I know many people may have thought I had disappeared for good but nope, I am back. This year has been rough and I have had to dig deep to get through it. Both parents have been ill and while my mum has rallied and is better sadly we are in the process of the long goodbye with my dad.
I delayed this post from yesterday in honour of the Queen’s funeral but I am hoping to get back to using this platform on a regular basis again. I appreciate it will take a while to build it back up, likewise my website paulaacton.co.uk. I will be working extra hard as I have a lot of exciting things going on over the next twelve months and I can’t wait to share it all with you.
꧁༒☬𝓐𝓿𝓪𝓲𝓵𝓪𝓫𝓵𝓮 𝓯𝓸𝓻 𝓟𝓻𝓮-𝓞𝓻𝓭𝓮𝓻☬༒꧂
A collection of stories previously printed in anthologies mixed with some new stories from the dark recesses of my imagination
Friday WordPress notified me that I started this little blog 10 years ago. At the time I hadn’t published anything and I was in the process of having to reassess a lot of things in my personal life. I had a toddler, had undergone my first spinal surgery and my long term relationship was dead on it’s feet.
The surgery was the thing that made me realise I needed to make the changes, I could have died under the knife and considering your mortality makes you think about what legacy you leave. At that point mine would have been notebooks of half ideas, plotlines and character sketches.
Fast forward ten years, I have a couple of books published I have taken part in numerous anthologies and have more books coming this year, so am I still ‘An Aspiring Author’?
The answer is not really, the time has come for me to own that label and so the blog has had a name change. In a couple of months ‘Tales From A Fractured Mind Vol 1‘ will come out it will be a collection of stories previously published in anthologies and a couple of new short stories. Some anthology stories are destined to be reworked into full novels but others just sit on the computer never to be seen again so I decided that they deserved to be available to a wider audience.
I decided on the ‘Fractured Mind’ tagline because the more I write the more genres that get encompassed, this first collection is quite dark but not all of it is horror, there are stories that will deal with child abuse, suicide, along with some paranormal stories. Future volumes may have more romance in but this first one is definitely compiled from my darker side.
In my personal life I am happier, it has not been an easy road. There have been two spinal surgeries in total, I have lost my grandma, lost my beloved pooch Boris, gained and lost a little hellcat, Molly. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will have seen Molly and know what an impact the elderly stray made on my life even though her time with me was only a few years. I am seeing someone, it’s a chilled relationship that allows me my freedom and space which is something I needed after the last few years of my previous relationship.
One of the biggest changes is I became a grandma, I don’t generally post photos of the grandkids but one photo won’t hurt. they are now three and four and make me more determined to work harder to have something to leave them.
The other major change to my life also came with four legs.
Everyone who follows me on social media knows about these two. Ruby (the chestnut) came into my life autumn 2019 and I fell in love. Turned out there was a baby on board. I wasn’t sure if we would keep the baby but to be honest after six months of watching her grow I couldn’t let her go. They are another reason I need to take the next step to being more productive and selling more books, soon Preeya (the baby) will need to be sent away to be broken, so I need to start saving.
I no longer try to plot too far ahead I aim in blocks of three months to be more productive and I am getting there. Will this blog still be going in another ten years? Who knows, but I hope so. I met some people I came to see as friends through this blog, people on the other side of the world I might have never come across if I hadn’t sat and written that first post.
Life has not always been easy, but overall right now I am happy and looking forward to the future. Writing has brought so many wonderful people to my life that are now dear friends and I hope that there will be more to come.
Hands up confession that I have struggled to read anything in the last week. The day after my last post I woke up feeling like crap, head hurt, throat hurt and was coughing and sniffing. did the test and yup the dreaded twin lines. Next couple of days I slept, I don’t even remember Wednesday even though my daughter brought up my mothers day present and dropped it on the doorstep. Thursday I did manage to read a little, and finished reading Bourbon & Bullets, I know I am biased because I am in it but it was really good!
I actually received an email asking where the story of my two main characters can be found and…
‘The story I fell in love with is Bourbon and Bullets. Loveeeee! Thank you. Nena.Texas. USA.‘
I have to admit even through my Covid fog I got really excited about this and the request where she could find the full story. It has made me more determined than ever to have the story ready to go when I get my rights back to not lose momentum. If you want to have a read it is on KU or is available to buy here.
This is the blurb from this book…
I’m Dani, not Sophie. I’m a social media influencer, not a high school teacher. I’m from glamorous California, not rural Oklahoma. And I date available men, not my sister’s off-limits boss.
Even though we’re twins, we couldn’t be more different. I’m the wild child and Sophie’s far too responsible for her own good. I guess that’s why we’ve grown apart over the years. So imagine my surprise when she asks me to take her place while she plays hooky from work to travel abroad. I agree, knowing the swap has risks but never expecting my heart to be one of them.
What started as a favor soon becomes a scandal in the making. If she finds out how much I’m flirting with her off-limits boss—a man she hates—she’ll kill me. I can’t tell him who I really am, or he’ll definitely have to fire her. But if I don’t come clean, I’ll lose the only man I’ve ever truly wanted.
