As many of you may know, our beloved sister hostess SHARON DONOVAN, tragically passed away on 11th April 2012. We who knew her, loved her, and were inspired by her courage and determination to face head on whatever life threw at her. When she could no longer see to paint she turned to writing and showed her amazing talent in the Inspirational Romance and Romantic Suspense genres, and her story 'Charade Of Hearts' was awarded the coveted Predators and Editors Award in January 2011.

This Blog was a source of great delight to her, she was one of the founder hostesses and she contributed to the fun and silliness in her own original way, and was kind enough to let her unique creation, the hunky butler 'Oliver' join us for our Friday romp and prepare 'virtual breakfast' for the guests on the following morning. It's beyond hard to have to go on without her, but we know that she would have been the first to insist that 'the show must go on.' She is, and will always be with us in spirit.
Sharon, dear friend, we will never forget you.
The Author Roast and Toast is part of the legacy you left us. Let's raise a Toast to you as well as all our guests.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Calisa Rhose toasts her Book's 1st Birthday with a Hippy gypsy fest!

Lyn yanks at the steering wheel, bringing the rental car to a screeching halt at the curb. Silence fills the vehicle for several long moments, then, shaking from the wild ride, Mary, Patsy and Mac burst into action, scrambling out the car doors onto the sidewalk. Lyn leans over to grin out the window at her sister hostesses. She points to the Antique Doll Shop sign above the door at their backs.

“I told you I’d find it.”

Mary wipes nervous sweat from her brow and pins Mac and Patsy with a stern look. “I vote we never let her drive again, unless a roast guest requests a NASCAR theme.”

Mac and Patsy share a grin. Lyn climbs from the car frowning. “You said to hurry it up so we wouldn’t be late for Calisa’s party.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t say anything about taking corners on two wheels. You’re lucky we didn’t see any police patrol cars. And that cow we almost hit will never be the same.”

Lyn rounds the hood to join them on the sidewalk. “Well, who expects to come around a corner to find a bovine in the middle of the road?”

“We’re in Oklahoma, Lyn. This is cattle country.”

“Now you tell me,” she grumbles.

Patsy  laughs. “Relax, ladies. We made it in one piece, and we look incredible in our hippy garb!” A floral head band holding her hair in place, she spins,  performing a perfect pirouette. The yards of colorful, filmy material making up her long skirt flits out to swirl around her legs before coming back to rest against her ankles. “I’ve always wanted to be a hippie. The lifestyle, the carefree attitude, the clothes.”

Mac shakes her head. “You certainly look the part.” She eyes the clunky sandals on Lyn’s feet. “What are you doing, and how the devil do you manage to do it so well in size fourteen Birkenstocks? I’d break my neck.”

“Excuse me, but I’ve been dancing on these big feet for years. And I’m warming up. Calisa wants a gypsy theme party and it’s her birthday, so it has to be perfect. Gypsies love to dance, you know.”

“And they love fortune telling.” Mary digs in her purse, pulling out a large, faded silver ornament. She holds the tattered globe out on her palm.

Lyn lifts a brow. “Have you ever told a fortune?”

“No, but I write romance. How hard can it be?” She waggles her brows and drops her voice to a husky, suggestive tone. “I see a man in your future. A tall, dark stranger with piercing blue eyes, a muscular chest, shoulders a yard wide and--”

“Mine! I call that fortune as mine!” Patsy interrupts gleefully.

 “--and a highway patrol badge.”

Patsy narrows her eyes when Mac and Lyn laugh along with Mary. “Very funny.”

Mac clears her throat. “I hate to say this, Mary, but no self respecting gypsy would use a ratty old Christmas ornament to tell fortunes - and anyway, Calisa said something about palm reading!”

Mary shrugs. “I had no idea where to find a crystal ball so I dug through an old box in the attic and came up with this.”

“The only future you’re going to see in that thing is a trip to the trash heap.”

Mac laughs and pokes Mary with her elbow. The hostesses gasp as the ugly ornament pops from her palm and drops toward the sidewalk. Mary sticks out her leg in an attempt to redirect its descent. It bounces off her knee. Mac dives for the globe, colliding with Lyn and Patsy, making their own attempts to prevent the inevitable crash. All three go down in a heap on the sidewalk. The orb bounces off the sole of Lyn’s Birkenstocks and rolls to a stop in front of the doll shop door.

