Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jennifer Estep Guest Blog Post and GIVEAWAY!

Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to say thanks to Melissa for inviting me to blog today. Thanks so much, Melissa!
I’m the author of the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. 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.
The first book in the series, Spider’s Bite, was released in February. Web of Lies, the second book in the series, just came out on May 25. Venom, the third book, will be released on Sept. 28.
Today, Melissa suggested that I share some fun tidbits about the books, so here goes:
My favorite character to write in the series: Finnegan Lane. As much as I love writing my heroine, Gin Blanco, I love writing Finn even more. Finnegan Lane is a charming, shameless womanizer and an investment banker who loves money and all the pretty things that he can buy with it. It’s always fun to write a character who is so passionate about something, who knows all his flaws, and revels in them. Finn knows that he plays the part of the comic relief in many cases, and he’s okay with that.
My least favorite character to write: Background characters. You know the ones I’m talking about. The characters who maybe have one or two lines of dialogue, if that, but have to be included to keep the story moving forward. Mostly, these are the minor bad guys that Gin kills or people eating at the Pork Pit. Coming up with throwaway names for those folks is really tough sometimes. 
Yes, most of the recipes are real: Gin loves to cook, and I mention a lot of different dishes that she makes in the books. Most of these are tried and true favorites that I’ve found and made myself over the years from friends, family, magazines, and more, like the chocolate chip pound cake. I’ve posted some of the recipes on my Web site. Here’s the link (scroll down until you get to Gin’s Recipe Box):
Pay attention to Gin’s T-shirts: Most of the time, Gin is wearing jeans, boots, and a T-shirt, and most of her T-shirts that I describe have some kind of food item on them, like cherries, blackberries, etc. I thought that was another clever little way that I could bring out her love of cooking.
I like to think my books exist in the same world: I’m also the author of the Bigtime romance series, which focuses on sexy superheroes, evil ubervillains, and smart, sassy gals looking for love. Books in that series are Karma Girl, Hot Mama, and Jinx.
In every one of my Elemental Assassin books, there’s a small reference to one of my Bigtime books. For example, in Spider’s Bite, Finn mentions that someone is wearing a Fiona Fine suit. Fiona is the fashion designer heroine of the Hot Mama book in my Bigtime series.
As an author, I like to think that my characters all live in the same world -- that a character from one series could walk down the street and bump into a character from a different series. These references are just a little something extra and fun that I include for folks who enjoy both my series. 
So there you have it. Some fun facts about the Elemental Assassin series. Happy reading! ;-)
What about you guys? What are some of your favorite urban fantasy books? Share in the comments.

Jennifer is also giving away a signed copy of "Web of Lies" to a lucky poster (US only). All you have to do is answer her question, post one of your own (she'll be around the first day to answer questions), or just comment below! Also, please include an e-mail addy if you do not have one connected to your profile. I'll end the contest on Sunday night of this week and pick a winner and list them on Monday! Good luck everyone!
Giveaway is now closed.


  1. I love the Mercedes Thompson series by Patricia Briggs! Thanks for the giveaway!


  2. Great post! :) I like the idea of this post. It gives me a little bit more of a feel for the characters.

    I was wondering with Gin loving to cook so, do you enjoy it as much? I am definitely going to check out the site for Gin's Recipe Box though. Thanks! :) That is a neat touch with the food on her shirts.

    Some of my Favorite UF books... Well, I have started following Kelly Medings series of Evie - Dreg City. She only has the first book out and the second will be out in July. I have heard wondrous things of Patricia Briggs, but I have not read any yet. I need to start that series too. :)

    Thanks for this great giveaway! I am tweeting about it now to help spread the word for you.

  3. enter me please

  4. Wow, too many to mention them all. I've been meaning to get around to this one for a while. I told myself that I should just start getting books of series I'm already reading...but just one more couldn't hurt. I love Jocelynn Drake, Vicki Pettersson, Lisa Shearin, Lilith Saintcrow, Patricia Briggs, Kelley Armstrong...

    Is Gin short for something? And does it have any special meaning, if only to you?


  5. Natalie -- You're welcome. ;-)

    Melissa -- I do love to cook, and I'm totally addicted to the Food Network. Sometimes, I'll watch Paula Deen just to see how much butter/sugar she puts in a recipe. LOL.

    Bethany -- Gin is actually short for Genevieve, which is Gin's real/full name.

  6. Favorite UFs - Mercy Thompson (Patricia Briggs), Kate Daniels (Ilona Andrews) and the October Daye (Seanan McGuire) series! :)

    Does this series wrap up with VENOM, or are there more books planned after that?

  7. The Mercy Thompson series is one of my favorites. Is the Undead series by Davidson considered UF, if so, I love that one too.

  8. Janicu -- Right now, I'm scheduled to write two more Assassin books after Venom. The fourth one will be called Tangled Threads. Books 4 and 5 should both be out in 2011.

    Of course, I want to write more books after that, but book 5 will wrap up all the major story arcs and hopefully satisfy readers.

    MBreakfield -- I like the Undead series a lot too. It's always fun to read about Betsy.

  9. Great interview. I loved Spider's Bite. One of my favorite urban fantasy series is Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson series.

  10. Crystal -- Cool. I'm glad that you enjoyed the first book.

  11. My fave urban fantasy is Red-headed Stepchild.

    hewella1 at gmail dot com

  12. I really liked Glimmerglass by Jenna Black. It's YA, but still urban fantasy.

  13. I just want to thank Jennifer for stopping by the blog and for everyone commenting and asking questions. I loved this book and I think all of you will as well!

  14. I loved Karma Girl, but I don't want to be accused of sucking up, so instead I'll say 2 of my favorite Urban Fantasies (besides, Karma Girl was Paranormal, right? lol): Soulless by Gail Carriger & Deadtown by Nancy Holzner. I loved the world created by both writers & their characters are strong & direct but aren't afraid to take input from others.

    Thanks for the post & giveaway. : )
    ambience.of.rain {at}

  15. The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay is one of my faves.

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  16. Ashley -- I've heard good things about that series.

    Melissa -- Thanks for having me on the blog today! ;-)

    Christa -- Thanks! I'm glad that you enjoyed Karma Girl. Everyone seems to be raving about how good Soulless is.

    Throuthehaze -- I've got that one in my TBR pile. One of many that I need to read!

  17. Q: What are some of your favorite urban fantasy books?
    A: The Mercy Thompson series.

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  18. Urban fantasy is a genre of books I haven't read yet, but I plan to read some and see if I like it. I'd like to enter to win.


  19. thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  20. Aloha Jennifer!=)

    I like your attention to detail like with the shirts! I noticed that and loved it!

    I do like the idea that all your characters could possibly live in the same world. I wish I had read your other novels because if I had caught those reference I would have been super excited!=) I will definitely have to read them soon.

    Also, I recent;y read a great post with Tony Mauro and seen the other two possible covers for Spider Bites-- he did an amazing job and I said so there!=) I will have to post a link on my blog because I enjoyed that post immensely!

    Hey Melissa!!=) No need to enter me but I had to comment on how much i love the guest post!


Thanks for commenting! I ❤ comments!