Across the Nightingale Floor ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Kevin Gray and Aiko Nakasone
Sixteen-year-old Takeo’s village has been massacred by an evil warlord, and he is about to be slain by the men who murdered his parents and neighbors. At the last moment, his life is saved by a nobleman, who claims the boy as his kin and begins his education. But nothing is as it seems. Takeo discovers that he has rare powers that are useful to those around him. As he grows into manhood, he must decide where his loyalties lie: with his noble master and adoptive father; with the Hidden, a secret, spiritual sect whose beliefs are forbidden; or with the Tribe, the assassins and spies who consider him one of their own. A story of treachery, political intrigue, and the intensity of first love, set in a world ruled by formal ritual and codes of honor.
Posted in Fiction, History | Tagged Aiko Nakasone, Japaan, Kevin Gray, Mythology, Nobility & Society, Series, The Ancient World | Leave a Comment »
The Red Garden ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Nancy Travis
The story opens with the arrival of the first settlers, among them a pragmatic English woman, Hallie, and her profligate, braggart husband, William. Hallie makes an immediate and intense connection to the wilderness, and the tragic severing of that connection results in the creation of the red garden, a small, sorrowful plot of land that takes on an air of the sacred. The novel moves forward in linked stories, each building on (but not following from) the previous and focusing on a wide range of characters, including placid bears, a band of nomadic horse traders, a woman who finds a new beginning in Blackwell, and the ghost of a young girl drowned in the river who stays in the town’s consciousness long after her name has been forgotten. The result is a certain ethereal detachment as Hoffman’s deft magical realism ties one woman’s story to the next even when they themselves are not aware of the connection. – Publishers Weekley
Posted in ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥, Read by Actor/Actress | Tagged Generational, Mothers, Nancy Travis | Leave a Comment »
Prophecy ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by John Lee
It is the year of the Great Conjunction, when the two most powerful planets, Jupiter and Saturn, align – an astrological phenomenon that occurs once every thousand years and heralds the death of one age and the dawn of another. The streets of London are abuzz with predictions of horrific events to come, possibly even the death of Queen Elizabeth.
When several of the queen’s maids of honor are found dead, rumors of black magic abound. Elizabeth calls upon her personal astrologer, John Dee, and Giordano Bruno to solve the crimes. While Dee turns to a mysterious medium claiming knowledge of the murders, Bruno fears that something far more sinister is at work. But even as the climate of fear at the palace intensifies, the queen refuses to believe that the killer could be someone within her own court.
Bruno must play a dangerous game: can he allow the plot to progress far enough to give the queen the proof she needs without putting her, England, or his own life in danger?
Posted in ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥, England, English History, Fiction, History | Tagged Catholicism, John Lee, Nobility & Society, Queens, Reformation, Religion, Series | Leave a Comment »
Heresy ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by John Lee
Set in the 16th-century England, Giordano Bruno, monk, poet, scientist, and magician is on the run from the Roman Inquisition on charges of heresy for his belief that the Earth orbits the sun and that the universe is infinite. Bruno’s pursuit of rare knowledge brings him to London, where he is unexpectedly recruited by Queen Elizabeth I and is sent undercover to Oxford University on the pretext of a royal visitation. Officially Bruno is to take part in a debate on the Copernican theory of the universe; unofficially, he is to find out whatever he can about a Catholic plot to overthrow the queen. His mission is dramatically thrown off course by a series of grisly murders and a spirited and beautiful young woman. As Bruno begins to discover a pattern in these killings, he realizes that no one at Oxford is who he seems to be. Bruno must attempt to outwit a killer who appears obsessed with the boundary between truth and heresy.
Posted in ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥, England, English History, Fiction, French History, History | Tagged Catholicism, Expurgation, Italy, John Lee, Knights, Nobility & Society, Queens, Reformation, Religion, Series, Subjugation, University Life | Leave a Comment »
World Without End ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by John Lee
Set 200 years after The Pillars of the Earth and its story of a cathedral in Kingsbridge, England, now that very same cathedral still dominate in village life. Much has changed though, including the common people serving as serfs instead of wandering the countryside looking for work, and more societal changes, including medicine, commerce, architecture, and justice, are working into the lives of the people. Four children save a knight being attacked by armed men, and their stories drive the narrative, which includes the biggest change yet to be visited up on Kingsbridge, the arrival of the Black Plague.
Posted in England, English History, Fiction, History | Tagged Catholicism, John Lee, Kings, Knights, Nobility & Society, Plague, Religion | Leave a Comment »
The Eight ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Susan Denake
A dabbler in mathematics and chess, Catherine Velis is also a computer expert for a Big Eight accounting firm. Before heading off to a new assignment in Algeria, Cat has her palm read by a fortune-teller. The woman warns Cat of danger. Then an antiques dealer approaches Cat with a mysterious offer: He has an anonymous client who is trying to collect the pieces of an ancient chess service, purported to be in Algeria. If Cat can bring the pieces back, there will be a generous reward.
In the south of France of 1790, Mireille de Rémy and her cousin Valentine are young novices at the fortress-like Montglane Abbey. With France aflame in revolution, the two girls burn to rebel against constricted convent life – and their means of escape is at hand. Buried deep within the abbey are pieces of the Montglane Chess Service, once owned by Charlemagne. Whoever reassembles the pieces can play a game of unlimited power. But to keep the Game a secret from those who would abuse it, the two young women must scatter the pieces throughout the world.
Posted in Fiction, French History, History, World History | Tagged Algeria, Artists, Catherine the Great, Chess, Cold War, Convent Life, English Literature, France, French Literature, French Revolution, Islamic Culture, Jacques-Louis David, Knights, Nobility & Society, Queens, Susan Denake, Writers | Leave a Comment »
Sepluchre ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Donada Peters
The stories of two women separated by more than a century are brought together by a series of visions that are related to the tarot and a small church, known as a Sepulchre in the grounds of the Domaine de la Cade.
Posted in Fiction, French History, History, World History | Tagged Convent Life, Crusades, Donada Peters, France, Jewish Culture, Knights, Mythology, Nobility & Society, Religion, Sisters | Leave a Comment »