Bobby McGrath’s Christmas trip to the beautiful Italian Island of Capri to meet his eccentric, extended family offers stunning views—none more stunning than his third cousin, Paolo Mascobello, a real stocking stuffer. As the two young men embark on a relationship, Bobby, a driven law student, learns to relax and bask under the old Italian moon, and Paolo realizes there’s more to life than a frolic on the beach. For the two to find everlasting amore, Paulo must overcome his fear of commitment and learn to follow his dreams, and Bobby must get his wish for happily ever after. “Reading this little holiday treat is like taking a romantic trip to gorgeous Capri, Italy!”
An Interview with Joe Cosentino, author of A Home for the Holidays, a holiday novella from Dreamspinner Press
If you could be any character male or female from one of your books, who would it be and why?
Well, Harold in An Infatuation, Jonathan in A Shooting Star, and Bobby in A Home for the Holidays are based on me from high school through college through adulthood. I think they are sweet, sensitive, smart, loyal and have a will of iron. So I’ll go with them.
Also, I think all of my books would make terrific films or television series. Since I started as an actor (working with people like Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor), I’d like to come full circle and play Principal Ringwood in An Infatuation, Professor Katzer in A Shooting Star, Department Head Martin Anderson in Drama Queen, and Jana’s agent Simon Huckby in Paper Doll. For A Home for the Holidays, I’d do a walk-on (a la Alfred Hitchcock) just to get back to gorgeous and magical Capri, Italy!
Are you tempted to write in other genres?
I already do! In addition to my gay romance novellas (An Infatuation, A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays), Dreamspinner Press is also publishing in February The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (my gay fairytales). They are quite funny, creative, and romantic.
My Nicky and Noah mystery comedy series (Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise) from Lethe Press takes place at Treemeadow College, a fictitious white stone Edwardian New England college. The novels are wacky, sexy, gay whodunits.
My Jana Lane mystery series (Paper Doll/Whiskey Creek Press, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll—all The Wild Rose Press) are straight (with gay supporting characters) Hollywood mystery romance novels about an ex-child star making her comeback while solving murder mysteries.
What's the process of your writing?
I write a plot summary and biography for each character. Sometimes I write an outline and other times I wing it. As I did when improvising as an actor, I let the characters talk in my head. They make me laugh, cry, and feel romantic. I show the second draft to my spouse for his notes. The third draft goes to the publisher.
How do you fit in writing in such a busy life?
I am a college professor/department head by day, so I relish my time at night to write. Like Martin Anderson in Drama Queen, I have a cozy study with a window seat, fireplace, and cherry wood furniture.
What are your strengths as a writer?
I’ve always thought funny. I think, like Bobby in A Home for the Holidays, I get this from my large Italian family. I also have a great deal of patience to keep writing until I get it right.
What has been the most useful thing to have helped you with your writing career?
For A Home for the Holidays it was traveling to Capri, Italy and seeing the breathtakingly beautiful Marina Grande, Piazetta, Via Krupp, Marina Piccola, Mt. Solaro, the Bay of Naples, the Amalfi Coast, the mountains of Calabria, and the Grotta Azzurra (the Blue Grotto). I stood in awe at the turquoise water, white mountains/cliffs/sand, and azure sky. It’s the most romantic place in the world. I believe I have captured its beauty in this little novella.
A writer once gave me good advice. Write what you love reading. For me that means stories with engaging characters who I want to spend as much time with as possible.
Which of the characters in your books did you have the most fun writing?
Like Mario in An Infatuation and David in A Shooting Star, Paolo in A Home for the Holidays is handsome, muscular, charismatic, and like many people in Italy, much more interested in love than in work. He is also a gifted artist. Unlike Bobby, Paolo is very experienced in matters of the heart. Paolo loves the finer things in life, but he doesn’t want to work for them. He is quite concerned about his body, clothing, and social life. He is incredibly sexy and loosely based on my cousin’s cousin who lives in Italy. He was great fun to write.
