Monday, July 29, 2013

Goodreads discussion group for SR's books

Do you enjoy discussing "Gabriel's Inferno" and "Gabriel's Rapture"? Would you like to meet others online who also love SR's writing?

Check out The Gabriel's Inferno Book Club on Goodreads, a group set up to discuss SR's books. There are a number of forums for GI and GR, including ones that explore the different facets of the books' themes and artistic elements.

The club also has recommendations for other books, as well as reading challenges and the opportunity to have off-topic, lighthearted chats with other members. It's a nice group of people. Tell them the Argyle Empire sent you!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Grace & Richard Deleted Scene from Gabriel's Inferno Discussion

SR posted a new deleted scene from Gabriel's Inferno with Grace and Richard today on his blog. If you missed it you can read it HERE.

First, A little Mood Music:

SR Tweeted this just before the Deleted scene went live:

Loving Julia (playlist): Etta James - At Last - Lyrics: "(Hands out handkerchiefs) I didn't mean to invoke tears with that song. But I'll tell you what I know -Love doesn't die with a partner. Love is forever. I'll mention that both Richard and Grace appear in #GabrielsRedemption ..." ~SR via Twitter 7-25-13 #Grace Deleted Scene #Gabriel's Inferno

Thank You to SR and to Yel from The Itzel Library who inspired the posting of this deleted scene.

by SRFansUK

Looking back at some favorite quotes from Grace and Richard:

"If I know anything about Grace, it’s that she still loves you, and no doubt she’s lighting candles and praying for you, even now." ~Richard to Gabriel

"Without her, he seemed…adrift." #Grace #Richard

“#Grace loved you...She’s just a little closer to the source.” ~Richard to Gabriel

“I wouldn’t even speak to #Grace, even though she wrote me the most beautiful letter." ~Julia

"She was pretty sure that #Grace had had a hand in everything, and she silently whispered her thanks." ~Julia

"Perhaps this is happiness, he thought. Perhaps this is almost what Richard and #Grace had. The thought intrigued him. You love her. Gabriel started suddenly. Where had that voice come from? Had someone said it aloud?"..."You love her. Once again the voice came out of nowhere, only this time Gabriel recognized it. And he silently whispered his thanks." ~Gabriel

Tell us what you love about Grace and Richard and how they influence Gabriel and Julia.

Who do you picture when you read about Grace and Richard?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sin and The Serpent: Paradise Lost and The Garden of Eden

Hello Everyone,

We are pleased to share another special guest post with you today.

Terry, whom you probably know as @Terry the Nurse on Twitter, is indeed a nurse, though she also has a degree in History and a graduate degree in Human Communication.

Previously, Terry shared her thoughts on Abelard and Heloise and their place in the story of Gabriel and Julia, as well as her thoughts on Madame Butterfly and her cameo in Gabriel's Inferno. The response to her pieces was enthusiastic and we're thrilled she is able to share more of her insights on the series.

Enjoy and Take Care,

Sin and The Serpent: Paradise Lost and The Garden of Eden

As most of you know now, SR symbolically uses the theme of The Garden of Eden as the backdrop to his passion- filled story of The Professor and Julia. After reading Chapter One of Gabriel’s Redemption, several of my friends and SR’s readers asked me about the connection to Milton’s Paradise Lost. In this post I would like to discuss some of the symbolism and the connection to Inferno, Rapture, (and what we know of Redemption) to The Garden of Eden and Milton’s epic poem.   Several comments following the posting of the first chapter of Redemption on SR’s website reflected some concern about the mention of Paradise Lost in relation to what happens to Gabriel and Julia in the third book. In reality, however, Milton’s theme of the Serpent, Adam and Eve, and the expulsion from Paradise has been running through the books since the Professor said, “Miss Mitchell!!” Right from the onset, the Garden of Eden has metaphorically trickled through the text.

While the Garden of Eden plays prominently in the Judeo-Christian tradition, it’s worth a quick mention of the main characters and what they symbolize.

Of course, we all know that Adam is the first man created by God, and Eve was created from his rib to be his partner. Eden is also referred to as Paradise, and the Selinsgrove orchard, where so many key scenes take place in Inferno and Rapture as well as the only place Gabriel feels true comfort, is a metaphor for the Edenic Paradise. The nakedness of both Adam and Eve are representative of innocence which ends once both have eaten the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Life. It is perhaps the only place Gabriel feels true innocence – remember that it is the only time Gabriel feels no need for seduction when he first takes Julia there.

