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Friday, April 22, 2011

Guest Blog & Contest with Jennifer Estep

The Elemental Assassin Series by Jennifer Estep has been in my top ten best reads since I read the first book, Spider's Bite, last year. Now book four, Tangled Threads, is due out for release and I know a lot of my book friends can't wait to read it.

I already interviewed Jennifer last year but of course I couldn't resist asking Jennifer to stop by Amberkatze's Book Blog again!

So I hope you enjoy this guest blog and will enter the contest for your chance to win a copy of the new release!

On a side note : Huge apologies to Jennifer and anyone else waiting for this post. It was supposed to be posted on Wednesday but I was too pre-occupied with preparing for my Easter trip!


Greetings and salutations! I want to say thanks to Amber for having me on the blog today. Thanks, Amber!

So today, Amber suggested that I talk a little bit about writing adult urban fantasy versus young adult urban fantasy.

Now, if you’ve read any of the books in my Elemental Assassin series, you know that semi-retired assassin Gin Blanco inhabits a very dark and gritty world and that she’s not shy about doing what needs to be done to protect the people that she cares about. Basically, Gin kills first and asks questions later, and she never, ever takes prisoners. LOL.

I know most folks would think that it’s pretty jarring to go from writing such a dark, violent character to penning a young adult series, but really, I don’t approach writing my Mythos Academy series any differently than I do the Elemental Assassin series. I’m a total punster when it comes to writing, so for whatever series I’m working on, I think of an idea, come up with the major plot points, then sit down and start writing it.

Now, I do a few things different when it comes to my young adult series – especially when it comes to the big three, as I like to think of them – sex, language, and violence. I do tone down those things for my young adult books. The Mythos Academy series doesn’t have nearly the amount of bad language that the Elemental Assassin books do, the fight scenes aren’t quite as bloody and visceral, and there are no detailed sex scenes.

But my young adult books aren’t completely vanilla. I do mention things like drinking, drugs, and sex, along with having my heroine fight for her life against the various bad guys. I think teens are smarter and have to deal with a lot more issues than people realize, and I also think they want to be entertained when they read, just like the rest of us. So that’s what I try to do – just tell a good, fun, action-packed story.

That’s why both of my series feature so many of the same elements – a strong, sassy heroine, a magical world, lots of fight scenes, vicious bad guys, and a hunky hero. Those are the things I like reading about, and those are the things I like writing about – no matter what genre I’m tackling.

Hopefully, readers will like my Mythos Academy series just as much as they do the Elemental Assassin books. Fingers crossed, anyway.

What about you guys? What are some of your favorite adult and young adult urban fantasy books right now?

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can con¬trol 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, 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 freakout 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.

My Reviews for the Elemental Assassin Series

#4 - Tangled Threads
#3 - Venom
#2 - Web of Lies
#1 - Spider's Bite


Contest Time

Jennifer is very kindly giving away a copy of TANGLED THREADS to one lucky person! This giveaway is open to US/Canada only and all you have to do is answer the question below to be entered!

How To Enter

I am extremely scared of spiders! What are you scared of?

No answer = No Entry

Earn more entries for each link you place about this contest on the net. You can post on Facebook, Twitter & MySpace but make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries! However please do not make individual postings for each entry. Please post all your entries in one post.

Advertise Amberkatze's Book Blog on your site and get an extra entry for this and every other contest!

Amberkatze's Book Blog

You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

Make sure you post your links here so I can confirm your entries.

Keep the contests going by using the Bookdepository.com and Amazon.com links/Banners below and around the site!

The Book Depository

The contest will stay open until Friday 29th of April 2011 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.


Aurian said...

I'm very sorry I am not eligible in this contest, living in Holland. I really like your series Jennifer. And though I don't read many YA, your new series sounds like my kind of thing.

Never met one personally, but I have nightmares about snakes. You know the Harry Potter scene in the last movie? I screamed.

Danah said...

OMG! I'm scared of spiders too! I'm already freaking out just seeing a single spider on the wall.
I have a great fear of heights too. I get really nervous.



SandyG265 said...

I don't mind spiders and snakes but my neighbors have a very big nasty dog which gets loose sometimes. I'm afraid to go out when it's in my yard.

Unknown said...

I enjoyed this interview with Jennifer immensely. It's great to know that Touch Of Frost will pack the same punch as her Gin series.

I am scared of being penniless.

All the best,

Jennifer Estep said...

Aurian -- Snakes, ugh! They creep me out too.

