WIP Me Inspired – Juanita Kees

You met him in Fly Away Peta. He starts a murder investigation in Under the Hood. Will Detective Mark Johnson have his chance at happiness and what’s next for the bad guys? Find out in Under Cover of Dark.

The journey to Under Cover of Dark started with a story I wrote at the tender age of sixteen. Full of teenage angst, I penned the story of Peta, a girl who loses her first love because of the age difference between them, family pressure and the trials of growing up.

Twenty years later, I retrieved the faded yellow notebook from my treasure chest and transferred it to a word document. The title remained the same—Fly Away Peta—but the story changed. I had grown up and Peta had too.

The story became a romantic suspense set in a small town in Western Australia, still with the first love theme but it built the foundation for a series called The Tag Raiders based on drug dealers, nightclubs, and drug and gang related crime.

And so, Under the Hood was born, featuring a teenage gang recruited to sell and deliver drugs for the kingpins. Lost children, street kids, graffiti artists, runaways with no-one to care for them and fighting for their lives—soft targets for the bad guys.

I got to thinking about teenage rehabilitation centres, a place where these troubled kids could go and be safe, off the streets and out of harm’s way. What if there was one woman committed to the cause, who would go out of her way to save these children before their crimes destroyed their lives. What if there was a man willing to help her in every way he could, and what if their cause brought them together and they fell in love, not only with each other but with the family they create with the Tag Raiders.

Then there’s the man whose been there since the beginning—Peta’s brother, Detective Mark Johnson. The man committed to hunting down the kingpins behind the Tag Raiders and taking them off the streets for good in Under Cover of Dark.


Under Cover of Dark
Juanita Kees

New Australian romantic suspense follows Under the Hood, about a Western Australian drug gang, the teenagers they recruit, and the cop who wants to bring them down.

When Mark Johnson delves deeper into his investigation into the murder of Tiny Watts, and the involvement of a teenage gang with sleazy lawyer Gino Bennetti and his drug world ties, the last thing he expects is to be interviewing Gino’s widow, a woman in a world of trouble.

When her husband is shot and killed, it is both a relief and a disaster. Lily has her son to protect and secrets that run deeper than the scars she bears. Mark Johnson is the last person she wants uncovering those secrets, especially the truth about her son Luke’s involvement in Tiny Watts’s murder.

As the investigation continues and Lily’s wounds begin to heal, she finds the detective easy to trust and the friendship between them blossoms into more. But the secret Lily holds places everyone in very real danger. When it is finally revealed, Lily will lose everything: her son, the man she’s grown to love, her freedom and her life.



About the Author:
2014 RWA RUBY Award finalist, Juanita Kees graduated from the Australian College QED, Bondi with a diploma in Proofreading, Editing and Publishing, and achieved her dream of becoming a published author in 2012 with the release of her debut romantic suspense, Fly Away Peta. Under the Hood followed in 2013 as one of the first releases from Harlequin’s digital pioneer, Escape Publishing. She escapes the real world to write stories starring spirited heroines who give the hero a run for his money before giving in. Juanita loves to hear from fans and would love for you to enjoy her writing journey with her.



Find Juanita online:
Fresh Fiction
Kees2Create Writing, Editing and Proofreading
Library Thing
Romance Book Paradise
Romance Wiki
The Other Side



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4 Comments on WIP ME INSPIRED: Juanita Kees

  1. thanks for having me on AusRom Today 😀

  2. Great post Juanita. All the best with Under Cover of Dark. I really like the sound of Detective Mark Johnson 🙂

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