Monday, November 4, 2013

Burn on the Western SlopeTitle:  Burn on the Western Slope
Author:  Angela Smith
Genre:  Romance
Publication Date: July 15, 2013
Publisher: Crimson Romance

Diaries of 2 Thick Chicks are super excited to take part in the Burn on the Western Slope Blog Tour and Giveaway with guest author Angela Smith.

Burn on the Western Slope is a romantic suspense that sneaks up on you and reels you in.  The book starts with our heroine Reagan McKinney journeying to Montana to gain answers to why an uncle she never met left her with a large sum inheritance and a condo.  Frustrated with a mother who refuses to give her answers pertaining to her elusive uncle,and finally out of a dead end relationship that should have ended months ago, Reagan see's this trip as a way to restart her life.  Little does she know that her uncle and ex-boyfriend are somehow connected and she just walked into the middle of a massive smuggling ring and an unsolved FBI investigation.

Garret Chambers is a FBI agent who works for the Jewel and Gem Theft Program and is currently on leave in Montana trying to recover from losing his partner in a investigation gone bad.  Garrett is on the fence about whether or not he should return to work when he receives a call from his supervisor advising him Reagan was arriving in town and that he needed to launch an investigation on her to determine how much involvement she has in her ex-boyfriend's jewelery smuggling business. Neither Garret nor Reagan was prepared for how attracted they are to one another and struggle with whether
or not they should embrace the feelings that have for one another and continue protecting their hearts.

Both Garret and Reagan have been burned by love and are reluctant to initiate a relationship, but for different reasons. Garret wants to remain distant so that he can be objective for the purpose of his investigation, and because giving into his desire for Reagan compromises his ethics in terms of his job. Reagan is not eager to start a relationship because she is uncertain about her future in Montana and because she just got out of a relationship with a jerk.  Well as danger increases, Reagan and Garret are forced to spend more time together to figure out who's threatening her.  Passion ignites and eventually these two can't fight their feelings any longer.

What I loved most about the book was the interactions of the main characters with the secondary characters.  Reagan's cousin Naomi was witty, funny, and fun but she harbors secrets that leaves readers wanting to know more.  Garrett's half brother Chayton is also an intriguing character.  He's loyal, funny, and has a thing for Naomi that makes me hope, with fingers crossed, that these two will eventually end up together and we'll get a story for them at some point down the line. 

I read this book as part of the Burn on the Western Slope Masquerade Blog Tour.  Looking at the cover, I didn't have high expectations, however I have learned you can't judge a book by it's cover!  The book was engaging from the beginning.  Angela Smith does an excellent job of building the reader's interest in her characters.  There is just enough mystery and suspense to keep you engaged even through the slower parts of the book. Even more she does an wonderful job of painting readers with a picture of the beauty of the Montana mountains in the winter.  It made me want to jump on a plane and attempt to ski even though I have no idea how to put skis on.  If you enjoy books with suspense, a bit of mystery, and a romance story all rolled into one, you will love this book. I'm giving it 3 notes and 3 flames!

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About the Author:
 In high school, I was dubbed most likely to write a novel because I always had my nose stuck in a book. I’ll never forget the day the history teacher told me to finish my page and put down the novel romance I had hidden behind the history book that he was lecturing us on. I thought it was cool of him to let me finish my page, LOL! Of course, I closed the paperback right then. I was way too nervous to finish reading with all eyes on me.

Most people didn’t know back then how much I wanted to write, and now it’s no secret. I’ve always loved reading about the adventure of love, and getting involved in the legal field developed my love of suspense. I believe the whole act of love is a mystery that most people have trouble resolving, so now I work on resolving the mystery of love for my characters. It might be the only thing in life I can solve!

I work full time as a certified paralegal and spend my nights writing my next scenes.

Insight and inspiration from Burn on the Western Slope:

Ammonites and Ammolites
by Angela Smith

I first discovered ammolites on a trip to Florida.  I was annoyed with my dad for wanting to revisit a shopping area as he searched for a specific piece of jewelry for his girlfriend.

My relationship with jewelry is about like my relationship with shoes: I have the basic necessities and boots.  Lots of boots.  If I see a piece of jewelry I like, I might stop and admire it.  Maybe even think about how much I wish I had one just like it.  I ooh and ahh, then I move on.  Adding to my collection of jewelry doesn’t rate in my top ten listing of things I must do.

Don’t get me wrong, I love jewelry like the next girl and often wished I had more, but I keep it simple when it comes to my accessories.

Needless to say, I groaned and groused at this shopping venture.  I wanted to be on the beach sipping a margarita and even though I was an adult, we had all come together on this trip for a family member’s wedding and only had one vehicle. As difficult as it was, we were trying to spend time together on this trip, even if it did include me missing out on the Florida beach.

As soon as my dad found what he was looking for and showed me, I fell in love.  My life changed.  Everything changed.  The beach was worth missing.  I knew I needed to know more about these gemstones.

I had already been writing Burn on the Western Slope about a jewelry heist, but I decided I needed to include these precious gems and the seashells they come from in my story.  This discovery enriched my story and gave it a depth I never would have had if I hadn’t gone along on that shopping adventure with my dad.

Ammolites are gemstones that originate from the fossilized seashells of ammonites.  Ammonites are extinct mollusks, some dating back even to the Devonian period (which is, wow, a really long time ago!) 

Experts say the ammonite went extinct around the time of the dinosaur’s extinction.  I have often wondered if it was an aquatic dinosaur.  Certain dinosaurs might have even used them as a tasty snack.  Some ammonites were able to grow near 3 feet! Can you imagine finding a 3-foot seashell?

Though I don’t live near a beach, I’ve always enjoyed walking the beach and looking for seashells. Finding and collecting certain rocks and arrowheads appeal to me. But to find an ammonite fossil along the shores of my next vacation spot? That ranks high along my list of things I’d like to do.

In Burn on the Western Slope, when Reagan first sees the fossilized seashell, she describes it as “peering into the soul of high-definition earth.” You know how regular (and antenna) TV can’t compare to HDTV?  Nothing on any HD can ever compare to the beauty of our earth.

To learn more about Angela Smith and her writing projects, visit her website at, or connect with her on her other social media sites:



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