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:~: Friday, August 07, 2009 :~:

Freebie Day #24 - Guest Author Helen Scott Taylor!

Don't miss your last few chances to enter...

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elisabeth naughton
Today's guest author is Dorchester author Helen Scott Taylor!

As a child, when Helen didn’t pay attention her teachers accused her of being away with the fairies. Things haven’t changed much! Only now, the fairies are tall and sexy and they live in her stories rather than just in her head. Helen resides in South Western England near Plymouth with her husband, two teenagers, two Shih Tzus, and a cat who rules the household with a velvet paw. With the rocky cliffs of the Atlantic to the south and the windswept expanse of Dartmoor to the west, she loves to walk in the countryside while she plots her stories. She believes deep within everyone there’s a little magic.

Her latest release is THE MAGIC KNOT:






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

Taylor's wonderfully creative and lusciously sexy debut will cast its own magical spell over readers.”
—The Chicago Tribune

This book is so well written that it’s hard to believe it’s Taylor’s first novel, as well as the first in a promising series of contemporary fantasy romances.”—Booklist *Starred Review*

Please welcome Helen to the blog!

***

Elisabeth, thank you for having me a guest today. I hope the second book in your series is flying off the shelves! What wonderful book covers. I especially love the sunset colors on Stolen Seduction.

Readers often ask me where I get my ideas for the fantasy worlds I create. I usually start with myth or folk law, such as the legend of the Irish Tuatha De Danaan—the noble Irish fairies who are descended from Greek gods—who appear in The Magic Knot. But one of my main sources of inspiration is the wonderful countryside and historic places in the British Isles and Ireland. I had a memorable visit to Ireland to research the area of The Wicklow Mountains before I wrote The Magic Knot. And the sequel, The Phoenix Charm, is set amid the valleys of Wales.

My fantasy world is contemporary set, but I love visiting historic manor houses and castles for inspiration. I’ve just arrived home from two weeks in the borderlands of Scotland. One of the things I love about the Scottish castles is how many of them are still owned and lived in by members of the Aristocracy. (Unlike in England where most are owned by The National Trust.)

My husband and I visited and looked around two historic properties just south of Edinburgh that are both owned by Dukes. Floors Castle (http://www.roxburghe.net/floors_castle_grounds_and_gardens/) is owned by the Duke of Roxburghe. This is an amazing place that took my breath away the first time I saw it. He and his family still live in one wing of the castle. While Bowhill House (http://www.bowhill.org/), is the home of The Duke of Buccleuch. I was told that not so long ago it was possible to travel all the way from Edinburgh to London without leaving The Duke of Buccleuch’s lands!

I notice on the Bowhill house website they are currently running a writing contest, open to all nationalities, in connection with The Muster, a Clan gathering they are having on September 26th. Check out the link on the right hand side of their website. (http://www.bowhill.org/)

To find out more about Helen’s books and read excerpts, please visit www.helenscotttaylor.com

***

Helen is donating a copy of THE MAGIC KNOT to one lucky commenter. To be entered into the drawing, simply answer this question:

If you could visit one place in the world, where would you go and why?

Labels: ,

30Comments:

Blogger Laney4 said...

Hi!
Thanks so much for having such a great guest to blog and also a terrific giveaway!
I would take my sister and her family, along with my own family, of course, to West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada -- the biggest mall in the world! We SOOOO enjoy their wave pool, complete with tons of long water slides and a tube slide that could be enjoyed all day long! We would get tons of exercise, all while having a blast. What could be better? We could enjoy their indoor ice-skating rink (where the Edmonton Oilers practise) and stay in their fantasy-themed hotel, also inside the mall. Their web site says, "The Mall boasts over 800 stores and services, more than 110 eating establishments and nine Attractions — all under one roof. There is something for everyone and the weather is always great!"

8:49 AM  
Blogger Laney4 said...

Hi again!
I bet you didn't expect to get an "indoor" answer like I previously posted. Perhaps I should give another example.
If you were limiting it to a beautiful location that I would love to visit, then I would choose Venice. I've never been out of North America, and the people, buildings, and water seem to draw my interest.
Have a great day!

9:01 AM  
Blogger Refhater said...

I'd want to go to the British Isles. I'm big into genealogy and most of my ancestors came from that part of the world.

I can go back as far as 1535, but I'm sure that someone over there can pick up were I have to stop. I'd love to research the public records that they would have kept in that area.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Cybercliper said...

Hi Helen...please don't enter me in the contest - I already have The Magic Knot! I saw you as a guest and had to tell you how AMAZING the Magic Knot is. After finishing Knot, I went straight to your website and have already added The Phoenix Charm to my December buy list. Thanks for a wonderful book!!

