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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with Greg Messel, author of The Illusion of Certainty

Hi, everyone!

I am pleased to participate in Greg Messel's The Illusion of Certainty Virtual Book Publicity Tour hosted by Pump Up Your Book. 

About Greg:

Greg Messel has written three novels and three unpublished memoirs. He published his premiere novel “Sunbreaks” in 2009, followed by “Expiation” in 2010 and “The Illusion of Certainty” in 2011. Greg has had a newspaper career as a columnist, sportswriter and news editor. He won a Wyoming Press Association Award as a columnist. Greg also spent many years in the corporate world as a Financial Manager. He now devotes his energies to writing at his home in Edmonds, Washington on the Puget Sound just north of Seattle, where he lives with his wife, Carol.

You can visit his website at  Connect with Greg on Twitter at or Facebook at

Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Greg!

Greg has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to him.

The Death of the 8 to 5 Job
Guest Post by Greg Messel

I’ve been around long enough that I can almost pinpoint the moment when the standard “8 to 5” job began to change.

There was a time, not that many years ago, when my company’s executives would give us pep talks about keeping our lives “balanced.” We should not only be dedicated to the company and our jobs but we should spend time with our families and give back to the community.

If an employee never took their leave, your boss would likely tell you that you need to take some time off. It was important, according to the prevailing thinking at that point in time, that employees take days off to “recharge their batteries.” Taking some time away from the job would invigorate the employee and prevent burn out. Time off would actually re-energize the employee.

Looking back on that time, it now appears that we lived on a different planet, than the one where we now live.

Now, no one seems concerned if an employee’s life is balanced. In fact, outside activities should not cut into the time you are expected to spend at the office. At one time, there was talk of working four ten-hour days to give employees a three-day weekend. Now the standard is more like five ten-hour days.

The quality of life for employees has deteriorated to a point where a worker needs to apologize or explain why you are leaving at 5 p.m. Generally, most offices are full of people until 6:30. Then when you do go home, you carefully monitor e mail traffic on your Blackberry to make sure you don’t miss anything.

The impact of this technology was that you are still mentally at the office. I came to notice that if I sent an e mail to my boss at 10 p.m., I usually got a response in a few moments. After our ten-hour day, I found myself sitting in my home already talking about the issues that my boss and colleagues would deal with when tomorrow came.

In my novel, The Illusion of Certainty, I tried to tap into the stresses created by being married to your job.

Much of the uncertainty that comes into the lives of two of the main characters, Marc and Aimee, is aggravated by the pressures at work. Marc and Aimee schedule their days and ultimately their relationship into whatever remains of their day after work is done. Their work is often never done.

Even, when they go away to a beach house on the weekend with their best friends, two of the friends have to have conference calls on Saturday to take care of demands back at the office. This was a weekend which was key to Marc and Aimee’s repairing their tattered relationship.

Eventually Marc discovers that Aimee was sneaking away having a torrid affair which blew their family apart. Marc was not suspicious about his wife’s long absences from home. He assumed she was just at work.

Many Americans can relate to Marc’s story, whether they lost their own high-powered careers during the recession or find themselves completely consumed with work, putting off their time with families and maintaining relationships.

In The Illusion of Certainty, the protagonists realize that their dedication to their job doesn’t provide security and certainty into their future. When the economy collapses and corporates are under pressure in 2008, some of the characters in the novel are unceremoniously dumped.

Corporate America considered Marc and his co-workers “excess” when the downturn hit the bottom line.

The crisis which came into Marc’s life after losing his job, helped him to begin to focus on the real meaning of his life. Marc had isolated himself and became a true “road warrior” in pursuit of his company. Ultimately he discovers that the only fulfillment comes from feeling the human touch in his life. All of the business relationships are not a substitute for family relationships and ultimately love.

The recurring theme in The Illusion of Certainty is that we are not in control of all of the events of our life but often are left to just react to the challenges that come upon us.

We carefully schedule our life, keep track of our spouse and children and our daily activities. Often the control we think we have is done via technology that is available to the 21st Century men and women.

