Review Time! Bleeder by Monica Kuebler

Hello bloggers, writers, friends and readers,

As you know I’ve been pretty much engrossed in the world of Wattpad for some time now, much to the chagrin of my poor neglected WordPress blog and so recently I decided that the best way to combat this was to combine the two. Why not bring some of the wonders of Wattpad over here and review some of my favourite stories?

I’ve lost count recently of how many times I’ve been told by my readers that they had become disillusioned with vampire fiction, mostly due to those sparkly fangsters and the subsequent saturation of the market that followed with writers churning out glossy vamp slush in a bid to emulate Meyer’s success. Many readers have said how refreshing it has been to finally read vamp stories that have a bit of bite about them (sorry, couldn’t resist). But I have to admit, this leaves me feeling slightly dismayed, because when you start to say how refreshing you find stories that focus on the original idea of vampires as dark works of horror, you realise that maybe something has gone very awry with people’s perception of vampire fiction.

Readers are expecting glitter, romance and a touch of piano-playing. They’re no longing anticipating blood, gore and a touch of the heebie-jeebies.

Well, in answer to that, I give you Bleeder, the first novel in the Blood Magic Saga by Canadian author Monica Keubler. Monica, by day the managing editor of horror magazine Rue Morgue and by night the mighty dark goddess of the pen, knows a thing or two about blood, gore and the heebie-jeebies. In fact, she’s an expert on all three and what’s more is that she’s definitely not scared to prove that horror does have a place in the Young Adult market. Yeah, teens like horror, who knew? And whether you’re a teen or an adult who loves YA, I will guarantee that Bleeder will restore your faith in vampire fiction.

Readers, meet Mildred Millhattan. Or Mills to her friend, of which she doesn’t have many admittedly. Mills is a slightly awkward, almost-sixteen year old, who might be invisible to most of her classmates, but actually turns out to be part of an underground world that isn’t just invisible to her peers, it’s unbelievable too. It’s a world of myth, fantasy, sorcery and the supernatural and Mills is about to be thrown right into the middle of it in spectacular and bloodied fashion.

Pulled out of school abruptly by her parents one day during an algebra exam, Mills is taken to a remote cabin in the Nevada desert and discovers that not only have they lied to her about this spontaneous road trip, but they’ve been lying to her for her whole life. Heartbroken and lost, Mills is struggling to deal with her world crashing down around her ears when strangers descend on the cabin and life suddenly gets a hell of a lot darker.

Now is is where it gets really interesting. Forget what you think you know about vampires in YA novels. Think unrelentingly cruel. Think brutality to the point you will grimace. Think monsters with long nails, sunken cheekbones and an insatiable desire for blood. Think about the stuff of nightmares who keep their victims shackled in caged cells so they can feed on them…again and again and again. And we haven’t even touched on the King of the Nosferatu himself yet. Over seven feet tall, burning red eyes and draped in a cape decorated with human bones, YA hasn’t ever seen the like of this type of monster before, trust me.

Locked up in her torture chamber, Mills discovers that not only is her blood – the blood of a sorcerer – a much-desired delicacy, she is about to become a bleeder to the King himself. And if you thought the vampires were unrelenting, then Monica herself is (thankfully) unrelenting in her description of Mills’ torment as she is fed upon by the King until she’s nothing but a glorified pin-cushion who is starting to give up the fight. It’s beautifully gruesome, horribly cruel and wonderfully captivating because she dares to go where others who write YA often fear to tread.

Just when we start to think Mills has lost all hope, she acquires a new visitor to her cell, a vampire unlike all the others she has had the misfortune to meet so far.

Keel is the skinny teenage son of the King, who is yet to go through his transformation into Nosferatu but who is still a vampire nevertheless. Drawn to Mills’ cell out of boyish curiosity, Keel begins to secretly visit Mills and the two form an uneasy relationship, and surprisingly the vampire prince becomes Mills’ only chink of light in an unfathomable darkness.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Keel is about to become your archetypal YA hero. When we first meet Keel, there’s a touch of immaturity and arrogance about him (well he is destined to be King one day) and he definitely doesn’t know the meaning of personal space, in fact his matter-of-fact insistence on feeding from Mills borders on downright sinister. But as the story progress we get to see his rebellious nature and his strength and we come to realise that while he is undoubtedly a vampire, there’s far more to Keel than we are first led to believe.

Together they discover that their growing bond has less to do with two natural enemies who happen to harbour a strange fascination for each other, but something far deeper than either of them could ever imagine, something that will change both their worlds forever and set them apart from their own kind in a way that leaves them struggling to work out where they do really belong.

