Today I have the spectacular writer, Jessica R. Patch here on Takeover Tuesday. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and join her as she talks about her release, Her Darkest Secret.
Hi Toni! Thank you so much for having me today. I’m over the moon excited about my first Trade Length releasing! I have sixteen category novels with Harlequin Love Inspired, but this is an extended length so about twice the words. I love writing psychological thrillers/romantic thrillers with a bit darker subject matter. Her Darkest Secret follows a fictional unit within the FBI who hunt down serial killers that generally have a strange religious bent to their murders. These stories do have the villain’s POV and I like to write inside their head to showcase what they are thinking and how their view of God and the Bible became so warped and twisted. It’s sad to me how many serial killers are shaped and molded by sinister events into becoming so wicked. It’s a look at humanity marred. And it’s a good reminder that we have an unseen enemy who wreaks havoc on our lives. He wants to kill, steal and destroy. Reading inside a killer’s head brings that sober truth to our minds. So having his point of view, as twisted as it is, isn’t there for shock value or even chills and thrills—but it had a deeper purpose. This is story that doesn’t applaud wickedness or evil but celebrates the goodness of God and His redemptive purposes. But to get to the cleansing moment, my characters—and the readers—must go through the dark moments.
I love to take a scripture and twist it for my villain. Then I love even more to untangle it and shine truth on it and in this book and the next in the series A Cry in the Dark, I am able to do that. So yes, the book will most certainly be clean as in no sex, no foul language and it is inspirational but it won’t be as “safe” a read as the Love Inspired Suspense books I write. I’m so thankful for this opportunity and I hope you readers will fall in love with the characters and the hope that weaves its way through each page. You can count on a happily-ever-after!
Writing my heroine, Fiona Kelly, was a challenge. She’s jaded and a non-believer at the beginning. After all, if God is so good then why did so many bad things happen to her? I get to explore this question in the story. And we get to follow my hero who is a new believer! Asa Kodiak has a lot to learn and unlearn. He needs and is being discipled but it takes times and he’s not completely free of some of his old ways/habits. I like that he’s working toward becoming all God has called him to be. No one is perfect and certainly not a baby Christian how knows very little. But he knows enough to tell his story to Fiona. Not in a preachy way. Just what he knows and he’s never afraid to say, “I don’t know.”
As they get into the case of the Nursery Rhyme Killer, the past will peel back layers of pain and regret, until the killer strips it all away. But what is intended for evil, God will use for good. The same is true in our lives as well. Like Fiona we have to make a choice: To shine. Or not to.
Thanks so much, Toni, for having me today. I look forward to reading an excerpt on your Instagram tomorrow!
Question: Why do you read suspense novels and thrillers?
About the Author
Publishers Weekly Bestselling author, Jessica R. Patch is known for her dry wit and signature twists whether she’s penned a romantic suspense, a cold case thriller, or a small-town romance. When she’s not penning fiction, she’s sharing her love of Jesus through devotionals. Ten of her devotions have been published with Guideposts in their Every Day with Jesus edition. She writes A Patch of Hope–devotions that encourage and inspire women to forward-living through her monthly email Newsletter, Patched In.
Jessica has served as the Biblical Studies & Women’s Discipleship Coordinator where she’s been blessed to serve hundreds of women through teaching the Word. Her love for discipling new believers and igniting a passionate love for the Word of God is the driving force behind her F.O.R.W.A.R.D. Bible study for new and growing believers. She has taught workshops and served as a guest speaker at numerous women’s events.
Jessica lives in the Memphis area with her husband, two almost-grown children and her fur baby, an adorable tricolor shetland sheepdog. She enjoys good conversations with friends over a hot cup of coffee or tea, reading books with happily-ever-afters, and relaxing at the beach whenever she gets the chance. Sign up for her newsletter to get “Patched In.” Jessica is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management.
About the Book
When a cold-case serial killer returns, FBI special agent Fiona Kelly has one last chance to stop him before he claims the prize he’s always wanted—her.
The sight of a goose feather at a murder scene modeled after a children’s poem is enough to make FBI special agent Fiona Kelly’s blood turn to ice. Almost two decades ago, a feather was left with her sister’s body—and with every subsequent victim of the Nursery Rhyme Killer. Now he’s back. Only this time, his latest gruesome murder is a message to the only one who ever got away: Fiona.
Finding “Rhyme” is an obsession that’s fueled Fiona’s career—and destroyed her marriage to fellow FBI agent Asa Kodiak. Now Fiona and Asa have to put their past tensions aside and work together one last time. But Rhyme is watching, and catching this killer may force Fiona to reveal her biggest, darkest secret…the one only he knows.