Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Amanda Travels

Such wonderful news to wake up to! Thanks so much, Jennie Fitzkee for making this happen. Having my books in libraries is a huge dream come true.

A Teacher's Reflections

Thursday is my Read-Aloud day at the Groton Public Library.  When I arrived, the head children’s librarian was beside herself.

“Jennie!  Jennie!  The Amanda books are here!”

And then she showed me all the books.  Wow!  Nine books.

Of course we had to have our picture taken with all the books.

Thank you to the Groton Public Library for carrying the Amanda books.  Thank you, Darlene Foster, for authoring such an exciting series of books for children.  Adventure is always a big draw for children’s books; yet when history, geography, friendship, and conflict are included…well, it doesn’t get better than that.  Nancy Drew, move over!


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I am joining Dan Antion over at https://nofacilities.com/ where he runs a series called Thursday Doors.

Welcome to Thursday Doors! This is a weekly challenge for people who love doors and architecture to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos, drawings, or other images or stories from around the world. If you’d like to join us, simply create your own Thursday Doors post each (or any) week and then share a link to your post in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American Eastern time).

My last post featured some pictures of my trip to the United Arab Emirates that inspired my first published book, Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask. I included a picture of a door, which made me think I should do a Thursday Doors post of some of the interesting doors I found on that trip. So here you are:

The door to the Museum of Ras Al Khaimah

An interesting door inside the museum walls

The door of a deserted house found in an abandoned village

The door of the oldest mosque in the UAE, from 1410!

Ancient stone huts found in the mountains

A colourful door on a walled residence in the desert.

A door to a courtyard

At the Sharjah Sook

Some of these doors found their way into the book!

Copyright ©2023 darlenefoster.wordpress.com – All rights reserved.

Thirteen years ago today, my first print book was published. This was the realization of a dream come true since I was twelve years old when I had a short story published in the Winnipeg Free Press called Stretch Your Food Dollar. It was then that I decided I wanted to be a writer. Life happened, as it does. I got married, had children and worked at some very interesting jobs. I always dabbled in writing, took creative writing courses, sent out stories to writing competitions and submitted work to magazines, but not much came of my endeavours.

Visiting friends in the UAE (you may recognize them from the previous post)

I visited friends in the United Arab Emirates and fell in love with the country, the people and the culture. When I got home I decided to write a story about my experience. But it just wasn’t working for me, the excitement I felt was not coming through on the page. Then one sleepless night I recalled my friend stating that I was as excited as a twelve-year-old while I was there. So I began my story from the point of view of a twelve-year-old girl. The seeds to Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask were planted.

A painted door in the desert

Camels were everywhere. One of my favourite animals, so they had to be included in the story.

An amazing site to see was goats in the trees.

The actual perfume flask I bought while in the UAE.

It took me three years to complete the book. Once it was finished, I started the arduous journey of finding a publisher. I sent out many query letters and received a pile of rejection letters over the next five years. In the meantime, I kept revising and polishing the book. Each rejection letter became nicer and more encouraging. Then I got a call from a gentleman who said his daughter was starting an e-publishing company and would like to attend my writing group’s meeting as a guest speaker. I was keen to hear about this new way of publishing books. She explained things very well, we agreed to meet later for a coffee and she asked for a copy of my manuscript. Amanda’s first adventure was published in November 2009 as an e-book. And people bought it!

Then on April 13th, 2010, Central Avenue Publishing released Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask as a print book. My dream came true as I held my baby in my hands. Instead of nine months, it took nine years to birth this baby!

After all this time, this book is still getting great reviews. Here are two recent five-star reviews on Goodreads:

Amy Reade

I read this book a while back and just realized I never posted a review. The book is geared toward middle-grade readers, and if I were a twelve-year-old girl again, it is exactly the kind of adventure I would love to have! Even as an adult, I found myself transported to Arabia, solving a mystery and exploring the culture, the customs, the food, and the climate with Amanda. This type of book allows young readers to travel to far-flung places without leaving home and will very likely instill in them an inquisitive wanderlust.

Smitha Vishwanath

An enjoyable read providing factual information about the United Arab Emirates. The book is bound to instil curiosity, a love for travel and an appreciation of different cultures which is so essential in the current day. It makes for a perfect gift for middle-school children.
Having lived in the Middle East, I was impressed with the amount of information the author managed to pack in 108 pages in the most interesting manner. To read more of my review, click here. https://smithavpennings.com/2023/02/15/book-review-amanda-in-arabia-by-darlene-foster/

I am now working on the tenth book in the Amanda Travels series. Thank you to everyone who has helped me along this amazing journey!

Copyright ©2023 darlenefoster.wordpress.com – All rights reserved.

