Smorgasbord Coffee Morning – Bring a Guest – John W. Howell and author Gwen M. Plano

Recently I ran a series Public Relations for Authors which focused on how we are perceived by those who view our profile photographs, biographies and presence on social media. This included guest posts on other writer’s blogs. Here is an opportunity to not only promote your own blog or books, but those of someone you admire as well.

Is there an inspiring individual, blogger or an author you would like to give a boost to who might enjoy joining you for a coffee and a piece of cake with us all?

Details on how to participate are at the end of this next post in the series.

Author John W. Howell has brought fellow writer and co-author of The Contract, Gwen M. Plano for coffee.

Introduction by John

I would love to invite my good friend Gwen Plano to your place for coffee and cake. I first met Gwen when we were both members of a book club. Gwen had written a memoir Letting Go Into Perfect Love, and because I was hosting her on a radio broadcast, I read the book. I don’t usually read memoirs, but it became apparent to me while reading the book that Gwen was an extraordinary person. She detailed her life of commitment to her family. This was despite being mentally and physically abused by her spouse. She had been married to this person for over twenty-five years. I couldn’t wait to ask her why it took so long to separate from this man. Her answer stopped my cold. She felt a duty to her children that transcended any personal misery that she was going through. Finally, she did leave when it was clear her kids would be safe.

Now, people like this don’t grow on trees, and it is rare to meet someone who has the strength and faith to stick to a commitment for better or worse. Gwen is an influential person driven by her unwavering belief in the sanctity of the spirit. She has accomplished much in her life and continues to grow and develop at a time of life when most would grab a rocking chair and a porch. She continues this growth undeterred by personal health issues and a growing need to support others in her family who are facing challenges of age.

Gwen and I had a baby together. Oh, wait. That didn’t come out right. Let me start again. Gwen and I wrote a book together titled The Contract. An example of Gwen’s growth potential is that she was willing to try something completely new. She had never written a thriller before and yet was ready to move out of her comfort zone. So together, we both pretended we were thriller writers and completed the book. Gwen took to thrillers like a duck to water and wrote two more as a solo author.

Co-writing The Contract was a fun project. We laughed and cried while we wrote together. The nice part is I think the reader won’t be able to tell where the Plano begins, and the Howell leaves off. By the end of the first draft, we were committed to donating our styles and voice to one result. I think we are both proud of the work. I know it was a rewarding experience for me, and I can’t imagine writing another book with anyone else. Gwen has become a close friend, and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with her.

About Gwen M. Plano

Gwen M. Plano, aka Gwendolyn M. Plano, grew up in Southern California and spent most of her professional life in higher education. She taught and served as an administrator in colleges in Japan, New York, Connecticut, and California. Gwen’s academic background is in theology and counseling. Recently retired, she now lives in the Midwest with her husband and enjoys writing and travel.

Gwen’s first book is an acclaimed memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love. Her second book, The Contract between heaven and earth, is a thriller fiction novel, co-authored by John W. Howell. It has received multiple awards and is an Amazon Best Seller. The Choice, the unexpected heroes is the sequel to The Contract. It is also a thriller, involving the attempt of an unfriendly nation to take over the world. The third book in the series, The Culmination, a new beginning is an action-packed military thriller that spans the globe and involves multiple Heads of State and the threat of World War III. Only love can change the fate of humanity.

When Gwen is not writing, she out and about in the beautiful Ozark mountains which she now calls home.

Books by Gwen M. Plano

A recent review for Culmination

Karen Ingalls 5.0 out of 5 stars A GRIPPING THRILLER Reviewed in the United States on March 26, 2021

Read the reviews and buy the books: : Amazon UKand : Amazon USfollow Gwen : Goodreads –website:Gwen PlanoTwitter: @gmplano

About John W. Howell

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the tension. The final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 concludes the thriller series. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a different thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted.

The fifth book is a collaboration with the ​award-winning author, Gwen Plano titled The Contract. Heavenly bodies become concerned about the stability of the Earth and send two of their own to risk eternal salvation in order to save the planet. The Contract achieved number one status in its genre. John’s latest book is titled Eternal Road – The final stop and launched in September 2020. In search of their eternal home, Sam and James discover a threat to human existence. They also encounter the prince of darkness. The question is; can they save humankind and their eternal souls. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Books by John Howell

A recent review for Eternal Road

Kichi Rsa 5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome story!  Reviewed in the United States on July 2, 2021

Without a doubt one of my favorite authors. John W. Howell’s books always have a great story to tell; his knowledge of history, psychology, personality, human laws shines through. It makes his books fantastic, fun to read, magical, special…

I love the characters in the Eternal Road! Not perfect, but always believable… and you don’t always know for sure how this all will turn out in the end! I enjoyed reading it and recommend it to all lovers of the paranormal, thriller, and mystery.  

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USand on: Amazon UK – Goodreads:John Howell Goodreads Blog: John W. Howell. com – Twitter@HowellWave


My thanks to John for bringing Gwen along for coffee, both wonderful authors and lovely people.

I hope to hear from you with the information about your guest and your work (if you have not been featured here before).. thanks Sally.

Some ideas of the guests you might bring to coffee.

  • An author you have just read for the first time who you would like to introduce us to.
  • A blogger who is very supportive of your own blog or books.
  • A new blogger who you would like to showcase
  • An author or blogger who inspires you and your work.
  • A blogger who goes out of their way to support others by reviewing books and promoting on social media.
  • Someone in the public eye who is inspirational to others in medicine, charity, education, who has overcome challenges to succeed.
  • Anyone you feel deserves a boost.

The format of the post

  • An introduction by you of around 200 to 400 words about your guest. Be creative and tell a good story
  • Their photograph, biography, Amazon or book links and if you have them their social media links. I will find if not.
  • Your photo, biography, Amazon or blog links and social media links (if you are in the Cafe and Bookstore I will have those).

Send your introduction and the links to and we can sort out a date to air your post.

179 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Coffee Morning – Bring a Guest – John W. Howell and author Gwen M. Plano

  1. Thank you, dear Sally, for this welcome and post. It’s rare that I’m speechless, but this is definitely one of those few moments. John is most generous in his comments, and his coffee warms both heart and soul. Writing a book together is a special adventure. Yes, there was much laughter and occasionally a couple tears, but the greatest gift was getting to truly know another person from the inside out. John and I met once – briefly – at a book fair, and this was well after the publication of The Contract. How extraordinary is that! Thank you, again, dear Sally. And a special deep thank you to John for sharing his morning sips with me – always a delight. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a fabulous feature. So lovely of John to have invited Gwen to coffee. I adore both of them, and it was so nice learning more about their friendship and working relationship. Gwen, you are an inspiration. John, thanks for the spotlight on her (and great hat, btw). And Sally, as always, thanks for hosting.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This is a great coffee morning with two wonderful authors. It’s just so amazing how fate throws us together. Writing a book together must be challenging but rewarding. Well done, John and Gwen.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This post made my heart soar this morning!! I also met both John and Gwen through a book club where we hosted a radio show together. I fell in love with them both. They are both extraordinary human beings, as is evident from this post. Then I had the opportunity to meet them in person and that was a thrill. It was also the first time that John and Gwen met in person. It always fascinated me that they wrote an entire book without ever seeing each other. Thank you, Sally, for featuring them both here today!!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I love the idea of a coffee post, Sally. How wonderful that John brought Gwen ’round today. I’ve read her memoir and was astounded by her story. She is indeed a special person, as is John. This is a fantastic share. Hugs to all!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. So happy to see two of my wonderful writing friends here today, Sally. I was trying to do a quick check of my email so I could take my cuppa Earl Grey straight to the Comfy Chair for the morning, but couldn’t resist checking out this post, and I’m so glad I stopped by. Lovely to learn more about Gwen, as John’s guest for coffee. She’s someone I also admire deeply, and she, along with John, are favorite bloggers of mine. In addition to being such fine writers, they’re just “good folks,” as we say around here. Lovely post!

    And now, I shall retire to that Comfy Chair for the morning. Still dragging here, but perhaps a bit less so than yesterday, and every little step counts! Thanks so much for having John and Gwen here today! What a great new series! 🤗 ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Hey its tea time! Lol Sorry, i am again late in visiting, but I didn’t want to worry that some of my correspondence partners might not receive their letters by fax today. 😉
    Thank you for this wonderful feature, and the way of mutual interviews. Now I can better understand some of the things in “The Contract” too. One does not believe at all, how partly hidden one’s own biographical things find their way into literary work. xx Michael

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I couldn’t think of two better people to have here! I loved the book they collaberated on. It was the perfect blend of authors.
    They have both been generous with their time and advice since I’ve been lucky to know them. I agree with John, Gwen’s memoir was inspirational in so many ways and happy I’m to see her showcased here today. Hugs to both.
    Thanks Sally for offering this xo

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Well, that was fabulous! Now I have to check out Gwen’s memoir. Unlike John, I gravitate toward memoirs. I’m curious about people and why we are similar in some ways and yet different in so many others.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I wish you could have seen my eyebrows shoot up when you wrote that you and Gwen had a baby together, John. Lol. A book baby. Phew, and a good one at that. Thanks for the fun and lovely post about Gwen. She’s clearly a wonderful person and writer. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  11. A beautiful post and the coffee smells lovely…It was lovely to read about two authors who are little known to me but what an amazing bond they have and reading the comments they both sound like such lovely people…am loving your coffee mornings, Sally 🙂 xx

    Liked by 3 people

  12. What a fascinating post, I love it. Gwen’s back story is one that I have heard often- many times older women of a certain age have remained for their kids. I know of school friends whose mother stayed until the kids left home and then bolted for a safe haven. So very sad. The co-authoring is something I am familiar with, and likewise, never actually sat together writing, exchanged few communications when writing and yet it worked. Good luck to you both. I raise my teacup to you both, your writing, your futures, and your bond. xx

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I consider John and Gwen friends who I met through a book club. They each have inspired, helped, and supported me not just as a writer, but as a person. I start each morning reading John’s blog which always gives me a smile or a giggle. His books are action-packed and should be turned into movies.
    For reaching into my soul and my psyche, Gwen’s poetry and blogs fill voids, reinforce my beliefs, or challenge my thoughts or actions. Her first book, Letting Go Into Perfect Love, is one to be read by those in abusive relationships. She is a beautifully sensitive and caring person which is evident in all her writing.
    Sally, thank you for hosting these two fine people and talented authors.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. “Gwen and I had a baby together.” If that doesn’t stop someone in their tracks few things would.😅 John wrote a fabulous post, as usual. The Contract was a wonderful collaboration. I enjoyed reading it.
    What an excellent feature, Sally! John and Gwen are two of my favorite writers. I greatly admire them for their writing skills and for the amazing people they are. Thanks for hosting❣️

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – August 15th – 21st 2021 – Crows, Chicago, Soul-Mates, Stories, Poetry, Health, Book Reviews and Humour | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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