Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Mother's Day, Muffins, and Murder by Sara Rosett


Title: Mother's Day, Muffins, and Murder
Series: Mom Zone Mystery #10
Author: Sara Rosett

Goodreads Summary: With summer approaching, Ellie Avery s schedule is ruled by attending end-of-the-year events at her kids school and avoiding run-ins with her arch competitor. When a murder disrupts the core curriculum, can the two women form an alliance to teach the killer a lesson in justice?" 
As a regular volunteer at North Dawkins Elementary, Ellie would never miss the annual Mother's Day breakfast even if she has to tolerate the likes of Gabrielle Matheson. The rivals aren't exactly sworn enemies, although Ellie still thinks there's only room for one professional organizer in their small Georgia town. 
But when Ellie sees Gabrielle in the hallway, she s a mess. It looks like Gabrielle s seen a ghost or, as she explains, a dead body inside the supply closet. Before Ellie can get help the body vanishes . . . only to mysteriously reappear later at the school. 
Little is known about the victim, a secretive snoop with a nosy nature and a penchant for keeping quiet about her own past. Ellie will leave no desk unturned to protect her kids and expose the cunning criminal s identity. Because if she doesn't, the killer may chalk up another textbook case of murder . . . 

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

Another great book in this series. the mystery was awesome, and it kept me guessing the entire time.

My Manicure: Ugh, this week has taken a toll on my poor hands. Two cuts on my cuticles within a couple days - ouch. So, I apologize is anything looks weird, but acetone hurts really bad right now. I decided to go with a Mother's Day look today. I started with a base of a random Zoya pink (it was unlabeled). Then I stamped roses with Bundle Monster H16 and Red Sea.


Monday, April 24, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - When the Grits Hit the Fan by Maddie Day


Title: When the Grits Hit the Fan
Series: Country Store Mystery #3
Author: Maddie Day

Goodreads Summary: Despite the bitter winter in South Lick, Indiana, business is still hot at Robbie Jordan’s restaurant. But when another murder rattles the small town, can Robbie defrost the motives of a cold-blooded killer?

Before she started hosting dinners for Indiana University’s Sociology Department at Pans ‘N Pancakes, Robbie never imagined scholarly meetings could be so hostile. It’s all due to Professor Charles Stilton, who seems to thrive on heated exchanges with his peers and underlings, and tensions flare one night after he disrespects Robbie’s friend, graduate student Lou. So when Robbie and Lou go snowshoeing the next morning and find the contentious academic frozen under ice, police suspect Lou might have killed him after their public tiff. To prove her friend’s innocence, Robbie is absorbing local gossip about Professor Stilton’s past and developing her own thesis on the homicide—even if that means stirring up terrible danger for herself along the way . . .

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC** 
I love this series! Robbie is an awesome main character with some great supporting characters. The characters are all nicely developed, and you quickly get a good idea of what the new characters are like. The mystery was great, and everything tied together in an unexpected way. I also love Robbie's unique way of putting together all of the clues and suspects.

My Manicure: I decided to do a twist on a crossword puzzle manicure this time, although I always forget that squishy stampers don't play well with straight lines. I started with A England Bridal Veil. Then I stamped with Bundle Monster 416 and So White.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves


Title: Blood Rose Rebellion
Series: Blood Rose Rebellion #1
Author: Rosalyn Eves

Goodreads Summary: 
Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romani, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

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

I started out not very impressed by this book and really not liking Anna. It is pretty bad when you don't like the main character. As the story progressed, Anna grew on me and I found myself enjoying the story more. I think part of the problem was that the blurb compares it to a series that I love, so it gave me (possibly unattainably) high hopes. It ended up being a good story with some great characters.

My Manicure: This manicure is partly based on the cover of the book (there is another cover with a blue background) and partly on the title. I started out with a base of KBShimmer Little Boy Hue. The bloodred roses are Zoya Courtney and What's Up Nails rose vinyls.


Monday, April 17, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullet


Title: Single Malt Murder
Series: Whisky Business Mystery #1
Author: Melinda Mullet

Goodreads Summary: 
Abigail Logan never expected to inherit a whisky distillery in the Scottish Highlands. But in the first novel of an engaging new series blending fine spirits with chilling mystery, Abi finds that there are secrets lurking in the misty glens that some will go to any lengths to protect . . . even murder.

