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Monday, September 1, 2014

INSPIRED by Marlow Kelly

Brenda, thank you for having me on Muse Mondays. Today I’d like to talk about where I get my inspiration. I’ve heard there’s a kernel of truth behind every skillful lie, and for me, there’s an element of truth in every good story. My ideas always start with a fact, either a news story or a detail from my historical research. And then I move on to the what-if’s. What if a man looked out of his window and saw an elephant in a raincoat? Or what if a woman survived a plane crash in the Arctic and then realized she had to walk through the Tundra to get help? If I’m lucky the idea grows, and can be molded into a story.
This is the case with the characters from my new release –A Woman of Honour –although they are fictional; the period in Scottish history is very real. The story is set at the time of the Scottish Wars of Independence, King Robert the Bruce is in hiding somewhere in the West of Scotland. It is known that he was helped by his kin, the Campbells, but where he hid remains a mystery to this day.
My heroine, Isabel Douglas, is sister to my fictional character John Douglas. It is documented that the Douglas family were ardent supporters of Scottish independence. William Hardy Douglas was executed as a traitor at the Tower of London for supporting the uprising of William Wallace. And his son, James, was a well-known general in King Robert’s army.

My Hero, Duncan Campbell is brother to Niall Campbell, real life laird of the Campbells and supporter of Robert I. Niall did have a brother named Duncan, but he died in childbirth.

My inspiration for this story came from watching the BBC Scotland television series A History of Scotland, presented by Neil Oliver. It is an excellent, well-researched show that covers two thousand years of Scotland’s history.
In my story Isabel must find Robert and deliver an important letter. Does she succeed? To find out you’ll have to read “A Woman of Honour.”

A Woman of Honour  by Marlow Kelly
A Woman of Honour is available at

Duncan Campbell wakes to discover he is imprisoned with a woman in his enemy's dungeon in the Highlands of Scotland. The disenchanted warrior hopes his last few moments on earth will be spent in the arms of the sweet-voiced Isabel. If only she will cooperate.
Isabel Douglas has no intention of obliging the crude captive. The penniless noblewoman considers herself too tall and thin to be desirable. She intends to become a nun. But first, disguised as a boy, she must deliver an important letter to Scotland's hero in hiding, King Robert the Bruce.
Together, the pair make a daring escape that plunges them into the bleak countryside in the middle of winter. In the struggle to survive, they learn the true strength of their feelings for each other. But when Duncan's animosity towards the king becomes evident, Isabel must decide between her heart and her country.
“And even though we’re going to die, you still can’t find it in your heart to forgive me?”
“Maybe if you were very nice to me and warmed me with your sweet, little body, I could see my way to absolving you.”
She gasped and he couldn’t help but smile at her outraged reaction. He had no idea why he enjoyed baiting her, but he couldn’t seem to stop.
“You’re the most sinful man I’ve ever met. I take it back. I don’t want your absolution. How can you think about your carnal needs at a time like this?” The ire in her voice made him want to continue their argument, but his headache was worsening by the minute.

Marlow Kelly Bio
After being thrown out of England for refusing to drink tea, Marlow Kelly made her way to Canada where she found love, a home and a pug named Max. She also discovered her love of storytelling. Encouraged by her husband, children and let’s not forget Max, she started putting her ideas to paper. Her need to write about strong women in crisis drives her stories and her curiosity regarding the lives and loves of historical figures are the inspiration for her characters. You can visit Marlow at, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest


  1. Brenda, Thank you for having me as a guest on your amazing website.

    1. Great having you, Marlow. Good luck with your book and future inspirations!

  2. I love it when a television program sparks an idea. Nice interview.

  3. So fun to hear how other authors tune in to that great big pot of plots out in the ethers. Enjoyed the post!

    1. Thanks Ashantay, I'd be interested in hearing what inspires other authors

  4. Love the way inspiration hit for this story, Marlow. It's remarkable the many ways we find the 'spark'! Best of luck with the release

    1. Thanks Barbara, as a historical author you know how the research can lead to inspiration.

  5. Sounds like a great read! It's always interesting to hear how others find their inspiration!