Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Spotlight on Urban Fantasy: Guest Post with Laura Bickle + GIVEAWAY!

So the moment has arrived to unveil one of the mystery authors I have alluded to. I discovered this author in May when I won her debut novel Embers and instantly fell for Anya's world and especially her quirky, unique and so lovable salamander familiar. Since then she is solidly on my Must-Buy-Authors List.

So can you guess who I'm talking about?


Please give it up for the fantastic Laura Bickle!

Laura was a darling and set me up a date with Anya, who was just as awesome as I imagined. Here she gives us a behind the scenes post on living with a fire salamander, read on and then scroll down for the giveaway.

EmbersLiving with Salamanders
by Anya Kalinczyk

I didn't think that living with a salamander could get any worse.

I've been told there's a reason that witches won't take a fire salamander for a familiar. They're notoriously unpredictable. Sparky, my very own fire salamander, takes the shape of a five-foot long speckled hellbender.

He's fascinated with electrical fields, the only thing he can really affect on the physical plane. He's blown up my microwave and destroyed cell phones by chewing on them. He set off the sprinklers at the Detroit Crime Lab while playing with a Bunsen burner, destroying evidence for hundreds of cases.

I can't own any really cool electronic devices. I don't own a toaster, a cell phone or a television. My car is a 1974 Dodge Dart, which has very little electronics to speak of for him to screw with.

And we won't even talk about how much Sparky dislikes the idea of me having a love life. He's incredibly possessive. There's no way to get in the mood with a hellbender sitting at the edge of your bed, staring at you and slapping his tail on the mattress. Salamanders feel that sleeping in a pet bed is beneath them.


He's really not a bad salamander. He means well.

I mean, there are wonderful parts. Often, Sparky's a great help to me, both as an arson investigator and as a ghost hunter. Though he's invisible to most people, he's truly my touchstone and my guardian. He's loved me since I was a child. He slept in my crib and has watched over me as I grew into my power as a Lantern. I devour ghosts and incinerate them. It's not a pretty process. It's ugly, painful, and costs me a great deal. But he loves me, anyway. He sleeps in bed with me like an overgrown dog, cuddling his Glow-Worm toy.

I thought that we'd sort of reached a balance, after a few decades of this. But then, Sparky decided to get creative. Not that I don't have enough on my plate...I'm investigating a string of spontaneous human combustion cases that I'm trying to tie to a celebrity psychic. A psychopomp at the morgue tells me that this psychic is trying to overtake the Underworld itself, through the astral realm. I've got things to do, but...

SparksI got up this morning to find Sparky purring over a nest of eggs that he laid in my bathtub. Salamander eggs. Fifty-one of them.

One salamander is a handful.

What am I going to do with an army of them?


Maybe invade the Underworld?

Thank you Anya and Laura! :-)  Though Sparky is adorable, I bet life with him is not easy at all...

Since publishing Embers Laura has been very busy: Sparks, book #2 in the Anya Kalinczyk series came out on 31 August 2010 and she pens the Oracle series under the pseudonym of Alayna Williams (book #1 Dark Oracle came out on 25 May 2010 and book #2 Rogue Oracle will be released on 22 February 2011).

Dark Oracle      Dark Oracle

You can find Laura at her official website and her blog.

Isn't Laura so very lucky? I mean not only did she get 1 gorgeous eye-catching, attention grabbing cover, but she has 4!! I seriously have a hard time choosing a favourite, they all look beautiful. They are more than books, they are shelf decoration too :-p


Laura has very generously offered 3 copies of Sparks, Book #2 in the Anya Kalinczyk series to lucky commentators of Ex Libris!! Woohoo! :-D  Thank you Laura!!


Giveaway rules:

1. Leave a meaningful comment or question to either Anya or Laura.
2. Leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.

Giveaway is international and will end on Friday December 10.

Thank you Laura and good luck!

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