In Erin Quinn’s new book THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE, we meet Roxanne, a woman who cheats death. Her ability has drawn the attention of a reaper and now Roxanne is on the run, her only ally a compelling, dangerous detective with secrets of his own…. Incognito as guilt-ridden cop, Santo Castillo, the Reaper’s plan is simple: get close to Roxanne, and reap her for once and for all. But with the body, comes emotions and Santo soon finds that the woman he came to kill becomes the one person he’s willing to die to protect..
Read below to find out how author Erin Quinn creates and writes her hero, Santo. (And then answer the question at the bottom for your chance to win a free copy!)
Writing a hero is a personal thing. In order to commit to one, I have to fall in love with him. And I mean fall hard. When it came to Santo Castillo, the enigmatic reaper of THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE, falling wasn’t a problem.
From the first page, Santo let me know that he wasn’t going to be an easy hero. Complex to the core, the Reaper who’d stepped into the skin of a suicidal cop in the moments before he pulled the trigger told me to get on board or get out of his way. He’d convinced himself that he had one purpose—put an end to the mystifying, death-defying Roxanne Love. In Santo’s mind, she’d cheated him too many times and he’d had enough.
But the Reaper didn’t count on the bewildering metamorphosis he would undergo by taking human form. He thought he could waltz in, reap the woman who’d resisted him time again, and take her soul without experiencing a change in himself.
The Reaper was wrong. He didn’t just take over Santo. Santo became part of him.
There’s a reason the Reaper had been obsessed with Roxanne for years. A reason he’d been willing to cross from the Beyond and into the human world, breaking the laws of humankind and the Beyond in the same act. Only after the reaper assumes human form and begins answering to Santo, does he begin to understand those reasons and his perceptions begin to shift. He’s held the soul of Roxanne Love. He’s been entranced by her for years. But he’s never beheld her with human eyes before. He’s never touched her with human hands. He’s never known her as a man knows a woman. Now his human senses seduce him and instead of reaping Roxanne, he becomes her protector.
Roxanne is a mystery to him, though. He’d seen her in the moments of death, felt an intimacy with her soul, but now, as Santo, he comes to understand that he’s never known her at all. Even as the dark belly of the underworld runs them to ground, Roxanne shows Santo the beauty of life—something he’d never imagined.
He is death, personified, after all.
But Roxanne has skirted the dark realm of death and returned three times. How could she not be surprising? As Roxanne brings Santo to acceptance of his newly minted humanity, Santo makes Roxanne appreciate her unique gift and beauty. Together they become the best of all that is human, willing to sacrifice everything in order to save that which they love. They have a long and arduous journey ahead of them—one in which they’ll have to make hard choices and face dangers that defy understanding.
Love and death make dangerous bedfellows and in the end, Santo and Roxanne may find that their love cannot survive the odds.
Here’s a small excerpt from THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE:
He turned to face her and something flickered in the black depths of his eyes. It was gone in an instant, leaving her feeling oddly cheated.
He caught a strand of her hair between his fingers and his thumb and rubbed it with a look of absorption that echoed through her body. Then his hand was on her throat, then her jaw, cupping her head as he pulled her in.
There were a thousand reasons she should resist him, a million why she should scramble off the bed and put as much distance between them as possible. But before his lashes lowered, she’d seen something raw and aching in his eyes. Something that reflected the loneliness inside of her. A part of her had given up on intimacy long ago, resigning herself to a life where everyone thought her sweet and happy while inside she withered. She scared most men for reasons she didn’t understand and thus couldn’t change. Something they sensed in her, about her, that sent them on their way before they ever got close.
But Santo seemed immune to whatever it was that frightened the others. More than that, he seemed captivated by it.
He searched her face, giving her time to back out. Common sense urged her to take it, but his touch had lit a fuse that hissed and sparked. It took forever for him to close the distance between their lips. Forever, while her heart thumped excitedly and her breath caught with anticipation.
Then his mouth touched hers. His kiss felt like fire in the middle of the darkest winter. Hot and welcoming, it burned in her blood and flared with her pulse. She couldn’t get close enough, and it seemed that neither could he. The blankets had tangled around her hips, and they both tried to free her without breaking the kiss, fumbling. Clumsy. So desperate that each failed attempt added to the spice.
If you were like Roxanne and knew you couldn’t die, what is one outrageous activity/stunt/adventure you would do?
Answer in a comment below by 5 p.m. today for your chance to win a copy of THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE by Erin Quinn.
*Five comments will be chosen at random. For complete contest rules, click here.