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GUEST POST: Maui, A Cozy Mystery Paradise by Joe Cosentino

MAUI, A COZY MYSTERY PARADISE

Drama Luau, the fourth Nicky and Noah comedy/mystery/romance novel

by Joe Cosentino

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’ve been all over the world, and no place is more beautiful, exotic, and romantic than Maui, the perfect location for a gay cozy mystery.

A few years ago, my spouse and I survived the long plane ride and visited hidden white sandy beaches (our favorite was the beach used in the movie South Pacific), giant and spectacular waterfalls (as in the opening of Fantasy Island), craters of every hue on steep mountaintops, palm trees waving in the gentle breeze, and incredibly low key and hospitable Hawaiians. We braved the white-knuckle drive to the fantastic Seven Sacred Pools, yawned at the gorgeous sunrise at Haleakala, snorkeled in the clear turquoise water, and flew through the crystal blue sky while parasailing. We also attended a luau with a dramatic boat procession, pig roast and ceremony, huge and sumptuous buffet of Hawaiian foods, and of course the hula dancer show. The dancers were muscular Hawaiian men wearing grass skirts, leis, flower headdresses, anklets, and bracelets, who gestured with their arms, waved their knees, stomped, and grunted on an outdoor stage masked by a dormant volcano.

So when it came time for Nicky and Noah to go on their honeymoon in the fourth novel in my popular Nicky and Noah mystery series, I knew they had to go to Maui. It was great fun including all the things my spouse and I did on our trip into this fast-paced, humorous, spine-tingling mystery with a very shocking ending. Nicky and Noah have the time of their lives solving this one, and also find their relationship in for quite a change.

As you remember, in Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Novel of 2015), college theatre professors are dropping like stage curtains at Treemeadow College, and amateur sleuths/college theatre professors Nicky and Noah have to use their theatre skills, including impersonating other people, to figure out whodunit. In Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention 2016), Nicky and Noah don their gay Holmes and Watson personas again to find out why bodybuilding students and professors at Treemeadow are dropping faster than barbells. Also, Nicky and Noah’s relationship reaches a milestone by the end of the novel. In Drama Cruise, it is summer on a ten-day cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back (which my spouse and I also did). Nicky and Noah must figure out why college theatre professors are dropping like life rafts as Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship starring Noah and other college theatre professors from across the US. Complicating matters are their both sets of wacky parents who want to embark on all the activities on and off the boat with the handsome couple.

Now in Drama Luau, Nicky is directing the luau show at the Maui Mist Resort, and he and Noah need to figure out why muscular Hawaiian hula dancers are dropping like grass skirts. Their department head and his husband, Martin and Ruben, are along for the bumpy tropical ride. In addition to the sexy hula dancers, we meet a handsome Hawaiian detective, a Bloody Mary type housekeeper, a cigar chomping hotel manager, the hotel owner and his senator wife who give new meaning to the term family values, and a cute young waiter who wants to be a hula dancer more than a priest wants a new altar boy convention.

And watch for Drama Detective, book five, releasing in six months!

It is my joy and pleasure to share these stories with you. So grab your plate at the buffet table, and take your front row seat for the luau show. The grass curtain is going up on Drama Luau!

DRAMA LUAU (a Nicky and Noah mystery)

a comedy/mystery/romance novel by JOE COSENTINO

http://myBook.to/DramaLuau

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/711186

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/drama-luau-joe-cosentino/1125994872?ean=2940154062050

Theater professors and spouses, Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, are on their honeymoon at a Hawaiian resort, where musclemen in grass skirts are keeling over like waterfalls. Things erupt faster than a volcano when Nicky and Noah, along with their best friends Martin and Ruben, try to stage a luau show. Nicky and Noah will need to use their drama skills to figure out who is bringing the grass curtain down on male hula dancers—before things go coconuts for the handsome couple. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining fourth novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and aloha!

 

Praise for DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino from Lethe Press (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, Contemporary Novel of 2015):

“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

Praise for DRAMA MUSCLE, the second Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino from Lethe Press (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention):

“reading these books is like watching a fabulous comedic, murder mystery, action, adventure, romantic film.” “I was giggle snorting and laughing so much I had to stop reading. Joe Cosentino’s writing is absolutely flawless. He’s a master storyteller and will keep you guessing and utterly riveted until Drama Muscle’s highly satisfying ending. This is an absolute gem of a book, and series.” Divine Magazine

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

“Each (Nicky and Noah mystery) is a wonderful mixture of sex, comedy, romance and murder, but when Cosentino took it to an Alaska cruise and the high seas, well, it tossed it up into theatrically delicious magic….I loved this story. I love this couple. What on earth is going to happen to them next? I can’t wait to find out.” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Bestselling author Joe Cosentino was voted Favorite Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of 2015 by the readers of Divine Magazine for Drama Queen. He also wrote the other novels in the Nicky and Noah mystery series: Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention) and Drama Cruise (Lethe Press), Drama Luau; In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (TBR Pile Book of the Month/Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings Cozzi Cove series (NineStar Press); Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The 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. Joe was voted 2nd Place for Best MM Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015! Coming next: Drama Detective, the fifth Nicky and Noah mystery.

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

Excerpt of Drama Luau by Joe Cosentino:

Rivaling our heated argument with the Kapenas, the fake volcano onstage erupted, thanks to the theatrical effects of red lights and smoke. The dancers entered the stage to welcoming applause and executed their opening number. I held Noah’s hand as the men gestured toward the palm trees, ocean, and mountains behind them. As the dance built in intensity, they stomped, grunted, and made faces in honor of the goddess of the ocean. Though lead dancer Kal was positioned front and center for most of the dance, each dancer filled the stage with dramatic character (thanks, Noah!) and strong presence. The conclusion of the opening number was met with appreciative applause from the audience.

