Darlene Foster's Blog

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I am delighted to have as my guest today, John Howell, a renowned author and long-time blogging friend. He is here to tell you about his latest book, The Last Drive. I, like many readers, have been patiently waiting for the release of this book as I enjoyed the first one very much. Check out all of John’s books as well as his entertaining blog where he allows his two adorable dogs to post once a week.

I am so pleased to be with you today, Darlene. I want to thank you for helping spread the word about The Last Drive. I have been impressed by the number of countries your Amanda stories have taken us. On each trip, your reader learns about the country and can get a feeling for the adventure. Hopefully, the readers of this book will have a similar experience since Lucifer seems to enjoy sending our heroes on trips.


Here is the blurb and then we can get to a short excerpt from the book.


The Blurb
In the sequel to Eternal Road – The final stop, Sam and James are reunited to look for two souls, Ryan and Eddie. Ryan was killed in Afghanistan, trying to avoid a schoolyard with his crippled plane. Eddie Rickenbacker, Ryan’s hero, is to guide Ryan to his Eternal Home, and now both are missing.

The higher-ups believe that there has been some interference in Ryan and Eddie’s journey by Lucifer, so Sam and James have the task of finding Ryan and Eddie to get them back on the road despite the evil interference. Unfortunately, the machinations designed to prevent Ryan and Eddy from completing their journey take the pair to horrifying testing grounds.

The places visited represent the best work of the Devil. They are the trenches of World War I in France, gladiators at the Roman Coliseum, the sinking Titanic in 1912, Hiroshima 45 minutes before the bomb, and the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943.

This book is for you if you like plenty of action, strong characters, time travel, and a touch of spiritual and historical fiction. So, join Sam and James as they try to find the missing souls while staying one step ahead of the Prince of Darkness, who is determined to destroy all that is good.

An Excerpt


Sam and James jump at the sound of a locker slamming. They turn around. Lucifer stands with one hand on his hip and the other pressed flat against the locker he just slammed. Casually, he leans against the cabinets with one foot crossed over the other. “My, my, my. Look who the cat dragged in. My old friends Sam and James.”

James and Sam stand with their mouths open. The devil can see them, which leaves them amazed and trying to make sense of what’s happening.


“What is the matter? That old cat got your tongue?” Lucifer laughs at his joke.


“W-we were just looking around.” James’s voice sounds as if he’s ten years old all over again.


“Oh, yeah. A couple of God’s weenies just happen to be wandering around a locker room at the flipping Green Bay Packers.”


Sam takes a step toward Satan. “Whatever we’re doing is none of your business.”


Lucifer uncrosses his feet. “Want to bet, sweet cheeks.”

James moves alongside Sam. “You be careful with that language.”


The devil smiles. “Or what? You going to beat me up, little man?”


James takes a step toward Lucifer. “I just might. Have you ever been socked in the nose?”


“I have not had the pleasure, and nor will I.”


“Keep insulting Sam, and you will.”


“Shiver, shiver. You are talking to the Lord of the Underworld, not some kid on the corner. I advise you to take it down a notch, or maybe you might like to come and visit my place for a while.”


Sam grins. “You don’t have that power over us, Lucifer. Why not end this game?”


Satan scoffs. “Oh, and tell you where old Ryan and Eddie are, I suppose?”


Sam slaps her thigh. “I knew you were behind their disappearance. I told the Archangel that same thing.”


“The Archangel? How is old droopy drawers?”


“I could summon him if you wish.”


“No, that will be fine. Do you two want some information on the whereabouts of Eddie and Ryan or not?”


Sam steps back and takes James’s arm, causing him to move away as well. “Yes, we do.”


The devil scratches his head. “Right this minute? That is hard to say.”


“What do you mean, ‘Hard to say?’”


Lucifer looks at his nails. “You know how this travel thing is these days. Your boy Ryan wanted to visit France during World War One. It seems he has some kind of hero worship of Eddie and wanted to fly with him. Since he refused to join my team, I sent him to France. By the way, that war was delicious in the amount of useless carnage waged on those battlefields.”


A Link to the Trailer

You Tube https://youtu.be/HEUninXiibI


Buy Links
The Last Drive is available in paper and Kindle editions on Amazon. Here are the universal links. The Kindle edition is on sale for 99¢ through mid-February.
Kindle https://mybook.to/FYmkKr
Paper https://mybook.to/BCsWV

Author Bio


John is an award-winning author who after an extensive business career began writing full-time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written six other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Author links


Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241
Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave
Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell
Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/john-w-howell

Eternal Road Buy links
Kindle Universal link  mybook.to/EternalRoad
Paper universal link mybook.to/Eternalroadpaper

My review of Eternal Road: The Final Stop

There is a lot packed into this gripping novel. A combination of time travel, mystery, paranormal and romance. There are laughter and tears as James looks for his eternal home with the help of his deceased childhood love, Sam. I love time travel and enjoyed following James and Sam as they travel back to the days of the Wild West and WWII as well as into the future controlled by robots. The main characters are very real, even though they are spirits. The book is well-written and flows well, with a satisfying ending. It left me wanting more.

My review of The Last Drive

I loved the first book, Eternal Road, and was happy to see that James and Sam are back battling the nasty old devil. This time they are joined by Ryan (a recently deceased pilot) and Eddie (as in Eddie Rickenbacker, decorated WW1 fighter pilot). The devil wants Ryan’s soul and James and Sam will do anything to prevent him from getting his hands on it and seeing Ryan find his eternal home. Along the way, they encounter some terrible times and places in history like Hiroshima, the Titanic, the Roman Collesium and Auschwitz. Will the devil win this time? This is a battle between good and evil that seems impossible to win. The author has created an incredibly strong female character in Sam, one of the toughest angels I’ve encountered. Although this book can be read as a stand-alone, I would suggest reading Eternal Road first, you’ll be glad you did.

I had set my goal for the Goodreads challenge for 2022 at 48 books. I read 46 so almost made it. But I did read two books not listed on Goodreads and since one of the books I completed was War and Peace (which should count as two or maybe three books) I feel I actually met the challenge. https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2022

MY 2022 BOOKS

Crimson Frost by J.P. McLean
Donkey Boy and Other Stories by Mary  Smith
Waiting For Frank-Bear by Frank Prem
Love, Me by Jacquie Biggar
The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
Golden Healer by M.J. Mallon
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Frozen Stiff Drink by James J. Cudney
Chocolate Fudge Saves the Sugar Dog by Robbie Cheadle
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Father by Allan Hudson
Naomi's Tree by Joy Kogawa
Shadows in the Fog by B.J. Darling
Linda's Midlife Crisis by Toni Pike
The Barren Grounds by David Alexander Robertson
The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Di... by Jonas Jonasson
My Evil Mother by Margaret Atwood
Amanda in France by Darlene Foster
Poetry Treasures 2 by Kaye Lynne Booth
Just an Odd Job Girl by Sally Cronin
MEMORIES OF MOM by Nonnie Jules
The Skylark's Secret by Fiona Valpy
Hues Of Hope by Balroop Singh
Not That Sort Of Girl by Mary Wesley
Pattern of Shadows by Judith   Barrow
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
Knuckleheads by Dan Antion
The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet by M.J. Mallon
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Baby Steps by Anne Stormont
The Winding Road by Miriam Hurdle
Two Middle Aged Ladies In Andalusia by Penelope Chetwode
A Gold Satin Murder by Debra Purdy Kong
Between Two Shores by Ruth Larrea
The Alpine Path by L.M. Montgomery
What's So Special About Spain? by Nancy Blodgett Klein
Mud Girl by Alison Acheson
Brazos Wind by Jan Sikes
All Dogs Are Good by Courtney Peppernell
The Christmas Bird by Robbie Cheadle
Things on a Tree by D.L. Finn
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Kind by Kellyn Roth
Variety is the Spice of Life by Sally Cronin
Distant Flickers by multiple contributors

They were all great books and it would be difficult to say which were my favourites. I read a variety of books which I’m pleased about. All of my reviews are on Goodreads. I would suggest you check them out.

