Wednesday, August 30, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Cat Got Your Secrets by Julie Chase


Title: Cat Got Your Secrets
Series: Kitty Couture Mystery #3
Author: Julie Chase

Goodreads Summary: Lacy Marie Crocker has settled into a comfortable groove back home in New Orleans, and with Valentine's Day right around the corner, she's busier than ever running a thriving pet boutique, helping her mother organize the upcoming National Pet Pageant, and untangling her complicated love life. But when delivering a king-sized order of dreidel-shaped doggy biscuits for a Saint Berdoodle's bark-mitzvah, Lacy stumbles into yet another murder scene--and the last person to see the victim alive was her own father. It's up to Lacy to clear her dad's name from the suspect list before Detective Jack Oliver has to cage him for good. But just when she starts pawing at the truth, she receives a threatening letter from a mysterious blackmailer bent on silencing her with her own secrets. And Lacy's not the only one with bones in her closet. Time's running out in this deadly cat-and-mouse game in Cat Got Your Secrets, the delightfully funny third novel in Julie Chase's Kitty Couture mystery series, perfect for "all those feline fanciers who love to read Rita Mae Brown"

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

Wow! That was unexpected (in a good way). I always love when a mystery is personal, and this one definitely is. Lacy has her hands full trying to prove her father's innocence, keep her mom happy, and run her business. The story was a lot of fun and had some great humor, but the love triangle is getting a bit boring.

My Manicure: Since the book takes place near Valentine's Day, I chose a classic red and hearts look.  I started with a base of Zoya Renee. This is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Then I stamped some adorable hearts with Bundle Monster 620 and Babe Magnet.


Monday, August 28, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - A Tale of Two Kitties by Sofie Kelly


Title: A Tale of Two Kitties
Series: Magical Cats Mystery #9
Author: Sofie Kelly

Goodreads Summary: In this charming mystery from the bestselling author of Paws and Effect, two magical cats have powers of detection that prove indispensable to librarian Kathleen Paulson…

With a well-placed paw on a keyboard or a pointed stare, Kathleen’s two cats, Hercules and Owen, have helped her to solve cases in the past—so she has learned to trust their instincts. But she will need to rely on them more than ever when a twenty-year-old scandal leads to murder…

The arrival of the Janes brothers has the little town of Mayville Heights buzzing. Everyone of a certain age remembers when Victor had an affair with Leo’s wife, who then died in a car accident.

Now it seems the brothers are trying to reconcile, until Kathleen finds Leo dead. The police set their sights on Leo’s son and Kathleen’s good friend Simon, who doesn’t have much of an alibi. To prove her friend innocent, Kathleen will have to dig deep into the town's history—and into her sardine cracker supply, because Owen and Hercules don't work for free...

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

I absolutely love the small town Minnesota setting. I also love how Owen and Hercules have actual distinct personalities. The mystery was great but slightly predictable. The way the past and present were woven together to tell the story was wonderful and made it feel more realistic.

My Manicure: I kept it simple today with a nice library themed manicure. I started out with ILNP Aria. I'm pleasantly surprised at how well my phone camera picked up the holo. Then I stamped using MJ JR-2 and Bundle Monster Bam! White.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Dead in the Water by Denise Swanson


Title: Dead in the Water
Series: Welcome Back to Scumble River #1
Author: Denise Swanson

Goodreads Summary: A twister, a kidnapping, and a murder--oh my! Scumble River may never be the same.

For school psychologist Skye Denison, there's certainly no place like home. When a violent tornado devastates her small hometown of Scumble River, she can't see how the community will ever recover--especially since town councilman Zeke Lyons appears to have perished in the twister.

But things get even worse for Skye when her police chief husband, Wally, disappears in the midst of investigating Zeke's death, and evidence arises pointing to foul play. Did Zeke really die in the storm, or was he murdered? And could Wally be next on the criminal's hit list?

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

That was a whirlwind of emotions. Before I start my review, I have to share a quick, bizarre coincidence. When I started reading this book, I only made it a couple chapters in before bedtime. Well, I woke up the next morning to a tornado warning! We were lucky and didn't get hit, but it was a bit weird when I remembered what I had read right before I fell asleep. OK, time for my review. I really enjoyed reading this book, although at times I forgot about the murder. The kidnapping plot was so well written that I was caught up in it and forgot about the murder for most of the book. I really loved how this book was written as both a start of a new series and a continuation of an old series. It is perfect for both old and new fans.

My Manicure: One of the ongoing things in this book is Skye not wanting to know her baby's gender and her mom trying to find out. I decided to go with a gender reveal type gradient with a pinky purple for girl and blueish purple for boy. I put Bundle Monster Mercury Bassline and Monarch Dream onto a cosmetic sponge and dabbed it onto my nails until it made a nice gradient.


