Hello and welcome to a special edition of Genre Talk here on The Novel Approach Reviews! It’s special because today we’ve got our very own Elizabeth Noble, who is not only an awesome DSP Publications author, but is also Genre Talk’s copilot and my partner in crime, and she’s here today to talk about her new Mystery & Suspense/Paranormal release Code Name Jack Rabbit!
So before we officially turn the tables on Elizabeth—who, by the way, has brought along some special guests of her own (!!!!)—let’s have a look at what she’s got in store for us:
Code Name Jack Rabbit
Meet the newest members of the Vampire Guard, where legend and myth meet science and technology.
Jonas Forge, vampire. Once a spy and soldier, now a cop, Forge enjoys the life he’s built with his friends in Flint, Ohio.
Blair Turner, PhD. Blair, a vampire and computer hacker with exceptional skills, shares a powerful empathic bond with Forge, his soulmate.
Declan, vampire, ex-pirate, ex-fur trapper, thief, and con man. Declan is Forge’s former lover and soulmate to Lucas Coate.
Lucas Coate, MD, Flint’s medical examiner. A werewolf living amongst vampires, Lucas is also one of Forge’s best friends.
Their lives become complicated when an impending presidential visit throws them headlong into a world of high tech vampire spies and espionage. Recruited into the Vampire Guard by the secret society of the Akhkharu Nasaru, they uncover a werewolf terrorist organization known as the Qiguan.
Together they must thwart a murder attempt on the open waters of Lake Superior while tracking a previously unknown biological weapon controlled by the Qiquan—a weapon that may very well mean death for one of them.
Elizabeth: Hello! I’m Elizabeth Noble and this week’s Genre Talk is about my book! I’m very excited—
Carole: *sneaky shove*
Whoops, watch your step there, Elizabeth, wouldn’t want to accidentally lock you out of your own post or anything.
*does not lock door*
it’s so cute that she thought we’d be nice about this just because she’s a co-mod. Okay, now that Elizabeth is *cough* indisposed and has left her toys lying about for anyone to pick up and play with (*points to self*), let’s talk to the real stars of the show. Hi, guys!
Forge: Where did Elizabeth—
Carole: So, guys, let’s start with genre, since that’s what we do here. What genre is Code Name Jack Rabbit?
Declan: This is a good old fashion spy thriller.
Blair: No, it’s got lots of high tech elements; you know the science and technology part. There’s lots of action too and a bit of a Sci-Fi flavor.
Forge: I think it’s more of a mystery, but I don’t like labeling things.
Lucas: *rolls eyes* It’s an urban fantasy. You’re forgetting the legend and myth part of that description: Where legend and myth meet science and technology. I’m a werewolf and ya’ll are vampires. We’re sorta legend and myth all through the book.
Carole: …This might be a bit more unruly than I thought. Maybe you should just tell everyone about the book. They can decide for themselves.
Lucas: It’s awesome!
Forge: I think we need more detail than that.
Lucas: It’s awesome and thrilling. Oh, and most of the action takes place on the Great Lakes. Lake Erie and Lake Superior.
Blair: Yeah, that’s so exciting since I can’t swim.
Forge: And I got shot.
Declan: Blair, vampires can’t drown.
Lucas: (to Forge) Are you going to ever let that go? Obviously it didn’t affect you much. And you’re a vampire, getting hit with a bullet barely slowed you down. Seriously, let it go.
Blair: It sure made him yell a lot.
Carole: Um. Guys?
Declan: Making Jonas Forge yell isn’t difficult.
Forge: It ruined a perfectly good shirt. I liked that shirt.
Lucas: Go to Target and get another one.
Carole: Guys! Focus!
Blair: We really should answer the question.
Carole: I forget what I asked!
Blair: The book is about how we joined a secret, global intelligence and protection organization, The Vampire Guard.
Lucas: They are soooo cool! We ended up learning about a previously unknown terrorist group and then we chased down the most amazing cre— oommhhppfff…
Declan: (elbowing Lucas in the ribs) Mon ami, spoiler! The terrorists manipulate a myth in order to cause death and destruction.
Carole: Yeesh! No wonder it was so easy to get rid of Elizabeth—she probably wanted the break! Moving along, gentlemen, we need to talk about how diversity is explored in Code Name Jack Rabbit and how Elizabeth defines it in her writing.
