Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Since I read this romance I see also a change in my perceptions of men in general. Since many years men have been almost invisible for me. On the streets I do not saw them at all. But something is changing. Suddenly I see them. Very strange. The other day at the store waiting to pay in a line the man before me giving me his back, I recognised him because he have a little dog. So sometimes I meet him on the street. His back suddenly talked to me about men in general, and I felt empathy for them. How beautiful is a man's back, how strong and also how fragile, the lives of men how they are? why this invisibility they were for me? Something to think really. And then walking on the street there they are, fighting like us, living this situation of the Covid, happy or nor. I have to say that lately I saw that, for example in a bus, one man for 10 women. So few men in fact. Too many women.


That's all for now.
 

Keit

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From what I'm surmising so far, this sort of raw physical attraction that draws these characters into, let's call it charged sexual engagement, seems to provide the energy that fuels the process of bringing to resolution unresolved issues that have hindered the soul's involved in said engagement from reaching full expression of their latent potentialities by way of genuine concern for the welfare of the other driven by a developing genuine love.
Yesterday I finished Courting Julia by Mary Balough. She seems to be a better writer than Emily Hendrickson. The characters really come alive in the writing, and it was engrossing to see how the various characters interacted over the course of the novel. There is a similar thread to that others observed here, of the sexual energy being used to connect to the higher emotional center and so gently bypassing and bringing to light the negative emotional programming each of the characters has.

I also finished Courting Julia and enjoyed it very much. And also agree with what you descirbed above. Personally, I find it really fascinaing that this seemingly "light reading" is so poignant and on point.

You could say that romance novels are an example "of describing complex topics in a language that a child can understand". Well, obviously it isn't a proper reading for a child ;-), but the setting, the plot and the dialogs provide an opportunity to skip any possibly hindering intellectual ruminations, and go straight to the heart. There is an instant pattern recognition.

For example, in Courting Julia one of the characters gives a definition of love, or the difference between "falling in love" and "loving" someone, similar to what was discussed on the forum, and what the C's said.

Also, in another thread Laura wrote:

For me, the most profound lesson of my life was that I think according to my programming. Everybody does. And programming can get in the way of truth. To learn how to see reality AS IT IS became a goal - and it isn't easy. Along with that came many "simple" things, including the truth about relationships and so much more.

And I think that in this sense our current reading assigment is a great opportunity to learn about these "simple karmic understandings" and "on the way" also solve or recognize our own programming and wounds. :-)

Now looking forward to reading Dancing with Clara!

Yes, PLEASE people, give spoiler warnings!! I'm following this thread yet haven't read all those books yet, like many others I guess. Please!

Just wanted to reiterate this point, even if people indeed started to give spoiler warnings. Before that reading this thread was like walking on a minefield 😅, and I already set aside one of Mary Balogh's books (Indiscreet) because key plot details were revealed, and that was kind of disappointing. It's true that the actual plot isn't as essential, as observing and understanding the emotional dynamic and mutual discoveries of the characters, but it may still be important to take this journey by ourselves.

In any case, I will return to Indiscreet, but a bit later. After finishing Balogh's Sullivan series, I plan on moving to Scarlet Scott's Sins and Scoundrels series.
 
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Laura

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I noticed something else today that seems to be a consequence of this exercise.

As I said at the beginning, I only turned to light fiction because I was suffering extreme brain fatigue. That was a lot due to the intense work on the new book, but also the world events as well as some personal events that were highly traumatic. You could even say that I came as near to having a nervous breakdown as it is possible to be, and pull up short before going over the cliff (assuming I even did - sometimes, I think I did go over!)

Well, as I've been reading, I've noticed something that feels rather like being recharged. I had so little life-force left... but now, all of a sudden, I feel like I can spend some time looking at what is going on in the world (I never stopped, but darn, it was freaking painful) and manage my social media, post a bit to the forum here, think about things, etc. I also appear to have begun to get my mojo for writing back. That's a very good thing because I still have several projects I want to complete.

