I have been a fan of Joya’s since reading her book Beneath the Surface. Since then I have followed and read all of her books. I am currently in love with her paranormal series Hauntings at Inner Harbor. But today we are going to talk about her latest release a suspense called Reunited in Danger. The synapsis of this book is “Keely Allen’s life goes into a tailspin when her adoptive father is viciously attacked. And the detective who offers to help her? None other than the sexy, love ’em and leave ’em man who once broke her heart. Homicide Detective Logan North carries a haunting secret that has always kept his emotions on lockdown. But when he is forced to work alongside his former lover, the heat is still there between them, burning hotter than ever. Logan is determined to keep the luscious and tempting Keely at a distance…but he made a vow not to leave until all are safe. On their race to solve the tangled web of crime, drug deals, and human trafficking, dangers abound—both to their lives…and to their hearts.”
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CINDY: Hi Joya and welcome to Sugar and Spice. After reading Reunited in Danger I must say that you have to do a lot of research for your books because the subject matter for each is so different. Underwater scenes and amputation in Beneath the Surface, a disgruntled employee who opens fire in a office building in Forever’s Promise, ghosts and evil spirits in the Haunting series and now human trafficking and selling of children in Reunited in Danger. Please tell us how you come up with all of these ideas and the research you do for them.
JOYA: Hi Cindy! Thanks so much for having me on your wonderful blog today. Thank you very much, too, for your touching comments about my other books. You are so right about research! There is so much to do for each book. I’ve always been an avid learner. I love watching the Discovery Channel, reading books on various topics to learn about new things, and exploring. So the research is a really fun part of the books.
Beneath the Surface features a heroine who is an amputee. I worked at Easter Seals for a while, and met a lot of people with disabilities. Getting to know them, and the inner strength they need to work harder to do what others take for granted, helped me understand what Brooke, the heroine went through on a daily basis. This book also took place in Florida, and a lot of it was underwater Scuba diving. Lucky for me, one of my friends was an avid diver. I interviewed him (okay…pestered him) for details and he was a great source of information. I think one of the neatest things he taught me about Scuba diving was that divers should never ascend faster than their bubbles. Cool, huh? And the pizza restaurant is based on an awesomely cool place in Flagler Beach called Finn’s Pub.
The research for Reunited in Danger was pretty intense because there was so much I didn’t know. The romance end of things was pretty easy to research—reunited lovers. I have lots of friends who have gotten back with former lovers, so based on their stories, I felt I knew about that sort of relationship. But Keely is a social worker, and I didn’t know what a Baltimore social worker went through on a daily basis. Again, I had a friend who used to be a social worker, and she told me lots of fascinating (and frustrating) details about the job. As far as researching law enforcement, that’s another fun part about suspense books. I went on two police ride-alongs, and attended the Writers’ Police Academy in North Carolina. Oh boy were those fun. Getting to know about police, running red lights with a blaring siren, and seeing law enforcement in action is invigorating and educational.
CINDY: Now tell us a little about your latest release Reunited in Danger.
JOYA: The romance idea for Reunited in Danger came from a conversation at my gym. A woman was telling us how she and her husband were heading to the airport soon to pickup two children whose mother was dying. This couple had already raised their own family, but was willing to take in these two kids. It made me wonder: did those kids have any idea how lucky they were to be taken in by such a nice couple, instead of being in and out of foster homes the rest of their lives?
This is Keely’s background in Reunited in Danger. Her mother is a drug addict, but she’s taken in by Ben and Lillian when the mom passes away. And because of their kindness, she has a loving, kind upbringing. But what about a child who didn’t get that sort of love when dealt with crappy parents? Well, that’s Logan’s background. He and Keely are very different…but they also have very similar values. And isn’t values what make good relationships?
As they’re forced together to solve a crime, their feelings for each other become hard to ignore. But they each have a reason for wanting to keep distance from the other. Keely doesn’t want her heart broken again, and Logan is keeping a dark secret.
The suspense—human trafficking part of this story—was inspired by a local news story on WJZ-TV a few years ago about human trafficking in Baltimore.
CINDY: Can you tell us about what you’re currently writing and any upcoming books you have in that wonderful writer brain of yours?
JOYA: Oh boy! I love this question. Thanks for asking. I’m working on a farm trilogy now. Two very hot brothers and their sister who are striving hard to keep their Maryland family farm in the black after their father suffers a stroke. Love and challenges abound. The farm turns out to be a place of healing in many ways for the characters who weave in and out of this trilogy. I’m having fun with the farm research part of this book—visiting farms, talking to hard-working farmers and going to farmers’ markets.
As for the other books in my writer brain, there’s a serial killer who wants to make trouble for a woman and a cop who will do anything to protect her. There’s another character bugging me, too. A cop working undercover to find out who’s killing homeless people. And he meets a homeless woman with a secret.
Yes, my head is a very busy place! Haha. Thanks so very much for inviting me today to share Reunited in Danger and lots of other information with your readers!
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