Today I am so pleased to welcome Joe Cosentino to Joyfully Jay. Joe has come to talk to us about his latest release, An Infatuation. He has also brought along an excerpt and a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Joe a big welcome!
Hello Joyfully Jay Readers! I am Joe Cosentino, and I am so grateful for the terrific reviews and reader response that I’ve received for my Bittersweet Dreams novella AN INFATUATION from Dreamspinner Press. After reading the novella, some readers have asked me about the character Stuart’s take on his husband Harold’s infatuation with Mario. So I interviewed Stuart to find out, and here’s what he said.
Thank you for interviewing me. Most people talk about Harold and Mario and about forget me. As Harold’s spouse, I’m an important part of the story too. How long will this interview last?
Not more than fifteen minutes.
Okay, I’ll set the alarm on my watch for ten minutes—5:30pm, which is perfect, since every night at 5:30pm I cook dinner. Harold and I eat at 6pm, do dishes at 7pm, read at 7:30pm, cuddle in bed at 10:30am, and fall asleep at 11pm.
When did you develop your time management skills, or some might call it, scheduling obsession?
When I was in Kindergarten, I realized art was my passion. Since we did art for exactly a half hour every day, I kept our teacher on target by helping her plan out each day on a schedule, so we would always have time for art.
It seems like you have scheduled your and Harold’s life to the minute.
It makes Harold feel safe. It also ensures that we get everything done, especially sightseeing on vacations. We toured all of Ireland in two weeks. I also think it reminds Harold of his father. You know what they say, boys marry their fathers.
How did you and Harold meet?
At Registration Freshman year of college. I had done my schedule for my first semester weeks ahead of time. I was at Registration helping other new students like Harold.
What did Harold say when he met you?
And did you help him?
I made his schedule—for the next eight semesters.
What are you doing now?
It’s Friday. So I am color coordinating our shirts and socks.
What do you look like?
I’m tall and thin with blond hair. Harold says I have a swimmer’s body.
AN INFATUATION doesn’t tell us much about your sex life with Harold. Do you plan that into your schedule too?
Saturday nights at 10:45pm.
There’s a great deal of humor, romance, mystery, and drama in AN INFATUATION regarding Harold’s infatuation with Mario from his high school days. Does that make you jealous?
Mario was such an important part of Harold’s youth. That’s why I encouraged Harold to spend some time with Mario at their ten-year high school reunion. They need to work things through.
And what if Harold leaves you for Mario?
Mario is Harold’s infatuation, but I’m Harold’s soul mate, and he’s mine. Harold and I belong together.
But Mario is incredibly sexy with Italian good looks and enormous muscles. Are you sure that doesn’t make you jealous?
I’m secure in Harold’s love for me and in mine for him.
You’re a computer game designer. What are you working on now?
A game where the player outs anti-gay closeted politicians.
Sounds like fun.
(A buzzer goes off.)
That’s exactly ten minutes. I enjoyed the interview very much. Time to cook dinner.
Thanks, Stuart. Good luck with Harold.
As he requested, I happily came to Mario’s academic rescue. Our first tutoring session was in my bedroom after school. I sat at my desk as Mario did push-ups on the rug below me. When I first got home I had tried on five different shirts, but ended up wearing my usual green and blue flannel shirt with jeans. Mario wore his regular attire of a tight T-shirt (baby blue today), jeans with button-up fly, black work boots, and leather jacket—resting comfortably on my bed.
As we began, I sounded like a nervous grade school teacher on his first day of school. “Mario, which subject would you like to tackle first?” Or can I just tackle you?
With each push-up, his biceps looked like ripe melons on display.
“I don’t got no preference,” Mario said not missing a push or an up.
“Let start with spelling, grammar, and punctuation,” I said, opening our grammar textbook.
“I already know about them things.”
“It might be good to review.” I turned to the first chapter.
“Mr. Tyler don’t do grammar no more.”
“I have the feeling he will start up again soon.”
“I don’t need to speak the King’s English.”
No worry there.
“I just need to pass, Harold.”
Then I’ll just sit here and watch your biceps bulge with each push-up. “Tell me if this sentence is correct? ‘Mario don’t go to football practice no more to be with them people.’”
He changed to one-handed push-ups. I dribbled on my grammar book.
“That one’s easy. It’s wrong,” he declared like an expert grammarian.
He knows more than I thought about grammar.
Mario continued. “I’d never stop going to football practice. And I call the other guys on the team, my teammates.”
“Mario, the sentence that I read to you is grammatically incorrect because the word don’t should be the word doesn’t, the word no should be the word any, and the word them should be those.
He stopped exercising and sat on the rug with his muscular forearm resting on his massive knee. “Why?”
I explained patiently. “Because when using he, she, or it as the subject in a sentence, you use the word doesn’t before the verb to make a negative statement.”
Mario wasn’t so patient. “Hey, I ain’t no it.”
“And you know that ‘ain’t’ is slang, don’t you?”
“Are you making fun of the way I talk? Kiss my ass.”
Don’t tempt me. I stood next to him, thinking that if I got closer he might understand the grammar lesson better. Sure, that’s why I moved closer. “Mario, in the sentence I gave you, the subject or the noun, Mario, is in the third person, so it matches with the word doesn’t rather than with the word don’t.
He laughed. “I got you there, Harold. There’s only one of me. I am one of a kind.”
No argument there. I cleared my throat. “If the subject was I, you, we, or they, you would use the word don’t before the verb to make the negative statement.”
“Harold, I’m worried about you. I am Mario. That’s who I am.”
It’s times like this I wish I were a teenage alcoholic. “Let’s move on to the rest of the sentence. Any is correct instead of the word no because no answers a yes or no question, precedes a noun that has no article, or can be used before a noun that is preceded by an adjective, but not before any, much, many, or enough. In all other instances, you use the word any.”
“That don’t make no sense.” Mario stretched out on his back and did sit-ups.
Mario’s eight-pack contracting in and out like a stunning white cloud formation dancing in a clear blue sky. What were we studying again?
“Shit. My knees keep popping up. Harold, hold them down for me, will you?”
I happily obliged and rested my sweating palms on his perfectly shaped knees. From my vantage point in front of him, I could see the jet black, shiny, perfectly stationed hair on his ankles peeking out from the hem of his lucky jeans. As I lifted my head, I came nose to bulge with his massive crotch, which inspired me with a new teaching tactic.
With his ten-year high school reunion approaching, Harold wonders whether Mario will be as muscular, sexy, and tantalizing as he remembers. As a teenager, it was love at first sight for Harold while tutoring football star Mario, until homophobia and bullying drove Mario deep into the closet. Now they’re both married men. Mario, a model, is miserable with his producer wife, while Harold, a teacher, is perfectly content with his businessman husband, Stuart. When the two meet again, will the old flame reignite, setting Harold’s comfortable life ablaze? How can Harold be happy with Stuart when he is still infatuated with his Adonis, his first love, Mario? Harold faces this seemingly impossible situation with inimitable wit, tenderness, and humor as he attempts to reconcile the past and the future.
Joe Cosentino is the author of An Infatuation (Dreamspinner Press), Paper Doll, the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press-releasing this summer), 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 Porcelain Doll (the second Jana Lane mystery), Drama Muscle (the second Nicky and Noah mystery), A Shooting Star (Dreamspinner Press novella), A Home for the Holidays (Dreamspinner Press holiday novella).
- 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
Joe has brought an electronic copy of An Infatuation to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, May 5th at 11:59 pm EST.
Think back to your infatuation. When did it start? Who was it with? How did you feel? How did it end? Write about it in the comment section.
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