Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

Reviews matter, but they don’t make us writers

Seriously, I love this post by a great fellow author. Very constructive and concrete, concise and supportive. Authors, take heed.

Derailed & Disappointed? Maybe not. –

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As happy as a penguin?


Happy World Penguin Day 2016 with my favourite children’s book – Winky’s Colours, the story about a tiny penguin brave enough to go looking for colours in his black&white world.

Amazon link for Winky’s Colours

#environment #parenting #teaching



EXCLUSIVE – Charity Event

Pls join #charity #event by @rotosis1 #diabetes #children

Plaisted Publishing House

Do you know someone with Type 1 Diabetes?  Are you willing to help them chase a cure for it?  If so read on.

‘Girlie and the War of the Wasps is a children’s book, which follows the adventure of Girlie, a young blue ladybug who follows a naughty wasp who has kidnapped her best friend.  Finding the next she learns they are not healthy normal wasps.  Seeing the dilemma she seeks out how to help the Queen wasp get healthy food again.

As many of you know a healthy, regular diet is part of helping those with Diabetes.  This book is to be released on the 28th April, to all online book stores as an eBook and in Print.  Al the work and those involved in this book have done so for free.  The aim is to give 40% of sales to ‘Chasing a Cure for Type 1…

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Shakespeare – why not?

Shakespeare – I wonder what he’d be writing in this day and age, or if he’d be writing at all… I wrote my diploma thesis based on his female characters and it was pure relish to read up on him and his work. Such wit, spunk and tenacity in his art! The multiple layers of meaning are eternally fascinating, and the wordplay is admirably fresh and cheeky!
Here is one of a multitude of interesting articles by Telegraph on his use of language.


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Art Therapy

My daughter knows when I need to draw…


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Winky in New Zealand


Newsflash! My children’s book Winky’s Colours got featured in the New Zealand indie publighing magazine by Plaisted Publishing! Woohoo!

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Life’s lesson learned?

This week life tried to teach me another one of its lessons. Actually, two.

1. You can’t control everything!
2. Trust people!

Sounds simple enough, right? A preschooler should get it. I guess I learn slow. Hubbie and I had been preparing our kid’s 6th birthday party, and I fussed over so many details, having just as many detailed and intricate plans at work at the same time. Workaholic control-freak mum? Ya think?

And then I went and caught a cold, the one that knocks you down with a really high fever and pain all over. No amount of guilt-tripping over my motherly and teacherly duties helped. Sick I was and it wasn’t going to vanish.

Work colleagues did everything above and beyond the call if duty. Hubbie, family and friends made the birthday magical.

Lesson learned? Well I still have some homework, revisions and tea to go through, but getting there.


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Fairies, pixies and whimsy – just my cup of children’s fiction

Today’s guest is a special treat for me and everyone who enjoys children’s fairytales. Sarah Hill, the author of ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’, her 8th ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s book, is here with some info and even a free sneak peek into the book and illustrations. Feast your eyes and share with your children!


Sarah Hill’s Bio

Sarah Hill is a children’s author and a small animal Vet. She gained her Veterinary Medicine degree at Bristol University in 1999 and worked in practice for 10 years. At that point she had her second daughter and soon after, she decided to take a career break. She was writing her children’s series, ‘Whimsy Wood’, at home in Wiltshire (with her husband, their baby son, two daughters, two dogs, two cats and “a partridge in a pear tree”!) for a good 2 years, before her work was taken on by Abela Publishing, based in Sandhurst, UK.

There are 35 books in the Whimsy Wood children’s series for 5-8 yr olds. These are divided into 5 sets of 7 books. Each book is written specifically for a month in the calendar, so the flora and fauna within the wood, change as you read through the series. Finally, there is a proverb hidden within every story for the reader to find, giving it real meaning. Please note that 10% of book sales is donated to The Wildlife Trusts, UK.

