A Note:


I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles. And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)


Thursday, August 4, 2011

BOTS 2: Laura Bickle

A Salamander Walks into the Paranormal Bar...
by Laura Bickle

A salamander walks up to you in a bar.

You blink, stare at your drink. What was in that? You scrub your eyes.

But the salamander doesn't disappear. He's about five feet long, speckled, and glows with an amber light. He waddles across the dance floor, crawls up to the bar seat next to you. His tail wags slowly behind him. His eyes are opaque black marbles.

"Hey, doll," he says. "You having a good time?"

You're ready to nip this off in the bud. "Look...I don't think you're my type," you blurt.

A hot guy saunters past in a silk shirt unbuttoned to his navel. Your eyes follow him until he disappears on the dance floor. He's pale. Too pale. Probably a vamp who would leave a helluva hickey. You rub your neck self-consciously.

The salamander chuckles. "Hey, baby. Check out these washboard abs."

You can't help but look. The salamander swivels to you, opens his ridiculously tiny arms. By God, he has abs. Lots of them. They extend from his armpits all the way to his hind legs.

"Wow. That's some six pack," you say, lifting an eyebrow.

He rubs his belly with his little T-Rex arms. "Actually, it's a forty-eight pack. But who's counting?"

You're amused. You can't help it. When was the last time you got to talk to a guy with a tail who didn't howl at the moon?

"So...what are you?" you ask.

"I'm a fire salamander. An elemental. I'm the spirit of flame."

"Wow. I've never met one of you guys before."

"We're around, but we like to keep a low profile. We tend to keep pretty busy with work. Don't get out much."

The bartender, unbidden, brings the salamander a white Russian. And he refills your drink. The salamander nods magnanimously and leans over his drink. His tongue slips into the milky liquid, lapping at it like a cat.

"What's your name?" You're curious if he will tell you. You know that names have power, and many magickal creatures won't divulge theirs.

He smiles. You know you're not going to get his real name. "My owner calls me Sparky. After that baseball guy."
You don't push the name issue. "Your owner...sounds kinky."

"Nah. It's not like that. Totally platonic. The official gig I have is as a familiar." He rolls his eyes and smiles. "Witches and wizards tend to think that they can control us."

"They think?"

Sparky leans forward. He smells like sandalwood and wood fires. "Nobody ever successfully controls a fire salamander. It's all voluntary work."

"Like what?" You can't help but dig for magickal secrets. "Who do you belong to?"

"At the moment, I'm with an arson investigator. She's also the rarest kind of medium. A Lantern. Which is a trip."

"I don't know what a Lantern is."

"Where other mediums allow ghosts to use their hands and voices to communicate, my owner devours them." He laps at his drink pensively. "It's not a pretty process."

"I guess not."

"We do some side work with ghost hunters. I like to eat ghosts, too. So it works out."

I wrinkle my nose. "Ugh."

"Hey. Don't knock it 'til you try it. Ectoplasm tastes an awfully lot like chicken."

"You've had...other owners?" You're fishing about for his age.

"Sure. I've been around for a verrrrry long time. I knew Paracelsus when he built his first chemistry set. Ran around Europe with Van Helsing. Was a spy on the Hindenberg." His tail kinks. "Yeah, well. That one didn't work out so well."

You rest your chin on your hand. "Tell me about that."

An angel walks by, wings causing a stir in the bar. But you barely notice him, waiting for Sparky to speak.

Sparky smiles. "Well, the Van Helsing thing started out as a bet in a tavern, not so different than this..."

The bartender grins, murmurs: "Heh. More than anything else, the ladies like a story."

Laura Bickle (a.k.a. Alayna Williams) has worked in library science, criminology, and technology for several years. She lives in the Midwestern U.S. with her chief muse, owned by five mostly-reformed feral cats. Writing as Laura Bickle, she's the author of EMBERS and SPARKS for Pocket - Juno Books. Writing as Alayna Williams, she's the author of DARK ORACLE and ROGUE ORACLE. More info on her writing and general nerdiness is here: www.salamanderstales.com.


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.

Giveaway Guidelines:
* Open Internationally
* Leave a comment with your email address
* This giveaway ends September 7th
* IMPORTANT: I will not be contacting winners! Be sure to check back after September 7th to see if you've won this or any of the other giveaways! 

Extra Entries:
* Link back to this giveaway on some social networking site or on your blog. Be sure to include the link to your post in your giveaway entry--and make sure that I can view it! (For every site you do this on, you'll receive one extra entry)


  1. I would love to win this book, it sounds great :) Thank you for all these awesome giveaways. <3 And posts :)
    Love, Carina ~ carina-olsen@hotmail.com

  2. I read the first book in this series and would love to win the second.

    sgiden at verizon.net

  3. Thanks so much for hosting Sparky day, Tori!

    And thanks so much for entering, Carina and Sandy!

  4. This sounds like a definite addition to the to-be-read stack.

    jjscalf at gmail dot com

  5. Would love to read this! The salamander sounds so cute lol


  6. Thanks, Amy! Sparky is a composite of all the pets I've ever owned...er...who have owned ME. :-S

  7. Ok you snagged me. Now this is on my to read list! Loving Sparky..

    Thanks for the post and giveaway.

    musicalfrog at comcast dot net

  8. "Ectoplasm tastes an awfully lot like chicken." I love that line. Seems like Sparky is full of them!
    Thanks for a fun post.
    (Email in profile.)

  9. Thanks, Patti and LSUReader!

    Sparky tends to be...well...a handful. :-S

  10. ooh this sounds interesting. :3 Will diffidently add to my books to read.


  11. This looks like an awesome read I would love ti get it .


  12. This book look great! I hope to get a chance to read it.

    OBoyledBooks [at] gmail [dot] com

    MIchelle (@OBoyledBooks)

  13. Thank you for this giveaway! The book looks great


  14. I have been wanting this book for awhile now, would love to finally read.


  15. Oh Sparky sounds llike a hoot. I would love to meet a Salamander like him at a bar. Thanks for the giveaway.


  16. It's great discovering new books. This sounds like a great new series.
    Cambonified (at) yahoo (dot) com