Darlene Foster's Blog

Check out the reopened Senior Salon. A great place to show off your blog posts and meet some amazing new bloggers.

The Recipe Hunter

Senior Salon

This will be the very first, and I hope of many to come, Senior Salon link-ups here at The Recipe Hunter

NatureThe above picture is one of our personal pictures, as will be all pictures used in the SENIOR SALON 2018.  Quote

March 19 – 23, 2018
Linkup will Start: March 19, 2018, 02:00 am and Ends: March 23, 2018, 8:00 pm PDT (Pacific Daylight Time).

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I am submitting this story to Stevie Turner´s Short Story Competition  You may want to submit one as well.

This story was inspired by a visit to Clifford´s Tower in York.

Terror in the Tower
Darlene Foster

The tower ruin overlooks the city from high on a grassy mound. Angela pulls her sweater tighter around her as she glances up. She experiences the same chill every time she walks past the site.
When she was seven, her mother took her up to the old stone keep. From a small window, she saw a girl looking out at her through iron bars. Fire blazed behind the child. It had frightened her so.
“Mommy, we need to help that little girl,” exclaimed Angela.
Her mother took her hand and said, “There are no children in there. It must be a trick of the sun reflecting off the water.”
The sad, terrified and helpless child appeared very real.
Angela shudders as she recalls that day. She rushes to work.
It was the feast of Shabbat ha-Gadol. Instead of the usual tables overflowing with food, around her lay the dead bodies of friends and neighbours. The smell of fresh blood and smouldering wood filled the thick air. Ester searched for Jacob and Marta in the crowded tower. She witnessed parents slitting their children’s throats and then their own. Terrified, Ester tried to look away, but it was the same everywhere.
Since she didn’t have any parents, she stayed with old Jacob the moneylender and his kind wife, Marta. For her board, she cleaned the house, made meals and ran errands. Ester stumbled in the smoke-filled keep looking for the only family she knew. Eventually, she found them, dead in each other’s arms on a bed of straw soaked with maroon blood. A curved butcher’s knife lay beside them.
Did they forget about me? Did Jacob slit his wife’s throat and then his own?
The flames and smoke of the burning wood tower closed around her.
A growing mob outside yelled, “Come out, you dirty Jews.”
Why is this happening? We were promised safety in the tower.
She peered through the iron bars of a low window. Angry people outside the tower waved swords, scythes and pitchforks. It was safer to stay inside. It was better to die by your own hand. That is what the Rabbi said.
In the crowd, she caught the clear blue eyes of a girl her age. A girl dressed in fine clothing. Maybe she can help me. Ester mouthed the word Help.
The girl pointed to the window and said, “Look, Mother, there is a little girl in the tower. It is burning. We must help her.”
Ester saw an elegant woman take the child´s hand and pull her away. “There are no children in there, Angelina. Let us go away from this awful place.”
Ester coughed from the thick smoke and fell backwards. The flames engulfed her.
Nine centuries later Angela feels the eyes of Ester pleading for help as she hurries past Clifford’s Tower on the way to her Hebrew lessons. One day she will stop and help the child.

Today is my birthday and what better way to celebrate than sharing this article featuring Amanda talking about her adventures and sharing a couple of recipes! Check out this amazing blog where you will discover great recipes and interesting articles.

The Recipe Hunter

Meet Amanda from the Amanda Travels series who talks about her travels and shares favorite recipes.

HI! Amanda here.

Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog, Esme. You probably already know that I love traveling to interesting places. My curiosity gets me into trouble sometimes but I always meet interesting people and learn fascinating new things. What you maybe didn’t know is that I enjoy collecting recipes from the places I visit.

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I was delighted to read this great review on Robbie’s Inspiration blog. I enjoyed writing this book and am pleased to see it being enjoyed by children and their parents!

