I’m delighted to announce my paranormal romance THE MAGIC KNOT is a finalist in the Romantic Times Book Review Magazine’s forth American Title contest. (For any of you not familiar with the contest, it’s like American Idol, only for books!)

The first round of voting starts on October 15th and closes on October 28th. Voting takes place on the Romantic Times website at www.romantictimes.com. There are ten finalists, and first round voting is for the best first sentence. Please take a look when the time comes, and if you like my first line, I’d love your vote.
As today’s blog is supposed to be about history, I thought you’d be interested to hear a little about the place that inspired my vision of the Irish fairy queen’s mansion that features in The Magic Knot.

The beautiful Palladian mansion Powerscourt (pictured above) is found within the Wicklow Mountains near Enniskerry, a few miles from Dublin. When you stand on the elevated terrace behind the building, forty-seven acres of lush gardens roll out before you. The jewel-bright colors of beautifully manicured flowerbeds are set against the backdrop of waves of multicolored shrubs and acres of mixed woodland. The gardens surrounding the mansion, contrast with the stark beauty of the mountains in the distance.

A castle has stood on the site since 1300. The current structure was refurbished in 1974 in preparation for opening to the public. Tragically, on completion of the work, the house was gutted by fire before it could open. The owners didn’t have the heart to start again, and the structure now houses a mixture of quality boutiques and shops for tourists. There is a display documenting the refurbishment and fire. Luckily, some of the original internal building survived, and is open to be viewed.

If you would like more information on my story The Magic Knot, please visit my website at http://www.helenscotttaylor.com/

An except of The Magic Knot is posted on this blog here: http://pinkfuzzyslipperwriters.blogspot.com/2007/09/magic-knot.html

6 comments

  1. Beth Trissel // September 21, 2007 at 8:17 AM  

    Wow! What an amazing place. No wonder you were so inspired. Good luck on winning that contest!

  2. Nightingale // September 21, 2007 at 2:01 PM  

    Enjoyed your excerpt. Fingers crossed on your winning the contest. I want to live in that picture!

  3. Joanne // September 21, 2007 at 7:14 PM  

    Good luck on American Title IV, Helen!
    We'll be voting for you.

  4. Helen Scott Taylor // September 22, 2007 at 5:05 AM  

    Thank you for the support. Powerscourt is a truely inspiring place. Such a dissapointment about the interior being destroyed. The film they show about it nearly made me cry because it was so magnificent and restored with such loving care before the fire took it.

    Helen

  5. Sandra Cox // September 22, 2007 at 9:14 AM  

    I loved this story!
    SAndra

  6. Patrice // November 21, 2009 at 11:53 AM  

    Congratulations on being a finalist and fingers crossed for a win. The castle and grounds do look inspiring and you described them so beautifully.
    Thanks for blogging. I enjoyed it.