Monday, June 26, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Death of a Bachelorette by Laura Levine


Title: Death of a Bachelorette
Series: Jaine Austen Mystery #15
Author: Laura Levine

Goodreads Summary: Freelance writer Jaine Austen thought working for a knock-off reality show in the tropics would be paradise. But when she and her kitty Prozac find themselves trapped between a dimwitted leading man, catty contestants, and a cold-blooded murderer, the splashy gig becomes one deadly nightmare...

Jaine's life has been a royal pain since she started penning dialogue for Some Day My Prince Will Come--a cheesy dating show that features bachelorettes competing for the heart of Spencer Dalworth VII, a very distant heir to the British throne. As if fending off golf ball-sized bugs on a sweltering island wasn't tough enough, Jaine must test her patience against an irritable production crew and fierce contestants who will do anything to get their prince...

But Jaine never expected murder to enter the script. When one of the finalists dies in a freak accident, it's clear someone wanted the woman out of the race for good--and the police won't allow a soul off the island until they seize the culprit. Terrified of existing another day without air conditioning and eager to return home, Jaine is throwing herself into the investigation. And she better pounce on clues quickly--or there won't be any survivors left...

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

Oh my gosh this was so funny! In a way, it was a typical Jaine Austen book, but at the same time it manages to mix things up a bit. I loved the mystery, and was a bit sad when the book ended. I can't wait for the next book to come out.

My Manicure: Since Jaine is on a fabulous trip to Tahiti, I went with a tropical theme. The "ocean" is KBShimmer Ink Again, one of my favorite blues. The palm trees were stamped with MoYou London Tourist 17 and Bundle Monster Straight Up Black.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - The Tell-Tale Tarte by Maya Corrigan


Title: The Tell-Tale Tarte
Series: Five-Ingredient Mystery #4
Author: Maya Corrigan

Goodreads Summary: It's a cold January in the Chesapeake Bay area, but Cool Down Cafe manager Val Deniston has plenty to sweat over--like catering a book club event, testing recipes for her Granddad's cookbook, and catching the author of a deadly tale of murder. . .

The last thing Val needs in her life is an unsolved murder, especially when the victim, an actor famed for impersonating Edgar Allan Poe, happens to be dressed exactly like her Granddad. To keep an eye on Granddad, whose latest job takes him to the home of Rick Usher, a local author inspired by Poe, Val gets herself hired as a cook in Rick's House of Usher. When she discovers the actor wasn't the only one doing an impersonation, separating the innocent from the murderous becomes a real-life horror story. But Val must decipher a killer's M.O. sooner rather than later . . . or she can forget about finding poetic justice.

Includes 6 delicious five-ingredient recipes!

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

This was an interesting book. The Poe facts were a neat addition and helped make the story feel a little more real.

My Manicure: My inspiration this time around was the "tell-tale tarte". I started with a base of Zoya Blair. Then I stamped with Bundle Monster H13 and Heart of Gold. This look will be perfect for fall.


Monday, June 19, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Murder at the Puppy Fest by Lauren Berenson


Title: Murder at the Puppy Fest
Series: Melanie Travis #20
Author: Laurien Berenson

Goodreads Summary: Frolicking with dogs is Melanie Travis's idea of heaven. So when she's invited to be a "puppy wrangler" at a benefit for a local dog rescue, the last thing she expects is to be chasing after a tricky killer...

As a busy mom and pedigree Poodle owner, Melanie has little time to spare. Still, she doesn't mind helping out at Puppy Fest, an annual fundraiser to benefit Puppy Posse, a local dog rescue organization. Considering the venue--Belle Haven mansion, owned by wealthy philanthropist Leo Brody--it's shaping up to be the can't-miss charity event of the summer. Unfortunately, when Melanie's breeding background lands her in the doghouse with Jane, Leo's snappy daughter who runs the rescue, Melanie finds herself simultaneously managing Puppy Fest and the millionaire's hopelessly fractious family.

But once Puppy Fest kicks off, Leo is nowhere to be found--until Melanie discovers his current mistress crouching over his dead body. According to police, the father of nine's severe nut allergy went into overdrive after he accidentally consumed a contaminated cookie. However, Libby, one of Leo's children and a friend of Melanie's Aunt Peg, believes someone deliberately put him down for good. And now, she's begging a reluctant Melanie to unearth the secrets hidden by the Brody pack. But the closer Melanie gets to fetching answers, the higher the stakes become--and the more she realizes that she's chasing a criminal who's been groomed to win...

