Thursday, June 17, 2021

Except ~ THE VICARIOUS LIFE OF MINA by Kendra Jones

Vicarious Life of Mina
by: Kendra Jones
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: July 17, 2020
Amazon | Paperback | Goodreads

"My car shimmies a little whenever I turn. It's not bad, not like I'm swerving out of control or anything. The last time I took it in for tires, the guy said it was out of alignment. If I'm gonna be totally honest, it's not the only thing in my life out of alignment."

After her best friend dispenses a much needed dose of tough love, Samina 'Mina' Price is forced to take an honest, hard look at the life she's settled for. Apathetic about work and discontent at home, she's starting to feel suffocated and, well, stuck! But with a major life upheaval still fresh on her mind, she's not at all confident in her ability to make sound decisions about how to get unstuck.

Then she discovers the food writer and television host so renowned that she’s simply known as the domestic goddess!

With days spent working a job she has little interest in, nights preoccupied by watching the Encore Westerns channel with her elderly aunt, and most weekends devoted to escorting said aunt to funerals for people she doesn't know, Mina's favorite escape has become Nigella Lawson. Whether she's mentoring aspiring chefs or whipping up seasonal delights on a holiday special, Mina is captivated by Nigella's exuberance and begins to wonder if channeling that vivacious energy into her own lackluster life might be the key to turning things around.

When two new men unexpectedly enter her life and start vying for her attention, just as a long deferred dream begins to reemerge with promise, will Mina finally resolve to discover her own voice and pursue the life she truly desires? Or will she continue to try and vicariously live out someone else's narrative? Find out in, "The Vicarious Life of Mina Price".


"Oh, hi! You're here!" She sounds like every HR person I've ever met. Makes me wonder if they teach that overenthusiastic tone in HR school. "Samina, this is Will Anderson, our new Methods Analyst. We're invading your space!"

She laughs in a 'sorry, not sorry' way which would normally be mildly irksome, but just now makes me want to punch her in the throat. Obviously sensing my mood, she launches into a nervous explanation about the office almost being at full capacity, and how my supervisor graciously agreed to allow our precious real estate to be temporarily occupied by this newcomer.

The person known as Will Anderson has the decency to look appropriately apologetic. "I wanna say right off the bat that I slurp coffee and I don't always remember to cover my mouth when I sneeze, but other than early mornings and allergy season you'll probably find me tolerable at best."

Okay, so that was kinda funny. But I'm not telling him.

He's tall. I can tell because I'm tall and my eyeline hits right at his shoulder. He's definitely not on a first name basis with the gym. Hello kindred spirit! I guess you could say he's husky, which is basically the male equivalent of when people call me full-figured.

His navy blue pullover is snug and has definitely seen better days, and his khakis are a smidge too short and would benefit from the pass of a warm iron. He sports boxy black half-frame eyeglasses that make some guys look like hipsters, but just make him look like a library dweller, and a mid-sized lumpy Afro in desperate need of shaping and a good edge up.

By all appearances, Will Anderson is a regular guy. Pleasant and unassuming. Somebody you'd thank for holding a door open and immediately forget. I am pleased to report he doesn't appear to be a heavy breather.

Alright, Mina. Get it together. Be polite. Give him a chance.

"Welcome aboard," I say, extending my hand.

Ro clears her throat loudly, making Mollie jump. "Oh my goodness! I'm so sorry," she apologizes, and turns to acknowledge our forgotten coworker. "This is Rochelle."

"Ro," she corrects, with a quick wave hello. "If you call me Rochelle, I will ignore you. Ask that one." She nods at Mollie, who dissolves into a fit of high pitched giggles. Cringe.

"If you haven't figured it out by now, we're just a happy little bowl of mixed nuts!" More cringe. "Okay, I'll leave you to get settled in. Someone from the tech team will stop by to make sure you're all set up, and if you need anything from me I'm at extension 3000. Bye for now!"

"So," he says, looking at me curiously. "Samia, right?"

"Samina," I correct. "Or Mina. I try to be flexible." I fake a cough before nonchalantly sipping my water.

"Well, I promise you'll only ever hear 'Ro' cross these lips." He extends a closed hand so they can seal it with a fist bump. "You know, you look kinda familiar. I feel like I've seen you somewhere."

Ro shrugs. "Well, I have made quite a name for myself in adult films."

And that's how my mouthful of water ended up in my new coworker's face. Smooth.

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Kendra Jones loves Marvel movies, breakfast for dinner, and crisp fall weather. She was born and has lived all of her life in Texas. When she's not writing she enjoys binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix and spending time with family.

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