An interview with Maria Martinez Greer, star of novel Star Bright

Tred paint backgroundoday on my blog I am joined by Maria Greer whose life story is told in the inspirational romance novel Star Bright by Christina OW. She talks about her life after the abuse she faced at the hands of her ex-boyfriend Ricky and the happiness she’s found with her husband Dave.

Star Bright is a wonderful book that keeps you at the edge of your seat with each page you turn. It’s quite staggering and disturbing that this story is based on someone’s life- Maria’s. What’s more frightening is that there are thousands of women out there in the world going through the same thing.

But we are here today on a more uplifting note, to discuss Maria’s journey from hell to her own kind of heaven. Without further delay, let the interview begin.

 

Host:   Maria, I’m glad you could join me today. Honestly, I’m quite surprised that you agreed to this interview.

Maria: Thanks for having me. To be quite honest with you, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for        Dave. A year ago, I wouldn’t have agreed to this but… (She pushes her hair behind her ear) well, I’m sure you’ll ask me about that later on.

Host:  Yes. I would like to start from the beginning (Maria fidgets in her seat) How is your relationship with your father? Have you moved past feeling abandoned?

Maria: (A shadow of a smile on her lips) we’ve seen him twice these past few years, during the Christmas holidays. Christmas in Cancun is wonderful and seeing my mom makes it even better. (Dave coughs behind me and I notice a sudden change in Maria) Though I rarely see him we talk as much as we possibly can. We are taking it one day at a time. I’m new to the whole father-daughter relationship.

Host:   You mentioned Christmas in Mexico, does this mean Dave won the bet? (The heavy chuckle behind me made Maria glare, but it was evident she was suppressing a smile).

Maria: Let’s not inflate his ego further. Next question please.

Host:  (I laugh) Okay. How are Michael and precious Izzy?

Maria: (her smile beams happily) they are wonderful. Michael is our little genius. Dave thinks in a year or two they’d have to skip him a few grades to keep his interests focused on school. And Izzy is in preschool and loving every day of it.

Host:  That’s great to hear especially knowing what they’ve gone through. But what I’d really like to know is how their relationship is with Miguel?

Maria: He is a wonderful grandfather. The way they are around him, you’d think Miguel had been present since day one.

Host: And Dave, how does he feel about that relationship?

Maria: (she shakes her head) Ah ah. I know where you are going with this. I’m not discussing that. Enough was reveal in the book.

Host: Okay… hey! A journalist can hope. Back to you, how are things with your muy caliente lawyer?

Maria: (she blushes, fiddling with the rings on her left hand finger) I think you can take a guess. He is wonderful and nothing like… (She stiffens and visibly swallows) like Ricky.

Host:  I know he’s a tough subject to discuss but, would you tell us about your life with him, with Ricky? (Maria’s hands tremble on her lap. It’s shocking to see the effect Ricky still has on her. She then looks up and behind me and the trembling stops. It’s wonderful to see Dave’s effect on her)

Maria: In a word, it was hell. I wouldn’t wish it on any woman. Living in fear for so long (she rubs her arms, her eyes gaining a distant look) I lost myself… my self-esteem. I forgot how it felt to live without fear, who I was, what I loved, my hopes, my dreams. I was completely consumed with fear and I became a woman I didn’t recognize, and even now back to the woman I used to be before Ricky, I still don’t recognize her but I understand her. (She looks at me, straight in the eye with a hard gaze and it gives me chills) But that fear did something great too. The fear of losing my son finally jolted me into taking action. And now because of that one moment of fear, I have everything I’ve ever wanted and deserved.

Host: I’m so glad for you Maria. You look so happy… you are radiating! You deserve all the love and joy in your life. Your story is so heartbreaking and yet inspiring. It made me cry from both sadness and happiness. Your courage is to be admired and I hope someone will find strength from you story into taking action and living they life they deserve.

Maria: (She smiles, quickly wiping a stray tear from her cheek) thank you, I hope so too.

Host: So what now? Now that you’ve gotten your happily ever after, what’s next in Maria Greer’s inspiring life.

