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Interview with Anita Clenney and Giveaway - November 2, 2011

Anita Clenney first visited The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge and now returns as both a New York Times and USA Today Best Selling Author! Congratulations to Anita and welcome back. Anita's most recent book, Embrace the Highland Warrior, was published yesterday.

TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery!

Anita:  Thanks for having me back. I’m thrilled to be here. And I’m celebrating!! Not only did Embrace the Highland Warrior come out yesterday, but I learned that I actually made the NYT best seller list for ebooks in September and I had no idea until my agent stumbled on it. We knew I had hit the USA Today best seller list, but this was a surprise.

TQ:  Please tell us about Embrace the Highland Warrior, the second novel in your highlander series. Does the series have a name now?

Anita:  My publisher didn’t give the series a name, but I’ve noticed that reviewers are calling it The Connor Clan series. It’s full of poignant love, betrayal, and loaded with suspense. Here’s a blurb:

Cody McBain and his family spent years protecting the identity of a powerful female warrior who was targeted by an ancient demon, keeping the secret from even her. When she found out her entire life had been a lie, she abandoned Cody and her clan. Now, vampires and demons have discovered she's alive and are in a race to find her and the clan's sacred Book of Battles. Cody will have to break all the rules to save the woman who shattered his heart.

When the powerful demon who left Shay for dead discovers her empty grave, he comes seeking retribution, believing she possesses an ancient book he has sought for centuries. But the vampires also want the book, and they want her. Knowing she can’t fight this evil alone, Shay returns to her clan and the Scottish Warrior who betrayed her…the only man she’s ever loved, where she discovers that betrayal isn’t always what it seems. Sometimes it’s far worse.

TQ:  Which character has surprised you the most in the series?

Anita:  Ronan surprised me. He started as a very minor secondary character, and he just exploded on the page. His dialog came without me even trying; witty, natural, and his relationship with Bree just flowed. Now he’s the character EVERYONE wants to know about.

TQ:  Scottish Highlanders - what makes them so attractive?

Anita:  I can’t figure it out, either. I think in reality Scottish Highlanders are like any other segment of the population. There are good and bad, gorgeous and not gorgeous, but when it comes to books and our imagination, for women, there’s something about a man in a kilt that is magic. I’m still trying to get my husband in one. Seriously, I do think that throughout history, highlanders were depicted as so passionate and fierce, and that’s a characteristic we like in our heroes.

TQ:  What do you wish you'd known when the 1st book, Awaken the Highland Warrior, was published that you know now?

Anita:  I wish I had realized how busy I would be with writing and promoting. After publication, it gets crazy. I should have planned my time better.

TQ:  Describe a typical writing day for you.

Anita:  My days vary. Sometimes I do most of my writing in the evening or at night, which means I might have to nap or sleep during the day. I’m really bad about structure.

TQ:  Are there any other genres in which you would like to write in addition to paranormal romance and romantic suspense?

Anita:  I have a cozy mystery on the backburner. I love any combination of mysteries and romance.

TQ:  What's next?

Anita:  I’m working on book three in the series, Unleash the Highland Warrior, and also another paranormal romantic suspense, but no warriors this time.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Anita:  Thanks for having me. I love connecting with readers.


About The Connor Clan Series

Embrace the Highland Warrior
Connor Clan 2
Sourcebooks, November 1, 2011
Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages

Interview with Anita Clenney and Giveaway - November 2, 2011
When the powerful demon that left Shay for dead discovers her empty grave, he comes seeking retribution, believing she possesses an ancient book he has sought for centuries. Knowing she can’t fight the demon alone, Shay returns to her clan and the Scottish Warrior who betrayed her…the only man she’s ever loved, where she discovers that betrayal isn’t always what it seems. Sometimes it’s far worse.

An excerpt from Embrace the Highland Warrior

          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!”


Awaken the Highland Warrior
Connor Clan 1
Sourcebooks, May 1, 2011
Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages

Interview with Anita Clenney and Giveaway - November 2, 2011
A man from another time…

Faelan is from an ancient clan of Scottish Highland warriors, charged with shielding humanity from demonic forces. Betrayed and locked in a time vault, he has been sleeping for nearly two centuries when spunky historian Bree Kirkland inadvertently wakes him. She’s more fearsome than the demon trying to kill him, and if he’s not careful, she’ll uncover the secrets his clan has bled and died to protect…

Could be the treasure she’s been seeking all her life…

When Bree inherits an old treasure map, she discovers a warrior buried in her backyard. But the warrior isn’t dead. Bree shocks Faelan with her modern dress and her boldness, and he infuriates Bree every time he tries to protect her.

