To celebrate the release of the brand new installment of the Queen Betsy series by MaryJanice Davidson, UNDEAD AND UNSURE, “The 12 Days of Betsy” features exclusive excerpts from the series and a giveaway at Tor.com at the end of the event, so be sure to check out the calendar below the post for all of the stops!
UNDEAD AND UNSURE BLOG TOUR: THE 12 DAYS OF BETSY
The Hidden Excerpts
by MaryJanice Davidson
(in which Betsy is confronted with the chore of writing wedding gift thank you notes)
“Stop! Put the notebook down. Put the thank you cards down. And step away.”
“This isn’t a major domo thing!”
“And you have since looked up the definition of major domo?”
(Well, no.) “Is that a smirk on your face, Tina? Because if it’s a smirk, we might have a problem.”
“This is how my face is, Majesty,” she replied smirklessly.
“Listen. It was my wedding (finally) and these are my wedding gifts (ours, I guess) and it’s my job to write the thank you notes (though technically Sinclair should help but I’m not bothering to even ask). So scoot. Letting you help with the birthday gifts was lazy enough on my part; I’m drawing the line here. Picture a line drawn across this awful peach carpet,” I pointed where the line would be, “and that’s where I have drawn the line.”
Tina didn’t so much as glance at my imaginary line. Just as well; it would have been pretty squiggly. “Perhaps you would allow me to address the envelopes? Supply postage?”
I thought about it. That was always the tedious part of the whole thing. The “thanks for the cool thing you got me” part was easy, even fun. But then you had to dig up your address book, which was never completely updated, and then you had to check your purse for so-and-so’s address which you scrawled on the back of a Caribou Coffee receipt because over green tea they told you they were moving next month, and some of the addresses were in your computer and some were in a shoebox in your closet and some were in the junk drawer in your kitchen and the whole thing was an intense nightmare.
She sensed my weakness, and pounced. “So it’s settled.”
“Here are the notes you selected.”
I studied them. Cream-colored, heavy paper…the kind you could make a coat out of. THANK YOU on the front in loopy classy cursive, navy blue ink. Blank inside. Classy as the day was long. “I did not select these.”
“When I said ‘you’ I meant ‘you and the king’.”
“But where’s the glitter? Where’s the humorous verse inside? Why didn’t we get the kind that played a song when you opened—“
“And as you see,” Tina said so smoothly it was almost like she wasn’t cutting me off, “the gifts are stacked to your left.”
“That’s not going to work, you didn’t answer my—hmm, yeah, I did see.” I tried not to drool. Presents! Sure, some would be lame and useless, but some would be terrific and awesome. And I, the soul of courtesy, would write thank you notes for all of them. Because that was the kind of bride I was. I might not be addressing them, or stamping them, or mailing them, but I’d be writing “thanks for the loot” in fifty different tactful cool ways.
Tina grabbed the white box at the top, stamped PENZEY’S in green lettering, and flipped it open. “What a practical gift,” she said approvingly, showing me something called The Wedding Crate. It was a box jammed with what look like a thousand spice jars. At a glance I spotted garlic salt, jerk chicken seasoning, pizza seasoning, rosemary, cocoa, thyme, cinnamon, taco seasoning, pizza seasoning… “Caro Pohl?”
“My great-aunt,” I groaned. “She doesn’t know I’m dead. What a useless—“
“—kind thing to do. Spices are expensive,” Tina said, just this side of reproving. “And Penzey’s has a wonderful reputation.”
“Oh, you’re a spice expert, too?”
“I wasn’t always your major domo,” she said dryly.
Hmm. Thank you notes made everyone grumpy. “Okay, fine. ‘Dear Auntie Esther, thanks for the gift I’ll never—you know what? I’ll re-write this one later. Next!”
Nnnf? A vampire grunted? “It’s heavy!” I said accusingly. “That flat thing you picked up, you didn’t expect it to be—it’s a pizza stone.” I stared at the thing, aghast. Not only did someone buy me a rock for a wedding gift, the thing was apparently engineered to cook XXX-Large pizzas. Which I couldn’t eat. “What the hell am I going to do with a huge pizza stone? Who bought me something heavy and impractical that would be a bitch to store that we’d maybe use once every four years—it’s from the Ant, isn’t it? The bitch is dead and she’s still screwing with me.”
“Apparently she bought it sometime last year when you first started discussing wedding plans.”
“I’m not writing a thank you note to a ghost I hate!”
“I will—ah—be happy to—“
“And you’re not either! Next!”
“From your father.” Quick as thought, Tina had snatched a small box from the pile and practically threw it at me.
“I’m sure it will be—oh.”
“I’m not even going to look.” I shut my eyes. “Gift cards?”
“Yes.” She practically whispered it. Not good.
“For Macy’s and Target and…um…I’m gonna say Bed Bath and Beyond, a store so big and so full of towels it actually scares me and I never go inside.”
“And they’re all expired.”
I nodded, suddenly exhausted. “Yep. He buys a bunch of them at a time and stashes them. Then he forgets about them. Then he gets a last-minute reminder from my mom—it’s Betsy’s birthday, your only daughter’s birthday or funeral or wedding, and he scrambles through his stash and randomly shoves a few into an envelope and they’re always at least five hundred per and also totally useless because they expired four years ago.” I stood, barely noticing all the stationery fall off my lap and float to the floor. “I’m done.”
“I’m gonna go find my husband and screw his brains loose.”
“That sounds sensible.”
Her smile lit the room. “Of course. I am yours.”
“Creepy. But thanks.”
Catching up on your Betsy-lore? Be sure to check out more exclusive excerpts from the series throughout The 12 Days of Betsy!
July 22, Day 1: Parajunkee
July 23, Day 2: The Book Cellar
July 24, Day 3: The Book Nympho
July 25, Day 4: Vampire Book Club
July 26, Day 5: Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Reviews
July 29, Day 6: SciFi Chick
July 30, Day 7: My Bookish Ways
July 31, Day 8: Bitten By Books
August 1, Day 9: Fiction Vixen
August 2, Day 10: Heroes and Heartbreakers
August 5, Day 11: All Things Urban Fantasy
August 6, Day 12: Tor.com (Giveaway: UNDEAD AND UNSURE, released August 6th!)
About UNDEAD AND UNSURE:
It’s no surprise to Betsy that her trip to Hell with her sister Laura landed them in hot water. Betsy isn’t exactly sorry she killed the Devil but it’s put Laura in a damnable position: assuming the role of Satan (she may not have the training but she looks great in red)—and in charge of billions of souls as she moves up in the world. Or is that down?
But Betsy herself is in an odd new position as well—that of being a responsible monarch suddenly in charge of all things more earth-bound: like her vampire husband Sinclair who has gone from relieved to ecstatic to downright reckless now that he can tolerate sunlight. And if Sinclair isn’t enough to contend with, Betsy’s best friend Jessica is in her sixth (and hopefully last) trimester. Considering she’s been pregnant for eighteen months, she’s become a veritable encyclopedia of what not to expect when you’re expecting. Oh, the horror
And speaking of growing pains, Betsy and Sinclair’s adopted little BabyJon is finally starting to walk. And if the increasingly unpredictable toddler is anything like his extended family, precisely where he’s headed is anyone’s guess.
About MaryJanice Davidson:
MaryJanice Davidson is the bestselling author of several books, most recently Undead and Unstable, Undead and Undermined, Undead and Unfinished, Undead and Unwelcome, Undead and Unworthy, and Dead Over Heels. With her husband, Anthony Alongi, she also writes a series featuring a teen weredragon named Jennifer Scales. MaryJanice lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two children and is currently working on her next book.