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Brown Paper Package Wrapped Up with String

Exchanging gifts has been going on for centuries, and it's especially joyful for both the giver and getter when the stars align and the perfect present presents itself.

I’m sure we each have our favorite winter holiday gift moments. For me, it will always be hard to top the surprise and unbridled excitement that I felt and still remember to this day after Santa slipped in and out of my house on Christmas Eve when I was 6 years old and left me a shiny new blue bicycle. I also still remember how proud and sure of myself I felt as a little girl when I marched myself into a department store every year with a dollar bill tightly clutched in my hand to buy a pair of nylon stockings for my mother for Christmas.

Somehow gift-giving now seems far less certain. What will so-and-so really like that is in my budget? How is it I don’t know my sisters’ favorite colors? Why are the toys my grandson wants made of cheap plastic or require batteries? Is it better to stick with the practical (a conventional digital kitchen timer) or something a bit more fun (an old-fashioned wind-up version that plays either Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca or Beethoven’s Für Elise when time's up)? Are gift cards or cash tacky or a sure and welcome thing?

Lately I’m drawn to giving experiences v. things, or if it’s a thing, I want it to be something special or useful or beautiful or unusual or unexpected. Will my gift create a wonderful memory, prompt a smile, touch a heart string, or catch the recipient by surprise in a good way? It’s not so much about the “thing” anymore as it is the emotion I want someone to feel when they receive it: delight, wonder, awe, love, thrill, satisfaction, joy.

People have told me that my book The Gentleman Jack Effect sparks positive reactions, it’s easy to read, it’s informative, it connects us to kindred spirts around the world, and it inspires. I think it’s an ideal gift for someone who enjoys a good read or loves Gentleman Jack or Anne Lister or lesbians or women’s history or stories about amazing people or maybe just needs a little reminder and encouragement that she, too, can do anything she sets her mind to do.

Here are three gift packages you might like to put your name on – to give or receive. Offers are good through December 31, 2021 or while supplies last.

#1 - Print Version (US shipping addresses only)

Order a copy of The Gentleman Jack Effect directly from me, and I’ll sign it, personalize it if you like, and include two Have Some Courage, Go On Fearlessly rainbow wristbands in your brown paper package tied up with string. The holiday package price is $25 for the signed book, two wristbands, and priority shipping.

#2 - E-Book Version

Order the electronic version of The Gentleman Jack Effect from me and I’ll mail you a link to download the version right for your device, a signed or personalized book marker, and two Have Some Courage, Go On Fearlessly rainbow wristbands. The holiday e-book package price is $10, £10, or €10 and includes first class domestic or international postage.

#3 - Stocking Stuffer

Let’s keep it simple – how about a personalized bookmark to go with the book you already have (or can buy online) and two Have Some Courage, Go On Fearlessly rainbow wristbands? The holiday wristband package price is $7, £7, or €7 and includes first class domestic or international postage.

About the Wristbands

Each wristband has two messages: Have Some Courage and Go On Fearlessly, and each comes individually wrapped.

How to Order

Of course, I planned to set up a store on my website to take orders and accept credit card payments, and I’ll spare you all of my challenges and excuses why it didn’t happen. So here is how ordering works this year if you're in the US or live elsewhere.

1) Select what you want to order and email your order details to me at

Tell me which package(s) you’d like me to send to you, the currency you’ll be using for payment (US dollars, pounds, or euros), if you’d like for me to personalize it (for you or someone else) and include your mailing address or the recipient’s mailing address if you want me to send your order to someone other than you.

NOTE FOR AMERICANS: If you’re in the US, you can always call me at 512-461-0623 and I can take your order by phone. (Please don't hesitate to leave your name and callback number if I don't answer — there are so many spam calls these days that I don't always pick up if I don't recognize caller's number.)

2) Use the link in the invoice I’ll promptly email you to make your payment (US or international).

I’m using Wise, a simple and free online money transfer program to accept payments. Once you place your order, I’ll generate an invoice with the information you need for transferring funds from your bank. Wise assures me it’s secure, simple, easy, and fast.

NOTE FOR AMERICANS: If you’re in the US and want to pay by credit card, email me your phone number and a note with your order so I can call you and take down your credit card details over the phone. My apologies to international friends: at this time I can only accept credit cards for purchases made in US dollars.

3) Be on the look-out for your order.

I’ll wrap up your special package right away, drop it in the mail, and send you an email to let you know it’s on the way. From warnings floating around, shipping delays are expected all over the place so the earlier you order, the better.

As for me, I’m working on creating several special gift memories this year. In January, I’ll let you know if I succeeded—and you can let me know if my book entertained, informed, or touched your heart or the heart of someone you care about.

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