Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing


Doing inventory, can you believe it? And suddenly it strikes me – teaching and writing CAN co-exist in my life. Time management-wise, it’s 90% teaching and 10%writing, but hey – epur si muove! 

My book links:

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Crooked is sometimes great

One of my favourite anthologies is Crooked Tales. I was invited to participate with a short story on revenge and deceit, and I honestly thought I’d have nothing to give. Lucky for me, sometimes it only takes an image to inspire a story, and two fellow writer/editors to help iron out the rough edges and voila – “Beneath” is one of my short stories I am really proud of. 

Thank you, Mark Fine and Geoff Nelder, for the ironing bits which have mde all the difference. Even Goodreads readers have noticed it.

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THE JIGSAW & THE FAN by Stewart Bint – new release

It gives me great pleasure to feature a new book by a most creative author and all around kind man – Stewart Bint!

Stewart Bint biography

In a nutshell:

International novelist published by Dragon Moon Press. Journalist/magazine columnist. Active awareness campaigner for mental health and sepsis. Named on the 2016 list of “Inspirational Mental Health Advocates that are changing the world.”

Previous roles include radio presenter, newsreader and phone-in host.

Married to Sue, with two grown-up children, Chris and Charlotte, and a charismatic budgie called Alfie

Lives in Leicestershire, UK. Usually goes barefoot. 

Novels: The Jigsaw And The Fan; Timeshaft; In Shadows Waiting; 

Novellas: Malfunction; Ashday’s Child. 

Short story collection: Thunderlands. 

Non fiction: Up Close And Personal

Anthologies: Awethology Dark; December Awethology Light; Blood Moon
Stewart Bint now puts a little bit of flesh on the bones:

“I’m just an ageing hippy who goes barefoot almost all the time and likes to entertain people through stories. My books aren’t great art and they’re not great literature, but my readers tell me they’re entertaining, so that’s good enough for me. 

“I was born in the dim and distant past (under extreme torture I have been known to admit to 1956). I have worked both for the BBC and commercial radio as a newsreader, current affairs presenter and ‘phone-in host. Now I’m a novelist, magazine columnist, and Public Relations writer.  

Family life – I’m married with two grown-up children, and an extremely charismatic budgie called Alfie. 

I was written by the writing bug when I was seven in 1963, through watching the original series of what has been my favourite television series ever since: Doctor Who. Even at that young age I was enraptured by the storylines which can take place at any time in the past and future, and absolutely anywhere in the universe and beyond.  I started creating my own worlds and characters, writing my stories in little blue notebooks until my parents bought me a portable typewriter for my 9th birthday. 

And those make-believe worlds became invaluable after my Dad died when I was 11. I retreated more and more into those places where I was in control of my characters’ fate, knowing that whatever happened to them during the story I would make sure they were okay in the end. My worlds were certainly better thn the real one at that time.

In my twenties it was my ambition to become a published novelist by the time I was 30. Hhmmm, I was 26 years too late with that…achieving it when I was 56 in 2012. I’d kept on writing fiction as a hobby, but it was only on holiday, bobbing up and down with a friend in the Caribbean Sea when he said I ought to seriously try and get published.

So I dusted down an old manuscript, gave it a thorough working over and submitted it. Now, with three novels, two novellas, a collection of short stories, a compilation of my early magazine columns, and a contributor to several short story anthologies, I’m mighty glad I took his advice.  




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The Jigsaw And The Fan

How much trouble can one disgruntled ghost really cause?
Stewart Bint’s latest novel has been published as a paperback and ebook by Dragon Moon Press.

The Jigsaw And The Fan is described as social satire.

Albert Carter has died, and finds himself in the spirit world, to get sorted out at St Christopher’s gates. Having been a successful shop steward picketing the management of Jebson’s Glue Factory on behalf of his colleagues, he feels confident his final destination is Heaven, with the rest of the decent, honest working class.

However, on arrival at St Christopher’s Doomsday Ministry, an inspectors’ strike means all spirits in transit have to be temporarily repatriated to Earth as ghosts, until the dispute is settled.

Albert’s ghostly assignment is his worst nightmare: a wealthy Lord’s manor which operates on the hard-earned wages of his own class.

