Please join me in welcoming the ever-fabulous Joe Cosentino to Stories That Make You Smile! Joe is celebrating the release of Drama TV, the 13th—yikes! Nicky and Noah mystery/comedy/romance novel!
Joe Cosentino Interviews… Joe Cosentino!
Joe Cosentino, congratulations on the release of the thirteenth novel in your award-winning Nicky and Noah gay cozy comedy mystery series.
Thank you—I think. I hope 13 is a lucky number!
Who is your favorite author, besides yourself that is?
Addison Albright of course! Her books make me laugh and cry—sometimes at the same time!
[Addison: Aww, thank you so much, Joe! I feel exactly the same about your amazing stories!]
I agree! Your books are pretty funny, romantic, and touching too. For example, what makes your Nicky and Noah mystery series so special?
It’s a gay cozy mystery comedy series, meaning the setting is warm and cozy, the clues and murders (and laughs) come fast and furious, and there are enough plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning (as Nicky would say) “faster than a Republican ex-president provoking a riot at the Capitol.” At the center is the touching relationship between Professor of Play Directing Nicky Abbondanza and Associate Professor of Acting Noah Oliver. We watch them go from courting to marrying to adopting a child, all the while head over heels in love with each other (as we fall in love with them). Reviewers called the series “hysterically funny farce,” “Murder She Wrote meets Hart to Hart meets The Hardy Boys,” and “captivating whodunits.” One reviewer wrote they are the funniest books she’s ever read! Another said I’m “a master storyteller.” Who am I to argue?
How are the novels cozy?
Many of them take place in Vermont, a cozy state with green pastures, white church steeples, glowing lakes, and friendly and accepting people. Fictitious Treemeadow College (named after its gay founders, couple Tree and Meadow) is the perfect setting for a cozy mystery with its white Edwardian buildings, low white stone fences, lake and mountain views, and cherry wood offices with tall leather chairs and fireplaces. It’s even more cozy in winter with snow blanketing the campus and surrounding the village.
Tell us about Drama TV, the thirteenth novel in that popular series.
So many of my wonderful readers have messaged me their belief that the Nicky and Noah mysteries should become a television series. I totally agree! What would be more fun than watching the handsome, hilarious, theatre armchair sleuths and their wacky crew use theatre skills to solve cozy whodunits on television? So after writing a dozen popular Nicky and Noah mystery novels, I wrote the pilot teleplay adaptation of the first novel, Drama Queen. The teleplay, like the novel it is based on, is loaded with romance, humor, touching relationships, and a crackling good mystery. After writing it, I was more excited than (as Nicky would say) a priest training an altar boy to genuflect. Alas, no television producers have read the teleplay. So I decided to do the television pilot anyway—in the plot of the thirteenth Nicky and Noah mystery novel titled Drama TV. In the thirteenth novel in this popular series, Theatre professors and spouses Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, their best friends Martin and Ruben, and their sons Taavi and Ty shoot (no pun intended) the pilot episode for a television series based on their first caper, Drama Queen. Where else would they do the television show but cozy Treemeadow College during winter break? It will come as no surprise to Nicky and Noah fans that cast members drop like TV newscasters in a storm. Once again, our favorite thespians use their drama skills to catch the killer before they get cancelled.
It’s great to see our favorite characters back.
Of course! Hunky and hilarious Nicky Abbondanza, Professor of Play Directing, does double duty (Try saying that three times fast wearing a mouthguard) directing and playing himself in the TV pilot. Nicky’s loving and loyal husband Associate Professor of Acting Noah Oliver (by a bit of nepotism) plays Noah Oliver. Their witty and wild best friend Martin Anderson, Theatre Department Chair, plays himself and to his husband’s chagrin casts Ruben in the multifaceted role of a dead body. Nicky and Noah’s stagestruck son Taavi tries to steal the show as enterprising film student Kyle Samson, and Martin and Ruben’s cocky son Ty holds his own as unlucky in love theatre major PJ Myers. Martin’s sassy office assistant, Shayla Johnson, plays Martin’s sassy office assistant Shayla Johnson. Long suffering detective Manuello is such a bad actor he has difficulty playing himself!
