Friday 28 October 2011

Interview and Contest: Anita Clenney with Embrace the Highland Warrior

Today I welcome Anita Clenney to my blog. She has a new book out, Embrace the Highland Warrior and at the end of interview you can win it.

1. Tell me 3 fun things about yourself.
I love bargains. It torments the ever loving life out of me. I’m always on some kind of kick. Lately it’s mercury glass candle holders. It’s killing me, and my husband, who says our living room is starting to look like an altar.  
I won’t even talk about my passion for mirrors…and diamonds. 
I have really intense dreams. If I could truly capture them in my stories, one day I’ll be rich.

2.  Could you tell me about your new book,  Embrace the Highland Warrior?
Embrace the Highland Warrior is a book of secrets, betrayal, and love...and there’s a LOT of mystery and romance. Cody McBain’s family spent over two decades protecting the identity of a powerful female warrior who was targeted by an ancient demon when she was a child. Fearing for her life, they even kept the secret from her, but years later, when she discovered that her entire life had been a lie, she turned her back on her clan and Cody, who had been her best friend since childhood. Now, the demon who left Shay for dead has discovered her empty grave and is looking for vengeance, believing she possesses an ancient book he has sought for centuries. But the vampires also want the book. 

Shay knows she can’t fight this evil alone, so she 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.

3. Did this series come to you as a whole, or are you still thinking of things you want to write about?
It came in layers, and just when I think I have it all settled, another exciting element is born. But I love creating and brainstorming the plot. It’s my favorite thing to do, and I love these warriors. They’re like my family. Each one has a story, and I would love to have time to tell them all.  

4. Give my readers 4 reasons why we are gonna love the hunky Scottish warrior in this book…
#1 Cody spent his life protecting Shay, even though he lied through his teeth to do it. He and Shay have so much history between them – so much sentiment and passion along with the secrets! 
#2 He’s a really good guy, always tries to do the right thing, but he’s lost everything he loved because of it. Now, he’s breaking the rules and playing for keeps.
#3 He might have pretended to be the tough boy next door, and he’s good at hiding things, but he’ll be stunned when he finds out what’s been hidden from him.
#4 Cody’s is one bad warrior! 

And readers keep telling me how much they love all the warriors and want to see all their stories. Who knows what time till bring, but I will tell you a little about the others. There’s Faelan, from Awaken. He was the most powerful warrior of his time, the only one ever assigned two ancient demons, which was unheard of. Born in the 19th century, Faelan was trapped in a time vault and slept for 150 years, waking to a strange world filled with modern technology and even stranger, modern day females. For God’s sakes, they’re even warriors now. He came from a time when females were to be cherished and protected. What’ll they do next, send children into battle? Then there’s Ronan, 6’3 inches of sexy male, better than Robin Hood with his bow, and equally at home with a sword or a pretty lass. Shane is quiet, but the fastest with a sword, and Niall is a one-man army, built like a tree trunk. There’s Duncan, who has loads of passion and emotion simmering under that stoic surface, and Sorcha, who likes flirting almost as much as she loves killing demons. Anna is fierce beauty who’s determined to be a warrior forever, but destiny has a different plan. 

5. How does one create a rich history, demons and Scottish warriors? Does it take a lot of time? 
It takes a lot of work to build a series from the ground up. You have settings and characters, and with a paranormal series, you have rules that have to be figured out. But what takes so much time is building in the cliffhangers and the twists. I love twisty plots.

6. What is coming next from you?
 Unleash the Highland Warrior will have some elements from the first book. More time travel and lots of surprises. It’s going to be fun, intense, and sexy. 

Thanks so much for having me here. I adore your readers. They’re the best. My publisher will give away two copies of Embrace the Highland Warrior to random commenters. My question is: What 
book have you read that stuck with you over the years, and what made it stick?

2 copies of Embrace the Highland Warrior

1. US and Canada
2. Ends Nov 7
3. Just go ahead and answer Anita's question.
(and if you are really shy, just say hi and that's it)

Have fun!

Embrace the Highland Warrior - Out now
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.

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

And Embrace can be purchased here:

And I’ll leave you with 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!”

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


  1. That is a hard question and why the heck am I first :) It is like I am the teachers pet LOL

    Books that have stuck with me:
    Wishes and A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
    The Stand by Stephen King
    The First Days by Rhiannon Frater
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    Ms. Piggy's Guide to Life ---seriously my favorite book of ages 8 to 12 :)

  2. That was a great snippet. Way to leave me wanting more! I haven't heard much about this series, but I love all things Scottish so it is going on my list. I very much enjoy Cody already:)

  3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon for the strength and warmth of the characters, the humor, and the toe-curling romance.

  4. Where is your friday flash? Not funny.

    Great giveaway and guestpost!

  5. Oh...I would love to read this. Let's see books that I've read that have stayed with me....

    I would have to say most of Linda Howards earlier books ie Dream Man, Son of the Morning, After the Night, Shades of Twilight etc., Lisa Kleypas Lady Sophia's Lover, Julie Garwood Honor Splendor, Highland Outlaw by Monica McCarty...just to name a few.

    What all of these books have in common is wonderful characters that just jump right out at you with their passion and storyline. They characters were real and multilayered. The other kicker is there is always one memorable scene from each book whether is the lovemaking or verbal interaction that just spoke volumes and has stayed with me. And they all make me happy! :)

    sok99c AT hotmail DOT com

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  6. Hi Anita. I look forward to reading your books; Yummy Scottsmen and paranormal twists? I'm in! LOL.

    I've had a lot of books that have stuck with me, but I think the one I can always remember the most/best is Nora Robert's Born In trilogy (Born in Fire, Born in Ice, Born in Shame). I received a 3-in-1 copy from my aunt when I was about, 12, 13, when she cleaned out her bookshelves. I read all three stories within a few days and loved every moment of it!

    I've still got that same copy, with the binding now almsot falling apart from being read so many times over the years (I try to reread it at least once a year, sometimes more), but I never grow tired of it. I'm a lifetime fan of Nora's and I think why I loved this one in particular so much is due to the way the characters and story seemed to leap right off the page. I swear, when I pick it up, the room around me fades away and I can almost see Ireland popping up around me, complete with the sisters and their hunky husbands. It's just a fun, sweet, sexy, and captivating read that I doubt I'll ever forget or grow tired of enjoying!


  7. Oh! I'd love to have Cody as my tough guy next door. And funny about the living room at this starting to look like an alter. I love bargains, too, so I've had similar incidents. Great interview!

  8. Outlander and Virgin River come to mind first. I guess just good writing/storytelling make a story stick.

    I'm right there with you on liking sparkly things :)

    I enjoyed this blog post!

  9. Mhmmmmmmm,that's hard. I would have to say Lauren Willig's Pink Series. They are just great reads! Mystery, Romance, Comedy, Regency set, Sexy Spies, and so much more. There's something for everyone I would think.

    I would also say Princess by Galen Foley. I don't know why, but I'm in love with that book. Perhaps it's the main character that I love. I shall never know.

  10. I like the snippet. I'm ashamed to say that books don't tend to stick with me. One I read as a kid though has stuck with me, The Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall. I think it's the characters, they each embrace their uniqueness even if their town doesn't, but then it's them the town has to rely on when the invaders come.

  11. Fun interview. Embrace the Highland Warrior sounds like a good read. I do enjoy a nice hunky Scottish warrior :)
    Alot of books have stuck with me over the years. I think anything that has a great storyline, writing and setting as well as dynamic characters is a keeper.

  12. Thank you for the interview Anita :)

  13. Well, I am very sorry that I can't enter the contest :(. I am bit confused though, the cover and title do suggest to my: historical romance, highlanders, yummie. But those books are actually paranormals? Well, love them both, so no problem.

    My favourite book through the ages is Bertrice Small - Skye O'Malley. She is my role model of a strong but pragmatic heroine. Love her.

