Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several of her fellow creative students. She shares a room with Cleo, an anxious classmate who insists she sees ghosts. Although Amanda is determined to prove there is no such thing, she can’t seem to shake the feeling that something or someone is watching her.
Join Amanda, Cleo and their funny friend, Caleb, as they visit a rugged and beautiful landscape where a traditional hacienda, an ancient pueblo, and a haunted and spooky hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past.
Does Cleo really see ghosts? Can Amanda escape the eerie wind that follows her everywhere? Perhaps The Day of the Dead will reveal the mysteries of Taos in this latest adventure of Amanda’s travels.
Amanda in New Mexico Ghosts In The Wind
It’s always fun to read an Amanda adventure. This one is set in the mountains, in Taos in New Mexico. I’ve read several in the series now and can recommend. This was a lovely halloween and anytime read for kids and educational too. In this book the other two main characters are Caleb, a cute, jokey boy, and Cleo who is afraid of ghosts. Amanda is our intrepid explorer who writes for kidblog. I particularly enjoyed the sections on The Day of The Dead, wild west characters, and the spooky bits! The ending had a nice uplifting touch which made me smile.
It’s always a joy to go travelling with Amanda!
Highly recommended for kids and sure their adults will enjoy too!
Read via Kindle unlimited
My rating: 5 stars
Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, traveling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not traveling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining rescue dogs, Dot and Lia. http://www.darlenefoster.ca
Hi Marje, it’s great to be here on your lovely blog Thank you so much for your generosity to host my Book Release Tour and allow me to share my process from pen to publication with your readers.
It’s my pleasure Miriam. <3
The Making of Tina Lost in a Crowd, Part 6
Formatting a Picture Book
There are boxes of children’s books in the storage from my teaching days. I picked about ten books to study how they positioned the images and text. Some have bleed (the images flow over to the margin) and some without bleed. Some pages have text without images, and some have text layered over the images. My conclusion was to have the book fully illustrated with bleed, and have the text inserted over the images.
Formatting a picture book with bleed is a different story than without bleed. So, I hired a designer to do the job. He could insert the text for me, but I had a preference of the appearance.
After I received the pages of illustration from Victoria, I inserted one layer of white rectangular shape with round corner, then inserted another layer of text over the shape.
When I finished inserting the text, I created a file with the pages in a correct sequence for the designer to use as a reference. Then I sent this reference file and all the pages of the illustration to him to format for eBook and print book according to the requirements of Amazon and Barns & Nobel.
Note: I skipped many technical details. I can answer your questions if you’re interested.
Tina invited her friend Erica to attend a popular Tchaikovsky’s Spectacular concert on a summer evening with her parents. During the intermission, her dad left the seat to buy some snacks. Tina and Erica followed him wanting to use the restroom. The shoving crowd pushed them away, and they lost sight of him. It would be impossible to fight through the 18,000 people to find him or go back to Tina’s mom. What would the girls do?
This story tells about what happened to Tina and Erica after they got lost. Children can adapt to the learning from different situations they may observe or encounter. Adults could have discussions with the children about the situations to help them develop problem-solving skills.
A lovely picture book with beautifully colourful but simple illustrations from Victoria Skakandi (Illustrator) It’s a straight forward story which tells the tale of a young girl Tina who has just finished 3rd Grade, (about 8 – 9 years old,) and is about to go on summer school holidays. Tina and her friend Erica chat about the coming changes in the new school year. When she gets home she plans a list with her mum of what to do over the summer . No. 2 on the list is to hear the music from Swan Lake, followed by Sleeping Beauty and fireworks at the Superbowl!
Tina and her friend Erika gets lost…
Note: The story is based on a real life event in the author’s life and is dedicated to Miriam Hurdle’s daughter.
This brought back a similar memory in my life. My husband and I were frantic after my daughter Natasha disappeared during a wedding event. She turned up safe and well. Thank heavens. Every parents nightmare! Tasha was always going missing, she was quite the adventurer and still is!
Tina Lost in a Crowd delivers such a clear, important message to youngsters who may for whatever reason get parted from their parents/carers. So, I reckon it would be an excellent read for schools – educating pupils about a simple method to keep safe.
