Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Take a Highland Fling with Author Anita Clenney

Win a copy of Awaken the Highland Warrior and chat with author Anita Clenney today at the Book Boost!

I recently chatted with my Celtic Hearts sister and here was what she had to say...

TBB: Welcome back to the blog, Anita. Please tell us where you're from and share your latest big news with us.

AC: I live near Fredericksburg, Virginia, between Washington DC and Richmond, Virginia. I was born in Grundy, Virginia.

Awaken the Highland Warrior released on May 1st and things have been moving quickly. I launched with a booksigning alongside Nora Roberts, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kristan Higgins and several other authors, and I sold out. That was such a thrill.

Then I attended an author event at a Bunch of Grapes Bookstore on Martha’s Vineyard and also had an opportunity to tour the island. Hubby went with me for a 14-year-belated honeymoon, and we just had a blast. We plan to go back.

TBB: Oh wow! Congrats on both the 14 year honeymoon and the book signing sell out. Both are amazing. Let's back up a little bit. Tell us how and why you began writing and when you really first considered yourself a writer.

AC: Like most writers, I’ve always loved to read. I never considered writing until a few years ago after a voracious reading jaunt. Something in my head clicked, and I knew that I should be writing. At first it was hard to think of myself as a writer since I wasn’t published. Gradually, I realized that while I might not be published, I was writing A LOT, and it wasn’t a hobby. That’s when I started calling myself a writer.

TBB: Understandable. I found that I didn't get published UNTIL I started thinking of myself as a writer. You mentioned your love of reading, what are you reading right now?

AC: I’m reading three, which isn’t something I normally do. The Heir, a historical romance by Grace Burrowes. Wonderful book, beautiful writing, exquisite characters. The Earl of Darkness, a paranormal historical by Alix Rickloff. I just started it and it seems that she’s created a wonderful world. I’m also reading Dance with the Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I’m not far into the book, but it’s great so far. Her books always are. I was thrilled when I started reading it because I hadn’t realized it was about Zarek, a character from one of her other books. I was always drawn to Zarek.

TBB: Dance with the Devil is my favorite of all the Dark Hunter books. I have my prized personally autographed copy too (fan girl moment). So, when you're not reading these books, what are you working on in the writing department?

AC: I’m excited to announce that book two in this series, Embrace the Highland Warrior comes out in November. I’m working on book three now, Unleash the Highland Warrior, and it comes out in 2012. I’m also writing a cozy mystery series which is going to be so much fun.

TBB: Those sound great. I know they'll be just as successful (and more) than your current book. How did you come up with the concept for this book and is this your original title?

AC: It started with a dream. That was the creepy demons-in-disguise part. I was also intrigued with the idea of someone finding a warrior who wasn’t dead, so I combined the ideas and came up with the original story.

Originally I called the book Time Warrior, then I decided on Awaken the Warrior, since Faelan is a warrior waiting to be awakened. But my publisher insisted on adding “highland” to the title. Honestly, I disagreed, because this isn’t a typical highlander book, and I didn’t want to mislead anyone. But my publisher couldn’t be swayed, and in the end, the title grew on me.

TBB: What authors have inspired your writing and in what way?

AC: I don’t think any authors have specifically inspired my writing, but so many of them have simply inspired me to write. I do have favorite authors. I love Diana Gabaldon, Janet Evanovich, Elizabeth Peters, Kristan Higgins, and so many more.

TBB: Those are all great. Give me a quote (written by you) about being a writer.

AC: "Writing is not a one size fits all business."

TBB: I love it! Lastly, if someone wrote a biography about you, what should the title be?

AC: The Paradoxical Chameleon. Nothing about me makes sense, but I can blend in anywhere.

TBB: Sounds like it would be a fun book. Before you go, please give us a teaser of your current book.

AC: Thanks so much for having me here on the Book Boost Blog. I’ve loved writing this series, and I hope readers will have fun with it as well.


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.




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.

Want More Anita?

Visit her website here: www.anitaclenney.com

Follow her on Twitter here:

Pick up your copy of her book today! Click here.

Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for Anita and be entered to win a copy of Awaken the Highland Warrior. (US and Canada only.)

**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**


Kathy said...

Sounds exciting! Must read your book!
Have you ever been to Scotland? How do you research your books?

LadyVampire2u said...

Congratulations on this book and series! Your dream sounds scary but I am so glad you had it and that it prompted you to start writing. You know, I always read more then one book at a time so its cool to see that you have the same habit.

LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

Virginia C said...

Hello, Anita! I am delighted to discover that you are a fellow bookworm from VA. I was also born and raised in VA, and I am a lifetime book devotee living in the beautiful blue mountains : )

Congratulations on your wonderful new book series! Highlanders are brawny, brave, intense Alpha males. The “Alpha” male is the dominant leader of the pack. They have qualities and strengths which make them “number one”! Along with all that greatness can come arrogance, a “my way is the only way” attitude, and a sometimes ornery personality. However, their fierce devotion to their loved ones, their loyalty and their innate honor all go together quite nicely to smooth the rough edges. I love big, grumbly, tough men who have even bigger hearts and an inner core of compassion. I also appreciate intelligence and humor, but kindness is the essential quality. At any moment of any given day, I prefer the gruff, but genuine, gentlemanliness of a Highlander wearing his clan plaid! Especially if he has great legs : )

US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Avery Flynn said...

