For summer reading, please consider my books, eBooks, and audiobooks. The books have won 26 prestigious writing awards in three genres: humor, memoir, and children’s books. My books feature authentic storytelling, they have never been banned, they are reusable, and the books don’t need batteries or electronic chargers. All of them were written in Idaho and published in the USA.
Most of these books, eBooks, and audiobooks are described on the Amazon Author Page, but they also can be ordered from local bookstores and independent distributors. Or, bring some wine to my home and I’ll sign a free book!
The audiobooks are listed on Elaine Ambrose – Audio Books, Best Sellers, Author Bio | Audible.com.
The eBooks are listed on the author’s profile on BookBub.
This children’s book about a spirited girl with Down syndrome won the winner of the 2021 New York City Big Book Distinguished Favorite Award for Children’s Fiction. Winner of Silver Medal for Children’s Fiction from Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. Winner of 2021 Independent Press Distinguished Favorite Award for Children’s Fiction. Kirkus Reviews wrote that the book is “A joyful, well-told story that celebrates the power of imagination.” The book is available in paperback, eBook, and audiobook. Published by Brown Books Kids.
Won 2019 Distinguished Favorite for Memoir from Independent Press Awards. Won Distinguished Favorite from the New York City Big Book Awards program. Available in hardcover, eBook, and audiobook. Published by Brown Books Publishing Group.
This collection of children’s stories won the 2018 Distinguished Favorite Award for Children’s Fiction from the Independent Press Awards. The book is available in paperback, eBook, and audiobook.
This bilingual children’s book won the 2017 Silver Medal for Children’s Literature from Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards program. The book was adopted by the Idaho State Board of Education for the statewide curriculum. The book is available in paperback and eBook.
Finalist for 2016 “Book of the Year for Humor” from ForeWord Magazine. Won Gold Medal for Midlife and Silver Medal for Humor from Independent Press Awards. Foreword Reviews gave the book a rare 5-Star Review. Available in paperback, eBook, and audiobook. Published by Brown Books Publishing Group.
The book won the 2014 Silver Medal for Humor from the Independent Publisher Book Award program (IPPY) and received a 4-Star from ForeWord Reviews. The book won First Place for Humor and First Place for eBook from the North American Book Awards. It won First Place for Cover Design and Top Idaho Author from the Idaho Book Awards. Available in paperback and eBook. Publishers Weekly wrote that the book is “laugh-out-loud funny.” Foreword Reviews wrote that Midlife Cabernet is “Erma Bombeckesque…an argument for joy.” In January 2015, the book ranked #1 in sales in the humor category on Amazon.com and sold more than 8,000 copies.
Menopause Sucks (with Joanne Kimes) – 2008 – Published by Adams Media/Simon&Schuster. This popular reference book combines medical advice, amusing anecdotes, and hilarious hints for hot women surviving the “M” word.
Other Books by Elaine Ambrose
Drinking with Dead Women Writers – 2012 – with Amanda Turner
Drinking with Dead Drunks – 2012 – with Amanda Turner
Daily Erotica – 366 Poems of Passion – 2010 with Gretchen Anderson, Rachel Hatch, and Liza Long
The Red Tease – Adventures in Golf – 2005 Bronze Medal Winner for Humor from ForeWord Magazine
Waiting for the Harvest – 1992 – Available only from the author.
Short Stories Published in the Following Anthologies
Laugh Out Loud – 40 Humorists from the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop – 2018
A Cup of Love – 2018
Angel Bumps – 2017
Feisty after 45 – 2016
The Dog with the Old Soul – 2012
Little White Dress – 2011
Beyond Burlap – 1997
My current project is titled Midlife Reboot –
Humorous Stories of Rest, Resilience, and Renewal
My seven puppets are preparing material and practicing their stories and songs to entertain folks in the Boise area. As the Puppet Master, I’m eager to hear what these dummies have to say. Watch more videos on my YouTube Channel: Elaine Ambrose – YouTube
Click here for booking information:
The performances range from five minutes to 20 minutes and can include one or multiple puppets. Acts can be tailored for children’s groups, adult business conferences, or a party with middle-aged women desperate for laughter. I also offer online chats with people who can’t leave their homes or care facilities, and the puppets can entertain and sing to someone in a care facility under Hospice care.
Outside the Boise area, I can Zoom to your party. Pick a puppet to sing “Happy Birthday” or tell a short story.
My gigs cost approximately $100 for 15 minutes. Cheap laughs!
Which puppet would you choose?
Jessie Jo from Idaho says to keep a song in your heart. She’ll be performing at the Moudy Mountain Summer Festival in McCall on June 24.
Aunt Delilah is from Britain. She loves to offer serious advice.
Aunt Olga from the Old Country is NOT politically correct.
Midlife Molly is hot! (Menopause and hot flashes)
Huckleberry Hannah is a fun country girl.
