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Monday, September 20, 2010

Laura Bickle: ANYA KALINCZYK


Author: Laura Bickle (pseudonym for Laura Mailloux)
Series: ANYA KALINCZYK
Plot Type: UF
Ratings: V-4, S-4, H-3
Publisher and Titles: Pocket
       Embers (2010)
       Sparks (2010)


     Anya Kalinczyk is an arson investigator for the Detroit Fire Department. Anya is a psychic medium (here called a Lantern) who can destroy ghosts by absorbing them into her body. She is always accompanied by Sparky, a ghostly, electricity-loving salamander (a mythical being who can live in or withstand fire) who conceals himself in Anya's copper neck collar. Sparky's antics provide much of the humor in the series as he constantly causes electrical accidents as he plays with various electrical appliances (e.g., causing a Bunsen burner to flame up and destroy the city morgue—not so funny). Anya leads a lonely life, blaming herself for a childhood tragedy and always feeling like an outsider.


     In Embers (book 1), a serial firebug hits Detroit, and finding him becomes Anya's sole purpose in life. Anya is a member of the Detroit Area Ghost Researchers (DAGR), a group of ghost busters, and her primary love interest is Brian, a technology geek and fellow DAGR member. In book 1, however, she is also attracted to her prime suspect.


     The second book (Sparks) finds Anya questioning Brian's integrity as she battles a power-hungry celebrity psychic and meets a sexy supernatural who lives mostly in the Afterworld. A new love interest for future books?


     Bickle provides a fine sense of place as she describes the failing city of Detroit. Bickle also writes urban fantasy under the name Alayna Williams.

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