Updated… Meet My Character – Carlie…

May 24, 2016 at 4:46 pm (Interesting stories, Into the Mists, News and updates) (, , , , , )

ITM_Trilogy_LRWhat 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…

How does she develop over the time of the Trilogy?

She faces loss, and love, and more loss, and new friendship, and hope… She learns a lot from her wise priestess grandmother – but she does grow a lot from when we first meet her to the events at the end of the Trilogy, and she ends up teaching Rose a thing or two too…

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

Into the Mists, Into the Dark, Into the Light and the brand new Into the Mists Trilogy Hardcover Omnibus, are published by Blessed Bee Books, and available in print and ebook formats. You can order them through Amazon, your local bookstore or my store, where you can read more about them too. I am currently working on two Into the Mists Chronicles…

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May news…

May 18, 2016 at 5:06 pm (Events, Magic, News and updates, Publishing) (, , , )

squeee1NEW RELEASES

Exciting times! Last week the first copy of the Into the Mists Trilogy Hardcover Omnibus arrived, and it’s sooo beautiful 🙂 And thick, and heavy 🙂 But I love it!

I have an exclusive preorder offer for it running at the moment, which includes a free copy of  Into the Mists: A Journal or A Magical Journey: Your Diary of Inspiration, Adventure and Transformation. Check it out here – Trilogy Preorder. It’s for Australian shipping only though, as it would cost $65-$70 to post the Trilogy internationally 😦 But it will be available internationally very soon, through Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc, so I’ll keep you posted…

_launchONLINE LAUNCH

I’ll be sending the Into the Mists Trilogy Hardcover Omnibus and Into the Mists: A Journal out into the world with an online launch on May 27. Because for the third year in a row, Janna Chronicles and I, Morgana author Felicity Pulman and I have new books coming out at the same time, so we’re having another shared launch party. Chat with us and other book lovers, win cool prizes and join in the fun at Serene and Felicity’s Book Launch.

SeeMEatMBS_600pxX600pxEVENTS

I’ll also be at the Sydney Mind Body Spirit Festival from May 26-29, launching Into the Mists: A Journal and the Hardcover Trilogy Omnibus. You can register for a free ticket here – Free MBS Ticket – and there are loads of great free workshops and seminars, including ones from Lucy Cavendish and Cheralyn Darcey, and heaps of exhibitors…

And in June, magical writer and artist Selina Fenech and I will be doing Sydney Supanova together again (June 17-19), which will be awesome fun – I’ve already started work on my outfits 🙂 And I’ll be doing Perth Supanova for the first time the following week. (Eek! But yay!)

WRITING

June is also when I’ll be getting back to finishing the first Into the Mists Chronicle, which makes me happy! In April I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo again (yes, possibly a little crazy), and wrote another 32,000 words of Rhiannon’s tale. Added to last year’s Camp NaNo effort, her story is definitely weaving itself together and emerging from the mists, and I’m hoping to have release date news on that soon…

Have a magical month! Sxx

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Magical Mermaids, Fabulous Faeries and Wonderful Witches…

January 9, 2016 at 2:04 pm (News and updates, Publishing, Specials) (, , , )

Lucy and I have been chatting, and decided new year, new specials 🙂 So we’ve cut the prices of our Faery Magic, Mermaid Magic and Witchy Magic ebooks on Amazon…

We’ve also added a new option on the “real” books – if you buy the paperback from Amazon, you’ll receive the ebook free, through their Matchbook plan… And it seems that it’s a retrospective thing, so if you bought them a while ago, the ebook should be in your account…

Kindle_Covers_WitchyMagicBuy the Witchy Magic paperback, and receive the Witchy Magic Kindle ebook free…

Buy the Mermaid Magic paperback, and receive the Mermaid Magic Kindle ebook free…

Buy the Faery Magic paperback, and receive the Faery Magic Kindle ebook free…

 

kindle_matchbook

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Countdown to Christmas Special…

December 17, 2015 at 11:50 am (News and updates) (, , , , )

sacred_magic_seriesBuy one, get one free…

I thought I’d offer a little special to get in the festive spirit 🙂

Buy a copy of Mermaid Magic or Witchy Magic from my Etsy store, and receive a free copy of Faery Magic.

