Joe is a regular here at Love That’s Out Of This World, and I’m delighted to welcome him back to tell us more about his new cozy mystery. This is a genre I love because while crime may be at its heart, it’s still gentle and unstressful, and often laced through with a wry humour–perfect for whiling away a rainy afternoon, curled up in a comfy chair with a mug of hot chocolate. Perfect for forgetting your worries for a couple of hours.
So here’s Joe, with a post connected to the sixth of his cozy mysteries starring Nicky and Noah, in which he’s drawn on his own experience as a film and theatre actor:
GOING BACK TO THE FRATERNITY HOUSE
Drama Fraternity, the sixth Nicky and Noah mystery
by Joe Cosentino
Okay, I didn’t live in a fraternity house in college…exactly. However, since I was a theatre major, I had rights to a captivating and tantalizing place we called, “Under Stage.” Literally under the theatre stage, this combination lounge, snack center, nap corner, and gossip central was where we hung out—and let it all hang out. Like a fraternity or sorority, we shared our joys, fears, passions, jealousies, and goals without abandon. Romances blossomed, mysteries were revealed, and high drama reigned throughout it all. Thankfully nobody was murdered, but we came pretty close. So, it was no surprise that I set the sixth novel in my popular Nicky and Noah mystery series at a fraternity house in Treemeadow College. Think of all the intrigue, humor, scandal, and of course drama with a capital D!
I just realized that you may not know what I’m talking about. For those of you who haven’t read the first five novels in my award-winning, popular Nicky and Noah mystery series (and you should!), it is 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 faster than a hooker with a curfew. At the center is a touching gay romance between Associate Professor of Directing Nicky Abbondanza and Assistant Professor of Acting Noah Oliver. As Nicky and Noah fall in love, I’ve heard the readers fall in love with them too. There are six novels in the series—so far.
In Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Novel of the Year) Nicky directs the school play at Treemeadow College—which is named after its gay founders, Tree and Meadow. Theatre professors drops like stage curtains, and Nicky and Noah have to use their theatre skills, including impersonating other people, to figure out whodunit. In Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention) Nicky and Noah don their gay Holmes and Watson personas again to find out why bodybuilding students and professors in Nicky’s bodybuilding competition at Treemeadow are dropping faster than barbells. In Drama Cruise it is summer on a ten-day cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back. Nicky and Noah must figure out why college theatre professors are dropping like life rafts as Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship starring Noah and other college theatre professors from across the US. Complicating matters are their both sets of wacky parents who want to embark on all the activities on and off the boat with the handsome couple. In Drama Luau, Nicky is directing the luau show at the Maui Mist Resort and he and Noah need to figure out why muscular Hawaiian hula dancers are dropping like grass skirts. Their department head/best friend and his husband, Martin and Ruben, are along for the bumpy tropical ride. In Drama Detective, Nicky is directing and ultimately co-starring with his husband Noah as Holmes and Watson in a new musical Sherlock Holmes play at Treemeadow College prior to Broadway. Martin and Ruben, their sassy office assistant Shayla, Nicky’s brother Tony, and Nicky and Noah’s son Taavi are also in the cast. Of course dead bodies begin falling over like hammy actors at a curtain call. Once again Nicky and Noah use their drama skills to figure out who is lowering the street lamps on the actors before the handsome couple get half-baked on Baker Street.
Now in Drama Fraternity, Nicky is directing Tight End Scream Queen, a slasher movie filmed at Treemeadow College’s football fraternity house, co-starring Noah, Taavi, and Martin. Rounding out the cast are members of Treemeadow’s Christian football players’ fraternity along with two hunky screen stars. When the quarterback, jammer, wide receiver, and more begin fading out with their scenes, Nicky and Noah once again need to use their drama skills to figure out who is sending young hunky actors to the cutting room floor before Nicky and Noah hit the final reel.
Having acted in films and on television myself, I know first-hand the world of moviemaking. And it’s all the more fun for Nicky and Noah mystery fans, because the movie is shot at Treemeadow College! Nicky and Noah are joined by favorite regular characters like Martin, Ruben, Shayla, Taavi, Detective Manuello, Nicky’s parents, and Noah’s parents. And book six adds a number of captivating new characters like Alejandro Gallo, the handsome and muscular star (who plays a vampire on TV’s Suck Off) cast as the detective in the film. There’s also hunky heartthrob (of the film Full Moon) who plays the lead role of Davey Doubt, the football team’s taunted and misunderstood tight end. And I can’t leave out the adorable and shy young screenwriter, Robert Lee, who penned Davey Doubt’s story based on his own. And the novel evokes the atmosphere of a fraternity gone wild!
It is my joy and pleasure to share this sixth novel in the series with you. So take your front row seat. Lights, camera, action, frat house murders!
