Join Greg Messel, author of the historical romance novel, Expiation(Trafford), as he virtually tours the blogosphere July 5 – 29 2011 on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!
About Greg Messel
Greg Messel has spent much of his life in the Pacific Northwest living in Portland, Oregon and in the Seattle area since 2008. He has been married to his wife, Carol, for 40 years. Greg and Carol were high school sweethearts just like the couple in “Expiation.” He has lived in Washington, Oregon, California, Utah and Wyoming. Greg grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from high school there and also attended a year of junior college. Greg went to Brigham Young University with Carol and then began a newspaper career in rough and tumble Wyoming town of Rock Springs. Greg and Carol have three married children and nine grandchildren.
Greg has always loved writing. He worked as the news editor and sports editors of the Daily Rocket-Miner newspaper. He won a Wyoming Press Association award for his column. He also submitted and had published articles in various sports magazines. He left the newspaper business in 1981 and began a 27 year career with Pacific Power. Greg retired in 2008 and moved to Seattle.
It was there that he returned to his first love of writing. He has written two unpublished memoirs and published his first novel with Trafford in September 2009. His first novel was called “Sunbreaks.” The second novel “Expiation” was published in the spring of 2010 with Trafford. A third novel is in the works.
Currently, Greg and Carol live on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, just north of downtown Seattle. They have three adult children who are all married and have nine grandchildren. He also enjoys running, he has been in several races and half marathons.
In 1968, Dan and Katie are one of the hottest couples at Ballard High School in Seattle. He is the hero football player, and she is the beautiful cheerleader. These high school sweethearts believe theirs is a love that will never die.
Life changes when Dan leaves Washington to start college at the University of California Berkeley and pursue his dream of working for a big time newspaper in the glamorous city of San Francisco. The quest for his dream occurs against the turbulent background of Berkeley and San Francisco in the 1970s as Dan and Katie go their separate ways.
Now, thirty years later, Dan is back in his hometown of Seattle attending his mother’s funeral. He’s never stopped thinking about Katie, his long-lost love. But the two former high school sweethearts reconnect in a most unexpected way as the rest of the world grows more fearful of Y2K and the dawn of the twenty-first century. They are hoping that their love, once lost, can now be reclaimed.
Read the Excerpt!
As we pulled in front of the familiar house in the old neighborhood I smiled and said to Katie, “Your house looks great. Wow, the trees are so big.”
We walked onto the porch. I grabbed Katie’s hand as she fumbled for her house keys.
She turned to look at me.
“How many times do you think I have kissed you on this porch?”
“I don’t know,” Katie said, “but I’d like it if you added one more to that total.”
Katie lowered her briefcase to the ground and put her arms around my neck. I kissed Katie for the first time in 30 years. I couldn’t stop. A surge in emotion was overtaking me. I was actually getting tears in my eyes. I held her tightly and kissed her again.
As we broke our embrace I could see, in the faint glow of the porch light, that Katie had tears in her eyes.
“You‘re still the world’s best kisser,” I said to Katie.
“It’s funny,” Katie said, “it seems so familiar to me to kiss you, even after all of these years. It felt so good. You aren’t so bad yourself Dan. You still have it.”
“Just like riding a bicycle. I just realized how long it has been since I kissed a woman.”
“It’s been a damn long time since I kissed someone. I really like to kiss you Dan.” Before I could respond Katie added, “Let’s go inside. We’re past the point of needing to stand on the porch in November and kiss.”
I laughed and said, “I just realized that the last time I was on this porch was when I left you my final letter.”
Katie opened the door, turned and asked “What letter?”
“The one I left when I came back from Berkeley. I left it in this very same storm door when I came back to Seattle at the end of our first year of college,” I said incredulously.
“I never got a letter like that,” Katie said in a puzzled tone.
That thought hung in the air as we entered her home.
“It looks so great Katie. I love what you have done with this house.” Katie had redecorated everything with new warm colors and new furniture. “It looks like Katie’s house.”
Katie smiled and said, “Let me give you the tour.”
It was all updated and changed but it was a real walk down memory lane as I went from room-to-room. The memories of my time in this house with Katie…from so long ago…came flooding back into my mind.
Katie proudly walked me through her house. “I love it Katie,” I said, “this is an amazing experience to be back here.”
“Can you stay for a while? We have a lot more to talk about.”
