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17 June 2013

A Look At Victoria Bernadine & 'A Life Less Ordinary' ( @GoddessFish #SO #MM )

Today we have author Victoria Bernadine visiting. Welcome!

What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* I’m the youngest of eight children, and I grew up on a farm in southern Saskatchewan in Canada. I currently live in Edmonton, with my two cats (The Grunt and The Runt). Victoria Bernadine is a pseudonym that I created by reversing my mother’s first and middle names.

What book are you going to tell us about today? Is it part of a series? If so, what's the order the books should be read in?
* The book is entitled A Life Less Ordinary, and it’s about a woman in her mid-forties who quits her job and heads off on a six-month road trip with a handsome travelling companion and her imaginary friend, all in an effort to reconnect with her life.
* Although this book was intended to be a one-off, I’m currently writing a sequel, tentatively called A Year in the Life.

How'd you/your muse come up with this story?
* It started off as simple wish fulfillment; it was exactly what I wanted to do at that time of my life...although I wasn’t holding out much hope for a Zeke!

Describe the hero in five words.
* Sarcastic. Arrogant. Sexy. Sweet. Idiotic.

Describe the heroine in five words.
* Confused. Scared. Hopeful. Funny. Sarcastic.

Who's your favorite character in the book & why?
* Oh, dear – do I really have to choose? LOL I’ll have to say Harvey, Manny’s outspoken imaginary friend. I love him because he’s not bound by reality (he’s imaginary, after all) so he ends up in frilly shirts and tuxedos – whatever Manny wants. He’s also that sarcastic inside voice (I hope) we all have, so that made his dialogue really, really fun to write.

What's your favorite line in the story?
* I’m afraid I’m going to cheat and give you two, because I love both of them and I think they reflect both the comedy and the drama of the book:
* At 6:45 sharp, she was back in the kitchen where she rinsed out the cup and put it on the rack next to the other three cups from earlier in the week; they marked the passage of time like scratches on a prison wall.
* [Harvey is Manny’s Perfect Fantasy Man; she’s just imagined him in a frilly shirt and tight breeches, and this is part of his response]: I’m just sayin’–if I was real and regularly wore pants this tight, I’m not sure I’d be of any use to you.

A look into the story
~ Blurb ~
* 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.

~ Excerpt ~
* 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.

Buy A Life Less Ordinary here...

Find Victoria Bernadine here...
Victoria can be contacted through Love of Words Publishing Inc. at

Thank you for joining us here today, Victoria! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.

A bit more 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 will be awarding a $25 (grand prize) gift card with two gift cards for $15 each; the cards would br for either Amazon or Smashwords (winner’s choice).


Mary Preston said...

I'm loving the idea of a sequel. I can see myself not wanting to let go of these characters.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today

MomJane said...

I really do relate to this heroine. I would love to take off and just ramble around.

Anonymous said...

Hi Casey - thanks for hosting me today! :D

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary - thanks for dropping by! I hadn't intended to write a sequel, but I'm just so curious about what happens next!! :D

Hi MomJane - thanks for the comment! I'm with you: I'd love to take off and just ramble around, too. Of course, that would mean I have to learn to drive...

Ingeborg said...

I like your two favorite lines from the story. The book sounds like a fabulous read.


Andra Lyn said...

So what prompted the nickname Manny? Doesn't seem very rose-like lol.

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

Hi Ingeborg - thanks for dropping by! And thanks for the compliment! :D

Hi Andra Lyn - good to see you! I picked the nickname "Manny" for that very reason. Besides the fact that I love male names for women, I wanted the contrast between a feminine name and a "masculine" nickname. I could wax poetic and talk about how it's a symbol of how we have different sides to our personalities and/or how we are given certain things and choose others, etc., etc., but the truth is: I just like the contrast. It's a personal "kink" - ;D .

Karen H in NC said...

Sorry for the late post. I’m playing catch-up here so I’m just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!
kareninnc at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen - no worries! Better late than never and I hope you're enjoying all the posts! :D