Sidhe Vicious Reviews

Spoiler Free Reviews & More Book-ish Goings On :)

Helen Scott Taylor – Guest Blog & Giveaway


Today I have paranormal romance author Helen Scott Taylor gracing us with a wonderful guest blog and giveaway! She’s the author of The Magic Knot and the up-coming The Phoenix Charm, on shelves  January 14th, 2010. Both books are from her Magic Knot Fairy World and have plenty of awesome fae characters, of which I am a fan. 🙂 Helen will be responding to comments today so let’s be sure to give her a warm welcome. The details of the giveaway will be at the end of the interview, so be sure to read all the way to the end.

I’ll pass the reigns over to Helen…

 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 who reminded me of my own cat. My heroine Cordelia is a pisky witch and wise woman 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 and 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.

 The concept that the type of animal we identify with reveals something of our personality is embodied in many cultures. 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. This has an almost paranormal 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, which may be one reason why they are so popular.

 One of the fantastic aspects of the myths and legends of the fairy world is that they encompass every type of paranormal creature imaginable—vampires, shape shifters, witches, and many others. The fairy world I’ve created in The Magic Knot series is based mainly on Celtic Myth and Legend with some of my own creations thrown into the mix as well. I love the freedom this gives to create a variety of characters. I include Cornish piskies, Leprechauns, a nightstalker (a black vampiric fairy with wings), the noble Irish Tuatha Dè Danaan, Tylwyth Teg (Welsh fairies), a druid, a dragon, and of course Tamsy the cat.

 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, 2010. This story is about the people of Lir the Irish Sea god.

The Feast of Beauty (Blurb)

 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 (Blurb)

 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.

To celebrate the release of The Phoenix Charm, I have a free fantasy romance short story on the Dorchester website called Jack’s Garden.

To read book excerpts or for more information on my work go to  

Also, Dorchester is having a Stocking Stuffer Sale on their website at the moment with some romance novels only at $2.99. Helen’s book The Magic Knot is included and so are The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox and Stolen Fury by Elisabeth Naughton to name a few.

Here’s the link:

Contest Details:

Helen would like to ask, “If you could have a spirit animal or familiar, what sort of animal would you choose?” As I said, she’ll be responding to your comments today, so be sure to say hello and let us know the answer. Helen is offering up a signed copy of The Phoenix Charm to a randomly picked commenter!

For one entry: Please leave a comment with the answer to Helen’s question.

For  extra entries: 

– Subscribe to my blog, Sidhe Vicious Reviews, through the links at the top right hand side of the blog, and let me know in your comment. Be sure you verify your subscription through the email you’ll receive or it won’t count. (+1 entry)

– If  you’re already subscribed, you’ll receive an additional entry, but be sure to let me know in the comments. (+2 entries)

– Post a link to this contest on your Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, GoodReads, LibraryThing, or on your blog and send me the link either in the comments or by email and you’ll get an extra entry for each place you add a link to.  

 Contest is open to Everyone/Anywhere Internationally and will run through January 6th until 11:59pm GMT. The winners will be posted here on the 7th. Please leave your email addy in your comment for me to contact you if you’ve won. If I haven’t heard back from the winner/s in 7 days, a new winner will be drawn from the eligible comments. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator. Good Luck everyone! 🙂

December 21, 2009 - Posted by | Contest, Contests, Guest Blogger, New Book Releases, New Covers - Release Dates, New Releases, On My Bookshelf, Upcoming Releases | , , ,


  1. Hi 🙂
    Thank you for guesting here today Helen. I enjoyed reading your post about animal characters and shapeshifters. I love the inclusion of animals in stories. Shapeshifters are also awesome characters.
    “If you could have a spirit animal or familiar, what sort of animal would you choose?”
    I’d pick the familiar (ha!) standard of cat. I love the demon-cat familiar, or the intelligent cat familiar. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing,
    Merry Christmas,

    Comment by RKCharron | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. Hi Helen!

    I’ve finally received The Magic Knot and I can’t wait to catch up with reading it. I see you’ve another coming out in January and I’m loving the blurb of The Phoenix too. I’d better get a move on with my reading!


    Comment by Susan Rix | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  3. I would have to pick a dolphin as they are my favorite animal and I love the water!

    Comment by Teresa W. | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  4. I would love to be a bird. I love the thought of the wind in my feathers as I soar over the land.

    The Magic Knot is the next book on my reading list. I cannot wait to dig my ‘beak’ into it.

    Thanks for being here, Helen.

