RT Convention Flashback 2006 – Daytona – Cover Models and Costume Parties

After a recent conversation with a friend, I realized the closing of RT magazine and RT conventions a few years ago means that the old pictures are no longer online for us to enjoy. Readers always loved seeing photos of the cover models and I always had a few to share. Here are some from RT Con 2006.

See if you can recognize these cover models…

That’s me with Andrei Claude at the Ellora’s Cave party the first night. (The camera’s bright flash had me blinded, so ignore that and focus on the handsome man next to me.) Does he look familiar?

You may have seen him in many of the movies and TV shows he has acted in. (Vikings; Game of Thrones as Khal Rhalko; Andormidera; Medici; 13 Hours; and in Gladiator he was a background gladiator. You can find more on his IMDB page.) Did you know that Andrei Claude worked in New York as a cover model before he went into acting? He also won the Mr. Romance competition one year at the RT convention!

There was always a costume party every night of the RT Convention which is why I was wearing a hula costume and shells in my hair. I think Andrei looks quite dashing in black leather and his hat.
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Another night there was a fairy ball and dinner. They had a costume contest as well. I love costume parties and dressing up as fun characters so I went as a fairy and I’m standing with Billy Freda.
CJ Hollenbach and me at the photo spot. I had to have a fairy prince and fairy princess photo of course. CJ attended every RT con and I always looked forward to seeing him again and his marvelous costumes made by my friend Mary Everett.
Me and Peter at the medieval ball and dinner. There was a fundraising dance, and I had one dance with him which was quite fun. I love to dance and medieval costumes are some of my favorites.
Peter looks more mysterious and brooding in this one.
The lighting is weird here, but you can get an idea of the ballroom and the dancers. Look how tall Peter is! I am 5 ft 6 inches. You can see his fancy cape a little better here too.
The Ellora’s Cave cover models always had such a good time. Here they are at the book signing, signing calendars. That’s CJ Hollenbach on the end.
CJ standing, Billy Freda and
Ellora’s Cave models
The last party of the con was a pajama party. Mark Johnson could always make me laugh and smile, he has such a great sense of humor. And his pajamas made me crack up and blush! They certainly make you LOOK! LOL
So nice to relax with friends before we all traveled home.

How many of these cover models did you recognize?

You can find the interview I did with CJ Hollenbach here in the archives. Look around and have fun!

Cover Model Corner Interview with Scott McKinley

Debra interviewed Scott McKinley on February 24, 2013.

Today on Cover Model Corner I’m pleased to introduce Author and Cover Model Scott McKinley. He’s agreed to join me here on Cover Model Corner to do an interview.

Welcome Scott! Let’s get started.

1.) What was the first cover you appeared on and how did this come about?

The first cover I appeared on was KILTED DESIRE, and basically it was because I needed a low cost cover fer my book. Aye, I’m an author too. 😉

 2.) If you could do a photo shoot anywhere in the world for a cover, where would you most want to go? What sort of shoot would it be?

It would be fun tae go back tae Scotland and do a ‘Highlander’ shoot, actually up in the highlands.

3.) Beyond romance novel cover shots, what other projects or jobs keep you busy?

Being an author too I spend time writing, pus I have a Facebook Fan page that I spend a lot of time on. The page allows me tae share my sense of humor. I do a lot of interacting with fans and they seem tae appreciate it. I have a fun online store too where a lot of my images and slogans are available on various items. Plus I have my own designer fragrance range which has been popular.

4.) If you wrote a book what would it be about?

I have 2 books already published and am working on the 3rd in the KILTED DESIRE series. The books are contemporary Romance/Action stories and are based on my own personal experiences and adventures, mainly after leaving the military.

5.) This question is almost always asked in interviews because your fitness level is beyond the average persons. What is yur exercise routine and what sort of nutrition plan do you follow to achieve and maintain your level of fitness?

I was lucky enough tae be able tae train every day fer my job. Being a member of the most elite Special Forces unit in the world fer over 10 years meant achieving nae only strength, but also a very high level of cardio fitness. I dinnae go overboard any more though, I watch what I eat and train aboot 3 times a week just tae stay trim.

6.) If you could share three simple fitness tips the average romance reader could do every day to stay healthy, what would they be?

Eat sensibly, avoid soda (even if it says diet on the can) and exercise regularly incorporating ‘reverse – push back push-ips’ in tae yer routine. They’ll do wonders fer yer upper body.

7.) Describe the perfect romantic evening:

Nae matter what I say I’m sure it would sound very cliché! I am romantic though – I once proposed tae my American girlfriend by taking her tae a Castle overlooking Loch Ness, dressing in full Scottish regalia and getting doon on one knee! She did say ‘Aye’ but we’re nae together anymore.

8.) Please share one unusual fact about you or your life:

I’m pretty sure I’m the only Scottish, straight, single, Male Romance Author/Cover Model with a military Special Forces background 😉 I’m also very accessible, which I have been told is unusual 😉 I answer every message I receive on my Fan Page personally.

Eight Quickie questions:

1.) Watching the sunset or watching the stars? Sunset

2.) The beach or the mountains? Mountains

3.) Primitive camping or luxury hotel? Luxury

4.) Snow skiing or water skiing? Snow

5.) Favorite movie: The Hangover

6.) Best book you ever read:

7.) Fav. Sport to play: Soccer

8.) Fav. Sport to watch: Soccer

Scott, thank you for visiting with me today. It’s been fun getting to know you. Before we say goodbye, how can fans stay up to date on your latest news?

Website: http://www.kilteddesire.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scott-Mckinley-AuthorCover-Model/367191850044827

Twitter: @KiltedDesire

http://www.cafepress.com/kilteddesire

Cover Model Corner Interview with C.J. Hollenbach

On February 5th, 2014, I interviewed C.J. Hollenbach on Cover Model Corner.

I met C.J. years ago at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention and always looked forward to seeing him again when I attended RT.

The last time I saw C.J. was RT in Chicago in 2012, so was fun to be able to catch up with him and to hear and share his exciting news with you. 

Welcome C.J.! Let’s start at the beginning.

What was the first cover you appeared on and how did this come about?

C.J.) My first cover was for Susan King’s, “The Stone Maiden”, which has since been reissued in a new series of her trilogy.

This time I did the “The Stone Maiden” for the new batch. So, I’ve come full circle. (Talk about feeling OLD!) But, after 8 years of knocking on doors and pounding the pavement I happened to be in the right place at the right time and met the right person with the right contacts, the “perfect storm” if you will.

The cover model business today is so different. E-books have opened up the market. It’s much easier to do covers today. Back in the day if you didn’t work in New York City, you didn’t work. There I go “dating” myself again …

Q.) If you could do a photo shoot anywhere in the world for a cover, where would you most want to go? What sort of shoot would it be?

C.J.) I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii. Someplace there with a waterfall would be just fine. Any kind of exotic location would work. I’m used to studio work.

Q.) Beyond romance novel cover shots, what other projects or jobs keep you busy?

C.J.) My new book. See below!

Q.) What’s one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?

C.J.) What’s it like to be a cover model?

For ME, anyway, living in Ohio and doing what I do is not easy. I have to hide my hair as much as possible. I’m sort of a “dinosaur” in that sense. I seem to cause a stir whenever it’s down. Kind of crazy, but it comes with the territory, I guess. Most of my friends won’t go out with me in public anymore. They don’t like the attention I seem to attract. I’m used to it. They aren’t.

Q.) If you wrote a book, what would it be about?

