2015 Top Reads

2015 has been a whirlwind of new books and author friends. It’s been a crazy ride that has culminated in my attendance at Utopia 2016 and potential publication.. we’ll see 😉

Happy New Year readers, this blog wouldn’t be anything without all of your kind words and support!

And now…

Top 15 Books of 2015

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Happy reading and here’s to an even better reading year next year!

Jordan

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Release Day Blitz & ARC Review: Lux-Courtney Cole

CourtneyCole-Lux-LaunchGraphic-600pxCourtneyCole-Lux-Cover-250pxAmazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Add LUX to your Goodreads TBRsynMy name is Calla Price and I’m broken.

My pieces are all around me, floating on the wind, even as I desperately try to grasp them.

Who is dead? Alive? Insane?

What is the truth?

I don’t know.

I do know this: The darkness is strangling me. With every breath, I choke on another lie.

My mind has protected me, but that shield will soon be lowered.

All will be revealed.
Every answer to every question.

It’s all been leading to this.

Don’t be afraid.
Be terrified.teaserCourtneyCole-Lux-Numbers-177deathCourtneyCole-Lux-Numbers-111DarknessCourtneyCole-Lux-Numbers-83bloodCourtneyCole-Lux-Numbers-23SaveMeSeries reading order: Nocte (#1), Verum (#2), Initium (#2.5), Lux (#3)

Get NOCTE: Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Audible (Add on Goodreads)
Get VERUM: Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Audible (Add on Goodreads)
Get INITIUM: Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo (Add on Goodreads)
Get LUX: Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo (Add on Goodreads)review4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review and with participation in this tour

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You’re not afraid to slowly spiral towards insanity only to be reawakened and dropped right back down the rabbit hole over and over again. 
  • Psychological thrillers tantalize you.
  • You’re dying to be so utterly consumed by the story that the whole outside world fades away and you have to question if maybe you too, are part of the story.

When I first started this trilogy, it was because I couldn’t get on social media without seeing it. These intoxicating covers were EVERYWHERE and then some. I had to be a part of this collective escape. So I lept. Nocte everything it promised, dark, captivating, crazy, and yes, a sort of mental maze that left me feeling lost, confused, and shocked to see the end. But something, something nagged at me and I was slightly disapponed and then I read Verum and holy hellfire and deceit was that a ride down into oblivion masked in truth. Lux was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015 and trust me, it’s like live dynamite just waiting to explode. 

Courtney Cole is one twisted, evil mastermind. My mind was BLOWN wide open and put back together again and then the ending came and my recently saved mind just gave up. What’s magical and incredibly addictive about this story is that it has always been in the reader’s hands. Sure, you know Calla’s mind as well as you can, but ultimately, you’ve always had to decipher and piece together the clues, we each had our own version of the truth, what we believe is a choice. Lux continues that tradition in a poetic, infuriating, and mildly bittersweet way. When you get to the end, read the author’s note, it’s important. 

The memories come to gether, they merge and split, and dance in Callie’s mind from the previous books. The same dark, Gothic feeling of wrongness, that eerie sense of disaster on the horizon permeates throughout. Everything is suspect and you won’t be able to stop the wheels turning in your mind as you scramble to uncover the truth. 

There are moments of stomach-dropping disbelief and harrowing sadness that will leave you breathless only to be spun around on the merry go round that is Calla’s mind. 

That raw passion and chemistry between Dare and Calla is still potent as ever but there’s a shadow that threatens to snuff out the light. It’s dizzying, beautiful, and bursting with chemistry and adoration. It’s magnetic. 

Love, above all else, is the savoir and reaper. 

There are a few elements that border on supernatural and came as quite a twist. 

All I can say is: You’ll see. And you won’t be able to forget. 

authCourtneyCole-Headshot250pxCourtney Cole is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist who would rather write than eat chocolate. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business, but no amount of working in the corporate world could quell her urge to write.

Courtney was born and raised in Kansas, home of incredibly friendly people and the most horrendous weather on the planet. Because summer days were so hot, she grew up reading stacks of books… and when she didn’t like the ending, she wrote her own.

Courtney has relocated to Florida where she writes beneath palm trees. To learn more about her, please visit her website. To sign up for her newsletter and receive exclusive sneak peeks and super-fan perks, click here

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Keep reading, 

Jordan

Release Day Blitz & Sale: Initium-Courtney Cole

INITIUM Nocte Prequel by Courtney ColeThe end is coming. LUX is almost here. But everything has a beginning. A beginning before the night. Before Finn. Before Calla. Everything starts somewhere.

This is where the darkness is born. ANOTHER STORY.

INITIUM (Nocte #2.5), a Nocte Trilogy between-the-books novella, is now available…and only $0.99 for TODAY ONLY! Includes an exclusive FOUR CHAPTER sneak peek of Lux (Nocte #3)!

Initium, Front CoverAmazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Add it on Goodreads

synI never knew what the consequences would be.
I say that like it’s a defense, an excuse.
Itís not. It’s simply the truth.
I never knew what he would become to me.
Through everything, he’s become everything.
My rock, my air, my love.
My everything.
And then…
Things changed.
Because it was wrong.
Because sometimes, our sons must pay for the sins of their fathers.
Or their mothers.
I’m afraid that I’m lost,
that I’m damned.
After you read this, you’ll probably agree.
Really, it doesn’t matter.
All that matters is that I save him.
Because he shouldn’t pay for my sin.
Judge me if you like.
But keep reading.
This is our beginning.
This is where the darkness truly starts.CourtneyCole-Initium-TeaserLetter-WithShadowteaserCourtneyCole-Initium-TeaserMeme2CourtneyCole-Initium-TeaserMeme1

Get NOCTE, the first book in the trilogy
Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo†| Audible Audiobook

Get VERUM, the second book in the trilogy
Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo†| Audible Audiobook

LUX, the final book in the trilogy, is coming October 28, 2015.

Keep reading,

Jordan

ARC Review: Verum-Courtney Cole

VERUM, the second book in Courtney Cole’s psychological mind-bending NOCTE Trilogy, is here.

VERUM-300px

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

cooltext1889161239 copyMy name is Calla Price and I’m drowning.

My new world is a dark, dark ocean and I’m being pulled under by secrets.

Can I trust anyone? I don’t know anymore.

The lies are spirals. They twist and turn, binding me with their thorns and serpentine tongues. And just when I think I have it figured out, everything is pulled out from under me.

I’m entangled in the darkness.

But the truth will set me free.

It’s just ahead of me, so close I can touch it. But even though it shines and glimmers, it has glistening fangs and I know it will shred me.

Are you scared?

I am.

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VERUM-LaunchDay-600pxTeaser8-SaneTeaser11-NotSafeTeaser13-BonesTeaser11-Hawk

cooltext1889171582 copy5/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review and participation in this tour with BadAss Marketing.

For those who follow my reviews, when I read Nocte, I wasn’t sold on the story. In part, I think it was because of the curse of too much hype. Everyone was talking about Nocte, the tantalizing cover was haunting and beautiful and seemed to spam every social media source. I read the blurb and finally, read the story. I felt, let down, unsatisfied but I had to know what happened so I pushed and I read and my head spun. The line between reality and nightmare blurred and became one and the same. Nocte was a waking dream, plagued with a hellish landscape of regret and repressed memory. Verum takes the horror up a notch, painting a Gothic illusion mixed with trippy bursts of what could be hallucination, memory, or fact. Nothing is what it seems and the darkness reigns in an oppressive aura of terror and loss-loss of stability, of sanity, of hope for escape. Just when you think you have it figured out clues converge into a stark, dizzying new reality. 

PROS:

