Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Malta

It always seems like such a long time between the day you type The End and when your book is actually released to the public. But when that day arrives, it is always exciting, no matter how many books you have written. Things are different this year so my launch for Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady will be virtual. At least for now. I wish to thank all the wonderful people who have offered to help me with this virtual launch and those who have posted reviews and guest posts leading up to this day. I am one lucky girl to have so many people on my street team!!

Jacqui Murray is starting off the tour. Jacqui so kindly chatted with me on ZOOM and gave me some super ideas on how to do a virtual blog tour. She writes amazing prehistoric sagas and offers great writing and technical advice on her blog. As well as a glowing review, she asked me a couple of questions and included an excerpt from Amanda in Malta. Hop over and enjoy.

Another Great Amanda Travel Book

Posted on  by JACQUI MURRAY

I’m so excited to be part of Darlene Fosters launch of her eleventh Amanda book–Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady. This is a wonderful series that take kids all over the world to not only solve mysteries but visit some of the planet’s exquisite sights.

Before we get to my review of this book (spoiler: This Amanda story is great) and let you read an excerpt that will whet your appetite, I had the opportunity chat with Darlene about this book:

Why did you choose Malta as the setting for this adventure?

When I started to write this series, my goal was to introduce readers to interesting locations that may not be that well known. Malta is one such place. It’s not a country many people get to or know much about. My husband and I visited Valletta, the capital, for half a day while on a cruise. We loved it and decided to return for a week a year later. While we were there, I kept saying, “Amanda would love it here.” So, it was not surprising that I choose Malta for Amanda´s next adventure.

Read more here

https://worddreams.wordpress.com/2021/05/11/another-great-amanda-travel-book/

Here is the schedule for the month long blog launch tour. These are all amazing blogs and well worth checking out.

May 11 Jacquie Murray https://worddreams.wordpress.com/

May 15 Robbie Cheadle https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

May 18 Miriam Hurdle https://theshowersofblessings.com/

May 21 Anne Mehrling https://amehrling.com/

May 24 Kim Barker https://cadburypom.wordpress.com/

May 27 Nancy Blodgett Klein https://spainwriter.home.blog/

May 30 Shirley Healy https://therapybits.com/

June 2 Debra Purdy Kong http://www.debrapurdykong.com/

June 5 Michele Somerville https://michelesomerville.blog/

June 7 Meg King-Sloan https://meggiesadventures.com/

June 11 Lisa Day https://booktime584.wordpress.com/

Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement. I am feeling the love!
One of the colourful doors and unique door knockers of Malta

Only ten more days until the release of Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady. Sally Cronin over at Smorgasbord Book Reviews has posted a wonderful pre-release review. Check it out and look around her blog. She has some amazing features, writes wonderful books and and is very supportive of other authors and bloggers.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to step back in time to my own childhood and read the latest adventure by Darlene Foster. Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady (An Amanda Travels Adventure Book 8)

This is an advance review and the book is still on pr-order until May 11th as a special price.

About the book

Amanda receives a postcard from her best friend, Leah, and is surprised to learn that she is in Malta with her aunt. Reading between the lines, she senses Leah is in trouble. Desperate to help her, Amanda travels to Malta with her classmate Caleb and his parents.

Amanda is intrigued by this exotic island in the middle of the Mediterranean, full of colourful history, sun-drenched limestone fortresses, stunning beaches and fascinating birds. But…who is killing the protected birds? Who stole a priceless artifact from the museum? And why is Leah acting so strange? She couldn’t possibly be involved…

View original post 462 more words

Another wonderful review for Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady. Amanda and I are very pleased everyone is enjoying the book.

Wordy Witterings

I read about this novel on a book blog and was intrigued – it sounded just like the kind of thing that my 9-year-old daughter would enjoy reading. I’m pleased to say that since I’ve read ‘Amanda in Malta’, I’ve told her all about it and she can’t wait to not only read this novel, but the whole series. She wants to start with those featuring countries that she’s been to herself, and now has a very full Amazon wish list!

In ‘Amanda in Malta’, the lead character goes on holiday to Malta and gets involved in the mystery of a 4000 year old figurine that goes missing from a museum. The unique feature of this book, it that in reading it children will learn so much about the country that it features. The characters visit a range of Malta’s places of interest, both those on the common tourist trail…

View original post 85 more words

My eighth book in the Amanda Travels series, Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady, is set to be launched on May 11th and I am as excited and nervous as if it was my first book. A writer puts so much time, energy and emotion into a book, it really is like birthing a baby. And there is always the self doubt and nagging questions. What if no one likes this one? What if I´ve lost the ability to create a good story? What if no one buys it? What if the reviews are bad or nonexistent?

