Friday, December 30, 2016

Nail Crazies Unite - Ugly Sweater

**Nothing to Disclose**


Well, that didn't quite work as planned. This was one of the rare times that the image was too big to work properly on my nails. I started out with an acrygel base using Bundle Monster Speed Gel in Button Down and Beauty Secrets clear acrylic powder. I topped that with Zoya Leia to add a wintry look. The stamping was done with Winstonia W222 and Bundle Monster So Metal.




~Kelly

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - Shades of Wrath by Karen Rose Smith

**NetGalley**



Title: Shades of Wrath
Series: Caprice de Luca Mystery #6
Author: Karen Rose Smith

Goodreads Summary: SHADES OF WRATH is book 6 in Karen Rose Smith's Caprice De Luca Home Staging cozy mystery series.  Between her booming business, her family, and her work rescuing stray animals, home stager Caprice De Luca's life is packed. But when a murder unsettles peaceful Kismet, Pennsylvania, she adds amateur sleuth to her resume.
 
Thanks to a wealthy patron, Kismet's women's shelter, Sunshine Tomorrow, has inherited a run-down mansion. Now the shelter's director, Wendy Newcomb, wants Caprice's decorating expertise. Caprice is happy to help, but when she glimpses a few heated encounters between Wendy and some locals, she fears that Wendy may be in need of protection herself.

When Wendy is found dead inside the old house, Caprice is compelled to poke around in her affairs--and discovers she had her share of enemies. Now, with countless clients, a TV gig that could make her a household name, and rumors of a marriage proposal on its way, Caprice must find time to design an investigation that will lure a crafty killer into the wide open--before someone else winds up in a state of permanent disrepair...

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

This was definitely unique for a cozy. I'm not sure I've ever read a cozy that focused so much on domestic violence. It ended up being a sad yet thought-provoking book. At times I had a little bit of trouble following along, but I think that was because this was the first book I've read in this series.

My Manicure: For this manicure, I was inspired by woodwork. One of the houses that Caprice stages has a lot of wood, and she bases her design concept on the different types of wood. I started with a base of Finger Paints Sketch-y to give a nice rich look. Then I stamped with the Bundle Monster + Sloteazzy plate and Annato Clay.




Of course, then I had to see what it would look like matted, o I topped it with Zoya Matte Velvet Top Coat.



~Kelly

Monday, December 26, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - Deader Homes and Gardens by Angie Fox

**NetGalley**



Title: Deader Homes and Gardens
Series: Southern Ghost Hunter #4
Author: Angie Fox

Goodreads Summary: Southern belle Verity Long is back in business—as a ghost hunter. Now all she has to do is visit the town's creepiest mansion and exorcise a family of vengeful spirits. Piece of cake. After all, ghosts love her and need her...that is until she meets the ghosts of Rock Fall mansion. They'll do anything to keep their murderous secrets hidden within the cliff-side fortress—even if that means getting rid of one meddling ghost hunter.

With the entire town skeptical and scrutinizing her every move, Verity struggles to uncover the century-old mystery behind the house. And when she stumbles upon a very fresh, very dead body, she realizes there’s more to it than she ever imagined. With the help of her sexy cop boyfriend, Ellis, and her ghostly gangster sidekick, Frankie, she braves the overgrown gardens, the desolate family cemetery, and the haunted mansion that have been locked away for generations. 

Can Verity unearth the truth before she's the next one buried on the deadly grounds?

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

I absolutely adore this series! It is so quirky yet creepy. Although some of the creepiness might have been due to someone sitting in a creaky chair when Verity met a ghost. But it definitely upped the creepy factor from her previous ones. Even with all the eerie ghostly happenings, it manages to keep an awesome sense of humor.  


My Manicure: Well that was a unique experience. It took three times to even start the right manicure. To make that more embarrassing, I have a calendar with my posts planned for months in it, and I could've avoided those mistakes had I checked before I started... and restarted. So when I finally managed to start the correct manicure, I decided to go with a ghostly mist type of look, since there is a creepy black misty shadow in the book. But I had to adapt since ghostly black would turn gray. So I went with a base of Finger Paints Sketch-y to give a dark base that isn't as harsh as black. Then I dotted on Finger Paints Paper Mache and dabbled it with acetone to give it a misty look. Silly me forgot to put extra top coat on first, which resulted in this unique manicure.





~Kelly

Friday, December 23, 2016

26 Great Nail Art Ideas - Pastel Christmas

**Nothing to Disclose**



Pastel Christmas... carols! Please excuse the screwy stamping, today has just been one of this r days. I started out with three coats of KBShimmer Yeti or Not. It is a slightly finicky polish, and takes some extra top coat to smooth it out, but the extra effort is definitely worth it. Then I stamped with MoYou London Festive 17 and Bundle Monster Indikon. And that's where my stamper decided to do what it wanted instead of what I wanted.





~Kelly

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - I Could Not Stop For Death by Erin Thornwood

**NetGalley**



Title: I Could Not Stop For Death
Series: N/A
Author: Erin Thornwood

Goodreads Summary: Society girls like 16-year-old Clara do not study electrobiology. They do not go to gambling houses with strange young men. They most certainly do not light would-be immortals on fire.

