Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Helen Scott Taylor is in the House

It's an honor and pleasure to welcome Helen Scott Taylor to the blog today. Not only is she an amazing writer, but she's an incredible person.  Thank you Helen for coming by and I'll turn it over to you now.

I’m a real softie where animals are concerned and I love books that contain animals as characters or where pets figure in the plot. I especially love the concept of spirit animals or familiars where the animals have a spiritual or magical connection with the characters.

I have two Shih Tzu dogs and a burmilla cat, but I have to admit that my heart belongs to my cat (the bit of my heart that doesn’t belong to my husband and kids!). I indulged myself in the second book in my Magic Knot Fairies series, The Phoenix Charm, and gave my heroine a cat inspired by my own cat. My heroine Cordelia is a pisky witch and her cat Tamsy is her familiar. She rescued Tamsy, who was an abandoned kitten, and has been bonded to her ever since. She can sense Tamsy emotionally. In stressful or frightening situations, she and her cat anchor and calm each other. She doesn’t exactly take Tamsy’s advice—they don’t communicate in words—but she can sense her cat’s reactions to people and events to help her make decisions. Cordelia can also send her consciousness into her cat’s mind and see through her eyes.

I have a villain who is bonded to a dragon and can take on some of the dragon’s characteristics: he armors his torso with dragon-like scales when fighting and gains strength from the bond. He isn’t a shape shifter, but he has internalized the dragon’s aggressive nature.

The concept that our favorite animal reveals something about us often appears in myths and folk law. For me, the peculiar wisdom of animals gives a peek into a mysterious world that exists outside of our understanding. We think we know what goes on in their world, but we see everything through the lens of our human understanding and values. The rules of nature are both harsh and pure, a conflict that is elemental, but honest in its brutal demands. I find the duality of nature fascinating: the fact that to me my cat is a sweet-natured friend while to a mouse she’s a merciless killer. This conflict has an otherworldly quality that lends itself perfectly to the paranormal romance genre.

I guess taking this to its ultimate extreme is the melding of human and animal consciousness in a shape shifter, with the innate conflict of civilized man and wild animal embodied in one being.

What type of animals do you enjoy reading about? Do you like cute pets or dangerous shape-shifters?

To celebrate the release of The Phoenix Charm, I have a free fantasy romance short story on the Dorchester website called Jack’s Garden. (link

To read book excerpts or for more information on my work go to here.

I have a novella linked to my Magic Knot Fairy world called The Feast of Beauty in The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance coming out on Jan 26. This story is about the people of Lir the Irish Sea god.

The Feast of Beauty 

Kate’s grandmother’s dying wish is that she should return her pearl pendant to the tiny fishing village in Ireland where she was born. At the village’s Midsummer Feast of Beauty, the unearthly silver hair and emerald eyes of Esras, the wealthy local landowner, mesmerize Kate. But how can she trust her heart to a man who claims to be a sea fairy king?

The Phoenix Charm  


Cordelia has sworn she’ll abstain from looking into Michael’s future—particularly when the image in the gilded smoke of her divination mirror shows him half naked. Yet she can’t resist watching the sexy rascal slowly running his hand down his ribs, over his abdomen, flicking open the button on his jeans with a little flourish like a magician performing a trick.


Respectable wise woman Cordelia restrains her secret water nymph sensuality with the Celtic symbols painted on her skin. But Michael’s powerful fairy glamour leaves her breathless, off balance, struggling for control. When Gwyn ap Nudd, the Welsh King of the Underworld, steals away Michael’s infant nephew, Cordelia must work with him to save the child. But how can she trust her instincts with Michael tempting her to explore the hidden elemental depths of her nature and insisting that she believe in the power of…The Phoenix Charm.

And here's the trailer.

Vicki here. I can't wait to read both books!! I love the covers and the hero's sound to die for. :)

Leave your questions and comments for Helen and someone is going to win The Phoenix Charm. Nice!



Lynn R. said...

Having been to Cornwall, and heard Pisky stories on the spot, as it were, I can totally understand why you wrote these books. Also, having been cat-owned most of my life, I totally believe that they definitely have a spiritual connection with us.

I look forward to acquiring and reading both of the books (so far) in the Magic Knot series!



Anna Small said...

I want a pet dragon!!! (preferably one who turns into a handsome knight). Your book sounds wonderful.

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Thank you vicki for having me as a guest today. It's a pleasure to be here.

Hi Lynn, lovely to meet someone who has heard of piskies. I hope you enjoyed your trip to Cornwall. I've had many happy family holidays there over the years.


Helen Scott Taylor said...

Hi Anna, a pet dragon would be so much fun. I can imagine it getting into all types of trouble.


Anne-Marie Carroll said...

Helen, your books sound awesome. Very intriguing concepts. I can't wait to read them. Whaaa!! I'e never been to Cornwall, but hope some day to go. Anna, I'll fight you over the pet dragon. :)

Vicki said...

