Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

Try! And keep trying!

It is always difficult to decide when you are big enough to do something, or if you are still too small. I believe it’s best to trust your heart, and also to listen to the advice of your friends and family, the people who really care about you. Those things combined should always tell you when the time is right.

And then you try!

At first, you may not succeed. Even the second time. But don’t give up, because you haven’t failed – you are still learning! And what a dull world it would be if everything worked all at once – there are so many wonderful things you can discover while trying and learning. Anyway, the way others do things may not even be the way in which you will do things! That’s the very beauty in life – finding your own way!

So, dear grown-ups, have the courage to try new things, and to let your children try things for themselves! They might just surprise you and be more amazing than you ever hoped they would be!

And dear children, do try! Keep trying! There is nothing quite as magical as finding your own way of doing things!

(From the Foreword to MIMI FINDS HER MAGIC)

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Learn to love your spikes

Everyone always talks about the magic that happens when a child reads a book or hears the story. I love it, too.

But you want to know what my favourite moment is?

When they finish the story and step out of it, bringing the magic with them into the real world. When they finish Alice in Wonderland and realize there is always more than one way of looking at the world. When they read The Little Prince and know the box can contain anything you wish – it is all up to us.

There are so many stories which can empower us all to be better and stronger versions of ourselves. May we all find them and spread that magic to the world.

1 Comment »

Dogs are miraculous

Presenting a wonderful new children’s book, by a remarkable author, about a very special dog… (All materials provided by Plaisted Publishing.)

Bubba Tails from the Puppy Nursery at The Seeing Eye Written by Patty L. Fletcher Told by, King Campbell Lee – The Seeing

Eye Dog AKA Bubba Autumn 2017

In this magical and love filled tail, King Campbell AKA Bubba travels to the puppy nursery at The Seeing Eye to help ready a group of puppies who are just about to embark on the fabulous journey of learning to become Seeing Eye dogs. Just as he is about to finish his tail, a wee pup becomes very frightened of all that lies ahead, and one frightfully stormy night she runs away! Will King Campbell hear the urgent call from the puppy nursery in time? Will they find her and save her so she can fulfill her destiny?

The use of Tail instead of Tale for story and Magik instead of Magic is intended for these short stories. A great play on words from King Campbell

Buy Link https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0765BWDJF

Author Bio

Patty Lyne Fletcher in her own words (October 2017)

About me and my crew

I’m a 49-year-old single mother with a beautiful daughter, of whom I am very proud. I have a great son-in-law and five beautiful grandchildren. Three girls, and two boys. I hope to be able to write more about them later on.

I own and handle a Black Labrador from The Seeing Eye™ named Campbell Lee—a.k.a. Bubba Lee or King Campbell, to give just a couple of his nicknames.

When and where I was born

I was born on November 9, 1967 in Kingsport, Tenn., where I also grew up.

About my blindness

I was born one and a half months premature. My blindness was caused by my being given too much oxygen in the incubator. I was partially sighted until 1991, at which time I lost my sight due to an infection after cataract surgery and high eye pressure. I used a cane for 31 years before making the change to a guide dog.

Where I live and work

Currently, I live and work in Kingsport, Tenn.

I used to work for CONTACT-CONCERN of Northeast Tennessee, Inc. I left that position in order to spend time with family and pursue my writing full time.

Why I write.

I wrote Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life to tell the story of how going to The Seeing Eye™ and getting Campbell, learning to love, handle, and work him, then coming home and adding him to my life, gave me true freedom.

I tell of how changing from being a 31-year cane user to being a guide dog handler taught me things about myself I had never known before. I tell of the wonderment I experienced when I finally took that chance.

A major goal of mine is to help others who find themselves in domestic violence situations. I also want to help others learn more about mental illnesses and how different situations and environments can drastically affect those with such challenges.

I tell how training affected me physically as a result of the fibromyalgia I deal with, along with the side effects of the medications I take.

I focus on bipolar disorder, on how it can go horribly wrong and cause a person to behave in ways they normally would not. Another thing I have attempted to show is how, in certain institutional settings, attachments can develop—and how those attachments can become unhealthy for all concerned if they are not handled correctly.

Most simply, I want others to know more about me.

In Bubba Tails From the Puppy Nursery At The Seeing Eye, it is King Campbell Super Seeing Eye Dog A.K.A Bubba’s turn to tell his tale.

