Monday, October 29, 2012

Meet Michelle Robinson, Author of Right Before My Eyes

Michelle Robinson, Author

We would like to welcome Michelle Robinson, author of Right Before My Eyes. Michelle is on a Virtual Book Tour, promoting her book. She has dropped by to share why and how she got into writing her first novel.

Welcome Michelle, Tell our readers about yourself? I love music. Compassionate. I’m a great friend, daughter, cousin, girlfriend, hairstylist, poet & thinker. I am a humanitarian. My belief is you owe it to life to give to others. I have a high moral background. I am a dreamer. As long as you have a dream, life should keep you busy. I am a believer that all things are possible. I am also an artist so I creatively think outside the box. I am a go-getter so I don’t take no as an option for me. I am organized to the point that I cannot function in confusion. I can be the life of the party & also like spending time alone. I also love taking naps.

Tell our readers about your journey to writing? I started writing poetry in junior high school. In my twenties, I wanted to write a book. The people I told assumed it would be about hair. That was not my genre and was not my passion as far as writing goes. I had no concept, but I decided when the time came it would be fiction. I felt that I was not experienced enough to make an impact, so I kept reading books. I felt that I needed to learn more about life. So I lived life, kept a journal, and experienced more.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way? I was telling two people a story at different times on the same day and they both told me that I needed to write a book. So I figured that was a sign from God and I started writing.

What has the responses been from those that have read your book? People have said it’s a great book, a page turner; they finished it in 2 days. Some finished it in 1 day.  They couldn’t put it down, was late to work trying to finish it, stayed up til 3 am in bed with my boyfriend  with a flashlight reading it; the characters are well developed, loved the sisterhood of the girls in the book; my readers can relate to these characters; they were shocked at the ending, fending for the next book.

How long did it take you to write this book? 15 months.

How did you feel the day you held the copy of your first book in your hands? The feeling I had was very similar to giving birth. I was full of joy and super excited!

Thinking about your writing career, is there anything you would go back and do differently now that you have been published? Definitely would have done more research looking for a good editor.

Is there any lesson or moral you hope your story might reveal to those who read it? Love and trust God through your storms and trust Him to give you what you desire on His time. Be patient and pray on your journey so you can learn life’s lessons and help someone else along the way.  True friendship should be valued and not envied. Life is not perfect, but it can seem that way with great friends to share it with. Life provides that we are all on the same journey just walking in different shoes. We are searching for that earthly love that we get from God and our parents. We struggle, we make mistakes, we love, we hate, and we forgive. We must also try to accept people who are different from us. This book proves that.

Please tell the readers who are the main characters? Journee Bell, Jordyn Bell, Derrick Long, Chelsea Hendricks, Najah Joseph and Kalena Martin.

What is the conflict in the story? Relationships

Which characters “are you most like? Journee, her mother, Derrick, Pops & Chelsea.

Take us inside “Right Before My Eyes” What are two major events taking place? A wedding & Journee discovering who really is her Mr. Right

Are your characters from the portrayal of real people? Two of them are & some are a combination of many people in one character.

How can people connect with you? Email:

Please give us your website?

About the Book:

Journee and Jordyn are thirty-something year old twins with two totally different lifestyles. Journee is in love with Drew, her high school sweetheart that’s in prison. A phone call from him changes everything. After a fight, she decides to end their relationship and tries to move on but she has unfinished business with Jason, another ex-boyfriend. As she moves forward, she meets Jules who appears to be Mr. Right until all his baggage shows up.

Now Jordyn is living by her own rules but the problem is she hasn’t told anyone, but the drama begins when her secret is leaked on Facebook. She finds herself in a battle with her love life, family, friends and herself. Follow these two as they take their family and friends on a turbulent ride into their lives as they discover they are worlds apart but are forever connected.

