Friday, July 27, 2012

Review, Guest Post and Giveaway - Shadowland by C.M. Gray

I am excited to bring you my stop on the Shadowland blog tour today where I will give you my review of this awesome book plus a guest post by the author, C.M. Gray, and a giveaway too!


Shadowland by C.M. Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition, 217 pages
Published February 7th 2012 by Amazon Kindle (first published June 26th 2008)

'We grow up with the Legend of King Arthur ... But where did he come from? Who was Merlin? What part did the Druids play in bringing Arthur to his round table? This is the story that came before, when Britain was just a Shadowland.

Shadowland is a story of historical fantasy set in Dark Ages Britain.

`I have lived more years than I can remember, probably more than the sum of all your years combined. Kings have called me friend and brigands have sworn to burn the flesh from my bones even if they have to search all seven halls of the shadowland to find me.'

On the night of midwinter's eve, a storyteller takes his listeners back to the Dark ages and a tale from his youth.

Deserted by its Roman masters, Britain has been invaded by the Saxons at the invitation of Vortigern, traitorous leader of the Britons. Now, as the tribes unite to reclaim their land, one man must rise to lead them and become their true and only king.'

My Thoughts:
Shadowland was definitely a book that I struggled to put down. The intelligent way it is written to be almost a retelling of the old classic story of King Arthur kept me entranced through to the very end.

There is some great character development throughout this book and to see how the main characters grow and change as the story progresses makes you feel like you are an intimate part of their world.

This is one of those novels that builds up slowly but once once it hits its steady rhythm it stays that way until the last page.

I also loved the way the story was told. It's narrated in a storyteller fashion which adds to the mystery of the book as you want to know why the storyteller is telling the story the way he is and how he is where he is at the time.

For anyone who is a fan of adventure and historical novels, this one should not disappoint. In my opinion it is suited to a variety of readers as it is easy to follow and doesn't contain any material that would offend.

Overall I definitely enjoyed this book and will be interested to read more in the future from C.M. Gray.

Guest Post - Author C.M. Gray:

The road to being an Indie author:
I have been an avid reader since I was about eleven years old. I remember starting on books like Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and The Secret Seven. Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe soon followed and by my early teens I had read everything by Wilbur Smith and was starting on the Stephen King books as they were just coming out (yep, I’m old!).
There is an old saying that everybody has a book or two inside them, I remember that echoing around in my head for years. I discovered the world of fantasy in my twenties when discovering an old copy of The Hobbit in a second hand book shop. The Lord of the Rings soon followed. Those books unlocked a certain something in my head, as I know they did for many writers.
Fast forward a good few years, and after travelling the world, living in places like France, Amsterdam, Israel, India, Hong Kong and The Philippines, I settled in Spain with my wife and two Children, Dylan and Yasmin.
At the time I typed out my first sentence, Dylan was still a baby and my wife had discovered reality TV shows. I took a distinct dislike to watching people make fools of themselves trying to sing, and sat down at my laptop.
‘We all have a book or two inside us... ’ It was still there. Little did I realise, but the experience of writing was better than watching a film, better than playing a game on a computer and even better than reading a great book; it turned out to be all three things combined!
I type really fast and to be honest the first draft of anything I write is filled with mistakes and has very little grammar; I just have to get the ‘story’ out. It’s like reading that great book but controlling the characters as I would in the computer game and the film just plays in my mind.
About four months after sitting down that first time, the first draft of The Flight of the Griffin was born. I proudly typed ‘The End’ and thought I had made it; I was an author! However, reality struck when I started reading and found I had to do an awful lot of work to bring it into any kind of legible state!
I first took the ‘traditional’ route and looked for an agent, sending out at least a hundred manuscripts. Finally, just like the number eleven bus, two came at the same time! I chose one, we met in London to sign contracts and a couple of months later my book was in an auction between two very large publishers; fantastic! ...but then I came down to earth a month or so later when both publishers dropped the book for, what I thought at the time were, crazy reasons... the agent lost interest.
To be honest I lost interest as well for a while; in agents, publishers and even writing.
However, some time later I discovered Amazon’s KDP programme for Indie authors. I had written Shadowland by that time, just for my own amusement, and after getting a professional edit, I put that onto the Amazon programme. The Flight of the Griffin got the same treatment and followed soon after and now with them both on Smashwords .com and in paperback on LULU as well, I am selling quite a few books every day. I’m not making a fortune, but people are reading my work and I’m getting great reviews and wonderful feedback from readers. As you can see from this article I’m now working with some fantastic blog sites and add as much as I can to various websites and forums.
It’s tough being an Indie, but I don’t have anyone telling me what to write and when it has to be done and I’m much closer to you, the readers.
So, if you have ever heard a small voice in the back of your head telling you to switch off the television and write a book, give it a go. We all have a book or two inside us and it may just be an awesome read!

What great inspirational words we could all gain from listening to!!

And now for the exciting part, I have one kindle edition of Shadowland to give away to a lucky reader. Entries are via the Rafflecopter form below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author's Blog


  1. Well that was the easiest entry ever! This is such a great giveaway. I love fantasy, Merlin, etc.- so I am very curious about this book. Also- I enjoyed learning more about the author. It sounds like the path to publishing hasn't always been easy. Good for him for sticking to it and getting his book out there. All the best!

  2. Hi! I just nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Here's some more information.
    And, this was a really cool post!


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