Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Amanda in New Mexico

I was nominated by my blogging friend Geoff LePard at TanGental to post one favourite travel picture a day for ten days without explanation, then to nominate someone else to participate. That’s 10 days, 10 travel pictures, and 10 nominations. It doesn´t have to be 10 consecutive days. Thanks, Geoff!

The photo from Day 6 was of Taos Pueblo in New Mexico which Andrew easily guessed. I really hope I can stump him one day. Many of you guessed New Mexico, so well done. I visited Taos, New Mexico a few years ago with my dear aunt, who is a great travelling buddy. Taos Pueblo was amazing. It is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in the USA and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, people have been living there for over 1000 years! I write more about it on the following blog post and it is featured in Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind

https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/taos-pueblo/

Today I nominate Susie Lindau at Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride On her blog she shares inspiration, travel tips, and entertaining posts about her adventures and misadventures in Boulder, Colorado.

If I nominate you and you don’t want to participate, please do not feel obliged, but if you do, please link back to me so that I can see your post. In these times vicarious travel is a great escape, I would love to see what you choose to post.

This is my picture for day 7. If you want to guess where this is, leave your answer in the comments or just comment on the picture.

I love Halloween. It was so much fun as a kid to dress up and collect goodies. I still remember some of the costumes mom made for me, Little Bo Peep was my favourite. No store-bought costumes! Later, I had fun making costumes for my kids. A snoopy costume for my son was a big hit, as was a cute Little Red Riding Hood for my daughter. As they got older I made Kiss outfits for my son and his three friends. And a Teddy Bear costume for my daughter which she still wears when she goes to schools to teach pottery.

Mom continued making costumes for her grandkids and great-grandkids. She made a clown costume for my daughter that has been handed down over the years and recently her great-great-granddaughter wore it.

Clown costume made by mom

Most of the offices I worked in encouraged us to dress up for Halloween and I always enjoyed that. Here are a couple of my favourite costumes.

Jane Austen
Would you like your fortune told?
A scary pirate

Even the fur babies get to dress up. Here’s my grandpuppy Lola in her Batman costume.

I don’t read scary books (sorry Stephen King) or watch horror movies, although some are probably very well done. The books I write are not too frightening, except for Amanda in Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind which has a few spooky parts. But nothing that would keep kids up at night.

Here is a short excerpt.

Amanda stood in front of a door the map showed as the Santos Display Room.

“What’s in here?”

Along with Caleb and a couple of other students, she entered the dimly-lit room containing glass cabinets filled with pictures and statues of various saints. A sign explained how the families in Spanish America always
kept a shrine to a saint in their homes. The shrine often held Milagros, tiny silver shapes attached to statues of the saints. There were legs for people who couldn’t walk, eyes for those who had bad eyesight and animal
figures to wish a farmer a productive year with his flock.

Amanda was fascinated as she peered through the glass at small objects stuck on the figures.

She looked up and gasped. At the end of the narrow room stood a life-sized skeleton of a woman riding in a wooden cart. Amanda, heart beating, crept closer to the scary figure wearing a scraggly white wig and a long dark
robe. She carried a scythe in one hand and a globe in the other. On the wall beside the figure, a plaque told of Doña Sebastiana, the female saint of death, or Santa Muerte. During the Holy Week procession at Easter, this
female Grim Reaper was rolled out in her death cart and transported through the town. Parents would point her out and tell the children if they did not behave, Doña Sebastiana would come for them.

Amanda gulped and peered more closely at the horrible figure. She couldn’t understand why parents would want to scare their children like that.

‘Imagine the nightmares!’ Amanda thought.

Just then, everything went black. Something brushed Amanda’s shoulder. She froze.

“Caleb,” she whispered. “Is that you?”
There was no answer.
A cold breeze passed over her.

If you are looking for something to read or to read with the young children in your life, you might want to check it out.

Have a Happy Halloween!!

My publisher reminded me that it has been ten years since we published my first book, Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask. Ten years!!

It made me think back to my first book launch at Albany Books in Tsawwassen, BC. I was so excited and so scared. What if no one came? What if no one bought my book? What if no one liked it? How many times had I gone to a book launch or book signing and dreamt of one day having my own? Thanks to Central Avenue Publishing my life-long dream came true.

