Simple Things, Happy Things

Simple things: white pointe shoes and a prayer plant.

This is a post from 2023. It’s about simple things that make me happy. Today I’m adding new white pointe shoes. And a prayer plant.

Original Simple Things Post

Recently, I’ve been sharing little bits of my life that relate to the 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!

beach: simple things
A walk on the beach

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

A Dancer’s Journey: complete, shocking, unique

Tendu by Ailish Sinclair
  • Angsty romance
  • Lots of naughtiness!
  • A neurodivergent heroine and a Byronic hero
  • Set in London and Scotland
  • Unconventional love and a secret relationship
  • A castle, a dungeon and a stone circle

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…

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

In the Press

New novel from Aberdeenshire author combines passions from Grampian Online.

Cabriole by Ailish Sinclair

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Ailish Sinclair in a tree...

Read all about little old me here

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Pointe Work and a Daring Leotard

pointe work and a red leotard
Ready for pointe work. Photographer: Darian Volkova

Reflections

Looking back on this post from a year ago. Reflecting on the past twelve months. Determining to stay well now. To not burn myself out again. In a year’s time I want to be writing about dancing around doing pointe work and getting books out and visiting castles and other lovely places. Maybe I’ll even wear a red leotard. Probably not to visit a castle. But, you never know… 😀

Back to the original post:

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. 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 insightful 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 the next manuscripts. There’s a connected series coming…

A Dancer’s Journey Series

Pointe work: A Dancer's Journey series by Ailish Sinclair

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…

My dance background and love of history and spicy stories are what inspired this wild mix of contemporary romance and ballet set in a castle. Readers of my historical fiction will recognise the castle and stone circle that feature in these books.

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

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

Book covers of A Dancer's Journey series by Ailish Sinclair: celebratory dance. Shoes ready for pointe work.

More Posts with Dance Content

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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

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 whole series is out now!

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

Series on Goodreads

Page with blurbs and quotes

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

Diabolical reading

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

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.

An (Old) 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…

A Dancer’s Journey Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

Page with blurbs and quotes

A Dancer's Journey by Ailish Sinclair

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.

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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

Balgorkar Stone Circle and Castle Fraser

Balgorkar Stone Circle
On the way to Balgorkar Stone Circle

This post details a day in 2014 when we set off to find Balgorkar Stone Circle and visited two castles and another circle too.

We headed off to look for the stones. But first there was a quick stop at Fraserburgh beach where the haar (Scottish word for mist that rolls in off the sea) hung low and filtered the sunlight in a silvery way. A seagull flew by as I took the photo.

Balgorkar Stone Circle

Inland we travelled, to bright sunshine and summer colours and the stones of Castle Fraser.

To the left in the picture below (click to see larger image) are two standing stones and to the right, in the distance by the trees, is Balgorkar Stone Circle (also known as Castle Fraser Stone Circle). The stones were visible from the road, so quite easily found.

standing stones and a Balgorkar stone circle

Up the side of the field we walked.

Balgorkar Stone Circle in Aberdeenshire

I thought we’d have to just view the stones from there, but no, some naughty person had trampled a pathway through the crop, so we did no further damage by walking it.

illicit path to Balgorkar stone circle

The recumbent and flankers, dark against the field:

Balgorkar stone circle

Castle Fraser

Next we visited Castle Fraser where I was meant to be doing research for writing on heraldry, historic dates and architecture. This took the form of running about taking photos:

Castle Fraser

I loved the rooftop and later wrote about it here.

turrets

Kildrummy Castle

Then, after picnicking, with only half the day gone, we decided to head to ruinous Kildrummy Castle, a few miles further on.

more serendipity at Kildrummy Castle - Ailish Sinclair, author

There in the reception was an old friend who I hadn’t seen for years. There was hugging and much talking. Other people got fed up waiting to be served… We kept saying it was amazing. My friend is currently doing a PhD in history, so some of our conversation became spontaneous research.

We finally moved on to look around:

great hall

I do appreciate the use of the adverb ‘treacherously’ there; without it we might think Osbourne the Blacksmith to have merely made a mistake or had an unfortunate accident such as tripping with a pot of molten metal or dropping a freshly forged sword.

window

Broomend of Crichie Stone Circle

The day ended with a visit to Broomend of Crichie stone circle, Pictish stone placed in the middle.

Broomend of Crichie

This blog post is ending in a rather unrelated way, with some ballet. It’s beautiful and romantic and only two minutes long. It’s Scottish Ballet performing at the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

Historical Fiction featuring a castle and a stone circle!

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

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

The Mermaid and the Bear by Ailish Sinclair, and a harp

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.

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!

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

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

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feet

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The History of Witchcraft Accusations in Aberdeen

leg fetters
The Steeple of St Nicholas Kirk

Aberdeen has quite a brutal history of witchcraft accusations, and other dark events such as mass kidnappings. This post details the start of my research in those areas.

Memorial

Cowdray Hall War Memorial and the history of witchcraft in Aberdeen

Aberdeen’s Cowdray Hall doubles as a war memorial and a venue for classical concerts, and it’s where I started my wee tour of the city on this day.

