Giveaways Inspirations and Influences

Guest Author & Giveaway: Jennifer Estep on Inspirations & Influences

“Inspirations and Influences” is a series of articles in which we invite authors to write guest posts talking about their…well, Inspirations and Influences. The cool thing is that the writers are given free reign so they can go wild and write about anything they want. It can be about their new book, series or about their career as a whole.

Today’s guest is Urban Fantasist & Romance author Jennifer Estep. Jennifer is the author of paranormal romance series Bigtime (Karma Girl, Hot Mama, & Jinx), but this year she has thrown her hat into the Urban Fantasy ring with her Elemental Assassin series. The first book in this new series, Spider’s Bite follows Gin Blanco, known better by her assassin moniker, Spider – she’s the best at her job in all of Ashland, and has the ability to work magic in the elements of stone and ice. The second book in the Elemental Assassin series, Web of Lies his stores next week on May 25th!

To celebrate the upcoming release, we have invited Ms. Estep to talk about her writing, influences and inspirations for her Elemental Assassins series. (Plus, we also have a giveaway)

Please give a warm welcome to Jennifer Estep!

Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to say thanks to the Book Smugglers for inviting me to guest blog today. Thanks so much!

As some of you may know, I’m the author of the Bigtime superhero paranormal romance series – Karma Girl (2007), Hot Mama (2007), and Jinx (2008). I also write the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series and have three books coming out in that series this year – Spider’s Bite (which came out in February), Web of Lies (which debuts on May 25), and Venom (October).

The Smugglers asked me to talk a little bit about my writing inspirations and influences today, and one of the topics that they suggested was what got me interested in writing urban fantasy since I had previously written paranormal romances. So why did I switch to urban fantasy?

Well, the short answer is because I like kick-butt heroines.

I’ve always loved books, movies, and TV shows where the heroine is just as strong – if not stronger – than the guys around her. Buffy Summers, Sydney Bristow, Wonder Woman – these are the kinds of female characters that I admire, girls who are just as comfortable dressing up to go to a party as they are diffusing a nuclear bomb or saving the world from vampires, aliens, and other creepy crawlies.

Don’t get me wrong. I think the heroines in my Bigtime paranormal romance books are pretty kick-butt themselves, especially Fiona Fine, the star of Hot Mama. But I had been wanting to write something darker and grittier with an even tougher heroine for a while. I’ve also always liked reading about assassin characters in fantasy literature, and I figured that urban fantasy was a genre that would let me combine all these things at once. Plus, there are so many great heroines in urban fantasy, folks like Rachel Morgan and Karen Murphy, and I wanted to add my own character to the mix.

So I came up with my toughest heroine yet – Gin Blanco, an assassin known as the Spider. Gin makes no bones about the fact that she kills people for money, something that she’s very, very good at. I figured that if I was going to write an assassin character, I might as well go big or go home. There’s nothing worse than a whiny assassin. 😉

As much as I like shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, it seems like vampires are everywhere these days, and I knew when I started writing Spider’s Bite that I wanted to have some different kinds of magic/creatures in my books as well. So I decided on vampires, giants, dwarves, and elementals, or folks who can control one of the four elements – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

For the record, Gin happens to be a Stone and Ice elemental, meaning that she can control both of those elements. But she’s just as happy to introduce you to the sharp end of the five silverstone knives that she carries with her at all times as she is to blast you with her magic. Like Gin says, there are dozens of ways to help people quit breathing, and she doesn’t need her magic to help her with that.

I’ll admit that it’s been a bit of a challenge to write such an unapologetic assassin character like Gin and make her likable at the same time. Gin isn’t your typical hero – she’s not inherently good like a Sydney Bristow or Buffy Summers is. But you know what? Bad girls always have more fun anyway. I think Faith on Buffy is a prime example of that.

So there you have it. Some of my inspirations for my girl Gin Blanco and the Elemental Assassin series. Writing Gin’s adventures has been a blast so far, and I hope that folks have as much fun reading the books as I do writing them.

What about you guys? Who are some of your favorite heroines, urban fantasy or otherwise? Share in the comments.

About Jennifer:

By night, Jen­nifer Estep is an author, prowl­ing the streets of her imag­i­na­tion in search of her next fan­tasy idea.

By day, Jen­nifer is an award-winning fea­tures page designer for a daily news­pa­per with a wide range of media and jour­nal­ism expe­ri­ence. She’s also a cer­ti­fi­able fan­girl and an author­ity on fan­tasy lit­er­a­ture and cul­ture. Jen­nifer is a mem­ber of Romance Writ­ers of Amer­ica, Sci­ence Fic­tion and Fan­tasy Writ­ers of Amer­ica, and other writ­ing groups.

Jennifer’s books have been fea­tured in Cos­mopoli­tan, Enter­tain­ment Weekly, South­ern Liv­ing, and a vari­ety of other publications.

You can read more about Jennifer on her website, or catch her on her blog.

Giveaway Details:

We are giving away TEN AUTOGRAPHED copies of Spider’s Bite and Web of Lies to ten lucky winners! The contest is open to residents of the US and Canada only and will run until May 29 at 11:59 PM (PST). To enter, leave a comment here answering Jennifer’s question – who are some of your favorite heroines, fantasy or otherwise? Only one entry per person please! Good luck!

