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Reviews
AMOSTUNUSUALCOURTSHIP_FINAL

Reviewed by Lena Grey on 15-April-2015

Original Review Link Here.

Gerald Smithson, master leathersmith, has ample reason to distrust mages. He doesn’t take their commissions and steers clear of them wherever possible. When Lord Leo Harris tries to hire him, Gerald sends the mage packing. Unfortunately, the simple act of Leo entering his shop brings Gerald to the attention of a Dark mage who kidnaps him as a chance to get to Leo. Now Leo must not only rescue Gerald, but find a way to win his heart. It will be an unusual courtship, to say the least.

NOTE: 1st Edition published by Torquere Press, 2012.

Book Review

It’s not prudent to judge a group of people by the misdeeds of a few. In ‘A Most Unusual Courtship’ by Nancy M. Griffs, Gerald almost misses out on a fabulous opportunity due to his prejudice against those who practice magic. Gerald refuses to serve those who practice magic and sends Leo away. However, he soon discovers that Leo is no ordinary mage. If they are to work together, Gerald has to admit that he’s wrong and, after all of his years of distain for mages, it is not going to be easy.

Leo and Gerald are both very strong willed, secure individuals, each with a very special, well developed talent—Leo for magic wielding and Gerald for leather making. Even though both men are the best at what they do, they don’t flaunt it or use it in a manipulative way for self gain. Leo is a bit of a scoundrel, but has a good and generous heart and would never take advantage of his gift. In this way, Gerald is similar because even though he makes the finest leather creations in all of London, he refuses to overcharge so that even the least fortunate can afford his creations. I liked the way that they were represented as different, but equal in spirit and strength. It made for an interesting competition between them. Gerald’s absolutely charming, good hearted, humorous, and loving grandfather, added a lot of humor and loving to the story. His fondest wish for his grandson was to see that Gerald was well matched before he died. Even at 75, he proves that he is a force to be reckoned with.

The world building in this tale presents an interesting, alternative view of London, roughly in the Renaissance period. Much of the lifestyle, speech, clothing, weapons, and customs are similar to our reality; however, mingled in with the history are hints of imagined things such as mages, wizards, magic spells, and an unusual representation of same sex unions which definitely put a twist on things. I really enjoyed this story and would recommend it to everyone who likes unique stories, in a historical setting, where things aren’t always as they seem. Thanks, Nancy, for the delightful story.

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.


cover for the novel

5.0 out of 5 stars For fantasy readers who enjoy tales of good vs. evil!, April 14, 2015
By SRPR
This review is from: Children of the Temple: Book One (Kindle Edition)

This is a great book with a strong female lead, that takes the reader into the past for glimpses of history, magic and myth, and into the present with demons and heroes. The main characters are solid and interesting, both with pasts (one more recent than the other) that shape who they are today. I loved the secondary characters and their relationships with the main characters even more, however, and how they pushed and influenced the story.

This is a great read with paranormal elements and religious mythology, that also deals with identifiable characters who seem very real with a touch of humor throughout.

I recommend this book to readers of fantasy who enjoy tales of good vs. evil.


A Very Demony Christmas book cover
A Very Demony Christmas by Nancy M. Griffis at Torquere Press
Genre Paranormal / Demons / Christmas Story / Gay Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 05-December-2013

Book Blurb

Damian and Laurent had danced around their attraction for years while fighting evil and saving the innocent. Stopping a demon from killing a homeless pregnant girl just before Christmas sets them on a path to stopping a hybrid demon from coming to power and maybe, finally, finding a way to be together in their crazy, dangerous lives.

Book Review

I guess demons don’t take Christmas breaks, and while it sees to be a logical assumption, I’d never before reading this story thought about it. As a consequence, Damian, a human hunter, and Laurent, his eight hundred year old immortal partner and would-be lover, don’t have an easy time of it either. Full of crazy demons, enough action to fill a movie, and some fun interpersonal teasing, this short story isn’t exactly a “traditional” Christmas tale, well, the demons in it were a hint, yet it left me with some warm feelings at the end.

Damian is a human demon and vampire hunter, and he’s teamed up with the much older Laurent. He clearly has a crush on the man, even if he want admit it, but they work well together and that is all that counts. Damian does the research using modern technology, and while he is able to wield a crucifix and a stake, that part of their job is better left to Laurent.

