All Diablo, All the Time

The past three days were an all Diablo weekend around here, and since I sent my romantic fantasy WIP off to my agent on Thursday (🎉🎉🎉), I didn’t have anything super pressing on my to-do list to distract from gaming fun.

Mr. M and I are playing together, and we generally play breadth-first rather than diving straight through the main story, so we’ve been picking up all the side quests and exploring the whole map before moving on, which means were like level 51 and only in Act III.

Unfortunately, it seems that World Tier 2 gear seems to be capped below level 50, and we can’t move to World Tier 3 without completing the main story, so that’s sad, since I mainly play Diablo for the shiny new loot. When all of that loot is consistently worse than what I currently have equipped, it’s not as fun.

Blizzard, surely you knew that your players liked to actually play the game, right? Not all of us are on a mission to get to end-game as fast as possible, but I guess we’ll be doing a dash through the rest of the main quest, then we’ll go back and pick up all the side quests in Tier 3. Boo!

Overall, we’re having a lot of fun, and I’m happy we bought the version with early access, since this week we have a lot of actual responsibilities that require us to leave the house, lol. I’ll be interested to see how they wrap up the story (no spoilers, please!), because right now I’m kind of on team You All Suck.

But at least it’s very pretty. :)

I hope you had a lovely weekend to kick off June! And in just fifteen days, Capture the Sun will be out in the world! 🎉

Restful Weekend

US folks, I hope you all had a nice holiday weekend, and for everyone else, I hope Monday wasn’t too bad. :) I finished writing my romantic fantasy on Saturday (at 106k words! 🎉), then promptly fell into a reading hole and didn’t move for the rest of the weekend.

I needed the break. I wrote 44k words this month, which is a lot for me. Last month I wrote 14k. But as my bff always says, “As time goes to zero, effort goes to infinity.”

She’s not wrong, and I did want to get this book done by the end of May, but I always write the second half of books faster than the first, because a lot of the early time is just figuring stuff out: how does the world work, what do these characters want, etc. By the time I’m in the final quarter, it’s usually a quick downhill slide to the end.

I still need to do another pass to make sure those last 44k words make sense, but I’m going to be very close to my self-imposed deadline, so that’s nice. Next, we’ll see if anyone wants to buy it, or if I end up going the self-pub route. There are pros and cons of each, so it’ll be an interesting decision, assuming any of the trad houses actually want it, lol.

I spent Saturday evening and all day Sunday and Monday blazing through like three books in a row in The New Protectorate series by Abigail Kelly. They’re available in KU, which I have right now, so it was super easy to binge them. Zero regrets, excellent use of my weekend. :)

If you’re looking for a sexy paranormal romance with interesting world-building and snarly, dangerous MMCs who are soft marshmallows for the smart, powerful FMCs, then this might be a series you’ll enjoy. All of the books are standalone couples with HEAs, but later books can have spoilers for world events in earlier books, so reading them in order is probably best. Enjoy!

While I was busy doing my best to imitate a sloth, Mr. M made smoked pork ribs that were delicious. I’m usually not a huge fan of ribs, but these turned out super good. We also watched the Dungeons & Dragons movie, which was surprisingly fun. Movies based on geeky IP can go either way—mostly terrible in the case of video game movies—so it was a refreshing change.

Now I need to shake off my sloth-like ways and buckle down for one last editing pass, then get ready for the release of Capture the Sun. How is it nearly June already???? 😱

Capture the Sun ARC Winners & Chapter Three!

Capture the Sun ARC Winners, plus read the first three chapters! Available June 20, 2023, preorder now.

Thank you all so much for entering! You all had so many great things to look forward to in the next few months and I loved reading all of your comments. 💕

I am THISCLOSE to finishing the romantic fantasy I’ve been writing. I crossed 100k words this morning, and my first drafts usually come in around 105k, so I will hopefully be finished by the end of the month. Then, sleep!

But I know why you’re all here, and so, without further ado, here are the winners as picked by random number. Please follow the links to see if it’s your comment, since there might be some duplicate names.

#19 – Jenny R.
#31 – Jessie Silverman
#106 – Jina
#117 – Gale

WINNERS: Send me an email at mihalikwrites AT gmailDOTcom with the subject ARC Winner, and please use the same email address you used to comment. You can also use the contact form, if you’d prefer. Please include your name and address, and the name you’d like for personalization, if desired. :)

If you didn’t win, don’t despair! Chapter three of Capture the Sun is now up for your reading pleasure! We’re less than a month away from release (howwwwww?), so get your final library requests and preorders in. 💕

Oh, and come see me on June 25 at BookPeople here in Austin!

Capture the Sun Cover, featuring a man and woman in silhouette against a fiery orange sun with a futuristic city in the background.

Preorder now!
Signed/personalized books from BookPeople
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play | Kobo | IndieBound

Capture the Sun ARC Giveaway!

I can hardly believe it, but we’re just about a month away from the release of Capture the Sun on June 20! It seemed like a few of you might be up for an event, so I’ll be doing a signing at BookPeople on June 25 at 7:00 PM. I’ll do a short talk about something—probably writing related, but who knows, it’s release week, after all—then there’ll be a Q&A, and I’ll sign/personalize books.

I might also read a scene or two, but with the way I get nervous about public speaking, it might sound like an audiobook set on 2x speed. 🙈

I hope I’ll see you there, but if you can’t make it, you can still order signed and personalized books from BookPeople!

As you probably know, Capture the Sun didn’t get printed ARCs this time due to costs. But my fabulous editor sent me four bound manuscripts to give away, so you know what that means: ARC GIVEAWAY TIME!

Want to read Capture the Sun before June 20? Enter to win one of four ARCs.

These aren’t the typical prerelease books because they were printed and bound in-house, but there are literally only five of them in the world (that I know about) and you get a chance to win one of four! They may not be quite as nice as a typical printed ARC, but they are super exclusive. Ooooh. :jazz hands:

Also, if you win, you’ll get to read the book early. :)

If you haven’t yet, now is an excellent time to get your preorders and library purchase requests in!

Capture the Sun Cover, featuring a man and woman in silhouette against a fiery orange sun with a futuristic city in the background.

Acclaimed author Jessie Mihalik returns with the thrilling conclusion to her Starlight’s Shadow trilogy. An intergalactic thief must join forces with the charming teleporter who stole her last job—and may now be her only hope for saving her former crew.

As a recovery specialist, Lexi Bowen’s jobs typically require more trickery and thievery than honest work. Her former captain might not approve of her flexible morals, but stealing artifacts for rich assholes pays the bills, and Lexi’s had enough of war and death. The FHP left her to die once; she doesn’t plan to give them a chance to finish the job.

Unfortunately, her latest contract takes her to Valovia itself—and right back into the orbit of Nilo Shoren, a Valovian teleporter who already cost her one payday and nearly stole her heart.

Armored against his clever charm, Lexi plans to get in, get the job done, and get out. But when her former crew goes missing in Valovian space, Lexi will have to work with Nilo to figure out what happened—and stop it—before the galaxy’s two superpowers can use the disappearance as an excuse to return to war.

Preorder now!
Signed/personalized books from BookPeople
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play | Kobo | IndieBound

And now for the giveaway!

To enter to win an ARC, please read and follow the rules below. Incomplete entries will be ignored/deleted.

Edit: Entries closed and winners announced!

  1. The entry period starts now and ends on May 26, 2023 at noon Central Time. You must be eighteen or older. Open to US and international readers. Void were prohibited.
  2. Leave ONE top-level comment (i.e., not a reply to another comment) below and tell me something you’re looking forward to in the next few months (e.g., a new book or movie, a vacation, or the end of school)! And while I hope you’re all looking forward to CTS, please try to pick something else. :)
    1. Duplicate top-level comments will be deleted. You are welcome to reply to other comments, though, because those won’t count as entries.
    2. In order to make a top-level comment, scroll to the bottom of the page for the comment box, don’t use “Reply” on another comment or your comment will be a reply.
  3. Comments must be on the giveaway blog post on my site ( Comments on Facebook, Goodreads, etc. won’t count.
  4. Come back after May 26 and see if you’ve won! Four winners will be picked by random number and must actively claim their book. Instructions will be included in the winning post.

Edit: If you don’t see the comment box below, disable your ad/content blockers!

The Taming of the Tea Cabinet

For the past six months or so, I’ve been working my way through the various teas we already own and forcing myself not to buy replacements. I have favorites, and if I buy more of them, they’re all I’ll drink.

And the tea cabinet desperately needed to be cleaned out. There’s a photo in this ancient post, that was taken at our previous house, six years ago, and some of the tea in that picture was still in the current cabinet.

Drastic measures had to be taken.

And while I’m absolutely aware of the sunk cost fallacy, I can’t throw away perfectly good tea that I paid money for, even if I would rather drink something else. Logic has no place here, lol.

I’ve made great progress, emptying four tins, several boxes, and—as of today—a tea sampler that had been in the cabinet for far too long, taking up too much space. Most of the teas have ranged from okay to delicious, but the sampler was on the bottom end of that scale. One tea tasted like alfalfa, and today’s green is very, very grassy. Delicious for some, but not my favorite.

Earl Gray was one of the surprise winners for me. I wasn’t sure I liked Earl Gray tea, but it turns out, I do! Paris, by Harney & Sons, was another favorite, which I already knew, but I finished off the last of our sachets as a reward for working through some of the other teas.

Today the heat index is going to be close to 100°F (~38°C), so the time for hot tea is rapidly drawing to a close. Luckily, a few of the teas I have left will make nice iced tea, so the tea taming train will continue for a while longer.

Even if Harney & Sons sent me an email today about a 20% off sale. Must stay strong, must stay strong… 😂

Do you have something you have too much of and can’t seem to get rid of?