Sunday, January 8, 2012

Visiting an Era Woman's Fiction All Too Often Ignores


I had the privilege of reading author Calisa Rhose's debut novel, Home, several months before its release. I was asked to withhold my review until it became available, but I must tell you it was hard to curb my enthusiasm!
Home, part of the Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll series released by The Wild Rose Press, is an exciting and mysterious ride through a time period often ignored in today's romances. Set in Vietnam era Oklahoma, Home follows the lives of returning army medic Sam Callahan, the town outcast Poppy Tippen, and a doll with a mysterious and supernatural past.
I loved this novel for more reasons than I can list, but what has stayed with me all of these months is its hero, Sam Callahan. Ms. Rhose captured the essence of an American soldier that is timeless. She took the reader inside the tortured soul of a man haunted by what he had seen and experienced in a savage war and let us feel Sam's conflict over serving his country when the cost was putting his life on hold and silencing his conscious.
I could not help but be reminded of how much our soldiers, then and now, need the support of their countrymen; support that goes much deeper than sticking a magnetic yellow ribbon onto the back of their minivan.
Through the eyes of Sam, we see a man struggling to adapt to normalcy when all he can see is the demons of violence he lived with for so many years. We see it when Poppy Tippen, a high school mate that has loved Sam silently for years, reaches out to him and attempts to express her love only to be pushed away. We see it when Sam deals with his mother's unrealistic expectations, and in how Sam deals with the death of his father while he was overseas.
In short, Ms. Rhose lets us all walk a mile in the shoes of a soldier and shows us that war isn't all guns and glory. Home may have been set in the 1970's but it's message is timeless and especially relevant to us today. As a friend of many returning soldiers, as one who has witnessed the struggles our men and women face upon their return to 'normal' life, and as one who has watched families disintegrate because of the stress inflicted on a spouse, I thank Calisa for penning such an honest portrayal of those whom we as a nation ask to wage war.
Home isn't just about a soldier struggling with PTSD, however. Home is a sweet journey of blossoming romance, family conflict, and a mystery surrounding a gypsy's doll. I loved Home and am excited to know that the journey of the Scrimshaw doll will continue. The Wild Rose Press' Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll is similar to the premise of movie Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. The doll's history and exploits will be explored by several authors; I am eagerly awaiting the next one!

Home, by Calisa Rhose

What could a gypsy and a Vietnam veteran have in common?

Silvertown's outcast, Poppy Tippen, has loved football hero Sam "The Force" Callahan forever. But he never seemed to know she was alive. Now he's home from the war and she suddenly finds herself comforting him from the demons of "that damn war." Is his attention merely an escape from the haunting nightmares? Or does she hold the interest of the only man she's ever truly loved?

Sam Callahan's only solace from the war nightmares wrecking his life comes in the unlikely form of a gypsy girl with stigmas of her own. He's known Poppy his entire life, but there's something different about her now. Something special he desperately wants to hold on to. Can he convince her she's the only thing he needs to put the past behind him?

Excerpt:

"I’ll always want you, Poppy.”

Her head shook in automatic denial. “You’ll want a girl who fits your life. Not some gypsy with no family lineage to brag about. Your momma won’t accept that, either. She’ll make you choose someone like Connie, someone who fits into your world. Not the girl everyone avoids and whispers about behind her back. You’re gonna be the town’s doctor. You need an uppity wife who will make you proud.”

When Sam laughed, his chest shuddered against her back. Deep, husky, real. He turned her in his arms and looked down at her, smiling. “Poppy, do you honestly think I give a damn what people think? Look at me! I’m the town outcast, the survivor who should have died saving the others, not be here planning a future that includes a wife, a medical practice.

“I shimmy under park benches, run from my mother’s lipstick, for God’s sake. I wake up screaming and crying over nothing in the middle of the night, crawl under my bed and hide, shaking, until morning. Hell, I can’t even be a doctor because I haven’t finished school yet.”

“I didn’t know. It must be awful for you.” No matter how it hurt Poppy to know he used her, it felt much worse to know how he hurt alone.

“The only time it isn’t awful is when I’m with you. When I think of you.”

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Conclusion to The Hag That Rides You

Read the conclusion to The Hag That Rides You at Digital Digest.

Barry Loomis gets more than he bargained for after a night on the town in historic Savannah, Georgia!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Hag That Rides You

My latest short story, The Hag That Rides You, is up at Digital Digest. Stop by and see what happens when a tom-catting attorney tangles with the wrong woman and discovers the legends and lore of Savannah are more than superstition.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Much Ado About ...

Thanks to Facebook's new 'rules' I can't offer contests via my author page any more so, the only solution I've come up with is to use my newsletter. While not the most consistent newsletter publisher, lol I haven't managed one yet!, I am trying to put the first one out in early July.
So, if you haven't already, how about clicking the link above and joining the newsletter list? I'll be offering goodies from time to time and maybe a preview of stories I'm working on, aside from that, I've no idea what to tell you the content will be, but I'm sure they won't be flooding your inbox!

Rachel

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hello Out There!

Checking on my blog I see that I neglected to say that I wasn't blogging much any more! If you want to see what is happening in my world please sign up for my newsletter; I swear I have all intentions of sending one out ... soon!

If you feel like chatting about nothing at all, drooling over my latest adventures in baking, or seeing what crazy new thing my kid says or does, drop by my author page on Facebook; that's pretty much were I'm hanging these days!

I've started a new venture with a talented group of authors over at Digital Digest. Each month I'll be posting a new short story and, should you miss it, the story will be available as an e-book the month following its appearance on Digital Digest.

Looking forward to hearing from you!
Rachel

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Told The Witch Dr. ....

We've reached the final installment of Spectral Savannah. Paige and I are visiting Laurie @ Black Velvet Seductions' Readers Blog today and tomorrow; and I've come bearing gifts! Stop by and see how Paige deals with the conjureman, Dr. Turtle. Leave a comment and be entered to win some great Savannah themed prizes. A Savannah Cookbook, Savannah Themed Stationary, Palm Roses, and a few surprises :)
Hope to see ya'll there!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Chasin Down a Hoodoo there"

I'm finishing up the last installment of Spectral Savannah Stories today. The final story, Paige and the Root Dr. of Daufuskie Island will be at Black Velvet Seductions as part of a blog party April 28th and 29th. To keep me in the mood, I've programmed a list of hoodoo/voodoo themed songs and am sharin' today on my fan page. Stop by and get your 'groove' on!