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
Amazon Print Purchase Link:
A Corporal’s War: The WWII Adventures Of A Royal Engineer by Pauline Hayton
It’s 1939. Norman, twenty years old, married, and father of a young child, struggles to make ends meet. To improve the family’s finances, he enlists in the army, figuring that when his six months’ National Service ends, he will be twenty-one and entitled to earn adult wages, a good plan until foiled by Britain’s declaration of war against Nazi Germany.
Norman’s world is turned upside down. His six months of army life stretches to seven years, where he forges friendships that sustain him throughout the war years. Norman and his comrades survive the dangers of the German war machine’s devastating defeat of the British army at Dunkirk. When his company is posted overseas for four years, the men overcome homesickness in the killing heat of India, a country Norman grows to love. They build airfields in Assam and battle monsoon mud and rain during mopping up operations against the Japanese in north Burma’s steamy jungles.
Finally, the atomic bomb brings the war in the Far East to an end, and Norman is able to return home. After a four-year absence, he worries: how much has the war changed him? Will his wife recognize him? Will she welcome him home with open arms?
Review by Alyce Wilson of Wild Violet Hot Heart: A Corporal’s War is a vivid recounting of World War II, told from the point-of-view of British Corporal Norman Wickman. Cover to cover, A Corporal’s War is a fascinating read for anyone who has wondered what a soldier’s experience is truly like in battle. Some of the stories are dramatic or tragic, while others recount mundane trials, such as dealing with a bedbug infestation, or suffering through the muddy monsoon season. Read this entertaining, well-written personal view of World War II.
Rambles review by Daniel Jolley: A Corporal’s War: World War II Adventures of a Royal Engineer is not only a deeply personal and wonderful account of one young British soldier’s wartime experience, it is also an illuminating look at an overlooked theater of the war (India/Burma). Definitely one of the best wartime accounts I’ve read in a long time. I was totally captivated by Norman’s story, and his homecoming, after four years of separation from his wife and little girl, left me with a lump in my throat and a renewed admiration for all brave unheralded young soldiers then and now.
2nd Draft review by T. Russell Wingate: Pauline Hayton has written an excellent book. It is realistic and just what the reader wants. A fine performance for a first book.
Rebecca’s Reads: A Corporal’s War is a riveting, personal and informative biography.
Amazon Print and Kindle
Still Pedaling by Pauline Hayton
Precocious brat, poverty-stricken single parent, gave away child for adoption, gang rape survivor, world traveler, spiritual healer, probation officer, immigrant, massage therapist, cancer survivor, author, care giver to elderly parents, headstrong wife, educational sponsor for 100 Naga children—you name it, I’ve done it and I turned out OK. I’m still pedaling and you can too.
Review “Grit, gusto and spiritual grace animate a vibrant memoir. Still Pedaling’s effectiveness comes from the author’s brutal honesty about embarrassing episodes and ailments; her considerable skill in selection, organization and style; and her fully realized presence as a vivid, imperfect, unsinkable personality. Readers can put the variety of her experiences and the ways in which she created and maximized her opportunities in life to their own healing use.” – Phil Jason, Ph.D., United States Naval Academy professor emeritus of English, is a poet, critic and freelance writer with 20 books to his credit.
Praise for Still Pedaling
Once again Pauline Hayton has penned an amazing tale. In fact, she is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
In Still Pedaling, Hayton takes the reader on a journey which encompasses the entirety of her life. It is a brutally open and honest look at her – from childhood until the almost-present day. And having finished the book, I find myself wishing that I had lived near her because she is an amazing woman with an unbreakable spirit and a gargantuan-sized zest for life. I think the two of us would have been fast friends…
Yes, Still Pedaling is an autobiography – yet, it reads as easily as one’s favorite fictional novel.
To say that she’s a fighter who has overcome the odds and adversities of her life is an understatement. She is, without a doubt, a shining beacon of hope to all – whether they have struggled with the same, or similar, challenges she has faced or not. And somehow, through it all, Hayton always managed to take time to help others – to make a difference in their lives. I’m certain that those whose lives she’s affected would readily agree that she’s an amazing woman…
In summary, Still Pedaling is a five-star ‘must read’ book. A true ‘feel good’ reminder that life is what you make of it – no matter what your personal situation. By Charline Ratcliff, Author, The Curse of Nefertiti
Grit, gusto and spiritual grace animate a vibrant memoir
It’s not often that one encounters an autobiography written by a non-celebrity that has the likelihood of reaching a wide audience, but Pauline Hayton has written such a book, revealing a life lived with immense challenges, plenty of setbacks, risky decisions and an evolution of goals and values.
Still Pedaling is Pauline’s sixth book. Its effectiveness comes from the author’s brutal honesty about embarrassing episodes and ailments; her considerable skills in selection, organization and style; and her fully realized presence as a vivid, imperfect, unsinkable personality. Readers can put the variety of her experiences and the ways in which she created and maximized her opportunities in life to their own healing use. — Phil Jason, Ph.D., United States Naval Academy professor emeritus of English, is a poet, critic and freelance writer with 20 books to his credit, including several studies of war literature and a creative writing text.
