Darlene Foster's Blog

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

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

Over at Mother Daughter Book Reviews, I am participating in a $25.00 Book Blast Giveaway featuring The Shadow of the Unicorn by Suzanne de Montigny. If you love unicorns, you will enjoy this book! Just might be a great idea for a Christmas gift. You can read the review here

About the Book

The Shadow of the UnicornTitle: The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy (The Shadow of the Unicorn, Book #1)

Author: Suzanne de Montigny

Publication Date: December 4, 2012

Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing

Number of pages: 157

Recommended age: 9+

Summary

A loud, hissing sound filled the air. The unicorns looked up, their eyes filled with horror.

Azaria, a unicorn colt, is intrigued when the young clairvoyant dinosaur, Darius, foresees a terrifying change in the world. When a giant fireball smashes into the earth, the unicorns struggle to survive the hurricanes and starvation that follow. Danger of a more sinister nature threatens when the creatures-that-walk-on-two-legs settle in the valley and their leader, Ishmael, discovers the healing power of the unicorns’ horns. Azaria, now a young stallion, must use his wits to save the herd from complete extinction.

* #1 in the Animals in their World list on Goodreads Listopia *

* #1 in the Christmas Stocking Stuffers list on Goodreads Listopia *

Global gold

Winner of the 2013 Global E-book Award for Best Fantasy/Alternate History

Book Trailer

The Buzz

“Kudos to Ms. de Montigny for writing an original variation on the fantasy epic–unicorns intermingling with dinosaurs! The book’s themes include the humane and environmental concerns that Watership Down and the films of Hayao Miyazaki have in common. If you have a middle grader or are just young at heart, pick up The Shadow Of The Unicorn.” ~ 5 Star Review, Stuart W., Amazon

“The Shadow of the Unicorn is a must-read for all unicorn lovers, but even more so for the ones, like my self, who hadn’t read anything about them yet. It is a thrilling and encouraging story about a young unicorn that has to save his herd after a meteor nearly destroyed their environment and killed the dinosaurs. Suzanne de Montigny created a compelling universe with believable characters and a great adventure story to challenge them with. While the story finishes in this book, I can’t wait to read about the new adventures the unicorns will face..” ~ 5 Star Review, Antje H., Amazon

“This story pulled me in with a beautiful portrayal of a time and place where unicorns and dinosaurs live side by side. It moved me forward with unexpected twist and turns (a requirement in any good story). I found it hard to put the book down and was totally engaged in seeing the young characters (unicorns and dinosaurs) survive and grow because of the challenges they faced.” ~ 5 Star Review, NW Harris, Amazon

“I just finished reading The Shadow of the Unicorn. What a story teller Suzanne de Montigny is. She combined unicorns with dinosaurs and spun a tail of magic that kept me turning the pages, not to mention throwing in an evil that came in the form of a human! What an enjoyable story – and here I thought these mystic animals were extinct. I just didn’t know what to look for!” ~ 5 Star Review, Penny E., Amazon

“What a delightfully unique book. Unicorns and dinosaurs facing changing conditions. Darius is a young dinosaur capable of seeing the future. Azaria is a young unicorn who becomes a friend and learns from Darius. Yes, there are humans in this book. They are the villains of the story. Greedy beasts. I think both boys and girls will love this story. Very quick paced and easy to read. A delightful story, and I look forward to more from this author. ~ 5 Star Review, DM Lawrence, Amazon

Purchase

*Half of all proceeds go to the Third World Eye Care Society, a group of eye specialists who travel to third world countries with thousands of pairs of glasses and perform eye surgery for free.*

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | iTunes | MuseItUp

About the Author: Suzanne de Montigny

Suzanne de Montigny

Suzanne de Montigny

Suzanne de Montigny wrote her first unicorn story at the age of twelve. Several years later, she discovered it in an old box in the basement, thus reigniting her love affair with unicorns. The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy, is her first novel. Suzanne lives in Burnaby, B.C. with the three loves of her life – her husband and two boys.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest runs: December 2, 2013 to January 1, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Suzanne de Montigny and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Copyright © 2013 Mother Daughter Book Reviews, All rights reserved.

I would like to introduce Joei Carlton, an amazing woman I met through the BC Association of Travel Writers. I know you will find what she has to say fascinating.

1.This blog is about following your dreams. Can you tell us about a dream or two you had as a young girl. Has this dream(s) come true for you?

 I have never been a believer in “The Bucket List.”  As soon as I wanted something I would work towards that goal.  As a child I dreamed of running away to exotic lands. When I finished high school and worked to earn money I left home. At 18 the only two places my parents allowed me to move to were either Florida (where I had an aunt and uncle) or California (where my sister Mona – five years older than I lived).  I moved to California. Can you imagine living in Hollywood during the 60’s. What fun.

 Another dream was working in law enforcement.  I spent 3 years working as a private investigator in various jobs from undercover work, store detective, divorce or child custody cases, and then Wackenhut where I was put on the airlines as an undercover agent. From 1968 to 1970 I was on the LA Police Department.

 When I returned to Canada I went from office worker to sales (my favorite) to owning my own very successful Wool and Needlecraft shop.  I definitely lived my own dream. I loved being in charge of my own life.

 2. What were some of your favourite books as a child?

 I came by my love of adventure in the all the books I read as a child. I read every Nancy Drew Mystery and Hardy Boys book I could get my hands on.  My love of horror books came from reading every horror comic book even if they gave me the most horrible nightmares.