Thank you to the author for an ARC. I happily review and give my unbiased opinion.
Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.
Amanda Ross is an average twelve year old Canadian girl. So what is she doing thousands of kilometres from home in the United Arab Emirates? It’s her own fault really, she wished for adventure and travel when she blew out those candles on her last birthday cake. Little did she know that a whole different world awaited her on the other side of the globe, one full of intrigue, mystery and folklore. A world with a beautiful princess, a dangerous desert and wonderful friends. Join Amanda on her first adventure as she discovers the secrets behind The Perfume Flask.
Such a cute middle grade book about Amanda venturing to the United Arab Emirates. It is educational too, various aspects of living in the desert and the culture and customs of the people are explained in an interesting way throughout the book. It is descriptive, fun, and amusing too. I particularly loved the sections with camels and how the author explained different types of camels and how wonderful the camel is especially in a sand storm!
What a great way to educate youngsters about the diversity of cultures in this world.
It transported me away for a while, and made me smile, which I’m grateful for particularly at the moment when we can’t go anywhere.
For the first time, I participated in The Children in Read auction in aid of Children in Need this year. I donated a copy of my YA fantasy The Curse of Time #1 Bloodstone to the highest bidder.
I decided to bid for No More Knives ( illustrated by Evie Hurst.) in the Children in Read auction for Children In Need. I chose this particular book for personal reasons: my daughter’s boyfriend was assaulted (while she was with him,) and mugged by a gang of youths. He was repeatedly kicked and ended up in hospital – thankfully there were no knives involved in this unprovoked attack but if there were… I hate to think what might have happened. Sadly, the experience has left its mark on them both.
Educational books such as No More Knives are crucially important. They might help prevent youngsters from getting involved in gang culture, and drugs. I hope so.
In my parcel, I discovered that the author Christina Gabbitas had kindly added a beautifully illustrated book (illustrated by Ric Lumb) complete with audio, written and narrated by Christina, entitled: Share Some Secrets, plus a poem about the importance of ‘Save us from plastic.’
Both of these books and poem are about subjects which matter greatly. I look forward to reading and reviewing. #nomoreknives #childreninneed2020 #childreninneed #childreninreadauction #childreninread
The Curse of Time is to be a series. I’m currently working on the second book, so do consider supporting an independent author by buying a copy of book one. I’m deep in edits and could do with some encouragement!
And some review quotes and images of The Curse of Time #YA #Fantasy.
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The prompt word this week is Prophet. I thought I’d give you another little taster of my WIP, a children’s fantasy set in Edinburgh. I have written about 12,000 words in total for this new manuscript, so there is still a long way to go! This is the opening chapter of Morag Eu-Fung’s adventures, which is still to be edited/critiqued, by my writing group so all comments appreciated.
Hope you enjoy!
Morag shouted, a wide grin erupted on her moon-shaped face, any spirits evil or otherwise were probably deafened and finding a hiding place in a crater somewhere. Now Morag’s voice sounded hoarse. Eilidh rolled her eyes, and frowned, her forehead creasing tightly in a sisterly display of disapproval. Morag acknowledged the frown by sticking her tongue out at her sister, but it was too late, Eilidh had turned away totally missing Morag’s rebellious gesture.
Just at that very moment, the night sky lit up with another jubilant burst of fireworks. The rainbow of light seemed to catch Morag’s dark brown hair which hung loose, and then alighted on her coat which was unbuttoned, thrown on. Another burst of colour settled momentarily on her fingerless mittens. Morag’s face glowed, her breaths panting, like a tribe of joggers, trying to keep up with each quick step of excitement. As if to match the momentum of Morag’s breathing a sequence of fireworks burst into another wonderful display, light fell, illuminating the freckles on Eilidh’s face which squeezed together impersonating a series of tiny black dots. Somehow Eilidh’s freckles reminded Morag of what you might see after staring too long and hard at an optician’s bright light.
