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Undead and Unwelcome (Betsy Taylor Series #8)

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Overview

Suburban housewife and vampire queen Betsy Taylor makes an alarming discovery: her half-sister is truly the Devil's daughter, and she can't wait to raise hell.

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Undead and Unwelcome (Betsy Taylor Series #8)

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Overview

Suburban housewife and vampire queen Betsy Taylor makes an alarming discovery: her half-sister is truly the Devil's daughter, and she can't wait to raise hell.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425227732
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/2/2009
  • Series: Betsy Taylor Series , #8
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.10 (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

So, if I’m reading this correctly, you’re a vampire now. Not a secretary.”

“Not an administrative assistant,” I corrected automatically. I mean, jeez! I knew Cooper was old and creaky, but what century did he think we were living in? (Or in my case, dying in and then reliving?)

“The important bit,” Cooper went on, “is about the vampire.”

“Well, yeah.”

“And how you’re the queen of them.”

I sighed and flopped into an airplane seat. I examined the toes of my navy blue Cole Haan Penny Air Loafers . . . not a scratch so far. “I guess some people would consider that an important point. The queen thing.”

“It’s bulleted and boldfaced. Also, the date of your death is in italics, along with how you don’t have to urinate anymore.”

“My pee or the lack thereof is nobody’s business!” I gnashed my teeth and added, “Give me that.”

I snatched the memo away from Cooper so quickly, he didn’t see my hand move until his wrinkly fingers were clutching air. This startled him into a gasp, which we then both pretended I hadn’t heard. That, I was learning, was vampire etiquette. Or, that is, vampire etiquette when dealing with humans. I’d finally figured it out after three years of being undead.

There should be a class, you know. Vampire Etiquette When Dealing with Humans 101. In another fifty years, I could teach the stupid thing.

I scanned the memo, my eyes bulging so much they felt like they were trying to leap from my skull. Cooper hadn’t been kidding. Jessica had sent him a memo detailing my bodily functions. Two pages!

To: Samuel Cooper.
From: The Boss.
Re: Betsy, Vampirism, and Cargo.

Cargo? My gut churned.

And the part about me being the vampire queen was bulleted.

“I can’t believe she sent you a memo.”

“She always does. And I send ’em to her. Increasing fuel costs, licensing issues, route changes. You know how expensive fuel’s getting now that China’s buying all the oil? The E.M. ain’t cheap, you know.” The E.M.: Jessica’s private joke. It stood for Emancipated Minor.

“And she sends her memos to me to keep me in the loop, don’t you know. Seems this one’s a little late, though,” he muttered.

“ ‘Creepy speed and unnaturally grotesque super- strength’?” Aghast, I kept reading as other blechy phrases leaped out at me. “ ‘Still obsessed with shoes but married rich and can now actually afford the stupid things’? That scrawny traitor, I’m going to—agh! ‘Immortality hasn’t given her any interest in any topic she cannot refer to in the first person.’ Why, that—okay, I can’t really argue with that last one, but she didn’t have to highlight it. Look! It’s highlighted.”

“So is ‘extreme narcissistic tendencies.’ In any case, I’m to fly you to Cape Cod, so you can meet with the King of the Werewolves and make sure he doesn’t sic his pack on you.”

“I think it’s pronounced Pack.”

Cooper heard the capital P and nodded. “Right. This Pack, they’re pretty ticked? Because of that little gal Antonia?”

I nibbled on the inside of my lip, distressed, as always, by any mention of Antonia. It had only been a week. It didn’t still sting, as much as feel like a lateral slice through the liver.

See, poor Antonia was making the trip with us—in the cargo hold, as all corpses flew. In a plain wooden coffin, the lethal bullet holes all over her skull still not filled in by an undertaker. My husband, Sinclair, and I had no idea what werewolf funeral customs entailed, so we’d given orders that her body simply be placed in a coffin and loaded onto Jessica’s private plane.

We didn’t even wash her beautiful, dear face.

But that was nothing compared to what we did with Garrett’s body.

“Look, Cooper, the important thing is now you know what you’re getting into. So if you can’t fly us out there, or if you think you—”

“Bite your tongue, miss. Or missus, I suppose. I’ve been flying for Jessica Wilson since she was seven years old, don’t you know, and we’ve had hairy days and we’ve had hairy days.”

“Cooper, I never, ever want to hear about your hair.”

He ignored me. It was just as well. “I’ve seen and heard things—never mind, that’s private family business.”

“Oh, come on, we’re best friends. I mean, Jessica and me.” I didn’t know if Cooper had any friends. “There’s no way you know stuff that I don’t—”

Cooper ruthlessly interrupted my shameless scrounging for gossip. “This doesn’t scare me.” He nodded at the memo, inadvertently crumpled in my fist. “But I surely wish Miss Jessica had told me earlier.”

He meant, of course, “Like, how about before I flew you and the vampire king to New York City for your honeymoon, dumbass?” But Cooper neither a) freaked out, nor b) quit. And thank God, because finding another private pilot at this hour would have been a bitch.

“You got a problem with the boss?” I asked. “Take it up with the boss. What I want to know is, are we still leaving at eight o’clock?” Because if we weren’t, I (and probably my husband) was going to be in big trouble with seventy-five thousand werewolves. I held my breath, remembered for the thousandth time I didn’t have to breathe anyway, and waited for his answer.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 213 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(87)

4 Star

(67)

3 Star

(37)

2 Star

(18)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 214 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    not your typical Betsy read

    *Warning: may contain spoilers for those new to the Besty series, as well as, my bitter/blunt point of view*

    You have been warned so here goes ....
    I have to say that the Undead series is probably my favorite series. I love the characters and the dynamic created by their interaction. The previous books have presented the reader with a hilarious eventful ride. However, the newest addition saddens me. I understand that the last books have deviated from the very explicit sexual side notes (which my deviant self enjoyed) in order to appeal to a broader audience. But seriously, even without all the lewd sex, Unwelcome fell short. The interactions obviously weren't there since the group was separated throughout the entire book. The whole Cape Cod werewolf Council was long winded with very little happening. Big surprise Betsy is pretty much unkillable *sarcasm intended*. Since the group is halved, Davidson decides to incorporate Marc's insight by way of journal entries. I personally don't care what Marc's thinking. He definitely adds to the banter, but the book has been told by Betsy's point of view. Why deviate now? Speaking of banter, Unwelcome completely lost the great verbal duels. Sure there's a squible here and there, but nothing to right home about. Too much of the book is spent inside Betsy's mind. I love Betsy's narcissistic two cents, but she spends too too too much time explaining previous story lines. FYI: the series has a cult following. We are not newbies and therefore remember: (a) the difference between the Ant and Antonia, (b) how they died, (c) the whole "Monkeys Paw" story and where BabyJon came from, and (d) that Laura is the very unstable daughter of the devil/Lena Olin. In future installments, I hope Davidson spends more time on plot than on explaining what has happened thus far. Didn't we get a "here's-the-story-up-to-now-in-no-particular-order-sidebar"? Lastly, since Davidson is unable to rewrite the book according to my tastes, I would like to petition the future incorporation of more Tina time. Tina is a great side character. Unfortunately, the only glimpses the reader gets of Tina is via email or 5 second interludes with Marc. I enjoy the little innocent looking, pansy eyed ninja warrior/royal secretary. Whether she's serving Sinclair his newspaper and tea or going screw loose nuts to protect the King and Queen, Tina adds a quirky spark to the mix.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    First disappointment in this series

    I've loved this series from the start, but Undead and Unwelcome fell very short of the previous books. For starters, it should not have been a hardcover - I'm a little disappointed that I paid hardcover price for such a short story. Second, it read as though Ms. Davidson is getting sick of her own characters and just quickly churned out SOMETHING to satisfy her publisher/contract. This seemed more like an outline to the "real" novel.

    If you haven't read any of the previous books in the series, forget starting with this one - you'll be completely lost. Up until this book, each character's personality and storyline was revisited, and done so quite subtly, so that the reader really got to know everyone. This story was so rushed and pieced together (especially with the whole backstory of Marc's diary entries on the subplot - which made no sense whatsoever), that it was just plain frustrating to read.