 3. When did you start writing and what motivated you to write.

 My writing career was born out of the saddest part of my life. It had been my husband dream to go traveling. Willing to follow the love of my life anywhere he chose, we sold our home, sold my business while Paul quit his job and embarked on a life of adventure. We spent 2-1/2 years in a motorhome traveling through Great Britain, most of Europe, parts of northern Africa and continuing our adventure in the U.S and Canada.  On the 26th of June, 1992 Paul had a heart attack in a German campground and died before ever leaving the campground. I was devastated but decided almost immediately to visit all the places we had planned together.

 The year after he died I spent my summer working on 3 archaeological digs in England and a year later I spent 5 months overseas – a month in England selling my motorhome, 3 months in turkey traveling from Side in the south to Istanbul in the north and inland as far as Cappadoccia…..loving every minute of it.

 When I returned home it was to a pile of mail – and on top was a magazine called Modern Maturity – from AARP. The back of the magazine asked “Have you been someplace where the sun is always shining and the phone never rings.”  I set up my Smith Corona typewriter and pounded out a 3 page story that I sent off to the magazine.  Needless to say I heard nothing back and eventually showed the story to my neighbor.  She gushed over it – told me that the local newspaper called The Pelican Press would love it – so I repacked it and sent it.  The rest is history. My first story became a 2-page spread with 3 pictures in an award winning newspaper published 2 days before my 51st birthday on February 9, 1995. They even spelled my name right. 

 4. Your books are hilarious, have you always had such a great sense of humour?

 I have to say “yes.”  I have learned that “sense of humor” runs in families and almost everyone in my family cracks me up.  I have also maintained that you can’t live the way I do – 22 years as a solo RVer and 13 years as a full-time RVer – without seeing the funny side of life.

With titles like,  Morocco – Without a Pit to Hiss In and Stuck in Greece , your books will cheer any one up.

 5. You are a woman of many talents, besides keeping everyone amused with your books, you make exquisite bookmarks, spiders and tree of life pendants. What prompted you to start creating these items?

 I feel that my beading is a “guilty” pleasure.  My mother spent many hard years of her life working in a factory in Montreal beading hats for pennies. I do it mostly for pleasure and it occupies a different part of my creative brain. I love the feel and the shapes and the various sizes and especially the colors –  it satisfies every part of my creative mind. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel grateful that my eyes are in good shape and my hands are very steady. 

6. What would you say has been a defining moment in your life?

 Interesting question:  What is my defining moment? I never thought of any part of my life in defining moments. I try anything that looks interesting and fun.  I’m not a daredevil at all so I would immediately dismiss anything where I might get hurt physically or mentally but, as I approach my 70th birthday I’m starting to make different decisions about my travels and my writing and my career…….I’ll announce more when I know more…..but changes are acomin’. 

7. You are a woman who travels solo, what advice would you give a woman who is contemplating travelling on her own?

 What advice would I give a woman just starting out – your instincts will tell you when things are not right – leave when you don’t feel safe and never drive after dark. Find other travelers like yourself and don’t take yourself too seriously. A lot of fun to be found out here.

 8. What are you reading right now?

 For reading pleasure purposes I still love mysteries or family sagas or real-life adventure but what I’m reading now involves marketing my new e-books.  I spent all summer long converting all but one of my adventure-travel books to e-books. Everyone’s Dream Everyone’s Nightmare is being updated and re-edited and will become a memoir rather than a travel-adventure and will be converted to an e-book in 2014 or 2015. It’s my favorite and I want to keep it going.

 9. What advice would you give a young person with their entire life before them?

 Don’t concentrate so hard on what’s going on around you that you miss something coming at you out of the corner of your eye.  Passions change and always do something that you’re passionate about. 

 10. Any parting words?

I think I’ve said it all. Thanks for listening.

  Joei Carlton

http://joeicarlton.com/

Smashwords

Books

Sorry, WordPress won’t let me add pictures for some reason. Check out Joei’s website to see what she looks like.

Today I’m the guest blogger over at The Global Bookshelf, a wonderful site for travel related books.

Turning Travel Memories Into Books For Kids

by Gillian on October 29, 2013 in Author Interview

Our Travel Books For Kids series was the most popular monthly feature so far here on The Global Bookshelf. So when Darlene Foster approached me to tell the story of how her Amanda In… children’s book series came to be I was excited to hear about it. Here she tells how she weaves her own travels into the stories told from a 12 year old perspective.

Turning Travel Memories into Books for Kids

Since I was a very young girl, I’ve wanted to do two things, travel and write. My first time on an airplane was 37 years ago when I flew to England to marry my British husband. I was so excited. I didn’t mind that London was fogged in and we had to land in Scotland first. Read the rest….

http://theglobalbookshelf.com/turning-travel-memories-books-for-kids/

If you are looking for travel related books for any age reader check out Gillian’s website:

http://theglobalbookshelf.com/

 

travel_novel21-1024x2761

Amanda in England-The Missing Novel was reviewed at Travel Novels today and given a four beach umbrella rating. I am delighted with the rating and the review. It made my day!!

Here is some of what was said:

This travel book is full of adventures and mystery that will be easy for any young mind to assess and evaluate. What I love about this book is the specific descriptions of the famous landmarks in England and how these are worked out in the story to help Amanda and Leah solve the mystery of the missing vintage novel.

This travel novel is indeed worth reading because it offers extraordinary descriptions of the famous landmarks in England coming from a young traveller’s point of view. I give this travel book a rating of four beach umbrellas for the innocent way the country was described and all the values that the author has imparted to her readers through Amanda. She really did a great job of bringing out the young traveler in me and, I’m sure, to all her readers as well.

To read the entire review with pictures and excerpts, please visit

http://travelnovel.com/travel-novel-review-amanda-in-england

Wishing everyone in Canada a Happy Thanksgiving!  We have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for my family, friends, health, and for this awesome review.

I will be spending time with my wonderful daughter this weekend. There will be pictures. What are your plans?


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