Dear Reader,

Greetings and salutations! I’m thrilled to announce Spider’s Revenge, the fifth book in my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. Spider’s Revenge is a fast-paced rollicking read full of magic, action, adventure, danger, and even a little romance, just like Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Venom, and Tangled Threads, the first four books in the series.

Spider’s Revenge focuses on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing people and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

Here’s a little more about Gin in her own words:

Old habits die hard for assassins.
And I plan on murdering someone before the night is through.
Killing used to be my regular gig, after all. Gin Blanco, aka the Spider, assassin-for-hire. And I was very, very good at it. Now, I’m ready to make the one hit that truly matters: Mab Monroe, the dangerous Fire elemental who murdered my family when I was thirteen. Oh, I don’t think the mission will be easy, but turns out it’s a bit more problematic than expected. The bitch knows I’m coming for her. So now I’m up against the army of lethal bounty hunters Mab hired to track me down. She also put a price on my baby sister’s head. Keeping Bria safe is my first priority. Taking Mab out is a close second. Good thing I’ve got my powerful Ice and Stone magic—and my irresistible lover, Owen Grayson—to watch my back. This battle has been years in the making, and there’s a good chance I won’t survive. But if I’m going down, then Mab’s coming with me . . . no matter what I have to do to make that happen.

A strong, sassy heroine, cool magic/world building, fights to the death, and steamy sex scenes—the Elemental Assassin books have all that and more.

Here’s what some folks are saying about the Elemental Assassin series:

It’s assassin vs. assassin in the fourth chapter of Estep’s outstanding Elemental Assassin series. Gin Blanco is one of the most intriguing heroines on the scene today. As the action heats up, Estep thoughtfully reveals additional aspects of Gin’s character, showcasing her evolution. If you have not gotten on the Gin bandwagon yet, do so today!” 4.5 stars and a Top Pick
— Romantic Times on Tangled Threads

Estep has really hit her stride with the gritty and compelling Elemental Assassin series. She surrounds her fascinating and complex heroine with a cadre of supporting players, each of whom are intriguing in their own right. Brisk pacing and knife-edged danger make this an exciting page-turner. Kudos to Estep, who is rapidly heading toward the top of the urban fantasy genre!” 4.5 stars and a Top Pick
— Romantic Times on Venom

Spider’s Bite is a raw, gritty and compelling walk on the wild side, one that had me hooked from the first page. Jennifer Estep has created a fascinating heroine in the morally ambiguous Gin Blanco — I can’t wait to read the next chapter of Gin’s story.
— Nalini Singh, New York Times best-selling author on Spider’s Bite

Bodies litter the pages of this first entry in Estep’s engrossing Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series … urban fantasy fans will love it.
Publishers Weekly on Spider’s Bite

If you enjoy Spider’s Revenge, you won’t have long to wait to read more about Gin and her adventures. By a Thread, the sixth book in the series, will be published in March 2012.

To read the first chapters of each of the books, as well as several free Elemental Assassin short stories, visit the Excerpts page of my website at 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:
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Happy reading!

Jennifer Estep

Excerpt from Spider's Revenge

©Jennifer Estep

I dropped the crossbow, unlooped the rest of the rope from its position around my waist, and threw it over the side of the roof. The thin, black ribbon of it drowned in the darkness below. I gave a quick tug on the rope, checking to see if the grappling hook was anchored securely. Didn’t much matter though, because I didn’t have time for another shot. Already I could hear glass smashing behind me, as the men and women who’d been in the dining room continued their hot pursuit.

So I grabbed hold of the rope, drew in a breath, and stepped off the roof.

The wind screamed in my ears as I fell the hundred feet to the earth below. There was no time to be subtle or cautious, not now, so I let myself free-fall. I reached for my Stone magic, pulling the cool power up through my veins and pouring it out onto my hands, hardening my skin there so that the thin rope wouldn’t shred my flesh as I slid down it. Just before I hit the ground, I reached for even more of my Stone magic, pushing the power outward into my arms, legs, chest, and head, making them all as hard and solid as the stones of the mansion around me.

I didn’t have time to slow down, and my body punched through the layers of icy snow before slamming into the frozen ground. I grunted at the hard, bruising impact, but thanks to my Stone magic, my swan dive didn’t do any real, lasting damage. I was already rolling, rolling, rolling, churning through the snow, before using my momentum to pull myself back up onto my feet.

I’d taken only two steps when a thin scream sounded, growing louder and sharper with each second, like a train’s whiny whistle. I looked up just in time to see the body plummeting toward me. I dived out of the way, and a man splattered onto the ground where I’d been standing. Looked like someone had misjudged the ice on the roof in his haste to get to me and had paid the price for it. The blood and brains splashed across the snow reminded me of the pale pink color of the girl’s prom dress, but I didn’t give the man more than a passing glance as I rolled back up onto my feet once more.

Because now it was time to run—for my life.

