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Crave (The Clann) Paperback – October 25, 2011

107 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Clann Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Melissa Darnell is the author of a growing list of adult and YA fiction and nonfiction books, including The Clann Series #1: Crave, The Clann Series #2: Covet, The Source, and The Ultimate Guide to Making Cheer/Dance Gear & Gifts. Born in California, she grew up in Jacksonville, Texas and has also called the following states home since then: Utah, West Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Iowa and South Dakota. She currently lives in Nebraska with her husband Tim and two children, Hunter and Alexander, where she enjoys watching Whale Wars, Glee and True Blood, designing digital graphic products for the virtual world of Second Life, and of course writing her latest book. Visit her websites for news, online playlists for each of her books, and more at and

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


The last day I was fully human started off like any other April Monday in East Texas. Oh, sure, there were all kinds of warning signs that my entire world was about to come crashing down around me. But I didn't recognize them until it was too late.

I should have known something major was wrong when I woke up that morning feeling like utter crap, even though I'd just snagged a full nine hours of sleep. I'd never been sick before, not even with the flu or a cold, so it couldn't be anything like that.

"Good morning, dear. Your breakfast is on the table," Nanna greeted me as I shuffled into the kitchen. As usual, she was the ultimate in contradictions, her voice and smile a Southern mixture of sweetness and steel. Like your favorite old baby blanket wrapped around a mace. "Eat up. I'm going to go find my shoes."

I nodded and plopped down into one of the creaky chairs at the table. When it came to cooking, Nanna rocked. And she made the absolute best oatmeal in the world, maple and brown sugar with a ton of butter just the way I liked it. But it tasted like flavorless mush today. I gave up after two bites and dumped it in the trash can under the sink seconds before she came back.

"Finished already?" she asked before slurping her tea. The sound grated over my nerves.

"Um, yeah." I set the bowl and spoon in the sink, keeping my back turned so she couldn't see the blush burning my cheeks. I was a horrible liar. One look at my face and she'd know I'd just thrown out the breakfast she'd made me.

"And your tea?"

Oops. I'd forgotten my daily tea, a blend that Nanna made just for me from the herbs she spent months growing in our backyard. "Sorry, Nanna, there's no time. I still have to fix my hair."

"You can do both." She held out my mug, her cheeks bunched into a bright smile that didn't do much to disguise the snap in her eyes.

Sighing, I took the cup with me to the bathroom, setting it on the counter so I could have both hands free to do battle with my wild, carrot-colored curls.

"Drink your tea yet?" she asked ten minutes later as I finished taming my hair into a long ponytail.

"Nag, nag, nag," I mumbled.

"I heard that, missy," she called out from the dining room, making me smile.

I chugged the cold tea, set down the empty mug with a loud thump she'd be sure to hear, then headed for my bedroom to grab my backpack. And nearly fell over while trying to pick it up. Jeez. I must have forgotten to drop off a few books in my locker last week. Using both hands, I hefted a strap onto my shoulder and trudged back down the hall.

Nanna was at the dining table digging through her mammoth purse for her keys. That would take a while. "Meet you at the car?" I said.

She gave an absentminded wave, which I took for a yes, so I headed through the living room for the front door.

As usual, Mom had been on the couch for hours already, talking on her cell phone while drowning in stacks of paperwork and pens she'd be sure to lose under the sofa cushions by the end of the day. Why she couldn't work at a desk like every other safety product sales rep was beyond me. But the chaos seemed to make her happy.

Even as she ended one call, her phone squalled for attention again. I knew better than to wait, so I just waved goodbye to her.

"Hang on, George." She hit the phone's mute button then held out her arms. "Hey, what's this? No 'good morning, Mom,' no hug goodbye?"

Grinning, I crossed the room and bent over to hug her, resisting the urge to cough as her favorite floral perfume flooded my nose and throat. When I straightened up again, my back popped and twinged.

"Was that your back?" she gasped. "Good grief, you sound worse than your nanna today."

"I heard that," Nanna yelled from the dining room.

Smothering a smile, I shrugged. "Guess I practiced too much this weekend." My beginner ballet and jazz classes would be performing in Miss Catherine's Dance Studio's annual spring recital soon. As the days ticked down to my latest impending public humiliation, I'd kind of started freaking out about it.

"I'll say. Why don't you take it a little easier? You've still got two weeks till the recital."

"Yeah, well, I need every second of practice I can get."