Monday, August 21, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts by K.C. Tansley


Title: The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts
Series: The Unbelievable #1
Author: K.C. Tansley

Goodreads Summary: Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing to believe is the only way to protect herself from the ghost that tried to steal her life. Kat’s disbelief keeps her safe until her junior year at McTernan Academy, when a research project for an eccentric teacher takes her to a tiny, private island off the coast of Connecticut. 

The site of a grisly mystery, the Isle of Acacia is no place for a girl who ignores ghosts, but the ghosts leave Kat little choice. Accompanied by her research partner, Evan Kingsley, she investigates the disappearance of Cassie Mallory and Sebastian Radcliffe on their wedding night in 1886. Evan’s scientific approach to everything leaves Kat on her own to confront a host of unbelievables: ancestral curses, powerful spells, and her strange connection to the ghosts that haunt Castle Creighton.

But that’s all before Kat’s yanked through a magic portal and Evan follows her. When the two of them awaken 129 years in the past with their souls trapped inside the bodies of two wedding guests, everything changes. Together, Kat and Evan race to stop the wedding-night murders and find a way back to their own time—and their own bodies—before their souls slip away forever.

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

I was presently surprised by this book. Since the main character was a teen, I expected the typical YA drama, but the characters were surprisingly mature. The body sharing was interesting, but at times I was a little confused on who was controlling the body. The mystery was well written, and I loved the paranormal elements.

My Manicure: Two important plot items in this book are a sapphire ring and a ruby necklace, so I decided to combine them into one manicure. My sapphire base is Zoya Dream. For my ruby, I stamped using Bundle Monster P101 and Bundle Monster So Metal. I filled in the gem with KBShimmer Garnet while it was still on the stamper, then put Orly Bonder on my nail and stamped the image on after it got tacky.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Grave Errors by Carol J. Perry


Title: Grave Errors
Series: Witch City Mystery #5
Author: Carol J. Perry

Goodreads Summary: Whose funeral will be next? 
For residents of Salem, Massachusetts, the day after Halloween brings empty candy wrappers, sagging pumpkins, and a community-wide identity crisis. That is, until Lee Barrett s TV production class suggests extending the spooky season with the traditional Mexican celebration Dia de Los Muertos. But when the students discover not all of Salem s dead are resting in peace, the post-October blues don t seem so bad after all . . . 
As if a series of haunting graveyard visits isn t disturbing enough, Lee and her policeman boyfriend connect the crime to an unsolved missing person case. Driven by a series of chilling psychic visions, Lee calls on her cleverest allies including her shrewd cat, O Ryan to go underground and dig up the evidence needed to put a lid on a cold case forever . . . before the latest headstone in town has her name on it! 

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

I loved this book, but I was also disappointed in parts of it. I like that Lee is a reluctant scryer. Her struggling with her ability really adds to the story. I really enjoyed the mystery, but I found the twists to be a bit predictable. The addition of a Day of the Dead celebration was awesome, but I felt that it was lacking a little in the explanation of the holiday and its traditions.

My Manicure: With a Day of the Dead theme going on, I just had to do sugar skulls. I honestly do not want to take this manicure off, I love it that much. I started out with Sinful Colors Black on Black - my favorite black creme. The sugars skulls were done with Bundle Monster 413 and the entire Electro Glo collection - Kandi Spirit, Monarch Dream, Tranceland, Mercury Bassline, Rave Babe, and Jungle Mirage. I don't have a blacklight to show it, but all six of the stamping polishes are blacklight reactive.


Monday, August 14, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Dog Dish of Doom by E.J. Copperman


Title: Dog Dish of Doom
Series: Agent to the Paws Mystery #1
Author: E.J. Copperman

Goodreads Summary: Kay Powell wants to find that break-out client who will become a star. And she thinks she's found him: His name is Bruno, and he has to be walked three times a day.

Kay is the Agent to the Paws, representing showbiz clients who aren't exactly people. In fact: they're dogs. Bruno's humans, Trent and Louise, are pains in the you-know-what, and Les McMaster, the famous director mounting a revival of Annie, might not hire Bruno just because he can't stand them.

This becomes less of an issue when Trent is discovered face down in Bruno's water dish, with a kitchen knife in his back. Kay's perfectly fine to let the NYPD handle the murder, but when the whole plot seems to center on Bruno, her protective instincts come into play. You can kill any people you want, but you'd better leave Kay's clients alone.

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

This was a really fun start to a new series. It has a unique sense of humor and over the top characters, which may not appeal to everyone, but I loved them. The mystery was well written, and it had a nicely paced plot.