Maria: (she chuckles, a tint of pink spreading over her cheeks) Well, I’m currently studying psychology. I’d like to become a counselor for domestically abused women and children. I’d like to help in anyway I can, and as you said inspire them to live the life they deserve. And well… (The pink in her cheeks grows crimson. She looks up and smiles. I look behind and standing there with a huge goofy grin on his face is her hot lawyer husband Dave. He moves into the room, lifts Maria up. Taking her seat he settles her on his lap.)

Host:  Are you saying what I think you are saying? (Maria turns, hiding her face behind her gorgeous hair making Dave laugh. He moves his hand to her belly and she places hers over his.)

Dave: What do you think we are saying?

And like a good journalist I sat there, keeping my cool when all I wanted to do was jump up and down and shriek excitedly, and waited for him to say the words. I need the confirmation, right from the horse’s mouth per say. Drawing conclusions without proof is bad business for us.

But Dave just kept smiling at me- and I’m sure that’s what nabbed Maria, that dangerous sexy smile- not saying a word. I didn’t push, I didn’t nag and when he stood up tacking Maria into his side, I knew the man was a sadist at heart. Dave Greer led his wife out of my interview room with a quick ‘bye’ and creating a journalist’s worst nightmare when he said ‘take a wild guess’.

red paint background

Get Star Bright for $.99, you only have 3 days before it goes back to its orignal price of $2.99. Don’t miss out on this inspiring interracial romance suspense!

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Love The True Way Promotion

Image courtesy of piyato at FreeDigitalPhotos.netLove The True Way Promotion is being hosted by Amazon KDP Select for  the Valentine’s inspired novella Love Forever After.

The book is FREE from the 18th to the 22nd of February.

Be sure to get your copy and leave a review. I would love to hear from you about this unorthodox out of the norm Valentine’s Special.

Until then, here is a sample chapter.

 

