Friday, February 16, 2018

#FLASHBACKFRIDAY: HIGH RISK, my erotic thriller about a secret sex life, a handsome stranger, and a journey into a nightmare

WARNING! HIGH RISK is not for the faint of heart, nor the prudish.

High Risk is one of my oddest books because it features an anti-heroine, a damaged woman who's a sex addict. You could reasonably say she brought on the horror that befalls her in the pages of my book.

Her journey is filled with terror, tension, and suspense, but even I will admit Beth Walsh isn't an easy character to like or root for.

Yet I hope that sympathetic and discerning readers will peel back the onion skin of Beth's personality and see her for who and what she is at her core--a damaged soul who's desperate for love, with no real knowledge of how to get it.

I encourage you to come along with Beth on her harrowing journey toward redemption in High Risk. I like to think you won't soon forget her...or her story.

A secret sex life... 

A handsome, twisted stranger... 

And a journey into a nightmare. 

Beth Walsh seemed like such a demure housewife. But while her attorney husband was away at work, she engaged in countless encounters with strangers...until she met the one stranger who would change everything--for the worst. Abbott Lowery was every woman's dream; but the monster lurking inside his handsome, chiseled exterior was terrifying. And Beth's behavior is about to unleash the rage and madness inside. High Risk is a story of secrets, tainted histories, murder, and kidnapping--with an ending so searing and brutal, readers will be left breathless.

Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback
From the publisher, JMS Books

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

How to Write a Book Blurb: THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR

One thing I’ve always maintained with my writing is that the characters come first and the story follows. Sure, I have a general idea about the plot and where I want it to go, but it’s the characters that take me on a journey, often surprising me. Sometimes, I have no idea what will pop up when I sit down to write. I do trust my characters!

My latest, The Couple Next Door is no different.
I thought it might be interesting to go a little into the publication process (and especially the blurb used on the back cover and to sell the book), so here are some of the things I shared with Dreamspinner Press’s blurb writer.
Here’s what I wrote when they asked about the characters.
Jeremy Booth is a wannabe writer and an independent housecleaner in his thirties. He barely gets by, but is your typical nice guy–attractive, fit, but lonely. He dreams of being a writer and works on it, but has never seen any success.
Shane McCallister is his new next-door neighbor. Shane is younger, blond, handsome and Jeremy falls for him immediately. Shane also seems to be a victim of domestic abuse from the man with whom he lives, a man who is an enigma, a mystery.
Sometimes, this man dresses up in leather, calls himselfCole, acts hyper-masculine, and is physically and verbally abusive. At other times, he’s John, a friendly, and mild-mannered milquetoast. At still other times, he is Vera, a vivacious and sassy drag queen.
Multiple personality disorder? Or is there something more sinister going on? As the book’s tagline says, “Things aren’t always as they seem….”
The blurb information form asks about the specific crisis or obstacle the characters will face during the course of the novel. I think the information below gives a unique insight into the principle plot of The Couple Next Door:
It appears that the object of Jeremy’s love and affection, Shane, is trapped in an abusive relationship. As the plot goes on, there’s a lot more than meets the eye. What are Shane and the man he lives with fleeing? There are secrets about their past life in Chicago, because their story is always changing. Does Shane’s partner have multiple personality disorder? What, exactly, is their relationship? These mysteries, and the dangers that accompany them, are the driving force of the book, along with the romance–which blooms amidst all the questions and perils.
The form also asks about what critical information needs to included in the blurb (or at least hinted at):
The abuse, so the romance readers who abhor cheating will understand why Shane needs to get out of his relationship and will be rooting for him to do so, and be with Jeremy. The multiple personalities of Cole/John/Vera–this is a twist that’s intriguing and also crucial to the plot. The danger–as time goes on and Jeremy learns more, he can see that Shane’s, and maybe his own, life is in danger.
And last, the blurb composition form has a section called NO SPOILERS! It asks what information must not be revealed. Here’s what I put:
More than any other book I’ve written, there are spoilers that I hope will not get out. You need to read the book to know them, but I’ll reveal them here IN CONFIDENCE. [The information has been deleted because, well, no spoilers]. So, those are the things that CANNOT be revealed.


With the couple next door, nothing is as it seems.

Jeremy Booth leads a simple life, scraping by in the gay neighborhood of Seattle, never letting his lack of material things get him down. But the one thing he really wants someone to love seems elusive. Until the couple next door moves in and Jeremy sees the man of his dreams, Shane McCallister, pushed down the stairs by a brute named Cole.

Jeremy would never go after another man s boyfriend, so he reaches out to Shane in friendship while suppressing his feelings of attraction. But the feeling of something being off only begins with Cole being a hard-fisted bully it ends with him seeming to be different people at different times. Some days, Cole is the mild-mannered John and then, one night in a bar, he s the sassy and vivacious drag queen Vera.

So how can Jeremy rescue the man of his dreams from a situation that seems to get crazier and more dangerous by the day? By getting close to the couple next door, Jeremy not only puts a potential love in jeopardy, but eventually his very life. 


HOW MANY disappointing dates will I endure before I just give up?
I mean, here I am, a perfectly attractive, fit, self-sufficient thirty-year-old, and I’m still waiting to meet the man of my dreams. Mr. Right. Hell, tonight I’d even settle for that character who seems to come along on dates for most of us, the all-too-common Mr. Right Now. But even he isn’t on the seat beside me. In fact, I strongly doubt he’s anywhere in the vicinity of the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle where I live.
Believe me, I’ve looked.
Mr. First Date pulls his Ford Fusion up to the curb in front of my apartment building on Aloha Avenue. We sit in awkward silence for several long moments, listening as the engine ticks down as it cools. I can feel him looking at me. As he’s done most of the evening, he waits for me to speak. I turn my head and, in the dark, give him a weak smile. The date, dinner at a little sushi place on Broadway, had not gone well, full of uncomfortable silences, awkward pauses, and desperate looks around for avenues of escape—on both our parts.
Do I need to say we just didn’t click?
I didn’t think so.
So what he says now surprises me.
“Do you want me to come up?”
Really? We’ve just spent an hour and a half of agony together, trying to find a snippet of common ground that doesn’t exist, and he’s wondering if I want him to come up, which we all know is code for “Shall we make the beast with two backs?”
Seriously? The most irksome thing is, I’m considering it. I mean, he’s cute in spite of our lack of social connection. He’s a games developer for a software company here in town and looks it, with a sort of hipster/geek vibe going on. He has red hair, which I love. He has a beard, which I love. He wears retro glasses, which make him look paradoxically goofy and sexy—which I love.
Would it be so terrible to sleep with him? I mean, it’s been at least two weeks since I’ve enjoyed the charms of anyone other than Mr. Thumb and his four sons, so at least in terms of a release, maybe I should just say “Sure” and open the car door. If things go like some of my dates in the past, he’d follow me upstairs to my apartment and be back in his car in, like, fifteen minutes.
No, I tell myself. And then I tell him, shaking my head, looking sad, and saying the words countless heartbreakers have used over the years to stop ardent passion in its errant tracks.
“I’m sorry, Neil. But I have to get up early.” Lamely, I pat his hand. “Maybe another time.”
I don’t need to be psychic to know that we both know another time ain’t gonna happen.
Neil seems relieved as he restarts his car. He shrugs. “It’s okay. Club Z’s just a couple minutes away, right? Down Broadway and a right on Pike—easy.”
He grins at me, and I wonder if he expects me to laugh. Club Z is one of Seattle’s filthiest bathhouses, and yes, it’s only a few minutes away. He doesn’t seem to need directions.
It’s my turn to be relieved that I didn’t actually succumb to the temptation of inviting this jerk upstairs. Wordlessly I get out of the car and slam the door behind me.
Neil roars off into the damp and still night.
I pause and sigh, staring up at the building in which I’ve lived for the past five years. It’s an okay place, an old redbrick three story with none of the modern amenities—no stainless steel, granite countertops, or gas fireplaces. My apartment is homey. It even has the original tile, sink, and claw-foot tub in its single bathroom. The living room is large, with three big windows that look out on Aloha and let in lots of light—on the days when we have sun in Seattle (that means usually summer days). The floors are scuffed original hardwood. The kitchen actually has a pantry and built-in china hutch. I’ve painted the place a cheery, soft yellow.
