Last Bus Out Book: Review and Giveaway

For those of you who have been fans of  Experimental Mommy for awhile now, you are likely aware that Bridgette and I both live in the New Orleans area and survived the major catastrophe Hurricane Katrina.  Five years later, most conversations that take place are still peppered with the phrase, “Before The Storm” or “After the Storm.”  Katrina damage is still visible in many parts of the New Orleans Metro area, and her emotional scars run deep in anyone who lived through it.  You can read a bit about Bridgette’s Katrina Experience here. My experience, although not as severe as Bridgette’s, is not something I like to think about.   My grandfather evacuated his home of over 40 years and came home to nothing but a pile of rubble where his home once stood, washed away by the storm surge.  My house was spared aside from needing a new roof, but we were away from home and without power for 20 days.   When I do think about Katrina, I try to remember to not dwell on the inconveniences I went through, or the horrible uprooting many of my friends and grandfather suffered through, but to think instead of what it was like for those who had nowhere else to go, and when it was over, nothing to come home to.

Beck McDowell

Author and New Orleans native Beck McDowell does great  justice to the most unfortunate victims of the storm in her new book, Last Bus Out. McDowell tells the riveting true story of Courtney Miles, who rescued over 300 people from misery in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Growing up in the Fischer Housing Projects in New Orleans, hardship came second nature to Courtney, who grew up surrounded by blight, poverty, and pain.  Despite having a mother who spent most of Courtney’s life in and out of jail for selling drugs, Courtney managed to stay “straight” and avoid the downfalls that cost many of his friends and relatives their livelihood, or even their lives.  McDowell’s book outlines the track of Katrina in the days leading up to its landfall, and describes with great detail just how grim the days after Katrina were for some residents of the New Orleans area.  With the help of his Fischer Family, Courtney devised a plan to borrow a school bus in order to taxi a number of hungry, dehydrated, and miserable Fischer residents to shelter and safety in the Lafayette, Louisiana Cajundome.  After the rescue, McDowell outlines the next chapter in Courtney’s life, which is still in progress today.

Courtney Miles, whose story is told beautifully in Last Bus Out

I have to make an effort to find time to read nowadays, but found reading this book to be effortless.  Although I have background knowledge of the City of New Orleans and Katrina, I didn’t find that to be my “hook” into the book….that was Courtney Miles himself, with what McDowell describes to be his gentle, determined personality.  When I finished the book (in 2 days because I couldn’t put it down), I could not wait to go online and find out where Courtney is now and how he is faring after the storm.  Thankfully, McDowell recently gave and update on the Facebook page for Last Bus Out.  It is my hope and prayer that one day, Courtney will be able to reach all the goals he has set for himself.

Last Bus Out is available as paperback and E-Book at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.    If your local bookstore doesn’t have it, ask for it!   This is a book you must read and then pass along to everyone you know.  We are thrilled that Beck McDowell has offered to give one away to a lucky reader!  The winner can choose either a paperback or E-book !  Here’s how to enter:

How to Enter:

1. Check out Last Bus Out and let me know why it piques your interest!

Additional entries:

1. Blog about this giveaway and link to The Not-So-Blog and Last Bus Out (10 extra entries).

2. Follow me (@BridgetteLA) and @BeckMcDowell on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway. Every time you tweet you get an additional entry! Unlimited! (You must have over 50 Twitter followers to qualify for unlimited entries!)

3. Subscribe to my blog.

4. Become a Fan of The Not-So-Blog and Last Bus Out on Facebook.

5. Place my blog button on your sidebar.

Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on March 31st. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.

This review is the opinion of Jennifer of The Experimental Mommy. Other may have a different experience with the product. Thank you to Beck McDowell for supplying the product for review. All opinions remain 100% mine.


  1. I remember this story when it was on the news. Joe Citizen doing what the government was not doing.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Sounds like a wonderful book! Can’t wait to read it!

  3. This book sounds incredible. I am always inspired by real-life heroes.

  4. The book sounds awesome! Can’t wait to read it!

  5. This book sounds very interesting to me. I can’t wait to read it!

  6. Christian meredith says:

    Very interested to hear more! I look forward to reading this book!

  7. Peggy Hayes says:

    Incredible book well worth the time.

  8. kristie Gagliano says:

    Yay! Can’t wait! It is such an important story of the power of one. Everyday people, heros, hope and healing! My kinda book!!

  9. I can only imagine what it must have been like! I bet the book is really great.

  10. It sounds like a good read!

  11. Im looking forward to reading this book, and hopefully will pass it on to some of my Engish students.

  12. crystle tellerday says:

    its a true story

  13. Maureen LeCorgne says:

    Sounds great! Can’t wait to read this book!

  14. Anne Loyd says:

    This book interests me because my kids need to learn the real history of what happened during Hurricaine Katrina. Text books can’t teach what is told in stories such as this.

  15. Anne Loyd says:

    I follow you on Twitter as Anneliz702 and I shared this giveaway.

  16. Anne Loyd says:

    I subscribe to bog emails.

  17. Anne Loyd says:

    I like you and Last Bus out on Facebook as Anne Loyd.

  18. I would like to read this because it is something that happened in my lifetime,in my country and that makes it more real.

  19. email subscriber

  20. What a touching story, I want to know more about Courtney Miles!

  21. I am a subscriber.

  22. It’s a true story and I need to read more of them. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway

  23. I am an email subscriber. Thanks

  24. margaret early says:

    the book sounds great….would love to read it!

  25. Brenda S. says:

    I am always inspired by real-life heroes.


  26. sounds like a great book that would teach my kids about helping others

  27. email subscriber

  28. Karen Gonyea says:

    Sounds very inspirational 🙂

    ktgonyea at (Subscribed via Google Reader)

  29. A true heroic story–I’d love to read it.

  30. email subscriber

  31. This sounds like a great read! I love true stories!

  32. Ed Nemmers says:

    I like to read non-fiction!