Today I am so pleased to welcome Joe Cosentino back to Joyfully Jay. Joe has come to talk to us about his latest release, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (the second book in the Cozzi Cove beach series). He has also brought along an excerpt and a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Joe a big welcome!
An Interview with George Valis, a character in COZZI COVE: MOVING FORWARD by Joe Cosentino
I have with me today George Valis, a character in Joe Cosentino’s second Cozzi Cove beach novel, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward. Since the readers can’t see you, how about you tell them what you look like, George.
I’m twenty-eight, tall, muscular, with dark hair and green eyes.
Are you single?
I just left a five-year relationship in Maine when my boyfriend walked out on me.
Why did you come to Cozzi Cove?
I was born in Cozzi Cove. My parents moved to Maine when I was a baby so my mother could open her restaurant. Now that my mother has passed away, I wanted to explore my birthplace.
And you are staying at Cozzi Cove?
In the last bungalow. It has a private stretch of the cove.
What did you think when you first met the owner, Cal Cozzi?
He’s a stand up kind of guy. That’s him on the left side of the cover. After college Cal dabbled as a professional football player then restaurant owner, but neither was a good fit. After his parents died in an automobile accident, Cal found his calling, managing Cozzi Cove.
What is Cozzi Cove?
Cozzi is a New Jersey shore town named after Cal’s great-grandfather who built eight bungalows on a private cove called Cozzi Cove. He also made every stick of furniture in each bungalow by hand—each with a nautical theme. Each bungalow has an amazing view of the bay and lighthouse in the distance. This interests me as an architect. The main beach and boardwalk are only a mile away. It’s a very romantic place.
How did Joe Cosentino think you up?
Joe told me I’m a combination of a few guys he knew as an actor.
And how did Joe come up with Cozzi Cove?
Joe’s family vacationed every summer at his aunt and uncle’s bungalow on the New Jersey Shore. He has terrific memories of swimming and making sandcastles at the beach, wading in the bay, playing miniature golf, eating salt water taffy, jumping up and down on trampolines, and eating at his family’s favorite seafood restaurant. All of those places are in the fictitious place Joe calls Cozzi Cove.
How was Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, received?
Many readers and reviewers praised its romantic, humorous, dramatic, mysterious style, and interwoven captivating stories—even though I wasn’t in book 1. For example, TBR Pile wrote, “I loved this story. It carries you through the full range of emotions, from joy to sadness, from happiness to anger. The characters are beautifully written.” “I look forward to a return visit to the Cove.” So Joe wrote Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward. And this book has me in it!
Besides Cal, who are the other characters in both books?
Cal’s boyfriend Michael is on the right side of the cover. Carla Mangione runs Carla’s Seafood Restaurant. She hold a torch for my sister Taylor who drops in from Rome, Paris, Wall Street, or Palm Springs in each book. As a tough as nails top one-percenter, the world revolves around Taylor, which makes her really funny.
Like in book one, book two is made up of interwoven stories about Cal and the guests in the seven bungalows. Besides you, who are the guests this time out?
Rodney Maxwell and Dennis O’Halloran are a Tony Award winning actor and his estranged producer/husband with their two hired bodybuilder studs, Jarek and Zeus. There’s also Michael’s muscular study buddy from college, Carlo from Italy. And computer analyst, Sam, enlists his best friend Chase in a scheme to attract Sam’s hunky, unsuspecting best friend, Raul. Hunter, a female gay romance novel enthusiast, wants to experience gay life off the page. And finally Gil Van Truren tries to end it all—until he sees a vision of his studly first love from college.
What secrets, humor, tragedy, mysteries, and passions lie in the magical place called Cozzi Cove this summer?
You’ll have to read the book to find out.
What is the moral of the story?
Take a chance on love.
Did Joe pattern Cal after himself and Taylor after his sister?
A few traits here and there, but Joe and Cal are very different, though Joe’s sister is opinionated like Taylor.
Cal and Michael go through a rough patch as their relationship continues in this book from book 1, and Cal makes a personal shocking discovery revolving around you.
That’s Cozzi Cove, just when you think you’ve figured it out, there’s a game changer.
Will there be more Cozzi Cove novels?
Joe is writing the third book now. I’m in that one too. Good thing. Otherwise I would get bored just taking up space in Joe’s brain.
Do you see Cozzi Cove as a movie or television series?
Joe wants to play Gil.
Who do you see playing you?
There are also a number of love scenes in the books, but none for you.
Joe tells me I have one in the third book. I’m looking forward to it.
Tell us about Joe’s other gay romance releases.
