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We’ve taken a dip downward in the temps lately, so I’m happy to welcome Joe Cosentino with the release of book three in the popular Cozzi Cove series. Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, available from NineStar Press and other eRetailers.

Ready to join the fun as Joe discusses the writing of this popular series? Look at that cover – of course you are. ­čÖé

COZZI COVE: STEPPING OUT – the third novel in the Cozzi Cove series by JOE COSENTINO, published by NineStar Press

NineStar Press: http://ninestarpress.com/product/cozzi-cove-stepping-out/
Amazon: http://myBook.to/Cozzi_Cove_SO
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cozzi-cove-joe-cosentino/1125465976?ean=2940153954615

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Drama Cruise

Or at least with DRAMA CRUISE. Book 3 of the Nicky and Noah mystery series. The perfect winter getaway for this holiday season.

Theater professors and couple, Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, are going overboard as usual, but this time on an Alaskan cruise, where dead college theatre professors are popping up everywhere from the swimming pool to the captain’s table. Further complicating matters are Nicky’s and Noah’s parents as surprise cruise passengers, and Nicky’s assignment to direct a murder mystery dinner theater show onboard ship. Nicky and Noah will need to use their drama skills to figure out who is bringing the curtain down on vacationing theatre professors before it is lights out for the handsome couple. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining third novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and ship ahoy!


Available from:

myBook.to/DramaCruise

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Drama+Cruise+JOe?_requestid=1795262


I'm excited to welcome Joe to the blog today to share with us a little about this exciting new addition to the series.


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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

InMyHeart_Anthology3 (003)


Available now:
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7552
Amazon: myBook.to/InMyHeart
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1123520747?ean=9781634771030

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.

*Please*

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:http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KRPXJP6

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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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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 )
chrissymunder: (CM banner)
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.

*Please*

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?

I guess we'll enjoy our favorite novels while we wait. Which makes this a good place to segue into your latest release:







On the eve of the best night of his life, winning an Academy Award, Jonathan Bello thinks back to his one great love, David Star.Flipping back the pages of time, Jonathan recalls his handsome, muscular, and charismatic college roommate. Since Jonathan was a freshman and David a senior in the Theatre Department, David took Jonathan underhis wing and molded him, not only as an actor but as a lover. With every wonderful new adventure, David left his joyful mark on anyone with whom they came in contact, but Jonathan soon uncovered David’s dark past, leading to a shocking event. Undaunted, Jonathan celebrates the captivating man who will always hold a special place in his heart.

A Bittersweet Dreams title:It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

Reviews for A SHOOTING STAR:

“Of all the books I’ve reviewed, or attempted to review over the past year, this is only the second book that was well written.”Multitasking Mommas

“A very gripping, heart wrenching novella. A great read!!” Pam Kay Reviews

Excerpt:


As an Italian-American, I subscribed to my mother’s theory that if someone doesn’t want you to see something, he will hide it in a locked vault covered with cement. So I inadvertently took a quick look at my roommate’s things on the other side of the room. He was incredibly neat. Numerous theater textbooks and play scripts lined his bookshelf in alphabetical order. The bulletin board above his desk displayed artistically arranged programs from various comedy, drama, and musical college productions listing the same male lead in each show: “David Star”.

“Do you always look at other people’s things?”

I nearly got whiplash as he entered the room
.
Stammering like a kid caught masturbating by his parents, I said, “I… w-was… ad-m-miring y-your… r-room.”

Though it was a fall September day, he took off his scarf (violet) and rested it on a tall coat-rack, which held scarves in various colors like a department store window display. He was taller than me, with a chiseled, handsome face, and straight, shiny black hair, which fell down his thick neck. I admired his perfectly sculpted muscles, housed in a turquoise designer dress shirt. But what captivated me the most were his piercing crystal-blue eyes—and the enormous bulge in his skin-tight, designer beige pants.

“What’s your name?”

“Johnny Falabella.”

He looked at me like a surgeon examining a tumor. “No, it’s not.”

“Excuse me?”

“It’s Jonathan Bello.” He opened a bureau drawer, pulled out a bottle of hair gel, and tossed it to me. “You should gel your hair.” He opened his closet, revealing a multitude of color-coordinated shirts and slacks, and lay some on my bed. “And you can wear these.”

I looked at his perfectly pressed designer clothes. “Where did you get all these things?”

“They were gifts, mostly.”

“You must have some generous friends…. Sorry, I don’t know your name.”

I’m David Star.” He took a bow.

Looking back at his play programs, I said, “You must have starred in every play at the college over the last three years.”

“Guilty as charged.”

“What happened to your last roommate?”

“He went to LA over the summer break and started auditioning. He got cast in a new TV sitcom. I hope it takes off. It’s called Cosby.”

“At the orientation session, they said freshmen are housed with other freshmen. How did I get a senior for a roommate?”

His eyes twinkled. “Just lucky I guess.”

“Do you think it was some kind of an administrative error or something?”

“Or something.” He added matter-of-factly, “I asked for a freshman roommate.”


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).

Web site:http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KRPXJP6
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I'm more than pleased to turn the blog reins over to today's Guest Authors, Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese in celebration of their new release, Twelfth Night, Book 2 in Love's Labours, a co-written M/M May/December gay-for-you(ish) novella. Ready to hear more?



Like many New Yorkers, I've spent most of my summers visiting the Jersey Shore. For me, that's been the stretch of beach that includes Ocean Grove and Asbury Park.

Both towns, which together encompass little more than two miles of beachfront, are peculiar relics of another age. Asbury was one an amusement park town; today, while the mini golf and pinball hall of fame remain, the rides are all gone.  Ocean Grove, on the other hand, started and continues life as a Methodist Camp Meeting town.

Today both towns are also popular destinations for LGBTQ travelers and have significant LGBTQ populations.  Sometimes, this makes things awkward, like that time someone hissed something about lesbian witches at my partner and I as we walked down the boardwalk.  Mostly,though, no one cares.

We set the opening of Twelfth Night in Ocean Grove and Asbury because we wanted to capture our hero John, who is still in the process of coming out to himself and others, adjusting to being someplace that was strongly queer and would recognize him as one of their own. But we also wanted to capture the sense he has of embodying a lot of internal conflicts, much like these towns.