About the Book
Theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza is directing Tight End Scream Queen, a slasher movie filmed at Treemeadow College’s football fraternity house, co-starring his husband and theatre professor colleague, Noah Oliver. When young hunky cast members begin fading out with their scenes, Nicky and Noah will once again need to use their drama skills to figure out who is sending the quarterback, jammer, wide receiver, and more to the cutting room floor before Nicky and Noah hit the final reel. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining sixth novel in this delightful series. Lights, camera, action, frat house murders!
The twenty-three-year-old looked up at me with bedroom gray eyes. He stretched his arms, and bulging biceps appeared like melons on sale outside a fruit market (no pun intended). “Playing this role is killing me.”
Yes, how difficult it must be to put on a football uniform, wave a wooden cross, and get paid thousands of dollars. “You did fine in the scene, Malcolm. And equally well in the exterior scenes we shot around campus.”
His dimples appeared. “It’s a whirlwind. Only a week to shoot a whole movie. I had two months to shoot Full Moon in upstate New York.”
I’m sure playing a young werewolf who mooned people presented quite a challenge for your bubble butt.
“But this role in Tight End Scream Queen is hitting me right here.” Malcolm pressed his fist between his wide pectoral muscles. “I want to do justice to the character of Davey Doubt.”
“Perhaps you’d like to speak with our author for some background information?” I pointed to a young Asian man in his twenties, sitting on a powder blue wingback chair next to the fireplace.
Malcolm looked over. “He’s the real Davey Doubt, right?”
I nodded. “Except his name is Robert Lee. And, like you, he never murdered anyone.”
Malcolm opened his mouth, seemed to think better of it, and then headed over to Robert.
With technicians hauling the camera, lighting equipment, and sound equipment out of the bedroom, Malcolm stood in front of Robert. “I need to get inside you.”
“Excuse me?” Robert’s dark eyes jutted from side to side.
Sitting in the adjacent wingback chair, Malcolm said, “I want to know what makes you tick.”
Robert clutched onto the script at his lap. “Are you a method actor?”
Malcolm’s method is to get better roles than this one.
“What do you want to know about me?” Robert’s voice broke like an aging choir boy on his knees before a priest.
Malcolm leaned over and his pectoral muscles nearly ripped the football jersey in two. “Are you nervous about something?”
Robert used his wrist to wipe the sweat off his forehead. “I’ve never talked to a movie star before.”
Malcolm grinned. “Did you see Full Moon?”
He nodded. “Six times.”
“I connected with that character right away.”
“A stuttering werewolf with fleas who shows his bare behind to people?”
“Which of course was a metaphor for somebody shy on the inside who hides it by acting brash on the outside.” Malcolm rested his leg over the arm of his chair.
“Of course.” Robert glanced back and forth excitedly between his quivering arm and Malcolm’s shapely thigh—only inches apart.
Malcolm placed a hand on Robert’s shoulder. “What are you doing tonight?”
“Heading back to the Treemeadow Hotel to check over the scenes for tomorrow’s shooting.”
“That place is too quiet. I can’t think straight.”
I have the feeling you’ve never thought straight, Malcolm.
“Come to the party with me.”
“The party?” Robert wiped his sweaty palms against his navy chinos.
“The frat house is throwing a party tonight to welcome the cast and crew, and celebrate completing the first day of filming. You’re the screenwriter. You should be there. We’ll find a sofa without beer stains and you can answer my questions.”
Robert raised his hand as if asking a teacher if he could speak. “No beer stains. This is a Christian football fraternity house. I understand they don’t allow liquor, drugs, or sex. But I bet they allow rock and roll.” Robert laughed uncomfortably at his own joke.
Thankfully Robert doesn’t write comedy.
“See you at the party.” Malcolm rose. “Don’t disappoint me. I’m a monster when I don’t get my way.”
Reviews of Joe’s Nicky and Noah Series
“Joe Cosentino has a unique and fabulous gift. His writing is flawless, and his use of farce, along with his convoluted 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.” 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
“For fans of Joe Cosentino’s hilarious mysteries, this is another vintage story with more cheeky asides and sub plots right left and centre….The story is fast paced, funny and sassy. The writing is very witty with lots of tongue-in-cheek humour….Highly recommended.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews
“This delightfully sudsy, colorful cast of characters would rival that of any daytime soap opera, and the character exchanges are rife with sass, wit and cagey sarcasm….As the pages turn quickly, the author keeps us hanging until the startling end.” 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
As an actor, Joe Cosentino 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.
He was voted Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of the Year by the readers of Divine Magazine for his first Nicky and Noah mystery Drama Queen. The other popular novels in the series are Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity.
Joe also wrote the cherished Dreamspinner Press novellas: In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland, and the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories: A Home for the Holidays and The Perfect Gift. His much-loved Cozzi Cove series published by NineStar Press include Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings. Finally, Joe is also the author of the cherished Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press).
Joe is currently Chair of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married.
Coming next: Holiday Tales from Fairyland, the second Tales from Fairyland Book; The First Noel, Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories Book 3; Cozzi Cove: Happy Endings, the fifth Cozzi Cove novel; Drama Castle, the seventh Nicky and Noah mystery!
Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com