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The Betrayal Opening Scene

When Emily gets an unexpected afternoon off from work due to a power outage, she decides to surprise her husband, Jesse, by preparing his favorite dish. Unfortunately, Emily will be the one in for a surprise once she arrives home. Please enjoy this sample read from the contemporary romance novel, The Betrayal.

Marina Martindale


Emily stepped out into the blazing midday sun, smiling to herself as she walked across the parking lot. She would stop at the grocery store on the way home so she could prepare a surprise dinner for Jesse. Hopping into her car, she fired up the engine, and turned the air conditioning on high. After a few hot moments, the air began to feel deliciously cool. Another smile broke out across her face as she drove off. It would be the perfect opportunity for her to tell Jesse the time had come for him to keep his end of their bargain.

She soon turned into the grocery store entrance and hunted for a parking space. Tonight, she would prepare her famous chicken divan. It was Jesse’s favorite dish. She picked out her ingredients and tossed a bouquet of fresh flowers into her cart before heading to the checkout lane and out the door.

Emily frowned as she turned into her driveway. Annette’s white Civic was parked in front of the house. Jesse’s assistant usually didn’t come on Wednesdays, so something unexpected must have come up. Emily sighed as she pressed the button to open the garage door. Shutting down the engine, she quickly grabbed the grocery bags and hurried out of the hot garage. The air conditioning felt heavenly as she stepped inside the house and went straight to the kitchen.

“Hi guys. I’m home.”

There was no response. The house seemed unusually quiet. Emily set the grocery bags on the counter and went down the hallway. Jesse was using one of the downstairs bedrooms as his office. She tapped on the door and smiled as she pushed it open.

“Hey guys. The air conditioning went out and I’m–“

Her smiled faded. The room was empty. The lights were out, and Jesse’s computer was shutdown. Emily was getting a funny feeling, but quickly brushed it off. Perhaps Jesse and Annette were out by the pool. She went to the living room and opened the sliding glass door.

“Jesse! Annette!”

Again, there was no answer. The backyard was eerily quiet, and no one was by the pool. Emily closed the door and headed toward the staircase. The upper floor contained the master suite and a rarely used guest bedroom. Jesse would be leaving for Houston on Friday to facilitate a seminar. Perhaps he and Annette had gone upstairs to decide what he should pack. Emily took a deep breath and started up the stairs. Upon reaching the landing, she heard muffled voices behind the bedroom door. Jesse must have had the TV on. She hurried up the remaining flight and stepped inside.


The Betrayal is available on Amazon,, and with other online booksellers


Marina Martindale writes and edits all of her blog posts herself. She does not use AI software or images of any kind. No part of this blog may be used or reproduced or transmitted in any form, or used in any matter by AI, without the express written consent Good Oak Press, LLC. Requests for permission must be addressed to Good Oak Press, LLC, P.O. Box 51244, Denton, TX 76206-1244


Posted in Excerpts, Marina's Novels