Fact Vs Fiction

This Week I Read?

Okay, it has been a strange week. I am still reading Romance Under Aquarius By Danielle Jacks, I have been writing and sorting swag this week so I haven’t sat down to read as much. I am still enjoying it when I do read it but I have cheated this week instead.

This week I have been listening to an audiobook. I don’t normally get the Rom-Com genre of books on audio, I actually got this one as part of a buy one get one free deal. The book was funny and I found myself wanting to listen to it consistently. Normally with audiobooks I only listen at certain times, but this I listened to every opportunity I could until I finished it. If you are interested you can find it here.

This week I intend to finish reading my current book, before I move on to reading Bourbon & Bullets so I can read everyone else’s stories, you can find that here if you want to read my story and the others, and let me know what you think. It is available on KU so if you do read it please leave a review.

Fact Vs Fiction · Friends On Friday

Friends On Friday – Helen Bright

I was lucky enough to meet Helen at my first ever signing, she was at the table next to me and took me under her wing. First signings are scary places and having someone there to calm you nerves tell you that you are doing okay and give you tips and pointers makes the experience so much better. I met people there who I will be friends with for the rest of my life.

Helen was originally known for her paranormal romance series, The Night Movers Vampire Series.

I did do a review of this book which you can find here, but if you would rather look it up on Amazon you can find it here. I have to admit I loved this series, it is paranormal romance with a twist of dark humour, my all time favourite scene involved a Russian vampire and some sheep, and no I won’t tell you, read the book and I challenge you not to giggle.

It is hard sometimes to review friends books as it is assumed you will be biased but that really is not the case, very few of my author friends have even read my published works so far (unless it has been in anthologies), simply because I have not yet published in genres they prefer to read. I have read books by some friends I have not reviewed because I really wasn’t that into a book, but I would rather pass criticism privately knowing how hard it is to get sales in the first place. I just want to make this clear at the start of this series so you know that if I recommend books I really mean it, I don’t recommend books just because I am friends with the author.

The paranormal romance series sold well and it would have been easy for Helen to simply continue with this genre but there was another story in her head which would become both controversial and addictive.

This is an unusual love story, two people from totally different backgrounds come together to overcome trauma’s, heartbreak, and an age gap in a beautifully crafted love story.

I did mention that this book is controversial and I think it is only fair to address that, the main reason that people find this uncomfortable to read is the background that Tess comes from and the subplot dealing with child grooming rings. This is actually something that was a big issue over here, if you want more background on that you can look at articles like this or the drama on Netflix Three Girls but be warned to have tissues ready. There are some who have attacked Helen claiming that it is racist to include this part of the storyline however, the Rotherham scandal which inspired her to tackle this issue is not an isolated one and there has been one in my own home town that has seen thirty-three men and two women also prosecuted and jailed. No one is saying that sexual assaults, or grooming are only perpetrated by one culture, offenders come in all colours, ages, sexes and backgrounds, but the fact this was a big new story at the time the first book was written is the reason that Helen selected this angle and the fact that she knows people who were directly involved in the aftermath of the suffering of some of these victims gave her greater insight.

It is a testament to Helen’s writing that the majority of people can not only acknowledge the uncomfortable truths of the first part of this story but that they also become so invested in what is a complicated love story between the two main characters. The age gap is vast, and you will see that the situation between growing feelings and actions is dealt with sensitively.

I did of course review this book and you can read it here, or grab yourself a copy on Amazon here, I should note that some books say they are only available in paperback currently but this is because Helen has recently hooked up with a new editor and they are just going through them before you see more releases from her. The highly anticipated part four to the Runaway Trilogy, technically part 3B is due out his summer and I am one of those nagging for it’s completion.

If you want to find out more about Helen you can find her Facebook page here and I highly recommend joining her readers group too. She can also be found all over social media and will be attending the Books On The Beach signing in Blackpool this summer alongside myself and some of the other authors you may meet here in weeks to come.

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday Week 9

This week is one of those crazy weeks where I am working on three projects. First, I have a short story to write for an anthology, this is a 15k love story and is set in New York and Cardiff. I can’t really say too much more about that other than it is part of an anthology for Indie love and it will be out in May, the cover release will be next month so I will tell you more about this project then.

The second is the edits on a previous short story I want to get those finished and submitted this week even though I do have a little longer. It is for the Books On The Beach 2022 anthology, I don’t have a set release date yet for this one, however, I expect it will be towards the end of July, I really loved this story, it came to me out of the blue and the one friend I have had read it says it deserves to be a full novel.

