SS: Interview with Jennifer Estep + giveaway!

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I’m always excited when Jennifer Estep stops by because she’s one of my favourite authors. She’s the brilliant mind behind two great series: her young adult mythology-based Mythos Academy books from KTeen and her amazing Elemental Assassin series from Pocket. She has releases from both series in the pipeline for this summer and she’s graciously agreed to an interview to chat about her summer plans. Please join me in welcoming the wonderful Ms. Estep to Supernatural Solstice!

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1. Welcome back to the blog, Jennifer! Thanks for taking the time to participate in Supernatural Solstice. You have a ton of stuff coming out this summer: SPARTAN FROST(out today), MIDNIGHT FROST (July 30), an Elemental Assassin story in CARNIEPUNK (July 23), KISS OF VENOM, another Elemental Assassin short from Owen’s POV (July 25), and HEART OF VENOM (August 27). It leads to an obvious question: how do you write so much and so well? =)

Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #9)Thanks for hosting me on the blog again. I appreciate it.

I’ve been busy. LOL. But writing is my full-time job, and I’m always working on some project or another. I work at least 40 hours a week, and usually, it’s more. But I love what I do, and I write fairly quickly, so that helps with all of the long hours on the computer.

But everything just sort of came together for this summer, which is why I have so many new releases coming out over the next few months. I hope that everyone enjoys all of the books and e-stories.

2. Do you approach writing young adult novels differently than your adult series?

Not really. I’m a panster, so I write all of my books pretty much the same way. I think about the characters, the magic, and the major turning points of the story, then sit down and start writing.

But I would say that my Mythos Academy books are a little different from my other books in that I’m trying to tell more of a coming-of-age story in those books, especially since my heroine, Gwen, is still learning about herself, her magic, and trying to figure out what she wants her place in the world to be. So far, it’s been a fun challenge writing a YA series and really trying to capture that YA voice and all of the emotions, problems, and triumphs that go along with being a young adult.

3. I’m really excited to read SPARTAN FROST because it’s the first time we get a story from Logan’s point of view. Did this switch present any challenges? Any extra freedom?

Spartan Frost by Jennifer Estep (Mythos Academy #4.5)Thanks. I appreciate that.

For my Elemental Assassin series, I’ve written several free short stories from the points of view of different characters. Those stories are on the Excerpts page of my website. So I thought that it would be fun to do the same thing with my Mythos Academy series. Plus, readers really seem to like the shorter e-stories that many authors are now writing in between their books.

After what happens in CRIMSON FROST, the fourth book, it only seemed natural to write a story from Logan’s point of view and fill in some of the things that happen to him after CRIMSON FROST. Plus, I’ve gotten a lot of reader requests for a Logan story, so this is was a way that I thought I could give folks a little something extra to enjoy in the series.

I write in first-person, and I think it’s always interesting to show a different character’s point of view on something or how he might react in a situation when the heroine isn’t around. In Logan’s case, I got to explore how he feels about Gwen, his dad, and being a Spartan, among other things.

4. With each instalment of the Mythos Academy series, Gwen faces bigger challenges and MIDNIGHT FROST seems to contain the most daunting task yet. How do you come up with these ideas and where will the series go from here?

Any time you write a series, especially if you are following the same heroine through multiple books, then you always want to make the stakes higher and higher in each subsequent book. I really enjoy coming up with new bad guys and new challenges for Gwen to face and then figuring out how she can use her magic and smarts to get out of all of these dire situations.

KILLER FROST, the sixth book in the series, is tentatively set to be released in March 2014.

5. What can you share about your story in CARNIEPUNK?

Parlor Tricks by Jennifer Estep (Carniepunk) My story is called PARLOR TRICKS, and it’s part of my Elemental Assassin series. In the story, Gin and Bria go to a country carnival in search of a missing girl and end up in more trouble than they anticipated. It’s more of a stand-alone adventure, so I hope that it will appeal to both fans of the series and folks who haven’t tried my books yet.

Also, to help promote the CARNIEPUNK anthology, PARLOR TRICKS is available as a free e-download from all of the usual e-booksellers. I hope that everyone enjoys the story and the anthology. It’s been a cool project to be a part of.

6. HEART OF VENOM, your ninth Elemental Assassin novel, comes out at the end of the summer and gives us a look into Sophia’s past. Can you share any exclusive tidbits about what we’ll see in this novel?

Like you said, HEART OF VENOM delves into Sophia’s past and backstory, as well as Jo-Jo’s. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the Deveraux sisters, so this book will fill in some of their history together and with Fletcher, Gin’s mentor. It will also answer some questions about Gin and Owen’s relationship and where the two of them go after the events of the last few books in the series.

7. Which character has surprised you the most in these two series?

Hmm. That’s a tough one. They all surprise me to some extent. But right now, I will say Phillip Kincaid in my Elemental Assassin series. When I first wrote him back in the third book, VENOM, he was just a minor character, a bad guy who owned a riverboat casino. But then, when I had the idea for WIDOW’S WEB, book seven, I realized that he would make a great character to help me tell more of Owen’s backstory. So Phillip just sort of took on a life of his own, but readers really seem to like his character so far.