  • The twists and turns are a prison in a never-ending maze with no door. Mystery builds to mind-blowing climax as truths are revealed but the problem is, even truth is cloudy and can’t be trusted. Reading, I tried to pull together the terrifying little phrases that stuck out, poisoning the story, laced with acid and darkness. I speculated and second guessed and nothing turned out like I thought. I still hold out on my theory for book 3 though. I might be right yet 🙂 
  • There’s new scenery in Verum. Bleak and gray, Whitley is a Gothic hellscape of unknown and oppressive feeling. The emptiness overwhelms and seeps beneath the surface, suffocating and possessing. The walls close in and what seems like ghosts taunt and caress Calla, sending her into another spiral of maybe madness or finally truth. Whitley is very Jane Eyre. The dismal mood colors the whole story and as Calla’s hope dwindles, the need for answers surges to an almost uncontrollable frenzy. 
  • Calla’s mind is more fragile than ever before. The road to recovery is a minefield of explosive revelations that threaten to send her right back over the edge. Calla must save herself, she’s the only one who can, and in order to do that she must remember. But to remember, Calla comes face to face with her trauma and the emotional turmoil is too much to bear. Calla’s confusion is more pronounced. The struggle to understand, to free her memory, to learn the truth is an ever present mantra. Calla is frustrated and on the edge of giving up. Her search for answers seems fruitless and doing more damage than good. Calla pushes herself and as she taps at the glass castle of her mind, it fissures and cracks but holds. Calla’s grief is a veil over her mind, she protects herself in the best way she can and yet, is so determined to uncover the truth hidden beneath the lies she has no choice but to live. Entering the mind of this character is dangerous and that fear is all part of the ride. 
  • The cliffhanger. EVERY SINGLE TIME. I don’t think I’ve ever cursed at a book so much in my entire history of reading. As I pasted clues together into a haphazard collage of maybes, I got angry. The drive to KNOW, to figure it out is consuming, addictive, and seriously infuriating. Then THAT ENDING. 
  • Dare is sexy and foreboding. He is cast in shadow, made of half-truths and things left unsaid. What you do know is this, Dare is arrogant and yet painfully wounded by his past. He’s gorgeous, lovable, and jaded. He’s Calla’s light and darkness combined. He breathes enigma and walks in paradox. He’s sensual, brilliant, a little twisted and they complete each other. Sometimes, Dare’s lack of answers will leave you furious and wanting. Together, Dare and Calla are a mess but a beautifully broken one. They’re chemistry, heated touches, poetry incarnate. 
  • The covers, the teasers, are perfect. They capture the edgy uncertainty, the death and life in colorful, ghostly imagery. 
  • The tarot cards and semi-paranormal elements were a lovely addition to this story. They bordered on believable because Calla’s mind is unsound. They added something far more sinister, a sickening sense of anticipation and fear for what’s coming and what Calla will uncover.

CONS:

  • Many questions were left unanswered. Pieces of the puzzle keep piling up with no clue when they’ll end. Even that cliffhanger, it’s not final, it’s fluid, there’s no telling if it’s reality. 
  • The leap from Oregon to Whitley was fast and with little explanation. Dare’s heritage left me reeling for a bit and suddenly it was front and center. This jump from one reality to another was unsettling and just a bit too much. Some ease into it might have opened up the story for more interpretation and acceptance.

Get NOCTE, the first book in the trilogy:

NOCTE-cover-600px Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Add it on Goodreads

Sign up for Courtney Cole’s Superfan Newsletter to get updates on LUX, the final book in the NOCTE Trilogy, coming Summer 2015.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Cover Reveal & Pre-Order Drive: Verum-Courtney Cole

VERUM-PreorderDrive-Graphic

You loved Courtney Cole’s NOCTE in all it’s dark, twisted, spellbinding, messed-up awesomeness. You can’t wait until VERUM (Nocte Trilogy Book 2) releases in February 2015. And now Courtney Cole is going to release an exclusive VERUM excerpt…but only if we can get it to the top 1000 on Amazon!

All you have to do is go to Amazon and pre-order VERUM right now.Go, pre-order, and get all your NOCTE-obsessed friends to pre-order, too. If enough people do it, VERUM will climb up the ranks, and we’ll get a sneak peek at the follow-up to what’s being called “a haunting psychological suspense” and “the rare kind of story that leaves permanent marks on your heart and your soul.”

>>PRE-ORDER VERUM ON AMAZON RIGHT HERE<<

cooltext1804448395 copy

NOCTE-300pxSAVE ME AND I’LL SAVE YOU….

My name is Calla Price. Iím eighteen years old, and Iím one half of a whole. My other half– my twin brother, my Finn–is crazy.

I love him. More than life, more than anything. And even though Iím terrified heíll suck me down with him, no one can save him but me.

Iím doing all I can to stay afloat in a sea of insanity, but Iím drowning more and more each day. So I reach out for a lifeline.

Dare DuBray.

Heís my savior and my anti-Christ. His arms are where I feel safe, where Iím afraid, where I belong, where Iím lost. He will heal me, break me, love me and hate me.
He has the power to destroy me.

Maybe thatís ok. Because I canít seem to save Finn and love Dare without everyone getting hurt.

Why? Because of a secret.

A secret Iím so busy trying to figure out, that I never see it coming.

You wonít either.

>>GET†NOCTE†ON AMAZON RIGHT HERE<<
>> JOIN THE NOCTE TRILOGY TEASER AND CLUE LIST RIGHT HERE <<

cooltext1804448395 copy

VERUM-300pxTHE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE.

My name is Calla Price and I’m drowning.

