Category Archives: gift books

The Twelfth Book of Christmas

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This is the final day of my “The Twelve Books of Christmas” blog series. For the past twelve days I showcased a book written by a Colorado author who lives in the Fort Collins area. Please spread the Support Local Businesses love by purchasing a book by a local author at a local bookstore. That way your purchase will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Two independent bookstores that I recommend in Fort Collins are: Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, and Reader’s Cove on Harmony Rd. You can also find books at JAX Outdoor Gear on North College, Clothes Pony in Old Town, and the Northern Colorado Writers Studio at 108 East Monroe Dr. (Across from Tres Margaritas). Ask if they have any autographed copies in stock.

If you like cozy mysteries, then you’ll love…

For teens and adults who love crafts.

The Home Crafting Mysteries are contemporary, cozy mysteries in which crime and mayhem play out against the backdrop of different colonial home crafts. Join amateur sleuth Sophie Mae as she juggles murder investigations with her Winding Road Bath Products business, soap making, preserving food, spinning, cheese making and learning about making mead. Along the way Detective Barr Ambrose, her best friend Meghan Bly, and Meghan’s young daughter, Erin, help her track down the truth and bring killers to justice in the small town of Cadyville, Washington.

Wined and Died is the fifth in this mystery series. Something is brewing in Cadyville, and it’s not only dandelion wine. Sophie Mae is intrigued by a recently discovered cassette recording in which a therapist fearfully contemplates her client’s murderous threats. When the same therapist ends up dead, Sophie Mae is lured into another intoxicating investigation, one that explores the age-old arts of mead and wine making.

These books have a wide appeal among anyone interested in cozy mysteries or crafts, from teens to older adults. Library Journal says “Fans of Rosemary Harris and Maggie Sefton will appreciate McRae’s crafty series.” Most books in the series have also been published in large print editions.

Cricket McRae

Cricket McRae has always dabbled in the kind of traditional home crafts that were once necessary to everyday life. For two years she managed her own soap making business, and has worked at a variety of other jobs, ranging from driver’s license examiner to program manager at Microsoft. This fulfills her mother’s warning that she’d never have a “regular” job if she insisted on studying philosophy and English in college. For more information about Cricket or her books, visit her website at www.cricketmcrae.com or her blog at www.hearthcricket.com.

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The Tenth Book of Christmas

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This is the tenth day of my “The Twelve Books of Christmas” blog series. Each day through December 12 I will showcase a book written by a Colorado author who lives in the Fort Collins area. Please spread the Support Local Businesses love by purchasing a book by a local author at a local bookstore. That way your purchase will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Two independent bookstores that I recommend in Fort Collins are: Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, and Reader’s Cove on Harmony Rd. You can also find books at JAX Outdoor Gear on North College, Clothes Pony in Old Town, and the Northern Colorado Writers Studio at 108 East Monroe Dr. (Across from Tres Margaritas). Ask if they have any autographed copies in stock.

If you like period romances, you’ll love…

A true WWII story

Remember Wake is that rare book that women pass to their husbands, and husbands pass to their wives. It’s the true story of the civilian men taken prisoner by the Japanese on Wake Island at the outset of World War II, and the women they left behind. Based on interviews with real people, this page-turning novel is at once authentic and inspiring. Though written for adults, it is gaining a new following among teenage boys and girls, making it the ideal holiday gift for anyone on your list. Remember Wake is a book club favorite. Author Sandra Dallas called it, “A compelling story of young lovers caught up in the events of wartime that will haunt you long after you’ve finished the book.”

Teresa Funke

Teresa Funke is the author of five books about World War II, including Remember Wake, the true story of the Wake Island survivors, and Dancing in Combat Boots: and Other Stories of American Women in World War II, a collection of eleven narratives based on real women whose wartime experiences were both ordinary and extraordinary! She is also the author of the Home-Front Heroes series for middle grade readers, including Doing My Part, The No-No Boys, V for Victory and the soon-to-be-released Wave Me Good-bye. Teresa’s other writings have appeared in numerous national publications, and two of her essays were honored as Notable Essays by the prestigious Best American Essays series. She is popular speaker, presenter, and writer’s coach.

The Eighth Book of Christmas

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This is the eighth day of my “The Twelve Books of Christmas” blog series. Each day through December 12 I will showcase a book written by a Colorado author who lives in the Fort Collins area. Please spread the Support Local Businesses love by purchasing a book by a local author at a local bookstore. That way your purchase will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Two independent bookstores that I recommend in Fort Collins are: Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, and Reader’s Cove on Harmony Rd. You can also find books at JAX Outdoor Gear on North College, Clothes Pony in Old Town, and the Northern Colorado Writers Studio at 108 East Monroe Dr. (Across from Tres Margaritas). Ask if they have any autographed copies in stock.

