MaryJanice Davidson is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. Her Undead books are extremely popular paranormal romances. Betsy needs a job and amazingly lands the perfect one–selling designer shoes at Macy's. But the other vamps, including sexy Sinclair, don't want their queen selling shoes. And the vampire hunters are becoming a real pain–murdering innocent vampires. It seems that everyone wants something from Betsy. "Davidson's witty dialogue, fast pacing, smart plotting, laugh-out-loud humor, and sexy relationships make this a joy to read."–Booklist
About the Author
Date of Birth:1969
Place of Birth:Minot, North Dakota
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Undead and Unemployed
By Mary Janice Davidson
BerkleyCopyright © 2004 Berkley
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWhen 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?"
"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, 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 ..."
"And you have unemployment benefit applications here-"
"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
What People are Saying About This
"Entertaining, wicked and delightful."—Romance Reviews Today
"Chick lit meets vampire action in this creative, sophisticated sexy and wonderfully witty book."—Catherine Spangler
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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
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..
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
Betsy Taylor back in action this time determined to get back to the working world. She lands the dream job of shoe sales associate at Macy's (the choir sings aaah). Of course, Betsy's wish for the simple things in life just don't work. Because her house is falling apart due to termites, the trio move to the most upscale street in town. Out of town vamps start to come by to meet-and-greet with their new queen. They are also under attack from an organized little unit of vampire hunters. Betsy's also got a couple new tricks this time around. *SPOILER* First, they discover that she can see ghosts...and hear them and actually touch them. Second, in the confrontation in the nightclub at the end of the book, we find out that along with Betsy's other in-vulnerabilities (crucifixes,holy water,churches,etc.)she can now add on 'can't be killed by wooden stake through the heart'. Wow. What's next for this girl? Go, Betsy :)
This second installment in the Undead series was as funny and silly as the first. A quick, entertaining read, when you're looking for a giggle.
Again, a good fun read. Nothing taxing but it made me laugh out loud in places and I enjoyed it! If you're looking for something light to read then you could do worse than this series.
Betsy is a few months older and settling in to being a vampire. Someone is staking female vampires on alternate Wednesdays and as queen it's up to her to sort it out. She also gets a job selling shoes (where else?!).Although the elements that made the first book so much fun are still there (and come back again in the next one) I found this book weaker, at least because I'd worked out who the bad guys were very, very quickly.
Betsy is back and is trying to refuse being made Queen of all the vampires. It seems her special vampire powers set her apart from the others and the prophecies say she is their Queen. Unfortunately she has been saddled with a King which she is not happy about at all. To make things more complicated it seems she can see and communicate with ghosts.Betsy gets a job in a Macy's shoe store, her dream job, but her vampire life keeps interfering. Sinclair won't leave her alone, determined to be her consort in all aspects much to her bisgust (and silent enjoyment). Unfortunately there seems to be a slayer in town killing vampires. They don't seem to understand that not all vampires are blood thirsty monsters and some are good and don't inflict pain and suffering on humans.Another great installment, I am definitely hooked on this series and will be continuing with it soon. I love the humor, the sexiness and the attitude.
My introduction to Betsy the Vampire Queen was one of the later volumes, which our local library has on CD. It made me laugh so much that I listened to it again before returning it. Yes, I was spoiled for some revelations in this book, but it didn't matter. I read this series for the humor and there was plenty of it. It's probably just as well that Betsy's language is not exactly 'suitable for all ages'. I might have been tempted to quote too many of the great lines, especially the one where Betsy tells the vampire hunters what she thinks of the name they call themselves. Sigh -- Chris Long's cover is amusing, but I'm not that fond of cartoony covers. (Chris Long did the cover of Betsy reading the 'help wanted' section of a newspaper while sitting on a white coffin. Blue, yellow and orange, and green shoe boxes are on the floor. There's also a purple shoe box and a red & pink one. We can see the shoes in some of them.)There's an 8-page preview of Derek's Bane by the same author, followed by a 12-page preview of For Pete's Sake by Geri Buckley, at the end of this book. I didn't read them.
