Death Is A Bitch
Genre: Urban fantasy/dark paranormal
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Number of pages: 113
Word Count: 43,000
Cover Artist: LFD Designs
Eternity can suck when it’s all work, work, work. Death harvests souls even when they stack up faster than pancakes in an all-you-can-eat-buffet. No wonder she can’t shed the Grim Reaper rep.
As the patron angel of death and dying, Azrael works closely with Death but is dying for true intimacy. She’s the only immortal who’s ever aroused such powerful emotions in him. One taste of her leaves him needing her like humans need air and food, but will a demon’s lies leave a bad taste?
No one escapes Death – except King Sisyphus. Twice. With the help of Damien the demon, Sisyphus tries again, and she’s determined to have justice. Some say Death’s a bitch, but only when she has to be. But will the price of justice be a broken heart?
Short Excerpt Death is a Bitch
Death stepped from the shadowy curtain of night along a deserted stretch of road toward the mangled hunk of cherry-red metal that used to be a sweet Z240 sports car. Stardust glinted in the black hair that dipped to her waist.
She kept a safe distance from the wreck. Inside, a thirtyish man slumped behind the wheel, the air bag deflating away from his near-lifeless body. Blood oozed from a nasty gash to his head. Should have worn his seat belt. Too late for life lessons, though. Those weren’t her expertise anyway. Just the opposite.
Leaves crackled in the underbrush beyond the nearby trees. Death gripped the silver charm bracelet on her wrist, her senses on high alert. Her finger poised near the hidden latch, ready to release a stream of lightning.
A deer. It stilled, its wide eyes fixed on her.
Seeing nothing else, she continued with a modicum of caution. Taking souls didn’t exactly make her popular, and after so many millennia, she should’ve been used to it. The bad jokes. The Halloween parodies. A scythe? Please. She’d never used cheap props. Only the finest weaponry. No mortal ever suspected the intricately designed baubles adorning her bracelet were anything more than ornamental.
Moonlight gleamed off the curves of the sports car, and she ran a gilded nail along its hood. She wouldn’t mind taking one of these babies for a spin. In its former condition, of course, before this guy took the curve too fast and wrapped it around a tree. Humans always rushed everywhere, sometimes straight into her arms.
The man’s moan signaled she had no need for weapons. This one would give her no trouble. She fingered his blond hair, matted with blood. What a shame. So young, and so handsome. He’d leave at least one lover grieving, no doubt.
His eyes fluttered open. When he looked up, recognition intensified the flicker of life in his eyes.
She needed no introduction. They always knew her, unmistakable in the glimmering black filament gown, its folds revealing a glimpse into infinity.
The stilettos usually earned a second glance, the four-inch heels glistening like fool’s gold. The butterfly tattoo spanning her upper arm likewise drew curious looks, which inevitably changed to horror when the souls recognized the face imprinted within that colorful ink: their own.
View more about Death Is A Bitch at http://catemasters.blogspot.com/2011/04/death-is-bitch-dark-paranormal.html
Azrael and Damien go head to head (a character interview)
by Cate Masters
Tell us about your family.
Azrael: I consider all beings to be part of the universal family.
Damien: *whistles* Really? So when you’re boinking Death, you’re committing incest? You’re sick, dude.
Azrael: Of course not. I’m not related in any way to Death.
Damien: But you just said we’re all related. Which is it, Azrael?
Azrael: I meant in a philosophical sense, Damien.
Damien: Philosophically, you want to boink your sister. Seriously, dude. *gags*
Azrael: *heavy sigh* Can we move on?
What was the scariest moment of your life?
Azrael: The moment I heard Death was missing. *glares at Damien* I knew you were behind it.
Damien: Moi? Commit a misdeed? How could you think such a thing?
Azrael: Right. Demons are perfect angels.
Damien: More perfect than you, dude.
Azrael: Your ego is astounding.
Damien: *gestures to crotch* Only because it matches the size of my –
Azrael: Can we move on?!
What’s your greatest weakness?
Azrael: *shifts in seat* I used to have some difficulty speaking in public. Now that I’ve been promoted to the head of the Department of Death and Dying, I’m working on that flaw. *stops to glare at Damien, who’s silently mimicking him* Do you have a problem?
Damien: Dude, get over yourself. No one listens to you anyway. *turns to interviewer, taps cheek* Greatest weakness, greatest weakness… now that’s a toughie. Mainly because I have so many. The top two are hot cars and hot babes. If I see a sweet car sitting all by its lonesome, it practically begs me to take it for a spin. And what’s the fun in going for a spin in a hot car all by yourself? So natch, I find a hot babe to share the ride. And whoo hoo, it’s usually a really hot ride, if you catch my drift.
Azrael: *rolls eyes* And you claim to love Death so much.
Damien: I do. She’s Numero Uno on the list. But she’s always busy with work. Or whatever… *takes a sudden interest in his fingernails and hums*
Azrael: What are you implying?
Damien: Just that she’s a hot babe, and I’m not the only other guy hot for her. If she’s smart, she’ll play the field – er, realm – before settling down.
Azrael: *jaw clenches* You –
Damien: *smiles sweetly* Can we move on?
What are you passionate about these days?
Azrael: *cheeks redden* Well…
Damien: *jaw goes slack, eyes deaden* Just say it, dude. Everyone already knows it’s Death.
Azrael: Okay, yes, it’s Death. She’s amazing.
Damien: *wicked gleam fills his eyes* You get all hot and bothered around her, is that what you’re saying?
Azrael: None of your business.
Damien: Eh, you’re a dud. You even admitted it.
Azrael: *says proudly* I’ve had no complaints from Death.
Damien: She’s too sweet to say anything…
Azrael: *smiles to himself* Did you happen to notice the double rainbow the other day? That was because Death and I –
Damien: *growls* Yeah, fine, we get it. You did it twice. Let’s move on.
Azrael: *sighs and smiles dreamily, gazing off into the distance*
Who should play you in a film?
Azrael: Great question. Paul Walker is perfect for the role. In fact, Cate Masters already planned the entire cast. You can view the Casting Call on her blog: http://catemasters.blogspot.com/2012/08/casting-call-death-is-bitch.html
Damien: Talk about perfect casting – Colin Farrel, man. He’s like my doppelganger. Seriously. Don’t you think so? Stunning, intense, a babe magnet all the way.
What are your quirkiest quirks?
Azrael: *screws up face in thought* Quirky? Hmmm…
Damien: A wasted question, on him. Now me… I have some quirks for you, sweetie. We don’t have enough time in this interview. *leers* Maybe I could show you later? I’ll get your number.
What would we find hidden in your closet?
Azrael: Hidden? I hide nothing. Maybe some dust bunnies.
Damien: *waves him away* Shush, you’re boring me to death. *leans forward* Now things are getting interesting. In my closet, you’ll find every sex toy imaginable. Not that I need any help getting the ladies off, but I love ratcheting up the excitement, you know? I can show you that too. Later. *winks*
Do you have a favorite quote?
Azrael: Mark Twain said, “Always do right.”
Damien: *yawns* Quote? I dunno, maybe ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’?
Azrael: “Every sin is an attempt to fly from emptiness.” Simone Weil
Damien: Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before." Mae West
Azrael: “Goodness is its own reward.”
Damien: “God helps those who help themselves” So that’s what I do, I help myself to whatever.
Azrael: You’re a lost cause, demon.
What do you think makes a good story?
Azrael: A satisfying plot, and of course, a happy ending.
Damien: An irresistible antihero. That’s me. Check it out. *winks*
Azrael: A kickass heroine. Like Death. She kicked your ass, didn’t she?
Damien: Why yes, she did kiss my ass, among other things.
Azrael: Not kiss, kick. Kick!
Damien: *kicks Azrael* There you go. I don’t know why you’d ask me to kick you, but like I said before, you’re one sick dude. Can we move on now?
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Azrael: *rubs sore leg* My soul is instantly healed just being with Death. She’s the most incredible woman I’ve ever known.
Damien: *winces* I find a hot babe to boink. Lately I’ve been really stressed, so I’ve needed a little *clears throat* extra unwinding.
