Helen’s Newsletter

Helen Scott Taylor

Good News For Magic Knot Fairies

After months in limbo after Dorchester Publishing went belly up, my Magic Knot Fairies series has now been taken over by Montlake Romance, the romance publishing imprint of Amazon. The books will now be coming out again as ebooks and paperbacks. I’m also hoping they will be available as audio books.

I have my fingers crossed that I will finally be able to write the rest of the series as well. If so, there will be at least two more novels and a novella to come.

New Cover for Warriors of Ra

Check out my lovely new book cover for Warriors of Ra featuring the gorgeous Jimmy Thomas!

Warriors of Ra Book Cover

Divided Loyalties

A Clockwork Fairytale Book Cover

When someone experiences a situation where their gut instinct tells them to go against everything they have been taught and ‘break the rules’, it is always interesting to see how the person, or in the case of fiction, the character, handles the experience. They have to reconcile what they thought they knew and believed with what they are compelled to do. This is often when characters grow and learn the most.

Often this situation can arise when someone’s duty conflicts with their personal wishes or desires, as is the case in A Clockwork Fairytale. The young hero, Turk, has been taught a clear and uncompromising set of principles, one being that women are not trustworthy or even worthy at all. This belief falls apart when he meets the heroine and he starts to think for himself.

In A Clockwork Fairytale, Turk has to go against those he considers to be his olders and betters to do the right thing, but it is a difficult decision for him to make. I love putting characters in circumstances where there is no clear right and wrong and they have to make difficult choices.

A Clockwork Fairytale

A rags to riches fairytale about a lost princess and a maverick young spymaster who must foil the plans of an evil magician bent on stealing her throne.

Praise for A Clockwork Fairytale

Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner! “I would most definitely recommend this to anyone, young or old, who enjoys a good clean love story…” Penelope Adams, The Paranormal Romance Guild

“Her lyrical writing and amazing imagination give you characters you’ll remember for a long time, along with stories that take you away into a land of magic that dazzles with danger and romance.” Sandy M–The Good, The Bad and The Unread A+

Normally only 99cents, but for two days, September 5th and 6th it’s Free on Amazon.

New Contemporary Romance Coming September 24th!

 

I’m excited to announce that my first release from Carina Press is due out on September 24th. For those who have read my other contemporary romances, I’m sure you will enjoy this story set in a small English town and the Italian Amalfi coast.

Finally Home

As manager of the charming Greyfriar House Hotel, Melanie Marshall loves her job and spending time with her young son. But she can never forget what she ran away from: her late husband’s crimes and her own terrible guilt. Though lonely, Melanie can’t afford to let another man into her life.

But when her boss, gorgeous hotel owner Jack Summers, returns from his supposed wedding without a ring or a wife, Melanie discovers there’s more to him than she ever thought. For one, the ex-soccer star is her son’s idol. But the closer she gets to Jack, the more she pulls away. She can’t share her past. Ever.

For too long, Jack’s protected his scarred heart by letting gold-digging women make him think love didn’t matter. But a sweet single mother and a soccer-crazy little boy change everything. He knows Melanie has secrets. Secrets she’ll have to share if he’s to help her realize she’s finally home.

Available as an ebook on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.ukB&N, Carina Press

The Green Man


I’ve had lots of fun using Celtic mythology in my adult paranormal romances. The Magic Knot Fairies series is based on Celtic mythology along with other folk lore about fairies and mythological beings. With my latest release, I’ve returned to Celtic mythology, but this time, I’ve drawn on the ancient Celtic gods the pagans worshipped in Britain.

One of these gods is Cernunnos, who is often represented in the UK as the Green Man. He is still celebrated by some here in the spring, and is supposedly responsible for the awakening of nature after winter. When the early Christians set about converting inhabitants of Britain from paganism to the Christian faith, one of the ways they attracted people into the new churches was by adopting pagan gods. In many old churches and cathedrals in the UK, one can find carvings of the green man’s face both on the outside and inside of the buildings.

In Exeter Cathedral in Devon, there are many well known depictions of the green man. Some are beautiful, but some are also frightening, with vines and branches spewing from the green man’s mouth or body.

