Christmas Earworms: White Wine in the Sun

by Louise Forster

Christmas at our place is focused on the youngest members of the family, ages 10, 5, 3, and 11 months. Way before the big day we make a date to string the fairy lights outside. Never as simple as it sounds, is it? Last year it called for nimble fingers and good eyesight. But we had the perfect solution. Bribe the teenagers into helping us untangle the lights. To make sure there were no distractions, we gathered their phones, put them in a zip-lock bag and hid them in the crisper bin amongst the vegetables … yeah.


After a hearty breakfast we gave them the ball of lights. And they gave us, ‘What the …?’ faces. Pretty soon there was laughter, giggling, elbowing and pointing, because inevitably someone wanted to take a shortcut, which made the untangling even more exasperating; just because it was fun to frustrate those who were too serious. Ignoring urgent suggestions because they were all talking over each other … the mess only worsened.

In the end one of them threw his hands in the air and gave his younger siblings, who were messing about a dirty look, but with an added smirk, showing them they were going to cop it later. Suggestions kept flying out from those that were determined to see this through, despite the fact that by now brains were starting to curdle. ‘No, this bit goes through there, and then that end loops through this gap here, you f-wit …’

I saw my ancient aunt sneak off, a knowing wicked grin on her face as she turned up the volume on Christmas carols. Funnily enough kids started to bob around, adding their own colourful lyrics, and eventually, the untangling lights took a string of grinning, triumphant teenagers down the driveway and back. The fairy lights became a stunning display at night. More so for the adults because we saw them through a haze of great food, wine, and sheer bliss because our family had gathered together, and we were safe. And the littlies thought it was all very magical. And there’s nothing more fulfilling than that.

Our favourite carols:

Chevy Chase, Lampoon Christmas Vacation and Hallelujah because his lights finally work.

Perfect lyrics for Australia. Christmas photo, by John Williamson

How to make Gravy  by Paul Kelly

And the end of the day, White Wine In the Sun by Tim Minchin.


28381In the sequel to Home Truths, Louise Forster returns to the sleepy country town of Tumble Creek with the story of a cop, a teacher and a mystery that will bring them together—or tear them apart.

Art teacher and occasional life model Sofie Dove wants to know what’s up with Brock Stewart. Everything about the ex SAS soldier turned police officer seems to scream passion—and it’s all for her—but he just won’t express it. All she knows is that he has a past that still keeps him up some nights.

After a semi-trailer crashes through Sofie’s house and the driver disappears into thin air, Brock insists he’s the only one who can keep her safe—but can he, when they can’t seem to trust each other?

While Sofie works on figuring out why this man keeps giving her mixed messages, Brock is determined to find out who’s out to get her—as they both find out why falling in love is a bit like being hit by a truck.

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Feed Your Reader: Our Most Anticipated Title of the Year


A small town, a new arrival, and a love that is as undeniable as it is unlawful…

Victoria, Australia, 1891

Anglican priest Matthew Ottenshaw receives his first posting in tiny Dinbratten, two days’ ride from his Melbourne home. Determined to honour his calling as best he can, he throws himself into the footy mad, two-pub town, navigating the dusty streets, learning the gossip, and striking up a friendship with Jonah Parks, the resident police sergeant and local bona fide hero.

A police officer and a priest often find themselves needed at the same place, and Jonah and Matthew’s friendship deepens quickly, as they set about their business of protecting the bodies and souls of Dinbratten’s residents. When a bushfire threatens the town, and Matthew’s inexperience with fire endangers the church buildings, Jonah comes to the rescue, and a reckless kiss in the midst of the chaos takes their friendship to forbidden.

Neither Matthew nor Jonah can go back to the way things were before, but continuing their relationship puts everything at risk: their jobs, their friends, even their lives. In the outback town of Dinbratten where everyone knows everything about everyone else, how can they ever expect to keep a secret this explosive?

