Sierra ~ She Chose Life ~ Review ~ Guest Post and Giveaway

Posted: May 20, 2013 in giveaways, reviews, Romance, suspense, thriller
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The best word I can use to describe Taylor Deans writing is ‘haunting.

I have read all of her books, and they all stayed with me, lingered.

The same can be said about Sierra.

Taylor is my guest today. She’ll be talking about her book and revealing some fun facts.

Enjoy her post, read my review, and don’t forget to enter the wonderful giveaway!



Please welcome Taylor Dean.

She’s here to reveal some fun facts about Sierra!



TEN 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.)

  1. Sierra was inspired by the true-story-TV-movie of the ordeal endured by Olympic Medalist Kari Swenson, entitled, Abduction. (1987) This movie inspired 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?

  2. The first ten pages of Sierra were handwritten back in 1991 (pictured below) on a day when I just couldn’t stand it anymore, I had to write my story. If I didn’t commit it to paper right then, I was going to die! Frankly, the hastily written pages are really, really awful. But, the gist of the story is there and it’s eerily similar to the published version that stands today. Back then, for some unknown reason, I thought Nightmare into Paradise was a good title. (I blame it on the nineties.) I’ve come a long way.

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.

My sister’s thoughts on Sierra:
If you only read one of her books, it should be this one. Dean captures the real terror and thoughts of a woman in a dangerous situation; the real fears we have in love; the realistic responses of survivors of terrifying scenarios.If you like to see the man you love chopping wood with his shirt off, save you from any situation you encounter, and then go inside and make you dinner, Sierra is the book for you!

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. (It was never published with this cover.)


8. In my original story of Sierra, Alyssa takes Alex to court to have their marriage declared legal. Ugh. It was one of the first plot lines to get DELETED. Thank goodness. But I sure had fun writing it.

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.

Below is how my family and friends read my early manuscripts–somehow they still liked them! When people enjoy your early unedited and unformatted stories–you know you’re on to something.

I am about to release TWO more books! (June 2013)

Zachary Drake had love in his life–and tragically lost it. He knows it won’t come his way again.

Andie Parker would do anything for the love of her life.Even marry a total stranger.In spite of the unorthodox manner in which Zach and Andie come together, there is no denying that things are unexpectedly good between them, taking them both by surprise. However, when secrets come between them–and trust does not–Andie soon finds herself vowing to never make the same mistake again. But, she’d do it again in a heartbeat and she knows it. She’d marry a hundred strangers if it helped Nick.She’d do anything for Nick . . . anything.

After Marisa survives a traumatic experience in her youth, she finds comfort in the form of a photograph of Joshua, her foster mother’s nephew. She falls in love with him, creating and refining an image of the man of her dreams. When Marisa has the opportunity to visit Joshua’s cattle ranch outside of Amarillo, Texas, she meets Joshua in person for the first time. She quickly realizes he is someone she could really fall in love with, not just a silly childhood crush.

Life is seemingly perfect for Josh and Marisa, with endless possibilities before them. That is, until Josh’s reservations take a toll on their relationship and their summertime romance ends rather unexpectedly.

Will Marisa be able to forgive Josh for his folly?


My Review

Taylor classifies her books as love stories.

There is romance in all of her books, but I classified some of them as horror and thrillers.

Sierra starts out with your typical happy family on vacation.

Then it turns dark in a hurry.

Two maniacs abduct Alyssa and Sam and their son Clay, forcing her to drive them deep into the woods.

Pa and Adam had found their Eve. They had no use for the man and the boy.

Sam and Clay are gunned down right before her eyes and Alyssa succumbs to the shock.

When she comes to, her reality is horrifying.

Her escape attempt is thwarted by her kidnappers, but now they’re lost.

But wait, they stumble upon a cabin.

Alyssa dares to hope. Could her savior be inside? Maybe she can survive this, but does she want to?

I can’t imagine anything more soul-destroying then to see your loved ones murdered.

No matter how much she grieves for her husband and son, Alyssa’s will to survive drives her on.