When Abi inherits her uncle’s quaint and storied single malt distillery, she finds herself immersed in a competitive high-stakes business that elicits deep passions and prejudices. An award-winning photojournalist, Abi has no trouble capturing the perfect shot—but making the perfect shot is another matter. When she starts to receive disturbing, anonymous threats, it’s clear that someone wants her out of the picture. But Abi’s never been one to back down from a fight.

Arriving on the scene with her whisky-loving best friend, Patrick, and an oversized wheaten terrier named Liam, Abi seems to put everyone in the bucolic village on edge—especially her dour but disturbingly attractive head distiller. Acts of sabotage and increasingly personal threats against Abi make it clear that she is not welcome. When one of Abi’s new employees is found floating facedown in a vat of whisky, Abi is determined to use her skills as an investigative journalist to identify the cold-blooded killer and dispense a dram of justice before he strikes again. But distilling truth from lies is tricky, especially when everyone seems to have something to hide.

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

An interesting start to a new series. Abi is definitely a quirky character. She has this unique way of looking at people and getting three words that sum up who they are. It gets interesting seeing how a complicated person can be summed up so simply. The mystery itself was really good. There was no shortage of suspects, even leading up to the reveal. And what a reveal it was!

My Manicure: My first thought for this book was whisky, which then went to barrels, and finally landed on wood grain. I ended up picking my colors a little too well so it is extremely subtle, but there really is a design on my nails. I started with a base of Zoya Cinnamon. Then I stamped with Mash 53 and Bundle Monster Annato Clay.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Murder at the Fortune Teller's Table by Janet Finsilver


Title: Murder at the Fortune Teller's Table
Series: Kelly Jackson Mystery #3
Author: Janet Finsilver

Goodreads Summary: 
Poisons, prophecies—and a peculiar past . . .

When a local woman begins searching for a couple she hasn’t seen since the 1960s, Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast manager Kelly Jackson and the crime-solving group, the “Silver Sentinels,” are quick to help out. They’re also quick to guess that they’re in over their heads after the woman is found dead beside the body of a Greek fortune teller—and a fellow Sentinel gets attacked. As Kelly juggles work and her responsibilities at a food and wine festival in town, she and her sleuthing posse must confront a killer obsessed with old secrets . . . and solve a murder mystery more than fifty years in the making . . .

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

The writing style for this series is absolutely beautiful. When I picked up this book, I was immediately drawn right into the story and felt like I was right there with the characters. The mystery was well-written, and I was shocked at the ending. I also absolutely loved the addition of Greek culture in the story - I love learning about different cultures.

My Manicure: Another super simple manicure. There is a lot of herbalism in the book, so I went for a natural look. I used Zoya Tiana and Above the Curve Every Day is a Holo-day.


Monday, April 10, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Kale to the Queen by Nell Hampton


Title: Kale to the Queen
Series: Kensington Palace Chef Mystery #1
Author: Nell Hampton

Goodreads Summary: 
Chef Carrie Ann Cole is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime--an assignment as the new Personal Chef to the Royal Family at Kensington Palace. But no sooner has Carrie Ann touched down across the pond and donned her apron than a dead body crops up beneath the royal kale beds.

With one assistant dead and the other soon under suspicion for his murder, Carrie Ann is scrambling to keep her kitchen up and running. Not to mention she gets off to an immediate bad start with the tempestuous Royal Chef Butterbottom, who has a bitter taste in his mouth since the prestigious position in the Royal Family's kitchen was given to an "over-privileged, under-educated American chef."

But the Royal Family's appetites wait for no one, and Carrie Ann must solve the murder and still get supper on the table on time--even with the annoyingly handsome Head of Security Ian Gordon tracking her every move like an MI6 agent. Suspects abound as an American chef adds a bit of spice to the traditional royal household in the first in Nell Hampton's charming and tasty Kensington Palace Chef Mystery series, Kale to the Queen.

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

Oh my gosh I loved this book! It is an amazing start to a new series, and I honestly couldn't put it down! The mystery was really well-written, with a variety of great suspects. I absolutely loved the setting, and how Carrie Ann has to adjust to England. Also - I had fun giggling every time I read "Butterbottom".