Azrael: His way of saying he likes orgies. And not just lately.
Damien: Hey, I know how to work it, dude. The ladies love it.
If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?
Azrael and Damien say at the same time: Death
Damien: Why would you apologize?
Azrael: For not being with her when she needed me most. But the dire situation demanded I hunt for Sisyphus and you instead.
Damien: Aww, did I ruin your big come-on to Death? Bet you had it planned for centuries, didn’t you?
Azrael: I did, yes. But it worked out great in the end, so you don’t have to apologize to me.
Damien: I had no intention of apologizing to you, dude. Next question.
What’s your biggest regret?
Azrael: Waiting centuries to ask Death on a date.
Damien: Yeah, I bet. *chuckles*
Azrael: You have no regrets?
Damien: For what?
Azrael: Your multitude of mistakes?
Damien: What’s the point in regretting them now? It’s done. I move on. Let’s move this along, too.
What one word best describes you?
Damien: Fan-fucking-tastic! *grins*
Azrael: *mumbles* You mean fuckhead.
Damien: *feigns shock* Why Azrael, I can’t believe you used that word. I’m calling your superior.
Azrael: Get real, demon. I have no superior. *pumps fist*
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Azrael: *reddens* Well, Death and I have been experimenting... Discretion and valor demand I not reveal anymore.
Damien: *exasperation morphs to mischief* Guilt? Don’t know what you’re talking about. If something gives you pleasure, I say go for it.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Azrael: I’m not exactly a ladies’ man. I get tongue-tied around women I like.
Damien: *bursts out laughing* Tongue tied! you mean like this? *twists his forked tongue into a pretzel braid* Babes love the split tongue effect, too, if you know what I mean.
Azrael: *rises* This is a waste of time. Interview over. I’m going to find Death.
Damien: *rises* Hey, I’ll come too. She’d love a threesome.
Azrael: *bares teeth at Damien. His wings whoosh open, and he rockets into the sky*
Damien: *blows raspberries* Show-off. *cozies up to interviewer* Now, how about your number? We have a lot to cover yet… Hey, where are you going? Oh, whatever. I’ll round up some other babes. Adios! *whirls away. A shadowy cloud fills the spot where he stood, then fades*
Find out more about Death Is A Bitch at: http://catemasters.blogspot.com/2011/04/death-is-bitch-dark-paranormal.html
Death Is A Bitch is available at:
Decadent Publishing: http://www.decadentpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=598&osCsid=1rs5de21jcfh2ov3ikjhd26tk4
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-deathisabitch-904931-140.html
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/death-is-a-bitch-cate-masters/1112332842?ean=2940014956710
Coffee Time Romance: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/BookStore/pubs_product_book_info/decadent-publishing-c-93/death-is-a-bitch-p-8338
I love a great mix of immortals, angels demons and a bit of soul sucking when things get a little dicey. It's that zombie part of me that just pumped her fist in the air when I started reading this book. Death is kind of bitchy, but that is so part of her charm. I support bitchy. It is something I do well, if I do say so myself.
Cate Masters can craft some words. She does a great job with the edgy quality of the story, especially as you are just getting sucked in and introduced to the characters. The only thing I can really say was I wanted to be shown more things instead of being told about them. Let me see more grit. More smut. Give it to me. I can handle it! Lol. As a writer myself, this is one thing that comes with time. All the elements are there. You have characters that rock, dialogue and action that flow and a plot that works. I just want more in depth feeling and an all encompassing reading experience.
That said, this was a great book. 4/5 stars for sure. I am going to be watching for more from Ms. Masters. I love the premise of this book and the mythology was awesome. It was compelling and it was hard to put it down to do stuff like, oh...go to work...hmmm.
Thanks for being on the blog today Cate! That character interview was fun!
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.
Cate loves to hear from readers! Friend her on Facebook or Goodreads, or email her at: cate.masters AT gmail.com
Coffee Time Romance: http://coffeetimeromance.com/board/forumdisplay.php
Win a copy of Death Is A Bitch!
Win a copy of Death Is A Bitch!