The Culmination – now on sale!

Let’s all welcome Gwen Plano to Entertaining Stories. She’s an author friend and one of my partners over at Story Empire. She’s here to tell us about an incredible sale. Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons so your friends can get in on this, too. Take it away, Gwen.

Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Craig, and for helping me launch The Culmination, a new beginning. It’s exciting to finally see it published on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. To celebrate, the Kindle edition is on sale at 99¢ through December.

So, what’s the book about? The Culmination can best be described as a military thriller. It tackles difficult topics such as denuclearization, the power struggles over oil in the Middle East, as well as the ever-present danger of war. Readers will find themselves sitting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, walking in the historic Red Square, and laughing with children in an orphanage in Turkey. They will glimpse the horror of war and watch the give and take of a negotiated peace. Readers will also meet the two Heads of State who fall in love and subsequently commit themselves to creating a world in which all are family.

I never expected to write this book, but in some ways, I had no choice. The characters crowded into my office and insisted that I listen to them. In a very real way, they wrote the book. I simply tapped the keys.


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.


The acting Russian President, Ivan Smirnov, is in Syria for the commissioning of a new destroyer. The President of Syria attends the ceremony, unaware of the plot to detain him. Once the ship leaves the port, he is arrested, along with a few of his men. The story follows:

When the vessel nears Cape Apostolos Andreas, the northern-most tip of Cypress, two Turkish military helicopters approach, accompanied by fighter jets. One lands, and the other hovers in place. The Russian guards gag each prisoner, put cloth bags over their heads, and take them to the chopper. Ivan watches as they clear the horizon and then gazes at the Commander. “Well done. Now it begins. Stay focused and alert.”

The second helicopter lands to collect Ivan and his secret service team.

Ivan’s helicopter reaches altitude, but a crackling voice from the destroyer’s communications system comes over the radio. The Commander shouts, “Incoming! Incoming!”

A loud explosion follows his warning. Sonic waves rock the chopper violently and send it into a spin. The pilots regain control but with zero visibility. Thick, dark red smoke blinds them. Another radio transmission reaches them. Though static breaks it up, they hear, “… missile … neutralized. Thank you, Israel.”

As soon as the chopper lands at Incirlik Air Base, Ivan rushes to the Command Center. The American Chiefs of Staff and Turkey’s military leadership focus on a large screen that shows a collage of camera feeds. President Ozdemir, the President of Turkey, stands to the side, talking on the phone with the Israeli Prime Minister. Ozdemir thanks the Israeli PM for his help.

Ivan signals he’d like to take the phone. Ozdemir gives him the handset. “You saved my destroyer, Prime Minister. Thank you. I’m ready to return the gesture.”

After the call, the two Presidents stand shoulder-to-shoulder and study the screen.

“It’s good we’re friends, Smirnov.”

Ivan offers a side-glance and a nod. “Da.”

“When this is over, let’s talk about the cabal.”

Ivan turns and faces Ozdemir. “You’re aware of them?”

“Of course,” Ozdemir snaps. “Their tentacles stretch far into the Middle East. And now is the perfect time to dismantle them.”

“Let’s include the President of the United States. Her CIA and other teams have information that could help us. Between our three countries, we’ll get the job done.”

An urgent phone call interrupts their conversation. The American Commander at the Prince Sultan Air Base tells the Chiefs of Staff that China’s subs in the Red Sea have crossed into the Saudi territorial waters.

“The Saudis ask that we deploy the Patriot missiles. They believe—and I believe—a Chinese strike is imminent.”

After a brief consult between the Chiefs, the order is given. “Deploy the Patriots.”

When the rockets strike the subs, an immense fireball lights the expanse of desert and sea. An iconic mushroom cloud rises into the blue heavens far above. The Commander takes a step back with a horrified expression contorting his features. He realizes what this means. The Chinese had planned a nuclear attack, so much worse than a third World War.

The Commander sends an urgent message to the Joint Chiefs. China intended a nuclear attack on the Saudis. Expect the same in the Persian Gulf.

Contact Gwen:




Amazon Author’s page: links:

Letting Go into Perfect Love

The Contract between heaven and earth

The Choice: the unexpected heroes

The Culmination, a new beginning


Filed under Writing

20 responses to “The Culmination – now on sale!

  1. A very exciting sounding book, Craig. Thanks for hosting Gwen here.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It’s great to see your new book doing the rounds, Gwen. Wishing you all the very best 🙂

    Craig, it’s lovely to see Gwen here today 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Gwen M. Plano

    Thank you, Craig, for hosting me today. I very much appreciate your help to spread the word about my latest book. I look forward to doing the same for you. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Super excerpt, Gwen. Thank you for hosting today, Craig.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great to see Gwen here with another exciting and intriguing excerpt from this new release. I’ve got The Culmination awaiting me on my Kindle, along with several other new books I’m eager to delve into. Now to find the time for some fantastic holiday reading!

    Best of luck with this one, Gwen, and great post, you two! 🙂 Sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Wow. High stakes in this scene and lots of big players. Good luck with the book, Gwen.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Another intriguing excerpt, Gwen. Thanks, Craig, for hosting today.

    Liked by 1 person

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