Sunday, May 01, 2016

Guest Author: Joe Cosentino!

Today, I have the pleasure of hosting Joe Cosentino, author of the Jana Lane mysteries. Joe visits us to feature his novel, PORCELAIN DOLL.

How did you get started writing?

My mother said I was singing and dancing in the womb—and it still hurts her. Hah. As a kid I played make-believe constantly. “Let’s put on a show!” was my motto with full-scale musicals in the garage starring my sister and me. Thankfully, my parents and teachers indulged me (rather than committed me-hah). Eventually, I became an actor in film, television, and theatre. It occurred to me that acting is storytelling in the same way that writing is storytelling, so I decided to give writing a try. After writing some plays, I knew my novels would include show business in some way, since show business has always been such a huge part of my life. As an avid mystery reader, it was clear to me that my novels would also be page-turning mysteries with clever plot twists, engaging characters, romance, and lots of clues leading to a surprising conclusion. Since coming from a funny Italian-American family, I also knew humor would play a role in my novels.

What interests or excites you most about your genre(s)?

I’ve read hundreds of cozy mysteries. The warm or plush locations, humor, romance, and plot twists and turns totally captivate me. So I love writing mysteries. The Jana Lane mysteries are in The Wild Rose Press’s Vintage Line since they take place in the 1980’s. I reveled in the music, hairstyles, clothing, and decadence of that era. I was also able to incorporate some of the music, films, television shows, Broadway shows, and political and social events of the times. Finally, I really like writing a series. The leading characters are so real to me that each book is like visiting with old friends. I love Jana and I enjoy every moment with her.

Who or what is your favorite inspiration when writing?

Of course, Agatha Christie is the queen of murder mysteries. Armistead Maupin has an amazing flair for writing eccentric, loveable characters with engaging and realistic dialogue. Mary Higgins Clark blends mystery and romance so beautifully. As a child I loved child stars like Shirley Temple, Hayley Mills, and Patty Duke, seeing their movies over and over. So I created a heroine who was the biggest child star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. In PAPER DOLL, the secret behind Jana’s studio attack is exposed.

Tell me about your latest book or work in progress.

In PORCELAIN DOLL, it is 1982, and Jana is thirty-nine years old, living in a mansion in Hyde Park, New York. 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, America’s heartthrob, Jason Apollo. The other suspects include Jana’s James Dean-type young co-star, her older John Wayne-type co-star, her children’s Eve Harrington-type nanny, the film’s gossipy makeup and hair artist, a local reverend trying to stop the film’s production, and Jason’s agent. The early reviews for PORCLEAIN DOLL have been amazing. It's been called "a character-driven story full of intrigue and passion (Kirsty Vizard, Divine Magazine)" and "Beautifully written ... flirtatiously decadent (Carol Fenton, BooksLaidBare Reviews)."

Coming soon are the next books in the Jana Lane mysteries, SATIN DOLL and CHINA DOLL, which carry on Jana's adventures.

5) Please share with us the first paragraph of your latest work.

PORCELAIN DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery, by Joe Cosentino, published by The Wild Rose Press


Jana Lane, America’s most famous ex-child star, ran on the grounds of her estate. The forty-year-old kept up a quick pace as someone, or something, followed closely in the woods just out of sight. Her heart pounded, and sweat dropped down her neck, arms, and legs. As she turned to avoid falling into the lake, Jana raced past a large oak tree. A hand reached out from a branch. Jana screamed.


Is art imitating life in 1982? Jana Lane, ex-child star, is doing a comeback film about murder. When a crew member is killed on the set, it looks like Jana could be next. Thickening the plot is Jana’s breathtakingly handsome and muscular leading man, Jason Apollo, whose boyish, southern charms have aroused Jana’s interest on screen and off. Will Jana and Jason stop the murderer before the final reel, or end up on the cutting room floor in this fast-paced whodunit with a shocking ending?


As Jana sat waiting for Jack to call for action, she looked up at Jason’s encouraging face. She again was taken aback by his incredible beauty.

Reverend Charlton and Gloria reentered the study.

Jack called for quiet and action. Jana and Jason played the scene, where the detective notifies her of her husband’s death. Jason delivered his lines with warmth, vulnerability, and obvious affection for Jana. In turn, Jana listened then reacted with deep emotions, conveying shock, loss, fear, and hysteria while being comforted by the man she trusted. Jana clutched onto Jason with such force, her fingernail accidently tore a hole in his jacket.

“Cut!” Jack hollered.

While the wardrobe woman repaired Jason’s jacket, Jana noticed Reverend Charlton step out of the study again, this time with Ryan O’Halloran.

After the two men returned, and the jacket was mended, Jack called for slate and action for take two. Jana and Jason did the scene two more times. Each take was more realistic and heart-wrenching than the next, and each appeared as if it were the first time Jana was given the sad news.

After the third take, Jack shouted, “Cut! It’s a wrap. Ryan, let’s move on to the next location.”

Jana wiped the tears from her cheeks.

Jason placed his hand on the side of her face. “You’re amazing.”

“You’re not so bad yourself, partner.”

“You make me better,” he said with adoration in his true-blue eyes.

They shared a smile as again people hurried around the room like ants after a picnic.

Suddenly, Jana heard a loud crash followed by a scream. Leaping from her chair, she followed the horrified gazes of the others in the room to Ryan O’Halloran lying motionless on the floor with a Fresnel tungsten shuttered light next to his head, and blood dripping from his scalp onto the hardwood floor.


The Wild Rose Press 
Barnes and Noble
AllRomance EBooks

About Joe Cosentino:

Amazon Bestselling author 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. 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. Look for his next novel, CHINA DOLL, in May from The Wild Rose Press.

Contact Joe at:

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