Dark Sanctuary

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

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.

Blood Wars · Dark Sanctuary · Wattpad

This is ….. The End

Afternoon bloggers, friends, weirdo’s and aliens.

So….the big news (well big to me anyway) is that yesterday I finally finished Blood Wars, Book Three in the Dark Sanctuary series and posted the final chapters to Wattpad.

There won’t be another book in the series, this is the final one. I should feel elated, right? I mean, I finished writing a novel after all. Months of work. Months of trying to catch some time to finish another chapter. To finish it is an achievement, surely? Yet, I feel…..well, slightly numb.

Is that normal? I never felt like this after the first two were finished but maybe that’s because I always knew there was going to be another book and I didn’t have to say goodbye to my characters just yet. I never intended to write a fourth in the series. Don’t get me wrong, whilst a big part of me could just keep writing Michael and Sarah’s story forever, I never wanted it to become strained and I was worried that is what it would become if I carried on.

But what will I do without Michael, Sarah and the rest of the gang in my life? Just over four years ago, I sat down and started writing the story of a young woman who had locked herself away in a little grey cottage out in the Bedfordshire countryside, hiding from a life-time of horrors that stalked her every move and I never expected to become so immersed in her world. But I guess that is what happens when you’re a writer. These characters might be fictional, but when you spend so much time thinking about how they look, the way they talk, the way in which they move, how they would react in each situation, they are not so much words on a page, but living, breathing people. And it’s incredibly difficult to say goodbye.

But goodbye it is and apart from thanking Sarah and Michael themselves for captivating me enough to want to keep writing their story, I have to say thank you to the real-life people who have helped and supported me along the way. I do feel that this is the part where Louis Walsh pops up and says ‘You’ve been on an incredible journey…blah..blah…blah’ but oh well….here goes anyway *cue Leona Lewis music* 😉

My husband and son – for putting up with my own self-imposed exile in order to write these books. I have a habit of shutting myself off to write, to the exclusion of those around me and I’m not sure I would want to live with a writer, so god knows how you put up with it. I love you.

My family – for not hysterically laughing at me when I finally revealed that I liked to write. And for reading something which maybe isn’t your usual cup of tea just because your daughter/sister happened to write it.

To the ones whose fault it is I continued to write Dark Sanctuary – Hayley Gillam, Karen Cross and Chrissie Thompson; the first ones to read any of my stuff. I blame you all equally 😉

My friends who have dutifully read the series, probably out of obligation, but hey, thanks anyway . You’re all amazing but a special shout out goes to Karen C, Donna, Kelly, Kazbah, Nadia, Dawn-Marie, Kathy, Jacqui and my trusted beta reader Alison (who is way more talented than I could ever hope to be).

Divas Daily Bookblog – thank you to Tina and Jules for being the first to write reviews of Dark Sanctuary and Lost Creatures. You guys are just awesome!

My Wattpad family – I couldn’t possibly name you all but I hope you know who you are. Many of you have been reading the series since I first started posting the first book and your support, comments and votes for an unpublished writer constantly amazes me. I never thought one person would read it, let alone all of you, so thank you – you rock!

Anyway….I think that’s enough sentimental crap for one day.

Time to start writing something new…….;-)

Linz xxx

PS. If you haven’t read Dark Sanctuary, please shimmy, shake or body-pop your way along to Wattpad.



Dark Sanctuary

Dark Sanctuary is on Facebook!

Evening friends, bloggers, writers and Kermit the Frog.

Just a short post to let you all know that I’ve created a Facebook page for my Dark Sanctuary series.

If you are a DS fan, please feel free to come along and give it the big thumbs up, or even if you haven’t read the series but have been following my WordPress posts, please come along also and show your support, I would love to see you all there.


Have a wonderful weekend all, it’s our penultimate bank holiday of the year in the UK so I will be spending it lazing on the sofa, flicking through endless TV channels of nothing and eating my weight in indoor picnic buffet food. It’s a tough life, eh?

Linz xxxxx20130503-232722.jpg

Dark Sanctuary

Dark Sanctuary – New Cover!


