Snippet

Hunt the Stars Edits Are Done! Here’s a Tiny Snippet!

This morning, I sent off my edits for Hunt the Stars. I added about 6k words, bringing the total manuscript to just under 113k, which falls right between Aurora Blazing and Chaos Reigning.

This was a pretty fast edit for me because I usually plan for about a month, and I finished in under two weeks. I’ve now read this story more times than anyone should, and I still love it, so I hope you all will, too.

Bree, half of writing duo Kit Rocha, read an early copy (before I was done editing, even!) and had a few very nice things to say about it over on Twitter, including, “Ok I just finished my early copy of Hunt the Stars by Jessie Mihalik and somehow it’s my favorite thing she’s written yet, it’s AMAZING…” which made my whole weekend, y’all. 💕😭

Here’s a little snippet of the first chapter to celebrate turning in edits. This hasn’t been finally approved or copyedited, so it’s still subject to change, but I won’t tell if you don’t. :)

And, in case you missed it, HtS is now available for preorder. The cover isn’t up yet, but I’ve seen a rough draft and it is IN-CRED-I-BLE! 😍 I can’t wait to share!

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


I leaned against my ship’s cargo ramp and watched with narrowed eyes as four soldiers in Valovian armor stalked through the landing bay. This was a human station in human space—Valoffs shouldn’t be here. Yes, we were at peace—for now—but both sides had made it clear that they preferred it when everyone stayed in their own sectors.

The soldiers moved from ship to ship. At each, the group leader spoke to the ship’s captain for a few minutes before continuing on. They moved like Valoffs rather than like humans wearing stolen armor, so I raised my mental shields as they approached. It wasn’t easy for a human to learn to shield against Valovian abilities because we had no natural defenses, but I’d learned the hard way during the war. Certain death provided excellent motivation.

The leader was male: tall and muscular, with thick, black hair, dark eyes, and skin a shade or two lighter than my own golden tan. He looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t immediately place him. He was encased in layers of synthetic black armor from neck to feet, and I knew from experience that it would deflect all but the strongest plas pistols and blades. It had exactly two weaknesses, and you had to be within reach to exploit either of them.

The group stopped several paces away, but even at this distance, their leader looked almost human. In general, Valoffs had a wider variety of hair and skin color and were a little taller than humans, with a slightly finer bone structure. However, their eyes were the biggest giveaway. Their irises were often threaded with multiple vibrant colors, and they had better-than-human night vision. They spent a lot of time in the dark—days on Valovia were only ten hours long.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a Loch POV snippet!

Loch POV Snippet! Happy Valentine's Day! with a picture of the POLARIS RISING cover.

I know many of you have been yearning for a little peek into Loch’s head, so because this is the month of love, I decided to deliver. Happy early Valentine’s Day!

And if it also helps me procrastinate on the projects that I’m supposed to be working on, well, win, win. 😘

If you haven’t read Polaris Rising yet, then this snippet probably won’t make much sense. But you’re in luck! PR is on sale for just $1.99 this month (international pricing will vary), so if you want a copy of your very own (or if you know someone who would enjoy it), now is an excellent time to pick it up.

Get your copy!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play

This snippet is from early on, when they are first escaping from the mercs and Rockhurst, in chapter three and four. Happy reading!


The princess was having a nightmare—again. I intentionally banged my hand against the console, which had been enough to rouse her out of her dreams before, but she just whimpered and continued to shift in the cot.

“Ada, wake up.”

She ignored me. I tried to return the favor, but she made another small, hurt sound, and it was all I could take. I might be a monster, but I wasn’t the kind who let others suffer when I could prevent it.

I unclipped from the captain’s chair and cautiously approached the cot. I didn’t think she was faking, but I’d been burned too many times to lower my guard now.

The blankets were twisted around her body and she clutched a sheathed knife in one hand, her knuckles white around the handle. It seemed like I wasn’t the only one who slept with a blade close, but I wondered what had happened to make the daughter of a High House so cautious.

Write, Write, Write… and a Snippet!

It’s gray out today. I’m hoping we get some rain and that it knocks down the Saharan dust that’s been hazing the sky and irritating my lungs. The fun game of 2020 is: allergies, Saharan dust, or Rona? So far, it’s always been one of the first two. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

I’m busy writing both New Shiny (pitched as Hunted, but that title may change) and The Queen’s Triumph. I also had an opening scene idea for another Consortium story, which I have less than zero time to write, so it’s not coming anytime soon (like, at all!), but I did share the first line on Twitter, so for those of you who don’t follow me, here it is:

Ferdinand von Hasenberg looked like he had aged five years in five weeks.

Ooohhh. 😂

I’m not quite sure whose book it is, and the opening is a bit dark, but it was cathartic to write a short little scene.

