#GuestDayTuesday – Author Gwen M. Plano


Today, I’m very happy to have my good friend Gwen Plano visiting with us. Gwen is a gifted writer, a contributor to the wonderful #StoryEmpire blog, and a blogger in her own right, as well. Please join me in welcoming Gwen as she tells us a bit about herself and her background. Take it away, my friend!


Thank you, Marcia, for inviting me to your blog site. I’m excited to join you and your followers today. When we first talked, you asked about my background and interests, and I’ll try to answer both in my response below.

I grew up on a farm and that’s important to know, because those formative years shaped who I am today. A simple lifestyle and hard work were part of my life and remain so by choice. As much as I love visiting a museum, I’m just as entranced being outside in nature. To this day, I get up before sunrise and fall asleep not long after the sun sets.

As the eldest of the seven, I helped mom with all the tasks of family life. But I was also a dreamer. My parents had a set of encyclopedia, and I loved turning its pages. I hungered to know more, and that deep desire remains with me today. 

I was the first in my extended family to go to college and were it not for the inconvenience, I would still be taking classes today. I love learning and that is apparent in the research that I do.

My first book is a memoir, and it is followed by a thriller series. I’m currently writing the final book of that series. I jokingly tell my four adult children that I will solve the troubles in the Middle East with this last book.

My most recent publication is The Culmination, a new beginning. It’s a military/political thriller that spans the globe and tackles complicated international concerns. For every hour I spent writing, I doubled that in research. My questions took me to places I never expected and before I knew it, I was traveling down a rabbit hole that had deadly consequences. The Culmination changed my life forever.

I am very grateful for the wonderful reviews I’ve received. The one below is from mystery writer, Mae Clair.

 5-Star Review from Mae Clair

Book three in a series, The Culmination reads easily as a standalone novel. A political thriller, that addresses denuclearization, tensions in the Middle East, and the fate of refugees, much of the story echoes current headlines. The plot is complex involving multiple heads of state, along with the strategical give and take of political maneuvering on a global level. The author clearly put an extensive amount of research into this book, and it shows. Adrenalin-fueled scenes alter with more cerebral moments, and even a few romantic interludes.

I especially loved the evolution of the relationship between the two central characters, Margaret Adler, VP of the United States and Ivan Smirnov, acting President of Russia. During the course of the novel those titles change, and we learn more about each, including richly developed backgrounds. I was thoroughly invested in the difficulties Margaret and Ivan faced, both on personal and political levels. Their scenes together were among my favorites of the book. There’s also a young refugee child who factors into the story and who stole my heart.

A unique combination of character-driven and plot-driven fiction, I recommend this compelling tale to readers who enjoy strong character development and complexly-plotted intrigue.



The Culmination, a new beginning is the third book in The Contract thriller series. After an assassination attempt on an Air Force base in northern California, tensions mount. Heads of state meet to craft a denuclearization agreement. The meetings between these nuclear powers take a murderous turn. A nefarious conspiracy re-emerges and leads the characters into the heart of the Middle East, where they encounter the unexpected and find a reason for hope.

Contact Gwen:

Blog:  https://www.gwenplano.com/blog-reflections
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/GMPlano
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gmplano
Amazon Author’s page:  https://amzn.to/3eAU2Bt 

Book links:

Letting Go into Perfect Love – https://amzn.to/3bToO7t
The Contract between heaven and earth – https://amzn.to/2U2Lgmv
The Choice: the unexpected heroes – https://amzn.to/3lcz8eA
The Culmination, a new beginning – https://amzn.to/3eEWkj9


39 thoughts on “#GuestDayTuesday – Author Gwen M. Plano

    • It is my pleasure to have you here today, Gwen! As I mentioned, we will be out a large part of the day, but I will do my best to catch up on everyone’s comments when we return. In the meantime, I see you have things covered, and I hope everyone enjoys learning more about you and your work. Lovely to have you visiting! 🙂 ❤


  1. I enjoyed getting to know more about you, Gwen. We also had a set of encyclopedias and I often turned to them.

    I have The Culmination on my TBR list but decided to read the first two books of the series first. Looking forward to it!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much, Joan. Isn’t it interesting that our generation grew up with encyclopedias but today’s youngsters may not know what they are? 😊

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m with Gwen on the love-of-nature front. I loathe housework but I’ll willingly toil in the garden until someone comes to remind me to eat – or sleep! It must have been wonderful growing up as part of a large family and there are supposed to be many advantages in being the first-born sibling. I have a full set of the Encyclopedia Brittanica which is older than I am and hopelessly out of date – can’t bring myself to part with it yet!
    The Culmination is on my Kindle but, like Joan, perhaps I should get the earlier books and start there.
    Thanks to Marcia for this opportunity to get to know a bit more about Gwen.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Alex. I love that you have your full set of the Encyclopedia Brittanica! 💗 Thank you, too, for your interest in The Culmination. Though part of a series, it is a standalone book. All the best to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, Gwen. Like you, I love really nature and appreciate museums. Being in a class, in a subject I enjoy, has always inspired me. I have loved all of your books, and think you are on to something with middle east peace:)
    Thanks, Marcia for having Gwen here today!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sorry I’m late to the party. I was offline yesterday but wanted to drop by to extend my support to Gwen. I loved hearing about her background in this post. And–as you can tell from my review of The Culmination (how cool to find that included), I loved her book as well. I’m really looking forward to the final novel in the series. Congratulations, Gwen, and great job hosting, Marcia!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m just getting to the party myself, Mae, and I’m even later than you. Between some pretty serious plumbing issues and getting our first COVID shots, we somehow lost three days. Urk. Glad you enjoyed Gwen’s post, I thank you for stopping by & taking a moment to comment, too. I’m going to try to catch up with this one today, if all goes well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It was nice getting to know more about Gwen. Another early riser, it seems. Dear Husband and I are both morning people, and so were our dads. I wonder if it’s a genetic thing. Mae’s review piqued my interest in the book and the series. Congrats to Gwen on the recent release of Culmination!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Priscilla. I’m an early riser, too, usually, thought not always real communicative for an hour or two. 😉 Thanks for stopping by and taking a moment to comment. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Isn’t it still March? Whoops, June 1. But here I am and I just ordered the hardback copy of The Culmination. Can’t wait to share it with my guy, who loves these kinds of book. Thanks for featuring Gwen here, Marcia!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My pleasure to have Gwen as a guest, Pam, and I THINK I once heard someone say “better late than never.” 😀 (Hey, there’s a reason it’s an old saying … it’s TRUE!!)

      Glad you made it and had a chance to learn more about both Gwen and this book. She’ll be very pleased to find out you’ve ordered your copy!

      Thanks for stopping by today and letting us know. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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