Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Awaken the Highland Warrior by Anita Clenney

DRD: Welcome to Hero Hot Seat!  Today's guest, Faelan, from Awaken The Highland Warrior, is a timeless hero, who will definitely hotten things up--

*Captain Jack Sparrow saunters onstage, blowing kisses to the audience*

DRD: Hey! Didn't you get the flyer about winning an all-expense paid trip to Tortuga? For life? I left a few thousand copies by the coffee maker.

Captain Jack: I did see a lovely blonde backstage, so maybe I'll go find her.

DRD: *grabs him by a braid and twists it*

Captain Jack: *raises hands defensively* So I'll have a matched pair, to go with the lovely blonde on stage.

DRD:  *points to eyes and then at Captain Jack as he tiptoes backwards offstage* Anyway, today's hero is rather yummy. For one thing, he's a Highland warrior, and for another thing, he's a Highland warrior living in the present time!

Captain Jack: *peeks around stage curtain* Psst! Do you know where the duct tape is?

DRD: Do I look like I know what to do with duct tape?!

*The curtain billows out several times, accompanied by sounds of a scuffle*

DRD:  *rolls eyes* Okay, folks, let's give a warm Hero Hot Seat welcome to Faelan!

*audience goes wild but nobody appears on stage*

DRD: That's odd. *presses ear mike* Not again! Looks like Faelan will be unable to make it today. Fortunately we have his author Anita Clenney here.  Let's hear it for Anita!

*audience cheers wildly*

DRD: Thank you so much for filling in, Anita. And sorry about Faelan's spiked coffee. I'm already plotting the culprit's punishment.

Captain Jack: *pops up between the two chairs*  Did someone say punishment? I'm actually rather fond of—

DRD: Stop! There isn't enough brain bleach to deal with that.

Anita: We have a prankster in our group of warriors. In fact, my character Brodie reminds me a bit of Captain Jack. I hope he didn’t follow us. God forbid that he and Captain Jack get together. And Faelan’s friend Ronan could be in on it too. He likes to keep Faelan on his toes. So much that sometimes Faelan wishes he could put Ronan in a time vault and send him off somewhere. So if you see two more good looking guys wearing kilts and mischievous grins, let me know. 

DRD:  MORE good looking guys in kilts? *checks pulse* It's still spiking, but I want to hear more about Faelan.

Anita: Faelan is a great guy. Not just a gorgeous face and lots of muscles. Born into a clan of secret warriors, he’s spent his life protecting humans. Back in the nineteenth century, he was the baddest warrior around, so when Michael the Archangel got word that one of the ancient demons was behind the strife and conflict pushing America toward a civil war, he sent his toughest warrior to get rid of the demon. But Faelan was betrayed and locked in the time vault he brought to capture the demon. These time vaults stop time inside so the demon can be held until Judgment Day. The vaults have a key, but they won’t open for 150 years, just in case someone accidentally opened one. After 150 years, the demon is powerless.

DRD: Oooh, I wouldn't mind stopping time with a hunky kilted man. So what happens next?

Anita: Just before Faelan was captured, he discovered the war was just a distraction from the demon’s real plot, a supernatural disease that would wipe out humanity. So Faelan wakes to a dilemma. While he’s been sleeping, the demon has been running free, since only Faelan’s talisman can destroy this particular demon. Faelan doesn’t know anything about this time period, he has no money, no  horse, no sword. He doesn’t even know if his talisman has lost its power in the time vault. He doesn’t know where the demon is, or who sent the woman to wake him. If she’s a demon, he’ll have to kill her. If she isn’t, then she’s unleashed the gates of hell in her backyard, because the demon will be furious when he finds out that Faelan is awake.

DRD: Sounds exciting, and kinda scary. *motions camera to zoom in on the book* But it's obvious Faelan is up to the task.

Captain Jack: *smolders at Anita* This chap and I obviously use the same personal trainer.  *bends his arm* Here, squeeze my bicep.

DRD: *scowls* Your trainer works at a kennel.  Anita, this is an intriguing blend of subgenres: Scottish historical, paranormal, suspense. How did it come about?