You Might Also Like


  • Bella F.
    May 21, 2010 at 1:51 am

    Hi Jennifer!
    I’m new to your books but they sound awesOme :mrgreen: Though I’m not sure I completely know how to tell the difference between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance yet:? some of my top heroine faves are:
    -Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs
    -Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy
    -Cat Crawfield by Jeaniene Frost
    -Georgina Kincaid by Richelle Mead
    -Elena Deveraux by Nalini Singh
    thanks for the giveaway & interview!
    bells DOT franco AT gmail DOT com

  • Steven R. McEvoy
    May 21, 2010 at 2:40 am

    All time favorite is Meg Murry-O’Keefe – Madeleine L’Engle. Goth Girl – Barry Lyga. Plain Jane – Cecil Castellucci. Melinda Sordino – Laurie Halse Anderson and Clair Randall – Diana Gabaldon.

  • Wendy
    May 21, 2010 at 4:27 am

    I love Kate Daniels! She’s definitely my favorite heroine and hey, I always liked Faith! Thought she was way cooler than Buffy, anyway.. 😀

  • Julia S
    May 21, 2010 at 4:42 am

    Oh! Spider Bite has been on my TBR list! Great giveaway and guest post, guys.

    My favorite heroes are mmm… Revhenge from BDB, Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs and Karl Vance from Blood Vice. 🙂

    Crossing my fingers to winnnnn!!!

  • Alex B
    May 21, 2010 at 4:44 am

    My favourite’s, it is so hard,
    1. Kate Daniels from Ilona Andrews
    2. Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs
    3. Cassiel from Rachel Caine

    Thanks so much for organising the giveaway.

  • Karissa
    May 21, 2010 at 5:08 am

    I am so excited for this giveaway; I have been waiting to read this series forever…

    Some of my favorite heroines are:
    1. Kate Daniels (by Ilona Andrew)
    2. Jaz Parks (by Jennifer Rardin)
    3. Harper Grey (by Kat Richardson)
    4. Jane Yellowrock (by Faith Hunter)

  • Jennifer Estep
    May 21, 2010 at 5:09 am

    Hi, everyone! I just wanted to say thanks for dropping by the blog today. Those are all great heroines that you mentioned.

    Bella — I think the main difference between UF and paranormal romance is simply the amount of romance — that’s usually the focus of a PR, where it might only be a secondary plot in a UF.

    Steven — Gabalbon is one of those authors I keep meaning to read.

    Wendy — I liked Faith too. She did have more fun than Buffy, but bad girls always do. 8)

    Julia — I like the BDB series too.

    Alex — Rachel Caine is another author that I’ve heard good things about.

  • Belinda B.
    May 21, 2010 at 5:13 am

    What a great giveaway and interview. I have heard so many great things about this series. I love a book with a great heroine. I’m so happy that there are more books coming out with women in charge and kicking ass!

    Some of my favorite heroines are:

    Elena from Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter Series
    Rhiannon from JA Saare’s Rhiannon Law Series
    Xhex from J.R. Ward’s BDB
    Mac from the fever series

  • Michelle H
    May 21, 2010 at 5:19 am

    My favorite will ALWAYS be Buffy 😀
    Love all the Laurell K. Hamilton characters – well, most of them.
    Please PICK ME! 🙂

  • Ruth T
    May 21, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Some of my favorite heroines are Jane True by Nicole Peeler and Sabina Kane by Jaye Wells.

  • Pamela "SpazP"
    May 21, 2010 at 5:51 am

    Hi!!! I’m so excited for this giveaway! Great interview!! I am currently half way through Spider’s Bite and LOVE it!!! I’m so excited for Web of Lies!!
    My favorite heroines are Mercy Thompson & Kate Daniels!!

  • Jennifer Rayment
    May 21, 2010 at 5:58 am

    That is a hard one, there are so many excellent heroines in fiction and on tv right now. I loved Faith on Buffy because she got all the great lines and she also redeemed herself, which always makes a great character. I also liked Kaylee on Firefly because she was just so honest and fresh.

    In fiction, I love Cat from Jeaninene Frost’s books, Gin from your series and Kate from Julie Kenner’s Soccer Mom series. The reason they are all strong kick ass women who can take care of themselves, they are also flawed but genuinely good people and they always get the witty lines — I like that in a character — I detest wuss’s like Bella from the Twilight series, I want to read about someone who could save MY wussy butt

    Keep on Writing!
    contestmom AT hotmail DOT com 😈

  • Angela
    May 21, 2010 at 6:09 am

    I’m new to Jennifer’s books, but this has made me extremely interested. Definitely gonna check them out now! Great contest too 🙂

    Some of my favorites are:
    Mercy Thompson (Patricia Briggs)
    Mac (Karen Marie Moning)
    Elena Deveraux (Nalini Singh)
    Cat (Jeaniene Frost)
    Cassandra Palmer (Karen Chance)

  • J
    May 21, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Well, I adore Gin, and Bobbie Faye from Toni McGee Causey’s books, and Vicky Bliss and Nefret Emerson from Elizabeth Peter’s stories, all women who protect the people they love and don’t have to be rescued. Thanks for the contest. 🙂 I’m looking forward to Web of Lies.

  • Elie N
    May 21, 2010 at 6:18 am

    My favorite heroines are…Faythe from RV Shifter Series, Kate from Lost, Tara from True Blood, and Tammy Jo from Kimberly Frosts witch series.

    I did not realize J. Estep wrote in other genres before, I have heard great things about this spider series. I would LOVE to read these.

  • GSM
    May 21, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Among my favorite heroines:
    Elena Michaels (Kelley Armstrong)
    Eve Dallas (J.D. Robb)
    Scarlett O’Hara (Margaret Mitchell)
    Izzy Spellman (Lisa Lutz)
    And I do love Gin Blanco!

  • danielle
    May 21, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Katniss from THE HUNGER GAMES, for sure.