“Told with an old-fashioned, authentically Australian wink and a smile…By the Currawong’s Call is also a tale with a very timely message: people in love will marry whether it’s legal or not.” – Australian author Kim Kelly

‘What a lovely book! By the Currawong’s Call is warm and sweet and sympathetic and respectful, with skilled and lovingly descriptive prose. A really satisfying read for a rainy day when you want to feel like there is love and hope even through trying times.’ —Plain Brown, NetGalley

‘a great love story in a historical setting ‘ —Sophie Wittlinger , NetGalley

‘I loved this book. Amazingly moving, so very realistic.’ —Jeannie Zelos, NetGalley

‘This was beautifully written and full of love and hope.’ —Ashley Broome, NetGalley

‘The book is beautifully written and Matthew and Jonah’s developing love has been depicted in a warm and very compelling way’ —Louise Faldon, NetGalley

‘The author gives rich descriptions of the environment and the time period.’ —Melissa Reuter, NetGalley

‘If you like Aussies and a forbidden love trope, this book is for you.’ —Book Reviews, NetGalley

‘I thought the story was really beautifully written. It is very evocative in the way that it transports the reader to life in the outback town.’ —Ije Books, NetGalley

By the Currawong’s Call is available now! 

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That’s a Wrap! GenreCon 2017

by Jacquie Underdown

As the attendees streamed from the State Library of Queensland at the close of the 2017 GenreCon held from Friday to Sunday last week in Brisbane, the overarching take-home message was that in Australia, there is a thriving, supportive community of genre writers who are passionate about writing, live and breathe inclusivity, and really know their craft.

In not-so typical Brisvegas fashion, the weather welcomed this numerous cohort of genre-fiction writers and readers by lowering the average temperature seven degrees. This made the simple act of wearing clothes and participating in activities like standing and sitting possible.

But the agreeable weather can’t take home all the accolades. Many of the weekend’s big moments were associated with the attending big names like best-selling Australian author Garth Nix who, during Friday night’s opening address, gave his writing advice ‘tell a story’ to an eager audience in a manner expected from a prolific writer, which was by telling a bloody good story.


Garth Nix – Opening Night speech

The teary-eyed crowd may have, at first, felt shocked when after hearing Nix’s heartfelt story about meeting his 95-year-old writing hero days before he died, he then admitted that this story was, in fact, fictional. But who better to give a masterclass on the art of ‘show don’t tell’ than one of Australia’s top genre authors.

Nix continued with his stellar advice to attendees throughout the weekend.

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And provided his blanket solution to nearly every problem a writer will encounter no matter where they are in their career.

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International guest author Delilah S. Dawson took the floor among an audience dressed to the mods and monster’s costume theme at the Saturday night Speakeasy to give a rousing speech on how to ‘not give up’.


Delilah S. Dawson – Speakeasy speech

Dawson spoke about the trajectory of her career from her unsellable first story—which had all the rookie mistakes including an opening line from hell (that mentioned white Capri pants, Greek street food and the unmentionable side effect of said street food while wearing white Capri pants)—to her eventual, hard-earned successes.

But where the real gems of wisdom were uncovered was during the weekend’s workshops, panels and morning plenary sessions that took place in packed auditoriums and rooms throughout the State Library of Queensland.

Claire G. Coleman, black&write 2016 Indigenous writing fellow, gave an inspirational speech on how she wrote through her fear.

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Anne Gracie, Australian romance writing royalty, thrilled her workshop audience with tried and true writing advice along with practical methods on how to dig deeper into character.

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Fellow Escape Publishing multi-award-winning author Amy Andrews gave a truthful account of author earnings by providing her writing income from her last fifteen tax returns. And, on top of this, read a sex scene from her novel Numbered in front of a large audience at the Author Salon on opening night. One word that could describe Andrews: COURAGEOUS!