My Manicure: I'm kind of in love with this manicure. I started with a base of Sinful Colors Black on Black. Then I stamped the dogs with Shany SH08 and Bundle Monster Monarch Dream, Tranceland, Mercury Bassline, and Rave Babe.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Macramé Murder by Mollie Cox Bryan


Title: Macramé Murder
Series: Cora Crafts #3
Author: Mollie Cox Bryan

Goodreads Summary: As the head of a bustling crafting retreat, Cora Chevalier could use a break of her own. So she and her creative cohorts temporarily swap small-town Indigo Gap for the Sea Glass Island Craft Retreat, where they teach classes and create beachy crafts like shell mosaics and sea glass chimes. Cora and her boyfriend Adrian are enchanted by their surroundings—especially the stunning wedding and blissful newlyweds they encounter on the beach. But awe becomes shock when the bride turns up dead the next day . . .

The woman’s death appears to be the result of a severe jellyfish sting. But when it’s revealed that she was murdered and Adrian becomes a suspect, Cora must hitch the real culprit to the crime—and fast. Because it just might take everything she has to crack a case more twisted than her most complex macramé knot!

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

Oh, my. That opening scene was beautiful! I feel that in this book, I really had a chance to get to know the characters. The murder itself revealed a tangled web of deceit that reached much farther than I expected. There were some massive twists woven into the story, and I was a bit surprised when it was all revealed.

My Manicure: In the opening scene, there is a gorgeous beach wedding with the bride looking like a mermaid. So, these are my bridal mermaid nails. I started with Finger Paints Paper Mache, then topped that with Bundle Monster Curious Matter. The stamping was done with Bundle Monster 502 and Bundle Monster Bam! White.


Monday, August 7, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco


Title: All Signs Point To Murder
Series: Zodiac Mystery #2
Author: Connie di Marco

Goodreads Summary: The stars predict a wedding-day disaster, but San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti never expected murder

Julia Bonatti is alarmed by the astrological signs looming over Geneva Leary’s wedding day, but nobody asked Julia’s opinion and being a bridesmaid means supporting the bride no matter what. Even with the foreboding Moon-Mars-Pluto lineup in the heavens, no one’s prepared for the catastrophes that strike: a no-show sister, a passed-out wedding planner, and a lethal shooting in the dead of night.

With anger and grief threatening to tear the Leary family part, Julia is determined to understand how such a terrible tragedy could occur. As she digs deeper into the family’s secrets, her astrological insights will lead her to the truth about a criminal enterprise that stretches far beyond the California coast.

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

This was an interesting book, but I wish it did a better job of explaining the astrology parts. Since astrology and the mystery are tied together, I felt that the lack of explanation detracted from it. The characters were definitely interesting, and I'm looking forward to getting to know them better.

My Manicure: I went for a super simple look today. Since the book is astrology themed, I did a nice basic galaxy manicure. I started with KBShimmer Myth You Lots. I love how this polish reminds me of some of the Hubble galaxy pictures I've seen online. Then I took a piece of a cheapy sponge and dabbed Bundle Monster Bam! White on my accent nails. As usual with multichromes, the awkward finger angle is to show off the amazing shift.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Oh, Fudge! by Nancy Coco


Title: Oh, Fudge!
Series: Candy-Coated Mystery #5
Author: Nancy Coco

Goodreads Summary: Life is always sweet in Allie McMurphy s delectable fudge shop. But murder can make things unpleasantly sticky . . . 

After Allie inherited her family s McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop, cousin Tori moved off to California in a bitter huff, and the two haven t spoken since. So to have her cousin reappear on Mackinac Island without warning is a big surprise but not as surprising as finding her standing over a dead woman impaled with a garden spade in the Mackinac Butterfly House. Butterflies may be free, but Tori won t be for much longer unless the cousins can bury the hatchet and work together to catch a killer who s taken flight. Because when it comes to family, blood is thicker than fudge . . . 

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

The setting and main characters were wonderful, but the mystery felt a little too simple. I also felt that Tori was a little too over-the-top at times. The scenes at the senior citizen center were my favorite - I loved how they were easily bribed with fudge, and not afraid to admit it. It was interesting to get a look at how the islanders view people. Although Allie lives on the island, she is still viewed as an outsider, which hinders her investigation at times.

My Manicure: Once I saw "butterfly garden" I knew exactly what I was doing. I started with Finger Paints Of Quartz You Can for a little shimmer in the base. Then I took pieces of a cheapy sponge and dabbed on Bundle Monster Tranceland, Mercury Bassline, and Monarch Dream. Finally, I stamped butterflies on my ring finger with Bundle Monster BM307 and So Metal.