Monday, October 17, 2016


Please join me in welcoming Joe Cosentino to Muse Monday. Tell us about your latest venture, Joe.
Writing a series of novels is like giving birth to a brood of kids. You struggle, fret, scratch your head, give up, ponder, try again, and love every minute of it. As an avid mystery reader and past professional actor, I joined the two to create the five Jana Lane mystery novels. I was overjoyed when so many readers loved the humor, romance, clues, red herrings, plot twists and turns, quirky characters, insider show business mayhem, revealed secrets, and shocking endings in the novels. It was also gratifying to hear that some readers preferred the e-books and others enjoyed wrapping their arms around the paperbacks. I was cursed by quite a number of readers who told me they began one of the novels with the intent of reading a chapter before bed, but unable to put it down they finished the book in the wee hours of the morning. However, I was in for a surprise when some of my family members, friends, and colleagues at my college, where I am a professor and department head, told me they have no time to read. That seemed incredible to me. Not reading is like not breathing. They said they spend their time at the gym, in the car, at work, and doing chores around the house. The solution came to me as if I were Jana Lane solving a grand mystery caper: do an audiobook that they can listen to while accomplishing all of their active tasks.
After posting the book on Audible in search of a narrator/producer, I was incredibly fortunate to find Charissa Clark Howe. Charissa captured the essence of Jana Lane perfectly, and she also did a fine job with all the other characters in the novel: Brian (Jana’s husband), Rocco (Jana’s producer), Jackson (Jana’s best friend), Mark (Jana’s greatest fan), Tamara (Jana’s sister), Scott (Jana’s father), Simon (Jana’s agent) and more. Balancing humor, romance, and mystery perfectly, she hit every beat. I couldn’t wait for the ending, and when it came I was totally surprised! Since the novel takes place in 1980, Charissa’s delivery evoked that wonderful period. I could see the hairstyles, makeup, jewelry, fashion, as well as hear the music of that era. Charissa’s narration put me smack in the middle of the action.
In PAPER DOLL I share my love of movies and moviemakers with my readers. I have always been fascinated with ex-child stars like Hayley Mills, Shirley Temple, Patty Duke, and Brooke Shields. My heroine, Jana Lane, is an ex-child star who has lost her self-esteem as an adult. Through the course of the book, Jana not only solves the mystery of her past, but also reclaims the courage and fortitude she had as a child. This is an important message for all of us.
After reading PAPER DOLL, you’ll want to read the other four Jana Lane mystery novels. Sorry, they aren’t available on audiobook, only in ebook and paperback.
I also have three other books on audiobook. DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), is narrated by Michael Gilboe. It’s a comedy mystery about a college theatre professor (like me) who uses his acting skills to impersonate others and uncover murder mysteries. DRAMA QUEEN was voted Favorite Mystery of 2015 in the Divine Magazine Reader Poll.
Also, the talented actor Joel Leslie, who has quite a following in the audiobook world, is narrating my THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND (releasing in November, Dreamspinner Press), and A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (releasing in December, Dreamspinner Press) which takes place on the gorgeous island of Capri.
So grab the popcorn, curl up in your movie seat, and enjoy the audiobook of PAPER DOLL, the first Jana Lane mystery. As they say, your first is always special.
PAPER DOLL, the first Jana Lane mystery
Jana Lane was America’s most famous child star until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. Now a thirty-eight-year-old beauty and mother of two living in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York, Jana’s flashbacks from her past turn into murder attempts in her present. Jana visits the California movie studio she once called home. This sends her on a whirlwind of visits with former and current movie studio personnel. It also leads to a romance with the son of her old producer—Rocco Cavoto—the devilishly handsome filmmaker who is planning Jana’s comeback both professionally and personally. Jana uncovers a web of secrets about everyone she loves, including the person who destroyed her past and threatens to snuff out her future.
Bestselling author Joe Cosentino won Divine Magazine’s awards for best mystery novel, best humorous novel, and best contemporary novel of 2015. As an actor, he has appeared in principal roles in film, television, and theatre opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married.

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