Often wondering if, in a past life, she lived on a Greek island, author Helen Ellis has travelled for the past twenty years throughout Greece and has dedicated many of her books to the subject of Greek life.
Having been an actor/singer, theatre director, art gallery proprietor, wife and mother, antique dealer, gift retailer, dedicated traveller, and now a full time writer, Helen draws on her life experiences in all her writings.
This knowledge was first expanded into her short e-Book, Greece – 100 Travel Tips, where Helen shares information and advice about the country, interspersed with her own personal experiences.
Her piece, Paros, in Lonely Planet’s collection of travel stories, Rite of Passage: Tales of Backpacking ‘Round Europe, P168, (Lonely Planet Publications), and another piece, Tiryns, published in Travel Post Monthly, and Strictly Europe, and the acceptance of Ancient Charms for the Young-at-Heart in the Escape section of the News Limited newspapers (Australia, 2011), inspired her to expand her Greek diaries into the memoir, Make Mine a Moussaka which was published in 2012.
This was then followed by her first romance novel Escape to Santorini, which investigates the formation of overseas friendships through the internet, and their extension into real life.
A member of the Romance Writers of Australia, Helen has had several short stories published and has also dipped into children’s books. Her adventure novel for children, Max and the Gang of Five, is a delightful adventure book and Helen has three other novels in preparation.
You can follow Hellen on various social networking sites including:
GREECE – 100 TRAVEL TIPS (Non-Fiction)
Planning a holiday to Greece? Go the easy way with “GREECE – 100 Travel Tips.” It’s a must-read for independent travelers. This is not a guide book, but it contains guidelines and helpful advice, liberally sprinkled with personal experiences and descriptions.
Here’s a quote: “Greece is not a pretty country – rather it’s stunning, and at times awesome, and always fascinating. There is a magical quality to Greece – it’s a place where you can have a sudden overpowering feeling of belonging on God’s earth, where you can discover self-worth and well-being. Rugged mountains rise so high the clouds stick to their shanks like skirts. From pallet-box blue seas, dry rocky islands rear up like dragon’s teeth. Tiny towns, like white sugar cubes, cling precariously, scatter across, spill down, or cower between steep hillsides of gray stone. They pool into cities in the lush valleys, or spread-eagle at the edge of perfect bays.”
MAKE MINE A MOUSSAKA (Non-Fiction)
One can seek adventure, culture and new horizons in Greece, depending on the whim of the moment – or do nothing successfully in very picturesque surroundings.
Oh to eat moussaka at sunset overlooking a tiny bay, while listening to the waves lap on the pebbles nearby … Move over Shirley Valentine!
ESCAPE TO SANTORINI
Afraid for her life, Mary Illingford abandons her home in Sydney and her abusive and violent husband, Paul. With her daughter, Jenni, she embarks on a journey to a place where she thinks he will never find her – the island of Santorini, Greece.
On Santorini they meet Mary’s two friends – Eleni Kambouridis, owner of Apartments overlooking the beautiful caldera lake, and Julia Jeffries from England. Jenni, meets Eleni’s diffident son Marios who runs a local internet café, and they are immediately attracted.
Unknown to Mary, Paul is facing a fraud charge involving his real estate business. He is incensed when he discovers Mary has left him and resolves to find her.
Meanwhile the three women, and Eleni’s English friend John, learn about each other and share their problems in the beautiful surroundings of the Greek island. Mary discovers real friendship and support, Julia puts old issues behind her and extends her horizons, Eleni gains comfort beyond her family, and John shakes off the paranoia of his ex-wife. Jenni and Marios fall in love, and are challenged by the differences in their cultures and the difficulties in facing them.
In Australia, Paul gets a lead on their whereabouts. In doing so he is involved in an assault. Realising he is now facing serious charges as well as the ones for fraud, Paul flees Australia, assuming another persona. Gradually he works his way towards Santorini and Mary and Jenni…
ONE GREEK SUMMER
The last thing Lainie Greenwood expects is to tumble off her mule on the Greek island of Santorini and then have to watch her cousin, Marigold, fall for her rescuer. She’s so irritated by all their lovey-dovey nonsense that she decides to leave them to it, escaping to the nearby island of Naxos.
Here she meets Andreas Galanis, a Greek/Canadian businessman, who needs a housekeeper for a few days. Unexpectedly, after the death of his ex-wife, he has to take care of his young son, Jamie, and right in the middle of house renovations, too. To Lainie’s surprise he offers her the job. What has she to lose?
On the lovely island she begins to face her troubles as she deals with Andy and his own problems. For Jamie comes with an unhappy phobia, and as Lainie and Andy combine to help him, they discover an immediate attraction. But Andy has a partner, the beautiful, grasping Jacqui Hooper, who suddenly arrives from Vancouver to claim him, and in doing so reveals his haunting secret.