Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share juicy snippets from upcoming and past releases, and works-in-progress.
Those of you who are regular readers of the blog will know that Jim and I recently had some fun tooling around the outback (you can find more info and lots of photos on the blog post This Writing Life: An Outback Queensland Adventure).
One of the things I noticed about Queensland’s western downs was how many windmills there were, and how important they still are in maintaining water supplies to stock and rural properties. There are reasons for that – they’re reliable, efficient, relatively cheap and low maintenance. The big 35-foot Comet windmill at Hughenden, which is now a tourist attraction but was originally at Wirilla Station, could pump a million litres of water a day and supplied water for stock via bore drains that stretched up to 45 kilometres long. They’re pretty impressive figures.
Every windmill reminded me of Danny from Santa and the Saddler, and how much he’d love seeing them, especially the monster sized ones. For those of you who haven’t read this story, Danny is a metal fabricator and windmill engineer, and he’s passionate and proud of what he produces. And it’s kinda sexy. Well, I think it is. But it’s nice when you come across someone who’s enthusiastic about what they do and believe in it.
Anyway, here’s a little taste of Danny and Beth from Santa and the Saddler. Make sure you read to the end because there could be a GIVEAWAY!
‘So this is your grandfather’s saddlery,’ he said.
‘Yes. And Grandma’s. They own it jointly.’
‘But you’re English?’
‘Actually, I was born in Australia. In Adelaide, but my dad’s a Brit so I’m both.’
Danny blinked. ‘Your accent’s from your dad?’
She looked up, laughing softly. ‘No. We moved to England when I was five. I did all my schooling there, and my apprenticeship. I only moved back to Australia sixteen months ago, when Mum decided to come back. What about you? I’m betting a born and bred Levenham local. In fact, I bet you can trace your ancestors back to settlement. Am I right?’
‘Like you I got an apprenticeship. Metal fabrication.’ He shrugged. ‘Been in the same job since. The boss is decent bloke, the money isn’t too bad, and I like what I do.’
‘And what’s that? What you do, I mean.’
‘I build windmills. You know, that pump water. Other stuff too, but mainly that.’
She set down her awl and flexed her hands as she regarded him with interest. ‘Do farmers still use those?’
The question didn’t surprise Danny. A lot of people were sceptical when they heard about Levenham Windmills.
‘Yep, and with good reason. Windmills are cheap and last forever — well, not forever, but a long time. Plus they pump day and night whenever there’s wind, and with a well-engineered mill it doesn’t take much of that for it to work. There are no power bills, bugger-all maintenance — with ours at least, can’t speak for our dodgy opposition — and you can install them most places. Hard for stock to damage them too.’
‘You sound proud.’
He liked the smile in her voice, the approval, and his chest swelled with it. ‘I suppose I am.’
Sigh. I so love Danny as a hero. I’m currently writing the next Levenham Love Story which features Danny’s brother Nick and having a brilliant time. When a Burroughs boy falls in love, he goes all in and will do anything to take care of his girl, even if he ends up looking like a twit to do so.
But enough of that. I’ll be sharing more about that next story – Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy – when it’s done, which will hopefully be soon.
Now, as mentioned in the intro, we have a…
This one’s easy-peasy too. Simply share your dream job and you’ll go into a random draw to win a print copy of Santa and the Saddler.
I’m opening this internationally too. So wherever you are in the world, you could win.
Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday AEST, 28th April 2017. Open internationally. Rah!
If you’d like to learn more about Santa and the Saddler, including the story behind the book, reviews and more, please visit its book page on this website.