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Guest Post: Holiday Gift Ideas from Author Christine Rose

Thank you all for joining me today on my 2012 Blog Tour! This week, I’m giving away a $50 Gift Card to Amazon.com at Bitten by Books starting tomorrow, and I’m also giving away FREE BOOKS to ANYONE WHO WANTS ONE!

All week long, Dec 11-15, you can download Rowan of the Wood (Book 1) and Power of the Zephyr (Book 4) on your Kindle or Kindle App for FREE!!! THAT’s RIGHT!

Follow my blog tour for excerpts and podcasts from all of the Rowan books, and enter to win great giveaways! After the guest post on my Top 10 Gifts for Book Lovers, you can listen to Chapter 1 of Witch on the Water (Book 2) and read an excerpt from Fire of the Fey, Book 3.

Now, onto the guest post!

Whereas books seem to be a no-brainer when looking for the perfect gift for the book lover on your list, book and reading accessories could be very beneficial as well. Here are a few gifts suggestions for your favorite reader.

#10 Jasmine Book Stand

Before eReaders, the hardest thing for me to do (due to an old injury) was hold a book. The only way I could read comfortably, without back and shoulder pain to the point of distraction, was to read laying down. Then I’d fall asleep! A handy tool like this allows the reader to read hands free and still read physical books. The other great thing is the ability to multitask! While reading, you can also crochet, knit, wash dishes, or cook!

From the Amazon description:

  • Eye -Level Reading Provides Maximum Comfort
  • Promotes Proper Posture For Better Spinal Health
  • Large Size For Better Hold & Stability
  • Heavy Duty To Withstand Even The Bulkiest Books
  • Patented 2-Way Adjustment (Height & Degree)

#9 Knock Knock Personal Library Kit

Tired of loaning out your books and never getting them back? Can’t remember who you loaned them to? This Personal Library Kit will help your favorite reader keep track of their beloved books and ensure they get their babies back!

From the Amazon description

For a bibliophile, there’s no greater pleasure than sharing beloved books, but no crueler pain than losing them for good. Revive old-fashioned library circulation techniques for fun and book retention with Knock Knock’s Personal Library Kit. Old-fashioned library circulation techniques for fun and book retention! The kit’s self-adhesive pockets, checkout cards, date stamper, and keepsake box will have bibliophiles everywhere channeling their inner librarian. Box Personal Library Kit includes 20 self-adhesive pockets and checkout cards, date stamp, inkpad, and pencil. Look for the Personal Library Kit Refill.

#8 Invisible Book Shelf

This is the coolest thing EVER! I absolutely love this idea, and it’s totally going on my own Wish List! My husband and I have thousands of books collectively, and it’s always been a challenge to display them in an interesting way. This is brilliant.

The actual shelf is hidden in the back of the bottom book, so the books look like they’re floating on the wall!

PLUS, proceeds from the sale go to the Pratt Institute of Art & Design.


#7 6-Pocket Bedside Book Caddy

I wasted no time getting this baby on my Wish List! My bedside table has a tendency to breed books. There will be one, then two, then six. Plus my Kindle. Plus the remotes and crocheting and glasses and more. This handy bedside book caddy will help keep that tabletop clear of clutter while having everything you need within reach, yet out of the way. Perfect.

#6 Reading Glasses Lighted (LED)

I already got a pair of these for Yule this year. This must be the single-most brilliant invention EVER! When I first saw my mother using these, I set out on my search, but they’re difficult to find. Until now. Thank you Amazon!

So often the book light I’ve used is too bright and glares on the page or not bright enough. I’ve also had trouble keeping the thing on the book without it ruining the pages, and then you must readjust it whenever you turn the page. These glasses are perfect for reading physical books or your Kindle (unless, of course, you get the new and wondrous Kindle Paperwhite, below). I also use them for crocheting, as it focuses the light right on my work, so the light isn’t glaring in my eyes.

Hands down, this is the best gift for your favorite book-lover. They come in various magnification levels.

