Description

When Harley Aberle got her first iPod, she created the kind of playlist every girl wants to keep on solitary lockdown. She called it The Exes—a collection of long-lost songs that instantly steamrolled her down a memory lane of men wider than a six-lane freeway.

The Exes in My iPod: A Playlist of the Men Who Rocked Me to Wine Country is a no-holds-barred account of Harley’s quest to win the hearts of a motley crew of men during her twenties—that golden decade of poor judgment where college, career, alcohol and romance run a crash course. With a musical time capsule of “lucky 13” songs, Harley takes you on a rockin’ journey through laugh-out-loud heartaches and headaches, as this redneck waitress from a long line of alcoholics searches for true love and her calling in life—finding both in California wine country. Grab some earbuds, pour a glass of wine and kick back with an amusing e-book that will inspire you to create your own Exes playlist and discover the hidden beauty of all that baggage.

“Like a great wine or memorable song, this deliciously funny and heartwarming tale brings joy to your soul and a smile to your face. Enjoy the read with headphones on and glass in hand.”
— Leslie Sbrocco, author of Wine for Women and host of Check, Please! Bay Area

“Hilarious and frank, Mattson is one part relationship anthropologist, one part adventurer—like Amelia Earhart and Carrie Bradshaw rolled into one. Every woman of our generation will identify with Harley and her journey.”
— Erin Jimcosky, Mutineer Magazine



The Story Behind This Book
This book is the result of a decade-long journey through men, music and alcohol to find myself. First, I must confess that I am no music expert. The only thing I have in common with Nick Hornby is a flat chest. I'm just a thirty-something woman with a career in wine and hospitality who has met Mr. Right as many times as Madonna sings the word "material" in "Material Girl" (45, if you're wondering). When I hear a favorite song from my past, my mind is always transported back to an ex-boyfriend. Did I really need a teleporter to the past lives of my failed relationships? At first, I wasn't so sure. But if I walked into a bar right now and Extreme's "More Than Words" was spewing from the jukebox, my mind would race to prom night, when my high school sweetheart stood in a gravel driveway sporting a black tuxedo, cooing to the guitar melody spilling from the tape deck of his Ford Tempo. That will always be my Lonnie song. Period. Fast-forward twenty years, and my iPod is a diary of my life--the roads I've traveled, the jobs I've held at restaurants and wineries, and the men I've chased harder than a cold beer after a shot of Jägermeister. When I got my first iPod at age thirty-three, I had no idea that shiny little square was the best relationship therapist money could buy. As soon as I started digitizing my CD collection, I was steamrolled down a memory lane of men--well, more like a six-lane freeway of boyfriend blunders. Triggering these embarrassing memories for the first time in years, I could have hit fast-forward or delete--or grabbed a sledgehammer and went Gallagher on my MP3. Instead, I created a playlist called "The Exes" and let the music transport me. Years ago, music helped me mourn those men. It gave me the strength to strap on my boots and wade into the dating pool (and take a face-plant) again and again and again. Now technology has helped these long-lost songs make a comeback with a purpose. With this musical time capsule of my love life, I can reflect on what I've learned from my mistakes. I can laugh at my immaturity--and my insecurity--with men, and my progression as a lover of delicious food and drink. Am I proud of the fact that practicing poor judgment with men for fifteen years made me the Jedi Master of heartache? Absolutely not. The healing powers of time and music have helped me face down embarrassment and embrace the beauty of all that heavy baggage. I now realize it was my destiny to find happily ever after through trial and error. Every time I journey to my past with my Exes playlist, I learn something about myself and how I've grown as a woman. I'll never stop listening. I'll never stop learning. So, I've done enough hard time on the dating circuit to make Dr. Drew blush, which I believed gave me enough street cred (and material) to write a novel based on my own experiences--my bewildering journey from lust to love and beer to wine told through a playlist of songs. This book is a work of fiction, shaken and stirred by music and alcohol-lubed memories. Any resemblance to actual persons is purely coincidental. While my string of ex-boyfriends is deep enough to fill a National Football League roster, those guys without songs did not make the cut to inspire chapters in this book. (My apologies to the Puerto Rican techno dancer, the Harley-riding waiter, the Egyptian poet, the Bolivian saltwater fish salesman, the exotic flower importer, the aspiring actor, the South Beach hotel manager, the wine collector, the medical marijuana de- fender and the cougar-chasing construction worker.) And that only includes half the rejects of one decade! This whittling act resulted in a fitting number of exes--thirteen--who left their mark both emotionally and musically on the most pivotal years of my life. And revisiting those relationships through fictional writing was an exercise in self-discovery with a poignant reminder: being unlucky in love doesn't have to mean being unlucky in life. Reliving past relationships has been a powerful tool for understanding the woman I've become. The journey back in time--and the search for the real Mr. Right--has been much brighter and colorful set to music. Grab a chair. Pour yourself a glass of Champagne. Read along. Laugh at dating mistakes. Distant memories can be unlocked from the corner of your mind too with a quick visit to Amazon or iTunes. Create your own Exes playlist and see where the music takes you. Besides, it's a hell of a lot cheaper than therapy. Time to play on. And drink up.

Media Mentions

Praise and Reviews

“Like a great wine or memorable song, this deliciously funny and heartwarming tale brings joy to your soul and a smile to your face. Enjoy the read with headphones on and glass in hand.” 
— Leslie Sbrocco, author of Wine for Women and host of Check, Please! Bay Area 


“Hilarious and frank, Mattson is one part relationship anthropologist, one part adventurer—like Amelia Earhart and Carrie Bradshaw rolled into one. Every woman of our generation will identify with Harley and her journey.” 
— Erin Jimcosky, Mutineer Magazine

 

Tampa Uncorked REVIEW: http://tampauncorked.blogspot.com/2013/10/book-review-exes-in-my-ipod.html​

One Girl One Glass One World REVIEW:

http://onegirloneglassoneworld.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/book-review-the-exes-in-my-ipod-a-playlist-of-men-who-rocked-me-to-wine-country/


Author Interviews

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Lisa Mattson
With a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s in heartache, Lisa Mattson’s fate to write a book about bad romances was sealed in elementary school when a snowball More...