Thursday, November 6, 2014

Cozy mysteries of England

Hi everyone, I’m Marilyn Leach, and it’s so great to be here with you.  I truly enjoy Seekerville, it’s a fun place to learn, dream and grow.  That might just be a good way to describe what I have for you today, a bit of what inspires me in writing my Berdie Elliott British cozy mystery series, with book number three, Into the Clouds: A Berdie Elliott AscensionMystery, just released. My wish is that the following pictures and musings may lift and rouse your own imaginings. 

News Flash!! A copy of Into the Clouds will go to a special Seekerville friend! Leave a comment and then check the Weekend Edition on Saturday to see if it's you!

The main character in the series, Berdie, is not only the sleuth extraordinaire, but also a vicar’s wife in a small English village, and village life is at the heart of the story.  Many of my aspirations began when visiting villages sprinkled all cross England.  Like the one below.



   
This is the view from the harbor’s fish and chips shop in the south coastal village of Lyme Regis, in Dorset, England.  My English friends and I went to the village to visit a chum who had just moved there from the city, and we took lunch at the local shop.  If the coast couldn’t inspire a story or two, what could?  This harbor played in my mind as I wrote a scene that takes place at a marina in Into the Clouds. Though it’s an action scene, it was drenched in memory of Lyme Regis.

So many different parishes stimulated my creation of Aidan Kirkwood, my mythical-village-based-on-real-places.  Bovey-Tracey in Devon was the first place I heard the term blow-ins, or village newcomers.  Whinchcombe in Glouchester had the sweetest tea shop and a vibrant High Street, which is Main Street in U.S. small towns, and Alnsmouth in Northumbria was quintessentially everyone-knows-everyone.  They all played a stimulating part.  Another special spot is Turville, Buckinghamshire.  Cast your eye upon this pedestrian lane, one of many that wind throughout the homes in this rural spot.


Below is the Bull and Butcher pub where we had lunch in Turville.  How could you forget a welcoming fire and ambience when it is so relaxing, and atmospheric?  It played a part in configuring the Upland Arms Pub in mythical Aidan Kirkwood.  Say, by the way, if you ever watched The Vicar of Dilby on PBS or BBC, you may recognize these spaces since the series was shot in scenic Turville.




There’s a Tea Shoppe in my stories, just like most respectable English villages.  The Copper Kettle is a shop on Aidan Kirkwood’s High Street, pulsating with the latest rumor and innuendo.  The tea shop below added its charms to my imagination when we indulged in steaming tea and cheese toasties on a blustery day of touring.  It is in Corfe, Dorset, just at the entrance to Corfe Castle.  A cuppa anyone?


I have to include the almost mystic Lindesfarne Castle, one of my favorite places.  It’s perched on the outer edge of Holy Island, the birthplace of Christian faith in the North of England.  I found the entire island personally uplifting.  It touched my soul.  In its physical attributes, this island has a causeway.  That means you actually cross from the mainland to the island on the sea bottom, when the tide is out.

My friends and I explored the isle and became so engrossed in the whole of it, including the priory remains, local church, museum, shops, and of course tea at the hotel/pub, that we nearly missed the departure time zone.  We were the last vehicle to be off, and the waves were literally lapping at our car’s tires when we reached the mainland.  The Berdie Elliott mystery I’m currently working on takes place in Northumberland and includes the breathtaking beauty of Holy Island.



And, certainly, since Berdie is a vicar’s wife, her husband being the parish pastor, there is a village church.  I’ve viewed so many ancient places of worship where, with a sense of awe, I bowed the knee and found myself joining the thousands that have lifted their voice in prayer to a sovereign God.  With this in mind, I chose for my stories, an edifice built in the twelfth century and still in use, as are so very many Christian sanctuaries throughout the UK.  In many towns, the church sits in the center of it all.  In my Berdie series, St. Aidan of the Woods Church is the heartbeat of the community.  This house of worship pictured below sits in the area of Three Choirs Vineyard near Herefordshire.  It could be, in style and architecture, St. Aidan of the Woods Parish Church.




In a different vein, but still inspiring, I found English food fun and delicious, unlike the complaints I’ve heard of stodgy fare.  Even pub grub is often locally sourced giving it fresh and vibrant flavor.  My first meat pie, a staple across England, was astonishingly moorish, a term that means you want more of the yummy treat.  So, it just seemed natural that Berdie, my heroine, is masterful at making meat pies.  My English friends, Andy and Lillie, make a steak and ale pie that’s mouth-watering.  Andy often watched his grandmother make it, and now I have that same recipe.  Does it catch your fancy?

Grandmother’s Steak and Ale Pie
Filling:
1& ½ large par-boiled potatoes, sliced
1 # chuck steak
1 Tb oil
1 large onion, diced
6 oz sliced mushrooms
1 & ½ carrots, thinly sliced
½ c of beef stock
2/3 c of red wine or ale
½ Tb Worshteshire sauce
1 Tb flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Cube steak and brown in oil on stove top.  Add onion, mushroom, and stir in flour and carrots.  Add stock, wine, sauce, salt and pepper.  Bring to the boil.  Put it in a slow oven (275 degrees) for 1 & ½ hours.  Remove from oven.  In a casserole/pie dish, fit a bottom crust, then layer potatoes and meat mixture.  Remove the meat from the oven dish with a slotted spoon to reserve liquid for a gravy topping.  Add the top crust and bake 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
Pastry:
2 c. flour
1 c. butter, cut in pats
Pinch of salt
Cold water
Sift flour, and salt, blend in the butter to form a soft dough.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.  Cut in two parts.  Roll out 2/3 of one of the parts.  Dampen the edges of a casserole/pie dish with water, place the crust in the dish.  Add filling.  Roll out the rest of that part and place as the top crust, using a fork to pinch the edges, sealing the pie all round.
To make the gravy, simply heat the meat mixture liquid, add some cornstarch, and stir until slightly thickened.  Pour over individual pieces of the meat pie.

It’s a meal all to itself, but you can always add a fresh veg and pudding, the word commonly used the way we would use the word dessert.

There are so many other scenes, architecture, people, victuals and landscapes that have originated and shaped so much of the thought that flows from my pen.  But it would take a year and 365 blogs to even crack the surface, so we’ll stop here.  If you’d like to see more photos like these, you can visit my website at marilynleachteaandbooks.com and peruse the page Snaps of England.  I hope my notions and scenery give you some new ideas, or illuminates some older ones.  And tell me, what inspires your stories?  Leave a comment, and tell us a bit about your birthplace of ideas.  Let’s dream!

Amazon Link

Ascension Sunday balloons are not the only things disappearing in the English village of Aidan Kirkwood.  When the villagers celebrate the first Ascension Sunday Processional in fifty years, someone goes missing.  A well off widow that was amongst the crowd has vanished into thin air.  And, she’s not the only one who’s nowhere to be found. 

Berdie Elliott, the local vicar’s wife, goes into sleuth mode as eccentric cat lovers, a secretive informant, Portuguese holidays, an enigmatic “tree” house, and tangled family dynamics all add to the perplexing affair.  Don’t let this mystery slip from your sight.



At the age of nine, Marilyn wrote her first play with a childhood neighbor, “The Ghost and Mr.Giltwallet.” It was a mystery.  And she’s been writing in one form or another, hobby or livelihood, since.  As well as teaching art, she’s had the opportunity to co-author several plays that have been performed on both church and secular stages, as well as two screenplays. Marilyn has had the good fortune of “discovering her roots” while visiting England where she developed lasting relationships with wonderful people there.  It has greatly impacted her writing.  A great fan of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and David Cook’s Hetty Wainthropp series, Marilyn was inspired to write her most Berdie Elliott Mystery series, which takes place in a small English village where the vicar’s wife, Berdie, is the divine sleuth.  Marilyn lives lakeside in a cottage on the outskirts of Denver near the foothills. 



100 comments:

Marianne Barkman said...

I feel like I ran barefoot through those streets, Marilyn. Your post was so real. And I haven't read any of your novels, but I plan to correct that. Thanks for coming, and have a great day. Coffee will be here shortly, I'm sure, and cinnamon buns, all sticky and gooey are waiting!

Mary Preston said...

Lovely pictures & thank you for the recipe.

Cindy W. said...

I enjoyed your post Marilyn. You breathed life into your post making me feel as if I were there myself. Thank you.

May I ask what cheese toasties are? They sound wonderful.

I would love to win a copy of your book. Thank you for your generosity.

Have a wonderful blessed day everyone!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

karenk said...

a wonderful article...thanks for sharing :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Jackie said...

