The Mystical Mind of Amy Harmon

by Dana Taylor

Bestselling author, Amy Harmon, has turned into one of my favorite wordsmiths. I discovered her when her time-travel tale to 1921 Ireland, What the Wind Knows, was offered as an Amazon first read. Harmon focused on a historical era I knew little about. She wove real-life political figures of the day with fanciful time travel elements of a young woman caught between two decades.

I decided to go back to the beginning of her books to explore the world of Amy Harmon. Her earliest works follow “write-what-you-know” sage advice. Amy Harmon is a “girl from Utah” and her first heroines are girls from Utah. The stories fall into the romance genre, but even her earliest stories show signs of greater writing skill and imagination than most genre writers. Amy expresses love, loss, angst, and hope in broad verbal brush strokes.

Mystical elements appear in many of her works. Her 2012 book, Slow Dance in Purgatory, is a high school romance, but the hero is a ghost…well, sort of. With The Law of Moses in 2014, Harmon’s books leap a level in mysticism and maturity. Moses is a troubled teen who sees dead people. They torture him with messages which he translates into haunting paintings. The love story with small town girl, Georgia, is intense and takes many turns before they find their happy ending. Moses must master his mediumship capabilities and use them wisely. Dealing with grief is a strong under current of the book.

Harmon followed the story lines of several other small town characters in more books, Making Faces, A Different Kind of Blue, Running Barefoot, to name a few. Then she switched gears into a full fantasy shape-shifter adventure with The Bird and the Sword two book series. Heroine Lark, is a forbidden Gifted one dwelling in a mythical kingdom. She can call things into being, but is forced into silence. Mental telepathy comes into play when the hero (who happens to be a handsome king) hears her thoughts. He uses her Gift to save the kingdom from terrible predators as their love story grows. Harmon spreads her writing wings in a fairy tale setting worthy of any Disney movie.

She returned to historical fiction in one of her most popular books, Sand and Ash, listed as a “religious romance.”  Set in Italy during World War II, the story revolves around a Jewish woman hiding from the Gestapo with the aid of her childhood friend, now a Catholic priest. Personally, I’ve been-there-done-that with World War II stories. Leon Uris (Exodus) and Herman Wouk (Winds of War, War and Remembrance) and a slew of vintage films back in the day set the era indelibly in my mind. I have yet to read this one. Still, I’m sure it’s another great Harmon yarn.

This week I finished her latest tale, The First Girl Child. Somewhere along the line, Harmon developed a fascination with Norse mythology. From her fertile imagination, Harmon conjures a society of Viking clans and the priests who understand the power of Runes. Mysticism abounds as Harmon expands the romantic formula of boy-meets-girl into a rich tapestry of court intrigue, prophetic priests, a false princess, and a reluctant hero of superhuman strength.

Harmon’s superhuman strength is her ability to plumb the human range of emotions. She wrestles with issues of integrity, loyalty, betrayal, devotion, and love, all wrapped in adventure and drama. Looking for a good book? Try one from Amy Harmon.

Bright Blessings,

Dana Taylor

The Sooner Spirit shines in PROUD HEART

PH WEB mediumTaylor email 03 by Dana Taylor

I interrupt this “supernal” blog to announce a new release from my “romantic” side. Yes, I have a new book out. PROUD HEART is my love letter to my years in Oklahoma. As a California girl who suddenly found herself a new bride in the Sooner State, I experienced definite culture shock. For instance, strangers who crossed my path actually looked me in the eye and smiled. Some even said, “Howdy.” (For real. “Howdy.” ) Neighbors came over to introduce themselves. Everyone went to church. Oklahomans ate black eye beans on New Years Day and grew okra in summer gardens. When we bought our first home, my neighbor, Mrs. Blakely, was a woman in her 70’s who had been a teacher in a one-room school house. Great Little House on the Prairie!

The close-knit culture harkened back to a unique historical event–the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889.

As the years passed and my children participated in Land Run Day events, I became fascinated with the idea of a state being settled in one day. A sort of Big Bang Theory toward statehood. What kind of people would leave everything they knew to line up in the wilderness and make a mad dash for free land? (160 acres to call their own if they could stick it out for five years.) They came in two varieties–the Boomers and the Sooners.

1. Boomers–they made the run legally after the shot was fired.

2. Sooners–they got to their spots “Sooner,” having sneaked into the Unassigned Territories before the sanctioned hour and staked out their claims.

PROUD HEART grew out of that fascination. Of course, a good story needs a solid cast of characters. A romance novel needs a compelling hero and heroine and enough action to keep them from HEA for about 75,000 words. Read about the inspiration for my heroine, Rosa, at my new website in the post TIME FOR A LATINA HEROINE.

Here’s the book description:

Free land! On April 22, 1889 thousands of hearty souls gathered at the Arkansas border. They dashed into the Unassigned Lands to claim their portion of the American dream and followed their hearts to a place called Oklahoma.

Rosa—The daughter of nobility, she lost her family to violence in Mexico. Does she have the courage to make a new life in a strange country?

Steven—The charismatic leader, fighting injustice of the downtrodden. Could Oklahoma be the New Promised Land?

Ricardo—The California horseman, alone after tragedy and misfortune wiped out his hopes. Could the Land Run offer a fresh, new start?

As newcomers struggle to settle a new territory, fortunes are made, friendships are forged. Love is tested. Will Rosa yield her proud heart to find real happiness?

Amazon US Amazon UK  Kobo Barnes & Noble

Paperback version available at

There are some nice reviews popping up on Amazon. If you’re in the mood for a story of love, friendship, and adventure, enjoy PROUD HEART. You’ll see why people love being from Oklahoma!