The final project underway this week is still Rosie, I struggled to get back into this one after setting it aside for so long so I don’t want to push it aside again. Instead I am doing half an hour each day keeping momentum going.

I am behind on where I wanted to be this year but I have also taken on a few extra anthology pieces which have inspired me and got my writing mojo back. I am hoping over the next few weeks I will get back on track.

The plus side is that I have a launch this week…

The book is released tomorrow so you can still pre-order here

I really liked my characters in this book and can’t wait to read the other stories in the book.

I will see you back here next week to share more of my writing journey.

Book Reviews

Current Read!

I never seem to keep up with book reviews on here so instead I am going to just talk about a current read and then do the reviews straight to kindle/Goodreads as I finish them. I am currently at 38% and I am really enjoying it.

So first the blurb…


Romance under Aquarius is book 1# of the Stargazing series, a 12-book series of standalones.

Kasper
What would you do for your dying brother?
Would you travel the world and swim to the deepest depths?
If I told you Greek mythology speaks of a water healer under the zodiac sign of Aquarius, would you consider going after it?

Maris
What would you do if you found out your fiancé was cheating on you?
Would you fight your father’s decision to have you marry him?
If I told you your opinion wouldn’t change a thing, would you fight to be heard or maybe run away?

Pasha
What would you do if the only person you loved was intended for your best friend?
Would you sacrifice your own happiness for theirs?
If I told you your future following others’ rules would make you miserable, would you step in line?

Ryn
What would you do if you found out you could be king but you’d have to marry someone you didn’t love?
Would you try to make it work?
If I told you the princess is destined for more than you can offer, would you help her?

I am going to start this off by saying something that might come across as strange but although I am enjoying the book I don’t like any of the main characters at the minute. They are all well written and the plot is captivating but at the minute each of the characters is quite self-centred and each has their own dubious reasons for getting involved in this plot. At this point their is plenty of time for one or more of them to redeem themselves and the way the story is developing may allow for that.

At the minute I would say that this book would be good for YA or New Adult, if you are looking for steamy then this is not for you, it is more of a fade to black but does allude to sex and other adult content but not overly. There is enough in there for it to be a good read for adults but as I say if you are looking for mermaid porn you won’t find it here.

The book is available in Kindle Unlimited and you can find it here. Should you wish to learn more about the author Danielle Jacks you can find her on Facebook here.

I haven’t read as much as normal this week as I have been busy writing but I will tell you about that on Wednesday.

Fact Vs Fiction

What Am I Reading?

This week I have two books on the go still. In paperback I am reading the book from my Romance Readers Christmas box…

I am over half way through and really enjoying it, the only reason I haven’t finished this yet is that it is too chunky to fit in my handbag lol. Anyway if you are interested in checking out the boxes you can join this group here, I highly recommend the Christmas boxes for the blankets, that is besides all the other cool stuff you get.

So on my kindle I am currently reading this…

I am enjoying it, however I will confess there are a few places I find it hard to accept a few of the plot points. I get that the whole point of this is that the girl has to submit to the main character and learn to trust him completely but things like taking her out to the opera and making her remain blindfolded in public is weird. I am only at 40% so I am hoping that there will not be much more that pushes me out of the story.

I will be back on Wednesday with the pre-order details for Bourbon & Bullets.

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday – Week 1 2022

This week I am writing mafia, sex, and violence! One of those things is new to me, yes the mafia part lol. I am in the process of finishing up a piece for an anthology. The problem with short stories is that as you create them, you find they take on a life of their own demanding they become a full fledged novel at the very least. So while the short story will be complete in it’s arc these characters will most likely be back at some point in the future.

To research this story I have to say google has been my friend and my enemy, do you know how many hours you can lose doing a google search for gang tattoos…

I can’t show you all the images I saved for inspiration, you will learn about some of them at a later date, if the story makes it to a full book or more.

I also have harassed my friend Jakab for knowledge of his homeland, and I won’t lie his voice inspired my main character Cezar, I swear he sounds just like an 80’s Bond villain. When deciding to write a mafia story I was determined I didn’t want to do Italian Mafia or Russian Bratva, so instead I decided to go with Romanian.

Straight away I hit a snag as most Romanian gangs tended to be more street gangs without a larger infrastructure, however, I got around this by Cezar having being trained and having links to the Bratva. His life, upbringing and parentage are all things that will come into play if the story makes it to a full book or series.

The anthology is available to pre-order on Amazon and I will be back with more details about that next Wednesday!

