Blog Tour, Author Interview, and Giveaway – Taking a Chance by Emjay Haze

Hello all! Today we’re chatting with Emjay Haze about her writing, new release, and what’s coming next. Remember to enter the giveaway at the end of the post for a chance to win an eBook copy of Taking a Chance!

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What was the most challenging part of writing this story?

I began writing this story over six years ago as a fan-fiction. When I decided to try and get published, I basically changed the names to original characters and that was about it. After not a good experience with a micropublisher, I took the story back and began the process of rewriting it from a fan-fiction to a novel.  I learned a few things; a lot of things actually.  It’s not an easy process and I’ve found it much easier to start with an original story.  However, both me and the characters, Ethan and Chance, made it through and I think I was successful in turning Taking A Chance into its own original story.

Is there a genre you haven’t written in that you would love to write?

I’ve always loved spy novels and one day, I may tackle one. My protagonist will be a beautiful and intelligent gay man, but it won’t focus on his sexuality, but the man himself. Of course there will still be some hotness.

Do you have any pets? If not, and you were given the choice to have any pet (fictional or real), what type of pet would you choose and why?

I have a beagle named Toby, a cat named Tuxedo, a Gecko named Rex, a dwarf hamster named Winston and a tank full of tropical fish whom sadly I have not named. We had until about a couple of years ago, a floppy-eared bunny named Gunnar. He was a sweetheart, but irritated the dog and scared the cat.

If my daughter had her way, we’d also have a pet pig.

Coffee or tea?

Decaf coffee, but lately I’ve switched to hot lemon water.

Why did you decide to write Gay Romance?

I started writing fan-fiction seven years ago. When I decided to write outside of that ream and work on getting published, I began reading gay romance and fell in love with the genre and haven’t looked back. It wasn’t that I decided to write gay romance, but I just couldn’t see myself writing anything else, at least for now.

What did you enjoy most about writing this story?

I loved seeing my two characters Chance and Ethan come into their own. There was a point when I stopped seeing them as who they portrayed in my fan-fics and became their own people. I was very proud of that seeing them blossom into their own people.

What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter, a pantser, or both?

I am most definitely a pantser. I’ll get an idea in my head and I really have no idea where it’s going until I start writing.  I love seeing my characters take unexpected directions and surprise me.  I try writing an outline, but it’s usually very vague and abstract. I have a hard time with beginnings and endings. Once I have the basic idea, then I just let it flesh out through the writing.  It’s sort of an out-of-body experience when my fingers are flashing across the keyboard and the words are flowing onto the screen and when I’m finished with a scene I’m like, “I had no idea that was going to happen!”

How did it feel to sign that first contract?

Really good, lol.  The first time this story was published, I was beyond ecstatic, and star struck by the idea of getting published, and didn’t make good decisions. I let a story get published that wasn’t ready and it was a huge disappointment. I eventually got the story released back to me.  After I completely rewrote it, I submitted it to one publisher and got turned down.  Then, I went back and edited more, and was finally accepted by a great publisher. I went into the contract much smarter this time around, but it was still an awesome feeling.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author looking to get published?

Keep writing, and learn your genre.  And, get a thick skin.

What are your plans for the future? What more can we look forward to from you?

I’m really just getting started. I am currently working on the first novel of a three book series with a working title of After Hours. I actually wrote this as a short story for an anthology. It didn’t get picked up, but I knew my boys had a whole story to tell.

It’s about a frustrated middle manager, and a graduate student working his way through school by waiting tables at a gay bar. Alex gave up his dream of becoming a chef because his parents refused to pay for anything but a degree in business and Nick, born of wealth but disowned because of his sexuality is studying to become a teacher. They meet and change each other’s lives.

I also have a couple of short stories I’m planning for future anthologies.

I love this genre and I plan on writing it for a long time to come. After that, who knows? Maybe romcoms.

