The fascinating characters who make you laugh and cry in AN INFATUATION

February 4, 2015

I wrote and acted in a wacky skit you might enjoy. Here’s the link: http://joecosentino.weebly.com/video.html.

People often ask which are my favorite characters? In AN INFATUATION Harold is loosely based on me, so it’s a no-brainer. Actually, I really admire Harold’s resilience, honesty, intelligence, wit, and ability to keep going in trying situations. His heart may be broken, but his spirit always stays intact. Stuart was also great fun to write, because he is loosely based on my spouse who is totally organized and a real list maker, but also sweet, creative, and caring. He creates an itinerary for our trips in ten-minute time blocks! Harold’s devotion to his spouse, Stuart, is admirable, as is his honesty about his teenage infatuation with Mario. I love that the story spans twenty years so we see Harold (and Mario) develop and mature.

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What are your favorite types of people? If you were going to write a character you like, what attributes would he/she have?

Joe Cosentino’s inspiration to write AN INFATUATION

February 4, 2015

For more information about me, please check out my web site at http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com.

Everyone asks me how I think up the storylines in my novels. For AN INFATUATION 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. It began as a one-act play, which I expanded and morphed into a novella. Mario is a combination of many supposedly straight, perfect guys who gay guys so easily become infatuated with every day. I love that Harold and Mario come full circle at their high school reunion.

High School

Did you attend your high school reunion? If so, were you surprised at how your old classmates had changed or stayed the same?

Joe Cosentino’s transition from acting to writing

February 4, 2015

Since this is my first publication with Dreamspinner Press, I’d like to tell you a bit about myself. As a kid I played make believe constantly. “Let’s put on a show!” was my motto. I played all the characters—male and female. Hm, that explains a lot. Thankfully my parents and teachers indulged me rather than committed me. So I started as an actor 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. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_zEEXqeGHs. As my students say, “You were cute when you were young!” Since acting is storytelling in the same way that writing is storytelling, I gave playwriting a try and ultimately fiction writing. 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? I’m also writing two mystery series: the Jana Lane mysteries starting with PAPER DOLL, and the Nicky and Noah comedy mysteries beginning with DRAMA QUEEN. AN INFATUATION is my first novella. I think AN INFATUATION combines elements of romance, humor, drama, and a touch of mystery.

ABC-TV

Now that you know a bit about me, tell me about you. What types of fiction do you like to read? Do you prefer romance, mystery, humor, drama, or a combination?

Here’s an excerpt from AN INFATUATION by Joe Cosentino releasing today by Dreamspinner Press!

February 4, 2015

Here’s an excerpt from AN INFATUATION:

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.

Locker Room

Now that you know a bit about my new novella, I’d like you to think about your first infatuation. There’s nothing more powerful. Remember how, when, and where you met? What feelings did it evoke within you? What happened when you made contact? How did things progress, or not progress. Write your story in a paragraph and post it here today along with your email address. I’ll select the one that tickles my infatuation bone the most and email you a free electronic copy of AN INFATUATION releasing today by Dreamspinner Press!

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6009

AN INFATUATION by Joe Cosentino releases today by Dreamspinner Press!

February 4, 2015

Hello Dreamspinner Press readers, I’m Joe Cosentino. Thank you so much for visiting with me today from 12 pm (for the late risers) to 12 am (for the night owls). Thank you also for coming to my release party for my novella, AN INFATUATION, releasing today! I’ll be making posts at 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm, 10pm, and 11:30pm and answering any comments throughout. So grab your beverage of choice (spiked or not), favorite snack (low cal or “comfort food”), and pull up a chair at the party.

First, below are the blurb, book cover, and purchase link for AN INFATUATION. Take a look.

As a teenager, it was love at first sight for Harold while tutoring football star Mario, until homophobia and bullying drove Mario deep into the closet. Now they’re both married men. Mario, a model, is miserable with his producer wife, while Harold, a teacher, is perfectly content with his businessman husband, Stuart. When the two meet again at their ten-year high school reunion, the old flame reignites. Harold faces this seemingly impossible situation with inimitable wit, tenderness, and humor as he attempts to reconcile the past and the future.

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http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6009

What do you think of the book cover? Does it spark your interest? I’d love to hear your comments.

The Last Call from Sue

January 31, 2015

This is the last post from me tonight. I’m off to the Dreamspinner Facebook page to talk nonesense there for a couple of hours.

Thank you to everyone who has left a message. Denise Dechene, you and your husband made me laugh. You are my winner for Stolen Dreams.

Good night. Thank you for keeping me company.

StolenDreamsFS

Comic Relief characters

January 31, 2015

I am very fond of my comic relief characters, like Elroy in Stolen Dreams and Jez in The Next Call. I’ve pretty much got them in all my books because I do feel you can’t have high emotion and not have some relief. From Frankie in Frankie & Al to Paul from the Isle series, someone has to provide the comic touch.  That’s definitely how my family works, When my father died we spent the evening eating fish and chips, and telling bad jokes. My dad would definitely have appreciated the humour.

