from Harry Kraus’s
A Heartbeat Away
David C Cook
When a brilliant surgeon undergoes a heart transplant, her life transforms as she begins experiencing memories of a murder she never witnessed.
The residents worship her. Nurses step out of her way. Her colleagues respect and sometimes even fear her. But surgeon Tori Taylor never expected to end up on this side of the operating table.
Now she has a new heart. This life that was formerly controlled and predictable is now chaotic. Dr. Taylor had famously protected herself from love or commitment, but her walls are beginning to crumble.
And strangest of all, memories surface that will take her on a journey out of the operating room and into a murder investigation.
Where there once was a heart of stone, there is a heart of flesh. And there is no going back.
Introducing Tori Taylor
Brief physical description
Tori Taylor is a young (young thirties) cancer surgeon who, prior to a serious illness, was trim, vibrant, and had shoulder length light brown hair. She would be seen typically in surgeon’s scrubs. Tori’s illness required a heart transplant and so she tries to dress to hide her fresh pink sternal scar that begins at her suprasternal notch and extends down through her cleavage.
Think Jennifer Aniston with a touch of curl to her hair.
Strengths and weaknesses
Ahh, this is fun!
Before her heart transplant: Very smart and confident, and very competent in the operating room, perfectionistic and demanding; she is a scientist, not touchy-feely, and not into displays of affection. Arrogant to a fault!
After her transplant: Still smart and confident, but now, softer in personality, still demanding, but quick to apologize, affectionate, and very in touch with other’s feelings; still a scientist, but now empathetic; she now has a new passion for gourmet cooking..and, for the first time, more open to mysterious and the gentle voice of God.
Quirk (if any)
After her transplant, she is haunted by memories that came from her donor! (Or did they?) It is a stretch for the scientist in her to understand and believe just what is happening to her!
Your inspiration for the character
My protagonist is a surgeon, and I drew her from a conglomeration of all of the brilliant, arrogant, compassionate surgeons who I know.
Background to the story
I became aware of the crazy scientific phenomena known as cellular memory, the concept that some memories may reside outside the brain and live in the complex neural network that surrounds the human heart. When the heart is transplanted, guess what goes along with the heart…new personality traits, new desires…and even new memories!