With demons suddenly on the move, Bree discovers that Faelan’s duty as protector is in his blood, and that her part in this fight was destined before she was born. But nothing is ever what it seems…


About Anita

Interview with Anita Clenney and Giveaway - November 2, 2011
Anita Clenney grew up an avid reader, devouring Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books before moving on to mysteries and romance. After working as a secretary, a Realtor, teacher’s assistant, booking agent for Aztec Fire Dancers, and a brief stint in a pickle factory (picture Lucy and Ethel--lasted half a day)…she realized she'd missed the fork in the road that led to her destiny. Now she spends her days writing mysteries and paranormal romantic suspense about Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil and Destined Love. Anita lives in suburban Virginia, outside Washington DC, with her husband and two kids.

You can find out more about Anita and her books at:

http://www.anitaclenney.com
http://www.facebook.com/anitaclenneyAUTHOR
http://www.twitter.com/anitaclenney
http://www.mysteriesandmargaritasblogspot.com
http://www.goodreads.com/anitaclenney
http://www.redroom.com/anitaclenney


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win Mass Market Paperback copies of Awaken the Highland Warrior and Embrace the Highland Warrior from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question from Anita:


Who is your favorite writer and why?


Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)  Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)  Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)  Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, November 9, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Anita Clenney and Giveaway - May 18, 2011

Please welcome Anita Clenney to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting quirk?

Anita:  Oh, I have so many…let’s see. I absolutely love mirrors. My husband thinks I’m insane. J  They’re not for looking at myself, but for the sheer art of them. It’s really the frames I love. I have several that are inexpensive, but look like they belong in a castle. Too bad I live in a small rambler. J

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Anita:  Diana Gabaldon is one of my favorites. I love her Outlander series. I love Janet Evanovich and the Stephanie Plum series, Elizabeth Peters and her Amelia Peabody series, just to name a few. I don’t know that any of them influenced me in more than a general way. I only found Diana Gabaldon’s books about a year ago. Thank goodness I did. I adore her writing.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Anita:  Some of each. I love the brainstorming process. That’s my favorite part, designing characters and worlds and layering them with mysteries and surprises. I don’t really outline, rather, I make a lot of notes, but I do know where the story is going before I start writing.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Awaken the Highland Warrior?

Anita:  The part about demons disguised as humans started with a dream. At the same time I had been considering writing a story about a warrior who was found buried but not dead. I love mysterious things.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Awaken the Highland Warrior?

Anita:  It didn’t require as much as it would have if it were historical. I did have to make sure Faelan’s history was accurate.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the book?

Anita:  I love all the scenes. In fact, I had to cut some scenes because the book was too long. One of my favorite is the opening, when she first finds Faelan. Part of that scene is posted in an excerpt here. I love the mystery and suspense of that scene.

TQ:  Who would you cast to play Bree and Faelan if Awaken The Highland Warrior was made into a movie?

Anita:  I think Bridget Regan of Legend of the Seeker would make a good Bree. For Faelan, I’m not sure. Gerard Butler could probably do the part justice, but he doesn’t look a lot like Faelan.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Highland Warriors series? Will there be any short stories or novellas set in Highland Warriors' world?

Anita:  There are three books planned for now. Possibly more. I love this series! No novellas that I know of.

TQ:  What’s next?

Anita:  I’ve turned in the second book, Embrace the Highland Warrior, which is due out November 2011. I’m working on the third book now. It’s due out Fall 2012 and will answer a lot of questions for the series. It will also have some surprises. Here’s a blurb for each.

When the powerful demon that left Shay for dead discovers her empty grave, he comes seeking retribution, believing she possesses an ancient book he has sought for centuries. Knowing she can’t fight the demon alone, Shay returns to her clan and the Scottish Warrior who betrayed her…the only man she’s ever loved, where she discovers that betrayal isn’t always what it seems. Sometimes it’s far worse.

