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.”

Continue reading “Chaos Reigning Copyedits and a Snippet!”

Aurora Blazing Cover Reveal and Snippet!

The cover for Aurora Blazing is here, and I love it so, so much! Behold:

Aurora Blazing Cover

The back cover copy:

To save her brother and protect her family’s future, a powerful princess must join forces with a dashing man from her past in this thrilling space adventure, the second novel in the Consortium Rebellion trilogy.

As the dutiful daughter of High House von Hasenberg, Bianca set aside her personal feelings and agreed to a political match arranged by her family, only to end up trapped in a loveless, miserable marriage. When her husband unexpectedly dies, Bianca vows never to wed again. Newly independent, she secretly uses her wealth and influence to save other women stuck in dire circumstances. Information is power and Bianca has a network of allies and spies that would be the envy of the ’verse—if anyone knew about it.

When her family’s House is mysteriously attacked, Bianca’s oldest brother, the heir to House von Hasenberg, disappears. Fearful for her brother’s life, the headstrong Bianca defies her father and leaves Earth to save him. Ian Bishop, the director of House von Hasenberg security—and Bianca’s first love—is ordered to find and retrieve the rebellious woman.

Ian is the last man Bianca wants to see. To evade capture, she leads him on a merry chase across the universe. But when their paths finally collide, she knows she must persuade him to help her. Bianca will do anything to save her sibling, even if it means spending time alone on a small ship with the handsome, infuriating man who once broke her heart.

As the search takes them deep into rival House Rockhurst territory, Bianca must decide if she can trust Ian with the one piece of information that could destroy her completely . . .

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


I’m currently working on AB edits. Luckily, my editor liked it overall (woohoo!), so there were only some minor-ish changes needed, mostly around deepening the backstory. Ada was my first love, but after rereading large chunks of AB, I love Bianca just as much. I can’t wait for you to meet her!

Here’s a little snippet for you. This book is far more of a slow burn than PR, so this happens a little later in the book, but it’s spoiler-free. :) This is still rough draft, subject to change, etc, etc. Happy reading!


My alarm tried to drag me from sleep but I fought the pull. I’d slept hard, but I could use another hour or two. The heavy drapes were closed, leaving the room dim. Putting my com on the dresser had seemed like a good idea at the time, but it meant that now I had to drag myself from bed to turn off the cursed beeping.

Continue reading “Aurora Blazing Cover Reveal and Snippet!”

Polaris Rising Chapter 3

I hadn’t planned to put up chapter three because the whole chapter was just over what I was contractually allowed to share, and I didn’t want to leave you hanging in the middle of a scene.

But HarperCollins shared it on their page (thanks to Ness on Twitter for the heads-up), so I asked permission to share it here, and my editor was kind enough to give me the go-ahead!

Head over to my Polaris Rising page to read the first THREE chapters (click READ MORE). Then don’t forget to preorder because we’re just one week away from release!! Cue the panic flail. 😂

Handy preorder links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | BookPeople – Signed!