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Guest blogger: Anita Clenney

9 September 2012

Cheating on my characters

Last year my first two books were released. Awaken the Highland Warrior and Embrace the Highland Warrior tell the stories of the warriors in the Connor Clan, a secret society that has been in existence since the beginning of time. Ordered by the Archangel Michael, these warriors are all that stand between humans and the demons who are trying to destroy them. This series deals with the Scottish clan. What’s better than sexy highlanders in kilts?

There’s Faelan, the only warrior who’s ever been assigned two ancient demons. Born in the 19th century, Faelan was the most powerful warrior of his time. He was trapped in a time vault and slept for 150 years, waking to a strange world filled with modern technology and even stranger … modern females. For God’s sakes, they’re even warriors now. What will they do next, he ponders, send children into battle? Then there’s Ronan, 6’3 inches of raw, sexy warrior, better than Robin Hood with his bow, and equally at home with a sword or a bonny lass. Cody, the only other warrior who’s been assigned an ancient demon, might have pretended to be the tough boy next door, and he’s good at hiding secrets, but his world will never be the same when he finds out what’s been hidden from him. Shane is quiet but the fastest with a sword, and Niall is a one-man army, with legs like tree trunks. Tomas is a clan medic and Brodie’s the prankster of the bunch, always getting into trouble. Duncan is brooding and frustrated, and Sorcha likes flirting almost as much as killing demons. Anna, a stunning beauty, has chosen to remain a warrior forever, but destiny has some surprises in store. And my heroines are more than just mates to these sexy warriors. They have talents that will shock even them.

I love this series, and the first book, Awaken the Highland Warrior, was the book of my heart. It started with a dream and immediately had me hooked.  It has all the elements that I love in a story. And then I fell in love with Cody and Shay in Embrace the Highland Warrior.  I could—and will—continue to write until I tell each warrior’s story. The third book, Unleash the Highland Warrior, will be out in 2013. It’s going to have lots of suspense, romance, and some huge surprises for the Connor Clan. And in the meantime, I’m releasing a novella this November, a prequel to Awaken. Here’s a little blurb.

Faelan–A Highland Warrior Brief

Faelan Connor was the most powerful warrior the clan had known, until a demon locked him in a time vault where he slept for 150 years, while he waited to save the world and meet his destined mate. You know how his story ends. Now we’ll travel back to the 19th century and experience Faelan’s journey through his eyes. We’ll find out how he became the Mighty Faelan, we’ll discover that he may have met Bree even before she was born, and we’ll find out what really happened inside the time vault.

As you can see, I love my warriors. I simply could not imagine ever feeling the same excitement for another series. But wouldn’t you know it … Just as things were going great, a new relic seekers series popped into my head—well, it was shoved there by my wonderful agent, Christine Witthohn, but the plot and characters took root. Again, the series had all the elements I love, and now I adore these new characters so much that I feel as if I’m cheating on my warriors. I would love to write a gigantic book and put the highland warriors and my relic seekers all in together so we’re all just one big happy family. Hmm, highland warriors, demons, and relic seekers. Works for me, but alas, I think my publisher would protest.

The new series is about three relic seekers. A feisty heroine with a sixth sense and two sexy heroes—a mercenary, and a dark, eccentric billionaire—are on a hunt for four powerful relics that could change their lives … and the course of history. The story has mysterious curses, powerful relics, castles, catacombs, ghosts, evil villains, and the heroine will eventually have to decide which hero is meant for her.

Guardians of Stone, the first book in the relic seeker series, will be released 4 December, and if you feel so inclined, it’s available for preorder now. If the price drops between now and when it comes out, Amazon will give you the lower price.

And the surprising news is that we’ve had movie interest in the relic seekers series from the moment the sale was announced. Of course the movie industry is fickle and finicky, so I’m crossing my fingers that one of the big studios comes through. :)  That would be a real thrill for little ol’ me. But even if it doesn’t, I still love this series, and I hope my readers will too.

Here’s an excerpt from Guardians:

It took fifteen minutes to reach Nathan’s estate in the rolling Virginia hills. She pulled up to the gated entrance. The guard, a man with more muscles in his neck than Kendall had in her whole body, nodded once and let her in. The entire estate was surrounded by an iron fence that would have done justice to a maximum security prison and protected by an extensive surveillance system. After the mile-long drive in from the gate, she parked in front of the mansion and started up the steps.

Nathan met her at the door wearing a suit that probably cost as much as her apartment. His light brown hair was cropped close and, as usual, his handsome face tense. In the months she’d worked for him, he never laughed, rarely smiled. He was all mystery and no clues. If she wasn’t so busy working on his relics, she’d turn her talents to decoding him. He raked her over once with dark, smoky eyes. “Hope I didn’t interrupt anything important.”

