Wednesday, May 2, 2018

•٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•٠• Review & Giveaway For A Fistful of Fire (Madison Fox #2) by Rebecca Chastain •٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•٠•

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A Fistful of Fie
(Madison Fox #2) 
by Rebecca Chastain  
Published October 10th 2015


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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.

Holly Gumdrops on fruitcake! (Lol a Bradisim Love how he
 curses so dam funny) Dam that was one hell of a book. My
 goodness can these get any better? This is book two and it
 is so thought out and so well-written. I could not put the book

This is Madison's continuing story. I loved this installment. 
It starts around thanksgiving and she has to work the mall
 on of all days, it is black Friday. Now as she is new brad gets
 her a new tool a book or manual rather and you are going to
 love this snarky and crazy book. Wait till you meet Jamie 
and Val. I'm not sure which I love more. But both make it fun.
 In this book we find out what or rather who is behind all the 
evil. It was a real shocker on that one. I am so ready for book
 three. And at the end this one tells how to get a bonus book
 of her and Dr Love. So keep an eye out for it.

Now before I ruin this for you I will leave off here. I hope you 
enjoy this book as much as I did. If you do like this book, 
please consider leaving a review. The Authors really like it
 when you do; they value your opinions too.

1. A Man Can Work from Sun to Sun, but a Woman’s Work Is Never Done
An inky puddle of atrum pooled in front of a storage closet beside the hotel elevators. Six fist-size imps bopped around in the atrum, their primordial ooze. In the time it took me to pull my collapsible wand of petrified wood from my back pocket and extend it, a chinchilla-shaped bubble swelled in the atrum, growing glassy ebony eyes, a mouthful of needle-like teeth, and tiny feet. Soundlessly, it sprang an inch into the air, disconnecting from the puddle and becoming a seventh fully formed imp.
I pushed lux lucis into the wand, filling the entire length with the white energy. The imps turned, attention snagged by the bright waving light. As one, they opened jaws as tall as their bodies, revealing rows of sharp black teeth and proving they were little more than brainless mouths. I slashed the thin wood through their insubstantial bodies, and the imps exploded into harmless black glitter. By the time the disintegrated atrum sifted to the floor, the flecks were as gray as the carpet.
I smiled and pressed the tip of the wand into my palm, collapsing the hollow segments like an old radio antenna until it was short enough to return to the back pocket of my jeans.
A few days ago, this hotel had been coated top to bottom with atrum, thanks to a video game convention and the mobs of gamer geeks overflowing the event floor. Okay, technically, the nerd herd hadn’t been responsible for the evil, but they’d disseminated it as unwitting hosts. The real evil had been a demon camping in their midst, taking advantage of my newbie enforcer status and weak control of my region. Besting it had nearly killed me, but survival had firmed my resolve to stick to my new career path.
I’d been running cleanup here at ground zero and throughout my region ever since. Eventually I’d catch up and catch my breath.
I crouched next to the empty black puddle. Atrum was the insidious source from which basic evil creatures spawned and on which more complex evil creatures thrived. I found it repulsive and took great delight in destroying it. Though this patch was only two feet across, left alone, the atrum would continue to spawn imps and taint any people who stepped through it.
I gathered lux lucis in my palm. My soul glowed a soft butter white, but as the lux luciscollected in my hand, it brightened like a fluorescent light warming up. If I were using normal sight, a light as bright as my hand would have left a stain on my retina and cast shadows around my feet. But I wasn’t using normal sight; I was viewing the world in Primordium, and no matter how bright the lux lucis, it never cast a shadow. I liked to think of Primordium as soul sight, because Primordium afforded me a black-and-white morality-based view of the world. Living things fell in two categories: white and good, like plants and animals, and black and bad, like imps and their more intelligent cohorts, vervet. It sounded simplistic until humans were thrown into the mix. Normal people’s souls were a patchwork of stains representing a gray scale of unethical decisions.
The pure white souls of enforcers, mine included, were an exception and a necessity. My job was to fight evil, and my soul was my weapon.
I focused on my hand. Moving my body’s lux lucis was a relatively new experience for me. Shoving my soul’s energy into my pet wood wand or straight into an evil creature I could do without thinking, but manipulating the energy took more concentration.
