Monday, October 23, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - The Girl Who Saved Ghosts by K.C. Tansley


Title: The Girl Who Saved Ghosts
Series: The Unbelievable #2
Author: K.C. Tansley

Goodreads Summary: She tried to ignore them. Now she might risk everything to save them. 

After a summer spent in a haunted castle—a summer in which she traveled through time to solve a murder mystery—Kat is looking forward to a totally normal senior year at McTernan Academy. Then the ghost of a little girl appears and begs Kat for help, and more unquiet apparitions follow. All of them are terrified by the Dark One, and it soon becomes clear that that this evil force wants Kat dead. 

Searching for help, Kat leaves school for the ancestral home she’s only just discovered. Her friend Evan, whose family is joined to her own by an arcane history, accompanies her. With the assistance of her eccentric great aunts and a loyal family ghost, Kat soon learns that she and Evan can only fix the present by traveling into the past. 

As Kat and Evan make their way through nineteenth-century Vienna, the Dark One stalks them, and Kat must decide what she’s willing to sacrifice to save a ghost.

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

I really liked this book. It had a little more teen drama than I like, but I really enjoyed the story. It was interesting to see the main characters trying to fix the past to protect the present.

My Manicure: I went for a sort of eerie, ghostly cloud...thingy today. I started out with Sinful Colors Black on Black. Then I put some Finger Paints Paper Mache on, dabbed some acetone on it, and repeated that until it looked ghostly.


Friday, October 20, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - The Quiche and the Dead by Kirsten Weiss


Title: The Quiche and the Dead
Series: Pie Town Mystery #1
Author: Kirsten Weiss

Goodreads Summary: Is Val's breakfast pie the quiche of death? Owning her own business seemed like pie in the sky to Valentine Harris when she moved to the coastal California town of San Nicholas, expecting to start a new life with her fiance. Five months--and a broken engagement--later, at least her dream of opening a pie shop has become a reality. But when one of her regulars keels over at the counter while eating a quiche, Val feels like she's living a nightmare. After the police determine the customer was poisoned, business at Pie Town drops faster than a fallen crust. Convinced they're both suspects, Val's flaky, seventy-something pie crust maker Charlene drags her boss into some amateur sleuthing. At first Val dismisses Charlene's half-baked hypotheses, but before long the ladies uncover some shady dealings hidden in fog-bound San Nicholas. Now Val must expose the truth--before a crummy killer tries to shut her pie hole.

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

This was a really fun first in series. The mystery was well written with a surprising ending. I loved the random side investigations going on throughout the book. They were fun with some amusing solutions.

My Manicure: Mmmmm, pie. I went for the easy inspiration today. I started with KBShimmer Leaf of Faith, which happens to give a perfect pie filling look. I ended up having to use a coat of Gelous along with my top coat to smooth it out, but that is normal for this type of polish. The pies were done with Bundle Monster H13 and Heart of Gold.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Death Overdue by Allison Brook


Title: Death Overdue
Series: Haunted Library Mystery #1
Author: Allison Brooks

Goodreads Summary: Carrie Singleton is just about done with Clover Ridge, Connecticut until she's offered a job as the head of programs and events at the spooky local library, complete with its own librarian ghost. Her first major event is a program presented by a retired homicide detective, Al Buckley, who claims he knows who murdered Laura Foster, a much-loved part-time library aide who was bludgeoned to death fifteen years earlier. As he invites members of the audience to share stories about Laura, he suddenly keels over and dies. 

The medical examiner reveals that poison is what did him in and Carrie feels responsible for having surged forward with the program despite pushback from her director. Driven by guilt, Carrie's determined to discover who murdered the detective, convinced it's the same man who killed Laura all those years ago. Luckily for Carrie, she has a friendly, knowledgeable ghost by her side. But as she questions the shadows surrounding Laura's case, disturbing secrets come to light and with each step Carrie takes, she gets closer to ending up like Al.

Now it's due or die for Carrie in Death Overdue, the delightful first in a new cozy series by Allison Brook.

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

An absolutely wonderful start to a new series. The characters were great, the setting was wonderful, and the mystery was amazing. I loved the light paranormal twist to the story. 

My Manicure: I chose a nice simple fall manicure today. I started out with a base of Sinful Colors Kovet. Then I used Bundle Monster H11 and Straight Up Black for the pumpkin, filled it in with Zoya Arizona while it was on the stamper, then put the image on my nail (this technique is called reverse stamping).


