Ronald Paul Speakes
Ronald Paul Speakes is the author of literary and mystery novels as well as books of poetry. He currently lives with his wife, Donna (therefore far from a lonely existence), in suburban Washington, DC. He did his graduate studies in philosophy at Georgetown University. Besides writing, he has been an educator and a humanitarian relief worker. Born in a town overlooking the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan, he has lived in a range of places, to include Italy and the Pacific Islands, and traveled extensively. However, all places used in a novel are fictionally created in the mind of the author, so regardless of where the author has been these biographical tidbits don’t really matter that much.
Swan-Knight Noose (Book One of the Swan-Knight Series)
While donating a painting to The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, an American philanthropist, Richard Palgrave, is asked to try to recover four modern masterworks stolen from the museum over forty years earlier. The paintings, he is told, were taken by two American soldiers in 1974 and left with a monk at a monastery near war-torn Hue, Vietnam. Intrigued by the possible implications of this, Palgrave takes on what turns out to be a dangerous mission of finding and returning the paintings to the rightful owners, which leads him through a labyrinth stretching from Hue to southern France to Los Alamos, New Mexico, through a maze of geopolitical schemes and deceptions fostered during the Vietnam War/Cold War era. They face the greed and violence begun over a generation earlier – yet encounter the possibilities not only of peril but also of beauty in the pursuit of romance.
Eve of Creation (Book Two of the Swan-Knight Series)
A deafening blast shatters the evening calm of Washington, DC. Beginning with bomb placed in the sculpture garden of the Ruen National Museum of Contemporary Art, the philanthropist Richard Palgrave finds he is involved in a threat to destroy the museum and everyone within it. Palgrave and his colleagues follow leads to France, Syria and Iraq (and a possible location of the Garden of Eden) to try to stop the threat from being carried out. As they edge toward the eve of the threatened event, they realize that because of an old friendship Palgrave is intentionally being led not only into the ‘clash of civilizations’ but also into a world of culture and art, while engaged in a harrowing pursuit through the chaos of the Middle East – potentially toward destruction.
"Riveting novel, beautifully approached with amazing characters."
A young man is caught up in a love triangle and in a friendship that have ominous dimensions; a heartrending American tale that will open a lens to extraordinary characters and their age – and leave you stunned at the outcome of these relationships.
The era of the Vietnam War - at home - was a time when values were shot through with importance and conviction. Thomas Tarakhanov Teniers, called Tati, the grandson of a Russian immigrant and an American Episcopal minister, struggles to come of age in this time of rebellion, change, civil rights protests, free love and the draft for a widely-considered unethical war in a distant land - and tries to wrestle with his era in his own way. It was a time to translate childhood dreams into a world of beauty yet see some of them transformed into nightmares, where far too many die young. To include Tati? A rare work!
Pale Saint Judas (A Swan-Knight Novel)
“It’s an excellent addition to the series and leaves one earnestly awaiting another.”
– CC Barron
Seemingly out of the blue, on a night train from Paris to Bonn, an aging but distinguished German approaches Richard Palgrave, a wealthy American philanthropist, with an unexpected appeal: to help him find his former lover from WWII and their resulting child who he’s never met, and assist him in returning art confiscated by Nazis to the rightful owners. Realizing the seriousness of this peculiar request, particularly following the violent death of the German, Palgrave accepts the task. It turns out to be a harrowing quest, dealing with the on-going legacy of the Third Reich, personal identity and the heights of human courage in horrifying times. And characters never to be forgotten!
"I've followed the main character, Richard Palgrave, through mystery after mystery and I've always loved the depth of his character. Each of the characters in this series offers a variety of emotion, tone, and overall personality. The dialogue is purely incalculable and satisfyingly superb. I definitely recommend this book and its series!" - Avid_Bookivore
This Swan-Knight book can be read as a stand-alone work.
T. Jefferson's Chant
Stephen Teniers, a world-renowned composer and unorthodox Episcopal priest, meets Sera Watie, and they fall in love. Sera is on the brink of being chosen as the key foreign affairs advisor to a leading Presidential candidate. So, how could a relationship between such highly successful people turn out to be problematic? Stephen is of European descent; Sera is of African.
A major musical composition based on the life of Thomas Jefferson – counterpoised with that of Emily Dickinson – historic figures who vividly come to life in the novel, becomes critical and personal as Stephen and Sera face the troubling strains of race in America, from its founding to current day. An exciting work that captures the historical, social, religious and political complexities and juxtapositions of today’s world in a compelling, heart-wrenching story of two people in love.