Book 1, ‘Posie Pixie And The Copper Kettle’, was published in July 2013. Book 2, ‘Posie Pixie And The Lost Matchbox’, was published in November 2013. Book 3, ‘Posie Pixie And The Torn Tunic’, was published in February 2014. Book 4, ‘Posie Pixie And The Fireworks Party’, was published in May 2014. Book 5, ‘Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree’, was published in October 2014. Book 6, ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’, was published in February 2015. Book 7, ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’, was published in June 2015 and book 8, ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’, was published in March 2016.

Synopsis for ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’

Meet Fearne Fairy! She loves to sing and fly but is hopeless at landing! ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’ is written for the magnificent month of March, so you’ll read about white wood anemones and yellow daffodils. You’ll also meet ‘Raspberry Rabbit’ and ‘Bertie and Beatrice Bunny’, as well as Fearne of course!

Come on this next exciting adventure in Whimsy Wood, with Fearne and the delightful woodland folk, in which sharing and teamwork play a crucial role in solving Fearne’s dilemma. As for what her dilemma actually is, well, I couldn’t possibly say! You’ll just have to read ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’ to find out!


Sneak peek:

‘ It was a beautiful, bright March morning and Spring had certainly sprung in Whimsy Wood. The dew-filled daffodils swayed in the breeze, while a choir of young chaffinches led by their singing teacher, Mrs Spottisdowne the sparrow, practised their spring songs.

Down on the woodland floor there were pretty yellow primroses and white wood anemones, which sparkled and shone like little iced gems in the spring sunshine.

Now somewhere in the middle of Whimsy Wood, was a large moss-covered tree stump. If you were to crouch down next to it and listen very, very carefully, you might just about hear a rather shrill voice singing a funny little tune. ….’



“This is a warm and lyrical spring tale, in which Fearne Fairy teaches some mischievous bunnies an important lesson. Whimsy Wood is a magical setting, filled with perky woodland characters.”- Sarah Hillier, County Children’s Librarian, Wiltshire, UK.

“I loved Fearne’s singing in this magical book. My new rabbit will be called Raspberry!” – Millie Westmacott, 5 years.

“A great bedtime story full of magical creatures and fluffy bunnies.” – Freya Love, 8 years.

“I love Fearne Fairy as she’s funny and friendly, clever and wise.” – Ella Evans, 6 years.

“Fearne Fairy and the Dandelion Clocks is a hot, buttered crumpet of a read; full of coziness and kindness.” – Beck Stubbs, Principal of Easton Royal Academy, Easton Royal, Pewsey, Wiltshire.

‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’ on GoodReads:-

‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’ on Amazon:-

Visit the home of The Whimsy Wood Series:-

The latest ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s book, direct from the publisher, Abela Publishing

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International Childrens’ Book Day – prizes!

Today is H. C. Andersen’s birthday and International Children’s Book Day. In honour if this event, I have decided to give away a free pdf of my children’s books. I have three books published so far, so it will be one of each. All the books are suitable for children from preschool levels up, about 4-10 years old, contain no violence, yet offer some additional activities such as riddles or rhymes.

Have a quick look:


To win the prize, simply have your child draw one of the main characters – a good pirate, a penguin or a squirrel. By the way, the pirate’s name is George and he only becomes a pirate to win the love of his sweetheart; the penguin’s name is Winky and he is a dreamer who wants to add some colours to his life; and the little diva squirrel is Mimi, who has to learn how to gather her own nuts.

You can post the photos of their drawings in the comments to this post of my Facebook blog, and don’t forget to have your children sign the drawings and write their age. Believe it or not, my children will pick the winners. They are the toughest critics you can find, trust me on that!

The deadline for the event is end of April. I hope you get creative! Happy drawing and don’t forget to read with a kid – you might learn a lot and you will certainly have tons of fun!

(Facebook is in no way affiliated with this event. It is just a little giveaway created by me in honour of this day and my love for children’s books.)

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