Inspired by Dreams of Travel by Darlene Foster

I recently met Darlene via her blog. Most of you know I love to travel, so when I discovered that her books were centered on traveling and introducing new people, places, and cultures to a younger audience I had to find out more. Darlene was kind enough to agree to guest post. I was inspired when I read her post and I hope you will be as well. And now here’s Darlene:

I was brought up on a ranch in Southern Alberta where I dreamt of traveling the world and meeting interesting people. We didn’t have TV and I had a lot of alone time; so I would make up stories in my head to entertain myself.  In grade three, I had a wonderful teacher who encouraged me to write my stories down.  When I was twelve, I had a short story published in the Winnipeg Free Press. Since then I always had a desire to become a published author.

That very same teacher introduced me to faraway places and inspired me to want to travel.  I got on an airplane for the first time when I was 27, to fly to England to marry my British husband. I never stopped travelling after that.

A few years ago I travelled to The United Arab Emirates to visit a good friend who was working there.  She planned many interesting things for me to see and do during my stay which enabled me to really experience the country.  We shopped in the souks, attended a camel race, visited an abandoned village, ate at a Bedouin campsite, rode a camel and laughed at the goats in the trees. I was so amazed by the culture, landscape and people that when I returned to Canada, I felt compelled to write about it.  Because I had difficulty portraying the excitement of being in such a unique part of the world, I decided to write my experiences from the point of view of a twelve year-old.  I threw in an adventure, some action and a mystery; and Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask was born.


Amanda learned a lot about a new place and about herself so I decided she needed to continue travelling.  I enjoyed my visits to Spain, so Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting became her next adventure. Amanda is an ordinary Canadian girl who is very inquisitive and somewhat naïve.  She cares about people and animals, gets involved in helping those in distress and subsequently gets into trouble.  She often has to use her wits and resourcefulness to get herself out of predicaments.

Since that first trip to England we have returned many times to visit my husband’s family and explore the county. It was only natural that Amanda would also visit this historic place. Amanda in England – The Missing Novel became the third in what became a series.

Readers of all ages learn about a different place in the world while being entertained. The scenery, buildings, clothing, food, and culture are described as Amanda and her new friends experience adventures they will never forget. One young reader said he felt like he was actually there after reading Amanda in Arabia! Readers can travel to another country without leaving home. My hope is they will be enticed to visit these places themselves one day, as I did as a young person reading stories that took place in faraway lands.

I plan to do much more travelling and I believe Amanda will have many more adventures. In book four Leah, her friend from England visits her and Amanda shows her around the province of Alberta. You can be sure things won’t always go as planned as they take in the Calgary Stampede, visit Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump, go on a cattle drive and explore the Drumheller Dinosaur Museum. Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone will be available in 2014.

I feel blessed that my dreams of travelling have brought my dream of being a published writer to fruition.

About the Author:

profile photo

Darlene Foster is an employment counselor working with youth at risk, an ESL tutor for children, a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves travel, shoes, cooking, reading, sewing, chocolate, music, the beach and making new friends. Her 13 year old grandson calls her “super-mega-as-woman-supreme”. She was brought up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she dreamt of traveling the world and meeting interesting people. She lives on the west coast of BC with her husband Paul and their two black cats, Pumpkin and Monkey.

Darlene’s Blog:

The Perfume Flask is available here

You can follow Darlene on:



Thanks Darlene for sharing your story. And happy Friday everyone!


About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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52 Responses to Inspired by Dreams of Travel by Darlene Foster

  1. Yayyyy!!! Darlene is a chocolate lover, so she’s ok in my books, and her Amanda travel stories sound great :).

  2. Darlene is living the dream…good for her! Wow, such a beautiful photo!

  3. Darlene says:

    Thanks so much TB for inviting me to be a guest blogger. The blogging world is such a great place to meet new people.

  4. How interesting! I haven’t been doing a lot of traveling in recent years so I look forward to doing some virtual traveling through your stories. Nice to meet you, Darlene!

  5. Hello, Darlene, from one Canuck to another. Your books sound wonderful. My granddaughter used to be an avid reader till Santa brought her an iPod a year ago. Your Amanda series might interest her in reading again.

    TBM: Another wonderful interview. I enjoyed this one as well. Thanks.

  6. Sherri says:

    Great guest post TB, really enjoyed meeting you Darlene and how wonderful that you got to travel and fulfill your dream of becoming a published author! What a great name given you by your grandson 🙂

  7. Darlene, It’s nice to be introduced to your books through TB’s blog. It’s wonderful how your travel experiences are woven into your writing. I love that your character Amanda has adventures all around the world and we get to live vicariously through her.

  8. LOVE this idea for a series of children/young adult books. Great to meet you, Darlene. And thanks for the introduction, TBM!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  9. Beth Ann says:

    Love Darlene!!!!!! Darlene was the recipient of Andy the Armadillo when his time in Iowa was done so I have a special fondness for her and her passion for writing and travel is apparent. So happy to see her on your blog today!!!

  10. Pingback: Inspired by Dreams of Travel | Darlene Foster's Blog

  11. T.F.Walsh says:

    What a gorgeous post… Nice to meet you Darlene:)

  12. pattisj says:

    Our family loves Darlene’s tales of Amanda’s adventures.

  13. Sound like great books. I visited Bahrain a few years ago. People have such misconceived notions of the Arab World. I loved it there and was made to feel so welcome

  14. That is a wonderful must read. Thanks for sharing Darlene’s amazing work with us.

  15. This is such a wonderful article! My best wishes on Amanda’s latest adventure in Alberta.
    I didn’t know you hosted Andy and Beth Ann, too. He made a stop with us in TX before he went to NZ.

  16. I recently read and very much enjoyed Amanda in England – The Missing Novel, and am looking forward to reading more of Amanda’s adventures.
    It was really interested to find out more about Darlene, thank you.

  17. benzeknees says:

    Darlene & I have 2 things in common. I used to work for the Winnipeg Free Press & I now live in Alberta, Canada.

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