First off, I want to thank Lisa for inviting me to be a guest today here at The Novel Approach! Being a self-published author, it’s super important to have the support of such wonderful people and blogs, and I can’t thank them enough!
I’d like to start by telling you a little bit about myself and then I will give you a little insight into my boys and their story. I’m a thirty-year-old single mother to a six-year-old little boy with an imagination that blows my mind. He has me laughing on a daily basis, he keeps me on my toes for sure, and even though some days I swear I’m ready to trade him in, I could never actually do it because then who would keep me laughing? I spend more time on Facebook than I should, I’m addicted to Candy Crush and Subway Surfers, and when I sit down to read, the only thing that I should be interrupted for is if someone is bleeding. LOL (I’m really not joking about that!)
I love to watch movies and have a slight addiction to The Hunger Games (I could seriously watch it every single day and never get sick of it!) because I think Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence are both gorgeous, and I wouldn’t say no to either one of them! The Notebook is my favorite love story movie, and I think the second chance romance aspect is the main reason. No one should ever have to live their entire life without their soul mate and I think that in the end, true love will always win.
I love second chance romances more than almost any other type of story. There’s something about them that just draws me in. Something always gets in the way, either one of the characters makes a terrible mistake or sometimes life just makes things impossible for the two people to be together at the time, because let’s face it, life isn’t always fair. But when you’ve met The One, you never forget them. Ever. So you work your way through life day-by-day until something brings you back together and you have to fight for that love, because if love is worth having, it’s worth fighting for. There’s usually angst and years of built up emotion ready to pour out, and I think that’s why I love these types of stories so much, so when I sat down to write this book, I had no doubts that was what I was going to write.
Back to You started off as a piece of Twilight fan fiction. A one-shot, they call it, because it was just one scene but when I wrote the piece, I didn’t envision my characters as Twi characters. However, that was my creative outlet at the time so I made it work. Then my boys kept talking to me and people kept demanding that I write more, but I didn’t want to write more as fan fiction because I felt like I was being untrue to the boys in my head, so I edited my piece and it became the prologue for Tyler and Alex.
The premise of the story was that sometimes love isn’t enough of a reason to stay. That sometimes two people can love each other more than anything but for so many reasons they just can’t make it work. In Tyler and Alex’s case, it was because near the end they were fighting all the time. Both stubborn boys, neither could ever admit they were wrong and after a couple years of living together, never having dated anyone else, I think their youth and inexperience with relationships got the best of them. Alex decided he had to leave to save them both but pushed that decision aside to give them both one last good memory before he left.
I don’t want people to get the wrong idea about my Alex. He’s got the biggest heart and his love for Tyler never died, but Alex has a bad habit of making decisions that he thinks are best for the people he loves without consulting them, and my biggest concern with this book is that people won’t understand him and will blame him for everything. I hope that by the end of the book I have redeemed him, and that people love him as much as Tyler and I do.
Then there are the secondary characters, Riley and Donny. Alex and Tyler try to move on, but it doesn’t work out so well for them, and Riley and Donny get caught in the crossfire. The only thing these guys did wrong was to fall in love with men who weren’t emotionally available. I’m already getting comments about how much people love my secondary boys and how they want them to have their happily-ever-after. I am in the process of starting their story, which will be book two in the series.
But for now, here’s an excerpt from the prologue of Back to You:
“I don’t fucking know what you want from me anymore!” I screamed at Tyler as I turned to walk out of the bedroom, slamming the door hard to emphasize my point.
I was so sick of everything: the arguing, the screaming, the accusations. Honestly, I didn’t even know what we were fighting about anymore. The point was we were fighting… again. I barely made it halfway down the hall before Tyler caught me and spun me around to face him.
“I just want a fucking answer! Seriously, is it that hard to comprehend?” he spat angrily at me.
Had he even asked me a question in all of the yelling? I wasn’t sure anymore. Apparently my brain filter malfunctioning was enough to set him off again.
“What is it now, Alex? Not paying attention to me again? Are you fucking kidding me?”
Oh. I must’ve said that out loud. “With all the yelling and accusations in there I wasn’t aware there was a question to answer! Seriously, Tyler, we can’t keep doing this. It’s just not working for me anymore.” There, I’d said it and it had just about killed me to say the words.
The look on his face went from angry to desperate in a matter of seconds and I felt like such a fucking bastard. “You’re right, baby; of course you’re right,” he told me, the fight instantly draining out of him.
“I’m so, so sorry…” He kept repeating it over and over, but I honestly didn’t hear it as my eyes had zeroed in on his face and the fact that there was a steady stream of tears running down it.
We’d had our fair share of fights over the past three years, which was to be expected when you had two very dominant personalities in the same relationship, but in all that time, I’d never seen Tyler cry and my heart ripped in two as I witnessed it happening. He just looked so defeated.
It was beyond agonizing to realize that all of our recent fighting and screaming and just pure lack of concern for each other’s feelings in the past few months had broken my boy down so much that he’d resorted to crying.
Tyler wrapped his arms around my waist, holding me close to him. I knew it was wrong; I shouldn’t have let him do it. It really wasn’t right to give him false hope. I should’ve been stronger than that, but I just wasn’t. I needed him in that moment so I slipped my arms around his neck and nuzzled into him, inhaling deeply, trying to imprint his scent into my memory so that I’d never forget it. He sighed a little and relaxed into me so that I was practically holding him up.
“I love you, Alex.” His whispered words made my heart clench. “I love you so fucking much.”
“I know, Ty, I know,” I assured him as I pulled back to stare deeply into his emerald green eyes. “Me too…”
And I did. I loved him so fucking much that at times it felt like I couldn’t breathe without him, but I’d now figured out that sometimes love just wasn’t enough of a reason to stay. We’d loved each other for so many years, yet we just kept hurting each other, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not, but what it really came down to was the fact that at this point there had been more bad times than good and we just couldn’t keep doing that to each other. I was far from innocent in the situation, but so was he.
It was the hardest decision of my life, but I realized that the next day I would have to leave and let him go, making good on all the times I’d threatened I would.
His next words snapped me out of my daze. “Make love to me, Alex,” he pleaded, planting a passionate kiss on my lips.
My body automatically responded to his, just the way it always had. My fingers ended up tangled in his hair and my tongue slid into his mouth. I wanted to remember him, all of him, no matter how wrong it was of me. We both needed it.
“Okay,” I agreed, without even really thinking about it. I justified my actions by telling myself that it was just one more time and that I owed it to Tyler and myself. Tonight I’d make love to him, hold him tight, and give in just one last time. For a few hours longer, we could stay in our bubble and pretend that tomorrow didn’t exist.
I hope you all enjoyed this little bit of insight into my brain and the extra info on the beginning of Back to You! To thank Lisa and the lovely folks over here at The Novel Approach for their genuine hospitality, I’m offering a copy of the e-book to two lucky readers.
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Book One in the Second Chances Series by Leighton Rose
When two stubborn boys fall in love there are bound to be fights, but when those fights become the norm and there are more bad times than good, is love enough of a reason to stay?
Alex Parker thinks the best way to save himself and his boyfriend, Tyler Matthews, from any more pain is to leave him and his hometown behind. He finally settles down in Texas and as they both try to move on, it seems like a lost cause.
A tragic turn of events causes Alex to drop everything and head back to Nebraska where he winds up face-to-face with Tyler for the first time since he left two years ago. The spark of attraction is still there, but will these two now grown men be able to overcome the years of guilt, hurt, and broken trust without breaking the bonds of friendship they’ve formed during their time apart in order to get their second chance at love? Only time will tell if their hearts can find their way back to each other.
About the Author:
Leighton Rose is a 30 year old single mother to a 6 year old little monster. She’s lived in the southeast corner of Nebraska her entire life. When she isn’t working her full-time time job, she enjoys watching movies and her favorite television shows which include Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, and The Originals. She also reads a lot of romance novels and spends far too much time playing Candy Crush on Facebook!
She started out writing fan fiction and has recently begun the journey to writing original M/M fiction. She loves a little heartache in her stories but believes wholeheartedly that true love will always win in the end.