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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Laura Bickle Book Tour

About That Love Thing...
by Laura Bickle

Love’s a weird thing.

It’s a weird thing to experience, and it’s definitely a weird thing to write about. Trying to distill that confused, irrational feeling onto the page is like trying to hold a raw egg in your hand. You think it should be easy. After all, everyone’s experienced some kind of love, right? You manage to hold the slimy, viscous egg for an instant, and then it oozes through your fingers.

In EMBERS, my protagonist has a hard time hanging onto the yolk, too. She’s got love in her life, many kinds…but, as for so many of us in real life, there’s no one person that can be her everything. Anya is a fire investigator by day. By night, she works with an eccentric group of ghost hunters, chasing down malicious spirits. She’s the rarest kind of medium, a Lantern – where other mediums can communicate with spirits, she devours them. She’s an outsider among outsiders. She’s got one foot in the material world, and one foot outside of it.

She does experience unconditional love, though. Anya has a fire salamander familiar, Sparky. She’s had him since she was a child. He doesn’t speak, and no one else can see him. But he’s always been at her side, and always will be. Even if that means that he won’t sleep in his own bed, which certainly interferes with Anya’s love life.

Anya has the love of friendship from some of the members of her ghost hunting group. Some of the group’s members are afraid of her. But Katie, the group’s witch, is like a sister to her. And with Brian, the group’s tech guru, there’s the chance for something more. Brian’s ordinary. He has no special powers, no ability to see into the darkness beyond what his instruments show him. And Anya loves him because he’s ordinary. He’s a touchstone into the solid, physical world. He’s human.

But Anya, like all the rest of us, wants to be understood. She wants someone to see the darkness in her, and tell her that she’s not a monster. That’s why she falls for Drake, a serial arsonist. He’s the only other Lantern she’s ever met. He understands who and what she is. She doesn’t need to hide or pretend around him. Only problem is…he’s using his power to awaken an ancient power that threatens to raze Detroit on Devil’s Night. Drake’s lost touch with his humanity, which is the thing she loves most about Brian.

Love is weird. Love is both reflective – we want someone like us, who understands us, and won’t judge us. It’s also a search for completeness. We want someone who balances us, who is more human, more honorable, kinder – the kind of person who makes us want to be a better person.

I don’t know if that kind of person will ever exist for Anya, someone who combines all these qualities. I suspect that she’ll have to learn to find those qualities within herself before she’ll be a good partner to someone else.

But I like watching her search for it.

Anya Kalinczyk #1
Pocket Juno Books
Mass Market Paperback, $7.99
ISBN: 978-1439167656
April 2010

One of the most promising debut novels I’ve read in a great while… I’d highly recommend this book to anybody who reads fantasy. It reminds me in many regards…of another exceptional first novel…Emma Bull’s seminal War for the Oaks, and there’s not much higher praise that I can give.”
           —Elizabeth Bear on

Bickle has something great in Anya. Embers has everything: demons, ghosts, dragons, love, sex, police, and murder.”
           —M.L.N. Hanover, bestselling author of Darker Angels

Gritty but never grim, Embers is a truly urban fantasy, where the soul of a city haunts every page. I can’t wait for more of Anya and the unforgettable Sparky!”
           —Jeri Smith-Ready, award-winning author of Bad to the Bone and Shade

Unemployment, despair, anger--visible and invisible unrest feed the undercurrent of Detroit's unease. A city increasingly invaded by phantoms now faces a malevolent force that further stokes fear and chaos throughout the city.

Anya Kalinczyk spends her days as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, and her nights pursuing malicious spirits with a team of eccentric ghost hunters. Anya--who is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern--suspects a supernatural arsonist is setting blazes to summon a fiery ancient entity that will leave the city in cinders. By Devil's Night, the spell will be complete, unless Anya--with the help of her salamander familiar and the paranormal investigating team --can stop it.

Anya's accustomed to danger and believes herself inured to loneliness and loss. But this time she's risking everything: her city, her soul, and a man who sees and accepts her for everything she is. Keeping all three safe will be the biggest challenge she's ever faced.

A free excerpt is available here.

EMBERS is available now from and Barnes & Noble.

Anya Kalinczyk #2
Pocket Juno Books
Mass Market Paperback, $7.99
ISBN 978-1439167687
September 2010

The second book in Bickle’s series about Anya Kalinczyk is just as wonderful as the first—Anya is a compelling and likable protagonist and Bickle does an outstanding job in her portrayal of the city of Detroit; there are ruins, yes, but also hope in the ashes. Anya never takes herself too seriously and there is a scene in a baby supercenter that is absolutely not to be missed. (4 stars)
                 - RT Book Reviews

...a charming and inventive read.
                 -Elizabeth Bear, Realms of Fantasy Magazine, December 2010

Anya Kalinczyk is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern, who holds down a day job as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department—while working 24/7 to exterminate malicious spirits haunting a city plagued by unemployment and despair. Along with her inseparable salamander familiar, Sparky, Anya has seen, and even survived, all manner of fiery hell—but her newest case sparks suspicions of a bizarre phenomenon that no one but her eccentric team of ghost hunters might believe: spontaneous human combustion.
After fire consumes the home of elderly Jasper Bernard, Anya is stunned to discover his remains—or, more precisely, a lack of them; even the fiercest fires leave some trace of their victims—and she is sure this was no naturally occurring blaze. Soon she’s unearthed a connection to a celebrity psychic who preys on Detroit’s poor, promising miracles for money. But Hope Solomon wants more—she’s collecting spirits, and in a frantic race against time, Anya will face down an evil adversary who threatens her fragile relationship with her lover, her beloved Sparky’s freshly hatched newts, and the wandering souls of the entire city.

SPARKS is available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble

A free excerpt is available here.

Author Bio:
Laura Bickle has an MA in sociology-criminology (research interests: fear of crime and victimology) and a BA in criminology. She has worked in and around criminal justice since 1997. Although she does read Tarot cards, she's never used them in criminal profiling or to locate lost scientists. She recently took up astronomy, but for the most part her primary role in studying constellations and dark matter is to follow her amateur astronomer-husband around central Ohio toting the telescope tripod and various lenses.
Writing as Laura Bickle, she's the author of EMBERS and SPARKS for Pocket - Juno Books. Writing as Alayna Williams, she's the author of DARK ORACLE and ROGUE ORACLE.
More info on her urban fantasy and general nerdiness is here:
Laura/ Alayna’s blogs
She’s a proud member of Word Whores.

1 comment:

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