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An excerpt from my first novel - Absolute Betrayal - I would love to hear your feedback!!

I collected my thoughts as Bernice tucked away her photos.  I was thinking of my own family back home.  I had fallen in love with Max in college.  We were young, vibrant and definitely knew how to have a good time.  Max and I were friends of a larger group that liked the social nightlife.  It’s a wonder we managed to be as successful as we are.  I laughed to myself.   As college drew to a close, Max and I found ourselves wanting to spend more and more time alone together and our love for each other blossomed.  As we were preparing to leave college Max romanced me into becoming his wife. He planned a beautiful rooftop dinner and after reciting a poem he wrote for me, he proposed.  And under a blanket of stars I said yes.  I was never so sure of anything I wanted more in my life at that moment. It felt good to go back to that memory - I hadn’t been there for a while.

But to go through an experience like Bernice did was not imaginable to me.  What would my life be without Max?  He was my best friend in so many ways.  He was a fabulous lover in every sense of the word.  He supported me with no questions and he has always known when to bring me a glass of my favourite wine.  He knew me inside and out, I thought.  Probably better than I knew me.  I suddenly felt a huge pang of sorrow for Bernice, even more so than when she was sharing her story.  She had suffered a tragedy and managed to pick up the pieces to carry on and love again. 

I remember thinking that I couldn’t do the same, that I was a one man woman and if it ever happened to me, I would just focus all my time into the kids and work, although it made me sick to even think about it. 

“I admire you Bernice.  You were able to fall in love again.  I don’t believe I could do the same.  You must be a very special lady to find two fine gentlemen.” 

“Oh, Selena, I know it is cliché, but the heart does work in mysterious ways.  I too felt like that when I lost Joe but you don’t know when someone is going to walk around the corner and give you those butterflies.  That’s what so wonderful about life.  It is an adventure.” 

I could tell our conversation had taken a toll on her emotionally.  She looked over and asked if I minded if she tried to catch some shut eye before the flight landed.

“Of course” I said. “It was lovely to talk with you.” 

“You too dear.”  She patted my hand.

Looking back she was wiser than I ever imagined.  You know when they say that things happen for a reason?  Well meeting Bernice that day was one of those occasions.  I replayed our conversation over and over in my thoughts while I was trying to make up my mind.  Bernice actually played a large part in my decision to push forward even though I’m sure she had no idea what she was leading me into.  In fact, if she could have foreseen the impact of our conversation on the next few months of my life, I’m sure Bernice would have offered to change seats.

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On one part of the excerpt the plot-points and on the other the back story.

Only two lines in and the reader has been given a lot of back story.

Ask does it push the story forward, the story involving Bernice?

So far the reader know Bernice has put away photos. 

I like your characters. They have good relatable problems, and I like the relationships.

Thanks so much John!  I appreciate the feedback.  I am really enjoying churning out my first novel and to receive such a nice compliment is just the cherry on top!!



Paragraph two doesn't inform me what Bernice has gone through.

(But to go through an experience like Bernice did was not imaginable to me.) Perhaps place this sentence on it's own line, thus making it more powerful. 

I was a bit lost.

Try to look for Constructive Criticism, not complements. I agree somewhat with Cleveland.  Perhaps give more detail. I can't believe Chapter 3 is one page long or is it. It caught my interest...Thank you.

One more thing, if you are thinking about getting published, the publishers are hard core. They don't have time for comments. Thus I would think you are looking for what needs fixing. You have to become a turtle.


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