Letter to Readers from Author of Embers Laura Bickle
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.
Thank you so much for joining Anya and Sparky in their world. It’s an odd world, intersecting with our own familiar landscape in a few places, like Serpent Mound and the Detroit Salt Mine. These places exist in our environment and theirs, nearly identically.
Other aspects of Anya’s city are darker and stranger than our everyday world, featuring a city overwhelmed by phantoms preying on fears. Instead of the urban legend of a crocodile wandering the city sewers, an ancient dragon sleeps beneath the streets. The myth of Ishtar, dusty and silent in our own world, comes to life in Anya’s. Those fingers of myth have the power to dig into her skin and claim her.
With EMBERS, I was intrigued by the idea of a hidden world, of something that exists without revealing itself to most people. Most residents of Anya’s world could be said to be like residents of our own, convinced that they can touch and see everything that exists. But Anya and Sparky know that there’s much more beneath, that there are invisible forces gnawing at the margins, magick slowly unraveling, an environment feeding on unease.
In that sense, the city of Detroit became a character of its own, every bit as alive to me as Anya and Sparky and Drake. It felt beautiful and sad and full of determination. At its best moments, it felt hopeful triumphant over the shadows.
These characters have taken up a great deal of real estate in my heart, and I hope that you enjoy them.
*Novel Reads has this book as next on the reading pile, so review to follow soon!