Claus Boxed: A Science Fiction Holiday Adventure

DeadPixel Publications
5
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The Christmas stories you never heard. And adventures of a lifetime…

In the early 1800s, Nicholas Santa discovered an ancient race of elven.

Short, fat and hairy, they have lived peacefully on the North Pole since the Ice Age but Nicholas is quickly swept into the colony’s first and only fracture. The elven known as the Cold One has divided his people. His name is Jack. And Jack’s tired of hiding. Why should they live in a shrinking ice cap when humans occupy the rest of the world?

It’s just not fair.

There’s no stopping Jack from world domination until Nicholas Santa, the only human to enter the elven colony, joins helium-bladder reindeer, artificially-intelligent snowmen, and a merry band of big-footed elven to bring peace back to the North Pole.

And becomes a legend.


REVIEWS FOR THE CLAUS UNIVERSE

“Amazing rewrites that will astound you!” –Ruth Jackson,  Reviewer“Best Santa Story Ever!” – Bob,  Reviewer“Simply lovely.” –jl, Amazon Reviewer“MY HEART GREW THREE SIZES…” –  Reviewer“Couldn’t Put It Down.” –  Reviewer“Fantasy at it’s [sic] finest.” –Carol,  Reviewer“Absolutely phenomenal!” –JayFly,  Reviewer“A++” –TKJ 131,  Reviewer“Absolutely Awesome.” –Dee greusel,  Reviewer“I absolutely love this series…” –Kara McCabe,  Reviewer“Tony is an excellent story teller!” jjjlake,  Reviewer“I want MORE!” –J. Bunch,  Reviewer“Awesomely engaging!” –Janice Everett,  Reviewer

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More by Tony Bertauski

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The 6th standalone novel in the Claus Universe. The holiday legends you never heard growing up.

Pre-order and save 25%.


This is Ryder’s last stop.

It’s a half million acre ranch and home to forty teenagers. It’s also home to a famous and eccentric philanthropist with a peculiar obsession with the North Pole. His name is Billy “Big Game” Sinterklaas. But shortly after Ryder arrives, secret messages begin leading him to what’s really happening. Billy Big Game believes that Santa Claus is real.

This is the year he proves it.

He says there’s one Christmas story no one has ever heard, the legend of the biggest and baddest reindeer of them all, the one who leads the sleigh and protects the herd. But Billy Big Game doesn’t want to discover the last reindeer. He wants to capture him.

That’s why he brought Ryder to the ranch.


REVIEWS FOR THE CLAUS UNIVERSE

“Amazing rewrites that will astound you!” –Ruth Jackson, Reviewer
“Best Santa Story Ever!” – Bob, Reviewer
“Simply lovely.” –jl, Reviewer
“MY HEART GREW THREE SIZES…” – Reviewer
“Couldn’t Put It Down.” – Reviewer
“Fantasy at it’s [sic] finest.” –Carol, Reviewer
“Absolutely phenomenal!” –JayFly, Reviewer
“A++” –TKJ 131, Reviewer
“Absolutely Awesome.” –Dee greusel, Reviewer
“I absolutely love this series…” –Kara McCabe, Reviewer
“Tony is an excellent story teller!” jjjlake, Reviewer
“I want MORE!” –J. Bunch, Reviewer
“Awesomely engaging!” –Janice Everett, Reviewer
A synthetic stem cell called a biomite can replace any cell in your body. They are infallible. As our percentages of biomites rise, we become stronger, we become smarter and prettier. We become better.


Can we resist the temptation of perfection? Are we still human when our bodies are replaced by synthetic replications?


If biomites exist, laws will be imposed to prevent excess and abuse. Those with 50% biomites will no longer be considered human. 


They will be halfskin.


Halfksin: The Vignettes is a compendium of short stories found throughout the Halfskin trilogy, a harbinger of what humanity’s pursuit of perfection may look like.

 

INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR


WHAT GENRE DO YOU PREFER?

Science fiction, dystopia, technothriller and, to some extent, young adult. I do have a series of novellas in the vampire genre. Yeah, I know. Doesn’t fit. That character, Drayton, came out of nowhere when I was at a community theatre production of Dracula. I figured that an immortal vampire would more likely become compassionate and wise as he grew older. The technothriller Halfskin is similar to vampires in that technology promises immortality and complete control of our bodies. But then what?


WHY A SYNTHETIC STEM CELL?

Organic life is too nilly-willy. We’re limited by our DNA. Give it to the scientists to perfect this vehicle that carries us around because it is a vehicle. If we no longer have organic bodies, if every one of our cells is replaced by something manmade all the way down to the neurons and synapses, then what are we? What if our world is just a computerized environment, ala The Matrix? Would we know the difference? Look, we’re printing organs today. I’m not, but someone is. Some genius has figured out how to push play and heart or liver or kidney comes down the chute. Halfskin takes the idea into the distant future and explores whether this leads to more happiness or just more of the same. Because more money, more problems.


DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB BESIDES AUTHOR?

Day job, I’m a college horticulture teacher. Writing is a passion. No plans to change it. 


WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?

Breathe.


WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE?

Omnipresent supergalactic oneness.


