The Writer's Voice Query and First 250 Words11:47 PM
Title: THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 65K words
Audra is only alive because Emily isn't. After the heart transplant, Audra vowed to make good use of her gift. Go to college. Declare a major. Give dating a try. (You know, live.) When Emily’s unfinished bucket list winds up in her hands, she sees it as a perfect way to repay her debt and adopts it as her own.
Completing the list leads to piano lessons from Emily’s brother, Jake, the unobtrusive, art major with a fondness for the color black. Despite the walls he tries to hide behind, he’s easy to like and all too easy to fall for. As their lessons continue, he offers to help with the rest of the list—even the weird ones like pie-smashing and rainbow-chasing. Then Jake admits why he won’t talk about his sister. He doesn't believe the bullshit story about how she died.
Unraveling the mystery behind Emily’s death means collecting secrets and pushing Jake’s trust, but she’s willing to—if it brings him the peace and closure he so desperately needs. But Audra may have overestimated her detective skills, and underestimated her knowledge of Jake and his haunted past. One wrong move could shatter his trust and end up breaking both their hearts.
Everyone liked to call me a miracle. I guess they didn’t understand the concept. If I made it to my destination without suffering a major breakdown first, that would be a miracle.
Pete’s Coffee Shop was ten blocks from campus. I opted for walking, hoping it would clear my head. Big mistake. Halfway there and my lungs burned like I’d inhaled fire, every breath a conscious task. Damn, I needed to exercise more. By the time I reached the coffee shop, I’d be covered in sweat, huffing and puffing, ready to pass out on the floor for a nap.
That wasn’t the kind of impression I wanted to give Jake.
I frantically ran through the words I would say when we met, like an actor before opening night. Needing a distraction from my racing thoughts, I tried singing in my head, reciting poetry—even sung through the alphabet.
A light breeze tickled my skin, blew the scent of freshly-cut grass past my nose, which reminded me of summer camp, watermelons, and watching my dad ride the lawn mower. The I love the sunshine, the birds, and the smells phase evaporated the moment I saw the baby-blue and yellow sign for Pete’s Coffee Shop. My quick pace became a measured shuffle, the soles of my shoes clinging to the pavement.
Holy fucking shit. I couldn’t do this.
Calm down. Jake’s a person, the same as any other person, the same way you’re a person.
But he wasn’t just a person—he was my heart donor’s brother.