#5 Ex Libris Bookplates

I used to love these things when I was in college and fancied myself a classical scholar. I wanted every one of my books to have its very own elegant bookplate. Several of my books still have them. This is another great way to ensure you get your books returned to you!

One of the reviews state how some of the bookplates in this kit have quotes from Longfellow and C. S. Lewis, among others. They are not flimsy, but rather made on quality cardstock.

#4 Nap Massaging Bed Rest

I think I would read much, much more with this beauty. With a place for your book, coffee, remote, and even an overhead book light, I’d never get out of bed. On top of all that, there is a built-in massager! I’d read read read the entire day away, getting up only to refill my coffee.

WANT!!!

#3 Kindle Paper White

I’ve been a fan of the Kindle since it came out five years ago. I still use my Kindle 2 to read, and I’ve read more since getting an eReader than ever before. Being able to take several books with you, synch on several devices, read hands-free, adjust type size to your comfort, and the ability to download books on the fly, the Kindle is the way to go. Now with the Kindle Paperwhite, readers have the best of both worlds: the eInk technology that makes the screen look like you’re actually reading a paper book AND a thin layer of light that SHINES DOWN on the words rather than up into your eyes, like the all other lit digital eReaders and devices. By shining the light down, it’s like a built-in book light, not like reading on a computer screen where the light is shining into you eyes, stressing them and causing them to tire more easily.

#2 Amazon Prime

By gifting them Amazon Prime your favorite reader will never be without a book to read. Prime members can borrow thousands upon thousands of Kindle books for FREE for two weeks, plus they get thousands of streaming Amazon Videos for free as well as free two-day shipping. Well worth the $79/year, which comes out to less than your monthly Netflix subscription.

Get Amazon Prime, and you can read several of my books for FREE, including Rowan of the Wood, Power of the Zephyr, and Publishing & Marketing Realities for the Emerging Author. PLUS, you can read my alter-ego’s books Avalon Revisited and The Zombies of Mesmer for FREE, too!

Even better, you can start with a FREE 30-Day TRIAL!

#1 The Rowan of the Wood Fantasy Series, author signed.

Of course. :)

But, seriously, author-signed books are always, always, always a great gift for readers.

Throughout this week, you can buy the Yuletide 4-Book Package, which includes all four Rowan of the Wood books, author-signed and dedicated to your favorite reader, tied in a beautiful ribbon, and adorned with a handmade, calligraphy gift tag, and have it shipped directly to your door for only $60, including priority shipping! That’s a savings of over $15, so it’s like you’re getting one of the books for FREE!

xmas_books

BUY NOW via PayPal & Credit Card payments

Or, get them directly from Amazon, or wherever books are sold, if you prefer.

****BONUS GIFT IDEA****

Amazon Gift Cards are always a great gift for readers. Then they can get the books they want when they want. Join me tomorrow at Bitten by Books to try to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card, or just go here to buy one yourself. There are loads of great designs to choose from.

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Whew! You’ve got some shopping to do!

But before that, for your listening and reading pleasure, please enjoy Chapter 1 of Witch on the Water, Book 2 via Podcast, followed by an excerpt from Book 3: Fire of the Fey.

WITCH ON THE WATER – CHAPTER 1 Podcast

Excerpt from Fire of the Fey:

“Um. Uncle Marlin?” Cullen began as he entered the library. He shuffled his feet along the dark hardwood floor, letting his eyes find patterns in the wood grain. He wasn’t sure how to put all this, so he took his time. It did all sound rather insane, but if anyone would understand, it would be Moody, as Uncle Moody was the embodiment of strange.

“Yes, my boy. What can I do for you?”

Moody was sitting in an easy chair with his feet up. He
certainly knew how to enjoy the good life! He had a book in one had and a drink in the other. Scotch on the rocks. His favorite. After all those years on the streets, he deserved it.

“Um,” Cullen stammered. He looked down as his feet again and traced his toes around a knot in the wood.

“Well,” Moody said, lowering his book. “Come, come now. Let’s have it. Better out than in, as they say.”

“Um,” Cullen said again. “I found something online. It’s really, really weird though, and I just dismissed it at first, but there have been several tweets about it and updates on Facebook, too.” Cullen paused. “Even Jack said so.” It was really rather crazy, but so was sharing your body with a wizard and having an Uncle older than the oldest redwood in Fortuna. It was all relative. Right?

Moody laid the open book on his belly to save his place and waited patiently. He took a sip of his scotch before folding his hands over his book.

“At first, I thought it might be Aidan. You know, the fires.”

“Yes,” Moody said expectantly.

“Not on purpose, of course,” Cullen added, “but she said something about the smoke in the woods during her last walk, and it made me even more suspicious.” Cullen paused again. It really wasn’t all that crazy, right? Plus Jack had said so, too.

Moody raised his eyebrows, probably wondering if he’d have to live another thousand years for Cullen to get to his point. He closed a bookmark in the book and set it on the table next to his drink, then sat up in his chair and leaned toward Cullen, giving him his undivided attention.

“Um,” Cullen said again. “I think it’s maybe a, um, a dragon.”

Cullen emotionally braced himself for Moody to laugh or scold him for wasting his time or something, but he didn’t do either. He just relaxed back in his easy chair and rubbed the whiskers on his chin.

“A dragon, huh?” he said to himself. “Possible, I suppose, but dragons have been extinct for centuries.” Moody’s brows furrowed as he thought deeper about it. “At least on this side of the barrier,” he added quietly. Although his eyes were fixed on Cullen, their focus went past him and straight into the past or perhaps into the Otherworld itself.

Now it was Cullen’s turn to wait. He looked around the sumptuous library with its floor-to-ceiling books. He really did love it here. It was like a dream come true. Summer vacation beckoned because he planned to hardly leave this library. He would sit and read all day, into the evening. Perhaps go for a walk in the woods at dusk, just as it was cooling down, and then come back to read until bedtime. He pictured himself going through book after book and reading this entire collection by the time school started up again in the fall. Perhaps even twice.

“Tell me more,” Moody said at last, pulling Cullen out of his daydream.

“Well, like I said, at first I thought it was just silliness. You know, gamers and the like doing online role playing and
whatnot. But then I started thinking about Rowan and you and Fiana and all the other strange things over the past few months, and I thought it might be possible. Then April and I went to visit this guy in the hospital. Jack. The police think he’s the arsonist, but Jack said that it was a dragon. That’s what burned him. The police, of course, think he’s crazy, but it could be true. Right? But now you say they’re extinct, so maybe he is crazy.”

“Extinct. Yes. In this reality anyway,” Moody said.

“That’s right!” Cullen exclaimed. “I saw a dragon when I was in the Otherworld with Rowan. Oh, he was so beautiful! Huge and wonderful, flying through the air!” Cullen’s eyes sparkled as he remembered the dragon and all the wondrous things he had seen in the Otherworld. If a dragon was here, perhaps fairies and centaurs were as well. Perhaps there really was magic around every corner if you just knew where to look.

It must’ve been the thoughts of the Otherworld that stirred Rowan awake. Things had been so quiet of late in there during the day, Cullen was getting used to hearing only his own thoughts again. Now that Rowan went out at night while Cullen slept, the wizard had taken to sleeping during the day, so Cullen had his mind mostly to himself again. They had found a way to coexist in relative peace. But now Rowan stirred.

“You speak of the Otherworld?” Rowan said inside Cullen’s head, pulling Cullen out of his Otherworld daydream.

Yes. I was remembering the dragon there, and Moody and I were just talking about all the fires in the forest. Have you seen anything while you were out? Cullen thought to Rowan.

“Talking to Rowan,” Cullen said aloud to Moody who had taken to staring at Cullen.

“Ah. Of course. I should know by now that’s what’s happening when you get so still and quiet like that. What does Rowan have to say about it?” Moody responded.

“Nothing yet,” Cullen answered, and then asked Rowan again, Have you seen anything?

“I have seen evidence of the fires. I have put out a few myself at night, but with all the rain, it is normally taken care of naturally. The forest is charred, mostly. No real damage done.”

“Tell that to Jack,” Cullen said, then relayed the rest to Moody, “He says that he’s seen charring and put out a few, but he didn’t mention a dragon.”

“Dragon!” Rowan said. “You think it might be a dragon?”

We were just discussing that, Cullen thought.

“He can hear me, yes?” Moody asked.

“Yes,” Rowan answered.

“Yes,” Cullen relayed.

“Green man, dragons did exist in your time, but they do not exist on this plane any more. The last known dragon of any species died centuries ago. If it is indeed a dragon causing the fires, I fear it might have come through our veil,” Moody said to Rowan via Cullen.

Cullen didn’t like being talked through too much as it made him feel as if he was just in the way.

“How could he come through the veil when it took all of yours and Rowan’s power just to open it?” Cullen asked. “We haven’t had any sabbats to weaken the veil since then.” He was determined to remain part of the conversation.

“Good question, Cullen,” Rowan said.

“Thanks,” Cullen said out loud.

“For what?” Moody asked.

“I was talking to Rowan,” he said, then repeated Rowan’s comment.

“Oh. That is a good question, Cullen,” Moody said.

“Thanks,” Cullen laughed at this comedy of errors. “Well, how could it have come through? Are they that powerful on their own?”

“Oh yes, my dear boy. Dragons are very magical creatures, but I can’t imagine that one would want to come through into this dimension,” Moody observed.

Rowan made a sound inside Cullen’s head indicating he agreed, but before Rowan could say anything else, Aidan came into the library.

Both Cullen and Moody turned to her as she entered, and she stiffened. “What’s up?” she asked.

“Talking about the fires,” Cullen answered feeling now that he no longer had to hide the subject from her.

“Look,” Aidan said all defensively. “I know you both think it’s me. I see the way you’ve been looking at me and tiptoeing around the subject, but it’s not me! I swear!”

“We believe you, girl,” Moody said. “Cullen thinks it might be a dragon. He says there have been sightings.”

“A dragon? Cool!” Aidan said, relaxing. She came over and sat on the arm of Moody’s easy chair. “Who has seen a dragon?”

“This guy in the hospital,” Cullen said. “I’ve also seen tweets about it and such.”

“You’re believing tweets?” Aidan ribbed him.

“What’s a tweet?” Moody asked.

“Honestly, Cullen,” Aidan continued. “Don’t you know that most people are crazy? I mean, even crazier than we are!”

“I know, but stranger things and all,” Cullen answered and tilted his head to indicate Moody, then pointed to his own head to remind her that he was possessed by a wizard. “Not to mention your own special ability.”

“You’ve got a point,” she said.

“What’s a tweet?” Moody repeated.

“It’s a social networking internet thing. I’ll explain later,” Aidan told him.

“It is our fault,” Rowan said. Again, the all-too-familiar sense of Rowan’s guilt and depression bore down on Cullen’s mind.

“He says it’s his fault,” Cullen said, suddenly feeling very tired. “Or, rather, our fault.”

“Of course!” Moody exclaimed. “We forced the veil open when it should not have been opened. It was not natural. It was not respectful of, well, anything natural and good. We did so for our own purposes.”

Now the guilt wasn’t coming just from Rowan. Cullen’s own feelings of responsibility welled up and made him a little
nauseous. “It’s because of me,” he said. “You did that because of me wanting Rowan out. Now look what has happened.”

“No, Cullen. Don’t blame yourself. There is no blame, just a situation we have to deal with. A dragon likely came through the veil because it didn’t close properly. Perhaps it’s still not closed! We must deal with this now!” Moody exclaimed.

“Are you sure it’s a dragon?” Aidan asked. “I mean, I understand stranger things and all that, but might there also be a more normal explanation, like a pyromaniac?”

“I suppose it is possible,” Moody admitted. “Let us see. Cullen, see that book over there? The one that kinda stands out on the top shelf? Yes, that’s the one,” Moody said as Cullen pointed to a large, golden tome. “Bring that to me, would you?”

The library featured a wooden ladder on a sliding track that enabled it to be moved along the shelves. Cullen grabbed it and maneuvered it over to the book in question. He scaled the
ladder and grabbed the large book. Rowan swelled in his mind the instant he touched the book. It was like he got ten times bigger just as Cullen touched the book.

“Woah,” Cullen said aloud.

“Yes,” Moody said. “Feel the magic? It is a very special book. Bring it here.”

“Rowan sure can feel it,” Cullen mumbled as he climbed down the ladder. As soon as he handed the book over to Marlin, the pressure in his head began to subside. “Where did you get that book?”

“I have my ways, dear boy. Yes! Magic and all that. So,” Moody said, “let us see what we can discover.”

Moody didn’t open the book but rather held it in one hand and held the other over it, suspended in the air a few inches above its cover. He closed his eyes and started muttering under his breath. First, the book started to glow, and then Moody started to glow! Aidan, who was still sitting on the arm of Moody’s easy chair, stood up rather quickly and moved away. Her arm burst into flame.

“Damn it,” she cursed, shaking her arm in the air, which just made the fire grow brighter.

Cullen felt as if he should’ve done something, but as usual, he didn’t. He just stood there watching through wide eyes.

“Relax. Concentrate,” Moody said to her without being distracted from his task or even opening his eyes. “Just concentrate. We’ve practiced this.”

Aidan scowled at him, but did as he asked. The fire climbed up her arm, but Cullen noticed that nothing was burning. It was as if the flame wasn’t even touching her, rather she had a halo around her, and the flame came from that. Then, as suddenly as it had begun, the fire subsided. She was without a blister. Not even her clothes were singed.

Amazing. He’d seen it before, but only when she threw the fire, never on her.

Truly amazing.

“Okay,” said Moody, letting the book drop to the end table next to his chair. “That should do it.”

“Did you really read that without opening it?” asked Cullen.

“No indeed, my dear boy. It is not that kind of book. It is in fact merely an aid to perception.”

“Like what Mr. Ferguson is trying to do for April?” Aidan asked with interest.

“Similar, I suppose,” conceded Moody. “To be completely frank, I really don’t understand how his machines work. But it is similar to the runes I gave April, only much more powerful. With its aid, I have just determined that there is indeed a flaw in the veil nearby. I can only assume it’s where we forced a way through.”

“So then it probably is a dragon from the Otherworld,” Cullen declared.

“In all probability. The poor thing must be lost and frightened. We must effect a rescue. Summon our forces and call out a search party. Can you get Madeline and April to meet us in about an hour? Have April bring her runes.”

“April, maybe, but Maddy is still grounded.”

“Still? But it has been months!”

“I know,” Cullen said.

“We must do something about that. After all, we couldn’t have succeed on the island without her! No sir!”

“What can you do?” Cullen asked.

“I have my ways. That’s right!” Moody waved his hand in a circle. Cullen almost expected purple stars to trail behind like magical tracers, but there were no stars or purple anything. Moody put his thumbs through his suspenders and looked very pleased with himself.

“What did you do?”

“I think your friend’s mother has had a sudden change of heart.”

CMRBlogTour2012

Follow the rest of my 2012 Blog Tour via this link!

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About the Author:

Christine Rose is the award-winning author of the Rowan of the Wood YA fantasy series. Her Amazon.com bestselling book Publishing and Marketing Realities for the Emerging Author helps writers feel successful by educating them about the publishing industry and marketing their book.

Christine writes, blogs, and podcasts, not only on her own blog, but also under the pen name Olivia (O. M.) Grey. You can find out about this persona and her books at Caught in the Cogs.

She needs copious amounts of dark chocolate, frothy mochas, and loving attention.

Connect with Christine: email * twitter * facebook * fan page
Connect with Olivia: email * twitter * facebook * fan page