Lost Creatures

Lost Creatures Wattpad Cover!

Hello bloggers, writers, weirdo’s and friends!

For those of you who haven’t yet seen this, this is my cover for Lost Creatures that I have mocked-up for Wattpad. It’s only temporary and needs quite a bit of work but I quite like the feel of it.

Thanks to my good friend Alison Watkins for the idea and for also giving it the all-important thumbs up before I uploaded it.

Hope you all like it….if you have read Lost Creatures, do let me know if you think it fits the story. Be kind…I’m not incredibly artistic so this is the best I could do in a short space of time.

lots of love, Linz x

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.

Blood Wars

#SampleSunday – excerpt from Chapter 10 Blood Wars

“You set me up!” I cried, charging bull-like into the room where I had met the other sensors, only now it contained just Nathaniel, Jem and Eric in what looked like deep consultation. They looked up as I came hurtling through the door, with Jared close on my heels. Jem and Eric eyed me warily, but Nathaniel just leaned back in his chair and raised an eyebrow at me.
“You set me up,” I growled, fists clenched and fit to burst, I was so angry. “That girl. That girl that chased me the other week, it was a nothing but a set up. You planted her there. You made her do it.”
On realising his error, Jared had been forced to explain everything. How they had captured this girl, starved her half to death, made her follow me with the promise that she would be released if she did what they asked. They had told her she would be watched the whole time and that if she tried to run away, they would catch her and kill her. I was horrified. Horrified that they could do such a thing. And I didn’t understand. Why? Why would sensors intentionally set a vampire on another sensor?
Nathaniel said nothing to me. Instead he just turned to the others and said “Would you leave us for a moment? That includes you Jared.”
“I’m sorry, Nate,” Jared said behind me. “I didn’t meant to tell her, it just slipped out.”
“It’s fine Jared, now go on, all of you. Leave me to chat with Sarah here.”
Chat? Chat? Like we were going to discuss the weather or the current price of milk or something!
The others got up quickly and left, although Jared loitered for a moment as if he wanted to say something else. Finally he just shook his head and followed them, closing the door behind him.
Nathaniel didn’t move. He just stayed leaning back in his chair, quietly observing me as I stood in front of him, like this little ball of rage that was about to ignite and spontaneously combust.
“I would ask you to take a seat but something tells me you might throw it at me,” he said with a small smile.
“You think this is funny?” I snapped “You torture a girl, starve her to the point of desperation and then plant her on my train so she can attack me? How is that even faintly amusing?”
He was right though. I did want to chuck something at him. Preferably something heavy.
“You know, you seem more concerned about the girl than anything else,” he mused, crossing his arms in front of his chest.
“I killed her,” I gasped. “I killed a girl.”
“A vampire. You killed a vampire,” he said, his deep brown eyes steady and serious.
“What does that matter? I still killed someone!”
“It’s called survival of the fittest, Sarah,” he replied. “It was you or her. And you chose you.”
“I didn’t chose anything! What choice did I have? She was going to kill me.”
“And so you did what you had to do. Why is that so difficult for you to get your head around? And why are you so angry about it?” he said calmly, not taking his eyes off of me.
“Because I’m not like you. I’m not like any of you. I don’t want to go around killing them and you made me. You made me do it. If you hadn’t have put her there, wound her up, then….”
“Then it would have been someone else. Some other vampire that you happened to stumble across. Okay, so it might not have been that night, but it would have happened eventually. Come on, Sarah. How long did you think you could go on without coming across a vampire that wants you dead? A vampire who would sooner open your throat than cohabit with you in some weird modern day take on The Waltons? It was going to happen sooner or later and personally I thought it would be better for you to realise that now than start feeling too comfortable in their presence.”
“Why? What business is it of yours what I do? Okay, so we might both have the ability to spot one in a crowded room but that’s where our connection ends. You guys can go on doing whatever perverse, disgusting things you do here and I can go on with my life and it’s got nothing to do with any of you how I chose to live it,” I said, glaring at him.
Nathaniel didn’t reply. Instead, he stood up and I was a little taken aback by how close he was as he looked down darkly at me.
“Perverse?” he said quietly. “Disgusting? Come with me.” Before I could protest, he grabbed me by the hand and pulled me from the room. He turned left down the corridor and led me past a number of rooms, in which I could see some of the others, until finally he stopped at one and knocked lightly. From within I heard the American Green Eyes say “yep, come on in.”
We walked into the room, which had been transformed into some kind of make-shift dormitory with sleeping bags, air beds and blankets all laid out neatly in rows. It had a distinct military feel to it. Green Eyes was sitting up as we walked in and as soon as he saw Nathaniel and I, he stood up immediately and smiled broadly.
“Hey there,” he grinned at me. “Still with us then?”
“Louis, would you mind removing your shirt, please?” Nathaniel said. I glanced at him, shocked at his request.
“Sure,” Louis shrugged and began to unbutton his long sleeved shirt, which was very similar to the one I remembered him wearing the first time I had met him on the underground. I felt myself squirming on the inside as I watched him open the front and pull it back revealing pale skin. Pale skin that was covered with ugly twisted scars. They criss-crossed his body and tattooed his chest, his stomach, his shoulders, down his arms. I could see nasty knots of scar tissue on his wrists. I wanted to look away but felt strangely hypnotised by it, yet he seemed quite unashamed to be standing there topless in front of me.
Nathaniel turned to me and gestured at Louis’ scarred skin. “Disgusting? Perverse? You want to talk to me about how what we do is disgusting and perverse, Sarah? They did this. They caught Louis and they tortured him. They hung him upside down from the ceiling and they tried to drip him dry. They cut him. They let the blood drip from his wounds and drank it. And when that didn’t kill him, they took him down and they attacked him again. And again. And again. When we found out where they held him, we went in there to find him like this. They had gone by then, knowing that we were coming and they had just left him there to die like he was some kind of animal. Okay, so we might have to use certain distasteful methods to extract information, but the difference between us and them is that we don’t do it for fun. We don’t do it for sport. We do it because we have to. It’s the only language they understand. Yet we’re the perverse ones? I think not.”

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2012

Blood Wars

#SampleSunday – Excerpt from Chapter Nine of Blood Wars



“Wait a minute. You brought me here because you think I want to kill vampires?” I jumped to my feet, glaring at Nathaniel. If he wasn’t pinning me in that serious, dark stare of his, I might have burst out laughing; the notion was just so ridiculous.

“I don’t think you want to kill vampires at all, Sarah. You’re not quite that ready. But you know what it is to kill them and hopefully soon, you will understand it is necessary,” he said.

Now I did laugh but it sounded cold and harsh as it echoed through the warehouse.

“Necessary? When did it ever become necessary to kill anyone? What is this place? Rent-A-Vamp-Killer? I’ve never heard anything so crazy in my whole life,” I laughed at him.

“I understand how it must seem to you, Sarah. But your life has taken a somewhat unusual path for a sensor. You live with them. You have what you think is a friendship with certain vampires and although your so-called vampire protector is no longer here you still believe your place is with them. But tell me, do you really feel safe with them? Do you ever wonder, now Michael is no longer around, when they might turn on you? These vampire friends of yours.” There was a distinct sneer when Nathaniel said the word ‘friends’.

“They wouldn’t turn on me,” I bit back “they know Michael wanted them to look after me and that’s just what they do. They would never hurt me.”

“They’re vampires, Sarah. Hurting humans is just what they do. Of course, I can’t blame them for something that is just part of their genetic make-up, but that doesn’t mean I want to accept their existence or tolerate what they do. They kill. It is as simple as that. And no friendship in the world will stop a vampire when he or she is in the clutches of the blood-pull. And yet you willingly live with them? You sleep soundly knowing that at any moment, the three vampires you think are your friends – when let’s face it, they are his friends, not yours – could turn on you and kill you within seconds? Are you comfortable with that? You really trust them that much?”

I hesitated. And there was the problem. If I had answered him immediately, then I could have challenged him with some conviction but that last question was as if he had reached into my mind and summed up everything I did feel about Marina, Vincent and Damien. I didn’t trust them. I wanted to, but I couldn’t. That was why I had not told them about killing the vampire girl. I knew that there was a high chance they would turn on me; that without Michael there to control them, they would just do what they were best at, and kill me. And then there was the whole issue of me being a sensor too. After all, Michael had made it plainly clear that sensors were the only known natural enemy of the vampires and even he viewed me with some suspicion because of that. How could I trust them when deep down I knew they didn’t trust me?

“They wouldn’t hurt me,” I insisted, but could feel my cheeks flushing as the words left my mouth.

“How funny that the past few months could have had such a profound effect on your opinion of vampires,” Nathaniel mused, raising an eyebrow.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I frowned.

“The old Sarah wouldn’t believe that. The old Sarah would know them for what they are. Killers. Nothing more, nothing less.”

I shook my head vigorously. “No, no, the difference is that the only vampires I knew then were killers. They killed my mother, they killed my Nan, they killed my friends and they tried to kill me. But they’re not all like that.”

“Are you saying that your friends are not killers? They’ve never once fed upon and killed a human?”

“Of course I’m not saying that! I’m just saying there’s a difference between the ones that kill for fun and the ones that kill because they have to. You said yourself that they can’t help something that is part of their genetic make-up. If they kill, it’s because they have to.”