C.J.) Funny you should ask! MY book, “Confessions Of A Romance Cover Model” was just released Christmas Day in E-book form. The paperback comes out Feb. 28th. It’s about my 20 years in the romance cover model business. I’m still doing covers. So, I’ve outlived FABIO in that sense. He’s in the book too! It begins with me being a contestant in the first every “Mr. Romance Cover Model Pageant” in San Diego at a Romantic Times convention. I’ve talked to so many “veteran” cover models who are mad that I beat them to the punch with my book. You snooze, you lose, Guys!

Q.) This question is almost always asked in interviews because your fitness level is beyond the average persons. What is your exercise routine and what sort of nutrition plan do you follow to achieve and maintain your level of fitness?

C.J.) I workout 6 days a week and try to divide my routine into a different body part every day. If I’m in training for a big shoot my diet is more strict. Most people know what to eat and what not to. Diet is so essential. They just don’t want to deprive themselves. If it was that easy EVERYBODY would be a romance cover model. LOL

Q.) If you could share three simple fitness tips the average romance reader could do every day to stay healthy, what would they be?

C.J.) Try and do at least 20 minutes of cardio activity everyday. Do an ab routine you can stick with. Find something that works for you and “just do it”! Watch your diet!

Q.) It’s your birthday dinner and the calories don’t count. What’s on the menu and what are you drinking?

C.J.) If calories don’t count WHAT ISN’T ON THE MENU? Cake for sure. Good champagne is good too.

Q.) Please share one unusual fact about your or your life:

C.J.) I was named “Sexiest Grocer in America” after I was in Playgirl magazine and was still managing a grocery store. Most people don’t visualize their grocery store managers naked … or at least they didn’t! That title, as much as it makes me cringe sometimes has gotten me a lot of attention over the years. There’s no such thing as bad publicity!

Eight Quickie Questions:

1.) Watching the sunrise or watching the sunset and the stars?

C.J.) Sunset. I’ve done some great cover shoots on location at sunset.

2.) The beach or the mountains?

C.J.) Beach

3.) Primitive camping or luxury hotel?

C.J.: Hotel! Room service? What could be better?

4.) Snow skiing or water skiing?

C.J.) Really neither, but snow skiing if I MUST choose!

5.) Favorite movie:

C.J.) The Birds, the B/W version of “Titanic”, The Wizard of Oz

6.) Best book you ever read:

C.J.) Anything with ME on the cover! LOL

7.) Fav. Sport to watch:

C.J.) Golf, believe it or not.

C.J., thank you for visiting with me today. It’s been fun getting to know you better. Before we say goodbye, how can fans stay up to date on your latest news?

Website: www.cjcovermodel.com

Facebook: CJ Hollenbach

Twitter: (coming soon!)

Be sure to check out C.J.’s new book!

Cover Model Corner Interview with John J. Quinlan

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John Joseph Quinlan, nickname Stoneface, is a male model and actor from Boston, Massachusetts. Here he is on Debra’s cover for Montana Delta Rescue portraying former Delta Force K9 handler Ricky “Rock” Trumbull. His German Shepherd, K9 working dog Hercules “Herc” is reunited with him and they both join the Brotherhood Protectors, a security guard service out of Montana.
Model & Actor John J. Quinlan

In 2013, John  made his debut as a featured digital actor and producer in the Poughkeepsie Enhanced Collector’s Edition by romance author Debra Anastasia. John portrayed Beckett Taylor, a bad guy with a big heart in the video short included in the Edition

After spending over 20 years in the modeling industry as a fitness & physique competitor as well as being a romance cover model, John transitioned into acting.
Below is Debra’s second Cover Model Corner interview with John which originally appeared in the Nov/Dec 2019 issue of Affaire de Coeur magazine.

Debra – Today I’m excited to be chatting again with John J. Quinlan. It’s been a few years since he did a Cover Model Corner interview with me. John is a former bodybuilder (retired), professional wrestler (retired), fitness model, fashion model, and an art model and romance cover model. But, did you know he is an actor as well? I’m looking forward to hearing about his latest projects.

Welcome, John! Thanks for agreeing to another interview!

John- Thank you for having me. It’s always an honor to sit down with you, Debra, for an interview. You are such a talented writer and friend; so it’s my pleasure.

Debra   – Thank you, John. That’s very sweet of you to say. Since this is Cover Model Corner, let’s start with the book covers you’ve been on. What was the first cover you appeared on and how did this come about?

John – The first book cover I appeared on was Captive Fantasy by Ann Mayburn. I was in an orange prison jumpsuit with handcuffs on.

Debra   – What a way to break in! (Pun intended.) You’ve been called the most tattooed male romance cover model in the world. How many tattoos do you have? Can you tell me a little bit about them?

John   – I was the most tattooed cover model in the world from 2013 to 2014. Today, there are many guys on book covers with more tattoos than I had.

It was special to me to help open the doors for others with tattoos to grace book covers who before might not have been given the opportunity to do so. I have thirty-six individual tattoos although some are very small and clustered together. They all have their own personal meaning to me. At the top of my list are three nautical stars, which I have inside each forearm and the back of my neck. Each star is a bit bigger than the one next to it, representing my three children: Troy 13, Cole 9, and Mia 7.

Debra   – You did open doors for so many. With your children as the stars
in your heart and on your skin, they are beautiful images.

John, if you could do a photoshoot anywhere in the world for a cover, where would you most want to go? What sort of shoot would it be?

John   – It would be a tropical island. Perfect weather with the sun shining and a beautiful ocean in the background. The true definition of peace and tranquility.

Debra  That sounds lovely. It’s been a while since our last interview. How many book covers have you been on so far?

John   – I would say around 50 book covers. It’s always an honor when an author selects me. See some book covers and art in the gallery here: https://www.johnjquinlan.com/bookcovers

Debra   – You have a nickname, Stoneface. Can you tell us what it means and how you got it? Is there a story behind your nickname?

John – If I had a dollar over the years for every time someone told me that I never smile, I would be a millionaire right now. This continued for years, periodically, with random people that would see me in public places, on the street and in the gyms. Comments like: staying out of trouble, you look mean and you look like you want to fight somebody. So as I got a bit older and I matured physically, my face became a bit tighter, a bit dented in the cheekbones and I developed veins. Most notably, the vein over my left eyebrow, which is very pronounced.

Going back about 20 years, one day I walk into the gym and this guy says to me, Man, you never smile. I’m not saying you look mean. It’s really stone-like with absolutely no expression. Smile man, it ain’t that bad.  So from that point forward whenever I would see him he would say, Hey Stoneface, how are you?  His name was Manny Catalano who became one of my best friends. Unfortunately, Manny passed away in 2005, but I can still hear his laugh and the great memories will live on forever. I’m sure he’s up in Heaven now telling God a funny joke.

I really miss Manny. Over the course of time, the nickname just stuck. It is funny. Because the roles I’ve had in projects, film, or book covers most often are usually a villain. A bad guy type biker, hitman, thug character role, which required that I look the part in photos and promos, which some people didn’t understand and just thought I didn’t smile. There were so many instances of stuff like this; it makes me laugh when I look back on all of them.

One occasion I just thought of right now was at the RT Convention Dallas in 2015. I remember sitting next to Len Gunn, a great guy, by the way, eating breakfast. Len was talking with two girls sitting on the other side of him when one of the girls looks to me and says, You look so serious. Why don’t you smile?  Before I could answer, Len responds saying, He never smiles.  I was like, Thanks, Len!  I mean, can Stoneface simply eat his cereal in peace? Classic memories. Good times.

Model & Actor John J. Quinlan April 2020

Debra  Thanks for sharing the story behind your nickname. I know you have many projects in the works beyond romance novel cover shots. You’re also an actor. How did you move from being a cover model to acting?