My mother's people shipped to the states in 1759 from Ireland. I'd go there if I had the chance to go anywhere.

9:14 AM  
Blogger kristina shields said...

I would travel anywhere, but I, right now and appropiately so, want to go to Ireland. It looks so beautiful. The forest green lands and crystal blue skies looks amazing.

9:15 AM  
OpenID elaing8 said...

I would love to go to Australia. I've always wanted to go there ever since I was little and saw a documentary on it showing the great barrier reef,the koalas, the outback,etc...ever since watching that I've been in awe of it.someday Ill go :-)

The Magic Knot has been on my list of books to get after I read a great review for it.thanks for the chance to win a copy.

elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

9:41 AM  
Blogger Zita said...

I want to see it all. 'Round the world in 80 weeks (80 days just isn't enough). Right now I do that through books, but one day... :sigh:

9:53 AM  
Blogger lrwirum said...

I would love to go to England and Scotland just to see all the history there. :-)


Larena

9:53 AM  
Blogger Armenia said...

Hi Helen. That was a lovely post. I always a sucker for all things Irish and Scottish. It all started with Nora Roberts Irish Trilogy and Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.

So one place I love to visit is Scotland. It holds so much interest for me because of the descriptions of lush surroundings, the mesmerizing brogue, and rich history.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Amy M said...

I would love to go to New Zeland with my husband. He was there as an exchange student a long time ago, and he loved it. He always talks about it and how much he loved being there. It would be a fun place for us to visit. Someday when our kids are grown and gone!

Thanks~
Amy M

11:25 AM  
Blogger Helen Scott Taylor said...

Elisabeth, thank you so much for having me as a guest today, and thank you to everyone who has stopped by and read the blog.

Laney, I'd love to go to Venice too. Every year I say this is the year, then end up going elsewhere for research. One day I'll write a book set in Venice!

Refhater, geneology is so popular now. I've thought about tracing my ancestery but I'm too busy. I have some Scottish blood on my mother's side. I've been told one of my ancesters is Hanging Judge Jefferies!

Cybercliper, I'm so pleased you enjoyed The Magic Knot. As well as The Phoenix Charm I will have a novella set in my fairy world coming out in early 2010. I'll put details up on my website when everything is definite.

Kristina, I've been to Ireland twice, to the Dublin and Wicklow Mountain area and also to the Cork area. Both are beautiful. The countryside is much like the English Westcountry where I live but in Ireland they have a much cuter accent.

Elaing8, I know what you mean about Australia. I'd love to go there as well. I thought about attending a conference there this year but my flight would have been 23 hours and I just couldn't face that.

Zita, wouldn't it be great to have endless money and time to be able to travel everywhere. Although everytime I visit somewhere it gives me an idea for a story, so my brain would probably explode.

Irwirum, Scotland is well worth a visit. The mountains and valleys are beautiful--even in the rain. And it rains there a lot!

Armenia, as I mentioned above, Scotland is lovely. Funny you should mention the brogue. It varies so much in different parts of Scotland. My husband and I spent some time on the West coast of Scotland and I had trouble understanding what people said. But when we went across to the East coast the accent was much gentler and easier to understand. It's embarassing when someone is speaking to me in English and I can't understand them!

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Chelsea B. said...

I would go to Scotland, for sure! And I'm so jealous of you, Helen, for having gotten to go there! :)

The book sounds amazing! My to-be read list is getting longer and longer!

11:58 AM  
Blogger Mitzi said...

I think I'd have to pick Scotland. I love Highlander books and men in kilts and castles would just love see the beautiful country and hear all the scottish brrrr talk.

1:02 PM  
Blogger jeanette8042 said...

Wow there are so many places to choose from but right now I would choose to go to Hawaii to relax in the sun and beach.

1:39 PM  
Blogger bridget3420 said...

I would go to Italy. The first reason is that I'm addicted to Italian food. Yummy! And it's so beautiful there.

1:45 PM  
Blogger Helen Scott Taylor said...

Checking in again before I go to bed.

Amy M, my parents took a month tour of New Zeland a few years back and loved it.

Chelsea, one benefit of living in England is that Scotland is just a car journey away.

Mitzi, I can vouch for how wonderful the castles in Scotland are. Unfortunately, I didn't see any men in kilts when I was there.

Jeanette, my well travelled parents have been to Hawaii a couple of times, but I've never made it across there. Actually, my husband went there on a Tony Robbins course years ago. Maybe I'll make it there one day.

Bridget, Italy is certainly beautiful and the yummy men... Enough said.

On that note I shall say goodbye for the night. I'm five hours ahead of Eastern time. I'll check back tomorrow morning.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by.

Helen

2:25 PM  
Blogger Cathi said...

Greece and Italy since I have always adored mythology. Ireland and Scotland, because of my heritage, would be my second choice.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Cathi - we must be twins separated at birth. Those are my answers too - for the SAME reasons. :)

My new paranormal series that starts in May 2010 is all about Greek mythology. It's been so fun to write. I told the DH we have to go to Greece soon - research, baby!

2:33 PM  
Blogger Paty Jager said...

This sounds like an interesting book!

I'd like to visit Australia/New Zealand then Ireland and Scotland. Not sure why other than what I've seen and read of the countries they intrigue me.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

I would love to visit Egypt during the ancient times to experience the political intrigue and see the archaeological sites that no longer exist like the Lighthouse of Alexandria.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Mary G said...

I've heard so many good things about The Magic Knot - A book that stays with you even when you're finished. I'd love to visit Italy (I'm Italian descent & I've never been) and Greece because I love the myths.We named our son Jason after Jason & the Argonauts of Greek myth.
Elisabeth
I'm on Chapter 5 of Stolen Heat. OMG it's(you're) amazing

3:56 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Mary...

We named our son Jason after Jason & the Argonauts of Greek myth.

That is SO cool!!! My new paranormal series is based on the Argonauts from Greek myth. *grin*

And I'm thrilled to hear you're enjoying STOLEN HEAT! Thanks for the note!

4:35 PM  
Blogger Mary G said...

Yes Stolen Heat proves you're no fluke LOL. You got it girl!!

4:44 PM  
Blogger Mary G said...

and lucky for me I like paranormal too but I'm a contemp/romantic-susp reader at heart.If I like an author though I will give other genres a try. Just not into blood & gore. The only vamp book I could handle was by Erin McCarthy because she's so funny. I loved Jaci Burton's demon series so I'm not a total wimp.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Caffey said...

Hi Helen! Hi Elisabeth!
I've hear do much great things about this series. I'm excited to be in the contest.

I don't travel much at all! I don't like to fly but I so would love to go to Scotland! But it will be so hard to get there not flying, LOL. I just love reading the historicals and others set in Medieval and just so love to visit the history there. Since I can't get there, my second choice would be to take a train across the US, especially to go to Montana. In ways that state reminds me a bit of the 'land' of Scotland, with the grassy hills and all. We do hope to drive there some day!

5:48 PM  
Blogger I Heart Book Gossip said...

Hawaii is where I would love to live. I'd live in a bungalow and sip on margaritas and listen to waves roll in.

Please count me in.

cindyc725 at gmail dot ocm

6:12 PM  
Blogger alba said...

Hi Elizabeth & Helen
Helen I was born in Leeds Yorkshire the dales have alway been a fav of mine...
When I was 10 the family move to Scotland where I was surrounded by the beautiful heather covered mountains and hills that could take your breath away,I miss the land very much.
I have seen your book in my local Book store but have yet to pick it up I will so now.
Thanks Elizabeth for having Helen here.

7:07 PM  
Blogger KELLY FITZPATRICK said...

Ever sine I saw Under the Tuscan Sun, I wanted to go to Italy. More lacally, I want to go to Montana, but I have no idea why.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Cathi said...

Elisabeth, my twin, I eagerly look forward to the new series... I never quite felt as if I belonged in my family, either; my mother woulkd joke and say I was the milkman's daughter...

4:20 AM  
Blogger Helen Scott Taylor said...

Elisabeth, your new series sounds interesting. I love books based on Greek mythology. Have you read the Percy Jackson series? Not romance but lots of fun.

Cathi, I love mythology. Greece is another place I'd love to go. One of my characters is immortal and came from Phoenicia. Unfortunately I won't be visiting there as it is now Lebabon.

Paty, I can definitely recommend Ireland and Scotland.

Jane, I visited Egypt in the 80s and had fun. A bit of an eye opener for me at the time--seeing such a different civilization.

Mary, I'm glad you like the sound of The Magic Knot. I've been delighted with the reviews it's received.

Caffey, not flying must make travel difficult, but look at it this way, you are much greener than all us tourists who fly everywhere.

I Heart Book Gossip, I always dream of warm places because it is usually cold and wet in England. For once it's actually a nice day here!

Alba, we had a lovely family holiday in the Yorkshire Dales a few years ago when my kids were small. You've lived in some nice places!

Kelly, I loved that film. Now I want to see it again.

Elisabeth, thanks for having me! If I could travel anywhere I'd love to go to Sri Lanka or maybe India if Sri Lanka is too dangerous. My mother was born in India and as a child lived in Sri Lanka. I have an idea for a hero from there and I'd love to do some research.

8:06 AM  

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