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Betty’s Last Ride

A Post Mortem Short Story

Featuring Betty White and Characters from the Vegas Immortals Series

When Betty White passed, a lot of my readers were upset with Grim for taking our beloved treasure. 

So because everyone has been so sad about Betty White, I wrote this little ditty where Grim meets her to take her to the afterlife.

 It’s completely unedited, written fast and dirty, but I hope this bit of fanfic gives you some warm fuzzies.
 
*I watched a documentary on her a couple weeks ago which informed bits, and I learned from a person who met her at an animal benefit that she often cruised around with vodka and red vines.*
 
Betty stood next to the bed where her body lay. Her family gathered around the emptied husk, shedding tears and holding onto each other. But Betty White didn’t look on with sadness or fear. Her soul form was too busy petting the reaper dogs that had arrived.
 
The woman’s love and advocacy of animals was no secret, so I’d sent three to greet her and act as escort.
Betty crouched down to vigorously pet Ytirach’s head. The reaper closed his eyes, leaning into the attention. Isey, the reaper behind Betty set her head on Betty’s shoulder. And Adaras pushed his way under Betty’s other hand.
 
The prolific woman had been less than two weeks from turning a hundred years old, but now she looked years younger. She resembled her physical form when she was in her forties.
 
When she finally noticed my approach, Betty stood. I couldn’t help but straighten my tie and then brush my hair back with a hand. My black suit was pressed perfect for this day. I knew it was coming, the whole world had known this day was coming, but it didn’t make it any less auspicious.
 
“Whoa,” Betty said. “You sure are a looker. I always thought Death would be some creepy skull in a hood like Skeletor. Or maybe Bea Arthur. On the set of Golden Girls, we use used to joke her scowl was borrowed from the grim reaper himself.”
 
“Miss White, it’s an absolute pleasure to meet you.” A smile pulled at the side of my mouth as I received her hand, laying a kiss on the back of it. My reapers all sat at her feet, looking up at her in blatant adoration.
 
Betty fanned herself with her other hand. “Hot pants, you are getting me a little too fired up for a dead gal. And please, call me Betty.”
 
I gave her fingers a squeeze before releasing them. “Betty. It is not every day I get to encounter a soul as special as you. The shine you exude is exceptional.”
 
“Ahem,” came a noise from behind me.
 
“Oh yes, excuse me, but may I introduce someone who begged me to let her tag along to meet you.” Before I could say another word, Vivien popped out from behind me.
 
“Sweet baby hamsters, I can’t believe it’s really Betty White,” Vivien gushed. “I’m a huge fan. Big. Huge. Massive, over the top fan.” Then as if to prove her point, a pitchy squeal escaped her mouth.
 
Betty’s eyebrows raised, a bemused smile playing at her lips. “She’s a vampire.”
 
Vivien flashed her fangs in a dazzling grin. “Guilty.”
 
“Well, it looks like I can still be surprised in death.” Betty said. Then asked Vivien. “Are those for me?”
 
Looking down at her hands, Vivien had seemed to forget she was holding a tumbler of chilled vodka and red vines.
 
When I said I planned to greet Betty with her favorite vittles, Vivien insisted on being the one to deliver.
 
Rushing forward, Vivien held out the offerings.
 
Betty sipped the vodka and balanced the red vines in between her fingers holding the glass. “Ah, that’s the stuff. Now where too, hot pants? And can I take the pups along for the ride?” She reached down and pet Isey this time. “We’ve just met, but we’ve agreed we are best of friends.”
 
The other two excitedly ran around her legs in agreement.
 
“Of course,” I gave a slight bow. “If you’d just follow me, Miss White.” I turned then jerked when I felt the pinch of fingers on my rear. Except Vivien was in front of me.
 
My vampire’s eyes widened in shock, having also caught the bold come on.
 
“Just because I’m dead doesn’t mean I’m dead,” Betty said in that patent saucy tone of hers.
 
Vivien laughed. Then her expression sobered as she looked past Betty to her family, who still grieved their loss. “The world isn’t going to be the same without you,” she said softly.
 
Betty followed Vivien’s gaze, biting off a hunk of red vine. “Don’t you worry. They’ll be alright. But as for me, I’m ready for the after party.” Then turning to look at me, she asked, “unless I’m doomed to a hotter climate down south?”
 
“Florida?” Vivien asked, her brows furrowing.
 
I couldn’t help but chuckle at the both of them. “No, Ms. White, you are correct. You’ve done more than enough and deserve nothing less than paradise. You’ve left an indelible imprint on the world for the better. The pure joy, love, and humor you spread has seeped into a staggering number of people, into the very earth itself and that energy will continue on as an extension of you.”
 
