600 Followers Giveaway, 6 WINNERS!


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The Bookaholics was established in 2009, and it has been accumulating readers little by little, slowly gaining influence over the book-blogging world. The Bookaholics is the brain child of several young bloggers who have a great passion in reading.

Our motto is to spread the news about good books and encourage reading in general. And because of that, we always strive to introduce the best books to our readers.

PART #1: Worldwide
Tor | Forge has been very kind to sponsor four highly-anticipated YA titles for readers worldwide.

There will be four winners, each winner will get one book.

PART #2: Malaysia only

Aik is giving away the above swag to one lucky Malaysian reader. 

Naadir is giving away a copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green AND a copy Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick to a lucky winner who has a valid mailing address in Malaysia.

To enter, please fill up the Rafflecopter form below. Entries submitted via comments will not be entertained. Contest ends 15th May, 2012.

Book Review : Hannah (Daughters of the Sea, #1) by Kathryn Lasky

Hannah (Daughters of the Sea, #1)
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Scholastic Inc. 

Daughters of the Sea tells the story of 3 mermaid sisters who are separated at birth by a storm and go on to lead three very different lives. Book 1 is about Hannah, who spent her early days in an orphanage and is now a scullery maid in the house of rich, powerful family. She is irresistibly drawn to the sea and through a series of accidents and encounters discovers her true identity. Hannah realizes that she must keep the truth a secret but she also knows that soon she will have to make the choice - to be a creature of the land or the sea.

Hannah is an orphan who was sent to work at the Hawley’s residence as a scullery girl. She felt an unusual bond to the sea, and her feelings were intensified when she went to the Hawley’s summer cottage to prepare the family’s arrival, for it is near the sea. 

The story has its charm, but there is not much suspense in the plot. For a plotwise reader like me, there isn’t much to discover, and I felt slightly disappointed by this notion. The storytelling has a faraway tone to it – it’s boundless, expressive and charming. One thing that I can tell you for sure is that the author did a great job in detailing the Hawley’s eldest daughter – Lila’s madness. She and her cat, Jade make a crazy and somewhat bizzare couple. 

My favourite character in the book would be Harietta “Ettie” Hawley, for she is a likeable young girl who is both free-spirited and lacking of the arrogance usually present in young ladies from noble families. She treats Hannah like a sister, and she even takes Hannah’s side when Lila is against the scullery girl. Ettie reminds me of a dolphin – kind and gentle, but still playful. 

I really love how the author incorporates elements of fantasy in a story set in a real world. Perhaps I would enjoy this book better if it was not ended so abruptly. But still, I realize that this book is only the first in the series, so I would expect a good explanation for this perplexed ending in the second book in the series, May. 

Rating: 3 
Note of Thanks
A huge THANK YOU to Stephanie from Scholastic Malaysia, Singapore & Indonesia for providing this review copy!

About The Author
Kathryn Lasky
Kathryn Lasky is the American author of many critically acclaimed books, including several Dear America books, several Royal Diaries books, 1984 Newbery Honor winning Sugaring Time, The Night Journey, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her latest book, Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book 15: The War of the Ember, was released on November 1, 2008. Guardians of Gahoole: A guide to the Great Tree was released on September 1st, almost a month before projected selling time. She was born June 24, 1944, and grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is married to Christopher Knight, with whom she lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

Book Review: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa

Hardcover, 485 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Available on The Book DepositoryAmazon

In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity. Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked- and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend- a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isnt easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what- and who- is worth dying for.

Vampires= Sparkles+Romantic+Baseball? Read this book and tell me how you'd like to date a vampire. :)

THE IMMORTAL RULES? EPIC!! Let me tell you this: This book is not just any vampire or dystopian novel. NO! This is a book with the kind of story that will keep you reading all night with the lights on. If there’s a limit to how many times a heart could beat, I’m probably already dead ‘cause this book got me worrying that my heart’s beating way too fast. Even listening to Swift’s Safe and Sound couldn’t calm me down.