  • Sarah
    May 21, 2010 at 6:56 am

    my favorite heroines, huh? well thats easy 😀 Mercy Thompson, from the Mercy Thompson series, Anna Latham from the Alpha & Omega series, Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice, Cassandra Mortmain from I Capture the Castle and.. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter 😀

    and p.s I read Spider’s Bite last fall… and LOVED it. I am beyond excited for Web of lies 😀

  • Caitlin U
    May 21, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Cat Crawford, Cassie Palmer, Kate Daniels, and Rachel Morgan are a few of my favorite chicks.

  • Jennifer Estep
    May 21, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Karissa — The Jane Yellowrock series is one that I keep meaning to try.

    Belinda — I like Xhex in the BDB series too, although I haven’t read the latest book yet.

    Michelle — Buffy is timeless.

    Ruth — Jaye Wells is yet another author I’ve been meaning to try. Too many books, not enough time!

    Pamela — Cool. Glad you are enjoying the book.

    Jennifer — I really like Jeaniene Frost’s books too.

    Angela — I’ve got the first one of Moning’s Fever books to read. Lots of folks really like that series, so I’m looking forward to finally reading it.

    J — Thanks. I’m pretty partial to Gin myself. LOL.

    Elie — Yep, I have three books in my Bigtime series, which is very light and fun and features a superhero-themed world.

    GSM — Oh, Scarlet O’Hara! That’s a good one. She’s so flawed and so great at the same time.

    Danielle — Definitely! I loved that book and am eagerly waiting for the third one to come out later this year so I can read book 2 and 3 back to back.

    Sarah — Hermoine is another great heroine. I love that her brain is her strength.

  • Tynga
    May 21, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Hello Jennifer!
    I haven’t read your books yet but I’m thrilled by this new series.
    MY best heroines, well it’s kinda hard to narrow it down but here we go!
    Rose from Richelle’s Vampire Academy
    Faythe from Rachel’s Shifters
    Cat from Jeaniene’s Night Huntress
    Katsa from Kristen’s Graceling

    Thank you very much for the generous giveaway =)

  • Suzi Skutley
    May 21, 2010 at 7:40 am

    I’m eagerly looking forward to the Elemental Assassin series.
    Other ladies of power and determination who I enjoy include Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson, Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse (the books are better than the TV series), and some of the characters I met when I was much younger in books by “classic” writers like Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, and Marion Zimmer Bradley.

  • Raquel Vega-Grieder
    May 21, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Well My Favorite Heroines Are:
    Rose Hathaway From The Vampire Academy Series By Richelle Mead.
    Georgina Kincaid From The Georgina Kincaid Series By Richelle Mead.
    Claire Danvers From The Morganville Vampire Series By Rachel Caine.
    Zoey Redbird From The House Of Night Series By P.C. Cast And Kritin Cast.
    I Have Been Wanting To Read Jennifer’s Elemental Assassin Books For A Long While Now. I Am So Hoping To Win This One…. 😀

  • Jill A.
    May 21, 2010 at 7:45 am

    I think my favorite fantasy heroine is – and I’m going back a ways here – Aeryn in Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown. She’s driven to do what she needs to do to feel whole and nothing stops her. She goes thru hell, with little appreciation from others, but never hesitates. She’s just always felt like a fully realized person to me, a very empathetic character.

  • Teresa W.
    May 21, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Riley Jensen by Keri Arthur!

  • Patti
    May 21, 2010 at 8:11 am

    This is really a great time to be a reader of PNR and UF – there are so many terrific heroines to choose from! Some of my faves:

    Cat (Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series)
    Kate Daniels (Ilona Andrews’ Magic series)
    Mac (Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series)
    Elena (Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten)
    Mercy (Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series)
    Faythe (Rachel Vincent’s werecat series)

    Many thanks for offering this contest!

  • Marie
    May 21, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Thanks for the article and giveaway!

    There are so many great heroines, but some of my faves are:

    Mercy Thompson (Patricia Briggs)
    Joanne Baldwin (Rachel Caine)
    Elena Deveraux (Nalini Singh)
    Alexia Trabotti (Gail Carriger)
    Allie Beckstrom (Devon Monk)
    Zoe, Inara, Kaylee, and River (TV) – (Firefly)

  • Amber S
    May 21, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I recently read Robert Jordan’s New Spring and enjoyed Moiraine. I’m also a fan of Eve Dallas.

  • CrystalGB
    May 21, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Keri Arthur’s Riley Jensen
    Rachel Vincent’s Faythe Sanders
    Nalini Singh’s Elena Devereaux
    Lori Handeland’s Elizabeth Phoenix

  • Andrew Grigaliunas
    May 21, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Hello all!
    One of my fav heroines is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She kills vamps with style! Another one of my fav heroines is Elektra! She is one the the sexiest heroines there is. But now here comes Jennifer Estep’s heroines from the Elemental series. I cannot wait to start that series!! I am done with Karma Girl and have started Hot Mama. Once I am done with this series, it is on to the Elemental Series!! Jennifer has become one of my top 3 authors!! 😀 8) 🙂 😮

  • Kimberly H.
    May 21, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Hi Jennifer! I’m really looking forward to reading your Elemental Assassin series, it sounds AWESOME!

    Two of my favorite heroines are:
    Faythe Sanders (Rachel Vincent’s Werecat series)
    Rose Hathaway (Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Lisa
    May 21, 2010 at 9:00 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games trilogy!!
    Also liked Peta Wilson’s character, Nikita, in the “La Femme Nikita” TV series.

  • Allison
    May 21, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Loved the interview. I’ve had my eye on these books for a bit now and would love to start.