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

I definitely have mixed feelings about this one. Overall it was interesting, and I loved Kevin and the dogs. The mystery was really good until it got to the motive. I also really didn't like Aunt Peg's attitude towards mutts, but I liked that pound puppies were a big part of the book.

My Manicure: For this manicure, I wanted to keep the colors simple. It's been a while since I did a basic black and white color scheme, which also happens to be perfect for a dog theme. I started with a base of Finger Paints Paper Mache. Then I did a water marble with it and Sinful Colors Black on Black. It's really weird for me to have no holo, shimmer, glitter, or even splash of color in my manicure, but I think the simple color scheme really makes the design pop.

And now for the funny pictures. This is what a water marble looks like pre-cleanup. All the way to my knuckle, under my nails... yeah, it was a pain to cleanup.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Sweet Tea and Spirits by Angie Fox


Title: Sweet Tea and Spirits
Series: Southern Ghost Hunter Mystery #5
Author: Angie Fox

Goodreads Summary: Southern girl Verity Long is about as high society as her pet skunk. Which is why she’s surprised as anyone when the new head of the Sugarland social set invites her to join the "it" girls. But this is no social call. Verity’s new client needs her to go in undercover and investigate strange happenings at the group’s historic headquarters. 

But while spirits are whispering hints of murder, the socialites are more focused on Verity’s 1978, avocado-green Cadillac. And when Verity stumbles upon a fresh body, she's going to need the long-dead citizens of Sugarland to help her solve the crime. Good thing she has the handsome deputy sheriff Ellis Wydell on hand, as well as her ghostly sidekick Frankie. The bad thing is, the ghosts are now whispering about the end of a certain ghost hunter.

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

I love this series! I found Frankie's storyline to be very entertaining this time. Seriously, I think Angie Fox managed to fit a bit of everything in there - including a ghost being afraid for his (after)life. Verity's storyline was also really good, with some very interesting revelations.

My Manicure: Yay! A semi-successful water marble! I was inspired by the colors on the cover. I am a total purple lover, so it was perfect for me. I started with a base of Vapid Pegasus Poots, which makes me giggle every time I type it. The marbling was done with Pegasus Poots and ILNP Kings & Queens. I had a little trouble with my ring finger, but I love how my middle finger looks. My next step is figuring out how to avoid making a mess of my fingers. Seriously, I had polish all the way to my knuckle.


Monday, June 12, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Antiques Frame by Barbara Allan


Title: Antiques Frame
Series: Trash 'n' Treasures Mystery #11
Author: Barbara Allan

Goodreads Summary: With their reality TV series, "Antiques Sleuths," Brandy Borne and her quaintly kooky mother, Vivian, have a real hit on their hands. But another hit enters the picture, after a rival bidder becomes a one-woman show at their televised auctions and it s the estranged wife of Brandy s police-chief beau, Tony! Soon the fine art of murder colors the scene, fitting Brandy for an ornately elaborate frame. 
But when you re inside a frame, it s difficult to make out the picture. That s why Brandy s mom her daughter now wearing basic jailhouse orange must sort through a rogue s gallery of suspects including a too-friendly farmer s wife, a ratings-happy TV producer, a questionable husband-and-wife auctioneer team, and even the chief of police himself. 
Brandy and Vivian race to determine how an empty antique frame can hold a deadly portrait, a picture worth a thousand dangerous words. Aided only by Sushi, their loyal shih tzu, and police dog Rocky, the wacky mother-and-daughter sleuthing team must learn the killer s identity before they become the subjects of another masterpiece of murder. 

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

Oh my gosh, I could not stop laughing! The format of the book is unique, with the narration alternating between Brandy and Vivian as they "write" their book. Every so often the editor has to jump in to get Vivian back on track. The mystery was interesting, but for me reading Brandy and Vivian's antics was the best part.

