Monday, January 28, 2013

Joyce Proell, her bucket list, and her novel Eliza

Hello. Thank you for having me here today.
Thanks for stopping by, Joyce! Now, onto the interview...
Some thoughts on my bucket list…
I’ve been asked to reveal the top three items on my bucket list. It may surprise some to know I don’t have such a list. Since I’m getting to be ‘of a certain age’, this request is rather timely and gives me the opportunity to consider a few things.
Hmmm. What to pick?
Of course the first and obvious choice is travel. I’ve never been to France. Since I studied French in high school and college and have always wanted to visit, I’ll put France on the list.
Hmmm. Now what?
I want to publish ten more books. To that end I will continue to write daily. Perhaps the biggest payoff to all this labor will be preserving all of my mental faculties until the day I die. I can only hope.  
Okay, that brings me to item three on the bucket list. This is really tough. Could it be I’ve already done almost everything I wanted to do in my life? Is that a good thing or something to worry about? Let’s see…I’ve gotten married, raised a wonderful daughter, had a successful career, shopped to my heart’s content, driven luxury cars and lived in beautiful houses. In truth, I’m not a person that ever wanted much beyond the basics of home, family and interesting work. Yet I’ve been blessed with the resources to do much of what I wanted whenever the fancy struck.
So what about that last item on the list? Maybe this one shouldn’t be about me. Maybe I need to think about doing something for someone else. I have two elderly parents. It would give me profound pleasure to see that the last years of their lives are comfortable and enjoyable. So, item number three on the bucket list will be doing whatever is possible to see this dream come true for them.  

Some thoughts on my best vacation ever…
Isn’t every vacation the best vacation ever? When thinking vacations, thoughts of National Lampoon’s Vacation movie came to mind. If you’ve seen the comedy, you know the Griswold family battles all sorts of obstacles and disappointments. But in the end, they make it to Walley World, their big dream, all smiles and happiness.
This movie reminds me of standing in a long queue at Disneyworld, under a scorching Florida summer sun, waiting to ride the twirling teacups. Then there was the time my husband and I drove like maniacs through Florence, Italy, in hopes of making an appointment at the Uffizi Museum. This occurred a few years before GPS, and we didn’t have a map. We were a mess by the time we stumbled upon the place.
Despite all the minor challenges of a vacation—of losing one’s way, of car problems, cranky kids, bad weather, unexpected health issues and cancelled flights, my family, friends and I always reached our intended destination, whole and happy and ready for a good rest.  
 As to the very best vacation? What can compare to sitting on a high bluff in Kauai and watching the sunset; or listening to the lonely foghorn in Bodega Bay; or trekking through a field of wildflowers in the Sierras; or discovering some fascinating piece of history in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London?  But the best vacations are the ones shared with family and close friends.

So here’s to great vacations. I’ve loved each and every one.   
Thanks for having me here today. Happy reading!

Joyce will be awarding a $10 Amazon or gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

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.



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. 


Elizabeth Douglas couldn’t think of a better incentive than a husband who wanted her dead. Thus inspired, she packed a bag, changed her name and now gripped the handrail of the Northstar as it shimmied up the Ohio. Despite the warm air, she shivered. Abe would look for her as certain as the glistening blades of the paddlewheel churned the muddied water. When a man loses his greatest possession he himself becomes possessed. 

If you ever leave me, I’ll kill you,’ he’d promised.

She didn’t intend to die, at least not yet. 

“Mrs. Danton!”

Startled to hear someone call her new name, she spun toward the voice.  She brushed a hand over the black silk crepe of her widow weeds, loathing the dress and the deception.

Against a backdrop of Pittsburgh’s receding factories Reverend Vernon Deeds minced around the thinning crowd on the ship’s deck. One arm clutched a chubby baby to his chest the other hand tugged a small lad behind him. Flushed, Vernon dropped the boy’s hand and pulled a crisply folded handkerchief from his coat pocket. He mopped his beaded brow. “Who would have thought June could be so muggy?”


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

joyce said...

Thanks, Isabel.

I am so happy to be on your site today. Loved your question about the bucket list. As I reflected on my life and future, it pleased me to see I'd already met so many points on my bucket list. Joyce

MomJane said...

This story sounds extremely exciting. I must read it.

joyce said...

Thanks MomJane. I hope you do read Eliza. Joyce

Ingeborg said...

I like the last item on your bucket list. That is very kind and thoughtful.


joyce said...

Thanks, Ingeborg.

I am delighted to see my folks as happy as can be. Joyce

Isabel Roman said...

Joyce, I'm glad you could stop by! Some don't like the term 'bucket list' but if you look at it as a list of things you'd love to do, it's not as daunting. Plus I love lists. ;)

Chelsea B. said...

Hi, Joyce! I've had a blast following along on your blog tour! My bucket list is like 2 pages long ;-) I have a lot I want to do. But I think what really matters is the people you do things with. I know our vacations wouldn't have meant anything to me if I didn't have my family along for the ride.
Wishing you nothing but the best!


Mary Preston said...

I don't have a bucket list, but the third item on your list would be on mine too. My parents are precious to me.


Karen H in NC said...

Always love to read other people's bucket lists...I get so many ideas from them for my list! Eliza sounds like my kind of book.

Thanks for the tour.

kareninnc at gmail dot com

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