Thursday, March 12, 2020

Learning to Bend by Michelle Davis - Book Tour and Giveaway

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.


I’m drawn to a solitary man with shoulder length thick brown hair sitting alone at a café table. I try not to stare, but I can’t help myself. When I get closer, I see a faint scar on his cheek. It intrigues me. He intrigues me. Yet it’s his captivating green eyes that truly catch my attention. I look in the opposite direction and make it appear as if I’m about to walk away. But I can’t, he pulls me toward him. I pause, actually freeze in my tracks before I find my body shifting in his direction. He’s drinking coffee and gazing at me. Who is he and why am I feeling this way? Doing my best to regain some composure, I try to avert my eyes, but they won’t stop staring at him. What is it? He’s not traditionally handsome – he’s more of a sensual “bad boy” type – nothing like Ben. Suddenly, I feel my throat tighten and butterflies appear inside my stomach. I become conscious about my hair. I’ve had a helmet on all day. It must look awful. 
Stop it. He’s just some stranger. 

Although he’s sitting, I quickly assess his height and notice his chiseled muscular build. I’m guessing that he’s older than me, by at least five or more years. Something deep inside of me begins to stir as I pass by his table. That’s when I hear, “Place the weight on your inside toe when you turn. You’re using your knees too much.”   

Guest Post

Invisible Tattoos by Michelle Davis – December 2019

Tattoos have always intrigued me. I think that’s because there’s often an interesting story behind people’s body art. Perhaps it’s someone’s way to remember a loved one. Or, maybe it’s symbolic of a life triumph. Regardless, I suspect that many of these permanently inked designs tell a significant tale.

Then I read about the invisible tattoo in Light Watkin’s “Daily Dose of Inspiration.” Invisible tattoos are not located in private areas nor are they covered by clothing. In fact, they can be even more permanent than ink embedded into the top layer of our skin. The difference is that invisible tattoos are the result of others' hurtful comments and reside deep in our psyche, frequently inflicting self-doubt or pain. Whether a deliberate dig or an off handed remark, people’s words can wound and traumatize our emotional bodies. And unless we are willing to identify then recognize the hurt, we cannot begin to heal the damage.

Being a sensitive person, Light Watkins’ blog resonated with me. No doubt I have invisible tattoos which have affected my self-esteem. And, I’m guessing that I’m not alone in this. Don’t we all have at least one symbol of hidden suffering?
So, if invisible tattoos are real, then how can we remove them? After all, we can’t laser the emotional body. Perhaps RAIN, a technique taught by Tara Brock, may be helpful in lifting these hidden scars. Here is how RAIN works:

Recognize what is happening; 
Allow the experience to be there, just as it is; 
Investigate with interest and care; 
Nurture with self-compassion.

Let’s say that you have an invisible tattoo from a high school teacher who sarcastically ridiculed you for asking a question during his history class. This man’s action may have impacted you to the point where you are uncomfortable speaking in groups or are hesitant to ask questions. Employing RAIN could help erase this invisible tattoo:

Recognize - Now I know why I rarely ask questions or speak in group settings. I remember how that fear started. I simply don’t want to be embarrassed for asking a stupid question or not saying the right thing.

Allow – Wow – thinking back to that incident, I was mortified. It was my sophomore year in high school, and half of the football team was in that class! And, what made it really painful is that Mr. Smith was one of my favorite teachers. (Then sit with that feeling – try to see where in your body the sensation resides.)

Investigate – I wonder if this has affected other areas of my life – like my career and relationships? Maybe that’s why I’m always quiet during team meetings or why I avoid large groups, especially if I don’t know the individuals well. How would my life change if I became more comfortable speaking up when I am unsure of something?

Nurture – Like everyone else, I have a right to use my voice and ask questions without fear of being ridiculed or thought of as stupid. No one can know everything. And my questions are usually valid. No wonder I’ve been hesitant to share my thoughts for all of these years. Maybe I can start small – with trusted friends and colleagues – and slowly build to speaking up in larger settings.

If you can identify with the concept of invisible tattoos, play around with RAIN and see if this technique helps to soften the impact of another’s unkind words. Remember, just because someone said something, it does not mean that it’s true.

While we cannot prevent what others say or do – we can only monitor our own words and actions – perhaps there is a way to help counter the invisible tattoos in our lives. Consider the impact if we truly focused on building up one another. It’s been said that ten positives are necessary to erase one negative. So maybe one of our intentions for the upcoming year could be to use our words to empower one another, eventually overriding the self-doubts that so many of us have embedded deep within. What if each day of this new year we complimented one person? I bet that in less than two weeks, we’d notice a difference in how we see ourselves as well as those around us. By searching for the good, instead of focusing on the “less than,” we can help lift our family, friends, acquaintances, and even those we do not know. And in the process of elevating others, we rise as well. 

About the Author

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

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


  1. Thank you for hosting! So excited to be with you on my first virtual tour!

  2. Which character was your favorite to write?

    1. Definitely Jackson! He is also my favorite character!

  3. Great cover & excerpt, I enjoyed checking them out!

  4. I appreciate getting to hear about  a book new to me. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the giveaway.

  5. Thanks so much for hosting me yesterday!

  6. What was the hardest part about writing this book?