Down by Contact (The Barons #2) by Santino Hassell-Review, Interview & Giveaway

DOWN BY CONTACT (The Barons #2) by Santino Hassell-Review, Interview and Giveaway

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DOWN BY CONTACT
The Barons
By Santino Hassell
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, M/M, football romance

Down By Contact

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 16, 2018

Simeon Boudreaux, the New York Barons’ golden-armed quarterback, is blessed with irresistible New Orleans charm and a face to melt your mama’s heart. He’s universally adored by fans and the media. Coming out as gay in solidarity with his teammate hasn’t harmed his reputation in the least—except for some social media taunting from rival linebacker Adrián Bravo.

Though they were once teammates, Adrián views Simeon as a traitor and the number-one name on the New Jersey Predators’ shit list. When animosity between the two NFL players reaches a boiling point on the field, culminating in a dirty fist fight, they’re both benched for six games and sentenced to joint community service teaching sullen, Brooklyn teens how to play ball.

At first, they can barely stand to be in the same room, but running the camp forces them to shape up. With no choice but to work together, Simeon realizes Adrián is more than his alpha-jerk persona, and Adrián begins to question why he’s always had such strong feelings for the gorgeous QB…

•••••••••

REVIEW: DOWN BY CONTACT is the second instalment in Santino Hassell’s contemporary, adult THE BARONS erotic, M/M, football romance series focusing on the professional football players of the New York Barons. This is Barons’ quarterback Simeon Boudreaux, and New Jersey Predators’ linebacker Adrian Bravo’s story line. DOWN BY CONTACT can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary.

NOTE: DOWN BY CONTACT is an M/M romance story line with sexually graphic language, text and situations that may not be suitable for all readers.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Simeon and Adrian) DOWN BY CONTACT follows the enemies to lovers relationship between one-time teammates New York Baron’s quarterback Simeon Boudreaux, and New Jersey Predators’ linebacker Adrian Bravo. Following a less than stellar start with the Predators, Simeon Boudreaux was traded to the New York Baron’s where his star power is on the rise, but in the ensuing time rumors and innuendo about betrayal and playbook theft dogged our hero from the opposing team, but none more so than from one-time teammate and friend Adrian Bravo. Simeon’s recent forced ‘coming out’ prompted a firestorm of media sensation including the homophobic diatribes from a man he once call a friend. Enter Adrian Bravo, New Jersey Predator’s linebacker, and the man with whom Simeon would fall in love. A preseason, on-field brawl between our leading couple finds Simeon and Adrian facing suspension with team ordered volunteer work at a local children’s shelter. What ensues is the building relationship between Simeon and Adrian as they are forced to work together for the benefit of a children’s summer camp, and the potential threat to Adrian’s career when their relationship is revealed.

Adrian Bravo always thought he was a heterosexual male until the day he met teammate Simeon Boudreaux but Adrian had to keep up appearances in front of his team fearing rejection and ridicule at the hands of the media and his so-called friends. Social media attacks against Simeon Boudreaux quickly made Adrian an enemy in more ways than one. Simeon Boudreaux was previously ‘outed’ by several jealous fans who posted sensitive images for all to see but discovering that Adrian Bravo, quite possibly, wanted something more than a rekindling friendship brought hope to a man who was potentially looking for a happily ever after.

The relationship between Simeon and Adrian is an enemies to friends to lovers romance; a second chance friendship that continues to build as they must work together towards a common goal. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and intense without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.My only complaint is the lack of condom usage. Although this is a story of fiction, in an era of STDs and AIDS, I believe the author ( or for that matter, everyone) has a responsibility to promote safer $ex.

We are reintroduced to Barons’ tight end Gavin Brawley, and his personal assistant Noah Monroe (Illegal Contact #1); running back Marcus Hendricks and his fiance Jasmine; and second-string quarterback Noah Monroe; Simeon’s agent Mel Hawkins’, and Adrian’s agent Casey Rose; several young teens and counselors at the Grant Street Center, Simeon’s mother Joanne Boudreaux, Adrian’s parents, as well as Adrian’s embattled teammate Rocky Swoops.

DOWN BY CONTACT is a sexy, sassy and spirited story line; an inspiring and heart warming romance about passion, perception, discrimination and love. The premise is encouraging and energetic; the romance is sensual and provocative; the characters are dynamic and realistic.

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of book one-ILLEGAL CONTACT

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Interview

TRC: Hi Santino and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the recent release of DOWN BY CONTACT.

TRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Follow: Facebook Goodreads / Website / Twitter

Santino HassellSantino: First of all, thank you so much for interviewing me! I guess the most succinct way to explain my background as a fiction writer is to explain that I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. As a kid, I was the type to keep journals full of songs and poetry, then it upgraded to me writing short stories about my friends and I. All of it was wishful thinking and how I wished my life was different. Later, I moved onto writing fanfiction and original fiction. Once I found out there was a whole market for queer romance, I jumped down the rabbit hole and haven’t looked back.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

Santino: I was really influenced by writers like Jordan Castillo Price, Amy Jo Cousins, and more recently Molly O’Keefe. Writers who tackle interesting issues and perspectives with characters who have a very strong voice. Also, I’m really drawn to grittier romances about people who have to fight to get their happy endings, which is why my own writing tends to trend in that direction.

TRC: What challenges or difficulties have you encountered writing and publishing your stories?

Santino: One of my main challenges, and I think the challenge of queer romance writers in general, is my desire for my books to not be treated as a separate subgenre because the characters aren’t straight. This isn’t something that can be changed by one person, or even a few people, but eventually I’d love for these books to be shelved right alongside M/F romance novels.

Down By ContactTRC: Would you please tell us something about the premise of DOWN BY CONTACT and The Barons series?

Santino: The premise of The Barons is essentially “troubled athletes finding love”. Book 1, Illegal Contact, saw the main character suspended and on house arrest following a public brawl, and in Down by Contact the main characters are also in hot water after getting in a fight on the field with each other. Football is such an aggressive sport filled with these athletes who are driven by competitiveness and ego that I wanted to explore that in the series.

TRC: What type of research/plotting do you do, and how long do you spend researching /plotting before beginning a book?

Santino: Before I started the Barons, I read several memoirs of athletes and agents to get an idea of how the sport works on the inside. Besides knowing what goes on during the game, I wanted to know what happens in negotiations, between players and their agents or managers, and definitely in the locker room.

TRC: How do you keep the plot(s) unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability?

Santino: Humans are so unpredictable as a species that sometimes the story tells itself depending on the characters I’ve created. If you start with creating characters from the ground up, with all their background, influences, and life experiences, you have totally different people who will react differently in various scenarios. So, in book 1, Gavin reacted to a friend being threatened by… chasing that person down. He was driven by loyalty and overprotectiveness. In book 2, both Simeon and Adrián are driven by competitiveness and pride—it drives them to engage in a social media feud that gets physical, and ultimately causes them to get trapped together where they take start up a sexier kind of challenge. They basically cannot help but try to one-up each other.

TRC: How did publishing your first book change your writing process?

Santino: I pretty much figured out what works for me in terms of drafting. Basically, that I NEED a detailed outline to survive a draft!

TRC: What was your hardest scene –ever–to write?