And now a couple event-related questions:

8. What’s your favourite part of summer?

One of my favorite parts of summer is cooking out with my friends.

9. Which of your characters would be most likely to celebrate the summer solstice and why?

Definitely Finnegan Lane from my Elemental Assassin series. Finn loves any excuse to have a good time, so I could see him throwing a summer solstice party for Gin and the gang.

Happy reading, everyone!

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Thank you so much, Jennifer! It’s always such a pleasure to have you on board!

More about SPARTAN FROST:

Spartan Frost by Jennifer Estep (Mythos Academy #4.5)I’m Logan Quinn, the deadliest Spartan warrior at Mythos Academy. At least I was–until the day I almost killed Gwen Frost.

Professor Metis and Nickamedes say that I’m fine, that Loki and the Reapers don’t have a hold on me anymore, but I can’t risk it. I can’t risk hurting Gwen again. So I’m leaving Mythos and going somewhere far, far away.

I know Gwen wonders what’s happening to me, whether I’m safe. I can’t tell her, but this is my story…

Jenn’s thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon

And here’s MIDNIGHT FROST, out July 30:

Here we go again…

Just when it seems life at Mythos Academy can’t get any more dangerous, the Reapers of Chaos manage to prove me wrong. It was just a typical night at the Library of Antiquities—until a Reaper tried to poison me. The good news is I’m still alive and kicking. The bad news is the Reaper poisoned someone else instead.

As Nike’s Champion, everyone expects me to lead the charge against the Reapers, even though I’m still hurting over what happened with Spartan warrior Logan Quinn. I’ve got to get my hands on the antidote fast—otherwise, an innocent person will die. But the only known cure is hidden in some creepy ruins—and the Reapers are sure to be waiting for me there…

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Click on the cover to see my thoughts on the rest of the series:

Jennifer Estep First Frost Jennifer Estep Touch of Frost Jennifer Estep Kiss of Frost Jennifer Estep Dark Frost Jennifer Estep Kiss of Frost

giveaway

Jennifer is graciously offering one (1) copy of MIDNIGHT FROST to a lucky reader!

To enter, obey the Rafflecopter!

US only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. She is the author of the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books and the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. She is also the author of the Bigtime paranormal romance series. For more information, visit http://www.jenniferestep.com or follow Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Jenn

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Spartan Frost by Jennifer Estep

Spartan Frost by Jennifer Estep (Mythos Academy #4.5)Spartan Frost by Jennifer Estep

Book stats:
Reading level: Young adult
E-book: 46 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Publisher: Kensington
Release date: June 25, 2013

Series: Mythos Academy #4.5

Source: eARC via Netgalley

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon

I’m Logan Quinn, the deadliest Spartan warrior at Mythos Academy. At least I was—until the day I almost killed Gwen Frost.

Professor Metis and Nickamedes say that I’m fine, that Loki and the Reapers don’t have a hold on me anymore, but I can’t risk it. I can’t risk hurting Gwen again. So I’m leaving Mythos and going somewhere far, far away.

I know Gwen wonders what’s happening to me, whether I’m safe. I can’t tell her, but this is my story…

WARNING: Do not read SPARTAN FROST unless you’ve finished CRIMSON FROST. The book deals with the aftermath of the climax of CRIMSON FROST so you’ll be spoiling it for yourself if you jump to this.

Clocking in at under 50 pages, SPARTAN FROST is a brief glimpse into the life of Logan Quinn, the alpha male of Mythos Academy. I’ve been really excited to get my hands on this story because it’s the first time we get to be in Logan’s brain, and see just how he’s coping with what happened in CRIMSON FROST (the previous novel), when his stepmother betrayed him and helped Loki to possess him, causing him to skewer Gwen (his girlfriend) through the chest with a sword. Free of Loki’s influence, Logan’s been shaken to the core and it gives the reader a chance to see our favourite Spartan off of his game. I’m kind of bummed there’s no Logan on the cover of the e-book, especially since there’s a super busty and cleavage-barring Gwen instead (and she’s not in the story at all).

Logan retreats to his family’s mansion in the Adirondacks but it doesn’t take long for trouble to show up in the mountains. There’s a bit of interaction with some Reapers — and by interaction I mean swordplay! — but the most interesting part of SPARTAN FROST was definitely getting into Logan’s brain and seeing how he feels about Gwen and his father. Logan and Papa Quinn have an uneasy relationship and they’re walking on eggshells around each other now that Agrona, Logan’s stepmother, is gone. She was always a buffer between them and now these two men have to learn how to interact and get over their old feelings. This is what I was hoping to get in SPARTAN FROST and Jennifer Estep delivers.

If you’re a Mythos Academy fan like me, you’ll find SPARTAN FROST both satisfying and frustrating — satisfying because we finally get to know Logan a bit better and frustrating because it’s just too short! I’d suggest reading this just after finishing CRIMSON FROST or right before you start MIDNIGHT FROST (due out next month) because SPARTAN FROST will leave you begging for more time with the Mythos Academy kids!

