Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Murder on the Sugarland Express by Angie Fox


Title: Murder on the Sugarland Express
Series: Southern Ghost Hunter Mystery #6
Author: Angie Fox

Goodreads Summary: 
Verity Long is overdue for a little R&R (rest and romance) with her boyfriend Ellis, and a vintage train trip through the Tennessee mountains seems like just the ticket. The Sugarland Express carries history and nostalgia in every compartment, and Verity is determined to enjoy it—without ghostly interference. But the ghosts have other plans…

On a dark, desolate night nearly a century ago, the train was stranded in the mountains and a young woman was found stabbed to death in her locked compartment. The murder was never solved, and a ghostly Belgian detective is still pursuing the case from the grave.

To Verity’s dismay, all of the ghostly suspects are back. And when history repeats itself and a new murder mirrors the old, it’s up to Verity and her friends to discover which of the passengers—dead or alive—could be behind the murders before the killer strikes again.

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
I absolutely love this series! I really liked how there were two separate murders that she was investigating, and there were surprising twists in each one. The pacing was great and the plot never seemed to drag.

My Manicure: This was supposed to be a watermarble based on the cover colors, but the blue disappeared somehow. I started with Finger Paints Magritte's Masterpiece. Then I marbled with it and Sinful Colors Black on Black. When that failed, I threw Vapid Stardust on top because holo makes everything better.


Monday, December 25, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Escape Claws by Linda Reilly


Title: Escape Claws
Series: Cat Lady Mystery #1
Author: Linda Reilly

Goodreads Summary: 
Here, killer, killer, killer . . .

For the first time in sixteen years, Lara Caphart has returned to her hometown of Whisker Jog, New Hampshire. She wants to reconnect with her estranged Aunt Fran, who’s having some difficulty looking after herself—and her eleven cats. Taking care of a clowder of kitties is easy, but keeping Fran from being harassed by local bully Theo Barnes is hard. The wealthy builder has his sights set on Fran’s property, and is determined to make her an offer she doesn’t dare refuse.

Then Lara spots a blue-eyed ragdoll cat that she swears is the reincarnation of her beloved Blue, her childhood pet. Pursuing the feline to the edge of Fran’s yard, she stumbles upon the body of Theo Barnes, clearly a victim of foul play. To get her and Fran off the suspect list, Lara finds herself following the cat’s clues in search of a killer. Is Blue’s ghost really trying to help her solve a murder, or has Lara inhaled too much catnip?

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

This was a fairly strong start to a new series. The mystery was well written and a bit surprising. The only thing I didn't really like was that the whole beginning seemed to have an overall feeling of sadness to it. But it did end up with a happier feeling by the end.

My Manicure: There was a line in here that was perfect for this manicure. It was about keeping the cats away from paint so they wouldn't walk through it and start painting things. I ended up adding a bit of Christmas cheer to it simply because of when I scheduled this post. I started out with Vapid Happy Freakin' New Year 2017. I can't stop staring at it! The paw prints were done with Bundle Monster 424, Tree of Life, and Red Sea. Fun, festive, and cute!


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Better Dead by Pamela Kopfler


Title: Better Dead
Series: B&B Spirits Mystery #1
Author: Pamela Kopfler

Goodreads Summary: 
As the owner of a charming Louisiana bed and breakfast, Holly Davis believes in Southern hospitality--but she draws the line at welcoming the ghost of her cheating husband . . .
Burl Davis checked out of this life a little earlier than expected--before Holly could serve him with divorce papers over his extramarital flings. Unfortunately, it was not before he nearly bankrupted her beloved B&B, Holly Grove, a converted plantation that has been in her family for generations. Holly would never wish anyone dead, but three months later she's feeling a lot more relief than grief.
Until Burl's ghost appears as an unwelcome guest. Before his spirit can move on, her not-so-dearly departed needs Holly's human help to bust up the drug smuggling ring he was involved with. She has reservations, to say the least, but agrees to assist him if he'll make a show of haunting the B&B to draw in visitors. But when Holly's former love, Jack McCann, mysteriously resurfaces in town and checks in, she has to wonder if her B&B is big enough for the ghost of her husband and the very real physical presence of her old flame . . .

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
Oh my gosh, that was absolutely hilarious. The mystery was great, with a lot of humor thrown in. The setting was beautiful, and the B&B was written about so vividly it almost felt like a character rather than a place.

