Posted in Books by Juanita Kees, Kees2Create, Under the Law

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?



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!