Virtual Tour w/Giveaway: Called Up by Jen Doyle

There are two things Max “Deke” Deacon can always count on: 
his old high school teammates and Fitz Hawkins.

A Calling It Novel
Jen Doyle
Releasing Aug 29th, 2016
Carina Press

There are two things Max “Deke” Deacon can always count on: his old high school teammates and Fitz Hawkins. But no matter how much Deke might secretly fantasize otherwise, a relationship with one of his best friends is off limits. Until one unexpectedly smoldering encounter has Deke and Fitz looking at each other in a whole new way.

Angelica “Fitz” Hawkins knows for a fact that it is not better to have loved and lost. After losing her parents, she’d rather lock up her heart and throw away the key than endure that kind of pain again. If that means giving up any hope of a lasting relationship, then so be it.

With Deke, Fitz finally feels like she's back in the land of the living. But she won’t risk another broken heart—even if it means saying good-bye to Deke for good. It’s up to Deke to convince her that the safest place she could ever be is right here with him.

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“Hey, Dorie,” she heard from above her. “Do you know where Fitz wants these bottles of water?”
Speak of the devil. Fitz brought her head up a little too suddenly, banging it on the underside of the table. “Ouch!” Her hand going to the back of her head, she came up frowning, and...
Oh, God, was he this gorgeous before? Had he always smelled amazing?
Doing everything she could to keep herself immune from his physical charms, she spun on her heel. “Back here.”
Very specifically not looking in Deke’s direction so that she didn’t give anything away, she forced herself to act exactly as she always did around him. Except she suddenly couldn’t quite remember how that was. Did she flirt with him? Did she flat-out ignore him? Did she generally just go around in a state of low-level irritation? Because right now she had absolutely no clue.
She had even less of a clue as she bent down to open up the lid to the cooler and he crouched down next to her, his head so close all he’d need to do was turn it slightly to the left and his mouth would be on her breast.
And was that…?
Oh, hell, no, her nipples had not just hardened. She slapped her arms over her chest.
Because they had. And Deke, with his superhero sex god extra sensory perception, had definitely noticed. He at least had the decency to look down at the ground as he grinned.
“It’s the cold,” Fitz snapped. “From the cooler.”

Pushing the bottles down into the ice, Deke just answered, “You’d be amazed at all the bits and pieces I can warm up with my tongue.”

Q & A with Jen Doyle

First, let me say thank you for having me here. I appreciate your hosting me on the occasion of the publication of CALLED UP (book two in the CALLING IT series).

What books/authors have influenced your writing?
The specific book that comes to mind is Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. It was one of the first romance books I ever read, and at the time, I hadn’t realized it was part of a series. (An error I recognized and rectified quickly, let me tell you.) I loved the whole interplay between heroine Annabelle Granger and the world of professional sports. And, of course, between Annabelle and Heath. It drew me into the world of sports romance and I never quite left.

At the same time, I had just begun to read Jill Shalvis’s Lucky Harbor series. Seeing these tightly knit groups of people negotiating falling in love in a small town definitely spoke to me. And then, of course, was Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold series, the first book of which was a mash-up between sports (with a world-famous cyclist) and small town romance. Bringing all those things together absolutely helped inspire the CALLING IT series.

Have you ever had one character you wanted to go one way with but after the book was done the character was totally different.
All of my characters have a very strong sense of self, so I’ve learned to kind of just let them lead. But I do have to say that Deke (the hero in CALLED UP) surprised me more than most. The vision I had of him when I started out the series was much more the playboy type than he turned out to be. Who knew the man coached his nephew’s Little League team? Who knew he’d be so focused on what Fitz was going through? I definitely didn’t, LOL. My first outline of this book had Deke (and Fitz) making some very bad choices very quickly. By the last draft, things had changed pretty drastically.

What’s you next project?
I’m currently working on the proposal for book three for the CALLING IT series, so hopefully I’ll have news about that soon. I also just recently put out a free short story (Last Call) that serves as an introduction to Inspiration, Iowa. It’s a complete standalone, but Deke makes a cameo appearance. It can be downloaded at:

This fall I’m also going to post Butterfly Ops, a somewhat epic story (360K words – which is, um, a lot), on Wattpad. It’s the evolution of a fanfic I wrote a while back, having become quite more polished over time. If you’re on Wattpad, keep an eye out.

If you could write in another genre what would it be & why?
Right now, I can’t imagine straying from contemporary romance, but once upon a time, I felt the complete opposite. Back when I was writing fan fiction, I was strictly in urban fantasy territory and couldn’t imagine writing anything that didn’t have a paranormal element of some sort. When I sat down this summer to reread Butterfly Ops, I got that itchy I-need-to-explore-this-more feeling. I love the universe that story exists in and can definitely see myself expanding upon it once I’m back there.

That story is definitely a romance, but it follows one couple over its entire course. There was a sequel to the original fan fiction story that was probably more urban fantasy since the couple from the first book was still featured but the relationship wasn’t the main focus (kind of the way the In Death series follows Eve and Roark, or Sam and Nick in the Fatal series). I do like the idea of exploring a more in depth part of a couple’s happily ever after (you know, as long as they’re sufficiently put through the wringer along the way), but I love meeting new couples and seeing them fall in love.

I guess that’s my long way of saying, I clearly have no idea. LOL.

When you are in writer mode, music or no music? If music, do you have a playlist?
When I’m actually writing, I need it to be quiet. This has been quite difficult with a demanding day job plus three kids in the house, I must say. But when I was writing CALLED UP in particular, I found that I was kind of formulating a Deke playlist in my head. So, for example, I’d be folding the laundry and thinking through things, but rather than listen to, say, Maroon 5, I was going through my music on iTunes and reaching back into my older collections for Bonnie Raitt (“Angel from Montgomery”) and Gillian Welch (“Wichita”). Then I dug out Phillip Phillips (“Home”) and Mumford & Sons (“I Will Wait”). And the next thing you know, I was downloading Luke Bryan (“I See You”), Cole Swindell (“Hope You Get Lonely Tonight”), Joseph (“White Flag”), and Blake Shelton (“Boys ‘Round Here”). My family thinks I’ve been possessed, but those guys are all here to stay.

Share a funny incident in your life.
As I mentioned above, I have three kids (they are five, thirteen, and sixteen). Probably about eight or nine years back, we were on a vacation with my extended family and were riding in the minivan (that’s romance for you!) with my two older kids and my sister and brother-in-law. The two older kids were at that stage where “stupid” is the absolute worst S-word out there. And at some point in the conversation, John, my brother-in-law, must have said it because my son, Will, then around five years old, was horrified that John had said “the S word” and said so quite loudly. John, not having kids of his own, then proceeded to go through the entire list of bad S-words while trying to figure out which one had sparked Will’s outrage. Let’s just say it was memorable and still spoken about to this day.

Clean shaven, Scruff, beard, or mustache. Ink yay or nay?
Clean shaven or scruff, for the most part. A while ago I would have said no to the beard but I’m coming around. Mustache? I’m not there yet. Except if it’s Charlie Hunnam. In that case, all bets are off.

As for ink, I don’t love the sleeves, but as long as there’s enough skin showing in between tats (why, hello @BTUArmy at ), I’m totally on board.

Thank you so much for having me! I hope everyone enjoys CALLED UP and the rest of the CALLING IT series!

A big believer in happily ever afters, Jen 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 the “some”).

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  1. Thank you for hosting CALLED UP today!

    Crystal, Tasty Book Tours


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