Mary scoops it up, laughing down at the hostesses sprawled on the sidewalk. “It’s plastic, you dolts.”

 “Now you tell us,” they grumble in unison as the shop door opens.

Calisa shakes her head as they climb to their feet. “I’m not even going to ask.”

“Smart move.” Mac grins and hugs Calisa, followed by the others.  “Happy birthday, chickie.”

She smiles and leads them inside. “Come on. The party is about to start. Oliver is a wonder. He’s got everything ready for my guests.”

The hostesses ooh and aah at the displays of antique dolls lining the shelves, each one prettier than the next. Mac spins in a circle.

“Isn’t one of these dolls supposed to be cursed or something? They wouldn’t let the sidekicks in the rental car so we had to leave them behind this week. I was kind of looking forward to at least one party without the typical mischief.”

Calisa nods. “The Scrimshaw Doll, but you can relax. She’s not here at the moment.”

Patsy sniffs the richly scented air. “Well, that’s a relief. This place is wonderful, Calisa, and something smells delicious!”

“Since ‘Home’ is part of the Scrimshaw Doll series, I knew the shop would be the perfect place to celebrate its one year anniversary.” She points to a long table at the back of the store, laden with steaming dishes, heaping trays and  enormous birthday cake. “And what could be better than one of the heroine’s favorite recipes? Poppy makes a mean rabbit stew.”

“Rabbit stew?” Mac blanches. “Poor Thumper.”

Calisa grins. “And wait till you see what she can do with a Hedgehog.”

“Oh, dear Lord.”

Calisa laughs, turning when the door leading to the shop’s back room swings open. Oliver emerges looking like a hippy girl’s dream in a low slung pair of faded bell bottom jeans. A fringed vest covers his bare chest. He crosses the shop with a tray full of glasses in his hand.

“Oh, Oliver! You made the Red Gypsies!” Calisa begins handing out glasses. “It’s made of vodka, whiskey and cream soda.”

Oliver nods his welcome as the hostesses greet him and each take a glass.

Calisa clinks her glass all around. “Another of Poppy’s recipes, and be careful, it packs a wallop.”

Patsy sniffs at the concoction then takes a healthy swig. She chokes and her face flames red. Mary thumps her on the back. She sucks in air and her eyes water.

“Oh, my God! A couple of these and no one will care you are telling their fortune with a crappy, plastic Christmas ornament, Mary. They won’t be able to see!”

Mary laughs and lifts her glass. “Well, then. Bottoms up and let the party begin!”

BIO- 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.
Reach me on my website and blog
Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter

BlurbWhat 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?
 Silvertown, Oklahoma- 1967
“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.”

Romany Recipes

Rabbit Stew
Most Romani cooking is done over an open fire in iron pots or kettles, so it is not surprising that many main dishes are in the form of stews or thick soups. In the stew pot, you might find goose, chicken, pork or bacon, as well as wild game like quail and partridge. One of the most popular Romani dishes is rabbit stew, in which chunks of rabbit meat and offal is combined with ham or bacon, small birds, onions, mushrooms and stock. It is seasoned with marjoram, thyme, salt and pepper, and is served in a pastry shell.

I’ll let you decide if you feel brave enough to try this next delicacy.
Yes, hedgehog. Hedgehog (Hociwici or Niglo in Romany) is considered a delicacy, particularly by French and British Gypsies. The hedgehog is often cooked by wrapping it in clay and baking it on the fire. When the hardened clay shell is removed, the prickles come off as well. Often the hedgehog meat is cooked with agrimony and sorrel, herbs frequently used in Romani dishes. Other cooking methods include stews with onion and tomatoes and even as a lasagna.
Or perhaps you’d rather try Romani shak te mas…or meat and cabbage?

