Meet – Tom.

I’m Tom Ellis, the younger brother in ‘Not My Brother’s Keeper.’ I’m not the hero, I’m just the one that was left behind when the brown stuff hit the fan.

When I was growing up I idolised my brother. I didn’t just want to be like him, I wanted to be him. He was the confident one, the one that always fell on his feet while I was the one that existed in his shadow. As I got older, I started to see him for the person he had become. He wanted to enjoy life, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Who doesn’t? The trouble was that Robert didn’t really care about how his actions effected those around him.

If I’m honest, I surprised when he did a runner after he found out that Michelle was pregnant but I was disappointed. We all were. I think that was when I finally accepted that he wasn’t the person that I had looked up to for so long.

But his loss was my gain and because he was the selfish sod that he was, I was able to have a life that I loved.  Of course I asked myself why Michelle chose to be with me. Was it because I looked so much like Robert? When we were together, did she pretend that she was still with him? In the end, I just had to trust that what I felt and what Michelle said that she felt was real. I had to believe her when she told me that she loved me.

That was all put to the test the night that I saw Robert in a car outside our parents house. It had been sixteen years so why had he come back now? What did he want?

Did I want to know?

You can find out what he wants in,

 Not My Brother’s Keeper




Meet – Michelle

Hello, my name is Michelle Ellis (Jenkins as was) and I am the meat in the Ellis brothers sandwich.

I am a mum, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a nurse. I am also just a person who made a bad decision.

I sometimes wish that Robert hadn’t been in the pub the night that I met up with Tom again. If he hadn’t come up and spoken to me, if I hadn’t gone off with him leaving Tom in our wake, if I’d not…. What does it matter? I did. And the truth is that if I hadn’t done those things, there’d have been no Simon and I wouldn’t be without him for the world. I wouldn’t be without any of them.

I was terrified when Robert came back. What did he want? Why now? He never said anything, but secretly I think that Tom was terrified too. We were terrified for very different reasons. He thought he might lose his wife and I feared I would lose my son.

Not My Brother’s Keeper




Summer holiday (part 1)

I’ve had a week away from the day job and its passed in a flash. I’m sure that the next one will pass even quicker and I’ll be heading back up the hill before I know it but that’s just the way these things go.

I’ve spent the week felling trees, laying paths, generally tidying the back garden and getting to know the new furry member. I love gardening and getting to know Rocko has been a joy so its been a good week. There’s still a long way to go on both fronts. Monday was especially good because I popped into the library and came across these on the shelf.

A quick look inside showed that they have both been out more than once and I felt ridiculously happy. People are reading what I wrote. The third book wasn’t there so either it was out or they don’t have a copy. Maybe I’ll drop them one off.

The only fly in the ointment this week has been writing. I planed on doing more. I wanted my current WIP to be at 20,000 words by the end of next week. Well its going to be a long way shy. Yesterday I struggled with it and just put it away. I was about an inch and a half away from giving up and telling the editor that I can’t do it. Luckily I feel a lot better about it this morning so we’ll see how close I can get.




Take-over Friday. Introducing Rocko

Hello everyone,  I am very pleased to be the first ‘guest’ on Colette’s (aka my human mum) ‘Take-over Friday slot.

My name is Rocko and I am the furry member of the McCormick family.


According to my paperwork I am sable coloured with a white chest and I also have white toes. Today is my first week anniversary being in this family and so far so good.

I’ve got to be honest, they are going to tale a bit of training but I’ll give it a go because they’re trying their best – bless ’em. They keep calling me Zaccie which isn’t my name so I don’t answer to it but I always come when the shout ‘Rocko’ because there might be food on th ego. I am very fond of food. I also like playing and this is my playing with my rubber chicken.


I haven’t played with the chicken for a day or two because my new dad hid it  – just because I’d played fetch with it for an hour and a half. What’s the problem with that? The humans have no stamina. I could play fetch all day. Apparently I am very good at fetch because I actually let go of whatever they throw so that they can throw it again. There has been talk of buying me a frisbee. I think I would love a frisbee because I love to run and jump.

Countryside is new to me because I used to live in a big town before but I like the new walks that I go on. I have seen horses, cows, sheep and even some rabbits. I am told that after today (if I am good) I will be able to go in the river and I like the sound of that. Apparently Zac and Zoe loved to be in the river. They lived here before me but have gone over the rainbow bridge now – wherever that is.

