Today I was due to host the hugely talented and popular Elle Amberley. Sadly, Elle has been unwell recently, so the friendly team at her publisher, Indio Press, have provided me with details of Elle's last release. My thanks to Sarah at Indio Press for responding so quickly. My thoughts are with Elle.
A prolific author, Elle Amberley writes Women’s Fiction, Literary, poetry, short stories and features. If that wasn’t enough she recently started writing in French and a novel is due for publication next year. Nowhere Left to Hide, her latest novel, is based in California and charts the journey of Natasha Parker, a British student who seeks to escape her childhood ghosts.
Here's what Elle had to say earlier about her fabulous setting, Santa Barbara:
While I was doing some research for my novel and in a recent interview I was asked “Why did you choose Santa Barbara for the story’s backdrop? Why not San Diego?”
I love Santa Barbara, I wanted to shout back. Well, I didn’t. I’m British, you know, the old reserve and all that…
I have such good memories of the town and its friendly inhabitants. It was my first taste of America and it surprised me, not what I had expected.
I loved its Mediterranean and laid-back atmosphere, the wonderful beaches, the little boutiques, the unusual architecture, more Spanish in style than the sky-high towers I had anticipated.
I remember being greeted like an old friend by shop keepers. Big shock, I had to refrain from turning round to check they were not talking to somebody else. We don’t get such a warm welcome in our hood. Indeed you’re very lucky if you do get a greeting at all.
So this is how, many years later, Natasha (the main character) popped up in my head demanding I write her story. I knew exactly where to send her. Well, the poor girl needed a break and the further away I sent her, the safer she would be.
Santa Barbara became the perfect place for her to let go of her childhood ghosts. Where better to free herself from a painful past, find love and friendship? For, make no mistake, Natasha is a go-getter, a fighter, not a victim.
The lovely beaches feature heavily in her daily life, providing the perfect background for romance and finding herself.
Santa Barbara still holds a little piece of my heart. Perhaps one day I shall return and reclaim it, or lose another piece.
Novelist Rowan Coleman wrote the blurb and described it as a “heartfelt tale.”
Natasha has fled her home too many times, she’s tired of running scared. When she's offered the chance to go to California, she can't wait.
Thousands of miles to free herself from her past. She might even find love if she can shed her last fears.
But what will she do when her visa expires and her boyfriend asks her to marry him?
Elle’s particular strength is writing positive stories with a strong theme of being lost and finding yourself again. Although she broaches difficult subjects in her novels, the characters turn out to be fighters, not victims. Every emotion is conveyed and her style has been described as “lyrical” and appeals to a wide age group, which is a rarity.
Having overcome many obstacles in her life, including a very difficult childhood, she chose to reconstruct her life. Rather than writing a memoir like many abuse victims she prefers to marry fiction with some of her own experiences. Elle’s short stories and articles reflect her interests and fascinations. A passionate writer, she uses these to express her feelings and dismay at the injustices of this world.