Thank you, Walker Hayes. #boom.

Dear Walker Hayes, On Friday night, I get to see you perform in Boston and I am beyond excited. I'm hoping I might get to share this story in person, but in the event I don't, I'm putting it here for the world to see. As an artist myself, I know how much it means to me when someone tells me the impact my books have had on them, so I figured you might feel the same.

Last year was really rough. My dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor right before Thanksgiving 2016, which happened to be a few weeks after I signed a contract to produce both book 3 in my Calling It series of romance novels and a holiday novella. He passed away in March--six weeks before the first draft of the novella was due--and, let me tell you, writing the happily-ever-after ending that all good romance novels require was pretty freaking hard. It was damn near impossible, in fact, and for the first time in my life, I was afraid I was going to miss a deadline I had committed to. (Given the circumstances, that would have been understandable, I think. But since my dad is the man who drilled things into my head like responsibility and sticking-to-your-word, well, it felt like I'd be letting him down. And I just couldn't do that.)

When I'm writing, I find it very difficult to write without having a picture of my hero and heroine in my head. And Tuck, the hero of Holiday House Call, wasn't clear enough to work through the murkiness of my head space given what was going on in the life of my family. But then I happened upon the video for "You Broke Up With Me."

I had already heard the song and loved it--I liked the play of the words, the bounciness of the melody, and although being a happily-ever-after girl myself I wasn't sure I could get behind the sentiment (I did a complete turnaround when I heard what the song was actually about, but that's another story), I couldn't stop listening to it. But the video provided the inspiration I desperately needed--that whole chiseled jaw thing you have going on, arms to swoon over, and a real life love for your wife and family that comes across in your music and interviews. Not only was I able to find a guy for my heroine to swoon over, but one who personifies some of the things that make Tuck who he is: someone who goes after his dreams while at the same time staying grounded by the friends and family who make up his world. The words began to flow.

Thank you so much for not only creating some wonderful music--"You Broke Up With Me" being my favorite, of course, along with "Craig," "Beautiful," and "Shut Up, Kenny" but I'm pretty much loving all of boom. (not to mention "Reason to Rhyme" and "Pants" [because, really, what's a strong hero without a kickass heroine?])--but also for helping this romance author come up with Holiday House Call, a happily-ever-after I am intensely proud of.

Yours truly,

Jen Doyle


#WorldSeries Trivia - Day 6

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

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:

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:

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.)



One week until release day -- preview, anyone?

Holiday House Call is releasing next week. Holy holiday novella, is what I say. It feels like just yesterday when I was turning it in. But since it's almost here, I thought maybe you might be interested in a preview? The opening scene perhaps?

Well, consider that wish granted. Here goes:


Thirty-two miles per hour in a sixty-five zone. Someone was getting a ticket tonight.

Eventually someone was getting a ticket, at least, because if they didn’t get up over forty, Tuck would be sitting here forever. May as well put his feet up and take a nap; rest up for his overnight shift.

And now they were stopping in the middle of the road.


John Tucker put down the radar gun and rolled up the window. Rather than wait for the driver to get to him, he pulled out of his spot and headed toward her, catching a glimpse of blonde hair as he passed. He pulled a U-turn at the wider part of the road and flashed his lights as he came up behind her so she would…

No. No freaking way he was seeing what he thought he was seeing.

He knew that bumper sticker. 5280 Denver.

He knew that GMC—intimately.

He knew exactly how soft all the driver’s long blonde hair felt as he threaded his hands through it.

Because once upon a time—six years back, when he’d been living in Denver—he’d been in that car. Been in the backseat of it, in fact, clothes every which way, watching her throw her head back, her hair cascading over her shoulders as she rode him.

It was one of his favorite memories from his Denver days. Possibly one of his favorite memories, period. And it majorly sucked that he was going to have to slap her with a drunk driving charge.

Now they were both stopped in the middle of the road. This was about to get awkward.

But it was his job, and as the newly promoted Chief of the Inspiration, Iowa, Police Department, Tuck had absolutely no excuse not to do it. He sounded the siren and hoped she got the hint to pull to the side of the road. When she did, he pulled over behind her. A blast of wind hit him as he got out of his patrol car. She rolled down the window as he approached, her bloodshot eyes widening in what he assumed was recognition.

“I need your license and registration, ma’am.”

He caught himself just before he winced. Had he seriously just called her ma’am?

She apparently felt the same way. Her eyes narrowed. “Did you really just…? You made me come four times in three hours and you call me ma’am?

He, uh… Well, yeah. He was quite proud of that, in fact.

The making her come four times part, just to be clear. The ma’am thing, not so much.

“If you’re going to pull me over,” she was saying, “you could at least call me by my first name.”

Yes. That would absolutely be preferred. Except…

“You don’t remember my name, do you?” Rather than wait for him to confirm or deny, she bonked her head against the steering wheel. “So done,” she mumbled. “I am so done with this day.”

