Please welcome Layla Reyne with
Changing Lanes #1
Welcome to the RELAY Blog Tour, presented by Layla Reyne and Riptide Publishing! RELAY, by Layla Reyne, is Book 1 of the Changing Lanes sports romance series featuring Olympic swimmers. RELAY is an enemies-to-lovers, second chance romance between Alex, the team captain, and his closeted ex, Dane, swimming’s biggest star. Read on to learn more about RELAY, Changing Lanes, and Layla Reyne!
Captain is not a title Alejandro “Alex” Cantu takes lightly. Elected by his teammates to helm the US Men’s Swim Team, he proudly accepts the role, despite juggling endless training, team administrative work, and helping out on the family farm. And despite his ex-lover, Dane Ellis—swimming’s biggest star—also making the Olympic Team.
Dane has been a pawn in his celebrity parents’ empire from crib to pool, flashing his camera-ready smile on demand and staying deeply in the closet. Only once did he drop the act—the summer he fell in love with Alex. Ten years later, Dane longs to cut his parents’ strings, drop his too-bright smile, and beg Alex for another chance.
Alex, though, isn’t ready to forgive and forget, and Dane is a distraction he doesn’t need on his team, until an injury forces Alex to accept Dane as his medley relay anchor. Working together, their passion reignites. When Dane’s parents threaten reprisal and Alex is accused of doping, the two must risk everything to prove Alex’s innocence, to love one another, and to win back their spots on the team, together.
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1. What inspires you? What gets you writing?
Coffee. Won’t open the computer without it ;) But seriously, places, people, and all the things in the world around me provide inspiration. It can be a line in a song, a person I see at a coffee shop, a place I’ve visited. Ideas and inspiration come from all over. For instance, Relay/Medley sprung from a combination of Summer Olympic plot bunnies and several close friends who were collegiate swimmers. Just like every time I go to Wine Country, I get the urge to write this dying chef/foodie romance that’s been haunting my hard drive for years.
2. What's your writing process? Seat of your pants, lots of sticky notes, complex spreadsheets?
I’m a plotter. In addition to contemporary/sports romance, I write romantic suspense (the Agents Irish and Whiskey series). I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the twists and turns without a good outline going in, scene cards in Scrivener, and a solid dialogue layer that I write first, to get the bones of the story down.
In Changing Lanes, it would have to be Jacob, who we meet in Relay and is one of the main characters in Medley. Jacob is the rookie on the medal-favorite medley relay squad. He’s feeling the pressure, swimming with the sport’s all-stars. I feel a certain kinship with Jacob, having debuted last year and being privileged to hang out and work with some really amazing authors who have become like a second family to me. But I won’t lie and say when I hit send on alpha/beta reads that I’m not quaking in my boots.
In Agents Irish and Whiskey, it’s Nic, hands down, which is hilarious as he was introduced in Cask Strength (Book 2) as a romantic foil for the main couple, Aidan and Jamie. By then end of Barrel Proof (Book 3), he’s a reluctant member of their crew and this mystery that the team and I am having a blast unraveling in his new spin-off trilogy.
4. Which character is your least favorite, and why?
Dane’s parents, no doubt. Sure, they are a little over-the-top, but I’ve unfortunately known people like them, more and more lately, and I personally needed the catharsis of taking them down (and the more OTT, the more satisfying the guys’ victory over them).
5. If you could go back into one of your books and change one thing, what would that be? And why?
The spelling of Aidan’s name. I used the Irish Gaelic version (as his family is from Ireland). Autocorrect and I had a daily fight over it, and we can continue to wage war whenever he appears in the spin-offs.
6. What's next for you? What amazing book are you working on?
We’re editing Medley right now, which is Bas and Jacob’s story follows mostly chronologically from Relay. We see a few scenes overlap with the Relay timeline, but most of the story is set directly after, first at international training in Vienna (where I studied abroad) and then at the Olympics in Madrid.
More about the author:
2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist Layla Reyne was raised in North Carolina and now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bicoastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart-pounding romance. When she's not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs.
To celebrate the release of Relay, one lucky winner will receive a signed paperback copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 13, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
Promotional post. Materials provided by the publisher.