About the Author
Date of Birth:1969
Place of Birth:Minot, North Dakota
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Table of Contents
Titles by MaryJanice Davidson
UNDEAD AND UNWED UNDEAD AND UNEMPLOYED UNDEAD AND UNAPPRECIATED UNDEAD AND UNRETURNABLE UNDEAD AND UNPOPULAR UNDEAD AND UNEASY UNDEAD AND UNWORTHY UNDEAD AND UNWELCOME UNDEAD AND UNFINISHED
SLEEPING WITH THE FISHES SWIMMING WITHOUT A NET FISH OUT OF WATER
Titles by MaryJanice Davidson and Anthony Alongi
JENNIFER SCALES AND THE ANCIENT FURNACE JENNIFER SCALES AND THE MESSENGER OF LIGHT THE SILVER MOON ELM: A JENNIFER SCALES NOVEL SERAPH OF SORROW: A JENNIFER SCALES NOVEL RISE OF THE POISON MOON: A JENNIFER SCALES NOVEL
(with Laurell K. Hamilton, Rebecca York, Eileen Wilks)
(with Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Angela Knight, Vickie Taylor)
(with Maggie Shayne, Angela Knight, Jacey Ford)
MEN AT WORK
(with Janelle Denison, Nina Bangs)
DEAD AND LOVING IT
(with Janelle Denison, Nina Bangs)
(with P. C. Cast, Gena Showalter, Susan Grant)
OVER THE MOON
(with Angela Knight, Virginia Kantra, Sunny)
(with Emma Holly, Vickie Taylor, Catherine Spangler)
DEAD OVER HEELS
MYSTERIA LANE (with P. C. Cast, Gena Showalter, Susan Grant)
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This book is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
1. Taylor, Betsy (Fictitious character)—Fiction. 2. Sinclair, Eric (Fictitious character)—Fiction. 3. Vampires—Fiction. 4. Hell—Fiction. 5. Thanksgiving Day—Fiction. I. Title. PS3604.A949U’.6—dc22
For Sarah and Sherrilyn and Jen and Lisa and Vicky and Marissa,
Okay, so, at the end of the day, when it’s time to write a book, it’s just me and the computer ... me, glaring balefully at same; computer refusing to make eye contact in the childish way it has.
(I should probably rewrite that: it should be the computer and me, right? Cuz I’m tryin’ to write good n’ stuff. Enh. I’ve already lost interest.)
But! For me to have the time to sit my big white butt down in the seat and get the work done? Tons of people help with that. And since I willfully ignore them most of the time, when I’m not figuring out how to frame them for felony assault, I’ll go on ahead and drop a few names.
First, many thanks to my valiant yet self-effacing assistant, Tracy Fritze. The poor woman no doubt assumed, well over a year ago, that it’d be a typical office job. Working for a writer was probably like working for an accountant: it sounded important but was ultimately mind-numbingly dull.
Sure, her workplace was my very own home, but how much different would it be from driving to an office three days a week?
Tracy likely assumed her duties would fall along the lines of word processing, setting up meetings, arranging interviews, proofing ARCs, booking speaking engagements, working with copyeditors, and occasionally running tornado drills.
Instead, the poor woman has been forced, in pretty rapid succession, to endure: being greeted by my pantsless son on more than one occasion, being interviewed by a German magazine (them: “How terrific is it to work for the MaryJanice Davidson?” Tracy: “Um ... ”), fighting off our overly affectionate dogs, enduring the smells of McDonald’s chicken nuggets and pots of chocolate Malt O’Meal when she’s trying to eat like a grown-up (and set me an example of same), and ceaselessly trying to encourage me to sit down to make decisions (on PR products, on book signings, on answering reader questions, on turning in interview questions the day I agreed to do so, on why I shouldn’t wolf down a half dozen Reese’s Cups at 9:30 a.m.) like a grown-up.
Not to mention being locked out of my house when I’ve crawled back into bed with a migraine (see above: greeted by pantsless son: “Hi, Tracy. Mom’s sick. Can I have some Malt O’Meal?”), and holding her ground when I ruthlessly set the dogs upon her (I found my dogs are especially fond of her if I rub bacon grease into her shoes while she’s hard at work in the office).