Evening friends, readers, bloggers and weirdos.

I’ve been playing around with the cover of Dark Sanctuary again – I think I’ve changed it about four times now, but hoping I might stick with this one for a while 😉

I’ve tried to resist this contemporary love for book covers with character’s faces on, always preferring my reader to imagine the characters for themselves rather than me force-feeding an image into their head, but I appreciate it seems to work, particularly with YA fiction.

So I’ve relented and have gone with a Sarah theme on all the covers, after all it is HER story so it kind of makes sense.

I’m also hoping it might revive some love for the first book on Wattpad; with the rankings being confusing as ever, Dark Sanctuary had held strong in the top 100 for some time and now doesn’t even rank at all. So if you like the cover and you have a small passion for all things vampire, please do go check it out and vote/comment if you can 🙂

Thank you,

Love as always,
Linz xx

Blood Wars · Dark Sanctuary · Music Monday

#MusicMonday – Phosphorescent ‘Song for Zula’

Happy Easter Monday my lovelies. It’s bank holiday here in the UK and we are busy cleaning up the remnants of chocolate  from all those Easter eggs we’ve been eating and trying not to think about having to go back to work tomorrow 😉

The good news is that it’s another short working week so can’t complain. The weekends are my main time for writing, so the closer I get to one, the happier I am.

As you know, Blood Wars (Book 3 in The Dark Sanctuary series) is still a work in progress. I’m up to chapter 35 now, unfortunately the end isn’t yet in sight, but it’s definitely progressing in the way I hoped it would and to top it off, the chapters uploaded so far on Wattpad are getting a positive reaction. Also following the reviews on Divas Daily Bookblog this weekend, I’ve had a couple of requests to publish on Amazon, so all in all I’m a happy bunny (of the non-Easter variety).

My friend Kelly, long-time reader of the series, sent me the link for this song by Phosphorescent and said she thought it was a perfect Michael and Sarah song, and I have to say I totally agree. On Wattpad there is a facility to upload multimedia files against each chapter and I’m thinking Song For Zula will be perfect for Chapter 34.

It’s a beautiful song and a new firm fave of mine. Thanks Kelly!


Dark Sanctuary · Wattpad · Writing

Evening lovelies,
I just earned my first ever review for Dark Sanctuary courtesy of new book blog Divas Daily Bookblog!!!
As an unpublished writer, I feel so very honoured to receive a review particularly as I know the published works that these ladies read and as always, I’m still staggered that anyone wants to read the series, let alone like it enough to want to recommend it.
Thank you so much Jules and Tina from Divas. I shall go to sleep tonight, wearing not only the remnants of too many Easter eggs, but also a HUGE smile :)))

Divas Book Blog

ds Wow. We were taken on a little ride with this Series.When we read Dark Sanctuary we totally thought from the very beginning that this wasn´t your typical ” Vampire / Human ” story. Nope. We didn´t find any Bella / Edward or any Stefan / Damon / Elaina here. Don´t get us wrong….we loved the all the Twilight-ies and we love us some Vampire Diaries brothers, but we needed a different Vampire / Human tale….AND WE FOUND IT!! Woo – hoo! What a pleasant surprise this book was! We loved how the Author discribed the characters and how she really beautifully discribed the feelings each character was feeling. Dark Sanctuary was an easy read….which is of course for us an A+. We fell in love the the heroine, Sarah, who was difficult but yet had a strong head on her shoulders. We liked how she managed to make her choices…

View original post 224 more words

Dark Sanctuary · Lost Creatures · Wattpad · Writing

The Imperfect Heroine



Happy Friday bloggers, writers, weirdo’s and friends.

I’m back again, 3 times in one week….maybe WordPress hasn’t lost my love and devotion after all 😉

As you know I have uploaded the full length Dark Sanctuary to Wattpad and last week, due to popular demand, I decided to start uploading chapters from the second novel in the series, Lost Creatures.

So far so good, however this morning I woke up to a deluge of comments from my lovely Wattpad collective concerning my main character Sarah.

