Tag: the book breeze

Review: LEFT TO CHANCE by Amy Sue Nathan

51xSI1ZVj9L._SY346_LEFT TO CHANCE by Amy Sue Nathan / YA / Released Nov 2017 by St. Martin’s Griffin

“Left to Chance” by Amy Sue Nathan is an engaging read, the author’s voice capturing my attention immediately, and the story line holding my attention from beginning to end.

“Left to Chance” is heroine Teddi Lerner’s journey to a past she’s been trying to avoid for six years. Back in Chance, her small home town in Ohio, lay memories of her deceased best friend, her best friend’s surviving daughter and husband, and their joint friends who feel abandoned by Teddi’s six year absence which began before her friend’s funeral even ended. To escape her hurt and her responsibility in the hurt of others, Teddi has spent her time away from Chance forging a new identity – success as a photographer and in a relationship with a well-known and enviable man. But when she finds herself back in Chance to photograph the wedding of her deceased friend’s husband who has healed enough to move on, she finds herself in an eruption of pain, conflict, attacks, and concessions she must choose to face or run from…again.

This book, with its appealing inner voice of the heroine, contains humor and suffering, insight and conflict, as well as romance and separation. There are moments that seem brutal when the past raises its head against Teddi and she against it, but it is the story of a journey…backward or forward…for her and each character involved.

As an author, Amy has done a clean job of keeping to her plot, moving it at a nice pace, and weaving her characters forward along its line. Her characters are viable, identifiable, and so real that sometimes I wanted to reach into the page and smack them. A couple of them made me groan, and I wondered why Teddi liked them, but if a book doesn’t make me groan then it’s likely missing some human honesty. So Amy has done a good job of giving us a heroine we like and want to see succeed, plus a number of potential heroes who are each on their own journey until at last only one rises above the others.

I thank The Book Breeze for giving me the opportunity to review this book. As an author, reader, critique partner, and part time copy editor I approach any book with a magnifying glass, seeing enough to take me beyond the simple “I liked it” or “I didn’t.” With “Left to Chance” I was pleased at all levels, and commend even the publisher St. Martin’s Griffin for clean editing, formatting, and easy to read sentence structure.

Colleen L Donnelly

Amazon #1 Bestselling Author

The Alvarez Family Mystery Series by Heather Haven

The Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries

51iAhgy7QDLNEW  THE CULINARY ART OF MURDER by Heather Haven • Mystery * The Wives of Bath Press • Released Nov 2017
Lee’s Uncle ‘Tío’ is smitten with a visiting chef at a Silicon Valley culinary arts institute. When the lady is arrested for two murders, a fellow chef and the dishwasher, Lee Alvarez, lead investigator for Discretionary Inquiries, Inc., the family owned detective agency, agrees to help find the real killer. But undercover work at the institute proves to be more difficult than whipping up a chocolate soufflé. The killer tries to get Lee out of the way and permanently. But just who is it? The lady chef? One of her two sons? Or one of the other inmates from a cooking school with secrets as plentiful as sauces? Can Lee find the real killer before her own goose is cooked? And if it turns out to be the ambitious southern belle chef, will Tío ever forgive Lee for sending his new lady love to jail?

51uWiZUlhSLMURDER IS A FAMILY BUSINESS by Heather Haven • Mystery • The Wives of Bath Press • Released December 2013

Just because a man cheats on his wife and makes Danny DeVito look tall, dark and handsome, is that any reason to kill him? The reluctant and quirky PI, Lee Alvarez, doesn’t think so. The 34-year old, half Latina, half WASP and one-hundred percent detective has her work cut out for her when the man is murdered on her watch. Of all the nerve. From San Francisco’s famous Embarcadero to quaint Princeton-by-the-Sea, Lee, with a little help form the rest of the family, is out to find a killer before he finds her.
Murder is a Family Business is the first in a series of humorous mysteries revolving around Lee Alvarez, a combination of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone and Janet Evanovitch’ Stephanie Plum, and the rest of Alvarez Family, owners of Silicon Valley’s Discretionary Inquiries. Completing the family is Lee’s “Never-Had-A-Bad-Hair-Day” aristocratic mother, Lila; computer genius brother, Richard; beloved uncle “Tio;” and her energetic orange and white kitten, Tugger. When this group is not solving murders, they run Discretionary Inquiries, a successful Silicon Valley agency that normally deals with the theft of computer software.