My new world is a dark, dark ocean and I’m being pulled under by secrets.

Can I trust anyone? I don’t know anymore.

The lies are spirals. They twist and turn, binding me with their thorns and serpentine tongues. And just when I think I have it figured out, everything is pulled out from under me.

I’m entangled in the darkness.

But the truth will set me free.

It’s just ahead of me, so close I can touch it. But even though it shines and glimmers, it has glistening fangs and I know it will shred me.

Are you scared?

I am.

 

>>PRE-ORDER VERUM ON AMAZON RIGHT HERE<<
>> JOIN THE NOCTE TRILOGY TEASER AND CLUE LIST RIGHT HERE <<

Keep reading,

cooltext1754437870 copy

Review: Nocte-Courtney Cole

NOCTE-cover-600pxGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

cooltext1807812709 copyMy name is Calla Price. I’m eighteen years old, and I’m one half of a whole. 

My other half– my twin brother, my Finn– is crazy.

I love him. More than life, more than anything. And even though I’m terrified he’ll suck me down with him, no one can save him but me.

I’m doing all I can to stay afloat in a sea of insanity, but I’m drowning more and more each day. So I reach out for a lifeline.

Dare DuBray.

He’s my savior and my anti-Christ. His arms are where I feel safe, where I’m afraid, where I belong, where I’m lost. He will heal me, break me, love me and hate me.

He has the power to destroy me.

Maybe that’s ok. Because I can’t seem to save Finn and love Dare without everyone getting hurt.

Why? Because of a secret.

A secret I’m so busy trying to figure out, that I never see it coming.

You won’t either.

– via Goodreads

cooltext1807831675 copy

3/5 Stars

PROS:

  • The cover. It’s breathtaking. Beautiful. it captures the darkness, the burst of light is a little like hope. It’s mysterious and whimsical, the kind of cover that haunts your dreams with want and envy. 
  • The mystery is like a live wire. It’s a living, breathing entity of its own. The secret will drive you mad with the desire to unravel it. Prepare yourself to be astounded. Twisted and shocking, the secret will blow everything you thought you knew wide open and leave you shaky and unsure of what just happened.
  • Finn’s mind is a terrifying place made of desperation and sadness. It’s erratic, broken, and full of whispered voices that cut like knives. What’s real and what’s fantasy blur. Knowing that Finn suffers from SAD makes his character far more heartbreaking. His helplessness evokes sympathy and pain. The constant reference to his secret, one that’s so horrible it would kill Calla if she knew is enough to put you on edge for the entire book. It’s a rollercoaster ride. Definitely. 
  • Dare is an enigma. He’s sexy, soulful, and in many ways jaded. His eyes are full of secrets. His body says one thing, his words another. He’s romantic one second, angry the next. He’s hard to follow. It’s difficult to truly know him and what he’s thinking. Dare is a puzzle. A hot, flirty puzzle with depth.

CONS:

  • Nocte felt confused as a story. For a substantial part of the book, it dragged on and I felt that it morphed into a romance. One that was complex and convoluted, it took over what began as something raw and emotionally stimulating and made it, a little dull. Dare and Calla were cute but I found myself hungering for Finn and Calla, their unique, codependence that bordered on toxic but necessary. That dynamic was fresh, powerful, and the connection between Calla and Finn more interesting than Dare and Calla’s moderately easy romance. 
  • Calla was kind of blah. I found myself wondering about her, who she was, what she wanted, her likes her dislikes. It was like she didn’t have an opinion for a large chunk of the book. Nothing was about her. She was so concerned with Finn and the guilt that she got mixed in with everything else, indistinguishable. But then, she comes into her own sexually and the awakening sparks a promise that Calla, the real Calla will come out and we’ll be gifted the chance to know her. It became more about her sexual urges and attraction than about who she is as a person.
  • Here’s the thing. There’s been a substantial amount of hype around this book. Everytime I hit social media it was there, talked about in some form or another. I kept hearing about the darkness. How twisted and dark the story was in general and then I read the little author tidbit about writing this story despite its dark, dark ways. So I went in expecting something much more sinister than what I got. I was a little disappointed. It felt tame. Now, before the pitchforks come out, I enjoyed this book. Did I love it? No. Will I read the sequel? Hell yes. While Nocte left me feeling apathetic, I couldn’t put it down. The suspense, the drama with Finn, even the ups and downs of Calla and Dare  sucked me in. I read it for the psychological cluster but got caught up in the love story and lost in the climax. 

Happy reading,

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