Monday, 2 September 2013

Welcome To The Review Group Blog

Welcome to our Spectacular fortnight long Blog Launch! This is going to be an exciting event with lots of prizes, wonderful book reviews, guest posts, feature posts and interviews.

About our Blog: we aim to feature reviews of books submitted to us by a range of authors with a diversity of genres and publishing systems. We want to support authors of all types, whether they are independently published, self-published or mainstream. But we will not be entirely focusing on book reviews; we are also looking at creative ways to feature authors, film reviews, guest authors and other interestingly creative people and arts. We have a great team of reviewers and a crop of contributors and admins who will keep you all supplied with fascinating and original articles with an eclectic feel to it. This blog will never be boring!

Below are the bios of our blog admins and authors and finally a list of our great reviewers. We are about to embark on the most exciting journey of our lives and are so pleased to have you all on board for the ride to experience it with us! Please stick around and join in the fun! Interaction is our game and we hope you’ll play!

As it is Day One of our launch, we are also holding a Giveaway of Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors which releases September 23, 2013.

A compilation of essays from the English Historical Fiction Authors blog, this book provides a wealth of historical information from Roman Britain to early twentieth century England. Over fifty different authors share hundreds of real life stories and tantalizing tidbits discovered while doing research for their own historical novels.

From Queen Boadicea’s revolt to Tudor ladies-in-waiting, from Regency dining and dress to Victorian crime and technology, immerse yourself in the lore of Great Britain. Read the history behind the fiction and discover the true tales surrounding England’s castles, customs, and kings.

We will posting on our events page on Facebook how to enter for an e-copy of the book later in the day. 

Also, for a second chance to win the book, enter Debbie's giveaway on Goodreads, click here:

Review Team Admins:

Paula Lofting was born in Middlesex in England and grew up in South Australia, returning to the country of her birth when she was sixteen. She currently works as a psychiatric nurse as well as writing in her spare time. She now lives in Sussex with two of her three children and is an active member of Regia Anglorum re-enactment society. It was always her ambition to write a novel but found that life lead her on other paths until, in her forties, she began on the journey that has led her to her first book.
Sons of the Wolf is Paula's debut novel and the first in a series of books about the Norman conquest of England.

Paula's website:

Jayne Smith lives in Bracknell, Berkshire in England. She is married to Adrian and has two children, Louise of 15 and Craig of 11 years old. She is Part Time Trained Surgical Nurse and a Nurse Interviewer. She adores reading Historical Fiction, Georgian, Regency and Victorian Romances. At the present time she is trying to write her first book which hopefully will be a Regency Romance, but is not getting very far with this. She is Welsh by Birth and adores Cats of all sorts. She also adores History, of all eras and belong to a lot of Facebook groups.

Marsha Harrington Lambert, a student studying for a History degree, is an avid reader of historical fiction and non-fiction, especially the Medieval era, an Anglophile, travel lover, and a passionate New York Yankee fan. Married to Jerry and mother of two children, Nicholas aged 24 and Ashley aged 19 and four cats. Originally from Seneca Falls, New York, she now lives in Georgia after having lived in many states, and also Germany and England.

Lorri Lynn is actually the author, Lorraine Hunt Lynn, but is known as Lorri to her friends and anybody who buys one of her books. She is the author of The Bartlemas Anthology, a five novel, Historical Fiction / Adventure / Romance series, and of the Fry Family Series, an eight novel Australian Historical Fiction series beginning with Josiah’s Plan and the forthcoming Josiah’s Township (release date October 2013).

Lorraine Hunt Lynn was born in Dorset, England and was raised in Australia from the age of two.  Her father’s profession meant that the family lived in many parts of the country, including the Snowy Mountains, the Darling Downs, Brisbane, the Murray Riverina and eventually in Adelaide. 

In her teens, the family relocated briefly back to Dorset, and she was educated for that time at Queen Elizabeth’s School, founded in 1497 by Henry VIII’s mother in the centre of Wimborne. Her passion for history began the day her grandmother took her to Wimborne Minster’s famous Chained Library, and it has been growing since.
She has studied Local History at the University of New England in NSW and holds an Advanced Diploma of Local History from the University of Oxford. Her career has been diverse, working as one of the country’s first female funeral directors, a technical writer and children’s entertainer, as well as having once ‘pumped gas’ and made hamburgers for surfers in a Victorian country town. For the past ten years, she and her husband have operated their own manufacturing business, making sure there is always time for writing.
The mother of one son, the author currently resides at a ‘bend in the road’, a few kilometres from the Currency Creek wine region on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula.  With her husband, three rescued greyhounds, several chickens and the surrounding historic landscape, she continues to be inspired by the early settlers of this luckiest of countries.