John – Director/producer Jillian Bullock discovered me in the fitness world. She thought I had a good look for the main character in the movie she was working on back in 2014, A Sense of Purpose: Fighting for Our Lives (2019). I auditioned for the role of United States Army Captain Jake Nixon and landed the lead male actor role.

Debra – Do you still do covers, or is acting your primary focus today?

John – My primary focus is acting, although I am still open to doing covers from time to time upon request.

Debra – What’s one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?

John – Whom would John J. Quinlan like to see as the next President of the United States? My answer, Dwayne “The Rock  Johnson.

Debra   – He seems like a great guy. If you wrote a book, what would it be about?

John – My autobiography, similar to the character Rocky Balboa by Sylvester Stallone. About how this guy without any real God-given talent who just kept fighting, hustling, and working to overcome extreme adversity and ultimately achieved his dream.

Debra  Sounds like a good one. I would read it!

Now, I like to ask these next questions in every interview because I think we should do all we can to be healthy. Your fitness level is beyond the average person’s. What is your exercise routine and what sort of nutrition plan do you follow to achieve and maintain your level of fitness?

John – I’ve had relatively the same workout routine for many years with an exercise regimen more like a boxer these days. I train now more for stamina and burning calories to keep in top shape. There will be a day or two during the week when I will work out with weights that are bit heavier than normal to switch it up a bit, but boxer training is my thing right now.

My nutrition was always pretty basic. When it comes to my diet there was never anything scientific about it. I stick to the basics, and the key is consistency.

To have an effective diet that works, one has to stick with it, as results don’t happen overnight. I keep my protein level up to maintain my muscle mass during intense bouts of training through chicken, fish, and some red meat here and there. I also use some quality whey protein as well. My carbohydrates are usually through oatmeal, potatoes, and rice. My favorite vegetable is spinach, which is full of iron so this does the job just fine. Good enough for Popeye is good enough for me! I was never a big dairy guy and I love berries, especially blueberries.

Debra  Yummy! Blueberries, I could eat them by the handful. If you could share three simple fitness tips the average romance reader could do every day to stay healthy, what would they be?

John – 1. Read labels; 2. Be consistent, practice good habits consistently; 3. Forget about everyone else around you, do an exercise regimen at your own pace. You know what feels good for you; it’s your body.

Debra  Great advice. Now, it’s your birthday dinner and the calories don’t count. What’s on the menu, and what are you drinking?

John – Authentic Italian food, the greatest food on the planet. I don’t drink. I might have a social drink here and there but because of the special day, it would have to be a drink with a little something in it so I’d say a Long Island Iced Tea. That drink packs a powerful punch and will do the job! Dessert would be a chocolate fudge cake which I would probably eat the entire thing. Amen! It’s my birthday, which only comes once a year so live it up. It’s all good.

Debra – Describe the perfect romantic evening.

John – Atmosphere is key. A nice restaurant on the ocean with a great view and candles. The rest of the night will take care of itself.

Debra  So romantic.

Please share one unusual fact about you or your life:

John – My very first book cover I was on was me, but it wasn’t me. Back in 2000, as an art model, illustrator Brian Dow used my physiques likeness in a digital painting and colored pencil illustration as the body of an evil troll for a self-promotion piece inspired by Harry Potter and author J.K. Rowling. The image went on to be used on the cover of the paperback book, The War of Trolls (Scream Shop Series #8 ) by Tracey West.

Debra  Wow, that is fascinating.

Eight Quickie questions:
1.) Watching the sunrise, or watching the sunset and the stars? Sunset
2.) The beach, or the mountains? Beach
3.) Primitive camping, or luxury hotel? Luxury hotel

4.) Snow skiing, or water skiing? Water skiing
5.) Favorite movie: Wedding Crashers
6.) Best book you ever read: The Bible
7.) Fav. Sport to play: Basketball
8.) Fav. Sport to watch: Football

Debra  Where can we see you in the movies?

John  A Sense of Purpose: Fighting for Our Lives (2019) is currently in the process of securing a distribution deal by the director and producer Jillian Bullock who is eyeing a deal with Netflix.

Debra  How exciting! I’m looking forward to seeing it.

John–Thank you for visiting with me again.

Debra – It’s been fun getting caught up with you. Before we say goodbye, how can fans stay up to date on your latest news? Do you have any news or special announcements to share?

John – It is always special to me when an author as talented as you, Debra, sits down with me for an interview. I really enjoyed talking with you this afternoon. Keep doing what you are doing; you are a true credit to the world of literature.

Debra – You’re very kind, John, thank you, and it has been my pleasure. Readers, you can learn more about John by visiting:

Websitejohnjquinlan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ johnjosephquinlan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/JohnJQuinlan

IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5561507

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/john_joseph_quinlan_social/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/JohnJQuinlan

Debra Parmley is a hybrid multi-genre romance author who believes “Every day we are alive is a beautiful day.”  She likes to give her readers and her story people a story with a happy ending. A world traveler, she has often brought home folk tales and music from countries she has visited.

Debra’s Cover Model Corner interviews can be found in back issues of Affaire de Coeur magazine and on https://covermodelcorner.wordpress.com/

Visit debraparmley.com for more about Debra Parmley

and to read more about Montana Delta Rescue visit this link.

Cover Model Corner Valentines Day Interview with John Antorino

An early version of this interview with John Antorino ran on Feb. 14, 2019, on the Scratching Post blog for Affair de Coeur.

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Model and actor John Antorino stays busy acting in Los Angeles and New York City playing many roles but still makes time to appear on covers and to do charity work for children and others.

John was born and raised in Atlantic City, New Jersey along with his twin sister, by his loving single mom. He has worked internationally in fashion and fitness, doing underwear ad campaigns, appeared in many of the top fitness and muscle magazines, is the face of Muscle Wiz supplement company, and has a BA in Psychology.

Not to mention, he’s the sexy man and hero who graces our novel covers. I’m excited to be chatting this week with John about Valentine’s Day; one of the most romantic days of the year and John is definitely a man full of love, romance, and passion!!!

Debra: John, thank you for doing this Valentine’s Day interview. This is going to be fun!

John: You’re welcome. Always my pleasure!!

SmilingJohn

Debra: Most of us grew up making Valentine’s or buying Valentine’s cards for our schoolmates in elementary school and leaving them in those little Valentine’s boxes we all made. Do you have Valentine’s Day memories of making or choosing a special Valentine when you were in school?

John: Yes of course. Those fun schoolboy puppy love days. They were stress-free and drama free. Haha. Can we bring those days back, please?! I’ve always been a giver in life and even back then as a boy I wanted to give each girl a Valentine. I never wanted to leave anyone out or hurt any feelings. And of course, I’ve always loved the ladies and been a ladies man (Sexy smirk and laugh)

Debra: Oh yes, let’s bring those days back! I miss the sweet innocence of those days. Children have such wide-open loving hearts. Adults can too if we’re brave enough. A child will put their whole heart into creating a Valentine. Wanting that Valentine to be just right, we worked hard at making or choosing them. As an adult, it can still be hard to choose the perfect card. Would you rather receive a funny Valentine’s Day card or a mushy Valentine’s Day card? Which kind of card do you tend to give?

John: I can be a softy and a real lover boy at times. Especially with that special lady. So, it’s usually mushy both give and receive. But only with the right woman and someone special to me.

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John: Yes I sure stay busy and on the move always. I love it. We get one life and 24 hrs in a day to make it all happen.

When I’m not working and traveling I love relaxing. Cooking a good meal or getting food in with some good movies and some snacks. Perfect!! I also like going out to dinners all over. I love sports, so watching sports and going to events is enjoyable for me. Spending time with my mom and little sister is always enjoyable and a priority to me.

John

Debra: What is the most romantic trip you have taken?

