Darlene Foster's Blog

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

I’ve created a trailer for my latest book, Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone. Let me know what you think.

 

I was invited to read my books to the students and families of Sowing Seeds Preschool today. What a fun experience that was! Most of the children were preschool age, which is younger than I am used to reading to. But they were very attentive and well behaved. Parents and siblings were also invited so it was a large and diverse group. I read small excerpts from each book and allowed for questions and comments in between. The puppets were a hit again with Ali Baba stealing the show. He was passed around so everyone had a chance to hold him for a minute or two. One young listener was reluctant to return him to me.

The school went all out to make me feel welcome. As I approached the gates of the school, a poster announcing my visit greeted me.

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A walk of fame directed everyone to the gymnasium where I made my presentation. How cool is that!

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I set up my display featuring items representing all four books.

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I read short excerpts from each book, choosing passages with lots of action and animals.

 

 

 

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One delightful three year old girl, Bhargavi, asked me if Amanda was going to India. I said that it was a great idea and that Amanda would love to go to India, as would I.

answering questions

answering questions

 

When the children got a bit restless, the Director of the school had them stand up and do the Hokey Pokey. They loved shouting Yee Haw at the end (the cowboy version). So I donned my cowboy hat and read from Amanda in Alberta.

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I was presented with a delightful book the students had created together just for me as a thank you.

 

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It ended with thank you written in all the languages represented in the school. Something I will treasure forever!

And some may wonder why I write.

 

Today was a fabulous sunny day and a perfect day to launch Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone. This is the fourth book in the Amanda travel adventure series. (Can it be possible that I have had 4 books published?) The event was held at Albany Books, a wonderful local book store. I was delighted to see so many of my friends and supporters stop in. I am blessed with the most amazing fans of my work. Those that couldn’t make it were there in spirit.

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Faithful followers of Amanda came from near and far.

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Young fans of Amanda and her adventures

My biggest fan and official photographer

My biggest fan and official photographer

I dedicated this book to my dear cowboy dad. The bolo tie I am wearing was his and the horseshoe on the table came from his ranch. I think he would have liked that. It was indeed a perfect day for a book launch!

 

I was recently interviewed for a Writing for Kids podcast by Alexandra Amor. If you would like to hear what I had to say, here is the link:
It’s a little long (I do love to talk) so you may want to do the dishes while you listen to it.  It was my first audio interview and was fun to do. I hope you enjoy it.

 

I am a guest over at JLB Creatives today, being interviewed by the  lovely and talented Janet Beasley. She asks some unique questions that were fun to answer.

Meet Author Darlene Foster

Greetings! Glad you’re here. This week we are featuring author Darlene Foster with an author interview. We’re sure you’ll like what she has to offer the literary world. Her writing talent, creativity, and dedication to the craft shine through in every word.
Let’s say you’re thinking about going on once in a life time vacation…how exciting! What are some of the places you’d consider, and what would you do while you’re there?I love to travel and a once in a lifetime adventure for me would be a trip to Australia and New Zealand. I would so love to see Ayers Rock, the Sydney Opera House, koala bears, kangaroos and so many other amazing sites and animals only found down under. I think it would be a fabulous setting for my main character, Amanda Ross, to have an adventure.

Read more of the interview:
http://www.jlbcreatives.blogspot.ca/2014/03/meet-author-darlene-foster.html
If you could go on a once in a life time adventure, where would it be?

 

A wonderful blogging friend of mine, Debra Eve, has a great blog called Late Bloomer.  I met Debra when we were both guest authors on Gary Doi’s blog, A Hopeful Sign. Recently she posted a moving story about High River, Alberta; a town damaged by the terrible floods last summer.

Debra also has some stories in a recently published book complied by Gary Doi, Inspiring Hope One Story at a Time,  All net proceeds from Inspiring Hope will be donated to the Asturias Academy Library in Xela, Guatemala—a private, non-profit Pre K-12 school dedicated to helping the most vulnerable students in the community.

Inspiring Hope One Story at at Time at LaterBloomer.com

Please hop on over to her blog and read about the town, the book and an update on Momo the amazing cat.

http://www.laterbloomer.com/inspiring-hope

I love my copy of Inspiring Hope and everyone loves Momo!

