Helen has generously donated signed copies of The Magic Knot and The Phoenix Charm as a giveaway to one lucky commenter. Guidelines for entering can be found at the end of the post. Please welcome Helen Scott Taylor as she talks about Celtic Magic and Mayhem and leave a comment or question. A perfect opportunity to find out more about Celtic myths and faerie. Helen will drop in to respond periodically throughout the day.
Celtic Magic & Mayhem
Thank you, Doug, for having me as a guest today. I’m delighted to be here.
As I live in the UK, I naturally explored the local Celtic myths when I conceived my fantasy world for The Magic Knot fairies. I live in Devon, in the English West country. A short distance away is the county of Cornwall, an area with strong Celtic legends. The rolling countryside with its wooded valleys and mysterious lanes, its ancient houses and churches, and its megaliths and rugged coastline inspired me to base my fairy world there.
In each of the books in the series, I take my characters to a different place. In The Magic Knot, the characters go to Ireland—I had a wonderful time visiting Dublin and the Wicklow Mountains for research. In The Phoenix Charm, I send my characters to Wales to face the Welsh Fairy King, who is also King of the Underworld. In the third book (due out at the end of 2010), my hero ends up in Scotland trying to survive the machinations of the Unseelie and Seelie Scottish Fairy Courts. I visited Scotland in summer 2009 for research, and had a fantastic time exploring the countryside and visiting as many castles as I could cram into two weeks.
I wanted my fairy characters to be human sized, so I tweaked the existing mythology and made my Cornish piskies tall rather than small. (These are what we call pixies in most of England, but in Cornwall, they are called piskies.) The heroes of both the first two books in the series are Irish. I love the Irish accent. Combine that with dark hair and blue eyes and you have my sexy identical twin heroes. The Irish Tuatha Dè Danaan are a noble race of fairies, supposedly descended from Greek gods, so they were ideal for my story. Just to mix things up a little, I gave my heroes some leprechaun blood as well. The hero of The Magic Knot has the leprechaun touch of luck, while Michael, the hero of The Phoenix Charm, inherited his powers from his father. I won’t give away what his powers are as they are fundamental to the plot. (The title gives you a clue.)
Celtic mythology has provided the starting point for my fairy world, but I like to give the old myths a new spin and also introduce some ideas that are just my own. The character of Nightshade sprang from my imagination. He is a black vampiric fairy with wings and silver eyes. He is a major secondary character in the first two books of the series, and his own book, The Ruby Kiss, will be out at the end of 2010.
I’ve also included some Norse Mythology in my fairy world, although that only comes in to the later stories. I have a novella set in the Norse gods’ kingdom of Asgard due out at the end of September 2010.
I love coming up with titles for my books, and I often think of the title before I start writing the story. The Magic Knot, The Phoenix Charm, and The Ruby Kiss refer to something magical that is relevant to the story. I’d love to hear some of your favorite book titles and why they appeal to you.
To read excerpts of The Magic Knot or The Phoenix Charm, please visit my website at www. helenscotttaylor.com.
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.
HE'S A BIKER WITH AN ATTITUDE
What woman wouldn't be attracted to Niall O'Connor's soft Irish brogue and dark good looks? But Rosenwyn Tremain must find her father, and she isn't going to let a sexy, stubborn Irishman and his motorcycle distract her. Rose's intuition tells her he's hiding something, a secret even the cards cannot divine. Her tarot deck always reads true, but how can one man represent both Justice and Betrayal?
SHE'S A WOMAN ON A MISSION
Magic. Niall's body tingles with it when he finds the woman snooping in his room. Rosenwyn might believe she's a no-nonsense accountant, but her essence whispers to him of ancient fairy magic that enslaves even as it seduces. Her heritage could endanger those he'd die to protect, but her powers and her passion, if properly awakened, might be the only thing that can save both their families, vanquish a fairy queen bent on revenge, and fulfill a prophecy that will bind their hearts together with... THE MAGIC KNOT
Thank you Helen for the special guest post today and sharing your love of Celtic mythology.
Helen Scott Taylor has kindly donated a signed copy of the The Magic Knot and The Phoenix Charm to be won by one lucky commenter.
- Leave a question or comment for Helen.
- Open worldwide.
- Leave a way to notify you if you should win.
- Blog, tweet, post on Facebook or other social network sites for an extra entry. Leave a comment here to let me know.
- Giveaway open until Midnight, January 25, 2010 EST. Winner will be selected by the Randomizer.