Today I have a visitor – Alice Patron, author of Rachel’s Valley. She stopped by to tell me and my readers a little bit about herself and about her book, released by Anaiah Press under their Romance imprint on February 26. Here’s a picture of the beautiful cover, a link where you can find the book, and a little bit about the story.
About the book:
Not long after saying “I do,” Rachel Wood finds herself abandoned by her husband in a mining town in the West. After a year and a half of waiting for his return, she needs to move on. She responds to an ad in the newspaper and becomes the caretaker for two girls in the small town of Breckenridge, Colorado.
The moment he sees the beautiful young woman climbing into his wagon, widower Clint Harvey second-guesses his decision to hire someone to teach his daughters. But Rachel Wood is just what his girls need. And it doesn’t take long to realize that she is exactly what he needs, too—if only she didn’t keep holding him at arm’s length.
Clint is the only man who has ever shown Rachel true love and friendship, and it becomes almost unbearable to not let herself fall for him. But she doesn’t want to cause a scandal in such a small town, so she keeps her marital status under wraps. But when she finally receives a threatening letter from her “husband,” she begins to question whether her marriage was even legally binding in the first place. Now, she must unravel the status of her supposed marriage before her chance of happiness with Clint has passed—and follow God’s law no matter that outcome, which just might be the most difficult thing of all.
Welcome, Alice. Your cover is beautiful, and your story sounds intriguing. Now let’s talk about you. When did you first begin to write?
My sister published a regency romance novel about four years ago, which got me thinking about how much I’d love to write. A few of us in the family started meeting weekly to write together. Rachel’s Valley came about because of the support and encouragement of family and friends, but especially from those I’ve been meeting with.
That’s an interesting way to begin a writing career. Is Rachel’s Valley your first book? And do you have other books in progress or in your head?
I wrote a YA fantasy novel before starting on Rachel’s Valley. It was a fun learning experience. I’m not sure if I’ll get back to that book someday, but I also have a couple other stories floating around in Google docs. One of those is a novella that’s a modern retelling of the Daddy Long Legs story. One story I’ve started is another historical romance set in the west. I’m also collaborating on a WWII romance. I’ve got plenty to keep me busy!
It certainly sounds like it! What inspired you to write Rachel’s Valley?
I love hiking in the west, and I love the history and geography of the west. In my opinion, it’s a very romantic setting! I can look up and see the Rocky Mountains every day, so my inspiration was all around me.
Having traveled in the mountains quite a bit, I can understand how you feel about them. Who has been your favorite character, and who was the most difficult to write?
Rachel’s sister Edith was probably my favorite character to write. The most difficult was probably Clint – I wanted his voice to be his own, but it was hard to put myself in the shoes of a widower.
Yes, I imagine that would be difficult. Did you have to do any research for Rachel’s Valley?
I did have to do a little research for Rachel’s Valley. From geography, to history, to railroads, ranching, and mining, I had to consult Mr. Google several times while writing. I actually didn’t mind the research aspect too much though – I learned some interesting things!
I’ve had similar experiences – and I wonder how authors managed to complete a project without the Internet! In spite of research and planning, scenes sometimes don’t go where you expect them to go, and characters don’t act the way you intend them to act. Have you experienced anything like that in writing Rachel’s Valley?
This is a frustrating aspect of writing for me. I’d love to make a very detailed outline then flesh it out. I still make outlines, but they inevitably change. The picnic scene, for example, didn’t end how I originally planned.
Now I can’t wait to read the picnic scene! When is your favorite time to write and where is your favorite writing place?
I don’t get to write when and where I would like. I’m usually writing on my phone when I have a spare minute or two. Apparently, kids need lots of attention! If I could have my way, I’d love to write in the mornings while snuggled up in bed with a laptop and yummy snacks.
Writing would be easier if we lived in a bubble, wouldn’t it? What do you hope your readers will take away from Rachel’s Valley?
Life is hard and messy, but the hard things we face can build our faith and strength. I wanted to write strong characters with faith that overcome hard things and in the end find love and happiness. I want readers to feel like they can get through hard things and hope for the good things to come.
From what I know about Rachel’s Valley, it seems like you have achieved your goal. What is your next project?
I’m hoping to finish a rough draft by the end of the year on a WWII romance.
Best of luck with that project and with Rachel’s Valley, and thank you so much for stopping by for a visit.
About the author:
Alice Patron grew up in a small town in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. During college she served for her church in Chile, studied abroad, and did an internship for the forest service. She worked as a pharmacy technician until becoming a stay-at-home mom, her favorite job of all!
You can find Alice on Facebook.