    My favorite heroines are
    Mercy (Patricia Briggs)
    Kate (Ilona Andrews)

  • Shannon
    May 21, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Buffy is my favorite heroine. She is strong and never gives up. She takes bad things in stride and always gets the job done. My other favorite Heroines are Georgina Kincaid, Harper Connelly, Susannah Simon, Tally Youngblood, Regina, Lily Bard.

  • Christa
    May 21, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Oh my, this contest is awesome! :mrgreen:

    I love Kitty from Carrie Vaughn’s series, especially how well she develops the character & shows us the process of Kitty going from “underdog” to alpha.

    Thanks for the giveaway. I loved Karma Girl, especially, & would love to have a chance to start this series, too.

  • Celia
    May 21, 2010 at 9:48 am

    One of my favorite heroines of all time is Harry from Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword.

    Thanks for the chance to win these books!

  • jennifer mathis
    May 21, 2010 at 9:49 am

    i love oliva from the new fringe series and of course everyone named great books so yeah to what ever one else said

  • MinnChica
    May 21, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Hey Jennifer! My absolute favorite kick butt heroine is Kate Daniels from the Ilona Andrew’s Kate Series. I’ve heard great things about Gin’s series, and can’t wait to start them. 🙂

  • Jennifer Estep
    May 21, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Tynga — I loved Graceling by Kristin Cashore. It was one of my favorite reads last year.

    Suzi — Some of my favorite books were ones that I read when I was younger — like Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. That one makes me cry every single time.

    Raquel — I’ve been meaning to read more in the Cast series about Zoey.

    Jill — I haven’t read that one, but I love “Beauty” by Robin McKinley. It’s one of my all-time favorite books.

    Teresa — I’ve heard a lot of good things about that series too.

    Patti — Agreed. It’s a great time to be a fantasy fan.

    Marie — I haven’t read any of the Carringer books yet, but everyone has been raving about them online.

    Amber — I like the Death books a lot too. Especially Roarke. 😉

    Crystal — I keep hearing rave reviews for Nalini’s new series.

    Andrew — Thanks! That’s very nice of you to say.

    Kimberly — I’ve been meaning to try Vincent’s series too.

    Lisa — I loved Nikita too. Did you hear they are doing a remake for the CW this fall? I hope it’s good.

    Allison — Two more cool series.

    Shannon — That’s what I love about Buffy too — that she never gives up.

    Christa — Carrie Caughn is another author I need to read.

  • Miss Marjie
    May 21, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Meg Murry – L’Engle
    Katniss – Collins
    Alanna – Pierce


  • negine
    May 21, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Can’t wait to dive into Gin Blanco’s world 🙂 my favorite UF/PNR heroines are:

    1)Kate Daniels (Ilona Andrews)
    2)Mercy Thompson (Patricia Briggs)
    3)Elena Deveraux (Nalini Singh)
    4)Rachel Morgan (Kim Harrison)

  • Tiah
    May 21, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I loved Spider’s Bite. I got it from the library but I put it on my bday wishlist because I want to own it. My all time favorite UF heroine is Mercy Thompson.

  • Shirley
    May 21, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Xhex from Lover mine
    Elena from Lover Avenged

  • Christine H
    May 21, 2010 at 11:31 am

    My faves were from Alexandra Ivy’s books.
    Abby Barlow from book 1
    Shay from book 2, she had to be tuff
    Regan Garrett from book 5

  • janicu
    May 21, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I’m a fan of this series. Looking forward to reading Web of Lies.

    My favorite heroines.. on the top of my head would be Mercy Thompson, Fire, and Elizabeth Bennet. 🙂

  • Jennifer Estep
    May 21, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Celia — Another McKinley book that I need to read.

    Jennifer — I keep hearing great things about Fringe. I need to get the DVDs of the first season.

    MinnChica — Thanks! I hope you enjoy the books.

    Miss Marjie — All good heroines.

    Negine — I really like the Hollows series too. You can’t go wrong with Rachel and Jenks.

    Tiah — Thanks! I’m glad that you enjoyed it.

    Shirley — I like the BDB series a lot too, although I’d say that Bella is my favorite heroine from that series.

    Christine — Yet another author that I need to try …

    Janicu — Thanks! I hope you enjoy Web of Lies. Oh, Elizabeth Bennet is another great heroine.

  • joder
    May 21, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I love female characters that can kick butt and not have to wait to be saved. They’re way more exciting than the average heroine. Some of my book faves are….
    -Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy
    -Kitty Norville from Carrie Vaughn’s werewolf series
    And from tv…
    -Buffy and Faith of course
    -Sydney Bristow from Alias
    -Nikita from La Femme Nikita

  • Van P.
    May 21, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    my favorite heroines are:
    Gin, of course.
    Kate Daniel- Ilona andrew’s magic series
    Cat Crawford- Night Huntress series
    Charlie Madigan- Better part of Darkness by kelly gay
    Max- Diana Francis’s Horngate witch series

    Can’t wait to read Web of lies!! 😀

  • Stephanie Tran
    May 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Favorite heroines? A toughie but I’d have to say Katniss from The Hunger Games and Rose from East X3 Both Fantasy! 😀

  • Lexi
    May 21, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Tamora Pierce’s Alanna
    Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson
    Michelle Sagara’s Kaylin Neya
    Maria V. Snyder’s Yelena

    I also love fairy tales which are rewritten so the princess/heroine is not always being saved.

  • Hann1bal
    May 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Let’s see…I like Talia from the Valdemar books, for overcoming so many problems to be Super Important. Also, the Supergirls from the Wheel of Time can be enjoyable (not all of the time, mind you), but Egwene has recently shot ahead in my esteem. I’m positive I missed someone, but that’s all I can think of right now.

  • Jo
    May 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    I admit, I do like Buffy, but I always preferred Faith. Faith didn’t make any excuses for the way she was – she was sexy, kick-ass, tough, and funny. It always seemed to me that Buffy could get a little whiny, which is why I liked Faith more.

    Actually, one of my favorite kick-ass females is Sonja Blue from Nancy Collins’ books. She’s not really a heroine — she’s a vampire (with extra mojo), and she kills bad guys. But, she’s got a really dark side to her, as well, so I’m not sure if she’d really count as a heroine. However, I’ve read The Sonja Blue Collection about 10 times, just because I like her so much. 🙂

  • John J.
    May 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I second Scarlett O’Hara – GWTW is one of the best romances ever, and Scarlett is quite a kick-ass heroine. A recent urban fantasy read by Susanne McLeod called The Sweet Scent of Blood had an excellent female lead named Genny, too. 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway – this series has been on my radar for a while now!

  • Raelena
    May 21, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    One of my faves is Charlie Madigan from the Charlie Madigan series by Dakota Banks. She is a strong women in a scary world 🙂

  • MaryK
    May 21, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Shoot, I don’t even know who my favorite heroine is! Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle comes to mind. I’m usually attracted to understated heroines. I don’t identify well with kick-butt heroines 😯 so it’s a different reading experience.

    I did buy Spider’s Bite after reading the prequel story. 😉 That should redeem me, right?

  • Robin K
    May 21, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    My favorites are Electra, Laura Croft and recently I discovered Evangeline Stone from Three Days to Dead by Kelly Meding!

  • Pamelia
    May 21, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Favorite heroines? Let’s see…
    Phedre from the Kushiel books, Mercy Thompson, Elizabeth Bennet are some from literature. Detective Becket from Castle, Dr Brennan from Bones, the chicks from Firefly/Serenity: Zoe, Inara, River and Kaylee are some from TV. I’m sure I’ll think of some more as soon as I post this. I think it’s great there’s so many to choose from!

  • chey
    May 21, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    favourite heroines
    Claire Randall by Diana Gabaldon
    Eve Duncan by Iris Johansen
    Anne Shirley/Blythe L.M. Montgomery

  • Chelsea B.
    May 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I love JR Wards heroines, Gena Showalter’s, kerrelyn Sparks’, Cindy Miles, and Cythia Eden’s! They all have really strong female leads, even when the female’s in question don’t know it!

  • Jasmine A S
    May 21, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    It’s not very paranormal, though it IS urban, but I really like Detective Beckett, from Castle. 😀 I tend to adore snarky, or even just people who can keep up with snark. OH, and also Zoe, from Firefly. One of the very few terse characters who I like, but she’s so badass I am just in awe. River isn’t badass so much as not in the same reality as everyone else, so I think I must skip her. And one more, hmmm, how do I pick… Mrs. Pollifax. The original fluffy little old lady spy. Who is awesome beyond count. ^_^ (Also I heart Mary Russell VERY hard, and Sister Magdalen from Brother Cadfeal.)

  • Lisa Richards
    May 21, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Probably, my most favorite is Eve Dallas from JD Robbs’s “In Death” series. Not paranormal but definitely urban fantasy. And after that JR Ward’s BDB, all those guy’s are extra special.

  • Myra C.
    May 21, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Favorite heroines are: Detective Becket-Castle t.v. series, Eve Duncan-Iris Johansen,Eve Dallas- J.D. Robb and Xena: Warrior Princess

  • elaing8
    May 21, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Great post.I’ve read great reviews for this series.some of my favorite heroines
    Cat Crawford-Night Huntress series
    Riley Jensen (series)
    Rachel Morgan-Hollows series
    Elena Michaels-Women of the Otherworld
    Faythe Sanders-Shifters series

  • Collette
    May 21, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    First of all, let me say that I loved Gin Blanco. I had a really hard time putting it down and read it (mostly except for those darn interruptions from the kid) in one fell swoop. I’m really looking forward to Web of Lies.

    Some of my favorite heroines are Patricia Briggs’ (is that the right punctuation? I can never remember) Mercy Thompson and Anna Latham (Alpha and Omega). I also love Nalini Singh’s Elena from the Guild Hunter series. And I really like Michelle Sagara’s Kaylin Neya. Okay, stopping now.

  • Tori [Book Faery]
    May 21, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Oh I’ve been dying to read this series!

    My favorite heroines? Like a lot of people, I love Mercy Thompson. But in regards to major kick ass heroines?

    -Jane Yellowrock from Faith Hunter’s series
    -Surreal from Anne Bishop’s Black Jewel Trilogy
    -Mariketa from Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series

  • vvb
    May 21, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Alanna from The Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce is on the top of my list.

  • Julie Swaney
    May 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Some of my favorite heroines –
    Mercy Thompson – Patricia Briggs
    Faythe Sanders – Rachel Vincent
    Rachel Morgan – Kim Harrison
    Elena Michaels – Kelly Armstrong
    Aisling Grey – Katie MacAlister

    That is just to name a few.

    jellybelly82158 at gmail dot com

  • Bethie
    May 21, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Please count me in. One of my favorite heroines is Anita Blake.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot

  • Lisa B.
    May 21, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    This series sounds fantastic.

    My favorite heroines? Riley Jenson, Cat Crawfield, and Mercy Thompson. Kick-ass chicks with tons of personality. My heroines aren’t for the timid. 🙂

  • Darkness Comes | Literary Escapism
    May 21, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    […] Jennifer Estep, author of Web of Lies, at the Book Smugglers […]

  • tamibates
    May 21, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    well THE all time fav of mine, was scalett ohara!!! i mean really, she so totally rock!!

