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.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

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


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.


Monday, December 26, 2016

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


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.


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.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

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


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.


Monday, December 19, 2016

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


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.


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.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

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


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.


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.


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.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

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


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 . . .
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.
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.

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.


Monday, December 5, 2016

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


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.


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.