The Elf of Luxembourg by Tom Weston

Alex and Jackie are back with a new adventure in The Elf of Luxembourg by Tom Weston.

Sisters Alex and Jackie O’Rourke vacation with Aunt Anne and Uncle Jim in Luxembourg. Along with shopping, they find an unexpected adventure involving vampires and an elf.

Hundreds of years ago, the lands of the Muisca were invaded and the wife and son of Cuchaquicha, kidnapped. While many treasurers were gained, what the invaders truly sought was El Dorado. The vampires believed Cucha could draw out the elf who was the guardian of El Dorado, but their plan failed.

Four hundred years later, Jackie and Alex are traveling the streets of Luxembourg, when they are given a strange gold coin. The coin and a meeting with a handsome and mysterious stranger pulls the girls into a dangerous adventure that places them in the middle of a battle between the vampires and the elf.  

As with the first book in this series, First Night, Tom Weston uses an historically rich location and his own imagination to create a young adult fantasy novel that is both unique and engaging. While The Elf of Luxembourg is the second book in this series, you do not have to read the first book in order to follow these events, as this is a stand-alone book. And just like in First Night, Jackie and Alex manage to stumble into the thick of things without realizing it. Don’t you think they should learn by now? 🙂

The story of Cuchaquicha and his desire to be reunited with his wife and son connects Alex and Jackie to the past, but it is also a love story that readers get to see unfold as the book progresses.

Weston has a different style than many of the YA books I’ve read. He chooses a third person narrator to unfold the story, versus having it be told from the point of view of one of the young main characters. As a result, he is able to share the rich history of landmarks in Luxembourg up to the present day. This decision does have its drawbacks, however, as it doesn’t allow the reader to get inside Jackie’s and Alex’s heads. For a character-driven reader, this style might be a challenge. That said,  this was the same style Weston used in First Night, and even though I am a character-driven reader, I requested to review the second book in the series.

The Elf of Luxembourg is a great addition to the Alex and Jackie series. With the popularity of Twilight, I’m certain this book will have many fans.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: tom weston media 
  • ISBN-10: 0981941346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981941349
  • SRP:  $10.95

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    Winner of Raccoon Tales by Joy DeKok

     Our congratulations go out to Jenni, winner of a copy of Raccoon Tales by Joy DeKok!

    Raccoon Tales is the true-life journey in the first year of the lives of these little “wash bears.” Written in easy-to-read verse, author, Joy DeKok, tells the story with tenderness and energy. Readers will leave the story glad they came, knowing more about raccoons, and what a wild animal rescue and release looks like. Illustrator Leslie Helen Colwin’s art brings the story to life. 

    Sad that you didn’t win a copy of this wonderful book? We understand, but don’t fret. Just click on over to Joy’s B4K website to pick up a copy.

    Thanks to all who participated in this giveaway.  Look for more giveaways coming soon from The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection!

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    The Raindrop by Brian D. McClure – Giveaway

    Through the uplifting rhymes and profound messages of acceptance, respect and understanding, author Brian D. McClure educates and entertains children, parents and grandparents in the adventurous journey of The Raindrop. In this story, The Raindrop experiences many emotions as it travels from feelings of uselessness to the discovery of its importance and Interdependence of all things big and small.

    The Raindrop, like the other seven books in The Brian D. McClure Children’s book series, offer universal life lessons that empower and educate the whole family.

    Read an Excerpt!

    I am just a raindrop; I am smaller than small.
    What am I doing here? I have no use at all…

    “What are you talking about?” asked the Cloud, “You are part of the water system, and you should be proud.”

    “No,” said the Raindrop, “I am sure you are wrong. I am good for nothing, and soon I’ll be gone.”

    “I know your problem,” the Cloud said in reply. “I can do nothing to help you, I can only stand by. However, before you go, there is something I would like you to know. Without you, there would be no life on earth. I urge you to rethink, the state of your worth!”

    Read What Reviewers are Saying!

    “I enjoyed speaking with Brian on “A Call to Consciousness.” The questions he asked gave me the space to share my message with his loyal legion of listeners.” –Dan Millman, International Bestselling Author “The Peaceful Warrior”

    “I Support The Universal Flag From The Core of My Being.” –Dr. Wayne Dyer

    “We can all benefit from being a part of Brian McClure’s “A Call To Consciousness” radio program.” – Adrian Windsor, Program Coordinator for Inside Edge

    Note: We’ll be reviewing this title soon.

    Ohio born native Brian McClure is the Founder and President of The Universal Flag and its affiliate companies. He is an author, human rights advocate and messenger of the oneness of all. Inside of the Universal Flag Companies, he set up a Non Profit Foundation to help relieve the suffering which he has witnessed in third world countries, along with spreading the Universal Flags throughout the World. The flag was recently paraded and flown at The United Nations as part of World Peace Day.

    Brian has been interviewed on countless national radio shows and has been in a number of publications including CNN, CBS & NBC TV. He is the host the hit radio show, “A Call To Consciousness” – which is heard weekly on KTLK 1150AM in Los Angeles and KFNX 110AM in Phoenix Arizona.

