Playing Dead · Writing

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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Playing Dead · Wattpad · Writing

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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Playing Dead

#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

Playing Dead

Playing Dead is on Facebook!

Evening bloggers, readers, friends and weirdos,

It’s been a while hasn’t it? But the good news is I have been writing like a demon and posting new novel Playing Dead to Wattpad.

So far the reaction has been amazing. 67,000 reads and over 3000 votes, it’s currently nestling happily at #15 in the vampire charts (highest position was #8). Already I can see it will overtake the Dark Sanctuary series in the popularity stakes, something I never expected, so I decided that it deserved it’s very own Facebook page.

Please do come along and give the page a big LIKE and if you haven’t checked it out already, please come and read it on Wattpad.

http://www.facebook.com/PlayingDeadSeries

In the meantime, here’s a little taster…..

“You angels, you see nothing. You’re blind to the real world. You don’t want to see it. All you want is beauty and perfection and this wonderful little bubble you put yourselves in, where nobody can touch you, nobody can defile you with reality. When I met you, I was so surprised at how close you already were to the edge. It was so easy really. All you needed was a little push. And trust me, there is nothing in this world more pleasurable than watching an angel fall to her death. Nothing at all.”

Excerpt taken from chapter 17, copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2013 all rights reserved

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Playing Dead

#SampleSaturday – Excerpt from Playing Dead

“Who else is involved?”
“It doesn’t matter,” he replied and the same exhaustion laced his voice as it did my own.
“Of course it matters. My pictures were plastered all over your wall. Someone had been watching me, for weeks, months maybe. Don’t you think I have a right to know who else you enlisted to help lure me to my death?”
“And what would be the point, Megan, huh? So you can seek revenge on them also? All you need to know is sitting here, right in front of you.”
I narrowed my eyes at him. “You said there was a plan. I remember now. You said turning me wasn’t a part of that plan, but you did it anyway. What plan did you mean?”
“The plan was to kill you, I told you that,” he snapped.
“So do you have these little galleries of all the people you choose to kill? Did Margaret have a gallery? Did you send someone to stalk her during the day, take sneaky creepy pictures to hang on your wall so you could sit here and get off on just what you were going to do to her?”
He ran a tongue over his teeth, curling his lips back over his gums before wrinkling his nose in disgust and looking away.
“What? What Harper? You had pictures of me on your wall which someone else clearly took for you. You obviously don’t do this for all your supposed victims and yet you did it for me. Why? And then you turned me, instead of killing me, except that wasn’t part of the plan. Whose plan? Yours? Mr Creepy Photographer? Where is he by the way? Do I get to meet him?”
“Stop it.” His voice was a low menacing warning and he looked at me, his eyes narrowing to cold emerald slits.
“Why? I have a right to know.”
“Not this you don’t.”
“Bullshit!” I shouted, slamming my hands down on the floor and picking up handfuls of torn photos and brandishing them at him. “This gives me the right. Now just tell me!”
He sat up, leaning forward and resting his elbows on his knees as he cast his eyes over me, chewing thoughtfully on his bottom lip. “Okay,” he said. “But I warn you, you may wish you had never asked. You have learned so many unpleasant things recently, I wonder if you are strong enough to withstand anymore?”

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2013 All Rights Reserved

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Playing Dead

#SampleSunday Excerpt from Playing Dead

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Sitting up straight on his lap, with my hands on my thighs, I turned and looked out of the window; the same one that just a few moments ago I had stood on the other side of, looking in at this man so full of life and now motionless and extinct. I could see nothing beyond the window pane. The street was gone. The world seemed filled with shadows; so many shadows pressing themselves against the glass, crushing into every space until there was nothing but a grotesque mass of their twisted black bodies, writhing and undulating as they watched me. Leering faces painted with wicked grins and a thousand terrible teeth were grinding themselves against the window, licking their lips in lustful appreciation.
The old Megan would have been shrieking in undiluted terror now. The old Megan would have literally lost her grip on her sanity as reality was ripped violently away from her. The old Megan was lost and as dead as the thing now laying beneath me.
The new Megan was here now and as I slipped silently from the house, grinning with dark menace, I felt the cool hush of night air soothe my burning skin and I opened my arms wide and embraced the waiting shadows, welcoming their company and wondering how I had ever lived without them.

– taken from Playing Dead, now being posted on Wattpad.com

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

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2013 all rights reserved.

Playing Dead

#SampleSunday “I know what you are” – excerpt from Playing Dead.