Stephanie Hopkins is a respected book reviewer at Layered Pages. She conducts author interviews and helps promote the B.R.A.G. Medallion. She has reviewed books for the Historical Novel Society, is an avid reader of Historical Fiction, Non-Fiction and History. She currently has several writing projects under way. When she is not pursuing her love of books, chatting with authors and fellow readers (which is pretty much 24/7). Stephanie enjoys working in her art studio creating mix media art on canvas. She is into health and fitness, loves the outdoors and hiking....These days she has no idea what rest is!

Stuart S. Laing is the author of the historical mystery series The Robert Young of Newbiggin Mysteries set in 18th Century Scotland. Stuart was born in the ancient Pictish Kingdom of Fife on the East coast of Scotland when the world was still monochrome. Married to an understanding, although long suffering wife with one daughter and a slightly mad cat. An avid reader of any and all genres who in his spare time enjoys cycling, photography, music, delving into the dark history of Edinburgh and enjoying the occasional pint of real ale.

Lisl is a lifelong fan of Merlin and Arthurian legend, but also enjoys reading historical fiction & medieval history, memoir, YA, ghost stories, travel and works related to history of mathematics and astronomical discovery. She is also interested in the topic of boys in education. In her spare time she writes, practices calligraphy and peruses antique shops. She currently has several writing and other projects underway, such as a ghost story and a group of short stories, gathering anecdotes for a collection of humorous bits and is crafting her own board for a game of Nine Man Morris. Lisl often reads and writes in the middle of the night, with some material making its way to her aptly-named blog, before the second sleep.

Simon Stirling hails from Birmingham, England.  He went to Glasgow University, but left early to take part in a new play on the London fringe (written by John A. Bird, who went on to found The Big Issue).  Simon then spent three years training as an actor at LAMDA, during which time he got his first literary agent.  For the next decade or so he wrote scripts for theatre and various television drama series, picking up a Writer's Guild Award for his work on "Between the Lines" and writing what is probably the rudest episode ever of "Casualty"!  In more recent years he has worked as a script consultant and scriptwriting tutor, and for two years he was Youth and Community Director at the Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury.  Many years of research went into his first two historical nonfiction books, The King Arthur Conspiracy (2012) and Who Killed William Shakespeare? (2013) - both published by The History Press - and his current project, "The Grail; Relic of an Ancient Religion" for Moon Books.  He now lives in Worcestershire, in the heart of Shakespeare country, with his wife Kim, who was born in Stratford-upon-Avon; they were married on the Isle of Iona in 2002.

Simon keeps a blog with regularly updates on his research and adventures in publishing:

Carol McGrath Author is published by Accent Press. Debut novel, The Handfasted Wife is first in a trilogy Daughters of Hastings. M.Phil. in Creative Writing from University of London and her MA in Creative Writing is from Queens University Belfast. Her first degree is in History and English from Queens University Belfast. She is a passionate reader and experienced reviewer for the HNS. She also was moderator the 2012 conference short story award and helped produce a collection of these stories The Beggar at the Gate and Other Stories. She contributed to the book Castles, Customs.... Find her on Twitter and on her own blog

Rob Bayliss grew up in the Somerset countryside and still resides in his beloved Somer Saete with his wife, two children and dog. He has always loved history of all periods, but especially the Classical and Dark Age ages. He's worked in forestry and cheese making but now works in office sales. An avid reader and user of social media; a love of words led him to dabble in poetry and lyric writing. He is now working on a fantasy series of books - Flint and Steel, Fire and Shadow - set in a 17th Century era world with a twist. As well as reading and writing in his spare time (and enjoying the occasional pint or two of farmhouse cider) he enjoys running and playing guitar and mandolin.
The Review Group Team

Steven A. McKay
Paul Waddington
Carl Wilcox
Carol McGrath 
Louise Rule
Emma 'Kwik' Powell
Philippa Vincent-Conolly
Anna Belfrage
Amy Oliver
Linda Root
Kristina Swartz Hooper
Karen Andreas
Kristie Davis Dean 
Deborah Tovey


  1. Congrats on the nice blog and great review team!

  2. Best of luck with your new project.
    Grace x

  3. I'm a little late to the party! Best of luck on your new Review Blog!!! And have fun with your launch party. (A two-week long party. I like it!)

  4. Thanks, everyone, for your warm wishes. From here it only gets better!