“Action, Adventure, History, Magic, Mystery, Romance and Shopping.”
And that’s just the blurb on the back cover of The Elf of Luxembourg, my second book in the Alex and Jackie Adventure series.
For readers of my first novel, First Night, they will be . . . fill in the blank . . . to hear that the teenage sisters from San Diego, Alex and Jackie, are back. But is this enough reason alone to read The Elf of Luxembourg? After all, First Night had some good stuff going for it, such as Ghosts and Witches. Well, I think so, and here are seven reasons why:
Do you like Vampires? Well The Elf of Luxembourg has got them. Those familiar with Alex’ dour mood swings, won’t be expecting a Vampire love story, but the book’s sub-title is Being a Love Story, so maybe this is a Twilight rip-off. Perhaps I’m just jumping on the Vampire bandwagon; but be warned – I began The Elf of Luxembourg long before the current Vampire resurrection. I actually had most of the story fermenting before I wrote First Night, so I plead not guilty to that accusation.
Do you like Elves? Because this book has them also. These elves are not the cuddly, Santa variety. In fact, think Lord of the Rings rip-off, except that it’s set in 21st century Luxembourg and has the teenage sisters from San Diego instead of Hobbits. The Elf of the title may be more than a match for the Vampires, but for Alex and Jackie? That is a different matter.
Do you like Conquistadors? For the Elves, our story is 100,000 years in the making. For us humans, the story really begins in 1595, in South America, with the Conquistadors and their search for El Dorado. And when they run into with Sir Walter Raleigh, the battle lines are formed, the swords are drawn, and greed and desire fog the senses.
Do you like Mystery? Because we have so much mystery, we could have a fire-sale. We begin with the discovery of the Glozel Stones (and they are real – Google it), over which the reputations of the highest powers in France are staked. We have a gold coin that lies at the heart of the mystery and which may or may not have magical powers. Either way, it seems to command an awful lot of attention, but, as Jackie learns, is no good for purchasing tickets to the Petrusse Express or for buying souvenirs.
Do you like History with your Mystery? Readers of my earlier works know I can get a bit carried away with the history lessons, but when the history includes the real facts behind the legend of El Dorado, the readers will see that this is not the stuffy classroom variety.
Do you like Romance? For in spite of all of the above, The Elf of Luxembourg is, at its heart, a love story. But it just may not be the one that you are expecting. We have nothing ventured, nothing gained. We have a hero who goes to the ends of the earth for the one he loves. How we crammed it all into 290 pages, I don’t know; it’s not like we used tiny font sizes.
And reason number seven is not a question, it is a declaration. I love Luxembourg. The Elf of Luxembourg, being a love story, is just that. It is my love letter to this wonderful City. Even if I omitted the Vampires, Elves, Conquistadores and Magic, there would still be Luxembourg. I know that those who have lived in Luxembourg love it like I do. I know that for the rest of you, you are in for quite a treat.
About the Book
The thing about El Dorado is . . . No, forget that. The thing about younger sisters is . . . What’s an older sister to do? It’s not all fun fairs and ice-cream. Well, it is – but that’s beside the point. When one is in Luxembourg, there is a certain standard to maintain, and vacationing with Elves and Vampires is just so old school. But can Alex convince her younger sister, Jackie, of that? No, of course not, so she may as well get used to it. But deep beneath the ancient city of Luxembourg there lies a secret. The Vampires believe it is protected by the Elf. The Elf believes it is protected by a prophecy concerning Alex and Jackie. And the sisters? They believe shoes in Luxembourg are too expensive. Why are the Vampires going toe-to-toe with an Elf for the pleasure of the sisters’ company? Why does the Elf think Alex and Jackie can sing? And just who let Sir Walter Raleigh and the Conquistadors into this story? To answer these questions will take all of the sisters’ cunning, bravery and imagination, as well as some souvenir shopping. Because this is the Elf of Luxembourg and this is an Alex and Jackie Adventure.
About Tom Weston
Originally from England, Tom now resides in Boston, Massachusetts. Before turning his hand to fiction, Tom had a successful career as the CEO of a consulting company, conference speaker and writer of industry articles and business books. His novel, First Night, set in Boston during the New Year’s Eve festival, introduced the unlikely heroines, Alex and Jackie, and the ghost of a 17th century Puritan named Sarah Pemberton. First Night won an Honorable Mention in the Middle-Grade/Young Adult category, in the Writers Digest 17th Annual International Self-Published Book Awards. The sequel to First Night, called The Elf of Luxembourg, was published in January, 2010. As with First Night, The Elf of Luxembourg is also a supernatural mystery, with a blend of humor and history that has become Tom’s trademark. Tom is currently working on Book 3 of the Alex and Jackie Adventures, and is researching the background material for the story, which will be set in Ireland. Tom has also written the screenplay, Fission, based on the true story of scientist, Lisa Meitner, and the race for the atomic bomb, and which was named a finalist at the London Independent Film Festival.
What Reviewers Say
“If more authors wrote like this for teenagers, they’d be a lucky bunch . . . impossible to put down.” BFC Book Reviews reviewing First Night ***