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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Real World of Shapinsay by Krista Holle

Please help me welcome author Krista Holle to the blog!

The year is 1848, and the last of the world’s magic lingers, on the tiny island of Shapinsay.  Here in this tiny Scottish village, man’s preponderance of knowledge is kept at bay while old superstition abounds in every household.  The wind blows relentlessly across the rolling green moor, with nary a tree in sight.  On a rocky bluff, you might find a tiny thatched house bellowing the sweet smoke from a peat fire.  This is the setting I selected for my most recent novel, The Lure of Shapinsay.

The setting and time period was a no-brainer for me.  I wanted my paranormal romance to read a bit like a grown up fairy tale.  That meant cranking back the years, adding a castle, and dressing my peasants in leins and shifts.  Oh, and a fairy tale wouldn’t be complete without at least one sinister creature thwarting the hum drum life of humans.  Fortunately for me, Shapinsay’s cold northern waters are filled with selkie. 

Selkies are beautiful seal-people—the original shape shifters. But don’t be fooled by their animal charm and preposterous good looks. According to oral history, the islanders lived in constant fear for their daughters. Many a fair lass would disappear in the night as they were lured to their deaths deep beneath the bay. A few other women were “ruined”, only to give birth to an infant with webbed hands and feet. Today, many Orcaidians proudly claim to be descendants of the selkies.

If the selkies didn’t keep the villagers up at night worrying, the overabundance of malevolent fairies did.The wee creatures were responsible for everything from stealing trinkets to child abduction.  There was such concern over the “wee people”, that every village employed their own trowlie doctor to concoct charms and brews for particularly pesky problems.   So commonplace was the belief in fairies, it was rumored that even Queen Victoria believed in them. 

This setting is all too familiar to Kait Swanney, the feisty heroine of, The Lure of Shapinsay.  She’s content living the simple life of a hen girl till she encounters a selkie male for the very first time.  From the moment she first lays eyes on the pale stranger, she becomes dangerously and magically besotted by the very creature who’d like to have her dead.  Below is an excerpt of their first meeting:

“A hand slid over my mouth and stifled my scream before I was even fully awake.  When my eyes sprung open, I was ready to be filled with the image of a most ghastly villain, but instead it was forewarned magick that filled my eyes, and I was filled with awe.  A man in the lightest sense of the word, loomed over me with eyes so wide and feral, I thought he might howl to the moon.  His words came out rough and breathy.  “If you make a sound, I’ll snap your scrawny neck.”

It’s a dilemma you’ll enjoy reading about.  The Lure of Shapinsay is scheduled to come out towards the end of December.  If you would like more information on selkies or would like to read the “back flap”, please check out my blog at, http://kristaholle.blogspot.com/.  I’m also on Twitter and would love to talk to you. 


You can read my review of Krista Holle's novel The Lure of Shapinsay here.


Add it to your Goodreads to-read list!




I’m a writer of all things romance—the sexy kind with heavy plot and no undulating body parts. Hope that doesn’t disappoint anyone. I’m technically insane because of four stubborn daughters and my obsessive need to make up stuff and write it down. If I’m not writing, you’ll find me wishing I was writing or obsessively combing the beach for the perfect seashell. Life is best experienced in a comfortable pair of blue jeans.
Find Krista Holle:


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