I may have not-so-subtly mentioned that I was writing a fantasy romance and teased the fact that I might have news soon, and guess what? That time is now!
I’ve been sitting on this news for months, and I am extremely delighted to announce that I’ve sold a new Beauty and the Beast-inspired romantasy duology to Avon! 🎉
Here’s the text:
Author of POLARIS RISING and HUNT THE STARS Jessie Mihalik’s SILVER AND BLOOD, pitched as a Beauty and the Beast-inspired romantasy filled with magic and otherworldly creatures, where a beautiful woman with untapped power agrees to brave the dark woods to kill a deadly monster but soon discovers there is more to the forest and its beasts than what she expected-including a powerful, scarred, and strikingly handsome mage, to Tessa Woodward at Avon, in a six-figure deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in 2025, by Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency (world English).
I once again get to work with the fabulous Tessa Woodward, the editor for my previous books, but this time I’ll be on the Avon side of the publishing house rather than the Voyager side, which just means they’re positioning it more as romance rather than SF/F.
Unlike my previous trad books, both books in this series will follow the same couple and end in a HEA—at the end of book two. I’m not going to be too mean at the end of book one, but there is a lot of plot left for book two, which I’m writing now.
Now for the bad news: it’s coming in 2025, and I don’t have an exact date yet. I know that seems like forever away, but it’ll give me time to write the second book, and hopefully they’ll come out fairly close to each other. (Don’t hold me to that, since I have exactly zero control over it, but I’m crossing my fingers.)
Remember that snippet I shared a while back? It was from this book, and I can’t wait for you to meet Garrick and Riela!
There’s a magical castle (with a library!), a mysterious wolf, and of course, a handsome, cursed mage who’s more than he seems.
But, then again, so is she. ;)
Silver and Blood is very loosely B&tB inspired, because it kind of started out that way, then went its own direction, so don’t expect a faithful adaptation. But a lot of the elements are there, so if you’re a fan of B&tB, you’ll probably like it. And if you’re not a fan, you might still like it. :)
Here’s another tiny snippet as a reward for making it this far. 💕 It’s unedited and subject to change.
I glanced at the lake. Even if I could safely get down to the water, which was doubtful, it probably wasn’t any safer to drink than the water from the pipes.
If I understood my magic properly, then I could’ve purified the water in the lake, or pulled it directly from the air. Frustration shadowed my steps. I’d turned aside a literal flood to save my village, but the simplest magic eluded me.
I sighed. I had two options: drink water from the pipes and eat food from my pack, assuming I could get to it, or find the mage and ask him about the water and the kitchen. Pride argued for the first, but I steeled my spine and turned back to the scullery door.
I rounded the corner and paused in surprise.
The wolf and the mage stood in the shadows of the kitchen garden, their eyes glinting. I approached cautiously, not sure which of them was the bigger threat.
“I was just heading inside to look for you,” I said when I was close enough that I didn’t have to raise my voice.
The mage’s eyes flickered over me, then his brows drew together in a scowl. Moonlit magic pulsed and a heavy cloak draped itself over my shoulders. It was a lovely deep gray and far finer than the cloak I’d left behind in my bedroom. With the thick fabric wrapped around me, I could no longer feel the cutting bite of the wind, and warmth began to thaw my chilled skin.
“Do not become ill,” the mage demanded, his tone curt. “Healing is draining.”
“Are you the one who healed me last night?” I asked.
He nodded once, sharply, then turned toward the door. I reached for him before I thought better of it. My fingers closed around the firm muscles of his forearm, hidden beneath the long sleeves of his tunic, and a little zap of awareness darted up my arm.
I let go with a gasp, but his expression remained unreadable. He tilted his head, turning his scars away from me. “You should not be outside after dark. The castle is protected, but the forest is persistent.”
Now I’m off to work on book two. 😘