Monday, October 16, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost


Title: Twelve Slays of Christmas
Series: Christmas Tree Farm Mystery #1
Author: Jacqueline Frost

Goodreads Summary: When Holly White's fiance cancels their Christmas Eve wedding with less than two weeks to go, Holly heads home with a broken heart. Lucky for her, home in historic Mistletoe, Maine is magical during Christmastime--exactly what the doctor prescribed. Except her plan to drown her troubles in peppermints and snickerdoodles is upended when local grouch and president of the Mistletoe Historical Society Margaret Fenwick is bludgeoned and left in the sleigh display at Reindeer Games, Holly's family tree farm. 
When the murder weapon is revealed as one of the wooden stakes used to identify trees on the farm, Sheriff Evan Grey turns to Holly's father, Bud, and the Reindeer Games staff. And it doesn't help that Bud and the reindeer keeper were each seen arguing with Margaret just before her death. But Holly knows her father, and is determined to exonerate him.The jingle bells are ringing, the clock is ticking, and if Holly doesn't watch out, she'll end up on Santa's naughty list in Twelve Slays of Christmas, Jacqueline Frost's jolly series debut.

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

This was an amazing start to a new series. The setting was wonderful and made me want a hot tea by a fire in a cozy chair. I loved the Christmas theme, which was taken to an amusing extreme. The mystery was great with a surprising ending.

My Manicure: Winter wonderland nails to match a winter wonderland setting. I started out with a base of Finger Paints Of Quartz You Can to give that sparkling snow look. Then I used Winstonia Have a Merry Christmas and Bundle Monster Bam! White for my snowflakes.


Friday, October 13, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Cremains of the Day by Misty Simon


Title: Cremains of the Day
Series: Tallie Graver Mystery #1
Author: Misty Simon

Goodreads Summary: There's no reverse on the hearse . . .

For Tallulah Graver, marrying wealthy Waldo Phillips seemed like the best way out of the family business, the Graver Funeral Home. But when her marriage falls apart and Tallie is left with next to nothing, she turns to cleaning houses to make ends meet. As humbling as it is to tidy the mansions of the snobby socialites she used to call friends, at least she doesn't have to be around dead bodies. Until . . . 
She discovers one of her employers lying in a closet with a knife sticking out of her chest. This unpleasant shock seems to be part of a web of weird experiences: Tallie's friend Gina's shop is broken into, her ex is stun-gunned where it hurts the most, and now she's receiving flowers from the dead woman. Granted the deliveryman is handsome, but seriously, that's enough to cast a pall over anyone's day. Now Tallie needs to dig deep to clean up this mess--before she finds herself in a grave situation.

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

This was a great start to a new series. It had a very unique setting, interesting characters, and a great mystery.

My Manicure: I went with an accidental Halloween theme today... Yeah, I honestly didn't realize it would look this Halloweenish until it was done. My inspiration was simple - it takes place in a funeral home, so a coffin is perfect. I started out with China Glaze Bump in the Night. Then I stamped the coffin with Bundle Monster 402 and So Metal.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Murder on the Toy Town Express by Barbara Early


Title: Murder on the Toy Town Express
Series: Vintage Toyshop Mystery #2
Author: Barbara Early

Goodreads Summary: Liz McCall has come to love running her father's vintage toyshop back home in East Aurora, NY, so when the Train and Toy Show comes to town, she's all aboard for a fun toy-filled weekend. The only hitch is that her childhood bully Craig McFadden, now local business rival, has set up a booth next to hers. But the fun and games are over when Craig falls from the ceiling in a publicity stunt gone wrong. 
What was initially thought to be a fatal accident proves much more sinister. Pulled into the case by her feelings for both Ken, the police chief, and Jack, her high school sweetheart whose brother is one the prime suspects, Liz dives headfirst into the investigation. But as she digs deeper, she's shocked to learn her father may have been the intended target. 
The trouble train is barreling down and Liz may have just bought herself a first class ticket in Murder on the Toy Town Express, Barbara Early's delightful second installment in her Vintage Toyshop mysteries.

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

That was puntastic. Seriously, the sense of humor was amazing. I enjoyed the mystery, although it did seem a little over complicated. The characters were wonderful, and everyone had their own unique personality. The toy shop setting was a lot of fun (but demon Santa freaked me out a little, especially after I saw a picture). 