Chapter One
The church bells rang loudly, filling the cold quiet dead air. It was a suitable sound track for what was happening. The scenery also looked set, especially constructed with purple flowers scattered on the ground complimenting the green grass, just for this moment, this perfect heart wrenching, dream crushing, unbearable torturous moment. It was the first scene of my
new forever lonely empty life and the last scene before the credits rolled, of our perfect loving full life.
I’ve always wondered how it felt like to loose someone close to you- a friend, a family member or a loved one- but now I know, I know the pain so well sometimes it feels like an extra limb.
A limb attached to my heart, its sole purpose is to crush, shred and rip apart my heart over and over again like a wild animal devouring a poor helpless prey just at the thought of her, or when I felt her empty side of our matrimonial bed, or when I walked around our apartment expecting to hear her laugh echo and bounce off the walls making our home warm- a home that was now empty and hollow, yes because you aren’t here to fill it my love. Every essence of you made our home full and warm, but now it was cold and empty- like me.
Who would have figured it, me empty, cold and hollow after so many years of happiness?
Our happiness was in such abundance it should have lasted forever, right?
No, not really, never because I can’t feel it now, not even a little bit.
Maybe it’s because you aren’t here… definitely because you aren’t here, what other explanation could there be?
Well it should have, after you were taken from me, the least it could have done was leave me our happiness to go along with our memories. I should remember you and feel happy, not an aching sadness, I deserve that much.
Death
I’ve felt death, when my dad died I felt its impact, but I don’t remember it being like this, intense, malicious, tormenting, painful and amusing itself by making fun of me, at how vulnerable and impairing it could make me. Someone should give it a taste of its own medicine, see how it likes it.
I looked around at the crowd surrounding the beautiful mahogany coffin. Everyone she loved, everyone who loved her was here. They were all dressed in black crying as the priest said his prayers. They were sad, sadder than I have ever seen any one of them before. They were suffering a great loss. But she wouldn’t have wanted to see any of them cry over her death but celebrate her life.
She wasn’t going to like this one bit. When I suggested a party instead of a funeral they all thought I’d lost my mind. My mother Gloria was so horrified she called a psychiatrist to come fix me, I knew it wasn’t only for my benefit; her English pride needed her son to be sane in front of all the people who would come to the funeral.
Her brother Morris and sister Sandra however agreed with me. They knew her-not as well as I did, but well enough to know what she’d want and a depressing gloomy funeral wasn’t it.
Gloria wasn’t going to let us have a party, so she took it upon herself to organise everything.
It was a classy dignified funeral; she even gave out instructions on how our family was to dress. I chuckled, knowing how much of a fight my wife would have put up against my mother and the high class funeral she had organised.
Mother moved to stand next to me; she looped her hand on my pocketed arm. She looked up at me, her eyes red and wet, her cheeks stained with tears. She must have seen me laugh, wrong move, now she was going to be my constant unshakeable companion.
They brought a basket full of lilies to me, her favourite type flowers. I looked at the person holding it; his face was glum patiently waiting for me to take one. Mother nudged me, pulling my hand out of my pocket. I reached out and took one, then moved forward and laid it on top of the coffin. I lingered over it for a while, imaging how small it could have felt for her being inside it. She hated the dark and small spaces.
It was a good thing she wasn’t inside it.
I felt a hand on my shoulder, it was Morris, and he placed his purple lily. Sandra came next. She put a white one, then leaned over it and kissed the coffin before she moved back and stood next to me. Her eyes were red, but she wasn’t crying anymore she had a smile on her face. She moved between Morris and me, and then tip toed so she could reach our ears.
“Will, if your mother finds out she’s not inside there, she’ll kill us and cram all three of our bodies in it!”
“You know she would have haunted us if we put her in a box. I’d rather face an angry Gloria.” Morris said with a chuckle, but the sadness at the edge of it was very evident.
“She’s still going to haunt us for letting mother throw her an uptight funeral.” I whispered as someone came forward and placed a lily on her coffin.
My wife was a free spirit, she hated confinement and rules. She was an earth lover, an environment activist. That’s why we cremated her and spread her ashes in the sea. It was hard for me to see her reduced to ashes but there was no better way. She would keep being a free spirit; roam the world as she got carried by the wind.
She loved helping people; that’s why I donated all her organs; she would still help them even in her death. When she gave me the organ donor forms to fill out she said, “Why burry parts that could help a person in dire need of them. As much as we don’t like it, we are all spare parts to someone else’s body.”
Well, in a way, she is still alive; inside other people her body was still alive. If only it was possible for me to share my body with her, I would always live inside my head to be with her and forget the outside world.
She was the type to chain herself to a tree or break into a cosmetic lab and free all the animals. She went by the motto ‘do unto the environment, trees and animals as you would do unto yourself’. I became a vegetarian because of that, but I always stuffed myself with burgers when she was on one of her long protesting gigs. When we got engaged, I opened an account in her name for bail money that the bank was instructed to pay immediately she wound up arrested. I wanted her to be taken care of when I was abroad doing business or
visiting my mother in England. The thought of her spending a night in jail always gave me the chills. She thought it was the most romantic wedding present she could ever get- I scored some serious points there.
We had been married for six years before this happened, before someone decided to take her away from me out of sheer selfishness.
“Will you please step back, you’re hovering!” We jumped at Gloria’s scolding voice. She was really going to run this funeral by the script. We moved back a few feet, but still stood close to each other.
I watched as they lowered the coffin into the dark hole, and got a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was gladder now that she wasn’t in it. Sandra grabbed my hand and held it tight. I looked at her. She was staring at it, pain in her eyes. Her breaths sounded short, strained. Morris put a hand over her shoulder and held her tight against him. I could see he was trying to be strong for both of them, but the loss of his younger sister was taking a toll on
him too.
“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…” the priest went on with his prayers as the coffin hit the ground. Another man stepped forward with a shovel full of red dirt. He held it in front of me and waited. I took a pinch of it then he moved to Sandra, and then Morris. The two of them moved forward and poured the sand into the hole.
I stood there frozen. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I knew she wasn’t in there, but this felt too real, too final. She was dead and never coming back. My chest tightened, all the fears of never seeing or touching her again flooded back drowning me with all the moments we would never share again. Why did she have to die? Why not me? How could I be here and she wasn’t, this wasn’t how we planned to spend the rest of our lives.
“Will…” I turned to see Sandra look up at me, “its okay she isn’t in there,” she whispered.
I nodded, she was right my wife wasn’t in there so this shouldn’t be so difficult. I took a staggering step forward and faced the dark hole. I raised my hand over it; forcing my fingers open I let the red sand flow out of it.

