Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bibliotheca Fantastica - "Egyptian Holiday" Excerpt

My short story “Egyptian Holiday” a chic lit prequel to The Shapeshifters’ Library series, was recently published in Bibliotheca Fantastica, an anthology published by Dagan Books

 “…fabulous tales of bibliophilic wonder, enchantment, terror, romance, mystery, and adventure”

I'm honored to be included with nineteen much more famous (serious, silly, and scholarly) speculative fiction authors selected and edited by Claude Lalumière & Don Pizarro.

“It seems fitting that fiction, one of the most time-honored ways of examining the complexity of human nature, also be applied to the examination of something as equally complex. Fiction about books in general has certainly been done before. Indeed, one might be tempted to dismiss this book about books, this Bibliotheca Fantastica, as an anthology of stories about Necronomicon knock-offs housed in spooky libraries, or of post-apocalyptic mutant book-worshippers living under St. Patrick’s Cathedral, or riffs on Borges’s Ficciones.

Yes, there are stories about books of power, and of libraries. There is a cathedral, and the name of Borges is invoked not once, but twice. But each of the stories in Bibliotheca Fantastica has, I believe, something unique to say about the importance of the book-as-artifact to those who shape them and to those who are shaped by them. These are stories in which the idea of a book and what it represents reaches beyond issues of form and function. Indeed, sometimes a book’s form is its function, and in this anthology the possibilities for both are limitless.” Don Pizarro


Were Cleopatra 
and her sister Alexandria, 
the Librarian of the Library of Alexandria, 
really dog-shifters?

Excerpt from

"Egyptian Holiday" by Amber Polo

 From the diaries of Cleopatra VII, Queen of the Nile, and Ptolemy Alexandria, Royal Librarian. Translated and Enhanced by Liberty Cutter Manchester. Library Director, New World Ovate, Druid Order of Gutenberg Societies Library (D.O.G.S.)

Alexandria, Egypt, 48 BCE
      Ptolemy Alexandria narrowed her eyes and peered up at the woman who controlled her Library’s budget.Alex seethed. She desperately needed more funds for her Alexandrian Library. “At least pretend you have reviewed my arguments. I've justified every drachma.”

      Cleopatra VII, Queen of the Nile, raised her hand and dismissed her guards, ladies-in-waiting, and scribes. She smoothed the golden edge of her purple tunic and with canine grace stepped from the Throne of Isis and stood between the statues of Anubis.

      Alex, wearing the unadorned tunic of a scribe, faced her twin sister. “Cleo, stop behaving like a damned Roman. The future of our people depends on my Library.”

      “Don’t get dramatic. All my departments want more. More money. More materials. More slaves.” Cleo toyed with a pearl earring as large as a crocodile eye. “Do you want my job? Your veins also carry the blood of the Greek pharaohs. We could rule jointly, sister queens of Isis. We could visit Rome. Attend an orgy.”

      Alex lowered her voice. “The Romans have sworn to wipe out our people and my books, ever tablet and scroll.”
      "I pay attention to foreign affairs.”
      “Swapping drool with werewolves?”

  Bibliotheca Fantastica Published by Dagan Books - an independent publisher of weird, wicked, beautiful, and brilliant books, primarily speculative fiction.
“…fabulous tales of bibliophilic wonder, enchantment, terror, romance, mystery, and adventure”

Buy the epub file here, mobi–which also works on your Kindle–here, or PDF here, for only $4.99 each–instant downloads! Always DRM-free. Or you can buy a bundle of Bibliotheca Fantastica in all three digital formats, for only $6.99 (here)

Print and Kindle from Amazon

Monday, August 19, 2013

Walk into a Romance Novel Fantasy World.

Highlights from The Romance Novel Convention,
Las Vegas -  August 2013.

Everyone had the chance to rub shoulders with romance authors from every genre (NYT Best-selling to just published) and male cover models to get inspiration for that next book to read or write.

Lectures brought attendees the latest trends in the world of romance literature. Mark Coker founder of Smashwords presented as well as talent from all aspects of indie publishing.

The Costume Ball was glorious.

Jimmy Thomas and Amber Polo

 Almost everyone was outfitted in costume. From kilt to komono, every imaginable genre was represented. A costume rental room was available for last minute transformations into the romantic heroine or hero off your choice. 

 V.S. Nelson’s wedding ceremony added to the romance.


Jennifer's hero
Some authors hosted parties. I was lucky to win Jennifer Ashley’s grand prize bag filled with tons of books, bangles, and an ARC of “The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie,” due to be published Oct. 1.(I am thoroughly enjoying every page.)

Coming Oct. 1 2013

A room full of swag! Every imaginable giveaway. And the magnificent Raffle Baskets were on display. 
My swag space was stocked with free books and dog biscuits for attendees to take home to those best friends who couldn’t come along.

A Book Fair filled with authors, books and more books...
Morgan Kearns

Rhonda Plumhoff and Morgan Kearns

The formal Awards Ceremony, with true Vegas style included magic and quick change performances. Only one thing that would have made this evening more fun, if I would have have left with the gorgeous trophy for Best Paranormal Novel. Still I was thrilled and honored to see my photo and the “Released” cover on the big screen as a finalist.

Jimmy Thomas’ photographer Bruce Heinsius took head shots. I had a chance for photos by the man who photographed Charlie Sheen, John Voight, and some of Jimmy’s thousands of book cover images. Can’t wait to see the results!

More – the meal package was great and restaurants in the Golden Nugget wonderful. Favorites – ahi tuna at the Chart House and ginger crèam brulee at the Lillie’s Asian Cuisine. Plus a Starbucks and a little chocolate shop.

Grand finale evening featuring the four Mr. Casanova contenders.
Shawn, the tall Suitor won!

I also used the Vegas desert to research sharks for a new book and visited the Shark Tank Tour at the Golden Nugget and the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay

  Writers and Readers, put RNC on your calendar for 2014!

 More photos on Facebook