Monday, March 5, 2012

Author Guest Post: Jennifer Estep Excerpt from By a Thread

Jennifer Estep has allowed me to post an excerpt of the newest book in the Elemental Assassin adventures, By a Thread! I hope this allows you to see why I love this series so much!

Gin Blanco never thought she’d need a vacation from being an assassin. But a few weeks ago, she killed Mab Monroe, her nemesis and the most powerful Fire elemental in Ashland. Now, all the city’s lowlifes are trying to make a name for themselves by taking out the Spider. So she heads south to a swanky beach town, along with her baby sister, Bria, for a weekend of fun in the sun. But when an old friend of Bria’s is threatened by a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic, it looks like Gin will have to dig the silverstone knives out of her suitcase after all. But this time, her special powers might not be enough to prevent her from coming home in a pine box…

Charlie, the valet with the key ring, trotted back up the steps and obligingly flipped the switch on the far wall. The second the lights came on, I stepped out from behind the potted tree and kicked the door shut behind me. Didn’t want to be a bad guest and wake the neighbors with the screams that were sure to come.

The door thumped into place, making Charlie, the guy closest to me, whirl around in surprise.

“What the hell—”

That’s all he got out before my knife rammed into his heart, and a crimson stain blossomed like a tropical flower on his white shirt. Charlie was dead before I yanked out the blade and let his body thump to the floor. For a second, the other three men looked at me, eyes wide, mouths open, as if they couldn’t believe that I was up, ready, and waiting for them.

“Get that bitch!” Pete screamed, all pretense of being quiet and sneaky gone. “Now!”

And the fight was on.

Pete rushed at me first. I waited until he was on the stairs, then stepped forward and slammed my fist into his face. He stumbled back, falling off the stairs and hitting a wooden coffee table before rolling off the side and landing on his ass. Before I could follow and finish him off, the two giants came at me.


Trent and the other giant worked in tandem, leaping up the steps and lashing out with their fists, trying to pin me against the door where they could take their time beating me to death. But I slid to one side and scooted back behind the potted tree. The second giant reached through the leaves, trying to grab hold of me, but I ducked around the other side.


The giant didn’t even get a chance to untangle himself from the tree before I palmed another knife and started in on him. He was half-turned toward me, so I couldn’t slam my blades into his heart and put him down immediately the way I wanted to, but I cut up the right side of his thick, muscular chest like I was butterflying a slab of meat. The giant screamed and staggered back, but I kept right on going with him, opening his stomach from one side to the other, blood and intestines spilling across the white marble floor. The giant screamed again, his feet going out from under him, and slumped to the floor. I drove my knife into his throat, cutting off his hoarse cries of pain, before yanking it back out. He toppled over and joined the valet on the floor, both of them dead.

Trent stared at me, his eyes flicking around the room as if he was considering whether he wanted to fight or run. He should have run.


USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing people and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone. Books in the series are Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Venom, and Tangled Threads.

Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. Touch of Frost, the first book in the series, was released in August. First Frost, a prequel e-story to the series, is available as a 99-cent download.

For more information, excerpts, and more, visit Jennifer’s website at
I just love UF books! Now for those not in the know yet... it also has romance within the book. So those who also love PNR will not be disappointed either! *swoon* OWEN! *swoon*

Jennifer is giving away Gin's newest adventure! Just fill out the rafflecopter form below. It's US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I can't wait to read a little more of this series. thanks for sharing!

  2. I can't wait to listen to it :) Have it in my que just not there yet :)

  3. Seriously looking forward to this one - I've been eating up the series!

  4. I seriously need to start reading your books I have a few different copies and am looking forward to reading/reviewing Spider's Bite in April! I sooo love reading a Kick A** Chick themed book! Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway!

    New Follower from Book Blogs!

  5. Melliane -- Thanks! Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

    Felicia -- Thanks! Hope you enjoy the audiobook.

    Liz -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the series.

