Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

Wonderful post by a friend who never fears to delve deep within

Do Whatever It Is Anyway (In Spite of Your Fears) –

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Have yourself a romantic 2016!


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2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,000 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Make the most of it!


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THE LION, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE by C.S.Lewis (children’s picture book edition) – my review no.43


Simply wonderful!

Isn’t it a joy to stumble onto a wonderful picture book version of a classical tale in a small town library and then share it with your child?

Ever since I first heard a version of the tales of Narnia, it became one of my favourite fantasy worlds ever. This is one of those stories you can read by yourself or to your children and students of all ages, especially if you have a suitable version for them. On the level of pure fairy tale, it is beautiful and educational, and on the level of metaphors, it is pure treasure. This particular version has all the elements of a perfect children’s book – a magical story, animals and fantasy creatures, children in trouble who save the world, a witch and a magnificent saviour. And on top of all, wonderful illustrations! Congratulations to the illustrator for a wonderful, old-fashioned depiction of Narnia and its characters! The level of language is also well chosen for little children – not too simplistic, yet including all the major elements of the story.

My five-year-old daughter loved to have me read it for her, and I can’t wait to share it with my little students. So much to tell them, so much to teach them, so much for them to think about and feel!

This book link on

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Carpe diem


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Bottles & Books 1st Annual Reader’s Choice Awards

Wooohooo! Nominated for:

best novella (The Threshold),

best reviewer and

best blog (Anita’s Haven on wordpress)!

Honoured to have even been mentioned! Drop by and kindly vote for your favourites!

Bottles & Books 1st Annual Reader’s Choice Awards


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Teaching with books

Mimi is adorable, spoiled and decisive! She kind of reminds me of someone…. Nah, it couldn’t be! Or could it?!

Do you have, know or teach a kid who is just so adorable and know it? So they get everyone to do stuff for them, even you? And when you finally make them do something on their own, they feel bigger than life, because, after all, independence IS freedom, right?

Well, I have kids and teach kids, so this story was developed for my lessons. It reads like a play, I even taught it as role play for my students, and contains a TPR rhyme as the turning point in the story. You can use it to teach family, forest animals, hibernation, adjectives, actions, body parts, confidence… And as always, there is a touch of magic in the book.


My illustrations are simple but effective – children like simplicity so the flashcard style and a good storyteller are all any story needs! Stories have always been a great tool for teaching children to think differently, to question and to have fun!

A book for kids and parents – Mimi Finds Her Magic! Available here and other places;)!



Awesome Teasers – THE PHOENIX PROJECT by author D.M. Cain


The wonderful D. M. Cain has a spectacular new project out which fantasy fans will battle over, and here it is!!!
(All the materials in this post have been provided by D.M. Cain herself and are used with her permission.)

The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain

The brand new edition of dystopian, psychological thriller The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain will be re-released on December 11th. Originally published in May 2014, this new Booktrope edition has had a complete editing overhaul plus a stunning new cover design.


The book will be available to buy from a wide range of digital and paperback distributors, including Amazon:

Author: D.M. Cain
Title: The Phoenix Project
Genre: Psychological thriller/Dark thriller/Dystopian
Book Content: Occasional adult language, graphic violence, and mild sexual content.
Original Cover Design from the first edition: 



How can you fight to the death, when you’ve given up on life?

A thought provoking and compelling dystopian world that will change the way you view justice…

A man fights for life—and redemption—in D. M. Cain’s riveting re-released novel, The Phoenix Project.

Britain has descended into chaos as violence and terrorist attacks seethe across this once-peaceful country. Outraged by the steady stream of lawlessness, citizens demand a harsher penal system, and the Phoenix Project is born.

In prisons across the country, inmates fight to the death in a weekly bloodbath while the nation cheers them on.

Raven Kennedy, a prisoner who has never forgiven himself for his unspeakable crime, struggles against his own guilt and self-loathing. But even as the real war wages on within himself, Raven is forced to battle some of the prison’s most ruthless killing machines. Can he survive long enough to unravel the anger and regret that shackle him—and one day find the forgiveness he seeks?

‘The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain is a superbly written debut, soaked in tension and intrigue,’ Jack Croxall, author of the ‘Tethers’ trilogy.

An interesting fact about The Phoenix Project: The horrifying ‘dark room’ in The Phoenix Project (a pitch-black sensory deprivation cell) was inspired by D.M. Cain’s visit to the Terror Haza in Budapest—a museum dedicated to the fascistic and communistic regimes that operated from the building. In the cellar of the Terror Haza are the old cells used to imprison and torture inmates. D.M. crawled inside a very low cell and shut the door, casting herself into total darkness. It was terrifying and claustrophobic, and she only lasted five minutes in there!


D.M. Cain Biography

D.M. Cain is a dystopian and fantasy author working for US publisher Booktrope. She has released three novels: The Phoenix Project – a psychological thriller set in a dystopian future, Soren – a middle-grade fantasy, and A Chronicle of Chaos – the first in a dark fantasy series. She is currently working on the next novel in the series, ‘The Shield of Soren’, and a novella to accompany it.

D.M. Cain is also a member of the International Thriller Writers and is one of the creators and administrators of the online author group #Awethors. Her short story ‘The End’ was published in Awethology Dark – an anthology by the #Awethors.