For 2023 I have set my challenge at 48 books once again as I am determined to meet the goal this year.

Happy reading in 2023!!

Another awesome review of Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral by Patricia Tilton, a long-time Amanda fan. This review means a lot to me as Patricia reviews meaningful books, many topical, depicting diversity as well as modern issues that confront children today. Check out her blog for gift ideas for the young readers on your list.

Foster knows her audience and doesn’t talk down to her young readers. The dialogue is as realistic as are the characters. Patricia Tilton

Children's Books Heal

Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral

Darlene Foster, Author

Central Avenue Publishing, Sep. 13, 2022

Suitable for ages: 9-12

Themes: France, Travel, Adventure, Mystery, Fire, Cathedral, Friendship

Publisher’s Synopsis:

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 of 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 lover like Amanda.

Except, while she’s at the Paris Opera House there is a bomb threat. Then the lights go out during…

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I woke up to this terrific post from Barb Taub which describes her love of Paris and the wonderful cooking experience she had there, as well as an amazing review of Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral. Please do pop over and read, you are in for a treat.

Barb Taub

A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life.” —Thomas Jefferson

It’s possible, I suppose, that somebody somewhere doesn’t like Paris. After all, I’ve heard there are people who don’t like chocolate, and babies, and puppies. (Puppies!) But even if those people exist, they would still have to admit that Paris is one of the most walkable cities in the world.  One of my favorite walks in Paris is the early morning market cooking class I’ve taken on a couple of different Paris trips. It’s different but fabulous every time. Here’s a post from a class several years ago.


“Meet at Metro Maubert-Mutualité, in front of Café le Métro” the message said.

My market cooking class was gathering at the oldest outdoor market in Paris to choose the ingredients and determine the menu we’d be cooking that day. I got there early to…

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Sorry for my absence but I have been travelling lately and will share all about my travels soon. I wanted to share this amazing review by Teri Polen, who is an excellent writer. This review had me dancing on the ceiling.

Books and Such

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 of 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 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…

View original post 295 more words

One of the most common questions asked of a writer is, “Where do you get your ideas from?”

Fellow Canadian author, Allan Hudson, runs an interesting series on his blog called, The Story Behind the Story. Recently, I was honoured to be featured on his blog where I talk about how I got ideas for my latest book, Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral

The Story Behind the Story: 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. I was so excited and knew it would be a perfect setting for Amanda’s next adventure.

Hop over and read more about my inspiration, and what I like and don’t like about writing.

http://allanhudson.blogspot.com/2022/08/the-story-behind-story-with-author.html

Allan Hudson is an accomplished author from New Brunswick, Canada. I recently read his novel Father.

Blurb for Father by Allan Hudson

In 1942 everything is going good for Tanner Hill. He has a good job, two healthy sons and a wife who loves him. As he makes lots of extra cash with his moonshine, he can afford many luxuries his neighbours cannot. And he’s not worried about conscription.
However, he soon realizes good things do not last forever. One argument after church with a disgruntled man with revenge on his mind and Tanner’s world is turned upside down. Forced into making a choice, Tanner chooses to follow his brothers and enlists. He leaves for the fighting so far away as a private in the Royal Canadian Engineers.
It will be three years until Tanner returns home. It won’t be the same.

Here is my review:

A quick read that carries a punch. There are no wasted words in this tale about family and the effects of war on relationships. The characters are real and relatable. The main character, Tanner Hill, is a flawed individual, but one you can’t help but love. The author paints a picture, with carefully chosen words, that take the reader to a specific time and place. An enjoyable read, I recommend this book. – Darlene Foster

Available on all Amazon sites

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 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…

View original post 1,963 more words

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…

View original post 282 more words


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