Thursday, January 16, 2014

Book Recommendation and ARC Giveaway: ALL FOUR STARS by Tara Dairman

If you've been hanging around the blog for any length of time, you've almost certainly heard me gush about Tara's MG debut at one point or another. I first fell in love with Tara's blowtorch-wielding heroine when Tara entered one of the very first rounds of "An Agent's Inbox"--you can still find her entry in the archives--and I've been stalking following Tara's journey ever since. In the two and a half years since that contest, I've had the pleasure of reading the rest of ALL FOUR STARS, and it was every bit as delectable as I'd hoped it would be:)

Gladys Gatsby, the aforementioned blowtorch-wielding heroine, may know how to make a mean crème brûlée, but she can't figure out how to be the soccer-playing, fast-food-eating, one-hundred-percent normal kid her parents want her to be. When she sets her kitchen on fire with the aforementioned blowtorch, her dreams of becoming a food critic go up in smoke, literally. Gladys may be down, but she definitely isn't out, as she's about to land that dream job with The New York Standard--and they don't seem to realize she's only eleven.

As an on-again, off-again foodie (which is to say that I like eating great food a heck of a lot more than I like cooking it), I immediately gravitated toward Gladys's story, but it was Gladys herself who captured my heart. If I were still eleven (and if she were, you know, real), I'm sure we would have been great friends.

If you like cooking, comedy, or pint-sized characters with gallon-sized hearts, you'll love ALL FOUR STARS. It comes out on July 10, so get those pre-orders in, but if you can't wait until then (and if you can't, I don't blame you), I'm giving away my ARC. To enter, you must have a mailing address in the United States and tell me in the comments what you wanted to be when you were eleven (or, if you can't remember that far back, what your favorite dessert is). Contest closes next Wednesday, January 22, at 11:59 p.m. EST (or 8:59 p.m. PST). I'll announce the winner the next day!

46 comments:

Aurora Smith said...

The art work is amazing.

Jess said...

Hooray for Tara and Gladys~ thanks for featuring such a yummy treat of a book! I've read (and loved!) this book, so no need to enter me in the ARC giveaway :)

Jess said...

Hooray for Tara and Gladys~ thanks for featuring such a yummy treat of a book! I've read (and loved!) this book, so no need to enter me in the ARC giveaway :)

Priscilla Mizell said...

Yes, please! I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to win an ARC! Can't wait to read this book. :)

Dee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dee said...

When I was eleven I really wanted to be a singer, but I can't sing well, so there was no hope for that! My favorite dessert is anything red velvet, which is another reason why I wouldn't have worked out as a celebrity - I enjoy dessert too much! Hope I win, I can't wait until July to read about Gladys!!!

michelleimason said...

I remember this book from contests, too. We were once in the same Secret Agent contest. Hmm...when I was eleven I wanted to be Amy Grant, followed closely by a romance novelist.

Noelle Henry said...

How fun! And I'm totally laughing over Michelle's comment about wanting to be Amy Grant, because I wanted the same thing, and I had the microphone hairbrush to prove it. :) Of course, I also wanted to play the violin while I sang, live on a farm with horses, and write books. I guess one out of four isn't so bad!

Julie DeGuia said...

What a great cover! I don't remember what I wanted to be, but I always had a chocolate cake with homemade chocolate frosting on my birthdays!

kevan said...

When I was 11 (and 8 and 16 and 35 and now) I always wanted to be a cartoonist. And author. And illustrator.

Jenilyn Collings said...

It was around 11 that I decided I wanted to be an engineer. At least I wanted to be one until I took apart my clock and realized that nothing inside made any sense to me. And that was the end of that. As for desserts, I have a recipe for chocolate-peanut butter cake that I eat way too much of every time I make it. :)

What did you want to be when you were 11?

Michael G-G said...

I fell in love with Gladys when Tara was an entrant in the 2011 Bakers' Dozen over at Miss Snark's First Victim blog. Can't wait to read ALL FOUR STARS.

At 11, I wanted to be a diplomat--or a tennis player. Neither of them panned out.

kt giorgio said...

When I as 11 I wanted to be a marine biologist. I am not sure why because I don't super love being out on boats these days and I live in the landlocked Midwest...but we all have dreams!

And I haven't met a dessert involving chocolate that I don't like!

Thanks1

Sara Henderson said...

When I was 11 I wanted to be a ballerina ad I was well on my way to being one with 7 years of dance under my belt.

Jessica Vitalis said...

The book sounds fantastic! I desperately wanted to be an architect AND an interior decorator. Architect would have been an unmitigated disaster given my lack of spacial ability/awareness, but I still think interior decorator could have been a possibility!

Joy McCullough-Carranza said...

Yay Gladys!! So excited! I've read it (it's fantastic!), so don't include me in the drawing, but when I was eleven, I wanted to be a theater actress! (And I was for a while, until I figured out that I needed to find a line of work that allowed me to stay in my pajamas and almost never leave the house.)

Abbe Hoggan said...

Joy, that's so funny. When I was eleven, actress was exactly what I wanted to be. I won a prize for a play in 3rd grade, and I dreamed of acting all the way into college. And I'm not one now at least in part because it's a job that requires a person to leave the house! However, I put that acting skill to work by emoting my way through the scenes I want to write to be sure I'm getting them right.

theoneiwantedtobe said...

So excited for my friend Tara!! And I love anything even remotely affiliated with ice cream!!

theoneiwantedtobe said...

So excited for my friend Tara!! And I love anything even remotely affiliated with ice cream!!

