One of the most exciting things about hosting tours is meeting new authors and discovering books that I would have missed. Today, I am so very pleased to be able to introduce you to Tom Weston. Tom is the author of "The Elf of Luxembourg" which is part of the YA series of Alex and Jackie Adventures. Make sure to stop back tomorrow as we continue Tom's tour with a look and review of "The Elf of Luxembourg".
A Walk through the Green Heart of Europe with Alex and Jackie.
Chapter 12 of The Elf of Luxembourg is titled, ‘A Walk through the Green Heart of Europe’. I lifted this title from the booklets published by the Luxembourg Tourist Office, which outline walking tours around the city, including the Vauban Walk and the Wenzel Walk. I’ve taken them both. On a warm summer’s day, stopping occasionally along the way for a refreshing glass of beer, or some ice-cream (as the sisters would insist), Luxembourg is displayed at its best.
While The Elf of Luxembourg is a fantasy, I wanted the story to highlight this very real and ancient city. This is something I started with Boston in First Night, and something that is a feature of all the Alex and Jackie Adventures. Of course, with Luxembourg what is real and what is fantasy can quickly become blurred. Looking up at the towering walls of Siegfried’s castle, or across the Petrusse valley to the Saint Quirinus chapel, carved out of the rock, it is easy to imagine that Luxembourg is indeed the City of the Elves.
Although these walks take you past many of the landmarks that feature in the book, I’ll point out just two.
The first are the Vauban Towers, located in the in Pfaffenthal region of the city. If any one man is responsible for the look and feel of Luxembourg, it is Louis XIV’s (the Sun King’s) Marshal and Engineer, the Marquis de Vauban (1633 – 1707). Although the French and Vauban ran rampant throughout Europe during this period, laying siege to cities, knocking them down and then rebuilding them, his work at Luxembourg in 1684-1685 shaped the future of the city. He turned the whole city into a fortress, complete with the enigmatic Spanish Towers. He expanded the Casemates, that labyrinth of underground tunnels which could house an army; and today his work in Luxembourg is recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site. Head on over to the East Tower, which today houses a self guided audio/video presentation of the City’s history.
And my second stop for today, after pausing in the Grund for some light refreshment, is another tower, Jacob’s Tower. In The Elf of Luxembourg, I feature some ancient artefacts known as the Glozel Stones, and the markings – hieroglyphs – that appear on them. In the book, similar markings appear in the ceiling of the Church of St John. But in reality, I found the hieroglyphs in Jacob’s tower. In the story, I shifted them to the Church for the sake of continuity. Go ahead and look for them, they are well hidden, but they are there. Another audio/video presentation is housed in Jacob’s Tower, and then, if you have the legs for it, you can make your way back to the upper part of the city via Neumünster Abbey. If you’re feeling a little bit tired, return to the Grund and take the elevator.
So if you find yourself in Luxembourg, head on over to the Tourist Office, grab a copy of A Walk through the Heart of Europe and go explore. Don’t forget to give yourself plenty of time for idle loitering with a glass of Luxembourg crémant, and don’t forget to say hello to the Elves.
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.
To learn more about Tom and the other books in the series, make sure to visit his website at: http://tom-weston.com/
I received a copy of this book from Pump Up Your Book to honestly review.