Who are the new characters/suspects/victims for book thirteen?
Incredibly handsome, muscular, and sexy young actor Cam Mark plays incredibly handsome, muscular, and sexy theatre major (and the star of the Jack the Ripperesque college production) David Amour. Madame Mirembe, a reality TV show talent contest winner, plays theatre major Kayla Calloway. Southern beauty pageant winner Caroline Joy is theatre major Jan Annondale. Broadway rap star Tadeo Torres is cast as theatre student Ricky Gonzalez. The professional actors, like the students they play in the Drama Queen TV pilot, are hiding many secrets.
Tell us the titles of the first twelve novels in the series.
You don’t need to twist my arm. I’m already twisted. (smile) Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Novel of the Year), Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Dance (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Faerie, Drama Runway, Drama Christmas, and Drama Pan. Phew!
Many of your characters are of various ethnicities and sexual identities. Is that deliberate on your part?
Sure. We live in a diverse world. A story taking place at a college would be unbelievable if everyone were the same.
I’m sure you’ve been told that the books would make a terrific TV series.
Many many times. Hence this thirteenth novel: Drama TV. Rather than Logo showing reruns of Golden Girls around the clock, and Bravo airing so called reality shows, I would love to see them do The Nicky and Noah Mysteries. Come on, TV producers, make your offers! I’ve written a teleplay of the first novel and treatments for the remaining novels!
How would you cast the TV series?
Here’s my wish list: Matt Bomer as Nicky, Neil Patrick Harris as Noah, Rosie O’Donnell and Bruce Willis as Noah’s parents, Valerie Bertinelli and Jay Leno as Nicky’s parents, me as Martin Anderson (nepotism!), Nathan Lane as Martin’s husband Ruben, Wanda Sykes as Martin’s office assistant Shayla, and Joe Manganiello as Nicky’s brother Tony.
You’ve written other mystery series.
Yes, my Player Piano mysteries center around a young music teacher, Andre Beaufort, who buys an antique player piano inhabited by the ghost of a wealthy, handsome, playboy from the Roaring Twenties, Freddy Birtwistle. Andre and Freddy fall in love and solve mysteries in exotic locations like Key West and Tuscany. My Cozzi Cove series has some mystery elements in it as well. It takes place on a gorgeous cove at the New Jersey shore, where ex-football player Cal Cozzi runs a gay resort. The Found At Last series also includes some mystery, since it revolves around new young lovers, Theo and Jamison, searching for and reuniting elderly gentlemen who were young lovers separated as youths due to homophobia. And there’s a mystery story in my Tales from Fairyland Anthology. Finally, my Jana Lane mysteries feature a former child star and gay advocate, Jana Lane, making a comeback as she solves murder mysteries on film, television, and theatre sets.
This is your twenty-ninth novel in eight years. What’s next for you?
Only the muses know.
How can your readers get their hands on Drama TV, and how can they contact you?
The purchase links are below, as are my contact links, including my web site. I love to hear from readers! So do Nicky and Noah. I tell them everything!
Thank you, Joe, for interviewing today.
It was my pleasure. As a past professional actor and current college theatre professor/department chair, I know first-hand the hysterically funny antics, sweet romance, and captivating mystery in the worlds of theatre and academia. The Nicky and Noah mysteries are full of them! I know you’ll laugh, cry, feel romantic, and love delving into this crackling new mystery with more plot twists and turns than a congressional hearing to impeach a treasonous ex-president. I’m more excited than a red state limiting voting rights to share this thirteenth novel in the series with you. So relax on the sofa and reach for the remote. The TV screen is exploding with sexy young heartthrobs, egotistical reality TV show contestants, a soap opera diva, a hot rap singer, and murder!
