Darlene Foster's Blog

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I am delighted with this review of Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral over at Bonnie Reads and Writes. Included is an interview where you just might learn something new about me. We also talk about including tough topics in books for young people. Check it out!

Bonnie Reads and Writes

Self-Published Saturday is my effort to help Self-Published and Indie authors promote their books. Today I’m reviewing Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral by Darlene Foster. This is an indie book published by Central Avenue Publishing, an independent publisher. Darlene also agreed to do a Q&A, and her delightful answers are below.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

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 at 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…

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I was invited to be a guest on Karen Mossman’s blog in her feature, About a Book. Check out the interview where I talk about where I got ideas for Amanda in France as well as a quote and an excerpt.

Where did the idea for the story come from?

My dream to visit the romantic city of Paris came true when we took our dog on a road trip to visit friends living on the outskirts of the city. Paris, and the surrounding area, was everything I imagined it to be and more. Our friends kindly took the time to show us around this fabulous city as well as Monet’s gardens in Giverny and the amazing Palace of Versailles. 

Read more here

I’m over at Book Club Mom’s blog sharing my news. A great blog with excellent reviews and entertaining YouTube videos about books. Worth following.

Book Club Mom

Darlene Foster

Author name: Darlene Foster

Genre: Middle Grade, Adventure/Travel

Books: Amanda Travels Series

News: Book #9, in the Amanda Travels series is soon to be released. This time we find Amanda Ross in Paris, France.  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.

But things are happening that may ruin her trip to this amazing city. 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…

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Amanda is a guest on Marcia Meara’s blog where she talks about herself and her travels. Pop over for a short read and check out Marcia’s wonderful books while you’re there. Have a super day!

Today I am a guest on Karen Sanderson’s blog where I talk about reading children’s books, at any age.

Are Children’s Books Just for Children?

by Darlene Foster

I write children’s books. Actually, I should correct that. I write books suitable for children. But they are books any age can read and enjoy.

            Recently I listened to an interview with Lawrence Hill, author of the award-winning novel, The Book of Negroes.He discussed his latest release, Beatrice and Croc Harry, which he describes as a story for children and adults. He mentioned there should be no separation between children’s and adults’ books. He mentioned that as authors, we should not shy away from including serious and painful issues in children’s stories as they can handle them. He also mentioned, and I agree, many adults enjoy reading from a child’s point of view.  

Read more of the article here

Photo by Andy Kuzma on Pexels.com

I am pleased to be featured on a wonderful blog called Canadian Writers Abroad

In our ongoing tenth anniversary series, Darlene Foster answers three questions. Foster is the author of the Amanda Ross travel adventures series for children. (The cover of Amanda in Holland is perfect for spring.) She hails from Alberta, and divides her time between British Columbia and Orihuela Costa in Spain. Darlene Foster first appeared in Canadian Writers Abroad in 2017, with a guest post from Spain, “Foster’s Dream Life.” -DM

CWA: Where were you ten years ago?

read my answers here

Check out the interesting blog where Debra Martens interviews other Canadian Writers who have made their home abroad.

I am one of the guests on Sue Roven´s Meet and Greet https://suerovens.com/meet-greet-author-q-as/ where we discuss how writing has changed our lives, audiobooks and other writer-type things. Check it out, I´m the third interview. You will meet some other amazing authors as well.

Author Meet & Greet!

All are welcome here.

The 4 most current interviews are posted here.

I am excited to be part of a blog tour for author Jan Sikes and her latest release, Jagged Feathers, Book 2 of the White Rune Series. Since you know of my fascination with runes, you can see why this book has caught my interest. I´ll let Jan tell you more about the book. She will also share a couple of excerpts.

Thank you, Darlene, for inviting me to your blog site today to talk about my new book, JAGGED FEATHERS! I appreciate your generosity.

Jagged Feathers is Book 2 in The White Rune Series. The one commonality each book has is a single white rune that gets passed from book to book. Rena Jett from Ghostly Interference (Book 1) gave the rune to Vann Noble on her wedding day. The Wunjo symbol on the rune portends a happily-ever-after. Vann keeps the stone because he promised Rena he would, but he really doesn’t believe a happy ending exists for one as broken as he. How could a stone possess any kind of magic?

EXCERPT:

Vann cleared his throat, a sudden tightness in his chest. “Sam would like that. He would have made a great uncle.”

“Since Sam isn’t here, I guess you’ll have to be the fill-in uncle.” Rena turned to Nakina. “Sam died in Afghanistan. Vann came all the way to Texas to bring my brother’s final letter. Inside, with the letter, I found a white rune that worked some magic for me and Jag.” She faced Vann. “Do you still have it?”

Nakina asked, “Is it the one on the dresser?”

Vann nodded. “For some crazy reason, when Rena and Jag got married, she decided I needed it.”

“And you do.” Rena leaned forward. “The Wunjo symbol on the rune signifies a happily-ever-after, and if anyone on earth deserves that, it’s this man.”

“Oh hell!” Vann squirmed. “It’s just a rock.”

“A magic rock.” Rena took a long drink from her water.

EXCERPT #2:

Nakina’s gaze lingered on the rune. She considered putting it into her pocket but stopped. This wasn’t for her happily-ever-after. It was Vann’s.

After another hesitation, she reached for it and walked into the kitchen.

“Here. Hold out your hand.” She dropped the rune into Vann’s palm. “You need to carry this with you. It helps create a stronger magic.”

“I wish I believed that, but I don’t think magic works for a guy like me.” However, he shoved it into his pocket.

“Magic especially works for a guy with a heart as big as yours.”

***

If you follow my blog, you know I did an entire series on runes and their meanings last year. I love all things metaphysical and that includes these symbols that have survived for centuries. I see them as tools to help navigate the waters of life. Have you had any experience with runes, or ever had a rune reading?

BLURB:

Vann Noble did his duty. He served his country and returned a shell of a man, wounded inside and out. With a missing limb and battling PTSD, he seeks healing in an isolated cabin outside a small Texas town with a stray dog that sees beyond his master’s scars. If only the white rune’s magic can bring a happily ever after to a man as broken as Vann.

On the run from hired killers and struggling to make sense of her unexplained deadly mission, Nakina Bird seeks refuge in Vann’s cabin. She has secrets. Secrets that can get them all killed.

A ticking clock and long odds of living or dying, create jarring risks.

Will these two not only survive, but find an unexpected love along the way? Or, will evil forces win and destroy them both?

BOOK TRAILER LINK: https://youtu.be/CwGRyRVMyLE

UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINK:

https://linktr.ee/Rijanjks

ABOUT JAN SIKES

Jan Sikes writes compelling and creative stories from the heart.
She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. The entertaining true story comes to life through fictitious characters in an intricately woven tale that encompasses four books.

And now, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published numerous award-winning short stories. She published her debut paranormal romance novel, Ghostly Interference, Book 1 in The White Rune Series, in 2020, which won a bronze medal award from Reader’s Favorite. Jagged Feathers releases January 31, 2022, as Book 2 of that series, and Saddled Hearts will release later in 2022.

She is an active blogger, an avid fan of Texas music, and a grandmother of five. She resides in North Texas.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

WEBSITE: http://www.jansikes.com

BLOG: http://www.jansikesblog.com

TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/jansikes3

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/jks0851/

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jan-sikes

LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jansikes/

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

Happy to be interviewed by Book Club Mom. Check out what I would do if I came across a bear and what advice I would give my younger self.

Book Club Mom

Darlene Foster

Author Name: Darlene Foster

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction

Books: Amanda in Malta, Amanda in Holland, Amanda in New Mexico, Amanda on the Danube, Amanda in Alberta, Amanda in England, Amanda in Spain, Amanda in Arabia

Bio: Darlene Foster, a long-time dreamer and tale spinner, is the author of the exciting Amanda Travels series featuring spunky Amanda Ross, a twelve-year-old girl who loves to travel. All ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another in unique destinations. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between Canada’s west coast and the Spanish Costa Blanca with her husband and entertaining rescue dogs, Dot and Lia. 

What got you started as a writer? I’ve been telling stories since I could talk. My grade-three teacher encouraged me to write my stories down, so that got me started. I had a short story published in a local newspaper…

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I am pleased to introduce, Mark Durman, as a guest author today. Mark lives here on the Costa Blanca and we met at a local book fair. He writes exciting Thriller, Suspense, Crime and Mystery stories.

Tell us about yourself and your books and what inspired you to start writing?

My first career was as a British Army officer. During those years I served on combat operations in the Cameroons, the Congo, Borneo and Yemen. During the “cold war” period I  spent several years in Germany, in NATO headquarters in Brussels and in The Netherlands. After leaving the army, I was a director of Brinks, the US-owned international security company. These diverse experiences gave me much of the inspiration and motivation to write. My books draw heavily on these personal experiences.

Do you have a writing routine?

I have no particular writing routine. Sometimes my writing is confined to mundane business correspondence and letter writing to personal friends and relatives. When I get an idea for a book, I tend to spend a period on research, getting fully immersed in the subject and then writing the book in one concentrated period. There then follows the lengthy (and rather tedious!) period of proofreading, correcting and dealing with the production process with my publisher.

What sort of books do you read? Can you list a few of your favourites?

To relax, I enjoy reading fiction by such authors as Robert Harris, John Grisham and Lee Child but my main interest has always been on world affairs, politics and economics.

What writing project are you currently working on?

Much of my present reading and research is about philosophy, religions of the world and atheism. This is an enormous subject from which I’m focussing on elements for my next, fifth, book which I’m currently writing. This has the working title of “I think, hope and want to believe, yet still I don’t know.” There is such a mass of literature on this subject, that I find I’m constantly pausing the draft while I research further relevant texts. This is the most complex yet enthralling work I have so far undertaken!

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

Danièle and I are both keen walkers. Here in Spain we have belonged to a local international walking group for several years and meet with them once a week. We are blessed by having wonderful local areas to explore such as the Sierra Creviente and Carroscoy features. The excellent Spanish climate enables us to walk throughout the whole year. We are also fortunate to own an apartment in Paris where we spend about two months per year. There, we enjoy the theatres, cinemas and other cultural and social venues not available in this part of Spain. Later this year, subject to COVID restrictions, we plan to visit our two sons who both live and work in Asia; one in Bangkok, the other in Bali.

Mark’s latest book:

Adsum: Mission and Passion

Peter Chambers is eighteen when he is summoned to serve two years’ compulsory military service in 1959. He deliberates whether to defer or serve his country. After some tough infantry training, he is commissioned as a young officer and sent to join the Nigerian Army far away from England where he grew up. Peter is thrown in at the deep end and becomes immersed in combat operations in the Cameroons and the Congo where he must lead his platoon in many dangerous situations. He is also embroiled in politically sensitive and deeply personal issues including murder, mutiny, war crimes and passionate love. Adsum is based on the true story of a young man facing the harsh lessons of life.

A recent 5-star review of Adsum: Mission and Passion

Adsum means “I am present” in Latin. This book by author Mark Durman is based on his experience as a conscripted soldier in the British army from 1959 to 1961. He could have avoided the two years of military service by attending university, but he chose to serve his country instead. This interesting book gives you a sense of what it is like to be in an army training camp. You also get an inside look into countries in conflict in Africa and get to learn about his missions there. In some cases, people were killed, both friends and foes. The author himself killed several people in his tour of duty. What happened in the Congo when Durman was there as part of a UN peace-keeping force was particularly disturbing, although I thought he sounded heroic after reading about his description of the events that took place at a Catholic Mission hospital in the Congo.

I liked the author’s descriptive and sometimes humorous writing style. He was not afraid to use the F word when called for and that made reading about his experiences in the military more interesting. Although he seems to have been a capable and honourable military leader, it must have been quite frustrating for him to be frequently buffeted by political forces beyond his control, especially during his tours in the Cameroons and the Congo. For example, here is a typical quote from the author towards the end of the book, “Looks like I’m being dragged into some political quagmire just for doing my fucking duty.” Such is the life of many a soldier.

Reviewed by Nancy Blodgett Klein, author of Torn Between Worlds: An immigrant’s journey to find herself

Other books by Mark Durman

Mark’s books can be found on all Amazon sites.


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© Darlene Foster and darlenefoster.wordpress.com, 2022. 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.