Amanda in Malta by Darlene Foster – Virtual Tour

Darlene Foster is introducing her new book with a virtual blog tour! This is the latest exciting adventure from her Amanda Travels series. If you’d like to see what other bloggers involved in the tour have written you can check out this post from Darlene’s blog.

Here’s a description of the story:

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.

Darlene explains the purpose of including food in her stories:

Traditional food is important to every culture. I like to have Amanda try the local food when she travels. Children need to know that people eat different food in other parts of the world and they should at least try it. It bothers me when travellers insist on eating food only familiar to them. Amanda likes to cook and try out recipes so she collects ideas as she travels and makes them for her parents. I remember a teacher showing us how to make chilli con carne at school as part of our studies of Mexico. I was so excited I made it for my parents who had never had it before. They became lifelong chilli fans! Also, I find eating is a good place for dialogue to happen. In real life, people tend to discuss things over a meal or a beverage.

Here’s an excerpt from Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady

“Now what?” Amanda stared at the closed door. “How am I going to find Leah?”

She felt a lump form in her throat.

Caleb’s mom placed a hand on her shoulder. “Let’s find something to eat and think about it. I’m sure there is a reasonable explanation.”

“Like maybe she’s been kidnapped or something,” said Caleb.

His mom glared at him. “Caleb! That is not helping.”

Mr. Sorensen looked at his phone. “You’re sure this is the right address?”

“It’s the return address on the postcard, so I assumed it was where she was staying.”

As they walked down the street to a café they had spotted on the way, Amanda turned to look at the house once more. Did a curtain move in an upstairs window?

Fresh pastries that looked like turnovers were lined up in the window of the coffee shop. A sign below them indicated they were called pastizzi.

Amanda suddenly felt hungry and pointed to the display. “I’ll have one of those.”

Caleb chimed in, “I’ll have two of them.”

Mr. Sorensen bought a plateful and brought them to an outdoor table.

Amanda bit into the warm, fluffy pastry formed in a triangle and stuffed with ricotta cheese.

“Yum, this is good!” She wiped her greasy hands on a napkin.

A small boy scurried by their table, bumping into it.

“Hey, watch where you’re going!” shouted Caleb as he grabbed his drink before it fell over.

Be sure to read all the books in this exciting Amanda Travels series!


1. Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask
2. Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting
3. Amanda in England: The Missing Novel
4. Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone
5. Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music
6. Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind
7. Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action
8. Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady

Darlene Foster grew up on a ranch in Alberta, Canada, where her love of reading inspired her to see the world and write stories about a young girl who travels to interesting places. Over the years she worked in rewarding jobs such as an employment counsellor, ESL teacher, recruiter, and retail manager, writing whenever she had a few spare minutes. She is now retired and has a house in Spain where she writes full time. When not travelling, meeting interesting people, and collecting ideas for her books, she enjoys spending time with her husband and entertaining rescue dogs, Dot and Lia.

Amazon Canada here

Amazon UK here

Amazon US here

Barnes and Noble here

Chapters/Indigo here

Social media links

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter

Twitter https://twitter.com/supermegawoman

Blog https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/

Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/darlene6490/

Walking in Williamsburg

It’s a lovely day for a walk in Colonial Williamsburg to see flowers, buildings, and shops that are currently open. The tree-lined sidewalks provide enough shade to stay cool.

Flowers are in bloom everywhere!

It’s interesting to look at the shop displays.

This is a charming place to walk any time of the year!

Letter from a Pen Pal

I wrote a story about Meggie a few months ago called Letter to a Pen Pal. Here’s what happened next.

The time passed slowly as Meggie waited to get a letter back from her new pen pal Philippa.  She asked the teacher almost every day if the letters had gotten there.  Finally the teacher said after morning recess, “I have a surprise for all of you.  Here are your letters!” Meggie looked at the neatly printed envelope with her name on it and managed to open it without tearing the envelope or the stamp.
“Dear Meggie, Thank you for your letter.  It is very nice to have a new pen-friend.  I am called Pippa by my family, and we have a dog and a cat. This is a postcard from our holiday in Cornwall.”

Meggie read the letter and was happy to have a new pen pal (or pen-friend).  She was already thinking about what to write in her next letter. She decided to ask about school and if Pippa had a pet. Meggie carefully placed the letter in a jewelry box with her other treasures to remember her new friend!

