by Leila Tualla
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 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 the 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 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 devises a reckless plan to distract Alex’s attention from her relationship. Things don’t go quite as she 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 your own definition of love.
“Three different girls, three different storylines, but uniquely blended together. I loved the style of the author’s writing, as Love, Defined is as true to life as you can get. This is not a sugar-coated book, but definitely a Christian story that is probably happening all over the world to young adults and older teens, over and over again.”
“It took me right back to those years of confusion, idealism and nievity that fuels that time at the end of school and the cusp of adulthood. It weaves Truth into some of life’s harshest areas including sex before marriage and abortion.”
“A Christian inspiration of faith in God, moral issues, and true love.”
CIR: What inspired this story?
TUALLA: I was a newly found Christian stuck in a house with two other college girls. I thought I’d write about the friendships and faith …. because I like boundaries, and both of them shouldn’t have any.
CIR: What was your favorite part of writing this story?
TUALLA: Some scenes were taken word-for-word from real life and I can still remember laughing and picturing the girls and I. It’s a great memory to look back on.
CIR: What was the hardest part of writing this story?
TUALLA: Writing about abortion and unplanned pregnancies. None of that happened in real life, and to write about someone you know and love about a choice that you know they would never make was tough. But that’s why its fiction. Thankfully, and blessedly, I’m still friends with my college roommates.
CIR: Who is your favorite character and why?
TUALLA: Andy in the book. Even if she has questionable actions, she was by far, more real to me, than the other two.
CIR: What other books, movies or shows might you compare to this story?
TUALLA: I’ve been told it resembles a Christian Crossroads by an Amazon reviewer.
CIR: What message do you hope your readers take away from this book?
TUALLA: That friendships are amazing, and we all have a ways we define friendship, love and faith.