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 many 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

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When a Cover Model Disappoints

Readers who’ve been following 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 are 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 too big. The thing about ego is, you need to manage it so that doesn’t happen. Sometimes though, they move beyond over inflated ego behavior into behavior that isn’t very nice. Beyond isn’t very nice. Which leads me to what I have to say about the situation many authors now find ourselves in with Jimmy Thomas.

At least three times that I know of, Jimmy has gone off on a rant on social media. The first I can recall was after the first RNC (Romance Novel Convention) he put on in Vegas in 2013. I don’t remember the date, but I do remember him threatening 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 I believe that lead to tension building until he blew, posting a rant on social media. Remember, 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 as well during this time. I wasn’t happy with Jimmy’s behavior and I didn’t attend any more of his conventions after the first one. Jimmy seemed to be acting like someone I didn’t know with his ranting behavior. His career was also launched by RT. Jimmy was invited to the 2002 Romantic Times Romance Novel Convention to be a contestant in the Mr. Romance 2002 contest. RT is the magazine that launched Fabio’s career and many other cover models got their start through RT as well.

Guess I’m more thankful than he is. We are very different.

The second public rant that I know of came when Jimmy posted on twitter about overweight people. He was critical and unkind. Authors started taking Jimmy’s covers down and cover artists offered to create covers for free. I thought about asking my cover artist, but didn’t have the money to change the cover on everything, not to mention the print copies I still have to sell at book events. It’s more involved that you might think.

Things had barely settled, everyone focusing on #CopyPasteCris, who plagiarized 34 romance author’s books, when Jimmy posted a new rant about human trafficking, prostitution, women, and well, here you can read it for yourself, in his own words.

UPDATE: He’s since taken his post down, but screenshots were taken by many. Nothing ever goes away on the internet. This is true of book covers as well, as they’ll be on all printed copies out there forever, floating around, even if you could search and destroy every electronic image out there.

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After reading his recent post, I felt I had to finally speak up and write this article. Many people know Jimmy and I sometimes hung out at RT conventions along with his photographer, Bruce. RT has closed and Kathryn is retired now and there are no more RT cons to go to. I haven’t seen anything about another RNC since the one he advertised in 2016. His behavior has driven many away. Though it’s been a while, people remember seeing me at events chatting with Jimmy. Today I’m sharing my experience.

I like to remain positive, always, and there are many things I’m thankful for. The breakfast in bed photo shoot with Jimmy that I won at RT con in LA in 2011 drew 5k viewers to my website. It helped me to gain new readers who checked out my books. It lead me to start these Cover Model Corner interviews which my readers have enjoyed on my sites and in Affaire de Coeur magazine, where I freelance. None of that 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 who I am. And 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 almost as if I was dealing with a different person. That or there was another side of him that he didn’t let me see. All 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.

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(These four pictures from the photo shoot were up on the internet all over the place in 2011 and will likely be floating around when I am an old lady. I still have people teasing me about the polka dot pajamas I wore. Like I said, I like to be real. I’m always just me.)

I’m not sure what’s happened since those days, to change him, or if he was always this way but I didn’t see it. He’s done very disappointing things that haven’t helped the romance authors whose covers he appears on. More and more I’m asked when I’m taking him off my covers. He was on two, he’s now only on one. Dangerous Ties, is the one and it’s a shot I liked (and still like) very much. Cover artists out there are willing to create a brand new cover for me for free. So just change it, right? Sounds simple, right?

Not so simple for me. Dangerous Ties has an ebook cover, a print cover, an audiobook cover and a book trailer. Even with a low priced stock image such as the ones Jimmy offers, you have to pay your cover artist and there’s quite a range of fees. I have a great cover artist who works with me, I do not need a new cover artist, and yes she’d likely create a new one for free unless an image had to be purchased. That’s not the problem.

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The book trailer for Dangerous Ties was made by Circle of Seven Productions and trailers there started at $360 for a basic, back when I bought it, and 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. They actually won’t do that. It’s faster and easier for them to make a new trailer. I’m not paying for a new trailer for a back list book that still hasn’t earned out the costs already paid for all these things, nor should I have to. I need to focus on paying for edits and covers for new books that will at least earn out the cost of putting them out there.

Dangerous Ties Book Trailer

Will I never sell another copy of Dangerous Ties? Because he’s on the cover? I don’t know. It was one of my favorite covers. This situation really sucks.

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

There is art shaming going on. Read this post for how it has affected one author, Author Linda Hilton She unpublished her book due to art shaming. In her words… “The joy is gone.” Bless her, I’m sending her some love right now, because no one should be made to feel ashamed over this situation. I’ll tell you right now, I’m not going to be shamed and no one is going to steal my joy over any of my books. Never. Ever.

