Pauline Hayton

Pauline Hayton hails from the north east of England. She worked as a probation officer in her hometown of Middlesbrough before immigrating to the United States in 1991. She and her husband currently live in Naples, Florida with four abandoned cats who adopted them. She figures there must be a sign at the end of her drive that says two mugs live here.

She started writing in 1996, after listening to her father’s war stories and reading his wartime diaries. She found them so interesting, she felt compelled to write her first book “A Corporal’s War”.

Researching for this book, she discovered the true WWII story of a remarkable woman, Ursula Graham Bower and wrote “Naga Queen”. While researching “Naga Queen” she became friends with Ursula’s daughter through whom Hayton became involved in bettering the lives of the Naga tribes in northeast India. This also led to a new book, “Chasing Brenda”, (since renamed “Grandma Rambo”), a lighthearted adventure in Nagaland, written after the author visited Magulong village where she and her husband support a school, at a time there was rebel activity in the area.

“Myanmar: In my Father’s Footsteps. A Journey of Rebirth and Remembrance” is a travelogue of a trip taken in 2006. After surviving two battles with cancer, Hayton wanted to celebrate and decided to visit the places where her father fought the Japanese in Burma during WWII. It was a healing, life-changing journey for her.

Her book “If You Love Me, Kill Me”, a funny, sad and intense story, is based on the author’s painful, personal experiences while caring for her elderly parents.

The author published her memoir “Still Pedaling” in 2015, with the hope that anyone facing hardships and challenges can lessen their pain by recognizing how a greater power is on hand, bringing help and support.

In 2016, Hayton published “Extreme Delight” an anthology of short true and fictional stories and poems, as well as her first children’s book “The Unfriendly Bee.”

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Naga Queen by Pauline Hayton

In late 1930s Britain, a young woman yearns for the exciting adventures that seem to be reserved exclusively for men. “Come visit me in India,” her friend Alexa writes, and Ursula Graham Bower does, unaware that Assam is where her dreams will come true.

Flouting convention, she goes to live in the jungle-clad hills with reformed headhunters, the Zemi Nagas, where she finds fulfillment and a sense of purpose by recording their culture and providing much needed medical care. Her attempts to reconcile the distrustful Zemi with the British authorities are unsuccessful, until the 1942 Japanese invasion of Burma becomes the catalyst to heal the breach.

The British Army recruits her into “V” Force as a guerilla. Leading a band of Naga scouts and a platoon of soldiers, she watches the border areas. The Japanese invade India and, with British lines twenty miles behind her, the danger increases. Fearing the authorities will make her leave if they contact her, and that the Nagas will fold if she goes, Ursula signals H.Q. “Going forward to find the enemy. Send more rifles.” The Nagas remain loyal in the most dangerous circumstances, even being prepared to die with her. They put their trust in Ursula and the authorities and the authorities trust them, and they do not fail each other. The Zemi suspicion of the British Government dissolves.

As the war moves into Burma, Ursula receives the Order of the British Empire Medal for her exploits. Lt. Colonel Betts, a “V” Force officer intrigued by the idea of a woman guerilla and seeking an unconventional wife, schemes to meet Ursula. She marries him, having found a man who loves her for living life on her own terms.

Review: Ursula was an amazingly complex and interesting woman and author Pauline Hayton has definitely done Ursula’s story justice. “Naga Queen” is a completely riveting read. Hayton’s writing style is impeccable and, even though this is a fictional biography, the reader will be hard pressed to figure out what is truth and what is myth. Hayton has skillfully woven Ursula’s amazing life into a rich tapestry that was truly a pleasure to read. Reviewed by Charline Ratcliff for RebeccasReads

Genre: Fictional Biography

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