North Pole Reform School by Jaimie Admans
Publication Date: November 6, 2013
Genre: YA rom-com Fantasy
Mistletoe Bell hates Christmas. So would you if you had a name like hers. Her Christmas-mad parents make the festive season last all year, and with another Christmas looming, Mis doesn’t think she can take any more. After her carelessness causes an accident at school, it seems like things can’t get any worse.
Then she wakes up to find The Ghost of Christmases Ruined in her bedroom.
She is taken to the North Pole, to a reform school run by elves determined to make her love Christmas. Stuck in a misfit group of fellow Christmas-haters with a motley crew of the weird and even weirder, watched over by elves day and night, she doesn’t expect to meet cute and funny Luke, who is hiding a vulnerable side beneath his sarcastic exterior. She doesn’t expect to fall in love with him.
But all is not as it should be at the North Pole. A certain Mr Claus is making the elves’ lives a misery, and pretty soon Mistletoe and Luke are doing more than just learning to like Christmas.
A YA romantic comedy in which Santa is the bad guy, teaching reindeer to fly is on the curriculum, and zombies have a fondness for Christmas music.
Suitable for older teens and upwards due to bad language.
It started with a purple moose.
At least I thought it was a moose. On reflection, it could have been a reindeer, but it didn’t matter at the time because it was obviously just a dream.
“Mistletoe,” the moose-reindeer said.
Yep. Still hate my parents for naming me that.
“Mistletoe,” it said again in a spooky echo of a voice, “I am the Ghost of Christmases Ruined, and I have come to tell you something.”
“Go away.” I turned over in bed.
“Mistletoe Bell,” it said sharply. “Listen to me right now.”
I sat up, suddenly wide awake. God, what a freaky dream.
“Mistletoe Bell,” it said again. I jumped out of my skin. I clutched the duvet to me as I turned around. Of all the things I expected to see, the purple moose sitting in the middle of my carpet and looking annoyed was about the last of them.
“Wh… what are you?” I asked quietly. I didn’t really believe my eyes. I must still be dreaming.
“I’ve tried to tell you already. I am the Ghost of Christmases Ruined.”
I tried to pinch myself awake without the moose noticing. It didn’t work. I didn’t wake up and the moose noticed.
“It won’t work,” the moose said. “You’re already awake.”
“I’m looking at a talking purple moose. I don’t think so.”
“You are Mistletoe Bell?” the moose asked.
I dropped my head into my hands and edged closer to the other side of the bed.
The moose continued to look at me expectantly.
“Unfortunately, yes. I couldn’t be anyone else with that stupid name.”
“It’s a very nice Christmas name.”
“That’s exactly the bloody problem. You try having a stupid Christmassy name in the middle of July or something.”
“Ah yes, but it’s December now.”
“Screw December,” I muttered.
“Aha,” the moose said. “This is exactly why I’m here.”
I gave it an angry look. “What the hell are you going on about?”
“Well, if you’d be so kind as to allow me to get to my point, I will enlighten you.”
I sighed in frustration.
“Mistletoe Bell,” the moose said, “you have been charged with ruining Christmas. Multiple counts over the years, but a particularly aggressive case this year when taking into account the fire—”
“The fire was an accident.”
It gave me a glare and I rolled my eyes. “Please go on,” I said, complete with a sarcastic hand gesture.
“As I was saying…” The moose had an annoyed tone to its voice now. “Ruining Christmas, multiple counts, we can’t let it continue. We’ve been keeping an eye on you for a while now. We were actually hoping you might grow out of it now you’re nearly seventeen, but the fire this year is the final straw. Mistletoe—”
“Please stop calling me that.” I interrupted it again. “It’s Mis, Misty, or nothing.”
The moose rolled its eyes. “I am required to call you by your proper name at all times. Now, can we get on with it?”
“Get on with what?”
“Mistletoe Bell, tomorrow you will be taken to the North Pole where you will stay until you can learn how to behave acceptably and stop ruining Christmas for others. You will be part of a group who will learn the value of Christmas to all involved.”
“That’s ridiculous. Who’s going to teach me? The polar bears?”
“The elves will teach you.”
“Of course they will.” I smacked my forehead. “Of course there are elves. I don’t know why I expected anything else from a purple moose.”
The moose made a frustrated noise. “Mistletoe, do you understand?”
“I will be taken to the North Pole and taught by elves? Yes, I understand perfectly.”
“I must be on my way. Sweet dreams, Mistletoe.” The moose got up and jumped out of the window.
I rolled over and went back to sleep. I must’ve eaten cheese before bed last night or something.
There were more weird dreams. I dreamt of flying above the rooftops and over the oceans, and it was really, really cold. I’m pretty sure I could hear strains of “Walking in the Air” in the distance.
I've read North Pole Reform School and enjoyed it very much, if you want to see what I had to say click here!
~About The Author~
Jaimie is a 28-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, drinking tea and watching horror movies. She hates spiders and cheese & onion crisps. She has been writing for years but has never before plucked up the courage to tell people. Afterlife Academy is her third novel and she hopes you enjoy it. There are plenty more on the way!
1) Jaimie I know you love this time of year, so how was it writing characters that loath Christmas?