“Just a date.” Since she’d started working for him, she hadn’t had one that he hadn’t interrupted. Maybe he was spying on her.

“My apologies.” A muscle twitched in his jaw. He hadn’t shaved and the faint shadow made him look sexy. He escorted her inside, through the elaborate atrium that led to his library, which was adorned with first editions, priceless historical documents, and rare art. If Aunt Edna got a glimpse of this place, she’d be hearing wedding bells. Maybe that would stop the barrage of personal ads Kendall had been getting since her aunt discovered e-mail.

Two men on Nathan’s technical security team were just leaving the room. Fergus stood behind them, his face worried.

“…trace the data security breach,” one of the men said.

Nathan pushed back his sleeve and looked at his watch. Not a Rolex, as Kendall would have expected, but silver on a worn leather band. “Meet me back here in two hours with an update.”

The two men left and Nathan motioned Kendall inside. He took her jacket and handed it to Fergus, who nodded his head as if she were royalty. Every inch the proper butler. “Miss Kendall, I hope you’re well.”

“Yes, Fergus. Thank you.”

“Lovely dress. Were you at dinner?” He glanced briefly at Nathan, and Kendall thought she saw the barest hint of a frown. He probably realized Nathan had interrupted her meal. Sometimes she wondered if Fergus had his own sixth sense. He seemed to know everything. A good trait for a butler, she supposed.

“Yes, I had dinner.” And had been looking forward to dessert.

“I’m sorry if you had to cut your evening short—” Nathan’s apology was interrupted when the front door slammed. Fergus hurried out as footsteps rang across the floor.

“Larraby, this had better be good. I left a nice warm bed and a hot…” The man entering the room stopped short when he saw Kendall. “Meal,” he substituted. She knew that wasn’t the word he would have used had she not been there.

Her senses started tingling as she sized the intruder up. Dangerous. A rebel. Steel-gray eyes met hers—intelligent, calculating, cool. A mask for the anger and insolence lurking inside. She blinked, distancing her mind. She didn’t pry without good reason. After all, she wouldn’t appreciate someone digging around in her thoughts. The stranger’s gaze dropped to her slinky red dress, lingering longer than it should. Kendall squirmed under his appraisal, which was every bit as intrusive as her evaluation had been.

Rumpled dark hair and clothes—black T-shirt and faded jeans—backed up his claim that he’d been in bed.

“Kendall, I’d like you to meet Jake Stone. Jake, this is Kendall Morgan. She’s my relic expert.”

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author 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 realised she’d missed the fork in the road that led to her destiny. Now she spends her days writing mysteries and paranormal romantic suspense. Anita lives in suburban Virginia, outside Washington DC, with her husband and two kids.

You can find Anita here:

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Mysteries and Margaritas
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8 Comments
  1. 9 September 2012 11:38 am

    The cover art on the Highland Worrier series are great. I’m intrigued by the stories, love a hot hero in a kilt. Interesting excerpt of Guardians of Stone. Good luck with all three :-)

  2. 9 September 2012 1:26 pm

    Thanks, Louise. I do think the artist did a great job with the covers, which is very exciting for me. I just love a good cover. Especially when it’s my own. :) If you get a chance to read the books, I hope you enjoy them. Thanks so much.

  3. Erica Pillera permalink
    9 September 2012 1:47 pm

    Looking forward to the new series should be a good read.

    And Louise you have to read Faelen’s story he us an amazing character. And an excellent story also.

    • 9 September 2012 4:59 pm

      Thanks, Erica! I do love Faelan’s character. He’s strong and sexy and so protective. Watching him wake up to a new world is fun. The new series is lots of fun, too. The characters remind me of my warriors. I think they could be best friends with my warriors. :)

  4. 9 September 2012 7:48 pm

    Anita! What fun for you to be on this blog. Your success has been wonderful. Folks, you can also find Anita on http://www.mysteriesandmargaritasblogspot.com We have a lot of fun there.

    • 10 September 2012 12:43 am

      Thanks, Cassy! You’re so sweet. I appreciate you stopping by.

  5. aimskye permalink
    17 September 2012 9:54 am

    Hi Anita,
    Thanks for blogging! I love the sound of the relic hunter series. I was always a huge fun of the Indiana Jones type movies/books.

    Thanks,
    Aimee

    • 17 September 2012 11:09 am

      Thanks, Aimee! It was a blast to be here. I am excited about both series. I love my warriors and I love my relic seekers. Thanks so much.

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