Both towns are easily accessible by public transit and are just a few hours from New York City, and our worth your visit in you're in the area.  Regrettably, the nightclub with the "Less Lights, More Fun" marquee mentioned in Twelfth Night is no more.


Blurb:

Michael and John, a May/December couple, navigated the repercussions of their gay-for-you love affair in the hothouse of a summerstock theater production.

Back in New York City at the conclusion of their show’s run, John is overwhelmed by his obsession with Michael and the difficulties of learning to date again after the death of his young son and his recent divorce. John gradually comes out to his colleagues, his football rec league friends, and even his ex-wife.

But when he invites his parents over for Christmas to meet the person he’s been seeing, the holiday—featuring Michael’s family’s amateur production of Twelfth Night—quickly turns into a French farce of potentially catastrophic proportions, forcing John finally to take the lead in claiming his evolving identity as he takes the next step in his relationship with Michael.


Bio:

Erin McRae is a queer writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. She has a master’s degree in International Affairs from American University, and delights in applying her knowledge of international relations theory to her fiction and screen-based projects, because conflict drives narrative.

Racheline Maltese lives a big life from a small space. She flies planes, sails boats, and rides horses, but as a native New Yorker, has no idea how to drive a car. A long-time entertainment and media industry professional, she lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their two cats.

Together, they are co-authors of the gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry -- Starling (September 10, 2014), Doves (January 21, 2015), and Phoenix (June 10, 2015) -- from Torquere Press. Their gay romance novella series Love’s Labours, set in the theater world -- Midsummer (May 2015), and Twelfth Night (Fall 2015), is from Dreamspinner Press. They also have a story in Best Gay Romance 2015 from Cleis Press and edited by Felice Picano. You can find them on the web at http://www.Avian30.com.


Social media links:

Joint Blog: http://Avian30.com
Joint Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Erin.and.Racheline
Erin’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/erincmcrae
Racheline’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/racheline_m
Erin’s Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8323893.Erin_McRae
Racheline’s Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1015335.Racheline_Maltese
Erin’s Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Erin-McRae/e/B00M7A0SVC
Racheline’s Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Racheline-Maltese/e/B001JRVS2C

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25202261-twelfth-night

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Twelfth-Night-Loves-Labours-Book-ebook/dp/B0139K6ZVA/
AllRomance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-twelfthnight-1857858-149.html
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/twelfth-night-racheline-maltese/1122445722?ean=2940151204088
Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6728
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Racheline_Maltese_Twelfth_Night?id=20VKCgAAQBAJ
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/twelfth-night-65
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25202261-twelfth-night


Excerpt:

John doesn’t expect Michael to be as weirdly taken with the ocean as he is with the wild woods. It doesn’t seem like his element the way the trees are. But he is mesmerized by the beach almost instantly upon their arrival, insisting they walk along the hard wet sand of the tide line. It doesn’t matter how many times John says their muscles will ache unhappily tomorrow from miles walked at the edge of the frigid fall water; Michael either doesn’t hear him or doesn’t care enough to respond.

John is fascinated as Michael keeps a close eye on shells and rocks. One is shaped like a small egg, and he’s disappointed when it’s not. Still he makes John hold it for him, running ahead to a rock jetty to comb through the midden of mussel shells left by persistent and angry seagulls.

John tries not to be horrified, but the sight of Michael’s fingers picking through the dead bivalves and seaweed stinking in the sun is a bit much.

“What’s this?” Michael asks, eventually, holding out a shell, colored and swirled, to him.

It’s in perfect condition, and John is about to be impressed with the find until he realizes there’s still a creature using the shell as its home.

“That’s an animal in there.” He doesn’t actually know what kind. But it’s gelatinous and of the sea and not really a thing they should be messing with. They’ve seen dozens of jellyfish washed up on the beach already today.

“Does it go in the ocean or not in the ocean?”

“Ocean,” John says. He’s not 100 percent sure, but he suspects, like the jellyfish, the sun and the birds will eventually cook and peck it to nothing if it’s not saved by the sea.

Michael throws the shell back and returns to the tide line as they walk, gaze carefully on the ground and picking at every shell he sees that looks like whatever creature he just rescued. Most of them have their animals in them, and John suspects the coming hurricane that’s going to ruin their trip is churning them up.

As Michael throws each one back into the water, John is charmed that he’s trying to save creatures that have no spine, names he doesn’t know, and forms he’s never seen before.

Eventually Michael decides they can leave and reaches for John’s hand. John flinches away. It’s not the strangeness of the town this beach is attached to, half religious meeting town, half gay beach paradise. There’s even a club down the block from their inn that advertises “Less Lights, More Fun!” It’s that he can only think about whatever bacteria Michael is now coated in from all the dead mussels.
God, but he’s going to look like an idiot explaining that.

When he tries, stumbling through a mini monologue about seaweed and sea creatures and sand, Michael just listens with his head tipped to the side.

Finally John’s speech drags to a halt under Michael’s incredibly unimpressed gaze. He sighs and starts again.

“Okay. I swear the handholding thing has nothing to do with anything except your gross dead bivalve hands. But I think I may be freaking  out.”

Michael blinks at him. “Did this start when we checked in and you had to deal with people who know we’re here to fuck?”

It’s sharp, but John knows he probably deserves it.

“You know I don’t mind being out in public with you,” he says cautiously. He wants to be honest with Michael, but he also doesn’t want to provoke anger by being less willing to be out than Michael deems sufficient.

Thankfully Michael considers John for a moment and then grins. “Somewhere in the romantic beach getaway, I got that.”
John lets out a relieved sigh and wraps an arm around Michael’s waist. He wants to prove his willingness to be fully in this relationship without shame, but life is also just better when they’re touching. Michael leans into his side, and they start walking down the sand again.

“But it’s something I can’t help being aware of,” John says quietly as they walk. “What we are and what people see when they look at me. Which apparently means I’ve found my internalized homophobia, and I am completely aware of how gross that is. I’m going to work on that, but there it is.”

“You still want to, like, go out to dinner tonight and make out on the boardwalk, though, right?”