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TAC510TITLE:
Taking A Chance

AUTHOR: Emjay Haze

PUBLISHER: Torquere Press

GENRE: Contemporary Gay Romance (explicit m/m)

RELEASE DATE: February 3rd, 2016

Blurb:

Recent college graduate, Ethan Moore, flies to San Francisco for a job interview with an advertising firm. That evening, he goes to a gay club where meets a gorgeous man who seduces him, but then leaves his hotel room in the morning with only a note. A few weeks later, Ethan begins his new job and discovers that the man he slept with is his new boss, Chance Harlow. He’s fallen for the playboy, but wants to keep their relationship strictly professional. He’s failing miserably as Ethan keeps succumbing to Chance’s seductive advances.

Ethan is selected to accompany Chance to Bali for a huge account and will be spending ten days at a luxurious resort with the man he’s fallen in love with. Chance has made his intentions known, and he won’t pressure him, but if Ethan doesn’t want him, there are plenty of men who will. Ethan struggles with this until one evening they are in the hot tub with two hot swingers who want to play. Ethan flees to his room to get drunk after watching Chance make out with one of the men. Will Ethan finally give in to the playboy, or did his actions finally lose him the man he loves.

Purchase Links

Torquere Press | Amazon | All Romance | Bookstrand | Smashwords

2015NewAbout the author

Emjay Haze AuthorEmjay Haze is a pen name for wife, mother and avid fan-fiction reader and writer of gay romance. She resides in Northern Virginia with her husband, two teenagers, a dog, cat, hamster, gecko, and several fish. She always loved writing, and fell in love with the genre seven years ago. After a brief yet bad publishing experience, she decided to go back to school and pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing from SNHU where she graduated April, 2015 with a new desire to make her dreams of becoming a published author come true.

Her interests include music and pop culture and she is an advocate for the LGBT community. Her stories delve into all types of romantic relationships, with a focus on first times and new encounters in a light-hearted style to show that everyone deserves love no matter whom they are or who they love. Her goal is to gain a diverse readership and broaden the minds of those who might not normally pick up a ‘gay’ romance because it’s more about the person than the sexuality.

connectwiththeauthorWebsite | Blog Facebook Goodreads Pinterest Twitter Torquere Press 

2015NewGiveaway

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Author Interview – Drama Muscle by Joe Cosentino

Interview with Joe Cosentino, author of Drama Muscle, the second Nicky and Noah mystery/comedy/romance novel published by Lethe Press

Please welcome back Joe Cosentino to the Purple Rose Tea Room. Joe, you’ve become a regular.

A regular what?

At the Tea Room. 

Yes, I love it here, the purple peacocks on the wallpaper, the purple silk fans, the purple teapots, the eggplant appetizers on purple plates, the scent of lavender, and of course the purple roses everywhere. The only thing missing are the purple M&Ms.

We’ll get that for next time.

I’ll hold you to that.

Just hold me. Kidding! We don’t want to start any rumors.

Speak for yourself. Let the rumors fly!

Back to the interview. Your Dreamspinner Press novellas (An Infatuation, A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, and The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland) were well reviewed. 

The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland doesn’t release until January 27.

Think positively. What do you say to people who loved them and might be surprised that the Nicky and Noah mysteries are quite different? 

You might like a blond guy one day and a ginger guy the next.

How did you know?

I know. It’s the same thing with books. I’d ask readers who liked my romance novellas to give Drama Queen and Drama Muscle a try. Like I did with seaweed (when my New Age friend invited me to dinner and I was starving), they may acquire a different taste.

At a past visit, you told us about Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery. Was that well received?

Before that book was released, my mother said to me, “People actually read your books?” Hm, I wonder if Stephen King’s mother asked him that? Thankfully my mother read it and loved it, as did my faculty colleagues at my college who kidded me that if they ticked me off I would murder them in the novel. The readers seemed to really enjoy the humor, guessing whodunit, and falling in love with Nicky and Noah as they fell in love with each other. Reviewers called Drama Queen hysterically funny farce, Murder She Wrote meets Hart to Hart meets The Hardy Boys, and a captivating whodunit with a surprise ending. One reviewer said it was the funniest book of the year! Who am I to argue? In Drama Queen college theatre professors were dropping like stage curtains and amateur sleuths/college theatre professors Nicky and Noah had to use their theatre skills, including impersonating other people, to figure out whodunit. When the ebook reached eighteen on the Amazon bestsellers list in its category and the paperback and audiobook (with all twenty-four roles played by Michael Gilboe) sold like tickets to Cats after the Tony Awards, it was time for another Nicky and Noah mystery.

