In 2004, I moved from the UK to California when my husband's company relocated us. As much of an adventure as it had been going to England to get married five years earlier, living in the Bay Area was equally exciting. I had lived in a lot of places in my life, but except for a couple years in Phoenix as a small child, all of those places were in the midwest and east coast.
California was new. Best of all, the Bay Area was as varied as all of the places I'd lived in before combined.
That's part of the reason I set my werewolf series here. Anything you might want, you can find. It's just a matter of driving to it. Beyond that, however, I wanted a world that was used to fighting for minority rights. One of the aspects of the Bay Area that I love the most is how tolerant it is of diversity. It's taken decades for LGBT issues to make the national stage, during which time San Francisco has been waging its own war against discrimination. In the Bay Wolves series, werewolves are second-class citizens. They have zero rights compared to the rest of the population. They are feared and shunned, when all they want is to live their lives like everyone else.
San Francisco is the perfect backdrop for that sort of change.
Placeless, my story in the California Dreamin' pax, is the second book in the series. The hero, Keaton, was rescued in book one, Boundless, from a group that caged werewolves for sport and sex slavery. Originally from the midwest, he stays in the area as he doesn't feel he has anywhere else to go. It's not easy, though. He has difficulty controlling his shifts, and he feels too alone to share it with the other survivors from the group. When his life gets turned upside down after helping someone, he struggles to do the right thing without putting people he cares about in danger.
One of those people is Scotty, an independent wolf activist with a penchant for getting in trouble. Scotty has no idea that Keaton is a wolf, and though he hates lying, Keaton wants to keep it that way. He likes that Scotty treats him like he's human. He's been desperate for real contact like that ever since he got changed a year ago.
But what Keaton really needs is to learn is that he's stronger when he's not alone. He needs to find his place, not just in the world as a whole, but among his own kind.
For Keaton, staying in California doesn't have to be a dream. With the help of his pack, it's reality.
Placeless by Vivien Dean is now available at Amber Allure.
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