“Oh my God, you have no idea. I want to tell everybody about you.”

Michael smirks. “So why don’t you?”

“Coming out at my age is kind of more complicated than it is at twelve. Or however old you were when you did.”

“I was fourteen, thank you.”

“So how did you come out to your parents?” John asks after they walk for a few minutes in silence.

Michael cracks up.

“I’m serious!”

Michael buries his face in John’s arm and apparently can’t stop laughing. “You do understand how ridiculous this is, right?”

“I understand that I’m forty-two and have to come out to everyone in my entire life that I give a remote shit about, because you are addictive and fascinating and wonderful and also are sadly holding me to some pretty legitimate ethical standards. So help a guy out, okay?”

“I was making out with my first high school boyfriend in the living room, and my mom walked in.”

John is entirely not surprised. “So hey, when you meet my family, let’s not go with that plan, yeah?”

“Yeah,” Michael says, drawing the word out in a way that makes it clear it’s his turn to be defensive and weird.

John smirks, pleased to be off the hook for the moment. “You haven’t told them about us either,” he says smugly.

Michael mumbles something against John’s arm.

“What was that?”

“You’re really old,” Michael says. “And they’re going to freak.”
chrissymunder: (CM banner)
What a great way to start off my July! I'm excited to celebrate Anne's newest release.

Thanks, Chrissy, for hosting me.

Family is a reoccurring theme in not just Family and Reflection but within The Sleepless City—the urban fantasy series which is a joint project between myself and Elizabeth Noble.

Family and Reflection explores two concepts of family, one of which is the one you are born into.  The guys who live at Boggs’s Castle are all separated from their families in one way or another, either because of geography, differences in opinion, or because their families are long dead. 

Lucas is the only one who has family close by. He was born in Flint where the series is set, and his father is not only the alpha of the Coate werewolf pack, but also the head of the Flint Supernatural Council.  They don’t see eye to eye on many things, and Lucas’s friendship with vampires is something his father won’t tolerate.   After their last argument, his father threw him out and Lucas moved into Boggs’s Castle with Forge and Simon. That was ten years ago.

In having more of a focus on the werewolf community, Family and Reflection gave me the opportunity to explore some of Lucas’s past.  However, this is a sore spot for Lucas, as family is a very important part of werewolf society, and Lucas is no longer a part of that.  A conversation with his cousin, who was also his childhood friend, brings bittersweet memories of an earlier time in his life.

When family in the traditional sense is no longer available, often people create another. This is what has happened with not just Lucas, but the others he lives with.  They’re stronger together than apart, each person’s personality and skills complementing the greater whole.

One of the reasons I love writing the characters living in Boggs’s Castle is the banter between them and their knowledge that their friends are always there for them.  It’s not just that the friendship between has stood the test of time—they’re now family in all the ways that count.

Family and Reflection
Book 3 of The Sleepless City, Sequel to Electric Candle
For as long as Lucas Coate can remember, werewolves have been taught to mistrust vampires. Lucas is an exception—he has close friends who are vampires. The werewolf pack in Flint—and their leader, Jacob Coate—have made it clear that Lucas’s association with vampires is barely tolerated, and another transgression will be his last. When Lucas finds out about the plague of werewolf deaths in the area, he wants to help even though his own life may already be in danger.

Declan has been away from Flint for ten years, but he isn’t surprised to learn that the internal politics of the Supernatural Council haven’t changed for the better. When a series of burglaries hit close to home soon after he arrives, Declan—a vampire and professional thief—is their prime suspect, although for once, he isn’t responsible. With the council keeping secrets, no one is safe. Time is running out, and for Lucas and Declan, everything is about to change.




Buy links:
eBook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6464
Paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6465


Excerpt:
Declan turned the page of his book, read the first paragraph, then shook his head. He wasn’t sure why he’d bothered, as he couldn’t for the life of him remember what had happened on the previous page, let alone in the last few chapters. He closed the book with a thump, got up from the table, went over to the fridge, and opened it.

He wasn’t hungry, but if he had been, the mold-covered plate on one of the shelves would have put him off whatever else had taken his fancy. Someone really needed to have a word with Lucas about leaving his science experiments to breed. Declan lifted the plate somewhat cautiously and sniffed it, then wished he hadn’t. City coroner or not, this wasn’t… normal. Normal people cleaned out their leftovers before they got the chance to become strange new life forms.

Even if, in this case, his definition of normal was a werewolf.

But, despite his reaction, Declan couldn’t bring himself to throw the—whatever it was—away. To him it was disgusting, but to Lucas it might be some new discovery crucial to whatever he was currently working on. And Declan didn’t want to upset Lucas. In the short time they’d known each other, he’d become quite fond of Lucas, and enjoyed the time they spent together.

Declan sighed. He returned the offending thing to its previous resting place, ignoring the visions of reanimated zombie leftovers creeping up the stairs to attack him in the middle of the night, and instead got a wineglass out of the cupboard. He poured himself a decent-sized portion of his favorite red beverage and settled back down on the chair he’d recently vacated. As much as he enjoyed a good vintage wine, there were times when one had to quench one’s other thirsts. He sniffed the glass and savored the aroma before swallowing.

Hmm, not bad. It was amazing the standard of blood available to purchase through the right sources. It made it so much easier to feed than it used to be, and less messy too.

He heard the light step on the stairs and human heartbeat long before Ben reached the kitchen and stood awkwardly in the doorway.

“Hello, Ben,” Declan said. “Don’t worry, you’re not disturbing me.”

“If you’re sure?” Ben Leyton ran one hand through his thick dark hair. He looked tired. “I couldn’t sleep, so I thought I’d make a Milo and see if that helps.”

“I heard Simon having a nightmare earlier. He never did sleep well on anniversaries.” He’d known Simon Hawthorne a long time; Jonas Forge had introduced them shortly after Simon had been turned. Declan had also helped Simon through a dark part of his life, triggered by the events he suspected had prompted this particular nightmare, given the time of year. “I also don’t mind if you turn on the light.”

Although Declan didn’t need much light to see, especially with the full moon casting its glow into the room, Ben would appreciate more illumination.

