Romance author J.B. Salsbury reveals the real life hero she selected as the cover model for her latest release, "Fighting to Forget."
I wrote the novel and began the editing process. Next, I had the daunting task of finding the perfect cover image. I clicked on all the stock photography websites and typed in the right search words: athletic male, brooding, tattoos. I crossed my fingers, said a little prayer to the gods of male beauty, and pressed Enter.
Thousands upon thousands of pictures of well-built men popped up on my screen. I sifted through them, clicking and rejecting, treading water in a sea of male models—hey, it’s harder than it sounds—hoping to find that one perfect image to represent the hero in my novel. I came up empty.
Bored and frustrated, I went on Facebook to take a break. And that’s when it happened. Scrolling through my newsfeed, I came across a picture of US Marine veteran Alex Minsky. And wow, he was my hero! Athletic build? Check. Dark and brooding? Check. Tattoos? Double check. This guy epitomized my hero’s look, and when I clicked on his Facebook page, I learned that the similarities didn’t end with outward appearances. Minsky has a story that rivals bestselling fiction.
After a roadside bomb in Afghanistan robbed him of his right leg and his military career, he was in a coma for forty-seven days. He awoke only to face excruciating rehab and the death of his brother, who he now has memorialized in ink across his chest. Lost in a bottomless depression, he found solace in a bottle, drowning his demons in booze to silence the inner turmoil.
Until the day he found the courage to fight back.
Sober and determined, he headed to a local gym. Rather than drink his torment into submission, he decided to exhaust it in punishing workouts that would keep his mind focused. His gorgeous physique and expansive body art, combined with a smile that could bring a grown woman to tears, caught the eye of a local photographer. Once hopeless and defeated, Minsky is now one of the most recognized men in fitness and modeling.
My Fighting Series is about taking the knocks that life doles out and having the strength to push back and fight for a better future. As professional MMA fighters, my heroes excel in physical battle. Face to face with their opponents, they thrive on victories won through combat. But when the war wages within, no amount of brute strength and training can beat back the demons that are determined to see them fail.
In Fighting to Forget, Rex “T-Rex” Carter is traumatized by a past he can’t remember and forced to deal with demons he has no explanation for. Enslaved by his subconscious, he wrestles with the trauma from his childhood that keeps him from living the life of freedom that he deserves.
Alex Minsky was the perfect choice for the cover of Fighting to Forget. I only hope I can do as well for my next book.
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