Tuesday, March 17, 2020

VBT, Guest Post and Giveaway: Learning to Bend by Michelle Davis

Learning To Bend
by Michelle Davis


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GENRE: Women’s Fiction

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BLURB:

Jenna Moore's flawlessly orchestrated life and engagement to Ben Kelly, “the perfect man,” vanish when she discovers a controlling side of her fiancé. Confused and unsure of who she is without Ben, Jenna decides to uproot from her safe, predictable life in Boston and move to Bend, Oregon, hoping to find her answers there. It’s when she meets Jackson, a former Navy SEAL who battles demons of his own, that Jenna finds the courage to let go of being perfect and embrace uncomfortable risks, transforming her life through forgiveness, compassion, surrender and acceptance. Yet the rewards from discovering her true self exceed Jenna’s expectations – not only does she find the greatest love of her life, but she also understands what’s kept her from learning to bend.

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EXCERPT
Yet, at that moment, there is a subtle shift in my being. As devastated and lost as I feel, a small part of me unfolds, almost releases. I can’t describe the feeling as it’s something I’ve never before experienced. I breathe, inhaling Ben’s scent, knowing it’s most likely the last time I am going to be this close to him. Then Ben moves his hand to the back of my head, pulling me towards him, passionately kissing me as we momentarily return to who we were. My body instinctively takes over as I languish in his taste, surrendering to him, if only for a few seconds. But I come to my senses and pull away. We are no longer the Jenna and Ben who are about to be married in two months. No, that couple is gone. It’s then that I do the unavoidable – I slowly remove the ring from my left finger and press it into Ben’s hand. After all, this is a family antique. It no longer belongs to me. I call for Sam, give Ben a final goodbye kiss on the cheek, and leave. 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:



Michelle Davis, whose career path includes banking, teaching, and college admissions consulting, holds a B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University and a M.S. in Education from St. Joseph’s University. Through her blog, elevate, Michelle’s goal is to inspire others to shift their perspectives and welcome change as they realize their life purpose. A Pennsylvania native, Michelle and her husband enjoy visiting their sons in Boston and spending time in Bend, Oregon, the settings of her debut novel, Learning to Bend. To learn more about Michelle and how to elevate your life, visit www.michellemdavis.net.  







Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/learning-to-bend-michelle-m-davis/1136004857

GUEST POST

The Number on the Scale by Michelle Davis – December 2018

Have you ever woken up, gotten on the scale, eyed the results, and thought, “This is going to be a s---ty day!”?

I suspect that many of us have fallen into this trap. But, when I step back and contemplate this irrational reaction, it makes me ask… why should we allow tiny numerals, barely visible without squinting, to set the tone for the next fifteen to eighteen hours of a potentially glorious day? But we do, at least I do. No doubt someone at some time conditioned me to revere the reading of the scale. 

I’m guessing it probably began when I was a little girl. My pediatrician, Dr. Kotzen, would kindly let me know that I was a bit, well “overweight.” At the end of the check-up, I didn’t get the lollipop… I got the special pencil or some other penny toy. But it didn’t end there, even after I lost my baby fat, I continued to worry about the number on the scale during my high school and college years. And, when I was pregnant, I went so far as to graph my weight so that I didn’t go above the recommended limit my obstetrician set. While I’ve come a long way and am no longer obsessed with what I weigh, I still must own that I can be affected by what the scale tells me.

As a society we’ve bombarded with countless articles about “our ideal weight” and how to obtain that magical number through miracle diets. This industry infiltrates our lives at multiple levels, constantly harassing us about our body image, causing many people to become consumed about what the scale tells them, regardless of their shape. I’m sure you’ve seen someone refuse dessert, stating she was on a diet, and you just looked at her tiny body and rolled your eyes. But, to her, it’s real, or perhaps just a way to maintain a weight that she can “stomach.”

Yes, I admit that I tip toe onto the scale… always the first thing in the morning and always naked, no matter how cold the bathroom is. And, I feel happy when the number is lower than expected but become disturbed when it reads above my “acceptable range,” coming up with all sorts of explanations as to why this number is higher than I anticipated. In fact, this past weekend, I actually accused my son of “adjusting” the scale when he brought it downstairs to weigh the turkey. (Background information… I have a special scale… to be honest, it’s about four pounds lighter than your average scale, but it counts because I know when I gain or lose weight. Still, my family constantly teases me about how I’m only fooling myself.) Regardless, my son didn’t try to alter the scale. I just refused to admit that I’d been eating and drinking more than normal and exercising less. But that’s what the holidays are about, isn’t it?

While I’m conscious that the number is just that… a number, I am aware of its potentially huge impact. But why does what the scale tells us really matter as long as we feel healthy, look good, and have vibrant energy? I’m guessing that some of you never weigh yourself and don’t struggle with “the number.” But, for those who do, how can we get past this sadistic ritual? What do we need to do so that three numerals do not set the tone for our day? How do we disempower the scale?

This makes me wonder if the “Battle of the Scale” is actually tied to our “Fight to Control.” Could we be attempting to manage our weight when we cannot seem to maintain a grasp on other things in our life?

Perhaps. Right now, I’m dealing with a few uncontrollable issues. While I accept that this is all normal stuff, I do feel frustrated that I cannot influence what is happening around me. When life is smooth and things are flowing, I don’t seem to be so obsessed with the scale. No, it’s when the waters become a bit rocky that I try to cling to what I believe I can fix, control, make right. I attempt to take charge of whatever I can hope to maintain a sense of security, even if it is false.

But is this struggle worth the fight? Could a better response be to simply surrender? I’m not talking about eating the entire pumpkin pie, quitting the gym, or throwing out the scale. No, what I mean is reminding ourselves that there is very little in this life that we do control, and maybe we need to show ourselves a bit of compassion, ease up on how much we judge our own actions. Perhaps bypassing the workout and indulging in that extra helping of stuffing or the additional glass of wine is okay for now. Maybe we don’t get on the scale until we’ve gotten back to our normal routine. Could we possibly give ourselves a pass? Allow ourselves to be as we are until we can resume the stricter lifestyle we aim to follow? Are we capable of speaking to ourselves the way we would to a good friend who complains about the number on her scale? Would you tell her that she’s lazy and undisciplined, insist that she begin an intense fitness program? I hope not. But, have we ever suggested these things to ourselves? 

What if we allowed self-compassion? It’s something we rarely indulge in. Sometimes we feel guilty offering ourselves kind words, forgiveness, and empathy. But, maybe it’s the perfect gift for this Holiday Season. What if we all committed to setting time aside to love ourselves? My guess is that not only will we feel immense benefits, but also this loving act will ripple through our beings and beautifully impact our family and friends. In essence, our present to ourselves will be the gift that keeps giving.

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GIVEAWAY

The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW THE TOUR AND COMMENT

ON EACH STOP TO EARN MORE ENTRIES TO WIN!
March 10: Viviana MacKade
March 11: Mythical Books
March 12: Edgar's Books
March 16: Christine Young
March 16: Beyond Romance
March 18: T's Stuff
March 19: The Clog Blog
March 20: Enchanting Reviews - review only
March 23: Author C.A.Milson
March 25: A Chick Who Reads
March 26: So Many Books
March 27: Harlie's Books
April 1: Iron Canuck Reviews and More - review







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