I’m happy to be part of Canadian author Darlene Foster’s launch of her latest book, Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady. She has answered a couple of questions and provided a short excerpt of the 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. Its 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
How do you do your research for each book?
I start my research while I am visiting the location. I take many pictures and copious notes. I write in my journal every evening so I dont forget things. I also pick up brochures, postcards and magazines while there. While I´m writing, I refer back to my pictures and notes. I also do research on the internet. I find YouTube videos are great as I get the feeling of being there, as are travel blogs. If I can find books or movies that take place in the location, they help with the research as well. There is one scene in Amanda in Malta that came from a news clip I saw on Facebook.
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. Butwho is killing the protected birds? Who stole a priceless artifact from the museum? And why is Leah acting so strange? She couldnt 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.
Excerpt from Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady by Darlene Foster
Up close, Amanda examined the large eye painted on each side of the vivid blue, yellow, and red boats. The eyes made them look animated, like something from a Disney movie.
An old man sat cross-legged beside a pile of netting, his ruddy, lined face permanently tanned. In his gnarled hand, he held a large threaded needle, which he pulled through a damaged net.
Amanda stopped to watch him work. She smiled when he looked up. Are you mending your nets?
Yup, I need them all fixed and ready to go first thing in the morning. He continued to move the needle and thread through the net. Nice day, isnt it?
Yes, it is, answered Amanda. Do you live here?
He nodded. All my life. And my father before me. My grandfather came from Sicily, though. We have always been fishermen.
I was wondering, why are there eyes painted on the boats?
That is the eye of Osiris. All fishermen paint them on the prows of their boats. It is an old Phoenician custom to protect the fishing boats from danger and keep away evil spirits.
He stopped mending and looked at the boats. The Maltese fishing boats are called luzzus. They are double-ended, flat-bottomed boats. Although small, they are still preferred by most fishermen. They are built with great skill and precision and are more stable and durable than modern boats.
They sure look cute. Amanda took pictures. May I take a picture of you with your nets?
Of course. The old man grinned, revealing spaces where teeth used to be.
Amanda snapped a picture just as Caleb showed up. Man, did I ever get some great pictures of the boats. I guess we better get back to Mom and Dad.
OK. She turned to the man. Thanks for talking with me and letting me take your picture.
Have some fish for lunch. It might be something I caught this morning. The old man winked.
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
The buy links
Amazon Canada here
Amazon UK here
Amazon US here
Barnes and Noble here
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.
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