Darlene Foster's Blog

Happy Book Birthday!

Posted on: April 14, 2022

On April 13th, 2010, my first book, Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask, was published by Central Avenue Publishing. An auspicious day for me and a dream come true! That was twelve years ago, and what a fabulous twelve years it has been.

On my visit to the UAE where I fell in love with the desert.

The story is loosely based on a trip I took to the United Arab Emirates to visit a friend. I was so amazed at this part of the world, I felt compelled to write about it. After a few failed attempts, a twelve-year-old girl entered my mind and wanted to tell the story from her point of view. I named her Amanda and, well, the rest is history.

The book has had three different covers over the years.

Cover #1
Cover #2
Cover #3

Although Amanda in Arabia is twelve years old, I am happy to say it is still being read. Recently, I was delighted to read a review by James Cudney.

Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask is the first middle-grade book in Darlene Foster’s Amanda Travels series, and I very much enjoyed reading it. Amanda yearns to travel the world, and first up is the United Arab Emirates, but call it UAE or the Emirates as one of her new local friends wisely cautions her upon arrival. One of Amanda’s birthday wishes, this smart young girl finds herself visiting an aunt and uncle who live in the far-away country. Whether she’s magically or realistically transported is a question you’ll have to find out for yourself!

Readers will learn all about camels, the Persian Gulf, a princess who was almost forced to marry an older man, and many more culturally significant items of relevance. Both an educational and charming tale, the book offers a variety of themes and good old-fashioned fairy tale fun. Amanda makes several more international trips in future books (there are 8 to date in the series) and I’m keen to find out what she’s going to explore. You’ll enjoy her witty intelligence, and I’m sure if the shenanigans in this book are a sense of things to come, it will be a delightful collection of books that will appeal to a wide variety of personalities. Great job! – James J Cudney

James is a prolific reader and a great writer himself. Check out his blog where he writes honest reviews of a variety of books. He especially enjoys books in a series. https://thisismytruthnow.com/category/general-blog/

His own entertaining books can be found on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/James-J-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

A huge thank you to everyone who, over the years, has assisted and encouraged me, bought my books, told others about them and written reviews. You have made these past twelve years an incredible part of my life!

Amanda in Arabia is available on all Amazon sites as well as at other booksellers.

104 Responses to "Happy Book Birthday!"

Happy birthday to you (and to Amanda, of course)! 🎂 🥳 🎉

Thanks, Barb. Time flys when you are having fun!!

Happy Book Birthday, Amanda!!

Happy Anniversary to you and your book, Darlene. And wishing you a beautiful Easter week and weekend!

Thanks, Christa. Wishing you a wonderful Easter as well.

This series is timeless, Darlene. Your focus is on sights that don’t change so won’t get out of date. Such a clever series.

Thanks so much Jacqui!

Oh wow! This is cool! Happy book birthday Darlene!

Happy birthday, book! This is fun to celebrate. You’ve been successful in the nicest possible way.

Thanks, Anne. It is special and I still have to pinch myself to be sure it’s true.

Happy Book Birthday, Darlene! I’m glad the third cover turned into a theme cover for your series. Jay writes wonderful book reviews. I’m so happy for you!

Thanks, Miriam. I love the new series covers, designed by my wonderful publisher.

Congratulations, Darlene! My book is 2 1/2 years old, and I’m still awed by those who read and review it. I have another book in the pipeline, but it seems slow in coming. You inspire me with your persistence and literary output.

And your book covers have evolved over the years too, ever more polished. Forward ho! 😀

Thanks so much, Marian. Good luck with your next book!

Happy book birthday, Darlene! What a wonderful collection of books.

Thanks so much, Nora.

So happy for your literary success, Darlene!

Thanks so much, Nancy. It didn’t happen overnight, it took time and effort but it was worth it. xo

Happy anniversary for your Amanda series!! It’s neat to see how the covers have changed a few times. I wonder which is your favourite?

Thanks so much!! I like all of them but the most recent one goes well with the newer covers so they make a good set.

Happy Book Birthday! Thank you for sharing the review too. Loved the photo. What a great celebration today. 🙂

And thank you James for the wonderful review! It is very exciting to think it was 12 years ago that I held my first book in my hands.

Congratulations. Your books are so fun for all ages of readers!

Thanks so much. You were one of my first fans!!

What a great series!

Thanks so much, John.

Well done, Darlene. What a wonderful selection of countries you’ve chosen for Amanda’s adventures. I didn’t realise you’d written about the UAE. I used to teach English to groups of delightful young men from that country. They were on a programme to train them for government service and a dozen or so of them came to our college each year. They were always charming, full of fun and appreciative of what they were learning, though sometimes quite mischievous, too!

I was very impressed with the people there, such gentle folks. I always felt completely safe in the UAE. I try to select places people may not know much about. Even in England, Amanda visits the Isle of Wight. Thanks for your support, Ruth.