Read an excerpt

Jenn

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Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep

Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep

Book stats:
Reading level: Adult
Mass market paperback: 384 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Publisher: Pocket
Release date: March 26, 2013

Series: Elemental Assassin #8

Source: Review copy from publisher via Edelweiss

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

The eighth hotly anticipated book in the Elemental Assassin series by New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Estep: it’s Gin Blanco’s party—and you’ll cry if she wants you to.

Against her better judgment, Gin is coerced into attending a high society gala with the rest of Ashland’s elite underworld. On display: the priceless art collection of her deceased nemesis, Mab Monroe, and an excess of crime boss swagger. While not comfortable in her fancy attire, Gin gets vastly more interested in the evening’s events when a group of thieves bursts in and tries to seize the valuable, dangerous gems. Facing a Die Hard-esque scenario in which she must free hostage partygoers while herself trapped in the museum, things get a little bit messy when the bloodshed begins. Let’s just say that Gin should have chosen the red gown…

Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin is one of my favourite series, and has been since I picked up SPIDER’S BITE. The first first five novels take care of one major story arc – Gin’s quest for revenge against Mab Monroe – and two subsequent novels deal with Gin’s newfound infamy and past loves in both her and Owen’s lives. In DEADLY STING, Owen and Gin are on the outs as a result of the events in WIDOW’S WEB and Finn tries to take Gin’s mind off of things by dragging her to a fancy exhibit of Mab’s treasures. Of course, Gin can’t go anywhere without finding trouble and she finds herself in the middle of an elaborate heist. This isn’t my favourite book in the series but it’s still a strong entry and definitely worth a stop at the bookstore!

Before I go any further, I want to make one thing clear: you can’t read this post without getting some spoilers about previous novels so stop now if you’re not all caught up!

I really liked the concept of DEADLY STING. I’m a big fan of heist stories and Jennifer Estep has done a great job of taking a stick-’em-up scenario and giving it a special twist. The heist itself is layered — think The Usual Suspects layered — and the stakes are quite high since many of Gin’s loved ones are trapped in the museum. It all comes together into a great story filled with exciting action sequences, great emotional moments, and a few neat surprises. Gin faces a strong, clever foe and watching them match wits and fists were quite thrilling. I don’t want to spoil anything for you so I won’t talk about specific plot points but I will say that the story is clever and unexpected. There are some fantastic moments for Finn and the early chapter with the dress shop scene is perfect Gin.

Estep also manages to squeeze in some time for Gin to deal with her break up with Owen. The focus of the story is definitely on saving the hostages but Gin is forced to confront her feelings for Owen and the distinct possibility that their relationship might truly be over. Don’t assume, however, that this means they’re done for good because there is still some serious chemistry. Their connection continues to leap off the page, even with all of the distance between them. Owen and Gin are imperfect people, both completely exposed with all of their history, but I’m still rooting for them at this point.

If I’m not mistaken, DEADLY STING is the end of the second major story arc in the series, and HEART OF VENOM will bring something new. The book ends is a way that has me really revved up for what’s sure to be another amazing novel from the talented Ms. Estep. This is one series that just keeps getting more interesting and I can’t even begin to guess what might happen in the future.

Read an excerpt

Jenn

Daring You To Read…Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Daring you to read

Daring You To Read is a weekly feature here on Tynga’s Reviews where we dare you to read some of our favorite older releases (at least 6 months old). All the books/series we choose to feature are titles we adored and think you should give them a shot! We think it’s a super awesome way to discover that special book who might have slipped off your radar!

You’ve already read the book? Let’s us know what you thought!
You are accepting the dare? We’d love to know!
Have a dare of your own? Leave a comment ^^

As you’ve probably guessed by now, Jennifer Estep is one of my top five authors. I first fell in love with her writing when I discovered SPIDER’S BITE (which I previously dared you to read) and her Mythos Academy series is some of the rare YA that I really adore. I always have her books pre-ordered because she always delivers amazing adventures, thrilling story arcs, and characters that spark strong emotions, be they love or hate. So I figured it was about time that I dared you all to try TOUCH OF FROST, the first Mythos Academy book.

The books follow Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry (i.e. the ability to know an object’s history by touching it). Gwen’s magic is a gift and a curse — she can learn a lot by touching an object but she can’t control what she gets so it can be embarrassing, good, ugly, and everything in between. She finds herelf at Mythos Academy after a magical incident.

Located in the fictional town of Cypress Mountain, North Carolina, Mythos Academy is a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more, where they learn how to use their magic and various skills to fight Reapers of Chaos. The Reapers want to free Loki from his mystical (and mythological) prison so that he can take over the world and lord badness over everyone.

I dig this series because of the awesome world building. The setting — a magic school — is one we often see in the literature but Jennifer Estep takes it in a fresh direction. We’ve never seen a school quite like this! The mixture of mythologies is great and and I think the author’s done a great job of blending them and bringing new ideas to the table. Another nice touch is that the different gods have champions who act for them on Earth and Gwen happens to be Nike’s champion!

Another reason to read this book? Gwen’s a kick-ass protagonist and she only gets more endearing as the series goes on. She’s snarky, plucky, and not afraid to be herself, even when she’s dropped into a situation completely beyond her understanding. She’s also willing to take on challenges and fight for the greater good, even though she doesn’t always do it in the smartest way possible. (She follows her heart, not always her brain, but she does learn over the course of the series, which is great.)