NextCall[The]FS

I often find myself having to reign in my characters’ natural urge to crack a joke at the wrong moment, such as in the middle of a row or worse, sex. When it comes to it, they often get diverted into talking/thinking about all sorts of things not relevant to the subject at hand. Sometimes I wonder if the readers are yelling “Bloody get on with sex!” Replace bloody with one of your choosing.

Do you ever read Readers Digest? Does it still exist? There was a short story where a writer had waxed lyrical about their hero/heroines cherry red lips, creamy skin, eyes like chocolate etc. They had obviously gone overboard with the food references because the book was sent back by their editor with a short comment ‘eat then write’.

That’s not  a bad idea. I’m getting distracted. I shall go off for my dinner and be back for one last post before my Facebook chat. However I won’t leave you without one question.

Question 4. What’s the best joke you’ve ever heard? Leave it in the comments to enter the giveaway.

Excerpt from The Next Call:

“AND YOU suck at blowjobs.” Tam sneered as he walked out of the door.

Mark thought that was kind of the point.

Mark’s colleague and supposed best mate Jez laughed so loudly he disturbed the old blokes at the front of the pub watching the footie, and they turned en masse to glare at him.

Jez ignored them and turned back to Mark. “He said you suck at giving head? Harsh!” The git was far too pleased with himself. “Then what did he do?”

“He took off with whoever he could find on Grindr.”

“Oh bugger. Tam’ll be back.”

Mark didn’t care if his ex-boyfriend returned or not. “If he wants any of his gear, he’d better. I dumped it all by the wheelie bin.”

“When do they pick up?”

“Tuesday.”

“He can fuck Friday through Monday and pick his gear up early Tuesday.”

Mark scowled at him. “Nice to see you’re on my side.”

Jez shrugged. “You’re better off without him. You know that. The bloke’s a waste of oxygen.”

“Pretty, though.” Tam had been slim and pretty with hair like ripe corn and blue eyes with dark lashes. And an eight-inch cock that he knew just where to stick. His cock was pretty too.

“Meh. He was too up his own arse for me.” Jez preferred his men large and docile.

What to do with Flawed Characters

January 31, 2015

I like writing flawed characters and Stolen Dreams is chock full of them. They are so much more interesting to write than Prince Charming. I have read that many actors like playing villains and see them as parts they can get their teeth into. The hero – pah – boring boring. Even better if you can be the hero and the villain with the character. Even kids’ movies have picked that trope. I can think of two films where Prince Charming really wasn’t. Mine aren’t so much heroes and/or villains but people who make wrong/stupid/disastrous decisions in their lives and have to answer for the consequences.

Bonus Points if you can answer question 3. Don’t forget to leave an answer to my questions on any of the posts today to enter the giveaway, and visit my blog tour to enter the rafflecopter.

Question 3: Name a movie where the Prince Charming was not a nice guy at all. I know this is a difficult one so feel free to tell your favourite villain as an alternative.

StolenDreamsFS

Excerpt:

Elroy throwing coffee over Ed and Jase was kind of inevitable. After all, it was spillage number three, and Morgan had totally just jinxed the situation. Numbly resigned, Morgan stood back and watched the drama unfold as the two men stood in the middle of MC’s, gasping as they were covered in hot, milky coffee.

Elroy looked horrified as he clutched his empty cup. As he had turned to speak to Jase and Ed, he had tripped over a bag left near the counter. “Fuck me. I am so sorry, guys!”

“Elroy, here.” Marilyn threw him a damp cloth, and Elroy attempted to pat the coffee off Ed’s face and clothing.

“Get off me.” Ed flailed his arms, trying to escape Elroy’s ministrations.

“I think we’re going to need the mop, Marilyn, and a fresh towel for Jase.” Elroy turned to catch the cloth from the barista. As he turned back, he winked at Morgan.

Addicted to Coffee: the confessions of an author

January 31, 2015

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Hello, my name is Sue Brown and I am addicted to coffee.

If you read any of my books do I really need to make that confession? Let’s face it, my characters are always addicted to coffee or tea. I drink gallons of the dark, fragrant liquid a year. Recently I had the flu and for nearly three weeks I couldn’t drink coffee. It was hell, I tell you, hell. The taste was just foul and I despaired of ever drinking it again. I even cried once or twice as I threw another cup away. Six weeks on and I’m just as addicted. I do drink Earl Grey tea but no one is ever going to convince me of the merits of green tea.

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I based Stolen Dreams around a coffee shop which allowed me to indulge my passion. And yes, if I could own a coffee shop I certainly would. Maybe one day.

It was over coffee that the first editor, a few years back in its first incarnation, and I nearly came to blows. She naturally did the things where they look for words that are mentioned too much and should possibly be swapped out for something else. Coffee was a culprit. She suggested that I should reduce the number of ‘coffees’. “But the book is set in a coffee shop,” says I. “Couldn’t they drink something else?” she asked. It was one of the few times I have said ‘over my dead body’ to an editor. Sorry, editor.

You may notice as the excerpts progress that they have one thing in common – apart from coffee. Elroy is the comic relief in what is a full-on in your face story. It’s why I’m using him today. I want you to read Morgan and Shae’s story, but Elroy you can have for free. Seriously, you can take him.