My Manicure: OK, this is another me being silly manicure. There was a scene involving pies that really stuck in my mind, so I did a fruit pie splatter manicure. I wanted a neutral base, so I started with Sinful Colors Kovet. After it dried, I used coffee stirrers to splatter Zoya Pippa, Zoya Renee, and Finger Paints Magritte's Masterpiece. Doesn't really look like my inspiration, but it is super cute.


Monday, October 9, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - The Skeleton Paints a Picture by Leigh Perry


Title: The Skeleton Paints a Picture
Series: Family Skeleton Mystery #4
Author: Leigh Perry

Goodreads Summary: 

Georgia Thackery, adjunct English professor, has a new job teaching at Falstone College of Art and Design, known as FAD to its students and faculty. Living in a borrowed bungalow during winter in the snowiest part of Massachusetts, Georgia feels her isolation weighing as heavily as the weather. Then she receives a package containing her best friend, Sid, a walking, talking skeleton who has lived with the Thackery family since Georgia was six. With Georgia working out of town, Sid was lonely too. 

The two of them make plans for a cozy semester together, and it might have worked out that way if Sid hadn’t snuck out in the middle of the night to play in the snow and spotted a crashed car. When he drags Georgia out to investigate, they find the driver behind the wheel, apparently dead from the collision. 

Initially, police think it’s an accident, so Georgia and Sid think that’s the end of it—until Georgia finds out the body hits closer to home than she’d realized... 

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

Sid is back and better than ever! I absolutely adore Sid, so when I saw he was coming back I seriously shrieked and started bouncing all over the house, and then screamed the news to my mom (she is a huge Sid fan, too). I loved the mystery, and I even ended up learning some new things. The humor was awesome. I'm pretty sure there were even more bone jokes than previous books (I didn't realize that was possible!). It will appeal to fans new and old.

My Manicure: Sid!!! Obviously I had to do a Sid manicure because he is just awesome. I chose KBShimmer Ink Again for my (TARDIS blue) background. The color choice is kind of a joke, at one point Georgia mentions her TARDIS keyring. I stamped the skeleton with MoYou London Festive 15 and Bundle Monster So Metal.


Friday, October 6, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - The Ninja's Illusion by Gigi Pandian


Title: The Ninja's Illusion
Series: Jaya Jones Treasure Hunter Mystery #5
Author: Gigi Pandian

Goodreads Summary: A fabled illusion performed by a stage magician who claims to possess real supernatural powers. A treasure from the colonial era in India when international supremacies vied for power. A phantom trading ship lost over 200 years ago. And a ninja whose murderous intentions in present-day Japan connect the deeds of a long-dead trader who was much more than he seemed…

When Jaya travels from San Francisco to Japan with her stage magician best friend Sanjay—a.k.a. The Hindi Houdini—for his Japanese debut, she jumps at the chance to pursue her own research that could solve a tantalizing centuries-old mystery.

With the colorful autumn leaves of historic Kyoto falling around her, Jaya soon loses sight of what’s real and what’s a deception. A mysterious ninja attempts sabotage on Sanjay’s trick, along with Japan’s most controversial magician, Akira. Ancient folklore blurs the lines between illusion and reality when a magician’s assistant appears to be a kitsune, a mythical fox spirit. As tricks escalate to murder, Jaya and her friends must unravel secrets hidden in the ancient capital of Japan, before one of their own becomes the next victim.

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

This was a highly enjoyable mystery. It is the first one I have read in the series, but I feel it is a series best read in order. The characters were very well developed. I absolutely loved the setting. It felt like I really was in Japan. The mystery was intriguing, but the ending wasn't my favorite.

My Manicure: This manicure is sort of an "I had the image, so I figured why not" type of thing. Since there is a mysterious ninja, I used my "book ninja" image. I started out with Sinful Colors Black on Black. If you need a good black polish, get this one. It is easy to find and only $2, and applies just as well as more expensive brands. My ninja was stamped with MJ JR-2 and Bundle Monster Heart of Gold.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - The Witches' Tree by M.C. Beaton


Title: The Witches' Tree
Series: Agatha Raisin #28
Author: M.C. Beaton

Goodreads Summary: The Witches’ Tree continues the tradition in M. C. Beaton's beloved Agatha Raisin mystery series―now a hit T.V. show.

Cotswolds inhabitants are used to inclement weather, but the night sky is especially foggy as Rory and Molly Devere, the new vicar and his wife, drive slowly home from a dinner party in their village of Sumpton Harcourt. They strain to see the road ahead―and then suddenly brake, screeching to a halt. Right in front of them, aglow in the headlights, a body hangs from a gnarled tree at the edge of town. Margaret Darby, an elderly spinster, has been murdered―and the villagers are bewildered as to who would commit such a crime.

Agatha Raisin rises to the occasion (a little glad for the excitement, to tell the truth, after a long run of lost cats and divorces on the books). But Sumpton Harcourt is a small and private village, she finds―a place that poses more questions than answers. And when two more murders follow the first, Agatha begins to fear for her reputation―and even her life. That the village has its own coven of witches certainly doesn't make her feel any better...

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

I was disappointed in this book. The mystery was good, but the characters felt different to me. Because of this, I wasn't drawn into to story like I usually am, and I was left feeling a bit unsatisfied.

My Manicure: The spooky tree gave me a perfect excuse to use one of my favorite polishes. I started out with KBShimmer Carpe Denim, the perfect starry night background color. This is one of those polishes that I could stare at all day. I stamped on some spooky trees with Bundle Monster 407 and Straight Up Black.


Monday, October 2, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Death on Tap by Ellie Alexander


Title: Death on Tap
Series: Sloan Krause Mystery #1
Author: Ellie Alexander

Goodreads Summary: When Sloan Krause walks in on her husband, Mac, screwing the barmaid, she gives him the boot. Sloan has spent her life in Leavenworth, Washington becoming an expert in brewing craft beer, and she doesn’t have time to be held back by her soon-to-be ex-husband. She decides to strike out on her own, breaking away from the Krause family brewery, and goes to work for Nitro, the hip new nano-brewery in the Bavarian-themed town. Nitro’s owner, brewmaster Garrett Strong, has the brew-world abuzz with his newest recipe, “Pucker-Up IPA.” This place is the new cool place in town, and Mac can’t help but be green with envy at their success.

But just as Sloan is settling in to her new gig, she finds one of Nitro’s competitors dead in the fermenting tub, clutching the secret recipe for the IPA. When Mac, is arrested, Sloan knows that her ex might be a cheater, but a murderer? No way. Danger is brewing in Beervaria and suddenly Sloan is on the case.

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

The mystery was great, but there was too much information on beer and not enough plot. It caused the pacing of the book to drag in parts, and I found myself wanting to skip parts to get back to the mystery. I did love the setting. It sounds like a fun and quirky town.

My Manicure: I borrowed a manicure from the book for today's look. I used Sinful Colors Black on Black, Zoya Renee and Zoya Pippa. The German flag was freehanded, which was trickier than I expected. Straight lines on a curved surface are hard!


Friday, September 29, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Dial Meow for Murder by Bethany Blake


Title: Dial Meow For Murder
Series: Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery #2
Author: Bethany Blake

Goodreads Summary: Even an experienced pet sitter like Daphne Templeton can be fooled by animal behavior: how can an adorably tiny fuzz ball named Tinkleston be capable of sudden flying leaps with cat claws bared? But human behavior remains even more mysterious, especially when Tinkleston's owner is murdered on the night of a gala fundraiser for Fur-ever Friends Pet Rescue.

Accompanied by her unflappable basset hound, Socrates, Daphne plans to take charge of Tinks the Terror and leave the crime-solving to handsome detective Jonathan Black. But while luring the prickly Persian out of hiding, she uncovers clues that might take suspicion off her own mother. Maeve Templeton already has a reputation as a killer--in real estate. How far would she go to bag Sylvan Creek's most coveted property, the Flynt Mansion?

To expose the truth, Daphne finds herself donning a deranged clown costume on an autumnal adventure that might just be crazy enough to work--if it doesn't get her killed.

Includes recipes for homemade pet treats! 

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

I really enjoyed the mystery, but there was too much relationship drama for me to fully enjoy the book. There were some great twists throughout the book, and the reveal surprised me. Daphne also surprised me with her decisions at the end. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Daphne and Socrates.