Here’s a post about Jimmy fat shaming on Twitter which includes what he posted. Author Shiloh Walker  While we are on the subject of shaming, how about practicing some of that kindness Jimmy seems to be missing, and stop the art shaming of authors. Kind of ironic to be up in arms about someone else shaming, while turning around and doing a different kind of shaming, don’t you think? Replace that with kindness and you’ll sleep better and never have to worry about the karma bus coming for you.

I wish of course that none of this had ever happened and that he’d continued to behave as a gentleman and in a professional manner as he had been. Then we could all get on with writing and putting new books out. These dramas disrupt the flow. The flow of writing, the flow of publishing, the flow of one’s day. It always makes me mad when that happens, because dammit, I was planning to write and now I have to deal with this other thing. That’s a sort of theft in my mind. A time thief. Of writing time.

It’s beyond me why he’s behaved this way, whether it’s steroids or some other drug, or a personality flaw, but knowing why won’t change the fact that it’s happened, leaving the authors who’ve hired him, to deal with it as best we can. Please don’t penalize the authors who have done nothing wrong.

There is a tendency to want to tear down things these days. Some will want his image down everywhere. They may criticize me for leaving pics of him on this Cover Model Corner blog. I’m leaving the photos here because this is the history of how Cover Model Corner began. Taking photos down doesn’t erase history, what happened is what happened and I don’t believe in erasing history. I believe in truth telling and in being real. So that’s what you’ll find here and anywhere else you find me.

So now you have the history of me and Jimmy. And before you ask, yes it was just a photo shoot. (Try eating with a camera click clicking away and you’ll soon find out how unromantic that really is. That was one of the things we ended up joking about.) There has never been anything even remotely romantic between me and Jimmy, and it’s always been Jimmy, Bruce and me when we did hang out. I’ve been married for 38 years, to my high school sweetheart, who cooks dinner for me sometimes while I keep writing. Now that is romantic and that is love. I’ve never had even a little crush on Jimmy. I’ve met lots of cover models and I don’t do the fan girl 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 them here along with more articles like this one. I’ll share some of the fun times I’ve had meeting models. (Though hopefully there won’t be more posts like this one. My intention is for this CMC interview blog to be fun for everyone. I like keeping things positive.)

I met Jimmy’s sweet and kind mother at his first RNC convention, and I cannot help but think she would be sad seeing and reading what he’d said and how he views women. It’s sad. What could be a healthy synchronistic relationship between author and cover model can never be. It’s too bad things went this way. But this too is in the past, tomorrow is a new day in which I need to write new pages and keep moving on. I need to have a new photo taken for my banner here, to replace the one with Jimmy and me. I don’t want readers to have to see that every time they come here. But fI have limited time and limited funds and for now, I must write. My readers are waiting.

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

UPDATE: Debra plans to have a new banner created for Cover Model Corner and may eventually remove Jimmy from both her book covers and social media (this will take time and money however, and she must focus on new books, not the one remaining backlist book) with the exception of these two posts on Cover Model Corner. The first post, How Cover Model Corner Began  remains as a record of the history of Cover Model Corner, because Debra believes in preserving history, not in erasing it.

 

Valentines Day Interview with John Antorino

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 Valentines 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.

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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 . . .

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.

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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

Event link to meet John in person in St. Augustine:

www.eventbrite.com/e/book-obsessed-babes-author-signing-event-tickets-48861363654?fbclid=IwAR3Y0gJIHOEiqS0ube3xUZNOwq03pdYyE1yu8NBa2F08aS_RYdVxH37k1Ys

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 Pam Ackerson:   www.pamelaackerson.com

Twitter: @PamAckerson and Facebook: www.facebook.com/PamelaAckersonAuthor

For more about Debra Parmley:   www.debraparmley.com

 

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Debra and John at the East Tennessee

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

Writing Blog: threadingtheweb.wordpress.com/

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.

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

Cover Model Corner Interview With Chase Borst

 

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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.

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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!

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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

Holiday Interview With Cover Model and Actor John Antorino

John 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.

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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.

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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

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

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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Cover Model Corner Interview With Jackson Young

11194891_982352828451233_1311850731_oI’m excited today to be able to share my interview with Jackson Young here on Cover Model Corner.

Jackson is a singer, songwriter, ballroom dancer and choreographer, cover model and actor. Jackson served in the Army 101 st Airborne Division as an “Infantry Scout” 1st of the 502nd. I met Jackson in Nashville at the Weekend With the Authors event and he was gracious enough to agree to an interview with me.

Debra: So, Jackson, tell me about your first cover. How did you get into cover modeling?

