Month: February 2020

Borderlands, Plants, and Theater

I had a restful weekend. I’m about halfway through copyedits, so I took the weekend off. I’m still trying to remind myself that work-life balance is a thing, and just because I’m behind on everything doesn’t mean I have to work all the time.

On Saturday, Mr. M and I used the outdoor ceramic cooker my parents brought us to smoke a pork butt. It took most of the day and we had to babysit it, so we played Borderlands 3 all day. It. Was. Awesome!

We did take a break in the middle of the day, once we’d transferred the pork to the oven, to go for a walk and enjoy the nice weather. The trees are going crazy even though we’ve been having some late-season cold. This tree was more berries than leaves.

Our new neighborhood is much hillier than our old neighborhood (which was basically flat), so walking and running are far more challenging. And any direction we pick, there are hills. Some are bigger than others, but there’s no avoiding them. If I keep it up, I’m either going to be in awesome shape or dead. 😂

On Sunday, I started the day with a yoga class with my BFF, then Mr. M and I headed to a nursery to pick up some plants. He is starting a garden this year and I went along for moral support. :) He was there for veggies, but I took pictures of some of their beautiful flowers.

Sunday night, BFF and I had theater tickets to see Come From Away. Thanks to a series of unfortunate events, we were about 15 minutes late. Thank goodness our seats are near the edge. 🙈

Even missing the first couple of songs, the show was incredible, easily one of the best of the season. If you get a chance to see it, I highly recommend it!

Now I have to finish CR copyedits, start writing (again) TQT, and continue to noodle on the new series. It sounds so easy all typed up in a single sentence, but reading it causes me to break out in hives, lol. I hope you all had a nice weekend!

Chaos Reigning Copyedits and a Snippet!

Yesterday, the copyedits for Chaos Reigning landed in my inbox. That means we are inching ever closer to release, which I can hardly believe. This will be the final book in the Consortium Rebellion trilogy and the the final book (for now) set in the Consortium universe.

I have ideas for future books, but they’ll have to get in line behind all of my other commitments. Speaking of, I haven’t forgotten about TQT, but it’s been eclipsed by contracted work, including the proposal for my new series (yay!!!), as I warned was possible. I promise I’m still doing it, just much later than I had hoped. :/

But enough with the sadness—time to celebrate CR being almost a real book! Here’s a little snippet to tide you over until copyedits are done and I can post the first chapter. And if you haven’t yet, now is an excellent time to preorder because the book comes out in May! ;)

Preorder:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | IndieBound


I stared at myself in the bathroom mirror and willed myself to calm down. Alexander—now Alex—had flustered me, and I felt like I needed a cold shower. I shivered as I remembered his knowing grin. Maybe two cold showers.

After I’d dawdled as long as I could without looking like I was hiding, I returned to the bedroom. Alex was sitting on his pallet on the floor, looking at his com. He glanced up, and I tilted my head toward the bathroom. “All yours.”

He nodded his thanks and gathered his bag. Once he was gone, I slid into my enormous, fluffy bed. I looked at his sad little pile of blankets and hardened my heart. No. This was his decision. I’d offered an alternative and he’d chosen this. He could live with his choices.

“Jarvis, lights twenty percent.” The overhead lights flared to life, slightly brighter than a night-light setting. Alex would be able to see, even after coming out of the fully lit bathroom.

I set the windows to gradually lighten in four hours. The sunlight would wake me without the need for a harsh alarm. I checked my com one final time, but I hadn’t gotten anything else from Bianca. I wondered if she was getting updates from Alex or Aoife, or if she assumed no news was good news.

With nothing left to do, I turned off my bedside lamp and closed my eyes. Restless energy pulsed under my skin, but I feigned sleep.

Alex returned with a whisper of sound. He settled on his pallet and turned the overhead lights off. He was perfectly still and quiet, without so much as a discontented sigh. It would have been so much easier to ignore him if he’d acted disgruntled, but his quiet acceptance sent sympathy and guilt swirling through my veins. He had to be uncomfortable, but you’d never know it.

