Undead and Unemployed (Betsy Taylor Series #2)

( 271 )

Overview

Being royally undead isn't all it's cracked up to be—there are still bills to be paid. Luckily, new Queen of the Vampires Betsy Taylor lands her dream job selling designer shoes at Macy's.

But when a string of vampire murders hits St. Paul, Betsy must enlist the help of the one vamp who makes her blood boil: the oh-so-sexy Sinclair. Now, she's really treading on dangerous ground—high heels and all.

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Undead and Unemployed (Betsy Taylor Series #2)

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Overview

Being royally undead isn't all it's cracked up to be—there are still bills to be paid. Luckily, new Queen of the Vampires Betsy Taylor lands her dream job selling designer shoes at Macy's.

But when a string of vampire murders hits St. Paul, Betsy must enlist the help of the one vamp who makes her blood boil: the oh-so-sexy Sinclair. Now, she's really treading on dangerous ground—high heels and all.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Entertaining, wicked and delightful."—Romance Reviews Today

"Chick lit meets vampire action in this creative, sophisticated sexy and wonderfully witty book."—Catherine Spangler

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425197486
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/3/2004
  • Series: Undead/Queen Betsy Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 273,056
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 6.84 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

MaryJanice Davidson

MaryJanice Davidson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Undead novels featuring Betsy Taylor; Derik's Bane, and the new young adult novels featuring Jennifer Scales, written with her husband, Anthony Alongi, among other titles.

Biography

Reading the coyly self-deprecating autobiography on her web site, one gets the distinct impression that MaryJanice Davidson does not have the slightest interest in talking about herself. Perhaps it's because she simply doesn't have the time. Prolific does not begin to describe this chart-busting dynamo, the author of four bestselling series and literally dozens of novellas and short stories.

A writer with a few romances and YA novels to her credit, Davidson had tried for years to interest publishers in her idea for a humorous, tongue-in-cheek vampire romance. After dozens of rejections (and assurances that there was no market for paranormal!), she submitted her manuscript for publication online. An editor at a New York publishing house downloaded the story, was royally entertained, and contacted Davidson to acquire the print rights to Undead and Unwed. On the spot, she was offered a three-book contract.

When Undead and Unwed and its wry sequel, Undead and Unemployed, were released in early 2004, not one, but two stars were born: Davidson and her irresistible protagonist, the reluctant vampire queen Betsy Taylor. A smart, sassy, 27-year-old secretary, Betsy is killed in a freak car accident and wakes up (so to speak) to discover that she is not only a vampire but the much-prophesied Queen of the Undead. Readers loved Davidson's wry take on vampire literature, a genre long distinguished by its gothic self-seriousness. Betsy, with her smarty-pants attitude and passion for designer shoes, is one vampire queen who owes more to Sophie Kinsella than to Anne Rice.

While Davidson has continued to produce more Undead novels, she has also found the time to launch three other romantic fantasy series featuring 1.) a hybrid mermaid named Fred, 2.) an eccentric family of Alaskan royals, and 3.) a cyborg spy. All are infused with her trademark wit and imagination. In addition, she and her husband, Anthony Alongi, have written the Jennifer Scales series, originally marketed to young adults and re-released as fantasy fiction for all ages. Davidson also remains one of the most popular writers of paranormal romantica; her short stories and novellas appear regularly in anthologies.

Good To Know

Davidson is not the only one in her family to achieve fame. Her mother once broke the world record for target shooting.

Before she devoted her time to chronicling the love lives of vampires and werewolves, Davidson was voted Miss Congeniality in her high school.

Even though Davidson is one of the most popular writers of modern monster fiction, in real life she is actually terrified of the undead. In fact, she is currently holding a contest on her web site asking readers to put together a twelve-step program to help her get over her fear of zombies!

As she writes on her website, Davidson lived a transient life as a young girl. Her father's career in the U.S. Air Force led her to live in such disparate locales as Guam, Mississippi, and North Dakota. As she grew older, her life in the working world was just as restless as her childhood. She tried her hand at everything from waitressing to modeling to editing to a stint as a medical test subject (!) before settling on a career as a bestselling novelist. These days, her life may be a bit more settled, but it has hardly slowed down.

