Friday, February 8, 2013

Calisa Rhose visits #guest

Today I hand over my blog to fellow Lyrical Press author Calisa Rhose... 

* * * *

Hi Nerine! Thank you for hosting me on your blog today. I’m super excited to share Risk Factors with your readers!

A little about me first.

Calisa Rhose is an Okie, born and bred, through and through, and proud of it. While growing up, when she wasn’t on the back of a horse, she could be found with pen and paper in hand. Her writing career began with poetry in her younger days. Then she discovered Rock-n-Roll and cute musicians. Poetry turned into stories of romance and dreams. These days she lives with the same man who convinced her to take a romantic journey with him almost 30 years ago. After raising three strong daughters she spends her days loving their granddaughters, hoping for a boy someday, and writing. When she’s not writing, you can find Calisa putting on her editor hat and working to help other published and aspiring writers.

She is working on more projects with her favored contemporary cowboys, first responders  and firemen. She plans to have some paranormal stories on the way to publication soon, as well (under a pen name tba).

Find Calisa at her website/blog

Twitter@CalisaRhose, Facebook/Calisa Rhose, Goodreads and Amazon.

I’m sharing Risk Factors, published by Lyrical Press, Inc today. This book and I have a bit of history, as do most writers and their books. LOL This may be a bit unusual, however. It’s not every day a new writer takes their ms back from a Big 6 publishing house.

Originally titled Perfect Dr. Viv, Risk Factors was retitled by my lovely editor, Piper Denna and me before I ever got my first round of edits.

So why a medical title in the beginning?

This story was written specifically for Harlequin Medical (Mills and Boon) during the Fast Track Initiative they did in August 2010. I came up with the premise and wrote one chapter to enter nearly two weeks into the contest. I didn’t expect it to go further so I didn’t write more. One week later, however, an editor requested the first three chapters.  Uh…there aren’t three chapters! I spent the next month writing and polishing two more chapters and submitted the all three the first week of October.

Once again, I forgot the wip and went back to my current project, a vintage historical novella in a special series. Two weeks and one day later I was shocked once more when the editor requested the full “when you get it written” because she knew it was not a completed ms when I submitted the first chapter.

The initiative said we could send anything from one chapter to a full ms for consideration and would hear back by the end of August. My first ‘hear-back’ was in August, as promised.

I innocently told her I would have the full category length romance to her BEFORE CHRISTMAS. That was less than two months away and I only had three chapters--and was minus six teeth--in the first two months!

I put the almost complete novella away (which I had been writing for six months and not finished those 20 thousand words, so no clue what made me think I could write three times that in two months!) and dug in. In the middle of writing it, hubby and I had to take a two-week trip to California and I worked while there even. I tweeted and Facebooked my self-imposed deadline to draft it by November 30th. Yep. I was full of stupid in those days! LOL

BUT--on November 30 at one minute to midnight I typed THE END. I’d done it. Now what?

I edited, sent it to my darlin’ holiday-harried critique group and asked for it back in one week so I could polish and submit it before Christmas as I’d promised the editor I would. I emailed the ms to the editor on December 18th! *deep sigh here*

So now I can sit back, breathe and finish the novella or start another project (which I actually did but that’s another blog post) --because we all know HQN isn’t going to respond within two years, right? No? Maybe that’s just my experience. J--) and chill for at least six months.



I got back a five page revision letter on Januray 28th, 2011! Barely one month after submitting the ms. All along emails from the editor were filled with “We love your voice!” “Your voice sparkles” and other similar things. So when she asked if I would take on the extensive revisions I thought it out, pros and cons. I emailed parts of her letter to my crit group to translate in their inexperienced opinions, and I read her letter a dozen times over a week. I finally took her up on it, not knowing what to expect.

Eight months, and the sale of that novella, later I was no closer to a contract and edits had almost completely rewritten just the first five chapters of the wip. I had lost who my characters were, what their GMCs were or where their story was going by this time. It was August 2011, a year after starting it, that I regrettably informed the editor I needed to pull my ms and shop it somewhere else.

That’s how I met Piper. Thank you!

In February 2012 she was doing a blog pitch at the group blog of one of my critique partners--WordWranglers. I pasted my blurb in a comment and she asked for a partial (three chapters). In May she asked for the full and in June I signed the contract. The rest, as the old cliché goes, is history.

Risk Factors- a Lyrical Press, Inc contemporary- releases March 4, 2013.

I’m thrilled to say it’s the original story I slaved to write and fell in love with along the way. I can happily say I LOVE the cover Valerie Tibbs created for  me with Lyrical! I can’t imagine a more perfect or beautiful cover for this story. A heartfelt thanks to you, Valerie!