“I feel like I don’t want to let you out of my sight now. But feel free to kick me out when you need to go to bed or have had enough or whatever…”
“I wasn’t sure about going to work tomorrow anyway with everything going on downtown. I feel a personal day off coming on. Please stay and talk with me,” she pleaded.
“I’m yours for as long as you want me tonight,” I responded.
Katie took my hand and led me into her kitchen. We sat at the bar in her kitchen. “Let me make you some coffee?”
She busied herself pouring water into the coffee maker. I could now get a better look at her in the brighter light. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. My eyes took a walk all over Katie–her beautiful, thin body, her blonde hair, her warm smile and twinkling, green eyes. She looked incredibly good to me.
“I resist the label of a romance novel. It is not part of that genre but my books are about relationships and I classify as love stories. They are romantic. I find the complexity of human relationships to be endlessly fascinating. The quest to fall in love and work your way through ensuing problems is a great part of the human condition. A common theme in my books is how people who suffer horrific events or failures can be healed by love.”
“Overall I enjoyed this novel. It’s steady pace, heartwarming story, likeable characters and smooth writing made it a pleasure to read. In addition I always enjoy novels set in the Pacific Northwest. The Seattle setting made this book enjoyable for me. I would recommend this novel and based off it I will read his first novel, Sunbreaks.”
“I loved how this romance book took a different path than your traditional love stories. Dan and Katie’s provides a different twist in what happens to a great romance that isn’t meant to die. I LOVED this book and found myself falling in love all over again. This one rates a 5 out of 5 stars for me and provides a look back into the history of events from the 70’s to current times.”
“I highly recommend this book. If you enjoy a sweet romance, then I think you’ll enjoy this one. The characters are very likable and it’s a very heartwarming story. It’s a nice fast read and would be a great summer or beach read.”
“When I wrote my first book over two years ago, my number one goal was to see my book or books on the shelves of the local bookstore. It would be incredible to go the Borders or Barnes & Noble at the nearby mall and see my book there. I discovered that was a very difficult task.”
“I think it is true of writing but also of living in general, that you need to fight fear and not shy away from the challenges. In writing you really have to open yourself up to the public scrutiny. You really need to follow your feelings and write the book that is inside of you and not try to do what others expect of you.”
“I even noticed my wife reading her Kindle in bed with an adjustment made for a larger font so she doesn’t have to wear her glasses. On our nightstands where there used to be stacks of books are now Kindles.”
“I focused on the reuniting events in the plot but I thought it made it more interesting to be occurring against the background of these amazing historical events. There are many flashbacks in “Expiation” but I chose to have the “present day” be the end of 1999 just before Y2K. It was such a time of uncertainty and it is an interesting setting for the uncertainty of trying to reclaim lost love.”
“In today’s world, commitment to a partner doesn’t come easily and the median age for marriage is getting higher and higher. It may exacerbate the problem about letting a former love get away. Was he or she the one? Did I miss an opportunity that would have changed my life?”
“I did write stories as a child. In fact, when my grandmother died and we were going through artifacts in her house, I found a small white bag with the name of make-believe newspaper written in crayon. My mother told me that I used to make up a newspaper and write stories. Then I would load my “newspapers” in that small white bag and deliver them by riding my bike to neighbors and relatives.”
“When I am in restaurants, or riding the ferry, or in any public place, I like to observe how people interact and it is interesting to overhear their conversations. I do that not to be a snoop but so I can think about their dialogue. I guess that’s the writer in me.”
“The memoir writing kind of primed the pump. Then I began imagining story lines for a possible novel. I have now written three and have conceptual ideas for at least two more. I love writing. It’s what I do. I love the process when I am deep into writing a novel.”
Chat with Greg Messel at Pump Up Your Book Live! Chat Party (link coming soon!)
Greg Messel’s EXPIATION VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ‘10 will officially begin on July 5 and end on July 29 ’11. Please contact Dorothy Thompson at thewriterslife(at)gmail.com if you are interested in hosting and/or reviewing his book or click here to use the form. Thank you!
UPDATE! THE EXPIATION TOUR IS NOW CLOSED TO INQUIRIES. THANKS TO ALL BOOK REVIEWERS AND BLOG HOSTS FOR PARTICIPATING!
If you would like to book your own virtual book tour with us, click here to find out how!
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