Monday, July 31, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Cat About Town by Cate Conte


Title: Cat About Town
Series: Cat Cafe Mystery #1
Author: Cate Conte

Goodreads Summary: The first novel in a frisky new mystery series set in a small New England town, where an unlikely citizen is called in to solve the purrfect crime. . .

Maddie James has arrived in Daybreak Island, just off the coast of Massachusetts, eager to settle down and start her own business―and maybe even fall in love. When a stray orange tabby pounces into her life, she’s inspired to open a cat cafĂ©. But little does Maddie know that she’s in for something a lot more catastrophic when her new furry companion finds the dead body of the town bully. Now all eyes are on Maddie: Who is this crazy cat-whisperer lady who’s come to town? If pet-hair-maintenance and crime-fighting weren’t keeping her busy enough, Maddie now has not one but two eligible bachelors who think she’s the cat’s pajamas . . . and will do anything to win her heart. But how can she even think about happily-ever-after while a killer remains on the loose―and on her path?

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

I really enjoyed this book. The mystery was great, and I loved the ending. It did start out a bit sad and slow, but the pacing did pick up pretty quickly.

My Manicure: I went for the easy inspiration this time. I started with Zoya Alicia to add a bit of glitz. Then I stamped the cat with QA40 and Bundle Monster Straight Up Black. Cute, but simple.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Assaulted Caramel by Amanda Flower


Title: Assaulted Caramel
Series: Amish Candy Shop Mystery #1
Author: Amanda Flower

Goodreads Summary: Sometimes you need a sweet tooth to take a bite out of crime . . .

Bailey King is living the sweet life as assistant chocolatier at world-famous JP Chocolates in New York City. But just when Bailey’s up for a life-changing promotion, her grandmother calls with news that her grandfather’s heart condition has worsened. Bailey rushes to Harvest, Ohio, where her grandparents still run Swissmen Sweets, the Amish candy shop where she was first introduced to delicious fudge, truffles, and other assorted delights.

She finds her grandfather is doing better than she feared. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for a local Englisch developer, whom Bailey finds dead in the candy shop kitchen—with Jebediah King’s chocolate knife buried in his chest. Now the police are sweet on her grandfather as the prime suspect. Despite the sincere efforts of a yummy deputy with chocolate-brown eyes, Bailey takes it on herself to clear Jebediah. But as a cunning killer tries to fudge the truth, Bailey may be headed straight into a whole batch of trouble . . .

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

This was a great start to a new series. It had a great mystery and awesome characters. The setting was wonderful, and I wish it was real so I could visit! I'm definitely looking forward to the next book.

My Manicure: Mmmm, chocolatey drips. I was going to do chocolate covered caramels, but I don't have a caramel colored polish. I started with a base of Zoya Cinnamon. Then I used What's Up Nails drip vinyls and Philly Loves Lacquer 6PM Thanksgiving Coffee Run for the chocolate drips.


Monday, July 24, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Knot What You Think by Mary Marks


Title: Knot What You Think
Series: Quilting Mystery #5
Author: Mary Marks

Goodreads Summary: The newest member of Martha’s close-knit quilting circle has an eye for couture. But when the designer’s fingerprints are found blanketing a crime scene, Martha must prove that he didn’t have a hand in homicide! 

Martha Rose is alarmed by the discovery of Dolleen Doyle’s dead body, especially when evidence suggests a fellow quilter committed the crime.  Set on clearing her pal, Martha searches for answers—but with ties to a convicted fraudster’s stolen millions and a secret office room, the victim’s past raises even more questions. As Martha inches towards the culprit, she learns that wrapping the case up—and living to baste another square—will be trickier than she ever imagined . . .

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

I giggled, I laughed, I snorted...all in the first few pages. This is the first book that I have read in this series, and it definitely won't be the last. It definitely is a series that should be read in order due to spoilers, but if you read them out of order you'll still be able to follow the story. The mystery was great, with some very interesting revelations, and the epilogue was absolutely wonderful.

My Manicure: I attempted to go with a quilt type design today. It actually had to be done a little backwards from my normal process. I started out with stamping the images, but leaving them on the stamper. That was done with Bundle Monster 607 and Straight Up Black. After it dried, I painted in some of the spots with some unlabeled Color Club polishes. Then I painted my nails with Finger Paints Of Quartz You Can. After that dried, I put some Orly Bonder on my accent nails and stamped the painted images on.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Leave It To Cleaver by Victoria Hamilton


Title: Leave It To Cleaver
Series: Vintage Kitchen Mystery #6
Author: Victoria Hamilton

Goodreads Summary: Vintage cookware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton has agreed to help her sister clear out the house of a deceased older neighbor, and she’s thrilled at the prospect of discovering antique kitchenware and other treasures—until she opens a vintage trunk in the cellar and finds the remains of a teenage girl with a cleaver buried in her skull. When the body of a second girl is found just days later in a nearby river, the clues all indicate that the crimes are connected—and that the culprit’s motives are hidden in the past. 

Jaymie just wants to cut and run, but the victims were both high school classmates of her sister when they disappeared, and that makes Jaymie the perfect person to help the local police investigate the killings. As she dredges up old memories and even older rivalries and jealousies, her list of suspects grows. But Jaymie knows she’ll have to whittle it down to just one, and fast, because someone has decided to cut their ties to Jaymie—in the most fatal of ways . . . 

Includes a vintage recipe! 

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

This is the first book I've read in this series, and I found it interesting. Even though I had no idea who the characters were, I has no problem following the story. The jumping back and forth through time with different viewpoints was a bit jarring at first, but in the end it really added to the story and helped to show the past events rather than just tell them. I did find the mystery to be a little too easy to solve.

My Manicure: Today I was inspired by the red knit sweaters that were woven through the story. I started with a base of Finger Paints Brilliant Brushstroke. Then I stamped with Bundle Monster 203 and Red Sea to give a slightly knit look.


Monday, July 17, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Killer Party by Lynn Cahoon


Title: Killer Party
Series: Tourist Trap Mystery #9
Author: Lynn Cahoon

Goodreads Summary: For a gang of old college buddies, the quaint resort town of South Cove, California, is the perfect spot for a no-holds-barred bachelor party. But for Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books and More—this stag party is going to be murder . . .

After a few months of living with her boyfriend Greg, Jill is still getting used to sharing such close quarters, but she’s got no hesitation about joining him for a weekend at South Cove’s most luxurious resort. While Greg and his college pals celebrate their buddy’s upcoming wedding, Jill intends to pamper herself in style. But when the groom is found floating facedown in the pool, Jill must find the killer fast, or she might not have a boyfriend to come home to any more . . .

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

That is how a mystery should be written! It had a surprising ending, yet it didn't feel like it came out of nowhere. There were also some nice little mini mysteries to help keep the plot moving. I also loved how stories from Greg's past were woven through the story, helping to make him feel like a more complete character.

My Manicure: Oh my gosh, this is summer in a manicure! I was going for a pool party theme, which turned to cocktails by the pool. I started out with Zoya Kiki, because hot pink just screams summer to me. Then I stamped the drink with Bundle Monster 507 and So Metal.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Dead Storage by Mary Feliz


Title: Dead Storage
Series: Maggie McDonald Mystery #3
Author: Mary Feliz

Goodreads Summary: As a professional organizer, Maggie McDonald brings order to messy situations. But when a good friend becomes a murder suspect, surviving the chaos is one tall task . . . 

Despite a looming deadline, Maggie thinks she has what it takes to help friends Jason and Stephen unclutter their large Victorian in time for its scheduled renovation. But before she can fill a single bin with unused junk, Jason leaves for Texas on an emergency business trip, Stephen’s injured mastiff limps home—and Stephen himself lands in jail for murder. Someone killed the owner of a local Chinese restaurant and stuffed him in the freezer. Stephen, caught at the crime scene covered in blood, is the number one suspect. Now Maggie must devise a strategy to sort through secrets and set him free—before she’s tossed into permanent storage next . . .

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

I almost feel like I need different ratings for different parts of this book. Overall, it is a good book. The mystery, which is the most important part, was very well-written and a bit surprising. The rest of the book was a bit heartbreaking as it talked about PTSD in humans and animals.

My Manicure: I decided to go for an American themed manicure since the plot revolves around a veteran. I started with Finger Paints Magritte's Masterpiece (blue) and Zoya Renee (red). Then I stamped the stars using Bundle Monster H25 and KBShimmer PT Young Thing.


Monday, July 10, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - 30 Second Death by Laura Bradford


Title: 30 Second Death
Series: Toby Tobias Mystery #2
Author: Laura Bradford

Goodreads Summary: To help an old friend, Tobi Tobias gets a third-rate thespian a part in a commercial, and learns that in the advertising business, bad acting can lead to murder . . .

When Tobi Tobias opened her own advertising agency, Carter McDade was there for her every step of the way. A brilliant hairdresser, Carter has just landed his dream project: doing hair and makeup for a theatrical production of Rapunzel. But the dream turns into a nightmare when he runs into Fiona Renoir, a cruel, talentless starlet who won’t let Carter touch a hair on her head.

