Embers (Anya Kalinczyk, #1) by Laura Bickle

Sparks (Anya Kalinczyk

Sparks (Anya Kalinczyk #2) by Laura Bickle

Anya Kalinczyk series by Laura Bickle / Alana Williams.  

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Urban Fantasy 

Series Description or Overview Edit

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 is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern. Anya helps to eradicate malicious spirits, along with her salamander familiar, Sparky ~ Fang-tastic

Book One; There is a firebug on the loose that is determined to burn Detroit to the ground to attract some ancient entity. Anya must find a way to stop him before it is too late. ~ Faerie Tale Books

Book Two: Anya battles a power-hungry celebrity psychic and meets a supernatural who lives mostly in the Afterworld. ~ Fang-tastic

Lead's Species Edit

Lantern — special kind of medium

Primary Supe Edit


What Sets it ApartEdit

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

Books in Series Edit

Anya Kalinczyk series:

  1. Embers (2010)
  2. Sparks (2010)

Shorts, Anthologies and GuidesEdit

Series Under Other Pen NameEdit

Oracle series, also called

World Building Edit

Setting Edit

Detroit, Michigan; Afterworld


  • Uktena
  • Babylon
  • Ishtar
  • St. Florian
  • Ohio
  • Dart
  • Hamtramck
  • Devil’s Bathtub
  • Great Hall

The Supernatural Elements Edit

psychic medium, salamander familiar, ghosts, Detroit Area Ghost Researchers (DAGR), Afterworld, Dragon,

(Note: A Dragon was mentioned in an interview, the link made this page not act right, wouldn't switch modes, publish or open—All the links were deleted but the text was kept. Anything not annotated for source can be found at: YzhaBella's Bookshelf website—article title: Interview w/ Laura Bickle "Anya Kainczyk" series, Google should deliver results).

Glossary: Edit

  • Salamander: are the elemental avatars of fire

Groups & Organizations:Edit

World / Protagonist Edit

Per Author: "Anya's the rarest type of spiritual medium—a Lantern. Where other mediums allow spirits to use their hands and voices to communicate, Anya incinerates malicious ghosts. She’s an outsider among outsiders. She’s got one foot in the material world, and one foot outside of it. — Anya is an interesting heroine in that she's very much a reluctant heroine in the hero's journey tradition—she has to be dragged down the road. She's the only person who can do what she does in terms of exorcising ghosts—and that's a very difficult power. It has a severe personal cost, and she's had to insulate herself from the world a great deal. The use of magic has a price, and she's well aware that it can kill her and hurt those around her." ~ 

Sparky the salamander familiar, Sidekick

salamander familiar, Sidekick

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. ~ Fang-tastic

Sidekick: Sparky the Salamander Edit

Sparky — salamander familiar — Sidekick to Anna — ghostly, electricity-loving

Per Laura Bickle: "Sparky hopped out onto the page, wiggling his tail and looking for trouble. He takes the form of a five-foot speckled hellbender salamander. He loves devouring electronics and sleeps at the foot of Anya's bed, cuddling his Glow Worm toy." (whole quote below in notes)

Characters Edit

Fang-tastic Fiction: Laura Bickle: ANYA KALINCZYK

Characters What About
Anya Kalinczyk psychic medium: "Lantern" arson investigator for the Detroit Fire Department
Sparky salamander familiar, Sidekick loves devouring electronics and sleeps at the foot of Anya's bed; mythical being who can live in or withstand fire;
Hope Solomon celebrity psychic collecting spirits
Brian technology geek, DAGR member love interest
Drake Ferrer
Leslie Carpenter
Calvin Dresser

To expand the table, right-press or (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add row.

Laura Bickle

Laura Bickle

Laura Bickle

Laura Bickle

Author Edit

Laura Bickle / Alana Williams

Bio: Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology – Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs, also writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams. — THE HALLOWED ONES and THE OUTSIDE are her latest young adult novels. ~ Author's website

Tell us a little bit about yourself?: "I'm a bit of an odd duck. My background is in information technology, criminology, and library science. I live in the Midwest, where my husband and I are owned by five semi-reformed feral cats. My hobbies include astronomy and belly dancing...I do neither one well, but I enjoy them."
What inspired you to become an author?: I've always been intrigued by the idea of a hidden supernatural world existing beneath our own. Fantasy allows me to explore the "what if's." I can allow the story to unfold and let it be unpredictable as it develops. It's like daydreaming on paper. ~ 

Cover ArtistEdit

  • Artist: Chris McGrath — Anya Kalinczyk series
  • Artist: Shane Rebenschied — Hallowed Ones (See Artist List) Source: 

Publishing InformationEdit

  • Publisher: Pocket,
  • Author Page:
  • Bk-1-Embers: Paperback, 359 pages, Publ. Mar 30, 2010; ISBN-1439167656
  • Bk-2-Sparks: Paperback, 368 pages, Publ. Augt 31, 2010; ISBN-1439167680

Book Cover Blurbs Edit

BOOK ONE—The Hallowed Ones (2012): 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. ~ Laura Bickle » Embers

BOOK TWO—The Outside (2013): WITHOUT A TRACE… 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. ~ Laura Bickle » Sparks

First Sentences Edit

  1. Embers (2010) — Truth burned.
  2. Sparks (2010) — Death, what a chaser of magick.

Quotes Edit

Goodreads | Laura Bickle Quotes (Author of The Hallowed Ones)

Read Alikes (suggestions) Edit

Awards Edit

Trivia Edit

Notes Edit

"Per Laura Bickle: "Salamanders haven't gotten much press since Paracelsus' time. They are the elemental avatars of fire. Our ancestors assumed that they were the spirit of fire, as they were often seen crawling out of logs tossed into hearth blazes. The salamander was probably annoyed to have his peaceful woodland home turned to tinder, and was making a fleet-footed escape. But alchemists and sorcerers made the link between salamanders and flames, and the association has endured. They're rumored to be capricious, destructive, and unpredictable as fire itself. That made a salamander a perfect sidekick for Anya. And Sparky hopped out onto the page, wiggling his tail and looking for trouble. He takes the form of a five-foot speckled hellbender salamander. He loves devouring electronics and sleeps at the foot of Anya's bed, cuddling his Glow Worm toy."

See Also Edit

External References Edit



World, Characters:

Other series

Interviews and Guest posts


Community, Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit

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