INTRODUCTION
Playlists. We make them for workouts, parties, break-ups or simply organizing our favorite grunge songs into a digital, heart-shaped box. 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. Skeletons that needed to stay in her closet—or so she thought.

dfw-lm-teimi-cover-iba-final-229x300Humbling yet reassuring, The Exes in My iPod: A Playlist of the Men Who Rocked Me to Wine Country is a no-holds-barred account of one woman’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—only to find 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.

OVERVIEW

My life has always been filled with booze and heartache. I grew up in backwoods Kansas around shotgun-toting beer guzzlers believing that Pabst Blue Ribbon was a luxury product. Before I’d turned 18, my parents had broken up and reunited more times than Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown. It should come as no surprise that I’ve amassed 50 ex-boyfriends—and learned how to do a keg stand before I could legally drive. The irony that my father was an alcoholic and I’ve spent 16 years marketing some of the world’s most prestigious wines is still hard to swallow today.

Based on my personal experiences of struggling to find passion at home and at work, The Exes in My iPod: A Playlist of the Men Who Rocked Me to Wine Country is a novel that tracks one woman’s transformation from redneck waitress to refined wine maven—a bewildering journey from lust to love and beer to wine told through a playlist of ex-boyfriend songs.

When I got my first iPod, I had the unexplainable urge to create the kind of playlist every girl wants to keep on solitary lockdown … at least from my man and my family. It’s called “The Exes”—a compilation of songs that instantly teleported me to memories of a motley crew of ex-boyfriends. And when I listened, I didn’t feel compelled to crush my iPod with a sledgehammer.

In this novel, The Exes playlist helps Harley free a labyrinth of skeletons locked deep in the closet of her psyche—a pot-smoking scuba diver, a bisexual cocaine addict, a military man with a top-secret wife, three Latin lovers, a divorced restaurant manager and a winemaker just for starters. Using lucky 13 songs, The Exes in My iPod: A Playlist of the Men who Rocked Me to Wine Country will inspire readers to relive their relationship failures through their own Exes playlists and discover the hidden beauty of all that baggage—our relationship failures make us who we are. They pave our paths in life. They are dating assets, not liabilities. It was Harley’s destiny to figure out the key to real love through mind-numbing trial and error—and for her not-so-straight or narrow road to Mr. Right and her dream job to stretch from the cornfields of Kansas to Florida’s beaches to California wine country.

Undiagnosed with some rare form of optimism, Harley finds the bright side in her naiveté with men by listening to music. You can too. At the heart of this journey is her hard-won struggle to learn the power of self-respect and the reward of real love—where sex comes second. The Exes in My iPod: A Playlist of the Men who Rocked Me to Wine Country is a reassuring and real reminder of the powerful bond between music, emotions, and memories that continues to transcend time and technology.

Are you ready to play?