And Your Favorite Superstition Is???

Happy Friday the 13th! Were you watching for black cats to cross the road this morning on the way to work, maybe being extra cautious not to break a mirror as you wrestled with your makeup and hair? Break one and it’s 7 years of bad luck! Good thing I’m not superstitious because I have–at last count–29 mirrors on my walls.

Amita Clenney

Superstition has been around for probably as long as humans have. Even people who claim they aren’t will sometimes cringe if a black cat darts in front of their car.  I think part of the reason is that people are always looking for answers. If something bad happens, we look for reasons. Somewhere back in history, something terrible probably happened and someone likely remembered seeing a black cat cross the road just before. Poor cat was probably just coming home from a night of mousing and mating. And I think most of us believe there’s some sort of supernatural element to our world.

The warriors in my Connor Clan series aren’t superstitious and they’re not afraid of black cats or breaking mirrors, but they know a thing or two about the supernatural. Part of secret society of warriors who’ve been in existence since time began; their mission is to protect humans from demons who are hiding among us, often disguised as neighbors or friends.

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. Come along as Cody encounters something shocking in the woods.

___________

Cody gripped his sword and stepped lightly on the forest floor, ears tuned for any sound that didn’t belong. He sniffed, eyes searching the shadows. Something was there; he could feel it. A soft laugh whispered through the trees. He whirled. A man materialized a few yards away, watching him with red eyes. He smiled, and sharp teeth flashed in the dark. Fangs. A vampire! What the hell was it doing here? Before Cody could lift his sword, the man rushed at him like a streak, moving so fast Cody couldn’t track it.

He learned in the battle at Druan’s castle that the only sure way to kill a vampire was beheading or a direct stab through the heart. Talismans didn’t work on them. He swung his sword as the thing zoomed past, but he missed. Whirling, it came back. Just as it slammed Cody to the ground, it went solid again, with fangs an inch long, hitting Cody like a semi truck. He rolled to his feet, grabbed his fallen sword, and braced for the next attack. This time when it struck, he was ready. As he fell, he thrust his sword upward, into its heart. The creature turned to dust in mid-air, particles settling all around him.

Hisses filled the air as more creatures emerged from the trees. They stood out of sword’s reach, their fangs bared. Cody searched out where each one stood, identifying the leader, who stood a little apart from the others, his stance cockier, more sure. When one of the others came at Cody, he turned aside and drove his sword into the leader’s heart. The others hissed and looked at each other. They hadn’t expected him to take the offensive when he was so outnumbered, but he was used to fighting against the odds.

They came at him like bullets, nothing but a blur, until they slowed. He swung left and drove his sword into what he hoped was the thing’s heart, and dust rained down, covering his sword. Two of them hit him at once, flinging him in the air like a rag doll. His bones felt like they shattered, but he clung to his sword. They came at him again, and he rolled painfully to his feet, his blade catching another one in the neck. The swing wasn’t strong enough. The vampire screeched and kept going. If he could just see the bloody things. Cody ducked as another one attacked and then swung harder, finishing off the one he missed. He was tiring, but he had to kill them all before they discovered Shay.

Two were left, but they kept attacking so close together that he couldn’t strike them both. He waited for the first to attack. Using the side of a tree to spring clear, he flipped through the air, leveling his blade at what he thought was its neck. It disappeared, leaving only one.

“Come on, you bastard.”

The vampire stood fifty feet away in human form. He turned his head, looking at the path leading to the cabin, and Cody followed his gaze. Shay stood there, her face pale, eyes wide with shock.

“We’ve found you at last,” the vampire said.

Cody’s blood felt like shards of ice.

“We?” Shay asked, her voice strong. “You’re the only one left.”

The vampire grinned. “Too bad I can’t have a taste of you. The feisty ones are always better. I’ll have to settle for him.” Its fangs lengthened. “No one cares about him.”

Shay’s face darkened; her back straightened; her shoulders squared. “I care about him.”

The vampire turned and streaked toward Cody. Shay ran after the vampire, moving just as fast. She tackled it, and they both rolled into the trees, a mix of swirling colors. Cody stood rooted in place, his mouth hanging open. What the hell? Pushing away his shock, he ran after her. How was she doing that?

The vampire looked as stunned as Cody felt. It attacked again, catching Cody off guard, slamming him into a tree. Through the thick fog pushing at the edges of his brain, he registered several things at once. The vampire rushing at him, and Shay, farther away, scooping up a stick and running after the vampire. No, what she did was faster than running. She streaked after the vampire, driving the stick right into the middle of it. It went solid, its fangs elongated, red eyes wide with shock. The vampire disintegrated, but Shay kept coming, moving too fast to stop. She hit the ground and rolled, her stick driven deep into the earth, vibrating, four inches from Cody’s face.

 

Embrace the Highland Warrior – available now!

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…:

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NY 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 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.

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My publisher will give away a copy of Embrace the Highland Warrior to one commenter, US or Canada only. My question, of course…are you superstitious?