Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Murder on the Sugarland Express by Angie Fox


Title: Murder on the Sugarland Express
Series: Southern Ghost Hunter Mystery #6
Author: Angie Fox

Goodreads Summary: 
Verity Long is overdue for a little R&R (rest and romance) with her boyfriend Ellis, and a vintage train trip through the Tennessee mountains seems like just the ticket. The Sugarland Express carries history and nostalgia in every compartment, and Verity is determined to enjoy it—without ghostly interference. But the ghosts have other plans…

On a dark, desolate night nearly a century ago, the train was stranded in the mountains and a young woman was found stabbed to death in her locked compartment. The murder was never solved, and a ghostly Belgian detective is still pursuing the case from the grave.

To Verity’s dismay, all of the ghostly suspects are back. And when history repeats itself and a new murder mirrors the old, it’s up to Verity and her friends to discover which of the passengers—dead or alive—could be behind the murders before the killer strikes again.

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
I absolutely love this series! I really liked how there were two separate murders that she was investigating, and there were surprising twists in each one. The pacing was great and the plot never seemed to drag.

My Manicure: This was supposed to be a watermarble based on the cover colors, but the blue disappeared somehow. I started with Finger Paints Magritte's Masterpiece. Then I marbled with it and Sinful Colors Black on Black. When that failed, I threw Vapid Stardust on top because holo makes everything better.


Monday, December 25, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Escape Claws by Linda Reilly


Title: Escape Claws
Series: Cat Lady Mystery #1
Author: Linda Reilly

Goodreads Summary: 
Here, killer, killer, killer . . .

For the first time in sixteen years, Lara Caphart has returned to her hometown of Whisker Jog, New Hampshire. She wants to reconnect with her estranged Aunt Fran, who’s having some difficulty looking after herself—and her eleven cats. Taking care of a clowder of kitties is easy, but keeping Fran from being harassed by local bully Theo Barnes is hard. The wealthy builder has his sights set on Fran’s property, and is determined to make her an offer she doesn’t dare refuse.

Then Lara spots a blue-eyed ragdoll cat that she swears is the reincarnation of her beloved Blue, her childhood pet. Pursuing the feline to the edge of Fran’s yard, she stumbles upon the body of Theo Barnes, clearly a victim of foul play. To get her and Fran off the suspect list, Lara finds herself following the cat’s clues in search of a killer. Is Blue’s ghost really trying to help her solve a murder, or has Lara inhaled too much catnip?

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

This was a fairly strong start to a new series. The mystery was well written and a bit surprising. The only thing I didn't really like was that the whole beginning seemed to have an overall feeling of sadness to it. But it did end up with a happier feeling by the end.

My Manicure: There was a line in here that was perfect for this manicure. It was about keeping the cats away from paint so they wouldn't walk through it and start painting things. I ended up adding a bit of Christmas cheer to it simply because of when I scheduled this post. I started out with Vapid Happy Freakin' New Year 2017. I can't stop staring at it! The paw prints were done with Bundle Monster 424, Tree of Life, and Red Sea. Fun, festive, and cute!


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Better Dead by Pamela Kopfler


Title: Better Dead
Series: B&B Spirits Mystery #1
Author: Pamela Kopfler

Goodreads Summary: 
As the owner of a charming Louisiana bed and breakfast, Holly Davis believes in Southern hospitality--but she draws the line at welcoming the ghost of her cheating husband . . .
Burl Davis checked out of this life a little earlier than expected--before Holly could serve him with divorce papers over his extramarital flings. Unfortunately, it was not before he nearly bankrupted her beloved B&B, Holly Grove, a converted plantation that has been in her family for generations. Holly would never wish anyone dead, but three months later she's feeling a lot more relief than grief.
Until Burl's ghost appears as an unwelcome guest. Before his spirit can move on, her not-so-dearly departed needs Holly's human help to bust up the drug smuggling ring he was involved with. She has reservations, to say the least, but agrees to assist him if he'll make a show of haunting the B&B to draw in visitors. But when Holly's former love, Jack McCann, mysteriously resurfaces in town and checks in, she has to wonder if her B&B is big enough for the ghost of her husband and the very real physical presence of her old flame . . .

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
Oh my gosh, that was absolutely hilarious. The mystery was great, with a lot of humor thrown in. The setting was beautiful, and the B&B was written about so vividly it almost felt like a character rather than a place.

My Manicure: Today I went for a ghostly look to tie in with the haunted plantation theme. I started with a base of Vapid Slay Bells. No real reason for it, I just think it is absolutely gorgeous. The ghost was done with MoYou London Festive 15 and Vapid Happy Freakin' New Year 2017.


