Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

Gaby

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IMO, one can learn quite a few things from it, like i.e.:
- patience (Jonas)
- gentleness (Jonas)
- forgiveness (Jonas)
- courage (Sidonie)

I've read Scarlett Scott's Scoundrel series with titles such as "Duke of Debauchery", "Duke of Depravity", etc. The covers are less cheesy, but still cheesy enough.

The series were intense at every level. By the third book (my favorite of that series), I really got a very strong sense of the gifts of the spirit - love, joy, patience, gentleness, etc. and how love never fails, despite the odds. It felt like I was like tapping from within into the new reality that Paul spoke about.

"By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." (Gal 5:22f)

13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13)

The stories cover universal themes of war, slavery, etc. that are fairly common during past life recollections. So even though some stories could stir up quite a bit at every level, I found them all very healing and joyful.
 

MK Scarlett

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Serait-il possible de donner le nom du livre et de l'auteur quand on parle d'un livre car c'est difficile de s'y retrouver... Merci d'avance...
Je viens de commander en plus de Des fleurs dans la tourmente Kinsale, Laura :
Les fils du péché, Tome 2 : Le plus précieux des joyaux de Campbell, Anna
Le cavalier de l'orage. Anne GRACIE
J'avoue avoir pris grand plaisir à ces lectures, j'espère que cela ne va pas devenir une addiction...

Would it be possible to give the name of the book and the author when talking about a book because it's difficult to find your way around? Thank you in advance...
I've just ordered in addition to Flowers in the Kinsale Torment, Laura:
The Sons of Sin, Volume 2: Campbell's Most Precious Jewel, Anna.
The storm trooper. Anne GRACIE
I must admit that I enjoyed the reading, I hope it doesn't become an addiction...

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

I think that Perlou is asking that when we name a title of a book and we talk about it, if it is possible to name also the author. I think it is a good idea, we are talking about few novels and it is a good idea to know who is the author to feel a little less lost.

It's good to not expect everything on a plate. Just having the infos we get here is a gold mine. What do you want more, feeding you directly in your mouth?
Take a paper, write authors and titles everytime you read Laura's posts, complete the infos you find yourself. Maat gave a french website about books' referencing, but it's not complete sometimes. Then I came to the website I indicated to PERLOU. With that under my eyes, I easily see the author and if the book has a french translation or not.
Example: if someone mentions "silent melody", I can see who is the author and if the book exists in french.
Make your list, it's not hard and it makes your neurons work :-)

@nature, I agree with @loreta that @PERLOU was just asking that when someone is writing about a specific novel or author not to forget to mention both author name and title. Not to avoid a mistake per se but to avoid to buy a book which would not fit the goal here, like we both did. A formal list of the books with both author name and title (as many authors have many titles) was needed and Laura did that in her last answer and maybe Perlou did not saw it.

Edit: Added "@" before usernames
 

PERLOU

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Merci Nature pour votre lien...
Merci Loretta et MK Scarlett car vous avez parfaitement compris ce que je demandais...
En effet Maat a donné un lien très intéressant dont je me sers maintenant...
Je ne suis pas du genre à attendre que l'on me serve tout dans la bouche, ne comprenant pas l'anglais, je fais de gros efforts et prend beaucoup de temps pour tout traduire sur le forum en Français ... Si c ' était le cas, cela fait longtemps que j'aurai abandonné, votre remarque Nature me fait peine ...
Et la réponse avec la liste des livres a été donnée après mon message...
Merci à Laura pour cela ...

Thank you Nature for your link ...
Thank you Loretta and MK Scarlett because you perfectly understood what I am asking (when we talk about a book, please note the author's name and the title because with the link of Maat I can find the title in French ...
Indeed Maat gave a very interesting link which I use now ...
I'm not the kind of person who waits to be served everything in the mouth, not understanding English, I make a lot of effort and take a lot of time to translate everything on the forum in French ... If that were the case, I would have given up a long time ago, your remark Nature makes me sad ...
And the answer with the list of books was given after my message ...
Thanks to Laura for that ...