Clara is not a typical society girl, and when her father is discovered murdered and quite literally heartless, she finds herself doing these very things in order to track his killer. The sinister mystery goes much deeper, however, and Clara realizes she might have to give up more than she ever dreamed.

She might have to give up her heart.

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

This book was amazing. Clara is great as a main character, strong-willed and smart during a time when females were expected to be vapid and obedient. The secondary characters were also great. I loved the character development throughout the story. My only minor issue was that I figured out the identity of the bad guy way too easily.


My Manicure: For this manicure, I was inspired by a dress of feathers. In the book, it was black to look like a crow, but I didn't think that would work for my manicure, so I went with a shifty shade to add a little more oomph to it. I started with a base of Femme Fatale Feel the Teal, a gorgeous teal to purple shifty polish. The feather stamping was done with Bundle Monster BM-212 and So Metal.



~Kelly

Monday, December 19, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - Chemistry by C.L. Lynch

**NetGalley**



Title: Chemistry
Series: Stella Blunt #1
Author: C.L. Lynch

Goodreads Summary: Stella Blunt's world is ending. Her parents have dragged her across the country, and she has to start over in a new school. This is a big problem, because she doesn't make friends easily: she's large, she's loud, and she doesn't suffer fools gladly. Within days, Stella has alienated half the school. 

Only one person seems to like her: Howard Mullins, the shy geek in her Chemistry class. He's the biggest loser in school, but he's a great listener, he's smart at science, and he loves her for her mind. Then again, he drinks brains from a thermos and walks with a lurch. 

Now undead hordes are showing up at her door, and Howard Mullins might be to blame. 

Can Stella manage the bullies, figure out her complicated love life, AND handle a chainsaw? 

Readers who are tired of traditional tropes and purple prose will enjoy this debut novel from C. L. Lynch, who thinks zombies deserve love too.

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

Uh, what did I just read? I mean that in the best way possible. This was the most unique “zompocalypse” book I have ever read. Stella is a bit of a love her or hate her character, as she is very, well, Blunt. But she is also easy to relate to. There is a lot more humor than you would expect in a zombie book, with Stella's parents being absolutely hilarious. It also gets bonus points for not ending on a cliffhanger.


My Manicure: So, I kind of cheated on this one. My inspiration is simply zombies=blood splatter. I started with three coats of Zoya Godiva, an absolutely gorgeous nude Pixie Dust. Then I stamped with Bundle Monster BM-416 and Red Sea. So much cleaner than trying a real splatter again. The blood red on nude gives it a bold yet slightly disturbing look.



~Kelly

Friday, December 16, 2016

Nail Crazies Unite - Candy Cane

**Nothing to Disclose**



Yay! Candy canes! I don't know why, but I've been really excited for this prompt. I decided to go with glammed up candy canes rather than the typical red and white. I started with three coats of Zoya Tilly. Then I stamped with Winstonia Jingle All The Way and Bundle Monster Red Sea. I really love the glitzyness of this manicure.

~Kelly

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - Haunted is Always in Fashion by Rose Pressey

**NetGalley**



Title: Haunted is Always in Fashion
Series: Haunted Vintage Mystery #4
Author: Rose Pressey

Goodreads Summary: It’s time for this vintage fashion expert to put on her detective hat . . .

As the owner of It’s Vintage, Y’All in Sugar Creek, Georgia, Cookie Chanel has agreed to share her expertise with author Juliana McDaniel. But on her way to town, Juliana is shot dead, and that was all she wrote. Cookie picks up the thread of the story with help from her psychic cat and a couple of inquisitive ghosts. To unmask this killer, she’ll have to lift the lid on family secrets and hidden motives—because she might wind up getting capped herself if she doesn’t cloche this case . . .

Don’t Miss Cookie Chanel’s Fashion Tips

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

This was an absolutely amazing book. I'm honestly not sure what cracked me up more – the sassy ghosts or the cat using the Ouija board. The mystery was overshadowed by the characters' antics a bit, and the ending felt slightly muddled, but it was still a good mystery.


My Manicure: I love the idea of this manicure, but I do wish it had turned out a little nicer. I decided to go with a simple vintage lace look with a nude base. I started out with Zoya April, which is a pretty nude but I think it is just a little off for my skin tone. I then stamped with MoYou London Bridal 07 and Bundle Monster Bam! White. I do apologize if the picture isn't the best quality, my computer is acting up and I'm attempting to finish this post with my phone, including a cell phone picture.



~Kelly

Monday, December 12, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - A Ghostly Reunion by Tonya Kappes

**Press Sample**



Title: A Ghostly Reunion
Series: Ghostly Southern Mysteries #5
Author: Tonya Kappes

Goodreads Summary: Emma Lee Raines sees dead people

Proprietor of the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home, Emma Lee can see, hear, and talk to ghosts of murdered folks. And when her high school nemesis is found dead, Jade Lee Peel is the same old mean girl—trying to come between Emma Lee and her hot boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, all over again.