Laurent died eight hundred years ago, burned at the stake, but was resurrected and has been fighting evil since then. He is very good with a broadsword, and is the “action” part of the team. His feelings for Damian are clear, but he isn’t sure he will ever act on them. I can see why he feels like robbing the cradle, but in the end, love is love, right?

If you’re curious what a “demony Christmas” might look like, if you don’t mind a bit of horror and gore as two men hunt evildoers all over the city, and if you’re looking for a short paranormal read with quite a bit of action, then you will probably enjoy this short story.

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cover for the novel
5.0 out of 5 stars Dan Brown Has Company, July 4, 2013
By
This review is from: Children of the Temple: Book One (Kindle Edition)

Nancy Griffis has done it again. This is the second book I have read from this author and each time she has spun a tale of excitement. I have learned that the best news comes in her titles; as I am very glad this was only book one.

If you are a fan of Dan Brown, this story of Good versus Evil will be exactly what you are looking for. This battle is fought in the present; however they use relics and other antiquities dating back centuries. The author does a wonderful job taking you back a few hundred years while allowing you to keep a foot in the present.

Now, throw in a demon or two and a bunch of evil people who team up against a small and mostly hidden team of protectors and you will be looking over your shoulder walking down the street, especially if you live in Los Angeles.

You will love the main character, feel her pain and understand her confusion as she tries to put pieces together of her secret past.

This story has everything, past, present, good, bad and a couple of in-betweens…and I really mean in-betweens because I don’t know what else to call them.

Can’t wait for Book Two!

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Fluctuations3_small

5.0 out of 5 stars I Felt Like I Was In a Space Movie, April 26, 2013
By
This review is from: Fluctuations: Book One of the Connemara Chronicles (Kindle Edition)

Wow, a spaceship/cruise liner on the cover, what a cool concept and an even better story. I was drawn from the beginning and didn’t want to leave. I felt as though I was part of the crew and had a stake in everything. I had flashbacks to The Love Boat and of course Star Trek, thought it might be a combination of the two, it was and it wasn’t.

The key characters were so well developed that it was easy to attach to them and to empathize with each one of them in this never a dull moment vacation into the unknown.

The author places you in the middle of each surprising event that occurs and allows you to imagine vividly the surroundings and possible tension or relief. I tried to predict what might happen next and was wrong most of the time.

The best way to describe this book is, I felt I was watching the next generation of space adventure movies or television show and this was the first release or debut on television. I can’t wait to see and hear what happens to these characters next. Wish I could turn on the television and really watch it.

Katy Sozaeva rated it 5.0 out of 5 stars

Recommends it for: fans of sci-fi adventure and fun
Shelves: i-edited

See my review also at my blog, Now is Gone (katysozaeva.blogspot.com).Book Info: Genre: Science Fiction Reading Level: AdultDisclosure: I edited this book for the author; I am not paid a percentage of any sales, and I am happy to provide an honest review.Synopsis: A state-of-the-art cruise ship with wealthy vacationers out for a thrill travels into The Fluctuation, a dangerous region of the galaxy where anything can happen.

Rosaria, an heiress lacking a purpose in life; Ma’tha’skiyainashtra, a telepathic, feline alien on vacation before her diplomatic assignment to Earth; Bob, a sarcastic robot with a persecution complex; and Evan, a young stowaway genius in search of his parents. After a catastrophic event and mass evacuation, the four get left behind and trapped on the damaged ship with no lifepods.

Crisis after crisis strikes… shield failure, near-collisions, ruthless pirates, kleptomaniac aliens, sentient comets… bonding the new friends as they struggle to keep the ship running and themselves alive. When Evan reveals that he’s there to find his parents who were lost thirteen years ago, they all decide to go deeper into The Fluctuation to find them. The danger increases, but so does the potential reward… reuniting a family.

My Thoughts: I first read and edited an early version of this book for Nancy last year, and then edited another version prior to her deciding to self-publish it. This is a really fun science-fiction tale, full of action, adventure, derring-do, mysterious anomalies, interesting aliens, and just a hint of romance. It is, absolutely, what science-fiction should be about. One of the thing I really like about Griffis’ work, based upon this book and her fascinating book Eternal Investigations, which I read and reviewed last year, is that she puts a lot of threads into her plot, weaving together an intricate and accessible storyline while providing great characterizations and plot twists. If you enjoy a fun science-fiction adventure, this is absolutely the book for you, and I highly recommend it.