First of all, I love how Julie creates the world that is both unique and terrifying at the same time. It’s very well written and the Asian girl,- Allison Sekemoto- as the protagonist, PERFECT!  The actions and choices the cast seems genuine if you’d ask me, and it’s as if the characters are real.

When I read this book, I pictured Daybreakers and the rabids? Oh, that sooo Descent’s creepy creatures. As unpredictable how the story goes as it is, I was glued to my bed, unable to stop reading. I started to love the book right after Allie got attacked by the rabids and were given the choice to either die or become one of the vamps. WOAH!

Last but not least, Julie, finish the second book ASAP alright? ‘Cause I can’t wait to get my hands on it. *Thumbs up*

4.500 - 4.5 stars

Almost perfect!


Note of Thanks

Thank you Thank you Thank you Mira Ink for the copy of The Immortal Rules!

Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn�t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.
When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time, but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a real job.
To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dogtrainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time.
Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and the latest addition, a hyper-active Papillon puppy.

Book Review : Paper Towns by John Green


"Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one."- Q

Quentin 'Q' Jacobsen has been in love with Margo Roth Spiegelman ever-since they were little. Things changed by the time they were both in high school, when Margo became the 'it' girl.

So when Margo turns up outside of Q's bedroom window- dressed like a ninja- and invites him- "Basically," she said, "this is going to be the best night of your life."- on a mission to 'right some wrongs and wrong some rights' , Q follows.

Having had the night of his life with Margo, Q thought things will finally work out between the both of them. Unfortunate for Q, Margo vanishes the next day, leaving series of clues of her whereabouts, the paper town

As he embarks on the journey to the paper town with his two best friends; Radar and Ben, alongside Margo's Lacie, he begin to realize how different the real Margo is from his Margo- "Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one."

As I was reading the book, all I could think about was "where's Margo! What happened to her? Is she dead?". As unexpected as it was, Paper Towns was,...well...a disappointment? *sigh*

I was so in love with most, if not all of John Green's books that it kills me to say that I'm disappointed with the existence of Paper Towns. As similar as Margo is to Alaska Young from Looking For Alaska, this so-called 'manic pixie dream girl' is way less amiable, and selfish. 

What drives the novel is Quentin's refusal to let go the thoughts of Margo, I reckon. The things that got me reading though, were Radar's endless jokes and the metaphors used in the novel(John's really good with metaphors, I can tell you that for sure), the Black Santas, and of course, Quentin's awesome parents. 

Nonetheless, Paper Towns promise you hell-worth-reading adventures that map-less-ly got you wondering what's next. John can never go wrong with educating the readers on how to become a decent people. At the end of the story, I learnt about how each of us are only humans, and how we should not be judging others.


"The fundamental mistake I had always made- and that she had, in fairness, always led me to make- was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl."


Sneak Peek: 600 Followers Giveaway Prizes!


Tor | Forge is sponsoring these awesome books!

There will be four winners, each winner will get one book.

Aik will be giving away a swag pack to a reader (Picture to come!). Due to her restricted funds, the winner will be solely responsible for the shipping fees.

Socialpunk Blog Tour & Giveaway



Ima would give anything to escape The Dome and learn what’s beyond its barriers, but the Chicago government has kept all its citizens on lockdown ever since the Scorched Years left most of the world a desert wasteland. When a mysterious group of hooded figures enters the city unexpectedly, Ima uncovers a plot to destroy The Dome and is given the choice between escaping to a new, dangerous city or staying behind and fighting a battle she can never win.

{Story Excerpt}

Twelve cups of water sat on the table, four for each of them. Next to each cup sat a pill—yellow for fat, red for carbs, blue for protein, and green for vitamins.

Vaughn took the red pill, ripped it in half like a pack of sugar, and poured it into his cup. He set his cup into a contraption on the table and it whirled and hissed. When the machine finished, the cup had a pink, swirly liquid inside.

Nahum looked at the four cups in distaste.

