Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

Ready for a new fantasy?

Well, well, well, fantasy fans are in for a new treat by author C. L. Schneider! Check it out!

(All subsequent materials provided by C. L. Schneider.)

Nite Fire: Chain Reaction (Bk#2)

It’s almost here! Chain Reaction, the second book in my urban fantasy series, Nite Fire, will be releasing soon. In the meantime, I’m super excited to share the cover with you. Inspired by a compilation of several scenes within the book, the cover features empathic shapeshifter, Dahlia Nite, in her (mostly) human form. The artwork was created by my amazing cover artist, Alan Dingman.

Blurb

If anyone can tell the difference between monsters and humans, it’s Dahlia Nite. For nearly a century, she’s hunted one to protect the other; safeguarding humanity from the creatures that slip through the torn veil between the worlds—creatures like her. But the lines are blurring. As people begin mutating and combusting on the streets, Dahlia realizes a strange affliction has descended upon Sentinel City. The mysterious ailment strikes all walks of life, from the posh, high-end nightclub district to the homeless community. Its victims, driven to random acts of savagery, are drawing attention too fast to cover up.

Assigned to the case, Dahlia and her human partner, Detective Alex Creed, investigate the deaths. But all they have is questions and bodies, and a public on the verge of panic. Working behind the scenes with her self-appointed sidekick, Casey Evans, Dahlia struggles to discover what, or who, is behind the alarming transformations. As the violence spreads and the mystery unfolds, she wonders: are the victims still human? Were they ever?

Chain Reaction is the second book in the Nite Fire Series.

Curious about the series?

Read excerpts at clschneiderauthor.com

Check out the trailer for Flash Point (bk#1) https://youtu.be/C041ClBpihI

Catch up with book #1 before book #2 comes out! http://mybook.to/NF1

Chain Reaction will be available for paperback and up for pre-order soon. Subscribe to my newsletter for information on the official release date http://bit.ly/2EgLFfr

About the Author

C.L. Schneider is an award-winning independent author of adult epic and urban fantasy. Born in a small Kansas town, she currently resides in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley Region with her husband and two sons. Her published works include the epic trilogy, The Crown of Stones, and Flash Point, the first book in her urban fantasy series, Nite Fire. Book two, Chain Reaction, will be released in early 2018.

Learn more about C.L. Schneider, and the worlds she creates, at clschneiderauthor.com where you can read reviews, excerpts and sneak peeks, join her Street Team, and subscribe to her newsletter. An active part of the indie author online community, you can connect with her on social media, where she is often found chatting about the daily ups and downs of a writer’s life.

Books

All titles available in paperback or for Kindle. Read free with Kindle Unlimited.

Nite Fire: Flash Point (Bk 1)

The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price (also available on Audible)

The Crown of Stones: Magic-Scars

The Crown of Stones: Magic-Borne

Connect

Twitter https://twitter.com/cl_schneider

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CLS.Author

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/clschneiderauthor/

Google+ https://www.google.com/+CLSchneider

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomCLSchneider

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Miracle

As sorrow washes over
My pain-stricken soul,
And I feel something broken,
Losing all control,
I wish I could curl up
In a lily on a lake
To find a better world
Once I am awake.
I cry out to my friends,
I let my tears flow.
My body is so tired,
But it will heal, I know.
The moon will bring me night time,
Perhaps even a dream.
I’ll meet my gentle angel,
Or at least so it will seem.
And life will bring new miracles.
That’s one thing I do know.
When rain covers my sun,
Life sends me a rainbow.

(from Versus Verses – Feel)

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Visiting award-winning author Ashley Uzzell with my book Spikes for Hank

It is such a rare privilege to be a guest on a blog with a children’s book. So happy Hank made it:)

Thank you, Ashley Uzzell!

https://wp.me/p6WQKo-cq

By the way, if any of you enjoy wordsearches, this book has its own here: https://thewordsearch.com/puzzle/284113/spikes-for-hank/ and it’s free:)

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Getting there

I have never been much of a runner. Back in school, sprints I could stand, but any race over 400 metres was pure torture. Still is. I can do walking, long walks, slow, fast, at any pace that suits the track, company and weather.

Why, then, do I even write about running?

Today, for the who-knows-which time, I have tried to finish editing and publishing my website. I went in there all motivated, geared up for success and prepared to do the work.

