Today I hand over my blog to fellow Lyrical Press author Calisa Rhose...
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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 http://calisarhose.wordpress.com
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.