 

A good friend suggested we attend a demonstration on making Welsh tea cakes at a local book store. You know how much I love book stores and good food, so it didn’t take me long to decide it was a good idea. We had a marvellous time.  Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks is a store devoted to cookbooks as well as books related to cooking or food. The warm, inviting store has an amazing collection of books, many filled with mouth watering photographs of culinary delights. One could spend hours browsing and it is difficult to leave without a purchase.

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The shop has a full kitchen which is used to demonstrate recipes as well as for holding cooking classes. To celebrate St. David’s Day, staff member Mark Holmes, a transplanted Welshman, demonstrated the art of making Welsh cakes in the shop kitchen. He even wore the traditional daffodil in his button hole to honour the occasion.

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Grating the fresh nutmeg

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Rolling out the dough on a counter lightly dusted with icing sugar

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Cutting out the cakes after chilling the dough

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Cooking in a frying pan at low to moderate heat

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Ready to eat!

Mark recalled stories of his grandmother making tea cakes at home in Wales, while we sampled the mouth watering finished product along with a lovely cup of tea. We learned some great tips as well. For instance, grating the cold butter into the flour mixture is much easier than cutting it into the mixture and has the same desired results. I can’t think of a better way to spend a chilly March 1 afternoon.

Life is full of coincidences and they no longer surprise me. Two days ago, Barbara, a dear blogging friend from England, wrote on her blog, March House Books about a vintage cookbook called   250 Recipes by Elizabeth Craig . She included  recipes from the book such as the following  for Welsh Cream Tea Cakes. This one is a bit different as it calls for baking the cakes in an oven, instead of the traditional method of cooking them on a bake-stone or griddle, like a pancake. Either way, they are delicious.

Welsh Cream Tea Cakes from 250 Recipes by Elizabeth Craig
1 lb flour
1/2 teaspoonful salt
1/4 lb currants
Grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoonfuls Borwich’s Baking Powder
1/4 lb butter
2 oz sugar
cream to mix
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a basin. Rub in butter, then mix in washed and dried currants, sugar, and a grated nutmeg to taste. Mix to a stiff batter with fresh cream, and foll out on a floured pastry boards. Cut into squares. Bake on a greased tin in a quick oven. Sometimes I make mixture a little thinner, and cook it in buttered muffin tins. Again, I fork out pieces of dough, and arrange them on tin, like rock cakes, without rolling mixture.
To see more recipes from this quaint book with unique paintings, visit Barbara’s blog:
Do you enjoy looking through cookbooks, new or vintage?

Jesse - Darlene Foster

GS 2 and I have reviewed a book together and are featured on Mother Daughter Book Reviews blogsite today.

http://motherdaughterbookreviews.com/guest-book-review-among-the-hidden-by-margaret-peterson-haddix/

Check out what he said and what I said about the book Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Among the Hidden

This was a fun project to do together, even though we live in different provinces.

Let us know what you think of our review.

The Bess Time cover Nov7

“Have you ever wanted to go back in time? Here is your opportunity.” Bess Turner, a woman of the twenty-first century, would like to invite you to accompany her on a journey to London, England. The season is Christmas. The year is 1847. The adventure begins with a light in a window. Mesmerized, Bess hears street noises behind her. No, that cannot be; she is in her living room, looking at a miniature building on the mantel. True, but …. Meet her colourful Victorian family, stay for a cup of tea, and taste the flaming plum pudding. Hold your breath and squeeze into the dreaded corset. Swirl around the majestic Vauxhall to the Viennese Waltz. Take in the smells and sounds of the horse-drawn carriages along busy Fleet Street. Enjoy the ride; it is The Bess Time.

My review of The Bess Time

Who wouldn’t love to go back in time to visit Charles Dickens’s London at Christmastime? This is what happens to Bess Turner when she stares into the lights of the miniature Victorian street scene on her mantle. A delightful venture into time travel, the author does an excellent job of transitioning from the twenty first century to the nineteenth century with ease. The many unique characters are well developed and you will definitely fall in love with them as they become as familiar as your own friends and neighbours.  Even the charming Mr. Dickens himself makes a cameo appearance. The setting, the accents, the food, the weather, the clothing and the customs of the time come to life on the page. There are many laughs and a few tears as Beth divides her time between a modern North American Christmas and a traditional London Christmas of 1847. I didn’t want the story to end and am happy to hear there is a sequel in the works. You will need to buy two copies of The Bess Time, one for yourself and one for a friend as you won’t want to give this one away. Pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy!