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all of the amazing secondary characters in the novel. Gwen’s sword Vic cracks me up every time. He’s so unapologetically bloodthirsty. Logan Quinn is the perfect crush and perfect warrior — very swoon-worthy but still approachable enough that you can believe he will take an honest interest in Gwen. Gwen also makes some great friends, some quite unexpectedly, which makes them all delightful.

This is one series that won’t let you down so I urge you to pick it up as soon as possible. The fifth book in the series, MIDNIGHT FROST, is due out in August so now’s the perfect time to get caught up!

Want more? I bet you do! Here’s the cover copy for TOUCH OF FROST:

Touch of Frost by Jennifer EstepMy name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy — a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody’s head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest.

But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I’m determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why—especially since I should have been the one who died…

My thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

And here’s the rest of the series, including “First Frost”, the e-prequel novella, and Entangled, an anthology containing the novella “Halloween Frost” (#1.5):

Jennifer Estep First Frost Engtangled anthology Jennifer Estep Kiss of Frost Jennifer Estep Dark Frost Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep

What do you think? Have you read this series? Are you willing to accept my dare?

Jenn

Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep

Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep

Book stats:
Reading level: Young adult
Trade paperback: 384 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Publisher: Kensington
Release date: December 24, 2012

Series: Mythos Academy #4

Source: Review copy from Kensington via NetGalley

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

For a moment, a face flashed before my eyes—the most hideous face I’d ever seen. No matter how hard I tried to forget what had happened, I saw him everywhere I went. It was Loki—the evil god that I’d helped set free against my will.

I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming. I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison—and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself. . .

Warning: This post, like the book description, contains spoilers about previous entries in the series (but not CRIMSON FROST).

As you know from previous books in the series, or from reading the cover copy above, big things happened in DARK FROST, the biggest being the Loki got free with some unwilling assistance from Gwen, who was tricked by Loki’s champion. Now, Gwen’s facing the consequences of her actions, with the Protectorate putting her on trial. The added twist? They arrested her on her first date with Logan and Logan’s dad is the leader of the Protectorate. How’s that for an awkward meet-the-parents?

Most of the book deals with Gwen’s trial and the ostracization she experiences after Logan’s dad denounces her as a Reaper in front of the entire school. This is by far the darkest chapter in the series so far, as Gwen faces possible execution if she’s found guilty. Thankfully, she still has allies, including the usual suspects (Daphne, Carson, Oliver, Logan, Metis, Nickamedes, Morgan, and her grandmother) but it’s a small number in the face of all of the hatred Gwen faces since she has to continue going to school while on trial. It’s so bad, in fact, that she’s assigned a guard by the Protectorate. Compounding this issue is the fact that Gwen suspects someone on the Protectorate — or someone close to a Protectorate member — is actually a Reaper, manipulating things so that Gwen is found guilty. It’s a classic mystery on some levels, which I loved, but Jennifer Estep also explores the emotional repurcussions in a very satisfying way.

The romance also goes up a notch in CRIMSON FROST, though not for long. It’s so fun to see Gwen and Logan go on their first date, even though it gets interrupted. And while the trial does put a damper on their romance, sparks fly for some other characters in the book. Plus, Gwen and Logan’s relationship does continue to develop as we learn more about Logan’s family. It’s really nice to see what makes Logan tick and we get more insights into his background and childhood than ever before. Logan fans will definitely want to read CRIMSON FROST to learn more of his story.

The introduction of the Protectorate was also really neat because we get to see more of how the world works. The first three books were very focused on Mythos Academy and its internal workings (with some insights into other schools), and now we get to see how other aspects of the universe function. I knew there had to be some sort of governing body and so I was excited to see how the Protectorate worked and how existing characters would interact with members of this body. Their judicial system is far from democratic but it’s really neat. The mechanisms used for truth-telling are very original and I can’t want to see what everyone thinks. (No spoilers, since the book is brand new, but you can hit me up on Twitter to chat!

Jennifer Estep has truly outdone herself with CRIMSON FROST. The Mythos Academy books are one of the few YA series that I love and this is the strongest entry yet. It’s an thrilling novel that really opens up the world that Gwen and her friends live in. I’m going to go crazy counting the days until MIDNIGHT FROST!

Read an excerpt

Jenn

PSC: Interview and giveaway with Jennifer Estep

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I am wildly excited to welcome Jennifer Estep back to the blog. I have big love for her writing and the Elemental Assassin series is one of my favourite urban fantasy series ever. Gin is a superlative protagonist and I love reading her stories time and time again. Even knowing what will happen, these books continue to thrill me and I hope you feel the same way.

The seventh (!!) book in the series, WIDOW’S WEB, is out today and Jennifer has joined us for a short interview about the book. I’m putting a SPOILER ALERT on this post since we do talk about things that have happened in previous books and I wouldn’t want our conversation or the cover copy of WIDOW’S WEB to ruin something for readers who aren’t quite caught up. Consider yourselves warned! =)

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Hi, Jennifer, and welcome back to Tynga’s Reviews! WIDOW’S WEB is another wonderful installment in your Elemental Assassin series and I love that you decided to explore Owen’s past this time around. How did you decide to go this route and why now?

Thanks for hosting me on the blog again, and thanks for all the nice words about WIDOW’S WEB. I appreciate them.

Well, readers have learned quite a bit about Gin’s past and how it affects her, but I hadn’t really dug into Owen’s past yet. So I thought it would be interesting to have some folks from his past come to Ashland and shake everything up. Plus, in BY A THREAD, I explored how an old relationship of Gin’s affected her current relationship with Owen, and WIDOW’S WEB is sort of the flip side of that, with Owen’s old relationship affecting his current one with Gin.

Salina’s return sheds light on many of Gin’s relationships. There were some positive moments, with Bria, for example, and there were also developments that were less than positive (the who will remain nameless to avoid spoilers). I particularly loved the scene at the end of the book. Can you comment on what these changing relationships mean for Gin?

Gin will do anything for her friends and family. And in the world of the Elemental Assassin series, that usually means Gin putting her life on the line and taking on some pretty nasty villains in order to protect the people that she cares about. Gin has had to be cold, hard, and ruthless just to survive, so it’s sometimes difficult for her to put that part of herself aside and open herself up to folks.

But as the books have gone along, I think readers have seen Gin open up a little more to her friends and family, put her trust in them, and realize that they care about her as much as she cares about them. I think the scene you are talking about at the end of the book shows the support system that Gin has now and that she has people she can depend on and turn to.

There’s a line in WIDOW’S WEB where Eva says that Salina is her Mab Monroe and it got me wondering: Will Gin have another archnemesis who spans multiple books like Mab Monroe or is Gin going to be archnemesis-free for a while?

Well, Gin still sort of has one archnemesis in Jonah McAllister, Mab’s lawyer. As Gin says, McAllister is like a cockroach – he just won’t disappear or die. LOL.

Gin will be archnemesis-free for a while, but some of the other story arcs will continue. I am hoping to do at least one more story arc with a villain who would span multiple books. We’ll see what happens.

Related to the previous question, what do you have planned with Jonah McAllister? He’s on the edges of Gin’s problems in BY A THREAD and WIDOW’S WEB. Will he continue to make trouble for Gin and her friends?

I do have something planned for McAllister. I can’t say too much about Jonah right now, but he will definitely continue to make trouble for Gin and her friends.

Finally, any hints for what’s in store in DEADLY STING (the eighth Elemental Assassin book)? Tell me there’s more Phillip down the road!

Phillip will be back in DEADLY STING, and readers will see how the events of WIDOW’S WEB change Phillip’s relationship with Gin and some of the other characters. I can’t say too much about the book, but as of right now, Gin will be taking on a group of giants in DEADLY STING. Things could always change, though.

As of right now, DEADLY STING is tentatively scheduled to be released in April 2013. I’ll be posting cover art, the back cover copy, and more information as it becomes available on my website.

Happy reading, everyone!

And now for some event-related questions:

What would Gin do if she had to take someone out at a summer camp?

Well, Gin always has her knives, of course. But she might branch out and use some of the items available at summer camp to help her eliminate a target. Bows and arrows from archery practice, all that rope from learning how to tie sailing knots, a heavy urn from pottery class. The possibilities are endless.

Who would enjoy summer camp more: Gin or Gwen Frost? [Jenn’s note: Gwen is the protagonist of Jennifer’s YA Mythos Academy series, which is also amazeballs.]

I think Gin would enjoy summer camp more. Gin would get out and go swimming, hiking, and participate in any event that would help her hone her assassin skills – archery, learning how to tie knots, etc.

Gwen would probably stay in the cabin all the time, reading, eating junk food, and staying as far away from the great outdoors as she could. LOL.

Thanks very much for joining us today, Jennifer! It’s always a pleasure.

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More about WIDOW’S WEB:

Jennifer Estep Widow's Web The seventh book in the hugely popular Elemental Assassin series by New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer Estep—Gin Blanco is back and ready for action.

My name is Gin, and I kill people. It’s something I’ve been doing for years as the assassin called Spider, but now, it’s turned into a necessity on my part just to survive all the lowlifes in Ashland who are gunning for me. The underworld is still in turmoil, and I seem to be on everyone’s hit list these days.

To add to Gin’s problems, her lover Owen’s ex is in town. Salina is back in Ashland to reclaim an old family legacy—and she thinks that Owen is hers for the taking. Also in the mix is Phillip Kincaid, a casino owner and all-around shady character who has a mysterious connection to both Owen and Salina.

Salina might seem like a sweet Southern belle, but there’s more to her than meets the eye. Her water elemental magic makes her a dangerous enemy—and someone who can go toe-to-toe with Gin’s Ice and Stone power. But Gin is determined to get to the bottom of Salina’s deadly scheme, even though it just might cost her everything…including Owen.

