Posted in Australian Paranormal Fantasy, Books by Juanita Kees, The Gods of Oakleigh

Daring and Different

And now for something completely different. It’s left of centre, out of the box and designed to be a whole lot of fun.

After writing and releasing Under Cover of Dark way back in 2014, my mind searched for something lighter, a challenge of a different kind, the opposite of the angst and trauma I’d submitted my characters to in that story. Not yet having established a brand back then, I decided to have a little fun with the gods and asked myself, “What if?” What if Greek myths revisited the modern world? What havoc would Zeus unleash on the 21st century. So began the journey of Arian and Jax in Finding Paradise.

Now their journey to publication and HEA wasn’t an easy one. The book got picked up by a US publisher and spent over 12 months caught up in a wasteland that can only be described as every author’s nightmare. Finally in early 2016, I received my rights back. By then I’d moved on from my gods, temporarily abandoning the idea of modern fantasy, continuing to write and develop my love for Australian small town stories and building a brand. But Zeus, Jax and Arian weren’t happy with being relegated to the bottom drawer and forgotten about.

I dragged them out, dusted them down and sent them off to my editor. Initially I’d planned to use the cover ordered by the US publisher, but I figured that if this story was going to have a second chance, it may as well have a fresh new cover to begin its journey. Thanks to the lovely Ida at Amygdala Designs for this beautiful cover.

I do have plans to write Odysseus and Penelope’s story one day, so I really hope you enjoy this mythical journey while I finish writing my next rural romance. I had a lot of fun writing this book and took some artistic liberties with the myth. It’s not every day you get to fly a harpy or drink ambrosia with Zeus while he embarks on a Twitter meltdown.

Readers, this story is different. It may not appeal to everyone. It may still travel a rocky road in publication, but life is short and I figured its better off out there for someone (hopefully) to enjoy rather than be delegated to darkness in a drawer somewhere. Publishing is a forever-changing business. Today’s trend is tomorrow’s yesteryear, so I like to keep my toes dipped in new waters while I continue to write the Australian rurals I love best. May this book take you on a different kind of adventure with the same message I have in all my stories – good always triumphs over evil, and true love conquers everything.

Finding Paradise

From the shores of Mykonos to Melbourne Australia, Arian and Ajax find that sometimes in life or death true love is worth fighting for.

Arian Kendrick has always felt she doesn’t quite fit in. On holiday in Mykonos she rescues a little girl from drowning and discovers powers she didn’t know she had. As her long-dormant mystical talents blossom, so does her heart when she meets Ajax, the handsome, mysterious Greek-Melbournian who swears he is destined to be in her life.

After falling on his sword after the Battle of Troy, Ajax the Great is banished to Van Diemen’s Land where he must search for a way to redeem his soul. Two thousand years later, he is given a second chance when Zeus orders him to Mykonos to search out and protect the future Queen of the Faeries, Arianrhod. The last thing he expects is to fall in love.

But every romantic island holiday must come to an end, and the mysteries and fairytales of Mykonos fade into the suburban reality of Melbourne where Arian begins to doubt Greek lore and the magic in her veins.

Can Arian embrace her mythical legacy in time to save her people as Hades threatens to destroy Paradise forever, and will Ajax rise to fight by her side, or is he destined to fall on his sword for eternity?

The quiet suburb of Oakleigh may never be the same again. Not as long as the gods are in town…

Pre-order your copy on Amazon today.

Posted in Books by Juanita Kees, Under the Law

When life gives you a second chance …

You take it and say thank you, Universe.

It was with some sadness that  I said goodbye to the cover of my debut novel, Fly Away Peta this month. You see, it holds really sweet memories. I danced with happiness when I first saw the gorgeous artwork from Amanda Kelsey and knew that this would be my first ever real book cover.

2012 was the year my dreams came true as a newly published author and the book enjoyed a moderate success in the US with Eternal Press for four years. This week, thanks to a change of ownership at the press, I received my rights back for my first book baby.

I shouldn’t be sad though because this change gives Peta and Jaime a second chance. This means I can edit their story, improve it and make it fit with the rest of the Under the Law series where it belongs. Because this is where it all began for Detective Mark Johnson. Fly Away Peta no longer needs to be the ‘prequel’ to the series, no longer an outsider. It now has a chance to be part of the family. So hold thumbs as I add and delete scenes that will transform this story into Under Shadow of Doubt, Book 1 in the Under the Law series.

Book 1, The Gods of Oakleigh

Sadly, the events that released me from Eternal/Damnation meant I had to say goodbye to the cover of Finding Paradise, also by the lovely Amanda Kelsey. This book had a bumpy ride as soon after acceptance, the press changed ownership and it never reached the point of publication. By mutual agreement, I received the rights back. Now Arian and Jax will also have a second chance at having their story told. So hold thumbs for them too as The Gods of Oakleigh look for a new home. Who knows, you might get to see this cover again after all.