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.

CALLED UP named TRR Top Pick!

OhWowOhWowOhWOW!!!! I just got the news today that CALLED UP was named a TRR (The Romance Reviews) Top Pick! From Delta's 5 STAR review:

I just love Ms. Doyle's lighthearted yet delicious voice, her fabulous blend of humor and heat that of a much more seasoned author (did I mention this was only her second book?). She has earned a spot on my auto-buy list, and I'm super excited for the next story in this über excellent series!

Bottom Line: CALLED UP gets a big YAAAAAAASSSS from this reviewer! If you dig well written, sweet, funny and erotic romance with a firm HEA, do yourself a favor and pick this series up!

(Read the full review here.)

I won't lie. Book Two was a tough one to write. I can't even begin to say what this means to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to Delta and The Romance Reviews!

The Romance Review


August Release Blitz & Giveaway

On the first day of August, my true love said to me...I'm so happy to be in the great company of some amazing  authors who all have new books coming out in August. Rachel Lacey, Jessica Linden, and Lisa Marie Perry are all beginning new series, while Bronwen Evans, Codi Gary, Annie Rains and myself have new installments in currently running series. And in honor of this release blitz, we're giving away a $50 gift certificate to the e-retailer of your choice. All you need to do is head on over to Rafflecopter to enter. Good luck, and happy reading!

August 2: Rock With You, by Rachel Lacey Amazon | B&N | More info and links...

Welcoming the Bad Boy, by Annie Rains Amazon | B&N | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

August 16: Hero of Mine, by Codi Gary Amazon

A Taste of Seduction, by Bronwen Evans Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon Ca | Amazon Aust | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

August 29: Called Up, by Jen Doyle Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

August 30: Fight for Me, by Jessica Linden Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Meant to be Mine, by Lisa Marie Perry Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Run to You, by Rachel Lacey Amazon | B&N | More info & links...












Thank you, Tasty Book Tours!

So it's been quite a crazy month and a half since CALLING IT released on April 11. I have to admit, I was a bit unprepared. But rather than lament all the things I did wrong, I thought I'd focus on the things I did right--and one of those was working with Tasty Book Tours and all of the wonderful bloggers that took part in my virtual tour in April. Because I have some catch up to do, over the next few weeks I'll be posting links to some of the interviews I did there as well as some of the reviews because I think they might have gotten buried what with everything that was going on. But I look forward to working with them again in August when CALLED UP (i.e., Book 2 ;) ) is released.

In the meantime, I thought I'd leave this screen shot here of all of the incredible bloggers that reviewed and promo'd CALLING IT, whether they were fans of the book or not. I've written a bunch of reviews in my time and, frankly, sucked at it. I'm in awe of those who do it all the time.

And a special thank you to Lisa at TBT. What a great way to start out this journey.


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Let's Talk About Sex. Or Not.

So there I was on Friday night at the (AWESOME) Romance Roundtable sponsored by Porter Square Books and one of the first questions asked from the audience was, essentially: men and women experience sex differently--how do you, as a woman, write it from the male point of view? Give explicit details. Ok. So the "give explicit details" wasn't stated, but it was pretty much implied. And, yes, I had one of those OhHolyCrap moments.

I mean, it's not like I haven't considered the idea that someone might ask me a similar question. But, well...

I can't talk about sex.

I just can't.

I can write it. I can write about it. But I can't talk about it. It's the biggest joke ever in my family, especially when my mom, sister, and cousin are some of my main beta readers and I write some fairly explicit scenes.

But it was also why I thought it was kind of hysterical that my first Facebook ad ever got flat-out rejected due to "sexually suggestive" content. (Not nearly as hysterical as the fact that, due to various likes and comments, after the ad was rejected, Facebook kept telling me that I should consider boosting the post due to its being an "engaging" one. But I digress.)

First, the ad:

The FB ad that got rejected.

I've learned a lot about FB ads over the last few days, I have to say. For example, all those really out there pictures that get posted? Not ads, therefore there's no problem. The pictures in the headings? Also not ads, so ditto. If you don't pay for it, it's not an ad, and FB apparently keeps its hands off. (NOTE: I'm actually fine with that. Yay, Facebook, for trying to find a line between control and censorship.)

One of the main issues of my ad was actually the amount of text involved. FB is very clear that they allow no more than 20% text in the images used as ads. There are even tools involved to test it out. See http://www.social-contests.com/check-image/ and https://www.facebook.com/notes/living-fabulous/facebooks-20-percent-text-rule-on-ad-images/828458160511405/.

I, incidentally, totally didn't do that.

Um, oops.

Also, a few people mentioned it might be because of the amount of skin showing in the picture. And, yes, I did choose that picture quite intentionally to use pretty much across the board. (You may have noticed it's used as the heading for my author page, and on Twitter, and on my website [look up above!], and on my business card, etc.) And I chose it specifically because it was, yes, suggestive--in a way that I think fits my first two books quite perfectly, thank you very much. Jeans and t-shirts, baseball and apple pie, Nate and Dorie and Deke and Fitz--and lots of happy (and not so happy) sexy times--in small town Inspiration, IA.

There was also the matter of the quote itself:

“Just because you like my cooking,” she whispered, “doesn’t mean you get to have everything in the kitchen.”

He stared at her, seeing every iota of doubt and vulnerability she kept bottled up inside. Then he smiled. “Guess I’ll have to keep coming back until I’ve licked the cupboards bare.”

Um... O.k., yes, that's pretty suggestive, too, in a way that makes me both blush furiously and, well, smile. Because, hey--since I can't talk about it straight out, I do my absolute best to be suggestive.

But then my mom walks into the house to visit and the first thing she says to me (before even saying hi), is: "Well, of course, Facebook rejected your ad! 'Lick the cupboards bare?'"

And that right there was when my worlds collided and I pretty much self-combusted.

Write it? Yes.

Write about it? Yep.

Talk about it with my mom? Absolutely freaking NOT.

So, Facebook, you got it right. And there's no way in hell I'm going to say a word out loud about it.*


* But if you'd like to see how I write about it, please feel free to preorder CALLING IT. I'd be 100% o.k. with that.




And Here We Go...

THREE MONTHS FROM TODAY my debut book comes out. Wow. It's still hard to believe. It was a little less hard to believe on Friday, when I received a draft of the cover in my inbox and it was...spectacular.

I've heard horror stories, I have to admit. And although I had absolutely zero ability to explain what I hoped it would look like, my expectations were high:

  • Sexy, but not so embarrassing that I couldn't show it to my kids, or post it on Facebook where my friends from, say, high school will see.
  • Something that somehow showed baseball, and Iowa, and the couple I'd fallen in love with (and hope everyone else will, too) without being heavy-handed about showing baseball, Iowa, and the couple I'd fallen in love with.
  • A cover that I liked enough that if it weren't mind, I'd add it to my "Judging A Book By Its Cover" board on Pinterest (because, yes, we all do).

Oh, and although I didn't realize they'd come hand in hand, I wanted the amazing title that I hadn't quite been able to come up with on my own.

Well, guess what, folks. The Carina team delivered. BIG time. Several days later, I still pull up the picture on my phone so I can look at it and cry.

So, thank you, Heather Goldberg and crew. There will be other books and other covers, but this will always be my first and it will always be incredible.