Why did you set the series in a college university? 

As a college professor/department head, I have always been aware that colleges are rife with mystery, romance, and humor. In each book Nicky and Noah eavesdrop, seduce, role play, and finally trap the murderer, as pandemonium, hilarity, and true love ensue for a happily ever after ending—until the next book. Can’t you just see Matt Bomer as Nicky, Neil Patrick Harris as Noah, and me as Martin Anderson (the theatre department head) in the TV version?

Who can I play?

The Playwriting professor in Drama Queen.

Is she sexy?

Very, but she gets murdered.

Figures. I like how the college (Treemeadow) is named after its founders, a gay couple, Tree and Meadow. Why did you set the second novel in the Bodybuilding Department?

Isn’t it obvious? I have always been fascinated with bodybuilders. The concept of eating protein every two hours, lifting weights for three hours a day, shaving every body part, spray tanning, and posing in tiny gold trunks is amazing to me. Not to mention the muscles. When watching a bodybuilding competition on television (okay, I admit it), I noticed the link between bodybuilding and theatre. Since I work out every day—

You do?

Okay, I know it’s hard to believe. That’s one of the reasons (you can guess the other) I am enamored of the real bodybuilders who are so big they don’t even need to iron their shirts.

Tell us a bit about the storyline of Drama Muscle, the current Nicky and Noah mystery?

In Drama Muscle Nicky and Noah don their gay Holmes and Watson personas again to find out who is murdering musclemen in the Bodybuilding Department. In the novel Nicky is directing bodybuilding students in Treemeadow College’s annual Bodybuilding competition on campus. Bodybuilding students and faculty drop faster than barbells until Nicky figures out the identity of the murderer, as well as Noah’s secret revolving around Van Granite, one of the bodybuilding professors. Noah’s hysterically funny parents visit from Wisconsin and are drawn into the action, and Nicky and Noah reach a milestone by the end of the novel.

A milestone?

I’ll never tell.

Okay, I have to go here. Nicky is described as having an enormous manhood. Does that help him solve the murders?

It doesn’t hurt. Well, maybe it does. Hah. Nicky has to flirt his way into some places to get certain information, so his handsome face, muscular body, and huge penis are definitely assets. Even more, however, Nicky and Noah use their theatre skills, including playing other people, to get clues. Most of all, Nicky uses his smarts, always fine assets in an amateur detective. Nicky has such amazing wit, perseverance in the face of adversity, and smarts. I love his sense of determination in not only nabbing the murderer, but also getting his man—Noah. Nicky knows what he wants and how to get it. He is genuinely concerned for others, and he wants to help them. He also has no problem taking on the role of hero. Finally, he is a one-man man, and Nicky is proud to admit that man is Noah Oliver. However, my favorite character in book two is Noah’s mother who is devoted to her son—almost as much as she’s devoted to her camera! I also love how Noah’s father is an amateur sleuth like Nicky. As they say, men marries their fathers.

Nicky is of Italian-American decent, like you. Is that a coincidence?

Not at all. I come from a very funny Italian family. I use that in a great deal of my writing, though my mother swears nothing I write about actually ever happened. When I complained to her about working all day at my college and writing at night, she replied, “Just think how hard you’d have to work if you had a real job.”

She’s a pip. Speaking of pips, Noah is eight years younger than Nicky. Does that present a conflict in their relationship?

People who say age is only a number are lying. Age always comes up. Thankfully, Nicky and Noah handle it, like everything else, with great humor, style, and love.

How do you think up all the clues, red herrings, plot twists and turns, and surprises in the novel?

I learned from the best! I’ve read every Agatha Christie novel and play many times. She is a genius at outlining when and where to give the reader what information. I love the inversion in her books, where she uses sleight of hand to lay out all the information, but not in a straight forward manner. The reader becomes the sleuth to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. I also learned a lot about creating funny quirky characters from Armistead Maupin, another amazing writer—like you!

