Tag Archives: coming of age

Emotional Paramedics by Susan Barton

My first novel is available on Amazon in eBook and print formats!

  • File Size: 1136 KBEmotional Paramedics by Susan E. Barton Cover Photo Final
  • Print Length: 201 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: eBook Review Gal Publishing (August 18, 2016)
  • Publication Date: August 18, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English


*Please be aware that this book deals with some serious social issues. It includes some strong language and mature situations.

August Gallagher is a sweet and intelligent Brooklyn girl just trying to find her place in the world during the turbulent 1960s. Unfortunately, her mother, Alis, doesn’t make things easy for her. Bad choices, poor parenting and abusive men create chaos at every turn. Yet, through it all, August reluctantly remains a devoted daughter and continues to be Alis’s emotional paramedic.

Along the way, August finds friendship, romance and makes a few dangerous enemies. When Alis hits rock bottom, August is forced to come to terms with the fact that it’s finally time to cut the dysfunctional cord to save herself from Alis’s emotional grasp.


Susan Barton is an author, marketer, copywriter, photographer, artist and coach. She loves helping authors market their books. Susan currently resides in North Texas with her husband and their two dogs.

If you’d like a free review copy of Emotional Paramedics, or any of Susan’s books, please submit a contact form here:

Review of A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter

I was excited to read this book. I love old-fashioned nostalgic coming-of-eBook Review Gal Book Review of A Girl of Limberlost by Gene Straton-Porterage stories and judging from the reviews, I was in for a treat. However, I found myself disappointed with A Girl of the Limberlost.

Gene Stratton-Porter’s writing style, in my opinion, was lacking.  Although the book was written in third person omniscient, the author didn’t take care to give each character his or her own chapter. This created some confusion when following the story. I found that the dialogue was often stilted and long-winded.

The constant friction between Elnora Comstock and her mother, Katherine, grew increasingly tiresome after a while. When the reason for Katherine bitterly and cruel animosity toward Elnora finally became known my first thought was “what the heck?” Elnora was a baby when her father died, how in the heck did Katherine justify this?

Katherine spent a lot of time blaming everyone for her bitterness and problems. This, to me, made her a highly unlikable character. Elnora wasn’t much better. One moment the author had her crying and feeling sorry for herself over her lot in life and the next she was happily telling off the high school popular girls. I didn’t get some of the “good-natured” barbs the characters tossed at one another. Was calling someone a “little pig” or “little idiot” a funny quip back in those days?  When little Billy laughingly tells how he and his siblings got even with the family dog for stealing their food (a dead bird) I was mortified.

About halfway through the book, the focus shifts and it seemed to me as though the author could have broken it into two distinct books. The author included a nice amount of conservation and ecological references, which are clearly still important subjects today. Yet, it didn’t save the book for me.

I wouldn’t call this a timeless classic by any means. I have trouble envisioning today’s teens finding much relatable material here. This book was listed as having only 267 pages, yet it seemed far longer. It went off in too many directions and seemed disjointed at times. I didn’t enjoy this book and really can’t recommend it.


3 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

Review of Blue Karma by J. K. Ullrich

Water is the resource of life. Without water humans, plants and animals would perish. Blue Karma by J. K. UllrichWater is crucial for survival and its absence can contribute to feelings of  anger, greed and depression. But what about extreme amounts of water? As many of us know, too much water can be destructive and deadly to just about everything on Earth.

Amaya is a typhoon survivor. As I read her story, I couldn’t help but admire her. During the storm she loses everything – her home, and most of her family. Amaya, just a teen herself, takes her younger sister and flees. Survival isn’t easy. There are hundreds of homeless people, all struggling to survive. Because of the severe shortage of fresh water, Amaya does everything possible to survive even if it involves ice poaching. I admired her determination and incredible will to survive under these extraordinary conditions.

The water shortage brings about ice poachers. Breaking icebergs and melting them to produce fresh water becomes a way to survive for many but it also becomes a big business. Nilak, a large company with a contract to harvest ice, produces fresh water from the bergs and sells it to those who can afford to pay. Therefore, the poachers are a nuisance to Nilak.

Amaya meets and falls in love with Logan. Logan is a military deserter whose job is to guard the arctic from poachers. Logan and Amaya are caught up in one scandal after another to protect Logan’s hometown with hopes of building a new life there.

This is a fast-paced, action-packed story. Amaya and Logan take readers on a spiraling journey of intense emotions. I was able to feel the love and compassion they have for one another while struggling to survive. I could also feel their frustration and hate for the bullies who set road blocks for them along the way. Blue Karma is a story of love, deceit, and manipulation. Will Karma win in the end? I recommend reading this book to find out.

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Monica McDaniel for eBook Review Gal

eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Review of Liar from Vermont by Laura C. Stevenson

Liar from Vermont by Laura C. StevensonWe first meet Peggy Hamilton as a seven-year-old girl in 1953. Because of her father’s temporary position at Harvard, Peggy and her family are spending a year in Boston. Peggy is bright and imaginative, and she’s captivated her class with tales of living on the family farm in Vermont. The only thing is, Peggy’s permanent home is in Michigan and the family only vacations in Vermont. Although embarrassed when the lie is revealed, a family friend assures Peggy she must be a very persuasive and clever girl to have fooled people for as long as she did. From there we follow Peggy as she grows from childhood into adulthood, with ten interconnecting stories. Throughout, Peggy experiences a variety of happy, disappointing and heartbreaking events.

