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Monday, December 21, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway - The Ginnie West Collection Author: Monique Bucheger On Tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book:  The Ginnie West Collection

Author: Monique Bucheger

Genre: Christian fiction, middle grade


Twelve-year-old BFF’s Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor, want to be sisters. Ginnie’s widowed dad plus Tillie’s divorced mom could equal a lifetime of round-the-clock girl talk and slumber parties. Too bad Dad vowed to never marry again. Ginnie and Tillie come up with the perfect scheme to change his mind: ‘Operation Secret Sisters’ (aka OSS). After all, if they can’t get Dad to move on, Tillie can’t move in.
Things get more complicated when Ginnie stumbles across her mom’s hidden journals. Ginnie can finally get to know the mother she doesn’t remember and her dad doesn’t talk about—if Dad doesn’t take them away.


Putting her body in motion before her brain is in gear creates a mountain of problems for 12 year-old Ginnie West. She is certain that defending her twin brother, Toran, from the biggest bully in sixth grade was the right thing to do. But Ginnie couldn’t be more wrong. She quickly learns that Toran doesn’t appreciate being rescued by a girl any better than Pierce likes being knocked down by one.

When Pierce seeks revenge on Ginnie, Toran sets aside his anger and helps her plot a payback prank at Pierce’s house. Sadly, Ginnie learns that Pierce has a reason for being a bully when she sees his dad drop him to the floor like a ragdoll. Realizing he’s a boy in big trouble, Ginnie decides to be his ally, because he won’t let her be his friend.


Twelve-year-old BFFs Ginnie and Tillie are matchmaking geniuses. Sweet! Not long after they schemed to get Ginnie’s widowed dad to fall in love with Tillie’s divorced mom, Ginnie stumbled upon her late mom’s journals, making life even more awesome sauce … until her dad confiscated the journals, determined to protect Ginnie from a danger he won’t name.

Ginnie is counting on her future sister’s help to make Dad change his mind, but Tillie’s not so sure the ghost of Ginnie’s mom will make a good addition to their new family tree. The girls’ world gets flipped upside-down when a blast from the past shows up and makes Tillie go nutburgers. Ginnie is torn between helping her best friend and what could be the answer to her deepest wish.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

When Monique isn’t writing, you can find her playing taxi driver to one or more of her 12 children, plotting her next novel, scrapbooking, or being the “Mamarazzi” at any number of child-oriented events.

Even though she realizes there will never be enough hours in any given day, Monique tries very hard to enjoy the journey that is her life. She shares it with a terrific husband, her dozen children, twelve grand-darlings, too many cats, and many real and imaginary friends. She is the author of several books in three series and hopes to write many more.


More from Monique

Hello Everyone,


Welcome to the Kickoff of The Ginnie West Collection (Books 1, 2, and 3) of the Ginnie West Adventures series. This omnibus edition includes The Secret Sisters Club, Trouble Blows West and Simply West of Heaven.


The series starts with The Secret Sisters Club and introduces the reader to 12-year-old best friends, Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor. Ginnie’s mother died when she was 3 ½ in a tragic accident and Tillie’s birth dad hit the road 6 years before the series starts.

Tillie, especially, wants a “whole” family again and who would make a better sister than her BFF? When she suggests to Ginnie that their parents would also benefit by marrying, their scheme, Operation: Secret Sisters is formed.

Things get more complicated when Ginnie discovers a box of her dead mom’s journals and reads one, getting to know the mother she doesn’t remember and her dad doesn’t talk about. Discovering the journals brings up questions and feelings that Ginnie didn’t expect and she struggles to reconcile her desire to know her real mom and while caring about her “new” mom.


Trouble Blows West takes a complete turn from Book 1 when the biggest bully in 6th grade goes after Ginnie’s twin brother, Toran,  and results in Ginnie knocking the bully, Pierce, on his rear in front of the whole student body in the  cafeteria on page 2. Things get more complicated when the reader realizes that Pierce is being abused at home. Ginnie doesn’t find out right away—but when she does, Ginnie, Toran, and Tillie decide to become Pierce’s allies—because he won’t let them be his friends. Trouble Blows West is a story of kids on the opposite sides of many issues who try to come to some peaceful understandings.

Because of her great influence in my life, I made my high school creative writing teacher, Mrs. Marion Joyce Johnson, a character in this book years ago. A fun happenstance has recently occurred. Mrs. Johnson’s real life son is Col. Greg Johnson, pilot and astronaut for the Space Shuttle Endeavor. I reached out to Greg who read: Trouble Blows West and fell in love with Ginnie and her family. He has graciously written a Foreword for the book.