My Manicure: This ended up being a much more basic manicure than I was planning, but I'm not trusting my hands to be steady at the moment. Neighbors doing target practice = really shaky hands from the noise. The blue is KBShimmer Ink Again and the red is Daily Hues Carol. It is supposed to be British flag inspired, but could also work for an American flag inspired manicure.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Give The Devil His Due by Steve Hockensmith


Title: Give The Devil His Due
Series: Tarot Mystery #3
Author: Steve Hockensmith

Goodreads Summary: Reformed con artist-turned-tarot reader Alanis McLachlan gets paid for predicting the future—too bad she didn’t see all the trouble in hers. First a figure from her past tries to drag her back into the life of crime she thought she’d left behind. Then a new suitor tries to sweep Alanis off her feet, forcing her on-again, off-again romance with hunky teacher Victor Castellanos to hit the skids. And then there’s the little matter of the client who gets an ominous reading from Alanis . . . and is promptly murdered. Danger is in the cards for Alanis, and she’ll need all her skill at reading people and reading tarot if she’s going to survive.

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

This book was good, but way too convoluted to follow easily. It ends up feeling like every character is secretly planning their own con - understandable with how many main characters are conmen - and there is too much to keep track of. But it does have some shocking reveals, and what I could follow of the mystery was good.

My Manicure: OK, I hit a complete creative block with this one. The best I could come up with was sort of a vaguely impressionist look since artwork plays into the plot. I started with a base of Finger Paints Paper Mache. Then I put blobs of Zoya Blu, Neely, and Julie on top and dabbed it withcrumpled plastic wrap.


Monday, April 3, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Banana Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke


Title: Banana Cream Pie Murder
Series: Hannah Swensen #21
Author: Joanne Fluke

Goodreads Summary: A romantic seven-day cruise is the perfect start to bakery owner Hannah Swensen’s marriage. However, with a murder mystery heating up in Lake Eden, Minnesota, it seems the newlywed’s homecoming won’t be as sweet as she anticipated . . .

After an extravagant honeymoon, Hannah’s eager to settle down in Lake Eden and turn domestic daydreams into reality. But when her mother’s neighbor is discovered murdered in the condo downstairs, reality becomes a nightmarish investigation. Victoria Bascomb, once a renowned stage actress, was active in the theater community during her brief appearance in town . . . and made throngs of enemies along the way. Did a random intruder murder the woman as police claim, or was a deadlier scheme at play? As Hannah peels through countless suspects and some new troubles of her own, solving this crime—and living to tell about it—might prove trickier than mixing up the ultimate banana cream pie . . .

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

I'm still not overly impressed by the recent books, but this was definitely an improvement over Christmas Caramel Murder. The mystery itself was really good, and it took me a while to figure out whodunit. My problems with it are that Hannah is way too much of a tech failure to be believable, and a lot of the conversations seem like filler than meaningful conversations. Seriously, they were talking about how to make a sandwich for over a page, in enough detail that you don't even need a recipe to make it, and at the end of the chapter was a recipe for that exact sandwich. But that cliffhanger ending was shocking and I can't wait to see what happens next.

My Manicure: OK, I do not like wearing yellow. It does not agree with my skin tone at all. But, I needed a banana tie in so yellow it is. The base color is Zoya Pippa. The stamping is done with Bundle Monster + amyytran and Bam! White.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Steam and Sensibility by Kirsten Weiss


Title: Steam and Sensibility
Series: Sensibility Grey #1
Author: Kirsten Weiss

Goodreads Summary: Steam rising. California Territory, 1848. Gold has been discovered, emptying the village of San Francisco of its male population. Steam-powered technology is still in its infancy.
At 19, Englishwoman Sensibility Grey has spent her life tinkering in her father’s laboratory and missing the finer points of proper British life. But when her father dies in penury, she’s s
hipped to San Francisco and to the protection of an uncle she’s never met.
The California Territory may hold more dangers than even the indomitable Miss Grey can manage. Pursued by government agents, a secret society, and the enigmatic Mr. Krieg Night, Sensibility must decipher the clockwork secrets in her father’s final journal, unaware she’ll change the world forever.
Magic, mayhem, and mechanicals. STEAM AND SENSIBILITY is a pre-Steampunk novel of paranormal suspense set in the wild west of the California gold rush.

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

This was a good book, but at times it felt like it dragged a little. I did prefer the writing in this book over the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum series, but it wasn't as good as other steampunk series I've read. The story was interesting, but Sensibility isn't my favorite character. Rather than being a strong character, she just lets everyone tell her what to do. I found the other characters to be more interesting than Sensibility, even though as the main character she should be more likeable.

My Manicure: I decided to keep this one simple. It takes place during the gold rush, so I went with gold flakes. I started with two coats of OPI I Saw...You Saw...We Saw...Warsaw. I topped it with Zoya Gilty, an 18k gold flake topper.


Monday, March 27, 2017

My Nails And My Book Review - Fatality by Firelight by Lynn Cahoon


Title: Fatality by Firelight
Series: Cat Latimer Mystery #2
Author: Lynn Cahoon
Goodreads Summary: Cat Latimer’s Colorado bed-and-breakfast plays host to writers from all over. But murder is distinctly unwelcome . . .

To kick off a winter writing retreat, Cat and her handyman boyfriend, Seth, escort the aspiring authors to a nearby ski resort, hoping some fresh cold air will wake up their creative muses. But instead of hitting the slopes, they hit the bar—and before long, a tipsy romance novelist named Christina is keeping herself warm with a local ski bum who might have neglected to tell her about his upcoming wedding.

Next thing Cat knows, her uncle, the town sheriff, informs her that the young man’s been found dead in a hot tub—and Christina shows up crying and covered in blood. Now, between a murder mystery, the theft of a rare Hemingway edition, and the arrival of a black-clad stranger in snowy Aspen Hills, Cat’s afraid everything’s going downhill . . .

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

I love this series! You'll definitely want to read the books in order since part of the story is continued from the first book. Both storylines in it are really well-written, and I can't wait for the next one.

My Manicure: I am loving this manicure! Between the title and the wintry setting, I just had to do a fiery manicure. I started with a base of Zoya Renee. I then stamped it with Winstonia Summer Cookout and Bundle Monster Turmeric Sun. After that was dry, I topped it with ILNP The Magician for a fiery glow.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Kneaded to Death by Winnie Archer


Title: Kneaded to Death
Series: Bread Shop Mystery #1
Author: Winnie Archer

Goodreads Summary: Everyone swears by Yeast of Eden, the Mexican bread shop in town. But tonight, the only thing on the menu is la muerte . . .

Struggling photographer Ivy Culpepper has lots of soul-searching to do since returning to seaside Santa Linda, California. That is, until the thirty-one-year-old enters a bread making class at Yeast of Eden. Whether it’s the aroma of fresh conchas in the oven, or her instant connection with owner Olaya Dias and her sisters, Ivy just knows the missing ingredients in her life are hidden among the secrets of Olaya’s bakery . . .

But Ivy’s spirits crumble when a missing classmate is suddenly discovered dead in her car, riddled with stab wounds. Even more devastating, the prime suspects are the Dias sisters themselves. Doubting the women could commit such a crime, Ivy embarks on a murder investigation of her own to prove their innocence and seize the real killer. As she follows a deadly trail of crumbs around town, Ivy must trust her gut like never before—or someone else could be toast!

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

This was a good start to the series. The mystery was great, but it seemed to focus more on the grieving process than the mystery.

My Manicure: Since there is a definite Mexican theme to this book, I broke out my Winstonia Viva la Fiesta plate. I started with a base of KBShimmer Spruce Things Up. Then I stamped a floofy skirt image with Winstonia Viva la Fiesta and Bundle Monster So Metal.


Monday, March 20, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Death by Chocolate Lab by Bethany Blake


Title: Death by Chocolate Lab
Series: Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery #1
Author: Bethany Blake

Goodreads Summary: Pet sitter Daphne Templeton has a soft spot for every stray and misfit who wanders into the quaint, lakeside village of Sylvan Creek. But even Daphne doesn’t like arrogant, womanizing Steve Beamus, the controversial owner of Blue Ribbon K-9 Academy. When Steve turns up dead during a dog agility trial, Daphne can think of a long list of people with motives for homicide, and so can the police. Unfortunately, at the top of the list is Daphne’s sister, Piper—Steve’s latest wronged girlfriend.

Certain that Piper is innocent, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary, Daphne sets out to clear her sister’s name—and find Axis, Steve’s prize-winning chocolate Labrador, who went missing the night of Steve’s death. Aided by Socrates, her taciturn basset hound, and a hyperactive one-eared Chihuahua named Artie, Daphne quickly runs afoul of Detective Jonathan Black, a handsome and enigmatic newcomer to town, who has no appreciation for Daphne’s unorthodox sleuthing.

