to get away from Chicago. After a near career-ending car accident and with
paparazzi surrounding his penthouse, Nate can only think of one place to go:
home. But when he finds his old apartment occupied by a half-naked woman
wielding a baseball bat, he’s not sure what to think…except that maybe his
luck has finally changed for the better.
thought she’d get to meet her fantasy man in person—much less while she’s
wearing her bathrobe. To her surprise, her nearly naked run-in with Nate leads
to more unclothed encounters. But Dorie is sure their fling is only temporary.
As long as she remembers he’ll be gone once his life gets back on track, she
won’t get hurt. In the meantime, she throws herself into enjoying their three
weeks together before he has to report for spring training and go back to his
only time in months that he finds himself smiling. Laughing. And he
has no intention of letting that go. He might even be falling in love…if only
Dorie will let him say the words. What they have isn’t just a dream, but the
start of a dream come true.
CALLING IT: Five of My Favorite Things About Writing CALLING IT
By Jen Doyle
I’m a fairly recent convert to the romance genre. Up until about five years ago, I read mysteries and thrillers almost exclusively. Yes, there was death and destruction, but it was always wrapped up in the end and justice was served. Which was good. But, ultimately, it wasn’t good enough. I didn’t just want justice, I wanted redemption. Happiness. I wanted everyone riding off into the sunset with their perfect partner and their perfect ending. If only, I thought, there were books that I could find that ended that way all the time.
And then my sister introduced me to Jennifer Crusie. Who then led me to Nora Roberts. And a romance reader (and writer) was born.
Although I’d been writing for years and years by that point, it wasn’t until I fell in love with the romance genre that I realized I was, well, in love with romance itself. So when I began to write the manuscript that eventually became CALLING IT, by debut book, I realized there were five things that tied it all together.
1) The Heroine: Dorie Donelli
I love a strong heroine. A woman who knows her mind, knows what she wants, and isn’t afraid to hold out until she gets it. Not that she has a list of items that needs to be checked off, necessarily; more that she isn’t willing to compromise her beliefs just to make some guy happy. Because we all know how that turns out.
In CALLING IT, Dorie, my heroine, has moved halfway across the country to take what is her ideal job. In order to do so, she needs to leave the family and home that she loves. But she does so because she knows that staying in Boston—that being the adored but also somewhat suffocated baby sister—is holding her back from the future she not only wants but knows full well that she deserves.
When her fantasy man suddenly shows up in her kitchen (yes, you have to read the book to find out how and why ), she’s well aware that everything is about to change—she just now quite ready for how much.
2) The Hero: Nate Hawkins
And of course for every strong heroine there needs to be a hero who’s her perfect match. Someone who isn’t just an all around good guy, but one who is attracted to the very parts of her that would threaten a lesser man. Nate Hawkins, perennial all-star Major League catcher, turns out to be just that guy. He knows it from almost the first moment he sees her; the problem, of course, is that he has to convince her of that fact.
3) The Sport: Baseball
Baseball and I go way back. I grew up in a New York Yankee household, ended up marrying a Boston Red Sox man. The loyalties, the passion, the excitement for the game—it’s all there. I love everything about the game from the announcers and the cheesy organ music right down to the way a game just clicks when the players truly are a team. And did I mention those uniforms? (Do I really need to?) Plus, I have to say, there’s something about that catcher crouching behind home plate that appeals to me. Or when he flips off that mask and runs for a foul ball. Yep. That’s the Nate Hawkins origin story right there.
4) The Place: Iowa
So maybe it’s just me—maybe Field of Dreams came along at a particularly influential time in my life—but Iowa and baseball have always gone together for me, almost as much baseball and apple pie. Or, I guess, Iowa and apple pie. Plus Iowa is beautiful. Check out the Iowa sunrise and sunset photographs of Larry Lindell and Jim Ruff—or just put “Iowa sunset” into a Google images search. Go ahead. Do it now. Breathtakingly gorgeous.
5) The Theme: Family
But above all, what CALLING IT has always been about for me is family. The family you’re born with, the family you build over the years, and the family you dream of creating. The family Dorie is born into is big and loud; the family Nate is born into is small and tight. And, as with just about anything else, there are benefits and pitfalls to each.
Nate has expanded his family to a circle of friends that has sustained him over the years, but that he’s also grown apart from. Dorie, on the other hand, has never had that because the very nature of her family-by-blood is that it’s all consuming—thus her need to get away.
The goal, of course, is that in finding each other, they’ll find those pieces that they are each missing, the few remaining pieces that make them each whole. And that’s when you can call it (sorry; I had to go there) true love.
To read more about Jen Doyle, see her website at http://www.jendoyleink.com. She can also be found on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jendoyleink), Twitter (@jendoyleink), and Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/jendoyleink/).
Doyle decided it was high time she started creating some. Jen is a
member of the Romance Writers of America, as well as a member of the New
England, New Jersey Romance Writers and Music City Romance Writer chapters of
RWA. She is represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency.
She has an M.S. in Library and Information Science and, in addition to her work
as a librarian, has worked as a conference and events planner as well as a
Communications and Enrollment administrator in both preschool and higher
education environments (although some might say that there is very little
difference between the two; Jen has no comment regarding whether she is one of
will be published by Carina Press in 2016. It was the winner of The
Beacon, the Finish the Damn Book, and the Melody of Love 2014
contests in the Contemporary Romance category, and was also the Contemporary
Romance winner as well as the Grand Prize Winner of the 2014 Gateway to
the Best contest.