It’s so exciting to be part of the launch celebrations for Don’t Mean a Thing by Renee Conoulty as I’ve been following Renee since I began blogging and now she’s a published author.
Not only do I have a guest post from Renee and an extract from Don’t Mean a Thing, but there’s a chance for you to enter to win a copy of Don’t Mean a Thing at the bottom of this blog post.
Don’t Mean a Thing
What if you finally took the lead, but life refused to follow?
Thirty-year-old introvert, Macie Harman, has finally found a career she is passionate about, and after months of training, she’s begun her new job in the Royal Australian Air Force. Leaving behind her family, friends, and the life she knew, Macie has travelled to the other side of the country where the only person she knows is Rachael, the extroverted girl she went through basic training with. Everywhere Macie goes, Rachael is there too.
While looking for a way to widen her circle of friends in her new town, Macie discovers a local swing dancing class. The jazz music captures her heart, and Matt, the sexy swing dancer, sweeps her off her feet. Matt has claimed the tropical Northern Territory as home and has no plans to leave. He loves his teaching career with its predictable routine and has a great bunch of friends. All he wants now is the right girl to make his house a home.
Military life is tougher than Macie expected, and not everyone can deal with the inevitable separations and last minute changes. Is this exciting but unpredictable life something Macie wants to fight for, or could she give it up and put down roots with Matt?
An Extract From Don’t Mean A thing
I stared out my window, trying to take it all in. Glimpses of a golf course. A bridge. Palm trees. Two rockets jutting up from the ground. Before I knew it, the taxi pulled into a parking space before the boom gate.
“You’ll have to walk from here, love. No taxis on the base.”
“That’s okay, I’ve got a lift.” I spotted Rachael waving from the car next to us. I passed him the military issued cab charge card and transferred my luggage into Rachael’s boot.
“Macie!” Rachael squealed, throwing her arms around me. Her blonde mane whipped into my face.“I hope you get a room in my block. Let’s go get your key.”
She shoved me towards the passenger side. I clambered in, pulling a strand of hair from my mouth. After presenting our ID cards to the security officer, Rachael drove on. The boom gate dropped behind us, closing off the civilian world.
Here we were, the Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin, in the tropical Top End of the Northern Territory of Australia.
Rachael pulled up outside an older building.
“Here’s admin,” she said.
“Thanks. I’ll be back in a minute or two.”
“Don’t be silly. I’ll come with you and make sure you get a good room.”
Rachael trailed into the office behind me.
“Hello. Can I help you?” The receptionist greeted.
“Yes, please. I’m ACW Macie Harman. I’m posting in today, and I need to organise my accommodation and all the other things on this list.” I unfolded the joining instructions.
“Welcome to Darwin.” She replied with a smile. She wasn’t wearing a uniform. I was surprised that not everyone who worked on the base was military.
“Can Macie have the spare room in building twenty-nine?” Rachael asked.
The Top End
A Guest Post by Renee Conoulty
Most people know that the seasons in Australia and the rest of the Southern Hemisphere are the opposite to the Northern Hemisphere. While most people associate Christmas with cold snowy weather – we turn on the air-conditioning so that we can cope with wearing Santa hats while unwrapping our presents. My kids are even more confused, because we didn’t even have Summer in Darwin. Now that we’ve moved to New South Wales, I’ve had to explain the four seasons to them. In the Top End, we only had two seasons – the dry season and the wet season (also known as the hot season and the sweaty season). The temperature is fairly consistent all year round – mid 30s (Celcius) but the humidity increases dramatically in the wet season along with the thunderstorms and risk of cyclones.
I remember the first time I stepped out of a plane and walked across the tarmac in the tropical north of Australia. I was 17 and had flown from Ballarat, Victoria to Cairns in North Queensland to spend ten days up in the rainforest assisting a scientific research team. I remember feeling like I’d stepped into the butterfly enclosure at the Melbourne zoo. The humidity wrapped around me and I struggled to breathe. And that was in July.
Nothing could prepare me for the build up and the following wet season in Darwin. They call it troppo season for a reason. It sends you slightly mad. Unless you are sitting quietly in an air-conditioned room, you’re sweating.
Whenever I hung the washing on the line (in the morning so I could bring it in before the afternoon storm), I did so in my pyjamas. I didn’t want to soil another outfit and create more laundry. One load of washing would have me pouring with sweat and desperate for a shower.
Walking the kids from the school carpark to their classroom would send beads of sweat trickling down my forehead. We lived walking distance from the school, but I couldn’t comprehend walking in the wet season.
When I actually attempted physical exertion, I discovered shin sweat. Did you know that could even happen?
I also discovered that sweating bucket-loads unfortunately doesn’t burn calories.
About Renee Conoulty
Renee Conoulty is an Australian Air Force wife and mother of two. Her debut chick lit novel, Don’t Mean a Thing, is now available through Kindred Ink Press.
When she’s not devouring books, reviewing and blogging on HeySaidRenee, or writing her own stories, Renee can be found swing dancing. Or possibly napping. She tweets about reading and reviewing via HeySaidRenee and about writing, military life and dancing via ReneeConoulty, but hasn’t created a handle for nap talk yet.
Click here for your chance to enter to win one of three e-copies of Don’t Mean a Thing.