And now it’s out - the last book in the Stonewylde series!  Many readers have galloped through it, desperate to find out what happens in the final instalment, and are now re-reading at a slower pace. Others are still re- reading the entire series and have Book 5 lined up ready and waiting.  And others are reading it slowly, not wishing to reach the end ... Book launch - back to my roots The book launch in Dorchester Waterstones was wonderful.  I’ve been appointed a new PR person and she’s worked diligently, resulting in a lovely feature in the Dorset Evening Echo (thank you, Ruth Meech!) and a great interview with Katie Martin on BBC Radio Solent.  Thanks to this advance publicity, the launch was very well attended and many copies of Shaman of Stonewylde were signed and sold.  We’d brought along ceremony cakes, badges and bookmarks, and there was a great atmosphere in store.  Many thanks to all who came along to make it a special event, and to the lovely staff of the Dorchester branch who worked so hard on the day - Max, Darwin and Emma. Faerie dust in Glastonbury Last weekend saw the next big event - the signing at the Cat and Cauldron shop in Glastonbury.  Again, many people turned up to get their copies of the book and it was a sell-out! I felt so bad seeing the disappointed faces of people turned away when the books had run out. Thanks to Trevor and Liz for hosting the event, and to all the excited readers who turned up.  There was an impromptu get-together of many Stonewylders afterwards in the George and Pilgrim Inn, and it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces.  That evening was the Avalon Faerie Ball, and Mr B and I had a good time dancing to The Dolmen.  More to come Between now and Yule I have several other book signing events, all in branches of Waterstones.  Please see the Diary section below, and do come along to buy signed copies of not only Shaman, but the other books too. They make great presents for Yule, and we’re giving away badges and bookmarks at each event.  It’s always lovely to see a friendly face so please come along and say hello. Puppy love Last festival there was a competition to name my lovely Golden Doodle puppy.  The winner was Joc Mannerings from Dorset, who had the brainwave of calling him Drax.  This is the name of the country estate in ‘Dorset with the long wall (and five-legged stag) which first gave me the idea of Stonewylde many, many years ago.  As soon as I heard the name Drax, I knew it was the perfect one. Many thanks to all those who entered the competition - there were some really great suggestions.  Drax is now eleven weeks old and is enormous! He goes for his very first walk this Samhain and I’m so looking forward to it. He’s adorable but exhausting, into everything and unfortunately he loves digging.  The cats and chickens are not impressed - but all the family love him. West Dean I spent a lovely time this month at West Dean College in West Sussex as the guest of Greg Mosse.  He’d invited me to come and meet his students - all working towards their MA in Creative Writing.  I had an interesting morning talking of Stonewylde and discussing characters and plot with Greg and the students, followed by lunch.  I think I learned as much from the experience as they did! Just call him Harold! Mr B has been working hard to add new items to the Stonewylde shop, and there will be more available before Yule.  The ever popular Stonewylde Wheel of the Year cards are now available again in different sized packs - perfect to be sent out at Yule as something a little different to the usual reindeer and snowmen.  And you can add glitter for a very sparkly festive touch!  Wild Roses’ stunning silver jewellery makes a beautiful gift - she offers not only the Stonewlde S ear-rings and pendants and the festival symbols, but also has a new range of Ogham leaves in silver.  We’ll soon be selling a new selection of Stonewylde bags and other items from talented Stonewylde readers; I’ll send you a quick reminder when all this is available some time in November. Thanks to you! It really is thanks to all you lovely readers that Stonewylde has grown into such a big thing.  If you hadn’t loved the books, told your friends, posted reviews and generally spread the word, I’d never have published anything beyond the first book.  But now, the entire story is out there and I really am extremely grateful to everyone reading this now - yes YOU! - for your loyalty and support.  It’s been a wonderful journey and I’ve made so many friends.  Our online community grows daily and we have many get- togethers.  Do join us and see what it’s all about - you’ll find a huge diversity of people, all of whom share a love of nature, but with many other interests. Reviews and blogs I really appreciate it when readers take the time to post an online review about Stonewylde - on Amazon, Goodreads and all the other platforms.  And reviews on individual blogs are great too - thank you, folks! I wish you all a beautiful Samhain - one of my favourite festivals. Bright blessings to you all and thank you again -      xxxx Breaking Stonewylde news Stonewylde in the USA The Stonewylde series is being published in the USA during October, November and December.  Please tell your friends across the water! Wouldn’t it be amazing if Stonewylde really took off in the USA?       Stonewylde Newsletter 46 October 31st 2012 Bright blessings at    to all Stonewylders  The final page is turned ... Today is Hallowe’en, one of my favourite festivals.  