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... or at least on a paperback! Two of your favorite Joe Cosentino ebook novellas (AN INFATUATION and A SHOOTING STAR) are now together in a paperback anthology. IN MY HEART available today, March 21st from Dreamspinner Press. To celebrate, we are reposting his interview from September, 2015 and the A SHOOTING STAR release. But first, here's a special message from Joe:

Dear Readers,

   I am incredibly touched by your many messages in praise of my two e-book novellas from Dreamspinner Press, AN INFATUATION and A SHOOTING STAR, including how reading them changed your lives. This is especially important to me since AN INFATUATION is loosely based on my years in high school and my ten-year high school reunion, and A SHOOTING STAR is loosely based on my time as a theatre major in college. Your support and enthusiasm helped AN INFATUATION win Favorite Book Cover and 2nd Place Favorite Romance Novel in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Poll of 2015, and me win 2nd Place Favorite Author. Now your embracing of these two novellas has caused Dreamspinner Press to publish them together in a paperback under the title IN MY HEART, releasing March 21. I hope you will embrace the paperback anthology in the same way as you did the e-books. Thank you from--in my heart. Hugs.

Joe Cosentino

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Available now:
Dreamspinner Press:
Barnes and Noble:

Divine Magazine Author Divine Magazine Infatuation

Interview originally posted on September 3, 2015

Remember when a television interview would start with the host saying "My next guest needs no introduction"? Yes? No? Am I showing my age? Wait, don't answer that.


In any case, today's Guest Author, Joe Cosentino, is now a very familiar face on the blog and I wish I had a prize to offer him for being such a good sport and allowing me to keep asking him questions. Sadly, I can only offer him even more questions. I'm good that way. :)

(Pssst: if you'd like to hear more from Joe, go ahead and click HERE for his other guest posts)

So Joe! It's great to have you back with A Shooting Star, your second novella in the In My Heart series.

I’m thrilled to be back. I love your blog, your questions, your sense of humor, and your books! When AN INFATUATION released from Dreamspinner Press, I was the new kid (rather I was a kid at heart) on the MM block. You and so many other MM authors and bloggers embraced me. I will always be grateful.

I appreciate your kind words. You've also pointed out one of the huge pluses to writing and publishing MM—the community! It's truly a welcoming group. Now, let's start out talking covers!

1. I've adored each of your book covers and feel they've done a great job representing the work inside, but the fellow on this one (and his smile) really grabbed my attention. Who was the cover artist, and how much input do you have when it comes to a cover? Does it differ from publisher to publisher?

I’ve worked with four publishers so far: AN INFATUATION and A SHOOTING STAR (Dreamspinner Press), PAPER DOLL the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), and DRAMA QUEEN the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press) are released. Coming soon are A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS and THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND (Dreamspinner Press), PORCELAIN DOLL the second Jana Lane mystery (Wild Rose Press), and DRAMA MUSCLE the second Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press). In each case, the experience was the same. I drove the cover artist totally insane. After I described the cover as I saw it, the artist emailed me a draft of the cover art. I then asked for change after change until he/she was ready to put a cover over me. In the case of A SHOOTING STAR, LC Chase should get a bonus from Dreamspinner Press. The model for David (on the right) was the fourth model she emailed me. I’m glad you love the cover and feel it depicts the story well. So do I!

2. The old adage tells us not to judge a book by its cover, but I'll confess that I've purchased many a title merely because of the front image. How about you? And if yes, have you ever regretted it?

Yes! Yes! That’s why I spend so much time driving the cover artists insane. I believe the cover should reflect the characters, plot, time period, location, and the mood of the book. I think mine do!

3. Your first work in the In My Heart series, An Infatuation, resonated with readers as I'm sure this one will. Why do you think the theme touches us so deeply?

After AN INFATUATION was released by Dreamspinner Press, I received so many comments from readers telling me how they laughed, felt romantic, cried, and believed their lives were changed after reading it. I hold those comments in my heart, and they propel me to write more books. They loved the fact that the story spans twenty years, Harold wears his heart on his sleeve, and Harold and Mario have a unique and special bond of love. Harold and Mario are complete opposites, but they complete one another, even when they aren’t together.
I received numerous requests from readers for a second novella in the In My Heart series. Since AN INFATUATION was loosely based on my high school days through adulthood, I thought back to my days as a theatre major in college, and A SHOOTING STAR was born. Like Harold in AN INFATUATION, Jonathan in A SHOOTING STAR is loosely based on me, though I haven’t won an Academy Award—yet. He is ingenuous, funny, warm, gullible, and has an open heart. As is the case with Stuart in AN INFATAUTION, Barry, Jonathan’s loyal scene partner in A SHOOTING STAR, is loosely based on my spouse. Similar to Mario in AN INFATUATION, David, Jonathans’ roommate in SHOOTING STAR, is a combination of a number of young men I met as a theatre major in college and as a young actor doing theatre, film, and television. They were gay, bi, closet-gay, or straight. Each was handsome, muscular, charismatic, sensuous, and almost other-worldly like Greek gods. Though they appeared to hold the world in the palm of their strong hands, they each had a secret weakness. Their presence changed everyone around them. The acting professor, the hysterically hypochondriac Professor Katzer in A SHOOTING STAR, is a lampooned version of an acting professor I had in college who has since passed away. I want to play him in the movie version!

4. You've successfully published work with different publishers in what can be considered differing genres, all while keeping similar enjoyable elements of strong characterization, humor, adventure, and romance. Is there a specific genre—perhaps my favorite, SciFi or YA—you haven't yet, but would like to try?

A few reviewers said the first half of AN INFATUATION is similar to a young adult novel, since it takes place in Harold’s and Mario’s high school. So in a way, I feel as if I have already written in that genre.

I have a romantic mystery series, the Jana Lane mysteries, with straight leading characters and gay supporting characters. I created a heroine who was the biggest child star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. Starting with PAPER DOLL, at thirty-eight her flashbacks from the past become murder attempts in her future. In each book Jana solves a film-related murder mystery and embarks on a new romance. I’ve written four novels so far.
My Nicky and Noah mystery novels are farcical, gay, who-dun-its. Starting with DRAMA QUEEN, theatre professors/lovers Nicky and Noah use their theatre skills (including playing other people) to solve murders at fictitious Treemeadow College, named after its founder, gay couple Tree and Meadow. I’ve written three novels so far.

I have also written a number of plays and musicals for adults and children.
So I feel like I have written in all the genres that interest me as a reader—except screenplays. Hear that, Hollywood!

5. Several authors I chat with are torn between the demands of promoting their work via social media and their writing time. Then they become practically catatonic when asked to factor in real life and outside employment. How do you juggle it all, and can you offer any newer authors some practical advice?

I am a college theatre professor/department head (like Martin Anderson in DRAMA QUEEN). So I am pretty busy during the daytime. I keep myself on a rigid schedule. I come home, exercise (to keep my manly figure-hah), eat dinner with my spouse, do some publicity, then write until bedtime. My advice for other writers is to write the kind of book you like to read. If one publisher rejects it, send it to another. Block out two hours a day to write and stick to it.

6. You've shared with us in prior interviews a bit of your writing process—starting with a character biography and then moving on to an outline. Do things go pretty much according to plan or have you ever written an ending that surprised you?

My characters constantly surprise me. Even in a mystery, where you have to plot out the clues, plot twists and turns, and shocking ending in advance; once the characters start talking in my head, they often have a mind of their own. In A SHOOTING STAR the character of Barry (Jonathan’s loyal friend and scene partner) began as a small role. He was so funny, sweet, and touching that he became a featured role.

Final Bonus Question: What is the one item (this doesn't have to be anything extravagant) you've always coveted, but have never allowed yourself  to purchase and why?

My spouse does all of the shopping, because if I go to a store, I’ll buy everything in sight! If I could buy something ultra extravagant, it would be a film studio to make movies of all of our MM novels!

That would be terrific. Hmmm, do you think Dreamspinner has somewhere in their future business plans a space for "Dreamspinner Studios"? Maybe even a Dreamspinner cable channel after enough films were made? Do you think it could give LMN a run for their viewers?

About Joe:

Joe Cosentino is the author of An Infatuationand A Shooting Star(Dreamspinner Press), Paper Doll the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), Drama Queen the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. His one-act plays, Infatuation and Neighbor, were performed in New York City. He wrote The Perils of Pauline educational film (Prentice Hall Publishers). Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. His upcoming novels are A Home for the Holidays (Dreamspinner Press holiday novella), The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press short stories novella), Porcelain Doll the second Jana Lane mystery (Wild Rose Press), and Drama Muscle the second Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press).

