Katie and Adam are afraid of love.
She carries the scars of a first kiss gone terribly wrong.
He uproots his life to flee the stinging betrayal of an ex.
When trust is no longer an option, all romance is suspect.
As a young paramedic, Adam rescues people for a living but cannot save himself. Katie, just out of high school, struggles with a tortured home life she cannot escape.
Everything changes when Katie hops into the front seat of Adam’s ambulance. Overwhelmed by what they are feeling, neither possess the confidence to make the first move. They walk away from each other, full of regret.
To find her, Adam risks his future. To be with him, Katie sacrifices her security.
Little do they know, what little time they do have, is being measured by a heartbeat that is slowly dying out.
Today, I’m super excited!!! Do you know why?
Because I gotta share an exclusive excerpt from the book, Heartbeat.
I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.
By Faith Sullivan
Wow. It isn’t every day that I have a girl riding next to me. That’s for sure. Working such long hours, I barely have a chance to look at girls, period. Between going to school and putting in time on the ambulance, I can’t even keep my eyes open half the time. But I’m certainly awake now …
I can’t take my eyes off her. I better stop staring. She’s going to think I’m some kind of weirdo. But I can’t help it. There’s something about her.
I better think of something to say … fast. We can’t sit here in silence.
I glance quickly in the rearview mirror and catch Charlie looking back at me. He shoots me a big, goofy grin. Great. Having an audience certainly doesn’t add to the pressure. Thanks, Charlie.
I blurt out the first thing that enters my head. “What movie did you see?”
She scrunches up her face like she doesn’t want to tell me. “The action flick with all of the big stars from the 1980s. Grandma loves those guys.”
Okay, I wasn’t expecting that.
“A couple of weeks ago, I went to see that comedy everybody’s been talking about,” I offer.
“Did you like it?” she asks.
“Yeah, it was good,” I say.
“How was the little dog? I heard he steals the show.”
“Yeah, he sure does,” I laugh.
Another awkward pause. Man, I need to shake off the cobwebs.
This time, she jumps in. “Do you think we’re going to the right hospital? Would it be your choice?”
Of course, she’s nervous about her grandmother. How stupid of me to be hitting on her when she has a lot on her mind.
“If her injuries were more serious, I’d recommend the trauma center over Mercy, but she’ll be fine at General’s ER.”
Oh no. I got so caught up in our conversation I never merged into the left lane on the interstate. I better get over there now before I miss the exit. She must think I’m a complete idiot. Way to show incompetence on the job. Charlie’s probably laughing his ass off back there.
“Were you busy today?” she inquires.
I have to give her credit for staying with me.
“Not really. I’ve been on since six o’clock this morning. These twelve-hour shifts make for some pretty long days. And that doesn’t even count the time I have to spend in the classroom,” I say.
“Have you been doing this a long time?” she asks.
Ah, there’s the question I’ve been dreading. The recent past is something I don’t like to talk about, but I think I can get through it … without dredging up too much. I feel comfortable talking to her.
“Not too long. I moved here about a year ago. Before that I was a lifeguard in California.”
“Really? That’s cool.”
I see a look of incredulity pass over her face, but she doesn’t press me. I know she’s wondering why anyone would leave paradise for this. Well, sometimes paradise isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
We’re at the ER entrance, but I don’t want to let her go. There’s some invisible force pulling me toward this girl. I can’t explain it, but I can definitely feel it. I’m the last person on earth looking for romance right now, but I can’t deny there’s something there.
I pull in and throw the ambulance into park. She gives me a smile before opening the door and jumping out. I feel a twinge in my heart. Is this it?
“C’mon, Adam, we need your help back here,” Charlie calls.
Of course, Charlie and Tommy are going to leave the heavy lifting to the rookie. Let the young guy handle taking the stretcher out of the cab … every time.
I hustle to the back and start getting the stretcher out. I don’t want to jostle the poor lady any more than I have to.
I look behind me and see that the girl’s father has suddenly appeared. He got here fast. And by the glare he’s giving me, I don’t think I’m going to get to say another word to his daughter.
“Follow me,” I say to them as I start wheeling the stretcher through the unloading area into the hospital.
I know this maze of corridors like the back of my hand. Sometimes I’m here seven or eight times in a shift. It’s not crowded today. They shouldn’t have to wait too long. But what I wouldn’t give to spend more time in the waiting area with her. I wish I could think of an excuse to hang around.
“Adam, why don’t you take the patient’s family to reception so they can check her in?” Tommy pipes up. “We’ll see where they want us to put her.”
“Okay. This way,” I say to them as we exit through a swinging door into the waiting area.
Oh great, Suzanne is working the desk. We usually engage in a little bit of harmless flirtation every time we cross paths, but that’s something I don’t want to engage in right now.
“Here you go. Suzanne will take care of you,” I say, leading them to her.
“Thanks for all of your help,” the granddaughter conveys to me. There is such a sense of warmth radiating from her. I really don’t want to leave her alone with that hardass of a father.
But there’s nothing more I can do. I’m on the job. I have to get back to my crew. But how can I walk away from her … when in all likelihood I will never see her again? Why am I so hesitant to dive in, take a chance?
“No problem,” is all I manage to spit out before making a hasty retreat.
Below are the links to a few posts from the author’s blog that I’ve enjoyed:
- What inspired the HEARTBEAT love story
- Gotta love a girl with attitude
- Can a father be the villain?
- Dialogue in the digital age
- Enjoy a love scene from HEARTBEAT