Join me today in welcoming author Anita Clenney to the Preternatura blog! Anita writes paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Before giving herself over to the writing bug, she worked in a pickle factory, at a preschool, booked shows for Aztec Fire Dancers, and was a secretary, executive assistant, and a realtor. She lives with her husband and two children in suburban Virginia, where she is working on her next book, Embrace the Highland Warrior, which will be in stores in November 2011. For more information, please visit www.anitaclenney.com and www.sourcebookscasablanca.com.
Anita’s debut book, a paranormal romance called Awaken the Highland Warrior, was released by Sourcebooks Casablanca on May 1. It’s a terrific read with a complex urban fantasy-like plot and we get to see a hot Highland Warrior get transported to the modern world, kilt and all. (This is a Good Thing.)
The nice folks at Sourcebooks will be giving away two copies so read through to the contest info at the end!
First, about Awaken the Highland Warrior: 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…
Welcome, Anita! Okay, I’ve read your bio―dish about the job in the pickle factory!
That was one of the worst, and funniest, jobs I’ve ever had. I lived in a small town, and there were a few of us friends who decided we needed money. The only place hiring was this pickle factory, which was actually processing peppers at the time. We got jobs there and found out we had to wear hairnets. We probably wouldn’t have taken the job if we had known. We hated hairnets. Anyway, the peppers were rolling down the line and every time one of us would look at the other, we could start laughing. I’m sure we offended the other ladies there. After lunch, we apologized and quit. I don’t think they were sorry to see us go. Actually, now I think it might be a kind of cool job, hairnets and all.
What drew you to mix your demons and demon-fighting warriors with hot guys in kilts?
The series started with a dream where my son and I had to take refuge in a castle with a man who appeared helpful and kind, but I accidently discovered that he was really a monster planning to kill us. I had to figure out how to escape with my young son. It was terrifying. Far scarier than anything in the book, but it was the basis for the demons hiding behind a pleasant face. Along the same time I had been thinking of writing a story about a mysterious warrior who was found buried, but wasn’t dead. Add in destined love and you have my tagline. Secret warriors. Ancient Evil. Destined Love.
What was the biggest challenge of bringing Faelan 150 years from Scotland into present-day New York state? (Love it that the warrior’s time-traveling to the future instead of the present-day heroine traveling back to his time.)
The biggest challenge for me was making sure Faelan’s past was accurate. The biggest challenge for Faelan was everything. He’s had a tough time. He lost everything he knew and loved in one split second, so even though he wakes 150 years later, it’s been only a split second to him. He wakes to instant grief, confusion, danger, and this terrible attraction to this woman who could be a demon in disguise trying to destroy him. He can’t fathom the dress or actions of this time and Bree won’t listen or let him protect her. He’s ready to toss her over his shoulder and haul her off to safety. Bree, on the other hand, is ready to stick Faelan back inside the time vault if he doesn’t stop with this overprotective nonsense. Either that or kiss him senseless.
There are so many great (and hot!) scenes between Bree and Faelan―what is your favorite?
I love all the scenes. In fact, I had to cut 15,000 words for my editor. I love the opening scene, when Bree finds Faelan. That’s powerful for me. I also love the dream/love scene, and the action scene in the chapel. Oh there are just too many to narrow it down to a favorite.
This is your debut book (congratulations, by the way!)―what about the journey to publication has most surprised you?
Thank you. I think the most surprising thing has been that it actually happened. I started out with a dream, but it was sort of surreal, and then here I am. Published. Kind of incredible, really. I just had a book signing with Nora Roberts, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Kristan Higgins, three of my favorite authors, and I sold out! That’s just amazing. The other thing that is surprising is how much promotion is necessary. I had no idea.
I know there are at least two more Highland Warrior books scheduled…are they both written, and can you tell us a little about them?
Book two, Embrace the Highland Warrior, is finished and will be out November 2011. I’m writing book three now, Unleash the Highland Warrior. It will be out Fall 2012. Here are blurbs for each, as well as an excerpt from Awaken the Highland Warrior.
Embrace the Highland Warrior
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.
Unleash the Highland Warrior
A talisman belonging to Tavis Connor’s brother is the only weapon powerful enough to kill the demon hell-bent on destroying the world. But the demon has captured Tavis’s brother and the talisman, locking them in a time vault that 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 rescue his brother, or bury him and finish his quest. But when Tavis finally wakes in modern-day New York, he discovers he’s the one in need of help.
to read an excerpt from Awaken the Highland Warrior
Thanks, Anita! Want to win a copy of Awaken the Highland Warrior? You know the drill. One entry for comment, another for blog follow, a third for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a Tweet or Retweet. Be sure to include your email. Now…Go forth and comment!