“You don’t have a clue what’s happened to you, do you?”
There was something cold and menacing about his voice, as if there was some underlying threat in what he asked, something I did not want to know. I didn’t answer; just continued to watch him warily, feeling the loud beat of my heart filling my head with a rush of noise that made me think of the bright red timer of a bomb, ticking away to zero. Only what happened when the bomb got to zero, I had no idea but the prospect of the explosion, scared the hell out of me.
“Do you know what I am?” he asked.
“N-no. Y-yes. I don’t know,” I stammered, trying to concentrate on breathing in and out deeply.
10.
“You do know. You just don’t want to say it.”
“I know what you did to me.”
9.
“And what was that exactly?” That smug look again. That same infuriating, gut-churning smug look.
8.
“You…you bit me.” The thought of it, of feeling his teeth pierce my skin, spilling my blood, made me want to vomit and yet thrilled me at the same time.
7.
“Yes. Yes I did. And why would I do that? What am I?” He leaned forward and placed both hands on the floor, rising onto his knees and he began to slowly, carefully, crawl across the floor towards me. His movements were fluid, considered and there was something very animalistic about them.
“Stop,” I pleaded, my chest racked with laboured breaths. “D-don’t come any closer.”
6.
“Then answer the question. What am I?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know. Please.” I edged along the wall, closer and closer to the hole. Throwing myself into the blackness seemed more tolerable than this.
5.
“It’s not a difficult question. I bit you. I drank from you.”
Blood. My blood. Seeping out onto my skin and he was lapping it up, revelling in the taste on his lips.
The thirst was ripping into me again. Such terrible thirst.
No, not now. Please. Not now.
“So. What am I?”
4.
I clutched at my stomach and clawed at my throat. I edged backwards until I was right on the edge. Maybe some great hellish tentacle would reach out and drag me into the abyss. I hoped it would.
Harper stalked closer still; his eyes glistening with pure malevolent blackness.
“You tasted so damn good.”
3.
The pains twisted and consumed me. I licked my lips. I was burning up again.
“Stop,” I hissed. “Just stop.”
He was almost upon me now. If I reached out, I could fall upon him. Attack him.
Bite him.
2.
He smiled. I saw his teeth again. Elongated and so very sharp.
Burning, burning, burning. With anger. With thirst. With want.
“All you have to do is say it.”
I groaned. Something between pain and desire.
1.
He was right there. In front of me. I felt his fingers touch my bare toes and I wanted to recoil at his touch and wrap myself around him all at the same time.
“I know what you are,” I whispered. “You’re a demon. You’re a monster.
His eyes flashed and he moved his face dangerously close to mine. I felt his breath on my skin. Reaching out, he ran his thumb down my cheek softly, igniting the fuse and sending sparks exploding through me.
“No, Megan. You’re the monster.”
I stared at him, wide-eyed and breathless. And I knew. I knew.
0.

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2013

Playing Dead

#SampleSunday “You don’t think I belong amongst the demons?”