Can a free-spirited pet sitter, armed only with a Ph.D. in Philosophy and her two incompatible dogs, find the real killer before she becomes the next victim?

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

Oh I loved this one! So much going on, and so many twists! Socrates and Artie were awesome sidekicks for Daphne, and the contrast between Daphne and Piper was interesting. The mystery was great, and I was seriously shocked by the murderer.

My Manicure: Instead of going for the obvious dog theme, I went for a slight hippy vibe since there are some hippyish characters. The base is ILNP Bikini Bottoms. The stamping is done with Bundle Monster + sloteazzy and Straight Up Black. I'm loving the slight tie dyed look that it has, and hot pink and black is a color combination that I love.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - For Whom the Bread Rolls by Sarah Fox


Title: For Whom the Bread Rolls
Series: Pancake House Mystery #2
Author: Sarah Fox

Goodreads Summary: From the author of The Crêpes of Wrath comes another decadent cozy mystery. This time, pancake house owner Marley McKinney is tangling with a salty troublemaker . . . and a ravenous killer.

Bonus content: includes original recipes inspired by the Flip Side Pancake House menu!

Tourist season’s in full swing in the small seaside town of Wildwood Cove, and Marley McKinney couldn’t be happier. Since taking over the Flip Side restaurant, she’s made a few close friends, adopted a cat named Flapjack, and started dating her childhood crush. The only cloud on the horizon is local nuisance Ida Winkler, who blames Marley for landing her nephew in prison. Trying to get a rise out of Marley, Ida’s been making crank calls and even vandalizing the pancake house.

The police can’t do much about the pranks, so Marley sets out to bury the hatchet once and for all. But someone’s beat her to it—in the most shocking way possible. After stumbling across Ida’s dead body, Marley’s suddenly the number-one suspect in her murder. Clearing her good name is going to be a tall order, but Marley’s not about to let Ida keep ruining her life—especially from beyond the grave.

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

The mystery was good, but the plot dragged a bit. Marley went swimming in the ocean a lot, but it never really had anything to do with the plot. The pacing would have been a lot better if those parts were cut out since they had nothing to do with the murder or character development.

My Manicure: This series makes me think of the ocean. So, I did a nice, simple ocean themed manicure. I started with a base of Ever After Yum Yum. The sand dollars were stamped with Bundle Monster 505 and Arabica.


Monday, March 13, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Purr M For Murder by T.C. LoTempio


Title: Purr M For Murder
Series: Cat Rescue Mystery #1
Author: T.C. LoTempio

Goodreads Summary: Sydney McCall left behind an ex-fiancé and a New York advertising job to return home to Deer Park, North Carolina and help her sister, Kat, run the local animal shelter, Friendly Paws. Determined to save the shelter from financial trouble, Sydney and Kat organize a cat café fundraising event at a local coffee shop. Things are looking up until their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery to make peace, she finds Kat--along with Littleton's dead body.

Local homicide detective Will Worthington--who just happens to be Sydney's old high school crush--is highly suspicious of the sisters' involvement. Desperate to clear their names from the suspect list, Sydney pounces on the investigation. With the help of one of the shelter cats, a savvy orange tabby named Toby, Sydney begins poking her nose into other local businesses whose owners may have benefited from Littleton's death--until the killer notices she's pawing a little too closely at the truth.

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

A purr-fect start to a new series. Some parts were a bit predictable if you read a lot of cozies, but that didn't affect my enjoyment at all. The mystery was great, with every character a plausible suspect. I can't wait for the next book to come out.

My Manicure: For this manicure, I was inspired by Toby. He has a habit of sneaking off, and as you can see, he is even trying to sneak off my nail. I started with Zoya Storm on all nails except my ring finger. Then I used Sinful Colors Black on Black stamped with KBShimmer PT Young Thing and Bundle Monster 412.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany


Title: Elementary, She Read
Series: Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #1
Author: Vicki Delany

Goodreads Summary: Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop--located at 222 Baker Street--specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body.

The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman's suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it's a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.

