Thursday, January 31, 2008
Take my hand and lead me to the Goddess blog and whack me with a wet noodle. Yes! I was supposed to Blog on January 30, that was yesterday. I am sneaking in to-day to make amends and beg for forgiveness. Whew, I got that off my chest and it suddenly occurs to me that I also blog tomorrow and every Friday there after for the month of February. Am I insane or what?
Where do I go from here? I shall make an announcement. I am doing a workshop in March at http://Paranormalromance.org
The link for the discussion is: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be discussing Magical Places and the effect they had on me. First off I want to take everyone to Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury Tor and Tintagel. There's enough magic in those places to satisfy everyone. But I have more.
Another announcement: my web mistress is in the process of revamping my web site. We're going to put up new information and there'll be a monthly contest etc. I also have to revamp my personal blog. When will I find time to write? I have 32,000 words of my historical romance and it's nudging me to get back to it.
The covers of my three published books are up top for all to see, admire and purchase. I have the cover for Ring Around The Moon and I'll put it up closer to release date, March 27. I also have a cover for Too Young To Die but it's not for show yet. I love those Show and TELL days.
Posted by Anita Birt at 11:13 AM
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Brenda Talley, a reviewer with The Romance Studio, gave my book FOUR AND HALF HEARTS.
"Ms. Anita Birt has written a beautiful book about true love and how circumstances can change even the best intentions. She delivered some beautiful scenery while telling the story. It made me wish to visit the area of Wales in 1900." The last line of the review. "I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a book with ups and downs and even a very surprise ending. You will be glad to have read it."
I enjoyed writing the two Isabelle books. Isabelle's Diary is the first one but it can be read after Isabelle's Story. Purchase both and enjoy a double read. The books are very different. Isabelle's Diary is a contemporary romance with a paranormal twist. My books are all published by Cerridwen Press where you can purchase and download my books. Check out A Very Difficult Man as well. It's a historical romance.
And now for something completely different. I blogged recently about love songs and love poems and birds. I learned that skylarks are not native to Canada but were brought to Vancouver Island from Britain. Probably by some Brits who were homesick for the skylarks' lilting song. The birds settled on Vancouver Island, the only place in North America for keen birders to see them. But - and there is a but. The meadows were they nest are disappearing and only a handful of breeding pairs remain. Skylarks are under threat in Britain for the same reason. Urbanization is moving in on their meadows.
Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote a beautiful poem To A Skylark that begins: Hail to thee blithe spirit! Bird thou never wert, That from heaven, or near it, Pourest thy full heart, In profuse strains of unpremeditated art."
So to-day was a review day and I couldn't be happier. It's a thrill to find a reviewer who enjoyed reading Isabelle's Story.
Posted by Anita Birt at 3:07 PM
Thursday, January 24, 2008
That's my promo for today. And now for something completely different.
Food to Feed the Soul. We eat to live and most often pay little attention to the food unless it's unusually delicious. But there are times when a particular meal in a particular place is memorable and the memory lingers on. Several years ago my husband and I were visiting Glastonbury in England. A truly magical place. However, on this visit (we've been back twice!) it was chilly, rainy and miserable. I cashed a traveller's cheque in a bank and my hands were so cold I could hardly hold the pen. Money in hand my husband and I walked up the street and came across a tea room, it's window covered in steam suggesting heat. We ventured in. Talk about a heavenly feeling. I basked in the warmth as we sat at a table. We ordered a pot of tea and bread pudding. The bread pudding was cut in squares and served with a lovely sticky sauce. I will always remember the taste. Every bite was delicious. The tea, nectar of the gods. I had the strangest the feeling of being in the right place at the right time. Magical? Yes. Spiritual? Yes. We were in magical Glastonbury about which I'll be writing in March at www.Paranormal_Discussion@yahoogroups.com
Posted by Anita Birt at 11:42 AM
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Live Life Lovingly. I saw this on a church message board as I drove past the other day and liked it so much I decided to blog about it. I think Woody Allen said, "life happens when we're not paying attention." A scary thought. The days, weeks and years fly by and suddenly we're at the end of our days and wonder where did it all go?
For me, writing romance novels is an intense experience. My characters have to live their lives according to their values. As I bring them to life on the page I reflect on my own life. What am I doing here? When I finally "shuffle off this mortal coil" will the world be a
better place because I lived my life lovingly? It's what I want for my characters. Like the rest of us they'll make mistakes, say hurtful words, will try and make amends and, hopefully, will find the end of the rainbow. Someone to love and cherish.
