I recently took a vacation to London, England. My parents live there, and so I try and visit once a year. Normally, these visits are short affairs where I stay in my home town of Ashford and catch up with family and old friends. This year was different, this year I took my husband and children with me. We had a blast. Each of us chose one thing we wanted to see while we were near London. And today I want to share my choice The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum.
It is a few hours by train from London. If you want to go the easy way then travel by train from Waterloo Station to Chichester and then take a cab from there. Of course, we went the hard way. We took a train from Clapham Junction to Hazelmere from there we got a bus to Midhurst, a pretty medieval town, and then another bus to the museum. I was amazed at how well timed the public transport was. We didn’t wait long for any of the trains or buses and taking public transportation added to the adventure.
The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum consists of a large parcel of land where volunteers and workers at the museum have taken tumble down buildings from the southeast of England, restored them to their original condition, completed research concerning their history, and acquired historically relevant artifacts. It is a place where you can explore the everyday life of the medieval world.
This is simply one of the best museums I’ve ever been to and hardly anyone seems to know about it. For me it’s a living history of the medieval and Tudor period. To quote their website
“…traditional buildings in a rural landscape that tell the story of the men, women and children who lived and worked in them over a 600-year period.
You can explore the 50-acre site and visit some of our 50 exhibit buildings. Many of our exhibit houses are furnished to recreate historic domestic interiors.
We have a regular programme of domestic and craft demonstrations, including cooking in our Tudor kitchen.”
Each building has an information plaque explaining; where the build came from, the time of its construction, and any relevant history. There is also a photo showing the original condition of the structure before its restoration.
Their re-enactors are friendly and helpful. I was fortunate enough to talk to two of them and pick their brains about life in the early 14th century. They were amazingly knowledgeable and very kindly took the time to share their wisdom and research tips with me. As a history geek I was in heaven. We sampled food from the Tudor kitchen, walked through the buildings where you can touch and handle the furniture
This was an amazing day and the English countryside is exceptionally beautiful. The only hiccup was that our bus stop near the museum was out of commission due to construction, but Andy from The Old Forge B&B was nice enough to give us a ride to Midhurst, where we had a delicious cup of coffee before starting our journey back to London.
The Weald and Downland is a beautiful part of England and with its proximity to London is definitely worth a visit.
Today is the release day for my debut novella A Woman of Honour. I’ve received some reviews and thought I would share them with you.
A Woman of Honour is available at
The Wild Rose Press
All Romance Ebooks
My first review comes from a Goodreads member who answered by post in the Authors Requesting Reviews discussion board
Goodreads members can click here to read the review.
Bev Walkling's review
Jul 13, 14
5 of 5 stars
bookshelves: action, free-book-from-author, set-in-scotland
Read in June, 2014
I was very pleased to receive an advanced copy of Woman of Honour from Marlow Kelly to read and review. The cover was very appealing and it was set in Scotland which is always of interest to me. It definitely drew me in right away and was fast paced and well written. Woman of Honour is a novella so it is a fairly quick read.
The story opens with our hero (Duncan Cameron) and heroine sharing a dark dungeon of Dunstaffnage Castle and completely unable to see each other or tell what the other individual looks like. In fact, their acquaintance begins with a fight as neither knows who the other is or whether they can be trusted. When the dust settles, Duncan discovers that the unknown woman he has fought with has been dressed as a boy and has plans to enter a convent. Isabel, (our heroine) does her best to ease Duncan’s headache caused by a head injury and in doing so makes herself more and more appealing to Duncan.
How they escape from their captors and make their way to safety involves lots of twists, turns and surprises. This was a fun read with likeable characters . For those wondering at the spelling of “Honour” in the title, Marlow is Canadian and that’s how we spell honour here.
Although I found the cover very appealing, I’m not really sure that the artist fully understood what Isabel looked like. The cover girl is quite buxom and even with strapping would have had a hard time passing for a boy. I think this is a great job for a debut story and would recommend it to all who enjoy a sweet innocent romance set in the Scotland of yesteryears.
My second review comes from Robyn Roberts at Once Upon a Romance Reviews.OUAR are currently revamping their site and have assured me this review will be published on the new site once it goes live. I will add the link once I receive it.
I have copied and pasted this review in its entirety.
Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: A Woman of Honour
Author: Marlow Kelly
Publisher: Wild Rose Publishing
Release Date: August 2014
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical Romance (Highlands)
Year/Setting: 1307 Scottish Highlands
Overall rating: 4.25
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle/Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None
Author’s Website: www.marlowkelly.com
Duncan Campbell awakes in a dark cell with another captive. In mere seconds, he realizes that he’s with a woman. Isabel Douglas is disguised as a man and has been captured and put in the dungeon cell with Duncan. Duncan realizes his enemy, the MacDougalls, have captured him. He knows they won’t let him leave alive and the fact that he’s in a cell with another person makes Isabel’s situation dire.
Isabel is determined to fulfill her commitment to become a nun. She is on a mission that will take her to the monastery where she can fulfill her mission and take her vows. Duncan determines (in his mind, without telling her) that she will not become a nun. He would like her to be his wife.
Together, they plan an escape and Isabel knows her only chance to get out alive is to follow Duncan. He seems to know what he is doing and while he’s high-handed, he seems to keep her best interest at heart. As they flee and become closer, Isabel will need to decide between duty and love.
I couldn’t put this story down. It kept me up until the wee hours of the morning. I loved Duncan from the first page and kept hoping he and Isabel would get together. It took me a little bit to totally warm up to Isabel, but once I saw the true depth of her character, strength and resolve, I fell in love with her, too. Marlow Kelly weaves a fascinating tale of life and fighting between families in the Highlands. I look forward to more from her in the future.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Bev and Robyn for taking the time to read and review my work.
No, this is not a trick. I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift Card on my Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour. To enter the draw, just go to my host’s website. These are my wonderful hosts.
August 25: Susana's Parlour
August 26: Emma Weylin
August 27: Our Wolves Den
August 28: Cathie Dunn writes...
August 28: Punya Reviews...
August 29: Rachel Brimble Romance
September 1: Hope. Dreams. Life... Love
September 1: Imagine a World
September 2: Booklover Sue
September 3: Kinky Vanilla Romance
September 3: The Certifiable Wenches
September 4: Room With Books
September 5: BookSkater
September 5: Brooke Blogs
You will see the Rafflecopter. (At some hosts you have to click on a link) Just do at least one of the following
You can enter multiple times at multiple stops.
The winner will be drawn at the end of the tour by Goddess Fish Promotions. (I honestly can’t figure out Rafflecopter so I’m pleased to leave that to my tour organizers)
Lord of Sherwood is the third book of the Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy and another chance for readers to take a trip back in time to the magical realm of Sherwood Forest. It continues the tale of Robin Hood’s descendants, and despite being part of a Trilogy can stand alone, the characters in each book unique.
Curlew Champion, master archer, has always known his destiny. With his cousin, Heron Scarlet, he will become a guardian of Sherwood Forest and further his people’s fight against Norman Tyranny. But the third member of the triad is still to be revealed, the woman who will complete the magical circle and, perhaps, answer the longing in Curlew’s heart.
Anwyn Montfort has fled disgrace in Shrewsbury and come to Nottingham at her father’s bidding. He wishes her to make a good marriage and settle down. But the wildness that possesses her refuses to quiet. She knows she’s been searching for something all her life, but not until she glimpses Curlew does her spirit begin to hope it has found its home.
Only the magic of Sherwood can bring them together, and only their union can complete the spell woven so long ago …
The Wild Rose Press
Curlew bowed again. When the man reached Nottingham and inquired after an under-forester called Champion, he would know this meeting for a farce. But Curlew would be well away by then.
A small, wicked smile tugged at one corner of his mouth. He straightened from his bow just as the young woman’s cart reached him. Any well-behaved Saxon underling, as Curlew well knew, would avert his eyes respectfully as she passed. Instead, he lifted them to hers.
And, shockingly, she returned his stare, bold and unswerving as any lad. Nay, not like a lad though—for she was all woman, this one, her face brimming with character, interest, and mischief. A smile twitched her lips as their eyes met and held—it said many things: that she knew he had just spun a fabrication, that she applauded him for it, and that she found him just as fascinating to look upon as he found her.
His blood leaped at that look and he condemned himself silently. This, a well-bred Norman miss, was surely no proper object for his admiration. Only, she did not appear particularly well-bred nor well-disciplined. Who was she?
And would he ever see her again?
Curlew stood there with the blood drying on his hands as the small train lumbered past, grateful for his escape, and utterly scorched by her gaze.
Not until they were well past did he draw a deep breath and strive to shake off the spell that held him.
Born and raised in Western New York, Laura Strickland has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Though her imagination frequently takes her to far off places, she is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario with her husband and her "fur" child, a rescue dog. Author of Scottish romance Devil Black as well as The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy consisting of Daughter of Sherwood, Champion of Sherwood and Lord of Sherwood, she is currently working on the second book of a new Steampunk romance series.
I won’t be posting on Saturdays for the next few weeks. I want to spend some precious time with my family before the leaves turn. Here in Northern Alberta fall starts around mid-August, so I’m nearly out of time.
In my house autumn brings the chaos of a new school year. The school projects, extracurricular activities, and homework suck me into swirling vortex of commotion that leaves me exhausted by Christmas, so I’m really looking forward to this holiday.
I will be back in time for the release of my book A Woman of Honour on 27th August. With that in mind I thought you might like to see my Pinterest board for A Woman of Honour. This is a collection of images that helped me visualize Duncan and Isabel's world. I hope you enjoy it.
Wishing you a safe and happy summer
She is ready to leave her past behind.
Chloe Wagner, after leaving an unhealthy relationship, moves back to Morning Lake feeling lonely, fifty pounds overweight, and ready for a fresh start. So when a friend asks her to foster an Airedale Terrier named Ginger, she seizes the opportunity!
She hadn't realized her dog walk route would take her right by Luke Larsen's acreage.
He's never forgotten her.
Luke figures he's been in love with Chloe for most of his life. Even though she is only in town for the summer, he can't resist this opportunity to get to know her all over again. Is one summer enough to appease his heart? Or can he show her she's perfect ... and they're perfect for one another through every season?
This 18,000 word contemporary romance novella contains sexual content and adult language. Each Morning Lake book can be read as a stand-alone story.
All Romance eBooks
"Thank you for staying with me. It would have been a long night otherwise." She didn't know why, but her voice was soft. Like a whisper. But why would she be whispering to Luke?
"You're welcome." Then his gaze drifted lower, over her face, until it landed on her mouth.
The impulse to kiss him kicked into gear again.
She opened her mouth. And he tightened his arms around her, pulling her closer to him. Body against body.
His lips brushed with tantalizing delicacy against hers. His hands spread over her back. When his fingers found a sliver of exposed skin at the hem of her shirt, he didn't stop. He drew enticing, teasing circles on that little bit of flesh.
Her hands gripped his strong back, fisting into the worn fabric of his shirt. Someone—it could have been her—moaned.
His tongue traced her lips and she opened wider for him. Man alive, he knew how to make a girl want more. The firm pressure of his hard chest against her breasts was so enticing. She wanted to escalate their embrace, by at least another bazillion notches.
When Lorraine Paton finished her master’s degree, she was tempted to sign on to do a doctorate, but then she realized she wanted to write fiction more. So, by day, she works in a hectic design office, and by night, she lets loose her passion for writing romance novels. She lives with two cats who hate one another and a wonderfully patient man with a sexy Scottish accent in Alberta, Canada, which is also where her contemporary stories take place. A diehard romance reader and writer, her goal is to bring happily-ever-afters to as many people--or characters—as she can.
I’ve been busy all week working with my editor on my next novella – A Woman of Love. So I haven’t had time to do any research for my blog post. But the trailer for A Woman of Honour is now on YouTube and I’ve decided to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it.