An Infatuation and A Shooting Star (In My Heart bittersweet dreams novellas) published by Dreamspinner Press are loosely based on Joe’s high school and college years respectively. They were so popular as individual e-books, Dreamspinner Press published them together in one paperback. Joe still receives comments from readers that those stories made them laugh, cry, feel romantic, and changed their lives. An Infatuation won Second Place in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Poll Award for Best Romance of 2015. A Home for the Holidays is Joe’s popular holiday short novella from Dreamspinner Press about an American law student who, as Joe did, takes a trip to the romantic and gorgeous island of Capri, Italy, where he embarks on a relationship with his captivating third cousin. The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland from Dreamspinner Press is Joe’s gay take on my favorite beloved fairytales like Cinderella, Goldie Locks and the Three Bears, Pinocchio, Jack and the Beanstalk, and The Snow Queen.
Joe also has two mystery series as well.
Joe’s Nicky and Noah mystery series from Lethe Press are farcical, gay, cozy, who-dun-its. In Drama Queen theatre college professors are dropping like stage curtains. With the inept local detective more interested in getting into Nicky’s pants than solving the murders, it is up to well-endowed Directing professor, Nicky Abbondanza to use his theatre skills (including playing other people) to solve the case, while he directs a murder mystery onstage. Complicating matters is Nicky’s intense crush on Assistant Professor of Acting, gorgeous Noah Oliver, the prime suspect in the murder. Drama Queen won Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Poll Award for Best Mystery, Best Crime, Best Contemporary, and Best Humorous Novel of 2015. In Drama Muscle Nicky and Noah have to use their theatre skills to find out why musclemen are dropping like weights in the Physical Education department while Nicky directs the Student Bodybuilding Competition. In Drama Cruise (releasing soon), 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.
In the Jana Lane mysteries, with straight leading characters and gay supporting characters, Jana Lane was the biggest child star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. In Paper Doll 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), 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 (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 (releasing late May 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 best friends are gay, and Jana is somewhat of a gay activist, the AIDS epidemic is a large part of the novels.
But I’m not in any of those books.
But you are in Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward. Besides reading the novel, how can readers connect with you?
Joe loves hearing from readers. They can contact him at: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com. He’ll tell me what they said. So everybody grab your Speedos, suntan lotion, and shades and head back to Cozzi Cove. Cal’s welcome mat is out for you. I hope to see you on the cove!
As Cal changed from his T-shirt and shorts into a dress shirt and jeans, he heard a car pull up into the cove’s parking lot. He greeted his first guest on the front porch. “Welcome to Cozzi Cove.”
The tall, handsome, muscular man replied, “Thanks. Is this check-in?”
“Right this way.” Cal walked the man into the living room. Once behind the wooden desk carved in the shape of a boat, Cal turned on his computer.
“I’m George Valis.”
Cal looked at the screen and nodded. “You’re in bungalow seven. It’s the most private.”
Cal noticed the wrinkle marks in George’s pink polo shirt and beige slacks. “How was the drive from—” Cal looked at his computer screen. “—Maine?”
“Fast. I’m a bit of a speed demon. I blame it on my sports car.”
Cal looked down at the empty space next to George. “Your luggage?”
“It’s in my car.”
“Connor will get it for you.” He handed George the key. “I’ve got your credit card number on file. You’re free to swim or lay out on the cove.” He handed George a map. “This is a map of the town of Cozzi.”
George gave it back to him. “No need. I was born here.”
“Really? Where did your folks live?”
George’s olive-green eyes twinkled. “Downtown, near Tommy Malone’s bar. They left when I was a baby, twenty-seven years ago.”
“And you remember it?”
George smiled. “I did some research on the place recently.”
“It took you a while to get back here.”
“My dad died of a heart attack when I was a teenager. Mom passed away from MS a month ago.”
“Thanks. When we lived in Cozzi Cove, Mom was a waitress at Carla’s Seafood Restaurant.”
“Really? What led your folks from Cozzi Cove to Maine?”
“Dad was unhappy at his job selling insurance since it took him out of town so much. So when Mom received an inheritance, my folks bought a house in Maine where real estate’s cheaper than in New Jersey, and they opened their own restaurant, Marissa’s, after my mom. Once she made enough money to send me to college to become an architect, Mom sold it.”
Cal generally didn’t meet bungalow guests who were born in Cozzi Cove. It was a novel experience. “Well, welcome back. I’ll ask Connor to—”
As Cal walked past him, George grabbed his arm. “Can I ask you some questions first…about Cozzi?”
Cal normally didn’t get involved in chin-wag sessions with guests, but since no one else had arrived yet, Cal said, “Okay. Let’s sit on the porch.” Cal sat on a rocking chair, and George sat on the glider. Looking out at the view of the mosaic-like rocks pointing to the turquoise bay nestled underneath the cerulean sky, Cal said, “Morning is my favorite time here.”
“This is some place. It’s like a storybook picture. How was the cove formed?”
“When the sun and salt water wore away softer rocks, it created the bay, shielded by the large rocks out in the distance and smaller rocks here near the sand.”
“Have you always lived here?”
“I was raised in Cozzi, and came to the cove every summer.”
“How long have you managed Cozzi Cove?”
“For two years.” Cal felt as if he were being interviewed for a television talk show. “I was a professional football player before.”
“I watch football. How come I don’t recognize you?”
“I didn’t last too long thanks to a knee injury. Next, I became a restaurant owner. I took over Cozzi Cove when my folks died in a car crash.”
“Sorry to hear that.”
What was it about this guy that made Cal want to answer his questions? “My father sensed my sexuality, and he made Cozzi Cove a summer place where gay men would feel comfortable and safe.”
“And you’re carrying on the tradition.”
Cal nodded. Feeling he’d given the guy enough of his time, Cal stood. “Well, I hope you enjoy your stay.”
George rose. “Thank you for speaking with me, Cal. I appreciate it.”
“All the bungalows are full this week. If you’re not involved with anyone, I’m sure you’ll meet someone. Cozzi Cove has always been a romantic spot.”
“Thanks, but I’m not looking to meet anyone.”
Cal thought, though not his type, a guy that good-looking wouldn’t stay single for long. “Cozzi Cove may have other plans for you.”
“I doubt it. I went through a rough time when my mom passed on, and my boyfriend of five years passed on me. A friend had vacationed here, and told me about Cozzi Cove and recommended that I come. Since I was born in Cozzi and wanted to check it out anyway, here I am.”
“What do you think so far?”
“It’s beautiful. And so far I like the people.”
“Thanks.” Cal always breathed a sigh of relief when his guests were low maintenance and pleasant.
“While I’m here, I hope we can get better acquainted.”
Cal was surprised at how comfortable he felt with George. Still, George was a guest. And he didn’t want him to get the wrong idea. He wasn’t attracted to George. Cal had eyes only for Michael—though the morning’s jealousy when it came to Carlo and Michael was still fresh in his mind. “Once the other guests get here, I’ll be pretty busy.”
George nodded. “I’d like to check out Carla’s and see where my mom worked. Do you know the owner?”
“Carla, Tommy, my sister Taylor, and I went to school together.”
“Great.” George took in a deep breath. “I hate to bother you, but do you think you could go there with me tonight and introduce me? I’ll treat for dinner.”
Cal thought the guy worked fast, especially for someone who claimed to be out of the gay market. He had to admit that George had glowing olive skin, a regal nose, and piercing eyes. And there was something tantalizing about his silky voice, and how he talked to Cal as if Cal were the only person in the world. But Cal didn’t want a so-called study buddy like Michael had with Carlo. He was a one-man man, and that man was Michael. “I don’t mean to be blunt, but are you on the rebound?”
George laughed. “I’m not making a pass at you, Cal.”
Cal felt relieved.
“I’d like to meet my mother’s old boss.”
That made sense. “I can introduce you to her daughter who runs the place now.”
Connor entered the porch. At the sight of George, his eyes all but popped out of his head. “Hello. I’m Connor.”
Cal wondered why he kept Connor on as houseboy. He knew the answer. Connor was a good worker, honest, and kindhearted. And wasn’t that why Cal’s father had kept Cozzi Cove, so guys like Cal and Connor could have a place to call home? Cal said, “Connor, please take George’s luggage from his sports car and take him to Bungalow Seven.”
“It will be an honor.” Connor held the front door open for George.
George looked back at Cal. “Six o’clock?”
Cal remembered that Michael was working at Tommy’s bar after class and wouldn’t be home until later in the evening. “See you then.”
On Cozzi Cove at the New Jersey Shore, handsome Cal Cozzi’s seven bungalows are once again open for summer and love. The vacationers include Rodney Maxwell and Dennis O’Halloran, a Tony Award winning actor and his estranged producer/husband with their two hired studs, Jarek and Zeus. Computer analyst Sam enlists his best friend Chase in a scheme to attract hunky Raul. Middle aged Gil Van Truren wants to end it all—until he sees a vision of his first love. Cal also has his hands full with college student Michael—his new young lover—Michael’s study buddy Carlo, man of mystery George Valis, and Connor, the houseboy packed with muscles and a wondering sponge. All the while Hunter, a female gay romance novel enthusiast, experiences gay life off the page. What secrets, humor, tragedy, mysteries, and passions lie in the magical place called Cozzi Cove?
Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back & Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (NineStar Press), Drama Queen and Drama Muscle Nicky and Noah mysteries (Lethe Press), In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press), Paper Doll & Porcelain Doll & Satin 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. 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) and China Doll Jana Lane mystery (Wild Rose Press). Joe was voted 2nd Place for Best MM Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015!
- 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
Joe has brought a copy of An Infatuation to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. If you want, you an share about why you love summer! The contest ends on Saturday, April 30th at 11:59 pm EST.
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