The Serpent is emblematic of seduction and sin and appears frequently in both books.  Indeed, Gabriel has tattooed the serpent (or dragon) on his chest – a reminder of his self-perception as one who is corrupting and sinful. We know that Gabriel, especially in Inferno, perceives himself as a “magnet for sin,” unable to overcome the seductive qualities of meaningless and empty sensuality. It is interesting to me that the serpent is subtly mentioned in one of our favorite love scenes in Inferno – the office kiss after the seminar fiasco. If you catch the Edenic references scattered throughout, you know that there will be trouble in Paradise, because SR is hinting at it even as the relationship begins. Consider this very revealing line:

She was silent as she felt the energy between them shift, like a serpent circling back on itself, swallowing itself whole, anger and passion feeding off of one another. (Inferno, p.236.)

The mention of the serpent, so evil, so seductive, in the midst of the intense romantic connection that we all impatiently waited for is a hint that things just may not be what they seem.  In fact, Gabriel refers to himself as a “fallen angel” – a term which many believe represents the serpent before he became jealous of God’s relationship to Adam and Eve.

The Tree of Life (sometimes called The Tree of Knowledge in the Judaic tradition) is frequently thought to be an apple tree. In fact, apples themselves are also considered symbolic of knowledge, and this reference is frequently used by SR throughout the books.  I propose that the apple references are an accentuation of both Gabriel’s and Julia’s growing and developing self-knowledge as they progress through their turbulent interpersonal relationship.  Earlier in the story, when Gabriel is battling his inner demons, the apple can be understood to be one of two things – either sin (as Gabriel himself refers to it when he proposes to Julia) or as a hint of the coming redemption brought by Gabriel’s increasing faith and  an accepting knowledge of himself, his mistakes,  and his flaws. In the Christian interpretation, many perceive The Tree of Life as symbolic of Jesus and the eventuality of the redemption He brings. With Gabriel’s growing spirituality, I suggest that the silver apple charm that he gives to Julia signifies their mutual connection to the orchard and all it represents to them both, his love for Julia, and his respect for Julia’s intellectual ability (at least as far as Chapter 2!) Even his gift to her – a homemade pie – is an apple pie.

In the epic poem Paradise Lost, Milton focuses on Adam and Eve’s disobedience and fall from grace. With multiple references to archangels, including Raphael, Michael, and of course Gabriel, the story is far more involved and complicated than what we read in Genesis. Written in the 17th century, it is not necessarily an easy read in its original form.  But the themes are timeless, as are the themes in Inferno and Rapture (and undoubtedly in Redemption). Choice vs. change, forgiveness vs. revenge, mercy, facing the consequences of our actions, and intimidation as a form of persuasion are all revealed in the poem as well as our own lives. A recurring theme is also Eve’s “status” – is she less than Adam or somehow secondary? Subordinate since she was created after Adam? Should this be taken figuratively or literally? Is she weak, or is she merely human? Are women the first “sinners?”

Perhaps more relevant to the love story between Julia and Gabriel is the long-held concept of the Tree of Knowledge bearing forbidden fruit. Is there anything more magnetic, more appealing, or more erotic than forbidden love, desiring the one person you can’t have? (Personally, I don’t think so, and obviously Gabriel would agree.)  Therefore, while we know that the Garden of Eden is the primal backdrop to our favorite story of forbidden love, I would suggest that the concept I would emphasize while reading is what can happen (and does) when our hearts take over our brains, when we know we are breaking the rules and do it anyway, and realizing, sometimes too late, that the consequences were far more than we bargained for. Good and evil live side by side. Now that Adam and Eve have eaten from the Tree, the free will God has given us is where the choices lie.  That is the essential message of Paradise Lost.

I would again thank you for reading and commenting on my musings about the hidden gems regarding the art, literature, and Scripture that SR uses to intensify the story throughout the Gabriel series. Perhaps you have formulated a different interpretation, and if so, that is great! Please share them. And, as always, I want to thank SR for allowing me to interpret his lovely writing. I hope I do you justice, kind sir. 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Meet the Mods, Part 4

Hello everyone! Welcome to Meet the Mods, where we introduce the wonderful people who support SR by managing Argyle Empire Twitter accounts from all over the world.  We're up to the fourth installment of this series, which just shows how many SR fans are eager to spread the word about his books.

Say hello to Elena, moderator of SRFansItaly; Yana, moderator of SRFansRussia; and Gazal, our moderator for SRFansIran.

"Seaside Sonnet" by Vladimir Volegov, one of Elena's favorite painters
My name is Elena and I'm Italian. I studied Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University, especially English, German and Modern Greek. I love literature and I often find myself spending countless hours in bookstores and libraries. I have a soft spot for poetry, ballet, art and theatre.

