Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

Special and Peculiar

My cousin had Down Syndrome. All she ever gave anyone was love, smiles, hugs, cuddling, friendship and kindness. All she ever cried about was cruelty, abuse, violence and anger.

All I feel when I remember her is love, smiles, hugs, cuddling, friendship and kindness.


There is a little giant

Hidden inside your heart.

He is good and fun,

And kind and honest,

And powerful and brave.

He is your secret,

But he is not your shame.

He is your secret weapon.

He is your superpower.

You have to let him do his job.

Just let him shine within you

And lurk through your eyes.

And no bad words,

And no violence,

And no illness

Will harm you.

(This poem of mine appeared in an international anti-bullying charity book Inner Giant.)


World Poetry Day

How long has it been since you last read some poetry?

#poetry #meditation #songs #verse #inspiration #therapy





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Have you seen a leprechaun?

Meet one of my favourite leprechauns – Speck from cheerful, fantasy part of The Forest of Trees.
Happy St.Patrick’s Day to all merry souls!

“Among others, The Gable was the home of a lively little leprechaun named Speck. Silly name but truth be told, he was no giant. Speck was a merry soul with a freckled face, curly orange hair, and hints of a beard here and there, just enough to prove he was already a teenager, about to turn 347 in the upcoming spring.


When Speck walked, the clickety-cluck of his shoes played a cheerful melody. It had a rhythm of its own, clickety-cluck, clickety-cluck, clickety-clickety-clickety-cluck, and even the woodpeckers sometimes pecked at the tree crusts in Speck’s rhythm. His walk sounded as merry as jingle bells all year long, and frightened away every evil thought, piercing the ears of the gable snakes and sending them immediately in the opposite direction. When Speck was in a rush, he would disappear in a flash and all you could see was a trace of green mist, as if someone had drawn an unfinished greenish line with a thick paintbrush marking the direction of the leprechaun’s movement.

Speck loved to sing. Had he been a giant, his voice would have echoed through The Gable with the might of a thundering waterfall. Being a wee leprechaun, humans would barely notice his sounds and would probably mistake him for a mouse or a hamster of some unusual green sort.
Oh and how he loved water! He loved to look at it, to touch it, to drink it, to bathe in it, to swim, to splash around and dive. And sometimes, after he’d enjoyed a good hearty swim, he just loved to lie on his back, floating on the surface of The Gable lake and gazing at the sun, as the sun gazed back at him, happy to see that pure, honest, child-like soul in Speck’s innocent eyes.

Those were the moments when Speck’s mind and heart talked to each other without his interference, and created such beautiful melodies that filled his lungs like sheer light. He would sing out notes as naturally as he breathed, without even being aware that he was producing a melody.”

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How about you?

I am happy.
I am happy because Women’s Day is a reminder in my life.
I am happy because I grew up in a family where I have been loved for who I am as a person, not loved less for being a daughter.
I am happy because I chose freely where to go to university and what to do in life.
I am happy because in our marriage there are no women’s or men’s chores, but we do things as we agree to.
I am happy because I have friends and collegues who know the value of heart, not prejudice.
I am happy to work in a place where male and female colleagues help each other because they are polite and kind, and not according to gender.

I am aware of my responsibility to teach all this to everyone around me, espevially children.
I am aware that it is up to us to convey to the children, by setting example, a respect for life, effort and friendship, regardless of the things in which we seemingly differ.
I am happy because I am aware of my responsibility.

Happy Women’s Day to all good people!
(PS: I am happy because if anyone leaves a negative comments to this, I can choose to listen, skip, delete, block them… the choice for that is mine;), and the choice for comments is yours)


Life within books

Not so long ago, I was asked about how much of my own life enters my books.

Well, let’s be honest – all that we do is a reflection of what we are, think we are or would like to be, to some extent. The Forest of Trees is perhaps my most personal book for now, because some details in it have been borrowed from our private life, as my husband well knows – for example, the Stone family car breaking down every now and then, Emma loving cinnamon, the games she plays with her students, Dot having problems with pronouncing her ‘rs’ (my problem) and so on, but these are tiny details. I am glad to say the abuse side in the story is not something I have experienced myself, and hope I never will. Not that I haven’t seen t, having been a teacher for 24 years. There are still too many Glorias, Florences, Gabrielles and Jacksons around, and an occasional Philip. These characters are therefore just as much alive to me as if I’d met them, and my stomach still churns when I remember the feeling of writing them out.

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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.


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

Check out the trailer for Flash Point (bk#1)

Catch up with book #1 before book #2 comes out!

Chain Reaction will be available for paperback and up for pre-order soon. Subscribe to my newsletter for information on the official release date

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 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.


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







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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!

By the way, if any of you enjoy wordsearches, this book has its own here: 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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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


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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