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

More books in the Elemental Assassin series:
(Click on the cover to read my thoughts (except for VENOM because I skipped it and THREAD OF DEATH, the e-novella, because my review hasn’t gone up yet)

Jennifer Estep Spider's BiteJennifer Estep Web of LiesJennifer Estep VenomJennifer Estep Tangled ThreadsJennifer Estep Spider's RevengeJennifer Estep Thread of DeathJennifer Estep By A Thread

And don’t forget about the Mythos Academy books:
(Click on the novel covers for my thoughts. (There’s no post for FIRST FROST.))

Jennifer Estep First  Frost Mythos Academy #0.5Jennifer Estep Touch of Frost Mythos Academy #1Jennifer Estep Kiss of Frost Mythos Academy #2

————————-

giveaway

To enter the giveaway, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

US only

Ends Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
(like all of our Paranormal Summer Camp giveaways)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

————————-

Jennifer EstepJennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Venom, Tangled Threads, Spider’s Revenge, and By A Thread are the other books in her red-hot Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series, and she is the author of the Bigtime paranormal romance series.

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Website | Facebook | Twitter

Jenn

Widow’s Web by Jennifer Estep

imageWidow’s Web by Jennifer Estep

Book Stats:
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban fantasy
Mass market paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Pocket
Release date: August 21, 2012

Series: Elemental Assassin #7

Source: Author

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

The seventh book in the hugely popular Elemental Assassin series by New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer Estep—Gin Blanco is back and ready for action.

My name is Gin, and I kill people. It’s something I’ve been doing for years as the assassin called Spider, but now, it’s turned into a necessity on my part just to survive all the lowlifes in Ashland who are gunning for me. The underworld is still in turmoil, and I seem to be on everyone’s hit list these days.

To add to Gin’s problems, her lover Owen’s ex is in town. Salina is back in Ashland to reclaim an old family legacy—and she thinks that Owen is hers for the taking. Also in the mix is Phillip Kincaid, a casino owner and all-around shady character who has a mysterious connection to both Owen and Salina.

Salina might seem like a sweet Southern belle, but there’s more to her than meets the eye. Her water elemental magic makes her a dangerous enemy—and someone who can go toe-to-toe with Gin’s Ice and Stone power. But Gin is determined to get to the bottom of Salina’s deadly scheme, even though it just might cost her everything…including Owen.

Before I start talking about WIDOW’S WEB, I want to make one thing super clear: you can’t read this post without getting some spoilers about previous novels. So if you’re not caught up and you want everything to be a surprise, stop now and come back after you’ve read the book!

With that out of the way, I’m going to (re)start by saying how much I enjoyed WIDOW’S WEB. I wasn’t sure what would happen after Gin accomplished her quest to kill Mab Monroe in SPIDER’S REVENGE and after the vacation storyline of BY A THREAD so I was very curious to see what Jennifer Estep would do this time around since Gin’s back in Ashland, trying to return to business as usual. This book is a little bit different in that respect – Gin’s at home, coping with her infamy, watching Ashland’s underworld figure out who’s the new top dog. And with Mab dead, the driving force of the first five novels is gone. Thankfully, WIDOW’S WEB has everything I love about the Elemental Assassin series – amazing action, crisp dialogue, tight plots, delicious food, and constant character development – and we finally, FINALLY get to dig into Owen’s past! I’ve always like Owen but he’s always seemed a little too perfect to me – so accepting with Gin’s assassin lifestyle, handsome, rich, adorable with his sister, super sexy – and so it was nice to learn more about where he came from and his time on the streets. It made him much more real and human to me. And it all happened because Salina showed up in town, so thanks, Salina, for being such a crazy dame and scary opponent.

I really mean it when I say that Salina is a crazy dame. She has this superb entrance at the start of the book and some very cool powers but she’s also obsessed and sociopathic. She’s back to get what she feels she’s owed and she doesn’t mind stomping all over everyone to get it. But she does it with a lot of flair. There are some great flashbacks over the course of the novel that show how her evil nature evolved and I loved those little vignettes for the insights we get into not just Salina but everyone involved.

The other characters we meet from Owen and Eva’s past are pretty cool, too. My favourite is Phillip, who was first introduced in THREAD OF DEATH, the e-novella that takes place between SPIDER’S REVENGE and BY A THREAD at Mab’s funeral. We get a taste of him in there but now he’s front and centre, much to Owen’s dismay. His introduction to the series bodes well, I think, because he’s interesting and powerful and shakes up the family dynamic.

The parallels between Owen’s relationship with Salina and Gin’s with Donovan Caine get mentioned in the book. I thought this was really great because the roles are now reversed and Gin has to experience the jealousy and hurt. There are some truly wonderful, emotional scenes between Gin and Owen as they discuss Salina and the realizations that her presence has fostered. With the series being told from Gin’s perspective, it’s easy to side with her all the time but Owen makes some great points about the nature of their relationship. These aren’t comfortable discussions, and not ones I’d want to be having this discussion with my person, but they’re about important issues that need to be addressed.