“Not up to your standards?” Vaughn asked, shooting his drink. He swallowed the mixture in one large gulp. “I would get you something else, but we’re rebuilding our hash. We can’t afford real food, plus it’s bad for you anyway. Extremely difficult to maintain a balanced diet.”

“Synthetic food can’t cost that much,” Nahum countered. He grinned. “We had it in our little fake world, at least.”

Vaughn chuckled. “Synthetic food is even worse for you than real food. Shortens your life. We stopped eating that stuff at the turn of the century. It gave people long-term hyperactivity, which can kill you. LTH took out a lot of the population, kind of like cancer in your day, except a bigger deal because the population had dwindled so low already. Plus, people live indefinitely now.”

Nahum’s nose twitched as he laughed. “People don’t live indefinitely.”

But Vaughn looked genuinely surprised. “Of course we do. Have you seen anyone who looks over the age of twenty-five to you?”

“What does that mean, though?” Ima asked out of curiosity. “How could you live indefinitely? You may not look older, but you still age.”

Vaughn grinned. “Like I said before—there’s a lot you don’t understand about this world.”

SOCIALPUNK is available on Amazon/Barnes and Noble

{About The Author}

Monica Leonelle is a well-known digital media strategist and the author of three novels. She blogs at Prose on Fire and shares her writing and social media knowledge with other bloggers and authors through her Free Writer Toolkit.


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Book Review : Promise Me Eternity by Ian Fox

Promise Me Eternity
Kindle Edition
Published January 20th 2011
Available on Amazon

Dr. Simon Patterson is a successful and well-respected neurosurgeon at Central Hospital in the town of Medford. Married, though without children, he keeps himself so busy that one day is not much different from another. Until, that is, he saves the life of the powerful mobster Carlo Vucci.

At a dinner in honor of Dr. Patterson, Carlo Vucci introduces him to his alluring wife Christine. Simon is entranced by her beauty. Three weeks later, Christine shows up at the hospital, complaining of terrible headaches. Dr. Patterson offers to help her, but Christine did not come to see him just because of her headaches. A series of shocking events follow that turn Dr. Patterson’s life into a nightmare.

I didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book, as I have never read any book by this author previously. Promise Me Eternity is not in my usual reading scope, but I found myself enjoying the book, which is a great thing.

The main character of this book, Dr. Simon Patterson, is someone who is clever but ultimately boring. Although he's a neurosurgeon, he's devoted to experimenting a vaccine that would prolong a man's life, even to the point of locking himself up in a basement for extended hours to conduct his experiment. There's no wonder why his wife Helen is so fed up with him, though she is definitely a materialistic, snobbish woman.

One thing I liked about the book was its unpredictability. The story takes so many twists and turns that you wouldn't know what to expect until the truth has been revealed. However, the story is made up of too many characters that I had to go back and reread certain passages to get a better grip of the story. Personally, I think that certain characters are unneeded and should be cut as their personal lives has nothing to do with the main character's life. The ending of the story is genuinely clever, though it's a little scary.

Overall, Promise Me Eternity is a book that I found to be highly enjoyable despite having some flaws. (Which book doesn't, anyway?) I would recommend it to adults who love a good mystery or thriller. :)

Rating: 4.000

Note of Thanks
Many thanks to the author for providing me with a bound copy of Promise Me Eternity!

About The Author

Image of Ian Fox

Ian Fox was born in Slovenia (EU), and has also lived in the U.S.A., France, and Germany. He is fluent in English, French, and German. Because of his extensive international experience, his books are set in the U.S.A. or Europe. Ian's books have enjoyed great success in Europe. He has published three crime (mystery) novels that have sold very well and been ranked among the top 100 most borrowed library books in Slovenia. He is currently working on two new novels. Enthusiastic readers write to him, saying they can't put his books down and read them in a few days. Individual libraries have ranked his works among the top ten, sometimes even the top five most-borrowed books.

Book Review : Clarity by Kim Harrington

Published February 1st 2012 by Scholastic Inc.
Paperback, 256 pages
Available on IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Don't close your eyes. Except when the truth is too dark to bear.

Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case -- but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother -- who has supernatural gifts of his own -- becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

Clarity "Clare" Fern is a psychic, just like her telepathic mother Starla and medium brother Perry. When a murder takes place at King's Courtyard, a cheap motel in Eastport (her living area), Clarity is determined to find out the truth, more so because her brother is the last person to see the victim alive. What starts out as a seemingly-simple task becomes more deadly when the murder count increases.

Although this book has something to do with paranormal abilities, I didn't find it hard to accept as the author didn't write long, boasting explanations about the Ferns' special powers. Instead, she simply tells you about how their powers work in general, without any hullabaloo. The author's writing style is one that will "lure" you into the fictional world she created without much thought. I also appreciate her quirky sense of humour, which you will come across more than once in this book.

Clare is a great heroine and a clever teen detective. She has a strong sense of family loyalty, and she's willing to do anything to prove her brother's innocence in the murder. She's undoubtedly my favourite character in this book, though she may be headstrong and "blind" at times. Justin, her ex, is a real good guy who loves Clare with all his heart. They broke up because of Justin's accidental betrayal, but I would really love to see them get back together again.

CLARITY's plot is well-planned, the story is fast-paced and you'll be thrown into a situation where everybody is a suspect. That's the one thing I love most about a murder mystery novel. The author handles with the story with such adeptness and finally sends me away smiling, satisfied with how the story ends.

CLARITY is a guaranteed page-turner, you won't want to stop reading until you've finished the book. Set in a lively tourist town, made up with complex, interesting characters, and spiced up with crime and mystery, Kim Harrington's debut will capture your heart.

For me, CLARITY is the perfect summer read. What about you?

Rating: 5

Note of Thanks
Many thanks to Stephanie from Scholastic Malaysia, Singapore & Indonesia for sending me a copy of Clarity for this review!

About The Author

Kim Harrington
Kim Harrington is the author of the CLARITY series for teens and the SLEUTH OR DARE series for kids. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and son. When not writing, she's most likely reading, watching one of her favorite TV shows, or fantasizing about her next vacation. Learn more about Kim on her website, Facebook or Twitter.

Book Review : The Girl Who Was on Fire edited by Leah Wilson

Paperback, 280 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by BenBella Books, Inc.
Available on Amazon | BenBella Books | Boomerang Books | The Book Depository

Katniss Everdeen's adventures may have come to an end, but her story continues--especially with the highly anticipated March release of the film version of "The Hunger Games," starring Jennifer Lawrence. Here, 13 YA authors take fans back to Panem with moving, dark, and funny pieces on Katniss, the Games, Gale and Peeta, reality TV, survival, and more.

It took me longer than usual to finish this book, not because it's flat or dull, but because it has too much information to absorb fully in a short time. The Girl Who Was on Fire is a wonderful collection of essays from some of the most popular authors in the YA community on the various aspects of The Hunger Games. These authors share their individual insights and perspectives on the book and/or the series - their topics ranging from the characters, the fashion, the scientific aspects, to the mentality of the Games itself.

'Love' plays an important role in Mary Borsellino's
Your Heart Is a Weapon the Size of Your Fist. In her essay, she states that love can be your greatest strength, but it can also be your greatest weakness. Elizabeth M. Rees' Smoke and Mirrors discusses the ways the Capitol uses to trick and deceive, and how these tactics work. On the other hand, Bent, Shattered, and Mended by Blythe Woolston tells us about the impact of the Games on the surviving tributes, how the horror of it all affects their lives as an aftermath of the Games.

Reading The Girl Who Was on Fire was a great experience for me. The essays are thought-provoking and deep in meaning. They made me think about many things, and I felt enlightened more than once while reading the book.

Are you a fan of The Hunger Games? If yes, then I'm sure you'd enjoy these essays immensely. Even if you're not a fan of the series, this book will prove to be a valuable source of knowledge. What we can be sure of is that The Girl Who Was on Fire is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. So, what are you waiting for?

Rating: 4.500

Extras for Readers
You can read the excerpts of the essays HERE. Also, by signing up the book mailing list, you can also download a free full essay. Just click HERE, and scrol down to where it says, “Sign Up For Free Chapters & Book Updates” View the official page on Smart Pop Books

And just out of the spirit of sharing... here's a map of Panem:

Note of Thanks
Thanks to Heather from Smart Pop | BenBella Books for providing me with a copy of this book for reviewing purposes!

ARC Review : Starters (Starters #1) by Lissa Price

Starters (Starters, #1)
Starters (Starters #1) by
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . .

Wow. Talk about residing / mentally controlling a body that's not yours. Or letting someone else control your body as if its their own. Downright creepy, isn't it?

STARTERS is a book that will make you addicted to it from the first page onwards. The concept of the story itself is original and captivating (with the body renting and all), and the story is fast-paced, and all in all, brilliant.

Callie is a likeable heroine. She is portrayed as a clever teenager who remains strong in adversity and loves her brother a great deal. In fact, most of her actions in the beginning of the novel are spurred by her love and worry for her sickly brother. However, her motives changes slightly when she discovers that Prime Destinations is involved in a sinister plot that may endanger many homeless teenagers' lives, including herself.

While some parts of the book come across me as slightly unrealistic (such as how Callie managed to lie so smoothly while having a conversation with a bunch of seemingly-young renters, why Callie's father would insist on not using his connections to get a vaccination for his wife and himself when their children's lives are at stake, and how easily Madison decides to support Callie's cause when she is also a renter), *HIGHLIGHT WHITE AREA IF YOU WANT TO READ THE SPOILER* this doesn't keep me from devouring the book. Plot twists are littered here and there, and you'd never know what to expect. At the end of the story, Lissa threw me a bomb which literally sucked my breath out. I felt like fainting.

Undeniably, Lissa Price has done a fantastic job on her debut, and I will heartily congratulate her for her great work. Hopefully her next book ENDERS will surpass STARTERS in all ways possible!

STARTERS is a fresh breath in the YA industry, and I really loved it!

Rating: 5

Many thanks to Random House for this ARC!

  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (The classic dystopian series)
  2. Dark Life by Kat Falls (A book that I initially thought was not my cup, but I ended up loving it)
  3. Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith (Amazing dystopian story. It's pretty scary, you might end up having nightmares)
  4. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (This is not dystopia and has more to do with magic, but it's one of my favourite books ever)
  5. Shift by Em Bailey (Not dystopia either, but it's a great YA psychological thriller)


Starters is Lissa Price's debut novel, published by Random House Children's Books, due out March, 2012. The rights have already been sold to over 20 countries. In Germany, Starters launches a brand-new YA imprint of the established Piper Verlag publisher called IVI. Audiobooks have been recorded in English and German.

The official website is www.StartersBooks.com where the book trailer can be seen.

Interview with Melissa Darnell

Craving for CRAVE
Savannah Colbert has never known why she's so hated by the kids of the Clann. Nor can she deny her instinct to get close to Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman. Especially when she recovers from a strange illness and the attraction becomes nearly irresistible. It's as if he's a magnet, pulling her gaze, her thoughts, even her dreams. Her family has warned her to have nothing to do with him, or any members of the Clann. But when Tristan is suddenly everywhere she goes, Savannah fears she's destined to fail.

For years, Tristan has been forbidden to even speak to Savannah Colbert. Then Savannah disappears from school for a week and comes back…different, and suddenly he can't stay away. Boys seem intoxicated just from looking at her. His own family becomes stricter than ever. And Tristan has to fight his own urge to protect her, to be near her no matter the consequences….

Q's and A's with Melissa

Q: Hi Melissa, welcome to The Bookaholics! Can you tell us an interesting tidbit about CRAVE which is not in the synopsis?