Hi Marilyn,

I want to go there. How charming. Thanks for sharing about your story and for sharing the pictures.

I'd love to be entered to win your book. Thanks!

(I'm headed to Amazon to look you up. Have a great day!)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

This has Agatha's influence sprinkled throughout! I read so many of her mysteries when I was a teen.... I loved them!

Oh my stars, can I move to that village like right now????

I want to be the author in residence, tucked aside, off the main way, observing everything that happens while sipping tea.

Of course I'd have to give up my massive New York coffee habit, so this might not work!

Marilyn, this sounds delightful! So the books are .99/Kindle?

What a nice offer! Good for you!

Connie Queen said...

Fascinating information. I'm especially intrigued with the causeway. How long does the tide stay out? Is there a "real" road to drive on or dirt?

Thanks Marilyn. You make me want to travel there.

Edie Melson said...

I love your books and especially cozy mysteries. It breaks my heart that there aren't more houses publishing them. Thanks for the recipe and for the pics!

Audra Harders said...

I could live in a village like that. And frequent the tea shop. Do the British drink green tea, Marilyn?

I love all things British. There is a British historical series sleeping within me. I just have to find the right mood-moment-opportunity and coax it out.

Thanks for being my guest today!!

Audra Harders said...

Marianne, I'm grabbing a cinnamon bun on my way to the shower. Hmmm, that might be TMI, huh? LOL.

Oooo, they're so gooey and hot. I love 'em!!

Janet Dean said...

Marilyn, welcome to Seekerville! Your pictures and post are wonderful and make me want to go to England, especially since my dh's paternal side came from there.

You are blessed to have the opportunity to discover your roots in England and better yet form friendships. How often have you gone?

Your book series sounds wonderful! Know the setting will enrich the story.

I got my inspiration for writing small town Americana historicals from spending time on my grandparents' farm and visiting a cousin in a tiny town with a drugstore we could walk to that had a host of fountain drinks. Such freedom for this city girl.

Janet

Tracey Hagwood said...

What a fun trip through England! I've never seen it with my natural eye, but your pictures are the next best thing. So much history, I love the island and the water lapping at your tires and I love that little tea room, charming! Thanks for the tour.

Your cozy mystery sounds perfect for a cold winter night by the fire, would love to read it.

Audra Harders said...

Ruthy, thanks for checking on the Kindle price. Isn't Kindle just wonderful? We read book in whatever format we'd like.

Gotta love the options!

Audra Harders said...

And Agatha Christie! Yes! I read her gothic mysteries as a kid. Loved them!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Marilyn, What a fun trip to the English countryside. I loved all the photos also.

Thanks you for bringing that to Seekerville today and giving us some inspiration.

Have fun today.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Marianne-your sticky cinnamon buns??? I'm drooling already. yum

Glynna Kaye said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Marilyn! I LOVE books set in the UK. Having spent several weeks there a number of years ago, I fell in love with the charm of all the little towns. I'm definitely going to check out your books--I think my mom would like them, too! Thank you for sharing the photos as well!

kaybee said...

MARILYN, what a fun post. I'm an Anglophile and love Vicar of Dibley. I own DVDs of "Monarch of the Glen" and "Ballykissangel" (okay they're Irish, whatever) and I devour the Hamish Macbeth series, Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity books, and the ones with Carole Seddon and her friend Jude (not that I can remember the author). All the towns have such cool names, like "Wharton-On-Crumpet" or whatever. The more eccentric the characters, the better. Would love to read some of your stuff.
Kathy Bailey

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Marilyn. I just went and found Candle for a Corpse, book #1 of the Berdie Elliot Mystery series for $0.99.

I love reading series in order.


Candle for a Corpse

Myra Johnson said...

Beautiful photos, Marilyn--thank you for taking us along on this journey! England is way at the top of my list of places I want to visit, and your descriptions piqued my interest even more!

I'm also a fan of Masterpiece Mysteries, especially the charming Miss Marple! Every once in a while, though, we have to turn on closed captioning so we can interpret some of those heavier British accents!

Myra Johnson said...

Meant to add I LOVE the idea of patronizing an English tea room! Too bad we don't have more tea rooms here in the States. Just curious--do you also find many coffee shops like Starbucks over there?

Chill N said...

Marilyn, you mentioned two of my favorite shows -- The Vicar of Dibley and Hetty Wainthropp (and then there's Hamish Macbeth and Foyle's War and ...).

