Friday, March 30, 2012

I Tease With UNDEAD AND UNDERWATER

My editor asked for a quick summary of the novellas in UNDEAD AND UNDERWATER, and I thought I'd show you guys, too. Enjoy!

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My working title has been UNDEAD AND UNDERWATER, and there are three novellas.

The first (UNDEAD AND UNDERWATER) is the Betsy/Fred team-up I've been threatening...I mean, promising to do. (To paraphrase Stan Lee: Because no one demanded it!) Yes, the queen of the undead and the dour could've-been-a-princess mermaid reluctantly team up to help a mutual "friend". Madison Fehr has gotten her silly self in a jam, and calls an old friend of the family for help (her mother and Betsy's mother grew up together). From the beginning, Betsy and Fred recognize how absurd their team-up is ("My life is now a buddy movie. A bad one. Because of you, Betsy Taylor! I hold you entirely responsible!"). It doesn't help that neither of them are cops or have any lawful authority. It also doesn't help that neither believes in the other ("There's no such things as--" "Mermaids?" "I was going to say vampires. But that works, too."). And it absolutely doesn't help that the reason they've been thrust together is because Madison Fehr has crappy taste in men. (Madison is the annoying intern readers met in SLEEPING WITH THE FISHES, the one who "rilly rilly" loves dolphins.) Luckily Fred's old flame Prince Artur, who's been spending a lot of time at the New England Aquarium, stands ready to help. "And by luckily," Fred sighed, "I mean horribly."


SUPER, GIRL! (I like how it emphasizes the importance of correct punctuation) is about Karen Kilher ("Your name is not Killer!" "The 'h' is silent, so relax."), HR rep by day, super-hero also by day (and sometimes early evening, and occasionally mid-afternoons as well). When she's not fighting crime, she's helping fellow employees as best she can despite management's plan to nickel-and-dime them to murder/suicide pacts ("Wow, they really leave the human out of Human Resources, don't they?"). Ironically, she often has to write herself up for chronic tardiness, long lunches, and early departures ("Crime neither sleeps. And I guess I don't either. Dammit."), since you can't plan for terrorists wanting to rob every SuperAmerica station in town. Karen was born with the ability to eat anything and convert it to energy: ice cream, granola, wrenches, ashes, steak, tacks, yogurt ("Ugh!"), sticks, tomatoes...like that. Her other power is her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ("Of course scrubbing my kitchen floor with toothbrushes is an advantage! What ELSE would it be?"). Luckily the new hire is extremely cute, has a crush on Karen's alter-ego, Meta-Girl ("Wait, you met a girl? Or Meta-Girl saved you?"), and thinks his new boss is great. It's weird, though, how Karen keeps disappearing all the time...


The last story, CRYING WOLF (alternate title: END OF DAZE), is set twenty-five years in the future, and features Lara Wyndham (now Pack Leader on Cape Cod) struggling to lead her Pack through the tremendous upheaval caused by the Kardashian Riots of 2025. Her father, Michael Wyndham, isn't dead, but caused an uproar by retiring (the only Pack Leader to ever do so; all others were killed in fights for dominance or died of natural causes) so Lara can learn how to lead while having the advantage of her father's advice and wisdom. Naturally, some of the more die-hard Packers (heh...Packers...) find this unacceptable, and move to dispatch both the Usurper (as they refer to Lara), the Monkeylover (Michael), and the Skank (one guess, and Jeannie Wyndham doesn't count). Meanwhile, she's fending off the distractingly yummy advances of Jack Gardner, Derik and Sara's son (we met them in DERIK'S BANE, and saw them again in UNDEAD AND UNWELCOME). Jack's got his father's alpha tendencies and his mother's gift for landing in fabulous trouble. If Jack would just go away and let her work, Lara figures things would settle down. Or at least seem less weird. Yes, that's the answer: Jack should leave and he should take his mouth with him, and his strong long-fingered hands, and his wonderful scent ("Cotton and...blueberries?" "I really love jam."), and he should definitely take his heart-stoppingly fine ass somewhere else...anywhere else...


I love novellas!!!

15 comments:

Beth said...

Yes!!!!!! I cannot wait ..so freaking ready "!!!wohoo

Anonymous said...

Yes,yes,yes! So exciting! When when when Mrs D?

Anonymous said...

Thank you MJD I have benwantig a new Fred story!!!!!! and a Wyndam story!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

You won me over with a vampire who goes to AA to stop drinking blood. What a wonderful whacky imagination

Tonette said...

Oh, YES! We've been waiting for that OCD super
hero since you first mentioned it...A new Wyndam AND Betsy together with Fred?? Our cups runneth over,MJ!

Libby Dodd said...

Oh, you are such a tease! This doesn't even qualify as an appetizer. It's barely the picture of tasty food. When can we have the real deal? Huh? Pretty please???

ROCCO LOTEMPIO said...

Very cool...ROCCO cannot wait to read

Melankalia said...

Oooh! I cannot wait to read these stories!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! I look forward to readong the BOOK. Please tell us that this will be a print edition. I am finding most of my authors who write novellas to be only releasing them for e-readers. (Personal rant - e-readers are killing the industry!!!)
Theresa

MaryJanice Davidson said...

No worries, Anonymous...everything I write for Berkley is always in paperback or hardcover. An electronic version would be in addition to, not instead of. And we're looking at winter 2013 for a relesae date. :-)

Anonymous said...

Yea! Laura Windham all grown up. I've always wondered what she would be like.

Anonymous said...

YES! does Fred kick Betsy's ass. That would be great! plus apparently Fred has better tits, bet Betsy would love that! ha. Whens it out????

MaryJanice Davidson said...

Next winter! And I'm having too much fun with it...the eternal question: which jerk will irritate which jerk the most? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Betsy and Fred, two of my favourite characters of all time, teaming up.... sounds AWESOME, can't hardly wait!
:-))))

Anonymous said...

please tell me that there is going to be sidekicks as well? I can't wait to read the antics those two get up to... btw I just have to tell you how much I love your books .I'm re-reading 'Swimming without a net' at the moment (for the 3rd time ) lol.