Undead and Unwed (Betsy Taylor Series #1)

Undead and Unwed (Betsy Taylor Series #1)

4.2 487
by MaryJanice Davidson

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MaryJanice Davidson's cult hit Undead and Unwed is a delightful mixture of Sex and the City and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Waking up in a tacky coffin, and wearing off-brand shoes, Betsy Taylor can't believe the horrible turn her life has taken–then she discovers she's a vampire. Soon, Betsy becomes a participant in a power struggle between the forces of

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MaryJanice Davidson's cult hit Undead and Unwed is a delightful mixture of Sex and the City and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Waking up in a tacky coffin, and wearing off-brand shoes, Betsy Taylor can't believe the horrible turn her life has taken–then she discovers she's a vampire. Soon, Betsy becomes a participant in a power struggle between the forces of darkness. With only her friend Jessica and the hunky vampire Sinclair to help her, this new "Queen of Vampires" will have a tough time getting her afterlife straight. "Sexy, steamy, and laugh-out-loud funny ..."–Booklist

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Undead/Queen Betsy Series, #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.16(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.74(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

The day I died started out bad and got worse in a hurry. I hit my snooze alarm a few too many times and was late for work. Who wouldn't hit the snooze to get another nine minutes of sleep? No one, that's who. Subsequently, I almost always oversleep. Stupid snooze button. I didn't have time for breakfast. Instead, I gobbled a pair of chocolate Pop Tarts while waiting for the bus. Mmmm...chocolate. My mom would have approved (who do you think got me hooked on the darned things?), but a nutritionist would have smacked me upside the head with her calorie counter.

The bus was, of course, late. You gotta love the Minnesota Transit system. Six buses for a population area of a quarter million. When they weren't late, they were early -- I'd lost count of the number of times I'd stepped outside only to see my bus disappearing over the horizon. When the bus finally did lumber into sight, I climbed on and sat down...in gum.

At a nine a.m. meeting (to which I arrived at 9:20) I found out the recession (the one the economists have been denying for years) had hit me right between the eyes: I had been laid off. Not unexpected -- the last time good old Hamton & Sons had been profitable I'd been in high school -- but it hurt, just the same. Losing a job is the worst. You know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that somebody doesn't want you. Doesn't matter if the reasons are personal, financial, or practical. They just don't want you.

Hamton & Son, realizing about a year too late that they had to slash costs, decided administrative layoffs were the way to go as opposed to, say, cutting the six figure salaries of senior management. The clerks and secretaries had been deemed expendable. But vengeance would be ours. Without us, those twits couldn't even send a fax, much less run the company. With this cheerful thought, I cleaned out my desk, ignored the way my co-workers were avoiding looking at me (the ones left, that is), and scuttled home. I consoled myself by stopping at Dairy Queen for a blueberry milkshake. Signs of spring: robins, new grass, and Dairy Queen opening for the season.

As I walked through my front door, still slurping, I saw my answering machine light winking at me like a small black dragon. The message was from my stepmonster, and from the racket in the background, she was calling from her salon: "Your father and I won't be able to make it to your party tonight...I'm on new medication and I -- we -- just can't. Sorry." Sure you are, jerk. "Have fun without us." No problem. "Maybe you'll meet someone tonight." Translation: Maybe some poor slob will marry you.

My stepmonster had, from day one, related to me in only one way: as a rival for her new husband's affections. Worse, she never hesitated to play the depression card to get out of something that was important to me. This ceased bothering me about a week after I met her, so I suppose it was just as well.

I went into the kitchen to feed my cat, and that's when I noticed she'd run away again. Always looking for adventure, my Giselle (although it's more like I'm her Betsy).

I looked at the clock. My, my. Not even noon. Time to do laundry and gouge out my eyes, and the day would be complete.

Happy birthday to me.

As it turned out, we had a freak April snowstorm, and my party was postponed. Just as well ... I didn't feel like going out, putting on a happy face, and drinking too many daiquiris. The Mall of America is a terrific place, but I've got to be in the mood for crowds, overpriced retail merchandise, rowdy weekend crowds, and six-dollar drinks.

Nick called around eight p.m., and that was my day's sole bright spot. Nick Berry was a superfine detective who worked out of St. Paul. I'd been attacked a couple of months before, and...

Okay, well, "attacked" is putting it mildly. Like using the word "unfortunate" to describe World War II. I don't like to talk about it -- to think about it -- but what happened was, a bunch of creeps jumped me as I was leaving Kahn's Mongolian Barbecue (all you can eat for $11.95, including salad, dessert, and free refills, quite the bargain if you don't mind your clothes reeking of garlic for hours).

I have no idea what my attackers wanted -- they didn't take my purse or try to rape me or even babble about government conspiracies.

They came out of nowhere -- literally. One minute I was yawning and fumbling for my keys, the next I was surrounded. They clawed and bit at me like a bunch of rabid squirrels while I fended them off with the toes of my Manolo Blahniks and screamed for help as loud as I could...so loud I couldn't speak above a whisper for three days. They stank -- worse than my kitchen that time I went to the Cape for two weeks and forgot to empty my garbage before I left. They all had long hair and funny-colored eyes and they never talked to me.

Help didn't come, but the bad guys ran away. Maybe they were rattled by my voice -- when I scream, dogs howl. Or maybe they didn't like the way I stank of garlic. Whatever the reason, they ran away -- skittered away, actually. While I leaned against my car, concentrating on not passing out, I glanced back and it looked like a few of them were on all fours. I struggled mightily not to yark up my buffet, ginger tea, and sesame bread -- no way was I pissing away that $11.95 -- and then called 911 on my cell phone.

Detective Nick was assigned to the case, and he interviewed me in the hospital while they were disinfecting the bite marks. All fifteen of them. The intern who took care of me smelled like cilantro and kept humming the theme from Harry Potter. Off-key. This was actually more annoying than the sting of the antiseptic.

That was last fall. Since then, more and more people -- they didn't discriminate between women and men -- were being attacked. The last two had turned up dead. So, yeah, I was freaked out by what happened, and I'd sworn off Kahn's until the bad guys were caught, but mostly I was grateful it hadn't been worse.

Anyway, Detective Nick called and we chatted and, long story short, I promised to come in to look through the Big Book O' Bad Guys one more time. And I would. For myself, to feel empowered, but mostly to see Nick, who was exactly my height (six feet), with dark blonde hair cut regulation-short, light blue eyes, a swimmer's build, and dimples! He looked like an escapee from a Mr. Hardbody calendar. I've broken the law, Officer, take me in.

Making Nick my eye candy would be the closest I've gotten to getting laid in...what year was it? Not that I'm a prude. I'm just picky. Really, really picky. I treat myself to the nicest, most expensive shoes I can get my hands on, which isn't easy on a secretary's budget, and never mind all the money my dad keeps trying to throw at me. If I used his money, they wouldn't be my shoes. They'd be his. I save up for months to buy the dumb things, and they only have to go on my feet.

Yep, that's me in a nutshell: Elizabeth Taylor (don't start! I've heard 'em all), single, dead-end job (well, not anymore), lives with her cat. And I'm so dull, the fucking cat runs away about three times a month just to get a little excitement.

And speaking of the cat...was that her telltale Riaaaooowwwww! from the street? Well, super. Giselle hated the snow. She had probably been looking for a little spring lovin' and got caught in the storm. Now she was outside waiting for rescue. And when I did rescue her, she'd be horribly affronted and wouldn't make eye contact for the rest of the week.

I slipped into my boots and headed into the yard. It was still snowing, but I could see Giselle crouched in the middle of the street like a small blob of shadow, one with amber-colored eyes. I wasted ten seconds calling her -- why do I call cats? -- then clomped through my yard into the street.

Normally this wouldn't be a problem, as I live at the end of the block and it's a quiet street. However, in the snow on icy roads, the driver didn't see me in time. When he did, he did the absolutely worst thing: slammed on his brakes. That pretty much sealed my doom.

Dying doesn't hurt. I know that sounds like a crock, some touchy-feely nonsense meant to make people feel better about biting the big one. But the fact is, your body is so traumatized by what's happening, it shuts down your nerve endings. Not only did dying not hurt, I didn't even feel the cold. And it was only ten degrees that night.

I handled it badly, I admit. When I saw he was going to plow into me, I froze like a deer in the headlights. A big, dumb, blonde deer who had just paid for touch-up highlights. I couldn't move, not even to save my life. Giselle certainly could; the ungrateful little wretch scampered right the hell out of there. Me, I went flying. The car hit me at forty miles an hour, which was survivable, and knocked me into a tree, which was not.