A Grand Canyon Walk

My parents talked about taking a family vacation to the Grand Canyon when I was ten. Although that trip didn’t work out I never forgot about going there and finally went for a visit a couple of years ago. It was as rugged and spectacular as I had imagined.

As I walked (slowly) on one of the trails I got passed by many hikers, but that was fine because my objective was to look around and take lots of pictures. When I passed the Bright Angel Trail and saw all the groups starting off on their adventures I thought about following them. But after a few steps on the steep and narrow path I decided the Rim Trail was enough of a challenge!  

By staying on a wider trail I could safely admire the views and find places to take photos.  These were more scenes from that day.

Here’s a bird in a tree by the edge of the canyon.

My Grand Canyon visit was unforgettable and worth the long wait!

Postcards and Photos

After a trip it’s fun to reminisce by looking at photos. I’ve also accumulated quite a collection of postcards.  Sometimes I think I take so many pictures I shouldn’t need postcards, but that doesn’t seem to matter when I’m looking for souvenirs.

When I was in Italy a few years ago I wondered if I should I buy this postcard.

… or should I buy this one?

I couldn’t decide, so I got them both!

Then there’s the somewhat competitive idea of whether my photo is as good as a postcard of the same scene.  I took a picture of telephone boxes in Cambridge, England.  Then I bought a postcard that was similar.  I can’t decide which one is the better likeness, but I’m glad to have both for the sake of comparison.

My Photo:

The postcard:

I also like unusual postcards from different places.  This is a unique card of the astronomical clock in Prague.  There’s a little paper wheel on the side of the postcard that turns and shows the scenes on the clock changing the way it does when you see it in person.

Postcards are classic souvenirs.  And I’ve enjoyed mine, so they were worth buying!

A Visit to Prince Edward Island

I first read Anne of Green Gables when I was eleven and always dreamed about going to Prince Edward Island. A few years ago I went there for a visit and it was as charming as I had imagined. In addition to the beauty of the island there are all sorts of places that have connections to L.M. Montgomery and her creation, Anne Shirley.

Here are some pictures from my summer visit to PEI.

And of course there’s Green Gables!

A Flower Show

I took these pictures at the Chelsea Flower Show several years ago. When I got off the tube at Sloane Square to go to the show I heard someone say to follow the crowds. After a few minutes I saw directional signs and got there early enough that I could walk right up to the exhibit gardens. These were the first flowers I saw.

Here are some of the floral displays I visited on that beautiful sunny day. I also brought home postcards, pamphlets and other souvenirs!

For someone who loves flowers (like me), it was an unforgettable experience. I’m looking forward to going there again someday…

Ice Cream and Chocolate

Both of these have always been Meggie’s favorite treats. But could she ever decide which one she likes better? Maybe a comparison of the two would help.

Ice cream in a cup or cone is delicious but it melts pretty quickly. However, chocolate also melts if it gets too warm. Meggie can’t stop eating chocolate, but… she can’t stop eating ice cream either. She thinks there are more places to buy chocolate and it doesn’t have to be eaten right away like an ice cream cone. But she usually can’t wait to eat chocolate, so that doesn’t make any difference! These comparisons are not getting Meggie any closer to deciding which she likes better.

Her conclusion: it isn’t ice cream or chocolate. No, it’s ice cream and chocolate. There’s no competition – both are wonderful!

The Idea of Travel

It started with reading books about places near and far. It didn’t matter where it was – Meggie wanted to go there! She had a little suitcase that had belonged to her older sister and she was always ready for adventure. Whether it was a visit in the family car to see her grandmother in Pennsylvania or a day trip to the beach, she was the first one in the car saying “Are we there yet?” After she read Alice in Wonderland she wanted to go to England and see hedgehogs. When she was nine her family moved from Massachusetts to California and they traveled on Route 66. Meggie liked seeing the mountains, the desert and the interesting places to stop along the way. And after all these adventures she still likes to travel!

A New Year Begins

The start of a new year is the time for a fresh beginning. It has been so much fun starting this blog and I’m looking forward to more adventures next year! As Anne of Green Gables said, “Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

These pictures are from Prince Edward Island. Although they were taken in the summer they seem just right for now as we look ahead to warmer weather.

Happy New Year!