Thanksgiving Day Scene from Someone To Come Back To – Book One In The Omega Security Series Where emotions run high

Thanksgiving dinner. Roasted turkey garnished with cranberries on a rustic style table decoraded with pumpkins, vegetables, pie, flowers and candles

John looked over at Maggie.  The closer they got to Richmond, the less she spoke and she hadn’t said anything at all in the last five minutes, which had to be some kind of record.  He reached over and placed his hand on her thigh.

“It’ll be fine, Maggie,” he assured her.

She looked over at him and smiled. “That’s easy for you to say, you know these people.”

John laughed. “Yes, I do and that’s all they are, people, not girlfriend-eating monsters.”

Maggie laughed. She supposed he was right but she still couldn’t help being nervous.

They passed the university and were soon driving through the affluent neighborhood of Westham.  A few minutes later John turned off the main road and drove along a secondary road from which he steered the truck onto a private driveway.  Rock was going nuts with excitement and pacing along the back seat.  Over the past few weeks Maggie had successfully trained him, with the liberal application of treats, to sit in the back.  She reached behind her to pet him, wishing she could share his excitement.

A few seconds later the picture perfect colonial style home of a successful upper middle class family came into view.  Maggie drew in a sharp breath.  John squeezed her hand and smiled.

“I promise I’ll be by your side the whole time.”

Maggie smiled weakly and was just about to reply when the air was filled with a high pitched squeal.

“Uncy Don! Uncy Don!  Wocky, wocky, I’m here.”

John burst out laughing. “They’ve sent their most evil emissary as the welcoming committee.”

Maggie looked out the window to see the most adorable two year old girl jumping up and down with excitement, her dark brown curls bouncing around her chubby cheeks and her caramel colored eyes gleaming with excitement.

She laughed. “She might not be able to swallow me whole but she looks like she could take a fair chunk out of me.”

John got out of the truck and scooped his niece up into the air, which resulted in more high-pitched squeals.  Maggie got out and released Rock before he combusted.  John had explained this is where he stayed when John was on deployment, so it was like his second home.  He had also warned her she could expect to take a back seat in his affections as the dog adored the three kids.  Judging from the way Rock was licking Sophie’s face, she didn’t doubt it.

“Uncle John!”

A young boy of about eight years of age burst from the house and hurled himself at John.  

John laughed. “Hey buddy,” he said as he reached down to ruffle his nephew’s hair.

A few seconds later an older boy appeared.  She knew from what John had told her this was Marc, his oldest nephew but she wasn’t prepared for how much he looked like his uncle.  John’s house was full of family photos of when he and his sister were children and it was as if Maggie was watching one of those photos come to life in front of her.  

Marc was a much cooler emotional prospect than his siblings and approached with his hands in his pockets and the practiced nonchalance of a pre-teen but his smile gave away his absolute delight at seeing his uncle John.   

John high-fived him as Maggie reached into the back of the truck for the flowers and post-dinner treats.  When she turned around, a carbon copy of John’s mother was making her way towards them, a huge smile on her face.  She and John took each other into a warm embrace and then she turned her attention to Maggie.

“Hi, I’m Juliette,” she said, her eyes brimming with kind curiosity and her hand extended.

Maggie shook her hand.

“Maggie,” she replied, “I’m pleased to meet you.”  

Juliette’s smile widened.

“Oh these are for you,” Maggie said as she placed the flowers in Juliette’s hands.

“Thank you,” Juliette said and then motioned towards the house, “come on let’s get inside and rescue George from the kitchen.”

The two year old cherub known as Sophie had both her arms encircled around John’s neck and his youngest nephew, Luc, held onto his hand.

Marc fell into step beside Maggie, his hands now safely back in his pockets and his eyes focused on the driveway.  Maggie could almost feel his shyness.

“Hi Maggie, I’m Marc,” he said in a quiet voice.

Maggie smiled over at him and said, “I’m very pleased to meet you Marc.”

Marc glanced sideways at her and smiled and again she was struck at just how like his uncle he was.

Sophie waved from John’s shoulder. “Hi Aggie, my name is Sophie, I’m peesed to meet you too.”

