Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘adventure

9781771681025My publisher and I have created a fresh new cover for my next book, Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music. I am excited to share the finished product with my readers. We will be updating the covers of all the books in the Amanda Travels series soon.

Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music will be released October 1, 2016, and is available for pre-order here on Amazon.

What other authors are saying about this Amanda Travels adventure:

A charming and fast-paced story that will delight its young audience as Amanda and Leah travel along the historic Danube River to deliver a very unique and mysterious violin.”

~ Suzanne de Montigny, Award-winning author, Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy

Young readers will have great fun travelling alongside Amanda Ross as she cruises down the Danube by riverboat, revelling in the picturesque landscape and captivating cities along the way. This novel is chock-full of social and cultural history that will leave adventurers longing to explore this part of Europe for themselves. Thanks to a mysterious boy who entrusts Amanda with a timeworn violin, this fast-paced mystery will keep readers guessing until the very last chapter.”

~ Jan L. Coates, Children’s Author, Governor General’s Literary Awards

“A mysterious travel adventure with a brave, inquisitive, compassionate heroine. This is a fast-paced, fun read! Amanda will take you on a wonderful, visual, descriptive adventure.”
PJ Sarah Collins, author, Sam & Nate and Elena Collins
Here is a short excerpt:

The cab dropped them off beside a long, low boat with The Sound of Music written in large letters on the side. The ‘f’ was replaced with a treble clef.

Once on board, they entered an elegant lobby furnished with blue velvet chairs and couches. “This is sooo adorable,” Amanda said. “You love that Sound Of Music movie, Mom, and there are pictures of the von Trapp family all over the walls.”

Her mom’s face lit up when she saw the familiar scenes.

Suddenly, everything went black and Amanda couldn’t see a thing.

“Hiya, Canadian girl.”

Amanda recognized that English accent. She peeled off the hands covering her glasses and turned around. “Leah!” She gave her tall, blonde friend a huge hug.

“We only just got here ourselves. Mum and Dad are putting the luggage in our room. Your room is just across from us.” Leah flashed a wide grin at Amanda’s parents. “I’m so glad you could make this trip. We are all going to have loads of fun. Come, Amanda, let’s explore the boat.”

“See you later.” Amanda barely looked at her parents as she tripped down the narrow hallway behind Leah.

First stop was a large room completely surrounded by windows. Round tables with crisp white tablecloths, set for a meal – without a fork or knife out of place – indicated it was the dining room. Sparkling chandeliers hung from the ceiling.

“Wow! Every table has a view. This will be a fab place to eat.” Amanda looked around. “I hope we can all eat together.”

“Mum has already made sure of that. We got here early so we got to pick which table we wanted for the entire trip.” Leah pointed to a table at the very front of the boat. “Ours is that table for six, the one with the best view.”

Amanda noticed an undone shoelace on her runner and bent down to tie it. Her purse slipped off her shoulder and fell to the floor. As she picked it up, she spotted small red dots sprinkled on the beige and blue carpet.

“What’s this? Do you think someone spilled ketchup?”

Leah bent down to look closer. “Yes, it could be tomato sauce.”

More red spots appeared further along. “Something must have dripped from a plate when they were clearing the tables,” remarked Leah.

“I think it might be… blood.” Amanda followed the spots to a set of stairs.

Leah shook her head. “There goes your overactive imagination again.”

What do you think of the new look?

It´s been a year since we launched Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone. To celebrate I am a guest on the fabulous blog site Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Guest Post: Amanda in Alberta | Darlene Foster.

Book Description:

Amanda has travelled to some interesting places like the United Arab Emirates, Spain and England. She has always enjoyed herself, in spite of the dangerous situations she has found herself in. This time her BFF, Leah from England, is coming to visit her in Alberta. Will she be able to find enough fun things for them to do? After all it is only Alberta, her home province in Canada.

Read more about the book, a great review and a message from me here. Pop over to the site, make a comment and share if you wish, to help me celebrate.

