Wednesday, March 29, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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


Monday, March 27, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, March 20, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, March 13, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, March 6, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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