“Do you know why the type of men in that place can’t resist you? Because you stand out from the rest of the crowd. You might as well dress all in white and stick a pair of fucking wings on your back. In fact, your wedding ring makes a damn good halo. You represent something forbidden, something….untouchable and when you come across something so untouchable, well, it just makes you want to touch it even more.”
Hands now. His hands. Touching me. We were in that hotel room and his hands were on me.
“Men don’t really want what they are allowed to have. Where’s the fun in that? It’s easy. It doesn’t fuel their ego. It doesn’t turn them on. They want the chase. They want the hunt. They want the battle. They’re all warriors at heart, or at least some like to think they are. They wander around that club, decked out in their battle garb, too much hair gel, way too much cologne, and there are plenty of women who will make it so easy for them, because they want the same thing. But those women blend into one, same clothes, same hair, same make-up, the same faces over and over again. And then there’s you. Tucked away in some corner, so desperate for them not to touch you. And they can sense that, you can see them all, sniffing at the air, trying to find you where that sweet smell is coming from. You don’t belong there, you’re an angel amongst demons.”
I swallowed, wishing my mouth didn’t feel so dry. “Well, no offence to you, but you don’t look like you belong in a place like that either.”
His emerald eyes sparked with interest and he leaned forward again, closer this time. “You don’t think I belong amongst the demons?”
I held my breath for a moment.
His lips were on mine and he was sucking gently on where I had made my mouth bleed.
“It’s just….and please don’t take this the wrong way….it’s just you don’t look like the guys that hang around in there. You’re……” I cast my eyes over his tattooed neck and beard. “Well, you’re just different that’s all.”
“Slightly less hair gel?” he teased.
“Only slightly,” I shot back, smiling now. “Sorry, I’m not being rude, you understand?”
His smile broadened and I felt something tickle in the base of my stomach. He really was very handsome, under all that hair of course. And as for his hair, under the bright Starbucks lights, I could see it was thick, dark and glossy, cut slightly into the neck at the back, but longer at the front. If I was any closer, and if I had dared, I would have leant forward to see if it smelled as good as it looked. Tonight, he wore a grey t-shirt emblazoned with some band name that I didn’t recognise under a black leather biker jacket. And he really did have the longest eyelashes for a guy, something I always thought quite unfair considering the amount I spent on mascara.
“Of course,” he replied. “I admit, it’s not usually the type of place I would hang out.”
“So what were you doing there?” I said, my curiosity burning. “Fancied a change of scene?”
He looked at me from under those long lashes that I envied and he chewed pensively on his bottom lip. “Hmmm,” he pondered. “I want to tell you, but I’m afraid that view over my shoulder will suddenly become irresistible and you’ll run for the door.”
“I’m not sure whether to be intrigued or nervous,” I smiled but I already knew the answer to that one. My heart had picked up a rather frantic beat.
“Okay, well, the first time, I was there on business.”
“What line of business are you in?”
“Removals,” he replied quickly and I wondered if he was lying. After all, why would someone in removals be at a nightclub for business?
“Okay….” I said, trying to ignore the little alarm bells that were now resounding loud and clear in my head.
He hesitated for moment before continuing, exhaling deeply before he spoke as if the confession was a heavy load for him to admit. “Anyway, the truth is, I saw you and I went back this week, hoping that you might be there again.”
I stared at him and quickly dropped my hands into my lap, wiping the moisture on my palms on the skirt of my dress. Okay, so I wasn’t just nervous now, I was downright scared. I didn’t want him to say anything else. And I certainly didn’t trust myself to say anything.
“You want to run, don’t you?” he said, the glint in his eyes challenging me to do just that.
“Yes.” It came out in a whisper. I felt the walls closing in, sweat peppering the back of my neck and I clenched my fists, digging my nails into my palms in an effort to focus and not give into wild panic.
“If you want to, I’ll understand. I won’t stop you.”
“You said this was just coffee,” I said, shooting him an accusatory look. It was a pathetic response and I wanted to curl up into a ball as soon as I had said it. I sounded like a kid, naively piling the blame on him and yet what girl goes for coffee with another guy without knowing it is probably more than just coffee.
“And it is. We’re in a coffee shop drinking coffee aren’t we?” he smiled reassuringly, but the challenge was still there. I could see it, burning across the surface of his eyes.
“But, you said….” I furrowed my brows, feeling confused and embarrassed.
“I wanted to see you again. I want to continue seeing you. There’s no point in me saying otherwise, after all, we’re both adults so why bother pretending?”
“You think I’m pretending?”
“Not at all. On the contrary, you’ve been quite clear. Probably more than you realise.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I met his challenge with one of my own, irritated by the intonation in his voice.
“Well you’re here aren’t you?”
“So in other words you think I’m like all those other girls at the club? An easy target?”
“If I thought you were that then I wouldn’t be here,” he replied, shrugging. “And neither would you for that matter. We’d have no interest in talking to each other over coffee of all things. In fact, we’d have no interest in just talking at all. But I’m not going to lie and neither should you.” He leaned forward again, almost conspiratorially. “I wanted to see you again and I think maybe you wanted to see me too. There’s nothing wrong in admitting that.”
“Yes there is,” I said, wanting to scratch at the guilt that itched under my skin. “You don’t understand.”
“But I do. Really I do and I respect you for your need to stay true to what you think you believe in.”
“I do believe in it. And I don’t think you respect me at all, if you did, you wouldn’t push the issue.” I felt my face flare in anger now and resisted the urge to reach out and slap his arrogant face.
He met my anger with a small smile, but his eyes were serious and flashed darkly as if he sensed the aggression threatening to spill to the surface. “There’s a big difference between disrespect and desire. Experiencing one doesn’t automatically cancel out the other. I do respect you, Megan, but it doesn’t stop me wanting you.”
I flushed furiously at how candid he was being with his words and glanced around anxiously, sure that everyone in here must have frozen and were now listening intently to our conversation.
“No one can hear, Megan. No one cares. You can say whatever you want and the world will continue to turn just as it did before. The heavens will not collapse into the sea. God will not send his armies to battle the legions of the Underworld. Try it out. Just this once, say what are thinking. Let down your guard.”
“I can’t.” I could barely breathe.
“Say it.”
“If you already know, then why do I need to say it?” The panic gripped me now, vice-like around my throat, cutting off air and making my head fuzzy.
“Because I want to hear you say it. Please.”
He reached out across the table, almost imploringly, holding his hand palm up as if he wanted me to put my hand in his. I was scared to touch him and he knew it.
“Megan. Just say it.” His tone was softer now, pleading and when I stared deep into his eyes, I felt my resolve begin to crack and peel away.
Lifting a trembling hand, I watched as it crept tentatively into his, almost as if I were on the outside looking in. This wasn’t my hand. It couldn’t be.
“I want you,” my traitorous mouth confessed.
His fingers interlocked with mine and he turned my hand over, running his thumb gently across my palm, making the skin there tingle furiously.
“You see, even the best of the angels was capable of falling.”
“If I’m an angel, what does that make you?”
His eyes never left mine and for a split second I saw a glimpse of that fire-breathing beast I had seen on the first night we had met. I saw the darkness rippling under his gaze but still I couldn’t let go of his hand. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to let go anymore.
“The one who is going to catch you, Megan.”
The demon smiled and I fell instantly, plummeting, plummeting, no longer wanting to prevent the fall and yet inside I was screaming. Hopelessly, desperately screaming, only I knew that no one would hear me.
No one cared and the world still turned.

