Joe Cosentino’s “Finding Armando”

A few weeks ago I was delighted to host Joe to tell us about the first of this series of novellas, Finding Giorgio. Now we’re talking about about the second book in the series, where Armando is the one being sought, AND news of a combined anthology of both books.

Today, one of Joe’s characters drops by: here’s Jamison Radames, a leading character in Finding Armando, Found At Last series book 2, to answer questions.

Jamison, congratulations on the release of your story Finding Armando, Found At Last e-book 2, and the paperback novel of Found At Last (Finding Giorgio & Finding Armando).
Thank you for letting me out of the book to stretch. It can get tight in there.

Since the readers can’t see you, what do you look like?
I’m twenty-eight, tall, with jet-black hair, and muscular thanks to the gym at the resort. Theo says I have crystal blue eyes, peaches and cream complexion, and a strong nose. I can thank my parents for that. My mother is Swedish and my dad is Egyptian.

Tell us about Theo.
Theo is twenty-six, tall, with sexy dark hair and eyes, and a hunky build. His first name means godlike, and his last name, Stratis, means good soldier. Theo is both those things. Theo cares about others deeply, yearns for fairness and justice, and loves with all his heart.

What happened after the release of Finding Giorgio, Found At Last series book 1?
Our first story, Finding Giorgio, was a novella cherished by so many people. They fell in love with Theo, as I did. The readers also admired how Theo and I risked so much to reunite Nolan and Giorgio, who were separated at eighteen years old by their homophobic parents. Thankfully, our story didn’t end there. As the new owners of Nolan Giorgio’s Resort in the Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains, Theo and I have a new challenge. That’s the story of Finding Armando, Found At Last book 2.

Tell everyone the story of Finding Armando.
Theo and I embark on a second search, this one for our friend, resort manager Asher’s lost love, Armando, separated from him years ago under the military’s old Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Complicating matters further, my playboy younger brother, Kendall, pays us a visit on leave from the Navy, and a woman in need makes Theo and me a shocking offer.

Is the second story also told through Theo’s perspective?
Of course. He’s my man!

Do you and Theo reunite the separated lovers again and find a happily-ever-after ending for yourselves?
My lips are sealed, but I will tell you this second At Last story, like the first one, is full of humor, adventure, drama, surprises, plot twists and turns, and of course sweet romance that will bring a tear to your eyes and warm your heart.   

Why are the two Found At Last novellas so special?
Each of the two stories offers a current romance and a past romance that will stay with you for a long time to come.

In Finding Armando, we meet your playboy younger brother Kendall and the resort’s conservative assistant manager Phoenix. They seem like an unlikely couple.
And theirs is a very rocky road to romance, which makes their storyline exciting, humorous, and very sexy.

What else is special about Finding Armando?
The story’s location in the Pennsylvania Poconos mountains is gorgeous with its log cabins near stunning lakes surrounded by sun-kissed mountains. I especially like that both At Last stories also include an older gay couple, which you don’t find much in MM literature.

Are your and Theo’s families back in Finding Armando?
They sure are, and they are as entertaining as ever. I love Theo’s big Greek family, and readers do too!

Who is your favorite character in Finding Armando?
The resort manager, gray fox Asher Hillel. In his younger days, Asher was taunted for being Jewish and gay. He was separated from the love of his life in the Navy during the discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Yet he made a success of himself.

Which character is the sexiest?
Theo of course! Next is Phoenix, the assistant manager at the resort in the Poconos. He is tall, muscular, handsome, mixed-race, and an ex-Marine. While regimented and cold on the outside, he has a heart of gold ready to melt.

I’m sure you’ve been told Finding Armando would make a terrific movie. How would you cast it?
Here’s my wish list to name a few: Colton Haynes as Theo, Ezra Miller as me, John Barrowman as Asher, Charlie Carver as Kendall, and Shemar Moore as Phoenix. Come on, TV producers, make Joe an offer!

Tell us about Joe’s other books published by Dreamspinner Press.
Joe’s In My Heart series includes An Infatuation which was loosely based on his high school years, and A Shooting Star which was loosely based on his college years. The Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories are about distant cousins who meet in Capri, Italy, fall in love, marry, and adopt a son. Finally, the Tales from Fairyland stories are Joe’s comic gay take on my favorite fairytales. Theo and I aren’t in any of them.

Joe also wrote the popular Nicky and Noah mystery series, Cozzi Cove series, and Jana Lane mystery series.
Yup. And Theo and I aren’t in any of them.

How can your readers get their hands on the Finding Armando e-book and the Found At Last (Finding Giorgio & Finding Armando) paperback?
The purchase links are below.

Thank you, Jamison, for interviewing today.
My pleasure. I hope everyone will read both Found At Last stories at last. I’m sure, like me, you will fall in love with Theo as we bring together lost lovers from the past. And I love to hear from readers. So contact me through Joe at http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com.

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About Finding Armano

An investigative adventure in search of an elderly man’s first love brought Theo and Jamison together. Now they’re called to put their sleuthing skills to use once again and reunite Pocono resort manager Asher with his lost love, Armando. But the hunt through rural Pennsylvania won’t be easy with Jamison’s younger brother locking horns with the resort’s assistant manager and a shocking offer from the sous chef, Grace.

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Length: 127 pages
Language: English
Genre: MM, contemporary, romance, mystery, comedy, adventure
Cover Art: Paul Richmond

ASIN: B0873DFXZC

Release date: June 23, 2020

Buy Links

FINDING ARMANDO, Found At Last book two, an e-book novella by JOE COSENTINO, published by Dreamspinner Press

Dreasmspinner | Amazon | B&N

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About the Found At Last anthology

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Theo and Jamison meet while volunteering at a nursing home and come together on an investigative adventure to reunite elderly Nolan with his first love, Giorgio. Their sleuthing skills are needed again to create a second chance at happiness for resort manager Asher and his first love, Armando. As they search for the men who got away, Theo and Jamison grow closer, and the lessons of the past could change their lives—and their future—forever.