He cleared his throat. Because, no, he didn’t remember her name. Or maybe she’d never given it to him. He’d been too captivated by her mouth and the things she’d said she wanted to do with it for anything else to truly register.

She straightened up and glared at him—as if he were the problem here—before handing over her license and reaching for her registration. She’d also turned on the interior car lights, which was a bit of a surprise since it indicated a basic knowledge of getting-pulled-over SOP. Tuck didn’t think that was a good thing.

Nor was it a good thing when her lips settled into a grim line before she far-too-perkily asked, “Could you tell me what the problem is, Officer?”

Yes, he supposed he deserved that sneer at the end. He hadn’t told her he was a police officer that night. Some women liked the uniform; he generally tried to stay away from them. The problem was that a lot of women didn’t like it, and that was an issue, too.

He looked down at her license. Karen Carmichael. Ames address, thirty-seven years old. Huh. He would have pegged her for younger. She had a bright-eyed, innocent look about her. It was part of what had drawn his attention—not to mention the attention of more than a few other men in the bar that night. She’d come up to talk to him, though. Asked him to dance. Which, incidentally, had been an entirely new thing for him, as he generally did the asking. He was also generally more of a first-kiss-after-the-third-date kind of person. Always that kind of person, in fact, except for that night.

Nope, still didn’t regret it.

Handing the license back, he said, “Could you step out of the car?”

He ignored the glare she gave him as she shut off the car’s light, opened the car door, and stepped out.

“I’m pretty sure you need probable cause to pull me over,” she added, crossing her arms over her chest as she leaned against the door.

He very specifically did not let his eyes drift down past her neck. It was hard enough to concentrate on what he was doing at the moment; remembering how perfectly her breasts fit in his hands wasn’t going to do anything to help matters. “You drifted between lanes, drove well beneath the speed limit, and then came to a stop in the middle of the road. I had every right to pull you over.”

Her glare went nuclear. Took him straight from roasted marshmallow to Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. But instead of lighting into him, she let her head fall back, dropped her arms to her sides, and breathed in deeply through her nose a few times. When she straightened up and met his gaze, she was cool and collected. “I’m not drunk.”

No, he’d realized that as soon as she’d opened her window to him, her bloodshot eyes notwithstanding. Something was going on, though; even a rookie cop would have figured that one out. Before he could decide on what approach to take, she snatched the penlight out of his chest pocket and held it out to him.

She wasn’t supposed to do that. No one did that. And if anyone else had, he probably would have…

Well, he had no clue because no one did that. Yet all he could do was watch the way her lips formed the words— “Here. Feel free to check.” —and flash back to the way those same lips had felt on his about-to-burst-into-flame skin.

He pushed the thought back as he took the penlight from her, careful not to make actual contact.

“You want me to do the walk and turn thing?” she was saying. “Stand on one leg? Say the alphabet backward?”

Yeah. Something was definitely going on. Her attitude was still up around DefCon 1 and she hadn’t backed down one bit. So he ran the tests, enough to confirm she was sober—which she was. But as he stepped back so she could get back into her car, he saw her eyes change. And something changed inside him as well. Enough of a something for him to step in closer. He only barely managed not to reach out to her. “Are you okay?”

She stared up at him, no less shocked than he was. Then her lips trembled. Tears spilled over and ran down her cheeks. She shook her head slowly, her voice no more than a whisper. “I had a really bad day.”

Tuck had had some pretty bad days himself. They haunted him regularly, pushed away only by thoughts of much better nights. Thoughts of her, in fact, from time to time. He wanted to draw her to him, fold her into his arms. But he was already dangerously close to crossing that hard line called, oh, professionalism so he resisted, instead asking, “Is there anything I can do?”

Want to read more? Preorder now at:

Dr. Karen Carmichael prides herself on being capable, optimistic and always in control. But even neurosurgeons have breaking points, especially as the holidays approach. When Karen finds herself on the side of the road, explaining to a cop that her less-than-stellar driving was due to stress and tears rather than too much booze, it's humiliating. When that cop turns out to be a one-night stand from her past, it's icing on the bad-day cake.

Officer John "Tuck" Tucker didn't expect to see Karen again after their night together. The circumstances may not be ideal, but convincing this beautiful, stubborn woman to get to know him with his clothes on is more fun than he could have imagined.

Karen swore she'd never fall for someone who risks his life for his job. She sees enough heartbreak at work without inviting it into her personal life, and she has no interest in becoming involved in the small town Tuck calls home. But despite valiant efforts to keep her walls up, her affection for Tuck is growing into something much stronger. With a life built around work alone looking less appealing by the day, Karen will have to take a leap of faith—and trust that Tuck will leap with her.

HOLIDAY HOUSE CALL will be available on October 23, 2017.



CALLED OUT is almost here! Still time to enter the preorder giveaway contest.