I pushed lux lucis along the top of my hand to my fingertips, then pulled it back down my palm to my wrist, repeating the loop again and again until a seamless cycle of light zipped around my hand. I waited until the crest of lux lucis reached my fingertips, then gave it a flip. Lux lucis jumped from my fingers to the carpet and rolled through the smear of black atrum. White energy ate through dark, leaving the carpet a clean, inanimate gray.
Standing, I brushed my hands together with satisfaction and examined the hallway. Though I knew the carpet’s floral print swirled with pastel colors and the paintings nailed to the beige walls displayed jarringly colorful interpretations of the Sacramento Valley, in Primordium the walls, paintings, and carpet were all the same inanimate charcoal gray. Indirect illumination gave depth to the hall, but trying to determine the light’s source would give me a headache.
I mentally checked the floor off my list of areas to clean and turned to the elevator. An onyx shadow oozed through the seam between the door and the floor, fleshing out into a monkey’s paw tipped with lion claws. A second arm joined the first. Claws sank into the carpet and heaved, pulling the entire body through the paper-thin opening. It puffed into the shape of a vervet, and I shifted my weight to the balls of my feet.
Black as a demon’s soul from the tip of its scorpion tail to the crown of its spiked primate head and coated with the scales of a diseased fish, the vervet was a compact nightmare. I preferred imps. Both creatures spawned from atrum, but at least imps looked like chinchilla fluff balls. Plus, imps lacked any semblance of a brain.
The vervet spotted me and grinned, exposing jagged teeth long enough to spear my arm clean through. I lunged for it, missing when it sprang to the wall.
A door halfway down the hall opened, and a trio of middle-aged women exited their room, laughing and chatting. The vervet swung to look at them, hunger sparking in its dark eyes. I made another grab for it, but it leapt to the ceiling, then the opposite wall. A few more jumps widened the gap between us, then it galloped along the vertical surface as if gravity didn’t exist, its long black talons leaving no marks in the plaster. While I was still reaching for my wand, the vervet pounced on the nylon-clad calf of the lead lady, sinking a mouthful of fangs into her soul. Flecks of atrum replaced her soul’s lux lucis, one swallow at a time. Oblivious, the woman rifled through her purse.
The vervet clawed up her body to her stomach, each talon depositing a prick of atrum to tarnish her soul. Twisting, it took a bite from her companion’s chest. Whatever the host said made the women toss their heads back with fresh mirth. The vervet clambered over them, eating up the joy brightening their souls.
The juxtaposition of the women’s clueless happiness with the spawn of evil snacking on them twisted my stomach. Narrowing my sights on the vervet, I charged.
When the trio spotted me barreling toward them, they finally reacted, first with scowls at my audacity to run in the hallway, then with widening eyes when they spied the petrified wood I brandished fully extended. My badass enforcer vibe, which came across as loony-bin crazy to norms, plastered them against the wall.
When I was within arm’s reach of the vervet—and the woman it clung to—I made a grab for it. The vervet rocketed into the air and swung down the hallway, teeth wide in a silent laugh. The woman jerked and yelled, thinking I’d tried to punch her.
“Sorry!” I stumbled but didn’t slow.
“I’m reporting you to the manager!” one of the women shouted after me.
My shoulders hunched. This was exactly the kind of attention I was supposed to avoid. My job was strictly undercover. Getting arrested tended to hamper an enforcer’s ability to defend her region.
Finding the balance between doing my job and keeping a low profile was a struggle. I couldn’t let the vervet feast on the women. Atrum corrupted. In people who earned their atrumthrough immoral acts, it created a feedback loop, maintaining a person’s immoral nature—or enhancing it. For innocents like those women, it was possible they might shrug off planted atrum and restore their souls to their natural states, but it was just as likely the atrum would take root, influencing the women to make vile decisions that would spread evil further. Leaving the vervet on the trio could have resulted in a cascade of larger problems.
Plus, it galled me to see good people corrupted. If my tactics had been less than circumspect, so be it.
The hallway cut left at ninety degrees, and the vervet hurled out of sight. I slowed, clutching a cramp in my side. I’d been over this hotel a hundred times in the last two and a half days, and I knew that only ten or fifteen rooms lay beyond the bend before the hallway dead-ended. The vervet was trapped.
