A Special Author Guest Post, Joe Cosentino

IN MY HEART (An Infatuation and A Shooting Star)
a journey of the heart by Joe Cosentino
Your first time is the most special, intense, and romantic. An experience you will never forget. Writing your first book I mean. You think about it constantly, spend months writing it, wallow in the highs and lows, nurture it, and when it is complete you show it off with pride.
An Infatuation was my first, so it’s incredibly special to me and always will be. It’s also loosely based on my high school years and my ten-year high school reunion. Harold, the leading character, is a great deal like me. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and uses his intelligence and sense of humor to mask hidden pain. I love that story of coming of age in high school, and maturing at the ten-year high school reunion.
Next came A Shooting Star, loosely based on my years as a theatre major in college. Again Jonathan, the leading character, is so much like me: ingenuous, romantic, and wanting to please. Like my days in college, A Shooting Star is magical, mesmerizing, and life-changing.
I was ecstatic when readers and reviewers reacted so positively to these two e-book novellas published by Dreamspinner Press in 2015, telling me how much reading both made them laugh, cry, and changed their lives. I did the happy dance on my desk when An Infatuation won Second Place Favorite LGBT Romance in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Poll of 2015 (and I won Second Place Favorite LGBT Author). I jumped up and down like a kangaroo on a trampoline when the two novellas did so well that Dreamspinner Press put them together in my own paperback anthology called In My Heart, which just released on March 21.
Want to know more about these two little gems?
In An Infatuation 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 at their ten-year high school reunion, the old flame reignites. Harold faces this seemingly impossible situation with inimitable wit, tenderness, and humor as he attempts to reconcile the past and the future.
I really admire Harold’s resilience, honesty, intelligence, wit, and ability to keep going in trying situations. His heart may be broken, but his spirit always stays intact. Harold’s devotion to his spouse, Stuart, is admirable, as is his honesty about his teenage infatuation with Mario. Stuart was great fun to write, because he is based on my spouse who is totally organized and a real list maker, but also sweet, creative, and caring. He creates an itinerary for our trips in ten-minute time blocks! Mario is a combination of many supposedly straight, perfect guys who gay guys so easily become infatuated with every day. I love that the story spans twenty years so we see Harold (and Mario) develop and mature in their special relationship. I also love that Harold and Mario come full circle at their high school reunion. Principal Ringwood is a fascinating character since we watch him grow as the gay rights movement develops. I want to play him in the movie version!
In A Shooting Star new college theatre major Jonathan meets the gorgeous, muscular, tantalizing, and mysterious upper classroom and theatre department star aptly named David Star. As David grooms Jonathan for college life and for stardom, Jonathan falls deeply in love with him. This leads Jonathan on an inner and outer journey, where he learns some shocking secrets about David, and about himself. As a remembrance story, the novella begins with Jonathan having just received the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Film, as he thinks back to the person who was responsible for his win.
Jonathan is ingenuous, funny, warm, gullible, and has an open heart. Barry, Jonathan’s loyal scene partner, is loosely based on my spouse. David is a combination of a number of young men I met as a theatre major in college and as a young actor. They were gay, bi, closet-gay, or straight. Each was handsome, muscular, charismatic, sensuous, and almost other-worldly like Greek gods. Though they appeared to hold the world in the palm of their strong hands, they each had a secret weakness. The acting professor, the hysterically hypochondriac Professor Katzer, is a lampooned version of an acting professor I had in college who has since passed away. I want to play him in the movie version!
Dreamspinner Press also published two more of my novellas: A Home for the Holidays (loosely based on my trip to the amazing, magical, gorgeous, romantic Island of Capri in Italy), and The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (my gay take on my favorite fairytales like Cinderella, Pinocchio, Jack and the Beanstalk, Goldie Locks and the Three Bears, and The Snow Queen). I also have my Nicky and Noah mystery series (Lethe Press), Jana Lane mysteries (The Wild Rose Press), and Cozzi Cove beach series (NineStar Press). Yet it all began IN MY HEART with An Infatuation and A Shooting Star. Those two stories will always be my favorite children. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I loved writing them. Hugs.
Joe Cosentino http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
InMyHeart_Anthology3 (003) (1)DREAMSPINNER PRESS IS PUBLISHING A PAPERBACK ANTHOLOGY OF JOE COSENTINO’S TWO HIT E-BOOK NOVELLAS!
Purchase Links:
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7552
myBook.to/AnInfatuation
myBook.to/AShootingStar_Cosentino
A SHOOTING STAR: On the eve of the best night of his life, winning an Academy Award, Jonathan Bello thinks back to his one great love, David Star. Flipping back the pages of time, Jonathan recalls his handsome, muscular, and charismatic college roommate. Since Jonathan was a freshman and David a senior in the Theatre Department, David took Jonathan under his wing and molded him, not only as an actor but as a lover. With every wonderful new adventure, David left his joyful mark on anyone with whom they came in contact, but Jonathan soon uncovered David’s dark past, leading to a shocking event. Undaunted, Jonathan celebrates the captivating man who will always hold a special place in his heart.
Excerpt of A SHOOTING STAR
As an Italian-American, I subscribed to my mother’s theory that if someone doesn’t want you to see something, he will hide it in a locked vault covered with cement. So I inadvertently took a quick look at my roommate’s things on the other side of the room. He was incredibly neat. Numerous theater textbooks and play scripts lined his bookshelf in alphabetical order. The bulletin board above his desk displayed artistically arranged programs from various comedy, drama, and musical college productions listing the same male lead in each show: “David Star”.
“Do you always look at other people’s things?”
I nearly got whiplash as he entered the room.
Stammering like a kid caught masturbating by his parents, I said, “I… w-was… ad-m-miring y-your… r-room.”
Though it was a fall September day, he took off his scarf (violet) and rested it on a tall coat-rack, which held scarves in various colors like a department store window display. He was taller than me, with a chiseled, handsome face, and straight, shiny black hair, which fell down his thick neck. I admired his perfectly sculpted muscles, housed in a turquoise designer dress shirt. But what captivated me the most were his piercing crystal-blue eyes—and the enormous bulge in his skin-tight, designer beige pants.
“What’s your name?”
“Johnny Falabella.”
He looked at me like a surgeon examining a tumor. “No, it’s not.”
“Excuse me?”
“It’s Jonathan Bello.” He opened a bureau drawer, pulled out a bottle of hair gel, and tossed it to me. “You should gel your hair.” He opened his closet, revealing a multitude of color-coordinated shirts and slacks, and lay some on my bed. “And you can wear these.”
I looked at his perfectly pressed designer clothes. “Where did you get all these things?”
“They were gifts, mostly.”
“You must have some generous friends…. Sorry, I don’t know your name.”
“I’m David Star.” He took a bow.
Looking back at his play programs, I said, “You must have starred in every play at the college over the last three years.”
“Guilty as charged.”
“What happened to your last roommate?”
“He went to LA over the summer break and started auditioning. He got cast in a new TV sitcom. I hope it takes off. It’s called Cosby.”
“At the orientation session, they said freshmen are housed with other freshmen. How did I get a senior for a roommate?”
His eyes twinkled. “Just lucky I guess.”
“Do you think it was some kind of an administrative error or something?”
“Or something.” He added matter-of-factly, “I asked for a freshman roommate.”
Praise for A SHOOTING STAR:

“unbelievably beautiful” “a masterpiece” Lovebytes Reviews

“heart-wrenchingly beautiful, that no words I possess in my vocabulary would do it justice” “Again Joe Cosentino drew me into his wonderful world of part fact/part fiction/loosely based on his own experiences world – a world as a reader I love to enter, time and time again.” Three Books over the Rainbow
“A Shooting Star could easily function as a master class in how to write short fiction (or any fiction). Joe Cosentino has provided a work that will leave you thinking and wanting to savor and re-read it again and again.” GGR Reviews
“This is a bittersweet love story, so don’t be surprised if you find tears running down your face when a shining and burning star is extinguished too soon. But, as Joe Cosentino proves time and time again, with his wonderful writing and storytelling ability, love will prevail, and you will smile from ear to ear.” Kathy Mac Reviews
“For those readers looking for something a little bit different – dare I say unique? For those readers who like to laugh. For those readers who appreciate the nuances of people and the way each character is different. For those readers who want to read a damn good story – check out this author. I’m glad I did.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews
“Cosentino has another winning heartbreaker with A Shooting Star.” Prism Book Alliance.
“Yes, it is a bittersweet story but it is one that still has hope and love.” Hearts on Fire Reviews
“This story just blew me away.” “If you like something different from time to time, a bittersweet story, actors, college men, and a very sweet romance I highly recommend this.” Cathy Brockman Romance/MM Good Book Reviews
“From the beginning I was enthralled and couldn’t wait to finish the book.” Inked Rainbow Reads
“really grabs you and tugs at your emotions” “unique and enjoyable.” Nautical Star Books
“a sophisticated, enthralling and suspenseful tale with a gothic vibe and a multi-layered execution that will have you sitting up and taking notice. This is polished prose at its best. Intelligent writing, a thought-provoking plot and characters befitting the theater genre make A Shooting Star one of my favorite reads this year.” Love’s Last Refuge Reviews
“a beautifully written story, full of life, love, heartbreak, tragedy, and maybe most importantly, triumph.” Readers’ Favorite
BN2Amazon Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote An Infatuation, A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press), Drama Queen and Drama Muscle Nicky and Noah mysteries (Lethe Press), Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (NineStar Press), Paper Doll (Whiskey Creek Press) and Porcelain 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, Charles Keating, 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 releases are Satin Doll & China Doll Jana Lane mysteries (Wild Rose Press), Drama Cruise Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (NineStar Press). Joe was voted 2nd Place for Best MM Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015.
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