The nonfiction section of Patchwork Love begins (p 327) with A Message from Trish, the 10-year-old girl you first glimpse on the cover, as she explains her role in this story, and the empowering reality of choice.

Hi Reader, my name is Trish, the girl you’ve been reading about. I’m just a work of fiction, you know that. Not real, but yet I am. I’m bits and pieces of people that the author knew, or read about, or saw their story on the evening news. I’m a statistic, based on truth, fluffed up a bit with thoughts, pink shirts and pony tails, because the author hopes you will connect with the human side of my story, and Jonathan’s story. And Merit’s, and Lovely’s, and Carrie Ann’s. Every character in this book comes packaged with a set of experiences unique only to them, making choices from the frame they know. The same is true for each of you. Every next moment is a choice you make.

Patchwork Love tackles many issues overall – kidnapping, rape, adoption, illegal immigration, poverty, wealth – good grief, you’re thinking, too much! But the story is really about the aftermath. As Lovely points out – it’s not what happens, it’s what you do. How do we deal with abandonment, and loss, with abuse and sadness? Do we flail out with destructive behaviors, or mull over our misfortune in silence, letting it eat away from the inside out? Do we get our jollies in the victim role, feeding on a steady diet of pity pie? Or do we “get off the pot” and take positive steps to move forward, as Clayton finally did? Every moment is a choice.

How are readers responding to Trish’s message? Author Linda Lou Burton shares a letter she received from a reader December 14, 2017.

Thank you for writing Patchwork Love. I, too, have been one of your statistics, and over time made necessary adjustments to live with results of evil intent others had in regard to me and my wellbeing. I have always believed we become the person of our life experiences and how we respond to them. We don’t make “mistakes,” we make choices, and for every choice there are consequences. Your book brought this out loud and clear.

Good does overcome evil. This is something we would do well to remember each and every day we live.

In appreciation for your book.