Thursday, April 14, 2016

Way to Roll by Mandy Colton (review, excerpt and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by Mandy Colton


GENRE:  Romance (humorous)



Secure your seat belt and get ready for another bumpy ride.

Veronica Lane never considered her life dull as a single woman working in the travel industry as a sales representative—not until one bad day ends in the loss of her dream job, and desperation leads her to Cavalcade Tours. The fun quickly turns into chaos and eyebrow-raising questions. Disaster leads to a shocking revelation leaving Veronica disgruntled and unsure if she has what it takes to begin a whole new career.

Some time away, deep thought, and her own misadventures have her gathering up the remains of her dignity and returning to her job with its interesting group of colorful and charismatic cohorts...with one big change. She’ll no longer just be a tour escort this time. Milton Porter, the owner of Cavalcade Tours, owns another company with secrets.

With her mind made up, new skills, passport in hand, and her bags packed, Veronica is ready to roll out for new destinations. Things get hairy as she tackles the dual roles her new job demands, dodging wild animals, nasty foes, and sometimes even the new men in her life.

Surrounded by kooky tourists, Veronica’s adventures place her in some dramatic and hilarious situations, and each return home to Peachtree City, Georgia has its own drama with her family of oddballs, nutty bunch of friends, and their pets. Her new life is sometimes bumpy and filled with turbulence, but it stays an intriguing and exciting ride.



Interesting Office Meetings

Everyone was in house today after taking a little break from the last couple of missions. There were eight of us currently that made up Cavalcade and WIC. Besides Nash, Silas, Milton, Judy, and me, there was Django—another tour-guide-turned-amateur-spy—Jeff, and Megan. Milt had ordered us all subs and salads from a nearby Italian place that he and Judy, our Italian office manager and meatball authority, had recently found and approved. We were talking and chatting while eating, and as usual, Jeff was fiddling with a gadget.

Jeff Pruitt was the youngest in the group. Milt had taken him under his wing when Jeff’s father was killed while on a mission in the Army. Jeff was young, kind of shy, liked to tell little corny jokes, and was a genius with a love of gadgets from the James Bond movies. The character, Q, was his idol, and I’d dubbed him Q’ute not long ago, after remembering the name from an old Bond book, and the fact that Jeff himself was a total cutie-pie. I just hadn’t told him that the Q character in E that particular book had been a woman.

Milton took a bite of his sub, coughed, and pounded his chest for a few seconds. He took a big drink of his soda and then began talking. “First thing. We’ve hired two new tour guides. One will take a tour with Ronni in two days for training, and the other guy will start about a month from now. He’s taking a holiday before he starts with us. Ronni, you and the new gal are taking a week-long Pacific trek tour with a group of eighteen by coach from Frisco, and that includes, Nash.”

Uh, shit. That was a pretty good-sized group and the most I’d have so far with the company. And what did he mean by trek tour?

Milton put his fist to his mouth to cover a small burp and held his stomach for a minute. He began talking again. “Silas and Djang...urp.” He had just burped Django’s name and now we were all looking at him with raised eyebrows.

“Sorry, kids. Guess these spicy meatballs aren’t agreeing with me today.” Clearing his throat, he continued. “Let me go back to Ronni and Nash’s trip. We’re looking for a homegrown terrorist’s new camp in the Pacific Northwest. He’s a militia leader and extreme activist, left over from the Aryan group that was taken down in Idaho a while back. He’s taken credit for more than one murder just recently and is considered extremely hostile and dangerous.”

Milton shifted in his chair and we heard a fluttery phoot sound. He shrugged his shoulders and made a face like he was trying to play it off. “’Scuse me again,” he then joked, “I’ll sure and split before a ‘head call’ is necessary.”

Nash and Silas chuckled as Judy wrinkled her nose and made a face. Then she got up, mumbling something about taking care of Milton’s ass—literally—and headed out the door. I hoped she was getting an antacid or something for him. He looked a little uncomfortable.

I looked over at Jeff who was still playing with his little boxy looking gadget. “Whatcha got there, Q’ute?” Megan snorted and shook her head. “Q’ute? I am not calling him that. I’d rather eat a bug.”

Jeff beamed, ignoring her, and said, “It’s a homing pill detector. It’s new. I mean it’s old, but I just got it.”

I nodded. “Really? What exactly does it do?”

