Wednesday, May 18, 2011

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)
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 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

      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.

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

About Anita

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

Anita's Links


The Giveaway


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.*


  1. Sounds like a great read!
    I have deer and possums sleeping in my backyard. There are a few quail as well.
    My contact info is:

  2. I really enjoyed your interview. I am a big fan of great covers and character names. Awaken the Highland Warrior has both. Add it to the exciting plot and this books sounds awesome.

    As for what I have sleeping in my back yard? It would be nice if it were a magical doorway to buried treasure.


  3. I have cats sleeping in the back yard, I would have burried treasure bur clay is is hard to dig in.

    Qwill follower

  4. Great interview! I love mirrors too for decoration! At our old house, we had this oval one, very antique looking... well, when I saw the movie The Ring and realized that the mirror hanging in my hallway looked just like the creepy one from the movie, I got rid of it... lol. Wishing you many sales!

  5. OH!!! A new author!!! Love me new authors and Highlanders... YUM!!!!

    As for what sleeps in my back yard? Only my dogs & cat..Well we had a Hawk once.... but my back yard is tiny...

    +1 for following you Kelly M
    +1 for RT!/kelAmU
    +1 for comment
    Grand total:3

    Thanks for a chance to win.
    Kelly M

  6. Jeannene, my backyard isn't like Bree's. I have loads of squirrels.

  7. Sleeping in my backyard. . .I only WISH the squirrels and chipmunks were sleeping. LOL They are always so active!

    No need to enter me in the contest. I just wanted to say congrats, Anita, and can't wait til I can read every one of these!

  8. Hi Chris. Thanks! The book was so much fun to write. I wish I had one of those magical doorways too. But nope, just trees, an old shed and some squirrels.

  9. Ruth, I forgot about cats. There are a few cats that like to come into my backyard. They drive my white boxer insane. I'm afraid she's going to punch out the window. I think she just wants to play, but I'm not taking any chances.

  10. Hi Eliza. Thanks for coming by. I'm so glad to meet another mirror lover. It's funny that you mention The Ring. That's the only movie I've seen that really terrified me.

    I have a gorgeous round mirror in the dining room with lots of metal around it, but at night if I'm walking down the hall, the light from the bathroom night light reflects of the edges and looks just like that well. Creepy! But I love the mirror to much to get rid of it.

  11. Kelly, YAY you get both!! Hop on over to my website and read about the other books and sign up for my newsletter. I'm going to get it out this week...I hope. I'm running behind.

  12. Thanks Donna!! I forgot that we had a black bear visit once. He used our backyard as a shortcut to our trashcan which was right near THE FRONT DOOR! It was midnight and I thought my daughter had taken an insane notion to haul the trash can to the street in the middle of the night and it wasn't even trash day. No daughter, just a big black bear. He's been spotted in the neighborhood since.

  13. Great interview, I love the sound of this book.
    Sleeping in my garden are a family of mice under the summerhouse. The cat spends hours down there waiting for one to come out :)

  14. The author has had so many cool jobs-booking agent for Aztec Fire Dances, wow! The novel sounds really good and I already like the heroine. edysicecreamlover18ATgmailDOTcom
    GFC follower Krystal Larson

  15. I've read so many great reviews for this book recently, so I'm really looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the giveaway:)


    GFC: Identity Seeker or Sarah Bibi Setar

  16. Great interview and we learned so much about Anita!

    Squirrels, squirrels, and two ducks sleep in my back yard!

    Don't need to enter me in the contest either - just stopping by to support a fellow BC Babe. Ask Anita what that means!

  17. What an awesome cover! Who wouldn't want to read this book after seeing the cover? I know I do :)

    Right now there is a very cute little puggle puppy sleeping in my backyard!

    I am a GFC, email, etc. follower.

  18. All the birds in my backyard are not sleeping, they are hiding from tornados! Sounds like SUCH a good book, I can't wait to read it!

  19. What's sleeping in my backyard? Lots of lizards, frogs, squirrels, the occasional snake, and a stray cat or two.
    I enjoyed the interview and I'm really looking forward to reading Awaken the Highland Warrior. Everything I've heard about it makes me eager to read it.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC follower

  20. +1GFC and Twitter follower:)
    +1Twitter-I spread the word:!/michelledluvsu/status/71001014848864256
    +1 comment
    In my backyard, i have neighbors' cats and squirrels that my father constantly yells at.And some trees, too;)
    starlightgirl678 at aol dot com

  21. Ack, this year field mice. I cringe every time I see the worm lines carved into our perfect lawn.

    I am a follower :)

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  22. I really don't want to know what is sleeping in my backyard. We live in the country and only the God Lord knows what goes on out there at night...LOL

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  23. Irene, I had so much fun with this story. Oooh a game of cat and mouse.

  24. Krystal, Bree is so much fun. She's so smart but gets in so much trouble. She drives Faelan crazy. In more ways than one. :)

  25. Identity Seeker, glad to know you're hearing good things about the book. That just gives me a thrill.

  26. Hey Kris, fellow Babe :) Thanks for coming by. You have ducks, and obviously a pond.

  27. Julie, thanks! Faelan is a great guy. Oh, you have puppies!

  28. CJ, oh, I have lots of birds too. I love to hear the birds sing. It just brightens my day. I don't like it when they poop on my car, but I like the singing.

  29. Barbara, I'm glad you're looking forward to Awaken the Highland Warrior. That just gives me good tingles when I hear someone say that. The snakes in your backyard also give me tingles. But not the good kind. My mom and dad have black snakes around. Even though they're harmless, they're just creepy.

  30. Michelle D. Oh do I have squirrels. But they are awfully cute!

  31. Robin K. I have those lines in my yard too. I thought they were moles or voles. Are they field mice?

    We talked about me blooging for you last July. Both our birthdays I believe. Still interested?

  32. Michelle B. YOu have a mysterious backyard. Who knows what's out there. Maybe a warrior or two, or a ghost.

  33. Great interview!
    I have 2 cockatoos, a bunch of love birds, mice, some blue tongues and various neighbours cats in my backyard.

    GFC Follower - Gabbie

    Gabbie-ethela AT hotmail DOT com

  34. The cover captured me right away... I must admit ;)

    As to what sleeps in my back yard... I'd say the usual set of things you might expect in a rural yard. Hopefully we will have doves again this year. :)

    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com
    I'm a gfc/twitter follower!

  35. Nothing but grass in my backyard :( but I sure wouldn't mind a gorgeous Highlander like in the book.

    +1 follower

  36. There are two baby bunnies that sleep under our back deck. There are squirrels and chipmunks also. Our puppy would love to chase them if we let her.

    I've loved all of the excerpts I've read for Awaken the Highland Warrior. Congrats on your new release!

    user1123 AT comcast DOT net

    +1 Answer question
    +1 Follow Qwillery on twitter as @GeishasMom73

    2 Entries

  37. Great interview! I don't think there is really anything of any importance in our some dead squirel skelletons but that's about book sounds fantastic!

    I answered the question

    I am a GFC Follower

    I Tweeted the contest:!/crazymidwestgal/status/73080761523257344

    contact deets; junegirl63(at)gmail(dot)com

  38. I think what's sleeping in my backyard are squrriels and raccoons from time to time...

    Thanks for the giveaway! I enjoyed the interview and would love to read this!

    +1 GFC follower