Morag’s dad had outdone himself. Where had he managed to find such a wonderful array of fireworks? The firecrackers had been noisy; the neighbours must be at breaking point by now. Morag imagined them in their houses gritting their teeth, and muttering with growing annoyance. She giggled. No doubt they could smell the aroma of burning bamboo sticks too. Anybody would think that they were living in Hong Kong or somewhere equally exotic, but no they were in Scotland, at least they were living in the capital city Edinburgh and not in some back water. The centre of Asian culture, no, not really, but most of the inhabitants of their house thought differently, and those who didn’t kept that opinion to themselves!
Mum, dad, grandma and grandpa joined them but watched from a distance. Morag and Eilidh huddled together in the back garden sharing this moment until Eilidh spoilt it with her selfish words.
“Come on Morag, let’s go, it’s over.”
Eilidh didn’t even have the decency to let the very last firework fizz out properly. Morag ignored her sister, she lingered, savouring the memory of the sight of the sparkling fireworks exploding into the darkness of the night, they might be gone but the atmosphere crackled with the promise of a New Year. She was so absorbed in her own thoughts that for a moment she hadn’t noticed everyone else trooping back into the house. But when she did she questioned why they always did as Eilidh said? Before Morag could wonder anymore Grandmother trudged up and grabbed her by the collar of her coat and yanked her back to reality.
“Whooa Grandma, I’m coming, stop pulling at my coat,” said Morag, as she turned for one last stolen glance at the night sky.
Grandmother might seem to be the patient one but when it came to tradition she was always the first one in line, on a mission, in a hurry, organising the family in her quiet, devoted way. She had come outside to collect Morag without bothering to put on her coat. Her black dress was tightly drawn across her plump body, acting as a fearsome barrier to the cold. Morag studied Grandmother Lean’s wrinkly, tired face. She’d been working really hard, busily preparing everything for Chinese New Year. Grandmother had very rarely sat down, whilst grandfather settled down into the best chair in the house and refused to get up! Typical grandfather!
The reunion dinner had been well worth all the effort. Morag’s favourite dumplings had sat like tempting morsels quivering with expectant anticipation on the dining table. Within one of the dumplings a gold coin lay hidden and whoever found the coin was considered to be lucky. Morag had hoped that it would be her. She had looked at the dumplings hungrily and wondered which one to choose. Her hunger had got the better of her and she had chosen the biggest, fattest, one. In her haste she had opened her mouth wide and had taken an enormous bite, almost eating the dumpling whole. Of course, her elder sister had chosen the smaller more delicate dumpling and had found the gold coin. Typical! Why did her eldest sister have to be the lucky one? It was so unfair. Ugh! Still, maybe it was just as well, Morag had swallowed the gold coin last year by mistake, and they had had to rush her to hospital! After the gold coin incident, Eilidh had taken great delight in calling Morag a greedy pig. Morag didn’t want that name tag, even though the pig was one of the illustrious animals to grace the Chinese Zodiac.
The first day of this New Year had begun well. Grandmother Lean had greeted Morag and Eilidh with an individual ang pow, a little red packet.
“Spend it wisely, and all will be well,” Grandmother had prophesied.
Of course Grandmother hadn’t said this to Eilidh, she expected Eilidh to spend it wisely without being reminded. Eilidh would too, she knew how to get on the right side of grandmother and keep her sweet.
Morag had bowed respectfully to her grandmother, even though she was a bit annoyed by Grandmother selecting her for the “spend it wisely” message but she knew better than to say anything, and she certainly didn’t intend to open it in front of her. This was considered to be very rude! So she sneaked upstairs and opened the packet in her room, £20. Wow. She couldn’t wait to spend it.
She remembered her grandmother’s words.
“Spend it wisely.”
She loved her grandmother and knew that the spirits of her ancestors had been listening and that to disobey would be very, very, unwise. She must try her best to buy something worthy of her grandmother’s wish. She prophesied that she would be good, a little chuckle escaped betraying her like a prisoner from her lips.
Reblogging this from The Misfortune of Knowing. Great blog post about cultural diversity in books. I come from a culturally diverse background my father is half Scottish, half English, my mother is Eurasian (Malaysian with a Scottish father). So I do believe depicting people of different nationalities in books is important. I hope to write a novel, or a shorter piece of work, along these lines in the future.