IF WE HAD A CUSTOM THAT ALLOWED US TO EAT OUR CHILDREN, WHAT KIND OF SAUCE WOULD YOU USE?

Ketchup, the miracle condiment.


ARE OUR ELECTRONIC DEVICES STEALING OUR SOUL? AND IF SO, DO YOU MAKE 

OFFERINGS TO YOUR TOASTER?

I offer white bread and the toaster gives back crunchy, brown bread. Never doubt a true miracle. 


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Additional Information

Publisher
DeadPixel Publications
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Published on
Nov 15, 2014
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Pages
655
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ISBN
9781502785978
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Language
English
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Genres
Family & Relationships / Life Stages / Teenagers
Fiction / Science Fiction / Action & Adventure
Juvenile Fiction / Holidays & Celebrations / Christmas & Advent
Religion / Holidays / Christmas & Advent
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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 Life hasn’t been kind to Oliver Toye. 


As if juvenile diabetes isn’t enough, he’s forced to live with his tyrannical grandmother in a snow-bound house. He spends his days doing chores and the nights listening to the forest rumble. 

But when he discovers the first leather-bound journal, the family secrets begin to surface. The mystery of his great-grandfather’s voyage to the North Pole is revealed. That’s when the snowman appears. 

Magical and mysterious, the snowman will save Oliver more than once. But when the time comes for Oliver to discover the truth, will he have the courage? When Flury needs him, will he have the strength? When believing isn’t enough, will he save the snowman from melting away? 

Because sometimes even magic needs a little help. 


INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR


Where did you come up with the idea of writing science fiction for holiday characters?

My nephew mentioned the “secret Santa ninja elves” that visit his school during Christmas, and this spawned the idea of writing a semi-serious sci-fi version of Santa. How the ideas flesh out is a long process. I started keep track of how the story arc of my latest novel evolves, just to remember where it began. It’s all over the place. I love the challenge of bringing a story to light, letting the characters get in my head and telling me where to go. Flury: Journey of a Snowman is the third book in the Claus series. It was originally Frosty the Snowman, but Frosty is copyrighted. It didn’t matter, really. The character was better suited to be something other than Frosty. Flury is a bit more serious.

.

Are you getting any backlash for rewriting these Christmas legends?

Not at all. In fact, a lot of readers have connected to all the unanswered questions surround them, especially Santa Claus. How does he go around the world in a night? Why is he fat? Why does he live on the North Pole? How do reindeer fly? How does he carry all those presents? All of them answered with the magic wand of science fiction… I mean, the science wand of science fiction. The stories still have the fantasy element, of course. Some leaps of imagination. And also the romance angle. Why? Because all stories have love.

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What is your favorite character from the books that you have written?

Socket Greeny is one of my favorites. That science fiction trilogy was my first story. I wrote it in first person and really connected with him. However, Jack Frost is in Claus (Legend of the Fat Man) and Jack (The Tale of Frost) and has become my all-time fave. He’s childish, irreverent and dangerous, but at the same time lovable. 

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What order should readers purchase the Claus books?

Claus: Legend of the Fat Man is the best start. After that, any order works. They all can be read as standalone novels.

 Drayton can’t leave the Lowcountry.
He once believed he was a vampire when he terrorized villages and slaughtered for blood. Now he absorbs essence from the dying’s final breath and rarely stays in one place. He has been in the Lowcountry far too long.

Everything is about to change.

After witnessing an elderly man’s death, Drayton vows to protect his wife. He assumes the job of her gardener in Charleston’s historic district. But when a young woman named Amber enters the garden, he soon questions who he is protecting.

And from whom.

Drayton will finally discover why he has roamed the planet for so long. He will learn the purpose of his existence and why he has absorbed human essence all of his life. Before he uncovers his roots, he will return to his blood-thirsty days of old.

For the first time, Drayton will become the prey.


INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

Did you ever think you’d write about vampires?
Nope. Drayton came out of nowhere when I was at a community theatre production of Dracula. I figured that an immortal vampire would more likely become compassionate and wise as he grew older. Twilight put a different spin on the vampire genre, much different than Nosferatu. Drayton’s nothing like Twilight. Or Nosferatu.

What's a downside to writing a character similar that's similar to you? 
Predictable. Boring. If every book I write is similar, it ceases to surprise the reader. That’s what I loved about Drayton, he was just the opposite of me. This paranormal being was fearless not out of bravado but the wisdom brought about by countless years of immortality. I called him a vampire because it was the word that fit him the best in his early years, but he became something much for that. Whatever a vampire becomes after the gore and bloodsucking, sort of like the caterpillar and butterfly. 

Do your characters ever resemble you in your beliefs?
Some do. But there are others that are just fun to go the other way, especially antagonists. I do find it interesting, even courageous, when authors can write very demented, sick and twisted antagonists. It’s very revealing to show the world what’s bouncing around in your head.

What do you think is the most important aspect of writing a character?
Letting him or her grow in my head. It’s when I’m driving to work, taking a shower, or lying in bed that they come to life. It’s also one of the most gratifying elements of writing. I’ve enjoyed letting this vampire walk through my mind, leaving his short stories behind.
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