Amy Andrews talks author earnings

In one panel, attendees were able to pull back the curtain and look into the world of the publishing houses. Escape Publishing’s Managing Editor, Kate Cuthbert, joined a panel of industry experts who offered insight into the process at their end once they received an author’s submission.


Panel of industry professionals

To accept or reject an author’s work for publication isn’t a simple case of ‘this book isn’t good enough’. Meetings are had, discussions are entered into, and many factors are taken into account before the final decision is made.

And those writers in the audience dealing with idea-hopping were able to hear international best-selling author Nalini Singh not only give permission to pursue those ‘squirrel’ ideas but also a practical way to manage those ‘squirrels’.

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So many fabulous panellists appeared at this year’s GenreCon. They wrestled with messy questions on the writing craft, spoke about the real-world implications of writing imaginary worlds and characters, and offered advice on how to deal with introversion, failure, fear, success, and many of the gritty nuances of being an author.

Over the course of the weekend, the attendees were schooled, reassured and inspired. GenreCon was a celebration of genre fiction but not once did it ask its audience to believe that being an author is easy or that a writing career should be perfect, and that’s what made the event an enjoyable, relatable success.

Top 3 highlights

  1. GenreCon convenor Peter Ball’s T-Shirt


Peter Ball – 2017 GenreCon Convenor

  1. So many incredible authors and industry experts in the one place, unafraid to drop the F* bomb, unapologetic about what they write and who they are, and willing to share their expertise.

all panelists

Last chance Q & A panel of authors

  1. So many amazing authors and readers in the one place, each unashamedly in love with writing, reading and talking about genre fiction.


2017 GenreCon attendees

Top 3 take-away messages

  1. Readers, your reading future is in incredibly safe hands. Australia has many dedicated, helpful, and passionate writers producing fantastic titles each and every year.
  1. Writers, no one writing career is the same. You don’t know the bigger picture yet or what the future holds, so you may be exactly where you need to be in your career, even if it doesn’t feel that way.
  1. Persistence is key. Write the next book. And as Emma Viskic, award-winning Australian crime writer would say, fill those blank pages with ‘words of liquid gold’ even if it takes many redrafts to achieve it.

Final note

Don’t underestimate the cathartic consequences of stepping away from the keyboard, talking with fellow authors, readers and editors, and donning a good costume.


Liz McKewin, Jacquie Underdown (me), and Meg Vann

32702A vineyard, a family in pain, and the healing magic of cupcakes…

Amy Jenkins, a talented and ambitious chef, is left humiliated and debt-ridden, after her city restaurant fails. When her best friend calls asking for help in her small town cupcake shop, Amy jumps at the chance to hide out in the small town of Alpine Ridge while her shattered ego mends.

The youngest Mathews brother, Tom feels over-looked and under-appreciated. His brothers remember every mistake, but never give him the responsibility or opportunity to take his place in the family business. So, he spends three weeks out of every month working at a mine in the back-end of nowhere. But then Amy moves to town to help run his pregnant sister-in-law’s bakery, and suddenly home seems to be where his heart is.

Amy’s move was only ever meant to be temporary, but when tragedy strikes the Mathews family, Amy finds herself unable to move on. As she and Tom get closer, Amy finds every excuse to stay: first, she claims it’s for the family, then she claims it’s for the shop. But maybe, it’s for her own heart…

Bittersweet, the first book in the Brothers of the Vine trilogy, is available for pre-order now!

Feed Your Reader: A Giant Romance and A Book Full of Bad Boys


A brand new steamy paranormal romance about learning to love all of yourself.

In a world where people judge one another by exacting standards of size and style, being a big girl like Eudora Splat was never going to be easy.

Though trouble is brewing between magic folk and human purists who would see them all destroyed, Dora, a half-giant, tries to eke out a quiet, unnoticed life for herself, but it’s hard to be subtle when you’re over seven feet tall.

Losing her job as a gardener due to human complaints, Dora is recruited as a prison guard, where she’s enlisted to protect the magician Evander “Bear” Gordon from human purist attack. Bear encourages her to embrace her power and celebrate her heritage, introducing her to a world where she can be extraordinary and not just weird.

But after years of hiding and shying away, can Dora find the strength to grab onto a new life — and hold on to the man she’s falling in love with?

One-click now!

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Three full-length novels about heroes who are mad, bad, and dangerous to love…

Getting Wild — Sarah Barrie

The Devil Wears Prada meets Man vs Wild in this fast-paced romantic comedy set in the no-holds-barred world of travel journalism.

When Ella Jameson, editor-in-chief of Australia’s top travel magazine, steps into a room, people scramble to attention. She’s ruthless, terrifying, and untouchable.

But when Ryan Edwards walks into her office with a job proposal, Ella just knows he’s going to be trouble. In the tropical beauty of Australia’s Top End, it’s not just the weather that’s going to sizzle…

Hot Chocolate — Charlotte De Pace

She’s always been the good girl, but this trip to Italy will show Annabella that love and chocolate can both be sweet, tempting — and dangerously addictive.

When infamous playboy Alessandro De Costa entices Annabella Beaumont to be his master chocolatier and faux fiancée, neither anticipate the deception — or passionate seduction — that will follow.

As she slowly succumbs to the playboy’s charms, Annabella struggles with sweet temptation — as well as secrets that could ruin everything.

Tell Me No Lies – Shirley Wine

For single mum Victoria Scanlan, a visit to the luxurious country house of Darkhaven is a rare chance to combine work with pleasure. Securing the commission for The Wedding Of The Year will guarantee the ongoing success of her floral boutique and secure her the stability she needs for both herself and her son.

But Darkhaven comes with a shocking guest – the groom, Keir Donovan, is the man she once knew as Seth Donahue. Her young son’s father. The man who has no idea he has a child. The man she can’t forget.

One-click now!

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Friday Five: Marilyn Forsyth

2585Author: Marilyn Forsyth
First Published with Escape: April 2017
Favourite Romance Trope: Lovers Reunited
Ideal Hero: Tall, red-headed, Scot
Ideal Heroine: outwardly strong, inwardly vulnerable (4 words, I know. Hope that’s ok.)
Latest Book: Falling In Love Again

What began your romance writing career?
Having had over a dozen short stories published in magazines, I wanted to try my hand at writing a full-length novel and, because I love to read romance, it seemed a natural progression to try to write it. I joined RWAus and a writing group (Breathless in the Bush), and from there everything fell into place. I won The First Kiss competition in 2012 and that entry became The Farmer’s Perfect Match, published by Harlequin MIRA Australia in 2016.


Why do you write romance?
As a reader of romance, I want to experience every emotion, every high and low, every fascinating sensation that comes with falling in love. As a writer of romance, that is exactly what I want to bring to my readers. All that, and a happy ending, of course!

How did your latest book come to life? What was your eureka moment?
The starting point for Falling in Love Again came with reading an article on Eric, the opalised pliosaur, one of the exhibits at the Australian Museum in Sydney. My vivid imagination went crazy at the thought of discovering such a unique find, but I was quickly brought back to Earth upon learning that such discoveries are often not disclosed because the opal is worth more than the fossil. What a great external conflict—two characters fighting over the future of a buried treasure! From there, Gemma and Jamie emerged, with all the emotional inner conflict that reunited lovers face.


What do you do when you’re stuck with a scene?
Scream, swear, tear my hair out. Just kidding! Although there are times…

Mostly, I resort to writing what I want from the scene by hand; there’s something about pen and paper that helps me to focus and get my ideas down quickly. From those notes, I choose a couple of scenarios, list the pros and cons of each, and make a decision of which idea to go with.

If I’m having real difficulty, I seek advice from my fabulous crit partners. They know me and my writing almost as well as I do and their advice is always invaluable.

If you could cast anyone as the main characters for the movie/stage adaptation of your book, who would they be (and why are they perfect for the role)?