To get Fiona out of Carter’s hair, Tobi hires the difficult actress for a bit part in her latest commercial. But true to character, Fiona is a terror on set, and Tobi is starting to think she’s made the biggest mistake of her life. But things get even worse when Fiona drops dead in the hairdresser’s chair, and the only suspect is the man left holding the tainted hair dye, Carter McDade. And unless Tobi can prove his innocence, he’ll never do hair in this town again.

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

I absolutely love this series! This was another book that I have been impatiently waiting for since I finished the first book, and now I'm anxiously awaiting book three. The romantic bits were a bit predictable, but oh my gosh that mystery! I loved it! There were so many suspects and some good motives. Add in a visit from her grandpa and the plot was jam-packed from beginning to end.

My Manicure: I finally got to do a manicure manicure! Part of the spa day commercial is a mani/pedi, so I had to do a mani themed mani. I started with a base of KBShimmer Rollin' With The Chromies because it is one of my all time favorites. OK, now that I stopped staring at my nails yet again... The stamping was done with Bundle Monster 619 and So Metal. Seriously, those polish bottles are just too cute! And I do apologize for the awkward angle of my finger in the picture, but it was the only way I could show off the awesome shift.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Death in D Minor by Alexia Gordon


Title: Death in D Minor
Series: Gethsemane Brown Mystery #2
Author: Alexia Gordon

Goodreads Summary: Gethsemane Brown, African-American classical musician and expatriate to an Irish village, solved a string of murders, led a school orchestra to victory in a major competition, and got used to living with a snarky ghost. She can rest easy over the Christmas holiday. Right? Wrong. The ghost has disappeared, her landlord's about to sell her cottage to a hotel developer, and her brother-in-law is coming for a visit—with one day’s notice.

She scrambles to call her spectral roomie back from beyond and find a way to save the cottage from certain destruction. But real estate takes a backseat when her brother-in-law is accused of stealing a valuable antique. Gethsemane strikes a deal with a garda investigator to go undercover as a musician at a charity ball and snoop for evidence linking antiques to a forgery/theft ring in exchange for the investigator’s help clearing her brother-in-law. At the party, she accidentally conjures the ghost of an eighteenth-century sea captain, then ends up the prime suspect in the party host’s murder. With the captain’s help, she races to untangle a web of phony art and stolen antiques to exonerate herself and her brother-in-law. Then the killer targets her. Will she save herself and bring a thief and murderer to justice, or will her encore investigation become her swan song?

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

I have been waiting impatiently for this book since I read Murder in G Major. I can honestly say it was worth the wait. The mystery ended up being more amazing than I thought it would be. My only minor issue is that there is one scene that felt a little too descriptive for a cozy. It isn't overly gory or disturbing, but there was just enough detail to send my imagination into overdrive.

My Manicure: Another fashion inspired flop today. The inspiration is an iridescent silver dress with a diamond necklace. I started with KBShimmer PT Young Thing topped with Sally Hansen Disco Ball on most of my nails. This gave a holographic silver plus iridescent glitter look. On my ring finger I used Zoya Sue stamped with Mash 70 and PT Young Thing, then topped the stamping with Disco Ball and added Swarovski AB rhinestones for the diamonds.


Monday, July 3, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - If the Haunting Fits, Wear It by Rose Pressey


Title: If the Haunting Fits, Wear It
Series: Haunted Vintage Mystery #5
Author: Rose Pressey

Goodreads Summary: As fashion maven Cookie Chanel tracks a murderer at the Kentucky Derby, all bets are off...

When Cookie Chanel lands a dream assignment of providing vintage hats for a high-society Kentucky Derby party, she's brimming with excitement. Leaving her mother and best friend to mind the store at It's Vintage Y'All, Cookie packs up her psychic cat and races to Kentucky. But before she can hang her hat, her enthusiasm is dampened when the rider of the potential Derby-winning horse is put out to pasture. Now she's saddled with the jockey's ghost, who insists she find his killer. With suspects ranging from an odds-on favorite to a dark horse, Cookie may just find herself in a dead heat before the photo finish...

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

This was so much fun to read! The ghosts are awesome, and the random comments and bickering added a lot of humor. I absolutely love "Grandma Pearl's Pearls of Wisdom." She sounds like she would've been such a sassy character. The mystery itself felt a little weak, but I can't pinpoint exactly what didn't work for me.

My Manicure: I attempted to do one of Cookie's dresses, but I kind of failed. Partially because I simply hate yellow on me. I started with a base of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Buttercup. Pretty in the bottle, kind of ugly on me, and a streaky mess. Then I stamped my flowers with Winstonia 212 and Bundle Monster Bam! White, then stuck a rhinestone in the center of each one.