After a brief musical interlude, the dancers returned to the stage in their grass skirts and performed the next few numbers. Kal maintained his magnetic charisma. Though older and drooping a bit in the middle, dance captain Ak and bulldog faced Kimu held their own, as did cute little Ahe. Not surprisingly, Ahe’s lover, Keanu, commanded the audience’s attention with his obvious desire to move from dancer helper to lead dancer. With each successfully completed routine, Noah and I breathed a sigh of relief.

Pulling off their skirts and wearing only G-strings, the dancers performed their homage to the creation god. I noticed that both of the Kapenas seemed to be quite interested in that number.

Finally, the stage lights dimmed, and the cast lit their fire clubs. Waving them enthusiastically to honor the fire goddess, each dancer performed his routine beautifully. As I had instructed, a technician turned on the fan near the stage to highlight the flames that danced along as the men carried them. I thanked the theatre gods when Kimu, no doubt having taken a swig in the dressing room, doddered a bit but managed to stay on his feet until the end of the fire finale.

“Nicky, look!”

I followed Noah’s index finger pointing to a tiki lamp onstage as it came crashing down on Kimu’s head. Kimu saw the light.

The music stopped as the audience shrieked. Noah and I raced up onto the stage. Checking Kimu’s pulse, Noah said, “Nicky. He’s dead!”

The stage became a blur of activity with dancers, technicians, Walter, the Kapenas, wait staff, and band members racing around like bear cubs without their mother.

Feeling like the star of a 1940’s thriller, I stood at the apron of the stage. “Is there a doctor in the house?”

Before anyone could answer, Noah tapped my shoulder. “Nicky, Kimu’s gone.”

I continued scanning the audience for a doctor or a nurse. “Maybe there’s still a chance to save him.”

“No, Nicky, he’s really gone,” Noah said.

I looked behind me at the place onstage where Kimu had fallen. It was empty.

 

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GIVEAWAY & EXCERPT: The Necessary Deaths by David C. Dawson

David C. Dawson visited me on my Nic Starr blog to celebrate the release of his debut novel, The Necessary Deaths. I’m sharing the post here so you can all enjoy the excerpt and enter the giveaway. The book sounds fabulous!

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GUEST POST 

So, this is my first ever time on a blog tour! That’s why I’m so grateful to the fabulous Nic Starr  for having me! It’s great to be here, and I’m really happy to be sharing the details of the first book in the Dominic Delingpole Mystery series. I’ll also take a moment to tell you a bit about myself.

So this is me:

I live near the university city of Oxford in the UK. The Necessary Deaths is my first novel. As well as being a fledgling writer, I’ve also been a radio journalist, for which I won a couple of awards, and a TV documentary maker.

While I was doing all that, I travelled a lot. Thanks to the BBC, I’ve filmed in nearly every continent of the world, and I’ve lived in lots of different places: London, Geneva and San Francisco. But now I prefer the Oxfordshire countryside, it’s a bit quieter!

I have a wonderful boyfriend who’s a masseuse and therapist. I also have a son from my previous marriage. He’s now twenty-three and this year set up his own video production company. He’s doing great, and occasionally I help him out with camerawork. It’s great being directed by your son!

How do I relax?

I like to ride around Europe on my ageing Triumph motorbike. I also sing with the London Gay Men’s Chorus, of whom I’m intensely proud. Our aim is to combat homophobia through the power of music. We’ve sung at St Paul’s Cathedral, The Roundhouse and the Royal Festival Hall. But I’m proudest of the time we sang at the House of Lords, campaigning for equal marriage to be legalized in the UK.

And so to The Necessary Deaths…

Dominic Delingpole is a country lawyer living near Oxford in the UK. He’s in his early thirties, good looking but shy and very “English reserved”. He’s been seeing Jonathan McFadden, a landscape gardener and occasional opera singer, for two years. Jonathan’s the opposite of Dominic, confident, outgoing, outrageous. They’re in love with each other, but there’s a big commitment question hanging over them. You see, Jonathan wants an open relationship… Two other characters you’ll meet in this first book are John, a twenty-year-old student at Brighton University, and his boyfriend Simon who’s in a coma in hospital from a suspected drugs overdose.

What next, is there more to this series?

I’ve mapped out the story arc for the five in the series and I’ve nearly finished the second book. This first book is set in the UK, in places that I’m familiar with, and that I love. But subsequent books are going to be set in Sitges in Spain, San Francisco, Berlin and Tanzania. It’s possible that any of the characters might come and go over the story arc, it’s also possible that one or two of them might do some very surprising things, and a couple of them might meet unpleasant ends!

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Blurb

A young journalism student lies unconscious in a hospital bed in Brighton, England. His life hangs in the balance after a drug overdose. But was it attempted suicide or attempted murder? The student’s mother persuades British lawyer Dominic Delingpole to investigate, and Dominic enlists the aid of his outspoken opera singer partner, Jonathan McFadden.

The student’s boyfriend discovers compromising photographs hidden in his lover’s room. The photographs not only feature senior politicians and business chiefs, but the young journalist himself. Is he being blackmailed, or is he the blackmailer?

As Dominic and Jonathan investigate further, their lives are threatened and three people are murdered. They uncover a conspiracy that reaches into the highest levels of government and powerful corporations. The people behind it are ruthless, and no one can be trusted. The bond between Dominic and Jonathan deepens as they struggle not only for answers, but for their very survival.

An Excerpt

“Mrs. Gregory,” said Dominic. “I would be very happy to have you as a client, but I’m not sure in what way I can act for you.”

Samantha smiled. “And neither am I just at the moment. Let’s call you a professional friend. I have no one else who I can turn to, and your legal mind will help me to see things a little more clearly. As you can tell, I’m a little emotional just now.” She turned away to wipe a tear from the corner of her eye. Then she looked at him steadily.

“Simon and I are very close. Ever since Richard, his father, died in a climbing accident, we have been a very tight family unit. I’d like to think Simon and I can tell each other everything.”

