Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Reading Addiction Book Tours Book Review: Sierra

Today A Chick Who Reads welcomes Taylor Dean to the blog to share:

10 Things you Don’t Know About Sierra
1. Sierra is my first novel.
2. Sierra was originally a 165,000 word monstrosity. (it’s now 100,000 words)
3. Sierra was inspired by the true-story-TV-movie of the ordeal endured by Olympic Medalist Kari Swenson, entitled, Abduction. (1987)
4. The first ten pages of Sierra were handwritten back in 1991 (I still have them!) on a day when I just couldn’t stand it anymore, I had to write my story. I didn’t officially write Sierra until 2006.
5. My sister—one of the first people to ever read Sierra—stayed up ALL night to read it and still says it’s the best book she’s ever read.
6. Of all of my novels, Sierra is my personal favorite.
 7. The original cover of Sierra was an actual picture of a snowbound cabin.
8. In my original story of Sierra, Alyssa takes Alex to court to have their marriage declared legal. Ugh.
9. It took me one year to write Sierra. (and even longer to EDIT, EDIT, EDIT!)
10. >The original (awful) title of Sierra was Sanguinity.

Author: Taylor Dean
Title: Sierra
Date Published: 6/13/12
Synopsis: 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.

Review: If you look at the cover of this book, you may think you are getting a light hearted winter tale. That's definitely not the case here.

This is the kind of story that grabs you from the first page and makes you hold on until the last page is turned.

I always find books like this hard to review because of that whole spoiler thing.

So rather than try to sum the book up, I'll tell you this. When I first saw the cover and saw the genre as romantic suspense, I almost dismissed it. The cover gave it a kind of Harlequin-y look. A cozy suspense novel. (Not my favorite genre in the harlequin imprints) But something in the blurb made me give it a try.

It is nothing like the cover. And it isn't cozy. There are times when it is terrifying and others when it it absolutely romantic. Oh and don't worry, there are plenty of times when you'll cry. This book is packed with emotion and both Alex and Alyssa have gone through a lot and you will love them for their strength.

This book will definitely surprise you and Taylor Dean will be an author you'll be adding to your must read lists!

Rating: 5 flowers

Book Excerpt:  Stay strong, Alyssa. Another opportunity for escape will come, you just have to wait for it. And yet, she wondered if she would live through the next day. It wasn’t a matter of being lost in the woods, it was a matter of being totally, and utterly, lost. “WE HAVE TA find our community today. We’re out of food,” Pa said at lunch as they ate the last of the granola bars. “I know wur close.” As they hiked, Adam walked behind her and pushed her every time she slowed down. They were all slow today. He never walked behind her. The trip was getting to all of them. Alyssa felt as though she could simply lie down and die. Her pain, which had been significant, seemed to have diminished into a dull, anesthetized feeling that enveloped her. Maybe this is what death feels like—a sluggish, agonizing death, that is, she thought numbly. As they hiked down the mountain through a heavily wooded area, a deluge of rain descended upon them. They did not stop or seek any shelter, they hiked right through it. The noise of the storm hid the fact that Alyssa sobbed out loud. The moisture hid her tears. She didn’t even try to rein it in—she just let it out and was glad for the cover of the storm. Lightning and thunder roared around them and still they walked. Pa was sure the community was just below them. Alyssa knew that life—as she knew it—was over. Her fate was to be with Adam. The thought set in and her heart sank. She couldn’t remember ever being so terrified in her entire life. It soon became obvious they were nowhere near their precious community, however. Pa cursed and yelled in a fit of temper. They were all hungry and tired. When they stopped for breaks, Alyssa fell asleep each time, hardly able to hold herself in an upright position. That evening as they walked through an area dense with pine trees and foliage, to their surprise, they came across a cabin in the woods. Pa and Adam stood in the trees staring at it. It was obviously occupied. Smoke wafted out of the chimney, the smell of fresh bread was in the air, and the tinkle of music could be heard if you strained your ear. As Alyssa's eyes alighted upon the cabin for the first time, she thought perhaps she was dreaming. It was like seeing a mirage in the desert. It couldn’t be real—the sight, the sound, the smell. It was . . . charming. She was seeing things. It must be her imagination. After all, who lived up here in the middle of nowhere? But if she was seeing things that weren’t really there, then so were Adam and Pa. They decided to pay the occupant a visit and cautiously began the walk up to the door of the cabin. Alyssa suddenly felt like Dorothy along with two cowardly lions approaching the wizard. The cautious music from the movie played in her befuddled brain. Yep, she was losing it. Puffs of smoke shot out of the chimney and she wondered if Adam would turn around and run. Maybe the wizard would grant her deepest wish. Freedom . . .

Author Bio: Taylor Dean lives in Texas 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.
Twitter - @taylordeanbooks

Links to Buy  Amazon /Smashwords /Barnes and Noble

*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 Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising*

Follow the rest of the tour here


Taylor Dean said...

Andrea, thank you so much for the excellent review! I loved it! And thanks for not including any spoilers, I do appreciate that! Thanks for having me on your blog today! I'm thrilled that you loved Sierra!

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