Fiction is fiction, right? Of course, silly question; however, the places in fictional stories are sometimes the “real deal” other times imaginary and other times a unique combination of both real and imaginary. Are you confused yet?
With fiction, authors get a lot of leeway in their writing. We get to create and paint vivid pictures of worlds that exist only in our minds, but even with the option of so many fantastical elements at our disposal, sometimes actual places add to the realism of a story. As is the case in my new book, Bottle Banished: Dreaming of Genie.
As a longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Portland, Oregon, to be more precise, I enjoy writing about places I’ve visited, frequently adding my own “pretend” elements into the geography. For example, in Bottle Banished, numerous Portland locations are referenced and the play roles in the characters’ development and the story over all. In addition, I have “made up” other hot spots that help the story along. I’ve created a building that doesn’t really exist, a nightclub for Portland’s elite, a local liquor store that my primary character frequents; along with a dive bar he enjoys visiting—often.
Despite these locations, more places in my story are “real” than not. It’s so much fun to incorporate local legend and lore into the actual story, adding unique twists and turns. The Shanghai Tunnels, known as one of Oregon’s most haunted and historic sites, is prominently featured and used as a primary backdrop for the story. The tunnels, or as they’re often referred to, the Portland Underground, have a story as intriguing as any fictional tale.
According to legend and historic accounts, these subterranean tunnels and warehouses, below the city streets, were used for hiding liquor during prohibition and are rumored to have housed brothels, opium dens, and are most notorious for their part in the practice of “shanghaiing.”
Back in the day, Portland was a thriving seaport, with ships from around the globe docking and conducting business in the City of Roses. Supposedly, many of the “above the ground” establishments, saloons, and businesses, had trapdoors that customers where dropped through after being drugged. These poor souls awakened at sea and were forced to man the ships as they made their way to faraway, foreign ports…some never returning.
Spooky? Absolutely. Intriguing? Without doubt.
My characters find themselves in the tunnels and the results are less than positive, but what makes this whole adventure so cool is the fact you can actually visit and tour the tunnels. Curious? Well, come to Portland and take a peek.
Here is a link to the historic Shanghai Tunnels that also offers tour information. You can see where Genie and Reid face their greatest challenges for yourself.
I am confident you will enjoy the world I’ve created in Bottle Banished: Dreaming of Genie; just know, what you’re reading has many fictional elements and locations combined with some really intriguing factual landmarks.
Bottle Banished: Dreaming of Genie
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Romance
Date of Publication: February 11, 2015
ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-1506170640
Number of pages: 301
Word Count: 80,500
Cover Artist: Steph’s Cover Design
Genie thought learning how to “do” The Hustle was the worst thing about 1977, right along with strobe lights and disco balls, but she discovers something far worse the day she is bottle banished by an unsanctioned hunter obsessed with her destruction.
Thirty-seven years later, she is awakened from her spellbound slumber by a homeless alcoholic who wants whiskey not a wish. Overwhelmed with shame and keeping secrets from even himself, Reid Romans is the worst master ever.
He stinks. He’s dirty. He’s rude, but even more maddening; he’s sinfully sexy under all the filth and attitude.
When his green-eyed gaze captures Genie for the first time, she’s hooked, and being hooked on a human is not acceptable or allowed according to the genie rule book.
While Reid’s unsavory past bites hard at his heels, and he’s accused of a murder he didn’t commit, a powerful jinn is stalking Genie, intent on adding her to his harem. She has rejected him too many times to count, but he won’t stop until he claims her—body and soul.
Genie and Reid have way more than one love-sick jinn to deal with. A ruthless FBI agent; a cold-blooded cartel; and a hateful hunter, who wants genie back in her bottle, banished forever; keep them fighting for freedom and against the desire flaring between them.
Dark secrets, forbidden love, and simmering suspense take Genie and Reid on an unforgettable journey where the past and future collide and wishes run out.
Please be advised: Bottle Banished is a multiple POV (Point of View) dark fantasy that portrays graphic drug use, violence, language, and sexual situations some may find offensive, including dubious consent, light BDSM, and a Ménage à Trios. There is a Happily Ever After (HEA) for now, but several doors remain open for future installments.
Readers will uncover numerous references to current and past pop culture sprinkled throughout the story. Watch author’s website for contests connected to these references!
Available at Amazon
Excerpt Genie POV
“No! Please!” Genie pleaded, her panic rising.
She’d been so careful, cautious to the point of paranoia. “Don’t do this. I will serve you well. I will grant you a wish, any wish.” She struggled to find her tormentor’s one hidden desire. A desire she alone could fulfill.
Until this moment, where others had failed, she had managed to avoid bottle banishment.
Genie prided herself on her ability to stay at least one step, preferably more, ahead of the hunters. She’d survived to 1977 without losing her freedom. It seemed after centuries, her luck had at last run out.
How could I have been so blind?
Trapped inside the dreaded ring of chalk-drawn runes and magical sigils, she was defenseless. Her own magic rendered useless by an ancient spell, cast with assurance, by the smirking hunter gripping her future glass prison in his hand. This hunter, she guessed, was not government sanctioned. His methods appeared less refined, though just as effective. She hated to imagine what he had in store before imprisoning her.
“I sense your fear,” he chuckled, sounding crazed. “See this bottle? You, my beauty, are going inside, where you will stay. I hope you have a strong stomach. I’ve heard ocean waves…”
“Just do it! You offend me!” Her voice wavered despite the brave words.
As a creature of fire, she despised water. To be water bound for eternity was a genie’s worst nightmare. The hunter wanted her to suffer.
His jaw tensed and his eyes narrowed. “I’m tempted to tear that ridiculous harem outfit off and ruin you like your kind ruined my family.”
Genie gasped, stunned by his revelation. She forgot her precarious position long enough to ponder his words. One of her brethren had clearly harmed this hunter’s family, driving his desire for revenge. Never had she hurt a human or used her powers for evil.
Why must I be punished for another’s crime?
“Don’t like that idea, do you? Be glad I’m not into whores, even pretty ones.” Extending the bottle, his gaze hardened. With conviction, he chanted the words every genie feared and hoped to never hear, confirming what she suspected.
Nothing she could offer would stop him.
A sudden explosion knocked her back. She hit hard against the circle’s border, the impact ripping the air from her lungs; still, the hunter’s wards held strong. The resulting flash stole her vision just before another blast created a whirlwind, erasing her human body and turning her to smoke. Sucked into the glass prison, she landed with a thud, her rump hitting the bottle’s floor, firing a spike of pain up her spine. She had morphed into a three inch version of herself.
Forcing her eyes open, she was met with a harsh reality. Unlike a certain popular television show, featuring a genie and astronaut, her bottle wasn’t furnished with plush sofas and colorful cushions. It was barren, boring, and lacked any comforts. The sole thing keeping Genie from complete panic was the awareness that once sleep found her, she wouldn’t awaken again unless the bottle was uncorked.
That might be a long time coming, if ever.
“Ouch!” she cried, hating how squeaky her voice sounded as she bounced from one side to the other, slamming against the glass. Her captor intended to make her final journey an unpleasant one.
When at last her purple prison splashed into the water, she was too banged up to worry about his wave-warning. She scanned her surroundings a final time, noticing the gleam of gold lettering etched around the bottle’s exterior. Unable to make sense of the writing, she hung her head, giving into despair.
To her relief, the rocking motion soon lulled her closer to sleep rather than causing the promised sea sickness.
Closing her eyes for the last time, she accepted her fate.
About the Author:
C.L. Riley is addicted to books, coffee, and playing around on the Internet where she cyber stalks things she enjoys. She has a passion for reading dark fantasy, biker romance, paranormal romance, erotic thrillers, and everything “genie.” She has four books to her credit under a different name, thus the missing author photo. For now, she is keeping her other identity top secret.
A native of Portland, Oregon, C.L. Riley has a son in college and a teenage daughter that keeps her on her toes at home. Her house is filled with books; something her kids, to her dismay, call clutter. She is working on book two in the Bottle Banished series and the Scorched Souls serial, a four-part, biker romance serial series.
Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9874055.C_L_Riley