Dominic wondered if she was keeping up a brave front, or whether she really believed Simon told her everything. Her comments clearly contradicted what Simon’s housemate Jay had said an hour ago. Dominic decided that, as she was his client, he owed her the duty of honesty, and he should tell her about what he had learned in the last few hours.

“Samantha, I’m afraid I believe Simon may not have confided everything in you in recent times. I went to see John this morning before coming here. He told me about their relationship and how Simon was not yet ready to tell you.”

Samantha smiled.

“Dominic, I’m his mother. Do you think that I didn’t know?” She sighed. “I knew he was finding it difficult to tell me, and I was waiting for him to pick the right time. I didn’t want to rush him.” She paused. “But yes, you’re right, and I am wrong. Simon hasn’t confided everything to me; I merely know and am waiting for him to tell me. John is a lovely boy, and I was just pleased to know that Simon is happy.”

Samantha narrowed her eyes slightly as she asked, “But why do you think that means he must have kept other secrets from me? Surely you of all people must know how difficult it is to come out?”

Dominic blushed briefly. “Everyone’s circumstances are different, of course, and for young people it really is much easier….”

“Oh nonsense! Can I just say that I think it’s a bit rich for you to judge Simon when you’re so secretive about yourself? We spent nearly three hours in the car together last night, and I still don’t know whether or not you have a boyfriend!”
This time Dominic’s face turned crimson.

“Samantha, could we just get back to—”

“Well, do you?”

Dominic sighed. “I think it’s my turn to acknowledge that I am wrong. Yes, I do have a partner, and no, I am not very open about it. In this day and age, it probably is unnecessary for me to be quite so discreet. But after a while, it gets to be almost a habit.”

Samantha giggled. “Oh, Dominic, how delightfully bashful you are! I imagine that it’s rare you have a conversation like this with your clients.”

Dominic smiled. “Samantha, I can tell you truthfully that I have never had a conversation like this with my clients. You must meet Jonathan some time. I think you two would get on like a house on fire.”

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon US

Amazon US Paperback

Amazon UK

Amazon UK Paperback

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

Giveaway

And here’s a give away to Nic Starr’s readers. It runs for just ONE WEEK from November 2nd, 2016, and you can win a $20 Amazon gift voucher! Simply Tweet about the blog to enter the contest.

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter

About the Author

david_c_dawson_headshot_hi_resDavid C. Dawson is an author, award-winning journalist and documentary maker, living near Oxford in the UK.

He has travelled extensively, filming in nearly every continent of the world. He has lived in London, Geneva and San Francisco, but now prefers the tranquility of the Oxfordshire countryside.

David is a Mathematics graduate from Southampton University in England. After graduating, he joined the BBC in London as a trainee journalist. He worked in radio newsrooms for several years before moving to television as a documentary director. During the growing AIDS crisis in the late eighties, he is proud to say that he directed the first demonstration of putting on a condom on British television.

After more than twenty years with the BBC, he left to go freelance. He has produced videos for several charities, including Ethiopiaid; which works to end poverty in Ethiopia, and Hestia; a London-based mental health charity.

David has one son, who is also a successful filmmaker.

In his spare time, David tours Europe on his ageing Triumph motorbike and sings with the London Gay Men’s Chorus. He has sung with the Chorus at St Paul’s Cathedral, The Roundhouse and the Royal Festival Hall, but David is most proud of the time they sang at the House of Lords, campaigning for equal marriage to be legalized in the UK.

I’m still producing videos, although my son is steadily taking that over from me, although I do some camera operating for him sometimes; it’s great being directed by your son!

Social Media

Website: www.davidcdawson.co.uk

Blog: http://blog.davidcdawson.co.uk/#home

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/david.c.dawson.5

Twitter: https://twitter.com/david_c_dawson

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GUEST POST: Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel by Skot Harris

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Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel by Skot Harris
Publication Date: August 25, 2016

Genre: Murder Mystery, Road Trip, Action-Adventure, LGBT

GUEST POST

Many thanks and big ol’ KAPOW! to BTMABTO for generously giving me a guest post to present my third novel, Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel!

What started as an English class short story during my junior year of high school and eventually evolved and changed and edited and rewrote itself into its published state, the novel gives a cheeky wink and nod to such movie greats as Thelma & Louise and The Breakfast Club. My initial inspiration came from my close-knit circle of high school friends. What would happen in the mid-90s if we had been involved in a horrific crime of murder? Would the friendship be strong enough to survive such a dangerous situation? If so, what kind of life could be created on the run from the law? Would there be any hope or possibility for a real life, with love or any kind of future? These questions were the foundation for Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel.

Stuffed with murder, tears, sarcasm, and endless pop culture references, the novel takes the reader on a lightning-fast journey, exploring coming-of-age themes like self-discovery, love, loyalty and betrayal, set against the backdrop of pre-cell phones and pre-internet ‘90s America… 

BLURB

May 1996.

Six friends—inseparable since childhood—seek immediate revenge after one of them is brutally attacked. But their vigilante justice spins violently out of control and leaves the attacker dead, accidentally killed by their own hands.

Desperate to save themselves as the FBI inches dangerously close, they flee Michigan, speeding across state lines and dusty backroads that lead to the Fontaine Motel, an isolated, rundown hideout in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma.

In a few lightning-fast days, their temporary safety leads to much more—self-discovery, love, and deadly secrets that will not only change everything, but threaten the very lives they’re frantic to protect…

***

The novel features a tender and heartbreaking gay subplot: Matt and Ford have been best friends since before they could speak. Matt is a sarcastic, witty, handsome wannabe photographer. Ford is a beautiful, shy and fiercely loyal baseball player who may or may not be madly in love with Matt. After accidentally murdering the high school bully with their friends, Matt and Ford are forced to confront their feelings for each other, especially as the FBI inches closer every day. And when Matt meets a handsome, rugged cowboy named Casey, Ford can’t waste any more time. If he has any hope to share his life—whatever kind of life any of them may have left—with Matt, he must decide whether to make the courageous decision to confess his feelings or live with disastrous consequences without every knowing what could have been…

About Skot Harris

SkotHarrisPicSkot Harris has spent the last 10+ years travelling the world as a dressing room assistant and backstage manager for various musicians, everyone from Linkin Park to Drake to Neil Diamond to Taylor Swift to Neil Diamond to and more. But his first love has always been writing. He graduated with a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan and published his first novel, Ann Arbor South ’96, in 2006. It was based on his turbulent high school years in ‘90s Michigan. Its sequel,Heart on the Run, came in 2009. His latest (and greatest) novel, Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel, was published in August 2016. He grew up near Detroit with a pop culture obsession. Born a rolling stone, Skot lived all over the US and moved to the United Kingdom for love in 2009. He married a beautiful British boy in 2011 and continues to live in England.

Website: http://www.skotharris.com/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Snapshots-Fontaine-Motel-Skot-Harris/dp/1535117036/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Snapshots-Fontaine-Motel-Skot-Harris/dp/1535117036/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Snapshots-at-the-Fontaine-Motel/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31679304-snapshots-at-the-fontaine-motel/

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INTERVIEW: Drama Muscle by Joe Cosentino

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DRAMA MUSCLE (a Nicky and Noah mystery)

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

Blurb

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!

Q&A with Joe Cosentino

Hello, Joe. Welcome back to Because Two Men Are Better Than One. Thank you for visiting.

My pleasure. Thank you for all that you do to get out the good word about gay-themed novels.

You’re a college professor/department head in the Theatre Department. When do find the time to write?

I write in the evenings. Being a little tired helps loosen my creative energies and flow. Plus my spouse has gone to bed, so the house is quiet, leaving me with all the voices in my head.

Where do you write?

I have a cozy home study with a window seat, fireplace with a cherry wood mantel (like Martin Anderson in the Nicky and Noah mysteries), a huge cherry wood desk, and cherry wood bookshelves. It would be hard not to write in a study like that.

You’ve said in interviews that your novels are “theatrical.” What do you mean by that?

Since I started as an actor and playwright, I write a great deal of dialogue. My novels are also quite cinematic. Hear that film and television producers?

Any plans for the Nicky and Noah mysteries to become a television series?

Sure, I have lots of plans. I’m a legend in my own mind. Now I just need a TV network to have the plans too.

Who would you cast in the leading roles?

I’d cast Matt Bomer as Nicky, Neil Patrick Harris as Noah, me as Martin Anderson (the theatre department head), and Rosie O’Donnell and Bruce Willis as Noah’s parents.

You acted in film, television, and theatre opposite stars like Rosie O’Donnell (AT&T industrial), Nathan Lane (Roar of the Greasepaint onstage), Bruce Willis (A Midsummer Night’s Dream onstage), Charles Keating (NBC’s Another World), Jason Robards (Commercial Credit computer commercial), and Holland Taylor (ABC’s My Mother Was Never a Kid TV movie). What was it like acting with all those celebrities?

First, I’m so glad Holland Taylor came out. It’s never too late. As for the celebs, in every case I worked with them before they became famous, and they were all gracious, hard-working, kind, and very funny. I recommended Rosie O’Donnell go on Star Search, and she did!

Since you are a college theatre professor, is the Nicky and Noah series based on your college?

Treemeadow College exists only in my head. My colleagues kid me that if anybody at my college ticks me off, I kill him/her in the series? Hah. To be honest, I like my colleagues and students too much to murder them in my books. By the way, they love my books and want to be in them. However, only Martin Anderson, Nicky and Noah’s department head, is based on a real person—me. Martin is a loyal, hardworking department head and professor who fully supports his faculty colleagues, office assistant, and the students in his department. Like me, he is also a little bit, well quite a bit, of a gossip. He also has a terrific husband.

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.

Why did you write a gay mystery/comedy/romance series?

The Nicky and Noah mysteries are the kind of books I like reading: funny, theatrical, sexy, wild, and wacky with a solid mystery full of plot twists and turns at its center—and a surprise ending!

You say they are “cozy mysteries.” What does that mean?

The Nicky and Noah mysteries are set in an Edwardian style university founded originally by a gay couple (Tree and Meadow) whose name the university bears. The setting is warm and cozy, the clues and murders (and laughs) come fast and furious, there are enough plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the reader guessing, and at the center is a touching gay romance between Associate Professor of Directing Nicky Abbondanza and Assistant Professor of Acting Noah Oliver. Along the way, Nicky and Noah fall in love, as I’ve heard the readers fall in love with them. In the first novel (Drama Queen), it is winter, so white snow, cherry wood mantels surrounding blazing fireplaces, and hot chocolate are in abundance. In this current book (Drama Muscle), it is fall, so gorgeous leaves of amber, violet, and scarlet blanket the campus. The third book (Drama Cruise not yet published) takes us on a cruise to Alaska for sights of glaciers and whales while Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship.

Was Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery, well received?

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? When the ebook reached 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 Aladdin after the Tony Awards, it was time for another Nicky and Noah mystery.

What was the plot of Drama Queen?

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.

What is 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.

Why did you set the second novel in the Bodybuilding Department?

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! After watching a bodybuilding competition on television (I admit it!) I noticed the link between bodybuilding and theatre. So I decided the second Nicky and Noah mystery would take place in the Bodybuilding Department at Treemeadow College.

How do you think up all the clues, red herrings, 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 from reading many writers like Armistead Maupin how to write quirky, zany, but lovable characters.

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 a fine asset 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!

Your Dreamspinner Press novellas (An Infatuation, A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, and the upcoming (January 27) The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland) were so well received. What do you say to people who loved them and might be surprised that the Nicky and Noah mysteries are quite different?

I love eggs but I also love oatmeal. It’s the same thing. I’d ask them to give Drama Queen and Drama Muscle a try. Like I found eating liver and onions as a kid, they may acquire a different taste.

What did you learn about reviews after Drama Queen?