Upstairs, the TV, with its DVRed episodes of at-odds Sons of Anarchy and Downton Abbey, awaits. Upstairs, there’s the gelato I love from Whole Foods in the freezer—hazelnut dark chocolate.
Such is my life. Comfortable and a little lonely.
Sometimes I wonder, like Peggy Lee, if that’s all there is.
I head toward the glass-paned front door. I grope in my jeans for my keys. The mail had not yet arrived before I left for my date, and I wonder if there will be any surprises in the vestibule mailbox. You know, like an actual letter from someone, standing out from the usual assortment of bills and solicitations by the cursive lovingly spelling out my name—Jeremy Booth.
My problem is I always have hope, even when there’s little reason to.
I open the front door, and that’s when everything changes. My life turns upside down. I go from bored discontent to panic in a split second.
The first thing I hear is someone shouting “No!” in an anguished voice. I look up from the lobby to see two figures on the staircase above, on the second-floor landing. One is a guy who looks menacing and so butch he could pose for a Tom of Finland poster. An aura of danger radiates from him. Aside from his imposing and muscular frame, he’s even wearing the right clothes—tight, rolled jeans and a black leather biker jacket with a chain snaking out from beneath one of the epaulets. His high and tight buzzed hair gives him a military—and mean—air. He has his hands on the shoulders of a guy who looks a bit younger and much slighter, making me want to call up the stairs, “Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?” The smaller guy, blond and clad only in a pair of pajama bottoms, struggles with his attacker, looking terrified. Their movements, clumsy and rough, would be comical if they weren’t so scary. The smaller guy is panting and batting ineffectually at the bigger one.
“Please! No! Don’t!” the smaller guy manages to get out, his voice close to hysteria.
I have never seen either of these men before. In fact, the whole scene has the quality of the surreal, a dream. The danger and conflict pulsing down the stairs makes my own heart rate and respiration accelerate, causing feelings of panic to rise within me.
And then the worst happens. The big butch guy shoves the smaller one hard, and all at once he’s tumbling heavily down the stairs toward me.
The fall is graceless, and it looks like it hurts. It’s over so fast that I’m left gasping.
I look up to see the leather-jacket guy sneer down at his mate, lying crumpled and crying at my feet, and then turn sharply on his heel to go back into a second-floor apartment that had been vacant yesterday. He slams the door. The sound of the deadbolt sliding into place is like the report of a shotgun. Both slam and lock resound like thunderclaps, echoing in the tile lobby, punctuation to the drama and trauma of this short scene.
I switch into Good Samaritan mode and drop to my knees at the sniveling, crumpled mess of a man lying practically at my feet.
“Are you okay?” I ask and reach out to lightly touch his shoulder.
He jerks away and, wincing, pulls himself up into an awkward sitting position. He stares at me for a moment, almost as though he’s trying to place me, with clear blue eyes. He finally looks away.
“My ankle is throbbing. It hurts like hell. Maybe I twisted it.”
I don’t know what to say, other than to ask, “Would you like to try and stand? Test it out?”
He nods.
I lean over to grip him under the arms—it’s damp there, and I can smell the ripe aroma of body odor, probably inspired by fear or panic—and pull. He comes up with me and then stumbles, wincing and crying out.
“Damn. I might have sprained it when I fell.” His eyes are so appealing, in both senses of the word, as he stares at me, as though seeking direction for what to do next. He leans on me, taking his weight off the injured ankle.
I keep my arm around him, and together we limp over to a bench set beneath the bank of common mailboxes. We sit.
“What do you want to do?” I ask.
“I don’t know. I think Cole may have locked me out for the night.”
I look up the stairs at the closed door and imagine the frame vibrating from its recent slam. I notice then that my new acquaintance is shivering. It’s a typical Seattle winter night—chilly and damp—and the vestibule has poor heat. Good thing, I think, that I’ve worn a hoodie over my T-shirt. I unzip it and take it off and then hold it out to him. “You could wear this.”
“Are you sure?” Without waiting for an answer, he takes it from me and puts it on. He zips it up to his throat and pulls the hood up over his thick blond hair.
