Welcome to Hackaroo's stop on the If You Stay by Courtney Cole Blog Tour!
I have a guest post and an excerpt! But first, check out the book:
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 façade.
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**
(Mila’s POV)“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. Just know that she doesn’t mean anything to me. She was persistent and I didn’t say no. It was a habit. I’m sorry.”My heart hammers hard in my chest. I don’t know what to say. I know that I should tell him to get far away from me, but my heart is a traitor and wants him here. My heart must have issues. But I can’t say that.“You don’t even know me,” I tell him instead, finally turning around to look at him, pulling my hand away as I do. I stare up into his hazel eyes and find an expression there that I haven’t yet seen. Trepidation. “Why would you apologize to someone that you barely even know? You don’t owe me anything.”He shrugs and his movement stirs his masculine scent. I inhale it and fight the urge to close my eyes so that I can better enjoy the smell.“I don’t know. All I know is that ever since I met you, I’ve wanted to know you. That’s why I’ve been coming into town this week to see you. Something about you makes me think that I can be better, maybe even get my shit straight. I haven’t felt that way in a very long time. And I feel like I do owe you something.”Hell. His words strike a chord in me and I swallow hard. His tone is hesitant, soft. And it melts my heart. I can’t help it. Sometimes, there is such a broken look in his eyes. And deep down, I just want to fix it.“Why?” I ask, my gaze firmly locked with his. He shakes his head.“I don’t know. You just seem so good, so wholesome. It draws me to you. I can’t explain it.”I laugh now, thoroughly amused.I gesture toward my painting. “Does that seem good and wholesome to you?”We both study the angry black and gray canvas. It looks like something that someone in a Psych ward might have painted. Pax finally smiles.“Well, then, Red, it looks like you’ve got a dark side. But the difference between you and me is that you channel yours in a healthy way. I don’t.”I stare at him, trying to decide what to say, how honest to be. But this moment seems like a good time for honesty, so I don’t hesitate.“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.”He is so close to me that his proximity is a bit intoxicating. I feel almost dizzy from it as I stare up at him, waiting for his response. It also seems as though I can feel the danger emanating from him…it’s charged, electrical, fascinating.Pax thinks on it for a moment, his jaw covered in day-old stubble.“Well, I’ve never wanted to be good before, so I guess it’s a first for both of us.”
Novel Goodreads/AMAZON (psssttt.....If If You Stay comes to the top 10, Courtney Cole will release a DELETED SCENE!!! So go pick it up!!!!)
If you aren't sold yet, check out my REVIEW on this awesome book!!!
For my stop, I also have a guest post. I asked Courtney how did Pax come to be? He's such a raw character and so unlike anybody else I've read. Where did this come from? Here is what she said:
Someone close to me struggled with drugs. He wasn’t an addict, but I knew that if he didn’t change his ways, he’d find himself on a tragic, dark path. I didn’t want that for him and luckily, he didn’t want that for himself.It made me think though… how many people out there find themselves in that place? That place where they know that either something will need to change or they will lose everything that they know. I figure there must be quite a lot of people out there in that place. And that’s when I realized that Pax’s story needed to be told.I think his story is important for that reason… just to show that important change can be done. It’s hard, it’s not fun, but it’s necessary. Pax did it, so anyone can do it. Stories like this are important because sometimes, people who are in this kind of situation just need some encouragement. They need to know that they can do it. And they can.
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.
RELEASE DAY LAUNCH (See below for more details)