Monday, October 31, 2011

Anita Clenney (Character Interview & Giveaway)

Pumpkin and wine, ready for a halloween party. Shallow depth of field. stock photography
Happy Halloween Everyone!!!
I have a special treat for you today! The fabulous Anita Clenney is visiting with Cody, the hero of Embrace the Highland Warrior, which is the second novel in Anita's sexy & exciting Connor Clan series that releases tomorrow!

Anita Clenney chats with Cody MacBain

Anita: Since today is Halloween, I’ve asked Cody MacBain, Scottish warrior from my second book, Embrace the Highland Warrior, to sit down for a chat since these warriors know a thing or two about scary monsters.
I’m sure you have better things to do, Cody, but thanks for joining me.
Cody: We’ll have to make it quick. I have an appointment with a demon.
Anita: Does the demon know that?
Cody: ‘Course not. It’s all about stealth. That’s how the clan has survived this long.
Anita: Can’t you get one of the other warriors to handle him?
Cody: <Crosses his arms> You know bloody well, the powerful demons have to be assigned. You want me to send Faelan or Ronan and have them killed.
Anita: Uh, sorry. I’m sure the ladies wouldn’t appreciate having Ronan killed.
Cody: <Frowns, narrowing his hazel eyes> You saying the ladies like Ronan better than me?
Anita: No. that wasn’t what I meant at all, although he does seem to have a pull for the female sex. You’re just fine. Better than fine, actually, with all that dark hair, strong jaw, and intense eyes. Can I get a drink please? No, don’t let Brodie get it. He likes to play tricks. So can you tell us about these demons, or does that violate some kind of warrior code?
Cody: There is a warrior code. Centuries ago, they would have eliminated anyone who found out about the warriors, for the good of humanity, you understand. I’m making an exception here, since its Halloween. I want to warn people that there are real monsters hiding out there, creatures that make Lord of the Rings look like a fairy tale.
Anita: Sounds…unpleasant.
Cody: Life’s unpleasant.
Anita: Not all of it. You and Shay used to have a lot of fun.
Cody: Aye. Back then.
Anita: Shay didn’t know then what was going on? She thought all that training was just a game?
Cody: <Shifts in his seat> But I couldn’t tell her who she really was. It wasn’t my place.
Anita: But you were her best friend…do you regret not telling her now?
Cody: <Stares at a little tattoo on his wrist that looks like a sword> Aye. I regret lots of things.
Anita: Care to elaborate?
Cody: No.
Anita: Okay then. So tell me about your brothers.
Cody: <Shrugs> What’s to know? They’re like all brothers, make you crazy one minute, saving your backside the next.
Anita: Lachlan’s your younger brother. He reminds me of Ronan.
Cody: Aye, he’s a handful, and he’s usually got his hands full…if you know what I mean.
Anita: I think I do. I saw him eyeing Anna earlier.
Cody: <Snorts> Anna will put him in his place. She wants nothing to do with men. Unless she’s sparring with one.
Anita: You seem close to the other warriors, but they live in Scotland. You and your family spent most of your lives in America.
Cody: It was our mission. We had to protect Shay. But we had other missions as well. The world is a warrior’s battlefield. We travel wherever our assigned demons go. We don’t spend much time at home.
Anita: That explains the lack of accent. There’s just a hint of brogue.
Cody: That’s part of our disguise. We have to blend in with our surroundings. And we don’t want the demons to know where we’re from.
Anita: Doesn’t the kilt ruin that plan? <Looks at Cody’s kilt>
Cody: We only wear them at home, not in battle. Except Faelan. We’re having a hard time getting him out of his. <sexy grin> Though he takes it off a lot for Bree.
Anita: <Clears throat>Well, he is from the 19th century. Kilts were more common then. Should I ask if it’s true…what you wear, or don’t wear, underneath? Cody: <Another grin, drops open his knees> I could show you.
Anita: Please don’t. <If he wasn’t careful, she’d find out regardless…Fanning>Water, I didn’t get my water. Tell me more about Shay. You seem uncomfortable when I mention her. I know you were close growing up. How close?
Cody: <Grin fades> What do you mean?
Anita: I mean, were you best friends?
Cody: <Rubs the tattoo on his neck> You could say that. We knew everything about each other.
Anita: Everything? Are you sure about that? I hear there were secrets.
Cody: <shifting in seat, again> Let’s talk about something else besides Shay.
Anita: You know your voice sounds different when you say her name.
Cody: <Scowls and a racket sounds outside door. A horrible screeching sound as the door splinters.> Bloody hell! I think the demon’s found me.
Anita: <jumps up> Maybe the kilt gave you away.
Cody: <Pulls a dirk from his boot, hits a button extending it to a sword> You’d better hide. You might be able to write books, but you can’t fight worth crap.
Anita: Okay, looks like the chat it over. Oh my God. Did you see that thing? It looked like an Orc.
Cody: He’s one of the prettier ones.
Anita: <Jumps up, runs toward a closet, glancing over shoulder> Are you opening your talisman? Good grief, you’re opening it. You’ll kill me.
Cody: I told you to hide. Cover your eyes or this’ll be your last book.
Anita: <Hides in closet and covers eyes as a blinding flash penetrates the darkness> If you want to know more about Cody and Shay, check out Embrace the Highland Warrior, available now.
My publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, will give away a copy of Embrace the Highland Warrior to one commenter, US and Canada only please. My question is, have you ever been really scared?
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:
We’ll leave you with an excerpt from Embrace:
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!”
As Anita mentioned above, she is giving away one copy of Embrace the Highland Warrior, sent directly from her publisher, to one US or Canadian resident. To enter, just leave a comment answering Anita's question found at the end of her post and fill out the rafflecopter below.