The Celts called it Samhain meaning ‘summer’s end’, and it spanned a few days and nights from the end of October into early November. You can feel the difference now in the UK; the days are noticeably shorter, the weather more chill, the leaves are falling and it’s very clear that winter’s on the doorstep.  To our ancestors, Samhain marked a significant point in the turning wheel of the year. When life depends on good husbandry and the harvest, the onset of winter heralds a major change.  The cattle and sheep are brought closer, down from the summer pastures and grazing and into the safety of the enclosures.  Many would be slaughtered before fodder became scarce, and preserved for the lean months ahead.  The full moon in October is known as the Hunter’s Moon, but also Blood Moon, for this was the month of large scale slaughter of livestock. As with many borders – the threshold of a cottage, the shore of a lake, the point where two tracks meet – this time between summer and winter was seen as magical.  Liminal, transitional places were powerful; ordinary rules could be bent and the shift between dream and reality, darkness and light, was more blurred.  As we enter the darkness of winter there are obvious associations with the Underworld, and this mythology was echoed in other countries too.  At Samhain, the veil between our world and the Place of the Dead was stretched very thin.  Spirits of those who’d passed on could be glimpsed and some may slip between the worlds to haunt the living. Many cultures celebrate a Festival of the Ancestors to honour their dead. Samhain was such a time, with the focus on darkness, death and the spirit world. Offerings were left out for the spirits in a liminal place – on the hearth or doorstep.  Ghost and guest have the same etymology, and often an extra place would be laid at the table.  Wicked or Visit the Stonewylde Website Dates for your diary ... Please come along and collect a bookmark and badge.  And if you own a Stonewylde T-shirt - please wear it! Waterstone’s Book-signing Events Saturday November 3rd     West Quay, Southampton, Saturday November 17th   Swindon, Wilts Saturday November 24th   The Oracle, Reading, Berks Saturday December 1st      Yeovil, Somerset Friday December 7th          Camberley, Surrey         The times for my Waterstones signings vary -         please check the website here for full details.  More events will be added - latest information and details can be found on the Stonewylde website here mischievous spirits were scared away – the custom of carving out turnips and mangel-wurzels into Jack o’ Lanterns is an old one.  The crow, the crone, the elder tree and fire – all have their place in Samhain celebrations of old.  Traditionally every fire in the community was extinguished, and each household would take new fire from the communal bonfire – bone fire – lit in a gathering place.  There’d be loud bangs and shrieks to scare away the dark spirits, and it’s clear how so many of these customs have been subsumed over the centuries, superimposed by more recent events such as Guy Fawkes Night.  Human effigies – perhaps the scarecrows from the fields – would be thrown onto the fire amidst dancing and laughter, but all tinged with fear of the dark, of the unknown, of death.  Samhain marks the end of the old year in the pagan calendar and is a time for reflection on the past and looking ahead towards the future. It was at Samhain nine years ago that I first walked a labyrinth. Stepping around the path of the ancient pattern, my scepticism faded as the magic of the moment took hold. I reached the centre and knew, in that second, that my destiny was about to veer onto a different course altogether.  Samhain – Hallowe’en – is a time of endings and new beginnings.  As winter draws in and we gather in the cave, huddling closer to the fire, the gestation period begins.  I wish you all a Happy Hallowe’en – and a spiritual Samhain.          Here is the back cover copy for the book - beware spoilers if you haven’t already read the other four books: In the final book of the series, the future of Stonewylde teeters on the cliff-edge. The Outside World clamours at the wrought iron gates, and the evil alliance within Stonewylde threatens to destroy everything.  With the new business and their relationship in tatters, Yul and Sylvie find their once-beautiful world has been desecrated by the dark forces. But Stonewylde is as old as the hills themselves, and the landscape endures. Leveret has discovered her true calling and is determined to lead the community back to the golden age of magic and prosperity. As the enchanting tale of Stonewylde draws to its end, Sylvie finally realises why she was brought here and Yul understands his true destiny.  Whilst Leveret sees exactly what lies ahead for Stonewylde … What people are saying of Shaman of Stonewylde: “I can't get it out of my head - so very powerful and so emotive. Not many books would have me in such a state at the end.” “It was a magnificent book. Well done Kit on making me cry more times at a book than I thought possible!” “Yes! I definately needed tissues...'Shaman' is an incredible read.”   “I feel like I've been on an emotional rollercoaster! So sad, so final and yet I know it was the right ending all along . . .” “Beautifully written - the best of the five. I’m a total wreck!” ******* Please follow us on Twitter - there’s a Kit Berry profile and a Stonewylde one.  We also now have a new Stonewylde page on Facebook which will have photos, giveaways and event notifications, so please help spread the word by “liking” and sharing the page.  We’ve also started to add albums of photos  of every event - do take a look.
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