Season 3 Episode 22: Darlene Foster Reading Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting

Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

Bookstores, libraries, and coffee shops are great places for book readings. There is something extraordinary about hearing the voice of an author reading their stories. Their voice and intonation are nuanced by the many hours of effort putting pen to paper.  They created the characters, structured the plot, and lived every twist and turn that creates bumps in the storyline. 

Living in the reality of Covid-19, book readings at public libraries and bookstores have been curtailed.  We are learning to embrace technology in new ways.  Welcome to the podcast series, “Authors Reading their Books”, which will recreate the reading spaces in a virtual venue.  I invite you to put the kettle on and join the conversation on Tea Toast & Trivia. I am your host Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you.

I am thrilled to introduce Darlene Foster who has graciously agreed to be our guest author reading from her novel, Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting (Amanda Travels #2) which is available on Amazon.   I am looking forward to meeting up with Darlene and joining Amanda on one of her many adventure.

Welcome Darlene! Thank you for joining me on the TTT virtual reading room.

The Amanda Series by Darlene Foster

Thank you for joining Darlene and me on Tea Toast & Trivia, Authors reading their Books.

And a special thank you, Darlene, for sharing your insights and philosophy of writing.  You have inspired me, and I know that you have inspired readers and listeners to embrace a creative journey.

I invite you to meet up with Darlene on her blog Darlene Foster’s Blog, which she created for writers, readers, travelers, dreamers, friends and friends she has not met yet.  It is a place where stories dwell.

Darlene’s Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter/

Darlene on twitter https://twitter.com/supermegawoman

Until next time, dear friends, stay safe, be well.

New Release – Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady

Darlene Foster Reading Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting Tea. Toast. & Trivia.

59 Replies to “Season 3 Episode 22: Darlene Foster Reading Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting”

  1. That was a wonderful reading and a story I can identify with as we lived in Madrid for four years. Las Meninas is one of my favorite paintings by Velasquez. We would get the to Prado early on free days and run to Las Meninas so we could sit close to it, study and enjoy it without anyone standing in from of us blocking the view. I see in photo of the series of books, Amanda has been to New Mexico and apparently had some dealings with our ghosts, of which we have many.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I’m delighted that you listened in, Tim. My mother Frances has everyone of the Amanda books. They are gifts to her great-grandchildren, but she read them first. Love them all! She said there were ghosts in the New Mexico adventure. How wonderful to be able to view the Las Meninas. I can see you and Laurie running to get a good seat. I had to look at it again so went over to Wikipedia – https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Meninas#/media/File%3ALas_Meninas%2C_by_Diego_Vel%C3%A1zquez%2C_from_Prado_in_Google_Earth.jpg.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Las Meninas is especially interesting because we the viewers either don’t exist, we are the subject Valazques is painting or we are looking through a two-way mirror. It’s a brilliant painting and very large. Everyone in the painting is life-size of larger.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. I was auditing an art history course before the lockdown last year. The professor spent a full hour on this painting because of its two-way mirror effect. I had not idea how complex the meaning was behind the painting. How wonderful to be able to view the real painting in person. How to look at a painting would be a great podcast discussion, wouldn’t it?

        Liked by 4 people

      3. You could talk to Laurie about that. She has two art degrees and she has really good insights into viewing art.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Thanks for listening Tim. I too was fascinated by the painting and felt I had to include it in my book, but in a way that kids would enjoy it. Amanda does encounter your many ghosts in New Mexico, another fascinating part of the world. One I just had to write about. What a wonderful world we live in.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. We have kleptomaniac ghosts on our property, wormholes that some of our cats slipped into for three weeks, and a spirit of our dearly departed Great Dane that roams the parameter of the property and protects us. We learned about the sport of the dog from a psychic who was visiting one day. She told us about the spirit of the large black dog, and we said that has to be the Great Dane we had. She had know was of knowing we had that dog years before she visited us.

        Liked by 5 people

  2. Thank you so much for inviting me to read from one of Amanda´s adventures. You always make the experience painless so much fun.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Darlene – your enthusiasm and energy shines through Amanda. You welcome us to engage with Amanda and Leah – to share their excitement of travel and discovering new idea, cultures and places. Best of all, you ignite the possibility of adventures in a reader’s imagination and awaken their curiosity to learn more. Thank you so much for joining me on the TTT virtual reading room. Sending many hugs your way.

      Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much for listening in, Marina. I love that Leah continued to sneeze. What a delightful moment. My friend from college Martha, who went on to be a librarian, shared this reading and said that “she wanted to know how the story ended.” Stories come alive when authors read their books. Darlene energizes the story with her enthusiasm and humour.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Thank you, Darlene, for this lovely reading of one of your books. Your books are fantastic. I guess they are designed for the young readers, but truthfully they are exciting and educational books for any age. I have read six of them and am waiting to read your most recent; I admire your ability to insert geography, history, interesting places, society and much else, into the lines of the story. Really remarkable. Your reading of the story is excellent, as well.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Thank you so much, Frances. I am so pleased you are enjoying my books. Used to visit Seniors Centres in Canada and read from the Amanda books. Everyone enjoyed the stories. I always say they are for ages 7 to 97! I’m pleased you liked the reading.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. “Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting” sounds very compelling, mysterious, exciting, and educational! And Darlene’s reading from it was excellent! (Nice musical background, too.) It’s hard to top the wonder and adventure of seeing new places, especially for a younger person.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am delighted you joined Amanda, Darlene and me on an adventure, Dave. Ah-choo Ah-choo Ah-choo!! What I especially appreciate about Darlene’s writing is that she speaks about issues that children face – the busyness of parents, the desire to travel. Amanda is a powerful character that opens the idea of exploration and travel via books.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Thank you, Dave. I too love the background music. You are never too old to get excited about seeing new places but It is especially wonderful for a young person. I so wished I could travel and see the world when I was twelve, so I created a character that could do that for me!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Nice, Darlene, to have your character vicariously do what you didn’t do at her age! I also didn’t travel much until my early 20s; it would indeed have been a thrill to see the world as a pre-teen!