Cernunnos caught my imagination when I was researching my Young Adult story, Wildwood, and the mythology and ancient pagan beliefs surrounding the god are at the heart of the story.

Wildwood

A fifteen-year-old boy is sent to stay in a spooky English village with his grandfather for the summer vacation. He always knew he was different from other kids, he just didn’t realize how different until he discovers his father was linked to an ancient pagan cult. If he doesn’t get out of the village soon, he might never be able to leave.

Wildwood is available for only 99cents as an ebook on Amazon

Setting Research

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy.

One of my great pleasures in writing a new story is researching the setting. If I’m really lucky I get to visit the place I plan to set my book. In pursuit of research, I’ve visited Ireland twice for my paranormal series, the Italian Amalfi coast, which features in a contemporary romance, Finally Home, due out from Carina in September, and the Island of Jersey in the English Channel for Unbreak My Heart.

The setting research for my most recent release, Oceans Between Us, proved a bit of a challenge, as the story included so many places. It starts in London, then moves on to a small Cornish fishing village. I had no problem with these settings as I live in England. The action then goes to New York, a city I’d love to visit, but haven’t yet. I had to depend on the Internet for my research, and my son’s observations as he’d recently visited NY. My hero and heroine finally end up in his home town on the Italian Riviera in Riomaggiore one of five small towns that make up the Cinque Terre or five lands. These are beautiful multicolored towns that are stacked precariously up the cliffs in small bays on the rocky coast.

I would have loved to physically visit this area of Italy as it looks stunning, but time and finances didn’t give me the chance. Instead I turned to the internet again for details on Riomaggiore. What a treasure trove of information there is available to writers on the web! I even found a video shot by a tourist who’d walked around the town, giving a virtual tour.

Free Book Days!!

Oceans Between Us is free for two days, today and tomorrow, June 13th and 14th. And the book is showing up in various places on the internet. Check out Free Kindle Books & Tips. My book is one of eight free books listed today.  The book is also on Storyfinds.

New Book Cover

I have a new book cover for Oceans Between Us. The talented Su Kopil from Earthly Charms designed it for me and she did a wonderful job.

Top Ten Frugal Find!

Unbreak My Heart is on the Frugal eReader site today as one of their Top Ten Frugal Finds for the month of May. I’m not sure how the popularity poll is worked out, but it’s always nice for one of my books to make a list! Check out the top ten list on the Frugal eReader site.

Romance Hot Buttons

Of the tropes found in romance fiction, if you are anything like me you’ll have certain hot button plot devices or issues that you’re drawn to. I’ve discovered from analysing the films and books I enjoy that my hot buttons are reunited lovers, especially childhood sweethearts who are parted and then find each other again, the classic Cinderella trope, marriage (or engagement) of convenience,  friends to lovers and unrequited love. I also love babies and children in sweet romances. Most books and films that include these elements in the plot appeal to me.

One of my favorite films is Pretty Woman, a classic Cinderella story. More unusual is the reverse Cinderella story like Notting Hill where the roles are switched. Hugh Grant is the Cinderella Character to Julia Roberts rich and famous actress. I still enjoy it this way round if it’s done well, but I prefer the man as the ‘Prince’.

In addition to those I’ve already mentioned, there are many other much-loved romance plots that have been done numerous times but never get old (as Harlequin will vouch for!). Here are a few I can think of, but I’m sure there are many more: secret baby, amnesia, man in love with best friend’s younger sister, the ugly duckling, kidnapping, mistaken identity, reformed rake/playboy, revenge, forbidden love/Romeo & Juliet, tortured hero, boss/secretary (probably falls under Cinderella), Beauty and the Beast. Many of the best romance novels seem to take one of these tropes and give it a twist to keep it fresh.

I also have to admit to loving heroes who have a nerdy side even if they try to hide it. And something that gets me every time is a hero who reveals his vulnerability. I love a wounded hero!

What started me thinking about classic plots devices was the realization that I’d included most of my favorites in my latest release Unbreak My Heart, without setting out to do so. At its heart, this is a story of childhood sweethearts who are reunited and rediscover love, but I blended in an engagement of convenience, friends to lovers and Cinderella.

What are your favorite romance tropes to read and write? Are they the same? Are there any you don’t like?