"I know what it's like to have low self-esteem, to count on other people to validate me," says Michelle McKinney Hammond, author of the best-selling Secrets of an Irresistible Woman. "My parents went their separate ways when I was two, and I moved around a lot. I guess I was always looking for love and security—with the wrong kind of guys."
It's hard to believe this 41 year old with the sparkling brown eyes, infectious laugh, and dramatic flair for living ever struggled through years of unhealthy relationships in an effort to feel good about herself. After all, today she's a veritable Renaissance woman with a resume that sports the titles writer, singer, speaker, art director, playwright, voice-over announcer, and cohost of the Christian television talk show Aspiring Women. Michelle's finally made peace with being single—and unabashedly loves being a woman. But she's quick to point out her self-worth—and accomplishments—didn't come without a price.
After her parents parted, Michelle went to live with her maternal aunt, uncle, and grandmother in Barbados and lost all contact with her father, George Hammond. Her mom went back to school in England, where she met William McKinney, with whom she fell in love and married. They flew to Barbados to get Michelle and moved to Michigan when she was seven. At 14, Michelle was miraculously reunited with her biological father when an aunt found him on a trip to Africa. He immediately flew to see Michelle and they've been close ever since.1