My perfect Jamie would be Aussie actor James Stewart. He has that larrikin adventurer look about him that I envisaged for Jamie as I was writing him, plus a sadness to his eyes that Jamie has. I find that very appealing.


My perfect Gemma would be Aussie actress, Teresa Palmer. Though beautiful, she doesn’t believe it herself, and she has the right combination of strength and vulnerability to portray a woman recovering from an abusive relationship.

Besides writing, what is something else that you’re really good at?

I love drawing and painting. Always have. I’m not sure that I’m really good at it, but I do get compliments (and not just from the family!). I’ve worked in both oils and watercolours, and they both have their own particular appeal. I love the immense depth of colour that oils can bring to a traditional still life, but I also love the crazy unpredictability of creating in watercolour. I guess that reflects the two sides to my personality—basically logical with a bit of the frivolous thrown in.

31095 (3)A charming adventurer. A pragmatic paleontologist. A hundred-million-year-old treasure buried in the Australian outback.

The last person Gemma Stephens expects to meet in the tiny, remote, opal-mining town of Rainbow Cliffs is Jamie Coltrane, her university boyfriend who chose his past over their potential future. Now, seven years later, he is the only obstacle between her and the goal she has been pursuing tirelessly since he left. The goal that means everything for her future and that of her six-year-old son, the son Jamie doesn’t know is his.

Jamie has long outgrown the wanderlust that caused him to leave Gemma, and he and his father have settled into Rainbow Cliffs, making a living out of opal mining and running the only accommodation in town. But now a big find — a once-in-a-lifetime find — has opened up opportunities that Jamie never thought possible. Opportunities that mean everything for his father and himself.

Fate may have thrown them back together, but this is no happy reunion. There is only one fossil, and there can be only one winner in this battle between preservation and prosperity. Gemma and Jamie may have the chance to find true love — or be torn apart, this time forever.

Feed Your Reader: Country spices up the City

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A country boy meets a city girl in this sexy opposites attract story from best-selling author Mandy Magro.

Blake Wellstone is a cowboy through and through, his wealth and status obtained by years of hard work on his cattle stations spread out across Australia. But this farmer isn’t looking for a wife — his first love ended in tragedy, and he will never put his heart on the line again. The land is his love, and he’s happy that way.

Sasha Hepworth has goals and ambitions and she has worked very hard for her success. She’s just forgotten how to enjoy herself. So a weekend fling with a gorgeous cowboy is just what she needs  after all, it can’t go any further. She’d never leave the conveniences and beauty of the city for a dusty outback town.

But a weekend of fine dining and spectacular sights isn’t enough for Blake and Sasha, and the growing feelings that neither can deny make them question everything about their lives. When a city girl meets a country boy, will they find middle ground?

“I highly recommend Mandy’s books to anybody who likes to read Australian rural romance” – Goodreads

The Billionaire Cattle Baron is now available from your favourite e-tailer.

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Quiz: Who’s Your Ideal Hero?

Mandy Magro’s sexy new story The Billionaire Cattle Baron is out soon. To introduce Blake, our titular hero, she prepared the following quiz, to help you determine your ideal book boyfriend…

Answer seven sexy questions to determine your ideal hero…

1 – How do you like to be kissed?

A. Grabbed and pressed against the wall as he claims your lips with his
B. He run his hands through your hair and feather kisses on your lips

2- What gift would you like to get from your love interest?

A. A pair of fluffy handcuffs and some massage oil
B. A bunch of sunflowers

3- How do you like your dates to be planned?

A. Your date calls you and tells you where to be, when, and suggests you wear no underpants
B. Your date rings and asks if you have any preferences and when you’re free

4- For a date you’d like a man that takes you…

A. To a restaurant that does dining in the dark, so you can be a bit naughty
B. To a candlelit restaurant where you can gaze at each other across the table

5- How would you like your man to keep fit?

