Friday, August 7, 2009

Special Guest: Christine Clemetson

Inspiration comes in many Forms
By Christine Clemetson

Early on, I discovered that I loved reading about the relationships in books. I would read the Nancy Drew books, most of all anticipating Nancy’s next date with Ned. As I grew, I enjoyed reading books that zeroed in on a love story—a story that made all things right in the world. I enjoyed learning how the characters could depend on each other, despite the conflicts they faced along the way. Authors like LaVyrle Spencer and Kathleen Woodiwiss created magic between the characters, and those stories inspired me in a way that made me want to write my own stories.

In general, for me, inspiration comes in many forms, from the books I read, to the support from people in my life, to all the events happening around me. I keep a folder of story ideas. This includes everything from newspaper articles to even dreams that I’ve had. I’ll jot the ideas down and stick them in a folder. The thing about inspiration is funny thought—if I’m inspired with a great story idea, in my eyes destined to be The Great American Novel, I won’t need to put the idea in the folder. Good ideas for stories are like first loves….you never, ever forget them.

When my first book came out, “A Daughter’s Promise”, the question I was asked most was “What inspired you to write this story?”. Inspiration came in the form of an article in my local newspaper. It detailed the history of a surprise attack on Anzio beachhead in Italy, 1944, which killed thousands of US soldiers. When I did more research, and learned more about what the soldiers faced, I wanted to give a voice to those lost. In my book, a soldier survives the battle, and through his pain he finds love and unexpected hope with a local woman. The strength of their love is what helps them survive and be able to share their strength with others—and shed light onto a dark part of our history.

What inspires your stories?

**For some reason Christine's lovely cover isn't displaying properly. I uploaded the picture a few different times trying to correct the problem, but it must be a Blogger glitch because it won't show up right. There is a banner on the right side of this page that displays the correct coloring for Christine's cover. (Sorry, Christine!)**

Christine Clemetson – A Daughter’s Promise

A Daughter’s Promise, by debut novelist Christine Clemetson, is a sweeping love story of sacrifice and unexpected hope. In war torn Italy, 1944, Serene Moneto made a promise to her dying mother—a promise so haunting that it directs the course of her life. When she chooses to save an American soldier from death, she risks everything—her name, her life, and capture by the Germans. Finding forbidden love with this soldier tears her world apart. Against the backdrop of a war raging right outside her door, can she choose happiness? Despite the promise she made those years ago?
See the trailer at


They both knew Serene’s turn had come. She took in a deep breath and touched his arms in a stiff embrace. She hugged him the way she had rehearsed in her head over and over, the way a mother would hug her son going off to war.

“I don’t care who sees,” he said gruffly, pulling her closer. He pushed her chin up with his
fingertips, and bent his head to kiss her.

She took his lips, his body, all of him, into her heart for the last time. Feeling the rapid beating in his chest, she fought the urge to mold her most intimate part against his.

When their lips parted, his warm breath on her neck made her body shiver. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she buried her face into his jacket. “I’m not ashamed about
what I said to you last night or what happened between us.” Her voice cracked. “It’s a sin, I know, but it was the most beautiful—”

“Ashamed? I don’t think I’ll ever have that kind of love again.”

Trembling, she stood back a little, clinging to her emotions with the delicacy of a spider web. “But you were right. We made the most logical decision.”

“Jesus, Serry. I want to tell you so bad that I—”

“You’re all set, then?” Sam said, coming back into the house.

Serene let go of Miles, letting her one finger intertwine with one of his pinky fingers. She couldn’t let him go.

Slowly, he released her and went to the door, putting one foot on the outside pavement before hesitating and turning back. His eyes were red, and she clutched the stair banister to keep from running to him. How much she loved him would be a secret
she’d take to the grave.

Carrying a bottle of whiskey, Marcus passed him at the door and gave him a friendly slap on the back. “I came to give you a goodbye, Coulson.”

Serene stood up straight and froze.

Miles jerked himself away. “Change of heart about me?”

His answer was Marcus’ deep kiss on Serene’s cheek and an arm around her waist. “I realized, Coulson, that I’m proud of her for taking the responsibility for you. I thought it was about time that I offered my apologies for the undiplomatic way I acted. We’re all in this for a cause, no? Why don’t we share a bottle to celebrate?”

“No, your change of heart doesn’t rub me the right way.” Miles offered an apologetic glance to Serene and then shifted his gaze back to Marcus. “You hurt her, and I’ll hurt you. You understand me?”

“Have a safe trip,” Marcus drawled.

Serene watched the driver help him in and her knees weakened. As the truck’s engine started, she braced herself against the wall.

“Don’t worry. Serene. Just think of this as a wedding present from me. No more worries about your American. He is well now and gone for good. Your only thanks is to marry me.”

She couldn’t hear him. Her throat ached and she made no effort to wipe the tears spilling freely from her eyes. She started for the door, but he grabbed her by the shoulders.


M.Flagg said...

Hi Christine. Inspiration is a great topic. I enjoyed your book very much. I have to agree that the support of my family was my inspiration. It kept me going through every phase from writing,t to the queries, to signing a contract. It still continues now that I'm published. I think that our families and friends makes a big difference in our lives.
Great topic and a wonderful excerpt. ~ Mickey

Christine said...

Love the excerpt... my inspiration comes from people ... family, friends, strangers. My strength from family and friends.

Christine Clemetson said...

Hi Mickey, Thanks for stopping by & your kind words! I'm so happy you enjoyed the book. It is so true about the wondeful support systems in our lives.

I'm so happy you stopped by.

Christine Clemetson said...

Hi Christina.

Your support system sounds wonderful..thanks for sharing and stopping by. I'm so glad you liked the excerpt.


P.L. Parker said...

I loved Nancy Drew! and the others you mentioned. I think the best historical novels do have basis in some fact that can be researched. I do that a lot when I'm reading. If I find some interesting fact, I like to look it up and confirm. Just a little quirk I have, but makes it more interesting for me.
Good luck with sales and good post.

Mary Ricksen said...

Love the excerpt, I won this wonderful book and I cannot wait to get started reading it!

Julie Robinson said...

Hi Christine,

I have to thank you! Your wonderful story was my winning ticket in reading a Sony eReader from the Wild Rose Press earlier this year. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading A Daughter's Promise on my eReader. It was a very touching story handled with sensitivity.

And you're right about inspiration. EVERYTHING is an inspiration. My problem is pursuing it and sticking with just one.


Christine Clemetson said...

Hi Julie,
I just saw your comment. Thank you so much for your kind words! That's wonderful to hear!!!

Thanks so much!

Julie Robinson said...

That is, "winning" a Sony eReader!

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