However, any certainty we think we have in our lives is only an illusion.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Greg! 


One lucky winner will win a paperback copy of The Illusion of Certainty

This giveaway is open to entrants from Canada and the United States only at the author's request.

The Illusion of Certainty follows two parallel storylines. Marc is a successful businessman who seems to have everything—a great job, a beautiful wife, a house in an upscale neighborhood of Portland, Oregon and two great kids who are preparing for college. But something is not right. Marc is unsettled by the sudden change in his wife, Aimee, who seems distant and unhappy. What’s going on with her?

The second storyline involves a successful young attorney, Alexandra Mattson. Alex, as she is called by her friends, meets a handsome young cop, Sean, during an unexpected crisis in her neighborhood. Sean and Alex seem made for each other and begin to merge their futures in a world of uncertainty.

The only certainty in life is that we will face uncertainty. Despite all of the technology and controls available in the modern world, sometimes the only comfort comes from the human touch.

To enter the giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open to entrants from Canada and the United States only until 12:01 AM EST on January 11, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

Monday, September 5
Book reviewed at Between the Pages

Tuesday, September 6
Book spotlighted at Book Marketing Buzz

Wednesday, September 7
Book reviewed at Reviews From the Heart

Thursday, September 8
Interviewed at The Writer’s Life

Friday, September 9
Book reviewed at Just Another Book Addict

Monday, September 12
Book reviewed at Book Reviews by Molly

Thursday, September 17
Guest blogging at The Story Behind the Book

Monday, September 19
Book spotlighted at Beyond the Books

Monday, September 26
Book reviewed at Life in Review

Tuesday, September 27
Book spotlighted at Between the Covers

Wednesday, September 28
Book reviewed at April’s Lifestyle Show

Thursday, September 29

Friday, September 30

Monday, October 3
Guest blogging at The Book Bin

Tuesday, October 4
Interviewed at Broowaha

Wednesday, October 5
Guest blogging & book giveaway at Live to Read

Thursday, October 6
Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

Friday, October 7
Book trailer spotlighted at If Books Could Talk

Monday, October 10
Interviewed at The Hot Author Report

Tuesday, October 11
Guest blogging at Night Owl Reviews

Wednesday, October 12
Interviewed at Examiner

Thursday, October 13
Book spotlighted at The Plot

Friday, October 14
Guest blogging at The Plot

Monday, October 17
Book reviewed at Ohio Girl Talks

Tuesday, October 18
Interviewed at Blogcritics

Wednesday, October 19
Guest blogging at The Book Faery Reviews

Thursday, October 20
Book reviewed at Mad Moose Mama

Friday, October 21
Book spotlighted at Books, Products & More

Monday, October 24
Book spotlighted at Between the Covers

Tuesday, October 25

Thursday, October 27
Interviewed at American Chronicle

Friday, October 28

Monday, December 5
Book spotlighted at Examiner

Tuesday, December 6
Guest blogging at The Book Faery Reviews

Wednesday, December 7
Guest blogging at Alive on the Shelves

Thursday, December 8

Tuesday, December 13
Book reviewed at SOS Aloha

Wednesday, December 14
Guest blogging at Carol’s Notebook

Thursday, December 15
Interviewed at The Character Connection

Friday, December 16

Tuesday, January 3
Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

Wednesday, January 4
Book reviewed at Geek Girl Reviews

Thursday, January 5
Guest blogging & book giveaway at Darlene’s Book Nook

Friday, January 6
Book reviewed at Mary’s Cup of Tea

Monday, January 9

Tuesday, January 10
Guest blogging at As the Pages Turn

Wednesday, January 11
Interviewed at All Things Books

Thursday, January 12
Book reviewed at Rainy Day Reviews

Friday, January 13
Interviewed at The Book Connection

Wednesday, January 18
Guest blogging at Every Day Is An Adventure

Thursday, January 19
Book reviewed at Every Day Is An Adventure

Monday, January 23
Interviewed at The Plot Thickens

Wednesday, January 25
Interviewed at Working Writers


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