Monday, February 27, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Wanted by Betsy Schow


Title: Wanted
Series: Spelled #2
Author: Betsy Schow

Goodreads Summary: In the sequel to Spelled, can Robin Hood's daughter, Rexi, stop the Wicked Witch from finding Excalibur?
Fairy-Tale Survival Rule No. 52:
No matter how difficult the obstacles or all-powerful the evil villain, one can rest assured that the hero of the story never dies. The sidekicks though...they should be worried.

Rexi Hood is proud to be an outlaw. After all, she's the daughter of the infamous Robin Hood. But sidekick? Accomplice? Sorry, that wasn't in her story description. Yeah, she and Princess Dorthea of Emerald have been inseparable since they teamed up to fight the wickedest witch. But if Rexi doesn't figure out how to break the curse that binds them, forget being overshadowed by the spirited princess, Rexi's going to become a Forgotten, wiped from the pages of Story and reduced to a puddle of ink.

Not happening. No way in Spell.

Rexi's plan? Steal the sword Excalibur and use its magic to write her own tale. But Gwenevere has opened a new Academy of Villains in Camelot and danger lurks behind every plot twist. And you know how it goes in Story: keep your friends close and your enemies closer...

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

I am so torn on what to think of this one. I had a lot of fun reading Spelled, but Wanted just didn't have the same appeal. If you love puns, there were plenty of them. The problem is, that is about all it has. The plot was basically Rexi dying and coming back to life, and shocking twists that don't have any real purpose.

My Manicure: See that awesome looking shoe on the cover? This manicure is loosely based on it. It actually is an important part in the plot, but it also just looks really cool. I started out with KBShimmer Spruce Things Up. I need to remember this polish around Christmas because it would be the perfect base for a Christmas tree manicure. Then I stamped using KBShimmer PT Young Thing and Bundle Monster 213. As I said, loosely based on the cover (emphasis on loosely).


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Murder Go Round by Carol J. Perry


Title: Murder Go Round
Series: Witch City Mystery #4
Author: Carol J. Perry

Goodreads Summary: A killer takes a spin through Salem . . .
Lee Barrett has agreed to attend a storage auction with Aunt Ibby—even though she suspects the forgotten rooms will yield more junk than treasure. Her skepticism vanishes once the two win a bid on an overlooked locker and uncover a trove of beautiful curiosities, including a stunning wooden carousel horse with gentle eyes and fading paint. But just before Lee leaves the fairground relic at a local repair shop, the sight of a silver samovar awakens her psychic abilities and conjures visions of murder.

Lee prays the intrusive ESP episode was just a glimpse into the past—until her policeman boyfriend reports a dead man outside the repair shop. Apparently, the unknown victim had been hot on Lee’s trail since the auction. And with the horse found dismantled, it looks like he was up to no good. What’s the story behind the antique equine, and could a strange bubblegum-chewing woman with fiery hair have something to do with the crime? Guided by her gift and O’Ryan, her wise tabby cat, Lee’s set on catching the murderer . . . before she’s sent on the darkest ride of her life.

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

Another great series that I'll need to catch up on. The mystery involves a lot of researching the past, which I absolutely love, and the paranormal aspect added an extra touch to keep the plot from dragging. I really enjoyed how they pieced together the complicated history of the carousel horse and the mystery that is attached to it.

My Manicure: Oooh this was a fun one. I started out with a base of KBShimmer Carpe Denim. This color is absolutely gorgeous! The carousel was done with Winstonia 209 and Bundle Monster So Metal. The matryoshka doll was done with Winstonia 219 and Bundle Monster So Metal.


Monday, February 20, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Murder Wears White by Stephanie Blackmoore


Title: Murder Wears White
Series: Wedding Planner Mystery #2
Author: Stephanie Blackmoore

Goodreads Summary: Mallory Shepard’s wedding planning business is off to a shaky start when a member of the bridal family drops dead at a food tasting . . .

Mallory hopes to unveil her new B&B just in time for her first ceremony as a wedding planner. The renovations to Thistle Park—the mansion she inherited in small-town Port Quincy, Pennsylvania—are almost complete. But what Mallory didn’t plan on is the bride’s aunt being poisoned at the wedding tasting and her perfect venue becoming a crime scene.

Adding to the mystery is the discovery that this is not the first murder in the bridal family, and as Mallory becomes engaged in her own investigation she learns the man convicted of the crime may not be guilty. Now she has two crimes to solve before the bride walks down the aisle—but a killer has other plans to ensure that Mallory forever holds her peace . . .

