Dark and Romantic Books from Scotland

Dark and romantic books - Tendu: Dancing in the Castle by Ailish Sinclair

I write dark and romantic books – contemporary romance and historical fiction – often set in the area of Scotland where I live, Aberdeenshire. My historical novels combine little-known dark events with love stories. There are witches, bears, kidnappers and Romans to be found in them, detailed here. My contemporary work is much, much naughtier, though still dark, and available now.

I take a LOT of photos as is evidenced throughout the site.

Here on the blog, I write about castleshistorystone circlesdance, living with chronic illness, and writing. See my about page here.

A Dancer’s Journey – a contemporary series

A Dancer's Journey, a 3 book series by Ailish Sinclair. Dark and romantic books.

These books are so naughty that I’m a little worried nobody will be able to look me in the face again after reading them. But not that worried. They’re heading out into the world anyway.

When dance student Amalphia Treadwell embarks on a secret relationship with her charismatic new teacher, she has no idea of the danger that lurks in his school in Scotland…

See the series page here on the site for full blurbs and quotes

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

Series on Goodreads

A Dancer's Journey Series by Ailish Sinclair - dark and romantic books

Posts about the background, inspiration and writing of these stories:

A Dancer's Journey

Historical Dark and Romantic Books

My historical novels combine little-known dark events with love stories and a hint of magic.

The historical novels of Ailish Sinclair

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

Further Insight into my life and work

Newsletter, Updates and ARCs

Go here to sign up for occasional emails that always include exclusive photos and news of my writing and life. They’re a bit more intimate than the blog. If you would like to hear about new books and special offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

Reviewers can apply for Advance Reader Copies of future books here.

A Dancer's Journey: dark and romantic books

Dunes and Trees and Intense Writing

A break from intense writing - dunes

Back in the dunes again. Below the big sky. Between intense writing sessions.

The Intense Writing

Near the end of Fouetté, there’s a moment when Aleks is going to speak to a troubled character who needs help and counselling. He assures Amalphia that he can do this. My editor made a comment there at the side of the manuscript: “Can you, Aleks? Really?”

The events of the book that I’m working on now (a new series, hopefully coming later this year) were in the editor’s mind at that moment. And the answer to her question was, and is: no. Aleks couldn’t fix things. The troubled character’s actions and problems are giving me, and everyone in the story, including himself, an enormous amount of difficulty.

I find myself lying awake worrying about it all, like I haven’t done since the early stages of writing Cabriole. But I love him, that dear character, and it will all be okay in the end…

dunes - intense writing

Trees

There’s been a lot of rain, so I’ve been squelching through mud again as I try to get various elements of that story straight in my head.

walking in the woods between intense writing sessions

But there’s also been sunshine, and pink skies, and I know that really, all is well.

pink skies over intense writing
A storm-damaged tree against the sunset.

A Dancer’s Journey

A Dancer's Journey by Ailish Sinclair

Read the series that’s been shocking people! It’s available in paperback, kindle and on kindle unlimited.

Amazon

Scotland’s all misty lochs and magical forests and perfect boyfriends, right?

When dance student Amalphia Treadwell embarks on a secret relationship with her charismatic new teacher, she has no idea of the danger that lurks in his school in Scotland…

Review snippets:

Deanne Patterson on Tendu: It broke my heart and then healed it and made it sing. Full review here.

Molly H on Cabriole: It’s truly one of the best books I’ve ever read and made me feel SO MANY FEELINGS. Full review here – some spoilers.

Tom Williams on Fouetté: I galloped through it, loving every moment. Full review here – some spoilers, especially if you haven’t read Cabriole.

Tendu by Ailish Sinclair

About Page

Ailish Sinclair

See the page here

Newsletter, Updates and ARCs

Go here to sign up for occasional emails that always include exclusive photos and news of my writing and life. They’re a bit more intimate than the blog. If you would like to hear about new books and special offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

Reviewers can apply for Advance Reader Copies of future books here

Writer’s Tip Jar

The Space Between Dunes

dunes silhouetted

Between the dunes. There’s just the sea breeze and me.

looking through the dunes at the sea

I’m looking out across the ocean. Walking down through the coarse grasses, feeling their roughness with my fingertips. As people must have done for as long as people have existed.

18th century.

16th century.

