Darlene Foster's Blog

It is so exciting being the author of the month at Cassandra Giovanni’s blog. Today she featured the very first book in The Amanda adventure series, Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask. If you are not familiar with the book, read Cassandra’s great review (in which she gets what I was meaning to do) and an excerpt. Leave a comment if you wish. It is not too late to enter the give away of Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone. Remember, you can enter more than once.

Book Review & Excerpt – Darlene Foster.

We have been experiencing a phenomenal fall here on the west coast of Canada. There seems to be no end to the sunshine, and I have been making the most of it. Since I have cut my hours down to half time at work, it means more beach reading time for me!

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A fun event every year for me is The Mennonite Fair. I work for Mennonite Central Committee in their Employment Services Division and volunteer at the annual fall fair which is a huge fund raiser for MCC. I love the atmosphere; everyone working hard toward the same goal with such compassion. It is the best example of team work I have ever encountered, and I’m grateful to be part of it.

Amazing quilts hand made

Amazing quilts hand made by the Mennonite women

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I bought a hand made rag rug for my house in Spain

And then there was the food! I stocked up on German baking to take home and lined up for a feast of vereniki (growing up we called them perogies but they are the same thing and soooo good) All a wonderful reminder of my German – Canadian childhood. I returned home with my many purchases, full and happy.

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Next stop, a visit to my daughter on her island in the sun. It takes two ferries and a small boat to get me there but it’s worth it.

Leaving Nanaimo Harbour

Leaving Nanaimo Harbour

Approaching Gabriola Island

Approaching Gabriola Island

The boat dock to take me over to Mudge Island in the background

The boat dock to take me over to Mudge Island in the background

My daughter and I attended a excellent talk by Gabriola artist Sheila Norgate called “I never met a blank canvas I didn’t like”. It was enlightening and motivating for both of us. We chatted, barbequed a huge salmon, I watched her water her lovely garden, spent hours on the beach, chatted and ate some more. I always feel so well rested after spending a few days with my daughter on Mudge Island.

Daughter's kiwi patch

Daughter’s kiwi patch

garden scarecrow, wearing one of my old skirts

Garden scarecrow, wearing one of my old skirts

a sink full of parsley

A sink full of parsley

Enjoying one of many Mudge Island beaches

Enjoying one of many Mudge Island beaches

A mermaid at the beach

A mermaid at the beach

My sleeping buddy "Gordon Lightfoot"

My sleeping buddy “Gordon Lightfoot”

An iced tea and a vege wrap at the Skol Pub before heading back to my real life

An ice tea and a vege wrap at the pub before heading back to my life in the city

I am so lucky to be able to enjoy this sunshine, work for a great organization and spend time with my daughter in such a picturesque setting. How is your September so far?

Since I am the featured author on  Cassandra Giovanni Writer’s blog this month she has featured three of my books today.

She is also running a contest to win a copy of Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone. So head on over and enter!

Cassandra  says:  “I highly recommend picking up ALL of these novels!”

Books Behind the Author – Darlene Foster.

And for a great review on Amanda in Alberta –  The Writing on the Stone, check out Lynn Davidson’s blog Polilla Writes  (Did you know that Polilla means bookworm in Spanish? How cool is that!)

Lynn says:

If you haven’t met Amanda before, you’ll need to know she is a twelve-year-old, adventurous, travel-loving girl who seems to find mysteries wherever she goes. This time in Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone, not evening the one leaving home she still gets involved in a situation.

Read more here:

Book Review: Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone – by Darlene Foster.

 

Thank you so much Cassandra and Lynn! I am so grateful for the tremendous support from my blogging community. Without you I would just be a struggling author sitting in front of my computer wondering how to let the world know about my books. You all rock!!

 

 

Lynn Davidson over at  Polilla Writes reads and reviews a variety of books on her blog. She recently wrote a wonderful review of Amanda in England. You can read it here and comment if you wish:

Book Review: Amanda in England: The Missing Novel – by Darlene Foster

 

Lynn’s blog is a great resource for writers and readers.  Thanks Lynn!

I am thrilled and honoured to be the featured author for September on Cassandra Giovanni’s wonderful blog. Cassandra is an accomplished Young Adult/New Adult Author. Here is the interview in which she calls me an awesome Canadian!!