My first book launch!
I brought Ali Baba along and he was a big hit.
And lots of people came
And bought many books.

I was over the moon with happiness. I had to pinch myself, to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

And the following year I had another book launch for Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting.

Even more people came, the bookstore was packed and I sold more books.

So I wrote another book, Amanda in England: The Missing Novel, and launched it at Albany Books. No one could even tell I had a broken ankle.

I launched the next book, Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone, wearing the appropriate hat.

My biggest supporter!
Amanda fans

Then I moved to Spain and wrote Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music, but returned to Albany Books for the launch.

I was so pleased that my daughter could attend this launch

Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind followed with another fun launch.

And then there was my recent launch of Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action. Well attended in spite of a rainy Vancouver day.

Friends and long time supporters
With my amazing publisher, Michelle Halket, who made all of this possible.
Nothing like seeing your books on the shelves of a bookstore
I’ve held all seven book launches at Albany Books, a wonderful independent bookstore with knowledgeable and super friendly staff.

Thank you to everyone who has attended my book launches over the past ten years, for buying my books and for spreading the word about them.

Thank you to Albany Books for hosting my book launches. Even though in lockdown, they are open for phone-in and online orders, with local curbside delivery and mail delivery otherwise. Please support your local bookstores at this time. https://www.albanybooks.com/

Thank you to Michelle Halket of Central Avenue Publishing for believing in me and my Amanda Travels series.

And thank you for coming along with me down memory lane. I wonder what the next ten years will bring. Stay strong, stay safe and stay home!

I’m back from a fabulous time in Canada just in time for Halloween. So it’s fitting that Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind is featured on Teri Polen’s Bad Moon Rising blog today. Check out what I think my spirit animal is.

Books and Such

Today’s author brings a book (a whole series!) for the younger crowd.  I think her spirit animal describes her perfectly, and these questions may have sparked ideas for two more books.  Welcome Darlene Foster!

Would you rather boogie down to Monster Mash or get your groove on to Thriller?

Although Thriller is a great song, I prefer dancing to Monster Mash. It’s from my youth and makes me think of high school dances and all the fun we had. Whenever I hear it, especially around Halloween, I always bop around the house, much to hubby’s embarrassment. I love the line, “Tell them Boris sent you.”

Would you rather be abducted by aliens or a serial killer?

Aliens for sure. They wouldn’t be quite as scary, at least I don’t think so. I imagine they would be friendly and not want to do me harm. They would probably just want to…

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I am pleased to be a guest of Allan Hudson on his blog South Branch Scribbler, where I share some background on Amanda and a childhood anecdote.

Guest Author Darlene Foster of Alberta

The Scribbler is honoured to have Darlene Foster, an award winning author, as our guest this week. She has agreed to a 4Q interview and offered to share an excerpt from Amanda in New Mexico-Ghosts in the Wind, the sixth book in the Amanda Travels series.
4Q: For those unfamiliar with your heroine, Amanda Ross, tell us about her.
DF: Amanda Jane Ross is a twelve-year-old girl from Calgary, Alberta. She lives with her mom and dad, both accountants and partners in an accounting firm. They work long hours. Her life is pretty ordinary. An only child, she is bored and lonely. She enjoys cooking, often prepares the meals at home, loves to read and has a great imagination. She wishes for travel and excitement on her twelfth birthday as she blows out all the candles on her cake.
Read more of the interview here

Thanks Allan!

 

Just in time for Halloween, I am part of Teri Polen´s Bad Moon Rising series. I hope you have your costume ready, candies bought and pumpkin carved. If not, That´s OK. Just have a pumpkin spiced latte, sit back and enjoy the post! Happy Halloween!!

Books and Such

Today’s guest is the author of a wonderful series of children’s books.  Readers call them ‘delightful armchair travel’ and a ‘fantastic adventure’.  As a bonus – they’re educational!  Amanda in New Mexico touches on the supernatural, and that’s the book Darlene Foster shares with us today.  She also tells a Ouija board story that will send tingles down your spine.  Welcome Darlene!

