Month: August 2020

The Queen’s Triumph: Chapter 1

Part of the serial story The Queen’s Triumph


The Queen's Triumph. A space opera serial. www.jessiemihalik.com

Your patience has been rewarded! At long last, The Queen’s Triumph serial has begun. :) Chapters will be posted weekly, barring any disasters.

As a reminder, the serial is a rough draft, which means it has typos and grammatical errors. I’m still writing it (yes, still), so it’s also subject to change (sometimes drastically!) during edits. If the serial format isn’t your jam, you can preorder the edited novella (out Dec 8)!

If you haven’t read The Queen’s Gambit and The Queen’s Advantage, you are going to be a little lost because this series follows Samara and Valentin across books, so go binge the previous novellas and then come back. :)

Happy Friday!


The trick to meeting an enemy at a time and location set by a traitor was this: don’t. I stalked through Arx trying to find a way around such a universal truth, but the plain white halls of the Rogue Coalition’s capital did not offer up any suggestions.

The meeting would be a trap, and skipping it entirely was the only way to guarantee safety. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option. Commander Tony Adams—formerly of the Quint Confederacy but disavowed, supposedly, by the current Chairwoman—had attacked my people, destroyed my ship, and threatened the tentative peace treaty in the works between the universe’s two superpowers.

He needed to die—slowly.

I just had to figure out how to go to the meeting and survive. And, ideally, how to go alone.

I mulled over the problem as I moved through the familiar halls. Moving helped me think, and being out and about also gave people a chance to air their grievances before they became problems. My frequent availability was one of the reasons I was still queen after five years, despite ruling a group of people who took grave exception to rules.

I stopped in the market, and Zita shouted from her bakery, “Samara! If you don’t kill Eddie, I’m going to do it for you.”

She poked her head out of the building and scowled at me. She was in her forties, with pale skin and curly red hair. I was happy to see that her cheeks were returning to their usual cherubic fullness thanks to the new food supply.

Zita was Arx’s main baker, and Eddie was our main chef. They’d been locked in a fierce competition to produce the best pastry, and Zita was kicking his ass. She had years of experience on him, so it didn’t surprise me that he’d tried a new tactic.

“What has he done now?” I asked.

“He’s been in my supplies! As if I wouldn’t notice that salt and sugar aren’t the same thing.”

“Did you catch it before you used them?”

She looked mortally offended. “Of course!”

I laughed and raised a placating hand. “Okay, I’ll talk to him. Don’t start a murder spree just yet.”

She harrumphed at me, but finally inclined her head and went back to work. I stayed and chatted with a few other people before moving on, but as soon as I was alone again, my mind returned to the problem of the meeting.

No matter how far I walked, I couldn’t figure out a solution because Arietta Mueller, my best friend and head of security, would never allow me to track Adams solo, no matter how well suited to the task I was.

I’d tried to leave my past behind, but it kept coming back. But I’d take every skill I’d ever learned if it meant keeping those close to me safe.

And keeping them safe sometimes meant keeping them in the dark.

Happy Book Birthday to Emerald Blaze!

Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews is out today! I got to read an early copy of this book back in April and it broke me out of the pandemic reading slump I was in at the time. We’d been in lockdown for over a month at that point, and I thought it felt like forever. (Hahahahahahasob)

But then Ilona graciously offered me an early copy of EB (full disclosure: we’re friends! I’m biased!), and I tore through it in a few days after not finishing anything for weeks.

It is so good. It’s I should clearly give up this writing thing and go live in a cave in the woods because I can never hope to write this well good. I’m jealous of all of you who get to read it for the very first time.

As a reminder, this is the fifth book in the Hidden Legacy series, and the second book in Catalina’s trilogy. You’ll definitely want to at least read Sapphire Flames before this one. And if you have somehow missed Ilona Andrews’s previous books, then you have a whole host of awesome awaiting you.

More info on EB:

Emerald Blaze Cover. A dark-haired white woman in a long green dress holding a sword next to a dark-haired white man in a white shirt with an open color and rolled up sleeves holding a pistol.

Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author, continues her spellbinding series set in the Hidden Legacy world where magic controls everything…except the hearts of those who wield it.

As Prime magic users, Catalina Baylor and her sisters have extraordinary powers—powers their ruthless grandmother would love to control. Catalina can earn her family some protection working as deputy to the Warden of Texas, overseeing breaches of magic law in the state, but that has risks as well. When House Baylor is under attack and monsters haunt her every step, Catalina is forced to rely on handsome, dangerous Alessandro Sagredo, the Prime who crushed her heart. 

The nightmare that Alessandro has fought since childhood has come roaring back to life, but now Catalina is under threat. Not even his lifelong quest for revenge will stop him from keeping her safe, even if every battle could be his last. Because Catalina won’t rest until she stops the use of the illicit, power-granting serum that’s tearing their world apart.

Happy Reading!

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

Being Creative in 2020

Some people thrive on adversity. I am not one of them. If a time machine dropped me in some other time and place, I would immediately meet an unfortunate end, and probably in the stupidest possible way. Oh, you mean I wasn’t supposed to pet that saber-tooth cat? But it was so fluffy!

So while Taylor Swift is busy dropping a new album that she wrote and recorded while stuck at home, I am… not. I write slowly in the best of times and 2020 definitely doesn’t qualify.

In the entire month of May, I wrote the same number of words (in total!) that I can write in one really good day.

Yeah…

So if you’re struggling to create this year, know that you’re not alone. Don’t listen to the people (hi, mom!) who tell you that you should be super productive because you’re stuck at home and can’t go anywhere. Mental health is important for creativity, and stress and anxiety aren’t great for mental health—and there’s plenty of stress and anxiety this year.

The myth of the tortured, starving artist, is just that—a myth. Sure, some people probably thrive on chaos, because nothing is ever one-size-fits-all, but I am not one of them. I have two deadlines upcoming, and I’m behind on both. Usually, this would fill me with panic, but this year the best I can summon is a detached sort of dread. I’m all panicked out.

But I continue to trudge onward because that’s all I can do. New Shiny is over 30k, and TQT just crossed 30k, too. I was trying to get TQT done by the end of the month, but that’s just not going to happen unless some sort of miracle occurs.

But, lest you think it’s all doom and gloom around here, I sent the first six chapters of New Shiny off to Mr M and my bff, and they both loved it, so that’s nice. They are biased, naturally, but at least it’s not completely terrible. :)

Now back to the writing cave, Batman. Be kind to each other, wear a mask, and hang in there!

P.S. If you’re in the US, don’t forget to register to vote! And if it’s a been a while, check your registration to ensure you haven’t been dropped from the voter rolls. Even if it hasn’t, it’s a good idea to check. November isn’t that far away and many states have registration deadlines that are quickly approaching.