A Walk Down Rushville
is Now Available for Purchase

Well, I did it! I wrote AND published my first novel! Thank you for following my publishing journey and to those of you – my friends, family, colleagues, fellow authors and neighbors who supported me during the presale campaign, many thanks.

The novel is available in both paperback and eBook versions with an audio version in the works.
Your purchase and review will help me not only BE an author, but a BEST SELLING author! 

Please read about the book below.

About My First Novel

A Walk Down Rushville is a book that explores the meaning of family—both the family of origin and the “adopted or created” family. It’s the story of one woman’s journey to free herself from the pain of her abusive birth family and embrace the love and support of neighbors—her ‘adopted family.’

Separation from family is a sad reality. On the west coast alone, only half the adult population live near their extended families. The result for many is loneliness, now considered a disease that contributes to health issues. A Walk Down Rushville, set in California, North Carolina, and Italy, follows forty-nine year-old Skyler as she deals with loneliness, separation from loved ones, redefining the meaning of family, and recreating a support system based on love.

SETTINGS/VENUES IN THE BOOK (L to R: Southern California Coastline; Edenton, NC; Ishcia, Italy)

Main Character Inspiration

Skyler is a reclusive, lonely and depressed woman living in a small home in southern California. She takes walks with her black lab at night to find peace and clarity and to escape thoughts of her abusive family and the death of her husband. One late night, during her regular walk down Rushville Street, she observes a murder in progress. Her life takes a turn when she looks into the eyes of the assailant.

Now depression and grief are joined by the daily fear for threats she receives from the assailant, who has identified her. Just when she thinks she cannot handle anything more, she is called to her hometown of Edenton, North Carolina where her mother is dying of cancer. Having a thread of hope to find some support and reconcile with her abusive mother and narcissistic sister, she flies home only to learn the valuable lesson of “letting go of words that hurt,” and a family that no longer supports her.

Skyler’s journey back to California and ultimately to Italy is the story of courage—the courage of one woman to move away from depression, fear and grief and into self-discovery. As a witness in a courtroom drama and in the face of life-threatening events, Skyler discovers inner strength and determination for something better. Ultimately, she recognizes the true meaning of family in the love, support and encouragement offered to her by her neighbors.

A Walk Down Rushville examines the walks in life. As our character walks down a neighborhood street, witnesses a murder, we see that the ‘walk’ is really about her journey towards a whole new family she can call her own, releasing her painful past, and beginning a new voyage in life.

For anyone who is alone, without family or suffering the abuse of family members, it is my hope that in reading A Walk Down Rushville, they will be inspired and gain a greater understanding of the power of the renewed spirit from this one individual. My character’s heart was closed from abuse, abandonment, fear, and grief, but her heart became opened with new experiences and individuals that showed up in her life. She said ‘Yes, I’ll open my door when the doorbell rings’ and ‘Yes, I’ll talk to that neighbor when she walks by.’

When the heart starts opening and says ‘yes’ again and again, the door to a joyful and fulfilling life opens. Yes, it is possible to create a new family, but it takes courage, self-discovery, vulnerability, and the willingness to love again. It is my hope that A Walk Down Rushville reminds the reader of the power of ‘yes:’ “YES” to courage we may not know we have, “YES” to the people around us that can and do love us and “YES” to the life of joy that may just be right in front of us.

Actual Cover Design on book mockup

Watch Novel Video Teaser

Book Clubs

Book Clubs, both in person and virtual, have been selecting my book… including my own club. I’m both honored and excited! 

This prompted me to create questions for book club discussions.

And also lead me to create some special offers just for books clubs… 

See below for details and/or email me at barbaraburtonauthor@gmail.com to discuss your specific club’s needs.  

Virtual Clubs
Get a signed print copy shipped directly to each member individually for the all-inclusive price of $25.
NOTE: This is only available by purchasing directly from me. Email barbaraburtonauthor@gmail.com to take advantage of this offer.

In-person Clubs
There are a few options for in-person clubs.

For orders of 10 or more books in a single transaction shipped directly to the club leader and distributed at your next meeting, each member would pay only $17.50 per signed print copy which is below Amazon price.  NOTE: This is only available by purchasing directly from me. Email barbaraburtonauthor@gmail.com to take advantage of this offer.

If your club is local to me in Southern California and you would like me to participate, deliver the book club members’ books in person and personally sign each book while there, please email me – barbaraburtonauthor@gmail.com  to discuss options and club discounts.

For those who prefer the digital version or do not want a signed copy, please order directly from Amazon.


What Fans are Saying

A real page turner with one surprise after another.  I recommend this book for a highly entertaining read and great insights. 

I really enjoyed the book.  There were so many twists and turns, you never knew what was coming around the corner. Also, the dynamics of Skyler’s family and friends was very interesting. 

The book made me think about my own family and how I might react in a similar situation.