I stumbled upon Gabriel's Inferno completely by chance, and to say that I fell head over heels in love with the story would be an understatement. I've said it before in my reviews of the series -- words don't do justice to these books. To me these novels are unique, not only because of the beautiful love story between Professor Gabriel and Julianne, but also because of the themes of forgiveness and redemption. I read Gabriel's Inferno when I was going through a very difficult period in my life, and this story gave me hope and strength.

I have a lot to be grateful for to Sylvain Reynard -- for giving me a story that touched me in ways I'd never have thought possible, and that made me find strength again in a period of my life where I thought I had none; and for introducing me to beautiful pieces of art and literature and for the beautiful friendships I've formed thanks to his writing. My love for Gabriel's Inferno brought me to meet amazing people that are now among my dearest friends.

I run the SRFansItaly site, alongside my friends Marinella and Giorgia.
We are very happy that Gabriel's Inferno and Gabriel's Rapture have been translated into Italian and we're overjoyed that Italian readers are loving the story as much as we do.
I remember that the first thing I asked SR once I'd finished the book was if it was going to be translated into Italian. I wanted my Italian friends to read this beautiful and emotional love story, to experience the beauty of SR's writing and to fall in love with The Professor.  Now my dream has come true.

Thank you to the Ladies of Argyle Empire for giving me the opportunity to write this post, and I can't wait to share my passion for these books with you all.

Twitter: @Twiarcady90

Yana and her cat Asya

Hello:) It's about me:  Poleschuk Johanna (Yana), moderator of the Twitter family of Russian SR fans (or rather Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian, perfoming function with Aigul Galimova, the mother of community fans on the social

I live in Minsk (Belarus) and study at the Institute of Journalism. Instead of studying for ancient literature and reading Virgil at the end of the first semester, I was discovering the literature of one amazing writer, indifferent to the argyle print, and with the help of the knowable work of Dante. Until reading the books of SR, I thought that I loved literature, but the professor had taught me to do it on an even larger scale.

On my bookshelf, mixed up with Reynard, are Steinbeck, Tolstoy, Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. I am determined to be lumped with Anna Wintour and Carine Roitfeild. My dream is to find a balance between love to history, books, fashion and life.

Полещук Яна, модератор семьи Российских фанатов (точнее российских, белорусских и украинских, выполняющая свою функцию вместе с Айгуль Галимовой, матерью сообщества фанатов в социальной сети

Живёт в Минске (Беларусь), учится в Институте журналистики. Вместо того, чтобы готовиться к экзамену по античной литературе и читать Вергилия в конце своего первого семестра, открывала для себя литературу одного восхитительного писателя, неравнодушного к argyle print, и с его помощью познавала творчество Данте. До прочтения книг СР думала, что очень любит литературу, но Профессор научил её делать это в ещё больших объёмах.

На книжной полке Яны вперемешку с Рейнардом, Стейнбеком, Толстым стоят Вог и Харперс Базар. Она живёт с твёрдым намерениям когда-нибудь стоять в одном ряду с Анной Винтур и Карин Ротфейльд. Мечтает найти баланс между своей любовью к
Gazal is my name. I was born and raised in Iran studied History, taught History for a short little while.
I think at some point of our lives some of us had some kind of crush on our teachers simply enough; for me it was more than a crush. I was that shy little and awkward nerdy girl fresh out of high school in to the big university and the first day of my Overview on History class, Boom, there he was. To make a long story short for that semester I was sitting at the back of the class behind a preferably tall person and daydreaming. Of course he never looked my way or even noticed me; I never asked any questions even if I needed to. After reading GI&GR all that memory came back to me and touched me deep down and basically it ruins me for all other books.

متشاد شتسود هک یملعم هب میدقت

اوه وت وتاتسد وت هک تسه یروج هقشاع نوا هک یتسنادن زگره وت. هتقشاع هتسسن سلاک هرخا هک یتلاجخ هرتخد هک یتسنادن زگره وت تاهوم وت وت اتشگنا هک تسه یروج هقشاع و هشیم زاغا تبل هپچ هشوگ زا هک هتدنخبل هقشاع و یدادیم سرد یتقو یدیم نوکت

...تسنادن زگره وت و یثحب هغاد یتقو ینکیم

To the Teacher whom I loved:

You never knew that the shy little girl sitting at the back of the class is in love with you, you never knew that she loved the way you wave your hands in the air while teaching the way your smile starting from the left corner of your mouth and the way you run your fingers through your hair at the peak of discussion and you never knew…..

P.S. It's not a tattoo; it’s just me being impulsive

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Meet the Mods, Part 3

Hello everyone! Welcome to the third installment of Meet the Mods, where we introduce the wonderful people who support SR by managing Argyle Empire Twitter accounts from all over the world.

Say hello to Yami and Lissy, our co-moderators for SRFansVzla; and to Neda, who oversees SRFansCanada.