All in all, Monica gives us a captivating discourse on friendship, loneliness and trust, all set against the most wickedly dark backdrop. It’s a world painted vividly in all its gruesome splendour, with characters who constantly surprise the reader and leave us wondering just who can be counted on and who cannot. The history between the Nosferatu and the sorcerers is detailed and interesting which allows for a really fresh take on the vampire myth, while sticking to the more traditional roots of the vampire as the monster. The relationship between our main protagonists is addictive and it’s very hard not to root for these two fabulously intriguing characters.

Bleeder is truly a compelling read and whether you’re a teen looking for something a little darker, a little grittier and a little bloodier than the norm, or you’re an adult who loves reading YA but prefers a horror twist, then this is absolutely the book for you.

Five out of five blood-splattered stars!

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Please do go check out Bleeder here on Wattpad:

http://www.wattpad.com/story/856099-bleeder-blood-magic-book-1

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Playing Dead Review in Rue Morgue!

Evening writers, readers, bloggers and weirdos

It’s been a manic week but I’m finally getting round to thanking Monica Kuebler, managing editor of Canadian horror publication Rue Morgue for this fab review in her column Library of the Damned.

I feel truly honoured that Playing Dead has been recognised outside of Wattpad and I’m hoping that it might persuade some more readers to head in the direction of Megan and Harper.

Huge thanks go out to Monica who also happens to be a Wattpad writer and who has her own very successful series the Blood Magic saga which is free to read on the site:

http://www.wattpad.com/story/856099-bleeder-blood-magic-book-1

http://www.wattpad.com/story/4035829-letters-from-new-york-blood-magic-book-2

http://www.wattpad.com/story/10184872-ruler-blood-magic-book-3

Please also check out Rue Morgue here:

http://www.rue-morgue.com/

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Rock stars, Hashtags and Fanfiction

Hey WordPress,

It’s been a while hasn’t it? I decide to post for the first time in ages and find that the WordPress app has completely changed and I don’t know what the hell I’m doing but hey, what’s new?

Anyway, my first post of the year (yes I’m aware it’s February) is all about my new short story The Fan.

I don’t often write short stories but they tend to come in handy when I’m stuck writing the full-length novels. It’s just a great way to break free by focusing on something completely different for a change and tends to motivate me to dig myself out of the writer’s block oubliette.

This story was something that had been floating around in my head for a while, inspired by Misery by Stephen King and also by Channel 4′s fabulous ‘what-if’ drama Blackout.

I think I’ve said before how much I love writing horror, particularly psychological horror and so to see The Fan already hit #12 in the horror charts on Wattpad probably makes me prouder than seeing Playing Dead hit the #1 spot on the vampire chart. Not that there is anything wrong with the vampire chart you understand *coughs*. It’s just great to hit the charts in a genre very close to my twisted old heart.

Please do go along and give The Fan a read and maybe give it a little vote and comment if you love it.

http://www.wattpad.com/story/12686127-the-fan

Thanks
Linz x

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Prologue from Beautiful Monster: Book Four in The Dark Sanctuary Series

Vampires.
We can’t get enough of them. We read about them, we write about them, we fill our television screens with images of them. We eat, drink and inhale vampires. Some of us want to be vampires. And some of us just want to be with a vampire. Whether it’s a sparkly version with great hair or a tall blonde Norse god, we’re all just searching for our very own vampire hero.
I have mine. He’s no Norse god and he doesn’t have great hair. In fact, if anything it could do with a damn good cut, but Michael is mine nevertheless. Tall, handsome and irritating as hell Michael; a true born vampire with the power to move quicker than the eye can see and the ability to communicate telepathically. Trust me, if this was fantasy, he’d be in your books and on your screens.
But the difference between you and me is that I can see beyond the fantasy. I know what the stories and films don’t tell you anymore. I know them for what they can be. The stuff of nightmares. The demons of our bad dreams. Myths, monsters and bloody mayhem. Sometimes I feel as if I’ve run from them a million times. And I could keep running, but it would do no good.
Because you see, this time, I’m the monster. I’m the demon. And I have the power to change the world beyond anything even the darkest of nightmares could conjure.
Yeah, I know. Crazy, right?
But as insane as it sounds, that’s what I am; my existence foretold in the pages of a book hidden by a Cardinal and now burnt to cinders in the pit fire of a vampire den. The Church wants me. The Elders desire me. I’m in the middle of a war that has raged for centuries and it’s all because of me.
I’m a prophecy. I’m a myth. I’m the eye of the storm.
My name is Sarah Jacobs and I am the Damphyr.