Awwww. You have another mystery series, the Jana Lane mystery series.

Yes, I created a heroine who was the biggest child star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. In Paper Doll (Whiskey Creek Press), Jana at thirty-eight lives with her family in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. Her flashbacks from the past become murder attempts in her future. Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana ventures back to Hollywood, which helps her uncover a web of secrets about everyone she loves. She also embarks on a romance with the devilishly handsome son of her old producer, Rocco Cavoto. In Porcelain Doll (releasing March 15 from The Wild Rose Press), Jana makes a comeback film and uncovers who is being murdered on the set and why. Her heart is set aflutter by her incredibly gorgeous co-star, Jason Apollo. In Satin Doll (not yet released from The Wild Rose Press), Jana and family head to Washington, DC, where Jana plays a US senator in a new film, and becomes embroiled in a murder and corruption at the senate chamber. She also embarks on a romance with Chris Bruno, the muscular detective. In China Doll (not yet released from The Wild Rose Press), Jana heads to New York City to star in a Broadway play, enchanted by her gorgeous co-star Peter Stevens, and faced with murder on stage and off. Since the novels take place in the 1980’s, Jana’s agent and best friend are gay, and Jana is somewhat of a gay activist, the AIDS epidemic is a large part of the novels.

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

Nine Star Press is publishing my two novels that take place at a gay summer resort on the Jersey Shore: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward.

You are certainly prolific. 

It gives me more opportunities to visit you.

Double awwww. How can readers contact you? 

I love to hear from readers at http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com

On that note, thank you again Joe Cosentino for visiting the Purple Rose Tearoom. Until the next time…

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DRAMA MUSCLE (a Nicky and Noah mystery)

a comedy/mystery/romance novel by JOE COSENTINO from Lethe Press

Paperback: novel
Publisher: Lethe Press
Language: English
Cover Art: Denny Minonne
Cover Design: Inkspiral Design
ISBN-10: 1590215664
ISBN-13: 978-1590215661
Release date: January, 2, 2016

Purchase Links

http://www.lethepressbooks.com/store/p353/Drama_Muscle%3A_A_Nicky_and_Noah_Mystery.html

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1590215664/

2015NewAbout the Book

It could be lights out for college theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza. With dead bodybuilders popping up on campus, Nicky, and his favorite colleague/life partner Noah Oliver, must use their drama skills to figure out who is taking down pumped up musclemen in the Physical Education building before it is curtain down for Nicky and Noah. Complicating matters is a visit from Noah’s parents from Wisconsin, and Nicky’s suspicion that Noah may be hiding more than a cut, smooth body. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining second novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and weights up!

Praise for DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino from Lethe Press:

“Without doubt the funniest book I have read this year, maybe ever” “brilliant” Three Books Over the Rainbow

“I cannot stop laughing. Drama Queen is Hardy Boys-meets-Murder She Wrote-meets-Midsummer Murders, with a side of parodic, farcical, satire.” “Who-dunits don’t come more whodunnity than this.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews

“I’m hoping that this is just the start for Nicky and Noah. If Jessica Fletcher could have so many murderers in Cabot Cove, why shouldn’t the same hold true for Treemeadow College?” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Reviews

“This fast-paced, hilariously funny, entertaining novel will have you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out who-dun-it!” Joyfully Jay

“a murder mystery, a comedic romp, an investigative caper, and a love story all rolled up into one nifty little novel” The Novel Approach

“The tangled weave of murder mystery and other mysteries comes to a startling conclusion that is both satisfying and mind boggling.” MultitaskingMomma

“I am not used to reading books that make me snigger out loud, but in Drama Queen Joe Cosentino has struck a great balance between his use of tongue in cheek humour and a compelling mystery which we want to see solved.” Divine Magazine

“Nicky and Noah are two sexy leading characters who conduct the investigation in this comedic caper with wit and style.” Vance Bastian Reviews

“Cosentino does a wonderful job of writing a mystery that keeps the reader guessing right up until the end.” Barron Owens Reviews