“Yeah, well, they’re the worst times for most people, I guess.” Ben flicked on the light switch before walking across the kitchen. He filled the kettle and put it on to boil before reaching into the cupboard and bringing down a green can. “Do you want some? It’s a chocolate drink.”

“Thank you but no.” Declan indicated the glass in front of him.

The loud howl almost made him jump, and only years of practiced self-control stopped him. Even so, Declan’s hairs stood on end on the back of his neck, and the howl sent a shiver through him.

Lucas howled again. Frustration, anger, and loss all rolled into a sound that was pure wolf.

Declan knocked his glass over, spilling its contents. Without thinking, he moved at vampire speed, catching what was left of the blood in his palm and drinking deeply.

The glass fell to the floor, smashing into tiny pieces. He ignored it and finished the blood, then wiped the back of his hand across his mouth. A low growl escaped his lips. He knew his eyes were completely green. They tended to do that when his fangs extended.

When he looked up, Ben was staring at him, his eyes wide. “I’ll clean up the mess, shall I?” Ben said hurriedly, already heading for the broom.

“Don’t worry,” Declan said. “I’ll do it. Make your chocolate drink, mon ami. It’s my mess, so my responsibility, yes?”

Bio:
Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing "discussion," and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as "too many." These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of "spare time" is really just a myth.


Anne’s books have twice received honorable mentions and twice reached the finals in the Rainbow Awards. 

Blog:  http://anne-barwell.livejournal.com/
Website: http://annebarwell.wordpress.com/
Coffee Unicorns:  http://coffeeunicorns.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anne.barwell.1
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/115084832208481414034/posts
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4862410.Anne_Barwell
Dreamspinner Press Author Page:
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/anne-barwell
chrissymunder: (CM banner)
While I'm more than a *wee* bit unhappy with the way June is barrelling down on us, I'm always excited to see the new crop of summer romance hitting the shelves. The calendar insists summer isn't officially here until June 21st, but I'm a greedy reader, and I can't wait.

Here to kick off my summer reading season with their release, Midsummer, are authors Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese:


 Dreamspinner Press Purchase link for Midsummer




If you've ever been involved with a theater company that does Shakespeare, you know that somewhere, there's always a skull, even when you're not working on Hamlet. In Midsummer a real skull found on the grounds gets mistaken for a stage prop by a theater troupe's eeriest actor. While a contemporary non-paranormal romance, Midsummer spends a lot of time with the possibility that we live in a magical world, and never really decides. After all, theater is a type of magic. We all suspend our disbelief and believe, at least for a little while.

But as much as theaters (and theater people), can be okay with the weird, and with hints of magic, an unexpected human skull tends to freak people out. The troupe's reactions to this skull represent some of our favorite parts of this story to write. At one point the direct of the show event declares, when our hero swears it's all no big deal, "There's a skull in my dining hall!"

For everyone who has felt like the only sane man in a sea of peculiar events rapidly spirally out of control, we hope Midsummer's mystery skull b-plot will remind you that your day job could probably be worse.



Blurb:

John Lyonel, a long-time theater professional and teacher, heads to Virginia to play Oberon in the Theater in the Woods’s production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, intending to focus on his work. John is recovering from the tragic loss of his family and needs a break. The last thing he expects is to become captivated by Michael Hilliard, the professional actor playing Puck, especially since John has never been attracted to men, let alone one so much younger.

They rush headlong into an affair which falls apart dramatically over secrets that John and Michael are keeping from each other. A steep learning curve, the gossipy cast of the show, and the sometimes sinister magic of the woods conspire to keep them apart. But stage lights and stars might work their magic and help them define a new future.

Bio:

Erin McRae is a queer writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. She has a master’s degree in International Affairs from American University, and delights in applying her knowledge of international relations theory to her fiction and screen-based projects, because conflict drives narrative.

Racheline Maltese lives a big life from a small space. She flies planes, sails boats, and rides horses, but as a native New Yorker, has no idea how to drive a car. A long-time entertainment and media industry professional, she lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their two cats.

Together, they are co-authors of the gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry -- Starling (September 10, 2014), Doves (January 21, 2015), and Phoenix (June 10, 2015) -- from Torquere Press. Their gay romance novella series Love’s Labours, set in the theater world -- Midsummer (May 2015), and Twelfth Night (Fall 2015), is from Dreamspinner Press. They also have a story in Best Gay Romance 2015 from Cleis Press and edited by Felice Picano. You can find them on the web at http://www.Avian30.com.

Connect with Erin & Racheline online:

Blog | Facebook Page | Erin's Twitter | Racheline's Twitter | Erin's Goodreads | Racheline's Goodreads | Erin's Amazon Author Page | Racheline's Amazon Author Page

Buy Links:

Amazon | AllRomance | B&N | Dreamspinner

Excerpt:

Costume fittings and dress rehearsals means that John finally gets to see Michael costumed as Puck. The human characters are dressed contemporarily, in suits and cocktail dresses that become increasingly disheveled as the show goes on. The fairies, though, are dressed in greens and browns with crowns of strange wildness -- thistles, cornsilk, and Queen Ann’s lace. Michael as Puck looks deeply inhuman, covered in leaves as if dragged in from the wooded grounds. For their first dress rehearsal, it takes all of John’s considerable experience and willpower to actually focus on the play and not Michael. As taken as Oberon is meant to be with Puck, he should actually be able to remember and deliver his lines.

“Whose idea was this?” he asks Michael afterward, catching him before he can change. Michael blinks at him with eyes done up in silver and green. John wants to devour him.

“Do you like it?” Michael asks, more distant and coy than usual, sliding his hands up John’s chest which, like his own, is bare.

All John can do is groan when Michael looks up at him from under his lashes. He stands on his tiptoes to kiss John briefly, and then vanishes. When he reappears he’s Michael again, in t-shirt and shorts, but John can’t forget the image of him transformed.
chrissymunder: (CM banner)

I'm pleased to welcome back today's Guest Author, Joe Cosentino. Yes, he was just here with his release through Dreamspinner Press, today now he's back to tell us about Paper Doll, his new release with Whiskey Creek Press. Way to go, Joe! He was nice enough to let me grill him once again, and if I'm lucky, he'll have some more releases coming through the pipe - I've still got questions I'd love to hear the answers to.

