A few hours left to win prizes at the DEPENDING ON YOU release party!

February 5, 2015

Thanks so much, everyone, for stopping by the Depending on You release party! Benjy and Kyle and I couldn’t be more grateful. I had such a lovely time hearing all of your stories. PLUS I now have a bunch of new books to add to my TBR list (that thing’s gonna touch the ceiling soon), as well as cravings for many, many desert items…might be time for a new gym membership.

Please feel free to keep commenting! At 12 EST I’ll randomly choose winners for the two free books and announce them in a comment on this post.

Again, thanks so much for joining me tonight! I hope you all enjoy Benjy’s and Kyle’s adventures as much as I enjoyed writing them.



DEPENDING ON YOU release party! We’ve got free stuff and some solid best friends.

February 5, 2015


One of the best parts of writing Depending on You was writing Benjy and Kyle’s supporting cast. As you might have noticed from my last post, Benjy and Kyle don’t exactly carry this book themselves. They’re surrounded by people who watch out for them and want what’s best for them—even when good intentions lead to odd outcomes.

One such character is Brett, Benjy’s best friend. Brett and Benjy have that sort of relationship that you only get with a true best friend: someone who knows all of your quirks and calls you on them while still appreciating every single one. Here’s the scene from the book when we’re first introduced to Brett and Benjy’s friendship…and this is only the tip of their iceberg of banter.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering who Brett looks like in my head….DUDE. Jesse Williams from Grey’s Anatomy. All. Day. Long.


Jesse Williams


“BRETT, I feel like a total dumbass. I was sure the guy was gay. But there he was, with this totally gorgeous chick.”

Brett, Benjy’s best friend for almost four years of college, three shared dorms, two attempted-yet-failed make-out sessions, and one night where Benjy had to bail Brett out of jail, was nonplussed. “Maybe he’s bi.”

Benjy pulled one of the throw pillows off Brett’s couch and chucked it at his head. They were supposed to be studying for a test in their statistics class, but Benjy was sure the most statistical analysis they’d done so far was calculating the odds that Kyle was straight.

“You always think everyone is bi.”

“Well, lots of people are.”

Benjy rolled his eyes. Ever since Brett had announced to the world (well, a college party, but that pretty much was their world right now) that he swung both ways, he seemed to have decided that most of the rest of the world must swing the same way.

“Listen, Brett, don’t get me wrong. I’m really glad you’ve finally had this sexual awakening, or whatever, and can now tell the world you like both guys and girls, but just because you like chicks and dicks doesn’t mean the whole world does. The dude’s straight, and I’m a dumbass.”

“Sure you are, but for many other reasons, Benjamin. I mean, you didn’t even call the guy back or anything. That might have qualified you as a dumbass—if you’d been fawning all over him for the last week and then found out he likes pussy. But luckily, you’re a cold and emotionally stunted little shit, no worries.”

“Hey! I’m not emotionally stunted!”

“Benj, you’re my best friend. I love you just the way you are, man. But dude, you are a cold little bastard. Don’t get me wrong—I find it to be an endearing quality. And I actually think it gets you laid far more than you trying to be charming would.” Brett shook his head, feigning sadness. “Luckily for you, I’m happy to be the charming one of the two of us.” 

Benjy glared. “Don’t call me emotionally stunted. Just because I don’t fall down flirting with everyone I meet who has a halfway decent rack or set of guns….”

“Hey, it’s a tough cross to bear, this charm. But seriously, in this case, your emotional unavailability pays off! You never even bothered to text the guy more than once. So why do you feel like a dumbass? Aside,” he added, “from getting in the car with a complete stranger who you’d known for all of two minutes and then letting him bring you to his house.” Brett had already made it quite clear how he felt about the fact that Benjy hadn’t just called Brett when he’d gotten sick at the restaurant but had gotten in a car with a total stranger instead. Benjy had reminded Brett that he’d been out of town with his family, but he had a feeling Brett was going to keep bringing it up until the two of them were at least in grad school.

Benjy shrugged. “I dunno. I mean, I slept over at the guy’s house. He was really nice. I guess I just thought….”

“Benjamin Moreland!” Brett took a long drag of beer and shook his head. “Could it be? Are you actually really into this guy? Has Benjy Moreland, Ice Man of No Committed Relationships, actually gotten completely attached to someone?”

In a comment, share your favorite quality in a best friend. Comment on this or any of the other Depending on You posts before 12 p.m. EST tonight for a chance to win one of two free copies of Depending on You!