In my historical romance, A Very Difficult Man, my hero is traumatized from his experiences in the Crimean War. Wounded physically and emotionally he retreats from society and becomes a recluse in his family mansion. When his family engages a female companion he determines to get rid of her by fair means or foul. Sounds like Beauty and The Beast doesn't it? And like the old fairytale, love heals the heart of a broken man.
I loved writing A Very Difficult Man. I hope you enjoy reading it. It's available to purchase and download from Cerridwen Press. Have a look at my web site for information about my other books, Isabelle's Diary and Isabelle's Story, where you'll find excerpts.
Posted by Anita Birt at 10:39 AM
Monday, January 14, 2008
Here are the covers of my books flocking together.
Birds of a feather may flock together but most of them don't like eating together. There's a "pecking order," the higher ranking birds will chase lower ranking birds away. And there's a "pecking distance." Birds stay far enough from the next bird so they won't get pecked. The only birds we see that cluster like bees on the suet feeder and don't peck at their neighbours are the little bushtits. And so to Shakespeare's birds.
In the late nineteenth century a group of well-meaning Shakespeare lovers decided it would be a tribute to the bard to bring birds mentioned in his plays to North America. In Central Park, New York City, they released six pairs of starlings. Oh unhappy day. They were in bird heaven and very quickly began breeding and breeding and have spread from one end of the United States and Canada to the other. They are pests and bullies.
Perhaps it was the same group who released breeding pairs of what we call English sparrows. They are not sparrows but weaver finches and in parts of Canada they have pushed our beautiful blue birds almost to the point of no return. A group of birders have built nesing boxes for the bluebirds and the access holes are too small for the sparrows.
Writing about birds that don't belong. On the big island of Hawaii I heard a cardinal singing and sure enough, someone had brought cardinals from North America to the island.
Having gone on long enough about birds, I hope you blog readers have visited my web site, http://www.anitabirt.com/ and caught up on my latest release, Isabelle's Story. It's a historical romance and follows on from Isabelle's Diary, a contemporary romance with a paranormal twist. Love stories to enjoy. My first book with Cerridwen Press, A Very Difficult Man, is a historical romance. Excerpts of my books are on my web site. Go have a look.
Posted by Anita Birt at 3:06 PM
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
On January 4th, a small newspaper in Wales published a very nice article about my Isabelle books. Matthew Jones who wrote the article headed it, ROMANTIC NOVELS SET IN OLD SPA TOWN." The "old spa town" is Llandrindod Wells where the stories are set. Isabelle's Diary is a contemporary romance with a paranormal twist and Isabelle's Diary is a historical romance, 1896-1900, the story of the girl who wrote the diary. I have previously posted excerpts of both books on my blog or check my web site for excerpts.
Finding readers and keeping them. Wit and humor on my blog might catch readers' attention. I'm a bird watcher. If there are bird watcher's out there drop by and tell me about your latest find. As I look out my window I am seeing mobs of crows circling a neighbor's garden. Earlier a gang of herrring gulls was screeching around the garden. We have a neighbor who feeds them! I have spoken to the man. I have written him a letter asking him to stop. I contaced the by-law office at city hall. There is no law against feeding gulls and crows. But the left over bread draws in rats. Victoria is a port city. Rats can be a problem. Two of my neighbors had rats invade their homes. Yes, the rats are here and feeding them makes them fat and sassy and they like nothing better than finding comfortable living quarters with no predators to bother them. Except for the Rat Man, as I call him, who comes with traps and lures to capture and ... I assume he kills them.
I admit crows are smart and adaptable. Victoria has a huge crow population. During their nesting seasons it's frightening to walk under their nesting trees. The damned nests are way high up but the crows protect them by dive bombing anyone walking below. I had a couple of crows chase me up the street until I reached the safety of our driveway.
So, who has bird feeders? We have Anna's hummingbirds feeding all winter. If the temperature dips below freezing I have to bring their sugar/water feed into the house to thaw it. Watching birds is a simple pleasure, unless they are crows and gulls. Wit and humor? Not much on this blog but hang in there and come by again. Smile.
Posted by Anita Birt at 9:50 AM