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2013

Playing Dead · Wattpad · Writing

And Now For Something Completely Different ……

I’m meant to be finishing Blood Wars. I’m not. As naturally as the writing buzz comes along, it has swiftly left me and to take my mind off of the fact that I’m not writing Blood Wars, I am writing something else entirely. So in the words of the great Monty Python…..and now for something completely different…….

It was one indiscretion.
One small blink-and-you’ll-miss-it indiscretion.
A least that’s what I told myself. Of course, it was way more than that but I never wanted to believe it was anything more.
Four years of marriage and before that two years of dating and not once had I ever strayed. In fact, I had barely cast a glance in another man’s direction. After all, why did I need to? I had everything I could possibly want with the first man I had fallen in love with when I was just seventeen.
But maybe that was the problem.
When someone is all you’ve ever known, isn’t it just a natural thing to let your eyes wander? To let your head get turned? To feel that small tingle of excitement flitter up your spine when someone else – someone new – looks your way?
And that’s just what happened. My eyes wandered. My head turned. My spine tingled. And the moment it happened, I knew deep down that I would regret it. I knew it would cost me.
Little did I know it would cost me my life.

********

I awoke to pure, undiluted darkness. It covered me like some cold claustrophobic bind, pressing down, shrouding every inch of my skin in a way that made me feel like it was crushing my limbs and torso in its great powerful hands; gripping, squeezing, grinding me into the dirt in which I lay.
When I tried to wrench open my eyelids, intense hot pain stabbed at my eyes until I was sure they must be boiling in their sockets. The first thought to hit my conscious brain burned me almost as much as the pain did.
My eyes! My eyes! He took my eyes!
Darkness swam all around me like some impenetrable blackness that seemed to move and shift; undulate and writhe. I sucked in what little breath I had. When I somehow managed to raise a trembling hand to my face, the fact that I was still in possession of my eyeballs did nothing to lessen the panic that was sweeping through me in waves, crashing over me and pulling me under.
Great spasms of pain made me want to scream, but no sound would come out. The howls got stuck in my scorching throat and I choked on them, spewing out a vile torrent of acrid vomit that pooled onto the ground beneath me. Just when I thought there would be no more, my body twisted uncontrollably and out it gushed again, until I lay panting with my face in the foul liquid and unable to lift my head.
I didn’t understand the agony. I was burning. I had to be. No other affliction could be this torturous. Maybe I was nothing but a charred, blackened thing; writhing in the dirt and monstrously scarred. Did the flames still lick at my body? Did they still dance over my skin?
Yet as I burned, I felt the brush of cool air all around me and the darkness continued to consume me. There were no flames. There was no fire. Just me, endlessly aflame.
Snapshots of his face flickered furiously in my head; like the blinding flashes of paparazzi cameras, shutters clicking again and again and again, making me blink erratically and whimper with terror. That smile. That beautiful smile, I know knew to be false. Fingertip touches so light, so sensual; that he made me ache for more, luring me in until I destroyed everything that I had once considered unbreakable. His face changing; becoming something else, something that tugged at the memories of my childhood nightmares. A monster. A myth. Nothing but make-believe. Hammer Horror films and Hollywood fantasy. Graphic novels and goth dreams.
Except this face was real. The monster was real.
A noise emanated out of the blackness; a shuffling, hissing noise and there was a shift in the air that sent my panic into overdrive because I knew it meant only one thing.
He had returned.
A cool hand touched my bare foot. Spider-like fingers crept quickly up my naked legs and then a body above mine – upon mine – turning me skilfully onto my back. When his harsh, shallow breaths tickled at my face, I finally found my voice.
Even when he covered my mouth, I could still hear my screams.

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2013. All Rights Reserved.