Friday, December 12, 2014

Book Tour and Giveaway: The Claus Boxed Set by Tony Bertauski

A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

The Claus Box Set
Now you can purchase all three books in the Claus Series together!


Four years ago, we were visiting family for the holidays. My nephew, six years old, was telling us one evening (for no apparent reason, he was on a roll) about the secret ninja Christmas elves that visit his school every year. Intrigued, I interviewed him like a federal agent. His story, as most six year old’s stories go, was full of holes, but he refused to back off his claim: they were real and I couldn’t prove they weren’t.
Somewhere in the middle of his tale, an idea hit me so hard I looked stunned. I know this because my wife looked at me and whispered, “You’ve got a book, don’t you?”
The story of Santa has been told a billion, billion times on the screen and the television, the written page and the digital, in short form and long, in verse and song. He’s been animated and claymated, horrified and glorified. There’s not a single word left unwritten about the jolly old fat man.
Except, maybe, not that I recall, in science fiction.
Is there one? Is there a story that explains, within reason, how he hauls all those presents, flies around the world, and shimmies down every chimney in one night? How he lives on the North Pole without us seeing him? Where elvens come from? How a snowman can talk and a reindeer can fly? Can they be explained without, of course, just sweeping all those mysteries under the rug with the word “magic”?
Not that I recall.
So began the Claus series. It started with Claus: Legend of the Fat Man, a book that explained how Nicholas Santa had come to live on the North Pole. It was followed by Jack: The Tale of Frost, a book devoted to one of my favorite characters, a childish and irreverent and dangerous elven. And now comes Flury: Journey of a Snowman, the science behind walking, fighting and flying snowmen.
Each tale is written as a standalone novel, yet contains elements of each other that can be read in any order. They’re for children and adults. They can be comical, yet dark. Make-believe, yet real. Magical, but not really.
Because magic, as an elven says, ceases to be magic when we understand it.

More About the Series

Claus: Legend of the Fat ManClaus: Legend of the Fat Man
(Claus #1)
by Tony Bertauski
YA Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Holiday
Paperback & ebook, 326 Pages
June 19th 2012

The Christmas story you never heard.

In the early 1800s, Nicholas, Jessica and Jon Santa attempt the first human trek to the North Pole and stumble upon an ancient race of people left over from the Ice Age. They are short, fat and hairy. They slide across the ice on scaly soles and carve their homes in the ice that floats on the Arctic Ocean. The elven are adapted to life in the extreme cold. They are as wise as they are ancient.

Their scientific advancements have yielded great inventions -- time-stopping devices and gravitational spheres that build living snowmen and genetically-modified reindeer that leap great distances. They’ve even unlocked the secrets to aging. For 40,000 years, they have lived in peace.

Until now.

An elven known as The Cold One has divided his people. He’s tired of their seclusion and wants to conquer the world. Only one elven stands between The Cold One and total chaos. He’s white-bearded and red-coated. The Santa family will help him stop The Cold One. They will come to the aid of a legendary elven
known as...Claus.

My Thoughts: Definitely not your typical "legend of Santa Claus" story. A lot of it leans toward the dark side, so I don't think I would share it with young children. But for preteens, teens and adults, it's one heck of a wild ride. One of my favorite lines from the book is this: "Magic is what you call something you don't understand. This is science, dear." And there are a lot of scientific explanations for things that we've always presumed were the "magic" of Santa and the elves.  :)
By the end of the book, I couldn't want to move on to the second one to find out what was going to happen next.

My Rating: Four stars

Jack: The Tale of Frost (Claus, #2)Jack: The Tale of Frost
(Claus #2)
by Tony Bertauski
YA Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Holiday
Paperback & ebook, 290 Pages
October 17th 2013

Sura is sixteen years old when she meets Mr. Frost. He’s very short and very fat and he likes his room very, very cold. Some might say inhumanly cold. His first name isn’t Jack, she’s told. And that’s all she needed to know.

Mr. Frost’s love for Christmas is over-the-top and slightly psychotic. And why not? He’s made billions of dollars off the holiday he invented. Or so he claims. Rumor is he’s an elven, but that’s silly. Elven aren’t real. And if they were, they wouldn’t live in South Carolina. They wouldn’t hide in a tower and go to the basement to make…things.

Nonetheless, Sura will work for this odd little recluse. Frost Plantation is where she’ll meet the love of her life. It’s where she’ll finally feel like she belongs somewhere. And it’s where she’ll meet someone fatter, balder and stranger than Mr. Frost. It’s where she’ll meet Jack.

Jack hates Christmas.

My Thoughts: This book really took me on a wild ride. Every time I thought I had something figured out, the plot went in a completely different direction. I was left shaking my head in amazement at how it all fell into place at the end.  There was some carry over from the first book, but most of it was explained fully in this one, which means you could read this one even if you hadn't read Claus. There's even a love story in this book, just in case you need a little romance in your sci-fi.   :)

My Rating: Four stars

Flury: Journey of a SnowmanFlury: Journey of a Snowman
(Claus #3)
by Tony Bertauski
YA Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Holiday
Paperback & ebook, 300 Pages
November 15th 2014

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.

My thoughts: This was my favorite book of the series. Oliver is an extremely likable character, and I found myself rooting him on as he found ways to circumvent his grandmother's rules and begin to learn the truth about "the property."  Once he finds out the secrets, the reader is off on another wild ride to the conclusion.
There is a great deal of humor in the story, and some really fun dialogue.  I fell in love with Oliver's friend, Molly, from the moment we were introduced to her and learned she was wearing a Doctor Who t-shirt.   :)

My rating: Four stars

About Tony Bertauski

During the day, I'm a horticulturist. While I've spent much of my career designing landscapes or diagnosing dying plants, I've always been a storyteller. My writing career began with magazine columns, landscape design textbooks, and a gardening column at the Post and Courier (Charleston, SC). However, I've always fancied fiction.

And I'm a big fan of plot twists.

Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon gift card and the Claus Box Set ebook
Open internationally
Ends December 21st

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