The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Monday, 21 January 2013

Welcome Champagne Books author, Joyce Proell...

 Lovely to have you here today, Joyce! I have heard many good things about Champagne Books over the years and I just ADORE your cover. it's very similar to my upcoming release with Kensington - just gorgeous! Hope you're enjoying your tour...let's get started :)

Hello! I am so excited to be here with you today. Thank you for inviting me.

What is your writing routine?

My perfect writing routine is getting to my computer at eight in the morning. Then I write until eleven o’clock. Exercise. Have lunch. Then I’m back at my computer at one and work until four o’clock. I wish everyday could run so smoothly.

Which author inspires you to write?

Any author who has great skill with characterization is a pleasure to read. Lately, I’ve enjoyed reading Julie Ann Long, C.S. Harris and Peter May, a mystery writer.  

Which is your favorite romance subgenre to read? To write?

I love to read and write historicals, particularly any period in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Part of the appeal is escaping to a place and time very different from our current life. It’s like time travel to a magical world.    

How do you deal with criticism/rejection?

I allow myself the luxury of moping for twenty-four hours. Chocolate always helps. Then I get back in the saddle and start writing again.

What do you expect from an editor?

Honesty, skill, communication and compassion.

 Which is your favorite character in Eliza? Why?

Will Heaton. I’m simply drawn to a quiet, single-minded, successful man—a man who is comfortable in his own skin—a man who is powerful, strong and confident with a flipside to his nature that is equally tender, sweet and caring. And who can resist a playful man with a great wit?  

What are you working on right now?

I am currently reworking my very first book entitled, Amaryllis. Wish me luck. It’s a nightmare at almost one hundred thousand words, and I have yet to write the Big Love Scene.

Your biggest piece of advice to aspiring novelists?

Keep on writing. This is not a new piece of advice, but it’s so important. Set aside time each day to work on your craft. Write. Plot. Research. Develop character profiles. No one succeeds if they don’t keep working at it.

Where can readers find you?

Readers can follow me on facebook. Go to
Or readers can find out about new books and events at my website:
Thank you so much for having me here today. Happy reading!

Joyce Proell

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.

“Who-o-oa, lady.”

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 will be awarding a $10 Amazon or gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. 
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


  1. Rachel,

    Thanks for allowing me to tell folks about Eliza. The response has been very positive about her story.

    Happy Monday to all and happy reading!


  2. Yes, Will is dreamy in my eyes too but I love Eliza. So strong willed and determined. This is a fantastic story! Keep working on Amaryllis! ;^) I know it's a good one.

  3. Thanks, Jody. I am working on Amaryllis as we speak. Joyce

  4. Chocolate to deal with criticism/rejection sounds good to me. lol


  5. This sounds like a great story. I love stories about this era of history. I hope your rewrite goes well. I love the way you write. Loved the excerpt.

  6. Chocolate works every time. Thanks for stopping by. Joyce

  7. Thank you for your encouraging words. I hope you have an opportunity to read Eliza. It's a great story. Joyce

  8. I love the cover on this book and I'm happy to see a 19th century historical set in America. I'm definitely going to put this one on my BTB list.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  9. A Fabulous interview thank you. Reading an Historical is a lot like time travel.