Helen - it's so wonderful to have you here today!! You already know I'm a huge fan of your writing. I love your characters and the world building is awesome. From the first page I'm there.

Science Guy and I have a Shih Tzu named Meisha and a Chihuahua named Sassy. I love my babies! Although Meisha becomes the guard dog once I go to bed (she watches over me while I sleep), it’s Sassy who is in tune with everything else. Which is saying something since we’re pretty sure she is partly deaf.

There are times she’ll sit up for no particular reason and go to an area of the house (this happened more in our old house), and bark at nothing or way her tail and act like she wants to play. The weirdest time was when she wouldn’t walk down the hall for three weeks. She would just stand at the hall and growl and then run back to me shaking like a leaf. I would have to pick her up and carry her through the hallway.

I love animals in books. I think they help to bring realness to characters. They can show a hero who might not start out as looking much like a hero, but with the animal he is soft, sweet and just make you go awww, he’s not so bad.

Love the dragon!!! And I have to agree with Anna and AM, I’d love to have my own little (keyword little) dragon. I’ve got one sitting right in front of my computer, but he’s not real. Or at least I don’t think he is…hmmm.

susan said...

Hi Helen, so glad to see you here and welcome. Thanks ladies for taking your time to have Helen here and I too love books where animals are included but I am a big reader of Irish stories. The only way I can travel there is by books. I have been adopted by a cat all my life and the current one is grayboy because he is a gray and very spoiled. He tells us when HE wants to eat, where HE is going to sleep and if WE are in His chair. He ask for very little and is company for both of us as we are retired and like to be home. susan L.

LKap said...

Helen -
Thank you so much for being here today. Your books are so magical, I love the premise of them.
Now anyone who knows me, knows I'm an animal girl--but a dragon...OH HECK YEAH!!! Although bigger than a great dane and I might be a bit scared of it :-)
Beautiful covers and stories to match.
Can't wait to read your new ones.

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Hi Anne-Marie, Cornwall is beautiful, actually the whole of the west country is lovely. I think we'll all be fighting over the baby dragon!


Helen Scott Taylor said...

Hi Vicki,

Thank you for the warm welcome. Meisha is a lovely name for a shih tzu. My two are called Lily and Molly.

I wonder if because Sissy is partly deaf then that means her other senses are more acute. Dogs are so interesting as they definitely sense things we don't.


Helen Scott Taylor said...

Hi Susan, you made me laugh. Your cat rules the roost as my cat does. One of my dogs has a bed under the radiator (the other preferes the sofa), but in the cold weather my cat has adopted the dog's bed. The poor dog is too scared to object. Even though the cat has never scratched. The cat just gives the dog one of those intense cat stares and the dog backs off.


Helen Scott Taylor said...

Hi Laurie,

Thank you for the warm welcome. I think we need to find a stash of tiny dragon eggs. I can see them so clearly. I'm going to have to include a tiny dragon in a story now.


Artemis said...

Wow! Now that's one helluva way to open a chapter and introduce characters: with voyeurism. I can't wait!

zina said...

Hello Laurie,Vicki and Helen.
I love reading about animals both cute and cuddly to sensual and dangerous. I love it when they are incorporated into the story and especially if they have a hand or paw in the romance. I have been seeing blurs about your The Phoenix Charm and the Magic Knot series and I will definately be getting The Mammoth Book of Irish Romances.

MaryC said...

Love wolves, which is probably why our dogs have been Siberian Huskies. Dragons have always fascinated me, especially since I was born in the Year of teh Dragon.

desiree reilly said...

wow it sound so good and i would
like to add to the collectionof my books and authorsp

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Hi Artemis,
LOL, my heroine is a little naughty but she hides it well.


Helen Scott Taylor said...

Hi Zina,
I love films with animals in as well. Especially the romantic ones where the pet does the matchmaking. The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance should be good as there is a wonderful selection of authors included. I haven't seen any of the other stories yet, so I'm looking forward to reading it. I finished The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance recently and that was a good anthology.


Helen Scott Taylor said...

Hi MaryC, huskies are interesting dogs. Do they have black tongues or am I getting them muddled up with another breed?


Helen Scott Taylor said...

Hi Desiree,
I'm glad you like the sound of the books. There are so many magical and paranormal stories out there we are spoilt for choice.


Helen Scott Taylor said...

It is nerly midnight here in the UK and time for my beauty sleep. I shall pop over in the morning to make sure I didn't miss any comments.

Once again, thank you for having me as a guest.It's been great visiting today.


Mona Risk said...

I have learned so much from Helen's books about feary, pisky, leprechaun... Her hero, Michael is to die for and Nightshade is the most delicious vampire I've met so far.

Vicki said...

Helen, we've loved having you here, it's always so much fun!

TPC is on my list to read this weekend since we have an extra day off work. :D

I know it's going to be hard, but please choose one person to receive your book. I'll get the information from them afterwards.

And thanks so much for visiting with us!!!