Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Guest Post: My Five Favorite Fantasy Felines by Rebecca Chastain

I am excited to have author Rebecca Chastain here today. I read the first book in her Illuminant Enforcer Madison Fox series, A Fistful of Evil, last year and couldn't resist reading the second book in the series, A Fistful of Fire. I highly recommend her novella, Magic of the Gargoyles, if you want to sample her writing. It's not part of the series, but still a fun read.

Please join me in welcoming Rebecca Chastain to Musings of a Bookish Kitty!

About her latest, A Fistful of Fire
Madison Fox survived her first week as California’s newest illuminant enforcer, defending her region against imps, vervet, hounds, and one lascivious demon. If her grumpy boss, Mr. Pitt, was impressed, he hasn’t told Madison. In fact, there’s a lot her boss has been closemouthed about, including the dark secret haunting his past.
But Madison’s problems are just igniting. Neighboring regions report an uncharacteristic flare-up of evil, fire-breathing salamanders blaze unchecked across the city, and Black Friday looms. Trapped doing cleanup amid mobs of holiday shoppers, Madison watches from the sidelines as dubious allies insinuate themselves in her region.
As suspicions kindle and the mysterious evil gains strength, Madison must determine who she can trust—and whose rules to follow—before her region and career go up in flames. 
Sizzling with adventure and sparking with magic, A Fistful of Fire is fused with Madison Fox’s trademark blend of humor and ass-kicking action.
My Five Favorite Fantasy Felines


Several years ago, I took stock of all the books I loved and what they had in common. I wanted to build a list of themes that appealed to me for my own future stories. In the process, I realized another important factor of every story that made my top favorites list: they all had animals; most had cats. Since my cats are an integral part of my life and family, it only makes sense that I would fall for these literary felines, too. In no particular order, here are some of my favorite felines to grace the page.


1. Zanth from Robin D. Owens’s HeartMate. In Owens’s Celta novels, many cats can speak telepathically and enjoy bonding with a human companion. Owens does a beautiful job of capturing the aloof-needy air of cats as well as their self-absorption and random acts of compassion. Zanth is a street-tough cat growing used to the finer things in life, and like many of the “famcats” of Owens’s world, he plays an important part in helping his human find love. These books make me wish I could hear my cats’ thoughts—and so thankful I can’t!


2. Sammy from Piers Anthony’s Isle of View. Out of all the extreme creatures of Anthony’s Xanth novels, the one that I remember clearest over two decades later is Sammy. The cat had the ability to find everything (but the way home). Every time my cats sprawl right in my path, I think of the scene in Isle of View when Sammy finds the perfect spot in the room where no one would step. My cats could use a lesson from Sammy.


3. Fritti Tailchaser from Tad Williams’s Tailchaser’s Song. Every budding fantasy writer pens a story from a cat’s perspective at some point in their career. (No, it was just me? Anyway…) Few can get a story with a cat as a protagonist published as a short story, let alone a full-length novel, but Williams is a master at delving into the minutest details of any world, whether it’s a cyberworld of the future or a fantastic world of cats. Fritti and all the cats of Williams’s world read like real cats, not cats given human thoughts and ambitions. From their body language to their names, Williams creates a rich feline world and a hero tomcat that’s impossible not to love.


4. Peekaboo from Pat Brady’s Rose Is Rose. Okay, so this is a comic and not a novel, but the principles remain the same. Peakaboo is an important part of the ongoing story of Gumbo family, and often can hold her own as a feature character in strips. She embodies the loveable/irritating nature of cats everywhere, and Brady dips inside her head for her believable and funny reactions to human rules.


5. Mr. Bond from my own A Fistful of Evil and A Fistful of Fire novels. Based off my real-life cat, Mack Fu, Mr. Bond is an overweight Siamese-mutt who thinks he’s a kitten. He gives the main character, Madison, affection and a reason to live (to fill his food bowl, of course). He even helps her read, by keeping her lap warm. Though without magical powers of his own, Mr. Bond supports Madison’s new life; as she comes into her powers and embraces her new, dangerous job, Mr. Bond is there to soothe her with therapeutic purrs and to ground her by making sure she sticks to the most important routine: keeping his food bowl full.

Who are your favorite literary felines?


Rebecca Chastain’s debut novel, A Fistful of Evil, is an Amazon Fantasy Bestseller in the United States, Australia, and Canada. She’s been lucky to share her life with many wonderful cats, including the much-missed Big Foot, Happurr, Slim, Wild Thing, Stormy, and Tony. She and her husband are currently the well-trained caretakers of Zenzo and Mack Fu.


You can find Rebecca Chastain at her website, as well as on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads



Thank you, Rebecca, for visiting and sharing your list of favorite literary cats with us!  If you are interested in entering a giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card: a Rafflecopter giveaway. The raffle is open for entries from October 10 to October 16. 


© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

17 comments:

  1. I too am a cat lover. Some of my favorite felines are Diesel from the Miranda James series, Owen & Hercules in the Sophie Kelly series, Quincy from the Fat Cat mystery series. Any book featuring a cat is tops with me.

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    1. I've not heard of any of these cats. I'm adding these books to my TBR list! Thanks, Page!

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    2. I am not familiar with any the cats you mention either, Page. Off to discover them for myself!

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  2. Hi Rebecca, Nice to meet you. A wonderful post and one that certainly had me thinking.

    Little Kitty The Cat Burglar by Caterina Longtail has to be my favourite feline inspired novel because a) its a lovely story, (b) it raises money for a great cause and (c) I wrote the first chapter.

    Apologies for the shameless plug, it's not something I'd usually do but given that all monies go to charity I'm eager to share.

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    1. Cats for Causes! I think you're onto something, Tracy.

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    2. I still need to get my copy of Little Kitty. I can't wait to share it with my daughter.

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  3. Such a fun post! The first felines that came to mind were the Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp but I'm not sure they're literary.

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    1. I adore those cats. I watched a documentary on the woman behind the voices and how they recorded them. It was great, and I went around with "We are Siamese if you please, we are Siamese if you DON'T please" in my head for days.

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    2. I still find myself singing the Siamese song from that movie now and then--and trying to do the voices. :-)

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  4. The Warrior series by Erin Hunter, Pete the Cat by James Dean, and Skippy Jon Jones by Judy Schachner!

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    1. I would have gobbled up Hunter's series as a kid! I might still. :)

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    2. Pete the Cat is very popular in our house. :-)

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  5. I have literary dogs,mostly from mystery series, but not many kitties. Nice list.

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    1. Harvee - I think a list of literary dogs would be a little easier for me to come up with too. I have a few of those myself. :-)

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  6. Thank you so much, Rebecca, for telling us about your favorite literary cats. The first cat that came to my mind was Harry, the cat from Harry Cat's Pet Puppy, a favorite of mine growing up. I named one of my childhood dogs Huppy, after the dog in the book. Then there's Mister from the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. But then, I love everything about those books. I also really like Mr. Bond from your books--and I am not just saying that. :-)

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  7. Wow, such a great post! I don't think too much about the animals in a book. Mostly, I stay away from books that feature animals strongly - lest the author kills them. But this is just fabulous.

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    1. Athira - I hate it when animals are killed in books. :-(

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