Your Father Sends his Love by Stuart Evers

Your Father sends his love is a collection of twelve short stories about parental (or in one case Grandparental) relationships.  It’s not all rosy stories of happy endings but the gritty highs and lows that people experience in relationships.  From a fathers loss to a fathers defense of his child and more, Evers seeks the best and worst, the most emotive and personal elements these relationships bring.
I found that something in this collection was missing for me. I wanted more…..I didn’t feel like the author gave me enough to go on, which might sound vague but it’s hard to describe the feeling I felt when coming to the end of each story.
Some, I felt were nearly there, they were pulling me in and I could feel the story beginning to wrap around me but just before it really got hold it would end and then I’d be off on the next one.
The pace of the stories is slow as short stories go, I felt that with more pace I would’ve been there, I would’ve got what the author was trying to get across more 
But, one story called “There are Days” really excited me. I loved the way the author left you thinking about who Ben was really writing those letters for knowing they’d be seen or is he just being a Grandparent to his Grandchild! This is what I felt was missing in the other stories.  I didn’t ask questions I didn’t feel the suspense with the other stories that I felt with this one.  I didn’t feel the other stories were as open to interpretation.
And I know it may seem here that I wouldn’t, but based on that one story I’d read other works by this author because although this collection didn’t do it for me I feel he is talented and if he can connect with me in one short story then I’d love to see what he could do with more.
Disclosure: I received this book free of charge from netgalley in return for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

The Pursuit of Happiness by Ruth Whippman

“Giving birth for me, was like emerging from a car crash to find myself inexplicably madly in love with Vladimir Putin” 

This one quote, in my opinion, sums up The Pursuit Of Happiness!  An amazingly dry witted and comical look at the self help industry!
Before I read the bio of this book I thought it was going to be a full on how to find happiness tomb with the same advice over and over again
However, what it actually is is a scathing assessment of the booming happiness industry.
Sometimes slightly depressing, when you look at how easily we can be duped by big business and those supposedly trying to help us be our best selves and other times roaringly funny, with the authors assessments her life and general Britishness. I really enjoyed learning about life behind self-help as an avid lover of all things self improvement!
I will admit I did struggle with the first chapter as it is fairly weighty on the facts and background but the more I read the more moments of British wit I saw.  It was like after the first chapter the author really warmed to her audience and relaxed into her topic.
The book takes you on the authors own journey of happiness and sometimes it can be quite a negative tale which seems out of place in a book about happiness but even if her writing style is not for you it is an interesting read and the author has extensively researched it!
If you have an interest in Psychology and how people tick this would definitely be a good read for you.
Disclosure: I received this book as part of the Britmums Bookclub free of charge in return for an honest opinion.  All opinions are my own

I Was in Love With a Short Man Once And Other Tales From a Crazy Southern Irish Gal By Kimberly Dalferes

I’m always dubious when someone refers to themselves as “Crazy”. I don’t know why but it always makes me cringe when someone says “I’m just so crazy!!” So I started to read this book with trepidation and I have to say I think the title tainted my whole experience of the book.
Having said that I did enjoy most of the stories. I liked the way the author set out the stories with a bit of character background to add context, then the story and finally a wise word or two of advice.
She shares some deeply personal moments like the loss of Grumps, which are tinged with sadness and her troubles a junior high, which are written in such a way that you feel privileged that she shared them with you making the author much more personable 
I have to say the are some funny moments in this book and the author is, as she claims, to be a storyteller and quite a talented one
But, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but the book struggled to keep my attention I didn’t find myself thinking about the book when I didn’t have a chance to read it and I wasn’t making excuses to stay in and read.
For me, although a well written collection of stories about growing up it didn’t captivate me.
However, that could say more about me and the genres I tend to read than a criticism of this book
Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.  All opinions are my own.

Demonbound by David Parkland

If you love Terry Pratchett or Susanna Clarke then you should check out Demonbound!!
This book follows the journey of Marris and Wade; Drummer Boys turned Carters turned Entrepreneurs in their attempts to make a living for themselves.  But the power of words can be a terrible thing as Marris and Wade find inexplicable things happening around them.
This book is an absolute page turner as the exploits of the pair develop at pace and their destiny is interwoven with other characters in the novel.
Cleverly written with a sublime twist at the end that, although hinted at throughout, caught me by surprise.
The ending lends itself well to a sequel and I wait with baited breath for its release.
A fantastic first novel for this talented author, whose writing style is able to capture and inspire the imagination whilst guiding the reader through his journey.  I am a fan already, most definitely one to watch for the future!
Disclosure: I received this book for free in return for an honest review.  All opinions are my own

