PUYB Tour with Greg Messel and Expiation

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   He has written two unpublished memoirs and published his first novel with Trafford in September 2009.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.

Visit his website at www.gregmessel.com.

Connect with him at Twitter at www.twitter.com/gregmessel and Facebook at www.facebook.com/greg.messel.

About Expiation

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.


My Review

When Dan goes back home to Seattle for his mom’s funeral, he meets up with his highschool sweetheart after 30 years of not seeing each other. It just happens that both are now single, and they find that they still have feelings for each other. Join Dan and Katie as they reunite again and find the love they lost so many years ago. But with each settled in a life of their own, will they be able to make a go of it, or will it be another goodbye, and this time forever.

I have always been fond of books about second chances and that is why I chose this one to read. The story of Dan and Katie is a wonderful story of a couple getting a second chance at being together. Since they hadn’t seen each other in 30 years, Katie decided to go to Dan’s mom’s funeral to see Dan again. As they tell the stories of their lives spent apart for the past 30 years, you will feel the joys and hurts each feel as they spend many hours catching up.

I liked Katie from the beginning. Her past had caused a lot of sadness and loneliness and she had been alone for many years after a marriage gone bad. I was happy for her that she would finally find the love and happiness she deserved. Dan was a different story for me. He had a sad past, losing his wife to cancer and having to raise his daughter alone, he buried himself into his work to cover the loss in his life. But still its seemed that he was the one that lost interest after moving to Washington. He didn’t come home or keep in contact with Katie like he promised he would. And after coming home and not finding her, he left a letter she never rec’d. Why didn’t he let her know he was coming in to see her? You would think he would, right? And the fact that he didn’t seem disappointed that he never heard from Katie after leaving the letter didn’t go well with me either. And that was mainly because he had another girlfriend back in Washington, and was glad Katie got him off the hook by not contacting him. And then there was the all too goodie goodie with Katie, he was almost too good to be true. I know, I know a bit of man bashing, but not meaning too!  Just what I feel!

But it did have a happy ending for both of them. So that part is good..

Pitch Black……by Melody Carlson

Pitch Black……by Melody Carlson


  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress (October 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576835324
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576835326
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches

Book Blurb:

Description: If Morgan thought her life was tough before–what with a drug-addicted, klepto brother and a cradle-robbing mother–it just got worse: Her friend Jason took his own life.

Morgan copes–or tries to–by attempting to piece together vague clues that might explain Jason’s suicide. Making matters worse, she can’t help but feel responsible somehow. Sometimes she thinks maybe Jason had the right idea all along.

This fourth book in the teen fiction series TrueColors deals with the important topics of grief, suicide, self-worth, identity, and handling tragedy.

My Review

Teen Suicide is not a subject we like to read or talk about but it is real folks. And Melody Carlson has created a cast of characters telling a heartbreaking story that will stay with you for a long time. My heart ached for these teens as they tried to decide whether or not they would be better off copying what their friend Jason did. After all, if Jason didn’t want to live, being a Christian and living a seemingly good life, should they want to live when their lives, and their family lives were so dysfunctional?

This is a book every teen should have the opportunity to read. With the exceptional writing by the author making readers feel like we are living the story with these teens, maybe this book could save the life of someone thinking the same thoughts as Jason and these teens. I very highly recommend this book to teens and parents of teens to read and discuss with each other. Pitch Black should be in every library, everywhere!

I received this book free from NavPress to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55

About the Author

Melody Carlson

Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from preschool teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eleven years, she has published more than 150 books for children, teens, and adults, with sales close to three million and many titles appearing on best sellers lists.

Several of her books have been finalists and winners of various writing awards, including The Gold Medallion and The Rita Award. And most recently, she is in the process of optioning some of her books for film rights.

Carlson’s passion for writing has been greatly focused on teens. Informed and aware of the challenges and struggles teens face today, she writes young adult novels that she hopes will change lives. Her popular series Diary of a Teenage Girl (Multnomah) has sold more than 300,000 copies. Her TrueColors series (Nav Press) focuses on hard-hitting issues such as suicide, addiction, and cutting. Her series The Secret Life of Samantha McGregor explores the paranormal from a godly perspective. And her latest series, The Carter House Girls, offers readers a cleaned-up alternative to the popular Gossip Girl books.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains. http://www.melodycarlson.com

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Trusting God for Everything–Psalm 23 A Personal Retreat Guide by Jan Johnson

Trusting God for Everything–Psalm 23 A Personal Retreat Guide by Jan Johnson

ISBN-13: 9781600066610

Trim Size: 5 1/2 x 8 1/4

Cover: Paperback

112 Pages

Read first chapter HERE

My Review

This book is designed for a ladies retreat study with seven sessions taking you through Psalm 23. In this study, you don’t just read the verses and read a little bit about each verse, you read, and re-read over and over again. After you read the verses, you meditate on what you have read, you immerse yourself into Gods message to you. You read and understand the meaning of the words, the theme of the scriptures you read, and you picture the passage you have read. Then you respond to God’s message to you and you rest in the message God has given you. Throughout each lesson there are lots of questions to answer which I love, because I seem to understand so much more when there are questions about what I’ve read to answer.

I thoroughly enjoyed this study, though I didn’t do the study in a retreat setting, I studied through the book on my own. This is one great thing about this book. It can be used many ways, not just the retreat setting it was designed for. The author so wonderfully designed this book breaking down each chapter and each section in the chapters to make the study more profitable to those using it. She did the planning work for us, we just need the book, along with our Bibles and start studying. This book is a valuable resource for any library as well. I encourage ladies to seriously check out this book for themselves, and request it for your next Bible study.

I received this book free from NavPress to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55

About the Author

Jan Johnson

JAN JOHNSON enjoys speaking at retreats and conferences, hoping to ignite within listeners a burning desire to know God in an authentic way and to live out a kingdom life in the daily companionship of Jesus. Unwilling to minimize the mystery of God or the human struggle, Jan presents biblical principles and characters in down-to-earth ways so that people can connect with God and become more thirsty for God. Her observations about life’s dilemmas give listeners a lot to study, ponder, and laugh about.

As an author and spiritual director, Jan holds degrees in Christian education and spiritual direction (D.Min.), which along with many years of Bible teaching, have equipped her to write hundreds of published Bible study sessions. She is also the author of sixteen books and more than a thousand newspaper and magazine articles. Jan is the author of 13 books and more than 1000 Bible studies. You can find out more information at http://www.janjohnson.org.

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