Oh I loved Awaken the Highland Warrior. Can't wait until November for the next one. Yeah!!!!

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Kathy, thanks so much. I haven't been to Scotland, but I would love to go. Someday soon, I hope. I do most research online. I didn't have to do a lot of research because I'm very familiar with demons and angel. Whoa, that came out wrong... anyway, I did have to research some things and I did it all online. Thank you Google.

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Lady Vampire, I have some really intense dreams. I had one about vampires that was just beyond words. I wish I could capture the feeling in a book. I may be able to use it in book three.

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Virginia. Great to meet you, fellow Virginian. I love the Blue Ridge Mountains and how you've described Highlanders. That's just how my warriors are.

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Avery, I'm glad to see you here, and I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the book. Hurry up, November.

Lily Byrne said...

Hi Anita. Thanks for asking me to your Highland Fling. I live in England, is this a 'virtual fling' or an actual one in America?
I like the sound of your book, doing research is fascinating, isn't it? I got totally absorbed in 10th century England for my novel.
I'm quite new to romance writing, my first book 'Ragnar the Murderer'is set in Viking Britain where the Viking hero falls in love with an Anglo Saxon girl, and scandal ensues. Its under my pen name Lily Byrne.
I just got a Kindle so I'll look out for Awaken the Highland Warrior.

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Catherine! Welcome. It's just a virtual interview/fling,but I'm glad you're here. I would love to visit England. I think I could listen to the people there talk all day. I love the accents, and needless to say, the Scottish accent as well.

So you write 10th century? That must be really interesting. I find that when I research I get sidetracked by something else and forget where I started. I'll have to check out Ragnar the Murderer. Sounds great.

If you just got a Kindle, Awaken is on sale for .99 for a short while longer, for my publisher's Men In Kilts promotion. Great opportunity to pick it up before it goes back to regular price.

Diane D - Florida said...

Hi Anita,

Thank you for such an enjoyable interview and for giving us all a chance to read an excerpt of "Take A Highland Fling".

This review is simply awesome. I absolutely adore and love a good love story. I'm literally chomping at the bit to read this story as it contains everything that I love, passion, intrigue and romance. I love to be carried away to another time and place where people lived, loved, and were finding their way to each other.

I adore Historical Romance with a passion. I always like to imagine that I'm the heroine in the book and feel myself going back in time to play that part. I'm always grateful for being so delightfully entertained whilst being enriched and enlightened at the same time.

My question for you is:- Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Thanks for this great opportunity and, congratulations.

dpd333 AT aol dot com

Na said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Na said...

Hi Anita,
I'm looking forward to reading "Awaken the Highland Warrior". It combines two things I really like to read in romances: time-travel and a highlander. It's going to be fun seeing how Bree and her warrior find love.

Kristan Higgins also happens to be one of my favourite authors. She creates some of the most quirky and appealing characters.


Anonymous said...

Anita, Thanks so much for the invite. Sorry I'm late. I had to work today and just now making it to emails.

Nora Roberts, how exciting! 14 years, just as exciting! Best of luck with your series.


Anita Clenney said...

Hi Diane - I'm glad the excerpt has you anxious to follow Faelan and Bree's story. Prepare for a lot of adventure!

And actually, this isn't historical, but time travel, BUT you get a big warrior from the past. The unique twist is that he comes forward, and it's so much fun watching him struggle with today's technology and ideals.

If you like historical romance, you have to check out debut author Grace Burrowes. She and I have the same publisher. She writes historical romance and does it beautifully. Her writing is just amazing. The Heir is her first book, and the second one is The Soldier. You'll love them.

Anita Clenney said...

Na, I love time travel and Highlanders too. And I adore Kristan Higgins. She is such a great writer. She can do emotion like no one can.

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Cher, thanks so much for coming by. I ended up being out a good part of the day myself. Yes, the signing with Nora Roberts is somethink I'll never forget. It was the best first booksigning ever. Her husband's bookstore is small but great, and Nora's Inn across the street, Inn Boonsboro, is simply magnificent.

Lily Byrne said...

Hi Anita, I just got Awaken the Highland Warrior :-)))

Looking forward to a passionate read with kilts! FYI a lot of English people can't understand what many Scots say, which causes amusement!

I think Ragnar the Murderer is 99C too at the moment. Not sure of the conversion rate.

Lily Byrne said...

Oh, if you want to visit my blog, its www.catherinechisnall.co.uk And see my two types of books written under my two identities LOL

Rebecca said...

Hi Anita! Wow, I LOVED the excerpt. Highlanders are awesome! :-)

Can you tell me how you decide on names for your characters?

I'd love to read the rest of your book, so please include me in the contest.

rrgreene (at) earthlink.net

Diane D - Florida said...

Hi Anita,

Wow, I'm so happy to have won your book. I love time travel, I've read quite a few. Some of my favorites are Voyager and Outlander. Many thanks for this opportunity.

I actually do have "The Heir" by Grace Burrows but, haven't read it yet. Thanks for recommending this to me.