There’s only one way for Emma Lee to be free of the trash-talking ghost—solve the murder so the former prom queen can cross over.

But the last thing Jade Lee wants is to leave the town where she had her glory days. And the more Emma Lee investigates on her own, the more complicated Miss Popularity turns out to be. Now Emma Lee will have to work extra closely with her hunky lawman to get to the twisty truth.

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

Oh my gosh. This is the first book I have read in this series and, wow, I'm not quite sure what to say. It was an absolutely amazing paranormal mystery. I loved the humor of her being haunted by her high school nemesis. A nitpicky bit that I didn't like was how the murder was solved. It just didn't quite feel right to me. But oh my when I read the very end my jaw was about on the ground. I did not see that ending coming at all.


My Manicure: Look! It's a nail fail! Really, it's my own fault for trying to use vinyls on a textured polish. They do not cooperate if the surface isn't totally smooth. So that weird shapeless blob on my ring finger and thumb is really a spooky graveyard. I started out with a base of Zoya Waverly. It makes me think of the deep blue the sky turns as the sun is setting. Then I put graveyard stencils on and sponged on Zoya Claudine. I was hoping that applying it like that would minimize any seeping, but I was definitely wrong on that one.



And now for a funny bonus picture. Have you ever ordered polish and received a murder scene instead? It is a bit amusing that the one that broke does a disturbingly good job of imitating blood.




~Kelly

Friday, December 9, 2016

26 Great Nail Art Ideas - Christmas Preparations

**Nothing to Disclose**



This prompt was another one that stumped me for a while. I ended up just using a bunch of images from Winstonia Have a Merry Xmas since they were all Christmassy designs. I started with a base of Finger Paints Paper Mache, then topped it with Finger Paints Of Quartz You Can. I absolutely love how it looks. All of the stamping polishes are Bundle Monster. Gingerbread man was done with Annato Clay, ornaments are So Metal, peppermint candies are red sea, the Charlie Brown tree is Tree of Life, and the snowflakes are So Metal. I'm really impressed with how pigmented these polishes are. I was using a lot of non-stamping polish for my stamping, so it is wonderful to have ones that actually work properly.





~Kelly

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - Eggnong Murder by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross

**NetGalley**



Title: Eggnog Murder
Series: Lucy Stone #23.5
Author: Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross

Goodreads Summary: With the fireplace crackling, the tree twinkling, and the carols humming, few things in life are as picture perfect as Christmas in Maine—until murder dampens the holiday spirit. It must be something in the eggnog . . .
 
EGGNOG MURDER by LESLIE MEIER
When a gift-wrapped bottle of eggnog—allegedly from the Real Beard Santa Club—proves to be a killer concoction for a Tinker’s Cove local, all Lucy Stone wants for Christmas is to find the murdering mixologist who’s stirring up trouble.
 
DEATH BY EGGNOG by LEE HOLLIS
Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell has never cared much for Bar Harbor’s grouchy town librarian, Agatha Farnsworth. But after the Scroogy senior has a fatal—and suspicious—allergic reaction to supposedly non-dairy eggnog, it’s up to Hayley to ladle out some justice.

NOGGED OFF by BARBARA ROSS
Julia Snowden’s tenant Imogen Geinkes seems to be jinxed. First, her poorly named “Killer Eggnog” gives all her co-workers food poisoning at the holiday party, then her boyfriend’s body shows up in Julia’s moving truck as she’s headed back to Busman’s Harbor. Now Julia has to get moving to catch the cold-hearted culprit.

Cozy up with a glass of eggnog and enjoy the spirit of murder and mystery in a Yultide treat perfect for those winter holidays . . .
 

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

Eggnog Murder – To me, this was the weakest of the stories. It might be because I've never really been a fan of Leslie Meyer's stories, but it just didn't keep my interest as much as I hoped it would. There were just so many characters that got on my nerves. The mystery itself was well-written, and I liked it drawing attention to PTSD.

Death by Eggnog – Is it bad that I couldn't stop snickering at the inappropriate jokes in this one? Some of the phrasing just really cracked me up. I also love Hayley's articles sprinkled through the story. One of them actually had me laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. The mystery was just wow. I was shocked at how it all played out.

Nogged Off – I do wish the eggnog played a real part in the story. In the previous two, it was used as a murder weapon, but in here it was more of just a funny anecdote. The mystery was just amazing, and a bit freaky. I've never read this series before but had no trouble at all following along. There is enough information given to get you familiar with the characters, but not so much that the story drags.

My Manicure: Hooray! A Christmas manicure! I don't know why but I just love doing Christmas manicures. I started out with a base of Zoya Verushka. This was one of their Matte Velvets, and I love the finish on them (this is without a topcoat). Then I used Winstonia Jingle All The Way and OPI Love.Angel.Music.Baby for the trees. I picked LAMB because it is a satin finish, so it isn't super jarring against the base. Simple, but super festive.




~Kelly


Monday, December 5, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - Dangling by a Thread by Lea Wait

**NetGalley**



Title: Dangling by a Thread
Series: Mainely Needlepoint #4
Author: Lea Wait

Goodreads Summary: The Mainely Needlepointers are about to learn that no man is an island—especially when greedy developers want his land . . . 