And I love to hear from readers. So drop me a line. I’ll share it with Nicky and Noah! http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
And thank you gifted and talented Addison Albright for hosting!
[Addison: Thank you so much, Joe! It’s always a pleasure to have you here!]
DRAMA TV (the 13th Nicky and Noah mystery)
a comedy/mystery/romance novel by JOE COSENTINO
It’s winter break at Treemeadow College, and Theatre professors and spouses Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, their best friends Martin and Ruben, and their sons Taavi and Ty are starring in a television pilot for the Nicky and Noah Mysteries series based on their first caper, Drama Queen. More is shot than footage as cast members drop like giant flat screen TVs mounted by an intoxicated carpenter. Once again, our favorite thespians will need to use their drama skills to catch the killer before they get cancelled. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining thirteenth (yikes!) novel in this delightful series. So relax on the sofa and reach for the remote. The TV screen is exploding with sexy young heartthrobs, egotistical reality TV show contestants, a soap opera diva, a hot rap singer, and murder!
E-book and Paperback: 233 pages
Genre: MM, contemporary, mystery, comedy, romance, winter, academia, theatre, drama, television
Cover Art: Jesús Da Silva
Release Date: December 1, 2021
Praise for the Nicky and Noah mysteries:
“Joe Cosentino has a unique and fabulous gift. His writing is flawless, and his plot-lines will have you guessing until the very last page, which makes his books a joy to read. His books are worth their weight in gold, and if you haven’t discovered them yet you are in for a rare treat.” Divine Magazine
“a combination of Laurel and Hardy mixed with Hitchcock and Murder She Wrote…
Loaded with puns and one-liners…Right to the end, you are kept guessing, and the conclusion still has a surprise in store for you…the best modern Sherlock and Watson in books today…I highly recommend this book and the entire series, it’s a pure pleasure, full of fun and love, written with talent and brio…fabulous…brilliant” Optimumm Book Reviews
“adventure, mystery, and romance with every page….Funny, clever, and sweet….I can’t find anything not to love about this series….This read had me laughing and falling in love….Nicky and Noah are my favorite gay couple.” Urban Book Reviews
“Every entry of the Nicky and Noah mystery series is rife with intrigue, calamity, and hilarity…Cosentino keeps us guessing – and laughing – until the end, as well as leaving us breathlessly anticipating the next Nicky and Noah thriller.” Edge Media Network
“A laugh and a murder, done in the style we have all come to love….This had me from the first paragraph….Another wonderful story with characters you know and love!” Crystals Many Reviewers
“These two are so entertaining….Their tactics in finding clues and the crazy funny interactions between characters keeps the pages turning. For most of the book if I wasn’t laughing I was grinning.” Jo and Isa Love Books
“Superb fun from start to finish, for me this series gets stronger with every book and that’s saying something because the benchmark was set so very high with book 1.” Three Books Over the Rainbow
“The Nicky and Noah Mysteries series are perfect for fans of the Cozy Mystery sub-genre. They mix tongue-in-cheek humor, over-the-top characters, a wee bit of political commentary, and suspense into a sweet little mystery solved by Nicky and Noah, theatre professors for whom all the world’s a stage.” Prism Book Alliance
“This is one hilarious series with a heart and it just keeps getting better. I highly recommend them all, and please read them in the order they were written for full blown laugh out loud reading pleasure!” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Excerpt of Drama TV, the 13th Nicky and Noah mystery novel, by Joe Cosentino:
Smoke, streetlamps, beggars, and ladies of the evening permeate the Victorian London street. A dangerously handsome young man in an expensive suit twirls his dark cape around the shoulders of a beautiful young woman. Her hair and gown are blonde and flowing. The man’s crystal blue eyes sparkle as he kisses her ivory neck. She reaches for his broad back. He grasps the broach fastened at her neck by a thick ribbon, and he squeezes tighter and tighter. The elated expression on her youthful face transforms to one of abject horror. After she gasps her last breath, the woman lay motionless on the gray cement next to another young woman whose blood trickles from her dark skin onto her burgundy gown. The murderous Adonis flicks back his long dark velvety hair. After admiring his two victims, he spots his next prey. A smaller and darker man removes his jacket and ruffled white shirt exposing a ripe, muscular chest. As if offering himself as a human sacrifice, he reaches out, resting his hands on the other man’s bulging biceps. After they share a passionate kiss, the taller man retrieves the knife hidden inside his high black boot. He holds it erect and then plunges it into the other man’s side. As the murderer stares down at his third victim, he says, “The Lord is vengeful and strong in wrath. And revenge is oh so sweet.”