“I love this story, just the right mix, of fun, hilarity and mystery in the mix. The storyline is fresh and well thought out, and the dynamic of the characters is through the roof! Bike Book Reviews

“The author clearly knows of what he speaks on all matters theater, and the kind of authentic details he brings to the table in terms of characters and staging makes this immensely entertaining.” Love’s Last Refuge Reviews

“Joe Cosentino has brilliantly done it again! His latest novel, Drama Queen, is the most fascinating mystery of all time. I loved the laugh out loud moments and the crazy fast-paced plot. Readers will instantly be drawn into Joe Cosentino’s stunning mystery. I recommend this novel to readers worldwide and look forward to reading the next adventure by this talented writer.” Danielle Urban, Universal Creativity, Inc.

2015NewExcerpt

As the ethereal sound of horns parted the heavenly clouds, the young gods and goddesses appeared in a ray of white light. Standing as strong as the stone columns behind them, the deities displayed stunning muscles, colossal beauty, and mammoth ambition housed in the smallest and most seductive of white garments. Lightning flashed as they formed a resilient line and each struck their first flawless pose. Zeus was dark-skinned and as powerful as thunder. Ganymede at his side had skin of white porcelain and a clever stare. Hercules and Adonis were the perfect blend of masculine vigor and physical splendor. Athena was a gorgeous, olive-skinned warrior, and Aphrodite a lovely, fair-skinned temptress. Achilles watched them all, vowing to be victorious in the end.

“Good work, everyone!”

That was me, Nicky Abbondanza, Professor of Directing at Treemeadow College, a white-stone Edwardian-style private college in the quaint and picturesque village of Treemeadow in the equally quaint and picturesque state of Vermont. As inscribed on the two bronze statues at the college’s entrance, the college’s name comes from its founders, Harold Tree and Jacob Meadow. Tree and Meadow were madly wealthy, madly generous, and madly in love. The old gents would no doubt be proud to know that Noah Oliver (Professor of Acting) and I have become a current generation couple at Treemeadow College. That’s not to say Noah and I look anything like our college’s founders. We aren’t made of bronze for one. We wear dress shirts, slacks, and blazers in the fall season rather than heavy dark suits. Also, the Treemeadows were small, thin, scholarly types. Noah and I are both tall. I am of the dark hair, long sideburns, Roman nose, pumped body (thanks to the gym on campus) variety. Oh, there’s one other small thing. Well, it’s not really small. To the delight or horror of my past boyfriends, I have a nine-and-a-quarter-inch penis—flaccid. Luckily, Noah is delighted and totally open (pardon the pun) to new adventures. Noah has luxurious curly-blond hair, batting blue eyes, and the warmest heart in New England. His body is firm and smooth, but not toned as he never goes near the gym—until now!

Each year the top students in the Bodybuilding Department compete in a contest to be named the Top Toned Tan Trojan at Treemeadow (Try saying that three times fast). Actually, the real name is Treemeadow’s Annual Bodybuilding Competition. The winner receives an enormous gold cup, and more importantly, the year’s college tuition free. Given the rising cost of tuition at Treemeadow, this is no lightweight matter (pardon the pun again).

Bodybuilding Department Head Professor Brick Strong asked my Theatre Department Head, Martin Anderson, if Noah and I could use our theatrical expertise to add a dramatic flair to this year’s bodybuilding competition. Since I was not directing a play that semester, Martin agreed to give Noah and me release time, thereby changing our mantra from “Let’s put on a show” to “I’m gonna pump you up.” That led to Noah and me hauling lighting, smoke, sound, and set equipment, along with a number of skimpy Greek period costumes, from the Theatre Department building to the Physical Education building. The plan was that I, as a directing professor, would direct the production, and Noah, as an acting professor, would work with the student-athletes on stage presence for their individual poses.

“Okay everyone, Professor Oliver will take it from here.” I stepped aside and leaned against the gym wall.

Noah flicked back his gorgeous blond locks and took my place in front of the students like a new king taking the throne after a revolution. Sounding delectably butch, he said, “Let’s take a little time to discuss each of your characters. The Greek period was a—”

“That’s the period we’ve selected for the competition in terms of characters, set, and costumes,” I said.

