In my mailbox, I found Shade. This new YA novel by Jeri Smith Ready promises romance, ghosts, and mystery. Something in the world has changed, called The Shift, and anyone born after can see and hear ghosts. The main character, Aura, loses her boyfriend (in life, but she can still see and hear his purple spirit) and meets a new, living guy who comforts her. Sounds like quite a triangle.

I can’t wait to read it.

I was even more astonished to see it was signed to me in the front cover. Wow, what a lovely gift from a friend. Surprise gifts like this leave me a little speechless. I love giving gifts like that, but I never know what to say in return. “Thank you” doesn’t seem to cut it.

And it wasn’t for a specific holiday, like my birthday. It was just out of the blue.

I suppose now I should begin plotting how to surprise gift her back in such a spectacular way. Maybe I’ll send it onward to someone else. It would definitely be less expected. Perhaps both?

Gift-giving is so difficult to capture the essence of, sometimes. There’s definitely an art to it.

When was the last time you received a completely unexpected gift that made you smile? When was the last time you gave a gift that delighted the recipient?