Juanita Kees – Romance Author

I have found men who didn't know how to kiss. I've always found time to teach them ~ Mae West


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Weekend at Lily’s


It’s hard to believe it’s almost a week since Jennie Jones and I left The House on Burra Burra Lane and went Under Cover of Dark, our destination the tiny10615580_354985471319623_7960681465408251641_n South West Australian town of Cowaramup. Besides exploring the South West and chewing the cud, we also popped in to see the Queen of the Pink Beanie and Naughty Ninja, Lily Malone. Twitter ran hot with one-liners (sometimes more!) as our weekend adventure got under way.

Seven thirty Saturday morning rolled around and I reversed Baby out of the garage, loaded up the boot, strapped Jennie in, and we were off. Look out Thelma and Louise! Our first stop was just south of Busselton for a much needed wake-up coffee. No pitstop would be worth it without an obligatory selfie with hilarious results. I’m not really sure what the servo staff made of it, but we were lucky Jennie was tall enough to rescue the stranded roll of toilet paper someone had placed out of the cleaner’s reach. Here is a picture of us having done our good deed for the day.Thelma and Louise

The first thing we saw as we cruised into Cowaramup was the cows lazing around the streets, under trees, in front of shops and hanging out in the park. No surprises there!

Cowaramup is now home to a wonderful herd of 42 life-sized fibreglass Friesian cows and calves wandering the streets, parks and shops of the village. The cows love having their photographs taken and often dress up for the occasion. ~ Meet the Cowaramup Cows.

But, there was no time to stop and admire them just yet because Lily was waiting at the homestead with refreshments and another pending adventure. Well, Muddy Shoesin all fairness, we were pre-warned about the nature walk but nothing could have prepared us for the breathtaking beauty of the nature reserve at Ellensbrook Homestead. If only we’d been warned about the mud! Jennie’s shoes took a hit as we crossed the creek to the Bathing Place of the Moon at Meekadarabee Falls and a view definitely worth getting our feet wet for!

Meekadarabee Falls were known to Aboriginal people as ‘the bathing place of the moon’ and there is a fascinating legend about the moss-covered waterfall and the small cave behind it. In Aboriginal legend, the cave is where the spirits of Aboriginal lovers, Mitanne & Nobel live. If you listen carefully you can hear their laughter echoing in the waterfall. ~ Parks and Wildlife WA

The perfect destination for three romance authors then, and it was very beautiful. Tired and muddy, we headed back to Lily’s ready for a Beaniesnack and a well-deserved glass of bubbly…but not before we took Beanie selfie! The afternoon passed with lots of chats and giggles and, after sunset, we enjoyed more of Lily’s fabulous hospitality in the form of turkey lasagne and white chocolate tart…yum!

Over breakfast the next morning, we got down to talking about reading, writing, publishing and works in progress. There was still the little mystery of the missing cow to solve in our ‘bid to catch the Cowaramup Cownappers’ and time was running out. We headed out to the park to do a little investigation and left no stone unturned, but sadly, there was no sign of the missing bovine. Cows

What we did find was a whole lot of inspiration in the romantic little rural town. Jennie was thrilled it looked similar to how she imagined her town of Swallows Fall would if it were real. Lily agreed that if Tate Newell was there, he’d say it was His Brand of Beautiful.

On that note, our magical weekend of research and reveling drew to a close. We had time for one more wish before we left on our journey Wishing Wellback to Perth. We gathered around the wishing well and wished that our friendship may last forever, our respective muses would go home inspired and, wherever our writing journeys take us, we bring continued joy and satisfaction to our readers.

 


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When Writing Friends Come To Stay: #WeekendAtLilys


Juanita Kees:

Follow our writing sojourn to the South West for a #MargiesWeekend and #WeekendAtLilys

Originally posted on Lily Malone - romance writer:

It’s a weekend worth blogging about! I have writing friends coming for a visit. Two of them, my bestest beta-reading buddies, Jennie Jones and Juanita Kees. (Insert trumpet flourish here).
girls

Jennie Jones, Juanita Kees and Lily Malone at Juanita’s place. December 2013.

Jennie and Juanita both live in Perth, so for them, they face a three-hour road-trip a-la that great movie classic, Thelma & Louise. we’ve been having a bit of fun on the whole Thelma & Louise thing but so far, I still haven’t worked out who gets to sleep with Brad Pitt.
Although… my husband *is* away for the weekend… (No, Lily! Mental slap on wrist!!)
Juanita, Jennie and I last caught up in person before Christmas 2013 at Juanita’s house. Since then, Juanita has released a new book in the Tag Raiders’ series Under Cover Of Dark and moved house; Jennie has become an Australian rural romance…

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Romance Rocks the East Coast


350 women and 4 men … Olympic Park has not experienced an event like it before. The bar was abuzz, the first floor under siege and the Novotel staff smiled from ear to ear.

Of course, when you bring together a bunch of romance authors there’s bound to be more than a little entertainment. Imogene Nix, Danielle Belwater and Xanthe Blake found the intriguing pattern in the curtains inspiration for a murder plot,

Body in the Bedrooma little Luna Tango at the Harlequin dinner with Juliet Madison and hottie, Marco (phwoar!)

Marco n Julietand, with a cocktail party theme of leather and lace … well, I’ll leave that one up to your imagination!

Maggie Mundy DeliversThere were plenty of “squee” moments too. I was thrilled to be part of the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation Wall of Hands project last Thursday. Thank you Escape Publishing for choosing Under the Hood as part of the package donated at the RWA Literacy High Tea in Sydney.

Then it was time for Awards Night. This year I was honoured with two award nominations: RWA’s R*BY (Romantic Book of the Year) Award and the Lynne Wilding Volunteer Award. Both these nominations are close to my heart, one because I love writing romantic suspense and am thrilled the reader judges loved my book enough to put it through; the other because volunteering for RWA has made my life so much richer.