John: I have been to so many wonderful beautiful places in the world and have taken some great trips. Mostly for my career and appearances. But Italy and Hawaii rank up there for me. And everyone keep in mind romance passion and love can be anywhere in the world if you’re with the right person. Have to be connected and passionate about one another. All about chemistry and being on the same page. And totally content together.

Debra: So true. It is all about being with your special someone. About that special someone . . . Single ladies want to know . . . what qualities do you look for in a woman?

John: Ahhhhh so much. Some get mad at me about this, about being so picky and selective. Which I think is stupid and ridiculous. Why settle and be unhappy. No way for me!! Too many people today do so and end up so unhappy in their lives and with several divorces. No thanks!! I am extremely selective and picky who I speak to and give my time to. Here goes- Sweet, loving, caring, giving, down to earth, pretty but doesn’t have to be a model. Family-oriented and low key. No party girls. No drugs and no smoking. Simple girl. Fun. No drama.

I have everything to offer, so I want the same in return.

Debra: If a woman gets lucky enough to get a date with you what can she expect?

John: Hmmmmm well that depends (John laughs and gives a bad boy sexy smile) Am I being good or bad? No No. Well I can tell you this and you know from meeting me and being around me. I am always a complete gentleman, extremely polite and respectful. She can expect all that for sure. And it would either be me cooking a nice homemade meal and a low key relaxing night in with movies or quiet dinner out and a nice walk on the beach or boardwalk. Depending on chemistry and connection, some sweet kisses and hugs. And you go from there……

Debra: Yes you are. She would be one lucky lady! Now all the ladies reading this have their imaginations going with where you go from there . . .

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You stay very busy acting and I know you’ve been working on several projects, movies, and TV shows. Can you fill us in on some?

John: Yes. It has been a great few years and going strong in my career. More romance novel covers. Still working on the movie “Bensonhurst” where I play Joe the Rookie cop. Resuming the series “Trappin” soon where I’m Detective Morgan. Just cast in a new series “V.I.P.” We’re in pre-production. I’m playing Salvatore. I’m a bad intimidating man in this one. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11691420/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_1

OnSetJohn

Bensonhurst  John Antorino as Joe the Rookie (on the left) and Tony Welch as Lou the Cop (on the right)

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TV show  Trappin’ –  John Antorino (on the right) as Detective Morgan; Wyatt Tannum as Detective Wescott (on the left)

Debra: How exciting! So many movies and shows for us to look forward to!

As a viewer what is your favorite romantic movie? And can you relax and enjoy them or do you critique movies as you watch?

John: Tough one. Probably “The Notebook” would be #1 for me. And then “P.S. I Love You”, “Titanic”, and “Pretty Woman”. To name a few. I watch and enjoy but I do find myself critiquing more and more.

Debra: Those are great movie selections! To be in movies and on covers you must stay in shape and I know you stay in unbelievable shape all the time and age so well over the years and throughout your great long career. I see lots of your fans commenting on social media that you “never age” and “always look the same”. What are your secrets to staying so young and fit?

John: Thank you. Well, I am still young you know (John laughing and smiling). My secret is simple. I live a clean and healthy lifestyle. I avoid drugs and alcohol always. I eat healthy and clean. And I work extremely hard daily in the gym. Drink lots of water each day.

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Debra: Right now what are you most excited about or passionate about in your life?

John: Several things I’m always passionate about in my life. First and foremost, always about giving to others, helping others as much as possible. Especially sick kids and less-fortunate people in the world. Always passionate and excited about my career. Especially right now with it really thriving and evolving and working on so many great projects. Extremely blessed and grateful for it all.

Debra: Pam Ackerson and I are fortunate to have you on our book covers and looking forward to a fun event coming up in March. Let’s talk book covers. What do you enjoy best about being on our romance book covers?

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(John portraying Navy SEAL in Debra Parmley’s Protecting Zarifah which also features Shimmy Mob.)

John: I love playing the hero and playing different roles on the covers and in the books. I always love working with you two. Being on your cover and the inspiration for your great book Jenna’s Christmas Wish was really touching.

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(Debra Parmley’s Jenna’s Christmas Wish was based on John Antorino’s life and his work with children who have cancer.) 

Debra: Thank you, John. I appreciate everything you do. Jenna’s Christmas Wish was a joy to write and I love sharing it with our readers. And now that Protecting Pippa is out in print and in ebook, I’m excited about sharing it and letting people know about Shimmy Mob as well.

We will be signing our books in St. Augustine, Florida again this year, at BOBASE, which is April 24th to the 26th, 2021. I had so much fun signing books with you last time and meeting readers.

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What are you looking forward to most about the event this year?

John: Of course seeing you two first and foremost. And getting to meet new authors and fans from all over.

Debra: That is my favorite thing too.

How can fans, authors wanting you on their covers, and people wanting to reach you for future projects or appearances reach you?

John: Two ways-

Facebook at www.facebook.com/johnantorino

and my email at johnantorino@comcast.net

John’s IMDb page with pictures and credits: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3016683/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Instagram: @johnantorino

John’s Facebook Fan page:  www.facebook.com/johnantorinofanpage

John’s music video with international artist Ha Phuong playing her love interest “Stone” in “Memories of Love” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH4GC45tkgM&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2SGwwThdEDKpr7Rnzgp-7-YNJLZr2_-8NqEucbngc4hpnmnjgxcYBqzIk

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Debra and John met at the East Tennessee Writers Weekend hosted by Destiny Blaine. Debra later wrote Jenna’s Christmas Wish, based on John and set in east Tennessee, at a writer’s event, and in New Jersey.

For more about Debra Parmley:   www.debraparmley.com

FB page: www.facebook.com/debra.parmley.7

FB fan page: www.facebook.com/authordebraparmley/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/debraparmley/

Book Bub: www.bookbub.com/authors/debra-parmley

Debra’s Beautiful Day Channel on YouTube:

www.youtube.com/channel/UC27hTWse4gLJxTETQw6i7x

Debra has been interviewing cover models since 2011 when her Cover Model Corner was born. In 2013, Pam Ackerson of Affaire de Coeur Magazine invited Debra to write interviews for the magazine and Cover Model Corner was picked up. Debra continues to freelance for the magazine.

When a Cover Model is Supportive

I’ve been interviewing male models for Cover Model Corner since 2011 and my interviews have been picked up by Affaire de Coeur magazine, for the last six years. So it would be fair to say I’ve met many cover models during the last eight years and done many interviews. Last month I wrote an article “When A Cover Model Disappoints” for Cover Model Corner. Today I’m writing about what happens when a cover model is supportive.

Last weekend I attended the Book Obsessed Babes Author Signing Event in St. Augustine, FL. It was a lovely event and a lovely occasion. It was also one of the best book signings I’ve ever attended as a selling author. And it was a success because my cover model, John Antorino, was very supportive of me and my book Jenna’s Christmas Wish and helped me to sell lots of books.

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Having a supportive cover model makes all the difference in the world. This is what an author dreams of. John was supportive from day one. First, he wanted to attend the event and did everything possible to make that happen, and I’m sure with his busy acting schedule, that took effort. He attended because he cares about his authors. When we put John on a cover, he wants the book and the author to succeed and will do all he can to make that a possibility.

This is the difference between buying a stock photo from a site where you may not even know the cover models name, or working with a cover model who only cares about himself, how he looks and how much he can make from a shoot or selling a photo, and working with a cover model who cares and is willing to help you promote your book. It makes a huge difference to have a supportive cover model in your corner.

As an actor, John has many fans and his attendance drew readers. Author Pamela Ackerson and I both have John on our covers and our tables were together so it was easier for him to sign. Our tables stayed busy and even had readers waiting in line to have their books signed. This signing was the second best signing I’ve ever had and I am very thankful to John for all he did to make that possible.

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Throughout the weekend John was friendly to everyone, courteous, and a gentleman. This is the level of professionalism you should expect of your cover model if you are fortunate enough to have your cover model attend a signing with you.

If you do not have a cover model that can behave in a professional manner, being kind to everyone, you might want to reconsider hiring him for your covers. There are a few in the industry who have behaved in ways which caused readers to say they will never buy a book with that model on the cover. Professionalism is important. Kindness is important.

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John is a caring person, beyond his professionalism. He asked me a few times during the day if I was doing okay. I’ve had serious health issues the past two years, which recently have leveled off, and this was the first signing I had been to in a while. Several people asked how I was, but John checked to make sure I was good. Some cover models focus only on their physique, their looks, but John is a man who genuinely cares about people.

Jenna’s Christmas Wish, is a book I based upon John after meeting him at a writers event in East Tennessee during the Christmas season. I met him and his mother, we connected on Facebook and I began to see the work he does with children who have cancer. How he visits them and takes a genuine interest in them, which goes far beyond a photo opp. These are the qualities which make a hero. So of course I had to write the book.

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This picture is of John and me at the East Tennessee writers event where we met.

I feel very blessed to have had this wonderful book signing experience and I’m thankful for John Antorino, who is just as much a hero in real life as he is in the book. How we treat people is important and at the end of the day, it is what really matters.

All of Debra’s books and more about Debra can be found on www.debraparmley.com 

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Jenna’s Christmas Wish is available in ebook and in print, everywhere books are sold.

For more about actor and cover model John Antorino visit

John’s IMDb page with pictures and credits: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3016683/?ref_=nv_sr_1

John’s Facebook pages:   www.facebook.com/johnantorino

www.facebook.com/johnantorinofanpage

John’s recent music video with international artist Ha Phuong playing her love interest “Stone” in “Memories of Love” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH4GC45tkgM&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2SGwwThdEDKpr7Rnzgp-7-YNJLZr2_-8NqEucbngc4hpnmnjgxcYBqzIk

When a Cover Model Disappoints

Readers who’ve followed me from day one, when I and my first book, A Desperate Journey, were launched by the American Title II contest, put on by Dorchester Publishing and Romantic Times Book Lovers Magazine in 2006, know that for many years I’ve met and hung out with cover models. Probably as far back as my first RT convention. There were always costume parties in the evening, and I’ve met and even danced a few times with handsome cover models. Usually, it’s fun to be around them and they always look nice.

But sometimes a cover model will disappoint. Sometimes their ego gets puffed up a little. The thing about ego is, you need to manage it so that it doesn’t happen. Sometimes they move beyond over-inflated ego behavior into behavior that isn’t very nice. Which leads me to the situation many authors found ourselves in with a cover model who has been on thousands of covers, has his own stock photo website, and hosted a big romance novel convention several times in Las Vegas. I attended the first one.

After his first convention, he threatened to sue Kathryn Faulk, founder of Romantic Times Booklover’s Magazine and of Romantic Booklover’s Convention. His new convention was competing with hers and that lead to tension.

My career was launched by Kathryn’s magazine. She’s also my friend and has always been kind and encouraging to me, even calling me several times when I was very ill. So, I stood by her during this time. I didn’t attend any more of his conventions after the first, because he was acting like someone I didn’t know and I found his rants disturbing. Like me, he also had been promoted by Katherine and I couldn’t understand why he had turned on her. He was invited to the 2002 Romantic Times Booklovers Convention to be a contestant in the Mr. Romance 2002 contest. RT magazine launched Fabio’s career and many other cover models got their start through RT as well. Katherine has helped many people in the industry and is a good person. I am always thankful to those who have helped me so it’s hard for me to understand his behavior.

In a second public rant, he posted on twitter about overweight people. He was unkind. Authors started taking his covers off their books as they were upset. Cover artists offered to create covers for free. I still had print copies to sell at book events and wasn’t making the kind of money that I could scrap them all and start over. Then he posted a third rant about human trafficking, prostitution, and women.

He was not acting like the guy I’d shared a pizza with in the lobby of one of the RT convention hotels who’d shown concern about flooding near my home in Tennessee the year RT was in Columbus, OH, or like the guy who’d messaged me on my way home from Chicago on the train, wanting to know how I was doing. It was hard to reconcile in my head that this was the same guy. The one who raised funds for an animal shelter in LA which was how I won the Breakfast in Bed with a Cover Model photoshoot, who suggested I interview him and put it up on my website, and was the start of Cover Model Corner. My experience with him had been of him being encouraging and kind. HIs rants seemed like a different person.

Many people know Jimmy and I sometimes hung out at RT conventions along with his photographer, Bruce (who is a really funny guy) Though it’s been a while, people remember seeing me at events chatting with Jimmy. So here on this blog I will share my experiences.

I like to remain positive, always, and there are many things I’m thankful for. The breakfast in bed photoshoot with Jimmy that I won at RT con in LA in 2011 drew 5k viewers to my website. It helped me gain new readers who checked out my books. It lead me to start Cover Model Corner interviews which are sometimes picked up by Affaire de Coeur magazine. None of this would’ve happened without Jimmy Thomas. I believe in thanking those who’ve helped me and I never forget when someone has. I’m thankful for that. Bad behavior on his part does not change that fact or who I am. I am always just me.

I remember sharing a pizza with Jimmy and his photographer in Columbus, OH in the lobby of the conference hotel. I’d ordered pizza for dinner, was waiting in the lobby for it to arrive. I’d been watching the news for updates on the flooding back home in Memphis, TN and I was worried. That year Nashville was closed down on the drive home, there wasn’t one exit I could take to find a restroom, the flooding had been so severe. Well, the pizza came and as I didn’t need to eat a whole pizza by myself, I offered them some. We sat in the lobby and enjoyed dinner together. They were good at keeping my mind off of worry about everyone back home. Especially Bruce’s joking. They were both kind.

Of course, there’s the year I won breakfast in bed in with Jimmy and Bruce took pictures. We had fun talking and laughing. At no time was Jimmy ever less than a gentleman. He was thoughtful and kind. That’s what I knew of him then and that had been my experience. He’s been on two of my covers and in one book trailer video. When I look into the rear-view mirror of history it’s as if I was dealing with a different person. The breakfast in bed raffle ticket money went to an animal shelter in L.A. What I saw in 2011 was a kind heart raising funds for the animals. It’s why I donated/bought tickets.

How Cover Model Corner Began

(Those four pictures from the photoshoot were up on the internet all over the place in 2011 and will likely be floating around even when I am an old lady. Nothing ever really comes down off the internet. I still have people teasing me about the polka dot pajamas I wore back then. But that’s the real me. I like to be real. I’m always just me.)

I’m not sure what happened to change him, or if he was always this way but I didn’t see it. He’s done disappointing things that haven’t helped the romance authors whose covers he appears on. He was on two of my covers, he’s now only on one. Dangerous Ties. It’s a shot I like and even if a cover artist offered to change it for free, that’s not so simple. Dangerous Ties has an eBook cover, a print cover, an audiobook cover, and a book trailer with the cover. I can’t afford to redo everything on a back list book, so it will stay.

The book trailer for Dangerous Ties was made by Circle of Seven Productions and trailers that started at $360 for a basic back when I bought it, and they can go much higher. I’m not sure what they’re up to now. Just swap out a new cover for the old one on the trailer, you say? No, because it’s just as much work, if not more, to redo a trailer. The company won’t do that, for this reason. It’s faster and easier for them to make a new trailer. I’m not paying for a new trailer for a backlist book that doesn’t bring in enough to cover the costs of those changes, nor should I have to. I need to focus on edits and covers for new books that will earn out the cost of putting them out there.

