Monday, May 20, 2013

Review Tour and Giveaway: A Life Less Ordinary by Victoria Bernadine



Victoria Bernadine


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.


“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.”

Please Note: I was supposed to review this book as part of the tour, but I never really found my footing with this story. As a result, I was unable to finish this book and therefore cannot provide an accurate review. This just wasn't the book for me. 


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

A Life Less Ordinary is available for sale on Amazon in both Kindle and hard copy formats at  


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). 

Please follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 


  1. Don't know why this person couldn't finish reading this book. It really sounds interesting to me. I would love to know how it all ends.

    1. Hi MomJane - thanks for dropping by. I'm glad the book sounds interesting to you and you're curious about it. If you decide to read it, I hope it meets your expectations! :D

  2. Aw, I'm sorry to see the book wasn't to your taste. :( Thank you for taking the time to try it, and for hosting me today! :)

  3. I hope Zeke gets a bit of comeuppance for being such a tricksy jerk at first!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

    1. Good morning, Andra Lyn - thanks for commenting!

      And...yeah, I think Zeke gets a little bit of payback (several times) for being a jerk. ;D

  4. I applaud Manny for taking a chance and shaking her life up. Hope Zeke turns out to be her 'Harvey' in disguise instead of the jerk he sounds like. I ask you: Does Zeke really know what women want?

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

    1. Hi Karen - thanks for commenting!

      Well, Zeke really is a bit of a jerk (to his credit, he does know it, too) - and does any man really know what women want? ;D I just hope his more likable qualities (and the journey he goes on) helps to smooth out Zeke's jerky tendencies.

  5. I'm sorry you weren't able to review it since it seems like just an interesting story. I am looking forward to the wit and humor

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

    1. Hi Shannon.

      Thanks for the comment! If you read the book, I hope you'll enjoy it! :)

  6. the characters sound interesting

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. Hi bn100 - thanks for commenting. I'm glad you think the characters sound interesting! :)

  7. I am all kinds of on board with this novel!


    1. Hi Chelsea - good to see you and thanks for the comment! :)

  8. I look forward to reading this book and maybe being a little like Manny.

    1. Hi Jenny.

      Thanks for dropping by - I hope you enjoy the book (and let me know!) if you read it. :)

  9. Not every book suits everybody, but I think this will suit me.


    1. Hi Mary - thanks for dropping by! I hope you enjoy the book if you decide to read it. :)

  10. The imaginary friend like Harvey certainly is unique to me.

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

    1. Hi Jbst - thanks for commenting!

      Harvey...yeah, I'm not even sure how/where I got the idea for Harvey, but I'm very fond of the character he morphed into. :)

  11. Margay - sorry to hear you weren't able to finish the book. I've just read Episode One of a copy I bought after a glowing recommendation on a previous stop on the tour and am enjoying it so far. But it would be a dull world if we all liked the same thing!

    Victoria - it sounds like you based Manny a little on yourself, but I was also fascinated from what I've read so far by the diverse range of issues you've given the other characters. I was wondering how you chose those issues: were there particular topics you wanted to address, or did they just seem to occur naturally?

  12. Hi Liz - thanks for dropping by! I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the book so far! :D

    Hmmm...the topics occurred naturally. My main goal/thought process was to illustrate the different paths our lives can take, depending on our choices, the choices of others, and fate. I wanted each major character to have their own separate and (hopefully) distinct path to travel, with the driving idea in my head that "Life is what happens while you're making other plans."

    Most of the topics do have a very tiny kernel of real life in them that I twisted for the purposes of the or two have a bit more than a kernel. I won't go into detail, though, because I don't want to spoil the book. :D

  13. Hi Margay!

    I just wanted to let your readers (who may not already) know that I've drawn the names of the winners for the gift cards. They are:

    First Prize – $25 Gift Card: CC from a comment on Tiffany Talks Books
    Runner Up #1 – $15 Gift Card: Jbst from a comment on Brewing Passion
    Runner Up #2 – $15 Gift Card: Shannon from a comment on The Write to Read

    All winners have contacted me and they have all received their gift cards.

    Thanks again for hosting me on my Review Tour! :)