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!
Please welcome Layla Reyne to The Blogger Girls! Tell us a little about yourself, what prompted you to start writing?
I wanted better endings. The first time I gave writing serious consideration was twelfth grade, when I wrote an epilogue to Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse. Presumptuous as hell, I know, but I didn’t like the ending. That trend continued as I dove into writing fanfiction. I was not waiting nine seasons for Mulder and Scully to get together. Ditto Damon and Elena. Now in my original fiction, I write romances where everyone finds love and happiness at the end of their journey. Those are the better endings I want.
Are you a plotter or do you fly by the seat of your pants for ideas?
Plotter. I have to be for the romantic suspense series that I write; the structure also helps with contemporary romance. If there’s not enough structure, I fret that the story is too plotless, regardless of the subgenre. I also adhere pretty strictly to a plotting diagram that follows three act structure. I used to write screenplays, and I watch A LOT of TV, so that flow and pacing is familiar for my brain.
How did you come up with your characters’ names?
Cantu is a nod to my best friend who helped me brainstorm the series. Alejandro is a personal favorite. As for the rest, I’ve been known to raid my phone contacts list for combinations, snag a name off my twitter timeline, or pull names from street signs 😉
How did you get the idea for the Changing Lanes series?
My best friend and I were on our way back from a baby shower (my idea of hell), and she basically talked me down by forcing me to brainstorm this duology. I knew I wanted to do a sports romance, and that I wanted to play with my favorite tropes – second chance romance and enemies-to-lovers for book one, a bit of an age gap and friends-to-lovers for book two. I also wanted to feature a sport that’s not as commonly written about. Thankfully, there are a lot of swimmers in my life, including said best friend.
And last question, describe Relay in three words or less!
Can I have four words, please?! Because it’s perfect… Swim Your Heart Out!
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.
Available at: Riptide Publishing & Amazon
About Changing Lanes Series
A chance at gold or a chance at love? Members of the US Men’s Swim Team fight for both in this sports romance duology following two couples on one medley relay team as they train and compete in the world’s biggest sporting event: the Olympics. To reach the top of the podium, they’ll need to depend on one another and be willing to change lanes—in their lives and hearts, and in the biggest race of their athletic careers.
Available at: Riptide Publishing & Amazon
About Layla Reyne
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!