Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blog Tour: If You Stay by Courtney Cole - Interview, Review, Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for If You Stay by Courtney Cole, sponsored by InkSlinger Blog Tours.  I am a huge fan of Courtney's and I am so excited to have her here today for an interview.  You can check out my review of If You Stay below, as well as enter the really great giveaway that going on in association with the tour.  Thanks so much for stopping by!  

If you Stay (Beautifully Broken #1)

by Courtney Cole
Published February 5, 2013 by Lakehouse Press

24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole. 


He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match. 

But he’s got his reasons. 

His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn’t understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count. 

As Pax grew up, he tried to be the kid his father always wanted; the perfect golden boy, but it didn’t work. His dad couldn’t overcome his grief long enough to notice and Pax couldn’t keep up the impossible perfect fa├žade. 
So he slipped far, far from it. 

Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the ugliness, the black void that he doesn’t want to deal with. If he pretends that the emptiness isn’t there, then it isn’t, right? 

And it’s never more apparent than when he meets Mila. 
Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he’s got to figure it out because he needs her to breathe.

When memories of his mother’s death resurface from where he’s repressed them for so long, Mila is there to catch him when the guilt starts making sense. Mila is the one…the one who can save him from his broken troubled heart; from his issues, from the emptiness. 

But only if he can stop being an asshole long enough to allow it. 

He knows that. And he’s working on it. 

But is that enough to make her stay?

**Warning -Contains sex and violence**

Interview with Courtney Cole
I am excited to have Courtney Cole visiting today. Thanks so much for being here Courtney.  ( I have to peek around corner to see if maybe Pax tagged along.  I don't see him, so I stare for a moment like he's going to pop out of her purse....finally, reigning in my thoughts, we move along).

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well, I’m a Kansas girl, born and bred.  I don’t live there now, but I guess a part of me will always feel a bit country-ish, no matter how refined I might get.  I live near Lake Michigan now, in a tri-state area called Michiana.  I live right at the border of Indiana,Illinois and Michigan, so I am near a bunch of cool big cities, as well as the coastal cities of Lake Michigan.  I’m a full time novelist and I have three kids- two teenage sons and a fourth-grade daughter.  I’m married to my own Prince Charming and I love to go for walks in the rain.  

Is IF YOU STAY based on events in your own life or someone you know, or is it totally fictional?
Someone that I am very close to is very similar to Pax and I drew a bunch of Pax’s personality traits from this person.  I got the idea for the way Pax’s mom died from a news story that I heard some years back.  It’s stuck with me ever since and I decided that it would make a great storyline for a book.  I’m really happy about the way it turned out. 
Can you tell us a little bit about Pax and Mila?
Sure!  Pax is a 24-year old asshole with issues and Mila is an easy-going artist who comes across him at just the right time. She saves his life and they are as different as night and day, but they are fascinated with each other.  Pax feels like she’s a breath of fresh air… and he eventually comes to realize that he needs her to breathe.  But as we all know, that’s not enough to keep a relationship together.  Pax has some work to do for that. 

 What is something that people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m not a big fan of Fourth of July fireworks shows.  I know.  It’s unpatriotic.  But growing up in Kansas, July is one of the hottest months of the year.  It’s always sweltering and I never thought it was worth it to sweat to death.  

I know you write both young adult, new adult, and adult books.  Which is your favorite to write, and which to you find most challenging?
I’m really loving New Adult.  If You Stay was my favorite to write so far… because I can still write about issues that new adults face, but I don’t have to try and keep it ‘appropriate’, like I would for YA. 

I love the YA genre, but I feel a personal responsibility to try and keep a certain level of ‘appropriateness’ there.  It’s a bit freeing to not have to worry about that in NA and Adult. 
Which character in your books has been your favorite to write, and what character has been your most challenging?
Pax has been my favorite to write so far, because he’s my first bad boy.  It was really fun to let his arrogance and asshole-ness come out with no apologies. 

Harmonia from my Bloodstone Saga was the most challenging, because she was complicated.  As a goddess stuck in mortal form for a couple of thousand years (being reincarnated life after life), it got complex.  Plus, paranormal as a whole is more challenging, in my opinion, than contemporary to write. 

