Guest Author & Giveaway: Helen Scott Taylor featuring The Phoenix Charm

Thursday, December 17

 ***This contest has ended. Thanks for joining in the fun!***

Today I have something a little bit different than what you will usually find on my blog.  Helen Scott Taylor is my guest today to celebrate her new fantasy romance book The Phoenix Charm, which is the second book in the Magic Knot Fairies series.  

Helen contacted me a while back and asked if I would be interested in reviewing her new novel, The Phoenix Charm.  I heard quite a bit about The Magic Knot, the first book in this series, when it released earlier this year and read only positive reviews about how wonderful it was.  At the time I thought I should give it a try even though it was categorized as a fantasy romance.  And I normally don't read fantasy romance.  Usually it's just not my thing because the fantasy novels I've tried to read in the past seemed more focused on the world building, and the conflict within that world than the romantic relationship...and a lot of times I just can't get past names that I can't pronounce in my head.  It's a pet peeve of mind...what can I say, we all have them and this is one of mine. 

I expressed these concerns with Helen before agreeing because the last thing I wanted to do was review a book in a genre that I don't really care for.  I didn't think it would be fair to her without letting her know about this ahead of time.  But Helen convinced me to give it a try...and I am glad that she did.  I thought her hero Michael was simply enchanting and one of the things I loved about him was that he was Irish.  You don't get to read many romance's where the hero is Irish and I thought is was refreshing.  I loved that it was set in the present day, and that the world building didn't overshadow the romance, but enhanced the story.   And her heroine Cordelia is both strong and vulnerable at the same time.  I think her growth and personal journey was one of my favorite parts of this book. 

Both the hero and heroine must overcome obstacles from their past while trying to save Michael's nephew Finian from being lost in the Underworld, and learn to accept and embrace who they are and their special abilities if they are going to find peace within themselves and a love with each other.  It was a fast paced race against time with heart, magic, suspense, misconceptions, deceptions, some surprising revelations and most importantly a great love story.  I really enjoyed it and I think you might too.  

While I am still not a fantasy romance convert, I am most definitely a fan of Helen Scott Taylor and her Magic Knot Fairies series after reading The Phoenix Charm.

Thank you for having me as a guest today. I’m delighted to be here with you. I have always adored fantasy, and long before I ‘discovered’ romance, I read fantasy fiction. I like high fantasy and I have an exciting idea for a high fantasy trilogy, but I also enjoy contemporary fantasy, melding our modern world with the mysterious fantasy world of magic based on myth and legend.

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, the southernmost county in England and 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, 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 my sexy identical twin heroes sprang to life in my mind. 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. A novella called The Frost Fairy set in the Magic Knot Fairy world, due out at the end of September 2010, is actually set in the Norse gods’ kingdom of Asgard.

I really wanted to include a dragon in The Phoenix Charm as much of the action is set in Wales and a red dragon is pictured on the Welsh flag. Although the dragon is mentioned, I didn’t manage to include it in the story until the third book.

Each book works as a standalone, but there are also elements of character growth that continue through the series.

If you would like to read an excerpt of The Magic Knot or The Phoenix Charm, please visit my website at www.


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.

My many thanks to Helen for being my guest today and for convincing me to read her story. 
If you didn't read The Magic Knot when it first came out, then now is a great time to give it a try because her publisher is offering this book for the special price of only $2.99 for a limited time, which I think is an absolute steal!

Visit Helen and browse her books on her website.  I took a virtual vacation by visiting her research, which had many beautiful photos from throughout Great Britain (and Helen, anytime you need a traveling companion/aid on your next "research" trip I'd happily volunteer).  And soon she will have a book video for The Phoenix Charm.  She currently has three books: The Magic Knot, The Phoenix Charm and in January 2010 she will also have a short story in the anthology The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance(I love these Mammoth anthologies).  While visiting her website make sure you take the quiz to find out which element you are.  I was Fire, and here is what it says about me: 
FireFlames leap toward the sky, the driving force to manifest a new idea. Fire embodies passion, enthusiasm and desire. You are quick and bright, but often emotionally volatile. Air conceives new ideas, you implement them, pushing through changes that others resist. Forceful and highly opinionated, you often think you know best and your strong will ensures people listen, and follow your lead. You may be called ‘hot blooded’ or ‘a hothead’ and could be involved in matters of discipline and conflict. Smell the smoke from a fragrant candle; feel the sun on your face; lay your hand against a warm rock, or gaze into a dancing flame. Your season is summer and your time of day the bright hour of noon.

To celebrate the holiday season Helen has two  FREE gifts for everyone.  A FREE Christmas short story called "A Christmas Crush", and a FREE short story called "Jack's Garden" written to celebrate the release of The Phoenix Charm.  If that is not enough, she is also giving away a signed copy of The Phoenix Charm.  Here's how to enter to win The Phoenix Charm:

Ways to earn entries:

  • Mandatory: Answer this question:  What intrigues you the most about The Phoenix Charm? (good for 1 entry) 
  • Become a follower of Seductive Musings, and/or mention that you are already a follower in your comment (good for 5 entries)
  • Blog about this contest on your blog and leave a link with your comment (good for 15 entries)
  • If you don't have a blog, don't worry you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they leave a comment on this post and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) 
  • Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
How to enter:
  • You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment
Rules and disclaimers: 
  • This contest is open to anyone, except where prohibited
  • The contest will end on December 19rd at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
  • Winner will be selected using
  • The winner will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
  • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice 
Good Luck!!!

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*I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links :)


chelleyreads December 17, 2009 at 1:07 AM  

what intrigues me the most about the phoenix charm is the irish aspect of it. i haven't read fantasy romance in a while but the last one i read was juliet marillier's sevenwaters trilogy, which was also based on irish mythology. it was straight up fantasy but i really loved it--i would really love to read a book that is fantasy romance.

i am an old follower of seductive musings.

thank you for the giveaway :)
bookmakeupreview AT gmail DOT com

elaing8,  December 17, 2009 at 8:51 AM  

+1 what intrigued me is the mythology of the aeries.I've wanted to read the Magic Knot since it came out and now the Phoenix Charm.

+5 Already a follower (elaing8)


ddurance December 17, 2009 at 8:53 AM  

I am intrigued by the interracial aspect of water nymph and fairy mixing. It should be interesting to say the least. lol

I'm a follower.

deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

INCiDeNT December 17, 2009 at 11:53 AM  

+1 - I'm intrigued by the concept of fairy and nymph; the Irish blend with myth. I want to explore how the Tuatha De Danaan are wrapped up in the series too.

+ 5 - already a follower.

+ 15 - I blogged about this giveaway:

vslavetopassionv December 17, 2009 at 12:12 PM  

Hi. My name is Jason and I follow this blog on my google reader. I am new to Helen Scott Taylor's work but I love Celtic mythology and would love the chance to read one of her books. I downloaded her short story also.

So I get 1 entry for telling you what intrigues me about this book and 5 entries for following the blog. :)

CallMeKayla December 17, 2009 at 1:42 PM  

+1 The cover. Covers always draw me in anyways, but this one is begging me to read the back of the book to see if I want it. And I do, because it sounds great!

+5 I'm a current follower

Helen Scott Taylor December 17, 2009 at 2:38 PM  

Hi Chelleyreads,
I totally agree on the Irish attraction. I love the Irish accent and the wonderful myths surrounding Ireland.

Hi elaing8,
Fairies have intrigued me for a long time. I love most popular fantasy and paranormal creatures, but fairies are the ones that really capture my imagination. There is such a rich body of mythology surrounding fairies from all parts of the world, they provide a fantastic starting point for creating fantasy worlds.

Hi ddurance,
I always seem to have the interracial conflict in my books. In the Magic Knot the hero was half Irish Tuatha De Danaan and half Leprachaun and the heroine half human and half Cornish pisky. In the Phoenix Charm my heroine is half Cornish pisky and half water nymph, while the hero is Tuatha De Danaan and Leprachaun. Mixing up the races and cultures is always fun.

The Tuatha De Danaan are some of the most fascinating and beautiful fairies. And there is a wealth of mythology writen about them for research. The only group of fairies that rival them are, I think, the Scottish Seelie and Unseelie.

Hi Vslavetopassionv,
I share your interest in Celtic mythology. I'm also exploring Norse mythology now, as the books in my series I'm writing now are starting to include elements of Norse myth. That is equally fascinating, although I'm finding there is less writen about the Norse gods, so I'm having to invent more myself.

Hi CallMeKayla,
I was really pleased with The Phoenix Charm cover, so I'm delighted you like it. Luckily I love blue! It has just the right blend of magic and romance.


Estella December 17, 2009 at 3:30 PM  

I am attracted by anything Irish, and I love stories about fairies.

I am a follower.

kissinoak at verizon dot net

alba December 17, 2009 at 3:45 PM  

I love Celtic mythology be it Irish, Scottish, welsh,
I love hearing about It in any form...I mis Scotland so much It amazes me how much After all these years.
Cant wait to read both I have been meaning to pick up The Magic knot Now I have to get both now.
I'm a Follower.
Have a Good one .

Jessica W. (Book Bound) December 17, 2009 at 4:27 PM  

I don't know if you've already received this award, but I gave you one at my blog Book Bound.

Here's the link:

Take care!

Helen Scott Taylor December 17, 2009 at 5:32 PM  

Hi Estella, alba, and Jessica W. Thanks for reading my guest post. Irish and Scottish Celtic mythology is often written about but I haven't seen the Welsh mentioned much. I hoped readers would like to find out some more about Wales in The Phoenix Charm. If you like reading about Scotland, Alba, my next book will be the one for you. I'm writing that at the moment and most of the action takes place in the Scottish Seelie and Unseelie courts. Lots of fun!


Linda Henderson December 17, 2009 at 10:09 PM  

Love anything Irish and the books sounds very intriguing. I will have to read it to find out how things work out between them. Sounds like a very good read.

I am already a follower

seriousreader at live dot com

dsandyboy December 18, 2009 at 10:47 PM  

Count me in.

Anonymous,  December 18, 2009 at 10:48 PM  

Please enter me.

Pamk December 18, 2009 at 11:21 PM  

1. I am intrigued because I loved the first one and this one is set in Wales and I love learning about new cultures and countries.
2. already a follower + 5 entries.
3. I blogged about this at

scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

justpeachy36 December 19, 2009 at 10:37 PM

I am always interesting in anything Celtic since this is my heritage. Also the blurb about the book sounds veeeerrry sexy lol...

I am already a follower of Seductive Musings

creatnchris December 20, 2009 at 9:13 AM  

I am intrigued by the Celtic aspects of the story and it sounds like it is a fun story, a wise woman spying on a hot guy with her scrying mirror, how fun that would be!

I am a follower of Seductive Musings.

Chris M

misskallie2000 December 20, 2009 at 2:24 PM  

+1 Cordelia and Michael make for one hot steamy couple. Makes me want to read more..Being an avid reader for over 50 yrs has not deminished my love of sensual feelings..LOL I love all Celtic mythology.

+5 I am a follower of Seductive Musings.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Mitzi H. December 20, 2009 at 6:25 PM  

+1 I also love anything Celtic and am looking forward to your newest book....loved the interview too!!

+5 I'm an already follower on google reader and google friends.

mitzihinkey at sbcglobal dot net

Merry Christmas to all!!!

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