The smaller English villages are 'true' England for me ... fell in love with several in East Sussex. Lucky you to have friends in England!

I'm late to find out about your books, but am headed to download them now. It'll be fun to recommend them to my book club -- many of them are into cozy mysteries and have bemoaned that there aren't more.

Thanks for the 'trip' via pictures.

Nancy C

marilyn leach said...

Marianne, I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the post. My only regret is that I can't join you for sticky buns.

marilyn leach said...

Mary, meat pie is great on a chilly autumn day.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Wow, and welcome, Marilyn. This post made me want to drop everything and take a trip to England. I've been to Germany, and Holland, and Italy and France, but never England.

It looks like a Maeve Binchy book!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Cindy W!!! Love your new profile picture!!

marilyn leach said...

Cindy, I love that you "journeyed" with me. I relive my travel each time I write my British stories Cheese toasties are a kind of toasted cheese sandwich, just a bit fancier with wonderful "pickles" which are onion marmalade, or cranberry chutney, that kind of thing.

Tina Radcliffe said...

What is a traditional English breakfast, I wonder, Marilyn??

marilyn leach said...

Karen, you are so welcomed.

marilyn leach said...

Thanks, Jackie

marilyn leach said...

Ruth, I am so with you on being nestled away in a small village. In a visit to Alnsmouth in Northumberland, I did that with friends. We had a large window that looked out on the High Street. I wrote and sketched. But it only lasted a few days. Still, lovely.

marilyn leach said...

Connie, I know the tide is out long enough to stay on the island several hours, but all depends on the day and season. You have to read a tidal guide to see when to come and go. And there is a kind of tar passageway that sits on the ocean floor. When the tide comes in, there's something like 15 feet of water if memory serves me.

marilyn leach said...

Edie, Pelican Harborlight has been truly generous in receiving and publishing my cozies. My editor, Nicola Martinez, live in England as a child.

marilyn leach said...

Audra, thanks so much for hosting and let's work on coaxing that British book out to the light of day. Cheers

marilyn leach said...

Janet, I've gone to England 7 times in the last 15 years. I'm planning to go again in April. I stay with Andy and Lillie who live in Reading, Berkshire. They come and stay with me as well. In fact, they arrive in 13 days. (I'm painting the living room.)

marilyn leach said...

Tracy, you are welcome for the tour and thank you for your comment.

marilyn leach said...

Thanks, Sandra, appreciate it.

marilyn leach said...

Glynna, you know the charms of England. Have you written any English influenced work? Enjoy.

marilyn leach said...

Kaybee, Kathy
Welcome to my world. I love "Monarch", BalleyK, Hamish, and have you viewed the new Father Brown that's originated from Chesterton's books? New at Amazon and on sale. Also love Rosemary and Thyme mysteries. Cheers

marilyn leach said...

Mary, how fun to "see" you. Yes, Candle for a Corpse is the bells and whistles version of Advent of a Mystery that I did with Barbour. Pelican wanted to re-do it, and did so all legally. Thanks for saying hi.

marilyn leach said...

Tina, a traditional English breakfast is called a "fry up" and is 2 eggs, bacon or rashers as they're called there, sausage, tomatoes, beans, and often mushrooms, plus toast. Not light fare, but oh so good.

marilyn leach said...

Myra, tea rooms there run from jolly hole-in-the-wall, to elegant. I had high tea at the L'Orangerie at Kensington Palace and it was frightfully proper. And yes, there are Starbucks everywhere. But, unlike most of the ones in the US, many of their drinks add liquor. Can you imagine? Irish coffee @ 6 am?

marilyn leach said...

Hey Chill N, let your library, publisher, and amazon know you want more cozy mysteries. That could spark some fires most cozy authors would love to fan. Cheers.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Now I want rashers!

I love the quaintness of British work in many ways. I carved my writing teeth on James Herriot's novels, still some of my faves. The gift to encapsulate a story within a story is special.

And of course I've fallen in love with Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey.

In my dream world I am as classy and calm and cool as Cora Crawley.

Reality puts me in a more "fish-wife" range.

marilyn leach said...

Agatha Christie is a favorite author for me, some mentioned her. I have, to my amazement and awe, had my work compared to hers by both people here and from the UK. I was stunned, but grateful. I like to think of my Berdie mysteries as a kind of Agatha Christie meets Jan Karon because it includes village life. Very fun to write. Thanks for all your comments.

