A beautiful review of Seven Sacred Sites…

January 23, 2015 at 1:31 am (Book reviews, Magical Places, Sacred Sites, Wheel of the Year) (, , )

So touched by a lovely review for Seven Sacred Sites: Magical Journeys That Will Change Your Life in inSpirit magazine.

Cover_SevenSacredSitesSerene Conneeley’s book Seven Sacred Sites is a powerhouse of memories, ancient knowledge and wisdom, and will take you on a personal journey of discovery.
As you turn through each page in this magical book, Serene paints the landscape as only she can; her pen is the artist’s paintbrush and her words are the scholars of ancient times’ teaching.

As you take a journey around the world exploring Machu Picchu in Peru, monuments of ancient Egypt, Stonehenge, The Camino in Northern Spain, Hawaii, Avalon in England and Uluru in Australia, your soul will refuel itself and leave you wanting to journey there in person. Each site you visit imparts its wisdom, ancient knowledge and traditions upon you. I found myself being drawn back in time, back to truth and beauty when I read this book. From the moment I picked it up my travel plans for the future expanded as I yearned to step foot on the sacred ground.

inSpirit-Healing-Cover-231x300If you are travelling to any of these areas this book is a must, but even if not, this book is perfect for anyone wishing to gain the understanding of forgotten culture and traditions. The history included in the book gives credit to Serene’s meticulous attention to detail, and allows the reader to immerse themselves fully.

Beautiful seems too simple a word to describe this book, yet it describes perfectly all that Serene captures and conveys to the reader as they journey with their mind, body and soul to seven Sacred Sites.

You can read more about Seven Sacred SItes: Magical Journeys That Will Change Your Life at SereneConneeley.com.

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Meet My Character: Book Blog Tour

January 17, 2015 at 11:42 pm (Book reviews, Magic, Publishing, Serene's articles) (, , , , , , )

felicitybookAuthor Felicity Pulman invited me to take part in the Meet My Character Book Tour Blog – you can read my post about Carlie from Into the Mists further down the page, and enter a competition to win a copy of the book at the bottom… My friendship with Felicity began when we bonded over indie publishing a few years ago, and we’ve supported each other through deadline stress and book dramas since then (along with sharing successes and some lighter moments too). I was honoured that Felicity contributed a piece to Witchy Magic, based on her beautiful Janna Mysteries series, and so happy that we could launch our new books together last year, when Felicity unveiled her gripping I, Morgana, and I released Into the Dark.

Pulman_FelicityFelicity’s I, Morgana is a beautifully written story about the legendary Morgana, and she’s also penned A Ring Through Time, The Shalott Trilogy and Ghost Boy. And next week Blood Oath, the first in her new-look medieval crime series The Janna Chronicles will be published, followed by a new book each month until June. Find out more about Felicity and her work at FelicityPulman.com.au, and read my recent interview with her here. And you can check out her Meet My Character post here.

Now it’s my turn to tag two authors – I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading about Dionne and Emma, and also checking out their blogs once they’re up!

dionne_bookI met Sydney writer Dionne Lister last year at Supanova, where we both had stands to launch our new books, and we got to chat again at Book Expo a few months later. She’s the author of the fantasy series Circle of Talia, a coming-of-age story that weaves together magic, adventure and dragons, beginning with the novel Shadows of the Realm, continuing in A Time of Darkness, and concluding with Realm of Blood and Fire.

dionne1Dionne also writes novellas, has released a collection of suspenseful short stories, and is working on her next novel, Little Dove, the first in a new fantasy series. Plus she’s studying for an Associate Degree in Creative Writing, runs the Booktastik website, and co-hosts the Tweep Nation podcast – so I guess I should stop complaining about how busy I am 🙂 To find out more about Dionne and her books, visit her at www.dionnelisterwriter.wordpress.com.

Emma_book_blindsightedI met Emma Hibbs at the online book launch of Into the Mists (which I shared with Selina Fenech, who was launching Hope’s Reign, the second book in her Memory’s Wake Trilogy), where we chatted about faeries and nature and archery and Merida from Brave. We’ve kept in touch since – one of the joys of Facebook is connecting with wonderful people from around the globe – but as Emma lives in north-west England, we haven’t met in the “real” world yet 🙂

EmmaHibbsWriting as EC Hibbs, she is the author of the YA fantasy novel Blindsighted Wanderer and the paranormal romance/thriller Tragic Silence – and she’s already completed books two and three of the latter, and begun a new series. Emma is also a talented artist, which you can check out at her Elphame Arts website, where she does portraits as well as designing gorgeous book covers. Find out more about her at echibbs.weebly.com.

* * * * * * * * * *

Cover_Mists_smallNow to my book character!

What is her name? 

Carlie (named for the goddess Kali) Parker. She’s the main character in Into the Mists and its sequels Into the Dark and Into the Light, and the story is told from her point of view…

Is she a fictional/historical character?

She’s fictional, although many of the rituals she takes part in are based on my experiences, her questioning and scepticism around magic and spirituality echo mine, and she drinks her tea the same way I do, so I guess there is a little of me in her – or her in me… I’m not sure which way that goes 🙂

When and where is the story set?

Carlie is from Sydney Australia, and there are flashbacks to her life there, but most of the story is set in Summer Hill, a small village in south-west England, shrouded in the magical mists that are a character themselves in these books. It’s set in modern times, although I avoided the whole Facebook/iPhone aspects of today, in favour of Carlie being able to connect with the magic of nature and the landscape around her. Summer Hill is a fictional place, but it could perhaps be a parallel universe that sits atop the town of Glastonbury – a different kind of Avalon…

What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?

When we meet Carlie she is seventeen, and on a plane to the other side of the world. Her parents have just been killed in a car accident, and she’s being sent to live with a grandmother she didn’t know existed. She’s devastated, obviously, and angry, and already hates her new guardian – her mum had left England as a teenager, and always told her that her grandmother was dead, so she believes that this woman must be a monster, to have driven her daughter to flee to Australia and break all contact with her.

What should we know about Carlie?

She’s full of grief and loss, which has also made her angry and bitter, and she’s drowning in self-loathing and guilt. She’s angry at her circumstances and at the world, and cynical of anyone she meets – real or magical – that wants to help her. But her journey into the mists becomes a journey into her inner self, and she has the potential to reveal another self, one that’s smart and funny and caring and full of love, if she has the courage to let go of her teenage defiance and the walls she’s built around her.

What is the personal goal of the character?

In the beginning, she doesn’t really have any goals – she’s not even sure she wants to live. She’s so broken by loss – of her whole family as well as her best friend, her home, her school, her whole future life that she had planned out – that she wishes she had the courage to end it. But eventually the darkness recedes a little, and so her goal becomes to get through each day, to start to heal, and to make amends for her own bad behaviour. She also becomes desperate to uncover the secrets of her mother’s younger life, which have left her shattered and unsure of who she really is, and to unlock the mystery of the woman in blue and the cottage within the mists that isn’t always there…

cover_low-resWho is the publisher, and where can we read more about the book? Are there more in the series?

Into the Mists and Into the Dark are published by Blessed Bee Books, and available in print and ebook formats. You can order them through Amazon, your local bookstore or my website, where you can read more about them too. The third book in the trilogy, Into the Light, will be published in May 2015.

There are three copies of Into the Mists to be won. Just leave a comment on this blog post, then email me via my website, SereneConneeley.com, requesting a copy. The first three people to email me with their postal address will win. (*Paperback or ebook copy depending on where you live…)

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Happy New Year!

January 1, 2015 at 11:31 pm (With thanks) (, , )

Happy New Year! Wishing everyone a wonderful 2015, full of love, joy, adventure and magic. Make this the year you dare to go after your dreams! Dream big, take chances, risk everything, learn from so-called failure and push yourself out of your comfort zone, because that’s where results are made, where happiness lives, where magic exists and where dreams come true.

I don’t really do resolutions, I guess because I think every day has the potential for new beginnings in it, and I don’t wait until January 1st to decide what I want to do, or start doing it (I’m too impatient, ha ha)… But this year I will finish Into the Light, the third book in the Into the Mists Trilogy (no pressure there, gulp!), and continue working out every day – I’ve been doing it for more than two years now, and can’t see that changing. I’m excited about the new Jillian Michaels program, keen to finish Shaun T’s T25, and looking forward to Chalean Extreme and P90X3…  I’m enrolled in two courses – grief counselling and sports nutrition – which I’m looking forward to continuing, although the book deadline is my first priority. And I’m hoping life at the magazines calms down a little, although that’s probably not very realistic…

Today I’m grateful for a beautiful peaceful day at home – it was so quiet here in the morning, since I guess most people were sleeping off their New Year’s Eve celebrations.

I’m happy I worked out in the morning – a cool T25 Upper Focus weights workout that I liked so much I did it twice, and PiYo Buns, which hammered my lower body 🙂 Great combo!

I’m grateful for time with my hubby, and pots of chai tea, and e-chats with my workout buddy, and diving in to Anne Rice’s new book Prince Lestat, which I love! So cool that my favourite author of my teens and twenties is still releasing awesome books! And that I’m “letting” myself read a bit before I knuckle back down to serious writing time 🙂

Have a magical day, and a magical year! xx

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