A long line of people followed, pouring sand into the hole as they made their way back to their cars. This was their final goodbye before everything went back to normal in their lives, but for me it was the beginning of my slow long lonely death.
I looked down at the head stone and read the beautiful engraved marble. The phrase set in stone made more sense to me now. It felt like the words were not only curved in the rock but I could feel the pounding, chipping of my heart as the words were curved in it too.

Christina Lee James-Stanford
Loving daughter, sister, wife and humanitarian

Amazon

Change of Book Covers for the Candle Light Series

Hi guys!

The release date for Love Forever After is 7th of February.

I decided to change the cover and have it more series title inspired. I love the new ones and I hope you’ll like them too.

Image courtesy of piyato at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of piyato at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Janaka Dharmasena at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Janaka Dharmasena at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’sa common question who an author would like to play the roles of the characters in their books. I’ve thought long and hard about these books because they are not just another Paranormal, Romance books. They have so much more emotion in them and the characters are so specific in my mind that the actors need to fit them perfectly.

Robert Pattinson as William Stanford

Robert Pattinson as William Stanford

James Scott as Ronald Stanford

James Scott as Ronald Stanford

Lance Gross as Morris James

Meta Golding as Sandra James

Meta Golding as Sandra James

Katerina Graham as Kristy James-Stanford

Katerina Graham as Kristy James-Stanford

LOVE FOREVER AFTER……. A Valentine’s Special

Hi guys!

It’s the 3rd of February, a day after my birthday. To all those who sent thier warm wishes to be, thanks, I really do apreiate it. And thise I share a day with HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Aside from that, i wanted to reveal my new cover for my newest release, LOVE FOREVER AFTER. It’s the first book to a two part series namely CANDLE LIGHT.

I did the cover myself and I hope you like it. All details, and accredits will be included in this book including future and past works.

Date of release will be announced soon, but for now, enjoy a sneak pic in this lovely tragic romance story!

Candle Light…

 

With the sun gone and the nights dawn,

I fear the darkness.

Grasping for hope, grasping for light where there is none,

I wander in the darkness.

A hole in my core, a leak in my essence,

I bath in the darkness.

Waiting for that moment to come,

Waiting for the pained peace to settle with the dust,

No longer waiting for that sweet song,

I cherish the darkness!

I am one with the darkness,

I am reborn in the darkness!

But then…. like a train from a far,

A gentle light…. a threatening light….

Like a breath of new life….

Comes the candle light.

                                                                                      -Christina OW

Love Forever After is about tragedy, life and love. It does not conform to the usual lovey dovey, chocolates and flowers tradition. The show of love is trust, sacrifice and life.

William loses his with Kristy in a car accident. Plagued with sorrow and pain, for a few months he believes that she is still alive. He is trapped between reality and fantasy and he is the only one who doesn’t realize it.

Kristy, a ghost, unable to watch her love suffer alone comes back to him. When he acts like she had never left, she doesn’t bother to tell him that she is a ghost.

But once William is forced to face that Kristy truly dead and is a ghost, he breaks down and goes on a destructive path.

Afraid that he might actually succeed in killing himself, Kristy’s solution to keep him sane and alive is…a child.

