We're here today with Anita Clenney and her book Embrace the Highland Warrior. Next to cowboys, Highlanders are my favorite group of characters to write and read about. So let's welcome Anita!
Did you plan to be a writer or did it just happen?
Writing sneaked up on me. I wasn’t one of those writers who always knew she wanted to write. I’ve always loved reading, and one day the thought hit me out of the blue…”I can write a book.” Ha! I had no idea what I was getting involved in, but by the time I realized how little chance I had of getting published, I was already hooked. I’m thrilled for that lightning bolt idea, because now I know I was born to be a writer. It just took me a long time to figure it out.
What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?
Juggling writing with my family obligations has been the greatest challenge. Specifically, staying on top of housework. And no, I have not yet overcome the obstacle. Still working on it. J
Is writing a full-time career for you? If not, how else do you spend your work day?
Yes, writing is full time, but I don’t write every day. I should, but some days I am so busy with family and errands that I don’t make time to write. Other days, I will write nonstop.
Do you have a favorite character in Embrace the Highland Warrior? Who and why?
I’ve had so much fun with Ronan. He’s in both Awaken and Embrace, and of all my characters, his story seems to be the most anticipated. Ronan is sexy, gorgeous, and yet there’s a lot he’s hiding beneath the surface.
Without giving it all away, please tell us a little something about how Shay Logan is going to get through their biggest challenge.
In Embrace the Highland Warrior, Shay is forced to face a hurtful past if she wants to survive the present. She has to put aside past hurts and take the present as it is.
Which character in Embrace the Highland Warrior will be the most difficult to part with?
My stories are a little unusual in that all the characters return. They’re a strong part of each book in the series. Their actions and antics play a large role in the new hero and heroine’s tale. My readers tell me they love that they can continue to see the characters as the series evolves.
Do you have to be alone or have quiet to write?
Alone and quiet is best. I get distracted easily. Occasionally, there are times when I can sit in a crowd and write.
What has been your greatest pleasure in writing this book?
It’s the most amazing feeling to know that I’ve created something that others have enjoyed. That’s what it’s all about for me.
Embrace the Highland Warrior is part of a series that I plan to continue for as long as the readers want it.
What do you have in store next for your readers?
I also have a new paranormal relic series coming out this year. Guardians of Stone will be released in December. It’s sort of Indiana Jones ~meets~ Stephanie Plum. A feisty heroine with a sixth sense and two sexy heroes, a mercenary, and a dark, eccentric billionaire are on a hunt for powerful relics. The story has secret curses, wicked villains, catacombs, and the heroine will have to figure out which hero she truly loves. I think readers who like my warriors will also enjoy the Relic Seekers novels.
What type of heroine do you like best?
I like strong, independent heroines, but not nasty, man-haters. I want a heroine who recognizes her strengths as well as the hero’s.
Who or what has most influenced your writing?
I’ve never considered that a particular author influenced my writing, but in hindsight, the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters had a great impact on me earlier in life. I think she may have influenced me more than I realize.
What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?
I’ve always loved mystery and romance. Anything I write will have both. The paranormal element just slipped into my writing. I can’t seem to keep it out. I suppose that’s because I’m fascinated by mysterious, unexplained things.
Do you have a favorite author? Who and why?
I love Diana Gabaldon and Janet Evanovich to name two. Very different writers, but I just adore both.
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I plan to eventually tell the story of each warrior in the Connor Clan. They have so much happening under the surface. It’s going to be fun uncovering the mysteries.
Laptop, desktop or notebook and pen for writing? Desktop and laptop.
I prefer desktop. I can write faster, but sometime I need to move around, either to my kids’ sports practices or just to the back deck for a change of scenery.
Have you ever literally deleted or thrown away a book you’ve written?
No. I was lucky. Every full manuscript I’ve written has been published so I don’t have anything hiding in the drawer. Well, maybe a couple of partials.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers today?
A big thank you to all my readers who’ve enjoyed my highland warriors. I hope you’ll enjoy my new Relic Seekers novels, beginning with Guardians of Stone in December.