Tara Dairman said...

Dee, Michelle, Noelle, I was on the same train as you guys--I wanted to be Paula Abdul. Singer, dancer, choreographer, triple threat. :)

It was that, or be a writer. I think the universe is pretty glad I went with option B.

Thanks to everyone who's commented so far for your enthusiasm about ALL FOUR STARS! I can't wait until everyone can read it.

Dana said...

Crazy as it may sound, I wanted to be a lunch lady. It was something about cooking massive amounts of food in those silver pots.

Congrats, Tara!

Alison said...

As I can prove in my first published work (a letter to the editor of Cricket magazine in 1975) I wanted to be a farmer, an artist, a vet and a professional football player. :)

Myrna Foster said...

I can't wait to read this story! I love the premise and the cover.

My eleven-year-old self wanted to be a pilot who wrote fantasy and science fiction.

girlseeksplace said...

I'm so excited about this book and I'd love an ARC! When I was eleven, I wanted to be a teacher!

Rosalyn said...

Oh, I would love this! I remember reading about Gladys first in Miss Snark's Bakers Dozen--so glad to see it's finally coming out.

Rosalyn said...

I forgot to add what I wanted to be: at eleven, I was going to be an artist.

Megan Reyes said...

This book sounds so fun! At age eleven, I wanted to be a veterinarian because my favorite movie was 101 Dalmatians and I wanted to take care if dogs.

Elizabeth Dunn said...

This is so not fair. I have watched this story develop from the cradle but I don't have an American mailing address. Waaah.

sbcrispell said...

Oh, this book sounds amazing. When I was 11, I wanted to train killer whales at Sea World. That dream lasted until college, when I realized I couldn't SCUBA to save my life and I'm a crappy swimmer.

Candice C said...

This book sounds awesome! I love gallon-hearted heroines who know their way around a blowtorch. I also love eating food and not so much the cooking of food. When I was eleven, I wanted to write books and be a mermaid, I mean, be a marine biologist. My Daddy is one and we went to the beach every week during the summer til I was in high school. Good times. My fave dessert is my Momma's Layered Pecan Pie.

GSMarlene said...

I remember reading this logline on Miss Snark's site a couple years ago and loved it. So glad it's coming out. Congrats Tara.

At 11, I was lamenting that I was already 5'2" and approaching 100 pounds - not likely gonna be a jockey for The Black.

Julie said...

I think when I was 11, I wanted to be a "fashion designer."

But a more interesting tidbit is that I met Tara when she was 17 and as far as I know, she's wanted to be a writer since then. So woohoo for Gladys!!

mfantaliswrites said...

I can't wait to read this book!

I think eleven was in the midst of the "I want to be a veterinarian" years. I loved animals, was reading books like "All Creatures Great and Small," "Lad: A Dog," & "Watership Down"... and it was a few years before The Dog Bite Incident.

Ice cream is my favorite dessert, although I adore a chocolate covered pretzel for its combination of sweet, creamy chocolate with salty crunchy pretzels. Perfection!

Janet Johnson said...

Oh yay! I didn't recognize the book from the title, but as soon as you said "Gladys Gatsby" I knew the book. Seriously can't wait to read this one. Such a fun premise!

Janet Johnson said...

And woops, I was so busy gushing about the book . . . When I was eleven, I was going to be a lawyer. And I was going to go to Harvard. And I have no idea why, I just did. :)

bn100 said...

cheesecake

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

pat said...

I mapped out an elaborate pedidontist office for my practice-including a yellow brick road the children could follow into the dentist chair.

I would love to read All Four Stars--thanks for this giveaway.

Melissa said...

Oh my gosh, I haven't thought about this in forever! My friends and I used to get graph paper and we'd design our dream mansions. I remember mine always had to have a ball pit on one entire floor and another floor that was all pillows. I had a bed the size of an eighteen wheeler and always had to have a secret passageway to my favorite store. What was my favorite store at eleven you ask? Toys R Us maybe? Nope, Staples! I have always loved pens and paper and notebooks and organizing my desk lol. Such a nerd. I'm so happy you asked this question simply because I hadn't thought about this in so long. I still hope I win though. ;) Especially since my birthday is on Tuesday. I turn 28!

melissaleighmartin@gmail.com

Dan Gemeinhart said...

This book looks awesome! When I was 11 I wanted to be a football player and a writer. Happily one of those dreams is coming true, and I don't even have to suffer any concussions! Can't wait for All Four Stars!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Candice and kt, I also wanted to be a marine biologist when I was eleven:)

And Melissa, happy birthday! I'm a January baby, too:)

Elaine said...

I can't wait for this one! When I was eleven, I think I was alternating between pediatrician and architect. :)

Deric said...

I think I wanted to be a stand-up comedian, or some kind of generic suit-wearing boss. Or maybe a writer? Everything seemed plausible back then!

Jessie Oliveros said...

I've been excited for this book! When I was eleven, I wanted to be a famous actress. A humble dream.

Jessica said...

This book looks like a lot of fun! :)

I don't really remember exactly what I wanted to be at eleven, my dream job was different everyday! I think at one point I really wanted to work on animated movies! , though! (That is kind of a dream of mine I've never grown out of! (:)

Dan L. said...

I wanted to be a writer when I was eleven. True story. I read The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, and something just clicked within me. I've become an avid reader more than anything, if not a writer.

Tweet me @Bookbrews if I win. :D

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Thanks, everyone, for entering! I'll announce the winner sometime tomorrow.