Illegal ContactSantino: Honestly, some of my most challenging scenes are always action oriented. In The Barons, writing the football scenes always end with me double checking my descriptions, rereading about fifty times, and then asking my beta readers to pay close attention to the details. I’m always terrified of getting something wrong.

TRC: Do you believe the cover image plays a deciding factor for many readers in the process of selecting a book or new series to read?

Santino: I definitely think it’s important to catching a reader’s attention. As a reader myself, I’m inundated by hundreds of books when I step into a bookstore or go on Amazon, so an amazing cover will stand out from the rest and grab me. After that, the blurb will be the deciding factor on whether I buy.

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?

Santino: I try to direct the characters but, as trite as it sounds, they don’t always follow the script. Usually, they develop in such a way over time in the draft that their actions shift and change, and I have to revise my outline. For example, in Down by Contact, I did not initially intend for Adrián to be smitten with Simeon first, but it happened organically.

TRC: How do you select the names of your characters?

Santino: I don’t have a super scientific process. I tend to go by background, region they grew up in and their parents’ personalities, and use something believable based on all those factors.

TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writer’s fail in this endeavor?

Santino: Creating characters that are multi-faceted is important in that regard. Characters need their own histories, motivations, and life experiences so they feel real. In books where I’ve struggled to form an emotional connection with the characters, it was because they were two-dimensional and had no motivations other than overcoming the main conflict in the story.

TRC: Do you listen to music while writing? If so, does the style of music influence the storyline direction? Characters?

Santino: I do listen to mood music while writing. In the past, I’ve listened to the type of music that I thought my characters would be listening to. Now, I tend to listen to something mellow and calming that won’t distract me. It usually leads to me picking a station on Spotify.

TRC: What do you believe is the biggest misconception people have about you? About authors in general?

Santino: A misconception about me… is probably that I have a plan and know what I’m doing. Most of the time, though, I’m winging it. In terms of an overall misconception about authors—I would say many people I meet seem to believe authors just write in their spare time as a hobby. Usually people who aren’t voracious readers are the ones who make comments implying professional authors just casually pen novels on the side for fun. They have no idea how time-consuming and stressful the craft can be.

TRC: What is something that few, if anybody, knows about you?

Santino: I plan to start writing M/F romance and one day try my shot at YA!

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Santino:I’m currently starting book 3 in The Barons series—Use of Hands. You meet the hero in Down by Contact. His love interest was introduced in book 1.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Santino: Thank you so much for having me! I hope everyone loves Simeon and Adrián.

LIGHTNING ROUND:

Favorite Food: Spaghetti

Favorite Dessert: Cookies

Favorite TV Show: Shameless, at the moment

Last Movie You Saw: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Milk Chocolate

Secret Celebrity Crush: Clive Owen

Last Vacation Destination: New Orleans

Do you have any pets? 2 cats, 1 dog

Last book you read: Relay by Layla Reyne

TRC:  Thank you Santino for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on your new release.

giveaway

Santino Hassell’s publisher is graciously offering a paperback ARC of DOWN BY CONTACT to ONE lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging onto the site, please refresh the page (at the top of your computer).

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3. LIKE Santino Hassell on Facebook

4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

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8. Giveaway open to USA only

9.. Giveaway runs from January 18-23, 2018

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An Interview with Fitness and Cover Model Mike Chabot at The Reading Cafe

An Interview with Fitness and Cover Model Mike Chabot at The Reading Cafe

Mike Chabot 5TRC: Hi Mike and welcome to The Reading Café.

We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Follow Mike : Instagram / Facebook-Mike Chabot Fitness / Facebook-Mike Chabot Model

Mike: I’m a 26 years old fitness model and personal trainer who devotes his life in helping others get the mindset and physique they always dreamt of. Since I can remember, I’ve always done a lot of sports; it’s always been a big part of my life. Soccer has been my main sport. I played for about 10 years and nowadays I prefer playing tennis. I’m a very competitive person. At the age of 16, I discovered at first fitness and strong man competitions. I was intrigued to know how those people could achieved such a perfect physique conditions so I started training on my own.

I always have been the kid who aspired for more in life. I definitely wanted to make a lot of money to achieve freedom. While I was studying finance and administration in college, I started a window washing company that allowed me to know that I wanted to be self-employed. After 3 year in college, I decided to drop out since I knew it wasn’t for me. I also closed my company because I realized I wasn’t happy doing something that wasn’t my passion.

Back in 2011, I was involved in a motorcycle accident that forced me to stop training for 6 month and 3 years later I still have some pain and limitations. While I was recovering from this accident, I started being interested in personal development and the ways to reach happiness. Since fitness was my passion and I wanted to be in contact with people, it just made me even more motivated to become a fitness model and personal coach. My message was clear: Training is not only about having the best shape of your life. It’s also having a strong mindset that will help you become a better person and focus on your goals.

Mike Chabot 1

Now on top of being a trainer, I am an international fitness model. I did photoshoot with clothing brand such as PUMP, Fitness revolution and more. I’m also a book cover model which and at the moment I did around 130 covers most of them are New York Times Best Seller. My goals for the future is to partnership and model for luxury brand such as Hugo Boss, Nike or other big name.

TRC: What were your dreams and aspirations growing up?

Mike: I wanna invest in technologies, learn more and build an empire in multiple niche

TRC: What first sparked your interest in modeling? Is there a defining moment where you knew that modeling was something you were interested in pursuing?

Mike Chabot duo

Mike: Well I always been interested into modeling but not conventionnal run way more like billboard or magazine and commercial so as soon as I was *famous* enough to be a public figure I started.

TRC: Have you ever had a photo shoot that went completely wrong?

Mike: Not really but yes sometimes it can be a waste of time or disorganized.

Mike Chabot 6TRC:  Nudity in modeling or acting can be controversial. Some pictures can cross the line between sexuality to pornography. What would you tell young models/actors /body builders just entering the business about nude modeling and photography?

Mike: I would tell them no never do any nude picture, you can play on the edge to tease but don’t go full nude. Even ass picture I suggest you keep it for a big role or big brand if needed.

Mike Chabot trio 1TRC: The modeling industry exposes you to many people and sometimes it can be very stressful. What do you do when the stress becomes overwhelming?

Mike: I’m not a person who has a lot of stress so I’m always good with it. I always trust the process even if I had bad decision or money problem back them. Its part of the game either you are ready to risk or you don’t play

TRC: At times, there has been a ‘stigma’ surrounding the male model and the romance-cover industry but the popularity of the romance storyline has skyrocketed in the last few years especially with the erotic and sensual cover images. What is your opinion about the recent popularity and the very busy industry of the ‘romance cover model’?

Mike Chabot duo4

Mike: Well if thats what they want I am fine with it, the life in general is more sexual than ever so why not. Sexuality is a good thing and being open about it is fine by me.

TRC: Do you believe the cover image plays a deciding factor for many readers in the process of selecting a book or new series to read?

Mike: Of course it does since it will give you a visual of the character you will fantasize on.

Mike Chabot 3TRC: Do you remember the first romance cover on which you appeared? Do you have a favorite?

Mike: I do have a few covers I prefer and yes I remember the first few covers I sold, damn its been a while.

TRC: Do you know the number of novel covers that your image has appeared?

Mike: Around 160-170 so far but they aren’t all published yet

TRC: What do you do to relax?

Mike: Watch tv series or movies, read or chill with my dog or friends

TRC: What five things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

Invest in Bitcoin and help others

Master the foreign exchange

Build my personal brand to a whole new level

Play in a tv series and a movie

Travel the world and find the right person to build everything with me.

Mike Chabot 4TRC: What is something that few people know about you?

Mike: I have some OCD and I’m a gamer (love all the super heroes stuff and pc gaming)

TRC: Who or what are your inspirations?

Mike: I really love The Rock, Gary Vee, Richard brandsom, tony robbins and a few other people.

TRC: What type of music do you listen to? What songs are on your current playlist?

Mike: It always depends on my mood I love all music

TRC: On what on your currently working?

Mike: My mobile application ‘Mike Chabot’ to help even more people with the fitness lifestyle and learning BTC and FOREX

Mike Chabot duo 3

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Mike: Be happy and be patient life is a marathon not a sprint so don’t try to cheat the process

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food: sushi and burgers

Favorite Dessert: Now that I am lactose intolerant there are not a lot of desserts I can eat but it used to be cheesecake and chocolate cake

Favorite Movie: there are so many lol

Favorite TV Show: Suits and Game of Thrones

Last Movie that you saw: Kingsmen, The Golden Circle (wasn’t really impressed)

Secret Celebrity Crush: Celebrity I don’t really have; Instagram model I really like is Anllela Sagra

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Used to be milk but I can’t anymore

Do you have any pets? An English bulldog named Boum Boum

Pet Peeve: I can be impatient or impulsive haha

TRC: Thank you Mike for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success. We look forward to seeing many more covers.

Mike Chabot duo 6

 

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An Interview with Fitness and Cover Model Zack Salaun

An Interview with Fitness and Cover Model Zack Salaun

Zack Salaun 1TRC:  Hi Zach and welcome to The Reading Cafe. We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Follow Zack: Instagram / Facebook /

Zack:  Well, I grew up in Northern California and later moved to Southern Cali where I have stayed since I was 18. I have always loved being active and hated being told what to do. I have always questioned the commonly accepted and asked “why” and that attitude along with a love for life has led me to where I am today.

TRC:  What were your dreams and aspirations growing up?

Zack:  I always wanted to be a professional motocross racer. My first love was always dirt bikes.

TRC:  What first sparked your interest in modeling? Is there a defining moment where you knew that modeling was something you were interested in pursuing?

Zack Salaun trio 1

Zack:  Modeling was never my interest, but the idea of waking up to a life I loved was always my goal. I just want to be excited to wake up every day and do whatever it is I have to do. Happiness is all about loving your push. Modeling was simply the first thing that allowed me to get paid to be fit, travel and meet new people.

TRC:  Have you ever had a photo shoot that went completely wrong?

Zack: Not really. I am pretty selective when choosing who I shoot with so I generally have chemistry, or if they are new, I make the chemistry 🙂 I love people.

SingeTRC:  Nudity in modeling or acting can be controversial. Some pictures can cross the line between sexuality to pornography. What would you tell young models/actors /body builders just entering the business about nude modeling and photography?

Zack:  I don’t think there is anything inherently right or wrong about nudes. There are tasteful ways to do it and trashy ways to do it and there are both benefits and advantages to baring it all. What I would say is that there are consequences to all our actions and with today’s internet, some will choices will never go away. It all comes down to who you want to be and where you want your career to go. Some of the greatest models have done some wild shit that made their career, and there are some other incredibly talented models that did some questionable things that halted their career right where they stood. That being said, I believe anything can be overcome if you work hard enough. Again, it all comes down to who you want to be and how hard you are willing to work?

TRC:  The modeling industry exposes you to many people and sometimes it can be very stressful. What do you do when the stress becomes overwhelming?

Zack:  Have a meltdown… I joke, but that does happen. I turn to doing the things I love like mountain biking, climbing, surfing, MMA and other things like that. Its also incredibly important to build your circle of friends and loved ones with care. They are your rock and foundation. The modeling and fashion worlds can be strangely caustic, so its important to have people that help ground you.

Zack Salaun trio 3

TRC:  At times, there has been a ‘stigma’ surrounding the male model and the romance-cover industry but the popularity of the romance story line has skyrocketed in the last few years especially with the erotic and sensual cover images. What is your opinion about the recent popularity and the very busy industry of the ‘romance cover model’?

Zack:  I think its wonderful that this niche is growing. I think it would be even better if it grew large enough to allow the models to make a full time living doing it, which isn’t the case now. As for the genre itself, I believe that if people are entertained and enjoy it, then it belongs in this world.

TRC:  Do you believe the cover image plays a deciding factor for many readers in the process of selecting a book or new series to read?

Zack Salaun 2Zack:  Absolutely. I can’t speak for the readers, but the genre is based on fantasies. If the cover model happens to fit someone’s ultimate desire the book is simply a way to further bring it to life and experience it on a more intimate level. I am sure there are plenty of cases where readers just love the style of the author, but I would wager that many of those relationships began because a cover caught someone’s eye.

TRC:  Do you remember the first romance cover on which you appeared? Do you have a favorite?

Zack:  Actually, I can’t 🙁  I’ve been on quite a few over the last few years and I keep myself quite busy with my business. I’m honored and grateful for all of them. The fact that someone wanted my silly face on their work of art is a beautiful thing. I’m still not used to the whole thing. Picking a favorite would be tough. There are so many great ones. Wander and Andrey do an amazing job with the photos and then the cover art happens. I’ve had a few that I love, picking one just isn’t possible.

TRC:  Do you know the number of novel covers that your image has appeared?

Zack:  oooo…I’m not totally sure but its over 30 at this point.

Zach Salaun duo 1

TRC:  What do you do to relax?

Zack:  What every guy does…write or read generally (you thought I was going somewhere else with that 😉 Swimming always helps too.

TRC:  😉

TRC:  What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

Zack:  The 3 things I will accomplish in the next 5 years:
Bring my business to a 7 figure passive, residual income annually.
Finish the book I am writing
Own 5 investment properties

TRC:  What is something that few people know about you?

Zack:  I value time far more than money

Zack Salaun trio 4

TRC:  Who or what are your inspirations?

Zack:  I am inspired by life and living it uncaged. Happiness and beauty begin when we are genuine and to live truly as ourselves we have to be free from the common barriers we allow to hold us back, like money, jobs, fear, and normal…whatever that is. I am inspired by those that have done that before me and those that are willing to risk everything for the chance to live life completely on their own terms.

TRC:  What type of music do you listen to? What songs are on your current playlist?

Zack:  Oh I listen to a ton of different stuff. Classical, classic rock, alternative rock, instrumental, electronic, dubstep, trance, rap… it really depends on my mood, but the common theme is whether it is saying something worth listening to.
Led Zeppelin, Chevelle, TOOL, Blackmill, Glitchmob, Atmosphere, RHCP, Mac Dre….list goes on

Zack Salaun 6

TRC: On what on your currently working?