Noah smiled in my direction.

I think Noah and I are the perfect couple. “Rodney, we know that your character, Zeus, was the father of gods and men—” Rodney Towers was tall, dark, and massive with muscle. “—which is why your toga has a thunderbolt on it,” I said.

Noah stiffened.

“I’m always happy to help,” I said.

“So I see.”

“But Professor Oliver is totally in charge now. So everyone, please listen to Professor Oliver,” I said.

“Thank you.” Focusing back on Zeus, rather Rodney, Noah said, “The Greek gods in mythology were part god and part human—”

“Which is why I selected this motif for the competition. You all have human emotion, but your strength and powers are supernatural.”

“Right,” said Noah with a tight jaw.

I folded my arms across my chest. “Professor Oliver is really good at working on character development, so pay close attention to him.”

Noah took in a deep breath. “And the Greek gods were quite amorous—”

“With both sexes,” I said. “Zeus and Ganymede were just one pair of famous lovers who influenced the arts.”

“Excuse me, everyone.” Noah put a hand on my shoulder and ushered me to a corner of the gym. “Nicky, I appreciate your help, but—”

I put my arm around Noah. “You don’t need to thank me. I love you, and I am always here to help you.”

“Well can you please…stop?”

“Did I say something wrong?” I asked dumbfounded.

“I would like to be able to finish a sentence! Will you let me do that?”

“Of course.”

“Thank you.”

“I won’t say another word,” I said as we walked back to the students.

“Promise?” Noah whispered in my ear.

“Of course.” I looked at my watch. “You should move the rehearsal along, since there’s lots more to do.”

2015NewAbout the author

Amazon Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote Drama Queen and Drama Muscle  Nicky and Noah mysteries (Lethe Press), An Infatuation, A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press), Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (Nine Star Press), Paper Doll (Whiskey Creek Press) and Porcelain Doll (Wild Rose Press) Jana Lane mysteries, 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 Cruise Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), Satin Doll and China Doll Jana Lane mysteries (Wild Rose Press), and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (Nine Star Press).

connectwiththeauthor

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: Author.to/JoeCosentino

DramaQueencover

Author Interview & Excerpt – A Shooting Star by Joe Cosentino

If you were stranded on a desert island (food and water provided), what three things would you take with you? 

My spouse for company, my neighbor who knows how to do everything to build a hut and catch and cook the food, and Zeb Atlas to look at.

 

Do you have a designated writing area at home? What’s it like?

Like Martin Anderson, the college’s theatre department head in DRAMA QUEEN (the first Nicky and Noah mystery from Lethe Press), I have a beautiful cherry wood study with a fireplace, huge desk, bookcases, and window seat. It’s hard for me to leave.

 

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Also like Martin Anderson in DRAMA QUEEN, I’m a college theatre professor/department head. I love giving back to my students, and they teach me as much as I teach them. A number of my faculty colleagues kidded me that if they tick me off I will kill them in an upcoming Nicky and Noah mystery. While tempting, I like them too much to do that.

 

What are you working on now?

I just finished writing a new novel set at a gay beach resort in New Jersey called COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK, and sent it to the publisher. And I just started writing CHINA DOLL (the fourth Jana Lane mystery). The Jana Lane mysteries are about ex-child star, Jana Lane, making a comeback while she solves murder mysteries, including who is after her. The series takes place in the 1980’s so AIDS is an integral part of each novel. Though Jana is straight, her best friend, agent, and greatest fan are gay. PAPER DOLL was published by Whiskey Creek Press. PORCELAIN DOLL is releasing in 2016 by The Wild Rose Press. SATIN DOLL and CHINA DOLL will follow.

 

Why did you decide to write M/M Romance?

They say, write what you know about. Also, go to the mall and look at movie poster after movie poster with no gay characters in them. What does this say to gay youth? This needs to change. Gay stories need to be told. After my In My Heart bittersweet dreams novella, AN INFATUATION, was released by Dreamspinner Press, so many readers told me they laughed, cried, and were very much moved by Harold and Mario’s story. I received numerous requests 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. I know this story will touch everyone’s heart. I can’t wait to share more MM stories with readers.