A piece of him and a piece of her, born on Valentine’s day…

Love Foerver After

Love Forever After

For richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, in death and in life

Chapter One
The church bells rang loudly, filling the cold quiet dead air. It was a suitable sound track for what was happening. The scenery also looked set, especially constructed with purple flowers scattered on the ground complimenting the green grass, just for this moment, this perfect heart wrenching, dream crushing, unbearable torturous moment. It was the first scene of my
new forever lonely empty life and the last scene before the credits rolled, of our perfect loving full life.
I’ve always wondered how it felt like to loose someone close to you- a friend, a family member or a loved one- but now I know, I know the pain so well sometimes it feels like an extra limb.
A limb attached to my heart, its sole purpose is to crush, shred and rip apart my heart over and over again like a wild animal devouring a poor helpless prey just at the thought of her, or when I felt her empty side of our matrimonial bed, or when I walked around our apartment expecting to hear her laugh echo and bounce off the walls making our home warm- a home that was now empty and hollow, yes because you aren’t here to fill it my love. Every essence of you made our home full and warm, but now it was cold and empty- like me.
Who would have figured it, me empty, cold and hollow after so many years of happiness?
Our happiness was in such abundance it should have lasted forever, right?
No, not really, never because I can’t feel it now, not even a little bit.
Maybe it’s because you aren’t here… definitely because you aren’t here, what other explanation could there be?
Well it should have, after you were taken from me, the least it could have done was leave me our happiness to go along with our memories. I should remember you and feel happy, not an aching sadness, I deserve that much.
Death
I’ve felt death, when my dad died I felt its impact, but I don’t remember it being like this, intense, malicious, tormenting, painful and amusing itself by making fun of me, at how vulnerable and impairing it could make me. Someone should give it a taste of its own medicine, see how it likes it.
I looked around at the crowd surrounding the beautiful mahogany coffin. Everyone she loved, everyone who loved her was here. They were all dressed in black crying as the priest said his prayers. They were sad, sadder than I have ever seen any one of them before. They were suffering a great loss. But she wouldn’t have wanted to see any of them cry over her death but celebrate her life.
She wasn’t going to like this one bit. When I suggested a party instead of a funeral they all thought I’d lost my mind. My mother Gloria was so horrified she called a psychiatrist to come fix me, I knew it wasn’t only for my benefit; her English pride needed her son to be sane in front of all the people who would come to the funeral.
Her brother Morris and sister Sandra however agreed with me. They knew her-not as well as I did, but well enough to know what she’d want and a depressing gloomy funeral wasn’t it.
Gloria wasn’t going to let us have a party, so she took it upon herself to organise everything.
It was a classy dignified funeral; she even gave out instructions on how our family was to dress. I chuckled, knowing how much of a fight my wife would have put up against my mother and the high class funeral she had organised.
Mother moved to stand next to me; she looped her hand on my pocketed arm. She looked up at me, her eyes red and wet, her cheeks stained with tears. She must have seen me laugh, wrong move, now she was going to be my constant unshakeable companion.
They brought a basket full of lilies to me, her favourite type flowers. I looked at the person holding it; his face was glum patiently waiting for me to take one. Mother nudged me, pulling my hand out of my pocket. I reached out and took one, then moved forward and laid it on top of the coffin. I lingered over it for a while, imaging how small it could have felt for her being inside it. She hated the dark and small spaces.
It was a good thing she wasn’t inside it.
I felt a hand on my shoulder, it was Morris, and he placed his purple lily. Sandra came next. She put a white one, then leaned over it and kissed the coffin before she moved back and stood next to me. Her eyes were red, but she wasn’t crying anymore she had a smile on her face. She moved between Morris and me, and then tip toed so she could reach our ears.
“Will, if your mother finds out she’s not inside there, she’ll kill us and cram all three of our bodies in it!”
“You know she would have haunted us if we put her in a box. I’d rather face an angry Gloria.” Morris said with a chuckle, but the sadness at the edge of it was very evident.
“She’s still going to haunt us for letting mother throw her an uptight funeral.” I whispered as someone came forward and placed a lily on her coffin.
My wife was a free spirit, she hated confinement and rules. She was an earth lover, an environment activist. That’s why we cremated her and spread her ashes in the sea. It was hard for me to see her reduced to ashes but there was no better way. She would keep being a free spirit; roam the world as she got carried by the wind.
She loved helping people; that’s why I donated all her organs; she would still help them even in her death. When she gave me the organ donor forms to fill out she said, “Why burry parts that could help a person in dire need of them. As much as we don’t like it, we are all spare parts to someone else’s body.”
Well, in a way, she is still alive; inside other people her body was still alive. If only it was possible for me to share my body with her, I would always live inside my head to be with her and forget the outside world.
She was the type to chain herself to a tree or break into a cosmetic lab and free all the animals. She went by the motto ‘do unto the environment, trees and animals as you would do unto yourself’. I became a vegetarian because of that, but I always stuffed myself with burgers when she was on one of her long protesting gigs. When we got engaged, I opened an account in her name for bail money that the bank was instructed to pay immediately she wound up arrested. I wanted her to be taken care of when I was abroad doing business or
visiting my mother in England. The thought of her spending a night in jail always gave me the chills. She thought it was the most romantic wedding present she could ever get- I scored some serious points there.
We had been married for six years before this happened, before someone decided to take her away from me out of sheer selfishness.
“Will you please step back, you’re hovering!” We jumped at Gloria’s scolding voice. She was really going to run this funeral by the script. We moved back a few feet, but still stood close to each other.
I watched as they lowered the coffin into the dark hole, and got a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was gladder now that she wasn’t in it. Sandra grabbed my hand and held it tight. I looked at her. She was staring at it, pain in her eyes. Her breaths sounded short, strained. Morris put a hand over her shoulder and held her tight against him. I could see he was trying to be strong for both of them, but the loss of his younger sister was taking a toll on
him too.
“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…” the priest went on with his prayers as the coffin hit the ground. Another man stepped forward with a shovel full of red dirt. He held it in front of me and waited. I took a pinch of it then he moved to Sandra, and then Morris. The two of them moved forward and poured the sand into the hole.
I stood there frozen. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I knew she wasn’t in there, but this felt too real, too final. She was dead and never coming back. My chest tightened, all the fears of never seeing or touching her again flooded back drowning me with all the moments we would never share again. Why did she have to die? Why not me? How could I be here and she wasn’t, this wasn’t how we planned to spend the rest of our lives.
“Will…” I turned to see Sandra look up at me, “its okay she isn’t in there,” she whispered.
I nodded, she was right my wife wasn’t in there so this shouldn’t be so difficult. I took a staggering step forward and faced the dark hole. I raised my hand over it; forcing my fingers open I let the red sand flow out of it.