My name is Yamali Chavez (Yami). I'm from Cagua, Venezuela, and I'm a moderator of @SRFansVzla. I am 21 years old and I love to read books, music, hang out with friends and photograph a lot of things when I'm inspired. I'm in university so I study Education Specialization in Biology ( about two years to graduate.)
I love to be part of #SRFamily and I feel so lucky to have found this GREAT story by Sylvain Reynard. Definitely it is one of my favourites books ever.

Hi my name is Liseth (Lissy) de Freitas, I'm from Caracas, Venezuela and I'm a moderator of @SRFansVzla. I'm 28 years old and I'm a TV producer (I'm producing two programs about cooking and crafts.) and I study Social media. I love my career, read a lot of books, making friends and chatting.
I'm proud to be in this SR family, because I love this book and this great story by Sylvain Reynard.

You may recognize this as Neda's avi on Twitter
Hello!  I am Neda, the moderator for SRFansCanada. I will be honest and tell you that I am not a big fan of writing these things, 'cause, well, I never know what to say. So I decided to tell you how I came about all this book love.

A few years ago I got a Kindle. That Kindle began a love affair with cheap independent books. That led to a suggestion for this book called "Gabriel's Inferno" by a Canadian author. Being that I love supporting anything Canadian, I said, why not? That began a journey that I will never forget and a gratitude I can never express.

I opened a Twitter account to get this thing called a Kindle graph. Which led to a street team being set up by SR's publicist, Enn. Which led to me founding the SubClub Books with some fantastic ladies who are so important to me. It led me to the ladies that moderate these fan accounts. It also led me to the Bookish Temptations blog and some amazing friendships there.

So really these books, these simple beautiful soulful romance novels about redemption and love, have given me just that...and well, as they say, the rest is a beautiful history.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Charity Tuesday: The Kinamba Project

Hello Everyone,

As we all know, spotlighting charities and worthwhile causes is important to SR.

As a group, Elli, Coco, Sere and I are also dedicated to promoting these endeavors. Therefore, we are happy to share a weekly series of posts in order to take a more in-depth look at the various charitable organizations highlighted by SR. You can find a complete list of these charities on our blog by clicking on the "About the Charities" header.

Today's post was submitted by Sheila and we thank her for sharing her personal experiences with Argyle Empire.

We hope you will find the information in these posts informative and educational.  If you have a particular cause that is close to your heart or you have personal experiences with any of the charities we spotlight, please feel free to contact us about it.


The Kinamba Project

Mission Statement:

1) To advance the education of the poorest nursery and primary school children in Urugero and Umutaka areas of Kigali, Rwanda.

2) To relieve poverty by creating opportunities for the illiterate and/or unemployed adults and young people of the Urugero and Umutaka areas of Kigali, Rwanda so that they can acquire basic skills to enable them to earn a sustainable living.

The Kinamba Project

Hi everyone, and thanks to Jenn for inviting me to tell you a little about the Kinamba Community Project in Rwanda.

I’m sure that we’re all aware of the situation, politically and economically, in some of the more unstable countries in Africa.  Thankfully, it would seem that the dreadful events in Rwanda have calmed somewhat.  However, the impact on adults and children has been substantial.

I first became aware of the Project back in 2011.  Meg, a retired teacher who lives in a town near to me, had founded a school for adults and children in the Kigali area, and one of our choir members who knows her, had suggested we may be up for some fundraising.

In the event, our choir, which is not affiliated to any religious denomination, took part in a small charity concert at a local mediaeval church.  As we specialise in world music, in particular African call/response songs, Meg was extremely pleased when we raised £188.

We did a similar event last year and raised a further £250.  It turned out that part of the proceeds had been used to supply a bed for Immaculee, one of the helpers.  However, in the end, her home was in a terrible state of disrepair.  There was money and more to virtually rebuild her home and provide a bed.  Immaculee’s photo is among those on the Facebook page.  A brave and giving woman, she raises her own children alone as well as helping orphaned children.

Many of the children receive their only meal of the day at the school.  It’s not unknown for children to turn up on the Monday and faint during assembly as they’ve eaten little or nothing for two days.  When Meg told us this, it brought it to me, forcefully, how privileged we are. How dismissive of things we take for granted: clean running water, food, clothing, warmth when we need it. We have much to be thankful for.

I’m glad to have this chance to share what little I know of the Project with you all.  I think it epitomises the whole ethos of Charity – not to give in order to receive, but to give with a full heart, to extend a hand of friendship, however fleeting.  Meg, and her school, have sown the seeds of something wonderful.  Long may it continue.

If you want to find out how to donate to Kinamba, both the links above will give all the information.

Thanks for reading and God Bless.



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