Special Guest: Helen Scott Taylor Back to Blog

Hi, everyone! Today I am very excited to have a special guest here at the blog.  :-)  Fabulous author Helen Scott Taylor is here to talk Celtic Magic with us–and one very lucky commenter will receive an autographed copy of Helen’s new book, THE PHOENIX CHARM.  Thanks for joining us, Helen!

Celtic Magic.

Thank you Cynthia for having me as a guest today. I’m delighted to be here.

I’m a great lover of all things Celtic. As I live in England, I’m surrounded by ancient ruins and other Celtic memorabilia, so I’m in the ideal place to indulge my interest. I based the fantasy world of my Magic Knot Fairies’ series on Celtic mythology and have used areas rich in Celtic myth and legend to set my stories. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Dublin and the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland where part of The Magic Knot is set, and Wales where part of The Phoenix Charm is set. This summer I spent two weeks visiting castles and other historic sites in Scotland to do research for my third book, The Ruby Kiss that will be out at the end of 2010.

Two of the most beautiful aspects of Celtic heritage are the intricate symbols and designs. When I visited Ireland, I took a tour around an ancient monastery and graveyard. The place was magical, full of beautifully decorated Celtic crosses. We also have Celtic crosses on Dartmoor in South West England a few miles from where I live.

The shape of the Celtic Knot gave me the fundamental idea on which my Magic Knot Fairies’ fantasy world is based. In my series, The Magic Knot is a magical pendant similar to a Celtic Knot possessed by every person with fairy blood. The three linked rings symbolise mind, body, and spirit. Lovers give their Magic Knot into the safekeeping of their soul mate—the ultimate demonstration of trust and commitment that binds them together in mind, body, and spirit for life.

Celtic symbols also gave me story ideas in the second book, The Phoenix Charm. My heroine is a water nymph. She has a sensual allure that her family were ashamed of, so they made her hide her natural gift by binding it with Celtic symbols painted on her skin. My heroine Cordelia has six Celtic symbols drawn on her back and mirrored on her front. These cover the energy centers of her body (also known as chakras in traditional Indian medicine).

The Celtic symbol of the maze traditionally marks the entrance to the Underworld, so this appears in the book marking the entrance to the Welsh Fairy King’s domain, as in Welsh Celtic mythology, he is also King of the Underworld.

My favorite piece of jewelry is a Celtic cross set with abalone shell that I bought when I visited Ireland to research my first book, before it was published. I’m convinced the cross brings me luck. Do you have any jewelry or keepsake that you think brings you luck?

To find out more about my contemporary fantasy series and to read excerpts, please visit www.helenscotttaylor.com.

***

Thank you, Helen! And, hey, here’s some more info on Helen’s new release:

image_phoenixcharmsmallest

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.

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48 responses to “Special Guest: Helen Scott Taylor”

  1. Linda Henderson says:

    I have a mother/daughters ring that I cherish. I can’t wear it anymore because of the swelling in my hands from RA, but I will never get rid of it. I can’t wait to read your book. I like all things Irish. I named my youngest daughter Erin.

  2. Hi Linda, the ring sounds lovely. Sorry to hear you can’t wear it anymore. I love visiting Ireland. Although it is very similar to England where I live. I’m lucky that Ireland is just a short flight over the Irish Sea for me.

    Helen

  3. elaing8 says:

    I love that cover.This s eries sounds really great, I’m looking forward to getting the books.

    I don’t have anything that brings me luck.Maybe if I did I’d win the lottery :) I do have a lucky number though(8).

  4. Cynthia Eden says:

    Thanks for guest blogging today, Helen! The Phoenix Charm sounds like a fabulous read.

  5. Cheryl McInnis says:

    Hi Helen! ( and Cynthia!)
    I live in northern Nova Scotia, so we have a very strong Celtic influence locally. Every second business is named
    the Celtic such and such, or the Highland so and so or the Ceilidh, LOL. That being said, I never get tired of reading stories set in Scotland, Ireland or Wales, they feel very familiar.
    My favorite piece of jewelry is a Claddagh ring that my husband bought me when our oldest daughter was born. I definitely plan on passing it down to her when she is older, and looking for love ;- )
    Congrats on the release of The Phoenix Charm, it does sound intriguing!

  6. Edie says:

    Helen, fabulous blurb! I love the idea of symbols linking your books. I haven’t used it in writing, but it’s a great idea!

    I wear necklaces I think bring me luck. I don’t know if they do, but I wear them even when I just go to the post office.

  7. Sayde says:

    What a wonderful way of using symbols and charms. I’m intrigued now and must go read. Thanks for the great blog!

