DESERT GIRL, MONSOON BOY publishes today!

Cover of Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy by Tara Dairman and Archana SreenivasanToday is the day that Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy, illustrated magnificently by Archana Sreenivasan and written by me, releases into the world. It is intended for readers aged 4-8 (but, of course, readers older and younger than that are very welcome).

It is the first picture book I’ve written, and the best-reviewed book yet of my career, with two starred reviews so far and a glowing in-depth write-up by top children’s librarian Elizabeth Bird.

To me this only proves the great value (and joy!) of collaborating artistically with others. I’ve been so lucky to work on this book with so many talented, caring, and detail-oriented people over the past three years: the vastly gifted Archana, the team at Putnam/Penguin Random House–including editor Susan Kochan, designers Eileen Savage and Nicole Rheingans, and Executive Art Director Cecilia Yung–and the team at LPPS (read more about them below) that provided expert feedback on the book. Thank you all! And thank you also to my agent, Ammi-Joan Paquette, and Archana’s agent, Stephanie Fretwell-Hill, for your behind-the-scenes work in bringing us all together for this project.

Interior illustration 1 from Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy by Tara Dairman and Archana Sreenivasan

illustration by Archana Sreenivasan

To have a book come out during this strange and unprecedented era of global pandemic, is, of course, something none of us anticipated. There will be no bookstore launch parties, book signings, or in-person library story hours. But this is a book about people facing challenges—facing disaster, even—and coming out on the other side. If it finds its way into your home, I hope that it opens the door for discussion and reflection on the many trials we humans face, no matter where we live or what traditions or lifestyles we embrace.

Here is some more info about Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy:

Extreme weather affects two children’s lives in very different ways and shows how the power of nature can bring us together.

One girl. One boy. Their lives couldn’t be more different. While she turns her shoulder to sandstorms and blistering winds, he cuffs his pants when heavy rains begin to fall. As the weather becomes more severe, their families and animals must flee to safety–and their destination shows that they might be more alike than they seem. The journeys of these two children experiencing weather extremes in India highlight the power of nature and the resilience of the human spirit.

Buy your copy from…

Your local independent bookstore: find one here

Bookshop.org (which supports independent bookstores)

Or your favorite national or online retailer:

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

illustration 2 from Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy by Tara Dairman and Archana Sreenivasan

illustration by Archana Sreenivasan

To celebrate release day, I am making a donation to Lokhit Pashu-Palak Sansthan (LPPS), an organization that supports pastoralists in India like those featured in Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy. And I plan to continue to donate an ongoing portion of my royalties to organizations that do similar work in terms of both environmental and cultural sustainability worldwide. You can learn more about organizations that do this kind of work at pastoralpeoples.org/partners.

Thank you, friends, as always, for your support. I hope you will keep staying home if your work allows, keep reading, and be well.

 

 

 

ALL FOUR STARS is a finalist for One Book, One Denver!

ALL FOUR STARS by Tara Dairman coverI received some exciting news this morning: All Four Stars is a finalist for the Youth One Book, One Denver program–along with two other books I *love*, Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman and The Secret of Ferrell Savage by J. Duddy Gill!

The Secret of Ferrell Savage by Jennifer Duddy GillYouth One Book, One Denver is a fantastic summer reading program that provides books to kids all over Denver and gives participants a chance to interact with the featured book’s author at various public events.

Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
The winning book will be chosen by vote, which is open to the public until November 20. Anyone can vote (though extra props if you’re a Denver public school student!). Any of these books would be an excellent choice, and I’m very much looking forward to the programming next summer, whether All Four Stars is the featured book or not.

You can VOTE HERE – thank you!

Winner, blog tour posts, and AFS in Czech!

The Sound of Life and Everything by Krista Van DolzerSeveral orders of business today!

First off, the randomly selected winner of an arc of The Sound of Life and Everything by Krista Van Dolzer is…

**** Becky! ****

Congrats, and happy reading!

If you didn’t win, you still don’t have long to wait to read the book, as it comes out a week from today. You can preorder it here, or request it from your local library. Or both! 🙂 Debut authors appreciate your support so much.

SUMMER blog button3Secondly, The Stars of Summer blog tour continues today with TWO entries! Aeicha has written a terrific review of the book over at Word Spelunking, and Emma has an interview with me up at Awkwordly Emma in which I share research techniques and cooking habits. Feel free to check them out!