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Will I never sell another copy of Dangerous Ties? Because he’s on the cover? A lot of readers don’t even know who he is when they see the cover.

Shouting at authors to take down their covers hurts the authors. It does not hurt the cover model who has already been paid and can blissfully walk around not caring about what authors are going through.

There was art-shaming going on. An author unpublished her book due to art-shaming. In her words… “The joy is gone.” Bless her, no author should be made to feel ashamed over this. I’ll tell you; I’m not going to be shamed. No one is going to steal my joy over any of my books. Never. Ever.

There was a post on how he was fat-shaming women on Twitter. Kind of ironic to be up in arms about someone else shaming, while turning around and shaming someone else. Stop art-shaming. Replace that with kindness. You’ll sleep better and never have to worry about karma.

I wish none of this had happened and he’d continued to behave like a gentleman in a professional manner. These dramas disrupt the flow. The flow of writing, the flow of publishing, the flow of one’s day. It makes me mad when that happens because dammit, I’d planned to write and now I have to deal with this other thing. That’s a sort of theft. A time thief. Of writing time. Please don’t penalize the authors who have done nothing wrong. They have enough grief. I met Jimmy’s mother at his first RNC convention, and cannot help but wonder how she felt seeing what he’d said and how he views women. It’s sad that what could be a healthy synchronistic relationship between author and cover model can never be. He killed it.

Some want his image down everywhere. I’m leaving the photos of how Cover Model Corner came into being because that’s the history of how Cover Model Corner began. Taking photos down doesn’t erase history. What happened is what happened. I don’t believe in erasing history. I believe in truth-telling and showing and being real. That’s what you’ll find here and anywhere you find me.

Now you have the history of me and Jimmy Thomas. Before you ask, it was just a photoshoot. (Try eating with a camera click clicking away and you’ll soon find how unromantic that really is. That’s one of the things we joked about.) There’s never been anything even remotely romantic between me and Jimmy. It was always Jimmy, his photographer Bruce, and me when we did hang out. I’ve never been alone with Jimmy. I’ve been married since the year I graduated high school and married my high school sweetheart, who cooks dinner for me while I keep writing. That’s romantic and that’s love. I’ve never had even a little crush on Jimmy. Over the years I’ve met lots of cover models, but I don’t do the fangirl thing. It’s just not me.

What I do, is interviews. And as long as my readers love reading them, I’ll continue to do them. You’ll find the interviews here along with more articles like this one.

I’ll also share some articles about the fun times I’ve had meeting models and fun times at conventions. (Hopefully, there won’t be more posts like this one. My intention is for my CMC interview blog to be fun for everyone. I like keeping things positive.)

All of Debra’s books and more about Debra can be found on www.debraparmley.com 

Cover Model Corner Valentines Day Interview with John Antorino

This interview with John Antorino ran on Feb. 14, 2019 on the Scratching Post blog for Affair de Coeur http://www.affairedecoeur.com/blog/

Model and actor John Antorino stays busy acting in Los Angeles and New York City playing many roles but still makes time to appear on covers and to do charity work for children and others.

John was born and raised in Atlantic City, New Jersey along with his twin sister, by his loving single mom. He has worked internationally in fashion and fitness, doing underwear ad campaigns, appeared in many of the top fitness and muscle magazines, is the face of Muscle Wiz supplement company, and has a BA in Psychology.

Not to mention, he’s the sexy man and hero who graces our novel covers. I’m excited to be chatting this week with John about Valentine’s Day; one of the most romantic days of the year and John is definitely a man full of love, romance, and passion!!!

Debra: John, thank you for doing this Valentine’s Day interview. This is going to be fun!

John: You’re welcome. Always my pleasure!!

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Debra: Most of us grew up making Valentines or buying Valentines cards for our schoolmates in elementary school and leaving them in those little Valentines boxes we all made. Do you have Valentines Day memories of making or choosing a special Valentine when you were in school?

John: Yes of course. Those fun schoolboy puppy love days. They were stress free and drama free. Haha. Can we bring those days back please?! I’ve always been a giver in life and even back then as a boy I wanted to give each girl a Valentine. I never wanted to leave anyone out or hurt any feelings. And of course, I’ve always loved the ladies and been a ladies man (Sexy smirk and laugh)

Debra: Oh yes, let’s bring those days back! I miss the sweet innocence of those days. Children have such wide-open loving hearts. Adults can too if we’re brave enough. A child will put their whole heart into creating a Valentine. Wanting that Valentine to be just right, we worked hard at making or choosing them. As an adult it can still be hard to choose the perfect card. Would you rather receive a funny Valentines Day card or a mushy Valentines Day card? Which kind of card do you tend to give?

John: I can be a softy and a real lover boy at times. Especially with that special lady. So, it’s usually mushy both give and receive. But only with the right woman and someone special to me.

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Debra: I know you work and travel a lot for work and appearances. When you have free time what do you like to do for fun and relaxation?

John: Yes I sure stay busy and on the move always. I love it. We get one life and 24 hrs in a day to make it all happen.

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When I’m not working and traveling I love relaxing. Cooking a good meal or getting food in with some good movies and some snacks. Perfect!! I also like going out to dinners all over. I love sports, so watching sports and going to events is enjoyable for me. Spending time with my mom and little sister is always enjoyable and a priority to me.

Debra: What is the most romantic trip you have taken?

John: I have been to so many wonderful beautiful places in the world and have taken some great trips. Mostly for my career and appearances. But Italy and Hawaii rank up there for me. And everyone keep in mind romance passion and love can be anywhere in the world if you’re with the right person. Have to be connected and passionate about one another. All about chemistry and being on the same page. And totally content together.

Debra: So true. It is all about being with your special someone. About that special someone . . . Single ladies want to know . . . what qualities do you look for in a woman?

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John: Ahhhhh so much. Some get mad at me about this, about being so picky and selective. Which I think is stupid and ridiculous. Why settle and be unhappy. No way for me!! Too many people today do so and end up so unhappy in their lives and with several divorces. No thanks!! I am extremely selective and picky who I speak to and give my time to. Here goes- Sweet, loving, caring, giving, down to earth, pretty but doesn’t have to be a model. Family oriented and low key. No party girls. No drugs and no smoking. Simple girl. Fun. No drama.

I have everything to offer, so I want the same in return.

Debra: If a woman gets lucky enough to get a date with you what can she expect?

John: Hmm well that depends (John laughs and gives a bad boy sexy smile) Am I being good or bad? No No. Well I can tell you this and you know from meeting me and being around me. I am always a complete gentleman, extremely polite and respectful. She can expect all that for sure. And it would either be me cooking a nice homemade meal and a low key relaxing night in with movies or quiet dinner out and a nice walk on the beach or boardwalk. Depending on chemistry and connection, some sweet kisses and hugs. And you go from there……

Debra: Yes you are. She would be one lucky lady! Now all the ladies reading this have their imaginations going with where you go from there . . .

You stay very busy acting and I know you’ve been working on several projects, movies and TV shows. Can you fill us in on some?

John: Yes. It has been a great few years and going strong in my career. The big project right now is “A Cup Full of Crazy”. My first big lead role. It’s a suspenseful thriller and I play serial killer Joshua Norwood. We are in pre-production and start filming this summer 2019. I just wrapped the sizzle reel/trailer for “Bensonhurst” the movie. Where I play a rookie Detective. The past few months I been working with Russell Crowe in The Roger Ailes project about Fox news “The Loudest Voice in the Room” playing a Fox News reporter. And I just started working on a new TV series playing a crooked Detective called “Trappin”. And that’s just a few!!

