Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Darlene Foster

All the rainy, cool weather was getting me down these past few weeks.  Being raised in southern Alberta, I need my sunshine. But the sun is out now and it’s warming up so I am no longer suffering from S.A.D.  My travelling friend Alison Sandiland took some great pictures of Vancouver in the sun and posted them on her blog.  When it is nice here, it is so nice!

Jericho Beach by Alison Sandilands

Visit her blog See My Travels for more wonderful pictures of this beautiful part of the world that I call home. http://www.seemytravels.com/2012/07/07/summer-has-arrived-in-vancouver/

The other thing that has made me very happy this week is my interview with Diane Tibert McGyver.  You can read the interview on her blog.  http://dianetibert.com/2012/07/06/author-interview-darlene-foster/ Be sure to add a comment.

Diane asked some great questions.  Diane is an east coast blogging friend and an author as well. I love being interviewed by other authors; it is a great compliment.

I wish everyone a Happy Weekend wherever you are!

An amazing youg man, Erik, wrote a wonderful review of Amanda in Spain – the Girl in The Painting on his blog, This Kid Reviews Books. He gave the book five out of five bookworms, which is how he rates the books he reviews.


Check it out and comment if you wish. Erik is an avid reader, blogs on a regular basis reviewing kid’s books and writes a column in the local newspaper. He has accomplished so much in ten short years, one wonders what he do by the time he is an adult. I see only success in his future. Check out Erik’s blog to get book ideas for your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, neighbour’s kids etc. You might like to read some of them yourself!

This is a re-post of a previous blog.  There has been a change to the publisher’s website and  the book is being offered FREE for the next couple of days to get the word out.  So I decided to share it again with all of my wonderful followers.  You might want to check it out and please share with your friends; Every Child is Entitled to Innocence

I am proud to have my story, Good Hands, included in this inspiring publication, along with other amazing stories by talented writers.

Every Child is Entitled to Innocence was the first publication of the newly- formed Plum Tree Books.  Profits from the sales of this e-book are being donated to Child Helpline International.

This is part of the forward to the book:

In 2010 more than 14.5 million children, or adults on behalf of children, contacted child helplines around the world. Experiences collated from different child helplines reveal that children calling for assistance are often in need of shelter, medical, emotional support or guidance, are in need of support during a family crisis, during abuse (physical/emotional/sexual), in need of repatriation, or in need of support for school related problems.

On behalf of all of the child helpline counsellors across the globe who are there for children in need at all hours of the day and night, I would like to thank Dr Niamh Clune & Orangeberry Books for bringing this collection of stories about childhood together. These stories help remind us of the power of sharing our experiences, happy and sad alike. Every child who contacts a child helpline is reaching out, making sure their voices are heard, and that their problems do not go unnoticed and untreated. These stories do the same.

Nenita La Rose, Executive Director.


Says initiator of the project, Dr. Niamh Clune, “I met many writers through the Internet that experienced difficult childhoods yet have overcome their brutal beginnings. I wanted to make the first Plum Tree publication a celebration of creative imagination. This powerful friend of damaged children plays an essential role in an abused child’s recovery. Gathering this series of stories was a joy. Plun Tree Books has developed special, vibrant relationships with contributors and has forged many lasting friendships.

We encouraged happy stories that reflected the innocence of childhood when infants feel wrapped in the warmth of loving arms. We wanted to contrast these with the sad ones, making them stand out in relief against a bright backdrop. We felt this comparison would demonstrate, without explanation, what happens when innocence is stolen. In this book, the reader will find many wonderful, heart-warming stories; whilst the sad ones demonstrate the magnificence of the human spirit as it triumphs against all the odds.”

The e-book can be ordered from   Amazon.com

Visit http://www.wix.com/niamhclune/everychild for more information

Thank you Niamh for putting this project together and for including the story about my wonderful father who provided an innocent and memorable childhood for me.


Blue Waters Books

I was invited by Dale Jackson of Blue Waters Books to do a reading and signing of my Amanda adventure travel books at her wonderful bookstore in Madeira Park on BC’s Sunshine Coast last Saturday. I had a fabulous time and was treated very well by Dale and her staff member, Amanda. To my delight, I discovered Amanda loves to read and travel and comes from Calgary originally! How serendipitous is that?

Sunshine Coast

The weather had been cool and cloudy, but that Saturday the clouds rolled away and we were greeted with glorious sunshine. I travelled up the evening before with my good friend Jayne. We caught the ferry at Horseshoe Bay and after a pleasant 20 minute crossing, drove up the coast to Sechelt where we stayed with a mutual friend, Roberta, in her new home overlooking the ocean. A five star hotel would not have been as perfect.

Darlene at Bluewaters Books

Many people stopped in the bookstore to say Hello, listen to me read a chapter from each book and some even purchased a book or two. Among the visitors was George Connell, a local writer and actor, a young girl who had already read the Amanda books and wanted to meet me and have her copies signed, as well as many other friendly, local book lovers. The bookstore is so cozy and welcoming it was such a pleasure to spend a few hours there. Dale carries a great selection of BC books and current best sellers for all ages. One entire wall was dedicated to the presenters at the upcoming Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts. http://www.writersfestival.ca I feel honoured to have my Amanda books available at this remarkable store.

Young fans
As I left, Dale said, “You brought some sunshine to the Sunshine Coast.” That made my day! There is nothing like a local independent book store to make you feel good and entice you to want to read everything on the shelves. Please support local bookstores and, if you are ever in Madeira Park, stop in and say Hi to Dale and Amanda at Blue Waters Books. http://www.bluewaters.ca You will be so glad you did.

Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask


Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask By Darlene Foster, Published by iRead iWrite Publishing in April 2010, 107 pages

Review by E
Amanda had no idea what she had gotten herself into when she wished for action and adventure. Soon she was thousands of kilometres away from home in the United Arab Emirates visiting her aunt and uncle. Little did she know a whole new world was right around the corner, one involving a long lost princess, a camel named Ali-Baba, and a great new friend, Leah. Come along and join Amanda in a fabulous adventure including camels and LOTS of dangerous deserts.

I thought this book was fun and packed with adventure. This book has been very well written and I would definitely sit down to read it again. I think I am a lot like Amanda, ALWAYS ready to go on an adventure and explore new places. I also noticed that Amanda goes to the beach with Leah SO many times. Our family is not far from the beach and its one of my favorite places.

If you enjoyed the Emily Windsnap books you would like this book. I would recommend it to children ages 6-9. There is not very many difficult words but it is still a great book to read anywhere and anytime. This book is very short with pretty large font, which makes it a great book to bring with you. It can even fit in a small purse or box.

Labels: Ages 7-11, Junior Fiction, Rating- 3, Reviewed by E


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


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


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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