Amber Polo's Blog

June 21, 2015

Clarkdale’s Dog Days of Summer  

Clarkdale’s celebration of all things canine included:
bobbing for hotdogs Chihuahua races Yappy Hour with chicken broth ice cube shots and more... 
Organized and hosted by the Clarkdale Downtown Business Alliance with proceeds to benefit the Verde Valley Humane Society.

Greyhound Pets of Arizona Greyhound rescue Dogs Bobbing for Hotdogs

 Itsty Bitsy, a Mexican street dog rescue
Bobbing for hotdogs Teeka enjoying a chicken broth shot

Sedona PD officers Foley  and Dalan

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Published on June 21, 2015 08:36

June 13, 2015

A Movie Premiere for The Shapeshifters' Library The Shapeshifters' LibraryThe Movie!Well, sort of, the books are better but I truly love my book trailer.
Special thanks to Stacie Stopen and S Squared Productions for creating (and nursing) my wonderful book video. Stacie seemed to know just what each book was about and found some images that revealed parts of my characters, even I didn't know. Now, that is one talented videographer!

And getting to meet her offline in person at Buildin' the Dream just made it better.

Find S Squared on Facebook or their website   Where books become art one cover or video at a time…

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Published on June 13, 2015 03:00 • 3 views

June 9, 2015


The Shapeshifters' Library: Book 1Free June 9-12
   If you love dogs and books and light shifter romance... 
Read an excerpt
“Released” is free  on Kindle
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Published on June 09, 2015 21:55 • 2 views

June 7, 2015

Tah dah!The Shapeshifters' LibraryThe Movie!

Well, sort of, the books are better but I truly love my book trailer.
Special thanks to Stacie Stopen and S Squared Productions for creating (and nursing) my wonderful book video. Stacie seemed to know just what each book was about and found some images that revealed parts of my characters, even I didn't know. Now, that is one talented videographer!

And getting to meet her offline in person at Buildin' the Dream just made it better.

Find S Squared on Facebook or their website   Where books become art one cover or video at a time…
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Published on June 07, 2015 19:00 • 31 views

May 22, 2015

Some readers love bad boy heroes. Some prefer good boys. My heroes are dogs. And I mean that in a really good way.
I’ve read wonderful books where tortured werewolf heroes draw you in with their angst. My dog-shifter heroes have all the wonderful qualities of your favorite puppy. They’re cute, loyal, and protective, and fall in love at first sight. And very smart. They’re librarians dedicated to preserve knowledge and vanquish book-burning werewolves.
In “Released” my heroine finds a beautiful dog in an abandoned library. They become friends. Then the dog talks. And then the dog turns into a gorgeous, smart guy with a charming English accent. Who wouldn’t fall for him?
In “Retrieved” a hero with male cover model looks changes into a huge English Mastiff who happens to be a brilliant astro-archaeologist. Why not brains and brawn?
Book 3 “Recovered” follows a part werewolf, (a villain in Book 1) as he shepherds his Greyhound love across country to find a buried ancient library and gains his self-respect and a place in the dog-shifter world. Don’t you love a redeemed bad boy rescued by a sweet heroine?
When readers read “Released” the first book in the Shapeshifters Library series, their favorite character besides the Old English Sheepdog hero and the librarian heroine, was Pacifico Lopez, a feisty Chihuahua shifter. He created the Zoogle internet conglomerate and earned money to keep the dog shifters in premium dog food and reference books. He was smart and in “Retrieved” Pacifico started a library services company with the smartest RFID codes ever. 

At last it was time for the smallest and smartest to have his own book. And his own romance. Book 4 “Reprinted” brings to the front the smallest hero. A Chihuahua with the more intelligence and daring as he courts a lovely white werewolf who defies her family to help him track down ebook pirates in the Caribbean and uncover a lost Egyptian secret.
Reprinted Read Chapter One   Amazon PrintKindleBarnes and Noble
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Published on May 22, 2015 23:00 • 5 views

May 20, 2015

Follow Bliss the children's librarian who discovers she's a white Greyhound shifter, as she leaves her library to trek cross country  to New Mexico to find the Library of the Ancients - chased by those book-burning werewolves, of course.
Here's the more official blurb: Recovered (The Shapeshifters' Library: Book Three)

“A fantastic novel" --Midwest Book Review
From the award-winning author of THE SHAPESHIFTERS' LIBRARY series, RELEASED and RETRIEVED, comes the long awaited third installment!  Bliss D. Light was just an ordinary children’s librarian until one day she discovered she could grow a tail. Now her life is filled with more magic than any of the fairy tales she tells the children who gather at her feet at the Shipsfeather library. Like many of the other residents of Shipsfeather, Ohio, Bliss is a dog-shifter, and her newly discovered ability to change from human form into that of a sleek white greyhound has left her yearning to know more about her true heritage. The answer to all her questions, she is certain, lies with the dog-shifters’ long lost Library of the Ancients and, undeterred by the fact that thousands before her have searched, she sets out to find it.Accompanied by her best friend Harry, a disgraced werewolf/dog-shifter mix, and hotly pursued by the evil werewolf team of Sybilla and Blaze, Bliss’s quest takes her across the sacred sites and ancient mounds of the American Southwest. Though kidnapped by dogcatchers, sold into racetrack slavery and forced to fight wolf dogs to survive, Harry and Bliss never lose sight of their goal—or each other. Because the only thing more important than finding the ancient lost treasure might just be preserving what they already have found: an unlikely love that could be the first step toward bringing two ancient enemy races together.
Page Count: 264Heat level: SweetGenre: Light urban fantasy
  Read Chapter 1
Buy Links
Amazon Print
Barnes & Noble
Did I mention I love reviewers?
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Published on May 20, 2015 08:46 • 4 views

May 13, 2015

Just had to share some photos from a Memoir Workshop with Ann Metlay on Friday, May 1, 2015 held at the Camp Verde Library.
Ann Metlay, poet, writer, reader, life-long teacher of writing, is the author of the short story collection It Happened in the Cottonwood Library Parking Lot offered a rollicking memoir writing workshop for writers, and for those who don’t label themselves as writers, but want to record memories, memorable moments, and family stories. An introduction to memoir with writing exercises with writing prompts to spur memories with opportunities for optional sharing.
Writers who write fiction, non-fiction and other serious words often need to reap their memories for ideas.  

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Published on May 13, 2015 10:12 • 5 views

April 8, 2015

A Shapeshifters' Library series reader once called my books cozy fantasy. I loved the term and thought I'd invented a new genre (or the reader named an existing genre).

But cozy mysteries with canines have been around for a long time. I've been writing a review column for a dog magazine and have been reading a lot of canine cozies and thought I'd share some of the reviews.

Catwalk Sheila Webster Bonham  Midnight Ink Books, 2014 (An Animals in Focus Mystery)">Catwalk (An Animals in Focus Mystery)Animal photographer Janet MacPhail competes with Jay, her Australian Shepherd, in canine agility.  The mystery begins when a dead body is found in the agility course’s crawl tube. In addition to believable and oh so funny insights into the dog world, Janet, our 50-something menopausal heroine, deals with her mother in a nursing home, her boyfriend, and her mother’s boyfriend, as well as a feral cat problem. Janet also trains and competes with her cat in feline agility. Who knew feline agility was even a sport – and fun for owner and cat? I loved the combination of dog/cat information, mystery, and a women’s real life issues. Read it for the animals and the laugh out loud porta-pottie Iditarod scene!
Sheila Webster Boneham, award-winning author, has written seventeen nonfiction books about dogs, cats, and rescue and founded rescue groups for Aussies and Labs.  Both mystery series left me begging for more.   Muzzled
Eileen Brady
Poisoned Pen Press, 2014 (a Kate Turner, D.V.M. Mystery)">Muzzled: A Kate Turner, DVM, Mystery (Kate Turner, DVM Mysteries)From the moment Dr. Kate rescues a hamster from a vacuum cleaner you know this mystery will be filled with animals and laughs. When she visits Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeders and discovers two dead bodies and 27 blue-ribbon dogs running wild, you know she’s going to stick her nose into crime solving. While police suspect murder-suicide, Dr. Kate disagrees. Was the couple murdered for the money their champion dog could bring to another breeder? As Kate's veterinary house calls continue, so does her varied list of suspects-including a tattooed biker baker.
Pet lovers and mystery lovers will find this a cozy choice. I loved the humor, the mystery and a peek into a veterinarian’s life. Plus who could resist a vet’s view of quirky pet owners.
Eileen Brady is a veterinarian living in Scottsdale with six cats and two dogs of her own.">Murder Strikes a Pose (A Downward Dog Mystery)
Murder Strikes a Pose

Tracy Weber

Midnight Ink, 2014 (A Downward Dog Mystery)
When George, a homeless alcoholic and Bella, his German Shepherd, disturb the peace outside Kate’s yoga studio, she loses her Zen-like calm. The three form an unlikely friendship until Kate finds George’s body behind her studio and tries to find a home for Bella.
Yogi Kate and Serenity Yoga are not always serene but always delightful. A mystery from a yoga studio owner who knows the behind the scenes work and a dog lover not afraid to deal with real problems. I appreciated that Bella had serious issues with EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency) and, for a change, wasn't smarter than the sleuth.
Tracy Weber, yoga teacher and founder of Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, shares her home with challenging yet amazing German Shepherd Tasha and a bonito flake-loving cat.

  Fifty Shades of Greyhound  Sparkle Abbey (A Pampered Pets Mystery, Book 5) Bell Bridge Books, 2014">Fifty Shades of Greyhound: A Pampered Pets Mystery (Volume 5)Fifty Shades of Greyhound is California’s premier rescue group charity event, graced by fifty greyhounds. Smart, savvy but ditzy Caro Lamont, Laguna Beach’s pet therapist, loves animals and designer clothes and for the fundraiser gala Caro and society couples put on the dog dressed in shades of gray. All is champagne and big checks until a dead body spoils the party.
Of course things get worse for the rescue group. Caro butts in and the results bounce between humor and danger. Before the perfect ending, enjoy the Laguna atmosphere, a tiny bit of romance, nutsy pet people, and a cozy mystery that will keep you guessing. And who will end up with Grandma Tilly’s ugly brooch?

