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  • Writer's pictureMichael James

Chapter One Sneak Peak

Howdy gang,

How was everyone's holidays? Everyone holding up okay? It's been awhile since my last update and I've got a bunch of exciting stuff to tell you.

What's going on with the Hotel?

I'm almost finished book 3. I'm so close. I think I'll be done the first draft by the end of January, followed by about two months of revisions. I've booked my editing spot for April, so a summer release is looking really positive.

Because you're all so awesome, I've got a sneak peak of the draft of chapter 1. There's no guarantees this will even make it to print because I have a habit of rewriting my first chapters over and over, but it's a fun little moment. Scroll down to check it out.

Do you have any other exciting publishing news?

I've had a few pieces published since November I can't wait to tell you about!

First off, I had a short story published called Habits by the brilliant and generous people at Reservoir Road Literary Review. It's quite different than my usual stuff and I'm so glad it found a home at such a great venue. Please check it out if you get a moment

Second, I had another short story published, called Minimum Sage by Sci Fi Lampoon Magazine. This one is more my style that you're all used to, it's about a poor guy working a call center during the zombie apocalypses. It's a really fun story.

Okay this is all great, but gimme that chapter 1 preview you promised

I can't emphasize enough how draft this is. This is not at all a finished product, so read on with some generosity for any spelling or grammar mistakes :). Here we go:


Vain leaned over Trick’s unmoving body, her hands pressed over his heart. In her head she counted off the seconds and kept forgetting if it was one Missouri or one Minneapolis. Regardless, she pushed down on his chest with each count, hoping she was doing it right.

New York at five in the afternoon had an urgency to it, a pace that kept people’s feet moving and eyes downward, but the sight of a small, scared woman inexpertly applying chest compressions in the center of the sidewalk caused a few people to stop.

“Holy shit, is he okay?” A young man with long sandy brown hair knelt beside them.

“I can’t remember the city name,” Vain allowed a touch of misery to trickle into her voice, and she gave Trick’s chest another push. “Is it Montana? Why do so many places here start with m?”

“You’re in New York,” the man said.

Vain leaned forward and put her lips on Trick’s. She softly blew air into his mouth, hoping she wasn’t hurting him.

A voice in the gathering crowd said, “Someone call an ambulance.”

“Do not call an ambulance,” Vain said. About a dozen people had gathered, a few crouched over to help. Everything was flannel. “Just give us a bunch of money. I know CPM so he’ll be okay.”

“Don’t you mean CPR?” The man said.

“No, it’s Chest Press Movement, not whatever you said. I’m right.”

A woman with shoulder pads in her suit looked around and said, “Is anyone a doctor? This man needs help.”

“We don’t need help,” Vain corrected. “We need money and maybe a car if you have a spare one.”

“I’m a doctor.” A man pushed his way through the crowd and Vain groaned. This was not working, but she wasn’t sure why. Her plan was flawless. Do fake CPM on Trick, get the crowd to feel sorry for her, get some money, boom. It made zero sense why this wasn’t working.

The doctor knelt beside Trick and picked up his wrist. Vain shoved him.

“Settle down Patch Adams.”


“Oh right. That movie hasn’t come out yet. Would Doogie Howser be a better reference?”

Trick chose that moment to sit up, startling the doctor, the crowd of shoulder-padded-slash-flannelled onlookers, and to a lesser extent, Vain.

“I’m okay.” He waved everyone off and theatrically coughed into his hand. “Must have been just a case of indigestion. I’m fine. Thanks everyone. I’m good.”

“Feel free to still give us some money.” Vain felt she could get in one more shot at her plan, but the crowd had begun to disperse and make their way back down the busy streets. With some final, irritated glares, they were soon by themselves on the sidewalk.


Oh, Vain. Will your plans ever work? Anyway gang, you can find out what else happens in the Hotel, hopefully in the summer.

Do you have any other updates? Whatcha been reading?

Thanks for asking! I've got a few book recommendations to leave you with

Oh wow, did I ever love this book. The writing is spectacular and it's one of those great stories where when you finish, you just want to go read it all over again from the start.

Sad and funny and disturbing, this is one everybody should check out.

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo but with time travelling. It's tough to go wrong with that combination.

Oh hey, did I mention that for this week only, my book is on sale for $0.99 cents?

What a great time to pick up a copy or buy a copy for a loved one that enjoys hilarious books about Hotels and women hitting duplicate psychopaths with crowbars?

That's it for me, gang. As always, thanks for reading, and please connect with me on Twitter @MikeJamesAuthor.

Talk soon!

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1 Comment

Roberta R.
Roberta R.
Jan 24, 2022

"buy a copy for a loved one that enjoys hilarious books about Hotels and women hitting duplicate psychopaths with crowbars?"


I hope the sneak peek makes it to the definitive version...somehow!

Roberta (Offbeat YA)

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