BRYNNA'S HEART is my debut YA contemporary novel with first-person narration, alternating between the two protagonists, Brynna and Beckett. It is complete at 95k words.
Beckett is a nationally-ranked high school football star with a successful future just begging for him to arrive. But then he meets this girl…and she is pretty and funny and amazing and everything a girl should be and everything he ever wanted a girl to be. Only he meets her in the hospital where she is recovering from her 6th open-heart surgery. Adam introduced him to Brynna. Adam is Beckett’s first friend after moving to
Beckett’s mother believes he is throwing away his future by choosing to be with ‘this girl’. Beckett must convince her and everyone else otherwise. Brynna must learn to trust Beckett because sometimes people do stick around, even if you get sick. Adam must learn to share his best friend while letting go of the love of his life.
And one night, their lives will change forever. Brynna’s heart fails. As they wait for a heart, the news of the accident travels fast. Miraculously, and with many deciding factors involved, a heart becomes available. Tragically, it is from someone Brynna knows. Her friends are being wheeled into the ER downstairs, one by one, from the car accident. Adam was in one of the cars.
I am highly qualified to tell this story because, like my protagonist, I grew up with congenital heart defects. It was trying to be a teenage girl with an 8-inch jagged red scar running down the middle of my chest. I know exactly how it feels to be a teenager in the hospital and many of the scenes ooze with memories from my life. I am a national in-demand speaker and writer for the American Heart Association and other non-profit organizations. I am a current SCBWI member.
I am happy to share my manuscript with you.
I had this dream that I was lying in bed, half-naked, with two good-looking boys on either side of me. As a 17-year-old girl, that’s a fairly decent dream to have.
Only…it wasn’t a dream. It was real.
And the two good-looking boys were Carter and Adam, which is totally gross because Carter is my brother and Adam is my best friend. My bed was actually a hospital bed and my half-nakedness was due to the fact that I had changed from my cute pajamas to an ugly hospital gown. Us long-term kids are allowed to wear our own PJ’s unless we are having a procedure done.
And you know what? Heart surgery sucks. This I know. In fact, I am a bona fide expert. I can tell from the look on Dr. Ingraham’s face, as he slides closer to the ultrasound screen, that I am going to need another surgery. Mom is standing behind him, forcing a smile as if to tell me everything is copacetic. She is grinding her teeth and her eyes are glassy which tells me otherwise.
I feel tears begin to well in my eyes. Why do I have to cry? I just can’t blink because tears will fall and everyone will know I am scared. Don’t blink. I rub the back of my hand against my nose to stop the drip. The plastic tube scratches the inside of my nostrils. Stupid oxygen. All around my room is the evidence that I am sick. Again. Monitors are everywhere; machines are beeping; tubes connect me from my IV to the bags of fluid hanging from metal poles.