Really hard! I do absolutely love everything about Christmas, I can’t get enough of all things festive, so it was quite strange to be writing about characters who are the complete opposite of me! I didn’t make them hate Christmas enough at first and had to go back and change it! But things did even up a bit because I was also writing the elves who love Christmas and try to get the characters to see it from their point of view, so I could enjoy it through their eyes too!
2) How long does it take you to write a novel?
I tend to write NaNoWriMo style, which is that you do all your planning and research beforehand, then you sit down and do nothing but write until the first draft is done. You don’t edit as you go, you don’t look things up until later, you just pop a marker in and sort it out when you’re done. Generally I can write a novel in a month to six weeks, but it will only be a very basic first draft, it then takes many more months of editing – changing things, going back to put things in or take things out – until it’s in a fit state to be read by other people, and that’s only people like my editor, I wouldn’t unleash it on the public that soon! I don’t know if it’s the best way to do things, but it’s the way that works best for me. I love writing that first draft, not worrying about where things are going, just writing and knowing that I can sort out any problems later! (I really need to try this style!)
3) What are some things that inspired you while writing North Pole Reform School?
North Pole Radio really helped! It’s an internet radio station that I discovered by accident. In the book, the elves have a radio station that I had originally named North Pole Radio and I was just having a quick check online to make sure it didn’t actually exist, and found that it did! I had to rename the station in the book, but I couldn’t resist having a little listen to the real North Pole Radio, and I ended up having it playing quietly in the background throughout the whole writing! It’s strange for me because I never usually listen to music while writing, I find it too distracting, but having Christmas songs playing really helped with this one!
4) Can you tell us what one of your Christmas traditions are?
I think my Christmas traditions are a bit boring but I love them anyway! The one I most look forward to is watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, my absolute favourite Christmas movie, which we do every year not long before Christmas, with a tin of Christmas chocolates! (That sounds absolutely charming!)
5) How did you come up with the zombie twist?
I don’t know! My brain goes to some strange places while I’m writing! The zombies weren’t planned at all. They came in the scene where Tinsel first shows the reform group around the North Pole, I actually thought they’d be something I’d go back and take out later, but it ended up making sense (to me! Maybe not to anyone else!) and they became a bigger part of things then! (Omg, me too!)
6) You had quite a few unique characters in NPRS, which one was your favorite to write about?
Navidad! I loved his nonsensical advice, and I had so much fun making it all up! I loved writing them all, to be honest, even Joe! But Navidad’s silly sayings were my favourite part! (They were definitely a favorite part for me!)
7) Do you have any techniques on how to beat this old saying, "show, don't tell"? How do you balance that fine line of having enough detail without over detailing?
Oh, I wish I knew! I thought I had it down by now, but then a reviewer mentioned that I was doing both showing and telling, rather than just showing, so obviously I haven’t got it down at all! I think you just have to read through the book as many times as you can, and concentrate on a different aspect each time. Next time I’ll be adding another read-through to concentrate solely on telling vs showing!
8) If you could write with any author, who would that be?
Probably Meg Cabot. I love her books so much, reading her made me want to start writing YA, and her blog and tweets are so funny! She makes writing look easy, and her books are always brilliant!
9) How much do you decorate for the holidays? 1 as not much and 10 as Santa's elves throw up on the place.
Probably a medium 5. I used to go all out and cover everything with tinsel, glitter, snowflakes, etc, but most of the Christmas decorations ended up in the shed last year after a house flood, and now they’ve been in there for over a year, they’re covered in spiders and I couldn’t psych myself up to go through them! Now we’ve got a little tree, a few sets of lights, and some sparkly leaves on sticks that I got in the supermarket last week! (Completely understand you not wanting to get near any spiders, haha)
10) You say there's no more publications from you this year, so what should your fans be expecting next year?
I’m writing a chick-lit Christmas novella at the moment, so that will be ready for next Christmas. Before that though, I want to start January with a clean slate to write a new novel, I’ve also got an idea for a sequel to Afterlife Academy that I want to write, and the sequel to Not Pretty Enough is written but not edited yet, so I’m aiming to get that out early next year too! (Sequel to Afterlife Academy....can't wait!)
Green or Red
Both! Red and green are festive together! If you’re really going to make me choose then red!
Real or Fake Tree
I’d love a real one, but we always end up with only a fake one!
Star or Angel
Hot Chocolate or Eggnog
White or Colored lights
Ooh, I think both can look lovely depending on the setting! I’ll say coloured though, just because they’re a bit more interesting!
Snow or Rain
Snow! Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow!
Roaring fire or Heater
Heater! I really don’t like the smell of wood burning, so definitely a heater!
Ham or Turkey
I’m a vegetarian, so we usually have a fake-chicken roast!
Christmas songs or Christmas movies
Movies! No, songs! No, movies! How about movies with lots of songs in them?
Gingerbread cookies or Gingerbread house
Cookies! I love gingerbread houses, but they’re just so pretty that you don’t want to break them up and eat them! (I know, right!)
I absolutely love this girl and hope to one day be able to meet her! So please, help support her. Her work is so much fun! :)
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