If you like true heart-warming story collections, then you’ll love…

Actual kids' letters from Fort Collins

Letters From Katrina is a coffee table book that draws inspiration from the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. Mississippi children share their Katrina survival stories and are inspired by thousands of pen-pal letters from students around the United States. Peek over the shoulder of our children, read their heartwarming letters, and discover the magic that occurs when we ask life’s most magical question…Will you be my friend?”

Note: Another wonderful book about Hurricane Katrina to pair this book with is Two Bobbies. It was written by my writer friends, Mary Nethery and Kirby Larson, and is true story about a cat and dog orphaned in the hurricane who help each other survive.

Mark Hoog

Mark Hoog is the author of the Growing Field children’s leadership series, a sought-after motivational speaker, the Executive Director of the Children’s Leadership Institute and a Captain with United Airlines. Speaking throughout the world, Mark is inspiring youth, business organizations and corporations to live life without limit through his message of Conscious Leadership.

The Seventh Book of Christmas

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This is the seventh day of my “The Twelve Books of Christmas” blog series. Each day through December 12 I will showcase a book written by a Colorado author who lives in the Fort Collins area. Please spread the Support Local Businesses love by purchasing a book by a local author at a local bookstore. That way your purchase will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Two independent bookstores that I recommend in Fort Collins are: Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, and Reader’s Cove on Harmony Rd. You can also find books at JAX Outdoor Gear on North College, Clothes Pony in Old Town, and the Northern Colorado Writers Studio at 108 East Monroe Dr. (Across from Tres Margaritas). Ask if they have any autographed copies in stock.

If you like stories set in the American West, then you’ll love…

For mature young adults

Twenty-two-year-old Libby works at a small grocery store in a luckless town in the rural West. Endlessly daydreaming, she sees herself becoming an artist, moving out of her mother’s house to have her own, learning to play guitar. When her younger sister Tess becomes pregnant, Libby convinces her not to have an abortion by promising to raise the child, a promise she never really imagines she’ll have to keep.

Thrust into instant motherhood when Tess gives birth and then promptly leaves, Libby finds herself caring for a crying infant and overwhelmed by the task. The colorful cast of characters who rise up to support her from the hippie beekeeper, Ed Mongers, to Miguel Mendoza, a single father widowed by suicide, and various other folks from the small ranching community–round out this spirited story. Libby’s lucid, painfully honest observations and her complex interiority comes with a fresh perspective on what it means to inhabit a world that has little room for optimism.

Pritchett’s characters deal with the hidden underbelly of rural life the drug trafficking, the people who make a living driving “illegals” over the border, the litany of low-wage jobs. As Libby struggles to make sense of the world, she discovers humor and courage in unlikely places. As the beekeeper Ed Monger says to Libby, “I think we should all be living more dangerous lives. We have to be careful, yes. But when we get too fearful, we become small.”

Publishers Weekly calls Sky Bridge a “compassionate, finely observed first novel” and Booklist writes, “In this spare yet haunting portrait of the American West, Pritchett’s powerful, poetic voice speaks with clarity, wisdom, and passion about country, family, and one young woman’s majestic spirit.” Library Journal calls it a “captivating novel” that “offers a gritty but redeeming picture of a family that never quite lets go of hope, and characters who are not soon forgotten.”

Laura Pritchett

Laura Pritchett is the author/editor of six books. Her fiction includes the novel Sky Bridge and Hell’s BottomColoradoher three anthologies include Pulse of the RiverHome Land, and Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners, Scavengers, and Dumpster Divers. Her newest book, about bears and their relationship with humans, is due out this Spring.

The Sixth Book of Christmas

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This is the sixth day of my “The Twelve Books of Christmas” blog series. Each day through December 12 I will showcase a book written by a Colorado author who lives in the Fort Collins area. Please spread the Support Local Businesses love by purchasing a book by a local author at a local bookstore. That way your purchase will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Two independent bookstores that I recommend in Fort Collins are: Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, and Reader’s Cove on Harmony Rd. You can also find books at JAX Outdoor Gear on North College, Clothes Pony in Old Town, and the Northern Colorado Writers Studio at 108 East Monroe Dr. (Across from Tres Margaritas). Ask if they have any autographed copies in stock.

If you like comic books, you’ll love…

Book 4 in the Aldo Zelnick Comic Novel Series

Back at school after summer vacation, Aldo meets Danny—a deaf boy who will be a new student at Aldo’s school. Danny challenges Aldo from day one, and it will take a lot of back-and-forth to figure out if they can get along. But Danny’s not the only new fly in Aldo’s bacon grease. Aldo soon meets his cute new art teacher and finds himself doing crazy things, like losing the ability to speak when she’s around. Embarrassed about his artistic abilities, Aldo has always underplayed his talent at school, but there’s something about art class this year that spurs him to go all out in a brazen attempt to win the school art contest. All this and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dungeons & Dragons, Dagwood sandwiches, the continuing adventures of Bacon Boy, oodles of divine D words, and so much more YOU might just find yourself dumbstruck. In a good, laugh-out-loud kind of way.