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

I really liked the plot, but the main character was a bit obnoxious. I'm assuming she was supposed to be a modern Sherlock Holmes, but she ends up sounding too uppity to be endearing. The detective was also a bit annoying. But the mystery itself was interesting, and there were some interesting supporting characters.

My Manicure: Oooh I love this color! So gorgeous, plus it reminds me of the color of old books (just a little glitzier). I kept it simple by just using three coats of Finger Paints Spell Binding. I used the same color for the keychain, but I added a Sherlock silhouette using MJ JR 31 and Bundle Monster Heart of Gold.


Monday, March 6, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Pressed to Death by Kirsten Weiss


Title: Pressed to Death
Series: Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mystery #2
Author: Kirsten Weiss

Goodreads Summary: Perfectly pressed. Perfectly proper. Perfectly deadly.

Paranormal museum owner Maddie Kosloski thinks she has the perfect paranormal exhibit for the harvest festival—a haunted grape press. But before she can open the exhibit, she’s accused of stealing the antique press. And when her accuser is found murdered, all eyes turn to Maddie.

Solving the crime is the last thing on Maddie’s mind, but her mother insists she investigate. Does her mother have a secret agenda? And why has the local charity, Ladies Aid, seemingly gone gangster?

In this light, cozy mystery, haunted houses, runaway wine barrels, and murder combine in a perfect storm of chaos. Facing down danger and her own over-active imagination, Maddie must unearth the killer before she becomes the next ghost to haunt her museum.

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

I just wasn't overly impressed by this one. The premise was great, and there were some funny parts, but the paranormal was practically nonexistent. It takes place at a paranormal museum and has a ghost detecting cat, but the book focuses on the mundane rather than the quirky elements.

My Manicure: OK, this has a bit of a fail in it. I was going for wine colored, but it ended up a The base is Zoya Finley topped with Baroness X Doomfire. Pretty color but not exactly wine. Then I used Konad M55 and KBShimmer PT Young Thing. At that point I was feeling a bit goofy and figured holo grapes make sparkling wine (I did warn you that I was feeling goofy). So, to sum it up, it is a pretty manicure but not quite what I was going for.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones


Title: Eleventh Grave in Moonlight
Series: Charley Davidson #11
Author: Darynda Jones

Goodreads Summary: A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah...demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all.

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

Oh my gosh that ending! I need the next book right now! This book is jam-packed full of emotions. I found myself laughing, near tears, and in shock at some of the events. Charley also learns more about her (reaper) self, which adds some interesting parts.

My Manicure: This one is inspired by the main character rather than the story. Charley is described as bright. Really, really bright. As in ghosts can see her from anywhere. So, obviously, I had to use a bright, shiny, blingy polish to represent her. I used ILNP Mega (X) on my nails and pendant. The stamping on the pendant was done with Winstonia 221 and Bundle Monster Straight Up Black.


Monday, February 27, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Wanted by Betsy Schow


Title: Wanted
Series: Spelled #2
Author: Betsy Schow

Goodreads Summary: In the sequel to Spelled, can Robin Hood's daughter, Rexi, stop the Wicked Witch from finding Excalibur?
Fairy-Tale Survival Rule No. 52:
No matter how difficult the obstacles or all-powerful the evil villain, one can rest assured that the hero of the story never dies. The sidekicks though...they should be worried.

Rexi Hood is proud to be an outlaw. After all, she's the daughter of the infamous Robin Hood. But sidekick? Accomplice? Sorry, that wasn't in her story description. Yeah, she and Princess Dorthea of Emerald have been inseparable since they teamed up to fight the wickedest witch. But if Rexi doesn't figure out how to break the curse that binds them, forget being overshadowed by the spirited princess, Rexi's going to become a Forgotten, wiped from the pages of Story and reduced to a puddle of ink.

Not happening. No way in Spell.

Rexi's plan? Steal the sword Excalibur and use its magic to write her own tale. But Gwenevere has opened a new Academy of Villains in Camelot and danger lurks behind every plot twist. And you know how it goes in Story: keep your friends close and your enemies closer...

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

I am so torn on what to think of this one. I had a lot of fun reading Spelled, but Wanted just didn't have the same appeal. If you love puns, there were plenty of them. The problem is, that is about all it has. The plot was basically Rexi dying and coming back to life, and shocking twists that don't have any real purpose.