Happy Book Birthday. If I remember correctly, Amanda was also 12 years old in “Amanda in New Mexico”.

Amanda is always 12 years old. I don’t want her to be a teenager. Since I’m the creator of her, I can keep her twelve. xo

I think that’s a great idea.

Happy Book Birthday to you and Amanda, Darlene! I prefer the current covers – the colors are so vibrant, and I immediately know it’s part of the Amanda series. Nice review from Jay!

I like the new covers as well. They make a nice set. Jay writes amazing reviews, I am so honoured.

Congratulations on 12 years!

Happy anniversary! Ten years of publishing is a huge accomplishment in this day and age, and yes, I think each cover was an improvement.

Thanks so much, Debra!

Your hard work has paid off, Darlene! Congratulations and good luck with future Amanda’s exciting travel adventures. Cheers! xx

Thanks for your encouragement, Joy!

I am glad you and Amanda have had a wonderful journey!! And will continue to do so!!

It has been fun, Chris. Thanks!

Congratulations, Darlene. Life has many adventures – all we need to do is embrace them with enthusiasm and expectation. Something that Amanda does very well. Celebrating with you on my side of the world.

Thank you, Rebecca. May the adventure continue for both of us. xo

Congratulations Darlene. You’ve had a lot of success with the Amanda series.

Thank you, I’ve had fun with Amanda and her adventures.

Congratulations on yours – and Amanda’s – success, Darlene. I must say I like the cover best!

Thanks, Lisa. I would have never thought twelve years ago I would have eight more books in the series.

Congratulations, Darlene, and Happy Anniversary to Amanda. Beeing honest, i am always falling in love with desserts too. Lol xx Michael

Thank you so much, Michael. There is something about the desert that is so awe-inspiring. Thanks for the reblog.

The desert is wonderful, and also vey mystic, Darlene! Honestly i really meant beloved desserts (sweets) too. Lol Thanks as well, and Happy Easter! xx Michael

Oh yes, I love desserts too. How about a tiramisu!

Congratulations, Darlene. Amanda was a stroke of inspirational creativity and I really enjoyed this first book in the series.

Thanks, Robbie. I can’t believe it’s been twelve years since the first book was published.

Congratulations Darlene. Amanda has been very busy since that auspicious date.

I know. Who would have thought!

It was fun to see the evolution of the covers, Darlene. The current one is definitely a favorite. And great to learn about your inspiration and how Amanda came to be. Happy 12th book birthday!

Thanks, Diana. Glad you enjoyed the post with a bit of background.

Happy Book Birthday, Amanda! Congratulations on this wonderful series, Darlene. ❤

How wonderful, Darlene! Happy Birthday to Amanda.

Thanks, Jennie. A happy day, indeed.

Congratulations and well done!

Congrats on all that you have written in that 12 years! Great review also! Thanks for sharing Darlene!!

Thanks, Kirt. I can’t believe it’s been twelve years.

What a milestone! I’m sure it is very satisfying to look back and realize the fruits of your hard work since the first book was published. Congratulations!

Thank you so much. It really is a good feeling.

Happy anniversary, Darlene – congratulations on a wonderful journey. Toni x

Thanks for letting me know about your book and happy belated book birthday! It sounds like this series is something I may want to read.

Thanks, Astrid. Wonderful to see you here. Thanks for stopping in.

You are an inspiration to all of us writers/authors. So many congrats, Darlene!

CONGRATULATIONS on your book anniversary! That book sounds enchanting and I LOVE the last cover that you posted. I’ll have to download and read it or try to order it sometime ❤️

Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you enjoy the story.

Many congrats to you☺️👏🏻👏🏻 Cheers!

An anniversary worth celebrating, Darlene!
The third cover is clearly the best, and I see the same pattern in the subsequent books.

Thanks, Audrey. I like the consistency of the book covers too.

Darlene, huge congratulations on 12 years of book writing success!!! You are awesome and how amazing that a trip to visit a friend has inspired you to write the first book on the Amanda series. My question to you now is…will Amanda make it to Brazil? I really hope so 🙂

Thanks, Gilda. I would love for Amanda to visit Brazil. But Amanda doesn’t get to go anywhere I haven’t been. So I need to visit first. It is on my list. After reading your latest post, I am even more inspired.

For some reason I thought Amanda in Spain was the first one. I bought it for Lucy and told her if she likes it I’ll buy more. She informed me that Amanda in Arabia was actually the first one.
She’s thoroughly enjoying Amanda in Spain. I’ll let her write the review instead of me writing it on her behalf.
I think she’s halfway through.
It’s perfect for her age I think. She’s eleven. 😃

I am delighted to hear that Lucy is enjoying the Spain adventure. The books really can be read in any order as each adventure is tied up at the end of each book. I look forward to her review. 11 is a good age for these books. Thanks!

That’s good to know. Maybe I’ll let her pick the next one herself so!

bravo! you are an inspiration!

Thank you so much!!

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