Juanita Kees

Romance Author, Award Nominee, Dream Achiever


Never Stop Learning

A good writer never stops learning. Whether it be from your own mistakes or by taking part in workshops and attending conferences. It’s not only your craft you need to hone but also your marketing skills. Technology provides us with so many opportunities these days and we need to learn how to make them work for us.

A group of Perth writers recently got together – thanks to the fabulous organisational skills of Claire Boston – for a marketing workshop run by Glennys Marsdon. Now I’ve attended a few of these in my professional past and was convinced I couldn’t possibly learn anything new. Well, I am very pleased to tell you…I was wrong! The day flew by and my head was filled with new information, new understanding and a better grasp of social media and internet marketing. Not only was Glennys an excellent presenter and speaker, but the interaction and input from the writers around the table was gold.

We had a mix of new and established writers, all happy to share advice, experience and encouragement. We had such a marvellous time that the delegates from the course in the next room wanted to abandon ship and board ours! Can’t say I blame them really ;) We did a lot of talking, giggling and laughing out loud. Aroma did a roaring trade in coffee and I’m fairly sure the WA State Library is still recovering from the onslaught of sixteen authors wandering through the shelves of books with stars in their eyes. There may even be a hint of a story involving The Librarian with the Dragon Tattoo in the making…so a huge thanks to Claire, Glennys and RWA Member Grants for making this workshop possible.

One of the best decisions I made for my own writing was to work as a freelance editor for the last four years. I have learned so much about structure, rhythm and story-building from editing. The more I edit, the more ‘unconsciously competent’ I become with my own work. I can recognise and correct mistakes before I make them or, at the very least, pick them up before it’s too late. Now that’s not to say I’m an expert because I have a lot more to learn yet and I always will have. I’ve barely scraped the surface on my learning and writing journey.

Here are a few more ways I keep up with changes and learning opportunities in the writing world:

And most importantly:

  • Write, write, write!

Regards, Juanita headline

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Writing on the Go

It’s been an exciting start to the year and already I have learned so much more on my writing journey. At the beginning of 2015, I set myself a list of goals, and so far I’m pleased to find I’m on track. Although, that could change at any time. Here’s what I’ve been up to so far:

  • Hadassah holds a copy of her book, Courage and Conquerors

    Hadassah holds a copy of her book, Courage and Conquerors

    Two years ago I met an inspirational lady named Hadassah Pomeroy. Hadassah grew up in Tel Aviv during World War II and her life reads like a book on its own. Last year I worked closely with Hadassah to write, edit and publish her collection of short stories, Courage and Conquerors. It was a long, educational and insightful journey for both of us because Hadassah writes her manuscripts in a beautiful, flowing handwriting and they need to be interpreted and typed up. Every moment of that journey was worth it when Hadassah held the first copy of her book in her hands. The fabulous cover was created by Patti Roberts at Paradox Book Covers and Hadassah was overwhelmed at the beauty of her wolf cover.

  • Come to Cafe Nix

    Come to Cafe Nix

    Last year I got together with thirteen other fabulous Escape Publishing authors, and we created Ainslie Paton’s brainchild, Cafe Nix. This project seemed bigger than Ben Hur, but with great direction, a logical marketing plan, team effort and Ainslie’s whip-cracking, we went live ahead of schedule on Wattpad. Edited by Belinda Holmes, Cafe Nix will be up on Smashwords on April 2 for your reading pleasure. If you can’t wait until then…check it out on Wattpad.

  • This year I tried my hand at a little magic by sharing some short stories on Wattpad, two of which were entries in the RWA Little Gems contest. We all need a Touch of Magic every now and then in this crazy world we live in. I’m thrilled to say it’s getting quite a few views. Take a peek and let me know what you think.
  • I love Greek Mythology, so I tested the boundaries of my imagination by bringing a couple of Greek gods back to life. Seriously, what sane man tells a 21st Century woman he’s an honest-to-god Greek god? Ajax the Great does in Finding Paradise. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how his story goes…
  • Last but not least, I finally got down to the business of creating a newsletter. Not one that will hit your mailbox with annoying regularity, but one I hope will be informative, exciting and readable at erratic intervals when the muse strikes or if there is news to celebrate. Want to stay in touch? Sign up via my Facebook page.


