Juanita Kees

Romance Author, Award Nominee, Dream Achiever

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Bindarra Creek Makeover by S E Gilchrist

Originally posted on Kees2Review:

Bindarra Creek Makeover v3Introducing a rural romance series with a difference.

My first guest on Kees2Review is S E Gilchrist who is here to announce the release of book one in the series, A Bindarra Creek Romance. Over the next thirteen months, you will meet thirteen fabulous authors and get to know the people of Bindarra Creek. Here is S E to tell you more:

A bit about Bindarra Creek Makeover

Almost two years ago, the character of Tessa came to me when I wrote Dance in the Outback. I had this vague idea at the time of writing other stories based on various young people who had sought and found help in a children’s refuge in the Blue Mountains. Tessa was originally blonde, blue-eyed and bubbly and I was certain her story would be a light-hearted and fun-type of romance. Since I was involved in writing science fiction romance series at that time, she…

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Cover Love

Home to Bindarra Creek

I have a serious case of cover love thanks to Ida at Amygdala Book Cover Designs. Isn’t it beautiful? But let me tell you a little more about the town of Bindarra Creek.

In 2015, thirteen authors joined together to write thirteen stories centred around the joys, hardships, despairs and triumphs of living in a small, rural town. These stories will be released one a month beginning July 2015. So keep an eye out for S E Gilchrist’s Bindarra Creek Makeover coming soon.

Laugh, cry and fall in love with a struggling country community whose townspeople work hard and love deeply. Set in the tablelands of New England, Australia, the fictional Bindarra Creek is a drought stricken community full of intrigue, adventure, drama and honest country goodness. Life and love in a small country town has never been more challenging.

Join us every month from now until mid-2016 where each of the authors will introduce you to a new romance in the rural town of Bindarra Creek.

PS: Home to Bindarra Creek is due for release in December 2015 :D

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Valerie Parv Award Finalists announced!

Juanita Kees:

The list of finalists for the Valerie Parv Award. The VPA provides new and emerging authors with the opportunity to be mentored by one of Australia’s most successful authors, Valerie Parv and is likely one of the most coveted RWA awards. Congratulations to all and here’s to a bright and successful writing future. The winner is in for a treat!

Originally posted on Romance Writers of Australia:

We are delighted to announce and congratulate the finalists in the 2015 Valerie Parv Award (VPA).  They are:

Anne Prince

Carly Main

Dave Sinclair

Dee Scully

Kat Colmer

Laura Boon

Their entries are now with Valerie Parv for final judging. The contest received 64 entries, and many judges commented on the high standard, so competition was fierce as usual. Well done to all who entered, and thanks to all our volunteer judges and contest co-ordinators for their great work.


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Cafe Nix in eBook

Meet Nix and characters from the novels of favourite Escape authors in fresh original shorts, and experience a day in the life of Cafe Nix.

Yes! You can now download your copy of It Happened at Cafe Nix to your e-reader. Thanks to the fabulous talents of our coordinator, Ainslie Paton, Nix is available here:

Nix composite coverAmazon


Barnes and Noble






Long distance relationships don’t work. Nix loves running the famous Sydney Harbour-side Cafe Nix, and she also loves Linc, whose vet practice is in Melbourne. Nix realises that loving the cafe means giving up Linc, or does it? Meet Nix and characters from the novels of favourite Escape authors in fresh original shorts, and experience a day in the life of Cafe Nix Cafe and 15 happy endings.
Fourteen Escape authors, one contemporary romance, fifteen happy endings. Authors in order of appearance:
Elizabeth Dunk
Juanita Kees
Sandra Antonelli
Jane O’Reilly
Nicole Flockton
Cate Ellink
Ros Baxter
Jenny Schwartz
Ainslie Paton
Jennie Jones
Lee Christine
Lily Malone
Rhian Cahill
Amy Andrews

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Come Home to Bindarra Creek

There’s a reason small town romance is so popular – small, remote communities are full of big hearts and here in Australia we embrace that. With so much dust and distance between us in this Great Southern Land, our small towns are widespread and often smaller than average. It’s there you’ll find hearts as big as the land itself and a community spirit that embraces everyone, even pets and wildlife.