It seems Sarah isn’t being as well received as I hoped she would. I’m getting various comments about her, but to sum up it appears that some readers find her quite irritating because 1) she won’t put her trust in her vampire companion, Michael and 2) because she seems intent on putting herself and others at risk with her selfish and rather foolish ways.

I can’t say I completely disagree with the reasons why. As the reader, yes, Sarah’s actions can be frustrating. WE can see when Sarah is about to do something reckless. WE can see when she is being unreasonable and/or selfish. WE can see that ultimately she probably should let her guard down with Michael. But that’s because, as the reader, we have the power of foresight. Sarah, unfortunately doesn’t have this, so should we really chastise her for not seeing what we do?

When I read people’s comments (and the number of these comments has been increasing by the day), I automatically feel like I need to jump to Sarah’s defence. Is that a typical reaction with other writers? I don’t know, but I do know that I feel compelled to stick up for her a little bit. Yes, she can do stupid, reckless things. Yes, she can be frustrate the hell out of me. Sarah might not be perfect, but that’s what I like about her because somehow, for me, it makes her more real and it was always my aim when writing Dark Sanctuary to make it slightly more real than other contemporary vampire fiction. She’s human and she makes a ton of mistakes, and why not? Don’t we all?

But what is interesting is people’s reaction to Michael. Okay, so I dare say that the majority of my readers are female, so I get why they like him. There’s nothing like a hot male vamp to get the pulses racing, but Michael really isn’t the hero we think he is.

Michael isn’t an Edward. Yes, he’s hot. But he’s also a killer. He kills more often than not for money. Lonely rich housewives are his meal ticket. Literally. And Sarah was right when she said he didn’t want to save James. Was that jealousy? Yes, probably. Could he have done more to save James and also Sarah’s nan? Undoubtedly yes. But he didn’t. And that’s something we should remember. From the start he always had an ulterior motive in protecting Sarah – to earn favour with her father and gain Marcus’ help. The resulting love affair is just incidental and a nice twist to the tale.

But nobody seems to see all this. He’s Michael after all. And as a result, Sarah seems forever destined to be slated for not falling at his feet and for not putting her trust in him one hundred percent. Is it so difficult to accept that she would still be wary of Michael when the only vampires she had ever met were nothing but monsters?

Okay, I’m not defending everything she does. But she has some amazing qualities. She’s feisty. She’s strong. She’s independent. She’s funny. She’s tenacious. And yes, she’s stubborn. She’s selfish. She’s reckless. But I wouldn’t have her any other way. I like her flaws. She wouldn’t be Sarah if she wasn’t flawed in some way.

I don’t know whether the Wattpad collective’s opinion of Sarah will change. I have sneaky feeling she will redeem herself when she and Michael finally bump nasties. But whatever happens between her and Michael, she will still always be Sarah. Flawed. Imperfect. Real. But that’s fine with me because I don’t want a perfect heroine.

Perfect just doesn’t exist.

Dark Sanctuary · Wattpad · Writing

Wattpad: 28,000 WordPress: 7

Hello bloggers, readers, friends and weirdos.

You might have noticed my absence recently…..or possibly not, but I have somewhat neglected my little blog lately.

Now you might be a little bit miffed by that, well at least you would if you were one of the three people who read these random posts of mine. It’s fair to see I’m falling out of love with WordPress a bit.

You see, I have a new love. It’s big and it’s fun, and yeah I’m probably hanging out with One Direction fans, but it’s captured my heart all the same.

WordPress meet Wattpad. Wattpad meet WordPress.

It’s fair to say I’m addicted. I have uploaded all 47 chapters of Dark Sanctuary to Wattpad and so far it’s amassed over 28,000 reads. Don’t let that figure fool you though, that’s not technically 28,000 reads of the whole thing, although I’m hoping it will hit that eventually, but it actually means that it’s received 28,000 reads across all 47 chapters. As far as I can tell, every time someone clicks onto a chapter, it registers as a read so 28,000 might be a tad misleading, however it’s still way more hits than I’ve ever received on WordPress.

And you know what I think the key is?

