Monday, April 30, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Dead as a Doornail by Tonya Kappes


Title: Dead as a Doornail
Series: Kenni Lowry #5
Author: Tonya Kappes

Goodreads Summary: 
Beauty is skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone. And doesn’t our Sheriff Kenni Lowry know that? Well, she knows a lot of things.

Lucy Lowell takes great pride in writing negative reviews in the local newspaper for anything that does not go her way. When Lucy is found dead, it appears to be from natural causes.

But Sheriff Kenni Lowry knows there is more to it because the ghost of her grandfather, the ex-sheriff, is standing over the body.

His presence can only mean one thing: Murder!

Since Kenni’s relationship with Deputy Finn Vincent has heated up, Kenni is having trouble conducting the investigation without Finn questioning her every move.

Can Kenni unravel the mystery on her own or will she have to tell Finn the real reason she knows it was murder—the ghost of her poppa?

It’s blowin’ up a storm and only Kenni knows how it’ll end.

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
This was a very unique book, including the form of murder. There were a couple of nitpicky research errors, but I only noticed because I know way too much about the subject. I had a lot of fun with the descriptions of how huge Duke is. The ending was definitely surprising.

My Manicure: Ok. I think I managed to get the inspiration correct. I looked up the polish color used in the book and found the closest one I had. I started with a base of Philly Loves Lacquer That Barbie Is Mine! The polish bottles were stamped with Bundle Monster 619 and So Metal.


Friday, April 27, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Magick Run Amok by Sharon Pape


Title: Magick Run Amok
Series: Abracadabra Mystery #3
Author: Sharon Pape

Goodreads Summary: 
The answer to whodunit may lie beyond the veil . . . 
November in upstate New York can be chilly, but Kailyn Wilde’s shop, Abracadabra, is a cozy respite where you can find lotions, potions, and plenty of warm, feline company. But what customers don’t know is that the proprietor has some unusual powers—and unusual friends, including the renowned magician Merlin, who’s been transported into the modern world. All of which comes in handy when there’s a murder to be solved . . .
Investigative journalist Ryan Cutler has perished in a car accident in New Camel, and his friend, Travis, suspects foul play—especially when the reporter’s notes reveal a mysterious list of dead men’s names. Kailyn wants to help, but she’s also got her hands full with the curmudgeonly Merlin, who’s not exactly maintaining a low profile. Between keeping the wizard under wraps and mixing up cold remedies that work like magic, she’ll have to tap into her many talents to figure out a killer’s fatal formula . . .

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
My notes on this book are not helping me at all. For example, I wrote down "Amok! Amok! Amok, Amok, Amok!" because every time I saw the title it popped into my head. I really enjoy the humor in this series. It actually comes in two different forms - Merlin attempting to understand the modern world (or not bothering to understand some of it), and Morgana and Bronwyn's constant bickering and awkward timing. The mystery itself was pretty good, but a little overly complicated.

My Manicure: Ugh I am so far behind. This was already supposed to be posted, but I ended up exhausted with a migraine and could not get the energy or focus to post it. Kailyn has a lot of cats, so I went with a black cat familiar theme. I started with ILNP Mega (L). Then I stamped the cats with MoYou London Festive 15 and Bundle Monster Straight Up Black.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Antiques Wanted by Barbara Allan


Title: Antiques Wanted
Series: Trash 'n' Treasures Mystery #12
Author: Barbara Allan

Goodreads Summary: 
Spring lassoes small-town Serenity, as Brandy Borne's crime-bustin' mama Vivian hatches a harebrained scheme to run for County Sheriff--ropin' in her daughter to join the rodeo as campaign manager. As the two-woman posse tracks down voters at a local assisted-living home, Brandy's attempts at corralling Mother's impractical whims make her feel like a tinhorn on a bucking bronco. But sure as shootin', unhappy trails lie ahead. . . .

Shortly after the Borne gals receive a valuable signed photo of an old-timey cowboy actor from the elderly aunt of Vivian's political opponent, a massive explosion sends Brandy to the ER and auntie to the grave.

