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Another wonderful review for Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady. Amanda and I are very pleased everyone is enjoying the book.

Wordy Witterings

I read about this novel on a book blog and was intrigued – it sounded just like the kind of thing that my 9-year-old daughter would enjoy reading. I’m pleased to say that since I’ve read ‘Amanda in Malta’, I’ve told her all about it and she can’t wait to not only read this novel, but the whole series. She wants to start with those featuring countries that she’s been to herself, and now has a very full Amazon wish list!

In ‘Amanda in Malta’, the lead character goes on holiday to Malta and gets involved in the mystery of a 4000 year old figurine that goes missing from a museum. The unique feature of this book, it that in reading it children will learn so much about the country that it features. The characters visit a range of Malta’s places of interest, both those on the common tourist trail…

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My eighth book in the Amanda Travels series, Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady, is set to be launched on May 11th and I am as excited and nervous as if it was my first book. A writer puts so much time, energy and emotion into a book, it really is like birthing a baby. And there is always the self doubt and nagging questions. What if no one likes this one? What if I´ve lost the ability to create a good story? What if no one buys it? What if the reviews are bad or nonexistent?

I am delighted to see that the early reviews, from the book being on NetGalley, have been positive.

Here are snippets of the reviews on Goodreads so far that have made my heart dance.

Author Darlene Foster has such a great way to tell a story and impart information about a location at the same time that I found myself thinking “Hey- I want to go to Malta!”. Beth

Armchair travel has never been so exciting! I love the author’s ability to bring the settings alive, from the Blue Grotto to a beautiful cathedral in Valletta, all while keeping the suspense high. Jacquie – Click on her blog for more of the review https://jacqbiggar.com/2021/04/05/bookreview-amanda-in-malta-by-darlene-foster-travel-mystery-supermegawoman/

This is a lovely middle grade novel that whisks you away to the island of Malta. I’ve never been but have heard a lot of rave stories about Malta and Amanda in Malta made me want to visit! MJ – Click on her blog for more of the review https://mjmallon.com/2021/04/05/book-review-amanda-in-malta-by-darlene-foster-supermegawoman-netgalley-book-review/

Darlene Foster’s Amanda is what I wish I’d had the courage to be as a tween: adventurous and well-traveled, making friends easily wherever she goes. Molly

The Blue Lagoon in Malta

Since I am unable to hop on a plane and do a book launch and tour in Canada, as I usually do, I have decided to do a blog launch/virtual tour. This is the first time I´ve done this. What I need are bloggers who would be willing to be part of the tour. If you are interested, let me know by email, darlene.foster@telus.net and I´ll send you the information. I´ll make it as easy as possible and hopefully we will all have fun. The goal is to get the word out about my book to as many readers as possible and to drive some traffic to your blog at the same time.

The YouTube trailer.

Thank you to everyone who has left a review. I really appreciate it.

The book is still available on NetGalley.

A fabulous early review of Amanda’s latest adventure that has made my day! Thanks By Hook Or By Book.

By Hook Or By Book

B14C7669-C775-418C-A092-ED65C99705E9Thanks to NetGalley and Central Avenue Publishing for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: May 11th, 2021

128 Pages

Synopsis: Amanda receives a postcard from her best friend Leah, and is surprised to learn that she is in Malta with her aunt. Reading between the lines, she senses Leah is in trouble. Desperate to help her, Amanda travels to Malta with her classmate Caleb and his parents.

Amanda is intrigued with this exotic island in the middle of the Mediterranean, full of colorful history, sun-drenched limestone fortresses, stunning beaches and fascinating birds. But…who is killing the protected birds? Who stole a priceless artifact from the museum? And why is Leah acting so strange? She couldn’t possibly be involved in these illegal activities, or could she?

Join Amanda and her friends as the visit ancient temples, an exciting falconry, and the enchanting Popeye Village, as they…

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It’s six weeks until the release of Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady and I’m getting excited.

Here is what early readers have had to say about Amanda’s latest adventure:

“A missing friend, a mysterious boy . . . Amanda’s holiday on the island of Malta takes you on a fast-paced adventure through ancient forts and fishing villages, sea caves and spooky castles. A real page-turner!”


“I love how the author mixes creativity, imagination and cultural appreciation in her writing – for minds of all ages!”


“Middle-grade readers will be drawn in by the action, pulled forward by the mystery, and absorbed by the colourful backdrop of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean.” 

