Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Devour By Shelly Crane Coming out Next Month!

Devour (Devour #1)

Clara has it all. A wrestling star boyfriend, popular friends, all the right school activities...pretty much a perfect life...up until her parents died. Now she lives with the Pastor and his family and though they take good care of her, she feels alone. Then her boyfriend, Tate, starts to show signs of trouble when a new guy, Eli, comes to town. Clara is fascinated with him but hides it until something happens. Eli confesses to her that she gives him something he's never had before...something he needs. Everything is about to change for this normal pretty popular girl in a supernatural way.

Here is a sneak peek at Chapter one:
There’s a game you play. The one where you guess what the shapes and objects the clouds have made above you. Today there was a lady with a long witchy nose, a rabbit, a sailboat. Everyone’s perception is different, we all see different things. I personally think you see what you want to see.

I was solely entranced in my gazing. The sun was bright behind me as I laid in the grass, my head on my jacket. My insanely dark black hair was long and almost too warm as it fanned around my head and caught the sunlight. The small hill on the edge of the park was the perfect spying spot. Spying on clouds, on people, on squirrels, but I was alone. Alone here and alone in life. My family used to come here together but no more. My sister was gone, joined the Navy and would be gone for four years. She couldn’t handle the fact that our parents died and decided to fulfill my dad’s wish for us to be in the armed forces.

The burglary, and the burglar who took their lives, was something we all wished to forget. But I, here, stuck in my last year at high school, living with my Pastor’s family as a temporary custody home until I graduated and went off to college, was as alone as I could be.

The sun so bright behind me made the shadow that was suddenly loomed over me startling.

I looked up to see a guy standing by my head looking down at me. He had a little smile, almost wistful, on his lips as he cocked his head to the side. I sat up and twisted to see him better. His eyes were a freakishly bright violet. I’d never seen a guy with purple eyes- well, I’d never seen anyone with purple eyes. It was a rare thing, I guess, but now looking at them like that, they almost seemed natural.

He was wearing a deep green button up shirt with the sleeves rolled up and jeans, a small tear in the knee. His hair was as black as mine and close cropped. His hands were in his pockets and he continued to stare at me until I spoke.


“Hello, there,” he finally said, his voice deep and lilting with a small accent that I couldn’t place.

“Can I...help you with something?” I asked since he continued to gaze at me unabashedly.

“Nope. Just enjoying the view,” he said and then smiled slightly as he turned to look up at the clouds and then back down to me. “There always seems to be a rabbit and an old lady doesn’t there.”

“How did you know I was...”

“I guessed. Why else would you be laying here, alone, looking at the clouds?”

I laughed nervously and twisted the promise ring on my finger.

“Are you new here? I haven’t seen you around. In a small town, you kinda know everyone whether you want to or not.”

He laughed and it was delicious and rich making my stomach flip. I frowned. I had a boyfriend. What was wrong with me?

“Yeah, I’m new. Just moved stateside from Zimbabwe. My parents were teachers at one of the schools there. I’m Elijah Thames, but everyone calls me Eli,” he said and knelt down in front of me, sticking out his hand in greeting.

“Clara Hopkins.”

I took his hand, almost expecting something to happen when our skin met but though his hand was warm and rugged, it was just a normal handshake.

“Nice to meet you, Clara Hopkins.”

“You too, Eli. You came at the perfect time I guess. Second semester starts tomorrow so we all get new classes. It won’t just be you getting a new schedule.”

“That’s nice, I guess. I’m pretty used to being the new kid though.”

“Are your parents missionaries or something?”

“Of sorts,” he said vaguely and stood. “So, what’s there to do in this town on a Sunday afternoon?”

“You’re looking at it,” I said through a giggle. “This is about it, I’m afraid. There is an old theater in town but it only plays one movie at a time and there’s a club here but I’ve never been to it. We usually just hang out at the burger place.”

“Who’s we?”


“You said ‘we hang out’. Who’s we?”

“Oh. My friends and I. My boyfriend,” I said and was shocked at how reluctant I was to tell him that.

“Ah. I see. I should have known it wouldn’t be that easy, huh?”

“What wouldn’t?” I asked though I felt the blush creeping up, knowing exactly what he meant.