Gaol!

Leaving grand places behind, I journeyed on to the Tolbooth Museum, a 17th and 18th century gaol.  Unlike the pristine war memorial, the prison exhibits the dark nature of its origin for all to see. The small cells are stifling and scary. They smell stale. There are a few of those terrifying pretend people; some of them talk, regaling you with tales of their mistreatment.

leg fetters: history of witchcraft
bars in the 17th century gaol

The 18th century record of prisoners reveals many debtors, a murder spree and one intriguing entry of unspecified ‘outrages’.

outrages

History of Witchcraft Accusations

An interesting fact gleaned behind the bars and bolts and padlocks of the jail was that people accused of witchcraft were once imprisoned in the steeple of St. Nicholas Kirk. Out the door I went.

door to the cells: history of witchcraft in Aberdeen

The present day kirk is serene and beautiful and open to visitors in the afternoons. The steeple sits just above the part pictured below. It’s not the same one that was used as a prison in the 16th century, but it is situated in exactly the same place.

Those boards on the left display a detailed history of  the church,  but there was no mention of witchcraft.

church and history of witchcraft in Aberdeen

There was an excavation happening in the east part of the building. Lots of skeletons were uncovered along with a metal ring that ‘witches’ were once tied to.

archaeology: history of witchcraft in Aberdeen

The 12th century St. John’s Chapel houses a memorial to those killed in the Piper Alpha oil disaster. These amazing chairs are part of it. They sit right underneath the steeple.

carved furniture as a memorial

This window depicts the history of Aberdeen. It was paid for by the oil and gas industry so those themes dominate.

14664648327_339113ba52_z

I walked down steps and cobbled streets in search of comfort, hot chocolate and books.

research

Unfortunately there’s not much comfort to be found in researching The Witchcraft Act and all that followed.

The Witch Stone

History of Witchcraft: the witch stone near Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire

It is said that witches were tied to the witch stone near Fraserburgh, and burnt. The landowner questions whether this was the case as no documentation exists on the subject. But such evidence was often destroyed, or omitted from written history. After the burnings and ‘dookings’ and other well specified outrages by church and state had ended, people were ashamed. And rightly so. But where’s the memorial in that?

Memorial through Dance

70 years since D-Day, BalletBoyz pay tribute to the thousands of soldiers who lost their lives with a specially commissioned short film for Channel 4:

More Witch-Related Posts

The Book

The book that eventually sprang from all this is out in both paperback and Kindle now.

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

The Mermaid and the Bear by Ailish Sinclair

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.

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

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

On the flat stone of Aikey Brae Stone Circle

Historical Dark and Romantic Books

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

The historical novels of Ailish Sinclair

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

Mailing List

Keep up to date with all my news by signing up to the mailing list. It’s a more intimate space than the blog, and always includes some exclusive photos. I aim to send it once a month, but don’t always succeed! If you would like to hear about new books and offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

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Ailish Sinclair romps in the loch

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A Snaggled, Barbarous Place

a snaggled, barbarous place

This snaggled wee post was originally published in January 2023. The book I mention working on – CABRIOLE – is out now along with the rest of the series. I’m currently working away on the connected series of coming-of-age stories with a similar release strategy in mind, for similar reasons…

Snaggled

A snaggled and barbarous place. That’s where I am. No, I’m not ill again. In fact, I’m doing quite well. Well enough to sit at my desk and write every day, anyway. I’m deep in relationship conflict and development in CABRIOLE, the second book in my dark and romantic ballet series, A Dancer’s Journey. And I’m LOVING it.

Release Strategy

These books will be out later this year (2023). I don’t want to rush them. And I also don’t want to put them, even the first one, TENDU, which is actually ready now, up for pre-order before they’re all finished. Because, what if I did become ill? And then there was a terribly long gap between books? Or worse than ill, and then there was no end to the series at all? No, no, no.

They’re going to be released a month apart, so there will be no long waits for readers. No cliffhanger endings either. Each book completes its story. But then there’s more. So much more.

Update: the whole series is out now!

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

Series on Goodreads

Page with blurbs and quotes

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

Losing the Plot

My poor characters. They’re still recovering from a devastating event that happened in the first book, and now they’re struggling with yet more difficult and complicated things. It’s no wonder they like it when I have a day out. This time their problems are of their own making, though, as stated in the quote above. This was not the plot that I originally envisaged for them. They got away from me. But they’ll sort it all out, and they’ll think everything’s fine. And then a mysterious child will walk up some steps into book three, and turmoil will begin again 🙂

Snowdrops

And look what’s happened in the garden. The appearance of the snowdrops always feel so sudden. And so hopeful. Not snaggled in any way. Spring approaches.

snowdrops in a snaggled place

Historical Fiction

Historical Fiction from Ailish Sinclair. Witches, kidnapping, Romans and romance.
  • SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD opens on a snowy winter solstice in 1st century Scotland. The main character is neurodivergent, and has been non-verbal until that first scene of the book.
  • 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.
  • FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the kidnapped children of 18th century Aberdeen, and is set in both Scotland and Colonial Pennsylvania.