A long line of people followed, pouring sand into the hole as they made their way back to their cars. This was their final goodbye before everything went back to normal in their lives, but for me it was the beginning of my slow long lonely death.
I looked down at the head stone and read the beautiful engraved marble. The phrase set in stone made more sense to me now. It felt like the words were not only curved in the rock but I could feel the pounding, chipping of my heart as the words were curved in it too.

Christina Lee James-Stanford
Loving daughter, sister, wife and humanitarian

New Series…. THE ALBURY AFFAIRS

ALBURY AFFAIRS

This is a new series that I’ve just began.

The first book, HER VENICE AFFAIR is about Riana Albury, The second, HIS BAHAMAS AFFAIR is about Reno Albury.

There might be a third book but I’m not so sure. We’ll see what the future holds.

It’s about two siblings Riana and Reno Albury who came to America with their mother Cora Davis who ran away from her New Providence home after she was confronted by her lover’s wife.

After their mother’s death and Reno’s deportation, Riana is left alone in NYU. Life seems to only gets worse when she finds her roommate and her boyfriend having sex in her bed. Distraught and tired of always been the good girl, she takes a billioniare up on his offer to go to Venice with him.

What could possibly go wrong?

More details will be made available for both books soon.

m_4e0b359bf0b01

Pic downloaded from CardFed

CONTEST!!!!

Has anyone been to Italy? If you have, tell me about the best place you visited and what you loved most about it.

I’ve never been (seriously campaigning for my mom to send me) and I’d like to use your favorite places, why you loved them and if it was a romantic trip what you felt. I love reading stuff that inspire emotion.

The best description will be featured in my book HER VENICE AFFAIR and the writer will have a special mention with their picture (if they have any available) in the place they described in the book.

leave your comments on the post and send me an email. Spread the word and get as many entries as possible.

There will be another contest for the second and third books in the ALBURY AFFAIRS series HIS BAHAMAS AFFAIR and HIS PARIS AFFAIR.

