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.

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.

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.

Fact Vs Fiction

31 Overlook Hotel, Interlude & Chapter 5

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-r6f6b-10fef51

This is Interlude and chapter 5 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

31 Overlook Hotel, Interlude & Chapter 4

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-cu86x-10ec689

This is Interlude and chapter 4 of 31 Overlook Hotel on the Coffee & Dark Reads podcast, you can find the book at http://mybook.to/31OverlookHotel and all my social media links at https://bio.link/paulaacton

Fact Vs Fiction

31 Overlook Hotel, Interlude & Chapter 3

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-mpfp7-10e332d

We move on to chapter three of 31 Overlook Hotel, as I stated before the book is free on amazon here http://mybook.to/31OverlookHotel and all my social media links at https://bio.link/paulaacton