Darlene Foster's Blog

 

dscn5960When an author finishes a book, she can breathe a sigh of relief and consider the job done. Wrong! The work actually starts then, with edits, beta readers, more edits, collecting endorsements, more edits, cover design, pre-marketing and more edits. And those are just a few of the things involved. But the day comes, much later, when the book is released and you hold your creation in your hands and it is all worth it!

Today is the day Amanda on the Danube – the Sounds of Music is available for sale. Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered the book. I do hope you enjoy it. I would love to hear what you think of it and if you have time, a short review would be appreciated.

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A huge thank you to all the support I have been given in my writing endeavours by my fabulous followers. It means so much to me.

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In case you have been wondering, Dot has been very supportive as well.

Amanda on the Danube is available at Chapters/Indigo stores and can be ordered from any independent bookstore. It is available on all Amazon sites, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and the Book Depository.

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Amazon.ca

Amazon.uk

Kobo

Barnes and Noble

The Book Depository

There is also a giveaway on Goodreads open until October 15.

 

 

Central Avenue Publishing

On October 1, we’ll release the fifth book in the Amanda Travels series by Vancouver author, Darlene Foster: Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music. In this fun travel adventure series, 12-year-old Canadian girl, Amanda Ross and her best friend, Leah, find themselves in different countries always in the middle of a mysterious adventure.

They’re a perfect read for kids 8-12 as they learn about new cultures and countries, all while having some fun.

Previously the book covers had a kind of collage look to them, but we’ve redesigned all of them to make them a little more current.

To remind you, here are the old covers:

Hopefully you like the new look. Throughout October, we’ll have lots of giveaways and other events happening. Stay tuned!

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Today I am a special guest on Sally Cronin´s Living History blog. I hope you enjoy the story of my two great-grandmothers.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Living HistoryAuthor Darlene Foster shares the story of two great-grandmothers who despite the hardships they faced, worked tirelessly to give their families a home and provide them with the tools needed to survive and thrive.

darleneA Tale of Two Katharinas, a Legacy of Strong Women

“People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.”Edmund Burke

I was fortunate to know both of my maternal great-grandmothers. They passed away when I was in my early teens but I remember them well. They were formidable elderly women with hearts of gold. One thing was for sure, you didn´t mess with either of them.

Both women were born into German immigrant farmer families living in South Russia and came to Canada at the beginning of the 20th century to help populate and develop the Prairie Provinces. They certainly did their part in populating the area as they had twenty-four…

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This week we said goodbye to a much-loved member of our family. Paul Frank Mehrer, my grandfather’s youngest brother, passed away at aged eighty-seven. The same age as my mother, they were always very close and lived in the same care home the past two years. It was always a pleasure to stop in for a visit and listen to his wonderful stories whenever I was in town to see mom.

 

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Mom and her uncle during my visit last summer

Uncle Paul was born on his parent’s farm on March 1, 1929, the youngest of twelve children. He spent most of his life on the homestead, farming it with his older brother Andrew when their parents retired to the city and continuing after they passed away. The place, near Hilda, on the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, was close to the farm my family lived on when I was a child. I recall the days of the threshing crews when my dad would help bring in their crop and the uncles would help dad in return. Mom would make a huge meal for the crew at the end of the hard working day. I can still hear the buzz at supper as stories were shared around the table. Uncle Paul, the shyer of the two uncles, didn´t say much then, but when he did it was interesting. He was always very nice to a little kid like me.

Great-grandparents Andreas and Katerina Mehrer and family

Uncle Paul is the little boy between his parents

He experienced all kinds of disasters his years on the farm; drought, hail, grasshoppers and severe storms. He tells a story of a time when a terrible storm hit, destroying a garage, two sheds, an oil shed and some corrals. He and his brother were afraid the mobile home they lived in would be destroyed as well and kept fully dressed in case they had to exit quickly. His main concern was for the animals and was happy to discover the pony had found refuge behind a combine and the two dogs took shelter behind the propane tank. It took all summer to repair the damage. Like many of his generation, he didn´t venture far from the farm. He did, however, spend a few weeks working on a nearby ranch, where he learned to round up cattle from the hills, ride over washouts and manoeuvre his horse on narrow trails. He also participated in an eight-mile cattle drive which he enjoyed. Uncle Paul loved his horses and rode whenever he had a chance.

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His horses were a very important part of his life.

He was a bachelor until age seventy-five. He retired and moved into St. Joseph’s Retirement Home where he met his love, Bertha. They married in 2004. His only wish was that his parents could have been at the wedding. They enjoyed the years they spent together until Bertha’s passing in 2013. Proof that true love isn´t just for the young. It is never too late to find the right person.

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Uncle Paul and Aunt Bertha, happily married.

Great-Uncle Paul was a kind man, who always had time for his many nieces and nephews. My daughter, his great-great-niece, visited him a couple of months ago and he immediately knew who she was. Everyone loved to spend time with him as he always had such interesting stories to tell about the old days. During my last visit, he regaled me with a story about my dad and how he could tell how many cows were in a field at a glance. Those old cowboy stories are like gold to me.  There are so few of his kind left to share these stories with us.

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Uncle Paul and his sister Aunt Meta at the 100 years in Canada celebration in 2011

Great-Uncle Paul was the last of my maternal grandfather´s brothers. We still have one of his sisters, Great Aunt Meta, at 92. It saddens me to see this generation disappearing but I am also happy to have had these remarkable people in my life. I am sure Uncle Paul is sharing stories with his brothers at this very moment. Rest in peace dear Uncle Paul.

