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.

…an honest and delicately navigated novel... Gardner writes with raw insight… a beautiful journey that is both heartbreaking and hopeful.” ~Booklist

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It’s Top Ten Tuesday on the World Wide Web, and since it’s also Thanksgiving Week, I thought I’d show you how I’m getting ready for the holiday, in the form of a Top Ten List. Thanksgiving is on Thursday this year (*small family joke, there*) and everyone’s coming here. As it happens that I have to work at My Real Job on Wednesday, today is really the day I should be making last-minute preparations for The Great Day Itself.

Howsomever, that is not exactly how I am spending my time today. Instead, I am…well, the thing is, I hardly ever start a book I just can't put down. And stumbling onto an entire series like that? It's pure, Thankgiving gold, my friend. Not something to just be shunted aside until Friday. So in the spirit of today, I now present you with Ten Other Things to Do When You Should Be Getting Ready for Thanksgiving Day.

10. Discover a new novel series and realize you must—must—finish one more chapter before you start making the pie shells for Thursday’s French Silk and Raspberry pies.

9. Contemplate your witch-like hairdo in the mirror, and try to remember the last time you washed it. Decide that it looks rather like a radiant, red halo standing out from your scalp like that, in all directions. Worry that it’s been too many days since you actually worked a shift at the hospital like a normal person, and you are slowly losing your mind. Stifle all guilt by reading another chapter of your book.

8. Scratch the dog’s head, and tell her she smells like popcorn. Feel guilty because you last walked her on Saturday, and she has had nothing to do but sleep for 18 hours a day since then. Vow that you will take her just as soon as you finish this chapter.

7. Realize that the turkey you bought for Thursday sat out on the front porch overnight, and it’s possible that, in this unseasonably warm November in Maine, the temperature never fell to 40 degrees. Worry that everyone will get food poisoning on Thanksgiving. Resolve to confess this to no one. Plug in the extra refrigerator, pop the turkey inside, and read a few more pages while it cools.

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About Carre

I write from the big small town of Portland, Maine, where I’m the mom of 3 teenagers and 2 dogs I wish I didn’t own. (Only the dogs, not the teenagers.) The most interesting thing I’ve ever done is to live for a few years in Russia, studying the language and doing humanitarian work. I wish I remembered more Russian than I do.

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About the Books


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.

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The Blog

Some reflections on family, faith, and the foibles of life. Stop by and leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!

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