Thursday, July 4, 2013

Meet Joyce Proell, author of 'A Deadly Truth'

Please welcome author Joyce Proell to the blog today, as she shares with us more about herself and her book 'A Deadly Truth.'

What was the inspiration behind 'A Deadly Truth'?
To me a first-class romance is as enjoyable to read as a puzzling mystery. So why not put the two together? Since I’ve always been attracted to the Victorian period, I thought it would be fun to meld history with romance and mystery.
Which character spoke to you the most during the writing process?
Doyle Flanagan. Who doesn’t like a handsome guy with a generous heart who is also a self-made success? Yet the best in one person can bring out the worst in others. People can be petty, jealous and cruel. Despite Doyle’s wonderful qualities, he is misunderstood and wrongly accused. He is vilified in the press, and purposely targeted by the villain. One can’t help but care about what happens to him.
Which scene was your favorite?
The scene where Cady, distraught over a fight she had with her sister who subsequently vanishes, goes to Doyle for help. As Doyle listens and comforts her, a lasting, special friendship is forged between the two characters. It’s very tender and sweet.
What kind of research did you have to do for this historical fiction?
The story is set in Chicago where I used to live so I had some familiarity with the setting. Nevertheless, for accuracy, I consulted an old street map dating to the 1880’s. References to stores, hotels, theatres, restaurants, and the police station were verified through articles and internet history sites. Some of places mentioned in the book are still in use. A few of the restaurants I made up.
If you could go back to Victorian days, would you do so?
No, never. I could never be comfortable in a corset. Wheeze. Huff. I can’t breathe. The restrictive attitudes toward women would drive me to revolt.
Does your previous work in mental health have any influence over your writing?
I like to think so. I’ve always been interested in all behaviors which span the continuum of normal to abnormal. Often, I refer back to situations I’ve seen in my professional work. Well-written scenes of family dynamics always catch and hold my interest. In A Deadly Truth, Cady, a progressive-minded, strong woman is in a constant battle with her domineering grandmother who holds dear the traditions of a former era. Any zany characters that are realistically drawn boost the authenticity and interest of a story.
Please tell us about your other published works.
Eliza came out in October, 2012. Here is the book blurb.

Posing as a widow, Eliza Danton flees an abusive marriage determined to live a solitary life on the Minnesota frontier. When she finds herself homeless, her livelihood threatened and her safety compromised, she must rely on a man who stirs a forbidden longing and jars her well-laid plans. As her world shrinks with lies and deception, the only way out is the truth, but the truth may strike a deadly price.

Haunted by a tragic past Will Heaton vows never to love again. But a chance encounter with a mysterious widow awakens painful memories and a yearning he can’t ignore. When she’s harassed by the same man he believes killed his wife, he grabs at a chance to resolve past mistakes and possibly find love and redemption in the process. As Eliza and Will struggle to trust again, the past returns with a renewed vengeance, testing them in unimaginable ways.
On what other projects are you working?
A Burning Truth, the second in the Cady Delafield series, will be released in December, 2013. It’s more murder and mayhem with Cady and Doyle in the midst of the trouble. The big question is will the two ever make it to the altar—together?
You live in rural Minnesota, on what you call your own "Little House on the Prairie." What are some of the pros and cons of living out there?
Ah, one need only glance out the window to see the beauty. Imagine lush, green forests and gently rolling hills and the sun glinting off the nearby lake. As to the downside, if you are a foodie, the scarcity of top-notch restaurants in a rural area is a disappointment.
If someone wanted to come visit Minnesota, what are some of your recommended "must see" destinations?
The Boundary Waters in Northern MN are stunning. The shoreline of Lake Superior is beautiful. I’d suggest renting a summer cabin at anyone of MN’s 10,000 lakes and relax. The headwaters of the Mississippi River at Itasca State Park are rippling. The Minnesota Zoo is fun. The Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis is winsome and thought provoking. Visit Minnehaha Falls because it has a great name and cool mists. Bike along the Lake Wobegon Trail. Check out the Twin Cities for its vibrant arts scene and great restaurants. I could go on and on.
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
In graduate school, I did a social work rotation at a sexual dysfunction clinic at a Chicago Hospital to train to be a sex therapist.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you, Andrea, for hosting me today. As always, it’s a delight to visit a new site and interact with readers.
Thank you so much for your time!

Joyce Proell grew up in Minnesota and attended college and grad school in Chicago. After working in mental health, she retired at a young age to write full-time. Her first book, Eliza, was published in 2012. When she isn’t writing mysteries or historical romances, she loves to travel, walk, read, and do crossword puzzles. She and her husband make their home in rural Minnesota in her very own little house on the prairie.

Visit her website:

Historical Romantic Suspense/Mystery
Date Published: 7/1/2013

A man obsessed, a woman willing to risk it all… Tainted in the eyes of Victorian society by his wife’s suicide, successful entrepreneur Doyle Flanagan turns a deaf ear to the baseless gossip and harsh rebukes. Ignoring his shattered reputation, he goes about his business making money, doing some good for others and making a few enemies along the way. Arrested for a murder he didn’t commit, he is forced to rely on a feisty school administrator to solve the puzzle. As he struggles to prove his innocence, he realizes gaining the trust and loyalty of Cady Delafield may be more important than his freedom.

On a quest to locate a missing student, school matron Cady Delafield enters a stranger’s house and discovers the woman murdered. Driven to see the murderer brought to justice, she is determined to prevent any further tragedy even if it means joining forces with the very man accused of the atrocity. Against the wishes of her powerful family, she risks her job and reputation to learn the truth. But will the truth, once revealed, drive her away from the man she has come to love?

Passion and murder collide in 1880’s Chicago as they race to keep one step ahead of the police who want Doyle to pay for his crime. As the attraction between Cady and Doyle sizzles, they battle suspicions, lies and lethal actions to uncover the murderer before he destroys them both.

Buy it on Amazon

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  1. Thank you, Andrea. It's a delight to be here today, on this 4th of July. Joyce

  2. I'm a sucker for a race against time with a murderer on the loose.


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