Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Amanda in Spain

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!

One of my goals, when I started writing the Amanda Travels series, was to educate as well as entertain readers. So I am always delighted when I learn that parents are using my books for homeschooling. One parent even sent me her child’s work and reports. I was impressed with the lesson plans and projects, as well as the student’s answers.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Kegan, an eleven-year-old young man, admits he is not a keen reader but enjoys Amanda and her adventures. His mom told me she loved seeing his interest and attention to almost every detail which she hadn’t seen with any other books he’d read. Looking at his reports, I can see that he understood the idea of the story. I love it when kids get it!

Here are some of the worksheets and projects from his Language Arts class

For his first report he chose to read Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone because he is from Alberta and familiar with some of the sights in the story. He also plans to visit some of the other places mentioned.

He got 81% for his final mark. Which is excellent.

One of the projects was to write a letter to the author. This is what he wrote to me:

Dear Darlene,

I am doing a book report on your book, titled “Amanda in Alberta.” I liked it! My favourite part is the horse ride. I have been to many of these places, mostly with my dad in the semi-truck. Did you visit all of the places in your books? Can you make a book of ” Amanda in Iceland”? I think that would be awesome!

Thank you for writing these amazing books!

Sincerely,

Kegan

I loved the story map he created summarizing the story via seven events
Ten out of ten for his depiction of the cover and short summary

For his next book, he chose Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting and got 83% as his final mark!

I always include a few more challenging words in the story to help increase the reader’s vocabulary. The words Kegan added to his vocabulary from this book were – monastery, boleros, distressed, dubious, spittoon, trance, alcove, apprehended. The teacher wrote, “It looks like this story was at the right reading level for you.”

I like how he described the characters.

Amanda – happy, determined, she does not listen to Leah, kind-hearted. An explorer.

Leah – helpful, loud scream, acting, kind-hearted. The tall one.

Dona – determined, kind, helpful, big heart. Loves her horse, Pedro.

He was required to summarize each chapter, which he did quite well, as well as predict what might happen at the end of each chapter. His predictions were 50% correct and 50% incorrect. The teacher wrote, “If your predictions were wrong, that means the writer was successful in her writing in order to keep you interested and surprised.”

I just heard from his mom that during lockdown, he has been reading Amanda in Holland for his current Language Arts class.

It makes me very happy to know that my books are being used in classrooms and for homeschooling. My goal has been accomplished.

Copyright © 2020 darlenefoster.wordpress.com – All rights reserved

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!

There are many things that make me happy, but as a writer, good reviews and happy readers just make my day. A super review for Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action was recently posted on Robbie Cheadle´s blog.

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2020/02/15/amanda-in-holland-missing-in-action-by-darlene-foster/

Darlene Foster has a lovely series of travel combined with mystery books for middle school readers. Amanda in Holland is the fourth book in this series I have read and it certainly did not disappoint me.

The book is action-packed and filled with interesting titbits of information about life in Holland, WWII and perseverance and determination in unraveling a mystery.

Amanda is a clever and kind girl who will appeal to middle school and young teenagers who will admire her pluck.

Read more about what she has to say here

Jacquie Biggar posted a great review of Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone on her blog https://jacqbiggar.com/2020/02/24/bookreview-amanda-in-alberta-by-darlene-foster-childrensmystery-supermegawoman/

Amanda in Alberta is a fun, page-turning mystery with interesting tidbits of indigenous history along with Alberta landmarks thrown in.

While geared toward the pre-teen age group, this book has something for every reader to enjoy.

I give Amanda in Alberta four lovely kisses- Traveling with Amanda is an adventure!

Read the rest of the review along with a couple of perfect pictures here

And a long time blogging friend and amazing photographer, Ruth Hendricks, https://rutheh.com/ sent me a great picture of her granddaughter, Maura, receiving Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting in the mail. She looks pretty happy.

These are the things that make the hard work of writing books worthwhile.

It’s been ten years since my first book, Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask was published. I never imagined I would have a series of seven books out there. A huge thank you to everyone who has read my books, written reviews, told friends, family, and teachers about my books, given them as gifts and sent me emails and pictures. It has been the huge support of so many that has made this dream of mine come true. I can’t thank you enough.

You can read more about my books on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

or on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3156908.Darlene_Foster

Copyright © 2020 darlenefoster.wordpress.com – All rights reserved

In case you haven’t read this fabulous review of Amanda in Spain by an eight-year-old, here it is on Marcia Meara’s blog! Check out Marcia’s books too. They are amazing.

The Write Stuff

Lovely to have Darlene back again this afternoon, this time to share a very special review she received directly from a very young reader, who had no adult help with the writing. I know you’ll enjoy this one and will be happy to pass it along to all your contacts! Thanks!