Forge: I think diversity is defined by how Elizabeth writes us. We’re all gay, but that’s not a big deal and is secondary to the story.
Blair: Agreed. Being gay isn’t who we are and doesn’t have to be what all stories are about. We have a lot of skills between us, beliefs and thoughts, and I for one was very pleased we were able to express our differences.
Lucas: Exactly. I’m a forensic pathologist and a doctor who is a werewolf who happens to be gay. All those aspects of me are something everyone reading our book learns about.
Declan: Let’s not forget that traditionally werewolves and vampires don’t always get along, yet we—the four of us—not only get along we’ve become a family. The Vampire Guard has humans and werewolves among their ranks as well as vampires. Everyone is professional and does their job.
Forge: I think it’s important to show diverse people coming together, not highlighting their differences.
Carole: Wow, informative, coherent answers without descending into a melee. I’m impressed!
Okay, now Code Name Jack Rabbit is published through DSP Publications, Dreamspinner Press’s imprint for genre novels that don’t necessarily focus on or even contain romance. Since you mentioned the many and varied relationships in Code Name Jack Rabbit, how about you tell the readers about them and why they don’t fit the accepted definition of Romance in the M/M genre.
Declan: We LOVE DSP Publications. The best part is telling this great spy story and we don’t have to hide who we are.
Lucas: It’s urban fantasy, but I think you’re right. We, all of us, have many layers of relationships. Declan and I are soul mates, so are Forge and Blair. I’ve known Forge here for a dozen or so years. We’ve worked together and lived together. He’s like the brother I always wished I had.
Forge: Declan and I have been looking out for each other for about a hundred and fifty years now. I’m bonded to Blair and he keeps me honest.
Blair: People have all sorts of relationships and as already mentioned we’ve become a family. Families have a variety of dynamics and ours is no different. Yeah, there are some couple relationship issues and details but more of the story revolves around us as a group and what we do to keep others and ourselves safe.
Carole: Okay, cool. So what about—
Elizabeth: I think the door was stuck!
Carole: Oh! Elizabeth! You’re back. Um. Hi!
Declan: Where have you been?
Forge: Good God, woman, what happened to your hair?
Lucas: Did someone lock that door?
Blair: *whistles innocently*
Carole: So glad you’re here. *glares at the guys* We were just going to talk about the evolution of this story.
Elizabeth: Without me?
Carole: Never! I mean, why would I want to be alone in a room with a bunch of supernaturally hot guys? I mean, supernatural guys! Who, um. Might, you know. Be a little… hot.
Forge: Why indeed.
Carole: *cough* ANYway! So, Elizabeth, why don’t you tell us about the story’s evolution? What was its earliest incarnation as a concept and when did it begin to take the form of Code Name Jack Rabbit?
Declan: Oh yeah. That was smooth.
Carole: *glares at guys some more* Shh! Go… solve some crimes or something.
Forge: Uh-huh. Let’s go solve some crimes, guys.
Blair: Yeah, like maybe who locked that door.
Declan: *grinning* Supernaturally hot….
Lucas: Bye, Elizabeth!
Elizabeth: Oh. Um. Bye?
Carole: So! Elizabeth! Since there’s nothing weird going on here at all, why don’t you tell us about that evolution, then?
Elizabeth: *frowning at door* Did someone lock—
Carole: Evolution! Of the story?
Elizabeth: Hm? Oh! Yes. This series, The Vampire Guard, is a spin-off from a previous series written with Anne Barwell, The Sleepless City. I’m not entirely sure what prompted my idea for The Vampire Guard, however I was very sure these characters had much more story to tell. I began with the idea of an intelligence organization and went from there. I have a lot of admiration for the men and women who work globally to ensure safety. They often have to make snap decisions and struggle with ethics.
Carole: Sounds like that could get very technical and involved. What sort of research did you need to do?
Elizabeth: The research is ongoing. I began by reading about various espionage and interrogation techniques. I’ve amassed quite the collection not only from the United States, but other countries as well.
The intelligence community worldwide has their own lingo and there are spycraft techniques that are basically standard no matter what part of the globe you’re from. Vampires and werewolves are able to enhance on some of those techniques. Sometimes they can hinder too. A vampire can’t be seen on camera, so I needed work arounds for when it was important for one to be watched via surveillance cameras.
