Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Bad Girls Book Club Letter A #atozchallenge

Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge!

During the challenge I’ll keep posts short and quickly readable
to allow you time to visit as many blogs as possible.


Let’s go!!

Today’s letter is


The Book

The Aftermath by Jen Alexander

The Aftermath by Jen Alexander

Our first bad girl is Claudia.
She lives in a post apocalyptic Nashville in which survival is difficult. Predictably,
she discovers that her survival is part of a game called The Aftermath. I know, it sounds a
bit like a combo of Hunger Games and Divergent. But I like the idea of girl survivors so
let’s hope Bad Girl Claudia survives.

What will she do to survive?

Come back tomorrow for our next Bad Girls Book Club.

2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Books Young Adult

The Adventures of Isabelle by Nicole Cutts @SuccessDoc

I have a friend, who kicks BUTT.  She has a PhD in awesomeness and she is a success coach. She’s coached me for years, which isn’t easy, I tell ya, but she perseveres nonetheless. DOCTOR NICOLE CUTTS. Besides running small countries, Dr. Cutts runs a success coaching business called Vision Quest Retreats.   At VQR Doc helps us women open up a can of whoop ass on our lives to become Even More Awesome (EMA).

One of the ways women can become EMA is to go on a heroine’s quest. It’s kinda like a hero’s quest except that, hey, we’re chicks and we don’t need heroes to rescue us.

Did you hear that?

We don’t need heroes to rescue us from our dilemmas.

And that’s the premise of Doc’s book: The Adventures of Isabelle: The Embryo Goddess and the Morpho



Now don’t let the spacey title fool you. There may be a few cosmic references, but it’s not too trip hoppy. Princess Isabelle is born and through a series of events learns that she must go on a quest, a heroine’s quest. So she packs her horsie and her trusty pooch to seek her future.

Now where have you heard that premise before? Lots of places, right? Young women go on quests all the time but they’re usually in search of true love, or some kind of romantic gobbledy gook like that. Heck, even Katniss kicked ass but was all goofy eyed over Gale and Peeta Bread. Like many of us, Doc wanted to see a different kind of heroine.

Doc shows us that girls don’t hafta compromise. I can’t wait to follow Princess Isabelle’s adventures.

Wanna be EMA (even more awesome)? Grab this book and tweet her.

Now get out there and be EMA!!


Books Children Young Adult

Monica Strang The Starburst Juju

Starburst Juju


The Starburst Juju by Monica Strang

I know what you’re thinking. Starburst Juju? What IS that? It sounds like some sort of space age food. But it’s not. At least. partially. It does have to do with space though. Aliens actually.

Pepper, a 15-year-old girl living in the aftermath of an economically collapsed earth, prepares to witness the annual abduction of humans by extraterrestrials. When its Pepper’s parents who are taken, she learns that they are not the humble human schoolteachers she thought she knew, but two of the most powerful inventors throughout many worlds. Desperate to find them, Pepper will do anything to get them back, even if it means finding the otherworldly Starburst Juju, a stone that can free her parents from alien confinement.

When Pepper’s schoolteacher parents are abducted by nasty creatures, Pepper and her best bud Parker go on a quest to find her parents. Along the way they meet a talking “cat , lots of aliens (many of them good), and attend school to learn how to fight the bad aliens.

Think Ender’s Game.  With a bit of Divergent thrown in.

It’s good, clean fun that’s just right for middle graders!

Know what else is awesome?

A percentage of this purchase will go to Book Trust, whose mission is to deliver choice and ownership of books to children from low-income families, increasing their literacy skills and fostering life-long learning.


What’s not to love?

Adult Fiction Books Young Adult

I Love Having Friends Who Read! Week 2

I Love Having Friends Who Read!

Friends Who Read.jpg

Last week I started sharing my friends who read with you. Isn’t it great when you love a book and your friends love it too? Dontcha love chatting with friends about that one page when that character did that one thing? It’s awesome isn’t it?

Here’s more:

Brandi, of Mama Knows It All, stays up on all her parenting tips by reading  Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp


Colleen is ALWAYS cooking over at Souffle Bombay. You can imagine my surprise when she told me she wasn’t reading a cookbook, but rather

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, which is part of the Outlander Series.


I’ve heard so much about this series I hope to try it before the summer ends.

Steph, of Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom, is like the kid sister I never wanted. Just kidding. Steph’s boundless enthusiasm for everything is contagious. I wasn’t surprised when she announced she’d just finished

Hunger Games

I love that Steph and I share a love of YA!

Real: The Kitchen and Beyond, is home to my Heather. I love Heather and her kiddos.  Hard. She’s like the good little sister who never wanted me as an older and sinister sister but tolerates me because I’m good to her kids. haha. Her #1 son and I share a special love of middle grade books.  We bonded over Chronicles of Narnia. She’s reading


A Carol for Kent by Hallee Bridgeman, classified as Christian fiction.

That’s all for this week. See ya next week!

Books Children

Tween Book Club Among the Hidden: Shadow Children


among the hidden

This month’s Tween Book Club pic is Among the Hidden: Shadow Children by Margaret Peterson Haddix.  I’m fangirling all over Haddix because she writes books for kids that make them THINK!

Check out my video review:

If you haven’t read it, put it on your TBR list.  You’ll be hooked!

Want more info?

PLOT: Luke has never been to school. He’s never had a birthday party, or gone to a friend’s house for an overnight. In fact, Luke has never had a friend.

Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the Population Police. He’s lived his entire life in hiding, and now, with a new housing development replacing the woods next to his family’s farm, he is no longer even allowed to go outside.

Then, one day Luke sees a girl’s face in the window of a house where he knows two other children already live. Finally, he’s met a shadow child like himself. Jen is willing to risk everything to come out of the shadows–does Luke dare to become involved in her dangerous plan? Can he afford not to?


I KNOW, RIGHT?? Have you read it? What about any other books from Peterson?


Presenting An Unconventional Alliance and the #atozchallenge



(cue opening music) WELCOME FRIENDS!

As a Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Co Host, I get the privilege of building a team, an alliance, to help everyone enjoy the challenge.  These brave persons have stepped forward to be part of my alliance and I couldn’t be happier.  Here they are: (cue more music)

Amber from Never Squat with Your Spurs On 

Mary from Mary-andering Creatively

Karen at Still Magnolias Blog

Ida at Reflex Reactions 

Neala at Moon, Light, and Shadow 


Wanna be a helper too? Leave your email below or sign up here.


Self Published Authors Wanted!

Self Published Authors Wanted!

Are  you a self published author? Have you written a great book, novel, short story, novella, or picture book and want to tell the world about it?

Need social media exposure?  Need an alternative to a blog tour? Just want to try something new?  Here’s your answer:

Buy an ad spot on An Unconventional Librarian.

Why?  As a blogger and a book seller I understand the importance of getting the right book into the hands of a reader. Readers can’t buy your book if they don’t know it exists! So the question is, if readers don’t see your book in a bookstore where can they see it?

cAtchingfirepam copy

The answer is: on a blog just like this!  More and more readers trust book bloggers as a source of finding their next great read. They like us and as a result trust our judgement based on shared interests.  It’s kind of like the alliance Katniss and Peeta form with other champions in the Quarter Quell, without the menacing monkeys.  Readers who come to An Unconventional Librarian like middle grade, Young Adult, and children’s books.

Buy an ad spot on An Unconventional Librarian’s site and get easy additional exposure to potential readers. Choose your weapon below to help fight off President Snow and get noticed by future readers and friends.




Are You Getting Ready for Sochi?

If you’re like me when the Olympics are on, you’re all like WHOOOOOPIE!!! I’ve said it during the Summer Olympics and I’ll say it now, I will watch ANY and ALL televised Olympic events!

Despite the fact that Sochi is having some real problems getting ready for the games, I’m sure in the interest of unity everyone will get their acts together and we’ll all have a good time.  This is a great time to talk to kids about how we are all different but yet we’re the same.

Here are a few pictures from the Olympic webpage that caught my eye:


Look how cute these mascots are!?!  I found a website for the kiddos to learn about the mascots.  Click this link and check it out.

Another photo I found reminded me of Katniss from Hunger Games. You know I had to get a book reference in somehow, right?


Look, it’s the Girl on Fire!!

I’ve got a pinboard full of Olympic games and activities. I’m always looking to add more items to it so let me know if you have a board too and we can share in the excitement!

By the way, what’s your favorite Olympic event aside from the opening ceremonies? Mine is Figure skating.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Blogging from A to Z: I Need Allies like Katniss #atozchallenge

I need Allies!

Friends, I need your help. Actually, I need your alliances.  Just like Katniss makes alliances in Catching Fire, I need a team of allies on my side.  You might know, I’m a member of the Blogging from A to Z team, see the post here, and for this great challenge to be successful I will need some help to get the job done.


Here’s the deal, like Catching Fire, we will be part of a team who will work together to get things done and to survive.  Unlike Catching Fire, there is no Quarter Quell, no one gets eaten by feral animals, gets electrocuted, or drowns.  As the Unconventional Alliance, you will help me keep up with my duties with the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, make a few friends (allies), and consume large quantities of cake.  I was a helper last year and it was incredibly fun to see the inner workings of a spaceship giant blog hop like Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Want to be part of the Unconventional Alliance? Here are the requirements:

  • Be willing to participate in the Challenge in April
  • Can carve out extra time to help with the Challenge late March through April
  • Know how to use Google + (or be super willing to learn, stat!)
  • Keen sense of humor and ability to take whatever comes without freaking out (unlike Katniss)

Well, whaddaya think?  Do you have what it takes to be on the Unconventional Alliance?

I bet you do!

Drop your questions and email below to be considered.


Books Young Adult

Am I Divergent?

I just finished reading Divergent and I LOVED IT!


If you don’t know anything about this wildly popular series, here’s a blurb from

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Sounds great, right?  Based on the faction descriptions, I’m probably an Erudite.  What about you?  After meeting them during the book, I’m not sure that I’d actually want to be an Erudite because they seem kinda sick and twisted in a way that I don’t wan to be associated with. So maybe I AM Divergent?

Having finished the first audio book I’m now in a difficult predicament: do I continue with the series or do I stop and wait?  To be sure, I’m interested in moving forward.  It’s the holiday season so I’m sure there is someone SOMEWHERE who wants to gift me the audio version (which I will swoon if I receive). But that’s not the point.  I’m kind of burned out on series.  After binge reading (listening)  all five Mortal Instruments books, I’m tired.  I’m not sure that I have the emotional energy right now to spare, ya know? While anxiously waiting for Catching Fire to begin I saw the previews for the Divergent movie which doesn’t come out until after the new year.  Perhaps I can wait until then to pick up where I left off.

Meanwhile, I have time to squeeze in a few more books for pleasure.  I’m thinking Code Name Verity…

What do you think of Divergent?  Did you love it? Tell me!