“It’s really just an old GPS detector. The homing pill is a small capsule with GPS software in it,” he said enthusiastically.

“They still make those? GPS pills?”

“Don’t know yet. Some came with it. I’m testing it now,” he said, still tinkering with the thing.

Milton had been looking back and forth between us and was now furiously wiggling in his chair. Judy walked in with a bottle of antacid and handed it to him. No sooner than Milton closed his hand over the bottle, he let go a shocking string of methane that could prompt the federal government to put aside its study of the effects of all bovine gas on the environment to launch a new study program based on just one human butt. Judy wrinkled her brows and snatched the bottle back in disgust.

She squeezed her nose and grumbled, “Definitely the wrong bottle, oaf.” Then she left the room again, cursing under her breath.

Django was looking at his food with a frown on his face. “Milton, my friend. I’m sorry, but I have to ask an important question. I’m also eating a meatball sub. Does every time you order this item from that place? I have a special date with my sweetheart tonight, and such a malady would greatly diminish my chances of a happy outcome.”

Everyone, including Milton, burst out laughing at Django’s concern. Django Rockes was a Cavalcade tour guide and our resident Romani gypsy—or, at least, that was his shtick. He had a big personality and drove a brightly colored van that reminded me of the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine. He was also Judy’s boyfriend; they were definitely an interesting pair.

Before poor Milton had a chance to answer Django, his chair vibrated again. Another long, loud, obnoxious squeak, and seemingly endless squeal, ending in a “wheezy” sound came from his end of the table. Being that the chairs were leather, the sound was just amplified to a ridiculous level and musical note. This of course, made everyone at the table immediately erupt into guffaws; even Milton was wide-eyed, shaking his head and grinning in disbelief at his own unusual theatrics.

Turning my head, I watched as Jeff aimed his gadget at Milton. I was beginning to fear that there was a connection between the gadget and Milton’s malady. Jeff had used Milton as a test subject before in this very room, so I asked him, “You said that you were testing your new gadget. How, exactly?”

Jeff looked up and smiled. “Oh, right. Some of the old capsules came with it. I put one in Milt’s meatball. I was gettin’ a pretty good reading at first. Now it’s like the target is on the move.”

Nash, Silas, and Megan, burst out into hysterical laughter. I put my fist over my mouth trying hard to hold mine back. I swear Milton’s eyes crossed for a few seconds and his chest visibly moved as he took a few deep breaths like he was trying to maintain his calm. It was pretty sobering watching him slowly stand while leveling a glare at Jeff. Uh oh. “Kid, I got one question before I have to run. Please tell me there’s no damn radioactive material involved this time?”

Jeff shook his head. “Aw, heck no, Milt. That wouldn’t be right.”

Milton did about half an eye roll and nodded before bolting for the door.

That left us all chuckling, except for Django, who said, “Jeff, my boy. I need to verify that you only used the one pill and Milton was the only recipient. My woman is very calculated and demanding. Tonight will be our third venture into the art of the Kama Sutra. It is the night of the posture of the apes in the third month of spring.”

Most of us raised our eyebrows, and continued to snicker. Megan said, “Agh…gross!”

Jeff just looked at Django, kind of confused for a few seconds, and then seemed to acknowledge the real question and answered. “Oh, um… I did put one other one in a meatball. You guys grabbed them up so fast that I lost track of where that one went.”

I was still ruminating over Django’s plans for the evening and opened my stupid mouth without thinking. “What does the posture of the apes in the third month of spring even mean?”

When Judy walked through the door, Django looked at her with desire in his eyes and kind of chuffed at her, ending with a little wink. Then he looked at me and smiled, shrugged, and said, “Hmm. Picture the magnificent gorilla, rather than the dog.” Uh...okay? He got up out of his chair and humped over, bending at the knees, arms out, and neck jutting forward. “The natural stance is in a half-erect posture and includes the use of the hands and knees to thrust, thrust, thrust forward; like this.” He made a grabbing motion with his hands and mimicked a pelvic thrust.

I jumped when he started with the sound effects. “Uh...uh...hoo...hoo...ooooooh!”

Okay, I was with Megan on this one. The visual along with the sounds made me kind of want to gag right then myself. Silas and Nash were, of course, almost lying on one another swiping at their eyes, they were laughing so hard.

Just as Django finished his demonstration, Judy belched and made a face, and then her eyes got big and she turned tail to flee the room. Unfortunately, she didn’t make it in time. Before the door closed, her backside backfired at the exact same time the glass door hit her in the butt causing a weird thundering vibration like sound. I glanced at Django, and he had paled considerably. That was even before the smell wafted through the room. Megan and I looked over at Nash and Silas, who were red-faced and wheezing now, gasping for breath. Yeesh. They reminded me of my dad and stupid brother.

Jeff had a sheepish look on his face. He said, “Guess those capsules are a little on the expired side and being voided. I should have done more research before the test, huh?”

That did it. Nash and Silas fell out of their chairs and disappeared under the table, exploding with a mixture of mirth and tears, rolling around on the floor like idiots. Megan grabbed her nose, and got up while making odd snarling noises at Jeff. She stomped out, waving her other hand in front of her to clear the way and cursing under her breath.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Mandy Colton is from Louisville, KY, and lives a very quiet life with her husband and teenage son. A fan of romance, fun adventure, drama, humor, and on occasion sci-fi stories. The idea for the Way to Go series came from her years, own adventures and experiences working in the travel industry.

Most of the experiences that plague her heroine, Veronica Lane, actually happened to her or someone she knows. The circumstances were sometimes not nearly as glamorous and are embellished some in the books. 
She claims that working in the travel business could be horribly stressful but equally laugh-out-loud funny at times. Along the way she met many interesting people all over the world, and enjoyed many priceless and comical experiences with those people, her groups, friends, and peers. Even her clients shared humorous adventures of their own. Her opinion is, that there are just no better stories than those that involve true life.

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The Way to Go series is dedicated to all of the men and women I had the pleasure to work and have fun with in the travel business. The memories of that time and those friends helped to write these books. They were all a great group of people with different personalities, and from all over the globe with one big thing in common; a fascination with the world around us. We shared many good times and laughs when we got to together, when we traveled together, hilarity usually ensued. Some have moved on from travel like myself, and sadly, some are gone.  
Last, and not least at all is my little family. My very supportive husband, my loving son, and Willy the dog with the twitchy back leg.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here


My review:

3.5 stars

Way to Roll by Mandy Colton is the second book in the ‘Way to Go’ series.  This tongue-in-cheek adventure story features Veronica Lane who describes herself as kind of a “baby spy on training wheels” as she has several adventures that test her fortitude, skill, and heart while finding her niche at World Intelligence and Consulting.  Complicating her life are her erratic relationships with colleague Nash Presley and pilot Captain Cruz Rivera, who manage to confuse both her and themselves with their demands and expectations.  Veronica may not be the best agent yet, but she’s definitely gaining experience, if she can live long enough to benefit from it.

This story is a lighthearted twist on a spy adventure tale, but the main character is pretty accurate with her statement, “I make Maxwell Smart look like James Bond”.  There are plenty of wacky circumstances and some exciting scenarios but I think it would be better to read this series from the beginning, because there are allusions that are confusing and I suspect it’s because I don’t know the backstory.  I found it difficult to connect to the heroine, partly because her love life is so complicated and I’m not crazy about wishy-washy folks, and it was very irksome to have two characters blowing hot and cold.  The characters are fairly superficial, and the ‘secret’ organization is rapidly ceasing to be that secret, between the new recruits and the companions being informed because they are deemed trustworthy so there is plenty of room for the series to grow.  The dramatic climax and surprising ending heighten the madcap atmosphere and make this an entertaining light read that answers some questions but leaves plenty more to be addressed in future stories.

A copy of this title was provided to me for review


  1. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

    1. Hi Mai! Thanks for visiting and asking another of your thought-provoking questions!

  2. Your book sounds awesome and thanks for the giveaway.

    1. Great to see you, Becky! Thanks for visiting and good luck.

  3. Replies
    1. Happy you liked it, Rita! Thanks for dropping by!

  4. Great post - thanks for sharing the excerpt and your review.

    1. Good to see you, Victoria, you are quite welcome!

  5. Thank you for taking the time to read and review my second book in the series. They are meant to stand alone but reading the first does fill a lot of holes regarding key characters for sure and there is still much to be revealed in the three future volumes.
    Mandy Colton

    1. Sorry to be late greeting you, Mandy. Sounds like you are a very busy author and that Veronica has plenty of adventures to still experience! Thank you for coming by.

  6. sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway.


  7. Happy to be a part of this tour, thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to visit, Nikolina!

  8. I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.