My Manicure: Today I went for a ghostly look to tie in with the haunted plantation theme. I started with a base of Vapid Slay Bells. No real reason for it, I just think it is absolutely gorgeous. The ghost was done with MoYou London Festive 15 and Vapid Happy Freakin' New Year 2017.


Monday, December 18, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Stowed Away by Barbara Ross


Title: Stowed Away
Series: Maine Clambake Mystery #6
Author: Barbara Ross

Goodreads Summary: 
It’s June in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and Julia Snowden and her family are working hard to get their authentic Maine clambake business ready for summer. Preparations must be put on hold, however, when a mysterious yacht drops anchor in the harbor—and delivers an unexpected dose of murder . . .

When Julia’s old prep school rival Wyatt Jayne invites her to dinner on board her billionaire fiancĂ©’s decked-out yacht, Julia arrives to find a sumptuous table set for two—and the yachtsman dead in his chair. Suspicion quickly falls on Wyatt, and Julia’s quest to dredge up the truth leads her into the murky private world of a mega-rich recluse who may not have been all that he seemed . . .

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
Another enjoyable addition to the series. There were some surprising twists in the mystery, although some twists spoiled upcoming twists (I'm not sure if that makes sense, butt it's the only way I can think of to describe it). I'm curious if some of the revelations will be addressed in later books.

My Manicure: I decided to keep it simple with a nautical theme today. I started out with Finger Paints Magritte's Masterpiece topped with Vapid Stardust. I love how Stardust adds a nice light holo without losing the richness of the base color. I stamped the anchor using Winsonia Absolutely Nautical and Bundle Monster So Metal.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - A Case of Syrah, Syrah by Nancy J. Parra


Title: A Case of Syrah, Syrah
Series: Wine Country Mystery #1
Author: Nancy J. Parra

Goodreads Summary: 
Taylor O’Brian is a new businesswoman, founder of “Taylor’s Off The Beaten Path Wine Tours,” who lives on a small winery with her Aunt Jemma. She plans to take small groups around romantic Sonoma county to discover some of the county’s outdoor gardens. It’s all running as smooth as can be until Laura, the leader of the group of yoga instructors she’s leading, is found dead. And it’s Taylor’s corkscrew that’s found buried in Laura’s neck.

She’s not sure who to trust, and everyone around suddenly seems suspect. Only two weeks after the murder, her very own administrative assistant, Amy, marries Laura’s husband, Dan, who doesn’t seem very bereaved about being widowed, and the three yoga masters who were also out on the tour begin to seem shady. Taylor can’t afford to jump ship from her new business endeavor, but just as she begins her investigation, another dead body surfaces. This time, it’s Dan’s sister. And the killer is coming for Taylor next.

Now it’s up to Taylor to uncork this open-bottle mystery, before more blood is spilled. For fans of Laura Childs and Ellen Crosby, A Case of Syrah, Syrah is the charming first in bestselling author Nancy J. Parra’s Wine Country mysteries.

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. I loved the mystery, I just couldn't handle Taylor. I found her to be annoying and a bit obnoxious. I did love how delightfully quirky some of the minor characters were.

My Manicure: And now for something completely different... As you can see, I was inspired by that cute cat on the cover. I started out with a base of Vapid Angels & Demons. Funny story, this arrived Monday and I decided it was what I needed to use, but I had to wait until Tuesday for it to warm up enough to use without shattering the bottle. A bit of a last minute decision, but I think it was worth it. I stamped the cat using QA-40 and Bundle Monster Straight Up Black. Isn't it just adorable? Wait... hang on. Let me add a little hot water...

Ahh, much better. As you can see, Angels & Demons is a thermal with a nice dramatic shift. You can also see that I get really cold hands in winter since it was transitioning within a minute of running hot water over my hand. It is a lot of fun watching the color randomly change, and as long as my nail beds are warm I end up with a really neat French manicure effect.


Monday, December 11, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Ginger Snapped by Gail Oust


Title: Ginger Snapped
Series: Spice Shop Mystery #5
Author: Gail Oust

Goodreads Summary: 
Piper Prescott and Police Chief Wyatt McBride might have gotten off on the wrong foot but, over the past year, their interactions have evolved into a friendship of sorts. And when the body of Shirley Randolph is found floating in a fishing hole, their relationship reaches entirely new territory.