My Manicure: Since fall is finally here, and this book is set during fall, I had to do a nice fall color mani. I started out with Zoya Renee, then put blobs of Zoya Arizona and Pippa on and dabbed plastic wrap on it for a random, abstract look. After it dried, I topped it with Zoya Satin top coat.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Purring Around the Christmas Tree by Liz Mugavero


Title: Purring Around the Christmas Tree
Series: Pawsitively Organic Mystery #6
Author: Liz Mugavero

Goodreads Summary: In the New England town of Frog's Ledge, the Holiday Light Festival is a Christmas tradition. Killing Santa is not. To bring joy back to the season, organic pet patisserie owner Kristan "Stan" Connor will have to find another Santa before it's too late . . . 
To the townspeople's delight, the annual lighting of the tree is a spectacular success. Unfortunately, Santa pulled up in his sleigh, DOA. At first Stan is sure it's Seamus, her boyfriend's uncle, inside the red suit. But the victim turns out to be an employee from the town's Christmas tree farm. Rumor has it the deceased was a mean drunk with a soft spot for feral cats. Stan has no idea why he was dressed as St. Nick--or why he's dead.
Meanwhile, Seamus, a jolly Irishman who comes to America every December to visit his pub-owner nephew, is nowhere to be found. Could he just be off on a Boston bar crawl? Or is something more sinister under the tree? Seamus was supposed to be dressing up and posing for pet pictures with Santa at the shop, but the dogs and cats might have to find another lap to curl up in if Stan doesn't solve two mysteries soon. Or murder might be the only thing under the mistletoe this holiday . . .
Includes Gourmet Pet Food Recipes!

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

Well that started fast. There was a lot going on, which made it a little hard to follow towards the end. But it was fast paced and fun to read. I really enjoyed Frog Ledge at Christmastime, and I loved seeing Stan achieving her dreams.

My Manicure: Another day, another Christmas mani. I started out with a base of Zoya Elphie, a gorgeous textured green. I stamped my "A Very Merry Christmas" trees with Winstonia Jingle All the Way and Bundle Monster So Metal.


Monday, September 25, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Yuletide Homicide by Jennifer David Hesse


Title: Yuletide Homicide
Series: Wiccan Wheel Mystery #3
Author: Jennifer David Hesse

Goodreads Summary: It's Christmas in Edindale, Illinois, and family law attorney Keli Milanni is preparing to celebrate the Wiccan holiday Yuletide, a celebration of rebirth. But this Yuletide someone else is focused on dying . . .

After years of practicing in secret, Keli has come out as a Wiccan to her boyfriend, and she feels like this Yuletide she's the one who's being reborn. But the Solstice is the longest night of the year, and Keli is about to stumble on a mystery so dangerous, she'll be lucky to make it to morning.

Paired with her unbearably stuffy colleague Crenshaw Davenport III, Keli goes undercover at a real estate company owned by mayoral candidate Edgar Harrison. An old friend of Keli's boss, Harrison, is being blackmailed, and it's up to her to find the culprit. But the morning after the company holiday party, Harrison is found dead underneath the hotel Christmas tree. The police rule the death an accident, but Keli knows better--and she'll risk her own rebirth to nab a missing killer.

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

I really enjoyed this book. I love how wonderful Keli's friends are. The mystery was great, and it had some nice twists to it. My only complaint is that Keli made some very amateur mistakes, and since this is book three I feel she should have known better.

My Manicure: For this manicure, I wanted something that fit with the season. I didn't want it to lean too Christmasy, so I chose an elegant tree for my stamping. The base is KBShimmer Spruce Things Up. This is the perfect tree base. The tree was done with Winstonia Jingle All The Way and OPI Love.Angel.Music.Baby.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Death by Eggnog by Alex Erickson


Title: Death by Eggnog
Series: Bookstore Cafe Mystery #5
Author: Alex Erickson

Goodreads Summary: Krissy Hancock is staying in her adopted hometown of Pine Hills, Ohio, for Christmas this year--and she even has a whole week off from her combination bookstore-cafe. But a killer is about to dampen her spirits . . . 
Unfortunately, Krissy's been roped into filling in for a sick elf in the local holiday musical extravaganza. With a demanding director, backstage gossip, and two men in fierce competition for the starring role, it isn't all sweetness and Christmas lights. Then a murder puts a stop to the production, and Krissy is faced with a pageant of suspects. 
Could her ex-boyfriend, a fellow elf, really be the culprit as the police are claiming? Or will the actor playing Santa be trading his red suit for an orange jumpsuit? When her behind-the-scenes investigation starts getting dangerous, the only thing Krissy really wants is to make it to Christmas dinner alive. But first she'll have to finish wrapping up this case . . .

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

I loved this book until it revealed the motive. It just felt weak to me. The mystery itself was great, and so was the reveal - it was just the motive that left me unsatisfied with the ending. I do wish that Krissy's dad had made an appearance since Christmas in a cozy typically involves family.