This novel is a visual delight! I was amazed how she captured the beauty, simplicity and warmth of the people and places along Skyler Rossi Bennett’s journey. Skyler’s transformation is the heart of this moving story. I enjoyed witnessing the development of Skyler’s courage, openness and acceptance of herself and others. It’s an enchanting positive summer read full of twists and turns. This is just what we all need!

Jennifer M.

A Walk Down Rushville is a fast-paced, inspiring read that is jump-started by what appears to be a murder. The witness, Skylar Rossi Bennett, is thrown into a prolonged struggle to find her footing in her changing world. A shy widow, she is forced to move from self-isolation in order to regain her balance lost when her beloved husband died. Living across the country, her mother and sister remain estranged and unsympathetic, yet call on Skylar to help them with their own transitions. Along these fraught journeys, Skylar befriends and is befriended by a sympathetic group of neighbors and newly acquired friends whose collective care and concern shore up her confidence and spur her sense of adventure.

Jacquelyn R.

I loved the detail of the surroundings and attire of the characters in the book. The author creates intrigue as a result of a crime. The reader is enticed to keep reading to find out the outcome. There are unexpected twists and turns which make the book so interesting. The settings take place in beautiful places such as the Southern Coast of California and a quaint village in scenic Italy. My husband and I both enjoyed the book.

Karen R.

I understand the concept of the main character self-isolating, perhaps even resenting people around her who were friendly.  This is what depression can look like. In the novel, I saw Skyler as coming to the realization that ‘if people love me and if I accept their love, it can become real’. She had to hear people tell her, recognize that it was real and then learn how to accept their love into her life. 

It reminded me of Eat, Pray, Love as it was the story of a woman’s journey to self-discovery and self-love.

The book made me think about my own family and how I might react in a similar situation.

Reviews, especially on Amazon, help an author’s book get better placement in searches and “get found”. As this is my first novel, reviews are especially important. Thank you for taking the time to post a review!

Barbara Burton

My Publishing Journey

I completed the program titled Manuscript that utilizes New Degree Press for publishing. They provided me a publishing team to help me produce and launch my book along with a program to follow, a presale campaign implementation guide and timeline to stick to – holding me accountable and helping to bring this dream to reality.

I worked with…

  • A positioning coach, a developmental coach and a structural coach.
  • A marketing specialist to coach and support me in marketing efforts, and help me reach new audiences
  • A revisions editor, copy editor, and proofreader to further hone my book
  • A cover artist and layout editor who designed my book.
  • And soon will be working with an audiobook specialist to complete the audio version.

It was quite a journey, and the official launch was held on Sunday, April 14, 2024 at the beautiful L&G Projects contemporary art gallery in La Jolla, CA. Many thanks to all supporters who were able to be at the event – in-person and virtually….

Insightful Videos about My  Publishing Journey

From the writing process to character development, plot and settings, the following videos provide insights into my own publishing journey and hopefully, inspiration for others considering taking a walk down the publishing path and penning their own novel or book. 






EMOTION – Show vs.Tell


Fiction character based on Barbara’s real life neighbor

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

A REAL Non-profit Conceived from Fiction

The Neighbors as Family concept is introduced by Skyler, the protagonist in this contemporary fiction novel. Skyler faced depression, loneliness, and estrangement from her family of origin but finds love, acceptance, and connection with the neighbors around her.

“The NAF concept came to me in a dream state while I was writing the book. I wanted my character to be able to make a difference in the world, to make a contribution in some way. As she moved away from depression and grief and embraced the love of her neighbors around her, the idea came to her that an organization could encourage those without a family to connect with neighborsthus, the concept was born in the story. Then, I made a decision to make it real and establish a nonprofit.”

– Barbara Burton, Author

About the Author

Barbara Burton is a former Capitol Hill reporter and registered nurse. For the past 25 years, she’s worked in management consulting helping companies with strategic visioning, cultural alignment, communication and sustainability. Barbara is the author of two illustrated, sing-along children’s books, the most recent, published in 2023, is titled Annie Kai Lani Kai Lou: Maui’s Beloved Pup.

Barbara also is a soft jazz vocalist and recorded two CDs. She enjoys writing songs and lyrics and created the song and sings vocals in her children’s books. She’s published numerous business and feature articles through the years, and decided to write a novel in 2023.

Barbara has degrees in Journalism and Nursing and multiple business and coaching certifications. She lives in La Jolla with her husband and two Springer Spaniels.

Barbara was inspired to write a novel about how individuals “create” a family when they have no family of origin, having experienced some loss of family in her own life. Her character faces depression, loneliness and estrangement from her family but finds love, acceptance and connection with the neighbors around her. The positive transformation in the character is profound and she creates a nonprofit organization that encourages individuals to reach out to neighbors and create a new family. In the book, she calls the organization, Neighbors as Family. Barbara decided to make the organization real and a website is currently under development. 

Stay Connected

Please feel free to email me directly at barbaraburtonauthor@gmail.com
or use the short form below. Also, please follow me on social media.

Copyright © 2023, Barbara Burton ~ All Rights Reserved