Wizards with Words: Calisa Rhose and Risk Factors

bigstock-magic-book-9719930Welcome Word Wizard fans!

Today, I have my friend and Lyrical Press sister, Calisa Rhose dropping by. It’s always a pleasure to feature her on my blog, and I’m happy to have her back with her new release, RISK FACTORS.

She’s on tour through April 11th, so be sure to grab the complete list of stops by clicking the banner below, or the tour schedule link Calisa provides at the end of our interview. For extra fun, she’s doing a giveaway too!

You can check out my 5-star review for RISK FACTORS on Amazon. In the meantime, I invite you to learn more about Calisa, her characters and the heartwarming story she created in this contemporary romance.



Hello again, Mae! How fun this is! I just love your blog! 🙂

Please start by telling us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

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.

b-w profile pic

Find Calisa at her website/blog http://calisarhose.wordpress.com

Facebook/Calisa Rhose,
and Amazon


Your new contemporary romance, RISK FACTORS, was released on March 4th by Lyrical Press.  I love the cover.  It feels so romantic and breezy.  Tell us about the plot.

I love the cover too, Mae!

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, and 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?

CONTENT WARNING: Happy-ever-after mixed with four-legged friends.

A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance

I love the backgrounds you created for the characters, especially Conner. And a single dad always makes my heart melt. You chose to set it in a small town in Missouri. Any particular reason?

Not really. I didn’t want Oklahoma for this one but I still needed to retain that southern-y country feel and Missouri is such a beautiful state. It sounded perfect. Of course, during edits last year I thought I might change the main city in it, Joplin, because between the writing and sell of RF there was that horrific tornado that wiped out the hospital I modeled mine after in the book. In fact the whole city was damaged so badly I felt bad even having it in the story, but it fit, so I kept it.

Wow, I didn’t realize, but perhaps your book can serve as a tribute. Do you have a favorite scene in the novel? What makes it special for you?

I have a few favorite scenes, Mae. But one is in a hotel room after a bad scene with Viv’s parents. Viv is trying to get through her sad bubble by dancing and…well, I’ll let you read it. LOL

Ooh, it was awesome. I remember that scene! 🙂 Stepping away from the H/h for a moment, who is your favorite secondary character in the book and why?

Definitely Connor’s daughter, Janna! She keeps a ‘few’ pets and they are quite a bunch. She’s a charm and was fun to write, though I do wish I’d given her more in the book.

I loved Janna. She really added to every scene she was in. Now let’s talk technique–Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to write?

Um, when I can? Lol I never know when things will go in any direction other than productive, but early mornings, after checking emails, if I’m not working on edits. If that’s the case, then I do edits (for others, not mine) in the morning when I’m fresh and able to focus. I usually get my most writing done in the evening after dinner and homework is over.

As writers, we’re often asked if we’re plotters or pansters (or somewhere in between), but I know many authors also differ in how they create scenes. So…do you write in a strictly linear fashion or do you hop around and produce scenes and chapters out of sequence as they come to you?

First, I’m a linear pantser. I write from A-Z in a rough draft and then I go back and layer all the emotion, sensory aspects and such once the first draft is complete. If I happen to think of a scene that would be better in another place in the wip, I’ll write it and put it in a file until I need it.

When you’re not writing (or reading) what do you enjoy doing?

I love my horse and pampering him with a bath, brushing or riding him in warmer weather. I spend time with family watching movies or going places, visiting friends and family.

Please share a few of your favorite authors and book titles.

Oh boy. I hate this question because I have so many and I can never remember the names or titles but one of my favorite is Nora Roberts and her Key Trilogy. I also like Vonnie Davis. Hilariously talented author for WRP and a lovely friend. It really doesn’t matter which of her books you pick up, no matter what genre, you are guaranteed a laugh and often a tear. I’m sure, once I have time to read it, I’ll love Weathering Rock and you’ll become a favorite too! 😉

How sweet! 🙂 What do you have in your cache of WIPs that we can look forward to in the future?

Well, I’ve been trying to pull my fireman through a wip, but that seems to be on hold again. I’m working on a story, tentatively titled Winter’s Song, about Brie Collins, a woman whom life has not been great to but she still tries to maintain a positive attitude, and her one wish is meet the man of her dreams. She has had a tough life and as an adult the challenges seem to keep coming at her, knocking her off balance and threatens to be the end of her. My hero, Zane River, is an orphan with a chunk of pain he wears like body armor. He’s made it to the top of the world through his music, but with a singular goal to beat the one place that mistreated him and made his childhood a living hell. Little does he know he will be put to the test and forced to think of someone other than himself and his goals. Or that he’ll fall in love along the way.

Winter’s Song sounds fantastic, and I love the names of your characters! I’ll cross my fingers the writing goes smoothly and we can look forward to its release in the near future. And now some quickies:

Favorite movie: Hope Floats
Favorite snack item: Anything chocolate
Favorite color: Dark green
Favorite number: 2
Favorite TV show: NCIS or CSI:NY
Dawn or dusk: Dawn
Coffee or tea: Coffee
Dream vacation spot gifted to you by a fairy godmother, all expenses paid: Ireland

That was fun! How about sharing an excerpt from RISK FACTORS?

Risk Factors300dpiEXCEPRT:
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.


Lyrical Press, Inc.
Barnes & Noble

That was fun, Mae! Thanks again for having me.

At the end of this tour I’ll be picking one winner to gift either a signature rose rock for a USA winner or a $10 GC of choice (Kindle or Nook) for one overseas or in Canada. Either winner will also get a PDF copy of Risk Factors!

The more you stalk me and comment, the greater your chance to win on April 8th. I’ll announce the winner on the 10th. Thank you for joining me on this fun journey’s end and good luck to all!

As a special bonus, I’ll be pooling all my blog hosts and the one with the most comments on their blog for my post will also win one of the same prizes as the winners! They need your help to win! Please note, this also includes my two hosts before today, so I’d appreciate if you check my official blog tour schedule and give them a chance to win by going to their blogs too.

I’d like to ask your readers what they like to see in a heroine?

25 thoughts on “Wizards with Words: Calisa Rhose and Risk Factors

  1. Good morning Calisa and Mae! Another great post where I get to know a bit more about a fellow Lyrical sister. I asked my husband what he would like to see in a heroine as he scooted out the door, and he said big boobs. He is such a lad. For me? I like to see a nice balance between tough and soft – be strong and bold, but don’t bother if you need a bit of a cry, sure we all do.
    Have a great day ladies!


    • I love that description of your hubby, Cd–‘such a lad.’ It made me grin! YOUR description on the other hand, is pure perfection for a heroine. I agree with you 100% and couldn’t have said it better. Thanks for checking out Calisa’s interview and sharing your thoughts. Always happy to see you here!


  2. Good thing that skunk doesn’t live in my town. We have a rabies scare going on and the police are shooting all racoons and skunks they see. (They aren’t very shots either, so we are all at risk.)

    A skunk sounds like a terrible pet to me. I’m assuming it had it’s glands that produce noxious fumes removed. How did you ever think to insert a skunk into your story?


    • I wouldn’t want a skunk either, Liza. And rabies? Yikes! I didn’t really choose to have a skunk in RF. Janna did that for me. Years ago I had a friend who found a baby skunk orphan and she had her defumed and raised her. She was actually a sweet and fun pet, a lot like a kitten (skunks are related to cats). I think it just came from that early experience and Skittles was born. Thanks for stopping by.


  3. Calisa, LOVE the pick of you in glasses. I’ve not seen it before. And, of course, you know I loved RISK FACTORS. Ladies, you don’t want to miss this endearing story. Plenty of sizzle and sweet moments to please everyone.


  4. Great interview! And RISK FACTORS sounds like a wonderful book. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. I also enjoyed hearing about your “linear pantser” method. I *think* that’s what I do. Although I might be pantsing by the seat of my pants right now. LOL It seems to be a bit different with each book!


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