#BlogTour ~ My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber @ByLizzyBarber @ArrowPublishing @Rachel90Kennedy #MyNameIsAnna

A big welcome to my turn on the blog tour for My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber.

My Name is Anna was published on 1 November 2018.

Cover image - My Name is Anna

Two women – desperate to unlock the truth.
How far will they go to lay the past to rest?

ANNA has been taught that virtue is the path to God. But on her eighteenth birthday she defies her Mamma’s rules and visits Florida’s biggest theme park.

She has never been allowed to go – so why, when she arrives, does everything seem so familiar? And is there a connection to the mysterious letter she receives on the same day?

ROSIE has grown up in the shadow of the missing sister she barely remembers, her family fractured by years of searching without leads. Now, on the fifteenth anniversary of her sister’s disappearance, the media circus resumes in full flow, and Rosie vows to uncover the truth.

But will she find the answer before it tears her family apart?

* * * * * * * * *

Thank you to Rachel Kennedy and the publisher for issuing me with my review copy of the book and for inviting me to participate on the blog tour.

My Name is Anna is an absolutely fantastic debut from Lizzy Barber and I found myself hooked from the first page. As I read this over the Christmas break I was lucky that I was able to fully devote my time to enjoying and reading and not having stop halfway through and have to do something annoying – like going to work!

The chapters alternate between Rosie and Anna, who lead completely different lives and live on the opposite side of the world to each. Rosie is 15 and lives in London with her parents and younger brother. When Rosie was a toddler, her older sister disappeared from a theme park whilst they were on holiday on Florida.  Although the family have tried to move forward they are also in a sense of limbo and still hoping that one day they will discover what really happened. Every anniversary of the disappearance is the same for her and you can tell that she dreads having to discuss a sister she doesn’t really know.

Anna lives with her very protective and overbearing mama in America. When she visits a famous theme park she senses that she has been here before and begins to feel all sorts of emotions about her past.

As the stories become almost linked, you can almost guess where this is heading but I liked the added twists that stopped you from thinking you knew what was happening. The life that Anna leads is written in complete contrast to the freedom that Rosie has in London and I liked how different this was.

I found the storyline to be emotionally gripping which is exactly what you want in this type of story. The added characters were perfect foils and added to the tension that had steadily built up from the start.

Thoroughly enjoyed this and raced through the pages as I just HAD to know how this would end!

To follow the rest of the blog tour….

Blog Tour Graphic Final - My Name Is Anna

About the Author

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Lizzy Barber studied English at Cambridge University and works as the head of brand and marketing for a restaurant group.

Her debut novel, My Name is Anna, was the winner of the Daily Mail crime writing competition and she is currently hard at work on her next thriller.

Lizzy lives in London with her husband.

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#BlogTour ~ Only a Mother by Elisabeth Carpenter @LibbyCPT @OrionBooks @AlexxLayt

A very big welcome to my first blog tour of 2019!

I am delighted to be sharing my review of Only a Mother by Elisabeth Carptenter.

Only a Mother was published on 27th December 2018 by Orion Books.

 

Only a Mother 1

ONLY A MOTHER . . .

Erica Wright hasn’t needed to scrub ‘MURDERER’ off her house in over a year. Life is almost quiet again. Then her son, Craig, is released from prison, and she knows the quiet is going to be broken.

COULD BELIEVE HIM

Erica has always believed Craig was innocent – despite the lies she told for him years ago – but when he arrives home, she notices the changes in him. She doesn’t recognise her son anymore. 

COULD LIE FOR HIM

So, when another girl goes missing, she starts to question everything. But how can a mother turn her back on her son? And, if she won’t, then how far will she go to protect him?

COULD BURY THE TRUTH

* * * * * * * * 

Thank you to Tracy Fenton and the publisher for issuing me with my review copy of the book and for inviting me to participate on the blog tour.

Only a Mother is fantastic insight into a mothers love for her child and what she will do to protect him and I loved reading every page. 

