• Blog

    Musical Monday with Renee Conoulty, author of Don’t Mean a Thing


    Don't Mean a Thing Red Shoe Promo
    The return of Musical Monday to the Blog
    I’ve been running this blog for over four years now and for a long time #MusicalMondy was a staple but I let it slide for a while. I missed it. So it’s back as a regular feature and we’re kicking it off with Aussie author Renee Conoulty.

    Renee Conouty – on music and swing dancing this Musical Monday
    Renee ConoultyA book with a couple swing dancing on the cover is bound to be full of music. How can you dance if there’s no music? I wanted to include musical references in

    my story but I had to do it carefully because of copyright issues. As much as I wanted to have my characters sing along to the music or reference the lyrics of the song, I couldn’t quote the songs directly without paying royalties and as a debut author, that was out of my budget. I did manage to mention seven different songs though.

    Song titles aren’t copyright, so I used one for my title “Don’t Mean a Thing” and this song also plays during the final scene.

    The drummer set the tempo for the next song, and the band began to play an instrumental version of It Don’t Mean a Thing If It ‘Ain’t Got That Swing.
    “Jam circle,” Eddie called.
    The dancers spread out around the edge of the dance floor and began clapping, emphasising the even beats of the snare drum.

    I referred to the title of a song in this scene where the hero, Matt, is teaching the heroine, Macie, how to dance.

    Matt started by my side then brought me around in front of him. He led me backwards as he took two steps towards me, thrusting his chin at me twice like an awkward chicken. Then he did it all again.
    “What on earth were you doing with your head? I thought you were about to attack me!”
    “I was pecking. That move’s called the peck.”
    “Well, I’m not doing that ridiculous chin thing.”
    “It’s not ridiculous. That’s one of Frankie’s favourite moves.”
    “Well, Frankie is a dork. I want to show everyone how cool swing is, not give them something else to laugh about.”
    “Frankie is not a dork. That’s practically sacrilegious, you can’t talk about Frankie Manning like that. But yeah, I get your point. Okay. No pecks at the Airman’s Ball, but next time we dance to Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens at the Railway, you gotta peck with me.”
    “Deal.” I crossed my fingers behind my back. There was no way I was ever going to peck.

    Here’s a reference to a swing song called Shiny Stockings.

    Even with the air-con running, my legs glistened with perspiration as if I were wearing those shiny stockings Ella was singing about.
    They weren’t all vintage songs. Here’s a song that played at the Airman’s Ball.
    As my gaze whizzed around the room—I really needed to get better at spotting—I noticed Jeremy over talking to the MC. What he was up to became apparent when Christina Aguilera began singing Candyman.
    I’d never noticed how fast that song was until I was dancing in three-inch heels on a slippery parquetry floor.

    And a more abstract song reference. Beyond the Sea plays during the closing credits of Finding Nemo.

    The music seemed somewhat familiar. I’d heard this song in a movie. But what movie? Images of a little animated orange fish and a deep blue sea popped into my head. The closing credits of Finding Nemo. How could I forget Nemo?
    Another animated movie song reference.
    There was something catchy about swing music. I loved it. Some of the songs on Wednesday night I’d recognised from movie soundtracks. When the band broke out with “The Bear Necessities” from The Jungle Book, I couldn’t hold back my grin.

    They weren’t all swing songs, though. This one’s from my favourite movie.

    My imagination ran away with me, re-enacting the final dance scene from Dirty Dancing with Matt and me in the starring roles.
    “Do you think you could teach me one of those fancy moves where you throw me around?” I imagined Matt lifting me overhead, arms outstretched, like I was flying.
    “We can definitely work towards that, but we have to get the basics down first. And that’s not the sort of thing you can do on a social dance floor. It’s more of a performance thing.”
    I took another sip of my tea, smiling to myself as I’ve had the time of my life continued playing in my mind.

    And to keep your toes tapping here’s the playlist my publisher, Kindred Ink Press, put together for Don’t Mean a Thing.


    2/19/2017 03:09:13 pm

    Thanks for inviting me to your blog. I hope the music gets your toes tapping.

  • Blog

    Don’t Mean a Thing Blog Tour with Renee Connoulty


    Don't Mean A Thing Blog Tour 2016 Banner
    Don't Mean a Thing - Renee Conoulty - CoverRenee is a debut Australian author who I was lucky enough to meet in person at the Romance Writers of Australia Conference this year. I hope you enjoy her novel – Don’t Mean a Thing.

    Title: Don’t Mean a Thing
    Author: Renee Conoulty
    Series: Got That Swing #1
    Release Date: November 2, 2016
    Genres: Chick Lit, Romantic Comedy, Women’s Fiction
    Publisher: Kindred Ink Press




    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?

    Renee Conoulty
    Author Biography

    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 @HeySaidRenee and about writing, military life and dancing @ReneeConoulty, but hasn’t created a handle for nap talk yet.

    Sign up for Renee’s monthly newsletter for her highlights on blogging, reading, writing and life. http://eepurl.com/bPay5r

    Book Links

    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32219339-don-t-mean-a-thing
    Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M4RFBS6/
    Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M4RFBS6/
    Amazon AUS: https://www.amazon.com.au/d/B01M4RFBS6/
    iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1171945608
    Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dont-mean-a-thing-renee-conoulty/1125165298?ean=2940157140847
    Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/don-t-mean-a-thing
    Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/678344

    Social Networking Links
    Website: http://heysaidrenee.blogspot.com.au/
    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14782154.Renee_Conoulty
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReneeConoultyAuthor/
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/reneeconoulty
    Amazon Author: https://www.amazon.com/Renee-Conoulty/e/B01M2CTMXS/
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