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
 

Laura

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Tell me about it. I've started to read The madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie a couple of days ago and I've read 1/3 of the book. I'm dragging my feet, as I am finding it almost painful to read (I'm not talking about the plot, which i'm finding a bit silly, but about the heavy sexual content… Give me a break!). It's no light reading for me, and I can't say I'm enjoying it, as, like you Mari, it takes me to an emotional roller coaster, triggering long-standing programs and negative emotions. I'm feeling kinda drained, and unable to focus on other things. And I've only read 1/3! So not sure I'd be able to stomach Seven nights, since it seems to be so much worse wrt sex scenes. I'll try to finish it over the week-end though, see if I can gain a more positive, broader perspective after reading the whole. It's certainly not the kind of 'literature' I'd naturally choose to read. Perhaps it'll all make sense later, after reading a couple more books from the proposed selection.

Well, if reading is stirring stuff up, then it is doing what it should do. Only when things are stirred up can one deal with them effectively.

One hint I will give at this point is this: the books are designed to stir up the sex center; to engage some emotional suffering (Cs said suffering can modify DNA and that might be even more the case with some sexual energy fuelling the process); and then bring the two (sex center, emotional center energy) up into the heart/mind with appropriate resolution toward true love, giving, devotion, etc.

Once I saw this pattern, I realized that a substantial number of repetitions of this process, all within the body/mind could quite easily bring about some kind of reset of emotional energy at a higher level.

And it seems to me that those who are most uncomfortable with the process may indeed need it the most. Especially since, as already mentioned, we are in a period of "hyperkinetic sensate" where it seems that even ordinary emotions are amplified.

You could even say that this kind of reading - selected books only - is something like neurofeedback only for the emotions; it can quite possibly transmute lower emotions to higher ones.

There is more I will say about it later. I'm still waiting for some of you to "get it".
 
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Laura

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So I'm on the fence between Marriage of Convenience and Devil Riders. I'm looking for something that has a broader worldview than just two people having a romance, with other things going on in the background which make me really feel immersed in the characters' wider world. Preferably there would be a little bit of action and adventure, with interesting moral or philosophical quandaries to solve to tickle my brain. The romance should be classy but not pretentious, with the characters undergoing believable transformations, even if somewhat idealized. It should be something that doesn't go out of its way to check as many trope boxes as possible in the first 50 pages.

I think you should continue the series you have started. There's plenty of action and adventure upcoming.

Also, if you can't deal with "karmic and simple understandings" such as are depicted in these stories, what the heck good do you think "philosophical" problems will do you?

As for the romance being what you term "classy and not pretentious", I think you are sounding a bit uncomfortable with basic stories that are easily understood by the emotional center and which obviously make you uncomfortable.

These are things that annoyed me with Seven Nights. There was very little world-building outside of Jonas and Sidonie's whirlwind romance, which over the course of a few days transformed them into almost entirely different people, and the way Sidonie goes from virgin sacrifice to passionate lover, mainly through Jonas' overbearing but paradoxically deferential sexual prowess, was in my opinion straining believability rather thin. I felt as if the whole world revolved around Jonas and Sidonie's emotions and sexuality, with the episode surrounding Roberta's predicament being the only thing to suggest they weren't the center of the universe. The author does manage to kind of make it work and put some redeemable qualities in it, but it wasn't expansive enough for me to really enjoy it, and reading it felt more like a homework project.

Which most closely matches my tastes?

And you are the expert on world-building? Remember, it's not so much about the story itself, as what the story DOES TO YOU in the process of being told. It's all symbolic.
 

loreta

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It's good to not expect everything on a plate. Just having the infos we get here is a gold mine. What do you want more, feeding you directly in your mouth?
Take a paper, write authors and titles everytime you read Laura's posts, complete the infos you find yourself. Maat gave a french website about books' referencing, but it's not complete sometimes. Then I came to the website I indicated to PERLOU. With that under my eyes, I easily see the author and if the book has a french translation or not.
Example: if someone mentions "silent melody", I can see who is the author and if the book exists in french.
Make your list, it's not hard and it makes your neurons work :-)
Your are a little harsh with someone, in that case Perlou, that is making a big effort with English. We are here between friends and we try to help each other the most we can. To ask for the name of the author when you talk about a book does not mean we are lazy or we are not making work our grey neurons.
 
I've read Scarlett Scott's Scoundrel series with titles such as "Duke of Debauchery", "Duke of Depravity", etc. The covers are less cheesy, but still cheesy enough.

The series were intense at every level. By the third book (my favorite of that series), I really got a very strong sense of the gifts of the spirit - love, joy, patience, gentleness, etc. and how love never fails, despite the odds. It felt like I was like tapping from within into the new reality that Paul spoke about.

[lost quotes from the original post go here]

The stories cover universal themes of war, slavery, etc. that are fairly common during past life recollections. So even though some stories could stir up quite a bit at every level, I found them all very healing and joyful.

Gaby, I'm no one you know, but good God, you need a hug. A real one, if you can let someone past your last layer of defenses. Just once. It's not about physicality.

Apologies if this sounds personal, or if I'm totally wrong. I heard such a yearning there.

I guess this is Laura's point.
 

nature

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@nature, I agree with @loreta that @PERLOU was just asking that when someone is writing about a specific novel or author not to forget to mention both author name and title. Not to avoid a mistake per se but to avoid to buy a book which would not fit the goal here, like we both did. A formal list of the books with both author name and title (as many authors have many titles) was needed and Laura did that in her last answer and maybe Perlou did not saw it.
It's not that.
PERLOU asked before Laura's post (which was aimed to share other books to read, and if the other ones we ordered (you and me, because it was available in french) are good or not.
PERLOU asks that we give the author's name when we give the title, because many posts before gave only the titles. That's why I gave the link to a francocphone site, which is very practical (if you had a look at it). Moreover, it has got the advantage to see if a book has a french version or not.
Then loreta comes and says that it's not useful as it's not what PERLOU asked for, it's better to give the author's name everytime. Well, if you look at the posts, many members don't give all the precisions but you can't demand they give it, you can get the info easily if you make a list. Anyways, the list you make yourself by gathering the info from this thread is useful when you want to order a book, most of all when you want it in french. That's why I responded that to loreta. Frankly, when I'll talk about one of the books (after reading it), I don't want to bother myself being obliged to precise the author's name. Others neither, as you see it here, even on the last posts.
By doing initially your own research, you no more need to have the author specified, or even the title.

Just an example: Gaby's last post:
I've read Scarlett Scott's Scoundrel series with titles such as "Duke of Debauchery", "Duke of Depravity", etc. The covers are less cheesy, but still cheesy enough.

The series were intense at every level. By the third book (my favorite of that series), I really got a very strong sense of the gifts of the spirit - love, joy, patience, gentleness, etc. and how love never fails, despite the odds. It felt like I was like tapping from within into the new reality that Paul spoke about.
What is this third book? You can get it on the author's website : Marquess of Mayhem.
Do you have it in french? On the francophone site I shared, you don't have Scarlett Scott on the list, which indicates a french translation is not available for any of S. Scott's books.
 

genero81

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Anyways, the list you make yourself by gathering the info from this thread is useful when you want to order a book, most of all when you want it in french. That's why I responded that to loreta. Frankly, when I'll talk about one of the books (after reading it), I don't want to bother myself being obliged to precise the author's name. Others neither, as you see it here, even on the last posts.
By doing initially your own research, you no more need to have the author specified, or even the title.

Point taken but you can be a little nicer about it if you so choose. You came across a tad harsh about it is all. Maybe not your intention?
 

Curious Beagle

Padawan Learner
I have not yet read any of these books from the list, though I intend to as soon as possible to be part of the discussion. However as a teenager I did read very similar books due to my mum buying them and I would read them because I was bored.

From what I remember, the issues most characters had from both sides was a lack of communication and trust which go hand in hand, due to this there were many misunderstandings, assumptions or wishful thinking.

Characters also tend to project a false image to another of themselves, either because that’s what they think the other will prefer, they’re hiding something they perceive to be a flaw, inability to be vulnerable or due to some program they’re unaware of. It takes a lot of trust to be vulnerable and reveal your true self, flaws and all to another and something beautiful develops when both individuals do this.

There is also often the projecting of your biases and expectations onto the other, this creates a further barrier to true authentic interaction. These expectations could be anything from the physical, to wealth and status or sexual (usually male) or security (usually female). Some expectations you wouldn’t assume are “bad” but the nature of expectations has a restricting or limiting effect on another (STS). They can cause resentment or false assumptions that one is not good enough. When they start to allow the other to just be, without expectations or wishful thinking, they allow the other to choose on their own to blossom. This sometimes comes about by one of the characters realizing this for themselves. They make a change for the better for themselves and this inspires the other to also do the same, or it allows them to see the other in a “new light”. Or it could be the result of a shock, some tragedy etc that shocks them out of their lies, delusions and having to face true reality.

I look forward to reading The Merridew Sisters by Anne Gracie.

"Expectation" is the main distortion in most dysfunctional relationship. You pretend to be someone you are not and expect others to live up to your illusion of ideals. If you don't get what you expect from others you get angry (usually impossible ideals) and start controlling/manipulating. Most people in loving relationship understand that you just need to be yourself and hold dear (give love) your partner.
 

Mariama

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I don't want to bother myself being obliged to precise the author's name. Others neither, as you see it here, even on the last posts.

You don't have to, but I will do so after embarking on this reading adventure (I haven't received the books yet that I have ordered).

I used to read a lot of fiction, and usually when I talk about books -fiction and non-fiction alike - I also mention the author, because they are like mothers and babes, inseparable. :-)
 

Curious Beagle

Padawan Learner
To Laura
Awakening involves building on top of what already works. Kundalini/awakening (snake spiraling up) start from lower sex cakra up to crown. You have to open each cakra progressively. Example at lower vibration one often involves of enjoyment in physicality (sex, food, etc) when you evolve more, you start using your mind more (reading, reflection, etc) and last you developed emotional/ spirituality (loving, meditation etc). It doesn't mean that once you progress you stop enjoying physicality. You still enjoy making intimate love to your partner with all your 7 cakra open (body, mind, emotional). reading is mind activity not the optimal choice for developing spirituality, I suggest you get quality friends so you can surrender in networking with spiritual masters.
 

shellycheval

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I agree with Laura that serious lessons on traditional values and male and female relationships can be learned from reading some Romance novels. I look forward to reading Laura’s recommendations, moving past my previous criticism of the genre, and seeing what more can be revealed. Here is my discovery so far. I have done my best not to over-intellectualize my review, but alas, as a product of higher education, I continue to struggle to get beyond my mind and find my passions.

Books were my real world as a child and I read almost everything all the time. By time I was nine I had read every horse story ever published and was into the works of Charles Dickens. I moved on to science fiction, mysteries, the classics, and nonfiction works on science and history. What I didn’t read were the “girl stories” like Little Women and others that revolved around girl friendships and romance. By the time I became a college English Professor, I had read most of the Western Cannon and was steeped in the politically correct academic position on what was considered “good literature” and the Post-Modern ideology of the day. Fortunately, my love of a good story well told persisted and I continued to read a variety of well written but inexcusably, “popular fiction,” which remained undiscussed in my professional circles, buried along with my repulsion for Derrida and other culture-warping Post-Modern Intellectuals of the day.

Historical fiction has been one of my favorite popular genres for decades, but I avoided those linked too closely with the Romance works, and read the ones more focused on history. Until a few years ago, when I was at an emotional low point and desperate to escape this world, I took the advice of one of my wise students and started reading the Outlander series. I was saved. I read the entire series, every day for a year. They are LONG novels. When I was done, I went back to the first book and began reading them all again. With this relief available at the end of the day, I was able to cope with the rest.

What surprised me most about this series was not only the wonderful escapist reality and romance of the stories, but a feeling that I had returned to a world that made sense, that seemed more real in tone than the reality of the contemporary world I was trying to understand and find a way to believe in. These books revealed to me what I found lacking in our current culture and nature of our relationships, and helped me acknowledge the value of traditional beliefs and mores over the degradation of human culture that we see happening today.

