Dear Reader,

Greetings! I’m thrilled to share with you Crimson Frost, the fourth book in my Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series. Crimson Frost is a fast-paced, rollicking read full of magic, mythology, action, adventure, danger, and even a little romance.

Crimson Frost focuses 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. Here’s a little more about Gwen in her own words:

For a moment, a face flashed before my eyes — the most hideous face I’d ever seen. No matter how hard I tried to forget what had happened, I saw him everywhere I went. It was Loki — the evil god that I’d helped set free against my will.

I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming. I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison — and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself ...


A strong, sassy heroine, magic, mythology, and monsters – Crimson Frost has all that and more. Here’s what some folks are saying about the Mythos Academy series:

“An amazingly addictive new series.” – Fresh Fiction

"Jennifer Estep really hits a home run." – Examiner.com

“Readers will thrill to participate in Gwen’s transformation: She must accept the greatest responsibility yet possible in the battle of good vs. evil that the gods, goddesses and their magical mortals wage.” – Kirkus Reviews on Dark Frost

If you enjoy Crimson Frost, you don’t have to wait to read more about Gwen and her adventures. Touch of Frost, Kiss of Frost, and Dark Frost, the first three books in the series, and First Frost, a prequel e-story to the series, are available now, along with Halloween Frost, a short story that can be found in the Entangled e-anthology.

To read more about Crimson Frost and my other books, visit my website at http://www.jenniferestep.com/. You can also check out my blog on the site and sign up for my free monthly e-newsletter, which is full of my latest news, reading recommendations, and more.

Also, be sure to follow me on these sites:
Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/JenniferEstepAuthor?fref=ts
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Happy reading, everyone!

Jennifer Estep



Excerpt from Crimson Frost

©Jennifer Estep


The man tilted his head to the side. “I wonder what he sees in you.” After a moment, he shrugged. “No matter. It won’t change anything.”

“Change what?” I asked. “Who are you? What are you doing here? What do you want with me? And why are you wearing those ridiculous robes?”

Anger made the leader’s cheeks take on a faint, reddish tint, but the short, muscular man choked back a laugh. The leader turned to glare at him, and the other man pressed his lips together, although I could see his chest shaking, as though he was trying to swallow the rest of his amusement. The third man seemed bored, as if this was an errand he was eager to get over with.

Okay, this was getting weirder by the second. I looked past the men, wondering what was taking Logan so long, when the leader stepped even closer to me, his eyes glittering with anger.

“Gwendolyn Cassandra Frost,” he said in a loud, booming voice. “You’re under arrest.”

My mouth dropped open. “Me? Under arrest? For what?”

“Crimes against the Pantheon,” the man said in a cold, cryptic tone.

“Crimes? What crimes? What are you talking about?”

He leaned down so that his face was level with mine. “Freeing Loki, for starters, you silly girl. Did you really think that you were just going to get away with it? That there wouldn’t be any consequences?”

My mouth dropped open a little more. “But I didn’t free him—”

“Get her up,” the leader barked, cutting off my protests. “We’ve wasted enough time here already.”

The other two men stepped around him and headed toward me. I leaped up out of my chair and scrambled back so that I was standing against the fireplace, just to the left of where the flames crackled in the grate. The stones felt warm against my back through my clothes. Normally, the sensation would have been a pleasant one, but right now it told me that I had nowhere to go—and no hope of escape.

I looked past the men at the other Mythos students, my eyes going from one face to another, hoping that at least one of them would come to my rescue—or just stand up and ask what was going on. But the other kids seemed just as stunned as I felt, and even Kenzie and Talia, whom I counted among my friends, remained frozen in their seats. Whoever the men were, the students seemed to know all about them—and they didn’t dare interfere with them and whatever they were going to do to me.

Everyone except Helena, that is. The Amazon pulled her cell phone out of her purse, and I thought she might actually call for help. But instead, she held her phone up and snapped a few photos of me and the men. Then she bent down over the small screen, sending the pictures as fast as her fingers could text. The smirk on her pretty face told me that she was obviously enjoying this, whatever exactly this was.

Desperate, I raised the napkin holder, wondering if I could somehow distract the men with it long enough to shove my way past them and run out of the shop. Somehow, I didn’t think that would work, especially since I kept getting glimpses of the swords strapped to their waists beneath the billowing folds of their robes.

“What are you going to do with that?” the short man asked, his words colored by a Russian accent. “It’s not very practical, as far as weapons go. You should have brought your sword with you. I hear it’s a fine weapon.”

Vic? He knew about Vic? How?

“Come on, Sergei,” the leader said in an impatient tone. “Let’s get on with it.”