 

What did you enjoy most about writing this story

I loved spending time with the characters in A SHOOTING STAR. 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. Barry is hysterically funny and has such a great sense of self. He is also a devoted friend. Similar to Mario in AN INFATUATION, David 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. 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. David is magical, an enigma, and incredibly sexy.

The acting professor, the hysterically hypochondriac Professor Katzer, is a lampooned version of an acting professor I had in college who has since passed away. He is great fun! I also love the theme of the story. As college theatre majors Jonathan and David sought out, developed, and celebrated the good in everyone around them. The world would be a better place if everyone followed their lead.

 

What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter, a pantser, or both?

I generally wake up at 3am with a good idea and jot down notes on the pad on my night table. Since I began as an actor, I start by writing a long biography for each character. Sometimes I write an outline and other times I wing it. Since I did improvisation as an actor, I let the voices/characters in my head talk to one another then I write down what they say. I show the second draft to my spouse for his notes. The third draft goes to the publisher.

 

What advice would you give to an aspiring author looking to get published?

Write the kind of stories that you like to read, and the kind of characters you want to spend time with. There’s more to romance than romance. Just like in real life, romances are full of comedy, mystery, drama, twists and turns, and big surprises.

 

What are your plans for the future? What more can we look forward to from you? 

I am editing A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (an American travels to Capri Italy and embarks on a romance with his handsome third cousin), a short holiday novella releasing from Dreamspiner Press in December. Then comes THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND (gay fairytales novella), releasing from Dreamspinner Press in February. DRAMA MUSCLE (the second Nicky and Noah mystery from Lethe Press) releases in March with Nicky and Noah investigating why musclemen are dropping like weights while Nicky directs the college’s bodybuilding competition. DRAMA CRUISE (Nicky and Noah investigate why theatre professors are dropping overboard while Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre), and DRAMA ALOHA (Nicky directs a luau show in Hawaii while he and Noah investigate why muscular hula dancers are dropping like grass skirts) will follow. The second Jana Lane mystery, PORCELAIN DOLL, releases from The Wild Rose Press sometime in 2016 too. SATIN DOLL and CHINA DOLL will follow. So I’ll be very busy! Hopefully readers will come along for the ride, and contact me via my web site to give me their feedback: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com, and on Amazon and Goodreads!

 

Which of your characters is most like you? 

Readers tell me my books are cinematic. So I’m ready to make the movies. I want to play Principal Ringwood in AN INFATUATION, Professor Katzer in A SHOOTING STAR, Martin Anderson the department head in the Nicky and Noah series, and Simon Huckby Jana’s agent in the Jana Lane series. I’m ready for my close up!

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Shooting Star cover

BOOK DETAILS

Genre: Contemporary | Bittersweet Dreams Title
ISBN-13: 978-1-63476-526-8
Pages: 98
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

2015NewAbout the Book

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 under his 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.

Purchase Links

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble

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Reviews for AN INFATUATION the first novella in the In My Heart series by Joe Cosentino from Dreamspinner Press:

“Author Joe Cosentino brought just the right amount of humor, angst and honesty to make this short but sweet coming of age story a success.”

– MM Good Book Reviews

“Joe Cosentino proves there’s more than one way to a happy ending in An Infatuation, a story of first love and heartbreak delivered in a fresh and funny voice.”

– The Novel Approach

“Don’t miss this one friends, it is a heartfelt story magical in the telling! Thanks Joe Cosentino for putting your heart on the page for us to savor!”

– Bike Book Reviews

“It’s unusual for me to get sucked into a book in the first chapter but it grabbed me early and I read the whole thing in one day”.

– Nautical Star Books

“I recommend this book to anyone reminiscing about that one that got away.”

– LoveBytes Reviews

“I think you will be left breathless with the reality and emotion behind An Infatuation.”

– Diverse Reader

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2015NewExcerpt

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.”

2015NewAbout the author

Joe Cosentino is the author of An Infatuation and 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