It’s the season of hot beverages (here), rejoice

Little updates:

  • The Healers’ Purpose just hit 100 copies on Amazon; round numbers are neat. Several on Gumroad as well. Ironically, Gumroad sends me an email each and every time a copy of something sells, but I pay less attention to it. That doesn’t seem right. I ought to either check it more often or turn off those alerts. Maybe both. Anyway, that’s nice.
  • The new side project is in the hands of a couple of beta readers; thanks, folks, even though you can’t “hear” me here! Commissioned a cover illustration that I really love, and sent it over to my usual titles/design expert with a bunch of examples of English light-novel covers and an explanation of what the hell I’m trying to do here. Should be fun.

Recommendations / book talk:

I just, today, on my day off, finished Mindtouch by M.C.A. Hogarth. I do not remember where I first heard of this book; it may have been on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books? Maybe? It was years ago. Oh definitely, feelings-focused science fiction, uh huh, cultural worldbuilding, yep, squarely in my wheelhouse, yeah, I’ll put that on my bookmarks list to check out eventually and then never get around to it because ~that’s how we do things~

So I finally got it and read it, and this could not be more Exactly My Shit if it had been created in a lab for that express purpose.

  • (very) original
  • sincere
  • culturally focused worldbuilding [though I’m sorry, I couldn’t remember which species was which till the chart at the end, apart from the two leads and one of their friends who gets more page-time. I’m slow on the uptake with worldbuilding, it’s not the book’s fault]
  • basically about empathy? and not the “I’m better than you, because I know what you’re thinking better than you do” twisting of “empathic” you run into sometimes; actual, you know, empathy, which runs both ways and has drawbacks as well as superpowers
  • Probably just me, but I think I sense some fanfiction in its DNA – not that it’s based on a preexisting property, but that it focuses on characters’ emotions and relationships (that may not make any sense, and I mean it as a compliment in any case)

I will say that the characters in this book are effectively unflawed in a very sweet and soothing way. They have doubts and worries, but basically no flaws. None of the side characters do, either. There’s one racist professor, and honestly? He’s racist against humans because humans committed some really horrific acts in this universe. (okay, specific acts that humans have not yet committed in our universe) So while I cared about the two leads’ story, I didn’t relate to them. I’m a trash goblin with deep character flaws. But I want the best for these two cinnamon rolls.

It does not fit the “upbeat vibes only” mode of cozy, because one of the major plotlines is about the main characters volunteering in a hospital ward for terminally ill children. It is not always happy, and it’s sometimes deeply sad – but never cynical or callous. To which I say: Here’s my cup. More, please.

Having said that, one of the recurring bits of worldbuilding in this book is a hot cinnamon drink called kerrine. I had just looked up a recipe when the universe, in the form of a cooking class I was watching on YouTube, informed me of a real world alternative: haldi doodh or golden milk, which is a traditional Indian drink made of milk and turmeric, among some other things.

Honestly? I’ll probably try making kerrine eventually, because it’s starting to get cold here and I like hot drinks. But probably only after I’ve run through most of the turmeric in the house. (Which is a lot; I have a tendency to accidentally buy duplicates of spices) (We now have a chalkboard in the kitchen with a list of the spices we have two of. so it’s gotten better)

It’s the season, is what I’m saying. Bring it on.