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?
Yowza! What a way to start off a brisk April day in Western New York as
2 Wild Women Authors is delighted to welcome author Calisa Rhose and heroine Vivian Dane, from Risk Factors a March release from Lyrical Press, Inc. Welcome Calisa and Vivian—who's up first.
Vivian, what is Risk Factors about? It's about my need to have a family of my own and the man who doesn’t think I’m ‘the one’ for him. It’s my challenge to prove he can love two people and not let either of us down.
What did you think the first time you saw the hero? The first time I saw Connor, I was speechless. Literally, and when I tried to talk words wouldn’t cooperate and I didn’t make sense. I don’t know what he thought, but I was mortified.
And your second thought? That he was the handsomest man I’d ever seen and where had he been all my life.
Did you think it was love at first sight? I’m pretty sure it was for me, but I doubt it was for him. He fought hard to keep me at bay. Didn’t work, though. LOL
What do you like most about Connor? I love his deep passion to be a great father to Janna, his darling daughter. Even when it broke my heart, I couldn’t fault his love for that precious child.
How would you describe him? Mmm Tall and sexy, with the most beautiful hazel eyes and a heart as big as Missouri.
How would he describe you? Probably as cute and clumsy. I’m not sure, but he could answer that better. Being an EMT, he’s a hard man to read.
What made you choose veterinary medicine as a profession? I didn’t really choose it. My parents are exotic animal veterinarians; growing up, I traveled the world over with them and their careers. I sort of fell into medicine since it’s all I’d ever really known. You know, the parents wanting the child to follow in their footsteps. I guess I was sort of pushed into it.
What is your biggest fear? Ugh Disappointing my father. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to please him and that hurts more than words can say. If it wasn’t for Connor and Janna, I’d probably still be trying to suit Dad, but they give me a reason to just be me and love myself.
How do you relax? Connor has this amazing log cabin-style home in the woods and it’s so peaceful out there. We also go on picnics and long drives.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Connor…and isn’t the reason obvious?
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Not to let my parents ruin my life with unrealistic expectations. That isn’t how Connor said it. He said something like I’m perfect the way I am--and that’s good enough for me. To just be me.
This man sounds like a keeper! Good for him and good for you for not giving up on him. Now it's Calisa's turn at bat. It's been awhile since you visited the WWA blog and we're so pleased to have you back again. Refresh our memories, please, and tell us what movies or books have had an impact on your writing. Hi ladies! Thanks for having me and Viv on your lovely blog space today, first off. Since Connor is an EMT-P I pulled from crime shows, “CSI” and shows that have emergency type situations when possible. Mostly I met an amazing woman in that profession who helped me get the facts right for him, though.
Good for you. Research is so very important. What else can you tell us?
I try not to take from books because I want my writing to be uniquely me and I’m always afraid that won’t be the case if I read anything remotely similar while writing. I haven’t read a lot of books like this one so I can’t say I draw from anyone in particular. I think we all have those who inspire us to write great even if we don’t remember why exactly.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them? I don’t remember the first time I learned about Lyrical Press, Inc but once I actively began looking for epublishers they came to attention and I did my homework and researched them.
What influenced your decision to submit to them? I will often find a publisher I like and their books, style, covers--something will pull me in and that was the way it was with LPI when I decided to shop this book again. They just seemed like the right one for this story and turns out I was right.
Tell us a bit about the submission process. How long did it take from query to release? One year (give or take a few days). I participated in a blog pitch in Feb, 2012, sent the partial to Piper, my lovely editor, about the first week of March and she contracted it three months later. It just released March 4th. It could have been a lot sooner if I hadn’t sat on the partial for so long or waited to follow up with Piper instead of doing as she asked and emailing her after two or three weeks. Sorry Piper!
Let's take a look at an excerpt for Risk Factors:
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.
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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, as well as, the occasional ‘other’ heroes- and their sexy female counterparts, those sassy, stubborn heroines.
Find Calisa at her website/blog http://calisarhose.wordpress.com