A few fun outtakes from our interview with Davidson

"I'm a former model -- worst job ever, honestly."

"I'm a gigantic sushi hog -- it's pretty much my favorite meal."

"The more terrible and groaningly awful a horror movie is, the more I like it."

"Um, I like bubble baths? Seriously. I know that sounds like something a Playboy Bunny would say, but I really do."

"I like taking my kids to new restaurants and encouraging them to try new dishes -- we did "Dim Sum" just the other day."

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

When I’d been dead for about three months, I decided it was past time to get a job.

I couldn’t go back to my old one, of course. For one thing, I’d been laid off the day I died, and for another, they all still thought I was six feet under. Plus, a job during daylight hours just wasn’t going to work anymore.

I wasn’t starving or homeless, at least. My best friend, Jessica, owned my house and wouldn’t let me pay rent, and she had her team of super accountants pay the other bills despite my strenuous objections. I sure didn’t need to grocery shop for much except teabags and milk and stuff. Plus, my car was paid off. So my monthly expenses were actually pretty low. Even so, I couldn’t live off Jessica’s charity forever.

So here I was, on the steps of the Minnesota Re-Employment Center. They had evening hours every Thursday—thank goodness!

I walked through the doors, shivering as I was greeted by a blast of air-conditioning. Another thing about being dead that nobody warned me about was that I was cold pretty much all the time. Minneapolis was having a severe heat wave, and I was the only one not hating it.

“Hi,” I said to the receptionist. She was wearing a stiff gray suit and needed her roots done. I couldn’t see her shoes, which was probably just as well. “I came to the unemployment center to—”

“I’m sorry, miss, that’s RE-Employment. Unemployment centers are an anachronism. We’re a responsive twenty-first-century re-employment one-stop center.”

“Right. Um, anyway, I’m here to see one of the counselors.”

For my audacity, I spent the next twenty minutes filling out paperwork. Finally, my name was called, and I was sitting in front of a counselor.

He was a pleasant-looking older fellow with dark hair, a gray-flecked beard, and chocolate brown eyes, and I was relieved to see the wedding ring as well as the photo of his pretty wife and de rigeur adorable kids. I fervently hoped he had a happy marriage, so he wouldn’t make a fool of himself once my undead charisma smacked him in the face.

“Hi, I’m Dan Mitchell.” We shook hands, and I saw his eyebrows go up in surprise when he clasped my clammy palm. “Elizabeth Taylor, right?”

“That’s me.”

“Are your eyes all right?”

I was wearing my sunglasses for two reasons. One, the fluorescent light hurt like a bitch. Two, men didn’t fall under my spell if they couldn’t see my eyes. The last thing I needed was a slobbering state employee humping my leg.

“I was at the eye doctor’s earlier,” I lied. “He put those drop things in.”

“Yeah, been there. Elizabeth Taylor—just like the movie star!” he enthused, obviously having no idea people had been drawing that conclusion since the day I’d been born.

“Betsy.”

“Betsy, then.” He was flipping through the reams of paperwork I’d handed him. “Everything looks right . . .”

“I hope so. I’m here for Unemployment—”

“We’re the RE-Employment Center,” Mitchell said absently, still flipping.

“Right, right. Anyway, I need a new job, and while I’m looking, I’d like Unemployment Insurance. In fact, I have a quest—”

Mitchell looked vaguely alarmed. “Um . . . I need to stop you right there. We can’t do that here.”

I blinked. Not that he could tell behind the Foster Grants I was wearing. “Come again?”

“We’re a re-employment office. That’s what we do.”

“Sure, okay, I get it, but don’t you . . .?”

“If you want unemployment benefits, you need to call the hotline. Or use the Internet. I’m sorry, but we can’t answer your question here.”

“Let me get this straight. This is the place I go to when I’m unemployed . . .”

“Yes . . .”

“And you have unemployment benefit applications here—”

“Absolutely!”

“But you don’t have any staff here who can help me get unemployment benefits.”

“Yes, that’s correct.”

“Oh, okay.” This was weird, but I could be cooperative. Probably. I leaned back in the uncomfortable plastic chair. “Okay, so, can I use your phone to call one of these hotlines?”

Mitchell spread his hands apologetically. “Ah, jeez, you know, we used to let people do that, but some folks abused the phones, and so—”

“So you’re telling me I can’t call an Unemployment Hotline using a telephone in the Unemployment Office?”

“Well, technically, remember, we’re not an Unemployment Office anymore”—I suddenly wondered if a vampire could get drunk. I decided to find out as soon as I got out of this bureaucratic hellhole—“and that’s why we can’t let you do that.” He shrugged. “Sorry.”

I whipped off my sunglasses and leaned forward, spearing him with my sinister undead gaze. It was a rotten thing to do, but I was desperate. “I need. To use. Your phone.”

“No!” He hunched over and clutched the phone protectively to his chest. “It’s against policy!”

Amazing. I was sure my vampire mojo would leave him putty in my hands, but apparently his bureaucratic training was stronger than ancient evil.

“You’ll just have to go home and contact them on your own dime,” he snapped.

I stomped back to the waiting area. Outrageous! I wasn’t just any undead tart, I was the queen of the vampires!

“Don’t forget to fill out a customer satisfaction survey on your way out!” Mitchell yelled after me.

God, kill me now. Again, I mean.

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Table of Contents

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Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Betsy Taylor, Queen of the Undead

Long live the Queen! Betsy Taylor is back as Queen of the Undead in this delightful sequel to Mary Janice Davidson's fresh and funny Undead and Unwed, and it's a rollicking good read. To put it another way: What Janet Evanovich has done for bounty hunters, Mary Janice Davidson is doing for vampires. This time, Betsy gets her dream job in the shoe department at Macy's (working only at night, of course). The only obstacle on her road to happiness -- besides the ubiquitous presence of the sexy vampire Sinclair -- is the number of dead vampires piling up in St. Paul, and Betsy is soon deputized by her subjects to stop the murdering. Once again, Betsy copes with life on a liquid diet while she adeptly juggles the unexpected demands of a human/vampire life, the affections of her human friends, and her growing relationship with Sinclair.

Since Betsy Taylor is such an appealing character, Heart to Heart decided to bypass the author and go straight to the source for a special tête-à-tête with the shoe-loving vampire herself.

Heart to Heart: Do you remember your first pair of shoes? When did the passion for shoes begin, and did your mother have it, too?

Betsy Taylor: Don't you always remember your first? Ah, I can picture them now. My mother took me to Italy when I was 14...sort of a "sorry I'm divorcing your dad, but here's a trip to Europe to cheer you up" kind of thing. I was walking off some hazelnut gelato when I ducked into a Gucci store and...whoa! I mean, talk about heaven on earth! For your feet! It was the first time I realized shoes were, like, art, you know? I mean, people study to be able to design them. I can still remember the pair I begged my mom to buy...I had to, like, mow a zillion lawns to pay her back. They were eggplant-colored pumps with an inch heel, hand-stitched, and the inner soles were forest green. I still have them. That's the secret. People freak out about paying 300 bucks for a pair of shoes, but those suckers last forever. And these days, for me, that's a really good thing.

My mom isn't into shoes like I am. She's into the Civil War. If she needs a new pair, she goes to Payless. That's really all I've got to say about that.

HtoH: As an American growing up in a democratic society, how do you feel about being addressed as Queen?

BT: I can sum it up in one word: Bogus! I mean, come on. There's a reason we fought the Revolutionary War and kicked ass. Because being the king or queen of something is, like, the dumbest job in the world, and we didn't want any more of 'em bossing us around. Not to mention, I didn't do a single darned thing to deserve being called "Your Majesty." I got run over by an Aztec, for God's sake.

HtoH: What's the worst thing that's happened to your life since you've been dead?

BT: Oh, God, where to begin. Let's see, there was getting fired...oh, wait, that happened before I died. There was losing all my shoes when my stepmonster stole them, stupid Sinclair, my mom thinking I was dead (I was, but it wasn't, like, permanent), my dad being scared of me, stupid Sinclair, my friend Jessica having to buy my car and house back from the bank, stupid Sinclair, and finding out vampires REALLY need a leader and, incomprehensibly, they decided I was it. And stupid Sinclair.