She nodded. “Damn skippy. I may be gone, but they have to know they can never get rid of me. I’m like a bad case of herpes.”
 
Vivien snorted then sighed in satisfaction, as if Betty somehow appeased the pain she felt on the matter.
 
“I have a surprise for you, Betty.” I said, offering an arm. I’d been looking forward to this. My job could be exhausting, painstaking, and brutal, but this was one of those rare days one hoped to have in their line of work. A day to meet and reward someone exceptional.
 
Betty slipped arm through mine, and Vivien held onto my other bicep.
 
“That’s right hot pants, we should be on first name basis. After all, I’ve known you would come calling soon for quite some time. I know we’ve just met, but I feel perfectly at ease, as if we were old friends.”
 
“Well then, feel free to call me Grim,” I offered in return.
 
“Though hotpants is more accurate,” Vivien piped up.
With both women at my sides, the scenery swirled by a great whoosh of color. In moments we were in a marsh, filled with tall reeds.
 
Even though the sun shone overhead, here, Vivien was not in danger of burning. The smell of sweet grass filled the air.
 
The reapers trotted ahead of us, already anticipating the surprise.
 
We stepped into a clearing, and a shimmering river glinted like a thousand winking stars.
 
Hraf-hraf, the old ferryman, waited on the shore with the boat to take Betty to the Afterlife, where she could begin enjoying paradise. But the surprise stood next to the boat, on the bank.
 
The tumbler and remaining red vines dropped to the ground as Betty ran to meet Allen. He rushed to meet her, sweeping her up in his arms and twirling her around.
 
Vivien laid her head on my shoulder, as we watched the two lovers reunite.
 
“So they were married, right?” Vivien asked in a soft voice.
 
“Yes, for eighteen years before Allen passed away in 1981. Cancer.” I explained. “He has been waiting here to receive her all these years. Their love is one of the truest, and most enduring.”
 
“He’s been on ice here for forty years?”
 
“Don’t worry, time passes differently here. But they have been missing each other terribly.”
 
When Betty pulled away from Allen, wetness covered her cheeks from happy tears.
 
Vivien sighed. “I wish the world knew she was getting her happy ending. Then maybe everyone wouldn’t be so sad.”
 
The two got into the boat and the dogs clambered in after her. I did not expect their return to their duties for quite some time. At least until Betty got acquainted with her new surroundings. The reapers would be glued to her side, making her every bit as comfortable as she deserved.
 
I wrapped an arm around Vivien, pulling her tight against me. “Don’t fear. She left such a bright mark on the world, that it far outshines the darkness of her absence. And I think most people know, deep in their soul, that Betty would meet death with fearless sass. Like someone else I know.”
 
Vivien leaned up to kiss me, a soft searching pressure of the lips. When she broke away, she winked. “Well said, hot pants.”

RIP Betty, thank you for being a friend.

XOXO Holly Roberds

Kissed Preorder Gift

Have you preordered 𝗞𝗶𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝗗𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵 yet???😎

Because if you have, I’ll send you a thank you gift in the mail!

A mini-poster of this exclusive book art from 𝗞𝗶𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝗗𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵 of Vivien and Grim at the God Ball.

All you need to do is

👉Preorder 𝗞𝗶𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝗗𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵 from Amazon before 11/11 HERE

👉 Then fill out this google form to get the collectible mini art! HERE

Then on release day I’ll send you this beautiful book art!!!

I mean, who doesn’t love happy book mail? 💌

Kissed by Death Book Art

Exclusive Book Art!

Kissed by Death - the Gods Ball

Book art is pretty much my FAVORITE thing! 

And since I’ve acquired my own favorite book artist I’m regularly asking her to illustrate my characters.

And of course, I have to share.

This is a scene from a scene in Kissed by Death where Grim and Vivien attend a god’s ball.

Grim must present his new blood bound sekhor to all the rest of the god’s and let’s just say, there are more than a few sharks in the water. 

They must present a united front, no matter what’s happened betweened them

Can we talk about ALL the things I am obsessed with in this piece? 

Not only did my artist create a stunning scene that perfectly captures the dance between Grim and Vivien…

but her attention to detail blows me away!!!! 

Grim’s death cloak is legit…

  • but did you you also notice the skull ring he wears? 
  • And the ankh on his cuff? 
  • And if that doesn’t wow you, direct your gaze to the left to see Grim’s reflection in the mirror. 

WOW! FREAKIN’ WOW!

*credit goes to @amavi.blue on IG or you can find Marina on Fiverr  as marinaczygir *

ARC Team Open Again!

Open for a Limited Time...

ARC alert! I’m opening up my ARC team – Holly’s Avengers for a brief period of time in lieu of Kissed by Death coming up!