CatMom said...

Welcome Marilyn! Such a delightful post today---now I'm really yearning to visit England. And that steak and ale dish sounds SO yummy---I could practically smell the aroma of it cooking as I read the ingredients. :)
Thank you so much for sharing with us today, and especially for the photos you've shared.
Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

marilyn leach said...

Ruth, love your humor. My friends in England tell me that the latest Downton is a good viewing. Lillie gives me hints without telling the whole story because I want to get the surprises as I go. Thanks so much for your comments.

marilyn leach said...

Patti Jo, thanks for stopping by. I can tell you, when that meat pie is in the oven, the entire house is aromatic.

Mary Hicks said...

Ohhhh, I want to be there!

I love all the British movies. I read about the British, and I imagine someone stole me away from there when I was a wee babe.

Thanks for the tour—probably the only way I'll ever see those places.:-)

marilyn leach said...

Mary, thanks for the comments. I don't know, if you live near an international airport British Air offers some amazing fare sales. I have flown round trip to Heathrow for less than a roundtrip coast to coast flight here. Just have to keep an eye out.

Wilani Wahl said...

I will be looking for your books. They sound so interesting.

marilyn leach said...

Wilani, thanks for your comment. My books are available on amazon, at barnes and noble, and pelican book group, harborlight tab.

DebH said...

i LOVE cozy mysteries. please put my name in the draw. someone new to read (and a Colorado author - yay!).

i adore the pictures you posted too. very cool. i especially like the castle and am intrigued by the causeway access. i wonder how many times people get stuck because they waited too long? that'd be a story...

so glad you've visited Seekerville, Marilyn. i'm going to have to wander over to Amazon to look at your other books.

DebH said...

oh, p.s.
thanks for the recipe. i may have to try that since it sounds so yummy.

Jan Drexler said...

Oooh, Marylyn,

I loved the photo tour. There's just something about stories set in British villages that pulls at American heartstrings, isn't there?

Also, thank you for the recipe! I think my family will love trying it.

And I just bought the first Berdie Elliott mystery for my Kindle. I love British mysteries, and I couldn't wait! It's going to the top of my TBR pile....

Seekerville peeps: If I don't meet my deadline this month, we can all blame Marilyn :)

Janet Dean said...

Marilyn, what a terrific win-win for you and your England friends! Ages ago, my parents were camping in the west and set up next to a French couple and their daughter. They hit it off and they invited my parents to Paris. Of course they went and the daughter was their tour guide. Later she visited them.

Hope the paint job is going well. Overnight guests are a great motivator. :-)

Janet

marilyn leach said...

Deb H, You're right! You could write a mystery about getting stuck overnight on Holy Island. It has happened dozens of times, much to the local hotel's delight. There are people who live in the island village that commute to work on the mainland. Many of them also have club memberships with Comfort Inn. :)

marilyn leach said...

Hey, Jan. Thanks for checking out my stories. And you are so right, England pulls at the heartstrings. One taste and it invites a feast.

marilyn leach said...

Janet, I have found Europeans in general to be truly friendly, even the French! Perhaps you could take the story of your parents visit, add a son to the picture and voila, a multinational romance in Paris. OOO la la. And by the way, it's a good thing we aren't doing Skype. Paint splattered noses are not attractive.

Dora Hiers said...

Hello, fellow Pelican author! What beautiful pictures, Marilyn! There's such a sense of history in Europe that we lack in the US, and a totally different culture and lifestyle. Appreciate the cyber tour, and congratulations!

marilyn leach said...

Dora, I'm so excited that you dropped by! Yes, England provokes a deep sense of historical drama...and mysteries. Write on.

marilyn leach said...

I forgot to credit my great friends, Andy and Lillie for the pictures. Lillie has a real eye. I always cut the important bits off in pictures. Hers turn out so much better. Much gratitude to you both for your skill, hospitality, and generosity.

Nicola Martinez, Editor said...

Awesome post, Marilyn. Thanks to the Seekers for hosting you and to all the lovely people who stopped by to comment.

Tanya Agler said...

