Guest Author: Jennifer Estep

Jennifer EstepToday, I am excited to welcome back Jennifer Estep as we celebrate the release of her fourth Elemental Assassins novel, Tangled Threads.

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. . . .

Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a copy of Tangled Threads to one lucky individual.

Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to say thanks to Jackie for having me here on the blog. Thanks so much, Jackie!

So today, Jackie asked me to talk a little bit about relationships in my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series – particularly, the relationship between my heroine, Gin Blanco, aka the assassin the Spider, and her former lover, police detective Donovan Caine.

Basically, in Spider’s Bite, the first book in the series, Gin and Donovan hook up to unravel a conspiracy and are attracted to each other. Their attraction continues in Web of Lies, the second book in the series, but at the end of the book, Donovan says that he can’t be the kind of man that he wants to be and have a relationship with an assassin like Gin. So Donovan leaves Gin and the town of Ashland.

Jackie wanted to know if I had always planned for Donovan to leave Gin. The answer? Not really.

At first, I intended for Donovan to be Gin’s love interest throughout the series. However, as I was writing Donovan’s character, I realized that he and Gin were basically going to have the same argument in every book about her being an assassin. I didn’t feel like I could have Donovan accept Gin being an assassin without really weakening his character and undermining everything that was important to him. So I decided to bring in a new love interest for Gin – sexy businessman Owen Grayson, who has his own dark, shadowy past just like Gin does.

I’m glad I made the change. Gin’s failed relationship with Donovan really let me show some of her insecurities, especially as she tries to move on with Owen. Plus, everyone seems to like Owen much better than Donovan, which is really satisfying for me as a writer.

But something else also came out of Donovan’s character. After I made the decision to have Donovan leave at the end of Web of Lies, I knew that I wanted to bring Bria, Gin’s long-lost baby sister, back to Ashland in Venom, the third book. So I thought what if Bria was also a police detective? What if she took Donovan’s place on the force? What if she was committed to truth and justice just like Donovan was? How would Bria reconcile those things with having an assassin for a sister? I thought that would make for some interesting drama, and Gin and Bria reconnecting is one of the main story arcs in Tangled Threads. We’ll see how readers react to it. Hopefully, they’ll have as much fun reading the book as I did writing it. Fingers crossed, anyway. ;-)

What about you guys? Do you like it when authors introduce new love interests in a series? Why or why not?


Meet Jennifer Estep!

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. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

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.

VenomContact Info
Social Media: Facebook | Twitter

Want to purchase Jennifer’s novel?

  1. Karma Girl at Amazon or the Book Depository
  2. Hot Mama at Amazon or the Book Depository
  3. Jinx at Amazon or the Book Depository

Elemental Assassin

  1. Spider’s Bite at Amazon or the Book Depository
  2. Web of Lies at Amazon or the Book Depository
  3. Venom at Amazon or the Book Depository
  4. Tangled Threads at Amazon or the Book Depository
  5. Spider’s Revenge at Amazon or the Book Depository
  6. By a Thread at Amazon or the Book Depository (February 28, 2012)
  7. Widows Web at Amazon or the Book Depository (August 21, 2012)

Mythos Academy

  1. Touch of Frost at Amazon or the Book Depository
  2. First Frost at Amazon or the Book Depository
  3. Kiss of Frost at Amazon or the Book Depository
  4. Dark Frost at Amazon or the Book Depository (May 29, 2012)


Tangled ThreadsThank you Jennifer for taking the time to stop by Literary Escapism!

Contest Time! Jennifer is giving away a copy of Tangled Threads. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: What is it about vampires that attracts that you. Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered.  (US/Canada only)

As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat (remember, these aren’t mandatory to enter, just extra entries):

  • +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
  • +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
  • +1 If you are a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and/or Twitter
  • +10 Purchase any of Jennifer’s novels (listed above), or any novel, through LE’s Amazon store or the Book Depository sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: jackie AT literaryescapism DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries.

The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.

The contest will stay open until May 5th, at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer and the List Randomizer.

I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.