I rounded the corner at a jog. A maid’s cart cozied up to a doorway near the end of the hall, the maid absent. The vervet cannonballed into a stack of towels, then collapsed on its back. Lifting one arm, it extended a single dark digit—the middle one of three—sitting up enough to bare a cluttered row of sharp ebony teeth in a grin.
I lowered the pet wood to my side but held myself ready to strike.
“Back at you.” I flipped it off with a sweet smile of my own.
A young maid stepped out of the adjacent room into the crosshairs of my crude gesture. She gasped, crossed herself, and scuttled backward into the room, slamming the door before the vervet could react. A good thing, too. With her light gray soul, she was prime vervet-snack material.
Abashed, I tucked my offending hand behind my back. Frightening the staff would win me no points with my boss. I needed to finish this quickly before she called her manager.
“Hold still and let me kill you, you stupid little bugger.”
The lock slammed home against the other side of the door. Okay. Time to disappear before she called the cops.
I charged the vervet. It bounced to the ceiling at the last minute, but I anticipated the move. Slicing through the air with the wand, I cleaved the vervet in two, pulsing lux lucis into the mutated creature. It exploded. Harmless graying particles floated around my head and shoulders. Grimacing, I ducked aside, surreptitiously wiping my hair. I waited until I reached the empty stairwell before doing a heebie-jeebies dance. When my phone belted out “Hail to the Chief” from my back pocket, I jumped and swallowed a startled shriek.
I pulled my metallic-green cell phone from my pocket. It was my first cell phone ever, newly purchased for this job, and I’d named it Medusa. A week of being on call twenty-four-seven combined with a job that had no defined work hours, and my ardor for the new technology had cooled considerably. I swiped the screen and said hello to my boss.
“Come to the office,” Mr. Pitt said instead of a greeting.
“I’ve got the top two floors left.”
“They’ll wait.” The line went dead.
“Keep up the good work, Madison,” I said on his behalf, pocketing Medusa. “You’re the best.”
Grumpy was Mr. Pitt’s default, or it had been since he’d hired me. He’d wanted a fully trained illuminant enforcer. When my predecessor transferred to another region and no experienced enforcers applied for the job, he’d been forced to accept me. Since I’d spent the first twenty-five years of my life unaware that my ability to see souls was a weapon for fighting evil, I had a lot of catching up to do.
Mr. Pitt had hired Doris, a retired enforcer, to give me some last-minute training, and we squeezed in one packed night of lessons before she left for a family vacation. My boss and I both would have preferred I spend more time learning the ropes before jumping into field work, but the appearance of a demon in our region had necessitated immediate action. A week later, demon vanquished and region almost clean, I felt I deserved a pat on the back, if not a Medal of Valor. Apparently Mr. Pitt needed more proof of my competence than mere survival.
I clattered down the stairs and exited through the quiet lobby. With luck, whatever Mr. Pitt wanted wouldn’t take too much time. I was on a deadline. Tonight I had a date with Dr. Alex Love, the hottest vet in the state.
My stomach flip-flopped as I slid behind the wheel of my Civic and started the car. I’d lusted after the man for three years, and tonight I’d see if reality lived up to my fantasies. And I had plenty of fantasies, several of which I indulged in during the short drive to my office.
Cold November air slapped me back to the present when I slid out of my car a few minutes later. I tried to box up my excitement, but I ruined it by checking the time. Only six hours and fourteen minutes until my date.
I jogged across the parking lot and darted through the glass doors into the heated interior of the two-story office building. Rubbing the chill out of my arms, I walked through the building’s lobby, past the restrooms and elevator, and down a hushed hall. As always, murmured confidential conversations and muted keyboard clacks emanated from the mortgage company, but the temp agency bustled with a louder, no-nonsense air. Passing thatdoor made me smile. My aimless temp days had ended when Mr. Pitt offered me this job. Now I saved the world—or my portion of it—and got paid to do it.
Tucked at the end of the hallway, my region’s headquarters were humble and serene. No one would suspect Illumination Studios was anything other than the tiny bumper sticker company it claimed to be. If my job had entailed working within its confines, I would have been fitted for a straitjacket after three days.
Of course, the fact that I liked sprinting through the suburban neighborhoods of Roseville, California, engaging in skirmishes with evil creatures others couldn’t see, might mean I was already insane.
