Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #YA – Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady (An Amanda Travels Adventure Book 8) by Darlene foster

Delighted to step back in time to my own childhood and read the latest adventure by Darlene Foster. Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady (An Amanda Travels Adventure Book 8)

This is an advance review and the book is still on pr-order until May 11th at a special price.

About the book

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.

My review for Amanda in Malta May 1st 2021

This book is a fantastic mystery thriller for young readers. It would also be a wonderful guidebook for anyone visiting Malta with their family and wanting to get the most out of their time of this ancient Mediterranean island.

Amanda and her friends Caleb and Leah get involved in two potentially dangerous criminal activities as they explore the island with Caleb’s parents, unsuspecting of the younger generation’s involvement in solving mysteries sounding missing artifacts and endangered wildlife.

We get a guided tour of some of the main tourist attractions on and around the islands, including churches with miracles and artifacts, museums, the falconry centre and the Popeye theme park. As in any well written adventure stories, there are some heart stopping moments, as nature and criminals do their best to ruin the holiday, but the resourceful teens are on a mission to solve the mysteries.

The author has created some wonderful characters to undertake this well researched and entertaining adventure, and developed an exciting plot for young readers and those of us who are delighted to tag along.

I lived in Malta as a child and have returned since, and I appreciated the attention to detail about the history of the three main islands and tourist attractions. Not to mention a reminder of sunlit blue seas and the delicious Patizzi.. pastry filled with Ricotta cheese.

Recommended as an entertaining, exciting and educational read for anyone from young teen upwards.

Head over to buy the book at the pre-order price until May 11th: Amazon US – And:Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Darlene Foster


Find out more about Darlene’s books and read the reviews: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website/Blog: Darlene Foster WordPressGoodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @supermegawoman

About Darlene Foster

Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling 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 travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.


Thanks for visiting and I hope you will head over to buy Darlene’s latest book.. thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Children’s Cafe and Bookstore – Share your Children’s book reviews – #Nature #Humour The Earthkeepers by Shawn Underhill reviewed by Jemima Pett

Welcome to the new series where you can share your reviews for any children’s books you have read recently and posted on your blog, Amazon, Goodreads or any other online bookstore. If you would like more details here is the post that explains how it works: Showcasing Children’s books

Today I am going to share one of Jemima Pett’s reviews for a children’s book – The Earthkeepers by Shawn Underhill.

About the book

For nine-year-old Ethan Dewfield, talking with his dog is an everyday occurrence. Add to this the fact that he lives not in a regular house but in a sprawling hilltop inn, and what you’ll find is a highly unusual boy with a unique tale to tell. In this personally narrated account he discovers the depths of his abilities, makes new friends, goes for a long walk in the snow, meets a special pack of wolves known as Earthkeepers, uncovers a nasty scheme devised by his even nastier uncle, eats a stack of pancakes, and does all he can to save his beautiful home from the greedy men plotting to destroy it.

*If you’re someone who likes a wide assortment of animals, with funny names and contrasting views of the world, and you like Christmas decorations and presents, blueberry pie, happy endings, and you’re open to the possibility of liking boys named Ethan, there’s a good chance you might enjoy this story.

*If you’re someone who admires deceitful, scheming, selfish people who manipulate others, who dislike animals, kids, beautiful buildings, and beautiful scenery, you might enjoy a long career in politics, but will probably not like this story in the least.

The review for the book: Nov 06, 2019 Jemima Pett rated it Five Stars it was amazing

As Mr Underhill says in the blurb… Ethan goes for a walk in the snow, meets new friends, uncovers a nasty scheme, eats a stack of blueberry pancakes (my favourite) and more. I like everything in the blurb about the wide assortment of animals, and I don’t admire deceitful scheming people. So, yes, this book was an absolute delight. And it even exceeded expectations!

The Earthkeepers may not have the most original of middle grade plots, but the execution is magnificent. And anyway, mg readers don’t mind familiar plots dressed in different clothes. The problems Ethan has are those many young people will have sympathy with, and wish the reasons for their own troubles were as easily (or excitingly) explained. The journey Ethan undertakes, the difficulties he faces, and the magnificence of the snow-blanketed forest unfold in delicious prose. And I haven’t even mentioned the fantastic action sequences! As long as you appreciate the animal involvement, I’m sure that you’ll love it too. It is absolutely on-age for the target audience and certainly makes me want to read more of the author’s work.

The Earthkeepers is extremely enjoyable, funny, exciting and a well-written MG adventure. What took me so long to get around to it?

Read the other reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And:Amazon UK – More reviews –Goodreads –  Author bio, other books and author Page: Amazon US

About the reviewer Jemima Pett

When Jemima Pett discovered the words ‘portfolio career’ she realised she was an example of a new trend – having not only a number of different jobs, but in totally different fields. These included social work, business management, computer technology, environmental research. The thread running through all of them was communication – and that continued in her spare time with writing and editing club magazines, manuals, reports… Jemima loved words, loved to learn and to apply her learning to the real world.

Eventually the world just wasn’t big enough, and so she went back to inventing her own, as she had as a child. First came the Realms, a feudal England run by princes in castles who just happen to be guinea pigs – although you can read them as people equally well. Then came the Viridian System, a planetary area on the outskirts of known space where a frontier mentality mixes with big business and tourism. Her next project could be anything from a D&D fantasy type world, to a children’s picture book about the real adventures of her guinea pigs, who live with her in a small village in Norfolk, UK.

