Author Guest Post: Jennifer Estep + Giveaway

Fiction Vixen is pleased to once again welcome author Jennifer Estep today.


Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to say thanks to Sophia for having me on the blog again today. Thanks so much, Sophia!

So today Sophia asked me to write about the qualities that an urban fantasy heroine needs to have if she wants to survive long enough to keep kicking butt. My assassin heroine Gin Blanco is no stranger to butt-kicking, and she’s going up against her toughest enemy yet in her nemesis Mab Monroe in Spider’s Revenge, the fifth book in my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series that came out on Sept. 27.

But just because Gin’s survived this long doesn’t mean that she can afford to let her guard down now. So here are a few things that Gin and other urban fantasy heroines need to keep in mind:

1) Always carry a weapon: It would be really embarrassing not to have your stake, knife, sword, or silver bullet-loaded gun handy when you go up against your enemy. So always be sure that you have something sharp and deadly within arm’s reach – preferably more than one, like Gin with her usual arsenal of five knives.

2) Always be on the lookout for trouble: Just because you’re walking down the street in broad daylight doesn’t mean that you’re safe, so always keep an eye out for danger. And don’t be fooled by a pretty face. That cute guy checking you out in the coffee shop? He probably wants to drink your blood or sacrifice you to some ancient evil so he can have unspeakable power.

3) Make sure someone has your back: No matter how powerful you are, you can still be surprised and blindsided. So be sure that you have a core group of friends and family who know where you are at all times – and can come to the rescue if you need them to.

4) Have your local healer or hospital on speed dial: You’re bound to get injured when you go up against the bad guys, so be sure there’s someone around who can patch you up after the fact.

5) Don’t invest too much money in your clothes: If you’re fighting for your life, you’re going to get dirty and bloody. So no matter how cool you think that leather jacket is, leave it at the store. You might be the most powerful chick in town, but it’s still really, really tough to get blood off leather.

6) Only wear silver jewelry: Gold might be nice and shiny, but everyone knows that silver does the most damage to certain creatures. So trade in all your gold bling and invest in some nice silver pieces – ones that perhaps have a sharp point or two or some poison hidden inside them.

7) Get a good night’s sleep: You will be at your butt-kicking best if you have at least eight hours’ of sleep under your belt. Or make time for a power nap in the afternoon, if you do most of your butt-kicking at night.

8 ) Eat a balanced diet: It’s hard to fight the ultimate evil on an empty stomach, so be sure to pack a granola bar or some apple slices for a night out on the town.

9)  Be creative: Stakes, knives, swords, and guns are great weapons, but sometimes, they are not always handy. So make the most of your environment. That letter opener on the bad guy’s desk would make a great weapon. So would that fireplace poker or the baseball bat standing in the corner.

10) Wear sensible shoes: Sure, those stilettos may look great, but they aren’t very practical for chasing down bad guys – or running away from them. So do yourself a favor, and invest in a nice, sensible, comfortable pair of sneakers or steel-toed boots – which would be perfect for kicking a bad guy when he’s down.

So there you have it – a few qualities that I think urban fantasy heroines should have if they want to survive until the next book.

Spider's Revenge



What about you guys? What qualities do you think an urban fantasy heroine should have?

Jennifer would like to giveaway a copy of Spider’s Revenge to one lucky reader. To enter leave a comment here answering Jennifer’s question above. Open until October 7, winner announced soon after. US and Canada only please.




[box]USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. The books focus 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. Books in the series are Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Venom, and Tangled Threads.

Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. Touch of Frost, the first book in the series, was released in August. First Frost, a prequel e-story to the series, is available as a 99-cent download. Kiss of Frost, the second book, will be released Nov. 29.

For more information, excerpts, and more, visit Jennifer’s website at[/box]



  1. Viki S. says

    I love what you’ve said and I’d add take 10 minutes a day to mediate. It really clears the mind and allows better focus :).


  2. says

    What I love about Jennifer’s Elemental Assassin series is what Gin Blanco, our main character, lacks…remorse. So often an assassin is portrayed as conflicted, even remorseful, about what they do but not so with Gin. I love that she sees what she does as a job and nothing more. That’s what I want my assassin heroine to have, no remorse.

  3. A. Harel says

    Those are great points. I’ve often wondered why our kick ass heroines are usually dressed in tight leather and midriff baring clothes. You’re right – getting blood out of those clothes must be terribly difficult. I loved your point about the sensible shoes. Makes sense – it’s hard to run with heels. One thing I loved about Gin Blanco was the group of people that made up her support system. Definitely something every kick ass heroine needs.

  4. says

    I think a quality that all urban fantasy heroine should have is a sense of humor, can’t go through like serious all the time.

    One thing I would add to having healer/hospital on speed dial is, to make sure your cell phone is ALWAYS fully charge. You need know when you’ll need to make an important call.

  5. says

    David — Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the books.

    A — Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the books. I am all about the comfortable shoes. LOL.

    RebeLovesBooks — Thanks! Glad you liked the post. I’m with you. I just never thought leather pants would be all that comfortable.

  6. TrishJ says

    Wow, great post. I havent read any of the books, but I certainly plan to now. Got a gift cert for Amazon today — now I know what to spend it on! :)

  7. wade2121 says

    I like the comfortable shoes and would add comfortable clothes. Easier to move. Keeping healthy is another good point. You can’t do much when you’re weak or sick. I think going over what’s important and what’s not, what really matters is good. Not to waste time of trivial things you can’t change.

  8. Vanessa N. says

    Great post. I think the heroine should be strong, have a sense of humor, and always have someone watching her back. Thanks for the chance!