I'm not pushing myself, but I do feel much better. Yes, most of the stories are roller coaster rides of emotions, but for some reason, exercising my emotional center seems to be helping it a LOT.
 

Luks

The Living Force
I noticed something else today that seems to be a consequence of this exercise.

As I said at the beginning, I only turned to light fiction because I was suffering extreme brain fatigue. That was a lot due to the intense work on the new book, but also the world events as well as some personal events that were highly traumatic. You could even say that I came as near to having a nervous breakdown as it is possible to be, and pull up short before going over the cliff (assuming I even did - sometimes, I think I did go over!)

Well, as I've been reading, I've noticed something that feels rather like being recharged. I had so little life-force left... but now, all of a sudden, I feel like I can spend some time looking at what is going on in the world (I never stopped, but darn, it was freaking painful) and manage my social media, post a bit to the forum here, think about things, etc. I also appear to have begun to get my mojo for writing back. That's a very good thing because I still have several projects I want to complete.

I'm not pushing myself, but I do feel much better. Yes, most of the stories are roller coaster rides of emotions, but for some reason, exercising my emotional center seems to be helping it a LOT.

It's sad that you experienced all of these painful experiences. I would like to say, for what is worth: as I see the world now, I do not know if there are people on the surface of this planet who have such knowledge and understanding as this world works.

You are, probably, at the more informational and energetic level, you are strongly balancing this world to the way of the future of the world STO kind. You keep this world practically thanks to your shoulders.

As you lift this world, the world (the universe) will lift you, and not in such a long time... yet, a little persistence, and full success will be in your hand.
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I noticed something else today that seems to be a consequence of this exercise.

As I said at the beginning, I only turned to light fiction because I was suffering extreme brain fatigue. That was a lot due to the intense work on the new book, but also the world events as well as some personal events that were highly traumatic. You could even say that I came as near to having a nervous breakdown as it is possible to be, and pull up short before going over the cliff (assuming I even did - sometimes, I think I did go over!)

Well, as I've been reading, I've noticed something that feels rather like being recharged. I had so little life-force left... but now, all of a sudden, I feel like I can spend some time looking at what is going on in the world (I never stopped, but darn, it was freaking painful) and manage my social media, post a bit to the forum here, think about things, etc. I also appear to have begun to get my mojo for writing back. That's a very good thing because I still have several projects I want to complete.

I'm not pushing myself, but I do feel much better. Yes, most of the stories are roller coaster rides of emotions, but for some reason, exercising my emotional center seems to be helping it a LOT.
I am so happy you are recovering your energy and have new projects!
 

Wandering Star

The Living Force
That was a lot due to the intense work on the new book, but also the world events as well as some personal events that were highly traumatic. You could even say that I came as near to having a nervous breakdown as it is possible to be, and pull up short before going over the cliff (assuming I even did - sometimes, I think I did go over!)
It's sad that you experienced all of these painful experiences. I would like to say, for what is worth: as I see the world now, I do not know if there are people on the surface of this planet who have such knowledge and understanding as this world works.

You are, probably, at the more informational and energetic level, you are strongly balancing this world to the way of the future of the world STO kind. You keep this world practically thanks to your shoulders.

As you lift this world, the world (the universe) will lift you, and not in such a long time... yet, a little persistence, and full success will be in your hand.
I am so happy you are recovering your energy and have new projects!
I subscribe to these highly successful comments.

Much encouragement Laura.
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I'm having more trouble with Leath and Eleanor in the fourth book, and what happened in Cam's library didn't make much sense to me. Maybe I'm not getting the point but if I were in Eleanor's shoes, I would wait for a proof of Leath's innocence before deciding that he's innocent, not the "it feels nice therefore he's innocent".
I finished the 4th book of 'Sons of Sin' and I too thought the events in Cam's library is little too weird and it looked James is out of his mind. Did Anna Campbell (who handled the delicate trust scenes very well in other novels) ran out of ideas or there is some thing to the 'Raw Sex'? Is James trying to remind her of 'feelings and considerations before she shared bed with him' to override the feelings of anger and revenge against him with those letters? I didn't like the fact that author gave so much weight-age to the Kiss and smell to the mind numbing level in this book.

It looks to me author is highlighting different characteristics with Sidonie( emotional), Genevieve ( Intellectual), Penelope ( Love in return for Love) and Eleanor(raw attraction and sex) while sex as a binding force for the change. That needs lot of control - strong Independent nature along with selfless giving nature without any anticipation.

I have to laugh at James meltdown when the female protagonist was shot at the end.:-P
 

NewEngland Seeker

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Edward is super kind too, but he has built a carapace due to guilt (and neuroticism) from the past. Little by little, he opens up and learns that some of his fears were unjustified. He finds happiness with Lilly that he thought he would never deserve. He is also strong, and his drive to protect her (not babying her but doing right by her) is impressive.

car·a·pace
/ˈkerəˌpās/

Learn to pronounce

noun
noun: carapace; plural noun: carapaces
  1. the hard upper shell of a turtle, crustacean, or arachnid.
    "the study found oil in the carapace of 29 sea turtles that returned to feed in the spill area"
    • something regarded as a protective or defensive covering.
      "under her carapace of self-confidence she was very sensitive to criticism"
Origin
73d71bfaf1777450f898048225e57410569b5939cdbb999c121261f3566980ec.png


Love this word🥰 Romance and vocabulary lessons to boot!:lol2:
 

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Arwenn

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I have to laugh at James meltdown when the female protagonist was shot at the end
Just reiterating the need for putting plot details in a spoiler! Discussing you thoughts and feelings about a book or series is fine, but plot lines & ‘scenes’ need to be put in spoilers so that it doesn’t spoil it for the others who haven’t read it yet :-)

Using the
Hides your discussion
and Inline spoiler To Blur the words, unless clicked on would be very much appreciated! :flowers:
 

Mari

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I´ve too finished Courting Julia and I must say it was pretty easy reading in contrast to Sons of Sin series.
Easy in a sense - after all the adventures and villains in Sons of Sin, this book put my tensions at ease, so to say.
After i.e. Cam and Pam adventures in Sons of Sin, this was - oh well, on the border to boring - at first.
But I couldn´t not to read it, as it interested me how will it end, of course. :)

Both Campbell and Balogh are very good in emotional and inner dialog descriptions, but IMO Campbell also pictured more of the scenery and general surroundings.

The story was pretty easy to follow, although I also got lost sometimes in this family relations.

I liked the characters, especially their development from "hate" to love.

For example, in Courting Julia one of the characters gives a definition of love, or the difference between "falling in love" and "loving" someone, similar to what was discussed on the forum, and what the C's said.
Yes, I found it also very good.

It was interesting to read about how they've hated each other when it was obviously some chemistry there.
Freddy was an interesting character and I really couldn’t tell if he will finish what he intended.

Julia reminded me too much on myself with that extensive blabbering.
That is also the reason I don‘t like beginning of the second book Dancing with Clara - because of her disability, which also reminded me on myself and my self-conscious emotional scars.
Balogh books for me are easier to read but harder to process because my own issues that I have had and some that I´m still having.
I´m on the ch.2 with Dancing with Clara and already had some disturbing dreams this night, that reminded me on my past self and the loneliness and pain I´ve felt. Obviously, I have still so much to process....


I‘ve also noticed the same pattern in all those books I‘ve read; either father or a mother or both were missing (either dead or emotionally unavailable) from the beginning of characters lives and that lost scared all of them in a different matter.

Women only appear to be strong and independent, but it is only a product or a facade that hides lost of trust for men and fear of being mistreated and oppressed.
Men are damaged in their own way, because from the early live were ridiculed and saying that are not worthy or, as in this case, had to grow up to fast. Their damage is much easier to spot, than amount of the damage in women´s characters.

They all are wearing masks.
To me, these books are like a manual on seeing how to deal with programs that run in peoples minds.
And are an inspiration to read how they strip those masks off.
 