51Vq-FCrVYL._SY346_A WEDDING TO DIE FOR by Heather Haven • Mystery • The Wives of Bath Press • Released July 2013

A groom arrested for murder can put a crimp in any bride’s wedding, no matter who designed the wedding dress. So when the nuptials of Lee’s best friend are threatened by the arrest of the groom for murder, thirty-four-year old Lee Alvarez — a combination of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone and Janet Evanovitch’s Stephanie Plum – heads to Mexico in search of the real killer. While there, the half Latina, half WASP, and 100% detective finds herself embroiled in a network of thieves who specialize in plundered Mesoamerican relics. With the help of the rest of the Alvarez Family, Never-Had-A-Bad-Hair-Day blueblood mother, Lila Hamilton Alvarez, brother and computer genius, Richard; favorite uncle, “Tío” Mateo; and Tugger, her energetic orange and white cat; Lee stumbles across a few more dead bodies while eating the best tasting tamales ever. Ole!
But when she smacks right into the man of her dreams, she has to ask herself, is he too good to be true? Probably. So Lee tries to follow her own sage advice, ‘when Cupid’s wings start flapping, take cover.’ Good luck to her.
A Wedding To Die For is the second novel in the successful humorous murder mysteries involving the Alvarez Family, owners of Silicon Valley’s successful Discretionary Inquiries.

51iH4hpTYaLDEATH RUNS IN THE FAMILY by Heather Haven • Mystery • The Wives of Bath Press • Released April 2014

Winner of the Global Gold Best Mystery Fiction 2013.

Lee Alvarez’ ex-husband, Nick — a man she divorced with joy in her heart and a gun in her hand – sprints back in her life only to disappear again. She’d love to leave it at that, but could he be responsible for the recent death of her cousin, who keeled over at the finish line of a half-marathon in front of hundreds of spectators? As PI for the family run business, Discretionary Inquiries, Lee follows the clues to Vegas, where she joins forces with Shoshone PI, Flint Tall Trees. Together they uncover a multi-million dollar betting syndicate, a tacky lounge lizard act, and a list of past but very dead runners, plus future ones to off. At the top of the ‘future’ list is the love of her life, Gurn Hanson. Hoping to force the culprits out in the open, Gurn and Lee’s brother, Richard, vow to run San Francisco’s famous Palace to Palace 12K in only a few days. Can Lee keep the two men she loves from hitting the finish line like her cousin? With more at stake than she ever dreamed possible, Lee is in a battle against time to stop the Alvarez Family’s race with death.

514OhgRhktLDEAD … IF ONLY by Heather Haven • Mystery • The Wives of Bath Press • Released October 2014

A man who should be dead isn’t and Lee Alvarez’s very pregnant sister-in-law, Vicki, is about to be charged with a murder he recently committed in the Big Easy. Aided by the rest of the Alvarez Family, Palo Alto’s favorite P.I. kicks the Voodoo in the Who Do throughout New Orleans. With only three days to clear Vicki’s name, a child is kidnapped, two more people wind up dead, a hurricane hits, and the clock never stops ticking….


512qFeLkyGLTHE CEO CAME DOA by Heather Haven • Mystery • The Wives of Bath Press • Released Sept 2016

Global Gold Medal, Best Mystery Fiction 2017

Dan Poynter Legacy Award, Best Fiction 2017

LEFTY Finalist for Best Humorous Mystery 2017

Someone is trying to sabotage the Initial Public Offering of ‘Read-Out’, a small Silicon Valley start-up, and Lee Alvarez has been hired to find the culprit. Meanwhile, the first Alvarez grandchild is about to be born while Lee is planning her very own Christmas wedding; or rather letting her mother plan it. When Lee finds the CEO hanging by the neck in his boardroom wearing nothing but baby blue boxer shorts, she has to ask herself, was it suicide? Or was it murder? If so, was the saboteur responsible, one of his business partners, or even his famous rock star ex-wife? There are too many suspects and the bodies start piling up just in time for Christmas. Ho, ho, ho

514cIAlcQuLHONEYMOONS CAN BE MURDER by Heather Haven • Mystery • The Wives of Bath Press • Released March 2017

When PI Lee Alvarez goes on her honeymoon with bridegroom, Gurn Hanson, they find a dead woman practically on their doorstep. Kauai breezes may be soft, but there are gale force winds of accusation against Gurn. Will Lee find the real killer before her new hubby gets sent to a Hawaiian hoosegow?