  1. Great character interview with Cody!! I've been waiting for this book to be released, for what seems like forever!! It's almost here!!
    I would LOVE to win this one!!

    Thank you for the chance and good luck with this release. I'm sure it will do amazing!!

  2. Yes i have been planty scared a few times. M<ostly i think i was just me :) Great post, thank you for the chance to win!
    Happy Halloween
    elliott2668(at)yahoo (dot)com

  3. Have I ever been really scared? Sure! But, probably not in the sense your asking. What has and still scares the phone ringing in the middle of the night. There's never good news at the other end of that darn thing!
    Gets my my heart pumping EVERY time!

  4. Thanks MNJ. That's awesome to hear. I hope it's all you expect. Please let me know! Happy Halloween!

  5. Hi Loretta/Lynn. I don't like being scared. I love a good ghost movie and I LOVE mystery and suspense, but I want the fear to stay on the page or on the screen.

  6. Barbara, you're so right. THAT is the real scare.

  7. I can't wait to read Embrace the Highland Warrior!
    I was a real scaredy cat when I was young for several years... I was afraid of my own shadow a few times! LOL Thankfully, that phase only lasted a couple years and I out grew it.

  8. I love character interviews :). It gives me a real feel for the characters. Thank you


  9. I an name several times in my life where I have been scared out of my skull but the most terrifying experience was when my second oldest daughter fell out of a second story bedroom window 20 ft from a concrete driveway when I was 9 mos pregnant. Thank God she got nothing more than a few superficial scrapes and bruises and I did NOT go into labor until a few days afterwards but it was definitely an experience I do not want to repeat! Love the interview! green eyes red hair at gmail dot com

  10. I forgot to mention that she was 2 yrs old at the time.

  11. I'm always scared at the thought of losing a loved ones. Some of those scariest times have been in my dreams where I have been helpless and it was SUCH a relief to wake up.

  12. well iam not scared ilost my mom at 40 and thendad just died

  13. Yes, I have been scared. I think the times I was most scared were when I first got married and moved. My husband travels for his work, so being in a strange town with little kids to take care of, by myself at night was scary. I used to sleep with some kind of weapon under the edge of my mattress.

  14. I don't remember being REALLY scared. of course, i'm constantly somewhat scared of everything coz i'm a wimp ;)

  15. Laura, I used to be a scaredy cat too. I still don't like more than a good spooky movie. Not one for horror.

  16. Victoria, I enjoy character interviews as well. I think it does give you a taste of the character that you wouldn't get in just a blog

  17. ive been scared before.. mostly by movies.. sometimes by big decisions..
    movie wise, its IT that scared the crap out of me the most..

    alainala AT hotmail DOT ca

  18. LadyRed, OMG. How terrifying. I'm so glad she was okay, and this has made me remember the most frightened I've ever been. My daughter fell off a ski lift a few years ago. I had her by the jacket collar and was holding on for dear life. She was wrapped around my leg. I was about to drop her and I prayed, "Jesus help us." Boom, just like that a ski instructor came flying down the mountain, kicked off his skis before he even stopped, and ran onto the rocks under us. He organized three other men and they had me drop Skylar down to them. Terrifying! We went to thank the ski instructor later and he said he shouldn't have been on that side of the mountain that day, but something just told him to go.

