Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer solstice

To celebrate the longest day of the year I shall post the covers of my five books published by Cerridwen Press. Don't they look splendid? A Very Difficult Man is now available in trade paperback. I also have a fabulous trailer that gives an overview of my book without giving away the plot.

I am revising a historical romance. The plot thread is the stranger at the gate. My heroine escapes from her highland home during the Clearances and flees over the border into England with a warrant on her head for stealing sheep. Not your average Regency! Quite the opposite. Orphaned and penniless how can she survive? I will keep you informed as my story progresses.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Life in the slow lane

"Summertime and the livin' is easy, Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high..."

What to do when the muse takes a holiday and leaves me drifting along in the slow lane? I have stories to revise - four of them. I have a new story underway and a 10,000 word gothic story to finish. Enough work to keep a busy writer busy, busy, busy. Yes. Yes. Yes.

So ... I shall do some PR for my historical romance, A Very Difficult Man. There's the wonderful cover. I have a trailer available to whet the appetite of eager readers. View the trailer by going to,, type my name, Anita Birt, in "search" and my trailer is there for easy viewing. It's also on my Facebook page.

Make my day. View the trailer. Comment on my blog.


Saturday, June 13, 2009


"All the atoms we are made of are forged from hydrogen in stars that died and exploded before our solar system formed. So if you are romantic you can say we are literally "stardust." If you are less romantic you can say we're the nuclear waste from the fuel that makes the stars shine." Quote by Sir Martin Rees. British Astronomer Royal.

Here are my five book covers. Each has a sprinkle of stardust. Oh help, I think a virus has crept into my computer. All kinds of things are going wrong. I will try and upload the covers one more time before I quit.

I feel like tossing the damned computer out the window. Boo Hoo. I did want to post those covers so badly.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Very Difficult Man

My contemporary romance, Dickens and Me, has come to an end. I finished the last chapter last Friday. I hope, you who have read it, have enjoyed it. I certainly enjoyed creating my book and sharing it with you.

My BIG news is about the video featuring my historical romance, A Very Difficult Man. It's available for view on my Facebook page. It was created by Trailer To The Stars and is really special. It gives an introduction to my story without giving away the plot. Please have a look. It's also available at:
Print my name in "search" and you'll find my video. My hero is dark and dangerous to my heroine.

I've been so busy posting chapters of Dickens and Me, each Friday, I haven't been posting anything else. I'm BACK! Next post will be about "Making a Scene."


Friday, June 5, 2009

Dickens and Me (The end!)