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

Oh my gosh I had so much fun reading this! It is jam packed with things going on, so the plot never drags. There are some hilarious, laugh out loud moments. The multiple mysteries were intriguing, and I had fun trying to put all the pieces together.

My Manicure: Woohoo! An experiment that worked! I wanted something a little different than my normal "wedding" type nails, so I added a little holo flair. I started out with a gel polish base with Bundle Monster Button Down. Then I stamped with MoYou London Bridal 7 and KBShimmer PT Young Thing. Wouldn't a holo wedding veil look awesome?


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Fudge and Jury by Ellie Alexander


Title: Fudge and Jury
Series: Bakeshop Mystery #5
Author: Ellie Alexander

Goodreads Summary: Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bakery where the pastries are delicious…and, now, suspicious.
It’s almost spring in Ashland, Oregon, and the town is preparing for the Shakespeare and the annual Chocolate Festival. Business is cookin’ at Torte, and the store is expanding as Jules’ team whips up crèpes filled with mascarpone cheese and dark chocolate. Torte stands a chance of being this year’s confectionery belle of the ball! Life couldn’t be sweeter—unless murder taints the batter.

Evan Rowe, of Confections Couture, makes a chocolate fountain that would put Willy Wonka to shame, and his truffles are to die for—literally? Yes, the world-renowned chocolatier has just turned up dead…right after sampling a slice of Jules’ decadent four-layer chocolate cake. Now all eyes are on Jules as she tries to find the mysterious ingredient in her own recipe. Can she sift out the truth before another contestant bites the buttercream?

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

Well this is definitely a series I'll need to catch up on. The food descriptions were to die for (sorry, couldn't resist), and I am dying to try out those recipes (I know, that joke was even worse). The mystery was great, with no shortage of believable suspects. I also loved how connected I felt to the characters. I could feel how much hard work they put into Torte, and I wanted to cheer them on as they worked on improving it.

My Manicure: Is there anything better than chocolate? I'm pretty sure the correct answer is no. Since Fudge and Jury is centered around a chocolate festival, I went with a simple box of chocolate manicure. I started with a base of Sinful Colors Leather Loose, one of my favorite brown polishes. Then I stamped using MoYou London Happy Birthday 1 and Bundle Monster Heart of Gold.


Monday, February 13, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Death in Advertising by Laura Bradford


Title: Death in Advertising
Series: Tobi Tobias Mystery #1
Author: Laura Bradford

Goodreads Summary: When Tobi Tobias decided to open her own ad agency, having to moonlight in a pet shop wasn’t part of her vision . . . of course, neither was murder.

Sometimes when opportunity knocks, the door you open leads to a closet. That’s certainly the case for Tobi, whose weekends spent cleaning cages in her best friend’s pet shop may soon be over. She’s just landed her first big break—Zander Closet Company needs a catchy campaign slogan ASAP, and Tobi thinks she’s got the right hook to knock ’em dead: “When we’re done, even your skeletons will have a place.”

But when a real dead body topples out of a showcase closet, she’s about to discover there is such a thing as bad publicity. To save her fledgling business and not get killed by the competition, Tobi takes on a new pet project: solving the murder. But with a stressed-out parrot as the only witness to the crime, Tobi will really have to wing it to put the cagey killer behind bars.

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

Oh my gosh I loved this book! Tobi is awesome, her friends are hilariously quirky, and I never thought I'd laugh that much at a parrot (snort, snort). The mystery was great, too, although the ending did feel a little anticlimactic. I can't wait until the next book comes out!

My Manicure: Since the parrot is what stuck in my mind, that is what my influence was for this manicure. The base is KBShimmer Alloy Matey. I then stamped with Bundle Monster + Lucy's Stash and Straight Up Black. The feathers are filled in with Sally Hansen Jell-ous, Sea Through, and Ice Tint. Sadly, it ended up being sheerer than I wanted, so a lot of the effect is lost. But the massive holo-ness of Alloy Matey definitely makes up for it.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Time Out by Suzanne M. Trauth


Title: Time Out
Series: Dodie O'Dell Mystery #2
Author: Suzanne M. Trauth

Goodreads Summary: KNISH OF DEATH

The amateur actors at the Etonville Little Theatre may be known for chewing the scenery, but restaurant manager Dodie O’Dell has something more appetizing for them to sink their teeth into. She’s been taking bows in her small New Jersey town for her theme menus, designed to complement the local productions. This fall, the community theatre is staging Arsenic and Old Lace, set in 1940s Brooklyn, so Dodie is serving up hot dogs, Italian ices, egg creams, and knishes at the weekend food festival.

