And a one, and a two, and a one, two, THREE!

All Four Stars by Tara Dairman CoverThe_Stars_of_Summer_CVR_LIB1000px-Vraagteken.svg

Exciting news to share this morning: There will be a THIRD Gladys Gatsby book, coming out in 2016! Here’s the announcement from my agency.

I’m so excited that the foodie adventures of Ms. Gatsby and her friends will be continuing, and that I’ll get to work with my wonderful editor Shauna Rossano and her team at Putnam on another project.

2016 is a ways off, but All Four Stars is out now, and The Stars of Summer is coming your way very soon, on May 5! You can find order/preorder links for both books here, and I’ll be updating my events page soon with details about launch parties in Colorado, New York, and hopefully a couple of other east coast cities.

Meanwhile, feel free to whip up some bluebarb crumble today to celebrate Gladys’s new lease on life. She’d definitely approve! :)

Two fantastic holiday surprises

I’m not a big gift person. Maybe it’s because I’ve already been through the experience of selling off all of my possessions (in anticipation of our epic round-the-world trip), and I never want to have that much stuff to get rid of again. Or maybe it was the trip itself; living out of a backpack taught me how few physical items I truly need to get by (though we always made room for a book or two).

All of that is to say that I’ve reached the point in my life where Hanukkah and Christmas and birthday presents don’t really appeal to me anymore. Or, at least, I thought they didn’t…until this year, when my sister-in-law gave me this:

Gladys doll

I mean, OMG. It’s Gladys!!

Based on Kelly Murphy‘s cover for The Stars of Summer, Etsy custom doll designer Kaiya’s Room got her absolutely perfect–from her hairdo to her freckles to her camp t-shirt to her ADORABLE, DETACHABLE LOBSTER BACKPACK.

So, yeah…Heidi has officially ruined me for all future gifts. :) Doll-Gladys is now sitting atop my mantle with my author copies of All Four Stars and ARCs of The Stars of Summer, but don’t worry, I take her down frequently for hugs.

Cybils-Logo-2014-Web-LgI didn’t think the holiday season could get any better for me and Gladys, but we were in for one more excellent surprise. Bright and early on the first day of 2015, I learned that All Four Stars had been named a finalist for a Cybils Award!

I love the mission of the Cybils, which is “to recognize the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal.” It’s a huge boost to have my first novel honored according to these criteria.

I was also thrilled to see that my agency-mates Laurie Ann Thompson (Be a Changemaker) and Deborah Underwood (Here Comes the Easter Cat) were among the finalists for YA nonfiction and for picture books. Hooray! Their books are fantastic.

You can find the full list of finalists here in the many categories the Cybils cover. There are so many titles in there that I’m anxious to read! Many, many thanks to the judges for their time and effort selecting them, and good luck to everyone in the next round.

 

Winners, and guest post!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered last week’s giveaway for Natasha Wing’s books The Night Before Hanukkah and The Night Before the Night Before Christmas. The winners are Sara and Clare! Congrats, guys, and happy reading.

LinkBackButton-02Continuing with the holiday theme, I have a guest post up today at one of my very favorite book blogs, Pop! Goes the Reader. Not surprisingly, I’m talking about holiday food…but perhaps surprisingly, I’m revealing some not-so-Gladys-approved shortcuts that I’ve been known to take from time to time. Many thanks to Jen for inviting me to participate in her “Authors Talk Holidays” series!

Tonight at the Tattered Cover!

Tattered_Cover_logoThis evening at 7 PM, I’ll be taking part in a panel at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Highlands Ranch, CO! Teaming up with me are two of my very favorite middle-grade authors, Jeannie Mobley (Searching for Silverheels and Katerina’s Wish) and Jessica Lawson (The Actual and Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher). Lucky, lucky me!

We’ll be talking about strong heroines in middle grade, discussing our own books, asking trivia questions and giving out prizes, and, of course, signing!

Here’s the Facebook invitation if you’d like RSVP. Hope to see you tonight!

The Night Before Hanukkah: Review & Giveaway!

blog_tourToday I’m excited to be participating in the blog tour for my friend (and fellow Colorado author) Natasha Wing’s new picture book, The Night Before Hanukkah! It’s a terrific addition to her uber-popular Night Before series, which helps kids get ready for important milestones in their lives.

As they go to sleep the night before Hanukkah begins, “visions of chocolate gelt” dance in the heads of the sister and brother who are the main characters of this delightful book. Once the holiday begins, they learn to light the menorah, sing songs, hear the story of Hanukkah, and play dreidel. Wing does a great job of giving an overview of this sometimes-complicated game!

hanukkahYou could probably guess that my favorite part of the book, though, involves food. I love the illustrations of the family enjoying potato latkes, jelly donuts, brisket and gravy, and melty chocolate gelt coins. I’m getting hungry just writing this. :)

And there’s an adorable twist at the end in which one of our main characters saves the night when the family runs out of candles for the menorah. I won’t give it away here, but I’ll just say that it’s really resourceful and cute.

Xmas_homeThis is a great story to help kids learn what to expect from a Hanukkah celebration–and, just in time for Hanukkah this year, I’m giving a signed copy away! And what’s more, I also have a signed copy of Natasha Wing’s The Night Before The Night Before Christmas to give away to an additional winner.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this blog post sharing your favorite food to eat at holiday time. And it doesn’t just have to be at Hanukkah or Christmas! Any holiday will do. I’ll announce a winner next Monday, 12/15.

You can also earn extra entries by posting about this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter. Please mention that you’ve done so in your comment (or in an additional comment) to get credit!

Sample Tweet:
giveaway! Win a copy of ‘s delightful new picture book, THE NIGHT BEFORE HANUKKAH!

Sample FB post:
giveaway! Enter to win a copy of Natasha Wing’s delightful new picture book, THE NIGHT BEFORE HANUKKAH!

 

Wing

 

Thanks again to Natasha Wing for appearing!  For other stops on her 8 days of the Night Before Hanukkah Blog Tour, please check www.natashawing.wordpress.com.

ALL FOUR STARS on NPR!

logoI’m a huge fan of the Colorado Public Radio show “Colorado Matters”–especially when it focuses on books, like it does regularly with its new “Colorado Matters at the Tattered” series (in which host Ryan Warner interviews Colorado authors at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver).

So I’m super-excited to share that All Four Stars is recommended on that program today! Many thanks to bookseller Nicole Magistro of The Bookworm of Edwards for highlighting it as one of her best picks for children. And the other best pick? Searching for Silverheels by Jeannie Mobley! Nicole has excellent taste. :)

Listen here!

More updates soon. Happy belated Thanksgiving to all!

Pick of the Day at A Mighty Girl!

All Four Stars by Tara Dairman CoverI was so pleased to learn this morning that All Four Stars is the Pick of the Day from A Mighty Girl!

A Mighty Girl is an awesome website that seeks to empower and inspire girls with books, toys, movies, and music, and Gladys and I are honored to have her story featured.

Their post recommends several other terrific foodie reads (including A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff, whom I interviewed here!)–and just in time for the kickoff of Masterchef Junior. :)

Happy cooking, everyone!