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.
Manny walked in her door, looking tired and feeling worn out. She wondered ruefully why the only thing not on a schedule was the time she could leave the office. She dropped her purse on the table and hung up her coat and keys. With a tired sigh, she walked into the living room and plopped into the armchair. She closed her eyes as Harvey walked out of the kitchen with a glass of white wine and began to rub her shoulders. He again looked impossibly handsome, this time wearing a sweater and jeans. She sighed in imagined bliss, and looked at him with sad eyes.
You have no idea how much I wish you were real.
In a blink, he was gone–and the phone was ringing. For a split second, Manny considered not answering it.
There’s your chance to talk to a real person, Harvey murmured.
Probably a telemarketer.
Probably Rebecca. Or Daisy. They’ll worry if you don’t answer.
All right, all right.
Manny heaved herself to her feet and walked to the phone.
Maybe I’m glad you’re imaginary after all.
She caught a glimpse of his grin as she answered the phone.
It was Rebecca, asking her to go out the next night.
“I don’t know...” Manny sighed.
“Oh, come on–you’ll have fun! And seriously–you haven’t gone out with us in months!”
“I’ve been tired...”
“You’ve been tired your whole life I think. You need to break out of this rut you’re in! Come out for a few drinks and dancing with me and Daisy. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet a good-looking guy and be swept off your feet into a red-hot love affair.”
Sounds like a plan to me.
Yeah, ’cause that’ll happen.
“I’d love to go dancing,” Manny said to Rebecca, “but the guy is just a figment of your imagination.”
“Only because you don’t put any effort into it. Seriously, it’s not healthy to do nothing but work and go home. That’s how people go crazy you know.”
“Huh. You mean next thing you know I’ll be talking to my imaginary friend?”
Harvey grinned wickedly and Manny abruptly turned her back to him.
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. () 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.
My Interview with the author:
“If you show me yours, I’ll show you mine with author Charity Parkerson”
Tell me 3 fun facts about yourself
Oh, dear – they need to be fun?!
1.) In a case of life imitating art, I did quit my job and cash out my pension. Still looking for a Zeke, though!
2.) I’m owned by two cats – one who is twenty pounds; the other is about six. No wonder my nephew calls them the Grunt and the Runt!
3.) I’m not-so-secretly addicted to true crime documentaries, and I usually end up freaking myself out when I’m watching them. I wish I was smart enough to write a mystery novel!
If you could bring one of your book characters to life for only one night, which one would it be, and what would you do?
Only one? LOL Oh, dear...*ponders*...well, I’ll go for shallow and say Zeke, so I could prove to him that older women really do make the best lovers. Well. I’d do my best, anyway!
Is there anyone you’ve always secretly thought of as sexy that other people might find strange? If so, who?
Lorne Greene – and I’ll be surprised if anyone even remembers/knows who he was – LOL! Even before I hit puberty, I loved his voice and thought he was very, very handsome.
What’s the worst/oddest present that you’ve ever received?
In elementary school, my best friend’s mother gave me a pair of underwear as part of a Christmas present...which I opened up at school...I was incredibly embarrassed (although they were very pretty).
Confession time: What’s on your ipod right now?
...erm...I don’t have an ipod *looks sheepish*. I do use YouTube playlists, if that’ll work!
The Good: Let Her Go – Passenger – I just discovered this artist; love, love, love his voice and this song!
The Bad: She Took It Like a Man – Confederate Railroad – it’s just a funny, silly reverse-sexist song.
The Ugly: Star Trekkin’ - I don’t even know the artist – I suppose it’s more hilarious than ugly, but...close enough – LOL.
Do you have any tattoos?
Nope. I’m too much of a commitment-phobe to get a tattoo!
What’s your favorite snack?
Potato chips. Flavoured are preferred, but as long as they’re salty, I’ll eat ‘em. And coke...as in coca cola.
What’s your ultimate fantasy?
World peace...a best-selling novel...a tropical island filled with gorgeous men who adore me and are willing to provide me with an endless supply of books and cats (not to mention potato chips and coke)!
At least, that’s my ultimate fantasy for today!!
Victoria will be awarding a $25 gift card and two $15 gifts cards, to either Amazon or Smashwords (Winners choice) to randomly drawn commenters. For more chances to win be sure to check out all the tour stops. Here's a link to find those: