A new adventure for Amanda

Children's author, inspired by her own travels, adds fifth entry to novel series

Children's author Darlene Foster has added another entry to her travel adventure series.

Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music follows the 12-year-old main character on an adventure with her best friend Leah aboard an elegant riverboat along Europe's second-longest river.

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"It is a fast-paced, fun and intriguing story with some European history tucked in," says Foster, who has a book launch event scheduled for next month at Albany Books in Tsawwassen.

The title marks the fifth entry into this series and Foster says she thinks it's the best one yet.

"In this book, Amanda travels to three different countries, Germany, Austria and Hungary. On her travels down the Danube, Amanda learns some interesting things about each place she visits while the friendship between her and Leah is tested," Foster explains. "For the first time, all four of the parents are along for the trip and we get a glimpse of the relationships, especially between Amanda and her mother."

She notes there are, of course, new characters who appear in the story but some may not be who they appear.

Foster describes her main character as spunky, inquisitive, adventurous and brave when she needs to be. She adds Amanda is also very caring and doesn't like to upset people, even though she does at times.

Foster's books are inspired by her own travels around the world.

"I did a Danube river cruise four years ago and loved it. I fell in love with that part of the world and enjoyed all the places we visited," she says. "There is so much history and I wished the walls could talk. There must be many stories there. I must say, Budapest was a pleasant surprise. I did not expect it to be so amazing. I had fun writing the book and reliving my trip."

The book was released last weekend and is published by Ladner's Central Avenue Publishing.

"The Amanda series appeals to kids of all ages, by bringing together the elements important to today's children," says Central Avenue's Michelle Halket. "Darlene introduces readers to countries they might like to visit or perhaps have already been. She incorporates learning about new countries with the adventure of travel and a fun mystery that needs to be solved."

Foster, who says she's "a bit of a nomad right now," divides her time between Spain, B.C. and Alberta and stays in Tsawwassen when she's in the Lower Mainland.

She has a special book launch event at Albany Books, 1240-56th St., Tsawwassen, on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 1 to 3 p.m.

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