Ravenspur By Conn Iggulden

I don’t often read in this genre as sometimes I find historical fiction hard to get into
However, my other half is a massive fan of this series and so I thought I’d give it a whirl when I was offered the chance to read it.
This is book is the fourth and final one in the War of the Roses series and follows the early life of Henry Tudor 
It is brilliantly written and while it is helpful to have read the three previous books the author has cleverly made them as interesting to read as a stand alone as they would be in series.
The use of the family trees at the start as with his other books provide a way of keeping up with whose who if you get a bit lost. However, once I got into the plot line I found I didn’t need them
The author has researched his topic well and the story pulls you in from the start.  I read it solidly for two hours when I first picked this one up it gripped me and was full of surprises.
The politics of the time and mechanics of was are described and the author has a outstanding ability to pull you in to the atmosphere of the time with his narrative.
I cannot recommend this series enough it’s pacy and high impact and will keep you reading long into the night

Disclosure: I received this book free of charge in return for my honest opinion.  All views in this post are my own

Colours of Loss and Healing by Deborah S. Dearman, Ph.D

A gentle and creative way of dealing with loss
I am a firm advocate of adult colouring books and have several already!
This book is a new concept for me in that it focuses specifically on getting through tough times with a number of images the revolve around a set of words.
The drawings are intricate and expertly drawn and will keep you busy for hours!! 
The creator of this book has seen some awfully challenging times at a young age and has survived and thrived!
She created this book to help people heal according to elements she feels, based on her work and personal experience, aid recovery
I think you can’t place a price on peace of mind and this book would definitely help even if it only settles the mind for an hour a day.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free in return for an honest review.  All opinions are my own

The More of Less by Joshua Becker

I have read so many different books about de-cluttering it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure, so I didn’t think anyone could tell me anything I didn’t already know about the topic

I tried to go in with an open mind and not try to compare this book with any others on the topic and found that I didn’t have to worry about that it’s written in such a different manner.
The book was informative if a little heavier on the prose than some books in this genre and although I found the references to scripture interesting they sometimes came across a bit repetitive
I really enjoyed the way the author brought in others who have successfully paired down their possessions it really brought the advice alive and using his own journey to explain why he wrote this book. You can find out more about Joshua Becker’s background here

The author takes you through what he means by minimalism before taking you through how to declutter as well as drilling down into why we get so caught up in the need to spend and how big business gets us spending on things we don’t need.

All in all if you need a little decluttering in your life this is a good book to get into the detail. You can find out more about the book here

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from Bloggingforbooks in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own

Not My Mother’s Kitchen by Rob Chirico

Award winning chef Rob Chirico calls his mother an “Assassin” but only in the kitchen! 
He regales us with tales of his mothers awful cooking and his journey to rediscover Italian-American cooking 
It’s part memoir part recipe book and I love the format!
I chuckled out loud at some of his descriptions about growing up with sandwiches and crimson sauces but felt the love and warmth for his family in every page
The ingredients section of the book is filled with useful facts and information about good Italian ingredients and their provenance as well as his memories of them and how he found them.
Each recipe sounds mouthwatering and perfected by him as well as peppered with background stories and useful tips and explanations making them easy to follow.
This is about so much more than just food!
About the Author:
Rob Chirico is a freelance write and artist whose work has appeared in the food journal Gastronomica. He lives in Western Massachusetts
The book is available for pre-order now. But is on sale from the 6th September 2016 
Available in Hardback and Ebook editions

Disclosure: I received this book free of charge in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin

A fantastic debut for Sharon Guskin!
If you like mystery and suspense or anything about reincarnation then I definitely recommend this book! It drew me in and kept me turning the pages to try to learn more about this fascinating topic!
“Noah is four and wants to go home.  The only trouble is, he’s already there.”
Intrigued…..I was!
The story follows single mum Janie and her four year old son Noah who starts behaving strangely and manages to get himself kicked out of pre-school.
Janie tries the best child psychiatrists there are with no satisfying conclusions to her sons weird behaviour she turns to a slightly more unorthodox solution researched by Dr Anderson
Overall I loved this book it was well written and I liked the way the author developed the characters as the story developed. I didn’t feel there was a big download at the start but as the story progressed you learnt more about the characters motivations and past, especially Dr Anderson.
The author brought the characters to life without overdoing it with too much fluff and irrelevance and as a mother I felt compassion for the characters especially Janie and Denise with the author pulling you in to there sorrow and angst.
What really impressed me was the addition of the real life historical cases of reincarnation from a book called “Life Before Life” by Jim B. Tucker. I thought it blurred the lines between fiction and non-fiction so that it became more than a novel
It’s a real all rounder it deals with love and loss, grief and reincarnation as well as looking back on life.  I  found it easy to read and follow even when the author moved from one character perspective to another.
I could lose myself in the story and found that I needed just one more page every time I had to put it down.  The author cleverly builds suspense and I loved the topic as it’s not something I’ve ever read before I didn’t know whether it was one for me but it absolutely was!
The narrative was captivating and emotive and the loose ends were neatly tied up in the epilogue and whilst those endings may not have been the happiest in all cases it answers any lingering questions about the main characters.

Highly Recommended!!

Disclosure: I received this book as part of the Mumsnet Bookclub free of charge. All opinions are my own