My Manicure: I went for a simple Christmas themed mani today. I started out with Revlon Emerald City, then topped it with my custom Dollish Polish Wreck the Halls. The polish is based on our fear of what two lab puppies could do at Christmas if we put a tree up (it has a green base for the tree and multicolor shreds for shattered ornaments). I stamped the ornaments with Bundle Monster H03 and So Metal.


Monday, September 18, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Ax to Grind by Tonya Kappes


Title: Ax to Grind
Series: Kenni Lowry #3
Author: Tonya Kappes

Goodreads Summary: Southerners keep their secrets swept under the rug, but what happens when that rug goes up for sale?

Bestselling author Berlye Stone, the most famous citizen to ever come out of Cottonwood, Kentucky, has died and put all her worldly possessions up for auction, but not without leaving one more manuscript behind. A hidden tell-all about Cottonwood that’s got more gossip than a ladies’ luncheon.

When Beryle’s assistant turns up with an ax in her back and the only witness is in a coma, Sheriff Kenni Lowry reckons someone in town will do anything to keep the manuscript from seeing the light of day. Her poppa’s ghost returns to help piece together the life of the Beryle he once knew, but his memory’s a little foggy, and any misstep could cause them a world of trouble. With the help of Deputy Finn Vincent, can Kenni sort through the secrets buried in Beryle’s books, or will this be her final chapter?

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

Oh my gosh that was amazing! I did not see that coming at all. I really enjoyed seeing some of Kenni's day to day sheriff duties, including keeping her mother's campaigning under control. The mystery was awesome, and I loved how Poppa had a personal connection to the case.

My Manicure: Since a big part of the plot is a tell all book, I went for a book theme. I also went a little out of my comfort zone by making it a very subtle and understated look. I started out with Zoya April topped with ILNP The Magician. I love this color combination. The stamping was done with MJ JR-2 and Bundle Monster Bam! White.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones


Title: Murder, Magic, and What We Wore
Series: N/A
Author: Kelly Jones

Goodreads Summary: The year is 1818, the city is London, and 16-year-old Annis Whitworth has just learned that her father is dead and all his money is missing. And so, of course, she decides to become a spy.

Annis always suspected that her father was himself a spy, and following in his footsteps to unmask his killer makes perfect sense. Alas, it does not make sense to England’s current spymasters—not even when Annis reveals that she has the rare magical ability to sew glamours: garments that can disguise the wearer completely.

Well, if the spies are too pigheaded to take on a young woman of quality, then Annis will take them on. And so she crafts a new double life for herself. Miss Annis Whitworth will appear to live a quiet life in a country cottage with her aunt, and Annis-in-disguise as Madame Martine, glamour artist, will open a magical dressmaking shop. That way she can earn a living, maintain her social standing, and, in her spare time, follow the coded clues her father left behind and unmask his killer.

It can’t be any harder than navigating the London social season, can it?

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

This was so cute and fun! I honestly could not put it down. The mystery was interesting, but the one clue they had completely gave it away. The characters were wonderful, but at times it felt like Annis was overshadowed by the other characters. I absolutely adored the setting, and I loved the addition of magic.

My Manicure: For this mani, I wanted to go for a sort of magical feel. I started out with Zoya Belinda topped with Baroness X Doomfire. Then I stamped the "magic threads" with Winstonia Expressionism and KBShimmer PT Young Thing.


Monday, September 11, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Doom with a View by Kate Kingsbury


Title: Doom with a View
Series: Merry Ghost Inn #2
Author: Kate Kingsbury

Goodreads Summary: With the arrival of six senior reading group members at the Merry Ghost Inn, the long-awaited Grand Opening week has finally begun for Melanie West and her grandmother, Liza. All is well with the Oregon coast-side B&B until Melanie's dog, Max, finds the dead body of one of their guests. Everyone at the inn immediately falls under suspicion, including the innkeepers themselves. Melanie and Liza are not sure who they can trust, and the idea of cohabitating with a murderer is enough to send chills down anyone's spine. To make matters worse, the curmudgeonly town detective wants them to steer clear of the investigation, but doesn't seem too inspired to solve the case in a timely fashion himself. To clear their own names and to avoid the blight on the inn's reputation that yet another dead body will bring, Melanie and Liza dive headlong into the murder investigation. With a little help from their chuckling ghost, Melanie and Liza dodge the detective, tip-toe around their suspicious guests, and still serve up delicious Bed & Breakfast meals on time in Kate Kingsbury's delightful second Merry Ghost Inn mystery, Doom with a View. 

