Hi friends! We’ve got Amber Polo visiting with us today! She loves (or at least writes about ;)) libraries and dogs! (Shapeshifters) – so we’re very happy to have her. Can you believe we’re at the fourth Tuesday of them month?! Eek! But let’s not focus on that – let’s look at what Ms. Polo has to say!
My books are a little sweet, a little funny, with a bit of quirky seriousness, and just enough fantasy to hold it all together.
The Shapeshifters’ Library series is my present to dog lovers who have felt left out of all those dark nasty werewolf novels. Not that there aren’t some werewolves in town, they are notorious book burners who love to harass the dog-shifting librarians.
So if you love dogs, books, and libraries, (and hate book-burning werewolves) come along for the ride.
The books are Released, Retrieved, and Recovered (due 9/13).
Welcome to Shipsfeather, Ohio, where an ancient race of dog-shifters struggle, under an ordinary public library, to save the knowledge of the world from book-burning werewolves.
For years a curse has imprisoned the dog-shifters in the basement of the Shipsfeather Library–where they have made the best of things with a gym, a spa, a Starbarks, and, of course, their wildly successful internet company, Zoogle–but now, thanks to librarian Liberty Cutter and her zany staff, they may actually have a chance to break free.
Chronus, the Old English Sheepdog headmaster of the academy, must make free his pack. But can he persuade Liberty to believe in a talking sheepdog, and then love him as a man?
If only he can convince Liberty to believe in magic…
Here’s an exclusive never-before seen excerpt from Recovered, The Shapeshifters Library, Book 3 (Due September 2013). Too new to have an official blurb, Recovered is a cross-country adventure from Ohio to New Mexico, filled with ancient mounds, dog-catchers, rescue groups, and secret shifter sights. Come along with Bliss, children’s librarian and white greyhound shifter, and Harry, the reformed werewolf, as they search for the most valuable library on the planet.
Bliss opened her eyes, stretched her long white neck, and gazed up toward the moon. She’d stayed out later than she’d planned. One of the problems being a dog-shifter was not wearing a watch. Here on this ancient mound her meditations were always longer and deeper. She stood and shook herself, lowered her front legs, raised her butt into the air, and waved her long tail. Downward Dog as a dog felt even better than it did as a human.
To meet Harry at Starbarks, she needed to cover the three miles back to town in ten minutes. Trotting down the side of the mound and then up the hill into the woods, she enjoyed how flickers of moonlight created a subtle strobe effect on the worn path through the town forest back to the library. Smells of small furry animals rose up from cold leaves. The ground was still frosty under her toes, and hints of new green growth tickled her sensitive nose, reminding her that spring would soon come to this southern Ohio patch of wilderness.
She galloped on, enjoying how her body lengthened, then folded, until her back legs reached forward farther than her front. Every vertebra stretched and compressed as she wound through the trees, her Greyhound body reveling in the cold clear night.
She burst out of the trees at the river and, instead of plunging though like many of the water-loving dogs, trotted to the bridge downstream and pranced on wooden planks to ford the icy river. On the other side, white coat glowing in the moonlight, she again increased her pace. In minutes she’d be in the warm academy. Harry would help her change back into her human form and she’d drink a warm chai latte.
A movement caused her to jump sideways, senses suddenly alert, as a dark shadow swooped from the bushes, brandishing a stick with a loop.
A burly man yelled, “I’ve got one,” and lunged at her. One gauntlet-covered hand reached out as she leapt away.
Who was he? Why was he chasing her? A dogcatcher? She’d taken a self-defense class in college but in dog form she had no hands to hit, no fingers to poke eyes, and no knees to kick vital parts. If this man were truly a dog catcher, she wished she could change into her human form. He’d realize his mistake and leave the Shipsfeather Public Library’s Children’s Librarian alone. If she uttered even one word, he’d freak out and want even more to catch a talking dog.
She plunged behind an evergreen tree. Stick held high, the man came right at her. Gathering her back legs under her, she pushed off, flying between his legs. Surprised, he fell on his backside. She ran towards the front of the library, hoping to reach the hidden entrance before the big guy caught her. Once inside she’d be safe. The dog-shifters would protect her.
As soon as her toes touched the sidewalk she galloped toward the impressive domed Shipsfeather Public Library building, which once had been a shapeshifting academy and still housed the dog-shifters and their school and library in the lower levels. She’d been the upstairs public library’s children’s librarian for five years, telling stories and decorating bulletin boards before she ever dreamed of turning into a dog.
She heard the bulky man breathing hard behind her. Then a tall thin man in a padded coat rushed at her with a huge butterfly net, his voice, gruffer and louder called, “Get ‘er, Elwood. She’d be one of them.”
Surrounded, she whirled to face the second man, bared her teeth, and tried to growl with menace. A frightened white Greyhound with her tail curled under her body until it touched her throat was not a very convincing threat. Elwood threw himself on top of her and held her down. She gagged at his pizza breath and fought to wiggle loose, just as a third dogcatcher, a woman, opened the rear door of a white van and called to the men, “Throw her in here!”
Bio: A love of books drew Amber Polo into a career as a librarian. A greater love turned her into a writer. The Shapeshifters’ Library series is an urban fantasy filled with books, librarians, dogs, and a library everyone will love.
In addition to her two award-winning romance novels, she self-published Relaxing the Writer: Guidebook to the Writer’s High which offers hundreds of tips to help writers and readers relax and is proud of her self-produced , Relaxation One Breath at a Time a CD that uses her voice to teach relaxation to calm your body and mind and/or help you fall asleep.
Sample her writing and see why Midwest Book Review called her work “quirky” and “profound” (is that profoundly quirky or quirkily profound?). She’d love to hear from you. Find her: Website – Blog (Wordshaping) – Goodreads – FaceBook –Twitter