    Silverlight -- Thanks! Hope you enjoy SPIDER'S BITE.

  6. I've recently found this series and really looking forward to reading all of the books.

    1. Sorry...hit the anonymous button by mistake.

  7. Agh! Why do I have to be so uncreative? Okay. Well, I guess I could try signing to Owen, but I don't think the beauty of my voice would come through on a blog comment.

    Jennifer Estep is a writing machine, and I need to get on her hot tamale train before it leaves me in the dust. Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway.

  8. I love this series and push them on all my friends. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! :)

  9. OWEN!!!!! I so adored him and Gin in this book. And it was so satisfying to have Donovan come back and give Gin a chance to settle some things. *smiles* Such an amazing series:)

  10. Juanita -- Thanks! Hope you enjoy the series.

  11. I have heard so many good things about this series and I've had it on my list. I was overwelmed but things have called down and I'm really looking forward to starting to read these. Thanks for the excerpt and giveway!

  12. This has been one of my favorite series from the onstart. I really need to push my local library into purchasing Ms Esteps books faster!

  13. I love this series! It always exciting and extremely orginal. I can't wait to pick up the next book. :)

  14. Jennifer Estep is new to me, but this book is on my must-read list. I've heard nothing but great things about the series.

  15. I am so swooning for Owen too!!! I love this series and all the inbetween stories!

  16. OK, OK - I get it - I need to read this series!! Now can you just tell work why I won't be in tomorrow...

  17. Question for Jennifer:
    Can you explain why you go back over details from the previous installments in such detail in every book? Is this to keep people from having to re-read the novels or are you doing it in case someone jumps into the series without reading prior books?

    I ask this because a lot of people complain about the rehashing, so I was curious as to what you would say is your motivation.

  18. Just got started on this series and am loving it. HG ave all the books up to this one so I can read them back to back! Woohoo!

  19. Looks good, I like the excerpt, not always sure if I like first person tense, but this one looks interesting, thanks for the giveaway!

  20. I don't read much in the way of adult books, but I think I have to give this series a try- I have heard nothing but good things about it. Hopefully it will by my next Chicagoland Vampires series! ;)

  21. Missie -- Thanks! Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

    Elisa -- Thanks! I appreciate the recommendations.

    Jenny -- Thanks! Glad you like Owen in this book.

    Laurie -- Thanks! Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

    Shelley -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the books.

    Blodeuedd -- Thanks! And yes, there is a little romance in the series.

    Shannibal -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the series.

    Dani -- Thanks! Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

    Cait -- Thanks! Glad you like Owen.

    Mel -- Thanks! Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

    Chinyere -- Yes, I explain the rules/magic/world building in every book so that folks who haven't read all the books know how everything works and what's going on with the characters. But I am trying to be more skillful in how I weave that information in for readers who have read all the books and know the world/characters already.

    Lisa -- Thanks! Hope you enjoy the series.

    AimeeKay -- Thanks! Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

  22. I love that your series has romance in it. I like UF books but they can be a little dry at times. Your series is perfect :-)

  23. I love absolutely anything that Jennifer Estep writes! I'm not kidding! I've read some of every one of her series and I haven't met a book of hers that I don't like! I would really, really like to win a copy of this installment of the Elemental Assassin series! Thanks so, so much for the awesome post and giveaway:)

    P.S. She's also really cool because she follows back on Twitter!! LOL

  24. Can't wait to catch up on this series! I read Spider's Bite when it first came out and enjoyed it, but I've fallen waaaaay behind since then!

  25. Paranormal Haven -- Thanks! I like books with a little bit of everything in them -- action, magic, danger, romance.

    Julie -- Thanks! I appreciate all the nice words about my books.

    Natalie -- Thanks! Hope you get a chance to catch up on the series.

  26. HaHa - I love that last line! She's one tough cookie, that Gin.

  27. Action, action action!!!! :D I love it. I've got to get reading there, I'm planning on doing just that this month. :)

    Oh, I couldn't get the tweet link to post in the space provided so I'm going to add it here. :)!/MelLHay/status/176839880951861249

    Thank you!!

    1. As long as it gave you your +1 credit, no probs Mel! :)

      Anyone has probs, just let me know!

  28. Thank you for this amazing giveaway. I have sooo been wanting to read this series and have heard such wonderful things about the books as well as Jennifer. :)

    The covers of the books are so awesome. :)

    - Beckie @ Bittersweet Enchantment

  29. Im soo not creative this is hard! Well I have read your Bigtime series and now Elemental series and I love that you give out a shout some way lately to the Bigtime world but the worlds are completely different from each other so why mention the Bigtime series into the Elemental series, is it because Finn is a superhero secretly? *justkidding*:)

  30. Wow, she doesn't mess around does she?? I haven't started this series. I'm reading the Mythos series. Enjoying that one though it's a tad tamer than this one. No knives yet, but there was a lot of blood now that I'm remembering. I like Ms. Estep's writing style, I think I'll enjoy her adult books, too. Though, I think I'll have to start at the beginning.

    Again, love what you've done with the place.
    Sorry about the crappy week! Hope this one is better! Thanks for the man candy!

  31. I really enjoy this series, and this was a great scene in the book!

  32. I can't wait to dig in! Unfortunately my TBR list is getting longer rather than shorter but this is definitely clost to the top of my list.

  33. Stephanie -- Thanks! Glad you liked the excerpt.

    Melissa -- Thanks! Hope you enjoy the book.

    Chi Kittie -- Thanks! I like the covers a lot too.

    Lynnette -- Thanks! Glad you like the shout-outs. I just do them because they are fun for me to do and hopefully fun Easter eggs for readers.

    Buried in Books -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the Mythos Academy series.

    Aurian -- Thanks! Glad you liked the excerpt.

    Whitewolf -- Thanks! Hope you enjoy the book. And I know what you mean about the TBR pile. I think I add new books to mine almost every week. LOL.

  34. I'm looking forward to my latest installment of Gin and Gang. I know this is urban fantasy and the emphasis is on action and not romance, but will we see more details about Gina and Owen and Finn and Bria? Will our favorite goth dwarf get a guy?

  35. This is one of my favorite series to read!
    It never disappoints me!
    Thanks for the giveaway!!!

  36. Love this lady! Thanks for the giveaway!

  37. Oh, I have had my eye on this series for a while, it sounds so good. Thanks for the awesome giveaway.

  38. I love this series sooo much. Gin is so different from almost every other heroin out there. She's so tough and cool, yet you can definitely feel for her vulnerable side, lots of hidden tenderness in there. I also love all the other characters like Finn and Bria, and Sophia. I can't wait to see what's in store for all of them to come. ANd also I desperately want Gin to make me a meal some time, I swear those books make me soooo hungry ;)

    eckstein 99 (at) comcast dot net

  39. I really enjoy this series. maybe each new book could have a recipe from The Pork Pit in the back.

  40. Great excerpt, Jennifer. It's hard to beat a kick ass woman with a sense of humor.

  41. This is one of my favorite series, can't wait to read this one!

  42. I can't wait to read the next installment of the elemental assassin series.

  43. Anne -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the series. Actually, the next book, WIDOW'S WEB, gets into Owen's backstory.

    Mollie -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the series.

    Savannah -- Thanks! Glad you liked the excerpt.

    Anne -- Thanks! Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

    Stephjx -- Thanks! I appreciate all the nice words about the characters and books.

    Sandy -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the series.

    Cathy -- Thanks! Glad you liked the excerpt.

    Tetewa -- Thanks! Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

    Toni -- Thanks! Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

  44. I enjoyed this book (as I have all in the Elemental Assassin series). I've come to love the characters & particularly enjoyed the love triangle tension. The plot, people to save, bad guys & ways Gin got herself out of trouble were fun. Jennifer has eliminated the repetative quirks of previous books, but still managed to get the important information to us.


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