SEPTEMBER’S FEATURED AUTHOR – DARLENE FOSTER by

I cannot believe that it is September already. This year has flown by! This month we have middle-grade author, Darlene Foster on board for our Featured Author. Darlene was hesitant to ask about the feature, because she writes middle-grade, but I jumped right on featuring her. Darlene is one of those authors that is truly supportive of others in the business, and has a true passion for her readers and the books she writes. Even though her books are considered ‘middle-grade’ and appeal directly to ages from seven to fifteen, they transcend that age group and are truly enjoyable for all ages. I have personally read her novels and enjoyed the way she entwined educational pieces with fun and adventure. Those are the best kind of stories–the ones that teach us something while entertaining us. I think this is very important for books in the middle-grade range, so I am more than happy to introduce you to her! Oh, and she’s also Canadian…which I think is awesome!

Read more of the interview and perhaps learn a few things about me you didn’t know. Click like, leave a comment and enter to win an e-copy of Amanda in Alberta.

http://cgiovanniauthor.com/2014/09/05/septembers-featured-author-darlene-foster/

There will be more posts about me and my books all month. How is that for awesomeness!!

I have always loved pottery and enjoyed creating displays of pottery in the gift shop and Museum and Art Gallery I worked at in my younger days.  As many of you know my own daughter is a talented potter. I wrote about her here  She has recently created a website which I think is amazing, proving she has many talents. Please check out her website 

If you see something you like be sure to place an order. Her items are one of a kind and if she sells a piece, there will never be another one like it.

http://www.madmudslinger.com/

Whenever I travel, I like to check out pottery studios and on my recent trip to New Mexico, I found many. It was on a drive through the Taos Canyon, that we came upon a unique wood-fired pottery and sculpture studio that enticed us to stop in.  Enchanted Circle Pottery was indeed enchanting. The couple, JoAnne and Kevin DeKeuster, who own the studio and create all the work, were away at the time. We were instead greeted by wonderful house sitting potters who gave us the grand tour. We spent quite some time looking at the various works of art and discussing pottery as well as other creative endeavours. Writing did come up as did an opportunity to brag about my potter daughter.

Here are some pictures I took of some of their work:

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From their website: The glazes are created from the wood firing, an ancient Japanese process which produces unique iridescent colours. As the wood burns in the kiln, the ash lands on the ceramic work. The kiln reaches such intensely high temperatures (2400 degrees), that the ash is melted into a glaze. The flames surging across the pots also add interesting marks and colour.

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The studio is in such a perfect setting as you can see from the front window. I am sure the potters are inspired by the beautiful nature surrounding them.

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There was pottery everywhere, even in the yard.

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We had an opportunity to step into the huge wood fired kiln. As you noticed, some of the pieces are very large so an oversized kiln is required.

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And much wood is needed to fire this kiln.

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I couldn’t leave without a purchase.  I chose a salt cellar which I gave to a friend who I know appreciates pottery. Aren’t the colours amazing!

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Should you find yourself in New Mexico, on Highway 64, between Taos and Angel Fire, you must stop in to Enchanted Circle Pottery. It is worth the visit!

 

We are blessed with so many good friends and this past while we have had the pleasure of spending time with many of them. I’d like to share some pictures with you.

We have lived in this area for fourteen years and only just discovered a wonderful place called the Riverhouse Restaurant. It is so lovely to sit on the patio, watch the sunset over the marina, and share a delicious meal with good friends.

Dinner with friends at the Riverhouse Restuarant

Dinner with friends at the Riverhouse Restuarant

Outside the restuarant

Outside the Riverhouse Restaurant

Watching the sun set as we eat

Watching the sun set as we eat

A romantic table for two

A romantic table for two

We enjoyed a fabulous barbeque at our friend’s acreage. We were greeted with a welcoming sign which I believe means “Home Forever More” as we pulled in the driveway. It was a lovely day with boccie ball, lawn darts and croquette organized, plenty of interesting people to chat with and an amazing display of food all in a picturesque setting.

A welcome sign to greet us.

A welcome sign to greet us.

Beautiful flowers everywhere

Beautiful flowers everywhere

Even an owl to oversee eveything

Even an owl to oversee things

A mare and her filly in the pasture

A mare and her filly in the pasture

A civilized game of croquette

A civilized game of croquette

Great food!

Great food!

Making sure everyone goes the right way!

Making sure everyone goes the right way!

Another fiend invited us to a salmon barbeque in her lovely back yard.

A beautiful backyard

A beautiful backyard

Opening the sparkling wine

Opening the sparkling wine

Dinner under the pergola

Dinner under the pergola

We have been so lucky this summer; plenty of good food, good weather and great friends!

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