“Good morning, Sharon,” I sang.
The receptionist tracked my entrance with hard brown eyes, the rest of her body statue still at her tall wooden desk. Behind her, soft white lights glistened on the metallic letters of our fake company, but the same warm glow fell flat across Sharon’s shoulders, shadowing her eyes and thin mouth. I’d met tortoises with more expressive faces—and who were more cheerful.
Focusing on keeping my shoulders relaxed under the receptionist’s inscrutable stare, I strode past the glass-walled conference room—and stuttered to a halt.
Rows of empty, slender spray-topped glass vials lined the long conference table. Rose stood near one end, clutching a bottle in her hands, eyes closed. The Latina’s long dark hair was slicked back in a simple ponytail and she was barefoot. More shocking, she wore jeans and a men’s T-shirt two sizes too big. Since when did Rose swap out her figure-flattering dresses for clothes that could have come from my closet?
I backpedaled to the open doorway, waiting until she opened her eyes before I stepped in.
“Good morning.”
She squinted at me, then gestured me to her side. “I could use some of that bounce right now.”
“Bounce?” I eased closer, keeping myself and my purse well clear of the table. I wasn’t a complete klutz, but I didn’t want to take any chances with vials set up like fragile dominoes.
“Perky morning cheer. You’ve got it in spades.”
“It’s date day.” I tried not to picture Alex topless, but the image refused to be ignored. Only six hours and eleven minutes.
“Honey, I can’t wait until you finally jump his bones.” She fanned herself. “I’m getting dizzy off your horny fumes.”
“Excuse me for getting a little excited.”
“Excited? Don’t try to lie to an empath. That’s lust, plain and simple. I felt you coming from the parking lot.”
I blushed. She had to be exaggerating. “Fine. I’m lusty. But it’s Dr. Love. Even his name sounds sexy.”
“So does Dr. Bigdick.”
“Hmm, that doesn’t have quite the same ring. Dr. Love is a name you could marry into.”
“Madison Love? It sounds like a Playboy Bunny’s name.”
“A happily married Playboy Bunny’s name, and better than Madison Bigdick.”
Rose snorted. “It can’t be just a name thing. How long’s it been?”
“Since I’ve had a date? Not long.”
Rose let one sculpted eyebrow call me on my lie.
“Okay, okay. Maybe it’s been a while.”
Rose crossed her arms.
“Fine. It’s been a long time. Ages. Forever. I can’t even remember what a penis looks like.”
Rose burst out laughing, and I grinned.
“Hang on. This is good stuff.” She set down the vial she’d been holding, then picked up the next one and closed her eyes. I waited, curiosity growing. Rose cracked an eye to glare at me. “No fidgeting.”
“What are you doing?”
“Making sure we stay in business another season. Now hush.”
I closed my mouth. What was that supposed to mean?
Rose sighed. “Think about that date or get out of the room. Anticipation and lust I can work with; curiosity is just mucking things up.”
I frowned.
“Irritation doesn’t work for me, either. Shoo.” Rose waved a hand at me without opening her eyes. I backed carefully out of the room, waiting until safely outside the glass before sticking my tongue out at her. She smiled without looking.
“That’s a load of carob chips, and you know it!” Mr. Pitt bellowed from his office. I ducked into my cubicle. The blinds on the glass front of Mr. Pitt’s office were drawn, making it impossible to see who received his reaming. For once, it wasn’t me.
“Of course Isabel would prefer—” Pause. “This is damn high and—” Pause. No other voices came from his office. He was on the phone. “Don’t quote me the rules, Liam,” Mr. Pitt shouted. “Fine. No, that won’t work— Fine. Tonight.”
The bang of the phone slamming into the cradle made me jump, and I dropped into my chair.
“MadiSON!” Mr. Pitt bellowed.
Oh joy. What have I done now?

To continue reading, pick up your copy of A Fistful of Fire today!


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·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•٠· Rebecca Chastain ·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•٠·

Rebecca Chastain is the international bestselling fantasy 
MAGIC OF THE GARGOYLES. She has found seven 
four-leaf clovers to date, won a purebred Arabian horse in 
a drawing, and once tamed a blackbird for a day. Dreaming
 up the absurd and writing stories designed to amuse and 
entertain has been her passion since she was eleven years 
old. She lives in northern California with her wonderful 
husband and two bossy cats.  
TINY GLITCHES is her latest novel.

For insider access regarding new releases and other novel 
news, sign up for Rebecca’s newsletter: 

For a list of all Rebecca Chastain’s novels, visit 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the great review of A Fistful of Fire, Kimmie Sue! I'm thrilled you enjoyed it—and that you used a Bradism in your review!