Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Interview + Giveaway: Jennifer Estep and Tangled Threads

I'm super excited today to welcome Jennifer Estep back to the blog, she's one of my very favorite authors and is an absolute blast to talk to online! She writes the utterly fantastic Elemental Assassin series, so if you're a fan of incredibly strong heroines, hilarious secondary characters, and oh-so enjoyable love interests, then be sure and add her books to your list. Tangled Threads is book four in the series and is available now (you can read my review HERE), with the next installment Spider's Revenge releasing September 27th. Two words: Auto. Buy.

I love how all the titles for the series allude to Gin’s assassin name of The Spider, do you typically have a title in mind before you start writing or do you come up with ideas as the story progresses? Is there one title in particular you think is most fitting?

Sometimes, I have a title in mind, and sometimes, I don’t. It just depends on how creative I’m feeling when I turn in the final draft. LOL. Really, though, coming up with the titles is a joint effort between me, my agent, and my editor. When it’s time to come up with the title for the next book, we send e-mails back and forth and brainstorm. So far, we’ve been able to keep the Spider theme going with some pretty cool titles.

I really like the titles for the fourth and the fifth books in the series – Tangled Threads and Spider’s Revenge. Spider’s Revenge is especially appropriate because that’s the book I think readers have been waiting for because it features a big smackdown between Gin and her nemesis, Mab Monroe. Plus, I think revenge is a great word to use in any title because it tells you exactly what the book is about.

If you were going to go out and fight crime as Gin does, which one of your characters would you want as a partner?

I’d say Finn, just because he would be entertaining to have around. He’d crack joke after joke no matter how long a stakeout was and drink coffee the whole time. LOL.

Other than Gin, who is your favorite butt-kicking leading literary heroine? What do you like most about her?

Well, she doesn’t really kick butt, but I’ve always loved Beauty in the various Beauty and the Beast fairy tales. I think it takes a really strong, caring person to go into that sort of situation and make something good out of it. I like that Beauty was able to see the good and gentleness in the Beast’s heart despite his outward appearance. It’s a lesson I think we can all learn from.

I’m guilty of letting an interesting or beautiful cover lure me into buying a book, what attracts you most about a book when you’re out shopping?

Oh, I’m the exact same way! I try to keep up-to-date on my favorite authors and when their next books are coming out, but when I’m just browsing in the bookstore, interesting covers definitely catch my eye. But really, it’s the back cover blurb that makes me decide whether or not to buy a book. If the story sounds interesting or like something that I would enjoy as a reader, I’ll pick it up. If it doesn’t … then it probably won’t be coming home with me.

Did you approach writing your upcoming young adult release, Touch of Frost, any differently than you do the Elemental Assassin series?

Not really. I think that both my young adults series, the Mythos Academy books, and my Elemental Assassin series have a lot of the same elements in common – a strong, sassy heroine, lots of magic, fight scenes, vicious bad guys, and a healthy dose of romance.

I do tone down the sex, violence, and language in my Mythos Academy books, but that’s about the only real difference. Well, that, and the fact that my heroine Gwen’s love interest is probably quite a bit dreamier than Owen is in the Elemental Assassin books. LOL.

Though Gin isn’t afraid to take a life and often works outside of the law, she does follow her own set of rules and her own moral code. What is the one trait of hers you most admire?

I really admire Gin’s toughness and how she never, ever gives up no matter how bad a situation is or how impossible the odds are that are stacked against her. I wish that I was half as tough mentally as Gin was. LOL.

While Gin is still healing after Donovan’s abrupt departure, she is slowly opening up to Owen (yay Owen!). What would you (or she) say attracts her most to him?

I’d say the thing that Gin likes most about Owen is that he accepts her for who and what she is – a semi-retired assassin who goes around helping people the only way that she knows how. Owen has had to do some of the same dark, bloody, violent things that Gin has over the years to keep his younger sister safe, so I think Owen gets Gin in a way that Donovan just never could. That’s what Gin likes about Owen, and that’s what I think readers like about him too. The majority of e-mails and comments that I get are definitely Team Owen, which I think is a good thing.

Finn is I think an overall reader favorite with his shameless womanizing ways; if he had to describe the woman who might win his undivided and possibly permanent attention, what might he say about her?

Well, not to give too much away, but Finn is going to meet that particular woman in Tangled Threads and Spider’s Revenge. I would say that he would describe her as gorgeous, tough, smart, and stubborn as hell – just like he is. LOL. I think readers will enjoy Finn having to put a little effort into seducing a woman he could really care about.

If your characters could ask one question about you, the world you created for them, or why events have unfolded they way they have, what do you think they would most want to know?