It didn’t take long for the alarm to be raised. I wasn’t even halfway across the wide, white expanse of the lawn before lights snapped on inside the mansion. One by one, they winked on, like dominos tumbling over each other, each bright blaze taking more and more of the precious darkness with it. Footsteps scraped, scratched, and scuffled on the mansion’s stairs and balconies above my head, but I was more concerned with the ones that crunched into the snow on the ground behind me. The cracking sounds made me think of bones breaking—my own, if I didn’t get out of here.

“Security alert! Security alert!” a mechanized voice boomed.

The alarm sounded five more times before someone shut it off, but hoarse shouts immediately replaced the blaring, distorted voice. The giants who made up the bulk of the security force had been alerted to my presence and were on the hunt. I could hear their startled, angry bellows even above the thump-thump-thump of my quick footsteps in the snow.

“She’s here! The Spider’s here!”

“Find the bitch! No matter what it takes! She won’t get away this time!”

I’d at least hoped to make it into the woods before every single one of the giants came after me, but luck had never, ever been my friend.

Still, I didn’t slow down, not even for an instant. Now that they knew I was here, the giants would rush in from all directions, trying to trap me in their security net. If they did that, if the web tightened around me, I was dead. Right now, speed was preferable to stealth—

Crack! Crack! Crack! Crack!

Bullets thunked into the snow behind me, sending up cold, icy sprays that pelted my legs and back, but I kept running, my eyes locked onto the shadow-strewn tree line up ahead.

Since it had been snowing for the last week, and the mansion was as frozen and frosted as the rest of Ashland, I’d forgone my usual black assassin clothes—boots, pants, sweater, vest, ski mask—in favor of light gray ones to help me blend in better with the soft shadows. But movement was still movement, and the giants were aiming at anything bigger than a squirrel skittering through the snow tonight.

Still, unless there was a sniper perched somewhere on the grounds with the world’s best aim, I wasn’t too worried about getting dead from the giants’ shooting. Most people couldn’t hit what they were aiming at in broad daylight, much less drop a moving target at night, when the snow and shadows painted the landscape in murky shades of gray. Even if someone did manage to hit me, they wouldn’t do any real damage. I still holding on to my Stone magic, still using it to harden my skin, which meant that any bullet that did come my way would just bounce off my body and keep right on going—

The fist came out of nowhere.

I’d just reached the edge of the dense forest when a thick arm swung out of the darkness and the attached fist plowed into my face. The hard, sharp blow rocked me back, and my feet slid out from under me. I stumbled into a tree, hitting it so hard that a few ice-covered pine cones popped off their brittle branches and pinged me in the head. I fell to one knee, the snow soaking through my heavy cargo pants and the many layers that I had on underneath them.

But more important than my discomfort was that the attack took me by surprise. So much so that my hold on my Stone magic slipped, and my skin reverted back to its normal texture—and vulnerability—once more. Which meant that I could now be injured by bullets, fists, or whatever other dangers came my way. Plenty to go around tonight.

“Wow, I thought you’d be tougher to take down than that,” a man rumbled and stepped out of the shadows to my left. “Kind of disappointing, if you ask me, you not living up to all the hype, Spider.”

He was a giant, almost seven feet tall with a big, bulky frame that was ghostly pale in the wintry moonlight, thanks to his silver snow suit. I recognized him—I’d slid past him on my way toward the mansion earlier. He smiled at me, revealing two rows of capped teeth that were even more dazzling than the frosted landscape around us.

I stayed where I was, down on one knee, as though I were still dazed from his hard hit. The giant’s grin widened, his hand clenched into a fist once more, and he stepped toward me, ready to knock my head the rest of the way off my shoulders. He didn’t see my right hand fall to my side or the glint of metal that suddenly appeared there.

Arrogance will get you, every single time.

As soon as he was in range, I reached up and slammed my silverstone knife into his chest. I drove the blade in as hard and deep as I could before yanking it out and plunging it into him again. The giant needed to get dead—now. I could still hear my other pursuers behind me, racing ever closer to the pine-filled woods and the freedom that they represented.

The giant screamed in pain, telling everyone exactly where we were, and fell to his knees. He reached for me, trying to hold onto me until his buddies could come and watch him die, but I eluded his groping grasp. Normally, I would have moved in for the kill then and slit his throat, but I just didn’t have the time—

Crack! Crack! Crack!

More bullets zinged in my direction, thunking into the trees. Splinters zipped through the air, and the sharp, sticky scent of pine sap burned my nose. I jumped over the wounded giant and darted deeper into the woods, trying to escape the web of death that was slowly tightening around me.

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Jennifer is hosting a special contest for ASR Readers!

Three winners will each receive an autographed copy of Spider's Revenge!

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

What is the name of the short story that Jennifer has written to go along with Spider's Revenge?

Then email us at with your answer by midnight on October 3rd, 2011. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address and please mark the subject heading as 'Spider's Revenge'.

Good luck!

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