Hermit Jesse Lockhart lives alone on King’s Island, three miles east of Haven Harbor, Maine, where he’s created a private sanctuary for the endangered Great Cormorants. But when a wealthy family wants to buy the island and Jesse’s cousin Simon petitions for power of attorney to force him to sell, Jesse is the one who becomes endangered.

Mainely Needlepointer Dave Perry, who befriended Jesse in the VA hospital, rallies the group to his defense. Angie Curtis and the ravelers stitch “Save the King’s Island Cormorants” pillows and sell T-shirts to pay for Jesse’s legal counsel. But tragically, on a visit to the island, Angie and Dave find Jesse dead. Now the search is on for a common thread that can tie the murdered man to his killer . . . 

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

This is the first book I have read in this series, and I had absolutely no trouble following along with the story. The characters were well-written, although not very genre savvy at times. I did figure out who did it and why easily, but it was still an interesting mystery.

My Manicure: I know I say this a lot, but I love this manicure! I started out with absolutely no ideas on what to do. I started looking at my stamping plates, and realized that this image looks a lot like tangled thread, which is pretty much what happens whenever I cross stitch. I have yet to figure out how I tie threads in knots without any actual knots. With the image part solved, I had to figure out colors. My first thought was to go bold, but it didn't feel right for this. Then I thought of the ocean and picked out some colors that felt like a stormy sea. The base is KBShimmer Fin and Tonic from her Misfits 2016 collection. I really need to find just the base color of this, because it is absolutely gorgeous. The stamping was done with Winstonia Expressionism plate and Bundle Monster Indikon. I love how the stamping helps bring out some of the blue tone in the base polish.




~Kelly

Friday, December 2, 2016

Nail Crazies Unite - Holiday Movie

**Nothing to Disclose**



Ok, confession time. I was dreading this prompt. I honestly couldn't figure out a holiday movie that would translate to nail art very well. Then it hit me - Holiday Inn. This is the movie that the song White Christmas debuted in, and it also has a few iconic dances in it (Fred Astaire's "drunk dance" and his firecracker dance). So, I went for the obvious inspiration - snow. I started with a base of Finger Paints Paper Mache, then topped that with Of Quartz You Can to give it a shimmery, freshly fallen snow look. Then I stamped with Winstonia Have A Merry Xmas and Bundle Monster So Metal. I really adore how this turned out, but I do wish my camera had been able to pick up the shiftyness of the topper better.




~Kelly

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - Dying for Strawberries by Sharon Farrow

**NetGalley**



Title: Dying for Strawberries
Series: Berry Basket Mystery #1
Author: Sharon Farrow

Goodreads Summary: With seasonal crowds flocking to its sandy beaches, lively downtown shops, and the Berry Basket, a berry emporium with something for everyone, the lakeshore village of Oriole Point is ripe for summer fun—and murder.

Much has changed for Marlee Jacob since she returned to Oriole Point, Michigan, three years ago. Between running the Berry Basket, dodging local gossip, and whipping up strawberry muffins, smoothies, and margaritas to celebrate the town’s first annual Strawberry Moon Bash, the twenty-nine-year-old hardly has time for her fiancé, let alone grim memories of her old life in New York . . . 

But unfortunately for Marlee, Oriole Point is muddled with secrets of its own. First her friend Irina disappears after an ominous dream. Next the seediest man in town threatens to crush her business. Then an unknown person nearly kills her on the night of the Bash. When she discovers a dead body while searching for Irina, Marlee realizes she’ll have to foil a killer’s plot herself—before the past permanently stains her future.

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

Ok, funny story about how this ended up on my TBR list. “Cozy mystery set in Michigan”. Yeah, that was all it took for this to jump into my neverending TBR pile. Luckily, I was right in thinking that I would like it. It is a great start to a new series. Some characters are a little over-the-top, but some people are that over-the-top in real life, too. The mystery was well-written, and just how planned out the murder was was a bit freaky.

My Manicure: I am so sorry that I couldn't manage more than this. I've been fighting a pounding headache all day, so I could barely even do this much. I just went for a simple strawberry color, which was a lot harder than it would seem. Every red that jumped out at me was either shimmer or holo, and I've never seen strawberries that look like that (but how awesome would that be?). I ended up with Zoya Renee, which really is an absolutely gorgeous red.



~Kelly

Monday, November 28, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - A Whole Latte Murder by Caroline Fardig

**NetGalley**



Title: A Whole Latte Murder
Series: Java Jive Mystery #3
Author: Caroline Fardig

Goodreads Summary: Coffeehouse manager and reluctant sleuth Juliet Langley returns in a gripping novel from the bestselling author of Death Before Decaf and Mug Shot. Just as things are perking up in Nashville, a serial killer sends tensions foaming over.