Shirley, the town's Realtor of the Year, was also Wyatt's suspected romantic interest, and now the residents of Brandywine Creek are speculating that Wyatt is responsible for her death. As the town council moves to suspend the handsome lawman, Piper springs into action to save his reputation and possibly his freedom. She enlists the aid of her BFF, Reba Mae Johnson, along with Wyatt himself, to help solve the puzzle and find Shirley’s real killer.

Pointing them toward high-powered real estate tactics and possible affairs, the investigation soon becomes personal when Piper's shop, Spice It Up!, is burglarized, and she’s forced off the road late one night, narrowly escaping serious injury. Realizing that she must be close to uncovering the truth, and that the evidence against Wyatt is no longer circumstantial, Piper resorts to drastic measures to prevent a grave miscarriage of justice.

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
This was a really enjoyable book. It is the first one I have read in this series, and I had no trouble following the story. The mystery was interesting and well written.

My Manicure: When I saw that cover, I knew I had to do a gingerbread manicure. Funny story, my first attempt left me with a decapitated gingerbread man. I'm still not sure how I managed that. I started out with a base of KBShimmer Supplies Party. I love how it is neutral, yet blingy. Then I stamped my gingerbread man with Winstonia Have a Merry Christmas and Bundle Monster Annato Clay. It turned out so adorable!


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - Etched in Tears by Cheryl Hollon


Title: Etched in Tears
Series: Webb's Glass Shop Mystery #4
Author: Cheryl Hollon

Goodreads Summary: 
When a famous glass artist is murdered at his own exhibit, deadly secrets are put on display, and it's up to glass shop owner Savannah Webb to see through a killer's cover.

Celebrated glass artist Dennis Lansing is returning to St. Petersburg, Florida, for an exhibit at the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum. His unique style of embedding document images in his art is at the vanguard of contemporary glasswork. But as Savannah's first boyfriend and a former apprentice to her father, Dennis's return home has her reflecting on the past--a trip down memory lane that takes a dark turn when Dennis is found murdered at the museum with an old reference letter from her father in his pocket. A search through her father's records sheds new light on Dennis's history, but it seems his present life wasn't so transparent either. Now, with a gallery of suspects to consider, it's up to Savannah to figure out who fits the mold of a murderer.

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

Another wonderful addition to the series. I absolutely loved the setting. The museum sounds like a wonderful place to visit (minus the murder). The mystery was well written and had some nice twists. It was also a little more emotional than most since there was such a personal connection to the victim.

My Manicure: My inspiration today was the bench on the cover. I started out with Bitzy Tip Toeing for the bench. My melting clock was done with Bundle Monster 610 and So Metal.


Monday, December 4, 2017

My Nails and My Book Review - And Death Goes To... by Laura Bradford


Title: And Death Goes To...
Series: Tobi Tobias Mystery #3
Author: Laura Bradford

Goodreads Summary: The Tobias Ad Agency is in the running for the coveted Golden Storyboard, and Tobi couldn't be more thrilled—until she discovers it's literally an award to die for.
It’s an honor just to be nominated. But, let's get real, Tobi wants to win. The St. Louis Advertising Awards are like the Oscars for her field, and Tobi' is up for its most prestigious prize, Best Overall Ad Campaign. The competition is always fierce, but this year it’s killer . . .
Despite her high hopes, Tobi isn't exactly shocked when she doesn’t win. But she is shocked when the winner, Deidre Ryan, takes the stage only to plummet to her death as a platform suddenly gives way. After the police discover foul play, Tobi's Grandpa Stu wastes no time in nominating suspects. But was Deidre the intended victim—or was someone else meant to take the fatal fall? Now it’s a race to catch a killer in the spotlight, before another nominee gets the booby prize and Tobi gets trapped in a no-win situation.

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

I love this series! Tobi is a strong, yet flawed, main character. The mystery was definitely twisty. I think I might've gasped out loud a few times during the reveal

My Manicure: Note to self - check stamping plates well in advance. My manicure has Tobi up for a gold ribbon because it is the only award image I have. Whoops. I started with a base of Sinful Colors Black on Black. I use it way too much, but I love how colors pop on it. My ribbon was stamped with MoYou London Happy Birthday 1 and Bundle Monster Heart of Gold.