A selection of books by Jemima Pett including her new release Princelings Revolution (The Princelings of the East Book 10) – on pre-order for October 1st as the reduced price of £2.10/$2.79


One of the reviews for the first book in The Princelings of the East series to set the scene…

Mar 14, 2019 D.A. McGrath rated it Four Stars on Goodreads

Something is wrong in the East. Unexplained power outages have cursing the land, and they are getting worse. The King isn’t happy, especially when his birthday extravaganza is ruined.

Princelings George and Fred know that it is only a matter of time before the superstitious King starts to blame their ‘experiments’ for the power problems, so they decide to set out of the castle they call home to investigate the strange goings on for themselves. Only they’ve never left the East before, and don’t really know what to expect.

The Princelings of the East is an easy read at 162 pages, set in a world that’s a bit like ours but mostly not. I enjoyed getting to know George and Fred and the people they meet on their journey, and I also liked the imaginative world that they occupy (imagine living in a world where power is generated using strawberry juice!). If I have any grumbles about this book it would be that I would have enjoyed getting under the skin of the main characters a bit more.

Overall, a fun read that I would highly recommend.

Jemima Pett, Buy: Amazon US – And:Amazon UK – Blog:Jemima PettGoodreads:Jemima Pett – Twitter:@jemima_pett –


My thanks to Jemima for permitting me to share her review and I know she would love your feedback. thanks Sally.

I think you get the idea of how this works and it would be great if you could help promote children’s books by sharing your reviews with us.. just put the link to one or two in the comments and if I need more information from you I will ask you to email me..

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you are leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Children’s Cafe and Bookstore – Share your Children’s book reviews

Whilst I am keen to share reviews for authors who are on the shelves of the Children’s Cafe and Bookstore, I would also like to showcase any other children’s book reviews that you have written.

I would like to showcase children’s books that are recommended with four and five star reviews to promote the authors and those that review their books, but to also provide a resource of books up to 12 years old to buy.

Happy to share the reviews for books going back a few years but they should still be available to buy in print, eBook or audio.

If you are a prolific children’s book reviewer then send in two or three of your favourites and I will share over the coming weeks.

How to participate

  1. Take a look at your recent reviews for children’s books ages up to 12 years old and just send me the Amazon or Goodreads link for the review or your blog post.
  2. If you are already featured on the blog, then that is all I need.
  3. If we have not met before then please email ( me any of the following links:
  • blog,
  • Amazon author page
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

I will share the post here, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and tag the author of the book too.

Here is an example of how it will look.

Who’s That in the Cat’s Pajamas

Who's That in the Cat Pajamas? (The Dolcey Series Book 1) by [Sojourner McConnell, Ellie Barrett]

About the book

When the wind brings the cries of children to her pointed ears, Dolcey is spurred into action. Comforting and aiding children in need are her main focus. Welcome to Dolcey’s world. Welcome to a world of magic and endless possibilities. When Emily has a big problem, her family tries to help, but some problems need something special to make things right. Just when it seemed she was destined to be doomed, she discovers an unexpected savior- a magical cat that will lead her on a spectacular spectacle of an adventure like no other! After all, no one can handle a problem like a loving fairy named Dolcey.

Robbie’s review for the book on Goodreads

Jun 24, 2017 Robbie Cheadle rated it Five Stars it was amazing

When a little girl is feeling sad and upset due to changing circumstances that are beyond her control, who better to come to her aid than a fairy. Dolcey’s mother is a helper of children in need and she has trained Dolcey well, right down to the cute cat pajamas that Dolcey wears to gain access to Emily’s home and become a part of her family without raising eyebrows. Emily’s family are planning to move to a town far away and Emily is fearful of losing her Nana, Aunt Fee and school friends. Can Dolcey help Emily to overcome her fears and see the benefits to a new environment?

I read Who’s that in the Cat Pajamas with my son, Michael, aged 11 years old. I wasn’t sure if Michael would listen to a book that had a fairy as its central character, but he did. Dolcey’s portrayal in the book brings her across more as a kind and helpful friend than a girly fairy and so Michael was happy to listen to the story. Michael is a very considerate and helpful boy and the idea of someone reaching out to help another person really appealed to him and he enjoyed the story.

The illustrations are lovely and appropriate and I would recommend this book for children aged 6 to 12 years old.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Other reviews: Goodreads

Other children’s books by Sorjourner McConnell

Amazon Author Page: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Twitter: @ThePageTurner1 – Facebook: Sorjourner McConnell (Vicki Turner Goodwin)

The reviewer Robbie Cheadle with her own children’s books co-written with her son Michael.


Robbie and Michael Cheadle, Buy :Amazon US And:Amazon UK – Robbie on : Goodreads – blog: Robbie’s Inspiration- Twitter: @bakeandwrite – Facebook: Robbie Cheadle

I hope that you have enjoyed Robbie’s review of what looks like a lovely children’s story. I hope that you will participate and help me promote these amazing authors who ignite children’s imaginations and pass them along to those of us who write for an older age group.

I will of course share recent reviews for authors in the Children’s Cafe and Bookstore in the usual way in a weekly update.

Thanks for dropping by and I look forward to hearing from you.. thanks Sally.