There is a miracle in the cabin. The miracle is Alex.

He’s damaged goods, but then, so is she.

Two people, trapped in a cabin for the winter, turn to each other.

What I like most about Sierra was how Taylor lulls you in the beginning, then she shreds the peaceful scene to pieces. It happens so fast you barely have time to comprehend what is going to happen. Just like in real life.

You’ll be proud of Alyssa. Her heart has been shattered, she doesn’t want to live, but she can’t quit.

So she fights. with everything she can dredge up, she fights to live.

And life is waiting. Alex is waiting. He just doesn’t know it yet.

So, Sierra is a thriller, wrapped around a love story.

Of all of Taylor Dean’s books, this one moved me the most.

I cried, wiped the tears so I could see to keep on reading, and cried some more.

I smiled, then grinned, then laughed, and finally clapped.

Taylor gives you stong, genuine characters, a horrifying scenario that could happen, and the healing power of the human spirit.

I guarantee, after you read Sierra, you’ll have to read Taylor’s other books!

5 Stars

Taylor, I’m waiting for more!!


Look at what you can win!

Taylor sierra giveaway DSCN0374

To enter, please leave your email address and answer this question,

“If you were snowbound in an isolated cabin, who would you like to have there with you?”

***This swag pack is for US/Canada Only***

Please specify you are entering for the swag pack.

You will also be entered for the e-book.

***I also have 5 e-books of Sierra to giveaway ~ International & US***

Giveaway ends May 30th.

About Taylor Dean


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 CLEAN Romance in her line-up.

Find & Follow:

 My reviews of Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle

My Review of i have people

For all of Taylor Deans books go here.

Lancaster House  The Middle Aisle (Lancaster House)


I Have People

and coming soon!

Joshua's Folly 

  1. Diamond C. says:

    Hmmm, if I was isolated in a snow bound cabin I would need to have..,a library full of books, a comfy chair, hot chocolate, and my iPad. 😉 hehe
    Plz enter me for the swag pack! 😀

    • Gail Pitman says:

      If I was stuck in a snowbound, isolated cabin I would like to be with Stephen King. He could scare me silly with his wonderful stories and I would never get bored of listening to him and his fantastic imagination.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I agree with everything, but would add Doritos to the list!

  2. Ari says:

    The answer to your question would be, my husband. He has the skill set we would need to survive the winter, and the company would be nice.

  3. Ari says:

    Sorry I forgot to say I was entering for the swag pack.

  4. Angie says:

    If I were stranded in an isolated cabin in the dead of winter, I would claim Mr. Darcy, Rom Verney, Edward Cullen, or Francis Crawford Lymond to join me in my winter wonderland stay.

    Please enter me for the fun swag give away!

  5. Rose Milligan says:

    Oh goodness, I don’t know who to pick. Either my daughter, husband, or best friend. I’m entering for the swag pack. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  6. Entering for the swag pack. Sorry, I have the same boring answer. I want my husband with me, because he is macho, smart and can do all that cabin stuff. Plus, he’s really hot and sexy! I couldn’t stand to be there without him!

  7. raingirl46 says:

    If I could be trapped in a snow bound cabin I would have to choose my hubby to be stuck with me, but only if the kids weren’t with us. More than a few hours trapped with the kids would be torture. Don’t get me wrong…my kids are amazing people but I can just imagine the choruses of ‘I’m bored! ‘ echoing through the cabin after about 5 kinutes 😉

  8. Taylor Dean says:

    Hi Laura!
    I absolutely LOVE your review. Love, love, love! Thank you so much! As I’ve stated, Sierra is my personal favorite of all of my novels, so your review means a lot to me! I love the way you labeled Sierra as a thriller, wrapped around a love story! What a perfect description! Thanks for your wonderful review–and for featuring Sierra on your blog.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Hey Taylor. I’ll say back to ya. I LOVED Sierra! I felt it was a thriller in the beginning and near the end so I wrapped it around the adorable love story in the middle.

  9. Lacey Galicia says:

    I am entering for the swag pack!

