The CONTRACT between heaven and earth By John W. Howell & Gwen M. Plano

Thank you, Helen, for inviting us to join you today. We are so grateful to be featured on your blog and appreciate your focus on elemental writing. We hope you find our book to be an example of such written passion.

The Contract

Available on Kindle and Paperback

Kindle priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

The CONTRACT is a different story for writers John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano. For either of them, it is their first attempt at co-authorship. After a year of Hurricane Harvey and other challenges, they have created, what they have termed, an inspirational thriller that bridges heaven and earth.

Here is the blurb:

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.


Here is an excerpt.

Brad and Sarah left the complex and strolled back to their residence. Brad leaned close to Sarah and whispered, “Why do I get the feeling we’re being watched?”

“I’ve had that feeling since we arrived on base. I just assumed it came down to everyone here knowing you.”

“Naw. This feels different. I had this same instinct back in Afghanistan—nothing you can put your finger on but just a knowing feeling.”

“What should we do?”

“Keep our eyes open.”

“I would love to have a pair in the back of my head.”

Sarah’s comment broke the tension,and they both laughed.

Brad said, “We just have to keep aware of who’s around us.”


“I need to tell you some things about this whole situation. It will make you nervous, though. Let’s take a moment and sit here.” Brad pointed at a lone bench that stood beside the pedestrian path.

Bewildered, Sarah sat and looked at Brad, “So something is going on that you haven’t shared with me? I’ve had that strange feeling you described, onlyit has to do with you and me.”

Authors Bio.

John Howell Head shotGwen's headshot

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 adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The last Circumstances of Childhood is a family life story and launched October 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

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

John’s other books.

Available on Amazon at

Gwen had a lengthy career in higher education, and it was there that she published her first book, Beyond Boundaries, for students interested in volunteer work in developing countries. After she retired, she wrote her award-winning memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love.

Gwen lives in Branson, Missouri with her husband.

Gwen’s Books

Available on Amazon at

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Anne Boleyn


Image credit: tomertu/

A crown
And books
For reformation
Reformed you

A king
A church
A guttural cry
Gutted you

Small worth
A kingdom
Power taken
Overpowering you

Just a crown
And books
For a bloody reformation
Reformed you

(c ) Helen Valentina 2018

Posted in Fire, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments



Image credit: Vadim Sadovski/

Stars falling, dying
Planetary stillness
And frenetic force
It’s true
Even the birds can’t see
Careening into view
Into you

Hemispheres shifting
Birthing worlds
A view
Only your heart can see
Everything askew
Within you

A view
Only the blind can see
Every running through
In you

(c) Helen valentina 2018

Posted in Air, Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments



Image credit: andreluc88/

Winter falls
He walks alone
Down pathways known
Only to him

Snow blasts
Across tired eyes
Blinding, dull
Deep surprise

Rugged up
In animal skin
He holds the cold
Deep within

Winter falls
He walks alone
Down pathways known
Only to him

(c) Helen Valentina 2018

Posted in Air, Poetry, Water | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments



Image credit: Kamin Jaroensuk/

I have traveled these bleak expanses
For days, my throat parched and my lips dry and cracked
Sheltering my body as best I can
From relentless sun and sand filled wind
Battering my face
Looking for something, anything, in this place
That might approximate belief, or wisdom, even grace

Every night I have prayed to unhearing gods
Each day I walk on unencumbered still by doubt
For it was promised so long ago that on these plains
Would be the key to all of time and space
Or something yet that held the taste
Of belief, or wisdom or even grace

I cannot recall true comfort or a belly full
These days I am a hermit wanderer bent upon pursuit
Of something I’ve forgotten
Yet still I walk on, relentless against sand and wind
My raw and aching face
Faithful yet, that I might find the answer in this place
To bring me belief, wisdom, and even, yes
A little
Just a very little grace

(c) Helen Valentina 2018

Posted in Earth, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments



Image credit: Sandrantsky Dmitriy/

You can be any colour
Little one
Any glorious hue
Under the sky and sun
You can paint yourself
In glitter and gold
You can sing and dance
Hear every story told
You can be any colour
Little one

You can live as a rainbow
All your days
Every truth that you bestow
And everything you say
Will be so colourful
All the heavens sing
Birds of paradise
Envy now your wings
You can live as a rainbow
All your days

(c) Helen Valentina

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Image credit: HiddenCatch/

Open the book
So wonderful
Every dream you could
Ever, ever have
Strewn across the pages
Wondrous words
Giving you the world entire
Lighting just
The smallest fire
In your soul

Take a look
So wonderful
Every story held within
Here, here for you
Shows the world’s much bigger
Than you knew
And it’s here for you entire
Lighting just
The smallest fire
In your soul

(c) Helen Valentina 2018

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Mother Moon


Image credit: Romolo Tavani/

Mother moon
Tending to her children
Steady gaze
Chaos into life
Dark into light
This wonderful night

Mother moon
Softly avenging
Of man here
On ancient ships
Searching for life
Blinding their sight
This wonderful night

Mother moon
Silently ponders
Each choice
Quietly sighing
Patient, still
Breathing new life
Perfect in her sight
This wonderful night

(c) Helen Valentina 2018

Posted in Air, Poetry, Water | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments



Image credit: Chevtaeva Liudmila/

Was too wild
For this little world

Never a child
Never a little girl

Bathed in pure light
Shone like a falling star

Even in darkest night
Never fell too far

Sang her sweet song
Wildest of melody

Followed along
Lured by artistry

Ran to the night
Taking every child

Lost to our sight
Beautiful and wild

Just like Pan
But robed in pure white

As it began
Glorious to our sight

(c) Helen Valentina 2018

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The Butterfly Stone – Review


Laurie Bell’s debut young adult fantasy novel is a treat on so many levels. First off, it’s great fun – a rollicking ride that is a definite page turner with loveable characters (and some distinctly original and scary villains too…) and a plot that comes at you like a fast train, gathering you up and taking you along for a fantastic ride.

But it’s more than just that. Laurie has weaved a very original mythology that guides this novel and will provide a very intriguing through-line for future novels in the series (of which I hope there will be many). And she’s layered this with almost a political under-current – an acute understanding of what it is to be different in a society distrustful of difference.

In this her fantasy novel elevates to something more – an allegory of human nature and the very real need for diversity matched with an equally real difficulty in getting the broader group (or society) to support it. It’s very cool when a fun fantasy novel also makes you stop and think and reflect on your own attitudes to those who are different in some way. It’s a great message for the young audience the book is primarily aimed at, but it was equally compelling to this much more mature reader! And really, the writing is great and the themes universal, so this is truly a book for all ages (the young and the – hopefully still – young at heart)

Laurie’s heroine, Tracey Masters, is a magical girl in a world that doesn’t fully accept or trust magic, and she doesn’t fully understand or accept her own power either as it grows – often quite outside her own control and choice – through the story. It’s a lot for a fifteen year old to handle, on top of school and her burgeoning desire to be a private detective. Throw in school bullies, unrequited (possibly?) crushes, great loyal friends and a boisterous, very believable family and you’ve got a recipe for a rich story indeed.

Then meet The Shadowman and…well..just read chapter two for one of the most chilling and tension filled introductions to a ‘scary monster’ you’re likely to read anywhere…

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to all. Actually – I’m going to put this out there – I have a ‘feeling’ about this book. I think this series and its author are destined for great things. The story is about magic, but the book itself is magic. There’s just something about it….do yourself a favour and get your copy now.

Be one of the first to know…and believe.

Helen Valentina.

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