My Manicure: This was supposed to be Sushi inspired. I'm blaming too much sun for how it turned out. I started with a base of Sinful Colors Kovet for a nice cream base. I then blobbed on Dollish Polish SQUIRREL!!!, Philly Loves Lacquer 2 AM Coffee Run, Zoya Cinnamon, and KBShimmer Yeti or Not, and dabbed and smooshed it with plastic wrap.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Treble at the Jam Fest by Leslie Budewitz


Title: Treble at the Jam Fest
Series: Food Lovers' Village #4
Author: Leslie Budewitz

Goodreads Summary: Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident—or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

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

I absolutely love the descriptiveness of this book. Leslie Budewitz has a way with words that paints a gorgeous picture. The mystery was great, with plenty of suspects.

My Manicure: This was one of those manicures that planned itself before I was even done with the book. I was inspired by storm clouds rolling in. The base is Zoya Temperance. The stamping is done with Bundle Monster 312 and So Metal.

And now for an amusing bonus. I really loved the sound of the Peach Bellini, but I can't do champagne. So I made up a faux Bellini with sparkling white grape juice. And of course I have to include a hilariously awkward photo of it.


Monday, June 5, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Death by Vanilla Latte by Alex Erickson


Title: Death by Vanilla Latte
Series: Bookstore Cafe Mystery #4
Author: Alex Erickson

Goodreads Summary: Ever since cafe owner Krissy Hancock settled into a relationship and mostly forgot about old flames, life has become surprisingly serene. Too bad her father, famed mystery writer James Hancock, had to pay an unexpected visit to Death by Coffee and brew up a batch of trouble... 
While caught off-guard by her dad's presence, Krissy never dreamed he'd become the biggest murder suspect in town. But that's exactly what happens when James's boorish agent a man he allegedly fired just hours earlier is found cold and lifeless, a still-warm vanilla latte resting by his hand... 
With Pine Hills divided over her father s innocence and a fanatical fan keen on locking the author away for safe keeping, Krissy must end the madness and identify the real criminal even if that means meeting an ex or two along the way. But as her social life becomes increasingly chaotic, Krissy may be caught in a case that's far too hot to handle...

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

Oh my gosh, Krissy's dad needs to visit more often! I loved how his character was written, and he added a lot to the story. The mystery was great, with lots of suspects and a personal connection to Krissy.

My Manicure: Coffee! Coffee, coffee, coffee... OK, I might be going a little overboard with that intro, but I couldn't help it. I mean, really, it's a coffee shop setting, so I had to go with coffee. And I really shouldn't be trying to blog when I'm tired - I get a little rambly. My base is Finger Paints Of Quartz You Can. I wanted something that would actually show the stamping, but wasn't just plain white. Then I stamped on coffee beans and coffee drinks with MoYou London Cookbook 03 and Bundle Monster Annatto Clay.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - One Fete in the Grave by Vickie Fee


Title: One Fete in the Grave
Series: Liv and Di in Dixie Mystery #3
Author: Vickie Fee

Goodreads Summary: Party planner Liv McKay has outdone herself this time. She's put together an unforgettable Fourth of July celebration for the town of Dixie, Tennessee including breathtaking fireworks and an exciting Miss Dixie Beauty Pageant. Maybe a little too exciting. 
As the party is winding down, Liv's sense of triumph fizzles when the body of town councilman Bubba Rowland is discovered on the festival grounds. And now the prime suspect in his murder is Liv's mother's fiance, Earl, who had a flare-up recently with Bubba. To clear Earl's name, Liv and her best friend Di burst into action to smoke out the real killer before another life is extinguished . . . 

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

Oh my gosh, that definitely started with a bang - literally - and the plot didn't slow down after that. It was a nice balance of investigating, family time, and Liv's party planning business. The mystery was well written, with a fair amount of suspects and clues.

My Manicure: I've been planning this one since I started the book. The fireworks show stuck with me and I just had to do a mani inspired by it. I started with a base of OPI I saw...U Saw...We Saw...Warsaw for my night sky. Then I stamped on my fireworks with Bundle Monster H14 and Curious Matter.


