Monday, May 23, 2011

Man-Candy Monday - Jamie Ungaro

When I started this feature it was my intent to show that the models we all drool over are just regular guys with multi-faceted personalities and interests beyond the bright lights of cover photo shoots.  This week’s guest, former Mr. Romance Jamie Ungaro, is another perfect example of that.  First of all, sorry ladies but he’s happily married to his very own Cinderella.  Secondly, he’s a man who embraces his faith and isn’t afraid to share it with others.  Veteran model CJ Hollenbach says of Jamie, “I picked him to win the Mr. Romance contest in Columbus (OH). He is a genuinely good guy, very spiritual.  Gotta love the dimples too!”  Today, let’s look beyond the dimples and fabulous physique and learn a little about Jamie Ungara together.

EDH:. How did you get your start in modeling?

      Jamie: After high school with my football career going nowhere a lot of people kept urging me to get into modeling and acting.  They kept on telling me you have what it takes, so after thinking about it for a while I went to an agency in Columbus, Ohio around 2004; just a year out of high school and jumped in and began my journey to become a model and actor.  I just really want to be an actor on the big screen one day.  Modeling is restricted for me, because of being into power lifting and bodybuilding.

EDH:  What do you like most about modeling? What do you like least?

      Jamie: What I like the most is getting to know how different poses with the right angle of light make some really awesome pictures, or sometimes they don’t.  LOL!  What I like the least would be just taking a thousand shots to get a couple good shots. But I really like it all around, because it is a lot of fun with different locations or themes you have to act out.

EDH:  What notable modeling gigs have you done in the last year or two?

      Jamie: I did an ad for a dance club with other models.  I also did a book trailer for Circle of Seven Productions.  It was my first time acting on screen.  The book is call “An Eye for Glory” and out in stores now; it was done for the company Zondervan and I was really excited with that job!  It took place in the beautiful country side of Kentucky. Here is the link to the video (I’m the guy in blue that shoots the rebel soldier and then has mercy on him). Link:

EDH:  What do you like to read in your spare time?

      Jamie:  I try to read and study the Holy Bible a lot. I don’t read many other books, but I do read Muscle & Fitness magazines to stay on top of fitness trends and I’ll pick up a newspaper wherever I’m at to keep updated on what is going on.  When I’m not reading I’m in the weight room most of my time because strength training is a passion for me.  In the winter I try to get out and do some snowboarding and the summer I like to hike, water ski, camping, and just stay active.  Last, but not least, in my spare time I jam on my acoustic guitar which brings me such peace to my soul.  I still need to sharpen my skills before I go playing in front of people. LOL!

EDH:  What are some of your other favorite fitness routines/activities?

      Jamie:  I’m into power lifting and I enjoy the challenge it is for yourself to push your body to its limits.  My routine consists of three core lifts.  The bench press, dead lift, and squat.  I bench on Mon. and almost max out every time to gain strength and size and I do the same for the dead lift on Wed. and squat on Fri.  At 6’2’’ and 225 lbs. I have a max of 1,305 lbs. total.  That’s bench 350 lbs., dead lift 505 lbs. and squat 450 lbs.  I need to step it up if I want to compete.  I plan to really invest in all the power lifting gear and really start to move some serious weight and enter some contests.  What can I say it’s a rush and an ego trip!  LOL!

EDH:  Tell me what a typical day in the life of Jamie Ungaro is like?

       Jamie:  I’m a very positive and motivated person.  I try to do things for others when I have the chance.  If I see anyone that might be having a bad day I try to give them words of encouragement because many times people get too caught up in the fast pace of their life to even slow down to spread help and kind words filled with love that might make the whole difference in that persons day, or life.  The world would be a different and better place if everyone had that type of a loving heart and compassion for others who may be less fortunate.

EDH:  What are some of your other professional pursuits?

      Jamie:  Other than just supporting and maintaining my family I really want to be an actor.  After doing the book trailer for Zondervan, I was hooked!  I really enjoy becoming a different character.  I like myself but, it’s just thrilling to get out of your comfort zone and totally bring this different character to life.  All I need now is a good agent to start my career, and I hope to be able to just act full time in the future.

EDH:  Do you have a favorite charity or cause that you are passionate about?

      Jamie:  I don’t really follow up on charities, but I would support any that supported the less fortunate families that may be starving and I’m passionate about bringing people strength, whether it be physical in the gym or spiritual. I’m very passionate about bringing words of life to people that I see who need healing to their soul.

EDH:  Define sexy or tell us what you looked for when searching for a significant other?

      Jamie:  It’s all in ones attitude to see if they are sexy, or not.  There was a time I thought I knew what I wanted and what was best for me which kept on ending in heart breaking relationships because the outer surface is temporal; at any giving time it life it can change and will change with age.  The heart is what you want to get to know in a person, because what comes out is really who that person is.  The best thing I ever did and best advice I can give to others is to just give your life to the Lord and let Him direct your path, because honestly we think we know what is best for us but we really don’t, but the Lord does.  I did just that and God brought me a beautiful woman; inside and out, and our hearts couldn’t have been more equally match if I tried to (because he’s the only one that can see our heart).  The connection and love in our marriage is amazing!  She is my best friend.

EDH:  What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done for your wife?

      Jamie:   This was the selling point for my wife, so I guess it was the most romantic thing, or what she likes to call “a smooth move”.  I was leaving for work one morning, walking towards the front door, and before I left I turned around to give my wife a kiss (at the time she was my girlfriend).  I saw that she had a cupcake in her hand.  I went to kiss her and as she closed her eyes I licked the chocolate icing off and held it on my tongue while I kissed her.  It was a very delicious kiss!  Let’s just say that she was pulling me back in the door and didn’t want me to go to work that day. LOL!

EDH:  Tell me some of your favorite things about your wife.

      Jamie:  My favorite dish is my wife’s corn beef and hash.  It’s a southern thing I guess, because she is from AL and I wasn’t familiar with it until she made it.  It’s awesome!  I’m not much of a drinker these days, but when I do indulge I enjoy to have a good semi-sweet red wine with my wife and stay in, wink, wink!  LOL!

EDH:  Freestyle time! Tell me whatever you want the readers to know about you, your life, your work and your future plans.

      Jamie:  I might be repeating some things I already said , but I’m a very self motivated person that is very passionate about doing good for others before myself and helping people that may be down and depressed.  I’m no therapist, but I’ve helped a few of my friends and talked some of them out of suicide.  I have bad moments to, but I have a helping hand to fill my spirit back up with joy and strength, so I try to gives advice and encouragement with the spirit which dwells in me and speak with the words of life to hopefully bring light and joy to their soul and spirit.  That’s what brings me the greatest blessings of joy and strength so I can stand and be a leader for others.  Just spreading the love that was shown to me and opened my eyes, or you could say that the veil was pulled from my face only to reveal the truth in my sinful life and the truth around me in this world.  I think you know where I’m going with this, and I’m not preaching, just spreading the love and Jesus IS love.

EDH:  Thank you so much for being my guest today and for sharing so much of yourself.

      Jamie:  Thanks for the interview Elle.  God bless you all!

Happily writing,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm visiting another blog!

I'm spending Tuesday and Wednesday over at Sex Marks The G-Spot. Come on over and hang out with me.

Happily writing,

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Trouble Maker Tuesday – May 3rd, 2011

This week I’m bringing you two more hot books from Beautiful Trouble Publishing.  First there is the sizzling new release from Violette Dubrinsky, Bound: Dark God Saga. Then there is the latest from Billy London, a sassy short entitled An Old Cake Tale.

What happens when you take a dark god, a succubus, and a classic tale of mistaken identity?

Previously known as the “nicest” of the dark gods, Hypnos, the God of Sleep and Dreams, can no longer claim that title. An encounter with Marissa, a succubus who managed to bind him and use him as her food source, nearly killing him in the process, has left him with one sole purpose: to find, torture and kill. So when he finally locates her, he’s planning to put his plan into motion with relish.

Katrina Black is a succubus living as a human. A past incident has made her horrified of her own nature. So imagine her surprise when she’s snatched from her home and taken to Tartarus to be punished for something she did not do. The solution is easy. She just has to tell the man—god—that he has the wrong girl.

Katrina finds out it isn’t easy to rationalize with a single minded god hell-bent on revenge. . Especially one who looks like perfection reincarnated. And after experiencing some of his ‘torture’, finds herself questioning if she really wants to

Efia Amoah was going to end up in prison for murder if she spent any more time in the company of Rhys Lloyd, but with him being the best man at her best friend's wedding, she couldn't avoid him for love nor money nor cake. She just wanted to get through the day without giving in to the temptation to stab him for the sake of giving her friend the perfect wedding. Being a bridesmaid only made her notice exactly what was missing from her own life, so she hoped if she followed the tradition of placing a piece of wedding cake under her pillow, Mr. Right would come knocking. However, the Mr. who does come knocking turns out to be the Mr. she’d thought would never dare to touch her door on pain of death.

Rhys quite liked living on the edge. Despite Efia's sharp tongue and cutting glances, he saw a future with her. He didn't even mind the prospect of sleeping with one eye open for the rest of his life in case Efia did try to stab him in his sleep. With her friend's blessing and further threats to his life hanging over his head, Rhys was all in for the challenge of proving that a wedding night is not just for the couple who exchanged the vows...
Go ahead and order your copies of these two great reads today. But wait!! Before you leave, what's your favorite mythical story?

