Country Living Series

Saturday, July 18, 2020

A new career

Over a year ago -- in March of 2019, to be precise -- I wrote a lengthy blog post on a new chapter in my writing life: writing romance novels.

Yes, really. Okay, stop laughing. Here's what I wrote at the time:

"Over the years, I've sometimes put up blog posts documenting my progress with NaNoWriMo. This is an annual event, National Novel Writing Month, in which crazy people the world over engage in furiously pounding out a 50,000 word novel in one month.


I've participated in this endeavor more than half a dozen times, but surprisingly the one question no one has ever asked me is this: "What are you writing?"

Today, I've decided to 'fess up: I've been writing romance novels.

Yes really. Not the dirty nasty bodice-rippers, of course, but sweet romances, and sometimes inspirational (Christian) ones too.

This was something of a hobby all these years, but one I kept distinctly under wraps. That's because too often romances are lumped into one ginormous and sleazy group characterized by the afore-mentioned bodice rippers, which amount to little more than soft porn. Thankfully there's a much cleaner side to this industry, due to the demands of women who like a good love story but without the unsavory parts.

Writing romance takes a bit more skill than many people realize or appreciate. NaNoWriMo and other writing endeavors allowed me to hone my fiction-writing skills, but I've never done much beyond that."


That's what I wrote nearly a year and a half ago, and let me tell you the last few month have been very exciting (and very busy!). In January, my first book was accepted by Harlequin's Love Inspired (Christian) line, and today I'm pleased to announce my soon-to-be released novel, The Amish Newcomer, available September 1.


Yes, I fell in with Harlequin's inspirational line and I'll be specializing in Amish fiction. It's a good fit. I have a lifelong fascination with the Plain People and a solid rural background. What's not to love?

It's funny -- this whole thing has exploded on me. From one book accepted, Harlequin took a second book, then a third, and the editor is interested in at least three more.

When the The Amish Newcomer is available for purchase, I am going to transparently beg all of you, my dear readers, to buy a copy. If you're a guy, give it to your teenage daughter or your grandmother to read. But I would love to be able to show strong numbers to the editors for my first book.

So there you have it. It appears I have a new career ahead of me.

42 comments:

  1. Congratulations Patrice! That is a great accomplishment!

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  2. Congrats Patrice on your success .

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  3. OK, a sincere opinion here. "...women who like a good love story but without the unsavory parts."

    If you are reading the book and no one is looking over your shoulder what is the issue? Are they naive, never married, wish they were never married... what? I'm not talking 50 shades of grey dirty but the typical romance novel.

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    1. Personally, I love romance novels! My first Harlequin was given to me when I was 11 years old. In the Bible, it says that the fire of sexual appetite is never quenched. I found that to be true in my reading material. Started out with a sweet Harlequin romance and ended up in The Outlander Series. I was happily married and had been reading this genre for so long that my mind was becoming consumed with the phrases and word pictures in those books, in fact, I had a hard time concentrating on singing worship songs in church! I have not read a romance novel that goes farther than kissing since 2001, and I am in such a better place. I appreciate authors who tell a story without the gratuitous sex scenes, the same as I appreciate movies that are not pornography. Just my experience.

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  4. Congratulations!! God is so good to us, giving before we even ask. Enjoy the future!

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  5. Good for you! I'll buy a copy!

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  6. I'll certainly buy a copy for my wife, right up her alley.

    I've been a frustrated writer for some time. I say frustrated because I must have missed the days in school where adjectives were taught.

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  7. Congratulations! That's so exciting. I'll be on the lookout

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  8. Amish fiction is my favorite, so you have a buyer here. Congratulations and very best wishes.

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  9. Well done! I look forward to reading your books.

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  10. Congratulations! I’ll read it!
    Jeff in Oklahoma

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  11. Will this be on Amazon? I like to get the kindle version so I can read it with big type. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. It's already on Amazon with a Sept. 1 release date. I know it was printed in a Big Print edition, available through the Harlequin website. And thank you!

      - Patrice

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    2. I have pre ordered the kindle version.

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  12. Will your book be in Costco?

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    1. I doubt it. They normally don't carry Harlequin titles. Try Walmart.

      - Patrice

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  13. Can not wait to read your book. I love Amish stories. My husband is from Ohio near Wayne/Holmes county.

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  14. Congratulations Patrice. I can't wait to get a copy.

    kathy in MS

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  15. Will buy this and congrats! God id good all the time!

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  16. I'm so happy for you and so proud! Can't wait to read it.

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  17. My heart leaps for joy with you, Patrice! Congratulations and may God be glorified!

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  18. Fabulous news! A whole brand new career!! Congratulations on this pathway.
    -Stealth Spaniel

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  19. Congratulations! I pre-ordered a copy from Amazon. Looking forward to reading it. -Amy R.

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  20. Thank you for writing a novel in a genre that's a guilty pleasure of mine. (Man cannot live by forallx alone.) Also, ordered The Simplicity Primer.

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  21. Well, you've certainly managed to get hearts and emotions riled on WND, so writing romance novels should be a good next phase for you.

    Congratulations! You GO girl... ;-)

    m

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  22. Hmmmm. Interesting. I was born and raised in Lancaster County, Pa, and lived among the Amish until I moved in my 20s. I still have a sister in the area who volunteers with Amish ladies at the local fire company and a brother-in-law who transports Amish workers to and from work at a discount store. I'm just a bit skeptical of writers who purport to write about a group of people using research and interest rather than living among them. But I will buy your book.

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  23. Hmmmm. Interesting. I was born and raised in Lancaster County, in the middle of Pennsylvania Dutch country. My family was Mennonite and we had infrequent interactions with the Amish. My sister volunteered with Amish ladies at the local firehouse for community breakfasts. My brother-in-law currently transports Amish workers to and from work at a discount store. I find it hard to think a writer could purport to write about such a group based on interest and research rather than being embedded with them. But I will buy your book.

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  24. Heh, I'm sorry to say, Patrice, that the first thing I thought of when I read the subtitle of your book was to think, "Why would she WANT to?" I live very near the largest settlement of Amish in Canada, and their life doesn't look very romantic to ME. And I'm not disparaging a self-sustaining lifestyle at all.
    But, hey, if people want to read a sweet love story and aren't too worried about the plausibility of it, that's fine. :) How fun for you to be able to write and make money at it, too!

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  25. I did the preorder.....can't wait to read! Jo

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  26. Congrats! I never knew that Amish fiction was even a thing. Learn something new every day.

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  27. I have been reading your blog for a very long time and purchased you book " The Simplicity Primer" years ago. I also enjoy historical novels and will purchase your new book as well. That said, I have to agree with several of the others. Living among both Amish and Mennonite there is nothing romantic about their lifestyle.

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  28. Congratulations, Patrice! It must be so cool to have fiction books out! I must admit that I am not a fan of romance novels because of the overabundance of yuck in most stories, but, coming from you, this one sounds like a marvelous option.
    I love fiction stories of all kinds, and I currently am developing characters for a fiction short story in spare time, but I don't intend to do it for much more than enjoyment before my school starts back up (Which I hope occurs within the next few weeks). So far, it seem that my start of school will not be delayed, thankfully.
    That is really awesome that you have your books really beginning to come out faster, now.

    Jenny Doe

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  29. I'm excited for you! That's great to hear Patrice. I wanted to tell you something that happened a few days ago. I was looking through many, many magazines I have accumulated and I had opened a Backwoods Magazine and it was the Nov/Dec., 2010 issue. You had a great article in there about making cheese and what really touched my heart was you speaking about your beloved Matilda. I always loved so when you spoke about her and you had pictures of her on your blog. I miss seeing her. Wish all cows were like her! She was definitely one of a kind and she was well loved! I wish you the very best with your new career. I look forward to reading your new books and also wanted to tell anyone who hasn't read your book called the "Simplicity Primer", please do. Great book!

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  30. Wonderful! I just pre-ordered my Kindle copy and can't wait to read it.

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  31. Wonderful and congratulations! I just pre-ordered my kindle copy and can't wait to read it.

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  32. I am about 1/3 of the way through your novel, and I am really enjoying it so far. Your characters are delightful, and the story is highly engaging. Like many others, I prefer romantic stories without the torrid scenes (which I tend to skip over when they come up). I look forward to knowing that I can give this book to my younger daughter to read, without worrying about what she is being exposed to. Thank you.

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    1. I just finished your book this morning, and it was wonderful. Tender and sweet, and joyful. I don't want to provide any details lest I spoil it for another reader, but it was exactly what I was hoping for. Thank you so much for crafting such a lovely story. I'm going to hand it off to my younger daughter now, and I love the fact that I can, without hesitation.

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