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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I am midway through writing my 3rd book, and Julia Child is ruining all my plans.

Last New Years Day, I—always a big proponent of setting high, unachievable goals for myself—vowed that one of my resolutions for 2014 was to read better books. Every author knows that you only write to the level at which you read. So, if your literary diet is high in, say, the Harlequin/Silhouette genre, then that’s probably what you’re apt to write. Mind-Candy in, mind-candy out, I say.

Thus, aiming high, I started my Brave New Reading Regimen with the rather unfortunate choice of Willa Cather’s My Antonia. It’s not a bad book. In fact, literati reckon it to be a great book. I just didn’t count it among, you know, my favorite books.

*shifty glance away*

I wish I were a smarter reader.

But I kept doggedly on, and early into my resolution, a friend passed me Julia Child’s memoir, My Life in France. I not only loved it; I devoured it, in a single, guilty, protracted sitting, much like eating an entire Charlotte Malakoff Aux Fraises all by myself. With only virtual calories, thank goodness. But it started me on a Julia Child kick. I promptly went out and (I, who never pay Full Price for a book, ever, at all, for any reason,) paid $40.00 for a hardcover copy of Julia’s cookbook: Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Then, even as I cracked the green, be-fleur-de-lis’d covers for the first time, I started watching any clip of Julia’s TV show The French Chef that I could find on YouTube.

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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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