Thanks so much for the support all of you have given me and Amanda over the past few years. 

Amanda in Alberta is born!

Amanda in Alberta is born!

Faithful supporters at the book launch July 2014

Faithful supporters at the book launch July 2014

 

My biggest fan and official photographer

My biggest fan and official photographer

You know how I love to encourage young writers. Today’s fun post is part of a Choose Your Own Story written and hosted by T. Isenhoff and M. Isenhoff on their Storyboys blog. T. is in 3rd grade, and M. is in 6th grade. This story was their winter home-school project. A number of us have agreed to feature part of the story on our blogs. Travel over to the boys’ blog to start at the beginning. Have fun!

Here’s the permalink to the boys’ first post http://wp.me/p2bspO-5A then follow the rest until you get to my post. Happy reading! 

Cursed Mansion

Both boys let out screams like little girls with spiders on their shoulders.

A shot rang out, silencing the noise. A trickle of plaster fell down on their heads from a bullet hole in the ceiling. “Shut it, or the next shot will find your hide.”

The boys clamped their mouths shut. Coach Theodore motioned them into the room with his gun. They went without objection.

“What are you going to do with us?” Ed asked.

The coach kept his gun trained on the boys. “What choice have you left me?” he answered. “You know too much.”

Tony gulped and clutched his football a little tighter. He’d best keep the man talking. “How’d you get away with the jewelry?” he asked.

Coach Theodore laughed. “The cops in this town are idiots. A little planning and I outwit them every time.”

“You’ve done this before?” Ed asked.

“Why should I tell you?” Coach asked.

“No reason,” Ed yelped.

“What are you going to do with all the loot?” Tony asked.

“I have buyers,” he answered. “The internet is a wonderful source for remaining anonymous. This jewelry will bring a fortune. Then I can resign from coaching football.”

The coach shifted his attention to the jewels for a split second. It was all the time Tony needed. He grasped his football and threw it directly at the gun. It hit its mark, knocking the weapon from the man’s hand and sending it skittering across the room and under a wardrobe.

“Run!” Tony screamed.

The boys rushed out of the room and barely touched the stairs on their way down to the door. They hopped on their bikes and pedaled like mad. When they were a few blocks away, Tony pulled out his cell phone and dialed 911.

“Hello? We’ve just been inside the old Cursed Mansion and found the hideout of the jewelry thief. Coach Theodore is the thief!”

“Who is this?” the voice on the other end replied.

“Tony Zamboni.”

“Tony the Phony? I remember you.” It was quiet for a moment on the line. “You know it’s illegal to prank call this emergency number, don’t you?”

“This isn’t a joke!” Tony cried. “Send someone to the mansion and you’ll see for yourself.”

The voice sighed. “We’ll send someone along shortly.”

“If you wait too long, Coach will be gone!” he screamed.

That evening, the boys heard on the news that police had found the hideout of the jewelry thief. They had a suspect in mind, but the crook had gotten away.

“Wouldn’t you know it?” Ed asked. “If the police had believed us a little sooner, we could be famous crime solvers.”

“I just wish my new coach could have seen that throw,” Tony mourned.

The End

 What a great project! Fabulous job boys. Keep writing more intriguing stories like this.

 

I write books for young people so I read books for children and young adults. When I come across one I am impresed with, I like to tell everyome about it. Here is my review on one I recently read.

Alexandria, the heroine of Alexandria of Africa by Eric Walters, is a teenager who has everything she wants but downplays her intelligence and resourcefulness in favour of make-up, designer clothes and material processions, until she gets caught shoplifting and is sent to Kenya to help build a school. As Alexandria learns to live without cell phone reception or hot water, encounters Maasai warriors, a herd of elephants, and a mud hut village; she discovers an inner strength and resilience. Her adventures, woven together with descriptions of the Kenyan landscape and people, make this a compelling read. Every privileged teenager should spend time in a developing country but most won’t. This book is the next best thing!

