Monday, July 23, 2012

Embrace the Highland Warrior: An Interview with Author Anita Clenney and a Giveaway!

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.

Do you have plans for a new book?  Is this book part of a series?

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.  

The Book
Embrace the Highland Warrior

They were driven apart by a timeless secret…
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 Giveaway
Simple 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 Goodreads author page:

An Excerpt

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!”


  1. I do love those Highlanders. The excerpt is nice and gripping--left me wanting more (which is the idea). I have the first book on my shelf ready to read, so I have to do that before I can enjoy Embrace the Highland Warrior!

  2. Thanks, MK. I've loved writing this series and hope to continue for a long time. These warriors are so special to me, sometimes I feel as if they're real. :)

  3. I love highlanders! I guess I would have to say Embrace the Highland Warrior would be the one I picked.

  4. I can't wait for your female Indiana Jones series--sounds like fun!



  5. I am a huge fan of Highlander romances. I would love to get my hands on Embrace the Highland Warrior.
    Booksniffersanonymous at gmail dot com
    Book Sniffers Anonymous

  6. Anita: This is great! Good to see you here.The success of your books has been well deserved.

  7. Hi Sheryl, Embrace is the second in the series. You might enjoy it more if you read Awaken first. That way you'll know the characters, who return in book two to help the new hero and heroine, and you'll know the issues the warriors are facing. There are some plot threads that span the series. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Thanks, Marilyn. I love the new series. It has lots of mystery and a great spark between the hero/heroine. I've had so much fun with each series. I hope I can keep writing both.

  9. Hi Kristin, thanks for stopping by. Highlanders do make great stories. :) This one has lots to offer: romance, adventure, mystery, and of course sexy warriors. :)

  10. Hi Cassy, thanks for popping over to say hello. Your support has been a great help.

  11. Anita,
    I'm looking forward to your Relic Seekers series. That sounds like a lot of fun for you and the reader, both!

    I have Awaken, so I'd love to read Embrace.

  12. I just started the first book "Awaken" but haven't gotten very far in it yet, but after reading the excerpt from "Embrace", I think I need to finish it immediately, so I can get on to book 2!

    Also, having a background in archaeology, I am really looking forward to the new Relic Seeker series. It sounds like tons of fun and adventure!! Continued success!

  13. I adore two types of genres... Highlanders and Paranormal :D and if there are both elements that makes me super happy too :) I loved the first your series.. Awaken the Highlander so if I had to chose I'd go for Embrace the Highland Warrior so I can continue on :) I also love all the info you've shared with us on writing experiences.. like deciding randomly "I can write a book." or how you like to write with peace and quiet :) I'm new starting out on short stories and its been an interesting experience and I love stalking author interviews and seeing the different types of ways writers write.. whether they like peace/quiet or lots of music or if they plan their stories or fly by the seat of their pants... I do feel you on the whole writing while taking care of family life.. its distracting when you have to feed/bath/play with your kids and also do stuff like dishes/laundry/sweeping etc! :) Its very hard to find the balance and it makes me feel better that I'm not the only one! ;)

  14. I haven't read any books in this series yet, I didn't know they existed. But I do now and I am intrigued. This excerpt has captured my imagination and I want to read more. Thank you for bringing it to my attention!

  15. Hi Willa, the Relic Seekers has a lot of the same elements as the highland warrior series, with out the warriors. There's lots of mystery, romance, suspense, and humor.

  16. Rechelle, ooh, I would love to be an archaeologist. I'm fascinated by relics and history. I hope you enjoy Awaken!

  17. Chelsea, I also love reading other author's methods and how they started writing. It's fascinating because we're so different yet so much alike. I think you'll find that all authors have to figure out how to juggle. Unfortunately, I'm not a good juggler, so I tend to devote way too much time here or there and not with a very good balance. Happy Medium isn't part of my vocabulary.

    Good luck with the short stories. Learn all you can about the craft but remember that it's your journey and it will be different than someone else's. I think that's what helped me. I had no idea about these things when I started so I was writing in blissful ignorance. Hang in there.

  18. Hi Landry, I'm glad you've discovered my warriors.:) I adore them and I hope you do too. The Kindle versions are on sale now.

  19. Anita, I'm so happy to see all the greatness that's going on for you. I too get easily distracted by family while writing. Argh. But you must see by now, because everyone else is noticing, that your books are picking up speed and that is a hard thing to manage for most series writers. You haven't stalled out and I'm so proud of you! It's SUPER rare that I read for fun but I do love your books. I enjoy your character development so much. So for the sake of HAVING to choose one, I'll go with Embrace. I am stoked about your Relic series. Bring it on!

  20. Hi Jei, thanks for stopping by and thanks for the kind words. I do appreciate it.