When you’re a little skinny kid who is a straight A student, not good at sports, and live in an Italian American neighborhood in New Jersey, you learn how to entertain people fearlessly for survival. My entertainment debut was sitting in a box full of straw with a blanket around me at five years old in a Nativity play in my cousin’s garage. That morphed into full scale musicals starring my sister and me, including lavish costumes in that same garage.
Eventually I became an actor in film, television, and theatre, working opposite stars like Bruce Willis, Nathan Lane, Rosie O’Donnell, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. Acting onstage in front of hundreds of people and praying you’ll remember your lines, won’t bump into the furniture, or your fly won’t fall down also takes quite a bit of guts. Performing in front of a camera, and crew people racing around like ants, is equally fearless.
After writing some plays, I began writing novels. I sent them to publishers, and then I did the happy dance when four publishers accepted my various books! I knew my novels would include show business in some way. As an avid mystery reader, it was clear to me that my novels would also be page-turning mysteries with clever plot twists, engaging characters, romance, and lots of clues leading to a surprising conclusion. Since coming from a funny Italian-American family, I also knew humor would play a role in my novels. Most importantly, I knew my leading characters would be fearless, like me!
My most fearless character is Jana Lane in my Jana Lane mystery series published by The Wild Rose Press. I’ve spent five books with Jana (Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, and now Rag Doll) and I still marvel at the fearlessness of the ex-child star, current Academy Award winning actress, and master sleuth who lives in my favorite time period, the 1980’s. I know you’ll love her too!
RAG DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery
by Joe Cosentino
published by The Wild Rose Press
Murder, romance, and scandal on and off the set of Jana Lane’s new murder mystery television show. America’s most famous ex-child star Jana Lane is starring in The Detective’s Wife, a murder mystery television show in 1985. Guest starring on the show is Christa Bianca, a rags-to-riches ingénue who has flooded the entertainment press. Life imitates television as cast members are murdered, and once again it’s up to Jana, along with sexy ex-detective Chris Bove, to save the day before the lights fade to black.
Bestselling author Joe Cosentino won Divine Magazine’s awards for best mystery novel, best humorous novel, and best contemporary novel of 2015. He is the author of the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press); the Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, and the upcoming Drama Cruise and Drama Luau (Lethe Press); the Cozzi Cove beach series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, and the upcoming Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out (NineStar Press); and the romance novellas: In My Heart anthology (An Infatuation & A Shooting Star), A Home for the Holidays, and The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press). Joe is currently head of the department/professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
An excerpt of RAG DOLL by Joe Cosentino, published by The Wild Rose Press:
Jana and Bove did the scene again with a thin piece of gauze over the camera lens aimed at Jana.
Ah, the plight of a middle-aged actress.
Jana felt even better about that take. Their relationship worked, and the energy bounced back and forth between them almost effortlessly. Again Jana wondered what it would be like sharing her days with Bove and kissing Bove in bed before sleep each night.
Herm’s call for action brought Jana back to the scene. Bove’s close-up was even better than the first two takes. It was as if they had been married for years with an easygoing yet emotional rapport.
“Good job, partner.”
Bove smiled at Jana. “Right back at you.”
As she started to rise from the bed, Jana spotted Christa in the distance with a look of horror on her face.
The young woman screamed as a lighting screen headed straight for her. Stu Silverman, standing next to Christa, noticed and pushed Christa out of the way in the nick of time. The screen crashed to the floor inches away from Christa’s feet. Standing on the other side of her, Andrew Bianca took his wife in his arms, and she wept on his shoulder.
Bove whispered to Jana, “Here we go again.”