Drama Queen got mostly great reviews from review sites, bloggers, and readers. I learned to concentrate on those reviews and not read the few negative ones. Writers (like everyone else) need to be supported and encouraged, not torn down. We don’t do it for the money, we do it for the love of our books and our readers. We put our hearts out there to be embraced not stamped on. If you don’t like a book, stop reading it after chapter one and read something else. Why write a scathing review?

What advice do you have for unpublished writers?

Write every day. When you have a story you think is perfect, ask someone you trust to read it. Then after doing another draft, email it to a publisher with an open submissions policy who publishes the kind of story you’ve written. If that publisher rejects it, immediately send it to the next one.

Is it hard to write comedy?

I’ve always had a funny mind. I can hear almost anything and see the humor in it. I think I get this from my mother. For example, for Christmas one year my parents bought me a sweater and my sister a house. When I asked my mother if I was an orphan, she replied, “Orphans don’t have sweaters. Appreciate what you have. And by the way, it cost me $39.99.”

Why do you write gay fiction?

Obviously gay stories are part of my life. Also, there are still many untold stories about gay people. Go to the mall and look at the movie posters sans any gay characters on them. What does that say to the teenagers in those malls?

You have another mystery series. Tell us about your Jana Lane mystery series.

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 (The Wild Rose Press releasing March 15), 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.

How do you feel about straight women writing and reading gay romance novels?

Bravo for them!

Like Drama Queen is Drama Muscle available as an ebook, paperbook, and audiobook?

The ebook and paperback are out. This gives the reader an option to read it on a Kindle, Nook, computer, or with book in hand on the beach or in bed. The audiobook, again performed by the amazing Michael Gilboe, will be out shortly.

How can your readers get their hands on Drama Muscle, and how can they contact you?

The purchase links for Drama Muscle are below, as are my contact links, including my web site. I love to hear from readers! So give Nicky and Noah a read and contact me via my web site. Let’s all pump up!

Excerpt

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.”

Buy Links

Lethe Press

Amazon

About 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).

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

 

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.

*****

Congratulations to Joe Cosentino for winning Best Contemporary Novel, Best Mystery Novel, Best Crime Novel, and Best Humorous Novel of 2015 for DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery published by Lethe Press, in the Divine Magazine Readers’ Poll Awards!

http://www.lethepressbooks.com/store/p303/Drama_Queen%3A_A_Nicky_and_Noah_Mystery.html

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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT AND GIVEAWAY! Fistful of Lies by Helena Maeve

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Location, location, location

Where to set a novel is as important as figuring out who your main characters are going to be and what you’ll call them. Whenever I sit down to plot a story, staging and décor are among the first things I put to paper. Sometimes a few lines will be enough to give me a clear idea of the world I want. Other times, I venture to the Pinterest machine and start scrolling for ideas.

If anyone asks, yes, that hour (or six) of research is absolutely vital before I can start writing. Really.

My newest title, Fistful of Lies, was no exception to this rule.

Greece is a country I know well and I’ve wanted to set a story there for a long, long time. Because it’s me, though, I’ve chosen to turn a wonderful country rich with history into the backdrop of a twisted murder-mystery with shades of family feuds and high-octane romance.

In Fistful of Lies, the fictional island of Ligeia plays host to a colorful cast of characters whose entanglements are as knotty as they are deep and dangerous. Between Leif and his sister Petra, their friends and lovers, the promise of a lengthy summer holiday under the sun couldn’t be more appealing to freshly retired professor Reuben. That is, until someone only narrowly fails to bash a man’s head in.

Ligeia had to be a heavenly place. After all, that’s where you least expect horrible things to happen. It needed the luxury and history of the old villa, constructed by Leif’s father and inherited by his children—not unlike his work ethic and empire—as much as it needed the harsh lines of the newly erected modern guesthouse at the other end of the island.

And of course there had to be that blissful sense of lethargy, of unending sea and sky and summer that could really drive a man insane.

It was imperative that the island and all its secrets to beckon Reuben as an extension of the man he loves, but I also wanted it to the kind of place that takes its toll on Leif. Tacking on the whiff of a family mystery to a glorious paradise always helps to hint at the skeletons buried beneath the olive trees, I think.

And if my editor asks, yes, I did figure all this out by spending six hours on Pinterest.

 

About Helena Maeve:

Helena Maeve has always been a globe trotter with a fondness for adventure, but only recently has she started putting to paper the many stories she’s collected in her excursions. When she isn’t writing erotic romance novels, she can usually be found in an airport or on a plane, furiously penning in her trusty little notebook.

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Fistful of Lies Blurb:

If you wanted to, how would you kill your lover?

Freshly sacked from his professorship, Reuben could do without a month-long holiday on his boyfriend’s private island. But he may as well enjoy the perks while they last. As soon as details of his dismissal surface, he’s sure to wind up alone with his murder mystery fixation.

Born with a silver spoon firmly between his teeth, Leif Claeson is no stranger to loss. He and twin sister Petra could lose their father’s creaking multinational at any moment…unless they fulfil his last wishes to the letter. Then again, Leif has always been something of a wild card. He’d rather vacation with his lover than worry about the future. When a stranger crashes their holiday, Leif sees only the potential for blissful debauchery. Ruben disagrees.

Power and sex make for a potent cocktail and everyone in Leif’s inner circle has a stake in what becomes of this Hellenic paradise. As Leif and Reuben struggle to reconcile their feelings with the strange happenings on the island, a chain of events is set in motion that could endanger their very lives.

Reader Advisory: This books contains scenes of MMM ménage, drug use and murder.

 

Buy Link:

http://www.pride-publishing.com/book/fistful-of-lies

 

Excerpt from Fistful of Lies

Leif squeezed my hand. “How was your flight? Is this all your luggage?”

My guide had finally finished tying off the motorboat and was setting my single suitcase on the jetty. It was small enough to pass for carry-on on the plane, the plastic only slightly dented by hard use. I’d picked it up for a conference in California last year, before all the mess began. I tried not to think that I would never again be invited to speak at academic gatherings.