    This one - plot, dialogue, characters - fell flat.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Undead and Unwelcome

    This was another quirky romp in the Queen Betsy saga. As always, the wit & zippy dialogue were tasty brain candy. The Wyndam wolves (especially the future pack leader) were a nice change as well. Somehow, though, this book fell a little flat near the end with the sisters' battle. I was especially happy to see Marc getting more page space. I get a little annoyed when the the gay character is kept off screen and Marc has spent too much time in the emergency room away from the action. And while the climax at Cape Cod was a bit of an anti-climax, I found it emotionally satisfying because when you lose a dear friend in the end all you can do is grieve. So I enjoyed my short visit with Betsy and the gang and am looking forward to the next installment.
    IMO author Mary Janice Davidson can string words together, can paint a wonderful character profile, and makes characters who would normally seem unattractive come to life in a way that makes them sympathetic. I just didn't see all that in this installment. Sorry, 4 stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not liking #8 as much

    The other books in the undead series I breezed through, enjoyed and raved to others about. This one was a little painful. It took 3xs as long for me to read. I just couln't get into it, there was so much recap of past books it lost it's touch. The diary writing was a goofy way to keep the at home going ons in the book. I agree with a lot of the other reviews this book could have been summed up in a few pages rather than stretching it out for 280 by adding useless recap after recap, and usless trivial thoughts.
    I am interested to see if MJD reads and takes notes of any of these reviews and #9 will be better. Bring the old style back! If you like the series you should read this one just because but don't pay full hardcover price. Share with others, library or something cheaper. Not worth the $.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2009

    And...

    While I have always enjoyed MJD's writing, this book seems to be a throw away; 85% rehashing of events from her earlier books, 5% new information, 5% new story and 5% interesting. And that's being kind. The book is expensive and the type font is HUGE so you get very little new story for the buck. I expected more from this author that to spit out a book like this with so little thought to it. Obviously, this author is getting lazy. While I have been a huge fan of the Betsy storyline and have recommended MJD's books to friends, this book is a slap in the face to her fans by wasting our money by delivering the promise of a new story and giving us 5% of one. A HUGE WASTE OF MONEY!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Weak installment

    This is one of the weakest installments in this series and seems more like writing something for writing's sake rather than because there was a story that needed telling. The main plot of Betsy and Sinclair making their case to the werewolves concerning previous events is so uneventful it could be summed up in a few paragraphs...not that the story needed to be shorter. Short and uneventful as it was, it seems it would have been better served by being combined with the next installment. Laura's freak out is a mere escalation of her previous behavior and is completely unsurprising. The fact that it isn't resolved in this story isn't surprising but disappointing. There just wasn't enough plot here for a whole novel. Marc's diary seems more gimmick than interesting turn, especially as his part in the plot was as usual, barely important.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not What I was Hoping For

    I am a huge fan of this series and was extremely excited for this installment to come out. The day it came out, I walked to the Barnes & Noble 20 minutes from my school during my lunch so that i could get it because I just couldnt wait! I was a little put off by what I had to pay for this book, but thought it would be well worth it because I've loved the rest of the series...I've decided it may be more worth waiting to get the next one from the library.

    I was extremely dissappointed by Undead and Unwelcome. Too much time was spent of recaping the events of preveious books, unnecessary in my opinion because those reading the eighth book in a series are likely to have read the books that came before it and know what's going on.

    I was curious to know what was going to happen in the book, so it did keep my attention, just not in the ways I was hoping. I disliked the journal entries from Marc, I personally don't care what he is thinking.

    Overall I think the book was ok, but not great and that the series has become more about book sales than creating an interesting book that people are going to love.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2014

    I love her books, I can't wait to read the next four that are ou

    I love her books, I can't wait to read the next four that are out. Besty is funny and love her sarcasm. I love the crazy twists it as had. It always keeps me going and has my attention. 

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  • Posted May 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Undead and Unwelcome brings fans back into the Betsy Tayler seri

    Undead and Unwelcome brings fans back into the Betsy Tayler series. People who read this novel will enjoy the hilarious antics of the ever loving vampire queen. While some say that this novel fell short as opposed to the others, I disagree. Instead of sticking to a mind numbing plot that happens in every other book before this one, a new scene comes into play that involves werewolves. This novel is fast paced, easy, light, and fun. I would highly recommend continuing the series and seeing what happens next as queen Betsey becomes older.. and perhaps a little wiser? B+

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  • Posted June 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Epub/Vampire Chcklit: I kinda didn't want to read this because b

    Epub/Vampire Chcklit: I kinda didn't want to read this because book 7 wasn't that good (aka: no real plot), but I had it on my iPod.
    With several of the characters dead or MIA, I felt the story flowed so much better. I still miss the Betsy of ole: having to budget shoes on salary and calling Eric "Sink Lair" instead of Sinclair. I miss those days.
    I liked Eric's diary too. It's intertwined with Betsy's first person narrative and makes the book flow more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    Too short

    This one was ok but it could have been better. It was short and not as funny. Hopefully the next ones are better.

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  • Posted August 6, 2011

    Sinking into crap

    The series is getting worse. It's like all the fun is slowly being sucked into a void and the characters are doomed to a dark and evil existence. read it if you're curious to see what happens next in the series, but I would rather have skipped this one.

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  • Posted April 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Delightfully funny!

    This book is delightful in the wacky "dead" life of Betsy. Davidson allows those lesser characters to shine. I found this book entertaining and fun. A good read!

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  • Posted January 8, 2011

    Disappointing

    The wit and storyline in the previous books that I loved so much seems to be lacking in this book. Hope it's not a sign of things to come.

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  • Posted October 15, 2010

    Awful New Writing Style

    While some writers can pull off two character style; this is not a good example of it. I do not understand why the editor and publisher didn't call her on this. I realize she is not a great writer, but this example was very poor. I also wonder is she reads any of her previous books in this series as she often mixes up her facts.

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  • Posted September 10, 2010

    Good Read but next Book ruins it all

    This series of 9 books is a fun read until the last 2 pages of book 9 everything that the author lays out about the characters and the history of them is a complete and total lie and so after reading the last 2 pages in book 9 everything prior is a waste to read. They are a fun read and entertaining but just be aware that the author completely ruins it all in those last pages. I am liked the books but with the plot twist I am sorry that I paid what I did for the series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I LOVE BETSY!

    Vampires, weres, ghost, satan, shoes! What more could you ask for in a book?? I have read and reread all the books in this series and I can't wait for the new book to come out! This series is an easy read, hard to put down and just fun. The characters are great and easy to relate to, even Satan! The plot has good twist, some drama, some romance, (some shoes) and it makes for a great read. I really enjoy my "Betsy" time and I hope the author continues writing this series for a long, long time! This is my "fall back" (when I need something to read) series and I love it. YEAH BETSY

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Undead and .....series

    This series is a good one to read when you just want to pass the time and not have to try to figure things out. Light reading for rainy days or when trying to fall asleep. I enjoy some of the quirks of this series but I honestly do not follow it as closely as alot of my authors because the main character is very flighty, and self centered and cares more about her shoes then other people. I have a very hard time identifying with her or feeling sympathy for her. I like the writers style and the plots are good so I do read them when I come across them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2010

    Good

    This one is awesome. I love her little twist and turns. This series is great. One of a kind and just awesome!

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    Love this series!

    I stumbled on these books at Barnes and Noble because the book cover stood out to me. I really like the old style of them. With that said, I'm very sad that they changed the covers to look all contempory! Now I have 6 books with the old style which I like and 2 with the new style which I don't like. This really is the only thing about this series that I'm unhappy with. The story line is different, funny and romantic at the same time. I love all the different interactions with the different species. Betsy does have a habit of talking to herself a lot. I think the author can cut back a little on that now. I'd like more on her and Sinclair. Not necessarily romantic, although that's good too; but more of them being a team. More them together. These books are a really quick read too, way too quick. I wish each one was longer!

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