mood. Sometimes it's the humorous and sarcastic banter between the two main heroines after they first end up working together. At others it's the sympathetic tragedy of the situation that the fallen aristocrat who must fight against them finds herself in. There are days when I empathize with another of my characters who feels as if he is at home nowhere.  When all of these plot lines finally came together, I personally found that writing the last thirty pages of the trilogy amounted to an emotional rollercoaster.
Speaking overall, I'm most proud of how I imbue references from real history into my own fantasy universe, which the main characters -- as well as the reader -- must uncover for themselves as they embark on a quest that comes to encompass much more than they ever could have known at its outset        

2. If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

In terms of spending an entire day with one of my characters, definitely Bozhena. This is not only because she ended up being my favorite character in the books. Consigned by her father to serve the Dark Order of the Urumi, she was born into Rusified Polish aristocracy. Both of us share a love for the history and culture of Central Eastern Europe as well as for Opera (which I guess makes sense because I wrote her). I'd enjoy visiting the palaces where she grew up and hearing her perspectives  on what it was like being raised as a member of the Polish nobility during the partitioning of the country by Russia, Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the evening, I think we'd both enjoy taking in an opera during the evening -- one of the one's from Wagner, Mussorgsky  or something else suitably dark to suit both our personalities. Bozhena most often 'spoke' to me during the writing process; I'd enjoy hearing about her brutal, globetrotting experiences with the Dark Order and how she sees the future unfolding.    

3. If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?

Henryk Sienkiewicz. A famous Polish writer, who lived, wrote and traveled during the turn of the 20th century. He got his start by becoming the literary editor for a Warsaw newspaper and then proceeding to green light his own work. Mostly known for his historical epic fiction, he eventually won the Nobel prize in literature. His final work -- 'In Desert and Wilderness' -- is my favorite novel. It serves as the partial back-story for Keepers of the Stone. While my books are meant to be read on their own, they are also a bit of literary homage to a true giant.

4. Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

Depends. Some, such as the gypsy girl my characters meet in book three, or Stas's roommate in Switzerland, are partially based off of people I know. Others, such as Bozhena, I pulled directly out of my behind. Stas and Nell, originally appeared in 'in Desert and Wilderness.' Though, in my hands, they along with Malka -- the main character -- take on their own set of personalities and quirks. There's yet another -- Henry -- that was initially conceived of as an 'insert' character. But, as the process went along each of my characters took on lives, such that each, I suppose, is somehow both unique and  represents a part of me at the same time.       

5. What made you want to become a writer?

I was never planning this. Though, at some point, I think that I was always interested. At the age of 13 I sat down every day after school and wrote a full length screen play about a boy and his talking dog who run away to New York (I guess I was always somehow on this track as a certain type of shapeshifting  animal makes figures in Keepers).

I was inspired to tell the story that became Keepers of the Stone while living in Coventry, England. I was standing in front of the town's Lady Godiva statue, when that image of the girl on a horse seemed to speak to me.  I knew where she would go, what she would do and how Stas and Nell would become involved. It was a tale that I didn't have the power to resist telling; I'm currently working on Voyages of Fortune, the sequel trilogy to Keppers.          



Andrew Anzur Clement will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Follow the tour here:


  1. Thanks for hoisting!
    You can get a FREE copy of Keepers of the Stone: Book One sent right to your inbox, here

    1. Thank you for the free book!! Best wishes to you and your book!!

  2. congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  3. I enjoyed the interview, thank you.

  4. What is your favorite book of all time? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  5. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend! Looking forward to checking out this book!

  6. Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

  7. Excellent interview! I really enjoyed reading it!

  8. Great interview. Thanks for hosting.

  9. Great excerpt! These books sound like very interesting and intriguing reads!