Posted in Books by Juanita Kees, Under the Law

A Second Chance at Love, part 1

Talking second chance love over at the Escape Publishing Blog

The Escapades

by Juanita Kees

What if your first love isn’t the one for you? What if there is someone else out there who is your true soul mate?

Many of us remember the rush of our first love, The One with whom we dreamed of having the fairy-tale wedding, building our house complete with the white picket fence, having the perfect pigeon pair—a boy and a girl—and living happily ever after. Then reality checks in and life doesn’t go the way we’d planned it, and suddenly we find ourselves alone again.

Everyone deserves a second chance at love, which is why I love writing this trope. I have the power to give my characters the second chance they desire in a relationship with a guaranteed Happy Ever After. The challenge in writing it comes from finding ways to put a fresh spin on the ways second chances come about. There are…

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Posted in Books by Juanita Kees, Under the Law

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!