Juliet's personal and professional lives have recently received an extra jolt of energy. Her romance with the hunky detective Ryder Hamilton continues to simmer, and business at Java Jive has never been better. But her good mood quickly turns as stale as day-old espresso when she finds out that Ryder has been promoted to his precinct's homicide division. With him risking his life to catch the worst kind of criminals, Juliet's growing sense of unease ignites when a local college student goes missing.

Suddenly every Nashville resident is on high alert, especially Juliet's neighbor Chelsea. Juliet does her best to calm the girl's nerves, but her worst fears are confirmed when she finds Chelsea dead. Even though she tries her best to stay out of it, Juliet's involvement puts a strain on Ryder's first homicide case. The situation soon becomes even more personal for Juliet and her best friend Pete Bennett when one of their employees disappears during her shift. As a killer lurks in the shadows, Juliet, Pete, and Ryder seek out a double shot of justice.

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

Another strong book in this series. I wouldn't exactly classify it as a cozy, but it also isn't quite a traditional mystery. It's in that sort of gray area between the two. The mystery is really good, with some definite twists, although the ending is a bit dark.

My Manicure: I decided that I had to go with a coffee theme for this one, but I wanted to do it a little differently than just my standard coffee manicures. I started out with a base of Dollish Polish SQUIRREL!!! Yes, it really is written like that. I might have a little too much fun saying it (imagine Christmas Vacation for the proper way to say it). The stamping is done with MoYou London Cookbook 03 and Bundle Monster So Metal.



~Kelly

Friday, November 25, 2016

26 Great Nail Art Ideas - Winter Warmth

**Nothing to Disclose**



Winter warmth. It's one of those prompts that has endless possibilities. I thought of going sweater or mitten type, but then decided to go with a different way of staying warm - hot cocoa! When I was little, my mom would make us hot cocoa when we came in from the cold. It was even one of our Halloween traditions since Minnesota could have some brutal weather even in fall. The cocoa is Sinful Colors Leather Loose. I let it dry matte rather than top coating it since cocoa normally doesn't sparkle. The oozy melty whipped cream is Bundle Monster BM-405 and Bam! White. 




~Kelly

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - The Assassin Game by Kirsty McKay

**NetGalley**



Title: The Assassin Game
Series: Standalone title
Author: Kirsty McKay

Goodreads Summary: Who will be left after lights out?

At Cate's isolated boarding school, Killer is more than a game- it's an elite secret society. Members must avoid being "Killed" during a series of thrilling pranks, and only the Game Master knows who the "Killer" is. When Cate's finally invited to join the Assassins' Guild, she know it's her ticket to finally feeling like she belongs.

But when the game becomes all too real, the school threatens to shut it down. Cate will do anything to keep playing and save the Guild. But can she find the real assassin before she's the next target? 

Originally published in the United Kingdom by Chicken House in 2015 under title: Killer game.

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

The premise of the book was interesting, but it didn't fully live up to its potential. The whole “game becomes all too real” bit that the blurb teases about? That doesn't even start until 60% through the book. Up until then, it is partially following the game, but mainly following Cate trying to figure out her relationships.

My Manicure: This was another one where inspiration struck at the last second. It didn't help that I ended up with a random cut near my cuticle that made removing the last manicure *extremely* painful. So, I ended up flipping through my stamping plates to find an image that would work. When I found the wave image I realized it would be absolutely perfect since the story takes place on an island. I started with a base of Zoya Sunshine, which gives a great stormy ocean look. Then I stamped using Bundle Monster BM-504 and Bam! White. Ok, that color name is just so fun to type. I keep saying it in my head Emeril Lagasse style. The texture of Sunshine really adds to the effect of a stormy ocean.



~Kelly

Monday, November 21, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - Counterfeit Conspiracies by Ritter Ames

**NetGalley**



Title: Counterfeit Conspiracies
Series: Bodies of Art #1
Author: Ritter Ames

Goodreads Summary: Laurel Beacham may have been born with a silver spoon in her mouth, but she has long since lost it digging herself out of trouble. Her father gambled and womanized his way through the family fortune before skiing off an Alp, leaving her with more tarnish than trust fund. Quick wits and connections have gained her a reputation as one of the world’s premier art recovery experts. The police may catch the thief, but she reclaims the missing masterpieces.

The latest assignment, however, may be her undoing. Using every ounce of luck and larceny she possesses, Laurel must locate a priceless art icon and rescue a co-worker (and ex-lover) from a master criminal, all the while matching wits with a charming new nemesis. Unfortunately, he seems to know where the bodies are buried—and she prefers hers isn’t next.

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

This was a great start to the series. There was a lot going on, and the action never really stops through the whole book. The entire premise of the book is definitely unique. I absolutely loved it, and can't wait to read more of this series.

My Manicure: I started out thinking that I should do some sort of art inspired nail art, but then decided that a character inspired manicure might look better. This look is based on Laurel's "undercover" high society looks. The base is Zoya Dahlia, one of their textured Pixie Dust shades. It is based on the standard little black dress that is essential for blending in, and the sparkle adds a little pizzaz to an otherwise understated look. The stamping was done with Bundle Monster BM-213 and So Metal, since every little black dress needs some nice heels (or stilettos that will double as a weapon). This is actually my first time stamping over a textured polish, and it really gives a neat effect.




