Spring 2019: Sense and Sensibilities

IPPY on AC1 and AC2With classes completed and other university commitments slowed to a reasonable pace for the next few months, today I finally have the chance to update News From Council Dimension for the first time in 2019.

Happy New Year!

Since last we met, I’ve noticed that the only post from 2018 which continues to receive multiple daily hits is my brief article on The Rebis or Alchemical Hermaphrodite. My goal for summer 2019, therefore, is to compose a few additional posts focusing on other alchemical concepts and the ways I’ve transmuted them within The Alchemists’ Council series. If you’d like to learn about the Alchemical Tree and/or the Alchemical Child and my uses thereof, be sure to return here in July.

Alchemical-Recipe-for-a-Homunculus Click Image for Source

For now, I offer you this post: my 2019 update on bits of book news.

As of May 1, Book Three: The Amber Garden reached the end of its substantive edits. (Thank you, Jen Hale!) Next up are the copy edits, which should be completed later this summer. If all goes as planned, proofreading will occur in early fall, with ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) available by November. Official publication is scheduled for spring 2020.

Amber Beads Round

Meanwhile, over the past few weeks, the first two books in the series each received some exciting news.

Book Two won a 2019 IPPY Bronze Medal in Fantasy. The series has now been honoured with two IPPYs–the first being the 2017 Gold Medal in Fantasy for The Alchemists’ Council, Book One. Thank you once again Independent Publisher Book Awards!

IPPY Bronze 2019

The second piece of news leads me profusely to thank Apple Books. Just last week, Apple listed The Alchemists’ Council among their ten “after Game of Thrones” recommendations. Being a Game of Thrones fan myself, you cannot imagine my thrill to see the words “Warging wouldn’t be out of place in this tale of an apprentice’s mystical training” beside an image of Book One. This unexpected but much welcomed promotion resulted in The Alchemists’ Council reaching #3 on Apple Book Store’s “Top SciFi & Fantasy” list.

Apple GoT and Rating Black Frame

One week later, the promotion over and the book currently gone from Apple’s top ten lists, I remain grateful for Apple Book Store’s official review.

Apple Review Framed Complete

The anonymous reviewer’s thoughtfulness has provided me inspiration to continue my work on the series. I imagine s/he would find the complimentary (and complementary) Tweet from @Materfam smile-inducing. As an English professor and former colleague of @Materfam, I certainly did!

Frances Tweet re Apple Review

In other 2019 news, I have taken up a new hobby: the conjunction of puzzles and audiobooks. This puzzle of a pseudo-alchemical laboratory was partially completed while listening to Rosamund Pike narrate Sense and Sensibility.


The 1000-piece Ravensburger Puzzle (“Merlin’s Laboratory”) was thoroughly enjoyable . . . and almost as elaborate as Jane Austen’s sentence structure.

See you in a few months! Until then, Long live the Quintessence!

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