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 http://www.dorchesterpub.com/Dorch/SpecialFeatures.cfm?Special_ID=2759)
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
HE’S PURE TEMPTATION.
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.
SHE’S TRYING TO RESIST.
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. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8JvYC2ljzE
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!