REVIEW:
By Catrin (8 Years Old)

I really enjoyed this book. I like books which have a mystery plot to them, and this book really caught my attention – I read it all in one go! The story kept me guessing until the end. In some parts, the reader is held in suspense while in other times you can almost guess what’s going to happen so I had to read on to find out if I’d got it right or not. My favourite character was Dona because she is a Spanish performer and I like performing as well. I…

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This summer I have been fortunate to be featured on a number of great blog sites. Today I am a guest of Hugh Roberts as he shares snippets of his diary entries from 1988. Find out what song from the 80s I picked and read a wonderful review of one of my books from an eight-year-old.

All aboard the music time machine! Continuing the story from 1988. This week my guest is the author, writer and blogger Darlene Foster.

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Our day trip to Villajoyosa ended with a stop at Santa Barbara Castle, overlooking the city of Alicante and the Mediterranean Sea. The very capable bus driver took us to the top of Mount Benecantil, 166 meters above the city, on a narrow, windy road. This was a large bus and we all held our breath as he barely made it through the castle entrance, built for horse and buggies.

The narrow entrance to the castle

The narrow entrance to the castle

Once there we had an hour to wander the castle and discover the history of Alicante on display in the museums throughout the castle. Archaeological remains from the Bronze Age, Iberian Age and Roman Times have been found on this site.

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I enjoyed climbing around the many levels, checking out the dungeons, chapel, guardroom, bastions and turrets. I loved the wrought iron warriors and archers strategically placed around the castle.

The dungeons

The dungeons

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The chapel ruins

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Watch out for the archers!

Watch out for the archers!

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Fascinating views of Alicante and the Mediterranean Sea

Fascinating views of Alicante and the Mediterranean Sea

This was fun for me as I visited this site a number of years ago and set a scene in Amanda in Spain in this very castle

kids posing with a warrior while dad takes a picture

Kids posing with a warrior while dad takes a picture

Another person posing for the camera.

Another person posing for the camera.

I can´t get enough of the rich history and fascinating castles around here.

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.

 

First of all, I want to thank everyone for your support yesterday in helping me tie for First Prize in the Long and Short Review contest.  The voting time was short so don’t worry if you got to the post too late. This prize will give me some free marketing for the next month. All my followers Rock!

Book of the Month Seal

If that wasn’t wonderful enough, today I am the featured author on Suzanne’s Thoughts For The Day This is what she had to say:

How Could A Girl Get Herself in so Much Trouble?

I met Darlene Foster at a marketing seminar a few months back and was very interested to hear about her books. Darlene’s character, Amanda, has made her a bestseller! 
Read the rest here and make a comment:

http://suzannesthoughtsfortheday.blogspot.ca/2013/09/how-could-girl-get-herself-in-so-much.html

Suzanne is giving away an e-copy of one of my books to a lucky commenter.

Life is good for this children’s writer!

I woke up this morning to a wonderful surprise. Diane from New Zealand, on her blog  Writer and Dreamer at Work , posted an interview with me and a very flattering review of Amanda in England-The Missing Novel.  I was attracted initially to Diane’s blog because she is a writer and a dreamer, like me. She writes very good children’s book reviews. In fact  her review of Herbert the Brave Sea Dog  prompted me to purchase the book for my grandson.

Meet Darlene Foster – Author of the Amanda Series

I would like very much to introduce to you a lovely friend and fellow writer/dreamer Darlene Foster, an author of the Chapter book series, Amanda in Arabia, Amanda in Spain, and the new, Amanda in England.

Darlene is a published children’s author, an employment coach/facilitator, an ESL tutor, a wife, mother and grandmother. Like me, she loves travel, shoes, cooking, reading, sewing, chocolate, music, the beach and making new friends. Her grandson calls her “super-mega-as woman-supreme”. She was brought up on a ranch in Southern Alberta, where she dreamt of traveling the world and meeting new people. She lives on the West Coast of BC with her husband Paul and two black cats, Pumpkin and Monkey.

Darlene has been visiting my blog for some time and I was delighted to find she is a fellow dreamer as well as a lover of travel. As writers I think we all are dreamers of sorts and I especially loved her travel stories, which have brought back wonderful memories for me.

So I was especially delighted that she agreed to being bombarded with questions by me here today…

Darlene I see from your website, your books are inspired by your travels, when and for how long did you visit England?

To hear the answer and read the rest of the interview visit Diane’s blog:

http://thepatientdreamer.com/2012/10/18/meet-darlene-foster-author-of-the-amanda-series/#comment-3095

One of Diane’s favourite quotes is:

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”

-Gloria Steinem

Thanks so much Diane for the interview, the review and your friendship.


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