Even as I said it I couldn’t quite believe those words were coming from me. Me? The girl who had hated vampires all her life? The girl who had constantly argued with Michael over whether vampires were intrinsically evil or just part of the ever-evolving food chain. And here I was defending them. In my head I could picture Michael smirking with that smug grin that always made me want to smack him across the face.

“Do you know the story of Hansel and Gretel, Sarah?” Nathaniel asked, raking his fingers through his hair.

“Um……sure. Hansel and Gretel were brother and sister. Their parents abandon them out in the woods because they can’t afford to feed them and Hansel and Gretel find a gingerbread house where an old lady lives. Only she’s not an old lady at all, she’s a witch and she lures them inside with the promise of all the food they can eat. What’s that got to do with vampires?” I said, feeling confused.

“Hansel and Gretel let themselves be fooled by the witch. They see this wonderful house made from gingerbread, cake and candy cane and then they see this little frail old woman and they think ‘how could this little frail old woman possibly be dangerous? She has a house made of cake! And what’s more is that she wants to protect us. She wants to feed us and look after us in a way our parents never would’. And so they believe her. They go inside and soon they realise the little frail old woman is not what she seems. So the witch imprisons them and feeds them but only because she wants to fatten them up and make herself a nice juicy succulent meal.”

“Wow if I’d known you were going to read me a bedtime story, I would have asked you to tuck me in first,” I sniped.

Nathaniel ignored me. “The point is that people are rarely what they seem. You of all people should know that. So many get reeled in by vampires because they refuse to see what is right in front of their eyes. The witch lived on her own, right out in the deepest, darkest depths of the forest. Now why did Hansel and Gretel never think that was strange? Because the witch deceived them with kindness and love. The witch made them feel wanted. The witch promised to protect them. The witch offered everything their parents never did. So they went inside.”

And with that, Nathaniel turned and walked away, leaving me staring after him with that awful sinking feeling festering in the pit of my stomach. When he reached the steps, he turned and looked back at me.

“Do you remember what happened to Hansel and Gretel, Sarah? They killed the witch. They shoved her in the oven and they killed her. And then they lived happily ever after.”


Copyright (c) 2012 Lindsey Clarke


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

Lost Creatures

#TuesdayTaster -Excerpt from Lost Creatures

When I awoke my first thought was that my feet were freezing cold. I mean, seriously, freezing-to-the-point-of-numbness-cold. When I looked down I could see that my toes were embedded in thick snow and I could only see my ankle bones peeking through the ice. Bemused, I wiggled my toes and they broke through the surface of the snow and I wondered what the hell I had done with my boots.

I heard footsteps crunch behind me and a familiar buzzing moved across my shoulder-blades and down my back. I felt warm breath on my neck but didn’t flinch.

“I’ll want that jumper back at some point you know,” Michael said.

I looked down and saw that I was still wearing his sweater. I wrapped my arms around my body and hugged the material to me. “Why are we here?” I asked, looking at the dense woodland that encircled us. I could see dark spots between the trees, so dense that my eyes could not penetrate the blackness. I didn’t want to think about what might be lurking in those places.

“I was going to ask you the same thing,” he said quietly.

Finally I turned around and looked up into his face. His blue eyes were full of worry.

“I miss her,” I said simply.

“You won’t find her here.”

“But it’s where I left her,” I frowned.

When I turned back round to face the woods, they had gone. I was standing on the edge of the forest looking at the little grey cottage, lights twinkling where I had left them on, awaiting my return.

“She’s not here, Sarah,” Michael said anxiously behind me but I was already walking away from him towards the lights.

I picked up pace as I crossed the lane, hardly feeling the cold against my bare skin anymore. I pushed the gate open, moving the flurry of snow that had built up behind it, and ran up the garden path towards the unvarnished wooden front door with its un-polished brass door knocker.

The door was ajar.


Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2011 

Blood Wars · Dark Sanctuary

Sarah the Vampire Slayer – Excerpt from Book 3

The area of Belgravia where I lived was a network of connecting horizontal and vertical roads, consisting mostly of these ridiculously expensive town houses. You could make you way through these streets very easily, cutting through side streets rather than taking the longer route around. If you missed one turning, you could easily get onto this road by taking the next turning. Unfortunately for me, it seemed the vampire was well aware of this and had used this to fool me into thinking she had given up the hunt. Of course, she had done no such thing.
As I headed up the road, I felt the stab of pins and needles shooting into my spine before I saw the vampire herself. Before I even had time to turn around, a dark shape came whirling out of another side street to my right and hit me full force; she literally barged into me and I was unable to stop my fall as I tumbled to the ground, with a frenzied vampire wrapped around me. The knife went flying from my hand and clattered into the gutter. Together we hit the floor in a jumbled mess of arms and legs and as we rolled onto the pavement, I could feel her hot breath on my face and I panicked, hitting out with my fists to try and keep her awful mouth away from my skin. I caught her across the forehead and she cried out but still clutched at me as I desperately tried to pull away. I swung out again, harder this time and managed to catch her nose, which cracked easily with a sickening crunch. Blood flowed immediately and she cupped her face in her hands and shrieked. Droplets spilled out between her fingers and splattered red onto her white pumps. Holding out her blood stained palms in front of her, she stared at her shaking hands as if she could not quite believe it was her own blood. Her lip trembled.
“Please….” I pleaded, backing away “you don’t have to do this. We can stop this now, you can turn around and walk away…..please.”
She stared at me, eyes widening at my words and for a moment – just for a moment – I was sure she was going to do just that; at least I think she wanted to, but then she blinked and it was gone. She sneered at me, blood snaking down her chin and I knew this vampire wasn’t going to just turn around and walk off into the night.
I whipped round, knowing my only hope was in retrieving the knife and, seeing my intentions, the girl threw herself at me with a strangled yelp. My face hit the kerb before the rest of me did and I felt the cold, rough kiss of concrete on my cheek and the vampire on my back, clawing and scratching at me. I tried to stretch out my arm but the knife was just beyond my reach. She was so small and slight that it wasn’t that difficult to knock her slightly off balance and I twisted around and found myself underneath her as she came at me again with wildly flailing arms and blood-stained grimace. Her face was just inches from mine and she was panting; a wheezy excitable sound, although it seemed fuelled more by panic than anything else. Her eyes were drenched in anxiety and you would have thought it was I, on top of her, hammering at her frail body and not her on top of me and about to feast on my carotid artery.
With a cruelty I did not know I possessed, I slammed my fist into her nose again, and she cried out, clutching at her face. Pushing her off, I scrambled backwards and managed to grab the knife, just as she threw herself at me again and we stumbled across the pavement. Now it was my turn to cry out as my back hit the railings outside a house, the iron bars imprinting onto my spine. She grabbed me and we spun, like dancers waltzing in the evening dusk, before I lost my balance and went tumbling back into the gap at the top of a basement stairwell. With a gleeful smile painted on her face, she threw herself at me, squealing in excitable triumph knowing that she had me cornered.
As she hit me, her face turned from one of glory to one of shock. For a moment, her eyes glazed over in bewilderment and she pulled back, her hand slowly reaching for the knife which was now embedded in her neck. I pressed myself up against the wall, watching in horror as her hand found the knife and grabbed at it, pulling slightly and releasing a spray of blood. She opened her mouth as if to say something, but the only sound was a volley of shallow gasps. Her hand fell limply to her side and she stumbled backwards. Realising she was about to fall I quickly tried to grab her but her hand was so slick with blood that she slipped out of my grasp and tumbled down the stairwell behind her. She fell, as if almost in slow motion and I watched helpless, on all fours at the top as she bumped her way down the short flight of steps and ended up in a crumpled heap at the bottom.
Hesitating for fear that someone might have heard or seen our fight and was now coming to see what was going on, I waited for a few seconds before running down the steps and hovering over her, not knowing what to do. She stared up at me, her eyes wide in shock and pain and she again tried to grab at her throat, but her hands missed the knife and she just grabbed at air, fingers twitching in front of her. Slowly I knelt down beside her, feeling sickness twisting in my gut as I saw the knife still sticking halfway into her neck, and a dark, sticky stain spreading onto the ground. She breathed out in sharp, staccato gasps and her chest heaved in and out violently.
Feeling the sobs bubbling up into my throat, I clapped my hand over my mouth to stifle the noise that wanted to escape. Reaching over I touched the knife, wrapping my fingers around the hilt and almost recoiling at the wetness. I tugged at it, hating the noise it made as I pulled it from her throat. The blood flowed copiously now and I put my hand down on it, trying to stem the tide but knowing it was pointless.
“I don’t know what to do,” I croaked “I can’t stop it. It won’t stop. I didn’t mean to. Really I didn’t. But you wouldn’t give up. Why couldn’t you just give up?”
I was sobbing now, tears streaming down my face and my cries leaving me in great, guttural groans. Her eyes never left my face as I cried. I abandoned the knife now and pressed down harder with both hands.
“What can I do?” I urged her “please tell me what to do!”
She wrapped a small, bony hand around my wrist and squeezed weakly; her wide, frightened eyes fixed on mine.
“Run,” she whispered “they’re coming..”

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2012