    He has spoken at many organizations, churches and institutions including The Agape Spiritual Center, The Inside Edge and The Onion based at the Unity Spiritual movement Center. Brian’s humanitarian efforts have extended worldwide. Recently Brian took it upon himself to visit and document impoverished communities in Sierra Leone which had just ended an 11 year war several years before, and Uganda. Upon his return he has been very proactive creating awareness about the real conditions which go largely unreported in the US.

    Brian once stated: ”The power of a symbol cannot be underestimated. Politicians use symbols to gather and mobilize support. Corporations use logos to create effective, profitable brand loyalties. Now, the world has a new symbol, the Universal Flag is one that calls forth promise and potential for all. It defines our interconnectedness and oneness with ALL.” As Brian has said many times, “the Universal Flag Symbol acts as a signpost reminding us of our deepest truths. The symbol represents a world filled with infinite possibilities.”

    Brian has developed an awareness of equality among all people and nationalities. His primary goal is to help people remember that inside each of us we hold the higher truths that are transforming our world.

    You can visit Brian online at and

    Enter to Win a Copy of The Raindrop by Brian McClure!

    Now that you’ve read how great this book is, don’t you want to own a copy for your child, grandchild or other special kid in your life?

    Here’s how to enter:

    1) Leave a comment here with a working email address so that we can contact you if you win.

    2) Tweet about this contest for an extra entry. Leave us the link to your tweet. 

    3) Announce this contest on Facebook for two additional entries. Show us you did.

    4) Blog about this contest for three additional entries. Make sure you leave us a link to where you blogged about it.

    This contest will run from today until 11:59 PM (Eastern) on April 30th. We’ll announce a winner in early May.

    Good luck to all who enter!


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    Straight Talk for Teenage Girls by Annette Fuson

     If you are a teenage girl trying to muddle through the teen years or if you know a girl who is, then you’ll want to pick up a copy of Straight Talk for Teenage Girls by Annette Fuson.

    This is a small book packed with loads of advice on everything from liking yourself to dealing with problems, getting out of bad situations, and more. With her straightfoward, no nonsense approach, Fuson helps teenage girls tackle the tough issues they deal with today.

    Each chapter starts off with a story about an issue that a ficticious girl is dealing with–well, I’m assuming she’s made up because it doesn’t state either way. The scenario at the beginning of the chapter flows in nicely to each chapter’s content. Also included in the book are several quizes, a sample of a teen budget, and a Q&A session with real teenage girls.

    What I like best about Straight Talk for Teenage Girls is that Fuson really shows teenage girls that they are in control; they are responsible for their actions, they can correct the mistakes they make, and  they can set the goals that will guide them to fulfulling their dreams. The important thing is that Fuson also encourages talking to parents about things, but also provides some advice on what to do when parents aren’t available to help you–which can, and probably will, happen.

    By the time I was 14, my mother had passed away and I didn’t have a great relationship with my father. A book like this would have gone a long way in helping me deal with the situations I was facing. Even though times have changed, some issues that teens deal with have remained the same, which is why so much of the advice found in this book is timeless.

    Straight Talk for Teenage Girls by Annette Fuson will make a great gift for the teenage girl in your life!

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: AuthorHouse; Revised edition
  • ISBN-10: 1434373363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434373366
  • SRP:  $15.00

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    Faith and Fiction in Children’s Literature by Dixie Phillips (Guest post & Giveaway)

    Today’s guest blogger is Dixie Phillips. She is on a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion to discuss one of her newest releases, One Noble JourneyMake sure you read to the end of this post to find out how you can win a copy of One Noble Journey.

    My husband and I have been in fulltime ministry for nearly thirty years. We have discovered even on the best days – life can be difficult. Parents are weary of hearing bad news and long to escape the pressures from the daily grind. They fear for their children’s future and crave an infusion of hope. An inspirational book has the power to transform the mundane into paradise and become an important building block in their child’s faith.

    In 1988, our church started a Christian school. As we began training the students, we understood in order for them to experience optimal spiritual health they needed appetizing “soul food.” Force feedings were never beneficial. We realized rigid rules without a healthy relationship would breed rebellion in a child. They needed to laugh often and be loved unconditionally. Blending faith and fiction in children’s literature is another way we can pass our beliefs along to our children. The characters of a story can be chiseled on the heart and conscience of a child; shaping their small souls and causing them to embrace timeless truths from God’s Word.

    Every day children are bombarded with conflicting messages and destructive images. Parents cannot afford to be silent, but must be proactive and provide positive character-building literature, which will nourish the child’s spirit and help replenish relationships, encourage significant conversation, and foster a vibrant faith in the heart of the child.   

    I believe the seeds of influence from my children’s books – Angel Eyes, Stubby’s Destiny, One Noble Journey, Baby Jesus is Missing, and the children’s books I write in the future, will live longer than I do, produce a harvest of wisdom and help ignite a blazing faith in the hearts of children, which will change a generation and time my eyes may never see. 

