Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Simply West of Heaven – A Review and Giveaway

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.

Click here to get your copy!

This story continues the saga of Ginnie West, her family and her best friend Tillie. This series is perfect for middle schoolers. The author makes the characters come to life and act in realistic ways. I definitely recommend reading the series in order.

This book centers around Ginnie and her brother discovering something about their mom. I enjoyed the way the author presented the details. I felt the emotions of the characters.

So check this book out for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

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 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!

Monique Bucheger

Blog Stops

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

Giveaway

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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10495/simply-west-of-heaven-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Bride by Blackmail – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Bride by Blackmail

Author: Debbie Lynne Costello

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: September 15, 2020

A broken heart, a controlling father, and an intrusive Scot leave Charlotte Jackson reeling. Accused of stealing an heirloom pin, she must choose between an unwanted marriage and the ruin of her family name. With the futures of her three younger sisters at stake, as well as her own reputation, Charlotte must navigate through injustice to find forgiveness and true happiness.

Eager to find the traitor that caused the death of his brother, Duncan Mackenzie comes to America and attempts to fit in with Charleston society. But when the headstrong Charlotte catches his eye, Duncan takes on a second mission—acquiring the lass’s hand. After being spurned several times, he uses unconventional ways of winning her heart.

Click here to get your copy!

As I began reading this book, I quickly became caught up in the story. Duncan attempts to find the person responsible for the death of his brother by coming to America. Meanwhile, Charlotte finds herself caught up with a man who could ruin her reputation. While her father demonstrates the characteristic of being overbearing, he also demonstrates how much he cares for her.

This book shows the havoc that keeping secrets can wreak when Duncan orchestrates circumstances that force Charlotte to marry him. The characters and storyline come to life in this book. I had to keep reading in order to find out how the story would end.

So check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Debbie Lynne Costello has been writing since the young age of eight. She went to college for journalism. She enjoys medieval settings and settings set in nineteenth century Charleston, South Carolina. She loves the Lord and hopes to touch people’s lives through her stories. Debbie Lynne lives in the beautiful state of South Carolina with her husband of 40 years, their 4 children, 2 Tennessee Walking horses, 2 Arabians, miniature donkey, 6 ducks, and 3 dogs.

More from Debbie

It is fun to build characters in books and one of the best ways is to show some sort of a hobby or skill that the particular character enjoys. In Bride by Blackmail, Charlotte and her sister, Nellie, are doing needlework on a tablecloth that they hope to have done by the holiday season. My grandmother who would be over a hundred today loved to do needlework. I have pieces from when she was young up until her later years when she did needlework on pillowcases to decorate them up as a Christmas present. But I also have pieces done by my great-great grandmother and her sisters. They are cherished pieces I hope to hand down for generations. As part of my giveaway I’ve purchased antique needlework and embroidered pieces to giveaway with the prizes.

Another fun way to build characters is show something they love to eat. Nellie, who is a minor character, is visiting the hero’s home with her family. Duncan being from Scotland has scones on the breakfast menu. Nellie can’t get enough of the yummy biscuits and finds the servant enjoys helping her continue her indulgence even after she leaves.

SCONES

Preheat oven to 400

2 cups of flour

1/3 cup sugar

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

½ cup sour cream

½ cup butter (hard)

½ cup cranberries

1 large egg

2 tsp. sugar (do not put this in with the dry ingredients. This is for topping.)

Mix together dry ingredients in large bowl. Once mixed well, cut hard butter into pats and drop into the bowl. Now cut the butter into the floured mixture until it is more like a crumble. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together your egg and your sour cream until well mixed.

With a fork (no mixer!) blend the liquid mixture into the flour mixture, keep stirring until the mixture becomes one large ball. If you need to you can use your hands toward the end to make sure all the flour is in the ball.

On a lightly floured surface pat the dough out to about 3/4” thick. I try to make mine a rectangle for the next step. Once you have the thickness right, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tsps. sugar. Cut the dough into triangles and place on cookie sheet (you can use parchment paper on the cookie sheet). Be sure to place adequately apart on the sheet to prevent them touching when rising.

Bake approximately 15 minutes or until they are a beautiful golden color.

Allow to cool slightly. These are wonderful warm or cold!

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 14

Hallie Reads, December 14

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 15

Novels Corner, December 15

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 16

Connect in Fiction, December 16

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 17

Artistic Nobody, December 18 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Britt Reads Fiction, December 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 19

Simple Harvest Reads, December 19 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Rebecca Tews, December 20

deb’s Book Review, December 20

Inklings and notions, December 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 21

Texas Book-aholic, December 22

Splashes of Joy, December 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 23

Vicky Sluiter, December 23

Labor Not in Vain, December 24

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 25

Connie’s History Classroom, December 26

Bizwings Blog, December 26

For Him and My Family, December 27

Maureen’s Musings, December 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Debbie is giving away the grand prize of a a smart watch!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/104ae/bride-by-blackmail-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tour Reminders