Constructive and Bad Reviews

I’ve always shared the really great reviews on Star Bright because they always felt like a pat on the shoulder and a Brava that I wanted to share with my readers.

And now- foolish or not- I’m going to share the only two bad/critical reviews Star Bright has gotten. These two reviews are my motivators to do better, and they also remind me that I can’t please everyone.

Not everyone is going to love your story, some with genuine reason and others just because…

Authors should try and not take it personally because that’s how life is. You never know, some good may come out of these bad reviews. You just have to remember not to blow up at the readers.

Out of my bad review, another reader read it and she said she would read Star Bright because of the gracious way I responded to it and she liked the book.

So authors, before you respond to a bad review, take a deep breathe, count to ten, pull up a fake smile and write ‘thank you for taking the time to read and review my book. I’m sorry you did not enjoy it’ then you can curse the guy out, out loud!!

And readers you need to understand the difference between a critical helpful review and a spiteful hateful review. There is no need to bash an author because you think its fun. How would you like it if someone torn apart something you’ve worked so hard on with no constructive criticism?

So if you can’t write a constructive review, please don’t write anything!!

Constructive Critical Review

“I had decided to read this book after seeing it posted on one of the boards I frequent. I went to the

author’s website and read an excerpt first. From what I read, it sounded interesting and worth a read. However, after nine chapters, I just could not read it any longer. I was 100+ pages into the book but was not invested enough in the characters or the story to continue. There were several reasons why this book made it to my DNF (Did Not Finish) list. Here they are in no particular order:

1. It was evident that the book had not been professionally edited. There were instances where the wrong word was used, the grammar was incorrect, and there were many inconsistencies that I think an editor would’ve caught.

2. Advice that is often given to writers is to write what they know. It is evident that the author was writing about places she does not know, and she did not do her homework.

3. There are gaps and inconsistencies that made me feel confused. A few times I went back and reread passages just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. It was frustrating.

4. Finally, some things were just not believable. For instance, Michael is supposed to be four years old, but he is way too mature for his age.

While I appreciate that the author has a story to tell and I applaud her courage to put pen to paper, a good copy editor could’ve helped with many of these issues and the end result would have been a much more pleasurable read

Mean dude!

This book was very hard to get through, even though the plot concept was good. There were so many scenes that were just unbelievable for a book set in the present. For example, a woman, Maria, and her five year old son, are trying to get away from her abusive boyfriend. They move to New York City and meet a high profile lawyer, Dave. Maria meets Dave when he gets into an argument with his estranged wife in the restaurant where Maria works. Dave and his wife have such a heated exchange, that they leave their baby daughter ON the table in the restaurant and leave her there until Dave, who has custody, gets back to his office and realizes he doesn’t have the baby anymore. And this guy is a super lawyer and highly looked up to. Forgetting his child, doesn’t fit his character! Also, after Maria knows Dave for only two days, he goes to pick her son up from the day care without her permission, and the workers at the day care ask no questions and allow him to take the boy. The day care calls Maria only after the boy has already been taken from their care. This would never happen in New York City! There were other incidents that were equally as confusing. The wording of some of the sentences and the lack of editing of this book were very distracting too. And it kept going on and on! I don’t understand the 4 and 5 star ratings from the other reviewers.

If you have aything you would like to say about Star Bright, click on the link on the right Let’s talk!!

2 week old published writer….. Christina OW

I’ve always lived in my head with all these stories and personas with their happy and tragic moments. my head was my world, a safe home away from the outside world and I’m always in it….. its the reason why people think I’m antisocial but it’s hard to stop a thought when it hijacks my mind!

But I never once thought of putting any of my stories down because I always wondered how I was going to start. A novel wasn’t a song or a poem, people aren’t going to want to read between the lines. they’d want to live it, step by step with the characters just like I do… but there isn’t a mirror in my head for everyone else to see or feel what I do.

So what would be the first word, what would be the first chapter? and then once that’s written what next, what will chapter two be about? How will I start that!

but once I typed in that one word, the rest just flowed.

When I first started writing, it was all about putting down the stories in my head on paper and actually live in my imagination until the end… until I feel this is how the story is to end, whether or not I like the beginning, middle and end because it had to have a life of its own separate from me.

They were to be for my eyes only, to revist these characters when I could no longer remember them, until my sister (MO Kenyan) who’s true passion is writing queried her first novel. So I queried mine, not expecting much other than a lot of rejections and phony acceptances.

Close to thirty rejections and five phonies before Connie Kline of 5 Prince Publishing finally said yes! God bless her! 🙂

Writing was never a career choice. I’ve always wanted to be a Fashion Designer, and if that didn’t work out, put my Law Diploma and BA in International Studies to use and get a job in the UN or an NGO. But then Star Bright got picked up and I became a published author!

I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive about it…. I am the seeing is believing type.

So the editing started, title discussions, author’s name and finally book cover.

I’d like to thank Viola Estrella for the beautiful book cover she designed for me. it blew my mind, it was the one thing that actually forced me to admit it, that Star Bright was really going to happen. And I actually got excited, like really excited!!!

Star Bright wasn’t the title I first chose. I changed the name from A Haunting Mistake because it felt limited, like it was excluding all the other major characters and their developments and just focusing on Maria’s bad decisions.

Then it came to my authors name. I didn’t want to use Rinah Lidonde because I felt like it wasn’t right, for personal reasons. So I chose my mom’s names just to say thank you and to honor her and I actually felt at peace with that. Christina OW (Christina Ondego Wakio) became my writing persona.

Once the ebooks were out, i felt like I had it made. the book was written, published and all I had to do was wait to get paid at the end of the month.

Wrong.

So many people say that being an author isn’t a career, but in some ways it is. Just because you wrote the book doesn’t mean it ends there. the career starts at marketing it, talking about it everyday, book tours, book signings, calling and emailing people you haven’t spoken to in years just to promote your book. it’s not just the agents or the publishers job to do so. As a writer you breathed  and lived the story so you better than anyone else can promote it best.

Writing is just like any other business: provide the service of writing the book, produce the good as a published print and ebook, marketing it to the target audience then finally begin to make a profit. So learning on how to do that is the best chance of getting your books out in the public and avoid them gathering dust on the shelves.

it’s only been two weeks and I can see all the work that I have to do to make Christina OW a household name. Before my books start selling themselves I have to be one of the main people doing that.

I have a completed project Love Forever After, that I have already introduced in the blog and hopefully it will be out during Valentine’s in 2013 ( trust me whatever you think the title suggests it’s about, it’s the complete opposite!), and a five book Fate series that I started writing in 2010 but is still under construction (I’ve completed two and I’m close to finishing the third). And I hope the success of Star Bright will help me sell them when the time comes!

For those who have read or are in the process of reading Star Bright, i hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please feel free to leave your comments here (I promise to also publish the constructive criticism) and or the ebook stores, and grab a copy of the print when you see it. They are out today 01/01/2012, (and no it’s not an April fools joke!)

Have a fabulous week and Happy reading!! 😉

About Star Bright…..

Maria is a typical cliche, carrying a number of titles none of them
complementary- teen mother, battered woman, abandoned child born out of
wedlock, coward, martyr and murder.

She is a teenage mother who got pregnant at the age of seventeen after
falling in love with Ricky and sinks into the idea of having a true family
with both parents present in the child’s life. A life she never had, being
raised by a single mother, Edna, who still clings on the love she shared
with Miguel, a criminal on the run.

Maria wanting more than the phantom love her mother has, stays with Ricky
after numerous signs that she should leave. Sh lets him gain complete power
over her and all she does is dedicated to avoiding a beating.

For five years she struggles to keep Ricky happy, availing herself for his
sadistic hobby of beating, cutting, burning and raping her just to keep him
away from her son and mother. her father’s abandonment and the lack of love
for her and Ricky’s abuse births an intense hatred for men which feeds on
the attention from other men.
Maria has accepted her life, drawing her will to live from her son Micheal,
but a number of attempts on Ricky’s life gives her a new will to live and a
new life with a wonderful man and his daughter, but this life is threatened
by the demons of her past.