Simply West of Heaven starts three weeks after The Secret Sisters Club ends. The one thread that wasn’t reconciled in Book 1 is resolved in this book—and the thread opens up a whole lot of possibilities of fun and new adventures for Ginnie, Tillie, and the Wests. This book has my four best twists and guarantees the reader lots of surprises as the story unfolds. Hopefully readers will want to continue to read about Ginnie and Tillie in Book 4: Being West is Best.


The Ginnie West Adventures series truly is a labor of love for me. I enjoy sharing the West family and their stories with new and longtime readers. I especially love it when readers share with me their experiences of finding courage and peace to overcome their own trials and share those stories with me. I hope to empower and uplift my readers and love it when they connect with me.


Laugh lots … love much … write on!

Monique Bucheger

My Thoughts

I have been very fortunate to read this series. It has been fun and engaging and as an adult I have enjoyed it. 

The Secret Sisters Club is book 1 in the Ginnie West adventures. I have somehow managed to read this series out of order, but that is ok. This book is geared toward middle grade females. Although, I enjoyed reading this book and can't wait to add it to my grand-daughter's book collection.
This book is where we meet best friends, Tillie and Ginnie. Ginnie's dad is widowed and Tillie's mom is divorced. They come up with The secret sister's club. They hatch a plan so they can have their parents get married so they could be real life sister BFFS.
Both girls have some big situations they need to overcome. Tillie has a lot of hurt and pain. Her father was not very nice to Tillie and her mother. He up and left. Ginnie has a lot of unanswered questions about her mother who has passed. Her father is still so overcome with grief that it consumes him. They live with Ginnie's extended family.
The author deals with some real life issues that kids in these situations may face. Being a child from a blended family - and now having a blended family I thought the author dealt with the issues well. It has a good wholesome message and the book kept my attention the whole way through. Ginnie and Tillie are likeable characters.

Trouble blows west is book 2 of 4 in the Ginnie West Adventures series. The series is written by Monique Bucheger. I have been reading the books out of order, and can follow along fine. This book is geared towards middle grade girls - but I also enjoyed it. I wish this book was around when my girls were younger (They are 19 and 22 now). Ginnie is a friend I wish I would have had while in school. She is a strong character. She has no problems standing up to bullies that have targeted her brother. This is such an important subject for young girls to read about and I love how the author handles this. The author also touches on other real world subjects. For example: child abuse, step families and spousal abuse. The way the author handles each subject is amazing - and I felt it could really help the young women reading the book.
Ginnie had me laughing several times - she does not know how to keep her mouth shut. ( I myself may or may not have gotten into a lot of trouble for this growing up, so I understood this part of her character). This book is well written, has strong characters and will keep even adults entertained. Bravo to the author!

Simply West of Heaven is book three in the Ginnie West Adventures. I have been reading them out of order, and strongly recommend that you read them in order. While I did not have a problem following along, it will make more sense as the knowledge of each character will build up with each book. In this story, it focuses a lot on Ginnie. Ginnie's dad has taken away the journals that Ginnie's mom has written before her death. Ginnie enlists the help of Tillie to help her get them back. Tillie is not 100% sold on the idea. Ginnie knows that the West family has been harboring some secrets and she was hoping that the journals will uncover them.
This book will take you on an emotional journey as Ginnie and family have to deal with some of the pain from the past. You will not want to put this book down once you start it. The book ends in a cliff hanger - and you will want to seek out Book 4 (and the finale in the series) right away.

This series is perfect for middle grade girls. I will be passing these on to my daughter to read to my grand daughter. 

All books were received through the Celebrate Lit blogging program - all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 17

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 18

deb’s Book Review, December 19

Blogging With Carol, December 19

Inklings and notions, December 20

For Him and My Family, December 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 22

Mary Hake, December 22

Texas Book-aholic, December 23

Sodbusterliving, December 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 26

She Lives To Read, December 27

Artistic Nobody, December 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 29

Splashes of Joy, December 29


To celebrate her tour, Monique is giving away the grand prize of a $75 Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Apple, or Google Play!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. My granddaughter would love these books.

  2. Wonderful review, Connie! Sounds like a fun series. Thank you for sharing.

  3. This sounds like a really great series. This collection would be perferct for my niece.

  4. Thank you for hosting the Ginnie West Collection on your blog-- and falling in love with the West family. :) Just so you know, I am writing Book 5 and outlining book 6--so Book 4: Being West is Best is NOT the final book in the series--though it is the last one published at the moment. ;)

    I appreciate you going along on Ginnie, Tillie, and Toran's journeys and hope you will continue to do so.

    Laugh lots ... love much .. write on. :)