That is, if I wanted to improve enough to avoid disappointing my father yet again.

"You know, killing yourself in the backyard isn't going to impress your father, either."

I froze, hating that I was so transparent. "Nothing impresses him." At least, not enough to earn a visit from him more than twice a year. Probably because I was such a screwup at sports. The man moved like a ballroom dancer, always light and graceful on his feet, but I didn't seem to have gotten even a hint of those genes in my DNA. Mom had tried enrolling me in every activity she could think of over the years to help me develop some grace and hand-eye coordination…soccer, twirling, gymnastics, basketball. Last year was volleyball. This year it was dance, both at Miss Catherine's Dance Studio and at my high school.

Apparently my father was fed up with my lack of athletic skill, judging by Mom's argument with him over the phone last September when I began dancing. He really didn't want me to take dance lessons this year. He must have thought they were a waste on someone as uncoordinated as me.

I was out to prove him wrong. And so far, failing miserably.

Mom sighed. "Oh, hon. You really shouldn't worry so much about making him happy. Just dance for yourself, and I'm sure you'll do fine."

"Uh-huh. That's what you said last year about volleyball." And yet, in spite of taking her advice to "just have fun," I'd still ended up hitting a ball through the gym's tile ceiling during a tournament. When the broken pieces had come crashing down, they'd almost wiped out half my team. That had sort of ended the fun of volleyball for me.

Mom bit her lip, probably to keep from laughing at the same memory.

"Found 'em!" Nanna sang out in triumph from the dining room. "Ready to rock and roll, kid?"

Sighing, I pulled up my backpack's slipping strap onto my shoulder again. It scraped at my skin through my shirt, forcing a hiss out of me. Youch. "Maybe I should grab an aspirin before we go."

"Absolutely not." Nanna strode into the room, keys jingling in her hand. "Aspirin's bad for you."

Huh? "But you and Mom take it all the t—"

"But you don't," Nanna snapped. "You've never taken that synthetic crap before, and you won't start polluting yourself with it now. I'll make you more of my special tea instead. Here, take my purse to the car and I'll be right there."

Without waiting for a reply, she shoved her forty-pound purse into my hands and headed for the kitchen. Great. I'd be late for sure. Again.

"Why can't I just take an aspirin like everyone else in the world?"

Mom smiled and picked up her phone.

Four very long minutes later, Nanna finally joined me in the car. She thrust a metal thermos into my hand. "There, that ought to fix you right up. Be careful, though. It's hot. I had to nuke it."

I bit back a groan. Nanna hated the microwave. The only button she'd learned how to use was the three-minute auto-heat. I'd be lucky if the tea cooled off at all before we reached my school, even if it was a ten-minute drive.

We lived in a small, somewhat isolated nest of houses five miles outside of town. As I blew on my tea to cool it, I watched the rolling hills pass by, dotted here and there with solitary houses, big round bales of hay, and cows in all shades of red, brown and black. Out here, the thick pine trees that had once covered all of East Texas had been cut back to make room for ranches that were now broken only by rows of fences, mostly of barbed wire, sometimes wide slats of wood turned gray by time and the weather. You could breathe out here.

But as we neared the city limits, the strips of trees became thicker and showed up more often, until we passed through a section of nothing but pines just before reaching the junior high and intermediate schools. The first traffic-light intersection marked the start of downtown Jacksonville, where all of a sudden it became nothing but streets and business after business, mostly single-story shops and a few three- and four-story buildings for the occasional bank, hotel or hospital. And more pines winding around and through every area of housing large and small, even butting up against the edges of the basket factory and near the Tomato Bowl, the brownstone open-air stadium where all the home football and soccer games were held.

I used to love my hometown with its cute boutiques and shops full of antiques where Nanna sold her crocheted designs. I even used to love the town's ribbons of pines and the way the wind in the trees added a subtle sighing to the air. When the fields of grass and hay turned brown and dead in the winter, you could always count on the pines to keep Jacksonville colorful all year long.

But the town's founding families, locally referred to as the Clann due to their Irish ancestry, had ruined it for me. Now when I heard the wind in the trees, it sounded like whispering, as if the trees themselves had joined the town's grapevine of gossips. Those gossips had probably produced the long line of famous actors, singers, comedians and models that Jacksonville's relatively small population of thirteen thousand residents was so proud of. Growing up here, where everybody talked about everybody else, either made you want to live here forever or run away and become something special just to prove the gossips and the Clann wrong.

