chrissymunder: (CM banner)

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. 🙂

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

Read more... )

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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.


Read More )
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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

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
chrissymunder: (CM banner)
2015 has been a good year in publishing for today's guest author, Joe Cosentino. I've been pleased to feature him on the blog in both February and March, and I hope you've had a chance to pick up at least one of his enjoyable novels. If you haven't yet, give this latest release a try. You won't be disappointed.

Welcome back, Joe. First up, I’d like to congratulate you on the release of DRAMA QUEEN. It’s been receiving high praise as a humorous, fast-moving, keep-us-guessing mystery, and readers are eager for the return of Nicky and Noah, myself included.

I’m diving right into the questions today, because I’m excited to have another chance to talk.

1.      Your familiarity with the background used in the story gives the reader a real insider’s view to the world of college theatre. Knowing that truth is much stranger than fiction, did you stick pretty close to reality or did you make use of artistic license?

Thanks so much, Chrissy. I always love answering your questions. As you know I was a professional actor and am currently a college theatre professor/department head. Colleges, especially theatre departments, are communities unto themselves with more humor, drama, romance, surprises, and interesting characters than found on television. Thankfully nobody has been murdered at my college, so the novel’s five murders were obviously made up in my active imagination, as were the quaint characters. However, some of the situations, particularly when Noah directs the play on campus, were based on incidents in my life. Of course the wacky sense of humor is mine too. I love Nicky and Noah and all their hijinks. So far readers are falling in love with them as they fall in love with each other. DRAMA QUEEN is currently (June 12) #46 on the Top Best Seller List in its category on Amazon Kindle. The paperback has just released, and the audiobook will be out in about a month.


I have already written the next two novels in the series, and I hope they will be published soon. In the first novel, Drama Queen, Nicky and Noah have to uncover why college theatre professors are dropping like stage curtains while Nicky directs the college play production—a murder mystery. In the second, Drama Muscle, Nicky and Noah must find out why musclemen are dropping like weights in the Physical Education department while Nicky directs the Student Bodybuilding Competition. In the third, Drama Cruise, Nicky and Noah go on a cruise to Alaska, and discover why college theatre professors are going overboard like lifeboats while Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship. Since I acted in murder mystery dinner theater, I used a few incidents from my life—though greatly exaggerated. I will probably write the fourth this fall. I want to play Martin Anderson, the theatre department head, in the TV series!

2.      With multiple releases under your belt, have you changed any part of your writing process since your first novel?

My writing process has stayed the same. I generally write in the evenings. I create a character biography then an outline. In a mystery, it’s so much fun to plan the clues, red herrings, suspects, plot twists and turns, and the surprising yet justified ending. Then I move on to the first and second drafts. After my spouse reads it and offers comments, I write the third draft, which goes to the publisher.

3.      What’s the worst bit of advice on writing you’ve ever received?

Try to write for a particular market. I think what makes all of my books special is my ability to weave in mystery, romance, humor, compelling and fast-paced plots, and a surprise ending. I use my background in show business and academia often. My books come from my heart. I can’t imagine what they would be like if I tried to write for a particular audience or publisher. That may be why I have three different publishers for my books (Lethe Press, Dreamspinner Press, Whiskey Creek Press)—so far!

As much as we love your work, I’d also like to give your readers a glimpse of the man behind the cover. Ready?

Always!

4.      What is your favorite part of the day?

About ten pm. I’ve finished all my work at the college, exercised, and eaten. My spouse has gone to sleep. I enter my home office (with cherry wood desk, fireplace mantel, and bookshelves—like Martin Anderson’s office in DRAMA QUEEN). I unleash the voices in my head and write until bedtime.

5.      What’s the one thing that drives you crazy, no matter who does it?

Texting when I am talking to them. I have a funny scene in DRAMA QUEEN where the students do it while Nicky tries to give notes on the play. That actually happened to me. It drives me crazy, and my students know it. That’s probably why they do it. Hah.

6.      What’s your favorite love story? (movie or book)

I love Armistead Maupin’s TALES OF THE CITY saga. Sadly only the first three were made into television movies. His characters are unpredictable, outrageous, but extremely loveable, as are their stories. I try to emulate that in my writing.

7.      I asked you this question back in February when you first appeared on the blog, so I’m curious to see if anything has changed. If we were to look at your desk right now, what three things would we see?

The same things! Hah. Folders marked ‘Past Releases,’ ‘Current Releases,’ and ‘Future Releases.’ My desk at the college is another matter!

Thank you, Joe, for spending time with us once again.

It’s always a pleasure. All my best wishes to you, Chrissy, and to your readers. I’d love to hear from them via my web site at http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com.

Are you ready to see what new fun Joe has in store for us?


DRAMA QUEEN (a Nicky and Noah mystery)
a comedy/mystery/romance novel
by JOE COSENTINO
fromLethe Press
paperback and ebookavailable now in all formats
audiobook coming soon
Purchase links:
Purchase the ebook from Smashwords at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/546002

It could be curtains for college theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza. With dead bodies popping up all over campus, Nicky must use his drama skills to figure out who is playing the role of murderer before it is lights out for Nicky and his colleagues. Complicating matters is Nicky’s huge crush on Noah Oliver, a gorgeous assistant professor in his department, who may or may not be involved with a cocky graduate assistant...and is also the top suspect for the murders! You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat, delightfully entertaining novel. Curtain up!


Excerpt:

With the student actors and technicians sitting in the front of the theatre (obliviously texting on their phones), my student stage manager, SuCho, screamed for everyone’s attention, and for me to come to the front of the theatre house to give them my notes. This thankfully sent David off to his office in a huff.
After I had given my first few notes, I noticed Noah Oliver standing in the back of the theatre. Noah is tall and lean with curly blond hair, blue eyes, and the sweetest smile I have ever wanted to kiss in an Assistant Professor. While I teach Theatre History and Play Directing, Noah is our department’s specialist in Acting, and for good reason. Noah is a terrific actor, a creative and passionate teacher, and a wonderful colleague. More importantly, I have had a crush on him since the moment he made his entrance into our humble campus three years ago. Noah is single, gay, and seems to really like me. Why don’t I ask him out? Noah is twenty-eight years young. As a junior professor in my department in need of my vote for tenure this year, if I make a pass at him it could be considered attempted coercion on my part.

It was difficult for me to concentrate on giving my notes to the students since Scotty Bruno, my graduate assistant and Assistant Director of the play, was talking, laughing, and obviously flirting with Noah in the rear of the theatre. I had reason to be concerned. Scotty has bleached blond hair, contact lens turquoise eyes, ultra-white bonded teeth, and muscles as if sculpted by Michelangelo, housed in multi-colored, stuffed shorts and tank top (in winter) that were not unnoticed by Noah. Unless I was becoming nearsighted, I could have sworn that Scotty whispered something into Noah’s ear then handed Noah a box. What the heck is in it? Love letters? Condoms? My heart on a silver platter?

About Joe:
Joe Cosentino is the author ofDrama Queen the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press),An Infatuation (Dreamspinner Press), Paper Doll the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek 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 Drama Muscle the second Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), A Shooting Star (Dreamspinner Press novella), A Home for the Holidays (Dreamspinner Press holiday novella), and Porcelain Doll the second Jana Lane mystery.




Edited to add Author's Note: Due to a technical error, for a short period of time some people who purchased from Amazon the Kindle version of DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino published by Lethe Press, did not receive the entire ebook. If this happened to you, our sincere apologies. The problem has been corrected. Please update your Kindle file and you will have the entire book. If you have a problem, please contact me at: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com. If you purchased it on Amazon and returned it for refund, please purchase it again and enjoy the full book! The paperback and audiobook were not affected by this technical error. Thank you! Joe Cosentino
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