NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Anita Clenney writes mysteries, and paranormal romantic suspense. Before giving herself over to the writing bug, she worked in a pickle factory and a preschool, booked shows for Aztec Fire Dancers, and has been a secretary, executive assistant, and a real estate agent. She lives with her husband and two children in suburban Virginia. To find out more information, please visit her website, follow her on Twitter @anitaclenney, or like her on Facebook.

Those Hot Scots by Anita Clenney

When I started writing I didn’t plan to write paranormal or highlanders. I had always loved mysteries and romance so I started writing a romantic suspense. Six months later I started working on another idea that had been burning a hole in my head. This one really had me intrigued. What if a heroine found a warrior buried, but alive? As I explored this idea, I had a frightening dream which introduced another element I needed. A villain. So I had my basic set up, a heroine, a hero, and a villain, but that was just the beginning. I had to flesh out these characters and make them three dimensional.

Who is the heroine? Who is the hero? He has to have a family, a history, a past. At first, the warrior was going to be Irish. I’m not sure why I chose Irish, but the important thing wasn’t so much where he was from, but what he was. A warrior in a secret clan who battled demons. Then, through a series of events, I decided he should be Scottish. My warriors had to be fierce, loyal, protective, and the image of a highlander clad in his kilt, raising his sword with a battle cry, came to mind. So Faelan, my Irish warrior became a Scottish warrior with an Irish mother. And that’s how it should have been. Michael the Archangel has warriors all over the world, but these stories are of the Connor Clan.

It’s also important to understand that although the first book in the series, Awaken the Highland Warrior, has a warrior from the 19th century, the story is time travel, not historical. These are modern day highland warriors. But they do love their kilts. 🙂 And while their weapon of choice is a sword, they have some really cool ones that with the flick of a button will collapse into a dagger or dirk that can be hidden inside a boot. In addition to their weapons, they have above average abilities.

THE WARRIORS

There’s Faelan, the only warrior who’s ever been assigned two ancient demons. Born in the 19th century, Faelan was 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.

And I’ll leave you with an excerpt:

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!”

Sourcebooks will give away two copies of Embrace the Highland Warrior, US and Canada only. To enter, tell me which warrior’s story you would like to read next. >

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Thank you to Anita for coming to PonyTails today! Also thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca for sponsoring the giveaway! I will do a random selection from the responses for the two winners on November 21, 2011. Please be sure to leave your email address, so I can contact you.

UPDATE 11/25/2011: Since there are only 2 entries, I am extending the giveaway until December 2nd!

About Embrace The Highland Warrior:

They were driven apart by a timeless secret…

Cody MacBain let the woman of his destiny slip away. A member of an ancient clan of Scottish warriors, he grew up beside Shay Logan as her secret protector, but his heart compelled him to become more. Until Shay’s true identity was revealed, and the fated pair’s chance was gone…

But danger will drive them back into each other’s arms…

Shay fell for the boy next door, suspecting nothing of the ancient secrets he guarded. After a stinging betrayal, she’s determined to banish the memories of her first love forever. But the past can’t let go, and the boy she once loved has returned to her a warrior determined to protect her from the unspeakable evil fate has planned…

If you click the book image it will take you to my review of Embrace The Highland Warrior.

Embrace The Highland Warrior is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. Also from Barnes and Noble in Print.

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