GUEST BLOG: Why Family Conflict is Fictional Gold by Chris Patchell Plus Giveaway!

The moment my mother floated the idea of having an extended family potluck to celebrate Christmas, I felt my stomach clench. Now, admittedly, I had moved away—like far away—to the other side of the continent and across an international boundary twenty years before, and yet, I knew what I was in for. My Aunt Alice, who years ago refused to put away the Bridge Mix that my step-grandfather liked, even though it contained peanuts and my toddler who was two at the time, had a severe peanut allergy and had a disconcerting habit of stuffing anything that wasn’t nailed down into her mouth. My favorite aunt, Darlene, who broke out in hives at the very real possibility that my Uncle Marcel would show up drunk. And my grandmother, who wore a tierra unironically and had a pathological need to be the center of attention at every family gathering, even if she had to faint to do it.

The only thing that made this situation extra special, was that I was put in charge of coordinating the event from over 3,000 miles away. From the very word Go, it was the perfect setup for family conflict, and as it turned out, the day didn’t disappoint. The morning started off with me in my mother’s tiny little kitchen making two large pans of scalloped potatoes, her favorite. “You’re scalding the milk,” she called from the living room. “I’m not scalding the milk,” I promised. “Don’t let it boil over in the oven.” I bit my tongue. Drew in a breath. “I’ve put a cookie sheet beneath the pans, just in case.” “Are five pounds of potatoes going to be enough?” she asked. I silently counted to ten. “It had better be, because that’s all I’m making.”


You see what I mean? Even the calmest family member can turn into the Tasmanian devil at a seemingly innocuous comment that touches upon some perceived slight levied decades in the past. Family stories are rife with conflict. Past hurts. Emotional baggage. Siblings who know how to push your buttons because they installed those triggers once upon a time when you were both children. That’s what makes family stories so riveting—the complex relationships between the characters and the deep roots of conflict that bind them together into a family. Like the roots of a tree, family bonds run deep and are so intertwined, they’re difficult to escape. One of the things that makes stories about family conflict compelling is that they’re so relatable. Who doesn’t have a family story about who did what to whom? Epic tales, recited often, until they have become family lore.

It was those family relationships (the good and the bad) that made writing The Perfect Brother so compelling. The story’s about two siblings. Amar, the golden boy, who can do no wrong in his family’s eyes. He’s young, intelligent, handsome. On the surface, he’s doing everything his parents expect of him. Only one person in the family knows that he’s not as perfect as he seems—his sister, Indira.

Indira is the baby of the family. The rebel. Having grown up in her brother’s shadow, Indira decided early on that since she was never going to please her parents anyway, she might as well forge her own path. So she did. She’s a talented software engineer who shares her condo in downtown Vancouver with her dog, Hazel. While her mother longs for Indira to find a young doctor with whom she can settle down and start a family, the idea of marriage and children couldn’t be further from Indira’s mind. She spends her days (not to mention many of her nights) solving coding puzzles and working on her AI (Artificial Intelligence) project. When the story begins, Indira is on the cusp of taking a position that would move her away from her family and give her the independence she’s craving until the unthinkable happens. Her perfect brother is accused of murder.

Family drama ensues with very large, very complicated stakes. The funny thing about families is that in the end, if you can work your way through the conflict, the bonds you share with the people who remain your closest connections in life, can become an unexpected source of comfort. While some families cling to rigid roles forged in the crucible of childhood, other families, like Indira’s as well as my own, are capable of change. They grow together. Learn to appreciate one another.

In the aftermath of the family potluck, when everything was cleaned up and everyone had gone home, I sat with my mother in her tiny living room, eating leftover scalloped potatoes. “That went really well,” she said. And it had.

“I’m glad we did it,” I said. And I was.

We’ve all heard the old saying about family. You can’t live with them, and you can’t shoot them.

… Or can you?

When it comes to fictional families, the tried-and-true rules may not always apply.

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog. It was good to virtually meet you all. I hope you enjoy The Perfect Brother.