Cain lives in Leicestershire, UK, with her husband and young son, and spends her time reading, writing and reviewing books, playing RPGs and listening to symphonic metal.


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Awesome Teasers – THE EYE OF THE MARES by Rocky Rochford


Rocky Rochford is a prolific author, member of the #Awethors group, with an unstoppably strong creative streak. I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing his dark and witty short story The Devil You Know, and am proud to be part of his blog tour introducing his new book. Enjoy the show!

PS: all materials used in this post have been graciously provided by Rocky Rochford himself.


The Eye of Mares Blog Tour

To celebrate the release of the second instalment in the Rise of the Elohim chronicles, the Eye of Mares is going to blog hopping like a headlining rockstar, multiple showings for over the course of two weeks, with a new page shared with each appearance, continuing from where the last one went off and today I get to host the latest page:

The Eye of Mares – Part 5

…has matters of great importance to discuss.” The dragon turned human replied.
“Then let us go to him,” Shimay called back in response.

“No, not you, Shimay, he only wants us. You know, the Shanzi that matter.” The dragon, Mongra, burst out laughing. His brothers joined in before the three of them departed quickly, turning to clouds of shadows that disappeared from sight.

Gremora turned to Shimay and looked at him angrily. “Your tongue is getting careless, Shimay. You swore to serve Darkari to the very end. You took an oath and you will honour it.”

“I was born the day our race came to be. Not many a Shanzi here can boast such a thing, not you and not Darkari.” Shimay hissed. He was one of the oldest Shanzi to exist and one of the first to wage war on Oceania.

“A fact you remind me of often, but you are not the same as you were then. When you pledged allegiance to Darkari, you gave him most of your strength, as did the others who choose to follow him. He is your Master now and source of life. You can either serve him willingly and see Oceania become ours, or be made to serve him. You forfeited your choice a long time ago.”

Shimay glared at the Shanzi Warlock, only to watch him turn into a cloud of shadow and go join his fellow Generals and King.  Now alone, Shimay opened his mouth and let out a deafening roar of rage.

****Here concludes todays Page****

Be sure to check out the continuing blogs to watch the story continue, or pick up a copy direct from Amazon: The Eye of Mares – Out now!
You could even let the adventure continue and check out its prequel, where the story began and the series was created: The Spirit of Iris – Out now!

****Book specifics****
Author: Rocky Rochford
Illustrator: Ashleigh Longman
Title: The Eye of Mares
Series: Book 2 of the Rise of the Elohim Chronicles
Genre: Illustrated YA fantasy adventure
Book Content Rating: Suitable for ages 12 and up
Tag-line: “Darkness has many forms and Mares is its playground.”



Nearly four years have passed since Zach drew blade against the Shanzi Shimay and now the time has come for him to draw his sword once more. The Realm of Mares has fallen victim to invasion as three terrifying beasts of darkness, seek to destroy the world around them, as they await the inevitable arrival of their King.

With dark times ahead, the numbers of the Watchers on Iris has grown, as Zach is joined by seven fellow students, all too eager to prove their worth. It’s not long before the students are put to the test facing off against the Nein Navy and uncover a dark secret.

The stage is set and the Battle for Mares is under-way.

Rocky Rochford Biography


Rocky Rochford is your standard guy, if your standard guy scuba dives, partakes in underwater photographer and is a wake-boarding, adventure seeking, sword collecting, marine conservation supporter. After living life on the road and the places between, he finally settled down but not without benefiting from all the lessons life had to teach him.

Self-professed “Student of Everything, and Master of Nothing,” Rochford does not choose what he writes, but writes what chooses him, be it fantasy, crime, poetry, philosophy or even adventure. Life is a journey we all get to experience, just like a good book.

Every read into another of his typed works is another trip into the imagination of his mixed up, crazed and deranged mind and this year along those works include the likes of full novels and novellas such as:

London Calling – a Deep Water Novel (Spy Thriller)
Don’t Even Blink – Part of the Don’t Turn Around Trilogy (Horror)
Wait and Bleed – The Don’t Turn Around Collection (Horror collection of the entire Don’t Trilogy)
And now The Eye of Mares – Book 2 of the Rise of the Elohim Chronicles (Illustrated YA fantasy adventure)

Other works released by him, are a number of short stories pertaining to horror, paranormal and romance, as well as other works released as part of an anthology:
The Devil You Know (Paranormal short)
Salt in the Wound – Part of the Entwined Saga (Paranormal short)
The Food of Love (featuring Him & Her) – An Anthology by Solstice Publishing (Romance filled Anthology)
Him & Her (Romance Standalone release)
Don’t Say A Word (Horror)
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Volume II (featuring The Devil Before) – An Anthology by the Solstice Shadows (Paranormal themed Anthology)
Awethology Dark (featuring Ghosts) – An Anthology by the #Awethors (Adult stories pertaining to a darker theme)
The December Awethology Dark Volume (featuring Seven Years Bad Luck) – An Anthology by the #Awethors (Adult stories pertaining to a darker theme, set around December)

****Welcome to the World of Rochford****

Social Media Links:
Rocky Rochford’s website
Amazon page


Rochford writes a little something for everyone, so if Mares isn’t your cup of tea, you can guarantee one of his many other works certainly is!

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