  • Jennifer K
    May 21, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    My favorite heroines are:

    Eve Dallas (J.D. Robb)
    Mercy Thompson (Patricia Briggs)
    Charlie Madigan (Kelley Gay) (just found this author)
    Elena (Kelley Armstrong)

    I’ve been wanting to read this series for a long time and I would love to get my hands on a copy.

    jcalvert719 at yahoo dot com

  • Cathy M
    May 21, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Favorite heroines:

    Merry Gentry
    Anita Blake
    Lilly Yu (Eileen Wilks series)
    Mercy Thompson
    Rachel Morgan
    Eve Dallas


  • wont
    May 21, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    At the moment I have only two faves: Cat Crawfield from Jeaniene Frost and Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs. I love the attitude of both these women. Just this side of smart-aleck, and both place high value on standing on their on two feet. With that they still can allow love into their lives. I welcome the opportunity to add a new favorite to my list.:D

  • Stephanie K.
    May 21, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    My favorite heroines:

    Mercy Thompson- Mercy Thomspson series by Patricia Briggs
    Eve Dallas- In Death series by J.D. Robb
    Joanna Archer- Zodiac series by Vicki Pettersson
    Joanne Walker- Walking Papers series by C.E. Murphy
    Rachel Morgan- The Hollows series by Kim Harrison

  • Jennifer M
    May 21, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I’m lucky that I started reading urban fantasy just recently and there are so many great heroines to choose from, but my all time fav is still Buffy. She went through so much in the course of that series and she took it all – no matter what was thrown at her, she never gave up even when she thought it was hopeless.

    In books, right now my favorites are Mercy Thompson, and Kate Daniels, although there are so many others I could also name.

  • Donna S
    May 21, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    A few of my favorites are:

    Cat in the Night Huntress series
    Elena in the Otherworld series
    Mercy in the Mercy Thompson series
    Kate in the Kate Daniels series
    Eve Dallas in the In Death series

  • Linda Henderson
    May 22, 2010 at 5:50 am

    There are so many great ones out there, but my top favorites are Eve Dallas and Anita Blake.

  • Katie
    May 22, 2010 at 5:56 am

    So many good ones to choose from! Some immediate ones that come to mind include Katniss (Hunger Games), Mercy Thompson, Kate Daniels, Alanna (Tamora Pierce), Buffy, Lisbeth Salander (S. Larsson; with reservations, but she can be awesome at times), Viola (the Ask and the Answer), Clary Fray (C. Clare), Kerowyn (M. Lackey), and Lireal (Garth Nix’s Abhorsen).

  • Jennifer Estep
    May 22, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Hi, everyone! I just wanted to chime back in and say thanks for all the great comments/discussion. You’ve given me tons of new authors to add to my TBR pile. LOL.

    And thanks to everyone who mentioned Gin Blanco as a heroine they like. I appreciate all the positive comments that I’ve gotten about Gin and Spider’s Bite, and I hope everyone enjoys Web of Lies even more! 8)

  • Dottie
    May 22, 2010 at 7:35 am

    I love strong heroines, some of my favorites are:

    Rachel Morgan-The Hollows Series
    Mira-The Dark Days Series
    Katniss-The Hunger Games
    Kaylee Cavanaugh-Soul Screamers


    Dottie 🙂

  • Andrew Grigaliunas
    May 22, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Hello all. This is for all fans of Jennifer Estep. If you would like to join in a discussion about her or her books, then please visit my fan page for her at ( This is a new group so please join in and start topics of your own. Have fun reading everyone!!!!! 😆 😀 😮 8)

  • Audra Holtwick
    May 22, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I love Claire Randall, Rachel Morgan and Mercy Thompson.

  • Christie
    May 22, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Great question! I love Cat(Night Huntress), Mercy Thompson, Katniss (Hunger Games), and Mac (KMM’s Fever series).


  • Christine
    May 22, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Some of my favorite heroines include:

    Flavia de Luce (from The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie)
    Katniss (The Hunger Games)
    Buffy (of Vampire Slayer fame)
    Hermione (gotta love Harry Potter)
    Sabriel (from the Abhorsen Trilogy)
    Lyra (from His Dark Materials)

    Thanks again!

  • Tiffany M.
    May 22, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Right now I’m reading Rees Brennan’s Demon Lexicon and I am loving Mae. She is awesome, brave, smart, and loyal.
    Harry from the Blue Sword was pretty amazing, too.
    Katniss from The Hunger Games.
    Those are just the ones off the top of my head.

  • draconismoi
    May 22, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I feel like the obvious favorites are getting overly exposed….

    Granny Weatherwax (Terry Pratchett)
    Sunshine (Robin McKinley)
    Andrea Cort (Adam Troy Castro)
    Theodora (Doris Egan)
    Sonja Blue (Nancy Collins)

  • Roxy
    May 22, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Favorite heroines…

    MacKayla Lane – Fever Series
    Elena Devereaux – Angel’s Blood
    Rachel Morgan – The Hollows
    Kate Daniels

  • Beth (BBRB)
    May 22, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Of course I’ll always love Buffy and Faith, but I have a special place in my heart for Scarlett O’Hara.

    bethsbookreviewblog2 AT gmail DOT com

  • alana
    May 22, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Not to be too much of a nerd, but I’ve always loved Dana Scully and Kathryn Janeway. I also like Karen Murphy from The Dresden Files and Rachel Morgan.

  • Angela/Reading Angel
    May 22, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Dorina Basarb, Rachel Morgan, Mercy Thompson, Anita Blake, and Riley Jensen still top my list 🙂

  • Katie
    May 22, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Like everyone has said there are so many great female characters. My favorite ones from books are Kate Daniels, Harper Connelly and Harper Blaine.