Dianna Gabaldon’s fiction novels, The Outlander series, is a genre blending tall tale of the 18th century, time-travel, and above all the passionate romance between a man and a woman willing to risk and give up everything to be together. Gabaldon’s stories rise above the simplistic and stilted writing style of the commonplace “bodice ripper,” while providing all their passion, romantic heroism, and the traditional values of the best historical fiction and times long removed from the deterioration of the Post Modern present. The formal manners of 18th century Europe and America are a refreshing relief from the anything goes, combative, cancel-culture of the present. Civil behavior prevails and even duels and wars are at least begun with a sense of duty and honor. Gabaldon’s stories provide readers with an escape from current Relativism and a return to time-honored cultural ethics presented by realistic characters that will, as all the best fiction does, both “teach and delight.”

Gabaldon’s writing style is packed with an amazing scope of descriptive detailed exposition that creates a fully realized world in which to tell her stories. The plots move with the pace and tension of epic adventures as the main characters, Claire, an English WWII combat nurse, and Jamie, an 18th century Scottish Highlander Chief, move from one conflict to another, well-grounded in the historical context of the times, as they struggle to maintain their relationship and integrity. The protagonists are assisted by multiple supporting characters who are amazingly well developed, believable, and command the sympathy and loyalty of the reader as do Claire and Jamie. Their adventures in the first two books take them across the Highlands of Scotland, to France the Court of Louis the XVth, and back to the battle of Culloden. By the third novel, Voyager, Gabaldon’s writing style has matured. For example, some of the sex scenes in the first two books gratuitously conform too much to the “bodice-ripper” motif, which I realize from Laura's observations is not the point as far as learning something goes, but I find her later sex scenes more nuanced and stirring as her characters also become more complex and relateable.

In Voyager, Gabaldon sends her characters out to sea to meet pirates, Jamaican witches, Caribbean Voodoo priests, hurricanes, and shipwreck in a new world. Along the way Claire and Jamie are entangled in the usual everyday conflicts with family members, the ordinary issues of life in the 18th century, and the quarrels and passions that come when two people bond for life. Both characters deeply respect each other as people as well as love each other with an exceptional passion. They each bring a highly developed moral code regarding right and wrong, fair-play, duty, and sacrifice for others to their relationship. Yet, they are not stilted, rigid do-gooders incapable of some temptation and failure. Almost all the characters in the entire series operate from their own deeply held moral code, even the villains feel justified in their own hearts and minds, and all are shown struggling to achieve their best. Readers relate to their emotional battles even if our own situations are far removed from their romantic adventures and times. The characters remain emotionally compelling role models as the stories unfold and the decades pass; the traditional heroic nature and passions of Claire and Jamie prevail and readers are left satisfied that righteousness continues to exist in the world—at least somewhere in time.

NOTE: After a brief viewing and reading multiple reviews I recommend you avoid the TV series adapted from the novels. While the production quality is high, too much has been edited out from the books to conform to a film script. In the process the considerable interior monologs, complexity, wit and depth of Claire and Jamie are lost and their characters revert to more stereotypical heroic lovers for television viewing. It appears boring compared to the books, IMHO, and the cast does not represent the vision of the characters the text creates in the mind.

I've read Scarlett Scott's Scoundrel series with titles such as "Duke of Debauchery", "Duke of Depravity", etc. The covers are less cheesy, but still cheesy enough.

The series were intense at every level. By the third book (my favorite of that series), I really got a very strong sense of the gifts of the spirit - love, joy, patience, gentleness, etc. and how love never fails, despite the odds. It felt like I was like tapping from within into the new reality that Paul spoke about.

[lost quotes from the original post go here]

The stories cover universal themes of war, slavery, etc. that are fairly common during past life recollections. So even though some stories could stir up quite a bit at every level, I found them all very healing and joyful.

Well said Gaby--I have the same reaction to the Outlander series.
 
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loreta

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Where haven't I be nice?

This sentence is, under my humble point of vue, a littl harsh.

What do you want more, feeding you directly in your mouth?

It assumes that the person is not doing an effort, and that's not true. We need to be patient with ourselves and with others, specially in these times so hard and complicated. And I agree me too, a book, for me anyway, goes always with the author. Yesterday I look for a title gave here, at Amazon, and there were more than 10 different authors with the same title. With time we will know every author, every title, but at the beginning it is a lot of titles, authors, stories.

Nothing tragic with what you said, anyway. Everyone sees things differently, specially in a book club. And in a book club, one of the objectives is be able to listen, that's all.
 
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