Saturday, August 16, 2014

Interview with Mystery Guy Cover Model!

The cover for my first book, Sweet Evil, was debuted in Fall 2011. Since that day, the most frequent question I receive is, “Who is the guy on the cover??” At one point around the publication of Sweet Evil, I came across an article online from the male model’s agency announcing that one of their models was going to be on a YA book cover. I’ve always remembered that model’s name, but then the article disappeared from online and I could not find him. I was hesitant to share the name I’d learned, in case he wanted to remain anonymous.

Soon after, I met the female model on Facebook, a college student from New Jersey named Alexa. She’s an absolute sweetheart. But no luck on finding the guy who modeled for Kaidan.

After three years of constant queries about the male model’s identity and referring to him as “Mystery Guy,” I decided to Google him once more and guess what? My stalking paid off. I found Dominic Natale, and not only does he have a very cool name, but it turns out he’s also a very cool guy. He’s agreed to do an interview, given me permission to share his name, and even said he’d be open to attending a book event with me in the future! How nice is that?

So here you are, sweeties! Meet Dominic! :)

Dominic Natale
Tell us a little about yourself…

In high school I played many sports. I was the captain of both the swimming and diving teams and I also played lacrosse, ran cross country and wrestled part time. I was part nerd and part jock. I loved physics, quantum mechanics and numbers.

Post high school I focused on my passion for triathlons (which is a combination of swimming, biking and running respectively). I participated in the Ironman race when I was 18. The race consisted of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run. It was a very long and painful day, but absolutely worth it.

Currently, I attend a college just outside of Philadelphia where I study business and network engineering and I just started classes to become a commercial truck driver. I also work in a high end restaurant as a server. I am an entrepreneur at heart. Over the past 5 years I have started 3 businesses ranging from a tech company to an urban lifestyle magazine. None of them have been wildly successful but that doesn't mean I am giving up!

In my free time I enjoy traveling, exploring, hiking, photography, fishing, surfing, and cooking.

Kaidan is huge into music. What kind of music do you like, and do you have any favorite songs or bands?

I love all music. From classical piano to country, australian hip hop, blue grass, reggae etc. Can't say I have one favorite but just to name a few.... SOJA, Hilltop Hoodz, Luke Bryan, Blink-182, Andrea Bocelli, Citizen Cope... I can go on and on!
(PS, Dominic does not play drums, teehee.)

Can you speak in an English accent (or do you botch all accents like I do??)

I cannot do it confidently but I have absolutely tried. (Typically when I'm in the shower or when no one is around.)

Dominic Natale and his grandmother
Are you nervous and/or excited about a bunch of Sweeties fan-girling over you? (Be nervous, Dominic!) ;)

Nervous of course! It might take some getting used to but hopefully my outgoing personality will prevail.

From what I understand, you and Alexa (the cover model for the character Anna Whitt) were photoshopped for some of the cover art. Is that correct?

Alexa and I spent HOURS trying to get the perfect shot. We spent about half of the day shooting together and the other half taking turns in front of the camera. On the cover of Sweet Reckoning I am, in fact, touching her shoulder but for the others I believe we were photoshopped together.

Alexa and Dominic on the Sweet Trilogy covers

I still remember back in 2011 when my editor sent me pictures of you and the other model the publisher had narrowed it down to, and she asked my opinion. I said definitely YOU, and I've been thrilled with how the covers turned out. Can you tell us anything about the photo shoot? Any behind-the-scenes stuff?

Well first and foremost, THANK YOU! I am so excited to see your books doing so well and with me on the cover! The photo shoot was honestly very tough. On the Sweet Evil cover I am actually jumping in the air with a running start because that's what the photographer thought would get the perfect shot (and it totally worked!) the difficult part was that I did that over 100 times! Another fun fact is that the hair stylist is the number one leading stylist for L'Oréal. It was awesome to get tips and pointers from him for my personal styles.

Do you still do any modeling?

Sadly enough I have not been pursuing many modeling gigs. Every now and then I get a phone call or accept a decent offer but it is very time consuming and competitive. But I definitely enjoy it when I am there and in the moment.

Dominic Natale
Do you like to read?

I am a boring reader. I basically read education books, magazines, blogs, editorials and so on. I enjoy reading/learning about zen and meditation as well as business related practices. I am currently reading a book called The Undefeated Mind by Alex Lickerman. Can't wait to get my hands on your books though!

(I am sending Dominic a signed copy of the trilogy. He needs to own the books he’s on, right?? Though, meeting Kai may not put him in a zen frame of mind, lol.)

Last question - this one from a reader - do you have any brothers??

I do in fact have a younger brother named Nicholas and he is 18.

Thank you so much to Dominic for being a great sport and being open to meeting readers! Hopefully he'll make it to a signing with me someday! Feel free to show your appreciation to him in the blog comments below.

Dominic Natale on Twitter

Dominic Natale on Instagram

Friends, please keep an eye on my blog for an upcoming contest and update - I STILL do not have wifi at home, but I NEED to have this contest asap for names to put in Kai's book!  :D

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Friday, July 25, 2014


Happy summer, friends! I hope yours has been better than mine, lol. Actually, we've had lots of good excitement to match the not-so-good kind since we moved five weeks ago. I feel like I've been out of touch because we're without wifi at home, so I want to share a big, fat Kaidan teaser. ;) This one is from the early chapters of Sweet Evil when Anna shows up at Kaidan's house right after his band has practiced. Disclaimer: Kaidan cusses, and I let him. I've let him get away with a LOT in this book, because that is what felt right to me. What can I say? Kaidan is hard to say no to...
Hope you enjoy.

I jump from the couch and lunge at Anna, grasping her shoulders hard and pressing my ear to her cheek. I whisper as softly as I can. “My father is here.”
She stiffens under my hand. Yes, she knows what we are, therefore she knows Father is a demon. Be afraid, Anna.
I pull her to the couch and fling her down. Thank God for shirts with buttons. I rip it open, needing this scene to appear realistic. When she sucks in a shocked breath I press a finger to her lips. Her aura is a swirl of gray tones, both fear and embarrassment. This is not the time for modesty. I can’t have her appearing terrified if we’re supposed to be making out. So I toss a throw blanket at her and rip my own shirt over my head. I point to her shirt and she starts rolling her shoulders to get it off.
God, she is sexy. Even in that innocent white satin bra. Let’s hope I haven’t been a fool, and she doesn’t shove a dagger in my spine as I lower my body over hers and taste the skin at the base of her throat. I move upward to the curve of her neck and shoulder, and let out a low moan. Our skin touches and she moves underneath me in a sultry way, grasping the nearby pillows in her fists. I suddenly want all her clothes off.
The sound of Father coming down the stairs erases that thought from my mind. He knows by now I’m with a girl, but he has no notion of privacy.
When the door opens, Anna’s body jumps under me and she lets out a bleedin’ squeak. I turn my head to the door where Father stands, smiling, inching further to the side to get a better look at Anna. Damn. I can’t hide her any further without being obvious.
“My apologies, son. I didn’t realize you had company.” He is still moving casually across the room, staring.
Before I can say a word, the politeness slips from his features and his eyes flash red. I look down at Anna, who has foolishly backed away from me and allowed the blanket to fall enough to give Father a side view of her badge. I hold my breath. They definitely do not seem to know each other.
“I never imagined you’d care to entertain female Nephilim,” he grits.
Not good. Not fucking good. Neph can work together, but they are not to play together. Especially in the one-on-one way.
“I don’t normally.” I stand and move away, as if coming to my senses. “She caught me while I was bored and alone after practice.”
His face sours as he scents the air. “You will come up for tea. Both of you.” He leaves, and I ball my hands. Close my eyes. I want to punch something.
Anna is my problem. My mystery. I don’t want to share her with anyone, especially not the wolf upstairs. It’s clear now they weren’t working together. The blood has drained from Anna’s face as she clutches the blanket to her chest. I simultaneously feel sorry for her and want to shout at her that she’s a stupid, stupid girl for coming here.

I love you all bunches! Kisses and hugs from the boonies of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. xoxo
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