Gift Guide to Offbeat Valentine’s Day Surprises

Wild about you. Photo:

Say it with Sasquatch. ($45) An adorable needle-felted Sasquatch made by the women of Bossy Feltworks. They’ve got two different versions of this tiny hairy handmade guy, including My Heart is Yours and I Brought You Daisies.

A toast! (
A toast! Photo:

Great Drinkers in Literature from ($16.95) Drink with the great writers and great drinkers of literary history, including Dorothy Parker, Oscar Wilde, and W.B. Yeats. There are many more enticements offered by, including literary action figures, journals, book lights, and games. Better yet, 100 percent of their net profits are donated to reading-related charities.

Give these with a nice bottle of something. (
Colorize the relationship. Images Archie McPhee, Dover Publications, CreateSpace, and Plume.

Coloring Books. ($3.99 to $9) What, you don’t expect coloring books for Valentine’s Day? They’re a hoot. Pour some drinks, grab some crayons, and color together! Boy, do we have recommendations. Try Unicorns Are JerksThe Existential Coloring Book, Super Awesome Coloring BookMer World ProblemsColor Your Own Classic Movie PostersSea Monsters Coloring BookArt Masterpieces to Color: 60 Great Paintings from Botticelli to PicassoSteampunk Designs Coloring Book, and Coloring for Grown-Ups: The Adult Activity Book

Molecular adornment. (
Molecular adornment. Photo:

Oxytocin. This is a hormone that’s got a lot to do with the neuroanatomy of intimacy. Now you can wear a necklace version ($48), thanks to the Etsy shop MoleculENecklacE.

Photo: Pytell.

DNA Earrings. ($58) Or say how precious a loved one is to you with pair of beautiful DNA earrings handcrafted by Theresa Pytell, whose Etsy shop also offers gorgeous bracelets, rings, and other jewelry inspired by science and nature.

Because we all get grumpy. (
Because we all get grumpy. Photo:

Grumpy Cat Plush. ($15.30) This may actually cajole your partner into believing grumpy can be adorable.

Astronomical adornment. (
Astronomical adornment. Photo:

Milky Way Scarf.($65) What better way to say “you mean the galaxy to me” than with a Hubble Telescope Milky Way scarf? Digitally printed with a vivid Hubble telescope image of the Cat’s Paw nebula, this featherweight wool scarf is a stellar gift.

Create the trendiest drinks at home. (
Create the trendiest drinks at home. Photo:

Molecular Mixology Kit. ($34.95) Bite into a layered martini, add lime foam to tequila, make mojitos in a bubble that will burst in your mouth with the Molecular Mixology Kit. Science plus drinking, what could go wrong?

Say it with a tattoo. (
Say it with a tattoo. Photo:

Literary Tattoos. ($5 for a set of two) Inscribe your feelings on your flesh, temporarily, with Litograph literary tattoos.

Share a love of cephalopods. (
Share a love of cephalopods. (

Octopus Books. ($23 each) Find mutual fascination with the steampunkery of Victorian adventuress Victoria Prismall and her pet land octopus Otto. Brian Kesinger’s collectible ink-on-paper art is now available in delightful hardbound books, Walking Your Octopus: A Guidebook to the Domesticated Cephalopod and Traveling With Your Octopus.

Because you are one. (Diamond Publishing)
Because you are one. Photo: Diamond Publishing.

Robes. ($48) Oh yes. DC Bombshell robes will be available through specialty comic book stores (find one near you). The robes feature some of the leading ladies of DC Comics such as Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy, and more in a collection of colors representing each character. Available in small/medium and large/x-large sizes.

What would yours say? Photo:

Custom Converse. Converse now has a customize option on their shoes, making them even more fun to wear. These customizable shoes range from $50 (for kids’ sizes) to $100, although most fall into the $75 to $80 range. This includes the high-top Chuck Taylor with DC Arkham City canvas options. One of the best parts of this is the option to personalize these on the heel stripe (up to 10 characters); it’s ideal for a name or a simple “I love you.”

Dark brown and yummy. (
Dark brown and yummy. Photo:

Poop. ($5.99) Give a gift handcrafted in Oregon on sustainable Columbia Empire Farms. Naturally, we’re talking about chocolate hazelnut toffee packaged as poo. You can get all conventional with Cupid Poop or Lovebirds Poop. Or branch out a bit with Cow Pies, Bigfoot Poop, or any of their other varieties.

Make and name your own hot sauce. (
Make and name your own hot sauce. (

Hot Sauce Book. ($10.50) Need a hot idea for the hot person in your life? Try Hot Sauce!: Techniques for Making Signature Hot Sauces, with 32 Recipes to Get You Started by Jennifer Trainer Thompson.

Calibrate your own heat. (
Calibrate your own heat. Photo:

Or grab the Some Like It Hot! Make Your Own Hot Sauce kit ($37.99) with everything you need to make three of your own blends.

Tie on some equations. (
Tie on some equations. Photo:

Mathematics Silk Tie. ($23.95) It’s red, 100-percent silk, and riddled with tempting equations.


Chocolate isn’t really negotiable. Try something a little different, like the Wei Delightful Organic Dark Chocolate Gift Box – Red ($32) with 16 pieces of organic, Fair Trade chocolate including Himalayan pink salt infused, peppermint infused, extra dark, and citrus infused. It’s a reasonable indulgence, since each one has only 2 grams of carbs and 30 calories per piece.

Get it for the tin. (
Get it for the tin. Photo:

Wii Candy. ($8.45) Get whimsical with a peppermint gum-filled Nintendo Wii Controller candy tin. Once the contents are chewed, the tin is great to store all those tiny things that get away.

I want to consume you. (
I want to consume you. Photo:

Candy Brains. ($2.99) Or avoid sweet sentimentality with Refleshmints, a zombie tin packed with pink brain-shaped mints.

Read the best parts aloud. (Baen Books, CreateSpace)
Read the best parts aloud. Photo: Baen Books, CreateSpace.

Books. Let those eyeballs linger on romantic words—lots of them, in book form.  Yes, we have recommendations.

For historical romance, the Brother’s Sinister series by Courtney Milan. For fandom in-jokes and castle-y romance, the Castles Ever After series by Tessa Dare. For historical/fantasy romance try Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones. For spies, Napoleonic wars, and romance try The Spymaster series by Joanna Bourne.

For sci-fi adventure with great romantic subplots, try the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold. For sci-fi try Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi and Line and Orbit by Sunny Moiraine. For fantasy (including amorous gods!), try The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin.

Our best book recommendations, however, feature romance-tinged adventure written by our own founders, Natania Barron and Corrina Lawson.

Steampunk meets goddess worship. (
Steampunk meets goddess worship. Photo:
Natania’s Pilgrim of the Sky follows love stories through alternative worlds with plenty of adventure. A little steampunk, a lot of sexy allure.
So, so sexy. (
So, so sexy. Photo:
Corrina is the author of several imaginative, action-packed, and quite erotic series. We’re talking Phoenix Institute, The Steampunk Detectives, and several alternative-history timeline books. The Phoenix Institute series stars people with extraordinary abilities, from telekinesis to ghost-walking, who find themselves tasked with doing whatever it takes to make a difference. The Curse of the Brimstone Contract is her first book in The Steampunk Detectives series, which revolves around magic, love, and plenty of smart sleuthing. And don’t miss richly her richly evocative books Freya’s Gift, Eagle of Senecaand Dinah of Seneca.

Laura is the author of a poetry collection titled Tending and Free Range Learning, a handbook of natural learning. She lives on a small farm notable only for its lovestruck goose.