I had the pleasure of hosting a Mother Daughter Mother’s Day tea party a few days ago. I love this book, The Night Before Mother’s Day and had to share it with you.  I also like the sentiment of the other book, I Carry Your Heart with Me, because as mothers, that’s what we do.

I hope you enjoy your day and get to do whatever you want on your special day!

I will be having breakfast in bed. I hope. Kids, are you listening???












Books Non Fiction Reviews

Friends with Books: Mastering the Mommy Track by Erin Flynn Jay

One of the most difficult parts of life is balancing work and family life.  As you may know, Unconventional Librarian is also a mother; so I was thrilled when my friend Erin Flynn Jay asked me to take part in her book tour reading: Mastering the Mommy Track.

I had the good fortune to meet Erin this year through a group of savvy social media women called Philly Social Media Moms.  We all share the similar experiences and support and educate each other.  Plus, we attend lots of parties, and you know how much PammyPam loves parties!

Erin’s book, Mastering the Mommy Track is a comprehensive book for women struggling to do it all.  To be sure, much of the advice in Mommy Track is geared toward young and new mothers, any parent, mothers especially can benefit from her valuable advice.

As a librarian, I’m trained to check sources for accuracy. I’ve been known to check famous author’s sources and I’ve been lucky enough to praise them on their accuracy.  What I like the best about Erin’s book is that she backs up much of her book with statistics and research. Mommy Track provides anecdotal support to the data she reveals from research.  The result is usable advice that works. I didn’t need to verify any of Erin’s information because she provided the proof herself!

Mommy Track is broken into four issues: Home, Health, Parenting, and Work Life. Each section is further broken into sub sections allowing the reader to find exactly the information she needs quickly and easily.  The book can be read in its entirety or as needed, much like a workbook.

Erin’s resources and insight are invaluable and as a parent of older children, I find that I’m still struggling with many of the issues discussed in the book (time management, sleep and health issues).  I don’t feel like you really ever master the mommy track, but rather get a handle on one segment before you move onto the next phase of mommyhood.  It’s comforting to know I’m not alone and I’m not crazy.  But as the mad hatter says, we’re all mad here.  So, I guess I’m in good company!

COMING SOON:  and interview with the author and a GIVEAWAY!

I give Erin’s book 4 paws!


Adult Fiction

Praise of Motherhood author Phil Jourdan

Please enjoy this guest post by Phil Jourdan, author of the touching memoir, Praise of Motherhood. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $500 in Amazon gift cards and 5 autographed copies of the book.


The Story behind this Real-Life Story
by Phil Jourdan


Back in late 2009, when I began working on Praise of Motherhood, I had envisioned a book very different from what I ended up submitting to my publisher. I’d just lost the woman who’d raised me, and when I wasn’t sitting around numb and brooding, I was frantically trying to contain the universe of loss and suffering in a single Word document on my laptop.

I wanted to write a book that expressed the impossibility of letting go. We’re often told, when someone close to us dies, that we have to move on, that things will get better. I couldn’t accept this back then: I didn’t think it was possible to let go of my mother, who had been so patient and kind during my weird teenage years.

The first two versions were entirely different from each other in form and tone, but they did have a certain delight in chaos in common. I was mourning the only way I knew how: by adopting a hundred different voices, each trying to say something about my mother that the others couldn’t say. One chapter was pure dialogue; another was a series of letters; for a while I wrote in breathless page-long paragraphs because it was the only way I could feel “honest” about what I felt. I’d swing from rage to self-pity to sadness to bliss to sheer bafflement.

It was only when I decided to turn this book into something that others could actually read without going insane that I figured out how to structure a book like this. I cut a great number chapters because they were “honest” but unhelpful. I tried to make myself a sort of antagonist, so my mother’s qualities as a human being could be emphasized. I left things relatively ambiguous instead of offering anything like words of wisdom to my readers. I tried to leave the book as open as the wound that stayed after my mother died.

This has irritated some people. They ask why I don’t provide a real sense of what my mother was like on a day-to-day basis, or why I focused so much on how she affected my life instead of just writing about her, as a person in her own right. Fair questions — but I never set out to just “write about my mom”. I wanted to write about the struggle of losing her, and what made losing her so painful. That’s why I ask questions in the book that I never really answer: because I was never able to answer them myself. They are questions that will remain.

Praise of Motherhood isn’t a book praising all mothers across all ages. It’s not meant to praise the idea of “motherhood” itself as some glorious ideal. I wrote this book because I wanted to transmit something of my mother to those who didn’t know her; those who, perhaps, need to hear that it’s okay to say you love your mommy and you wish she could still be here when you feel like crying.


As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Praise of Motherhood eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $500 in Amazon gift cards and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of Praise of Motherhood for just 99 cents
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event

About the book: Praise of Motherhood is a son’s tribute to the woman who not only gave him life, but helped him live: through various psychotic breakdowns, tumultuous teenage years, and years of feeling out of place in the world. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: Phil Jourdan fronts the lit-rock band Paris and the Hiltons, runs the fiction press Perfect Edge Books, and occasionally works on a PhD. Visit Phil on his blog, music site, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.