Officer Ricardo offers tips for following the law.
Wendell, an ordinary boy, is happy to be average.
Please follow me on YouTube.
For most of my 50-year career, I’ve been a public speaker. I started as a television news reporter and talk show hostess and later worked in corporate communications and public relations before starting a small publishing company and creating professional workshops in southern Idaho. I enjoyed traveling to conferences across the country to present writing workshops and motivational, humorous speeches.
Two calamities silenced my voice: Covid and a heart attack.
In the spring of 2020, I was scheduled to return to Ireland to give writing workshops during a two-week excursion followed by speaking at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop in Ohio. Both events were canceled due to Covid. Travel and speaking engagements stopped, so I took an online course about how to create and publish writing webinars on Zoom. Travel restrictions were relaxed, and in June of 2021, I traveled to Todos Santos, Mexico to present a workshop at a writer’s retreat. Unfortunately, I suffered a heart attack the night before I was scheduled to return to Idaho. My guardian angels worked overtime to secure airport wheelchairs, clearance at Customs, and transportation home.
Cardiologists in Boise diagnosed cardiomyopathy heart disease with a reduced ejection fraction of 30 percent – meaning my heart was broken. I had two surgeries, and the second one in 2022 installed a defibrillator beneath my collarbone. I continued to have shortness of breath, so I canceled the webinars and future speaking engagements. I didn’t have the energy to walk around the block or to speak for more than a few minutes.
I was wallowing, silently, in self-pity until my friend Sheli Yerkes Gartman, CEO of Women Ignite International, contacted me in the summer of 2022 and asked me to join a group of funny women in a comedy show for the WICON conference in Boise in October. I decided I wasn’t finished with life, so I eagerly agreed to practice with the group.
I had used finger puppets in many of my past presentations, and I decided to expand my part of the humorous program and incorporate larger puppets. For the show, I dressed as an Egyptian Queen (a former life, no doubt) and held a southern-speaking puppet on one hand and a monster-speaking puppet on the other. My first ventriloquism act was a bit ambitious because I needed three voices, including my own. I was the first act on stage and entertained for five minutes. I felt triumphant. The program lasted over an hour and included group skits and other monologues. By the end of the show, I knew I had a new hobby.
I watched YouTube training videos by famous ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and joined a Facebook group of lady ventriloquists. They recommended companies selling full-body puppets for ventriloquists. I now have a family of seven. I’ll be entertaining at a music festival near McCall, Idaho in June. My goal is to perform several five-minute gigs. I hope to increase my stamina so I can speak longer without gasping for air.
Meet the Puppets
I enjoyed naming my seven puppets. I had some help from Facebook friends about the name Huckleberry Hannah. The other choice was BlueBerry Belle, but the letter “B” is difficult to pronounce without moving lips. I practiced daily how to speak various voices, but sometimes I mixed up the accents, but no one complained.
Lady Delilah arrived from The Dummy Shoppe. She is British and offers sassy opinions and bold advice.
Jessie Jo from Idaho is a custom order from The Dummy Shoppe | Puppets by JET. She sings country western songs and promises hilarious stories at music festivals and other events.
Aunt Olga is from Axtell Expressions. She arrived from the Old Country and enjoys telling stories of life using her thick Russian accent.
Midlife Molly is a custom order from Pubbets. She’s soft-spoken but offers pithy advice for middle-aged women in need of hot-flash humor.
Huckleberry Hannah is another creation from Pubbets. She has several outfits and speaks with a charming southern voice.
Officer Ricardo is a dedicated law enforcement officer with a Mexican accent. I found him online at an Etsy shop. He offers tips about how to follow the law.
Wendell is an ordinary boy who is content to be average. I found him online at Folkmanis. He is soft-spoken with a low voice, and he is a storyteller.
To publish my short ventriloquism acts, I record my puppets on my iPad and upload the videos to social media and to my YouTube channel. I often laugh out loud as my puppets say comments I never intended for them to say. Ventriloquism has opened a new opportunity to share my love of storytelling. This 71-year-old grandmother with heart disease isn’t finished, yet.
My company, Mill Park Publishing, survived 16 years of productivity and empowered more than 120 women to become published authors. The company also donated money and books to various charities, organized writing retreats, was an annual sponsor for the Idaho Writers Guild conference, created a YouTube channel for writing tips and book promotions, and sponsored live comedy shows in Boise. The company published 18 books, 16 eBooks, and four audiobooks. The books received 26 national writing awards and multiple glowing national reviews.
2004 – The Red Tease – A Woman’s Adventure in Golf
(2008 – (I fulfilled a publishing contract to coauthor Menopause Sucks published by Adams Media.)