My first question is based on my initial response to reading the Paper Doll blurb. All I could think is I'd love to see this as a movie. Would you ever consider turning one of your novels into a screenplay? If so, any one in particular?

Chrissy, yes! Since I was a professional actor, playwright, and director, my writing has a definite theatricality and cinematography. All of my novels and novellas would make terrific movies. I have written film treatments (outlines) for PAPER DOLL (the first Jana Lane mystery from Whiskey Creek Press) and AN INFATUATION (MM novella from Dreamspinner Press).

The most obvious first choice is PAPER DOLL. I have always been captivated by child stars of the past like Shirley Temple, Hayley Mills, and Patty Duke. PAPER DOLL is the story of an ex-child star, now an adult, embroiled in the mystery of who attacked her on the studio lot at eighteen years old, and who is attacking her now as a wife and mother. Since Jana is headed for a film comeback, the entire Jana Lane series will include the film world. So I can see it morphing into a television series.

At the beginning of the first novel, Jana has lost the courage she had as a child. Throughout the novel, she finds the old Jana Lane and recaptures her confidence. I love Jana’s determination, wit, and compassion for others. Since she was a child movie star in adventure films, as an adult Jana uses the skills she learned as a child to investigate and solve the mystery of who attacked her then and who is after her now. Along the way, she uncovers amazing secrets about everyone in her life. I think Brooke Shields would make a great Jana Lane.

There is a section of PAPER DOLL, where Jana visits Hollywood. While Jana’s film company is fictitious, I was able to incorporate a number of real places into the story like the Hollywood Wax Museum, the Brown Derby, and Mann’s Chinese Theatre. The remainder of the novel takes place in the beautiful Hudson Valley area of New York State. Both locals are obviously quite cinematic.

I can see Matt Bomer as Jana’s husband, Brian; Rosie O’Donnell as Jana’s sister Tamara; Martin Short as Jana’s father Scott, Chris Rock as Jana’s friend Jackson, and I want to play Simon Huckby (Jana’s agent).

I’d also like to play Martin Anderson (the college theatre department head) in my Nicky and Noah mystery series premiering this summer from Lethe Press with DRAMA QUEEN, and Mr. Ringwood (the high school principal) in my novella AN INFATUATION released by Dreamspinner Press February 4.

So come on producers, let’s hear some option offers!


We're always advised to "kill our darlings" when we write. Is there a line in Paper Doll that is your favorite – and you left in?

Simon Huckby, Jana’s longtime agent, is the conglomeration of many theatrical agents and managers I knew as an actor. He is quaint and funny yet fiercely loyal to Jana and the film industry. He has so many wonderful speeches in each of the three Jana Lane mysteries I’ve written so far (PAPER DOLL, PORCELAIN DOLL, SATIN DOLL). Here’s one of my favorites from PAPER DOLL:
“After we saw you in that play in New York, I said to Jonas, ‘I’m gonna make that little girl a movie star. And I did!’ I got you the best writer, director, producer, studio. When you played the spy girl, the sale of spy toys went up forty percent. When you were the candy-striper, the hospitals were inundated with kids begging to be candy-stripers. When you played the hula girl, travel agents couldn’t book flights to Hawaii fast enough. You were royalty. American’s favorite child.” With a self-pitying sniff into his frayed purple and chartreuse polka-dot ascot, he added, “Then you retired and left me. Alone like a dog!”


During your last visit you mentioned three folders on your desk: Current Writing Project, Current Editing Project, and Current Publicizing Project. You sound wonderfully organized and I hope you might tell us a little about your process for each?

I learned my organization skills from directing plays. As a college professor and department head, I have to be very organized as well. So it’s no surprise I carry that through to my writing.

When PAPER DOLL was in my Current Writing Project folder, I knew as an avid mystery reader, my first novel would be a page-turning murder mystery with clever plot twists, engaging characters, romance, humor, and lots of clues leading to a surprising conclusion. I hope this doesn’t sound too odd, but when I create a character, as an actor or as a writer, I close my eyes and envision the character. I write a long character bio about him or her. I hear the voice. It’s as if the character is a friend of mine who I converse with frequently. As a writer, I put my characters together and listen to them speak to one another. I become the medium who writes down their conversations. Based on those conversations, it’s clear to me which characters are coming and going, and which characters are here to stay. I write an outline but deviate from it constantly since my characters don’t always do what I expect them to do. I write in the evenings. I find being a bit tired actually helps me not to censor my thoughts, and I can write more creatively. My philosophy as a writer is, “Make ‘em laugh then make ‘em cry,” so it is not unusual for me to laugh out loud when writing or shed a few tears. I generally do a first draft, have my spouse critique it then do a second draft and third draft. Currently, DRAMA CRUISE (the third Nicky and Noah mystery) and SATIN DOLL (the third Jana Lane mystery) are in this folder.

When PAPER DOLL was in my Current Editing Project Folder I worked with an editor from Whiskey Creek Press on finding any typos, storyline inconsistencies, and storyline errors. Thankfully there were not a great deal, and the editing process took only one week via email. After the manuscript was completed, I had one more read to find last minute typos and it went to publication. Also during this time I worked with the cover artist from Whiskey Creek Press who, based on my descriptions, gave me three possible cover choices. I think the one I selected is a real eye-catcher. Current in this folder is DRAMA QUEEN (the first Nicky and Noah mystery) releasing this summer from Lethe Press.

Since PAPER DOLL releases from Whiskey Creek Press on March 5, it is in the Current Publicizing Project folder. I have been doing interviews on various blogs and web sites as well as working with the publisher to make the book available for review. Also in this folder is AN INFATUTATION, which Dreamspinner Press released February 4.

What one question do you wish some one would ask you about your work but no one ever has? Could you write it out here and please answer it for us?

What do you look for when you read a book?

I want to become part of the novel. I like engaging characters and plotlines that zigzag with numerous surprises leading to a shocking yet totally justified conclusion. Finally, I enjoy beautiful, lush locations as I’m taken through the portal of the book. I want to feel sorry the book ended, and crave going back for more in the future. I try to keep this in mind when writing my books.


We all know the old joke about critics, but what is the toughest criticism you've ever received, and how did you deal with it?

My book reviews have thankfully been quite positive. Before I started writing I read hundreds of mystery novels. I learned a good mystery suspense novel needs careful dropping of clues and red herrings along the way that add up to a perfect climax whereby the various parts equal the whole, rather than the author pulling an ending out of the hat. Also, the “who-done-it” aspect shouldn’t be the only element of the book. Strong characters, humor, romance, and twists and turns in the story will keep readers interested until they get to the dynamic conclusion. So I haven’t received a great deal of critiques. However, like most writers, I have received a number of rejections from publishers. I learned if one publisher rejects your work, don’t fret about it, send it immediately to the next!


The Oxford Comma – for or against?

I love comas and use them a great deal. I think they help the reader understand the author’s thoughts. So I’m all for the Oxford comma. However, many editors are not, so sometimes they go by the wayside. By the way, I visited Oxford in England, and I loved it. I used it to create the fictitious Treemeadow College and community in Vermont for my Nicky and Noah series releasing this summer by Lethe Press with DRAMA QUEEN.

I look forward to that release. Until then, here's more about Paper Doll.

PAPER DOLL (the first Jana Lane mystery)

by JOE COSENTINO

a novel from Whisky Creek Press

releases March 5

e-book $3.99

Available from Whiskey Creek Press and Amazon

Jana Lane was America’s most famous child star until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. Now she’s a thirty-eight-year-old beauty and mother of two living in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. Jana’s flashbacks from her past turn into murder attempts in her present. Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana visits the California movie studio she once called home. This sends her on a whirlwind of visits with former and current movie studio personnel. It also leads to a romance with the son of her old producer – Rocco Cavoto – the devilishly handsome filmmaker who is planning Jana’s comeback both professionally and personally. Can Jana uncover a web of secrets about everyone she loves, including the person who destroyed her past and threatens to snuff out her future?


About Joe:

Joe Cosentino is the author of An Infatuation (Dreamspinner Press), Paper Doll, the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press-releasing this summer), 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 Porcelain Doll (the second Jana Lane mystery) and Drama Muscle (the second Nicky and Noah mystery).


Contact Joe:

Website: https://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joe.cos.7
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino
Amazon author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KRPXJP6

chrissymunder: (CM banner)
I'm pleased and excited to welcome my next Guest Author, Joe Cosentino. He's here to share an excerpt from his upcoming release, An Infatuation and was kind enough to answer a few questions for me about his work. Joe's an interesting guy with a range to his career I had a lot of fun investigating. For a glimpse of him in action visit his website and click on the video link. You won't be disappointed.

Now, let's see what Joe has to say for himself:

Hi Joe, thanks for visiting with us today. Your career spans an impressive range of creative expression. Do you prefer one medium to another? If so, which one, and could you briefly tell us why?

When I told my mother I wanted to be an actor, she said, “Take this knife and stick it through my heart.” I did it anyway, and acted on stage and screen with stars like Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Holland Taylor, Jason Robards, and Nathan Lane. You can see me on You Tube in the ABC-TV movie, MY MOTHER WAS NEVER A KID, about a third of the way through. As my students say, “You were cute when you were young!” Anyway, it occurred to me that acting is storytelling in the same way that writing is storytelling, so I decided to give playwriting a try. When I told my mother I wanted to write fiction, she said, “Don’t you have anything better to do?” I wonder if Shakespeare’s mother said that? Anyway, as I tell my students, whether you are painting a picture, singing, dancing, making a movie, acting, writing, or directing, you are storytelling. So for me, acting, writing, and directing are all equally as fulfilling. There’s nothing better than telling a story.

When writing, do you prefer to use real life locations, or ones you’ve created?

I was born and raised in New Jersey, moved to NYC for a while, attended graduate school in VT, visited LA, and currently live upstate New York. So far those have been the locations for my books. As they say, write what you know about. I think it gives my writing a realistic flavor.

Which do you prefer as a reader?

As a reader I love books that take me places I’ve never been, however, that’s getting harder as my spouse and I take vacations to various locations in the US and in Europe.

What is it about this story you needed to tell?

I was thinking back to my high school days, and how difficult it was back then for a gay teen before GLSEN, PFLAG, and Will and Grace. Lab partners, gym locker rooms, and club meetings where super important. At my high school reunion, I realized things weren’t what they seemed back then. A story was born. It began as a one-act play, which I expanded and morphed into a novella. The story is personal and important to me. I love that the story spans twenty years so we see Harold (and Mario) develop and mature. I also love the theme of infatuation. Haven’t we all been infatuated with someone at some point in our lives?

Is there a scene or line in the book you ended up cutting but you really wanted to leave in?

No, it was the opposite. I kept adding and adding until I finally stopped myself and sent it to Dreamspinner Press.

What is the most surprising thing you learned about yourself while writing An Infatuation?

While the situation in the book is fictitious, Harold is based on me. I really admire his resilience, honesty, intelligence, wit, and ability to keep going in trying situations. His heart may be broken, but his spirit always stays intact. Harold’s devotion to his spouse, Stuart, is admirable, as is his honesty about his teenage infatuation with Mario. Those are pretty good traits. I hope I have them.

If we looked at your desk right now, what three things would we see?

Besides my teaching folders, you’d find three writing folders: Current Writing Project, Current Editing Project,  and Current Publicizing Project.

What can your readers look forward to next?

I am currently writing a sequel novel to my mystery/romance novel about an ex-child movie star PAPER DOLL (Whiskey Creek Press), entitled PORCELAIN DOLL. I am also working on an M/M comedy mystery series set in the world of academia. Since I am a college professor, I know that world quite well. Happily, nobody has been murdered at my college—yet. I am finishing the first three novels, DRAMA QUEEN, DRAMA MUSCLE, and DRAMA CRUISE.