With a string of unexplained deaths turning Sunny Meadow into Boot Hill, the ditzy duo--aided by their clever shih tzu Sushi--must lay down the law on a deadly outlaw . . . before someone's elected the next victim, with the Bornes headin' toward their last round-up!

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
A fun story with an unsatisfying mystery. I honestly love the unique way the series is written. It is quirky and feels like how someone would actually tell a story. The mystery was just weird. It was hard to follow at times and the ending didn't make a whole lot of sense.

My Manicure: So, yeah, this is how I picture Vivian as she runs for Sheriff. It just seems like something she would do. I started with Sinful Colors Leather Loose. Then I stamped the Sheriff with Winstonia 214 and Bundle Monster Heart of Gold.


Monday, April 23, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Read Herring Hunt by V.M. Burns


Title: Read Herring Hunt
Series: Mystery Bookshop Mystery #2
Author: V.M. Burns

Goodreads Summary: 
Mystery bookstore owner Samantha Washington is about to find out it's not so easy to play Monday morning quarterback when it comes to murder. . . To the town of North Harbor, Michigan, MISU quarterback Dawson Alexander is a local hero. To Samantha Washington, owner of the Market Street Mysteries Bookstore, Dawson is more than a tenant—he’s like an adopted son. But to the police, he is their prime suspect after his ex-girlfriend is found murdered. It’s more than enough real-life drama for Sam to tackle, but her role as a mystery writer also calls. Returning to the English countryside between the wars, she finds Lady Daphne Marsh in quite the quandary. Someone has tried to murder the scandalous American divorcĂ©e Wallis Simpson, for whom Edward VIII so recently abdicated his throne. It seems finding a suspect is no small challenge when most of England has a motive . . .

While Sam’s lawyer sister Jenna rushes in to build Dawson's defense, Sam and her lively grandmother, Nana Jo, huddle up to solve the mystery and blow the whistle on the real killer. With the tenacious members of the Sleuthing Senior Book Club eager to come off the sidelines, Sam and her team just might stop a killer from completing another deadly play . . .

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
Another fun Mystery Bookshop mystery. I love the stories that Samantha writes, and I would love to see them released as novellas. The mystery was fun but a little bit simple. I love reading about "the girls" and their antics.

My Manicure: Since the series involves a bookshop, I chose a cute little bookworm. I started with a base of ILNP Kings & Queens. I love how bold and holographic it is. Then I stamped the bookworm with MJ JR-2 and Bundle Monster So Metal.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Death of a Cookbook Author by Lee Hollis


Title: Death of a Cookbook Author
Series: Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery #10
Author: Lee Hollis

Goodreads Summary: 
Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell will be cooking alongside top chefs at a cookbook author's party. But a killer plans to ruin her appetite . . . When Hayley's idol, cookbook author and TV personality Penelope Janice, invites her to participate in a Fourth of July celebrity cook-off at her seaside estate in Seal Harbor, Maine, Hayley couldn't be more flattered. She just hopes she can measure up. With a who's who of famous chefs whipping up their signature dishes, this holiday weekend has all the ingredients for a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience.

Instead, Hayley gets food poisoning her first night and thinks she overhears two people cooking up a murder plot. The next morning, a body is found at the bottom of a cliff. Tragic accident or foul play? To solve a real cliffhanger, Hayley will need to uncover some simmering secrets--before a killer boils over again . . .

Includes seven delectable recipes from Hayley's kitchen!

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
The best word I can come up with to describe this book is unexpected. It may be an odd word choice, but every time I was sure of something, it went in an unexpected direction. The mystery was well written and nicely paced. I really like Hayley's column. It adds an extra bit of humor and shows who Hayley is when she isn't in the middle of a murder.

My Manicure: Since the book takes place during a Fourth of July cook-off, I had to go with a patriotic look. I started with a base of Zoya Trixie. Then I stamped my flags with Bundle Monster H25, Red Hot, and Crystalized.


Monday, April 16, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Expiration Date by Devon Delaney


Title: Expiration Date
Series: Cook-Off Mystery #1
Author: Devon Delaney

Goodreads Summary: 
After a short-lived marriage, Sherry Frazzelle is living single life to the fullest in her little Connecticut town, accompanied by her Jack Russell terrier, Chutney. Her new passion is competitive cooking--but it turns out that murder is the surprise ingredient . . .

With contestants from Maine to California and a ten-thousand-dollar prize at stake, Sherry's latest competition, hosted by the CEO of an organic food company, is sure to be heated. But she's more than ready to step up to the stove. After all, she did win the award for Most Creative Cupcake back in high-school.Today, she's hoping her flavorful pork tenderloin will sway the judges. Instead, it seems someone's decided to slay one of the judges . . .

After Chef Birns falls face first into the Seafood Flatbread Pizza, Sherry's dish is deemed suspicious. Now she'll have to stir through a stew of rule-breaking, corruption, and gossip to get herself off the chopping block, and find out who turned this food fight fatal . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry's Kitchen!

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
This was an interesting start to a new series. There were a lot of food puns and quirky names. The mystery had a nice twist to it. My problem with the book is that Sherry didn't seem to have common sense.

My Manicure: This is my really bad attempt at free handing an apron. I chose an apron because Sherry likes to collect aprons from the various cooking competitions she is in. I started out with Sinful Colors Black on Black. Then I drew the apron using a Kiss White striping brush.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Bleeding Tarts by Kirsten Weiss


Title: Bleeding Tarts
Series: Pie Town Mystery #2
Author: Kirsten Weiss

Goodreads Summary: 
Val's new pies are foolproof--but not bulletproof.
Old West ghost towns are as American as apple pie. So what better place to sponsor a pie-eating contest than the Bar X, a fake ghost town available for exclusive private events on the edge of Silicon Valley. Valentine Harris is providing the pies, hoping to boost business for her struggling Pie Town shop and become a regular supplier for the Bar X.

But no sooner does she arrive in town than a stray bullet explodes the cherry pie in her hands. And the delicious dessert is not the only victim. Val finds the Bar X bartender shot dead in an alley. Egged on by her flaky friend and pie crust specialist, Charlene, Val aims to draw out the shooter. But solving a real murder in a fake ghost town won't be easy as pie. And if Val doesn't watch her back, her pies won't be the only thing filled full of lead . . .

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
A fun addition to the series. The wild west town setting was fun, but I do wish it was featured more. The mystery was fun and not overly complicated. The recipes at the end had me cracking up.

My Manicure: I'm calling this my mild wild west manicure. I started out with a base of Zoya Cinnamon. The saloon doors were stamped with Winstonia 214 and Bundle Monster Heart of Gold.


Monday, April 9, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Bad Neighbors by Maia Chance


Title: Bad Neighbors
Series: Agnes and Effie Mystery #2
Author: Maia Chance

Goodreads Summary: 
Agnes Blythe and her glamorous Aunt Effie must take a break from restoring their inn to rake in the clues when a local mechanic is murdered in national bestselling author Maia Chance’s charming second Agnes & Effie mystery.

It’s leaf-peeping season in Naneda, New York, and Agnes Blythe has settled into helping her eccentric Great Aunt Effie restore the Stagecoach Inn. It seems nothing can shatter the golden idyll―or the ka-ching of cash registers―until a mechanic at Hatch Automotive is found bludgeoned to death with a wrench.

Sweeping into action, Agnes and Aunt Effie are on the scene, when a tourist-laden motor coach breaks down outside of town. The Stagecoach Inn isn’t exactly ready for guests, but Agnes and Effie agree to take in a group of seniors while they wait for repairs. But then, Agnes finds herself pulled into the investigation when she learns her new boyfriend, gorgeous Otis Hatch, is the Naneda Police Department’s prime suspect.

With bodies falling faster than the foliage, Agnes must leaf through the more viable suspects and clear Otis’s name of murder in Bad Neighbors, the charming second Agnes and Effie mystery from national bestselling author Maia Chance.

