Megan's 5 star rated Contemporary Romance

Monday, 24 June 2013

Victoria Bernadine

A Warm Welcome to Victoria
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.

Here's the Blurb:
A LIFE LESS ORDINARY By 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.

Before treating us to an excerpt, Victoria Reveals:

In a couple of sentences, describe the hero’s character.  What do you like best/least about him?    

He’s an arrogant jerk who has some real problems with getting close to people and/or admitting he’s wrong.  What I like best about him is the fact that he has reasons for why he’s the way he is, and I find him lovable even with (or because of) his arrogance.  What I like the least about him is his determination to hold on to his ideas until he’s forced to change them.  He has his reasons, but it’s still frustrating – LOL.

And the heroine? How do you relate to her?     I know what it’s like to look at yourself and wonder what happened to your life.  I also know what it’s like to want to throw everything up in the air and take your chances with where it lands.  I love her loyalty to her friends and family, and I like that she’s willing to take risks.  What I like the least about her is that she could be a little more spontaneous...
Who controls the story – you or your characters?     My characters.  Absolutely.  I spend half my time wondering what they’re going to do and what’s going to come out of their mouths next!
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your books?     I hope they come away with the thought that they were entertained for a few hours.  I really hope they come away with the feeling that they’d spent those few hours with friends.
What do you most enjoy about writing romance/your genre?     I write in several different genres, but what I most enjoy about this particular one is the combination of humor and drama.
What do you like best and least about writing?     What I like best is how fun it feels when I’m creating something, even when it’s really, really bad – LOL.  The thing I like the least is editing, as in proofreading because it just takes for-ev-er and there’s always something that’s missed.
Do you have a writing routine?     I don’t have a specific writing routine, although I’m trying to change that.  I do try to write every day, and my general objective is to write at least 1000 words a day.  When I’m in the midst of Editing Hell, though, the word count goes out the window and I just try to work on the story every day until it’s done.
Anything special you require to keep the creative juices flowing?     Noise (music, TV, something that acts as white noise), and when I’m really stuck, I need pens and paper to get the juices flowing.

What can we look forward to from you in the near future?    I'm working on a sequel to A Life Less Ordinary, tentatively titled A Year in the Life. there are a couple of other works that I'm working on that may eventually be oublished... or not. If anyone is interested, both are currently available online. One's called Historian's Daughter, a post-apocalyptic dystopian sorta-romance short novel, beginning here  
(, and the other will be the novelization of a script I wrote for a science fiction movie, available here( in all its unformatted glory - LOL. whether those last two will ever be published is anybody's guess.

at would you most like to accomplish this year?     I would like to promote this book, finish the sequel and have it ready for publication before the end of the year.
What was your favourite book as a child/teen/adult? Are you currently reading anything?     My favourite fantasy series as a young teen was the Chronicles of Pyrdain by Lloyd Alexander.  I read it one summer (I was about 12 or so), and I bought one book in the series every time I got into town.  The last book...oh, man – I read that book in one sitting and about halfway through, something happened to the characters, and I began to cry – and I mean, body-wracking sobs.  I was still crying when I finished it at 2:00 a.m.  It was one of the most engrossing reading experiences of my life, and I adore that series to this day (although I admit:  I’ve never read it again).
What is your culinary speciality?        The phone book.  ;)
In a few words, how would you describe yourself? How do you think your husband/partner would describe you?     Perfect.  And since I don’t have a husband/partner, I don’t think that description will be debated!  LOL
Now A Taste of Victoria
“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.”

click here to follow the rest of Victoria's tour

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Pleasure to meet you, Victoria!

Now leave a comment for the chance to win a $25 GC or a $15 GC (Amazon or Smashwords)


  1. Hi Victoria,
    Love the theme of a woman in mid-life crisis!

    1. Hi Megan - thank you - and thank you for hosting me today!

      I think the theme really resonates with a lot of people, regardless of age. :) I just hope people enjoy this particular ride!

  2. I always appreciate a touch of humor in the stories I read. I think it actually helps me to engage with, and relate to, the characters and situations.


    1. Hi Mary - glad to see you!

      I agree: for me, a touch of humor makes the whole story more accessible (and believable).

  3. Sounds like you have a real investment and emotion driven into your novel. That's awesome, and I bet it will translate well over to readers! Thanks so much for sharing!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

    1. Hi Andra Lyn - thanks for dropping by!

      This particular story really was driven by my life/emotions at the time. :) I hope it does comes across to readers - and that they enjoy the ride!

  4. Nice interview, I was surprised you like noise while writing.


    1. Hi Ingeborg - thanks for commenting! :)

      I'm glad you liked the interview. And yes, I definitely like noise; it's very counterintuitive, I know. For this book, I actually had a soundtrack, so when I was was writing intensely, I'd put the CDs in (or play my YouTube playlists) and have the soundtrack blaring while I let my characters do their thing(s). :D

  5. Great interview! I so relate to your description of the heroine and happen to know a hero with the same characteristics - arrogant but lovable.

    1. Hi Marilyn - thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. And that's my favorite kind of hero. ;)

  6. 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

    1. Hi Karen! Wow - sorry for the late reply; I thought I was keeping a fairly close eye on all my stops, but obviously not as close as I thought!

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! :)

  7. Hi Megan - I can't find an e-mail address (or else I'm just tired :) ). You're the winner of the Grand Prize for my Name Before the Masses Tour! Could you please drop me a line at loveofwords at and let me if you'd like a gift card for Amazon or Smashwords.

    Congratulations - and thanks again for hosting me!! :D