Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

Have you learned to love your spikes?

We are all born with some part of ourselves we don’t especially like. In fact, sometimes we hate it and wish we were different.

But with time, and a little help from our friends and family, we all discover we are as we are for a reason, and each of us is special and unique in our own way.

Sometimes, quite often in fact, what we thought our weakness turns out to be our most prized possession. Would it not be a dull world if we were all the same?

From the Foreword to Spikes for Hank, #childrensbook



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Distant Time – new release by Karen J Mossman

For some time now I have been following the wonderful work of Electric Eclectic publishing – offering novellas by quality authirs at a really bargain price, so that readers can get a taste and perhaps discover their new favourite author, like for instnce – Elizabeth Horton Newton, Paul White, etc. It gives me great pleasure to introduce one such novella.

Distant Time by Karen J Mossman

Distant Time is an Electric Eclectic book, novellas designed to introduce you to new authors.


Imagine visiting a village that has just been invaded by German WW2 soldiers. Now imagine you are no longer invisible.

What would you do if you woke to find yourself in a strange place not knowing who you were? Running outside, you find yourself caught up in a war. Not only that – you run for your life and come face to face with yourself.

Julie is time travelling and something has gone drastically wrong. Read this thrilling adventure where the future needs evidence collected from the past.


Every nerve in my body was on fire, my heart beating so fast, I could hardly breathe. I was about to run into the open, but saw a soldier aim a gun at a man on his knees. He fired. The man collapsed. I saw his family watching and heard their screams and cries. I stopped dead in my tracks, stared, horrified, before turning to vomit behind a wall.

Wiping my mouth I crawled into a space between outbuildings. Balefully, watching the scene unfold, tears streamed down my face.

Tanks were rolling through the village, crashing into buildings, running over fences, anything that got in their way. Some people were being killed; others herded up like animals for slaughter. Fear fizzed in the air and the noise of terror was just as deafening.

Crouching down, my hands automatically covered my ears. I squeezed my eyes tightly shut. I didn’t want any part of this, yet here I was. I had no idea what to do or where to go. I didn’t want to die.

About the Author

Karen J Mossman is a multi genre author.

This is her second novella under the Electric Eclectic brand. One Christmas was published in December 2017.

She lives in north Wales on the Isle of Anglesey with her husband and Yorkshire Terrier, Tilly.

See all Electric Eclectic books here.

Join their FaceBook page here.

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Distant Time Link

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Spirit comes in so many ways

It is amazing how many inspiring people appear in our lives when we need them to. One of them, for me, is Kristina Kuzmic. I just watched this video and it reminded me of something.

There are so many things to relate to here♡. Years ago, my son had to write an essay about me for school. Now, he isn’t a fan of writing, but his conclusion is something I will always remember – ‘My mum is the kind of person who likes to create, to make something new out of old stuff, to make something out of nothing. That’s what I love about her.’ (Loosely translated from Croatian here;). The point is he was so right – I believe that is the very essence of me, and he caught it so well. Even though I do not often feel strong, powerful and inspiring, his words come to mind when my lows hit, and they lift me up to try again and again. I hope he keeps thinking of me this way. Isn’t it amazing when you want to be, or keep being, the person your children believe you are?

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What do YOU have to say? – interview with Wanda Luthman

A few days ago I had the pleasure of introducing the latest children’s book by award-winning author Wanda Luthman, and today Wanda is here.


Wanda Luthman has her Masters of Arts in both Mental Health Counseling and Guidance Counseling from Rollins College located in beautiful Winter Park, Florida. She has worked as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Adjunct Professor, and Hospice Counselor for teens. She’s currently a Guidance Counselor at a local High School. She is an award-winning, best-selling, international author who has self-published 5 children’s books (The Lilac Princess, A Turtle’s Magical Adventure, Gloria and the Unicorn, Little Birdie, and Franky the Finicky Flamingo). She belongs to the National Pen Women Organization in Cape Canaveral; the Florida’s Writers Association; Space Coast Authors; and Brevard Authors Forum. She presently resides in Brevard County Florida with her husband of 22 years and 2 dogs. Her daughter is away at college, like Little Birdie, she has left the nest. To download a free ebook, visit Wanda Luthman’s website at and follow her on Facebook at


1. Welcome to Anita’s Haven. Pull up a chair, relax and fire away. Firstly, tell us five things about yourself that you think matter the most.

Hi, thank you so much for having me here today. I think the most important things to know about me are that I’m a mother of one child and a step-mother of four children and a step-grandmother to 2 children. I love my family. My parents are still alive and are married to each other. I enjoy the outdoors and animals, especially dogs and cats. I am a Christian and love God and participate in daily meditation to deepen my walk.

2. When you were a kid, what did you want to do in life as an adult? Can you remember the moment you realized you had become an author? How did it feel to transcend from that point when you just wrote for yourself to the point when you realized this was what you wanted to do full time?