While helping to ready a group of pups to go and meet their puppy raiser families, so they too, might one-day become Seeing Eye dogs, he tells of what it was like for him, to grow up and become a Seeing Eye dog.

My hobbies

My hobbies include reading, writing, music, and standup comedy. I also like nature walks, light hiking, tent camping, and fishing. No, I am not afraid to bait a hook.

Music I enjoy

My favorite types of music are classic rock, rhythm and blues, and classic country, as well as some present-day country music. I also like meditation music.

My favorite books and authors

I enjoy fantasy, science fiction, and books about the supernatural. I love the books by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and many more. My favorite books include Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series.

Links

http://www.campbellsworld.wordpress.com https://www.amazon.com/Patty-L.-Fletcher https://www.facebook.com/Bubba-Tails-196761360863975/ https://www.facebook.com/tellittotheworld/ http://www.twitter.com/bubbalee04 https://www.facebook.com/0404Campbell/ Campbells Rambles https://www.facebook.com/groups/787037261329458/ (Campbells Corner the Comfort Zone. https://www.facebook.com/groups/128710790840540/ Patty & Pals https://www.facebook.com/groups/1092566100770913/ Bob Cat And Friends

Legal Notes THE SEEING EYE® and SEEING EYE® are registered trademarks of The

Seeing Eye, Inc.See: www.SeeingEye.org

 

1 Comment »

Stewart Bint rises the book charts again!

A very intriguing author and wonderful person, Stewart Bint, has another book out! It hadn’t really taken a proper stroll into the publishing world, but it is already making its way up on all the book charts. Give it a go -Stewart’s writing never disappoints. 

Here is what the book is about and where to find it…


The Marquand family fled their home on Jersey, in the Channel Islands, just before the German occupation during World War II, and never returned. 

Now, it’s the summer of 1983, and the once opulent Idlewild mansion is crumbling and derelict. The mansion holds a mysterious lure for 18-year-old David Simeon, who dreams of Idlewild years past, as it used to be. But who is the young girl he sees, endlessly wandering through its corridors?

As the nerve-shattering link between David, the girl, and the mysterious Idlewild comes to light, is it too late to stop the seeds of destruction and world domination planted there long ago, during Adolf Hitler’s last desperate throw of the dice in World War II?

Fantasy, science fiction, horror and paranormal mingle in To Rise Again, as the threads of 1945 and 1983 slowly intertwine to reveal a world on the brink of destruction.  

http://mybook.to/RiseAgain

Previous hits by Stewart Bint:

And…

Leave a comment »

DEAR DIARY by Susan Horsnell – new release

Karina Kantas has recommended me a new children’s book. The topic is battling bullying from an early age, and it is based on a true event. I thought some of you may be interested as well. Here is the info provided by the author.

DEAR DIARY,

Rebecca is an eleven-year-old girl whose father has taken a job in a new town.

This means she is forced into a new school.

Shorter than most her age, and not quite as intelligent, makes her a prime target for ongoing bullying.

The only thing she can trust in, confide in, is her Diary.

A story about the real danger of bullying which every child should read.

This story is fictional but based on a true to life event.

Buy Links:

EBook – Pronoun Publishing

https://books.pronoun.com/dear-diary/

Paperback

https://www.createspace.com/7478021

About the Author

I have written two children’s books during my career.

This is my second, dedicated to my nephew who took his own life just a few weeks after he turned twelve years old.

I have five grandchildren who are subjected to bullying, a coward’s way of displaying power over another and occurs at any age.

Hopefully through this book, both children and adults will learn how dangerous bullying can be. It’s not something which can be dismissed as a childhood ‘stage.’

My first book – Secret Beneath the House – is the story of two children left alone for the day. What they find under the house is another magical world.

I also write Best Selling/Award Winning Western Romance and Best Selling Contemporary Romance under a pen name.

I have been married for 43 years, have 2 married sons and 5 gorgeous grandchildren.

Hubby and I are retired and love to travel Australia with our caravan, our elderly Jack Russell dog – Caellagh (Kelly) and a very opinionated Cockatiel called Rocky.

