Wednesday, November 02, 2011

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

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

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

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:

The Giveaway


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.*


  1. Favorite Author? That's a hard one since I read about 2 books a week and am usually reading my favorite author at the time. I've read a lot of indie authors lately and have to say I love E.J. Steven's YA books, Regan Blacks' UF books and Stuart Land's books. All different from each other. Scotsmen, mmmmmm, I was engaged to one once and I have to say it's the accent for me.
    Would love to read the books.
    gfc follower loves to dive
    lvs2dv (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. I would have to say I don't have just one, but my top 3 favorite authors are Laurell K Hamilton, Jeaniene Frost, and JR Ward. I love paranormal and historical. I love the paranormal because you need an imagination to read these books. It makes you think, Is there something else out there. Any vamps, wolves, or other creatures. I love historical because the times were much more simple. There a quite a few more that I love, but those are the top three. Anita is a new author for me, but always looking for new authors to check out. I love to read and would love to add her to my favorites. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.

  3. I cannot pick one I have so many and they all come from a variety of genres. These authors are all able to tell a story that can hook me right in and create characters I really care about and connect with. Rather than authors, I have favorite books. Authors whose work I consistently enjoy and who comes to mind are Carla Neggers, Kristin Hannah, Karen Marie Moning and many more.

    +1 gfc follow
    +1 I tweeted:!/FieryNa/status/131763117402238977


  4. Thanks for a great post and giveaway!

    I'd have to say that as a very prolific reader, I, also, love the book I'm currently reading. But the author that is near and dear to my heart as one that I read as a girl and was one of the first that I fangirrrled over would be L.M. Montgomery. I read and reread her Anne of Green Gables series and I could practically quote each book by memory ;)

    Thanks again!

    GFC: erin

  5. Hi Loves to dive, You've given me some new writers to consider. The Scottish accent is really great. :)

  6. Chrisbails, good choices, and I would be thrilled if you someday add me to your list. :)

  7. thats a toughie.. nalini singh is awesome.. i love the way she draws you in and makes you feel what the character is feeling.. same with Jayne Ann Krentz.. Shelly Laurenston is another and i just absolutely adore her characters.. i cry with them, i laugh with them.. super awesome.

    alainala AT hotmail DOT ca

  8. ohhh and +1 for being a follower!!

    alainala AT hotmail DOt ca

  9. My favorite author is Kim Harrison because I love urban fantasy. She writes amazing storylines and she also writes friendships really well.

    +1 gfc follower

  10. A favorite author? So hard. Probably Charlaine Harris. I enjoyed her mysteries before she started writing paranormals.

  11. A favorite author? that's really hard ... I have to say that up to today they're Ilona Andrews and Maria V. Snyder .. but tomorrow they can change :p

    GFC: blackwolf

  12. My favorite author is Gena Showalter, because her stories are always filled with spunky heroines and snappy dialogue, along with some sizzling chemistry between the characters. Thanks for the giveaway- I'm always looking for a new-to-me author!

    +1 comment
    +1 email follower

    debbie at burdeen dot com

  13. Agh! you can't ask me that! I really can't pick just one author! That's like asking a mother who's her favorite child! It's mean! ;-)

    +1follower +1comment +1 tweeted!/SullivanMcPig/status/131790385939881984


  14. tweeted

    GFC Krystal Larson edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

    I honestly can't pick my favorite author, they all have such different and great qualities.

  15. I must be living under a rock to have missed Anita Clenney and her works. This series sounds great; I'm adding it to my must have list.

    Wow, it's hard for me answer that question. I have several favorite authors in many genres. To keep my answer short, one of my favorite authors is Diana Gabaldon. I read her Outlander series a couple of years ago and just fell in love with the characters; they felt so real to me.

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  16. I would have to say I don't have just one, but my top 4 favorite authors jennifer estep, gena showalters, maggie stiefvater , ednah walters

    I love paranormal and historical.

    Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.

    rogcaprino[at]hotmail dot com

  17. My favorite author? I have so many!! Can I list them?
    -Richelle Mead
    -Rachel Caine
    -DeeAnne Gist
    -P.C. Cast
    -Johanna Lindsey
    -Claudia Gray
    -Alyson Noel
    -Lisa Desrochers

    GFC: Arianne Cruz
    email: cruz042 at csusm dot edu

  18. Hi Erin and Na, great to see you both here. I have a wide variety of favorites writers, from Diana Gabaldon to Janet Evanovich to Sherrilyn Kenyon, all very different writers.

  19. Book lover, come out from under that rock and dive into the Connor Clan. :) Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you're here.

  20. Alainala, I'm embarrassed to admit I haven't read Nalini yet. She's so popular. I'll have to give her a try.

  21. I dont have a favorite there are too many authors and genres that I read eeach and every author is a favorite of mine in their own way.I love the way they tell their stories and the characters they bring to life .
    gfc follower
    wanda f
    posted to my blog

  22. Stephanie, I haven't read Kim Harrison. I've heard a lot about her.

    Anne, Charlaine Harris was the speaker at one of my writer's retreats. I loved hearing her publishing story.

    Blackwolf, you've given me some new names to check out.

  23. Orchid7 - a lot of readers would agree with you there.

    Sullivan - I know, it's terrible to have to narrow it down. There are so many good writers out there.

  24. Hi Krystal, choosing is difficult. My taste in reading is varied. Well, as long as it has romance and mystery, and preferable both together.

  25. Roro and Arianna, thanks for the list. So many great authors. I just wish I had more time to read.

  26. Wanda, you make a good point that different authors have qualities that make them a favorite. Some are wonderful with characterization, others with emotion, or are great at plotting. So many choices, and now they're so accessible with ebooks.

  27. my favorite writer is Kresley Cole because I love the way she weaves ancient lore into her stories and make it funny, sexy and unforgettable. Shes not the only one. I love J.R Ward, Gena Showalter, and a whole lot more people. Im a book worm, I know :)
    Cross my fingers and hope to win!

  28. I missed typed my email adress int he last one -- so I hope I can post this --
    my favorite writer is Kresley Cole because I love the way she weaves ancient lore into her stories and make it funny, sexy and unforgettable. Shes not the only one. I love J.R Ward, Gena Showalter, and a whole lot more people. Im a book worm, I know :)
    Cross my fingers and hope to win!

  29. Who's my favorite writer?
    Easy yet hard I have to say these people. Nalini Singh, Alexandra Ivy, and Kerrelyn Sparks. The reason I would say these are my favorite writers are that they deliver stories that leave me loving them, and wanting more.
    bookluver1997 AT hotmail DOT com

  30. I have lots of great author that I really love. Jane Austen, because it was the first 'classic' I ever read (and surely the one I enjoyed the most).
    I also love Sarah Rees Brennan, her books are really great and she has been so kind with me! Also, Shannon Delany is on top of my fav list!

    GFC follower

    aliasgirl at libero dot it

  31. I too have several favorite authors and it often depends on my mood. I do like Julianne MAcLean I love the covers on your books. The tats are beautiful
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  32. I have a lot of favorite authors! I read a large variety of books, depending on what I am craving at the moment. One author that I love and is extra special to me is Lynsay Sands. Her books really go me into reading romances and she writes two of my favorite genres: Paranormals and historicals. And they all have humor, which I really love in books.

    GFC follower: June M.

    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  33. First off- congrats on the book release and a double thiumbs up for the book covers - crazy sexy!
    Lie many of the commenters (sp?) I read a lot, so I have a lot of favorite authors. To name a few: Kresley Cole, JR Ward, Joey Hill, Jacqueline Frank,Laurell Hamilton, Gena Showalter.

    The one thing that all of this authors have in common is how good they are at telling a story.Nothing complex, in theory, but it takes a really good writer to do it well.

    I would love to win your books as I have never read your work before. Just to let you know, I found out about many of the authors I just listed by winning their books in a giveaway. hint! Hint!
    +1 comment
    +1 GFC as MJB

    msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

  34. My favourite author would be Jeaniene Frost because I absolutely love her Night Huntress books! The heroine is snarky, funny and definitely kicks butt, so I really enjoy reading in her voice.