A. Boxing or some form of martial arts
B. Tennis

6- What man are you physically attracted to?  

A. The rough, dark and mysterious kind
B. The white-collar kind who is sharp, pressed and untouchable

7- How would you like to be asked to get married?  

A. In the throes of breathless passion
B. Traditionally, down on one knee


If you answered mainly A, you’re drawn to the alpha male like a bee to honey, you can’t resist a man that can make you buckle at the knees with a simple, smouldering glance.

If you answered mainly B, you like a sensual hero who wants a true partner, one that likes to win you over with sweet flattery and gentle touches.

Check out Mandy’s alpha-male hero, Blake, in The Billionaire Cattle Baron out September 4. Pre-order links below!

32047 (1)A country boy meets a city girl in this sexy opposites attract story from best-selling author Mandy Magro.

Blake Wellstone is a cowboy through and through, his wealth and status obtained by years of hard work on his cattle stations spread out across Australia. But this farmer isn’t looking for a wife — his first love ended in tragedy, and he will never put his heart on the line again. The land is his love, and he’s happy that way.

Sasha Hepworth has goals and ambitions and she has worked very hard for her success. She’s just forgotten how to enjoy herself. So a weekend fling with a gorgeous cowboy is just what she needs  after all, it can’t go any further. She’d never leave the conveniences and beauty of the city for a dusty outback town.

But a weekend of fine dining and spectacular sights isn’t enough for Blake and Sasha, and the growing feelings that neither can deny make them question everything about their lives. When a city girl meets a country boy, will they find middle ground?

One click: iBooks, Booktopia, Google, Nook, Kobo, Amazon AU, Amazon UK, Amazon US

Exclusive Excerpt: The Billionaire Cattle Baron

32047 (1)
A country boy meets a city girl in this sexy opposites attract story from best-selling author Mandy Magro.

She looked back at him, her eyes now filled with wanton hunger. Silence fell and the atmosphere inside their bubble filled with spark and sizzle, heat and desire. She wanted him just as much as he wanted her. This was hazardous territory. The intensity of his yearning was different with other women. If he got this exquisite creature back to his suite, he would never want to let her go.

Well, I better grab a table before they all go. This is a popular place on the weekends … as you can see.’ Her voice was shaky, a little breathless, as she seized his gaze with her own. ‘And I’m ravenous.’

Her last word was emphasised, as her eyes remained transfixed to his for that moment too long, as though she was directing it to him, suggesting she was hungry for him. Was she? His eyes fell to her chest as he noted her breathing quicken. ‘I’ll bring your drink over to you. Or you can join me at my table, if you like.’

Before the goddess could answer, the spritely French waiter buzzed to their side with a cloth. Their sensual bubble burst. Blake wanted to tell him to bugger off, but held his tongue. Manners cost nothing. The waiter acknowledged them with a smile and in what felt like mere seconds had mopped the cocktail up. Standing as though he had been sitting on a thorn, he addressed them with a nod. ‘Can I be of any more assistance madam and monsieur?’ His eyebrows were raised so high they almost disappeared over his balding hairline.

No, but thank you,’ Blake replied before turning his attention back to his stunning captor. He waited patiently for her acceptance of his offer as the waiter sped off in the opposite direction.

She brought her eyes to his, and this time the look of wantonness had faded, replaced by apprehension. His heart sunk. He wanted her to trust him. Desperately. Why? He hadn’t a fucking clue.

Oh, thanks for the invite, but I won’t intrude.’ She pointed to a table right over the other side of the restaurant.

His already waning optimism sunk.

She smiled, but it was forced. ‘I’ll make myself comfy over there. And please don’t bother yourself with bringing it to me, just get the waiter to deliver it.’ She laughed a little uncomfortably as she looked towards the man that had mopped up her cocktail. ‘We must let him do his job. He clearly takes it very seriously.’