Three hours later, completely dissatisfied with my colour choices, advances I’d made in uploading my books, page sections I’d split my website into, I put my laptop to sleep and went to read my daughter a bedtime story, feeling as emotionally drained as if I’d been training for a marathon.

Why on earth do I have to write in multiple genres? Why do I have over 15 books out there already? Why do I make them available on so many sites? Why do I put myself through all that? Why, oh why, oh my?

Why does a website matter so much? Or social media presence? And why is it so exhausting? (All I want to do is write, not promote, right?) To top all that, why do I whine about my problems when there are so many bigger issues in the world?

You are right – I am overthinking, and that is just a fancy excuse for procrastination.

Set your goals, choose your path and set off to realise your dream. Small steps at first. Maybe even walk, not run. We all move at our own pace, right? As long as we move in the right direction, we’re fine.

Small steps. Big dreams. Moving.

How about you?

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Unusual romance

Author Suzi Albracht sent me a little post-Valentine gift for the readers – a sneak peek into her popular paranormal romance A Love Haunting. Thank you, Suzi! Check it out, readers!

This short chapter in A Love Haunting begins Jordan’s existence as a Living Dead (LD). It appears a quarter of the way into the novel. It takes place after he feels he has lost his one true love and just before he meets Luke, a skateboarding angel, and the trio of ghosts from the 1800s who become his friend.

Love… death… forever. That’s the story of my life apparently.

So Emily had left the Banks. In my mind, I knew she had to go, but now I am lonelier than I’ve ever been in my life. Right after the accident, my world was devastated because of my loss of Emily, our baby and… my life.

And then when Emily was in the hospital, I found a way to be near to her again, if only in a small way. Now she is gone and my life is really over. Now I have no one.

Sure I could have hung around Allie, bugging her but it would not have been fair to her. Besides, she was on her way to being a nurse practitioner, and I knew she’d be a damn good one. So while Allie was in school, I was going to leave her be, but I did plan on helping her when she embarked on her new career. Besides, I wanted to convince Allie to shoot bigger and become a doctor. Being a physician was her real calling, she just didn’t know it yet.

In the meantime, I made up my mind I was going to make the best of my new dead life, and that would require some hands-on research. Research had always been one of my strong suits. That and evaluation.

And there was something else I wanted to research but didn’t dare until I figured out all the rules and restrictions of my dead existence. I didn’t want to lose my wife, so I was going to try to… do something.

So since I had loads of free time on my hands, I would start by exploring to see what was what.

What am I supposed to do about my feelings now that I’m dead? My life can’t end like this. It just can’t.

Wow, I hadn’t allowed myself to admit that I was actually dead until now. Dead and buried and the whole nine yards.

Well, it’s true. I died a few feet off a highway in North Carolina, not far from my favorite vacation paradise – the Outer Banks.

I am a ghost, and this is my love story.

Books2read.com/ALoveHaunting

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On skating and awe

Ever since my early childhood, I have always felt particularly enchanted by ice-skating.

It may well have been the only reason I liked winter, next to Christmas and winter break. As kids we would often go ice-skating. My friends and I would clean the pond behind school to skate on. My sister and I would go to the other side of town every possible moment to enjoy the music and the magical ease of movement on a proper rink.

Watching figure skating championships was one of my favourite activities and I relished when skaters would pick a tune I loved and created a magical moment such as this one. Due to some lifestyle changes and health issues, it had been a while since I skated myself, and I missed it so much. Finally, this winter, I skated with my family again. Just a tiny local skating rink, but the magic was back.

What is it that makes skating so fascinating and beautiful?

Just look at them! To achieve something that seems so utterly effortless through so much training, defying the laws of physics and sometimes sanity, and to create this ethereal feeling of unity between sports and art, sometimes conveying a feeling, sometimes even telling a story… isn’t it a phenomenal proof of our human potential? When we let body, mind & soul work together it is simply exhilarating.

I know, in light of a recent movie about a version of a true story behind the skating scenes, some of you are grinning cynically. But put that aside for a minute and watch this. Do you really think, during a special performance like this one, skaters think about points?

Incredible moments like this one need to be cherished and looked up to.

I have always been enchanted by ice-skating. Despite growing up and knowing the shady side of the competitions, I still am enchanted by it. How could you not be? Pick your favourite performers, your ideal music, and simply let yourself feel again, like a child, open-minded and open-hearted.