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Leatherbound Charity Sip Anthology Cover

A Most Unusual Courtship – A 2012 Charity Sip – Torquere Press

Serena Yates rated it

Shelves: m-m

The courtship in this short story isn’t the only thing that is ‘most unusual’, since the author has developed an alternate reality/world here with some interesting differences to reality as we know it. Some are rather obvious (there is magic in this world), some more subtle, like the fact that same-sex couples and marriage are considered normal (which is nicely explained). The setting is the London of Queen Victoria and her surviving children (after Prince Albert’s death).

Gerald is a very talented leather worker, if somewhat quirky. He refuses to work with mages, which leads to all kinds of interesting twists as the story develops. His reactions to suddenly being pursued by one are funny, but he is willing to learn and adapt and was less ‘blinded’ by his prejudice than I first feared.

Leo is a mage of the very highest caliber and desperately needs Gerald to work with him on a project of ‘royal importance’. Once they meet, he is also desperate for more than a temporary working relationship, hence, the courtship that follows.

If you like stories that are funny with humor coming from unexpected angles, if you enjoy reading about two men working through their differences, and if a bit of magic is the spice of life for you, then you may like this short book.

Lena Grey‘s review

Sep 27, 12

4 of 5 stars false

Read in September, 2012

It’s not prudent to judge a group of people by the misdeeds of a few. In ‘A Most Unusual Courtship’ by Nancy M. Griffs, Gerald almost misses out on a fabulous opportunity due to his prejudice against those who practice magic. Gerald refuses to serve those who practice magic and sends Leo away. However, he soon discovers that Leo is no ordinary mage. If they are to work together, Gerald has to admit that he’s wrong and, after all of his years of distain for mages, it is not going to be easy.

Leo and Gerald are both very strong willed, secure individuals, each with a very special, well developed talent—Leo for magic wielding and Gerald for leather making. Even though both men are the best at what they do, they don’t flaunt it or use it in a manipulative way for self gain. Leo is a bit of a scoundrel, but has a good and generous heart and would never take advantage of his gift. In this way, Gerald is similar because even though he makes the finest leather creations in all of London, he refuses to overcharge so that even the least fortunate can afford his creations. I liked the way that they were represented as different, but equal in spirit and strength. It made for an interesting competition between them. Gerald’s absolutely charming, good hearted, humorous, and loving grandfather, added a lot of humor and loving to the story. His fondest wish for his grandson was to see that Gerald was well matched before he died. Even at 75, he proves that he is a force to be reckoned with.

The world building in this tale presents an interesting, alternative view of London, roughly in the Renaissance period. Much of the lifestyle, speech, clothing, weapons, and customs are similar to our reality; however, mingled in with the history are hints of imagined things such as mages, wizards, magic spells, and an unusual representation of same sex unions which definitely put a twist on things. I really enjoyed this story and would recommend it to everyone who likes unique stories, in a historical setting, where things aren’t always as they seem. Thanks, Nancy, for the delightful story.

NOTE: This book was provided byTorquere Press for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews.

Don Bradshaw

rated it

Shelves: artists, family-drama, fantasy, gay-romance, magic, short

Reviewed on Hearts On Fire… http://heartsonfirereviews.com/

I was totally surprised by this wonderful short story and the remarkable amount of world building Ms. Griffis could pack into thirty pages. Set during the reign of Queen Victoria but in a reality ripe with magic and gay marriages, Gerald Smithson is a master leather worker. He lives with his wily old grandfather that loves Gerald but wants in the worst way to marry him off. The problem is that Gerald doesn’t want to get married so immerses himself in his work. Leo is a mage of the highest ranking and a protector of the royal family. Leo enters Gerald’s shop one day and is immediately told to leave as Gerald does not work for mages. Leo is in need of Gerald’s craftsmanship and a battle of wills begins between the two men. I found the characters of Gerald, Leo and the elder Mr. Smithson to be well developed and extremely charming. The story line itself was fun and I was sucked in from page one by Ms Griffis’ writing style. The actual courtship between Leo and Gerald was left up to me to imagine for the most part as the story’s length did not permit much. The HEA ending was icing on the cake of this short masterpiece. This story is too good to pass up and I would definitely buy a further story about Gerald and Leo. (less)

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Home Fires Burning by Nancy M. Griffis 2011

Commented by Lena Grey

September 25, 2011
Last updated: September 26, 2011
Top 10 ReviewerView all my reviews

Home Fires Burning by Nancy M. Griffis

Long separations, months, sometimes even years, are a bleak reality for military families. With heart rending accuracy, Nancy M. Griffis captures the loneliness that Ryan feels for his husband, Daniel, during one of his extended tours of duty, along with his desperate desire to comfort himself by counting down the days until they will be together again. She also fits in Ryan’s guilt as he reflects on how much his husband loves his job. I can’t think of a better example than a cold, snowy, February day on Cape Cod in which to encapsulate these feelings of desolation and despair. She also portrays the joys of what a happy reunion does for families. Finally being together again is like coming alive after months of feeling half dead, renewing hope for the future, and a great sense of appreciation for each other.

‘Home Fires Burning’ is a touching, romantic love story which brought tears to my eyes and an ache to my heart. Coming from a city which has Army, Navy, and Air Force bases all around, I’ve seen the pain long term separations inflict upon families left behind and the military men and women themselves. I can truly appreciate the importance of keeping the home fires burning, while your loved ones are away. Even with the sadness it caused, I love this story which is about sadness and longing, but it’s also a story of hope and abiding love. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this wonderful story and have it touch your heart as it touched mine.

http://www.qmobooks.com/index.php/component/content/article/35129-home-fires-burning-by-nancy-m-griffis

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Eternal Investigations:

Awesome paranormal suspense thriller – do NOT miss this one!

July 14, 2011
This review is from: Eternal Investigations (Paperback)

In this slightly unusual paranormal thriller, we get an unexpected treat – instead of the usual over-sexed man, or neurotic woman as protagonist, we meet the enchanting Helen Rollins – a medium – who was, much to my delight, a well-balanced person who knew what she wanted out of life and, thanks to a mysterious benefactor, was able to achieve it by opening Eternal Investigations. Through her company – with the help of her business partner Rudy – she helps people who are having difficulties due to difficult or even violent ghosts (commonly called poltergeists), or who simply want to contact the dead in order to achieve peace after their loss.

One of the many neat things about this book is that it does not focus on only one plot string throughout the whole book – Eternal Investigations goes through several cases during the course of the book, adds another person to the business, who is a telepath among other things, and even moves its location. Among the cases they work on are: increasingly violent attacks on an artist in Atlanta by a poltergeist; a haunted ranch, the location of many violent deaths, in the desert somewhere between L.A. and Las Vegas; and a race in San Francisco from which women have been going missing for 15 years or so.

The character development is wonderfully done without slowing the action, and I became quite attached to the main characters. Each character is well-defined with his or her own quirky traits; and is also described in such a way as to allow one to easily create a picture in one’s mind. The plot develops in an organic way and it engrossing and well-written. Overall, fans of the thriller/suspense/paranormal genre should jump all over this book, because it is wonderful and I, personally, am sincerely hoping that Ms. Griffis decides to write more books involving Eternal Investigations. Please, do not miss out on a chance to pick up this involving and wonderfully well-written book! You will not regret it!

http://www.amazon.com/review/RUZ5D49MJHBZK/ref=cm_cr_dp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1610400992&nodeID=283155&tag=&linkCode=

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Great paranormal read

January 17, 2012
This review is from: Eternal Investigations (Kindle Edition)

This book was a fun read. The characters felt very real and had a genuine affection for one another, and the dialogue was great. A few of the investigations were creepy enough that I was reluctant to read some passages late at night. Helen’s relationship with her dead twin sister added an interesting element, as did the interplay between Helen and Jacqueline. All in all, a good read for fans of the paranormal genre. I’m hoping we will see more adventures of Eternal Investigations.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R3QBEKHDSZ6GCV/ref=cm_cr_dp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1610400992&nodeID=283155&tag=&linkCode=

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