About the Book
Book: The Ginnie West Collection
Author: Monique Bucheger
Genre: Christian fiction, middle grade
Book 1: THE SECRET SISTERS CLUB
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.
Book 2: TROUBLE BLOWS WEST
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.
Book 3: SIMPLY WEST OF HEAVEN
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 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!
The Secret Sister’s Club
This was a good book about two girls and their friendship. Can you remember who your best friend was growing up? I can still see me running across the street every afternoon to go to my best friends house. We would sit in her room, play records and talk for hours . She was a bright spot in my life and maybe someday I’ll get to tell her how much I appreciated her.
Ginny and Tillie are wonderful characters. I love their friendship and how much they stuck together through bad times and good times. They hatch a plan that reminded me a lot of The Parent Trap. Oh how I could feel both these young girls pain as one dealt with the death of their parent and the other one deals with a patent that deserts her. They yearn to be a family and have high hopes that their plan will work.
I really enjoyed reading about the horses and how much fun they had riding them. Do you remember when you were younger and wanted a horse? Funny I never did because they scared me. I liked looking at them, but to own one was out of the question. I really liked when Gennie finds her mother’s journals. I wondered if Gennie would be able to handle what her mother wrote. The emotions in the story were good as each girl deals with family issues, wanting to belong, letting go of the past and finding happiness.
I understood that the author was trying to portray the yearnings of a young girl who wanted both a mother and father. It was hard to read at times how much this girl hurt because she felt abandoned. The other girl is not so sure she wants to share her father and second thoughts pop in her head. The journals were the most intriguing to me because we witness the words that a mother wrote about her life and I had hopes that the journals would heal a broken heart.
Come join the fun as we mingle among the families in the story. Two young girls on the cusp of being teenagers find themselves in trouble at times but are surrounded by love. They laugh together and share their hurts with each other. There may be subjects in the book that parents may want to discuss with their children before they read the book. The author handles these subjects with care and understanding of the target age group for the book. It is a family story that will warm your heart. I look forward to reading the other books in this series.
Trouble Blows West
I am really enjoying reading this series and highly recommend this for middle school through adults. The first book introduced us to Ginnie, Toran and Tillie where we were able to see how close family and friends are. This story is a bit more in-depth and the subject is be that needs to addressed more. Bullying is something I went through growing up. It was horrible to go to school everyday where I was teased by a group of girls. I never told anyone because I didn’t think anyone would care.
The author does a very good job of showing what happens when bullying gets out of hand. I can understand why Toran was so upset with his sister for stepping in and protecting him from the bully. How embarrassing it was for a girl to fight his battle. Ginnie thought she was doing the right thing but she soon finds out there are consequences for her actions. I applauded her dad for handling it the way he did. He never backed down even when Ginnie gets an attitude with him.
There is always a reason why someone is a bully and in this story we see another side that we don’t often think about. The kids were so determined to get back at this boy that anger took over. I liked how the story focuses on working through problems instead of continuing the fight back and forth. I won’t tell what happens in the story but it was something we all need to be aware of. Sometimes when a child acts out, it could be a cry for help.
Simply West of Heaven
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 have enjoyed reading this series. It would be a great addition to any library . The stories were fun to read and very easy to relate to. I hope the author writes more about this wonderful family I have come to love.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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deb’s Book Review, December 19
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Inklings and notions, December 20
For Him and My Family, December 21
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!!