Tuesday, March 13, 2018

SPOTLIGHT w/INTERVIEW - Shadow of the Moon (Shadow Series, #1) by Kwen D Griffeth

Shadow of the Moon
Shadow Series, #1
by Kwen D Griffeth
Date of Publication: October 31st 2017
Cover Artist: Stefanie Cassidy
Genre: Fantasy/Murder/Romance
Tagline: A Fantasy about Love, Murder, and Werewolves
The grisly murder of a diplomat’s son in Central Park draw NYPD Detective Gerald Meeker and FBI Special Agent Andee Trakes into a twisted and confusing investigation. Within hours, the evidence indicates the man was executed in the manner saved for werewolves. Andee Trakes is assigned to liaison with a history professor, who is an expert on folklore and legends.

Professor Alwyn Lloyd, handsome, articulate and successful, not only agrees the method of death was indeed an execution, he claims to be a werewolf. Andee is torn between the desire to date the man and the suspicion to arrest him.

From the initial killing in the park, a bloody spree is ignited that soon has Andee and Lloyd forced to work together to protect themselves and family members. 

Shadow of the Moon explores the world of werewolves and paints a picture of what is good about them, as well as bad. The story explains what is beautiful as well as ugly about the wolf.

The story is fast paced and full of interesting characters and several twists and turns to keep both the fantasy as well as the suspense and romance enthusiasts entertained.
Buy Link: Amazon

“I’m Professor Lloyd’s assistant. Is he expecting you?” Her smile never wavered, though the hand dropped to her side.
“No, as I said, I’m with the FBI, and we don’t normally make appointments.”
Miranda, with smile still in place, walked to the door leading to the professor’s office as she said, “Let me check with him, but I’m sure he will be able to meet with you. I keep his appointment calendar, so I know he’s not overly busy.”
“Hey, I was here first, and I’ve waited thirty minutes.”
Trakes turned back to the office and noticed a blonde had stood to announce her displeasure. She tried to show her indignation with the agent, but her glare fell short.
Trakes smiled at the student and held out her FBI credentials for the blonde to see.
“I’m with the FBI, sweetie. We get cuts.”
Behind her, she heard Miranda say, “Sit down, Shelly, you know as well as I do the professor won’t change your grade.”
Trakes turned back to Miranda and waved the credentials one more time.
“These are really the only announcement I need, but thank you. I’ll just pop in. Then the professor and I will get acquainted.”
Before Miranda could object, the agent turned and stepped through the door.
Her first impression of the office was the desk. It was large, made of wood and appeared antique. The floor was wood, with a large rug that covered most of it. Like the outer office, this one was also wainscoted with dark wood paneling. Opposed to the other space, this one was painted an off-white the rest of the way to the 10-foot ceiling. Again, keeping with the theme set by the outer office, this one also had pictures and paintings on every wall. Bookcases, shelves and glass cases flanked the desk, with two chairs centered in front of it. A two-person sofa along the wall to the left and a coffee table finished the d├ęcor. Professor Lloyd sat behind the desk.
He studied papers with his head lowered, and her first glimpse of him took in the breadth of his shoulders and his hair. It was thick and dark, almost black down the center of the head, but shaded to grey by the time it reached the man’s ears. It was combed back, but a natural part down the center caused it to fall to each side. She wondered what it felt like, then forced herself to refocus.
As she stepped through the door, Trakes announced, “Good afternoon, I’m…”
He looked up from his papers.
The eyes were a pale blue. Ice blue. The shade of blue used to sell breath mints, and her intake of air seemed fresher as it travelled to her lungs. The eyes were hard and unwelcoming. Andee wished she had waited to be announced. She stepped into the room and tripped on the edge of the rug. She whispered a curse, caught her balance, held her blush to a minimum and muttered an apology.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have…”
Those eyes, still focused on her, softened enough to indicate his irritation at the interruption had grown into a mild curiosity. As he studied her, he allowed an eyebrow to raise and his head to cant to one side. She suddenly felt exposed, and her blush from the ungainly entry deepened. Her heart paused, and then quickened. Her stomach tickled, then settled into nervousness. Her underarms damped and a question about deodorant flashed through her mind. She tried again to introduce herself, but discovered she had forgotten her name.
“Professor, I’m…a…I’m…”
Her words came in a small squeak. It may have been the squeak a mouse makes when she sees the hawk dive, but it was certainly the squeak of prey. She froze. The corners of his mouth turned.
“Uncle Alwyn, you stop this. Stop it, right now.”
The commands came from Miranda, and the professor looked past Trakes to his niece, who was standing in the doorway. As he broke eye contact, Andee gulped air. She realized she’d forgotten to breathe.
“Uncle Alwyn, I’m ashamed of you,” Miranda continued, and she took Andee’s arm and assisted her to one of the chairs in front of the desk. Andee smiled her gratitude as she felt dizzy. She looked up at the assistant, who smiled down at her.
“Don’t mind my uncle. He does that sometimes. It’s because he is an Alpha.”
“He’s a what?”
Andee felt as if she was clearing a fog.
“He’s an Alpha, and sometimes he takes advantage.”
“An Alpha? Is that a fraternity?”
Buy Link: Amazon
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/PP-dqHq4toM

