Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blog Tour & Contest: Venom

Elemental Assassin #3
Author: Jennifer Estep
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Pocket
Released: 9/28/2010
Available for Kindle & Paperback

Summary: It’s hard to be a badass assassin when a giant is beating the crap out of you. Luckily, I never let pride get in the way of my work. My current mission is personal: annihilate Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who murdered my family. Which means protecting my identity, even if I have to conceal my powerful Stone and Ice magic when I need it most. To the public, I’m Gin Blanco, owner of Ashland’s best barbecue joint. To my friends, I’m the Spider, retired assassin.

I reviewed the first book in the Elemental Assassin series back in February (read review), then I bought the second book, Web of Lies. I was especially pumped to be part of the blog tour for Venom, the third book in the series. Gin is one of my favorite urban fantasy heroines, though she would never think of herself that way. In the second book, Gin's life takes some twists and turns that had me feeling frustrated for her. (A sign of a talented writer when you think of their heroine as a real person.) In Venom, Gin may actually get hurt more than in the other books combined, but she also has a solid support group behind her now, and continues to learn about who she is and what she can do magically. This is my favorite book in the series, but it may be because of "sharing" Gin's struggles in the first two books, it made the events in Venom even more pivotal and intense.

Venom is a fast paced, gritty urban fantasy that has kick ass action scenes to keep the reader on the edge of their seats. More than that though, Gin learns to open up, to trust in those who love her, and she comes to some conclusions about herself. As I mentioned in my first review of the author's series, I love that Gin, the former hardass assassin is a gourmet cook. The more stressed she is, the more she bakes. I asked Jennifer if I could share the recipe for Chocolate Chip Pound Cake. Her mother gave her the recipe and had been making it for years, not sure where it originated, which is often the case with well loved recipes. Gin loves to serve the pound cake with a nice cold glass of milk:)

Choco­late Chip Pound Cake

1 (18.25 ounce) pack­age choco­late cake mix
1 small pack­age instant choco­late pud­ding mix
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup veg­etable oil
3 large eggs
1 (8 ounce) con­tainer sour cream
1 (12 ounce) pack­age mini choco­late morsels

Pre­heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 10-cup Bundt pan. In a large bowl, com­bine cake mix, pud­ding, and sugar. Add water, oil, and eggs. Beat with an elec­tric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Stir in sour cream and mini choco­late morsels. Pour bat­ter into pre­pared pan, and bake for 1 hour (check at 50 min­utes) or until a wooden tooth­pick inserted in cen­ter comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 min­utes. Remove from pan and let cool com­pletely on wire rack. Sprin­kle with pow­dered sugar, if desired.

There are more recipes in Gin's Recipe Box.

Jennifer Estep has given her readers some wonderful free short stories in addition to the three Elemental Assassin books. Below, I have them in order of their time frame with links to each. The titles in bold are the books available currently, the other two will be available in 2011.

These two take place when Gin was a teenager:
Web of Deceit Read here
Poison Read here

Spider's Bargain: Free here
Book one: Spider’s Bite
Web of Death: Free here
Book two: Web of Lies
Wasted: Free here
Book three: Venom
Book four: Tan­gled Threads (5/2011)
Book five: Unti­tled (10/2011)

The publisher has kindly allowed me to give away one copy of Venom to a visitor. Please leave a comment with the answer to this question:

What do YOU do when you are stressed out?

I will pick one person randomly on 10/15/2010. Please leave your answer and your email if it's not associated with a Google profile.

Happy Reading! ~Brenda


Robin K said...

I read when stresses or drink a mountain dew. Sometimes both!

robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

Zita said...

When I am stressed I like to vent. My friends listen and nod and agree with the crazy person, and then I calm down and feel much, much better =).


Scorpio M. said...

I go running or shopping (bad I know!) when I'm stressed.

jenma76 at hotmail dot com

van_pham said...

When i get stress i read, sleep it off, or vent to my friends.

Thanks for the contest!

donnas said...

I either go to sleep or hide in a room alone and read a book for a while.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

throuthehaze said...

When I am stressed I either listen to some music or read a book to take my mind off things
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

i bake too esp sweets

aprilmom00 at gmail dot com

debbie said...

I usually bake something, then I read and eat it.

Tore said...

When I am stressed out, I love to read. Reading relaxes me and is one of my favorite things to do. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

Cathie said...

When stressed out I either sleep, read or bounce off the walls.

justpeachy36 said...

When I'm stressed I either spend a lot of time outside or a I listen to music... or read...

Please enter me in the giveaway...

tetewa said...

I eat ice cream!

Anonymous said...

I read when Im stressed out. I also cross stitch.


jmspettoli said...

When I'm stressed out I sleep and read. Nothing makes me feel better like a nap!

spettolij AT gmail DOT com

*yadkny* said...

Venom sounds excellent! I'll be sure to add it to my wishlist along with the others. What do I do when I'm stressed?... read, read, and read some more! It's what I do just about everyday after work. Either that or eat some really good food and watch a movie. Anything to take me away from where I'm at in life when I'm stressed.

LSUReader said...

When I want to de-stress, I read. I love escaping in a book. If that's not possible, chocolate is always a good fall-back! (Email in profile.)

Tiffani said...

When I get stressed out, I try to relax!(obviously lol) So I turn on some music and lay down! Usually I fall asleep then, but if I don't, I read and escape into another world :)

yllektra (force-oblique) said...

Thanks for this opportunity! :)

What I do when I'm stressed out is listen to music most of the time.
It usually calms me down or allows me to vent in a way.
I also make lists.. lists of things I have to do to deal with the crisis/situation that's making me stressful. Making lists calms me! lol
I think there's a lot of Monica Geller in me! rotfl


mersagr said...

when i am stressed i want to screem or cry it make me relax.But most of the times i go out with my boyfriend who calm me with his present and only i am very happy i have him close to me

Kt said...

When I am crazy stressed I take a long bath then curl up with a glass of wine and a good book to relax with. kclapsadl at gmail dot com

Katie A said...

Go for a run, or eat lots of chocolate :)


Amy said...

When I'm stressed, I curl up with a book or watch some dvds. I sip some tea and enjoy some chocolate.