Friday, November 21, 2014

Author Q&A with Jennifer Estep and Black Widow giveaway


Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin is one of my all-time favorite Urban Fantasy series. Gin Blanco, a.k.a. the Spider, takes out bad guys using her ice and stone magic and her Silverstone knives. She also runs a barbecue restaurant, studies literature in night school and has some really great friends. The twelfth book in the series, Black Widow, is out November 25. I'm so thrilled that I recently got a chance to ask Jennifer some questions about her work.

Here's my interview.

Gretl: Hi Jennifer! I loved Black Widow! Thanks for taking time to answer my questions.
JE: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the book. And thanks for hosting me on your blog today. I appreciate it.

G: Anyone who follows on you on social media knows you're a fan of comics and superheroes. I read both Poison Promise and Black Widow last week and I kept thinking of the episode of The Big Bang Theory where the guys meet Stan Lee and Raj wants to ask him why all his characters have alliterative names. Like Madeline Monroe, Beauregard Benson, Silvio Sanchez, Jade Jamison. Is that deliberate?
JE: I do like comics and superheroes, and I deliberately did alliterative names in my Bigtime superhero series, like Carmen Cole, Fiona Fine, Bella Bulluci, etc.

But the alliterative names aren’t deliberate in my Elemental Assassin series. Those are just the names that seemed to fit my characters the best. I also have a lot of names in the series that aren’t alliterative, like Gin Blanco, Finnegan Lane, Owen Grayson, etc.
G: How else is your writing influenced by comics?
JE: I would say that my books have a lot of action and adventure in them, like many comics do. I enjoy writing and reading action-packed, fast-paced stories.

G: Gin shows her love for her family and friends by cooking. Is that based on someone in your life?
JE: I like to bake and make desserts, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s it’s based on my own life. I think that cooking and showing folks that you care by fixing them a nice meal is something that a lot of people do and that a lot of people can relate to. So that’s really the reason why I decided to make cooking one of Gin’s passions.
G: Where do Gin's recipes come from?
JE:Many of Gin’s recipes (like Fletcher’s secret barbecue sauce) exist only in my imagination. Often as I’m writing the books, I’ll think about what I’m in the mood for or what I think would sound good to eat. Then I try to make that dish sound as good and mouth-watering as possible.

G: I loved Owen's novella and the short stories on your website from some of the supporting characters' POVs. Do you have any plans for more stories about Gin's entourage? *cough* Silvio
JE: Thanks! Glad you are enjoying them. The short stories and novellas are always a lot of fun for me to write.

I would like to write more short stories and novellas from the other characters’ points of view, but my writing schedule is already pretty full for 2015. So we’ll see what happens.

G: Gin's career is going in something of a new direction at the end of Black Widow. What can you tease about her future?
JE: Well, without giving out spoilers, I will say that something happens at the end of Black Widow that Gin isn’t expecting. But what does happen will impact her and the series going forward, as folks can see in the teaser for Spider’s Trap, the 13th book in the series. The teaser can be found at the end of Black Widow.

G: We're also big fans of YA around here. Can you tell us a little about your new series Black Blade?
JE: My Black Blade young adult series focuses on Lila Merriweather, a 17-year-old thief who lives in Cloudburst Falls, West Virginia, a town dubbed “the most magical place in America.” Tourists come from around the world to tour all the magic-themed shops and attractions, as well as see monsters like tree trolls, copper crushers, and more in their natural habitats.

Lila has a Talent for sight, along with transference magic — in other words, magic makes her stronger. To survive, she does odd jobs for her pawnbroker friend. Lila also does her best to stay off the grid and avoid the Families — or mobs — who control much of the town. But when she saves a member of the powerful Sinclair Family during an attack, Lila finds herself caught in the middle of a brewing war between the Sinclairs and the Draconis, the most powerful Family in town.

Cold Burn of Magic, the first book in the series, will be out on April 28. The second book is tentatively scheduled to be released on Oct. 27.

For more information about the series, folks can check out my website at

Happy reading, everyone!

Twitter: (@Jennifer_Estep)

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. Black Widow, the 12th book in the series, will be released on Nov. 25. For more information about the series, visit Jennifer’s website at or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Watch for my review of Black Widow on Tuesday.

The lovely folks at Simon & Schuster have provided us two paperback copies of Black Widow to give away. Winner must be at least 13 years old and have a U.S. mailing address.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This has been an awesome series and I hope we will get to see more Gin for many years yet

  2. love this series and am looking forward to this book

  3. thanks for the awesome giveaway! I really love this series and I'm reading it slowly so that I don't "run" out :) I'm a few books behind and I'm so glad to hear that we are getting lucky book! Thanks for sharing!

  4. The Elemental Assassin series is my favorite series, I love Gin Blanco and all of her adventures. I'm really looking forward to reading this latest book.

  5. I love this series. I had forgotten that this book was coming out so soon. I loved this post because it gave me something to look forward to.


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