(Copyright 2009, Anita Birt)
Greg reached out to touch her but she jerked away.
"Don't touch me." She gritted her teeth. "My mother had sweated blood to keep me in school. I couldn't let her or myself down by dropping out. I struggled through my first year at university. I couldn't hide my condition from my professors. While some of the students avoided me, the professors didn't blink as long as I kept up my grades. I took a week off to have the baby."
"What happened to it? Was it a boy or a girl?"
"I don't know. I didn't want to know. If I'd known the sex I'd have imagined what he or she looked like. I could not live with that. Giving my baby away broke my heart. The social worker at the hospital arranged for the adoption."
"Didn't you see the baby?"
Caroline shook her head. "I knew if I held the baby I could not give it up. Better to make a clean break and get on with my life."
Greg paced over to the window, rested his forehead briefly on the glass before returning to her. "How did you get through this on your own?"
"By trying not to think about it. By studying. I had a couple of sessions with a therapist but she wasn't much help. She couldn't make the pain go away. I got married during my second year. It lasted six months. End of story."
"Our child is thirteen years old and we don't know whether it's a boy or girl. I feel as if I've lost a part of me."
Caroline's anger flared. "Don't criticize me for not asking the sex. Until you know what it's like to get pregnant and have no one to turn to, you're a bystander."
She choked back tears. "The hardest part of my job is dealing with pregnant teenagers. I've been there. Unless they have a supportive family or a loving boyfriend prepared to take responsibility for the child, I want the girls to carry their babies to term and agree to adoption."
Exhausted, wishing he'd go away, she sank down on the sofa and stared at the floor. Greg pushed the table aside and sat beside her.
"I don't know why my father forced those decisions on you. It wasn't my doing. I would have come home."
"That's hard to believe."
"The child was mine as much as yours."
"It was more mine than yours. I was carrying it. You didn't have a worry in the world."
She tried to sweep away the cobwebs lurking in the dark corners of her mind. Shedding light on the past, on Greg, would take too much energy. He'd made his point. She had to believe him but it was hard to change direction. To feel differently about him. To feel differently about herself.
Her nerves in shreds, her energy at a low ebb, she rubbed the back of her neck. "I'm very tired. You'd better go."
"I'm not going anywhere until I'm sure you believe me."
"It's too late for that."
"You're asking me to walk out and act as if nothing happened between us. Sorry, Caroline, I'm staying."
Caroline blinked back the tears threatening to fall. Tears for eighteen year old Kate Southern forced to make a fateful decision on her own. Greg had planted the seed and walked away. Or had he?
He said he hadn't known about the baby.
It was like seeing him clearly for the first time.
She swallowed the lump stuck in her throat. "I believe you."
A wrenching sob loosened the tight band around her chest and she burst into tears. "You'd better go."
"I'm not leaving you." He stood. "Where do you keep your tissues?"
She wiped the back of her hand across her eyes and snuffled. "What did you say?"
"I asked where you kept your tissues."
"In the bathroom. Before that you said something else."
"I said I'm not leaving you."
The lump was back in her throat. She twisted her hands together.
He knelt beside her. "I'll never leave you. Ever. You've carried this pain too long. You have to let it go. I'll help."
"You don't have to stay. I'll be okay."
"Do you want me to go?" His dark eyes searched hers.
"I'm not sure."
"What are not sure about?"
"About you. About us. About thinking you have to take care of me. I'm okay. I'm used to looking after myself. I don't need you."
"Do you want me to go?"
She chewed her lip. She hesitated. What should she do? "For now I'd like you to stay."
"Then it's settled." He stood.
"What's settled?"
"I'm staying. I'll get the tissues and while you dry your eyes I'll make fresh coffee." He flashed his lady killer smile. "Then we'll have the whole day to get to know each other."
Caroline shook her head. "What about Kate Southern? We can't forget her. She's the girl you never knew."
"I won't forget her. She's part of you and you're important to me." He stood. "I'll get the tissues. Which way to the bathroom?"
"Down the hall, straight ahead." She wiped a tear trickling down her cheek. She was important to Greg Fraser?
How did it happen? It was like being in the right place at the wrong time. Or being in the wrong place at the right time. She gazed at him walking towards her holding out a box of tissues. The ice in her heart melted.
Maybe she was in the right place at the right time.
He handed her the tissues and sat beside her on the sofa. "Since meeting you it's been hellishly hard getting past the roadblocks you kept throwing up."
"I had to protect Kate. She was safe, her past a secret. No one could hurt her." Caroline dabbed her teary eyes with a couple of tissues. "Until you walked into the clinic I had my life under control. I risked returning to Markbridge because I thought you were permanently out of the country. I didn't care if anyone recognized me. I wasn't hiding anything. I didn't think it was important to announce I'd attended school here. I'd been away for years and made a life for myself."
