#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – Amanda in Holland by Darlene Foster

It’s great to welcome Darlene Foster back for another #ShareAReviewDay Tuesday! Today, she’s sharing a new review on her book, Amanda in Holland, and I know you’ll enjoy it. Please help Darlene get the word out by sharing with all your favorite social media sites, thanks! 

REVIEW:

Reviewed by Patricia Tilton on her blog Children’s Books Heal  

Synopsis:

Amanda Ross is in Holland with her best friend Leah Anderson to visit the sites, while Leah’s father is doing business there. Top of her list is to visit and photograph all of the tulip fields. Amanda and Leah travel the canals of Amsterdam, visit the Anne Frank House, take pictures at Keukenhof Gardens, see windmills, and visit a wooden shoe factory.

Amanda is eager to find out what happened to her great uncle who never returned from WWII and was declared missing in action. What she doesn’t expect to find and fall in love with is Joey, an abandoned puppy. While trying to find a home for him, she meets Jan, a Dutch boy who offers to help, a suspicious gardener, a strange women on a bicycle and an overprotective goose named Gerald. Follow Amanda, an intrepid traveler, around Holland, as she encounters danger and intrigue as she tries to solve more than one mystery in a foreign country.

Why I like this book:

Darlene Foster has crafted another lively adventure story for young readers who enjoy traveling and solving a good mystery. Fans of the Amanda Travels series will be delighted with this new fast-paced book which has several different themes woven into the story, including a lost puppy and missing rare tulip bulbs that beautifully come together at the end.

Amanda is an inquisitive and fun-loving character, even though her curiosity causes some mishaps and tense moments — TROUBLE — in the story. But she is a lovable character with keen radar about people and always ready to solve a good mystery. Her friend Leah is quite the opposite and is a nice balance for Amanda.

Foster captures the gorgeous scenery of Holland through Amanda’s eyes as she samples wonderful pastries like  bankets, filled with an almond pastesamples traditional  Dutch dishes like Hotchpotch Stamppot, mashed potatoes mixed with carrots and onions; inhales the perfume of tulip fields and visits the world’s only floating flower market; visits a wooden shoe, klompen, factory; tours an operational windmill; travels to the top of A’DAM Lookout and ride’s Europe’s highest swing; celebrates King’s Day; and sees more bicyclists than she’s ever imagined.

When Amanda visits the Holten Canadian War Cemetery, history really comes to life. She learns about how the Canadian forces helped liberate Holland during WW II. She walks among the grave sites and feels proud. She remembers her great uncle who joined the Canadian forces in Holland and was reported “missing in action.” Her family never knew what happened to him.  With the help of the cemetery employee, she may find some answers. 

She also learns a little geography about how Holland is beneath sea level. The country has creatively dealt with this constant environmental issue by building dikes and constructing homes on stilts that are buried deep beneath the ground.

Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action is the seventh book in the Amanda Travels series: 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; and Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind. Foster has written the books in such a manner that they can be read in any order, but I recommend you start with the first book.

BLURB:

Amanda is in Holland to see the tulips with her best friend, Leah; as well as travelling the canals of Amsterdam, visiting Anne Frank House, checking out windmills and a wooden shoe factory, and taking pictures of the flowers of Keukenhof Gardens. She is keen to find out what happened to her great uncle who never returned from WWII and was declared missing in action. What she doesn’t expect to find and fall in love with is Joey, an abandoned puppy. While trying to find a home for him, she meets Jan, a Dutch boy who offers to help, a suspicious gardener, a strange woman on a bicycle, and an overprotective goose named Gerald. Follow Amanda around the charming country of Holland, filled with colourful tulips, windmills, and more bicycles than she could have imagined. Once again, intrepid traveller Amanda encounters danger and intrigue as she tries to solve more than one mystery in a foreign country.

Buy Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action HERE


Author Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster grew up on a ranch outside of Alberta. She dreamt of writing, travelling the world and meeting interesting people. She also believes everyone is capable of making their dreams come true. It’s no surprise that she’s now the award-winning author of a children’s adventure series about a travelling twelve-year-old-girl. A world-traveler herself, Darlene spends her time in Vancouver, Canada and Costa Blanca in Spain with her husband and amusing dog, Dot.