Monday, December 18, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Stowed Away by Barbara Ross


Title: Stowed Away
Series: Maine Clambake Mystery #6
Author: Barbara Ross

Goodreads Summary: 
It’s June in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and Julia Snowden and her family are working hard to get their authentic Maine clambake business ready for summer. Preparations must be put on hold, however, when a mysterious yacht drops anchor in the harbor—and delivers an unexpected dose of murder . . .

When Julia’s old prep school rival Wyatt Jayne invites her to dinner on board her billionaire fiancé’s decked-out yacht, Julia arrives to find a sumptuous table set for two—and the yachtsman dead in his chair. Suspicion quickly falls on Wyatt, and Julia’s quest to dredge up the truth leads her into the murky private world of a mega-rich recluse who may not have been all that he seemed . . .

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
Another enjoyable addition to the series. There were some surprising twists in the mystery, although some twists spoiled upcoming twists (I'm not sure if that makes sense, butt it's the only way I can think of to describe it). I'm curious if some of the revelations will be addressed in later books.

My Manicure: I decided to keep it simple with a nautical theme today. I started out with Finger Paints Magritte's Masterpiece topped with Vapid Stardust. I love how Stardust adds a nice light holo without losing the richness of the base color. I stamped the anchor using Winsonia Absolutely Nautical and Bundle Monster So Metal.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - A Case of Syrah, Syrah by Nancy J. Parra


Title: A Case of Syrah, Syrah
Series: Wine Country Mystery #1
Author: Nancy J. Parra

Goodreads Summary: 
Taylor O’Brian is a new businesswoman, founder of “Taylor’s Off The Beaten Path Wine Tours,” who lives on a small winery with her Aunt Jemma. She plans to take small groups around romantic Sonoma county to discover some of the county’s outdoor gardens. It’s all running as smooth as can be until Laura, the leader of the group of yoga instructors she’s leading, is found dead. And it’s Taylor’s corkscrew that’s found buried in Laura’s neck.

She’s not sure who to trust, and everyone around suddenly seems suspect. Only two weeks after the murder, her very own administrative assistant, Amy, marries Laura’s husband, Dan, who doesn’t seem very bereaved about being widowed, and the three yoga masters who were also out on the tour begin to seem shady. Taylor can’t afford to jump ship from her new business endeavor, but just as she begins her investigation, another dead body surfaces. This time, it’s Dan’s sister. And the killer is coming for Taylor next.

Now it’s up to Taylor to uncork this open-bottle mystery, before more blood is spilled. For fans of Laura Childs and Ellen Crosby, A Case of Syrah, Syrah is the charming first in bestselling author Nancy J. Parra’s Wine Country mysteries.

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. I loved the mystery, I just couldn't handle Taylor. I found her to be annoying and a bit obnoxious. I did love how delightfully quirky some of the minor characters were.

My Manicure: And now for something completely different... As you can see, I was inspired by that cute cat on the cover. I started out with a base of Vapid Angels & Demons. Funny story, this arrived Monday and I decided it was what I needed to use, but I had to wait until Tuesday for it to warm up enough to use without shattering the bottle. A bit of a last minute decision, but I think it was worth it. I stamped the cat using QA-40 and Bundle Monster Straight Up Black. Isn't it just adorable? Wait... hang on. Let me add a little hot water...

Ahh, much better. As you can see, Angels & Demons is a thermal with a nice dramatic shift. You can also see that I get really cold hands in winter since it was transitioning within a minute of running hot water over my hand. It is a lot of fun watching the color randomly change, and as long as my nail beds are warm I end up with a really neat French manicure effect.


Monday, December 11, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Ginger Snapped by Gail Oust


Title: Ginger Snapped
Series: Spice Shop Mystery #5
Author: Gail Oust

Goodreads Summary: 
Piper Prescott and Police Chief Wyatt McBride might have gotten off on the wrong foot but, over the past year, their interactions have evolved into a friendship of sorts. And when the body of Shirley Randolph is found floating in a fishing hole, their relationship reaches entirely new territory.

Shirley, the town's Realtor of the Year, was also Wyatt's suspected romantic interest, and now the residents of Brandywine Creek are speculating that Wyatt is responsible for her death. As the town council moves to suspend the handsome lawman, Piper springs into action to save his reputation and possibly his freedom. She enlists the aid of her BFF, Reba Mae Johnson, along with Wyatt himself, to help solve the puzzle and find Shirley’s real killer.

Pointing them toward high-powered real estate tactics and possible affairs, the investigation soon becomes personal when Piper's shop, Spice It Up!, is burglarized, and she’s forced off the road late one night, narrowly escaping serious injury. Realizing that she must be close to uncovering the truth, and that the evidence against Wyatt is no longer circumstantial, Piper resorts to drastic measures to prevent a grave miscarriage of justice.