While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?
This is a great question.  I’ve never felt as though I actually was one of my characters, but when I’m writing a book, I do try to channel my main character as much as possible.  I listen to music that keeps me in an appropriate mood, I do things that my character might like to do.  Actors are method actors, and I guess sometimes, authors are method authors.  J

 What books have influenced your life most?
 I used to sneak into my grandma’s romance novel stash and read them in secret.  I can thank those books for my penchant for alpha males.  
If you had to sum up IF YOU STAY in a tweet, what would it say?
Pax Tate is an asshole who uses drugs and women. But when he meets Mila, he knows he’s got to change bc he needs her to breathe.#IFYouStay

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 
Thank you.  Seriously.  I am thankful for you every day. 
This or That:

E-books or print copies?  Both. I’m greedy like that.

Facebook or Twitter?  Facebook.

Coffee, tea, or Coke?  Coffee

Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?  Milk chocolate.  Hand’s down!

Thanks so much for stopping by Courtney.  It was great having you.  I can't wait to read Madison's story in the next installment, and I'm really anxious to see who the hot guy will be - there's always a hot guy, right?
My Review:  Let me just begin by saying what a huge fan of Courtney Cole's that I am.  She hasn't written anything that I didn't love.  When I read the first few lines of the synopsis, "24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.  Seriously.  He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match.  But he’s got his reasons," I knew I was going to fall in love with Pax.  There's nothing I love more than a good bad boy, and true to form, Pax totally and completely captured by heart.   

If You Stay is such a heart consuming story and I found myself fully vested in t from the very first page all the way through the epilogue (which was awesome by the way).  Everyone thinks Pax is just spoiled, badass, and nothing but trouble, and he is, but he is so much more.  Underneath that harsh exterior is a little boy who has been hurt and wounded by something that no one should have to bear.  He hasn't chosen the best ways to cope with his pain by any means, and it takes a brush with death and a beautiful girl who actually cares about him for him, to make him realize that there is something worth living for.  

Mila is that beautiful girl, the girl who makes Pax realize this....the girl who saves his life in more than one way....the girl who falls hard for him, despite her attempts to keep her heart intact.  Mila has had more than her share of heartache and loss in her life, so she's not a stranger to it.  She is kind and good, and sees past Pax's facade into the goodness that she believes is there.  I just loved Mila.  She was an angel, and she did see something in Pax that was worth saving, but not too much of an angel that she couldn't also see that he was "sexy as hell."  I mean the boy oozes with bad boy hottness and makes you just want to eat him up. 

If You Stay is Pax and Mila's story, and so much more.  It is raw, heart wrenching, emotionally consuming, and absolutely beautiful.  As the reader, you experience the full gamut of emotions right along with Pax and Mila as they fall in love, experience hurt, joy, and unimaginable pain, and somehow come out on the other side, struggling right along with them, loving right along with them, crying right along with them with they hurt, and rejoicing with them in their triumphs.....not to mention the romance is sizzling hot to.  I absolutely loved If You Stay.  This  new adult contemporary romance is hot, there's no doubt about that, but it also carries a much deeper message, one that everyone who's willing should take the time to hear.      

Favorite Quotes:

She's rambling, and it's cute as hell.  I smile, and as I do, I feel like the Big Bad Wolf and she's Little Red Riding Hood. My, what big teeth I have.

"I could tell you that it wasn't what it looked like, but that would be a lie.  It was exactly what it looked like.  I could explain it, but you wouldn't understand."  .........."Then why are you here?"......."I don't know why I'm here," he admits softly," and his voice is so close to my neck.  "Because I can't stop thinking about you, I guess, and because I'll never get that horrified expression on your face out of my head.  I'm sorry to have put it there........."

"I don't know.  all I know is that ever since I met you, I've wanted to know you.......Something about you makes me think I can bet better, maybe even get my shit straight."

"I don't know if it's all that healthy that I'm attracted to you."  I admit finally.  "I've never been attracted to a bad boy before."

"Pax, no.  It's not a good idea.  I don't trust myself around you.......I can't let you break my heart.  I don't have much of it left."

"You have no idea how sorry I am.  I'm just not good at relationships.  I haven't had any practice, but if you stay with me, if you stay.......I promise......"

This quote is from Courtney herself, and I just love it - "Love is stronger than anything else.  It can get you through things that nothing else can.  So rely on it, lean on it, Embrace it.  Count on it."

