Monday, December 8, 2014

A Fistful of Evil by Rebecca Chastain Review and Interview!

I love when I find a good series I wanna follow forever!! It's even more awesome when the lovely author found me first and I'm so glad I said yes, because I totally loved this book. So Today I'm gunna show you some goodies!! 
A Fistful of Evil: An Urban Fantasy Novel (Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer #1)


Madison Fox just learned that her ability to see souls is more than a sight: It’s a weapon for fighting evil, and she’s in charge of protecting the ordinary people living in her suburban area from invisible-to-them evil creatures. The only problem is she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing. When a powerful evil settles in at a local video game convention to take advantage of Madison’s incompetence, Madison scrambles to become an expert enforcer overnight to save her region and her life.

A Fistful of Evil is an Amazon Top 100 Fantasy bestseller in the United States, Australia, and Canada. The novel is self-published, professionally edited, and available only as an ebook. 

Links for you to pick from:

My Review
So, this is a very fun new series that I plan to get a whole lot more of, ASAP, of course when the author writes it. LOL. Madison Fox just wanted to be normal. She hated that she had a gift, or a curse, and most people agreed with the curse part so she hid it. 

Madison cracked me up. She's trying not to get eaten by demons and she's drooling over hawt dudes. LOL She wants to do well, but what she really hopes for is to find a way to turn her "gift" off. It definitely doesn't work that way, and even though she's kind of duped into this spot, she's got a big responsibility to handle. That gift is a big part of that. She's also mad that everyone keeps telling her how behind she is, that children are better than her, because she's fought against her gift for so long. And though she drools a lot, romance isn't the biggest pot on the burner her, which I loved that the plot was all about Madison learning her gift and her new place in life. And my favorite is that she rescued a dog possessed by a demon and turned him back into a sweet heart :) YAY for animal lovers!! 

A big part of this is fighting against demons who are corrupting humans who don't know or understand them. I mean the monkey demons, I about peed my pants, but I couldn't hurt a doggie. :( And then there's the big bad demons, and how much harm they really can cause. And I also love her best friend, who is a true friend. Her own family harrasses her, acts like they love her, and yet when she tried to get them to help her with her gift, they almost locked her up instead of trying anything. 

The writing is fantastic. The plot worked well and kept me on my toes, and had me turning the pages. I wanted to know what was going to happen. And I wanna see more HAWT guys :) I totally love Madison as a character, and she's funny. I look forward to so much more! 5 DEMON PAWS!!! 

Author Interview

First, tell me a little about your book and why you wanted to write this particular story….
A Fistful of Evil is a lighthearted urban fantasy about Madison Fox. Madison has always been able to see souls, but she’s shocked to learn she can (and should) do so much more, including defend the normal people in her city from invisible-to-them evil creatures. I wanted to write this particular story for many reasons. I’d just finished writing an atrociously long epic fantasy that will never be worthy of publishing, and I wanted to write something short and quick, both in physical length and within the story’s own timeline—a story that read like a whirlwind adventure. I also love stories that include humor with action, and that leave you uplifted, so I developed an optimistic, self-effacing heroine and poked a little fun at this black-and-white world (literally!) of good and evil.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
I credit my seventh grade teacher with fanning the author spark that lived inside me. I honestly don’t remember what my life’s ambition was before I graduated the seventh grade. I suspect I wanted to be a horse trainer or jockey (I was still short enough at eleven). But after Ms. Griffin’s class, I’ve never wavered. It took me another 24 years to publish, but it was time well spent.

What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?
My first story was written across grades 7 through 11 or so, and was an ever-evolving story about a dragon and her rider. I didn’t even know the term for what I wrote was fan fiction until years later: the story, aside from some not-so-creative terminology differences, was set in Anne McCaffrey’s Pern. My second novel was at least set in my own universe—not that the magic rules made any sense, but it was a start.

Who do you look up to as a writer?
I adore Ilona Andrews and Kim Harrison, both for their incredible world-building prowess, the depth of their characters, and the evolving character arcs across their series. I like seeing characters grow and change, and how that affects their problems. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series is great for this, too. Outside the fantasy genre, I am a fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, partially because they’re just so much fun, and partially because I’m in awe of Evanovich’s streamlined writing style—she can say more in one good paragraph than many authors can in a pages, and she can make you laugh while doing it.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
I have never worked on a book quite as long as I have A Fistful of Evil: I wrote and edited it one year, and have revamped it many times since as my writing improved. It’s so very different from the original draft that only the initial bones of the story remain, re-fleshed out at least six times. I don’t think there’s anything left to change!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
This changes day by day, and book by book. Right now, I’m plotting the sequel, and I know the ending, and I know the act 2 climax, but getting from that first climax to the final climax has been a challenge. When I’m writing, I often struggle with dialog; it’s by far my most reworked element of any novel. Sometimes the words just flow, and sometimes the characters sound like they’re speaking through drywall, with all the humor of a mysteriously wet toilet seat. 

What book are you reading now? Or what genre? My followers love author’s opinions!
I’ve been enamored with space operas lately. I found the genre through Linnea Sinclair and was hooked. Since, I’ve also read Sara Creasy and Ann Aguirre. I love the tech-meets-romance worlds, with tons of adventure.

Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
I learned that writing a novel is very, very different than being able to write lyrical, engaging prose. There’s structure and tone and subplots and at least two arcs (protagonist and antagonist) that have to be woven together so tight the reader can’t see the seams. You truly have to know gazillions more about your world than the reader will ever need to see on the page, but doing so lets you write characters that have depth—a past, goals, quirks, flaws—and gives you infinite problems to throw at your characters. And with all complex endeavors, the more I learn, the more I realize I have yet to learn.

Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?
Any author I mentioned here is worth rushing to your nearest bookstore/online retailer and clearing the shelf. I’d add Jacqueline Carey, Naomi Novik, and Jayne Castle, who are all auto-buys for me. For writers, I recommend The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler and Story by Robert Mckee.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
After I published A Fistful of Evil, I heard back from a few readers. Thank you, thank you for all the kind things that you said! Knowing that there are people who want to read my next novel has filled me with more energy than I ever expected. I have written for myself for the last two decades, and now when I sit down to write, I feel you guys sitting down with me, and it inspires me to try to write something more exciting, more entertaining, and more humorous every day. I love to hear from readers and I can be found on Facebook ( and on Twitter (
Thank you for having me on your site, Maghon! I had a lot of fun.

About the Author
From an early age, I knew that something crucial was missing from Earth: magic. Where were my pet dragons? Where were my telepathic friends? How was I supposed to become a magician’s apprentice if I couldn’t find the University of All Things Magical?
Refusing to believe none of these things existed, I began to write magic into the world around me. My very first story involved a character who looked and acted an awful lot like me, and she had a pet dragon, one she rescued from the clutches of an evil gem. Complete with colored-pencil illustrations, this story won second place in my school’s seventh grade writing contest. My prize was a book and a bookmark. Clearly, there was magic afoot.
I was hooked. I wanted to write books. But since I'd won second place, I conceded that I might have a little more to learn about the craft. For the next five years, I wrote, filling notebooks and floppy disks with an ongoing, ever-evolving story about dragons—a story without end. When my dream of launching straight out of high school to the top of the New York Times best-seller list didn’t pan out, off to college I went.
I dabbled in screenwriting and short stories, but my love of writing novels couldn’t be shaken. Three years after college, I finished my first novel. An epic fantasy behemoth sprawling across three reams of paper, it was filled with nuggets of pure writing gold. However, they were buried in a mountain of dropped plot lines, stagnant characters, and general writing rubbish.
In the meantime, I succeeded in breaking into the publishing industry—on the wrong side, as a nonfiction editor, then as a copyeditor and proofreader.
A rational person might have given up at this point. I had a good job that took up a lot of time, I’d just slaved for three years on a pile of unsellable words, and there were plenty of great books being produced by other authors. Fortunately, rational thinking didn’t stand a chance against the strength of years of magical fantasies. Two weeks after writing "The End" on my bloated epic fantasy, I took on the National Novel Writing Month (NaNo WriMo) challenge, and wrote a short, peppy urban fantasy novel. What a rush! A novel in a month rather than thirty-six months. On top of that, it was a sellable length. At this rate, I could write three or four books a year. I’d be seeing my name on best-seller lists everywhere in no time.
As you might have noticed, my love for fantasy has a penchant to bleed over into my visions of real life. The NaNo WriMo novel needed heavy edits and rewrites and was still missing something (later identified as the complete third act, but that’s another story). In the next several years, I wrote three more novels, two partial novels I abandoned after a couple hundred pages, and a novella, got married, changed jobs, bought a house, and the edits continued. Critiques and classes led to more edits. Maturing as a writer led to even more edits. Until finally, two decades after my seventh grade second-place story, I had a novel that was ready to be published.
I have no plans to stop writing any time soon.

A HUGE thank you to Ms Rebecca who found me!! I owe you for giving me good books!! :) I also hope you guys check this one out. Happy reading and later gators! 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the great review, Maghon! I'm so glad you liked my novel!