A Golden and Blue Writing Schedule

golden and blue harvest time
golden blue autumn

It’s all golden and blue and warm and lovely here just now. There are different feelings in the air; sometimes it seems to be autumn with blustering winds and grey skies, but then it’s hot, hot summer again. The fields are cut, and ploughing has begun.

Another wee shot from the stone circle (see previous post here):

golden and blue: ballet shoes on a stone

Golden and Blue Writing

My writing schedule is quite extreme; all will be ready for October 20th. It feels golden, as I love working on all and any aspects of these books, and a little blue as I realise I’m almost at the end.

So, I run up and down the castle stairs with my characters. I dance with them in the deep dungeon studio, the stone circle and the great hall. I eat cake in Covent Garden and enjoy an unexpected kiss on the tube. Then there’s the bad things, the dark places and the relationship woes. I cry my way through those; you know I do. But I have my chocolate buttons and my tissues, and I’ll be okay…

Tendu: Dancing in the Castle

Explore the dark and sensual world of TENDU, where love, dance and obsession intertwine.

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Tendu: Dancing in the Castle

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feet

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A Celebratory Dance in a Stone Circle

a celebratory dance

Did I take a pair of old pointe shoes and perform a celebratory dance in a stone circle? Yes. Yes, I did.

The reason for the celebration? Well, there’s more than one. Firstly, I’m well enough to dance around a bit. I am enduring one or two monstrous autoimmunity symptoms, but they don’t stop me dancing! And secondly, all three books of A Dancer’s Journey are now on pre-order.

Book covers of A Dancer's Journey series by Ailish Sinclair: celebratory dance.
Look at the pretty covers! And the less bashed pointe shoes…

Release dates (2023)

ballet feet in a celebratory dance
Dancing on the stones worsened the frayed situation somewhat.

There’s a page with full blurbs and some quotes, but here’s part of Tendu’s description:

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.

Dark, witty, sexy and fun, Tendu is a compelling and seductive story of love, dance and obsession. 

The books do include a little dancing in a stone circle. It’s fun, and I highly recommend it. I hope you can all enjoy a celebratory dance too.

Featured circle: Aikey Brae.

Pre-order A Dancer's Journey

Newsletter and Updates

Sign up to the mailing list for news about my life and writing, and some exclusive photos. If you would like to hear about new books and offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

My About Page

Ailish's feet

Read all about little old me here!

Writer’s Tip Jar

Romantic Suspense and Historical Fiction

Scottish Fiction from Ailish Sinclair. Quote from romantic suspense novel TENDU.

I write romantic suspense 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 naughtier, though still dark, and available to pre-order 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.

Romantic Suspense – A Dancer’s Journey – 3 book series

A Dancer's Journey, a 3 book series by Ailish Sinclair. Romantic suspense.

These books are so naughty that I’m worried nobody will be able to look me in the face again after reading them. But not that worried. A Dancer’s Journey is now available for pre-order, titles releasing in October, November and December 2023.

See the series page here for blurbs and quotes.

A Dancer's Journey Series by Ailish Sinclair

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

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

Quote from the romantic suspense novel TENDU by Ailish Sinclair

Historical Fiction

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

The historical novels of Ailish Sinclair

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Amazon Worldwide

Further Insight into my life and work

Updates

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A Dancer's Journey: dark and sexy romantic suspense

The Beauty of Bow Fiddle Rock and Swan Lake

Bow Fiddle Rock

I had hoped it might be sunny on my recent visit to Bow Fiddle Rock, a natural sea arch near Portknockie. It was. Very briefly. Between the car and the benches, the sun shone brightly for a few seconds.

Bow Fiddle Rock benches

Then the clouds closed over, but the place was still beautiful.

Bow Fiddle Rock

I was reminded of the stunning Swan Lake photos of husband and wife Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel, taken by photographer Fabrizio Ferri below. Overcast, wet weather did not stop beauty there either.

Back at Bow Fiddle Rock, I slipped and slid over recently rained-on pebbles to take my photos.

Bow Fiddle Rock

I stopped to admire red clover on my way back up the cliff. And that was beautiful too.

Sisters at the Edge of the World

Sisters at the Edge of the World

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…

“Ethereal and spellbinding….” Historical Novel Society

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

See the press release here

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

About Page

Ailish's feet

See my About Page here

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Go here to sign up for my occasional emails that always include some exclusive photos and news of my writing and life. If you would rather just hear about new books and offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

castle door

Writer’s Tip Jar

Simple Things, a Pictorial Post

beach: simple things
A walk on the beach

This is a post of simple things that make me happy. Recently, I’ve been sharing little bits of my life that relate to the forthcoming series, A Dancer’s Journey. Writing the last post of that type brought me out in a cold sweat. Literally. So today, it’s just happy, shiny things!

First up is a walk on the beach. Illness often prevents such activities, so I really appreciate them when they’re possible, and they are just now.

Next: flowers.

simple things: pink purslane
Pink Purslane in the woods
simple things: a tall peony
A tall and pollen-heavy Peony
simple things: apple blossom
apple blossom

The last of the simple things is a newly tidied drawer. Actually still a messy drawer under the shoes. But I can get to my shoes easily. And I can dance.

Ballet shoes

My Latest Novel

Sisters at the Edge of the World by Ailish Sinclair

When Morragh speaks to another person for the very first time, she has no idea that he is an invader in her land…

  • forbidden romance
  • chosen sisters
  • fierce warriors
  • neurodivergent main character

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

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

Newsletter

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

About Page

Ailish Sinclair in a tree...

Read all about little old me here

Writer’s Tip Jar

Working Girl: a WordPress Prompt Goes Dark

wordpress prompt

What jobs have you had?

A WordPress Prompt

Well, WordPress prompt, when I was fifteen, I took over my ballet teacher’s school for a few months before going to college.

Despite being far too young for such a responsibility, I loved it, and it paid for all the dancewear and equipment I needed for my studies.

ballet teacher: wordpress prompt

In my second year of dance school, I got a job in a shop in Covent Garden. It was a very nice shop. I had more money. No more choosing between food and decent pointe shoes.

shop assistant: wordpress prompt

But here is where things go a bit darker than the WordPress prompt probably intended. I knew really, that working both Saturday and Sunday, after a hard week of dance training, was a bit foolhardy. My sensible friend, Suzette, who would have counselled against this, had returned to Mauritius. More about Suzette and dance training here

So, I became exhausted. There was dance injury after dance injury. I developed a chest infection that lasted five months.

The shop sacked me for being ill. This left me even more vulnerable than I had already been, at seventeen, alone in London.

There was a violent predator.

There was an incident from which I was lucky to escape with my life.

Fast forward to the present, skipping several other jobs…

writer: wordpress prompt

And my writing is influenced by my past. This is most evident in my contemporary work. There is a dark event in TENDU, the first book of the forthcoming series A Dancer’s Journey, that I knew how to write because of my own experience. Not that it’s exactly the same, of course. In fact, it’s quite different. Fiction has to be more dramatic than reality, and more interesting. Far more interesting…

And have an infinitely more exciting setting…

These books have dark moments, but they are actually quite fun, overall, I think. And naughty. Like life, if you’re lucky!

And they’re available to pre-order now!

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

Page with blurbs and quotes

More on the series

My Books

Ethereal and spellbinding... says the Historical Novel Society of SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD

Set in 1st century Scotland, and featuring the cliffs and caves of Cullykhan Bay, 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…

“Ethereal and spellbinding…” Historical Novel Society

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

See the press release here

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

The Mermaid and the Bear by Ailish Sinclair

Taking place mainly in a fictional 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

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

feet

See my About Page here

Newsletter

Go here to sign up for my occasional emails that always include some exclusive photos and news of my writing and life. If you would rather just hear about new books and offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

Writer’s Tip Jar

Some Depressing Time Travel

time travel with a book

That’s what my son said of my little video attempt below. “Wow, that’s some depressing time travel.”

Romantic Time Travel

I do like those sad stories, though. Not that they’re sad, beginning to end, these books. There’s romance in them all, happy romance, sometimes a little bit naughty too. And one of them has chocolate… No actual time travel, though. None at all.

You can be depressed by them all here in the UK, or for worldwide depression, go here.

