Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin series is one of my absolute favorites, and today I'm super excited to share a short excerpt with you from the latest release, By a Thread, so you can see a little bit of Gin in action for yourself (you can read my review HERE). She is made of win. Seriously. For those who may have young eyes reading over their shoulders, please note there is some language in the following passage.
I eased out of my bedroom and tiptoed across the dark suite, using the mental map that I’d made earlier to skirt around the couches, tables, and other furniture. I stepped up to the door, careful to keep away from the glass peephole so that whoever was lurking around outside wouldn’t realize I was awake and already waiting for them.
I looked across the suite at the closed door that led to Bria’s bedroom. As an elemental, she’d be able to hear the stone’s cries too, although they wouldn’t resonate as loudly with her, since she had Ice magic and not Stone like I did. I waited a moment, wondering whether she’d heard my alarm and would come out and investigate, but her door remained closed. Looked like I’d have to deal with our visitors myself. Not a problem.
I blocked out the stone’s wails, put my ear close to the door, and listened. Right next to me, the brass doorknob softly turned and rattled.
“Sorry,” someone muttered on the other side of the door. “Wrong key. It’s this one, I think. The third time’s the charm, right?”
So he’d tried two wrong keys already, and that’s what had triggered the protection runes in the stone. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. If he’d used the right key the first time, he might have avoided tripping my silent alarm.
“You’d better do more than think,” a familiar voice growled. “That bitch skewered my hand like it was a fucking kebab, and I plan on doing the same to her—and worse.”
So Pete Procter, the guy I’d stabbed earlier at the Sea Breeze, was outside, along with his friend with the keys. But neither one of them were elementals, otherwise they would have heard my alarm and realized they were walking into a trap. Too bad for them.
“And Ron, one of the night clerks, told me that sweet little blond piece of ass is in there with her too,” Pete continued. “We’ll have fun taking turns with her. Maybe both of them, all of us, at the same time. There’ll be enough for everyone.”
Pete laughed at his ugly promise, and I heard a few more sly chuckles chime in with his. Make that more than one friend outside. I smiled in the darkness like an animal baring its fangs. Good. I’d hate to get out of bed just for Pete.
“There,” the second guy said. “I told you I had the right key. Get ready.”
A soft snick sounded as the door unlocked. I eased away from it and stepped behind a fake palm tree in a brass pot in the front corner of the suite.
The door opened a crack, and a pair of bolt cutters slid through the narrow space and caught on the security chain. From my hiding spot, I saw a hand squeeze down on the cutters, which easily sliced through the flimsy metal. Trent, the giant, I thought. He’d have the strength to use the cutters with one hand, and he was probably as pissed at me as Pete was for busting him up earlier. That made at least three guys outside. I wondered how many more Dekes had sent, or if they’d decided to do this on their lonesome. Didn’t much matter. They were all getting dead.
More information on Jennifer and her books, including her amazing young adult Mythos Academy series, can be found here:
Jennifer is nicely offering up a copy of By a Thread to one lucky winner on the blog today. Yay! To enter, please just leave a comment on this post with a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. Giveaway is open to US residents only and will run through midnight EST on Friday, March 2nd after which time a winner will be chosen and announced on the blog. Good luck everyone and thank you again Jennifer!