When I was a kid, I went through various ideas of what I wanted to be but finally decided on being a therapist. I went to college for that and then got my masters and worked in the mental health field for 10 years. Then, I transferred to a school setting so I could have a schedule like my daughter’s. I didn’t become an official published author until after my daughter left for college even though I had been writing my whole life. I remember when I first started calling myself an author, it felt strange but also like I had finally come home. I was finally at home in my own skin.

3. Why do you write?What’s the most challenging aspect of your genre? Which genre can you never see yourself writing and why? How do you feel when you write? Is there a special ritual to it, a playlist, place, company, technology?

I write children’s books. The most challenging is to remember to keep my word choices on their level. I don’t see myself writing erotica. I feel it conflicts with writing for children and I just don’t want to. I don’t have a ritual for writing. Inspiration will hit me out of nowhere and I just have to write it down. One time while riding my bike, I became inspired with words to a song. When I could stop and take a break, I sang it into my phone so I would have it for later. I’m no singer either, but that’s what I heard in my head so I tried to approximate it when I was saying it to my phone. LOL

4. Tell us more about your book characters. Who inspired you for the heroes and villains? Who is your favourite character and why?

I have two female heroines and then three animals as main character. Dreama in the Lilac Princess is strong-willed and determined which, of course, gets her into trouble, but is also what gets her out of it and helps to save her kingdom.

Gloria in Gloria and the Unicorn has a facial disfigurement and believes she is unlovable but through the help of a kind unicorn, she sees herself differently and learns to love herself and becomes key in helping to save her unicorn friend from danger.

Tad, the turtle, in A Turtle’s Magical Adventure, doesn’t like his shell because it makes him too slow. He takes some bad advice to go see the wizard to have it removed. He means some other wonderful creatures along the way that help him to see his shell as the blessing that it is.

Little Birdie in Little Birdie Grows Up is a spirited little bird who upon entering the world longs to learn how to fly. He is determined and eventually realizes his dream.

Franky in Franky the Finicky Flamingo appears to be a picky eater because he doesn’t like the food that other birds eat. It takes a wise owl to help him discover the right food for him.

My favorite character is always the last one I wrote about which, right now, is Franky. I love his bow tie and beautiful pink color and that he keeps trying different foods to see what he might like.

5. We all know typing those special words, the end, gives us a priceless feeling, but that is when the actual work begins. How do you deal with the editing process? Are you your toughest editor and beta-reader or do you rely on someone for that?

I edit quite a bit after I’m done and then I have several online programs I use to help me catch weak works, overused words, and to keep my sentences short, etc. Then, I have a few beta readers that help me tweak it even further. Then, off to my editor who is worth her weight in gold.

6. How much do praise and positive reviews help to fuel your creativity and keep you writing? How do negative reviews affect you?

I love positive reviews because it validates me. Since I don’t have formal training, I don’t really know if I’m hitting the mark or not. After winning the Readers’ Favorite Award in 2017 for Little Birdie Grows Up, I finally felt like a real author. As people who don’t know me react to my book in a positive light, I know I’m getting it right.

7. What do you do when you are not writing books? Any hobbies or projects you are particularly passionate about?

I ride my bike. I swim. I walk. I enjoy the outdoors. My two lovable yorkies, Scruffy and Tessa. And I have about 15 feral cats that live outside. All are fixed. My neighbor and I took them on as a project when two female cats showed up pregnant around the same time. It took time to tame them and their babies and then catch all of them and get them spayed and neutered.

8. If you could be any famous book character, who would you be and why?

My favorite book character is Winnie the Pooh. He’s so cute and cuddly and loving. And he loves his honey which I would have to trade out for chocolate but he’s my guy.

9. What’s the funniest or most interesting reaction you‘ve had from people when you told them you were a writer?

Most people are super supportive and tell me congratulations, but it’s always interesting the people who also want to become writers. They will usually start telling me a book idea. I love being an inspiration to them and offer to help in any way I can.

10. If you could interview any famous person in human history, who would it be and what would you ask?

Jesus and I’d ask how is this thing going to end. I really don’t want to be here for all the trouble, just saying.

11. Would you like to add anything, share a brief sneak peek into your book, or send a message to the readers?

Because of my background in psychology and guidance counseling, my books while being magical adventure stories also include positive social/emotional messages in them such as forgiveness, perseverance, and self-acceptance. I want children who read my book to come away better than they were before.


Dogs or cats Love them both!
Ice-cream or fruit Fruit. I’m lactose intolerant (TMI, I know!)
Meat or salad I’m a meat eater but I eat more salads nowadays
Fact or fiction Fiction, it’s way more fun
Music or silence I prefer silence when I’m writing and often in the morning as I’m just waking up and getting started for my day and especially when I’m meditating
Indoor or outdoor I love the outdoors but I’m definitely not a camper type person. I love the comfort of a bed and air conditioning. I live in Florida after all.
Ocean view or mountains I love the ocean. Water soothes my soul.
Books or movies I love to read, books!
E-book or print I prefer print but have gone to ebook lately because I’m running out of shelf space.
Teach or learn Learn. I’m a sponge. I love to be challenged mentally. It keeps me sharp and on my toes.
Romance or crime Romance. I’m a hopeless romantic.