Tracy is an assistant as the dictionary defines it: she contributes to the fulfillment of a need; she assumes some of my responsibilities. She rescues me from the minutiae that nearly everyone has to endure if they want to be a functioning member of society. She’s smart, she’s quick, she never has to be told anything twice, she’s discreet (nobody knew about my pantsless son or Malt O’Mealgate until I stuck it right in my acknowledgments page). Also, she smells terrific.
Thanks are also due, as always, to the awesomest of awesome husbands, Anthony Alongi (he also cowrites the Jennifer Scales series with me). He tirelessly reads, suggests, edits, mocks, enrages, inspires, and annoys. Without him, there’s absolutely nothing for me.
My folks and sister, for being completely unwavering in their support, one hundred percent of the time. They wouldn’t abandon that stance if I stuck a gun in their ear. Do not ask me how I know that.
The Magic Widows, who have endured me for years and pretend that I’m worth the trouble.
The best of agents, Ethan Ellenberg, who paid me the ultimate compliment of calling me low maintenance. That was a wonderful lie for him to tell!
The always terrific Cindy Hwang, who reads my book suggestions and synopses, edits my manuscripts, exudes copious enthusiasm for same, and doesn’t smack herself on the forehead when I can see it, or hear it. (Though I do occasionally hear odd background sounds when I’m on the phone with her.)
And to Leis Pederson, kick-ass assistant editor, who is repeatedly forced to track me down and corner me like a rat to get edits out of me, but does it with such style I feel wanted, not stalked.
Thanks also to the Yahoos, my fans on Facebook, the readers kind enough to write to me, and the readers who don’t go near Facebook or the Web, who don’t have computers but who write to me, care of my publisher, with real pens on real paper. (I feel bad I received one such snail mail and instantly assumed, as comedian Jim Gaffigan suggested, that someone had been kidnapped.)
I write for myself—I always have. I think if you write for other people, the end result is something of a cheat, for you and for them.
But you guys make the writing that much more fun, for which I am continually humbled and slavishly grateful.
I’ve got nothing against Claes Oldenburg or his wife, Coosje van Bruggen. And I’ve got nothing against the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
But at the end of the day, it’s just a giant spoon.
The Story So Far
Betsy (“Please don’t call me Elizabeth”) Taylor was run over by a Pontiac Aztek almost three years ago. She woke up the queen of the vampires and in dazzling succession (but no real order), bit her friend Detective Nick Berry, moved from a Minnesota suburb to a mansion in St. Paul, solved various murders, attended the funerals of her father and stepmother, became her half brother’s guardian, still avoids the room housing the Book of the Dead (Book of the Dead, noun: the vampire bible written by an insane vampire, which causes madness if read too long in one sitting), cured her best friend’s cancer, visited her alcoholic grandfather (twice), solved a number of kidnappings, realized her husband/king, Eric Sinclair, could read her thoughts (she could always read his), found out the Fiends had been up to no good (Fiend, noun: a vampire given only animal [dead] blood, a vampire who quickly goes feral).
Also, roommate Antonia, a werewolf from Cape Cod, took a bullet in the brain for Betsy, saving her life. The stories about bullets not hurting vampires are not true; plug enough lead into brain matter and that particular denizen of the undead will never get up again. Garrett, Antonia’s lover, killed himself the instant he realized she was dead.
As if this wasn’t enough of a buzzkill, Betsy soon found herself summoned to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where Antonia’s Pack leaders lived. Though they were indifferent to the caustic werewolf in life, now that Antonia was dead in service to a vampire, several thousand pissed-off werewolves had just a few questions.
While Betsy, Sinclair, BabyJon, and Jessica were on the Cape answering these questions, Marc, Laura, and Tina remained in Minnesota (Tina to help run things while her monarchs were away, Marc because he couldn’t get the vacation time, and Laura because she was quietly cracking up).
They hadn’t been gone long before Tina disappeared and Marc noticed that devil worshippers kept showing up in praise of Laura, the Antichrist.
In a muddled, misguided attempt to help (possibly brought on by the stress of his piss-poor love life ... an ER doc, Marc worked hours that would make a union-less sweatshop manager cringe), he suggested to Laura that she put her “minions” to work helping in soup kitchens and such.