I loved this book. Laura C. Stevenson is a masterful storyteller, with a definite way with words. While Liar from Vermont revolves mainly around a young character, adults will certainly enjoy reading about the cast of characters Ms. Stevenson has created. Peggy is a precocious and highly intelligent child who seems to have had the misfortune of being born in an age where women were still expected to take a backseat to men. With a tendency towards being a “tomboy”, Peggy is often corrected by her mother regarding what is and isn’t expected of young ladies in 1950s society. As Peggy gets older, she becomes saddened and frustrated by the effects of “progress” within the Vermont farming community and we see through this through the progressing stories.

I found this book to be a kind of Jane Austen meets Lucy Maude Montgomery meets Harper Lee, yet unique in its own right and I absolutely adored it. There is definitely a charming, endearing and old-fashioned feel to Ms. Stevenson’s writing – something sorely lacking in most modern-day (YA) novels. I would recommend Liar from Vermont to anyone searching for a lovely coming of age novel that will stay with you long after the last page.

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review of Brave New Girls: Tales of Girls and Gadgets, Edited by Paige Daniels and Mary Fan

Brave New Girls: Tales of Girls and GadgetsBrave New Girls: Tales of Girls and Gadgets by Paige Daniels

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fantastic concept for an anthology. A book that highlights a diverse group of intelligent young heroines is sure to be a hit among youngsters and adults. The stories contained within Brave New Girls (Tales of Girls and Gadgets) are as varied as the contributing authors are. All are unique and all include positive, scientifically inclined role models.

I especially love the fact that all of the proceeds go to a great cause – a scholarship fund through the Society of Women Engineers. Sharing the idea that girls can excel in male-dominated fields and have the ability to become scientists, inventors, space explorers, programmers, etc. just as boys do is an admirable basis for a book geared towards teens of either sex.

I would recommend this book for teens and lovers of YA SciFi. Brilliantly empowering!

http://ebookreviewgal.com received a complimentary copy of this book from one of the authors in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1)The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Violet Ambrose is a sixteen-year-old high school student with psychic abilities. Her ability to hear “echoes” enables her to pick up on the “imprints” of the dead – whether animal or human, these echoes speak to Violet. When she was just eight, Violet’s gift led her to the traumatic discovery of the dead body of a young local girl. Now, eight years later, there’s a killer on the loose once again and he’s targeting local teenage girls. Much to the dismay of her parents, police chief uncle and her best friend/recently-turned boyfriend Jay, Violet wants to search for the killer, using her special gift. Will Violet be able to stop the murderer before he kills again?

I liked The Body Finder. This is the perfect YA novel. It has a feisty, attractive protagonist who’s not overly sure of herself. A handsome, attentive love interest. Interesting and sometimes quirky secondary characters. Suspense. The mildest of sexual situations (which were handled age-appropriately) and just the right amount of teenage angst. I did find that the story got a little slow in some parts, but not overly so. The ending was a nail-biter and it definitely held my attention.

I would recommend The Body Finder as a well-written, compelling novel, suitable for teens as well as adults. Kudos to Kimberly Derting – I will definitely read her other books now!

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Review of If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie

If I Fall, If I DieIf I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Diane Cardiel and her son, Will, live a reclusive life in their home in a small town in Canada. Diane is quite happy that she has Will to do all the things she’s too afraid to do around the house. When Will isn’t signing for their many home deliveries, changing light bulbs and doing laundry, they spend their days together reading, painting and pretending. Will, on the other hand, is curious about what life is like “Outside”. He’s realizing there’s a whole wide world that extends beyond the “Inside”, where they’ve assigned names like Toronto, Cairo and Paris to the rooms in their home.

Eventually, a chance meeting with a local boy, named Marcus, leads Will on an adventure Outside that includes school, girls, a new best friend named Jonah, skateboarding, ruthless bootleggers and a missing boy – all very much to the dismay of the extremely agoraphobic Diane. “Why must boys terrify the world to know it loves them?” Diane wonders as she desperately tries to keep Will from the same unfortunate fate as the rest of the Cardiel family.

There are layers upon layers within this one book. I appreciated that Michael Christie told the story from the perspectives of both mother and son. Diane’s heartbreaking story is told in a way that makes readers understand her so much more than we would if the story were told from just Will’s POV, which would probably have made Diane come off as a crazy, manipulative control freak. Instead, through Diane, we’re privy to all the loss and tragedy she’s suffered throughout her life. On the flip side, Will’s story is one of a boy, who is coming of age and finding his own way in the world – a world that doesn’t always include his overprotective mother. There are also some mystery and suspense elements to enhance the story even further.

I chose If I Fall, If I Die on a whim, but I was pleased to find that is so much more than I expected. Michael Christie is a master storyteller. His words are beautifully lyrical, meaningful and poignant. His descriptive passages about Diane and her agoraphobia, were spot on – the panic that can begin slowly and then turn into something all consuming, can only come from someone who has experienced it – either first hand, or through a loved one. The love between a mother and her son is told in such a lovely way, it borders on poetry.

I cannot say enough about this book. I absolutely loved it. I would have given it more than five stars if I could have. I would highly recommend If I Fall, If I Die and feel it is suitable for adults, as well as young adults.

eBook Review Gal received a complimentary Blogging For Books copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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