Book Review: A Life Less Ordinary by Victoria Bernadine

This post is part of a Virtual Book Tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Victoria will be awarding a $25 (grand prize) gift card to either Amazon or Smashwords (winner's choice), as well as two runners-up prizes of $15 Amazon or Smashwords gift cards each to randomly drawn commenters. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour--remember, the more you comment, the better your chances!

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.

This was certainly quite a ride! Manny, or Auntie Em as Zeke first thinks of her, is ready for a change--and change she does! From her MisFit Toys to winning at "Last Dancer Standing", Manny is finally finding herself. And, she's not the only one.

This book is more than just the story of one woman and her mid-life crisis... it's the story of family and friends as well as learning, loving, and living.

I enjoyed this book more than I have any book in recent history--there's not a single character I didn't like! I felt like I had gotten to know them and they became friends. I want to find out what happens to them now.

Kudos to Ms. Bernadine for a job well done!

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. ( 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


Mary Preston said…
This is going to be quite a road trip I'd say!!

Anonymous said…
Thanks for reviewing my book, Judy! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

(And I, too, want to know what happens next. I'm currently working on a sequel that I never intended to write... *facepalm*).

Anonymous said…
Hi Mary!

Thanks for stopping by!

It is quite a road trip; I just hope people enjoy the ride! ;D
Anonymous said…
Sorry - don't mean to take up all the comments - I forgot to mention that I won't be around for most of the day. I actually have to go do a presentation related to my (former) day job, and won't be back online until sometime this afternoon. Just an FYI. :)
Thank you for hosting
MomJane said…
What a great review. Makes you want to run out immediately and get this book.
Ingeborg said…
Sounds like a fun read.

Karen H in NC said…
Well, it’s Friday. Had fun following you around this week and looking forward to more good stuff next week. Have a great weekend!
kareninnc at gmail dot com
Andra Lyn said…
Hi again :)

Do you think age difference is a problem or an asset to a relationship??? Fictional or otherwise lol

andralynn7 at gmail dot com
Anonymous said…
Hi MomJane.

Thanks for dropping by! Judy really did a great review; I'm so glad she enjoyed the book (and agreed to host me today)! :)
Anonymous said…
Hi Ingeborg.

Nice to see you again. I hope people have a good time with the book. :)
Anonymous said…
Hi Karen!

Thanks for following me around; I appreciate it!

(Which is a statement that sounds very strange out of context - :D)

We have a lot of stops next week; it should be a lot of fun!
Anonymous said…
Hi Andra Lyn - nice to see you again!

In answer to your question about age difference being a problem or an asset to a relationship...hmmmm...

In my own personal opinion, I think it's neutral, because a relationship is built on the personalities of the people involved. It's only a problem if someone makes it a problem.

I do have some bias about this: my dad was ten years older than my mom; my sister-in-law is twelve years older than my brother. The relationships were and are strong and stable, and I suspect that's because they work at it and not because there's an age difference.

My mom and I talked about it once, and she basically said the age gap disappears after a while. As she put it: the difference between a 16 year old and a 26 year old is huge. Between a 26 year old and a 36 year old? Not so much. Between a 36 year old and a 46 year old? What age difference?

(I, personally, prefer older men; I just think they're more interesting. :) )
I look forward to reading this book. I haven't seen much about it, but am glad that I cought wind of it!
Anonymous said…
Hi Jenny.

Thanks for commenting - I'm glad you caught wind of the book too! I really hope you enjoy it if you read it. :)
Anonymous said…
It sounds like a book that needs a sequel and good that you are working on.

strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com
Liz Warren said…
Judy - I'm glad to hear you found all the characters likeable and that you really enjoyed the book: that's a great recommendation.

Victoria - I've read Episode One in the copy I purchased after one of your previous stops and I'm not sure whether I like everyone so far, but I'm certainly intrigued. There's quite a range of different stories going on and I'm interested in finding out about all of them! Was it hard when writing to balance out the different stories and give each of them sufficient attention?
Anonymous said…
I'm sorry - I seem to have missed a couple of comments on this blog! So even though I'm rather late:

Jbst: Yes, I'm working on a sequel. I didn't intend to write one but I want to know what happens to these characters, too. :)

Liz: Yes, it was fairly difficult to balance out the stories and give each one enough time - and to balance the stories against each other so their separate plot elements didn't overwhelm the other stories. It was a lot of fun, though! :)
Anonymous said…
Hi Judy.

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! :)