A little lull has been reached at the end of a hectic week. The colours of the loch are gentle, muted now at the darkest point of the year. I’ve seen a few blog posts about Christmas reading, such as this one here from Jacqueline Seewald. People are sharing the books they’re reading, and those that they’ve written, and I thought I’d join in.
So, share away! What books are you reading over the next couple of weeks? And/or, which books of yours should we consider delving into just now?
I’m reading Where There’s Doubt (romantic suspense/psychological thriller) by Terry Tyler and The Essex Serpent (historical fiction) by Sarah Perry. They’re both very good. My own books are down at the end of this post.
On the way home from a hospital visit in 2020, I stopped at Balmedie beach.
I crossed the boardwalk slowly, being careful not to catch my slippers in the gaps between wood. My foot is a lot better, though I still can’t wear proper shoes or put my heel right down on the ground, but I was determined to walk on the beach.
The thaw, and then the frost, made for a scene of silver ice up at the loch yesterday. It’s still very cold, but milder temperatures are supposed to arrive this week. And, personally, the next few days will be more hectic, so the daily blogs may be at their end. I’ve really enjoyed writing them, and may return to this practice again at some point.
I stumbled across a new review for SISTERS this week on the blog My Little Hawk: “If you’re like me and you also want to allow a book to paint the most vivid and beautiful images in your mind and be transported to another place and time, please spare some time to read this book. You’ll notice its powerful magic from page one.” See the whole review here.
Deer Prints by the Loch
All My Books
My historical novels all involve dark events, romance and a little magic…
SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD opens on a snowy winter solstice.
THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR has 6 chapters of medieval Christmas.
FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE features Christmas in Colonial Pennsylvania.
They’re all available in paperback, kindle and on kindle unlimited.
I thought things might get less scenic once the ice and snow started to melt. My walk was a little later yesterday, so the sun was just setting over the hill. And it was the melted places, the thawed places, that reflected the colour of that sunset.
Today it’s freezing again. The temperature is -8. So, fire and fingerless gloves on, off I go to write. I’m adding a new element to a scene in CABRIOLE, the sequel to TENDU, and it’s going to make everything just so much worse for everyone. The fun!
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.“
There’s brooding skies over the loch now. You can see the wee island that the landowner is building for wildlife. But the snow has turned to sleet, so things are about to get less pretty. Will these little daily blogs continue? I don’t know. Perhaps. Other scenic things may happen.
It’s Mermaid Time!
Everyone knows about the Salem witch trials that took place in seventeenth century America, but less well known are the instances of witch hunting that occurred across Scotland.
Ailish Sinclair painstakingly researched this fascinating and terrible subject for more than a year, before blending it with a love story in her debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR. Featuring three real women who were accused as part of the Aberdeen witchcraft panic of 1597, the book is set against the beautiful backdrop of the Aberdeenshire countryside and tells the story of Isobell, and her desperation to escape London and an arranged marriage, to find a better life.
Upon landing in Scotland, Isobell’s dreams of faery castles, ancient woodlands and misty lochs seem to be coming true, as she finds herself kitchen maid to a handsome Laird, who offers not only safety but also the hope for a brighter future, filled with love and kindness. All is not how it seems, however, and enemies, both from the past and the present, conspire to test Isobell to the limits of endurance, and beyond.
We have reached the snowy loch milestone of winter, with snow sitting atop a layer of ice over the water. Today is windy, and there may be more snow, but it’s a balmy 1 degree. Will the loch be even snowier tomorrow? I suspect so.
I still just want to sit and write. And today I shall.
Book of the Day: Fireflies and Chocolate
Ailish Sinclair has turned her attention from the terrible subject of witch hunting in sixteenth century Aberdeen, to the equally disturbing events that surrounded child kidnapping and the slave trade in the mid 1700s.
Using the experiences of real characters, she tells the story of Elizabeth Manteith, captured on the docks of Aberdeen and transported on a slave ship to the Colonies, where a fearful and uncertain future awaits.
Friendships forged on the journey are soon shattered, leaving Elizabeth alone and desolate. However, she retains her passionate desire to find the young man who befriended her on board the ship… and to get back home to her beloved Scotland.
I’m up early to light the fire, so that the room warms up a bit before writing. It is not actually my intention to post daily pictures of the frozen loch, but given the current weather, you never know! This was yesterday afternoon.
I’m still cold. I’m still moaning about the temperature (-9 yesterday, -3 today, so slightly better). But the beauty cannot be ignored.
Will another frozen loch appear here tomorrow? Well, it’s meant to snow today, so we’ll see,,,
“I stop now to properly observe and feel the gentle pink shade of the water. I try to breathe it in, to let it take me. All calm. All calm. But pink is not what I sense in the dwelling beyond the water. There’s no calm to be found there at all.”
Having explored 16th century witch trials in THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR and 18th century child kidnappings in FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE, author Ailish Sinclair has now travelled far back in time to the Iron Age and the Roman invasion of Scotland.
From the provocative opening scene to the later dramatic and devastating events of the story, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD is a book that will continually surprise, delight, and sometimes shock the reader. The novel features the beautiful hill of Bennachie, and the stone circles of Aberdeenshire along with the cliffs and caves of Cullykhan Bay.
I mustn’t forget frost at the beach. I love the crunch of the sand.
The low winter sun shines through.
Here’s hoping we get some snow soon 🙂
Sally Cronin features a selection of books (including SISTERS), from personally recommended authors, that she believes will make wonderful gifts for friends, family and you. See her wonderful Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair here.
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