Zack:  I am currently focused on my business. I teach active people how to create passive income so they can do more of what they love. Its my passion and I love waking up to it.

TRC:  Would you like to add anything else?

Zack:  Only that I am grateful for everyone out there that reads this and supports me. It means the world to me that anyone wants to hear what I have to say. So, Thank you.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food: How can you pick one?

Favorite Dessert: I usually eat too much dinner

Favorite Movie: Snatch

Favorite TV Show: Rick and Morty

Last Movie that you saw: Liar Liar

Secret Celebrity Crush: Allan Watts

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Dark

Do you have any pets? Not anymore 🙁

Pet Peeve: Fake people or Being rude

TRC: Thank you Zack for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success.

Zack Zalaun duo 2

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Interview with Jake Davies-Model and Designer

Interview with Jake Davies-Model and Designer

Jake Davies 5TRC:Hi Jake and welcome to The Reading Cafe.

Follow Jake: Behance  |  Dribbble  |  LinkedIn  |  Facebook

Jake: Hey. Thanks for this opportunity. First of all I want to apologize for my poor English. I’ve studied it at school and it was long long ago.

TRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Jake: Well. My name Jake Davies. I was born in Kyiv, Ukraine 26 years ago. When I was 14 years old I was dying to get my first tattoo. My parents didn’t like that idea. Two years after I left home and school for my first job as a designer and started my life on my own. It took me two more years to earn the money and I decided to open my own design studio. We called ourselves The MDMA. I designed the logo and it was perfect for me so I went to good friend of mine and asked him to tattoo the logo on my left wrist. I was 18 and I fell in love with tattoos. I realized how many blank space I have on my body to cover with lots of tattoos. Next few years I’ve spent having tattooed something important to me. My first engagement with my ex-girlfriend Kate. It was beautiful typography Jake & Kate on my right hand. Then my favorite city Amsterdam, I’ve tattooed the logo «Iamsterdam». And the last one was J and D letters. And then something inside of me whispers that it’s not even close to that image that I desired when was a kid.

I started my research more deeply on different styles. Nothing comes close to that vision I had. Until one day I found popular tattoo artist Roxx from 2Spirit Tattoo. And I was inspired. I realized that the problem was in me. I didn’t want lots of small tattoos. I wanted one bold tattoo that will be mine. Mine. I mean it should complement the lines of my body. It’s a feeling that tattoo designed to fit perfectly to me not like I’m wearing on top of my body, you know. And than I’ve decided to start my 4 year journey.

As a result I’ve got one bold tattoo that covers more than half of my body made from different styles, black work and sacred geometry that fits perfectly my body. Funny thing is when I see people that copied this tattoo and it misses that feeling like that part of tattoo fits perfectly to the body, you know.

TRC: What were your dreams and aspirations growing up?

Jake: I’ve grown up without a father. He left us when I was 2-years old kid. That made me feel like I didn’t deserve to be loved. So when I started my own path, found my dream job and decided to be a designer I was looking for someone who could be mentor for me and replaces that hole in my heart. After a almost 5 years of searching I found the guy called Simon Sinek and his speech «Starts with Why». It was so close to me that I felt something special about this guy. He spoke everything I believe in and he was doing it perfectly. It was that moment when I stopped thinking I was a freak and realized that I was pretty smart. That made me work even harder and consciously made choices in my life. One of those choices was this tattoo 🙂 I a clear vision why I’m getting up from bed every single day and it’s just a simple thought but so meaningful to me. I believe that design is a communication. And communication should be simple, ‘cause miscommunications made people suffer and feel bad’. When things are clear everybody knows exactly what to do to be happy. So for me it sounds like «Design is giving people something to believe in» this is why I love my job. I feel great when I see how the fire burns in the eyes of people when they know exactly what are they doing and why they are doing it. The whole process began to make sense. It’s not about money or fame. It’s about doing what I love, what you love and what other people love. That makes me happy, inspired and motivated.

I have series of lectures. And I love to share that experience with others.

Jake Davies 6

TRC: What first sparked your interest in modeling? Is there a defining moment where you knew that modeling was something you were interested in pursuing?

Jake: Well. Honestly speaking I didn’t know this tattoo will be something special. For me it was just my tattoo and that’s all. But one day I received a letter from photographer who offered me a free photo shoot just for fun. And that was that moment when the first photos went online and people were nuts about it. This is that session:

Next two years I’ve received lots of offer for a photo shoot but I was still thinking it’s just a hobby. Even when Seafret’s director came to me and I’ve got featured in their music video that was viewed more than 13 million times for now. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8INOzcCGBzY

Frankly speaking I’m still didn’t see myself as a model, I mean I’m not sure I could earn money using my tattoo but just a few months ago I decided to give it a try. 25 September 2017 is my 10 year anniversary as a designer, why not to try add new timeline… First year as a model 🙂

TRC:   Have you ever had a photo shoot that went completely wrong?

Jake:  Well, I think 🤔 not yet but I’m sure there will be f*ckups in future 🙂 Everything was so easy and natural for me so I didn’t expect that it will work out each time I get to the studio.

TRC:  Nudity in modeling or acting can be controversial. Some pictures can cross the line between sexuality to pornography. What would you tell young models/actors /body builders just entering the business about nude modeling and photography?

Jake: Hahaha. That’s the funny one. Well, I can’t be nude 🙂 I mean even without clothes I’m still covered with tattoo-suit. If seriously, than I don’t like nude photography especially for women for the reason that I believe if that girl is in relationship with somebody that means some things should be visible only for one person, not as a trophy on internet for the sake of  a like in Instagram, you know. But it’s just me. I know many people who have different points of view from mine.

Jake Davies 9

TRC:  The modeling industry exposes you to many people and sometimes it can be very stressful. What do you do when the stress becomes overwhelming?

Jake: For me it’s not stressful. It’s full of fun. Really. I’ve been teaching people and have lots of lectures and that experience made all my photo shoots feel like it’s a party. I didn’t take it too serious. Most of my photos are retouched by me personally so if something went wrong, or I just blinked it’s not a problem 😉

Answering your question, if there will be stressful situation I just put on my headphones and listen to a few favorite songs and everything disappears for a while. That fuels me with some energy. It reminds me why I’m here. Why I’m doing it and it’sn an opportunity right in front of me to make something meaningful. Make something that people will believe in. You know. That’s why I do not design or model for tobacco, alcohol and other companies that spoil people.

TRC:  At times, there has been a ‘stigma’ surrounding the male model and the romance-cover industry but the popularity of the romance story line has skyrocketed in the last few years especially with the erotic and sensual cover images. What is your opinion about the recent popularity and the very busy industry of the ‘romance cover model’?

Jake: I didn’t take it serious. It’s entertainment, you pay few bucks for something that pleases your eye and you read a story. Whether I  like it or not, it doesn’t matter. Everybody loves movies. If you spent a few hours on a horrible movie it may ruin your day, but not your life. Tomorrow will be something new and I personally don’t bother myself with this. As a model, I know that I could influence on people’s choice. Appealing cover talks to your emotions not logic. But in terms of type of covers such as naked bodies it’s just a tool to influence people to purchase the book. It’s business. Nothing special about it.