A: Crave resulted in a 3 book deal with Harlequin Teen. That much is more widely known. What isn't so widely known is that Crave was actually turned down by Harlequin Teen at first. Harlequin Teen editor Natashya Wilson sent me a long, encouraging and detailed rejection email explaining why it didn't work for her with suggestions on how to make it better, and ending with the offer to resubmit it. I almost let the rejection part of that email prevent me from fixing Crave. But my husband encouraged me to focus on the fact that Natashya had obviously seen something good in Crave or else she wouldn't have taken the time to write out such a detailed list of suggested changes. His encouragement gave me the ability to make those changes to Crave and resubmit it. Six months later, I had a 3 book deal!

Q: Savannah is such a beautiful name. Did you intentionally select your characters' names, or did they just pop up in your mind without much thought?

A: For the descendants, I intentionally selected their names to reflect both their Irish ancestry and their more recently southern roots. The names of Savannah's friends are twists on my actual high school friends' names. I chose Dylan's name because it rhymes with "villain" and helped me set the mental image for him. For the vampires, I tried to choose names that would reflect the approximate era of history each one was born and turned within, because each vampire is like a snapshot of the time he was sort of "cast in stone" as an immortal (though later in the series we'll also see how some vampires learn to adapt and blend into the current times as a way of surviving).

Q: We love the cover of CRAVE! It's so swoon-worthy! Did you pick it by yourself?

A: For the U.S. version, I submitted some general ideas to my editor, then the awesome cover designers at Harlequin ran with them. I got to see several mock-ups of various different possible designs, upon which my agent, editor and I all tossed around some revision ideas. Then the cover designers took those suggestions and came up with the final beautiful design. My editor is also really great about asking for my feedback on the back cover copy.

For the foreign versions, however, authors are not usually consulted nor do we generally get to see the designs before they are revealed to the public. So for those versions, you'll generally see some pretty widely varying designs that may or may not reflect the original version's cover. So far, I've been beyond lucky to get some pretty awesome covers on the foreign versions!

Q: How much time did you take to finish the manuscript for CRAVE?

A: I go with the "mud on the wall" technique when it comes to writing...I tell my former professional editor side to shut up and give my creative side full permission to write the worst rough draft ever every time so that I can get the basic story down on paper to work with. Then the real work comes.

For Crave, it took me a month to plot it, a month to write it, a year to revise it for submission, 3 more months to revise it pre-contract offer, and another year to revise it for publication.

Q: Are any of the characters in CRAVE based on real-life people you know personally?

A: I believe every character that any author writes is either based on some part of themselves that currently exists, based on some type of person they wish they were, based on terrible people they once knew, or based on people they like. This definitely applies to every character in Crave and any other story I've written.

When it comes to each character's appearance, I usually choose an actor to represent them. This allows me to have a headshot to refer to when writing so I can keep the details about their appearance straight.

Please feel free to visit my sites at www.TheClannSeries.com and www.melissadarnell.com to learn even more about the history of Savannah's race of vampires and the Clann, listen to each Clann Series book's playlist online, contact me with any additional questions you may have, and much more!

And a HUGE thank you for featuring me on your blog today!

Thanks for joining us today, Melissa! We hope CRAVE will be a huge success!

Meet Melissa
Melissa DarnellMelissa Darnell is a book lover through and through. In addition to authoring a growing list of adult and YA fiction and nonfiction books on a wide assortment of topics and genres, she is also a freelance book editor, layout and cover designer, and ebook formatter with more than 75 books to her professional credit. She wrote her first story in the third grade, was first published in the sixth grade when her poem was selected for an anthology, and has since won several regional and national essay contests with prizes ranging from the complete Harry Potter collection in hardback to an actual horse with a year's worth of feed in the 1992 Ponies of America essay contest. Born in California, she grew up in East Texas and has also called the following states home at one time or another: Utah, West Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, and Iowa. A former award-winning dancer with 12 years' formal training in jazz, tap, and ballet, she currently lives in South Dakota with her husband and two children, where she enjoys watching Whale Wars, UFC matches and True Blood, trying out new hair colors, designing fun stuff to sell in the virtual world of Second Life, and of course writing her latest book!