Contact Joe:

Web site:

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It's no secret I'm a recovering perfectionist and still struggle with the wide-range of side effects that come along with it. Recently a guest blog post by Amanda Cahill over at the LimeLife Planner blog caught my eye. Yes, she talks about planners, but she also twanged the perfectionist in me when she wrote about decorative soaps that go unused, pretty planner pages that she never writes on, and entire notebooks and journals that sit on her shelf, unused.

Why are we so afraid to *use* the very items we love? Why do we save them up, waiting for the perfect occasion, and then feel bad when the opportunity passes us by? An easy example of this happens every day at Chez Munder. Mr. Munder has a few favorite clothing items he wears regularly - usually when changing the oil in the car or cleaning the gutters. He wears them, enjoys them, and when they are used up, manages to find another favorite. I, on the other hand, battle the voice of my childhood which tells me not to wear my "good clothes" for everyday, but put on something old that I won't "ruin". Usually it's one of his oil-stained favorites that should have been thrown out ages ago. Truly, this is just another form of perfectionism. One we're better off without.

We can carry this behavior into our writing as well. Story ideas that never get past a few sentences, blog posts we never publish, social media plans that we continually tweak but never follow. It's time to stop waiting for the perfect opportunity, or the right day. My challenge this month is to pull my prettiest shirt out of the closet and wear it today - all day. Maybe even at the same time I pull that story idea out of my notebook and let it breathe.

How about you? Do you save items for the "right time"? Have a couple of journals that are too pretty to use? Maybe you are like Amanda and have a linen closet stuffed with decorative soaps and scented candles that you never bring out for the day to day? Want to take a bold step? Join me in using one item, it doesn't matter what - just grab one clothing item from your closet, a candle you've never lit, or a blog post you've left unwritten and let yourself love it. Then share how it felt. :)

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It's time to pack up the woolies and forget our winter blues! To help us along Joe Cosentino is back on the blog to take us behind the scenes of the first novel in his sizzling new beach series, Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back from NineStar Press. Please join me in welcoming Joe and learning the inspiration behind his new series.

Read More )
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And there, my friends, is a great summation of 2016 so far. I can't even begin (and you certainly don't have time) for me to share all the ups and downs. But that's life, right? Of course, just when there's light at the end of that very overused tunnel and I think I'm going to get to spend some time online, we've experienced an odd spate of unreliable internet service. No clue why. But that's life, right?

Heh, sensing a theme?

The important things are those of us here at Chez Munder are reasonably happy, healthy, and yes! I am an editing fool on these two novellas.

How are things going for you?
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Will this thought help push you along this month? Why? Or why not?
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Welcome GA2

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but it’s February!! Which means it’s time for a new release from one of my favorite guest authors, Joe Cosentino. Not only does Joe’s prolific tendencies keep me amused and neck-deep in reading material, he’s also an electric cattle-prod of inspiration for me to stop over committing in every other area of life and get back to writing. He’s here to day to share with us his latest release with Dreamspinner Press, THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND.

The Naked Prince cover
More with Joe )
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Writing Life2

Or at least with his insanely easy Artisan Bread with Steve No-Knead Bread recipes/videos on YouTube! So far we've tried the Oatmeal Bread, Cinnamon Rolls, Artisan Cheddar Bread, Classic White Bread,and the Turbo Honey Oatmeal recipes. And look! Pictures! I don't have a picture of the Honey Oatmeal because the entire point of making a Turbo recipe was to go from bowl to table in 2-1/2 hours, and yes! we ate it before the camera came out.
(disclaimer: I never claimed to be a decent photographer)

This stuff is so easy to make, and so darn good I still can't believe it. I've tried for years to become a decent homemade bread maker. Years. But yeast and I just never seemed to get along no matter how much I tried to proof and knead it into submission. So if we wanted fresh bread made of a basic 4 or 5 ingredients without preservatives, plastics (yoga mat chemicals people, yoga mat chemicals) or other additives I needed to use a bread maker. Which is fine. I loved my bread maker for years. But, I really missed the tactile, mind-soothing act of mixing.

Enter Steve and his No-Knead Bread recipes. If you follow along with one of his videos you'll see there's not a whole lot of mixing. Or a whole lot of effort period. But I *feel* like I'm a bread-making ace. And for my fellow authors? The proofing and baking times work as built-in Pomodoros.

