Sunday, August 26, 2012

EXCERPT & CONTEST - Jennifer Estep!

Alrighty then, boils and ghouls, today we have an extra special treat; Jennifer Estep, author of the Elemental Assassins series, has provided yours truly with an exclusive except from her newest release, Widow's Web, a great edition to the fast paced, perpetually surprising series about a (semi-retired) assassin trying to get through life in corrupt and morally rotting city. You can read my review of this book, complete with links to purchase it, right here and be sure to scroll down after the excerpt for the contest details!

So, without further ado:
I used to murder people for money, but lately it’s become more of a survival technique. Once an assassin, always an assassin. So much for being plain old Gin Blanco. With every lowlife in Ashland gunning for me, I don’t need another problem, but a new one has come to town anyway. Salina might seem like a sweet Southern belle, but she’s really a dangerous enemy whose water elemental magic can go head-to-head with my own Ice and Stone power. Salina also has an intimate history with my lover, Owen Grayson, and now that she’s back, she thinks he’s hers for the taking. Salina’s playing a mysterious game that involves a shady local casino owner with a surprising connection to Owen. But they call me the Spider for a reason. I’m going to untangle her deadly scheme, even if it leaves my love affair hanging by a thread.

We talked and laughed all through dinner. The food was excellent—black pepper-crusted steaks, along with soft, sweet sourdough rolls, crispy, fried green tomatoes, and mashed sweet potatoes generously slathered with honey butter and sprinkled with cinnamon. Our waiter was attentive without intruding, and none of the other patrons paid us much attention. Even though some of the crime bosses like Ron Donaldson and Lorelei Parker were also eating here, they merely glanced in our direction and went back to their meals and dinner companions, content to leave well enough alone—at least for tonight. 
Owen and I were having a lovely evening—until Jonah McAllister walked into the restaurant.
Among those in the underworld, McAllister was probably the person who hated me the most—with good reason. Last year, I’d killed his son, Jake, for trying to rob the Pork Pit and then wanting to rape and murder me. Plus, Jonah used to be Mab’s lawyer, so I’d cut off his meal ticket and a good deal of his power and influence as well when I’d taken her out.
Rumor had it that McAllister was at loose ends these days, looking for a new crime lord or lady to serve, but he was also gunning for me. A few weeks ago, he’d sicced a sadistic vampire named Randall Dekes on me, and the bloodsucker had almost been the death of me before I’d put the vamp in the ground instead.
Needless to say, Jonah was at the top of my to-kill list now. All that was left was for me to decide when and where to take him out—and just how much I wanted to make it hurt. My only regret was that it wasn’t going to be tonight. But I wasn’t ruining my evening with Owen, especially not for the likes of Jonah McAllister.
The maĆ®tre d’ led McAllister to a table about fifteen feet away from ours. Despite my hatred of him, I had to admit that the lawyer cut a confident, impressive figure in his impeccable black suit, and his thick, perfectly styled coif of silver hair gleamed underneath the restaurant’s muted lights. Nobody in Ashland—male or female—had better hair than McAllister did. 
McAllister sat down and glanced around, checking out who else was here. He tipped his head at Donaldson and Parker, who both politely nodded back at him, even though their smiles were nothing more than mocking sneers. Not too long ago, McAllister had tried to have the two crime bosses and me taken out by a sniper at Mab’s funeral. At least, I was convinced he was the one behind that sneak attack, even if nothing had ever been proven. I was mildly surprised that Donaldson and Parker hadn’t retaliated against McAllister yet. Perhaps they didn’t realize that he was probably behind it. Or perhaps they simply thought he was beneath their notice these days. Either way, the lawyer was still breathing when he shouldn’t have been.
Finally, McAllister spotted Owen and me. He stiffened in his chair, and his mouth puckered down the faintest bit in displeasure, but the rest of his features didn’t move with his lips. Despite the fact that he was in his sixties, McAllister’s face was smoother than mine was at thirty, given his regimen of Air elemental facials. Vanity, thy name was Jonah McAllister.
“Well, well, well,” I murmured. “Look who’s here tonight. I’m glad we had dinner already, or I would have lost my appetite.”
“Ignore him,” Owen said. “Just pretend he’s not sitting there. I don’t want him to ruin our night. I don’t want to give him that satisfaction, and I know you don’t either.”

“Of course not. We both know he’s not worth it.”

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author. Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. Widow’s Web, the seventh book, was released on Aug. 21. Visit for excerpts and more information about her books. 

The bad news (because bad news should always be given first - gives the good news the chance to redeem it) is that this contest is unfortunately open to US mailing addresses only - sorry folks!

The good news, however, is that up for grabs is a copy of Widow's Web and, believe me, you do not want to miss out on this little gem! It's got everything; romance, drama, tragedy, back story galore and an ending you have got to read to believe! All you have to do is (1) follow Calliope's Domain (links to do so are located on the sidebar) and (2) comment on this post, including your e-mail address in the message and voila! you're in! Contest will close in exactly one week on Sunday, September 2, and I will announce the winner the very next day, Monday, September 3. Good luck!


Barbara E. said...

Great excerpt! I love the Elemental Assassin series and I've been waiting not so patiently for Widow's Web. I'm so happy it's finally here!

Barbed1951 at aol dot com
GFC: Barbara E.

compgeek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
compgeek said...

Love this series!!! Can't wait to read this book!!

Jennifer Estep said...

Barbara -- Thanks! Glad you liked the excerpt.

Compgeek -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the series.

bn100 said...

I enjoyed the excerpt. The book sounds good.

I follow via email.


Jennifer Estep said...

Bn100 -- Thanks! Glad you liked the excerpt.

whitewolfreads said...

Can't wait to read this (especially since Jen Estep posted about something that the audience might not like).

whitewolfreads AT gmail DOT com

Darci said...

I love the Web series! Thanks for the excerpt teaser..can'w wait for more!

Jennifer Estep said...

Whitewolfreads -- Thanks! Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

Darci -- Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the series.

Unknown said...

I love this series. Its one of my favorites. Can't wait to read Widow's Web.

Lauren said...

SO Excited for this book! Thanks for the teaser.

Jennifer Estep said...

Margaret -- Thanks! I appreciate all the nice words about the series.

Lauren -- Thanks! Glad you liked the excerpt.