 

All Four Stars by Tara Dairman CoverAnd finally, I got some great news yesterday: All Four Stars will be published in Czech, by Albatros! This is the first foreign rights sale for any of my books, and I’m over the moon. More details on Facebook.

Check back tomorrow as the blog tour continues!

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.

Interview with Colorado author Darby Karchut!

Colorado is for writersWelcome back to the Colorado is for Writers interview series! Every other Tuesday, I talk to different Colorado-based authors about their work and their connections to this beautiful state. Today, Darby Karchut joints us here on the blog!

Darby is the author of several awesome-sounding middle-grade novels. Let’s get to know Darby better, and learn more about her books!

First things first: Colorado native or transplant?

Darby Karchut - authorAlthough I’ve lived in Colorado Springs since 1983, I was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where both sets of grandparents migrated to World War II. I even went to the University of New Mexico (like most of my extended family) and earned my undergraduate degree in anthropology. But, shortly after college, I came to Colorado, fell in love with the state, then fell in love with my future husband, and am now living the Rocky Mountain dream. I do miss the cultural “richness” of New Mexico, but I am an avid runner, biker, and skier. An even exchange. And I just recently retired from teaching 7th grade social studies in a local junior high school. Go Cheyenne Mountain JH Thunderbirds!

Tell us a bit about your book(s), published and/or in progress!

Hound at the Gate coverMy latest book, The Hound at the Gate (release date is this coming January), is the third book in the Adventures of Finn MacCullen middle grade series. Based on a mix of the Celtic legends of Finn McCool and the Fey warriors known as the Tuatha Dé Danaan, my suburban fantasy is set in modern-day Colorado Springs, and features a master and apprentice duo of goblin hunters. These books are geared toward a very specific reader: the reluctant middle school/junior high boy. That said, girls love my characters and their adventures, too, and I have loads of 4th and 5th grade fans, as well.

Like Finn Finnegan and Gideon’s Spear, the first two books in the series, my stories, while loaded with action and humor, focuses on the relationship between thirteen-year-old Finn MacCullen, and his stern, but caring, master, the legendary warrior, Gideon Lir. One of my goals with these books, besides having fun researching and writing about Bronze Age Celtic myths, is to introduce a positive adult male character in Gideon Lir. He is both warrior and bard, and is becoming a father figure to orphaned Finn. And young Finn is a mirror of every 7th grade boy I have had come through my classroom.

The Stag Lord cover with blurbsI am also spreading my writing wings with my first adult urban fantasy, The Stag Lord, which will be released December 2. This book is actually a parallel series to the Finn MacCullen series, and features the local Tuatha Dé Danaan and their battle with the shapeshifter, Cernunnos.

 

 

 

 

What’s the view like from your favorite writing space?

Finn cover with blurbI have loads of favorite writing spots since I work on a laptop. I usually stand at the kitchen counter or at a tall drafting table in the corner of my office. I have found I can concentrate better when I am upright. Someday, I would love to add a shelf of some sort to my treadmill so I can walk (stroll/saunter/amble/wander/mosey) while I work.

What’s the best thing about being a writer in Colorado?

There are four things that really stand out: The quality of our public schools, the friends I’ve met through both the Rocky Mountain chapter of the SCBWI and Pikes Peak Writers. It’s pretty cool that we have so many writers in a state that is known for outdoor recreation. Because of Colorado’s world-class weather, I can get outside and refresh my brain with blue sky and warm sun almost every day, even in the winter.

Oh, I love the weather here, too. And everything else you mentioned is also pretty great! 🙂 Thank you for joining us today, Darby!

Today!

…is my farewell post over at Emu’s Debuts. My time as a debut author is drawing to a close, so it’s time for me to move out and make room for some new hatchlings. What an extraordinary run it’s been. My farewell includes links back to some of my favorite posts over the last two years.cropped-emubanner_v11

…is my middle-grade panel at The Voracious Reader in Larchmont, NY! (6:30 pm) Hope to see you tonight for some tricks, treats, truth, and dares. Larchmont poster

…is the day that I belatedly reveal that Abbey is the winner of Vivian Divine is Dead by Lauren Sabel! Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway of this terrific YA thriller.VIVIAN DIVINE IS DEAD by Lauren Sabel

…is your last day to enter to win a signed ARC of The Stars of Summer OR a signed hardcover of All Four StarsI will draw and announce a winner tomorrow. (Enter by leaving a comment, and earn extra entries by Tweeting and/or subscribing to my e-newsletter and saying so in the comment.)The Stars of Summer by Tara DairmanHappy Monday!