Books of Inclusion
By Joe Cosentino
Like many people, I am horrified by the Trump Administrations’ assault on LGBT Americans, including on our transsexual friends. So, I appreciate Rainbow Gold Reviews’ event highlighting tran authors and characters. While not tran myself, four of my novels include major tran characters who are Caucasian, African American, Latina, and Native American. Coming from a show business background and having worked with so many people, I couldn’t imagine not including characters of various races, genders, and sexual identities in my books. Here’s a bit of information about the four novels.
Cozzi Cove is a magical place where nothing is what it seems, and romance is always in the sea air. Handsome Cal Cozzi runs a gay resort on the gorgeous cove at the New Jersey Shore. In each of my four novels thus far (NineStar Press), Cal’s personal storyline moves forward, and we are treated to four additional interwoven storylines about the tantalizing guests in the bungalows. The first novel, Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, won a Rainbow Award Honorable Mention and TBR Pile Favorite Book of the Month Award. The other three novels, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, and Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings, continued generating accolades with reviews like:
“Joe Cosentino gets full kudos for giving every character their own specialness that made such entertaining and somewhat gut-busting reading, so remember the hankies when reading to mop up the tears of laughter, as they come in quick succession….I’ll always check in with Joe Cosentino, he is the “thinking author” of sexy fun, memorable characters and creativity, where hope can become reality.” – Three Books Over the Rainbow
In the second novel, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, tran character Blue Magnum pays a visit to Cozzi Cove, as noted in her entrance scene:
Cal looked up from his desk at a tall, strikingly beautiful woman in an azure wraparound dress that accented her figure. Her flowing golden hair and striking deep blue eyes made her look like a goddess. He rose. “How do you know who I am?”
She smiled, revealing a perfect row of white teeth between her full rosy lips. “You were a professional football player.”
Cal smiled. “I didn’t think anyone noticed my five yards of fame.”
“I noticed you, Cal.”
“Thank you.” Cal thought the woman exuded sensuality with every glance.
“The place has changed.”
“Have you been here before?”
Her eyes sparkled. “I’ve driven by on occasion.”
There was something familiar about the woman, which seemed impossible. Cal would have remembered meeting her. “What can I do for you?”
She leaned over the desk, and Cal’s gaze was filled with the woman’s milky-white cleavage, as his nostrils took in the scent of lilacs. “How about checking me in?”
Cal did a double take. “Are you staying here?”
She handed Cal a credit card. “I reserved Bungalow Four.”
When her long silver nails slid off the card, Cal read the name. “Blue Magnum.” He typed it into his computer and confirmed the reservation. “Ms. Magnum―”
“Call me, Blue.”
Cal tried to be tactful. “Blue, we’ve had women stay here before, and you are certainly most welcome.”
“But you should know, Cozzi Cove is a gay resort.”
“Just like your father wanted it.”
“How do you know that?”
“From your web site of course.”
Cal handed Blue her key and map.
She smirked. “Your father must have been quite perceptive to turn Cozzi Cove into a gay resort for his gay son, since his son wasn’t exactly owning up to that fact.”
Cal felt an ache in the pit of his stomach. “Who the hell are you?”
Blue placed the key and map in her compact matching purse. “All in good time, Cal.” She smiled. “Thanks for the hospitality.” And she was gone.
Blue’s stay in Cozzi Cove causes Cal and his sister Taylor to relive a painful memory from their past and reevaluate their present. Cozzi’s bald, muscular, tattooed bartender, Tommy Malone, notices that Blue looks quite familiar to him too. And he is incredibly captivated by her. Tommy is in for a huge surprise when he learns Blue’s true identity.
On a lighter note, in my popular Nicky and Noah comedy mystery series (Lethe Press), Nicky and Noah are college theatre professors at Treemeadow College, named after its founders, gay couple Tree and Meadow. Adorable couple Nicky and Noah use their acting skills, including impersonating others, to solve murder mysteries on campus and off. Reviews have been incredibly enthusiastic, like this one:
“Reading these books is like watching a fabulous comedic, murder mystery, action, adventure, romantic film.” “I was giggle snorting and laughing so much I had to stop reading. Joe Cosentino’s writing is absolutely flawless. He’s a master storyteller and will keep you guessing and utterly riveted until the highly satisfying ending. This is an absolute gem of a book, and series.” – Divine Magazine
In Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Favorite LGBT Mystery of the Year), Nicky is directing the college play, and college theatre professors are dropping like hammy actors at a curtain call. A valued member of the department is Jackson Grier, Professor of Stage Movement and Stage Combat. Jackson carries a secret worthy of being blackmailed by the first murder victim. He is also the object of affection of Nicky’s graduate assistant, Scotty.
In Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Nicky and Noah are directing the bodybuilding competition on campus when bodybuilding students keel over like dead weights. At first, tran student Maria Ruiz clashes with homophobic student Rodney, like a conservative politician at a Green Peace rally. However, the bodybuilding couple eventually become a powerful team—in more ways than one.
Finally, in Drama Cruise, Nicky and Noah are doing a murder mystery theatre show onboard a ship to Alaska when college theatre professors go overboard like a priest meeting a new altar boy. Professor Cheyenne Jackson plays the gorgeous leading lady, a movie star. In this scene, Cheyenne is hit on by the homophobic ship’s captain:
Captain James Vessel. He is a tall, gray fox with broad shoulders, chiseled features, and beaming blue eyes. Striking in his navy-blue and white suit, he introduced himself to Noah and me then turned his gaze on Cheyenne. “It is my pleasure to meet you, Ms. Sunbeam.” He smiled, revealing teeth like white granite. “Your name suits you perfectly.”
