cassia on stage award

” I never socialized on weekends and always politely declined the few invitations, alleging either that I was not feeling well or that I had a family gathering to attend. Only I had no family–with the exception of my mother, who lived miles away in South Florida. At thirty-seven, I was far from wanting a family of my own; I couldn’t remember the last time the thought came up. I wanted no chaos in my life.

But I have come to learn that life happens independent from what we want.”


Rita Ray was cold-hearted, no doubt, a straight shooter with an enviable banking career in New York City. She had no real recollections of her childhood before the age of ten, when she fled with her mother from Brazil to the United States. She never learned why. A box of letters, found following her mother’s death, will reveal evidence of a puzzling past back in Brazil. 

Born in Rio is a moving, psychologically charged novel with thrilling turns, embraced by a contemporary love affair in Rio de Janeiro. Rita’s journey of discovery, and self-discovery, delights readers in a well-crafted plot among lush descriptions of Brazil–its history, its people and its soul. Laced with wit and spiced with mystery, it’s a compelling, transporting tale with a heart. In the 2016 Summer Olympic city Rita might just find what she never thought she was looking for. 

An immigrant story. A devastating crime. A chance to forgive, to love again.  

And a woman born in Rio. 


-“Martins effectively captures life in Brazil’s most famous city”.

Publishers Weekly 

-“A colorful story of personal growth that ripens in Rio”.

Kirkus Review 

-“…beautifully written first effort”.

Indie Reader