“I pack light,” I answered in the face of Leif’s arched eyebrows. “Speaking of my flight…”

Leif had the good grace to look slightly abashed. “Are you totally pissed off?”

Courtesy of his generosity, I had enjoyed a single aisle seat, champagne at take-off and landing, and a gourmet meal along the way. Pissed off wasn’t the right word for how I felt.

I slipped my hand into Leif’s. “I’ll make it up to you later.”

“You don’t have to…”

The tips of his ears colored as my gaze slid down his body.

“Oh. Oh. Yeah, okay.” He grinned. “Let’s get you settled in.”

In my relative ignorance, I’d assumed that Leif’s vacation home was a villa somewhere on the Greek Mediterranean coast, no different from the luxury bungalow in Maine or the chalet in Switzerland. That was before I’d discovered that my partner owned not just the house but the island it was built on, too.

He’d dodged my questions, describing the place first as a tiny island in a larger archipelago, then as one of his father’s poorer investments.

By the time I passed the White Gate, I knew better.

Coming in from Athens, I’d noticed the sheer size of the rocky islet. It was easily as large as neighboring Fleves, with pine-covered rocky outcroppings which that afforded only the occasional glimpse of white washed walls and blue-painted shutters. The forbidding natural gateway concealed a vast swath of pink sand, the slanted oval of the private beach dipping into the shimmering Mediterranean like a slip of gold cloth. Here and there, a forgotten towel buffeted by the warm breeze, drew the eye to signs of life.

“Everyone else has already arrived,” Leif reported, following my gaze. “They’re excited to meet you.”

“Are they?” I struggled to inject a cheery note into my voice. My hand was beginning to grow clammy in his grasp.

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Enter our December blog tour competition for the chance to win a free eBook from Pride Publishing: https://www.pride-publishing.com/december-competition

 

 

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GUEST POST with GIVEAWAY: Drama Queen by Joe Cosentino

Drama Queen

Drama Queen

by Joe Cosentino

A Nicky and Noah Mystery

Blurb

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!

Guest Post

A NEW GAY MYSTERY SERIES IN THE WACKY WORLD OF ACADEMIA

by Joe Cosentino

I’ve been a college theatre professor for over twenty years and a department head for ten years. Though I love my job, it requires an enormous amount of creativity, energy, and diplomacy. I have also met the most amazing students, faculty colleagues, staff, and administrators. It occurred to me one day that a college campus with its numerous buildings, around the clock access, and diverse personalities is the perfect place for a mystery series.

Mystery novels have always been my favorites, in particular those in a series that includes humor and romance. However, I was unable to find many gay mystery series along that line. So I decided to create my own. Since the mysteries I like are of the cozy variety, I set my series in the quaint, fictitious, New England college town of Treemeadow, named after its original founders, gay couple Tree and Meadow. Edwardian buildings, stone fireplaces, and hot chocolate are in abundance. At the center of the series is Nicky Abbondanza, Professor of Directing, and Noah Oliver, Professor of Acting. It’s up to Nicky and Noah to use their theatrical skills like role play to figure out whodunit and why. Complicating matters is the fact that in book one Noah is the top suspect. As Nicky and Noah embark on one hysterically funny escapade after the next, they fall in love with each other, and hopefully the readers fall in love with them.

In Drama Queen, Nicky and Noah have to uncover why college theatre professors are dropping like stage curtains while Nicky directs the college play production—a murder mystery. In Drama Muscle, Nicky and Noah have to find out why musclemen are dropping like weights in the Physical Education department while Nicky directs the Student Bodybuilding Competition. In Drama Cruise, Nicky and Noah go on a cruise to Alaska, and discover why college theatre professors are going overboard like lifeboats while Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship.

I enjoy mysteries with strong clues, enticing red herrings, plot twists and turns, reversals, and a shocking yet earned and satisfying ending. The characters I enjoy are larger than life, witty, and loveable with healthy sex lives. Plots need to move quickly, and the unexpected is always welcome. So my mystery series incorporates all of those things.

I hope everyone will welcome Nicky and Noah into their libraries and into their hearts. There’s nothing better than a good laugh, a tantalizing romance, and a clever mystery.

Excerpt

With the student actors and technicians sitting in the front of the theatre (obliviously texting on their phones), my student stage manager, SuCho, screamed for everyone’s attention, and for me to come to the front of the theatre house to give them my notes. This thankfully sent David off to his office in a huff.

After I had given my first few notes, I noticed Noah Oliver standing in the back of the theatre. Noah is tall and lean with curly blond hair, blue eyes, and the sweetest smile I have ever wanted to kiss in an Assistant Professor. While I teach Theatre History and Play Directing, Noah is our department’s specialist in Acting, and for good reason. Noah is a terrific actor, a creative and passionate teacher, and a wonderful colleague. More importantly, I have had a crush on him since the moment he made his entrance into our humble campus three years ago. Noah is single, gay, and seems to really like me. Why don’t I ask him out? Noah is twenty-eight years young. As a junior professor in my department in need of my vote for tenure this year, if I make a pass at him it could be considered attempted coercion on my part.

It was difficult for me to concentrate on giving my notes to the students since Scotty Bruno, my graduate assistant and Assistant Director of the play, was talking, laughing, and obviously flirting with Noah in the rear of the theatre. I had reason to be concerned. Scotty has bleached blond hair, contact lens turquoise eyes, ultra-white bonded teeth, and muscles as if sculpted by Michelangelo, housed in multi-colored, stuffed shorts and tank top (in winter) that were not unnoticed by Noah. Unless I was becoming nearsighted, I could have sworn that Scotty whispered something into Noah’s ear then handed Noah a box. What the heck is in it? Love letters? Condoms? My heart on a silver platter?

Buy Links

Lethe press: Paperback

Amazon: Paperback

Smashwords (ebook)  

Amazon (Kindle eBook)

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Giveaway

Post a comment below about why you love mysteries. One lucky reader who leaves a comment, will be randomly chosen to receive a free copy of Joe’s February hit release ebook novella, AN INFATUATION.

