Regular readers know that I entered my novel TAKE WING in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest, and was eliminated between the quarterfinals and semifinals. One of the benefits of being in the contest was getting feedback. Anyone could read the first 4,000 words of the novel and post a review. There are 28 posted reviews on the website, and I believe you can still access them, if you’d like to read the novel excerpt, or other reviews. If you’d like to post your own review and can’t do so on the site, please feel free to do it here, or email me! I intend to continue to work with this manuscript, so I appreciate insight.
The exciting part of making it to the quarterfinals was that a Publishers Weekly editor read the entire manuscript. ?I eagerly awaited that review, and here it is:
Set in the modern day American Midwest, this manuscript follows Ava, the first female Reverend in her area, as she struggles with the challenges daily life presents to her career, her marriage, her family and her faith, from her sister’s jealousy to an unplanned pregnancy to the temptation to stray from her marriage vows with Mac, a charming stranger with a hunting bird on his arm. Competently written with realistic dialogue and a cast of sympathetic characters in a small town congregation, the plot is predictable: despite their indiscretions and indecision, few characters step fully outside the lines to make surprising choices or irrevocable mistakes, and all end up predictably wiser or punished when we reach the classic happy ending. The most surprising grace note is the colorful Southern Belle who, first showing up in Ava’s life as an appearance-obsessed bride, unexpectedly becomes her best friend rather than another cross to bear.