Writing with no time travel

I’ve been writing, writing, writing, living in the intense and sexy atmosphere of A Dancer’s Journey. I love it. I don’t want to leave it. It’s fun and romantic, if a little devastating and dramatic in places. But leave it, I will, later this year, when all three books finally get released.

More on the series:

Pink Things

I’ve been enjoying the pink phase of the garden…

pink bench in a time travel post
Pink bench and cherry blossom

Newsletter and Updates

Sign up to the mailing list for news about my life and writing, and some exclusive photos. If you would rather just hear about new books and offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

My About Page

Ailish's feet

Read about little old me here!

Writer’s Tip Jar

Pointe Work and a Red Leotard

pointe work and a red leotard
Photographer: Darian Volkova

Would a strappy red leotard distract the eye from my puffer-fish face or accentuate it? The many thin straps of the garment crisscrossed my back in a pleasing design. It was different. It was daring. I wore it.

The above quote is from TENDU, the first book of A Dancer’s Journey, a romantic-suspense series coming later this year. The main character, Amalphia, has just been through some relationship turmoil, again, and is returning to class after injury caused by an inappropriate level of pointe work. The red leotard gets her into a surprising amount of trouble.

Her injury came from being asked to perform every exercise in class en pointe. This is something that I took from my own life.

pointe work

Memories of Pointe Work

One week at college, our usual morning-class teacher – the late great Imogen Claire – was absent and a substitute put in place. This new teacher decided I needed to be stretched and pushed, and had me do everything en pointe. Just me. Nobody else. This singling-out drew a few nasty looks from the other dancers. But really, there was nothing to be jealous about.

Because it really was everything. Every bend. Every jump. I love jumping en pointe. I still do it sometimes. But as a training method in morning class, this excessive pointe work made no sense. It removed the benefit of many of the exercises, and I limped off to the other lessons of the day improperly warmed-up.

After two days of this, my feet were sore. After a week, they were a mess. But then Imogen returned with her no-nonsense approach to teaching and ballet, and I healed.

Imogen Claire and Christopher Biggins in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Imogen looks through her glasses in disapproval (Rocky Horror Picture Show 1975). Christopher Biggins, to the left there, once said very nice things to me while judging my annual assessment at college.

There was no need for extra pointe work, as we were blessed with a specialist teacher for that. At first I was surprised to learn that the class was taught by a man, but Gary Harris was a true expert on the subject, performing all the steps en pointe himself in his soft trainers at the front of the studio.

So, dance-school memories indulged, it’s time to head back into those manuscripts…

And the books are available to pre-order now!

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

Page with blurbs and quotes

More Posts with Dance Content

Newsletter

Sign up to the mailing list for news about my life and writing, and some exclusive photos. If you would rather just hear about new books and offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

Sisters at the Edge of the World

Ethereal and spellbinding... says the Historical Novel Society of SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD

When Morragh speaks to another person for the very first time, she has no idea that he is an invader in her land…

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!

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

My About Page

Ailish's feet

Read my bio and see all the social links and articles here.

Writer’s Tip Jar

Chosen Sisters: Friendship and Dance

Chosen sisters in front of Windsor Castle. Ailish Sinclair and friends.
Windsor Castle

Chosen Sisters

Two weeks after my sixteenth birthday, I travelled from Scotland to London to start dance college. I’d worked very hard to get there. It was daunting. It was difficult. But it was made easier by friendship. In particular, my friendship with Suzette, my chosen sister in the pink above. I’m in the stripes there, looking a bit hyper. We were on a day trip to Windsor Castle, and I may have been experiencing some early castle-love!

The two of us met at the youth hostel where we lived and quickly became friends. This woman was my emotional support that first year of college. I recall her standing between me and an aggressive man who kept asking me out, and giving him a thorough telling off for his belligerent behaviour. He left me alone after that. And Suzette was unusual for a non-dancer, in that she fully recognised the gruelling nature of the course I was on. My days started at 8 AM with morning ballet and went on till 6 PM. They were filled with high-impact dance classes of various types. There was one hour a week of ‘history of ballet’ and another hour of ‘anatomy’, but those were the only sitting-down style lessons.