Go ahead. Watch one of Steve's videos. Try it. Then come back and let me know what you think of this method. (and how it tasted!)

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We’ve seen great things in 2015 from today’s Guest Author, and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us this year.   Join me as Joe Cosentino shares his latest release, Drama Muscle, the second Nicky and Noah mystery/comedy/romance novel published by Lethe Press.

Hello, Joe. Welcome back to the site. You’ve become a regular here.

I love answering your questions!

on to the interview )
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Happy  Monday, y'all! How's January working out for you? I'm neck-deep in acceptance that I have overbooked my January like a big dog - maybe even a small horse. *Sigh*. Go figure. But we'll get through. It's what we do, right? In the meantime, I wanted to share one of my favorite! favorite tools in my writing tool kit - Jamie Raintree's fabulous Writing and Revision tracker. You heard me - writing & REVISION tracking - on MULTIPLE PROJECTS. WhooHoo!!

Jamie has figured out a way to make this whole tracking my stats thing easy and she's done all the work setting up the spreadsheets. All I do is enter my (up to 8!!!) project names - this could be individual titles or even just categories such as blog posts, poems, short stories, novellas, etc. Then I enter my daily word count or number of revised pages. Boom! The magic of Excel does the work and I have updated daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly figures.

I've used Jamie's tracker over the last several years and it's been a fantastic aid in understanding my writing process. When she revamped the spreadsheet for the new year and added the revision tracking feature I knew it was time to share.

We all know the importance of tracking our writing progress through the year, and we all have our favorite systems. If yours isn't as seamless as you'd like, or leaves you hanging when it comes to edits and revisions you might want to explore Jamie's Writing and Revision Tracker. Then come join us in her Motivated Writers Facebook Group.

Do you currently track your writing stats? What's your favorite system and do you think you'll give Jamie's a try?

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I’m over at Clare London’s today! Join me as I share my love of paper and plans. Can there *gasp* really be such a thing as too much planning? Here’s to putting more “Do” in my To-Do-List in 2016!

The celebration continues all through January, so visit her blog daily to catch the latest post by an amazing assortment of well-wishers.
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High on the coolness factor today was learning from @ChucklingAllan that The Reason for the Season Japanese translation is now available on Kindle from AmazonJP.  The translation was done by Aki Fuyuto, and the awesome cover art is by Etsumi Ninomiya.

Reason JP full

Yep. Pretty darn cool.

For those of us who don't happen to read Japanese the American [notice, dear British friends, I did not say "English" :) ] version is available from Dreamspinner Press who will happily send the ebook to your Kindle for your holiday reading pleasure, or offer your choice of many other formats.


The Reason for the Season is one of my favorites as I wrote it during one of our first (and sadly, now all too commonplace "snowpocalypses"). A little bit road story, a little bit sweet romance, I was thrilled when it was offered in a Japanese translation l in 2013 by the magazine Dear+.
Here's an excerpt for readers of both versions:

Excerpt )
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mm - progress - Copy

December is speeding past and all I want to do is throw my hands up at the playlist of everything I still need to do that keeps running through my head on repeat.

Luckily, I can sit back, take a breath, and focus on this little saying that has helped me make it through 2015! Let me try that now …

… Okay, that’s better.

I’m not sure why December came on as such a surprise, or with such chaos. But instead of hiding under my blankie, I’m checking my list and pulling back to concentrate on the minimums I can get done.

Maybe I can’t get my whole workout in, but I can do 15 minutes. I didn’t have time to post two Free Kindle Pick o’ the Day posts on Twitter this week, but maybe I shared one. This blog post didn’t make it on Monday, but here it is today. I don’t have an hour to sit and edit, but you can make darn sure I’m getting 1/2 an hour of quality edits in!

Not a whole lot of perfection going on over here – but I’m still in the game, and still making progress. By letting go of my “got to’s” I’m freeing up room for more important things this month: Family, Friends, and the Joy of the present moment.

I’m also making time to visit and grabbing a free copy of her workbook, Unraveling the Year Ahead – 2016. It’s a great way to celebrate the progress (slow as it may have been) I’ve made this year, and prep for my goal setting/2016 planning session still to come. Be sure to get your own copy!

How’s your December going? Are you feeling the pinch and pull of too many to-do’s and not enough you? What carries you through the chaos?

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Romance Anthologies. Do you love 'em? Do you hate 'em? Let me know! I am an anthology lover. You probably could tell from the number of anthologies I've been fortunate to have stories in. What can I say? I enjoy dipping my reading toes into an assortment of stories built around a favorite theme. If you're a lover you should hustle on over to the Dawn Roberto's Love Romances Cafe Yahoo Group and check out their Anthology & Boxed Set Promo Day today where you can find glimpses of anthologies sure to please. I won't have a chance to visit, but for a peek at anthologies still available on my backlist check HERE.

Winter_final summer loving 350 Curious WishingonaBlueStarLg
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Our holiday celebrations continue with an excerpt from Better with Sprinkles. We love having friends and family join us in our traditional cookie baking marathons and surprisingly, there’s still enough to give away when we’re done. We have several favorite recipes and I had a hard time picking which one to include at the end of this story for my readers to bake and enjoy. In the end, both Tom and I favor the soft frosted sugar cookie recipe adapted by my grandmother and I hope you actually try the recipe and decide for yourself. Do you and your family have a favorite cookie recipe you make each holiday?


Better with Sprinkles

This and all the Dreamspinner Press holiday stories 30% off December 2-5!

College student Tom Molina isn’t too interested when his roommate Derek tries to convince him to leave his books and help out with the campus LGBTA Center’s annual Christmas cookie sale. But Derek has an ace in the hole to score the center Tom’s grandmother’s sugar cookie recipe: fellow volunteer Jeanette’s cousin just happens to be the organic chemistry T.A. Tom’s been dreaming about. Now Tom just has to hope Isaac is as interested in baking cookies as he is in chemistry and HIV awareness.

Read the Excerpt: )
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I'm working hard on the new stuff, but in the meantime you can gift yourself with my backlist at Dreamspinner Press with 35% all titles today and three free ebooks.

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We were just hit with over 10 inches of snow on Saturday, so I'm more than happy to spend time with today's Guest Author, Joe Cosentino and his upcoming novella, A Home for the Holidays due to be released on December 2nd, and current available for Pre-order HERE.

Please, Joe, take me away!

Why did you write A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS?

After writing two Bittersweet Dreams novellas, An Infatuation and A Shooting Star (In My Heart Series) published by Dreamspinner Press, and a comedy mystery, Drama Queen the first Nicky and Noah mystery published by Lethe Press, I needed a vacation. My parents, sister, niece, aunts, uncles, and cousins had been telling me for years to travel to Italy. I always resisted due to the long plane ride and steep cost. However, like KuntaKinte charting his roots, I decided it was time. So my spouse and I dipped into our savings—and dipped into the Dramamine, and booked a flight and bus tour from the US to Rome, Naples, Venice, Assisi, Lake Como, Milan, Florence, the Amalphi Coast, Pompeii, Tuscany, and Lake Maggiore. We were exhausted, but we had the vacation of a lifetime seeing the most gorgeous architecture, natural resources, and views of any of our trip. We also ate delicious food and reveled in the art, history, and beauty (noticing all the statues were of very muscular, naked men). The people were warm and friendly as was the weather. However, there was no site more gorgeous, magical, and romantic than the Island of Capri. Upon arriving back in the US, I realized I had to write a romantic story taking place in Capri.
Read more... )
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Happy Monday, y’all! Despite my best, finger-clutching efforts the months have sped past and the Holiday Season is upon us. Eeek! Are you ready? Normally I’d say I’m not, but I’m in pretty good shape this year!

*let’s pause for a celebratory confetti toss*

And while I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo, I’m happy to say I’ve also powered thru my writing every day for the last 36 days!!

*whoohoo! we’re making it rain confetti up in here*

Want to help me keep the momentum going? It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer looking for an accountability partner, or a fellow The Walking Dead junkie who refuses to accept Glenn’s dead. (Me!Me!) All you need is a Twitter account and the urge to stop by @ChrissyMunder and say hey! when you get a chance. Once a day, or once a week, it’s all good. Let me know you’re interested and I’ll return the favor.

You can catch me live most weekdays at 7:00 am EST, but let’s face it, some days we're hitting that computer right before bed. Especially when it’s family visit time. That’s okay, as long as we work on our WIP at least once a day and with encouragement I know we will.

Who’s game?

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If you want to see the best one go ahead and visit FB or Twitter. But. here's the runner-up:

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