It didn't hurt, as I said, but there was tremendous pressure, all over my body. I heard things break. I heard my own skull shatter -- it sounded like someone was chewing ice in my ear. I felt myself bleed, felt liquid pouring from everywhere. I felt my bladder let go involuntarily for the first time in twenty-six years. In the dark, my blood on the snow looked black.

The last thing I saw was Giselle sitting on my porch, waiting for me to let her in. The last thing I heard was the driver, screaming for help. Well, not the last. But you know what I mean.

Copyright © 2004 by Mary Janice Davidson.

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Undead and Unwed (Betsy Taylor Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 487 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago

That sums it up in one word. MJD has managed to write a book that had me laughing-out-loud from page one, and kept me laughing all the way to the end.

A new twist in vampire stories, I can't wait for the next installment, UNDEAD AND UNEMPLOYED. For anyone who likes hot romance mixed with humor and a healthy dash of paranormal, UNDEAD AND UNWED is NOT to be missed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a must read. MaryJanice Davidson has fun with the characters and keeps the plot moving. If you are looking for a fun and witty read this is it. Betsy walks us through her trials as a new Vampire. She is an unconventional vampire in most senses. She has loyal followers that keep her in line and alive, or what ever you call an undead vampire that lives.
jwheelzJW More than 1 year ago
I read this book after reading reviews because I enjoyed the Sookie Stackhouse series and heard it was similar. This book was a pleasant surprise! Betsy was hilarious and Sinclair sounds just plain hot. It had plenty of humor and romance and even some action thrown in. I'm definitely excited to read the rest of Betsy's story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love vampire books, Bram Stoker, Anne Rice, Laurel Hamilton, et al. But this is the WORST vampire book I have EVER read. It's a horrible chick lit book, it's a horrible romance book - the big sex scene that builds up happens on page 200 of a 255 page book, and it's a horrible vampire novel. combine a poor rip off of sex and the city, bad writing, and cliche on top of cliche (which the main character and narrator comments on how lame cliche's are and still they are there!), and you have this sad excuse for a story. avoid this book like the dead! the writing is below average and the narrator comes off sound like a 16 year old. 'ew, gross, yuck' and the ilk and littered on every page and uttered constantly by the 'queen of vamps'. give me a break.
Cathy-Mac More than 1 year ago
This is in my top favorite five books of all time. There'a a little bit of everything - romance, mystery, drama, and comedy. The dialogue is to die for! It pulls you through the book at breakneck speed and had me laughing out loud and reading small excerpts to anyone within earshot of my howling. The characters are down to earth and this reader can really identify with the beloved betsy who says exactly what's on her mind and has remarkable taste in shoes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Was this a book about a woman becoming a vampire with humorous consequences? Was this book written by an adult? Or was this book about an extremely unlikeable character, written by a 12 year old girl?....I'd have to go with the latter. Or at least that's how I felt while reading this garbage. At first I thought Betsy, the main character, was smart, tough and funny; the sarcastic humor was right on target. But as the chapters went on, I realized that she wasn't smart at all and wasn't nearly as funny as I expected her to be. She then came off as nothing more than a desperate, immature woman who needs a good smack. And to top it all off, everything had a major amateurish vibe. The writing was sooo bad, the plot unfolded horribly, and the humor got extremely repetetive very early on; I thought I was reading the same few lines over and over and over again. The author tried to make every single line of the book humorous...which was the most annoying thing since there were only about three lines per chapter that were ACTUALLY funny. Skip this book....unless of course you're a 12 year old girl, then go ahead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I think of a romance book I think of the Fabio books. This is nothing like that. Actually as far as romance goes, there is about 2 pages of that per book. This book is HILIARIOUS! I don't want to give too much away, but this book has a wide variety of crazy, sexy characters who you are bound to relate to one if not more of them. I would definately recommend this to adults. There is some bad lanuage and like i said some pages that would be inappropriate for young readers, but overall this is a great book!
Precious5881 More than 1 year ago