Interview with the author Yvonne Pont

How long have you been writing?

Since I was in high school, but not seriously till about 2009. Before that, I have written for my various club newsletters, letters to family and friends and minutes for meetings. I took various writing courses and joined a writers’ group. Both of which have helped tremendously to hone my craft. 

What gave you the idea for this book?

The miniature buildings and the built in curiosity and imagination to discover what goes on behind closed doors. Wouldn’t it be fun to go back in time and observe? So I did. 

What made you decide to self-publish?

I tried the traditional way, but it is not easy for an unknown author to have a publisher in today’s market take a chance on them. So I took the bull by the horns, took a deep breath and plunged head first into another world I knew nothing about. Each day brings new challenges and tests the will to continue. A relative once told me if you sit in the safety of your backyard and never venture out, life passes you by. 

I just love the characters. Did you pattern them after people you know?

Yes, a few are, and others have the names, but not the personalities of the namesakes. Observing people while in restaurants, shops, etc. is a good way to add or start on a character. 

How did you manage to get all those accents down pat? It wasn’t long and I knew who was talking without the tags, just from the accent!

I made a profile of each character and added their special dialogue. I wanted the reader to experience what Bess did and that was to listen to their different accents of that time in history. It had to be as real as possible.

I also love the cover art work. Was this your idea? How did you find an illustrator for the cover?

I told the artist exactly what I wanted, and she went from there. I also took pictures of figures and buildings in shadow to get the idea across to her. Fortunately, my good friend and artist, Connie Wicklund, did a great job. Iryna Spica of Spica Design in Victoria gave me samples for the title printing and holly emblem. I picked what I felt went best with the book and artwork.

What authors have inspired you? Who are your all time favourite authors?

Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie and Jane Austen. 

Do you have a writing routine?

I try. However, life keeps getting in the way. Thank goodness, I have not experienced writer’s block, so it is not difficult to get my thoughts on paper on short notice. I always write in long hand and then transpose it to my laptop. My thoughts, my hand, the pen and paper work as one. Transferring it to the laptop is another step to further editing the piece.

Are you a plotter or a panster? (do you plot the story out before hand or write by the seat of your pants as ideas come to you?)

Yes, I have a plot. Yes, ideas come while the hand is on the paper too. Does that make me a plotster? 

Tell us a little about you including some quirks or funny habits.

I love animals, travel, gardening. I tend to relate an object such as my car, a book as human. Each has its own personality and story to tell. As far as the funny habits, you will have to ask my husband………. 

What is the name of the next book in the Christmas in Time series and when do you expect it to be completed?

“Nick Of Time” I hope to have it finished and published for fall of 2015. 

What advice would you give someone thinking of writing a book?

Go for it! However, learn your craft and join a writers’ group who will critique and give you sage advice. Editing is a must and must be done many times before the work is finished. But above all, don’t forget this is your work. Be true to it! Heed others advice, but if it is not what you want or had in mind for your story, let them write their own book.

Great advice! So happy to meet yet another Jane Austen fan too.  Thank you, Yvonne for sharing a bit about yourself and your book.

You can buy The Bess Time here or here

Visit Yvonne’s website  http://www.yvonnepont.com/ to learn more about her.

The author is giving away a copy of her book to one of the lucky readers of this blog. Just add a comment and your name will be put in the draw. Don’t forget to comment before the deadline, February 14.

Today I am guest blogging over at T.B. Markinson’s blog Making My Mark

Inspired by Dreams of Travel by Darlene Foster

Posted on January 10, 2014by 

I recently met Darlene via her blog. Most of you know I love to travel, so when I discovered that her books were centered on traveling and introducing new people, places, and cultures to a younger audience I had to find out more. Darlene was kind enough to agree to guest post. I was inspired when I read her post and I hope you will be as well. And now here’s Darlene:

Read more:  http://tbmarkinson.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/inspired-by-dreams-of-travel-by-darlene-foster/

Drop by and make a comment.

While there, check out TB’s other blog site The 50 Year Project where she challenges herself to visit 192 countries, read 1,001 books, and watch the top 100 movies. I love this idea of listing places, books and movies one plans to experience in the next 50 years.

TB is also an author (boy do we have a lot in common!)

Check out her latest book Marionette

Marionette


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