Book Review : Crave (The Clann #1) by Melissa Darnell

Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 6th 2012 by MiraInk
Available on: Amazon | Boomerang Books | Harlequin Teen | The Book Depository

Savannah Colbert has never known why she's so hated by the kids of the Clann. Nor can she deny her instinct to get close to Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman. Especially when she recovers from a strange illness and the attraction becomes nearly irresistible. It's as if he's a magnet, pulling her gaze, her thoughts, even her dreams. Her family has warned her to have nothing to do with him, or any members of the Clann. But when Tristan is suddenly everywhere she goes, Savannah fears she's destined to fail.

For years, Tristan has been forbidden to even speak to Savannah Colbert. Then Savannah disappears from school for a week and comes back…different, and suddenly he can't stay away. Boys seem intoxicated just from looking at her. His own family becomes stricter than ever. And Tristan has to fight his own urge to protect her, to be near her no matter the consequences….

Star-crossed lovers, Savannah Colbert and Tristan Coleman makes their debut in CRAVE, where they live in a world where vampires and witches coexist. I'm sure this is enough to intrigue any paranormal fan, but does it have what it takes to charm me?

Told in alternating point of views, CRAVE gives us a better view on Savannah and Tristan's lives and their undeniable attraction to one another. The romance between Savannah and Tristan is a big plus for the story. It is something readers would eat up in a matter of seconds. It felt true and nice, albeit being not so honest as both of them held secrets from each other.

I love Savannah's character. She's a nice, helpful girl who has a great friendship with BFF Anne. Savannah tried her best to keep her promise of staying away from Tristan, but now she just can't lie to herself anymore. I sympathize Savannah's condition - it's like being the devil and the deep blue sea. And Tristan is a likeable hero, with his gorgeous appearance and kind heart, though Anne is sure that Tristan is a player and constantly warns Savannah to keep her distance.

My complaint on this novel is that there is no real action for most of the part, as a great deal of the pages are dedicated to Savannah's life - how she found out about her heritage, how she auditioned for a spot in the Charmers, how she accidentally did something peculiar in school etc. The real excitement only starts in the last 50 pages. The ending was a little anti-climatic for me, but considering it's the first book in the series, I'm sure there will be much to come in second and third books.

I'm a plot-wise reader, but even though CRAVE doesn't have much of this, the story still held my interest - thanks to the author's great writing style. It has a good flow to it, and I found myself going with the current. If you're looking for a paranormal book with a healthy dose of romance, go for CRAVE!

Rating: 3

Note of Thanks
Special thanks to Mira Ink for this complimentary copy of CRAVE!

About The Author
Melissa Darnell
Melissa Darnell is a book lover through and through. In addition to authoring a growing list of adult and YA fiction and nonfiction books on a wide assortment of topics and genres, she is also a freelance book editor, layout and cover designer, and ebook formatter with more than 75 books to her professional credit. She wrote her first story in the third grade, was first published in the sixth grade when her poem was selected for an anthology, and has since won several regional and national essay contests with prizes ranging from the complete Harry Potter collection in hardback to an actual horse with a year's worth of feed in the 1992 Ponies of America essay contest. Born in California, she grew up in East Texas and has also called the following states home at one time or another: Utah, West Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, and Iowa. A former award-winning dancer with 12 years' formal training in jazz, tap, and ballet, she currently lives in South Dakota with her husband and two children, where she enjoys watching Whale Wars, UFC matches and True Blood, trying out new hair colors, designing fun stuff to sell in the virtual world of Second Life, and of course writing her latest book!

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Excerpt: CRAVE by Melissa Darnell

I'll be posting my review for CRAVE on Saturday, plus a 5-question interview with the author! So, just to pique your interest, here's an excerpt of CRAVE. :)

Crave (The Clann #1)
Crave by
Available at Harlequin Teen $7.99


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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