  • Lashawn J.
    May 22, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Tough question!
    I think I can narrow it down to:
    Eve Dallas by J.D. Robb
    Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs
    Anita Blake by Laurell K. Hamilton

  • Rose
    May 22, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Wow, I love your books!!! 😀

    Some of my favorite heroines…hmm (too many to choose from). Ok, here goes.
    Mercy Thompson (Patricia Briggs)
    Cat Crawfield (Jeannine Frost)
    Elena Deveraux (Nalini Singh)
    Kate Daniels (Ilona Andrews)
    Jane Yellowrock (Faith Hunter)
    Eve Dallas (J.D. Robb)
    Jaenelle Angelline (Anne Bishop)
    Lady Cassidy (Anne Bishop)

  • Renee
    May 22, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Wow, I’ve heard such awesome things about this series!

    Thanks for hosing the giveaway, ladies. 🙂

    Two of my literary heroines would be: Elena Michaels from Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series and Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series.

  • MeganS.
    May 23, 2010 at 1:08 am

    I’m still all about Buffy. She’s my favorite heroine. That her huge heroic act is that she ends up sharing her powers and empowering other young women? That always warms my heart.

    Also, there’s Roslin and Starbuck and Athena from BSG, and book-wise, Eve Dallas takes the cake.

  • Kate @ YzhaBella's BookShelf
    May 23, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Great event! I’m totally in agreement with Renee! (2 posts up) Elena (from Otherworld) and Mercy (from Mercedes Thompson Series) rock as heroines! They are both strong, independent women and can kick some serious butt! But, they have that soft side too. Prefect!


  • shipa
    May 23, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Spider’s Bite sounds really interesting! Thanks for having this giveaway. Some of my favorite kick-ass heroines are:

    -Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs
    -Dorina Basarab from Karen Chance’s Midnight Daughter books
    -Rachel Morgan from Kim Harrison’s Hollows series
    -Lisbeth Salander from Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    -Kaylin Neya from Chronicles of Elantra series

  • Jennifer Estep
    May 23, 2010 at 8:30 am

    One of the things I think is really great about urban fantasy is all the strong heroines, like all the ones that folks have mentioned.

    And I can’t find the post right now, but I want to give a shoutout to whoever mentioned Mrs. Pollifax. I LOVED those books. I read the whole series one summer. I really need to go back and reread them … 8)

  • Renee
    May 23, 2010 at 8:46 am

    My favourite heroines include:
    CAT CRAWFIELD (Night Huntress series, Jeanine Frost)
    ROSE HATHAWAY (Vampire Academy series, Richelle Mead)
    MACKAYLA LANE (Fever series, Karen Marie Moning)
    MERIT (Chicagoland Vampire series, Chloe Neill)

    …. I probably forgot a few, but there are so many strong heroines out there in the fiction universe these days! Thanks for this contest.

    mcdonaldrenee1 [at] gmail [dot] com

  • Pam S
    May 23, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I really like Mercy Thompson (Patricia Briggs) and Rachel Morgan (Kim Harrison).

  • Donna W
    May 23, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I badly want this book. A female assassin? How awesome is that. 🙂

    Some of my favorite heroines are:
    Kate Daniels – Ilona Andrews
    Mercy Thompson – Patricia Briggs
    Eve Dallas – JD Robb
    Max – Bitter Night by Diana Pharaoh Francis
    Anya – Gena Showalter

  • Rebecca
    May 23, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Alanna- Tamora Pierce
    Elena Deveraux- Nalini Singh
    Lyra- Philip Pullman
    And of course, Buffy

  • Missie
    May 23, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Jennifer, thanks for this opportunity to get to know you better. You are definitely now on my radar.

    I have to say that Buffy is the hero that opened the doors for me to all things urban fantasy/supernatural. After watching that show, I hungered to read/watch more having to do with the paranormal. I haven’t looked back since.

  • Megan
    May 24, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I suppose ATM my favorite heroine is Katniss (from Hunger Games). All time favs are anyone Joss Weadon created (Buffy, Faith, Zoe, River, etc).

  • Adele
    May 24, 2010 at 11:42 am

    I’d have to say I like Phedre no Delaunay from the Kushiel series, Elena Michaels from the Otherworld series, Joanne Walker from the Walker Papers series.

    I’ve put your books on my must-read list, Spider’s Bite sounds great.

  • heatwave16
    May 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I have Spider Bite, and can’t wait to get Web of Lies!!!

    Favorite heriones:
    -WOnder Woman
    Rachel & Ivy- Kim Harrison’s Hollows series
    Lizzie – Angie Fox’s Demon Slayer series
    Anita Blake – LKH
    Amanda – Mark Henry


  • sarac
    May 24, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Cordelia from Lois McMaster Bujold’s Cordelia’s Honor.

  • Ellaanabeth
    May 24, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    My favorite heroine of all time has always been catwoman. The lady knows what she wants, then she GETS what she wants. She’s unrepentant about kicking ass and taking names, and the few times Batman’s managed to mess up her schemes, she still gets a hot date out of it. Me-oww!

  • Scorpio M.
    May 25, 2010 at 7:39 am

    My favorite is Eve Dallas from NR’s In Death series.

  • csaket
    May 25, 2010 at 9:12 am

    my favorites are:
    1. buffy
    2. 7 of 9
    3. caprica 6

  • Ashley
    May 25, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I just read Spiders Bite a few weeks ago and couldn’t put it down, I’m very excited for Web of Lies.
    My fave heroines are:
    Gin Blanco of course,Cat Crawfield, Rachel Morgan, Madison from Kim Harrison’s YA series, Georgina Kincaid, Sophie Garou ( Tales of an Urban Werewolf from Karen MacInerney), Lily Yu (from Eileen Wilks werewolf series and Mira (from Jocelynn Drake’s Dark Days series). I love girls that kick butt in case you couldn’t tell. 🙂

  • Maya M.
    May 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    I adore beyond all reason: Amelia Peabody (Elizabeth Peters), Helena Justina (Lindsey Davis), Lady Julia Grey (Deanna Raybourn)and Flavia de Luce (Alan Bradley). All supersmart and unique.

