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Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Tribulations of August Barton by Jennifer LeBlanc - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Augie is moving into his college dorm room and is uncertain about his roommate and the experiences he'll have. He isn't exactly the popular type, he's a nerd with anxiety issues and doesn't know how to behave himself in social situations. Augie's grandmother knows a way to fix these issues though. Gertie is a retired prostitute with a widespread reputation and she knows exactly how she can get Augie out of his shell. She isn't prepared to let her grandson become a boring studious guy without any friends.

Gertie has plans for her grandson, but first Augie needs to break her out of her nursing home every time they go somewhere together. Gertie makes sure his first party is a success, she helps him with his love life and she has the most fascinating friends in interesting and useful places. With the help of his grandma college might not be so bad after all. Will Augie have a chance to make friends and win the heart of the girl he likes and what's the price he has to pay for hanging out with Gertie all the time?

The Tribulations of August Barton is a delightful original story. Augie is adorable, he doesn't have sleek moves, but he's friendly, quirky and smart. He also treasures his grandmother and they're quite a pair. Gertie is a true spectacle. She has plenty of pizzazz, she still has looks, crazy people skills and plenty of pluck. She does whatever she likes and people love her for it. Augie and his grandmother are both main characters to fall in love with. They're wonderful and when they are together nothing is ever boring. I totally loved this amazing duo and enjoyed every single one of their adventures.

Jennifer LeBlanc has a great sense of humor. I laughed out loud many times while reading The Tribulations of August Barton. Because of Augie's endearing and wise character in combination with his grandmother's fierceness excitement is guaranteed. The Tribulations of August Barton is one big adrenaline rush. I loved Jennifer LeBlanc's creativity and really enjoyed reading this heartwarming story.


If you love funny original stories about a fabulous grandmother and grandson duo you don't want to miss The Tribulations of August Barton. Please keep in mind that this is the first book in the August Barton series and that there's a good chance you'll crave more directly after reading the story.

About Jennifer LeBlanc

Jennifer LeBlanc was born and raised in South Dakota and has always had a knack for story-telling. When not slaying zombies in the gaming world or writing, she can be found getting lost in a good book, doing something crafty, indulging in photography, or relaxing with her husband, two cats, and chihuahua. Jennifer loves animals and supports saving species on the verge of extinction. She currently works in merchant banking and credit services while writing her next project.

She is also an active member of Paperbackswap, a great way to save money and swap out old books for new ones. check it out here:


Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram


1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

I am a Self-Published Author hailing from South Dakota. I have lived here my whole life and haven't really traveled much, but hope to do more of that in the future. I love animals and currently have two cats and a long-haired chihuahua.

I have very eclectic tastes with everything. I love books and almost all things creative. I am passionate about what I love and tend throw my whole heart into things that inspire me. Coffee keeps me functional and productive. My culinary skills are somewhat questionable, but I can make the crap out of Mac & Cheese.

2) Can you tell something about Augie and the inspiration behind his character?

I wanted to create a likeable, yet flawed character that almost anyone could relate to. Augie is a figment of the inner me and a lot of what he goes through in this book are things loosely related to what I experienced growing up but at an earlier age than Augie. I also felt a special connection to my grandmother. Much like Augie does in the book with Gertie. In a lot of ways, I connected more with her than with my own mother, and despite this I was still very close to both of them.

3) Augie has a fantastic grandmother, how did you get the idea to write about such a fabulous lady?

She wasn't a character I really had to come up with, she was just already there in my head. Gertie is a combination of different people all in one person. I used to work with a 70- something waitress named Pickles. Her personality was really flirty and fun and that's where a lot of Gertie's mannerisms came from. She is also parts of my own grandmother with some Betty White mixed in.

4) You write humoristic stories, which key features should a good funny book have?

I'm no expert on what defines the perfect humorous story, but here's what I know. I have always been a good story-teller and I have always been able to make people laugh. So, in my opinion it's all about timing. Toilet humor was big in our house growing up even though it was for the most part inappropriate. So I incorporated what I knew into the book. Sometimes with humor you can utilize the conflict in a story to build the humor around it. So I built my central character around exaggerated, absurd and obtuse struggles to weave the humor into it at the right times.

5) For Augie college isn’t easy, but he conquers his fears, where does this idea come from?

There are things in life that we all have to face at one point or another that will test our morals or sanity, but the people who inspire me most are the ones who overcame those obstacles. Augie is a great example of how facing your fears and overcoming things that hold you back can help you grow as a person.

6) You love quotes, which quote inspires you the most as a writer?

I do love quotes especially if they connect with me in some way. One of my favorites that has inspired me most as a writer is from one of my all-time favorite books.

“So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them."- Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

7) Where does your love for books come from?

My mom. She would read to me when I was very young and taught me how to read at the age of two and a half. Later, as I got older my grandmother was a large influence as well. She always took me to the library with her and it was, and still is one of my favorite places to be.

8) How do you combine having a busy day job with your writing and love for animals?

It's definitely not easy. I have to manage my time very carefully. I usually try to wake up as a early as I possibly can to get the most out of my day. This is great because I have a nice slot of time to write before my work day starts and to do other things like housework or run errands. Sometimes this isn't always achievable, but I try to strive for a balance during the work week to keep being productive even though my time is limited.

I was always told growing up to "use your time wisely" and this phrase didn't really sink in until I started writing and I pushed myself to stop saying "I never have time to do this" and actually made time to do it.

9) How did your writing career start?

I have always been a story-teller and have always had ideas in my head. I loved (and still do) books as a kid and they inspired me and sparked my creativity from a very early age. I have always been drawn to anything and everything creative like music, art, crafts, books, photography, poetry, etc. As I got older I mostly wrote poetry.

 I finally started to write my first book in 2014 and finished writing it in 2016. I connected with a local author who helped get me started with the publishing process and have been writing more books ever since.

10) What are your plans for the future?

I plan to one day become a full-time author and spend my days creating imaginary worlds that other people can enjoy and love.


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback copy of The Tribulations of August Barton by Jennifer Leblanc.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. The Tribulations of August Barton sounds like a heartwarming story of love, friendship and family.

  2. The Tribulations of August Barton sounds like a book I'd really enjoy reading!hg

  3. Sounds like a good book and I love that quote too!

  4. this looks great - love the cover xx

  5. I've never heard of Paperbackswap, I'll have to check it out. The book sounds great too!

  6. Sounds like an interesting read; many thanks for the great review!

  7. p like the way the book cover is and would be inteseted in reading it

  8. I like the sound of this and such a fun cover.

  9. It sounds intriguing! Love the cover, it made me smile.

  10. What a great idea for the cover of this novel, sounds like a very interesting book.

  11. sounds like a great read - love the cover

  12. Sounds amazing and the cover is wicked!

  13. Thanks for the great prize and competition. Good luck everyone!

  14. I think it's a great idea that people are starting to write about anxiety and stuff like that. Means it's shown to be "normal" if you suffer from it. Sounds an intriguing book.

  15. This sounds like a great quirky adventure with a likable hero!

  16. What a wonderful cover and Gertie sounds a such a marvellous character.