In the late 1960’s in Selma, Alabama, an interracial couple, Richard Adams and Marilyn Halston encountered relentless ridicule, threats, and even beatings by white southern racists – all for the sake of love. The couple escaped that place and time by migrating to the West when they married – for Marilyn this was just the beginning of her tormented future. Brittney Adams, their daughter and founder of Ebony Eyes, a home for troubled pregnant teens discovers an unspeakable secret her parents had concealed for over thirty years. Brittney’s persistent unraveling of the truth forces the family to come face to face with the demons from their past. Still distressed and afflicted – Brittney is faced with yet another challenge. A new resident, a sixteen year old pregnant teen, Angela, is being stalked by a mysterious man. As Brittney tries desperately to protect her mom and now Angela – a deadly accident takes place in the Adams’ home. “Through The Eyes of My Mulatto Daughter” is a heartfelt story full of mystery. This story will keep you on edge wondering who done it and why as Michele L. Waters takes you on this journey of a family’s struggle and endurance of racism, heartache, and abuse.
Born and raised in Southern California, Michele Waters exemplifies the true meaning of the words success and diligent, which she has so effortlessly been able to project through her many business ventures, including her novels “Through the Eyes of My Mulatto Daughter” and “Can’t Let Go.”
Graduating from Long Beach City College where she received an A.A. in Radiology and continuing her education with a B.A. in Business Administration from University of LaVerne, Waters has had more than 20 years of experience as a Radiology Technologist and more than 10 years as an entrepreneur.
With her husband Chris Waters by her side, they founded H&W Adult Residential Homes where they provided two nurturing homes for developmentally challenged adults for 10 years. Aside from the homes, the dynamic duo founded Dream Makers Unlimited, Inc., a real estate investment company where they currently have an inventory of 10 investment properties and Waters’ Travel and Entertainment Services.
Besides her duties as a wife, mother, working full time and managing two companies, Waters escaped the tiresome, but rewarding lifestyle through writing and as a result authored “Can’t Let Go,” an interesting novel that allows readers to be taken away by various characters who attempt to simply let go, but are unable to because of the destructive and even deadly obstacles standing in their way.
Michele Waters did it again with her second novel, “Through the Eyes of My Mulatto Daughter,” a story filled with mystery a real-life drama. The impact that verbal abuse has on millions of people was the inspiration for this book. Waters says, ―As I began writing, this story took on a life of its own and I allowed myself to follow. This story turned out to be so much more than I expected.
Get to Know Michele:
Through The eyes Of My Mulatto Daughter really started out to be a story about verbal and emotional abuse. I was inspired to write about verbal abuse because in my opinion, it is socially accepted. “If a man is not beating you then you are not in an abusive relationship.” Marilyn had endured this abuse for over thirty years but not only that, she had to deal with the blatant racism from Richard’s family. A double whammy. In that era, in that part of the world, most whites would almost rather see their sons killed in war versus marry a black woman. But this is not a story about just the ugly racism blacks faced back then and still do today in a different way, this is a story about so much more. It’s about domestic violence, child abuse, love, faith, and loyalty.
2. Is any of the book based on your own personal experiences? All I can say to this question is all fiction has some truth to it. It doesn’t mean it’s my personal truth.
3. Why does Brittney struggle so greatly with coming to terms with her divided heritage? I believe if she had not witnessed her father’s family being so hateful towards her mother she could have grown up a little more balanced. Also, she sees her white father abusing her mother verbally and emotional as well. That would make anyone not want to relate or associate with that part of their identity.
4. Do you think America – particularly the South – has made significant improvements when it comes to accepting interracial couples? Definitely. But let’s not fool ourselves racism is still alive and well in the minds of many. I’m not going to go too far into this but when President Obama ran for office and it looked like he would win the presidency a lot of ugliness came to surface, and it wasn’t because of the political parties, it was fear of a black man being in charge of this country.
5. What kinds of responses have you gotten to the book thus far? Very positive. Like I said it touches on so many important subjects. One person said, “The child abuse is so real. So many kids are living it exactly as I wrote it.” This person is in law enforcement that reads reports of the worst crimes on a daily basis. Others have said. “It’s a page turner.” Yes very positive so far.
6. What’s the main message that you’d like readers to take away from the book? 1) If you have deep pain or anger inside of you from something from your past that keeps gnawing at you, get help. Don’t let anger turn you into the monster we all can become when we allow pain to eat us up inside. 2) If you’re verbally abusing anyone, STOP. If you don’t know if you are or not. Ask your loved one how you make them feel, hopefully they are not too afraid to tell you the truth. 3) If you grew up in an environment full of abuse, hate, despair, or violence, do not allow that environment to dictate your future. Break the vicious cycle.
7. What’s next for Michele L Waters?
I made so many promises that I would write a sequel to Can’t Let Go, so I have to do that. Everyone wants to know what happened to Tiffany and Greg. After that, I feel like Through the Eyes of My Mulatto’s Daughter’s, character Marilyn needs to come back to her original self before she was so messed up by her husband, Richard. So I’ll bring her back in a sequel.
Last, I’ve already started the outline for my personal story of how I slipped into financial ruins but how God carried me through my trials and tribulations. Being able to recognize blessings in the middle of the storms is truly a blessing and a story that must be told. I will be pretty busy for the next couple of years.
Read an Excerpt:
Richard stared motionless at the water filling the glass. He gulped the water down and placed the glass in the sink and stood next to Marilyn. “So were you lying to Pastor Jones?”
She was puzzled. “Lying about what?”
“About me loving you the way you should be loved and not having any complaints.”
Marilyn took in a breath. “Yes, I was lying.” Marilyn looked as shocked in her response as Richard did but continued expressing her feelings. “Sometimes you treat me like a queen like you did when we first met and then sometimes you treat me like you hate me. You act like you can’t stand the sight of me. I’m not sure why we’re still together. We both have lost a lot and caused each other a tremendous amount of heartache and pain, but we keep holding on to each other. Why?”
“You’re a real piece of work. Sometimes I wonder are you just blind, stupid, or both? I’m the only one that has lost anything from this relationship. I’m the one that lost the respect and love from my parents. You still have your parents. My parents died hating me because of you. My own brother and sister, to this day, won’t speak to me – my own flesh and blood. My aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews, all of my family will have nothing to do with me and you say we both have lost. There’s no comparison!” Richard screamed, pointing his finger in her face.
A stream of tears covered Marilyn’s face. She finally gazed directly into his eyes. “You’re standing here telling me about losing flesh and blood. Have you forgotten what I lost because of you? How dare you stand here complaining and comparing relationships and people lost due to this so-called marriage.” Her grip on the knife she held became tighter and tighter as her anger grew. She suddenly felt pain in her hand. Looking down, she realized her nails were piercing her palm. She turned back to Richard and pointed the knife in his face, “Don’t you ever talk to me about what you’ve lost because of me!” She threw the knife into the sink and walked out heading down the long narrowed hallway to the bedroom.
Richard followed closely behind her. “Who in the hell do you think you’re talking to like that?” That was his favorite line. She ignored him and went into the closet and grabbed her sneakers. “Where do you think you’re going?”
“I need some air. I’m going for a drive.” She sat on the bed bent over tying her shoes. Then for the first time in a long time she stood tall, feeling the full length of her five foot seven slim body. “I’m going out.” As soon as the words came out of her mouth, she felt an immediate burning sensation to her face. Richard slapped her, knocking her back down to the bed. Pouncing on her like a tiger attacking his prey, he palmed her chin and jawbone with one hand, confining her to the bed.
“You’re not going anywhere unless I say you’re going. You got that? Don’t get so high and mighty that you get yourself hurt. Now, I’ll tell you what you’re going to do. You’re going to get up and get your butt back in the kitchen and finish cooking dinner. Do you understand?” Marilyn didn’t answer. Richard squeezed her jaw tighter and gritted his teeth. “I said, do you understand?” Again, Marilyn didn’t answer. Her fear subsided. Her anger and hatred for her husband took over her body. She kneed him and pushed him off of her and ran, but Richard caught her in the hallway and threw her against the wall. “What the hell has gotten into you today?” He seemed baffled and enraged by her actions. He turned her face and knees towards the wall. He held her hands behind her back like he’d done so many times in the past, when he was a beat cop, with the thugs on the street just before placing the handcuffs on them. He probably wasn’t taking another chance on getting kicked. He leaned in, resting his chin on her shoulder with his cheek pressed against hers and whispered, “You owe me.”
“I don’t owe you anymore. I’m tired of paying for your family’s racist attitude. I don’t owe you. I paid that debt over thirty years ago. I don’t owe you anymore.” She sobbed.
Richard released her. “Do what you want to do.” He walked into the family room and sat in his, I’m the King, oversized La-Z-Boy chair.
Marilyn slid down to the floor right where he left her in the hallway and buried her head into her hands, weeping. She watched the front door, as if she needed it to persuade her to walk out of it.
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