Jackson: Randi Alexander actually approached me for cover modeling. She’s doing a three book series called Diaries of a Casanova. That is a true life fiction three book series about a country music singer who is established that doesn’t want their name out there so they wanted to get an up-and-comer that would kind of fall in line with you know what they’re doing to create the realism. So that is how I got started.

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Debra: Awesome. If you could have a cover shoot anywhere in the world where would like you go?

Jackson: Oh wow. We get those kinds of options? I didn’t know that. *laughs* I thought it was out in the yard or something. *laughs*

Debra: Your dream shoot. *laughs* Where’s your dream shoot?

Jackson: I’d have to say Australia. I think the biggest reason why is from my modeling I have different looks. Australia would be awesome because you could do the cowboy thing, the military thing, and the werewolf thing, whatever.

Debra: All right. Australia would be perfect.

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Debra: Tell our readers about a romantic date you would take a girl on.

Jackson: Well, if I could find time for a date. *laughs* I would say my favorite date is I’d pick her up go for a nice steak dinner with wine and then after to the beach or a lake. I’d have to say being out in nature is one of my favorite things. Probably ending the night depending on how personal the relationship is, ending the night with a little bit of whiskey and probably a glass of wine for her.

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Debra: Snow skiing or water-skiing?

Jackson: No skiing. No, kidding. *laughs* I’d probably say snow skiing because I’ve never done that before so it would be a challenge for me.

Debra: Luxury hotel or camping?

Jackson: Defiantly camping I’m an outdoors kind of guy. To me there’s nothing better than being around the fire.

Debra: Favorite sport?

Jackson: Football hands down. I ‘m an NFL fanatic. I get fired up for football.

Debra: Besides cover modeling tell me what other projects you’re involved in?

Jackson: That might be the whole interview. Laughs. We just shot a music video with OperationTroopAid.org. Music video was released in June. I attended RT Dallas in May, and I’m in Minnesota for another concert in October. Sandy Sullivan invited me to perform in 2016 at A Weekend With the Authors in Nashville.

If you go to JacksonYoungCountry.com you can see everything we have to offer. Like, tweet, follow, and share.

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Jackson Young (Apparel sponsor) Gruntstyle.com

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Featured single Drunken Angel (left ) Album Let It Ride (right) Courtesy of fan from the road

Authors can get a Mini-Movie done with Jackson Young so many greats in the business already have its not a book trailer it’s a Mini-Movie.Jacksonyoungcountry.com/mini-movies

Jackson Young Country mini-movie

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“Cowboy” Jackson Young courtesy of Royal Touch Photography

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Actor Shane Breedlove &Producer/Actor Jackson Young On set of Ring River Gofundme.com/BreedloveNotHate

Debra: Thank you Jackson! Is there any other message you have for our readers?

Jackson: Social media has become so important. I know I speak for other cover models when I say that going to our pages, liking our content, the more tweets you can give us really makes a difference.

We love and appreciate you for everything you do.

Debra: Thanks Jackson. We love you too.

Follow Jackson Young at JacksonYoungCountry.com

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“Cowboy” Jackson Young courtesy of Royal Touch Photography

For more about Debra visit debraparmley.com

 

Cover Model Corner Interview With J.D. Hart

J.D. The Pirate

I’m excited to be able to share my Cover Model Corner interview with J.D. Hart with you today. Many of you may know J.D. as the narrator of Sharon Hamilton’s books. He has the most amazing voice. I was fortunate to meet him and Sharon at the A Day With the Authors event in Nashville back in May and when he agreed to do an interview I was thrilled. So let’s step away from covers for a change and take a look at the man behind the narration of some of the best romance stories available today. I’m excited about our peek behind the scenes, so let’s get going.

Debra: J.D., How did you get into voice acting?

J.D.:  I started in radio when I was 18 at WABZ in Albemarle, N.C. Later in life, Chevrolet’s advertising agency hired me to be their TV spokesperson. That gave me the opportunity not only to be on-camera but voice-over many of the commercials that we shot.

Debra: Why are you referred to as the Pirate Narrator?

J.D.: Pirates have more fun! They live spontaneously and improvise a lot. Actually, someone once told me that I looked like Errol Flynn. I didn’t know who he was because he passed away before I was born. When I looked him up and saw that he was a swashbuckler in films and lived an adventurous lifestyle, I liked him immediately. The nickname Pirate Narrator is actually a tribute to Errol, whom left this world much to soon.

Debra: Beyond producing and narrating audio books, what other projects keep you busy?

J.D.: I just finished shooting a TV pilot, The Discarded. I play a psychiatrist in a 1950’s insane asylum. I continue to be the on-camera spokesperson for Dick Smith Automotive in S.C. My life is never boring and I do wing it a lot. I wear a lot of different hats and that takes me to a lot of different places. Still dreaming of that home in Maui!

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

J.D.:  What makes me happy?

Debra: So, J.D., what makes you happy?

J.D.: What makes me happy? Happiness is a little tricky. Sometimes we pretend we are happy when we’re really not. Other times we may be having a happy moment but not realize it until months or even years later. Happiness comes from a place deep within. When I’m in unity consciousness and at peace with myself and others I find that I am truly happy. I am completely happy when I am surrounded by other happy people who realize how fortunate we are to exist on this planet that provides our every need. Simple things like sunny days, bike rides, sitting around a bonfire, a walk on the beach or listening to great music always make me happy.

Debra: That’s a beautiful answer J.D. with so much truth in it. Happiness is a little tricky. Those moments are all the more soul fulfilling when we’re aware. You’ve expressed this so well. I could see you writing a book.

If you wrote a book what would it be about?

J.D.: It would be an autobiography. Mine is quite a story believe it or not. It wouldn’t be a look- at- me, I’m so great kind of book. It would be more about life’s disappointments and struggles and how one hopeful romantic can survive in this world and find balance with life, love and loss.

Debra:  I would be in line to buy that book, for sure. I certainly enjoy listening to you narrate a book.

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Is there any special training for becoming a narrator?

J.D.: There are many classes you can take for voice acting. You need computer and audio software skills in order to do your own editing. For me, the best way is to just do it. If you’re good, people will notice and you’ll stay busy. If not, you can move on and try something else. Years of acting in film, TV and commercials has been the biggest asset for me.

Debra: Who is your favorite storyteller?

J.D.:  Vincent Price had me at “It’s as much fun to scare as be scared”.

Debra: Oh I met him once! I was a preteen and very shy. He came to Springfield, Ohio and it might have been a fundraiser, I’m not sure. My father had tickets for us to go hear him live and his show was wonderful. Afterward, we got to meet him. I’m never forget it. My face was hot and red and I was all tongue tied and hiding beneath my hair as shy young girls do. He put his fingers beneath my chin and tipped it up, looking me in the eyes with a kind smile and said, “You have lovely cheekbones, my dear and a sweet smile. You mustn’t hide them. Your smile could light up the room.” Well I was floating at that point and have forgotten whatever else he said, but I have never forgotten those words. He was such a gentleman and that voice…. simply unforgetable.

It’s clear that you enjoy narrating the books and must be loads of fun! Do you work closely with the author when you narrate their book?

J.D.: Yes, unless the author wants to remain out of it. I’ve recorded many audio books without ever communicating directly with the author. The best work comes from a close relationship with the author. The more honest you can be with each other, the better the final product. The same applies to directors and actors whom choose to work together because they know their combined efforts will create a better experience for their audience.

J.D. In Studio

Debra: What is your favorite genre to narrate?

J.D.: I’ve narrated corporate, self-help, science fiction. I’ve even narrated anatomy, biology and military text- books and manuals. After Sharon Hamilton and I discovered each other, I would have to say that romance is my favorite genre. It was love at first write! I’m a sucker for a great love story and the action and adventures of a great romance novel really give my acting chops a nice work out plus I enjoy the ride.

Debra: Please describe the perfect romantic evening.

J.D.: Dressed to the nines, I walk into a crowded bar, scanning the room. I approach the bar where sits the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. She gives me that look that tells all the wannabes within her perimeter that they don’t stand a chance. I offer to buy her a glass of wine, she accepts. We have light casual conversation while we study each other carefully. We finish the glass of wine and I ask her would she care to dance, although there is no dance floor and no music in the background. I escort her to my BMW convertible. With top down we sail off to a private lake where the moon is glistening on the water. I turn the stereo up with a special CD of love songs that I have created just for this night. We exit the car and move toward the lake of enchantment while holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes. Ah, the perfect song begins playing from my car stereo. The dance begins. As we hold each other, knowing that this is going to be a night we shall never forget for as long as we live, I slowly reach down and touch her wedding band. Then, I thank her for 21 of the best years of my life.

Debra: Now that is romance and a true love story. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Okay now, Eight Quickie questions:

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

Sunset and stars.

2.) The beach or the mountains?

The beach.

3.) Primitive camping or luxury hotel?

Primitive camping.

4.) Snow skiing or water skiing?

Water skiing.

5.) Favorite movie:

Body Heat

6.) Best book you ever read:

The Science of Mind (because it changed my life forever

7.) Favorite singer

Neil Diamond

8.) Favorite actor

Gary Oldman

J.D. thank you for visiting with me today and sharing a behind the scenes look at your narration.

Readers, for more about J.D. and his acting and voiceover work you can find him at

www.thebookvoice.net

and www.JDHart.net

I enjoy listening to his narration and I’ll bet you will too.

For more about Debra and her books visit debraparmley.com