Blog Tour: Awakening by Elene Sallinger +Interview
Author: Elene Sallinger
Goodreads Rating: 3.80
My Rating: 4.0
River Rock, Vermont, 2011. This is the story of Claire Ryan and Evan Lang. 35-year-old Claire joins a local book club for romance readers in order to get over the breakdown of her 10-year relationship, there she meets book shop owner Evan, a dominant man who has never recovered from the sudden death of his submissive wife. As their relationship develops and they embark on the path of Claire's submission, it becomes harder and harder for Evan to keep his emotional distance. Claire is open and responsive and he wants her badly, but refuses to let himself go. As Claire falls deeper in love with Evan, she realises that he is holding back and decides to end their relationship, forcing Evan to confront his own past and his feelings in order to save his new love.
There were many aspects of this story that really intrigued me. First off in the initial scene, Claire is venturing out for the first time after over coming a heart break. The first place that she chooses to re-enter society is a book club at a local indie book store. Slowly she is able to start developing friendships there and start picking up pieces of her broken heart. Claire had broken up with her long term boyfriend and she felt she was to blame. Claire found herself having a need to treated roughly to be intimate. Her boyfriend after much persuasiveness gave into her need but it ended up destroying him emotionally an mentally. Feeling that she was abnormal for having the desires she did, Claire turned to her love of books to not feel alone.
As she discovering the world of BDSM through literature, her desire for more knowledge became apparent to the book store owner Evan. But his interest in her book choices was more involved than that of a warm blooded male having a reaction to a woman reading erotica, but more to do with the fact that he was a former Dominant. Noticing her desire to learn more about the BDSM culture he starts leaaving more and more books out for her, in places he knows she will find them.
Evan want to help Claire learn the ropes of BDSM but is scared to fall for her emotionally. Evan lost his wife and former submissive a few years back from an illness and before she died he made a promise to not fall for anyone again. Torn between protecting Claire and keeping his promise to his ex-wife. Seeing how devoted that Evan is to his ex-wife was beaututil and I was eager to learn more about their past relationship. This was a beautiful story about second chance love and I loved reading and getting to know about these characters.
Interview with Elene Sallinger
What author/story inspired you to write?
It was my daughter who actually inspired me to write. I told her a story about a little girl who lost her ball in the woods and didn't give up until she found it. She loved the story so much, she wanted it repeated – in exact detail. I ended up writing it down and illustrating it for it. At that point, a writer was born.
Favorite TV Show/Movie?
My favorite TV Show is The Walking Dead. The plotting, the writing, and the acting are all so wonderful. It's a triple threat for sure. My favorite movie is Stranger Than Fiction. I love how this is a dramatic manifestation of every writer's dilemma … what happens when the characters begin to drive the story?
Do you have a specific room in your house or a coffee shop which you like to write in?
I have my little corner of the living room with my desk, laptop, and writing references. If my family is watching TV, I plug in my headphones and listen to Pandora.
If you had the choice of going back in time or going to the future, which one would you choose and why?
Neither actually. I would go to Middle-Earth, or to the Walking Dead universe. I'd go somewhere completely different where good and evil are apparent.
What is the last book you have read that made you cry?
One Good Dog by Susan Wilson. There is a scene involving the dog that had me bawling and cursing simultaneously.
STORY RELATED QUESTIONS
How was the transition from writing Children’s fiction to Erotica?
Fairly seamless actually. At the center, I write about people overcoming their baggage. With my children's stories, their very much teaching stories about overcoming fear. With my erotica, it's generally the same, but for an adult audience :-).
I thoroughly enjoyed the depth and character development behind Claire and Evan. How did you come up with these two characters? Did it come to you as you were writing or did you already know their histories when you began?
Thank you so much. The answer is really both! I don't really have pre-formed characters when I decide to write a story. I'll have a premise like... “What if a woman believed she was inherently flawed and found herself gravitating to BDSM, but had no idea where to start. What would that look like?” That's how Awakening started. When I sat down to answer that question, I created detailed character sketches complete with back story all before writing a line of text.
Evan’s love for her ex-wife was just absolutely heart-wrenching. Will we ever get to see more about their past?
You're not the first to ask that! In fact, I have notes for a prequel novella in my files. I'll definitely write more about Evan and Marianne in the future.
I was very excited to see that there was a book 2 on Bridget’s life. When can we expect that book to book to be published? Will there be a book 3? Can we expect there to be more written about Claire and Evan?
Again, thank you. That book, Reflection, will be available here in the US in May of 2014. It's already available in the United Kingdom. As for book three, Unsettled, it's already been contracted as well and will be out sometime mid-2014. Claire and Evan appear in both books, but at this point I have no plans to write a dedicated sequel to their story. Anything is possible though!