Oh, I love British cozy mysteries. My oldest daughter is named after the heroine in Dorothy Cannell's The Thin Woman. I could talk all day about Ellie and Ben from Dorothy Cannell's series, Miss Marple, Meredith and Markby from Wales, and the list goes on and on. I love the sound of your books and a vicar's wife would definitely have the ear of several of the townspeople in a way the police wouldn't. Thank you so much for your post.

marilyn leach said...

Nicola, thanks so much for dropping by. I'm pleased that you enjoyed the post. Seekerville peeps, Nicola is my amazing and wonderful editor.

Cara Lynn James said...

Marilyn, welcome to Seekerville! I love cozy mysteries and English villages are my favorite settings. I read a lot of Agatha Christie's as a kid. Yours sounds great.

marilyn leach said...

Tanya, wow, you are a fan, naming your child after a character. I enjoy those lovely British stories as well. I think you would enjoy Berdie and all her swings and round-abouts.

Melissa said...

What a great post Marilyn! How nice it is to have insight on the creation of your characters and setting! I could very much visualize the people and places in your work!

marilyn leach said...

Cara, yes, if you like Dame Agatha the Berdie Elliott series may be just up your street. Thanks for stopping.

Debby Giusti said...

Marilyn,
Thanks for bringing a bit of Great Britain to us today in your blog. Simply delightful! Yes, I'd love a cuppa!

Would also love more information about the causeway. Oh my goodness, you were the last car off the island? Sounds like a good location for a mystery, to be sure!

I'm ready to pack my bag and fly to the UK. So quaint, so lovely, so British! :)

We toured England when we lived in Germany. Lovely country. Lovely people. I do think it's time to return.

Sandy Smith said...

Marilyn, I read Advent of a Mystery from our church library last year. I didn't realize that was your book until you were talking about Berdie and I knew it sounded familiar! I really enjoyed that book.The characters were fun. Please enter me into the drawing for your latest.

marilyn leach said...

Sandy, I'm so glad you enjoyed your read. Your name is in the drawing. Good luck. Cheers

Tina Radcliffe said...

Wow, Marilyn (just getting back from work)..that breakfast is not light fare. What is the biggest meal of the day? When I lived in Germany it was lunch. Smart Europeans.

marilyn leach said...

Melissa, thanks so much for coming by. I know you enjoy Scotland, England, Ireland and all the beauty to be found there. I hope to put even a touch of that in my stories. Cheers

marilyn leach said...

Debby, you know the charms of hot tea, village life, and green leas. The causeway is somewhere around 2-3 miles if I remember correctly. On the way over, it was odd to see all the seaweed, tidal creatures and ocean associated flora in the mud that stretched a great distance on either side of the causeway road. Coming back, it was all salt water creeping closer to the tar road. If you return to England, you really should visit Holy Island. Cheers

marilyn leach said...

For my friends that live in Reading, Berkshire it's a big breakfast early, elevensies tea and occasionaly toast, tea and toast with soup around 2, then a large dinner at 7 or 7:30. Dinner is often roasted meat, a couple veg, and a cordial. Tea is often sipped while watching late night telly.

Julie Lessman said...

WOW, Marilyn, like Cindy W said, "You breathed life into your post making me feel as if I were there myself."

I totally agree and experienced the oddest reaction when reading your post -- a longing to go to the places you went, which is something that seldom happens to me, so that gives me a clue as to how good your cozies must be! I used to be a travel writer, so if you ever lose interest in cozies, you could definitely do well in writing travelogues or articles for Travel and Leisure Magazine or the like.

Forgot to welcome you to Seekerville, so let me do that now, as well as giving Audra a giant hug for inviting you!

Hugs,
Julie

Audra Harders said...

Oh my. All the chit chat about British ways and details makes me want to book a flight to the UK right now! Marilyn, I love how you bring heart to the conversation. It's like talking to the village innkeeper...they know everything about their corner of the world.

Winter is coming. It's time to stock up on cozy mysteries : )

Audra Harders said...

I hate it when I have to be gone the days my guests are in Seekerville. I didn't need to worry about you, Marilyn. You are quite the hostess!!

I've stocked the buffet with evening tea and scones. Cranberry nut scones since I had left over cranberries and walnuts from the breads I was baking : )

Audra Harders said...

Oh, and thanks for the recipe! I can't wait to try this!

Kirsten Meyer said...

Marilyn,

Nice posts and pics! I purchased Into the Clouds but haven't had time to read anything but the dedication to Suzy. Brings tears to my eyes but Suzy would love it!

