About the Book
Book: Simply West of Heaven
Author: Monique Bucheger
Genre: Mid-grade, blended family, horses
Release Date: January 1, 2013
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.
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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
Welcome to the kickoff tour of my third book: SIMPLY WEST OF HEAVEN: A Ginnie West Adventure. This book is the hardest one for me to blurb because it contains my four best twists and I don’t want to give away any of the surprises (and some readers have said they were downright shocked—in a good way—by some of them.)
This book stretched my writing ability and deepened my emotional investment in the West family greatly. This book continues to explore the relationship of best friends, Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor. It has been described as “a soap opera for children” because of all the plot twists and reveals.
It explores Ginnie and Tillie’s deeper, hidden feelings in a way that may bring you tears as well as greater understanding. Several reviewers commented on how authentic and “real” the West family is to them. I love knowing that people are willing to go on a journey with Ginnie and Tillie and the rest of the West family. That they are willing to laugh and cry with them. I promise—this book will give you opportunities for both.
Simply West of Heaven has recently been made into an audiobook and that was a fun endeavor as I listened to the voices in my head come to life. My narrator, the very talented, Hillary Straga, said all of the twists kept her on her toes, but that she loved voicing this book because she never knew what to expect.
I hope that the people who choose to read this book will have the same experience. That they will be eager to jump in, put aside pre-conceived notions, and become part of the West family saga: that they will cheer for them, cry with them, and celebrate with them. One of my favorite reviews of this book states that: “I tried to skip ahead and every time I did—I had to go back to where I was because I missed something important in the story.”
Thank you to those of you who are willing to continue to read the Ginnie West Adventures and “Welcome!” to those who have decided to start with this book.
Laugh lots, Love much, Write on!
Warning!! If you haven’t read the first two books in this series it is a must. The books introduce you to the characters and allow you to get to know them. This book is by far my favorite. I have already fallen in love with Ginnie, Tillie and Toran. They have shared many ups and downs but each time their bond grows stronger. Tillie so wants to be part of Ginnie’s family and maybe someday her prayers will be answered.
Ginnie is starting to ask more questions about her mother and it won’t be long before secrets are revealed. The author does a great job of building this storyline up as each chapter draws us closer to what Ginnie’s mother wrote in her journals. I’m a big fan of journals and like to write scriptures down, thoughts that I have and personal things that only my journal knows. Maybe someday I will share them with my children but for now I continue to journal my life to leave to my future family members.
There is more conflict in this story and we see a jealous side of Ginnie as she starts to realize she may be sharing her dad’s attention with a new mom and sister. I liked being able to read how she struggles at times with anger at her dad. She is so determined to find out what is in the journals that it causes a conflict in the family. Parents sometimes keep things from their children to protect them. I think a few times Ginnie needed to be grounded more. She develops an ugly attitude that continues through most of the book. It is a good example of how a young person copes with loss, feeling left out and confused.
Get ready for a few big surprises that will shake the family. One of the things I really liked about the story was the emphasis on forgiveness. We all do things we regret, and at some point we need to go to those we have hurt and make things right. This is a bit more emotional story but one that allows the main characters to express their feelings so others can help them.
This is the kind of series I would have loved to read as a child. As an adult I can appreciate it more because I was able to think back on my childhood. It wasn’t a good childhood, but I was always able to escape into stories like these. Thank you for writing a series that shows the reality of death, divorce and unconditional love in a way that young people can relate to. I am eagerly awaiting the next in this series because the author has left a little cliffhanger at the end.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Through the Fire Blogs, December 2
21st Century Keeper at Home, December 2
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 3
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 4
Texas Book-aholic, December 5
Inklings and notions, December 6
For Him and My Family, December 7
deb’s Book Review, December 8
Locks, Hooks and Books, December 9
Mary Hake, December 9
Artistic Nobody, December 10 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 11
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 12
Sara Jane Jacobs, December 13
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 14
Blogging With Carol, December 15
To celebrate her tour, Monique is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, or Kobo gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.