Chapter 15 is where you have Journee at a crucial time in her life. She’s 36, single with no kids but ready to start a family. She managed to escape her 20’s without becoming someone’s baby mama. She’s trying to live by God’s rule and is trying to wait to get married first before having children. But impatiently waiting on God, she’s debating on having a child with a guy that she’s still in love with and he just might be still in love with her too. The problem is, he moved out of state without ending their relationship to start a new relationship with another woman. Journee has a feeling that he may be getting married. She even had dreams of receiving a wedding invitation in the mail.  She thinks it may be God’s way of telling her to sit down and wait on Him since Jason hasn’t told her the whole truth yet. Is this Jason’s way of keeping Journee around?  Is she strictly for his entertainment or a back-up plan in case his relationship doesn’t work? Is he regretting leaving Journee and doesn’t know how to end the new relationship? Does he want both women? Why is he willing to have a baby with a woman that he left behind? Are the two women supposed to agree to this arrangement or is the new woman going to dump him and send him back to Oakland? Journee is seriously thinking of having this man’s child. She even went as far as asking her mother, her sister and closest friends their opinions. But all Jason could offer her, was coming back to California every two months to father the child. Journee feels like she is running out of time and options since her very first love and real boyfriend is in prison. Journee’s mother said she should adopt or get married first. Kalena told her to hurry up. That’s easy for her to say since she had a kid out of wedlock. Journee’s twin sister supports her decision to have Jason’s baby. Maybe it’s a twin thing, or an “I want to be an aunt so bad” situation or maybe because Jordyn wants support in return because of her lifestyle. Derrick advised her to go to a sperm bank. Najah told her that she wouldn’t be able to handle having his kid emotionally. Chelsea said Journee’s other male friend, Sean would be a better pick, but he’s just a booty call and won’t offer anything more. Now Journee is normally the one giving advice, you’ll love how she rationalized her own mess and comes up with her own conclusion of what to do.

What people are saying about Right Before My Eyes:

Amazon - Five star rating. I thoroughly enjoyed this read "Right Before My Eyes" and I would recommend it to any one that likes a good romance that is so full of soul, forgiveness, prayer and love. Be ready to take a wonderful ride that will leave you only wanting more. Good Job Ms. Robinson!

Barnes & Nobles - Five star rating. I was on edge of my seat. I also loved the crankberry {cell} phone conversations throughout the read.

Goodreads - Five star rating. RIGHT BEFORE MY EYES by Michelle Robinson was some read that will stay with me forever. Why? Because it was so realistic and emotional that will only leave you saying Wow...what a wonderful read!

About the Author:

Michelle Robinson was born and raised in Oakland, CA. Oakland’s rich culture has laid the fabric for this story. She’s been doing hair for two decades. As a hairstylist, it’s safe to say she has also served as a therapist to her clients. She has heard and witnessed it all right behind her styling chair. From her experiences, she’s given advice to many and has watched people’s lives transition. With this driving force, she has finally penned her first novel. Connect with Michelle on-line at

Michelle can be reached at

Order Your Copy at

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Do; Now I Do Not: The Marriage Is Over by Miss Know It All

You read and hear about it. A celebrity couple gets married, and before the ink on the marriage license is dried, the union has ended in an annulment or a divorce. Sometimes you have to ask, “Were these people playing some kind of joke, or were they just seeking publicity?” No one wants to assume that anyone, in their right mind, would spend heaps of money on a wedding ceremony and reception, just to have their names in the spotlight. Then stranger things have happened.

Marriage is the joining of two people to form a committed relationship, and no one should ever step into an agreement like this on a whim. One should always think long and hard before taking that important step. When a couple makes a vow to honor and protect, until death do you part, this is serious. However, many people seem to get amnesia when it comes to keeping these promises.

If the other half forgets to put the toilet seat down, the spouse is ready to call it quits. If a partner snores too loud, the spouse is ready to file for a divorce. Of course, there are extreme circumstances when a mate should get out of a marriage at once. If there is a hint of domestic abuse, the person neglected to divorce a former spouse, or you unknowingly marry someone who is wanted by the FBI, Interpol or Scotland Yard, then it is time to call it quits.

Getting out of a marriage can be costly and sometimes, downright malicious. However, couples can be together without the benefit of a civil or religious ceremony, and we are not talking about living together. When the going gets rough, couples can each go their separate ways, with no one getting hurt financially? There may be emotional scars, but the wounds will heal, should not cost you a penny or force you into bankruptcy.

To get that I want to get married idea out of your system, think about having a make believe or mock wedding. Invite relatives and close friends to be false witnesses. Go through the motion of saying: “I will love you for the rest of my life, until I get tired of you or until something better or worse comes along.

For your reception, invite your guests to a fast food restaurant, and for the honeymoon, go away to a movie, hold hands and kiss the night away. If an argument breaks out, and you cannot stand each other any longer, it is good riddance. Nothing lost, nothing gained.