Kirsten

marilyn leach said...

Julie, thank you so much for your huge compliment. I'm so glad you enjoyed "touring". I have to give credit to my English friend, Lillie, for her grand photographic skill as well. Wouldn't I love to write for Travel and Leisure. Would they send me overseas? :)

marilyn leach said...

Audra, can I come to your house for tea and scones? Thanks for having me here today. I loved it. As my family can avow, I can talk about England 'til the cows come home, isn't that about now? I so enjoy the Seekerville hospitality and creative thinking. Let those inspired pens pour forth. Cheers.

marilyn leach said...

Kristen, it brought tears to my eyes to read your post. And you're right, Suzy would have loved it. My dedication, for those who are unaware, was to a mutual friend of Kristen and me who died in April of 2013 from complications in cancer treatment. She was a huge fan, and wonderful friend. I miss her.

Ruth Ann Dell said...

Thank you for the interesting post and photos. I've been to Lyme Regis and visited towns like Aidan Kirkwood. Lindesfarne Castle is now on my list to visit on my next trip to the UK.

Please enter me in the draw for Into the Clouds- the setting sounds so delightful. And now I'm off to your website to see the rest of the photos!

Carolyn Chambers Clark said...

The photos are amazing! Thanks so much.

I'm writing a cozy myself and would love to get a coy of your English cozy. Put my name in the drawing, please, and all best wishes with your new book.

Missy Tippens said...

Marilyn, I'm sorry I didn't get by yesterday! Thanks so much for sharing your photos and how you've tied the places into your stories. Very interesting! And I loved the photos. Feel as if I've been traveling. :)

Jessica Johnson said...

Beautiful pictures, Marilyn. I know what toasties are...grilled cheese! That was one of the first things I ordered when I went to England three years ago. Makes me want to go back. And jackets? Baked potatoes! Who knew?

wordglow said...

This sounds wonderful... I'm hooked on anything British, and never get enough of the "cozy" genre! Would love to win this book! Thank you... blessings! Pam, http://wordglow.wordpress.com5521

wordglow said...

This sounds wonderful... I'm hooked on anything British, and never get enough of the "cozy" genre! Would love to win this book! Thank you... blessings! Pam, apples of gold, http://wordglow.wordpress.com

Elizabeth Van Tassel said...

Thank you for the lovely tour of pretty places. I lived in England for two study-abroad summers and loved it all. I often return by watching the shows you've cited. Rosemary and Thyme is great too for all their travels.

If you could live in any of the towns you visited which one would you choose?

My husband is a Cambridge graduate and we used to dream about living in Bath, England before kids came along. Would be nice today, too! I love walking through so much history. Many of their structures and buildings are older than our country. I think time moves more slowly there as well, at least in the countryside. That would be nice.

Deanna Stevens said...

Great pictures & an intriguing mystery.
Would enjoy reading your book :)
dkstevensne AT outlook DOTcom

Pat Jeanne Davis said...

Loved your blog today, Marilyn. Good to see you here. Your pics bring back many wonderful memories. I've been to some of the places you've visited with my British hubby and while there have found my English roots also. I especially enjoy the small villages. I love pub food. We bring back many of our favorites. You truly experience the country when with those who live there and know it well. Eager to go to the Isles again. All the best wiith your novel. I love English crime mysteries.

marilyn leach said...

Ruth Ann, I know you'll enjoy Lindesfarne. You're in the drawing.

marilyn leach said...

Carolyn, thanks for your comments. You are in the drawing.

marilyn leach said...

Missy, I'm jazzed that you've enjoyed "traveling" in England. Cheers

marilyn leach said...

Jessica, don't you enjoy taking in new foods? Even a toasted cheese takes on its own character. English cheese, chutney or pickle, and HP sauce on the table of course. Thank you for your comments

marilyn leach said...

Pam, thanks for the comments and you are in the drawing.

marilyn leach said...

Elizabeth, my friend Andy is a Cambridge grad too. Sadly, I've never been to Bath. It would be so hard to choose where to settle in England if I could live there. Perhaps Wokingham because it's close to my friend's home in Berkshire.

marilyn leach said...

Pat, thanks for your comments. I have no doubt that you could do a "tour" blog of England as well. My friend, Lillie, has given me some cookbooks and I've started collecting English cookbooks. I just have to work at the measurement conversions. Cheers.