Get your copy of HOME from-

w/a ~Calisa Rhoseone man, one woman, one love
OKRWA/RWA Member since March 2008
NRCA Category Coordinator since 2009/FAB/IDA contest judge 
Website Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter 
GoodReads author page ~ Amazon author page
Home- The Wild Rose Press- 12/28/11
Risk Factors- Lyrical Press, Inc.- 03/2013

Calisa will give away a free copy of her book to everyone who comments. 

After you leave your comment, pop along to the Wild Rose Press website


  1. Welcome to your Roast Calisa, and Happy Birthday to your book. I really enjoyed your excerpt and can't wait to read the book. |'The Scrimshaw Doll' sounds like a great series!

  2. Good morning everyone. *air kisses*

    Wow did this year fly by. I'm so excited to be celebrating the one year birthday for HOME, Calisa.

    It's a great story everyone and Calisa is a sweetheart.

  3. And Happy birthday to ME too! I'm so excited to be here (even a bit late...) I could just pee! I won't. But I could! I truly love this story and I hope others will too. Thanks for inviting me Lyn, Mary, Mac and Patsy! How awesome Oliver was able to come help us celebrate as well. :)

  4. Oh-and how special do I feel that it began a lovely snow less than a half hour ago and I'm already surrounded by a winter wonderland?

    You girls made my party perfect!

  5. Gorgeous blurb, Calisa!! I didn't realize you were part of the Doll series. How cool is that!! Great to get to know you a bit better over here.

  6. Hiya Barb and welcome. Have you tried the rabbit stew? Ick. I need a few more drinks before I even contemplate eating Thumper.

  7. Oh, shoot. Snow? I'm from AZ. I don't do snow.

  8. Calisa, you look marvelous!!! Are we real hippies or just pretend???
    I want snow! I don't understand why they left out Florida when they made the snow states. It's so hot all the time. Patsy you wuss, it's only temporary. How about snow angels or sugar on snow later. That might change your mind!!
    I ain't eatin' thumper, no way, Ill stick with the other stuff.
    BTY it's been a long time since I got to be a hippie! What's that funny smell? Mac, could that explain your memory problem. Lyn says you were born that way, but, Hmmmmm.

  9. I am, Barb. Home isn't the beginning, but it was the first published from the series with Wild Rose Press. You can find all the doll books here http://talesofthescrimshawdoll.wordpress.com/

  10. Hello Calisa - hugs Calisa and her sister hostess, Mac.

    Happy Birthday - how lovely that you have snow - wish we did, but over here in the UK it's a bit grey and miserable, and dark already!, Never mind I'll enjoy your winter wonderland with you.

  11. But you haven't always been in AZ, Mac. I know you've done your share of snow! lol

  12. Hi Mary, sweet sister hostess isn' this fun! I love snow and gypsies! Hi Barbs, welcome to Calisa's party.

  13. I remember visiting my brother for my birthday when I turned 17. He lived in Orlando and I left snow in OK to heat and disco nights in FLA. Lot's a fun! My grandkids are loving the snow and have been making snow angels. :) I'll ask them to make one for you!

  14. Wow...this is so much fun! Thank you for inviting me to your party, Calisa. I can't believe HOME is already a year old. They do grow up fast, don't they? :) Love your story. Everyone should definitely check it out. YES, I'm enjoying the snow here in Oklahoma, too. Love it. I'm so glad you are part of this amazing adventure of the Scrimshaw Doll stories. It has been lots of fun. And, it ain't over yet! Happy Birthday, HOME.

  15. Yikes! I forgot to mention, Happy Birthday to Calisa, too. Enjoy!

  16. At least I'l always know when I first became a published author, Alicia! LOL I'm so happy to be a part of this series too. Thank you for coming up with it, and for coming to our party!

  17. *hugs Mary* What smell? I don't smell a thing. Shh... I've put that past behind me...well, mostly. ;-)

  18. That's why I don't do snow anymore, Calisa. I did my time and have been released on parole.

  19. LOL I lived without for nearly 20 years so I'm happy to have snow again!

  20. Happy Birthday girlfriend! What a fun way to celebrate and toast your literary baby's first birthday as well! Love the party, but will pass on the rabbit stew. Hand me a Red Gypsy, though. I love anything that takes my breath away!