Name-dropping Louie Spence

This video shows the sort of leaping about I was doing all day (it should start in at about 25 minutes, the audition). Louie (of TV’s Pineapple Dance, Dancing on Ice, and Benidorm) was in the year above me. I knew him a little bit, because the school was relatively small and everyone knew everyone a little bit. I can’t claim to have been actual friends with him, but I can attest to the personality you see on television being the real thing. That’s Louie. No fake TV persona for him.

So Suzette encouraged me to eat, and to rest, and to generally look after myself. Despite the fact that I advocate self-care to others in this article, I have never found it easy to do for myself.

And Suzette and I are still friends to this day. We even speak on the phone (well, Facebook Messenger call) sometimes, and I am not a person who is fond of the phone. I don’t use it much. It rings and summons me and then delivers news about deranged blood, and while that is actually just really responsible healthcare, and I’m so lucky in that, it doesn’t feel good at the time.

So, we two friends talk about the past, and Suzette recently commented that we were like sisters back then. It’s true. We were there for each other when things got hard. And we still are. We talk about our lives. I send her videos of snow in Scotland. She sends me pictures of her having lunch on the beach in a bikini. Suzette is from Mauritius. And, in honour of her, I have made a favourite character from the Dancer’s Journey series Mauritian, or half-Mauritian, as suits the story. He’s the main character’s best friend, Justin, and certainly provides her with plentiful emotional support (she really needs it, given all that I put her through). Though, he is not like Suzette in any other way. His character is not based on her at all.

A Dancer’s Journey Writing Update

As the latest flare-up of illness recedes, work on the series picks up. The first book, TENDU, is actually complete now. Book two, CABRIOLE, is about to start its third edit, and FOUETTÉ is into its second. It’s all very intense. I get up excited to work on it all each day, loving finessing the darker plot threads that run through all three books. There’s a lot of crying going on. And laughter too. The whole series will be out later this year, with no long waits between titles.

I’m really going to miss working on these when they’re finished. I so enjoy being in that world. The energy of it is immersive and possibly somewhat addictive. It’s just as well there’s another three-book series set there too. It’s waiting quietly in the wings for now…

The books are available to pre-order now!

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

Page with blurbs and quotes

Photo by Kyle Head on Unsplash

Earth and stone and air and water…

SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, a novel about chosen sisters, of course, continues to sell well and attract thoughtful and expressive reviews. Elizabeth Felt, a lecturer in English at the University of Wisconsin, had this to say about it recently: “The tone of this book is amazing. At the beginning, the narrator is mute, and the book feels so quiet, so in touch with the earth and stone and air and water… Amazing writing. Excellent story. Highly recommend.”

See the whole review here.

Newsletter

Sign up to the mailing list for news about my life and writing, and some exclusive photos. If you would rather just hear about new books and offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD

Sisters at the Edge of the World by Ailish Sinclair. "Ethereal and spellbinding..." says The Historical Novel Society

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…

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

See the press release here

Read the article New Novel Highlights Roman History in North East from Grampian Online.

THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR

The Mermaid and the Bear by Ailish Sinclair

Taking place mainly in a fictional 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. There’s 6 chapters of medieval Christmas too.

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

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!

See the publisher’s Press Release here

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

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

Writer’s Tip Jar

Diabolical and Deranged: Writing and Blood

Diabolical and deranged. These are words that have been said about me, or aspects of me, in the last few days. I like diabolical the best. My editor said it about the plot twists in CABRIOLE (book 2 of A Dancer’s Journey series). And she’s right. They are diabolical. And now they’re making other people cry too, not just me. It feels a little wrong to be delighted about such a thing, but it shows that the book is ticking the proper emotional boxes. So, I’m pleased. And diabolical.

Update

The books are available to pre-order now!

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

Page with blurbs and quotes

And Deranged?

It’s not my mind that’s deranged, but my blood. So I was told by a specialist nurse this week. And that’s not so much fun. There are to be more tests. And treatment. And, hopefully, my blood will arrange itself in a more pleasing manner soon.

Some Diabolical and Deranged Street Art

diabolical street art in Fraserburgh

I rather like the side of this wee cottage in Fraserburgh. Great movement and verve there from the artist.

Sisters at the Edge of the World

Ethereal and spellbinding... says the Historical Novel Society of SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD

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.

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

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

Newsletter

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

My About Page

Read my bio and see all the social links and articles here.

Writer’s Tip Jar

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