He just smiled.

“Well, can I walk you home at least? It’ll be getting dark soon.”

“Um...sure, I guess.” I took the hand he offered and then picked my jacket up, slipping it back on. “So, do you always walk up to strange girls in the park and start conversations?”

“Nah,” he said slyly and bumped my shoulder. “They didn’t have parks in Zimbabwe.”

I burst out laughing and was intrigued by how comfortable we seemed to be together.

“Where do you live?”

“We bought a place on Buxton.”

“The bed and breakfast?” I asked incredulously.

“Yeah. My parents are all about trying something new.”

“Wow. Well, it’s a nice house. I’ve always loved that place.”

“It’s nice and big. Too big but I guess once you get a house full of guest it won’t be big enough. I made my room the basement though, so that should help with the privacy.”

“The basement? Won’t that be cold and muggy and...creepy?”

“You watch a lot of scary movies, do ya?” he said in amusement.

“Maybe. I’m sure it’s nice enough anyway. But you know, it could be the attic,” I said and shivered in mock horror.

“Oh, attic’s are way creepy.”

We laughed and it resounded in the quiet darkening street.

He seemed to know right where he was going so I just walked beside him and let him lead us. Buxton was only a few blocks away from the city park and I lived beside the church near there.

We walked and talked for about a block before trouble turned the corner.

My boyfriend, Tate, was coming down the street in his big 4x4 truck. He was on the wrestling team, the towns pride. He was really good to me, very attentive, and while I enjoyed spending time with him, I wasn’t in love him. And he was a very jealous guy. All he ever talked about was us going to college together next year, but I didn’t want to go to college. I wanted to go on a mission trip or maybe apply to a music or Art school. If my parents were alive, they’d be so disappointed. My dad dreamed of his alma mater and my mom wanted me to marry right away and find a man to take care of me. Both of those dreams were nil.

But Tate was a sweet guy. Even though he was popular, he was nice to everyone...except guys who tried to talk to me. He once almost pummeled my science lab partner when he stopped me in the hall to get my notes.

Apparently, his mom cheated on his dad all the time and his dad had no inclination to do anything about it. The whole town knew about it but they held a position of status and prime real estate in the town so no one cared, essentially. But Tate had always cared.

“Oh boy,” I mumbled.

“What? What’s wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong, just my boyfriend. Just don’t listen to anything he says for the next five minutes, ok? I’m sorry ahead of time.”

“Ok,” he said, dragging it out in apprehension.

Tate stopped the truck and I saw it overcome him. His fingers turned white on the steering wheel, his lips grim in a tight line. He opened the door and closed it gently, too gently to be considered normal. It was a façade.

“Hey, Tate. Were you going to see me?”

“You weren’t at home. I was headed to the park to give you a ride…but I see you don’t need one what with prince charming walking you home and all,” he sneered, glaring daggers at Eli.

“Tate, this is Eli. He’s new here and lives near me. We were walking home together, talking about school tomorrow.”


“Tate,” I chided and went to give him a kiss on the cheek. I felt his skin, hot and angry on my lips before I pulled back. He flicked his eyes to me once before looking back to Eli. “Tate, this is ridiculous,” I whispered to him. “Why don’t you trust me?”

“It’s other guys I don’t trust!” he yelled, making me jump. “You have no idea what guys are thinking about.”

I took a deep confused breath. He’d never been that vehement before. I glanced over at Eli to apologize but he looked strange. Almost like he was...in ecstasy. His mouth was slightly open and his eyes hooded as he watched me. His breathing was heavy. I squinted at him and he seemed to snap out of it.

“Come on, man,” he said to Tate. “Really, it was nothing. She was just telling me about classes changing and all since I just moved here. She told me she had a boyfriend within the first two minutes of talking to her.”

Tate looked at me, his eyes softening a little. I looked at him pleadingly. He took a hesitant step towards me and when he saw I made no move to step away he caved and pull me to him.

“I’m sorry. Clara, you know how I get. I can’t...It’s dumb I know. I’m really sorry.” He pulled back to look at me. “I didn’t mean to be like that.”

