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Read a Dear Reader Letter and an Excerpt from MaryJanice Davidson on Undead and Underminded
Author, MaryJanice Davidson

Dear Reader,

This is not the last Betsy book!

I don't normally start promotion for the current book by talking about the next one. But I just chugged a Coke to chase down a bunch of Tootsie Rolls, and I'm thrillin' so high on my sugar jones, I can't remember anything about Undermined .

Okay, that's not true. What is true is that you've driven me to it. This is just so typical of you, too. After all the things I've done for you! After all the books I've written for you even though I love writing more than I love gravy and would have done it anyway, you! Oh, sure, I've got a dream job and am paid to do what I would do for free because I'm incredibly lucky. Naturally you're gonna bring that up. (Memo to me: prevent editor from reading this page. Further memo to me: soothe agent after he has what is euphemistically called "a cardiac event"when he reads this page and realizes my editor has read this page.)

Now where…oh, right. Writing for free. No, wait…that's not it. Undead and Undermined is not the last Betsy book…that's where I was. And a good thing, too. Because it's not.

Longtime fans of the Betsy books know by now that something unpleasant happened at the end of the last one, Undead and Unfinished. (Readers new to the series should fret not; I try to explain the goings-on in the past books so newbies aren't entirely lost. Usually I'm not on a sugar high when I do this.) This brought me a torrent of reader mail, some of which was even positive. I didn't explain at the time that Unfinished was not the end of the series, and that was my fault. You were viciously blindsided! I, um, sort of thought the title was self-explanatory but in this, as in when I tried to make a hat out of sugar cubes and then went for a walk in a crow-infested cornfield, I was terribly terribly wrong.

Unfinished wasn't the end of the series. Neither is Undermined. The good news: you'll have more books to hate! (See? See the things I do for you?) The bad news: the Betsy books are a series. So, pretty deliberately, I try not to tie everything up at the end of each book. I leave things untied. I leave things so untied that they could flap in the wind, like shoelaces. Oooh, that was a good metaphor. Or was it a simile? Whichever it was, I'm on board.

Anyway! Although many things are resolved in this book, there are still a few shoelaces that have to be…yeah, I've had about enough of that metaphor. Or simile. Either way: I'm out!

I can break the bad news down for you into a couple of good chunks, though. Yes, some things are left unresolved in Undermined but will absolutely be resolved in Unstable. The good news is, I'm beyond a Disney girl. I think the Disney endings aren't happy enough. (I also think they have a huge hate-on for moms, but that's a topic for another day. Oh, Walt Disney, what did that woman do to you?) So things will, eventually, be worked out to my satisfaction. And maybe even yours! But mostly mine.

To take a break from the sarcasm slush above, I will in all seriousness say you readers have changed my life. When the first book in the series, Undead and Unwed, came out, I was working 50 hours a week as an office manager and squeezing in chapters between work and kids and work. Eleven Betsy books later, writing is my full-time job. And being a freelance writer is even more awesome than I ever, ever dreamed. It's a lot like having a job as a gravy tester. Even if you're testing scorched gravy…dude! It's gravy!

To put it another way: I didn't spend eleven books winning you guys over just to screw you in the end. How could I? Thanks to you guys, I'm a gravy tester! I mean, freelance writer.

So hop on board the (gravy) train (yeah, that's enough about gravy, I think) and you'll see what you'll see. Who knows? You might like the new scenery. That's my hope, anyway. And if you don't, my hope is that you'll let me know. I truly do love hearing from you guys either way. No, really. No. Really!

As always, I'm grateful for your time and attention. Now I gotta go. I'm weirdly thirsty for gravy, of all things.

MaryJanice Davidson

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