Dear Reader,

Greetings! I’m thrilled to announce Deadly Sting, the eighth book in my Elemental Assassinurban fantasy series. Deadly Sting 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, Tangled Threads, Spider’s Revenge, By a Thread, and Widow’s Web, the other books in the series.

Deadly Sting 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:

Red is definitely my color. Good thing, because in my line of work, I end up wearing it a lot.

Most people shy away from blood, but for an assassin like me — Gin Blanco, aka the Spider — it’s just part of the job. Still, it would be nice to get a night off, especially when I’m attending the biggest gala event of the summer at Briartop, Ashland’s fanciest art museum. But it’s just not meant to be. For this exhibition of my late nemesis’ priceless possessions is not only the place to be seen, but the place to be robbed and taken hostage at gunpoint as well. No sooner did I get my champagne than a bunch of the unluckiest thieves ever burst into the museum and started looting the place.

Unlucky why? Because I brought along a couple of knives in addition to my killer dress. Add these to my Ice and Stone magic, and nothing makes me happier than showing the bad guys why red really is my color.

A strong, sassy heroine, lots of magic/world building, action scenes, and even some romance – the Elemental Assassin books have all that and more.

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

“This series kicked off with a bang, and the action hasn’t let up since.”
Fresh Fiction

“One of my favorite urban fantasy series.”
Paranormal Haven

“Gin Blanco is one of the most intriguing heroines on the scene. . . . If you have not gotten on the Gin bandwagon yet, do so today!”
RT Book Reviews

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.

You can also follow me on these sites:
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Happy reading!

Jennifer Estep

Excerpt from Deadly Sting

©Jennifer Estep

I grabbed some tissues out of a box in the fitting room and spent the next ten minutes scrubbing the dwarf’s blood off my skin. After peering at my reflection in the mirror to make sure I’d gotten as much of it as I could, I put my clothes on, tucked my knives back into their appropriate slots, and tied my boots.

That electronic chime sounded again, telling me that someone new had come into the store. So I stepped out of the fitting room and went into the front of the Posh boutique.

Finn was once again standing in front of the jewelry case, but he’d been joined by Detective Bria Coolidge. Bria wore her usual black boots and dark jeans, along with a light blue button-up shirt. A silverstone primrose rune rested in the hollow of her throat, while her gold badge was clipped to her black leather belt, along with her gun.

Red and Blondie stood against the wall behind the case, arms crossed, eyes narrowed, glossy lips puckered with displeasure. They were none too happy about my sister’s arrival. Even in her cop clothes, Bria was quite lovely, with her shaggy blond hair, rosy skin, and vivid blue eyes. Not to mention the adoring way Finn looked at her. He might flirt with every woman who crossed his path, but Bria was the one who made his eyes soften and face brighten in that warm, special way. She was the one who had his heart, and Red and Blondie could see it just as easily as everyone else could.

But Bria hadn’t come alone. A giant who was around seven feet tall reached down and hauled the dwarf to his feet before slapping a set of silverstone handcuffs on the robber. The giant’s hair, skin, and eyes were all a rich shade of ebony, while his shaved head gleamed in the afternoon sunlight streaming in through the windows. Xavier, Bria’s partner on the force and another member of my makeshift, extended family.

Xavier finished securing the cuffs, then put one hand on the dwarf’s shoulder to keep the much shorter man from falling over. The dwarf’s eyes were slightly unfocused, and blood still dripped from the cuts I’d opened up on his face when I’d pistol-whipped him. Still, he surged forward at the sight of me.

“You bitch!” the robber screamed. “I’ll kill you for this!”

“Sure, you will,” I said in an easy voice. “Take a number and get in line with everyone else.”

Xavier tightened his grip on the dwarf’s shoulder, holding him in place, and let out a deep, rumbling laugh. “I’ll say this, Gin. There’s never a dull moment when you’re around.”

I winked at him. “I do my best to keep y’all employed—and entertained.”

Xavier laughed again, led the would-be robber over to the boutique door, and escorted him outside where a dark sedan with flashing blue and white lights waited by the curb.

I walked over to the others. Finn leaned against the case, his elbows on the glass and his face propped up in his hands. He stared dreamily at Bria as she crouched down and examined some of the diamond jewelry scattered on the floor. Red and Blondie were still standing against the wall, although they’d now focused their laser-hot glares on Finn. But he didn’t notice the daggers the saleswomen were shooting him with their eyes. Finn excelled at ignoring little unpleasantries like that.

I elbowed him in the side. “I think you’ve officially lost your fan club.”

“Hmm?” Finn said, unabashedly admiring Bria’s ass. “What did you say?”

I elbowed him a little harder and jerked my head at the two women. Finn finally deigned to glance in that direction.

“Oh, them? No worries,” he murmured.

Finn straightened up, adjusted his tie, and plastered a smile on his face. Then he squared his shoulders and swaggered over to the two women with all the confidence in the world, even though anger still pinched their faces. But that was Finn for you—always ready, willing, and eager to tame the savage female beast. Or beasts, in this case.

“Ladies,” he said. “Have I told you both how very brave you were? Why, it was just amazing the way you both kept your cool when that horrible robber stormed into the store …”

And he was off, telling the saleswomen just how much he admired their level-headed gumption in the face of such terrible danger and other such nonsense. He only stopped talking long enough to draw in a necessary breath here and there, in between dazzling them with smile after toothy smile.

While Finn soothed the saleswomen’s ruffled feathers and bruised egos, I stepped around the case.

“Hey, there, baby sister,” I said.

Bria smiled and got to her feet. “Hey, there, yourself. You know, when Finn told me that he was going to take you shopping this afternoon, I didn’t imagine things would turn out quite like this.”

My gaze dropped to the bloodstains on the thick gray carpet. “Me either.”

“Although I have say thanks,” she continued. “You’ve made my day a little easier.”

“Thanks for what? And how so?”

She gestured at the boutique windows. Xavier had stuffed the dwarf into the backseat of the sedan and was now leaning against the side of the car. He had his sunglasses on and his head tilted back, enjoying the warm, early June sun.

“For catching the bad guy for me.” Bria paused. “Or rather, knocking him unconscious.”

I grinned. “You know me and my methods.”

“That I do.”

She returned my grin before swiveling back around to the case. Bria picked up a necklace set with square diamonds that were the size of gumballs. She studied the flashing gems for a few seconds before putting the piece down on top of the glass. 

“All these diamonds would have made for a nice haul if the guy had gotten away with them.” She shook her head, making her blond hair shimmer. “The moon must be full or something. This is the second robbery I’ve been called out to today, and the fifth one this week.”

“Well, that’s not so unusual, is it?” I asked. “This is Ashland, after all. Somebody’s always up to something in this town—usually something evil, dastardly, and violent.”

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Jennifer is hosting a special contest for ASR Readers! Five winners will receive papers copies of Deadly Sting. To enter, visit Jennifer's website and find the answer to this question-

What is the name of the ninth Elemental Assassin book that will be released in September 2013??

Then email us at with your answer by midnight on April 4th, 2013. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address and please mark the subject heading as 'Deadly Sting'.

Good luck!

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