  21. What is a Red Gypsy? Do I really want one?
    Ir you're going to San Francisco,don't forget the flowers in your hair. Well what if your going to Florida, Palm Trees in you hair?
    Or maybe a nice Palmetto Bug.
    Where's Three Dog Night? Malcolm I love you!

  22. Fun post as always, ladies! And Calisa, I can't believe Home has been out for a year. And it's still sitting on my E-reader, unread. :-( But I promise, I will get to it in 2013. I've been dying to read it since I got it, but I just haven't found the time. So, for my New Year's Resolution, I resolve to make more time for reading all those books waiting for me on my e-reader!

  23. *wraps an arm around Mary's shoulders* Sweetie, I think you're having a hippy flashback. *Eyes the hostesses and Calisa* We might need to do an intervention.

  24. Oh, Lilly... I still have two of your books on my Kindle unread. :( I've been trying to get to them all and it's useless. I'll be a hundred and still reading! :)

  25. *waves at Lilly!* Hiya girlfriend. You're going to love Home. It's well worth the time.

  26. So wonderful to see you here, Harley! Thanks for helping me celebrate. I'll get you that Red Gypsy now. :)

  27. (tumbles out of her VW bug) Am I late? I just drove all the way from Santa Cruz, CA. Happy Book Birthday, Calisa! I wore deoderant for the occasion. Loved your excerpt. I have to admit I thought the hedgehog was made out of bread. I'd try the food, but I'm a vegan. It's cool, though. I'll take one of those red thingies.

  28. Aw shucks, Mac! :)

    I'm up for an intervention. Point the way, girl.

  29. Yes, intervent me!! I'd love to have one. Calisa they can do us both. I'll share!!!
    Will we be on TV now?

  30. Hiya Harley and Tiffany. *hicup* Watch out for those Red Gypsies, they sneak up on you.

  31. Great roast! I love Calisa's book - can't wait to read the next one!

  32. So let me get this straight a Red Gypsy is not a red haired man? Did someone put something in the punch?
    I feel gud!!

  33. Oliver give me back my peace sign!!
    Where's the flowers??

  34. Welcome to the craziness, Tiffany! Love the 'Bug!' I'll see Oliver about the drinks.

    Mary and Oliver...behave! :D

  35. Tiffany ran over the flowers with her VW Bug, Mary.

  36. Do I have to? This is the only time I can tease him. Though he and Sharon did give me that stun gun, my favorite gift ever!I shouldn't tease him so.
    Lyn won't let me use it. Patsy threatened to damage me. And Mac doesn't know what a stun gun is.
    Anyone remember Donovan?? I hear he might stop by.

  37. Hey! I know what a stun gun is. It's a nail gun I'm confused about. Is it a nail, is it a bullet? What's up with that?

    And the only Donovan I remember is the Irish wolfhound from my first book. Am I confused again?

  38. Yes, but that's why we love you. It's a rough job, but someone has to do it.
    How about, The Association, remember them? Anyone...Dang am I old or what!!
    Don't eat that Lyn, it's a decoration.
    Oh my, that musta hurt going down. Whose idea was it to decorate with plastic fruit??

  39. How about Cheech and Chong, anyone remember the nuns driving through a border patrol station???
    Now that was funny!
    Nothing changes, I was the designated driver then and I still am now! LOL

  40. Hey there. Sorry I'm late, but I wouldn't miss this for the world :)

    Even after a year, I still love the cover art!

    Hugs and Happy Birthday!!!

  41. ^Hic* You mean that decoration wasn't chocolate!

    I need another Red Gypsy to wash that down! Mac a stun gun is a phaser set to 'stun' rather than 'kill' with Mary the 'kill' setting is permanently disable of course! Donovan? Yes I remember Donovan. 'Jennifer Juniper...rides a dappled mare...Jenbnifer Juniper, flowers in her hair -

  42. Yay! I wasn't imagining it! I don't think there is a kill setting on any stun gun. Hence the word stun. What's in those Red Gypsy drinks no one will tell me. And Lyn looks and sounds very happy. Which is nice, of course, just don't know whether she should ever drive again??Lyn, you still standing? :0) I'm wobbly and I haven't had a thing to drink, much...