Danah -- I don't like the big, fat, hairy spiders. The little tiny ones don't bother me so much.

Sandy -- Dogs can be scary, depending on their temperaments.

RK -- Thanks! Glad you are looking forward to the YA series too.

Audra said...

I love Gin' s story ---This is the must have series for the year.
I am afraid of slugs they are NASTY!!!!!!!!

Tamsen said...

I'm scared of snakes too! I lived in Alabama when I was a kid and I was walking in a crick (translation: creek) with one of my friends and we saw a water moccasin in a tree hissing at us. I don't think I've ever run so fast in my entire life!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this contest.I also hate spiders but I do have an unnatural fear of crossing bridges over water. I have the fear that for some reason it'll crumble as I'm in the middle.

faefever25 at hotmail dot com

Julie S said...

I'm with you on the spiders. I can't handle seeing them crawling about.


Pam S said...

Tangled is a must for me - have been eagerly awaiting this installment. The YA series sounds like it will be a great one too. Thanks so much for the interview was fun!

I don't know of anything I am terrified of offhand, but I do have an aversion to frogs...

Pam S
pams00 @ aol.com

Taylor Z said...

I'm scared of being closed in places. My family members also like to jump out of random places in the house, so i'm def scared of them lol.

Victoria said...

I am so afraid of spiders too. When I was little my brother used to put those big black squishy ones in my shoes. They totally make my skin crawl.
Thanks for the giveaway.


Jennifer Estep said...

Julie -- Like I said before, the small ones don't bother me, but I definitely keep away from the big ones.

Pam -- Cool. I hope you enjoy Tangled Threads and the new YA series. Frogs are kind of slimy and gross. LOL.

Taylor -- Small spaces can get to me sometimes too.

Victoria -- Ew! That would creep me out too.

Unknown said...

I am afraid of heights. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

tetewa said...

Last year I had a bat in my bedroom closet which led to my attic, I couldn't sleep in my bed for a week! Love this series and looking forward to this read. tWarner419@aol.com

LSUReader said...

I'm afraid of outliving my kids. I know that's odd, it's just always seemed such an unnatural thing to me.

Love your Gin books, Jennifer. Can't wait for Tangled Threads. And I'm not afraid of spiders. I actually kind of like them, because they eat all those other creepy crawly things!

CrystalGB said...

I am afraid of snakes, bees, deep water and heights.
I love your books.

Jennifer Estep said...

Tore -- Heights can get to me sometimes too.

Tetewa -- Bats don't bother me that much. At least they eat a lot of bugs. LOL.

LSUReader -- Thanks! I hope you like Tangled Threads even more than the other books.

Crystal -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the books. And I hate wasps myself. Shudder.

Van Pham said...

I'm scared of any thing in the reptilian family haha. My brother in-law has a three horned chameleon, gives me the creeps. I swear I saw it giving me the evil eye once!

thanks for the giveaway.


Stephanie said...

I'm terrified of heights, fire, and snakes.


Jennifer Estep said...

Van -- I don't much care for reptiles either, especially snakes.

Stephanie -- Fire is something that definitely scares me.

Amy said...

Can't wait to read Tangled Threads!
I'm scared of all creepy crawlies (spiders, cockroaches, etc.) and heights.


StyleVamp said...

Waterbugs...ugggh they are disgusting!! Waterbugs that fly...(I will run) that and mice..

Mariee said...

I'd love to win a copy!
I'm afraid of sharks, bugs and needles.

Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/marieimy/status/61539098321633280

marieimy (at) gmail (dot) com

Barbara E. said...

I'm scared of spiders too. Especially these great big hairy wolf spiders we have here in Florida, they're gigantic. I don't mind snakes too much, but when I'm not sure if they're harmful to me, I get pretty freaked out as well.

Jennifer Estep said...

Amy -- Cool. I hope you enjoy it.

Tanya -- Just about any kind of bugs and mice would freak me out. LOL.

Mariee -- Needles are another thing that I don't much care for.

Barbara -- I would definitely not like those kinds of spiders!

Karen W. said...


I'm a big fangirl of yours! :) I'm really looking forward to TANGLED THREADS as well as A TOUCH OF FROST!

I'm afraid of spiders also, but I'm especially afraid of heights! I can't take one step up on a step stool without shaking.

Becky said...

I enjoyed this interview with Jennifer. I can't think of something that I am afraid of right now, but I am nervous when driving on a bridge over a body of water. I don't mind spiders.