Contact Info
Amazon Author Page

Website  |  Goodreads | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – January 12th- 18th 2020

Super busy week over at Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord blog! A little bit of everything, including some wonderful videos. (Oh, and I’m in the mix there, too! 😀 ) Stop by, take a look at everyone and everything, and share far and wide, if you can. Thanks, and as always, thanks to Sally for all she does, writes, and shares! 🙂 ❤

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to this week’s posts on Smorgasbord that you might have missed.

I hope you have had a good week… I am in housekeeping mode both on and offline. At the moment the Cafe and Bookstore is in the middle of a facelift with the addition of both UK and US Amazon selling pages, Goodreads where the author has a page, and their website or blog. It is a work in progress so don’t worry if your entry does not reflect this change yet, it will soon.

You can help me out if you are an author on the shelves by letting me know in advance that you have a new book being released. That helps me keep your entry up to date but also ensures that you receive a new book promotion when your book is available or is on pre-order offer.

I do go through every week…

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#FirstLineFriday #GiveawayContest #FreeDownloads

It’s Friday again, and you know what that means–time for another look at a famous first line. I can’t wait to see how many will recognize this opener. I suspect it will be tricky, though I’m fairly sure most of you will be familiar with the title of the book. (Even if, like me, you haven’t yet read it.) Ready to play?

As always, the rules are simple:

  1. Be one of the first five people to email me before the game ends at noon, with the title and authorof the correct book. 
  2. Do not reply here on the blog.Email only: marciameara16@gmail.com
  3. Honor System applies. No Googling, please.
  4. Submissions end at noon, or when I receive 5 correct answers, whichever comes first.
  5. Winners who live in the U.S.may request a free download of any one of my books for themselves, or for someone of their choice. OR, if they’ve read all of the offered books, they may request a free download of my next publication.
  6. Winners who live elsewheremay request a PDF file of the same books, since, sadly, Amazon won’t let me gift you from the site.

Okay, folks. Here it is, ready or not:

“No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were being scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.”

Guest Author: Marcia Meara ~ The Light ~ Wake-Robin Ridge (Book Four)

Sorry for the late start on sharing this with you guys, but I got mixed up with the time difference. Doh! I still want everyone to know I’m visiting over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo today, and I hope you’ll stop by. I’ve shared a story on how I came up with the character of Rabbit, and I hope you’ll enjoy it–and then will pass it along all over the place. Thanks so much, and my heartfelt thanks to Sue for inviting me over! 🙂 ❤

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Thank you so much for letting me visit with you and your followers today, Sue. I’m pretty excited about the release of my latest novel, The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4, and hope your readers will be curious to learn more about this book and the preceding three:

Wake-Robin Ridge   A Boy Named Rabbit   Harbinger

My best wishes for a Happy New Year to You All!

For Robert MacKenzie Cole—or Rabbit, as he’s known to all—the chance to accompany his family to see North Carolina’s infamous Brown Mountain Lights has him nearly dizzy with excitement. And what better night to watch this unexplained phenomenon unfold than Halloween?

But when the entrancing, unpredictable lights show up, Rabbit gets far more than he bargained for. He’s gifted with what folks in the Appalachians call “the Sight,” and it’s this extrasensory perception that enables him to spot the one light…

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The Light ~ New Release from @MarciaMeara #TuesdayBookShare

I’m visiting with Joan Hall today, talking about the mysterious Brown Mountain lights and how they relate to my new book, The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4. Hope you’ll stop by to say hi, and learn a bit more about this unexplained mystery. And before you leave, please remember to share far and wide if possible. Thanks. And thanks again to Joan for letting me visit today! 🙂 ❤

Joan Hall

Hey everyone! I’m over the moon excited to welcome Marcia Meara as my guest today. She recently released The Light, the fourth in her Wake Robin Ridge Series. Marcia is a very talented author, and if you haven’t read any of her books, I highly recommend you doing so.

Today she’s going to talk about her new book and a mysterious phenomenon called the Brown Mountain Lights. You may recall some time ago I wrote about the Marfa Lights which are found in far west Texas, so I’m very intrigued.

Take it away, Marcia!


Thank you so much for having me here today, Joan! I’m pretty excited to be sharing the release of my latest book, The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4, with your readers, and I hope they’ll enjoy checking it out, along with the first three books in the series:

Wake-Robin Ridge

A Boy Named…

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New Release: The Light by Marcia Meara #WakeRobinRidge

I have the extreme pleasure of being a guest on Mae Clair’s lovely blog, From the Pen of Mae Clair, today, and boy, has Mae done a bang-up job on this one! Please stop by and say hello, and while you’re there, learn the truth about wake-robins. (Hint, no they aren’t birds!) And check out the lovely slideshow, too. Spring is in the air! What a great start to the day. Thanks so much, Mae, and thanks to you guys for sharing this one far and wide. Hugs to ALL! 🙂 ❤

From the Pen of Mae Clair

Banner ad for The Light, Wake Robin Ridge book 4 by Marcia Meara

I’m thoroughly jazzed (chuffed if you’re on the other side of the pond) to have my good friend, Marcia Meara, here today with her new release The Light. She’s sharing a super cool post about wake-robins which figure into the series title, Wake Robin Ridge.

Confession time: this yankee thought wake robins were birds. Duh! Fortunately, Marcia is here today to set me straight and educate me about The Wake-Robins of Wake-Robin Ridge.


Thank you so much for letting me visit with you and your followers today, Mae. I’m pretty excited about the release of my latest novel, The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4, and hope folks will be curious to learn more about this book and the preceding three:

Wake-Robin Ridge
A Boy Named Rabbit
Harbinger

Happy New Year to You All!

Many readers have asked me how I came up with the name of my first novel, and…

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Eventide, from the Hode’s Hill Series

If you thought the excerpt Mae Clair shared from Eventide on Monday was something, check out her guest post today on Craig Boyack’s Entertaining Stories. Holy Moly! (Be sure to pass it along, once you finish gasping!) 😀

Entertaining Stories

Mae Clair is one of my favorite people. She’s a partner over at Story Empire and one hell of an author. She’s here today to tell us about Eventide, which wraps up her Hode’s Hill Series.

I would appreciate it, and I know Mae would, if you would use those sharing buttons at the end of her guest post.

Hi, Craig. Thanks for hosting me today with my new supernatural suspense/mystery release. Eventide is the last book in my Hode’s Hill mystery series. As in the first two novels, Cusp of Night and End of Day, I’ve chosen to use dual timelines with dual mysteries that converge at the end. 

It’s challenging writing a book with more than one timeline. In essence, the author has to plot two separate stories, balancing two separate sets of characters, then…

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#NewRelease – #Eventide by Mae Clair

So happy to welcome Mae Clair to The Write Stuff today with news of the release of her latest novel, Eventide. I’ve already got this one on my Kindle and after enjoying Books 1 and 2 so much, I can’t wait to read it. And just look at this fabulous cover! 

So without further ado, let’s get right to it. Take it away, Mae! 

~~~~~~

Hi, Marcia. Many thanks for having me as a guest today! I’m delighted to be here today promoting my upcoming release, Eventide, the final book in my Hode’s Hill series of novels. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, Eventide is an archaic way of saying “evening” or “twilight.” All three books in the series play off this theme:
Cusp of Night
End of Day
Eventide

Each refers to that moment when daylight fades and twilight encroaches. I’ve always considered these “betwixt times,” never fully anchored in one period, but gradually transitioning into the next. From the time I was a child, I was fascinated by the idea. I’ve also always loved the word eventide, but when it came to choosing titles for my Hode’s Hill series, I initially headed down a different path.

The original title for Cusp of Night was The Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill after one of the characters in the book. I had planned to use color in all three titles, but my publisher wanted something short and mysterious. I must have gone through three dozen suggestions before I came up with Cusp of Night. It was the last on a long list I sent to my publisher—tossed on as an afterthought—but the one they ended up choosing. After that, the two successive titles were easy, and the theme was born.

I think it works well for books that are part mystery and part supernatural suspense. There’s even a little bit of cozy in each given the sleuthing my female characters undertake.

In this short excerpt Madison Hewitt is digging for information about an old home she purchased. She talking to a co-worker, Karen, who seems to know something about the home’s previous owner.

