Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Giveaway and free read: Ed & Marchant

Hello, my lovelies. Here is an Ed & Marchant free read as one of my Advent treats.

Ed never thought he'd end his year being flogged by the light of twinkling dicks. 

What is your favourite Christmas decoration? 

Leave the answer below to enter the giveaway for prize of Frankie & Al and Ed & Marchant.


Blurb
Ed Winters despises his job and hates everyone he works with—especially out and proud, happily in love Frankie Mason. He spends his days wishing he could dance, rather than work. 

Late to go shopping one day, Ed ends up soaked in Marchant Belarus’s spilled Coke. Ed’s humiliation increases when Marchant, the owner of a BDSM club, realizes Ed is a sub, albeit a very closeted one. Marchant’s attempts to draw Ed out of his shell release years of pent-up anger and hurt over the abuse Ed’s mother and grandmother heaped on him. 

Marchant is patient, but nothing he does seems to help until he discovers Ed’s secret love of dancing—a forbidden passion that might be the key to unlocking the confident, secure man Ed could be.

FREE READ

Multi-coloured lights sparkled around the door of Marchant’s club. They looked quite normal to the innocent eye but as the person who strung them over the porch, Ed knew they were anything but. Each dick and balls twinkled brightly as Ed approached the door. He was taking his courage – and his own balls – in both hands, to visit the club while Marchant was working. He’d been there rarely during club hours, still finding the intense atmosphere more than he could handle. Ed’s progression into BDSM had been glacial slow even if Ed felt his whole world was like an out-of-control rollercoaster and the only stable thing was Marchant. Which didn’t make sense, if Ed thought about it logically, because Marchant was the one who’d sent it out of control. Ed really needed to stop thinking.
Two men stood by the door, both of them staring at him as if he’d suddenly grown antlers. Ed resisted the urge to check his head just to make sure.
Marchant’s assistant manager Tony grinned at him as Ed approached them. “The boss didn’t tell us you were coming.”
 “He doesn’t know,” Ed said. “I wanted to surprise him.” Both men were at least eight inches taller than him. Ed must have been off dancing the paso doble when God had given out the height gene.  He frowned at Tony. “What are you doing out here? Don’t tell me he’s making you work the bar and the door.”
“He’s supposed to be going home but he’s hanging around annoying me because he hopes a certain trainee Dom will make an appearance.” The doorman shot Tony a knowing look before he smiled at Ed. “It’s a quiet night. The boss’ll be pleased to see you.”
“I hope so,” Ed muttered and stepped through the door. The club looked like a glittering explosion in a kink factory and the bar was no exception, although maybe a lot more tinsel and a little less kink.
Tony followed him in. “Do you want a drink? We stocked up on your favourite.” Marchant had made it very clear that Ed’s preferred brand of sparkling water was always to be available in case Ed made an appearance.
 Ed shook his head. “I’ll go and find Marchant before I lose my nerve.”
“The crowd is light. He’ll be in the office at this time of night.” Tony looked over Ed’s shoulder. “Correction. He’s standing behind you.”
“Ed?” Marchant looked stunned.
“Hi,” Ed said, smiling as confidently as he could.
“Joseph told me you were here. I thought he was joking.”
Ed should have known the doorman would snitch on him. “Do you mind?”
“Mind? God no, I don’t mind, but why didn’t you tell me?” Marchant held out his hand and Ed let himself be tugged into the one place that felt like home, Marchant’s arms.
“This was something I needed to do by myself,” Ed admitted. “I wasn’t even sure before a few minutes ago.”
“How long did you sit outside?”
“Over an hour.” Ed knew Marchant was teasing him but he still flushed.
 Marchant kissed him tenderly. “I’m proud of you,” he said softly and suddenly he was worth the embarrassment.
 “Who are you hiding from us, Marchant?”
Ed turned to see a tall, thin man, a Dom from his manner, staring at Ed like he was a succulent piece of rump steak. He thought he’d met most of the Doms by now, but this one was new to him.
 Marchant drew Ed close to him. “He’s mine.” The hands off was clear in his tone.
The Dom grinned. “Understood. Pleased to meet the man who’s landed Marchant. It’s been too long since he’s had a play partner.”
“Ed is more than a play partner,” Marchant said and the possessive growl made Ed tingle from head to toe.
The Dom seemed surprised but the smile he gave Ed was genuine. “Really pleased to meet you, Ed.”
Ed relaxed enough to give him a tentative smile but when he opened his mouth to respond but Marchant interrupted. “I’m going to use one of the back rooms. Follow me, Ed.”
He looked at Ed expectantly, and Ed stared at him unsure how to respond, but he murmured, “Yes, sir,” and Marchant nodded, his intense eyes on him.
Marchant led Ed through a large room where several scenes were in play. Ed was relieved to see he wasn’t the oldest man in the room. He tried not to watch a flogging that made Ed’s stomach churn. Marchant had been careful to keep all whipping implements off the table so far.
He was aware of people staring at him as he followed Marchant but he kept his eyes lowered, focusing his attention on Marchant’s leather-clad arse.
Marchant paused at a door. “I want to do a scene.”
Ed had expected it but the tone in Marchant’s voice made him take note. “What kind of scene?”
“We’ll negotiate it before we start. I’m not going to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable this time.”
“Isn’t that the point?” Ed asked drily as they went into the room. It would have been plainly decorated, almost boring, if it hadn’t been for the red and black Christmas tree in the corner decorated with mini-floggers and bottles of lube. Marchant had insisted on practical as well as decorative.
Marchant didn’t laugh as he’d expected. “I know how hard it was for you to walk through the room. You saw things you didn’t like.”
 “The flogging.”
“Yes. You know it’s not the same, don’t you?”
Ed clenched his fists and relaxed them, trying to breathe normally. “You keep telling me that but it’s hard for me to process, you know?” He still wore the marks from years of abuse by his mother and grandmother. He slammed shut the words in his head that always followed when he thought of his childhood. They had no place here, not with his Dom.
Marchant cupped Ed’s jaw with his large hands and looked into his eyes, sympathy and love in his expression. “Let me show you.”
Ed swallowed nervously. “What if I fail, sir?”
“I will never let you fail.”
Marchant had promised that from the beginning. He would never let Ed fail as he had done all his life. He was there to support Ed, to help him succeed and Ed believed him.
“What do you want me to do, sir?”
“My boy.” Never good boy. Just his. “What are your safe words?”
“Red and yellow.”
“And you will use them?”
Ed nodded. He had in the past and Marchant had stopped the scene. “When I need to.”
“Strip off and kneel.”
Ed knelt at Marchant’s feet, his wrists crossed behind his back. He was naked, and very conscious of the fact as Marchant was still fully clothed, down to his highly polished black boots. Ed stared at the boots, hoping he wasn’t going to be the one to maintain their high sheen.
“Thank you, Ed.” Marchant touched the top of his head. He thanked Ed every time. Not for submitting, but for trusting Marchant with his gift of submission.
Marchant took his time, leading Ed through his positions, the routine calming Ed until he was just listening to the sound of Marchant’s voice. Marchant praised him constantly, his hands on Ed, never a moment when Ed wasn’t aware of him.
Eventually Marchant said, “I’m going to use a flogger on you now, my boy. You can use your safewords at any time.”
Tension flooded Ed’s muscles but he let Marchant lead him to something that looked like the horse they’d vaulted over at school. Marchant encouraged him to lean over and hold onto the rings.
“I’m not going to restrain you in anyway. I know you can stay where you are.”
Marchant had spent many hours teaching him to stay still while he teased him to climax stroking ice cubes over his body. Ice cubes had a special significance in their relationship as they had met when Marchant had tripped and thrown ice cubes and Coke over Ed. He still remembered the feel of the ice slipping over his chest and the look of recognition on Marchant’s face as he saw Ed for what he really was. The first person Ed had been unable to hide from.
“Yes, sir.” Ed settled himself, trying to relax.
Marchant stroked down Ed’s back, calming strokes as if he was a flighty horse. The analogy wasn’t far wrong.
“I’m going to use a multi tailed flogger on you. This isn’t like being beaten with the belt or stick. This isn’t about pain, Ed, it’s about sensation.”
Ed closed his eyes to quell the panic rising and focused on Marchant’s voice and Marchant’s hands as if they were separate entities. He jumped as he felt the tails of the flogger caressing his shoulders, traveling down his back in sweeping figures of eight, to whisper against the sensitive skin of his balls.
“Feel the leather loving you, Ed.” Marchant’s voice had the same hypnotic quality as the caress of the flogger.
Almost against his will, Ed found himself getting aroused, his cock filling as the leather strands made love to him.
“You look so beautiful,” Marchant said. “I’m going to flog you now.”
The first hit across his shoulders came before Ed processed Marchant’s statement. There was no pain, just sensation where every strand landed. Ed focused on each lash. Marchant didn’t give him a chance to think too much before the next.
Ed tried to keep quiet as the leather thudded into him, remembering how his mother had hit him harder when he made a sound.
The leather stroked him again and Ed groaned, unable to keep to hold back the sound.
“Talk to me, Ed,” Marchant said encouragingly. “Let me hear what your noises.”
“Must keep quiet.” He gasped as Marchant hit him and groaned with the failure.
“No. I want to hear you, Ed.”
“You’ll hit me harder.” Noise equalled failure. Failure equalled pain.
Marchant cupped Ed’s hip with his large warm hand. “I’m not them. Never them. Shout, moan, cry. I want to hear it.”
Ed opened his eyes and looked at the Christmas tree, seeing his reflection in a silver ball, watching the lash just before it sent sensation to all corners of his body. He could make noises because Marchant permitted it.  He yelled out as Marchant flogged him again.
“That’s it. You can do this. My boy. Mine.”
 “Always yours.” Ed shouted again, then he shook, shocked by an orgasm he hadn’t been focused on. He slumped over the vault, incapable of doing anything except the tears rolling down his face.
Then there was sudden silence in the room. No more whoosh of the flogger or Marchant’s grunts. Marchant helped Ed to stand and held him in his arms, not bothered by Ed’s raggedy sobs and the tears soaking in Marchant’s shirt.
In the room now only lit by the red sparkling lights of the tree, Ed leaned on Marchant’s shoulder, closed his eyes and let Marchant put another piece of him together.



Dumped by his boyfriend, Frankie Mason goes out with the girls, gets totally trashed, and ends his night by falling in front of a taxi. He’s rescued by a man with beautiful green eyes who takes care of him until he’s put into an ambulance. Frankie curses himself as he realizes he doesn’t have the man’s phone number. Still in pain a few days later, he is dragged out to a club only to be saved by Green Eyes once more. This time, he isn’t letting the man go. 

Unfortunately Frankie has to attend a team-building exercise, nicknamed Womb Weekend, organized by his company. Al is working so he doesn't mind, until he discovers who the team leader is. Al has a lot of explaining to do!


Make sure you read the other stories on the Christmas Tour.





                                                                   

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Saying Goodbye

I've been away for a few days at the funeral and memorial service for my sister. It's been a bittersweet time for me. On the one hand I got to see my family, including my gorgeous niece, her daughter and nephews who live down under, and on the other - yeah, saying goodbye to my lovely sister. I've wept buckets recently and the sight of her smiling face on the order of service set me off again.

We (the Browns) don't get to see each other enough. Over the last few years it's been weddings and funerals. For the first time in too long we had a family dinner and a family breakfast at a hotel and all credit to them for accommodating us. I got the chance to catch up on each of their individual families and drool over pics of my shiny, new great-nephew. But one person was missing and her absence was a hole in our hearts.

The morning of the memorial service was a whirlwind of weather patterns. We walked out of the hotel to see a rainbow.



I'm sure AJ Llewellyn won't mind me sharing a comment she left on my Facebook post, that made a lot of us sob again.

 in Hawaii a rainbow before a funeral is a very good omen. It means your family's ancestors and the entire heavens have scooped her up and carried her across the rainbow. Her spirit is at peace and she is happy. Thank you for posting this. Thinking of you today xxx

I'm not sure what the sleet was about later on though.

Anyway I am back, and now I'm going to take the weekend to recover and think about the wonderful woman we left forever on her adopted island home.

Cover Reveal: Bells and Balls [With a Kick #4]

Good News! Coming 22nd December, 2014, you'll see a new addition to the "With a Kick" series. The fourth book - Bells & Balls - is a story full of holiday spirit that's already upon us. So, a treat to all the fans out there.

Lou Harper is the one who designed the glamorous cover for Bells & Balls - the details of which you'll find below. There's also a giveaway contest planned with this cover reveal event. Best of luck and have a great weekend - with a kick. ;)

 

 
BELLS AND BALLS
(With a Kick #4)
 

BLURB: Rob Barker had plans for his weekend and they didn’t involve struggling through the pre-Christmas crowds with the five-year-old niece he barely knows. Left with no choice, he grudgingly takes Pearl to see the sights of London, but instead of following the list his sister-in-law gives him, Rob takes her to With A Kick, an ice-cream shop with a difference. His plan is foiled when he discovers With A Kick is closed for a private children's party, but the owners kindly let Pearl join in.

Rob’s mood improves considerably as he watches Father Christmas hand out presents. Not only is Santa a hot red-head under the beard, he is also one of his rugby team-mates, Mick, a man Rob has always lusted after. After Mick confesses a mutual interest, he agrees to meet Rob at With A Kick’s evening party.

And at this party, there are definitely no kids - or girls - allowed.

Note: Though this book is part of With a Kick series, it can be read as a standalone.

 
https://www.goodreads.com/series/135717-with-a-kick



What am I giving away?

Winner's Prize: $10 Amazon GC

First Runner-up's Prize: An e-copy set of: A Twist and Two Balls (Clare London), Hissed as a Newt (Sue Brown), Slap and Tickle (Clare London)

There's another giveaway happening - similar to this one - on Facebook. To increase your chances of winning this contest, go on any of the below FB pages and enter yourself:

1) Sue Brown - https://www.facebook.com/SueBrownsStories
2) The Novel Approach - https://www.facebook.com/thenovelapproach
3) Love Bytes Reviews - https://www.facebook.com/LoveBytesReviews
4) Prism Book Alliance - https://www.facebook.com/PrismBookAlliance

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you can't see the Rafflecopter widget for some reason, you can also enter by clicking the following link -
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0f7bf7205/

Friday, 28 November 2014

My Black Friday: One-offs

I know that series are the most popular but I have great fondness for one-off stories. These stories tend to relate to a social issue, be it LGBT homelessness, spousal abuse or... actually I'm not sure where Falling for Ramos came from.



Danny is young, gay, and homeless. He lives in the park, preferring to avoid attention, but when thugs confront a stranger, Danny rushes to his rescue. He and the would-be victim, Harry, form a cautious friendship that deepens months later, when Harry persuades Danny to visit his home. Daring to believe he has found happiness, Danny finds his world turned upside down yet again when tragedy strikes. 

Until he runs out of options, Danny won’t trust anyone. Finally he has to accept the offer of a home, and Danny becomes David, but adjusting to a new life isn’t easy. When he meets the mysterious Jack, it stirs up feelings he thought were long gone. Can David dare to allow himself to love? Or will the truth bring his new world tumbling down around him?



When Ethan Williams lands a job at Bingwell, Brock and Bacon, he realizes his coworkers aren’t exaggerating about James Trenchard. He really is a dick. But after Ethan is forced to work closely with James, he realizes there’s more to the lawyer than meets the eye. 

Vibrant Ethan is a desperate reason to live again as James endures silent guilt and abuse from his husband after an accident. He calls Ethan for help after a beating, and stolen moments soon become the norm, but they can’t hide forever. 

Ethan’s coworkers think he got his promotion because James is sweet on him, James is still being beaten despite his family’s concern, and the situation is swiftly becoming intolerable. Ethan and James need to find a way out of the cycle that’s hurting them both before their brand new love suffers as well. 



A glimpse of a group of businessmen in a newspaper tells Colin Hess his old love, Alejandro Ramos, is back in London a decade after they split up. 

They met by chance as students, when Colin was pushed into Ramos’s lap at a party. Despite the disapproval from Ramos’s parents, Colin and Ramos were inseparable from that moment and settled in their own place as soon as they finished university. 

But when Ramos’s father fell ill, Ramos was forced to return to the family vineyard, leaving Colin behind. When Colin joined him for a holiday, the plans Ramos’s parents had for their son became painfully clear—and those plans did not involve Colin. 

Colin knows it would be stupid to rekindle their old love after the devastating end to their relationship. Still, neither can deny that they still have feelings for each other from the minute they meet, and Colin learns the meeting might not be as random as it seemed.



My Black Friday: Frankie & Al

Four of my favourite boys are on sale! Time for Frankie & Al and Ed & Marchant to get a little loving from me.

Frankie meets the man of his dreams. The first time he throws up, the second time he gets knocked over by a car. Will the third time be the charm? Will Frankie ever learn his name?



Dumped by his boyfriend, Frankie Mason goes out with the girls, gets totally trashed, and ends his night by falling in front of a taxi. He’s rescued by a man with beautiful green eyes who takes care of him until he’s put into an ambulance. Frankie curses himself as he realizes he doesn’t have the man’s phone number. Still in pain a few days later, he is dragged out to a club only to be saved by Green Eyes once more. This time, he isn’t letting the man go. 
Unfortunately Frankie has to attend a team-building exercise, nicknamed Womb Weekend, organized by his company. Al is working so he doesn't mind, until he discovers who the team leader is. Al has a lot of explaining to do!


Frankie's nasty boss, Ed, has made it his life's mission to be a dick, especially to Frankie. But then Ed meets Marchant, a Dom who sees Ed for what he really is, and for the first time in his life Ed can't hide behind a sour tongue.



Blurb
Ed Winters despises his job and hates everyone he works with—especially out and proud, happily in love Frankie Mason. He spends his days wishing he could dance, rather than work. 

Late to go shopping one day, Ed ends up soaked in Marchant Belarus’s spilled Coke. Ed’s humiliation increases when Marchant, the owner of a BDSM club, realizes Ed is a sub, albeit a very closeted one. Marchant’s attempts to draw Ed out of his shell release years of pent-up anger and hurt over the abuse Ed’s mother and grandmother heaped on him. 

Marchant is patient, but nothing he does seems to help until he discovers Ed’s secret love of dancing—a forbidden passion that might be the key to unlocking the confident, secure man Ed could be.

Excerpt:

FROM THE isolation of his cubicle, Ed Winters watched over the top of his rimless glasses as two members of his staff twirled around the office, and his lip curled. “One day soon, Mr. Mason, you will get what you deserve.”

It was wishful thinking on Ed’s part. Frankie Mason was Teflon-coated. He could waltz in late, flirt with all the women, and screw up, but nothing touched him, and everyone worshipped the ground he walked on. Even the bitches in management thought Mason had golden balls. The bollocking Ed had received for snitching on Frankie still rankled bitterly.

Ed hated his job… and his staff, including Frankie Mason. Especially Frankie Mason.

Of course the feeling was returned in spades. Ed knew exactly what his staff at the insurance company thought of him. He had once heard Frankie describe him as a 1950s Tory poster boy who disliked “women, black people, anyone from the Indian subcontinent, curry, the French, the Irish, dogs—” and after that damning (and stunningly accurate) indictment, Frankie had minced across the room with a limp wrist, enunciating “—hom-o-sex-uals.”

Frankie was a screaming queer (his words) and didn’t give a flying fart what Ed Winters thought about him (also his words).

Ed despised him.

It’s not as if anything Frankie said was incorrect. Ed hated all those things and more. If anyone had asked him what he did like… well, no one asked him. No one talked to him at work unless they had to, which was exactly the way he preferred it, and he didn’t have any friends or family.

In Ed’s pristine ivory home, nothing and no one disturbed his peace. He could shut the door behind him, place his shoes neatly in the shoe rack, hang up his jacket, and forget about the idiots and lowlifes that infested his existence.

No one knocked at Ed’s door or called his phone. His flat was his castle, and there he found peace. His sanctuary soothed his soul. It kept him going through the eight-and-a-half hours of the miserable drudgery of work.

If he lived close enough, he would escape back home at lunchtime, but it was just too far away to make it feasible. Instead Ed ate his spinach salad and sparkling water at his desk every day, looking out the window to the park beyond and wishing he was there. Not in the park. The park was fine, but the other occupants—the screaming kids, filthy dogs leaving their shit over the paths, and shrill mothers—were the bane of his existence. But the park was on his route. A place of joy at five thirty in the evening and doom and despair at eight thirty in the morning as he approached the office.

Ed looked down at the files on his desk, and his lip curled. “How on earth did I end up here? I had plans.”

He’d planned to set the world on fire with his dancing. Instead he’d ended up in a dead-end job that drained his soul. Not just his job. His life. Ed refused to admit, even to himself, the soul-sucking loneliness of his existence.

Ed looked over at Frankie now engaging in an obscene tango with that slut, Charlotte, also a member of his team.

“You think you can dance?” he muttered. “I can dance. I could make you cry with my paso doble.”

But the world was never going to weep tears over his paso doble, and Ed was going to shuffle papers, hating his life until he died, bitter and alone.



My Black Friday: Morning Report




A decade on from their first kiss, Luke Murray is more in love with Simon every day. Running the Lost Cow ranch for Luke’s parents, they keep their heads down and get along with the locals, even if Luke is known for being a hothead. Then one day they discover the local store owners refuse to serve them.

They’re bewildered until Luke’s mom tells them the new pastor has targeted the couple in his sermons. Suddenly Luke and Simon find themselves alienated from people they called friends, and their ranch comes under a series of attacks. As the town’s hatred and homophobia turns on them, Luke and Simon will face a critical choice: give in to the town’s demands and disappear, or stand and fight for themselves and their love.







Excerpt

THE yawn caught him by surprise. Luke stretched his arms and rolled his shoulders, trying to relax back muscles that had tensed up after three hours at the computer. If he was yawning at nine o’clock in the morning, it was time to stop. He squinted at the screen. The spreadsheets were done and the accounts almost up to date. Another half an hour and it would be done. 

He looked longingly out the window. It was still early enough in the year that long sleeves were needed first thing in the morning. Somewhere out there his ranch foreman was riding back to the house to make his morning report, enjoying the early morning sunshine before the heat sucked the enjoyment out of the day. 

Luke pouted at the computer, despite the fact there was no one to see it. He wanted to be out there on Lulu sucking in lungfuls of the morning air, smelling the sweet grass instead of stuck in front of a computer. He was a cowboy, dammit, not a goddamned paper pusher. 

“If you’re not careful, your face will freeze like that forever.” 

“I’ll be chained to this chair forever,” he commented sourly, turning around to look at his ranch foreman grinning at him through the open window. As ever, his floppy, dark hair was covering his eyes, and Luke resisted the temptation to go to the window and push the hair back so he could see the large ocean-blue eyes with their mischievous glint. 

“Not finished yet?” Simon sounded sympathetic, knowing just how much Luke hated to be stuck inside with the books.

Luke scrubbed the back of his neck. “’Nother half-hour, I think. Just got the accounts left.” He grimaced. “Was the fence still up?” 

Simon nodded. “Not for long, though. How ’bout we have our morning meeting, and then I’ll fix breakfast while you finish up. We need to get to town to sort out the feed before Lil arrives with the new stock.” 

“Sounds like a plan. Meet you in the office?” 

“Five minutes for me to hand over to Chuck, and I’ll be there,” his foreman promised. 

Checking the window to see Simon wasn’t still watching, Luke poked his tongue out at the computer. His mood vastly improved, Luke grinned at he made his way up to the “office.” Now it was time for his reward.




Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Cancer: When a pebble sinks to the bottom

I've been writing this for weeks. It isn't perfect. It's angry and selfish in parts But it's from the heart.

My sister died today. Vile, destructive breast cancer. The stubborn woman that she was should have been dead by last Christmas. Instead she almost made it to this one. By the time she got a diagnosis she was given a choice of drastic chemo with no guarantee of survival, or... well that was it.

She chose the or. No chemo. No treatment. She wanted to live the remainder of her life without the agonising side-effects of the chemo. She wanted to visit her kids who had just emigrated in Australia before she was diagnosed. She managed that twice. She got to play with her granddaughter again.

The doctors didn't approve. She ignored 'em, My sister was well used to dealing with doctors. She was a practice manager for a large surgery. She was/had been a lay inspector for schools, one of the people that would be called upon in the event of an emergency in Scotland, a mentor for practice managers, and worked with a campaign against irresponsible driving. 

She was amazing. And stubborn. Did I already say that? No doctor was going to make a decision for her.

But for me she was my big sister. A Brown. I really was a Brown thirty years ago. Part of a family of seven. She was ten years older than me, and the next one to me. My brothers and sister lost their little sister today. I lost my big sister. Seven is now six, and it bloody hurts.

When someone close to you they have terminal cancer, your first thought isn't always 'poor you'. It's much selfish than that. But what about me? How can you leave me? How dare you leave me! I need you. Selfish thoughts. In truth I lost her the day a driver decided not to wait a few extra seconds - but that's another story.

Not long ago I read an article from a cancer patient, who pointed out that she was not responsible for everyone else's feelings, the cancer was hers and her alone. Damn skippy. My sister wasn't responsible for helping me with my anger and grief. But I have those feelings in spades. I've been fortunate enough to have my other sister and friends to talk to.



But her life and her illness rippled outwards. At the centre of the circle is her husband and her family, some of them who live thousands of miles away in Australia, and her son who works in some of the most dangerous places in the world. Her friends on the Scottish island who loved her. Her surgery, responsible for managing the declining health of the 'boss'. My brothers losing their little sister, feeling guilty at the fucking unfairness of life. Feeling it should be them first in the natural order of things. My older sister losing the sibling she lived, loved and fought with (as siblings do) as she grew up. Not now, not ever should it have been her. 

And me, My sister was the one I turned to after my mum died when I was a teenager. For a brief time I became a confidante after her son was killed in a road accident (the other story) and she couldn't talk about it where she lived. I'm so angry today I can barely speak.

She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a sister, a boss and a friend to many. Today her pebble sank to the bottom of the pond. But the ripples of her life will carry on long past this moment.