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


Playing Dead

#SampleSunday Excerpt from Playing Dead


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

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.
“You do know. You just don’t want to say it.”
“I know what you did to me.”
“And what was that exactly?” That smug look again. That same infuriating, gut-churning smug look.
“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.
“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.”
“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.
“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?”
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.”
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.
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.
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.

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

Blood Wars

“This is a vampire.” – excerpt from Blood Wars

Stephen unlocked the door and stepped inside the room. He beckoned for me to follow him and I did so, wrinkling my nose as the sour smell of urine mixing with the sweet sickly smell of blood.
The vampire did not even look up as we entered but from here I could clearly see the bruises and cuts that marked his bare arms. His ankle was a furious red where he was manacled to the wall and his feet were blood-stained and encrusted with dirt, particularly around the toes.
“Dinner time, fuck-face,” smiled Stephen and then the vampire did look up, staring at us through his greasy knotted locks.
I couldn’t help but swallow when he laid his eyes on me. They were a startling blue and reminded me of another pair of blue eyes that I hadn’t seen in months. The vampire ran those blue eyes over my face and then down my body, only resting momentarily on the cat that continued to purr softly in my arms.
“Do I get the cat or the girl?” the vampire said with a soft Irish lilt.
“Think of it as a fast food dive, not Gordon bloody Ramsey. You only get the cat, I’m afraid,” Stephen laughed.
“Shame,” remarked the vampire, shrugging his shoulders and resting his head back against the wall, still not taking his eyes from me.
“Go on then,” said Stephen nodding is head at the cat and then over to the vampire.
“You do it,” I quickly said, thrusting the poor creature into his arms.
Rolling his eyes, Stephen took the cat and holding it by the scruff of the neck, walked over to the vampire who held up his thin, pale arms and took the animal, not once looking like he might attempt to grab his captor instead. He held the cat in his arms, much like Stephen had, stroking it gently and holding it up so he could look intently into its big, saucer-like eyes. The cat miaowed sweetly.
In one quick movement, the vampire buried his face into the cat’s neck and the animal shrieked as its throat was pierced and the sound was so like a baby’s cry that I wanted to put my hand over my ears and squeeze my eyes shut so I wouldn’t see it struggle in his grasp. The sucking noise was almost too much to bear but the whole time Stephen just stood, leaning against the wall with his legs crossed at the ankles and arms folded across his chest, never taking his eyes off of the feeding vampire.
When the cat stopped moving and the vampire was done, he tossed the poor thing’s body into the corner, wiping his mouth and chin with the back of his hand.
“Your new recruit is squeamish, Stephen,” said the vampire, smirking. “Where is Nathaniel finding these people? Or maybe his training isn’t quite what it used to be?”
“Oh she’ll learn, don’t you worry,” Stephen replied. “Anyway, she’s not as fragile as she looks. Feeling better, Fergus? I can see a little colour coming back into your cheeks already.”
If there was, I couldn’t see it. The vampire – now known as Fergus – looked just as pale and deathly as he had when we had walked in.
“I’d feel better if I had the girl, but I guess the cat will have to suffice for now,” replied Fergus.
“Good,” said Stephen and before I could register what was happening, he walked quickly over to the vampire and kicked him hard in the kidneys. The vampire fell to the floor, clutching at his side and breathing heavily as he fought to control the pain he so clearly felt.
“What the hell are you doing?” I cried, grabbing hold of Stephen’s arm and trying to pull him back. Instead, Stephen kicked him again, this time in the leg and the vampire rolled onto his back, knees drawn up, his eyes squeezed shut and teeth set in a skeletal grimace.
I stared at Stephen, horrified. “What is wrong with you? He wasn’t doing anything. He was just sitting there. You didn’t have to kick the shit out of him!”
Stephen shrugged as if it were nothing but then I heard croaky, wheezing laughter and looked down to see Fergus still on his back, hand melded to his side, but laughing as he looked up at us. He carried on laughing until finally he sat up very slowly, shaking his head and smiling.
He’d just been kicked twice and he thought it was funny?
“Oh dear,” he chuckled. “Oh dear, oh dear. I’m starting to think Nathaniel is losing his touch. If this is the calibre of sensor he is now training, I think we vampires have very little to worry about.”
Stephen said nothing now to defend me, not that I thought he would mind you, but I at least expected him to jump to the defence of his leader. Instead he just leaned back against the wall again and smiled.
“A sensor who hates to see a vampire in pain,” Fergus grinned. “Now this is a very interesting development indeed.”
“More than that, my twisted Irish beast,” Stephen laughed in return. “Get to know her a little better and she might give you more than cat blood. This one has a thing for you animals, believe it or not.”
I stared at Stephen dumbfounded. What the hell was he doing? And how dare he bring that up?
Fergus looked at me, his eyes widening as he took in Stephen’s words. When he ran those eyes over me this time, he didn’t look like it was my blood he was interested in.
“Oh, so you’re that sensor are you? I’d heard about you. Marcus’ daughter, right?”
God how I hated hearing his name spoken out loud.
“How on earth did you end up with this lot, eh? Last I heard you’d taken off with your fella. Sebastian has had people out over most of the south looking for you. Where’s your boy now, eh? Where’s Michael?”
Hearing that name felt even worse. I felt a stab of pain rip through my chest, one laced with the unmistakable touch of guilt. I tried to ignore it but heard Stephen snort with laughter.
“Nathaniel thinks he can get her to join the dark side, Fergus. Can you believe it? The great Michael’s girlfriend a fully-trained vampire killer?”
They both laughed now and I stood between them, feeling my cheeks flush angrily.
“I’m glad you both find me so amusing,” I hissed.
“Ah darling, don’t be so snappy,” said Fergus, holding out his hands in a placating gesture and groaning slightly as he shifted his body so he could lean against the wall again. “We’re only playing. I’m assuming your boy isn’t around anymore because I’m quite sure you wouldn’t be holed up with these bastards, would ya?”
I said nothing. I wasn’t about to discuss Michael’s whereabouts with anyone. Not that I knew his whereabouts anyway.
Fergus sniffed and wiped away a thin line of snot that had descended from one nostril. “Well, wherever he is, I don’t think he’ll be too happy when he finds out where you are. Rumour has it he’s quite the big man when it comes to killing sensors. Bet you don’t fancy being on his hit list, do ya? If I were you I’d run from this lot as fast as those shapely pins will carry ya.”
He looked at me now with eyes so solemn that I did want to run, I could feel pinpricks of fear ripple up my spine.
“I’m fine here, thanks,” I frowned.
“No,” mused the vampire. “No, you’re not. Any bastard with eyes can see that, girl. You don’t belong here with them. Something tells me you’re a slightly different breed of sensor. I actually feel sorry for you, darling.”
When he looked at me now, I saw none of his previous mocking stare. His face was serious and somewhat sad. Here he was, battered, tortured and stinking of his own urine and blood and he felt sorry for me!
I was aware of Stephen drinking in this exchange between Fergus and myself, looking from one of us to the other. He laughed softly before gesturing towards me.
“Oh I wouldn’t feel too sorry for this one, Fergus, she isn’t the innocent vampire lover she makes out to be. In fact, she’s far more dangerous than she looks. Didn’t you know she burnt down Marcus’ den? Burned them fuckers alive. Lit a match, poured a bit of petrol and then sat outside, watching as the vamps fried like barbecued pork.”
“It wasn’t like that….” I started to say.
“Oh Sarah, don’t be so modest. You became the poster girl for the sensor cause that day. And lets not forget your achievements since. After all, you killed the big man himself. The head honcho. Your own father. I mean, you’ve got to have some fucking gall to do that!”
Fergus raised an eyebrow, the sadness fading from his eyes as he seemed to appraise me in a new light.
“Wait a minute, that wasn’t me!” I gasped. “I would never….”
“Come on, Sarah. Marcus wanted to make you a vampire and when you said no, he tried to have you killed. Only you and Michael got to him first. We all know that. Nothing to be ashamed of. You killed a den leader. Now that’s a trophy to hang over the mantelpiece, eh Fergus?”
Now the vampire was glaring at me, his face darkening and mouth set in a small, hard line.
“Doesn’t end there either, Fergus. Our Sarah here kills regardless of gender or age. She’s not bothered. Killed a young girl the other week you know.”
I turned on him now. “Stop it! Just shut up!”
He smiled a tight cruel smile. “Hungry as hell this girl was. Picked on the wrong sensor though didn’t she? Got her a good one, eh Sarah? Should have seen it Fergus, a knife right in the neck.”
“A girl?” Fergus said, eyeing us warily. “How old?”
“Eighteen, nineteen maybe. You might have known her. Pretty little thing. Dark hair. What was her name now?” he smirked and scratched his head in mock-contemplation.
I didn’t like the way this was going. I didn’t like the way this was going at all. Whatever Stephen’s agenda was, I was sure it was nothing good.
“Hmm, began with an E. Not Emily but something like it. Give me a second and I’m sure it will come to me,” he said, tapping at his skull.
“Emilia,” whispered Fergus, looking directly at me, his eyes red and watery.
“That’s it!” laughed Stephen. “Well done, Fergus. Emilia! The girl that Sarah killed was Emilia. I think she was from Juliette’s den too. Did you know her, Fergus?”
I looked from Stephen to the vampire, whose chest was moving in and out in great heaves now and I could hear his breath hiss dangerously between gritted teeth.
“Yes, yes I knew her,” he said and his voice trembled. Another small rivulet of snot run down his nose and upper lip, but this time he did it wipe it away.
“What? Wait a minute…” I began but before I could finish, Fergus’ face twisted into a molten mask of hate and with a tortured wail he launched himself with a strength I didn’t think he could possibly still possess. I heard the jangle of the chain, attached to his manacled ankle, as it dragged quickly along the floor behind him and before I knew it I felt his hand grip my shirt and his face was just inches from mine, contorting in fury as he howled his rage at me.
I cried out in shock and grabbed his wrist with both hands, but as I pulled he wouldn’t loosen his grasp and I stumbled backwards hearing the rip of fabric, releasing me from his clutches as I fell to the floor. Desperately I scrambled backwards across the blood-stained floor as he flailed and strained on his chain to try and reach me. The veins in his temples bulged. His fingers clawed at nothing but air as he screamed, his mouth open wide revealing awful fangs and spraying saliva everywhere.
Now I sat with my back pressed to the wall, gasping for air as Fergus continued to fight and struggle to get to me, his face rippling with hatred as he screamed obscenities at me. I was sure that at any moment that chain would break, so powerful was his fury.
Stephen had moved out of Fergus’ reach but his eyes gleamed with that same zeal I saw in the sensors’ eyes the day we went to The Black Cat. He side-stepped towards me and crouched down next to where I sat. With his mouth close to my ear, he spoke, never taking his eyes off of the raging vampire.
This is a vampire, Sarah. Take a good long look. See them for what they are. Blood-thirsty. Relentless. Evil. Never forget this. Never let down your guard. And never, ever trust them.”
The vampire continued to scream.

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2013

paranormal romance · urban fantasy

Blood Shadows by Lindsay J Pryor

I have to say that despite writing vamp fiction myself, I have found myself recently getting a little tired of the genre.
Yeah. I actually just said that.
I know. I know. But before you throw my traitorous backside to the baying hounds, lets just say that when you want your vamps a little darker, a little more menacing and a little grittier, it’s pretty hard to see them through a sea of Edwards.
Okay, I have no issue with Edward, but if you want to know the vamps in Twilight who I really wanted to see more of, it was Garrett and Alistair. Now there’s two vamps who deserve a spin-off all of their very own. Mysterious, dark, menacing and enough sex appeal to fuel the fire. These guys interested me far more than Edward ever did. If I’m being honest, basically I just want my main vamp to be a bit of a mean bastard.
Step forward Kane Malloy of Blood Shadows by Brit paranormal romance writer, Lindsay J Pryor.
Kane Malloy, master vampire of the murky world of Blackthorn, has enough brooding menace to make you shiver and sizzle at the same time. With a vicious reputation and a status as the Vampire Control Unit’s Most Wanted, there’s no doubt he’s the vampire I have been waiting for.
Blood Shadows has a vibe reminiscent of J.R Ward’s Black Dagger series, both sexy, unrelenting and blood-thirsty, but the significant difference between the Black Dagger vampires and Lindsay’s Kane, is that he stole my heart right from the beginning. Whilst I enjoyed all the Black Dagger vamps, none of them burrowed deep under my skin as Kane did.
It certainly wasn’t lost on me that, as the reader, Kane slips stealthily into your veins, in the same way he slowly works his indisputable charms on ass-kicking VCU agent, Caitlin Parish. All the way through the book, you know you’re falling in love, yet you can’t help but think there’s something not quite right about feeling that way. It’s an uneasy love. A love that makes you squirm uncomfortably. And the reason for that is Lindsay’s canny ability to make the book unpredictable until the very end. Just when you think you’ve sussed out the plot, Lindsay has a way of turning everything on its head and throwing you this Kane-sized curve ball that keeps you on the edge of your seat, practically begging for more.
And of course, we can’t forget Caitlin. Strong, sassy and smart with a perfect balance of tough versus vulnerable, Caitlin is the kind of female lead that stands her ground against the most captivating of male characters. When you have a novel that is destined to always have a higher volume of female readers than male, it’s always hard to create a female character who shines just as bright as her male counterpart. You might like her, but you’re never really rooting for her in the same way you’re punching the air for him. But, because you’re never really sure what Kane is all about, you want Caitlin to win. Life has dealt her a crappy enough hand to make you sympathise with her and yet, at the same time, she is just the right amount of heroine to make you wish you were a little bit more like her.
In bringing the fantastical world of Blackthorn to life, Lindsay has created a heady mix of intense page-to-page action, blistering heat and blood-curdling chills that literally grabs you by the jugular and keeps you guessing until the very last word. It’s gritty, gripping, captivating and unrelenting and will leave you begging for the next white-knuckle ride into Blackthorn’s dark and disturbing streets.
Five stars! Finally, a vampire novel I can get my teeth into!