Everybody laughed as they went into the house and that set the tone for the whole day.  The next few hours were a happy mix of laughter, teasing and easy conversation.  Maggie was touched at the closeness between John and his sister and amazed at the loving relationship he had with the children.   

She hadn’t really thought about this side of him and she felt another piece of her heart slip away as she watched the easy affection he shared with them.  Juliette’s husband, George, seemed to pick up on her nerves and had gone out of his way to make her feel comfortable which had eased her stress levels considerably and she’d found herself enjoying the day much more than she’d thought possible.

They’d taken a break from eating after the turkey and Maggie, John, Rock and the kids had all gone for a walk but now everyone was seated back at the table as Juliette approached with a stunning looking cake.   

Maggie wondered why there were a number of candles on it and figured maybe it was George’s birthday.  Sophie bounced up and down with excitement on John’s knee and Maggie turned to laugh at him but the laugh died away in her throat as she noted his strained expression.  

“I’m not sure if John has told you Maggie,” Juliette spoke, “but today is also our mother’s birthday.”

Maggie looked at Juliette and glanced quickly at John, who was staring steadfastly at the cake.

She turned back to face Juliette.

“No, he didn’t mention it,” she said quietly, as she sat there very much wishing he had and wondering why the subject of his mother seemed to bring him so much pain.

Juliette half-smiled and looked at John but he didn’t meet her gaze either.

“I blow, I blow,” exclaimed Sophie as she ratcheted up the bounce factor on John’s knee.   

“No! Me, I want to blow,” shouted Luc.

Juliette laughed. “All the children have to blow out the candles together, you know that,” she admonished her youngest son as she set the cake down in front of John and Sophie.  Marc and Luc crowded around.

“Bonne anniversaire Maman,” Juliette said in a quiet voice that splintered slightly at the end.

The children blew out the candles all at the same time and their happy faces were in stark contrast to the tight jaw and unsmiling face of their uncle John.  Maggie continued to stare at him, willing him to look at her.  She reached under the table and searched for his hand.  She found it and laced her fingers between his.  He turned to look at her and the pain in his eyes washed over her like a shockwave.  

She wanted to take him into her arms and soothe it all away but even if she could get past Sophie, she knew it wasn’t going to happen.  He had been very careful all day not to be overly physical.  Maggie wasn’t sure why, maybe he was shy about showing his feelings in front of his sister or maybe he wanted to keep the heat factor under control.  Either way, Maggie found it a bit strange, as back in Virginia Beach he could never keep his hands off her for more than five minutes and it wasn’t always in a sexual way. Whether they were sitting on the couch or out on the deck he would have his arm thrown around her or take a hold of her hand.  It was one of the things she loved about him, amongst a long list of others.   

Love.  There was that word again and as she repeated it in her head, she knew she was totally in love with the man beside her.  Seeing the pain in his eyes had caused her heart to swell with a need to take his hurt and ease it, to make it her own and free him of it.  If that wasn’t love she didn’t know what was.

He turned to her and passed Sophie into her arms.

“I need the bathroom,” he told her in a tight voice as he walked past her in the direction of the hallway.   

Juliette handed George a knife and followed her brother.

Maggie looked questioningly at George as he sliced into the cake.   

His expression was one of grudging acceptance as he passed her a piece.

“Their mother’s death is still something that doesn’t sit easy between them,” he explained to Maggie.

Maggie was just about to ask how she died when Sophie dropped her slice of cake on to the floor and went into the kind of meltdown only a two year old was capable of.

Juliette came running back into the dining room when she heard the screams of her daughter and Maggie could see the tears hiding in her eyes.

“John has just taken Rock out for a few minutes,” she informed Maggie before she scooped Sophie up into her arms and tried to console her over the cake that was now splattered all over the floor.

“Okay,” Maggie nodded, wondering what it was about their mother’s death that caused such pain for the two of them.


John watched Rock disappear into the trees and let out a long breath.   

“Fuck,” he exclaimed and the words formed a small breath-cloud on the cool Virginia air.

