#Spotlight #ReleaseDay – ALL FOUR STARS SERIES by Tara Dairman


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The books are about Gladys Gatsby, an 11-year-old who secretly becomes a restaurant critic for New York City’s biggest newspaper. Published by Putnam/Penguin, they’re perfect reads for foodies of all ages.


BOOK ONE: ALL FOUR STARS (July 10, 2014)

All Four StarsMeet Gladys Gatsby: New York’s toughest restaurant critic. (Just don’t tell anyone that she’s in sixth grade.)

Gladys Gatsby has been cooking gourmet dishes since the age of seven, only her fast-food-loving parents have no idea! Now she’s eleven, and after a crème brûlée accident (just a small fire), Gladys is cut off from the kitchen (and her allowance). She’s devastated, but soon finds just the right opportunity to pay her parents back when she’s mistakenly contacted to write a restaurant review for one of the largest newspapers in the world. But to meet her deadline and keep her dream job, Gladys must cook her way into the heart of her sixth-grade archenemy and sneak into New York City—all while keeping her identity a secret. Easy as pie, right?

 Penguin * Powell’s * BAM * B&N * Amazon * Walmart * Indigo (Canada)Book Depository (International)



The Stars of SummerAfter successfully completing her first restaurant review for the New York Standard newspaper, 12-year-old foodie Gladys Gatsby is looking forward to a quiet summer of cooking and eating. But her plans quickly go awry when her friend Charissa Bentley delivers Gladys’s birthday gift: a free summer at Camp Bentley.

As Gladys feared, camp life is not easy. She struggles to pass her swim test, fails to keep the other campers happy while planning lunches, and cannot seem to get away from the annoying new “celebrity” camper. Worst of all, there’s no time to sneak away for her latest reviewing assignment: finding the best hot dog in New York City.

PenguinPowells * B&N *  Amazon * BAM * Indigo (Canada) * Book Depository (International)


Stars So SweetAs the summer winds down and Gladys Gatsby prepares to start middle school, she is nervous about juggling schoolwork and looming deadlines from her secret job as the New York Standard’s youngest restaurant critic. When her editor pushes for a face-to-face meeting to discuss more opportunities with the paper, Gladys knows she must finally come clean to her parents. But her perfectly planned reveal is put on hold when her parents arrive home with a surprise:  her Aunt Lydia, one of the only adults who knows her secret, fresh off the plane from Paris. Gladys and Aunt Lydia try one last ruse to fool her editor at the Standard, but even with her aunt’s help, Gladys just can’t manage the drama of middle school and a secret life. It’s time for Gladys to be true to herself and honest with her friends and family, regardless of what those around her think.

Penguin *  B&N *  Amazon * BAM * Indigo (Canada) * Book Depository(International)


Tara DairmanTara Dairman is a novelist,playwright, and survivor of the world’s longest honeymoon (2 years, 74 countries!). Thanks to her travels, parts of her first middle-grade novel, All Four Stars, were written in a mall in Brazil, a guesthouse in Morocco, and coffeehouses in Argentina, Cameroon, Gabon, and Tanzania. Revisions took place in the slightly less exotic locale of her parents’ basement in New York.

The book, which tells the story of an 11-year-old restaurant critic moonlighting for New York’s biggest newspaper, was published in 2014 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin. It has won many accolades, including a Crystal Kite Award from SCBWI, and has been named an Amazon Best Book of the Month and A Mighty Girl Top Book of the Year. A sequel, The Stars of Summer, was published in 2015, and a third book in the series, Stars So Sweet, will be published July 19, 2016.

Tara’s plays have been produced professionally in New York and Dublin, Ireland, as well as at various universities, and have been shortlisted for prizes such as the Heideman Award (Actors Theater of Louisville), the Jerome Fellowship (The Playwrights’ Center, Minneapolis), and the Princess Grace Award. She has a B.A. in Creative Writing from Dartmouth College and is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

With the traveling bug appeased (for now), Tara has finally settled down in Colorado, where she lives with her family and their trusty waffle iron.