And then try skating for yourself. You will appreciate the magic.

#art #sports #figureskating #talent #inspiration

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Real love every day

As promised, two of my favourite scenes of real, daily love between two married couples from The Forest of Trees – the Bosworths and the Stones. Both scenes take place during sleepless nights, filled with worry.

Intimacy is never (just) the physical thing. Love is in the small, everyday details which should never be taken for granted…

The Bosworths

The bed sheets were soaked in sweat and already cold, as John Bosworth kept tossing and turning, uncovering himself to cool down, then covering himself back hoping to get some sleep. He felt around the bed and realized it was empty, empty, so he opened his eyes, finally giving in to insomnia.
In a huge armchair close to the door, his wife’s face glowed in lamplight, as she sat wrapped in a fuzzy patchwork blanket.
He looked at her with worry and love.
She was deeply concentrated. Seeing her leather-bound diary in her hands, he knew she must have had a bad day at work. Although he loved to joke that their jobs were alike, she a psychologist and he a principal, he knew that the number of good days was in his favour.
“Zoe, do you want to talk?” he whispered.
She didn’t reply, and he noticed how firmly she held her pen and how she tightened her lips. For both selfish and generous reasons, he loved the fact that she had her diary ritual to blow off steam and cry or shout things into words. He wasn’t much of a talker, so he always felt inadequate offering her advice. Still, he was a great listener and that helped her get things out of her system.
Sometimes things were so difficult to bear that she would just cry, and all he could do was hold her and feel guilty for not helping. She knew this, which was why she started her diary. She hated making him worry.
“Paper can take it,” she’d often say.
He noticed she had her small yellow earphones earphones on, probably listening to classical music again. Debussy was his best guess, judging by how the sad look on her face was slowly relaxing, softening her lips into their usual lovely shape and mellowing her shoulders. He smiled.
(…)
John stepped towards the door, slowly walking past his wife. She looked up with a question mark in her eyes, but he just kissed her head gently, breathing in the smell of tangerine shampoo in her hair, and moved his hand in front of his face as if drinking something. She smiled and nodded.
He went into the kitchen to make some green tea with honey which she liked so much. He had hated that taste at first, but in time he’d gotten used to it as part of their little ritual.
Green tea and honey meant a talk, whatever time of day it was, talk without the stress of having having to provide a solution. Each of them told the other what had kept them awake, and the other one listened, understood and provided a hug in the end. The talk usually started with no talk at all, just inhaling the aroma of warm tea and enjoying each other’s comfort. Sip by sip, the conversation would begin, or wouldn’t. Sometimes just sharing the silence was enough.”

The Stones

“David blinked again, staring at the starry sky through the window. He couldn’t sleep, but he dared not move or he’d wake Emma. They were both overwhelmed with the last few days; the changes were as intense as a never-ending roller-coaster ride.
He felt her warm arm wrap around his waist, and Emma’s soft kiss land on the back of his neck. She cuddled up to him under the blanket, and he felt better in a second, with only a tiny pang of guilt for having woken her up.
“You can’t sleep either, huh?” Emma whispered through another neck kiss, her lips writing on his skin.
“Sorry I woke you up,” David said, his arm pulling her closer.
She rested her face on his shoulder and sighed, with a slight yawn.
“Not much of a sleep anyway, when you dream about real life…”
“Nightmare?” Worried, David wrapped her hair around his fingers.
“Not really, just a dream, but lots of them. Not connected, just… more worries than dreams. Whether Jeremy will be fine here, whether Dot will be happy, what if the car breaks down, any chance of some students ever being kind, if we’re going to be able to cover the bills this month, if… oh well, you know…”
She felt guilty. There he was, sleepless and anxious, and all she talked about were her own dreams and worries.
“Boy oh boy, you women just can’t stop worrying,” he mocked.
He was actually grateful for her speech. She summed up most of his own worries as well. He’d never been good with words, especially to talk about his feelings. It would probably have taken him half the night just to verbalize all the things she spat out in one sigh and a yawn. On top of all that, she managed to awake his protective side, giving him motivation not to whine, but to console.
“I’ll have to make you a dream-catcher then to help you sleep,” he teased.
“Better make yourself one while you’re at it. You’re the one lying awake here all night,” she said with a stern teacher’s look.
He loved it when her eyes got that grey shade of angry.
“I don’t need a dream-catcher, love,” he said, feeling mischievous.
“Oh no?” She teased, knowing exactly what he meant.
“I just bury my face in your hair and all my nightmares go away,” he said, cradling her face in his palms.
Their lips blended. They glued their bodies together, intertwining their feet.
“This is my favourite place in the whole world, you know? Right here,” she said as the kiss finished.
She buried her face in his shoulder. David’s hand glided down her back as he pulled her closer. He smelled her skin and inhaled her scent, meeting her lips in another kiss, savouring those precious moments when the two of them were only the two of them, no worries, or kids or the world around.
As their breaths caught the singular rhythm of passion, neither of them was aware of the trees and the wind singing their song outside.”