When the Romans were here.

Before.

sea

Then there’s listening. The incoming tide, the waves pulling back from the beach. It feels like a healing sound. I wish it could be prescribed to everyone as needed.

The light is silvery over the dunes now.

No health concerns. No book stuff.

Just me. And the sea.

silvery light over the dunes

I sometimes write more sensible things! Do sign up for my occasional newsletters if you would like to be kept abreast of these.

dunes silhouetted

Beach featured: Fraserburgh.

About Page

Ailish among the stones

See the Page here

Writer’s Tip Jar

Snowdrops in the Garden

snowdrops

The snowdrops have arrived, and with them the knowledge that spring is on the horizon.

snowdrops by a tree

They can be found nestling by old trees.

snowdrops in January

Small clumps of beauty abound in the garden. There are carpets of them in the woods, but I don’t have a recent picture. I will endeavour to take one before their short season is done.

snowdrops from above

I love the blue-grey of their stems and their perfect white blooms. Snowdrops rule the land at the moment, being the only flower, the only brightness, on the ground.

snowdrops in the woods

SO MANY FEELINGS

Cabriole received a beautiful review from Molly on Amazon and Goodreads. She does warn of spoilers at the start, so I’ll just quote a couple of her more general comments here:

I couldn’t put this book down. It was so good I didn’t even stop reading while brushing my teeth… I laughed out loud many times! I cackled twice. I cursed at characters in my head a few times. It’s truly one of the best books I’ve ever read and made me feel SO MANY FEELINGS.

Cabriole by Ailish Sinclair

Read the series that’s been shocking people! It’s available in paperback, kindle and on kindle unlimited.

Amazon

Scotland’s all misty lochs and magical forests and perfect boyfriends, right?

When dance student Amalphia Treadwell embarks on a secret relationship with her charismatic new teacher, she has no idea of the danger that lurks in his school in Scotland…

On the flat stone of Aikey Brae Stone Circle

About Page

Ailish among the stones

See the Page here

Newsletter, Updates and ARCs

Go here to sign up for occasional emails that always include exclusive photos and news of my writing and life. They’re a bit more intimate than the blog. If you would like to hear about new books and special offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

Reviewers can apply for Advance Reader Copies of future books here

Writer’s Tip Jar

If Candlemas Day is clear and bright…

quote from SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD by Ailish Sinclair

This Candlemas (2nd of February) post was originally published in 2014.

Hot at Candlemas

I just sat in the hot place. It was good. It was sunny and bright, though it offered only a vague warmth today.

The ‘hot place’ is a point on our property that is sheltered from both north and east winds by walls, and situated next to large windows that reflect the sunlight and bestow a sort of ‘double sunning’. It is rather like a portal to another country, a warmer clime or different season. In summer it can reach unbearable temperatures. In the deepest months of winter the sun doesn’t touch it at all. This was the first time it lit up this year, fitting then that it’s Groundhog Day (wiki), Candlemas (wiki) and Imbolc (wiki).

Feeling the sun on my face, without the usual buffeting wind, was a good reminder that the Earth is turning and spring is on its way. More good reminders: brave little snowdrops.

snowdrops on Candlemas

Cold at Candlemas

It’s been an odd winter, very dark but with none of the usual bright and dramatic snow of Scotland. The continual rain, mud and roof leakages have made the season seem long and arduous. Grey. Dull. No enchanted snowy moonlit walks where surprised owls fly low overhead, no snow angels or sledging. I almost miss having to dig my way into the woodshed (almost, not really; it was fairly tortuous, and nasty when ice dripped down your neck too). Solstice 2010:

wood shed in the snow

The wind has been notably fierce, bringing an ancient beech tree crashing to the ground one night. I heard it from my bed half a mile away. Three loud cracks sounded as its branches broke. How disorienting to stand among high boughs and look through to what was the ground, upended like the tree:

a tree fallen on Candlemas

The world on its side. An oliphaunt fallen.

So, winter: snow properly, or let spring through. The sun is nice today; I’d like more of that, please, I’m ready to laze in the hot place with a book. And if the saying below is true, there’s hope for that.

Traditional Candlemas Rhyme

If Candlemas Day is clear and bright, winter will have another bite.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain, winter is gone and won’t come again.

And the Scottish version:

If Candlemas Day be dry and fair, the half o’ winter’s to come and mair.
If Candlemas Day be wet and foul, the half o’ winter’s gane at Yule.

snowdrops on Candlemas

Chosen Sisters, Romans and Romance

Sisters at the Edge of the World by Ailish Sinclair

Set in 1st century Scotland, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD includes the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes. The book features a neurodivergent main character and some rather complicated romance.

See the press release here

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

Review from Terry Tyler: “It’s a fabulous story, a real page-turner and so well written. It made me think about the passage and circle of time, of the constancy of the land on which we live and the transient nature of human life. Loved it.

Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.

The part of SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD that has been most highlighted by kindle readers.
The part of the book that has been most highlighted by kindle readers

About Page

feet

See the Page here

Newsletter, Updates and ARCs

Go here to sign up for occasional emails that always include exclusive photos and news of my writing and life. They’re a bit more intimate than the blog. If you would like to hear about new books and special offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

Reviewers can apply for Advance Reader Copies of future books here

Writer’s Tip Jar

Snow Day in Scotland

snow days in scotland

Snow day! Up the track we trudge…

snow day: gnarly tree

Past the gnarly tree…

snow day: into the woods

Let’s follow the deer tracks into the forest.

path in woods

The sun is just over the hill.

blue skies on a snow day

It casts its light onto the track as we head home to hot chocolate and the fire.

sun on a snow day
Snow day!

Sisters at the Edge of the World

I went in to Sisters recently to update the back matter. It made me cry again

New review from Molly on Goodreads: A beautiful tale of sisterhood, family, motherhood, love, war, romance and ancient traditions. I was completely lost (in a good way!) in the world Ailish Sinclair created. Her skills with historical fiction are astounding. The story moved in a way that was reminiscent of music. There was a rhythm to it that makes sense when you learn the author was/is a dancer.

Book on Amazon

About Page

feet

See the Page here

Newsletter, Updates and ARCs

Go here to sign up for occasional emails that always include exclusive photos and news of my writing and life. They’re a bit more intimate than the blog. If you would like to hear about new books and special offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

Reviewers can apply for Advance Reader Copies of future books here.

Writer’s Tip Jar

Where the River Ugie Meets the North Sea

The River Ugie flowing into the North Sea
River Ugie

It’s a beautiful place. The River Ugie (pronouned yoo-ghee) winds its way through Aden Park and Strichen and ends its journey in Peterhead where it flows into the North Sea.

There’s a foot bridge across the river. This little gull was quite friendly.

gull on foot bridge over the River Ugie

Up through the dunes we go…

Dunes at Peterhead

And down onto the beach.

beach at Peterhead

The skies are bright between rain showers.

surf at Peterhead beach

We walk back along the riverside as the clouds gather once more.

River Ugie

Cabriole: Dancing in the City

Cabriole: Dancing in the City by Ailish Sinclair

Hold on to your hats. Clutch your pearls.

Amalphia is back, and her choices are as shocking as ever in this dark and witty sequel.

After a traumatic year at the castle, Amalphia Treadwell travels back to London to start her professional life, putting dark and difficult things firmly behind her. Or so she believes…

There are no cliffhanger endings in this series; each book completes a story, but then there is more. So much more.

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

Series on Goodreads

A Dancer's Journey by Ailish Sinclair

Articles

About Page

feet

See the Page here

Newsletter, Updates and ARCs

Go here to sign up for occasional emails that always include exclusive photos and news of my writing and life. They’re a bit more intimate than the blog. If you would like to hear about new books and special offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

Reviewers can apply for Advance Reader Copies of future books here.

Sea and sky at Peterhead

Walking the Witchy Ways of Aberdeen

cobbles, or cassies, as they are called in Aberdeen
Galllus Quines. Wonderful street art in Aberdeen honouring those persecuted for witchcraft.
Gallus Quines

The Quine Shrine: witchcraft in Aberdeen

I ran through St Nicholas Kirkyard, and down and round Correction Wynd, an old medieval lane in Aberdeen, to see this recent street art. I was due to meet people for breakfast, but determined to see the ‘Quine Shrine’ first. The reason being? That first part, on the left, honours those who were persecuted for witchcraft in Aberdeen, and one tile names a few of them, including the three women I chose to write about in The Mermaid and the Bear.

Tile naming some of those accused of being witches in Aberdeen, Scotland

Survey of Scottish Witchcraft

The spellings are different, because spellings weren’t set back then, not like they are today. I chose to go with the way the names are recorded in the Survey Of Scottish Witchcraft from Edinburgh University. It was there that I learned, contrary to popular belief, that only a tiny proportion of those accused were midwives or folk healers; a mere 9 of the 3837 ‘witches’ in Scotland were midwives, and only 141 had some mention of healing in their cases (see the background page of the database).

In my fictional account of these women’s lives, one of them is a midwife and healer, but this is not the reason for the accusations brought against the three quines.

So, with the quine shrine admired and appreciated, on to breakfast:

Turmeric Latte
Turmeric Latte

The Tolbooth

Now fortified, off to gaol we go! It’s difficult to get good pictures in
the 17th century Tolbooth, what with it being so dark due to having windows like this:

Tiny and narrow window in a 17th century prison
Let the sunshine pour in!
Chain in the Tolbooth Museum, Aberdeen
A chain hangs from the wall

Prosecutions for Witchcraft in Aberdeen

I think I did a better job with photos the last time I was there, blogged here. That was when I first read these words:

text, detailing some history of witchcraft in aberdeen

I remember feeling overcome and distressed by the information, but it was then that I decided I was definitely going to write the book. Here’s that steeple, or its replacement, standing tall against the blue sky:

Steeple and clock of St Nicholas Kirk in Aberdeen

Back in 1597, there were two large bells in the original steeple. Now there’s an impressive carillon, and it started to play while I was eating my lunchtime chocolate ice cream in the kirkyard. This is not as creepy and strange as it sounds; there are benches and lots of people go there for lunch! I took a short video, so you can hear the bells.

Lunchtime bells

Pinterest

I’ve made a Pinterest board for the book, though it does seem to be rather focussed on the cheerier parts of the story.

pinterest board for  the novel, The Mermaid and the Bear, by Ailish Sinclair
Pinterest board

I am Weather Obsessed

And on another cheery, or perhaps laughable, note, I was recently mentioned in the Evening Standard as an example of a ‘weather obsessed’ Briton.

Ailish Sinclair in the Evening Standard.

I must go now. I have to check on the weather!

The Mermaid and the Bear

The Mermaid and the Bear by Ailish Sinclair

The book that came from it all is out now in paperback and kindle.

If you like castles, Scotland, history, witches, stone circles and Christmas done medieval-style, you might like THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR. There’s also a love story.

Amazon UK and Amazon Worldwide

Other bookshops (and libraries) can get it too!

From the Press and Journal: New book by Fraserburgh author highlights horrific extent of witch trials in Scotland 

Also: Should we really have fun at Halloween when the north-east led the great execution of witches?

Newsletter

Go here to sign up for my (roughly monthly) newsletter. It’s a more intimate space than the blog and always includes some exclusive photos. If you would rather just hear about new books and offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

More Books

Tendu romps on the tube

Enjoy a kiss on the London tube. Romp up and down the castle stairs! Dance in a stone circle. Attend a Ceilidh in the great hall. Have your brain studied in the dungeon. All fun, I assure you. Well, not quite all…

Scotland’s all misty lochs and magical forests and perfect boyfriends, right?

When dance student Amalphia Treadwell embarks on a secret relationship with her charismatic new teacher, she has no idea of the danger that lurks in his school in Scotland…

Amazon UK

Amazon worldwide

New novel from Aberdeenshire author combines passions from Grampian Online

Sisters at the Edge of the World

Set in 1st century Scotland, my latest novel, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, includes the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes. The book features a neurodivergent main character and some rather complicated romance!

See the press release here

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.

Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the kidnapped children and young people of Aberdeen. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s derring-dos on the high seas… And there’s chocolate!

See the publisher’s Press Release here

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

Review from the Historical Novel Society

Ailish Sinclair romps in the loch

See my About Page here

The Alligators and Follies of Pitfour Estate

Summer at Pitfour Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland

I’ve visited Pitfour Estate many times over the years. It’s a great place to walk, though less well known than the nearby Aden Park. I have photos from various years and various seasons. That’s summer above. Remember summer?