My Manicure: See that awesome looking shoe on the cover? This manicure is loosely based on it. It actually is an important part in the plot, but it also just looks really cool. I started out with KBShimmer Spruce Things Up. I need to remember this polish around Christmas because it would be the perfect base for a Christmas tree manicure. Then I stamped using KBShimmer PT Young Thing and Bundle Monster 213. As I said, loosely based on the cover (emphasis on loosely).


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Murder Go Round by Carol J. Perry


Title: Murder Go Round
Series: Witch City Mystery #4
Author: Carol J. Perry

Goodreads Summary: A killer takes a spin through Salem . . .
Lee Barrett has agreed to attend a storage auction with Aunt Ibby—even though she suspects the forgotten rooms will yield more junk than treasure. Her skepticism vanishes once the two win a bid on an overlooked locker and uncover a trove of beautiful curiosities, including a stunning wooden carousel horse with gentle eyes and fading paint. But just before Lee leaves the fairground relic at a local repair shop, the sight of a silver samovar awakens her psychic abilities and conjures visions of murder.

Lee prays the intrusive ESP episode was just a glimpse into the past—until her policeman boyfriend reports a dead man outside the repair shop. Apparently, the unknown victim had been hot on Lee’s trail since the auction. And with the horse found dismantled, it looks like he was up to no good. What’s the story behind the antique equine, and could a strange bubblegum-chewing woman with fiery hair have something to do with the crime? Guided by her gift and O’Ryan, her wise tabby cat, Lee’s set on catching the murderer . . . before she’s sent on the darkest ride of her life.

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

Another great series that I'll need to catch up on. The mystery involves a lot of researching the past, which I absolutely love, and the paranormal aspect added an extra touch to keep the plot from dragging. I really enjoyed how they pieced together the complicated history of the carousel horse and the mystery that is attached to it.

My Manicure: Oooh this was a fun one. I started out with a base of KBShimmer Carpe Denim. This color is absolutely gorgeous! The carousel was done with Winstonia 209 and Bundle Monster So Metal. The matryoshka doll was done with Winstonia 219 and Bundle Monster So Metal.


Monday, February 20, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Murder Wears White by Stephanie Blackmoore


Title: Murder Wears White
Series: Wedding Planner Mystery #2
Author: Stephanie Blackmoore

Goodreads Summary: Mallory Shepard’s wedding planning business is off to a shaky start when a member of the bridal family drops dead at a food tasting . . .

Mallory hopes to unveil her new B&B just in time for her first ceremony as a wedding planner. The renovations to Thistle Park—the mansion she inherited in small-town Port Quincy, Pennsylvania—are almost complete. But what Mallory didn’t plan on is the bride’s aunt being poisoned at the wedding tasting and her perfect venue becoming a crime scene.

Adding to the mystery is the discovery that this is not the first murder in the bridal family, and as Mallory becomes engaged in her own investigation she learns the man convicted of the crime may not be guilty. Now she has two crimes to solve before the bride walks down the aisle—but a killer has other plans to ensure that Mallory forever holds her peace . . .

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

Oh my gosh I had so much fun reading this! It is jam packed with things going on, so the plot never drags. There are some hilarious, laugh out loud moments. The multiple mysteries were intriguing, and I had fun trying to put all the pieces together.

My Manicure: Woohoo! An experiment that worked! I wanted something a little different than my normal "wedding" type nails, so I added a little holo flair. I started out with a gel polish base with Bundle Monster Button Down. Then I stamped with MoYou London Bridal 7 and KBShimmer PT Young Thing. Wouldn't a holo wedding veil look awesome?


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Fudge and Jury by Ellie Alexander


Title: Fudge and Jury
Series: Bakeshop Mystery #5
Author: Ellie Alexander

Goodreads Summary: Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bakery where the pastries are delicious…and, now, suspicious.
It’s almost spring in Ashland, Oregon, and the town is preparing for the Shakespeare and the annual Chocolate Festival. Business is cookin’ at Torte, and the store is expanding as Jules’ team whips up crèpes filled with mascarpone cheese and dark chocolate. Torte stands a chance of being this year’s confectionery belle of the ball! Life couldn’t be sweeter—unless murder taints the batter.

Evan Rowe, of Confections Couture, makes a chocolate fountain that would put Willy Wonka to shame, and his truffles are to die for—literally? Yes, the world-renowned chocolatier has just turned up dead…right after sampling a slice of Jules’ decadent four-layer chocolate cake. Now all eyes are on Jules as she tries to find the mysterious ingredient in her own recipe. Can she sift out the truth before another contestant bites the buttercream?

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

Well this is definitely a series I'll need to catch up on. The food descriptions were to die for (sorry, couldn't resist), and I am dying to try out those recipes (I know, that joke was even worse). The mystery was great, with no shortage of believable suspects. I also loved how connected I felt to the characters. I could feel how much hard work they put into Torte, and I wanted to cheer them on as they worked on improving it.

My Manicure: Is there anything better than chocolate? I'm pretty sure the correct answer is no. Since Fudge and Jury is centered around a chocolate festival, I went with a simple box of chocolate manicure. I started with a base of Sinful Colors Leather Loose, one of my favorite brown polishes. Then I stamped using MoYou London Happy Birthday 1 and Bundle Monster Heart of Gold.


Monday, February 13, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Death in Advertising by Laura Bradford


Title: Death in Advertising
Series: Tobi Tobias Mystery #1
Author: Laura Bradford

Goodreads Summary: When Tobi Tobias decided to open her own ad agency, having to moonlight in a pet shop wasn’t part of her vision . . . of course, neither was murder.

Sometimes when opportunity knocks, the door you open leads to a closet. That’s certainly the case for Tobi, whose weekends spent cleaning cages in her best friend’s pet shop may soon be over. She’s just landed her first big break—Zander Closet Company needs a catchy campaign slogan ASAP, and Tobi thinks she’s got the right hook to knock ’em dead: “When we’re done, even your skeletons will have a place.”

But when a real dead body topples out of a showcase closet, she’s about to discover there is such a thing as bad publicity. To save her fledgling business and not get killed by the competition, Tobi takes on a new pet project: solving the murder. But with a stressed-out parrot as the only witness to the crime, Tobi will really have to wing it to put the cagey killer behind bars.

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

Oh my gosh I loved this book! Tobi is awesome, her friends are hilariously quirky, and I never thought I'd laugh that much at a parrot (snort, snort). The mystery was great, too, although the ending did feel a little anticlimactic. I can't wait until the next book comes out!

My Manicure: Since the parrot is what stuck in my mind, that is what my influence was for this manicure. The base is KBShimmer Alloy Matey. I then stamped with Bundle Monster + Lucy's Stash and Straight Up Black. The feathers are filled in with Sally Hansen Jell-ous, Sea Through, and Ice Tint. Sadly, it ended up being sheerer than I wanted, so a lot of the effect is lost. But the massive holo-ness of Alloy Matey definitely makes up for it.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Time Out by Suzanne M. Trauth


Title: Time Out
Series: Dodie O'Dell Mystery #2
Author: Suzanne M. Trauth

Goodreads Summary: KNISH OF DEATH

The amateur actors at the Etonville Little Theatre may be known for chewing the scenery, but restaurant manager Dodie O’Dell has something more appetizing for them to sink their teeth into. She’s been taking bows in her small New Jersey town for her theme menus, designed to complement the local productions. This fall, the community theatre is staging Arsenic and Old Lace, set in 1940s Brooklyn, so Dodie is serving up hot dogs, Italian ices, egg creams, and knishes at the weekend food festival.

All is going well until Antonio Digenza, the ex-Off-Off-Broadway director of the show, dies dramatically while noshing on a knish. As rumors of food poisoning quickly spread, Dodie scrambles to rescue the Windjammer restaurant’s reputation. But when clues point to foul play, she’s faced with a cast of suspects all auditioning for the part of DiGenza’s murderer. She’ll need to act fast to shine a spotlight on the killer—before it’s curtains for another victim . . .

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

Overall this was a decent book, but it didn't hold my attention the entire time. I had part of it figured out by a third of the way through, which made parts of the book a bit tedious. One of the main reasons I wanted to read this book is because I love the movie version of Arsenic and Old Lace, so I was a little disappointed when it didn't play much of a part in the plot.

My Manicure: I'm keeping it super simple today because my sinuses are going haywire. Basically, our weather is changing seasons three times in the next five days and I am feeling it. I decided that since there is an Arsenic and Old Lace theme, that would be my manicure theme. I went with KBShimmer Claws and Effect. I feel it has a nice elderberry wine look to it.