After a run of bad relationships, Lily Pearl Evans has finally become an independent woman. In the New Mexico desert town of Chaparral, she works for herself, sets her own rules, and is determined no man will hold her back again.
Gene Nicholas worked for more than a decade to achieve his dream to be a doctor. Wanting to share his gifts with those less fortunate, he leaves south Florida to volunteer for Doctors Without Borders in Mexico.
When Gene provokes a showdown with the local Mexican drug cartel, he becomes a man with a price on his head. On the run, he ends up on Lily’s doorstep–a mystery man forced to conceal his past to protect them both. With the cartel’s dangerous web drawing tight around them, can Lily and Gene survive a drug lord’s revenge?
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2U26_4t9yRA
A giant cloud spread across the horizon, reaching a quarter-mile into the sky. The ocher color of the desert sand, the cloud billowed forth in all directions, heading right for the pair of them. He’d never seen a sight so terrifying.
“What is that?!”
“What?” she asked, as she turned. Her face paled when she saw what he was looking at. She started off at a run for the truck.
Unsure what to do, he hesitated. The oncoming cloud swelled and swirled, billowing outward toward them like parachute material filling with forced air, constantly moving, growing. Mesmerized at the monster’s progress, he stood, slack-jawed, until the first pecks of sand stung his bare cheeks, the pain bringing him back to very present danger.
The air darkened around him as a hissing filled his ears. His hands came up automatically to cover his face, and he backed into his car door, inadvertently slamming it shut.
Lily stood on the truck’s running board, yelling over the door. “Hurry!”
The wind swallowed her voice, stole the words away, but her expression needed no explanation. He moved.
He stumbled in the sand, three or four steps in before he got traction enough to run. The cloud came closer, enveloped him. Blinded, he held his arm across his face, fighting his way toward the place he believed the truck to be, where it used to be before the world shifted into chaos.
He’d been working in Miami when Hurricane Andrew devastated the southern suburbs, and that was his only experience that even approached this in terms of terror. The wind roared around him, the sand continuing to assault his skin, even worse than the onslaught of wind and rain Andrew had been.
Just when he was sure he was lost, the lights of the truck flashed inches from his outstretched hand. He tucked his chin down into his jacket, grabbed the fender of the truck and pulled himself along till his fingers located the handle to the door. Counting to three, he blocked the door with his body the best he could, then jumped inside the cab of the truck and yanked the door closed in a cloud of dust.
Coughing, he laid his head back against the rest.
“Are you okay, honey?” she asked, brow furrowed with concern. She handed him a small bottle of water from a six-pack stashed under the seat.
“I think so.” He coughed some more, trying to catch his breath. The swirl of nothingness outside the glass drew his frightened eyes. “Is that a sandstorm?” he gasped.
“It is.” She leaned forward to close the air vents as the tapping of sand against the window became a full-fledged, constant bombardment.
The truck rocked in the vicious wind, but they were safe inside. Overhead, the sky became dark as night as the shifting sand obscured the faint rays of the winter sun.
His heart raced. What if this had happened the night of his border crossing? He imagined being lost in such an event, the sand scraping away exposed skin, filling airways with dust, slowly choking a person to death…
Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, she loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. One of her novellas, THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE, is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter, who is the youngest of her seven children, two crotchety old cats, and five kittens of various ages.
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alana-Lorens/e/B005GE0WBC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1