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

Amazon: B&N: iBooks: Kobo:

Enter the preorder giveaway:


"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:

To enter for the chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card, pre-order your copy and then head on over to 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: B&N: iBooks: Kobo:

And don't forget to enter the giveaway!





On Becoming A Writer -- Another Throwback Thursday Blog Post

CI + CU Take 2 _6-17-16_for-WebThis post originally appeared on Everafter Romance on Feb. 12, 2016. I became a writer on November 6, 2001 at approximately 8:45 p.m.

Although I’m a rabid Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, I didn’t begin watching it until it went into syndication in September 2001. By the time the musical came along I was hooked. So there I was, along with all the other Buffy fans in the world watching it air (because, of course, back then everyone actually watched when the shows were on), and I realized that one of my favorite characters wasn’t there. Having become a shipper before knowing the definition of the term, I realized with dismay that my man was gone.

So out I went onto the Interwebs, trying to find out what had happened. And, apparently, he had gone and gotten himself addicted to vampires. Not the future I had in mind.

Completely unable to grasp this new reality, I kept on searching and I came across this thing called—What? Fan fiction?

Like as in fans writing their own stories? Did they not have anything better to do?

But, you know, some of it was good. Some of it was actually amazing. And in some of it, my favorite character (okay, okay—if you know Buffy at all you know by now that, yes, I am one of the 342 people in the world who define themselves as a Buffy/Riley shipper; bear with me, however) had a much better ending than the one on the show. Still not the ending I wanted; much better, however.

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 8.56.40 PMAnd yet, as November turned into December, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I found myself inspired. I’d found my muse, it appeared, although I had no idea at the time that that’s what it was called.

A story came alive in my head.

I’d never written before. Not fiction, at least. Not that wasn’t required in Freshman English, that is. Yet the words poured out of me. They flowed from my head to my hands.

It wasn’t perfect. In fact, it kind of sucked. But it was there.

On January 17, 2002, I put it out into the world. It was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done. Never had I done something so instinctually. I was a perfectionist, a planner. (That was back before I had three kids.) I liked to be behind the scenes, not out in front. And here was a universe that I’d barely begun to uncover, not to mention a discipline the rules of which I didn’t know.

On January 23rd, however, I got my first review:

A new WIP to salivate and obsess over. The first four chapters…have me in an absolute lather to see the rest.

Shazaam. A writer was born.

My path may have been different from that of other authors—though, also, likely the same as some. Thirteen years later, I am proud to say that my debut book was published by Carina Press in April 2016. And I'm so happy to be sharing this ride with you.

My Love Affair With Baseball

TBT of another kind... As I gear up for the release date of CALLED UP (25 days away, but who's counting?), I thought I'd share this post that I wrote back in April for the Carina Press blog. Here goes:

There’s something about baseball that has always appealed to me. The crisp green grass, the crack of the bat, the way those baseball pants fit so well…

Buster-PoseyBaseball pants aside, some of my most vivid memories revolve around baseball, starting when the Red Sox and Yankees played the AL East tie-breaker in 1978, my parents and their friends cheering as they crowded around our tiny little TV.

Baseball was always a part of our life growing up. My mom came from a Brooklyn Dodgers family—the family legend is that her uncle moved to L.A. specifically to express his displeasure from the stands of Dodger Stadium. My dad, on the other hand, was a Yankees fan through and through, raising his three daughters to be the same.

Ron Guidry and Bucky Dent were my first celebrity crushes (just barely inching out Mark Harmon in his 240-Robert days), but it was Thurman Munson who I truly fell in love with. Despite the awards he racked up—Rookie of the Year, three-time Gold Glove Award, and seven-time All-Star, just to name a few—his being the first Team Captain since Lou Gehrig was what truly hooked me. The respect of teammates and management alike spoke to me not just of his talent, but of his humility and love for the game and for his team.

Despite this history, in real life, I managed to fall in love with a Red Sox fan. Although his allegiances weren’t unexpected—my husband grew up in Boston, after all—it came as a blow to my family. And I had no intention of converting.

Sure, we moved to Boston. Sure, we went to Fenway Park regularly. But me, a Sox fan? No way.

Flash forward to 2003. On that fateful October night, as I watched Aaron Boone hit his walk-off home-run and felt that bone-crushing disappointment, I realized I’d succumbed. Because I, like the rest of Red Sox Nation, had believed that maybe this time they would win.

IMG_5936They didn’t; not that night. But the Red Sox of 2004 were an entirely different ballgame. (Yes, I went there.) Damon, Lowe, Ortiz… Although the list goes on, it wasn’t any one individual—it was the team. It was everything baseball should be.

And on that October night when the Red Sox beat the Yankees in their historic win—when my dad called my husband and their conversation was the very definition of sportsmanship—I realized I’ve been blessed to have these men I love up close and the men I love from afar. And that writing CALLING IT gave me the chance to put my love affair into words.

How about you? Is it the crack of the bat that gets your heart racing? The pants? Do tell…

(See the original post at: