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’.

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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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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!!

My Destiny

I love this poem. Every time I feel life is suffocating me I read it and feel inspired to stand up again, that’s why i included it in my book Star Bright.

Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be,
for my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeoning of chance,
my head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears,
looms but the horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years,
finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
how charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

-William Ernest Henley

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.