They’re all available in paperback, kindle and on kindle unlimited.

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

Signed copies from me

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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.

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Ailish Sinclair goes into the woods

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Writer’s Tip Jar

2023 Moments: Dancing, Castles, Books…

2023 moments: book nook

I loved visiting the Pink House in Banff with its gorgeous wee book nook.

2023 moments: en pointe in a stone circle

Dancing among ancient stones in my ancient pointe shoes. That was fun.

2023 moments: red maple autumn leaves

Autumn was gentle and beautiful this year.

2023 moments: Bow Fiddle Rock

Visiting Bow Fiddle Rock was scenic and slippery.

Diabolical

Being diabolical: good, and not so good.

2023 moments: Provost Skene's House in Aberdeen

I had an interesting time exploring Provost Skene’s House in Aberdeen.

the dark of the castle

Getting A Dancer’s Journey out there into the world felt like a big moment. I enjoyed writing this Dark of the Castle post.

2023 moments: Fyvie Castle

More recent favourite moments: Christmas at Fyvie Castle and walking round the frozen loch there.

Really, being well for large chunks of the year was the highlight for me. I got out. I got books out. It was good.

A Meme of Book Blurbs

And then, the other day, this meme really made me laugh. I don’t know who to credit with its creation; it’s doing the rounds on Facebook. It looks like it might be from a book; if you know, do tell me.

book blurbs; glossary of terms

So, I’m going to blurb my books this way. Feel free to do the same with your own, or any books you love, in the comments. Links welcome. No bashing of other authors or books, though. Not here.

historical novels of Ailish Sinclair
  • TENDU: disturbing.
  • CABRIOLE: perceptive.
  • FOUETTÉ: this one is a bit difficult; I’ll go with classic.

Wishing you all a great 2024 with many marvellous moments!

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Ailish's feet

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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.

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The Dark of the Castle

the dark of the castle
The dark of the castle: photo taken in Corgarff Castle

The dark of the castle. That’s where we begin. In Cabriole. Which is out today.

Cabriole by Ailish Sinclair
Black coffee and dark chocolate

It’s the second title in the series, and also the notorious one.

The main character, autistic dancer Amalphia, won’t tell you that things are a bit dark in her world. She’s rather an unreliable narrator at the start of the book. But the story soon moves. In fact, it travels around quite a bit.

the dark of the castle: out the door we go!
Out the door we go! Photo taken at Fyvie Castle

From the blurb

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… See full blurb here

London

I took the next photo the last time I walked through Chinatown in London. Cakes like this don’t actually feature in the novel, but I think they express lightness and fun. There is plenty of that in the tale too.

cakes in  a shop window Chinatown, London.
Cakes in Chinatown

Excerpt

Justin and Amalphia meet in Chinatown at one point. Quote slightly edited to avoid a spoiler:

“Phi, keep going,” urged Justin. “You can’t say something like that and go quiet.”

Between large mouthfuls of food, I detailed the time in New York, the following week… and the present: the horrible, sticky, itchy present.

“I’m a bit shocked,” he admitted. “It’s a lot to take in.”

There’s a few places like this in the book:

London Coliseum
The London Coliseum

And this question is explored:

Cabriole by Ailish Sincalir, starting in the dark of the castle

So, there we are. A Dancer’s Journey. It’s in paperback, Kindle and on Kindle Unlimited. Two outOne to go (December 22nd)

Series on Amazon

Series on Goodreads

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.

See the Wee Writing Lassie’s new blog series about my favourite dancers here

A Dancer's Jpurney by Ailish Sinclair

There’s more about these stories in the posts below:

Diabolical reading

About Page

ballet feet of Ailish Sinclair

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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.

Bookish people can apply for Advance Reader Copies of future books here.

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Strichen Lake in Aberdeenshire

Strichen Lake

Today we have beautiful Strichen lake for my wee road to winter journey or blog series as it has become. And yes, it is called a lake, not a loch, which is a little unusual for up here.

Reflections in Strichen Lake

Reflections on the lake.

Swans on Strichen Lake

The swans make it a little balletic. For me, anyway.

The Strichen Community Park Facebook Page always has lots of seasonal photos and news about the park and lake.

Tendu is out, and Cabriole is almost here (November 24th)!

The first two titles of A Dancer's Journey

And the third title, Fouetté, releases in December. Phew! These aren’t just the naughtiest books I’ve ever written, they’re the longest, being about 50% longer than my historical titles.

I’m trying to keep up with the reviews that keep popping up in unexpected places. Mick_the_knife had this to say on Threads: “My Kindle is fully charged and waiting to welcome Cabriole with open arms. Tendu was a romp and a roller coaster and it possibly contributed to my sleep deprivation for a couple of weeks!”

A Dancer's Journey by Ailish Sinclair

They’re in paperback too. Nice big chunks of books.

Series page here on the site

On Amazon

Series on Goodreads

TENDU: 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…

And then on into CABRIOLE: 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…

Cabriole by Ailish Sincalir
Cabriole: Dancing in the City

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About Page

dancer
And that’s a tendu…

My About Page

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