“In a moment, Linus,” Sergei, the short man, replied. “There’s no use frightening and confusing the girl any more than you already have. We’re supposed to be civilized about these things, remember?”

Sergei winked at me, his hazel eyes sly and almost merry in his tan face.

“Well, I agree with Linus,” the third, thin man said. “We have a schedule to keep.”

“Bah,” Sergei said, waving his hand. “We should be able to make our own schedules, don’t you think, Inari?”

Inari shrugged his slender shoulders. “We go where we’re told, just like we always do.”

“Sergei,” Linus said, a clear warning in his voice.

He sighed. “Very well.”

Sergei stepped forward and held out his hand, reaching for me. I tightened my grip on the napkin holder and edged away from him that much more, backing myself into the corner. I wasn’t going anywhere with these men without a fight—

“Dad? What are you doing here?” a familiar voice called out.

Logan let the bathroom door close behind him and moved over to stand next to Linus, the leader.

“Sergei? Inari?” Logan asked, echoing the men’s names. “What’s going on?”

The Spartan looked surprised to see the three men, but unlike the other people in the shop, he didn’t seem frightened by them. Then again, Logan wasn’t scared of anything. Not Nemean prowlers, not murderous Reapers, not even my magic and the fact that I’d killed another guy with it. Nothing ever rattled the Spartan, not even the sudden appearance of three mystery men wearing creepy robes.

Logan obviously knew the men, knew exactly who they were, but that didn’t ease my mind. Not at all. If anything, it only added to my tension, especially since he’d called one of them Dad.

And the men knew Logan too, enough to greet him. Sergei gave him a hearty slap on the back, while Inari respectfully nodded his head. Linus nodded his head as well, although his posture was still stiff, and his face remained cold. If anything, I could feel his dislike for me increase, as he looked back and forth between me and the Spartan.

“Logan?” I asked. “Who are these men?”

“Sergei Sokolov, Inari Sato, and my dad, Linus Quinn.”

A sinking feeling filled my stomach. Why, oh why, couldn’t Sergei have been Logan’s dad instead? He at least seemed somewhat friendly. Linus, not so much. Not at all, in fact.

“And what do they want with me?” I asked. “Why are they here to arrest me?”

Logan frowned. “They’re members of the Protectorate, which is basically the police force for the mythological world. But why would they want to arrest you? There must be some mistake.”

“There’s no mistake,” Linus said. “Unless there’s some other girl I don’t know about who helped Loki escape.”
Shocked gasps rippled through the coffee shop, and everyone looked at me. After a few seconds, the surprised stares shifted to horrified looks that quickly melted into harsh, accusing, angry glares. Now, all the kids had pulled out their phones and were taking photos of me and texting them as fast as they could. The news would be all over the academy in minutes.

Sergei stepped to one side and gestured with his hand. I hadn’t noticed him before, but a guy about my own age had followed the three men into the shop. He looked like a younger, taller, leaner version of Sergei, with the same hazel eyes, dark brown hair, and tan skin.

“Alexei, my boy, watch her,” Sergei said.

Alexei moved over to stand next to me. He wasn’t wearing a robe like the men were, but I could tell by the easy, confident way he moved that he was a fighter, a warrior whiz kid just like I was. Maybe a Roman, maybe a Viking, maybe something else. I had no way of knowing, and this wasn’t exactly the right time to ask.

“Alexei Sokolov?” Logan asked, more confusion creeping into his voice.

Alexei tipped his head at the Spartan, but he never took his eyes off me. “Hello, Logan.” He had the same Russian accent his dad did.

Logan looked at Alexei, then Sergei and Inari in their gray robes. Finally, he whirled around to Linus.

“What’s going on, Dad? Why are you here? And why are you arresting Gwen?”

Linus put his arm around his son’s shoulders. “Because it’s my job as the head of the Protectorate. You know that.”

Logan shook his head. “It’s your job to protect the members of the Pantheon, to hunt down Reapers and put them in prison where they belong, not show up out of the blue and harass my friend for no reason.”

Linus’s face tightened until it looked as hard as the stone fireplace behind me. “This—this girl is no friend of yours.” He spat out the words. “She’s the reason that Loki is free, and she’s going to stand trial and be punished for it—all of it.”

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Contest!

Jennifer is hosting a special contest for ASR Readers! Four winners will receive papers copies of Crimson Frost. To enter, visit Jennifer's website and find the answer to this question:

What is the name of the upcoming fifth book in the Mythos Academy series?

Then email us at staff@authorsoundrelations.com with your answer by midnight on January 2nd, 2013. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address and please mark the subject heading as 'Crimson Frost'.

Good luck and Happy New Year!

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