Fact Vs Fiction

31 Overlook Hotel, Interlude & Chapter 6

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-s9ggp-116beb4

Happy New Year! I recorded this but never got around to posting it so let’s get back in the groove. This is Interlude and chapter 6 of 31 Overlook Hotel on the Coffee & Dark Reads podcast, you can find the book at //mybook.to/31OverlookHotel and all my social media links at //bio.link/paulaacton

Fact Vs Fiction

New Year’s Day = Resolutions!

It is January the first and of course that means that it is time to make a load of resolutions in the hope that we will at least keep one or two. This year however I am doing things a little differently and breaking the year down into three month blocks, basically quarters.

The last few months of last year I switched from using my yearly planning ststem to using a three month Legend planner, this is the one I am using though I am sure others are available…

The link for this one is here. I did begin to find that slowly I was becoming more productive in the last few months so I am going to try this method again this year. So rather than a year of resolutions in one go you will get five at a time, some will continue through the year with smaller milestones.

Resolution One – Write every day!

This seems self explanatory, but previously I have set myself targets and then knowing that I cant hit it I have got disheartened, so this time around the target is only 500 words per day. I really do want to write a lot more than that each day, and to get everything out I want to this year I will need to average out 1500 to 2000 a day but by allowing myself those day where 500 words counts I won’t feel like a failure if I don’t manage more on a busy day.

Resolution Two – Publish Rosie

This book is a third written, it is planned, outlined and complete in my head I just need to get the words on paper and get it out. I have an anthology out next month that needs to be finished in the next week, then it is all systems blazing for this project. I am hoping this book will be out in time to take print copies to Telford in March and the exciting this is this will be my first full length romance.

Resolution Three – Publish Role Of The Dice

Like Rosie this book is planned, outlined and a third written, it even has chapters laid out for the rest of the book it just needs me to focus and get it done. While I would love to get this out for Telford I doubt I will get to a point where I have print copies available for both books. My only hope would be possibly to create a book plate so anyone who wants to buy it from Amazon when it comes out, the ones that can’t get to see my later in the year, can add it. The thing to remember is that you can always order print copies of my books, signed and personalised from Raven’s Rest Press which is the name I have given my print imprint.

Resolution Four – Keep up to date with all scheduled posts.

I pay for a service that allows me to schedule posts to FB, Twitter, Instagram etc and when I first got it I was really good at making sure I arranged for a few posts per day so that even on busy days I had a presence. Then after a while, I became disheartened with my writing, as a result I only posted sporadically. This year I am determined to keep on track. Just 30 minutes each day will enable me to keep up with it all and allow me to share more with my readers.

Resolution Five – Lose Weight

Instead of setting a goal for the year I am aiming to divide it up into more manageable sections. So first this first quarter I am aiming to lose 24lbs, this should be easier as you do tend to lose weight quite quickly at the start. I wasn’t sure if I should share my starting weight but I guess it will make me more accountable to myself if no one else. So my starting weight is 283lbs. I will check in on the first of each month as far as my resolutions go and let you know how it is going.

Getting started…

Now, you know my plans for the next three months I would also like to assure you that you will be seeing me more here more as well and I will be posting at least twice a week plus getting the podcast running again. 2022, watch this space.

Fact Vs Fiction

Merry Christmas!

This year has been rather disappointing for me in many ways but mostly I feel I have let myself and my readers down with my lack of productivity. The good news is that a switch in my head seems to have flipped and the ideas are flowing again.

I am not going to say too much in this post about my plans for next year but I will simply wish you all a wonderful holiday however you celebrate it. For those on their own please reach out, there are thousands of others out there in the same position and and even if you can’t be physically with someone we live in an age where technology brings us together.

I have thought about that a lot the last few month, if the pandemic had happened when I was a child it would have been so much worse, no internet, mobile phones, in fact many people, my family included still used the phone box at the end of the street. Today we can, call, email, message, text and FaceTime, so many ways we can reach out and keep in touch with others if we make the effort.

It is also a time where if you have an elderly neighbour, or someone who you know lives alone, you can make a real difference. You might not want to invite them round for dinner but when you have all those leftovers you can think about whether they might welcome a plate for their dinner the next day, or that spare slice of cheesecake might just be a treat they would not have bought themselves.

Christmas is for giving but that doesn’t have to mean expensive gifts, some times a kind word is enough to make a change to someone’s day, and making memories is the most precious thing you can do with those nearest and dearest to you.

So I have rambled enough, I will simply wish you all a merry Christmas and will be here next week to talk about the future.