Excerpted from "Undead and Unfinished"
Copyright © 2011 MaryJanice Davidson.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was a HUGE fan of this series prior to this release. Betsy was cute and funny; a wonderfully light change of pace from some of the darker sets of series I was reading. Her relationship with Sinclair and her friends was refreshing as was her sense of style and shoe picks. then somewhere down the road...this book happened. First off, these cover changes should have tipped me off to the horror that was this book, it was a sign that I failed to follow. It feels like the author decided she didn't want to write a light series that made readers laugh, instead, she wanted to compete with the darker, more popular mainstream stories. You can't change a story line and characters after 8 books as drastically as this author did and expect readers to just go along with it, esp. with it being as poorly executed as it was. The extra long flashbacks and recaps that took up two thirds of the book were draining. The only commendable piece of writing was the time travel and the character developments from past to present. The epilogue is so horrendous, it makes me sick to actually discuss it. In fact, just skip it all together and save yourself the shock, anger and final disappointment upon it soaking in. I will buy the next book simply because I am a glutton for punishment and can't stop watching the train wreck thats to come. Hopefully we'll get some of the old Betsy and Sinclair and the author will have come out of her fantasy world...hopefully.
I just finished this book, and I have to say I feel very sad and disturbed. I love Betsy; the dumb, selfish blonde. The future her seems too cold and evil, which I do not like. Please bring back the Besty the readers love. Please! Get rid of this miserable future that is being foretold.
This is even worse than the previous book in the series and that is saying something --something not good. The previous book was a novella in large print made to look like a full length novel. It neither progressed the plot nor held my attention. I had high hopes for this one and some of it was a bit better; there was some plot advancement. However, she has regressed her main characters (they were growing and learning and now they've taken 10 steps back). The moves forward in the plot were somewhat confusing and did not totally make sense. The comedy of the early books is sadly thin here. Worst of all the ending was AWFUL!!!!! It was like taking a winding car trip and then crashing into a tree. I am swearing off MJD. I will not be wasting my money to fill her pockets and getting this sad sort of effort in return.
I WAS a fan of this series! Really people, the writer's dialogue was terrible. She kept interrupting her own conversations with explanations or flashbacks. You had to go back and reread so you could follow! This went on for about a third of the book until the time travel part (which I did enjoy that section). She made some great connections with the characters through this section and then she wrote the epilogue... She ruined the series for me with that. It was such a downer! It left me angry at what she did to the "future" relationship between Betsy and Sinclair. This series was fun and witty, not anymore!
This is the worst book of the series; Betsy is still suffering from 'too stupid to live' syndrome. I made myself read this one while I loved books 1-7. This one was not an improvement on Number 8: Undead and Unwelcome which was very flat. MJD's characterization of Laura as the AntiChrist was disturbing and the visits to Hell were not funny. The time travel was confusing, not funny. While there were some mildy amusing moments, there were few, if any, real laughs. The epilogue was truly disturbing, cold, sickening and thoroughly nauseating. What direction is Davidson intending to take the remaining books in the series - if there are any more. She should stop now; she's jumped the shark, as they say. While she may continue, I will not. I'm finished.
Having read every other book of the Undead series 4 times (loving it each time), I could not wait until Undead and Unfinished came out! What a disappointment it was! Where were the editors? The book itself is well written with the typical hilarious antics of Betsy. However, the plot seemed to be created as just a way to write another book for the series. Some questions are answered. But it seems that throughout the entire book, the author is almost hateful of Betsy, changing her character as the readers have known her and come to love her. I found myself hating the character of Betsy in this book. She was annoying, rambling and selfish, past the point of funny which usually carries her through the other books. The epilogue was the absolute worst part of the book! It took our beloved heroine Betsy and turned her into a very evil entity, which pretty much ruined the entire series. I would have rather not read the book at all and just have the series end with #8. All in all, it seems that the author grew tired and loathsome towards Betsy and was ready to just be done with her. Such a shame.