Betsy gets a job in the shoe department at Macy¿s, which she calls ¿Heaven,¿ but unfortunately she misses work a lot because someone¿s trying to kill the vampires. I was really hoping it wasn¿t Buffy (spoiler alert: it¿s not!). Betsy also wears yummy sushi jammies, which has to be a nod to Buffy, because if it isn¿t that¿s an incredibly improbable coincidence. I still don¿t really like Betsy that much because she is kind of vacuous, but I love Tina, Jessica, Marc and the yummy Eric Sinclair, so I¿m going to keep reading these. They¿re light, fast-paced, and fun.
Fun light read. Very enjoyable
OK. Better than some of the later ones.
I have to confess, I found this second book not as good as the first one. It was just average. I like the sarcasm and tone (which I was more prepared for this time), but the plot felt sort of hollow to me. Most of the book is Betsy arguing with other people over various issues ¿ where to live, whether or not to work, who loves who, etc. I didn¿t think there was really enough chemistry between Betsy and Sinclair here, though they do have their moments. And they don¿t really solve the mystery as much as they just happen upon the solution. I find the series entertaining enough to continue, but I¿m hoping for a little more oomph in the next one.
Very silly book. Parts were good, but silly silly silly.
This second book in the Undead series is as good, if not better, than the first. Filled with humor, sexual tension, fun characters and shoes! Queen Betsy Taylor is one in a million.
Undead and Unemployed is the 2nd book in Mary Janice Davidson's Queen Betsy Series. Elizabeth Taylor - a.k.a. "Betsy" - a.k.a. Her Majesty, Queen of all Vampires - has had a rough couple of months. After being killed, (and coming back from the dead, btw) she has had nothing but trouble. In the first book in the series, Undead and Unwed, Betsy was integral in the over-throwing of the old vampire ruler, and in doing so became the de facto "Queen of the Vampires" (whether she likes it or not.) Unfortunately, many of her new "subjects" refuse to acknowledge her - calling Betsy a false Queen - and as if that's not enough, Betsy's house is crawling with termites, she needs to find a job with night hours, and Etienne Aigners did not put out the lavender pump this season! Oh, and there's a serial vampire killer on the loose - what's a vampire Queen to do?I am so glad I gave this series another chance! Undead and Unemployed is a better book than Undead and Unwed (book 1.) It is fun, fluffy, and fantastic! Betsy is exactly the kind of Queen the vampires need - smart, sensitive, and sassy as hell. She is a charming and captivating heroine - I am definitely in her thrall and totally hooked on this series now. Undead and Unemployed is a light, fast read - more like a "vampire sitcom" than your typical doom and gloom, dramatic vampire story. I read it in a single sitting, and couldn't put it down! The mystery/suspense aspect of the story was extremely compelling, and the cast of characters - Sinclair and Tina, Betsy's guides in the afterlife; Jessica and Tina, her "urban family;" and of course the "Blade Warriors," a gang of adolescent vampire slayers - all make for some hilarious scenes that had me laughing (and snorting) out loud!With interesting plot twists and and entertaining characters, Undead and Unemployed had built on the foundation set out in Undead and Unwed, and taken the story in a delightful new direction. I will be picking up book 3 today - another new series for Susan!
Book 2 ¿.. Queen Betsy comes across as a parody of every other vampire book out. She is a shoe hound and a klutz and she has no clue what she is suppose to do. While she is the Queen, her King is the supposed epitome of the vampire royalty, the problem is he seems to forget himself whenever Betsy is around because he is (I guess) so besotted with her. Everyone seems to forget to tell `her majesty¿ things that she should know, or needs to know and then she ends up defying all vampire laws anyways so maybe it doesn¿t really matter that she didn¿t know. With this particular book, I liked the addition of Marie even if the end of that situation kind of sucked (ha ha - had to do it sorry). Crazy, crazy but good for a laugh even if I don¿t get the shoe fetish.