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
This was a really enjoyable book. It is the first one I have read in this series, and I had no trouble following the story. The mystery was interesting and well written.

My Manicure: When I saw that cover, I knew I had to do a gingerbread manicure. Funny story, my first attempt left me with a decapitated gingerbread man. I'm still not sure how I managed that. I started out with a base of KBShimmer Supplies Party. I love how it is neutral, yet blingy. Then I stamped my gingerbread man with Winstonia Have a Merry Christmas and Bundle Monster Annato Clay. It turned out so adorable!


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Etched in Tears by Cheryl Hollon


Title: Etched in Tears
Series: Webb's Glass Shop Mystery #4
Author: Cheryl Hollon

Goodreads Summary: 
When a famous glass artist is murdered at his own exhibit, deadly secrets are put on display, and it's up to glass shop owner Savannah Webb to see through a killer's cover.

Celebrated glass artist Dennis Lansing is returning to St. Petersburg, Florida, for an exhibit at the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum. His unique style of embedding document images in his art is at the vanguard of contemporary glasswork. But as Savannah's first boyfriend and a former apprentice to her father, Dennis's return home has her reflecting on the past--a trip down memory lane that takes a dark turn when Dennis is found murdered at the museum with an old reference letter from her father in his pocket. A search through her father's records sheds new light on Dennis's history, but it seems his present life wasn't so transparent either. Now, with a gallery of suspects to consider, it's up to Savannah to figure out who fits the mold of a murderer.

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

Another wonderful addition to the series. I absolutely loved the setting. The museum sounds like a wonderful place to visit (minus the murder). The mystery was well written and had some nice twists. It was also a little more emotional than most since there was such a personal connection to the victim.

My Manicure: My inspiration today was the bench on the cover. I started out with Bitzy Tip Toeing for the bench. My melting clock was done with Bundle Monster 610 and So Metal.


Monday, December 4, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - And Death Goes To... by Laura Bradford


Title: And Death Goes To...
Series: Tobi Tobias Mystery #3
Author: Laura Bradford

Goodreads Summary: The Tobias Ad Agency is in the running for the coveted Golden Storyboard, and Tobi couldn't be more thrilled—until she discovers it's literally an award to die for.
It’s an honor just to be nominated. But, let's get real, Tobi wants to win. The St. Louis Advertising Awards are like the Oscars for her field, and Tobi' is up for its most prestigious prize, Best Overall Ad Campaign. The competition is always fierce, but this year it’s killer . . .
Despite her high hopes, Tobi isn't exactly shocked when she doesn’t win. But she is shocked when the winner, Deidre Ryan, takes the stage only to plummet to her death as a platform suddenly gives way. After the police discover foul play, Tobi's Grandpa Stu wastes no time in nominating suspects. But was Deidre the intended victim—or was someone else meant to take the fatal fall? Now it’s a race to catch a killer in the spotlight, before another nominee gets the booby prize and Tobi gets trapped in a no-win situation.

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

I love this series! Tobi is a strong, yet flawed, main character. The mystery was definitely twisty. I think I might've gasped out loud a few times during the reveal

My Manicure: Note to self - check stamping plates well in advance. My manicure has Tobi up for a gold ribbon because it is the only award image I have. Whoops. I started with a base of Sinful Colors Black on Black. I use it way too much, but I love how colors pop on it. My ribbon was stamped with MoYou London Happy Birthday 1 and Bundle Monster Heart of Gold.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - The Plot Is Murder by V.M. Burns


Title: The Plot Is Murder
Series: Mystery Bookshop #1
Author: V.M. Burns

Goodreads Summary: The small town of North Harbor on the shores of Lake Michigan is about to have a new mystery bookstore. But before the first customer can browse its shelves, the store's owner is suspected of her own murder plot . . . 
Samantha Washington has dreamed of owning her own mystery bookstore for as long as she can remember. And as she prepares for the store's grand opening, she's also realizing another dream--penning a cozy mystery set in England between the wars. While Samantha hires employees and fills the shelves with the latest mysteries, quick-witted Lady Penelope Marsh, long-overshadowed by her beautiful sister Daphne, refuses to lose the besotted Victor Carlston to her sibling's charms. When one of Daphne's suitors is murdered in a maze, Penelope steps in to solve the labyrinthine puzzle and win Victor. 
But as Samantha indulges her imagination, the unimaginable happens in real life. A shady realtor turns up dead in her backyard, and the police suspect her--after all, the owner of a mystery bookstore might know a thing or two about murder. Aided by her feisty grandmother and an enthusiastic ensemble of colorful retirees, Samantha is determined to close the case before she opens her store. But will she live to conclude her own story when the killer has a revised ending in mind for her? 

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

An enjoyable first in series. Small town Michigan is one of my favorite settings, so obviously I loved the setting. The senior citizens were awesome. The book inside the book was interesting, but slightly distracting. I kept trying to solve the wrong murder. I found the mystery interesting yet slightly predictable.

My Manicure: I'm not 100% sure where I was going with this one. I had a vague idea of using a book stamp because of the bookshop/author thing, but that was all I had. Anyway, I ended up using Zoya Tiana simply because it is a pretty color that I haven't worn in a while. Then I used MJ JR-2 and Bundle Monster Bam! White.


Monday, November 27, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - X Marks the Scot by Kaitlyn Dunnett


Title: X Marks the Scot
Series: Liss MacCrimmon Mystery #11
Author: Kaitlyn Dunnett

Goodreads Summary: The old Chadwick mansion on the edge of Moosetookalook, Maine, has been shrouded in mystery for generations--until Scottish Emporium owner Liss MacCrimmon uncovers a forgotten family secret. But she never imagined that a little curiosity would lead her into such deadly territory . . .

While perusing auction items from the Chadwick estate, Liss purchases a painting of a bagpiper to add to her collection. Her interest shifts from art to sleuthing upon a strange discovery--what appears to be a treasure map tucked behind the canvas. She's even more intrigued when she links the scroll to an early Chadwick who smuggled goods across the Canadian border.
So during a business trip to Canada, Liss arranges a meeting with an archivist in hopes of pinning down the truth about the map and the Chadwick bloodline. Before her quest moves forward, however, she finds the archivist's murdered body at a local genealogical society. One thing is certain--Liss isn't alone on this treasure hunt . . .
Liss returns to Moosetookalook, terrified that the killer may have followed her home. With her life in real peril and the map at risk of being stolen, she launches into full-scale investigation mode. But as she deciphers clues and inches toward the dangerous culprit, Liss quickly realizes she's only a step away from ending up like the Chadwick clan--permanently wiped out.

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

This was both interesting and slightly boring. The concept was great. I loved the idea of the genealogy part, but it was too much of an info dump and not enough of a story. The mystery started out great, but by the end there were too many characters and I ended up not really caring who did it. 

My Manicure: This did not quite work as planned. My inspiration is a treasure map. I tried using a nude base, but I managed to mess it up twice before I even started the design. So, I ended up using Finger Paints Paper Mache. Then I sponged the "aged paper" look with Bundle Monster Arabica and Annato Clay. That part was a definite fail. My X and trail were free handed with a Sharpie.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Death, Taxes, and a Shotgun Wedding by Diane Kelly


Title: Death, Taxes, and a Shotgun Wedding
Series: Tara Holloway #12
Author: Diane Kelly

For IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway, this case is personal...
Wedding bells are ringing as Tara and her soon-to-be-husband Nick prepare for their big day. But along with all the RSVP cards are a series of death threats from an unknown source. The culprit must be someone from an earlier investigation--a white-collar criminal with a red-hot grudge--but Tara has run across too many lawbreakers to narrow down the search. And time, like her biological clock, is ticking.

Now, while dodging attempts on her life, Tara also finds herself embroiled in a rental scam in which a heartless crook is ripping people off left and right. Will she be able to track down the con artist and make it down the aisle in one piece? Or will "til death do us part" come before Tara can even say "I do"?

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

Nooooo! Why did the series have to end? OK, now that I got that out of me... I honestly could not put the book down. The humor, the mystery, everything was just so well done. I was laughing so much throughout this book.

My Manicure: Oh my gosh I'm frazzled. I forgot how ridiculous things get near Thanksgiving. Anyway, on to the manicure. I did a kind of simple wedding theme. I started out with Bundle Monster Bam! White. Then I used Bundle Monster + elleandish and Straight Up Black. I'm liking the simple black and white contrast right now.


Monday, November 20, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - The Secret, Book, and Scone Society by Ellery Adams


Title: The Secret, Book, and Scone Society
Series: Miracle Springs, North Carolina #1
Author: Ellery Adams

Goodreads Summary: From New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams comes the first in an intriguing new series set within a quirky small-town club where the key to happiness, friendship—or solving a murder—can all be found within the pages of the right book . . .

Miracle Springs, North Carolina, is a place of healing. Strangers flock here hoping the natural hot springs, five-star cuisine, and renowned spa can cure their ills. If none of that works, they often find their way to Miracle Books, where, over a fresh-baked “comfort” scone from the Gingerbread House bakery, they exchange their stories with owner Nora Pennington in return for a carefully chosen book. That’s Nora’s special talent—prescribing the perfect novel to ease a person’s deepest pain and lighten their heaviest burden.