Buy a copy of Seven Sacred Sites from my Etsy store and receive a free copy of A Magical Journey…

http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlessedBeeBooks

Expires 31/12/15, order by 20/12/15 for pre-Christmas delivery within Australia…

 

 

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Happy Day 5 of NaNoWriMo!

November 5, 2015 at 1:00 am (NaNoWriMo, News and updates, Writing) (, , , )

nanoI can’t believe it’s already day 5 of NaNoWriMo*!

Four days of writing done, and 7333 words committed to paper, which means I have 665 words up my sleeve for one of those days that is more of a struggle 🙂 It fascinates me, how some days are easier – well, less difficult might be more accurate – than others, and it’s rarely the days I expect. On Monday I was at my day job at the magazines for 10.5 hours straight, but I still managed to write 2085 words – on the bus to and from work, in a few moments snatched as I waited for a meeting to start, while I quickly ate my lunch at my desk and typed a few words in, and then in a sprint after dinner that ended at midnight (the curfew I’m trying to impose so I can function the next day). Then on Tuesday, one of my days to work at home, I only managed 1333. Granted I went to a movie screening (He Named Me Malala, which was hearthbreaking, inspiring, devastatingly sad and wonderful all at once), walked 20,000 steps on top of my Body Pump workout, and spent the afternoon with a friend, but it seems I am often more productive the busier I am, and more easily distracted the more time I have…

I have stopped panicking quite so much though – this year NaNoWriMo started on a Sunday, and while I planned (hoped?) to get my words written early so I had the rest of the day free to hang out with my hubby, the bulk of them were written between 10pm and midnight, so I may as well have just given myself a break and enjoyed the day, knowing I would hit my minimum word count before bed… I guess it’s all just a learning process, about what works for you, when you’re most productive and how you react to deadlines.

I will also admit, as a life-long panster (the opposite of a planner and a plotter, as in writing by the seat of your pants, without an outline), that when I opened a blank document on Sunday, I panicked. There was a moment of fear, of what-the-hell-have-I-gotten-myself-into, of what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-write? But as my patient and long-suffering hubby pointed out, I think that with every book. (Along with this-is-so-boring, this-is-so-sh*t, who-would-want-to-read-this, I-can’t-write-to-save-myself etc etc etc)… Eventually I just took a deep breath and started to write. And write.

Not all of the words I wrote that day, or any of these thirty days, will end up in the finished book. While the published version of Into the Mists was pretty similar to my original draft, the next two were not – I wrote quite a few chapters that were cut altogether, especially with Into the Dark, killed off one character before he was even introduced, and changed one storyline all together. But none of that could have happened if I hadn’t written at least 50,000 words each November. After all, you can always edit a bad page, but you can’t edit a blank one, and you can always rewrite and add chapters and change the entire structure of an existing manuscript, but you need something to start with…

On which note, I’d better start writing for day five!

* National Novel Writing Month – the writing challenge that sets a target of 50,000 words of a novel written in thirty days. It’s how I wrote the first drafts of Into the Mists, Into the Dark and Into the Light – and how I will write at least two Into the Mists Chronicles – the tough deadline seems to work for me…

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Book Expo…

October 3, 2015 at 2:51 pm (News and updates, Publishing) (, , , , , )

day1_aselina

Last year’s Book Expo with lovely and super-talented artist and writer Selina Fenech…

It’s almost time for the last festival of the year!

Book Expo is a dedicated event for readers to engage with authors and publishers. It includes workshops and talks by writers, illustrators, publishers and more, more than a hundred exhibitors (including myself and awesome artist Selina Fenech), author meet and greets and events, three performance areas (including an illustrator skills one and a children’s authors interactive one), chances to win free books, interactive crime and mystery scenes to solve and much more. Book Expo is also hosting the Bloggers Conference, Getting Published Conference and PitchFest Australia…

day1_stand2 copyLast year’s Book Expo was lots of fun, with so much for people to do, and I got to chat with some lovely readers, bloggers and writer friends too (it’s such a solitary, hermity life, that it’s nice to occasionally get out and chat in person). And it will be very cool to have book three of the Into the Mists Trilogy this time around – I was just looking at last year’s photo, and it seems strange now that there were only the first two 🙂

day2_chez_sel copy

With gorgeous artists Selina Fenech and Cheralyn Darcey…

Book Expo is on October 17 and 18, at Homebush in Sydney. And I have fifty free tickets to give away, so email me at BlessedBeeBooks@yahoo.com.au or comment below and I’ll give you the code…

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A beautiful review – Into the Dark

February 8, 2015 at 3:51 pm (Book reviews, News and updates, With thanks) (, , )

cover_low-resInto the Dark

Serene Conneeley is an Australian author who has captivated many readers with the first two books of her current ‘Into the Mists’ trilogy series. Work on the third and final book will commence in November and be available for release in 2015.

From inSpirit magazine.

Put the kettle on and be ready for a sleepless night or two as the second book of this trilogy is hard to put down.

Carlie travels further into her world of self-discovery and magic as she continues to come to terms with her grief and remapping her future. She is coming to realise she has found her spiritual home as she deepens her connections with her grandmother, her community and a newfound friendship continues to blossom as Carlie and her friend Rhiannon commit to exploring their magical paths together.

cover_2014_11These relationships are challenged however, when Carlie finds herself drawn to love of a different kind – a love she is not ready to share and must keep secret. Frighteningly, a love that parallels echoes of the past, these same echoes that have ultimately defined her grief, present and future. A love that has Carlie making the most difficult choices of her life so far.

The choices that Carlie makes bring forth many twists and turns, more revelations about a past secret that so indelibly defines her life in the present, and a dramatic conclusion that has past and present colliding, leaving the reader reeling with shock, disbelief and wanting so much more.

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Into the Mists book club reviews…

September 30, 2014 at 12:49 pm (Book reviews, News and updates, Publishing) (, , )

Cover_Mists_smallI was so touched to discover that a book club was reading Into the Mists, and blown away when they sent me their beautiful reviews with their orders for Into the Dark… xx
Natasha: We just loved the book as a group, and the general feeling was that it was such a lovely story and it also inspired our love of the sacred arts by reawakening it all. Thank you.
Catherine: Dear Serene, I really enjoyed reading “Into the Mists”. The language that you used in the book made both the story and the larger concepts accessible for the young teenage bracket. It really was wonderful to see a book that looks at the craft as a day to day way of living rather something that is relegated to ritual alone. As an adult well out of my teens it reminded me just how important it is to live life consciously and with awareness. This is definitely a message that I want to pass down to my children.
Your description of a Book of Shadows and its use is one of the best I have come across and truly demystifies the process for those starting out, and for those a little further along the path it is a reminder of the importance of recording the journey so that the same mistakes aren’t made again and so that future generations can benefit from the knowledge and mistakes contained within its pages.
In terms of how you treated the subject of grief, I felt it was handled with delicacy and understanding. I look forward to finding out more as to how the Blue Lady and the tower on the hill factor into the unfolding story.
This is a book that I will be handing to my Daughter in a couple of years time as its introduction to the craft is gentle and not too confronting.
The most important message I took away from this book was that the craft is something we live every day. It is living and breathing and as individual as a fingerprint, while at the same time being about community and belonging.  It was lovely to see it portrayed outside the typical “coven” stereotype.
Thank you for writing this book. I hope it is another step closer to breaking down some of the fear people have about the Craft due to their lack of understanding. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series as you write them and watching your skills as a writer continue to grow. Blessed be.
Christine: I thought it was fun and light and depicted a story line i am sure i have lived before… I connected most to the Grandmothers journey. Looking forward to the next book we read from Serene…..Thank you.
Jodie: I thoroughly enjoyed reading Into The Mist, it reignited the witchy part of myself that had been lying dormant for a few years! The storyline kept my attention and I became emotionally invested in the characters. It was a clear, easy read – simultaneously perfect for teenagers who are taking their first steps into the world of magic as well as more…. mature women such as myself (hahaha!) who have this knowledge but have let it slide a little under the demands and pressures of “real life” (whatever THAT is!). Thank you Serene, for reminding me of who my true, authentic self really is! I look forward to reading the next part of the trilogy!

