Saturday, February 11, 2017

Valentines Countdown Blitz Day 12: Becoming Bryn by Angela Carling

Angela Carling was raised in Palm Springs California, but lives Arizona with her husband, three kids and five felines. She loves reading and writing for the young adult genre and has published Unbreakable Love, Shackled, Becoming Bryn and the first three books of the Secret Keeper series. In 2012 Shackled won the silver IPGA award and has since been optioned as a screenplay. She always eats the frosting off her cake and leaves the rest, and can be caught singing in public bathrooms. When she’s not creating stories, she’s mentoring teen writers, making pizza with her family or dreaming of taking a nap, not necessarily in that order.  

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For months, Jesse has been envious of her twin sister Bryn and even has a crush on Bryn’s gorgeous, popular boyfriend, Quinton. When Jesse awakens from a coma to learn that everyone thinks she IS Bryn, the option of actually taking over her sister’s life is beyond tempting, but there’s a downside. She’d have to give up her relationship with Ethan, her best friend and the only person she trusts. Could she actually live s Bryn for the rest of her life? And if her family and friends found out, would they ever forgive her?

“I don’t know how long I was out, but I came to lying on an exquisitely comfortable bed. All around me soft, fuzzy blankets cocooned me and my head rested on a pillow, so light and feathery that it rivaled even the most comfortable pillow I’d ever slept on before. For a second I laid there, feeling calm and oddly relaxed. Then I remembered that I should be in pain, terrible, mind-numbing pain. I sat straight up, my back stiff like a board. I looked all around, frantically trying to understand where I was. The room was the same shade of bubble gum pink as my bedroom at home but everything else was wrong. Why was I here in this strange bed? Where was Jesse, where were the car and the screaming teenagers? From the doorway, I heard a soft, nearly soundless rustling and then, out of nowhere, a woman appeared, filling the entire doorframe with her broad smile and gentle green eyes. “It’s all right darling,” she said with a strong Southern accent “I’m here to help you through the transition.” I was getting more confused by the minute. She continued on undaunted. “My name is Maggie, and I’m here to answer any questions you might have.”

I glanced around the room again. Maggie had noiselessly crossed the floor, but we were all alone. I could tell Maggie was my best shot at figuring out what was going on. “Where am I?” I asked, working fervently to subdue the sense of hysteria that kept trying push its way up. Maggie reached out and lifted my chin with her fingers so that she could look me squarely in the eyes. I couldn’t feel her touch. Why couldn’t I feel her touch? Were my nerve endings damaged? Was I paralyzed? “You moved on, honey,” she said. Her words came at me but I couldn’t absorb them; they didn’t make sense. What did she mean, I’d moved on, and how did she know anything about my life? Maggie’s chest rose and fell as if she’d taken a deep breath, as if she were shoring up for what she was about to do. I watched her in horror, suddenly understanding what her words meant, yet still needing her to finish. “You’re dead, sweetheart,” she said gently but firmly, “You’re never going back to earth.”” I looked down at my body, my arms, my legs and suddenly realized why I felt  no pain. My heart didn’t beat, my blood didn’t flow. I looked like me, but now I was different. I might as well have been a colored beam of light or a hologram. I was a whisper of my former self. My hand went to my mouth in shock and then I dropped my hand, realizing I had reacted out of habit and I that I had no hand, at least not a solid one. Maggie watched me calmly as I worked through the news. She had seen this before, I could tell. After awhile, she asked me, “Do you want to see your family now?”I was stunned again. How could she know the questions that burned in my mind, but she did. I looked up at Maggie, feeling very small and unsure about anything. It seemed like a minute ago that I was flying, on top of the world and now… all I could muster was a simple nod yes. Lovingly, Maggie reached out and took my hand, and although I couldn’t actually feel it, I found it comforting and followed her without protest. “Where are we going?” I asked as we walked. Without turning around, I heard her response, “We’re going to the observation room, darlin’.”

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