Elizabeth Noble is here today to talk about the magic of her urban fantasy world and her upcoming release, Scintilla!
Thank you so much, Ally for including me. (You are most welcome! – Ally)
The world is full of magic.
Sometimes for me that magic is nothing more than having a pre-programmed coffee maker at work.
Imagine a world where some people were born with magical abilities. A world where magical humans come in four types, scintillas, aether, prisms and acoustics capable of manipulating elements such as electricity, air, sound and light.
There might be a cop who can alter the way light bends for a few seconds or minutes making it easier to catch a criminal in the act. Or, if that criminal had the same ability, they could slip past surveillance cameras. A man with the power to control electricity might use his gift to deep dive into the digital world or short out an alarm.
There are no potions or spells, but there is plenty of magic in my urban fantasy/paranormal romance series, El Corazon.
When I was planning the first book, Scintilla, I wanted to use magic, but I didn’t want a lot of complicated rules or spells. Their society has rules governing what is considered ethical or illegal of course, but the basic magic is simple. My goal was to make the magic a natural, organic thing that was as part of an individual as their height or eye color. Yes, being magical is special, but no more so than being a talented musician or athlete.
Magical people sometimes need specialized medical equipment. Other magicals, as they’re referred to collectively, are discriminated against because there are others who fear what they can do. And, of course, there is always some person or organization that wants to exploit those with magical ability.
What I tried very hard to do, was imagine what obstacles a magical person might encounter or what special needs might be required in unusual circumstances. For instance, the young man, Brandon, in Scintilla who manipulates and has power over electricity is Tasered. Not a good idea to do when someone has the power to push that energy back to you. Since this is a romance, there is sex and I was able to explore how an electrified body might react differently. Would it hinder improve his or his partner’s experience? Being a scintilla is a natural part of Brandon, but how much of that part of him can he, or does he share?
Humans aren’t the only beings that can wield magic in this world, however.
There are the djinn.
Mythology gives us different types of jinni and so far, I’ve included two. One can cause havoc in computers and another sort likes to meddle in the affairs of people. Like anyone else, there are those that are honorable and good, and some that use their powers for crime.
Wait, there’s more!
My world has the magic of shifters. Technically, shifters aren’t magical in the same way as others, but the ability to look human and turn into something else is some serious magic in my opinion. Brandon’s love interest, Raul, is a werewolf, a Dom and a bounty hunter. That right there is darn magical! Werewolves are tough beasts and Raul can take more of what Brandon can dole out than a human could. That gives them plenty to explore, when they’re not fighting crime that is.
There are instances where one’s magic can be used against them. Without revealing spoilers, suffice to say, Brandon gets a harsh lesson in reality. His ability can’t always protect him and there’s always someone else who knows more about what he can do than is healthy for him.
How far is too far to go to save someone you love?
Brandon Lynch is magical. He’s a scintilla who can manipulate electricity. Leaving his structured, unexciting life and job at his father’s billion-dollar business in Boston and heads south for a vacation adventure in Rio Rico, Arizona. He’s living out a fantasy by traveling to the El Corazon adult entertainment club and has booked one glorious session with a werewolf Dom, complete with knotting.
Part-time Dom for his family business, the El Corazon, and full-time bounty hunter, Raul Fierro uses what nature gave him as a werewolf to bring pleasure to some, and justice to others. He hasn’t been in a real relationship for longer than he wants to think about and his gruff and growly exterior keeps any unwanted interactions at bay. He’s not against a partner, but he’s willing to wait for the person who sees the real Raul—and his wolf—who lurks beneath the surface.
A seemingly chance meeting with Brandon the day after their scheduled session leads to a week-long affair. Raul accepts it for what it is, a vacation fling for Brandon even though Brandon is someone Raul could easily fall in love with. When Brandon returns to Boston and Raul resumes his normal routine, they keep in touch until the time Brandon’s father arrives in Rio Rico, announces his son is missing, and he intends to hire Raul to find him. Raul wastes no time picking up Brandon’s trail. Rescuing Brandon from human traffickers is only the beginning and more adventure than either man wanted. Their hunt brings them together in an unexpected way. Can they bring down a powerful, international ring of traffickers all while protecting each other and their new-found love?
“We can run current through those barrels, magnetize them and create a barrier. All we have to find is enough copper.”
Raul nodded. “I like it. I’ll get the rods, see if you can find some copper piping, but stay in this area. If we have to go into the rest of the building, we should go together.”
