New Shiny (aka HUNTED) Snippet!

This morning, I sent my latest book to my editor! By the end, New Shiny wasn’t exactly an accurate description anymore (more like Die, Book, Die STAB STAB STAB), but now it’s done and sent off! 🎉

I did the world’s fastest reread and edit, since I wrote until Christmas, but I have to say—I love this book. Writing it was really difficult, what with 2020 being *waves hands,* but I think it turned out pretty good! And Mr. M said it was his favorite book so far (replacing Aurora Blazing, lest you think every book is his favorite, lol).

Before I get to the promised snippet, I have more good news: both Chaos Reigning and The Queen’s Triumph are in the semi-final round of the inaugural Swoon Awards!

As you can see from the tweet above, the SFR category is rife with fantastic books, but thankfully, in this round you can vote for up to five books! If you feel so inclined, I would love for you to vote for mine. :)

And now, the snippet. The usual disclaimer applies: rough draft, subject to change, etc, etc. If you haven’t read any of the other snippets, then you might want to do that first just to get a little context.

The proximity chime cut off whatever Eli was going to say. “Show me,” I said, moving to the nearest screen.

Torran Fletcher had arrived without so much as a message of warning. As I watched, he climbed the cargo ramp, three Valoffs in full armor behind him, each of them pushing a levcart piled with supplies.

I growled under my breath.

“Problem?” Eli asked, his earlier playful mood wiped away, leaving the hard-faced soldier.

“Our guests have decided to arrive early and make themselves at home.” I waved him off when he would’ve left his breakfast. “I will go say hello. You stay here. If they murder me, avenge my death.”

“Not funny,” he said with a scowl.

“I’m kidding.” Mostly. I looked at Anja. “You okay here?”

When she nodded, I took my leave and used the short walk from the galley to the cargo bay to compose myself. I needed to be calm and cold and professional, even if Torran’s audacity made me furious.

By the time I made it through the hatch into the cargo bay, the Valoffs had the levcarts mostly unloaded. Torran carried boxes beside his soldiers, which surprised me. I expected him to stand and point. They had neatly stacked their supplies out of the way against the starboard wall. I considered making them move everything just for the hell of it, but such pettiness was beneath me.

Torran turned at my approach and inclined his head. “Captain.”

“General. Your comm must have failed to deliver the message that you planned to arrive early and board my ship without permission.”

His eyes narrowed. “We had an agreement.”

“The agreement doesn’t override common curtesy. Would you board a Valovian ship without informing the captain?”

“I apologize,” he said stiffly. “I should have warned you that I would arrive early to give my crew time to make another trip back to our ship. I was going to wait outside with the cargo, but with the ramp down, I thought you expected me.” He looked like the words tasted foul, but I didn’t detect any deceit.

The three soldiers with him finished unloading the levcarts and waited, unmoving. It was creepy as fuck because I couldn’t see their faces. I made an instant decision. “Ship dress code is civilian clothes. If your soldiers don’t have any, have them pick some up.”

Torran straightened, trying to use his height to intimidate me. “They are comfortable in armor.”

The top of my head might only come up to his nose, but I was hard to intimidate. “Good for them. They’ll also be comfortable in civilian clothes. My ship, my rules.”

His mouth firmed into a flat line. When I didn’t budge, he nodded once, sharply. The three soldiers behind him moved at the same time, pushing the carts out of the cargo bay and down the ramp without a word.

“They will return with the rest of the gear and appropriate clothing. It will take them approximately thirty minutes.”

I desperately wanted to leave him standing in the cargo bay for the next half an hour, but he had agreed on the armor. I could also be civil. “Would you like to see your quarters while you wait?”

He stared at me for long enough that I thought he wasn’t going to respond, but finally he inclined his head in agreement. I waved for him to follow. It made me itch to have him at my back, but it was better to find out now if he was going to gut me where I stood.

Snippet copyright Jessie Mihalik, all rights reserved. Coming early 2022 from Harper Voyager.

23 thoughts on “New Shiny (aka HUNTED) Snippet!”

  1. Happy New Year! And lovely New Shiny for us, congratulations for the book and thank you for the snippet! Hoped you got to take some time off after the manuscript was done but then again if its now sent to your editor you can hopefully relax a little. And we can begin the countdown til release day because it might truly be a candidate for favourite book (which so far is Aurora Blazing even though the others are close).
    Thanks for pointing out the Swoonies, I would have missed the chance to vote otherwise.

  2. oooh Shiny [Happy People ….Throw your love around]

    Thank you for new Shiny and your timing is fabulous- the UK is just going into lock down (Mark III I think??) and I’m trying to work out how to induct or delay a new member of staff.

    Please let me escape and go and annoy the General…..

    Congrats on the swoon semis too- much deserved.

  3. I was grinning all the way down to the bottom where it said “coming early 2022”. But that’s so far awaaaaaaaaaay 😄 Thanks for sharing and congrats on finishing! Do you have to jump right into Newer Shiny, or do you get a breather?

  4. OMG! Did you really post a tantalizing glimpse of a book we wont get to read for OVER A YEAR??? Congratulations on getting it out the door! I just re-read all 6 of your books a couple of weeks ago. I really like them all and would have a hard time picking a favorite book. My favorite character however, is definitely Bianca. Maybe because she’s a bit more broken than the others which makes her seem that much stronger. Love your books! Thanks for writing them!

    1. The Rogue Queen series is done for now, at least for Samara and Valentin. I’m not committing to anything else in 2021 because last year was rough, writing-wise, but I am *hoping* to do something self-pub. We’ll see how it goes.

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