Don’t forget to leave an answer to my questions on any of the posts today to enter the giveaway, and visit my blog tour to enter the rafflecopter.

Question 2. What drink could you not do without? 

Excerpt:

With a put-upon sigh, Elroy wandered over to the counter to accept a refill.

“Everything evens out and stop changing the subject,” he said over his shoulder.

“There is no subject changing,” Morgan called after him. He was lying, of course, but he could try denial for as long as possible.

“Keep telling yourself that, sweetheart.” Elroy came back with a fresh drink.

Morgan told himself repeatedly what happened next wasn’t really Elroy’s fault. The incident could have been caused by Elroy’s flip-flops or Marco’s overfilling the cup or even Morgan’s fault for placing the sofa just there. Whichever way, the results were the same. Hot coffee stings like a bitch, Morgan discovered as Elroy tripped over the leg of the sofa and his cup, full to the brim with milky coffee, did a graceful somersault, the contents landing squarely over Morgan.

There was a shocked silence in MC’s as Morgan sat there dripping hot coffee, the wind knocked out of him. As he drew in a shaky breath, Marco came rushing over with a wet cloth.

“Are you okay, Morgan?”

Elroy rose shakily to his feet. “You worry about him but not a paying customer,” he grumbled.

Marco didn’t stop mopping the coffee off Morgan’s face and shirt. “One, you never pay for anything and two, you’re not the one covered in boiling coffee.”

“That’s so not the point. I could have broken a leg.” Elroy looked around at everybody still watching them and gave them an airy wave. “I’m fine, folks. You can go back to what you were doing.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good morning/afternoon from Sue Brown

January 31, 2015

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve been here. So hello from me, Sue Brown. Waving to you from a disappointingly lack of snowy London, and very happily warm now my boiler is fixed.

Actually that’s not quite true about not being on the blog because I had a free read here a few days ago. Friends with Benefits – with Liam and Sam from the Isle series.

But I’m not here to talk about them. I’m here to talk Stolen Dreams which was re-released yesterday, and because I’ve got The Next Call coming out next week on the 4th I hope you don’t mind if I burble on about that later too.

Stolen Dreams is a re-release, and I was thrilled when Dreamspinner agreed to publish it. What do you think of the cover by Brooke Albrecht? I think it’s stunning to be honest. I love the blues and the focus of the main guy’s eyes – that’s Shae by the way – they just draw you in.

I’ve been looking over my covers recently and I have a lot of blues and browns. It seems to be the colours I naturally choose when I’m given my options.

I love that moment when you get the draft covers and there’s that ‘yes, this is my story’ moment. Sometimes it takes more than one draft and a bit of discussion with the artist before you get that moment. But sometimes the Eureka moment is instantaneous and it’s a fabulous moment.

I’ve been doing a lot of book tours lately, thanks to the amazing Sid Love and do pop over to one of the stops to take part in the Rafflecopter.

I’m also hosting a giveaway on this blog so you get two bites of the cherry. Anyone who answers one of my questions on any of today’s blogs gets entered into the giveaway for a copy of Stolen Dreams.

Question 1. What colour eyes does your partner/spouse have? Yes, you can go and check. If you don’t have another half what about yours? Please don’t tell me you have to look in the mirror for that. Mine are brown.

cherry

Okay, so the cherry has nothing to do with the story. I just like the picture.

Both Stolen Dreams and The Next Call deal with difficult issues and I’ll talk about them a little in other posts but today is really for fun. I hope you stay with me, join in the giveaway and have a great weekend. I’m also on Dreamspinner’s Facebook page later this evening (8-10pm GMT, 3-5pm EST)

Stolen Dreams excerpt:

THE OUTCOME had been inevitable. One minute after purchasing the skinny latte, extra hot, no froth, the lady in her professional heels and custom-made silk suit wore the drink all the way down the front of her sleek lavender outfit. The cause of the catastrophe? Morgan knew of only one person who treated every arrival like an event involving doors slamming against walls. He sighed as he looked down at the script, not wanting to see what followed the screeching.

“Look at me. Look at me!”

A mezzo-soprano would have admired the woman’s vocal range and volume. Her outraged rant overrode the clumsy attempts of her persecutor to apologize. They needed a harridan like this as an extra for the film. Somewhere in the script there was a woman having an argument in the background. Perhaps Morgan could drop this lady a business card and suggest she contact the casting agents. She would be one less problem for Xander Bannatyne, the temperamental director of his next film, to deal with.

The cause of all the fuss sounded increasingly desperate as the woman refused to be placated with offers of a fresh coffee and dry cleaning. Morgan wasn’t going to be able to ignore them for much longer. Wait for it….

“Morgan! I need help here, man!”

Pasting on a professional smile, Morgan got to his feet and made his way over to the commotion.

Elroy had done an impressive job, Morgan had to admit. A brown stain completely covered the front of the poor woman’s pale lavender suit, and there was a puddle of coffee under her feet. Morgan had no doubt her fifteen-hundred-dollar shoes were ruined. “Nice start to the day, Elroy,” Morgan said out of the corner of his mouth.