Monday, November 26, 2012

North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus

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North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus
Candace Jane Kringle aka Candycane Claus

Genre: YA teen romance/humor/fantasy

Publisher: elfpublished books
ISBN: 978-0615681917

Number of pages: 302
Word Count: 80,000
Cover Artist: Jessica Weil

Book Description:

MEET SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD CANDYCANE CLAUS. She's the most popular girl at North Pole High. Her father is world-famous. And every day is Christmas. What more could any girl want?

BOYS! And the new boy, Rudy Tutti, is hot chocolate. But he hates anything to do with Christmas!

When Candy and Rudy are forced to work together on a school Christmas-tree project, her world is turned upside down: Her grades start to suffer, she loses her taste for ice cream, and now the two North-Star-cross'd teens must contend with her overprotective father — Santa Claus — before Christmas is ruined for EVERYONE!


Don’t get me wrong. I love my dad. Just not the way the rest of the world loves him.
He’s not really all that holly-jolly the rest of the year. Someone once asked me if I get presents every day because of who my dad is. That’s a laugh!
I’m not saying he’s a bad guy. He just doesn’t get me. I mean, he’s great with kids and all. No question about it. But I’m sixteen. I’m becoming a woman. And Daddy’s having a tough time with that. I imagine it’s like that with most dads. Why should mine be any different?
So it’s not like I blame him or anything. I’m just saying, if he would have let me be me, none of this would have happened.
But first, a couple things I have to get out of the way right from the start. I get a lot of letters asking all kinds of questions about how my dad slides down chimneys and stuff like that. Sorry, but that’s his business. You’ll have to wait for him to write his own book. This is my story. People don’t understand what it’s like growing up in this family. Sure, there’s a lot of love and magic and joy. But I’m really just like everybody else.
The other thing I need to make clear up front is: If you’re one of those people who thinks my dad doesn’t exist, you might as well stop reading now. This isn’t one of those stories. I’ve known the guy for sixteen years. Believe me, he exists.
Now back to how this whole catastrophe started. Or rather, how it could have been avoided. After all, I begged my father not to make me go to that stupid Welcoming Feast.
It was still Daylight time—the beginning of the school year, before the setting of the midnight sun would plunge us into six months of darkness. Not dark darkness. Not Gothic vampire darkness or dystopian darkness. As a matter of fact, the Dark season up here is actually quite pretty, for obvious reasons. All the colorful lights, the sleigh bells ringing, the twinkling stars. It’s kind of amazing.
Anticipating all the coming glad tidings, I skipped down Gingerbread Lane—yes, I literally skipped home that day. I know. Pretty dorky. But when you’re sixteen, you still get to be a kid even when you’re in that desperate rush to grow the heck up.
Anyway, I slipped in through the side door of the unassuming A-frame at the end of the quiet, snow-covered cul-de-sac and quickly pulled off my maroon moon boots. I hung my candy-cane-striped coat on my special candy-cane hook in the mudroom—candy canes are my namesake and style—then continued skipping merrily into the kitchen.
Chefy stood hunched over the twelve-burner cast-iron stove. He craned his thick neck, pointing his pencil-thin beak at me, the corners of his mouth curling into something close to a smile as he stirred something delectable in a five-gallon pot. “There’s my little princess. Was your teacher duly impressed with your lovely little heart?”
Chefy gets me.
He was referring, of course, to the heart-shaped bauble I’d turned in for Ornaments class. Was it any wonder I sometimes felt more like Chefy’s little princess than my dad’s? I couldn’t remember the last time Daddy had shown an interest in my homework, or even knew what classes I was taking. I doubted he even knew my friends’ names.
Last year, I asked Daddy if Snowflake could come with us on the mall tour.
“This is a business trip, Candy. We can’t have outsiders,” he’d said.
Outsiders? You’d think he didn’t know that Snowflake and I had been best friends since preschool. Sure, he knows if all of you have been bad or good, but he was sometimes pretty darn clueless when it came to his own daughter.
Come to think of it, that wasn’t always such a bad thing. I got away with a lot. And it wasn’t like he had to worry about me becoming some kind of ’toehead or something. I always got good grades.
“I got an A-super-plus,” I answered Chefy.
The seven-foot-tall penguin frowned and said, “Shall I call that polar bear and demand he give you an A-super-duper-plus?”
LOL! He would do it too.
“Oh, Chefy. That won’t be necessary. I’ll just have to try harder next time.”
Chefy laughed and patted me on the head with a flipper while his other flipper slid a plate of baked candy canes, fresh out of the oven, under my still-frosty nose. Yum.
Daddy had originally brought Chefy up from the bottom for his legendary culinary talents. But he’d become so much more than just a chef to us. He was Daddy’s right hand. Not in the Workshop, mind you. Chefy would never have anything to do with that toy stuff, thank you very much. However, he did basically run our household. Even so, he never liked being thought of as anything other than the best chef in the North Pole.
And he truly was. Take this after-school treat melting in my mouth, for example. It wasn’t just that Chefy had thought to take vine-ripened candy canes and wrap them in extra-virgin gingerbread dough. He had to wake up hours before the rest of the family to handpick the juiciest canes from that garden he’d cultivated in the custom-built greenhouse he designed himself. He wouldn’t have it any other way. There was simply no limit to the pride Chefy took in his creations.
As that warm, gooey goodness slid down my throat, I hungered for the many other wondrous delicacies whose indescribable aromas made my tummy rumble like a glacial avalanche. Then it hit me. White-chocolate truffles on the cob? Lollipops in taffy fondue? Marzipan-glazed turkey stuffed with bubblegum? There was way too much food here for just our family.
Chefy was preparing the Welcoming Feast—for that new kid!

About the Author:

Candace Jane Kringle is a junior at North Pole High. She likes candy canes, unicorn races, and making snow angels. Her father is the most well-known and beloved toymaker and distributor in the world. Her memoir, North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus, is her first book. After high school, she plans to enroll at North Pole University and write more books.

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