Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Jessica R. Patch & The Garden Girls

Posted April 15, 2024 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, contemporary, giveaway, Jessica R. Patch, mystery/suspense, romance / 40 Comments

The Garden Girls Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Garden Girls by Jessica R. Patch, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I’m delighted to host Jessica today as she talks about why she finds psychological thrillers so thrilling!

The Garden Girls

THE GARDEN GIRLS by Jessica R. Patch
SERIES: Strange Crimes Unit: South Division
GENRE: Psychological Thriller (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Love Inspired Trade
RELEASE DATE: April 23, 2024
PAGES: 367

On a remote Outer Banks island, a serial killer collects his prized specimens. And to stop him, an FBI agent must confront his own twisted past.

FBI agent Tiberius Granger has seen his share of darkness. But a new case sets him on edge. It’s not just the macabre way both victims—found posed in front of lighthouses—are tattooed with flowers that match their names. There’s also the unsettling connection to the woman Ty once loved and to the shadowy cult they both risked everything to escape.

Bexley Hemmingway’s sister has gone missing, and she’ll do anything to find her—including teaming up with Ty. That may prove a mistake, and not just because Ty doesn’t know he’s the father of her teenaged son. It seems the killer is taunting Ty, drawing everyone close to him into deeper danger.

As the slashing winds and rain of a deadly hurricane approach the coast of North Carolina, the search leads Ty and Bex to an island that hides a grisly secret. But in his quest for the truth, Ty has ignored the fact that this time, he’s not just the hunter. Every move has been orchestrated by a killer into a perfect storm of terror, and they will need all their skills to survive…


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Jessica R. Patch guest post

Why I find psychological thrillers so thrilling!

by Jessica R. Patch, author of The Garden Girls

Nothing thrilled me more when watching The Sixth Sense than finding out Bruce Willis had been dead the entire movie! The bread crumbs were all there and yet, I didn’t see it coming. Or that Mother was in the cellar dead the entire time in Psycho. Hitchcock was a brilliant psychological thriller writer. These are elements that make a psychological thriller so…well, thrilling and it’s one of the reasons I love writing them—all those shocking twists. The other thing I love is diving into the psychological elements that drive the suspense. People are twisted and Christians often run off the rails and we just think, “How did that happen? What were they thinking?” And I love to unravel that.

Most readers are familiar with my Love Inspired Suspense books because I’ve written over twenty of them. But my trade books are psychological thrillers. However, I think a blending of a few genre elements make for a much more exciting read. Why? Readers of particular genres expect certain elements. Romance readers are looking for the hero and heroine to have a happily-ever-after and with each other! Suspense readers are looking for that danger element that keeps them on the edge of their seats. If you incorporate a few elements from other genres, you keep readers unsure of what will happen next because it doesn’t fit the mold.

Psych-thrillers are standalones that have to hit a few marks: the narrator must be unreliable, there must be several shocking twists and a final, final twist. Expect a lot of jaw-dropping twists in The Garden Girls, but Ty is pretty reliable. My next trade, don’t count on it. 😉

I also include crime fiction elements in this book, and those marks are all about the investigation which you find in police procedurals. Investigators are hunting a serial killer and readers get to go along for that ride and try to figure out who the killer is from their armchair which means bread crumbs are there, no out-of-the-blue surprises on that end.

And the last genre element I include is the horror genre element. I happen to love this genre (not hauntings or possessions, hard pass) and read and watch it often. Horror elements often come from the villain or the victims, and in this book, a natural disaster works as a horror element. I have all three.

Lastly, the element from the inspirational genre. This is a redemption story at its heart. It’s about a man who has been traumatized by a cult acting in the name of God and now he believes all religion has ulterior ugly motives and it will take a literal hurricane force to teach him how to bend and surrender. It’s subtle and in most scenes allegorical but I’m writing for Christians, primarily, so I don’t see that it needs spelled out. If you know Jesus, you’ll get it, see it, feel it and embrace it. If you don’t, it’ll still sow seed of sacrificial love.

It’s also a story about prisons. We often step into prisons when we go too far and then we can’t get out (this is not victim shaming here in regards to the book, no one deserves what happens to these women). It’s a picture of that bondage and how we can be set free; there’s always hope if it’s in Jesus. And it’s a dark look at looking at evil who masquerades as light. Wickedness doesn’t always come with a pitchfork and horns. Most often it comes in a face that is hard to say no to, an opportunity that is forbidden but appears harmless. And yet, it traps us in cages and forces us to dance to its song…until we’re rescued, carried from sinking sand and placed on solid ground. You will see the beauty and light and glory of God in The Garden Girls, even if it’s cloaked in darkness for a while.

What do you find thrilling about thriller books?

Jessica R. Patch

Jessica R. Patch is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author known for her dry wit, signatures twists, and complex characters. She loves reading true crime books, discussing cold cases over chips and salsa with her girlfriends, and hunting down serial killers in her romantic suspense novels and psychological thrillers.

Jessica loves to encourage and inspire people to forward living devotionals through her monthly email newsletter. You can join the Patched In community at her website.

She resides in the Memphis area with her husband and her spoiled tri-color Shetland Sheepdog since becoming empty nesters. Jessica is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management.

Connect with Jessica by visiting to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.

The Garden Girls JustRead Tours giveaway

(1) winner will win a signed paperback copy of Her Darkest Secret and A Cry in the Dark and a $25 Amazon card!

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight April 15, 2024 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 22, 2024. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only for print. Ebooks available if winner is Canadian. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway

This giveaway is hosted by JustRead Tours, not RimSP
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

What about you? What makes you want to read The Garden Girls by Jessica R Patch? What do you find thrilling about thriller books?

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40 responses to “Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Jessica R. Patch & The Garden Girls

  1. Whoa, hold the horses. I avoid Horror books, but … my curiosity is stirred. I’ll put this on my TBR list, with an asterik – read when I’m in the mood to grip the chair.

  2. Kay Garrett

    Enjoyed reading the guest post! Love thrillers when done right and Jessica can sure do them right. It’s the excitement of being on the edge of your seat while trying to figure out the clues that keep me coming back for more and she wraps them all with a thread of faith that I’m highly in favor of.

  3. Perrianne Askew

    I’ve not read any of her books but her promo for this book has been making its rounds for quite a while. It would seem like she’s even more creepy than Jaime Jo Wright but maybe the psychological aspect may just set her in a completely different category. It will be interesting to see!

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