The second book I wrote, Eli’s Heart, is a love story and more. Krissy Porter and Eli Levin meet as young teens when Eli, who is a piano prodigy, visits his older sister in Krissy’s town in Tennessee in the summer of 1953. They become good friends and are on the verge of romance, but their relationship is ended by Eli’s over-protective family. They find their way back to each other while college students and marry on Krissy’s twentieth birthday.
The story continues as each of them builds a career in the music world. While Eli was born with an unusual gift for music, he also was born with a seriously damaged heart. Despite the challenge of never knowing when the various repairs on Eli’s heart might give out, Krissy and Eli enjoy a happy life.
Perhaps Rachmaninoff’s famous quote, “Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music” prompted me to include in the romance the thought of reincarnation. When Krissy and Eli find their way back to each other while college undergraduates, their relationship blossoms into a deep and intense love. Krissy is convinced they are soul mates who have been together in a previous life. How else would Eli have such a remarkable ability to play piano with such technical proficiency and such depth of emotion? Why else would they both have this strong sense that they belong together?
Learning more about the craft of writing over an additional fifteen novels prompted me to write a second edition of Eli’s Heart. There are no changes in the story, but in particular the early chapters of the book have been tightened up by removing over five thousand words and using less narration and more dialogue. Now the characters are telling more of their story. I began the process nearly six years ago, but additional books interfered. However, now I am ready to publish the revision, and it will be in print soon. The first edition was published in 2014. I also adjusted the formatting to make the book an easier read, which means that though there are fewer words, there are more pages.
Readers of the first edition had praise for the book; they found it worth the read and the romance moved them. Music is Eli’s and Krissy’s life, and there are many passages about music throughout the book …always written from the viewpoint of the performer and/or the listener. How music affects us is what makes it vital to life. Recently I learned of this quote from another great composer, Gabriel Fauré: “To me – music exists to elevate us as far as possible above everyday life.” Listening and performing great music and allowing it to fill our being is an experience like no other. I hope I have managed to convey some sense of that in the book.
One reader’s response:
Eli’s Heart is a song from the heart. It is more than a coming of age for two young people—Eli with a damaged heart, and Krissy, with the love to embrace it. It is a romantic tale rich with introspective detail between two people who met young and were not whole until they joined forces. It transcends the typical story of two people beating insurmountable odds. It is a story of living life to the fullest despite the odds. This provides a deep look into the world of music. Eli’s Heart is a musical delight, intertwining life and its drama with music.
Author of the Augusta McKee Mystery Series