Excerpt and more with Cate Masters

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“Nice, Mom.”
by Cate Masters

That was my daughter’s reaction when she read my scribble on the notepad I laid in the kitchen. As sometimes happens, an idea struck in the shower. (What is it about the shower that makes it such a fertile place for the imagination – the soothing patter of the water, or the inconvenience, lol). Actually I have more than a dozen notebooks scattered throughout various rooms for just these occasions! A somewhat unorganized method, but I digress. :)

The title came to me first – Death Is A Bitch. That’s what I rushed out of the shower to write down, and set my ever-handy notebook on the kitchen island. My daughter, who was 21 at the time, read it and frowned. “Nice, Mom.”

“It’s a new story,” I told her, but from her sour expression, failed to impress her. Disapproving daughter aside, I kept writing.

I had a few flashes of story insight but the title provided the bare bones beginning. I knew I wanted Death to be female because I couldn’t recall any other stories about Death portrayed as a woman.

And, as I like to do, I turned to mythology for the rest. The legend of Sisyphus escaping Death – twice – intrigued me. No one else throughout history had managed it even once. Then I consulted my copy of A Dictionary of Angels and found Azrael, Patron Angel of the Dying and the Dead. Perfect! A love interest for Death. :)

But of course, nothing can ever be easy for my characters. Not even Death. So I constructed a demon, her counterpart in the Underworld, the one who makes a last-ditch attempt at having humans sign over their soul before Death claims it. To complicate matters, Damien has a thing for Death. Call it an obsession. He wants her – and it’s making him a little crazy. Well, crazier.

From there, it all goes to Hell in a hand basket, as they say. But what a fun ride! I loved writing this story.

Do you like stories based on myth or legend?

Here’s an excerpt from 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.

Death Is A Bitch is available at:
Decadent Publishing: http://www.decadentpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=598&osCsid=1rs5de21jcfh2ov3ikjhd26tk4
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Death-is-a-Bitch-ebook/dp/B008RQFJEQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1344011853&sr=1-1&keywords=cate+masters%2C+death+is+a+bitch
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

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 http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cate-Masters/89969413736?ref=ts or Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2944596.Cate_Masters or email her at: cate.masters AT gmail.com

Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home for the past 20 years, but she'll always be a Jersey girl at heart. Most days, 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.
In 2010, the Pearl S. Buck Foundation awarded her short story first place. In 2005, Pennwriters awarded her second place in its annual Short Story contest. Her novels, novellas and short fiction appear at The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press, Whiskey Creek Press, Wild Child Publishing/ Freya's Bower and Lyrical Press (2011). Her flash and short stories are published with The Battered Suitcase , A Long Story Short, Dark Sky Magazine, Cezanne's Carrot, The Harrow, Flesh from Ashes, Quality Women's Fiction, Phase, and The Writer's online edition. Her freelance articles have appeared in The Sentinel, Carlisle.

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