Top Ten List
Ten fun facts about the book: Trouble Blows West
1) Ginnie's teacher, Mrs. Johnson, is based on my high school creative writing
teacher, Mrs. Marion Joyce Johnson.
2) Mrs. Johnson, my teacher, is the mother of astronaut Gregory H. Johnson–
he piloted the Space Shuttle Endeavor twice.
3) Colonel Gregory H. Johnson read Trouble Blows West and wrote a Foreword
4) Heart of the Wests (Ginnie's home) is a real place in Ohio.
5) The blonde girl on the cover (Gracie–who is modeling for Ginnie) lives in the
real West Farmhouse.
6) The brunette girl on the cover (Jessie–who is modeling for Tillie)–is Gracie's
cousin in real life.
7) There are real goats, chickens, cattle, dogs, cats, turkeys, ducks on the real
West farm–but NO horses.
8) I spent a lot of time at the "real Wests" farm–as a teenager–babysitting the
kids that lived there–especially Gracie and Jessie's dads–and their aunt.
9) Gracie and Jessie's cousins grew up on a different farm I mention in the
books: Chandler's Crossing–Toran and Ginnie's friend, Austin's home.
10) I raised a lamb named Appomattox (because I was fascinated with the Civil
War) on the real West farm and showed it at the county fair as a teen.
ON THE WAY TO THE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE:
When Tillie shook her head, returned the smile, and then rolled her eyes,
Ginnie knew she had done her job and reassured her best friend. She turned
back to Pierce.
His eyes bore through her. “This ain’t the end of this,” he hissed. His chin
wiggled as his face grew more purple, a bit like an eggplant, but not so
attractive. His cheeks were as wide as his face was long, like an overblown
Ginnie whipped her head toward him, sending her blonde braids flying. “For
your sake, it better be, Pierce Owens, ’cuz there’s only two ways this ends. I
knock you on your can again or you beat up a girl. Neither way looks good—for
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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.
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 and 3 in-law kids, eleven granddarlings, 5 cats, and many real and imaginary friends.
She is the author of five published books (and several unpublished ones) and is in two anthologies. You can find more about Monique and her works at: www.moniquebucheger.blogspot.com
Snippet # 2) This is a scene between Tillie and her mom–that tells what
Tillie REALLY wants:
Matilda Grace, I know you don’t like people to fuss over you, but it’s your
birthday. I want to celebrate you with your friends.”
Tillie groaned. “Mom, I don’t want a big party. Just take Ginnie and me
shopping. Please? That’s good enough.”
She shook her head. “What twelve year-old doesn’t want a real party?”
The kind of twelve-year-old who likes being invisible so people don’t ask you
questions you don’t want to answer. Tillie smiled. “Mom, it’s my birthday. I like
being with the Four Musketeers. I think that would be fun.”
I want you to marry Ginnie’s dad–that’s what I really wish for my birthday,
Ginnie and I have talked about being sisters a million times. That’s what I
want … to be sisters, only for real.
Snippet # 3) This is an intense scene between Ginnie and her dad:
“Look at me.”
She turned slightly in the opposite direction.
He blew out an impatient breath. “You heard me.”
It took every bit of will power Ginnie had to ignore him.
“Fine.” He walked around her and stopped when he stood directly in front
She swallowed quickly and dropped her gaze to the gravel lane just beyond
“Really? That’s the way you want to handle this?”
“This insanity that started out a civilized conversation … before it took a
sharp turn at crazy.” He shook his head. “Tell me why you ran.”
Ginnie shrugged and whirled from him.