I am delighted to see that the early reviews, from the book being on NetGalley, have been positive.

Here are snippets of the reviews on Goodreads so far that have made my heart dance.

Author Darlene Foster has such a great way to tell a story and impart information about a location at the same time that I found myself thinking “Hey- I want to go to Malta!”. Beth

Armchair travel has never been so exciting! I love the author’s ability to bring the settings alive, from the Blue Grotto to a beautiful cathedral in Valletta, all while keeping the suspense high. Jacquie – Click on her blog for more of the review https://jacqbiggar.com/2021/04/05/bookreview-amanda-in-malta-by-darlene-foster-travel-mystery-supermegawoman/

This is a lovely middle grade novel that whisks you away to the island of Malta. I’ve never been but have heard a lot of rave stories about Malta and Amanda in Malta made me want to visit! MJ – Click on her blog for more of the review https://mjmallon.com/2021/04/05/book-review-amanda-in-malta-by-darlene-foster-supermegawoman-netgalley-book-review/

Darlene Foster’s Amanda is what I wish I’d had the courage to be as a tween: adventurous and well-traveled, making friends easily wherever she goes. Molly

The Blue Lagoon in Malta

Since I am unable to hop on a plane and do a book launch and tour in Canada, as I usually do, I have decided to do a blog launch/virtual tour. This is the first time I´ve done this. What I need are bloggers who would be willing to be part of the tour. If you are interested, let me know by email, darlene.foster@telus.net and I´ll send you the information. I´ll make it as easy as possible and hopefully we will all have fun. The goal is to get the word out about my book to as many readers as possible and to drive some traffic to your blog at the same time.

The YouTube trailer.

Thank you to everyone who has left a review. I really appreciate it.

The book is still available on NetGalley.

It’s six weeks until the release of Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady and I’m getting excited.

Here is what early readers have had to say about Amanda’s latest adventure:

“A missing friend, a mysterious boy . . . Amanda’s holiday on the island of Malta takes you on a fast-paced adventure through ancient forts and fishing villages, sea caves and spooky castles. A real page-turner!”


“I love how the author mixes creativity, imagination and cultural appreciation in her writing – for minds of all ages!”


“Middle-grade readers will be drawn in by the action, pulled forward by the mystery, and absorbed by the colourful backdrop of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean.” 

Amanda in Malta, the eigth book in the series, is now available on NetGalley if you would like a free advanced reading copy and are willing to write a review.

https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/?text=Amanda+in+Malta

Amanda receives a postcard from her best friend, Leah, and is surprised to learn that she is in Malta with her aunt. Reading between the lines, she senses Leah is in trouble. Desperate to help her, Amanda travels to Malta with her classmate Caleb and his parents.


Amanda is intrigued by this exotic island in the middle of the Mediterranean, full of colourful history, sun-drenched limestone fortresses, stunning beaches and fascinating birds. But…who is killing the protected birds? Who stole a priceless artifact from the museum? And why is Leah acting so strange? She couldn’t possibly be involved in these illegal activities, or could she?

Join Amanda and her friends as they visit ancient temples, an exciting falconry and the enchanting Popeye Village, as they try to get to the bottom of the mystery of the Sleeping Lady.

Check out the trailer I’ve created.

Please share and let your friends know. Thanks!

I was excited to be interviewed by accomplished author Molly Ringle on her blog where she features, Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady. This book will be launched on May 11th, 2021. I also give some advice to aspiring travellers.

Check out Molly´s blog where she offers editing and proofreading services.

https://mollyringle.livejournal.com/

https://mollyringle.com/editing-and-proofreading.html

Molly is an excellent editor with a keen eye for details. She edited my latest book and now I have a clean copy I’m proud of. I highly recommend her services. 

Guest feature: author Darlene Foster takes us to Malta! by Molly Ringle

It’s been too long since I’ve brought on another author for Q&A, and I’m pleased to be doing so again with Darlene Foster! I met Darlene (in an online sense) through our publisher in common, Central Avenue Publishing, and she’s one of the most upbeat, easygoing, fun-loving writers I know. Her Amanda Travels series is a wonderful set of books for middle-grade readers in which the young Amanda visits a new country in each book and always encounters an adventurous mystery to untangle. They’re perfect for the young armchair traveler—or real-world traveler—in your life.

Author Darlene Foster
Author Darlene Foster

The eighth book in the series comes out this May: Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady. I got to read an advance copy of it, and was instantly longing to go to Malta and soak up the sun and stroll between the stone buildings with their artistically idiosyncratic door knockers! 

Cover for the book Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady
Cover for the book Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady

Darlene was kind enough to answer some questions for me as well, so let’s dive into those:

Q: When did you start writing fiction? What were your earliest stories like?

