On March 18th I’m participating in The Romance Reviews Anniversary Party with a little Q&A about my latest release All Bets are Off. This brings me to one of my favorite characters in the book, Eli’s beagle Jabbers. I’d always been a German Shepherd girl myself, but after meeting my friend’s sweet beagle girl, I knew that was the kind of dog that Eli had to have.
Jabbers became as much of a character as Eli and Ash did. He caused trouble for the man who broke into Eli’s house. He had an unfortunate fascination with fisher cats. And he was prone to getting his feelings hurt. I’ve had many pets over the years and I’m always delighted by how expressive they are. Jabbers was no exception.
This is how I pictured him as a puppy, thieving and running. I can just imagine how Eli reacted to that one given his love of baseball. Knowing his luck, it was probably signed. Eli’s an English professor and he’s definitely a bit of a nerd when it comes to literature. So of course he’d name his poor dog after a creature from a book. Here’s a little excerpt where Eli tells Ash just how Jabbers got his name.
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The sound of a dog’s joyful bark came to Ash as he went around the side and let himself into the mudroom that seemed to have its place in so many New England homes. He’d never understood the reason for it until his first winter in New Hampshire.
“Jabbers, don’t you dare jump on him. Sit,” Eli commanded as a beagle launched himself at Ash. The dog practically vibrated, he was so excited, but he sat himself down and looked at Ash with soulful, pleading eyes and pitiful whines for attention.
“It’s okay.” Ash knelt down and rubbed Jabbers’s silky ears, grinning as the dog took that as permission and swarmed over him, tail wagging as he offered sloppy kisses. “Eli, that’s cruel. What kind of a name is Jabbers for any self-respecting dog?”
Eli appeared in the door and leaned against the frame with a soft laugh. He’d changed into heavy hiking boots, worn jeans, and a faded hoodie. He’d taken his hair out of its tie and it hung in loose auburn waves around his shoulders. Ash’s hands itched to bury themselves in it, but if he did, he’d end up kissing Eli and one kiss wouldn’t be enough.
“Actually, his name is Jabberwocky, because he was supposed to be a fearsome beastie to the rabbits. But he turned out to be the opposite of fearsome. I think he would make friends with a skunk. Trust me, Jabbers fits. He never stops talking. Isn’t that right, Jabbers?”
The beagle twisted his head around to look at Eli and proceeded to give a series of half barks and a soft, drawn-out undulating growl that sounded so much like conversation that Ash had to laugh. “I get your point.”