“I know you didn’t,” I said softly and him being the blonde, beefy guy he was who stood right at my height level, put his forehead to mine.

“How do you even put up with me?” he whispered.

“I don’t know,” I said jokingly. “You’re pretty cute, I guess it makes up for it.”

“Pretty cute?” he joked and suddenly dropped to one knee and in his best English white knight accent began to beg. “Oh, please, my darling. My love. Forgive me and my assness!”

This was the Tate I knew and cared about. He was fun, playful, not afraid to make a fool of himself.

I laughed and bowed a little.

“You’re forgiven. Now. Tate, this is Eli Thames. Eli, this is Tate Richman. He’s captain of our wrestling team and his dad’s the mayor,” I said proudly.

“Hi,” Eli said cautiously and stuck his hand out.

Tate stood and took the hand offered.

“Hey, man. Sorry. I’m can be a bit of an ass when it comes to this girl. I’m sure you can understand,” he said with a wry smile.

“Understood.” Eli looked back to me and smiled a little sadly. “Well, I guess I’ll see you guys tomorrow.”

“You can have lunch with us tomorrow,” I threw out. “I’m not sure if I’ll see you before then but we eat at the long table right in the middle of the cafeteria.”

“Ok. Thanks.”

“See ya, man,” Tate said and waited for Eli to turn, then pulled me to him, snuggling into my neck. “Oh my gosh, Clara, you smell like something I very much want to eat.”

I giggled and pushed him back a little.

“You think you’re getting off that easy, buster?”

“What do I owe you this time?” he asked amused and touched his tongue to his lip to think. “Diaper duty? Because if that’s it, it was nice knowing you.”

“Hey!” I yelled playfully and smacked his chest. “No. Mrs. Ruth has the kids tonight, but you do have to take me home and...watch the last Vampire Diaries I DVRed.”

“Ah, Clara,” he groaned, “anything but that.”

“Come on, it’s not that bad.”

“It’s torture,” he said pointedly and then smiled. “But for you I’d do just about anything.”

“I know,” I agreed and I did. Tate had reasons to be the way he was and the way he normally treated me would put the Salvatore brothers to shame. But for some reason, I just couldn’t move past the feeling that he was just some guy I liked, had feelings for, but knew it wasn’t going anywhere. “Come on.”

He helped me into the truck and drove the short distance to the Parrish. Once we stopped in front of the house, I started to get out but he stopped me.

“Wait. Before we enter the no-touch zone...”

He pulled me to him across the seat and kissed me. Tate was usually a gentleman and knew how far I was willing to let him go. Sometimes he casually tried to push the envelope, he was a guy after all. This was apparently going to be one of those times.

His hand gripped my leg, as if to tug me into his lap. I let him. He seemed fueled by that and as his hands on my hips pulled me closer to him. I heard him groan a little. It rumbled through me and made my heart beat a little faster. I knew it was only torture to do this, I’d never let him do anything more than this, we were both virgins though I was happier about it than he was, but sometimes, I just needed to feel the glue to the envelope strain a little.

I let him kiss me for a good while, just like that. I ran my fingers through his hair. It’d been a year since we started dating. We’d both always gone to the same school together, always lived in this town. We hung out with the same friends but he’d never seemed interested in me before and I never thought about him that way. I’d been on a few dates with other guys but never really dated anyone exclusively. Then one day, he met me at my locker, alone. It was odd because usually there was a group waiting at my locker. As I made my way to him he smiled bashfully.


“Hey,” I had said cheerfully ignorant.

“How was Spanish? I have that next semester.”


“I was afraid of that. So, um...there’s this movie playing at the Cineplex, Adam Sandler is in it. Looks pretty good. I was wondering if you wanted to go tonight?”

“Sure. Who else is going?”

“Just you. And me.”

“Oh,” I had said and even I heard the odd note to my voice. He mistook that as reluctance.

“It’s ok if you don’t want to go, I just figured it might be fun. It’s ok,” he had said and started to walk away.

“No, wait. I didn’t say I didn’t want to go.”

“Do you want to?” he’d asked and came to stand closer than he’d ever stood before.

I remembered my pulse had suddenly jumped and I noticed how green his eyes really were for the first time.

“Yeah. I do.”

His smile was genuine and a little surprised.

“Great. I’ll pick you up at five thirty. We can get something to eat first if you want.”

“Yeah. Sure.”

He’d walked backwards, grinning, away from me. That night he’d picked me up and we had fun, lots of fun. When he dropped me off I couldn’t help but ask why he was all of a sudden interested.

“I can’t say it was all of a sudden,” he’d answered. “I just wasn’t sure if you’d want to and I didn’t want things to be weird so I just watched you, but you never looked at me different...so I took a shot.” Then he touched my cheek, his thumb sweeping across my cheek bone. “I’m glad I did.”

“Me too.”

Then he’d kissed me and I felt something in me burn, like slow lava. We’d stood there on my parents porch and kissed slowly and gently for a good while before my dad turned the light off and on, making us laugh.

Two months later, when my parents died, he was there for me like no one else. He was the first person to meet me at the hospital waiting room. He held me- just held me- for hours in those uncomfortable chairs as I bawled my eyes out. My sister had been gone on a skiing trip with friends and wasn’t there yet. I had been to a movie with my friend who moved to another town, Addison, and found my parents when she dropped me off. Tate stayed with me all night. Took me home, held me as I finally fell asleep on the couch. I don’t know what I would have done without him.

And now as he ravished my mouth with skill and restraint I was still thankful for him. But didn’t love him. He had never said the words to me, I’m not sure what I’d say if he did. I couldn’t lie.

“Mmm, Clara, you are driving me every kind of crazy,” he spoke huskily against my lips.

“Then maybe we should stop.”

“No. No, don’t stop,” he said and took my lips again.

“Tate,” I whispered. “You’re not making this easy.”

“Then give in to me,” he suggested and I could hear the smile in his voice.

“Tate,” I chided.

“Ok. Ok.” He blew a long breath. “It should be illegal for you to look the way you do and me not be able to have you.”

“That’s so cheesy,” I said through a smile.

“I know,” he laughed. “Alright, fine. Vampire Diaries in the preacher’s house it is.”

“Thank you,” I said and pressed one last kiss to his lips before climbing out of the truck.

We spent the night like we spent a lot of nights; watching television on my bed, with the door open and a clear view of us from the door. I was allowed to lay by him but there was no kissing in the house. The preacher, Pastor Paul, was very lenient with me but there were certain rules of conduct, especially with Tate, that he was strict about. Despite us being young and all, we were both kind of home bodies. I’d rather sit and watch a movie at home with him than go out with a whole bunch of people. Our friends and I usually had to work pretty hard to Tate to go out somewhere. He much preferred to be alone with me.

~ ~ ~

I was back, laying in the grass in the park. It all looked so real. The sun was bright and gorgeous behind me as it cast sparkles on the lake. A perfect day. I saw a shadow over me. At first I thought it was Tate but this person was taller and leaner and I felt something coming from him. Like I could feel his interest in me like a tangible thing. He knelt down beside me and I sat up. His face was covered in shadow from the halo of sun around his head. He reached out and touched my face. I gasped at the pleasure his touch elicited from my skin, goose bumps spread widely and I tingled all over, a response I’d never felt before, not even with Tate.

He moved in to kiss me and I was helpless to stop him. His lips almost touched mine, I felt the heat from his breath and a tremor ran through me. I suddenly felt afraid for no apparent reason at all and he moaned, seeming to enjoy my reaction. He pulled me to him and I whimpered as my terror spiked and he continued to hold me to him, like I was something he couldn’t live without.

I jolted me eyes open with a start. What was that? I wasn’t even asleep. Too many vampire shows for me.

The next morning I woke feeling a little strange. The first face I saw was Eli’s and I immediately felt guilty. Tate was good to me, though he had his flaws like everyone else. He was very desirable; a hot commodity at our school, and I was lucky he wanted to date me. At least that’s what everyone told me. It couldn’t be that he was lucky to be with me.

So I threw on my school uniform. Most people hated them but I loved it for some reason that escaped me. It was a typical uniform; red and black plaid skirt, white collar shirt and a vest that matched the skirt. No knee highs though, thank goodness. We were instructed to wear black ballet flats. After I fixed my hair and threw in some earrings, I made my way downstairs.

After helping Mrs. Ruth with all the babies breakfast - she had five kids under the age of five, the latest being twins who were only four months old- I rushed off to school, a little later than I’d wanted. I came through the gray concrete halls of our prison looking high school looking for Eli. I had wanted to get there before homeroom bell to make sure he found his class easily but the bell had already rang and now I was late. The church and the parish were across the street from the school. They shared a parking lot in fact, so I never got a ride with Tate, I didn’t need one.

I ran to my new home room just as the last bell rang. I slid into the first empty seat I saw by the door. I noticed Tate across the room, looking at me with amused eyes. He made kiss lips at me as we both turned to face forward.

After the bell rang we made our way to the hall. I waited for Tate and he studiously threw his arm around my shoulder and kissed my temple.

We walked to my locker and there was Eli. At first I thought he was waiting for me there and wondered what Tate would do but I saw him reaching into the locker next to mine. He was now my neighbor.

“Hey. Eli,” I said.

He looked surprised to see someone knowing his name and almost dropped his books, catching them very cutely in a jumble before they hit the floor and stuffing them in his locker.

“Oh. Hey, guys,” he said in that low rumbling voice of his.

“Who do you have for homeroom?”

“Mr. Winepeeno?” he tried and Tate and I both laughed.

“It’s Winepegofski. I know, it’s an impossible name. I think he’s from Russia or Poland or something.”

Someone called my name and I looked up to see Ashley, I waved and turned back to Eli.

“A Polish guy teaches US History?” Eli asked with a smirk.

“Welcome to America, Mr. Zimbabwe.”

He laughed and leaned on his shoulder against his locker. I looked up to Tate to see him no longer smiling. He was looking between us with a slight frown gracing his brow.

“Tate, who do you have next?” I asked, trying to include him.

“Bishop. Shop,” he spouted shortly.

“Ugh, well we definitely won’t share that class. I have Menendez.”

“Me too,” chimed Eli.

“Huh,” Tate said, clearly annoyed. “I’m out. Gonna be late and Bishop will ride me all year.”

“Tate,” I called and grabbed his arm. “I’ll see you at lunch, ok?”

“Ok,” he said tightly.

“Hey,” I pulled him to look at me and saw a couple freshman giggling at us from across the hall. “I’ll miss you,” I said to appease him. “It’s too bad we don’t have anymore classes together.”

“Yeah, I’m sure you’ll really miss me with Zimbabwe over there,” he said low where Eli couldn’t hear us.

“I will. He doesn’t watch vamp shows with me and follow silly rules at the house I live at. He doesn’t know exactly where to find me when he comes to see me and I’m not home. He’s just a guy, Tate.”

He laughed a small breathy laugh.

“Ok,” he conceded. “You better miss me,” he joked and poked a finger on my chest gently.

“I already do,” I said and accepted his kiss. He usually didn’t kiss me on the lips in school, but right then he was letting me have it. I felt his hand on my lower back, pressing me closer. In the distance I heard a whistle from someone and I pulled back to breath. “Wow.”

He chuckled.

“I can definitely deal with wow.”


“Bye, babe.”

I watched him walk away as he bumped fist with someone and they started to jog across the campus.

Then I turned to see Eli still standing there, with a wry look on his handsome face. The fluorescent lights made his hair even blacker. He looked almost ethereal like this. Today he’d worn his hair spiked to the side and I noticed he had his right eyebrow pierced with a small silver rod. I hadn’t seen that last night. He was wearing the same jeans as before but with a Queen 1986 Tour shirt. It was his first day, so he didn’t have his uniform yet. It always made the new kids stick out like sore thumbs.

“Hey, sorry. I told you he’s...I don’t know. And I’m sorry about last night too.”

“No worries. It’s not your fault. So,” he grabbed a black messenger back from his locker and threw it over his shoulder, “can I walk with you to our next class or will I get my spleen removed for it?”

“Ha ha. Yes, walk with me. It’s way over on the other side of the gym, so we better get going.”