  • Barbara Elness
    May 25, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Some of my favorite heroines are Sookie Stackhouse from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, Cat from Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, Alexis Macon from Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, and Riley Jenson from Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson series.

  • Breiab
    May 26, 2010 at 2:31 am

    Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter and Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs

  • Sylvia
    May 26, 2010 at 7:29 am

    My favorite is Katniss Everdeen, all the way:)

    Thanks so much for this contest!

  • Tyhitia
    May 26, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Buffy Summers, Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games) and Jane Yellowrock (Faith Hunter’s UF series)

  • BookWhisperer
    May 26, 2010 at 10:32 am

    My two favorite herorines are Cat Crawford by Jeaniene Frost and Mercedes Thompson by Patricia Briggs, and lastly but not least Rose Hathaway by Richelle Mead.

  • Jessie
    May 26, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Nix from IAD Series, she’s hasn’t had her own book yet but she’s awesome!
    Any one of the heroines from a Georgette Heyer’s novel (What can I say, I’ma sucker)
    and last but not least Alexia Tarabotti, she’s hilarious.

  • Brittany
    May 26, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Great giveaway! My ALL TIME FAVORITE is Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I also love Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy Series. Anita Blake, Elena Michaels, Chloe Saunders and of course Hermione Granger.

    Take Care Smugglers!

  • cfisher1504
    May 27, 2010 at 6:37 am

    I loved Spider Bite and cant wait for Web of Lies!!! Fav heroines…Anita Blake….Keira Kelly….Merry Gentry. There are so many to choose from!!! Thanks for a great giveaway!!! 😀

  • Marianna G.
    May 27, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    I love any of Robin McKinley’s heroines (Rae/Sunshine from her vamp book Sunshine is my fave currently). I think I identify with them more than most of the heroines I read of. The factor of seeing some of myself in these beloved characters makes me like them just a bit more than the average heroine.

  • Tia Isom
    May 27, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I’ve read some of your books and they are awesome. 😀 Though I’m not sure I completely understand to the difference between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance yet:? some of my top heroine faves are:
    -Jane Yellowrock from Faith Hunter’s series
    -Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs
    -Mac from Karen Marie Moning
    -Elena Deveraux from Nalini Singh
    -Cat Crawfield from Jeaniene Frost

    I’m hoping to win those books and have a good day ❗

  • Elise
    May 27, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    I would have to say Elena from Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter novels. Not only badass but she has this inner strength or so I saw that in her that made the book really believable and made her a great heroine.

  • Steve Capell
    May 28, 2010 at 4:05 am

    My favorite is Lieutenant Eve Dallas in the J.D. Robb death series.

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway. 😀

  • Daelith
    May 28, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Some of my favorite heroines are Kate Daniels of the Magic series by Ilona Andrews, Del from the Sword Dancer series by Jennifer Roberson and Holly Barker of the Orchid series by Stuart Woods.

  • Jamie
    May 28, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Some of my favirotes are,

    Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs
    Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games
    Cat Crawfield from Jeaniene Frost
    Georgina Kincaid from Richelle Mead
    Kate Daniels from from Ilona Andrews

    but I could go on and on and

  • LAMusing
    May 28, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Two favorite non-fictional heroines are Mary “Mother” Jones and Joan of arc – one very young, one very old, both kick ass.

    A current fave fictional heroine is Eve Dallas from the JD Robb series

  • pixie13
    May 28, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    My favorite heroine of all time is Scarlett O’Hara.

  • Anonymous
    May 29, 2010 at 12:05 am

    I don’t read much UF or watch much tv, so my favourites will probably be somewhat different from most of the others mentioned, but off the top of my head here are a half dozen of my current favs:

    Sally Lockhart from Philip Pulman
    Cassandra Mortmain from I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
    Harriet Vane from Dorothy Sayers
    Sophy from Georgette Heyer’s The Grand Sophy
    Veronica Mars
    Marlys and Arna and Maybone (but especially Marlys) from Lynda Barry’s comics

  • SRS
    May 29, 2010 at 12:06 am

    I don’t read much UF or watch much tv, so my favourites will probably be somewhat different from most of the others mentioned, but off the top of my head here are a half dozen of my current favs:

    Sally Lockhart from Philip Pulman
    Cassandra Mortmain from I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
    Harriet Vane from Dorothy Sayers
    Sophy from Georgette Heyer’s The Grand Sophy
    Veronica Mars
    Marlys and Arna and Maybone (but especially Marlys) from Lynda Barry’s comics

  • 9dior
    October 8, 2010 at 3:46 am

    For me its definitely

    1) Kate Daniels (Kate Daniels)by Ilona Andrews
    2) Cat Crawfield (Night Huntress)by Jeaniene Frost
    3) Eugenie Markham(Dark Swan)by Richelle Mead
    4) Mira (Dark Days)by Jocelynn Drake
    5) Rose Hathaway(Vampire Academy) by Richelle Mead
    6) Anita Blake(Anita Blake VH)by Laurel K Hamilton
    7) Merit (Chicagoland Vampires) by Chloe Neill

    All mah favs r above ^^ LUV THEM!!!!

  • Anonymous
    November 5, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    😛 was the bestlyest book I have ever read

Leave a Reply