History of Pitfour Estate

 Autumn at Pitfour Estate.

The estate was purchased  in 1700 by James Ferguson of Badifurrow, who became the first Laird of Pitfour. He and his descendants developed the land, building various bridges and follies. The observatory in Drinnie’s Wood used to be part of the estate too, having been built to watch horse racing on the nearby race track (now a forest).

The Temple of Theseus

One of the follies was a bathhouse built to look like a Temple of Theseus, seen from across the lake below.

Temple of Theseus

The fifth Laird, an extravagant man who liked his luxuries, is said to have kept pet alligators in it. The interior:

The inside of the Temple of Theseus at Pitfour Estate. Home to alligators?

Looking out over the lake from behind the pillars of the temple, on another summer’s day:

Pitfour Lake

Pitfour in the Mist

Pitfour Lake in the mist

The lake is used by a local fishing club today. You often see jumping fish.

Trees at Pitfour Estate

I have a great many pictures, so I intend to share some more of them in my next newsletter: swans, another folly and some more mist. Hopefully that’ll go out in the next few days, if my current writing project releases me for long enough to do it! Go here to sign up for the newsletter.

Mermaid and Fireflies Reviews

Mallee Stanley shared reviews of THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR and FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE on her Read and Write blog recently. “”What makes both these books fascinating reads, is that they are based on dark historical events relating to Aberdeen.” See the whole review here.

Latest Book

SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD features some forbidden romance.

He’s a Roman. She’s a Celt.

Set in 1st century Scotland, this is a story of chosen sisters, fierce warriors, divided loyalties and love.

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

The Romans called it the edge of the world

Writer’s Tip Jar

The Castles of My Life

Brodie Castle and fire engines, one of the best castles

Brodie Castle

I took that picture standing in my bunny pyjamas on the castle lawn with three kids, three dogs and a budgie. There was no fire or disaster, just a malfunctioning alarm, or maybe it was the ghost. Yes, let’s blame it on ghosts, ghouls and phantoms; I’m sure they were responsible for continually setting off the motion sensors in the middle of the night during my winter sojourn. But that was summer, Brodie Castle was busy with visitors and altogether less creepy. I stayed in the property manager’s flat several times that year, looking after things for her, most efficiently as you can see.

I am fortunate to live in a place that has so many of these large historic buildings dotted about the countryside. Castles take us out of where we are; some transport us into the decadent, usually bygone, lives of rich families, while others encourage imagination to run amok in the ruins.

Tolquhon

My earliest castle related memory is of ruinous, rambling Tolquhon:

tolquhon, one of Aberdeenshire's ruined castles

For me it is synonymous with life getting a little bit better. Childhood took an upturn after the birth of my brother; gone were the silent Sundays when my parents read the papers and my sister and I had to be very, very quiet in our room. We went places. Fun things happened, and Tolquhon was one of them.

I do like the bee boles or skeps:

bee boles

Drum

Later, with my own children, just about every castle in Northern Scotland was explored. We ran around the roof of the medieval tower of Drum (safer than it looks):

drum castle, one of the castles where you can go up on the roof!

Fyvie

We watched Shakespeare at Fyvie:

fyvie castle

Huntly

And attended educational events at Huntly:

huntly castle

Ballindalloch

We admired the beautiful gardens at Ballindalloch, before being greeted by Lady Macpherson-Grant and her extended family, including a new grandchild in a pram, in the entrance hall.

ballindalloch castle, one of my favourite castles

New Slains Castle

The scariest of the castles has to be Slains Castle, built to look Gothic, now ruined. It’s very dangerous out there on the cliffs – someone once fell to their death – so I don’t really advise visiting. It inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula, and there are plans to turn it into a theme hotel. And, umm, I don’t always heed my own advice:

Castles: Slains near Cruden Bay

Great sea views:

Castles have the best views! Here, from Slains.

In summary: castles, they’re great.

Get out there. Visit them (the safe ones). They’re so very different from our homes (unless you live in a castle), entirely dissimilar to modern office buildings, television screens and city streets. They can be cold and damp and ancient. Sometimes they’re lavish and royal. They smell of the past. They hold stories in their old walls and can unlock them in us.

