Award-winning bestselling author Joe Cosentino did an author interview with us for the release of PORCELAIN DOLL, the second Jana Lane mystery, published by The Wild Rose Press. He interviewed his sexy young congressman character, Sancho Ramirez, for the release of SATIN DOLL, the third Jana Lane mystery. Joe is back with us today interviewing his heroine Jana Lane for the release of CHINA DOLL, the fourth Jana Lane mystery.
Joe: Hi Jana. It’s funny to interview you since I know you so well.
Jana: Nobody knows me like you do.
Joe: Jana, you were America’s most famous child star with movies like Daddy’s Girl, Jungle Girl, School Spy, The Littlest Farmer, The Cowgirl and Bandit, Girl Detective, Pink Ballerina, The Cutest Scientist, and many more. Then at middle age, you made a film comeback in the steamy His Obsession and Madame Senator—for which you won a well-deserved Academy Award! You are still gorgeous at forty-one with your petite figure, layered blonde hair, crystal blue eyes, and porcelain skin. Do you have a beauty regime?
Jana: I work out in my home gym each day in my Hyde Park, New York estate to music like “Maniac,” “What a Feeling,” “Gloria,” and “Cover Me.”
Joe: And your clothes are in perfect 1984 fashion with chic business suits and dresses, shoulder pads, lace gloves, leggings, and scrunchies.
Jana: You should know.
Joe: I had to do a lot of research on that period since I’m too young to remember the 1980’s.
Jana: You are certainly a storyteller, Joe.
Joe: Back to the interview. Tell the readers about your popular mystery romance series.
Jana: In PAPER DOLL at thirty-eight I live with my family in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. My flashbacks from the past become murder attempts in my future. So I venture back to Hollywood, which helps me uncover a web of secrets about everyone I love.
Joe: And you also embark on a romance with the devilishly handsome son of your old producer, Rocco Cavoto. But you stay true to your husband Brian.
Jana: You can’t blame a girl for checking out the produce.
Joe: You sure do a lot of checking in this series.
Jana: Moving on, in PORCELAIN DOLL I make a comeback film and uncover who is being murdered on the set and why.
Joe: And your heart is set aflutter by your co-star, America’s heartthrob Jason Apollo.
Jana: Who is also one of the suspects.
Joe: The other suspects include your James Dean type young co-star, your older John Wayne type co-star, your 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 pushy agent. SATIN DOLL is next.
Jana: In SATIN DOLL my family and I head to Washington, DC, where I play a US senator in a new film, and become embroiled in murder and corruption at the senate chamber.
Joe: And you embark on a romantic flirtation with Chris Bruno, the muscular detective. You sure get around.
Jana: I go wherever you tell me to go. I also rub elbows with senators on both sides of the aisle, a lobbyist, and a Washington reporter.
Joe: And the reviews have been amazing.
Jana: I know! They like me. They really like me! Here are a few of my favorites:
“A book that will captivate any reader! A page turner that won't let you go! This is one author you can always depend on to publish a good read!!” Stormy Nights Reviewing
“Joe Cosentino is a brilliant mastermind when creating the perfect mystery series. In each novel in this intriguing series of his, Jana Lane Mysteries, readers are blown away by his writing. The instant readers jump into Joe Cosentino's fictional world, the danger feels real, the suspense is killing, and the plot moves so fast. Action, lights, camera!” “A fast-paced murder mystery that readers will easily fall in love with...and one they can't live without. Overall, I highly recommend this new title in the Jana Lane Mysteries and look forward to the next best adventure from Joe Cosentino.” Danielle Urban, Universal Creativity Inc.
“Beautifully written and intensely detailed, Porcelain Doll is one not to be missed. Flirtatiously decadent with a strong moral undertone, set in a decade of extraordinary social change this is a story of its period that is as poignant today as it was then. Joe Cosentino controlled the emotions that the book encouraged with a deft but delicate touch. Suspenseful and mysterious, Porcelain Doll is a masterful creation, one that was impossible not to be affected by.” Carol Fenton, BooksLaidBare Reviews
“Paper Doll is a superbly crafted mystery with an eclectic cast of characters that will engage you and elicit some very emotional responses as you are completely caught up in the events that unfold in these pages. Everyone has secrets and the people in Paper Doll have them in spades!” Fresh Fiction
"Mr. Cosentino has produced a masterpiece of mystery (Paper Doll)" "The story gripped me from the start and there were enough twists and turns, with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure, to keep hold of me until the end of the book." "Great book, can’t wait for book 2." Readers’ Favorite
Joe: Tell them about your current release, CHINA DOLL.
Jana: In CHINA DOLL I head to New York City to star in a Broadway mystery.
Joe: And become enchanted by your co-star Peter Stevens. Here we go again.
Jana: I admit I am taken in by Peter’s matinee idol good looks, charm, and talent. But when bodies start dropping like stage curtains, and the local detective is more interested in going to musical theatre than solving the crime, it’s up to me to once again use the skills I learned as a child star to solve the case.
Joe: And what a group! Tell them about the suspects.
Jana: The play is produced and written by the same producer (Stanley Rothman) and author (Katrina Wright) who produced and wrote my first Broadway play when I was five years old, Sweet Nothings. I co-starred with the aging but still gorgeous and mysterious Savannah Stevens, who is also co-starring in China Doll.
Joe: Rounding out the cast are Rothman’s granddaughter Bella, your nephew Brad, and your youngest son B.J. And the play is directed by Katrina’s new husband, the young studly Tony Cuccioli.
Jana: Also in the cast are Sally Chen a recent Tony Award winning actress, and Tate Moonglow a transplant from Off-Broadway.
Joe: Who is your favorite character in CHINA DOLL? And why?
Jana: Besides Peter, I really enjoyed Gary Royale, B.J.’s over anxious new nanny, and of course the Broadway musical buff Detective Douglas was great fun. Who is yours?
Joe: You are of course! And your agent, Simon. I want to play him in the TV series. Hear that, producers! I also love how your youngest son, B.J., takes so well to the stage in the novel.
Jana: Like mother like son—and grandfather and uncle.
Joe: With her gorgeous violet eyes, do you think Savannah Stevens is based on Elizabeth Taylor?
Jana: Savannah is a smart, strong, talented woman like Elizabeth Taylor, however, she doesn’t have anywhere near as many husbands or such a troubled life. But as is the case with all of the characters in CHINA DOLL, a major secret is revealed about Savannah. Do you think Katrina Wright, the highly successful mystery writer, is supposed to be Agatha Christie?
Joe: They are both very successful, older female writers, but Agatha Christie wrote many novels and a few plays, Katrina has written many many plays and no novels. Also unlike Agatha Christie, Katrina has a young stud husband who just happens to get the job as director of Katrina’s play—to the producer’s (Stanley Rothman’s) chagrin.
Jana: Since you were an actor, like me, did you use your acting background to write CHINA DOLL?
Joe: I wrote, directed, and acted in a number of plays including playing opposite some pretty big stars as noted in my biography. I used those experiences many times in CHINA DOLL when writing about the role of the playwright, director, stage manager, producer, actors, designers, and technicians. I know first-hand what it’s like to do a read through, a blocking rehearsal, rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and performances, and I believe the novel is better for it. Though thankfully nobody was murdered in any of my plays.
Jana: I wish my life were as calm.
Joe: In the novel, Katrina and Stanley use their religious beliefs as a weapon to try to fire one of the cast members. I’m so proud of you Jana for defending Tate.
Jana: I’m a Christian who tries to love her neighbor as herself, not judge others, and help victims of discrimination. I stand up to Katrina and Stanley because I believe that the freedom to worship as you choose is far different from the freedom to discriminate against others.
Joe: That’s my girl.
Jana: Though China Doll is a fictitious play, I like how you were able to place our theatre between the marquees of real shows playing at the time: Hurlyburly starring William Hurt and Christopher Walken and The Rink starring Chita Rivera and Liza Minelli. And how New York City is prominently featured in the novel with its luxury hotels, Central Park, Washington Square Park, Little Italy, and of course the theatre district. As is the still new AIDS epidemic and the devastation it caused when ignored by our political representatives, as once again I sponsor a benefit for AIDS research.
Joe: Which scene in the novel did you each enjoy the most? And why?
Jana: I loved the only scene I’m not in, the hospital scene. It’s so touching. And I enjoyed our lunch at New York City’s most famous theatre district restaurant, and our carriage ride. And always the white-knuckle surprise ending.
Joe: Thanks. Will you be jealous if I tell the readers about my other mystery series?
Jana: Go for it.
Joe: They are the Nicky and Noah comedy mysteries published by Lethe Press. Each novel is loaded with wacky humor and romance in a fast-paced whodunit. Since I am a college theatre professor/department head, and theatre departments are havens of mystery, secrets, romance, and high humor; the series takes place at an Edwardian style New England college. In DRAMA QUEEN (Divine Magazine’s Favorite Mystery Novel of 2015) theatre college professors are dropping like stage curtains. With the inept local detectives, it is up to Directing professor, Nicky Abbondanza to use his theatre skills (including playing other people) to solve the murders, while he directs a murder mystery onstage. Complicating matters is Nicky’s intense crush on Assistant Professor of Acting, handsome Noah Oliver, the prime suspect in the murder. In DRAMA MUSCLE Nicky and Noah have to use their theatre skills to find out why musclemen are dropping like weights in the Physical Education department while Nicky directs the Student Bodybuilding Competition. In DRAMA CRUISE (not released yet), Nicky and Noah go on a cruise to Alaska, and discover why college theatre professors are going overboard like lifeboats while Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship.
Jana: And don’t forget your hit MM romance novels and novellas: IN MY HEART (An Infatuation & A Shooting Star), A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, and THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND (Dreamspinner Press); and the Cozzi Cove beach series: COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK and COZZI COVE: MOVING FORWARD (NineStarPress).
Joe: Thanks, Jana.
Jana: Speaking of novels, what’s my next mystery?
Joe: RAG DOLL, where you are offered the leading role in a TV pilot about an amateur sleuth. Again, life imitates art and you have to use the skills you learned as a child star to figure out the secrets and capture the murderer. You are also captivated by a very sexy man from your past.
Jana: That sounds like fun!
Joe: It is! So, everyone, enjoy the Jana Lane mysteries. And let Jana and I know what you think at http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com.
CHINA DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery
by Joe Cosentino
published by The Wild Rose Press
Jana Lane is back on Broadway in 1984—starring in a murder mystery. Life imitates art when members of the company are murdered. As Jana investigates, it’s clear she may be the next victim. Complicating matters is Jana’s uncontrollable infatuation with her leading man, gorgeous and muscular Off-Broadway actor Peter Stevens. Will Jana find the murderer before the curtain comes down on her?
Bestselling author Joe Cosentino won Divine Magazine’s awards for best mystery novel, best humorous novel, and best contemporary novel of 2015. He is the author of the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, and China Doll and the upcoming Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press); the Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, and the upcoming Drama Cruise (Lethe Press); the Cozzi Cove beach series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (NineStar Press); and the romance novellas: In My Heart anthology (An Infatuation & A Shooting Star), A Home for the Holidays, and The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). As an actor, he has appeared in principal 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. http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Excerpts from China Doll a Jana Lane mystery by Joe Cosentino, published by Wild Rose Press:
Tall, muscular, aristocratic-looking with dark hair and blushed cheeks, Peter shook Jana’s hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Lane.”
Feeling the warmth and smoothness of his strong hand, Jana felt like a shut-in at a blind date with Mr America. “It’s Miss Otley…rather Mrs. Lane…Mrs. Otley, but please call me Peter.” Jana turned the color of her avocado dress.
He seemed to enjoy her attraction to him. Amazing dimples emerged as Peter said, “I thought I was Peter.”
Jana giggled in spite of herself. “You are. I’m Nana. I mean…I’m Jana.”
Peter’s peaches and cream complexion complimented his white pants, coral T-shirt, and marigold blazer. He whispered in her ear, and she smelled fresh mint. “I’m nervous too. Everyone’s thinking I got this role because I’m Savannah Stevens’ son. They’re probably right.”
I have to stop gawking at him. “I’m sure you’ll be fine.”
Peter seemed genuinely touched. “That means a lot to me, coming from such a fine actress. I hope you’ll give me a few tips in rehearsals.”
Jana came face to face with Stanley. “If Tate and Gary go, so do I.”
“Don’t do it for me, Jana,” Tate and Gary said in unison.
Stanley grinned. “Listen to your deviant friends, Jana.”
Tate held Jana’s arm to stifle her from replying to Stanley.
Stanley glared at Sally Chen. “And if anyone doesn’t like the size of her role, I’ll accept your resignation.” Then staring at Savannah and Jana, he said, “And if any of you regrets signing a contract with me for this show, let this be a business lesson for you. Lawyers enforce contracts.” Stanley clapped his hands again. “Tony, Tate, and Gary, you are released. Kat, please take a seat in the house. Jose, back to your stage manager’s console please. Everyone else, please make a circle around me, and I will lead you in some acting exercises.”
As everyone moved around Stanley onstage in a state of shocked pandemonium, the bookcase set piece teetered back and forth then crashed down on top of the producer.
There you have it! Comments? Drop Joe a line, he'll be glad to hear from you!