About The Book

Publication Date: September 27, 2022

A scandalous liaison. A killer on the loose. Can a young woman save her sibling from going down for murder?

Vancouver, Canada. Software engineer Indira Saraf refuses to march to her traditionalist parents’ old-world drum. Resentful of her brother’s golden-boy acceptance but still a devoted sister, she encourages him to confess his secret affair before he ends up married to a woman he doesn’t want. So she’s horrified when his student and lover is slain and he’s arrested for the gruesome crime.

Repurposing her own AI technology to prove his innocence, the unorthodox rebel scours the dead college girl’s life for clues. But when Indira discovers another missing co-ed and the suspects pile up, she learns the hard way that her digging has drawn deadly attention…

Can she hunt down the culprit before she takes a fatal fall?

The Perfect Brother is a chilling standalone suspense thriller. If you like dogged heroines, complex family relationships, and dangerous twists, then you’ll adore USA Today bestselling author Chris Patchell’s riveting tale.




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This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Chris Patchell. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.
This giveaway is for: 1 – $20 Gift card to a winner in the US

About The Author

Chris Patchell is an award-winning USA Today Bestselling Author who started writing to curb the homicidal tendencies she experienced during her daily Seattle commute. She writes gripping suspense thrillers with romantic elements set in the Pacific Northwest and believes good fiction combines a magical mix of complex characters, compelling plots, and well-crafted stories.

Over the years, she has written numerous popular books and series, including bestsellers Deadly LiesIn the Dark, and her most recent collection of small-town crime novellas, the Lacey James Series. Along the way, her writing has won several awards, including a 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Award, an IndieReader Discovery Award, and a Pacific Northwest Literary Award.

When she’s not writing, you can find Chris reading books, hanging out with her family, watching football, and struggling to keep up with her workout regime, all while shushing her incessantly yapping Yorkies. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two kids.


Blog Tour Schedule

09/16 1st Chapter Read & Review @ Mysteries to Die For: Toe Tags Podcast
09/26 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
09/26 Showcase @ BOOK REVIEWS by LINDA MOORE
09/27 Review @ darciahelle
09/28 Guest post @ Fredas Voice
09/28 Review @ fundinmental
09/29 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads
09/30 Showcase @ Nesies Place
10/01 Review @ The World As I See It
10/02 Interview @ Urban Book Reviews
10/04 Review @ Urban Book Reviews
10/05 Review @ Novels Alive
10/06 Podcast @ Blog Talk Radio
10/06 Review @ Just Reviews
10/07 Review @ read_betweenthecovers
10/08 Review @ Paws. Read. Repeat
10/10 Interview @ I Read What You Write
10/11 Showcase @ The Mystery Section
10/12 Review @ mokwip8991
10/12 Showcase @ The Authors Harbor
10/13 Showcase @ Books, Ramblings, and Tea
10/15 Review @ Elaine _sapp 65
10/16 Review @ tea. and. titles bookstagram
10/17 Guest post @ Novels Alive
10/17 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
10/18 Review @ The Page Ladies
10/19 Review @ Wall-to-wall Books
10/20 Review @ 5 Minutes for Books
10/20 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty
10/20 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
10/21 Review @ Guatemala Paula Loves to Read
10/21 Review @ Melissa As Blog

Dayna Linton
Dayna Linton
Dayna is the owner of not only Novels Alive but of Day Agency, a full-service self-publishing agency for independent authors. She has been assisting independent authors to achieve their dreams of becoming published authors for over 15 years. From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors to the first-time author to every author in between. Dayna is a self-professed bibliophile. While dancing has always been her first love, reading came as a very, very close second, with gardening coming in as a close third. Dayna is also the divorced mom of four adult children and a very proud grandma. She is also a web designer, social media specialist, book blogger, and reviewer. She's a long-time Disney lover and a Utah Jazz, Utah Utes, and Dallas Cowboys fan. See Dayna's reviews here: Dayna's Reviews


  1. Great guest post1 We’ve all had family gatherings like that!

    Started the book yesterday and already more than 1/2 way – fantastic!!!!


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