Immediately on arrival, he decides to ruin the capitalist family, and begins his unlawful haunting as the Ghost of Marlston Manor. Watching him from the heavens is a host of guardian angels, elders, overlords and scribes – all scrambling to undo the havoc that Albert is blunderingly creating in his short stint as a ghost.

The final straw comes as Albert riles up a “fright” of ghosts to collude and protest their sentences on Earth – and Albert finally faces St Christopher. 

So it’s pure satire, from start to finish, looking at various levels of conflict.

And, as we all know, conflict of some sort is at the heart of almost every story.

The conflict in The Jigsaw And The Fan comes in many guises:  Albert v. the management of Jebson’s Glue factory; Albert v. Lord Maxwell Filchester Barrington-Pottesherbert; Wallace v. Mozelbeek; and the inspectors v. St Christopher.  

Stewart Bint explains that the original idea for the book stemmed from his days working for BBC Radio, reading the news and presenting current affairs programmes during the time of the bitter miners strike in the UK. 

“I wanted to tell a story about the futility of such disputes, looking especially at how both sides are as bad as each other. Never having been involved personally in anything like that miners strike…just interviewing miners, their families, and the police regularly…I knew I could never capture the raw emotion that would be needed to make a hard-hitting book a success.

“So I chose to satirise the miners strike in this way, without actually mentioning it once in the book.”

Feel free to share Stewart’s news, read and review books and recommend them to your friends!

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Moments in time

​From HERE TO FISH, an essay by Stephen Geez in his collection Been There, Noted That (a cherished gift from a cherished friend):

“But it’s moments in time that we have to watch for. No matter what you do, or where you go, or how hard you try, there will always be snakes in one form or another crossing your path, and there will be only so many days in a year when sunshine dapples the water while trees weep willowflies and schools of bream gorge . . .”

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Absent-minded bloglord

Yep, dayjob takes its toll. My sanity, my book editing, illustrations – all on hold. Just doodled something to relax. I think it has helped.

While doodling, I was wondering why I wasn’t writing or editing, reading to review, or working on the commissioned illustrations. 

So I added colour.

While colouring, I realized I was beginning to relax. My mind was almost blank, just letting some inner voice choose the colours, and being somewhat careful not to colour outside the lines, kind of like a child. It felt good.

Also played with it in Pixlr.

And I enjoyed it. Why? It took me a while to realize. It’s very simple really. 

I was doing something I felt like, not something I had to.

Yep, it has been that kind of a week. Month. Well, months…

But this too shall pass. I hope you all find your mantra, hobby, comfort zone… Have a good weekend!

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HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER by M. Yu – my review

​Such joy! I thoroughly enjoyed both the vivid illustrations and flowing writing in this book. I cannot wait to share it with my little learners, as well as my own child who would love to be tucked in by a monster. Such a fun approach to creative parenting, and lovable characters one and all! I will be looking forward to reading more books by his author.

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Gems of Gratitude – new release

Gems of Gratitude

Releasing November 14th, 2016

Author List:

Alana Madden

Chrissy Moon

Christie Stratos

Elizabeth Horton-Newton

Karen J. Mossman

LG Surgeson

Lily Luchesi

Markie Madden

(and one possible: Kristy Wagner)
From the Gems of Strength authors comes the second book in the Gems of Sisterhood series! The theme of this book is, of course, gratitude!

Meet Detective Cara Solino, a young woman following in her father’s footsteps. Can she solve the case he was unable to?

Find out how Chloe’s mother discovers a way to keep her daughter’s dream alive under the worst possible circumstances! Read about young Lady Iona, a child of the Elven Forest, as she struggles to give her daughter a fighting chance in a harsh world.

Cheer on Sharliss as she finally takes control of her own life, and becomes a better person. Meet Julie, who gathers information on history, and Jody, an elderly dog whose time to cross The Rainbow Bridge is near. These stories and more are within these pages, just waiting for YOU!

Pre-Order Gems Of Gratitude via:

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It is early Sunday morning and most of the household is asleep. My teenage son is up, playing his acoustic guitar. I cannot begin to tell you how blissful his music makes me feel. It transports him into his perfect, happy, complete self and it transpires into music. Here is hoping all our children find what they love to do, get support from us and persist in their dreams. It is how we make the world beautiful.

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Be a Kid

Isn’t it amazing how magical and powerful bedtime stories can be?

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