Category Archives: author

The Contract by John W. Howell and Gwen Plano

The CONTRACT between heaven and earth

By John W. Howell & Gwen M. Plano

Thank you, Phil, for inviting us to join you today. We are so excited to be featured on your blog:  The Phil Factor, where sarcasm gets drunk and let’s its hair down. We promise to be on our best behavior and not take any silverware.

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.

The general rose from his chair and walked around the room with his brow furrowed. He looked at Brad as if he didn’t see him. Then he switched the topic of conversation. “Tell me about the chopper. Military?”

“No, sir. Fast, though. Looked like an MD500. I’m not sure, though.”

“A corporate chopper. I’ll see what we can pick up. Now, the plan.”

The general laid out a map of the base on his desk. He circled Quarters twenty-three. “What’s it near, Sailor?”

“It backs up to the ball field.”

“Exactly. Rutherford wants to take out the President and eliminate you as a side benefit. I’m not sure whom he works with, but he has connections. The Agency will handle Bruce; we’ll make sure the President gets protected. Do you feel ready for another assignment, Sailor?”

“Yes, sir.”

“All right. At sunset, an airman will come by for your SUV. He’ll take it to a detonation site, and the team will remove and expend the explosive. They will check your car end to end for any other devices. Then they will return the car to you. Be sure to show the airman the tracking device that you found in the headliner. If it is as you believe, they will put it back into the car so that Bruce suspects nothing.”

Authors Bio.

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 thriller 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 https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

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 https://amzn.to/2wdXsrn

Throwback Thursday! Interview with Author Christopher Moore

This is one of my most popular posts ever. The author, Christopher Moore, who has several NYT bestsellers, couldn’t have been nicer and didn’t care that he was talking to a guy who’s blog only had about 150 followers at the time.

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(June 18, 2013) PT: Chris and welcome to The Phil Factor. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for my readers. For those of you who may not be familiar with Christopher Moore’s work he is the author of thirteen published novels and a graphic novel. Whether the genre be suspense, fantasy or the skewering of the vampire craze, you can always add the word humor in front of anything Christopher Moore writes. Christopher Moore is also one of the most fan friendly authors you’ll ever meet and if I’ve learned anything from his Facebook page it’s that he is a man who loves Meerkats.

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PT: Chris, speaking of your Facebook page, the Meerkat thing has been a running gag on your page for years. How did it get started?

Chris:  I don’t really remember. I think I was just scrolling through the channel guide on the TV one day and there were all these bizarre animal and vocational shows, and I thought, what if you combined one of those shows and had meerkats who were pizza delivery guys. So the first dozen or so Meerkat Pizza Delivery jokes were just promos on twitter for a non-existent TV show. As it went on, people started sending me pictures, and I started putting captions on them, and it just got out of hand. 

PT: Rumor has it that your novel The Stupidest Angel is in production to be a feature length film to be released later this year. Is it still on track to be out later this year and how much input have you had on the making of the movie?

Chris: The guy who is producing it has been breathlessly close to starting to film at least three times, but he’s missed the deadline if he were going to be able to release it in 2013. It’s been in development with the same guy for like six years, and he works hard and is very earnest, but as you might have guessed, it’s hard to get a movie made. I’m supposed to be in the movie as an animation character, and the producer listens to my suggestions on casting, but beyond that, I just keep writing books and waiting for news like anyone else. I sold my first book for a film twenty-three years ago and that one hasn’t made it to the screen yet, so I’m kind of used to not getting too excited about these things. 

PT: That’s too bad. I’ve often thought many of your novels would make great movies. One of my favorite novels of yours is Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. Did you catch any flack from fans of Jesus Christ for some of the humor in that book?

Chris: Not at all. I think it had a self-correcting audience. In ten years, I’ve gotten perhaps 30,000 e-mails about it and only five have been negative, and four of those people hadn’t even read the book. It’s actually being taught in a number of seminaries and is on the recommended reading list at Harvard Divinity. I guess the people who were supposed to get the joke, got it, and those who wouldn’t, didn’t pick the book up. 

PT: Of all your characters, which one has the most of you in him or her?

Chris: Probably Tommy from my vampire series, although he’s not like me now, but me when I was 19 or 20, which he is in the books. He’s a kid from the Midwest who just sort of throws caution to the wind to goes, all by himself, to California to find his fortune and a career as a writer, and I sort of did that at his age, so his reactions are similar, I think, to what mine would have been in a similar situation, although I didn’t ever have a red-headed vampire as a girlfriend.

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PT: As I alluded to in the introduction, you’re extremely fan friendly. Why?

Chris: I don’t even think of my fans as fans. It always sounds strange to me. They are my readers. They are the people who allow me to do this wonderful thing that I get to do for a living. If my work didn’t resonate with my readers, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do, and I love doing what I do, so I guess I feel like I owe them. Plus, when you make people laugh, they are kindly disposed toward you, so most people I encounter are pretty nice. There are many worse ways to spend your time than entertaining people who love your work. 

PT: On your website, www.chrismoore.com you have apparel, something I doubt any other author has. How did that idea come to fruition and why the tie in with all profits going to MS research?

Chris: All the swag, from Fucksocks to T-shirts came from reader suggestions and requests. I never really wanted to be in the merchandise business, and I didn’t want to have to oversee the product. For a long time there was a volunteer from my old web forum who ran the store, then a few years ago I turned it over to a guy who specialized in making merch. (I think right now he’s had a management meltdown, so I don’t even know what’s available for sale anymore.) Anyway, since I didn’t want to put the effort into it, or feel like I was pimping t-shirts for a living, I decided to give all the proceeds to charity. About the time all of this was being set up, a young friend of mine was diagnosed with MS, so I decided to give all the proceeds to MS research. 

PT: There you have it ladies and gentlemen, the first ever mentions of Meerkats and Fucksocks on The Phil Factor. We are truly in groundbreaking, man on the moon territory, here. Chris, before you go, do you have a preview or teaser about your next book you’d like to share with your readers?

Chris:  It’s called The Serpent of Venice, and it’s the sequel to Fool, and is set in Venice with characters from Othello and The Merchant of Venice.

Fool_US_sm

Chris, thank you again for responding to the interview request of some random internet guy with a blog. For those of you who want to learn more about his hilarious and suspenseful novels you can find them in bookstores and at every online e-book retailer. You can also visit him at www.chrismoore.com, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. As always, please take a moment to hit the Facebook and Twitter share buttons below.

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

Check Out This Great Interview with…

Craig Boyack has a brilliannt concept on his blog. He doesn’t interview authors, his robot girl, Lisa Burton, with a fictional radio show, interviews the main characters from novels. Just recently my Time to Lie protagonist, Landon Bridges, made of go of it in his radio debut. Go read the interesting interview via Time to Lie, on #LisaBurtonRadio

How An April Fool’s Joke Led To a Stalker and Being Published

The year was 2006. #ThePhilFactor was about a year old. I had a small but loyal following. I thought up the prank about two weeks before April Fool’s Day and set it in motion. I first wrote a small post about my response to a fictional overly amorous woman who had gone outside of blog comments and emailed me directly. The prank was that my readers didn’t know the woman was a fictional character.

Over the next two weeks I wrote three or more posts where I asked the woman to stop messaging me through Twitter and email. My readers implored me to ignore her rather than to feed her ego with my public response. Some even suggested that law enforcement might be needed. I openly blogged about stopping The Phil Factor to end the harassment.

Finally, on April Fool’s Day, I revealed that it was all a ruse. Only one of my readers figured it out and had messaged me the day before.

In 2013 my then editor, Cynthia Shepp  and Renee Folsom, who created the covers for The Sneaker Tree and 50 Shades of Phil for me, had posted on Facebook that they were looking for writers to submit short stories, up to 10,000 words, related to the theme of stalkers. I remembered my old prank and wrote it as a story as if the reader was reading my blog posts (with some of the real comments), e-mails and Twitter messages with the stalker. For the story I added a bit of a wicked twist at the finish.

The book, pictured above, includes 17 stories from a bunch of great writers and I am proud that my store was chosen as the closer. Neither myself or any of the writers get a dime from sale of the books, but it was an opportunity for us to get some exposure. It’s gotten great ratings and reviews on Amazon. If you like suspense stories and are looking for a new favorite author, this might be the collection for you. You can find it in paperback or Kindle version HERE on Amazon.

Happy Easter/Passover/April Fool’s Day! ~Phil

Another Great Review of Time To Lie!

Click THIS LINK to go read another great review of Time To Lie by Denzil The Book Owl! Thank you to Denzil for the read and great review! ~Phil

Fifty Shades of…

I am absolutely outraged! Just because I’m a small time author, some big movie company thinks they can steal my title, change a word and pretend it’s their idea. My Fifty Shades of Phil book came out in June 2013, before all the Fifty Shades movies, so obviously I had the idea first. I’m considering legal action.

Because of this weeks movie opening of Fifty Shades Freed I thought I’d capitalize on all the people searching the web for info using the phrase #FiftyShades by putting my book on sale Many people may visit my site here from their smartphones and never see the link in the sidebar for my book Fifty Shades of Phil. I could tell you about the book that contains the best 50 humor essays from the first 8 years of #ThePhilFactor, but I won’t. I’ll let the reviewers do it for me:

Hilariously Funny! ~Narly Nuts Book Lovers: Phil takes us on a HILARIOUS ride of HUMOR and TRUTH! He says all the things we know to be true, but most of us likely don’t say out loud. We think it and know how we feel about the different topics. Yes, some of it is ego-centric and down right blunt, but what fun would it be if Phil wasn’t putting his spin on it.
All in all, this is a book I will recommend for laughs, wit and Phil’s oh so subtle charm. When Phil is elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, I WILL VOTE PHIL, whichever comes first.:)

Author Sean Smithson (How to Lose a Girl in 10 Ways): “Perfect read for any commute. …snappy and entertaining reading. Perfect for a very recent and uncomfortable long haul flight. Definitely do not regret picking this up.”

Now for contrast, here is an excerpt of a review of Fifty Shades Darker from USA Today: There are a lot of negative things to be said about Fifty Shades. But it does impress in one sense: The erotica lite sequel somehow manages to be worse than the stupefyingly bad Fifty Shades of Grey.”

To celebrate the movie #FiftyShadesFreed this week, I’ve put my book on sale for just $2.99 for Kindle, Nook, or in the iTunes bookstore.  I’m not sure what it is in Euro’s or GBP but you can still find it in the Amazon bookstore in every country in the world and they’ll tell you how much it is.  What? You don’t have a Kindle or Nook? You don’t need one! You can download the free Kindle or Nook app to your iPad or smartphone and then download Fifty Shades of Phil. For $2.99 you can’t go wrong. If you can read the entire thing without laughing I’ll refund your money. If you go to Fifty Shades Freed and you hate it, I doubt they’ll give you the same offer.

Have a great Friday! ~Phil

#PHIL2020

A New Review For Time To Lie

Thank you to Jackie Paulson of The Nutty Book Blogger for the great review of my book Time To Lie. You can find the review and the rest of her site HERE. Have a great Friday evening! ~Phil