She wrapped her arms around her waist. "I feel like I've been swept out to sea, struggling to feel solid ground under my feet, struggling to find a safe place, struggling to see the sky."
Emotionally drained she edged away from him. "I can't get my mind around the fact you're here and nothing will ever be the same. Everything has changed. Can't you feel it?"
"I sure can. It's as if the earth has shifted under my feet, and not just to-day. After I met you at the lake, heard the sirens and someone said a woman on a bike had been hit by a car I tried not to think the worst, but I thought it. It was a nightmare. When I got to the accident and saw you wrapped in a blanket, alive and reasonably well...I."
He blinked. Moisture shone in his eyes. "I thanked the gods who look after doctors riding bikes."
A rueful smile tipped his lips. "Remembering the name of Big Jack Weaver was the icing on the cake, the catalyst bringing us together."
"I could have missed going to the lake. I rode in to get a drink that's all."
"It's a small world and Markbridge is a small town. We'd have met sometime, somewhere. Last night was a link in the chain we forged thirteen years ago."
"It's a broken chain. We're different people now. You are not who I thought you were and I have to get used to who you are now. Does that make sense?"
If fate had taken a hand in their lives she could let go. She could let him into her life. Slowly.
"You puzzled me." Greg said. "I couldn't figure out why you froze me with an icy stare when I offered to water your dying petunias in the window box at the clinic. You made a lasting impression. You reminded me of a wary animal ready to pounce if I got too close."
"I wanted you to go away and never come back."
He grinned. "I don't give up easily. I had to figure out why you were so uptight around me. I don't frighten small children or kick dogs. So what was it? A feeling of something connecting us? I decided to get to know you."
Caroline shifted around to gaze in his eyes. "To me you were bad news but I couldn't stay away from you. It was like being pulled in two directions. I made excuses why I didn't want to see you again and ended up driving to your home when I could have phoned."
Greg kissed her lightly on the lips. "Doesn't that tell you something?"
Caught off guard she hadn't expected the kiss and tried to remain cool while her heartbeat bounced around. Too unsure to rush into a relationship with him, she slid farther along the sofa to give herself breathing room.
"I'm not sure what it tells me. Part of me wanted to hurt you for abandoning me, part of me wanted to figure out what kind of man you'd become."
"What have you decided?"
A flush warmed her face and she lowered her gaze. "You're considerate and thoughtful and I'd like to get to know you."
"Why not start now? My life is an open book, boring in parts but mildly exciting, like the time I climbed a tree to rescue a cat that didn't want to be rescued."
Trust him to make her smile. "What happened?"
"I fell and broke my ankle."
"And the cat?" Caroline asked.
"It smirked at me as I lay on the ground clutching my ankle. The cat eventually worked its way down. My ankle was in a cast for six weeks."
"I've nothing as exciting in my life as treed cats so I suggest we eat. You offered to make coffee. I'll do bacon and eggs. You do the toast. We'll have breakfast together."
He stood, grasped her hands and drew her up to stand directly in front of him. "Before embarking on breakfast, I have something to say to you."
Caroline's knees wobbled. "Good or bad?"
"Depends on how you respond."
"You'd better tell me."
"I love you."
"You can't, I mean how can you? You don't know me."
"I know Caroline Balfour. I want to know Kate Southern."
He loved her. Her emotions in a free fall, she slid her hands out of his.
"I'm the same person I've always been. Katherine Janice Southern Balfour. "Don't rush me, Greg. I'm not sure of anything right now. I'm carrying a lot of baggage where you're concerned."
She sighed. "It's like starting over with a clean slate. Getting to know you. You getting to know me."
He loved her. How could he?
She hugged herself. Being loved felt good, like being cocooned in warmth.
Was his love for real? It didn't seem possible. She wiped her eyes with crumpled tissues. Too much was happening too fast. She clutched at straws. "When did you decide you loved me?"
Greg grinned. "I sent you a dozen red roses after you impolitely dismissed me from your office."
Caroline bit back a smile. "So you fell in love with a bad tempered harridan. Right?"
"Not quite. I rescued the harridan from a thunderstorm."
Caroline shivered. "I almost jumped out of your car when I recognized you."
The memory embarrassed her. He'd been kind, calmed her shaky nerves and offered to carry her groceries into the house. She'd rudely refused his help.
"I'm sorry I was ungrateful. I had to get away. I didn't want you reminding me of the past."
He folded her in his arms. "Caroline, the past is behind us. We have a future together."
"It's too soon to think about a future when we've just met."
She eased away from him but not too far. She liked being close to him, liked being loved, but she had to be careful. A panicky quiver fluttered around her heart.
"Greg, we have to be sensible. This part of our lives started when you walked into the clinic. I don't understand how you can love me. I haven't been loveable."