~~~~~

Madison sighed. “The house is really old, and I’m trying to find out whatever I can about the place. If you know something—”

 “Like what?”

 “I don’t know.” After several unusual experiences, she needed Karen to be forthcoming. “It’s just…an odd place. You mentioned rumors. Said there were things that happened there.”

 “Yeah.” Karen’s hands stilled. She stared at the letters in front of her as if debating something. After a moment, she closed her eyes, drew a breath, then shifted her attention to Madison.“You remember I told you I had a cleaning business? Vera Halsey was one of my clients.”

 “The woman who owned the house?” Madison had never made direct contact with her during the sale. “I understand she passed away in a nursing home.”

 “That’s what I heard, too. But she stopped my services months before she got sick. She was only in her early sixties, but something happened, and she started wasting away.”

 Madison had always assumed she was up in years, eighty or more. “That’s horrible.”

 “Strange is how I see it.” Karen smoothed an envelope between her fingers. “Everything about her was odd. The house, too.”

 “What do you mean?”

 “I wish I could explain it better. I had two people working for me. Both said they’d quit before going back again. I was the one who ended up cleaning for Vera. After a while, I got used to”—she looked away—“things.”

 Madison’s pulse ticked higher. “What do you mean?”

 “I don’t want to scare you.”

 Madison held her gaze.

 “Okay.” Karen leaned forward and lowered her voice as if sharing a secret. “It was just a sense of something always there…like being watched. The girls I had working for me said they heard people arguing when no one was around.”

 Madison’s fingers tightened on her coffee cup. “Did you?”

 “Once. Maybe twice. There were other things, too. Doors that shut on their own, cold spots, rancid odors. Sometimes I’d see someone from the corner of my eye and turn, but no one was there. Occasionally, some of my supplies would go missing only to show up in another room. The last week I was there, I swear someone tried to shove me down the steps.”

~~~~~

Sound a little creepy? There’s much more to the history of this house. You can discover the complete story by reading Eventide and discovering the secrets that lie within. Thank you in advance for your consideration! 🙂

Universal Purchase Link

BLURB:

The darkness is coming . . .  

The old house near Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania is a place for Madison Hewitt to start over—to put the trauma of her husband’s murder, and her subsequent breakdown, behind her. She isn’t bothered by a burial plot on the property, or the mysterious, sealed cistern in the basement. Not at first. Even the presence of cold spots and strange odors could be fabrications of her still troubled mind. But how to explain her slashed tires, or the ominous messages that grow ever more threatening?
 
Convinced the answer lies in the past, Madison delves into the history of the home’s original owners, only to discover the origin of a powerful evil. An entity that may be connected to a series of gruesome attacks that have left police baffled. No matter where she turns—past or present—terror lingers just a step away, spurred on by a twisted obsession that can only be satisfied through death…

Order Eventide HERE

Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

AmazonBookBubNewsletter Sign-Up
Website | BlogTwitterGoodreadsAll Social Media

 

 

A Hero’s Journey Begins

Kids these days… what do they have to say to writers, readers, and citizens of the World?

ShiftnShake

Once upon a time, just about eighteen years ago, a child was born, the first and only of close friends, and while I am in fact neither his aunt nor godmother, I have been referred to as both. In the boy’s fourth grade year I was referred to as Mrs. Avery as I was his teacher in a class I remember well, a class that loved to learn and that delighted in the fairy tales read to them.

Now the boy is a young man in his last year of high school. Writing the essay that I share here (in italics) was a part of his preparations for going out into the world.

Everyone has topics that they can completely immerse themselves in. For some it’s sports; for others, acting and singing.

I used the timeless-placeless introduction that I did because I feel like this young man’s essay might connect…

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