Welcome to CentreStage!
CentreStage showcases fantastic authors from around the world. These authors might talk to you about their books, their writing, their writing process, their likes or dislikes, their inspiration… or anything else that takes their fancy.
Today it is my tremendous pleasure to welcome the talented Elle Amberley. Elle shares my love for music and writing, so she’s written a very powerful, very intriguing post for my blog today. Give it up for… Elle Amberley!
Music and books, a never-ending love story
Books and music saved me from childhood despair, uplifting me and carrying me to a universe of my own. Marry this with an imagination often rebuked by adults, is it any wonder I became who I am today. An author who doesn’t like neat labels, who likes to experiment and write whatever bubbles up at the back of an overactive brain. I’m still looking for the pause button, the one to still my mind when I lay in bed unable to sleep despite extreme fatigue. When the fire rages on, the only way is to let the words pour out.
Words have saved me as an adult too, allowing me to part with a painful past, to clear my mind of all the negativity. Talking about dramas, small or bigger, is a powerful way to break away from all the vicious circles and help others. When I experienced profound grief a few years ago, music brought back the bubbles and so did French. I found myself able to express what I couldn’t in a language I picked up as a child, the start of my rebirth.
Being reminded of who I once was helped me to fight back. If you’ve survived once, you can do it again, my inner child screamed at me. So I found myself picking up Natasha’s story, a novel laying dormant in a corner of my mind. Natasha is a fighter, too proud at times, too independent, even if she’s longing for someone to love her and be there for her.
A British teenager, she travels to California, desperate to escape her only too real ghosts. In Nowhere Left to Hide, she finds herself and love, but refuses to take the easy way out. We catch up with her years later in Lost in Your Time. Heartbroken, she survives only for her children’s sake. But is this one battle too many?
Can she keep saying no to the handsome French rock star she is drawn to? She tells him it’s impossible. “Impossible is not a French word,” he counters back. Ah, she’d forgotten this old French saying. If only it was that easy.
All these years ago I let my mind wander reading stories and listening to music. Imagine my joy and emotion the first time a reader wrote to me to tell me how they had been transported to a better place, moved by my words. This is always the most precious compliment anyone can pay me, the thought that somehow I helped someone whom I’ve never met through a dark hour, or two. I do get a lot of mail from my readers, I never share the private messages, but they always touch me. This is something I feel very strongly about, respecting the privacy of my readers. As I wrote this post my publisher emailed me a review of From Me to You. I posted it further down, you will see why it made me smile, and no, I never get tired of hearing from my readers. Indeed, I feel honoured. Thank you to all who take the time to share a little bit of their lives or just want to say hi from time to time.
Years ago I wrote a few songs, I thought it was just for fun. Well, it turned into a bit more than that. And yes, I’m also writing songs in French. An anthology of my French poems has also been released recently.
I relish the challenge of writing in both languages, it sparks new ideas and broadens my style, twisting words in a different way. My style is different in French, sometimes more edgy. This edgier streak can be found in some of my poems too. Dark Tales, my next collection of short stories, follows this pattern and will soon be up for release.
So there you are, a little bit of me. Thanks for reading me and I hope to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and the likes.
Do I have more novels laying dormant at the back of my mind? You bet!
Awesome ~ This is such a powerful post and it puts your novels into context (musical and otherwise) beautifully. I, for one, can’t wait to see what you come up with next. Thank you for sharing, Elle! Now let’s take a look at the official Elle Amberley.
Introducing Elle Amberley and her work
A prolific author, Elle Amberley writes Women’s Fiction, Literary, poetry, short stories and features under different pen names.
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.
LOST IN YOUR TIME
Ah, the dangers of the internet! We’ve all been warned, but do we take notice?
When Natasha clicks on a link, her whole life is turned upside down. A flash from the past, a chance meeting with a gorgeous French rock star…
A chance to start over and forget the pain and misery from the last two years.
But can Natasha let go? Will she accept this new twist in her life?
Will she regain her “joie de vivre”? Or will the sparks fizzle out?
Cover blurb, courtesy of Jae De Wylde, author of The Thinking Tank.
Rock star or husband – which would you choose?
Elle’s chatty and engaging style invites us in to share Nat’s thoughts and feelings as she comes to terms with another of life’s twists. Will she choose happiness or duty? Or are they one and the same?