Live together apart. Have your own pad. There will be no mix-up as to which items belong to whom; what is hers is hers, and what is his is his. Having a joint account or concealing your money in an offshore account is not necessary. Each person will have his or her own money. When the love is gone, there will be no confusion as to who should move or how to split the household items. You will not need to hire an expensive lawyer to calculate how much of a settlement or spousal support a mate should receive. Everyone leaves the bogus marriage happily ever after.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Relationships in the Internet Age

Let’s see. What can I say about relationships or dating that has not been said a hundred times before? There is, after all, nothing new under the sun; though every generation feels as if their experiences are unique. I know that the age of the internet and online dating may make it seem like the relationship troubles we encounter now are novel, but in reality they are not.

For example, how we first meet. We like to think that historically everyone met by chance. That there was just some common marketplace where you met your potential mate and fell in love. That is just not so. Much like today, many couples are introduced to one another by common friends. Whether the introduction or even friendship occurs online of offline is of little consequence, the result is still the same. Two people who would have otherwise remained strangers get to meet and possibly fall in love.

Another way that people used to get matched with potential partners is through their family. Groups of culturally similar or economically similar families would often set up marriages for their children long before they came of age. Even today some cultures still practice this tradition. Thankfully, most of us do not live in those cultures, but it bears thinking about. How would you like to be matched online based on your family and not on your own predilections? Thankfully today we have a different way of dealing with meeting potential romantic partners.

Another aspect of the internet age that we think is unique is corresponding before a physical meeting. Whether exchanging emails, text messages, phone calls, or Facebook communication, we like to think we are the first generation to date this way. In truth, many times through history people have written to one another and agreed to marry before ever even meeting each other in person. Did you ever hear of mail order brides? The same general idea applies here. The only difference is that our communication avenues are much more widely varied then a simple letter exchange.

Long distance relationships are nothing new to this generation either. Your parents or grandparents can probably tell you about the hardship of being separated from their loved ones because of war or employment difficulties. During the Great Depression, many men went off to seek ways to keep their families alive, often with little means of communication with their spouses or romantic partners. I can only imagine how difficult that would be. Those soldiers going off the World War II, Korea, or Vietnam also faced extreme difficulties with remaining close to their loved ones. If you think about it, we have it much better today. With Skype and other face to face communication technologies, we can actually see our loved ones even when they are far away. That was something that our predecessors could have only dreamed of.

Besides just meeting one another via the internet, there is also the whole dating process. Just think what our lives would be like without apps to tell us where to eat, when the movie started, or where the band is playing. It would be very different, right? Well, maybe not. Remember that before all the fancy doodads and mobile phones people still managed to keep track of pesky details like those. They used a phone book and called the theatre. Or, before that, they paid attention to the advertisements and knew with regularity when things were going to occur. After all, having a set time for a band to play is not rocket science.

When you really think about it, relationships have not changed that much due to technology. We still do the same things, go to similar places, and meet in the same ways. All that has changed is that it is faster and easier to get a hold of one another now. Maybe we should start worrying more about our privacy and less about how to stay connected!

Author Bio

Nancy Parker was a professional nanny and she loves to write about wide range of subjects like health, Parenting, Child Care, Babysitting, nanny, etc. You can reach her @

Monday, October 08, 2012

Tips for a Successful Long-distance Relationship By Eva Márquez

In the world today nothing is difficult or entirely impossible; although some challenges may exist that require surmounting. This is the case for long-distance relationships (LDRs), which were initially thought to be short-lived romances not likely to succeed because of the challenges posed by distance. However, recent statistics indicate that there is a growing number of LDRs in the world with many people successfully dating for a long duration of time. Also, indicators show that many people are in long-distance marriages that are entirely successful. Although not easy, LDRs are 100% possible in today’s communicated world (I should know, I’m in one!).
The following are a few tips for people in LDRs that might help to maintain a strong bond between partners:

1. One thing about LDRs is that you should never assume that the other partner knows a thing about your expectations. It is important that you take some time with your partner to formalize some things in your relationship. You need to be clear from the very beginning. For example, you should let your partner know if the relationship is monogamous or if is an open one (talk about exclusivity!). This enables both of you to successfully address any potential challenges and also lets both of you know where you stand in the relationship.

2. LDRs require a great deal of trust. Trusting your partner is the cornerstone of a successful LDR. It doesn’t matter if you met them today or two years ago, if you are committed to an LDR with this person, you will need to develop trust in this person. Accord your partner trust, and only allow that trust to waiver if and when your partner’s behavior indicates a good reason for doing so. Try you best not to become unreasonably jealous. The fact that your mind may wonder off to a whole array of possibilities and scenarios doesn’t mean you have to let it. Be in control of your worries.

3. Honesty is paramount in an LDR just like in any relationship. The think about lying is that once a lie surfaces, trust begins to erode…fast. When you are honest with your partner, you are building a sense of confidence in yourself and in your relationship. Nothing’s most satisfying than being in a happy and confident relationship.

4. Despite having romantic encounters during scheduled visits, you can also maintain (or even ignite) the flame when distance separates you from your partner. Sending each other romantic and/or sexy messages, e-mails and having some fun over Skype or Google Chat conversations can do a world of good and keep both of you intimately engaged.

Among many other things, you should try to schedule frequent communication and express yourselves openly and honestly to each other.  A key advantage of LDRs is that partners are, in a way, forced to communicate with each other (perhaps more so than in a traditional, day-to-day relationship). Keeping the communication flowing is critical in maintaining a loving, committed and healthy LDR.


Ms. Eva Marquez is also the author of Sweetest Taboo. Following is a blurb and excerpt from her book.


Isabel Cruz was fifteen years old when she met Tom Stevens. She was 15 when they started dating, and 16 when she lost her virginity to him. By the time she turned 18 and went to college, everything had fallen apart. This hadn’t been an ordinary love, though. Not a love between two dear friends, or even high school sweethearts. This had been the most taboo sort of love there was: a relationship between a student and her teacher. Isabel started her high school career as a normal student, but set her sights on Tom Stevens as soon as she met him, and pursued him with an intense – and sometimes reckless – fascination. When he finally approached her after swim practice and told her that he shared her feelings, it was the start of a forbidden and dangerous relationship.

EXCERPTS: From Chapter 7:

I realized suddenly that I had gone from one extreme to the other in a few weeks. That was a mistake, and people were bound to notice. I couldn’t backtrack now, though – the damage was done. What was I supposed to say? “Yeah, I'm staying away from Mr. Stevens because I don’t want anyone to know I’m making out with him after practice” would never do.

“You know, he was pretty cool at first," I replied as nonchalantly as possible. “But one day I was late for practice and he made me go to the diving pool to swim laps. I’m not going to hang around with him if he’s going to be such a jerk, you know?”

That answer must have been good enough for Vicky, because she lightly tapped my shoulder and then jumped into the water to swim off. I laughed as I watched her swim away; she was doing the butterfly – badly – and bumping into other swimmers as she shimmied from side to side down the crowded lane. My smile faded, though, when I realized that she was probably voicing what everyone else had noticed as well. My sudden change of attitude had been just that – sudden and unexpected – and people were going to wonder why. I had to come up with a better story, and quick, or change my behavior again and hope that no one else said anything.

I wasn’t sure which option was best, or which would cause me more pain. Our late- afternoon rendezvous were becoming more and more intense, and my senses were becoming fragile. When I walked toward his classroom, now, I knew that there would be more physical contact, with less clothing. We hadn’t gone all the way yet, and Mr. Stevens was always very careful about my feelings – he asked me if I was okay with what we were doing every five minutes, it seemed – but we were both getting braver, and closer. I didn’t know if I could be close to him without really wanting him, but I was afraid of getting hurt.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was also starting to fall in love with him.


**Eva will award a Kindle touch to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a swag pack of goodies to one commenter at each stop. She'll award a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn host.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, daughter of European immigrants, Eva Márquez has spent most of her life outside of her home country. At the age of five, Eva accompanied her parents to the United States, where the family settled permanently. After graduating from university, she went on to complete graduate studies in International Relations in Spain. Eva received her Master of International Studies degree from the University of Sydney and went on to work in the global health field in Sub Saharan Africa and South East Asia. Eva currently resides in Southern Africa.


Monday, October 01, 2012

Money Saving Travel Tips

With the holidays approaching, many of us will be traveling either domestically or internationally. With money being tight and the economy in the pits, you will want to get the most from your trip without breaking the bank.

Following are some money saving tips to consider when planning your next trip:

Pick a good travel agent.
Take shorter trips.
Consider a package deal, which charges one price.
Know your budget and make it clear what you want to fit into your budget.
Using a net sales agent may save you up to fifty percent on airline seats.
Join a travel club.
Do not pay the bill until service has been rendered. Use a credit card; do not use cash or check.
If you are taking a cruise, consider a cruise with no tipping policy. You will save money.
Check generic air travel.
Inquire about last minute deals. Someone may cancel at the last minute.
Study airline promotional fares, and avoid traveling during peak periods such as July, August and December.
Select budget hotels.
Eat where locals eat.
Read packaged tours carefully and know what you are receiving.
Comparison shop.