He dragged his hands through his hair in a vain attempt to calm the emotions swirling through his body.  All the familiar ones were there, guilt, regret, sorrow and grief but they were overlaid with the ones he wasn’t so familiar with, happiness, contentment and joy.  He’d been having one of the best days of his life up until Juliette had produced that damn cake.  It wasn’t that he didn’t want to observe their mother’s birthday, he’d just have preferred it to be more of a private moment between him and his sister.  He’d known the minute he’d seen the candles that the cake wasn’t just dessert and he’d been completely unprepared for the juggernaut of emotions it had released.  And all that in front of Maggie.

Maggie.  Watching her interact with the kids and engage in easy conversation with Juliette and George had done something strange to his heart.  It was as if the bindings he hadn’t realized he’d wrapped it in had been loosened and he’d felt a happiness he barely remembered flowing through his veins.   

“Fuck,” he swore again as he started to climb back up the hill to the house.  He’d promised he would stay by her side throughout the day and here he was out in the woods caught up with the pain of his past when he should be focusing on the new-found happiness of his present.

He entered the front door only to find Maggie coming out of the downstairs bathroom.

“Hey,” she said, “you okay?”

He smiled at her and took her hand.

“Yeah, I’m fine, Rock just needed to go out” he told her, brushing off the concern in her eyes and continuing to walk in the direction of the dining room.

Maggie didn’t move, forcing him to stop.

“What’s up?” he asked

She took her hand from his and crossed her arms across her chest, protective and wary.

“I think we’ve just stepped into the ‘getting to know each other’ stage John but for that to happen, we’ve got to actually talk to each other.  You and I both know it wasn’t Rock who needed to go out, it was you and you can try to hide what’s really going on with you as much as you want but at some stage you’ve either got to open up to me and tell me what’s going on or maybe we’re best rethinking this whole thing before it goes any further.”

John was taken aback at the depth of emotion quivering in her voice and the hurt smoldering in her eyes.  He was so used to keeping his feelings to himself, to clinically compartmentalizing them and storing them away in a shiny safety deposit box in his mind, he hadn’t realized his actions had affected Maggie.  How could he?  He wasn’t used to having someone like Maggie in his life, someone who cared primarily about him and he most certainly wasn’t used to sharing his innermost thoughts and feelings.  He stood in front of her now, not sure what to do.

She walked past him.

“Think about it John,” she whispered, as he watched her disappear into the dining room.


To find out more about John & Maggie or to buy the book, click the image below.

Hot Cross Buns In January – Not Such A Good Idea

Just when you think you’ve successfully navigated the worst time of year for homesickness that bitch ups and hijacks you! And it was something so small, so insignificant that I didn’t see it coming…
One of my Dad’s favourite things to eat is a hot cross bun. He positively delights in putting those little beauties in the toaster until they’re lightly browned, then spreading some butter on them and sitting down and enjoying them with a cup of piping hot tea.
One of my son’s favourite things to eat is a hot cross bun… He needs it lightly toasted with plenty of butter on top and he will enjoy it with a glass of chocolate milk. Yesterday he lit up with excitement in the local supermarket when he spotted a packet of hot cross buns. Of course I bought them for him and smiled smugly to myself thinking – “breakfast is going to be easy tomorrow.” I had no idea what was going to be served along with it.

A Simple Hot Cross Bun – Seems There’s More To These Delicacies Than Meets The Eye!

This morning I watched as my boy smiled in delight as I presented him with his perfectly prepared hot cross bun. I listened as he “yummed” his way through it.  I grinned at him finding such happiness in something so simple and then I clutched my tummy as a bolt of homesickness shot through me so intense that it took my breath away.
I turned and fled to the kitchen before my son could see the change in my demeanour and dragged in a deep breath as a longing and yearning for home washed over me like a wave and, in that instant, threatened to drown me.
I held onto the counter top for strength as I wondered where the hell this had all come from.  I waited for it to pass but it didn’t.  Images of home assailed my senses instead.  The soft sand between my toes on Keel Beach, the smell of a turf fire, laughing with old friends and my Dad’s smile.  And that was it – I realised what had set me off – the inextricable link between generations epitomised by a simple smile.
My boy has his grandfather’s smile and this morning I’m sad that he hasn’t seen enough of that smile in his short life.
Don’t get me wrong  – I’m not belly-aching (even though I literally was!) I’m not complaining about my life – I’m incredibly blessed to have these opportunities to live in other countries and I’d be a miserable old bitch if I couldn’t explore this incredible world of ours.  However, there are times when you need home.  I need to go home.  I need my kids to spend time with their grandparents.  I need to see my father’s smile.
Now all I need to do is figure out how to make that happen

2016 – Farewell

The last day of 2016 is here and I, for one, am ready to bid it farewell.  It’s been a year of fantastic highs and some hard-hitting lows – a true rollercoaster.  However, there is one thing I achieved this year that I had dreamed of doing all my life and that is publishing my first full length novel – Someone To Come Back To.


Someone To Come Back To  – Book one in the Omega Security Series

I’m a great believer in marking special occasions – as life is simply too short not to – and celebrated the launch of the ebook online with a wonderful party.  A few months later the paperback version was released and the first copies arrived in Brisbane and how wonderful it was to finally hold my baby in my hands!  I decided another party was needed but this time I needed to pop some real corks! Below are a few photos of the event back in August. I’d like to thank all those who have supported me on my writing journey so far – from all over the world!  It means so much to me that you love my stories.  I’d like to wish you all the very, very best for 2017 – much love, Roisin.

Bubbles & Books – A Perfect Combination!


The Marketing Director – Getting Ready To Party!


Me And A Much More Talented Lady – Brisbane Based Artist Julie Cane


My Beautiful Brisbane Book Babes!


CK And Me!


Feeling Slightly Like Shakespeare As I Sign By Candlelight


Looking Slightly Psycho With The Lovely Pauline!


My Babies!


My Thanksgiving Day

The washed out wintry light of the early morning sun was just starting to peep over the hedgerows.  The road was still damp from the rain that had fallen soft and slow throughout the night.  I looked over at my husband, his face deep in concentration as he wrangled our recently acquired left-hand drive camper van around the twists and turns of the Irish country roads.  I looked back to check on the dogs and I smiled as I spotted Billie peeping out at me from underneath the table and Zara sitting up on the seat, her head resting on the tiny lip of the window – determined not to miss a thing.

black dog on beach

Miss Billie

Zara in snow


I looked back out onto the road and I smiled some more, this smile warming me from the outside in.  We were doing it.  We were finally calling time on all the shit luck that had plagued us in recent years.  We had already covered the first few miles on an adventure we had planned for months.

We had no idea where we were going.  We had no idea what we were doing.  We had no clue as to what the future held for us but we were throwing caution to the wind and just going for it anyway. The presenter on the radio announced it was Thanksgiving Day in America and wished everyone a happy thanksgiving day. I smiled again, somehow it seemed appropriate that we were setting off on our journey into the unknown on a day when people celebrate that which they are thankful for. At that point in time I was intensely grateful to be physically putting some distance between me and so much that had happened in the years before.


The Good Old Hymer!

A few months previously we had sold up everything  – our beautiful home, our cars and anything else of value we’d had.  We’d paid off the tax man and our debtors, glad to finally be free of crippling debt that had arisen from a business deal that had gone horribly wrong.

However, it wasn’t just our business that we lost in those few years but also the dream of being parents.  Our tiny babies lay dead and cold in a grave on a hillside in the west of Ireland. We were emotionally battered and our souls were weary.  We needed to step off the merry-go-round of life for a while and take some much needed time out.

And that’s exactly what we did.  For the next nine months we trundled along the highways and byways of Europe. We ate all manner of wonderful food and we washed it down with cold beers and fine wines.  We walked for miles on golden sands – I don’t think there is an inch of European coastline we missed.  We hiked through sun dappled  forests and swam in lakes the colour of earth and sky.  We gloried in freshly fallen snow and we skied and fell in love with the granite peaks at the heart of Europe which we’d never visited before and at night we warmed ourselves with the heat of a log fire and the local firewater.


The Julian Alps in Slovenia

We got lost, gloriously lost and yet somehow managed to find our way.  We met great characters that enriched our journey beyond measure.  Bit by bit we healed and started to feel the joy of life flowing in our veins again.  We dared to believe in dreams once more and we even dared to dream.

A year later we found ourselves back in Ireland patiently awaiting the birth of the child we were told we’d never have.  From one thanksgiving day to another our lives had changed beyond belief and we had so much to be thankful for.  A few weeks later I gave birth to our beautiful baby girl – a precious gift that I will spend the rest of my days being thankful for.


My Perfect Little Girl

However, on Thanksgiving Day I always remember that wintry morning in Ireland as myself and my husband bumped our way along to the early morning ferry that was to deliver us to Europe and from there to God only knows where.  I remember and give thanks for the small bud of hope that still remained somewhere deep within me.  Sometimes you’ve got to let go of all you think you know and just go – go with your heart and feed your soul.  You’ll be thankful for it more than you can ever know.


One of the things I love about living in Brisbane is the preponderance of exotic blooms that are to be found on every street and their magical scent that almost makes the oppressive heat of summer bearable.

My most favourite of these blooms is the delicately scented and aesthetically beautiful frangipani.  I cannot walk past a scattering of them on the footpath without picking them up and inhaling their intoxicating scent.

I am lucky to have one at the entrance to the property in which I am currently living and love being surprised by its wonderful fragrance every time I go out the gate.

Frangipani Blossoms

Beautiful Frangpani Blossoms

Yesterday morning I was opening the front door to let in some much needed air when I spotted a single frangipani blossom out on the little deck.  I immediately went out and picked it up and wondered as to how it had gotten there as the frangipani tree is at the bottom of a set of stairs and there had been no wind sufficient enough to blow it up.  I picked it up and inhaled it’s mesmerising aroma.  I looked at it, beguiled by its simple beauty and asked it, “how did you get here?”

No sooner had I asked the question when a voice sounded in my head and it said, “wonder not about how we get to the places where we want to go, just trust that we get there in the end.”

Well you could have blown me down with a frangipani blossom!  Never was a message so apt and so badly needed.

Trust is not something that comes naturally for me but maybe that little flower was telling me to inhale, breathe and for once in my life trust that there are greater forces at work in my life that will lead me to the places I want to be.  Just for once maybe I don’t have to steer my ship through unknown waters, perhaps it’s time for me to let go of the wheel for a while and let another shipmate take control.  As life throws me yet another curveball, maybe just this once I will trust and let go.

A Perfect Moment

There are times in life when everything comes together in one perfect moment.  These moments are rare and sometimes we can be so distracted, we only realise they happened after they have passed. To be aware of one of these moments whilst it is happening and to have a camera on you at the same time, to capture the magic and preserve it for all eternity is an incredible stroke of luck.  Thankfully I had one of these such incidences of luck last year when on holidays in Ireland and took the photo below.

Photo of girl running in the water at the beach

A Perfect Moment

The photo is of my daughter as she runs along the beach, the water splashing at her heels and the sun warming her bones.  Now, the west of Ireland is a beautiful place to be on any day of the week but on a day when the sun shines it is sensational.  We were blessed with weeks of uninterrupted sunshine, long lazy days of summer with ice cream afternoons, beach days and breath-taking sunsets. To get a summer like this in Ireland is too rare for words, to get a summer like this the only time you have been home for two years is incredibly special.

This photo was taken at about 4:30 pm in the afternoon on a day when the heat from the sun enveloped us like an invisible blanket that never seemed to end.  The kids were pottering around the beach, building sandcastles, making stone sculptures and just being.  I was relaxed in a way I can only be when I am in the west of Ireland – at one with body and soul.

My daughter decided to go in for a dip and I watched and listened as she lit up the beach with her smile and squeals of delight.  As the cold water connected with her little body, she ran unfettered and free, a perfect study of joy in flight and I knew….. I knew I was witnessing one of those childhood moments that precious memories are made from.  I reached for my phone, activated the camera and clicked and clicked.

A year later I’m sitting at my desk in Australia, yearning for an Irish summer in the west of Ireland and not knowing when I’ll be there again but I have a precious memory, a moment of pure joy captured on canvas, hanging on my wall.  For the minute that will have to do but I feel so lucky to have grabbed that moment and preserved it.  Looking at the photo brings me back to that day and an indescribable moment of happiness shared by me and my girl.