Author Bio:  Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could.  She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds.  She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.  
Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule
February 11th
The Bookish Brunette-Interview
Book Briefs-Interview with Pax’s Dad

February 12th

February 13th
February 14th
Books Over Boys-Guest Post
Book Whisperer-Guest Post

February 15th
Bound by Books-Interview with Mila
Insightful Minds-Guest Post
February 16th
Novel Thoughts Blog-Excerpt
Magnet 4 Books-Interview
February 17th
I Love Indie Books-Interview
Stuck in YA Books-Guest Post
February 18th
3 Chicks & Their Books-Excerpt
Crazy Book Chicks-Interview with Pax

February 19th
I Read Indie-Top 10 Interview
Hackaroo Reviews-Guest Post

February 20th
The Life of Fiction-Review
Total Bookaholic-Interview

February 21st
Reader Girls-Interview
The Autumn Review-Guest Post

February 22nd
Book Hook-Up-Interview
Books, Books, Books-Excerpt


  1. Looking forward to checking this book out! Who doesn't love a bad boy?! :D

    1. I know right, there is just something about them girls just can't resist.

  2. Wow, this sounds like my kind of book! I'm always drawn toward the broken bad boy/asshole in books, so I'm thinking Pax is my kind of guy. As long as he learns how to not be an asshole eventually, which it sounds like he does. If he remained an asshole throughout I'd likely have a problem:) I'm a big fan of Courtney Cole's books so I'm really looking forward to this one!

    1. LOL - he does get "de-assholed" - It's a great book.

  3. I am a sucker for bad boys and this one sounds BAD.

    1. I hope you get a chance to check it out. It's awesome.

  4. I love that right away we know Paz is a jerk, I think it is great!
    I can't wait to read this one!!

    1. I can't wait to hear what you think.

  5. I have been hearing amazing things about this book! And I love the interview!

    1. Courtney is such a talented writer. I just love her.

  6. I had Courtney on the blog last Saturday and I was eyeing this book. I am so glad it was a good read. I have read several Courtney books and I like how different they are. The one I just finished and had on the blog was Confessions of an Alli Cat. A definite big girl panties book. Have you read it?

    1. Yes,I have and I loved it. It is one of the funniest books I've ever read, and you are right about it being a big girl panties book. I hope you love this one as much as I did.

  7. Awesome review, I have this on my Nook and look forward to meeting Pax :)

    1. Thanks. I hope you love the book as much as I did. I'll be looking forward to hearing what you think.

  8. Great review and interview! This sounds like a great book. I love stories with bad boys. Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. I read Dante's Girl by Courtney and absolutely adored it. I can't wait to read this!

    1. I loved that one to. I hope you enjoy this one to.

  10. Awesome post, Ellen! I love the interview and your review! That first line in the summary cracks me up every time I read it! I'll give that line as my reason for wanting to read this ;) PLUS I love Courtney! Thanks so much for sharing and for the giveaway!

    1. Thanks Michele! I can't wait to read your review. I hope you end up loving Pax as much as I do.

  11. New Adult is definitely becoming a favorite of mine and after reading a bunch of reviews on this one I know it's going to be right up my alley! Now I just gotta find where I can get an ePub of it in Canada. I'm hunting!! *determined face*

    1. I just can't get enough of the New Adult books. I hope you find it. It's really good.

  12. Sigh... I loved this book so so much. Your review (and interview ) is wonderful, Ellen. I love the quotes you included!

  13. wow the cover got my attention right of the bat but then reading about it...looks like a great book!!

  14. Ellen,
    Thank you so much for hosting me and for the fabulous review!!!! <3

    1. YW - It was so much fun and I just love Pax. Can't wait for Madison's story.

  15. I love to read... and this sounds like such a great book.... hope to win one

  16. i am reader and blogger i love to do the reviews and the book look interesting

  17. I love bad boys, so this definitely has found my interest. :)

  18. I want to read it because I heard so many great things about it and sounds so good!
    I also love bad boys thank you for the great giveaway!

  19. i love badboys :)
    thanks for the giveaway


  20. Awesome post. I want to read this one because a) I love reading about bad boys who really secretly aren't that bad, and b) I keep hearing really good things about it. Thanks for sharing.

  21. First of all thank you so much for this giveaway I would love to read this book because I'm a love story addict. I love romance, bad boys, passion, flirt, and everything that comes with it. I heard amazing things about this books and the interview put my hopes up about this book plus the cover is amazing. I really hope I get a chance to win and read this terrific book ♥


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