Darlene Foster's Blog

Another great review for Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral by Toni Pike. Toni is a multi-genre Australian author who enjoys writing page-turning fiction for adults, hilarious books for children, and non-fiction. Please check out her blog and her books. I am so delighted that readers all over the world are enjoying my latest book.

Toni Pike

I was delighted to hear that Darlene Foster had written another exciting adventure in the Amanda Travels series – and this time it is set in Paris, one of my favourite cities. It’s available now for pre-order, and I’ve been lucky enough to receive an advance copy for my honest review.

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I’ve created a short trailer for Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral. Let me know what you think of it.

MJ Mallon posted a review of Amanda in France on her blog which made me very happy.

My Review

Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral by Darlene Foster

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series of books set in different countries is a fun and clever way to introduce youngsters to different cultures.

Darlene Foster’s entertaining style draws the reader in and keeps their attention throughout. In this latest adventure, Amanda in France, we are treated to the wonders of Paris with mention of many famous places.

Read more of Marje’s review here

I’m so pleased with the positive reviews and feedback I have received for this, the ninth book in the Amanda Travels series.

Thank you all for the amazing support this blogging community provides. You have made this journey so much better.

I was dusting in my bedroom, where I keep my set of runes (made by my daughter) when I decided it was time to pull another one. This is what I pulled.

Inguz/Fertility

This rune is about new beginnings, possible pregnancy, good omens, satisfactory conclusions, a new idea or venture, a new path.

You must complete what you have begun. It may be a project of perhaps resolving a personal difficulty.

Very soon you will achieve inner balance, and with that, inner peace.

This was the perfect rune for me at this time. Although I had to chuckle about the possible pregnancy, I do crave new beginnings. I started another Amanda book but have not been working very hard on it, so the suggestion that I finish what I’ve begun is timely. Achieving inner balance and inner peace is a lifelong ambition.

I’m so glad I pulled this rune. Now I suppose I should finish the dusting. Sigh.

I wrote more about runes here, here and here

Enjoy this short video of runes being stained and then fired by Madmudslinger. The runes are made from wild clay dug from the ground on her west coast island home.

From the website of Madmudslinger:

Known as ‘oracle of the self’, Runes help to access the infinite wisdom existing within ourselves. The Runes help to focus and reassure what we usually already know.

A wonderful tribute to a good blogging friend we lost last year, in honour of her birthday. She is so missed but lives on in her published books. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0?

Barb Taub

Mary Smith: writer, poet, teacher, friend.

Over the pandemic and lockdown, many of us lost family and friends, a loss made even more difficult when we weren’t able to say goodbye.

Mary Smith, talking about her lockdown experience, quoted Diana Ross:

Reach out and touch

Somebody’s hand

Make this world a better place

If you can.

Those words have never felt so meaningful and so poignant. It’s what we all need right now. The touch of someone’s hand on ours would make the world seem a better place. Such a simple gesture and yet, many weeks ago, we allowed ourselves to be frightened into excising a huge part of our humanity, to keep ourselves and others safe. My heart breaks seeing young children file into their classrooms, keeping the regulation six feet apart, learning they mustn’t touch or hug each other. Learning to be fearful of their friends and their…

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I am delighted with this review of Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral over at Bonnie Reads and Writes. Included is an interview where you just might learn something new about me. We also talk about including tough topics in books for young people. Check it out!

Bonnie Reads and Writes

Self-Published Saturday is my effort to help Self-Published and Indie authors promote their books. Today I’m reviewing Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral by Darlene Foster. This is an indie book published by Central Avenue Publishing, an independent publisher. Darlene also agreed to do a Q&A, and her delightful answers are below.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Amanda explores the exciting streets of Paris, the fabulous Palace of Versailles and the gardens of the painter Claude Monet, while being drawn into the mystery surrounding the destructive fire at Notre Dame cathedral.

Amanda is in love! With Paris – the city of love. She’s in awe of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and Notre Dame Cathedral. While there, she gets to work as a volunteer and stay in a famous book store, along with her bestie, Leah, and Leah’s eccentric Aunt Jenny. A dream come true for a book…

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My blogging friend, Beetley Pete, has been running a series of posts featuring photographs from post-war Britain. They are fascinating, a great look back at another time and another place. I would suggest you check them out here.

I love old photographs and am so pleased that my family is a family of picture takers. Over the years I have accumulated some wonderful old pictures from the Canadian prairies. So I thought I would post a few of them from time to time as others may enjoy them too. Many will be of family and some will be poor quality. The following are from the 1950s.

This four-generation picture is one of my favourites. Seated is my great-grandmother, and on the left is my grandmother holding little me (and teddy). My mom is on the right. These three women were a huge influence in my life. The shadow of my dad taking the picture makes it even more special.

Another favourite with special women in my life. From left to right, my aunt with my cousin, Mom holding my little brother, me (with teddy), my paternal grandmother, a close family friend I called Aunty and her two children (who I’m still friends with).

Now here is one I just love. I am on the right with my aunt and my brother. We were playing wedding and needed a bridesmaid so we put a dress on my younger brother. He looks so happy because we actually let him play with us. We look a bit guilty, I think. He is not fond of this picture but has forgiven us. I think he looks so cute!

Two farm kids from the 1950s at Hilda, Alberta. One now lives in Thailand, the other in Spain. Who would have thought?

Here I am on the farm with my brother and a snowman we had just built; our dog lurking in the background.

My next little brother with my mom’s teenage sisters, my dear aunts. Another favourite picture.

There you have it, six pictures from another time. I have more to share later.

Thanks for joining me on my trip down memory lane.

Do you enjoy looking at old pictures?

