"Be Your Kids Hero" After Being Kidnapped and Held Hostage Michelle Renee Shares a Powerful Message

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After being kidnapped by masked gunmen, held hostage for 14 hours, taped with explosives and forced to rob a bank while her daughter lie bound in a closet, Michelle Renee looks ahead with positive focus and shares their incredible story in "Held Hostage: The True Story of a Mother and Daughter's Kidnapping."

As Michelle Renee watched Shawn Hornbeck and his family on the Oprah show, she realized just how important her message is. A message that came out of the ashes of tragedy that she shares with audiences at speaking events and with readers of her new book, "Held Hostage: The True Story of a Mother and Daughter's Kidnapping" (Berkley, December 5, 2006). That message: "Be Your Kids Hero".

"Held Hostage" by Michelle Renee with Andrea Cagan is the incredible true story of a mother's daring bank heist, executed to save her daughter from a deadly fate. Part Patty Hearst, part Panic Room, this story is every mother's worst nightmare. "Held Hostage" takes readers from the shocking crime to the wide open spaces of the Alaskan wilderness where Michelle and her daughter, Breea, went into hiding for more than a year and then brings us back to the high-profile trial and verdict. This is the gripping first account of a mother and daughter's nightmarish ordeal, and the search for justice and retribution that would change their lives forever. In the end one thing is clear, Michelle never lost site of being her daughter's role model.

"I discovered that allowing myself to continue to be "the victim" was like being chained to my past. Living that way for the rest of my life is simply not an option for me," Michelle explains. "A positive focus, taking back my power is the only way for me to be the best role model for my daughter that I can be. I wanted to be her hero coming out of all of this and my decisions moving through and beyond this tragedy would make all the difference for her and for me."

Michelle believes that the parents of Shawn Hornbeck are doing what is right for Shawn in the wake of such a horrific situation. "By them not asking their son about what happened for those four years no matter how strong that urge to know or ask is, they are truly listening to the professional therapist's guiding them and in doing so, they are being his hero."

As for Breea, she tells others, "Just because something sad and scary happened to me doesn't mean the rest of my life has to be sad and scary." Something she and young Shawn seem to have in common.

Michelle speaks out nationally on victims' rights issues, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness, and two topics receiving standing ovations, "Be Your Kids Hero" and "From Corporate Ladder to Life Ladder". She is the founder of the Violent Trauma Awareness Project, a non-profit organization that also created Girls Against Crime in which Breea is actively involved. Michelle resides in Southern California with her daughter. See Michelle Renee's press kit for more information.

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Michele Langley
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