~Kelly

Friday, November 18, 2016

Nail Crazies Unite - Fall Foliage

**Nothing to Disclose**



So, I goofed a bit last week and forgot about this week's prompt, so I'm doing two fall foliage manicures in a row. So, to make this different than last week's, I decided to add in fall colors with it. I started with a base of Zoya Renee. Then I dotted Renee, Pippa and Arizona on top and dabbed plastic wrap over it. After that, I kept dotting and dabbing until the effect matched what I was looking for. The stamping was done with Bundle Monster H11 and Heart of Gold. The only downside is that I matched the colors so well that parts of it get kind of lost in parts.




~Kelly

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - Withering Rose by Kaitlyn Davis

**NetGalley**



Title: Withering Rose
Series: Once Upon a Curse #2
Author: Kaitlyn Davis

Goodreads Summary: What if Beauty was cursed, and the Beast was the only one who could save her? Don't miss WITHERING ROSE, a dystopian romance from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis that reimagines the classic fairy tale of Beauty & The Beast.

"As the heat finally disappeared, I felt the bloom blossom in the very core of my soul, a rose just like my name--a ticking clock hidden behind a façade of beauty. From that moment on, my life would become a countdown, and all I could do was wait and watch as the petals of time slowly started to fall."

Omorose Bouchene has a secret--magic. There's only one problem. At the age of seven, an earthquake struck, catapulting her into a new world. A land made of skyscrapers and cell phones. Fast cars and fluorescent lights. A land where magic isn't supposed to exist and anyone who wields it is the enemy.

But after ten years of hiding, she's desperate to find a place where she can be free. Because all magic comes with a curse, and her curse is time--every ounce of power she uses strips days off of her life. The clock is winding down, and the only option left is to escape to the realm of the Beast. But the king of monsters isn't what he seems. And the more Omorose opens her heart, the more she comes to realize that the only person she may need to fear is herself.

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**


This story was written so poetically. The descriptions were so vibrant at times that I felt transported into a whole new world. It did follow a little too faithfully to the original Beauty and the Beast at times, but it did end up taking on its own direction after a while. In the end, it was a beautiful, sweet story about the power of love, friendship, and acceptance.


My Manicure: I decided to go simple with this one and do a rose themed manicure, both because of the name and the story. I started out with two coats of OPI Innie Minnie Mightie Bow. I then stamped roses with Pueen 73 and Bundle Monster Straight Up Black. I absolutely love how it looks like the rose is losing petals, just like Omerose's internal rose does.



~Kelly

Monday, November 14, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - Raiders of the Lost Bark by Sparkle Abbey

**NetGalley**



Title: Raiders of the Lost Bark
Series: Pampered Pets Mystery #8
Author: Sparkle Abbey

Goodreads Summary: Mel’s enemy may be barking up the wrong tree...

But someone is about to become a killer.

Melinda Langston, amateur sleuth and Bow Wow Boutique owner, finds herself “Glamping Under the Stars” with a blackmailer, Orange County’s hottest new gourmet pet chef, Addison Rae. But before Mel can put an end to Addison’s strong-arming, the chef is found dead. Mel is just one of many suspects who had motive to snuff out the demanding chef.

Was it Redmond, the angry sous chef who detested working for Addison? What about rival chef, Pepper Maddox? The glamping chef gig was hers until Addison blackmailed her way into the job. And then there’s Asher, a charming fellow camper whose past relationship with Addison isn’t the only secret he’s guarding. Mel’s not one to tuck tail and run, even when it looks like she may be the next victim.
 

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

This is such a cute series! I still get a bit confused on who is narrating the story. For some reason I can never remember which cousin is which. It had a great mystery with a super hateable victim, so there was no shortage of suspects.

My Manicure: So, I went simple with the inspiration for this. Since they are glamping in the park, there are a lot of open grassy areas. I started with a base of an unlabeled green Color Club. Then I dabbed on Sinful Colors Pistache and Color Club Feelin' Groovy and blotted plastic wrap over it a few times to give it a marbled look. I ended up repeating the process with just Feelin' Groovy to add a little more variation to it. It really gives a nice grassy field effect, and isn't a super in your face look. I do wish it photographed a little better - the color is less yellow in real life, and the effect is a little easier to see.




~Kelly

Friday, November 11, 2016

26 Great Nail Art Ideas - Black Base

**Nothing to Disclose**



Oh my gosh, I swear sometimes the simplest prompts can give the best results. At first, "black base" just wasn't inspiring to me at all. When I finally decided on gold stamping, I still couldn't decide what image I wanted. I figured simple would be the best way to go, but that still left a lot of possibilities. Finally, I decided to do some nice fall leaves. And then I realized that it had a coordinating image with pumpkins and leaves. I've owned this set for three years and never noticed that. Anyway, I started out with one coat of Sinful Colors Black on Black. Then I stamped with Bundle Monster Heart of Gold and H11. I am seriously loving this manicure.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - The Haunted Heist by Angie Fox

**NetGalley**



Title: The Haunted Heist
Series: Southern Ghost Hunter Mystery #3
Author: Angie Fox

Goodreads Summary: Just because she can see the dead doesn’t mean Verity Long wants to spend her days hunting ghosts. Instead, she’s over the moon to land a marketing job at the local bank…until she finds her new boss dead in the vault. Even her ghost friend, Frankie, knows that's no way to start a career. 