Bobby’s mother in A Home for the Holidays is loosely based on my mother. She is hysterically funny, and loves her son dearly. Paolo’s grandmother is a riot too. She is loosely based on my grandmother who said, “A boy leaves home with a wife or in a coffin.”
All of the characters in Drama Queen and the Nicky and Noah series are hysterically funny and were great fun to write as well.
When you finish writing a book, how do you say goodbye to the characters?
I don’t! Drama Muscle and Drama Cruise are releasing in 2016 for the Nicky and Noah mystery series from Lethe Press. Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, and China Doll are releasing in 2016 for the Jana Lane mystery series from The Wild Rose Press.
Two minor characters in An Infatuation received such strong reader response that I am featuring them in their own story in the gay romance series I am writing now, which takes place at the Jersey Shore.
Other characters from my other books, including A Home for the Holidays, may pop up again in the future too!
Do you have any writing-related superstitions or rituals?
I check Facebook after I write a terrific scene.
Are your friends and family supportive of your writing?
At first my mother said, “Don’t you have anything better to do than sit home and write books?” Hm, I wonder if Shakespeare’s mother said that? Actually, she read my books and loved them all!
Who is your favourite celebrity and why?
I’d like Matt Bomer and Neil Patrick Harris to play Nicky and Noah in Drama Queen, and Brooke Shields to play Jana Lane in Paper Doll. Let’s make it happen, producers!
Describe your ideal weekend.
Going back to the stunning and mindboggling island of Capri, Italy!
I love hearing from readers. They can contact me at: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com.
After reading A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, people have said they’ve taken a little trip to Capri and had the romance of a lifetime. I hope readers will pick up this short novella. It’s a lot cheaper than a trip to Italy, and is bursting with the sights, scents, sounds, tastes, and romance of the magnificent island of Capri!
Excerpt from A Home For the Holidays by Joe Cosentino published by Dreamspinner Press
Upon entering my room, I noticed Lucia had unpacked my things into a large mahogany wardrobe out of C. S. Lewis. Exhausted from my trip, I stripped off my clothes, leaped onto the gigantic, canopied four-poster bed, and slept until I felt a firm nudge on my shoulder. As I opened my still jet-lagged eyes, I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming or awake. Standing next to my bed was the most gorgeous man I had ever seen. About my height and age, his wavy chestnut hair framed piercing sapphire eyes, a straight nose, and full red lips. Wearing a skintight button-down red shirt, black pants, and black loafers, he gave Michelangelo’s David a run for his florin. To say his body was strong was like saying the Catholic Church had a little wealth and power. His taut, perfectly shaped muscles sprouted additional muscles of even greater magnitude. Bulging shoulders led to mountainous pectoral muscles, a narrow waist and hips, and a prominent lump between his sculpted thighs. His skin was olive-colored and so smooth it appeared as if he had no veins in his body.
“Mama said you should come down for lunch.”
Covering my rapidly growing erection with my thigh, I responded in a daze, “Who are you?”
He spoke perfect English. “I am Paolo.”
Next to Paolo, even with a swimmer’s body, I felt incredibly white and skinny. “Hello, Paolo. I’m Bobby. I think we’re related.” As I rose to get dressed, Paolo seemed to check out my body, or was that wishful thinking?
“Your grandfather and my grandfather were cousins.”
Doing the math quickly, I said, “So that makes us third cousins?”
“I guess it does.” He shook my hand. It felt warm and comforting. “We look nothing alike.”
I laughed at the understatement. “No.”
“Is this your first time in Italy?”
“Do you like it here?”
“Do you answer every question with ‘yes’ or ‘no’?”
“No.” I felt like a teenager at his first dance.
Paolo shrugged his massive shoulders. “You better get down to the dining room. Mama doesn’t like to hold lunch.”
Once dressed in a light blue sweater and dark blue pants, I said, “I don’t know how to get to the dining room.”
He smiled. “Follow me.”
About the Author:
Amazon Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote An Infatuation, A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays (Dreamspinner Press), Drama Queen the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe 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, Charles Keating, 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 releases in 2016 are 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
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