Doing something a little different today, by participating in a Virtual Book Tour to help promote author Darlene Foster’s newest book, Amanda in Malta. I hope you will check it out!
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. But…who is killing the protected birds? Who stole a priceless artifact from the museum? And why is Leah acting so strange? She couldn’t 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.
There seems to be an animal in every book. Is there any significance to that?
Amanda loves animals, as many young people do. She would love a pet, especially a dog, but her parents say they are too busy to look after a pet. She makes a friend of Ali Baba the camel who she meets in Amanda in Arabia. In Amanda in Spain, she helps a Spanish rescue her dancing pony, Pedro from horse thieves. In England she meets a Maine Coon cat who lives in a bookstore and in Holland, Amanda and Leah find an abandoned puppy who they try to find a home for. In Malta, Amanda visits a Falconry and gets to hold Tinkerbell, a sweet tawny owl. Amanda may not have a pet at home, but she meets special animals in her travels. Her love of animals displays her kind heart
Excerpt from Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady
They had arrived at the Falconry Centre. After a short walk, they entered a spacious enclosure and were greeted by a friendly guide.
“My name is Allan. Merhba. That’s welcome in Maltese. If you’re lucky and the wind dies down, we will provide a show for you. In the meantime, you can view the birds and even hold some if you want. We’ve rescued most of the birds here. Often they’ve been found with a broken wing, so they can’t be released. Some we’ve raised ourselves. Follow me.”
He continued talking as they walked past massive cages. “Our aviary includes various falcons, hawks, eagles, vultures, and kites, as well as a number of owls. Malta has a falconry tradition that dates as far back as the thirteenth century. Emperors from all over Europe used to send their royal falconers to obtain highly-prized birds of Maltese origin.”
He stopped in front of one cage. A noble bird with a black head, blue-grey back, and white- striped under-feathers, perched on a branch.
“This, my friends, is the well-known Maltese falcon, or peregrine falcon as it is also called. Well known for its speed, it can reach over 320 kilometres per hour, or 200 miles per hour, during its hunting high-speed dive, called the stoop. It’s the fastest member of the animal kingdom and has been used in falconry for a long time, more than 3,000 years. Because of the widespread use of certain pesticides, the peregrine falcon became an endangered species in many areas of the world. But I am happy to report that this iconic bird is making a comeback here in Malta.”
“Do people hunt these birds?” asked Caleb.
“They used to. Malta was required to halt bird hunting in order to join the European Union in 2007. Sadly, there are still those criminals who think that they are above the law.” Allan clenched his jaw and looked down. “In fact, two white storks were shot just last week. They are a protected species too.” He shook his head.
“Oh, no.” Amanda’s eyes widened. “I saw a stork by the St. Lucian Tower earlier today.”
“They have a nest there and we have been keeping an eye on it. Hopefully, there will be little storks soon. Would you like to hold a bird?”
“You bet!” exclaimed Caleb.
“Yes, please.” Amanda beamed.
Allan handed them each a large glove. “Here, put on this leather gauntlet to protect your hand.” Then he opened the cage, walked in, and took out the falcon. He placed it on Caleb’s gloved hand and showed him how to stroke the bird with his other hand.
Caleb couldn’t stop grinning.
“This is Sonia. She is much larger than the male falcons.”
He looked at Amanda. “I have just the bird for you.”
Allan went to another cage, brought out an adorable owl and placed it on Amanda’s gloved hand. “This is Tinkerbell, a tawny owl. We rescued her from a restaurant where she was kept in a small cage and never let outside.”
Amanda squealed with delight. “She is sooo precious.” She held the bird close to her chest and stroked the owl’s soft brown feathers.
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
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.
Social media links
The buy links
Amazon Canada here
Amazon UK here
Amazon US here
Barnes and Noble here