Here’s another book at the top of my #TBRlist. Rena Marin became a new favorite author when I finished reading her YA horror, Piano Man. With a horror series under her belt (and plenty of upcoming releases), she is going to fill up my reader fast. Check out her newest release, Devoured, a part of Crazy Ink’s Escape from Reality series, below.
Author: Rena Marin
Series: Escape from Reality
Buy Link: http://mybook.to/DevouredCI
What started out as an ordinary camping trip quickly turns dark when a group of teenagers hits the quirky, wooded town of Escape, Colorado. Known for its hiking trails and legends about a shifting creature that lives in the woods, the teens never expected to come face to face with it. But that was then.
This is now.
It’s tall. It has razor-like teeth. Its tangled claws have a reach longer than its rectangular face.
And confronted with a monster unlike anything the teens have ever read about, they have two choices: outsmart or be devoured…
Enjoy this excerpt from the book
Something is out there. The more I listen, the more I’m convinced. Maybe if I just lay here, it’ll go away. Dad always says animals get bored if you leave them alone. I don’t believe it but hey, I’ll take anything right now. Especially with something lurking just outside our tent.
I sit up and look over at my younger brother. It’s too dark to see his expression, but I can feel his trembling. The tent isn’t very big so it’s not like he’s across the room. No, he’s so close I can feel his hot breath on my arm. Even that isn’t helping with the goosebumps on my flesh.
“Billy,” he finally whispers in the darkness. I shake my head to stop him from talking. Hell, he can’t see it, but it’s an automatic reaction. The last thing we want is to get whatever is outside’s attention.
I reach out, my hand patting the ground beside where I was laying. Feeling my shotgun, I pull it into my lap while I debate what to do. When we came up on the mountain our plan had been to spend the weekend camping and doing a little hunting. Shawn has been away at camp for a while now. I thought this trip would be a great way to celebrate all the weight he’s lost and how good he’s been doing. Friday night was fun. I showed my little brother the ropes. I may not be the best hunter in these parts, but I’m learning quickly. Tonight, isn’t turning out like I planned.
The tent shakes slightly. The movement is behind Shawn who immediately crawls my way. I put my arm around him, shifting the gun to my other hand. There’s no way I can take a shot like this. If he wasn’t with me, I’d have already taken it down or at least tried. I guess I’m a bit braver with my own life. Not my little brother’s though. All our lives, I’ve been the one to take care of Shawn. That’s not changing tonight. No matter what’s out there.
“Billy, we can’t stay here.” The sound of the tent slowly ripping tells me he’s right.
“On your feet,” I whisper.
He stumbles slightly but makes it to his feet without letting go of me. He’s only twelve, I know he’s scared shitless, but I need him to be strong right now. Especially if we plan on getting down the mountain to where the truck is parked. It’s not the easiest hike and if we miss the trail, it’s even harder.
“It’s trying to get in,” he mumbles. I can still feel him shaking against my side.
“Shawn, listen to me.” The commanding tone of my voice does something for him. I swear he stops trembling for a minute. “When I say go, we’re rushing out of the tent and going straight for the trail, understand? I can’t hold you, little brother. You have to move on your own.”
Good. He’s asking questions. That means he’s going to try.
“Out the opening and to your left. When you pass the big oak beside the campsite, you’re on the trail. Just keep running until you see the truck. Do you hear me? Keep running. No matter what happens, get off this mountain.”
“I know,” I tell him leaning down. I dig around until my hand rests on the flashlight. There’s another but I don’t have time to search for it. “Use this. Wait till you’re on the trail though, okay? If you turn it on now, it may follow you,” I tell him, hearing another tear at the back of the tent. It wants in.
I try not to dwell on the fear in his voice or the fact I can see the shadow huddled by the back of the tent. It’s waiting. To be honest, I think it’s listening to us. It knows we’re making a run for it. It’s ready to stop us, if it can.
I hug my little brother tight, then pull away. In one quick motion, I unzip the front of the tent and step back. “Go Shawn!”
He doesn’t hesitate. He takes off like a bolt of lightning. All the weight he’s lost has made him a lot quicker. I follow, but so does it. It’s fast. The weirdest part though, it’s on two legs. I can tell by the sounds of its footsteps behind me. No animal I know of in these woods would be chasing us on two legs. Could it be a person? Is there some deranged madman in Escape wanting to claim us as victims or something?
I see Shawn’s light flick on. He’s on the trail. I’m not far behind him. I debate on taking a shot but decide against it. That would slow me down. Getting to the truck is the main thing. I can hear it in the woods beside us. It’s not staying on the trail. Shawn’s light hits it and shows it to me for the first time, and my heart stops.
It’s tall with the hind legs of a wolf or dog. Its arms are long with claws like I’ve never seen before. The face on the thing is narrow with eyes that shine in the darkness like a mountain lion. The teeth though, how can it have such long teeth? It’ll tear right through us.
“Shawn, go,” I cry out as I see it dart toward the light. It’s too late. I see the flashlight fall to the ground with Shawn nowhere around.
Reaching the light, my entire body starts trembling. I pick it up, following the sounds. I hear the muffled moans and gurgles. I don’t want to see but I need to. It’s my brother. I turn the light toward them. The creature is hunched over him. Shawn’s stomach is torn open, the claws greedily digging inside him pulling bits of him to its mouth. I can see Shawn moving, his eyes staring at me. He’s alive and this thing is devouring him. I was supposed to protect him. I promised him.
I lift the gun, aiming it at the creature who is now staring at me, gore dripping from its mouth. Shawn’s hand slowly reaches out hoping for help. I can’t go to him; instead I glare at the creature. “You hurt my brother. Now one of us is dying on this mountain,” I growl as I take aim. It rushes me and I take my shot seconds before I feel the claws tear into me.
About the Author
Rena Marin was born in a small town in East Tennessee where she, her husband Daniel, and two children–Cody and Amber–still reside today.
Growing up, reading and writing her own stories was Rena’s favorite pastime. Her once-unreachable dream of becoming a published writer came true when she was in high school and found herself with many writing awards and accolades, including a short story in Reader’s Digest.
After starting her own business, Rena continued writing shorts online before moving on to freelance work. Taking a chance, she and a friend submitted a novel to their first publishing company and were delighted to be accepted.
As a member of Crazy Ink Publishing, Rena now has several co-written series underway, including the Best Selling Dead Oak Terrors Series. Halloween Nightmare, the first book in that series, recently won the Reality Bites Best Horror Book of 2018. Rena also has her own solo series called The Witches of Dark Hollow Ridge. She looks forward to bringing readers with her into a world of magic and adventure.
Keeping close to her short story roots, Rena is part of several anthologies with many more in the works.
A lover of all forms of entertainment, Rena enjoys horror and fantasy movies new and old. When she isn’t writing or working, she often finds herself cuddled on the couch with her family–including their five fur babies–and lost in a fantasy world or hoping to be scared.
Connect with Rena Marin on social media:
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/
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