2010 – Daily Erotica (Featuring Gretchen Anderson, Rachel Hatch, Liza Long, and Elaine Ambrose)
2011 – Mother Knows Best by Patti Murphy
2011 – The Backyard Chicken Fight by Gretchen Anderson
2011 – Little White Dress (Compiled by Liza Long featuring 26 writers)
2012 – Drinking with Dead Women Writers (with Amanda Turner)
2012 – Drinking with Dead Drunks (with Amanda Turner)
2013 – Mother Knows Better by Patti Murphy
2013 – Angel of Esperanza by Judith McConnell Steel
2014 – Midlife Cabernet – Love, Life, and Laughter after Fifty
2016 – Feisty after 45 – The Best Blogs from Midlife Women (Anthology featuring 45 writers)
2016 – Midlife Happy Hour (Published by Brown Books Publishing Group. Mill Park published eBook and audiobook.)
2017 – Gators & Taters – A Week of Bedtime Stories (Edited with new illustrations and audiobook.)
2017 – The Magic Potato – Storybook in English and Spanish (Edited with new illustrations)
2017 – Angel Bumps (Anthology compiled by Anne Bardsley with 50 writers)
2018 – Frozen Dinners (Memoir published by Brown Books Publishing Group. Mill Park published eBook.)
2019 – The Glamorous Life of Josie Marie by Angie Meyer Olszewski
2020 – Melody’s Magical Flying Machine (Published by Brown Books Kids. Mill Park published eBook and audiobook.)
So, what’s next? Here’s the working cover for a new humor book to complete the Midlife Trilogy titled, Midlife Reboot – Humorous Stories of Rest, Resilience, and Renewal. Yes, I realize I passed midlife a few decades ago, but I could live to be 140. So far, I’m still in the reboot stage and waiting for a creative download of energy.
Here are photos of a few of the books and donations: (Click on the photo to see the caption.)
Menopause Sucks premiered in Eagle, Idaho on August 8, 2008. The event remains one of the highlights of my long and festive life.
I was divorced, and my son and daughter helped me organize the premiere party at Seasons Restaurant (now known as Bacquet’s French Restaurant.) My 15-month-old granddaughter attended as a special guest. I worked on the final edits of the manuscript while waiting for her to be born.
Prior to Menopause Sucks, I had written and published The Red Tease – A Woman’s Adventures in Golf and two children’s books. The Red Tease won the bronze medal for humor from the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year program, and the award helped me obtain a literary agent.
My agent, Andrea Hurst, secured my contract with Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, for me to coauthor Menopause Sucks with bestselling author Joanne Kimes. We worked on the manuscript for several months, sending chapters back and forth, and laughing at every exaggerated description. We included factual information approved by medical professionals and added our own creative humor. We never met in person. The book continues to sell in paperback and eBook formats.
Here are some excerpts from Menopause Sucks.
“Warning: Over 38 million women are going through menopause, and some of them are really irritated. If you’re one of them, you know that it’s a crying shame that you could live to be 100 but only twenty of those years come with youthful vigor, shiny hair, smooth skin, multiple orgasms, and a flat stomach. To understand what is happening to your mind and body, just put down that shotgun and find a cool spot to read the book Menopause Sucks by menopausal maniac Elaine Ambrose. You’ll find answers and laughs as you learn about hot flashes, incontinence, hair loss, age spots, flatulence, mood swings, and hot sex after forty. This isn’t your mother’s medical manual.”
“While it is better than dying too young, living past forty often comes with unpleasant and bewildering challenges. For the most part, every single symptom of menopause is caused by one reason, and one reason alone: hormones. It seems that your body makes several different kinds of hormones that love to cavort through your body and play havoc with your sanity. Two major players are called estrogen and progesterone. In medical terms, estrogen is produced in your ovaries and acts as a chemical commander in chief, telling your female body what to do. In not-so-medical terms, imagine a teeny tyrant running through your brain yelling, “Grow pubic hair now!” “Ovulate from the left ovary!” or “Make that boob bigger than the other one!” As with most power-hungry rascals, estrogen likes to change the rules every now and then just to confuse you.”
“As perimenopause begins, your ovaries are tired of taking orders, so they decide to reduce the production of estrogen. “Attention All Sectors. Estrogen is leaving the body. Farewell party at noon in the pituitary gland.” Then all hell breaks loose and you start to experience symptoms of perimenopause. The fact that you live through this chaos is definite proof of your magnificence. A lesser species would have become extinct millions of years ago.”
“It’s a rather cruel trick of nature that you could be raising teenagers and caring for aging parents while your Generalissimo Estrogen is barking orders at your female parts, your Busy Bee Progesterones are frantically fixing up the uterus for the Sperm and Egg Combo, and your Naughty Testosterone is working your libido like a tigress in heat.”
Since 2008, I’ve written or published 18 more books, moved six times, and met a cute guy I call Studley. Due to a recent heart attack, my projects have been postponed, but ideas for future books continue to swirl in my brain and beg to be written. The proposed title of my next humor book is Midlife Reboot – Stories of Revival.