Relieved to let the police take charge, Verity steps aside, bound and determined to keep her ghost sightings to herself. But when she learns the main suspect in the murder is a very crooked, very dead mobster, Verity knows it's up to her to solve the case. 

She teams up with her ghostly gangster buddy Frankie, as well as the irresistible and charming Ellis, as the three of them search haunted mob hideouts, hidden passageways, and historic cemeteries for the facts behind the heist of the century—and a modern-day motive for murder. 

Too bad uncovering the truth could very well make Verity the next victim...

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**


This series is so much fun! Verity is a great main character, and Frankie is just awesome. I loved meeting new ghosts, and Frankie's excitement over seeing his old pals was great. I felt the actual mystery took a backseat to the ghostly part, but I didn't mind because I love the ghosts.


My Manicure: Please excuse my traitorous nail. It decided to snap off while shopping earlier. So for this manicure, I was inspired by the magical look of the cover. I started out with a base of Finger Paints Paper Mache. After that, I put on thick dots of unlabeled blue and purple Color Club polishes, and lightly dabbed balled up plastic wrap on top. It ended up giving me a neat tie-dyed look. Then, for the magical sparklies, I used OPI Which is Witch. The glitter might've been a little overkill - I think maybe China Glaze Fairy Dust would've worked better, but it still looks pretty awesome.



~Kelly

Monday, November 7, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - Deadly Dog Days by Jamie M. Blair

**NetGalley**



Title: Deadly Dog Days
Series: N/A
Author: Jamie M. Blair

Goodreads Summary: New to the historic town of Metamora, Indiana, Cameron Cripps-Hayman is looking to make friends with her neighbors. What she isn’t looking for is one of their bodies floating in the canal. 

When she and her estranged husband, the town sheriff, are both named suspects for the murder, Cameron takes solving the crime into her own hands, teaming up with her eccentric co-workers who dub themselves The Metamora Action Agency. 

As if hunting for a murderer with two high school geniuses, the town drunk, and an elderly kleptomaniac isn’t hard enough, Cameron adopts the five mangy guard dogs of her deceased neighbor. But maybe a stint at playing gatekeeper is just what she needs to come face-to-face with the killer and save another neighbor from being the next victim.

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**


It honestly took me a while to get into this book. Too many hateable characters, including the main character. After I got used to the characters, I enjoyed the story a lot more. It was a great mystery, and I'm looking forward to trying some of those dog treat recipes.


My Manicure: This was a bit tricky to figure out what I wanted to do. Amazingly, I don't have much in the line of dog stamping plates, so I'm working with what I have. Color scheme was picked simply because I like how the colors look together, and I wasn't quite up to trying to imitate the dog's coat colors. Base is one coat of Sinful Colors Black on Black. I'm pretty sure I've said it before, but this polish is amazing for only $2. The stamping is done with Shany plate SH08 and Bundle Monster Heart of Gold.




~Kelly

Friday, November 4, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - Get Witch or Die Trying by Tonya Kappes

**Press Sample**



Nosy Neighbors

I live in Louisville, Kentucky. Old Louisville to be exact. We aren’t that big of a community, so we are sorta like a small town within the bigger city. We live on a very charming street called Belgravia Court. Our houses are very close together and the front doors face our very own courtyard.
Let me introduce you to some of them.

Mrs. Hubbard, our neighbor across the courtyard, and Auntie Meme had had a few words right there in the courtyard in front of everyone. Auntie Meme told her to mind her own business, only her exact words were my business isn’t your business and unless you’re my panties don’t be up my ass.
Mrs. Hubbard was as mad as a wet hen but it didn’t stop her from still being nosy.
Auntie Meme put a rodent spell on Mrs. Hubbard’s house sending every rodent on Belgravia Court over there. The Orkin man was a fixture over there.
Susie Brown, our other neighbor and Belgravia Court’s neighborhood watch president, even started a rumor that Mrs. Hubbard and the Orkin man were having a fling. Only we knew the truth and we never gave into gossip. In fact, the women loved to meet up in the courtyard on Saturday nights with their fancy cocktails and catch up on the gossip on Belgravia Court. The Park family—my family—were always a topic of interest because we spent much of our time to ourselves. Well, not Auntie Meme. She spent a lot of time looking out the front window wondering what type of spell she could send Mrs. Hubbard’s way. When she’d get down to the nitty-gritty of a spell, Mom wouldn’t let her send it. Auntie Meme fussed that Mom let her make the spell, why not let her send it. Mom let Auntie Meme concoct THE spells so she wouldn’t have to entertain my feisty auntie.
Still, the neighbors loved to gossip about us. Much was speculation, but still, they lived on speculation.

Welcome to Belgravia Court! We are happy to have you!


My Review - Wow. Wow, wow, wow. That was amazing! I really need to go back and read the first two so I can understand some of the references, but it was still a totally awesome book. The whole “car as a familiar” thing was crazy creative, and wow does he have a unique personality. And those twists! All I can say is OMG.

My Manicure - Ok, I'll admit, this one is just plain weird. I really wasn't sure where I wanted to go for the manicure - the witches? Vinnie? There are a lot of different things that could've been done. Then a group I'm in had a challenge for today to do a coffee manicure. Hmm, coffee and authors - it works. So this is more of my author manicure than my book manicure. The color scheme was chosen because I am also trying to tie it in with going to see Young Frankenstein. So, black and white because it was a black and white movie. Ok, I might be stretching the inspiration a bit by this point, but I managed to fit three different manicures into one. I started with a base of Finger Paints Paper Mache. Then I attempted to do a smoosh manicure, which was... interesting. My first attempt was by putting dots of color on my silicone mat and smooshing my stamper into that, but it wasn't working very well. So I tried smooshing it on the nail, which worked better, but still isn't quite what I wanted. I used Sinful Colors Black on Black and Zoya Dove and Claudine for the smooshing. After that I used MoYou London Cookbook 03 and Bundle Monster So Metal. Then I spent at least an hour trying to clean up the smooshy mess from my fingers. So. Much. Acetone *shudders*.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - Rhythm & Clues by Sue Ann Jaffarian

**NetGalley**



Title: Rhythm & Clues
Series: Odelia Grey Mystery #11
Author: Sue Ann Jaffarian

Goodreads Summary: It’s a rockin’ flashback for Odelia Grey when her mother asks her to look into the disappearance of a neighbor, the former lead singer for a band Odelia idolized in her youth. But when a body is found in Bo Shank’s house by another member of Odelia’s family, everything quickly gets thrown out of tune.

My Review: **I  voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

I thought this would be a little more cozy than it was. But once I got used to it being edgier than I expected, I really enjoyed it. I think the series is best read in order. It did a good job of explaining the characters and relationships, but you have to watch out for spoilers. The mystery itself was slightly convoluted but well written.


My Manicure: So, before I read this, I was thinking a nice music-themed manicure would work nicely to tie in with the title. After I read it, I came up with a much more... macabre idea. I started out by painting French tips with Finger Paints Paper Mache, then carefully using a French tip brush to shape them. Then I carefully painted Sinful Colors Kovet over the tips to give it a slight off-white look. After that, which honestly probably took close to an hour since I did both hands, I stamped on a super cute lace design with MoYou London Bridal 07 and Bundle Monster Bam! White. And then on to the fun part. Using Cupcake Polish Blood Hound and a coffee stirrer straw that I cut in half, I proceeded to make a bloody mess of my manicure. When you read the book, you will probably be able to pick out the exact line that inspired this. Macabre, possibly even slightly gruesome, but I feel that I nailed the inspiration.



~Kelly

Monday, October 31, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - The Champagne Conspiracy by Ellen Crosby

**NetGalley**



Title: The Champagne Conspiracy
Series: Wine Country Mystery #7
Author: Ellen Crosby

Goodreads Summary: Winter has come to the Montgomery Estate Vineyard in Atoka, Virginia. Lucie Montgomery and winemaker Quinn Santori have decided to make champagne, a first for the vineyard.
But then Gino Tomassi, Quinn’s uncle, turns up on their doorstep one afternoon, demanding help in solving the mystery of what happened to Zara Tomassi, the first wife of his grandfather, who died in a San Francisco hotel in 1923 under suspicious circumstances. And it seems there’s no coincidence that her death came the day after President Warren Harding passed away in that same hotel. Gino needs answers before his blackmailer takes him for all he’s worth—or exposes an explosive family secret.
Lucie searches for what happened almost a hundred years ago as she delves into Prohibition-era Washington, D.C.—a town of bootlegging and duplicity, jazz clubs and speakeasies. But then the investigation turns deadly, threatening Lucie, her relationship with Quinn, and the vineyard, as they realize someone is still out there nearly a century later who will go to any lengths to keep the truth about Zara’s death a buried secret.

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

I really enjoyed this book, but I felt there were too many threads to the story. In the end, they were all tied up in a neat little bow, but during the story it just felt a bit confusing. I haven't read any of the other books in this series, so I felt a little lost when it came to some of the characters and relationships, but I was still able to follow the story.

My Manicure: Oops, accidental wedding nails. I originally wanted a Grim Reaper along with the champagne flutes so it would coordinate with the cover, but I don't have a Grim Reaper stamp. I started out with two coats of Finger Paints Paper Mache. I don't know if the formula is a lot better than other white polishes or if the ridge filling base coat is a miracle product, but for once I had no issues trying to apply white polish. I topped that with one coat of Sinful Colors Kovet to give it a nice, neutral, off-white look since white is just too stark against my skin. Then I stamped the champagne flutes with Bundle Monster plate H22 and Bundle Monster Heart of Gold. The result? Nails that are more suited for a wedding than a murder mystery, but still a lovely look that ties in with the title.



~Kelly