Over the course of the summer months I will be sharing the recommended authors who feature in the Smorgasbord Bookshelf along with their books and a selected review.
The first book today is The Choice: the unexpected heroes an action adventure by Gwen. M. Plano
About the book
The Choice: unexpected heroes is the sequel to The Contract: between heaven and earth. In the first book, a catastrophic political event threatens Earth. The heavenly leadership decides to execute extraordinary measures to ensure the survival and long-term viability of the planet. Two volunteer souls return to Earth and take human form as Brad Channing and Sarah O’Brien. They are ultimately successful in preventing the catastrophe, but lose their lives in the process.
The Choice picks up where the first book ends, at an Air Force Base in northern California. The base commander invites Brad’s former Navy SEAL instructor to help him determine who is behind the murder of Brad and Sarah. It is evident that their deaths are part of a bigger plan, and the commander has an urgent need to thwart that plan.
A mystery unfolds which implicates key Washington D.C. officials. A confidential team studies the evidence and pursues leads. Eventually, they uncover a traitorous conspiracy that has as its goal: world domination. The pressing question is who can be trusted and who cannot.
One of the reviews for the book
Having not read book 1 (The Contract: between heaven and earth) in the trilogy, I was delighted to get up to speed with a foreword that details what has previously happened. Book 2 (The Choice: the unexpected heroes) picks up where the original book ended. Though the assassination attempt of the President of the United States failed, ten others were killed during the attack, including former Navy SEAL Brad Channing and his girlfriend, Sarah O’Brien.
The Bergert Air Force Base leader (General Taylor) brings in Admiral Parker to help investigate the incident. As the investigation unfolds, we learn that the assassination attempt is orchestrated by a mysterious figure known as “The Lion.” His network runs deep and includes people inside the US government and international sources. As Parker and Taylor untangle this sophisticated web and get closer to solving the puzzle, many of those involved suffer untimely deaths. They understandably don’t know who to trust.
The plot moves along at a nice clip, and I followed the story throughout. Most of the tale seemed plausible except that Admiral Parker took great interest in getting a civilian, Donna Parker, onto the maximum security base. She was a friend of Sarah’s, but he didn’t know much about her at the time. Two budding romances happen, but they weren’t an essential plot element. I struggled with how quickly the characters fell in love.
Author Gwen Plano does a masterful job of keeping us guessing throughout as we wait for the next shoe to drop. She does an excellent job showing the reader how The Lion will do anything to create his one-world government as power seems to go to his head. There is plenty of suspense and intrigue throughout, and I liked that the ending was not predictable.
Also by Gwen M. Plano
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.
The second book today is by Marina Osipova – Push Me Off a Cliff a novel set in post war Russia when wounds and loss are still dominant in the minds of the survivors.
About the book
March of 1948. Three years have passed since the Great Patriotic War ended in victory, disposing into the streets of the destroyed and hungry cities and villages brave decorated soldiers: thousands of them having been burned, maimed, or disfigured beyond recognition.
On a crowded commuter train, Maria hears an invalid singing, which painfully connects her to her time at the front and to the love that failed to happen to her. Why, then, since that day, does the voice from the past echo so insistently in her present life? The torture of uncertainty—was it really Armen?—intensifies after the next encounter and leaves her with an unsettling compulsion to do . . . what? Help him? Or, rather, rescue herself from her lonely and unassuming existence her heart subtly rejects? She must decide whether she is willing to let go of the life she knows for feelings she had never thought she could experience.
But, first, she has to find him.
As the genocide of 1915 within the Ottoman Empire destroyed the lives of Armen’s parents and about one-and-a-half-million ethnic Armenians, his future is shattered by this other war and betrayal. Legless and totally alone, and without any family after his mother is gone, it seems the most merciful thing for him would be to end his miserable existence by leaping off a cliff. Otherwise, he must find the courage to continue living in the condition the war left him and find his place in the bitter every-day reality full of difficulties prone to men like him.
Maria and Armen. Each carries private wounds. In the face of despair, will fate offer them a chance to heal their souls and hearts?
One of the reviews for the book
I have read all of Marina Osipova’s books, which deal with the events of World War II, and each is interesting its own way.
Marina’s latest book is the story of a war hero who influences the lives of three women. His ultimate choice leads to a series of events that irreparably changes his life. I recommend this well-written book so you can find out who these women are and what roles they played in the hero’s life.
I was particularly moved by the book’s theme of the endlessly bitter fate of war invalids who were exiled to the far north Island of Valaam — living out their days in loneliness and poverty, abandoned by the country they defended and nearly died for.
Marina’s book is historically accurate, My father, who fought in the war for five years, confidentially told me of these accounts many years ago, at a time when Soviets were forbidden from discussing these matters openly.
The book leaves a warm feeling of optimism and confidence that love and devotion can still take place even in the most difficult of times.
I encourage Marina to continue writing more books and I look forward to reading them in the future.
Other books by Marina Osipova
About Marina Osipova
Marina Osipova was born in East Germany into a military family and grew up in Russia where she graduated from the Moscow State Institute of History and Archives. She also has a diploma as a German language translator from the Moscow State Institute of Foreign Languages. In Russia, she worked first in a scientific-technical institute as a translator then in a Government Ministry in the office of international relations, later for some Austrian firms. For seventeen years, she lived in the United States where she worked in a law firm. Eventually, she found her home in Austria. She is an award-winning author and a member of the Historical Novel Society.
Thanks for dropping by today and I hope you will be leaving with some books…Thanks Sally