Coming soon: Book Four in The Dark Sanctuary series

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2013 all rights reserved.

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Filed under Blood Wars, Dark Sanctuary, Lost Creatures

Playing Dead scores a top 5 spot on Wattpads vampire hot list!

Evening bloggers, writers, friends and weirdos

So as they say every cloud has a silver lining, I had a week from the very bowels of Hell followed by one from the hallowed gates of Heaven. I won’t dwell on the crappy week, suffice to say I was glad to kick its sorry ass back down to the Underworld, but the good week was particularly lovely in the fact that my current WIP Playing Dead made it to the #3 spot on the Wattpad vampire hot list!

This is the highest position any of my works has ranked since I joined Wattpad (Blood Wars previously reached #16) so to see Playing Dead suddenly hit a top five spot felt pretty blood amazing, even if it turns out to be a very short-lived stay.

The Wattpad hot list rankings are confusing to say the least and my tiny tech-resistant brain can’t cope with how it all works and from experience I know that just because you’re ranking one day, doesn’t mean you will be there the next. In fact, when I was posting Blood Wars, all three books in the series were in the top 100 and seemed to be doing really well and literally overnight they all disappeared. See? Non comprendez. No speakey de Wattpad.

Playing Dead has accumulated almost 190,000 reads and over 7000 votes since I started posting back in August and to put that in some kind of perspective, Dark Sanctuary has only just reached 198,000 reads and 6500 votes and that’s been fully uploaded since November 2012. And so if you’re one of those people who has helped Playing Dead reach #3, then a huge big Cinnamon thank you to you! I’ve received some amazing comments and feedback from all the Wattpad readers, some of whom have been with me since the beginning and some who I’ve gathered along the way. Each day brings new readers, new points of view and new Harper Cain fans!

I’m immensely honoured that anyone would want to read my stuff, let alone the number of people who have been kind enough to spend time reading Playing Dead and waiting patiently for my weekly updates.

If you’re a writer, particularly a new writer who wants to find the right kind of public forum on which to start posting their work, you could do no wrong than making a start on Wattpad. I’ve been lucky enough to meet and befriend people from all over the world, people of all ages and from all walks of life who come together to take a walk in somebody’s imaginary world. I’ve met and befriended some great writers, some of whom having found success on Wattpad are now taking that leap of faith into self-publishing. So if you have something that you’d like to post, whether it be poetry or paranormal, thrillers or fanfic, come along and join up.

And if you’re not quite ready to post and just want to read…..then please do come along and read Playing Dead. I’d love to see you all there!

http://www.wattpad.com/story/7745041-playing-dead

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#MusicMonday Kings of Leon – Don’t Matter

Morning bloggers, friends, writers and weirdos,

I thought a Music Monday post was long overdue and what better way to celebrate than with a new song by my favourite band!

Taken from their #1 album Mechanical Bull, fast-paced rock track Don’t Matter appears to be considered by most as a true return to form and is definitely my fave track from the album.

Turn up the volume and dance like you don’t give a damn. Yeah yeah, I know it’s Monday, but it will make you feel better….I promise ;-)

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#SaturdaySnippet – Excerpt from Playing Dead

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The walls were whispering. Ghosts of whispers and whispers of ghosts.
With my knees pulled up into my chest, I sat with my head leaning against the wall, my ear pressed against its cold surface and I listened to them, breathing their painful lament out through brick and mortar. Their bodies might have been long free of this place, but their souls weren’t. They were trapped within these walls, scratching at cracks that spread out across the flaking plaster like spidery thread veins, fighting to be heard, fighting for someone, anyone to listen.
And so, I listened. I closed my eyes and breathed in the voices. The latent screams of vampires, so many of my kind, mutilated, pulled apart and left for dead, only the biggest tragedy was that they hadn’t died when the Varúlfur had come for them. If they had, then they would never have become trapped here in these walls of death, imprisoned forever and unable to escape the unbearable agony of their dark fate.
And before that, before this place had become a makeshift vampire hospital during the days of the Great Cleansing, I could hear the screams of the asylum patients. Horrible, ear splitting cries as if their very souls were being ripped apart, torn into a thousand pieces and devoured by demons. Screams of such spine chilling terror as the asylum doctors sought to torture them all in the guise of curing them of their madness. And even worse, babies. I could hear the first guttural cries of babies, their howls mixing together with the enduring screams of their committed mothers as they were taken from them seconds after birth and cursed with the same sickness. There had been no nursery here. Just bones, upon bones, upon bones.

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke all rights reserved

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