Amanda in Malta, the eigth book in the series, is now available on NetGalley if you would like a free advanced reading copy and are willing to write a review.

https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/?text=Amanda+in+Malta

Amanda receives a postcard from her best friend, Leah, and is surprised to learn that she is in Malta with her aunt. Reading between the lines, she senses Leah is in trouble. Desperate to help her, Amanda travels to Malta with her classmate Caleb and his parents.


Amanda is intrigued by this exotic island in the middle of the Mediterranean, full of colourful history, sun-drenched limestone fortresses, stunning beaches and fascinating birds. But…who is killing the protected birds? Who stole a priceless artifact from the museum? And why is Leah acting so strange? She couldn’t possibly be involved in these illegal activities, or could she?

Join Amanda and her friends as they visit ancient temples, an exciting falconry and the enchanting Popeye Village, as they try to get to the bottom of the mystery of the Sleeping Lady.

Check out the trailer I’ve created.

Please share and let your friends know. Thanks!

One of the good things about 2020 is that there was more time to read. My goal was to read 36 books this year and I read 39. I read an assortment of books, including many I’ve wanted to read for a long time – classics, contemporary, children’s and books of poetry and short stories.

Check out my report from Goodreads.

https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2020/2916220

They were all good. My reviews of the books I completed can be found on Goodreads.

Here are a few of my favourites:

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is not a 5 it is a 10!! It is one of the best books I’ve read, up there with One Hundred Years of Solitude and A Fine Balance. It is a story within a story. It is complicated, full of many interesting and complicated characters. But I was never confused. Barcelona is the perfect place to set a story like this; a tale of books, writers, history, lovers and mystery. The author uses words so well – “Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.” I loved every word.

Wolf Willow by Wallace Stegner


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book dear to my heart. It is the history of the area near where I was born and raised, told by someone who lived there as a child when it was just being settled. It is so cleverly written, in a narrative that makes history come to life. He tells the good, the bad and the ugly of prairie life in the early 1900s. The writer returns to the small prairie town 40 years later and this is what he says, “Things look the same, surprisingly the same, and yet obscurely different.” Things haven’t changed that much in these places. The smells, tastes, heat, cold, and sounds of the prairies are all there between the covers and brought back vivid memories. The descriptions of blizzards, cyclones and drought are so real. My favourite line and there were so many, is this one. “I may not know who I am, but I know where I am from.” Reading this amazing book, masterfully written, reminded me of where I’m from.

The Hermit by Jan L. Coates


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great book for kids and those of us who think like kids. I loved this book. When Danny and his friends discover a hermit living in the woods, they are intrigued. Danny is determined to find out more about him. He also needs to find a way to stop land developers from building condos on the soccer field. Plenty of action, believable characters and real-life situations. The kidspeak was perfect. I liked the main character, Danny, kids will identify with him. The events unfold in a timely fashion with a satisfying ending, and there is a loveable dog in it! I highly recommend this book.

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An incredible book by the incomparable Toni Morrison. The reader is taken on the fantastic journey of one man´s life, with prose that pulls you in, as he tries to find his place in the world. The importance of family, even a dysfunctional one, and the relevance of knowing where you come from is woven in with a cast of diverse and quirky characters and intriguing settings. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, one that will stay with me for a long time.

How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this classic tale. It took me to another time and place; to a coal mining village in South Wales at the end of the 19th century. The writing is so descriptive I felt I was there with the Morgan family. Every sense is used so that you can taste the food, smell the earth, feel the grime of the coal dust, see the verdant valley, and hear the singing of the choir. The feelings and emotions of young Huw Morgan, the main character and point of view, are so vividly described that you laugh and cry along with him. The book was written 80 years ago, so some of the words are old and unfamiliar, but it doesn´t matter. In fact, the lovely Welsh way of speaking comes through and makes the story even more endearing. If you are looking to read a classic, I highly recommend this book.

Good Mothers Don’t by Laura Best

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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What would you do if you were a mother and felt you were losing your mind? This incredible book introduces us to Elizabeth, a wife and mom in the early 1960s who is grappling with her sanity. Then something happens to push her over the edge, resulting in a family that is torn apart. This well written, gripping story is told by Elizabeth and those affected by her. I have enjoyed everything Laura Best has written in the past, but she has outdone herself with this story. She has created characters so believable you begin to think you have met them somewhere before, perhaps a neighbour or a family member. I felt the pain, the hope and most of all, the love. I closed the book and wanted to start reading it all over again. This story will stay with me for a long time. Thank you Vagrant Press for the ARC.