RBY Finalist

Catching up with everyone at conference is like coming home to family. Every year I’m inspired by the warmth and generosity of the members, the wealth of knowledge applied to the workshops and of course, the … perks ;)

Marco n Me

On Sunday afternoon, weary delegates disbanded with sore feet, strained voices, information overload and a stash of goodies to add to their luggage. I think we can say a good time was had by all and Romance really does Rock. Thanks to Juliet Madison, Maggie Mundy, Xanthe Blake, Danielle Belwater and Imogene Nix for the photos. We’re off to Melbourne next year. I wonder what surprises will be in store for us there?

sydney-conf-logo

 


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Alluring August Additions from our Amazing Authors


Juanita Kees:

Come on over to Escape Publishing and fill up your Kindle with these great new releases. :)

Originally posted on The Escapades:

Sure to set your TBR pile groaning. Many of our authors will be attending the Romance Writers of Australia Conference in Sydney this month, and participating in the Australian Romance Readers Association Book Signing. If you’re there – come say hi!

Now, to the good stuff:

21764From Escape’s fresh, exhilarating science fiction romance catalogue comes a story of corporate espionage, betrayal, sex, and bodyguards. Just another day in the colonies.


21769New Australian romantic suspense follows the R*BY Nominated Under the Hood, about a Western Australian drug gang, the teenagers they recruit, and the cop who wants to bring them down.


21763From fantasy writer Lara Morgan comes the second in her engrossing, enchanting, exciting Twins of Saranthium trilogy, perfect for curbing Game of Thrones withdrawals.


21770The sequel to the critically acclaimed Red Moon, about a playboy werewolf, his shy room mate, the ties that bind and a battle…

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Oh Ruby!


Wow…just wow. The last couple of weeks have been a rollercoaster ride of emotions. From tears of happiness to dances of joy – I’ve run the whole gamut.

First came the announcement that Under the Hood had made it to the finals of the RWA RUBY award. To be nominated for this award, among all the Printwonderfully talented finalists, is a huge honour and I cannot thank the reader judges enough for their nomination. Under the Hood’s success means the world to me, not only because I enjoyed writing it so much, but because of the underlying message of the story. As the mother of two boys going through the motions of teenager- and new adulthood, my biggest fear was the threat of street gangs and drugs. So a lot of heart and tears went into writing the story that bled oil from my veins.

Hot on the heels of the announcement came my fabulous new cover for Under Cover of Dark – and when I say hot, I mean HOT! The cover artists at Escape Publishing excelled with this one and captured the intensity of this story perfectly. Book 2 in the Tag Raiders Series takes up where Under the Hood left off with the sexy detective Mark Johnson on the hunt for Tiny Watts’ murderers. The timing of both the award nomination and the cover release couldn’t have been better with release day looming on August 1st.

Just when I thought life could not possibly get better, I received the news that I have been nominated for the Lynne Wilding Meritorious Service Award. Volunteering for the Romance Writers of Australia is something I do quite happily as a means of giving back to the community that welcomed me into their hearts and homes, and helped me grow through critique groups, conferences, workshops and their generosity in sharing their knowledge with newbies like me.  RWA volunteers sacrifice time out of their lives, both private and public, to keep the wheels of this fantastic organization turning and they do so because of their passion for both the written word and the organization itself. Lynne would be proud of all your efforts. So a huge congratulations to my fellow nominees:

Jen Brassal
Di Curran
Catherine Evans
Marilyn Forsythe
Lis Hoorweg
Anita Joy
Margaret Midwood
Bec Sampson

Then, the icing on my cake…today I got an email from Harlequin to say Under the Hood has been chosen to be part of the wonderful RWA Literacy High Tea to raise funds for literacy in Australia, and will be one of the promotional materials (in ePub) donated to the estimated 200 delegates – a mix of writers, readers and librarians. WOW…just wow. I couldn’t have chosen a better cause to be part of, so thank you (Harlequin) Escape Publishing and the Romance Writers of Australia.

So there you have it, folks! Never give up on your dreams…

One more thing before I go and edit the wonderful Ann B Harrison’s latest rural miracle, Outback in Stillettos:

Thank you to my wonderful team of beta readers and critique partners without whom my work could not grow –  Jennie Jones, Lily Malone, Kerrie Paterson, SE Gilchrist, Nora James, Claire Boston, Teena Raffa-Mulligan, Nina Blake and Anna Jacobs, and of course, my family, friends and fans – you ROCK!

 


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Ruby Finalists Announced


Juanita Kees:

A full list of RUBY Award finalists is now up on the RWA Blog. What a great way to fill up your bookshelf, virtual or otherwise :)

Originally posted on Romance Writers of Australia:

Drumroll please!  We are delighted to announce the finalists for the reader-judged RWA Romantic Book of the Year contest, better known as the Ruby.

In the ‘Short Sexy‘ division (and please note the description refers to the stories, not the authors, some of whom are quite tall ;) ) the finalists, in alphabetical order by author, are:

What the Bride Didn’t Know Kelly Hunter
One Secret Night Yvonne Lindsay
Never Say No to a Caffarelli Melanie Milburne
A Price Worth Paying Trish Morey

In the ‘Short Sweet‘ division (again, referring to the stories, although the sweet part is, I’m sure, perfectly true of the authors as well) the finalists, in alphabetical order by author, are:

One Life Changing Moment Lucy Clark
Gold Coast Angels: Bundle of Trouble Fiona Lowe
A Father at Last Julie Mac
Secrets of a Career Girl Carol Marinelli

The ‘Stories with Romantic Elements’ finalists…

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