Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

BEYOND DEATH by Deb McEwan – my review

This book has been lying in my kindle reader for a while, because it is not the sort of read you just nibble on as a fun snack. With so much death as 2016 drew to a close, it seemed an appropriate topic to tackle.

I have to admit I had no idea what to expect ftom this story, but the premise seemed intriguing and the catchy beginning hooked me from the start. Writing about the paranormal is like dancing the thin line between poignant and unsubstantial, but author Deb McEwan certainly has important things to relay. Despite the afterlife topic and the element of ghost, angels and devils, the author manages not to turn this into a horror, but more a contemporary family drama. In fact, the horrible events in the book keep happening in the “real” life, not in the beyond. It felt gratifying to read how the villains are dealt with, although the author never makes it all peachy and nice, aware that the battle of evil vs. good is eternal.

Interesting plots and subplots which all intertwine and merge, clean writing and an uncommon premise will keep your interest throughout the story, especially if you like reading about angels and the afterlife. We all wonder what comes next, right?


Why authors ♡ their characters

So excited to announce I will be hosting quite a few authors in February, ranging from children’s books to SF&horror authors. And no, they will NOT be posting their Valentine’s Day wishes.

They will be explaining why it is they each love one of their characters. One? True, they were not happy I made them choose, but you, my dear readers, will be able to read such fun and interesting posts, as each author takes on their own twist on the given task. 

What a quirky Valentine’s month this will be!

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Winky the Penguin goes on an expedition

​”One day, Winky decides to leave his home and go exploring. He sets out on an expedition to look for colours! He leaves his home early in the morning, while everyone else is still sleeping and the night sky is just turning from black into grey.

Winky looks back at his home, sighs sadly, but bravely waddles on.

Winky walks and waddles and swims, and walks and waddles and swims for a long time. Then he comes to an ice block and decides to rest.


This is a sneak peek into my children’s book Winky’s Colours, which combines topics such as polar animals, environmental issues and even some romance. It is a chapter book with additional questions to help parents, teachers and children think about the story and what they would do. As a teacher and mum, I know very well how stories promote critical and creative thinking, empathy, problem-solving skills and imagination.

The book is available as ebook and paperback on LuluAmazon  Barnes&NobleiBooks and Kobo.

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It is not very often I share someone else’s quotes here, but this one just nails it. This matters, this is what I want our children to grow up to and into.
Purpose. Period. No gender, no race, no divisions. Purpose.#kindness #positivity

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The Border Lines by L.E. Fitzpatrick

This is indeed a treat – being able to introduce you to a great author and be part of her Blog Tour – so meet Border Lines by L.E. Fitzpatrick! All the info is provided here about her new release. I hope you find her writing as intriguing as I do. I was fascinated by the intro to the series, her short story Safe Haven, and am currently readint The Running Game, the first novel in the series. The Border Lines will definitely follow.


When the perfect job comes up, Charlie doesn’t think twice about taking it. This is the break he’s been looking for and nobody, not even the rest of his team, can persuade him otherwise.

The job means working for an old enemy and crossing the border into London. Both are risky, but Charlie has no idea how high the stakes really are. The team will have to confront their past, each other and a killer who is closer than they realize. But can they all make it out of the city alive?

“We all remember that kid in Piccadilly. That determined look he had on his face as he willed all those people to him. Just using his mind, he pulled them close then blew them all to pieces. It could be anyone. Your neighbour, your friend, your lover. Remain vigilant. Reachers are everywhere.”

Border Lines is the second book in L.E. Fitzpatrick’s Reachers series.

Buy Links

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Amazon AU: 

Amazon DE: 

Start with Book One, The Running Game

Rachel’s father called it the running game. Count the exits, calculate the routes, and always be ready to run.

On the surface, Rachel is just an ordinary doctor, but she has a secret. Rachel is a Reacher, wanted by the government and the criminal underworld for her telekinetic powers.

Charlie and his brother John have a reputation for doing the impossible. But after losing his family, Charlie is a broken mess and John is barely keeping him afloat. In desperation, they take a job from a ruthless crime lord, only to discover the girl they are hunting is a Reacher… one of their own kind.

With the help of dangerous and dubious allies, can Rachel turn the game around and save herself?