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
There were a lot of interesting parts in this book, but overall it wasn't as enjoyable as I hoped it would be. I enjoyed the sense of humor. The characters weren't very appealing to me. They seemed unhappy with everything and it made the overall mood a bit sad. The mystery itself was good, I just really didn't care about the characters.

My Manicure: I love a good fall setting. Since the leaf-peeping is a major part of the plot, I went with a leafy manicure. I started with a gradient of Zoya Blair and Giada. I absolutely love this combination. The leaves were stamped with Bundle Monster S206 and Heart of Gold.


Friday, April 6, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - At the Stroke of Midnight by Tara Sivec


Title: At the Stroke of Midnight
Series: The Naughty Princess Club #1
Author: Tara Sivec

Goodreads Summary: 
Meet the Naughty Princess Club: a brand new series from USA Today bestselling author Tara Sivec that introduces readers to Fairytale Lane and the hilarity—and romance—that ensue when three women start a new business to make it rain.

Once upon a time Cynthia was the perfect housewife. Between being the President of the PTA and keeping her home spotless without a hair (or her pearls) out of place, her life was a dream come true. Her husband was once her knight in shining armor, but now he’s run off with all their money…and the babysitter.

Dressed as a princess at the annual Halloween block party on Fairytale Lane, she meets two other “princesses” also facing money troubles: antique store owner Ariel and librarian Isabelle. When the women are invited to wear their costumes to a party where they’re mistaken for strippers, Cindy, Ariel, and Belle realize that a career change could be the best way to make their money problems go bippity-boppity-boo.

But can structured Cindy approach a stripper pole without sanitizing wipes? And could the blue-eyed anti-prince that has been crossing her path become Cindy’s happily ever after? At the Stroke of Midnight is a hilarious, empowering story where princesses can save themselves while slaying in stilettos.

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
Warning - do not eat or drink anything while reading this book. You will damage your e-reader/book if you attempt it. This is a typical Tara Sivec style rom-com. It is crude and obscene, yet absolutely hilarious. The plot is predictable, yet it has some unique and unexpected moments. I'm really looking forward to the next book.

My Manicure: I cannot believe how hilariously perfect this manicure is. I started out with Sinful Colors Cinderella. I have a love/hate relationship with this polish. It is really pretty, but it takes 4-5 coats and still isn't fully opaque. I stamped the stripper with Bundle Monster XL 303 and Straight Up Black. Then, since she needed stripper glitter boobs, I stamped again using Vapid Stardust.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Lord of the Pies by Nell Hampton


Title: Lord of the Pies
Series: Kensington Palace Chef Mystery #2
Author: Nell Hampton

Goodreads Summary: 
When Carrie Ann Cole bakes a lemon meringue pie to die for that actually kills someone, she must find out who the real killer is before her time at the Kensington Palace expires.The elegant Orangery at Kensington Palace is the perfect setting for the bridal shower of Carrie Ann Cole’s best friend’s sister. Personal chef to the royal family, Carrie Ann’s pie theme is naturally winning. But a waiter later keels over dead into the lemon meringue pie she leaves as a thank-you to the staff and Carrie Ann realizes that somebody slipped a mickey into that meringue.

Her floury fingerprints are all over that pie and the authorities suspect her distress is a cover-up for murder. Carrie Ann must set out to clear her name if she wants to stay at her dream job any longer. But all too soon, another body drops in the Orangery. This time, it’s the Orangery chef.

Murder won’t crimp her style, and as bodies pile up, Carrie Ann uncovers palace intrigue, London nightlife, and British pies scouring for the killer in Lord of the Pies, the witty follow-up to Nell Hampton’s Kale to the Queen.

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
A great addition to a wonderful series. Poor Carrie Ann just can't catch a break. Yet again she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. The mystery was very well written with great ending.

My Manicure: Rain, rain, go away.... Seriously, it has been raining and storming all day and I am so over it. Anyway, I went for a stormy skies look today. I started out with Zoya Saint for my sky. I probably could've gone even lighter to up the contrast. The clouds were stamped with Bundle Monster XL 156 and Storm Cloud.