Marie Bostwick will present her new novel, “From Here to Home,” at The Hickory Stick Bookshop (2 Green Hill Rd.) in Washington Depot this Saturday, April 9th, at 2:00 p.m. She’ll also appear at a luncheon event at Mystic’s Bank Square Books (53 W. Main St.) on Tuesday, April 12th, at noon. The cost is $25 and includes lunch and a paperback copy of the book; tickets can be purchased online or by calling the store at 860-536-3795.
Today, Hartford Books Examiner extends virtual greetings to Marie Bostwick.
Ms. Bostwick is the author of “From Here to Home” (Kensington)—the second book in her Too Much, Texas series following “Between Heaven and Texas.” She also writes the popular Cobbled Court Quilt series, which draws on her lifelong love of quilting and themes of special relevance to modern women. Bostwick made her fiction debut with “Fields of Gold” (2005); that title was a finalist for the prestigious Oklahoma Book Award and for RT BOOKclub magazine’s Best Historical Saga Award. Two of her novellas, which were included in anthologies, appeared on both the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. Bostwick makes her home in Connecticut and Oregon, with her husband of thirty-five years.
“From Here to Home” was published last month and has received an enthusiastic response from critics. RT Book Reviews named the title a Top Pick and awarded it 4.5 stars, noting: “Heartwarming to the core, Bostwick’s latest will touch readers’ hearts. The colorful characters are authentic and endearing, both Mary Dell and Holly being distinctive, strong heroines set within an engaging plot. Bostwick’s expert storytelling is filled with honesty and humor, making this novel set in the quaint town of Too Much, Texas, truly delightful.” Further, Booklist praised: “Bostwick showcase[s] her gift for writing with warmth and humor, putting her fully formed characters in realistic situations. Too Much, Texas is a place any reader would love to visit, but give this especially to fans of Robyn Carr and Emilie Richards.”
From the publisher:
New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick welcomes readers to the quirky, unforgettable town of Too Much, Texas, in a heartwarming, richly satisfying story of friendship and moving forward…
Mary Dell Templeton prefers the quiet charms of Too Much to the bright lights of Dallas any day. She’s relieved to be moving back to her hometown–and bringing her cable TV show, Quintessential Quilting, with her. There are just a couple of wrinkles in her plan. Her son, Howard, who is her talented co-host and color consultant, and happens to have Down syndrome, wants to stay in Dallas and become more independent. Meanwhile, Mary Dell’s new boss hopes to attract a different demographic–by bringing in a younger co-host.
What Holly Silva knows about quilting wouldn’t fill a thimble, but she’s smart and ambitious. Her career hinges on outshining the formidable Mary Dell in order to earn her own show. Yet as Holly adapts to small-town living and begins a new romance, and Mary Dell considers rekindling an old one, the two find unlikely kinship. For as Mary Dell knows, the women of Too Much have a knack for untangling the knottiest problems when they work together. And sometimes the pattern for happiness is as simple and surprising as it is beautiful…
Now, Marie Bostwick reveals a few pages from the book of her life …
John Valeri: As a child, did you wear your literary lust loud and proud or were you a closet bibliophile?
Marie Bostwick: Definitely loud and proud. As a kid there was no hope I was going to be accepted by the cool crowd – I was overweight, socially awkward, and had a million of freckles – so there was no reason for me not to dive in and go full-on nerd girl.
JV: What book(s) were you likely to be caught keeping company with under the covers?
MB: None. My reading habits were out in the open and constant. My mom, who was not a big reader, didn’t understand my book obsession but she never got in the way of it. Oh wait…except for one time.
A relative died and left us a legacy. Not much but enough so my mother, who was raising four daughters on her own, could fulfill a lifelong dream and take us on a cruise to Alaska. I’d never been on a ship of any kind and while ours wasn’t especially elegant, I loved our cozy stateroom because I had a berth all to myself with curtains across the bunk and a reading light. I crawled right into bed, drew the curtains, snapped on the light and started to read. Two hours later, my mother came searching for me, threw open the drapes, pointed a finger toward the door, and yelled, “Enough reading! Go out on that deck and look at that two thousand dollar scenery!”
JV: What are you reading currently & what is your initial impression?
MB: I’m currently reading “The Boys in the Boat” and really enjoying it. I had just expected one of those sort of feel-good, underdog-triumphs, sports stories – which, by the way, is something I generally enjoy. However, this is so much more. It’s a snapshot of a particular moment in American history, when we were teetering on the brink of war, as well as a riveting story of some hardy but very human young men.
JV: What one book do you always recommend when asked?
MB: “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.” It’s one of my favorites. I’m always surprised that more people haven’t read it.
JV: Which of your own books would you suggest to readers & why?
MB: Depends on the reader…If they like a homey, heartwarming series, I’d suggest “A Single Thread,” the first of my Cobbled Court novels. If they appreciate laughter through tears, I’d say “Between Heaven and Texas” and the sequel, my latest, “From Here to Home.” Mary Dell Templeton is the star of those books and she is the most quirky but lovable of all my characters. If they enjoy a story with somewhat flawed characters and a touch of mystery, I’d recommend “The Second Sister.”
JV: Is there a book or author that readers would be surprised to know you’ve read and liked?
MB: Probably Mary McCarthy’s novel, “The Group.” I’m known for happy endings and proud of that so I think some readers would be surprised that I have read this dark but brilliantly written novel multiple times.
JV: Who is the one author that would, or did, make you weak in the knees upon meeting?
MB: Dorthea Benton-Frank is a hero of mine and was kind enough to give me a glowing quote for “Between Heaven and Texas.” I went to see her at local book signing and brought her a small bouquet of flowers. She signed my book and we took a picture together. I was a complete fan-girl wreck, so keyed up that my face and neck turned bright red. And when it was time to go, I got to the door and heard Dorothea’s voice calling, “Marie, you forgot your book!” So embarrassing.
JV: Has there been an “I’ve made it” moment in your career?
MB: I don’t know that I ever have or ever will feel like I’ve “made it”. There are always news goals and challenges ahead. But I was pretty excited the first time I saw my book in a Hudson Booksellers outlet in an airport. Those airport bookstores have very limited shelf space, so it’s a pretty big deal if they stock your title.
JV: What is your greatest literary ambition?
MB: I only have only one literary ambition, the same goal I strive toward every time I sit down and type “Chapter One”: to write the best book I’ve ever written.
JV: Fill in the blank: Hartford Books Examiner is _____.
MB: A boon to New England’s bibliophiles.
With thanks to Marie Bostwick for her generosity of time and thought and to Elissa Englund, Events Coordinator at Bank Square Books, for helping to facilitate this interview.