A: I’ve been telling stories since I learned to talk. My grade three teacher, Miss Roll, encouraged me to write them down. When I was twelve years old I had a short story published in a local newspaper. Called Stretch Your Food Dollar, it was about two friends having an adventure in Woolworths department store. I guess the idea of two girls having an adventure has been there for a long time! 

Q: When you visit places, how much are you thinking about a possible story while you’re there? Or does the story idea come later?

A: When I visit interesting places, I am always thinking about how I could use it in a story. When I was in Malta, I kept saying to my husband, “Amanda would love it here!” I take a lot of pictures and jot down notes wherever we go. I once read that a writer never really takes a vacation as they are always looking for story ideas. I can attest that is true.  

Q: What draws you to writing middle-grade fiction as opposed to stories for other age groups?

A: Some would say I have never moved past twelve myself! For some reason, I can easily relate to this age group. I think they are wonderful. Tweens are not little kids anymore but not yet terrible teenagers. They can be so astute and mature at times but still naïve and unsure of themselves at other times. It is the age when they start to assert their independence and become curious and questioning. It is my favourite age and I have no intention of growing up. 

Q: I admire Amanda’s fearlessness and willing to take on adventures. Is that what you were like at her age?

A: It wasn’t what I was like, but it was what I wished I was like. I lived on a farm and we didn’t travel or have a television. So my world was very narrow. I was timid, bookish, and the only adventures I had were in my imagination. So I created a character I would have liked to be. 

Q: Give some advice to the aspiring travelers of the world: what are your must-bring items that lend to happier traveling?

A: The most important thing to bring is an open mind. Accept that things will be different wherever you go, the food, smells, people, climate, customs, etc. Embrace those differences and you will have an enjoyable and enriching time. Also bring a camera, a notepad, and pen. Everything will be overwhelming and you will never be able to remember it all. Pictures and notes bring it all back. I would rather look at my travel photos than watch TV. 

Q: What are you writing now, or planning to write next?

A: I am halfway through writing Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral. Amanda will fall in love with Paris, Versailles, and Monet’s garden in Giverny. Oh, and she will get to stay in a bookstore! Wouldn’t every young girl like to visit France? I know I would have loved it.  

—-

Darlene Foster is a Canadian author who has written the popular Amanda Travels series, featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places where she encounters mystery and adventure while learning about another culture. Readers of all ages enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another in various countries. Darlene has won prizes for her short stories and a number of them have been published in anthologies. She has also written a bilingual book for English/Spanish readers.

Darlene grew up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where her love of reading inspired her to travel the world and write stories. Over the years she held wonderful jobs such as an employment counsellor, ESL teacher, recruiter, and retail manager, and wrote whenever she had a few spare minutes. She is now retired and has a home in Spain where she writes full time. When not travelling, meeting interesting people, and collecting ideas for her books, she likes to spend time with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.

Her books include Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask, Amanda in Spain: The Girl in The Painting, Amanda in England: The Missing Novel, Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone, Amanda on The Danube: The Sounds of Music, Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind, and Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action. 

Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady will be released in the spring of 2021. 

Buy links

Amazon Canada here

Amazon UK here 

Amazon US here 

Barnes and Noble here

Chapters/Indigo here

Thanks, Molly for the great interview.

I was nominated by my blogging friend Geoff LePard at TanGental to post one favourite travel picture a day for ten days without explanation, then to nominate someone else to participate. That’s 10 days, 10 travel pictures, and 10 nominations. It doesn´t have to be 10 consecutive days. Thanks, Geoff!

The photo from Day 4 is of the entrance to the Grand Harbour at Valletta, Malta. Andrew knew the exact location and Pedro was the first to guess it was Malta. We visited this unique place as a cruise stop and realized we needed much more than a morning to explore. So we returned a year later and spent a week there. I loved it so much I set my next book in Malta. Here is a post I wrote about Malta with more pictures.

https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2017/04/07/return-to-malta/

I nominate Wendy from My Plaid Heart  Her blog mainly focuses on her love of Scotland as well as her other travels. She has a keen interest in Scottish history and writes about historic sites, castles and estates, gardens, churches and cemeteries, stone circles, and historical/literary figures. Oh, and whiskey.

If I nominate you and you don’t want to participate, please do not feel obliged, but if you do, please link back to me so that I can see your post. In these times vicarious travel is a great escape, I would love to see what you choose to post.

This is my picture for day 5. If you want to guess where this is, leave your answer in the comments or just comment on the picture.

Many readers have been asking where Amanda will have her next adventure. Here are a few hints, see if you can guess.

