I'm delighted to announce my Paranormal Romance THE MAGIC KNOT has reached the fourth round of the American Title contest. There are now only four people left in contention. I would love your vote to give me a place in the final two. Please check out the Romantic Times website to see the four passages of dialogue in this round and vote.

As a taster of THE MAGIC KNOT, this is the first page.

Chapter One

Roughly translated, the slogan on Niall O’Connor’s family crest read: “We need all the help the gods can give us.”

Not that he wanted help from anyone, gods or otherwise. He’d learned early on to look out for himself. Unfortunately, every now and then he had no choice.

So here he was—cap in hand metaphorically speaking—on his way to ask for a favor from druid, Tristan Jago. Which unfortunately entailed getting past Tristan’s sidekick, a vampiric nightstalker with attitude problems called Nightshade.

Niall rode his motorcycle up the narrow drive to Tristan’s rambling granite manor house, stopped on the circle of gravel outside the front door, and cut the engine.

Trevelion Manor sat alone on top of the rocky Cornish cliffs overlooking the Atlantic. In the distance, purple storm clouds billowed across gunmetal-gray sea. A portent of trouble if ever he’d seen one. It looked like the gods definitely weren’t smiling on him today.

As he kicked down his bike stand, the front door opened. Nightshade stepped out of the shadowy interior, folded his arms over his glistening oiled pecs, and spread his wings to block entry. Quashing a sigh, Niall pulled off his helmet and rested it on the bike’s seat.

Niall flexed his hands to check the position of the two crystal knives strapped to his wrists. If he could avoid fighting Nightshade, he would. Not that he thought he’d lose. Quite the contrary, he was sure he’d win. But he’d fought enough hand-to-hand to last a lifetime. Now peace and quiet was all he desired.

“It’s a pleasure to see you, Irish!” Nightshade hooked his thumbs in the loops of his jeans and grinned, his teeth white against ebony skin. “I’ve a hankering for a taste of Tuatha Dé Danaan with a seasoning of leprechaun.”

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  1. Mona Risk // January 22, 2008 at 6:59 PM  


    No matter how many times I read your first chapter I like it more and more. You are so close. Fingers and toes crossed for you.

  2. Joanne // January 22, 2008 at 7:16 PM  

    Beautiful first chapter, Helen.

    I love your work, and know you will succeed. Sincere congratulations.

  3. Nightingale // January 22, 2008 at 9:40 PM  

    I'm intrigued. Going off to vote. Congrats, Helen, you have to know you're GOOD to make it to four. I'm pulling for you but I think you're writing will do it for you. Tense, quick setup and hook.

  4. Beth Trissel // January 23, 2008 at 12:39 PM  

    You are wonderfully talented, Helen. Great good luck with this!