This was a fast read for me. I have mixed feelings about the book. I think the author did have something good going but I think she lost it halfway through. I loved Jessica, Marc not so much. I am really glad that the author didn't go on and on about how hard it was to give time two friends or the struggle for her to maintain their friendship along with her new vampire friends. I found the playful bantering between her and others funny and rude. Rude not being the right word for it. There is a time and place for that kind of talk and this girl just talks like that to everyone. Does she not have any respect for anyone? No wonder she was laid off. Thumbs up to her for not taking peoples crap, I didn't mind it during those times, but geez, some cases, enough was just enough. I even found myself wanting to slap her myself for acting like a ditsy blonde and getting Eric's arm hurt. I found her obsession with shoes over the top, maybe thats just because I'm not a shoes person, who knows. I did find it interesting form of character development. I feel that the story was to jumbled up/rushed, she's only been a vampire 1 week and already killed a "boss" vampire. I feel that for a vampire as old as Eric is, he was really "careless" even though Tina boasted that he was careful, I mean wow, he had a spy working right there with him for years. All in all, I will not be continuing this series. I looked ahead at the others, read some reviews and I haven't seen anything that has tempted me to continue to read this. I know that even by book 8 she's struggling to be queen, there is no real her and Eric time, and most of the reviews I read on that book where bad. If you absolutely loved the stookie stackhouse books, by all means, continue this one. Otherwise, look at the other books I recommend, they are much, much better.
tremont More than 1 year ago
This book is such a goodtime, I laughed and laughed out loud some many times, I have read the whole series and whould HIGHLY reccomend it to anyone :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The headline says it all. The writing style was waaay too sarcastic and just plain silly. I was very frustrated reading this book.
Lindsie More than 1 year ago
Most of us wish we could have Betsy's humor, and her attitude. This VAMP is to die for along with this novel. Its funny, fast paced, and entertaining. I never thought I would enjoy a vampire novel, but for this I need to get the whole collection! This is the first book I have read of Mary Janice Davidson and I cannot wait to get my hands on the other ones! Two thumbs up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great start to the series. Recommend to anymore who likes the Sookie Stackhouse series or the Twilight saga.
foxiemissk More than 1 year ago
the whole series is a great easy read. funny and witty, with cute characters & odd situations. its great for when you want to read something that will make you smile
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book and it was a laugh a minute. I am hooked on Mary Janice Davidson, I can't wait to read the rest of the books in this series. Also this book has prompted me to want to read other books by this author!
NHHomeschool2boys More than 1 year ago
I loved Twilight, I loved the Sookie Stackhouse series and now I love this series! I've laughed out loud many times and the one-liners and the quirkiness of Betsy. This book is more "realistic" in a way just because of the way MaryJanice writes. I started to read the Laurel Hamelton vampire books but I just couldn't get caught up with the candance of her writting. This book is just fun to read!
Jen_from_Colorado More than 1 year ago
This is one of favorite books of all time. It is so hilarious! The characters are relatable and lovable. I would recomend this book to anyone who is looking to lose themselves in a great story that will give them a great laugh.
mibev More than 1 year ago
I really like vampire books and this one is one of my favorites. It's very funny.
samanthamae More than 1 year ago
This book was a very fun read. I recommend this book (series) to anyone who likes fun, romantic, fantasy reads. It has great characters and the plot was really different and fun to follow! A new vampire with a penchant for great shoes, what woman wouldn't love it?!
jasonmason More than 1 year ago
I laughed, I cried (not really), it was great! Very sarcastic sense of humor and a little sexy thrown in.
romance_connoisseur More than 1 year ago
I love everything about MaryJanice and her writing, and this book is no exception. The entire Betsy Taylor series is fantastic. Great characters, great dialogue, and great sarcasism. After this series try her other ones: Alaska Royals (hahahah, the King of Alaska, oh man! What a guy!) Fred the Mermaid Series (Hot mermen, ballsy chicks, and halerious banter whats not to love) If you havnt gotten into this Author yet....WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good, quick read. It has a funny twist on someone accepting their fate. However, the language and attitude of the primary character are irritatingly crass.
craftychick More than 1 year ago
What is better than a queen vampire who can't get enough of designer shoes! This is so a laugh out loud series. It's a lot of fun. And it keeps me wanting more. I can't wait to get into the next book!!! This is a good series if you are fans of Sookie Stackhouse.
Vamp-chick More than 1 year ago
I was laughing out loud to parts of this book. Very original, fun book!
vampire_Bill More than 1 year ago
So so funny, It's a mix of Sex and the City meets True Blood meets Great humor. It's a must have. I've only read this first book, but if the rest of this series is this good. I'm HOOKED.
chris3177 More than 1 year ago
This book is hysterical... I recommend this series to everyone... especially if your in the mood for a ("my-side-hurts-and-i-can't-breath") laugh!