Anthony

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FOTCM Member
The second book in the Mackenzies & McBrides series, Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, is really something. It's essentially about restoring broken trust in relationships, and learning how to stop hurting the other person due to our selfishness. I won't post much plot spoilers, just a few interesting quotes from the book and some general remarks:

Passion without love and trust was empty.
--
Satiation couldn't compare to the casual, trusting touch of two people who loved each other.
--
I drained you like a thirsty man at a spring. I loved what you could give me - your admiration, your acceptance, your love, your forgiveness. I forgot to love you for yourself.

Mac had realized in the bleak weeks afterwards what a heartless, selfish bastard he'd been.
--
He never thought to ask me what would make me happy, or what I needed from him. Mac did everything based on what he felt, never noticing what I felt.
--
You're not showing her your true self, because you fear looking like a fool.
--
Bare your soul.
--
He lived the wild life, he now knew, because he feared that he'd have to face his true self if he ever ceased drinking, painting, running, always running away.

One recurring theme so far in the series is straight up from Fear of the Abyss by Aleta Edwards:

"He'd always been terrified that his father would rise up within him-the father who had beaten and belittled him and his brothers."

I find it interesting that Mac in the end realizes that all his efforts to win Isabella back, such as stopping his alcoholism, leaving his drinking buddies and doing other things to straighten his life, were also part of his selfishness, he was doing it to get something from Isabella. The responsible Mac was another mask to hide behind, he wasn't really revealing his soul to her. Towards the end of the book he asks himself about his motivation for this change into responsible Mac, was it really for Isabella? And then his conscience answers:

"Mac had changed. He'd given up everything but moving doggedly through life. For her.
For her? The nagging thing inside asked. Or so that she'd feel sorry for you and acknowledge your martyrdom?"
 

Arwenn

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Those are terrific books {referring to Sins and Scoundrels series by Scarlett Scott} and I hope to see more people getting to them. "Ever Yours, Annabelle" was haunting and deeply moving.
I’ve finished the Marriage of Convenience series, and I’m now on Sins and Scoundrels series. I’ll post my comments on both after I’ve completed the latter series. Suffice it to say, I’m hooked!
Nevertheless, our characters most often demonstrate - as others have noticed - pronounced STO tendencies. I am reminded that the Cs once described the STO nature as "one who gives to those who ask". And, of course, the "asking" and "giving" have special parameters. My thought, at about the time the Cs said that was, that almost no one is able to do that even in a marital relationship - or especially in a marital relationship - so how the heck can people really learn what that means, to give ALL to just ONE who is asking???
These books are a real antidote to all the crazy in the world at present. I think it’s fair to indige in some positive escapism right now. I’d rather have positive emotions being amplified (with hyperkinetic sensate), but more so, these books are thoroughly thought provoking. About men, women, relationships, myself and my attitude towards them.

Back to the books and characters- yes, these people really give of themselves to each other in mind, body and heart. In the process of doing so, they often heal deep seated wounds. Another thing I’ve noticed is that the protagonists have a fair degree of self awareness, and moreover, they really SEE each other for who they are. They manage to get past the titles, the money, the illegitimacy, the hurt and SEE the real character underneath all of that. In some cases societal conventions be damned because what they see in that person is all that matters to them. The Cs have often said, it’s not where you are but WHO you are and what SEE. So self awareness and the ability to really see are some things that have also stood out for me.
 

Tauriel

Jedi Council Member
I'm half way through the 3rd book of this series but so far it didn't get to me as the 2nd one did.
I recant.
Further on in Jennifer Ashley's "The Many Sins of Lord Cameron" the main characters became well developed which I thought to be missing in the first half. Ainsley actually improved her image and I could see why exactly she is lovable. More light was shed on Cameron's ordeal with his first wife and thus his behaviour became more relatable. 2 scenes made me sob like a child.
The story line is again about healing past traumas via love, self reflection and facing the darkness within. STO tendencies are in the forefront.

I got the impression that each book finds its very own trigger points within the convoluted mess my soul seems to be.

After reading 3 of these books I can feel a softening, a bit like a shell is about to break open. Not there yet but will start the 4th book of the series now....the Mackenzies obviously have me under their spell.
 
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