  14. Hm... Let's see book that stuck with me. I'd say Stand Still Like the Hummingbird by Henry Miller. I read it when I'm upset at the world and I feel better.

    Oh and as far as your book... you had me at men in kilt. ;D

    @Blodeuedd... *gets out whip* You know why... ;)

  15. Hello everyone. I'm late....I had to run errands and got stuck in traffic, then my computer was down, or so I thought, until I found out my son had turned off the router because it was messing up his XBOX game. Geez!

  16. Hi Felicia. You've listed several books that I haven't read. I'll have to give them a read. I've heard so much about THE STAND. Really have to read that one.

  17. Thanks, Jenny. I'm glad you liked it. This series is pretty new. The first book came out in May, so you're just in time. If you like Cody, you'll LOVE the other warriors. :)

  18. Lil, I'm with you 100%. Diana Gabaldon is one of my favorite authors, in not my favorite. She's just amazing. Have you been reading the #DailyLines she's posting on Twitter? They're from book eight, which will be the next. Love her.

  19. Hi Anachronist. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  20. Ing, I loved Son of the Morning by Linda Howard. I think that's the one with the Templar. Very good. You're right, the characters are so important. If they don't speak to the reader, the plot doesn't matter. Thanks for the book list.

  21. Hi Book Queen. Your reaction to the book is exactly what writers want. And what I want as a reader. I haven't read that one. I'm going to be signing with Nora on Dec. 3rd. I'll have to see if I can get it. Her bookstore has probably everything she's written. And how cool that you still have the same copy.

  22. Hi Missie! Glad you liked Cody. You'll have to come meet the rest of the guys. It's funny how one character starts drawing the attention. In this series, it's Ronan. EVERYONE is in love with Ronan and they're begging for his story. It will definitely be coming.

  23. Hi Mary, another Outlander fan. Diana is just amazing. LONG books, but amazing. I haven't read Virgin River. I'll have to check it out.

  24. Carole, I'm not familiar with that series, but it sounds great. I'm really curious about PRINCESS since you're so in love with it. I love it when a book grabs me like that.

  25. Hi Carol, you shouldn't feel bad that books don't stick with you. Readers are all different. I'm a bit like you. I read them and move on. My critique partner keeps her books and rereads them. I don't. While some books will stick with me, I don't reread them usually. Although I am considering rereading some of the Outlander series.

  26. I wish I had got here sooner because my answer is also Outlander and I don't want you to think I copied it!! I first read Outlander years ago, but it will always stick with me because the writing was done so well that you literally felt like you were there in the book. It's not really a book that I remember, but more of a memory of being there, which is the biggest compliment I think you can give a writer!!

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  27. Thanks for your answer Anita! I do appreciate!

  28. I read Lynn Kurland's Stardust of Yesterday and I still think of that book. It's such a romantic ghost story, and set in Scotland. I loved t.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  29. I would have to say Twilight. I love the books and movies. I love the lovestory between a human and vampire. Please enter me in contest.

  30. Carrie, I'm the bargain Queen! :)

  31. Julie, I don't think you're copying at all. There are SO MANY Outlander fans. And that is the best thing you can say about a book.

  32. Barbara, oooh Scotland and a ghost story. I'll have to read this.

  33. Tore, I loved the Twilight series. The writer took a lot of flack from other writers, some from jealousy and some because she might not have the tightest writing out there, but who cares. She's a great storyteller, and that's what books are about...telling great stories.

  34. books that stick with me... hm that's hard cuz there are a lot. i guess BDB would be on the top of that list.

    thank you for the giveaway

    Terri M

  35. Congrats on the latest release, Anita! The excerpt was great, thanks for sharing! As for books that stuck with me after reading it would be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee :)


  36. Winners;
    Felicia The Geeky Blogger
    The Book Queen

  37. Congratulations Felicia. :)

    I'm happy that I won a copy as well. Thanks Anita, not only for your response to my original comment but also for this great interview and contest! And thank you Blodeuedd as well. :)

    I'm in a happy thankful mood, can you tell? LOL.




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