Hadassah Pomeroy

Courage and Conquerors

Escape Publishing

Cafe Nix

A Touch of Magic

Paradox Book Covers (Patti Dunn)




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Juanita Kees:

The Pink Beanie Queen and a slice of Heaven. Lily Malone’s latest release is a great read set in the Southwest of Western Australia.

Originally posted on Write Note Reviews:

lilym_lowresWA author Lily Malone, one of three guests at my Stories on Stage: Date Night event (April 29, 2015), and I met online and have since become friends (even though she’s mad about sport and I’m clueless about it). Like me, Lily has worked as a journalist, juggles family and part-time work with writing, likes gardening, walking, wine, and walking in gardens (sometimes with wine). She took up romance writing in November 2010, after an ill-fated dalliance with colour-field painting that ended when her youngest son put a golf club through the canvas. In March 2013, her debut novel, His Brand Of Beautiful,was published with Escape Publishing, and in May 2013, she self-published her novella The Goodbye Ride. Her third published work, Fairway To Heaven, about love on the golf course and lust in the sand bunkers, is due for release in April. To connect with…

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I Love You a Latte: The Cafe Nix Cover & Parade of Authors!

Juanita Kees:

Come and share a coffee or two with us at Cafe Nix!

Originally posted on Sandra Antonelli:


Fourteen Escape authors, one contemporary romance, fifteen happy endings. Welcome to Cafe nix

Long distance relationships don’t work
Nix Sutherland is at a crossroads. She loves running the family business, the famous Sydney Harbourside Cafe Nix, and she also loves Linc, whose vet practice is in Melbourne.

After months of jumping on planes and swapping cities, both of them too stressed and tried to enjoy being together, it’s all come to a head. In the middle of a typically busy day at the cafe that includes everything from broken hearts to breaking waters, cops to canoodling couples, Nix realises that loving the cafe means giving up Linc.

Meet Nix and characters from the novels of your favourite Escape Publishing authors (like me!) in fresh original shorts, and experience a day in the life of Cafe Nix. You know there will be coffee.


Nix composite cover


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2014 Awards: winners

Juanita Kees:

The results are in! The winners of the ARRA at the 2015 conference in Canberra are:

Originally posted on Australian Romance Readers Association:

AwardsThe winners of the 2014 Australian Romance Readers Awards were announced on 7 March at our Awards Dinner in Canberra. We started the announcements off with our Members’ Choice awards:

  • Favourite Cover: the winner was Play by Kylie Scott.
  • Sexiest Hero: the winner was Adam in Outback Ghost by Rachael Johns.
  • Favourite New Romance Author: the winner was Alli Sinclair.

In the main categories the winners were:

The Favourite Paranormal Romance for 2014 is Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh.

The Favourite Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance 2014 is Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews.

The Favourite Short Category Romance 2014 is The Honeymoon Trap by Kelly Hunter. The award was sponsored by Harlequin Australia and presented by Cristina Lee.

The Favourite Historical Romance 2014 is The Winter Bride by Anne Gracie.

The Favourite Contemporary Romance 2014 is Play by Kylie Scott. The award was sponsored by Steam eReads.

The Favourite Erotic…

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A Big WooHoo

Happy New Year and welcome to 2015. For those of you who follow the Chinese Zodiac it is the year of the sheep (or goat or ram, if you prefer). Because I was born in the year of the sheep, this is my motto:

I am a passive onlooker
I let bygones be bygones
Goodness brings me fortune
I believe in the human race
I understand the meaning of giving
My cup is never empty
I am loyal and just and in others I trust

That motto served me well in 2014 and I expect no different now.

Today I have reason to celebrate this writing life. I’ve popped my head out of the Passive Onlooker’s Cave (i.e. my writing room) to say thank you to readers, followers and friends for their support of my writing journey. I was blessed to be a finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia 2014 RUBY award with Under the Hood and today, another blessing: Under Cover of Dark made it to the finals of the 2014 Australian Romance Readers Awards.

So join me in a big Woohoo and a toast to the Tag Raiders Series, Escape Publishing, Australian Romance Readers Association and all the finalists in their various categories. Australia really does have talent.



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