Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review, Interview, Giveaway - The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle

The Lure of Shapinsay
The Lure of Shapinsay
by Krista Holle
ebook, 260 pages
Published December 16th 2011 by Sweet River Romance

Ever since Kait Swanney could remember, the old crones of the village have been warning her to stay away from the selkies. 
They claim that like sirens of old, the seal men creep from the inky waters, shed their skins, and entice women to their deaths beneath the North Sea. But avoiding an encounter becomes impossible when Kait is spotted at the water’s edge, moments after the murder of a half-selkie infant.  
Unexpectedly, Kait is awoken by a beautiful, selkie man seeking revenge. After she declares her innocence, the intruder darts into the night, but not before inadvertently bewitching her with an overpowering lure.  
Kait obsesses over a reunion deep beneath the bay and risks her own life to be reunited with her selkie. But when she lands the dangerous lover, the chaos that follows leaves Kait little time to wonder—is it love setting her on fire or has she simply been lured?

My Review:

First word?  Heartwrenching!!  

I was pleasantly surprised reading this fun story. I had so many preconceived reasons why I was not going to like it, and I’ve fallen flat on my face over all of ‘em:

For one, there’s the Scottish accent, like mither, bairn, wan, dinnae. There are the anticipated cultural eccentricities… the trading market, the prison island, the big city feel of the mainland.  And then there’s this cover… with the naked guy on it. I don’t read books with naked men on ‘em!! 

So, for starters this book is PG-13. “The Lure” is sexual, so it comes up a lot, but it’s so obviously obsessively psychotic, unhealthy and wild - “untame”!  There’s a lot of sex, but it’s not graphic.  I didn’t feel like I was interrupting the lovers, if that makes sense. As for the rest… the Scottish setting is absolutely delightful. The accents and the quaint town are refreshingly fun and different. After getting used to them, they fade into the exotic setting.

The Lure drove me crazy… it’s maddening!!  It’s a sexual Lure that Selkies use as a weapon against humans for well-explained historical reasons.  I think I enjoyed (and loved hating) the Lure more than any main character, even. It is such a unique, strong presence through-out the story.

The main character, Kait, realizes she’s under the power of the Lure, but instead of fighting it or denying it, she goes with the force of it, trying to accept her life despite it. And the pressure never stops building, that the Lure is too strong, too wrong and there’s just no way to overcome it. Sometimes I liked Kait for being so impulsive and strong-willed. Sometimes I wanted to throttle her and her well-meaning brother, Blair. Argh!!

Eamon also realizes that much of their relationship is due to the Lure and it makes him sad and secretive. He’s such an interesting character, so wildly different than human with his own confusing set of rules and standards. There are so many times Kait and Eamon say things to each other, but each of them understand something different, increasing that tension, that maddening tension of impossibility.

This book will haunt me a long time!! I’m sort of a wimp about tension… I really hope that things will work out in the end, I like Happily Ever After. And this book does not throw any promises of HEA around. I reconciled myself to feeling like there was just no way… even in the middle of amazing, exhilarating love. Sometimes I had to set the book aside just to breathe ‘cause that impossibility was so thick. I totally commend Krista for capturing such great tension in such a unique setting.

The cover does not portray the Eamon I imagined. The skin coat is great, but the man is barely a hint of what's inside the book. Not quite pale enough, hot enough, or with long enough hair. Just to be picky. The ocean's great, though.

My Rating: 4 - Pretty Darn Good book. The rating may sweeten over time as it sits since this book leaves that haunting lingering taste long afterwards.

Meet the Author:

Krista Holle has been writing since she was nine-years-old when she scribbled out her first adolescent work entitled Merish, the completely illogical but heartfelt story of a girl who was part mermaid, part fish. As a young mother, Krista added to her repertoire some middle grade readers and picture books she’s wary of mentioning.
In 2004, Krista began an intensive four year period working part-time as a critical care nurse while homeschooling her four children. During this hectic time, courses of writing were taught and learned, and rules of syntax were scolded to memory. Ironically this period of study equipped Krista with the tools she needed to enter the next phase of her writing experience. Now equipped with the mysteries of the comma, Krista was ready to tackle a much bigger project—a full fledged novel.
After the kids were enrolled in public school in 2009, it occurred to Krista that there is an insatiable audience of women and girls who want to read books filled with stories about true love. Convinced that there was an unfulfilled audience waiting for what Krista loves to write—romance, she sat down in the family’s dungeon, a.k.a. the basement, and began to furiously type. In no time, her first novel was drying on crisp white paper.

Krista currently resides in Midlothian, Virginia with her husband, four daughters, and an eccentric cat with an attachment to the family’s socks. She continues to write obsessively every chance she can get.

Krista, Thank you for answering some questions!!  And THANK YOU for offering such fun goodies for the Giveaway!!!

How did you research to write The Lure of Shapinsay?  
The Scottish legends of the selkies are real, but there's very little detail given about these wonderful mythical creatures.  Because of this, I did quite a bit of ad-libing.  I wanted the story to have an almost "fairy tale" feel to it, there was quite a bit of research for the time period, as well as studying old maps of the island.  The most difficult thing for me though, was researching Shapinsay island's unique Scottish/Norse dialect.  I wanted the story to to feel authentic, so I located old stories written on the island during the nineteenth century.  

Do you have a favorite scene?  :-D

My favorite scene was when Kait got Eamon to eat Cullen Skink for the first time.  For those you haven’t read the “Lure” yet, Eamon has an aversion to soil or anything that comes from under the ground.   He tolerates the first bite of smoked haddock pretty well, but when he chomps into a potato, the violent physical reaction that follows had me giggling.  

Oh fun!! I really enjoyed that scene, too. I really liked how strongly Eamon was opposed to anything related to dirt!!

Are you writing now? What comes next?  

Always writing!  The Wind Whisperer is the first in a series and will be released later this summer.  It’s about a young Native American girl with the ability to “hear” the spirits of the wind.  While her tribe’s at war with a brother tribe, Anaii inconveniently falls in love with the enemy.  It’s basically a yummy love triangle that takes place before the arrival of the first white man.  It’s filled with intrigue, kidnappings, murder, and battles.  The guys will like this one too. 

Is there anything else you'd like to share?  

The Lure of Shapinsay will be available in paperback in late June!  I can't wait.

I got all the pictures from Krista's Website!!

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