Chasing a Cover Reveal Along Snowy Pathways

snowy path to a cover reveal

This is the cover reveal for FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE!

Other reveals can be seen here for THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, and more recently, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD.

Last time I had a cover to reveal we journeyed down a rabbit hole to find it… but I haven’t been anywhere exciting like that lately, so we’ll have to stick closer to home, starting on the snowy track into the woods.

Reaching the end of the track, we nip up this narrow path:

narrow path to a cover reveal

Here we are on the loch-side walk now, sunshine to our left.

sunny path in the woods

Wait! What’s that? Something’s moving in the woods, running and leaping through the trees…

The Mermaid and the Bear by Ailish Sinclair in the snow by deer tracks

No, that’s not it. That’s the first book (out now!) and some foot prints left by a deer. We need to retrace our steps, I think…

Snowy track to a cover reveal

And yes – finally we come to it – the cover reveal for FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE, out April 1st 2021!

Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair, out 2021

The cup featured on the cover is an actual chocolate cup from the 1740s when the book is set.

Inspired by the 600 children and young people who were kidnapped from Aberdeen and sold into indentured servitude in the American Colonies, the story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s proper derring-dos on the high seas (as opposed to my previous metaphorical ones)! And there’s chocolate…

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

“Filled with excitement and suspense…” Review from the Historical Novel Society


Keep up to date with all my news, from visits to Scottish castles and stone circles, to books and writing and life, by signing up to the mailing list!

My Other Books

Sisters at the Edge of the World cover

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!

“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.

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

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 

ballet novel, TENDU, by Ailish Sinclair

See my About Page here

Writer’s Tip Jar

A Completed Series and Christmas at the Castle

A completed series: A Dancer's Journey by Ailish Sinclair
Christmas at the castle. A Dancer's Journey is now a completed series

Yes. Phew. *Lies down, exhausted* A Dancer’s Journey is now a completed series. Ready to binge.

The photo above shows the fireplace in the music room at Fyvie Castle, previously glimpsed here.

Dance and Despair

I have a new article up on the Women Writers, Women‘s Books site: Dance and Despair: Writing What You Know It discusses some of the inspiration behind the Dancer’s Journey series.

“I was drawing from my own life, yes, but it also felt like I was tapping into a wider female knowledge, one that can be hard to speak about. I had to do it justice. I had to get it right.”

Christmas at the Castle

There’s a Christmas party at the fictional castle in the third book, Fouetté, which is out today.

Fouetté, out today

It was really difficult to find a quote that wasn’t also a spoiler, so here’s a short, slightly edited, one from that party:

Running in high heels was not fun. Neither was pursuing an inebriated nemesis.

The theatre was empty. I walked on up the corridor and found her bent forward over the edge of the swimming pool, gazing into its dimly lit blue depths. The light illuminated us from below, creating an intimate effect, maybe encouraging the telling of deep truths.

One step forward, and she would fall in…

Below is a window from the music room at Fyvie, replete with seasonal poinsettias.

A Christmas window and a completed series

An Interview with Amalphia Treadwell

That Wee Writing Lassie is asking her cheeky questions again, but this time it’s to the main character of the books, not me. See her blog series here.

A Dancer’s Journey: a completed series

A Dancer's Journey series by Ailish Sinclair

My dance background and love of history and spicy stories are what inspired this dark 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.

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…

A Dancer's Journey Series by Ailish Sinclair

There are no cliffhanger endings here; 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 is available in paperback, Kindle and on Kindle Unlimited.

A connected series is coming next year!

A Dancer's Journey

About Page

Ailish's feet

See my About Page

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

Just Some Spring Flowers

spring flowers - crocus in the garden
In the garden

It’s good to see the spring flowers. And the sunshine. As illness recedes a little along with the winter.


Ethereal and spellbinding

Romans + Celts = some rather complicated romance!

Set in 1st century Scotland, the novel features a neurodivergent main character, chosen sisters, fierce warriors and the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes.

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide


    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

    castle roof

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

    Writer’s Tip Jar

    Share Those First Lines with Me!

    First lines of books. "It was the best of times..." Quote from Charles Dickens

    First lines. They’re important, right? I know they are. When I click on the ‘look inside’ facility on Amazon, I’m already judging the quality of the writing from those initial words.


    The full line from A Tale of Two Cities, quoted above, is actually much longer than just those first dramatic words. In full:

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

    It breaks a few modern writing rules, but I really like it 🙂

    Show Me Your First Lines

    The last sharing post I did was quite a success, with people buying and discussing the books. Feel free to add to it too if you like. These posts will be brought to the front of the blog every so often, and shared on social media now and again, so they won’t just vanish into oblivion.

    But for today, here, let’s see those first lines. They can be lines from your published books, or works in progress, or from a book that you love. I think it would be fun to not say much more about the book other than the title and author. Feel free to add buy or information links too, though, so we can click through if we like what we read.

    I’ll share the first line of THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR.

    “The first time the sea killed me, my brother brought me back to life.”

    Book info page


    The Mermaid and the Bear by Ailish Sinclair

    Your Turn!

    Writerly Roundup: interview, reviews, group

    writerly places, a cobbled street with flowers
    A rather distracting cobbled street in Aberdeen. It features here and here.

    I get easily distracted by the places and things that I write about here and forget to mention other writerly bits and pieces of note in some posts. So here goes!


    I recently did an interview with the lovely Tonya Ulynn Brown on her blog The Rose and the Thistle here. Tonya’s review of THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR came out while I was in hospital last year and it really cheered me up. I tweeted about it from my bed very early in the morning, having finally worked out how to use the WiFi. I remember the scene so clearly: the dimmed light in the ward, the wall clock with its strange night and day depiction, the quiet padding about of nurses, and the prick of the blood sugar checking device. At least I had performed some worthwhile task from my bed. I was almost working! A man instantly tweeted back to me that I was being too ‘self congratulatory’ in mentioning the review. And that only encouraged me…

    In the interview I ask such questions as: Is it really good enough? Is it, in fact, bilge? Or nonsense? Or the worst thing that has ever been written in the whole history of the world? 

    And dispense advice like: Don’t let other people tear you down and tell you you’re doing it wrong. People have strange agendas when it comes to the writing of others. Do your own thing. Go your own way.

    See the whole interview here.

    writerly times: sunlight by a mausoleum
    Sunlight peers round the corner of the Duff House Mausoleum

    The second writerly thing: reviews

    There’s been quite a few. Two of the most recent for FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE are from Elisabeth on the writer’s tip jar site Kofi here. I found her mention of language very interesting.

    And then over on Goodreads, this one from Alex came in yesterday. “I was moved and shocked by what I read but also took solace from the portrayal of genuine historic figures in the book such as the vile Alexander Young and the decent Benjamin Lay, Peter Williamson and Benjamin Franklin whose kindness and determination make a difference to those reduced to the status of chattels.”

    cobbles or cassies
    Ah, those cobbles, or cassies as they are up here. See yet more of them.

    And the last writerly mention: the group

    I’ve started a wee Facebook Group to promote Scottish books. Your own or those you’ve read, fiction or non-fiction, about or set in Scotland or written by a Scottish author. If you’re interested feel free to join here.

    writery things: stone circles
    Possibly the biggest distraction of all, stone circles. See this one here.

    For more cobbled streets and old stones, sign up to the mailing list.

    Read my books for free

    All my novels are on Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s lending service, and that has a 30 day free trial, though some people are being offered 3 months for free just now. See all the books here. Also in paperback.

    kindle unlimited

    Writer’s Tip Jar