“I’m sure.” I grin. “I’m Jeremy. Jeremy Booth. I live here in the building.” I stare down at the lobby’s worn linoleum floor, not sure what else to say or do.
“Shane McCallister. I just moved in today.” He casts a nervous glance up the stairs. “Well, John and I just moved in this afternoon. From Chicago.” He tries to give me a smile, but it comes out sad.
I nod. “I thought you said his name was Cole.”
Shane laughs and his cheeks redden. “Did I? I meant John. Sorry.”
We stare at one another for a second, a second in which I feel as though I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole.
They must have done their moving while I was out working this afternoon. I rub my chin and then say, because my mama taught me right, “Well, Shane, I can’t just leave you here like this. Do you want to come up to my place?” I think for a moment, get a better idea. “Or maybe I could take you over to First Hill, where all the hospitals are, get you to an emergency room so you can have that ankle looked at. It could be something worse than a sprain. You should do that, you know. I have a car. It’s parked in the back.”
Suddenly, chauffeuring this downtrodden stranger to one of the hospitals in the next neighborhood over seems more appealing to me, more exciting, than the date I just came home from.
“Oh, I couldn’t ask you to do that.”
I wave his protest away. “Yes, you could. You’re new in town, right? Do you have someone else you could call?” I pull my iPhone out of my jeans pocket and hold it out to him.
He looks at it strangely and just shakes his head. “We haven’t really made any friends here yet.”
“Well then, it’s settled. Let me run you over to Virginia Mason or Swedish.” I peer into those icy blue, yet magnetic, eyes. “Okay?”
“We don’t have health insurance,” Shane blurts out.
“Let’s not worry about that right now.” I stand and comb my fingers through my dark hair. “If your ankle’s broken or even sprained, you need to get it taken care of. That’s not something that heals on its own.”
He simply stares at me.
I sigh. “Look, I’m gonna run up to my place, get you some shoes—I have some shearling-lined moccasins that will probably fit—and they won’t hurt, much. I’ll grab you a shirt too. Are you gonna be all right here?” I glance nervously back up the stairs, but there’s no John, or anyone else, glowering down at us. The apartment building is still this Thursday night, caught in no-man’s-land between people getting home from work and departing for an evening of revelry farther south on Broadway at the gay bars.
“I’ll be okay,” Shane says softly.
He seems to shrink into himself, and my heart goes out to him. Poor guy! I have never understood why anyone would allow himself or herself to stay in an abusive relationship. At least that’s what I assume this pair have going on. I can ponder—or maybe even ask the guys themselves, although I already think I’ll be avoiding John—more about their situation later. Right now, duty calls.
I start up the stairs, and Shane calls out, “Jeremy?”
I turn, halfway up the stairs, realizing suddenly that these two are my new next-door neighbors. “Yeah?”
“Thanks. Not everyone would do this.”
“Sure they would,” I say, not at all sure that I speak the truth. I pause for a minute, still uncertain about what I’m getting myself into. That John character looked pretty menacing. What if he comes after us? Comes after me? What if he thinks my Good Samaritan act is an attempt to go after his lame boyfriend? I shake my head and continue trudging up the stairs. Sometimes life offers us very limited alternatives. I can’t just leave the guy on his own, friendless and hurt. And even taking him into my place is out of the question—he could be seriously injured. There are a million questions on my lips, and for right now I think the best course of action is to leave them unasked. “I’ll be right back.”
And then I hightail it up the stairs. In quick succession I unlock my door and dash into my apartment to hurriedly gather up the things I promised, fearing that at any moment John might return. He looked like the type who might do even more harm to Shane, and I don’t want any part of that. He appears to be a man who talks with his fists as much as his mouth, and my sympathy for poor Shane has manifested itself quickly and completely.
In record time I return with a plain black T-shirt and the aforementioned moccasins. I help Shane stand and get everything on. “My car’s out back in the lot. It ain’t much, but it’ll get us there.” I slide my arm around Shane and guide him down the central corridor that leads to the back door and the parking lot.
Somehow I have the feeling my life is about to change.


