Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jen Estes  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Mystery Science Fiction

Audience: Adult; Young Adult;

Born: 1983 in Champaign, IL

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Illinois Connection

I was born in Champaign, Illinois and raised in Neoga, Illinois. I went to college in Edwardsville, Illinois. I have lived in Mattoon, Peoria, Litchfield and currently reside in Hillsboro, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Jen Estes is the author of the Cat McDaniel Mystery Series and the forthcoming Fifteen (The Dreamwalker Diaries). Born and raised in the Midwest, Jen had to choose between detassling corn or reading books. Corn husks just didn't have the appeal of the Baby-Sitters Club and so a reader was born. Reading later turned into writing and in 2011, Jen published her first novel. After releasing four books in the mystery genre, Jen decided to give in to the literary demands of her inner teenager. FIFTEEN is her YA debut. Jen lives in Illinois with her husband Nathan under the tyranny of their three cats: Wrigley, Ivy and Captain Moo. When she isn't writing, Jen enjoys sci-fi in all its mediums, attempting yoga, using her passport, watching baseball, and reading a good book. You can find Jen on the web at, on Tumblr as AuthorJenEstes and tweeting under @jenestesdotcom.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Big Leagues (A Cat Mcdaniel Mystery)
ISBN: 1603818707

Camel Press. 2011

Rookie sportswriter Catriona McDaniel is on deck in Sin City for the job of a lifetime with baseball’s hottest team. The Las Vegas Chips have the best record in baseball, snagging two trophies in their first three years. Two men are vying for the position of "boyfriend of summer." Her new boss, Erich Koenig, is a German wunderkind and the Desert's most eligible bachelor. Then there's her neighbor--a biology professor whose fetal pigs know more about baseball than he does. Not all the men admire Cat. As the team's junior reporter, Dusty Carlyle was on-deck for her position. Now he's desperate to get her out of the lineup. Save for the scheming coworker, Cat has everything she ever wanted … until a star outfielder's heart stops. Suspecting that his death was no accident, she starts nosing around, becoming the newest player in an extreme game of hardball. Will Cat become the next member of the team to be taken out of the lineup?

Curveball (A Cat Mcdaniel Mystery)
ISBN: 1603818952

Camel Press. 2012

Baseball reporter Cat McDaniel specializes in exposés. Now that very talent has left her unemployed. Desperate to get off the bench and back into the lineup, she is thrilled to land an interview with the Buffalo Soldiers’ General Manager Roger “Rakin’” Aiken--Baseball legend, eight-time All Star ... and oblivious father to a Major League bratty co-ed named Paige. Aiken offers Cat the team writer position for the following spring, but the opportunity is tempered by a curveball of a caveat: she must first spend the winter as a blogger reporting on the Latin American training facility. She is also supposed to look out for Paige, nominally the team’s newest scouting assistant. Being a glorified babysitter and chaperone still beats being an out-of-work sportswriter. Cat reluctantly leaves behind her gorgeous boyfriend Benji and accompanies the party girl to sunny Santo Domingo to balance baselines and conga lines. Paige falls for Chance Hayward, an agent who plays hardball—the figurative kind. Joining them on the field is Paige's ex, Junior DeLeon, one of the coaches who’d really like to score with Cat. When an aspiring player turns up dead, it is up to Cat and Junior to devise a game-changing strategy. Will Cat’s snooping work in her favor this time, or will she strike out ... losing her job, her boyfriend and her life? Curveball follows Big Leagues as Book 2 of the Cat McDaniel Mysteries, also known as the Foul Ball series.

Double Play (A Cat Mcdaniel Mystery)
ISBN: 160381941X

Camel Press. 2012

Team reporter Cat finally has her perfect lineup in Double Play. She’s reporting for the playoff-bound Buffalo Soldiers, she’s living large in a two-bedroom loft overlooking the Niagara River, and she’s sporting a diamond on her ring finger—nowhere as big as a baseball diamond, but big enough for her. Just when Cat seems to be on top of her game, life throws her an off-speed pitch. A screwball clad in a leather jacket and biker boots—also known as her half-brother and full-leech, Quinn—shows up on her doorstep, or more accurately, her balcony. Her fiancé, Benji, although shocked to find out he has a future brother-in-law, welcomes the flighty Quinn, little knowing what havoc the man’s boozing and betting ways will wreak on their lives. Soon after Quinn moves in, Cat’s team’s innings become his fat winnings. As the long shots turn into locks and hundreds turn into thousands, Cat’s curiosity steps up to the plate. Between the betting lines, she finds greedy gamesters, desperate ballplayers and an enterprising bookie looking to raise the stakes. Sometimes baseball isn’t just a game, it’s a matter of life or death. Double Play follows Curveball as Book 3 of the Cat McDaniel Mysteries, also known as the Foul Ball series.

Brushback (A Cat McDaniel Mystery)
ISBN: 1484841999

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2013

Once upon a time, Cat McDaniel had it all: dream job, fancy loft, doting fianc. Now she's out of work, homeless and oh-so-lonely. In desperate need of a change, she decides to hang up her heels: she's out of the snooping game.

Until a minor league player is arrested for the death of a baseball groupie and she's forced out of retirement by her despairing former team. Cat's a veteran against the familiar lineup of lying players, scheming owners and shady spectators.

The sportswriter sleuth goes back to the minors in the final book of the Cat McDaniel Mystery Series. But can Cat clinch this one or is everything she loves going... going... gone?

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