When a visiting businessman reaches out to Nora for guidance, she knows exactly which novels will help. But before he can keep their appointment at Miracle Books, he’s found dead on the train tracks.

Stunned, Nora forms the Secret, Book, and Scone Society, a group of damaged souls yearning to gain trust and earn redemption by helping others. To join the society, members must divulge their darkest secret—the terrible truth that brought each of them to Miracle Springs in the first place.

Determined to uncover the truth behind the businessman’s demise, the women meet in Nora’s cramped and cozy bookstore to share stories and trade support. And as they untangle a web of corruption, they also discover their own courage, purpose, and a sisterhood that will carry them through every challenge—proving it’s never too late to turn the page and start over . . .

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

I'm slightly torn on how I feel about this book. The mystery was great, with some surprising moments. The setting was absolutely breathtaking, and I truly felt like I was wandering around town with the characters. My minor issue is that I think the mystery took away from the characters' stories. Because my attention was split between wondering what story would be revealed next and what clue would be found, I felt that I couldn't give the pasts the attention they truly deserved.

My Manicure: This one was a little hard to come up with a manicure idea that I could actually do. The inspiration is a combination of the setting and the tea and baked goods that are a common theme throughout the book. The base is Zoya Merida. I chose it because of all the gorgeous trees around Nora's house. The tea and cakes are stamped with MoYou London Cookbook 07 and Bundle Monster Heart of Gold.


Friday, November 17, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Thread the Halls by Lea Wait


Title: Thread the Halls
Series: Mainely Needlepoint #6
Author: Lea Wait

Goodreads Summary: Christmas in Haven Harbor, Maine, means family, trouble, and murder . . .

This Yuletide season, there's no time for Angie Curtis and Patrick West to linger under the mistletoe. Patrick's being needled by his mother--movie star Skye West--to set the stage for a perfect white Christmas as she brings her costar, screenwriters, and director home for the holidays. With his mother's long list of wishes, Patrick's becoming unraveled. To help, the Mainely Needlepointers offer to decorate Skye's Victorian mansion and create needlepoint pillows as gifts for the guests.

But not long after the celebrity celebrants invade Haven Harbor, an unscripted tragedy occurs. Then some questionable Christmas cookies make Patrick sick. Before Santa arrives at the town pier on a lobster boat, Angie and the Needlepointers need to trim down the naughty list, catch a cold-hearted killer, and wrap up the case . . .

My Review: *I voluntarily read this ARC**

That was simply amazing. The setting was beautiful, yet dangerous. The mystery was wonderful and a bit shocking. I do have to admit that I ended up putting the book down after a few chapters. The needlepoint descriptions inspired me to pick up a cross stitch that I've been meaning to get to for over a year.

My Manicure: I ended up being slightly silly with part of this manicure. I started out with Zoya Aspen for a snowy look. The accent nail was done with an ultra fine green Sharpie. My freehanding needs work, but that is a needlepoint tree. The snowflakes were stamped with Bundle Monster H02 and So Metal.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Much Ado About Murder by Elizabeth J. Duncan


Title: Much Ado About Murder
Series: Shakespeare in the Catskills #3
Author: Elizabeth J. Duncan

Goodreads Summary: Costume designer Charlotte Fairfax has another murder on her hands as she prepares for the latest performance of the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company, Much Ado About Nothing. The company's steady growth enables them to cast star British actress Audrey Ashley, who arrives on scene to play the lead role of Beatrice. But things immediately get more complicated when Audrey insists the company replace the current director with new, up and coming British director Edmund Albright. 

Edmund plans to change the popular romantic comedy, which alienates several people associated with the production. And the list of people he upsets only grows: the laid off former director, the hotel owner's secretary, and even Audrey herself. Just as Edmund's plans are about to come to fruition, his body is discovered on his sofa, holding a gun in his hand. His death is quickly ruled a suicide but Charlotte thinks otherwise. Why would Edmund, on the brink of greatness, kill himself? And in such an American way?

With a whole cast of characters to investigate, Charlotte is determined to unmask each one before it's final curtain call on the whole production in award-winning author Elizabeth J. Duncan's third Shakespeare in the Catskills mystery, Much Ado About Murder.

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

This was an interesting book. The setting was great, and I wish I could visit it. The mystery was sort of predictable, sort of surprising, and very well written. I did find it a little hard to connect to the characters, but I still enjoyed the book.