There are other things I want to add but I feel like this post is already lengthy so I’m going to do it bullet-style:

  • This book got me thinking: Will Gin get another Mab-like nemesis? Or is Jonah McAllister being set up to be the next major thorn in her side? (You can learn more about this in my interview with Jennifer, which will go live shortly.)
  • Bria and Gin’s relationship take a nice step forward. It’s not a huge focus of the book but there are a few nice moments between them and I think you’ll appreciate them as much as I did. They’ll put a smile on your face.
  • I’m feeling a little Finn-deprived this time around. (I’m a firm believer that there is no such thing as too much Finn.)
  • I loved the last scene in the book. I won’t say why to avoid spoilers but I think it’s a lovely way to close this chapter of the series.

Overall, WIDOW’S WEB is another strong entry into the Elemental Assassin series and I’m already anticipating DEADLY STING. I don’t know what Jennifer Estep does with this series next but I’m confident it will be amazing!

Read an excerpt

Jenn

Daring You To Read…Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep

Daring you to read

Daring You To Read is a weekly feature here on Tynga’s Reviews where we dare you to read some of our favorite older releases (at least 6 months old). All the books/series we choose to feature are titles we adored and think you should give them a shot! We think it’s a super awesome way to discover that special book who might have slipped off your radar!

You’ve already read the book? Let’s us know what you thought!
You are accepting the dare? We’d love to know!
Have a dare of your own? Leave a comment ^^

Jennifer Estep is one of my top five authors. Her books are must-buy for me and I’m constantly surprised by where she takes her characters and how she does it. As a result, I thought it was high time I dared you to try out her Elemental Assassin series, starting with SPIDER’S BITE.

Jennifer Estep has created a gritty and elaborate world in this series, one in which some people have elemental powers. Here’s the description of the series from Jennifer Estep’s website:

The Elemental Assassin books are set in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland, where Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina meet in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in her spare time. Gin is also an elemental or person who can control one of the four elements – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone. Gin has the rare gift of being able to control two elements, Ice and Stone in her case. Besides elementals like Gin, Ashland is also home to giants, dwarves, and vampires.

As the blurb says, the titular elemental assassin is Gin Blanco. She’s an incredibly tough, smart, and strong woman who is comfortable with who she is and what she does: she’s an assassin and she’s also the owner of the Pork Pig, a BBQ restaurant in Ashland, North Carolina. After her mentor Fletcher is killed, Gin embarks on a mission that will span five novels: she wants to kill Mab Monroe, an extremely powerful Fire elemental and leander of Ashland’s underground. Oh, and she’s also the person who murdered Gin’s family.

Gin’s surrounded by an excellent cast of supporting characters. My favourite in this book is probably Finn, Fletcher’s son. He’s one of the best people in the series because he’s such a support for Gin and because he’s a charming rogue. He’s one of those characters you love right off the bat, and then grow to love even more because he’s smart and wonderful. Gin’s also got Sophie and Jo-Jo in her corner, a pair of dwarf sisters who use their abilities to help Gin with her quest.

In case fantastic character work isn’t enough to get you to try this book, I should also mention that the plotting and world building in the Elemental Assassin books are outstanding. The stories have great pacing, surprising plot turns, a real sense of danger, and relationships you invest in. You won’t be sorry if you give this book (and series) a try!

Want more? I bet you do! Here’s the cover copy for SPIDER’S BITE:

Jennifer Estep Spider's BiteAfter Gin’s family was murdered by a Fire elemental when she was thirteen, she lived on the streets and eventually became an assassin to survive. Now, Gin is given an assignment by her handler to rub out an Ashland businessman, but it turns out to be a trap. After Gin’s handler is brutally murdered, she teams up with the sexy detective investigating the case to figure out who double-crossed her and why. Only one thing is for sure —Gin has no qualms about killing her way to the top of the conspiracy.

My thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Click on the cover to read my thoughts (except for VENOM because I skipped it and THREAD OF DEATH, the e-novella, because my review hasn’t gone up yet):

Jennifer Estep Web of LiesJennifer Estep VenomJennifer Estep Tangled ThreadsJennifer Estep Spider's RevengeJennifer Estep Thread of DeathJennifer Estep By A Thread

Jennifer Estep also provides some delicious free short stories on her website. I posted about some of them last year so you can click here to see what I thought of the earlier ones.

Jenn

"When I’m not writing" with Jennifer Estep + giveaway!

Jennifer Estep

I’m so very excited about today’s guest! Jennifer Estep is one of my favourite authors and an exceptionally talented writer. She currently has two amazing series: the Elemental Assassin series featuring the butt-kicking Gin Blanco and the young adult Mythos Academy books, the series that brings her to the blog today. The Mythos Academy series focuses on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry (the ability to know an object’s history by touching it). Gwen ends up at Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more. Jennifer’s currently on (blog) tour promoting her third Mythos Academy novel, DARK FROST, which comes out on June 1.

Find out what Jennifer does when she’s not hard at work on her brilliant books and remember to stick around for the giveaway!

WINW_logo

Greetings! First of all, I want to say thanks to Tynga for hosting me on the blog again. Thanks so much, Tynga!

So today, Tynga asked me to do a post about what I do when I’m not writing. Not writing? What’s that like? LOL.

Seriously, though, since I write two series, it seems like I’m almost always writing or working on revisions, copy edits, or page proofs for one of my books. Not to mention all the other things that authors do like answering e-mails, social media, and getting the word out about their books.