I wasn't sure I wanted to be famous. But I definitely wanted to run away.

We made the daily turn through the neighborhoods that led to Jacksonville High School, the drive made shady by still more pines and a few hardwoods that lined the modest streets. And then the blue-and-yellow home of the JHS Indians exploded into view, its perimeter choked by woods thick and shadowed, and I felt my shoulders and neck tense up.

Welcome to my daytime prison for the next four years, complete with a guard shack and a guard who lowered a heavy metal bar across the driveways on the dot of 8:00 a.m. every weekday, forcing you to accept a tardy slip in order to gain entrance when you were late. Unlike a teacher who might be convinced to let you slide, the guard was notoriously without mercy, ruling our school's entrance as if it were the gates to some medieval castle.

If JHS were a castle, then its royalty would definitely be the twenty-two equally merciless Clann kids who ruled the rest of the campus.

The Clann kids had probably learned their bullying tactics from their parents, who ran this town and a good portion of Texas, inserting themselves into every possible leadership role from county and state even to federal government levels. Local rumor had it that the only way the Clann could do this was by using magic, of all things. Which was total bull. There was nothing magical about the Clann's power-hungry methods. I should know. I'd had more than enough of their kids' idea of "magical" fun at school. After graduation, I was so out of here.

While Nanna pulled up to the curb by the main hall doors, I sucked down a quick slurp of tea, adding a burnt tongue to my list of pains for the day.

"Better take that with you." Nanna nodded at the thermos. "You should feel it kick in pretty soon, but you might need more later."

"Okay. Hey, don't forget, today's an A day, and I have algebra last period, so—"

"So pick you up in the front parking lot by the cafeteria. Yeah, yeah. I'm old, not senile. I think I can keep up with your alternating A-B schedule." Her twinkling green eyes nearly disappeared as her plump cheeks bunched higher into a wry smile.

The front parking lot was closer to my last class on A days. The first class in five years that I'd shared with Tristan Coleman…

"Savannah?" She shifted the car into Drive then looked at me with raised eyebrows, a silent prod to get moving. I climbed out into the pine-scented warmth of the morning, shut the door and gave her a wave goodbye.


His name echoed through my head, fuzzing up my mind with old memories and emotions. An answering tingle rippled up the back of my neck and over my scalp. Ignoring it, I stuffed the forbidden thoughts back into their imaginary box and turned to face the main hall doors. The day was sure to be miserable enough without my stewing over backstabbing traitors like him.

Sure enough, I shoved through the main hall's heavier-than-normal glass front doors and slammed right into the Brat Twins, two of the Clann's worst members. Yep, the perfect start to a fabulous day.

"Watch where you're going, idiot!" Vanessa Faulkner said, brushing off imaginary dirt from her latest Juicy Couture purse.

"Yeah, try looking before you just barrel in," Hope, her mirror-image sister, added. She reached up and patted her perfect platinum curls, the tiny mole to the left of her smirk the only difference between the two sisters.

I glanced around. We already had an audience for my daily humiliation. Great. My hands itched to try and smooth my own wild curls as my stomach twisted into knots. Why did the Brat Twins have to treat me like this? Just because I couldn't get a tan? Because my hair was the wrong color, too frizzy, not shiny enough?

"Well? Aren't you at least going to say you're sorry?" Vanessa demanded.

For a moment, the anger drowned out everything else. What would happen if I slapped that smirk off her face? She couldn't go crying to her precious Clann for the usual revenge. Nanna was retired, Mom worked for a Louisiana-based company and my father owned a national historical-home restoration business. The Clann couldn't touch my family.

Or could they? Several members of the Clann were politicians at the federal level. And Louisiana was within easy reach of East Texas. So maybe they did have enough connections to at least get Mom fired. Crap.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Clann
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Teen; Original edition (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780373210350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373210350
  • ASIN: 0373210353
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #900,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Melissa Darnell is a serial entrepreneur and the author of a growing list of fiction and nonfiction books including: the #1 Amazon Bestselling nonfiction business Truly Passive Income Series, and in fiction the Amazon Bestselling witches vs. vampires romance Clann Series, the New Adult paranormal romance Midnight Girls Series, the New Adult dystopian dance romance Marked Ones Series, and The Glass Ballet, a YA contemporary romance based on Melissa's own challenges as a teenaged dancer with lupus and fibromyalgia. Born in California and raised in East Texas, she currently lives in Nebraska with her husband Tim and their kids Hunter and Alexander, where she enjoys watching way too much TV, designing passive income products to sell through her Etsy shops, 3D printing shops, her cheerleading and dance online catalog at, and of course writing her latest book.

