Posted in Advanced Review, Inspirational, Loved It

Between Heaven and Texas

Between Heaven and Texas

Author: Marie Bostwick

Genre: Inspirational

Rating: L

Synopsis: This is an advanced review, so I’m going to stick to the blurb on the back of the book.

In this luminous prequel to her beloved Cobbled Court Quilts series, New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick takes readers into the heart of a small Texas town and the soul of a woman who discovers her destiny there. . .

Welcome to Too Much–where the women are strong-willed and the men are handsome yet shiftless. Ever since Mary Dell Templeton and her twin sister Lydia Dale were children, their Aunt Velvet has warned them away from local boys. But it’s well known that the females in Mary Dell’s family have two traits in common–superior sewing skills and a fatal weakness for men.

While Lydia Dale grows up petite and pretty, Mary Dell just keeps growing. Tall, smart, and sassy, she is determined to one day turn her love of sewing into a business. Meanwhile, she’ll settle for raising babies with her new husband, Donny. But that dream proves elusive too, until finally, Mary Dell gets the son she always wanted–a child as different as he is wonderful. And as Mary Dell is forced to reconsider what truly matters in her family and her marriage, she begins to piece together a life that, like the colorful quilts she creates, will prove vibrant, rich, and absolutely unforgettable. . .

“Powerful, inspiring, and uplifting!” –Robyn Carr

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: Readers of Marie Bostwick’s Cobble Court series will recognize the name Mary Dell. She’s definitely one of the more vibrant characters from this series. If you’ve read the past books, you will know that Mary Dell is a single mother to a son, Howard, who has Downs Syndrome. You also know that her husband left her for this reason. But in this book, we get to see the back story.

I personally enjoyed Mary Dell’s brash personality, and her fashion sense always made me laugh. You have to admire her. If there is one thing that I think defines her as a character, it is that she is true to herself. In a world of rampant imitation, this is a refreshing trait. This really was an uplifting book. I highly recommend it.

This book is available for purchase on April 30th. If you visit the author’s site, you can get her to sign the book.

FTC Disclosure:
I received a copy of this book from the publisher/author. I, unlike the New York Times Book Review, did not receive money for my review which is why my review is more honest. This is a concept that the FTC fails to grasp. Contrary to popular belief, advanced review copies of books are not worth a great deal monetarily speaking. In fact most books are worth less than half its value within a year of purchase. This is another concept the FTC has not grasped. If you purchase a book that I thought highly of and do not like, that is life. Taste in books is subjective. This is a concept that some asinine person in the FTC has not yet grasped. The purpose of the statement is to comply with the FTC regulation while providing a not so subtle hint that they are not the brightest bulbs in the box and that they should spend their time doing more worthwhile things than hounding people who have book blogging hobbies.

Posted in Inspirational

A Single Thread

Evelyn Dixon drove from Texas to New Bern, Connecticut. Her marriage was over after 20 years. She had been traded in for a newer model. So she decided to go to New England to see the fall colors. That turned out to be a momentous decision. After seeing a quaint abandoned building, Evelyn decides to try to make good on her dream to open a quilt shop. The realtor was skeptical, but Evelyn wanted to make the go.

Meanwhile in New Bern, we are introduced to Abigail Burgess Wynne. Abigail is the life of every party, especially since she is liberal with her money. But not surprisingly, she has no friends. But her perfect world is about to be turned upside down when she is saddled with the responsibility of her niece Liza who has been arrested for shoplifting.

These two women end up on a collision course when Liza insists Abigail accompany her to a quilting class commemorating breast cancer. The class takes on special significance for Evelyn when she finds out that she has breast cancer the day of the class. At the end of the session, Evelyn breaks down while teaching Abigail, Liza, and Margot (a woman recently laid off). Suddenly these four strangers find themselves throwing in their lots together. All of the women grow and change for the better.

Although the story is about the four women, it is told primarily from the point of view of Evelyn and Abigail. Both women, in my opinion, undergo the more profound changes during the novel. Evelyn discovers who her real friends are, and surprisingly it’s not the people that she has known the longest. She has to learn to accept help from strangers especially when it gets to the point that she is unable to take care of herself.

Abigail has to confront the reasons for which she transacts all personal relationships at arm length. She has to learn to overcome the resentment she has for her sister (who was strong enough to make the decision that she could not) so that she can love the niece who is the last living member of her family.

In the end, Evelyn learns to love again, and Abigail learns to selflessly give of herself to others. And the quilt shop- well it keeps growing, and more women join-each having a story of their own.

This was a wonderful story. The characters were very real, and very vulnerable. I particularly liked Charlie. I could tell he was a big softy despite his gruffness. I could not believe it took Evelyn so long to figure out that Charlie was mad about her. I mean the man cooked gourmet meals for her. I kept shaking my book saying, “marry this man.” Anyway, this story made me seriously consider taking up quilting. I learned cross-stitching when I was younger, but I didn’t have the patience for it. Piano and cooking were more up my alley. My mom didn’t insist that I learn to sew once she saw I had an affinity for food. Speaking of food, as I am writing this, my mom tried to make gingerbread from some batter I had in the fridge. A number of smoke detectors went off while I was showering. I have suspended her gingerbread license.

Many of you have already read Marie’s bio. So I’ll tell you how I met her. I receive email alerts from Barnes & Noble telling me whenever there is an author signing. For whatever reason most of the author signings are either men selling books commemorating some sports team or self-help gurus. In short, books you couldn’t pay me to buy. But back in November, I received an alert that Marie would be reading from her new book A Single Thread. I thought it was going to be chick-lit, but I read the synopsis anyway. I really liked what I read so I visited her website and emailed her. I got an “away” message. So I planned to go to the signing, introduce myself, and ask for an interview. Little did I realize that Marie had checked her email prior to the signing. So when I asked her about a book blog tour she said, “Are you Brooke?” Ok, I got a kick out of the expressions on people’s face when I was recognized. The rest is history.

Anyway, this is the first book in this series. The second book is coming out in May. There will be more details on the podcast, which should be up tomorrow. Best of all Marie will be writing a guest post tomorrow as well.

She will be visiting the blog so leave questions if you have any. Also to win the signed copy of the book leave a comment on either this post, Marie’s post, or the podcast. See you tomorrow!