We walked and I saw he was getting quite a lot of attention. I even got the stink eye from a couple of girls and I couldn’t help but laugh. He was definitely cute with a bad boy thing going that made me cringe with the cliché of it. He wasn’t hot in the traditional sense I guess. He was a little rugged and jagged but he was extremely nice and not cocky so that added to his appeal.

“Hi, Clara!” Sarah called as she passed.


“Who’s this?” she said and walked backwards beside us to eye him appreciatively.

“This is Eli. He’s new.”

“Oooh. New meat. I’m Sarah. I’m single by choice, a Pisces and I’m on the spirit squad with Clara. I’m also free this Saturday.”

Eli chuckled and it had the same effect on Sarah as it had had on me yesterday. She looked about to jump him right there in the hall so I saved her some embarrassment.

“Sarah, we’re late. You can ogle him at lunch, ok?”

“Ok. Bye, toots! Bye, Eli,” she sang his name and flounced away.

“She eats lunch with you?”

“Afraid so. You may as well get used to it now. We hardly ever get new kids at our school and the girls I hang out with are...forward when it comes to guys. You can back out now and I wouldn’t blame you.”

“No. No, I like a challenge.” I looked at him sideways to see him smiling in his profile. “So the spirit squad? I didn’t peg you as a cheerleader.”

“You pegged right. I’m not,” I laughed. “Spirit squad decorates for games and sells tickets and ribbons and stuff. We try to pep people up for events.”

“I see. Sounds interesting. And cheerleaders can’t do this?”

“Not when they’re too busy getting busy in the bathroom before the games.”

He laughed and I looked at him with a smile. He was so different somehow.

While gazing at him I forgot to watch where I was going and plowed right into a freshman but he may as well have been Andre’ the giant. He was huge and the fact that I was a girl apparently had no effect on him.

“Watch it,” he growled.


“Why don’t you just take your,” he slapped my butt hard, “pretty little pampered spirit squad butt back to where you belong and get out of my way.”

“Whoa, pal,” Eli said and pulled me behind him. “Don’t talk to her like that and don’t ever touch her again.”

By this point there was an eager crowd with the word fight dancing in their eyes.

“Who are you, Pippy?” Everyone laughed and snickered. “If I were you I’d watch it. You’re not making a very good first impression at this school. First, you’re hanging out with spoiled princess ice queen over here and now you’re messing with me. I’d just go around me and pretend you never got in my way if I were you.”

“Sure. I’ll do that after you apologize,” Eli said calmly.

“I don’t apologize to brats who get everything they want. She should apologize for bumping me.”

“I did,” I mumbled at the same time that Eli said, “She did.”


“Get to class!” Mr. Brank called from his classroom and everyone scattered. “Now.”

“Later, Pippy,” the big freshman jerk called. “Later, spoiled brat.”

We started to walk and heard the bell. We were still a couple hallways away from class and I saw no point in rushing now.

“Thank you,” I said after some time. “I have no idea who he was but he apparently knows me.”

“I don’t think he does if he thinks you’re a pampered spoiled brat.”

“You don’t know me,” I said but thought it sounded defensive so I add jokingly, “I could be a horrible drama queen who stomps freshman under my leather stiletto boots.”

“I highly doubt that,” he rebutted and looked at my feet, then dragged his gaze back up to my eyes. “Beside. I don’t see any stilettos anyway.”

I realized we’d stopped in the hall and were now just standing there. Looking at each other.

“Thanks. Really. You didn’t have to do that. Now you’ve already made an enemy and it’s the first day.”

“Yeah, but I made a friend too.”

Gosh, his eyes were so breathtaking. It made me feel like I had Jell-O knees looking at him. His face changed and he cocked his head a little before opening his mouth slightly. He looked surprised this time though. He had that same look before, last night, when Tate and I had been fighting; like he was in ecstasy.

“What is it?” I asked.

He shook his head and smiled sheepishly at me.

“Sorry. You’re just...um. We better get to class.”

“Yeah,” I said nodding.

We walked into Menendez’s class well after the bell, everyone turning to look and see the new guy. I saw a couple people I sat with at lunch in this class too and dreaded the conversation I knew would take place later as we took the only two seats left; the two sitting right next to each other in the back.

Check out the cover for the second book in the series:

What do you guys think.........

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can wait for the book to come out...