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Into the Dark – First Reviews

July 17, 2014 at 8:35 pm (Book reviews, News and updates, Publishing) (, , )

cover_low-resThe first few reviews of Into the Dark have been published on Amazon, and I’m so happy that people are loving it… You can see them – or add your own – here… Thank you so much to those who have taken the time to post a review…

5 out of 5 stars A Heartfelt Wondrous Journey into the Dark
Into the Dark is an amazing sequel to Into the Mists. I loved following the journey of Carlie into the dark where I was left to wonder, question and feel her experiences alongside her. The use of various forms of writing such as the beautiful selection of quotes, diary entries and letters added interest and immersion into the story. The charachters were relatable warm and lovable yet unique. The use of factual information about the spiritual path of paganism and magick also makes it an inspiring and valuable source for people who are wanting to learn more about this path. Both Into the Mists and Into the Dark are my favourite novels which have touched my life in ways I cant explain. An amazing story for people of all ages which shows no matter how dark life can get there is still purpose and magick to be found through love.

* * * * *
Into the Dark continues Carlie’s journey towards an understanding of her own heart, a journey that takes her on from the heart-breaking accident in Australia that killed her parents and brought her into the care of her grandmother, Rose, which formed the basis of Serene Conneeley’s first novel for YA, Into the Mists. In Into the Dark, Carlie explores her growing love for her new life and the new people who have come into it, as well as her fascination with magic and ancient folk lore as she draws on the wisdom of her grandmother and also the support of her new friend, Rhiannon. A shaman, Rowan, comes into Carlie’s life, and the spark between them ignites into a love that Carlie is not sure she can trust. As their love deepens, so dark secrets come to light, not least the secret that drove Carlie’s mother from her home so long ago. Should Carlie follow her heart, or listen to Rhiannon’s warning, based on a psychic’s reading of the future? While much darker in content than the previous novel, Into the Dark also portrays the sweetness of love, and the power and fascination of the magical that is so often unacknowledged in our world. As always, the author’s notes at the end are both explanatory and interesting. This is a compelling novel that haunted my dreams while I was reading it!
* * * * *
5 out of 5 stars I adored this book! 
I adored Into the Dark. This is the second book in the series and it certainly doesn’t disappoint! Just like when I read Into the Mist, I was up into the wee hours again, unable to stop reading until I’d made it to the very last page. It was magical to go back into Carly’s world again and to join her once more on her spiritual journey of healing and renewal. This time we witness Carly fall in love and experience all the highs and lows, the uncertainty and fatefulness, of new love. It is beautifully written and a book I will treasure and recommend to all of my friends. LOVED IT!

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Into the Dark and I, Morgana book launch – tonight!

June 27, 2014 at 7:14 pm (News and updates, Publishing) (, , , , , )

ImageTonight I’ll be joining forces with wonderful Aussie author Felicity Pulman for an online launch of our new books – my sequel to Into the Mists, called Into the Dark, and Felicity’s beautiful I, Morgana.

There will be lots of wonderful prizes, lots of chatting, about books, Avalon, characters, mysteries, Arthurian times, art, and no doubt lots more, and lots of laughter… Can’t wait!

If you’d like to join us, the celebrations will kick off at 6.30pm Sydney Australia time tonight, but we’ll be popping in over the weekend too to continue the conversations. Join us at the I, Morgana and Into the Dark book launch

 

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