Amazon US: 

Amazon UK: 

Amazon AU: 

Amazon DE:


Prizes: 1 x $10 Amazon Gift Card, 1 x signed paperback, The Running Game, 3 x ebook copy, The Running Game


About the author

L E Fitzpatrick was born in Hull, East Yorkshire, but now lives in West Wales, with her family plus lots of dogs and cats. She manages an office, volunteers as a room steward for the National Trust and also supports independent authors as a proofreader and beta reader. She obviously has no spare time because of this, but if she did it would probably be invested in walking in the countryside and enjoying the peace and quiet.

L E Fitzpatrick published her first series Dark Waters in 2011 and is currently working on her Reacher series.


1. What’s your latest project?

I’ve been working on the Reacher series for a few years. The latest released instalment is Border Lines, which is book 2 in the series. I’ve got book 3 in draft and due to go off to editing soon. And all being well I’ll be working on book 4 in the forthcoming weeks. So basically my project is my Reacher series and it probably will be for a little while yet.

2. What is your favourite character among the ones you created?

I get asked this a lot and the answer is always the same: Roxy. Although he’s not the lead, he’s a great character to write, especially when things get dark. He adds a little bit of comedy relief, but there are many layers to his personality and each book uncovers something special about him. Whereas in The Running Game he was full of bravado and confidence, in Border Lines he’s much more vulnerable and repentant.

3. What has been the most difficult thing for you to write so far?

The most difficult thing to write is always blog posts. I have a blog and, as you will see from my last entry, I just don’t use it. I can sit and write for hours and hours when it’s a novel or a short story, but I am totally useless and creating anything snappy and interesting to read online.

4. How do you deal with criticism, promotional activities, editing/proofreading?

I would hope that, as I work as an editor and proofreader as well, I cope very well with the whole finishing process. In truth I quite enjoy it. Marketing is another story. I rely heavily on a great company called Eyes on Books, who I’ve worked with throughout the Reacher series. I’m just not marketing minded. And criticism, well I have a know it all 8 year old who is smarter than me, so I’m subjected to a lot of criticism on a daily basis. You learn to grow a thick skin. And my key is to consider all criticism, if I agree with points raised then I’ve learned something, if I don’t, then I can disregard the feedback and it doesn’t get to me.

5. What are your writing plans for the future?

The Reacher series is my main focus at the moment, but I’m also hoping to do more with my Dark Waters fantasy stories. Ideally one day I’d like to write a kids’ book for my son, but with my current schedule he probably won’t get it until his twenties.

6. What makes you happiest in the writing process?

Each stage of writing has its own merits. I think when I’m undertaken a stage, be it first draft, fourth draft, editorial, it’s all pretty awful and I want to throw in the towel. But when I look back there are two drafts I really love; the first is second draft when I’ve got most of the story together and I can work on imagery and content, the other is the editorial stage, just because I love going through the text line by line (as you have probably guessed I don’t get out much).

7. What do people usually say about your writing?

The one thing everyone feeds back to me is my characters. I’m a character writer and if the characters don’t work the book falls apart. Particular in the Reacher series readers have favourites of the main four characters, which always amuses me. I hear a lot of “I’m a John fan” or “I’m more of a Charlie girl.” I love getting feedback like this and hearing what readers want for the future. Unfortunately the series is almost entirely planned out, so in many cases I know the readers won’t get what they want – but they’ll be surprised and hopefully delighted anyway.

8. If you didn’t write, would you try any other arts or crafts?

There is a part of me that likes to think I’m incredibly arty. I’m not. I can’t sing, dance, play, draw. The only thing I can do is graphics on a computer, which I have cobbled together for book promotions. Probably if I wasn’t writing books I’d be decorating them instead.

9. What was your favourite book when you were younger or a child? Why?

My all time favourite book as a kid was Pride and Prejudice. I read it in school. Then read it. And read it. And re-read it. And have several copies in case one goes missing. And why do I love it? Well as a teenager I was really taken with Elizabeth Bennet, who despite being of the weaker sex, was strong and determined and very witty. The connection between her and Darcy was electric and clever. I always felt they were on an equal playing field, because if they weren’t they wouldn’t be interested in each other.

10. Do you have any special promos, charity releases, appearances or book releases you’d like to tell us about?

I’ve got a few appearances this year. I’ll be attending the author signing event in Manchester in mid August. There’s Darker Side of Fiction event in Peterborough in October. Then in 2018 I’ll be heading off to the Titanic centre in Belfast for an amazing book event. Hopefully I’ll manage some events in Wales and hey, if anyone wants to invite me further afield I’m always happy to oblige.

Social Links





However long it took the greeting was always the same. Border watch stopped each car, surveying it with suspicion before checking the passes of the passengers. Babies to pensioners were inspected, their ID’s scanned and, if the border patrol took offence, they’d even strip search travellers in the street.

Rachel rapped her knuckles on the passenger seat as the car ahead of them started to move forward. This was closer than she had ever dared go to the border. There were stories about guards having scanners that picked up Reachers, even if that was a lie it still left her fake ID and the boot full of weapons to worry about. The urge to use her powers was overwhelming, but Charlie insisted they get through legitimately – well as legitimately as fake ID’s and a car full of weapons would allow.

She glanced at John as he drove forward. He was focused, but unconcerned with the task at hand. The brothers were used to crossing the border. They’d seen what it was like on the other side. She hadn’t even seen through the gates. The world she was used to was the one they were parked in – dirty, decaying, depressing. What could be hiding behind that concrete wall? How good was it on the other side?

It was their turn. Rachel followed John and Charlie’s lead, placing their hands on the dashboard and the front seat. Three border police circled their car. One ducked down to see underneath and, satisfied, they gestured that John slowly open the window.

“Passes,” the man ordered, shuffling his rifle back onto his shoulder.

Rachel handed the three fake passes to John, her heart racing. John handed them to one watchman to process, while another began his interrogation.

“Is this your first visit to London?”

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THE RUNNING GAME by LE Fitzpatrick – my review

Having read the introductory, teaser short story Safe Haven, I was immediately attracted to the Reacher Series, hoping it would not let my expectations down. Safe Haven grabbed me instantly with relatable, yet extraordinary characters and a wonderfully relentless action pace, and I am thoroughly pleased to say the Running Game not only does not disappoint but even enhances the experience. 

This paranormal thriller, dystopian yet not depressing (hmm… well, no, it offers hope throughout, trust me), revolves around an unusual group of men balancing the thin line between trying to save (or betray) a tremendously fascinating young lady named Rachel from a lunatic underworld lord, as well as the government who have been persecuting Reachers, terrified of their amazing supernatural powers. The author deals with the everlasting fear of the unknown by those trying to harness powers beyond human comprehension for a simple motive such as greed; she displays violence and oppression as their ultimate strategy, and shows us the simple, down-to-earth everyday people trying to get by day in and day out, and form semi-meaningful relationships and semblances of a normal life. I am trying to avoid spoilers here, because the plot is absolutely worth it.

An obvious master of developing characters and plots, LE Fitzpatrick is a highly promising author who engages the reader on various levels and has you rooting for one or more of them, hating and loving them at the same time. It is not easy to write about supernatural powers and/or the lowest of the lowlife and still manage to make your readers grow fond of them, but Fitzpatrick’s love for her characters is completely infectious. I will not divulge my favourites, simply because there are several of them. They are all survivors, and hence the hope I mentioned earlier. The Running Game is a relentless survival story which kept me up reading. My favourite part is seeing how many of her characters’ secrets the author is still keeping from us, which makes me eager to read on. Onwards to The Border Lines then!

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Hug Away

Happy #InternationalHugDay!

I hope you’ve hugged and been hugged today! 

#penguin #kidlit #chapterbook #parenting #environment #children 

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International Book Giving Day

Delighted to share this event!

2017 Poster Reveal –

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Meet Paul White

You may remember the other day when I had the pleasure of introducing you to a new book, Life in the War Zone, by Paul White. Well, lucky for me and you, Paul managed to take some time out of his busy schedule and do an interview. Enjoy yourselves meeting Mr White, in the print!


1. Who are you in a nutshell?

Answer 1: I am Just a simple man, with ten-thousand stories inside his head I need to share with you.

2. What’s your latest project?

Answer 2: Creating ‘Life in the War Zone’. I wanted to share the emotions and inner thoughts, the fears and dreams of those caught between warring factions. The resilience and fortitude of ordinary people is actually most extraordinary. 

3. What was the most difficult thing for you to write so far? 

Answer 3: I have a part written work, (working title ‘Lucky’), consigned to the back burner. It follows a man through his entire life, but I wrote myself into a messy wilderness! I need to re-write the whole story and make changes. Now I cannot seem to find the time to resurrect Lucky!

4. How do you deal with criticism, promotional activities, editing/proofreading?

Answer 4:  I have never worried about critics, each to their own view. 

I work endlessly at promoting my work and experiment with alternative ways to get my books seen. So far, the best has been when working in conjunction with other authors. 

As for editing and proofing, they are an evil necessity and most authors nightmare! We are creative folk, not engineers or technical geeks, we want to move on, get the next story out of our heads and into a book. Always best to use a professional editor. Stops you pulling your hair out! 

5. What are your writing plans for the future?

Answer 5: I have two books underway, one is a ‘slasher’ type novel called ‘Floyd’ about an escaped psychopath on a revenge spree. 

The other is completely different; it is titled ‘On the Highway of Irreverent Rumination and Delusion‘, it is based on my old blog series of the same name. Simply it is a record of my musings, all the random and weird ideas, concepts, thoughts and insights running through my mind when behind the wheel of my car. Fun, insightful and somewhat disturbing!

6. Which books/authors do you admire and why?

Answer 6: This is an easy question. The problem is I could write an entire thesis about this! 

To spare you that, I will simply say Norman MacLeod for his amazing book ‘Do not go Gentle’ and Crena Rohan (Deirdre Cash), for ‘Down by the Dockside’. 

Both books touched my soul as a young teenager and have stayed with me, hauntingly (but in a nice way), ever since. 

I think that is what a great book is supposed to do.

For humour (satire and sarcasm), I would recommend everybody reads at least one of Saki’s books. (Hector Hugh Munro/H.H. Monro). 

The Unbearable Bassington, or the Bodly head collection would be a good place to start.

7. What makes you happiest in the writing process?

Answer 7: Getting lost, totally and utterly lost in the nether world of my own stories. 

You see, the only way I can write fiction is to go there, to become, to be my characters, to live each moment, each scene as if it is real.

8. If you didn’t write, would you try any other arts or crafts?

Answer 8: Yes. Before I wrote, well before I wrote professionally I was a Chef, I had my own restaurants. That is an amazingly creative craft.

Now, when I am not writing I create digital art, I design book covers and I book fold. I also ‘potter about’ in the shed making ‘stuff’ from scrap metal  wood!

9. What was your favourite book when you were younger or a child? Why?

Answer 9: I could not possibly give an answer to this. I was an avid reader from about seven or eight. By that age I was reading Dickens and W Somerset Maugham, books like ‘the moon & Sixpence’.

I think the first book I read was The Butterfly Revolution by William Butler. My sister, several years older than I, left it laying on the coffee table. I picked it up one night and read it with the aid of a touch under the bed covers. I read it in one go. It was light, sunrise when I finished. 

10. Do you have any special promos, charity releases, appearances or book releases you’d like to tell us about? 

Answer 10: I must and I mean I must tell you about ‘Looking into the Abyss’. This is the first anthology I attempted to create.

I was full of trepidation venturing into realms unknown. But soon I had the support and backing of ten other authors and an editor. That was followed by the another offer to create the cover….and why, because each and every one of those amazing people wanted to help save the Rhinoceros from the evil of the poachers.

They, like me do not want to see these wonderful beasts hunted to extinction. So the book, Looking into the Abyss was created to help raise funds to for the protection of the Rhino.

Will you join us and buy a copy to help, please?

By all means, please give this book a chance. It offers a variety of short stories and an opportunity to do good. Thank you, Paul, for this unique opportunity to know more about you and your work. 

More about Life in the War Zone and the links to all Paul’s work can be found in this post.

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Recognizing love

Sometimes people are so silly. They don’t see love staring them right in the face. I am so happy my readers have recognized Priscilla as a quirky, yet romantic modern woman with old-style dreams of Mr. Right.

Allow me to share some review links and quotes…
“The character of Priscilla is delightful. As the tale unwinds Priscilla’s personality explodes from the pages. Amusing, tender, and a little kooky she endears the reader with her daydreams of a doctor, a fireman, and a choreographer among others.” 

“I loved getting lost in Priscilla’s world and her carb diet with lots of coffee! A well written romantic comedy.”

“Priscilla is the ‘Average Daydreamer’ but there’s nothing average about her. Successful in her professional but not in her love life, she’s looking for her perfect Mr Right. But will she find him? ‘Average Daydreamer’ is Anita Kovacevic’s first comedy romance and it has plenty of funny and cringe-worthy moments. The characters are so well written that they feel real; I’ve certainly met a few Priscilla’s in my time!”

Reviews are much appreciated by authors – even the simplest one is a jewel!

This light romantic comedy is available as an e-book and paperbook on Lulu, Amazon, iTunes and Kobo.

PS: You can find my books (children’s and adult) on:






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