This week our Feature on Author is on Juanita Kees. She has a new book out this month, Fast Lane - Book 2 from her Calhoun Customs Garage series.
Juanita escapes the real world by reading and writing Australian Rural Romance novels with elements of suspense, Australian Fantasy Paranormal and Small-Town USA stories. Her romance novels star spirited heroines who give the hero a run for his money before giving in. She creates emotionally engaging worlds steeped in romance, suspense, mystery and intrigue, set in dusty, rural outback Australia and on the NASCAR racetracks of America. When she’s not writing, Juanita is mother to three boys and has a passion for fast cars and country living.
Juanita Kees on the web:
1. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Every story has a different level of emotion. It depends on which emotion the writer connects with best. Some books are angsty, tormented while others instill fear, anger, regret. The strength of that emotion on the page depends on the writer’s skill to show it at the depth they want the reader to feel it.
2. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I am part of a critique group who give me great feedback. They don’t pull punches when something isn’t right with the plot and that’s a good thing. I have learned a lot from all of them. My face-to-face group is hosted by the wonderful Anna Jacobs whose historical and modern novels sell like hotcakes internationally. In our group, we have YA author, Susanna Rogers; children’s writer and editor, Teena Raffa-Mulligan; scriptwriter, French translator and romance writer, Lorraine Mauvais (Nora James); and Claire Boston who writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance. Outside of my F2F group, I have Lily Malone and Kerrie Paterson who also give me feedback on the completed manuscript.
3. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
In this series, there is an over-arching plot, so the books are closely connected. I would strongly advise readers to start with book 1, Overdrive, and get to know Mason. His book, Burnout, is currently at the editing stage. Out of all the Calhouns, I love Mason the most.
4. Tell us a bit about your book...
Fast Lane is book 2 in the Calhoun Customs Garage series inspired by my love for racing and custom-built cars. I’ve gone behind the scenes and pit garages to explore the people who wear those racing suits. In the over-arching plot of the series, ex NASCAR race king, Marty Calhoun, has built a legacy for his family, and now it’s time to round them up and bring them home to claim it. Each of his five children have hearts in need of overhauling. They all have hard lessons to learn. The one thing Marty wants most is to see his children find happiness and love at Calhoun Customs Garage. In Fast Lane, it’s youngest sibling, Trinity, who finds her perfect match in paramedic, Reece Balmain. But like all good romances, they have a few hurdles to get over before they can find their HEA.
Fast Lane (Calhoun Customs Garage Book 2)
Trinity Calhoun is a name everyone knows on the race circuit, but her days in the hot seat are numbered. She’s tired of the limelight, meaningless relationships and long hours behind the wheel. When her father calls her and her sister home, she’s ready. She slips right back into the family business, finishing off the custom car projects her father has lined up. But racing is in her blood and she’s lured back to risking her life on the hot rod drag strips outside of town. It’s there she meets paramedic and volunteer firefighter, Reece Balmain, who has her re-thinking the road her life is taking.
Reece Balmain arrives in Big Fork a broken man. He’s lived and breathed through horror accidents, haunted by the faces of the people he’s cut from vehicles. He knows one thing–speed kills. He’s hoping not to see too much of it in small town Montana, until he hears about the drag races taking place outside of town. He knows Trinity Calhoun. He’s watched her race, seen her win, held his breath when her car somersaulted into barriers in Daytona Beach. He doesn’t like what she does, but he can’t stay away from the woman who’s claiming his heart.
OVERDRIVE (Calhoun Customs Garage Book 1)
Chase Calhoun has worked hard at making Calhoun Customs a world-wide sensation and keeping his father’s dream alive. He hasn’t had time to think about settling down, so he’s not expecting to find love or new life hiding in the attic of their garage among the ghosts of his family’s past.
Charlotte Jackson is on the run from a rebellious past, determined to prove she can be a good mom to three-month-old baby, Zoe. Tired of being delegated to the back office of the racing team her famous NASCAR family owns, she sets out to establish herself as a custom design artist. But she’s out of money, luck and time, and she can’t hide in the attic at Calhoun Customs forever.
While Chase slowly loses his heart to his refrigerator thief and the baby bundle asleep in his laundry basket, Charlotte learns that sometimes family is more than just blood and DNA.