Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published: June 13, 2012
Length: 342 pages
Source: (author) review copy
“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.”
What intrigued me to read Sierra was the plot; I’ve never read a book about two men captivating a woman for a different purpose. These two men did not want any of her fancy stuff, money, or car. They wanted something else, something you wouldn’t think of, and that is why I love this book! I got hooked on to it and I couldn’t predict what would happen next. I usually see movies with men kidnapping a woman or a family, but this time I get to read it! The beginning of the book would have to be my favorite part. I caught myself gasping and surprised because there was so much stuff going on and like Alyssa, the main character, I was shocked with the events that were taking place. I was literally like :O “NOOO WAAAY!” “OH SHOOT!” “OMG :o” yeuup. Her family was shot right in front of her guys.
I loved all the characters, well except for the two psychopaths and Alyssa’s father. They were so real and Alyssa is such a great heroine. Man, if I was in her situation I would be shaking like crazy and freak out. She was so headstrong and fought her best to get away from those two retards. For our leading man- Alex – he’s awesome as well! He was very mysterious in the book and that added a little more suspense to the story. You’ll be like “Who is he? How does he even live there? Why is he living there?” I kept asking those questions to myself while reading it and was finally answered towards the end of the book.
The romance part was good! I thought it was cute but sometimes it got just a little bit cheesy. Also I think Alyssa says ‘I love you’ too much and I’m like “girl I get it and your husband just past away…”. Only thing I didn’t understand though was how come Alex couldn’t contact his helicopter to pick Alyssa up? I know there’s no signal when you’re on the mountains but I’m pretty sure Alex and Alyssa can travel and find a signal somewhere, even if it’s 5 miles away, that is, if Alyssa really wanted to go home. It looked like she didn’t though, and I know she was recovering from that leg injury but if I were her and after I recover, I would’ve walked back to my family even though it was far away. She didn’t though.
Sierra is one of those books that gives you something to think about with a lot of romance and sweet stuff thrown in it which I liked! Being trapped for months with the boy you love, that was good stuff for her lol. I recommend this to everyone especially if you like a novel with romance and suspense.
Q: Sierra is such a beautiful novel! What inspired you to write it?
Thank you so much, Leigh! And thank you for letting me visit your blog today! Sierra was my first novel and is my personal favorite. It means a lot to know you thought it was ‘beautiful.’
I received my inspiration for Sierra from the true story of the abduction of Olympic medalist, Kari Swenson. As I watched the 1987 TV movie of her ordeal, entitled “Abduction,” it sparked a “what if” story in me. What if the kidnapping had been successful? What if she was taken deep into the woods? What if she was rescued there? What if she had to stay with her rescuer through the winter?My imagination took over from there!
During one adventurous day many years ago, I sat down to write my “what if” story, longhand mind you, long before I ever dreamed of actually becoming an author.
Thoughts on Sierra rumbled around in my imagination for the next sixteen years until I finally took the plunge and started to write the novel. Although it is written very differently than those pages hastily written so long ago (I still have them, and they’re awful), it is the same story that exists today. It was such a relief to get my story onto paper. I couldn’t stop thinking about it till it was written. Now I’m free!
Q: Of all the places, why did you choose the setting to take place in the mountains?
The story called for a remote setting. Not only that—for the story to work—the weather needed to trap the characters for the winter and the terrain needed to be rough enough to prevent walking out with an injured leg. The mountains seemed the perfect answer to each scenario in order to make the story believable.
Of course, what it really comes down to is, I LOVE the mountains. Their beauty really can reach out and heal your soul.
Q: What song best fits your book?
I ALWAYS have songs that fit my books. They are the songs that make the storyline play through my mind like a movie. Not sure if they’ll do that for anyone else, though!
Here are my favorites for Sierra:
*To Make You Feel My Love by Garth Brooks
*1 + 1 by Beyonce
*Sweet Dream, Beautiful Nightmare as sung by Jessica Sanchez on American Idol
Q: How long did it take you to write it?
Much too long! Sierra was my first novel, and in essence, my first attempt at writing a full length novel. I had no idea what I was doing or how long it should be. (I hadn’t done my research!) I spent a year playing around with it, writing to my heart’s content, never really thinking about actually publishing it. By the time I was done, I had a 165,000 word monstrosity on my hands! Oddly enough, my family and friends still loved it, even in that raw, unedited state. Go figure! I had to spend several more months editing it to within an inch of its life before it was ready to see the light of day, (and I cut it down to 100,000 words).
Q: Was there a time that you dreamt about one of your characters?
Alex. Always Alex. To this day, he’s still my favorite of my leading men.
After reading Sierra, my sister said to me, “I can’t stop dreaming of being stuck in a snowbound cabin with a handsome hero!”
Q: If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
Well, Alex, of course. But don’t tell my hubby I said that!
Q: What is your advice for authors who are also writing a romantic suspense book?
I would say, keep the romance as the strongest part of your story. Let the suspense be secondary. Make the reader forget they are even reading a suspense story. Then sock it to ‘em by bringing the suspense to the forefront. Example: When I watched the movie, “Titanic,” I forgot they were aboard the Titanic. I was much too absorbed in the love story. Get the idea?
Haha thank you so much for your time Taylor 😀 I loved your answers! and I’d spend time with Alex too… but a younger version Alex cause I’m only 16 x) And now for the excerpt!….
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.