Ever feel like you’re missing out on something from your favorite books? Well, VBC has an exclusive deleted scene from MaryJanice Davidson’s fourth Queen Betsy book Undead and Unreturnable (Undead #4). In this scene Sinclair tries to find Betsy the perfect Christmas present. Hopefully this little excerpt will make you think of winter (it’s silly hot here right now!) and give you a nice laugh.
“Look, I’m not mad, okay?”
“I swear this isn’t a trick. I really don’t want anything for Christmas and I’m not mad.”
The king of the vampires looked at me, blinking his big dark shark eyes slowly, like an owl. An owl who was part shark. “My love, you are a magpie of epic proportion.”
“I don’t know what that means,” I admitted.
“It means you are acquisitive.”
“Uh…” God, please don’t make me have to ask him to break out the hand puppets.
“Wait, isn’t that one of the Commandments?”
“Or one of the seven dwarves?”
“It means you like things,” he said, exasperated. “You claim you wish for nothing while clutching your belongings to your bosom like a mother cradles her breast-feeding child.”
“Cover your ears.”
“Oh my God. Oh my God! What is wrong with you? Okay, uncover.”
He did. “I was merely pointing out that while you may truly believe you wish only to be grateful for what you have, and gifts would cheapen that gratitude, deep down inside the cash register of your heart, you want what you want. And that’s fine; I’m the same way now and again. But denying you want what you want is a trap, one of your more insidious traps, and I decline to fall for it.”
“Why do all of our chats veer into weird about ten seconds in? Ever ask yourself that?”
“No.” He reached under the couch—workmen were up in our room putting another new bed together, so we were in the peach parlor—and pulled out a shoe box. “Because in truth I should like it no other way. Happy holidays, dear one.”
“No you don’t!” I eyed the box of shoes like it was a box of snakes. “See? See? I said no gifts, and you went behind my back—“
“Actually, I went in front of your front, since we were both at the Mall of America at the time—“
“—and got me something! But because I kept our bargain, I didn’t give you shit!”
“And thank goodness. Open,” he commanded.
“No way!” I was off the couch and backing toward the doorway. “I don’t care what’s in the box, I’m not opening it because if I don’t open it I won’t know what’s inside and if I don’t know what’s inside I won’t have to beat you to death and holy cow is that the Lanvin logo?” I didn’t know how it happened but suddenly I was away from the door and yanking the box from Sinclair’s hands. “Do you have any idea how hard it is to get Lanvin shoes in—in—“
I lifted the pump from its tissue paper nest with hands that shook. The Lanvin loafer/pump combo in Burgundy. Just under a thousand bucks at $995.00. Mirror leather. Heel a solid three-point-seven. The tongue. The bow. The perfect hybrid of loafer and pump. It was a poafer! Or a lump. Oh. Oh. Oh.
“I confess, this is a bit of an anti-climax,” Sinclair teased. “I assumed you would be screaming with joy.”
“I am screaming!”
“That explains the sudden headache,” he muttered, rubbing one ear. “Only dogs can hear that pitch, I think, though it’s enough to make me wish Advil worked on vampires.”
I stood over him, my hands shaking so hard the tissue paper was crackling. Oh. Oh. Oh. Quick! Where could I wear them? To a liquid lunch at the Oceanaire? To the kitchen? To bed? To the bowling alley? To the beat-down I’d eventually visit upon the Ant? Oh, who was I kidding: where wouldn’t I wear them?
“This is—you’re so—I can’t believe—these are—“
“My love, it is my pleasure to make you go super sonic with joy in and out of the bedroom.” And for a change, there wasn’t a trace of sarcasm in his voice, nor a ghost of a grin on his face. He opened his arms. “Now I must insist you come to me and properly show your—ouch.”
‘Ouch’ because I’d whacked him over the head with the shoe box. “Asshat! We agreed, we agreed, and then you go out and—“ Whap! “—get me the nicest gift ever—“ Whap! “—but I don’t have anything for you—“ Whap! “—because I kept our agreement—“ Whapwhapwhap! “—so let that be a lesson to you!” I snatched back the box, hugged it to my chest, bent and kissed the sneaky jerkass hard on the mouth, then ran out of the room to try on my gift. “And you can forget about sex for a while because I will not be in a forgiving mood after what you pulled! Think about that while you’re sleeping on the couch and not having sex!”
Oh, who was I kidding? No one, if the laughter I heard all the way up the stairs was any indication.
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MaryJanice Davidson is the bestselling author of several books, most recently Undead and Unsure (out August 6th, 2013), Undead and Unstable, Undead and Undermined, Undead and Unfinished, Undead and Unwelcome, 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. Visit her online at www.maryjanicedavidson.net, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
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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!)