The Couple Next Door on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US

Note: This post originally appeared on Prism Book Alliance 8 December 2015

Monday, February 12, 2018

#MONDAYMEMORIES: Why I Believe in Love at First Sight

This morning I am thinking about love at first sight. And not necessarily romantic love, although that thought is there, too.

 What prompted these thoughts?

As a writer, as a person, I can often be an insecure soul, full of doubts and lacking confidence. When you release a book into the world, it takes on a life of its own, almost as though it's your child out there in the world, making its way. There are people out there, waiting to put the stamp of their own experience on your work. Sadly, no matter how hard you try, there are people out there who want to say that your child is less than you want, hope, and believe for him or her.

Such is the case with my novel, Caregiver, which is based a lot on my own experiences as an AIDS buddy back in the early 1990s, when being HIV+ or having the virus itself was truly a death sentence. On a site called Goodreads, where thousands of readers come together to critique, catalog, and talk about books, I found a review of Caregiver that caught me short. Among all the glowing reviews (and there are many), was one reader that didn't like the book because he thought the main character's love for the AIDS buddy in the book happened too fast to be credible.

Now, this is where the insecure part of me comes in. I can easily shove aside all the many five-star reviews and immediately begin to doubt myself and my work. "Maybe this reader is right," I muse, "And all the good reviews are wrong."

The part that wants to defend my child against this person, though, wants to shout at that reviewer, "But it did happen that fast. It wasn't made up. This connection happened after only meeting two times. That's my truth, not fiction."

See, this is where the stamp of someone else's experience and mine diverge. Intellectually, I do believe that reviewer's criticism was valid. That person, sadly, has maybe never experienced an instant connection with another person. It's not his or her experience. So, he's not buying it.

But, for me, I believe fiercely in love at first sight. For me, when I met Jim, who would become Adam in my book, I felt a rush of emotion for him: sorrow, fear, but most of all a deep, human connection that, in spite of death and the passage of many years, I still feel. And all it took was meeting him for a couple of times. Like Adam, Jim did go to prison--and died there from AIDS. I can count on one hand the number of times Jim and I were actually face-to-face, yet his impression on me is powerful, lasting until this very day, some twenty years later.

I believe we often, or maybe even always, know when someone is right for us, when there is a connection of heart and mind, perhaps even of spirit. This connection happens for no logical or intellectual reason, no basis in shared interests or experience. It's just there, and we know it, deep inside ourselves. For me, that is true of almost every person I've loved. I wish I could explain it, and maybe my writing, which is chock full of people loving each other very quickly, is an attempt to make that explanation.

For me, it happened with Jim. It happened with Bruce, the man I've been with now for more than ten years. I remember picking Bruce up for our first date and seeing him for the first time, sitting on the steps of his apartment vestibule, waiting for me. I can see him as clearly now as I could ten years ago.

And I fell in love, then. There was no basis for it. I had no idea then that we would share many things, like a lifelong passion for the humor and wit of Lily Tomlin (for whom our dog is named), or that we would one day compose a family.

But I knew it. I knew it in my heart. Just from one glance....

I can tell you the same story about others whom I have loved. Friends I fell for immediately--based on only a smile or a quick conversation.

I can't explain why. It's almost like magic, as though something deeper lies beneath the surface of body and spoken language. It as though we see something in the other that proves to be deeper than easy explanation.

Most of the people in my life that I have truly cared about--and conversely, truly loathed--I knew right away, before I had any rational basis for believing it. I think, when we connect with someone, it's because of something we may never even consciously know, but our heart knows it.

So, while a lukewarm review caused me to write this blog, I will give that reader his or her due because I know that we all have different frames of reference and beliefs.

But for me, I will stick to mine about loving at first sight. My heart tells me it's true.

Friday, February 9, 2018

#FLASHBACKFRIDAY: Third Eye: When You Can't Look Away

Third Eye means a lot to me not only because it's the kind of book that's scary, suspenseful, and hard-to-put-down (I don't write otherwise...boring is one of the worst sins a book can commit), but also because at its heart, it's a book about the unique bond parents have with their children. It's dedicated to the memory of my own mom and I like to think my main, character, Cayce, has the same parental qualities and capacity for love that my mother did.  

Who knew that a summer thunderstorm and his lost little boy would conspire to change single dad Cayce D’Amico’s life in an instant? With Luke missing, Cayce ventures into the woods near their house to find his son, only to have lightning strike a tree near him, sending a branch down on his head. When he awakens the next day in the hospital, he discovers he has been blessed or cursed—he isn't sure which—with psychic ability. Along with unfathomable glimpses into the lives of those around him, he’s getting visions of a missing teenage girl.

When a second girl disappears soon after the first, Cayce realizes his visions are leading him to their grisly fates. Cayce wants to help, but no one believes him. The police are suspicious. The press wants to exploit him. And the girls' parents have mixed feelings about the young man with the "third eye."

Cayce turns to local reporter Dave Newton and, while searching for clues to the string of disappearances and possible murders, a spark ignites between the two. Little do they know that nearby, another couple—dark and murderous—are plotting more crimes and wondering how to silence the man who knows too much about them.

"A riveting, nail-biting, thought-provoking, frightening thriller, this story is much more than an M/M romance--it's a brilliant tale worthy of recognition on the New York Times Bestsellers List...Don't miss the chance to read this book."
--Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Reviews, December 2014 

DSP Publications

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Joe Cosentino Stops By to Talk About His New Audiobook, Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back

Release announcement of the audiobook of Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back
by Joe Cosentino, performed by Chase Johnson, published by NineStar Press

For those of us living in the northeastern United States, February is the most depressing month of the year. It’s cold, dark, and barren. Everyone seems sick with a cold or flu. Also, for those of us working in academia, February is the beginning of a new semester, meaning new students to break in. So what better time than February to head over to Cozzi Cove for a much-needed vacation. What is Cozzi Cove? It’s a gay resort of eight bungalows on a gorgeous private cove on the New Jersey Shore with stunning views of the bay, lighthouse, and ocean. Is Cozzi Cove real? Only in my vivid imagination, and in some pieced-together memories from my childhood summers.
As some of you may know, I’ve written five Cozzi Cove novels, the last novel not yet published. The first novel, Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, was voted TBR Pile Book of the Month and received a Rainbow Award Honorable Mention. Readers loved the gorgeous locations, steamy romance, laugh out loud humor, and shocking plot twists and turns. After all, Cozzi Cove is a place where nothing is what it seems, anything can happen, and love is always in the sea air. In addition to Cal Cozzi, the sexy ex-football player innkeeper, and his family and friends, each novel brings an array of intoxicating guests to Cozzi Cove.
            The multiple storylines leant themselves perfectly to creating an audiobook. But what audiobook performer could embody Cal Cozzi, his sister Taylor, Cal’s husband Lance, Michael a new young man in Cal’s life, hunky bartender Tommy, New Age restaurant owner Carla, and all the vacationers at Cozzi Cove. What narrator could perfectly describe the beautiful settings, connect with the humor, and exhibit the necessary timing for the plot twists and turns? After listening to many narrators, I found Chase Johnson. Chase has an incredibly sexy, masculine voice, perfect for Cal Cozzi. He is also quite versatile in his character voices, and a very good actor. His diction is flawless, and his audiobooks are produced with fine equipment. I was delighted when Chase agreed to do the audiobook for Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back. After giving him my insights into the novel, Chase took it from there, connecting perfectly with Cal, the other characters, the book’s location, and the theatrical quality of the novel. When I heard the audiobook, I was on Cozzi Cove. I know you’ll agree that he did a terrific job. I hope Chase and I have more collaborations in the future.
So, grab your Speedos, suntan lotion, and shades and head over to Cozzi Cove for a listen of a lifetime. I hope to see you there! And I love hearing from readers. Please let me know all about your February trip to the beach at:

On Cozzi Cove at the New Jersey shore, handsome Cal Cozzi’s seven bungalows are open for summer and love. Mario and Harold are brothers and college students who happen to look alike, but couldn’t be more different: Mario is searching for love, and Harold is searching for lust. Josh and Greg, a wealthy older couple, are matchmakers for their son, Christopher. When it comes to Connor, the maid, packed with muscles and a roving sponge, anything can happen. Opposites attract as wild Tim with the secret past meets shy Mark, and porn star Chuck Caliber connects with Sean, a virgin romance novelist. And what will happen when computer-game designer Arthur has a midnight sea rendezvous with a merman? Even married Cal faces an emotional upheaval when a gay bashing turns into something quite unexpected. What secrets and passions lie in magical Cozzi Cove?