After I finished the anthology this was the other book I read. It was a quick, fun easy read, thank fully required very little though as my brain is out of order still. It would make the perfect beach read and is a different take the life of the ‘social media influencer’. The idea that all those freebies come with conditions is something I think a lot of people miss. If you want to read it you can find it here.
Hopefully by next week I will be feeling a lot more human and have more books to tell you about.
This is where I was this time last week, lined up with other authors towards the end of the Shenanigans signing in Telford. It was held at Haughton Hall, a place which looked very impressive from the outside but could do with a little TLC in some areas in the bedrooms. I put this down to the fact like other hotels and spa retreat places the pandemic and enforced closure has had in the upkeep of buildings with loss of income. Don’t get me wrong the place was clean and tidy it was just the little finishing touches.
Of course, the reason for being there was the signing and I loved it. I confess it took me a while to get in the mood, I think I was scared of getting the rug pulled out from under me again, especially with an author friend having to pull out just two days before due to covid.
I actually look terrible in all the photos at this event but I wanted to share this because it will probably be the last outing for this banner as I want one making with my logo on, though I do need to think of a tagline still yet.
We sold and signed books, had food and drink and had a lot of laughs, I am home inspired to kick myself up the backside before the summer and my next signing so I am going off the write now. I have extra days off this week not because I want them but my autistic teenager tested positive for Covid last night, all I can think is thank the stars it wasn’t last week.
I finally finished Romance Under Aquarius, I gave it a five star review on Amazon and I have to say it certainly spiced up towards the end. I am currently reading an anthology and listening to an audiobook, let’s talk about the audio first…
This audiobook is making me laugh as I listen and a few people on the local bus may be starting to think I have lost the plot. it is a narrative of her life though I am sceptical about how far back she claims to remember lol she discusses her childhood with humour and she was certainly a very precocious child. I have not listened to the whole thing yet so I have no doubt I will tell you more next week.
The book I am now reading is one I am included in…
I am the first story in this anthology and I confess I read parts of my own story and I was shocked how good it read. It is hard sometimes for us to blow our own horns but this one I should certainly blow. My main reason for reading it is of course to read the story my amazing fellow authors have created, if you want to support us you can find the book here, I am now onto the second story and it is a modern take on a mafia Romeo & Juliet story that I am enjoying.
I tried my best to resist buying any books at the signing I attended this weekend but I have downloaded a couple of books on Kindle Unlimited I will be reading.
Just as an extra I have been watching Life After Death With Tyler Henry on Netflix and it has been fascinating, not just for the psychic reveals but also the journey into his own family history. It is definitely worth a watch.
I was busy writing a short story for another anthology when the call went out asking for people to write a story for a charity anthology to raise funds to donate to the Red Cross Ukraine Appeal. How could I have ever said no?
It seems hard initially to think about love in a time of war, yet the reality is that love is often at it’s strongest. People fight to defend their, homes, their families, their loved ones. mothers grab children and flee not knowing if they will ever be reunited with the significant other. it is also a time where people an meet and fall in love with someone they might have never met in everyday life. Sounds far fetched? Let me tell you about how my grandparents met.
I never knew the story while my grandad was alive, there were just somethings he never talked about and I would never have dreamt of asking him, but if you were to ask my grandma she would tell everyone that she met my grandad in bed!
My grandma wanted to be a nurse and while she trained through WWII she was offered the chance to take an extra course in nursing TB patients, she was a firm believer of taking all options available and did the course and got on with her life. A couple of years later as the war came to an end my grandad was brought home from a prisoner of war camp suffering from TB… you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to work out what happened, my grandma was his nurse!
Now, to be fair it is a miracle he ever got to date her as there were also soldiers from her uncles regiment on the wards too who had all be warned she was off limits. I never completely understood the dynamics of my grandparents relationship until long after his death, when other family members filled me in on my grandads family history more. I do know that they met under incredible circumstances and that the bond between them was incredible.
I often think that they both saw the horrors of war in different ways, they didn’t need to talk about it, they understood each other and that while it might not be the type of romantic meeting so many people wish for, it was one that set them up for a lifetime together.
For many in this current conflict there will be no happy ending but if you can spare a couple of pounds then pre-order your copy today and help us help those who cannot help themselves right not. mybook.to/battleoftheHeart
Watching the news at the minute is heart breaking, wars happen and their are always innocent victims but the deliberate targeting of civilians, especially children can never be acceptable. People are donating all over the place, good to lorries to be driven over, money to charities, and in any way they can personally do so. An author friend decided we can donate our word to raise money which will be donated to the Red Cross Ukraine Appeal. This is our offering which we are getting together at breakneck speed.
Make love, not war.
Battle of the Heart is a collection of short stories centred around the theme of military and war romances.
Can love prevail?
100% of the proceeds of Battle of the Heart will be donated to the Red Cross as part of the Ukraine crisis appeal.
The battle of the Heart anthology includes stories from authors Danielle Jacks, Lizzie James, TS Arthur, M.B. Feeney, Paula Acton, Laura Rossi, M.L. Broome, Angel Devlin, SE Foster, KL Shandwick, Lynda Throsby and a poem from Sarah Michelle Lynch.
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.
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.
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.