    I would like to have my best friend with me. We are both similiar in the way we think and stay calm in stressful situations, so if something were to happen we would be able to figure a way out of it. We both have similiar, yet different skill sets that we could use if we were stranded. Plus, it is always nice to have someone you enjoy with you!

  10. I would love to have my bestfriend and our kids altogether!!
    USA entering for both

  11. I love the photographic cover too. It is beautiful. It’s always nice to learn something more about the authors.

  12. I forgot to tell you that I liked your description of the book Laura. Thriller wrapped around a love story. Very nice touch. Great review.

  13. sandys5 says:

    If snowbound and isolated at a cabin, lock the door and give me my hubby. We’d have our own adventure and after reading so many books, who knows what might happen. I would love to win the swag pack or one of the ebooks. I have already added this to my TBR pile. Thanks!

  14. Betsy Ashton says:

    I’d want to be stranded with my husband and a wall full of books.We’d spend time outside cutting firewood. We spend evenings snuggling and reading aloud to each other. I’m entering for the swag pack or an e-book. On my TBR list at Goodreads.

  15. Susan Laine says:

    Interesting story! The first cover of Sierra wasn’t bad either. Too bad it wasn’t chosen.

    Who would I have with me in the woods? Easy. Conan. No foe he couldn’t handle. The shadows themselves would run from him. And the fact he’s gorgeous to boot sure wouldn’t hurt the scenery 😀


  16. Amanda Ray says:

    If I were stranded, I’d want to be with my husband (who has the skills to survive), my son and lots of books! Thanks for the opportunity to win. Sierra has been on my TBR list for a while. I would like to be entered for the swag pack. luvs2read4fun(at)gmail(dot)com

  17. Elisabeth says:

    Who would I like to be there with me? A genie, so he could get me home. =) (I hate being cold.)

  18. Taylor Dean says:

    I love that almost everyone says their husband! There’s something about a snowbound cabin–it’s the epitome of romance! My hubby read this and his answer was: I’d want you–and of course a good supply of Chester’s Puffcorn. (I’m addicted!) He knows me too well. Made me laugh!

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I know. Isn’t it sweet to have so many happy marriages.
      Chester’s Puffcorn is good but Nacho Cheese Doritos are my must have. Plus my son, many, many books and my dog Quigley.

  19. laday2727 says:

    I’m going to jump on the bandwagon and choose my husband. We always have a good, goofy, time together, and I could think of no one better to be isolated with. But the cabin must have Cheez-Its…when he runs out, he tends to get cranky…and I do NOT want to be isolated with Kranky Kurt.

    As a side note, I’m SO excited to read this because it’s kind of like a segment on Days of Our Lives that aired YEARS ago, when Hope was trapped in a cabin by some crazy guy, and I faked being sick so I could stay home from school and watch the resolution :)

  20. I’d want snow tires and a 4 wheel drive truck OR a snowmobile! lol If they didnt work tho… I’ll take enough wood to keep me warm, enough books to keep me read, lots of food to keep me stuffed and someone like Mr. Darcy to keep me loved! :o}

    I’d like to enter for the E-Books and Swag giveaways BUT if I have to choose, I’d like the Swag Pack.

  21. I would want my hubby with me if I were snowed in.


  22. LoriH says:

    I’d like to enter the swag pack giveaway.

    As for being stuck in a isolated cabin in the snow, if it was my cabin it’d have a stocked library and i definitely love to be stuck with mu hubby. If not my cabin i’d still have taken enough books to read, my ipad incase theirs internet, i would’t count on that though, so books, my ugh boots, a nice warm coat, tea, hot chocolate, &my hubby. I’d be good for however long it took to get unstuck. And i hope it has a cozyy fireplace and comfy couch . I’m sur food we don’t want to starve :-)

  23. Stephanie Grant says:

    I would have to say I would want my dad there with me because I think he could get us out alive!

  24. I’m gutted your draw is only open to US/Canada residents :( but wanted to say your books sound fantastic! Will be keeping an eye out for them. May you sell squillions!

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