I also spent some time reading about various terrorist organizations, how they work and why they do what they do. Since much of the story takes place on the Great Lakes there was research into various geographical aspects of that area.
Carole: You write in several different genres. Is it difficult to rearrange your headspace when you go from one to another?
Elizabeth: I do! Sorta, kinda. Most of my books fall broadly into the mystery/suspense/thrill. I write those types of stories in the romance, sci-fi and paranormal genres. I have a contemporary romantic suspense/thriller series Circles and a post apoc/sci-fi/paranormal romance series Sentries, all published by Dreamspinner Press.
Carole: Awesome! So, this was a fun one! For, um, some of us. *shifty eyes*
So many thanks to Elizabeth Noble—not only for being here and bringing the guys along, but for everything she does for Genre Talk in general. Buy links are at the bottom of the post, but before you run off to have the guys for your very own, please enjoy the following excerpt from Code Name Jack Rabbit:
After taking care of the boat, they walked with Bronwen to the parking area. Giving Forge a sideways glance, Blair said to her, “I’ll ride with you back to Flint.”
Silly as it was, jealousy surged through Forge. He opened his mouth to protest, not even sure what he was going to say.
Lucas piped up before Forge made a complete fool of himself. “That’s a great idea. I’ll ride along too, if it’s okay with you?” He turned to Bronwen. “I have a lot more questions.”
Finally they left Bronwen at her building and drove the few blocks to the apartment building they were using as a headquarters. Once there they filled in Kai and Ori.
“Using the new information that the Qiguan might have had a hand in the boating disasters for the last decade, we took a fresh look at the passenger manifests of all the vessels,” Kai said when they were all gathered together.
“Hang on, I can make this easier,” Blair said and took Kai’s laptop. In a few seconds, he had the information from the computer displayed on the television.
“Thanks,” Kai said, taking over the laptop again. “So this is what we came up with. In every instance other than the boat that went down here, there was at least one prominent member of some werewolf pack onboard.”
Forge crossed his arms over his chest. “Those weren’t accidents; they were hits.”
“Hits using what?” Ori asked. “That’s the confusing part. There’s no evidence of explosives or sabotage. The boats and ships were damaged from underneath and sank. It must have happened fast and been utterly devastating because as far as we know there were no survivors or witnesses we could locate, again with the exception of the most recent incident.”
Drowning is not the most efficient way to kill a werewolf,” Ori noted.
Lucas nodded. “That’s for sure. We can withstand colder temperatures while in wolf form than either humans or vampires. I can hold my breath for a good ten minutes underwater after I change, and I think that’s about average. Someone—a werewolf—who trained as a diver, could probably hold their breath even longer. A changed werewolf is an amazingly strong and excellent swimmer. All in all, we’re pretty well suited for being in the water.”
“The boat that capsized here was an accident, and other than Bronwen and Mr. Newmann, all the people onboard were werewolves,” Declan said. “I suspect they made sure Bronwen survived because they need her. Newmann wasn’t so lucky. Whether they wanted Newmann dead or not, we’ll probably never know.”
Author Bio: Elizabeth Noble lives by the adage “I can’t not write”. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t make up stories and eventually she learned how to write them down. A part of every day is spent living in worlds she created that are filled with intrigue and espionage. Using a real love of scifi and urban fantasy highlighted by twisty plots she crafts stories taking place in a slightly altered version of our world.
When she’s not chronicling the adventures of her many characters Elizabeth is a veterinary nurse living in her native Cleveland, Ohio. She shares her little brick house with an adorable canine princess and her tabby cat side-kick. Elizabeth is a fan of baseball, basketball (go Cavs and Indians!) and gardening. She can often be found working in her ‘outside office’ listening to classic rock and plotting her next novel waiting for it to be dark enough to gaze at the stars.
Elizabeth received several amateur writing awards. Since being published two of her novels have received honorable mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Her novel Jewel Cave was a runner up in the 2015 Rainbow awards in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category.
You can follow Elizabeth via her website, Emotion in Motion, her Facebook profile, her Facebook group, On the Patio with Elizabeth Noble, on Twitter, on Pinterest, or drop her an email at elizabeth DOT noble19 AT gmail DOT com.
You can also visit The Vampire Guard dedicated website HERE.
Email members of The Vampire Guard: jr DOT vampx AT gmail DOT com
Thanks for dropping by, and we’ll see you next time!