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.