Anita: Well, it actually started with a dream—no, Captain Jack, not that kind of dream. This was a frightening dream. My young son and I were stranded and had to take refuge in a castle. The man who lived there was so gracious, but I soon saw that there was evil lurking behind that pleasant face. At the same time, I had been playing with an idea of a buried warrior who wasn’t dead, and since I live near some Civil War battlefields, I was intrigued with the notion that what if one person could have done something to stop the war, or believed he could have. This all came together in Awaken the Highland Warrior. So while the story has a contemporary setting, I bring in elements of the past from Faelan’s life. He was very close to his brothers, also warriors. In fact, they came to help him, but arrived too late.

DRD:  I know you're busy working on Books 2 and 3 right now. What is your favorite writing advice?

Anita : I think my favorite is Margie Lawson’s advice on empowering your writing. We need to empower our plots, our characters, our words. Take it from bland to wow. I’m paraphrasing.  Basically, writers should write something that would knock their socks off if they read it. I have to throw in another favorite tip. Don’t get so caught up in rules that you forget to tell a compelling story.

Captain Jack: The best advice I ever got was not to put anything in writing. *lifts Anita's hand to his lips* But for you, I will gladly make it a guideline instead of a rule.

Anita: Oh, Captain Jack. You devil, you. Tell me, did you spike Faelan’s coffee? Or did Brodie and Ronan follow us here? Not answering, hmmm. That grin could mean anything.

DRD: Let's just say Captain Jack is guilty of a lot of unsolved hero-related crimes around here. So tell us, what do you love best about your hero?

Captain Jack: *winks at Anita* You don't want to kiss and tell about us on national TV, do you, luv?

DRD: *presses ear mike* What? Oh, okay. Captain, they're towing your ship—

*Captain Jack races offstage*

DRD:  Finally! So about your hero. . .

Anita: Captain Jack actually reminds me of Faelan when he first wakes from the time vault. After he realizes where he is, he’s so anxious to explore, the heroine Bree decides he’s worse than a toddler. She has to extract him from some pretty interesting situations, like a lingerie shop.

DRD: Can't wait to read that scene! I think I'm half in love already.

Anita: I love so many things about Faelan. Everything he knew was taken from him in one blow. His parents, his two brothers, and his little sister. Even his horse Nandor. He loved that horse. And then he finds out that the war in America–that he believes he failed to stop– killed hundreds of thousands of people. But even though he’s hurting, he doesn’t let it stop him from doing his duty, what he was born to do. Protect humans. I love that about him. He’s just unstoppable. Another favorite thing about Faelan is how he tries so hard to protect Bree when she doesn’t want to be protected. Faelan just doesn’t understand how a woman could be so bold and go rushing out into danger.  And he’s horrified when she tries to rescue him. It makes for really good sparks.

DRD: I love when warriors meet modern women. *sighs*  Unfortunately, it looks like we've run out of time, but thanks again, Anita, for stepping in.

Anita: Thank you for having me. Ah, there you are, Captain Jack. Goodbye, it was nice to meet you–oh dear, what are you doing? Put me down. Captain Jack! Where are you taking me…oh, there’s Faelan. Is that duct tape on his hands? Faelan…help!

DRD: Where's a good time vault when you need one?

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 www.anitaclenney.com.


2nd Chance said...

It's amazing, the things duct tape can handle! Welcome to the Revenge Anita! Can I fix you or the handsome hunk behind you a drink? I have a fully staffed bar here...

Sounds like a fascinating premise! I adore mixing genres! Or messing with them as most of the crew will attest.

But I do mix good drinks! Rum?

Quantum said...

Hi Anita
Always a pleasure to greet débutante authors! :D

In Shakespeare's Henry IV we hear
I can call spirits from the vasty deep

And back in Merlin's time, the old druid magician was forever drawing on the earth's magic.

Demons and sword wielding warriors seem to fit with the magic of old, but a time vault!?

Thinking of mixing futuristic concepts with historical magic jarred my senses at first. But on reflection I realized that it could work. Its like the culinary genius who invented the 'baked alaska'. Cold ice cream in the center with hot meringue surrounding it.

If you get it right, the contrast of tastes can be a stunning delight, but if you get it wrong then you have a horrible sticky mess!

Somehow, perhaps from the adept way that you and Donna kept Jack under control, I think this book is going to be a very tasty dish indeed. So tasty that I'm gonna try it!

Fabulous interview! 8)

anita clenney said...

Hi Chance. What I'd love is a nice Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi. Oh, I love blending genres as well. It makes things more interesting. I have to have some mystery in my romance and the mystery I'm currently writing has to have some romance.

anita clenney said...

Hi Quantam, I do hope you'll give Faelan a try and end up with something delicious, not a sticky mess. It's funny that you mention the time vault/demons and swords thing because I didn't think of this as a time travel at all, since he can't go back in time or forward in time. He's simply sleeping for a really long time in a box that's supposed to imprison a demon. But everyone kept saying but he's from 1860 and he wakes up in 2011. Ok, I guess technically it's time travel. So far, my reviews have been fantastic. I hope you'll let me know what you think after you've read it.

Donna said...

Good morning, pirates, and Anita. I'm still trying to get awake. The neighbor's lawnmower is my alarm clock today. Grrr.

I love that this story is a blend of genres. I think that's how we get new subgenres, but stretching the old ones into new shapes. :) Chance is definitely adventurous when it comes to adding a little of this and a little of that to her stories. That's why she's the master mixologist on this ship!

Donna said...

Q, I nearly choked on my coffee at you thinking we'd "controlled" Captain Jack. Ha!

I love your baked alaska analogy. It must have seemed like the creator of that was insane when it was devised--until it worked. LOL Then it was pure genius. Which is a good reminder when we're working on our stories. There's always room for a little bit of crazy. :)

Donna said...

Anita, I like a mix of mystery and romance too. I was thinking of this as a time travel too, but I guess it's more of a "time stoppage". LOL

I know you were nervous about getting reviews, but they really have been great. The PW review was awesome, and I know you got another one from a blog that said you were their new favorite author. Feel free to talk about that! (It's every writer's dream to hear something like that.)

Anita Clenney said...

Hey, I like time stoppage. Kind of a Rumpelstiltskin in a kilt thing going on. Although Faelan in no way resembles Rumpelstiltskin.

About the reviews. It's been amazing. PW was great. BookList was great. RT was great. It scored as high as it could with Night Owl Reviews, and was a reviewer top pick. The reviewer said she would've given it a higher score if she could. She stayed up all night to read it. So did the Fresh Fiction reviewer. She's the one who said I may become her new favorite author. She said she enjoyed it so much there weren't words to describe it. I'm not a sappy person, but I almost cried at that.

When we start writing, there are so many fears. Will I get an agent? Will I sell? If I sell, will anyone besides my editor actually like the book? Will I be a one book wonder, unable to write another? So reading reviews like this is just gratifying and humbling; to know that a stranger fell in love with something I created. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.

Anita Clenney said...

Kudos to Chance for being a master mixologist. I like that word.

T.H. Browning said...

Haha, Donna & Anita -- I LOVED the interview! :) Not only does your book sound amazing, Anita (yay, can't wait to read it), but Captain Jack doing the interview was absolutely priceless. I really enjoyed this post. So creative, ladies! :)


Hellion said...

You had me at "Highlander." Admittedly, when it comes to some things in romance, I'm ridiculously easy to please. But then you tossed in "tortured hero" and "time-travel" and "fish out of water situation"--and voila! I'm at Amazon ordering the book! ;)

Anita, what will be coming next? And what are you working on now?

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Great interview, ladies! Anita, your book is fabulous! Can't wait to hold a copy in my hands :-)

Liz L said...

Great interview, Anita and Donna, and Captain Jack!!I just wanted to say I received notification from Amazon that my copy was shipped yesterday!! I can't wait. It's just in time for my trip to Florida.

Donna said...

Anita, those ARE wonderful reviews. And I can't think of anything better than making somebody stay up all night to read my book. :) I don't blame you for being thrilled. Because as you said, there are so many fears along the way. Each step has its own variety. LOL

Donna said...

T.H. and Kari -- Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.

Liz, thank you. And you better tell me that Florida trip is for research. LOL I'm still cold here in MA, and I need some warmth. Oh, I know. I've got Anita's book to read soon. . . :)

Donna said...

Hellion, it does sound like a lot of things you'll like in there. :) I can't resist a Highlander, that's for sure. I'm gonna have to clear off my schedule soon to get some reading done.

I know this is a three-book series, but I don't know what the other two involve, other than Highlander types. Hopefully Anita can give us some info on that. :)

Anita Clenney said...

Thanks Taryn. I do love Captain Jack. He's one of my favorite characters.

Anita Clenney said...

Thanks Kari. You know I can't wait to get yours too.

Anita Clenney said...

Hellion, I LOVE YOU!! Okay, seriously, thanks! I'm turning in copy edits TODAY on Embrace the Highland Warrior. It will be out in November. All the characters from AWAKEN will be there, and we'll actually see the hero in book one. It was a fun story to write as well. Secret identities, empty graves, lost love and all that good stuff. Well, here's a blurb.

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 won't be out until Fall 2012. I've had to push back the release date because I'm so busy. Unleash will have a fun twist. Here's a blurb.

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.

Anita Clenney said...

Liz, mine shipped out too. Of course I had to order one myself when it first went up on Amazon :) I hope you have some fun and sun and good reading in Florida. Hey you just got back from a cruise, now you're going to Florida? I want to be you.

Donna said...

she discovers that betrayal isn’t always what it seems. Sometimes it’s far worse.

Oooh, this is awesome. I'm so jealous of this blurb. LOL Great job.

Donna said...

Anita, I didn't realize you were working on copyedits today. Eeek. I should have asked before I invited you. I'm working on a #1k1hr at the same time I keep popping over here, but it's easier to pick back up where I left off. Or at least that's what I think. LOL Guess I'll find out when I go back to edit this thing.

Anita Clenney said...

Thanks Donna. I was pretty proud of that line. No worries about the copy edits. I'm sitting right here killing two birds with one stone.

Donna said...

I've gotten almost 1500 words in, and the first draft of this short story is done. Now I've got to take some library books back before the fines are more than an outing at Starbucks would be. LOL I'll be back in a bit.

2nd Chance said...

Anita...just a diet soda? Ya sure I can't mix in some Kraken Rum with it? Goes down smooth...

Sounds like you've got the mix down nicely. It's good to see some Highlanders wandering the modern world!

Janga said...

I'm all in favor of label-defying books, Congratulations, Anita, on your debut and on all the wonderful reviews.

Anita Clenney said...

2nd Chance, I'm a die hard diet soda addict. Alcohol...not so much. I can just think about the taste and my stomach turns. Oh, but Captain Jack, now there's a man who loves his rum. What's that, Captain Jack? Oh, he says he'll have mine.

Yes, I like these Highlanders wandering around the modern world. Faelan has some interesting experiences when he first wakes up. Of course he's shocked at everything, including how much skin Bree is showing. At first, he isn't sure if she's a prostitute, a demon, or a human.

Anita Clenney said...

Thanks Janga. I love it when authors surprise me, but in a good way of course. I love twists and turns. I'm also working on a cozy mystery series. It's a lot of fun.

Bosun said...

I am so late today, I apologize. Work seems to have taken an insane turn. According to Hellie's research, Pluto is in retrograde which sounds just crazy enough to be the cause of this mess.

Or maybe some time vault opened somewhere letting out a crazy work demon? If that's the case, send me a Highlander, quick!

Your books do sound fun, Anita. And I'd cry too at those kinds of reviews. Wow. You mention you also write mysteries, are those genre twisting too? I'm amazed at anyone who can write mysteries. I have enough trouble keeping my simple contemp plot threads straight (no genre-bending for me) without throwing a full-blown mystery into the mix.

Oh, and it looks we don't live that far from each other. I'm down here in Va Beach. *waves northward*

Marnee said...

What a wonderful interview!

Welcome aboard, Anita.

I love Highlanders and stories about Scottish fellows. So burly, so strong.... *swoons*

And I love time travel stuff as well. These books sound great. I'm going to have to check them out.

2nd Chance said...

Trust me, Jack gets enough rum. He won a concession from me some months ago for open access to my never-emptying rum bottle...

I know when I threw a Caribbean pirate into the modern world...one of the funnest things was introducing him to chocolate covered espresso beans. And watching him get totally wired!

Donna said...

Whew! I feel like I was in a time vault--only it didn't have a sexy Highlander in it!

Quantum said...

'Awaken' is available on 1 May in the UK (Amazon) so I have a note in my diary to buy it then!

If Jack is now under control in the time vault, hoping to be awakened with a kiss from a fair pirate(He's been reading 'the sleeping beauty' He He),Maybe I can propose a toast to our charming and talented visitor:

Fill the glasses with diet coke Chance, and keep one on hold, just in case all the cheers awaken Jack..

Here's to Anita, an author talented and new
who is taking the paranormal by storm.
Her highland warrior will soon be awake
unleashing his power and restoring the norm

Before he awakes though, we must all take a peek
To see what is worn under the kilt.
Then to welcome him here to our pirate enclave
we must all buy a copy to learn more of his ilk.

Please raise your glasses, up to the sky.
Bottoms up and down the hatch!

Lovely to meet you and learn about the books :D

2nd Chance said...

HA! I heard a song about a Highlander who fell asleep along the road and woke to find his...ahem...was adorned by a blue ribbon. Been adventuring while he was out cold!

Actually admired by a pair of fine lasses who stopped... ;-)

Linda Wisdom said...

Great post, Anita! And who doesn't love Captain Jack?

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Bo'Sun. Glad you showed up. We were beginning to think you'd gotten trapped in a time vault. It would be just like Captain Jack to experiment. Good thing you didn't, unless you'd like to wake up in 150 years. Yep, I'm a Virginia girl. I live near Fredericksburg. I've just started writing mysteries. My agent is submitting to editors now. It's probably a cozy, but I have to be careful because I tend to write big plots. I just love twists and turns.

Bosun said...

Chance - That's called The Scotsman and didn't I send you that link? LOL! Been one of me favorites for years.

...Lad I dont' know where you been but I see you won first prize.

Nice toast, Q. Though I say we lift the kilt and forget about the drinks for a while.

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Marnee. I do hope you'll check Faelan out. I've been told that my heroes are to die for. I love Highlanders too.

2nd Chance said...

Ye may have, Bo'sun! Reminds me of the Bonny Black Hare also... Man, lots a' slightly naughty folk songs out there!

Makes me want ta take up singin' again!

Anita Clenney said...

OMG, I'm rolling, Chance. How awesome. I can tell you Faelan doesn't wear anything under his kilt. And I have heard that story about the blue ribbon.

Anita Clenney said...

Thanks for stopping by Linda. I do love Captain Jack. What an entertaining character.

Donna said...

Wow, Anita, I don't believe Q writes poems for everyone. He's a scientist with a poetic soul. :)

Chance, you and Bo'sun should sing a duet. I'd love to hear that prize-winning song. LOL

Anita Clenney said...

Thank you for the poem, Quantum. What a treat. I'm so honored, and you have a note to buy the book. Oh, I may swoon. A poem and a sale in one. Where's Captain Jack or Faelan? I need someone to catch me.

Bosun said...

Oddly enough, when I was younger people used to tell me I was born 150 years later than I should have been. Maybe I was born in the RIGHT time and stuck in a time vault. That would explain so much. LOL!

Except those baby pictures...

I go through Frederickburg and take 17N when I head home (Ohio) for a visit. Beautiful area up there.

Anita Clenney said...

Bo'sun, I think you're really from the 19th century, and you've been sleeping in a time vault, but your memory was erased so you don't know it.

Fredericksburg does have some pretty areas. Orange County, where I'm from, is even prettier, but I'm on the eastern side of the county and much closer to Fredericksburg, so I feel like it's more my home.

Anita Clenney said...

Thank you Romance Writer's Revenge for having Faelan and me. Hopefully Faelan will recover from the spiked coffee and we'll stop by another time. And thanks for the poem Quantum.