  8. Ruby E says:

    Helen — What first interested you in the Celtic traditions and symbolisms? Aside from the Celts, would you say that you are deeply interestedin the traditions , lore and symbolisms of England as well? [I assume that the druids were a form of English folktale?]

  9. Michelle S. says:

    i haven’t read any celtic romances lately phoenix charm sounds amazing. will be put on my wish list

  10. Teresa W. says:

    I’ve been hearing alot about this one and can’t wait to get a copy!

  11. Caitlin U says:

    celtic magic sounds like a great thing to read about. I really would love to read this one.

  12. Arantza says:

    I’ve read an excerpt of the book and it looks really interesting. I would love to win this one.

  13. Hi Elaing8, I have a lucky number as well, 24, and I’m sure it is lucky because the only time I got that number in a draw I won.

    Helen

  14. Cynthia, thank you again for having me as a guest. I’m delighted to be here.

    Helen

  15. Hi Cheryl, what a wonderful story about your Claddagh ring. You must have a romantic husband. I didn’t realise Nova Scotia was so steeped in the Celtic but it makes sense.

    Helen

  16. Hi Edie, I sometimes wonder if it is our belief that something brings us luck that works the magic rather than the item itself. So maybe your necklaces work because you believe they do.

    Helen

  17. Hi Sayde, I love anything that has even a hint of magic about it. Especially if it is real magic and not in a book.

    Helen

  18. Hi Ruby E, I am surrounded by Celtic symbols and although I’ve always loved historic house and castles, it was only when I started writing that I really got into the Celtic history and mythology. The druids were/are real, like a religious sect I believe. Although I think druids are rare in the UK now. If you search on the Internet you’ll still find active groups of druids. I actually like any sort of mythology and folk law. I have included elements of Norse mythology in the novella I’m currently writing. It is set in the same fantasy world as The Magic Knot Fairies series. I have just extended the world to encompass Norse myth as well. Creating the fantasy world is my favorite part of writing.

    Helen

  19. Hi Michelle S, I’m glad you like the sound of The Phoenix Charm. Celtic mythology is such a rich source of material for fantasy authors.

    Helen

  20. Hi Teresa W, I’m glad word is getting around about the book!

    Helen

  21. Caitlin, I love the way Celtic mythology is mixed up with real history, so it is difficult to know what is true and what is imagined. Makes it more magical!

    Helen

  22. Hi Arantza, I’m delighted that you enjoyed the excerpt!

    Helen

  23. Hey, I’ve just taken Cynthia’s character quiz and I’m a vampire. Who would have guessed!

    Helen

  24. JOYE says:

    Enjoyed reading the comments.
    I have a lucky charm I keep on my keychain. Don’t know if it brings me luck, but I tend to believe it does.
    The book sounds really good and I have added it to my TBR list.

  25. Hi Joye, there is plenty of mythology about lucky charms. In my book The Magic Knot the hero is part leprachaun and he has the touch of luck. That would be a nice magical gift to have.

    Helen

  26. susan leech says:

    Hi Helen, so glad to be here to comment and say hello. I love anything celtic and believe in powers. I love the celtic music and have many of the dvd’s of this nature. I think your book sounds so good and I hope to get the chance to read it. Good luck on the new release and many more to follow. susan L.

  27. Virginia C says:

    Hi, Helen!

    Thank you for loving all things Celtic and weaving your wonderful tales! That Michael is wicked temptin’ : )

    My Mom passed away several years ago. I find comfort in wearing her jewelry, especially pieces that were a gift from me. My favorite piece, and the one that gets the most comments, is a sterling silver “Turtle” pin. Mom was an animal rights champion. She taught me a lot about animals.

  28. Hi Susan, I had forgotten about mentioning Celtic music. I love it as well. When I visited tourist sites in Ireland there were lots of cds on sale and I have a lovely one I listen to that has given me inspiration for my stories.

    Helen

  29. Hi Virginia, thank you for telling me about your Turtle pin. What a lovely way to remember your mom. I think there can be magic in items passed down from loved ones. As if the love itself imbues the item with special qualities.

    Helen

  30. RKCharron says:

    Hi Helen :)
    Thank you for the guest post. I had a jade bird from China I bought at the ROM in Toronto when I lived there. It actually brought me good luck, I’m convinced.
    :)

  31. Liz Kreger says:

    Wow. Sounds terrific, Helen. I love Celtic mythology, although I admit I don’t know it as well as … say Greek or Roman.

    Love the cover of your book. Its gorgeous.

  32. Ilona says:

    I have loved alll things Celtic for as long as I cna remember. I even designed my own Celtic knot cross-stitch to greet people to my house.

    I love the sound of your new book and will be adding it to my wishlist to buy as soon as my bookfund is in credit.

  33. Hi RKCharron, I seem to remember reading that jade is lucky. My mother has a jade pendant she got in New Zeland that she swears is lucky.

    Helen

  34. Hi Liz, Greek and Roman mythology seem to be the most popular in all types of fiction. Everyone will be an expert on Greek mythology when the Percy Jackson film comes out.

    Helen

  35. Hi Ilona, I admire people who cross stitch. I have only done small things and they always take me forever. Lovely to have designed your own.

    Helen

  36. Brandy says:

    I have always been fascinated with anything celtic. With both Irish and Scottish in my family line, I guess it was inevitable. *G* I’ve worn a claddaugh since I was a teenager, the first was a gift from my then boyfriend-now husband. *g* But, the one piece of jewelry I am never without is a blue agate cameo with a mother and child carved on the front. It was given to me by my husband on my very first Mother’s day after our Daughter was born. It symbolizes everything I ever wanted to be- a loving and protective mother. I feel it’s a part of me now. And both my children love it. They like to think of it as a carving of each of them, and myself.

    I’ll be visiting the bookstore soon and hope to see your book there!

  37. Brandy, thank you for telling me about your cameo. What a lovely tale. It must be so special as it symbolises so much love and belief.

    Helen

  38. I’m glad I asked the question about a special or lucky piece of jewelry today. The touching comments you’ve all posted have reminded me how important to us such items can be–how they symbolize so much more.

    Helen

  39. Chelsea B. says:

    I have two rings that I never take off. One is on my left hand’s middle finger, and is a silver butterfly my mother bought me a long time ago. The other is on my right hand’s middle finger. Its a little more complex to describe, but it blonged to my grandmother and I’m convinced they both bring me luck :-)

  40. Mariska says:

    I am so want to win this book. Following you around some blogs now Helen :)

    I don’t have any particular lucky things. I just believe that if i will get thing that i want then i will get it somehow! ‘believe’ is the main lucky thing that is important !

  41. Barbara Elness says:

    I love Celtic stories and music as well. I’m looking forward to checking out your Magic Knot Fairies’ series.

    I don’t have any jewelry that I feel brings me luck, but I have a couple of lovely necklaces and a pin that my son bought me that I cherish.

  42. Chelsea B, your rings sound lovely, especially the butterfly.

    Mariska, I feel exactly the same way as you. Belief is key. I remain positive even when everything looks bad and expect it to turn out well and it always does. In every challenge look for the opportunity.

    Barbara, reading your comment about the jewelry that your son bought you set me thinking. It’s odd that the cross I think brings me luck is something I bought for myself. I wonder what that says about me apart from the fact that my husband and kids don’t buy me much jewelry. :)

    Thank you for all your interesting comments. I must away to my bed now as it’s 12.30 here. I’ve been researching Odin for my novella, so I’ll go to sleep and mull over all the facinating details. He had a magical golden ring called Draupnir, created by dwarves, that every nine days spawned nine more gold rings. Can’t be bad!

    Helen

  43. Diane Sadler says:

    After my mother passed away I received her wedding band and have been wearing, not for luck but to know she is with me always, it doesn’t have any special symbols but it makes me feel good.

  44. Donna S says:

    Hi Helen, congrats on the release. I dont have anything specific that brings me luck. But the idea does remind me of when I was in college I went on a trip to Turkey and before we would get on the plane the gift shop people in the airport were insistent that everyone have one of the little evil eye pins to ward off bad luck. They just gave them out. Its a culture that believes in a good luck charm. Really pretty cool. Sadly mine got lost somewhere along the way since then.

  45. Pam P says:

    “Caitlin, I love the way Celtic mythology is mixed up with real history, so it is difficult to know what is true and what is imagined. Makes it more magical!”

    Helen, I think that is just why I’m always drawn to stories with Celtic mythology, the element of it being real and not imaginary.

  46. Diane, sometimes the simple pieces of jewelry are the most powerful.

    Donna S, I’ve never heard about that Turkish custom. Very interesting.

    Pam P, I love the idea that there really could be a magical world out there. Living in England with so much history around me it is easy to imagine that.

    Helen

  47. I Heart Book Gossip says:

    I have heard wonders about this book. Congrats on the release.

  48. Pamk says:

    looking forward to this series. and I have one piece of jewelry that brings me luck it is my charm bracelet I’ve had since I was a child. I can’t wear it anymore but keep it since it was something me an mom did on every trip and big thing that was going on in my life.