The deceased blonde woman sits up and says, “Did my hair and makeup look okay?”
Wiping the blood off her arm, the dark woman asks, “Was Caroline in my light?”
The young male victim rambles to his feet. “Can Cam and I try the kiss again?”
“Cut!” Hello, TV land. It’s Nicky Abbondanza, PhD, Professor of Play Directing and director of theatre, bodybuilding competition, cruise dinner theatre, luau show, film, ballet, modeling runway, and now television. What am I doing directing a television pilot during winter break here at Treemeadow College in picturesque Vermont? A television network made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Literally. My credit card payments were due at the same time as a television network executive saw a play I directed at the college. The plan was hatched for me to direct a television pilot chronicling my first mystery case at the college. As they say, the first is always the most special. Just ask my mother about her oldest boy—me! My first case of twelve so far, Drama Queen, was also unique because it brought me together with my husband, Noah Oliver, Associate Professor of Acting. When five of our professor colleagues dropped faster than the curtain on a David Mamet play for an audience full of nuns, Noah was one of my suspects—which he never lets me forget. (He also never lets me forget my age, forty-five, since he’s a youthful thirty-eight.) After that first case, Noah became the Watson to my Holmes, the love of my life, my spouse for life, and the co-parent to our adopted son, Taavi. Back to the TV pilot. I cast the best actor I know as myself—me. Noah began drafting divorce papers until I cast him in the appropriate role of himself, Noah Oliver. Our son, definitely an Oliver-Abbondanza, craves the theatrical limelight as well as the detective’s flashlight, making us a three armchair detective family. So Taavi, sixteen, threatened to become a Republican terrorist storming the Capitol if I didn’t cast him in the role of suspect Kyle Samson, Treemeadow College film major. My best friend and Theatre Department Chair, Martin Anderson, was happier than a QAnon member spotting a Jewish laser from outer space when I asked him to write the script and play himself in the TV pilot. Martin’s husband Ruben vowed to hide Martin’s diapers and dentures until I cast Ruben as one of the murder victims. Martin and Ruben’s fifteen-year-old adopted son, Ty, began phoning nursing homes for Martin and Ruben until I cast Ty as theatre major and suspect P.J. Myers. Martin’s secretary, adversary, and confidant, Shayla Johnson, hinted at burning our paychecks, so I cast Shayla in the plum role of herself, Shayla Johnson. Finally, my nemesis, Detective Jose Manuello, bitten by the Treemeadow acting bug in my past shows, talked his way into playing himself. Manuello told me he wanted to be close by when shooting (pardon the pun) wraps, and members of the TV cast and crew are murdered. Oh, Manuello, ye of little faith. It’s an Abbondanza production. They’ll be murdered long before that. Speaking of which, the television network cast professional actors from Los Angeles and New York in the remaining roles, and we lodged the actors in the dormitory on campus. So, like a warning before the Great Hurricane of 1780, the slate board was raised, and we shot first exterior and now interior scenes. This current scene in our ruby theatre documents the Jack the Ripper style play I was directing at Treemeadow College a decade ago, “when I was a hunk.”
“You’re still a hunk to me.” Noah sat in the front-row theatre seat next to mine. His strawberry shampoo made me weak in the knees—which were getting weak anyway.
