Darlene Foster's Blog

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It was not surprising that St. Patrick´s Day was celebrated in style here in Oriheula Costa. Everything is celebrated! There is also a large Irish community here. It was a fun day with dancing in the streets, entertainment in the local pubs and restaurants and a parade, of course! We joined in the festivities with everyone else. The pictures will give you some idea of the day.





Motorcycles of all sizes

Motorcycles of all shapes and sizes

I love a pipe band

I love a pipe band



Sponge Bob and friends

Sponge Bob and friends

Even the Pope made an appearance in his popemobile

Even the Pope made an appearance


And a couple of Elvis sightings!

And a couple of Elvis sightings!

Everyone had a great time even though the sun failed to make an appearance.

On a previous post Spotlight on a Book Series I offered a giveaway. I made the draw on March 17 and the lucky winner was Susan Gourley who chose an e-copy of Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask. Congratulations Susan!! You have the luck of the Irish!

I wish everyone a great week ahead! I will be away for a couple of weeks as I am going back to Canada to visit family and friends. I am truly lucky to have such faithful followers. Thanks!!


My blogging friend from Texas, Georgette, wrote a post on Sunday drives which made me think I should write about our Sunday drives here in Spain. We purchased a SMART car to get around for the time being and have been for some interesting Sunday drives.


One Sunday drive took us to a place called Villajoyosa. A lovely seaside village with colourful houses along the waterfront. The houses were originally painted different colours so the sailors could see their own homes from the sea as they returned home. Apparently there is a chocolate factory in the town but we didn’t find it. We will have to look for it on our next drive.



We did find a restaurant called Ali Baba though. There is a camel called Ali Baba in my first book so of course I had to take a picture.

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We often discover great beaches on our drives.

DSCN0937A drive out in the country took us past almond groves in bloom. A wonderful sight.


We discovered a delightful wedding chapel on another drive.


And a wall of colourful flowers.


We are always on the lookout for a nice place to have a tea or coffee. This is one of our favourite places.

DSCN1102The view from the deck of the Nautilus


What would an afternoon drive be without sharing a delicious piece of orange cake.

And for Georgette we found a wrought iron gate

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Do you like to take Sunday drives?





Amanda in Alberta

I am honoured to be featured on Sharon Ledwith´s blog. I came. I saw. I wrote. She is also offering a give-away of an Amanda  e-book if you comment on her post.

Spotlight on a Book Series: Darlene Foster and the Amanda Travel Adventure Series

I want to thank and welcome wonderful (and well-traveled) MG author, Darlene Foster for sharing her personal experiences on writing a book series and showcasing her middle grade adventure series the Amanda Travel Adventure series with us on my blog today.

BONUS: One lucky reader will win an Amanda Travel Adventure ebook of their choice just by leaving a comment! Don’t forget to leave your contact info for a chance to win, and good luck! So let’s get this interview rolling…


Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write the Amanda Travel Adventure series, Darlene?

I was inspired by an amazing trip I took to the United Arab Emirates. While I was there, I felt as excited as a twelve year old. I decided it would be a great setting for a children´s book. I created the character of Amanda, an average girl who wishes for travel and adventure as she blows out the candles on her twelfth birthday. The next day an airplane ticket arrives in the mail for her to visit her aunt and uncle who live in the UAE. What follows is an adventure of a life time. Once Amanda got the travel bug, she had to see more interesting places. I suppose I created Amanda because as a child, I wanted to see the world.

Read the rest  of the interview here


Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and is represented by Walden House (Books & Stuff) for her teen psychic series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Please pop over and leave a comment. Amanda and I will appreciate it.


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My first birthday in Spain was spent at La Herradura, a lovey authentic Spanish restaurant in a small place called Los Montesinos. I was treated to lunch by hubby and his parents.  And a real treat it was as the food was excellent, the service superb and the ambiance amazing. I love places with history. La Herradura, which means The Horseshoe, is steeped in history. Built in 1880, it was originally used as an inn for weary travellers traveling through by train. It was later lived in by farmers, eventually abandoned and left to deteriorate. Restoration began in 1997 and completed in 1999 respecting the age and history of this unique building. It still has the old bread oven, the cribs were horses were kept, and pens for the pigs and chickens. Goats would have been kept in what is now the main restaurant. The place is a mini museum with many nooks and crannies revealing all sorts of interesting items, including tools used on the premises throughout the years.


I couldn´t wait to enter these doors!!


Entertainment is provided some evenings





The restaurant has a warm friendly feeling as if visiting a family home. The food was excellent. We shared a lovely salad full of fresh produce and a round toasted loaf of bread. I had sweet red peppers stuffed with cheese and crab meat on a creamy chive sauce for a starter and Basque hake covered with a yummy ragout of fresh vegetables as a main course. For my birthday dessert I enjoyed a crème caramel cake.  Everything was done to perfection, very flavourful and well presented. Our wonderful Spanish hosts were delighted whenever I commented on my pleasure with the food. The rest of the party were happy with their meals as well.


Basque Hake


Crème Caramel cake, so yummy

Crème Caramel cake, so yummy

The outside grounds were also interesting.



DSCN1154A birthday to remember!

the day started with champagne with the folks.

The day started by sharing champagne with the folks on their patio.

DSCN1021Carnival is celebrated in many parts of the world and is very popular here in Spain. We didn´t take in any large Carnival celebrations but attended  a small one in our local outdoor mall called La Zenia Boulevard. Once again the local people went all out with the costumes. Here are a few pictures to share with you.

Getting ready for the parade

Getting ready for the parade




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Children are always a part of every parade


After the parade we were entertained by a lively stage performance.





Have you been to any Carnival parades?

Living in Vancouver, Chinese New Year was an important event that I looked forward to every year. When I learned that this occasion is celebrated here as well, I was very pleased. We arrived early to the local out door mall to watch the parade and stage show. I discovered  where the performers were getting ready and managed to get a few pictures.

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All ages took part

All ages took part

A terracotta warrior rushing to get into place

A terracotta warrior rushing to get into place

The parade wound its way through the streets, stopping to perform dances from time to time. Aren´t the costumes amazing!


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The parade ended up on the stage in the centre court where the participants provided wonderful dancing and photo ops. We found a perfect spot to enjoy the show.

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Of course there was a dragon!

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My favourites were the Terracotta Warriors

Gung Hay Fat Choy from Spain



My last post described the amazing medieval market in Orihuela. Orihuela is an interesting city dating back to the sixth century when the foundations were laid by the Romans. It sits at the base of the Sierra de Orihuela Mountains in the province of Alicante, Spain. As much as I enjoyed the market, I was also taken by the historic buildings and managed to take a few pictures which I would like to share.


The Town Hall

The Town Hall

Santo Domingo Diocese College

Santo Domingo Diocese College

Salvador and Santa Maria Cathedral

Salvador and Santa Maria Cathedral


Bell tower

Bell tower

Cathedral courtyard

Cathedral courtyard


Santiago Parish Church

Mosque found in a side street

Mosque found in a side street

Another interesting doorway

Another interesting doorway

ornate water fountain

ornate water fountain

original archway

original archway

I love taking pictures of interesting doorways and there were many to be found in Orihuela. There are a number of museums in the city as well which I would love to visit. I do believe I need to make another trip to explore this interesting city some more. Hope you enjoyed this glimpse.


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