Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

2012 Holiday Gift Guide

I did my holiday gift guide in November of last year, but I heard that many people start shopping in October.  Sarah and I did our Holiday Book Buying Guide in the last podcast and thus I thought I would blog about the 2013 Holiday Gift Guide today. You have 64 days until Christmas. *throws confetti*

The other day I was messing around with cables in a drawer that we use as a charging station.  I realized that everything we own these days from the camera to the phone to the tablets are charged using a USB cable.  I realized that I should have a USB power strip instead of a regular power strip and just throw all those unwieldy wall adapters in a bin downstairs.   Unfortunately I was not able to find one that serves as a stand alone. All the hubs I searched required the unit to be attached to a wall charger AND a computer.

If anyone knows of a standalone USB hub that can deliver up to 2Amps per USB without being attached to a computer, let me know!

EReading device.

Kindle Paperwhite

$119.  I’m a big fan of the Kindle Paperwhite. I think it is an e ink reader done right.  At $119, the ad supported device offers a great bargain for the readers in your life.  While I think you are okay going with the Nook Glow, Amazon almost always offers better pricing and more selection.

I’ve bought two of them as presents this year.

Extra charger.

The extra charger is exactly the right kind of gift.  It’s something that your loved one might not by herself but would love to have.  In fact, the right device may be a device charger.  These two are travel chargers and are designed to charge more than one device.  Remember that the Nook Tablet requires a special longer Micro USB tip that seems only to be able to purchased at

CallPod Chargepod

CallPod Chargepod

$59.95.  I bought this as a gift for a person last year because it allowed the user to choose the tips. You want to be careful when shopping around for this because some kits come with six random tips. The one you buy directly from Callpod comes with Micro USB, Mini USB and an iPhone/iPod charger with a voucher to get three additional tips.
AViiQ Portable Charging Station

AViiQ Portable Charging Station

$59.99.  This is a self contained unit that can charge up to four devices in one.  It comes with a wall adapter and a retractable USB cord.  None of the other USB cords are included and some of the reviews were unhappy that it was hard to control the cables in the pockets.  AViiQ also sells ones with battery packs for truly portable charging.

Portable Chargers.

I lust after portable chargers particularly because they’ve become so small and the prices have come down. I once bought a HyperShop charger for my computer but it died after about a year. I was highly disappointed so obviously I don’t recommend spending the $200+ on one of those. But these smaller, portable and less expensive portable chargers interest me.

PowerGen Mobile Juice Pack 5200mAh

PowerGen Mobile Juice Pack 5200mAh

$29.99.  This portable charger will charge most anything via USB including the iPhone and the iPad 2 (with original cable), Nook, PSP. It provides one and a half full charges for the iPhone. It comes with 2 extention cables and 7 connectors. 
Duracell Powerhouse USB Charger

Duracell Powerhouse USB Charger

$23.99. This Duracell USB charger will charge up to two USB compatible devices using the devices USB cord or a device charged by a mini USB port (which is attached to the unit).  This device can be charged by simply plugging it into a USB wall charger or a laptop.  It provides about a single extra charge for the iPhone.  It is not powerful enough for the IPad.
Anker® SlimTalk 3200mAh Backup

Anker® SlimTalk 3200mAh Backup

$22.99.  This device has a micro USB charging plug attached so you can charge your Kindle along with your Bluetooth headset, your iPhone. If you want one that works with the iPad, you’ll need to get the Anker® Astro2 Dual USB Output 8400mAh for $43.00.  It does not come with a wall adapter for charging the device itself although it does contain the cable for charging.
 Innergie 2.1 Amp Pocket Cell

Innergie 2.1 Amp Pocket Cell

$74.99.  This one is tiny but you pay a much higher price. It includes a 3 in 1 USB cable with mini, micro USB and an Apple 30 pin connector.  It can charge nearly everything including your iPad and Kindle and an eink Nook. 
Mophie PowerStation

Mophie PowerStation

$79.95.  There are devices in this Mophie line that are less expensive but with less power.  This device will charge an iPad as well as any other lesser powered device via USB.  One thing, however, is that you can use but not charge the device at the same time.
Minty Boost Kit
$19.99. Or you can make your own travel charger with this kit and a couple of AA batteries.  This works with even the new iPhones.  Make sure you visit the site to see if you are ordering the right kit.

Additional cords

Innergie Magic Cable 3-in-1

Innergie Magic Cable 3-in-1

$19.99.  This cable is short and that might be a drawback, but I agree with one of the reviewers that said that the shortness of the cable is a feature not a bug.  The genius of this device is that all the tips are connected and flip out of the way so there is no danger of losing an important tip.
AViiQ Quick Change 3 in 1

AViiQ Quick Change 3 in 1

$29.99. This USB short cable is an all-in-one Mini USB cable, Micro USB cable, and 30-pin Apple iPhone dock connector. It measures only 5.5 inches long and the end spins around to give you access to each connecter.  As with the previous item, the short cord is meant to be a feature.
USB Extension Cord
$5.99. Still think the above adapters are defective because they are too short?  The solution is a USB extension cord.  This Amazon Basic is nearly 10  extra feet of cord. 




$18-$20.  I read about this…I can’t remember where. Maybe Lifehacker.  But after I read about it, watched a video, I had to order some.  The best place to buy it isn’t Amazon but Daily Grommet.  This is a great fix it product. Essentially it is moldable rubber that drys to a flexible silicon.  Next time your electronics need a little TLC, reach for Sugru instead of the duct tape.

Mini Magnetic Bag Light.

Mini Bag Light

Mini Bag Light

$12.  I loved this little flashlight that hooks onto the handles of your handbag and lights up the interior.  There are things hidden in the dark corners of my bags that need to be exposed by this.

Minimergency Kits from Pinch Provisions.

Pinch Provisions

Pinch Provisions

Pinch Provisions sell these tiny little kits that come with 13-25 different items that you may need in, well, a pinch.  There are sets for men (comes with shaving lotion and razor) and women (with nail polish and polish remover) and moms (tiny deck of playing cards and tiny crayons).  They also offer Bridal Kits and Pregnancy Kits.

MinMergency Kit

Minimergency Kit


Bheestie Bag.

Bheestie Bag

Bheestie Bag

$14.95 and up.  Author Shannon Stacey is a big camper.  If you haven’t read her books just know that she has a love for All Terrain Vehicles and camping.  When I saw this product, I immediately thought of her.  But then this would be great for any one who is clumsy (me).  The bag is made of molecular beads that draw out moisture from an electronic device and then absorb the water.  While the bags run from $17-$70, they could really save you money if your device stops working after being doused.

Unlike rice or silica gel, the BHEESTIE Molecular Beads (TM) continue to adsorb water beyond equilibrium humidity.  Silica gel or rice that has absorbed moisture will actually release water into a dry atmosphere.  BHEESTIE Molecular Beads (TM) are designed to keep the water molecules trapped within and can actually be used to dry out saturated silica gel and dehumidify rice. (Although our legal team states you shouldn’t do this for your bento leftovers or any rice meant for food consumption.)


Last year I dug through Etsy listings to find some unique cases for the ereaders in your life.  I liked the ones this year that had an extra pocket for the charge cords and other paraphernalia.

iPad only

This one has an extra pocket and a slide through pocket for a newspaper.  “It integrates a  double pocket that can host your iPad, agenda, smartphone and also your newspaper; it’s closed by a black elastic cord with two wonderful buttons. It is made with italian wool high quality felt (3 mm)”
whimsical double pocket
One pocket not enough?  Then this with the whimsical newspaper print might be more to your liking as it has two gusseted front pockets.
This adorable one has a loop for carrying.  You can even customize it to get a keychain ring and other accessories.  The Etsy crafter will make this in whatever size you need from the nook to the Kindle Fire to the iPad.

Touchscreen Gloves

Everything is a touch screen these days from your phone to your ereader, but it is cold outside.  Hence the need for touchscreen gloves.  I purchased a non fancy pair at Costco for $14? Maybe for your loved ones, you might be interested in one of the following:

A Gloves

A Gloves

$19.99.  (A couple dollars cheaper at Amazon) Agloves are unique because the entire glove simulates a bare hand. Most tech compatible gloves have finger tips for just the thumb and index.

Text, type, swipe and scroll just like you would with your bare hand. Agloves Original’s seamless knit stretches around your fingers for greater comfort and the most dexterous touch. Touch gloves shouldn’t make typos. These gloves work like your bare hand.

ITap Gloves

$20.  ITap gloves are made out a special yarn and the thumb, index and middle fingers can operate the devices.  The drawback is that these come in only black and gray.

Swype Gloves

$29.99.  Like the AGloves, all ten fingers can operate the touchscreen.  Swype Gloves come in different colors. The wool ones are made from Australian Wool and they offer a sport style made of acrylic.

Happy Holiday Shopping folks.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Alicia
    Oct 21, 2012 @ 04:51:30

    Thanks for this. I think I definitely need Bheestie Bags in my life.

    Also, I think the touchscreen gloves at Target are $9.99.

  2. Jo
    Oct 21, 2012 @ 05:56:26

    Most modern TVs have USB ports, so that’s another option for charging.

  3. Danielle D
    Oct 21, 2012 @ 06:07:22

    Thank you for all the ideas, I have the Mophie Juice iPhone 4 case and I love it. I’m thinking of the PowerGen Mobile Juice Pack 5200mAh for my iPad.

    I have the texting gloves that I bought at Macy’s last year, not a fan of them.

  4. carmen webster buxton
    Oct 21, 2012 @ 10:50:48

    A light for your purse! Yes! Why did no one think of this before? I have tried buying a different color wallet and checkbook and card case but still, everything gets lost in the bottomless maw that is my purse! Now if only Otterbox made Android phone cases in different colors! Perfect stocking stuffer, too!

  5. farmwifetwo
    Oct 21, 2012 @ 11:17:30

    You mentioned the UBS charger. What are you looking for? Just a place to charge your device or charge and access the internet at the same time? The first I have simply a multi-plug I got from Staples. At one end – off the end, right angles to the wall – I have 2 usb ports and the long section – parallel to the wall – I have 3, 3 prong plug jacks.

  6. MaryK
    Nov 12, 2012 @ 15:20:00

    I bought two items from this list. One each for my hard to buy for dad and brother. Feel free to recommend more stuff!

%d bloggers like this: