Engage Your Inner Hero

Strains of Portomare


Interior of the Montefalo Reef

They made their living using their eldsinger skills to fix colonies and reefs in the ocean of Portomare. Then siblings Trace and Echo stumble upon a dying, hidden reef colony surrounded by mystery. Now they feel obligated to rescue other colonies like it and determine who put these people here. The bigger question is whether they’ll uncover an ancient enemy on Portomare while they search. Get ready for this series of eight books exploring the world of Portomare.

Book One

Available now as a free download

A disillusioned eldsinger. A freezing world. A desperate search for home.

 After losing their family in an accident some think they caused, powerful eldsingers Trace and Echo are adrift, moving through the ocean from job to job waiting for better days. Echo can’t seem to reach her brother Trace, the most powerful eldsinger on Portomare, and watching him sink and lose hope is killing her.

When a small reef, a community living within a hollow stone far beneath the surface of the ocean, asks for their help, they discover a mystery, and Trace finally shows some interest in life again. However, with this mystery comes danger, as Trace accidentally catapults himself into a hidden world and can’t get himself out.

Those in the lost reef have never met anyone from the outside before. Their reef is dying, freezing, and they have no hope save an injured eldsinger. Time is running out for the reef, and unless Trace can find answers and get himself home, two reefs—and Trace himself—might be lost forever.

Fire Mountain Aria is book one of the Strains of Portomare, fantasy about an underwater world and the powerful men and women who travel its currents.

Until book three is ready, this book and series will be FREE and exclusively available through Dawnlight Library. Share it far and wide…

Trace O'Dell

On Portomare, some have the ability to make music with their minds using an instrument called a reed panel. Those with average strength are fokasingers. They can sing fire into existence or use a song to drive a vehicle. 

Then a few can do much more than average, and these are called eldsingers. They can heal, move people, even dig huge mine shafts, all with a small woven instrument and a thought.

The most powerful eldsinger on Portomare, Trace can do things with a reed panel nobody else can do. He also expects too much of himself, and those who love him call him reckless. Unfortunately, a terrible accident has left him with only one person in the world who loves him, his sister Echo. 

Echo O'Dell

Echo is the big sister, and she’s always tried to shield Trace from the hardships of his skill. The man is too strong and too smart, and people make him nervous. So she smooths the way, keeps their lives organized, and takes care of the details of running a service using their singing skills to repair reef and villa colonies across Portomare’s vast oceans.

Unfortunately, with Trace brooding, she’s lonely. When the Tormanadu Reef calls for aid, a reef that reminds her of home, she takes the job, hoping she can boost Trace out of his grief with some good, hard work.

It would have been a good plan, but something is wrong on Tormandu, and this simple job becomes dangerous.

Dayton Compton

Second-in-command of the Tormandu Reef, Dayton hires Trace and Echo to recharge the sun fluid that heats and lights the reef. He’s a fokasinger, so he’s not as strong as the siblings, and although he’s intimidated by their strength, he finds their honest humanity endearing. Echo, especially, charms him as she works so hard to take care of her aching brother.

He’s as shocked as anyone when Trace and Echo discover a strange secret on their reef, one that might prove too much even for two powerful eldsingers.

Kaya of the Fliota

She lives on a houseboat that spends most of the year frozen into a lake in the center of a dead volcano. Most of the Fliota tribe was lost to an earthquake twenty years ago, including all of Kaya’s family except her old amma, and Kaya is lonely. Montefalo–Fire Mountain–gets colder and darker every day, and few babies are born, and Kaya feels like her world is dying. 

The Fliota live to grow lettstafur, reeds that light their dark world. They trade with the other tribe in the volcanic cone, the Scavare, who live in the caves and mine the rock that heats their cold world. It isn’t much of an existence. 

On a particularly cold, dark day, she meets the leader of the Scavare, who is just as lonely and tired of life as she is, and things begin to change.

Gianni of the Scavare

After the earthquake killed his family, Gianni became the leader of the cave-dwelling Scavare tribe in Montefalo. Because Gi has unusual eyes, his tribe thinks him supernatural, and they keep their distance, so Gi is alone.

On one of the darkest days of the year, Gi wanders outside the cave and discovers a young woman among the Fliota as strange and alone as he is.

Unfortunately, making a friend won’t fix the problems in their mountain. The days grow colder and darker, and the tribes get smaller, and Gianni has no answers.

Then a strange man named Trace falls at his and Kaya’s feet, appearing from nowhere in a flash of light, injured and frightened.

And everything in all five of these lives changes, never to be the same again.

Portomare FAQs

  1. What is a  reef? A reef is a hollow rock on the bottom of the ocean that can be lit and heated with sygotic sun fluid in the roof, and then plants, animals, and people can inhabit it.
  2. How many books will be in this series? The plan is eight. I’m not so good at sticking with my plans.
  3. When can we expect to read this series? Book one will release in May or June of 2024. After that, expect two books a year. Each book has an end–no cliffhangers until book seven–but the whole series has a storyline, too.
  4. You write Christian books. Is this a Christian series? No, but the characters started asking questions about their origins, so they will have a religious canon, and as I am a Christian writer, this canon will have Christian overtones and Christian truths.