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Wearing our daily masks…

Today is the final day of carnival season in my country, and tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Seems appropriate, doesn’t it, to take off all masks before admitting you love somebody? It reminded me of the part of The Forest of Trees, when a loving married couple falls into the routine of wearing a happy mask to spare each other from their own sadness. I cannot stress enough how important it is to share your pain with your loved ones, how much that honesty and trust can strengthen your relationship. I am so glad Emma and David found their way. Here is a glimpse into their daily masks…

“It got to the point when hearing the word mummy was one of the biggest horrors in her life. She loved the scent of Jeremy’s ginger hair when she held him, she adored his big eyes gazing at her with expectation, waking up early not to miss a second of their time… and it made her heart ache that it was not enough for her. She missed reading a good adult book, having some time to herself, talking to an adult person about something other than rashes, the cost of diapers, prospective kindergartens and the danger of pedophiles everywhere. She missed dressing up to go out with her husband and be a woman, not a nanny. But she felt guilty, so she kept the smile on her lips, and buried the sadness behind her eyes.
David had been working almost non-stop, stressed by trying to preserve his job at the executive level and earn even more money, so Emma could stay home with Jeremy. Emma had put on a happy front to avoid hurting him, he’d put on his to avoid seeming selfish or lazy, so they slowly drifted away into pretence and lies without even realizing it and only with the best intentions.”

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I will be sharing two of my favourite scenes from their lives, but also another couple. Nothing sleezy. Real love.

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The Little Blue Book for Authors 101 Clues How to Get More Out of Facebook by G.Hausmann – my review

There is never anything little about Gisela’s books. I’ve read plenty, and the occasional faults in my writing career are due to not following her advice, and some others.

Writing anything is never easy and you can verify that with any high school student out there, not to mention writers. Marketing what you write can either depress you with its abundance of traps, turn you into a proper merchant who eventually disregards art in favour of money, or you can thrust yourself into the battle with a little bit of help from the able book promoters (not any, but able, pls notice the difference) and some timely tips from marketing specialists such as Gisela Hausmann. My simile to battle is inspired by the book Hausmann quotes in her first chapter – The Art of War. I have to admit I often feel like an untrained soldier in the marketing battlefield, so I consider books such as this one good training. “…ask yourself if you can even become a player?” Hausmann says. So… see what I mean?

Now I have to say I like things explained to me as if I were a six-year-old, so this piece of advice was a wake up call:

“Don’t post anything on Facebook you would not post on a billboard next to the busiest highway in your hometown.”

The Mark Cuban video was another, slightly scary one. By tip 25 I was making notes on what I had to do about my own social media presence, and fast. What further complicated things is this:

“Though it is your business if and how you use your personal profile page, you can comment in Facebook network groups only with your personal profile page.”

I had always known this book would add more work to my to-do list, but at least now I am not wandering around in fog any more. The advice about potential employers, as scary as it may seem, is truer than we’d like to think, which adds importance to this book – it is not only for authors, but all entrepreneurs who plan their media presence.

“To succeed in this cut-throat business, you need to own your writing, your research, your knowledge, your “everything”!”

I’m in for a lot of work. Better start!

Book link

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Visiting Rainne’s Ramblings with my book – The Forest of Trees by Anita Kovacevic

Incredibly thankful to the reading community for their support with my latest book The Forest of Trees. Today we are visiting Rainne’s Ramblings. Thank you immensely, Rainne, for allowing my book to enter your Bookland;).

https://wp.me/p6fAni-dCT

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