It all started with a diabetic kid who wouldn’t stop eating cookies. And a best friend who’d just announced his bisexuality and hit on everything that moved. And a kind pediatric nurse with an amazing rack, a lying ex-boyfriend, and a nasty case of the chicken pox. 

But mostly, it started at table 42.

When Benjy Moreland almost collapses during his restaurant shift, Dr. Kyle Penners wants nothing more than to take care of him… but if there’s one thing former foster kid Benjy values, it’s his independence. A dying man and a sick little boy force Kyle and Benjy to work together, and both of them have to make some important choices about what it means to depend on someone.

Release Party for DEPENDING ON YOU! Come by for free stuff and dysfunctional fictional people.

February 5, 2015

Hi! My name is J.E. Birk, and I’m here to celebrate the release of my first novella with Dreampsinner Press. It’s called Depending on You, and it came out yesterday—February 4th.  I’ll be here on the Dreamspinner blog for the next few hours giving away copies of the book, sharing excerpts, and probably making a fool out of myself at one time or another. So please hang out and join the fun!

First of all, let me introduce you to the stars of Depending on You. Let’s start with Benjy Moreland. In my head, Benjy looks a lot like Patrick J. Adams…from a few years ago, though,  seeing as how Benjy’s only 22.

Patrick J. Adams

Like I said, Benjy’s 22, and the boy’s a bit of a mess when we first meet him. He’s come down with strep throat (although he has no idea that’s what he has), and he’s refusing to take time off from his restaurant job. So he goes to work muddled by fever and promptly drops a tray of beers all over two of his customers. One of whom happens to be Dr.  Kyle Penners. My imagination has painted Kyle as a young Benjamin Bratt.  (Apparently everyone’s young in my head. It’s not a bad place to be, really.)

Ben Bratt

So begins the strange adventures of Benjy and Kyle. Kyle’s determined to take care of Benjy from the first moment they meet, but Benjy’s got some independence straight out of a Jane Austen novel, and he’s not letting anyone tell him what to do. Luckily, these two have plenty of help when it comes to finding happiness. Benjy and Kyle are surrounded by a cast of characters who make sure the two of them stay honest and real with each other—from Vanessa, the well-endowed nurse that Kyle attempts to date, to Brett, Benjy’s party-boy best friend, to Brandon, the diabetic eight-year-old who worms his way into both Benjy’s and Kyle’s hearts.

So, to get this party started off right, let’s hear some good stories: what’s the funniest way you’ve ever met someone? It doesn’t have to be someone you became involved with romantically—it could be the story of how you met your best friend, your mother-in-law, or anyone else. Did you dump beer all over each other? Comment on this or any of the other Depending on You posts before 12 p.m. EST tonight for a chance to win one of two free copies of Depending on You! 



It all started with a diabetic kid who wouldn’t stop eating cookies. And a best friend who’d just announced his bisexuality and hit on everything that moved. And a kind pediatric nurse with an amazing rack, a lying ex-boyfriend, and a nasty case of the chicken pox. 
But mostly, it started at table 42.

When Benjy Moreland almost collapses during his restaurant shift, Dr. Kyle Penners wants nothing more than to take care of him… but if there’s one thing former foster kid Benjy values, it’s his independence. A dying man and a sick little boy force Kyle and Benjy to work together, and both of them have to make some important choices about what it means to depend on someone.

AN INFATUATION is a tribute to all of our infatuations

February 4, 2015

So buy your electronic copy today, and if you like it, post a comment on the AN INFATUATION page of Dreamspinner’s web site and on Amazon.com. It’s been great talking with you today. Here’s to your next Infatuation!




AN INFATUATION’s gripping storyline

February 4, 2015

If you are on Goodreads, check out my page at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino.

I’m often asked which are the hardest characters for me to write? It is always hard for me to write homophobic characters. How nonsensical is it for someone to spend his/her time, money, and energy trying to hurt, belittle, or take away the rights of someone else? I think in many cases the homophobic person is gay him/herself, and due to internalized homophobia, is battling with him/herself via the gay target. That is the case with the two homophobic characters in my novella. I’m also asked who is my ideal reader? I answer: a lover of a good story, someone who craves being swept away and becoming part of the novel. My reader enjoys humor, and being taken on a roller coaster ride. Finally, my reader relishes in captivating characters and romance, as she/he willingly enters the portal of my book. That’s why I love hearing from my readers!


Thank you again for spending time with me today and being a guest at my release party for AN INFATUATION. I know this story will touch your heart, because it’s everyone’s story. We’ve all had an infatuation, and this novel is a testament to that!

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.


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.


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.”


“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!


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.



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