I can honestly say those eight months were an experience I treasure, however, and this story just goes to prove the saying-- write what you know and write the story of your heart-- no matter who you are submitting it to. It’s your story. Don’t change it just to make a sale. I didn’t, and I’m glad. That doesn’t mean I won’t submit to M&B or HQN again one day. But not today and never again a medical. That subgenre just isn’t for me. :D

I don’t have buy links yet, but I’d still love to share an excerpt with you, if that’s okay.


Love, like life, is not without risk.

Veterinarian Vivian Dane has purchased her uncle’s practice in the tiny town of Wales, Missouri, where most residents still doubt her ability to treat their pets. But Viv is used to being considered less-worthy than her predecessors. After all, her parents are world-renowned wildlife vets, and most everyone is unimpressed she’s chosen to not follow directly in their footsteps.

Now Connor, a patient’s owner, is hot for Viv, but clearly doesn’t think she’s dating material because he has a daughter…who he believes no woman is good enough for. Being a perfect dad is EMT paramedic Connor’s life focus. He can’t seem to stay away from sexy Doctor Viv, but attraction is as far as he’ll ever let it go. His mother abandoned him, leaving him to be raised in the foster system, and then his wife abandoned both him and their daughter. He absolutely will not risk bringing another woman into his little girl’s life and having her feel the hurt of being left…again.

Forfeiting is easier than attempting and failing. So why does Viv feel compelled to prove she’s a sure bet for Connor and his daughter? Can Connor trust Viv--and himself--enough to play the possibilities?

It was close to five o’clock and Viv wanted to go home. Winter hadn’t reached the Midwest yet, but from September through October the temperatures often dipped and dove sporadically, before diving for the long winter ahead. There’d been a slight chill in the air that morning and she hoped for a few more weeks of warmth before harsh weather moved in.

She looked forward to a hot soak in the bathtub, but Skittles was due for pick-up first. Connor had assured her he’d pick her up, or have his father get her before five. She glanced at her watch again. Four-fifty-six. She didn’t mind staying late if she needed to; it would be a shame to leave the nervous animal alone another night.

She opened the small closet to put the dust mop away.


With a start, she spun and her hand caught the broom handle on her way around. Gasping, she grabbed uselessly, horrified as the cleaning tool flew sideways from the closet. In slow motion she saw it shoot out against Connor’s shoulder and fall with a sharp snap onto the tile floor.

“Oh! I’m so--so sorry! Are you hurt?” Instant heat rushed up her neck and she bent to reclaim the errant broom to shove into the closet. She slammed the door and leaned against it on a sharp breath.

“I’m fine. You worried your killer broom might attack again? You might consider putting a lock on the door,” he said with a crooked smile.

Puzzled, Viv looked around and realized with total humiliation how it appeared she’d trapped the broom inside the closet--when in actuality, she wanted to climb through the door beside the instrument and hide.

“Of course not. That would be silly. I didn’t expect you right now.”

“It’s two minutes of five. I told you I’d be here for Skittles. Is it too late?”

Right. The skunk. “No. I’m sure she’s more than ready to go home. Do you have the pet carrier to put her in?” She probably didn’t need to ask when Connor stood empty-handed before her.

He lowered his head and she knew he’d forgotten it, fought back a smile at his forgetfulness. “Sorry. I drove straight from work and didn’t think about it.”

“No worry. I have one you can borrow.” Which meant he’d have to see her again. She’d definitely need to see him again.

“Thank you. I’ll bring it back tomorrow.”

“Oh, there’s no rush. I keep a few on hand for emergencies.” She led him back to the cage where the skunk still huddled, and got a carrier while he opened the cage to retrieve his daughter’s pet. As he lifted the black fur ball out, Viv set a pink case next to him.

He hissed under his breath and almost let the animal loose. Viv opened the cage and held it upright for him to lower the skunk down inside and shut the door. Once he stood with the pet taxi, she detected a smear of red on one finger.

“She bit you?” Skunk bite, rabies, germs…

“It’s fine. When she’s scared she tends to nip a warning like a cat.” Connor’s lack of care concerned Viv, however.

“I should clean it with antiseptic before you go.”

“I’ll tend it when I get home.”

“But, it may have germs…get infected.”

“It’s not the first time, and her rabies vaccination is current. Thank you, but it’s not necessary.”

Viv stopped by a cabinet on the way to the front reception area to grab ointment and a Band-Aid.


Thanks again, Nerine. I’ve loved visiting you for my first public appearance of Risk Factors. I hope everyone likes this story of love and learning to trust. It’s a lesson in persistence too.


  1. Hi Nerine! Thanks for having me here today. I'll check in later, but I have to leave for a short while this morning for an appointment. I can't wait to get started! :)

  2. So excited for your release, Calisa. Risk Factors had an interesting journey and I'm so glad it found a home. Congrats!

    1. Hi Alicia! It has been an interesting journey with RF. I'm very happy to see it homed and so beautiful! Thanks for coming by!

  3. You know how much I'm looking forward to reading this, having been treated to a few scenes early on. I love the story already (especially Connor) and your fans are going to as well.

    1. Aw thanks Harley! I'm glad you liked the sample and I know you'll love the rest!

  4. Ladies, I've read this story--pre-edits with Piper--and loved it. The chemistry sizzled and the hero's determination to be the best dad he could be endeared him to me. He truly is hero material. I can't wait for it's release so I can buy my edited copy and revisit this couple again. Good luck to you, Calisa!!! Hugs, darlin'.

    1. I was so thrilled at your review early on, Vonnie! Thanks for championing this story!

  5. The first part of your bio (minus the Okie part) sounded just like me growing up! Horses and writing! I love the journey of Risk Factor. Blurb and excerpt are awesome!

    1. Thanks, Cerian! I know we're the horsey people in the group. It's nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of in our writing. Thanks!

  6. Calisa, you amaze me. What a ride to publication. No stress at all. LOL!
    And the book sounds wonderful. I love animals and kids. Conner sounds like my kind of hero. Best success to you!

    1. LOL It was a roller coaster ride for sure! I hope you get a chance to read RF and like it. :)

  7. Amazing story how RISK FACTORS found a home. I'm glad it all worked out in the end and you were able to tell the story that was true to your heart. I'm looking forward to the release and wishing you lots of success!

    1. Thanks, Mae. RF found its home with Piper at the same time Weathering Rock did for you. It just took a little longer for me to get brave enough to follow up. LOL I'm really glad I did...because I almost didn't and Piper had overlooked the original email attachment in the tons she got that week.

  8. Love this story, Calisa. Dya know I love the stories I write in a hurry for a deadline, they're sharper somehow. Nice one and very well done, can't wait to read Risk Factors :).

    1. I totally agree, Cait. I wrote the other one I'm revising right now in just six weeks start to finish a few years ago.

  9. Holy Toledo, that was a roller coaster ride to publication! I'm glad you stopped butchering your ms and found a home for it at Lyrical. I've heard from quite a few authors about having to revise to the point they lose their story, their characters, and the very reason they started writing the story in the first place. I'm sure quiet a few authors follow through with it, too! I can't wait to read Risk Factors, especially now that I know the story behind it :)

    1. I've heard of that too, Niecey. I thought at the time 'what a nightmare' and then I did the same. I'm glad the characters spoke to me and stopped me from changing them. I will admit I did get a stronger first chapter out of all those revisions though. When Piper said she thought I needed a punchier beginning, I knew immediately the alternate opening I'd created while in the hands of the other editor would be perfect...and Piper loved it! Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Interesting journey, Calisa. Best of luck with it.

  11. What a fabulous post. I loved hearing about your journey with HQN and Lyrical. I've heard similar things about HQN.

    An author I know won their holiday competition with her one chapter submission back in early 2011. She worked hard at completing the ms and submitted it mid 2011, but it was six months later when they finally gave her "the call" in January 2012. They gave her a release date of December 2013 (almost a two-year wait,) and even though it's been a year since she got her call, she's still working on edits. Unbelievable.

    Thanks so much Calisa for your openness in this blog. It makes me realise just how lucky I too am at being a Lyrical author. Roll on to March when I can pick up my copy of Risk Factors.

    Wishing you huge success with this novel.

    Joanne Wadsworth

    1. I don't have that kind of patience, Joanne! LOL I'm a get it yesterday person. I'm lucky and happy to have found Lyrical. I think I work weird though. Seven years ago I found a small epub, before ebooks were so huge, people still feared the unknown I think. But I knew one day I'd submit to them and publish. That was the Wild Rose Press, who has my first book. I discovered Lyrical through research about epublishers and went through the same process of knowing but it happened in less time than the first one. I have another epublisher I'm targeting. It may take a while longer to get into it because of their unusual criteria...but I'll do it. It's my way of working I guess. :)

      I'm glad you want to read RF and I hope you like it. Thanks, Joanne. I look forward to being on your blog soon. :D

  12. Thanks for having me Nerine! I've enjoyed my visit.