2012 Year in review + what’s coming in 2013

Our inaugural year has been a whirlwind. We’ve review 23 independent and small press published books, conducted various author interviews, and we reviewed genres from horror to historical romance.

Both Cate and I have been introduced to author’s we never would have read without this blog, and I’ll admit some of them I’ll be following in the future. I suspect a few of them will have some successful careers.

The Indies format has also changed over the course of 2012, as we found that our original structure wouldn’t hold up to the demands of the days of our lives :). Who knew you couldn’t read all day, every day. I’ve been living in denial and repressing rage. That daily life caused a few posting delays and some other hiccups, but in all we were pleased with our turnout.

Our big thanks our to the authors who’ve let us review, the readers who’ve stopped by to check out what we think, and the overall support we’ve received from the independent and small press industry; including other blogs who’ve referred readers, re-tweeted info, and spread the word about our reviewing prowess (my ego needs a bit of boost).

Now 2013 which, will be awesome…awesome! *in the tone of Darth Maul* we’ve got big plans. First and foremost we’ve added a new review, the wonderful Aussie awesome Mari Dunham. She’s an import, but we thought opinions across the pond would be wonderful. Next we’re sticking to our 1 person review format which means instead of 2 you’ll get 3 reviews each month.

Not to overdo things, but in week 4 of each month we’ll be bringing back some of our author’s we reviewed last year for guest posts to discuss various things about what interests them and their personal writing journey’s. You can learn a lot from the experience of others, and we encourage readers to drop  by because there will also be free book giveaways. I love books, but even better is free books.

The New Year is upon us, before we get to that we must revel in the joy that is Christmas. To those who celebrate Merry Christmas. For those who observe other practices may you have a wonderful holiday season full of joy, good food, and good company. ‘Till the new year dear readers and since we all lived hopefully that means things are looking up!

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The Lure of Shapinsay – Landra’s Take

The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle

Rating:  Yay!

Kait’s just a young woman who lives on an isle with her brother, Blair. Existence is simple, until rumors of a selkies coming on land plague the village. Kait longs to believe that selkies are not as evil as everyone else tries to portray them. Until one takes notice of her…

Eamon never meant to get too close, he just couldn’t help himself. He wanted to see this fair-haired creature, capable of destroying him, close up. A grand idea until the land louper woke up…

Angst! Ooh, doesn’t everyone love angst; one of the biggest enticements to read romantic entanglements in any genre. The Lure of Shapinsay is brimming with the angst! Human female, selkie male, and every possible problem in between.

Kait’s character is immediately likable. She’s strong willed, determined, and believes in fairness. For a girl existing in a time where men made the rules and the women followed, Kait definitely goes against the grain. Eamon is a little more difficult to get to know. He’s rough, fearful, and has been brought up to despise and have caution of those living on land. Their growing relationship reminded me of two people from warring countries, hopelessly interested in one another, but still attempting to be loyal to the traditions of their birthplace.  The sad fact is, no matter the circumstances, neither of them can fight this strange attraction, even if it means they’ll destroy themselves in the process.

Holle paints a vivid picture from all angles in this novel. Great descriptions of the isle, and surroundings made it easy to fall into the world Kait and Eamon existed in. I was also pleasantly surprised that the native language used, similar to Scottish, was evenly tempered, and not over-done to the point where if someone says ‘doona’ one more time you’ll throw the e-reader across the room. There is plenty of information on selkies too; delivered at the right time, right place. For those with a penchant for myths and folklore it’s a nice little treat.

There were a few instances where I found the inner thought portions to run a bit long for my tastes, and a couple of others where I personally wanted some more information. Add in the fact that I’m dying to know what becomes of Kait’s brother, and the mysterious witch Tipper. I felt a little bereft at not getting the rest of their stories, but I’m happy to wait.

Overall, The Lure of Shapinsay is something new and fresh in the plot mechanism department. Actions and emotions are based on good reasons, and the relationship development is not rushed or dull in the least.  If you’re looking for something that’s got angst, romance, and a good dose of mythology this book is a sure win. Definitely a book to buy if you have a fondness for impossible relationships.