Welcome to Sugarbeat’s Books – The Home of the Romance Novel!
Today we are welcoming Joyce Proell, the author of Eliza to the blog. She’s touring her book with Goddessfish Promotions and is here to answer some of my questions, but also to give away a $10.00 Amazon or B&N Gift card to a lucky commenter. To find more blogs to leave comments on, click HERE.
If this book sounds like something that you would like reading, please find buy links at the bottom of the post and pick up a copy or two.
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Joyce – Hello! I’m so happy to be here today. Thank you for inviting me.
Barb – Try to describe your book in one sentence.
Joyce – Eliza is an uplifting story about hope, resilience and the real possibility of a second chance at love.
Barb – How would your friends describe you in 20 words or less?
Joyce – Someone once said I was cool as in Steve McQueen cool. My daughter always rolls her eyes when I mention this. My friends say I’m compassionate, honest, thoughtful, independent and dependable, with a great sense of humor. I take my writing very seriously.
Barb – Who are your cheerleaders?
Joyce – My husband and daughter, my sister and good friends I’ve been blessed to have throughout my life. Also, I belong to two critique groups. Their professional insights, support and encouragement are invaluable. Thanks everyone!
Barb – Do you have any professional advice for unpublished authors?
Joyce – Keep writing. While this has been stated often enough, it is critical to getting published. Also, take advantage of any opportunities to learn the craft; classes, books on craft and join a critique group of other serious writers as well as any professional writing organizations.
Barb – What’s the hardest part of writing a book?
Joyce – The absolute most challenging part of any book is the first paragraph. How can a few sentences be so daunting, you ask? Well, a writer wants to create that intriguing hook to draw in the reader. For some writers, it may be simple. For me, it’s agonizing to make it work well.
Barb – Did you do any research before starting or during the writing of your books?
Joyce – Eliza is set in the Minnesota frontier of 1859. In order to make the story come alive with historical authenticity, I needed to bone up on the local history, fashion and even printing presses as Eliza publishes the local paper. Also, Eliza travels from Pennsylvania to Minnesota so I had to learn about riverboat travel.
Barb – Which genres do you prefer to read?
Joyce – I switch back and forth between mystery, suspense, romance and literary fiction.
Barb – How can readers stay in touch?
Barb – Favorite place in the world?
Joyce – Wow! There are so many. I do love Venice—the canals, the sun glittering on the ocean, the old, gorgeous architecture, the crowded streets and the vivid smells. I love London, particularly all the fascinating museums. And even though it may be sound trite and corny, I love sitting in my sunny living room, a roaring fire in the fireplace, and knowing there isn’t another place better than home.
Barb – What projects are you currently working on?
Joyce – I am currently reworking my very first book called Amaryllis. Wish me luck. It’s been a nightmare so far. Also, I hope to do a second edit on a romance entitled Heart of Gold. It’s my first contemporary and such fun. Got to love those alpha males.
Joyce – Question for readers…
I once asked readers to give me their suggestions on their favorite romance reads. I got terrific responses and have added some new authors to my ‘must read’ list. I’d like to throw the request out again. What are some of your favorite romance writers and books?
Thank you so much for having me here today. It’s been a lot of fun.
A husband who wants you dead is the greatest motivation for change.
Posing as a widow, strong-willed Eliza Danton flees her marriage determined to bury the past and live a solitary life. Traveling by riverboat to the Minnesota frontier, her flight turns perilous when forces threaten to expose her deception. With problems mounting and her trust shattered, she is forced draw upon her only resource, a man whose captivating presence rocks the very foundation of her well laid plans. But love flourishes even in the toughest of times and when you least expect it.
Attorney and contented loner, Will Heaton hides his tender heart behind an elusive facade. Grief is nothing new to him having lost a wife and child. But when a pretty widow thrusts a baby into his arms, he’s hooked. When he sees Eliza harassed by the same man he believes killed his wife, Will grabs at the chance to redress past mistakes and vows to keep her safe.
* * * * *
Why is this happening? She’d never encouraged him. But perhaps she hadn’t discouraged him either. As guilt nibbled away at her she knew she had to put an end to this fruitless pursuit.
“Listen to me. I won’t marry again.” She slapped each word into the air with a distinct pop, pop, pop.
He reared back as if her words proved a glancing blow. He stiffened and she flicked an apprehensive look at Karl’s powerful hands. Would he slap her or use his fists on her like Abe used to do?
“I give you time,” he said, his voice brusque with anger. “You forget ache. Then you marry me.”
Eliza shrank back.
“You think, Eliza. Marriage is best way.”
His departing footsteps pounded on the wooden deck and thudded loudly on the stairs as he went below.
Eliza stood there, too astounded and alarmed to move. After a time, she glanced at the moon, hoping it might have some curative power to quell her rioting nerves. To her disappointment, the golden disc streaked by wisps of gnarled clouds offered no answers or comfort. Suddenly, all the anger and frustration inside exploded. She kicked out. Her foot smashed into a deck chair with an earsplitting thwack. The chair arced then slammed and scuttled noisily against the planks.
Eliza gasped, spun about and peered into shadows near the pilothouse. “Who’s there?”
A chair creaked.
“Make yourself known, please,” she snapped.
Will Heaton stepped out from behind the big potted palms near the pilothouse and jolted her clear through.
He’d seen everything! The kissing, the intimacy. Heard her lies. Oh, God. She wanted to sink right into the river.
“How could you?”
A muscle quirked in his cheek.
“Good Lord! You find this amusing.”
He crossed his arms and casually leaned against a tarp-covered mound of gunnysacks, his lips pressing back a grin. “Couldn’t avoid it. I had the best seat in the house.”
Her mouth gripped so tight she couldn’t talk. She glared at him expecting the intensity of her anger to light up the sky. Her body trembled as she waited for him to break the silence. When he did, it left her stunned.
* * * * *
I laughed when my husband suggested I write a book. Me? What did I know about writing? Yet the notion held possibility, so I hatched a plan. A year later, I sent off my first completed manuscript and promptly received a score of polite rejections. Bruised but undaunted, I forged ahead, new plan in hand. Later, armed with the knowledge acquired from writing classes, seminars and the help of fellow writers, I finished my second story. Eliza is that story.
A little more info…
I grew up in Minnesota. In college, I studied psychology and earned a master’s degree in Social Work. After living in Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland and Reno, my husband and I make our home only miles from where I grew up.
I worked in the field of mental health as a psychiatric social worker, administrator and later settled into private practice. Retired at a reasonably young age, I write full time.
I’m an avid reader, a foodie and cook, a crossword puzzle fanatic and a daily walker.
Joyce can be found:
Eliza can be purchased: