Tuesday, November 26, 2013

#SantaChat Jingles Earlier

The London Eye at Christmas

No city does Christmas like London!

So we've decided to move up the starting time of our weekly #SantaChat Twitter Christmas parties by two hours so that more of our fans in the UK can participate.

Starting Wednesday, November 27, #SantaChat begins at 11:00 PM in London. (That's 6pm in New York, 5pm in Naperville, and 3pm in Hollywood!)

Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 25, 2013

How Mrs. Claus Met Santa (excerpt)

Merry 25th of November! 

Christmas is exactly ONE MONTH AWAY!!!

Celebrate this milestone with an excerpt from my mother's short story, How I Met Your Father, when my dad, then known as Kris Kringle, gave Mom and her friends a ride home from a party.

Mrs. Claus recalls the time Kris Kringle gave her a ride in his reindeer-drawn carriage when they first met. Images from openclipart.org.

His carriage was drawn not by horse, but by two strong caribou. Kris handled the reins with skill and gentleness, as if politely asking the animals for a favor, and the bucks merrily complied.
I was the last to be dropped off. Still struggling to overcome my fear of speaking to this alluring man, I directed him to my home in mumbles.
“Why don’t you sit up here, with me, m’lady, so that I may better hear your instructions?”
“I do not believe that would be proper, Mr. Kringle,” my mouth said, as my mind continued to mull over the prospect.
“Very well, then.”
He steered the reindeer up the hilly road. The moon shone brightly as we continued on in silence. A stiff wind blew through my auburn hair and, as if struck by a sharpened moonbeam, I suddenly found myself hopping into the front seat like some uncontrollable monkey.
“Well,” said Kris, with a chuckle.
I looked into his eyes, assaulted by his very beauty, and managed to choke out, “I have changed my mind, Mr. Kringle. I am told it is my privilege as a lady. Drive.”
He flicked his wrist ever so slightly, clucking his tongue twice, and the deer sped off. The carriage wheels seemed to seek out immense bumps that jostled me on the seat until the distance between me and Kris could be measured by a caterpillar. My shriek turned into a laugh and I made no attempt to remove myself from his warm side until we neared my home.
When we stopped, the dead silence of the still night air enveloped us in awkwardness. He flashed a smile upon me and I felt as though I had witnessed a shooting star dance across the sky. “I would very much like to sculpt you, as I did your friend, Carol.”
My heart skipped a beat, then raced to catch up. “Why do I not see you in school? You are but a year older than I. Do you already know everything at seventeen?”
“Ho, ho, ho! Hardly, my dear. Alas, my family cannot afford to send me to high school, on account of the crippling taxes collected by the rascal Arthur Goody. So I am homeschooled.”
My mouth went dry. My father? A rascal? Depriving this kind and generous man—who happened to possess a form not unlike your average Norse god—of a basic education? Forsakes, what if Kris were to be made aware the rascal was of my blood? Should I tell him now and spoil the moment for whatever it was or might be in the future?
Before I could utter a word, Kris handed me a bundle of some sort. “Please, take this,” he said, his voice warm like a pleasant cup of tea.
I unwrapped the paper to reveal a nutcracker unlike any I had ever seen. Instead of the usual king or palace guard, I held in my hands a beautiful fairy angel. She wore a white, silken dress, and even without paint, her wooden face had the appearance of fine porcelain. “She’s gorgeous,” I sputtered. “I don’t understand.”
“My address is on the card.” He smiled at me again, and I felt a strange warmth cover me everywhere. “Call upon me, if you wish.”
I removed the tag from the fairy’s wand, stuffing it into my pocket without so much as a glance. Then I ran inside, a bundle of nerves, forgetting to thank him for the ride, the wrappings drifting to the curb in my wake, the magical nutcracker clutched tightly to my bosom.
Breathing normally again from the safety of the other side of my front door, I found my father waiting up for me. Not angrily, for I had not stayed out past the agreed upon curfew, but for the sake of simple fatherly concern over the safety of his young daughter. He put down the book he’d been reading, came over to hug me, asked if I’d had a good time at the party, then quizzed me on my peculiar new toy.
“Where in heavens did you obtain this thing?” he asked.
“At the party. From a friend of Carol’s.”
Poppa moved the lever up and down, carefully examining the mouth as it opened wide, then shut tight. “That Kringle fellow?”
“Yes, Poppa.”
“He’s an odd one. Drives around with reindeer pulling his carriage.”
“I don’t think his family can afford a horse,” I said, before remembering who Kris had blamed for that.
“And just how much did Mr. Kringle charge you for this handiwork?”
“’Twas a gift, Poppa.”
“Hmm.” He rubbed his chin and stared harder at the nutcracker.
“Is something wrong, Poppa?”
“Funny how a boy of such destitution can afford to buy gifts for young ladies he hardly knows.” He carried the angel across the room.
“Oh, but Poppa, you are mistaken. Kris made this doll of his own hand.” I pictured Kris’s nimble fingers shaving small curls of wood off the inanimate object, bringing it magically to life.
“That makes him all the more odd then, in my book. Why give things away when one can easily command a decent price for his wares? For then his father would no longer be delinquent in his payments to the state. His Majesty, my boss, would say the Kringles deliberately avoid an income to shirk their duty to the crown. I am afraid that assessment may not lie far from the mark.”
I flashed back to the day I'd seen Kris at the toy shoppe. Poppa’s queries began to make some sense. Why did Kris hand his toys to those children when he could just as easily have sold them to the shopkeeper for a nominal fee, who could in turn have sold them to the boys and girls for a small profit?
“At any rate, we don’t accept gifts from strangers now, do we?”
I became so lost in the memory of a kind of glow that I’d noticed surrounding Kris as each child’s face lit up, that I scarcely noticed Poppa toss my present onto the fire. I could almost hear the lifelike figure cry out in agony as he pushed her deep into the flame with a poker. I nearly burst into tears myself, but somehow stopped when my tips of my fingers found the card with Kris’s address nestled at the bottom of my pocket.
“Yes, sir,” I said. “I’m sorry, Poppa. It was wrong of me to accept the gift.”
“There, there.” He put a hand on my shoulder. “No harm done. Just remember to keep your distance from the lad.”
Well, I bet they hooked up eventually, or I would never have been born! To find out what happened next, read the complete short story and more in North Pole High: Beginnings.
North Pole High: Beginnings by Candace Jane Kringle, featuring the short story "How I Met Your Father" by Mrs. Claus
You can still get the ebook for free through the end of November using the coupon code posted earlier this month, or for just 99 cents at Amazon and now at Barnes & Noble too!

Monday, November 18, 2013

It's a Very Twitter Christmas Party


Author Candace Jane Kringle (aka Candycane Claus) merrily announces she is hosting a Christmas Twitter party. #SantaChat
I'm as merry as a candy cane because I'll be hosting A Very Twitter Christmas party (#SantaChat) every week from now till Christmas Day!

(beginning November 27)

2:00 PM Wednesday in Alaska, where all the coolest snowmen live.

3:00 PM Wednesday in Hollywood, where they make all those funny movies about Santa Claus.

6:00 PM Wednesday in the Big Apple, where they have that super tall Christmas tree.

11:00 PM Wednesday in London, where Charlie Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol.

10:00 AM Thursday in Sydney, where it's always sunny at Christmastime.

And simultaneously everywhere in the world where people wait for Santa Claus to come to town!
Official #SantaChat Twitter Party Logo from North Pole High hosted by Candycane Claus
(click the Santa bird for details)
See you there. I'll be standing under the mistletoe!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sparkly Christmas Balls (Excerpt)

Mr. Polar Bear and his family decorate their Christmas tree in the North Pole.
(get wallpaper)
The eight-and-a-half-foot-tall shaggy white bear had to stoop to attach our homework to the naked, cardboard-cutout Christmas tree that stood on a tiny easel next to his desk. Some of my classmates turned red with embarrassment as they watched their ornament join the collection, perhaps feeling their work wasn’t as good as the others. But one by one, our sparkly treasures beautified that silly facsimile until it suddenly shone as Christmassy as a real tree!
Mr. Polar Bear stepped aside and smiled with pride at his new charges as we applauded ourselves. But, as only two of us knew, one ornament was still missing.
“Class, this year there is one team I am giving an A-super-plus,” Mr. PB said.
Johnny Toboggan, Silentnight, and Sugarcookie scanned their twenty classmates, trying to figure out whose ornament had yet to be presented. By then, the rest of the class had already guessed and turned directly toward me and my gloating boyfriend, Tinsel. I sent them back a grin that I hoped conveyed modest surprise and appreciation even though I had become accustomed to standing out in class ever since kindergarten, when I could recite the names of all eight of Daddy’s reindeer backward and forward.
Tinsel, on the other hand, slapped high-fives with Elation and Cookiejar even before Mr. Polar Bear unveiled our shimmering dazzler.
I had come up with the idea to take two candy canes, natch, and join them into the shape of a heart. Then Tinsel and I added a few creative ingredients to make our shiny heart beat like a living, breathing instrument of love.
“This is the most magnificent Christmas tree ornament I have ever seen. Candycane, Tinsel, would you like to share your thoughts about your… I’m sorry, I can’t seem to think of another word for it… magnificent work with the rest of the class?”
I’d never seen a polar bear cry before that moment. I bet no one ever had. Polar bears don’t cry. But this one did. Just one little watery drop that formed in his dark brown eye. He wiped it away with the side of his paw before it could fall.
I’m not trying to brag when I say I’ve always had an easy time in school. But this whole eleventh-grade thing was beginning to look a lot like cake.
“We weren’t even thinking about a grade, Mr. Polar Bear,” I said. “Tinsel and I just thought about our love of Christmas. And then we wished upon a star. That was the most important part. And the heart just kind of shaped itself!”
The class let out a collective “Awwwww,” and I blushed while Tinsel took a few exaggerated bows. But the praise from our peers screeched to a halt as a boy who could not have been more the opposite of my talented boyfriend appeared in the doorway of our happy little classroom.
And that, my friends, was the moment Rudy Tutti first walked into my life. I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from my critically-acclaimed book, North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus.

Here's a fun video I found showing you how to make your own sparkly pink Christmas ornament, just like the ones we make in Mr. Polar Bear's class at North Pole High!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Santa's Little Helper Gets a Lifetime Achievement Award


The Chicago Toy and Game Group has selected one of Santa’s favorite elves, HOWIE MORRISON, as recipient of its 2013 Toy and Game Inventor Excellence (TAGIE) Lifetime Achievement Award!
Santa's Top Elf, Master Toy Inventor Howard J. Morrison
I'm so proud of Howie. He's been like an uncle to me.

Here are just some of the super fun toys Howie has made for Santa to bring to millions of boys and girls around the world! Which is your favorite?

Toys and games invented by Santa's top elf, Howard J. Morrison.
Left to right, top to bottom: SSP Racers, Hot Wheels Criss-Cross Racers, Guesstures, Brain Warp, Simon, Mickey Mouse phone, Real Talkin’ Bubba, Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle, Inchworm

And guess what else? Howie's super-talented granddaughter Jessy Lauren designed my beautiful book cover! :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Merry Month-Before-Christmas!

Frowning Jack-o-Lantern is sad because Halloween is over.
Halloween is OVER.

It's finally NOVEMBER!

Swans-a-swimming, that means...
Two happy Christms trees celebrate because Christmas is next month.

To get your Christmas Spirit going, I'm giving you an
early Christmas Present!

North Pole High: Beginnings is a collection of short stories that explore the wondrous origins of some of the most beloved characters from my critically-acclaimed book, North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus.
North Pole High: Beginnings by Candace Jane Kringle
And this month only, you can get fun, Christmassy prequel absolutely FREE.

Click on the book cover above and use the COUPON CODE: WZ95X

But pleeeeeeeeze don't TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW or the Kindle elves won't be able to keep up with the demand.

North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus - a memoir by Candace Jane Kringle
BONUS: If you have Amazon Prime, you can borrow North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus for free too!

Have a Merry November from everyone at North Pole High!

Ho, ho, ho!