Amanda Ross had a wonderful adventure in the United Arab Emirates. She will never forget the camel race, shopping at the souq, swimming in the Persian Gulf and riding a camel. When she came back to Canada and told her friends about her travels, some of them didn’t believe her but that was OK. She made a scrap book with the pictures she took and of the souvenirs she collected. She even had a picture of her and Ali Baba, the camel she treasured.

She kept in touch with Leah, the friend she had made when she was in the UAE, by email and Facebook. When Leah asked her to come to Spain to spend a holiday with her, Amanda jumped at the chance. She did extra chores at home, babysat and took on a paper route to save up money for the trip. Spain was wonderful and she got to see and do a lot. She visited Madrid, explored a mountain town with houses hanging on the edge of cliffs, stayed overnight in an old, spooky monastery, took part in a tomato fight and discovered the sights of Barcelona.

There was only one problem; a young girl, looking amazingly like a girl in a famous painting, kept showing up wherever Amanda and Leah happened to be.

 

Following her was an evil horse dealer who seemed determined to make life miserable for everyone. Could Amanda keep this sweet young girl, and her beloved pony, safe without bringing harm to herself and Leah?
Follow the adventures of Amanda at http://www.centralavenuepublishing.com/Books/Amanda%20in%20Spain/

amanda-in-spain

 

 

 

Dishing up adventure

Tsawwassen resident Darlene Foster serves up an Arabian dish in theme with her new novel for youth, ‘Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask.’
Kristine Salzmann photo
Published: October 07, 2010 12:00 PM

A Tsawwassen author’s first published book takes young readers on an adventure to the United Arab Emirates.

It’s not a country often talked about nor a setting you’d expect in a novel about a 12-year-old girl, but Darlene Foster was enthralled by the locale when she traveled there to visit a friend 10 years ago.

“It was so fascinating and exciting. My girlfriend said I was just like a child because I was so enthusiastic.”

She wanted to translate that enthusiasm into an adventure story for young readers. Foster, an employment counsellor, created Amanda Ross, a 12-year-old who wishes for adventure and travel on her birthday and receives a plane ticket to the UAE where an aunt and uncle live.

All four of Foster’s grandchildren already have copies of Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask and she says they loved it, even her young grandson despite the bright pink cover.

Many of the adventures Amanda experiences are ones Foster did during her trip, such as attend a camel race, ride a camel, and watch the sun set over the dunes.

Foster says she also loved the food there. After returning from the UAE, she picked up Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East & North Africa by Habeeb Salloum. It’s a cookbook she dips into weekly for recipes such as this rice flavoured with cardamom.

Both her readers and publishing company, ireadiwrite, are looking for Amanda to continue her travels. Foster received an email from a young girl who asked, “Where is Amanda going next, and what colour will it be?”

Amanda will continue to have adventures, says Foster.

Next, her protagonist will set off in search of excitement in Spain (and the cover will be red). Third in the series may be a trip to England. Both are places Foster has traveled.

“Amanda isn’t going anywhere without me,” she says.

Foster will hold a book signing at Black Bond Books (5251 Ladner Trunk Rd.) on Oct. 16, 1 to 3 p.m. and at the Guildford Town Centre in Surrey on Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. For more about the author and her writing, visit darlenefoster.ca.

Rice flavoured with cardamom

Ingredients

4 Tbsp. butter

1 ½ cups slivered almonds

1 cup rice, rinsed

¼ cup raisins or chopped dates

2 ½ cups water

½ teaspoon ground cardamom seeds

½ teaspoon cinnamon

salt to taste

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley

Directions

Melt butter in a frying pan and sauté almonds until they begin to brown

Add rice and stir fry for another three minutes.

Stir in remaining ingredients, except parsley, and bring to a boil

Cover and cook over medium low heat for 25 minutes

Turn off heat and allow to steam for 30 minutes

Stir, place on serving platter and garnish with parsley

Serves six.


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