Author Info
Winner of Readers' Favorite Silver Award for Historical Fiction/Western, Kwen knew he wanted to be a writer when he was fourteen years old. He felt the urge when he finished Earnest Hemingway’s masterpiece “For Whom The Bell Tolls.” The story touched him in a way no other book ever had. It transported a kid born and raised on a farm and ranch in Idaho to the mountains of Spain. It took him back in time forty years to witness the Spanish Civil War. Kwen knew he wanted to share that wonder with other people.

John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you make other plans.” While Kwen lived a full and varied life, his dream of writing remained in the back of his mind.

Finally, in 2012, he wrote a novella named Dear Emma. He self-published through Amazon and asked people to read it. “The best way to see if I can write is to let people check it out,” he said. Like it, they did. Currently, Dear Emma enjoys a 4.8 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon. 

Often asked what genre he writes, Kwen replies he writes stories about people and uses the genre that best fits the story. “I think of the genre, or setting as another character that interacts to help tell the story,” he says. 

His most often received and constant comment is how real his characters seem. Upon the completion of his historical fiction trilogy Sam and Laura books, a reader telephoned Kwen and directed him to write more stories about the couple. When asked why the reader was so adamant about more stories, he replied he “wasn’t ready to tell Sam and Laura good bye yet.” 
Kwen considers that comment one of his highest compliments.

Kwen’s books are getting some attention from the literary community. The Law of Moses, the Silver Award winner from Readers' Favorite, and The Tenth Nail both received the Gold Award from Literary Titan Book Review. In addition, The Law of Moses was awarded five 5 Star Reviews from the reviewers of Readers' Favorite.

Kwen’s books are available in several formats; e-Book, paperback, and audio. He invites you to check his writings out. Who knows? He might become your next favorite author.

The Book Junkie Reads . . . Interview with Kwen  D Griffeth . . .

How would you describe you style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
I am a character driven writer.  By that, I mean I let the characters tell the story, and I just note their actions, thoughts and feelings.  Most of the reviews of my work, both professional and not comment on how they like or in some cases dislike a character.  My characters are real people in that none are perfectly good nor bad.  I finished a trilogy and a reader phoned me to tell me to write another book.  I told him the story was over and that couldn’t be done.  He replied, “I’m not ready to tell them good bye yet.”

What mindset or routine do you feel the need to set when preparing to write (in general whether you are working on a project or just free writing)? 
I enjoy quiet in my mind.  When I’m writing or preparing to write, I stop watching the news and stop watching all television.  I enjoy the feeling of actually talking to my characters and sharing in their experiences.  I turn my cell on silent and turn it over on my desk so any texts don’t intrude.  I check it when I take lunch or at the end of the day.  The only ones allowed to interrupt me while I’m working are my dogs.    

Do you take your character prep to heart? Do you nurture the growth of each character all the way through to the page? Do you people watch to help with development? Or do you build upon your character during story creation? 
All of the above.  I have a skeleton of a character in my mind when I’m developing the story.  I don’t mean “bones” but just the most basic idea.  From there, I will sit and watch in malls or coffee shops.  I’ll watch people in department stores.  I’ll do searches for images on the internet in the work to fill in the complete character.  Each character will have a backstory all to present to the reader as complete of person as I can. 

Have you found yourself bonding with any particular character? If so which one(s)?
Of course.  Many of the characters become imaginary friends, and in some cases not so imaginary.  In Shadow of the Moon, I grew to like Miranda a lot.  Miranda is a smart and sexy redhead with a touch of rebel in her.  She drives fast and has a cat tattoo just to tease her Aunt who hates felines.  While she is carefree and a little reckless, before her story is done, she is called upon to face long odds and display substantial courage.

Do you have a character that you have been working on that you can't wait to put to paper?
Yes, she is a character from my historical fiction series.  She is the sister of the protagonist and through her the civilian side of the Civil War will be told.

Have you ever felt that there was something inside of you that you couldn't control? If so what? If no what spurs you to reach for the unexperienced?
I can’t say I couldn’t control it, but I didn’t want to control it.  Even as I approach senior age, there is a need in me to feel the adrenaline rush I have craved.  That need was filled by sports and rodeo as a boy and young man.  It was also filled being a cop and a soldier.  Now, I have to look a little harder to find it.  I have taken up kayaking and this summer I will climb Mt. Rainier in Washington.  One of my daughter’s has challenged me to run in a half marathon to help get in shape for the climb.

Writing also provides a similar thrill.  It takes months of effort to write a book and when it is done, the author throws it to the wind in hopes the audience of readers will not only accept it, but also like it.  It is not the same fear as repelling, but it’s close.
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