My Manicure: I went a little weird on this one. There are two inspirations - the wedding scene in Much Ado About Nothing and the murder. I started out with a base of Zoya April. The wedding lace was done using Bundle Monster + elleandish and Bam! White. The blood splatter was done using Daily Hues Carol.


Monday, November 13, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - A Deadly Eclair by Daryl Wood Gerber


Title: A Deadly Éclair
Series: French Bistro Mystery #1
Author: Daryl Wood Gerber

Goodreads Summary: It's always been Mimi Rousseau's dream to open her own bistro, but it seems beyond her grasp since she's been chased back home to Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley by her late husband's tremendous debt. Until her best friend Jorianne James introduces her to entrepreneur Bryan Baker who invests in promising prospects. Now, working the bistro and inn until she's able to pay it off and call it her own, Mimi is throwing the inn's first wedding ever. 
The wedding will be the talk of the town, as famous talk show host Angelica Edmonton, daughter of Bryan's half-brother, Edison, has chosen the inn as her perfect venue. Anxious, Mimi is sure things are going to turn south, especially when Edison gets drunk and rowdy at the out-of-towners' dinner, but by the evening, things begin to look up again. That is until six AM rolls around, and Bryan is found dead at the bistro with an eclair stuffed in his mouth. And the fingers point at Mimi, whose entire loan is forgiven in Bryan's will.
Now it's up to Mimi to clear her name and get to the bottom of things before the killer turns up the heat again in A Deadly Eclair, the scrumptious series debut by Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber.

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

A great start to a new series. It had all the typical cozy elements - a beautiful setting, interesting characters, and a good mystery. The reveal was a bit of a surprise. One thing that I really liked was that it was written in a way that made the French food easier to understand.

My Manicure: I just had to use these adorable bakery images. It turned out so cute! I started with a base of Zoya Gie Gie for a nice delicate base. Then I used Bundle Monster + amyytran and Bam! White.


Friday, November 10, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - A Fatal Collection by Mary Ellen Hughes


Title: A Fatal Collection
Series: Keepsake Cove Mystery #1
Author: Mary Ellen Hughes

Goodreads Summary: Callie Reed makes a long overdue visit to her aunt Melodie, who lives in a fairy-tale cottage in quaint Keepsake Cove, home to a bevy of unique collectible shops on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Just as they're beginning to reconnect, Callie discovers her aunt's body on the floor of her music box shop. Grief-stricken, Callie finds she can't accept Melodie's death being called accidental. How could her strong and healthy aunt take such a fatal fall? And why was she there in the middle of the night?

As Callie searches for the truth, signs seem to come from her late aunt through a favorite music box, urging Callie on. Or are they warnings? If Callie isn't careful, she could meet a similar deadly fate amid Melodie's collection.

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

This was such a beautiful start to a new series. The setting was so quaint and I really wish I could go visit. The mystery was good, although slightly predictable.

My Manicure: I decided to go with a slightly nostalgic inspiration today. When picturing a music box, I immediately see the classic ballerina type since that was what I had. I started out with Ellagee Give Me Liberty. Then I stamped the ballet slippers with Bundle Monster 620 and Babe Magnet.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - The Trouble With Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones


Title: The Trouble With Twelfth Grave
Series: Charley Davidson #12
Author: Darynda Jones

Goodreads Summary: Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is back in the twelfth installment of Darynda Jones’ New York Times bestselling paranormal series.

Ever since Reyes escaped from a hell dimension in which Charley accidently trapped him, the son of Satan has been brimstone-bent on destroying the world his heavenly Brother created. His volatile tendencies have put Charley in a bit of a pickle. But that’s not the only briny vegetable on her plate. While trying to domesticate the feral being that used to be her husband, she also has to deal with her everyday life of annoying all manner of beings—some corporeal, some not so much—as she struggles to right the wrongs of society. Only this time she’s not uncovering a murder. This time she’s covering one up. 

Add to that her new occupation of keeping a startup PI venture—the indomitable mystery-solving team of Amber Kowalski and Quentin Rutherford—out of trouble and dealing with the Vatican’s inquiries into her beloved daughter, and Charley is on the brink of throwing in the towel and becoming a professional shopper. Or possibly a live mannequin. But when someone starts attacking humans who are sensitive to the supernatural world, Charley knows it’s time to let loose her razor sharp claws. Then again, her number one suspect is the dark entity she’s loved for centuries. So the question becomes, can she tame the unruly beast before it destroys everything she’s worked so hard to protect?

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

Oh my gosh, that was a bit of a shocking book. With the cliffhanger ending of the last book, I knew this would start really fast paced, but I did not expect everything that was crammed in there. And I wasn't expecting that ending. Wow I did not expect it. I really can't wait for the next book to come out.

