Urban Latino Novel by Miami Author
January 12, 2006
Miami author and first-time novelist Jeff Rivera never expected to change young people's lives when he set out to write the underground best-selling novel "Forever My Lady." His only hope was to write a story that people would enjoy and touch young people's hearts. But when 29 year old Jeff Rivera released "Forever My Lady," he quickly found that not only did adults fall in love with it, high school and junior high school students who hated to read finished the book in a few of days and couldn't wait to begin reading more.
"I've been blown away by people's reactions to 'Forever My Lady,'" Rivera says, "I can't believe I'm getting emails every week from young people who are exposed to gang life but they say 'Forever My Lady' has helped them re-think things."
"Forever My Lady" tells the fictional story of a Latino juvenile delinquent who struggles to turn his life around. Although it does have strong language, “it has an even stronger positive message,” Rivera explains. Written for lovers of reggaeton, Chicano rap and Latin hip hop, this urban Latino love story has been embraced by the largely Hispanic fans of Lil Rob, Daddy Yankee, Luney-Tunes, Fat Joe and Chicano author Luis J. Rodriguez; a market largely ignored by publishers despite the success of African American hip hop street fiction.
"It's a real story told in a very real way," says Lisa Martinez, Senior Advisor on Education Policy and Youth Initiatives at Miami Mayor Manny Diaz's Office.
The book has garnered tremendous support from people in the Latino and Chicano communities such as Jerry Reyes a peer counselor at Switchboard Miami who calls Forever My Lady "a masterpiece" as well as nationally from celebrities such as "Days of Our Lives" daytime star Arianne Zuker, who says she "absolutely loved it!"
With over 8000 books in circulation to date, Miami author Jeff Rivera has come a long way from living in his car with his family at the age of 19.
"I haven't had the easiest life in the world and I've made mistakes in my life just like anybody else but it feels good to connect to young people and to give them hope. It feels good to actually get people to like reading again."
Rivera’s connection to young people hasn’t gone unnoticed; He is being compared to best-selling mainstream author Nicholas Sparks, which Rivera calls, “an honor” and "Forever My Lady" has been lauded by Urban Latino Magazine as well as was chosen as Mi Gente Magazine.com’s “Book Pick of the Year”.
Warner Books (A Time Warner Company) quickly snagged the rights to launch "Forever My Lady" as their first urban Latino novel in May 2007. The book is currently available today through Rivera’s Urbano Publishing company, a division of JoAnne/Horatio Books named after his grandparents and can be purchased through his website http://www.JeffRivera.com. It can also be ordered through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books A Million, Walden Books and Amazon.com
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