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FOUND AT LAST Anthology (Finding Giorgio & Finding Armando) – a paperback novel by JOE COSENTINO, published by Dreamspinner Press

BUY IT AT DREAMSPINNER

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Excerpt from Finding Armando

Asher appeared to be transported back in time. “I always knew I was gay. Coming from a small farming town in Pennsylvania, I never acted on it. After attending community college, I joined the Navy and remained there for eight years. It was the best time of my life until….” Sitting back, he said, “Let me start at the beginning. During boot camp, I noticed another recruit from Pennsylvania. He had piercing, tortured gray eyes like a wounded animal. The guy was always alone, never speaking to anyone. I learned his name was Armando Caro.”

The name seemed familiar to me, but I couldn’t place it.

“Armando had jet-black wavy hair and a wide, strong build. Though we never spoke, he and I stole furtive glances at each other during drills, meals, and before bed. I wondered who he was, what he was thinking, and if he liked me.” He took in a shaky breath. “A bunch of the other guys in boot camp weren’t thrilled about me being Jewish.”

I asked, “How did you know?”

“They called me Christ-killer, Jew-boy, kike.”

“That would do it.”

“One night after lights out, they dragged me from my bed into the latrine.” A look of terror filled his face. “One guy held my hands behind my back. Another pressed down on my feet. Three others pummeled my face and stomach. I’d never been so afraid in my life. I screamed, thinking my life was over and wondering what my parents would do when the Navy shipped home my dead body. Like an angel of mercy, Armando appeared and threw them off me. I had never seen anyone fight like that. As if a windmill in motion, he landed punch after punch until they fled back to their beds. When Armando and I were alone, he rested my head on his shoulder, and he asked me if I was all right. I told him, ‘I’m all right for the first time in my life.’ Then he took a clean cloth, washed the blood off my face, and ran his fingers through my hair. Finally, he held me in his strong arms and rocked me back and forth. After that night, the others left me alone.”

“Armando was a true hero,” I said.

Asher nodded. “After boot camp, I couldn’t believe my good fortune when Armando and I were stationed on the same ship in the Middle East. One night after chow, he slid a piece of paper into my pocket. It read, ‘Meet me in the storage room near the forecastle at 0200.’ When I arrived, without saying a word, Armando took off his uniform and skivvies. Then he removed my clothes, and he gently rested me on top of some old blankets. Covering me with his powerful mass, he kissed me softly and tenderly. And I started to cry.”

“Why?”

“I had never felt anything so wonderful.”

“What happened next?”

“Armando taught me how to make love. I’m not talking only about the mechanics. I mean love itself.” He rubbed his forehead. “My parents proved their love to me by working hard—my father as a salesman and my mother as a bookkeeper and homemaker. As a kid, I heard a lot about the importance of making ends meet, owning a presentable home, wearing clean clothing, and having good manners. But my folks were never affectionate to each other… or to me.”

“And Armando was different?”

“That’s an understatement. He hugged and kissed me continuously throughout our lovemaking. Afterward, he pressed my back against his strong chest, wrapped his arms around me, and whispered of his love in my ear. Armando opened a whole new world for me, but it existed solely in that storage room. I never wanted to leave it.”

“But you had to.”

Asher made eye contact with us again. “Armando and I met in our secret place whenever we could get away, going mad when we were apart and living for those precious hours together. We not only made love, we shared our hopes and dreams for the future, and our fears too. I told him about my family life and my goal to enter the business world. Armando was from a poor neighborhood, and his family was very Catholic. His father was a car mechanic. Armando was a champion boxer in high school, and he wanted to have his own gymnasium someday. I told him I’d like to manage it. We both studied and worked hard in the Navy. Like the other gay couples onboard ship, we kept that side of our lives hidden, and nobody bothered us. Eventually Armando and I were each promoted to chief petty officer.” His face hardened. “That’s when the trouble started.”

“The trouble?” I asked.

Jamison was a step ahead of me. “You were in the military during the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.”

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Praise for Joe’s writing

“Joe Cosentino has a unique and fabulous gift. His writing is flawless…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

“adventure, mystery, and romance with every page….Funny, clever, and sweet.” Urban Book Reviews

“The author executed his storyline with a marvelous precision that would be the envy of many authors. He draws the readers into the lives of his characters, they become real and in turn, their emotions becomes yours….If you can only afford to buy one more book this year, buy this one.” Three Books Over the Rainbow Reviews

“I really loved this book and having an ending that made me laugh and cry at the same time is testament to the brilliant writing.” BooksLaidBareBoys

“In true Joe Cosentino style…this cast of characters will have you laughing out loud one minute before ripping your heart out the next.” Joyfully Jay Reviews

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About Joe

Joe Cosentino was voted Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of the Year by the readers of Divine Magazine for Drama Queen. He also wrote the other novels in the Nicky and Noah mystery series: Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle, Drama Dance, Drama Faerie, Drama Runway; the Dreamspinner Press novellas: In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories: A Home for the Holidays/The Perfect Gift/The First Noel, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland/Holiday Tales from Fairyland, Found At Last: Finding Giorgio and Finding Armando; the Cozzi Cove series (NineStar Press): Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings, Cozzi Cove: Happy Endings;andthe Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press).

Joe was voted 2nd Place Favorite LGBT Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards, and his books have received numerous Favorite Book of the Month Awards and Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions.

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 Chair of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and he is happily married.

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

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