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

Oh my gosh, the ghost parts had me laughing so much. Orville definitely has a great sense of humor. I loved the mystery. It was very well written with a great ending.

My Manicure: Today's manicure is loosely based on the cover of book one - Dead and Breakfast. I wanted it to look a little more like a real sunset, so I picked darker colors than the cover used. I started out by painting my nails with Zoya Blair. After that dried, I put Zoya Blair and Zoya Giada on a makeup wedge and sponged on a gradient. I'm honestly amazed at how this turned out and completely in love with it.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Body on Baker Street by Vicki Delany


Title: Body on Baker Street
Series: Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #2
Author: Vicki Delany

Goodreads Summary: Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are busy managing the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium on Baker Street and adjoining Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room in anticipation of the store's upcoming book signing with the illustrious Renalta Van Markoff, author of the controversial Hudson and Holmes mystery series. But during the author Q&A session, dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris verbally attacks Renalta and her series for disgracing Sherlock's legacy, only to be publicly humiliated when the author triumphantly lashes back and gains the upper hand. That is until Renalta collapses on the table--dead. Donald insists he didn't do it and pleads to his friends to clear his name. Fortunately, Gemma and Jayne have no shortage of suspects between author's bullied personal assistant, her frustrated publicist, the hapless publisher, a handsome rare book dealer, an obsessively rabid fan, and a world of other Sherlock enthusiasts with strong objections to Renalta's depiction of the Great Detective. It's up to the shrewd sleuthing duo to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man in Body on Baker Street, the second Sherlock Homes Bookshop mystery perfect for fans of Miranda James and Kate Carlisle.

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

I enjoyed this a lot more than the first book. Gemma was still obnoxious, but she seemed a little more aware of her attitude this time, and Jane was quick to scold her. The mystery was great, with some awesome twists. The reveal was surprising and very fitting for a Holmes inspired series.

My Manicure: For this manicure, I was inspired by poison. I started out with a base of ILNP Interstellar. I love how shifty and mysterious this polish is. Then I stamped the skull and crossbones with Shany 02 and Bundle Monster So Metal.


Monday, September 4, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Asking For Truffle by Dorothy St. James


Title: Asking For Truffle
Series: Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery #1
Author: Dorothy St. James

Goodreads Summary: When Charity Penn receives a letter saying she won a trip to Camellia Beach, South Carolina complete with free cooking lessons at the town's seaside chocolate shop, The Chocolate Box, she's immediately skeptical. She never entered any contest. Her former prep school friend offers to look into the phony prize--only to end up drowned in a vat of chocolate. Struck with guilt, Penn heads to the southern beach town to investigate why he was killed. But as wary as she is of the locals, she finds herself lured into their eccentric vibe, letting her defenses melt away and even learning the art of crafting delicious chocolates. That is, until delight turns bittersweet as she steps straight into the midst of a deadly plot to destroy the seaside town. Now, only Penn's quick thinking and a mysterious cask of rare chocolate can save the town she's learning to love. Rich and decadent, Asking for Truffle, the first in a new cozy series by Dorothy St. James, is sure to be a delectable read for fans of JoAnna Carl and Joanne Fluke.

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

I tried really, really hard to love this book. The premise was great, but it failed to live up to its potential. My biggest issue was that the murderer was so obvious from fairly early on, which left me frustrated at the main character for the majority of the book. My other issue is the that main character was annoying. She was so naive, yet she kept insisting she had learned from her mistakes - as she made the exact same mistakes she claimed she had learned from. There were some enjoyable characters, and a wonderful heartwarming scene towards the end.

My Manicure: Chocolate! I really need more browns for chocolate manicures. I have on four different shades of brown and it is impossible to tell. I started out with Finger Paints Sketch-y. After that dried, I put blobs of Philly Loves Lacquer 2AM Coffee Run, Zoya Debbie, and Zoya Cinnamon on my nails and smooshed and dabbed with plastic wrap to give it a marbled look.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Cat Got Your Secrets by Julie Chase