Betsy Taylor, the new queen of the vampires (and a most unwilling queen too, might I add) is back - and in need of a job. (Hey, designer shoes don't grow on trees, you know.) On top of needing to find - and then keep - employment, she also has the small problem of figuring out all the recent vampire murders.Even though many people call this series a romance series, I just can't see the romance. Yes, Sinclair is head over heels in love with Betsy (though he has an odd way of showing it), and yes Betsy does love Sinclair (though she'd rather die - again - than admit it, even to herself), but really this series just doesn't have enough elements of a romance to truly be a romance series. Heck the main character ends up determined to stay away from the romantic lead by the end of the book! (As Betsy says, "Nothing good can come of having sex with Eric Sinclair.")After reading the first book I was annoyed with Betsy but intrigued by the story. Now, after having read the second book, Betsy is growing on me. She's like Buffy, only slightly more vapid, much vainer, and not quite as kick-ass. But still charming.
Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor won't let a little thing like being undead keep her from getting a job. She manages to land the perfect job for her, selling designer shoes at Macy's. She'd be happy if she could just work at Macy's and forget the vampire stuff, but someone is killing off vampires and the other vampires want their Queen to stop the killing. When Betsy herself is targeted, she is able to identify and catch the would-be killers, but even they don't know who their ringleader is. Betsy, her vampire friends (including the sexy Sinclair), and her non-vampire friends Marc and Jessica, team up with Father Markus and his group of Blade Warriors to find out just who is behind the vampire killings. As if Betsy wasn't busy enough selling shoes and tracking down vampire killers, she's also trying to help a mysterious little girl, Marie, find her mother. "Undead and Unemployed" is the second book in Mary Janice Davidson's Queen Betsy series (the first is Undead and Unwed (Queen Betsy, Book 1)). It's a very funny but light read. While Betsy is an engaging character, she's a bit too shallow, especially considering all she's been through. While her job at Macy's is perfect for her, that plot line is never really developed since Betsy never seems to actually go to work. Davidson has a lot of fun tweaking the vampire myth. Betsy is unharmed by Holy Water, crucifixes, and even wooden stakes. The addition of Father Markus is a nice, humorous touch. The other supporting characters are nicely done, especially Jessica, my favorite character in the series. While there are plenty of funny bits in the book, a barbecue at Betsy's father's house is especially funny; the plot line is very thin and relies a bit too much on humor. For example, the Blade Warriors name seems to exist merely so that Betsy can make fun of it (Bloody Warthogs, Word Barriers, Blond Warriors) which is funny for awhile but wears thin. Readers will catch on to Marie's secret long before Betsy does. The ending of the book simply sets up for another sequel. Readers looking for mindless entertainment will enjoy "Undead and Unemployed".
Betsy has destroyed the biggest of vamps in the last book and now is considered in reine. Surrounded by wonderful humans, including her best friend (who loves the fact that she is one of the undead), and Sinclair. She is guided through the book and has to figure out who is killing other vampires. Being rebellious the whole way, she decides to get a job (shoes shoes shoes), trying to protect herself from danger and meeting her first ghost. Exciting storyline and again with the comical phrases in the book, keeps you turning the pages! This series is a must-read for comedy and vampire lovers.
read full review at talksupe.blogspot.comThis book continues the antics of our reluctant Vampire Queen, her Consort Eric Sinclair and their variety of human and vampire friends. I like how Mary Janice Davidson sort of puts a 'humanistic' spin on our Vampire heroine. Turning into a Vampire hasn't turned Betsy into to cliched dark and mysterious dark hunter. She's still as immature, superficial, snide and vapid as ever. And the fact that Betsy insists on living a 'normal' like just like she did before is a breath of fresh air in the typical vampire genre. The humorous banter between Betsy and friends makes these books a quick and easy read
This series is very entertaining, and Undead and Unemployed is no exception. This series can be described as vampire chick lit comedy, and it does a great job making you laugh, making you scared, and making you believe the romance. The characters are great, the plot moves along quickly, and Betsy is laugh-outloud funny. Recommended for light reading.
One of the funniest books I've read in awhile - some terrific one-liners that made me laugh out loud at the (intentional) ridiculousness of it all.The plot - well, it's par for the course. The characters are mostly caricatures who are clearly only there for Betsy to play her humor off. But this isn't a bad thing. The book is short and fast and funny - not at all romantic, and there is even very little porn this time too.
Light and funny. If I shared (or even understood) Betsy's shoe fetish I'd probably give it another 1/2 star but those parts bore me.