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Authors: Richard Paul Evans

A Perfect Day

BOOK: A Perfect Day
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Table of Contents
 
 
The
New York Times
bestselling author and “one of the world’s most beloved storytellers” (
Idaho Press-Tribune)
returns with a story about a man who has to rediscover his priorities after finding money and fame. . . .
 
Robert Harlan has three loves in his life: his wife, his daughter, and his writing. But when his thirst for success causes him to lose focus on his family, his life takes some serious missteps. Then a stranger with a mysterious message about the brevity of his future helps Robert discover the truth about himself: who he has become, what he has lost, and what it will take to find love again. . . .
Praise for the novels of Richard Paul Evans
A Perfect Day

A Perfect Day
examines love, relationships, and self-awareness. . . . This well-written story spans the range of emotions from joy to sorrow and grief.”

The Sunday Oklahoman
 
“The inevitable twist is clever, the writing throughout assured, the sentiment unapologetic, and the author confident that he knows just what his readers want and that he’s the man to give it to them.”

Publishers Weekly
 
“He gives readers everyman, feel-good stories.”

Omaha World-Herald
 
 
The Last Promise
“The Tuscan setting of this new novel by the bestselling author of
The Christmas Box
is as beguiling as its heroine. . . . Evans paces his story skillfully and plays up the Tuscan landscape to maximum effect. . . . Those who enjoyed
The Christmas Box
are in for another treat.”

Publishers Weekly
“Fans of Richard Paul Evans have come to expect crisp, lively prose from this writer, and . . . they’re not likely to be disappointed.”

The Kansas City Star
 
“[A] heart tug.”

The Salt Lake Tribune
 
“Evans has done it again.”

The Deseret News
(Salt Lake City)
 
“A lush world full of Italian history and mythology. . . . By weaving details of the wine harvest, local festival, and vestal-virgin tragedies into this story, Evans achieves romance without overcooking it. . . . And Eliana is truly likable . . . a sensual, sympathetic beauty with a dry sense of humor . . . enjoyably warm.”
 
“Evans spins a bittersweet tale of . . . fantastic joy and great sorrow.”

Idaho Press-Tribune
 
“A tale of romantic love, heartbreak, and a nearly missed opportunity.”

Booklist
 
“Evans teaches us how to love again.”

Kirkus Reviews
ALSO BY RICHARD PAUL EVANS
The Christmas Box
Timepiece
The Letter
The Locket
The Looking Glass
The Carousel
The Christmas Box Miracle
The Last Promise
 
 
For Children
 
The Christmas Candle
The Dance
The Spyglass
The Tower
The Light of Christmas
SIGNET
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto,
Ontario M4V 3B2, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2,
Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124,
Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,
New Delhi - 110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), Cnr Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany,
Auckland 1310, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue,
Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Published by Signet, an imprint of New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Previously published in a Dutton edition.
First Signet Printing, October 2004
Copyright © Richard Paul Evans, 2003
All rights reserved
eISBN : 978-1-101-09897-4
REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author ’s rights is appreciated.

http://us.penguingroup.com

To Keri
Acknowledgments
 
 
I would like to thank Laurie, Laurie, and Carole, who have walked with me through this book. Thank you for your faith and patience. I love you all. Also my buddy Lisa Johnson. I enjoy working with you and your staff, Lisa. Thanks to the RPE and
Christmas Box
staff. Sorry I left your name out last time, Beck. And Bob Gay. Thank you for your insight as well as your generosity. In the final page of this book you will see your influence.
My love to Keri, who lived more of this book than she should have. (She wanted me to tell you that it’s not all true.)
A special
grazie
to all my readers who stood with me through
The Last Promise
. Your support means more to me than you’ll ever know.
Most of all I am grateful to God for the inspiration He sends me. This book would not be possible without His mercy and tutelage.
“All life belongs to you [young novelist], and do not listen either to those who would shut you up into corners of it and tell you that it is only here and there that art inhabits, or to those who would persuade you that this heavenly messenger wings her way outside of life altogether, breathing a superfine air, and turning her head from the truth of things. There is no impression of life, no manner of seeing it and feeling it, to which the plan of the novelist may not offer a place.”
 
—Henry James
The Art of Fiction
Prologue
I
t’s Christmas night.
Outside my hotel window the world is snow. All is still and white or on the way to becoming so. Only the street lamps show signs of life, changing colors above barren streets that look more like tundra than asphalt. Even the rumbling, yellow snowplows that wake me from my thoughts cannot keep up with the storm.
This snowstorm seems as relentless as any I’ve seen in Salt Lake City. Salt Lakers are particularly proud of their blizzards, and every native has a story of winter—stories that usually begin,
You call this a storm?
and grow in the telling like battle tales shared by graying war veterans. It’s a peculiar character flaw to those of us from cold climates that we feel superior to those who have the sense to live elsewhere.
I remember a Christmas night, when I was a boy, when there was a great blizzard. My father was always through with Christmas weeks before it arrived, and by Christmas night he had already undressed our tree and dragged it out to the curb for the municipal pickup. A storm came that same night, chased by the plows, and the next morning the tree was buried beneath a five-foot snowbank. We forgot about the tree until April, when a thaw revealed an evergreen branch poking free from the melting snow. It was the same Christmas that my mother left us.
BOOK: A Perfect Day
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