For information about her other books and to sign up for her free newsletters, please visit Melissa's websites at,, or

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids Book Reviews on November 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
An enticing mix of forbidden love, magic, betrayal, and heartache, this romance will leave your craving more. Melissa Darnell's beautifully told love story mixed with a rich vampire and witch mythology creates on of this year's most spellbinding paranormal romances.

Sav is a unique character I liked getting to know. She's feisty, level headed and fun. She also has an inner strength I admired about her. She's someone who at one time she had a lot of friends, and has since become some what of a loner, all because of something that happened during her childhood. One day "the clann" kids, along with her childhood crush were no longer welcome to play with Sav, let alone talk to her anymore, and she's never really understood why. "The Clann" are kids who come from a powerful line of witches, and they not only rule the school, but their parents run the town. They also have a long standing dislike for vampires.

I liked that this story is set in high school, because not only is Sav trying to blend into her surrounding, but she also has to deal with high school drama, the feelings she still has for her childhood crush and taking crap from her one time childhood friends. The entire storyline moved along quickly, but it went even faster once things change drastically for Sav, who develops some weird symptoms that in the process change her, quite a bit. Not only does she learn she has some pretty impressive powers, but she finds out her father is a powerful vampire, her mother is a witch and she's a Dhamphir. A mix of both a vampire and a witch is not only unheard of, it's dangerous, especially since she's a one of a kind. Now both the Clann and the Vampires fear her and want her dead, and her childhood crush wants back into her life.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A Forbidden love.. Sounds very Cliche right? Been there, read that. But now add in the twist, The Female love interest is a Damphir ( A half Vampire half human, that should not exist. ) Add onto that part Witch! The Male love interest is a Witch, son to the Leader of the Clann.

I have to say, I was hesitant of the twist. It seemed to complicated to me. But I ended up really enjoying it. It was nice to have the female character be the dangerous one in the relationship. And with Savannah constantly learning new things about herself, I kept wondering what might happen next.
Tristan was a great character as well. He doesn't want all the power that comes with being part of the Clann or son of the leader. He just wants to play football and lead as normal a life as he can. But when he feels Savannah is in danger he searches for a way to help, while not fully giving in to his families wishes.

The book starts out gripping with curiosities.. then.. it starts to drag a bit. you learn alot about Savannah's school life and new " friends" .. this goes on for awhile.. sigh. It felt very unneeded and was hard for me to get through. This is the only part that really bothered me about the story. But then FINALLY it gets to the nitty gritty. And OH how I loved it. Tristan and Savannah going against everything they have been told, trying to forget who their families are and What they are, and simply wanting to be together.
The ending is intense, and leaves you wanting more, and then of course I read the 1st chapter in the second book and now I'm regretting it! sooo impatient lol
To this Debut Author I say Job well done. I look forward to seeing where she takes this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jaime Arnold on October 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
Melissa Darnell has created a world full of magic and mystery that is thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end! It's a modern take on the Romeo and Juliet story but with Witches and Vampires. The characters are believable they seem like normal teenagers. At first I wasn't sure (since they start out as 14 year old) but then I remembered Patricia's son is 14 and I thought ok I can see him acting this way. The only other slight issue I had was the pacing I felt she moved too quickly through some parts of the story; one minute the kids are 14 the next 16 and driving and I was like whoa when did that happen? The answer to that? It happened when I was reading! I read about the seasons changing but as they did I didn't even realize we were that far ahead in the story!

I really liked the way the love story unfolded it wasn't insta-love these two had known each other all their lives. I also enjoyed that the story was told from both Savannah's and Tristan's perspectives. I think Tristan's were my favorites!

Savannah's friends (whom call her Sav) are all really cool especially her best friend Anne she really cares about Sav and when strange things start happening she stands by her side no matter what. That is a true friend.

I loved the idea about the possibility of a war between the Vampires and the Clann (I wonder who would win) and that Savannah will do anything she can to try and stop that from happening.

This was a really fun read! It wasn't complicated or gut wrenching which was a refreshing break. It didn't make me cry (even though there were some tense moments) it just made me smile.
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