Happily writing,

Monday, May 2, 2011

Man-Candy Monday - CJ Hollenbach

That hair! Those eyes!! That incredible body!!! If you love romance novels then you have probably read more than a few with CJ Hollenbach on the cover. I was given the opportunity of a lifetime recently when the modeling legend agreed to tell me what it’s like to be a model and how he has sustained a successful career for twenty years with no signs of slowing down.
CJ is a consummate professional that has endeared himself throughout the writing community. Author Heather Graham, who spent time with CJ at the recent Romantic Times Booklovers Conference in Los Angeles says, “C.J. is a doll! He's helped out a zillion times at the vampire party, and is always there to lend a hand!” I have to agree, CJ is a doll and it was a pleasure getting to know him. Keep reading to see for yourself.

EDH: Hi CJ! Thanks so much for giving me a few minutes of your time today. First off, how did you get your start in modeling?
CJH: I started right after I graduated from college with a degree in graphic design. Whenever I would take my portfolio to an ad agency they just thought I was a model. I was told "If you're not a model, you should be! Come back with photos!" The rest is cover model history!
EDH: Well after almost twenty years in the business what do you like most about modeling and what do you like least?
CJH: I like seeing the finished art work and how the photographer or artist's "vision" has come to fruition. Most of the time the photographs look nothing like the finished piece. What I like least is the traveling. I live in Ohio, which just about ALL the NYC photographers remind me of when I work with them. I'm always in a hurry to get to the shoot on time, which I always do. I like to enjoy the experience of being there, but the "getting there" is such a hassle at times.
EDH: Whew! Glad you didn’t say you like nosey writers the least. Anyway, besides book covers what other notable modeling gigs have you done in the last year or two?
CJH: I just did a shoot for Soap Opera Digest. Unfortunately, I told Jackie Zeman of General Hospital, who I shot with, that I loved watching her. Then I added, but that was like a hundred years ago. UGH! I've also done a lot of work with artists and photographers in my local area.
EDH: I’m not going to touch that ‘hundred years ago’ comment since I’ve been known to put me foot in my mouth from time-to-time. What do you like to read in your spare time?
CJH: Autobiographies or biographies of interesting people intrigue me.
EDH: Me too! There’s something encouraging about reading the stories of those who have found success after rising above adversity. What else do you like to do for fun in your down time?
CJH: I workout like a fiend.  A must for my career, but I've always done it. I also like to write. I am going to pitch an article idea to Romantic Times Book Lovers magazine about celebrating my 20 years in the business. I've written for them in the past as well as other magazines.
EDH: Wow! I bet a lot of people including my fellow writers didn’t know you like to write. What else? What’s your favorite workout?
CJH: I also write for various magazines when I can. Love writing! It's such a creative outlet for me. As for my favorite workout, my chest routine would have to be it if I had to pick just one. I get the most results from that, it seems.
EDH: Okay, tell me what a typical day in the life of CJ Hollenbach is like?
CJH: There is nothing "typical" about any of my days! The first thing I do every morning is have at least 2 cups of coffee or forget about it. Then, I do my e-mail, which is a lot these days. I plan my weeks around what jobs I have going on. I also have an internet company, CJH Designs, that keeps me busy.
EDH: Tell me more about CJH Designs.
CJH: At CJH Designs ( we do websites and all sorts of promotions design work. We just redesigned the T-shirts for my nephew's college volleyball team.
EDH: You seem like such a well-rounded guy on all fronts. What about giving back? Do you have a favorite charity or cause that you are passionate about?
CJH: The American Cancer Society. So much of my family has been touched by that disease.
EDH: Okay let’s get even more personal. Define sexy or tell me what you look for in a significant other?
CJH: I don't think there is one definition of "sexy". A great personality and a sense of humor will take you far with me, believe that or not. Self confidence is also key. You really have to have that if you're going to hang with me.
EDH: What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done or had someone do for you?
CJH: I just do things that I’m later told were romantic. I don't think of it that way when I'm doing it. Sometimes, I just think of it as being thoughtful. Remembering a birthday or a special day isn't that hard. I do remember one particular incident years ago when I was dating this girl in college and she was driving me to her apartment for the weekend. We were pulled over by the cops, probably for speeding. As the cop pulled away she was nearly hysterical and said "This is the worst day of my life. I could really use a drink!" I pulled a bottle of champagne and 2 glasses out of my duffle bag in the back seat that I was saving for that night. I said "How about this?!" We drank it when we got to her place. The timing on that was pretty cool, I must say. Too bad my tuxedo was at the cleaners.
EDH: That’s a great story! Definitely include that one when you work on your biography. Before we close, what would you like the readers to know about you, your life, your work and your future plans?
CJH: Just want the readers and fans to know that I really do appreciate all their love and support they have given me over the past 20 years. I wouldn't still be doing this after all these years if it weren't for them. I have always told people the romance fans are the absolute best.
EDH: Awww, its official. You are a sweetheart. Thank you for your time and I look forward to seeing more and reading more from you in the future.
CJH: Thank you.
Want more CJ? Of course you do! It is Man-Candy Monday, afterall. Check out the pictures below.

Happily writing,

All photos courtesy of CJ Hollenbach