This review is done in conjunction with the author's virtual tour with Goddess Fish Promotions.
Victoria will be awarding a $25 (grand prize) gift card with two gift cards for $15 each; the cards would for either Amazon or Smashwords (winner’s choice), so make sure you leave her a comment today!
For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl. Now, at the age of 45, she’s questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life. When she’s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny’s life will never change, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, she’s quit her job, sold her house, cashed in her pension, and she’s leaving town on a six month road trip.
After placing an ad for a travelling companion, she’s joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-zine, What Women Want. Zeke’s true goal is to expose Manny’s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time.
Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny’s on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.
Take a woman on the other side of forty, throw in a new supervisor (that you have to train because you've already been doing the job), add a general dissatisfaction with life as you know it-- and you have the recipe for a wonderfully madcap adventure as the main character trades in her ordinary life for a "life less ordinary."
I absolutely loved this book and each and every character (especially her imaginary friend Harvey--who has a to be a nod to Mary Chase's imaginary rabbit). The adventures that Manny and Zeke get into, as well as their growing respect and fondness for each other, are enjoyable to see.
I especially liked seeing how Zeke's attitude shifts during the course of their journey together and how he changes.
The secondary characters (I hate to call them that, because they are just as important to the story as Manny and Zeke) and their stories serve as a juxtaposition to the trip Manny and Zeke are taking--their ordinary lives are proving to be just as life-altering as Manny's less ordinary adventure.
I hope the author has more in store for this ensemble--I feel like I've made friends and I would like to see what else happens with them.
4 flowers - This was a very good book! I'd recommend it to my friends.
Now enjoy an excerpt:
“All I ever wanted was a life less ordinary.”
Manny lay flat on her back, eyes wide, staring at the ceiling while she waited for her clock to hit 6:00. Another day of work, she thought. Another day older and deeper in debt.
She had the alarm timed to the millisecond. The jarring noise had barely begun when she clicked it off. She sighed then threw back the covers and got out of bed.
She padded into the bathroom, glanced without interest in the full-length mirror that doubled as her shower doors and took her morning inventory.
Plain face? Check.
Looking tired? Check.
Thirty pounds overweight? Check.
Dark circles under deer-caught-in-headlights eyes? Check and check.
She shook her head at her limp, mousy hair and wondered when she’d gotten so old.
She sighed in resignation then conjured up her Perfect Fantasy Man–or Harvey, as she liked to call him–to give her a morning lift. She cocked her head to one side as she stared into the mirror and imagined him standing behind her. She smiled at the handsome man, and he smiled back, putting his hands on her shoulders. Everything about him was warm, in stark contrast to the cold shades of grey in which she lived her life. He had warm brown eyes, warm brown skin, and a warm smooth voice that always reminded her of golden honey. Today his hair was black with greying temples, and yes, even that seemed warm to her.
He was perfect, everything she considered ideal in a man–and extra-perfect, of course, because he was a fantasy. Just the thought of trying to establish a relationship with an actual man felt too much like work.
She sighed and Harvey disappeared.
“Instead I ended up in a rut–everything planned and executed to the minute.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Victoria Bernadine (a pseudonym) is, as the saying goes, a “woman of a certain age”. After twenty-something years of writer’s block, she began writing again in 2008. She began with fanfiction about a (now-cancelled) TV show called Jericho and particularly about the characters of Heather Lisinski and Edward Beck. From there, she expanded into writing original fic and she hasn’t stopped since.
Victoria enjoys reading all genres and particularly loves writing romantic comedy and post-apocalyptic science fiction. What those two have in common is anybody’s guess.
She lives in Edmonton with her two cats (The Grunt and The Runt). A Life Less Ordinary is the first novel she felt was good enough to be released into the wild.
Victoria can be contacted through Love of Words Publishing Inc. (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through her brand new blog at http://victoriabernadine.wordpress.com/
A Life Less Ordinary is available for sale on Amazon in both Kindle and hard copy formats at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AMJBOSQ.