"I'm no cookie-cutter," declares Shera Bechard. "If there's a bandwagon, I'm not on it." Indeed, it is impossible to categorize our Miss November, a French Canadian beauty who likes to chill in jeans and a tank top and go horseback riding in the countryside. "I'm a shy girl who hates pretension," she says. And though Shera scored a best actress award last year at the Austin, Texas-based Fantastic Fest – the country's largest genre-film festival -- for her avenging-angel turn in the grind-house thriller Sweet Karma, she actually abhors gory movies. Instead, she prefers the crooning of Roy Orbison and DVD binges of Seinfeld. She also finds bliss in the snowy quietude of her birthplace, Kapuskasing, a tiny slice of northern Ontario. "I adore the cold. As a kid I would build forts under six-foot-high snowbanks." At the age of 18 Shera packed her bags and hit the urban hustle of Toronto in pursuit of a modeling career. "It's strange that I wanted to become a model, because I'm such a private person," she confesses. "But I feel confident in front of the camera." A few years later she had a chance encounter with Playboy cartoonist Doug Sneyd, which led to the pictorial currently before you. "Becoming a Playmate was a huge compliment, because the most beautiful women in the world appear in Playboy." Don't presume, however, that our snow angel's good fortune will cause her humility to drift. "When people see me they think I'm going to be full of myself, but they quickly find out otherwise," she says. "I love proving them wrong. When people say I'm beautiful, I always say thank you! But I can promise you I'm not thinking, Yeah, I know. I will always be flattered."
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