When destiny called, she pressed 1 for more options
With the name Robyn Fortune, shouldn't luck be a sure thing? Instead, black clouds love me. All I did was show up at a family bar mitzvah and cue lightning . . . this huge storm blew in.
My mom announced she was leaving my dad and moving in with me. (Perfect! More competition on JDate.) I found out my boss planned to fire me. (Help wanted: Be the exclusive makeup artist for a two-faced network news star.) My ex's gambling debts left me near bankruptcy. (Please buy our wedding gifts on craigslist.) But, good news. I was offered money to date a man who had worse luck than me. (Dear Visa, I hope you appreciate that I said yes.)
If not for my friend Rachel, I would have chickened out. Instead, I went to his apartment, spotted an old photo, and realized it was HIM! The boy I was mad for in college but never got to meet. And get this! Turns out our paths had been crossing since birth.
Coincidence or karma? Our finagling families wouldn't talk . . . until the day destiny sent me on a wild ride that became my long lost spiritual journey.
Ladies, take my advice. When fate knocks, answer the damn door!
|File size:||607 KB|
About the Author
Saralee Rosenberg is the author of A Little Help from Above, Claire Voyant, and Fate and Ms. Fortune. She lives on Long Island (where else?) with her husband and three children.
Read an Excerpt
Fate and Ms. FortuneA Novel
By Saralee Rosenberg
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2006 Saralee Rosenberg
All right reserved.
"Something is wrong with Mom and Dad," Phillip whispered.
"What?" I hollered over the blaring music and the din of a hundred kids running wild.
No matter that my older brother was an in-demand attorney who earned more in a billable hour than I did in a week, to me he was still a putz. Therefore, family bar mitzvahs were the perfect venue for conversation, as it was near impossible to engage in anything other than short, superficial chatter over an ear-pounding "Everybody dance now . . ."
Yet Phillip insisted we talk. He pointed to our parents, Harvey and Sheila Holtz, who were seated across our table, but obscured by a massive centerpiece. "Look at them." He leaned in. "Don't you think they're acting strange?"
"For about thirty years now."
"Don't joke, Robyn. They haven't said two words to each other all night."
I peered around the foam board cutout of hockey great Bobby Orr, and sure enough, they had turned their chairs to literally face the music. An unusual gesture for two people who wouldn't know Ashlee Simpson from Homer Simpson.
"Mom, how's your salad?" I yelled. "Great raspberry vinaigrette."
Everybody dance now . . . yeah . . . yeah . . . yeah . . .
"Daddy, how about those Mets?" I yelled louder. "Could be our year."
Come on let's sweat, baby. Let the music take control . . .
"You guys want anything from the bar?" our server asked. "It's free." "What?" I cupped my ear.
"The drinks are free. What can I get you?"
Free drinks? Really? Because we are having such a blast at Brandon's Hall of Fame, we thought we were at Madison Square Garden, not a sixty-thousand-dollar reception hosted by our cousin Barry and his wife, Rhonda, in honor of their thirteen-year-old son, who learned to read from the Torah in between ice hockey clinics. "Diet Coke, please."
"I'll take an Absolut," my brother said to our white-gloved waiter, who seemed to care as much about French service as Paris Hilton. "And bring my wife another cosmo. Thanks, buddy." He leaned closer so I could hear. "I'm just saying I've never seen Mom this well behaved. She didn't even do her usual take-the-bread-off-Dad's-plate-and-hand-it-to-the-busboy stunt."
"Don't worry. She's still up to her old tricks. I heard her go up to the Connecticut cousins and ask if they're all so rich, why can't the men afford socks? . . . Uh oh. Possible host alert. Look happy for Rhonda. Remember. Everything is beautiful."
Phillip faked a laugh. "Then yesterday I called the house to remind Dad not to write a big check today because Barry and Rhonda stiffed us for Marissa's bat mitzvah. I think they gave seventy-five a plate, or some ridiculous number . . . like they didn't know what a Saturday night black-tie affair on Long Island costs . . . Anyway, Mom picks up and says Dad's busy, so I said, Where is he? And she says, How the hell should I know? Am I his parole officer?"
"Ten bucks says he was in the basement studying a map of the former Czech Republic."
"He never called me back."
"Oh, so that's where it comes from? You never call me back either."
"Funny. Then this morning at the temple I said to Dad, Why didn't you call me back yesterday? and he looks at me. So I said, Mom told you I called, right? No answer."
"Well I'm glad they're too busy to talk. Otherwise they'd be killing each other."
"They took two cars here."
"I know their license plates, okay? They both drove."
"But Dad would go by mule before he'd fill up two cars going to the same place."
Phillip's wife, Patti the Whip, slid into her seat reeking of nicotine, certain her spearmint gum would baffle even us CSI fans. Like we'd never have guessed that she'd just spent the last ten minutes outside with her sisters in smoke.
"I need another, hon." The former cheerleader pointed to her glass. "Where are the kids?"
"I'm on it . . . Em found a friend from camp, and Max is hanging with some boy whose father owns three homes . . . He asked Max where we winter."
"Love it." I laughed. "Kids comparing vacation destinations . . . We bought in Arizona. Mel and I don't mind the dry heat . . . Dry shmy. A hundred and ten is an oven."
Patti ignored me as usual and turned to her husband. "Where's Mariss?"
"Oh. She just called from the Mario Lemieux table to say Evan is picking her up now, so I said like hell you're leaving early. This is a family bar mitzvah. We're here till the bitter end."
"I thought her cell died."
"Apparently it's born again, but that didn't stop her from bitching she needs a new one."
"I'll take her after school on Monday." She held up a soup spoon to dab on lip gloss.
"It is a new one, remember? You replaced the one she left at the mall without asking me."
"Fine. I'll bring it back to see if they can fix it."
"It's not broken, Patti. She never gets off long enough to charge it."
"She's fifteen. What do you want her to do? Play house?"
I found out the other day that my brother and sister-in-law have signs of Holtz Disease. It's a degenerative disorder in my family in which every conversation ends in an argument. My parents are carriers, so of course the odds were that an offspring would inherit the gene. Fortunately, they just came out with a new pill called Damn-it-all . . . You take it, and everyone around you goes to hell for eight hours. . . . Side effects may vary.
Thank God for the wet-kiss intermission from Aunt Lil and Uncle Sol. How was I doing since . . .
Excerpted from Fate and Ms. Fortune by Saralee Rosenberg Copyright © 2006 by Saralee Rosenberg. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love this book! This is the third of Saralee Rosenberg's book and each is just better and better. This novel has so many plot twists you won't want to put it down until it's done. I started reading this book and loved it so much I couldn't put it down. I ended up reading it throughout the middle of the night.
Saralee Rosenberg has brought us another brilliant novel that is sure to be on the Bestseller List.
I absolutely loved it. Reading Fate and Ms. Fortune was entertaining and funny. I couldn't put the book down. The emotions in the characters were realistic. Most of all the sense of humor was outstanding. I was living the lives of the characters as I read. I was really moved. Can't wait for the next book.
In 'Fate & Ms. Fortune', Saralee Rosenberg shows no sign of slowing down on the laughs. Having read her other two novels, I couldn't wait to read this one. Because the heroine in this book is a stand-up comedy wanna-be, this gives Rosenberg an opportunity for even more humor. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll love the gloriosly happy, yet bittersweet ending. Even moreso, you'll believe in the power of fate.
Saralee Rosenberg has a talent for making me laugh out loud. In 'Fate and Ms. Fortune' there is love, angst and all that goes into making a good story but, most of all, I looked forward to the way every situation was handled with smart, snappy humor.
I LOVED this book! I am a fan of Rosenberg's other books, A Little Help from Above, and Claire Voyant, as well. This book was so well-written, as are her other books. It was extremely funny, and had me intruiged from page 1! I couldn't put it down. You ultimately love the characters as though you know them! The story was great moved well and kept you wondering what was going to happen next! It's exactly what you want in a 'good read'! Get this book, but realize ahead of time, that you may neglect your family in order to read!! :)
Fortunes can rise, and fortunes can fall - and who better to know than Robyn Fortune, a survivor if ever there was one. From a moving-in mom, to an ex with a gambling problem, to a family tragedy long kept under wraps - oh, and did I mention the little two-step with unemployment? - Ms.Fortune is the one to watch as she gracefully skates on the surface of some scary possibilities. Saralee Rosenberg manages, in the space of one not-so-long book, to juggle quite a few story lines so skillfully that you will be turning pages long after you should be asleep. (Reminded this reviewer of the old potato chip commercial - we couldn't eat 'just one' back then, and in FATE AND MS. FORTUNE, reading just one page is another impossibility. Warm-hearted, generous, life-affirming and damn funny, Saralee Rosenberg has once again blown the doors of the 'chick lit' genre wide open. Nobody doesn't like Saralee (I couldn't resist).
Robyn Fortune knows her surname is ironic as she feels she is the modern day Job or at least the female Murphy. Still in spite of a series of blue notes, Robyn remains an optimist about life, at least her life that is. She optimistically knows that everything that could go wrong will go wrong.---------------------- Currently her blue notes include paying off her ex-husband¿s enormous gambling debts, a job as a make-up artist to a nasty philandering TV news star and selling her wedding artifacts over the Internet. However she defuses her mess with self-deprecating humor that makes Dangerfield seem respectful. That is until mommy dearest (she does lover her mom) decides to leave daddy dearest to move in with daughter dearest. However she knows how low she has gone when she agrees to accept money to go out on a pity date with Ken Danziger, who is perhaps her only competition for the crown of misfortunate. When she sees his picture she begins to think karma as he is the one she salivated over in college from a distance, but never met as fortune failed to introduce her worse their families are feuding.---------------- The key to this wonderful chick lit hyperbole is the heroine who uses humor to keep herself mentally afloat as one trauma after another seems to happen to her. Robyn¿s optimism is catching as she deals with issues that would devastate a lesser person. Ken will remind the older audience of cloudy Joe BTSFPLK of Li¿l Abner fame. When Robyn and Ken meet both think finally luck is on their side, but pulling out the rug from underneath them, Saralee Rosenberg insures her couple has geometric problems to cope with as they believe that the destiny of their love will turn their bad luck into a fortunate lifetime of happiness together.---------- Harriet Klausner
Every fate, miss fortune, and tragedy comes into play in Saralee Rosenberg's new book FATE AND MS. FORTUNE, but this book is one of the funnies and most upbeat books that I have read in a decade. Rosenberg has artfully written a seemingly unbelievable, but totally beautifully, believable love story that titillates and intrigues the 'romance' bone, while covering deaths, tragedies, and coincidences that make most other books seem so totally maudlin and sappy. It's not often that I want to quote a romance 'chick lit' to my friends concerning serious issues, but this book is full of such comments!!! I already have a list of friends - young, old, men and women- who I plan to give this book to as soon as it hits the book store shelves!! It is a great beach read while being a magnificent serious read also.
I thought that the idea of this book was interesting which is why i bought it... after 100 pages I just couldnt get into it and had to archive it.