    Dixie Phillips began writing seasonal plays for children in 1987. These delightful programs have been published by Abingdon Press, Standard Publishing, Eldridge Publishing, Evangelizing Today’s Child and Gospel Publishing House. One of Dixie’s children’s books, Stubby’s Destiny, was awarded the 2008 Best Children’s Animal Story by Books and Authors. Guardian Angel Publishing has released Angel Eyes, One Noble Journey and Baby Jesus is Missing. Cinderfella and the Furry Godmother and Stilts the Stork will be released in 2010.

    Dixie also has a passion for writing God’s truths for adults. She has contributed to an award-winning devotional book and has ghostwritten books on marriage, health, poetry and personal testimonies. She is currently a topical curriculum writer for Randall House. Dixie is a pastor’s wife of more than 30 years. She and her husband, Paul, have four grown children and have served the Gospel Lighthouse Church in Floyd, Iowa, for 28 years.

    You can learn more about Dixie’s books and the Phillips’ ministry by visiting

    To see where Dixie stops next on her virtual book tour, visit every weekday in December between now and December 16th.



    1) Comment here with your working email address so that we can contact you if you win.

    2) Get one additional entry for blogging about this contest. Leave a comment here telling us where you blogged about it.

    3) Get two additional entries for tweeting about this contest. Don’t forget to let us know here that you tweeted!

    This giveaway will run from today until 11:59 p.m. (Eastern) on December 31st. A winner will be announced in early January.

    This contest is open to residents of the United States and Canada only.

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    Hakim and Terrance Shadow Mystery by Bernadine Feagins

    Hakim and Terrance Shadow Mystery is a wonderful story about a lost dog. Two best friends go on an adventure to bring Shadow home. Along the way you will meet nice neighbors, some kind business owners and many others. The mystery begins when someone finally provides a clue. What do you think that clue is? Find out today with your purchase of Hakim and Terrance Shadow Mystery.

    Bernadine Feagins is a new author who is looking forward to many years of writing children’s books. She has always had a love of children and worked many years in early childhood education. During these times she witnessed the joy children felt as she would demonstratively read books. In addition she is a very active mom who loves to nurture not only her children, but those of family and community. She often had story time with those she loved and cared for. She developed her story telling skills through the numerous books she read to children, this gave her an inspiration to tell her own story. Hakim and Terrance Shadow Mystery is the result. When Bernadine isn’t reading to children or involved in some other child nurturing activity, she can be found as a business woman that works for the IRS. Bernadine is available for interviews, book signings or public reading in schools and libraries.

    Visit Bernadine online at

    To see where Bernadine’s virtual book tour goes next, visit

    • Publisher:  Lulu
    • ISBN: 978-0-557-09041-9
    • SRP: $15.72

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    Today’s guest blogger is Kathleen Crawley, author of the fun new children’s book , Colonel Trash Truck.  

    Kids love trucks and are most familiar with the truck that visits their house every week – the garbage truck.  So, there is no better way to teach them to respect the environment than to introduce them to Colonel Trash Truck – a likable, fun-loving hero who is extremely focused about his mission to win the garbage war.  He sees the world and nature as a beautiful gift that we all need to appreciate and protect.  Colonel Trash Truck believes cleaning up trash and recycling is something we all must do and he wants nothing more than to have kids join him in his quest. Now’s the time to become a member of his Clean and Green Team! KARUNCH!


    • THROW TRASH IN THE TRASH CAN!  You may think “duh!” but SO many kids do not put trash in the garbage and drop it on the floor or on the playground or give it to their mom.  She is not a trash can, the floor is not a trash can and neither is the playground.  Sure sometimes there isn’t a garbage can around when you need to throw something away but it is so important to make the extra effort to find one.  Look around the next time you are at a park or the beach and you will be surprised at how much trash is on the ground.  The Colonel needs your help because he can’t do it alone.  The more you toss your trash in the correct place, others will too!
    • MAKE SURE TO RECYCLE!  Sometimes it can be hard to remember to recycle and put items into the correct recycle bin but it is really important when it comes to saving our planet.  Papers and cups can be recycled and used over and over again so that we don’t use up all the trees on our planet.  You would be surprised how many things can turn into something else like an aluminum can can be a soda one day and a baseball bat the next.  If we reuse bottles and papers and cans, we will use less of our natural resources and save our planet from wasting away.  There is no better way to help Colonel Trash Truck in his quest to keep the planet green than to recycle!
    • TURN OFF THE WATER FAUCET WHEN YOU ARE NOT USING IT!  Does the water faucet really need to be on while you brush your teeth?  Do you always remember to turn the faucet all the way off after you are done washing your hands and make sure it isn’t dripping? Colonel Trash Truck knows how important it is to save water because it is used for so many things like growing the food we eat.  Please help him by making sure to conserve water whenever you can and turn off that faucet!

    Kathleen Crawley has been an advertising executive for over fifteen years.  She resides with her husband Ronald Thomson in Redondo Beach, California.  She is a native Californian having graduated from UCLA with a B.A in sociology.  Colonel Trash Truck is her first book.  About writing for children, Kathy says, “I have a number of books I want to write for kids because I think children are fascinating.  They are open, creative, and interested in everything; they bring out the kid in me.” 

    You can visit Kathleen online at


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