". . . a vivid, inspiring portrait . . ."
– Kirkus Reviews
AWARDS, PRESS & INTERESTS
Bronze (Historical Fiction), Global eBook Awards, 2013: FISSION
First Place (Historical Fiction), Reader Views Literary Awards, 2011: FISSION
Winner of the National Indie Excellence Award for Young Adult Fiction, 2013: Feathered: being a fairy tale
Silver (Fantasy), Readers' Favorite Book Awards, 2013: Feathered: being a fairy tale
BOOKS REVIEWED BY KIRKUS:
ADDITIONAL WORKS AVAILABLE:
Screenwriter and novelist Weston (First Night, 2009) presents a fictionalized account of Austrian physicist Lise Meitner’s struggle as a woman scientist and her role in the creation of the atomic bomb.
Weston’s historical novel oscillates between Lise’s story, starting in 1906, and her nephew Otto Robert Frisch’s 1968 quest to have a posthumous Nobel Prize awarded in her honor. Lise is part of the German research team that discovers nuclear fission, although only her colleague Otto Hahn receives the Nobel Prize during World War II; Lise, a Jew who converts to Protestantism, is in Sweden and her scientific achievement is overlooked. The author presents a vivid, inspiring portrait of scientific research at Imperial University in Vienna and Germany’s University of Berlin. Readers who possess even scant knowledge about physics will be intrigued by Lise’s close relationships with scientific luminaries such as Niels Bohr, Max Planck and Albert Einstein. More thought-provoking is Lise’s battle to establish herself as a physicist in a male-dominated profession. Weston describes Lise’s difficulty obtaining a teaching position in Vienna because “people expected her to cease playing at science, retire from the academic scene and find a good husband.” In Lise, the author has created a compelling, revelatory, feminist protagonist. However, the author’s use of multiple viewpoints detracts from the narrative. Lise’s is the most captivating, but when variegating into the viewpoints of Hahn, Planck and Frisch, the story blurs. Although most characters are well-developed, when more infamous character such as Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill appear, it’s difficult to find them convincing; they become caricatures with arch dialogue. For instance, Weston’s Hitler proclaims, “Jews such as Haber are all communists, our enemies. My life is against them.” While it’s easy to believe Hitler would make a similar statement, Hitler as a character in a novel feels oversimplified. The author also glosses over the destruction the atomic bomb causes and the scientists’ reactions to the catastrophe they helped create.
An intriguing, educating historical novel that occasionally becomes muddled with too many viewpoints.
FEATHERED: BEING A FAIRY TALE (Unpublished)
Whenever Alexandra Caroline O’Rourke, AKA Alex, met with trouble, she generally blamed her younger sister, Jackie. And Alex’s sudden engagement to marry a Viking prince, against her will, probably classified as trouble. If nothing else, a wedding held in 11th century Ireland would make it difficult to invite her friends from San Diego.
Regardless of blame, Jackie was the only person who could help Alex, but Jackie was still in the 21st century. And Jackie had her own problems, which included uncooperative fairies and strange songs which only she could hear. But most of all, if Jackie could not find a way to make it rain, marauding Vikings would be the least of their worries, because this is Feathered: being a fairy tale and this is an Alex and Jackie Adventure.
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FIRST NIGHT: BEING A GHOST STORY
Alexandra O’Rourke, aged 16, is not a happy camper. It’s New Year’s Eve. She should be partying in San Diego with her friends, but instead she is stuck in Boston, with just her younger sister, Jackie, for company. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she is being haunted by Sarah, the ghost of a seventeenth century Puritan. Oh, and there is the small matter of the charge of witchcraft to be sorted out.
Armed only with big shiny buttons and a helping of Boston Cream Pie, the sisters set out to restore the Natural Order. Can Alex solve the mystery of the Devil’s Book? Can Jackie help Sarah beat the sorcery rap? And can they do it before the fireworks display at midnight? Because this is First Night – and this is an Alex and Jackie Adventure.
Published: Dec. 31, 2008
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THE ELF OF LUXEMBOURG: BEING A LOVE STORY (Unpublished)
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.
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