Eilean Donan:

eil ean donnan

My books always seem to feature a castle (time period allowing)

Cover of Tendu by Ailish Sinclair

Explore the dark and sensual world of TENDU, where love, dance and obsession intertwine in a castle!

Amazon UK

Amazon worldwide

Dance and Despair: Writing What You Know on Women Writers, Women‘s Books. 

From emmalolly13 on TikTok: “This series has a special place in my heart… I feel so blessed to continue reading Amalphia’s story… Her journey with love has been rough… this is such a soul-touching series.

New novel from Aberdeenshire author combines passions from Grampian Online.

TENDU press release

Sisters at the Edge of the World cover

Set in 1st century Scotland (so, no castle, but there is an Iron Age round house), SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD includes the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes. The book features a neurodivergent main character and some rather complicated romance!

See the press release here

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

“Ethereal and spellbinding….” Historical Novel Society

Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.

Cover of Ailish Sinclair's 'The Mermaid and the Bear'

Taking place mainly in a castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story.

See the press release here

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

From the Press and Journal: New book by Fraserburgh author highlights horrific extent of witch trials in Scotland 

Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair, out 2021

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the kidnapped children and young people of Aberdeen. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s derring-dos on the high seas… And there’s chocolate!

See the publisher’s Press Release here

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

“Filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society Editor’s Pick

About Page

feet

See the Page here

Newsletter, Updates and ARCs

Go here to sign up for occasional emails that always include exclusive photos and news of my writing and life. They’re a bit more intimate than the blog. If you would like to hear about new books and special offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

Reviewers can apply for Advance Reader Copies of future books here.

Writer’s Tip Jar

The Lang Stane of Aberdeen

Inscription on the Lang Stane
The Lang Stane, Aberdeen

The Lang Stane (long stone) of Aberdeen is situated close to bustling and busy Union Street. Many places in the city are named after this stone, but most people don’t even know that it’s there. It’s hidden away on the corner of Langstane Place and Dee Street. The Music Hall can be seen in the background of these first two photos.

The Lang Stane in Langstane Place
From Google Street View

History of the Lang Stane

There’s not a lot of documented history on the stone or how it came to be placed in the wall, though I have heard that this event happened in the 1960s. It’s shown as a solitary standing stone on a map from 1746, before Langstane Place was built.

The Lang Stane in its alcove

Battles and Boundaries

The Lang Stane may have originally been part of a stone circle. The carved base is consistent with this idea, that anchor shape being common in the stones of Aberdeenshire recumbent circles (see a photo of an uprooted one in this post about the circle on Aikey Brae here). It is also thought to have been used as a boundary marker along with another old and mysterious stone, the Crabstane. Both stones may have borne stony witness to the 1571 Battle of Craibstone between Clans Forbes and Gordon.

Who carved the words on it, or when, I don’t know. But it was very naughty. There is also a faint six-pointed star just below the text, which is interesting but still desecration.

Visiting the Lang Stane

I like to pay the stone a wee visit when I’m in the vicinity, all tucked away and squished into its alcove as it is. There’s no scenic rolling hillsides or lush forests for the Lang Stane as enjoyed by its contemporaries…

The opening scene of FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE takes place in a stone circle, the story then travelling the old cobbled streets of Aberdeen before leaving Scotland’s shores.

There’s a lovely review of the book up on Pink Quill Books here: “This is a love story that transcends colour, race, and class, as Elizabeth grows from being a spoilt lady of the castle to a young woman who fiercely defends her closest friends.

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE

Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 600 children and young people who were kidnapped from Aberdeen during the 1740s and sold into indentured servitude in the American Colonies. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s proper derring-dos on the high seas… and there’s chocolate!

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

“Filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society Editor’s Pick

See the publisher’s Press Release here

A Dancer’s Journey – a contemporary series

A Dancer's Journey, a 3 book series by Ailish Sinclair. Dark and romantic books.

These books are so naughty that I’m a little worried nobody will be able to look me in the face again after reading them. But not that worried. They’re out in the world anyway.

When dance student Amalphia Treadwell embarks on a secret relationship with her charismatic new teacher, she has no idea of the danger that lurks in his school in Scotland…

See the series page here on the site for full blurbs and quotes

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

Series on Goodreads

A Dancer's Journey Series by Ailish Sinclair - dark and romantic books

My About Page

ballet feet of Ailish Sinclair

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