NOWHERE LEFT TO HIDE
Natasha has fled her home many times. 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.
Sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes romantic, a story of hope, fighting against the odds & the determination to do the right thing.
“A heartfelt tale, told with a deft touch.” Rowan Coleman, author
“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
FROM ME TO YOU
Elle says: This a review my publisher found on Amazon. Thank you so much to the lovely reader who took time to post this, it brought a smile on my face and makes it all worthwhile.
Elle Amberley’s new collection of poetry is an honest, emotive and sometimes gritty depiction about life and love and evoked a variety of emotions in me, particularly ‘I Knew You Already’ which describes the strong bonds of motherhood even through pregnancy, sickness and fear, right to that moment when you finally hold your infant and you do indeed recognise them.
There are glimmers of humour in her work and a great deal of empathy and honesty. The short sharp sentences bring home the pains, joys and angsts of self hatred, falling in love and a changing troubled world, giving plenty of food for thought.
No matter how you feel you will find a poem that suits your mood in this excellent collection; from the very serious Mad World to the tongue in cheek Express Yourself.
These are poems that will stay with you and have you re reading them and finding something new to ponder over or smile about each time.
A delight to read and consider and I look forward to reading future collections.
Wow, Elle: what an endorsement. Congratulations!!
And finally… here are all the place where you can find Elle:
Elle Amberley Author; Elle Amberley Blog ; Elle Amberley Facebook; Elle Amberley Twitter; Elle Amberley Amazon UK; Goodreads profile; Mood boards for Elle’s novels
So… a lyrical writer with fighter heroines tackling difficult issues; an author versed in French and English and associating different moods and experiences with each. What an intriguing post!
Do let’s talk about heroines. Do you prefer fighters, or damsels in distress? Do you write fighters, or damsels in distress? Or both?
Thank you so much for having me! Such a delight to take part. Xx
My pleasure entirely! x
Great feature ladies! I’m looking forward to reading your books, Elle, and this has made me want to get to them sooner than later. Cheers! xx
Hi Melanie, always such a pleasure to see you here: thank you for visiting and commenting and I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Rock on, you’re a star!
Thank you! Wishing you a happy read 🙂
I am in awe! Writing in French (a language I love and am rediscovering thanks to my co-author) is seriously cool. And a rock-star writer – what’s not to love?!
I guess – I *hope* – we write about people who have fight and vulnerability both. People who are real, relatable and inspirational.
Thanks for a lovely post, Elle and Nicky x
Hi Jo, thank you, as always, for visiting and commenting. Elle has a pretty cool thing going there, right? I know I couldn’t write in German if you paid me, so hats off to Elle for writing in two languages. Wow! I like your tag–real, relatable, inspirational. Sounds like a good marketing line!! XX
I hadn’t thought of that! Most people refer to the location of Cordello or to lovelight when they talk about The Cordello Quest, rather than the characters! Thanks for that! 😉
Oh absolutely, Joanna. My heroines shine through their spirit but also their vulnerabilities. I love the contrast of both.
Thanks for your comment. Xx
They sound fantastic! We’re already connected on Goodreads but I’ve linked up with you on Twitter and FB as well. And I have your Amazon profile up in my browser to check out your books later in the week. I’m in full lurgy mode at the moment so brain is half full of slush 😉
Ack, not the dreaded lurgy! Hope you feel better soon and take it easy. X 🙂
Thanks Nicky, just seen your comment. Xx
🙂 I like to have a little chat on my blog… it’s all good! x
Ah I am ‘ow you say? so envious of ‘zis lady. She writes in zee beautifool French and Engleesh and writes songs too. Merde she is talented!
On a serious note I love the sound of your books Elle, especially as I am a Francophile – hunky French rock stars sound right up my street (or is is it grande rue?)
Super post Nicky. Well done Elle!
Aah, zee lovely Carrol! (Wish I could mimick an accent as well as you can). I knew this would be up your street, so glad you had a chance to visit and comment. Thank for joining the party! X **speaks in French accent again** Rrrrock onnn!
Morte de rire, as the French would say. Merci Carole!