  43. Hi Donna! Find a drink and sit with me. I'm loving these ladies' antics! I can't keep up, but I'm loving it. Nail guns, stun guns... it could get hairy in here!

  44. Hi Donna! Find a drink and sit with me. I'm loving these ladies' antics! I can't keep up, but I'm loving it. Nail guns, stun guns... it could get hairy in here!

  45. About unread books: Glad it's not just me. I don't feel so bad now. lol!

  46. *Pant* *Pant* Ladies running as hard as I can to get here! Hi everyone! *cyber wave*

  47. Do You know what a Red Gypsy is? No one will tell me Patsy! Whah!
    I even threatened them with my stun gun? What the hey?

  48. There's a gremlin in the house - I mean shop. I keep telling Mary what a red gypsy is and something keeps eating my posts! It's vodka, whiskey and cream soda dear sister hostess.

    Patsy! Great to see you, other sister hostess. Have some red gypsy, *hic*

  49. Hiya Kristina and Donna. Please excuse us for not greeting you properly. It's those darn red gypsies! I scrolled back and got all dizzy.

    So, who's doing the palm reading? Or are we using Mary's um... crystal ball?

  50. Hi Lily, Khristina ans Donna *hic* sorry don't think I said hi either, these red gypsies are potent!

  51. Hi Calisa,
    Great roast. I had an aunt who collected antique dolls, but she wasn't a gypsy.
    I like the sounds of your book, it is already on my TBR list.



  52. Is it red?? It sounds like it works Lyn!
    I have a real crystal ball now! It's made of rainbow quartz too. Lot's of windows and inclusions, I'm ready. Who wants to know their future? I can give you one hint. Mary runs her hands over the crystal ball and points to Lyn, "you are going on a trip very soon." Bet she does!

  53. I'm thrilled you made it, Kristi! This is a great time to be had by all!

    Sorry I disappeared for a while. Hubby took me to dinner at our fave restaurant and we just got home a bit ago. Thank you all for such a great and fun party Lyn, Patsy, Mac and Mary! You ladies are the best!!! :)

    I'll be back tomorrow to choose a winner...oh wait--you ALL win! Thanks for helping me celebrate Home's first birthday!

  54. Love this! Happy birthday Home! And a very happy birthday to my scrimshaw sister Calisa Rhose!

  55. Hi Anna, Hi Mary Preston

    So glad you could join the party.

    Calisa, you've been an amazing guest and we've just loved having you here. I hope it helped make your birthday that little bit more special.

    Mary dear, you certainly hve the gift. I'm leaving first thing tomorrow to go 'home' to Wales and exchange gifts with the family for a second Christmas.

    See you all in the New Year.

  56. Good morning. Happy Birthday to your book. Very pretty cover. Sounds wonderful.
    Sue B

  57. Hi Sue, lovely to see you at Calisa's party. Don't forget you can download her book for FREE!

  58. I hope you like Home, Margaret! Thanks.

  59. You're so sweet, Anna! Thanks for the birthday wishes sister!

    You should read Anna's scrimshaw doll book! Creepy good!

  60. That's right, Sue...FREE! :)

    Hi Mary Preston! Thanks for stopping by!

    Katsrus- I'm so happy you came by. Don't leave without your copy of Home! And you can go to wild rose press's site and get ALL of the scrimshaw doll books at a discount during the next two weeks!

  61. And I don't know why I didn't see that Sue and kats is one in the same... :/ My apologies!

  62. Calisa,
    As one who had gypsies in her background and can read Tarot, I really enjoyed this!

  63. Hi Ilona, thanks so much for stopping by for Calisa's party. Glad you enjoyed it.

  64. Well I guess I was still somewhat sleepy. I didn't even see the download part. LOL. Thank you very much for the book.
    sue B

  65. Hey, I actually almost dressed like this during college. I had long hair that I could sit on, I thought I looked like Cher (before the nose job she had). I looked somewhat hippy. Sorry I was so late here, new job and all that! Now I'm a hippy or should I say hippy! Congratulations on the release Calisa and the book sounds terrific!


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