I lasted for maybe ten minutes before I sighed and whispered, “Are you awake?”

“Yes.” His voice rumbled from the dark. “Do you need something?”

“Jarvis, lights five percent.” The room was still deeply shadowed, but I had excellent night vision and could see clearly even in deep darkness. However, this would be easier if I could pretend the shadows hid us from each other. “Bring your pallet. You can sleep on the other side of the bed. On top of the covers.”

There was a long, silent pause. Finally, he asked, “Are you sure? I don’t mind sleeping here.”

Exciting News!

I know it’s been radio silence around here, but that’s because I was working on something SUPER SECRET, and today the secret is out!

Behold!

Author of Polaris Rising, Jessie Mihalik's HUNTED pitched as a gender-switched MANDALORIAN but with romance, featuring a fierce intergalactic bounty hunter, her motley crew, and a grim former foe who's hiding more than a few secrets to Tessa Woodward at Voyager, in a good deal, in a three-book deal, for publication in January 2022, by Sarah Younger at the Nancy Yost Literary Agency (world).

If you don’t know what you’re looking at, this is the Publisher’s Marketplace (the book industry’s deal news source) screenshot of MY NEW BOOK DEAL!!! 🎉🎉🎉

Tessa Woodward, my absolutely amazing editor at Harper Voyager, has agreed to do three more books with me! I am delighted that I get to continue working with her and the team at Voyager because as far as I’m concerned, they’re the best in the business. :)

This will be a completely new series, set in a new world, but it’s still science fiction romance. What follows is VERY EARLY info, so it’s subject to change.

The first book, tentatively titled HUNTED, will follow Octavia Zarola, a tough bounty-hunter hiding a soft heart, and her sworn enemy, Torran Fletcher. It’ll be a true enemies-to-lovers, with a few other surprises thrown in. I’ve written a little bit of it to get a feel for the world/characters, and it’s going to be so fun! I love Tavi’s crew, who’ll feature in the second and third books.

I’m usually not a plotter (at all), but when you’re making a proposal for a new series, the publisher wants more than “uhhh… it’s a space romance,” so I know more than usual about these characters already.

Do you want a tiny, tiny peek? Shhh, don’t tell anyone. ;)

Rough draft, unedited, subject to completely change! This is their first meeting. I’ve removed a few spoilery things (I have to keep some secrets), but they’re in a space station landing bay and Octavia is leaning against her ship’s cargo ramp, watching as Torran’s group goes around and talks to various other ship captains.


The group leader raised an eyebrow. He was all hard angles and harsh beauty. Sharp cheekbones, strong jaw, straight nose.

Behind him waited three soldiers, all in full armor—including the battle helmets that covered their faces. I couldn’t tell if they expected trouble to find them or if they were prepared to be the trouble.

“Are you the captain of this ship?” the leader asked in lightly-accented Common.

I straightened away from the ramp. I wasn’t particularly tall, and I had to look up to meet his eyes, which added an annoyed bite to my tone. “Yes.”

“I am Torran Fletcher. I want to hire you.”

Now I understood why all of his previous conversations were so short. This one would be, too. “No.”

“Why not?”

“I’m a bounty hunter. I hunt criminals and murderers; I don’t work for them.” And I especially didn’t work for one of the top Valovian generals who’d led the war against the Federated Human Planets. No wonder he’d looked familiar. He’d been one of our priority targets, but as far as we knew, he’d never been anywhere near the front lines. Disgust pulled at my lips. Coward.

His piercing gaze seared me. “I know you. Lieutenant Octavia Zarola, hero of Rodeni,” he mocked before his expression hardened. “Slaughterer of thousands. You are worth a lot in Valovian space.”

My palms itched with the desire to grip a weapon. The enemy stood at my door and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it unless I wanted to cause an intergalactic incident. Which I did, very much. But the thought of my crew stayed my hand. I couldn’t go and get myself killed for a vengeance that was three years too late, not when people still depended on me.


Ooohhh… drama. LOL. I hope you enjoyed the tiny snippet. :) Happy Valentine’s Day!