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IF You STAY hits bookstores! And a contest!

8 Apr

Hey guys!!

It’s finally here… the day that one of my dreams comes true!!  My novel, IF YOU STAY, will hit bookstore shelves!!  Eeeepppp!

IF YOU STAY,  from GC

Yes, IF YOU STAY has already been out in the e-book world for a year.  It has made numerous bestseller lists (NYT, USA TODAY, Amazon…) but until today, it hasn’t been on actual shelves.

But that changes today!!  Eeeeepppp!!  To celebrate, my publisher Forever (Grand Central Publishing) is hosting a contest.

If you see my IF YOU STAY while you’re out and about, snap a picture of it and tweet it with the hashtag #IfYouStay.  You’ll be entered to win an awesome prize pack of books from Forever.  :)

Since I’m in the middle of moving, I would LOVE to see pictures of my books on shelves.  I won’t have the time this week to go out and try to find them– so I would love to see your pictures!

I hope everyone has a fabulous day!

When Life Doesn’t Hand you a HEA

28 Feb

Back when I wrote IF YOU STAY, I received a lot of e-mail from readers.

Most of it was amazing and inspiring from readers who had also known addiction, or knew of someone who had.

However, some of it was from disgruntled readers who said that my story wasn’t realistic.  That if someone took drugs to disappear into oblivion, then chances are that they were, in fact, addicted and that I was sending out the wrong message of rainbows and butterflies with my book.

If you read my work, you already know that I’m a big believer in Happily-Ever-Afters.  I mean, people read fiction to escape from reality.  Why in the world would I want to depress them with a book that ended in any way other than happily?

When I wrote IF YOU STAY, that was the reality of my “Pax”.  He wasn’t an addict at that time.

Unlike fiction though, life continues to evolve and change.  A book, after it ends, won’t stray from the final storyline.  That HEA will remain for all of eternity.

Life, however, does change. And sometimes, the changes aren’t for the better.

I’ve always said that I wouldn’t reveal who I based Pax Tate on.  He didn’t want me to, and so I won’t.  I never will.  Readers have guessed that it was my husband, but I can tell you that it is not.  It is someone else that I love, someone very close to me.  

And unfortunately, he has descended into the world of addiction.

At first, like Pax Tate, he was a user, not an addict.  He wanted to disappear into oblivion, into a place where he didn’t care about anything.  He realized what he was doing and I sent him to rehab to be on the safe side.  All seemed to be fine.

But  he started using again and this time, the outcome hasn’t been good.  He’s throughly addicted.  If you follow me on social media, you might have noticed that I haven’t been online a lot.  I’ve been preoccupied with this horrible issue.  When I am online, I usually act normally, because that is my coping mechanism.  I’m a very private person and I don’t tend to advertise my private life.

However, I do have some things that I want to say.

I’m writing this so 1) you know why I’ve been fairly absent online, 2) to address reader concerns that I wasn’t depicting reality with my storyline in IF YOU STAY and 3)  to flip the bird at addiction itself.  

I’m here to tell you that anyone can be an addict.  It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black or purple, if you’re rich, poor, or middle-class.  Addiction knows no discrimination and it knows no bounds.

We live in a world where high schoolers are offered Ecstasy in the hallways for $10 a pill and where they can get heroin as easily as they can get sweet-tarts.  It’s sickening, saddening, and devastating, and it is the reality of our day and age.

However, THIS is our reality too:

The human spirit is created to thrive, to fight and to eventually overcome.  We’re all born with an innate sense to fight to survive, to fight what oppresses us, to come out on top, and to be healthy, happy, and strong.

SO EFF YOU, ADDICTION.

With today’s support networks, groups, medications, doctors and therapies, WE CAN BEAT YOU.  Anyone who is addicted to a substance and wants to fight it, can.  Anyone who wants to fight it can WIN.  All they have to do is set their mind to it, be strong and fight it.

Will it be easy?

Hell no.

Is it worth it?

Hell YES.

All of us, every one of us, deserves to be happy, healthy and strong.

With that in mind, I’d like to ask for your prayer.  I’m a huge believer in prayer, and I believe that the more people who pray for one thing, the better.  The more voices, the better God can hear.  

Can you please say a prayer for my “Pax”?  He desperately needs prayer if he’s going to beat addiction.  He’s strong, but addiction can level the strongest person.  In order to beat it, you have to be strong, determined and have God’s help.

If you can pray for him, for God’s help, I’d be eternally grateful.

In closing, let me just say that the fictional Pax Tate will forever have his Happy Ending. He is happy and strong, and living a perfect life with his wife Mila.

My real-life Pax might be struggling now, in the most difficult struggle of his life, but I have full faith that he will come through it. He will overcome it.  That’s what human beings are designed to do.

No matter how hard or difficult something seems at any one time, always know that a Happily-Ever-After is always possible, whether it is “REALISTIC” or not.  The power to change lies within us, and no one else.