Entries close 22nd June.

About the Author

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 areDrama 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.

Where to find Joe

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

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BOOK BLAST: Drifting Sands by C.J. Baty

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Blurb

As he approaches his fortieth birthday, Justin Warfield feels alone, drifting like the sand that blows along the beach near his family’s hotel. He has done exactly as his father wanted. Married the right girl and carried on the family tradition of running the Warfield Hotel. On paper things seem perfect, but happiness hasn’t been a part of his life for a very long time.

Marcus Drummond once spent a summer with his best friend Peter at the Warfield Hotel and fell hard for Peter’s much older brother. Five years later he’s back, and this time hopes that Justin will see him as more than his kid brother’s friend.

Sparks fly when the two meet again, but there are a few things standing in their way. The closet that Justin has himself buried in and someone on a killing spree, dumping bodies on the Warfield beach . . . victims that indicate Justin may be involved in some way.

Excerpt

The night air was cool and damp as it blew off the ocean. Ian McAlister toed the sand where he stood, looking out into the darkness surrounding him. A soft glow filled the sky over the Warfield Hotel several hundred yards away. This was a public beach and closed at night, and the only sound was the soft lapping of the water against the shore.

Ian fingered the note in his pocket as he thought of the words he’d read over and over again since he’d received it.

Ian, I need your help. Please. Come to the Warfield and meet me on the beach at 10 p.m. on Friday evening. Theres a spot on the north end of the beach, just between the public beaches and the private beach of the Warfield. Theres a sign, meet me there. Dont tell anyone. Please, Ian, I need you.

Ian had not heard from Justin Warfield since Justin got married. It had been too hard to see each other as only friends. They’d each gone on with their lives. But for Ian, Justin Warfield was a hard man to forget, so when the letter arrived, his decision to come had been easy.

The sound of footsteps treading through the sand caused Ian to turn around. He was surprised to find a gun aimed at him.

“What are you doing?” Ian asked, but there was no answer.

He felt the pressure as the impact of the bullet pushed him back slightly. A searing pain knifed its way into his chest. He didn’t have time to run or even scream out. Darkness took him as he crumbled to the ground.

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Buy Links

BDPShop

Amazon US

Amazon UK

All Romance

BookStrand

Kobo

Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Drifting Sands’

Click here or on the image to enter the Rafflecopter.

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About the author

J. Baty lives in southwest Ohio with her very patient husband and two encouraging children. Her heart however, lives in the mountains of Tennessee where she hopes to retire some day. The mountains have always provided her with inspiration and a soothing balm to the stresses of everyday life.

The dream of writing her own stories started in high school but was left on the back burner of life until her son introduced her to fan fiction and encouraged her to give it a try. She found that her passion for telling a story was still there and writing them down to share with others was much more thrilling than she had ever expected.

One thing she has learned from life and she is often heard to say is: “You are never too old to follow your dream even if it takes you fifty years!”

Where to find the author:

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/CJ-Baty/344242482358480?fref=pb

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cbaty

Blog: http://cjbaty.blogspot.com.au/

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25547169-drifting-sands

Tour Dates & Stops: June 7, 2015

Parker Williams, Cate Ashwood, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog, Happily Ever Chapter, Molly Lolly, Amanda C. Stone, MM Good Book Reviews, Mikky’s World of Books, Havan Fellows, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Inked Rainbow Reads, The Hat Party, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Because Two Men Are Better Than One

WillPride

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Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway! Hitting Black Ice by Heloise West

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Hitting Black Ice

by

Heloise West

Publisher: Loose ID

Cover Artist: Syneca Featherstone

Blurb:

ER physician’s assistant Hunter guards his heart carefully, but that doesn’t stop him from falling for Shawn, the front desk clerk. He keeps his distance from relationships for a reason, but just can’t help himself when it comes to Shawn.

Shawn is on the run from the law and love to protect himself and anyone else involved. One man is dead because of him, and his life now is simple and easily thrown into a bag at any hint of danger. Until he meets Hunter, and he no longer wants to run.

Forced into a hostage situation, buried passion explodes in the aftermath, and sex in the supply closet brings their hearts back to life. Tentatively, step by step, they begin to explore a relationship together until the past catches up with Shawn.

FBI agent Nick Truman has finally found his man, but when Shawn escapes, he focuses his attention on Hunter. Shawn returns, even though it means sacrificing himself to save Hunter from the man who framed him for murder.

 Categories: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, M/M Romance, Mystery, Romance

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Excerpt:

It was nine o’clock. They’d long lost the reservation. Hunter turned away from the warm lights of the restaurant, heart heavy. Shawn was too good to be true. For all he knew, he had a problem like Jerry’s, who’d often left him waiting, wondering, and ultimately fearing as dinner sat cold on the table. He gave in and took a step toward home.

“Hunter!”

He whipped around.

Shawn rushed toward him. He slipped on the snowy sidewalk, nearly going down, but Hunter ran at him, and they crashed together so hard his teeth clicked. Shawn’s arms went around him and his around Shawn, and they managed to hold each other up.

“I’m sorry,” were the first words out of Shawn’s mouth.

“All you deserve is pizza crusts,” Hunter mock-growled and kissed him, unconsciously trying to taste booze on his breath. Like Jerry and too many broken promises. Relieved it was only peppermint mouthwash, he didn’t stop kissing him.

When Hunter let him speak, Shawn said, “I’m starving, I’ll take it.” He pushed Hunter a little away from him. “Jesus. You’re freezing.”

“And starving. There’s a Greek pizza place down this way, come on—”

“I’ll make it up to you,” he said, taking Hunter’s hand.

 

Giveaway:

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Click here or the image to enter the Rafflecopter

Rafflecopter Prize: E-Copy of ‘Hitting Black Ice’

 

Sales Link:

LooseId   Amazon  All Romance

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Author Bio:

Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of 10 years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.

