Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Amanda Travels

I’m tickled to be featured on MJ Mallon’s blog. Find out what I would do with a traveling onion and a few other things about me and my writing that you may or may not know.

M J Mallon Author

A huge welcome to Darlene Foster who is over at my blog home today for a Q and A about her children’s adventure series: Amanda Travels.

Some of you might know that I like to interview using my nickname MJ…

MJ: I’d love to find out more about your amazing travel series featuring a twelve year old girl. Who is Amanda Ross and where does she like to travel to? What mysteries does she uncover/solve? What adventures does she have?

Darlene: Amanda Ross is an average girl living in Alberta, Canada and she is bored. On her twelfth birthday she makes a wish for travel and adventure before blowing out all her candles. The next day tickets to visit her aunt and uncle in the United Arab Emirates arrive in the mail. She has an amazing adventure in the UAE that includes a mysterious perfume flask, a beautiful princess, a…

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A fun chat with Linda on Linda’s Book Bag. Hop on over and say Hi!

Linda's Book Bag

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Many moons ago when I had a career, one of my favourite roles was reading fiction aimed at 11-14 year olds and writing resources based on the books for classroom use for a large UK publisher. When I heard that Darlene Forster writes for a similar age group I just had to invite her to stay in with me and tell me about one of her books. Luckily she agreed to come!

If you’re an author who’d also like to stay in with me to tell me about one of your books, please click here for more details.

Staying in with Darlene Foster

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Darlene. Thanks so much for staying in with me. Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?

Thank you for inviting me over. It’s a perfect evening to talk about…

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Today is my birthday and what better way to celebrate than sharing this article featuring Amanda talking about her adventures and sharing a couple of recipes! Check out this amazing blog where you will discover great recipes and interesting articles.

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Meet Amanda from the Amanda Travels series who talks about her travels and shares favorite recipes.

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HI! Amanda here.

Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog, Esme. You probably already know that I love traveling to interesting places. My curiosity gets me into trouble sometimes but I always meet interesting people and learn fascinating new things. What you maybe didn’t know is that I enjoy collecting recipes from the places I visit.

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Sally Cronin is featuring a post from my archives about my visit to the Keukenhof Gardens two years ago. I´m currently busy writing Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action, where Amanda and Leah visit this amazing place. Hop on over to see the pictures. I hope it makes you feel springy.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Today a chance to tiptoe through the tulips courtesy of Darlene Foster.. Since it brings us all some much needed signs of spring I am going to feature all of the photographs. I am sure you will enjoy as much as I have.

Tiptoeing Through the Tulips at Keukenhof by Darlene Foster

I love tulips. They are by far my favourite flower. So you can imagine my delight when we arrived at Keukenhof, the famous tulip gardens in Holland. Greeted by a sea of tulips in the brightest colours imaginable, I was like a child at a candy store. Covering 32 hectares, over 7 million tulips, daffodils and other spring flowers are on display amongst well kept shrubs, trees and blossoms.

Interesting sculptures and works of art are displayed throughout the gardens. I climbed to the top of a traditional windmill, or molen, to get an amazing view of…

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As you could see from my previous posts, I had a wonderful time back in Canada visiting family and friends. But the trip was also to promote my books, more specifically my latest release, Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind. I had a lot of fun at the pre-planned events and thought I would share them with you.

I was invited by the Vancouver Public Library to be a workshop leader at their annual one week Writers and Book Camp held at the main branch, downtown Vancouver. This is my favourite library and I was honoured to be able to share some of my writing knowledge with the eager participants. These 9 to 13-year olds were serious writers. I created a workshop called Writing – It’s More Than What You See. We discussed how using all the senses makes writing more effective. I also spoke about how I use photographs to inspire my writing and gave them examples. I showed them one of my pictures and had them write for fifteen minutes, using as many senses as possible. Then they shared their work. I was amazed at what they produced in such a short time. The participants said they enjoyed the workshop and learned a lot. I had so much fun delivering it.

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The Vancouver Public Library, an amazing building built to look like the Colosseum

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A ‘place of books and learning

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All set up and ready for the eager students

I then went on to Calgary where I did a presentation and book signing at the Shawnessy Branch of the Calgary Public Library. The event was well attended and I sold all the books I brought along! The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. Another great experience.

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Display at a Calgary Library

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Some attentive listeners at the presentation

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Some of the attendees were cousins. So great to see them.

Next stop was Coles Indigo Bookstore in my hometown, Medicine Hat. I saw so many folks I hadn’t seen for a long time, former neighbours, childhood friends, relatives and even my first landlady from fifty years ago. I sold out of books!

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As you can see, I had help.

Back to BC where I held my book launch at Albany Books in Tsawwassen. This bookstore has been so supportive of me and other local authors over the years. The staff are fantastic. Even though it was a sunny Saturday, the last long weekend of the summer, many people came out to chat and buy books.

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With my amazing publisher, Michelle. She is like a fairy godmother and makes all this happen!

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Book launch for Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind

I was invited to do a presentation at a BC Association of Travel Writers MeetUp where I spoke about How to Turn Your Travels into a Series of Travel Adventure Books to a sold-out crowd. Everyone enjoyed the PowerPoint presentation and many great questions were asked. Great to see many travel writer friends and meet new people.

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Since I was leaving after the first week of school, I was only able to visit one school this time. It was my sixth time to do a presentation at Holly Elementary in Surrey. The students there are huge Amanda Travels fans and some of the grade sevens even dropped in as they wanted to hear what Amanda was up to. I enjoy visiting this school with students from diverse cultures. They loved the theme of the latest book and when I showed them the trailer for Amanda in New Mexico,  they stood up and clapped!

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Presenting to a captive audience of about 100 at Holly Elementary School

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As always, they asked many good questions.

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My last event was a book signing at Indigo-Chapters on Granville Street in Vancouver, the largest bookstore in BC. It was a dream come true to hold an event at this bookstore. Many people stopped by my table to chat and buy books. There are many new Amanda fans now. I sold all but two of the books in stock. Happy days.

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A friend helping out at the book signing

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Signing books at Indigo-Chapters, another dream come true.

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A fabulous sign in Indigo Chapters

I got to spend time in libraries, bookstores and schools, my favourite places, as well as meet some amazing people. It was a lot of work but well worth it.

Don´t forget to enter the giveaway 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4e6fad2120/?

 

 

dscn5960When an author finishes a book, she can breathe a sigh of relief and consider the job done. Wrong! The work actually starts then, with edits, beta readers, more edits, collecting endorsements, more edits, cover design, pre-marketing and more edits. And those are just a few of the things involved. But the day comes, much later, when the book is released and you hold your creation in your hands and it is all worth it!

Today is the day Amanda on the Danube – the Sounds of Music is available for sale. Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered the book. I do hope you enjoy it. I would love to hear what you think of it and if you have time, a short review would be appreciated.

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A huge thank you to all the support I have been given in my writing endeavours by my fabulous followers. It means so much to me.

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In case you have been wondering, Dot has been very supportive as well.

Amanda on the Danube is available at Chapters/Indigo stores and can be ordered from any independent bookstore. It is available on all Amazon sites, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and the Book Depository.

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There is also a giveaway on Goodreads open until October 15.

 

 

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?

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