Tag Archive | Southern California

Trashionista interview

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Recently we posted about Nowhere Left to Hide, the new novel by Elle Amberley. In the book, Natasha leaves her home to go to California – where she hopes to leave her past behind. We caught up with Elle to ask her more about her exciting new book and her writing habits!

Read it here : Elle’s interview on Trashionista



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Living in fear, and writing about it

Living in fear, and writing about it


Elle Amberley

Having your name out there in public can be a frightening thing for some, especially for us denizens of the internet. Mother and author Elle Amberley talks about fighting that fear and coming out as a writer and about her new book Nowhere Left To Hide.

This madness possessing me, the one that stops me in my tracks, forcing me to write, so compulsive and obsessive.

I’m a mum first and then an author. I’ve been very good at hiding the writer side of me for the last few years using a pen name and keeping my private life well out of my professional life.

So why am I coming out now under a new pen name? Why was I not content with being known as the hermit author on the other side of the Atlantic?

I’ve stopped being a wuss? Well, let’s just say when I started I was scared, I had been living in fear for years. I broach this in my latest novel but also I’ve been talking more publicly about my own experience and grown more confident.


Imagine living in fear for most of your life, your first memory being of terror. Dreaming night after night of escape plans, only to be woken up by your worst nightmare.

Writing has been a wonderful healing process and talking about it helps, sharing with others has surprising rewarding benefits. I still have lightbulb moments when I get a better understanding of past events, where I can see how people are sometimes driven to do what they do, or fail to (re)act.

Furthermore, time has passed and the nasties have got older, time to let go of the childhood ghosts. As a teenager I ran for my life, I escaped several times until I realised I had to go further away in order to get on with my life. This time I escaped for good and ended up on the other side of the world.

I always find it easier to express myself through my writing and also on my own blog than on other people’s. I suffer from the Great British reserve and fear to be seen as a “look at me” type. Truth is I really suck at promoting myself. But I’ve been asked to do interviews and nudged to go on Facebook. God, I was dreading that and yet, in only three months I have a fantastic group of friends and so much support.


So this is how I came to write Natasha’s story. It is not my story although there are similarities. I wanted to show “victims” do not have to accept labels, we can all break the cycle. Sartre said that we always have a choice. Indeed how we react is up to us, we can lay down as victims or pick ourselves up, live to see another day and grow from it.

Nowhere Left to Hide is not a sad story, but a positive one. You will not find graphic details in my book but you will meet a strong woman who is determined to turn her life around. She is not a victim, she’s a fighter and a go-getter.

Writing for me is fun, it’s what I enjoy the most. I can write anywhere, I even have to stop the car sometimes to get hold of my notebook. Nobody around me bats an eyelid, well not the people who know me anyway. The others I wouldn’t notice, my head is down, I’m in my own universe.

Characters speak to me and yes, I used to fear for my sanity. Is this normal, and what is normal anyway?

The good news is men in white coats have not come to take me away yet. A friend of mine, who also happened to be a novelist, once told me “You’re not mad, you’re creative.”

I like the sound of that, that’s my excuse anyway.

I’m always very happy to hear from readers or fellow writers. You’re very welcome to follow me on Elle Amberley Twitter and Elle Amberley Facebookwhere you will find updates and details of book signings.

Nowhere Left to Hide now on Amazon


About the author

Although she is a British author, Elle Amberley likes to dabble in French too and hopes to resume work on her French novel when time allows. She also enjoys writing articles on women’s issues and whatever she feels passionate about, as well as poetry. A follow up to Nowhere Left to Hide is due for publication in Spring 2012.


Nowhere left to hide Elle Amberley

Nowhere Left to Hide by Elle Amberley 

Described as “A heartfelt tale, told with a deft touch” by novelist Rowan Coleman.

Sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes romantic, this much awaited novel is a story of hope, fighting against the odds & the determination to do the right thing.


‘Lyrical from start to finish, Elle Amberley embraces the essence of women and friendship in Nowhere Left to Hide. Natasha, a young poet and writer, is wise beyond her years, as she lets us accompany her on her year long journey from England to the sunny coast of Southern California as she finds courage, her true calling and love.’ Ana Lewis, Founder, WomenontheVerge.net


This post was originally posted here : Guest post on Heather Sunderland

Please visit Heather’s wonderful blog, many thanks to her for hosting me.


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NOWHERE LEFT TO HIDE / An extract for Thanksgiving


Natasha loved the concept of Thanksgiving, everyone coming together to give thanks. She appreciated the meaning of it upon finding out what an important holiday it was in America. Many guests had invaded Tyler’s house, all very friendly. She already knew some of them, like Judy, the neighbour from across the road who was a regular visitor to the house.

Here it didn’t matter if she was shy, people were interested in her and actively sought out her company. There was no ice to break in California, unlike at home where you could have stood in your little corner for ages with no one to talk to.

The usual British questions flowed in a regular stream, curiosity abounded. ‘You’re a gutsy lady,’ commented the woman she’d been talking to. ‘Imagine, coming all the way over here on your own, not knowing a soul.’

Funny, thought Natasha, how all these people referred to her as gutsy. A word she had never even heard of before coming here. What was so brave about her, she wondered. Not one of them had a clue what she had been running away from.

Natasha and Tyler had helped Susan decorate oranges with cloves the night before, setting the scene for the celebrations ahead.

The feast prepared by Susan centred not around a turkey, as tradition called for, but a crispy roast duck accompanied by a spinach salad and mashed potatoes. Susan explained she had wanted to do something different. Wasn’t one turkey enough in a year? Who wanted to cook one for Thanksgiving and then again for Christmas?

Natasha, sitting between Tyler and Judy, was so inundated with questions, she didn’t feel like eating, rather she nibbled like she often did.