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower


  35. It's very hard to list a favorite author because there are so many wonderful authors in lots of genres and romance subgenres, but if I have to choose I'd say Keri Arthur (and Eloisa James in historical romance).

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  36. i love highlander story so much ;)

    my favorit writer, hem.. so many :
    -. johanna lindsey and lisa kleypas are my biggest writer from HR, i just like their book, and can't put it down when read their book
    -. Julie Kagawa, Sophie Jordan & Richelle Mead from YA, really love to read their book
    -. Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jeaniene Frost and Gena Showalter from PR, i'm so enjoy reading their book

    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 share on fb

    thank you

  37. I don't have just one. I would have to say off the top of my head Kelly Gay, Jeaniene Frost, and Chloe Neill. I have so many it is hard to narrow it down to one. I just love reading. Thanks for the chance.

    I am a follower.
    sariahwalters at gmail dot com

  38. My favorite is Stephanie Meyer. Her writing style is very distinct and has captured the hearts of many teenagers,as well as older audiences.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower

  39. That is really difficult. I follow so many authors and read every day. In the Highlanders' genre, I'd have to mention Sue-Ellen Welfonder, Karen Ranney, and Judy Garwood. If it's the YA paranormal genre, I'd have to mention Stephenie Meyer and J. K. Rowling. AND I'd have to mention Deborah Hale & Monica Burns, & Thea Harrison... OMG, I could go on and on... I LOVE Highlander stories... They are one of my fav genres. Thanks for the contest!

  40. My favorite writer is Lisa Kleypas and Sherrylin Kenyon...and so many I cannot count, coz' I have thosands book in various authors... I hope I can read your books and become one of my fave as well...really love to read about Highland heroes :)

  41. Wow, that's such a tough question, it's like asking which one of my cats is my favorite. I guess I'd have to say Nora Roberts if I have to pick. I've never been disappointed by any of her books, I fall in love with all her heroes and want to be all her heroines, and it's the perfect escapism.

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

  42. I guess J. K. Rowling .What can i say? I grew up with the Harry Potter books.

    I absolutly adore books with highlanders:D

    gfc: TheDaydreamer3
    rallu.93 (@) gmail (.) com

  43. That is just too, too hard to answer!! I love way too many, but for the sake of the question I'm going to name one of my top 5: Richelle Mead!! She has written SO many of my favorite books! Thanks for this giveaway and the excellent excerpt :)

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower
    +1 tweet:!/jwitt33/status/132619239294107648

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  44. Right now it is Neil Gaiman: the world's he creates are amazing.

    GFC: Mary Preston


  45. Okay, that's as bad as asking who is your favorite child. My favorite at this moment is JL Bryan as I just finished Jenny Pox and started Tommy Nightmare.
    +1 comment
    +1 GFC- Lisa Richards


    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  46. I can't just choose one because I imagine most people would agree that JK Rowling should be listed as a favourite author by any self-respecting Harry Potter fan. However, other than the obvious choice, I would say Sandra Brown (I would read ANYTHING written by Sandra Brown) and JR Ward (who doesn't want a Black Dagger Brother?) and- straying far, far away from these romance genres- Paulo Coelho (because he gave us The Alchemist) which is a must-read for anyone in need of inspiration.

    +1 Follower: IdentitySeeker
    +1 Commented
    +1 Tweeted:!/SweetNSensible/status/133867345994203137

    Thanks for the great giveaway:)


  47. That is such an unfair question.. How can you pick just one.... Ahh is like having to decide between my kids... I cannot pick just one I love them all for different reasons.

    flaca798 at hotmail dot com

  48. Oh, these books look fun!

    My favorite author is Stacia Kane, and I suppose that's because she understand (seems to understand) life very close to the way I do. Plus her books are super sexy *grin."

    I tweeted:!/LaylaMessner/status/134438247911792640

    And I can be contacted on Twitter @LaylaMessner

  49. I don't have a favorite author. The reason is because even your most well liked author will eventually write something I don't like so I try to read a little of everyone's work.