Simply West of Heaven – Author Interview

Simply West of Heaven Blog Tour Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Simply West of Heaven by Monique Bucheger, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Simply West of HeavenTitle: Simply West of Heaven Series: Ginnie West Adventure #3 Author: Monique Bucheger Publisher: True West Publishing Release Date: 2020 Genre: Middle-Grade Contemporary Fiction Twelve-year-old BFFs 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. PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon

Author Interview!

Hello Monique! Thanks for stopping by my blog today so I can learn more about you!

Which of your Published or Unpublished books is your favorite, and why? That is like asking a mother to choose her favorite child. Usually it is the book I am writing at the moment. I am presently working with my narrator to make my 4th book Being West is Best into an audiobook—and I am enjoying “plus-sing” the scenes as I revamp it for the audiobook. It is a story about redemption and I love the journey each character is on.

How do you pick your character’s personalities or looks? Quite often, for me, everything about a character starts with a name. I love names and exploring what a person with a certain name might be like. Then the other details populate. Sometimes a character needs an interaction with a character with certain personality traits and then I explore what kind of name or looks that personality might embody. Some names might come about because of where that character lives or a family history or nationality.

What is your favorite genre to read? What is your favorite genre to write? And why are they your favorites? I love to read most middle grade books—fantasy and real life with humor, most of all. I like stories where ordinary people do extraordinary things. I am fascinated by how uncomplicated right and wrong can be to middle grade people—and that when properly motivated—helping a friend or someone else in need—that they can show courage for others that they may not show for themselves.

What inspires you the most? Kindness. Seeing people serve one another, trying to lighten someone’s burdens. Turning people’s opinion’s on their heads. One of my favorite reviews says the reader was so prepared to hate one of my characters … but just couldn’t. 🙂

Once an idea takes root, how long does it take you to write it down? I try to write ideas down as soon as I can so I don’t forget them. Then I simmer scenes in my head Do you use outlines? Yes—but only a sentence or 2 per chapter to let me know where I want to go with it. I try not to completely play scenes out in my head before I write them—because I am more of a “pantser” (someone who writes by the seat of their pants—also known as a “discovery” writer.) Basically I’m a pantser who benefits from some plotting.

Do you have a favorite author? Again—this is like asking a mother who her favorite child is. Two of my favorite books were written by David Farland: In The Company of Angels and Nightingale. I always loved anything by Louisa May Alcott, Terry Brooks, Zig Ziglar, Les Brown, Denis Waitley. I like books that make you laugh and cry, that empower the reader. Or someone whom you would say has influenced your writing style? My books get compared favorably to Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary’s books—since each author is someone I enjoyed reading, I am sure they influenced some of my style. As a former foster mom to over 100 kids, my personal goal is to empower and uplift my readers—whatever their age—with experiences that will resonate in their lives or in the lives of someone they care about.

What are your hobbies other than writing? Scrapbooking is a favorite I haven’t had time to indulge in much lately—though I still take a lot of pictures (my nickname is “The Mamarazzi”) in hopes I can put scrapbooks together for my kids and grandkids again. I was given the nickname by Merlin the wizard when I was taking pictures of my oldest daughter at Disneyland, who was given the opportunity to pull the sword, Excalibur, out of the stone. Merlin said, “You have heard of the Paparazzi? Let me introduce you to the “Mamarazzi’.” I wear the name as a badge of honor.

Do you have a genre that you would never write? Erotica

What is one thing you would say has had the greatest impact on your writing? Realizing that the stories I write have the power to influence people for good. Recently a n 18 year-old girl who had been physically abused by her birth dad as well had witnessed her mom’s death by overdose when she was 13 told me that she has read all of my books and they have brought her healing and peace. I am grateful she shared that with me, as well as others who have shared how my books have impacted them. Many people have said that the wished the Wests could be their family or neighbor.

Lastly, what was your favorite book growing up? The one that pops into my head today is Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. I looked up her name and realized that I have read all of her books—even though I don’t remembered everything that happened in them. I remember being so shocked when Leslie died. Kids aren’t supposed to die. But unfortunately kids DO die.

The other thing that stands out to me is Leslie’s imagination. As  a kid—I was her. I made up stories and could see the world I created all around me rather than what actually was. The “West” farm is a real place—but I have spent so much time in Ginnie’s world that the “real” farm” looks very different in the real world than on “Heart of the Wests.” One of the kids that grew up on the farm told me once, “When I read your books, I always know where I am on the farm—but it always feels like a TV crew has come in and changed the décor. 🙂

Thank you for sharing part of yourself with me Monique!I enjoyed getting to know you just a little bit better 🙂

Read my reviews of the first two books in Monique Bucheger’s series here: Secret Sisters Club (Book 1) & Trouble Blows West (Book 2)


Monique Bucheger

When Monique Bucheger 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, an adorable granddaughter, a son-in-law, three cats, and many real and imaginary friends. She is the author of several books and plans to write many more. You can find more about Monique and her works on her website. CONNECT WITH MONIQUE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


(1) winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card OR winner’s choice of Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Apple, or Kobo!

Simply West of Heaven JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 12, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on October 19, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. James Robert says:

    It’s been great getting to discover your book and share with the readers in my family. Thank you and thanks for the giveaway. 


  2. Thank you for sharing! – JustRead Tours


  3. Great interview! I enjoyed getting to know the author.


  4. diannekc says:

    Sounds like a great read for some of the younger readers that I know.


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