We follow Erica, the mother of Craig who has been in prison since he was found guilty of murder when he was only 20. Now 38, he is due to be released and although Erica is happy at the thought of this, she is also incredibly apprehensive about what life will be like for Craig and also herself.

I liked how the author has told the story from Erica’s point of view along with a reporter who is covering the release and also wanting to get to the bottom of another murder that occurred the same time as Craig’s arrest. We don’t hear from Craig until near the end and I think this suits the storyline perfectly. Although this is about Craig and his past, the story and attention belongs to Erica.

It is Erica who was left behind and who was the person that the public and her community turned on. She’s has had to ensure the public hate and has essentially hidden herself away. The author has captured this perfectly and we feel a sense of compassion and almost pity for Erica as she tries to come to terms with the past and what her son, although she tries to deny it, is capable of. Although I did partially guess the ending, this didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book in the slightest.

This is another brilliant book from Elisabeth Carpenter and probably my favourite of hers so far (although I did really love 99 Red Balloons!). 

Highly recommended from me.

To follow the rest of the blog tour…

Only a Mother Blog Tour

 

About the Author

Elisabeth Carpenter

Elisabeth Carpenter lives in Preston with her family. She completed a BA in English Literature and Language with the Open University in 2008. 

Elisabeth was awarded a Northern Writers’ New Fiction award, and was longlisted for Yeovil Literary Prize (2015 and 2016) and the MsLexia Women’s Novel award (2015). She loves living in the north of England and sets most of her stories in the area, including the novel she is writing at the moment.

She currently works as a book keeper.

#BlogTour ~ A Winter Beneath the Stars by Jo Thomas @jo_thomas01 @headlinepg

A big welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A Winter Beneath the Stars by Jo Thomas.

A Winter Beneath the Stars was published in eBook on 4th October and in paperback on 29th November by Headline.

Winter Beneath The Stars Cover

Halley has been running from her problems for years.On a courier trip to Tallfors, deep in Swedish Lapland, everything is going to plan. Halley has her bag, with two precious wedding rings inside for delivery…..until she doesn’t.

The only way to save the wedding is to team up with mysterious reindeer herder Bjorn, the one person who can lead her across the snowy tundra to be reunited with her bag.

On a journey of a lifetime beneath the stars, with only the reindeer and a bad-tempered stranger for company beside the fire, Halley realises that she will need to confront her past heartaches in order to let the warmth of love in once more…

* * * * * * * *

Thank you to Anne Cater and Becky at Headline for issuing me with my review copy and for inviting me to participate on the blog tour.

Jo Thomas is one of my favourite authors and I know I am in for a treat when she has a new book published. As a change, she has written a wonderful and charming book set during the winter months in Sweden.

We follow Halley as she is coming to the end of a trip as a courier. She has been involved in this role for two years and we read more about her, we realise that things aren’t quite what they seem. When she mislays the wedding ring package that she is due to deliver for a wedding, she is in a race against time to find them before the wedding! In order to get the rings back she has to face her fears and also has to rely on someone else, namely Bjorn, a mysterious and quiet reindeer herder. 

The author has captured the beautiful winter in Sweden perfectly and has written the perfect book to read over Christmas. The Samii life was really interesting to read about and Jo Thomas has clearly done her research. It adds another interesting side to the story that I was absolutely fascinated with having not known anything about it. Both characters are really brought to life and, in a sense, both are running from something yet appear to be the perfect foil for each other.

The journey they both make is exciting and I loved following them on their travels as they grapple with the harsh reality of the winter, the predators in the woods and the race against time to keep the reindeers safe. Reading about Halley completely out of her comfort zone was funny but also sad in places as she faces up to why she is constantly travelling and living out of a suitcase and we see a sensitive and fragile side to her that she has long tried to hide.

I was sad to finish this beautiful and warmhearted story but enjoyed reading every word.

Highly recommended.

To follow the rest of the blog tour…

Winter Beneath The Stars Blog Tour Poster

About the Author

Jo Thomas Author Picture

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show.

In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award.

Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.