You can also connect with Tara in these places:



#Review – THE DARLING SERIES Books #1 & #2 by Carre Armstrong Gardner


The Darlings are a warm, loud, slightly boundary-challenged family of 4 adult sisters and a brother. The first in a 3-part series, All Right Here, is about Ivy Darling and her husband Nick Mason, a couple with a crumbling marriage, who struggle with infertility. When the 3 kids next door are abandoned by their mother, Ivy & Nick unwittingly become foster parents to the only black children in the town of Copper Cove, Maine. Even as Ivy grows more attached to the kids, Nick refuses to accept their unorthodox household as a permanent family. With their relationship spiraling down fast, Ivy has to decide whether or not she still cares enough to try to save her marriage. A book about faith, family and most of all, forgiveness.

4.5 Stars

Buy Your Copy Here – Amazon – Barnes & Noble


I enjoyed the concept of this book. Foster parents play a large part in children(s)’ lives growing up. They provide a loving and caring support system when the bloodline system is lacking or has failed. This is a relate-able storyline for a fiction novel. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series.


Ivy Darling can’t have children of her own, and her husband Nick’s resentment is forcing them apart. And while Ivy has the support and love of her large, close-knit family, Nick’s family has never welcomed her into the fold.

When the three children next door are abandoned by their mother, Ivy and Nick take them in for the night. One night becomes several, and suddenly Ivy and Nick find themselves foster parents to the only African-American kids in the town of Copper Cove, Maine. As Ivy grows more attached to the children, Nick refuses to accept their eclectic household as a permanent family. Just as Ivy begins to question whether or not she wants to save her emotionally barren marriage, Nick begins to discover how much Ivy and the children mean to him. But is his change of heart too little, too late?

5 Stars

Buy Your Copy Here – Amazon – Barnes & Noble


I have enjoyed reading this series! What Book 1 missed, Book 2 brought! Each book follows a different Darling sister and that sister’s dilemmas while still incorporating the other sisters’ drama as well. I flew through this book laying next to the pool in one day – quick, easy, and enjoyable! You could read this as a standalone book but I think you would fully appreciate the story if you read the series in order. 


Sephy Darling knows how to take care of everyone but herself. As “the fat Darling sister,” she’s learned to be comfortable in the background. When a friend’s happiness causes her to take a hard look at her own life, Sephy decides it’s time for a big change. But transforming the outside turns out to involve more inward metamorphosis–and courage–than she ever bargained for.

There’s no doubt that when it comes to launching Copper Cove’s new community arts program, Amy Darling is the woman for the job. She may be young, but she has the creativity, drive, and vision to get it done right. Unfortunately, nobody else seems willing to work as hard as she does, and the contractor who’s renovating the arts center won’t cooperate at all. Meanwhile, a Darling family wedding will test everyone’s ability to get along.
Move with the Darling sisters through heartbreak and triumph as each finds her own path into the freedom of being who God made her to be.


Carre Armstrong Gardner

Carre writes from the big small town of Portland, Maine, where she’s the mom of 3 teenagers and 2 dogs she would rather not own. (Only the dogs, not the teenagers.) From 2007 to 2010, she and her family lived in Russia, studying the language and doing humanitarian work.

Like most writers, Carre grew up with her a book always in her hand. The heroines she admired most were smart, creative, independent thinkers like Anne Shirley, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Nancy Drew, and Cherry Ames. Nancy proved that being a girl detective might just be the coolest career ever, but Cherry taught her that nursing was more practical. Carre compromised by becoming a nurse and marrying a sleuth.

Nearly every flat surface in Carre’s home has books on it. The stories she loves most are those about the ordinary lives of ordinary people; she thinks of every life as a fascinating drama. Isn’t each one of us the hero of our own story? She’d love for you to drop her a line and tell her yours!

Check out the author’s Website – Facebook – Twitter!!!