Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ginnie West Series

About two years ago I was approached by Monique Bucheger to create the covers for her Ginnie West series. When she told me what the first book (Secret Sisters Club) was about I was immediately interested in reading it. I think there is a lack in middle-grade books that are about normal-everyday life. When I began, I fell in love Ginnie’s character. She is quirky, smart, rambunctious, but above all…real. Her pre-teen emotions and attitudes toward things really do scream a true live person. The story itself is a heartwarming tale of The Parent Trap meets An American Girl. Ginnie deals with a lot of grown up issues that a lot of kids have to face and she does it quite heroically (sometimes). I think any kids that have faced the loss of a parent, the hardships of friend, or longing of a lost dream will connect with this book and the other books in the series.

I am thrilled to share her books. Without further blabbing I give you The Ginnie West Series, by Monique Bucheger.

The Secret Sisters Club:

Twelve-year-old BFF’s Ginnie and Tillie, want to be sisters. Tillie's divorced mom plus Ginnie's widowed dad could equal a lifetime of round-the-clock girl talk and slumber parties. Too bad Dad vowed to never marry again. Ginnie and Tillie form a secret club. They come up with the perfect mission to change his mind: ‘Operation Secret Sisters’.

Before long, Tillie seems happier about gaining a dad than a sister. Ginnie suspects Tillie has turned ‘Operation Secret Sisters’ into a scam called ‘Operation Steal My Dad.’ Things get more complicated when Ginnie stumbles across her real mom’s hidden journals. Ginnie can finally get to know the mother she doesn’t remember and Dad doesn’t talk about. When Dad discovers she has the journals, he takes them away. Ginnie needs to figure out what the big mystery is before her relationship with her father and her best friend are ruined forever.

Excerpt from The Secret Sisters Club:

Tillie slipped into the hen house the next morning just as Ginnie finished gathering the eggs.
“You’re late today. I’m done in here.”
“Sorry, Mom’s car wouldn’t start. We had to get a jump.” Tillie rushed through the explanation so fast Ginnie had to let the words go through her mind again to understand what her friend had said. “Mom said she’d come go-carting with us tomorrow, so how are we gonna further our mission for OSS?”
Ginnie shrugged. “I dunno, I hadn’t thought about it.”
Tillie put her hands on her hips. “Why not?”
“Calm your pickles, Tillie. You were there yesterday when Daddy asked me if you should be my triplet.” Ginnie rolled her eyes and smiled. “That means OSS’ll work.”
Tillie slid her hands down her jeans. “Sorry, it’s all I’ve been thinking about.”
“No prob. Here.” Ginnie handed her one of the two wire egg baskets and opened the bottom half of the door. “What are you so worried about? You practically live here anyway.”
Tillie followed Ginnie out of the hen house and stopped. “Do you think when your dad marries my mom, he’ll adopt me? So I can be Tillie West and not Tillie Taylor anymore?”
Ginnie shrugged. “I guess so. If you want him to.”
“I do want him to.” Tillie locked her eyes on Ginnie’s. “More than anything.” The urgency in her voice sent goose pimples across Ginnie’s arms.

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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 figures out 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 playback 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 with one awful blow to the chest. Realizing he’s a boy in big trouble, Ginnie decides to be his ally, even if he won’t let her be his friend.

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Simply West of Heaven:

Twelve-year-old BFFs are matchmaking geniuses. They successfully schemed to get Ginnie’s widowed dad to fall in love with Tillie’s divorced mom. Sweet! Not long after though, Ginnie stumbles upon her late mom’s journals, making life even more awesome sauce … until her dad confiscates 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 prayers. Life gets complicated lickety-split in what is sure to be the most pivotal summer of Ginnie’s life.

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Being West is Best:

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.”

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.”

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What fun middle-grade series is complete without a delightful picture book prequel? 
When hunger wakes little Ginnie from her dreams she sets out to make herself a midnight snack. Hilarity and trouble ensues as she wrecks the kitchen in her attempts to make homemade popcorn balls. This is a delightful addition to the middle-grade series The Ginnie West Adventures, featuring Ginnie at at age 12.

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Exclusive Q&A 
with Author Heather Dowell interviewing Monique Bucheger

1. Do you call yourself a writer or and author?
I sometimes use the terms interchangeably, but preferred to be called an author.
Why? I think anybody can be a writer, but an author takes the extra steps of finishing a book and putting it on display for the public—not a step all writers are willing to take.

2. At what ages did you realize you wanted to be an author?
I was a teen when I started writing “real” stories—but I had always made them up—just not written them down.

3. Top 5 shows you watch on TV?
I don’t watch much tv—I’m the mother of 12—so my old tv watching time has become my writing time –though I would like to catch up on NCIS and Bones.

4. Any playlists you like to listen too when you write?
I prefer to write in quiet—though there are songs that transport me into my “book world”—I usually listen to get in the mood—but then I turn the music off while I actually write.

5. Do you have any Pets?  
We have 2 cats. A gray female named “Toad” (my 2 year-old granddaughter named her and a black male named “Megatron”)

6. If you could have any hobby, what would it be?
Horseback riding

7. Any Works in Progress?
I have started the 5th book in my Ginnie West series and I am working on the 1st 3 books in my second-unpublished- series.

8. Favorite writing time snack?
I like good chocolate—Russell Stover Toffee sticks

9. Plotter of squatter? Why?
I am a pantser who knows my books benefit from a little bit of plotting. I am trying to become more of a plotter—but it isn’t working for me as of yet.

Blog Tour Line up:

November 17        http://wantedhero.com

November 18        julkbearreads.wordpress.com

November 19        http://www.brookeblogs.com

November 20        http://authorsandralove.blogspot.com/

November 22        semishort.blogspot.com

November 24        http://www.tristipinkston.blogspot.com

November 25        writtenbymikey.blogspot.com

November 26        http://valeriesteimle.blogspot.com/

November 28        www.rebeccahjamison.com

November 28        www.mybookaday.blogspot.com

November 30        creationsbyvicky.blogspot.com

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