All college student Kayla Hartley wants is to go home for Thanksgiving, but money’s tight since her father died. She’s homesick and, whether she wants to admit it or not, still grieving. Out of desperation, she accepts a ride from a stranger whose name she finds on a ride board at college. Despite her roommate’s warning, Kayla gets into the car with Mark Lawson, a handsome cowboy, who charms his way into her heart. But is he too attractive for his own good? It’s 800 miles across an unforgiving, barren landscape from San Angelo, Texas, to her hometown in Arizona, and as night falls and the road becomes more desolate, Kayla begins to wonder if she’s made a mistake, a terrible one that might cost her dearly. A wreck leaves them stranded in the rugged Trans-Pecos region of West Texas. Kayla suffers a concussion, and the car is no longer drivable. The nearest town is one hundred miles away. It’s dark and getting cold. She thinks they’re alone. She’s wrong. Having grown up in the desert, Kayla knows its dangers. Sandstorms. Flash floods. Gila monsters. And rattlesnakes and other predators, like coyotes. But, as Kayla soon finds out, the most dangerous predator in the desert is human. And he’s close. Very close.

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From the book:

Kayla Hartley stared sullenly at her captor.

Her right temple throbbed from being hit. Her tears, long dried on her cold cheeks, were only memories now. She longed to stand up and stretch, but the ropes that bound her arms behind her back wouldn’t allow it.

Dear God in Heaven, please help me.

Kayla really didn’t expect an answer. After all, it had been a long time since she’d truly spoken to God. Not since her dad died.

Maybe this is Your way of punishing me, Lord.

She glared at him. It was cold inside the fi lthy shed, but he was sweating. His face was hard and he licked his lips as he played around with the gun in his hands. He caught her staring. He blew her a kiss, which made her skin crawl. She quickly averted her eyes and looked at the dirt floor just as a large rat scurried up and over her boots. She recoiled her feet and tried to scoot back away from the vermin.

Her captor laughed. Kayla knew what was coming next.

She just prayed she had the strength to live through it.


Abilene, Big Country calendar 12/27 to 12/30
Abilene Reporter-News, Dec. 26, 2014

Miles native author to hold book signing in Ballinger
Brownwood Bulletin, Dec. 17, 2014

Author book signing in Ballinger Dec. 27
Ballinger Ledger, Dec. 16, 2014

New novel from Pamela Howell mixes adventure, danger, romance
WCAX, Dec. 5, 2014

West Texas briefs, 11/23/14
San Angelo Standard-Times, Nov. 22, 2014