I hate to get specific about why I hate this book because it will give away the ending. IF you don't want to know how it ends, stop here. I have truly enjoyed the series and was always pleased when a new book came out. However, reading this one was like a stake through the heart. I can't understand those who reviewed it and said they couldn't wait to see what happened next. I think totally changing and/or doing away with all the major characters in the last chapter IS what came next. Unless they pull a Dallas and it is all a dream, or I really missed something, the series is essentially over. I can accept the idea we destroyed the earth, I can accept the idea that Betsy matured and became more responsible. I can almost accept Mark becoming an evil vampire. However that Hell is just like any other business, and Laura is the perfect devil; Betsy is now not just self-centered but cruel; and Sinclair is killed is too much. It is not squimishness, as my taste in books in very eclectic. I read alot, including sci-fi, suspense, horror, and graphic crime dramas. My objection is not that this book has a surprise ending; it is that the ending is totally unrealistic as to the context of the series. It wasn't consistent, it wasn't clever, it wasn't an "OH WOW, I didn't see that coming. It was just depressing and it really left a bad aftertaste.
Usually I love the wit and sarcasm in these books, and am turning the pages laughing. Not this one. Once you get past the mind numbing recaps (which go on, and on, and on)the plot (and I use the term loosely) turns dark and humorless. The ending just leaves you puzzled -is this the end of the series? Mary Janice seems to be telling her readers to go to hell with this piece. Such a shame to have waited this long for this book - I miss the shallow, funny, and foul mouthed Betsy and Sink Liar who loved her.
I have read all of the other books in this series. I must say that this is the most disappointing. I bought the eBook and the editing was shall I say, non-existant. Misspellings, typos and grammatical errors plagued it from beginning to end. But....that makes no difference when it comes to the story. I was anticipating this book as Betsy's humor entertains me. This one however felt like a rush to print because of it's lack of an in-depth story. The author spent way too much time explaining the back story. If you pick up that latest book in a long series and do not read the others to get the whole story, well that is your fault and I do not want my time wasted getting you up to speed. The story had NO twists and the epilogue! Lets just say that I could have lived the rest of my life without that. What direction are we going in now and how can you possible fix the plot direction without going off the rails? I will read the next one because I truly believe the author is talented. I just think that she may want to consider wrapping the series up cleanly and bringing Betsy Taylor into the station. Maybe even spinning off one of the characters and staying in Betsy and Sinclair's world. Maybe Laura? I don't care, there are a lot of interesting characters in the series. Then she can get us hooked on a fresh character. In no way am I dis-enchanted with Mary Janice Davidson. The book (editing aside) was as well written as the others. As bad as this one was, I look forward to the next.
Where in the world was your editor? Up to the very end, this book capped the series well. It was well written and in keeping with the essence of the characters. Then you had to add that horrible epilogue. It is out of character with both the characters and the tone of the entire series. I had loved both. You just ruined them all for me. Why the cheap trick?
I hated how it ended. I didn't want her to change in the end. Eric Sinclair was an interesting and great character. I do not see the point of having him(literally) killed off. I seriously wish I didn't read the rest of the book. Or the entire book for that matter. I loved the ditsy ticked of blond from the first book. Hated watching her change to the dreaded woman she became by the end of this book.
I really should have listened to the other reviews and skipped this book. As it was, I skipped a large amount of the flashback material because it was so tedious. This was the longest book in the series and by far the most disappointing. The only reason I will read the next book in the series is that I've read the preview on MaryJanice Davidson's website and it takes us back to present day Betsy, determined to change the future. So... I'll read it and hope we don't get flashes to future Betsy. But, sadly, until July 2010 I'll be stuck with this bad taste in my mouth. Also, I agree with some of the other reviewers who have noted the change in covers. They look terrible! *Sigh*
The writer has completely betrayed her fans and has "killed off" the readers connection with Betsy, with her ending; I suppose in an effort to kill any sequal interest. Not a smart move, as many former fans will now put her on their do not read list. I certainly will not be purchasing any of her books in the future.
If you have enjoyed the Queen Betsy series, please do yourself a favor and don't read this one. It will break your heart. It was so awful that I have to wonder why... Why? Why? WHY?!
