Wednesday, June 28, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Death of a Lobster Lover by Lee Hollis


Title: Death of a Lobster Lover
Series: Hayley Powell Food and Cocktail Mystery #9
Author: Lee Hollis

Goodreads Summary: Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell is off on a girls' getaway with her two best friends. But soon they'll have to get away from a killer...

The quaint fishing village of Salmon Cove, Maine, seems like the ideal location for a girls' weekend with Hayley's gal pals, Liddy and Mona. Liddy's on the rebound from a breakup, but when she meets a handsome tourist, it looks like a little romance might liven things up.

Unfortunately, Liddy's new sweetheart is found dead on the beach the next morning at the town's Lobster Bake, next to an overturned cooking pot. The liberated lobsters may be scrambling back to the sea, but Hayley's not about to let a murderer escape so easily. To crack the case, she'll need to blow the lid off some serious undercover activity--or risk becoming ensnared in a killer's trap...

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

I'm still in shock at that ending. As the mystery unfolds, it really is one shock after another. My only complaint is that you really need some tissues handy for the final column. The recipes sound delicious, and I'm working on figuring out if I can turn those cocktails into mocktails.

My Manicure: Since there is a definite ocean setting to the book, I went for an ocean themed manicure. I started with a base of Finger Paints Inkblot Blue, then topped it with Laugh My Art Off. Then I stamped using Bundle Monster 502 and Bam! White.


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.