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Ella Awakened
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ABNA Book Club > March Romance book discussion-ELLA AWAKENED

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Mikhail Lerma (MLerma) | 104 comments Mod
March Romance book discussion, Ella Awakened by S.E. Duncan.

Ella Awakened by S.E. Duncan

Strong, independent, willful Ella Fitzgerald is changing, evolving – Awakening. Her life hasn’t always been easy and predictable, but never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined the twist it was about to take. Nausea and headaches lead to heightened senses and unimaginable bursts of strength and speed. A gorgeous stranger appears, claiming to have answers but wanting something in return. She finds herself torn between the normal life she’s always known, a love unlike anything she’s ever imagined, and an evil that she alone can defeat.
This is a new adult paranormal romance containing some language, violence, and sexuality. It is intended for mature readers.



S.E. Duncan | 47 comments I want to thank everyone in this group who read Ella Awakened and reviewed it for me. Samyann, AEM, K.R., and Laura. I'm working through your books. AEM, my Emily is currently reading your Phoenix Incandescent. I used blurbs from your reviews at the beginning of Ella Provoked in the spirit of Steven King. I appreciate your time and honesty!!! In other exciting news, the local newspaper wrote an article on me and my first novel. I also have my very first book signing coming up in June. I couldn't be more excited about the book signing. It's like the holy grail to me.


Laura Pascucci | 16 comments I really enjoyed this story. One of the things I most enjoyed was how the character of Ella is portrayed. I like that she is strong, that she can take care of herself.


A.E.M. A.E.M. Congrats, S.E.!! I'm so glad to see things moving along in a great direction for you!

I read a several of everybody's books last month when I had a block of time that I could enjoy them. I have to admit that I have really enjoyed reading them. I need to recheck books and select some more to read soon.

I agree, Laura, I really enjoyed Ella's strength. I loved that their relationship was on equal grounds. I seem to lean towards relationships in which both partners have strong characterization.

I also liked the story line. I thought you ended it well, with just enough resolution to appease me.


Samyann I wrote a review for Ella Awakened a while ago, and it's no secret that I enjoyed the book :-). It was a fun read. There was only one instance to which I had sort of 'knee-jerk-whoa-reaction' and that was Ella's infatuation with a man that was her father's contemporary. But, getting into the story, which anyone who reads it will find is a pleasure' this odd disparity is understandable and is part of the story. If you're vacillating, don't. You'll be glad you got into it. The major regret I have is that it ended too soon. Now I have to wait for the sequel :-(.


S.E. Duncan | 47 comments Thanks Samyann - I've heard that more than once about Burke being James' friend. The part where Burke is watching Ella out the kitchen window when she goes for a run and kind of musing about that very situation was an add in a few drafts into the rewrites. I really wanted to get the point across that Burke was from a whole different culture. When you live 600 plus years things are just different.

I think it hurt me a little in the ABNA too. In the pitch I mentioned Burke and James' friendship. As you know I made it through the pitch round but in round 2 one of the viners said it was "a little weird". The problem was they didn't get to the explanation part.
It's funny that when we read something completely fiction things still hit us! There was a similar situation in one of the "Black Dagger Brotherhood" stories (vampires) where someone falls in love with a friends daughter. When it comes to the paranormal I think authors may have a little more of an "anything goes" outlook.

I'm so glad you "got it" once you read more. I think most readers do. A woman came to my office and asked me to autograph a copy of the book. She was in her mid-80's. She told me she really liked it and was loaning it to a friend after I signed it, but advised me NOT to let my mom read it! Hilarious!


A.E.M. A.E.M. I imagine the age thing is still a little ground breaking. The more stories that come out with characters with different life spans, the less weird it should be.

It did throw me off a bit, but it made more sense after the explanation, and after I got to like the characters well, too.

I don't see how it's any different than people who (as adults) marry somebody with a big age difference. Actually, it's better. If you live several hundred years, you look good for a longer time.


S.E. Duncan | 47 comments You know what's funny, I was more nervous of how readers would take "The Mother Of All" and Ella praying to her at the end than the age difference and Burke being James' best friend. Readers seem to accept my deity more easily - go figure. I talked to my editor about Ella's prayer and she liked it. She told me to stop being afraid of offending someone.


Samyann S.E. wrote: "Thanks Samyann - I've heard that more than once about Burke being James' friend. The part where Burke is watching Ella out the kitchen window when she goes for a run and kind of musing about that ..."
Yes, things do 'hit you' in bizarre ways. I've a similar problem with my book in that the reader can assume a previous life relationship between first cousins. That makes them nervous re what would be considered incest, today. I actually had a critique mentioning the possibility of incest being perceived. The history of the south in the antebellum era is rampant with inter-family marriage ... something Margaret Mitchell well understood with GWTW and the Ashley/Melanie marriage. With Ella/James the reader has to suspend belief, it's SCIFI, and the sky's the limit with imagination. The readers, like me, don't have the luxury of your living with the characters for ever and understanding them so intimately...all they can go by are the words you've written.


A.E.M. A.E.M. S.E., you know, the "Mother of All" comment didn't even register, I don't remember it at all. I doubt it would bother anybody, as it's a fictional world and most people don't get their panties in a bind over things like that. I don't believe in Zeus, but I sure love camp half-blood!

