Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Guest Blog and Giveaway: Jennifer Estep

UFI welcomes Jennifer Estep Author of one of my favorite series The Elemental Assassins Series. Thanks for Joining us!!

Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to say thanks for Stacy for having me on the blog today. Thanks so much, Stacy! ;-)

So today Stacy asked me to talk a little bit about the elementals in my Elemental Assassin books.

Basically, there are four main types of elementals in my series – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone. These are the areas that a character has to be gifted in to be considered a true elemental. My heroine, Gin Blanco, is unique in that she can control not one, but two elements – Ice and Stone in her case.

Of course, there are plenty of people running around Ashland who can use other elemental areas, like water, metal, and electricity, that are offshoots of the four main areas. In fact, in the latest book in the series, Tangled Threads, Gin goes up against Elektra LaFleur, another assassin who has electrical elemental magic. Basically, the plot of the book is assassin vs. assassin and magic vs. magic. It was a lot of fun to write the fight scenes for this book. LOL.

So why did I pick elementals? Well, I wanted to do something a little different from the other books out there. Plus, I thought that I could come up with some really cool powers (for both Gin and the bad guys) if I used elemental magic. For example, Gin’s Ice magic lets her create, control, and manipulate Ice, which she uses to form everything from lockpicks to knives. Her Stone power lets her do everything from crumble concrete to make her own skin as hard as marble. Folks with Air magic can use their power to heal – or rip a person’s skin from their bones. And of course you have Fire elementals, who can singe you to a crisp in a matter of seconds. 

I like playing around with all the various powers and seeing what kind of bad guy that I can pit Gin against next and what kind of nasty magic he can have.

In addition to elementals, Ashland is also home to vampires, giants, dwarves, and regular old humans. The giants and dwarves are really tough and strong, and the vamps can be that way too, depending on whose blood they’re drinking. As for the humans, well, they can pick up whatever weapon is handy. One thing is for sure – there are lots of bad guys who have an ax of some sort to grind, often with Gin. ;-)

What about you guys? What kind of magical creatures do you like to read about? Share in the comments.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin code named the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing people and righting wrongs, Gin runs a bar be cue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ash land.

Books in the series are Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, and Venom. Tangled Threads, the fourth book, will be published on April 26, while Spider’s Revenge, the fifth book, will be released in October.

Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. The books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen is shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more.

The first book, Touch of Frost, will be out in August, while the second book, Kiss of Frost, will hit shelves in December. First Frost, a prequel e-short story to the series, will be out in July. Visit www.jenniferestep.com for excerpts and more.

Tangled Threads
Ele­men­tal Assas­sin
Book #4

I’d rather face a dozen lethal assassins any night than deal with something as tricky, convoluted, and fragile as my feelings. 

But here I am. Gin Blanco, the semi-retired assassin known as the Spider. Hovering outside sexy businessman Owen Grayson’s front door like a nervous teenage girl. One thing I like about Owen: he doesn’t shy away from my past—or my present. And right now I have a bull’s-eye on my forehead. Cold-blooded Fire elemental Mab Monroe has hired one of the smartest assassins in the business to trap me. Elektra LaFleur is skilled and efficient, with deadly electrical elemental magic as potent as my own Ice and Stone powers. Which means there’s a fifty-fifty chance one of us won’t survive this battle. I intend to kill LaFleur—or die trying—because Mab wants the assassin to take out my baby sister, Detective Bria Coolidge, too. The only problem is, Bria has no idea I’m her long-lost sibling . . . or that I’m the murderer she’s been chasing through Ashland for weeks. And what Bria doesn’t know just might get us both dead. . . .

Find Jennifer and her books
 US/CAN only
Winner will receive
- One copy of Tangled Threads

1) Answer Jennifer's question
2) This giveaway is open to US and Canadian followers only
3) Must leave an email address so I can contact you.

Giveaway Ends 5/10/2011 at 10pm EST
Winner will have 48 Hours to reply to my email or I will pick another
Winner chosen randomly with the help of random.org

New Releases May 1-7

Sun May 1
Demon Hunting In Dixie by Lexi George 
Wickedly Charming by Kristine Grayson

 Mon May 2

Tue May 3

Almost Final Curtain (Vampire Princess of St. Paul, #2) by Tate Hallaway
Always the Vampire (Oldest City Vampire, #3) by Nancy Haddock
Bite Club (The Morganville Vampires, #10) by Rachel Caine
The Council of Shadows: A Novel of the Shadowspawn (Shadowspawn #2) by S.M. Stirling
Illusions (Wings #3) by Aprilynne Pike
Shift (Shade, #2) by Jeri Smith-Ready
Spellcast by Barbara Ashford

Please contact me if you see something is missing and I will add it. :)