You can take a look at my books through the following links:

Susan Horsnell Links

Blog: http://susanhorsnell.com

Web: http://horsnells.wix.com/susan–1

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/westernlovin/

A.L. Simpson Links

Website: https://alsimpson79.wordpress.com/

Blog: https://alandvixen.wordpress.com/  

FB:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1709862079031253/

Leave a comment »

FORTUNE KOOKIE by Jean Gill – my review

Well this was a surprise! Quite an unexpected turn of events in book 2. I read Left Out and loved it, so I eagerly awaited to read book 2 in the series. Mind you, even if you skipped book 1, you will have no problem reading this one.

The well-loved characters of Jamie and Ryan are back, along with a bunch of others – their families, friends and teachers. They have continued their development, and I relished the tiny nuances in character changes the author displayed. I was happy to see Kelly return, and little Sam’s addition to the cast is wonderful. Sorry to say little about him here, but I hate spoilers in reviews. Let’s just say he will put Ryan’s empathy to the test and earn your sympathies.

This time the story starts off with Jamie involving Ryan in yet another one of her projects. This time it involves saving her mother from her addiction to fortune-tellers, psychics and horoscopes, which mum spends tons of money on and hides from the rest of the family. 

Touching on very important issues of modern life, alienation, delusion, family secrets, fame searching, etc. the author could have just followed that storyline and her exquisite writing would have made it a great story. But she takes a risk and leads the story in quite a different direction, one twisting reality and magic, fact and fantasy, playing tricks with the characters and readers alike, which is a huge difference from book 1 in which the story revolves around their reality. I have to admit I hadn’t expected that, but I actually could not put the book down once Jamie discovered the power of her subconscious, and Ryan’s inquisitive nature led him into psychological experimenting with their friends. To put it briefly – keeping the story on the borderline between reality and fantasy is far from disappointing when Jean Gill wields the writing wand. 

Jamie’s confidence, instincts, intuition and strength will be tested in ways she could never have imagined, and yet – perhaps it is just the mind playing tricks on her, and us. When you set out to battle something and then find out that perhaps you yourself are part of it, it makes you question all your values, which is what happens to teenagers on a daily basis, even without the extra, paranormal challenges. As Ryan and Jamie search for a good career choice, it seems life finds it for them, just like the rest of us.

What I most admire is how the author weaves it all into a rich tapestry, leaving some to the interpretation (perhaps even to book 3?), and manages to logically connect issues such as young romance, hereditary faults and virtues, history, parental concerns, staleness in marriage, town traditions, tested friendships, science and magic, life, death and afterlife… and all this in a YA novel. Jean Gill makes you question, wonder, guess, feel, cheer for the characters. I want to know what Jamie plans to do next. I am interested in whether Ryan will manage to balance his intellectual side with his feelings. I wonder if Kelly and Gareth will remain together on their way to fame. And what of their parents, and Sam, and granny?
And on top of everything, was it all real;)? Shhhhh, no spoilers. Looking forward to book 3 and recommending this book to all teenagers, young adult readers, parents and educators, especially those with a flare for a bit of the paranormal in the normal.

This review was written for Readers Review Room and deserves a gold bookworm from this reader.

1 Comment »

MARGOT GETS AN UNEXPECTED VISIT by Lieve Snellings – my review

This book is a lovely approach to combining a children’s nature encyclopaedia of animals with a children’s story. 

Getting children to actually meet and communicate with Margot the Groundhog, thus being acquainted with forest animals, and also introducing the animal to human activities such as sports can easily be used in a classroom, or as fun reading for children who truly love nature. There is enough plot here for two separate books, so I do believe it would profit from being split into two parts or two books, and it would strengthen the focus of children on each of the aspects. The characters are lovely and children can relate to them.

Two aspects of the book give it that special flare – 1. beautiful photos of the nature and animals instead of illustrations (some are filtered and have additional sticker effects which the kids will find fun), 2. the obvious love the author has for nature and animals, and wants to convey that love to the children. The text is placed on the photos which sometimes makes it slightly difficult to read, but not so much it would deter you from the story. Considering the fact that the author is turning it into a series of adventures, this is a very promising start.

The overall layout and the intent of the book are commendable, and I can easily see it as a well-loved gift for any child aged cca 4-10 who enjoys nature and loves to discover facts about animals.

This review is written for the Readers Review Room, awarding the book the blue bookworm.

1 Comment »

​There’s no magic trick quite like reading

When you are a bookworm, like me, and reading for you constitutes pleasure, relaxation and escape, then it is only logical that reading in the summertime is somewhat synonymous with a holiday.

Even my early childhood memories of the beach and the summer break always involve some sort of reading, be that of magazines, comic books or adventure books. As life moved onwards, and the days of vacation and free time grew shorter, I found it fascinating how my favourite summer reads had become longer, more detailed books, even series of books. From Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear to binge reading Harry Potter and several recently discovered indie authors, reading has become my magical vacation within a vacation, adding a new, extradimensional journey beyond commonplace time and place, free of travelling expenses, packing or congested roads. And I relish it.

It was always unclear to me how some people say summer reading is difficult for them, they can’t concentrate on the beach and it only unnerves them. But, as always, it may simply be a matter of making the wrong choice. Let me explain.

Last summer I started observing people’s reading habits on a family-oriented beach where we spent our holidays. I had picked up a collection of indie short stories and, to my joy, discovered that reading great short stories on the beach was a special treat; it became my ritual – a story a day, and several novels before bedtime and at early sunrise (because who needs sleep on holidays, right?). Short stories are a charming way to get a tan without counting the tanning minutes; you mentally disappear into worlds and situations, and yet finish just in time to go for a swim, have a cocktail or build a sandcastle with your kid. Furthermore, I enjoyed recommending the stories to my friends, who took interest in reading something that was a quality read, and yet short enough not to be time or attention consuming.

Giddy about discovering that ‘no-strings attached’ short-story beach thrill, I was somewhat disappointed to see other people reading long novels on the beach; they were mostly battling with thrillers or romance novels. Battling, I say, because they would either read without even getting into the story (shame, shame, shame), mostly holding their books or devices as sunshade, or truly did get into the story but were then agitated at every interruption from friends, children, other tourists… Nobody shared my short-story fad!? Apparently not. But hey – here is my chance to educate, right?

As this year’s holidays approach, be it on a beach, garden deck chair or just our home terrace, I am already looking forward to choosing a short story collection for the brief moments of lounging between active relaxing or social interactions, and also extensive novels for the blissful alone-time when everyone falls asleep or just before they wake up. Mind you, some of those extensive novels will be by authors I discovered through their short stories – by ‘sampling the dish’ in a way. Like the Extension Charm to my holiday, short stories will add one dimension, novels another, and a week’s vacation will suddenly seem like an amazing fortnight at least.

My suggestion to you? Find your favourite read, whichever length or genre it may be. Add dimension to your holiday. And by all means, share the joy with other people, be they people you’ve already met or those you’d like to. Books do offer excellent conversation starters, you know? And who knows to which dimension that can lead.

Leave a comment »

Why kidlit?

​You don’t write a childrens’ book because you’re in it for the money. You write it because you’ve told this story to children before, you’ve talked to them about it, you’ve asked them their opinions, their predictions, their solutions for problems, and you’ve seen that gleam in their eyes when their hearts and minds open to life. 

Now I may have kept Spikes for Hank to myself and my little learners, but I thought ‘why not see if anyone else really feels it’. 

So when I receive a review like this, from someone who truly gets it as a parent and sees its potential, my heart smiles.

Leave a comment »

BILLY HAS A BIRTHDAY by James Minter – my review

Bullying and abuse has never sit well with me, so any attempt to stop it is appreciated. James Minter has composed a series of stories about negative behaviour and positive outcomes, and Billy Has a Birthday deals with overcoming bullying. 

This chapter book is intended for children 8-11 and can be used in a family or classroom situation, or the children can read it by themselves. There are even additional activities available to help engage the children. A simple, everyday situation, a boy’s 10th birthday, and an average family setting should make the children feel safe while reading, and, if guided well by the educator or parent, the child who reads it might open up about being bullied or witnessing bullying, which is what is usually the most difficult thing to do – open up and ask for help. Despite keeping the story simple and using likeable illustrations, the author does not embellish the boy’s fear of the bully, the complications it causes and explains the real punishment which befalls the bully himself. 

In my opinion, a sensitive topic like this one should be discussed both in families and schools, and this book is a good tool to help One might claim children want more suspense from stories – such as dragons, zombies, pirates, etc. All that is well and true, but children know that is just fancy, fabrication, fantasy. It is seemingly simple books like this one that stir up real emotions because, to children, they are almost non-fiction. They will relate and react. It is up to us to be there and steer them towards positivity.

2 Comments »