To Raul’s utter surprise, Brandon didn’t argue but simply nodded. “I’ll start over there. Looks like some sort of utility junction.” He motioned to a floor-to-ceiling metal locker that extended out about four feet from the wall and was at least another four feet wide.
Raul retrieved a half dozen of his iron rods from the van. They were three feet long and a quarter inch in diameter. He’d had them specially made and if needed he was strong enough to bend them. Holding them in one hand, Raul used his free hand to grab one of the metal barrels and carried everything to the ruined door. The rods were deposited on top of the barrel before he carried two more over and set them in a row by the first barrel. He turned to see what Brandon was doing.
“Should you be doing that?” Raul asked as he closed the distance between he and Brandon.
Brandon was poking at what looked like a circuit board, then he grabbed a hold of a bundle of wires and gave them a shake. “Eh, you probably shouldn’t, I won’t get more than a bee sting.” He shrugged. “As far as I can tell there’s no power.”
Raul stepped to the side and flicked a switch up and down, looking up at the ceiling lights. Nothing happened. “You appear to be correct. Bee stings hurt,” he grumbled. The interior of the junction was a mess of dials and wires, levers and smaller switches. There were two tanks in the center. Raul followed the copper tubing from the tanks until they disappeared into the ceiling. “Do you see a ladder or anything I can stand on?”
“Why don’t I stand on you?”
Raul glanced back at Brandon. “Can you yank these things free?”
Brandon rolled his eyes and heaved a sigh. “I’m human but we don’t have spaghetti muscles.”
“My apologies.” Raul nodded and laced his fingers together, offering Brandon a step up.
In one smooth movement Brandon was standing on Raul’s shoulders. Raul held his calves to brace him and watched as Brandon tugged on the closest copper pipe. It took them a half an hour of steady effort to pull piping loose, move to another section and repeat their task. In the end they a half dozen six to seven-foot lengths of copper tubing.
Brandon jumped to the ground still holding the last section of copper. “This should be plenty.”
Raul looked pointedly at the dark lamps. “No power, remember? Unless you’re suggesting we bang on them until they magnetize.”
Brandon heaved a sigh and cocked his head. “Seriously?” He held out his free hand and a narrow blue wave arched to the copper pipe. “Yet, you call me Sparky.”
“Can you actually generate enough power, long enough to accomplish what we need? That’s higher voltage.”
Brandon nodded. “I think so, yes. It’s not something I can maintain forever, but I think I can generate enough for a long enough time for our purpose.”
“What’s your plan?”
“Well, copper and iron and steel can be magnetized when electrified.” Brandon pointed to the door. “That door is metal. If we put one barrel on each side of the door and charge them it would be damn hard for anyone to get through,” Brandon said.
“A big version of those little electro-magnets kids make in science class,” Raul added. “And easy enough to find plans for if we need to.”
“Yep. It’ll take me a few minutes.” Brandon sprinted back to the van while Raul pulled the barrels to the door then retrieved the copper and iron.
They worked steadily setting up their barrier. Once it was ready and in place Brandon put both hands on the barrel sitting inside the building. He glanced back at Raul.
“Ready.” Raul backed up a few feet and watched while Brandon took a few deep breaths, closed his eyes and leaned into the barrel.
Scintilla releases on March 10. It’ll have wide distribution for a week before going into Kindle Unlimited.
Bio and Social Media Links
Mystery, action, chills, and thrills spiced with romance and desire. ELIZABETH NOBLE lives by the adage “I can’t not write.” She doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t make up stories and eventually she learned how to put words on a page. Those words turned into books and fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M fiction. A part of every day is spent living in worlds she created that are filled with intrigue and espionage. She has a real love for a good mystery complete with murder and twisty plots as well as all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural.
When she’s not chronicling the adventures of her many characters, Elizabeth is a veterinary nurse living in her native Cleveland, Ohio. She has three grown children and now happily shares her little, brick house with an adorable mixed breed canine princess, a spunky Cardigan Welsh Corgi and their sidekick, tabby cat. 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 plotter her next novel waiting for it to be dark enough to gaze at the stars.
Elizabeth has received a number of amateur writing awards. Since being published, several of her novels have received Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Jewel Cave was a runner-up in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category in the 2015 Rainbow Awards. Ringed Love was a winner in the Gay Fantasy Romance category of the 2016 Rainbow Awards.
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You can read more about my own Lost in Time magic system over at Joyfully Jay! I’m writing about the Green Book of not-spells today.