North Bay Review
North Bay Review
Grapeview Author Puts Fiction Twist to North Mason Life
When a series of life-changing events present themselves in your life, how do you share them with others in a way that inspires and invokes hope during a time when life is a struggle? Local author, Rowena Portch, did just that. In her new Spirian series, she tells the story of Skye, a blind massage therapist whose life begins anew at age 45, when she thought her life was over. She discovers that she is a gifted Spirian healer who is about to meet her mate, Khalen, a man with a dark and mysterious past.
It’s a story of good versus evil with a twist or two of inspirational possibilities.
There are three books in the Spirian series; “The Protected,” released in May, “The Union,” to be released toward the end of October, and “Legend,” due for release next spring. After that, Rowena has another novel planned that is sure to challenge your idea of reality.
Rowena started writing over 30 years ago when she published her first adventure novel, “Stone Dragon,” and children’s book, “Deadman’s Fork,” both of which are no longer in print. She lived in southern California for 38 years before escaping to the great northwest. When asked why she moved to Washington, she replied, “I felt like an eagle trapped in cage of concrete and asphalt with horrid memories for my foundation. Washington provided the elements of nature I craved.”
She accepted a position at Microsoft as a senior technical editor and maintained that position for nine years until Retinitis Pigmentosa, a blinding disease, claimed her vision. She was forced to retire from her position in 2008. Wanting to pursue her passion for helping people heal, she and her husband opened a wellness center in the heart of Belfair. They proudly work with a fabulous team of five massage therapists, an acupuncturist, and a naturapathic physician/midwife.
Rowena and Gregg live in Grapeview and enjoy living in a small community. “The best part about living in a small town,” she explains, “is going to the grocery store and not leaving for two hours because we stop and chat with people we know.” She and Gregg have done restaurant reviews for prestigious establishments in Seattle and have helped promote several local businesses, including the new Mexican restaurant, 2 Margaritas in Allyn and Robin Hood in Union. They also enjoy donating to local fund raisers, and non-profit organizations in the area. “We love being a part of this community,” she explains. “The people are genuine and hard-working souls with angelic hearts.”
When asked if writing is difficult for a blind person, Rowena explains that there are numerous tools for computers that enable her to work efficiently. She also has loving, giving friends, including Ina Culberson and Denise Snow, who volunteer their skills of preliminary editing.
“Without the endless support from my family and friends, these stories would not be told,” says Rowena. “The community has been a tremendous help in promoting and making my books available. Nancy, at the Dragoun’s Leir is definitely among them.”
Rowena’s stories take place in Belfair, Allyn, and Harstine Island because she loves the area and feels that it offers a fresh background for her stories. “There is so much beauty here,” she explains. “It delights all the senses and provides just enough mystery to keep my readers intrigued.” Those who are from this area may recognize familiar businesses, scenery, and perhaps a few folks in the area.
The Spirian series started as a book entitled, “This is Not the Life I Ordered!” which was never released. Instead, she entwined her life around a few fictional characters. “The Protected,” book one of the Spirian series, was on her publisher’s best sellers list for the month of June. It also won the Silver Metal in the Readers Favorite Awards for the best new books in 2010.
The Spirian series tells the story of Skye, a blind, gifted healer whose life has been fairly calm until she meets Khalen, a mysterious man with a dark and dangerous past. What’s unique about this series is that it contains elements of romance without the explicit love scenes that often dominate most romantic stories. It also does not contain profanity, or other negative connotations that are common in many modern books. The Spirian series is appropriate for teens as well as wise adults. It’s a fun and easy read for both men and women.
If you want to learn more about this series and Rowena, visit her website at Rowena-Portch.com where you can hear an excerpt from “The Union,” her upcoming book 2 of the series. She is also having a second book signing at Borders in Gig Harbor on November 13 between 1pm and 4pm. Come join the fun, there will be readings from her books and audience participation. Signed copies of her books are also available at Abel Wellness Center in Belfair.