That’s a great question! I think Gin would probably look at me with her cold eyes and demand to know why I put her through so much pain, suffering, and misery. Why me? she’d probably ask. I’d tell her because I love writing about an assassin with a heart of gold. I don’t know how well my answer would satisfy Gin, though. I might end up on the wrong end of one of her silverstone knives. LOL.

As for the other characters, I imagine Finn would butt in and ask me why he wasn’t richer or why I didn’t give him more cool cars and other toys to play with.

We’ve seen what the four main Elements (ice, stone, fire, and air) can do when wielded by both good and evil, and we’ve even seen a few offshoots of those, such as electricity, in action. Do we have some additional Elemental affinities to look forward to in future books that we’ve yet to see?

I’m always thinking about new bad guys and the powers that they can have and use against Gin. I’d love to do something with an elemental with water powers or an elemental who can use acid. I actually have an idea in mind for a deliciously evil bad guy who can use all four elements in book six, but we’ll see how he develops.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions Jennifer! I hope everyone gets a chance to read this series, I cannot recommend Gin and company enough.

For those of you who are avid young adult readers and perhaps aren't as interested in adult urban fantasy, Jennifer is releasing the first book in a new paranormal YA series, Touch of Frost, on July 26th. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at it and it's a brilliant start to the series, one that has me not-so patiently waiting for book two, Kiss of Frost, which releases later in the year.

For more information on Jennifer and all her books, you can find her here:



Jennifer is offering up a copy of Tangled Threads to one lucky winner! To enter, please just leave a comment with a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only and will run through midnight EST Sunday, May 22nd after which time a winner will be chosen by and announced on the blog. Thanks so much Jennifer and good luck everyone!


  1. Count me in :)

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  2. great interview! I also buy books with pretty covers. Its so hard not to. If its so pretty on the outside it has to be amazing on the inside.


    elainareads AT aol DOT com

  3. Great interview! Thank you for the giveaway.


  4. Doesn't everyone want this book!!!!! Thanks for hosting - please enter me - I am an old gfc follower. Thanks

  5. Great Interview! I love this series and wish everyone luck :)

    Don't enter me but how cool if she could figure out a way for an elemental to trick acid...that would be a pretty kick ass bad guy!

  6. Another terrific interview. While I have not read Jennifer's adult books, I am really looking forward to her upcoming YA release.

  7. Sounds good! Thanks for the giveaway.

    erinberry12 at charter dot net

  8. Vivian -- Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

    Ereader -- I have a weakness for pretty covers too. ;-)

    Tiah -- You're welcome.

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

    Felicia -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the books. Actually, I have plans to do an acid elemental at some point since acid power is my offshoot of the Fire elemental power in the books.

    Jan -- Thanks! Hope you enjoy Touch of Frost and the other Mythos Academy books.

    Erinberry -- You're weclome.

  9. I've read all the other books in the series and love the character of Gin. I'd love to win a copy of Tangled Threads.

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

  10. Thanks so much for the giveaway! I've read books 1&2, but am saving Venom for a little while before reading it. ; )
    ambience.of.rain {at}

  11. Great interview. Love the series and characters. Can't wait to see what happens next :)

  12. Opps, my email came out wrong, it's

  13. Nora -- Cool. Glad you are enjoying the books.

    Christa -- Cool. Hope you like Venom even more.

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

  14. Great interview. I love this series. Thank you for the giveaway.

  15. I haven't read anything by Jennifer Estep yet, but I have her books on my wishlist. I agree about Beauty - she was my favorite fairy-tale heroine as a child.

  16. Crystal -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the books.

    Misha -- Cool. Hope you get a chance to check out the books. I love the Beauty and the Beast fairytale and so many of the retellings -- the Disney movie, Beauty by Robin McKinley, Beastly by Alex Flinn. I think it's just a really lovely, timeless story.

  17. Great interview and thanks for the giveaway! I always wanted to read one of her books. Crossing my fingers I win!!

    bwithbite (at) gmail (dot) com

  18. Savannah -- Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the interview.

  19. Another insightful interview--well done. I love this series. Jennifer Estep has great character development which is what makes a good book in my opinion. Thanks Jenny and Jennifer for the great read.

  20. Cathy -- Thanks! I'm glad you are enjoying the books, and I appreciate all the nice words about the series. ;-)

  21. I'm so excited to read this book, and I'm impatient to get it from my library! Would love to own a copy.



  22. I love this series! The characters are so interesting and well developed. Can't wait for the next book!

  23. We talked about this before... I KNOW I need to start this series! LOL

  24. Danni -- Cool. Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

    Firefly -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying Gin and all her crazy adventures.

    Bookish Brunette -- Cool. Hope you get a chance to check out the books.

  25. I haven't read the adult series but now I'm looking forward to her YA series even more.

  26. Count me in

  27. What a great interview! This series is amazing! I can’t wait to see who Finn falls for. He is a favorite character of mine.

  28. Jenny -- Cool. Hope you enjoy Touch of Frost when it comes out.

    Vidisha -- Cool. Hope you get a chance to check out the books.

    Christie -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the books and Finn. Sometimes, I think he's more popular than Gin is. LOL.

  29. Please enter me.


  30. I haven't read any of Jennifer Estep's books yet, but I've been meaning to! Your interview makes me even more eager to start the series. :)

  31. Great interview! I think Tangled has my favorite cover for this series. The red is very dramatic


  32. Please count me in. I'd love to win this. Thanks

    forwhlz at gmail dot com

  33. I really should not read spoilers, but then I never did like her with Don ;)

  34. Thanks for the Giveaway!

    jcross719 at yahoo dot com

  35. First off, I LOVE Owen. Really, he is delicious. Funny enough, it's the descriptions about his eyes that get me the most. Their violet color just pulls me in and I really would like to lick him from head to toe. Also, I'm super intrigued to see what happens with Finn. I so know who he is going to go after, but I hope she makes him work his sexy ass off for it. Also, I'm wondering if we ever get to hear about Sophia's past. I don't know about you, but I'm overly curious! Great interview Jenny! You always think of the best questions. (I already own the e-book, so I'm not entering ;D)

    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

  36. One thing I love about paranormal and urban fantasy storylines, is they are only limited by an author's imagination, and it looks like Gin is going to keep surprising us.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  37. Jasmyn -- Sure thing.

    Lauren -- Cool. Hope you get a chance to check out the books.

    Maria -- Thanks! I think all the covers have been really cool. I can't decide if I like the red of Tangled Threads or the blue of Venom better.

    Sandy -- Cool. Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

    Blodeuedd -- Oh, I didn't mean to spoil anything for anyone. Sorry about that.

    Jess -- You're welcome.

    Jen -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the books. There is more Owen and Finn stuff coming up in Spider's Revenge. ;-) And readers will also find out more about Sophia's past in that book as well.

    Cathy -- Me too. If you can dream it up, you can write about it in paranormal romance and urban fantasy.

  38. great giveaway
    drakebdog at gmail dot com

  39. I love the question about her characters asking her questions. I might have to steal that one.

    Great interview!


  40. Great interview, Jenny! I'm glad you decided to ask a question about the Mythos Academy series since that's on my wishlist. I know you love Owen but Jennifer said Gwen's love interest is even dreamier so yay!

  41. Thanks for the great giveaway. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  42. I would like to be entered in this giveaway please!! =)

    SpadesHigh @
    TValeros18 @ gmail [dot] com

    Thank you!!

  43. Jenny, I haven't read any of your books yet, but that's one of the reasons that I follow book blogs: to find new authors (well, new to me anyway) to add to my list of favorites, and from what I've read of your books, you are definitely going to be a favorite of mine! I really look forward to reading your two series :)

  44. I'm not entering, but I have to say that this is one superb interview. First of all, Jenny, the questions you ask are brilliant, and Jennifer, your answers are just as insightful! Fabulous and fun interview to read! :)

  45. I've heard of these books, but haven't had time to check them out yet.

    I agree with Melissa, your questions are awesome.

    Thank you for the contest.

  46. Great interview! I love Beauty too. Mostly my experience is the Disney version. I should read the re-tellings.

    alisoncanread at gmail dot com

  47. I have been reading lots of great things about this series and it certainly is on my wishlist. Thanks for the great interview and a chance to win the giveaway.

  48. thanks for the giveaway
    jenhedger at hotmail dot com

  49. Samantha -- Thanks.

    Stuckinbooks -- Cool. Glad you enjoyed the interview.

    Canadian Girl -- Aren't guys always dreamier when we are young? ;-)

    Tore -- You're welcome.

    SpadesHigh -- You're welcome.

    Julie -- Cool. Hope you get a chance to check out the books.

    Melissa -- Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the interview.

    Midnyte Reader -- Cool. Hope you get a chance to check out the books.

    Alison -- Beauty by Robin McKinley is one of my all-time favorite books.

    Denise -- Cool. Glad you liked the interview.

    Hedgerhousehold -- You're welcome.

  50. Thanks for the chance to win!

    hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

  51. love the whole series! thanks for the giveaway!

  52. I'd love to win! I've never read any of Jennifer's books!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  53. Thanks for the giveaway.


  54. I have heard so many great things about this series- I really must get my hands on them!

    Thanks for the giveaway Jenny!


  55. I've been so interested in these books! I've seen them everywhere!

    rootml1 AT hotmail DOT com

  56. What a great giveaway! Hope I win! THis sounds like a very good book. Thank you :)


    Patricia @ Patricia's Particularity

  57. Thank you for the giveaway! Can't wait to read...

    whitewolfreads AT gmail DOT com