REDEMPTION by Gwen M. Plano (@gmplano) #newrelease #fiction #thriller #family

Ciao, amici! Did anyone ever come into your life in an “ordinary” way (neighbor, classmate, co-worker) and end up having such a profound impact on you, you’d swear it was divine intervention? It hasn’t happened often for me, but there are a few people like that in my life. Today’s guest is one of them. I don’t know how she does it, but she always reaches out with the most uplifting thoughts or best advice when I most need it. You might call her a sensitive or an empath. I call her an angel.

Gwen Plano is one of the kindest souls I know. The fact that she’s able to write global thrillers is hard to reconcile with her sweet personality. But maybe it’s because of her sensitivity that she’s able to breathe such life into her characters. Her Contract trilogy is a powerful look at international conflicts and interpersonal relationships, and her memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love, reveals her strength and compassion. Today, she’s here to talk about her latest release, Redemption: A Father’s Fatal Decision. I’ll let her tell you all about it. Please give her a warm welcome.

Thank you, Staci, for inviting me to your site today. It’s a pleasure to visit your readers and share a bit about my new release. I always look forward to doing the same for you.

Redemption, A Father’s Fatal Decision is a mystery thriller that takes place in the Southeast corner of New York state. In the excerpt below, we travel further east to visit the little town of Old Lyme, CT. Having spent about twenty years in and around that general area, it was exciting to visit as a writer.

My book tackles themes of forgiveness and redemption through suspense. We accompany the son and daughter of the deceased as they try to uncover the reason for their father’s murder. What they discover prompts them to ask if they even knew him.

Sometimes complicated situations help us see our own challenges in a different light. That is my hope for this book. Most of us won’t experience threats like those of my characters, but pain is universal, as is joy. Seeing either in the extreme helps us recognize our own—and severe or elated, those emotions are impactful.  

In this excerpt, Lisa and Trace Holmes have just discovered that their father left them a beach cottage. Seeing it for the first time brings tears, and the siblings wonder about his redemption.  


Trace parks in the driveway, which holds a For Sale sign with SOLD written across it. They walk up the steps and unlock the front door. It swings open to reveal a large picture window with an ocean view that takes center stage. The laminate floor paneling appears new and runs throughout the cottage. Its soft cream-and-white tones mimic that of sand.

Lisa stares, incredulous. “This is gorgeous.”

They stroll through the house and comment on the special touches—the new appliances in the kitchen, the custom shower and new cabinetry in the bathroom, and the built-in shelving in each of the two bedrooms.

Trace says, “I’m going to check the garage.” Lisa follows him. When he opens the door, Trace steps back. Two kayaks hang from the ceiling. Paddles and lifejackets dangle from the wall. A new washer, dryer, and sink sit at the far end, next to a built-in cabinet. And, even with all this, there remains space for one car.

Trace turns to Lisa, and his voice cracks when he says, “Dad thought of us when he purchased this place.”

They step outside to the deck. From this perch, they can see Fishers Island and a long stretch of beach.

“The captain called it right, Trace.” Lisa sniffs. “Dad tried to make amends in the only way he could and still protect us. Before he died, he ensured we had the resources we needed, and he gave us the cottage of Mom’s dreams. Redemption? Only God can decide, but in my book, his final acts were selfless. He chose to do the right thing.”

About Redemption

Family secrets can be deadly. When Lisa Holmes visits her parents one fateful Saturday morning, she hugs her father and walks to her childhood bedroom. The doorbell rings. Her father opens the door, and one minute later, he lies dead on the floor—three bullets to the chest.

The Holmes family lives on a quiet street, but no one really knows Eric Holmes. He travels for business and comes home a few days each month. Unbeknown to all, Eric has multiple lives.

In this fast-paced psychological thriller, Lisa and her brother, Trace, embark on a quest to solve the mystery involving the murder of their father. The journey takes them into a secret world where nothing is as it seems. As the puzzle pieces begin to coalesce, they discover the meaning of Redemption. 


Amazon | Barnes and Noble


Amazon Author Page | BookBub | Goodreads

Website | Blog | Story Empire | Twitter

My Review:

A Gripping Family Thriller

I wasn’t entirely sure of what to expect when I saw this book listed as Christian Suspense. I wanted to read it because I like thrillers, because of online buzz this book is generating, and because I am familiar with (and enjoy) this author’s work. As the category was unfamiliar to me, I began with few expectations.

I was delighted to find this story a comfortable mix of family drama and crime thriller. Though the style is quite different from Rachel Caine’s Stillhouse Lake series, I couldn’t help but draw similarities. In both, while there is a serious, violent, potentially lethal external threat, it’s the family interplay that really drives the story for me.

Plano does an excellent job of creating characters I relate to. I can easily envision spending an afternoon chatting with Lisa, her brother, or his friend Ryan. Though these are people I’d love to meet, her villains definitely aren’t. They are ruthless and relentless, and every time they darkened the page, I was fearful for the protagonists.

The plot rocked back and forth, from poignant family moments to pulse-pounding action. It was perfectly paced so you could catch your breath between moments of adrenaline spikes. The settings were beautifully described, the climax thrilling, and the resolution tied up all loose ends. 

This is a genre I’d definitely read more of, and Plano is an author I happily recommend. If you like family drama mixed with intrigue and danger, this is the story for you.

Wasn’t that excerpt compelling, amici?

I hope you’ll share Gwen’s announcement with your friends and join me in offering her congratulations by leaving a comment below. Before you leave, I invite you to click on some of the links, most especially the purchase link for Redemption.


90 thoughts on “REDEMPTION by Gwen M. Plano (@gmplano) #newrelease #fiction #thriller #family

  1. “Gwen Plano is one of the kindest souls I know. The fact that she’s able to write global thrillers is hard to reconcile with her sweet personality.” That line cracked me up, Staci. I’ve often wondered that too. Sorry, I’m so late to get here, but I’m glad I did. Congrats to Gwen on the wonderful read!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I completely agree with your fantastic review, Staci—and your spot on introduction to Gwen. She is such a joy, as is her latest book. I love the feeling it left me with after closing my Kindle.
    She said something in her post that truly resonates—pain is universal, as is joy. So very true, and she touches on both in her book.

    All the best to Gwen, and thanks for hosting today!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wonderful post, Staci, and I agree with you about what an uplifting and beautiful person Gwen is. While I love this entire post, your review is the icing on the cake! I’m dying to dig into this one. (SOOOON, my Precious!)

    Gwen congratulations on another super review, and here’s wishing you more and more success with this release. It would appear it’s VERY well earned!

    Liked by 2 people

    • She’s the sweetest. I’m sure the blogosphere knows it, but if they didn’t, I wanted to be sure they found out.

      So glad you liked the review. I know you’ll love the book once you get to it. Thanks, Marcia.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I have absolutely no doubt that I’m going to love this book, Gwen, and can’t wait to find time in my currently upside-down life to dig into it. And blush away, if you must, but you’ve earned every lovely comment from Staci! 💖

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, dear Staci, what a lovely introduction. If there’s an angel nearby, it’s you. I cherish our friendship and your post is a tiny reason why. Most of us write in silence but through our words, we find community and sometimes family. Thank you for being both for me — and thank you for shining the light on Redemption. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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