Today I welcome Joe Cosentino to the blog as he releases his holiday short story. Joe has answered some interview questions and provided a wonderful giveaway!
A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
by JOE COSENTINO
Bobby McGrath’s Christmas trip to the beautiful Italian Island of Capri to meet his eccentric, extended family offers stunning views—none more stunning than his third cousin, Paolo Mascobello, a real stocking stuffer. As the two young men embark on a relationship, Bobby, a driven law student, learns to relax and bask under the old Italian moon, and Paolo realizes there’s more to life than a frolic on the beach. For the two to find everlasting amore, Paulo must overcome his fear of commitment and learn to follow his dreams, and Bobby must get his wish for happily ever after. “Reading this little holiday treat is like taking a romantic trip to gorgeous Capri, Italy!”
Interview – Holiday Spirit
I love the holiday season and everything that goes along with it. For me it means summer (yep, I’m in Australia), holidays, and time with family and friends. It’s about fun and enjoyment with lots of entertaining. There are gifts, and food, and lots of laughter.
I’d love to hear more about your holidays, and I’m sure your readers would too.
I love Christmas and always look forward to it. What’s your favourite holiday of the year and what makes it so special?
It has always been Christmas! When I was a kid my older sister and male cousin wrapped sheets around us, put me in a trash can lined with yellow construction paper, and charged neighbors money for our Jesus, Mary, and Joseph play. I didn’t mind, since I was the star! I’ve always loved the idea of peace on earth and goodwill to all, even if it’s only for one day. Besides, who can beat, “don we now our gay apparel?”
Do you and your family/friends have any special holiday traditions?
My spouse and I go to my parents’ house in New Jersey. Until it was legal for us to marry, we had to sit at the kiddy table dodging food grenades, since my mother has always said, “If you’re not married, you’re a kid.” As I’m allergic to dogs, their dog sits with her head on my lap. My father says grace like the house is on fire, “Bless me father and everything, let’s eat.” There is an orgy of food, including enough desserts to cause a sugar coma. My cousins generally ask me if I’m in any new commercials. The last one I acted in was in 1985. Then we exchange enough gifts to rival a department store. My spouse, who is Jewish, says it’s his favorite holiday too.
Mmm…there’s nothing like a Christmas sugar coma. What’s the worst Christmas present you’ve ever received?
One year my parents bought my sister a house and me a necktie. I never wear ties.
Oh dear, that certainly a memorable gift! What’s the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
The email that Dreamspinner Press was publishing my first novella, An Infatuation.
As an author, I can understand your pleasure at receiving your first acceptance (or any contract offer). 🙂 What’s your biggest gift giving disaster?
When I gave my niece a size small blouse when she was pregnant.
And your biggest gift giving success?
There was a terrible snowstorm one Christmas. So my spouse and I stayed home and watched The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol.
Aww. If you could be granted one special gift for the world for Christmas, what would it be?
Equal civil rights for everyone everywhere, and nobody ever again trying to take them away due to their own so called freedom of religion.
Christmas carols. Yes or no?
Yes! My favorite is “Gloria,” since they sung it in one of my favorite movies, The Trouble with Angels starring Hayley Mills and Rosalind Russell.
Do you watch Christmas movies? If so, what’s your favourite all time holiday movie?
A Christmas Carol with Alistair Sim. I always suspected Scrooge and Marley had been gay lovers. Remember Marley left everything he owned to Scrooge! I also love A Very Cool Christmas with George Hamilton.
I love reading stories set in the Christmas season and I especially like seeing stories set all over the world. I love seeing how others celebrate and I love reading about guys getting their special Christmas happy ever afters. Do you read holiday romances? If so, do you have a favourite you’d like to recommend to your readers?
OMG, there’s so many. I’ll say Better with Sprinkles by Chrissy Munder. (I was on Chrissy’s site November 23.)
What inspired your current holiday story?
After writing two Bittersweet Dreams novellas An Infatuation and A Shooting Star (In My Heart series) for Dreamspinner Press, Drama Queen the first Nicky and Noah mystery comedy novel for Lethe Press, and Paper Doll the first Jana Lane mystery romance novel for Whiskey Creek Press (and three more Jana Lane mysteries for The Wild Rose Press), not to mention being a college theatre professor/department head, I needed a vacation. So, like Kunta Kinte charting his roots, my spouse and I dipped into our savings and into the Dramamine, and booked a flight and bus tour from the US to Rome, Naples, Venice, Assisi, Lake Como, Milan, Florence, the Amalphi Coast, Pompeii, Tuscany, and Lake Maggiore. However, there was no site more gorgeous, magical, and romantic than the Island of Capri. I’ll never forget the enormous white cliffs sitting majestically on turquoise glistening water covering the azure sky, the white sandy beaches, stunning villas, mouthwatering food, and beautiful and sensuous people. Upon arriving back home, I had to write a story about the amazing Island of Capri.
