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Guest blogger: Juanita Kees

1 October 2017

An unlikely hero

A question authors are often asked is: ‘Where do you get your inspiration?’ Always a tough one to answer, because inspiration may take many forms. But with Secrets at Wongan Creek it was a relatively easy task. I had a plot and guidelines to work from, all I needed was a muse.

The muse arrived in the form of an unlikely hero named Loki, the Catahoula Leopard Dog. Loki exists. Except he’s a ‘she’ in real life, aka Alaska, my grand-fur-baby. I knew the moment Alaska came into our lives that she’d be trouble. In a good way. I fell in love with her eyes first and then with her mischievous nature.

Catahoulas are working dogs, great for herding and driving, so the perfect choice of dog for our hero farmer, Harley Baker, right? They need a lot of space, plenty of exercise and toys to keep them interested. Alaska quickly turned the backyard into a war zone. The garden didn’t fare well at all. In the process of re-landscaping, Alaska thought she’d help by ‘rounding up’ all the plants she could find and turning the muddy lawn area into her own personal race track.

Frustrated after hours of gardening and repairing the damage one day, I called her to heel sternly when she chewed up the newly planted palm tree. To everyone’s surprise (mine most of all), she obeyed, came to heel and stayed, looking very sorry for herself. One apologetic look from those baby blues and all was forgiven. And so, the character of Loki was born, his mission to create conflict between the hero and heroine by chasing birds and burying his rope amongst her newly planted barley rows.

But Harley’s dog plays an even more important and special role in Secrets at Wongan Creek. If it wasn’t for Loki, our hero might not have known Tameka was in trouble, until it was too late. When a fire consumes the Chalmers homestead, Loki alerts Harley to the danger and our heroes race against time and building flames to save Tameka’s life.

Dogs really are man’s best friend. History books are full of stories about animals rescuing people, so it’s no wonder they inspire true heroes in fiction too. I hope you fall in love with Loki the way I did with Alaska. Here she is with my handsome son (I’m a little biased, LOL), a match made in heaven. Secrets at Wongan Creek is book two in the Wongan Creek series, available in digital first here or in large print (16pt) from Read How You Want.

Happy reading 😊

Juanita Kees escapes the real world to write stories starring spirited heroines who give the hero a run for his money before giving in. When she’s not writing, Juanita is mother to three boys and a Daschund named Sam, and has a passion for fast cars and country living.

You can find Juanita here: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Secrets at Wongan Creek

Still waters run deep in Wongan Creek …

When spray drift ruins his crop and throws his ability to hold on to the family farm in 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.



  1. Sandy permalink
    4 October 2017 9:46 am

    Sounds so good, Juanita, I just had to buy it. Love a good love story with suspense and a great dog is a bonus.

    • 12 October 2017 11:35 am

      Thank you so much, Sandy 🙂 A lovely compliment from you. I hope you enjoyed the story.

  2. 1 October 2017 11:31 am

    Hi Juanita

    Oh I loved this book and Loki dogs are so good and I love them in stories we have a Maremma Casper big, cute and adorable and very protective to the ones he loves.

    Have Fun


    • 3 October 2017 11:12 am

      Hi Helen, your dog sounds adorable. Dogs can make so much difference in one’s life, the same way books can. So happy you enjoyed Secrets at Wongan Creek and Loki’s hero role 🙂

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