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Debra: How exciting! So many movies for us to look forward to! As a viewer what is your favorite romantic movie? And can you relax and enjoy them or do you critique movies as you watch?

John: Tough one. Probably “The Notebook” would be #1 for me. And then “P.S. I Love You”, “Titanic”, and “Pretty Woman”. To name a few. I watch and enjoy but I do find myself critiquing more and more.

Debra: Those are great movie selections! To be in movies and on covers you must stay in shape and I know you stay in unbelievable shape all the time and age so well over the years and throughout your great long career. I see lots of your fans commenting on social media that you “never age” and “always look the same”. What are your secrets to staying so young and fit?

John: Thank you. Well I am still young you know (John laughing and smiling). My secret is simple. I live a clean and healthy lifestyle. I avoid drugs and alcohol always. I eat healthy and clean. And I work extremely hard daily in the gym. Drink lots of water each day.

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Debra: Right now what are you most excited about or passionate about in your life?

John: Several things I’m always passionate about in my life. First and foremost, always about giving to others, helping others as much as possible. Especially sick kids and less-fortunate people in the world. Always passionate and excited about my career. Especially right now with it really thriving and evolving and working on so many great projects. Extremely blessed and grateful for it all.

Debra: Pam Ackerson and I are fortunate to have you on our book covers and looking forward to a fun event coming up in March. Let’s talk book covers. What do you enjoy best about being on our romance book covers?

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John: I love playing the hero and playing different roles on the covers and in the books. I always love working with you two. Being on your cover and the inspiration for your great book Jenna’s Christmas Wish was really touching.

Debra: Thank you John. Pam and I appreciate everything you do. Jenna’s Christmas Wish was a joy to write and I’m looking forward to sharing it, which we’ll be doing in person very soon. The three of us will be signing books in St. Augustine, FL on March 9th, 2019 from 1:00 to 4:00

What are you looking forward to most about this event?

John: Of course seeing you two first and foremost. And getting to meet new authors and fans from all over.

Debra: We’re looking forward to see you as well John. This event is a great opportunity for readers to get books signed by both authors and John Antorino our cover model. We’re inviting you all to come and hope you can make it!

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How can fans, authors wanting you on their covers, and people wanting to reach you for future projects or appearances reach you?

John: Two ways- Facebook at www.facebook.com/johnantorino and my email at johnantorino@comcast.net

John’s IMDb page with pictures and credits: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3016683/?ref_=nv_sr_1

John’s Facebook pages:   www.facebook.com/johnantorino

www.facebook.com/johnantorinofanpage

John’s recent music video with international artist Ha Phuong playing her love interest “Stone” in “Memories of Love” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH4GC45tkgM&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2SGwwThdEDKpr7Rnzgp-7-YNJLZr2_-8NqEucbngc4hpnmnjgxcYBqzIk

For more about Debra Parmley:   www.debraparmley.com

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Debra and John at the East Tennessee Writers event

FB page: www.facebook.com/debra.parmley.7

FB fan page: www.facebook.com/authordebraparmley/

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/debraparmley/    and Twitter: twitter.com/DebraParmley

Book Bub: www.bookbub.com/authors/debra-parmley

Debra’s Beautiful Day Channel on YouTube:

www.youtube.com/channel/UC27hTWse4gLJxTETQw6i7x

Debra has been interviewing cover models since 2011 when her Cover Model Corner was born. In 2013, Pam Ackerson of Affaire de Coeur Magazine invited Debra to write interviews for the magazine and Cover Model Corner was picked up. Debra continues to freelance for the magazine.

Cover Model Corner Interview With Chase Borst

I’m excited to be interviewing Chase Borst on Cover Model Corner today. I met Chase in May at the Weekend With the Authors in Nashville, TN this year and he graciously agreed to an interview.Chase, what was the first cover you appeared on and how did this come about?

My first cover was Roping Him In by Sidda Lee Rain.

Michel Prince is an author and owner of Royal Touch Photography. She worked out at the gym that I worked at a few years back. She approached me one day and asked if I would be interested in doing a photoshoot with her for images that could potentially be used as book covers. I agreed and things just progressed from there. I honestly had no clue what I was getting myself into or what the outcome would be but I have met a lot of really cool people and had some pretty awesome experiences since I started.  

If you could do a photo shoot anywhere in the world for a cover, where would you most want to go? What sort of shoot would it be?

Somewhere tropical for sure. I would really love to go to Kenya. The beaches look amazing. I think I would like to do a romantic shoot with my significant other. Besides their beaches the inland backdrop of Kenya is cool too. I would probably want to do daytime photos with both backdrops, hoping for some giraffes or elephants in the shot. And of course some sunset photos inland, as well as on the beach.

Ah there is nothing quite like a beach anywhere in the world, especially at sunset. Giraffes and elephants now that would be fun.

Beyond romance novel cover shots, what other projects or jobs keep you busy?

My girlfriend and I recently started a meal prep business, Core Meals. We heard from so many people that nutrition is their biggest struggle for a number of reasons, so we provide them a very affordable, convenient way to eat healthy. I also spend a lot of time reading and learning about health and wellness.

If you wrote a book, what would it be about?

I would probably tell a story about a person with a very troubled childhood and overcoming their obstacles and hardships. The book would be a timeline of their life and how they reacted to and overcame the struggles.

That is a story I would read or would love to hear one day.

This question is almost always asked in interviews because your fitness level is beyond the average persons. What is your exercise routine and what sort of nutrition plan do you follow to achieve and maintain your level of fitness?

My fitness routine consists of heavy resistance training 5-7 days per week, sometimes twice a day. Honestly, I don’t really follow a plan. I generally rotate body parts in a 4 day split, and try to push myself while at the gym. I generally do not do cardio unless I’m in show prep and even then it’s minimal. My diet in show prep restricts the types of foods I eat, my caloric intake, cycle my macros according to my training. When I’m not in prep I like to eat a wide variety of healthy foods, I’m a good cook and I enjoy it so I get to be a little more creative with my meals. I generally do not track macros or calories but keep things pretty clean overall. I do like treats though and definitely eat them in moderation when I am not preparing for a competition.

If you could share three simple fitness tips the average romance reader could do every day to stay healthy, what would they be?

  1. Nutrition comes before fitness and should be top priority. If you aren’t eating right, you are just spinning your wheels in the gym. I highly recommend an app to log your daily intake, and log EVERYTHING you eat. (I like myfitnesspal) a lot of people are in denial about what they put into their bodies. You can not out- exercise a poor diet.
  2. In the gym, primarily focus on strength training while supplementing cardio. Too many people think cardio is the answer for weight loss or to achieve their desired physique. Cardio is necessary, but in the right amount. Too much cardio can have the opposite effect that most people desire. The after effects of resistance training boost the metabolism for much longer than cardio and the muscle acquired from weight training also increases your body’s ability to burn calories while at rest.
  3. Challenge yourself and push your limits. You would be really surprised by what you are capable of. Most people sell themselves short in the gym and set limits in their head as far as how much weight they can handle, especially women. Lifting heavy does wonders for the female body. If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

Thank you for that excellent advice. Nutrition is so important. It’s important to eat healthy. Sometimes it’s fine to cheat though. It’s your birthday dinner and the calories don’t count. What’s on the menu and what are you drinking?

It was my birthday a few days ago…I enjoyed sushi, steak, ahi tuna and a grilled pineapple mojito served with a sparkler in it.

Well happy belated birthday! What a fun menu!

Describe the perfect romantic evening:

I would pick her up and we would go to Willow River State Park and hike down to the waterfalls, hand in hand, while having intimate conversation. We would hike around in the serenity of sounds and beauty of the constant flow of water, watching every one of her movements. At some point, take a moment to sit in silence on one of the many rocks while taking each other in. Then we would hike up to the top of an overlook with an amazing view of the natural beauty of the park, talking about life with her in my arms, kissing her neck and shoulders. From there we would head back home and enjoy a candlelit dinner. Afterward we would cuddle up on the couch and watch The Notebook, paying more attention to her than the movie. Talking silently to her with my hands. When the moment was just right, I would kiss her and then carry her up the stairs…

Please share one unusual fact about you or your life:

I was homeless at one point in my life.

I’m so glad you’re not homeless now. What an inspiration you can be to others!

Eight Quickie questions:

  • Watching the sunrise or watching the sunset and the stars? Sunset and Stars

2.) The beach or the mountains? Beach

3.) Primitive camping or luxury hotel? That’s a tough one, probably luxury hotel.

4.) Snow skiing or water skiing? Snow

5.) Favorite movie: Close tie between The Notebook and American Gangster

6.) Best book you ever read: Where the Red Fern Grows

7.) Fav. Sport to play: Basketball, but golf is a close second

8.) Fav. Sport to watch: Basketball

Chase, thank you for visiting with me today. It’s been fun getting to know you. Before we say goodbye, how can fans stay up to date on your latest news? Do you have any news or announcements to share?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChaseBorstModel/

Where to find my exclusive photos for purchase http://www.royaltouchphotography.com/

My business page:  http://www.coremealsmn.com

**This interview appeared in the August issue of Affaire de Coeur magazine.

Debra Parmley is known for her Cover Model Corner interviews, which are often featured on Affaire de Coeur magazine. A hybrid author, Debra is a muti-genre author of historical romance ranging from the western to the 1920’s, contemporary romance with military heroes, romantic suspense, paranormal and fairy tale romance. Damsel-in-distress stories are some of her favorites and her westerns have been described as gritty. Fascinated by fairy tales and folktales ever since she was a young girl, she has always ended her stories with a happy ever after. You can learn more about Debra at www.debraparmley.com

Cover Model Corner Holiday Interview with John Antorino

This interview article also ran in the 2015 December issue of Affaire de Coeur Magazine.

961259_577015762368703_1443356438_nJohn Antorino is visiting here with me on Cover Model Corner and I’m excited to share his interview with everyone. I first met John and his mother at a writer’s event in East Tennessee in December two years ago and the seed of a story idea grew as I saw the work he has been doing with children who are very sick. That story idea led to my newest project and I’m excited to share that Jenna’s Christmas Wish is now available through Dark Castle Lords Publishing. Now let’s chat with John.

John, the first cover you appeared on, Dreams of a Raven Moon, was also with Dark Castle Lords. Is Jenna’s Christmas Wish the second cover you’ve appeared on for Dark Castle Lords and have you been on other covers? And how did you get into cover modeling?

John:

Yes, and I’ve been on some other covers as well. I got into cover modeling basically by people telling me I’d be perfect for the covers. And photographers and authors contacting me to do them. So here I am!!

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Debra: Beyond modeling for book covers what other types of modeling have you done?

John: I’ve done it all. I started out as a fashion model when I was very young. Then crossed over into fitness modeling and underwear modeling, then into acting. I have done it all and still do it all. I’ve been blessed with great genes, as well as a crazy work ethic.

Debra: You’ve played a 1900’s Italian immigrant an HBO series called “The Knick” and a German Nazi Soldier in the movie “Escaping the Holocaust”. Can you tell us about your latest movie? I understand you have one releasing in the theaters just a few days.

John: I had one released this year called “Beyond The Trophy”. We are now waiting for a release date for what was titled “Escaping the Holocaust” and now titled “There Is Many Like Us”. Stay tuned!!

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Debra: Do you have any new projects coming up that you would like to tell us about?

John: Yes, first I am excited about the new book- Jenna’s Christmas Wish coming out and will being doing lots of press and pub for that.

Attend some conventions and conferences representing DCL and the new book. I am still the face of and sponsored athlete for the company- Muscle Wiz. And we have lots going on with new products coming out. I will be doing new magazine ads for them, as well as appearances and demos for them.

Anyone looking for great protein powders, fat burners, and other great products check them out and feel free and contact me about: www.musclewiz.com

I have some movies in the works that are still in pre-production. So keep an eye out for news on those.

Questions sent in by our fans:

How did you get started, and how old were you?

John : I started when I was young and in college. I was always being approached by people in general, as well as agents, photographers, scouts, etc….And they would always say I had a great look and could be in magazines and on tv/movies. I didn’t really think anything of it at first. I was just a kid in college having fun and playing sports. As time went on and it happened more and more. I would go home and tell my mom. She said let’s go see what it’s all about. We took the bus to NYC one day and the rest is history as they say!

Does he attend cons?

John: Yes I do. And hope to attend many more in 2016 and beyond!!

What did you do before modeling? What do you see yourself doing twenty years from now?

John: I was in college and having fun. Being a kid. And before my career really took off I worked a few different jobs. While I was in college I worked in nightclubs. As a male dancer and serving drinks. Fun job and fun times. I then worked with disabled adults in day programs teaching them life skills and taking them to the gym. And my last job I was a crisis counselor in a school for troubled youth. Both great and rewarding jobs that I’ll never forget.

20 years I see myself relaxing a lot more. Most likely owning my own business. Probably restaurants. Possibly doing something in the health and fitness field. And always involved with much charity and helping as many sick kids as possible.

Do you have to shave your body before a shoot?

John: Yes I do. Gotta stay smooth and clean. And showing all the details and hard work of my body for the camera. Makes a huge difference.

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Debra: One of the things I know about you which inspired me to write a romance hero based on you is how much you do for children who are very ill. I’ve watched this for several years now and you bless so many people with the things you do to help. This also found its way into the story as I find one of the most heroic things a man can do is to help others. Can you tell us a little bit about the work you do with the children?

John: Yes, helping others and doing for others is and has always been my true passion and calling in life. I’ve been this way and have had this in my heart as far back as I can remember. I typically like to help anyone in need, less-fortunate, sick, homeless….But I really have a soft spot for sick kids. So, I help many sick kids with cancer and other terrible illnesses. I visit them at the hospitals and their homes as well. I buy them gifts and do things for them. Help out the families as much as I can. Spend time with them. Take them out. I even attend their Dr. appointments for support.

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Debra: What is your favorite way to spend the Christmas holidays?

John: With family and good friends. Relaxing and eating. Helping and giving to others, especially the sick and less fortunate. No greater feeling in the world for me than to give and make others happy.

Debra: Do you have any special memories of past Christmases that you’d like to share?

John: My mother, who raised us (my twin sister and I on her own) always makes Christmas special. She has an annual Christmas Eve party. And it’s full of great foods and family and close friends. The last Christmas I got to spend with both my Grandparents was the most special one for me. I believe it was in 2010. I miss them like crazy and Christmas really isn’t the same anymore.

Debra: Jenna’s Christmas Wish comes true. John, what is your Christmas wish this year?

John: My Christmas wish this year is probably the same most every year. It is for all the sick kids to be well and to be able to be home with their families and feeling good. Also, for the less fortunate to have food on their tables, a roof over their heads, and for no kid to wake up Christmas morning without presents.

Debra: That’s a beautiful wish, John and I will join you in that one and in wishing all our readers a Christmas full of blessings.

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You can learn more about John at http://www.johnantorino.com/ ,http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3016683/ https://www.facebook.com/JohnAntorinofanpage/?ref=mf and https://www.facebook.com/JohnAntorino?fref=ts

For more about Debra and her books visit debraparmley.com

UPDATE: Since this interview, Debra has a new cover for Jenna’s Christmas Wish with John Antorio on the cover:

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