TRC:  Do you believe the cover image plays a deciding factor for many readers in the process of selecting a book or new series to read?

Jake: Sure. As a designer with 10 years of experience I could prove that. A good cover makes an impact. It’s advertising. If you have a choice to sleep with a supermodel or somebody who doesn’t made to feel  «motivated»… Well, you have no choice, it’s obvious 🙂 The same rule goes here. People love beautiful things. And you know why? I can tell that beauty is the promise of happiness. That something from my lectures 🙂 Beautiful things works better.

Mercy Jake DaviesTRC: Do you know the number of novel covers that your image has appeared?

Jake: The one and only «MERCY» by Debra Anastasia. It’s my first cover.

TRC: Would you please tell us about RIVAL Barbershop?

Click HERE to find the RIVAL Barbershop on Facebook

Jake: This is something special. I’ve decided to use all my knowledge and experience to create something simple as a barbershop and make it the way I see it. Experience is everything. People buy Apple not because it got few gigs of RAM, people buy iPhones/Macs and so on because it’s a symbol of who you are, what are your beliefs, you know. RIVAL is a new approach in services, in interior design, in interaction design, in communication in team building.

Rival Jake Davies

Everything that I can name «Perfect» place was developed in Rival. It’s my child. It’s like doing what you used to do last 10/20/30/40 years (haircut) when you expect how it will be but when you came in something changes. And that experience I called Rival. Design something simple as barbershop with unique experience that made you change your mind about what is possible and what you though was possible. I want people to get up and be brave. I want our clients not just make good haircuts and therapy with barber but to be confident that the only Rival you’ve got in your life is fighting with your fears, with your auto-pilots that rules your life. To stand up, break bullshit relationships, left the job you hate and rival your own demon. That’s why Rival slogan is «Starts With You».

This place is magical.

Jake Davies 4

TRC:  What do you do to relax?

Jake:  Sleep. I work until morning most of the time. I wake up and the next thing I do is call for UBER. Life is DIY project I didn’t like to procrastinate and waste my time. Sometimes social events, modeling, listening to my favorite band while driving through traffic jam made me feel relaxed. I don’t know, maybe I am just a crazy dude but until I can walk, think and design something I want to use it to the maximum.

TRC:  What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

Jake: Huh, that’s pretty easy. I want to feature in a few movies. Visit LA and SF next year. Launch Rival Barbershop / Rival Clothes and build Rival as a multi-brand company. To be the first big design driven company in Ukraine that focuses on experience more than on things. I want to overcome my broken heart and divorce with building a new relationship with a woman who will love me back, I’m 26 years old and I failed to choose the right woman and all my failed relationships were wrong because it was the love story… my love story but not the other person’s. I want to fight the depression and believe in relationship / in marriage once again. So the next step is to build a family. Get myself noticed not only as a designer but as a model too. And self education, self education and self education… Maybe write a book 🙂

TRC:   What is something that few people know about you?

Jake:  I’m very kind and smart guy. Most people think that I’m aggressive and a tough guy. But it’s because of the tattoos 🙂

TRC:   Your tattoos are very beautiful, dark and intricate. Is there any significance or history behind the patterns?

Jake Davies 2

Jake: Thanks. Yeah, there is a story behind it. But it’s personal, so I’ll keep it a secret for now 🙂

TRC:   How old were you when you got your first tattoo and what was the precipitating factor behind the choice of tattoo?

Jake:  I was 18 when i got my first real tattoo. It was the logo of my first studio. For me it was like showing to myself how much I believe in this project.

TRC:   What do you believe is the biggest misconception about tattoos and the body-modification industry as a whole?

Jake:  From my experience the biggest problem is here in Ukraine people see tattoos like mine and they think that it’s something evil and we are all f*cking demons. Poor people. Lots of stereotypes. I don’t like it.

Jake Davies 8

TRC:  What type of music do you listen to? What songs are on your playlist today?

Jake:  My favorite band for the last few years that constantly playing every single day are:

The Neighbourhood, Bring Me The Horizon, AMATORY, Korn, You Me At Six, Young Lions, The XX, Odesza and Noisia. I love heavy music. I love when it screams. I feel the music. I’m not a big fan of electronic music. I think it’s emotionless.

TRC: On what on your currently working?

Jake:  For the last 11 months I’ve been busy getting things together for the RIVAL Barbershop. I think 5 or 7 more months and I’ll be ready to start the second RIVAL project.

TRC:   Would you like to add anything else?

Jake:  Sure. Hey you, people out there. Please, be kind and love what you do. Stop doing what other people tell you to do. Get up and find your RIVAL 🙂 Be happy.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food:
Burgers and Pizza

Favorite Dessert:
Condensed milk

Favorite Movie:
Lion King / Life As A House (2001)

Favorite TV Show:
Lie To Me

Last Movie that you saw:
Ummmmmm. «Arrival» I guess

Secret Celebrity Crush:
If I tell you it will be no secret 😛

Dark or Milk Chocolate:
Milk! Milk! More Milk! More Chocolate!!! And M&M’s Please 🙂

Do you have any pets?
Sure, dog and cat. Love them both.

TRC: Thank you Jake for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on your first ‘romance cover’ and the opening of RIVAL. We wish you all the best.

Jake Davies 10

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Interview with Cover Model & DJ Mitchell Wick

Interview with Cover Model & DJ Mitchell Wick

TRC:  Hi Mitchell and welcome to The Reading Café.

We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Follow Mitchell: Facebook / Instgram / Twitter / Website

Mitchell Wick 12Mitchell:  Hey I’m Mitchell Wick, born in Sydney, Australia. I’m the youngest of three, with two older sisters and  a very close family which are everything to me. Enjoy getting outdoors and keeping fit, when I’m not doing that I’m working on my music 🙂

TRC:  What were your dreams and aspirations growing up?

Mitchell:  Wanted to be a professional footballer (soccer) 

TRC:  What first sparked your interest in modeling? Is there a defining moment where you knew that modeling was something you were interested in pursuing?

Mitchell:  I was approached at a music festival in Miami, USA. At the time I was over working at my current job (telecommunications technician) so decided to take the risk and give it a go! Best decision of my life to date haha 🙂

Mitchell Wick Trio


TRC:  Have you ever had a photo shoot that went completely wrong?

Mitchell:  Wouldn’t say completely wrong but Ive had some rough days that’s for sure, one especially in Colombia when not one person in the crew could speak English which made for a very difficult long day of shooting!


TRC:  Nudity in modeling or acting can be controversial.  Some pictures can cross the line between sexuality to pornography. What would you tell young models/actors just entering the business about nude modeling and photography?

Mitchell Wick Leslie McAdam duo

Mitchell:  Nudity is part of life and if shot properly is beautiful, but if its not then it can be the total opposite and you don’t want to be apart of that! You have to be smart about who you are going to shoot nude with and really trust that photographers vision and have a good relationship with them beforehand to make sure you are both comfortable. Also make sure you know what the images are going to be used for exactly and the mood of the shoot before you commit to anything!


TRC:  The modeling industry exposes you to many people and sometimes it can be very stressful.  What do you do when the stress becomes overwhelming?

Mitchell:  Escape to a place I know I can forget about everything like going surfing or hiking, these are the best ways for me to clear my mind, relieve stress and just enjoy nature without worrying about a thing!

TRC:  At times, there has been a ‘stigma’ surrounding the male model and the romance-cover industry but the popularity of the romance story line has skyrocketed in the last few years especially with the erotic and sensual cover images. What is your opinion about the recent popularity and the very busy industry of the ‘romance cover model’?

Mitchell Wick Kim Karr covers

Mitchell:  As I’ve been on multiple romance covers now its obviously great for me as its work, but on top of that I really enjoy seeing my image on the cover of these books and the buzz it creates!

TRC:  Do you believe the cover image plays a deciding factor for many readers in the process of selecting a book or new series to read?

Mitchell:  For sure, I believe a appealing cover plays a huge part of a successful book. Who wants to pick up and read something thats not visually appealing to the reader? Especially for a romance novel!

TRC:  Do you know the number of novel covers that your image has appeared?

Mitchell:  I believe around 7-8

TRC:  Do you remember the first romance cover on which you appeared? Do you have a favorite?

Mitchell Wicke Cover 4Mitchell:  I do, my first cover was for Leslie McAdams – Stars in the sky, she was amazing and got me involved with the community 🙂


TRC:  Would you please tell us what you do to relax?

Mitchell:  Surf, hike, listen to music and hang with friends.

TRC:  What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

Mitchell:  Greater success in modelling/DJing, start a family & settle down in one place 🙂


TRC:  What is something that few, if anybody, knows about you?

Mitchell:  I can’t give that away then everyone will know right? ….. but I sleep kinda weird with my arms tucked up at times…. you have to see it to believe haha it’s a little odd 🙂


TRC:  What do you believe is the biggest misconception about modeling ?

Mitchell Wick duo 2

Mitchell:  Easy work and high paying, its not true at all! Its a hustle and very testing at times but I love what I do and will continue to keep pushing myself to achieve more in the industry!

TRC:  What type of music do you listen to? What songs are on your playlist today?

Mitchell:  House & techno mostly, that’s what I mix when DJing 🙂

TRC:  On what on your currently working?

Mitchell:  DJing tour 🙂

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food: Seafood

Favorite Dessert: Frozen Yoghurt

Favorite Movie: Shawshank Redemption

Favorite TV Show: Game Of Thrones

Last Movie that you saw: Wind River

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Milk

Do you have any pets? No, I travel too much 🙁

Pet Peeve: Greed

TRC:  Thank you Mitchell for taking the time to answer our questions.Congratulations on all of your success and the amazing cover images. We wish you all the best and many more covers !!

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Interview with Fitness & Cover Model Nick Bennett

INTERVIEW with  Fitness and Cover Model Nick Bennett

TRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Follow Nick: Facebook / Instagram/ Twitter

Nick Bennett 14Nick: I’m Nick Bennett, I am the youngest of three brothers, my parents are still together. I grew up playing all sports and fell in love with working out when I was 13 years old in a before school weightlifting program.

TRC: What were your dreams and aspirations growing up?

Nick: I never really had any dreams or aspirations growing up. I never knew what I wanted to be career wise and as for out of this world dreams such as going pro in football or any other sport I never wanted it. I guess I just lived my life day to day and was motivated in the now and never really thought about the future too much.

TRC: When not modeling what is your ‘day job’?

Nick: I work in the service industry in Las Vegas, I have a bachelors degree in health sciences but I feel as if I am still currently too ” young minded” to be able to lock myself in a hospital or small office at this point in my life. I also dabble in the stock market with investments as well as personal training, both online and in person.

Nick Bennett MN ForgyTRC: What first sparked your interest in modeling? Is there a defining moment where you knew that modeling was something you were interested in pursuing?

Nick: A friend of mine in college recommend I get into it “mainly because of my physique” and so I created a Model Mayhem profile. I knew I was interested in pursuing modeling once I started getting paid for photo shoots “not long after creating my model Mayhem Mayhem account”. I was 18 years old and charging anywhere from 75-150 dollars an hour for shoots. I was hooked on the easy money as well as the attention it brought from my peers. Some negative because in male modeling yNick Bennett Cover 6ou are always exposed to what some people may not view as normal, in my case I was exposed to a pretty large gay fan base which I love, as well as a female fan base.

TRC: Have you ever had a photo shoot that went completely wrong?

Nick: Yes I have had photo shoots where I was extremely uncomfortable and manipulated after already showing up to the shoot on what the contents of the shoot would contain. I was 18 and was only seeing easy money but I quickly learned what the industry can be like sometimes.

TRC: Nudity in modeling or acting can be controversial. Some pictures can cross the line between sexuality to pornography. What would you tell young models/actors /body builders just entering the business about nude modeling and photography?

CavemanNick: My advice is very simple. To each his own. The internet is a hell of a place. If you’re comfortable being nude than be nude. Just know your son and daughter and everyone else related to you will be able to see that at some point in their lives. If you really want the money and find great opportunity in it maybe use an alias. That way you’re only googleable with your alias UNTIL the super creepers find out who you really are and then blast you on blogs.

TRC: The modeling industry exposes you to many people and sometimes it can be very stressful. What do you do when the stress becomes overwhelming?

Nick: Honestly I’m blessed enough to have never experienced any stress and or drama. I am decently “well known” I would say but I like to think I’m in the industry and yet at the same time not in the industry. I don’t get involved with any drama and most of my posts are directed towards positivity and nothing more. Getting too heavily involved would ruin the fun for me. Remember I’m just a kid from a small Florida town “Merritt Island” who just so happen to get pretty buff and doesn’t have a half bad face to look at 🙂

TRC: At times, there has been a ‘stigma’ surrounding the male model and the romance-cover industry but the popularity of the romance story line has skyrocketed in the last few years especially with the erotic and sensual cover images. What is your opinion about the recent popularity and the very busy industry of the ‘romance cover model’?

Nick Bennett 15Nick: I think its amazing!! I had no idea it even existed. I still remember my first cover, an image from FuriousFotog and a cover for Lani Lynn Vale. At the time I was only shooting modeling images for self promotion and to grow my social media. After shooting with Furious I was randomly sitting on my couch one day and got a paypl deposit followed by a text message explaining what it was all about. That was all she wrote and I kinda of blew up from there once everyone saw me on her cover and said “who is the new guy!!??’ I think it’s amazing that something as small as changing the cover of your book from a stock image to an actual person that the fans can communicate with and see at events was a genius idea.

TRC: What do you do to prepare yourself for a shoot?

Nick: Well this is where I SHOULD lie and say what needs to be done to live a healthy fit lifestyle and maintain a well oiled machine physique BUT….. I am genetically blessed. I eat literally whatever I want, whenever I want to do it, and I have pretty good abs year round. Every shoot I have ever done all I did to prep was try to work on my tan. Don’t get me wrong I bust my ass in the gym 5-7 days a week since I was 13 years old but I do get to live both worlds and eat amazing food while still maintaining what most would call a “goals body”

TRC: Do you know the number of novel covers that your image has appeared?

Nick: Including couples images as well as solo I am close to 50 sold images. Some of the images were just purchased with no book currently written, but it’s flattering that an author can see an image of myself, or a couples image and be inspired to write a whole story based on what they see.

