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Promise of Forever

A novel by

Recovering from a personal tragedy, Celia Chandler is ready to get her life back. But the deeply passionate romance she once shared with sexy UK bookstore owner Ben Huntington has long since simmered. Christmas miracles are never to be underestimated, though, and when Celia dares to walk past Ben's store window on a blustery Christmas Eve, their encounter proves that sparks still fly between them! But are Celia and Ben's everlasting love and desire for each other enough to help them overcome a loss that destroyed both their worlds?

TO MY READER: The human spirit is an amazing thing. We can endure tremendous tragedy with the right people surrounding us, supporting us, and with the will to fight our way past the pain and agony when we've done all the grieving we can. In my line of work, I meet a lot of military families that face unbelievable tragedies and hardships, and my heart goes out to each and every one of them. This story isn't about a Service member - in fact, its set in London. But my inspiration came from one of the many stories I've heard recently about losing a child and the toll it takes on the human spirit. I listened to a General speak at a conference about losing his two young sons in Iraq, within a few months of each other, and as I dabbed at my eyes with a tissue - and noticed that big, strapping Marines, soldiers, airmen and sailors were doing the same thing, without shame - I wondered how on earth this man survived such horrific losses. He - and so many like him - are living proof that people can endure anything... with love and support in their lives. His marriage could have easily disintegrated because of these tragedies. I'm happy to report that it didn't. What saved their relationship and their lives? Love.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Award-winning author Calista Fox began her professional fiction-writing career in 2004, following an exciting career in PR, where she specialized in writing speeches and Congressional testimonies. (She prefers writing about hunky heroes and sassy heroines!) Her books have received rave reviews and she is also the recipient of a Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Erotic Sci-Fi Novella. This is Calista's ninth Red Sage story - her single title, Object of Desire, will be released by Red Sage in July 2009.

EXCERPT: Reaching the corner just past his window - neutral territory in a sense - Celia stopped and waited for the light to change. She told herself she'd just accomplished a great act of bravery for having ventured down this street, past Ben's shop. And she breathed a small sigh of relief at having risen to the challenge.
As she awaited the walk sign to flash, memories of her life with Ben pushed to the forefront of her mind, bringing an unexpected smile to Celia's face. Ben had always been a kind and gentle soul. Thoughtful and considerate. Deeply passionate, about everything. Especially her.
For once, Celia didn't attempt to banish the memory of the intimate moments she and Ben had shared. She couldn't help but think of how it had felt to have his hands on her body, so warm and familiar. How he'd kissed her and whispered in her ear as they'd lain in bed after making love.
"You're so soft," he'd say as his fingers glided over her skin, the pad of one caressing a tight nipple.
"I'm a girl. I'm supposed to be soft."
He'd chuckle, low and deep, sending a shiver of excitement up her spine. Then he'd press against her, his front to her back as they spooned together. "I love feeling your body against mine." He'd snuggle closer, until their bodies melded together and became one.
Celia could almost feel his warm breath on her neck now, so vivid and rich were her memories. His deep, sensual voice never failed to arouse her all over again, making her skin tingle and her stomach flutter. It didn't matter