  19. Na, that's always been my secret fear, and the reason I didn't have kids for many years.

  20. Desi, I'm so sorry. I can't imagine losing my parents. It must be terribly sad. Things like that make ordinary fears seem trivial.

  21. Priscilla, I can see how you would be scared. That would be a very uncomfortable situation.

  22. Arianne, I can be a total wimp in some things, them Amazon Queen in others. I bet you have your Amazon moments. :)

  23. Alainala, I remember that movie, it scared me too. The most scared I've been during a movie is the Ring. I don't know what it was about that movie but it scared the daylights out of me. I could just see that girl coming down my hallway. Now, I have some really frightening dreams. Great inspiration for stories.

  24. Yeah I've been scared before, the US remake of the Ring scared me alot. I saw Children under the Stairs that scarred me a bit. But Alan Schwartz's Scary Stories to Read in the Dark still haunts me!

  25. I woke up one night when I was a child convinced that a giant black spider was on top of my blankets. I pulled them up over my head and tried to not move until I saw it starting to get light outside. I was terrified. I've been scared of spiders ever since.

  26. When I was a child, the Halloween movie Hocus Pocus used to scare me. Thank you!

  27. I've only been really scarred for no good reason - like when someone tries to scare you on a dark night. Loved that interview - very happy to have learned about your books.

    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  28. I love it when there's character interviews. Such a fun way to promote and keep those characters with you long after you've committed them to paper.

  29. Awesome Interview - I loved Cody and boy is he sexy - licking lips - LOL

    Question: Have I ever been scared?

    Hmmm, all the time, my eyes are always playing tricks on me and I see things out of the cornor of my eyes. Especially when I watch a violent or scary story on TV. I get all paranoid and have scary dreams for several days. I even have woken up noticing that I have put my protective arm over my husband thinking I was keeping him safe from the huge spider web/monster from getting us from the ceiling - LOL

    By the way, that photo of Cody is not scary at all, I could look at it all day long. LOL

    Happy Halloween!

    Ronda Tutt

  30. There is one time I was really scared and it was when I was travelling in the car with my best friend a few others and i was sitting up front and my best friend was in the middle and the car door opened as we were making a turn on this crooked road I almost fell out if not for her grabbing onto my arm and holding on tight I would have hit the road hard and fast. I swear I saw my life pass before my eyes.

  31. What really scares me is the thought of someone I love being hurt, sick, or dying. That is pretty much it for me.
    June M.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  32. Thanks for visiting the site and conducting the interview with Cody along with the excerpt.

    I used to get scared in the dark when we were out camping and I could hear rustlings in the grass.
    I was also scared of the old creaks and groans the first home I lived in after we were married and I was alone after dark.

    Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

  33. My over active imagination has frozen me to the spot a handful of times, gotta stop watching scary movies! But I have also been scared when we came across an accident that had just happened, it was a friend iof ours and he was delirious enough to think his girlfriend was in the car with him (thankfully no). Had the adrenaline going!
    But a demon screeching my door open would be a whole new level of scared!!!

    Great excerpt, sounds like a great read!

  34. Yes, I've been really scared. I lost my brother to a house fire and the night it happened, it turned my entire life upside down. I couldn't fall asleep because I thought I'd lose someone else. It was totally irrational but I felt the specter of death was still hovering around ready to wipe out everyone else I loved if I closed my eyes.

  35. Melora, I don't know what it was about THe Ring, but it really scared me. I would never watch it again. Ironically, I watched the Grudge with my sister in law, and it would have scared me, but everyone in the theater was screaming and that got me started laughing.

  36. Thanks for the great "scary moments" guys. Your stories are making me remember other times I was scared. For instance, when my brother was a teenager, several family members were traveling together. I came around a corner and my brother's car was upside down in the road still spinning. That was terrifying. He was fine. the car directly behind it said his girlfriend was coming out the window and it was like something just pushed her back inside. Still gives me chills to think of it.

  37. Oh my Jasmyn. I would be scared of spiders too, after that. A couple of times I've gotten stuck between being asleep and awake and it feels like you're paralyzed or being held down. It's terrifying. I think my body was trying to wake but my mind wasn't there yet, or vice versa.

  38. Krystal. I LOVE Hocus Pocus. Oh my gosh, I want to watch it now.

  39. Thanks Di. Here's hoping the only scares are the silly ones.

  40. Kat, I love character interviews, too. They're so much fun.

  41. Rhonda, LOL. Hey, at least you were trying to protect hubby. That's very sweet.

  42. BLH, oh my, that's frightening and could have had a bad ending. I bet you lock the car doors now.

  43. June, I'm with you. Those are my real fears. In fact, it used to torment me. I refused to have kids when I was first married because I was afraid something would happen to them. Now that I have two kids, I realize I was missing out on so much because of that fear.