Nick Bennett Cover 9TRC: Do you remember the first romance cover on which you appeared? Do you have a favorite?

Nick: Yes, like I said earlier my first cover was a FuriousFotog image for Lani Lynn Vale ‘Life to my Flight’…. and I didn’t even have to go back on my Facebook to check if I’m correct. It was a major turning point in my life and I thank both of them for welcoming me with open arms into the community. I cannot say I have a favorite…….. or maybe I can 😉 but I won’t.

TRC: Would you please tell us what you do to relax?

Nick: I love just snuggling up in bed with my girlfriend Madena. I really have a queen: she massages me without me asking, draws baths with all the fancy stuff I don’t know how to use, and is always super supportive of any work or modeling endeavor I decide to embark on. Every day with her is pretty relaxing in itself.

TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

Nick: purchase a home, have a stable career instead of hustling with multiple “jobs” and maybe be married and have or start a family

TRC: What is something that few, if anybody, knows about you?

Nick: I am the tallest in my family at a whopping 5’7″ haha and I sleep with a blanket that was given to me as an infant every night which I hope to pass along to my child if and when I may ever have one.

Nick Bennett collage

TRC: What do you believe is the biggest misconception about modeling ?

Nick: Stereotypes exist for a reason BUT I don’t like it that some people view myself in particular as douchey arrogant or uneducated just because I have tattoos, muscles, and hair that’s low on the sides and long on top hah.

TRC: What type of music do you listen to? What songs are on your playlist today?

Nick: I mostly listen to early 90’s and 2000’s hip hop rap and r&b. Love classic rock as well and some punk rock screamo stuff for the gym.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Nick: Pretty solid interview

TRC: Thank you !

Nick Bennett Anne Mercier

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food:sushi

Favorite Dessert: multiple cheesecakes

Favorite Movie:anything by Pixar or Dreamworks

Favorite TV Show: Supernatural

Last Movie that you saw: Straight Outta Compton

Secret Celebrity Crush: none

Dark or Milk Chocolate: milk

Do you have any pets? Pitbulls back with my parents and a small Yorkie named Ollie in Vegas

Pet Peeve: talking over certain parts of certain songs, and crappy people who do extremely well in life.

TRC: Thank you Nick for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success and the numerous cover images we see every day.

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An Interview with Model/Musician Justin Edwards

An INTERVIEW with Model / Musician Justin Edwards

TRC: Hi Justin, and welcome to The Reading Café.

Justin Scott Edwards 3Justin: Hi. Thank you!

TRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you pleasetell us something about yourself?

Follow Justin: Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

Justin: Most of my life I have been a competitive athlete. I grew up as as gymnast and martial artist, also playing football, basketball, and playing baseball for a top collegiate program through college.

TRC: What were your dreams and aspirations growing up?

Justin: I wanted to be a professional baseball player, or an entertainer, from the time I can remember.

TRC: When not modeling what is your ‘day job’?

Justin: I’m a musician/entertainer, and a personal trainer.

TRC: What first sparked your interest in modeling? Is there a defining moment where you knew that modeling was something you were interested in pursuing?

Justin Scott Edwards cover 1Justin: There’s probably not really that one moment that sparked an interest. I really just fell into fashion and commercial modeling through singing and playing music.

TRC: Have you ever had a photo shoot that went completely wrong?

Justin: There’s always plenty of bloopers and mishaps, especially with me because I’m a big goofball, but none that I recall going completely wrong.

TRC: Nudity in modeling or acting can be controversial. Some pictures can cross the line between sexuality to pornography. What would you tell young models/actors /body builders just entering the business about nude modeling and photography?

Justin: My best advice would be to do only what you are personally comfortable with doing. There will always be critics, and those with different views. That’s life…but life is too short to worry about what everyone else thinks. Be happy.

TRC: The modeling industry exposes you to many people and sometimes it can be very stressful. At times do you feel alone, surrounded by so many people? What do you do when the stress becomes overwhelming?

Justin Scott Edwards 5Justin: I have gotten to meet so many great people through modeling, and have gained a lot of new friends. It does get hard to keep up at times, but I have a great circle of close friends who are very supportive.

TRC: At times, there has been a ‘stigma’ surrounding the male model and the romance-cover industry but the popularity of the romance story line has skyrocketed in the last few years especially with the erotic and sensual cover images. What is your opinion about the recent popularity and the very busy industry of the ‘romance cover model’?

Justin: I think it’s great! I have been able to see so many places, and meet so many people over the last couple years. Some will be lifelong friends with whom I will share lifelong memories. To some degree, it has become more like a brotherhood…a family.

TRC: What do you do to prepare yourself for a shoot?

Justin: I usually just cut out all junk food for a few days.lol I stay in pretty good shape being a personal trainer and athletic coach, so don’t have to do much to get my abs back. 😉

TRC: Do you know the number of novel covers that your image has appeared?

Justin: Hmm…I really don’t know. I’d say probably less than 100 novel covers.

TRC: Do you remember the first cover (book or magazine) on which you appeared?

JJustin Scott Edwards Cover 2ustin: My first book cover (Romance Novel) was ‘Wicked’ by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I don’t recall the first publication, or magazine. I’ve been in many more fashion and commercial publications than I have Romance novel covers.

TRC: Would you please tell us what you do to relax?

Justin: Usually goof off and joke around. Also, drink flavored water. *Some will understand that one.J

TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

 

Justin:
#1- Record (writing or recording artist).
#2- Own 3 of my own gyms (currently working on my first).
#3- Complete my novel.

TRC: What is something that few, if anybody, knows about you?

Justin: I’m a Sci-Fi Nerd!

TRC: What do you believe is the biggest misconception about modeling ?

Justin: Probably that most models aren’t intelligent. A lot of us are well educated, and some of us speak up to 5 languages. Some of the most intelligent, and uniquely diverse people I have met have been in the modeling and entertainment industry.

TRC: What type of music do you listen to? Perform? and what is on your playlist today?

Justin: I mostly listen to oldies, classic country, classic rock, and rockabilly. I perform all of those genres, as well as some good dance/pop tunes for certain venues.

Justin Edwrds 6TRC: On what on your currently working?

Justin: I’m currently working toward moving into entertainment full time, and growing my health & fitness business.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Justin: I’d just like to thank everyone who works hard to bring each cover to life! Aside from the novel itself, there’s a lot that goes into bringing these books to life. Also, a huge thank you to all of the readers and fans! Without y’all, this industry wouldn’t exist!!

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food: Chocolate Gravy and Biscuits

Favorite Dessert: Banana Pudding

Favorite Movie: Major League or Lonesome Dove

Favorite TV Show: Supernatural

Last Movie that you saw: Wonder Woman

Secret Celebrity Crush: Kate Beckinsale

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Dark

Last Book that you Read: Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy

Pet Peeve: Unjustly being rude or unkind.

Justin Edwards covers

TRC:  Thank you Justin for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success and the amazing cover images. We
wish you all the best and many more covers !!

Justin: You’re very welcome! Thank you very much, and thank you for the opportunity to interview with The Reading Café!!

