The book covers

Why did I choose to use this special woman as my book cover?

I love the art from the Mexican Airbrush artist Daniel Esparza.

Art of Daniel Esparza
Daniel Esparza’s Website:

After more than ½ years of searching for what I imaginary had in my head, I found the Mexican Airbrush artist Daniel Esparza from Los Angeles, California, who has enjoyed painting since he was a child. As soon as I saw his art, I fell in love with his creation.

Amazing. I just knew; this is it! His creation was exactly what I had fantasied about for my book cover. Daniel Esparza specialises in Dia de Los Muertos (Day of Dead). I root this ancient festival in Mexico’s pre-Hispanic past, which is celebrated every year on November 1st, (All Saints ‘Day) and November 2nd (All Souls’ Day). 

So, why did I choose that theme? Daniel Esparza’s female creation had the fire I needed. She had the sparkling in her eyes and the expression of what I felt my female character represented. The Burning Desire for love, and yet she was living among the lost souls.

Frida Kahlo

The first time Dia Los Muertos intrigued me was when I saw Frida Kahlo

many colorful paintings. Frida died in the mid-fifties and first became famous 50 years after her death. I subsequently learned that Frida Kahlo is enjoying something of a cult status now among those of Mexican heritage.

The heart of the holiday is the honoring of deceased relatives. Still, why then use this theme? My characters in the book are not dead. The story is not about honoring the dead. As a catholic, I somehow believe in welcoming back the souls of lost love ones for a brief visit.

La Catrina

Then I kept on having this picture in my head of; La Catrina who symbolizes El Dia de Los Muertos. The Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada, created la Catrina in 1800, portrayed as an elegant, well-dressed woman, with a wonderful face and she refers to rich people. She has the ace of spades, which is a perfect symbol to represent the ambivalence between life and death and considered both a symbol of good luck and the opposite.

Well, my character Mary has some good luck and the opposite. She is also rich, yet Mary thinks everyone is equal in the end.

Diego Rivera

Later, the Mexican artist Diego Rivera,

the husband of Frida Kahlo, who painted her on a mural in Mexico City, giving her a new body and identity, La Catrina. And now La Catrina is famous and often used among tattoo artists.

I subsequently realized I had some special feelings regarding my love for Spain and Mexico. The Spanish culture and the language. Strangely, and suddenly by coincidence, all the artists got linked to each other in my imagination for the book cover. This was without me having that specifically in my mind. Though, I often have had some kind of Déjà vu experiences regarding Spain and their culture and have always felt magically drawn to it since I was a teenager.

Amor Eterno by Daniel Esparza Mexican Sugar Skull Girl – Art of Daniel Esparza
Daniel Esparza’s Website:

Daniel Esparza

Daniel Esparza has captured all the important things I wanted for the book cover.

The Catrina women. The rose in her hair and the spider web. Most important were the floral ornaments to the religious and the sophisticated elements with his stunning art of the women, representing the hunger for the protagonist Burning Desire for the antagonist in the books. Great artwork by Daniel Esparza, without making it over-dramatically deadly.

Elena Dudina

The following project was to find the texting for the first book. What was my desire?

After searching for over 6 months on tons of different websites, I finally found Elena Dudina. Her work impressed me, and I gave her the chance to create the splendid work of the texting. Working with Elena Dudina gave me the courage to continue the working relationship with her. I agreed with Elena to give her the chance for the sequel.

However, I am a very picky person and wanted everything to continue with the same flow of fire, the rose, the Prada Shoes and the La Catrina woman. I had something very special in my head of the hot and cold theme. And I had a lot of requirements for Elena Dudina. But Elena was quick in grasping my desires for the cover and, together with me as the author, we created the stunning book cover on fire for the sequel.

I’m so excited when I can show the readers the next book cover Elena has created together with me for the threequel.

Author: M. L. Stark

I am M. L. Stark, and within the pages of "HUGGER MUGGER: The Con Man Smile" and "MAZE AFLAME: Flimflam Man," I pour out the fiery essence of my very soul. These books are not just ink on paper; they are the embodiment of my triumph over the darkest shadows of my past. Through the flickering flames of adversity, I have risen, crafting tales that echo the resilient beat of my heart. Every word penned is a testament to the strength I discovered within myself, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. I have dared to bare my scars, to expose the rawness of my wounds, for I know that in sharing my journey, I offer hope to those who may tread a similar path. And as I close each chapter, I am reminded of the immortal words of Bob Marley: "The biggest coward is a man who awakens a woman’s love without the intention of loving her." These words resonate within me, fueling my passion to shine a light on the darkness, to empower those who have been wronged, and to stand as a beacon of love and resilience in a world that too often seeks to extinguish the flames of hope. You can follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

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