Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Eli's Heart, a novel

5-star reader reviews: 
They used to call them Blue Babies, the children born with a heart condition that dominated every aspect of their lives, lives which were never long. The central character in Susan Moore Jordan’s exceptional book Eli’s Heart, Eli Levin, born with Tetralogy of Fallot, gave his heart away instead of giving in to his heart. He fell in love with music as a child and as a teenager fell in love again, this time with the woman who years later would become his wife. Eli’s and Krissy’s path is more than a love story; their life together is filled with music, hope and raw courage. The characters of the stubborn, lovable, brilliant Eli and the wistful, loving Krissy are beautifully drawn and the music descriptions are expertly wrought by a writer/musician (there is a discography at the end of the book.) Eli’s story is fiction, but it was inspired by the remarkable story of an actual musician. - June 30, 2014

A wonderful tale of love, courage and music. The reader is carried through a relationship that overcomes some very big obstacles. The interpersonal relationships of family and friends is presented with such heartfelt sincerity that the reader is drawn into the story line, feeling all the emotional highs and lows of the characters. The accuracy of the medical and musical references add credibility and a deeper dimension of emotional involvement to the reader. I loved this book and would recommend it to all. - August 4, 2014

When I read novels, I'm looking for strong characters I care about and a good story. "Eli's Heart" has both...in spades! You're rooting for Eli and Krissy from the beginning, as they draw you into their lives. And it's such a fascinating world they live in: talented young people making their way up through the world of classical music. The music they love enriches their story, and the formidable obstacles they face keep you riveted through to the end of the book. It's a beautiful love story. - August 13, 2014

Excerpt from Eli’s Heart

     Before his final lesson in the afternoon he knew he was in trouble. He was having pain across his chest and in his neck and his heart was racing. He knew he needed to get to the hospital immediately. He didn’t want to frighten his student, a freshman boy named Jamie. “I’m so sorry, Jamie,” he said as calmly as he could. “Something’s come up I have to take care of immediately. I’ll try to make up this lesson next week.”
     Eli’s plan was to get to the street, hail a cab and get himself to the hospital, but that didn’t happen. He walked out of his studio and started to close the door, but the horizon tipped crazily and everything faded. He heard the voice of one of his students shouting too loudly and frantically for this to be a lesson – or a dream. Through the fear and pain he had one clear thought: I never want Krissy to be as scared as I am right now.
     Krissy was in Aaron’s office going over lists with him when the phone rang, and the staff member who picked it up took the message. She tapped on the door and said as gently as she could, “Krissy, Eli’s being taken to the hospital. He collapsed at the school. I’m so sorry, I wish there were a better way to tell you.” Krissy sagged against the desk and Aaron stood quickly and put his arms around her to support her.
     “Get my car here immediately. Immediately,” he snapped. Krissy was white as a sheet and looked at Aaron with fear and pain in her eyes. He helped her with her coat and put his own on as they ran to the elevator.
     She whispered, “He could be dying.” Aaron’s car was waiting at the curb when they stepped off the elevator, and they ran through the lobby and onto the sidewalk. Aaron’s driver pulled away quickly.
     Krissy clung to Aaron as they drove. “Ever since I married Eli, I’ve known this could happen. Do you know what I think to myself sometimes that I can never say aloud to him? ‘Please don’t die, Eli. Don’t ever leave me.’” She started to cry. “No, I can’t cry, I can’t. I have to be strong. I don’t want Eli to see how terrified I am.”
    When they reached the hospital ER entrance she ran inside, identified herself and asked where Eli was. She ran into the examining room where Eli was lying, hooked to a frightening number of tubes and wires.
    He had been given a mild sedative and seemed calm. He looked at her and smiled. “I’ll be okay,” he said softly.
    She was shaking, but tried to control herself and smile back at him as she went to the bed and rubbed his arm. Everyone in the room seemed remarkably calm to her. She looked at his heart monitor and it seemed as if her own heart stopped. It was all over the place. How could they be so calm? Her husband could be dying.
     “Can I stay here with him?” Why were they waiting? They should be taking him into surgery right now. How could they possibly wait? In spite of herself she looked at his heart monitor again. It looked even worse.
     “For a while. We want to be sure he gets a good night’s sleep and is more relaxed.” Someone brought a chair for her to sit on so she could be close to him. She held his hand and rubbed his arm. There was an IV in his other hand. There was so much she wanted to say to him, but the medical people seemed busy with checking all the equipment and what she had to say was private, between them.
     Eli looked at his wife, wishing he could say something that would help her. He could see how distraught she was. The sedative had calmed him. He said again, “I’m going to be all right, Krissy.” She gave him a shaky smile. He wanted to take her in his arms and comfort her, but that wasn’t possible.

cover design by Tristan Flanagan

Eli's Heart is available on Amazon, Kindle and Paperback. Here's the link: