About Me

My name is Julie Thomas and my mother’s maiden name is Browne, so my blog is called Thomasbrowne. I live in New Zealand and in May 2011 I moved from the bright lights of Auckland to a sleepy little town called Cambridge, about two hours south. It is THE most beautiful place in the world, masses of large trees, a white wooden church, a village green, and lots of antique shops. It feels like an English village, even more so when I see people biking on old fashioned bikes with baskets on the front handlebars. Any day now Barnaby and Jones are going to turn up and solve a murder in the twinkling of an eye.

I am the author of the HarperCollins USA published novel “The Keeper of Secrets.” It is available in several countries in proper bricks and mortar bookshops and over the internet from distributors such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble and as an ebook in all the usual places!

It has some lovely reviews on Amazon:


And I have a Facebook Fan page:


I’ve spent the last 25+ years in the media, radio, TV and film.  My book of wacky short stories, “Stirred Not Shaken”, and my Dad’s war letters home “Our Father’s War,” and the first in a trilogy of crime Novellas, “In Vino Veritas” are all for sale on Amazon and Smashwords – murder and mayhem amongst the grape vines!

I live with a much loved and highly intelligent cat, Chloe. I am passionate about music and that is reflected in “The Secret Keeper”, a book about looted musical instruments and art in WWII. I love opera and musical theatre and 70s rock and pop and classical and anything with real musicality. I also love film and live theatre and lots of good quality TV. I love rugby and tennis and cricket and golf

As I blog you will learn more of what I think about life, usually with a little wacky humour thrown in. Sometimes I will get on my soapbox. I am not a left leaning, conservationist at all costs, socialist at all…I believe in individual responsibility and a free market and tough laws on criminals and a return to children respecting their elders. Don’t say you weren’t warned!!


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Larry Hill
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 17:57:33

    Hi Julie

    I was alerted to the book you have written about your fathers war time experiences.
    I am a collector of NZ aviation books and a year a go I published ‘An aviation bibliography for New Zealand” – in the process of collecting the information I met many NZ aviators – I have a particular interest in 485 Squadron and have met many of the pilots. I have made lasting friendships with many of them – some who have sadly passed away now – Jack Rae (I helped him write his book), Harvey Sweetman (A foundation member), John Houlton and so on.

    I thought I would print out the book you wrote from his records and I wondered if you might have some photos of him of his time on the squadron and maybe some later in his life that I could add to the book.
    You can contact me on lhill@clear.net.nz

    I look forward to hearing back from you

    Kind regards

    Larry Hill
    ph 09 411 8137


  2. kindlevarazs
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 08:33:29

    Dear Julie,
    Excuse me to disturb you again, but I still waiting your kind help regarding your WWII book sources (we talked about in mobileread about 2-3 ago).
    Yours sincerely,
    from Hungary


  3. jmt4159
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 16:45:23

    Hi Peter
    Sorry, school holidays and not much time on the computer. I’ll get to it over the weekend, promise


  4. Wier Straus
    Feb 28, 2012 @ 07:49:39

    Many years ago I served with fighter pilot veterans of the second world war. Most were reluctant to talk about their experiences. When they did it usually reverted to tactics and aircraft peculiarities. Rarely did they mention lost comrades.

    Reading your father’s letters, that contained references to how many were left from his training class or from a squadron, shows the mental toil this must have taken on the pilots.

    The same must be true today of the young men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.


  5. Gary Millen
    Mar 03, 2012 @ 06:40:47

    Dear Julie,

    I’ve just had the good fortune to read your book “Our Fathers War”. Firstly thank you so much for sharing it with us. It is a fitting tribute to your father and to the many of his generation who were so willing to give so much to protect that which all so often take for granted.

    I work with the Air Cadet organisation here in Scotland as a Civilian Instructor. The Air Cadets are a youth organisation based on the structure of the Royal Air Force offering young people the opportunity to particpate in many activities including flying that they might not usually have the opportunity to do.

    Our Squadron, 1333 (Grangemouth) Squadron were originally formed during the war and helped ground crew At RAF Grangemouth (58 Operational Training Unit) to rearm and repair the Spitfires flown by the allied pilots under training there.

    The cadets researched and reported on the many Polish pilots who died during training, here at Grangemouth and also raised a war memorial to all of the allied pilots who perished there. Many of these were young men from NZ and a interred at Grandsable Cemetery near the town. The memorial is situated at the old entrance to the Grangemouth Airfield (now an industrial estate). The cadets visit the graves every year on Remembrance Day to lay poppy crosses on those of all the servicemen buried there.

    In May of this year we will be positioning a full size replica Spitfire adjacent to the memorial wall along with plaques outlining the history of RAF Grangemouth.

    The memorial bears a part of the poem that your father loved.

    Again, thank you for the book.

    “We Will Remember Them”

    With Best Regards

    Gary Millen


  6. jmt4159
    Mar 03, 2012 @ 07:25:50

    Dear Gary

    Thanks so much for the post. I am delighted that people all over the world are enjoying Dad’s writing. He visited Scotland during the war, as you would have read, and loved it!! I was very interested in your comments about the Air Cadet League too, Dad received a QSO (Queen’s Service Order) in 1987 and that was largely as a ‘thank you’ for his work with the Air Cadet League in New Zealand. He was very involved with them, and with the Air Training Corp, for many years. Keep up the good work!
    “We Will Remember Them”
    Julie Thomas


  7. harold a. jacobs
    Sep 04, 2012 @ 15:35:20

    Dear Julie, I just finished reading your book about your father’s WWII flying experiences. I was a WWII pilot in the USAF & flew transports in North Africa- then Europe & later recon in B-29’s and B-50’s all over the globe filtering the atmosphere for atomic debrie. In my 21 yrs in the AF I was stationed in Tripoli, Cairo and later England France and Spain. It would be interesting to know what your Dad did on return to NZ and would love to see some photos. From his writing I have a feeling that we were much a like in many respects and maybe be good friends if we’d had that opportunity. Three yrs ago my wife and I flew to Austrailia & cruised New Zealand. Loved your country & people so friendly. I would love to have a picture or two of you Dad in his NZAF years or later. Thanks for the fine e-book you put together- enjoyed it immensely. Hal Jacobs


  8. jmt4159
    Sep 05, 2012 @ 06:53:28

    Lovely to read your message and I am so glad you enjoyed Dad’s book. I have taken a note of your email address and will send you a couple of photos and some info about his later life. Great to hear from someone who also served in the Middle East. Julie Thomas


  9. Leanne Eagles
    Jun 22, 2013 @ 11:24:44

    Hi Julie,
    I have just enjoyed listing to your interview with Kim Hill. I was very excited to hear about the book that you wrote about your father (My Father’s War). I tried to find it at our library (ebook section) without any success. I linked up to your blog page here, but from what I can see it is only available for Kindles??? I am afraid I am an old fashioned reader and my biggest leap into technology has been my computer. Is there any other way I can source this book as I would love to read it, and to my children when they are a bit older.
    I read one of your blogs about cooking, and thought that you would a good cupcake recipe. I have had great success with this one. Just a tip, make sure the butter and eggs are at room temperature so that they fluff up well when you cream them.
    Thanks for your time.
    Leanne Eagles


  10. Leanne Eagles
    Jun 22, 2013 @ 11:26:03

    Oops! It pays to paste the recipe in………………

    115g butter unsalted
    115 grams castor sugar
    2 eggs
    115 g self raising flour
    2 Tbsp full cream milk
    1 tsp vanilla essence

    Cream sugar and butter.
    Add eggs one at a time, add vanilla essence. Mix
    Sift flour, fold gently into mix.
    Add milk.
    Spoon into cases
    Cook 16min @ 180 degrees



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