Tell us a little about the main characters in your holiday story.
Bobby, a young, Italian American law student, travels to Capri to meet his quaint Italian relatives. Though they get off to a rocky start, he falls in love with his handsome, muscular, sexy Italian third cousin, Paolo. Like Harold in An Infatuation and Jonathan in A Shooting Star, Bobby is sweet, sensitive, and smart. As a law student, he has buried his head in his books. As the novella begins, he is ready for an adventure—and ready for first love. Like Mario in An Infatuation and David in A Shooting Star, Paolo is handsome, muscular, charismatic, and like many people in Italy, much more interested in love than in work. He is also a gifted artist. Unlike Bobby, Paolo is very experienced in matters of the heart. Paolo loves the finer things in life, but doesn’t want to work for them. He is quite concerned about his body, clothing, and social life. He is loosely based on my cousin’s cousin who lives in Italy. Their relationship with highs and lows and some captivating surprises is the core of this short holiday novella with a HEA ending. Since I come from a long line of funny Italian Americans, I included a good deal of humor in the story as well with Bobby’s witty mother and Paolo’s eccentric family. Readers say it’s like taking a romantic trip to gorgeous Capri, Italy—but far less expensive!
Share a favourite holiday photo or a holiday recipe.
This is the view from the window seat in my cozy cherry wood study.
Wow. That view is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.
And finally Joe has left us with a clip of a favourite holiday song. You can listen to it while you read the excerpt from A Home for the Holidays below.
“Bobby, every Christmas your father and I buy you a nice gift and you return it. So this year before we go shopping, I’m asking you. What do you want for Christmas, exactly?”
I was tempted to answer, “How about the new Zeb Atlas DVD, Mom?” No longer reading my law textbook, I pressed the cell phone against my ear and responded, “My red sweater is getting frayed. I guess I could use a new one, Mom.”
“I don’t like red on you. I’ll get you a green sweater. It will go nicely with your eyes. You’ll be twenty-four in June. Nobody ever caught a husband wearing red clothes, except for Mrs. Klaus, and then look how overweight he was.”
I adjusted the heavy book on my knees and leaned back against the headboard of my narrow dorm room bed. Since fall semester of my third year of law school was over, my roommate had already gone back to Utah to be with his father and three mothers. Normally I would go home for the holidays.
As far back as I can remember, every December twenty-third through the twenty-fifth my mother works herself to exhaustion while forbidding anyone to help her. Since I am not married, I am seated at the kiddy table, where I dodge meatball and manicotti grenades courtesy of my little nieces and nephews. Then the gifts are bestowed with price tags on them so we all know “How many hours your father and I had to work to be able to buy our children such beautiful things.” This is followed by “oohs” and “ahhs” for every gift except the presents from me, which garner comments from my parents and two sisters like, “Oh well, I can wear that for dress-down day at work… if I keep on my coat.” After the extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins arrive for dessert (cannoli grenades at the kiddy table), my mother’s side (the Mascobellos) eat the pastries, and my father’s side (the McGraths) drink the liqueurs, while I sit upstairs in my old bedroom reading law case decisions on the Internet.
This Christmas is going to be different. Throughout my childhood I heard stories about my mother’s now deceased father who had a first cousin in Capri, Italy. Mom, “too exhausted from taking care of all of you to survive such a journey,” had recently spoken on the phone to her deceased father’s cousin’s daughter-in-law (got that?), and the two women had arranged for me to spend this Christmas with my Italian relatives. This led to my Christmas in Italy with my Italian cousin, Paolo Mascobello.
Releases 2nd December 2015
Joe loves carols. Leave a holiday message for Joe letting him know what carol is your favourite. A random winner will be chosen on 10th December. The lucky winner will receive an eBook from Joe’s backlist so don’t forget to note the book you’d like and your email address.
About the Author
Amazon Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote An Infatuation, A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays (Dreamspinner Press), Drama Queen the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), Paper Doll the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), 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 in 2016 are The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press short stories novella), Porcelain Doll the second Jana Lane mystery (Wild Rose Press), and Drama Muscle the second Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press).
Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com