Monday, May 29, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Bearly Departed by Meg Macy


Title: Bearly Departed
Series: Teddy Bear Mystery #1
Author: Meg Macy

Goodreads Summary: The Silver Bear Shop and Factory might be the cutest place around, but there's nothing warm and fuzzy about murder . . . 
As manager of the family teddy bear shop and factory, thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life. Well, except for the part about being a single divorcee with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow. And that's just kid's stuff compared to Will Taylor, the sales rep who's set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch--with or without Sasha's approval . . . 
But before Will digs his claws in, someone pulls the stuffing out of his plan . . . and leaves his dead body inside the factory. Reeling from shock, Sasha's hit with more bad news--police suspect her hot-tempered Uncle Ross may have murdered him. Sasha knows her uncle would never do such a thing, and she's launching her own little investigation to expose the truth. As she tracks Will's biggest rivals and enemies for clues, Sasha can't get too comfy--or she'll become the next plaything for a killer . . . 

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

This was an amazing first in series. I really liked the characters, and the teddy bears were just adorable. The ending surprised me, and it was also a little more bittersweet than I was expecting. I definitely can't wait for the next book.

My Manicure: This was a hard manicure to come up with. I ended up choosing a picnic blanket theme since I loved the teddy bear picnic scene. The colors are simply because of Memorial day (it's a multitasking manicure). I started with Finger Paints Magritte's Masterpiece (warning - super skunky smelling) and Daily Hues Nail Lacquer Carol. Then I stamped the pattern with Pueen 54 and Bundle Monster Bam! White.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Magick & Mayhem by Sharon Pape


Title: Magick & Mayhem
Series: Abracadabra Mystery #1
Author: Sharon Pape

Goodreads Summary: What’s in a murderer’s bag of tricks?

Twenty-something Kailyn Wilde has learned to embrace her unpredictable life as a descendant of small-town New Camel’s most magickal family. She just didn’t expect to inherit her mother and grandmother’s centuries-old shop, Abracadabra, so suddenly. The surprises keep coming when Kailyn goes to finalize the estate at the local attorney’s office—and stumbles over the body of her best friend Elise’s husband . . .

As a brash detective casts the blame on Elise, Kailyn summons her deepest powers to find answers and start an investigation of her own. What with running a business, perfecting ancient spells, and keeping up with an uninvited guest of fabled origins, Kailyn has her hands full. But with the help of her uncanny black cat Sashkatu and her muumuu-clad Aunt Tilly, she’s closing in on a killer—who will do anything to make sure she never tests her supernatural skills again!

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

A magickal start to a new series! The characters were quirky, the setting was wonderful, and the mystery was shocking. My favorite part had to be Merlin appearing. He was so awesome!

My Manicure: So, I wanted to go with something "magickal" looking. For some reason, I always default to blindingly holo when I think of magic. I'm not sure why, maybe it looks like magic sparks? I started with a base of Sinful Colors Black on Black, my favorite black polish. I topped my ring finger and thumb with Orly Bonder (sticky base coat), and after giving it a minute to dry, I packed on holo powder and rubbed it in until it was super sparkly.


Monday, May 22, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - No Charm Intended by Mollie Cox Bryan


Title: No Charm Intended
Series: Cora Crafts Mystery #2
Author: Mollie Cox Bryan

Goodreads Summary: Settling into her new life and career in small-town Indigo Gap, North Carolina, Cora Chevalier is preparing to host a -wildcrafting- retreat at her Victorian home. But a specter hangs over the venture when beloved local nanny Gracie Wyke goes missing. Amidst leading their guests in nature hikes, rock painting and making clay charms, Cora and her business partner, Jane, team up with Gracie's boyfriend, Paul, to launch their own investigation into her disappearance when the local police prove unhelpful. 
Cora and her crafters take Paul in, believing he is in danger and not the suspect police have made him out to be. However as they uncover new clues and a body turns up at a local abandoned amusement park, Cora and Jane begin to question their decision. With more questions than answers arising, is Cora crafty enough to untangle a knot that could put an innocent in jail--and permanently destroy her reputation? 

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

This definitely isn't your typical cozy series. At times the mystery almost seems like a secondary plot, but with Cora being a former social worker is makes sense that the focus would be on the characters. The alternating viewpoints with Cora and Jane help to make the characters feel more real. At times I even felt as if I was right there with the characters. The mystery was also very well written.

My Manicure: My inspiration today was the book cover. I love the look of the turquoise lace/doily. I started with KBShimmer Shore Thing, one of my favorite turquoise polishes. Then I stamped with Messy Mansion MM44 and KBShimmer PT Young Thing.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Hospitality and Homicide by Lynn Cahoon


Title: Hospitality and Homicide
Series: Tourist Trap Mystery #8
Author: Lynn Cahoon

Goodreads Summary: A visit to the serene coastal town of South Cove, California, could make anybody feel refreshed and inspired. But as Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—discovers, some folks won’t live to tell about it . . .

Mystery author Nathan Pike checked into South Cove Bed & Breakfast to compose a compelling novel, not commit murder. But things get real when a rival B&B owner ends up exactly like the victim in his draft—undeniably dead. As Nathan prepares to complete his magnum opus behind bars, Jill’s the only one who can prove his innocence and deconstruct the plot of a twisted killer!

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

This is the first book I've read in this series, but I had no problem following along. The characters were very well written and realistic. The mystery was great with a shocking twist.

My Manicure: Minor nail fail today. Silly me didn't think that black on navy isn't very vibrant, so my design is a bit more subtle than I meant it to be. My inspiration was the spooky sounding tree mentioned near the beginning. I didn't have a spooky tree image, so I went with eerie looking forest at night. The see is Glitter Gal True Blue Aussie. The stamping is Bundle Monster 407 and Straight Up Black.


Monday, May 15, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Edited Out by E.J. Copperman


Title: Edited Out
Series: Mysterious Detective #2
Author: E.J. Copperman

Goodreads Summary: Mystery author Rachel Goldman is getting used to the idea that her fictional creation Duffy Madison has somehow taken flesh-and-blood form and is investigating missing person cases not far from where Rachel lives. Wait. No. She’s not getting used to it at all, and the presence of this real-life Duffy is making her current manuscript—what’s the word?—lousy.

So she doesn’t want to see Duffy—the living one—at all. To make matters worse, when he shows up at her door and insists on talking to her, it’s about the one thing she doesn’t want to do: Find a missing person. But the man Duffy seeks this time around might be able to solve Rachel’s problem. He might just be the man Duffy was before he became Duffy five years ago. The only problem is she could be letting Duffy lead her into danger yet again…

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

This is a great book as long as you don't over think the premise. I spent the first few chapters thoroughly confused because I was so focused on figuring out who Duffy was rather than focusing on the actual story. After that, I found that it was an amazing story. In trying to figure out who Duffy is, they look into an old missing person case that might have ties to Duffy's past (if he even has a past). The mystery ends up slightly convoluted but very interesting, and it is hard not to get caught up in Duffy's enthusiasm.

My Manicure: Books! Hooray for books! OK, I kind of picked the obvious choice, but I love how it turned out. I started with a base of A England Saint George. Then I stamped with MJ JR-2 and Bundle Monster So Metal.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - A Good Day To Buy by Sherry Harris


Title: A Good Day to Buy
Series: Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery #4
Author: Sherry Harris

When Sarah Winston's estranged brother Luke shows up on her doorstep, asking her not to tell anyone he's in town especially her ex, the chief of police the timing is strange, to say the least. Hours earlier, Sarah's latest garage sale was taped off as a crime scene following the discovery of a murdered Vietnam vet and his gravely injured wife her clients, the Spencers. 
All Luke will tell Sarah is that he's undercover, investigating a story. Before she can learn more, he vanishes as suddenly as he appeared. Rummaging through his things for a clue to his whereabouts, Sarah comes upon a list of veterans and realizes that to find her brother, she'll have to figure out who killed Mr. Spencer. And all without telling her ex . . . 

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

I love this series! This time, the mystery is personal. Not only is the victim killed at a garage sale that Sarah is running, her long-lost brother is the prime suspect in the murder! I love how each new mystery gifts a glimpse into military life that civilians don't get to see.

My Manicure: So, I decided to go with a nice military ribbon theme. It is based on the Medal of Honor, and I tried to keep it simple. I started with KBShimmer Ink Again, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite blues. Then I stamped with Bundle Monster H25 and KBShimmer PT Young Thing. I'll have to retry this one later with a non-holo blue to make the stars pop more.


Monday, May 8, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Bad to the Bone by Linda O. Johnston


Title: Bad to the Bone
Series: Barkery and Biscuits #3
Author: Linda O. Johnston

Goodreads Summary: Veterinary technician Carrie Kennersly, owner of the Barkery & Biscuits bakery for dogs, is reluctant to sell her recipes to pet food manufacturer VimPets. Jack Loroco, a VimPets representative, assures Carrie that it would be a great opportunity to grow her business. His promising new relationship with Carrie's friend, Billi Matlock, doesn't hurt his cause. But the budding romance takes a bad turn when Wanda Addler, another VimPets employee, sets her sights on Jack.

