Dear Reader,

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

Dark 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:

Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects – and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I'm also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me? It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can't use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me – and I'm in for the fight of my life.


A strong, sassy heroine, magic, mythology, mean girls, and monsters – Dark 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

"TOUCH OF FROST gives us an extremely likeable and levelheaded female protagonist, the ultimate bad boy romantic lead, and an epic battle between good and evil. It's fantastic fun from start to finish." – All Things Urban Fantasy

"Full of mystery, adventure, drama, and a bit of romance – fantasy fans of all ages will enjoy this exciting story. With a surprising and climactic ending, readers will be left eagerly awaiting the next installment." – SciFiChick

If you enjoy Dark Frost, you don't have to wait to read more about Gwen and her adventures. Touch of Frost and Kiss of Frost, the first two 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 Dark 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/pages/Jennifer-Estep/388968186600
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/580315.Jennifer_Estep
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Happy reading, everyone!

Jennifer Estep



Excerpt from Dark Frost

©Jennifer Estep


For the second time, I froze. My mind just went blank, and all I could do was watch the Reapers head toward us, blood dripping off the ends of their curved swords. Maybe it was my imagination, but it seemed like I could hear every single scarlet drop as it hit the marble floor. Plop-plop-plop. I clamped my hand over my mouth to keep from screaming at the awful noise echoing in my head.

“Back, back, back!” Daphne hissed, once again using her Valkyrie strength to pull first Carson, then me, and finally Logan away from the doorway. “We have to get out of here!”

We turned around to run—and realized there was nowhere to go. There were no exits from this room to any other part of the museum.

“Trapped,” Carson said in a bitter voice. “We’re trapped.”

Thump-thump-thump. Outside, the heavy footsteps continued, getting louder and louder as the Reapers marched toward us.

Desperate, I looked around, hoping there was a door, a window, or even a skylight that I’d missed before—or that maybe one would just magically appear and let us escape. That didn’t happen, but my eyes landed on the wax figures of the Viking and the Spartan and the items they were holding—the Viking’s axe and the Spartan’s shield.

Weapons. My gaze flicked around the room. Swords, spears, daggers, staffs. We stood in a room full of weapons. The deadly points and sharp edges glittered underneath the lights, and one by one, the bits and pieces of metal winked at me, as if they knew exactly what I was thinking—and what we had to do if we wanted to make it through this.

“If we can’t run, there’s only one thing we can do—stand and fight,” I said in a grim voice. “That’s what we’ve been training for, right?”

Daphne and Carson stared at me, their mouths hanging open, but Logan had a different reaction. He actually smiled, and a fierce light began to burn in his eyes. Spartans were a little freaky in that they actually loved to fight, especially since they were the best warriors at Mythos—or anywhere else.    

Not for the first time, I wished that I had Logan’s confidence when it came to battling Reapers. With a shaking hand, I drew Vic from the scabbard strapped to my waist and held him up high. Vic’s purplish eye met mine.

“Are you ready for this, Gwen?” the sword asked in a low voice.

“I guess I have to be, don’t I?” I whispered back.

If he could have, I thought Vic would have nodded his half of a head in approval. “I’ll be here with you, every step of the way. You’re a Champion, Gwen. You’ll be fine. You all will. Nike has faith in you, and so do I.”

I nodded back, his words making me feel just a little bit better. I stood there a second, and I forced myself to breathe—in and out, in and out, in and out—just like my mom had taught me. Just like she’d always told me to do whenever I was scared, panicked, or upset. Yeah, I was all those things right now—and then some.

But there was no time to think about what I was doing, and no time to be cautious or quiet. I raced over to the case—the one with the goddess Sigyn’s onyx bow and quiver in it—raised up Vic, turned my head away, then brought the sword down on top of the glass.

CRASH!

The case shattered with a roar, and shards of glass zipped through the air, stinging my hands and drawing blood. I thought that an alarm sounded, blaring together with all the others going off, but I was already moving over to the next case, one that contained a long wooden staff.

“Daphne! Carson! Logan!” I yelled. “Get the weapons!”

My friends scrambled forward, their shoes crunching on the shattered glass. I smashed another case, this one containing a sword with a dull bronze hilt. I used Vic to shatter the artifact cases, one by one, while Daphne, Carson, and Logan grabbed the items inside, as well as all the weapons they could reach on the walls and a few the wax figures were holding. We met in the middle of the room and quickly sorted through the weapons.

“We have to stick together and make a stand right from the start,” Carson said, holding a staff in one hand and stuffing the ivory horn and a couple of daggers into the pockets on his khaki cargo pants. “We need to strike at them first. Otherwise, they’ll overrun us.”

Daphne strapped the quiver with its single arrow to her back, then tested the golden strings in the onyx bow. Satisfied, she bit her lip and looked around, the air around her cracking and hissing with pink sparks of magic. “Over there, behind the knight and the centurion. The Reapers won’t immediately see us when they come in. Hopefully, I can pick a couple of them off before they realize what’s going on.”

“You three do that,” Logan said, strapping the shield he’d swiped from the wax Spartan to his forearm. “I’ll hide over there behind the Viking. When the Reapers move to attack you, I’ll come up behind them. Divide and kill, right?”

I nodded. It was a good plan, even though my stomach twisted at the thought of Logan being separated from the rest of us. But the Spartan was the best fighter at Mythos. This sort of situation was what he’d been training for his whole life—what we’d all been training for.

We scrambled up onto the dais and around to the far side. Daphne took up a position between the knight and the centurion, looking like another proud figure standing there, the golden arrow nocked and ready in the onyx bow. Carson moved to her left, while I stood on her right, the two of us flanking and protecting our archer, just like Coach Ajax had taught us to during all the mock fights we’d had in gym class. Across the room, Logan slid behind the wax Viking.

“We’ll be okay, right?” Carson said, fear making his eyes seem more black than brown behind his glasses.

“Of course, we will,” I said, trying to make my voice light. “Just think how jealous all the other kids will be when they hear that we took on a group of Reapers—and won.”

Carson tried to smile at my lame pep talk, but his lips twisted into a grimace instead. I knew how he felt. After what I’d just seen, I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to smile again. There would be no winning. Not today. Not with the other kids outside injured.

Not with so many dead.

Beside us, Daphne remained silent, although pink sparks snapped all around her now, cracking like fireworks, letting Carson and me know she was just as scared as we were. The Valkyrie stared at me a moment, then at the band geek, before turning her attention to the open doorway. Carson gripped his staff and pushed his glasses up his nose, while I tightened my hold on Vic.

I looked at Logan. Even from across the room, I could see the anticipation in his face. The emotion made his eyes glitter like ice. The Spartan was ready for the Reapers, ready to put his fighting skills to the test. Logan gave me a thumbs-up. His certainty in himself, in us and in what we were about to do, made my stomach unclench the tiniest bit.

We hunkered down and waited for the Reapers to come.


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Contest!


Jennifer is hosting a special contest for ASR Readers!

Four winners will receive papers copies of Kiss of Frost and Dark Frost.

To enter, visit Jennifer's website and find the answer to this question-

What is the name of the fourth Mythos Academy book?

Then email us at staff@authorsoundrelations.com with your answer by midnight on June 4th, 2012. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address and please mark the subject heading as 'Dark Frost'.

Good luck!

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