Fragments of a Dream by Ruth Larrea

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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A well-written story about love, regrets, and possibilities. The story takes place in Greece for the most part. I like how the author skillfully incorporates the sights and scenery within the story of Rosie and Angelo without info-dumping. Both characters are believable and well developed. It is a story of cultural differences and misunderstandings, family and friends. I highly recommend this enjoyable read that will keep you turning the pages wondering what will happen next. This is more than romance, it is about complex relationships in a captivating setting.

Perhaps you will be inspired to read some of these books. I would love to hear about your favourite reads from 2020.







I am delighted with this review of Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone from Teri Polen. I love it when someone is enthusiastic about my home province.

Books and Such

Amanda is delighted to show Leah aaround Alberta during her visit from England. They take in the Calgary Stampede, go on a cattle drive, visit Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, spend time with the dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum and explore the crazy Hoodoos.When Amanda finds a stone with a unique mark on it, she doesn’t think it’s important until everyone seems to want it – including a very ornery cowboy. Is this stone worth ruining Leah’s holiday and placing them both in danger? Spend time with Amanda as she explores her own country while attempting to decipher the mysterious writing on the stone and keep it from those determined to take it from her.

This is my first time ‘meeting’ Amanda and while there are several books in the series, I chose this one because I traveled to Calgary earlier this year and visited some of the places mentioned in…

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I’ve read some great books this year. I’m so pleased Sally Cronin is featuring this one on the Smorgasbord Children’s Cafe and Bookstore along with my review.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the series where you can share your reviews for any children’s books you have read recently and posted on your blog, Amazon, Goodreads or any other online bookstore. If you would like more details here is the post that explains how it works:Showcasing Children’s books

This week a review for children’s author Darlene Foster for The Jigsaw Puzzle King by Gina McMurchy-Barber

45308133About the book

When you’re new in school, all you want is to fit in. When eleven-year-old Warren and his family move to a new city, his twin brother, who has Down syndrome, attracts too much attention for Warren’s liking. Bennie’s different and doesn’t care about it. But while Bennie may be oblivious to those who are curious or uneasy with him, Warren notices every smirk, comment, and sideways glance.

Warren is weary of flip-flopping between trying to be just like everyone else and…

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I enjoy following Jennie Fitzkee, a preschool teacher in New England. I have featured her here on my blog. She believes in the power of reading out loud to children of all ages, including reading chapter books to preschoolers. Jennie recently posted about the books she read this summer, which included great picture books as well as some chapter books. And guess what, she included Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone! I was delighted that she enjoyed the story and wrote a good review. I’m included with some pretty awesome authors too.

This is part of what she wrote:

Amanda and Leah see the Calgary Stampede (a rodeo), go on a cattle drive, visit Buffalo Jump, and the dinosaur museum.  These adventures are intertwined with a mystery- Amanda finds a stone, which people seem to want, one cowboy in particular.  Amanda is curious about the markings on the stone and is determined to learn more.  She is the modern day Nancy Drew, and her sleuthing proves to be both dangerous and exciting at times.

Please read the rest of her post.

https://jenniefitzkee.com/2020/08/30/my-summer-of-books-part-3/

Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting is getting some international attention recently. The book is being featured on Sally Cronin’s (from Ireland) Smorgasbord Children’s Cafe and Bookstore today with a superb review by Balroop Singh from the USA. Read the article and review here

A Spanish participant in an English speaking program I recently volunteered for, (more on that later) ordered a copy to help him with his English reading skills. He was delighted to receive it from amazon.es in two days.

A happy Amanda fan.

I am delighted to see that this book is still very popular. I wrote it before I moved to Spain!

Attention authors of children´s books! A great place to showcase your work and get the word out. Many thanks to Sally Cronin for putting this together.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the new Children’s Cafe and Bookstore where authors with books suitable for ages up to 12 can share their work and reviews.

It is very difficult to market and books at the current time without physical launches, particularly for children’s books with many in print versions only.

The authors with books suitable up to 12 years old will have separate entries for their children’s books in this new Cafe but will still retain their entries in the main bookstore with a selection of all books they may have.

Getting into the bookstore

If you are already an author in the bookstore then I will automatically share your children’s books in this directory.

If you are not already in the Cafe and Bookstore please email me with the following to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

  1. Link to Amazon for the book( and even  if you have one book please set up an…

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© Darlene Foster and darlenefoster.wordpress.com, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Darlene Foster and darlenefoster.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.