After threatening to ruin Jack's career if he doesn't give her what she wants, Wanda is found dead. Jack and Billi are put at the top of the suspect list, and Carrie is doggone determined to rescue them from a life behind bars.

My Review: *I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

This was an interesting book, but it dragged a little at times. The mystery itself was good, with an ending that seriously shocked me.

My Manicure: Doggies! Well, pawprints at least. I skipped full on dog because I figured the pawprints would be simple enough to let the polish steal the show. I started with KBShimmer Rollin' With The Chromies - one of my favorite holo multichromes. Seriously, just look at that shift. OK, moving on... The stamping was done with Shany SH08 and Bundle Monster So Metal.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Southern Fried by Tonya Kappes


Title: Southern Fried
Series: Kenni Lowry Mystery #2
Author: Tonya Kappes

Goodreads Summary: In the South, it’s better when the food is fried and the secrets kept buried… 

After the dead body of a beloved Cottonwood resident is found tangled up in an electric fence, Sheriff Kenni Lowry has a hunch that somethin’ ain’t right. Her investigation heats up with a fierce cook-off competition, a euchre game where the intel is sweeter than the brownies, and a decades old family recipe that may just be the proof in the pudding. 

The icing on the cake: Kenni is fighting an attraction to her recently sworn-in deputy sheriff, and election season is hot on her tail. When the killer comes after who she holds most dear, even her poppa’s ghostly guidance might not be enough to keep her and her own out of the frying pan.

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

Oh my gosh I had so much fun reading this one! Small southern towns are fun, quirky settings, and Tonya Kappes is an expert at writing about them. The mystery was quite shocking. I honestly couldn't figure any of it out. I also love how the paranormal element is very light - the only ghost is her grandpa, and there is no other hocus-pocus stuff going on. It would be perfect for someone wanting to ease their way into reading paranormal cozies.

My Manicure: I promise this isn't a blood splatter manicure... It's a tomato splatter. Yeah, I know, that sounds weird, but the victim is introduced in a tomato garden and I couldn't resist. I started with a base of Zoya Godiva to make the, uh, tomato really pop. Then I stamped the splatter heart using Messy Mansion MM28 and Bundle Monster Red Sea.


Monday, May 1, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Brew or Die by Caroline Fardig


Title: Brew or Die
Series: Java Jive Mystery #4
Author: Caroline Fardig

Goodreads Summary: Nashville’s perkiest private eye—coffeehouse manager Juliet Langley—goes undercover in the party-planning industry to solve a suspicious death in this thrilling cozy mystery from USA Today bestselling author Caroline Fardig.

Inspired by her past sleuthing successes, Juliet Langley has officially joined the ranks of Nashville’s licensed private investigators. Her best friend, Pete Bennett, doesn’t worry that her detective work might interfere with her full-time job running his coffeehouse, Java Jive. He just wishes she would spend her free time rejoining the local music scene instead of tailing cheating spouses. But when one of Java Jive’s baristas, Shane, asks Juliet to look into the suspicious death of his fiancée, Pete encourages her to plow full steam ahead.

Since his fiancée died on the job, Shane suspects that her party-planning colleagues are up to something criminal—and will do anything to keep it quiet. After Juliet recruits Pete to go undercover with her at a wedding showcase, she discovers that white lace and black satin have a way of hiding big, fat secrets.

If that weren’t enough to fill her plate, her latest P.I. job has her crossing paths with her ex, Detective Ryder Hamilton. They’re barely on speaking terms, but to solve the case, they might have to cooperate. No matter where Juliet goes, she’s brewing up trouble.

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

This was a fun and lightly thrilling book. The mystery was great, but at times it felt like the relationship drama was taking over. There was also some great character development towards the end, which I loved.

My Manicure: I decided to go with a twist on a wedding theme. Since the book has some darker elements, I went with black instead of traditional white. I used A England Bridal Veil and Sinful Colors Black on Black as my base colors. Then I had some fun with Bundle Monster + Nailstamp4fun and curious matter.


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.