The Mermaid and the Bear

Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, Ailish Sinclair’s debut novel, 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.

Published by GWL Publishing, the book is out in paperback and Kindle now.

See the Press Release here


Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide



The Mermaid and the Bear cover


Isobell needs to escape. She has to. Her life depends on it.

She has a plan and it’s a well thought-out, well observed plan, to flee her privileged life in London and the cruel man who would marry her, and ruin her, and make a fresh start in Scotland.

She dreams of faery castles, surrounded by ancient woodlands and misty lochs… and maybe even romance, in the dark and haunted eyes of a mysterious Laird.

Despite the superstitious nature of the time and place, her dreams seem to be coming true, as she finds friendship and warmth, love and safety. And the chance for a new beginning…

Until the past catches up with her.

Set in the late sixteenth century, at the height of the Scottish witchcraft accusations, The Mermaid and the Bear is a story of triumph over evil, hope through adversity, faith in humankind and – above all – love.

Author Bio:

Ailish Sinclair trained as a dancer and taught dance for many years, before working in schools to help children with special needs. A short stint as a housekeeper in a castle fired her already keen interest in untold stories of the past and she sat down to research and write.

She now lives beside a loch with her husband and two children where she still dances and writes and eats rather a lot of chocolate.

Quote from the book:

The stones stood, waiting, shining in the new light of the day, each tall megalith tipped with white frost. They seemed to curl round me, cosseting me in my anguish as I sat among them on the flat stone. The moon and star were lower in the sky now, hanging just over the largest stone where it lay on its side; they would no longer be visible from the Laird’s ceiling window.

Stone circle quote from The Mermaid and the Bear


Paperback: ISBN-10: 1910603732 ISBN-13: 978-1910603734

Kindle ASIN: B07XH2FV98

Further Insight:

The Mermaid and the Bear by Ailish Sinclair

Author Info:

18 Replies to “The Mermaid and the Bear”

      1. My pleasure. As you can see, I enjoyed the book! As an author, I’m often asked to read books or beta read for friends, so I’m generally reading 6-8 books at a time. I kept putting aside the others and picking up yours. A wonderful and captivating story. Your main characters came to life. 🙂 I wish you the best success with getting it out in the world. It’s quite an adventure!

  1. I just read the book, did not take me long, I could not put it down (switch it off).

    For me the absolute climax was, … oops, no I should not give anything away, should I?

    Congratulations to this book! I am looking forward to the next!

  2. I finished reading this book yesterday. I want you to know personally from me how much I enjoyed your writing. This tale was beautifully crafted and it is in the category of books I enjoyed the most over the past year. The storytelling was a delicacy between a joyful and a haunting dance that is so much of life without overpowering one in the despair of the darker moments. I think your manner of handling that was lovely. I also appreciated that you shared a bit at the end of the book about the real-life historical figurines that you wove the story around. I found this to be such a delight to read, I would gladly even purchase your following works from the “website that shall not be named” (and it’s rare I break ranks on my own decision to shop elsewhere under the circumstances, so it is really one of the highest compliments I can pay someone such as it is) if that continues to be the only place I can find digital copies, though I imagine someday, writing as you do, your works will begin to be sold on other platforms. I wish you every success, truly this was a beautifully written book and I enjoyed it very much. 🙂 Ariana

    1. Thank you so much for posting this wonderful review! I’m so glad you enjoyed the book.

      The publisher does only put the digital versions in the one place at the moment. Paperbacks available many places

      1. I did indeed very much enjoy your book! And I did end up leaving a review on Goodreads also, though I chose not to leave a review on Amazon. They did not take away my review privileges. For me this is not a matter of forgiveness, I have no problem forgiving. Rather it is about boundaries, and the kind of behavior I am willing to accept from an organization I was giving that much money to when it came to purchases. And they didn’t just make money off of all of the junk I paid for as a customer, they made money off of all of those reviews I wrote for their other customers. I feel like if they are going to accuse people of writing reviews for compensation they need to have a process where the person can demonstrate evidence to the contrary. Failure to do so demonstrates to me that they aren’t really serious about being the most customer centric business on the planet. It showed to me that they certainly didn’t care about what mattered most to me as a customer (my tattered reputation such as it is), but more than that it made me aware of the very real world harms that could come to me or organizations that I love in that type of situation where a business can say whatever and refuse to work with a person. All that aside, I very much did love your book and though I rarely write public reviews anymore in general because of how eye opening that situation was to me, I was happy to do so in this case. Wishing you the very best in writing and in life

  3. Good grief, Ailish, I’ve cried a lot! Especially writing of the deaths of Governor Bradford, his wife Alice, Priscilla Mullins, Thomas Cushman and Mary Allerton Cushman in The Last Pilgrim. Living with characters for so long led to grief when I had to write them out!

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