Genre: Teen, Young Adult, Biography, Memoirs
Amazon Print and Kindle
More Books To Enjoy
Grandma Rambo by Pauline Hayton
Her sixtieth birthday, her self-centered husband, and the death of a friend have Brenda wondering what happened to her once adventurous spirit.
Determined to get it back, she hotfoots it to a remote village in India. Family members give chase to persuade her to come home and life becomes hectic. When Brenda’s ditzy granddaughters arrive in India, rebels promptly kidnap them. With the police no help and her dander up, Brenda turns into “Wonder Woman” on a mission, embarking on a hare-brained scheme to rescue “her girls.” Her showdown with the maniacal rebel leader has Brenda fearing for her life and the lives of her granddaughters. Calling him a moron doesn’t help. Against all odds, she outwits the rebels. Using implements hidden in her bra, Brenda escapes with the girls under cover of night.
Traipsing through jungle, dodging rebels and bullets, and fleeing angry bears—no problem for the wild child in Brenda that was there all along.
Genre: Humor, Satire, Action, Adventure
Amazon Print and Kindle
The Unfriendly Bee by Pauline Hayton
Beryl, the unfriendly bee, chases other bees away from flowers that have the most pollen. She doesn’t care if she has no friends. She wants to win Queen Bee’s merit badge for collecting the most pollen for the hive. The other bees are annoyed and teach Beryl a lesson–that life is much better if you are a friendly bee.
Genre: Children Age Range: 5 – 8 years, Grade Level: 1 – 3
Amazon Print and Kindle
Extreme Delight and Other Stories by Pauline Hayton
An eclectic collection of writings the author has produced over the years. Some stories tell of real events, others are pure fiction. The anthology includes stories from her worldwide travels, toastmaster speeches, magazine articles, and poems.
Genre: Humor, Satire
Amazon Print and Kindle Purchase Link:
If You Love Me, Kill Me by Pauline Hayton
When Pauline brings her eighty-three-year-old parents from England to America to care for them, she little realizes the hardships she endures will bring her to the brink of madness, murder and suicide.
Review: Rating: 5 Stars – A Must Read.In “If You Love Me, Kill Me”, Hayton takes us on an eye-opening, unforgettable journey of life and aging. It is a sincere and heartfelt book, a no holds barred read. Hayton has a serious message and she is not afraid to share it. Its blunt truths will doubtless shock you; causing you to question everything you thought you believed in. Use “If You Love Me, Kill Me” as a helpful reference or validation of what you are feeling due to being in a similar situation. Either way, it’s a must read. Reviewed by Author Charline Ratcliff for Rebecca’s Reads.
Genre: General Fiction, Family Life
Amazon Print and Kindle Purchase Link:
Myanmar: In my Father’s Footsteps (A Journey of Rebirth and Remembrance) by Pauline Hayton
Emotionally drained and physically depleted from aggressive cancer treatments, Pauline Hayton desires to once again feel really alive.
Her solution is an adventure in Myanmar, formally known as Burma. She takes along her husband Peter, and a film crew, students from Boston University, to capture her travels on film to help her grandchildren remember her should she develop further cancers and die, as expected, from the harsh radiation treatments.
She explores remote regions where tourists rarely go and travels the famous Ledo road, visiting the places where her father participated in The Burma Campaign, as a Royal Engineer in Britain’s Fourteenth Army. Hayton’s jaunt in Myanmar, in search of lightness and fun, turns into a journey of self-healing and of remembrance of Fourteenth Army soldiers who suffered tremendous hardship as they fought to retake Burma from the Japanese.
Review: “Myanmar: In My Father’s Footsteps” is a written accounting of Hayton’s experiences as she trekked through Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) attempting to make the same journey that her father made during his World War II tour of duty.Having become close to her father while writing about his WWII adventures in “A Corporal’s War” and having recently survived cancer, Hayton decided to visit the lands she had heard so much about. With her husband Peter, and a film crew to capture this trip on film, Hayton explored remote regions rarely seen by outsiders; traveled the famous Ledo Road and followed in her father’s footsteps as closely as the Burmese government would allow. Unfortunately, Hayton wasn’t allowed to completely follow her initial itinerary but she did see enough to gain a better perspective of her father’s World War II experiences and there were definitely some sad and somber moments. On the one hand it was wonderful to see, photograph, and travel on the still intact roads and bridges built during his time; on the other hand, it was sobering to travel to cities and monuments where thousands had laid down their lives for both sides.”Myanmar: In My Father’s Footsteps” is an interesting and well-written book. I also thought that the photographs Hayton included throughout the book were a nice touch. “Myanmar: In my Father’s Footsteps” is written as a personal journal. Knowing that Hayton brought a film crew with her on this trip, and knowing that she was trying to preserve her experiences so that her children and grandchildren would know her father better also seems to point to this conclusion.Reviewed by Charline Ratcliff for RebeccasReads.
Amazon Print and Kindle Purchase Link:
About 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.”