Please join me in welcoming Laura Bickle here today to Dark Faerie Tales. The first book in her Anya Kalinczyk series, Embers, was recently released on March 30, 2010. The second book, Sparks, will hit shelves on August 31, 2010. Embers is also part of my Debut Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge.
Laura has generously provided an autographed copy of Embers for one lucky commenter. Details are listed at the end of the post.
Magical Places: Detroit
by Laura Bickle
Some places are magical.
There are some places that lodge in your memory like a splinter. Places that have their own pull, that bit of extra gravity that pulls pieces of stories around them.
Detroit’s a city lush with storytelling possibilities. The landscape provides so many real-world places with history behind them that made Detroit an irresistible setting for EMBERS. Given Anya’s ties to fire as an arson investigator and the owner of a fire salamander familiar, Detroit was a natural choice as a location. It’s got a history of fires going back to the one that leveled the city in 1805, right up to Devil’s Night arsons in the twentieth century.
My husband is from Detroit, and still has family in the area. There’s nothing like having a tour guide to lead you to all the unusual places that have stories to tell. Some places are well known, some are being forgotten, but all are special.
The Detroit Salt Mine appears in EMBERS. It was closed down for a period of time, is another such magical place. Stretching for miles beneath the city, it’s a series of glittering caverns. You can taste the salt and feel it crunching underfoot. It made the perfect lair for a sleeping dragon in my books: http:/www.detroitsalt.com/home.htm
The Detroit Museum of Arts is another setting that captured my imagination. DIA houses a piece of the Ishtar Gate, and the tiles show an image of a Babylonian dragon-like creature called a Sirrush: http://www.dia.org/object-info/b50e37fa-0803-425c-92c9-d009262b1b7e.aspx?position=1 This artifact inspired the idea that Anya has a piece of the mythological goddess, Ishtar, within her. It also gave me a name for the dragon sleeping in the Salt Mine. The giant dragon, the granddaddy of all fire elementals, became a Sirrush in the world of EMBERS.
In SPARKS, the sequel, I make use of Michigan Central Station as a way station for ghosts. Though all the glass is broken out, and the surfaces are covered in rubble and graffiti, it still has beautiful bones that speak to a time when Detroit was known as “The Paris of the East”: http://www.forgottendetroit.com/mcs/photos.html
I look forward to continuing to explore magical places in the city, and I hope that you will join me on the journey.
Laura Bickle has worked in the unholy trinity of politics, criminology, and technology for several years. She and her chief muse live in the Midwest, owned by four mostly-reformed feral cats. Her short fiction has appeared here and there. Embers, her debut novel, is first in an exciting new urban fantasy series that continues with her forthcoming second novel, Sparks.
Laura also writes as Alayna Williams. Alayna’s “debut” will be Dark Oracle, Pocket Juno’s June 2010 release.
Synopsis (Product Description):
Truth burns. Unemployment, despair, anger—visible and invisible unrest feed the undercurrent of Detroit’s unease. Homes and businesses are increasingly invaded by phantoms and now, with the annual destruction of Devil’s Night approaching, a supernatural arsonist is setting blazes to summon a fiery ancient power that will leave the city in ashes. A sizzling debut from a red-hot new author.
By day, Anya Kalinczyk is an arson investigator in the Detroit Fire Department. At night—accompanied by her elemental familiar, a salamander named Sparky, and an eccentric group of ghost hunters—Anya pursues malicious spirits. The rarest form of psychic medium, a “Lantern,” Anya doesn’t allow spirits to communicate through her with the physical world like most mediums, she devours restless harmful souls and incinerates them. She’d like to get closer to Brian, a ghost-hunting techno-wiz, but a lifetime of those she loves getting hurt makes her hold back. Her two roles mesh when, on the trail of a serial firebug, she discovers an arsonist is attempting to use the fires to rouse Sirrush, a supremely powerful elemental, from the salt mine beneath the city of Detroit. Anya must capture the arsonist before Devil’s Night, when the spell will be complete and Sirrush will rise to raze the city.
One lucky commenter will have a chance to win an autographed copy of Embers.
To enter, leave a comment below answering the following question:
Have you ever had any paranormal experiences or know any good ghost stories?
1. +1 entry for answering the question (required).
2. +2 entries for becoming a follower of this blog and Dark Faerie Tales on Twitter.
3. +3 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).
4. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.
5. Please include your email address in your comment.
6. Giveaway ends Wednesday, June 2nd at 11:59 PM EST.
7. The winner will be picked with the help of Random.org.
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