And here is my last #WorldSeries Trivia post for 2017. (As I write this, it’s the bottom of the 8th, and the Dodgers are giving the Astros a run for their money. If there is a 7th game, you’ll be able to check out one more night of Trivia on Jean Joachim’s blog.)

First, my final few questions. My answers to the questions from the other night will appear below.

Tonight’s trivia questions stem from a line CALLED UP, book #2 of my Calling It series:

“So, with all the theatrics of a coach whose Little League team consisted of seventeen overly enthusiastic six- and seven-year-olds, Deke Babe Ruthed it, raising his hand and pointing up the third base line. “Coming at you, Portia!”

1) Babe Ruth’s “Called Shot” (hmmm… could have used that as one of my book titles, although it might have been a little too James Patterson, and not in a good way 🙂 ) occurred during the World Series. In what year and in what game?

2) Who broke Babe Ruth’s World Series scoreless innings streak? In what year and what team did he play for?

3) And in deference to Deke’s little league players, who was the youngest player to appear in the world series? How old was he? And as long as we’re at it, who was the oldest?

While you’re pondering those questions, here are the answers to my previous set of questions:

Question: The Dodgers weren’t originally based in L.A. What year were they established and where? When did they move to L.A.?

As my entire family is well aware (it’s a thing), the Dodgers were originally based in Brooklyn. (A big thing.) According to the timeline on the L.A. Dodgers website, they were established in 1890 and moved to California in 1958. Or, to be more specific:

On October 8, 1957, O’Malley announced that after 68 seasons in Brooklyn, the Dodgers would be moving to Los Angeles. In a move to bring baseball to all parts of the country, the Giants also decided to relocate from New York to San Francisco. On April 18, 1958, the Dodgers played their first game in Los Angeles, defeating the Giants, 6-5, before 78,672 fans at the Coliseum.  (See http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/la/history/timeline.jsp)

 

Question: Did Vin Scully actually throw out the first pitch before Game 2 of the 2017 World Series? Who caught the first pitch?

Nope. Vin Scully conducted the ceremony, but he brought in a couple of famous Dodgers — Steve Yeager, who caught for 14 years for the Dodgers, and Fernando Valenzuela, the 1981 NL Cy Young winner and Rookie of the Year. (You can see the full clip at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOCNjaxYCIw)

Question: In CALLED OUT, book #3 in my Calling It series, Vin Scully is mentioned along with Harry Caray, Red Barber, and Bob Uecker. Of those three, who was famous for saying: “It could be, it might be… It is—a home run!”

Sorry. that was way too easy, I know. That would be one of Harry Caray’s signature phrases. I can’t find a recording of him saying it, but the Bleacher Report did a really cool collection of what they consider the 25 greatest home run catch phrases of all time. Something to listen to in those long baseball-less months from November – February. (And, yes, I meant February. Please refer to the picture if you don’t know why.)

Listen up: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/795866-mlb-power-rankings-the-25-greatest-home-run-catch-phrases-of-all-time

As long as we’re talking about that baseball feeling, here’s a bit more from the scene in CALLED OUT that I mention above.

“Okay,” Nate said, once the kids had all been settled down. “Everyone ready?” He nodded to Deke, who, with a smile, raised his arm and pointed a remote at a spot toward right field, as Nate said, “Welcome to The Show.”

There was the sound of jets flying overhead—just like on Opening Day. And then, as lights began to come on one spotlight at a time, Harry Caray’s voice could be heard, shouting, “It could be, it might be… It is—a home run!” That faded into recordings of Red Barber, Vin Scully and Bob Uecker, just to name a few, as more lights came on, highlighting that it wasn’t just your typical indoor practice facility, but instead a mini stadium, bleachers included.

No, not just an indoor stadium. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” Jack muttered as banks of lights came up first in center field, and its reproduction of the scoreboard at the old Comiskey Park, then in right field…

“Is that real ivy?” Wash asked.

“Gifted by the Wrigley grounds crew,” Nate answered, his smile so wide it could be heard in his voice.

But it wasn’t just Chicago that was represented, as was evident when the lights came on in left field. “Oh, my God,” Dorie gasped as a smaller version of Fenway’s Green Monster, complete with a reproduction Coke bottle towering over it, got top billing.

Whether you were a baseball fan or not, standing here amidst these iconic sights and listening to the familiar sounds, it was such a visceral thing that—

“It’s not just me, right?” Lola said from next to him, briskly wiping a tear from her eye. “This is pretty freaking amazing.”

He wanted desperately to hold her. To put his arms around her and settle his chin on her shoulder and just let the magic overwhelm them. He settled for a quick duck of his head and an even quicker brush of his lips against her hair while he briefly took hold of her hand. His eyes caught hers. “Yeah,” he said, gruffly. “It kind of is.”

CALLED OUT is available at Amazon as well as all other major e-retailers.

Whether there’s a Game 7 or not, I’ll be posting the final set of answers here on this page in a few days. Don’t forget to check back in! (And if there is a Game 7, you’ll get one more night’s worth of trivia, check out Jean Joachim’s blog for a few more trivia questions.)

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And we’re back!

If you’ve been following along, my fellow baseball romance author Jean Jochim and I have been posting World Series trivia each of the last few nights. If you’d like to check out our previous posts, please go to:

1) Jean’s blog
2) My previous post

Before I post the answers to the questions in my previous post, let’s add a couple more questions.

1) The Dodgers weren’t originally based in L.A. What year were they established and where? When did they move to L.A.?

2) Did Vin Scully actually throw out the first pitch before Game 2 of the 2017 World Series? Who caught the first pitch?

And, 3) In CALLED OUT, book #3 in my Calling It series, Vin Scully is mentioned along with Harry Caray, Red Barber, and Bob Uecker. Of those three, who was famous for saying: “It could be, it might be… It is—a home run!”

Now that you have those questions to ponder, here are the answers to the questions I posted the other night.

Question: How many teams have come back to win the World Series after being down 0-3 in the League Championship Series?

Answer: 34

Question: How many times has the winner of the World Series been decided in the 7th game?

Answer: Just once. As they said on SB Nation: “It’s the 2004 Red Sox, and then it’s everyone else.”

See https://www.sbnation.com/2016/10/17/13313812/baseball-teams-down-0-3-in-a-postseason-series-history for the full rundown.

QUESTION: The trivia question that seals Dorie’s fate in CALLING IT — “This player led the Yankees in RBIs in every season from 1949-1955. Name the player and, as a bonus, name his claim to fame from the 1956 World Series.”

And here is the complete passage from CALLING IT, with the answer included:

But it was the last question that was a knife to Nate’s gut. The one that he knew was coming, but hoped against hope would prove his doubts wrong. His heart came to a slow, painful stop as the words came out of Lola’s mouth. “This player led the Yankees in RBIs in every season from 1949-1955. Name the player and, as a bonus, name his claim to fame from the 1956 World Series.”

He wanted her to bungle it. To give an answer just about anyone else in the world would give hearing those words. Mickey Mantle. Joe DiMaggio, hell, even Babe Ruth, although the timing was off by about twenty years. So many famous Yankees that even a Red Sox fan knew them all; so many names that someone could throw out and think they had a shot of getting it right. But what most people didn’t realize was that the man whose quotes provided laughs on a regular basis was also one of—if not the—greatest catchers of all time.

“Yogi Berra,” Dorie answered quietly. “He caught Don Larsen’s perfect game.”

Once again cheers erupted around her, but all Nate could do was close his eyes and breathe.

If you’re interested in finding out why this was such a turning point for Dorie and Nate, well, you’ll need to read the book. 😉 You can get it and the rest of the CALLING IT series on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.

I’ll post the answers to the next set of questions in a few days. In the meantime, check out Jean’s posts at http://jeanjoachim.blogspot.com.

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Guess who made it to the Top 16 round of the Harlequin Hero of the Year contest for 2017. Jack Oxford (i.e., my hero in CALLED OUT), that’s who.

So many of you have told me how much you loved him–especially after you were prepared to hate him instead. So please come on over to https://www.harlequin.com/shop/pages/harlequin-hero-of-the-year.html and vote him forward!

THANK YOU!

 

Putting a new book out is always a bit of a mixed blessing. After months of writing and editing–and sometimes years of knowing this story is coming–it is both awesome and terrifying to release it into the world, especially when it’s near and dear to your heart.

Although Nate and Dorie will always be special to me because they were my first, and Deke and Fitz worked their way into my soul, Lola and Jack have always been something special to me. Jack was actually one of the first characters I ever conceived of. (I know, I know–‘of whom I ever conceived.’ Sigh. As a friend just said to me in an email, this is the curse of being an English teacher’s daughter.) The original opening scene of Calling It (book #1 in the series) actually had Nate, Jack and Courtney coming face to face on a red carpet in front of a whole lineup of photographers; that interaction is still incredibly vivid to me (even though in the evolution of the story, it has been relegated to scenes that got cut from both the book itself and the storyline).

Lola, although a very minimal character in book #1, was as defined to me then as she is now. The single (widowed) mother of four, she is confident and unafraid to cut her losses no matter how painful they may be. She loves her four young boys, but, oh yes, is quite tired, which only adds to her reluctance to open herself up to anything even remotely verging on serious relationship territory.

But for as much as I love them, I am always worried that no one else will. So it was with great relief that so many early reviews showed Jack & Lola some major love.

Not all of them did, of course, and I know that you might have a very different feeling for this book than I do. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I hope you love it, but if you don’t, I will still be grateful for your taking the time to read it. There are so many incredible stories out there and we are all so limited in time. I appreciate any time you have devoted to my books. And if you’ve written a review–good or bad–I am even more grateful.

With that said, however, as Lola’s and Jack’s book birthday rapidly approaches, I am going to list here some of the words that have meant so much to me from the advance reviews on GoodReads.

Drum roll please… Here are some of my favorite quotes from these early reviews (you can read the full text of these reviews [and more] at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34372440-called-out):

“Okay, I am in love! Great lead characters, wonderful secondary characters, melting hearts, believable conflict, and a happy ending. What more could you want?” – NovelMomma

“Jack and Lola’s story is a sensual and playful delight that took my breath away…” – Becky

“It’s a story of love, of healing, of atonement and redemption. It’s a story of friendship and family. It made me laugh, tear up, and swoon, and most of all, I really enjoyed it. I am absolutely looking forward to more stories from Inspiration.” – Sam

“The rest, as they say, is history; but in the most unexpectedly intense, sincere and super hot ways. These two have the most delicious conversations, passionate encounters, and every day moments. … I managed to laugh out loud and then within minutes, also shed some tears. Always a sign of a really good book I think. Thank you Ms Doyle, and I am looking forward to the next installment.” – Ruthie

“Ms. Doyle mixes moments of insight with humorous delivery and emotional storytelling as she creates a masterful story of maturity and romance. – Isha

This is probably the ultimate fantasy read for every single mum everywhere. … Only Jen Doyle could write such a domestic romance without it ever feeling domestic and I am once again surprised by how much I enjoy this series. The blurbs make me want to run – I don’t do charming, sweet or white picket fences. I usually hate cute kids and their fictional parents. But there is a layer of honest and slightly dark humour in these stories that really strikes a chord with me. I love this series and I can’t wait for the next book.” – Sarah

This is a great story with an original plotline, a fast pace and amazing characters. I loved every page! – LeeAnn

Overall, I ADORED this book. It was so sweet and heartfelt and heartbreaking and heart-mending. – Nadwa

“This was a sexy, romantic read with great characters, a wee dose of angst and hefty dose of adorable courtesy of Lola’s sons.” – Nicola

Again, the full reviews are available at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34372440-called-out — and if you happen to head over there, please be sure to read *all* the reviews, not just the good ones, so you can get the full sense of what people are thinking. And please do “like” those reviews, too, so that the reviewers know their work is appreciated.

So we’re down to an hour and a half now, and I must go find something to do other than be nervous about what everyone else will think when Called Out hits their e-readers at midnight. (What that something is, I have no idea.) But thank you once again for your support, thank you for reading this post, and a big, fat, messy-kiss thank you (in advance) for reading Called Out. Happy reading!

Amazon:
B&N:
iBooks:
Kobo:

Out on Monday, May 29. Preorder your copy NOW:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pf0Yui
B&N: http://bit.ly/BN-CO
iBooks: http://apple.co/2ntKpcS
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2oZFX9t

Enter the preorder giveaway: https://goo.gl/forms/sVLClSf1eMIhup9U2

 

“Okay, I am in love! Great lead characters, wonderful secondary characters, melting hearts, believable conflict, and a happy ending. What more could you want?” ~~ NovelMomma

“LOVED this one!! I’ve enjoyed each book in this series but I think this might be my favorite.” ~~ Bette

“Overall, I ADORED this book. It was so sweet and heartfelt and heartbreaking and heart-mending.” ~~ Nadwa

You can read the full reviews at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34372440-called-out

To enter for the chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card, pre-order your copy and then head on over to https://goo.gl/forms/sVLClSf1eMIhup9U2 and fill out the (very short!) form there.

Want a taste? Here’s a short excerpt. As you may notice, this is immediately after some shenanigans in the laundry room:

At what point she finally collapsed she had no idea; just that she could feel Jack bring her pants back up over her legs, pull her tank top back down, and wrap the sweater around her again. Then he pulled her into his arms and tucked her head into his chest and held her as, still shaking, she came down.

She was mentally present enough to realize he was still hard—even to register that she not just needed to return the favor, but that she desperately wanted to. Except, oh, for Heaven’s sake, she was crying.

“I’m not sad,” she said into his chest.

He chuckled. “No, babe. I got that.”

“And I’m not about to go all crazy clingy,” she added, despite the fact that she couldn’t physically remove herself from his arms yet. “I’ll let go as soon as I can walk again.”

“No rush.” The smile was still in his voice. “We can stay just like this for as long as you like.”

Using the principle of gravity, it was actually possible for her to let her hand drop down between them and at least get a little bit of a feel. Despite his appearing cool and calm, he sucked in a breath as her hand tightened around him.

“Maybe not quite as long as originally thought,” he said, his voice cracking a little.

To the contrary. “Longer.” And thicker, come to think of it.

Or not, because it suddenly occurred to her that she could hear the boys clamoring around upstairs and she had no idea how long they’d been up there.

Thank God they were still up there and not down here, however. “I, um, I think that’s my call to go.”

“Yeah.” He loosened his arms a little, but didn’t release her. Almost as if he wanted to stay here with her just as much as she wanted to stay with him. “I think maybe I’ll just stay down here to finish up.”

She snorted. She couldn’t help it.

“The laundry,” he emphasized, grinning down at her.

“Right,” she answered. “Well, there are some clean towels in that basket over there. You know, if you needed something to fold.” She gave him one more squeeze. “Or whatever.”

He laughed as he grabbed her wrist and pulled her close again.

 

Here are those links again. Thank you for reading!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pf0Yui
B&N: http://bit.ly/BN-CO
iBooks: http://apple.co/2ntKpcS
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2oZFX9t

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway! https://goo.gl/forms/sVLClSf1eMIhup9U2

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