Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Anita Clenney - Turning the Ordinary into Paranormal – A Genre-Shifting Story

Embrace the Highland Warrior, the second book in my Scottish paranormal series is officially released. It follows Awaken the Highland Warrior, the first book, a USA Today best seller which was released in May. 

The series is about Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil,  and Destined Love.  Part of a secret society of warriors ordered by Michael the Archangel, these warriors are all that stand between humans and the demons set on destroying the world. These warriors exist all over the world, but this series focuses on the Scottish warriors and their destined mates. The stories are set in the ordinary world, but there are things happening that aren’t quite ordinary.
Originally, Embrace the Highland Warrior started as a romantic suspense, the first book I ever wrote. About six month into writing, I got the idea for Awaken the Highland Warrior, so for a while I was writing two stories, the romantic suspense and the paranormal. When I met my wonderful agent, she said the paranormal would be the book to sell. So I put the first book aside and focused on Awaken.
Right away, I knew this had to be a series. I couldn’t tell the whole thing in one story, and as I thought about what the second book in the series would be, I realized I already had it. My romantic suspense, the first book, belonged in the series. It had all the ingredients I needed, at least the skeleton was there, I just had to make it paranormal. So my romantic suspense shifted into a paranormal.
But it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Any writers reading this will know how difficult it is when you make one small change to a manuscript. It took a LOT of work. In fact, I think it took me longer to revise the manuscript than if I’d just written something new from scratch. I had to add in the paranormal elements and change scenes, add new plot threads and work in all my returning secondary characters. But I really felt that the story belonged as part of the series. In the end, it was worth the work.
Even though the book has demons and fierce battles, this isn’t a dark paranormal. It blends genres, mixing lots of mystery and suspense with adventure, humor and sizzling romance.
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 do you like paranormal stories, and if so, how dark?
New York Times best selling 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 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!”


Lil said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your excerpt. Paranormal romanc eis wonderful to me for the creativity and the elements of darkness. How dark do I like it? Depends on my mood. Sometimes, I want someting lighter and sometimes I want something edgy and dangerous in my reading.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Anita. Your book sounds great. I loved the excerpt. I am a big fan of paranormals.

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Lil, I'm glad you liked the excerpt. I think all readers have different reading moods. I know I do.

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Crystal, thanks! I enjoy paranormals as well, although I prefer them not too dark.

ev said...

I wont' read the excerpt because to me they ruin the story. I have no idea why. I will however, be putting it on my downloads to the Nook.

I enjoy a good paranormal, but I want humor and romance too. Not big on a lot of blood and gore, although I do still read LKH. I guess it always depends on the story line. And I'm always looking for a new series!

Anita Clenney said...

Ev, I definitely don't want to ruin the story for you. I don't like dark and depressing. My paranormals have both suspense and romance, and there is always humor. Even more in Embrace than Awaken. When I submitted this book, I was afraid my editor would want me to take out the two funniest characters (two old ladies) but she said whatever I did, NOT to touch those two ladies. She loves humor too.

chey said...

I enjoy Highlander stories, and paranormals as long as the paranormal doesn't overpower the story. How dark depends on the story involved and my Mood.

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Chey. I don't prefer too dark, but I think it also depends on my mood.

Pat Cochran said...

I've read some paranormals but I am
definitely not into the really dark
stuff! When I run into "darks," I
close the book and do just that! I
run to something more to my taste!

Pat Cochran

Di said...

I had read a few paranormls, but I wasn't won over, however, I recently read a new one & loved it, so I want to read more. And since I also love Scottish Highlanders this one sounds like another that I would love. But I don't want them to dark & gory.

sallans d at yahoo dot com

The Brunette Librarian said...

I really like paranormals. Dark doesn't bother me as long as long as its a good story. With a paranormal, there is that "anything" can happen feeling. Its really fun :)

rachie2004 AT yah00 *d8t* c-m