What is Love?

Love is strength. 

Love is unfaltering. 

Love is sometimes doing the hard thing. 


Since I write a lot of romance in my novels, it might be easy to be swept into the mindset that everything is happily-ever-after, and it is easy, and it is effortless.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

I was thinking about it this morning, after having to have a difficult talk with a family member.

Love is sometimes doing the hard thing.  Sometimes, it’s saying something difficult.

Sometimes, it’s doing something difficult– like when I had to stand my ground with my son who was struggling with addiction.  When he was in the active throes of addiction, I had to do the hard thing and not give him money– because I knew he’d use it to buy drugs.  It was hard.  SO hard.  Because I was afraid he was hungry or cold– and he’d tell me he was, and my mother’s heart would break.

But I had to do the hard thing.

I had to be firm.  I had to be unfaltering.  I had to be strong when he couldn’t be.

Love is being there for someone, even when it’s a truth they don’t want to hear.

Love, in it’s truest form, is the greatest gift we can give someone.  It is pure.  It is strong.  It isn’t all shininess and light.  It is rugged and tough, because it has to be.  Sometimes, it looks ugly, but in reality, it is the most beautiful thing in the world.

Love someone today.  Love them with your whole heart.  Life is too short not to.


What my other son has taught me

Happy 19th birthday, Tristan.

A few months ago, I announced to the world that my oldest son, my 22-year old son, Gunner, is a drug addict.  I expressed my heart-ache and the rocky journey.

Today, I want to talk about my other son, my middle child, Tristan.


^^ This is him mid-sentence, because he is always always talking.^^

Tristan is funny.  He’s determined.  When he wants something, he focuses on it with laser precision.  He’s my 6’4″ man-boy.  At times, he’s as fierce as a warrior, at other times, he’s sneaking around corners like a ninja to scare me.  He puts terrifying pictures onto my phone’s wallpaper to startle me, then laughs ridiculously when I scream.  He throws a blanket from the couch onto his back like a cape and tackles the dog.

He target-shoots, he makes detailed leatherwork, he’s an archer.  He works on a farm, hefting 50-pound sacks of fertilizer around on each shoulder.  He loves DisneyWorld with the rest of us- his favorite ride is Peter Pan.  He loves Harry Potter, and he’s a Gryffindor, of course. He’s a surfer, a swimmer, an outdoorsman.

He decided a few months ago, that he will serve in our nation’s military.  He wants to be a Marine, and not only that, but his goal is to be on a special forces team.  He wants to be elite.  He wants to be the most badass of the badass.  Because if he does something, he does it all the way.

Since he made that decision, he’s been getting up at 4am to go to the gym before school.  He wants to prepare himself for the early mornings and tough regime of Marine basic training.  He’s done all the research he can do, to prepare himself to become a warrior.  He leaves in September for boot camp.

Even still, he’s still my boy.  He still has a boyish spirit that alternates with his very adult goals.  This picture was of him from awhile back– he’d come downstairs with his shirt tied up like a bikini top and flexing like Mr. Universe.


I voted for Hillary.  I won’t bore you with the details of why, because everyone has an opinion, and I respect those opinions.  My son voted for Hillary too.  It was his first year to vote. Knowing that he was going to join the Marines, he felt that Trump has too much of a temper to handle being the Commander in Chief with responsibility.

Yet, Hillary lost.  Trump is now  Commander-in-Chief.

I asked Tristan, with my mother’s heart, if he would reconsider joining the marines right now.  I said, “T, I’m afraid.  I’m proud of you, but I’m afraid.”

I didn’t voice my complete worry:   That I might lose my oldest son to drug addition, and I’m absolutely TERRIFIED of losing my middle son, my Tristie, to a war.

Tristan looked at me, with a very mature look on his young face, and said, “Mom, it doesn’t matter who is president, our country needs protection.  It always will.  And some of us have to step up and do it, no matter if we agree on who is president or not. Someone has to protect everyone else, and it might as well be me.”