I am joining Dan Antion over at https://nofacilities.com/ where he runs a series called Thursday Doors. This is what he has to say:

Welcome to Thursday Doors! This is a weekly challenge for people who love doors and architecture to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos, drawings, or other images or stories from around the world. If you’d like to join us, simply create your own Thursday Doors post each (or any) week and then share a link to your post in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

Dan writes great books too  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BC23MDLV 

Today I want to share some of the amazing doors I found in Malta. Most of the buildings in Malta are made from limeston, but the doors are often in bright colours breaking up the monotone buildings. I was fascinated by the variety of doors and doorknockers. Here are just a few pictures I took around the island.

You might recall that Amanda had quite the adventure in Malta.

Copyright ©2023 darlenefoster.wordpress.com – All rights reserved.

A great review of Amanda in France over at Georgia Rose Books brightened my day!

This is the second of this series of Amanda adventures that I have read, the first was set in Malta and you can read my review HERE. Paris is a city I love so after enjoying Amanda’s adventures in Malta so much I was keen to read the latest in Foster’s super adventure series […]

Source: #TuesdayBookBlog #Bookreview for Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral by Darlene Foster @supermegawoman #kidlit #adventure #travel #travelfiction #France – Georgia Rose Books

I am honoured to be featured on Growing Bookworms today where I’m interviewed by Robbie Cheadle. Her fabulous review of Amanda in France is also included. A great day for me!

Writing to be Read

Today, I am delighted to introduce Darlene Foster, author of the Amanda travel series of books for children aged 9 to 12 years old. I have read several of the Amanda books and enjoyed them all.

Your Amanda stories appeal to me as they take me back to my own childhood readings days of The Famous Five and Adventure series. Was there any particular children’s author who influenced the style of your Amanda series?

That makes me very happy to hear this since the Enid Blyton books were very popular. I didn’t read the Famous Five series growing up in Canada, but I enjoyed The Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope as they travelled to interesting places, encountered danger and solved mysteries. I also enjoyed Trixie Belden, Donna Parker, and Nancy Drew because the main character in each series is a young girl who overcomes obstacles and solves mysteries. The…

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If you would like to listen to me read from Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral check out Rebecca Bud’s Tea Toast & Trivia blog. https://teatoasttrivia.com/2022/09/08/season-4-episode-38-darlene-foster-reading-amanda-in-france-fire-in-the-cathedral/

While there check out some of her other podcasts. They are all great!

In case you haven’t seen this, I’m a guest on Teri Polen’s terrific Bad Moon Rising series. Check out the spookiest ghost story I’ve heard. Read some of the other guest’s interviews as well. Happy Halloween!!

Books and Such

I’m a big fan of this author’s Amanda series. I haven’t traveled to all the places Amanda has, but after reading the book I feel like I have. They’re so well-researched they could double as travel guides. I follow this author on social media and get to see adorable pics of her fur babies, but if you haven’t met them yet, today is your chance. Welcome Darlene Foster!

Would you rather visit a haunted house or a haunted graveyard?

A haunted graveyard. (Aren’t they all haunted? I mean, they are full of dead people, right?) I love graveyards and spend a lot of time in them. They are outside and easy to escape if things get tense. You can get locked inside a haunted house. Yikes!

What is the spookiest ghost story you’ve ever heard?

The story about a young couple who are making out in a car when they…

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I woke up to this terrific post from Barb Taub which describes her love of Paris and the wonderful cooking experience she had there, as well as an amazing review of Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral. Please do pop over and read, you are in for a treat.

Barb Taub

A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life.” —Thomas Jefferson

It’s possible, I suppose, that somebody somewhere doesn’t like Paris. After all, I’ve heard there are people who don’t like chocolate, and babies, and puppies. (Puppies!) But even if those people exist, they would still have to admit that Paris is one of the most walkable cities in the world.  One of my favorite walks in Paris is the early morning market cooking class I’ve taken on a couple of different Paris trips. It’s different but fabulous every time. Here’s a post from a class several years ago.

“Meet at Metro Maubert-Mutualité, in front of Café le Métro” the message said.

My market cooking class was gathering at the oldest outdoor market in Paris to choose the ingredients and determine the menu we’d be cooking that day. I got there early to…

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Sorry for my absence but I have been travelling lately and will share all about my travels soon. I wanted to share this amazing review by Teri Polen, who is an excellent writer. This review had me dancing on the ceiling.

Books and Such

Amanda explores the exciting streets of Paris, the fabulous Palace of Versailles and the gardens of the painter Claude Monet, while being drawn into the mystery surrounding the destructive fire of Notre Dame cathedral.

Amanda is in love! With Paris – the city of love. She’s in awe of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and Notre Dame Cathedral. While there, she gets to work as a volunteer and stay in a famous book store, along with her bestie, Leah, and Leah’s eccentric Aunt Jenny. A dream come true for a book lover like Amanda.

Except, while she’s at the Paris Opera House there is a bomb threat. Then the lights go out during their visit to the Louvre. Worst of all, a devastating fire blazes in Notre Dame. Why does a mysterious man, who claims to be a busker, writer and artist, show up every time…

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