This is what Robbie and her son had to say  177020161222010118(1)

Michael and I read this book together and we both enjoyed it immensely. It is my favourite of the three Amanda books we have read to date and we will definitely be reading more. We both learned a lot about the towns and villages in Germany, Austria and Hungary and the traditional foods, entertainment and some famous places of interest. There is a lot of research that goes into each of these books.
You can read the entire review here along with a review of Dan Alatorre’s book, An Angel on Her Shoulder.


In other Amanda on the Danube news, the fabulous cover, designed by my talented publisher, has been chosen for a cover of the month contest. Please vote for the cover and I think you can vote every day. If you can share with your friends, all the better.



If you liked the cover of my book,
Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music (Amanda Travels), please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com!

Click to Vote!

As always, your support means a lot to me. Thank you so much!!

I´m pleased to be featured on Don Massenzio´s blog today. Pop over and say Hello.

Author Don Massenzio

Welcome to the 2018 author interview series. Author interviews will be posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with author Darlene Foster.

For those of you that have read my interviews in the past, you’ll find a new set of questions in this series. You can catch up with all of my past author interviews (nearly 200) on my Author Directorypage.

If you’re an author interested in being interviewed in this series, I still have limited spots available for 2018. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com

Now, please enjoy this interview with Darlene Foster:

_MG_0156sm-Edit Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I try to do a bit of both. I certainly want to be original but not to be so out of touch that nobody will read my books. On the other hand, I am…

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One of the joys of writing is hearing from readers and seeing pictures of them with my books. I am pleased to have many faithful followers of the Amanda Travels series. Some have been reading about Amanda’s travels since I published the very first book, eight years ago. Here are a few pictures of my books in the hands of young readers.

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This avid reader bought a set of books for herself and for her friend, with her own money!


This young reader has been an Amanda fan from the start.

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And she is still reading the books in Trinidad!


A sweet little Amanda fan.


Another special fan, from Australia!


Special visitors at a book signing.



These students still attend my presentations.


More students who love Amanda.


This clever young woman has already written three books of her own.

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A special fan in Spain


A blogging friend’s gift to her granddaughter


Happy to get another Amanda book for her birthday.


Eager readers attend a book launch.

young readers

New fans at the first book launch, 8 years ago.


She enjoys reading her great-grandmother’s books


A keen fan reading to her great-great-grandmother.

I also love hearing from those who have read my books. Here is a lovely email from a young reader.

Hi, Darlene, my name is Kynnlei and Marion is my auntie. She gave me three of your books and they are some of my favourite books. Please keep writing and she will keep buying. We give you encouragement to do what you are passionate about. 

And this from a young man being homeschooled who read two of my books for his reading assignments.

Dear Darlene:

I am doing a book report on your book titled, “Amanda in Alberta”.  I liked it! My favourite part is the horse ride in chapter 6.   I have been to many of these places, mostly with my dad in the semi truck.  Did you visit all of the places in your book? Can you make a book of “Amanda in Iceland”?  I think that would be awesome! Thank you for writing these amazing books!

Sincerely; Kegan

I understand he got very good marks on his assignments.

This is why I am so passionate about writing for kids!

If you have a picture of you or someone reading one of my books, please send it to me as I love to collect them. 



I am a guest on Sue Vincent´s blog where I share information and pictures of a unique sanctuary I´ve visited here in Spain. Sue´s blog is very interesting with many great posts. Check it out.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Spain is well known for its fascinating cathedrals such as La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, The Mesquite in Cordoba and the Cathedral of Seville to name a few. Besides the well-known religious structures, there are many smaller places of worship tucked away in villages, mountains and locations not often frequented by tourists. I love discovering these as they have their own distinctive personalities and are certainly worth a visit.

Sue has graciously agreed for me to be a guest on her blog so I can tell you about a few of these lesser known churches in Spain we have discovered, not far from where we live. One of the most unique being the Sanctuary of Santa Maria Magdalena near Novelda, in Alicante province, only an hour drive from our place.

Although I love scouring old sites, this delightful example of Spanish Art Nouveau, was built between 1918 and 1946, so…

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