About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


  1. I’m not entering the contest, but I just wanted to say this was a great interview! Usually, I HATE it when a new love interest is introduced. Once I decide someone is right for my heroine, I have a hard time letting go. But not in this series. I am Team Owen for the duration!

  2. What I enjoy about the vampire genre is the vamps who have been naughty or a tortured past and then find a heroine or hero, or a path in life that makes them want to change and redeem themselves. I love the self loathing turned hero complex that is running in a lot of the books. I especially love the kick arsery that is inherent in some of the books too. Plus they sound great in leather with their smoldering eyes.

    Tangled sounds fantastic! I have read the series and I love the characters and the descriptions.
    The interview was great, thank you!
    +1 Facebook

    terilhack at yahoo dot com

  3. I like when realtionships don’t always work out and the main character finds a new love interest. It’s more realistic than their eye met accross a crowded room and they fell madly in love and lived happily ever after that you get in romance books.

    I like reading vampire stories because they are an escape from real life.

    +1 facebook

    sgiden at

  4. Jen — Judging from the emails that I get, just about everyone is on Team Owen, which I think is a good thing. LOL.

    Teri — I like a good redemption story too, especially when it involves a sexy bad boy. Cool. Glad you are enjoying my books.

  5. As for changing love interest I’m usually not for it. BUT in this series it works. Donovan never felt like a good fit for Gin. He stood to high on his principles and didn’t want to/wouldn’t/couldn’t see past them. He never saw Gin for who she was but instead saw her through the filter of “She’s the Spider. An Assassin.”

    I love Owen for her! When he was first introduced I wasn’t sure but after reading Tangled Threads – they make a fantastic couple.

  6. Delilah — Oh, yes. Donovan’s principles were always more important to him than Gin was. Glad you are digging Owen, though. There is more of him to come in Spider’s Revenge. ;-)

  7. Not entering (of course hehe) but wanted to pop in and tell Jennifer how much I loved these books! Its always so wonderful when I find an author that writes so wonderfully that I want to go and buy up every book they have written! And that has happened with Jennifer Estep :)

  8. I like that vampires are immortal, and I love the really old ones that have been around and seen history first hand. That they are powerful and can use that power to help humans if they want to is fascinating to me as well.
    I’m really looking forward to reading Tangled Threads, and I love that Jennifer changed the love interest for Gin. The more I read about Donovan Caine, the less I liked him. Gin deserves better.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  9. I think it is the idea of living forever. Not the blood part, but being able to have unlimited time at your disposal would make it easier to relax and live and not worry that you are missing something.

  10. What attracts me to vampires are their sexy and dangerous auras (can’t help but be attracted to them bad boys!). I don’t like the evil ones though, I like the good ones who retain that sexy aura but are still protective of loved ones.

  11. I don’t mind at all if an author changes track midstream in a series. One of the reasons I love UF is that the character arc stretches over multiple books. In the best series, people grow and change, just as in real life. In this series, I love that you had the guts to scuttle the Donovan/Gin relationship and start over since there really was no way for those two to be together without having Donovan completely betray his own principles. And of course, like everyone else, I LOVE Owen. He’s so perfect for Gin and she deserves someone like him.

    As for vamps, although they are okay, they aren’t my favorite paranormal creatures, although I do like it when they are written as tortured souls.

    +1 Tangled Threads
    +1 First Grave on the Right

  12. I like that they are immortal, and usually they have lived long lives and carry a lot of history with them.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

    +1 FB follower

  13. Barbara — Cool. Glad you are liking Owen more than Donovan, and I hope you enjoy Tangled Threads.

    Jill — That’s true. Plus, maybe then I could find time to read all the books in my TBR pile. LOL.

    Amy — Bad boys with a heart of gold are always sexy, whether they have fangs or not.

    Jen — Thanks. I’m glad you liked the switch in love interests. Judging from the emails that I get, almost everyone likes Owen more than they ever did Donovan, which is really satisfying for me as a writer.

    Meredith — I like those things, along with all the different rules and histories that different authors give their vamps.

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