Embrace the Highland Warrior
Cody MacBain let the woman of his destiny slip away. A member of an ancient clan of Scottish warriors, he grew up beside Shay Logan as her secret protector, but his heart compelled him to become more. Until Shay’s true identity was revealed, and the fated pair’s chance was gone…
But danger will drive them back into each other’s arms…
Shay fell for the boy next door, suspecting nothing of the ancient secrets he guarded. After a stinging betrayal, she’s determined to banish the memories of her first love forever. But the past can’t let go, and the boy she once loved has returned to her a warrior determined to protect her from the unspeakable evil fate has planned…
The GiveawaySimple to enter! Just leave a comment with your choice of either Awaken the Highland Warrior or Embrace the Highland Warrior. The winner drawn will receive the eBook of their choice. Drawing will take place July 27th!
Where can your readers find you?
My website: http://www.anitaclenney.com
My Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/anitaclenney
Cody sighed. Might as well get it over with. He removed the shackles, returned them, and bent over her. “Shay, wake up.”
Her eyes flew open. She planted both hands against his chest and shoved, knocking him on his back, then sprang on top of him. “How dare you handcuff me to a bed?” she yelled, punctuating each word with a shake that rattled his brain. He didn’t fight back. She had to get it out of her system, and he didn’t blame her. He’d be more than pissed if someone shackled him.
She landed a fist into his stomach, and the breath rushed out of him. Okay, enough was enough. He captured her hands and rolled, trapping her under him.
“Get off me, you oaf.”
“I’ll get off when you stop beating the snot out of me.”
She let out a war cry and lunged for his throat, teeth bared. Intrigued, he hesitated a second too long, and she sank her teeth into his neck. A jolt of desire shot straight to his groin. He’d never been one for the rough stuff, but damn! He pulled back before she could do more than leave a bruise. He trapped her legs with his and held her hands above her head, letting his full weight press her into the soft mattress. She still struggled but could move only enough to get him excited.
“I’m sorry, Shay. I had to do it. It was too dangerous to let you go traipsing through the woods. I had to keep you safe.”
“What if he was hiding in one of the other bedrooms and sneaked in here while I was handcuffed to the bed? You left me so I couldn’t even protect myself.”
“Lach heard him out in the woods, but that’s why I locked the door, just in case. If this guy had broken it down to get to you, you would’ve screamed, and I would’ve come running. I was never far from the house.” He’d heard every name she called him.
Her eyes still flashed fire, but her breath was steadier, and she kept glancing at his mouth. He thought that was a good thing. He wondered if she’d calmed enough not to hit him, because he should move. She had to notice the effect all the wiggling around was having on him. He felt her hips push against his, and he groaned. He relaxed his grip and lowered his head, letting his lips touch her chin. He kissed his way to her mouth, and she head butted him in the nose.
While the stars exploded in his head, she shoved him aside and bolted out the door. He jumped up and went after her as she pounded down the stairs. He caught up with her outside. She was swinging her purse like a whip, headed for the car.
“Where are you going?” he demanded.
“Get away from me.”
“You can’t leave.”
“Watch me.” She opened the door. “I’m tired of people hiding things from me. I thought you were going to stop. Now you’re handcuffing me to the bed.”
“I explained it to you.”
“Don’t touch me,” she said, jerking away when he grabbed her arm.
“You’re not leaving.”
Shay straightened her shoulders. “You can’t stop me.”
He grabbed her, tossed her over his shoulder, kicked the car door shut, and stomped up the steps.
“Put me down!” Shay kicked and twisted, cursing at him. He dumped her on her feet inside the door.
She blew her hair out of her face, and as soon as she could see, she threw a punch at his chin. He deflected it and grabbed her arm. “Stop hitting me.”
“How dare you throw me over your shoulder like some kind of caveman,” she spat, trying to wrench her arm free. It didn’t work, so she used her knee.
“Ah, not there.” Cody trapped her knee. “I made the mistake of letting you leave here nine years ago without listening to me. By God, I won’t do it again. You’ll listen if I have to sit on you,” he growled.
She drew back her other arm, and before she could throw the punch, he had her on the floor and was sitting astride her, pinning her wrists to the floor. She bucked and twisted, but he held her down. “We can do this all night if you want, but you’re going to listen to me this time.”
“Listen to more lies? You’re still hiding things from me. Like the fact that you have Nina’s entire house under surveillance. Like the fact that you’ve got a Bat Cave in your basement. Like the fact that you were in Scotland when the stalking started.”
“You think I’m your stalker?” he yelled. “Me! I’m trying to keep you alive. We’re all trying to keep you alive. That’s what the clan’s been doing your whole damned life, trying to keep you alive! And just like always, you’re making it hard as hell. Your father wasn’t a bloody spy, and that thing in your living room wasn’t a man!”