Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Being West is Best ~ A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Being West is Best

Author: Monique Bucheger

Genre: Contemporary Middle Grade

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.” I

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.”

Click here to get your copy!

Having read the previous books in this series, I looked forward to reading this next installment. This book lived up to my expectations. Ginnie and Tillie continue to scheme and make plans. Extra characters continue to bring drama to the plot.

I love how the author introduces new characters throughout the series. I found Tillie’s dad to be an intriguing addition to the series. I also appreciate how children want to be part o this family. Growing up as the younger sister, I remember how my sister’s friends always visited our house and the stunts they pulled. This book helped recreate some of those memories.

This series provides an excellent group of books for tweens to read. The Christian and family values make the books worth reading.

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 fourth book in my published series: BEING WEST IS BEST: A Ginnie West Adventure. This book is the 4th installment of the Ginnie West Adventures, but NOT the last book in the series. Book 5 will be ready to publish in 2021, followed quickly by Book 6.

BEING WEST IS BEST is a redemption story and while it has the same family flavor of the preceding books, it does have an intensity that younger readers may benefit from reading this along with trusted adult teachers or family members as a catalyst for discussing some hard issues—though still in an age appropriate way.

As a former foster mom to over 100 foster kids, one of my goals as I write the GINNIE WEST series is to give a voice to kids who feel voiceless and invisible. There are some intense scenes in this book as Tillie, a formerly abused and abandoned child (by her birth dad—NOT her birth mom—who is a rock in Tillie’s world) She meets with her birth dad for the first time in 6 years.

I allow Tillie to say things to him that he needs to hear so that other kids, who will only have such a meeting vicariously thru Tillie and her dad, Jasper, can heal—and possibly form a bridge from a broken past to a happier future.

However, reuniting every formerly abused child with their abuser is NOT always a good idea.

In Tillie’s case, her birth dad left to fight his demons safely away from her. He returns after making some powerful changes so that both of their lives are better. Even so, Tillie is resistant to allow him back in her daily life. It is to this end that each will need to bend a little—and show the other compassion and kindness to truly heal.

Because Tillie is a child, I make sure this meeting is in a place where she feels safe and with adults who have her best interests at heart, who can protect her if need be. I would never suggest such a meeting without these safeguards in place. I am careful to allow Tillie the opportunity to advocate for herself—something that is not always possible in real life.

Being West is Best is a story that explores some hard realities in a necessary way, leaving my readers and characters uplifted and empowered. It also contains some fun times, interesting shenanigans, loving family relationships, imaginative solutions to some tricky problems, and a horse who is as playful as her owner.

Whether you’ve read the entire series or are joining this tour with this book, I hope you will be willing to join Ginnie and Tillie on this journey. There are plenty of opportunities to laugh, a few to cry, but more importantly, to take a stand and make deliberate decisions in your own life.

Laugh lots, love much, write on!!

Monique Bucheger

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, January 11

Splashes of Joy, January 12 (Author Interview)

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 14

Artistic Nobody, January 15 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

deb’s Book Review, January 16

Texas Book-aholic, January 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 19

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 20

Beauty in the Binding, January 21 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, January 21

Blogging With Carol, January 22

For Him and My Family, January 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Monique is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Apple, or Google Play!!

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/10536/being-west-is-best-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Veiled Sun – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Veiled Sun

HAuthor: Brett Armstrong

Genre: Christian Dystopian, Sci-Fi

AD 2040: Every day the world slips further into lies. Seventeen-year-old Elliott knows that better than most. Project Alexandria is rewriting history, shaping the world according to sinister goals. To stop it, Elliott must assemble the “Veiled Sun”, a secret program written by his grandfather. The only people he can count on are siegers—outlaws who use their coding skills for purposes almost as nefarious as Project Alexandria. Overcoming the schemes and betrayals all around him, he’s the world’s best hope to save reality, if he doesn’t lose hold of it himself.

Click here to get your copy!

This dystopian Christian Young Adult novel grabs your attention. Elliott and the other characters come to life in this book. The storyline moves along at a good pace. This book captured my attention and my imagination. I had to keep reading to find out where the story would take me. I thought the author wrote the storyline and characters well.

The concept of an iPad being outdated amused me since I am typing this on my iPad. Considering our family enjoys watching shows such as Star Trek and they use tablet like devices, I just found that idea unusual. Also, with this being the second book in the series, I definitely recommend reading the books in order for maximum understanding. This book captured my imagination and my attention.

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

About the Author

Brett Armstrong has been exploring other worlds as a writer since age nine. Years later, he still writes, but now invites others along on his excursions. He’s shown readers hauntingly sorrowful historical fiction (Destitutio Quod Remissio), scary-real dystopian sci-fi (Day Moon and Veiled Sun), and dark, sweeping epic fantasy (Quest of Fire). Where he heads next is as much a discovery for him as readers. Through dark, despair, light, joy, and everything in between, the end is always meant to leave his fellow literary explorers with wonder and hope.

More from Brett

In the near-future world of Veiled Sun, reality is an endangered species. The erosion of confidence in traditional sources of undisputed truth–media, government, academia and science, religion, family, and friends—forces continual skepticism and self-reliance. At the same time, technology is making it more and more possible to “escape” reality. Virtual reality allows us to trick our minds into thinking we’ve literally stepped into another world and augmented reality brings elements of other worlds into our own. Deep Fake is even offering the ability to change past realities by manipulating audio and video recordings in ways our minds can’t distinguish from the real thing.

1 Corinthians 13 is one of my favorite passages of Scripture and verse twelve is probably one of the clearest places to see a sentiment key to the series:

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.”

Veiled Sun follows a teen who knows that reality is being tampered with for nefarious purposes. More important he also sees beyond the physical reality to the spiritual while handling an attack on both. Believers need to be firmly grounded in their faith in a world that increasingly muddles the lines between real and not real, truth and falsehood. There’s research that suggests our brains interpret what we read in the same way as lived experiences. So, in a sense GK Chesterton and others were right when they told us long ago that what we read becomes a part of us. My hope is readers will be better prepared to weather the storms that will come against their faith and hold onto the Truth even as truth is increasingly difficult to discern from fiction.

Blog Stops

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 14

Texas Book-aholic, January 15

Wishful Endings, January 16 (Author Interview)

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 17

For Him and My Family, January 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 19

deb’s Book Review, January 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 21

Inklings and notions, January 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 23

Blogging With Carol, January 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 24

Artistic Nobody, January 25 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Book of Ruth Ann, January 26

Simple Harvest Reads, January 27 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Brett is giving away the grand prize package of a gift basket consisting of a signed copy of each book, book swag (including specially made bookmarks, story excerpt crafts, and character cards), and a $10 Amazon 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/105a3/veiled-sun-celebration-tour-giveaway