I don’t hesitate to tell you, that my gut clenched up and a knot formed in my throat, and I’ve never been more proud.    I’m still scared, as any mom would be, but I’m SO SO SO  proud.

He will be an amazing Marine.

And he will protect YOU with his life.

I can honestly tell you that you couldn’t be in better hands.


Happy 19th birthday, T.  I’m proud of you.

An update on my son Gunner


My readers are the best of the best.  Not only because you have great taste in fiction (hehe), but because you are so caring and compassionate.

After I announced that my son Gunner is an addict, a few months back, I’ve regularly gotten messages from readers asking about him.  Praying about him.  Checking on him.  I can’t tell you how touched that makes me.  To know that you take a minute out of your day to pray about my boy- someone you haven’t even met.  It melts my heart.

I’d like to give you an update on him today.

He’s doing amazingly well.  He came through Rehab like a champion, and he’s been in a halfway house for a few months now without relapsing.   When he was first out of rehab, he had a job at a KFC, not fancy, but it was an honest job.

Now, he has a job at a machinist shop, and he’s learning the skill of being a machinist.  He’s been there for a couple of months now, and his boss is impressed by how hard of a worker he is.

Recovery is hard.  It’s hard for the addict, every damn day, every damn minute. It’s hard for the family– because we’re constantly holding our breath, hoping that it sticks.

I’m so hopeful this time.  SO SO hopeful.  Gunner has been strong and unwavering, and seems so intent on truly starting a new clean life.

I truly think that all of your prayers have helped him stay on this path.  I believe that the more voices that utter that same prayer, the more God can hear them.  And I believe that’s the case here.  You heard a mother’s desperate pleas for help, and you answered that call by praying for a struggling son.

And here he is now, so much better, so much on the road to a permanent recovery.

I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for praying for my boy. He appreciates you, I appreciate you.  I’ll never be able to express how much.

Thank you, thank you, thank you… from the bottom of this mother’s heart.

Upcoming book from Courtney Cole: MINE

This book has been in the making for a year… it’s coming to you soon. The release date is still TBD, but I believe it will be mid-April. 🙂

Add it to your Goodreads TBR here:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34449033-mine


Our world was crumbling. You took advantage.
He was weak. You’re weaker.
A wedding ring isn’t a challenge. It’s a promise.
But that promise wasn’t for you.
Get some self respect. And get your own life.
My husband isn’t yours.
He’s mine.
And no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be me.
You don’t have the balls.

F@ck you.

Pax Tate is back!

My Peace, the continuation of Pax Tate’s story from IF YOU STAY, is live today!

Happy endings must be worked for.

Pax Tate used to be an effed up asshole, but you’d never know it now.

He’s got a sexy wife, their own little family, a cozy home, and a successful career.

Everything is perfect.

Until his past rears its ugly head.

Pax will do anything to protect his family,

even if he destroys himself in the process.


Dear Readers,

I announced recently that I based the character of Pax Tate on my twenty-two year old son, Gunner.

Gunner is a drug addict.  He’s currently in rehab, and he’s doing well, but it’s been a long roller-coaster of a journey to get here.

Pax’s personality traits are Gunner’s.  Even though Gunner’s moods have been mercurial because of drugs, deep down he is strong and funny, charming and sweet.  I wanted that to come through in Pax.

(Of course, when I’m writing the “sexy time” scenes, I’m definitely picturing Jensen Ackles or Alex Pettyfer in my head.  🙂

Pax’s heart is as deep as the ocean, even though sometimes, he can be an asshole.  I think readers realized that in IF YOU STAY, and that book sat on the New York Times for twelve weeks back in 2013.

Readers have asked for more Pax over the years, and it is only now, that I wanted to add more to the story. It is only now that I have come to terms with the fact, based on my son’s own life, that happy endings must be worked for.

I hope you love Pax’s story.

I wrote it with the ending I want for my own son, one of hope, of happiness and of good health.

I will give anything to make that true.

From my pen to God’s ear.

I hope you enjoy the story.  Thank you for reading!