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 Facebook, Twitter, 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.