Review: MAD Librarian by Michael Guillebeau / Get a FREE book!

61cHoeaY5iLMAD Librarian by Michael Guillebeau / Women’s Crime Fiction / Released Nov 16, 2017 by Madison Press

I have been in love with libraries since Hunts Foods (the ketchup people) built one next to my elementary school over a half century ago.  Nestled in the trees with train tracks running behind it I always saw it as MY portal to adventure.

Well, if it’s an adventure you seek jump on the MAD Librarian train as librarian Serenity Hammer tries to save her library.

Set in a small Alabama town, Serenity battles a bureaucracy that sees little value in a building full of books.  Serenity, however, sees her library as the heart and soul of the community.  Through Kismet, fate, or just dumb luck Serenity stumbles upon a hidden municipal fund she can tap into to save the library’s internet service.  When the air conditioner goes out she taps again.  Then brilliance (or possibility insanity) hits as she discovers this fund is constantly fed by an unknown source.

Not bothered by trivial details like where the money comes from or the fact she is married to a police officer, Serenity’s vision for her library grows and the mystery behind the source of the money deepens.

Award winning author of JOSH WHOEVER, Michael Guillebeau spins a page turning tale with humor, mystery, and wonderful characters.

Breaking Bad for Librarians. Cayocosta72 Reviews said, “This book is truly every librarian’s dream come true.”  Half of all income goes to the Awesome Foundation for Innovation in Libraries. Available at https://www.amazon.com/MAD-Librarian-Michael-Guillebeau-ebook/dp/B075LQD1LB/


I’m Mike Guillebeau, author of the MAD Librarian book which was reviewed here today. I’d like to thank all of the readers for your support, gauge your interest in the book, and offer you a small Christmas present from my MAD librarian and the other characters in the book. For the next week, anyone who would like a free Kindle book of MAD Librarian can send me an email (mike@michaelguillebeau.com). Let me know that you’d like a free Kindle ebook of MAD Librarian, and that you heard about it on The Book Breeze. I’ll email you a $10 Amazon gift card, which will let you buy a MAD Librarian ebook for $7.99, and have enough left over for a cup of tea or coffee with your book.

 Here’s the kicker: I’ll only do this for the first FIVE from this blog. And I’m doing this at a couple of other sites. The first site to get five books, will get five more.

 Regardless of whether you take me up on this or not, thanks for your support for books in general, and The Book Breeze. Review sites like The Book Breeze are the lifeblood for readers like you and writers like me alike.

The Callahan Series by Mitzi Pool Bridges

 The Callahan Series

51b1yHWWOKLPROMISE KEPT by Mitzi Pool Bridges • Romance • The Wild Rose Press • Released October 2012
 TJ Callahan used her brains to track down Maxwell Thomas, accused of embezzling millions from investors. All that is left: using her brawn to bring him to justice and claim the million-dollar reward needed to save her family’s ranch.

When Mother Nature delays her plans by unleashing a blizzard on the usually mild Texas Hill Country, TJ is more than concerned. Spending Christmas Day in a shack in the middle of nowhere gives her time to study her prey and perfect her scheme, but only if she can convince him she’s a nuisance and not a bounty hunter.

 Concern turns into a desperate fight for survival when their return to civilization forces them to stay a step ahead of the FBI . . . a killer and who knows how many other bounty hunters. Should TJ haul in this brutal criminal that everyone is looking for, or trust this brooding, take-charge man with her life – and her heart?

51nBIaRsJTLPROMISE BROKEN by Mitzi Pool Bridges • Romance • The Wild Rose Press • Released November 2012

 Blurb: Phyllis Leander is running from a killer. Donovan Callahan is running from the truth.When Donovan Callahan overhears a family secret he was never supposed to know, it changes his life. He doubts his wounded heart will survive the hurt and disillusionment.Phyl Leander witnessed her husband being shot and ran away to work as a ranch hand in the Texas hill country. She thinks she and her young son are safe. But are they?When Donovan meets Phyl and her son, he slowly begins to realize that love doesn’t have to come in a neatly wrapped package. When danger strikes, he’ll do everything he can to protect his beautiful blonde ranch foreman and the child he’s come to think of as his own.Will the love of a woman and child on the run save Donovan Callahan from himself?

41RZlwsAcQLPROMISE HER by Mitzi Pool Bridges • Romance • The Wild Rose Press • Released March 2013
Lisa Kane fell in love with Douglas Callahan the first day they met.

Douglas loves Lisa, too. Like another sister.Douglas’ reputation as a ladies man doesn’t sit well with Lisa. She wants him for herself.

It isn’t until Lisa falls from her horse and is injured at the rodeo that Douglas’ thoughts begin to change. When they become embroiled in a rodeo mystery, they work together to find a killer.

But when the killer threatens Lisa with a gun, he realizes he can’t lose her. Will he be able to convince Lisa she’s the only woman for him?

Or will she die before he has the chance?

41B+p+-Y50LPROMISE MADE by Mitzi Pool Bridges • Romance • The Wild Rose Press • Released February 2014
Kate Maroney left Dugan Callahan at the altar five years ago while half the town watched.

Now she’s back in town. Maybe to stay. At first Dugan’s anger swells to a crescendo,Soon to be replaced with years-old hunger. He’d loved this woman with a passion once, finds he wants her still.

Kate thought she was over Dugan. She’d pursued her law degree and had a good job, but when her boss proposes she runs again. Was there something in her makeup that made her do this? Or had she not found the right man?

Will the two past lovers survive the towns watchful eyes and wagging tongues and revive their relationship? Or go their separate ways still yearning for each other?

A murder in town, a jury trial, and a love affair all go on under the watchful eyes of the entire town.

Will  Kate find her way? Will Dugan trust her enough to give them another chance?

51vqKCN0BmLPROMISE RENEWED by Mitzi Pool Bridges • Romance • The Wild Rose Press • Released October 2014

Detective Darin Callahan needs to find his partner’s killer.  His new partner Detective Gina Carlson is only too willing to help out, as she needs to get closer to the cop IA has sent her to investigate.  Did the tall, green-eyed Texan kill his partner, or is he the hard-working, honest family-values man he seems to be?

Going undercover as man and wife seems to be the best way to find out—until Gina’s past catches up with her.  Can she put her night terrors aside and take down the biggest drug lord in Houston?  Can Darin help her overcome the traumatic memories of her childhood?

Or will their undercover operation be blown and their fledgling faith and trust in each other destroyed when Darin finds out Gina has been sent to investigate him?

51yLRDL1qtLPROMISE THEM by Mitzi Pool Bridges • Romance • The Wild Rose Press • Released October 2014
Nellie Callahan, matriarch of the Callahan family, is perfectly content with her life on the Callahan Ranch until handsome Beau Chandler buys the ranch next door and comes courting.

Beau is smitten with the lovely Nell, but cattle rustlers, family problems, and Nell’s reluctance make it almost impossible to pursue the relationship he desires.

 Nellie never thought she’d feel this way again about a man.  But the trauma from her past runs deep.  She’s been able to still the voices that have haunted her since childhood by keeping busy with her family.  But her children are grown now, with families of their own, leaving her free to move into a new life for herself.

 How could Beau, a retired U.S. Senator, be happy with someone as flawed as she is?  Will Nellie realize the truth in time, or will the rustlers put an end to her second chance at love?

Scanned Image-2371A love for reading turned into a love of writing. After years spent in the business world, I turned to another profession and for the last twenty-five years have poured my romantic heart out in romantic suspense books.
Mitzi Pool Bridges


Romance: LIPSTICK ON THE STRAWBERRY by Margaret Ann Spence

thumbnail_LipstickontheStrawberry_w11172_750LIPSTICK ON THE STRAWBERRY by Margaret Ann Spence • Romance • The Wild Rose Press • Published July 2017

Estranged from her family, Camilla Fetherwell now lives in the United States and owns a successful catering business. Returning to England for her father’s funeral, she reunites with her first love, Billy, whom she hasn’t seen since her father broke up their teenage romance. Billy seems eager to resume their love affair. But after one blissful night together, things take a turn.

Camilla suspects her father may have led a secret life, and when Billy reveals something he, too, has discovered, her apprehension grows. Billy holds her heart, but their relationship might be tainted by what her father hid. A reunion seems impossible.

Her life feels as splattered as her catering apron. As she watches her food stylist make a strawberry look luscious with a swipe of lipstick, Camilla wonders if a gloss has been put over a family secret? Can she and Billy survive what’s underneath?


Author Bio:

thumbnail_Author photo- Margaret Ann SpenceMargaret Ann Spence was born in Australia and has made the United States home for many years. She now lives in Phoenix, and is often found in the kitchen or tending an unruly garden.

