Friday, November 16, 2012

Enrique the flesh

I've been asked to share the story of how I met my newest cover model, 
Ryan aka Enrique "Ricky" Santiago because... 
well, it's kinda hilarious! 

 To hear my 12-year-old son tell the story, I picked Ryan up in a bar in Vegas. 

This, however, is the REAL story! 

In April of 2012, I'd just finished the edits for
(Deadlines & Diamonds, #3)
and had begun to "talk" with Enrique Santiago. 

He was handsome and charming, sweet and very funny! 

(Yes, I know that makes me sound crazy.) 


A few weeks later I went to speak to the Las Vegas Romance Writers of America on the Importance of Cover Art. (It's very, very important, just in case you wondered.)

After the presentation, Siobhan Muir and I returned to the hotel. In the lobby a man approached us, asking if we wanted to take a picture with him. 

Before you panic, he wasn't a stalker or an insane person, it was his job. 

This IS Vegas, after all. 

And taking pictures with random sexy guys is ... normal! 

As we walked up to the backdrop, another random sexy guy strolled up. He smiled and my heart stopped. He spoke and I nearly fainted. He crossed his arms over his chest. I blinked. 


This stranger was Enrique Santiago.  

The figment of my imagination, personified. His smile, his mannerisms, even his laugh were Ricky!

I stammered my way through who I was and what I did. When I asked if he'd be interested in being on a book cover, he looked at me like I'd lost my freakin' mind. Who knows, maybe I had.

It only took showing him my other covers on my cell phone and giving him my business card (See, they are good to have.) to get him to say, "Oh my God, you're for real!" 

Why, yes. Yes, I am, in fact, for real. 

I have to admit to being a little surprised he gave me his phone number. I thought for sure it'd be some honest-to-goodness crazy person and the joke would be on me. 

So as I texted him for the first time, a week or so later, my stomach did those little flip-flops of anticipating a "Who the hell are you? And why are you texting me?" response. 

Imagine my surprise when Ryan actually texted back! 

I invited him to Arizona Dreamin' to participate in the Man of Our Dreams contest. He politely said he'd love to. I don't think he had any clue what he would be in for. However, rumor has it, he'll be back in 2013. *wink, wink*

The story continues: Enrique Santiago, while charming and handsome and funny and... (the list goes on), he did not have a tattoo. 

Thankfully, Out of Left Field had been through edits, but hadn't gone through my proofreaders yet. I went to the few places he appeared and subtly added a "sleeve". 

Another admission: I loved him a little bit more!

And so, there ya go, 
THAT is how the guy I "picked up in Vegas" 
came to be on the cover of LUCKY 13.

Tomorrow, see things through Ryan's eyes.

(Deadlines & Diamonds, #4)
is currently available via Kindle, Nook, other Ebook
as well as paperback.


  1. Serendipity at its finest. What a great story. Having met Ryan made it all the easier to visualize Ricky.

  2. Oh you lucky thing!!! I suspect that if I ever approached a guy with that in mind, he'd definitely freak out! I really enjoyed reading how this came to be!

    1. Thanks, Barbara. Tomorrow is HIS version of the story... ;)

  3. What a great story! And yes, having those business cards did come in handy didn't they? Note to self: Get business cards made before going to Arizona! :)

  4. and here I've been looking in the produce isle...I had it all wrong!!!!

  5. It was fate, Morgan. Love this little glimpse into how this cover came to be and I can't wait to see what Ryan has to say.