When it came to puddings though, Natasha couldn’t ignore the sounds of her tummy rebelling at the lack of food. She politely declined the pumpkin pie. Traditional or not, it didn’t appeal to her. Her eyes rested on the more familiar apple and pecan pies before settling on a slice of chocolate meringue pie. Good choice, she thought and well worth going hungry for, as the pastry melted in her mouth, oozing chocolate.

Mike and Kirsten arrived as they were finishing their desserts and the four of them retreated to Tyler’s bedroom to chat and listen to music, but not before Mike helped himself to a generous portion of pecan pie.

‘Let’s hit the shops tomorrow Nat, we can get our pressies sorted,’ suggested Kirsten excitedly.

‘Yeah right, not on Black Friday,’ said Tyler, rolling his eyes.

‘What on earth is Black Friday?’ asked Natasha puzzled. Surely it had nothing to do with Black Monday.

‘One of America’s greatest traditions, that’s what it is. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and marks the start of the shopping season.’

‘You mean for Christmas?’

‘Yep, that’s right.’

‘Kirsten, you can’t take Nat to the mall on that day, it’s murder out there.’

‘Oh come on Ty, you’re exaggerating.’


NOWHERE LEFT TO HIDE signed copies available here, reduced shipping fee for the US 🙂

Or click on the buttons on the right-hand side to connect to amazon.

Thank you, hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.


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Meet Kaira Rouda












Hi Kaira,

Thanks so much for taking part.


  • Born with a pen in your hand or writing came as a shock brigade?

Thanks for having me here, Elle!

And to answer your first question: born with a pen in my hand. I remember as a kid having a lump on the side of my finger from pressing so hard while writing in my diaries. For a while, I thought I’d be a poet a la Emily Dickinson. That was during my early teens. Here’s the reality. Armed with an English major from college, I headed into the world and have subsequently written for just about every type of publication – newspaper, magazines –  advertising and pr agencies and businesses you can imagine. Truly. It has been a fun and blessed career, but all along, I knew I wanted to write novels.

So I kept at it. I wrote and wrote, and now, finally, my dream has come true with the publication of  HERE, HOME, HOPE the first of a series of mainstream women’s fiction books.


  • Where do you most like to write?

My laptop. I typically wear the writing off the keys after a year or two. Once, we had a wonderful cockatiel named Sunny Delight who liked to pluck the keys off of my laptop as I wrote. He swiped the “P” and I never did find it. The invention I’m awaiting is a laptop that is outside/sunshine friendly. Then, I’ll be in heaven.

Specifically, though, I’m happy writing almost anywhere!

Elle: I love that story, and I’d love a laptop you can use no matter how strong the sun is, my idea of bliss too.


  • How much does real life inspire or shape your writing?

My stories are very much a product of my setting – my environment. You’ll find a lot of my sense of place through my own experiences.


  • Plotter or pantser?


  • Are you a disciplined writer? Do you make yourself sit down every day or do you write in bursts?

I’m a burster by nature. Writing fiction always has been for me a part of stolen moments. Only until the last year have I had the freedom to say I’m a writer. I’m still working out my rhythm!


  • Marketing, a necessary evil?

Marketing is a fact of life, no matter your business. And writing – having readers, that is – is a business. If you don’t care about readers, don’t market. I love Twitter. It’s my favorite social network. As with anything, though, one tactic for marketing – or for life – doesn’t work. It’s all about balance. Online, offline. Writing. Promoting. Living.

Thank you, Elle!!

My pleasure, Kaira. Turns out we have more in common than I thought. I’d probably describe myself as a burster too. But when it bursts, there’s no stopping me. And balance, ah yes, the fine art of juggling…balancing…

Find out more about Kaira here

Website: www.kairarouda.com


And follow her on Twitter: @KairaRouda

Facebook: Kaira Rouda Books



Kaira Rouda is the author of Real You Incorporated (Wiley) and created the Real Living Real Estate brand, the first national women-focused brand in real estate. She is the recipient of Best Entrepreneur of 2008 from Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and Entrepreneur magazine placed Real Living on its ”Top 50 Fastest-Growing, Women-Led Companies” list. During her twenty-year career in marketing, Kaira has received multiple ADDY, Webby, Telly, Communiator, Prism, WebAward, and W3 awards. Her debut novel Here, Home, Hope is a 2011 Winner of the Indie Excellence Award and honorable mention in the 2012 Writer’s Digest Independent Book Awards. She is a married, the mother of four, and lives in Southern California.

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Publication Day for Elle Amberley, author of Nowhere Left to Hide

Here we go finally! Hot on the trails of Elle’ s latest release in America, today sees the official launch of 

Nowhere Left to Hide

Available on paperback and Kindle

Order Nowhere Left to Hide on Amazon

Elle is not very well at the moment but there’s an online event on Facebook








Many people have contributed to Elle’s launch and here are some of the guest posts and interviews Elle has taken part in.

Many thanks to everybody for their messages and wishes, friends who hosted Elle on their blogs and publicised the event on Twitter and Facebook.






Please also check the links on News & Reviews. Will post them all later.

Thank you and don’t hesitate to drop in on Elle’s page.

The Indio Press team


Nowhere Left to Hide by Elle Amberley

Described as “A heartfelt tale, told with a deft touch” by novelist Rowan Coleman.

Sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes romantic, this much awaited novel is a story of hope, fighting against the odds & the determination to do the right thing.

‘Lyrical from start to finish, Elle Amberley embraces the essence of women and friendship in Nowhere Left to Hide. Natasha, a young poet and writer, is wise beyond her years, as she lets us accompany her on her year long journey from England to the sunny coast of Southern California as she finds courage, her true calling and love.’.

Ana Lewis, Founder, WomenontheVerge.net






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