Amanda in Malta: A Great Book for Young Readers

Darlene Foster’s latest book in her Amanda series for young readers

How do you choose names for your characters and do you think names are important?

I believe names are important. When I was expecting my daughter, I asked my son what we should name the new baby. He said, “Don´t we have to see what the baby looks like first?”

Like naming a baby, it is important to put some thought into picking a name for a character as he or she has to live with it for a long time. I don’t care for names that are difficult to pronounce or spell. I used Amanda as the name of my main character as that was the name of my granddaughter who was twelve at the time I began writing the first book. It was only going to be a working name but it suited the character so I kept it. Amanda’s surname, Ross, came from a family history book, which is a great place to find names. I often use the names of friends or family members and I have a book of baby names I refer to. I do a search for popular names from the country the book is placed in for the local characters in each book. When I was thinking of a name for Amanda´s male classmate, I did a search on the internet for popular boys names in Alberta and Caleb came up. I liked it as it suited the character, and then remembered it was the name of my friend´s grandson who also lives in Alberta. At other times a name just appears as I’m developing a character that fits perfectly.

Similar to what my young son said, you need to see what the character looks like before you can pick a name.

Book Synopsis

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.

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

The buy links


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.

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19 thoughts on “Amanda in Malta: A Great Book for Young Readers

  1. I adore Amanda and her friends! At least your son wanted to wait and see what your daughter looked like before naming her. Our oldest son wanted to name the youngest Godzilla. I doubt he would have run into another kid with the same name.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Nancy, thank you for this lovely post about Darlene’s new book which I really enjoyed. Her comments about naming characters are interesting. I have noticed that I have a definite penchant for names beginning with M. It was totally unintentional but my last two books had MC’s named Margaret and Michelle, respectively. It’s probably better to use a baby name book.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Reblogged this on Darlene Foster's Blog and commented:
    Today on the blog tour I am featured on Nancy Klien’s blog American Writer in Spain, where I talk about choosing names for characters. Nancy blogs about life lessons and life in general. She has also recently launched a great book for Young Adults, Torn Between Worlds.


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