  9. Amy says

    Your list about covers its all, Jennifer. I agree that sensible shoes are so important. Of course a heroine needs to be creative and be able to think on her feet too. She might need to make a weapon out of a non-weapon.
    Gin looks so cool on the cover of Spider’s Revenge! I love her stiletto boots! And they make useful weapons.

  10. Julie Witt says

    I’d say a kick ass outfit would be required for sure!! Something very tight, preferably with some leather involved :)

  11. Barbara Elness says

    I think an urban fantasy heroine should be able to fight well, stick up for those who are weaker, and have really great weapons and know how to use them. And if she’s a type of magic user, all the better.
    I can’t wait to read Spider’s Revenge, I’m dying to see what happens with Gin next.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  12. says

    Wade — Comfortable clothes are important too.

    Vanessa — I agree that a sense of humor is important.

    Amy — Thanks! I like the cover a lot too.

    Julie — A great outfit definitely can’t hurt.

    Barbara — Thanks! Hope you enjoy the book. I like those qualities in an urban fantasy heroine too.

  13. says

    I think a good heroine should be strong but not perfect. I like a heroine who can fail at something and instead of dwelling on it, they learn from their mistakes and move on. Of course a sense of humor always helps.

  14. says

    The clothes and shoes are a must but I think the other quality I always look for is confidence (even when everything is going to crap) in my heroines. She can have all the doubts in her head (and I love it in the dialogue) but her actions have to overcome those doubts. Also, smarts is a must. I’m not sure I have ever seen an unintelligent heroine though. :-)

  15. Bethany C. says

    I think a uf heroine should be tough, but not without compassion or vulnerabilities. And not whiny.


  16. says

    A UF heroine should have a cleanup crew on speed dial. She should also keep herself emotional detached. And she needs a ‘getaway’ bag equipped with fake IDs, money, extra weaponry and the other essentials.

    I’m currently reading the first book in this series and I am loving it!

  17. Denise Z says

    I ultimate UF heroine will be strong yet vulnerable, she will get out there and get the job done even when she is afraid, as well as has some snarky humor, and she will also have really cool weapons as appropriate to the story LOL. Thank you for the fun and the awesome giveaway opportunity :)


  18. says

    Paranormal Haven — I like those qualities in a heroine too.

    Sherri — Confidence and smarts are definitely things I like in urban fantasy heroines.

    Amanda — Thanks! Glad you liked the post.

    Alicia — Thanks! Hope you get a chance to check out the books.

    Bethany — I don’t like overly whiny heroines either, no matter what genre they’re in.

    The Book Vixen — Thanks! Hope you are enjoying the book. And yes, a getaway bag is a must too.

    Yadira — Thanks! Hope you get a chance to check out the books.

    Denise — Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the post. I like those qualities in an urban fantasy heroine too.

  19. whitewolfreads says

    I think an urban fantasy heroine always needs a good sidekick. Whether that sidekick is some sort of load-mouth magical being or a sexy male character or both is entirely up to the heroine.

    whitewolfreads AT gmail DOT com

  20. Chris Bails says

    I like my heroine to be strong physically and in herself. I want them to be able to hold their own. A great fighter with the skills to kick butt. I like them to be funny and be able to laugh at herself and others. I like a smart mouthed female.
    Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.

  21. Lexi says

    Gin sure got that right and has a yummy someone to watch her back!
    Sensible shoes, a good idea too…guess I like a heroine who has room to grow and learn from her mistakes. Nobody is perfect, at least not right away =)

    thanks for a chance in the giveaway!
    eyesofblueice (at) gmail (dot) com

  22. CrystalGB says

    Hi Jennifer. I love your series. I think that a urban fantasy heroine should have lots of cash stashed in different places so she will be prepared if she needs it.

  23. Na says

    I think an UF heroine should have a positive, can do attitude. Literally she is going to make some tough decisions and some battles will be lost. If she wants to win the win she has to be determined and not have a defeated and bitter attidude.

  24. says

    Whitewolf — A good sidekick is definitely important.

    Rain Maiden — I like a sense of humor in heroines too.

    Chris — I like heroines who can take care of themselves too.

    Lexi — Thanks! Most folks seem to be on Team Owen.

    Crystal — Thanks! Glad you are enjoying my books.

    Na — That’s true. An urban fantasy heroine definitely needs to be mentally tough.

    Debbie — It always helps to stay in shape. LOL.

  25. Cathy M says

    I like my heroines to be pretty kick ass, smart, a bit snarky, and able to hold their own. While she tends to be more of a loner, like her to click with a partner, and I love the side kick idea.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  26. Chelsea says

    I loved this list, I would also include practice so they don’t miss their mark, I think even Gin said she needed to keep up in her pseudo retirement… Plus I would add the ability to be a chameleon or become invisible while still being completely visible. Oh and even if it isn’t required, I think they need to be sarcastic or quick witted, it makes for more fun! Love this series! :)

  27. Jolene A says

    I love the comfortable clothes and hospital on speed dial :) I love reading about kicka** heroines, makes me want to go forth and try to be one myself


  28. Pamk says

    Like your list. Main thing I think they need is to be savy. or as my grandmother used to say have commen sense lol. Love this series and this one is definitely on my wish list.
    scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

  29. says

    I’m glad you included balanced diet, sleep, and comfortable shoes. Important for urban fantasy heroines AND all of us regular heroines. :)

    Hmm, what else…good eyesight? A short haircut or strong elastic hairbands? A good network of friends that will not only watch her back but will be there when she needs to relax and have fun.


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