Date Published: 6/13/12
Alyssa Fontaine’s life, loved ones—everything familiar and dear—are brutally taken from her.
Taken captive by two men, she endures a horrific nightmare. A new life is forced upon her and even a new name.
Just when it appears that no hope is in sight, she is saved by an unlikely twist of fate. Trapped in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, life will open its arms to her again and she will embrace it. She will find love such as she never knew existed.
Sierra is a heart-wrenching story of the power of the human spirit to survive amidst impossible circumstances and severe losses. It is a story of survival . . . and hope.
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ALEX STARED INTO the eyes of the young lady. Even though she was dirty and beaten, he could see she was beautiful underneath it all. He was appalled at her condition. Now that her head was up, he could see she had another rope tied around her neck, the skin also bloody, raw, and bruised. Her lip was swollen and cracked from the force of a blow, no doubt. An ugly, bluish tone covered her right cheekbone, again from being hit. Small scratches and bruises covered her from neglect and abuse. Feeling her pain, he wanted to reach out and take her in his arms. He stared right back into the desperate brown eyes. A chill went up his spine as they seemed to communicate without words.
When the young one noticed their eyes were fixated upon each other, he yanked the rope around her neck possessively and pulled her close. “I’m Adam and this here lady is my Eve.”
The girl winced, but did not break eye contact with him. Alex let the kid’s statement sink in with all it implied. His eyebrows knit at the thought.
“I’m Alex,” he said simply. A couple of sorry excuses for men—beating on a woman—the lowest of the low.
First off, I really liked the cover of this book – the snowy tranquility gave me a warm, cozy feeling. Then, after reading the blurb, I knew this would be an enjoyable read for me. One thing, the cover beguiles you into thinking this is a light romantic suspense story. That really is not the case. Even though there are a few scenes that capitalize on that homey feeling, many more are positively gut-wrenching. After the first few pages my attention never wandered; eager to find out what would happen next. The suspense kept me engaged whole-heartedly.
The author did an outstanding job creating the villains. Pa and Boy are creepy, nasty, and smelly. I loved hating them! Alex, especially, is a complex, flawed person. He and Alyssa both grow and change dramatically over the course of the story and face some mighty obstacles both together and apart. There were a few times when I just wanted to smack one or the other of them because neither could see the forest for the trees, as the saying goes.
I liked the overall voice of the story. There is a certain hopefulness that is never quite quenched even as circumstances seem most dire. However, there is also a feeling of dread hanging there in the periphery, callously prepared to poison all hope for future happiness. This suspenseful story is well-executed, cunningly crafted and ultimately a testament to the ruggedness of the human spirit.
This book was provided to me by the author and Reading Addiction Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
Reviewed by Laurie-J
Thanks for letting me visit your blog today, Laurie!
You're welcome! I excited for this opportunity to meet you and find out a little about you. So....to begin...At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’m not quite sure why it never dawned on me that this was my true calling in life!
I loved English in high school. I mean, I was one of those weird kids who wished they could keep the grammar workbook.
Yet, being a writer never crossed my mind.
I was constantly making up stories in my head and running the plots by my ever-patient hubby. He was intrigued and that should’ve been a clue.
But, do I think, “Hey, you should be a writer!” Nope.
Many years ago, I hand-wrote the first ten pages of Sierra. It was on a day when I just couldn’t stand it anymore, I had to commit my thoughts to paper at that moment or I was going to explode.
It still doesn’t occur to me that I might want to be a writer!
It wasn’t until I was faced with an empty nest—after being a stay-at-home Mom for years—that I finally sat down to write Sierra. To be honest, I was the most surprised of anyone when my friends and family actually loved the book!
That’s when I knew.
What do you think makes a good story?
Drama. Emotion. Romance. I love the Moulin Rouge plot of ‘hurt him to save him, because you love him.’ When a book/movie makes me cry, I consider it to be AMAZING. Anything that can evoke that kind of emotion from me is stellar. (My hubby doesn’t understand why something that made me cry is good!)
One of the reasons I wanted to write is because I found myself feeling frustrated when I read books. They never turned out how I wanted them to turn out.
As a writer, I get to decide if there’s a happy ending or if the boy gets the girl, etc. It’s the best part of writing. Total creative control. (does that make me sound like a control freak?)
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
I make my own hours. If my children need me, I can drop everything and spend time with them. I also love that I can work from anywhere. When my hubby goes on business trips, I can go with him and work from the hotel room.
That being said, it is so rewarding when someone can’t put down one of my books. It’s the best compliment evah. I love it!
Do you have a Website or Blog?
I sure do! www.taylordeanbooks.com
I tell ‘my story’ on my blog; my path to publication. Just click on ‘my story’ under labels and scroll to the beginning post. My hope is that my experiences will help someone to NOT make the same mistakes I did. If you are just starting out, it may be very helpful. (Besides, I sometimes wonder if anyone is ever reading anything on my blog! Help!)
Tell us about your next release.
I just released (Sept. 2012) a contemporary romance entitled, I Have People. It’s about memory loss. My next release is The Middle Aisle. (Dec. 2012) It’s the sequel to Lancaster House. It’s a paranormal romance and very different from Sierra. I write ROMANCE in all of its many different sub-genres. No matter the sub-genre, the focus of all of my novels is ROMANCE.
Does your significant other read your stuff?
Yes! It’s not a genre he would normally read, but he loves my books and often gives me amazing feedback! He also helps me to hash out my plots and, to my surprise, really gets into it! When I first started writing romance novels, I asked him, “Does it bother you that I’m writing romance?” He shrugged and said, “No, not at all.” But, that’s because he’s secure in the knowledge that I love him!
I had someone once say to me, “What is your husband not doing that makes you need to write romance to be fulfilled?” Ouch. The opposite is true. I can write romance because I have a wonderful marriage with a very romantic hubby!
Tell us about your family.
A question that I love because my family is my passion! Any chance to talk about my children—and I’ll take it! (I have a few pictures in my wallet . . .)
I have four beautiful children, three girls and a boy. (the boy is the baby, although he’s 20 now!) My daughters are now 27, 26, and 24 and they are my best friends! I love having grown daughters. My hubby and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary—and we’re still in love. My oldest daughter made me a grandma about a year ago and I adore my little grandson! Love of my life!
On a sadder note, I have to mention that I do have another grandson, but we lost him at eight months gestation to Trisomy 18—another story in and of itself. I will blog about this story soon. I couldn’t leave him out of the family equation. He is very much a part of our family.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I unwind and relax with a pathetic addiction to TV nightlife! I LOVE American Idol, So you think you can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, X-factor, Bachelor and Bachelorette, Celebrity Apprentice, and Survivor. It’s amazing I have any time at all! After a day of writing, I look forward to sacking out in front of the TV. It helps clear my mind.
Taylor Dean lives in
and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding that she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense—you’ll find all sub-genres of romance in her line-up. Texas
Twitter - @taylordeanbooks
October 2 - Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - Review/Interview/Excerpt
October 3 - Kindred Dreamheart - Review/Giveaway/Excerpt
October 4 - The Solitary Bookworm - Review/Guest Post/Excerpt
October 5 - Taking it One Page at a Time - PROMO
October 6 - The Thoughts of a Girl - Review/Giveaway
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*