Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2022 – ‘Potluck’ – #TopTenThings – Gwen Plano by Marcia Meara

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’

In this series I will be sharing posts from the half of 2022

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 50,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. You can find out how to participate at the end of the post.

Author and wildlife advocate and lecturer Marcia Meara has a wonderful series that encourages authors to share Ten Things You May Not Know About Me… and it is very revealing too. I have selected two posts from this series which star two authors who I am sure you are very familiar with.. but do you know really know them?

Ten Things You May Not Know About Me
by Gwen M. Plano

When I was about 5 or 6 years old, I told my mom that I wanted to be a priest when I grew up. She explained that I couldn’t because I was a girl. This upset me, but decades later, through unexpected circumstances, I ended up studying with seminarians and earning a degree in theology and a degree in pastoral counseling – the same degrees that priests earn.

Dad taught me to drive when I was 11 years old. He thought I was mature enough and, on the farm, this was an important skill. As it turned out, the following year, I had to drive my mom to the emergency room (about 13 miles away). This action probably saved her life.

While a student at the University of San Francisco, I saw the Grateful Dead perform in Golden Gate Park. This was before they were famous. Attendees just sat on the grass or danced ecstatically. I did both, and the Dead remain my favorite band.

One evening my boyfriend and I walked through the Panhandle. We didn’t get far before flashing lights stopped us. Two police officers got out and questioned us about what we were doing. They concluded that we were clueless and harmless and told us to get in the cruiser. They drove us back to campus and instructed us not to walk at night in that area. This would be my only ride in a police car.

That same year, I enrolled in Speech. For the final exam, students were allowed to choose their topic to present to the class. I decided to do something different. I brought my Gibson to the classroom and sang an original song. To my surprise, everyone loved it – even the professor. She said this was a “first” for her.

In 1970, I attended grad school at Purdue University. I lived in a farmhouse about 15 minutes away from the campus. One night I saw two UFOs, as did the locals. Terrified, I called the police. They asked if I had been drinking, which I hadn’t, then they told me to call the airport. That responder told me to call the Air Force Base, which I did. The Airman said, “We haven’t seen anything unusual.” I still wonder about his response.

I lived in Japan for five years, and during that time, I became proficient in Chanoyu (Tea Ceremony) and Ikebana (flower arrangement). I also studied calligraphy. These ancient arts are a form of meditation, and their silence remains with me today.

In the 1990s I was an administrator at a Jesuit university in Connecticut. On weekends, I’d take groups of students into the inner city, where we worked in soup kitchens and other sites. When school was out, I led student volunteers into poverty stricken areas of Mexico. We lived with the people and helped as we could. One trip is particularly memorable. It was during an election and riots broke out in the area and guns were used. I huddled with the students, and thankfully, the next day was quiet.

On the yummy side of the world, I love dark chocolate and when I write, it is my constant friend. And…I never count these calories.

To conclude, nature is my greatest solace and I bring it into my home – with plants, crystal clusters, and images of beautiful settings. Being in nature calms my soul.

Blurb

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.

A review by Mae Clair: 5 out of 5 stars – A Political Thriller with Strong Characters

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. 

You can Buy The Culmination HERE

Author 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. She is now retired and lives in Arizona with her husband.

Gwen’s first book is an acclaimed memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love. Her next three books (The Contract co-authored by John W. Howell, The Choice, and The Culmination) are political/military thrillers. Action-packed, they span the globe and involve multiple Heads of State and the threat of World War III. Her conclusion – only love can change the fate of humanity.

When Gwen is not writing, she’s out and about in the beautiful northern Arizona mountains, where she finds inspiration.

You can find Gwen’s Books on Amazon here:

Author Page for Memoir
Letting Go Into Perfect Love
***
Author Page for Thrillers
The Contract
The Choice
The Culmination

You can reach Gwen on Social Media here:

Blog
Twitter
Facebook

© Marcia Meara 2022

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and one small dachshund.

When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. She enjoys nature. Really, really enjoys it. All of it! Well, almost all of it, anyway. From birds, to furry critters, to her very favorites, snakes. The exception would be spiders, which she truly loathes, convinced that anything with eight hairy legs is surely up to no good. She does not, however, kill spiders anymore, since she knows they have their place in the world. Besides, her husband now handles her Arachnid Catch and Release Program, and she’s good with that.

Spiders aside, the one thing Marcia would like to tell each of her readers is that it’s never too late to make your dreams come true. If, at the age of 69, she could write and publish a book (and thus fulfill 64 years of longing to do that very thing), you can make your own dreams a reality, too. Go for it! What have you got to lose?

A selection of books by Marcia Meara

My review for The Emissary Trilogy May 3rd 2021

As you can tell from the blurb, being an emissary on earth is no easy task. It is a learning curve for both the new recruits and their supervising angel Azrael, who despite thousands of years on human over watch, is not familiar with the emotional element so crucial to mankind’s existence.

As always Marcia Meara creates wonderful lead characters who engage the reader from the first moment. Never afraid to include flaws, the author always shines a light on their goodness as their roles develop during the course of the story. Jake, Dodger and Azrael are no exception.

Traveling up and down the Florida coastline, familiar territory for the author and therefore wonderfully described, Jake and Dodger hone their powers in an effort to prevent a human from straying from the straight and narrow with evil on their minds. As they learn how to harness this power they can also reach out to humans who are on a more self-destructive path, saving lives and futures.

But, a young man such as Dodger whose life ended far too young, has not experienced the wonder of falling in love and despite Azrael’s initial reservations, he allows two young people to discover the true meaning of the word. It comes with a price and despite this their romance is a wonderful element to this paranormal journey.

There is danger along the road and despite their special status, the two emissaries are not immune to violence and have to learn patience, desperate though they are to prevent tragedies. It is a fine line when attempting to nudge the mind of a dangerous criminal away from their path without causing themselves harm. However both discover the satisfaction of making a difference as the miles pass under the truck of their semi.

These three novellas come together in a lovely package with elements that will delight those who enjoy paranormal mysteries, thrillers, romance and a well written story with exceptional characters. I highly recommend.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And : Amazon UK – Marcia Meara on: Goodreads – Blog:Marcia Meara WritesTwitter: @MarciaMeara

 

How to feature in the series?

  • All I need you to do is give me permission to dive in to your archives and find two posts to share here on Smorgasbord. (sally.cronin@moyhill.com)
  • Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random of general interest across a number of subjects from the first six months of 2022. (it is helpful if you have a link to your archives in your sidebar by month)
  • As I will be promoting your books as part of the post along with all your information and links so I will not be sharing direct marketing or self- promotional posts in the series.
  • If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.
  • As a blogger I would assume that you have an ‘about page’ a profile photo and your links to social media.
  • Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.
  • Previous participants are very welcome to take part again.
  • Each post is reformatted for my blog and I don’t cut and paste, this means it might look different from your own post especially if you are using the block editor
  • If I do share a post which contains mainly photographs I will share up to five and link back to the original post for people to view the rest.

N.B – To get the maximum benefit from your archive posts, the only thing I ask is that you respond to comments individually and share on your own social media.. thank you.

 

87 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2022 – ‘Potluck’ – #TopTenThings – Gwen Plano by Marcia Meara

  1. I’m so glad to find this post here, Sally, since I missed it at Marcia’s and I love these opportunities to get to know other bloggers better. Gwen always leaves me a little starry-eyed with her kindness and grace. It all makes sense as I read her ten things and the moments in her life she chose to share. Thanks to you and Marcia for sharing this wonderful person (and for the reminder to finish her series!). Congrats to Gwen too on the lovely feature..

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Thank you so much for sharing Gwen’s #TenThings list here today, Sally! Gwen is such a lovely, kind, and generous person, and I was very pleased she decided to take part in this series. Her list remains one of my very favorites to date, and I’m super happy to see it shared here.

    Thanks also for such a beautiful review of The Emissary trilogy! I had a wonderful time writing that one, and really miss those three characters. I’ve toyed with the idea of writing another Emissary novella, but think it’s probably best to leave it as is. (I do, however, really miss that ginormous, glowy-eyed angel! 😁)

    I’ve been enjoying your Archive shares series remendously, Sally, and am so happy to be part of them. Thanks again, my ROCKIN’ friend! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Oh Sally, this post was a major surprise. Thank you for sharing Marcia’s post and my ten points. I’m deeply humbled by your kindness. You are a blessing. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you Sally for introducing me to Gwen. Wow. I connected with her first revelation because we have the same damn graduate degree and both of us spent time in education. Of course I had to order her memoir immediately. We might be twins separated at birth! Or just like souls trying to figure out this one precious life. Thanks so much Sally, I look forward to following her blog. Hugs, C

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m so glad you featured Gwen’s 10 Things post, Sally. So fascinating. What an interesting life she’s led, and–being who I am–I particularly liked reading about the incident with the UFOs, LOL. Great to see my review of The Culmination show up. I guess you can tell I how much I enjoyed the book. 🙂

    Great review for Marcia as well. I loved the entire Emissary series!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I read this one the first time it came up and I still find it just as fascinating now as I did then. There’s so much there that was a surprise to me and Gwen would make a fascinating dinner guest! I love this series, Marcia! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I remember enjoying this post before. One of my favorites has to be Gwen bringing her Gibson to class. That is, and I say this with the utmost respect, badass!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up- 22nd – 28th September 2022 – #IrishDNA, Pavarotti, #Waterford, Empaths, #Obesity Podcast, Poetry, Book Reviews, Afternoon Videos | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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