Title: Cat Got Your Secrets
Series: Kitty Couture Mystery #3
Author: Julie Chase

Goodreads Summary: Lacy Marie Crocker has settled into a comfortable groove back home in New Orleans, and with Valentine's Day right around the corner, she's busier than ever running a thriving pet boutique, helping her mother organize the upcoming National Pet Pageant, and untangling her complicated love life. But when delivering a king-sized order of dreidel-shaped doggy biscuits for a Saint Berdoodle's bark-mitzvah, Lacy stumbles into yet another murder scene--and the last person to see the victim alive was her own father. It's up to Lacy to clear her dad's name from the suspect list before Detective Jack Oliver has to cage him for good. But just when she starts pawing at the truth, she receives a threatening letter from a mysterious blackmailer bent on silencing her with her own secrets. And Lacy's not the only one with bones in her closet. Time's running out in this deadly cat-and-mouse game in Cat Got Your Secrets, the delightfully funny third novel in Julie Chase's Kitty Couture mystery series, perfect for "all those feline fanciers who love to read Rita Mae Brown"

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

Wow! That was unexpected (in a good way). I always love when a mystery is personal, and this one definitely is. Lacy has her hands full trying to prove her father's innocence, keep her mom happy, and run her business. The story was a lot of fun and had some great humor, but the love triangle is getting a bit boring.

My Manicure: Since the book takes place near Valentine's Day, I chose a classic red and hearts look.  I started with a base of Zoya Renee. This is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Then I stamped some adorable hearts with Bundle Monster 620 and Babe Magnet.


Monday, August 28, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - A Tale of Two Kitties by Sofie Kelly


Title: A Tale of Two Kitties
Series: Magical Cats Mystery #9
Author: Sofie Kelly

Goodreads Summary: In this charming mystery from the bestselling author of Paws and Effect, two magical cats have powers of detection that prove indispensable to librarian Kathleen Paulson…

With a well-placed paw on a keyboard or a pointed stare, Kathleen’s two cats, Hercules and Owen, have helped her to solve cases in the past—so she has learned to trust their instincts. But she will need to rely on them more than ever when a twenty-year-old scandal leads to murder…

The arrival of the Janes brothers has the little town of Mayville Heights buzzing. Everyone of a certain age remembers when Victor had an affair with Leo’s wife, who then died in a car accident.

Now it seems the brothers are trying to reconcile, until Kathleen finds Leo dead. The police set their sights on Leo’s son and Kathleen’s good friend Simon, who doesn’t have much of an alibi. To prove her friend innocent, Kathleen will have to dig deep into the town's history—and into her sardine cracker supply, because Owen and Hercules don't work for free...

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

I absolutely love the small town Minnesota setting. I also love how Owen and Hercules have actual distinct personalities. The mystery was great but slightly predictable. The way the past and present were woven together to tell the story was wonderful and made it feel more realistic.

My Manicure: I kept it simple today with a nice library themed manicure. I started out with ILNP Aria. I'm pleasantly surprised at how well my phone camera picked up the holo. Then I stamped using MJ JR-2 and Bundle Monster Bam! White.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Dead in the Water by Denise Swanson


Title: Dead in the Water
Series: Welcome Back to Scumble River #1
Author: Denise Swanson

Goodreads Summary: A twister, a kidnapping, and a murder--oh my! Scumble River may never be the same.

For school psychologist Skye Denison, there's certainly no place like home. When a violent tornado devastates her small hometown of Scumble River, she can't see how the community will ever recover--especially since town councilman Zeke Lyons appears to have perished in the twister.

But things get even worse for Skye when her police chief husband, Wally, disappears in the midst of investigating Zeke's death, and evidence arises pointing to foul play. Did Zeke really die in the storm, or was he murdered? And could Wally be next on the criminal's hit list?

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

That was a whirlwind of emotions. Before I start my review, I have to share a quick, bizarre coincidence. When I started reading this book, I only made it a couple chapters in before bedtime. Well, I woke up the next morning to a tornado warning! We were lucky and didn't get hit, but it was a bit weird when I remembered what I had read right before I fell asleep. OK, time for my review. I really enjoyed reading this book, although at times I forgot about the murder. The kidnapping plot was so well written that I was caught up in it and forgot about the murder for most of the book. I really loved how this book was written as both a start of a new series and a continuation of an old series. It is perfect for both old and new fans.

My Manicure: One of the ongoing things in this book is Skye not wanting to know her baby's gender and her mom trying to find out. I decided to go with a gender reveal type gradient with a pinky purple for girl and blueish purple for boy. I put Bundle Monster Mercury Bassline and Monarch Dream onto a cosmetic sponge and dabbed it onto my nails until it made a nice gradient.