Blood Wars

#TasterTuesday – Excerpt from Chapter 7 of Blood Wars

Tunnels, tunnels, tunnels. Why did my life always seem to lead me back to tunnels? Tunnels with dank blood-stained cells. Dark, smoke filled tunnels. Running from vampires in tunnels. Tunnels with trains. Fleeing mysterious assailants in tunnels. Running and tunnels. Endless, torturous tunnels.
I sped off the platform, doing my best not to appear too panicked and unhinged as the last thing I needed was to alert security to what was happening. Oh yes, I needed help, but theirs was not the kind of help I wanted. How easy would it be for them to link me back to the crazed knife-wielding redhead of Hyde Park Corner? And then, what about the murder of a young girl in Belgravia? I wasn’t convinced that ghost had yet been laid to rest.
Cutting past people, I reached the escalator and began walking as fast as I could on the left hand side. Nearing the top, I glanced back to see Green Eyes and Brown Eyes following on the left hand side, but instead of speeding up the steps, they took the escalator in a calm, collected manner. Just two normals guys going casually about their day.
Nothing to see here, ladies and gents.
I had no doubt in my mind that this was a hunt yet they seemed like the most unlikeliest of hunters. Nothing about them screamed serial killer. Nothing about them screamed bogeyman. Although that didn’t stop them from being the bogeyman’s henchmen. And who am I? Nothing. A nobody. I knew no one in the human world apart from those that worked at the bookstore and I was pretty sure none of them wished me any harm. These hunters were obviously some vampire’s pets. But whose? There was only one vampire who wanted me now. Only one willing to do whatever it took to save his own skin. How foolish had we been to think we had escaped his clutches?
I knew Sebastian. Knew him enough to know he hadn’t given up his search. He always got his own way. Always.
I tripped off the end of the escalator and headed towards the turnstiles, where I swiped my Oyster card across the scanner. Green Eyes and Brown Eyes were still there, taking separate turnstiles at a leisurely place; their faces a picture of maddening calm.
I didn’t know what to do. Could I lose them in the Oxford Street crowds? Could I slip into a shop unseen? Or should I head towards work and shroud myself in the protective cocoon of the bookstore? The faces of my colleagues flitted across my mind. I could see them melding with other faces; faces from my past, faces of people who had been my friends and who I had led into danger. Faces of people who now lay in the ground or burned to nothing. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t lead my hunters there, although part of me knew instinctively that these guys already knew where I worked. They had been following me. Of course they had. How else could they have known I would be on the tube at this particular time?
As I took the steps up to the street above and the daylight hit me full force, the realisation of the situation blinded me almost as much as the dazzling sun did. If my hunters had been following me, then they didn’t just know where I worked; they also knew where I lived and that meant the others were in just as much danger as I was.
Glancing across the road, I made a quick decision on the route I would take to try and escape Sebastian’s pets. I zipped across the road, narrowly missing the front end of a double decker bus and almost falling straight into the path of a cyclist, who shouted a stream of obscenities at me, and somehow I made it to the other side unscathed. Looking back, I saw Green Eyes and Brown Eyes about to cross the road and finally I felt relieved to see their masks of calm slip and anxiety mark their faces when they saw my chosen destination.
“That’s right, you bastards,” I smirked “have fun catching me in the chaos that is Topshop. And it’s sale time too!”

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2012