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The power of kidlit

Fear is nothing to be afraid of.

#ChildrensBooks #empowering #kids and #parents

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When was the last time you saw a real squirrel?

Apparently, today is #squirrelappreciationday2018 so time to share my two favourite squirrels – Mimi Squirrel and Zagi, the maskot of #Zagreb #1987 #world #universiade . Zagi has lost some of the rainbow colours, but it’s only because he’s been hugged a lot.

#Croatia #ChildrensBooks #worldhugday

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Happy World Hug Day

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Franky the Finicky Flamingo by Wanda Luthman

It gives me great pleasure to be able to feature the latest book by award-winning children’s books author, Wanda M. Luthman. She has been kind enough to send lots of info about her Franky, so enjoy her text below. I am looking forward to reading the book, and you can read my reviews for The Little Birdie Grows Up and A Turtle’s Magical Adventure.

(Text & images below provided by Wanda Luthman.)

Do you have a picky eater in your family? Are mealtimes a battle?

I can completely relate. My daughter was super picky as a child and when she was about to be school-aged, I wanted to figure out something she could take for lunch. She liked peanut butter, she liked jelly, and she liked bread so I thought, naively, that she would like a PB&J sandwich. Oh my goodness, did we have a standoff?

Sound familiar?

Don’t despair. Determine which battles you want to pick and be patient. Here’s my story…

My newest picture book, Franky the Finicky Flamingo, was inspired not only by my child’s pickiness but my own. I know that’s not a very “grown up” kind of thing to admit but alas I am picky. Most of it is due to texture issues but some of it is actually due to taste. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was a much pickier eater when I was a child. So, I’ve outgrown a lot of it. And if you have a picky eater, I believe they’re going to grow out it as well.

When I was in Elementary School, I didn’t eat the school lunches so my Mom packed me exactly what I wanted every single day and that was a cold hot dog. Not the healthiest food, but I was happy. Somewhere around Middle School, I started eating school lunches. I know she was relieved.

I can honestly say that vegetables are just not my thing. I found out as an adult that I actually prefer my vegetables raw. Part of that is definitely texture, I don’t like mushy vegetables but the other more surprising thing is taste. I find vegetables in the raw are much tastier than after they have been cooked. I have even been told they are better for you. So, who’s picky now? Am I right? LOL

The other types of food that I really don’t like are citrus fruits. They have those strings in them. I choke on them. Still to this day! And I don’t like orange juice with pulp in it. Other fruits are all good though. What about you—do you have any foods you don’t like?

One time I heard a story about a set of twins that were separated at birth. One Mom said their child was a difficult eater because they wouldn’t eat anything unless she put ketchup on it. The other Mom said her child was the easiest child to feed because she would eat anything as long as she put ketchup on it. Maybe it’s all in perspective.

I just want to challenge you today as you think about your child’s picky eating–what battle do you want to pick?

And just maybe Franky the Finicky Flamingo might help encourage your picky eater to try new foods. You can check it out today at

Wanda Luthman has her Masters of Arts in both Mental Health Counseling and Guidance Counseling from Rollins College located in beautiful Winter Park, Florida. She has worked as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Adjunct Professor, and Hospice Counselor for teens. She’s currently a Guidance Counselor at a local High School. She is an award-winning, best-selling, international author who has self-published 4 children’s books (The Lilac Princess, A Turtle’s Magical Adventure, Gloria and the Unicorn, and Little Birdie). She belongs to the National Pen Women Organization in Cape Canaveral; the Florida’s Writers Association; Space Coast Authors; and Brevard Authors Forum. She presently resides in Brevard County Florida with her husband of 22 years and 2 dogs. Her daughter is away at college, like Little Birdie, she has left the nest.

To download a free exclusive children’s ebook by Wanda Luthman’s visit her website at and sign up for her newsletter (it’ll be in a pop-up box)

Follow Wanda Luthman at




Other children’s books by Wanda Luthman (available on Amazon at

The Lilac Princess

A Turtle’s Magical Adventure

Little Birdie Grows Up (won 2017 Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal)

Gloria and the Unicorn



You know that feeling of (near) defeat when you’ve tried and tried, and then, just when you get hopeful and are on the brink of a breakthrough, you hit a wall again? Yes, well – me today. This too shall pass. Not sure when, but today I feel like wallowing a bit, blanket over my head and nobody around. This too shall pass. (Notice a pattern in my mantra?)

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As night approaches

And I feel like a howl,

The moon is so distant,

I can’t help but growl

So low, barely heard,

Still honest and true,

Whatever you think of me,

Whatever you do.

My thoughts are my cave,

My soul is my shrine,

My moods are my windows,

My sadness is mine.

Your mind and my own

May not always be one,

But I must chase my fury

Or I’ll be undone.

My demons need voicing,

In stories or verse,

Or they’ll take me over,

My dreams will disperse.

So let my beast be,

Its tale needs a bark,

And when light returns,

It will mellow my dark.

Versus Verses – Love

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