Today we welcome Joe Cosentino with his new novel
(a Nick and Noah mystery)
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!
Paperback: 194 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (June 6, 2015)
Cover Design: Ben Baldwin
“Any notes for me, professor?” Paul Amour, my leading man, sat front row center and winked at me. Identifying as bisexual, Paul uses his charms with men and women alike to get their attention. Tall with shiny, wavy black hair climbing down his neck, chiseled features, and a body like a Greek god, getting attention wasn’t too difficult for Paul.
“You were like terrific tonight, Paul. I really believed you were like the murderer!” Ricky Gonzalez, Paul’s co-star and last onstage murder victim, sat next to Paul like an art dealer admiring the Mona Lisa. Ricky is shorter and darker than Paul with a smaller but equally cut physique. After he graduates from college and gets over his crush on Paul, Ricky will no doubt make some guy a wonderful husband.
Ricky beamed like a floodlight.
Kayla Calloway and Jan Annondale, who play murder victims one and two in the play, sat on the other side of Paul to reward their peripheral visions. Zaftig, giggly, and insecure, they hung on Paul’s every word, wishing they could hang on Paul.
“Your fight scenes were totally awesome tonight, Paul,” said Kayla.
Jan added, “And you really like aced your cool monologue at the end of the play.”
Before Paul could sign autographs, I said, “I have five more pages of notes tonight, people. Can I have everyone’s attention?”
As the cast members groaned, I noticed that Noah and Scotty had left the theatre (to have a quickie in the lobby?). The students listened while I gave notes for improvement on their diction, movements, timing, reacting on stage (or lack thereof), character development, and emotional levels. After my last note, the students presented me with a blueberry cheesecake (thanks to the organic dairy farm bordering the college), singing “Happy Birthday” in four-part harmony (the lesbians at the lower notes and the gay men hitting the high notes). I was filled with gratitude until I noticed the thirty-five candles on top of the cake (obviously leaked to my students by Eve Harrington, my graduate assistant Scotty Bruno).
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Joe has also given us a little insight into one of his characters...
It is our pleasure to welcome Nicky Abbondanza, the central character in Joe Cosentino’s Nicky and Noah comedy/mystery/romance series. Nicky is premiering on June 6 in his first novel, DRAMA QUEEN, published by Lethe Press. Hi, Nicky. Thanks for joining us today.
Happy to be here.
What do you look like, and how old are you?
I’m thirty-five, tall, Italian-American as my parents never let me forget, with dark hair and eyes, a Roman nose, and, thanks to the gym on campus, I’m pretty pumped personally. Try saying that three times fast.
Where are you from?
Kansas. I’m a true friend of Dorothy’s.
How did you come to star in Joe Cosentino’s new comedy/mystery/romance series, the Nicky and Noah mysteries?
I just popped into Joe’s head one morning. He needs all the help from me he can get, so I give it to him. Joe thinks I’m funny, sexy, smart, and a terrific guy. That works for me.
Tell me about Treemeadow College?
Treemeadow was originally founded by a gay couple, Tree and Meadow. It’s a quaint, Edwardian style, liberal arts college in New England. Actually, it’s totally made up in Joe’s head, but so I am I! As an Associate Professor of Play Directing, the Theatre Department at Treemeadow has been my home for quite a few years.
Have you directed plays at Treemeadow with your students?
Yes, and I have an ulcer for each production.
You are directing your students in a play in DRAMA QUEEN.
Yes, a murder mystery.
Is life imitating art?
As my students say, “Totally.” My theatre professor colleagues are dropping like stage curtains, and the beefy junior detective on the case is more interested in getting into my pants than solving the case.
Speaking of your pants, is it true you would give Catherine the Great’s horse a run for its race?
I’d put him to shame. I don’t mean to sound big-headed, pardon the pun, but it’s something I’ve grown, pun again, accustomed to over the years.
How did your ex-boyfriends react?
Terrified to delighted, depending on their sense of adventure.
You’ve sparked our interest. Any chance of a show and sample?
No way. I’m a one-man man, and that man is Noah Oliver, Assistant Professor of Acting at Treemeadow, and unfortunately the top suspect for the murders.
Ouch. That must be a bit touchy.
I know, especially since I can’t stop touching Noah. On the positive side, it forces us to play Holmes and Watson and eventually solve the case.
How do you do that?
We use our theatre know-how to eavesdrop, impersonate people, and even flirt with others when necessary to get our clues.
What is it about Noah that floats your big boat?
Noah is sweet, loyal, kind, compassionate, and absolutely gorgeous with long blond hair, crystal-blue eyes, and porcelain skin. He also has a hidden secret or two, which make him all the move captivating.
You are thirty-five and Noah is twenty-seven. Does that bother you?
A little. Actually a lot. But Noah holds my aging hand and tells me age is only a number.
DRAMA QUEEN is a comedy/mystery/romance novel. That sounds like a lot to ask from one novel.
My life is a page-turning whodunit with plot twists and turns, enticing clues, riotously funny encounters, and a few sexy interludes, if I say so myself.
Are there other novels coming in your series?
After DRAMA QUEEN is DRAMA MUSCLE, where Noah and I have to find out why Physical Education faculty are dropping like dead weights while I direct the students in a Bodybuilding Competition. The third novel is DRAMA CRUISE, where I direct college theatre professors in murder mystery dinner theatre production onboard a cruise to Alaska. Did I mention the professors are dropping overboard like life rafts, and Noah and I have to find out why? I’m sure I can help Joe come up with more ideas for future novels in the series. Each novel in the series offers a good brain teaser mystery with lots of fun, frenzy, and frolic. Try saying that three times fast.
I wish you and Noah a long, happy life together of sleuthing, laughter, and romance, and many successful books.
Joe would like that. Check out DRAMA QUEEN and give us a try. Then contact Joe via his web site, Facebook page, Twitter page, or Goodsreads page. He loves hearing from readers. It gives him a break from listening to me.
More about Joe:
Joe Cosentino is the author of 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.
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