My Manicure: Today's manicure is my version of hellfire. I'm actually surprised at how well this design worked on my nubby little nails. I started out with Sinful Colors Black on Black. Then I used Winstonia Summer Cookout and Bundle Monster Red Sea and Turmeric Sun for the flames.


Monday, November 6, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - That Olde White Magick by Sharon Pape


Title: That Olde White Magick
Series: Abracadabra Mystery #2
Author: Sharon Pape

Goodreads Summary: It’s time to work her crime-solving magic again . . .

Kailyn Wilde enjoys running her shop, Abracadabra, in the quaint New York hamlet of New Camel, where she lives with her six cats. Her family’s been here for centuries, and she’d like to keep up the tradition. But the place may never be the same if a big hotel gets built, so she does her civic duty and attends a town meeting along with her aunt Tilly . . . and Merlin. Yes, that Merlin—though he gets introduced to folks as her “distant English cousin.” The wizard is pretty grumpy about being transported here, but there are things about the modern world he doesn’t mind—like pizza.

Kailyn was prepared for a heated debate about the hotel, but she wasn’t expecting murder. When Tilly finds the body of a board member outside the schoolhouse, Kailyn doesn’t want any suspicion cast on the wrong person. She plans to crack this case, even if she has to talk to every living soul in town—plus a few departed ones . .

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

I had a lot of fun reading this one. I absolutely love the characters, especially Merlin. The mystery was really good, and the reveal was suspenseful with a dash of humor at the end.

My Manicure: Pretty magick sparkles were the inspiration for this manicure. I started out with Zoya Aspen. It looks so much like snow that I had to keep telling myself not to grab a snowflake image. I actually had a snow manicure completely planned out before I remembered what I was supposed to be doing. Oops. The sparklies were done with Bundle Monster H14 and So Metal.


Friday, November 3, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Canal Days Calamity by Jamie M. Blair


Title: Canal Days Calamity
Series: Dog Days Mystery #2
Author: Jamie M. Blair

Goodreads Summary: Cameron Cripps-Hayman is taken aback when she stumbles upon another murdered neighbor, this time behind her sister's shop, Dog Diggity. The timing couldn't be worse, as there's only a week left before the store's grand opening during Canal Days, the biggest festival of the year.

When the police arrest her handyman, Cameron knows they've got the wrong suspect, so the Metamora Action Agency sets their sights on cracking the case. With one solved murder under their belts, how hard could a second be?

With a flood warning and a murderer on the loose threatening the start of Canal Days, can Cameron and her crew save the town's annual dog and pony show from being canceled?

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

This was an enjoyable book with an overly complicated mystery. I really liked the family dynamics through the series. Families aren't perfect, and this series definitely shows that. 

My Manicure: This one was so hard to figure out. I had other ideas, but I didn't have the images I needed. So, I went with a simple pet themed manicure. I started out with Zoya Loredana. It actually dries to this matte shimmer finish without topcoat. Then I used Bundle Monster 424 and So Metal for the paw prints.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Smoke and Mirrors by Casey Daniels


Title: Smoke and Mirrors
Series: Miss Barnum Mystery #1
Author: Casey Daniels

Goodreads Summary: Introducing museum curator and amateur sleuth Miss Evie Barnum in the first of a deliciously quirky new historical mystery series. 

Evie Barnum is in charge of her brother's museum, a place teeming with scientific specimens and "human prodigies" including a bearded woman and the lizard man. In this weird and whacky workplace, Evie hopes she can bury her secrets.

But when an old friend shows up and begs for her help, she does all she can to stay away. The next time she sees him, he is dead in front of the exhibit of the Feejee Mermaid. Suspicion for the murder falls on Jeffrey, known as the Lizard Man, but Evie knows it isn't possible.

When Jeffrey also goes missing, Evie becomes determined to solve the mystery of her friend's murder, even if it brings her face to face with her past...

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

This was a very intriguing book. There was a lot to take in at the beginning, which slowed down the pacing a little, but since it is a first in series it had a lot to set up. The mystery was really good, with a lot going on and a surprising ending.

My Manicure: This one took me forever to figure out. I ended up with a sort of unsettling lizard skin type of look. I skipped a base color this time since my nail bed showing adds to the unnatural feel. I started out by painting glue around my nails for easier cleanup. It has the added bonus of being fun to peel off. I took a big piece of textured sponge and painted Sinful Colors Pistache and LA Colors Mint on to it, then randomly dabbed it on my nails, making sure to leave a bit of texture. Then I put Zoya Dove on the sponge and dabbed my nails again. This added a slightly unnatural gray tone to the look. I skipped my usual top coat because I didn't want to lose the textured look.


