Saturday, August 17, 2013

Between Heaven and Texas by Marie Bostwick

Two years ago I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Marie Bostwick at the Quilt Expo in Madison, WI.  While talking about her Cobbled Court fiction series, Marie mentioned that she was going to write a new series centered around the life of Mary Dell Templeton and her sister Lydia Dale in Too Much, Texas.  Strong willed, talented quilter Mary Dell and her son Howard made a cameo appearance in the first Cobbled Court book.  Between Heaven and Texas goes back to the 1980s to tell the story of Mary Dell's marriage and her long wait to become a mother.  We also learn the story of Mary Dell's perfectly stitched quilts and her terrible color sense.  Could that be because the "color" genes were bestowed upon her twin sister Lydia Dale?  Beauty queen Lydia Dale has her own stories to tell, but in this first novel she remains slightly in the wings, while readers are caught up in Mary Dell's dreams, disappointments, and her strong drive to succeed -- a serious tale, but told with both humor and warmth.

Between reading the preface and having that very short conversation with Marie about this new series, I learned that Mary Dell is one of Marie's favorite characters.  Mary Dell and her Down Syndrome son Howard demanded that their whole story be told.  So did readers who, over the years, told Marie Bostwick that they wanted to know more about the pair.  I was delighted to hear that Bostwick will still continue the Cobbled Court series, and in fact, is working on the newest volume.  If you are a fan of that series, and if you read Between Heaven and Texas, you will have a have hard time deciding which series you will want to continue first. I know I will.  Both are top notch; other reviewers aptly have compared reading Bostwick's work to wrapping up in a favorite quilt.  While the Cobbled Quilt series seems to move ahead with new people and new stories with each book, I hope that the Too Much Texas
series gives us more of Mary Dell, her strength, her son and her budding new business.  I sure would like to see Donny back in the story, but telling you anymore would be a spoiler.

Going to have a few hours over the upcoming Labor Day Weekend?  Reading Between Heaven and Texas would be a great way to cap off the summer.

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