Blake nodded, his voice evading him. Women rarely said no to his charms. Yet the one he wanted most was knocking him back. She was going to walk away and he might never see her again. He almost fell to his knees. This beautiful woman, with flawless olive skin, long silky dark hair and piercing green eyes that dazzled like jewels upon her delicate face was a work of art—an exquisite painting but yet somehow broken beneath the exterior. A piece of art he had to make his own.

Although she was brushing him off, he intuitively knew there was a hidden meaning for her change of heart, a fear in her that he too processed. He craved to whisk her away to his suite to make her feel safe and loved, cherished and protected, while he bestowed pleasures upon her that a woman of her calibre deserved. His whole mind, body, heart and soul ached for intimacy with her, to be at one with her. He wanted to know how she tasted, how her skin would respond beneath his touch and how she sounded when she tumbled over the edge of ecstasy in rapture.

Then something stirred deep within him and took over his ability to think rationally.

He had to do something, anything, to leave a lingering within her so tantalising she went home thinking of him, wanting him, desiring him and craving him. Because he knew, if she walked away forever, he would regret it for the rest of his life.

It was now or never.

The Billionaire Cattle Baron will release 4 September 2018. 

Preorder now: iBooks, Booktopia, Nook, Kobo, Google, Amazon AU, Amazon UK, Amazon US

Friday Five: Eva Scott

1523Author: Eva Scott
First published with Escape: 2004 – The Last Gladiatrix
Favourite romance trope: Second chance love
Ideal hero (in three words): Seasoned, magnetic, strong
Ideal heroine (in three words): Independent, curious, vulnerable
Latest book: Red Dust Runaway

What began your romance writing career? Why do you write romance?

During my teenage years, I spent hours scouring the second-hand bookshops for romance novels with my mother. We had our favourites and it was like a treasure hunt for something we hadn’t read yet. When I decided to try my hand at writing a novel it was a no-brainer to start with romance. Romance readers are more discerning than people give them credit for and if you can please them you’re on your way to becoming a good writer.

What was the best writing advice you ever received?

Writing is a discipline. Sit down and write. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad, but if you don’t write its merely a daydream.

How did your latest book come to life? What was your eureka moment?

The first piece of inspiration for Red Dust Runaway came from a Vogue Australia photo shoot in the Outback. Beautiful images of such a timeless land.

My mother, who was battling cancer at the time, put me on to the Trivago Man. She was so sick that the fact she called me to tell me about this incredibly delicious man on the telly piqued my interest. He formed the inspiration for my hero, Kit.

Eva Scott - Christian Goran Trivago

I saw One Direction’s Royal Variety performance. Those poor boys looked exhausted, as if someone had propped them up with sticks and told them to sing (which they probably had). They seemed to have everything they’d ever dreamed of, but no life of their own.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/familiar? Do you have one already?

An otter! I can connect with the inquisitive, playful and determined nature of an otter.


As for pets, I have an old cocker spaniel named Taj, after the Australian surfer. When he was younger he liked to jump on a surf board but now he’s quite blind and finds it a little overwhelming. He’s been my constant companion for 12 years. He’s put up with all sorts of adventures and nonsense from me. He’s been the dog of a lifetime. When he goes out with my husband and son, it’s him I miss following me around the house!

Eva Scott -Taj 2017

If you could cast anyone for the movie/stage adaption of your book and characters, who would they be?

If Red Dust Runaway was to be adapted for the screen I’d love Emma Stone to play the part of Iris, our very talented but sheltered heroine who’s on a journey of self-discovery.

Eva Scott - Emma Stone

For the hero, Kit, I want Christian Goran. Of course. Happy to give him his big break.

trivago Australia 2014 TV commercial (LINK to Youtube vid)

31475One jaded rock star. One sheltered classical musician. One hell of a red dust road trip…

Sheltered, coddled, gifted, Iris longs for something more than practice and performing. She wants to rebel, break the rules, have a hot affair, fall in love — to really live before happily committing to her classical music bubble. But her strict parents and her stricter schedule keep her confined to her gilded cage, even as she yearns desperately to be free.

Super star, successful, and sick of all of it, Kit just wants to stop. Stop the touring and the recording and the media and the bickering with his band mates. After two years on the road, he’s coming apart at the seams. He has to slow down, calm down, clear his head — to really think before recommitting to his rock star lifestyle. But his manager and the tour schedule keep him locked to his super star lifestyle, even as he rages against the confinement.

A chance encounter in a car park leads to a snap decision and an enormous risk: suddenly Kit and Iris are on an extraordinary road trip together across Australia, making their own choices, breaking all the rules. But reality is chasing them more quickly than they can know, and soon Kit and Iris will have to decide whether they are just running away — or running away together.


Feed Your Reader: Rural Suspense and a Trope Bundle

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Still waters run deep in Wongan Creek…

When spray drift ruins his crop and throws his ability to hold on to the family farm into question, Harley Baker wants to confront his neighbour and shout his rage and worry to the sky. But arguments are tricky when the woman whose herbicides killed his crop is also the woman he’s loved his whole life.

Tameka Chalmers knows that her father’s farming methods are outdated, inefficient, and even dangerous, so when Harley charges her with the loss of his livelihood, she can only accept the blame. There’s so much she would like to do differently, but her father’s rule is absolute and if she wants to keep working the farm she loves, she must do as she’s told.

But the simple action of speaking with Harley, the man she wants but can never have, starts an unexpected chain reaction of events that throw everything she’s ever known into question: her past, her family, her life. Dark secrets come to light and when Tameka is injured in a house fire, she and Harley have one small chance to seize a lifetime of happiness, if only they are able to rise from the ashes and claim it.

“An intriguing romantic suspense, Secrets at Wongan Creek is one I highly recommend.” – Brenda, Goodreads

“It’s easy to get lost in Juanita Kees’s take on the Australian rural communities.” – Dísir, Goodreads

“I truly enjoyed the characters, the Australian setting and the author’s writing.” – Jo Ann, Goodreads

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Three full-length novels about those situations where you find yourself up close and personal…

What Love Sounds Like – Alissa Callen

Outback speech pathologist, Mia Windsor, believes her morning from hell is over. Then city-boy Kade Reid strides into her office and announces he and his wide-eyed niece are her new clients.

For Kade Reid, money is as important as breathing. But when he becomes an instant father to four-year-old Tilly, he escapes to the only place he was allowed to be a child…the family property of Berrilea.

As Mia and Kade work together to help Tilly overcome her speech delay, can they face their fears in order to give Tilly the family she so desperately needs?

Getting Real – Ainslie Paton

Rielle Mainline is a rock star with a hardcore image, a troubled heart, and a tour to front with her band, Ice Queen. She should be ecstatic. But the tour includes Sydney and Rielle has spent years running away from that city.

Jake Reed knows Rielle’s reputation as a prize bitch will make being Ice Queen’s tour manager a challenge, but Jake’s confident he can handle her — until he meets her. Sparks fly, tempers flare, and two loners are about to discover that being alone isn’t the same as being lonely.

Loving The Prince – Nicole Murphy

Cassandra Wiltmore is the heir to the throne of Rica, but it’s unlikely she’ll be stepping up any time soon. So she spends her days managing and building the Rican Balcite Mining Company. When an unwelcome bid for the mining license is announced, and threats and thefts ensue, Cassandra is forced to hire a new protector. If only the best man for the job wasn’t also the best-looking man she’s ever seen.

Kernan Radaton has ambition, and as protector to Cassandra Wiltmore, he’s well placed to reach his goals. If only his new all-business boss didn’t make him think only of pleasure. Now is not the time for a distraction, but once everything is safe again, Kernan has new goals — ones that involve a lot of time spent getting to know his boss on a very personal level.

Available Now!