Self-Published Author Receives Literature Award for Book "Born in Rio"

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As soon as Cassia Martins finished her Wharton MBA, she began to write a story set in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Within a year, she published the book "Born in Rio" worldwide, and just this May, Martins was honored with the 2012 Brazilian International Press Awards in Literature.

Seven years ago, as Cassia Martins wrote application essays to business school, a story started to brew in her mind. Over the years, the plot matured, and as soon as she finished her Wharton MBA she began to write the story. Fast forward a couple months, Born in Rio ( is published worldwide through Amazon’s platform for independent authors in both print and e-book format, and within a year of its publication, it already created a lot of buzz. Besides its high ratings on Amazon and Goodreads, it was recommended by USAToday Books and received many positive reviews from respected book critics, such as Publishers Weekly, San Francisco Book Review, Indie Reader and Kirkus Review. This month, Cassia Martins received the award in Literature from the Brazilian International Press Awards with her book Born in Rio ( The award ceremony was held May 4th in the Broward Center for Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The Brazilian International Press Awards ( is the top international Brazilian culture awards organization, honoring personalities, institutions and initiatives committed to promoting artistic, cultural and positive image of Brazil worldwide. This year, along with Cassia Martins, the Brazilian International Press Awards honored Brazilian actress Claudia Abreu, Oscar-nominated Brazilian musician and songwriter Carlinhos Brown and Brazilian-American Neo-pop artist Romero Britto.

“I have always strived to exert a positive influence through my work – therefore it is an incredible honor for me to be recognized with the Brazilian International Press Award in Literature,” said the author. In its 16th annual edition in the United States, among the winners are artists, institutions, events and initiatives in the states of New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, California and Illinois.

“I had many objectives while writing the book Born in Rio. I wanted to not only tell a story of courage and expose the issue of domestic violence but to also tell a story many can sympathize with – of leaving lives behind in a country of origin to rebuild from scratch in a new, yet foreign, country. I really wanted to show the world why Brazil has such a special place in my heart and what makes Rio de Janeiro the Marvelous City. I wanted to show the soul of Rio.”

Born in Rio is a fiction novel set in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It tells the story of Rita Ray, a driven New York banker who goes back to Brazil to discover what drove her mother to immigrate to the United States with her as a child. Rita’s journey of discovery, and self-discovery, delights readers in a well-crafted plot among lush descriptions of Brazil, its rich history and culture. “With the proximity of the 2014 World Cup taking place in Brazil and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, people want to know more about life in Rio, now more than ever. So while writing an engaging story of growth with a thrilling plot, I went all out to transport my readers all the way to Rio de Janeiro. I believe this was a key factor in the book’s success,” said the author, who also plans to rewrite Born in Rio in Portuguese in the near future.

Cassia Martins was born in Brazil and currently lives in the United States, where she moved to as a teen. Since her book’s publication she has engaged in many events to talk about Born in Rio. So far she has attracted a lot of attention with her book; in addition to her Literature Award she was a finalist in the Indie Discovery Award for Literary Fiction at the Book Expo America in New York City, was at the Miami International Book Fair and was featured in many print publications.

She continues to present her work and her book Born in Rio is available for sale at, book retailers online and at book stores in South Florida.

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