Today I’d like to introduce you to a town called Bindarra Creek and a community you’ll grow to love month after month, starting in July 2015 with SE Gilchrist’s Bindarra Creek Makeover. Each month a new author will introduce you to a romance starring their own characters and their little pocket of Bindarra Creek, a town you’ll want to live in. Follow the stories of love, loss, discovery, redemption and happy-ever-afters with the residents and hearts of Bindarra Creek. Thanks to Stacey Nash for setting up the links on Goodreads. I am honoured to be a part of this heart-warming series from a fabulous group of authors.

The series

A Bindarra Creek Romance

The individual books

July – SE Gilchrist – Bindarra Creek Makeover

August – Lee Christine – Shadows of the Heart 

September – Susanne Bellamy – Second Chance Love

October – Sandie James – TBA

November – Kerrie Paterson – Reach for The Stars

December – Juanita Kees – Home to Bindarra Creek 

January – Stacey Nash – Stolen Sanctuary

February – Erin Moira O’Hara – Tempting Fate 

March –  Linda Charles – TBA

April – Lauren McKellar – TBA

May – Simone Angela – The Ghost of his Past


Links in this blog:

Great Southern Land – Icehouse 1982


Killer Doubt and Kicking Butt

Writing is like a balanced diet – everything in moderation.

Long before I was a writer, I was a reader. In embracing the art and craft of writing, we aim to improve with every book we publish. Each conference we attend, every workshop we take and with every round of edits on our manuscripts, we’re honing our technique and learning new skills. As a reader, I never noticed things like ‘point of view’ swings nor did I care about the hero or heroine’s ‘mirror moment’ or ‘character arc’. All I knew was that the story did or didn’t work for me. I didn’t understand what it was that drew me out of the story after the opening paragraph, made me reach halfway point only to be unable to finish the book, or (most importantly) what it was that kept me on the edge of my seat entertained until ‘the end’.

Then came writing, editing, research, competition entries and finally, publishing. I learned technique, the do’s and dont’s of writing a good book, publishers’ guidelines and styles…the list goes on to assist you in presenting the reader with a book you hope will be the next international bestseller. And who knows, you might just be lucky :)

So that’s book one on the shelf, all nicely packaged and ready for ripping through the roof of sales charts world-wide…until that devil named Self-Doubt comes knocking on your door. And you don’t have to be a writer for him to come knocking.

My current work in progress is a small town romance and I’m having a little trouble with my characters. I’ve plotted and planned out the chapters, defined their personalities, their arcs, their mirror moments, and generally organised them within an inch of their lives. Three chapters later, I’ve hit the wall with them dancing around each other like boxers in the ring with no fight plan. Right after that comes, “I can’t do this. What makes me think I can write a book? What if readers don’t like it?”

Why am I having trouble? Because I’m trying to stick to the ‘rules’.

When the monster Self-Doubt comes calling, I back away from my keyboard and curl up with my all time favorite author, Nora Roberts. It’s there I see all the ‘rules’ being broken that, as a reader, I didn’t recognize before. Here’s a few:

  1. Starting a sentence with ‘And’ – Nora did it
  2. Starting a sentence with ‘Because’ – Nora did it
  3. Starting a sentence with ‘But’ – Nora did it
  4. Switching in and out of POV’s – Nora did it!


The editor in me shouts “No!” while the writer in me shouts, “Yes, yes, yes!” Why? Because that’s how ‘real people’ speak and since our characters are ‘real people’, they should be allowed to speak naturally. What gives your writing a ‘voice’ is the uniqueness of your style, the way you structure your sentences, scenes and dialogue; that little bit of ‘you’ in every story. So perhaps it’s time I followed the same advice I give to others in my role as an editor – write from the heart and apply the rules later, if they apply. If we apply the same rules to our work all the time, all our books would be the same – like a recipe passed down through the family – until someone comes along and adds a twist to it.

Be that person to add the twist – in moderation of course, you don’t want to break the rules all the time! Write from the head and the heart of your characters, and you’re on the road to writing a book that will resonate with the ‘real people’ out there – your readers. And when Self-Doubt steps into the ring, tell it to rack off and remember: Nora Roberts did it.

Night TalesThe most succesful novelist on Planet Earth’ – Washington Post

Night Shield

Even though he agreed to protect her cover — even though her own dad vouched for him — Allison Fletcher refused to be seduced by Jonah Blackhawk’s smooth charm and good looks. She was too much of a cop to fall for a shady character like Jonah…even if her pulse did race at his touch.

