Her belief was that nurses who were treated and compensated as professionals were better able to perform as compassionate caregivers, thereby creating an environment beneficial to the physical and emotional wellbeing of their patients. Patrice’s greatest sense of accomplishment was achieved by securing employment for others. Though she closed her business in 2004, she continues to work as a nurse, as well as traveling the path to healing and self-discovery.
In Patrice’s early books she transforms this injurious life into stories that are heart rending, but now, in keeping with her background of survival against tough odds she turns her writing to Romances – each new story shares much of what she has experienced and has provided extraordinary growth.
The synopsis of this very brief (33 pages) novella follows: ‘When hot and handsome Vince Moretti walks into Ashley Santoro’s life, she ultimately has to decide whether she will continue to hold onto the bad-girl, biracial routine that has her looking for love in superficial relationships only—or if what she has with this star basketball player is true love. Emotionally neglected and abandoned by her mother and father, the Ashley series details a courageous journey of a young adult fielding her way through alcoholism and overeating into her own discovery of how to love and how to be loved. Accused of soliciting sex from three New York Knicks players at a party in Manhattan, Ashley abandons her promising new relationship with Vince, a partnership that she feels she does not deserve. Caught up in a cycle of self-defeat, will Ashley continue her downward spiral and ultimately sabotage her first true love, as well?’
Patrice understands character development well and a times her prose is poetically subtle – ‘When Ashley misted her hybrid orchid— a bright red Cattleya Circle of Life— she momentarily forgot that her own life had no love. Its brilliant top petals fanned open within twelve hours one evening, captured by a time-release video that she’d painstakingly prepared for extra credit. Even her botany teacher voiced amazement at the sheer size of its lateral sepals and vibrant yellow stigmatic surface— the orchid itself, seven inches in diameter— all carefully cultivated by a senior-high student with a reputation among peers and teachers alike for being so implacably rude and angry. Its dorsal sepal cascaded above the rest of the botany projects lined in Edward R. Murrow High’s greenhouse, and for all intents and purposes, Ashley’s plant should’ve withered in sorrow. But it thrived.
Ashley herself believed that meant something— but for the time being, she didn’t know what. Any aspirations, hopes and dreams she’d imagined for herself remained narrowly confined to botany class.’
Patrice knows the right mixture of raw language and tenderness and this is one short but very powerful little romance. Watch her grow. Grady Harp, February 17