Meet Author Leila Tualla

Hi, all! My characters are college aged and these roommates are having a discussion about a current topic. Let’s listen in, shall we? 

Andy: You will not believe what I have to write about in my class! Because the Supreme Court said same sex marriage is now legal, we have to write a philosophical paper about how people are redefining love.

Lori: “Love is love.”

Alex: Well, homosexuality is a sin.

Andy: It’s not asking what you think about homosexuality, Alex. Geez. Dr. Patel just wants to know how people are choosing to love in the twenty first century.

Alex: It is about sin. Choosing to marry and love someone of the same sex is redefining how we love. We’re starting to love the sin and it’s the exact opposite of what Christians are called to do.

Andy: Once again, I’m not asking you about….okay, you know what. Fine. Tell me how you define love, Alex.

Alex: “Love is undefinable. It just is.”

Lori: Really, Alex? By that definition, you’re agreeing with same sex couplings.

Alex: Fine. Since I don’t know what it’s like to be in love, I’m just going to keep my mouth shut.

Andy: Wise choice. Lori?

Lori: Hmmm. Love is 

Alex: Don’t say anything clichéd, please.

Lori: So you don’t want me to say that love is goosebumps, butterflies in your stomach, and everything in between?

Alex (dramatically): You forgot to say fireworks.

Lori (laughing): Yes, love is fireworks.

Andy: And choosing your own Prince Charming.

Alex: see, there? Love is a choice!

Andy: Not going to go there, Alex.

Alex: What do you want me to say? That love is not the high definition, surround sound, one and a half hour outlined in romantic comedies, usually starring two very attractive people, we are never going to be with, even in our dreams. 

Lori (sighing): Well, if we’re still doing clichés, you need to include the fact that love always comes with speed bumps, traffic jams and sharp curves ahead.

Andy: We went from fireworks to speedbumps, here? Come on you guys, Love is FUN.

Lori: Love sucks, period.

Alex: You’re just saying that because of what happened this summer. Love does put you in situations you don’t want to be in and quite frankly, that part of loving, sucks. 

Andy: I agree that love is a whole lot better without complications but come on, you guys are starting to depress me. 

Alex: Pick a different topic.

Andy: Um, the topic is how people choose to love in the twenty-first century.

Lori: You’ve been in love before, Andy.

Andy: No, I haven’t. I sleep with guys, date a few worthy gentlemen but I don’t know what love is. 

Alex: Why don’t you write about that? That women and men are more likely to be choosy and sex is no longer called making love but a way to pick if the guy or girl is sexually compatible and then you start to date and then hopefully fall in love. We are living in a backward and crumbling society. 

Andy: But that’s not what I believe! I think our society is moving forward. How we love and who we love was color blind, gender specific and that stalled us. That thinking puts people in boxes, in depressing marriages. That’s why people cheat and divorce because we weren’t allowed to be ourselves. 

Alex: People cheat because….

Lori: Satan tells them to?

Alex: I know you’re being sarcastic over there but I’m just going to agree and shut up.

Andy: Good girl. Let’s get back on the subject of defining love, shall we?

Lori: Well, so far, you have what? Fireworks, speedbumps?

Andy: Love sucks, it’s complicated.

Lori: Love is required to hurt for a little while. You just hope that the happy ending comes soon.

Andy: I like that. I also think that love is knowing you need a little push sometimes.

Alex: And finally accepting that you are in love.

Lori: Do you hear someone accepting something?

Andy: I believe I did.

Alex (rolling eyes): I’m just adding to what the two of you are saying.

Lori: What do you think Jack would say if he hears that?

Alex: Actually, we were on this subject a while back and he said….

Lori: I love you, marry me?

Alex: No, he said..

Andy: Vegas, baby.

Alex: Seriously? 

Lori: Sorry. What did your future husband say about love?

Alex: Whatever, we’re just friends! He said that love is worth fighting for and worth giving into. Sometimes it means throwing out the list and letting God do all the rest.

Andy: Now that guy is a keeper. 

Alex: You can always go with the age ole classic “love is patient, love is kind.

Andy (sighing): This is going to be harder than I thought!

In their final summer before graduating college, three childhood friends expect an uncomplicated transition to adulthood….but learn they all still have some growing up to do.

Alex Makapulo is a facing a crisis of faith.
Raised a Catholic, Alex is considering becoming a member of her best friend Jack Page’s church – against her family’s wishes – but she can’t quite take up that final step of baptism. Jack loves Alex and doesn’t understand her hesitation, and Alex wonders if Jack’s love is a blessing or a distraction to test her religious conviction.

Lori Hanson embarks on the trip of a lifetime.
For her twenty-second birthday, Lori’s grandfather presents her with a summer vacation in England. While preparing for her adventure, she meets British musician Colin Watson online and quickly falls for him. They plan to hook up when she lands in London but her grandfather forbids it. Due to complicated family dynamics, Lori must regretfully comply with his wishes, though she vows never to forgive him.

Andy Taylor is looking for love in all the wrong places.
When Andy runs into an old crush, she decides she wants a more a more meaningful relationship with sexy Miles Webber. But when she confides in Alex, her friend warns her Miles only wants her for sex. Andy becomes angry and devices a reckless plan to distract Alex’s attention from her relationship. Things don’t go quite as expected, though, and Andy is left facing a crushing moral dilemma. 

As the summer unfolds, three young women learn love and faith go hand in hand, not everything is black and white, and sometimes in a fast-paced world you have to slow down, breathe a little and find our own definition of love. 

Thank you for having us, Apryl. My name is Leila Tualla and this is my first novel, Love, Defined published by Limitless Publishing.

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Apryl Baker