RSS Feed

Tag Archives: books

Can’t Thank Our Clients Enough!

Posted on

We are honored to have been voted one of  five Local Favorite Retailers in the City of Surprise and want to thank our shoppers and shippers for having faith in us and returning time and time again to purchase our products, use our services and to share life’s ups and downs in a friendly environment.  In our mind, that’s what being a local gift shop and post office is all about.

We accept this honor humbly along with what we both hope for and fear will be increased scrutiny and raised expectations.  Gifts To Go has intentionally developed slowly so as to get to know our patrons and to evaluate each step toward our ultimate goal of offering a comfortable, convenient gathering spot where life’s joys and sorrows are embraced within the context of local retail establishment.  So, while we’re proud today we’re also buckling down for the next steps along the development.  Thank you for your recognition and please continue to tell when we’re putting smiles on faces and if we should misstep along the way.






Press Release: Small Business Saturday Book Fest & Toy Drive Launch

Posted on

SURPRISE, Arizona (November 11,2014) Gifts To Go, located on the Bell Mar Plaza, announces a Small Business Saturday Book Fest and the launch of their annual toy drive to benefit the El Mirage Firefighter Charities on Saturday, November 29, 2014.

The Book Fest features discussions and autograph sessions with local authors, raffles and discounts. “Reading is fun,” says shop owner Tammy Fraser, “and it is going to be a fun day for everyone. We have great authors scheduled and will offer out-of-the-ordinary specials including discounts hidden inside books” she shared.

John L Ketchum, author of the popular John Bodie Detective Series (Vengeance in Vallejo, Karaoke Killer and Where’s the I in I and J’s?) and Aubrey Finley Patriot Series (2020 Patriots Revenge and soon to be released, 2021 The Search) will discuss his nine published novels ($15.00), along with his military and investigative careers from 9am to 11am. Mr. Ketchum, a retired Army Lt. Colonel and recipient of prestigious military awards including two Purple Hearts, also coordinates three writers groups and is an active participant in others.

During the 10am to noon time period, Laura C Browne will be available. Readers throughout the country may recognize Ms. Browne for her work as a business coach, corporate trainer, speaker and non-fiction author helping others achieve greater career success. She will focus on Annie Clark and the Pearls of Wisdom ($8.95), her delightful novel for girls ages 9-13 which has been praised by Publishers Weekly. Ms. Clark will donate a personalized copy of the book to the winner of a raffle held on November 29. The free copy will substitute a pre-teen’s first and last names in the role of Annie Clark in the title and throughout the novel. Additional personalized copies can be purchased for $49.95 and must be ordered in advance. Raffle tickets can be obtained by visiting Gifts To Go now through the Book Fest.

Multi-award winning time travel writer Ann Goldfarb will visit from noon to 2pm. Ms. Goldfarb, a former teacher, staff developer and school principal, is the author of seven mysteries for the teen to adult audience. Her books, including the recent The Time Borrowers ($11.95 to $12.95) are rich with science and history and include valuable study guides making them great selections for home and classroom reading.

Romance writer, Brenda Whiteside, will share the story behind the story of her six romance stories ($13.95 – $16.95) from 1pm to 4pm. In addition to novels Ms. Whiteside’s pens a frequent blog for her fans. Her works include Sleeping with the Lights On, Amanda in the Summer, The Morning After, Honey on White Bread and an anthology of short stories, “Warm Christmas Wishes”.

From 3pm to 5pm, Rev. Susan Henley, will share her spiritual expertise and books, Sara Beyond the Veil, A Spiritual Look at Dementia ($12.99) and Because of Sean, The Story of a Mother’s Courage ($13.99). Rev. Sue is an ordained Spiritual Peace Minister, counselor and Reiki Master. She can be found around the valley performing weddings, baptisms, funerals and helping her clients achieve a state of well-being.

The El Mirage Firefighter Charities have again partnered with Barnaby Street Shoppes, the retail incubator where Gifts To Go and the USPS Contract Postal Unit is located, to collect donations of new, unwrapped toys and books for local children’s holiday celebrations. Gifts To Go will provide an entry ticket to Laura C Browne’s raffle of a free, personalized copy of Annie Clark and the Pearls of Wisdom to persons who bring in toys and books for the Firefighter Charities.

Barnaby Street Shoppes and Gifts To Go/USPS Contract Postal Unit are found next to the 5 & Diner Delux at 11340 W Bell Road, Suite 128, Surprise, AZ. They are normally open Monday – Saturday from 9am to 5pm but have added Sundays from 10am to 1pm on November 30 and Dec 7, 14 and 21. Please direct questions to Tammy at 602 -403-0646.


Can’t make it to our Small Business Saturday Book Fest?  No worries, we’re adding all these great reads to our website so you can browse and purchase online. And, as you know our USPS Contract Postal Unit will get your online purchases out to you the day your order is placed!

Press Release: New West Valley Writer’s Group Forming

Posted on

NEWS from Gifts To Go


SURPRISE, Arizona (May 19, 2014) West Valley residents and writers, John L Ketchum and Pauline Mounsey, are forming a new west valley writers group. The group’s purpose is to form a team to provide editing and constructive feedback on member’s written work.

In addition, the group will create an educational forum for members to share knowledge of all aspects of writing, publishing and selling.

“We’re looking to create a casual, informed group of writers who help each other navigate the process regardless of their experience”, said John L Ketchum. “We all bring individual expertise to a writers’ workshop,” Pauline Mounsey added, “and we all have something to share with others. I consider myself a facilitator, rather than an instructor, for helping participants share knowledge with each other.”

The writers group will meet twice a month on Saturday afternoon at Gifts To Go located on the Bell Mar Plaza at the intersection of Bell Road and Avenue of the Arts, Suite 128, Surprise, Arizona. Prior to each meeting, the members will meet for lunch at the 5&Diner Delux next door to Gifts To Go. The next meeting is Saturday, June 14.

Persons interested in finding out more should call John Ketchum at 623-466-6227 or Pauline Mounsey at 480-225 1585.

Fall 2013 Meet The Local Author Series In Full Swing

Posted on

SURPRISE, Arizona (October 17, 2013) Gifts To Go, located at the Bell Mar Plaza, announces their Fall 2013 Meet The Local Author series.  The free events, held mid-day on Mondays, Thursday and Saturdays, provide an opportunity for area writers and residents to interact in a relaxed, convenient setting.
“Our Fall series is always popular,” says owner Tammy Fraser, “because many people believe that the best gift is always a book.  And this season is even better with some a variety of  great returning authors and some that are brand new to us.”
The season kicks off with John L Ketchum on Saturday, October 29, 2013 and Rev Susan Henley on Saturday, October 26.  John Ketchum will be discussing his latest political thriller (2020 A Patriot’s Revenge) and Rev Henley will be sharing her Sara, Beyond the Veil A Spiritual Look at Dementia).  On Thursday, October 31, 2013, Oscar Case will join us with his western fictions.
Denis O’Rourke, who has written an adult thriller, appears on Saturday, November 2.  Saturday, November 9 brings both Gale Leach and Jerry Travis in to share their books for young readers.  Mickie von Boening,  will be available on Saturday, November 23 to share her Christian children’s book.   Ann Goldfarb and Susan Krueger will both visit on Monday, November 25 to discuss their novels for young readers and teens.  On Small Business Saturday, November 30, Emily Slonina, author of a guide to yoga for everyone,  will join returning authors Rev Susan Henley and Gale Leach.The December line up of authors focuses on kids’ books.   Conrad Storad,  Anita Elco and Katherine Stelmach will appear on Monday, December 9 from 2pm to 4pm.  Conrad Storad has a variety stories featuring  Sonoran Desert creatures and will read from the latest, Fang and Stinger.  Authors Elco and Stelmach will be talking about  hermit crab chapter book,  Who’s in That ShellOn Saturday, December 14, Fran Orenstein will be available to discuss three of her young adult books.  The season closes with another visit from Anita Elco and Katherine Stelmach on Saturday, December 21, 2013.

As additional authors  are scheduled the details, including titles and exact times, are available on Gifts To Go’s Facebook Events page.
Gifts To Go and the recently opened US Post Office operate inside the Barnaby Street Shoppes, adjacent to the 5 & Diner Delux at 11340 W Bell Road, Suite 128, Surprise, AZ and is open Monday – Saturday from 10am to 5pm.  For more information, including extended holiday and post office hours, please call 602 -403-0646. 

Children’s Books and CD’s…Perfect Together

Posted on


I believe all the children’s books we select have at least two commonalities: 1) all outstanding and 2) all written by locals.  But today I’m drawing your attention to two that share a new common feature.  One, GQ GQ. Where Are You? by Sharon I Ritt, is brand new and the other, Wasn’t That The Nicest Thing To Do? by Mickie Van Boening, we’ve offered since Christmas 2012.  

GQ GQ. Where Are You? , a story of Georgy an adventurous Gambel’s Quail and published by Five Star Publications, is our first to include a CD of the author singing the story line to the tune of “Frere Jacques”. Nothing can replace the treat of a family member reading a children’s book aloud but the inclusion of Ms Ritt’s voice on CD neatly tucked into the front cover of her book is extra special too.  And, the more a child hears the rhythm and cadence of language the easier speech and learning will be for them. 

Plus, GQ, GQ. Where Are You? is full of activities to enhance the child’s experience.  My favorite suggestion is to write an acrostic poem that describes Georgy’s adventures in the Sonoran Desert.  

Last Friday, Mickie Van Boening stopped in with an additional supply of Wasn’t That The Nicest Thing To Do? because we’ve nearly sold out of this wonderful story.  Ms. Van Boening’s book is a beautiful self published work. You may recall from last year’s book signing events that Mickie’s eyesight is poor and she recites her story to listeners with her beautiful lyrical voice.  It’s always a treat for me when Mickie visits but on Friday when she shared that she’s planning to add a CD recording of her telling the story, I was beyond pleased.  

Be assured when I receive copies of Mickie’s CD’s, I’ll be certain to let all know.  In the meantime, Wasn’t That The Nicest Thing To Do?  is a perfect Sunday school book or new baby book. 

GQ, GQ.  Where Are You? by Sharon I Ritt is available now for $14.95 and Wasn’t That The Nicest Thing To Do by Mickie Van Boening is available again for $9.95 both in store at 11340 W Bell Road Suite 128 Surprise Arizona or online at

It IS What The World Needs Now

Posted on

Available In Store or at

Available In Store or at

Part of Gifts To Go’s “local-ness” is reaching out to authors here in Arizona to provide them with a showcase for their books. I read (nearly) all and can speak to each of them as shoppers browse our racks. And sometimes, like now, I come across one that just has to be highlighted.

As I finished reading V.A. Boeholt’s Burton the Kind Scarecrow I’m reminded of Burt Bachrach and Hal David’s 1965 lyrics for “What The World Needs Now” (Is Love Sweet Love). So much of our collective culture has been transformed since 1965 that this book is a delight to be enjoyed by families, schools, church groups, clubs, neighbors and more. Burton, an affable scarecrow, demonstrates the meaning of true friendship and compassion for others.

If Boeholt had simply delivered a thoughtful, well written story about being kind it would be a solid accomplishment and a recommended read. But, the author does far more than that, she gives adults (parents, teachers, grandparents, caregivers) a wealth of tools for developing the story concepts as well as enhancement activities for learning more about history (of scarecrows, farming, agriculture), developing written and verbal skills and more. The illustrator of this charming book, Nathaniel P. Jensen, does a superb job of bringing Burton and friends to ‘life’ on the pages and provides many opportunities for art teachers and aspiring young artists.

I’m proud to stock this book in store and online as Burton the Kind Scarecrow is far more than just a great story; it is a treasure chest of compassion that the reading world simply needs now. And, fortunately for all of us looking for quality children’s literature, V.A. Boeholt, has released three other Burton books and plans on more! They will all be available with us.

Interview With Marilyn Skovgard – Our Meet The Local Author Guest on September 15, 2012

Posted on

Marilyn Skovgard’s newly released Household Matters A-Zis now in stock and available for browsing and/or purchase.  Come take a look before Saturday, September 15 when Marilyn will be on site to discuss National Preparedness Month and her thoughts on getting ready for the unexpected. 

Marilyn’s product isn’t so much  a book but rather the power and confidence to know you can help your family be ready for the stressful, unpredictable times in all our lives.  She gives her readers the ability to significantly reduce those stressful times when time and patience are both in short supply.

Check out Marilyn’s latest video here.