I love the Betsy books, but I most admit that the ending of this one was not at all awesome! I don't think I can go back and read the previous Betsy books, it won't be the same anymore. You can't pick up the other 8 books and re-read them after this one without thinking "OH MY GOD, NOOOO!!!", which is what I screamed at the end of this book. The book started of great, with your typical Betsy "everything is about me" vampire queen, and the whole time traveling thing was awesome, but then when you read the last few pages you can't help but want to cry and scream, not to mention kick something. But I know that in the next book(which is due to come out july 2011)Betsy will find away to fix it, she always does.
Really liked this series until the end of this book when the author completely betrays all that she has laid out about the characters and their history With this book everything before it becomes a waste of time and waste of money if you purchase them by reading the last 2 pages of this book totally ruins all the fun from the first 8 books. So enjoy but be prepared for the violation of the characters
I have loved this series from the begining. I share Betsy's shoe obsession and firmly believe MOA is heaven on earth. But, the ending to book #9 made me want to cry and throw up at the same time. I really liked how the time travel weaved it's way through the other books, and was looking forward to re-reading them with a new insight. After I read the ending, I will never pick up this series again. It has tainted how I view the whole series.
Sad really it is, its like She took all the other 8 books and threw them all out the window! The middle was fine, Typical Betsy Taylor entertainment, but then I believe some kind of possession must have taken place and the book went the way of Stephen King, thats why I can't read King much and sadly may no longer be reading or recommending MaryJanice Davidson to my patrons in the library.
I absolutely hated this book! It just rambled on and was confusing to follow and really, I just didn't CARE anymore. Where is Betsy? She is a completely different person. It was like MJD wrote the first few chapters, went on vacation and then finished the rest of the book, it was so disconnected. And the end, yuck and heartbreaking. Betsy finally finds love and then destroys it. And the Book of the Dead? Hmmm...not cool...and Laura...creepy and out of character...where's the old humor that makes these books enjoyable?
I had so looked forward to the next book in this series. However I could not finish it! I got about one third of the way through the book, and put it down. I have no desire to finish it. It was as if all the characters I had known and enjoyed had been replaced.
I love this series, along with its characters and antics, but this book wasnt as good as the rest. I found myself bored with all the unecessary dialog and the plot needed a map just to follow. The ending wasnt good and left me more confused with what will happen to the series. I really hope the next book will help fill in what will happen to the crazy couple .... cause as it stands the ending will leave me not wanting to continue the series.
This book made the entire series make an abrupt stop and a sharp left. It was confusing. She had too much going on and not enough motivation for the characters for such drastic actions. I love the series, just not this book.
The book was tolerable (not as enjoyable as the previous 8) up until the Epilog. What is the deal with that? It left a bad taste in my mouth and I can't imagine how she can continue the series with that for readers to look forward to. Disappointed in Minnesota.
This book, comparative to others in the series, was not worth purchasing. The story line is buried in adjectives and descriptions. The main character, Betsy, just made my head ache due to being silly and insipid.
Learning just who the mom of her half-sister is (see Undead and Unwelcome) still shakes the soul of vampire Queen Betsy Taylor; that is if vampires keep their souls once converted; if not at least shakes the soles of her new shoes. The last person she wants to deal with is her half-sister former Sunday School teacher the Antichrist Laura. Laura pleads with her sibling to accompany her as she needs to take a trip to Hell to meet her mommy dearest Lucifer. Betsy agrees that she has nothing better to do than go to Hell, but while visiting the devil's playground; she negotiates a Faustian deal with Lucifer that allows her to read the Book of the Dead without going insane; or at least crazier than she is. In payment Lucifer simply expects the siblings to have a good time using her hellfire sword that slices through time and place. However, the two sisters soon have a bigger quandary to confront than finding designer shoes as somehow their night on the universe is devastating the future; although the sisters are having problems calculating what future. To Hell and back to hell as Betsy and Laura just wanna have fun, but soon finds Lucifer crafted a diabolical deal. Humorous as always due to Betsy's sarcastic in your face (especially her beloved, her sister, some supernaturals, shoe sellers, and Lucifer) as well as scornful asides to the reader. Yet with the acerbic comedic commentary, fans of the saga will enjoy the latest "Un and Un" fantasy as Undead and Unfinished continues the grimmer trend started with the previous Taylor thriller. Harriet Klausner