All is going well until Antonio Digenza, the ex-Off-Off-Broadway director of the show, dies dramatically while noshing on a knish. As rumors of food poisoning quickly spread, Dodie scrambles to rescue the Windjammer restaurant’s reputation. But when clues point to foul play, she’s faced with a cast of suspects all auditioning for the part of DiGenza’s murderer. She’ll need to act fast to shine a spotlight on the killer—before it’s curtains for another victim . . .

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

Overall this was a decent book, but it didn't hold my attention the entire time. I had part of it figured out by a third of the way through, which made parts of the book a bit tedious. One of the main reasons I wanted to read this book is because I love the movie version of Arsenic and Old Lace, so I was a little disappointed when it didn't play much of a part in the plot.

My Manicure: I'm keeping it super simple today because my sinuses are going haywire. Basically, our weather is changing seasons three times in the next five days and I am feeling it. I decided that since there is an Arsenic and Old Lace theme, that would be my manicure theme. I went with KBShimmer Claws and Effect. I feel it has a nice elderberry wine look to it.


Monday, February 6, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Get Me To The Grave On Time by D.E. Ireland


Title: Get Me To The Grave On Time
Series: Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins #3
Author: D.E. Ireland

Goodreads Summary: Although Eliza still refuses to marry Freddy Eynsford Hill, everyone around her seems headed for the altar. Not only is her cousin Inspector Jack Shaw about to wed his sweetheart, but Freddy's younger sister Clara is engaged, along with the niece of Henry Higgins. Another blushing bride is the sixty-year-old Duchess of Carbrey, who plans to marry a handsome fellow half her age. But when the groom is found dead, a jealous mistress is blamed for the murder. However, the death may also be connected to the stolen treasure of an Indian temple.

Disaster strikes next at Jack and Sybil's wedding. Soon after, the wedding reception of Higgins's niece takes a lethal turn. Someone is targeting bridegrooms, and the wedding of Freddy's sister is next. Before another bridal bouquet is tossed, Higgins and Eliza must track down the killer. Otherwise, Clara's bridegroom — and perhaps the bride herself — may be murdered before they can get to the church on time.

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

Murder and mayhem in high society. I absolutely adored this book! I love books set in early 1900's England, so this was a perfect book for me. Although I've never seen My Fair Lady or read any other books in the series, I had no problem following along. I loved the mystery and the humor, and I can't wait to read more of this series.

My Manicure: Ok, kind of funny story. I write notes for manicure ideas, and for this one my notes were "wedding, funeral, peacocks." A bit random, but I think I managed to successfully fit all of it into one manicure. I used Finger Paints Of Quartz You Can (white), Zoya Storm (black), and Femme Fatale Feel the Teal (teal). I used Bundle Monster + Nailstamp4fun, Bam! White and Straight Up Black for the lace stamping, and Bundle Monster + Lucy's Stash and Heart of Gold for the feathers. The black with lace sadly didn't show quite as well as I hoped it would, but I am loving the peacock nail. I can't wait to use it for a full manicure.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Iced Under by Barbara Ross


Title: Iced Under
Series: Maine Clambake #5
Author: Barbara Ross

Goodreads Summary: The snow is deep in Maine’s Busman’s Harbor and the mighty rivers are covered in ice. Snowden Family Clambake Company proprietor Julia Snowden and her mother, Jacqueline, are hunkered down for the winter when a mysterious package arrives—heating up February with an unexpected case of murder . . .

Inside the mystery package is an enormous black diamond necklace that once belonged to Julia’s great-grandmother and disappeared in the 1920s. Who could have sent it—and why? Julia’s search for clues takes her on a perilous journey through her mother’s troubled family history, from a squabble over the family fortune in “frozen water” to the recent unexplained death of Jacqueline’s long-lost cousin Hugh—who’d been missing and presumed drowned for more than forty years. To protect her mother’s inheritance, Julia must fend off a small army of feuding relatives, solve the mystery surrounding Hugh’s demise, and get back home before the next blizzard buries them all . . .

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

I loved this book! The mystery of the necklace was intriguing, and I loved how Julia was doing genealogy research to try to solve it. I also loved the quirkiness of the characters. The only experience I have with this series is the novella in Eggnog Murder, but I had no trouble following the story. By the end, I was feeling a definite connection to the characters.

My Manicure: Oh my gosh! I am in love with this polish! I was inspired by the black diamond necklace. I used KBShimmer Night Bright and it is insanely beautiful. Even in low light it has crazy holo-ness to it.

I couldn't capture the full effect of it, so I had to take a blurred shot to catch the holo.