I pointed to the neck brace under my shirt collar. “I don’t feel like a hunk.”
He kissed the cleft in my chin. “You’ll always be my hunk. No matter how old and feeble you become, Nicky.”
“Thanks, Noah.” I think. True, my Italian-American genes had left me with tight olive skin, a Roman nose, and emerald eyes. Yes, the gym at the college had rewarded me with a muscular body. Of course, my wardrobe (copied by Noah, Taavi, and Ty) of a well-appointed dress shirt, dress slacks, and blazer made me look dashing. And then there is that other tidbit. Well, not exactly a tidbit. More like a titan. Why beat around the bush (no pun intended)? Like a new member of AA who is called to speak first, I’ll come right out and say I have a nearly foot-long penis—flaccid—which thanks to Noah isn’t flaccid very much.
Noah’s azure eyes, milk and honey skin, and radiant blond hair made him the picture of youth. Grr. “I’ll always adore you, Nicky.” He giggled. “Even when you’re old—er.”
I kissed his soft, youthful (grr) cheek.
Noah cooed. “Remember when we first met in this theatre, Nicky?”
“Yes, my graduate assistant, Scotty Bruno, was hot for you.”
“But I chose you, the love of my life. Despite you thinking I was a suspect in the Drama Queen murders.”
Noah rested his head on my shoulder.
“Sorry. How’s your neck, Nicky?”
“Ask the compressed nerves.” I sighed. “It’s no fun growing old.”
“Unless you have someone wonderful to grow old with.”
We started to kiss.
“When do we shoot my scene, Pop?” My son took the other seat next to me.
I turned toward him too quickly. “Ow! You can’t always be on camera, Taavi.”
“Then can I be onstage?” Taavi’s dimples resembled the craters of his homeland Hawaii.
Noah leaned toward our son. “My scene comes first.”
“Help, I’m trapped inside an actor sandwich!” I said.
Noah winked. “You can be the meat, Nicky.”
I whispered in his soft ear, “Later my love.”
“I’ll hold you to that,” he whispered back. “Literally.”
“I’m counting on it.”
Taavi’s dark eyes raised to his dark hair. “I can hear that.”
Noah did a doubletake. “How can you hear us whispering, but not shouting for you to go to bed at night?”
“Selective listening,” I explained to Noah.
Taavi cocked his head. “Is that an acting technique like sense memory and emotional recall?”
“For you, yes. And speaking of shouting.” After clearing my throat, I shouted to my cast onstage, “Caroline, Madame, and Tadeo, we can edit out your comments, but for future don’t break character until I call, ‘Cut!’”
Joe Cosentino was voted Favorite MM Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of the Year by the readers of Divine Magazine for Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery novel. He is also the author of the remaining Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle, Drama Dance, Drama Faerie, Drama Runway, Drama Christmas, Drama Pan, Drama TV; the Player Piano Mysteries: The Player and The Player’s Encore; the Jana Lane Mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll; the Cozzi Cove series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Moving Forward, Stepping Out, New Beginnings, Happy Endings; the In My Heart Anthology: An Infatuation & A Shooting Star; the Tales from Fairyland Anthology: The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland and Holiday Tales from Fairyland; the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories Anthology: A Home for the Holidays, The Perfect Gift, The First Noel; and the Found At Last Anthology: Finding Giorgio and Finding Armando. His books have won numerous Book of the Month awards and Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions. As an actor, Joe appeared in principal roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Jason Robards, and Holland Taylor. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Goddard College, Master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz, and is currently a happily married college theatre professor/department chair residing in New York State.
Post a comment on what you love most about a good gay mystery on television. The one that lights up our wide screen the most will win a gift Audible code for their choice of one of the first three Nicky and Noah mystery audiobooks: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, or Drama Cruise. https://www.audible.com/search?keywords=Nicky+and+Noah+mysteries&ref=a_hp_t1_header_search