And as far as the age difference catching my attention, it wasn't anything huge. Honestly, my husband is 12 years older than me. He entered the army when I went to school for the first time. Creepy then, but not creepy when we were 23 and 35. For us, it worked out really well because I didn't have to put up with the stupid stuff he did in his twenties, lol! I think it only registered because a lot of girls are warned about the creepy old dudes in society who hurt young women. Your main hottie isn't creepy at all.

Be confident of what you wrote.

Side note, Samyann, I have you on my list to read soon! Your book sounds great.

But to go back to Ella, I also enjoyed the secondary characters. I really liked that they added flavor to the story instead of just being there.

I also liked the crime fighting/solving dimension. It was great!


Samyann Thanks A.E.M. I hope you enjoy the story.

In Ella Awakened, I didn't find the age thing a problem, in fact I don't remember specifics re ages. Although I'm widowed - don't be sad, I'm about to re-marry soon :-) ... my husband was 11 years older than me, so age differences not a problem for me. It was the fact that i pictured in my mind James and Burke being 'pals' ... then suddenly Burke is oogling James' daughter. That just seemed a tiny bit creepy. BUT, not so much after getting into the story,


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

A.E.M. wrote: "I imagine the age thing is still a little ground breaking. The more stories that come out with characters with different life spans, the less weird it should be.

It did throw me off a bit, but ..."

AEM, I agree with you about the fact that as more stories come out with differing age spans present, this type of difference becomes moot. I'm a huge fan of long-lived characters in fantasy/paranormal. Give me Highlander, Vampires and an immortal elf and I'm a happy camper. I think this was the reason my reaction to Burke was nothing more than, "Sweet, long-lived alien! I'm sold"

Sadly, hind-sight being twenty-twenty, one can see how it could raise eyebrows when the reader is only given the age difference and no context to place it in (because they're only reading the first chapter in an excerpt). I'm not dinging the contest at all. But I know that I used to open books in the MIDDLE to gauge whether I wanted to buy or not because I never felt I could adequately judge my enjoyment on the first chapter.

And sadly, with Kindle, I have found myself burned by what appeared in the first chapter to be something I'd enjoy, only to figure out way past the sample that the author fell apart, got lazy, or the story became so bad I felt ripped off and betrayed.

Not the case here, at all. And I so want to see what comes next. I really enjoyed the book and loved the "paranormal-meets-romance-meets-superhero-fiction" feel of it. Ella is the first "New Adult" female I've come across who isn't merely described as strong but actually IS. Most authors I've encountered writing New Adult don't seem to get that female strength isn't just b!tchiness and a smart mouth, masking a massive dysfunctional aptitude for bad choices, but a real live, honest to goodness positive character trait.


message 13: by S.E. (new) - rated it 5 stars

S.E. Duncan | 47 comments K. R. wrote: "A.E.M. wrote: "I imagine the age thing is still a little ground breaking. The more stories that come out with characters with different life spans, the less weird it should be.

It did throw me ..."


K.R. Thank you SO much for your compliments about Ella's strength. It means so much to me to hear that she comes across exactly how I wanted her to. I wanted her to be "real" in a spider-man kind of way: tough, but still having concern for those she loves; sometimes being guided by her feelings. I took special care to leave the cussing up to Burke. I didn't want Ella to be "that kind" of girl. On a similar note, I left the dramatics to Sarah. I had a ball with the development of the different character's personalities! My boss gave a copy of my book to his girlfriend's 17 year old daughter. She thought I was in my early 20's - she said because I got the language and mentality of the college age characters. LOL! Like I was born 40 hahaha!

I think it was more Burke's relationship to Ella's father that has thrown some people than the actual age difference. I suppose I understand that, but it's a huge part of the story and there really wasn't any way around it. I think, in general, younger readers couldn't care less about it; whereas those of us with kids might think "wait a minute...".

I wonder how many people were turned off when Jacob imprinted on Bella's daughter in the last Twilight book. Even though Stephanie Meyer presented it in a "it's not that way" light. Of course by that point readers loved the characters and she could have gotten away with almost anything.

I am pleased with how many guys have told me they enjoyed my book. I wasn't really thinking about a male audience when I wrote it, but I guess there's enough excitement with the Demon that it makes sense. Sometimes I think if it had a different cover more guys might check it out. Oh well.


message 14: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 31, 2013 09:49AM) (new)

S.E. wrote: "K. R. wrote: "A.E.M. wrote: "I imagine the age thing is still a little ground breaking. The more stories that come out with characters with different life spans, the less weird it should be.

It..."


I didn't even have a problem with the whole "father's friend" bit but that may be because I'd already seen it. In one of my favorite author's fantasy series, there's an elf that falls in love with his best friend's daughter. It happens over time but when the two first met, she was like 10. It never phased me one bit. Most of the time, I was saying "Hey, dork! You like her. She likes you. Stop being a dumba$$!"


A.E.M. A.E.M. "Ella is the first "New Adult" female I've come across who isn't merely described as strong but actually IS. Most authors I've encountered writing New Adult don't seem to get that female strength isn't just b!tchiness and a smart mouth, masking a massive dysfunctional aptitude for bad choices, but a real live, honest to goodness positive character trait."

That is exactly how I feel! Thanks, K, for voicing that!


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