You’re in a horror movie.  Are you the final person, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

I would be the comic relief. I’m usually the first one to crack a joke when things are tense. This can be annoying to some people who think it is no laughing matter.

Have you ever played with a Ouija board?

My aunt and I played with one when we were children. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I do…

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I am very happy to be a guest of Charles Yallowitz at Legends of Windemere where I share some tips on how to find time to write. Charles is a prolific writer himself. Check out his amazing fantasy series.

Legends of Windemere

Finding Time to Write

You have a great idea for a book. You’ve been thinking about it for a long time, probably years. But you’re too busy with a job, kids, aging parents, volunteer work and life in general. So you put off writing the book. But it is always there, nagging you, begging to be written. If only you had time to write!

Sound familiar?

For many, writing a book seems like an insurmountable task. So they never even start. That is where the problem is, they are thinking about writing an entire book.  Like any large, time-consuming project, to make it happen the task needs to be broken down into doable amounts.

A good way to do this is to set goals – long term, med term and short term goals. These goals should be realistic and time limited. And that will be different for everyone.

A long…

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Thank you so much to everyone who entered the recent Amanda in New Mexico giveaway. And a huge thank you to all of you who shared and promoted it. It was fun and using Raflecopter made it very easy and fair. I was pleased that there were so many entries that I had Raflecopter pick two winners. So drum roll, please…

The two winners of a copy of Amanda in New Mexico-Ghosts in the Wind are –

Lynn Davidson 
Bette A. Stevens 

Congratulations to both of you. I have contacted you via email.

Book cover Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind by author Darlene Foster

Amanda in New Mexico-Ghosts in the Wind is available at most bookstores, although it may need to be ordered in, and online on the following sites

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Amazon.co.uk

Kobo

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends and family! There is so much to be thankful for. Among many other things, I am thankful for the followers of my blog.

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In Canada, picking a pumpkin is as important as picking a Christmas tree. The trick is to find a sincere pumpkin patch.

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Watch this space, there may be more giveaways!

Book cover Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind by author Darlene Foster

To celebrate the one year launch of Amanda in Mexico-Ghosts in the Wind and just in time for Halloween, I am giving away a copy. Your choice of a print or digital copy if you live in Canada, US or the UK. If you live anywhere else, the prize will be a digital copy.  Simply fill in the Rafflecopter form below. The contest is from September 30th to October 7th, 2018.

Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several of her fellow creative students. Join Amanda, Cleo and their funny friend, Caleb, as they visit an ancient and beautiful landscape where a traditional hacienda, an ancient pueblo, and a haunted and spooky hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past. Does Cleo really see ghosts? Can Amanda escape the eerie wind that follows her everywhere? Perhaps the Day of the Dead will reveal the mysteries of Taos in this latest adventure of Amanda’s travels.

This is what one reviewer had to say about Amanda in New Mexico.

Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind finds student Amanda Ross on a school trip in Taos, New Mexico. While there, her classmate Cleo thinks she sees ghosts. Amanda feels anxious too, sensing that something or someone is watching her. An engaging adventure ensues during their visit to the Land of Enchantment in this sixth book in the fun and educational series for early middle-grade readers. 5/5 Literary Soiree

Click here to enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!!

I have had a wonderful summer being interviewed and guest posting for many amazing blog sites. This is a fun interview with Amanda on a virtual radio station. Pop over and have a read, I know you will love this clever way of introducing a character, thanks to Craig Boyack.

Entertaining Stories

Lisa Burton

Welcome all you research junkies, and skeptical paranormal fans. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my very special guest today is Amanda Jane Ross. She’s only twelve, so let’s make her feel welcome. “Hi, Amanda. Thanks for being on the show today.”

“Hi, Lisa!! I’m totally excited about being on your show. But I am a little nervous as I’ve never been on the radio before.”

“My bio says you hail from Calgary, Canada. That’s a pretty interesting place. What can you tell us about it?”

“Well, it is famous for The Calgary Stampede. I am in grade six and attend Guy Weadick Elementary. Did you know the school is named after a cowboy who started the Calgary Stampede?  I used to think it was a pretty boring place as nothing…

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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.