Book Review “The Contract: between heaven and earth,” John W. Howell, Gwen M. Plano

“Like flowers we grow, bloom, and whither – each day and each life. But although we blossom more grandiose in each new life, all our lives are perfect in their own way.” Stefan Emunds


On the surface it looks like the usual thriller, but if you look deeper inside, you’ll find a kick-ass paranormal fantasy. Just imagine how cool it would be to witness real incarnation, at the core of God’s house, while drinking beer and facing divine graciousness of Angels.

John W. Howell is here to deliver good news in a rough, messy form: “Afterlife exists, but it is NOT what you think it is.” AfterLife is truly over-organized and boring. So, why rush, folks?

What a joy to be human!

The main characters are Teresa and Peter. They just died. After death, they brought their annoying, disturbing attitude to the Hall Of Angels where they continued to confuse Elders and other souls until a final decision is made – let’s send those two back to Earth!

Teresa and Peter: Why should we go back? We kinda like it here.
Angels: There are too many sick people left and they need quick curing!
Teresa: But that’s what angels are for?
Angels: You are asking too many questions!
Peter: I doubt we can help.
Angels: Listen, we’ll come visit you. Okay?
Teresa: Hmm…and how are you planning to do that?
Angels: No worries – we got “A+” in quantum mechanics.

“Being alive in this damn world has always been like this: crazy, chaotic and dangerous.” says John W. Howell.

You convinced us, John!

Contract between Heaven and Earth: Teresa and Peter are ready…to be re-born. Do not forget – they are also on a mission: to save the world! But in different bodies.

Let’s take a closer look at the bodies…

Body #1 Sarah
She is a teacher and this is actually the only good thing about her sad life – because her husband is a criminal. Every day he tortures her (her whole body is covered in bruises) and she dreams about divorcing him. But to the outside world, Sam (husband) is simply a nice and intelligent guy who’d never hurt the woman he loves.

Body #2 – Brad
He is a Navy SEAL – strong, kind, hot…but broken by the endless war. After heavy injury, he is invited to continue his service for the country as a CIA agent. And guess what? Right – his first task is to get to know Sarah, because Sarah’s husband, that sweet, intelligent and calm fella, is a spy (terrorist).

Boats, fire, bombs, a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States, terrorists, steamy sex (quite often!), fake CIA agents, pseudo neighbors, red wine, true patriots and much MORE – the reader never knows what is coming next!

Genre: Fantasy + Thriller + Realism = you are on the edge of your seat… it is that exciting!

“In the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood like a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun.” M. M.

– Great, fast read
– A lot of dialogue
– The suspense is never ending (keeping the reader glued to the page)
– Well written, well researched and ‘electric’
– Reminds me of “Ghost” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”

– The ending (too obvious)
– Very ‘American’ plot

Rate: Go grab it! Provoking and totally captivating! Plus (it’s actually a bit funny) very believable storyline. It could happen… or already happened, or maybe is happening right now, in this moment.

“There is no conclusive evidence of life after death, but there is no evidence of any sort against it. Soon enough you will know, so why fret about it?” Robert A. Heinlein

The blog of the author: click here
Amazon Kindle: click here

I’ll post a short review on Amazon and Goodreads too. 

P.S. My dog, shih tzu Sky, got teeth-problem, plus vet have found ingrown tooth (inflammation), so she had a surgery today. She lost 5 teeth…  I’ll try to keep up with all dates/posts (see teaser), but be ready for a delay sometimes: + 1,2 days.

Next post – “The Pearl Territory”, chapter 10, #dialogue 


  1. Hmmm… do I take a chance on another of your recommendations? I DO like spy novels…

    1. Author

      It is NOT a spy novel…its kinda a mix of everything (20 % fantasy, 20% spy, 20% thriller and so on LOL). Very different in style from “Idaho”. And a lot of dialogues. Surely, you’ll like a steamy sex scenes 😂 and the thrill of military (all ranks are involved!!). Check it out!

      1. I don’t get into the literary sex scenes… but I do like action. BTW, I loaned Idaho to some of my workmates and they LOVED it…

        1. Author

          This book is packed with action. I think the action we got from John & the love – from Gwen (bcz written by 2 authors, male & female)…
          about “Idaho” – incredible melancholy & lyrical writing style.
          So …it is absolutely two different books 😂😂

    2. Author

      Did you get my answer? I posted via laptop, can’t see it…

  2. Excellent review, Victoria Ray. I had to laugh out loud at the angel’s dialog and the toss of Brad abd Sarah from heaven. Thank you so much.

    1. Author

      Thank you a lot! Glad u like it. U know I’m enjoying action packed novels & cool dialogues! And yep, have to lie (or let’s say – add my own vision, in that dialogue) about the problem/idea of this story :))

        1. Author

          ✌️ yep! And it would be fun to read other books ..💃💃👀😎

    1. Author

      I thought you are studying lol 😂
      And thanks

    1. Author

      😂 you are always welcome 🕺⛄️🌚🦹🏼‍♂️🧚‍♀️ Maybe my success is hiding in that yet-to-be-opened book club 🤨😂

  3. WOW, what an incredible review! I’m so happy to meet you, Victoria. Thank you very much for the review and the chuckles. You’re amazing. 🙂

    1. Author

      Thank you 😀 and glad you liked my review! It’s very special 📖 book! Enjoyed reading 💙

  4. Great review, my reading list is getting very long as I haven’t had time to read in the last few (4-5) months! … Really need to get back into it but I spend my reading time reading all these wonderful blogs I follow! ❤

    1. Author

      Maybe in the summer…I’m usually reading a lot when I have vacation or any free time from job & house 🙂
      And thank you! John is a master of dialogues & I think Gwen gave the book a romantic/female touch – so it’s def a great book to check.

      1. I’ll add it to my list and keep my fingers crossed that I’ll get to it one day… 🤞

  5. Nice review, Victoria.
    John is an amazing writer and collaborator.
    Sorry about your dog; our shih tzu Chelsea lost eight teeth two years ago but she’s since recovered and adapted nicely. She even had to have her jaw reconstructed.
    Dogs are resilient creatures.

    1. Author

      Thank you 🙂 Yes, John is great… next step – to read alllll his books 🙂
      My dog feel better 🕺✌️ I’m sooooo happy!!!

    1. Author

      Thank you 🙂 it was a good read..

  6. Very nice review even to a non-reader! Mentioning “Ghost” and Mr. and Mrs. Smith for me is a great selling point. 🙂

    1. Author


    1. Author

      🙂 💫😛 yep, i guess it’s mindset 🙂 eu & usa books/text & movies are different:))

      1. LOL . Let me get serious here. Yes, they are completely different. Hollywood has programmed Americans in such a way movies (and now books) need to follow a format and they need to end with an American ending if they are going to appeal to audiences.

        1. Author

          Yep, I feel it 🙂 the format* 🧐😉😉

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