A Note from Tressa Messenger about her novel, This I Promise You:
I’m not even sure where to begin. How do you explain what an impact a story has on one self? This story is one so very special to me and I put a lot of tears into writing it.
After a friend of mine came to me and presented a book idea to me, which has happened many times since becoming a writer, immediately the story unfolded in my mind. I knew the exact story I wanted to tell. A story that I felt needed to be told. It is a story of finding yourself through young love and trying to maintain that love through life’s obstacles. This story is so very special to me because this story is about me and someone who was very special to me, my first love. I am truly honored to be able to share it with you.
My story is not very unlike the one you are about to read. I fell in love for the first time when I was just 13 years old with the most beautiful boy I had ever known, Jeremy Hayes Hewett. Some told me it was just a crush, a child’s fantasy, and some just dismissed it all together. They were all wrong. Yes, I was 13 and that is young, but I knew how I felt and they did not. He was a truly special person who had the biggest heart of anyone I had ever known. We dated the entire school year until I moved away at the end of the school year. We continued to stay in touch after I moved away, but long distance relationships are hard whether you are 13 or 31 and like so many long distance relationships it didn’t last. Slowly, the once constant letters and phone calls started becoming fewer and further in between until they stopped all together. I would always think about him from time to time though whether I was driving through his hometown, or if I heard a certain song on the radio. I sang our song “I Swear” every night for a year.
Finally, when I was nineteen, I contacted everyone that I could think of who knew him or would possibly know how to contact him, and since this was before advances in technology had taken off I decided to leave it up to the universe. If we were meant to be, then we would be. As the years went by the universe remained steadily quiet, so once again I grew impatient and took it upon myself to try and locate him once more. Unfortunately, this time I did find out where he was, but what I found out was the LAST thing I had ever expected to hear. My first love had been dead for three years after taking his life. The impact of his death left me in complete shock, and after the shock, there was guilt. I was utterly consumed by guilt because oddly enough, it had been exactly three years since I had last tried to find him, I felt guilty for not trying harder. I thought that maybe, had I known what he was going through I could’ve helped him.
Well, what I can’t do, as much as I wish I could, is go back and help him, but what I can do now is share this story in the hopes that it may help someone else. So, that is what I have done. He and I may have only had that one perfect year together when we were kids, but it was a time in my life I will never forget. I often wonder had he and I stayed together how would our lives have played out? People always say that if they could go back in time and change anything in their life they wanted to they wouldn’t change a thing. But if you knew that was the ending would you change it if you could do it all over again? I would.
You only get one first of anything, and no matter the time, or space, or age, you never forget your firsts.
When thirteen year old Nicky Moore’s parents decide to buy a small summer beach cottage at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, she thought her life would end. It didn’t matter the beauty of the area – land and water as far as the eye could see – she was bound and determined to make her family’s summer vacation as dismal as she felt. That was until she met a boy from down the beach; a beautiful boy, with the most intense brown eyes she had ever seen and a smile that could light the ocean on fire. A summer that Nicky thought was doomed from the start, turned into a summer that she would never forget; one full of firsts. It was impossible for her to know years later how one seemingly little decision could change everything forever, but soon, as an adult, Nicky will find out that everything she once thought were real and the promises once made, were lost in a sea of inner turmoil.
ENTER TO WIN: