Category: News!

Uncle Percy’s Secret Society Secret Santa Gift Guide

Uncle Percy, here. Quartermaster extraordinaire. And I’m back to bring you this year’s Secret Society Secret Santa Gift Guide.

If you’re new to the world of The Lost Property Office and London’s hidden Elder Ministries, let me catch you up. There are four secret societies that serve the British Crown—the dragos of the Ministry of Dragons, the crumbs of the Ministry of Trackers, the toppers of the Ministry of Guilds, and the spooks of the Ministry of Secrets. No matter which of these secret societies fits your loved ones best, this little guide will give you a leg up in finding that special something to brighten their Christmas morning.

As always, our jolly journey begins with the Crumbs at the Ministry of Trackers.

Our apprentice clerks—who helped me build this list—have a particular love of puzzles and codes. This year, along with the usual themed underwear and spyglasses, they’ve asked that you stuff their stockings with a cryptex puzzle pod or anything from UGEARS, makers of functioning wooden puzzles.

And what about our fully fledged agents? Well, nothing says I am the master of my domain like having the ability to boss your whole house around—literally, the house. I’m talking smart home technology. Don’t tell Mrs. Hudson, but I had the Baker Street clerks work late to research this one. We’ve discovered three major competitors, but the unanimous choice is the Amazon Echo.  Now starting its third year, Echo is the most vetted and versatile of the smart home hubs.

echo
Amazon Echo $179.99
It is, however, a bit of a give a mouse a cookie scenario. The Echo hub pairs with other available tech packages to allow your favorite quartermaster to control the lights, doors, thermostat, and who-knows what else, all while ordering dinner, setting appointments, and a host of other activities. If you live in a smaller flat, the less expensive Echo Dot will suffice. In a larger house, adding Echo Dots to each floor will give you total control. Yes, Google has their own version, but it is far less vetted, and frankly, the clerks and I believe it to be a Ministry of Secrets plot.

 

Speaking of the spooks, what do you get for the spy who has everything?

More spy gear, of course!

Our Secret Society Secret Santa journey continues down the Thames to the Ministry of Secrets.

And here we have a bit of one-stop, online shopping.

Whether you’re talking spook spuds, spook sprites, or active spook agents, you’ll find what they want on the website of the International Spy Museum Store. For the younger spies, you might try the Ultimate Spy Kit or the Spy Girl Mission Kit, or build your own goodie bag from their expansive collection.

For agents in their prime, though, you’ll still find what you need: everything from wallet-size survival tools to lipstick power banks, to WiFi USB cuff links. Your imagination (and your bank account) really are the the limit. But beware. These are spooks we’re talking about, so don’t think they won’t turn your gifts around and use them against you.

That brings us to the toppers of the Ministry of Guilds, and this year’s guide for giving to guildsmen focuses on the Tinkers Guild.

The clerks and I have found the tinker gift that keeps on giving. Apprentice and journeyman tinkers alike will love a subscription to Tinker Crate from the makers of Kiwi Crate. Each month, a box will arrive with a different DIY project that produces something cool. Gavin, the ten year-old who waters the plants at my flat, demonstrated his latest Tinker Crate project for me. It’s top quality work. The guild fathers should take a sharp look at this boy (and this monthly crate service).

For the master tinkers, we have something a little more advanced. One tinker that I’m particularly fond of shared with me an automotive project he completed. This Sequential LED Kit, sold for $269.95 by the Mustang Project (not to be confused with a horse charity of the same name), offers a quick tinkering project and years of fun by modifying the break lights of a hot rod. Don’t fret. This gift idea is not mustang-specific. The website has plug and play projects for every tinker’s favorite car. And yes, there are two mustangs in that tinker’s garage.

Thanks for noticing.

Finally our little yuletide trip around London brings us to the Ministry of Dragons, exchanging gadgety goodness for medieval merriment.

The most fun-filled drago gifts this year can be found on craft sites like Etsy. For instance, what little dragon-fighter wouldn’t want a pair of these dragon scale gloves to keep them warm? This pair comes from Tender Creation Shop, but there are a host of colors and materials to be found from various vendors. And if gloves aren’t your drago’s thing, how about his or her very own dragon egg? A good many can be found on Etsy, but my personal favorite nest of decorative serpent shells is found on FaerieMagazine.com. The eggs there are truly spectacular.

Then again, drago knights of a certain age might be hoping for something even more special. and the clerks and I have come up with the perfect thing. Brian at DBK Custom Swords & Scabbards is an amazing artist. Does this gift cost more than a few bob? Absolutely. But what better way to tell your knight I love and respect the testosterone-fueled warrior within you than the gift of a deadly medieval weapon and a finely-crafted scabbard to hold it.

And so we’ve come full circle, back to the fireside in my office at the Ministry of Trackers Keep.

Wait. What do we have in these stockings? Why, one more gift that suits any secret society agent. The Lost Property Office is a perfect fit for every crumb, drago, spook, and topper. And with that gleaming foil cover, you don’t even have to wrap it.

But don’t take my word for it. This story is recommended as a hot holiday gift by both Publisher’s Weekly ShelfTalker and The Los Angeles Times. And it’s great for ages 8 to 80. So give The Lost Property Office a Christmas whirl. You can get it directly from Simon & Schuster for 40% off and free shipping, making this beautiful hardcover the price of your average stocking stuffer.

lpochristmas1

That about “wraps” it up for this year’s Secret Society Secret Santa gift guide. From all of us at the Ministry of Trackers, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

I think it’s time for some tea.

Section 13 Pre-order Sweepstakes Winners

Ladies and Gents, the names are in!

In a random drawing that included the ministry’s best QED drones grabbing confetti from the air, the following names were chosen:

Grand Prize  – $500 Amazon Gift Card

Michael Lewis

Runners up – $25 Murder By The Book Gift Card

Stephanie Rogers

Christine Tonkin

Jennifer Widner

Mina Gerhart

John Ogden

That’s it. Congratulations to all! And thank you to ALL our pre-order entrants. The Ministry of Trackers appreciates your support, and we hope you enjoyed your gift packs!

If you forgot to pre-order or you’re wondering what this is all about, don’t fret. You can order The Lost Property Office today by clicking on the book title in this paragraph or from any of the retailers under the Links tab on this blog (on a few sites it is currently 43% off – hello Cyber Monday). It’s not too late to get the book for a loved one for Christmas. The Lost Property Office is one of ShelfTalker’s Top 20 Books for Holiday Giving this season!

Winners will be notified by E-mail and gift cards will be shipped ASAP.

Sony Pictures Options The Lost Property Office

Publishers Marketplace has announced the sale of film rights for THE LOST PROPERTY OFFICE by James R. Hannibal to Sony Pictures Entertainment.

This is a dream come true. I am utterly thrilled that a studio with Sony’s caliber will bring the characters like Jack and Sadie Buckles, and Gwen Kincaid to life. Here is the simple—and yet, for me, world changing—announcement on Publishers Marketplace:

FilmAnnounce

Thank you so much to Dana and Sara for working so hard to make this happen. Onward!!

LPO To Be Featured At BEA

March 3, 2016

Book Expo America, the flagship trade show of the publishing industry has announced this year’s 15 picks for the Editor’s Buzz Forums, and THE LOST PROPERTY OFFICE is among them!

“BEA has had a good track record in selecting upcoming bestsellers and I think that once again this crop of authors is likely to become household names in the coming months,” said Steve Rosato, event director. “We’re happy with these selections and look forward to exploring these works further at BEA.”