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.
My thoughts: This collection follows the story of Ginnie West as she and her best friend, Tillie, try to play matchmaker between their parents so they can be sisters for real. Their relationship and the relationships they have with those around them, have their ups and downs as they navigate unknown waters. Throw into the mix that Ginnie comes across her mom's journals and Tillie deals with the side effects of her dad's abandonment, and things are never dull around the West ranch!
This series does deal with some more sensitive issues, like abuse and bullying. I think that the author handles it in a way that is fitting for middle school age readers on up.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.
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!
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
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!!