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December 18, 2013

This is the first time on The Worlds Of Fred Rayworth that I’ve done a book review. I’ve done plenty on Amazon, but never one here, because frankly, this site is about the writing process. In this case, I’m making an exception because the book I’m reviewing was part of a process I was deeply involved in.
A few years ago, when I had lots more time, I used to edit work by friends and other authors. Usually, all it took was for them to ask and if I had the time, I was more than glad to do it. However, I would still turn down some manuscripts if the material was too far out for me, or the writing style was something I couldn’t stand to read.
I’ve known Morgan St. James for a long time. As a long-standing member of the Henderson Writer’s Group, we’ve talked extensively about almost every aspect of writing. In fact, she’s one of the key figures that convinced me to stick with one name instead of branching out with several pen names, since I write in multiple genres.
Morgan approached me to do an edit on her story which now has the title Betrayed. I can’t remember the original title or even the original name of the main character. I readily agreed to help her, sight-unseen, because I really like her and even though I had several other projects on my plate, I love editing, and looked forward to taking on the task. To tell the truth, I felt honored she asked me.
To my initial horror, I discovered the main character was in first-person! Aaagh! It’s not that I haven’t either read books in first-person, or edited them. I was just hoping it would be third-person since it was kind of a thriller. Oh well. I soldiered on and started the process.
Lo and behold, as I progressed through the story, despite my aversion to the tunnel vision of first-person, I found myself becoming absorbed in her vision, her character. Turns out, she uses mixed POV where the secondary characters were told in third-person. To my surprise, this actually worked. For a story that I never would’ve picked up otherwise, I found myself enjoying it.
Jump ahead a few years, to two months ago. Morgan regained the publishing rights to the novel, upgraded it and did some rewrites. She asked me to do a fresh review. I insisted on re-reading it beforehand so I could do a more accurate and updated review. I got to re-live the updated story and though I’m still no fan of first-person, I became reabsorbed with the character of Laurie and the whole story. In edit mode, even though she didn’t ask for it, I helped out by finding a few nits here and there. I hope it all helps her present this outstanding story to you, the reader.
Below is my latest review, which is honest and heart-felt. Some of you may think it’s biased, and sure, maybe it is a little, but only because I own it. I know this story intimately and if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t put it out there. I would’ve politely declined. Believe me, I have before!
It’s highly unlikely I’ll ever read first-person in fiction willingly, but with this exception, I found a gem that will surely make its mark.


           When I was one of several who first edited this story several years ago in its first incarnation, I wasn’t sure I could get into the story. With it being part romance and mostly in first-person, which I don’t personally like in fiction, it wasn’t my usual cup of tea. However, the further I read, the more engrossed I became. This wasn’t just some sappy love story. The title is true to the story. It’s about betrayal in the most profound way. In this second incarnation, it’s greatly improved and updated.
The hero goes from a high to a despairing low, only to drag herself out of it, and then gets knocked off her feet again. It’s amazing how she survives this punishment, yet she does. The author not only makes it interesting, but gets the reader to feel every bit of it. She’s a master at drawing emotion out of every scene, from the lightest to darkest moments.
The plotting is fast-paced and there’s no endless narration and exposition. In the third-person sections, there’s no head-hopping and the transitions are smooth. It’s very well written.
This story is especially geared toward women, but with the mystery and mayhem, it should appeal to many males as well. Highly recommended.

Here are some of the various links that pertain to the book:
Facebook fan page:
Amazon UK:
Barnes & Noble:

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