Thursday, May 31, 2012

True Crime: Rewriting the Ending So the Bad Guy Gets What He Deserves

Congratulations to Tammy J., the winner of Joya's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated.

Thank you very much for hosting me here at Just Romantic Suspense today. I’m thrilled to chat about one of my favorite subjects: justice. It’s a little scary to watch the news some days, isn’t it? When a story bothers me so much that I keep thinking about it afterwards, that’s when it usually gets written into a story. Here are some examples of recent news stories that affected me so strongly, that I had to write about them and orchestrate a different ending for the story:

  1. A doctor took advantage of the trust he patients bestowed on him. That doctor is a real-life bad guy and became the villain in my debut novel, BENEATH THE SURFACE.

  1. A young girl survives a brutal attack when everyone else in the house is killed by an intruder. She survives by pretending to be dead, and then crawls out of the house, bleeding and severely injured, to call for help. As an adult, she is the strong heroine in my current Work In Progress.

  1. Everyone assumes a woman hung herself, but in reality, her suicide was staged in an effort to obtain her life insurance. In my story, she comes back as a ghost and helps reveal the truth about her death.

  1. A wealthy family hides a huge secret: they keep a young girl enslaved in their home to clean, cook, and watch the children. The couple took the girl’s passport, made her believe that she will be arrested if she leaves their house or tries to get help. This news story is the premise for a book I’ve just submitted to a publisher.

What do all of these stories have in common, beside injustice? They all have a villain who has taken advantage of innocent people. By the time I sit down to write about them, I’m so mad at them for what they’ve done, I’m ready to kill them off in the first chapter. Instead, I write the story as part of a romance. Isn’t that a strange combination, really? Falling in love to the background of crime and murder? It is. Yet, sometimes it takes the worst situations to bring out the best in people, and that’s what romantic suspense is all about.

 About Joya:
     Joya Fields has had over 100 stories and articles published in local and national magazines and her debut novel, BENEATH THE SURFACE, a romantic suspense, released in January, 2012. LOVE DELIVERED, a contemporary romance, is also now available.
     Over the years, Joya has taught arts and crafts, worked in public relations, owned a daycare center, helped her children raise prize-winning 4-H livestock, competed in three marathons, and even spent a year as a Baltimore Colts cheerleader. Joya loves spending time with her high school sweetheart/husband of over twenty years, two very supportive children, and a pug who follows her everywhere.

Joya will be giving away a digital copy of BENEATH THE SURFACE to one lucky commenter!

Giveaway ends 10pm EST May 31st. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

She’s fighting to stay independent—he’s determined to protect her no matter what…

Brooke Richards survived the earthquake that took her parents and most of her leg, but she needs time to regroup. A trip to Florida for a state-of-the-art prosthesis and to visit her best friend Linda seems ideal. But the trip turns traumatic when Brooke witnesses Linda’s boat disintegrating in a fiery explosion.

Police officer Garrett Ciavello believes the blast was intentionally set to hide something Linda found on a dive. When Brooke offers her expertise in underwater archeology, Garrett accepts her help with the investigation. But since his fiancĂ©e’s death years ago, Garrett has become overprotective, and as they are drawn to each other, Garrett realizes he will risk anything to keep Brooke safe.

Brooke is fiercely independent. Garrett is fiercely protective. Will they heal each other’s wound and find a killer…before it’s too late?


            For the first time since the accident, Brooke forgot about her leg. Forgot about all she’d lost and focused on the way Garrett made her feel.
            She knew she needed to stop him. She should find a way to resist the temptation to be with him. But for a few minutes, she could enjoy the taste of him, the feel of him, couldn’t she?
            He dropped his hands to her waist and softened the kiss before trailing a line of kisses down her neck. A weak cry slipped from her mouth. “Garrett,” she whispered.
            She should stop this now before it got any more intense.
            He lifted her chin and forced her to meet his brown eyes, smoky with desire. Heat spiraled to her middle and she caught a whiff of his sawdust scent.
            “I…I can walk you back to your own room before I head to mine.” His voice broke as he whispered.
            She swallowed hard. She couldn’t do this right now with him. Too many obstacles stood in their way. But as she looked in his somber eyes, she realized none of those complications were bigger than her need for Garrett.
            “Let’s go to your room,” she said, her voice shaking. She moved her hands inside his shirt and ran them over his tight abs and chest. Heat soared through her body at the feel of him. “Together…”

Connect with Joya
Twitter: @joyafields

Purchase Links for Beneath the Surface


  1. Hi Joya,
    I find it very interesting how you take a true crime story & spin it.
    Your book sounds interesting as do your upcoming books.
    Please enter me in the draw.


  2. Oooh, another book to add to my TBR queue! I love your idea of taking 'true crime' & turning into a HEA, which hardly ever happens in 'real life'!


  3. Hi Jan,
    Glad you enjoy the spin on true crime stories. Great way to get my own sort of justice, right? :) Thanks for stopping by!

    Hi Cris,
    You are so right about the fact that HEAs hardly ever happens in true crime stories in real life. Thanks very much for stopping by today. :)

  4. I just read one last night & thought of you - guy kills and dismembers someone, videotapes the whole thing and then sends the body parts to people. In Canada, of all places! Ready, set, start writing!

    1. Oh my gosh, Christi. That's horrible. Ummm, a little strange that people think of me when creepy stuff like this happens, but you're not the only one. Guess it comes with the territory. LOL.
      Thanks very much for stopping by to comment! :)

  5. I love books that put normal people in extraordinary positions and they not only solve the problem but find love at the same time. Your book sounds great. Put my name in the hat. Gator_trish at msn dot com

    1. Trish,
      I agree! Putting normal people in extraordinary predicaments makes them find out what they're made of, doesn't it? Hold true for all of us, I think. Thanks very much for stopping by. :)

  6. Wow! Those are some fantastic examples. Good luck on the proposal too. ox

    1. Hi Vicki!! Soooo great to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by to comment and thanks for the luck, too! Best wishes for lots more success for you. :)

  7. joya
    sounds like another great read thank for the chance to win. tammy

    1. Hi Tammy,
      Thanks! Fingers crossed for you, and thanks for stopping by today. :)

  8. Hi Joya!
    What I love about Romantic Suspense is that no matter how bad things are... the characters find the strength to continue on and even find love and happiness. Thank you for sharing with us today!

    1. Hi Colleen! You are so right about characters finding strength. I love that in stories, too. Thanks very much for stopping by today. :)

  9. Hi Joya,

    Thank you for sharing your new book. It sound fantastic. I like the strong heroine (couldn't stand the meek one) and protective alpha hero.

    1. Hi Adis, Thanks for taking time to read about Beneath the Surface. I agree about strong heroines! :)

  10. Very interesting post. I enjoyed the excerpt. The book sounds intriguing.


    1. Hi bn100,
      Thanks very much for stopping by for the intrigue! :)

  11. Thanks so very much for hosting me at your wonderful blog today, Maureen! You have such a nice group of commenters!
    I appreciate the opportunity to chat with such a fun bunch of suspense-loving people. :)

  12. When I read a book, I get carry away sometimes especially with mystery, suspense, and thriller. I get so mad at the injustice that the villain does and that he/she gets away with the crimes. I'll be rooting for the hero/heroine to catch them so justice can be served. This book would fit right in for me.


  13. Great Post Joya!
    What I love about reading...and writing romantic suspense is how love always triumphs and evil is always defeated. In real life, what goes around, comes around. We may not ever see how evil pays in the end. But just because we don't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
    I loved Beneath the Surface and can't wait to read your ghost stories.