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Interview with model Jacob Rodney Hogue

Interview with model Jacob Rodney Hogue

TRC: Hi Jacob, and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the cover of Laura Kaye’s RIDE WILD. We are BIG fans of Laura at The Reading Café. We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Jacob Hogue 4Follow Jacob on : Instagram

Jacob: I grew up living in multiple states temporarily, but spent most my time in Great Falls, MT until I was 15. I moved to Yuba City, Ca at that age. At age 19 I joined the Army reserve and after 8 years and one deployment to Afghanistan I chose not to reenlist and moved to Long Beach, CA to model and act.

TRC: What were your dreams and aspirations growing up?

Jacob: Dreams and aspirations as a child were very limited. I grew up in a loving yet sheltered Christian home. I loved singing and sports but never really approached either as a career possibility.

TRC: When not modeling what is your ‘day job’?

Jacob: I work security at Sgt Peppers Dueling pianos on the weekend and am also an avid writer in my free time. I write songs, poetry and am creating my own tv show.

Jacob Hogue 7TRC: Would you please tell us about your beloved four-legged friends?

Jacob: My pets are my children. I have two pitbulls. My male is 1/2 bullmastiff. I also have a savannah cat, who is the coolest guy ever (hence the name “Xander Cage” and my girlfriend has a dainty little Siamese girl.

TRC: What first sparked your interest in modeling? Is there a defining moment where you knew that modeling was something you were interested in pursuing?

Jacob: Modeling was something I never really considered, but my good friend, John DeWall, had dove into modeling and acting and put me in touch with Wander once I was out of the Army and now here I am.

Jacob Rodney Hogue cover 2TRC: Have you ever had a photo shoot that went completely wrong?

Jacob: I have never had a shoot go completely wrong, but if it ever does happen I’m sure I will make the best of it because that’s all one can do. I love to be challenged.

TRC: Nudity in modeling or acting can be controversial. Some pictures can cross the line between sexuality to pornography. What would you tell young models/actors /body builders just entering the business about nude modeling and photography?

Jacob: When it comes to nude modeling. My advice is always do your homework on those involved and then do what you want to do. I’ll repeat that. Do what YOU want to do. If you’re truly self aware and know who you are then focus on that. There will always be people who disagree with you or have different perspectives and that is okay. There’s always a chance that walking through a door can open others as well as close others. If you’re happy with what you’re doing than that’s what is important.

TRC: The modeling industry exposes you to many people and sometimes it can be very stressful. At times do you feel alone, surrounded by so many people? What do you do when the stress becomes overwhelming?

Jacob Hogue 1Jacob: I never feel alone. I consider myself an outgoing introvert. I thank my girlfriend and my younger Brother for that. We see most things the same way and they always have my back because of our similar perspectives on everything. She loves photography and modeling and he is a musician. I’m an outgoing introvert so if I’m alone it’s because I’ve chosen to be for that moment. When I’m stressed I just remind myself that I can handle it. Eight years in the Army help with that. I also smoke a joint and have a glass of wine. I focus on controlling what I can control.

TRC: At times, there has been a ‘stigma’ surrounding the male model and the romance-cover industry but the popularity of the romance storyline has skyrocketed in the last few years especially with the erotic and sensual cover images. What is your opinion about the recent popularity and the very busy industry of the ‘romance cover model’?

Jacob: When it comes to a stigma on the male model/ romance industry I don’t really give it much attention. There are so many perspectives and opinions out in the world. A person just needs to focus on doing what they want and love. I think the recent jump in the industry is due to the love of all the people involved. I’ve only been to one event/signing but the fans are fanatics and I believe the same could be said for the authors. It’s a community happy within itself and growing. There will always be those throwing shade or causing conflict but the few cannot destroy the masses.

Jacob Rodney Hogue coverTRC: What do you do to prepare yourself for a shoot?

Jacob: As an avid writer and inspiring actor when I get on set I just create my interpretation of the character and write my own scene in my head to play with. I become what is asked of me. And I love it. I always approach shoots like I’m in a scene of something.

TRC: Do you know the number of novel covers that your image has appeared?

Jacob: I’m the kind of person who doesn’t keep track of the number of stuff I’m on. I’m honored and enjoy every single one but I’m always chasing the next one. Plus, the goal is to be on more than I could count so why bother lol

TRC: Do you remember the first cover (book or magazine) on which you appeared?

Jacob: The first magazine I was on was a cover/ editorial for obvious magazine which was awesome. I actually wore most of my own clothes and helped style myself which was awesome.

TRC: Would you please tell us what you do to relax?

Jacob Hogue 2Jacob: I spend a lot of time on walks with my dogs to relax. I live 4 blocks from the beach so how could I not. Also, I’m a huge believer in the best way to relax is to just do nothin. Non-typical meditation of sorts. I just sit down somewhere and do absolutely nothing, except for maybe smoke a joint 🙂

TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

Jacob: In the next 5 years I’d like 1) quit my day job 2) have my tv show idea really go into motion 3) still be happy. You will always hear me resort back to being happy. There are so many forms of it and I feel people get too caught up in chasing other people’s happiness or trying to please everyone. I believe in being selfish and kind at the same time. Do what you want, be nice to people and avoid those who aren’t.

Jacob Rodney Hogue cover 7TRC: What is something that few, if anybody, knows about you?

Jacob: I’ve actually already mentioned it in an earlier question. Hardly anyone knows I write and love to sing. I was a choir boy in high school and took vocal lessons.

TRC: What do you believe is the biggest misconception about modeling ?

Jacob: The biggest misconception I’ve experienced is many people believe there is no hard work in it. It is unreal the work behind the scenes and when you’re on set shooting you are expected to do your job so it’s not all for nothing. People who don’t look for the big picture will never see it. Misconceptions are for the ignorant who are not concerned with learning. And I have ZERO time for that. I love to not know things so I can learn. But I do wish I knew everything.

TRC: What type of music do you listen to? and what music is on your playlist today?

Jacob: I listen to almost everything so I’ll name artist : Mixon (my brother) Logic, j cole , usher, JT, Lukas graham… all country, all types of rock, some classical, some jazz… like I said… everything

Jacob Hogue covers 8

TRC: On what on your currently working?

Jacob: I’m currently finishing up the script for my pilot episode and trying to book more modeling and acting jobs. To see my Latest project follow me @jacobrodneyhogueshow I put everything in instagram

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Jacob: I would love to stress my beliefs in being happy. Whatever your happiness is. Do that. Always try to understand others perspectives whether you agree. Seeing how all different types of people get to different types of places will help you navigate life. In the end do what you want and be happy. Stop caring about what everyone else thinks. You can always find people who are on your level. Be happy be happy be happy.

Lightning round

Favorite Foodpizza

Favorite Dessert-Twinkies

Favorite Movie-Legends of the Fall and Warrior (sorry had to give 2)

Favorite TV Show-Shameless

Last Movie You SawLa La Land

Secret Celebrity Crush-Michelle Rodriguez

Dark or Milk Chocolatemilk chocolate

Last Book You read-Inside Delta Force

Pet Peeve-ignorant pit bull comments

TRC: Thank you Jacob for taking the time to answer our questions. It is always a pleasure to meet the man behind the cover. We wish you all the best.

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