You are afraid of the moments between not knowing and knowing. That limbo between the path not taken and the consequences of actions. You are afraid of the fork in the road.


Norah Mackenzie is flirting with disaster in her native city of Glasgow. Her late father’s financial ruin combined with the implosion of a complicated – and unconventional – relationship drives her to arrange a marriage to a rich laird, hoping to solve all her problems in one fell swoop. She relocates to the north coast of Scotland to begin her new life at his remote estate. She expects a period of adjustment, but nothing can prepare her for what she finds in the house on the cliff.

Her new husband is distant and melancholy, his housekeeper watches her with haunted eyes from the shadowed rooms, and the land itself seems to be telling her stories of violence and smoke. As weeks pass and reality itself seems to unravel, Norah must make what alliances she can in order to uncover the secret behind Corrain House’s unrest before it all comes tumbling down around her.

THE NEEDFIRE is an adult speculative gothic novel that combines the historical flavour and sapphic yearning of Sarah Waters with the creeping dread of MEXICAN GOTHIC. Written from a uniquely Scottish perspective, it explores the aftermath of the Highland Clearances, giving a voice to those exploited and overlooked in this tumultuous period of history – including the land itself.


Chapter 1

Chapter 2