HtoH: What's the best thing that's happened to your life since you've been dead?

BT: Uh...best? Um. Let's see...best...best...well, I met my friend Marc after I died. He's a doctor and he is just too cool for school. Let's put it this way: I told him I was a vampire and he didn't totally freak out. These days, that means a ton. Oh, and my stepmonster is scared of me. Yeah, that one's probably it.

HtoH: Did you always have that green-eyed siren mojo, or is that a new feature?

BT: Not hardly! Let's put it this way, I was Miss Congeniality, not Miss America. I always, you know, tried to look nice and used various products to make sure I didn't smell or have greasy hair, but I was never able to make men swoon just by glaring at them. I mean, please! That's probably been the hardest thing to get used to, because I feel kind of bad when I'm just asking for, like, directions or whatever and all of a sudden I've got a new slave for life. Talk about bogus.

HtoH: Would you rule out dating a "normal" man?

BT: Never! I totally dig on normal. Now more than ever. But sometimes I wonder...I mean, how could I ever do that now? What would I say to him? How would I tell him? There's just no way to say, "By the way, I'm a vampire and the Queen of the Undead" over, like, a steak dinner without sounding like I skipped my medication.

HtoH: What are the most commonly held stereotypes about vampires that are patently untrue?

BT: Let's see...that they're all beautiful and cool, that's probably the big one. Or, on the other hand, that they're all evil. I've noticed vampires are kind of like the rest of us. I mean, the rest of you. There's some really great ones, and some real lame-o suckwads. But most of them are somewhere in between. Like people, you know?

HtoH: Do you see any possibility that Sinclair will evolve?

BT: Never. Not in a thousand years. A million. Next question.

HtoH: What are your plans for the immediate future (and in the next book)?

BT: Oh, man, I have so got to get a job. I mean, my friend Jessica's great, but she's paying all the bills right now, and she pretends like it's no big deal, but come on. You can only be supported for so long before you start to feel like a major loser. Oh, and I'd like to ditch this whole Queen of the Dead thing. That's big number two. And lock stupid Sinclair in a sunroom next chance I get. That's big number three. Honestly, my biggest goal is to get back to a normal life. A normal, liquid-diet life.

HtoH: Is there any rumor or question about your current lifestyle that you'd like to address here?

BT: Yes...I'm not the Queen. No matter what that stupid, lame, "bound in human skin" grody Book of the Dead says. Oh, and if anyone is looking for a good secretary (night shift only), I'm your girl. I type 100 words a minute, can get office supplies at cost, and I don't need to take a lunch break. Oh, and I don't need health insurance, either. So give me a call. I'm in the book.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 271 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 272 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A charmer

    In St. Paul, the vampire minions consider Betsy Taylor as their Queen, but she wants to be left alone so that she can indulge in her shoe fetish. Rather than join Sinclair, the royal stud, who converted her three months ago, Betsy seeks employment. However, she quickly learns the first lesson from Remedial Vampirism 099 that using the glamour spell on a government bureaucrat never works as a civil servant must be officious to protect their butt. Next Betsy goes to Macy¿s where she scores a job selling shoes. She appreciates bureaucratic ineptitude as she figures SSA will not realize that the employer of a dead person is making payments............................. Bloodsucking visitors (not customers, but other vampires) keep arriving at the shoe department. Sinclair, who to Betsy¿s chagrin heats her blood though she detests how he failed to warn her that he is more dangerous than cigarettes, demands she join him. Her subjects demand she find out who is killing the Twin Cities vampires and stop that culprit. She feels it is unfair because she is the newest of the brood and all she wants is a new pair of shoes besides a bite or two with Sinclair, who she needs to help her with the inquiries............................... This sequel to the wacky UNDEAD AND UNWED, UNDEAD AND UNEMPLOYED is an amusing vampiric chick lit amateur sleuth tale worth sinking your teeth into as MaryJanice Davidson satirizes the three sub-genres. Betsy is a unique protagonist obsessed with expensive shoes while Sinclair is her perfect counterfoil. The rest of the cast enhances the comedic romp that takes a bite out of the acceptable norm of excesses that make up several fictional sub-classifications..................... Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fast and easy read.

