Torena O’Rorke spent seven years as a juvenile probation officer, working some of the Tri-Cities’ most high-profile cases involving kids and teens.
She has moved on from the job now, but it’s still part of her life.
She uses her time in the Benton-Franklin juvenile court system as inspiration for her popular Astrology Mystery Series.
The latest book in the series is The Capricorn Kidnappings. It’s available now, and O’Rorke plans a book signing Sept. 11 in Richland.
With a touch of the supernatural and engaging characters, the series is a lot of fun, O’Rorke said.
“Once you get hooked, each story gets better and better,” she said.
Torena O’Rorke set the ‘Astrology’ series in the Tri-Cities, so local readers will recognize all sorts of familiar places and landmarks within the pages.
The books center on Christian Vargas, a “beautiful but tormented” juvenile probation officer, and her “handsome, hard-nosed” partner Daniel.
The cases tackled are based on ones that O’Rorke herself worked, although she takes plenty of dramatic license.
The books are well-reviewed. Kirkus Reviews described The Capricorn Kidnappings as “cleverly plotted suspense, reliably anchored by a dogged heroine with verve to spare.”
And it called the other two books in the series, Gemini Girl Murders and The Killer of Cancer Rising, “a well-crafted suspense procedural with promise and potential” and “(a) tightly written second case, fully stocked with menacing villains, tireless investigators and romantic intrigue.”
O’Rorke set the Astrology series in the Tri-Cities, so local readers will recognize all sorts of familiar places and landmarks within the pages.
She’s a Tri-City native. After high school, she attended the University of Washington, where she earned a business degree.
For me, it’s like active meditation. When I write, I’m in a completely different world. I feel the characters feelings. I don’t outline a book. I just let my intuition guide me.
Torena O’Rorke, author
She spent time traveling, and met her husband, Kevin, overseas.
They eventually settled in the Tri-Cities, where Kevin is a founding member of NAI Tri-Cities, a real estate firm.
O’Rorke went to graduate school, studying counseling and psychology and earning a master’s degree. She went to work for Lutheran Community Services, and then the juvenile court system.
She now works part time for Safe Harbor Support Center.
Writing has been a part of her life for years, and it’s a family tradition too.
Her grandmother was a writer, keeping extensive diaries. “It’s in the blood a little bit,” O’Rorke said.
Torena O’Rorke is a Tri-City native. After high school, she attended the University of Washington in Seattle, where she earned a business degree.
Before diving into the mystery genre, O’Rorke wrote historical novels.
She’s disciplined about writing, logging several hours a day.
“For me, it’s like active meditation. When I write, I’m in a completely different world. I feel the characters feelings,” she said. “I don’t outline a book. I just let my intuition guide me.”
The Astrology series has several books left, with the next due out around Christmas.
The book signing is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 11 at Bookwalter Winery, 894 Tulip Lane, Richland.
A second book signing is at 6 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Mid-Columbia Libraries branch at 1620 S. Union St., Kennewick.