There are many fiestas in Spain in the summer. It is impossible to take them all in but one we enjoyed was in Benijofar, a small village not too far from where we live. It was the Fiesta de San Jamie. Why did we pick this one? Our special little friend was taking part in it and we didn´t want to miss a chance to see her perform. The parade was awesome with Princesses, Egyptian mummies, big scary soldiers and smaller not quite as scary soldiers, dancers, drummers, archers, little Turks, bakers and a dazzling performance of Grease Lightning.

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Ready to perform in Grease Lightning, posing on her daddy´s bike.

Some of the stars of Grease Lightning

Some of the cool stars of Grease Lightning ready to show their stuff

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It´s difficult to get good pictures during a moving parade but you can see that all ages participated, including some of the moms as The Pink Ladies. A fun time for everyone.

The Princess in front of her house.

The reigning Princess in front of her house.

A nice tradition is when the main Fiesta Princess is chosen, the front of her home is decorated so everyone knows a Princess lives there. She greets the passersby before the parade starts.

A Princess with her escourt

Another Princess with her escort ready to be taken down the red carpet to join the parade.

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Fascinating dancers entertained us while parading through the streets

Medieval soldiers

Medieval soldiers

You would´t want to mess with these fierce female warriors

You wouldn’t want to mess with these fierce female warriors

 

An archer ready for battle

An archer ready for battle. Does he think I am the enemy?

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These soldiers weren’t as threatening.

Little Turks, so cute

Little Turks, so cute

More cuteness, the bakers

More cuteness – the bakers

The Mummies are loose

Mummies on the loose

The Princesses

The Princess float

The colourful costumes, the music, dancing, food and drink provided such a festive spirit. You couldn´t help getting caught up in it. A lovely Spanish family adopted me as I tried to get pictures. They made sure my view was clear, gave me a glass of wine and genuinely wanted me to have a good time.  There are large fiestas in the cities but I was glad we attended one at a smaller venue. It was good fun!

I am honoured to be a guest on Don Massenzio´s blog. Check out my answers to his 20 questions and leave a comment if you wish.  Thanks, Don for all you do to support other authors.

Today’s installment of 20 Questions is focused on Canadian author, Darlene Foster. Darlene is going to tell us a bit about herself and her inspiration as well as share a bit of her work with …

Source: 20 Questions with Darlene Foster

I was honoured when my blogging friend, Marcia Strykowski, gave me a spirit animal award some time ago. This is a special award for me as choosing a First Nations totem or spirit animal was an activity I used when I taught job finding skills. It was a good way for individuals to discover their attributes, which could then be put on resumes and used in interviews to answer questions like, What are your strengths? or Why would you be successful in this job? It also helped build confidence which job seekers need. The question, If you could be an animal, what would it be? is one some employers ask so it is always wise for job seekers to have a good answer. So thank you very much Marcia and I am sorry I took so long to respond. But as my dad would say, better late than never!
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Spirit Animal Blog Award Acceptance Rules:

1.) Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their page.

Thank you so much, Marcia, for including me. Please check out her wonderful blog full of  gorgeous pictures, interesting libraries and book lists. 

2.) Post the award on your blog.

3.) Write a short paragraph about yourself and what your blog means to you.

I began my blog 6 years ago and like many others I was not sure what to write about. My slogan is dreamer of dreams, teller of tales. Ever since a young girl, my dreams have been to travel to interesting places, meet amazing people and write books. So I decided to blog about my travels, my family, books (mine and others) and the amazing people I have met. Through blogging, I have met some incredible people and I am so glad I have kept it up. I have the best followers ever!

4.) If you could be an animal, what would it be?

As a facilitator, I  did most of the activities along with the participants. For this activity, I would usually choose a hummingbird as I felt it best described me.

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Despite its small size, this fascinating bird is capable of the most amazing feats such as travelling great distances. The hummingbird is adaptable and resilient and has a playful and optimistic outlook. Words that describe the hummingbird are messenger, timelessness, healing, warrior, energy, vitality, infinity, affection, playfulness. In First Nations culture, hummingbirds are considered messengers of peace, healing ones body and soul and guiding one through life’s challenges. Hummingbirds are very independent and seem to have an unlimited energy supply, symbolizing wonder and joy. I like to think this is me.

5.) Pick and notify ten nominees.

It is difficult to choose ten nominees from all the wonderful blogs out there, but here goes off the top of my head and in no particular order. There is absolutely no obligation to participate. I just like spreading the word about your awesome blogs!

Beth Ann Chiles at It´s Just Life

Marian Beaman at Plain & Fancy 

Pam Wight at Rough Writing

Sally Cronin at Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life

Patti Jarrett at A New Day Dawns

Christa Polkinhorn at Bookworm Press

Laura Best at My Little Corner of the Web

Lynn Davidson at Polilla Writes

Sue Slaght at Travel Tales of Life

Patricia Tilton at Children´s Books Heal

Lorna McInnes at Lorna´s Blog

Barbara Fisher at March of Time Books

Okay, so I picked twelve. What can I say? I´ve never been good at following the rules exactly! Please check out these amazing blogs filled with great information, stories, pictures, books and laughs.

I would love to hear what your spirit animal would be in the comments.

For a list of totem animals and their meaning check out this site.

 

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