Hi Elle/Nicky! What a fabulous post. I love your positivity, Elle. Like you, I prefer to let the negativity go and learn from life’s tribulations and grow. Oooh, I’ve just turned into a poet, too! 🙂 I agree totally about the lovely warm glow you get when thoughtful readers and reviewers go to the trouble of commenting favourably on your work. Knowing I’ve made someone leave their troubles behind and smile for a while is just the best feeling! Good luck, Elle! 🙂 xx
Thanks Sheryl! Xx
Aw, Sheryl, you always ‘get’ people. I am so glad you could visit today and enjoy Elle’s post. And you are both ladies who can make folks leave their troubles behind and smile. You rock!
Hi Elle, totally understand music and words being a salvation and comfort, wouldn’t be without them. As for the French angle, I’ve had a love affair with France for many, many years now, although freely admit my French is very rusty of late.
Really enjoyed this feature.
Thanks Nicky for putting it together.
Thanks Sue! Well, if you fancy brushing up your French let me know 🙂 Xx
Hi Sue, I thought of you (and Laurent…. you’ll have to resurrect him some time!) when I loaded this post and I thought you’d enjoy what Elle had written. So happy you popped in to the party, thank you for your lovely comment. X
The French are so funny though. If they hear me speak in French I have a hard time trying to convince them I’m English. If they know I’m English, they insist on speaking English with me. “But you have no accent,” they say.
Well, wait to see their puzzled faces when I revert to English without any warning. Hilarious! This happens when I’m daydreaming or very tired and ill, and it can take a moment, or two, for me to realise. Apparently they find it very endearing.
Ha, now *that* I can relate to. While I couldn’t write in German, I do still speak it. I was in Germany with my husband in a shoe shop a little while back, and he was struggling to find the right size for the shoes he wanted, so I translated back and forth. When we got to the till to pay, the shop assistant said to me, very slowly, in English: “Your German is really very good.” LOL! Elle, it’s been awesome to have you visit today ~ and I hope the party goes on a bit longer… XX
Awww, you are endearing, sweetie! 🙂 xx
She totally is!
Blushing furiously, thank you Xx
Another great guest on Centre Stage, Nicky! Thanks for sharing such a personal story, Elle! I am totally intrigued by the idea of a “French rock star” as a male protagonist. Sounds like writing is a very cathartic experience for you. Isn’t it amazing how art can elevate us? I feel the same way about my writing. It takes me out of myself and away from my problems; I find it very therapeutic.
Hey Tracie, thanks for joining the party. I totally get the ‘therapeutic’ value of writing ~ and if it’s that way for us, hopefully that extends to our readers. A French rock star is very intriguing indeed… Elle’s books are captivating. Thanks for your lovely comment and rock on! X
Thanks Tracie! Yes, totally. It’s helped me so much. Lost in your time was based on that idea, how words suddenly poured out of me in French, the grief I couldn’t express. It was a bit of a shock 🙂
I never imagined it would lead to being published in French.
Loved this post, totally understand using music and books as a toolkit for surviving a tough time. Elle, what music were you or are you into? What did you like reading back then? x
Another great job as hostess, Nicky : )x
I knew this post would interest you, Yasmin, so glad you caught it and thank you for stopping by and commenting. You are awesome and I second your question: Elle ~ what music are you into?? XX
Thanks Yasmin. I I love different styles, but I’ve never been a fan. I can’t limit myself to just one band or another.
When I was younger I found solace with Inxs, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran. I loved The Cure too, but they often darkened my mood. Also love the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, while Kings of Leon, Kasabian and Coldplay have been a more recent influence.
When I lived in Italy I discovered Eros Ramazotti, loved the melodies and intensity. I like drama and intensity 🙂
And of course, a certain rock star…
Wow, Elle, who would have thought! We share the same CD collection and you are seriously the first person EVER that I have met since I left Germany who’s heard of Eros Ramazotti. ‘Adesso tu’ and all that **swoon** My goodness, that brings back memories………
Hi lovely ladies! I loved this post and have to ring the bell one more time for the ability to escape into the beauty of music and reading. Both so healing for the mind and soul. I love you both! XOXO
Hi there Jen, thank you so much for your lovely comment and for joining the party. I know you love music and books!! We ought to start a club, LOL. Love ya right back! xxx
Lol, love the idea of a club. Eros always brings a smile. He makes the sun shine down on me, flies me to a better place. His music is so uplifting. It helped with my Italian too 🙂 Must dig out the cds. Could take a while, I have so many 🙂
Thank you Jen, very healing indeed. Love you too. Xx