I'm excited to know there's more of Joe's writing on the way. Here's a look at his February 4th release:


AN INFATUATION
a novella by Joe Cosentino
published by Dreamspinner Press and available for Pre-Order

Excerpt:
One Friday afternoon I accidentally ran into my hero in the boy's locker room. I’d had enough of the big guys banging me into gym lockers, pushing me into cold showers, and hanging me from the gym ropes. So I was on my way to give Mr. Adoni a note from Dr. Dlorah excusing me from gym class for the remainder of the school year (due to my highly contagious disease being studied by my doctor in Guatemala, where he could not be reached for the next year).

The locker room smelled of an odd combination of soap, cologne, sweat, and desire. Mario was getting ready for football practice, standing at his gym locker without a combination lock on it. Nobody would dare to break into it (Except for me that one time I smelled his jock strap. Okay maybe it was a few times, but not more than ten.). Mario slid his T-shirt (red today) over his thick, black hair and threw it on the nearby bench. No longer harnessed by cotton, his arm, back, chest, and neck muscles swelled to full size. I was half hidden behind the adjoining row of lockers, wearing my usual green and blue flannel shirt and brown corduroy pants. Mario, who wasn’t looking in my direction, said something really beautiful to me that I will never forget.

“Hi.”


“Did you just? Oh. Hi. Hello. Good afternoon. Nice to see you. I mean, change with you.” I looked down at the floor (but cheated a bit) as Mario kicked off his boots, slipped off his jeans then threw them in the lucky locker. His red underpants (briefs) revealed ample manhood. This is better than the newspaper’s underwear ads!

“Good gym class today with Mr. Adonis, I mean, Mr. Adoni.” Did I just say that? “Harold High.”

“Hi.”

“High.” How can I get my pulse down to 260?

“Hi.” Mario reached into his locker for his sweat clothes.

Shouldn’t people be doing that for you? “Oh, my last name is High. Like a kite.” How can I stop my arms from waving like an airport flagger on speed?

“Mario Ginetti. Like nothin’ else imaginable.” Mario smiled, revealing a row of perfectly white teeth, and held the sweat clothes in his hands as if he was mortal.

“I know. I watch your body play.” Why can’t I stop talking? “I mean, I watch you play … football … on the field … in your football outfit.” I feel like Michelangelo with his David!

As Mario put on his sweats, I continued to sweat.

“I'm voting for your body … I mean I'm voting for you for president of your … our … the student body.” I need my jaw wired shut. “I’m your lab partner in Chemistry class. Ms. Hungry’s class … I mean Ms. Hunsley’s class.”

His olive-colored face glistened as Mario’s face registered recognition—of me! “I thought I knew you from somewheres. Hey, thanks for doing the lab reports.”

“It’s my honor … I mean my pleasure. It’s fine. If you need help putting up posters for your campaign, I can … ”

Having just tied the laces of his sneakers, Mario stood absolutely still. He looked at me as if he was staring into my heart and somehow knew what I was feeling. “I gotta take a wicked piss.”

Can I watch?

“Thanks for helping me out, Buddy.” He slammed the locker door and left.

He called me, Buddy! My heart was as soft and silly as putty that Mario held in the palm of his hand like his soap on a rope.


Author Bio:
Joe Cosentino is the author of the acclaimed mystery novel, Paper Doll (Whiskey Creek Press). 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 a musical theatre adaptation of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals), and 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 Porcelain Doll and Drama Queen. JoeCosentino.weebly.com.

Contact Joe:
Website: https://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Dreamspinner Press author page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_1330
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino
Amazon author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KRPXJP6

chrissymunder: (CM banner)
I'd like to extend a big welcome to today's Guest Author, L. Blankenship. She's a crossover author, having successfully self-published her gritty fantasy romance series Disciple (see the link at the end of the post to download part 1 for free!) as well as sharing her latest release from Dreamspinner Press.






Hawks & Rams    
by L. Blankenship
a m/m fantasy romance novella
ON SALE NOW!
from Dreamspinner Press
Amazon DreamspinnerB&NAllRomance

Back Cover
Heathric Felahóf never wanted to be a thief, but his cousin╩╝s scheme is the only option to keep the town's children from being taken as slaves to cover the year's taxes. So a few men slip over the border into the neighboring kingdom, steal a flock of sheep, and escape before the magically gifted Rangers learn of them. The second time, they're not so lucky, and trouble follows the bandits home.

Adal Sperling has given up on finding a lover who truly wants him. One of the Rangers charged with protecting his people, he pursues the sheep thieves over the border and stumbles across Heathric, a gentle shepherd who only wants to take care of his family. But opposite sides of border incursions is a rough way to fall in love, and the laws of Adal╩╝s kingdom are clear: the border must remain closed to Heathric╩╝s people.

From Chapter 1
The meadow, sheep, and herding dogs looked familiar enough to Heathric, but the shepherds spoke the wrong language. He and his cousins crouched behind a knot of birches, waiting for Dunstan and Scéot to flank the field and shoot the dogs. Mother Love only knew what would happen then; folk on this side of the border hills were all kir-mages, it was said. Their saints made them, even if they were born without the gift.

One of the dogs leaped up from the tall grass, ears cocked toward the trees at the edge of the meadow. Heathric’s breath caught. The dog faced away from him, though. It had to be one of the two woodsmen. The elder shepherd noticed his dog and stood up too. His son, red-haired like him, called a question.

An arrow hissed. The dog cried out and fell. Heathric winced, squeezing his eyes shut. The second dog barked once and squealed in pain. It stabbed through Heathric’s ears and pricked tears to his eyes.

“Come on!” Athard cuffed Heathric as he rushed past. Athard whistled to his own dog, and a bark answered from the forest behind them.

Heathric took a breath to steady himself. It had to be done, or the strangers’ dogs would attack their own. He whistled the order to come and heard Clymp tearing through the ferns toward him.

Lunging to his feet, Heathric charged into the meadow with his shepherd’s staff in both hands. Wails from the dying dog hit his ears, along with men’s shouts. The sheep baaed and dithered under all the noise, some of them frightened enough to bolt toward the tree line. Heathric whistled a flanking command to Clymp and called the sheep together.

They didn’t know Suevi words, though, and he was a stranger. A gray and white mop of a dog burst from the forest and the sheep shied in unison toward Heathric. He spread his arms, with the staff held out long, to turn them back to the main flock. They veered away, crashing into their flock-mates in confusion.

Behind them, ounstan raised his bow as a club and struck the shepherd down. Heathric saw his cousin’s rage, clear as day, and felt it hot and prickly as a sunburn across his skin.

Running sheep caught his eye, and Heathric whistled again. Clymp raced past to herd them back. “Easy, easy,” Heathric said, pacing along the edge of the flock with his arms wide. “We won’t hurt you.”

The animals’ eyes rolled, and they bumped against each other in trying to huddle. Beyond, Dunstan clubbed the shepherd again, then put his hand on the hilt of the seax he wore strapped across the small of his back. The knife’s long, heavy blade flashed in the sun as he jerked it from the scabbard.

“No!” It burst from Heathric’s mouth.

Dunstan stabbed. Heathric broke into a run, hurdling the sheep that couldn’t scramble out of his way.

“No! You swore—!”

Dunstan swung around with the bloody seax at ready. Heathric skidded to a stop, barely keeping his balance. His cousin snorted and flicked blood off the blade. “No harm’ll come to us.” He put a sneering emphasis on the last word.

Hawks & Rams
ON SALE NOW!
Amazon Dreamspinner B&NAllRomance

Also by L. Blankenship
Disciple, a six part gritty fantasy adventure
Download Disciple, Part I for FREE
Amazon B&NMore Retailers


Bio:
L. Blankenship is the alternate identity of a mild-mannered graphic designer. I write both hard science fiction and fantasy adventures. I blog at  Notes from the Jovian Frontier, and contribute to Unicorn Bell. Gmail addy: blankenship(dot)louise

Contact L. Blankenship:
Blog: http://lblankenship.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LBlankenship_sf
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/louise.blankenship.1
G+: blankenship.louise
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/l-blankenship/bio/
chrissymunder: (CM banner)

Good morning everyone. Today I'm excited to welcome my first guest author for 2015, Anne Barwell. Anne writes across a variety of genres but underlying all of her work is a deep understanding and acceptance of the truths that make us human. In other words, she's a great read and she's here to tell us what we can expect in this new year.

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Thanks for hosting me today, Chrissy.


For me, last year was a year for writing about history, and music.  This year I’m writing fantasy and heading back into dragon territory.

Why the change of genre?

I blame my muses, and the fact that everything I write turns into a series. I had intended to just have two series on the go at one time, as that’s easy to manage and readers aren’t waiting too long between books. But I had vampires and dragon queue jump and the dragon’s story—which was supposed to be a one shot—turned into a trilogy. I did try to write an epilogue to wrap everything up, but one of my betas told me it was the beginning of a new book and I did realise that, right?  Then another beta not only agreed and then pointed out that really it was a three book series.  They were right.

With having a few series on the go I write in a circle ie series A, series B, series C, series A, with a new book in each so the readers following those series aren’t kept hanging too long for the next instalment.  I write across different genres, which is the same way I read, but often I find readers who love historicals don’t read fantasy, and vice versa.

As I’m working full time—in a library which is an evil den of temptation—I aim to write two books a year.  This year it’s two and half as I’m also co-writing an historical fantasy with Lou Sylvre called The Harp and the Sea.  We started this story last year but real life caught up with both of us so we’re prioritising it for this year. Here’s the blurb:

In 1745, Ian MacDonald keeps watch from the Isle of Skye, hoping to see Bonnie Prince Charlie’s ships hove into view. A highlander and a Jacobite born and bred, he’ll follow and fight when the prince comes to Scotland, and meanwhile await and guard a treasure meant to finance the future war. Perfect for the job because he has no wife and is never likely to take one, he wishes nonetheless deep in his heart for love, for that one man of them all who could be his match.

Then one morning, something comes in on the waves, not ships, but a twisted, waterlogged harp. He doesn’t understand his need to fetch it in to shore, to carry it up to the cottage he’s made home. But when the harp is taken, he’s driven to follow the trail of the thief—and it’s a man. A strange and beautiful man. Robbie Elliot—he defies explanation, and from whence did he come? And why, sweet mystery, why does the broken harp sound when Ian lays a kiss on Robbie’s lips?


My other current WIP is One Word, and is the next book in the Hidden Places series.  It’s a side novel to Cat’s Quill and takes place during the six weeks that Cathal and Tomas are in Naearu.  Donovan and Ethan play an important part in the last book in that series Dragon’s Price which I’m writing in 2017 and I wanted to explore their characters in more depth before I wrote that one. One Word is more of a contemporary story but there’s still a hint of fantasy to it. 

When Ethan Leavitt comes to the village of Oakwood to search for a missing friend, he isn’t sure what he’ll find.  He’s always prided himself on his ability to find rational explanations in situations where often there doesn’t appear to be one.  Evidence, after all, is something that is usually backed up by logic. Right?

Donovan Campbell has worked hard to put his past behind him. His happy, sometimes flippant, persona hides memories he’d rather forget. The last thing he needs is for some guy he’s only just met to start getting under his skin.

A dangerous situation escalates, and Donovan must embrace a part of himself he can no longer ignore in order to save a future that might never have the chance to exist.  Often the person you think you’re looking for is not the one you find—but have he and Ethan both realized that too late?


Once The Harp and the Sea and One Word are written, I’m writing A Mage to Forget which is the second book in The Dragons of Astria series, and the sequel to A Knight to Remember.  Given that the code phrase of the resistance in Hidden Places is “I believe in dragons” it seems to fair to me to blame dragons for this years’ writing.


Next year I’ll shift the blame elsewhere as I’ll be writing Comes a Horseman, the final book in the Echoes series.  I’ll be following that with Double Exposure, the first book of the ongoing Opus series. This is a spin off of the urban fantasy series The Sleepless City.

Bio:

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing "discussion," and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as "too many." These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of "spare time" is really just a myth.


Contact Anne:
Blog:  http://anne-barwell.livejournal.com/
Website: http://annebarwell.wordpress.com/

Coffee Unicorns:  http://coffeeunicorns.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anne.barwell.1

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4862410.Anne_Barwell

Dreamspinner Press Author Page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_426