Persephone said...

I am scared of snakes, but that is a fairly new thing. I happened to step on one, and I was close to having a panic attack afterward. I wasn't bitten, but the thing had thrashed against my bare leg. I Googled the snake's description and it was a corn snake. The whole experience, despite ending well, was not a good one. Let's just say it is not a fantastic feeling when people belittle your fears, or laugh at certain overreactions [bitter].

patronus89013 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Karen -- Thanks! I hope you enjoy both of the books.

Becky -- Yeah, bridges can be kind of scary sometimes, especially if they're really high up or they stretch out for miles.

Marianna -- Ew! That's awful. That would definitely make me afraid of snakes.

Andra Lyn said...

I am absolutely terrified of snakes I HATE them...I could never have been a Slytherin lol :)

hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

Anonymous said...

Awesome contest! I am scared of insects and pretty much anything that goes bump in the night (except my cat, haha).

-wookieecookie7 at sbcglobal dot net

donnas said...

Its spiders. I dont know why but always have been. Even seeing them on TV or thinking about them makes me itch.

tweet - http://twitter.com/#!/DonnaS1/status/62021052619956224

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Pamk said...

I'm not afraid of much but my kiddos or family getting really ill. But big assed spiders really freak me out. Little ones I can kill but those tarantulas would make me hurt myself trying to get it away from me.
Love this series and am looking forward to reading the next one.

whitewolfreads said...

I think my biggest fear is failure and zombies. Zombies just really freak me out (especially the flesh eating kind).

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/whitewolfreads/status/62223439037075456

whitewolfreads AT gmail DOT com

Unknown said...

I tell people that I'm afraid of sharks, crocodiles, and serial killers- namely anything that can hunt you and eat you. However, I am actually afraid of meeting and socializing with large groups of people I don't know or don't know well. Total nightmare. Public speaking? No problem. It's the social aspect that kills me.

Jennifer, if you do check the comments at all, thank you for this series. I have been a huge fan since the first book. Keep 'em coming!

JenM said...

Although I scuba dive, I'm actually rather afraid of the water. What I really dislike is surf, so if I'm at the beach, I normally won't go in the water unless it's very calm and I see a bunch of young kids in the water playing around.

jen at delux dot com

Meredith said...

Snakes! And I almost picked one up one time thinking it was a toy snake of my brother's!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

I don't particularly care for spiders but snakes totally freak me out!



I'm a follower on GFC-Lisa Richards


alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

heatwave16 said...

Spiders...absolutely!!! I can't even watch movies with them in it. I close my eyes whenever they are due to appear in Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.


Anonymous said...

Spiders for sure. I have to call someone into my room whenever I see one to get it out. Uuugggg my skin is crawling just thinking about them.

Vickie said...

What am I most afraid of? When I was little, it used to be whatever was under my bed. There were dents in the wood floor near my side of the bed where I landed when I had to get up in the night to go to the bathroom. Those monsters only have so long a reach, dontcha know.

Now I think it's likely snakes, mass quantities of snakes. One at a time seems okay, but not a bunch at once.

jeanette8042 said...

I'm totally scared of all insects since they're all so creepy and make me feel icky when looking at them.


jeanette8042 said...

I'm totally scared of all insects since they're all so creepy and make me feel icky when looking at them.


Curling up by the Fire said...

For me, it's always been snakes. And yet I'm fascinated by them as well. I will not watch a movie that features snakes in them however, as it freaks me out.

Cathy M said...

It's spiders for me too, not those small ones, it's those 50 cent piece and up size, with fur, and what looks like pincers... Totally wigs me out.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Nancy said...

Oooh, I love, love, love you, Jennifer Estep! Have since your first books came out! It's a treat to see you here at Amber's blog!

I bug out when I see a spider, partly because I'm highly allergic to their bites.

Have a terrific rest of the week!

Nancy Haddock

Gail said...

Spiders? I get the shivers when I think of them. The movie 'Arachnophobia' was creeepy & real life scary for me. I’m not a big fan of the household spiders, when my cat won't kill them, that tells me something. I did have a cat, Cosmo that used to pull the legs off of spiders when they dared to enter the house. LOL

Jennifer you mentioned other writers that write both adult and YA books. I have only read two authors who do that so far; Kim Harrison and Kelley Armstrong. I've loved both of their series and I didn't feel they were writing down (so to speak). I found them just as entertaining as their adult series. I'm anxious to read yours now too :-) Thanks for sharing with us.