Total Pageviews

Monday, January 18, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway - Being West is Best Author: Monique Bucheger On Tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book:  Being West is Best

Author: Monique Bucheger

Genre: Contemporary Middle Grade

Twelve-year-old BFFs, Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor, are matchmaking geniuses. Together, they maneuvered Ginnie’s widower-dad into proposing to Tillie’s divorcee-mom. Sweet! Certain they are well on their way to sisterhood, each girl is floored when Tillie’s lousy-excuse-for-a-father puts in an appearance after a six year absence. Too bad “lousy dad repellant” doesn’t come in a can.

Even though Tillie’s dad has sobered up and is determined to make amends, Tillie would rather he just disappear again. If he stays, “Operation: Secret Sisters” may need to be renamed “Operation: Not Gonna Happen.” I

If that’s not bad enough, the biggest bully in seventh grade comes over often and wishes he could call the West’s farmhouse “home.” When the bully’s abusive dad shows up as well, Ginnie thinks it’s time to change her family’s motto from “When you’re here, you’re family” to “There’s no more room at the West’s.”


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 Everybody,


Welcome to the fourth book in my published series: BEING WEST IS BEST: A Ginnie West Adventure. This book is the 4th installment of the Ginnie West Adventures, but NOT the last book in the series. Book 5 will be ready to publish in 2021, followed quickly by Book 6.


BEING WEST IS BEST is a redemption story and while it has the same family flavor of the preceding books, it does have an intensity that younger readers may benefit from reading this along with trusted adult teachers or family members as a catalyst for discussing some hard issues—though still in an age appropriate way.


As a former foster mom to over 100 foster kids, one of my goals as I write the GINNIE WEST series is to give a voice to kids who feel voiceless and invisible. There are some intense scenes in this book as Tillie, a formerly abused and abandoned child (by her birth dad—NOT her birth mom—who is a rock in Tillie’s world) She meets with her birth dad for the first time in 6 years.


I allow Tillie to say things to him that he needs to hear so that other kids, who will only have such a meeting vicariously thru Tillie and her dad, Jasper, can heal—and possibly form a bridge from a broken past to a happier future.


However, reuniting every formerly abused child with their abuser is NOT always a good idea.


In Tillie’s case, her birth dad left to fight his demons safely away from her. He returns after making some powerful changes so that both of their lives are better. Even so, Tillie is resistant to allow him back in her daily life. It is to this end that each will need to bend a little—and show the other compassion and kindness to truly heal.


Because Tillie is a child, I make sure this meeting is in a place where she feels safe and with adults who have her best interests at heart, who can protect her if need be. I would never suggest such a meeting without these safeguards in place. I am careful to allow Tillie the opportunity to advocate for herself—something that is not always possible in real life.


Being West is Best is a story that explores some hard realities in a necessary way, leaving my readers and characters uplifted and empowered. It also contains some fun times, interesting shenanigans, loving family relationships, imaginative solutions to some tricky problems, and a horse who is as playful as her owner.


Whether you’ve read the entire series or are joining this tour with this book, I hope you will be willing to join Ginnie and Tillie on this journey. There are plenty of opportunities to laugh, a few to cry, but more importantly, to take a stand and make deliberate decisions in your own life.


Laugh lots, love much, write on!!

Monique Bucheger

My Thoughts

I have been fortunate enough to read the whole Ginnie West Series in order. I have enjoyed following Ginnie and Tillie in their plot to become sisters. While the books are geared toward middle grade - you do not have to read them in order - but it helps to understand the whole story. In each book - a difficult relatable subject is presented. In this one - it again deals with abuse and an alcoholic parent. The way the author deals with them is with Grace and Tact - just like our God has with us. 
Tillies mom and Ginnie's dad are FINALLY engaged -and the girls could not be happier. Until Tillie's father who has sobered up is popping back into the picture. The previous books show the horror and hurt that Tillie has been through with her own eyes. Can she forgive her father for all the hurt he has caused? Will her father be back for good - and if he is what does that mean for Ginnie's dad. 
You see the return of the bully that Ginnie, Toran and Tillie have befriended. His mom and him show up on the West's door step. This is where the subject of abuse is brought in. Everyone seems to know that the West home is a safe home. Which I love. 
I pray and hope that this series changes some young girl's heart. That she feels safe to talk to someone about what may be going on. I hope and pray that this series is in all libraries and schools. I am excited that there are more coming out. I have enjoyed this. 
I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging program - all thoughts are my own .

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, January 11

Splashes of Joy, January 12 (Author Interview)

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 14

Artistic Nobody, January 15 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

deb’s Book Review, January 16

Texas Book-aholic, January 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 19

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 20

Beauty in the Binding, January 21 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, January 21

Blogging With Carol, January 22

For Him and My Family, January 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 24


To celebrate her tour, Monique is giving away the grand prize of a $50 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. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the book.

  2. Wonderful review! Thank you for sharing.

  3. These are topics that so many kids can relate to!

  4. Thank you for hosting Being West is Best on your blog. I also appreciate you sharing your kind thoughts on my series. I, too, hope the series inspires kids and even adults who have been abused to find their voice if they need to --to get whatever help they need. I had a 18 year old girl who was the victim of physical and sexual abuse tell me that reading the series brought her peace and comfort. That is why I write this series--to empower and amuse-- because even though some difficult situations are discussed--there are times when kindness and humor can also heal.

  5. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this story, this sounds like a wonderful book and series to share with my granddaughters

  6. This sounds like another great book in this series. Thanks for your review.

  7. This book looks so cute! I think my daughter would love it!