A Wildlands Novel
On Sale Date: December 27, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
About the Book:
Following on the heels of her critically acclaimed prequel novels Dark Alchemy and Mercury Retrograde comes the first installment in Laura Bickle’s dark contemporary fantasy series, Nine of Stars, a Wildlands Novel
Winter has always been a deadly season in Temperance, but this time, there’s more to fear than just the cold…
As the daughter of an alchemist, Petra Dee has faced all manner of occult horrors—especially since her arrival in the small town of Temperance, Wyoming. But she can’t explain the creature now stalking the backcountry of Yellowstone, butchering wolves and leaving only their skins behind in the snow. Rumors surface of the return of Skinflint Jack, a nineteenth-century wraith that kills in fulfillment of an ancient bargain.
The new sheriff in town, Owen Rutherford, isn’t helping matters. He’s a dangerously haunted man on the trail of both an unsolved case and a fresh kill—a bizarre murder leading him right to Petra’s partner Gabriel. And while Gabe once had little to fear from the mortal world, he’s all too human now. This time, when violence hits close to home, there are no magical solutions.
It’s up to Petra and her coyote sidekick Sig to get ahead of both Owen and the unnatural being hunting them all—before the trail turns deathly cold.
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More information about Laura’s work can be found at www.laurabickle.com
NINE OF STARS evolved from a trip my husband and I took to Yellowstone and the surrounding areas. The landscape was so large and colorful and magical…I knew that there had to be supernatural creatures lurking in the shadows of the mountains. I began asking the “what if” questions that help me build a story…what if an alchemist had settled here, centuries before, and tried to conjure gold and immortality? What happened to his failed experiments? What kind of town could these events have taken place in, and what would it be like if it survived today?
My protagonist, Petra Dee, is the daughter of an alchemist. She’s a scientist who only believes in what she can see and measure. Encountering the monsters of Yellowstone causes her to question the parameters of her reality as she explores this hidden world.
2. Do you have a dream cast for your book?
I don’t really think in terms of dream casts…the characters of NINE OF STARS are very real to me, down to the last freckle, but I’d have a tough time picking actors I’d like to play them. I’d probably want to see unknown actors playing the roles, so that I could focus on the characters without getting too distracted.
3. How do you handle writer’s block?
I think that writer’s block is just part of the work. Some days, the words don’t flow easily. But the important thing for me is not to let writer’s block take on a life of its own by giving in to it. If I do, it become huge and insurmountable. A blocked day can become a blocked week. The only cure for me is to keep chipping away at the work until flow returns, and it always does.
4. What inspired you to write this book?
Wolves have had a turbulent history in the Yellowstone area. I knew that some packs had been reintroduced, and I was curious to explore what would happen if these wolves encountered a magical adversary, rather than a human one. Petra Dee and her coyote sidekick must figure out how to help the wolves escape the supernatural threat tracking them: the ghost of a nineteenth-century trapper who ran afoul of the dark side of alchemy.
5. What’s the hardest part of being an author?
The hardest part, I think, is letting a story go into the world. It’s like shoving a bird out of the nest, hoping it can fly. I’m always wanting to go back and make changes, but after a certain point, it’s time to declare a project finished and move on to the next egg in the nest.