 Praise for COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK: Book of the Month at The TBR Pile, Rainbow Award Honorable Mention, 3rd Place Best Fiction Book of 2016 on Urban Book Reviews

 “I loved this story. It carries you through the full range of emotions, from joy to sadness, from happiness to anger.  The characters are beautifully written.” “I look forward to a return visit to the Cove.” TBR Pile

 “Heartbreaking and heartwarming, sweet beginnings for some, sour endings for others, emotions jumping off the page as you turn eagerly to read more, welcome to Cozzi Cove. The author measured his scales to perfection in delivering the perfect balance of love, laughter and tears in this sexy, fun filled holiday romance entwined with some sadness. Summer magic waved its wand at all who visited and stayed at Cozzi Cove and I was one of those who wanted to stay.” Three Books Over the Rainbow

 “poignant and full of beautiful imagery. It's one crazy mix of characters, all weird and wonderful in their own way” “It made me laugh out loud, cry and want to snuggle up with someone I loved. I couldn't have asked for more.” Divine Magazine

 “In true Joe Cosentino style, this book is packed full of drama! This cast of characters will have you laughing out loud one minute before ripping your heart out the next.” Joyfully Jay

 “If you like a lot of angst, some humor, love, sadness (be sure to have a couple of boxes of tissue handy), and some hot sensual man-sex, I highly, highly recommend this book. I loved all of the Joe Cosentino’s books, but I think this is my favorite to date! I am ready for book 2!” Cathy Brockman Romance & MM Good Book Reviews

 “Joe Cosentino has the amazing ability to combine heartwarming, feel good moments with droll, sometimes biting humor, along with insights into the frailties and peccadillos of being human.” “Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back is the very finest in literary fiction with a romance theme, yet it’s more than just that—it’s about human connections and empathy and finding a way out of the fear and inertia faced by so many. It’s also about courage and strength, about respect and coming to terms with all that life has to offer, and it’s about letting go. I loved this book and look forward to the next in the series. This is a highly recommended read, well-deserving of Five Stars.” GGR Reviews

 “Cosentino tells the stories of the guests and owners at Cozzi Cove as separate yet intertwining stories, a delivery style that’s genius. It’s a bit like watching segments unfold in soap opera fashion.” “While the story is rife with the humor and lighthearted romance I’ve come to associate with Joe Cosentino, it also addresses several serious topics associated with the gay community: homophobia, stereotyping and coming out.” 3 Chicks After Dark

 “The humour is full of double entendres and tongue in cheek wit. I can't help but grin my way through his novels.” “Beneath the comings and goings and toings and froings and sex and arguments and innuendo are real issues. Coping with the death or illness or betrayal. Learning to love. Hoping. Yearning. Becoming different. Growing. Accepting.” “This author has yet to disappoint me with his stories.” “For me it’s love all the way.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews

 “There were parts that were hilarious, parts that were serious, parts that were happy and parts that were sad. Regardless of the emotion that the character was portraying at that moment, I was able to feel it myself.” “an amazing book.” “I also truly loved the storyline.” Inked Rainbow Reads

 “Cal (Cozzi) is clever, sweet, funny, and loyal.” “Cosentino’s writing is well done and clever.” Jo & Isa Love Books

“readers will meet a variety of characters that creates a soap opera intrigue, unlike any other novel read. This story will definitely keep readers guessing with every page. Only when readers reach the last page does everything become known. It’s addictive. Cozzi Cove is a brand new series that will keep Joe Cosentino’s readers on their toes and begging for more. I laughed, cried, and fell in love with this latest novel.” Urban Book Reviews

 “I loved each character just as much as the next, each one had their own quirks and nuances. This was a great start to the series, and Jersey Shore has never looked hotter!!” Alpha Book Club

"As a whole the story shines...the story is never dull and ends satisfyingly." Elisa Rainbow, Rainbow Awards

“This book is extremely well written and all the stories are equally compelling and cleverly crafted. There are moments when, just as you think you know what’s going on, the truth emerges and turns out to be something quite different….Cal’s guests are an amusing and heart wrenching mixed bag of people, all of whom I found irresistible in their own way….So many wonderful, poignant and often funny stories are told here….It’s a real roller coaster of a ride that’s finished off perfectly as the guests spend their last day at Cozzi Cove then check out to move on with their lives.” OptimuMM Book Reviews

“Another brilliantly written book by this author. He makes you want to take your own vacation in Cozzi Cove. You could feel all the emotion and love flowing from the pages.” Books Laid Bare Boys

Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, and Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (NineStar Press); Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective Nicky and Noah mysteries (Lethe Press); In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press) Jana Lane mysteries.. 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. He was voted 2nd Place for Favorite MM Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015, and his books have received numerous awards including Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions.

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