But I also think it’s important to make time for yourself. So whenever I finish a big project, I try to reward myself with a book I’ve been wanting to read, a TV series on DVD that I’ve been wanting to try, or something like that. Even if it’s something small, like a new lip gloss or ordering dessert, it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished a little something and motivates me to move on to the next project.

I’m pretty boring when it comes to what I like to do in my spare time. I like to read, watch TV, go catch a movie, and just spend some time with my family and significant other. Of course, those last one often ends with us watching TV or catching a movie. LOL.

I also enjoy hanging out with my friends. Every few months, a group of us make time to get together and have a cookout, which we have jokingly dubbed Meatfest since it always seems like there are a lot of meat dishes on the menu. Everybody makes a dish or two (or two or three), then we meet at someone’s house to eat and just hang out for a few hours.

It’s a great way to catch up with what’s going on in everyone’s life. Sometimes, we’ll play card games or Trivial Pursuit or something like that. During football season, we’ll eat while we watch a game or two and root for our favorite teams. Good food, good company, good times. It’s a winning combination for me.

What about you guys? What do you like to do in your spare time?

———————————

Thank you so much for visiting us, Jennifer!

For more information about Jennifer and her books, check out her website or goodreads page, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

———————————

Here’s the scoop on DARK FROST:

Jennifer Estep Dark FrostI’ve seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I’m supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I’m just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me—again.

Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects—and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I’m also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me? It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can’t use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me—and I’m in for the fight of my life.

My thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Click on the cover to read my thoughts on the first two books in the series:

Jennifer Estep Touch of FrostJennifer Estep Kiss of Frost

You can also check out the e-prequel, FIRST FROST:

Jennifer Estep First Frost

———————————

giveaway

Jennifer is generously offering one (1) copy of DARK FROST to a lucky reader!

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

US only

Ends Monday, June 4, 2012

/*{literal}{/literal}*/
a Rafflecopter giveaway
You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway.

———————————

Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!

Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!

Jenn

"When I’m not writing" with Jennifer Estep + giveaway!

Jennifer Estep

I’m so very excited about today’s guest! Jennifer Estep is one of my favourite authors and an exceptionally talented writer. She currently has two amazing series: the Elemental Assassin series featuring the butt-kicking Gin Blanco and the young adult Mythos Academy books, the series that brings her to the blog today. The Mythos Academy series focuses on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry (the ability to know an object’s history by touching it). Gwen ends up at Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more. Jennifer’s currently on (blog) tour promoting her third Mythos Academy novel, DARK FROST, which comes out on June 1.

Find out what Jennifer does when she’s not hard at work on her brilliant books and remember to stick around for the giveaway!

WINW_logo

Greetings! First of all, I want to say thanks to Tynga for hosting me on the blog again. Thanks so much, Tynga!

So today, Tynga asked me to do a post about what I do when I’m not writing. Not writing? What’s that like? LOL.

Seriously, though, since I write two series, it seems like I’m almost always writing or working on revisions, copy edits, or page proofs for one of my books. Not to mention all the other things that authors do like answering e-mails, social media, and getting the word out about their books.

But I also think it’s important to make time for yourself. So whenever I finish a big project, I try to reward myself with a book I’ve been wanting to read, a TV series on DVD that I’ve been wanting to try, or something like that. Even if it’s something small, like a new lip gloss or ordering dessert, it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished a little something and motivates me to move on to the next project.

I’m pretty boring when it comes to what I like to do in my spare time. I like to read, watch TV, go catch a movie, and just spend some time with my family and significant other. Of course, those last one often ends with us watching TV or catching a movie. LOL.

I also enjoy hanging out with my friends. Every few months, a group of us make time to get together and have a cookout, which we have jokingly dubbed Meatfest since it always seems like there are a lot of meat dishes on the menu. Everybody makes a dish or two (or two or three), then we meet at someone’s house to eat and just hang out for a few hours.

It’s a great way to catch up with what’s going on in everyone’s life. Sometimes, we’ll play card games or Trivial Pursuit or something like that. During football season, we’ll eat while we watch a game or two and root for our favorite teams. Good food, good company, good times. It’s a winning combination for me.

What about you guys? What do you like to do in your spare time?

———————————

Thank you so much for visiting us, Jennifer!

For more information about Jennifer and her books, check out her website or goodreads page, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

———————————

Here’s the scoop on DARK FROST:

Jennifer Estep Dark FrostI’ve seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I’m supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I’m just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me—again.

Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects—and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I’m also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me? It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can’t use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me—and I’m in for the fight of my life.

My thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Click on the cover to read my thoughts on the first two books in the series:

Jennifer Estep Touch of FrostJennifer Estep Kiss of Frost

You can also check out the e-prequel, FIRST FROST:

Jennifer Estep First Frost

———————————

giveaway

Jennifer is generously offering one (1) copy of DARK FROST to a lucky reader!

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

US only

Ends Monday, June 4, 2012

/*{literal}{/literal}*/
a Rafflecopter giveaway
You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway.

———————————

Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!

Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!

Jenn