        Liked by 4 people

    1. I am delighted that you joining the virtual reading room, Robbie. Thank you for your support and encouragement of TTT Virtual Reading Room and of the amazing writing community. You have introduced me to amazing writers and poets through your blogs and collaborations.

      Liked by 5 people

  5. Thank you Darlene and Rebecca!
    I enjoyed the reading today. Darlene you have a fab reading voice, and Amanda is most adventurous & intriguing.
    Rebecca, your virtual reading room is the cat’s pyjamas!
    Keep it coming! Hugitos!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Oh, I am so glad that you mentioned ‘cat’s pajamas’ because I read about it in Teagan’s book Speak Flapper – Slang of the 1920’s. I agree Darlene has the perfect voice for Amanda – energized and full of adventure. Amanda is the perfect companion for an adventure. Sending many hugs back ‘on the wing.’

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Thanks, Resa! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the reading and Amanda. I agree, the Reading Room is the cat’s pyjamas! (Love that saying)

      Liked by 5 people

  6. Oh yes, quite a delightful reading by Darlene. It’s always a pleasure to hear authors read from their work for it adds nuance and emphasis we’d never perceive otherwise. Two of my favorite touches in the podcast, other than the story of course, were Leah’s sneezing and the theme music you chose, Rebecca. Perfect! 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I couldn’t help myself, Mary Jo. I laughed out loud when Darlene read those words. I was not expecting the sneeze. Darlene has a way of engaging us with humour even in the most difficult of times. Thank you for listening in…

      Liked by 5 people

    1. I LOVE our conversations, Teagan and I’m delighted that you joined the adventure. It is good to have a courageous companion like you along with me. I’m the one who would be sneezing. Ah-choo!!!

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Thank you for the introduction to Moringa tea – the benefits are amazing! (you know that I love every kind of tea). I have found several locations in Vancouver as well as on Amazon.ca where is is found, so now I’m on a shopping spree. Hugs on the wing.

        Liked by 3 people

  7. I just listened to Darlene’s reading, which was sheer delight! I loved her enthusiasm. I felt myself part of an audience in a room with her, each of us hanging on her every word. Such fun!!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Darlene carries you away with her voice, doesn’t she, Liz? Thank you for being the inspiration for the TTT Virtual Reading Room. I still have the text that I sent to you for your opinion back in August 2020, when I finally realized that our social distancing protocol would remain in place for a while. I was missing my library and book store visits. You said a hearty “yes” to this idea! Many many thanks. This is the text:
      “Do you remember this post?: https://lizgauffreau.com/2019/10/02/the-reading/ This is what I’ve been thinking about – would love to have your thoughts. In our new reality it will be very difficult to have authors attend bookstores to give readings. Would you consider looking at the possibility of setting up a podcast to mirror this type of gathering. I would introduce you and your would discuss “Telling Sonny” read a few passages etc. I was thinking around a 20 minute podcast. Let me know!! Take care – have a great week.”

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Thanks, Liz. This is the closest we will be in a room together. So appreciative of Rebecca to provide these opportunities. xo

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I have delighted that you listened in, Stevie! You may be surprised how wonderful your voice is when it is recorded. It is always a surprise to hear what we sound like – at least it was for me. Authors reading their books bring the words and narrative alive.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Thanks, Stevie. Glad you enjoyed it. I do OK, until I have a coughing fit. Fortunately, it didn’t happen while recording this.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Darlene has a great reading voice and her reading style brings the breathless excitement of a young girl alive. In fact Amanda lives in every word Darlene writes; it is impossible to seperate the viewpoint of the character from the text. I also thought she captured Spain beautifully too. Spain has a certain sultry feel – captured sparsely and effectively in the cafe lined street where people sip coffee while reading their papers- I immediately saw it in my mind’s eye. She also captured the Spanish people well, in the character of the large man with the pony tail. The Spanish tend to brusque, a bit like the Dutch. Neither are rude, they are delightful peoples, but they can be brusque and consequently a little intimidating, especially if you don’t speak the language. So well done Darlene, not only beautifully read, but beautifully written too.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Paul – you have the best comments! A brilliant analysis. I agree – Darlene’s voice belong to Amanda. She has excitement, energy, boldness in her voice. With the first sentence, I knew we were off on an adventure and that I would have to run to keep up!

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Thanks, Paul. I’m so pleased that the excitement of a 12-year-old came through as well as the essence of Spain. I wrote the book before I actually bought a house in Spain and spend a good amount of time there. Which is probably best as I could portray it from the point of view of someone visiting for the first time. Thanks for your great comments.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. How fun to listen to Darlene’s story and a great music choice for the background! Darlene’s a wonderful reader, and she brings Amanda and her adventure to life. I haven’t read this one yet, but will. I’m an Amanda fan! Congrats, Darlene, and thanks, Rebecca.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am delighted that you listened in, Diana. I am honoured when writers join me in the TTT Reading Room. This past year has prompted me to look at ways to connect via technology. We have access to a global community from our kitchen tables. How wonderful it is to meet up with kindred spirits and feel a sense of belonging within a compassionate community that thrives on the exchange of knowledge and experience. Thank you to Darlene and to you for graciously agreeing to share your voices reading your books. Hugs!

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Thanks, Diana. I’m so pleased you are an Amanda fan. The music is perfect! These have been so much fun to do, especially as we can’t go to coffee shops, libraries etc to do readings in person.

      Liked by 3 people

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