Sparkle Abbey
is the pen name of mystery authors Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter. The name comes from Sparkle (Mary Lee's cat) and Abbey (Anita's dog).

The Big Chihuahua
Waverly Curtis (A Barking Detective Mystery) Kensington, 2013">The Big Chihuahua (A Barking Detective Mysterye=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0758)</a><img src=P.I. Geri Sullivan and Pepe, her fast-talking Chihuahua, (sadly only Geri can hear him) look for a missing woman and stumble into a New Age retreat staffed by Leaf and Artichoke, where cult devotees worship the incarnation of Dogawanda.
Before Geri can say "Dog Be With You," or "Obey Your Alpha," Pepe is tapped as their new guru, and takes the name Towering Cedar. It wouldn't be a mystery without a body or two. Throw in some wolfdogs, an enigmatic celebrity, and Pepe's clever dialog and the result is a silly satire mixed with mystery and mayhem. A delightful cozy read to cuddle with.
Waverly Curtis is the joint byline of mystery writers Waverly Fitzgerald and Curtis Colbert. Fitzgerald lives in Seattle with her daughter and her daughter's Chihuahua, Pepe. The authors donate part of the proceeds of the book sales to the ASPCA.

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Published on April 08, 2015 09:34 • 14 views

March 2, 2015

Rin Tin Tin

Those who know me know I'm no fan girl. Celebrities do not send me into a swoon.
Susan Orlean and Amber Polo

This weekend I met Susan Orlean, author of Rin TIn Tin and The Orchid Thief, and I was thrilled. She appeared as part of Yavapai College’s Hassayampa Institute (I love that word) Literary Southwest series in Prescott, Arizona.

Susan Orlean The Orchid Thief
Besides her book about an iconic dog, there's more. The Orchid Thief was made into the movie Adaptation and Meryl Streep played Susan Orlean. Is that cool! Staff writer for the New Yorker. Contributing editor to both Rolling Stone and Vogue. Wow.

Orlean read from Rin Tin Tin and her work in progress about libraries. That should be a clue. Any writer who writes about dogs and libraries has my attention. She’s an amazing journalist and creative non-fiction author. You know the kind. You read their articles and their books even if you have absolutely no interest in the subject.

And now for the personal part. After I read Rin Tin Tin I heard Susan Orlean was writing about libraries sparked by her interest in the fire that damaged the Los Angeles Public Library in 1986 and destroyed 400,000 volumes – 20% of the collection.

Dogs, libraries, and book-burning. This former librarian and dog breeder was  seriously hooked. I sent her a copy of Released (dog-shifting librarians nose to nose with book-burning werewolves) and a few treats for her dog. And I received a thank you note. I think she and her dog appreciated the biscuits more than the book, but I was thoroughly impressed to receive a reply. And a fan turned into a fan girl.

Now, I’m waiting for her next book.

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Published on March 02, 2015 03:00 • 13 views

February 21, 2015

The Camp Verde Community Library sponsored a free self-publishing workshop on  February 20th. For anyone who aspires to be an author, choosing how to publish a book is essential. Sorting through the choices in today’s changing publishing world is daunting, but crucial. This workshop covered the new ways to publish, discussed print-on-demand books, ebooks, and more.  Pathways to Publishing
Creative writing instructor and author Val Chanda, Yavapai College Emeritus English Faculty shared her perspectives during “Pathways to Publishing Workshop: An introduction to the world of digital self-publishing” outlining differences between traditional publishing, old-style “vanity presses,” and current options for self-publishing print and ebooks. She published her first novel, a science fiction thriller, Psy Mind: Deadly Reckoning, in 2011 and has since published two others in the Psy Mind series and launched a new mystery series. Val Chanda

I facilitated the afternoon panel featuring local authors who have self-published in a variety of ways, including: fiction, non-fiction, memoir, inspirational, art books, a card deck, an audiobook, and audio CDs. The panel discussed their own personal paths to publishing and answered questions. Members included: Amber Polo (me), Melissa Bowersock, Ronni Ann Hall,  Val Chanda, and John Jenkins. For a very small town it was exciting to see the talent we have. 
Amber Polo, Melissa Bowersock, Val Chanda John Jenkins, Ronni Ann Hall It was also exciting to see so many writer at all stages on their paths wanting to explore self-publishing.
Amber PoloAttendees also learned about Reading Arizona (ebooks about Arizona), and SELF-e (a national collection of ebooks) both sponsored by the State Library.
Kathy Hellman, Camp Verde Library Director

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Published on February 21, 2015 15:30 • 32 views