Release Blitz, Guest Post, Review & Giveaway: The New Normal by L.J. Hayward


The New Normal by L.J. Hayward


A Gold Coast Collage Novel, Book 1

Brian Stagliano’s life should be pretty sweet right now. Two of his closest friends are getting married, and he’s taking a new, exciting step in his career as a doctor. Most amazing though, his best mate has been given the all-clear from cancer. But Brian’s normal has just been tipped A over T and the friendship he’s relied on for years is in danger. All because of five little words.

Andrew Fitzroy should be on top of the world. The cancer that’s haunted him is gone. He can finally get on with his life—except he doesn’t know what that life is anymore. Is he brave enough to come out as bisexual? Should he pursue architecture or stay in construction? Either way, Andrew knows happiness won’t be his until he has what his engaged friends have—love, joy, passion. So, he says those five little words to Brian—I’m in love with you.

Friends since childhood, Brian and Andrew have always been closer than brothers. Best mates. Nothing could ever tear them apart. Except for those five little words. Now, Brian’s not sure about so many things—their friendship, his own desires—and the foundation Andrew’s built his world on feels like its crumbling. But if they manage not to destroy everything they have together, Andrew and Brian might just find a new normal with each other.

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Guest Post

Hello! I’m L.J. Hayward and you may know me from the Death and the Devil series, MM romantic suspense about a spy and an assassin. Now I have a new story for you all, the first book in a series of MM contemporary romances set in my home city of the Gold Coast, Australia. The series is called Gold Coast Collage and book one is “The New Normal”, about Brian Stagliano and Andrew Fitzroy, best friends since they were kids. They’ve shared a lot of ups and downs, including the Big C, and now they’ll have to fight to survive the next one as well—the one where Andrew tells Brian that he’s in love with him.

Brian has agreed to answer a few questions for you all . . .

Q1. What’s your full name? Do you have a nickname and who calls you it?
Brian Stuart Stagliano, and I’ll hurt anyone who calls me Stuart. My first girlfriend called me Bri Bri. She told her brother, who happens to be my best friend, and he told the rest of our friends, so now everyone calls me Bri Bri. Could be worse, right? Oh, and a guy at work calls me Ladybug, for reasons!

Q2. Where do you live now? And with whom?
Stabrador, Gold Coast. LOL. Nah, it’s Labrador and it’s not that bad. Me and my best mate, Andrew, live in a townhouse there. Just a couple of blocks back from the beach. We decorated in uni-student chic. Just about all the furniture is second hand and the same grey colour, because Schrody, our cat, is an equal opportunity shedder and Andrew and I don’t vacuum much.

Q3. Do you have any scars? How did you get them?
Do appendix scars count? It’s mostly gone now, anyway. I have one on my left ankle from when I broke it playing cricket. I, um, may not be the most graceful sportsperson ever and probably about the only person to ever break an ankle bone by catching a ball. Don’t ask, just accept it. I did have the pleasure of being carried damsel-style into the hospital by Andrew, though. That was good for a laugh.

Q4. What did you want to be when you grew up?
Wolverine. I loved that his superpower was being a prick. LOL. I liked the healing bit as well. But he told it like it was and people still loved him. My mouth gets me into trouble sometimes, too. And I changed my mind to being a doctor fairly quickly. Guess I liked the healing part more than the prick part.

Q5. What are your views on sex? Do you believe in soul mates?
Sex is good. I like it a lot. I wish I was having more of it, but I don’t do casual all that well. Haven’t had time to find anyone special enough lately, either. Too busy cramming my head full of medicine. As for soul mates? I’m not sure. Probably? For some people, sure. For everyone? I don’t know. Like, I’m pretty sure I loved my girlfriends but spend the rest of my life with them? I’m twenty-six. LOL. What do I know about forever?

Q6. What do you consider your greatest achievement so far and why?
I bet you’re thinking I’ll say becoming a doctor, and yeah, that’s right up there, but the greatest? Yeah, nah. The greatest was helping Andrew through the diagnosis and treatment of his cancer. He was so strong through the whole ordeal I was totally in awe of him, but when he needed someone, I wanted to be there for him. Did everything I could to make sure I was. He was always there for me, right from the moment he knocked over Zach Greene for making fun of me when we first met, and I know he’ll always be there for me, no matter what. So, no question, I’ll always be there for him, too.



I love both MCs but I do like Andrew a bit more. I mean he is perfect and also he was in love with Brian for years! Brian’s sexuality is another sub plot in this book. I honestly thought it would go ‘not everyone needs labels’ route. But yeah, I get it. Most people just want to fit into those perfectly labelled boxes.There’s some amazing side characters and some arseholes too. James and Elle pissed me off a lot. They came across as sort of manipulative. And truthfully, Carly might be the only one I truly like out of their friends. Michael and Sean from Brian’s work fall into the amazing category. I couldn’t put it down especially because some moments were filled with tension.

Overall I really enjoyed reading A New Normal and would totally recommend if you’re looking for a low angst, sweet and sexy friends to lovers story!!

*ARC provided by Gay Romance Reviews in exchange for an honest and unbiased review


Enter the Giveaway:

To celebrate L.J.’s new release, we are giving away $10 Amazon GC and an e-copy of your choice of one of L.J. Hayward’s back listed books.

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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About L.J.:

Hi! I’m L.J. Hayward and I’ll be your author for this biography.

Official Blurb
L.J. Hayward has been telling stories for most of her life, a good deal of them of the tall variety. She loves reading but doesn’t seem to have enough time between wanting to be a more disciplined writer, being the actual erratic writer she is, and working for dollars in a dungeon laboratory. She also lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland, but rarely sees a beach and can’t surf, though she thinks living on a houseboat might be fun. At least then she’d have an excuse to get a cat.

Me Just Rambling & Stuff
I’ve been telling tales (some of them of the tall variety) for most of my life. The first book I ever produced was about Easter, as I recall, and was written in crude pictographs. In my defence, I reckon I was about three. Stapler-binding was the format of choice (way, way before the advent of the e-book). First story with words (and pictures) was about a trip to the moon, in which I included the exhaustive research I did on the matter by saying it took three days to get there. Sadly, the trip was cut short when a puddle of blood (!! – quite gory for its day and age) was discovered on the moon, so the characters had to leave before the murderous aliens found them. Nail bitting stuff!

Beyond that, I don’t recall exactly when I began to think seriously about writing. I always enjoyed a creative writing exercise in high school, but hated scientific writing in university. Not enough room for drama or humour or unicorns. But even before I began writing stories down, I was writing them in my head. Serious writing started around the mid-twenties. Good writing started a couple of years later. Even better writing is still in progress.

As a pathology scientist, blood and medicine is a big part of my life and, naturally, have an influence on my writing. My first book, Blood Work, had its origins in how blood behaves in transfusions (vampires drinking blood is basically a transfusion, right? Right.).

Of course, recently I’ve moved into M/M romantic suspense, with the publication of Where Death Meets the Devil. I’m blaming Manna Francis’s Administration series for hooking me into the wonderfully wide and diverse realm of queer fiction. It’s a genre pool I plan on wallowing in for good long while. 😉

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