This week, I’m mostly working on New Shiny. The book isn’t coming for a thousand years (okay, more like 18 months), but here’s a tiny little snippet. Don’t tell anyone, okay? 😉

Rough draft, subject to change, etc, etc.

The restaurant Torran had chosen was one of the nicest in the area. It was the kind of place two CEOs would meet to discuss mergers and acquisitions. The few patrons I saw from the entrance were well heeled and well dressed.

The maitre d’ flicked a glance from my head to my feet—including my visible weapons—and then did the same to Eli, who sported even more weapons. Her gaze stopped on his face and she just stared for a second before she remembered to smooth her expression. “May I help you?”

I suppressed my smile, well aware of how Eli affected some people. “I’m meeting someone in the private dining room.”

“Your name?”

“Tavi Zarola.”

She made a subtle gesture and a young man in a black and white uniform appeared beside her. “Please follow him.”

I inclined my head in thanks. Eli and I followed the young server deeper into the restaurant. We skirted around the main dining room which was broken into small, intimate spaces with nooks and alcoves, the best of which had a view of the floor-to-ceiling window.

The velvety dark of space was dotted with distant stars and a faint nebula smudged color across the wide expanse. I knew the window was at least as strong as the metal and composite of the rest of the station, but it looked delicate and fragile. And standing next to it, staring out into the black, one was reminded just how precarious our place in space truly was.

The server led us down a short, secluded hallway. He swung open a wood-paneled door and gestured us inside. Torran sat on the far side of a long table. Behind him, the floor-to-ceiling window offered the same breathtaking view as in the main dining room.

An advanced antireflective coating meant I could still see outside even though the room was far brighter than the view beyond the window. It also meant that I couldn’t use the window as a mirror to see anyone who snuck up behind me. If I sat across from Torran my back would be to the door.

A glance around the room revealed that Torran’s group had lost a member. The two remaining Valoffs stood behind Torran and remained hidden behind their armored helmets, so I didn’t know if these were the same two who had accompanied him in the landing bay or not.

Torran took in my weapons with a sweep of his gaze. His expression shifted but before I could identify the emotion driving the change, he smoothed it away. “Thank you for joining me, Lieutenant Zarola,” he said stiffly. “Please have a seat.” He gestured at the chair in front of me, the one directly across from him.

“It’s Captain Zarola now,” I corrected. “I’m no longer part of the FHP military.” And instead of sitting in the indicated chair, I moved left and sat at the head of the table with a wall at my back. Eli stood a step behind me on my right. We both had an unobstructed view of the door and the rest of the room.

“I’ve got eyes on you,” Kee said through our group comm. “I’ll let you know if any surprises show up.”

The server who had led us to the room hovered by the door and Torran begrudgingly turned to me. “Would you care for something to eat or drink?”

The air I was breathing was the only thing I could afford in this restaurant, and that was only because they hadn’t figured out how to charge for it yet. “No, thank you.”

Torran waved the young man away, and the server bowed and withdrew. He closed the door behind him, leaving me trapped in a room full of enemies, so I decided to go on the offensive. “Have you reconsidered your objections to my standard boilerplate?”

Copyright Jessie Mihalik. All rights reserved. Coming early 2022 from Harper Voyager.

Chaos Reigning Chapter One!

Yesterday, I turned in the first pass page proofs for Chaos Reigning. This is when it really starts to look like a book, because the PDF is formatted like the print book. For example, here are the title page and first page:

Don’t those look like real book pages? Yay! The page proofs are the last time I’ll read the book all the way through, and my last chance to catch any mistakes. I’ve read it so many times at this point that catching mistakes is difficult, but the formatted text makes it easier to see if I’ve overused a word in a paragraph. Which I do. A lot. :)

Page proofs also mean that the text is 99% done. There may be questions from proofreaders that change a tiny bit later on, but it’s mostly set in stone at this point.

And that means I can post the first chapter! 🎉

If you mosey over to the book page, you’ll find all of Chapter One in its (nearly) final glory.

We’re just a smidgen over two months out from release (May 19!!), and I can hardly believe it. I don’t know what happened to January and February, but I would like those months back, please and thank you.

If you haven’t preordered yet, now would be an excellent time. Or ask your library to buy a copy. Or your BFF. Or your dog. (Send me photos of that last one!)

CHAOS REIGNING cover. A woman with dark, curly hair, in a long leather coat, facing right and holding a blaster. The background is an alien landscape with a planet and two moons in the sky and everything is shaded green-blue.

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

This is the Consortium Rebellion trilogy’s last hurrah, and I would be delighted if it went out with a bang, because that ups the possibility of more Consortium stories in the future. Thank you all for sticking with me for my very first trilogy!! 😍🥰

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.”