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About the author:
Award winning Author of the Independent Press Award and NYC Big Book Award. A.L. Long is also the recipient of the National Indie Excellence Award.
My love for writing began several years ago after an early retirement from a demanding job that I loved, but also hated because it consumed so much of my time. Now, I am able to focus my time on what I love. Writing romance has been a life long dream and to actually say that I am a published author is beyond what I would have ever expected.
Even though some may say I have a little naughtiness in my books, I look at it as an added bonus for my readers. After all what is a romance book without a little spice.
When I am not writing, I enjoy spending time with friends either at home or out on the town. Mostly, I enjoy a relaxing night at home where I can enjoy a glass of wine in the company of a good book.
What inspired you to write your book?
Mostly is was the love of reading. I love romance and wanted to bring my love for it to paper.
Here is a short sample from the book:
The gala was just beginning when Rade walked through the large wooden doors looking more handsome than ever in his black tux. A small orchestra of about twenty-five performers were getting set up in one corner of the ballroom. Several of the wait staff were getting the champagne fountain ready. The popping of corks could be heard and the cool liquid glistened as it was poured down each tier of crystal champagne coupes. The tableware was carefully scanned to make sure each piece was precisely placed. There was no one in the massive room that wasn’t doing last minute touches. Rade walked past the orchestra and straight to the open bar where the bartender was checking each glass to make sure not one water spot was visible. Leaning against the bar in front of the bartender, Rade requested a double shot of their best scotch. The bartender gave him an affirmative nod. Placing a crystal tumbler on the sleek bar, he began pouring the amber liquid. Rade quickly downed the double and request a refill. Taking his drink with him, he thought it best to find Gwen and see if there were any final preparations that needed his attention.
Rade was thankful that he didn’t have to go far to find her. Just as he got to the wooded doors, Gwen appeared. Rade thought how lovely she looked. She was wearing a dark blue gown a little on the conservative side, but elegant nonetheless. It suited her.
“Gwen. I was just on my way to find you. You look absolutely stunning,” Rade said as he gave her a gentle kiss on her blushing cheek.
“Why thank you, Mr. Matheson. You look dashingly handsome yourself,” Gwen said. She noticed how tired he looked, but didn’t want to elaborate on it.
Gwen filled Rade in on the evening festivities and let him know that Richard informed her of the added security. Rade and Gwen walked back to the bar, where Rade requested a glass of wine for Gwen and another scotch for himself.
Guests began shuffling in and were immediately greeted by servers carrying trays of champagne and hors d’oeuvres. The room began filling as more and more guests appeared. Rade knew the event would bring in hefty donations. At two thousand dollars a plate, the foundation was already a success with over three hundred guests.
As Rade watched the enormous room fill, he fixated his eyes on every woman with auburn colored hair as they entered the room. He was filled with disappointment as the face of each woman revealed someone other than Dylan. “Could he have missed her entering the room?” he thought to himself. After all, there were so many people. Rade took his focus off of the large wooden doors and began scanning the room. Looking towards the table designated for BlackStone Industries, he could see two gentlemen had already arrived. As they turned their heads he recognized Keeve Black and Mason Stone. He debated on walking over to their table and saying “Hello” when she caught his eye. It was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen. Every male in the room was glancing in her direction. It was like everything stood still in time.
Rade watched Dylan as she moved across the room with such grace, he couldn’t take his eyes off of her. The dress she wore further accentuated her beauty. Her ivory skin was translucent against the black of her gown. Every curve of her body was displayed so elegantly, she took his breath away.
There was no one else that he saw in the room. Only she was in his sights.
The closer Dylan got to Rade the harder it was to pull away from her beauty. He didn’t want to make himself known until the moment was perfect. Turning on his heels, he headed to the other end of the ballroom. It was difficult for Rade to get out of her line of vision as he was continually greeted by guests congratulating him on the wonderful turnout. When he finally made it far enough away, Gwen took the podium.
“Ladies and gentlemen, can I have your attention please,” she said as she waited for the chatter to die down. Once it was quiet, she continued. “As you all know, the Broken Heart Foundation has touched many lives throughout the years. The foundation has brought so much hope and love to so many families with children facing heart disease. All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the undying efforts and perseverance of a man whose passion for this cause has helped so many. It is a great honor to introduce to you Rade Matheson.”
Rade ignored the standing ovation and the loud roar of hands being put together. His attention was on Dylan as she stood in disbelief. He knew his appearance would have an effect on her. What he didn’t expect was to see her nearly lose her footing. He also didn’t like the fact the Mason Stone had his arm around her.
“Thank you, Gwen, for that too-kind introduction. Thank you all for joining me this evening.” Rade removed a folded sheet of paper from his inside coat pocket and began reading what he wrote. “When I was six years old, my mother gave birth to the most amazing being I could ever know. I knew on that day that I would protect my little brother until the day I died. After all, I was his big brother,” Rade chuckled slightly. “I remember him always being so sick. It wasn’t until I was twelve that I found out he had a rare heart disease. I didn’t understand what that meant, but I remember telling my parents that I would give him mine,” Rade choked as he continued his speech. “Four years later my little brother died. He beat the odds and I got to share ten years with him. I will never forget that little boy who has made me what I am today. This is for you, little brother,” Rade said as he picked up his champagne and held it up. “This is for Isaac Matheson and all the children like him.”
Rade could hear the applause as he descended the podium. His eyes were fixed on Dylan as he watched her leave the room. He tried to make his way through the crowd, but was stopped by men wanting to shake his hand and women who wanted a quick embrace. Rade lost sight of Dylan as she exited the tall wooden doors. Finally, he was able to get through the swarm of people and to the exit. Not knowing which way she went, he took a guess and head toward the restrooms. Just as he was ready to give up and turn around, he saw her standing on the veranda outside the glass doors. Taking a deep breath, he slowly opened the door and took his place beside her.
“Beautiful night, isn’t it?” Rade said as looked over to her.
“I need to go,” Dylan said as she pushed from the railing.
“Wait, please,” Rade pleaded as he gently grabbed her arm.
“There’s nothing to say, Rade. I read your letter and I forgive you. I just can’t be with you.”
Just as she was ready to pull away, her phone began to vibrate in her small black clutch. She didn’t recognize the number. With hesitation, she answered, “Hello… Yes, this is Dylan Adams.”
There was a small pause before Dylan dropped her phone and looked straight at Rade. Unable to stand, Dylan slowly began sinking to the ground. Rade had his arms around her in an instant.
“Dylan, what is it?” he said with utter concern. When she didn’t answer, he lifted her chin so that she was looking at him. “Dylan, tell me what’s wrong?”