Mum made me an instagram page so that I can share my adventures with anyone who wants to know about them.

Twice blessed.

This has been one of those weeks that will stay with me forever but it won’t be one that I’ll care to recall on a regular basis. We had to say goodbye to this little guy on Tuesday and it broke my heart.




My only consolation is that he’s at peace now, though there probably isn’t a pheasant in the after-life that is now safe from being chased. He never actually got close to catching one but they were fun to chase.

I hope he’s met up with this lovely lady who is Zoe.


It looks like she’s wet in this photo so I expect she’s just got out of the river. Zac loved the river too, in fact he was in there last Saturday  which was his last long walk, so they have things in common.  She could be quite naughty sometimes so I hope she’s not teaching him bad habits.

I have often thought that the pair of them would have made beautiful babies. She wasn’t keen on ‘boy’ dogs  but I’m sure he could have charmed her because the only dogs that didn’t like him were Westies. I have been blessed to spend time with both of them.

More than one person has mentioned the rainbow bridge to me this week and no matter who is waiting for me on the other side of it, I hope that these two are romping towards me.

Stonehenge and Tess – hand in hand

With the summer solstice this week (how can it be the longest day already?) I started to think about this place. I’ve never seen it in the flesh (as it were) but I’ve always thought that there is something spiritual about it. The words solstice and Stonehenge (other stone circles are available) sort of go hand in hand.

So I’m thinking Stonehenge and my next thought is Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Those of you that have read it will know why and if you haven’t read it – why haven’t you? I’ve said it many times before that Tess… is my favourite book EVER.

So, I got to thinking, do you have a favourite book and is there anything that instantly brings it to mind?

stonehenge england
Photo by John Nail on

Writers Blog?

I know you shouldn’t dwell on the past but I struggle with that sometimes and this week is one of those times. You see, six years ago today it was 16th June, it was a Sunday, it was Father’s Day…. and I woke up in the ICU at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

My kidneys had failed a fortnight earlier and I’d been in hospital for that but had been discharged the Wednesday before. At about 4.30 on Saturday morning when I was coughing up water and unable to breathe and ambulance had been called and I’d been blue lighted back to hospital. When two rounds of dialysis within 9 hours (they last 4 hours) had done nothing to help anything I was transferred upstairs to the ICU and I woke up there 6 years ago today. It was a very scary time.

Anyway, enough of that, it’s 6 years on and life is very different. Today I woke up in my own bed (at stupid o’clock I might add) and I’ll be cooking a Father’s Day lunch for my family. DSCF1968I’ll also hopefully take the dog for a walk, I say hopefully because he’s a bit under the weather and might not fancy it, have a bubble bath and I might even have a bottle of wine somewhere with my name on it. It’ll be a good day.

I might even find time to do some writing so in answer to the question, yes it is a writer’s blog.

PS I should point out that that is not a recent picture of said dog it’s just one of my favourites. He’s an old bloke now with a very grey muzzle.

Exciting times

With Not My Brother’s Keeper out there in the big wide world and An Uncomplicated Man (out December 5th 2019) still the editors problem, I get to work on my next project. It has the working title of LFA and holds a very special place in my heart. If it ever gets to be published, during the blog tour I will reveal its link to what happened at the World Trade Centre on that dark day in 2001.

I like a new project, they are exciting times as new characters take shape in your head. In the first version my heroine, for want of a better word, was simpering, in the second one she had a bit of the green eye monster about her and now in the third incarnation she’s got a chip on her shoulder. I think she’ll probably end up being a bit of all three.

Once I know her better she’s going to tell me her story and I will write it. Unlike my day job, when it comes to writing I’m not much of a planner. All ideas are fluid and that’s part of the excitement.

My heroine and I are going to send a bit of time together this afternoon.

I wonder of I could ask a favour please. I have a feeling that I am talking to myself and we all know what that’s the first sign of. If there is anyone out there, leave a message – even one word will do.

The Week That Was

NMBKPublication day (yesterday) was a bit non-descript to be honest but that’s OK. There were no bells, there were no whistles, it just happened. I went to work and had  a normal Thursday For me the joy comes when someone enjoys a book so the best is yet to come. I’ve actually already had a couple of lovely comments so that makes all of the work worthwhile.

As for the other thing that I was doing this week. I started my new project but as always happens (for me anyway) at the start of  project, a couple of thousand words in and I started asking myself if my MC had the right voice. I’ll give that a bit of thought over the weekend.