I love settings as characters – from small towns to big cities and one of my favorite cities to write about is Seattle. Seattle is my home. The place I’ve lived for the past twenty five years. Pretty much my entire adult life. I love it here. From the glittering deep blue of Puget Sound to the gorgeous snow capped Olympics to the west and the Cascades to the east – there are mountains and waterfalls, lakes, rivers, streams, and the mighty Puget Sound. Trees and green everywhere you look. In Seattle we have a deep and abiding love of beer, coffee and food. It’s really one of my favorite places on the whole planet.
I’ve set my Brown Family novels here, my Bound By Magick series, most of my Cascadia Wolves as well, as my Delicious books which are set in Bainbridge Island which is a gorgeous bedroom community/island just west of Seattle. And my Ink and Chrome series (starting next August from Berkley Heat) is also set here.
How about a little snippet from GOING UNDER right after Molly first arrives in Seattle to start her life with Owen
Bound By Magick: GOING UNDER by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2013, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Do you have a preference for lunch?â€ť Gage headed to the elevators and she followed. He pressed the button and then looked down her body. â€śMaybe not walk too far.â€ť
â€śWhy would you say that? Is it raining again?â€ť
He laughed. â€śItâ€™s always raining. If you donâ€™t walk in the rain, you wonâ€™t be doing much walking at all.â€ť He gestured she proceed him into the elevator. â€śUse your keycard like this.â€ť He pulled his out and put it in front of the reader on the number panel. â€śItâ€™ll give you access to all the lower floors. Thereâ€™s a food court down on five. There are several choices.â€ť
â€śI can walk in the rain, you know. I have a coat. Iâ€™m from Chicago. It was snowing when I left.â€ť
He looked her over again. â€śI bet you can. But you have heels on. I was trying to save your feet.â€ť
â€śAh. I can walk in heels. These arenâ€™t that high anyway. Do you have any favorites? I should be learning Seattle now since Iâ€™ll be relocating.â€ť
â€śDo you like seafood? McCormick and Schmickâ€™s is up the block. Theyâ€™ve got lunch specials, that sort of thing. Itâ€™ll be quieter and less . . . food courtâ€“ish than downstairs.â€ť
She fought a smile. â€śFood courtâ€“ish? I like that.â€ť
He didnâ€™t fight anything apparently. Instead turning the full force of that damned mouth on her, with a smile that sent her senses into full-blown standing ovation.
â€śMcCormick and Schmickâ€™s sounds good.â€ť She hoped he didnâ€™t hear her gulp.
He walked to the outside, shielding her. She allowed it, making a note to ask him about it once theyâ€™d settled in at the restaurant.
Molly Ryan was the kind of woman men looked at.
Not in the same way they looked at the woman at the bar in the tight red sweater and a short skirt with heels. No, they looked at Molly the way people liked to look at pretty, elegant things.
The light seemed to hit her just right. She moved with the kind of grace he rarely saw in people who werenâ€™t dancers. She charmed the hostess. He knew this because they got a great table.
â€śYouâ€™re like a Disney princess.â€ť
Startled, she looked up from her menu. â€śWhat?â€ť
â€śBirds sing, the clouds part, people turn to you expectantly. Is this part of your gift?â€ť
The server came so they suspended the conversation briefly while they ordered.
â€śAm I so horrible then, Gage Garrity, that only magick would make someone turn to me expectantly?â€ť
He paused, abashed, and then realized she was teasing. â€śNot horrible at all. Excuse my manners. Donâ€™t tell my aunt or sheâ€™ll tell my mother and then Iâ€™ll have lectures about how I speak to women, as well as casseroles and my momâ€™s special tea blends showing up in my kitchen.â€ť
She smiled. â€śYour aunt is formidable. Iâ€™m glad to have her working with me. I bet people will think twice before they give her any guff to get to me.â€ť
Gage laughed. â€śYes. Well, sheâ€™s a tough old bird.â€ť
â€śTo answer your question, Iâ€™m told that charm is part of my power. Rosa, sheâ€™s my other mother of sorts, anyway, she said people with my gifts often go into politics or entertainment. Maybe I should be an actor instead.â€ť
He could totally see her as an actor. â€śHours are probably better. Pay too.â€ť
â€śWeather as well. Los Angeles is sunny today I bet.â€ť
But then he wouldnâ€™t be having lunch with her and Meriel would still be at risk too.
â€śSo is there a good reason then? For your mother to be plying you with food?â€ť Her eyes were beautiful, probably the most striking thing about her. The blue of deep, deep water, with flecks of gold around her pupils. Long, dark lashes.
Those eyes of hers saw right through him, he realized. It wasnâ€™t entirely comfortable.
â€śBeen a bit hectic here.â€ť He shrugged.
â€śI donâ€™t know much about it. About what happened I mean. What I do know is . . .â€ť She shook her head quickly. â€śI know itâ€™s not the time or place.â€ť
â€śYouâ€™ll need to know it. For your job I mean. When we get back, have Rita get me on your schedule and we can go over it. For now, letâ€™s get to the day-to-day stuff. What is your daily schedule going to look like? What sorts of events will have you leaving our building?â€ť
He watched as she very precisely put sugar and cream into her coffee, stirring without making a single sound. She sipped and he saw it, the pleasure skittering over her features at the taste.
The moment was just a breath of time. And yet the intimacy of it shocked him. A flush heated through his belly.
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