If only she didn’t have eyes like prime whiskey and a smile that melted his insides. If only she weren’t Boyd Fletcher’s daughter. Jonah had never cared much for cops…until now. But Ally was definitely off-limits to a guy like him. If only he could stop wanting her…

Night Moves

The house had stood vacant for ten years, but Maggie Fitzgerald knew she could call it home. An award-winning songwriter, Maggie had sought peace and solitude from the Los Angeles celebrity hounds after her husband’s accidental death. Instinct had brought her east, to the small Maryland town of Morganville.

Instinct also told her that Cliff Delaney, owner of a local landscaping company, was just the person to revitalize her property. But once that project began, the remains of a dead man were discovered and everyone she knew, including Cliff, seemed to have a motive for the killing.

Could she trust her instincts again or would the truth be her undoing?


Meet the Gods of Oakleigh

When a mythical Greek god of war meets a modern day Celtic Faerie Queen, sparks are bound to fly and the gods of Hell will be released. Yet through all the battles thrown their way, only true love can save their souls and bring together a Warrior and Queen.

I thought it rather fitting that my very first attempt at a Fantasy/Paranormal romance should be accepted for publication by Eternal Press, especially considering the locations where the action takes place. So I’m thrilled to introduce you to The Gods of Oakleigh, a three-book series that brings Greek gods to life in the 21st century.

After writing Under Cover of Dark, I fancied doing something a little different, something a little less ‘angsty’ and more…fun. All it took to inspire me was a photograph of a Greek model posted on Facebook and my imagination took flight. What if three gods returned to Earth  on a mission to redeem their souls? And what if they found themselves in the heart of the Greek community in Melbourne, Australia?

And so the story of Ajax Polemistis and Arian Kendrick was born. Part myth, part fantasy and a whole lot of research and imagination later, Ajax the Great walks the shores of Van Diemen’s Land. For two thousand years he wanders in search of redemption until finally in modern day Melbourne, Zeus sets him a task that will change his life forever.



Descendant of the Celtic Faerie Queen and Restorer of Souls, Arian Kendrick is enjoying a vacation in Mykonos with her best friend, Evie unaware she is a queen-in-training or that her would-be queendom is under threat from Hades.

For a long time, Arian has felt she doesn’t quite ‘fit in’, and when she rescues a little girl from drowning in a freak wave, she begins to discover powers she didn’t know she had. When she meets Ajax for the first time, she feels an instant connection with him, one she must fight against to avoid having her heart broken again.

After falling on his sword after the Battle of Troy, Ajax the Great is sent to Van Diemen’s Land as Jax Polemistis where he spends two thousand years, neither dead nor alive, searching for a way to redeem his soul. In one last bid to prove himself, he is sent by Zeus to Mykonos to act as protector to the future Queen of the Faeries, Arianrhod.

Ajax vows never to trust a woman again after his betrayal by Athena at the Battle of Troy. He certainly has no desire to play bodyguard to one until a near-drowning incident brings him into contact with the woman he is sent to protect. A woman who has such a devastating effect on his heart, he is forced to face his fears and fight a battle he never expected to have to—the one to regain his life.

Ajax must overcome his ego and understand courage comes from love both to save his soul from Hades forever and to win Arian’s heart and trust.

Arian must embrace her mythical legacy and history to take her place as queen and save her people, as Hades threatens to destroy Paradise forever.

From the shores of Mykonos to the hustle and bustle of Melbourne Australia, Arian and Ajax fight many battles until they conquer the enemy, and their own misgivings, to find their hearts are a perfect match and that sometimes in life (or death) true love is worth fighting for.

“Juanita Kees delivers a wonderful twist on the Battle of Troy with this story that starts on Mykonos and moves to modern Melbourne, with a little detour to Paradise on the side. Anything with swords and shields and gorgeous Greek Gods will get my attention, plus this one had football and a Twitter meltdown by social mediaphobic Zeus himself.  I loved it. ” ~ Lily Malone, author, Fairway to Heaven.


Oakleigh, Melbourne’s Greek heartland

Van Diemen’s Land

Ajax the Great

Arianrhod, Celtic Goddess of fertility, rebirth and the weaving of cosmic time and fate.


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