Monday, October 30, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Someone's Mad at the Hatter by Sandra Bretting


Title: Someone's Mad at the Hatter
Series: Missy DuBois Mystery #3
Author: Sandra Bretting

Goodreads Summary: Missy DuBois’s Louisiana hat studio is the destination for Southern brides who want to make a fashion statement. But designing headpieces isn’t her only talent, she’s also got a head for solving murders . . .

It’s not uncommon for folks to live it up a little too much on New Year’s Eve. But when Missy walks into her parking lot at Crowning Glory on New Year’s Day and discovers professional wedding planner Charlotte Deveraux inside a whiskey barrel, the poor woman isn’t just hung over . . . she’s dead. Since the murder weapon was an old hat stand that belonged to Missy, her customers are cancelling appointments and everyone in town seems to be turning up their noses at her. Despite plenty of intrigue to motivate a hatful of suspects, suspicion keeps falling squarely on Missy. All the more reason to clear her name—or the next veil she designs will come in a shade of black . . .

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

I really wanted to love this book, but I didn't like how the mystery ended, and there was too much relationship drama. I really liked how the mystery was personal and affected Missy's business. It helped make her investigation make sense - if the murder wasn't solved quickly, her business would be ruined. I also really liked the setting. It always feels like I am right there with the characters.

My Manicure: Today I was inspired by Missy making hats. I started out with Zoya Kiki. I love this type of pink. Bright, but not a weird neon, it works wonderfully with my skin tone. I stamped the silhouette with Bundle Monster 619 and Straight Up Black.


Friday, October 27, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Blackberry Burial by Sharon Farrow


Title: Blackberry Burial
Series: Berry Basket Mystery #2
Author: Sharon Farrow

Goodreads Summary: Between a booming art scene and elaborate Independence Day festivities, July in lakeshore Oriole Point, Michigan, is always a blast. Especially when an explosive murder case crashes the fun . . .

As owner of The Berry Basket, Marlee Jacob has learned a thing or two about surviving the summer tourist season in Oriole Point. So she gladly agrees to help run the annual road rally in honor of the local Blackberry Art School's centenary celebration. While alumni arrive from around the country, Marlee hopes the expansive Sanderling farm will make an appropriate starting point for the race--despite rumors that the land is cursed . . .

But when Marlee surveys the property, she stumbles upon a long-dead body hidden in the bramble. It's a horrifying mystery to everyone except her baker, who's convinced the skeletal remains belong to a former student who had gone missing twenty years earlier. As the Fourth of July activities heat up, Marlee must rush to catch an elusive murderer--before the next 'blackberry victim' is ripe for the picking!

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

That I don't know how else to describe it. The mystery was intriguing, yet a bit darker and more twisted than I expected. This series is one I like because it is a bit nostalgic for me. It always makes me smile reading it because it really does make me remember Michigan. The orchards, the berry farms, it really brings back memories (even though it isn't set in the area I lived in). 

My Manicure: And I'm back to my typical silliness today. When I read a line about fireflies at night, I knew exactly what my manicure would be. I started out with OPI I Saw...You Saw...We Saw...Warsaw. I have a love/hate relationship with this polish. It is an absolutely beautiful color, but it is so hard to clean up without staining my skin. It is also really annoying to type. I made my fireflies by splattering China Glaze Ghoulish Glow over it. It really does glow in the dark, just like fireflies, but I could not get my camera to pick it up.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - How the Finch Stole Christmas! by Donna Andrews


Title: How the Finch Stole Christmas!
Series: Meg Lanslow #22
Author: Donna Andrews

Goodreads Summary: Meg's husband has decided to escalate his one-man show of Dickens' A Christmas Carol into a full-scale production with a large cast including their sons Jamie and Josh as Tiny Tim and young Scrooge and Meg helping as stage manager.

The show must go on, even if the famous―though slightly over-the-hill―actor who's come to town to play the starring role of Scrooge has brought a sleigh-load of baggage and enemies with him. And why is Caerphilly suddenly overrun with a surplus of beautiful caged finches?

How the Finch Stole Christmas! is guaranteed to put the "ho ho hos" into the holidays of cozy lovers everywhere with its gut-bustingly funny mystery.

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

My feelings on this are slightly complicated. Overall, I really enjoyed it. My only issue is that parts of the story had a disconnected feeling to them. Other than that, it was great. 

My Manicure: OK, it is a little more partridge in a pear tree than finch, but it works. I started with KBShimmer Yeti or Not. It really has that sparkly look of freshly fallen snow. Then I stamped with MoYou London Festive 17 and Bundle Monster Tree of Life.