Today I am so pleased to welcome T.L. Bradford to Joyfully Jay. T.L. has come to talk to us about her latest release, Strange Love. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
The door opens slowly and Josh pokes his dark blond head around the edge, checking my demeanor first, before entering the room.
He comes to sit down beside me on my bed, hesitantly approaching. He looks so cute; I try my hardest not to break out a grin. It’s tough not to smile around Josh. He has an angelic face with a body that’s as hard as his face is soft.
He sinks beside me and, from behind his back, pulls out a small cup of ice cream.
His big hazel eyes give me a knowing look.
“Oh shit, you remember?” I exclaim.
“Of course, I remember.”
When we were kids, Josh and I would go to the local Baskin Robbins and fill up on mint chip ice cream until our stomachs would ache.
“Is this a bribe?”
“If it works, then, yeah,” he agrees.
I take the small cup of ice cream he hands me and greedily begin to devour it.
Josh rests back on the bed on his elbows.
“We’ve come a long way from our Baskin days. Who would have ever thought that we, the tag team football twins, would one day be together discussing who was the bigger queer.”
“It’s you, by the way.” I nudge his arm gently, causing his elbow to collapse and him to fall back on the bed. Instead of sitting back up, he continues to lie there, flat on his back, staring up at the ceiling. I fall back alongside him.
He puts one arm behind his head and gets lost in his reverie. “Remember, after we’d get ice cream, we’d ride our bikes all over the neighborhood, then have sleepovers at each other’s houses. We’d sit up half the night counting the glitter sprinkles on the ceiling and pretending they were stars.”
“Of course, I remember. My mom got so pissed because we drew constellations on my ceiling that one time.”
“Oh shit, she was so pissed.” We both laugh, recalling the simpler time for us both. We grow quiet again.
“That was when I knew.”
“That I was gay.”
He pulls himself up on one elbow again and turns over to look at me. “Really?”
“There was no denying it. I was confused why I was having these feelings for my best friend, then later, I realized it wasn’t only feelings for you. It’s the way I was born.”
Josh falls back on the bed again and makes his own admission. “I’d always felt something was different about me. Once we met, I knew there was something more to it.”
“I almost kissed you that day, but I chickened out,” I admit to him.
“I had a feeling there was something going on with you. I was curious, too. You should have.”
“Oh, now you tell me.” I throw my hands up in the air in feign frustration.
He laughs in that light chuckle of his.
“Josh, I’m sorry.”
“Sorry for what?”
“When we got older, and those feelings didn’t go away, I thought that you might be having them too, so I freaked out. I stopped hanging out with you and quit the team. I was scared that someone would be able to spot what I was.”
“Archer, you’re a grown man now, and you’re still running. Aren’t you tired of it?”
“I don’t have the same strength as you. If I fall, there’s no one to catch me.”
“That’s exactly why you need to be yourself. You’ll never find happiness until you’re honest with what your heart wants. You’d be postponing your life for years, possibly missing any opportunities to find real love. You deserve better than that.”
“Like I said, I’m always here. Take it from someone who’s been through the entire public coming out thing. It’s not easy, and it’s not over, but I wouldn’t change what I have with Noah for anything in this world. It’s all worth it.”
With that, he rises from the bed and walks out toward the door.
Out of curiosity I ask him, “If I’d asked you out back then, what do you think you would’ve said?”
He thinks for a second. “You were so cute. How could I have said no?” He gives me his one-sided grin. “See what I said about missed opportunities?” He walks away, giving me a huge wink.
The Young Americans, Book 3
The year began great for me.
Became the starting quarterback for an NFL team – check.
Secured a multi-million-dollar contract – check.
Moved to LA and lived the glamorous life – check.
What could possibly cause me any issues?
Oh yeah, one more thing. I’m gay.
I was outed a couple of years ago to my former team and my family, but it hasn’t been made public knowledge yet. Well, that is, until now. I’ll be known as the first LGBTQ+ active player in the league’s history. And if I stick to the conditions of my contract, it won’t be a problem. The thing is, I’m not really a guy known for playing by the rules.
Most people think of my personality as the three B’s: bold, brash, and blunt. My mouth has gotten me into more predicaments than I can count. Even my best friends have told me I’m stubborn as a mule and have the delicacy of a bull in a china shop. This presents a big problem for me because I have my eyes set on winning over the guy who stole my heart years ago, only he doesn’t know it yet.
Getting his attention is going to be challenging. It’s a good thing I’m tenacious.
Unfortunately, it’s not great timing and could get me into a whole mess of trouble.
Why does falling for a guy need to be anyone’s business but mine?
The past couple of years were a whirlwind of activity. My career took off after my guest shot appearance in Americana. I appeared in a few indie features and finally got a shot at my first major motion picture release. The work came as a great distraction from my personal life, which took a further nosedive after I found out the guy I was falling for had already fallen for someone else.
Why should I be surprised? He was another in a string of failed relationship attempts. I swore I wouldn’t get involved with anyone else, choosing to stay focused on my career instead. That is, until the force of nature known as Archer McMillan came storming into my life.
To be the pursued instead of the pursuer was not in the cards. To top it off, he’s everything I’m not. Yet, there’s something to be said for a guy who can make you laugh when it’s the last thing you want to be doing. I’ll admit he’s got a playful and determined spirit. Archer also has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve ever known. Not the mention the cute way he… Hold on. What am I doing? We cannot be a thing. Nope. Not gonna happen. Ever. Right?
Follow Kai and Archer as they cross the lines as friends, partners-in-crime, and confidants, to discover a love beyond boundaries that needs no definition.
(StrangeLove is a funny, heartwarming, slow-burn love story. It contains a cast of fully developed characters that encounter romance, laughter, and life lessons. It contains adult language, mature themes, and is best enjoyed by those over the age of 18. It can be read as a standalone; however, if you would like to know the backstories of some characters, check out the prior books in the series.)
T.L. always hated math, so it was a good thing she had a way with words. Since she was a shy and quirky kid; words were her best friends. She would imagine entire worlds in her head and talk to herself endlessly. Her mother wondered if she was speaking with ghosts for a while.
Her older sister was a voracious reader of trashy romance novels and would pass them down to her after she had finished them. T.L. was the only 10-year-old kid sitting in class reading “The Stud” by Jackie Collins during reading time. Oddly enough, she never got called out on it.
As she grew older, her tastes evolved, but one thing held fast; her undying attachment to love stories. One day out of the blue, she decided to write the love stories she always wanted to read instead of searching for her story. Since then, writing has been a dream fulfilled for her and she could not be happier.
She enjoys writing about love, regardless of gender and is a proud supporter of the LGBTQ community.
T.L. calls the Pacific Northwest her home and enjoys the quiet rural life of her little oceanside home with her playful/crazy husband and their giant dog Noah.
Catch up with T.L.:
Instagram – @tlbradfordauthor
Twitter – @tbradfordauthor
To celebrate TL Bradford new release, she is giving you the chance to win an e-sets of The Young Americans Series so far (3 eBooks)! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
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