Karla Oceanak, Karla Spanjer

Author Karla Oceanak is a public speaker for childhood literacy and has been a writer and editor for more than 20 years. Illustrator Kendra Spanjer is a studio artist and cartoonist. They both live in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The Fifth Book of Christmas

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This is the fifth day of my “The Twelve Books of Christmas” blog series. Each day through December 12 I will showcase a book written by a Colorado author who lives in the Fort Collins area. Please spread the Support Local Businesses love by purchasing a book by a local author at a local bookstore. That way your purchase will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Two independent bookstores that I recommend in Fort Collins are: Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, and Reader’s Cove on Harmony Rd. You can also find books at JAX Outdoor Gear on North College, Clothes Pony in Old Town, and the Northern Colorado Writers Studio at 108 East Monroe Dr. (Across from Tres Margaritas). Ask if they have any autographed copies in stock.

If you like edgy humor, you’ll love…

2011 Colorado Book Award Winner

James was the guy no one noticed —another fifteen-year-old living in a small town. So when he gets into the American Science and Mathematics Academy (or ASMA), James decides to leave his boring past behind. In a public boarding school made up of nerds and geeks, being cool is easy. All it takes is a few harmless lies to invent the new James: rebel, punk, street fighter. Everyone’s impressed —except for the beautiful Ellie Frost, whose icy demeanor holds an inexplicable attraction for James, and the mysterious ghost44, an IM presence who sees right through his new identity.

But James is riding high —playing pranks and hooking up with the luscious Jessica Keen. Things seem perfect until he begins having strange dreams of a dark city haunted by demons. As the line between dreams and reality blurs, James begins to wonder: What’s the price for being the coolest guy around?

Funny and real, Todd Mitchell’s debut YA novel takes readers into a school for the intellectually gifted and socially awkward, as readers discover the secret —and consequences— to lying.

Part character driven drama, part romance, part psychological thriller with a twist of paranormal weirdness and a dash of humor.  Teens and adults who are interested in edgy YA fiction (especially reluctant male readers) will dig this story.

Todd Mitchell with his daughter

Todd Mitchell was most likely a squirrel in a previous life. Now he’s the award-winning author of The Secret to Lying (Candlewick Press), The Traitor King (Scholastic Press), Backwards (forthcoming from Candlewick), and A Flight of Angels (co-author, Vertigo). He spends his days in Fort Collins writing, hoarding acorns, teaching at CSU, and leaping from tree top to tree top with his two wily daughters. You can visit him at www.ToddMitchellBooks.com

The Third Book of Christmas

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Today is Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day

This is the third day of my “The Twelve Books of Christmas” blog series. Each day through December 12 I will showcase a book written by a Colorado author who lives in the Fort Collins area. Please spread the Support Local Businesses love by purchasing a book by a local author at a local bookstore. That way your purchase will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Two independent bookstores that I recommend in Fort Collins are: Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, and Reader’s Cove on Harmony Rd. You can also find books at JAX Outdoor Gear on North College, Clothes Pony in Old Town, and the Northern Colorado Writers Studio at 108 East Monroe Dr. (Across from Tres Margaritas). Ask if they have any autographed copies in stock.

If you like science fact and fiction, you’ll love…

A gift for young adults

Walk the beaches of ancient seashores 67 million years ago with “J”, a mysterious time traveler familiar with the territory. Enjoy the glittering shells of now extinct ammonites and baculites and watch young plesiosaurs hatch and thrash their way home beneath the waves. Make way for herds of dinosaurs that use the shoreline as a seasonal highway. Listen for predators who search the beach for unwary prey. And join the time traveler in his search for the amazing creatures that transformed the Mesozoic world and helped make this place the dinosaurs’ last seashore.

The Dinosaurs Last Seashore will appeal to wannabe time travelers of all ages who love learning about the age of dinosaurs and see it come alive with elegant, black and white illustrations. This book honors the writing and vision of Loren Eiseley, a scientist who was also an accomplished literary artist. The Dinosaurs’ Last Seashore was a finalist in the Colorado Author’s League awards for YA nonfiction.

The Dinosaurs’ Last Seashore is available from Biostration at www.biostration.com Also, check there for information on other books and services by the author, including school visits. The book is also available at the Third Annual Just in Time Art Show at 1154 West Mountain Ave. in Fort Collins from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.

Gary Raham

Gary Raham, author of 17 books for children and adults, specializes in writing and illustrating science fact and science fiction. Raham’s background as a biology teacher, naturalist, and amateur paleontologist, provide him with rich resources from which to spin this wild adventure tale that spans deep time and deep space with memorable characters and solid science.