  44. You're welcome, Sophia Rose. My dog and I had a good scare last night. I took her out and just as she was finishing her business, something started whooshing in the trees. I don't know what it was but doggie and I raced for the front door.

  45. Lexi, my imagination gets pretty active. I have really intense dreams. Some of them would make great movies. In fact, this series started with a dream.

  46. Oh ML, that just breaks my heart. How tragic. I can only imagine how painful that was, and probably still is. So sorry, but I hope you don't let that fear keep you from living, which is something I might do. Your brother wouldn't want that.

  47. Great post. Scotland is near and dear to our heart. Clark grew up there, but lost the brogue many years ago. Happy Halloween.

  48. The only time I can remember being really scared was a repetitive nightmare I had when I was little... lol It's not scary anymore, but it was then. Monsters and being thrown and the feeling of falling, the monsters were from Monster Squad lmao

  49. Great Interview!! Such fun!!! The only time I have been scared is if I am walking alone in the dark...too many crazies out there!

  50. Thanks for the great post and giveaway!

    I'd have to say, that I've haven't been really and truly scared. I've been frightened and got my heart pounding, but I don't think it has been severe enought to truly count.

    These books look amazing! can't wait to try them ;)


  51. I've been seriously scared a lot, but it surrounds my kids and my fear for their safety. Once when my oldest son was two, he thought it would be funny if he snuck away and hid from us in the mall. He was in the clothes rack and I panicked and thought he was stolen. It was awful. Another time, my oldest son when he was three choked on a grape, another very scary moment for me. I think my kids will always have moments that scare the crap out of me, but at the end of the day I'm always happy to have them in my arms

  52. The most I have ever been scared was when my daughter was in surgery. That hopeless feeling is very scary!

  53. The only time I'm really and truly scared is when we go back to the oncologist after my hubby's PET scan.

  54. You bet I've been scared! Let me start off by saying I'm terrified of snakes...I bet you can tell where this story is going. So I had just moved into a new house and the previous owner had left a piano they were trying to sell. So they finally sold it and asked if I would be so kind as to move it out to the porch for the buyer. I call my best friend she comes over and we set about moving it. I heard something funny, looked down and there was a Snake crawling out from underneath the piano. I've never screamed so loud in my life. Luckily mid scream my friend and I both let go of the snake and it was trapped. I had ask my neighbors husband to come and get it because I was so terrified. For the longest time after that I couldn't help thinking Omg how long had that thing been in the house! Needless to say I moth balled the outside of the house the same day!

    Loved Awaken can't wait to read Embrace!!

  55. I would say I was really scared the night Hurricane Irene hit. Although it was many miles away the wind and rain was pretty strong and made sleep impossible.

  56. Thanks for the giveaway. I really enjoyed Awaken the Highlander and cannot wait to read more of the story.
    The first time I rode in an airplane I was on my way to see my husband who was training across the country (military). The plane hit really bad turbulence and the only thing that kept me from going into hysterics and the air marshal from tackling me was this lady that was sitting next to me carrying on about her kids and what her plans were when she landed. She didn't react to the planes plummeting and shaking or the fact that the person she was talking to (me) was terrified by what was going on. I am still not a fan of/ flying but at least now I know the difference between turbulence and the plane crashing.
    Book Sniffers Anonymous

  57. I've had open heart/lung surgery so yup you can say I've been scared before!

  58. I have been scared when a family member was going through surgery because there were some complications...

  59. Hi Anita :)

    Um yes, I've been scared!! After I watched those crazy Paranormal Activity movies! Now, every time I hear a noise when I'm home alone, I'm CERTAIN there's a demon living in my attic ;) Thank you for a great interview!

  60. ive been scared watching scary movies.. ive been scared wandering alone outside and hearing weird noises..ive been scared when it comes to making major life changes.. yep ive been scared!

    alainala AT hotmail DOT ca

  61. The older I get the less I get scared. I can say even to this day thinking about one of my girls getting pregnant at an early age scares the crap outta me. Thanks for the chance to win!

    mary_reiss @

  62. I almost drowned, so yes, I have been scared before. Terrified actually.

  63. Yes, I've been scred. Especially when you're alone at night and swear you keep hearing things.


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