"You were untouchable more than unlovable. I wanted to touch you, to hold your hand. I lay awake at night working out devious schemes to lure you into spending time with me. I was running out of fresh ideas when you arrived at the party last night." He kissed her. "That shook me up."
"And me." His kiss shook her up. The panicky shiver morphed into a desire for more kisses, more touching, his hands roaming over her. She snuggled back into his arms. Her 36B breasts, not great by Tansy Somerville's standards, reacted with nipples peaking like they wanted to escape to freedom and find their way into Greg's mouth.
Slow down. Cool it. One kiss and she's like a basket case.
Pulses danced seductively where they shouldn't be dancing. If she and Greg were to have a future she'd have to be sensible until the time was right. He was ready to roll. A few more kisses and she'd roll with him and maybe regret it.
He said he loved her. It was unreal, like finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow and wondering if it was real, and if it was, what to do about it.
"This is wild, isn't it? The way everything has turned out." Caroline's world had taken a three hundred and sixty degree spin and she wasn't sure where and how to land safely.
"As if you can't believe what's happening," Greg said.
"It's like shedding a skin. Like being unprotected. Like not being sure what to do first."
"Trust me, Caroline. I will never hurt you."
She knew in her heart he never would. She was safe with him. Tears beaded her lashes.
"You're crying."
"No I'm not. I mean, yes I am, but they're not sad tears."
"Right. Not sad." He wiped a tear trickling down her cheek.
"I don't know whether I'm on my head or my heels or dancing on air or..." She hesitated almost afraid to say the words. "Or falling in love."
"Falling in love sounds good to me. Want to give it a try?"
Caroline drew in a deep calming breath. "Not yet. I think we should begin at the beginning and start dating like two ordinary people who have been introduced by a well meaning friend and are attracted to each other. It'll give the town gossips something to talk about."
"How about we start today?" Greg kissed the top of her head.
Pleasurable tingles rippled into desire. Her breasts swelled against the lacy bra. If she breathed deeply again they'd pop out.
"We can spend the day together." She almost said day and night but wasn't ready for lovemaking until she was absolutely sure of her feelings. There'd be no turning back when she took a giant step into the future with him. Until then she'd cool it.
He held her at arm's length. "You have a date this evening."
"I do?"
"With Mark Moreland."
"I'll cancel it."
"That's my girl." He drew her slowly towards him. "Do we kiss on a first date?"
"Like now?"
"Like now." He kissed her.
She flicked the tip of her tongue along his lips. "If today counts as our first date I think we should do it right."
"Like this."
Caroline melted into the kiss. "Like that," she murmured and nestled into the warmth of his arms. "I think this is going to work if we take our time."
He tilted his head and gazed into her eyes. "What's going to work?"
"You and me."
He grinned. "I knew it when I saw you at the clinic. That's the woman for me, I said to myself. You didn't know it but your days as a single lady doctor were numbered."
"I'm surprised you didn't ask to marry me when I tossed you out of my office. You seem to thrive on tough love."
"Only yours. Only yours." He kissed her. "Cancel your dinner date. You and I are spending the day together. Uninterrupted. Somewhere quiet."
"What about Davie?"
"My mother's home for a couple of weeks. She's having a ball with her first grandchild." He shrugged. "I miss looking after the little guy. He got me thinking."
"About what?"
"About getting married, having a family."
"Are we talking about marriage? About you and me?"
"It's what I want, what about you?"
"Married with children? You're moving too fast, Greg. I'm not there yet. I used to dream about having a husband and a family. Maybe three kids."
"I think that's brilliant. When do we start?"
Caroline raised her brows. "As soon as I get used to being in love with you."
"How long will that take?"
"I'm not sure. A day, maybe two, maybe longer."
"Sounds good. I'll get the marriage license. Tell me when and I'll be on your doorstep to sweep you away."
She started to laugh. "I have to arrange for a temporary replacement at the clinic. I can't walk out on my patients to go on a honeymoon."
A troubling thought crossed her mind. "What will your parents think of you rushing into marriage with a stranger? Do they have to know about...?" She couldn't finish what she started to say.
He clasped her hands and kissed them. "No one has to know about the pregnancy if that's worrying you."
"I'd just as soon not discuss it with your parents. It would open old wounds and since you didn't recognize me, I don't think your father will. It would make him feel bad if I reminded him of what happened. I don't want that."
A frown furrowed Greg's brow. "I wish I could change the past. I wish..."
"I know you do but we can't so I propose we do something fun today to make up for lost time. After breakfast let's pack up and go on a picnic. I've got fruit in the fridge and the fixings for sandwiches."
She studied the sadness lurking in his eyes. "We'll find a peaceful place to talk and get to know each other." A roguish smile touched her lips. "As soon as I fall in love with you we'll get married and start a family."
"Is that a promise?" Greg asked.
"It's a promise," Caroline replied.
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