Teenagers. Wattpad is simply teeming with them. They are literally everywhere over there and what’s more, they definitely have the power. I don’t think I ever truly thought about that market before other than to try and veer away from it. For some strange reason I always had a slight issue with who the books might appeal to. I didn’t want to write for teenagers, not because there’s anything wrong with doing that, but because I always thought my writing swayed more to the gritty side and in my head gritty meant adult. I wanted to reflect what I had grown up reading. In essence, I wanted to write what I like to read. I’ve even blogged on here about how I feel more comfortable writing more horror based short stories and felt slightly less sure about whether Dark Sanctuary is where I feel most confident as a writer.

But after checking out free e-reader Wattpad and deciding to throw Dark Sanctuary to the Wattpad wolves, I have to say I have completely changed my mind about where I think I should pitch it. And the more I re-read and edit each chapter before I upload it, I wonder why I never pitched it there before. Yes, I think it’s heavier than standard YA but it still seems to appeal to the teen reader and why not? After all, if I was reading classic horror at aged eleven, it stands to reason that many teens want something that’s a bit meatier.

They get it. I’m not saying my adult readers don’t get it because I know they do, but I’ve discovered that Dark Sanctuary definitely appeals to a younger audience and for once I feel completely comfortable with that. I love how they throw themselves into it. They live, breathe and eat the characters. They get angry. They fall in love. They jump for joy. They shed tears. They get totally passionate about what’s happening. They don’t care about showing they care. And okay, so my vampires don’t sparkle, but most of my Wattpad readers seem to think that’s a good thing.

So after three years since I finished writing Dark Sanctuary, I think I have finally found it a home. And today, when fabulous YA novelist Michelle Muto referred to me on twitter as her ‘fellow YA author’ I think I found myself a home too.

Note: by the way if you were wondering what the WordPress: 7 referred to, it was the number of blog views I received the day I started writing this post. No contest really 😉

Dark Sanctuary · Writing

Has anyone seen my soul?

If any of you read my Wattpad post on 11th September, you will know that I decided to start uploading my work to this free e-reader site. I have to say, so far, the response has been encouraging. Okay, yes, I’ve cajoled friends to join up and show me some love, but I’ve started to gain new readers that I would never previously have reached so that’s got to be a good thing.
My short story Cakes seems to get the most feedback, I think mostly because people are intrigued by a horror short with such a sweet title and are then somewhat surprised by the macabre ending. Also, having now posted eleven chapters of Dark Sanctuary, I’ve now amassed over one thousand reads across the chapters and that’s just in two weeks.
However uploading chapter by chapter has forced me back into that editing straight jacket you all know I just love to wear and it’s also forced me to the torturous realisation that so far, there’s not much I like about that first book.
Yep. You heard right. A strange thing to say maybe, particularly when I generally always get good feedback on the first novel but the fact is that I was always somewhat uncomfortable with the first handful of chapters. Chapter one I still like. Chapter two even. But beyond that, right up to chapter twelve, I always felt it teetered on the edge of becoming young adult fiction and whilst I enjoy reading YA novels, it was never my intention to write one.
Maybe it’s because those first chapters focus on Sarah’s childhood and teenage years and I never quite worked out how to keep it on an adult level when writing from a child’s or teenager’s perspective? Maybe I sugar-coated it too much? Whatever I did, I just don’t think I achieve the same grit and darkness of the rest of the book, so those formative chapters seem watered-down in comparison.
Also having now reached book three, Blood Wars, I can see a real difference in my style. It’s definitely darker and the urge to punctuate Sarah’s commentary with little bursts of humour is all but gone.
I love Sarah’s witty side. It’s part of who she is and her habit of chucking in the odd sarcastic remark and comical nickname for those she meets is her way of dealing with the evil in her life. Also it’s a big part of her relationship with Michael; their wicked banter is what kick starts their relationship and certainly keeps the fires stoked.
Yet when I wrote Lost Creatures, I remember having a conversation with my good friend Chrissie and declaring how I had concerns that I had stripped Sarah of her humour. There was already a much darker vein threading through the first few chapters but I put that down to everything Sarah had been through. I convinced myself it wasn’t that I was intentionally doing anything different: it was all down to Sarah. She was exhausted, she was scared, she was grieving for those she loved, she was tortured by feelings of guilt. Of course it was Sarah’s fault my writing style had changed!
I think these past two weeks has been a bit of a wake-up call if I’m being honest. Meeting one of my literary heroes and remembering what it was that made me fall in love with horror fiction when I was just eleven years old has made me hanker for the grittier, more terrifying side of the genre. I still love my vamp fiction, and I’m still completely committed to finishing The Dark Sanctuary series but there’s no doubt it needs a ton of work and I have a real urge to go back and re-write whole sections, whole chapters even. It’s made me think how I would have approached the story if I was just starting to write it now. How different would it be? How would those first chapters read?
It feels right to go back and edit it and be far more brutal with it than I ever thought I would be. See, I bet you never thought I would ever say that, did you? I want to edit. I need to edit.
Is this progress? Maybe it is. All I know is that I feel a burning desire to revert to what feels more natural to me, it’s where I feel my writer’s soul truly lies….and that’s somewhere a lot darker than where I currently am.

