Title: December Rain
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Author: A.L Goulden
Release Date: November 25, 2014
Monica and Alex Waters have spent that last few months working to repair a broken marriage and rekindle their passion. Just as they start finding their spark, Quinn Matthews and his escalating career resurfaces, but this time Alex makes the decision to let Monica go.
The devastation of losing her high school sweetheart, her home, and even her dog twists Monica down a destructive path that alienates her from her closest friends and lands her on Quinn’s couch. Despite her efforts to resist jumping into his arms again, the spark between them reignites and sweeps her away on a whirlwind holiday adventure. She finds that falling in love with Quinn’s family and lifestyle is as easy as falling for his ocean colored eyes. The problem is that it’s all too easy, and when she sees that Quinn’s reinvented life has completely shifted towards her dreams, she starts to question whether he’s too good to be true.
Quinn has a secret that was never meant to be kept this long, but will Monica be able to trust another man who’s lied? And now that Quinn’s got his happily ever after in sight, he’s not about to let her go or share her with another man
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The outdoor style shopping mall is bustling with tourist and local art lovers. Rows of art galleries surround the courtyard where a stage welcomes a local reggae band. Monica settles into a groove and starts dancing with the crowd. Alex tries to hang in for a couple of songs before he starts feeling claustrophobic and looks to the galleries and shops around them.
“Go ahead,” she says with a loving smile. “I’ll meet you down there… after one more song.”
He gives her a little kiss on the cheek and glides his hand across her behind before making his way out of the crowd. His attention is pulled by various pieces in windows along the way. There’s a large glass sea turtle in shades of green and gold followed by a painting of an autumn forest with heavy texture. He stands there daydreaming for a minute until he’s distracted by a reflection passing in the glass. It’s so brief he’s sure it’s his imagination. He barely catches a glimpse down the mall as the backside of the man disappears into another gallery.
Alex follows the ghost, dodging through happy couples and pushy salespeople trying to get his attention. Before he can see inside a painting that’s prominently displayed on a front wall stops him. A cold washes over as he stands there staring at it. He slowly moves inside, mesmerized by the familiar vibrant paint strokes until he sees a few people gathered in the back. A man talking to two smiling women stills himself as Alex’s eyes freeze on the back of his shaved head. No words were needed as the tropical air takes a chill. Even the women sense a showdown and step back to give Quinn room.
Quinn turns. What do I say? Fuck! I thought that was him. I hoped it wasn’t. Quinn moves very slowly towards Alex. Is he gonna hit me? I do deserve it. Might as well get it over with. “Hey.” Quinn pauses near the center of the room waiting.
Alex swallows hard, his nostrils flaring and fist clenched. His jaw flexes as his breathing grows heavier, but the emotions just start to turn to mush. His eyes fill as thoughts of his new friend’s betrayal wash over and the painting draws his eyes again.
“I’m sorry Alex,” Quinn says quietly.
Monica nearly passes the gallery on her way to see their friends when Alex’s shirt first catches her eye. She halts and shifts backwards until she sees the painting and stops. It’s a female figure bent forward reaching for her toes. The abstract form of her body in swirls of orange and reds is cradled by a man swathed in blues and purple. Oh my God! That’s me. That’s us, stretching. It can’t be. He’s…
She struggles for air as the tears swell, and she can already feel him. As she stands there, not crossing the threshold, the two men watch her. When her eyes finally land on Quinn, electricity fills the room. She can only see him and the deep tan that backdrops the pale oceany eyes reaching for her. A warm drop gently slides down her cheekbone as her breathing syncs with his. His lips move slightly hinting at words that he can’t find while she struggles not to run into his arms.
Alex’s discomfort is audible as he clears his clogged throat to rattle her attention to his worried eyes. She steps in and touches his hand briefly. “I’ll be outside,” she says, turning without another glance at Quinn.Her feet move quick as her thoughts try to keep up. What are they doing? Alex is gonna hit him. I can’t believe he’s here. What are the odds? Did he know we’d be here? No. Maybe he moved here. That painting was him and I together. Would Alex know that? It’s pretty abstract. Fuck! This can’t be happening. Before she knows it, she’s at the other end of the mall near the parking lot. She settles on a bench to wait for the world to stop crumbling around her.
About the Author:
I’m a designer, author, wife and dog-lover living in the South Pasadena area of California. I got my BFA in Film Production from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, but my love of a good story came way before college. I remember writing my first full story in fifth grade on a typewriter. I cut and pasted it into a book, complete with cardboard cover and taped binding. Things have changed a lot since then. With the magnificent digital age I can produce books and give them to the world without a sticky mess.
In college numerous instructors and peers praised my dialogue pushed me to hone my storytelling skills. Of course the need to cut and paste was still there, so I went into the world of Production Design and Art Direction for films and television. It gave me the ability to connect design to storytelling in a way that no other career can. The past 18 years have spun a unique perspective on visually emotional tales of relationships and the thread that ties all things together. Now I’m shifting focus on the driving force that brought me here… stories. I hope that I can share a unique perspective on life, love and the pursuit in all of the above.
♦10 fun facts about A.L.♦
1. I not only like to design things like homes, gardens, and interiors, I like to build them too. I built the redwood decks in our backyard when our carpenter backed out at the last minute. Since I was off work for a few weeks, I went for it. The best part was the neighbor’s reaction to me out there every day with power tools and very long planks of wood. I think working with your hands gives you an immediate sense of accomplishment.
2. I’m a reluctant morning lover, which means I love getting things get done early while it’s quiet and calm, but my attitude when I first roll out of bed is sour.
3. I’ve practiced bonsai for many years and have a garden with 10 trees on display.
4. I love board games and try to organize game nights with friends as often as possible. My family was always very competitive and had a regular Sunday night usually filled with Yahtzee or UNO battles.
5. My favorite book as a kid was Pride and Prejudice, but I was very Dyslexic so I hated reading. Eventually I got into an assistance program that worked me through the difficulties and turned me into a bookworm.
6. I’m a hardcore Oakland A’s fan. Baseball is the only sport I follow.
7. We moved from Oklahoma when I was twelve to Las Vegas. It was so completely twisted and unique to living anywhere else in the world, especially in the early 90s when things were booming. I got a well-rounded education on what I didn’t want out of life by living there. I don’t visit unless I’m dragged there.
8. I have an English Setter and German Shorthair Pointer that keep me on my toes.
9. I love road trips, but have to be the driver. I’m a terrible passenger.
10. My husband and I are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary in 2015, but we’ve known each other since the summer of 1993 in high school.
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