Grab a bowl of candy (come on, I know you bought extra for yourself), pull up a chair and read an excerpt from UNDERDEAD. Called "gloriously creative and funny", UNDERDEAD is a cozy vampire mystery about a science teacher who is bitten by an inept vampire and becomes underdead--all the problems of being a vampire, none of the perks. Today I'm posting the rest of chapter one. To read the previous four pages (not really four, but I fudged a little here since you can't just flip the page in the middle of a paragraph posted on a blog, can you?), find them archived here on the right, or got to my website and read the first chapter in its entirety.

Here's UNDERDEAD, Chapter 1, Page 5:

Becky jiggled the empty margarita pitcher. “Now stop yer stalling and go get us another. And while you’re there, talk to the man. No, wait. You’ll chicken out. I'm going with you.”

“Oh, no, what are you doing?” I squeaked as she pulled me up from the table. Roger sent us an irritated frown and I responded with the look all females possess instinctively, the one that says “ladies’ room”. He cleared his throat and turned away. Unfortunately now I was committed, at least to a trip to the bathroom.

“If you think I’m going to just march up to him and talk to him, you’re wrong,” I said in Becky’s ear as she propelled me out of the alcove. Becky was more forward with men than I was. A lot more forward.

To my relief—and maybe just a tiny bit of disappointment—the man in black had disappeared. This didn’t stop Becky. She took an iron grip on my arm and steered us toward the bar through the dense band of people who sat five and six around tiny tables near the dance floor. When we reached the packed bar area, its wooden floor already tacky with spilled drinks, she paused and looked around. “Oh good, he’s right over there.”

My backbone deserted me. She gave my arm another tug, but I dug in my heels. “I don’t think so,” I said.

“Don’t worry.” She spoke soothingly, as to a nervous dog, “We’re just going to the bar for another pitcher. And when we get near him, I’ll just give you a little push into him.” “Becky, don’t you dare! That is so high school.”

“Shhh.” She dropped behind me and fastened her fingers lightly on my waist.I stopped and turned around to face her. “I mean it, Becky, don’t you dare.”

She gave a disappointed sigh. “Spoilsport. All right. Fine. Scout’s honor.” She held up her hands in a mixed gesture of supplication and Scout salute.

I sighed. “I will talk to him later, Becky. I promise. The second Roger’s gone, okay? I’m not that stupid.”

“All right, all right.”

“Now, can we go back to the table?”

Her dark eyebrows disappeared up under her spiky red bangs. “Of course not. We have to get that pitcher while we’re here, or Hot Man will think you came over just to get a closer look.”

“Oh, for crying out loud.”

“C’mon.” She pushed me in the direction of the bar, holding on to me as if I might do a bunk. Which I would have, had we not been boxed in by the crowd.

I ignored the man in black and fixed my attention on a random point behind the bar. It wasn’t any sort of flirtatious coyness—I was legitimately embarrassed. I mean he had caught us staring at him, and now we were heading in his direction like lovesick groupies. Well, to the bar, really, but he didn’t know that. As we were even with him, I felt Becky’s hand leave my waist to tug my arm. Furious, I ignored her and pushed forward. She gave my arm another, stronger tug. As I half turned to tell her to knock it off, I was pulled off balance and spun around.

But instead of frowning down into Becky’s mischievous brown eyes, I was glaring at a man’s chest. A very nicely built man’s chest. I tilted my head up and met blue eyes, the blue of the night sky just before the sun totally disappears.

The censure for Becky died on my lips as I got lost a second time staring at the hot man.

His eyes crinkled slightly at the corners, and he broke the fraught silence with a simple hello. His voice was low and gravelly with an accent I couldn’t quite place. It made my knees weak. I’ve always been a sucker for an accent. Oh, no. I was definitely in for some trouble with this one.

Underdead is available now from




  1. Beth Trissel // November 7, 2007 at 6:52 AM  

    This is such a fun story! :)
    You have a great sense of humor!

  2. Mary Marvella // November 24, 2007 at 11:26 PM  

    Like the man in black!