A talisman belonging to Tavis Connor’s brother is the only weapon powerful enough to kill the demon hell-bent on stealing the clan’s Book of Battles so he can destroy the world. But the talisman has been locked in a time vault with Tavis’s brother and won’t open for 150 years. In desperation, the Scottish warrior breaks the clan’s sacred rules and uses another time vault to travel forward so he can protect the book and rescue his brother, or if he’s dead, finish his quest. But when Tavis finally wakes in modern-day New York, he discovers he’s the one in need of help. Anna MacKinley has been searching for her clan’s Book of Battles which has been missing for 150 years, but instead she finds a warrior with no memories who claims he’s come to save the world.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

Anita:  You’re very welcome! Thanks for having me. I would love for readers to visit my website and look around. Join my newsletter for upcoming news and giveaways! My publisher will give away a copy of Awaken the Highland Warrior to one commenter.


About Anita' Books

Awaken the Highland Warrior
(May 1, 2011)
Interview with Anita Clenney and Giveaway - May 18, 2011Historian Bree Kirkland has always been in love with the past, but when she accidentally wakes an ancient Scottish warrior who's spent the past 150 years sleeping in her backyard, her present is suddenly fraught with danger. Faelan has awakened from the time vault ravenous--in more ways than one. He grieves for his lost family, wondering who sent the woman to wake him. If she's a demon, Faelan will have to kill her. If she's innocent, she's unleashed the gates of hell in her backyard. Either way they must rely on each other to save their future.




Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders
 
 
 
 
 Excerpt:

      Bree’s fingers tightened around the metal disk as she ran through the graveyard, zigzagging past leaning headstones. Her lantern swayed, throwing shadows on the crypt looming before her, its stone walls the color of bones. Thick vines crept over it, sealing in cracks left by time, while gnarled branches from the twisted oak hovered like outstretched arms. Protecting… or threatening?

     An owl screeched overhead as she scurried up the crumbling steps, wishing night hadn’t fallen, when shadows twisted into monsters and spirits came out to play. The burial vault lay open near the back of the crypt, waiting. Blood rushed past her ears, a sound like all the angels’ wings beating in unison. She moved closer and peered at the chest inside. It was ornate, made of metal and wood, with green gemstones embedded in each corner. It looked ancient, like it belonged in a museum or a pyramid, or perhaps Solomon’s Temple. The beauty of it struck her again, as it had when she’d first discovered it.

     She set the lantern on the edge of the burial vault and studied the markings on the chest. Swirls and shapes like writing shifted in the amber glow. Stretching out a finger, she touched the surface. Warm? She yanked her hand back and hit the lantern. It crashed to the floor, throwing the top of the crypt into darkness. Dropping to her knees, she scrambled for the light. A sound cut through the silence, scraping, like fingernails against stone. She grabbed the lantern, not daring to blink, then remembered the wind outside and the claw-like branches of the old tree.

     She placed the lantern securely on the vault cover she’d pushed onto the alcove and unfolded her hand. The metal disk she held was three inches in diameter and appeared to be made from the same metal as the chest, not silver, not gold. One side had deep grooves; the other was etched with symbols. With trembling fingers, she lined up the disk with the matching grooves on top of the chest and pushed. There was a series of clicks as the notched edges retracted.

     A voice rushed through her head. What lies within cannot be, until time has passed with the key.

     Bree whirled, but she was alone. Only stone walls stood watch, their secrets hidden for centuries. It was sleep deprivation, not ghosts.

     She pulled in a slow, steadying breath and tried to turn the disk. Nothing. Again, this time counterclockwise, and it began to move under her hand. She jerked her fingers back. A loud pop sounded and colors flashed… blue, orange, and green, swirling for seconds, and then they were gone. Great, hallucinations to go with the voices in her head.

     Her body trembled as she gripped the lid. This was it. All her dreams held on a single pinpoint of time. If this ended up another wild goose chase, she was done. No more treasure hunts, no more mysteries, no more playing Indiana Jones. She’d settle down to a nice, ordinary, boring life. She counted.

     One.

     Two.

     Three.

     She heaved open the chest.

     Terror clawed its way to her throat, killing her scream.

     The man inhaled one harsh breath and his eyes flew open, locking on Bree. A battle cry worthy of Braveheart echoed off the walls. Bree jumped back as metal flashed and a rush of air kissed her face. Petrified, she watched him crawl out of the burial vault, a wicked-looking dagger in his hand. Her scream tore loose as she turned and fled.

     Fingers grazed her shoulder, and she glanced back. The last thing she saw before her feet tangled with the shovel was the dead man reaching for her.


Embrace the Highland Warrior (Book 2) will be published in November 2011.


About Anita

Interview with Anita Clenney and Giveaway - May 18, 2011
Anita Clenney grew up an avid reader, devouring Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books before moving on to mysteries and romance. After working as a secretary, a Realtor, teacher’s assistant, booking agent for Aztec Fire Dancers, and a brief stint in a pickle factory (picture Lucy and Ethel--lasted half a day)…she realized she'd missed the fork in the road that led to her destiny. Now she spends her days writing mysteries and paranormal romantic suspense about Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil and Destined Love. Anita lives in suburban Virginia, outside Washington DC, with her husband and two kids. You can learn more about her writing at http://www.anitaclenney.com/


Anita's Links

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  A Mass Market paperback copy of Awaken The Highland Warrior generously provided by Sourcebooks and a Mass Market paperback copy of Awaken the Highland Warrior provided by The Qwillery. That means that there will be two winners each receiving 1 book!

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

What's sleeping in your backyard?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)  Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)  Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)  Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

2011 Debut Author Challenge: Now With More Interviews - February 15, 2011

I'm happy to announce 3 more debut authors who will be interviewed for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge:

In alphabetical order by author -

Anita Clenney
Awaken the Highland Warrior
(Highland Warrior 1)
May 2011
2011 Debut Author Challenge: Now With More Interviews - February 15, 2011
Historian Bree Kirkland has always been in love with the past, but when she accidentally wakes an ancient Scottish warrior who’s spent the past 150 years sleeping in her backyard, her present is suddenly fraught with danger. Faelan has awakened from the time vault hungry and horny. He grieves for his lost family, wondering who sent the woman to wake him. If she’s a demon, Faelan will have to kill her. If she’s innocent, she’s unleashed the gates of hell in her backyard. Either way they must rely on each other to save their future.










Sable Grace
Ascension
(Dark Breed 1)
April 2011
2011 Debut Author Challenge: Now With More Interviews - February 15, 2011The gates of hell have opened, and one woman will stand in the crossfire as the Dark Breed—vampyre, demons, shape shifters—and mankind fight their last battle for survival.

Kyana is half Vampyre, half Lychen . . . and the last of her kind. Determined, dangerous, and damned, she has no love for the mortals who have imprisoned and misused her. But when the Order of Ancients entrusts her with a mission—to find the key that will send the Dark Breed back into Hell for eternity—Kyana has no choice but to accept.

She is furious to learn her assignment comes with an escort . . . Ryker, a demigod and fierce warrior who long ago found a way under her skin and stayed there. In a shaky alliance, they discover an ancient cult with dangerous motive and a god who seeks to destroy all others. And as Kyana begins to feel the heat that threatens to bind her to Ryker, she knows she has to resist. For it could only mean the undoing of them both . . .

 
Hannah Jane
Under Wraps
(Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles 1)
March 2011
2011 Debut Author Challenge: Now With More Interviews - February 15, 2011
Sick of wrongful-death lawsuits every time a full moon comes around?

Call the Underworld Detection Agency.

As a human immune to magic, Sophie Lawson can help everyone from banshee to zombie transition into normal, everyday San Francisco life. With a handsome werewolf as her UDA boss and a fashionista vampire for a roommate, Sophie knows everything there is to know about the undead, the unseen, and the uncanny…

Until a rash of gruesome murders has demons and mortals running for cover, and Sophie finds herself playing sidekick to detective Parker Hayes. Dodging raging bloodsuckers, bad-tempered fairies, and love-struck trolls is one thing. But when Sophie discovers Parker isn’t what he seems, she’s got only one chance to figure out whom to trust. Because an evil hiding in plain sight is closing in…and about to make one wisecracking human its means to ultimate power…
Interview with Anita Clenney, author of the Relic Seekers and Connor Clan Novels - October 23, 2013Interview with Anita Clenney and Giveaway - November 2, 2011Interview with Anita Clenney and Giveaway - May 18, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge: Now With More Interviews - February 15, 2011

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