Tag Archive | United States

Fifty shades of abuse?

 

 

 

I heard today a UK charity called for people to hand over their copies of Fifty Shades of Grey so they can be burnt in a huge bonfire.

 

While I don’t like the idea of burning books or any forms of extremism and intolerance (remember the Nazis?)

 

"North Hampton is a Domestic violence fre...

“North Hampton is a Domestic violence free-zone” (Massachussetts) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

, I can see their point. I like to listen to both sides. That said, I’m really uncomfortable with the idea. Burning books, burning flags? No. What will this achieve?

 

 

 

One can only hope this is done to shock in hope of garnering publicity for the charity and highlight what victims of domestic violence go through. I can also understand this charity’s frustration as authorities cut down on the services they provide for these victims. Not so long ago some of these women were told by their local authorities to go and sleep in the Occupy movement tents because of a lack of hostels.

 

Really? What a ridiculous suggestion!

 

 

 

When I was asked, as an author, for my views on the Fifty Shades phenomenon, I declined to comment, pointing out I hadn’t read them. No problem, they said, we’ll send you a copy right away. Ah thanks, not my type of book was my reply.

 

I have toyed with the idea of reading them since everywhere you look, someone is talking about it. Comments, reviews, articles in newspapers, you can’t escape the wildfire.

 

The more I read, the less I was inclined to read these books, even though I enjoy reading different genres and have at times been nicely surprised. It’s just not for me and that’s fine.

 

 

 

The fantasy of the young virgin being taken in charge by a millionaire is nothing new, but I baulk at the idea of reading a novel where someone enjoys inflicting pain. Oh, but he has a tormented past. Hmm, so what? Many more have had a difficult start in life, no reason to turn on others, on the contrary. There is a time when people have to grow up and make their own choices.

 

While victims can find solace and healing with others, this sounds a bit extreme. Most of the healing has to start from within. Imagine if all of us who had a difficult childhood did this? In reality, you can’t just change people, not unless they want to.

 

Some will say this is a novel, no harm done. Perhaps, but will it do anything to help change attitudes about rape and violence?

 

Each to their own, but let’s not forget the vulnerable, the victims. While everybody are making jokes, they’re still suffering.

 

 

An erotic novel? Moi?

 

The hazards of the writer’s life.

You write a story and then something unexpected happens.

Waking up one morning, I noticed my husband was laughing his head off. I was getting quite concerned.

Would he recover? The joke was on me of course as he showed me the source of his hilarity.

Occupy Me, a short story I wrote, or is it?

Turns out someone else had published an erotic novella, with the same title.

You’ve got to be kidding? Can’t make these things up.

A message pops up, from my publisher. Bless them, they do try hard and they did have a bit of a struggle with Amazon.

Anyway, they didn’t realise…

Oops.

Of course I asked them to change the title. It is now called Occupy Me, a French Affair. 

Nothing to do with the erotic novella.

The jokes abounded. Friends and readers know I write under two pen names and in different genres. Well, not that genre yet.

You never know. Never say never…

 

Check it out:

The arrest of a French politician in New York brings back unwanted memories as a French woman recalls her ordeals. After a brief holiday back in France, she gets caught in the upheaval in America and witnesses her boyfriend being pepper sprayed at a peaceful demonstration.

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You might have heard…

If you fancy reading Nowhere Left to Hide for free now is your chance.  

     Hurry, it’s only for 3 days. 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0063T7QN6/ref=tsm_1_fb_lk

So click on the link to be transported to Santa Barbara, California.

Happy reading!

By the way, I’ll love you to bits if you could post a review.

Thank you 🙂

Author to Author with Rochelle Melander

Welcome to Rochelle Melander, CEO of Write Now! Coach, a writing, editing, and coaching practice that she founded in 2001. Her 10th book, Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell About It) will be released in October 2011. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Where do you most like to write?

I write in my home office, next to a window, so I can watch the squirrels, birds and the neighbor’s cat when I have writer’s block. I live in a college neighborhood, and my office window overlooks a duplex filled with college students. Over the years, I have been treated to many more risque sights and sounds than squirrels and birds. My other very favorite place to write is at my friends’ home on Coronado Island in California. I love to look out at the lemon tree and smell the ocean as I write!

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

Tons! I am always revisiting my life experiences in my writing work. Since I mostly write nonfiction, I often use my daily experiences as a jumping off point for the writing I do. I am currently working on a novel, and I am finding that I do the same thing. I am planning to host my first Thanksgiving dinner ever in a few weeks. It just so happens, that I have given the characters in my NaNoWriMo novel the same challenge. This way, I get to look up recipes during my work time and get a double benefit out of it.

  • Plotter or pantser?

I land somewhere in the middle. I usually have an idea of the general plot line, but then I develop the specific plot turns and scenes as I write. Sometimes I stick to the original plot lines, sometimes I don’t.

  • The dreaded writer’s block, have you been struck with it or blissfully spared?

I’ve had massive bouts of writer’s block and have finally figured out that writer’s block usually means something. Here are the likely culprits: 1. I am tired. 2. The book’s structure, plot, or topic is not working. For either crisis, I take a break from writing that piece and do something else. (Take a nap, do laundry, play with kids, walk in the park.) When I come back, I am usually able to write or find a solution to the book’s problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the Write Now! Coach, Rochelle Melander coaches professionals, executives, writers, business owners, and aspiring authors. Write Now! Coach Rochelle Melander values the power of writing to change the lives of writers and readers. She teaches aspiring authors how to make time to write, shape their ideas into a book or product, sell their work, and navigate social media.

 

Write Now! Coach evolved from Ms. Melander’s related careers as an author, feature writer, copywriter, editor and coach. Rochelle writes a popular Ezine, Write Now! Weekly Writing Tips, blogs regularly, and hosts the Write Now! Mastermind Class

 

Find out more:

Rochelle@writenowcoach.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/rochellemelander

http://www.twitter.com/writenowcoach

 

www.write-a-thon.com

www.writenowcoach.com

The link to the book trailer is:  http://bit.ly/WriteathonTrailer

 

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Once a victim, always a victim?

My new novel follows a British student as she leaves her past behind her to go and study in California. Make no mistake, Natasha is a go-getter, a fighter, not a victim.

Abuse is ugly and all too often an assumption takes place, labels stick. Once a victim, always a victim? Abused children go on to replicate what was done to them?

I don’t think so. Yes, of course it does happen, but a difficult upbringing is never an excuse and many of us do go on to become loving parents. Perhaps it makes us better parents, I don’t know but for those who recover and break the cycle life becomes a constant search to better ourselves, a perpetual discovery and lightbulb moments.  For even after all these years you suddenly get a better understanding of past events and with life experience you might understand, not excuse, what pushed people to act the way they did but also to understand you were not the only one, that it didn’t happen because of something you did.

Whatever happens to us, we have a choice, we can turn our lives around instead of seeing ourselves as victims.

In Nowhere Left to Hide, Natasha has to fight her childhood ghosts. She’s had to run away many times, she knows what it is to live in fear and run away in the night.

When she’s offered the opportunity to study in Santa Barbara she does not hesitate despite being warned of the challenge ahead of her. She doesn’t even consider it a challenge, rather she sees her chance to be free and seizes it.

Being so far away from her tormentors and her fears she can finally be herself and shake off the labels. She makes friends and falls in love. The big question is: can she conquer her last fear?

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 | THANKSGIVING

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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