Tag Archives: memoir

Escape to the Garage by Aimee Eddy in the Featured New Book Spotlight


book coverLet’s welcome Aimee Eddy to West of Mars!

To be honest, I have no idea how how Aimee found us, but let me tell you how glad I am that she’s here. The full title of her book is “Escape to the Garage: Family Love Overcomes Bullying” and just from that title, I can tell you we need more of this kind of goodness in the world. (And I say this as a parent who pulled her own kids back from the “high-risk” label, so I get it. I really do.)

There’s a LOT to explore about this book. We’re not going to get to it all, so I encourage you to explore on your own because me? I’m starting with the usual… Aimee Eddy, what song makes you think of your book, Escape to the Garage?

Taylor Swift’s song, Mean reminds me of my memoir, Escape to the Garage: Family Love Overcomes Bullying. She sings about being put down and how it affected her. In my book I show how I was bullied and that led to a decline in my mental health. Her lyrics, “Words like knives,” tells how the rotten things people say feel like. In my memoir I show how words cut the soul like a knife and tear me down. Taylor Swift sings about how she rose above the bullying and proves the person wrong. In my memoir I rise up to show my worth.

From the opening lyrics, I got the connection here. This is a perfect fit, song to story. (Also? I really want a metal or hard rock version of this song.)

Aimee Eddy, would you please share the book description with us?

Unable to do classwork in first grade, Aimee Eddy is called a retard by her teacher. This label follows her throughout elementary school and forces her to endure daily bullying from classmates and teachers alike. Low self-esteem and hopelessness threaten to swallow her.
Despite the hardships at school, she finds love and acceptance in one place-the family garage. Aimee, her siblings, and cousins disappear into their imaginations. There they build forts in the junkyard and roll down hills in inner tubes. The love her family shares with her at the garage gives her the courage to withstand the deep depression school produces.

Then tragedy strikes, and the family loses the garage. Without this place of refuge, how will she find the strength to stand up to bullies?

Whoa! Like… this reads like fiction. I’ll say it. This is a fabulous hook and I want to know what happens to the family and how Aimee manages to come out on top. I mean, gumption and guts and courage and resiliency, sure. But… there’s ALWAYS more to it than that.

I need to read this, in case it’s not obvious! Don’t you?

Grab your copy! It’s an Amazon exclusive, it looks like.

And connect with Aimee. Authors are always fun to connect with, and Aimee is doing very important work.

As always, remember to leave a review online if you’ve read this and/or tell a friend. Or buy a copy for a friend! The more you spread the word of a good book, the more you help make the book discoverable to others, and that means more sales, which means more royalties for the author, which means all good things. (Also? Don’t download, read, and return, okay? That’s tacky AF.)

And, of course, send your friends and the authors you know on over for their turn in the spotlight. It doesn’t hurt, I’m a lot nice to chat with than I am in my book reviews (ulp), and you never know where your biggest fan is going to come from!


Susan’s Book Talk: Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl


I think the friend who sent me a copy of Ruth Reichl’s Garlic and Sapphires begged me to read it soon, and not let it sit on the TBR mountains forever. Which, of course, means… it sat on the TBR mountains for a damn long time. Too long, but there are very few books that don’t anymore. This is why Jett now runs The Rock of Pages.

But I needed something to read one day in a waiting room, and Garlic and Sapphires was sitting in a pile with one other book. Hardly a pile, right? Easy way to make a dent in the TBR mountains, eliminate a metaphoric peak. I doubted I’d even like it; I usually don’t particularly care for non-fiction.

For days, I did very little BUT read. And at some point, I surfaced long enough to think about the book’s structure.

Oh, sure, you can easily point to the way Ruth talks about her various disguises and hunt for their personas as the structure. The persona, and then the string of restaurants she visited. It all ends with the actual review.

Go deeper, though. Early on, Ruth tells us that moving to New York is going home. And early in her adventures, she does a lot of remembering. You can feel her revisiting the memories and putting them to rest. Her adventures and meals are the vehicle for her coming to terms with her past.

But the longer she’s working, the fewer those moments become. Instead, the new life she’s built creeps into the prose. We may not hear as much about her husband, but we hear more about her son. Politics at the paper. Becoming a celebrity. All this changes her, too, and as her friend and co-worker Carol gets sicker, her personas get meaner and harder to be around — and her friends, being true friends, call her on it.

It’s fascinating to see how the structure of the book ties in so nicely to Ruth’s own changes. It was totally unexpected, how she ties it all together, with food ever at the center, until this isn’t an inside look at being a restaurant critic anymore. Nope. It becomes a story of one woman’s personal journey, and how the people along the way touch her.

I don’t often find books that I can’t put down. It’s even rarer that I find non-fiction that I can’t put down. Go pick this one up — if you’re local, nab my copy before it winds up in a Little Free Library somewhere. It’s okay if you don’t see the brilliance in the structure the way I did. I’m the editor, after all. My approach to the written word is bound to be a bit different.


Rocktober from the Horse’s Mouth


I probably shouldn’t be referring to any of these notable stars as horses, but sometimes, you gotta use the cliches as you find them.

The horses in question are some of rock’s royalties. And the jockey, if I’m going to carry this metaphor into dark and dangerous places (Hey, it’s Halloween. Why not?), is none other than my Rocktober buddy this year, the awesome Deena at e-Book Builders.

She’s got a feature up about rock memoirs. Most that I want to read, a few that I have in the house… and my ultimate, all-time favorite Rock Memoir.

Go ahead. Take a peek. Let me know which you’ve read, which you’ve loved, which you’ve hated, and which make you insist there’s not enough money on the planet to convince you to read.


Rocktober Book Coveting!


Yes, there’s more to covet this Rocktober. Everyone’s jumping on the Rocktober bandwagon, and it’s an activity I heartily endorse and encourage.

Now it’s the legendary Peter Criss, who’s penned his own memoir, Makeup to Breakup.

Sounds ominous, no? Well, not if you know the story of Kiss and the fact that Criss left the band years ago and we’re all over it now, and Beth will never sound the same again. (Hey, wait. Didn’t I just say we’re all over it? Unlike Dave Mustaine and that first band of his. Oy. Time to move on, people! Nothing left to see; the bones haven’t merely been picked clean. They’ve been buried under drifting sediment.)

Today’s the scheduled release date for Makeup or Breakup, so head over to your favorite retailer (yes, I’m still giving bonus points if you go to an independent bookstore) and pick up a copy for me.

Or one for yourself.

Really. I won’t mind.


I’ll mind even less if you’d like to borrow this here blog to post your review!