Sooo….

👉 If you’ve read Bitten by Death

👉 Can read under a deadline

👉 Are willing to leave an honest review for Kissed by Death in exchange for the book

Join Holly’s ARCvengers Team!

Note: The audio version will also be released (publication date TBD right now) so if you love audio books, are in the US or UK, and want to join my audio arc team, click the “Audio ARCvenger Team” button!

ARC Team call for Bitten by Death

You’ve all been asking for it for weeks, and now it’s time to sign up for the ARCs – both ebook and audio!

Want to join Holly’s ARCvengers team for Bitten by Death?

Fill out this form https://forms.gle/Gz5csR3YmSSEqq5P7 

What’s an ARC? 

ARC stands for Advanced Reader Copy

In exchange for an advanced copy of the book, my advanced readers post an honest review on release day ~ May 20th.

Advanced copies go out next week! 

*If you are already an ARCvenger, you DO NOT need to fill out the form.*

Meet the Voice of Vivien

Bitten by Death is coming in audio May 20th and I’m over the moon about the narrators and their performance so far!

Meet Vivienne Ferrari (or she also narrates under the name Veronica Giguere) the voice of *my* Vivien – a vampire who woke up in a morgue with no memories and finds herself hunted by Death himself. 

Honestly, the moment I heard her audition, I knew Vivienne *nailed* the delivery of my humor in this book which is legit laugh out loud funny. She also brings a vulnerability to the character who can be tough as nails but her armor definitely has some big chunks missing. 

Vivienne Ferrari answered some of my most pressing questions, which include her thoughts about drinking out of the skulls of her enemies.  (You’ll quickly see why she is as hilarious as my Vivien)

ME: If you could have superpowers, what would kind would you chose? 

VF: Mimicry! Like, being able to listen to someone for five seconds, then do a dead-on impression of their accent and speech patterns.

 

ME: How would you describe your voice/narration style? (or how have others described it?)

VF: I’m a smart, snarky, and slightly seductive storyteller. I’ve had others describe it as coffee and chocolate, conversational with a touch of indulgence.

 

ME: Coffee or Tea?

VF: COFFEE. Although, I’ve got a fair amount of tea, too. But coffee = love.

 

ME: What’s been your favorite part about narrating Bitten by Death

VF: Vivien’s attitude! She’s so delightfully fun. I wound up reading bits aloud to my husband while I prepped the book (reading and making notes) and cackling wildly. The tension is *delicious.*

 

ME: Drinking from the skulls of your enemies – yea or nay?

VF: I dunno… I remember the whole “mad cow disease” scare… and most of my enemies don’t have sexy craniums. Probably a nay.

 

ME: While we are waiting for Bitten by Death to come out, what is another book you’ve narrated that readers can listen to right now?

VF: ECHO One: Tales from the Secret World Chronicle is a collection of short stories by Mercedes Lackey, Dennis K. Lee, Cody Martin… and me! The series began as a podcast and is how I started narrating audiobooks. I narrated this anthology that blends metahumans and magic, with stories set in WW2 and the present day. https://wordfirepress.com/books/echo-one-tales-from-the-secret-world-chronicles/

Bitten by Death is available for pre-order in ebook right now and will be available in Audio on May 20th, so you can enjoy the k i l l e r performance by Vivienne Ferrari! 

Want to hear Vivienne Ferrari SLAY this vampire part? Enjoy this exclusive excerpt!

Check out Vivienne Ferrari (aka Veronica Giguere) online

Twitter 

Facebook

Voices by Veronica

Cover Reveal for Bitten by Death

It’s HERE!

 

If you saw his face, you’d have a death wish too.

My life sucks. More accurately, I suck—blood. I woke up on a cold slab in a morgue, two weeks ago, with no memories, and a new drinking habit that seriously cramps my ability to make friends.

Now I’m hunting for answers in Sin City about my past and who I was, but someone else is hunting me.

When Death, himself, comes to collect me, I find myself facing the most magnificent, terrifying being imaginable. Who knew the grim reaper wore a tailored suit, and ran the most exclusive hotel on the Vegas strip?

He wants to hold me prisoner? Fine, I will rattle the cage and make his life a living hell until I get my freedom.
And I absolutely cannot, under any circumstances let him know he’s under my skin.

*Bitten by Death is book 1 of 3 in a slow burn, action-packed steamy romance featuring a cheeky, tough heroine and dark hero.

Pre-order now if you like irreverant, chain-yanking vampires, and a hot as hell version of Death.

 

Ebook now available for pre-order on Amazon!

Paperback and audio book will be also be available.

PRE-ORDER HERE