    Comment by Dianne B | December 21, 2009 | Reply

    • I posted this on my Facebook and Twitter. I also subscribed to the blog.

      Comment by Dianne B | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  5. Hi RKCharron,
    I’m glad you enjoyed my animal post. I am with you on the cat. I would love to have an intelligent cat I could communicate with telepathically. (Not that my cat isn’t intelligent of course.)

    Hi Susan,
    So many books, so little time! I have a whole bookshelf of tbr books. It is so difficult to know which to pick each time I start a new one. Thank you for picking The Magic Knot to read.

    Hi Teresa,
    Dolphins are beautiful and fascinating creatures. I suppose you’d have to dwell under the sea to have a dolphin familiar. You would probably like the novella I have in The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance. The hero and heroine are both Rainbow people of the sea god Lir. I had fun writing the underwater scenes.

    Hi Dianne B,
    My husband agrees with you on the bird. Actually I think he’d like to have wings like the character Nightshade in my books. Hope you enjoy The Magic Knot.

    Happy Holidays to you all!


    Comment by Helen Scott Taylor | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  6. Great post.I have these books on my TBR list.
    If you could have a spirit animal or familiar, what sort of animal would you choose? I think I would choose a monkey :),they’ll always be hanging around.

    +2 I already subscribe

    +1 tweeted

    Comment by elaing8 | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  7. Keep up the great comments everyone! I’m enjoying reading them. 🙂

    Just for kicks, because I’m obviously not entering the contest, I think I’d go with the cat as well. I’ve had cats most of my life and have an affinity with them. I love my crazy dog too, but cats just have such amazing little personalities.

    Comment by sidhevicious | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  8. I would pick a bird because I would rather trust myself to fly me somewhere then a plane lol:-) Great post!

    Comment by Chelsea B. | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  9. Hi Helen! Thanks so much for sharing! If I had a spirit animal, I’d like a lioness! She’s ferocious, powerful, demanding, and extremely protective. Oh yeah! And she is an awesome provider for her family!

    Blog Subscriber

    Posted Link on:

    Comment by Kate L | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  10. Hi Helen, I have The Magic Knot in my TBR pile and after reading this interview it has been moved to the top.

    I think if I had a familiar it would be a white wolf. I’ve always loved wolf stories, even when I was young, and because the white wolf would be ostracized from the rest of the pack, I love the idea of it being bonded with a human. They can be so loving and yet so savage at the same time. And they are so beautiful to watch when they run.

    Happy holidays everyone!

    Comment by Stephanie N | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  11. Hello, All.

    I don’t know why but owl popped into my head when I read your question.

    I am a subscriber.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 AT gmail DOT com

    Comment by Tracey D | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  12. Hi elaing8,
    I had forgotten about monkeys but they are wonderful familiars/spirit animals. So intelligent–although not always nice. (Thinking of the golden monkey in The Golden Compass.)Good choice.

    Sidhe, another cat person. There are a lot of us about. 🙂

    Hi ChelseaB,
    Do you dream of flying? I’ve read somewhere that people who have an affintiy with birds often do. Must be an amazing experience to fly, so I can understand the choice.

    Hi Kate L,
    A lioness would certainly ensure you stood out in the crowd.

    Hi Stephanie N,
    I had no idea that a white wolf would be ostracized from the pack. How interesting. I wonder why that happens. You have pricked my curiosity, I’ll have to read up on this now.

    Hi Tracey D,
    Owls are wise and they can fly. Two good attributes.

    I’m off to bed now as it is gone midnight over here in the UK and I need to get up early as my son has a moped test in the morning. I shall check in tomorrow to answer any more questions.

    Thank you for reading my blog and Happy Holidays to you all.


    Comment by Helen Scott Taylor | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  13. It would have to be a Cat as I have 3. They have the perfect life of ease..LOL..MissKallie is the Queen and prisses when she walks. She spits, bites, slaps, hisses etc. The other two just ignore her.

    i am a new subscriber as I came in from Helen’s Holiday News Letter.

    After reading of White Wolf and Owl, they could make a story very interesting.. How they interact?

    Comment by Brenda B. | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  14. My spirit animal is a hawk.

    Comment by Stacie | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  15. Since I tend to be a cat-person (have 3) I guess it would be something of the feline persuasion. I love dogs too so the canine persuasion would work too! 🙂 Maybe one of each!

    I have The Magic Knot in my TBR but haven’t had time to get to it yet, but I’m eager now especially with Phoenix Charm coming out, AND because now I know there is a cat in the story! It’s funny you mentioned Accidental Demon Slayer above. That book has one of my favorite “pet” characters. Pirate is a hoot! I look forward to reading about Tamsy 🙂

    +1 – I subscribed via google reader (I don’t think I get an email verification that way)

    mishcara at gmail dot com

    Comment by MichelleK | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  16. I would pick a cat. They are mysterious & mistevious at the same time.
    I follow your blog aready.

    Really enjoyed your great post. Going to go read your short story. Happy Holidays.

    Comment by Sue Brandes | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  17. Thanks for blogging here today Helen. My choice would be a black panther. So sleek and powerful. Very mysterious and sexy. It is in the cat family but much bigger. LOL. Looking forward to reading the new book, I am sure it will be great as always. Happy Holidays to all.

    Just became a subscriber!

    Comment by Juanita Stender | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  18. I’d like to be a dragon cause of two reason they can fly and who in the heck would mess with a dragon lol
    looking forward to reading this book. Love the first one.

    Comment by pamk | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  19. Great post.

    I would choose a cat. I have always loved them and couldnt imagine it being anything else.

    I havent heard of the burmilla breed before. But wow what a beautiful breed it is, when I googled it they are just gorgeous. Dont tell them though.

    -already subscribed
    -linked on sidebar –

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

    Comment by Donna S | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  20. Helen I loved your first book!Itsawesome

    Sid im already a subscriber to youre news letter + 2

    Comment by Beverly G | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  21. To answer your question which i forgot to do

    Id be a Bird or a cat a bird so i could fly but a cat so i could cuddle andbe close

    Comment by Beverly G | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  22. Hi Brenda B,
    There are lots of us cat people about. I only have one cat. I used to have three but the one I have now hates all other cats, although she’s a sweetie with humans and dogs. Glad to know you followed the link in my newsletter.

    Hi Stacie,
    Hawks have an innate magical quality about them. I find all birds of prey interesting. My husband is a birdwatcher so I learned all about them just be listening to him. In the book I’m writing at the moment (Nightshade’s story) the king of the Scottish Unseelie Court is a shapeshifter who can trasform into a Golden Eagle.

    Hi Michelle,
    I know what you mean about having to choose between dogs and cats. My two dogs are cute and I feel a little guilty choosing a cat. Maybe I would have to choose two animals as well.

    Hi Sue Brandes,
    I hope you enjoy the short story. It came to me one night when I couldn’t sleep.

    Hi Juanita,
    Black Panthers are amazing creatures. I love panther shape shifters. Good choice.

    Hi PamK,
    I guess one could have a lot of fun with a dragon. You’re right that nobody would mess with you. In my third in the series that I’m writing now, the hero has to fight a guy on a dragon. I had fun writing that scene.

    Hi Donna S,
    I adore Burmillas. The breed was developed from Burmese, so they are the same body type as Burmese but with more coat colors and a long-haired type as well. Wonderful temperament.

    Hi Beverly G,
    I’m delighted you enjoyed the first book! I think birds and cats are winning the popularity stakes.

    Thank you all for reading my blog, and than you to Sidhe, for having me. Happy Holidays!


    Comment by Helen Scott Taylor | December 22, 2009 | Reply

  23. I have 4 cats so I’m going to choose a cat but to make it different I’d share my time between the 4.
    Theresa N

    Comment by Theresa N | December 22, 2009 | Reply

  24. I would probably choose a leopard.

    +1 Subscriber
    +1 Tweet:

    Comment by Spav | December 22, 2009 | Reply

  25. I would choose a black leopard.

    Comment by Jeanette Juan | December 22, 2009 | Reply

  26. I would also choose a cat. I was tempted to choose a cheetah since that is my favorite animal but I don’t think it would be too portable…


    Comment by Roxy | December 22, 2009 | Reply

  27. +1“If you could have a spirit animal or familiar, what sort of animal would you choose?” I would pick a house cat. I don’t know how my actual cat would feel about that though.

    +1 New subscriber
    +1 Tweeted contest here:

    Email: whatbookisthat at gmail dot com


    Comment by Emily | December 25, 2009 | Reply

  28. Any kind of cat. I’ve always loved them!

    Comment by Ladytink_534 | January 4, 2010 | Reply

  29. […] Helen Scott Taylor, author of The Pheonix Charm, at Sidhe Vicious Reviews […]

    Pingback by The Evil Details by Others | Literary Escapism | January 7, 2010 | Reply

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