If you are a reader who contacted me about IF YOU STAY not ending in a realistic way, please know that I heard you and I respect your concerns.  I still stand behind my notion that not all users are addicts, but I do fully believe that if a user continues to use, he/she will eventually become addicted.  Just as I believe that addicts can overcome it if they choose to fight.

If you are an addict or struggle with using, or if you know someone who does, please ask for help.  Contact a support group, go to your doctor, tell your parent.  JUST GET HELP.  Please.

And if you’re a drug dealer, whose sole purpose in life is to addict our children to toxic substances for the simple reason that you want to line your pockets with drug money, you can go to hell.

Thank you.

17 Dec

In February, I released a book called IF YOU STAY.

IF YOU STAY,  from GC

I had no expectations for it.  I simply wrote the story that my heart told me to write.

When it hit the top 100 on Amazon, I was shocked.  When it hit the top 10, I screamed. When it hit the top 5, I cried.  When it made the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller’s lists, I didn’t even know what to do.  I was beside myself.  And then, to top it all off, it was picked up by an imprint of Hachette in an amazing deal negotiated by the world’s best agent.  I was assigned an amazing editor at Forever (the imprint of Grand Central/Hachette) and a publicity team.

My whole life changed.  This past year has been a whirlwind- a dream!- and I didn’t think that there was anything left for IF YOU STAY to give me. But I was wrong.

Today, I learned that it made Amazon’s list of top 100 books of 2013.

It made a list of top 100 books for the WHOLE YEAR on Amazon.  The. Whole. Year.

 

I’m just….speechless.  And I’m a writer, so that doesn’t happen often.

Thank you, thank you, for reading and loving IF YOU STAY.  Thank you for being with me on this amazing journey.  You will never ever know how much I appreciate you.

Worldwide Distribution of IF YOU STAY

19 Apr

Hi guys,

I just wanted to let you know that we’re having a bit of technical difficulties with re-distributing IF YOU STAY globally.  I am very thankful for your patience.  We’re working hard to get the issue resolved.  Hopefully, it will all be cleared up by Monday and IF YOU STAY will be live on global Amazon platforms.

Thank you again for your patience- and I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

IF YOU STAY Re-Release!!

16 Apr

FB-coverimage

You guys… I’m so excited today.  Today is the day when Grand Central Publishing is re-releasing IF YOU STAY.  Eeeepp.   The new version will contain never-before-seen bonus material, a preview of the second book in the series (IF YOU LEAVE)  AND it will be $.99 for a limited time.  So, if you’ve already bought the original version and you’d like to read the bonus content ( the wedding night scene from Pax’s point of view), you can pick it up HERE for under a buck. (And HERE for Barnes and Noble).

Also, this is a frequently asked question lately— If you’ve purchased the original version of IF YOU STAY, the new version won’t automatically update on your kindle because the title has changed hands (from mine to Grand Central’s).  I’m sure that’s one of the reasons that Grand Central is pricing it at $.99 for a short time– to give you a chance to re-purchase it at a low price if you’d like to read the bonus material.  I’m really sorry for the inconvenience.

But anyway, to celebrate the awesomeness of the re-release, we’ve got some cool stuff going on.  Let’s start with the giveaway.   I’m giving away a custom-made IF YOU STAY charm bracelet and an e-copy (Kindle or Nook) of the new edition of IF YOU STAY.

IYS Charm bracelet

To win, go HERE and enter via Rafflecopter.  It will give you a few things to do that you can choose from (Following me on Twitter, tweeting a specific tweet, etc).

Also… Grand Central is hosting an awesome poster design contest.  I’m not sure what all we’ll use the winning poster for, but I’m sure it will get a lot of exposure on several different websites.   If you’re an artist of any kind, be sure to check this out!  I can’t wait to see the winning entry!!  Eeeepppppp!

Poster Contest

Anyway.  I want to thank you, my amazing and awesome readers, because you’ve been with me every step of this amazing journey.   This year has been awesome already- and I can’t wait to see what the rest of it holds!  :)

The Re-Release of IF YOU STAY

15 Apr

You guys… so, as I announced already, Grand Central Publishing is going to re-release IF YOU STAY.   And the re-release day is tomorrow! Eeeppppp!

 

IF YOU STAY,  from GC

 

I’m going to post again tomorrow with the details, but just know that we’re going to do some pretty fun things tomorrow in celebration.   AND, the new re-release version of IF YOU STAY will contain never before seen bonus material.  ANDDDD, Grand Central is going to have IF YOU STAY on sale for a limited time for $.99.   I’m so excited about that.

So… stay tuned for more tomorrow!!

IF YOU STAY will be $.99 tomorrow!

7 Apr

Hey guys,

I’m sorry that I’ve been so absent lately.  I’ve been buried in my writing cave finishing up IF YOU LEAVE.   And… the rough draft is finished!   Eeeppppp!

To celebrate, I’m putting IF YOU STAY on sale next week.  It will be $.99 all week long!  Yayyy!!   It’s also kind of celebration– because Grand Central will be re-releasing it on April 16.  So I figured what better what to send it off than to put it on sale.

IfyouStay Amazon (2)

Anyway, you can find it here on Amazon and here on B&N.  If you haven’t read it and you’ve always wanted to, now’s the perfect time. :)

Have a great Sunday!

My Big News!

15 Mar

I’m really horrible at keeping secrets- and this one has been a big, huge doozy.  I’ve almost imploded a dozen times already- so I’m happy to say that I can finally announce my news now.  Whew!

I’m very excited to announce that my book, IF YOU STAY (and the two books following it in the Beautifully Broken series) have been picked up by Forever, which is an imprint of Grand Central Publishing (Hachette).

–>> –>> insert crazy laughter, swooning, running in circles, then dropping on the floor in exhaustion <– <—-

What does this mean to me?  Well, it means that my series will have the powerhouse backing of Hachette.  The distribution will be wider than I could ever have accomplished otherwise, which means that more people will have the opportunity to see and read my books.  *has heart palpitations from excitement*

What does this mean to you?  Well, that expanded distribution means that when this series comes out in paperback (which will be in summer 2014), you will be able to walk into any bookstore and pluck them off the shelves.  Yay!!  As an author, that’s so exciting to me.  A dream come true, really.  It also means that the e-books in this series will be available on all platforms– Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, Sony… instead of just Kindle and Nook.

The sequel to If You Stay, titled IF YOU LEAVE, will be coming out this fall in e-book form.  September, I believe.  I’ll announce the exact date when I know it.  Then the paperback will follow at a later date.  And DID I MENTION IT WILL BE AVAILABLE IN YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE??   *squeals and collapses*

So isn’t this exciting!!??   I would run in circles again, but I’m too tired from the first time.  This is all still surreal to me– this entire last month has been a crazy whirlwind of awesome.

Seeing my books in bookstores will be a dream come true.   Seeing my book on the New York Times bestseller list was another dream come true– and YOU made that happen.  I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate each of you.  Seriously- I’m so, so thankful for you.  And I’m so thankful to my agent, Catherine Drayton for taking me under her wing and to Amy Pierpont from Hachette for seeing potential in my books.  *faints*

And I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again- I’m also very thankful to Kelly Simmon, my awesome publicist.  Her capable hands guided the release of IF YOU STAY into something more successful than I would ever have dreamed.  I’m gonna marry her someday, probably.

So anyway.  That’s my news.  I’ve got to get back to writing now- I’ve got a deadline to keep.   I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

 

 

Want a signed IF YOU STAY postcard?

3 Mar

postcard stack

You guys, I have a huge stack of signed postcards sitting on my desk.   If you’ve read IF YOU STAY and would like a postcard, just leave a review for If You Stay on Amazon and email me a link to the review (to courtneycolewrites@gmail.com).   If you’d prefer a signed bookmark, that’s fine- I have those too.  Just tell me in your email which you would prefer.

I know that each and every one of you is a busy person.  So to know that you not only take the time to buy and read my book, but then take a couple of extra minutes to leave a review…  That just makes my heart melt and I want to do something nice to thank you.   I can’t do something huge for each of you, but I can do this.   I just want you to know how much I appreciate you.

I fully believe that I have the best readers in the world and there’s not a minute that I’m not thankful for you.

I hope you’re all having a fabulous weekend!!

If You Stay playlist

25 Feb

Hey Everyone,

I’ve been asked a bunch of times now what my playlist was for If You Stay.   I don’t actually write with a playlist playing, because I find music distracting while I’m trying to write.   But I do listen to playlists while I am plotting.  I find that music puts me in the right frame of mind to think about my plot, even if I can’t listen to it when I am actually trying to write the plot down.

The main song that I had on the top of my playlist during If You Stay was The Last Time by Taylor Swift and Gary Lightbody.  The words don’t exactly fit the the story of If You Stay, but the tone of the song does.  I love it and it put me in the right mood to write more times than I can count.

When I was writing a scene where I was in Pax’s head, particularly the scene from the beginning of the book, I listened to I’ll Be Gone by Linkin Park quite a lot.  Something about the words and the tone and the general feel of the song reminded me of Pax.

In the beginning of the story, when Mila first gets to know Pax, there is only one song that came to mind.  I knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift.

Another song that I listened to when I got 3/4′s of the way through the book was Kelly Clarkson’s Dark Side.

A song that was brought to my attention by Mandie from IReadIndie was Just Give Me a Reason by Pink and Nate Reuss.  The book was already written when I found this song, but it fits it perfectly. And in fact, it also fits book two, If You Leave, so I’m still listening to this song quite a lot.

I think all of these songs perfectly fit the feel of If You Stay and I’m thankful that I had them to listen to.  :)

Also, just wanted to remind you of the Bring Pax Home contest.  The first part of the contest will end on Thursday  February 28th.  Check out the details here on how you can win a necklace like Mila’s.    The second part of the contest is on-going.  When I reach the top 3 on the Amazon’s bestseller list, I will release a bonus scene from If You Stay…. the wedding night, from Pax’s point of view.  I’m itching to let you guys read it, so I hope I hit number 3 soon.  Eeepp!!

Anyway, I hope everyone is having an awesome Monday!!

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