In Lipstick on the Strawberry she takes as backdrops Boston, Massachusetts and  Cambridge, England, cities she’s lived in and loved.  Lipstick won First Place, Romantic Elements Category, in the 2015 Beacon Contest, sponsored by the First Coast Romance Writers.


Historical Romances by Dr. Kathryn Kelly

While the idyllic life of the antebellum world was being destroyed by the enemy, Southern women did what they had to do to survive the Yankee invasion. These are the stories of heroines who lost their hearts amidst the turmoil going on around them. Out of the destruction, love blossomed and flourished leading to happily ever after. North and South. Blue and Gray. Enemies and Lovers.

thumbnail_siegeHEARTS UNDER SIEGE – Book 1

Alexandra Couvion finds herself swept up in the Civil War while searching for her twin brother. After her grandfather is captured, she must deliver a vital message to Confederate officers in Vicksburg. Forced to travel through war strewn land to deliver this message, she is protected by a man she believes to be a Yankee – her Yankee savior.

During the siege of Vicksburg, Thomas Munroe finds his heart sieged by a fearless, lovely Southern belle, Alexandra Couvion. As he fights to keep her safe, her stalker turns his attention on Thomas. Can the two of them keep each other alive long enough to survive the war?

thumbnail_heartsunderfire copy-3

When a steamboat explosion gives Southern cavalryman, Jeffrey Couvion the opportunity to fake his own death, he followed his idealism and began fighting for the Yankees.

However… he found himself on southern soil fighting against his own people. When he was shot by a man defending his home, Claire, the man’s granddaughter – the southern belle of his dreams, saved his life.

How would he reconcile falling in love with a woman who was supposed to be his enemy?  Had he made the wrong choice in fighting for the north?

Sophia Martinique would do whatever it took to make sure her younger siblings had food to eat. Even if it meant going behind enemy lines and caring for injured Yankee soldiers. Joshua Jackson would do whatever it took to protect Sophia from his fellow Yankee soldiers. Neither was prepared for falling in love with the enemy…
Jackson promises his dying friend that he’ll take care of his sister, Leah. Though he’s never met her, he already adores the Leah he imagines from their grandmother’s letters. While fulfilling that promise, he finds that his adoration was merely kindling.

thumbnail_IMG_0515I write stories for those who still believe in happily ever after. Begin Again, Kindle Scout winner, is a contemporary romance about second chances.

I also write historical romances set during the American Civil War and the antebellum south of Louisiana and Mississippi. These are the stories of southern belles who find love amidst the turmoil going on around them. Out of the destruction, love blossomed and flourished leading to happily ever after. North and South. Blue and Gray. Enemies and Lovers.

In addition to writing about the present and the past, I also write time-travel romances, merging yesterday with today. I believe that we find our soul mates no matter where or… when we have to go to find them.

But above all, I write about the love that happens when two soul mates come together and live happily ever after.

I graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a doctorate in psychology. Leaving my life as a university professor, I now work with veterans in my private practice as a psychologist. But even before I was a psychologist, I was a writer. When I’m not helping others or making up people in my head, I can be found reading, shopping, running on the treadmill, and… reading some more. But my favorite time is spent at the computer weaving fairy tales of romance.

Please visit my website at http://www.kathrynkelly.com

Fantasy: HIDDEN: TALES OF RYCA by Shereen Vedam

61Ys4HARlYLHIDDEN:  TALES OF RYCA, Book 1 by Shereen Vedam • Fantasy • Released October 2017
Come out, come out, wherever you are…

A fugitive from an evil sorcerer, GILLY hides among shadows, tortured by memories of the family she lost. Her twisted leg is both a hindrance and a reminder of her tragic past. For twenty-three years, she disguises herself as an eccentric goat herder and lives alone at the edge of an idyllic village. Who would notice her here?

From a distance, she keeps a maternal eye on her only remaining sister, ANNA. But in a moment of crisis, her fantasy of safety is shattered. Her use of magic lifts the veil and now she and Anna must flee again. The evil sorcerer, and the malevolent King he serves, are on their scent.

A perilous journey across unknown terrain with family, friends and strangers, leads Gilly and Anna back to the beginning. To discover hidden secrets, earn forgiveness for past discretions and perhaps even find enduring love. If they manage to stay alive long enough.