Dark Sanctuary

Sample Sunday – Excerpt from Dark Sanctuary

Suddenly he was upon me, lifting me up and slamming my head up against the cell wall. I kicked out in a panic, desperately clawing at his hands which had locked around my throat. I was struggling to breathe as his grip tightened. Laughing, he threw me across the cell and I landed not far from the door and automatically headed towards the light, crawling pathetically in the dust. He launched a swift kick to my mid-drift and then slammed the door shut and together we grappled on the floor in the pitch blackness.
I couldn’t fight him off. Slumber had left me too late and my body was not fully alert to his attack. I tried so hard but my struggle was weak and futile and he batted away my every attempt to hit him.
He punched me full and hard in the face and I felt my nose explode under his fist. The force reverberated through my skull and made me want to vomit instantly. I felt his hand fumble at the waistband of my jeans and I felt the panic rise to a crescendo in my chest.
No, no, no!
In an instant, he had removed my jeans but just when I thought he would go further and this attack would turn into something much more awful than I could ever have imagined, he moved his head down and sunk his teeth fully into my exposed thigh. I screamed. The pain was excruciating. It felt like he was almost chewing on my flesh. He lifted his head away and then did the same to my other leg. I heard that sickening sucking noise and I began to sob, the tears running quickly down my face and mixing with the blood that flowed freely from my inflamed nostrils.
I tried again to kick out at him and must have caught him on the side of the head as he lost his balance and toppled off of me and quickly I tried to scramble up. My legs were throbbing and felt slick with blood. I tried to lift myself up but my arms just wouldn’t support me. They felt like jelly under the weight of my body.
I felt his hand grip my hair and he was dragging me across the floor and growling in rage. He threw me again and I landed against the wooden door, feeling it rattle against my backbone.
I couldn’t fight him. I just couldn’t. He was way too strong and I was – well, I was just me. The same pathetic cowardly creature I had always been. Not Tomb Raider. No relation to Van Helsing. Just plain old Sarah Jacobs. The one who had caused the death of her own mother and grandmother. The one who had caused the deaths of her friends. The one who hid herself away in a little grey cottage in the country because even life scared the hell out of her. What could I possible do against a vampire hell bent on the most awful revenge?
I could feel the fuzzy cloud returning. It wanted to take me down and I welcomed it. Anything was better than this.
He lifted me up and I felt my feet rise up off the floor. His hands gripped me roughly and he wrenched back my head. As he sunk his teeth into my neck for the second time, I let the cloud take hold.
As the darkness came, I could hear the sound of my feet hammering against the door as my body still instinctively struggled against the pain of his attack.
As I felt myself falling into the blackness, I could hear the sound of my screaming echoing off the walls of the cell.
As my world faded into nothingness, I thought I could hear Michael screaming with me, except his voice was one of searing deep rage that seemed to go on and on and on and had I managed to stay conscious I would have known that his wrath had continued on into the night, never relenting for one second and growing with a furious energy, like a blazing inferno that refused to be tamed.

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2010