Author Contact:
velvetpanic2@wordpress.com
heloisewest@hotmail.com
https://www.facebook.com/heloise.west.1
http://heloisewest.tumblr.com/
https://twitter.com/velvetpanic

 

Tour Date and Stops:

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2-Dec Jade Crystal,  Molly Lolly
3-Dec The Blogger Girls, Amanda C. Stone
4-Dec The Hat Party
5-Dec Parker Williams
8-Dec Charley Descoteaux, 3 Chicks After Dark
9-Dec Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings
10-Dec Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
11-Dec Because Two Men Are Better Than One,  Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves
12-Dec Love Bytes
15-Dec Inked Rainbow Reads
16-Dec LeAnn’s Book Reviews
17-Dec Multitasking Mommas
18-Dec BFD Book Blog
19-Dec Prism Book Alliance
22-DecMM Good Book Reviews, Fallen Angel Reviews
 
 

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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY: Ordinary People by E E Montgomery

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Ordinary People

by E E Montgomery

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

 

The Blurb…

When Queensland Police Force Constable James Laramee raids a hotel room, he finds Vinnie Canterbury on top of a naked, dead man, covered in blood. Vinnie promptly vomits all over James’s shoes.

Thanks to a cocktail of horse sedatives and Hendra vaccine, Vinnie’s memories of his ordeal are fractured. Finding the culprits and the reasons behind his abduction will be a challenge. With his apartment trashed, his building set on fire, and his clothes, phone and wallet gone, Vinnie needs a place to stay. To his surprise, James not only takes him in, but also lets him cry on his shoulder. It must be true love. Vinnie has plans for his future with James all mapped out, and he hopes he can get James on the same page.

 

Excerpt

 

His bed was stripped to the mattress. The shredded mattress. Foam stuffing bubbled up between the slashes like pus weeping from an infected wound. He tore his attention from the bed to find his sheets and duvet scattered all over the floor. In pieces. He whimpered.

“I just bought that set.” He pressed his fingers against his lips. Even in his shock he recognized the inanity of his comment. His gaze was drawn to the freestanding full-length mirror beside the windows. Black writing marred the polished surface.

NEXT TIME DO WHAT YOU’RE TOLD FAG OR THE SAME WILL HAPPEN TO YOU.

He turned to see Laramee beside him, his hand again clamped on Vinnie’s arm. “What was I told?” he whispered. “I don’t know what I was told.”

It was too much. He flung himself at Laramee, buried his face in the warm, slightly harsh fabric of his uniform, ignored the button digging into his forehead, and burst into tears.

“I don’t even know your name. I can’t sob all over you if I don’t know your name,” he wailed.

About the Author

E E Montgomery wants the world to be a better place, with equality and acceptance for all. Her philosophy is: We can’t change the world but we can change our small part of it and, in that way, influence the whole. Writing stories that show people finding their own ‘better place’ is part of E E Montgomery’s own small contribution.

Thankfully, there’s never a shortage of inspiration for stories that show people growing in their acceptance and love of themselves and others. A dedicated people-watcher, E E finds stories everywhere. In a cafe, a cemetery, a book on space exploration or on the news, there’ll be a story of personal growth, love, and unconditional acceptance there somewhere.

Author Links:

You can contact E E Montgomery at

eemontgomery11@gmail.com

on Twitter: @EEMontgomery1,

or at her web site and blog: http://www.eemontgomery.com/

 

Giveaway

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Click here or on the image to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway! 

Rafflecopter Prize:  One of three e-copies of Ordinary People

Tour Dates:  July 3 – August 21

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Tour Dates and Stops:

7/3 – Emotion in Motion

7/10 – Smoocher’s Voice

7/17 – Prism Book Alliance

7/24 – MM Good Book Reviews

7/31 – Velvet Panic

8/7 – Because Two Men Are Better Than One


8/14 –
Decadent Delights

8/14 – Hearts on Fire

8/14 –Love Bytes

8/21 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

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Buy Links

Ordinary People from  Amazon, All Romance, Dreamspinner

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★★★★½ Blood Pond by D.J. Manly ★★★★½

 

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Blond Pond

by

D.J. Manly

Publisher: Amber Allure

 

The blurb

Ten years ago, August Greystone’s adolescent brother was brutally murdered and dumped in Blood Pond. And the one person he is sure can identify the killer is on the run…

Bruce Monkton can’t escape the horror of what he experienced the night his friend, Tommy Greystone, was slaughtered in front of his eyes. Although Bruce somehow survived the vicious attack, he is still fleeing from shadows, from the haunting memories and his own demons, so the last thing he wants is to come face-to-face with his greatest nightmare—the older brother of his dead boyhood crush, the man desperately seeking closure to his brother’s murder.

August has given up everything, including his career as a law enforcement officer, to locate Bruce because he’s sure the young man is the key to helping him find what he seeks. But can Bruce really aid August when it comes to locating the elusive killer, or will the answers to the mystery be buried forever at the bottom of Blood Pond?

 

Our thoughts

OMG this was a good story. Hats off to D.L. Manly!  Blood Pond was a wonderful little murder mystery with a nice amount of smexy!

August is a former police detective trying to find out who killed his younger brother, Bruce is a man trying to forget and escape his past.  August knows that Bruce his the key to finding his brother’s killer but that requires Bruce to face the past he has been trying to escape.  The unsolved murder of a loved one is bad enough but the one person you need to help you solve it comes across and mentally and criminally insane and holy smokes…you think you love him!  The twist and turns in this story keep you guessing until the very end.

It’s not a very long story, page wise, but there is a lot of story packed into each page.  I don’t think anything was left out of this story…there were some parts that I didn’t feel were relevant at the time but did round the story out nicely.  The story is told from both MC’s POV; which didn’t get confusing.  And yes the end had you going what the heck…bottom line if you are looking for crazy check your family tree first :-).  This story gave me goose bumps!

Bookjunkie xx

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