Book Tour & Giveaway (US/Int): Death isn’t just a bitch, she’s classy and compassionate too
Please help me welcome author Cate Masters to GT!
Close your eyes and think of Death. What do you imagine? A horrifying figure in black robes, eyes lit with a maniacal gleam? Likewise shrouded in silence, a near-hollow persona lacking warmth?
Movies like Meet Joe Black, or the older version of Death Takes a Holiday, always appealed to me. Death as a friendlier figure, one with a heart who yearns for love like us mortals.
But I’d never seen any story or movie in which Death was a female. The phrase ‘death is a bitch’ implies it, and maybe that’s what sparked the idea of a gorgeous woman. Statuesque even without her gold stilettos, she loves her charm bracelet, but not for the reason you’d think. Her butterfly tattoo signals when a human’s dying. She does her best to put humans at ease when she arrives to take their souls. But if they cross her – watch out. Her inner bitch surfaces.
Her existence is populated with other iconic figures that might bring to mind a certain image, usually a stereotype. I love to write against those!
For instance, Death’s family – her father, Erebos, is Darkness. You probably can guess his job. I imagined a middle-aged man, handsome as a GQ model, and just a tad too concerned about his looks, and status. Her mother Nyx, or Night, is every bit as glamorous, classy and generous as Death.
Until I researched it, I never knew Death had a twin named Hypnos. Basically, the bringer of sleep to humans. Rather than a Sandman-type figure, I imagined a wide-eyed, pretty young woman, cute in her worn-out bunny slippers.
Azrael was a bit more of a challenge. The Patron Angel of The Dead and The Dying, he had to be as much of a workaholic as Death. To make him approachable, I crafted him as shy, a guy who’s had his eye on Death for a long time. He has no idea how to charm her, or sweet talk her, so he does what every great guy does – he’s there for her in a crisis.
Death’s counterpart in the Underworld, Damien the demon was an absolute hoot to write. Once I imagined Colin Farrell, all hell literally broke loose. He’s a charmer, stunning to look at, but you can’t trust him for one second.
Satan is one of the ultimate iconic figures. Horns and a pitchfork? Nah. I imagined him as a harried businessman, Type A personality all the way, just channeling all his talents toward the wrong things.
I loved writing this story, and was sad to type The End. But now I’m excited to bring Death to readers!
What about you – do you like stories with unusual characters?
Read an excerpt
Damien narrowed his eyes and smirked. “Alan invoked his right to challenge the Decree.”
So tedious. Sure, he’d delayed the process. And her schedule. Oh, she hated to think about that. Her nails dug into her palm. “Damien….”
Her argument fell mute when the darkness shimmered blue and purple as if the Aurora borealis had descended to Earth. A column of dazzling white sparkles expanded within the colors. From inside the light, a stunning figure emerged, his immense wings folding behind him.
“Azrael,” she said. Thank goodness. The only one who could intercede in this mess, and yet the one immortal she cared not to see right now.
My, he looks more handsome in moonlight. If Damien was hot, Azrael was a wildfire engulfing the blue planet.
“Abso-freaking-lutely wonderful,” Damien muttered, then snapped his fingers in front of her rapturous face. “Hello? Focus, will you? We have a situation to resolve.”
If Alan minded being referred to as a situation he didn’t complain. His chin resting against the open car window, he looked like an abandoned puppy awaiting rescue. Nor did he ask who the players were in this bizarre little comedy. Perceptive guy.
“Don’t raise Alan’s hopes, Damien.” Though she knew full well that Alan could cede his soul to Damien, damning himself for eternity. Not a frequent occurrence, but enough to shake her job security ever so slightly.
Slow and graceful, Azrael strode to them, the essence of controlled power. “You have nothing to fear, Alan, unless you’ve already committed your eternal soul to the everlasting fires of damnation.”
Death added, “Then you’ll really be screwed.”
Damien winced, and moved in front of Alan to block his view. “Pay no attention to them. You’ll have everything you could ever desire.”
Azrael shot Damien a scowl and shoved him aside. “Except peace. If you disrupt the will of the Almighty I Am, you will exist in torment.”
Damien waved to dismiss the argument. “There’s balance in everything. For every up, there’s always a down. You learned that in the business world, Alan. It’s how you use them to your benefit that counts. Am I right? Huh?”
Oh, that final verbal nudge might’ve been too much. Death could feel the proverbial scales tipping as Alan studied Damien, then Azrael, then her.
Like Azrael beside her, she did her best to send him positive energies to help him find his way. When Alan turned back to Damien, his way wasn’t looking so promising.
“Your offer’s really tempting,” Alan wheezed out. “I guess a trial period’s out of the question before I make a final decision.”
Damien faced the archangel, hope distorting his face. “What do you say?”
Death waited silently. The decision was Azrael’s alone. She acted only as a vehicle for the departed, but right now she was tired of running on idle. Her tattoo tingled as a reminder that others awaited her.
With no hesitation, Azrael spoke. “You know it’s not allowed.”
Desperate as a snake oil salesman, Damien loomed in Azrael’s face. “Hey, if we can’t break the rules, who can? Come on, think outside the seven chambers for once.”
Standing at his full height, Azrael’s wings unfolded with a glorious whoosh. His feathers glimmered white as new fallen snow.
Magnificent. Death found herself breathless, and wishing those wings would wrap around her. She bit her lip, taking in his full glory, committing every resplendent detail to memory for later fantasizing.
About the author
|Cate Masters loves romance with a dash of magic and mayhem! Multipublished in contemporary to historical, sweet to erotic, fantasy/dark fantasy to speculative, she sometimes mashes genres. Reviewers have described her stories as “so compelling, I did not want to put it down,” and “such romantic tales that really touch your soul.”
When not spending time with her family, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.
Death Is A Bitch is available at:
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