  1. It is an archipelago in the Mediterranean.
  2. It has a long and colourful history.
  3. It has connections to St. Paul.
  4. It makes you think of Knights, Crosses and Falcons
  5. Popeye was filmed there.

Here are a couple of pictures that might give you another clue.

Did you guess where it is?

Drum roll…

I am so excited to share the fabulous cover designed by my amazing publisher, Michelle Halket of Central Avenue Publishing.

Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady

Amanda receives a postcard from her best friend, Leah, and is surprised to learn that she is in Malta with her aunt. Reading between the lines, she senses Leah is in trouble. Desperate to help her, Amanda travels to Malta with her classmate Caleb and his parents.

Amanda is intrigued by this exotic island in the middle of the Mediterranean, full of colourful history, sun-drenched limestone fortresses, stunning beaches and fascinating birds. But…who is killing the protected birds? Who stole a priceless artifact from the museum? And why is Leah acting so strange? She couldn’t possibly be involved in these illegal activities, or could she?

Join Amanda and her friends as they visit ancient temples, an exciting falconry and the enchanting Popeye Village, as they try to get to the bottom of the mystery of the Sleeping Lady.

Book 8 in the exciting Amanda Travels series will be released in May 2021 and is available for preorder on all Amazon and Indigo sites

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Indigo

Did you know that Amanda is a Latin female name meaning “deserving to be loved,” “worthy of love,” or “loved very much by everyone.”? (From wikipedia)

Very fitting, don’t you think?

© Copyright Darlene Foster 2020

We had a fabulous day on a boat trip to the Maltese islands of Gozo and Comino during our recent visit.


Fort Chambray and the neo-gothic chapel of our Lady of Lourdes greeted us as we approached Gozo’s Mgarr harbour. We disembarked and piled into a packed minibus that took us on a rapid trip to Dwejra on the other side of the island. This is the site of the famous Azure Window often seen on postcards and calendars of Malta and featured in a number of movies and TV shows such as The Game of Thrones. Just two weeks earlier this important landmark fell into the sea. An example of how nothing lasts forever.

The Azure Window as it was. Photo from Wikipedia

The site of the Azure Window now.

We enjoyed the stunning view from the rocky shore nevertheless.

The impatient bus driver herded us back on the bus, reminiscent of the movie Vacation. “Now you’ve seen this let’s keep moving!”

Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary

We stopped at the Ta´Pinu Sanctuary where every year pilgrimages are made to Our Lady of Ta´Pinu who is believed to have healing powers.

Inside the sanctuary

A wall in the church displays crutches, plaster casts and pictures as offerings by those who have been healed.

Not wanting to annoy our surly bus driver, I quickly took some pictures but was still the second last one back on the bus. I received a grim look as I boarded.

A knight guarding the pharmacy

A lovely rose balcony in Victoria.

A sandwich on delicious Maltese bread near the Citadel in the ancient capital city of Victoria ended our visit to Gozo as our efficient bus driver was waiting to take us back to the boat. We would have liked more time to explore.

On the return trip, we docked at the uninhabited island of Comino which is a nature reserve. Hubby stayed on the boat but I walked up steep stairs, past a shrine set in the rocks, and found a great view of the crystal blue waters of the Blue Lagoon. I don´t think I have ever seen such clear water.

The clear waters of The Blue Lagoon

Some visitors went for a swim and others sunned on the rocks. Trucks serving snacks were available for those who got hungry or thirsty. I had to laugh as people juggled huge pineapples hollowed out and filled with drinks while they manoeuvred the steep steps back to the boat. I know I wouldn’t have been able to manage that!

A couple enjoying their drink in a pineapple on the way back.

We enjoyed the spectacular views as we headed back to the island of Malta, happy that we had seen all three of the islands that make up the country of Malta.

This is the last of my posts on Malta. I hope you have enjoyed them and perhaps one day you may visit this amazing place. 

Sometimes it is the little, unexpected things we find when we travel that make the trip memorable. In Valetta, the capital of Malta, we found a Cat Cafe.

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Shelter and food for homeless cats in Malta

They seem to look after their cats well in Malta. We saw stray cats wandering around but they all looked healthy and well fed.

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This little fellow got caught in the rain

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While wandering the streets of the cities and towns of Malta, we were intrigued by the unique door knockers on the colourful doors.

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We discovered this amusing car on a side street.

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And a decorated garage door.

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We found a tribute to Albert Einstein

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A typical menu in Malta. I was not tempted to try rabbit ravioli!

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We always take time to stop for a coffee and a local dessert.

 

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Ricotta turnover, so yummy!

 

 

It’s good to get off the beaten track and check out the side streets, you never know what you’ll find. 


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© Darlene Foster and darlenefoster.wordpress.com, 2020. 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.