I was invited to be a guest on Karen Mossman’s blog in her feature, About a Book. Check out the interview where I talk about where I got ideas for Amanda in France as well as a quote and an excerpt.

Where did the idea for the story come from?

My dream to visit the romantic city of Paris came true when we took our dog on a road trip to visit friends living on the outskirts of the city. Paris, and the surrounding area, was everything I imagined it to be and more. Our friends kindly took the time to show us around this fabulous city as well as Monet’s gardens in Giverny and the amazing Palace of Versailles. 

Read more here

I’m over at Book Club Mom’s blog sharing my news. A great blog with excellent reviews and entertaining YouTube videos about books. Worth following.

Book Club Mom

Darlene Foster

Author name: Darlene Foster

Genre: Middle Grade, Adventure/Travel

Books: Amanda Travels Series

News: Book #9, in the Amanda Travels series is soon to be released. This time we find Amanda Ross in Paris, France.  She’s in awe of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral. While there, she gets to work as a volunteer and stay in a famous book store, along with her bestie Leah and Leah’s eccentric Aunt Jenny. A dream come true for a book lover like Amanda.

But things are happening that may ruin her trip to this amazing city. While she’s at the Paris Opera House there is a bomb threat. Then the lights go out during their visit to the Louvre. Worst of all, a devastating fire blazes in Notre Dame. Why does a mysterious man, who claims to be a busker…

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The final edits are done! Whew. At times it seems as if we will never get there but it always feels so good once we get to this stage.

Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral, the ninth book in the Amanda Travels series, is scheduled to be released on September 13, 2022. However, it is now available on NetGalley if you would like a free digital advanced reading copy and are willing to write a review. http://netgal.ly/eLELmj

Amanda is in love! With Paris – the city of love. She’s in awe of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral. While there, she gets to work as a volunteer and stay in a famous book store, along with her bestie Leah and Leah’s eccentric Aunt Jenny. A dream come true for a book lover like Amanda.

Except, while she’s at the Paris Opera House there is a bomb threat. Then the lights go out during their visit to the Louvre. Worst of all, a devastating fire blazes in Notre Dame. Why does a mysterious man, who claims to be a busker, writer and artist, show up every time something bad happens?

Join Amanda as she explores the exciting streets of Paris, the fabulous Palace of Versailles and the gardens of the painter Claude Monet, all the time looking for clues as to who would want to destroy such a beautiful, historic cathedral.

Here is what beta readers have had to say about Amanda in France:

“Revisiting Paris with Amanda was a roller-coaster ride through the city I once knew so well. A great adventure story, and I couldn’t put it down!”
Maureen Moss, author of The Tour Guide Life – It Could be Yours, More to Life and There’s a Funnelweb on the Floor!

“Amanda’s latest romp around the world’s favourite city of love will appeal to both the armchair traveller and the mystery fan.” Gina McMurchy-Barber Author of The Jigsaw Puzzle King  (Winner of the 2021 Silver Birch Awards) 

“Children all over the world, impatiently waiting for this latest addition to your Amanda travel series, will not be disappointed!” Marion Iberg

“I found the book compelling in the way a tragic news story has been woven into a mystery for children.  Readers will want to explore more about the famous cathedral after reading this book.” Sheila MacArthur

A short excerpt for you:

As night fell and the sky grew darker, roaring flames rose higher, painting the sky bright red, orange, and yellow. From inside, the sounds of crackling and falling timbers caused Amanda to shiver when she thought of the destruction. As if at a funeral, the crowd watched silently.

 An immense sadness crushed Amanda’s chest.

Notre Dame before the fire

I am excited to hear what readers think of this adventure.

This could easily be our house.

One of my blogging buddies, John Howell, posts good news on Fridays, which always makes my day. We are bombarded with so much bad news and negativity, that good news is so welcome. Here is a good news story about dogs he recently posted https://johnwhowell.com/2022/05/27/friday-johnku-aka-tgif-fri-yay-good-news-16/

John has two adorable dogs himself, Lucy and Twiggy, who write their own post every week. Check out John’s blog to read more about them. He is also the author of some very good books.

Speaking of good news, I want to share an incredible story posted in one of our local papers here in Spain. It is a story about Zeppelin, (Zep) a dog who showed up at a local animal rescue shelter. He was a friendly dog, well behaved and popular with the volunteers. The shelter was eagerly looking for him to be adopted. Two months later, a woman and her family came in looking to adopt a dog.

A burglar had broken into their home two months earlier and had stolen everything. Even the dog was gone. They assumed the burglar had killed him. They had had a very bad year and were obviously depressed. All their things had been stolen, their dog was dead and their father had passed away a year earlier. After two months they decided to adopt another dog to help ease the pain. When they went to the local animal shelter, who did they see but Zeppelin. They all shouted, “That’s our dog!” There was Zep, alive and well and happy to see them.

It was reported that there weren’t enough tissues that day at the shelter!

Doesn`t that just make your heart melt?

As many of you know, we have two rescue dogs. We adopted Dot six years ago and added Lia to our family a little over a year ago. We love them to bits and there is never a dull moment with them. Here are a few pictures of them.

Me and my girls, Lia and Dot
Lia made herself at home very quickly
Sharing the bed

You may think all they do is sleep, but it is the only time I can get a good picture!

OK, I got one when they were not sleeping.
They love their yard

They enjoy going to the beach and playing on the rocks
Going for coffee with Dad
Sharing treats with their doggie friends
Dot on her third birthday. She was happier when she got to eat the cupcake.
Waiting for dad to take them for a car ride
A good friend painted this for me. I love it!

They spend a lot of time barking at nothing.

Perhaps I should try this

Do you have any good news or dog stories to share?

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© Darlene Foster and darlenefoster.wordpress.com, 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Darlene Foster and darlenefoster.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.