The Lazuli Portals

~ fiction for the awakening ~

The House of the Stormwind

The House of the Stormwind and other short stories


These tales are free to all readers in e-format. This book is also available in combination (a “duobook”) with Crystal, Fire, and Water. For all download and purchasing options, please visit the Our Books page.


  • “The stories are written as if your best friend is telling you a story over a cup of coffee or tea. The energy includes you in a way few writers do. Love this, loved the Cordello Quest and looking forward to whatever comes next!”
  • “It was fantastic. I read it almost in one sitting. Stories vary in length, some less than a 1000 words, other more hefty. The title story was one my favourites (as I suspected it would be!) followed by Midsummer Beauty and The Magim’s Staff (the latter short but oh, so sweet). The writing is beautiful, imbued with magic and poetic at times. Thanks to Joanna Gawn, I’m not so prejudiced against short stories now and will in fact devour any offering this superb writer cares to give! A must-read collection either in one go (like me!) or to dip and delve into, not just once but again and again.”
  • “They reminded me of the TV series Tales of the Unexpected from Roald Dahl. Beautifully written and very evocative they explore our relationship with both ourselves and ‘others’.”


  • His voice was low and deep, and seemed to alight on every object in the room. I repressed a shudder and took the mug he handed to me. His fingers brushed mine, sending darts of cold electricity through me. I recoiled, slopping tea on the old, scarred kitchen table.

    [Power Games]

  • I jumped as a crack of thunder split the dark sky, listening as booms of sound rolled around the cliffs and across the sea. “That was close!” Rain streamed down the glass as the storm vented its fury. The room became night-dark, lending a menace that had been lacking until now. A moment’s pause, then a sharp flash as lightning broke the roiling cloud in two. Above the fireplace, a small vase toppled and smashed to the tile floor, shards falling randomly. The house itself seemed to quiver, I heard a door slam, and fear sped through me.

    [The House of the Stormwind]

  • Startled, she turns, finding no-one. But the odd feeling remains, and she feels unexpectedly comforted. Stronger now, her eyes fixated on the window, on the sunlight, she repeats over and over: Here I am. Here I am. Here I am. The words are a safe place in her mind; she sends them out, building a chain between her and her father.


  • My dear Madeleine, If this letter reaches you – or should I say when it reaches you – then you will know that the time has come for you to take the next step on your journey. This will have far-reaching effects on how you perceive your life. My dear, you cannot know how difficult it has been to write this, knowing that you might find my past silence unforgivable. But there is no alternative – your fate was written long before you were born, and we each have our roles to play in the dramas scripted by those who came before us. I’m afraid this relates to your mother, but I can tell you no more than that. I love you. Be strong. Bea. X

    [Midsummer Beauty]

  • She knew it was up to her to initiate her questions; he’d have no idea why she’d offered him refreshments, why she’d urged him into her home against all common sense. But there was a puzzle to be solved. And she knew that if she had no resolution to it, she would regret it for the rest of her life. She just hoped that her life would continue beyond today, that she hadn’t just done something massively stupid. Her Dad had always said she had no common sense. She reckoned he was right.

    [Assignment: Humanity]

  • The dark eyes fixed upon hers softened. It was like watching black ice melt into ebony velvet. Some of what she said was getting through, she was sure of it. “If you let me go, I’ll tell them I escaped. I’ll give you time to find somewhere to go. Somewhere you’ll be alone, where you can’t hurt anyone.” And I’ll make sure they find you.

    [Red Mist]

  • “Michael!” she shouted, her voice firmer this time. She was frozen to the spot, pinned by her sightlessness. Christa reached a tentative hand forward, feeling nothing but empty space. Half stumbling, she forged her way into the nothingness, growing more and more puzzled as she encountered no obstacles, no pews, nothing. And still no Michael.

    [Knock, Knock]

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