Cheyenne shook his hand. “Good morning, Captain.”
He held on to her hand. “Please, call me James.”
Cheyenne nodded curtly and turned to my direction, reminding the captain there were three other people in the room. “Shouldn’t we get back to rehearsal, Nicky?”
“The others should be back any minute,” I replied, hoping that was true.
Leading Cheyenne to a sofa nearby, Captain Vessel said, “In the meantime, I’d like to get acquainted with the star of the show onboard my ship.”
Aurora raised her eyes to the wall sconces, and whispered in my ear, “He’s on his third marriage.”
I looked at my watch and paced. Noah listened patiently to Aurora chattering about her good old days in college.
Cheyenne inched away from the captain on the sofa. “Tell me all about yourself, Cheyenne.”
“There isn’t much to tell,” Cheyenne replied, searching through her purse (no doubt for mace).
“Then let’s talk about me,” he said happily. “I went to military school then into the Navy and finally onto the cruise ship. This is my tenth year as captain of this ship. My mentor, Captain Dan Calloway, was captain before me.”
“Do you like being captain?”
“Yes, indeed.” Mistaking her politeness for interest, Vessel put his arm around the back of the sofa. “I am an old-fashioned man who believes in hard work, following the rules onboard ship, and having a solid relationship with God.” His blue eyes twinkled. “I am also a romantic who supports traditional marriage.”
“What do you mean by traditional marriage?” Cheyenne asked with narrowed eyes.
One man and many women as his property?
Vessel replied, “I’m a religious man. I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman.”
And the woman the man is currently flirting with.
“But enough about me. Tell me all about Cheyenne.” The captain leaned forward like a librarian reading to preschoolers. “I have always been interested in the Native American culture.”
Cheyenne looked at her watch. “I grew up in an apartment complex in East Hollywood, majored in theatre in college, worked as an actor for a few years then became a college theatre professor in San Diego.”
Vessel corrected her. “Don’t you mean you were an actress?”
Cheyenne unleashed a Cheshire cat smile. “I always say what I mean, Captain.”
“I see. You’re a liberated woman who uses the word actor for both men and ladies?”
“No,” she replied. “I was an actor before I underwent sexual reassignment surgery.” She batted her long eyelashes. “Now I’m an actress.”
Vessel rose from the sofa as if it was covered with tarantulas. “I…I better check in with other men—I mean other women—I mean other passengers.
The captain gets his comeuppance when the huge secret he’s been carrying is finally revealed.
Thank you Rainbow Gold Reviews for highlighting tran authors and characters. It’s my pleasure to be a part of this event. Readers, please check out my web site at: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com for more info on me and my books. See you there!
It’s time for another summer of sun, sand, suntan lotion, sandals, and Speedos on Cozzi Cove at the New Jersey Shore. Cal Cozzi’s seven bungalows are once again open for love.
This summer, sexy Cal welcomes back his brother and sister, who are confronted with people from their pasts. Connor, the maid packed with muscle and mayhem, becomes the subject of a handsome young psychologist’s study on human sexuality. Tommy, the strapping, bald and tattooed local bartender, is captivated with guest Cory Magnum, a police officer with a secret. Another guest, Bill, a disbelieving pastor, is inspired by a vision of two sexy male angels on the cove. And Cal and Michael reach a plateau in their relationship.
What secrets, humor, tragedies, mysteries, and passions lie waiting to unfold in this magical place called Cozzi Cove?
It could be curtains for college theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza. With dead bodies popping up all over campus, Nicky must use his drama skills to figure out who is playing the role of murderer before it is lights out for Nicky and his colleagues. Complicating matters is Nicky’s huge crush on Noah Oliver, a gorgeous assistant professor in his department, who may or may not be involved with a cocky graduate assistant…and is also the top suspect for the murders! You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat, delightfully entertaining novel. Curtain up!
It could be lights out for college theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza. With dead bodybuilders popping up on campus, Nicky, and his favorite colleague/life partner Noah Oliver, must use their drama skills to figure out who is taking down pumped up musclemen in the Physical Education building before it is curtain down for Nicky and Noah. Complicating matters is a visit from Noah’s parents from Wisconsin, and Nicky’s suspicion that Noah may be hiding more than a cut, smooth body.
You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining second novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and weights up!
Theater professors and couple, Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, are going overboard as usual, but this time on an Alaskan cruise, where dead college theater professors are popping up everywhere from the swimming pool to the captain’s table. Further complicating matters are Nicky’s and Noah’s parents as surprise cruise passengers, and Nicky’s assignment to direct a murder mystery dinner theater show onboard ship. Nicky and Noah will need to use their drama skills to figure out who is bringing the curtain down on vacationers before it is lights out for the handsome couple. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, ribald, edge-of-your-seat entertaining third novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and ship ahoy!
Joe Cosentino was voted favorite LGBT mystery, humorous, and contemporary author of the year by the readers of Divine Magazinefor Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press). The other Nicky and Noah mysteries are: Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Cruise,Drama Luau, Drama Detective. He is also the author of the Cozzi Cove series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention/TBR Pile Favorite Book of the Month), Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (NineStar Press); the Dreamspinner Press novellas: In My Heart: An Infatuation & A Shooting Star (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention),The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Open Skye Book Reviews Favorite Audiobook of the Month), A Home for the Holidays; and the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll,Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press). 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.