    I read this after I fell in love with the 1st book. Finally a vampire series thats funny and not so depressing. Betsy makes me laugh and like me she loves her shoes..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2013

    Awesome

    Great author. Can't wait to listen to all of the books. Terrific narrator too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    Betsy Taylor series

    Another fun and funny read from this series. I LOVE IT!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    2/14/13

    2/14/13 A funny, good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2012

    Lots of laughs

    Fun story with great one liners. Story seems to borrow from laurell k hamilton, charline harris, and patricia briggs. Still a great story with its own quirks.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    Gettting #3 next

    Enjoyed all ive read! Goood fun!!l

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2012

    Love it!

    Love it!

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  • Posted September 10, 2010

    BE AWARE

    This series is a fun read but be aware that in book 9 the author betrays everything she laid out in the first 8 books. These have great characters and fun interaction but as I stated before she completely pulls the rug our from all the character knowledge and history between characters everything you learn about everyone and all the history is comletely alterd in hte last 2 pages I love a good plot twist but this one takes everything you have learned and throws it out the window as result the first 8 books become a complete and total waste of money and time spent reading everything that is laid out is a complete and total lie

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  • Posted September 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Oh for the love of SHOES!

    Betsy gets the best job in the world. And of course she is still ditsy as ever. This is a funny book. Can't wait to see what she and Eric get into next.

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  • Posted June 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Super funny!

    I LOVE Betsy. She is hilarious! She is so no-nonsense. She says what's on her mind and gets right to the point. Well.. she does keep a few secrets to herself. While she is still getting used to being a vampire, she is also finding out how powerful she is what powers she has.
    I laughed out loud so many times reading this book!

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  • Posted May 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    this series is hilarious

    I love this series. It's refreshing, laugh out loud funny and a page turned. Betsy is the Queen of the undead but does it with style and not so much grace. She speaks her mind and doesn't have that "think before you speak" filter! If you enjoy Stephanie Plum books, this is a great choice for the summer!

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  • Posted May 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Laugh-out-Loud, Sexy Read

    MaryJanice Davidson has done it again with this novel. I have never been into "vampire" entertaiment, but Davidson, and her characters have pulled me in and I find myself craving more! Betsy is hilarious, and Sinclare is great! Reading these novels makes you feel like your apart of the story and friends with the characters. Two thumbs up for this book, as wells as Undead and Unwed. I can't wait to pick up more and continue reading this series!

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  • Posted May 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Love it!

    I would kill for more Betsy and Sinclair time but hey i freaking LOVE their relationship! Picked the book up at 6, didn't put it down till it was done! Had fun playing detective myself!
    A laugh a minute!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Awsome Series!

    This whole series is really good! Every time you pick up a book in this series you feel like you are sitting down to visit old friends!

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A great read

    I have read the whole Betsy Taylor series and love them all. Ms.Davidson keeps the action moving, so that they are a quick read and very entertaining.The relationship between Betsy and Sinclair defintely keeps you coming back for more, as well as her relationships with her friends and family.In this book you start to see how Betsy's relationship with other vamps is going to be until she starts to take charge.Jessica is a character that really needs more time perhaps her own book later she's alot more complex than usual sidekicks and that's what makes her great.

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    Undead & Unemployeed

    Excellent quick-fun loving read. Laugh out loud moments. Overall a really fun read.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    Best series!

    I loved it, it has everything you want comedy, suspense, and romance.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Betsy takes on the bad guys again.

    I love what Betsy will do for a pair of expensive shoes. I love she keeps it honest about what drives most womens hearts. Betsy and Sink Lairs relationship is fun. Great read.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Fantastic Followup!

    I could not put this book down! While I was hesitant throughout the first book until the end, this second novel started out strong and ran with it the entire length of the story! I read this in little under 24 hours was laughed through the entire story. While it took me a little while to get into Davidson's humor from the first book, her sequel was charming, hilarious, and even gave a truely emotional scene towards the end with the death of the lead characters five her old ghost roommate. Her relationship with Sexy, yet, sarcastically detached Eric Sinclair continues to build to interesting proportions. I cannot wait to read the next novel in this amusing series!

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