Friday, November 21, 2014

Plantagenets series by Sharon Kay Penman

Current read
Series - Plantagenets
Author - Sharon Kay Penman (

Book 1
Title - When Christ and His Saints Slept

Goodreads description -
In this novel, Sharon Kay Penman brings to life a dark period in English history, painting a canvas rich in the textures and colors of the era. Here is the pain and suffering of the innocents, the conniving and duplicity of the barons; here is the terrible reality of lawlessness - the burning towns, ravaged countryside, weary people. But above all, here are two extraordinary adversaries: A woman whose courage outran her common sense, who found that her skirts bound her more tightly than any rope. And a man of inordinate charm, as valiant in battle as he was able in friendship - but a man whose life was based on a broken oath and a treacherous lie, tragic flaws that would destroy him. Beginning as friends, they ended in the bitterest enmity, their bloodiest wounds self-inflicted. And if Stephen lost the crown, Maude would never wear it. But in a final irony for both, Maude would indeed be the mother of kings, for it was her eldest, Henry, who would establish the Plantagenet dynasty and, with Eleanor of Aquitaine, electrify the medieval world.
Ebook currently available for $7.59 at Amazon here.

Book 2
Title - Time and Chance

Goodreads description -
In When Christ and His Saints Slept, acclaimed historical novelist Sharon Kay Penman portrayed all the deceit, danger, and drama of Henry II's ascension to the throne. Now, in Time and Chance, she continues the ever-more-captivating tale.

It was medieval England's immortal marriage, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II, bound by passion and ambition, certain to leave a legacy of greatness. But while lust would divide them, it was friendship, and ultimately faith, that brought bloodshed into their midst. It began with Thomas Becket, Henry's closest confidant, and his elevation to be Archbishop of Canterbury. It ended with a perceived betrayal that made a royal murder seem inevitable. Along the way were enough scheming, seductions, and scandals to topple any kingdom but their own. . . .

Ebook currently available for $11.34 at Amazon here.

Book 3
Title - Devil's Brood

Goodreads description -
Where the second novel in the trilogy, Time And Chance, dealt with the extraordinary politics of the twelfth century, climaxing with the murder of Thomas Becket and Henry's confrontation with the Church and self-imposed exile to Ireland, Devil's Brood centers on the implosion of a family. And because it is a royal family whose domains span the English Channel and whose alliances encompass the Christian world, that collapse will have dire consequences. This is a story of betrayal as Henry's three eldest sons and his wife enter into a rebellion against him, aligning themselves with his bitterest enemy, King Louis of France. But it is also the story of a great king whose brilliance forged an empire but whose personal blind spots led him into the most serious mistake of his life.

Ebook currently available for $10.99 at Amazon here.

Book 4
Title - Lionheart

Goodreads description -
They were called "The Devil's Brood," though never to their faces. They were the four surviving sons of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine. With two such extraordinary parents, much was expected of them.
But the eldest-charming yet mercurial-would turn on his father and, like his brother Geoffrey, meet an early death. When Henry died, Richard would take the throne and, almost immediately, set off for the Holy Land. This was the Third Crusade, and it would be characterized by internecine warfare among the Christians and extraordinary campaigns against the Saracens. And, back in England, by the conniving of Richard's youngest brother, John, to steal his crown.

Ebook currently available for $11.29 at Amazon here.

Book 5
Title - A King's Ransom

Goodreads description -
This long-anticipated sequel to the national bestseller Lionheart is a vivid and heart-wrenching story of the last event-filled years in the life of Richard, Coeur de Lion. Taken captive by the Holy Roman Emperor while en route home—in violation of the papal decree protecting all crusaders—he was to spend fifteen months chained in a dungeon while Eleanor of Aquitaine moved heaven and earth to raise the exorbitant ransom. But a further humiliation awaited him: he was forced to kneel and swear fealty to his bitter enemy.

For the five years remaining to him, betrayals, intrigues, wars, and illness were ever present. So were his infidelities, perhaps a pattern set by his father’s faithlessness to Eleanor. But the courage, compassion, and intelligence of this warrior king became the stuff of legend, and A King’s Ransom brings the man and his world fully and powerfully alive.

Ebook currently available for $13.00 at Amazon here.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Anne Frank Remembered by Miep Gies

Current read
Title - Anne Frank Remembered
Author - Miep Gies

Amazon description -
It seems as if we are never far from Miep's thoughts....Yours, Anne

For the millions moved by Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, here at last is Miep's own astonishing story. For more than two years, Miep Gies and her husband helped hide the Franks from the Nazis. Like thousands of unsung heroes of the Holocaust, they risked their lives each day to bring food, news, and emotional support to the victims.

From her own remarkable childhood as a World War I refugee to the moment she places a small, red-orange, checkered diary -- Anne's legacy -- in Otto Frank's hands, Miep Gies remembers her days with simple honesty and shattering clarity. Each page rings with courage and heartbreaking beauty.

Ebook currently available for $9.73 at Amazon here.
Update - Finished reading on 11/20/2014