An Interview with Cal Cozzi by Joe Cosentino – Guest Blog

Long and Short Reviews welcomes back Joe Cosentino who is celebrating the release of his newly-released audio book, Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, the first Cozzi Cove novel, performed by Chase Johnson, and published by NineStar Press.

An Interview with Cal Cozzi
the leading character in Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back by Joe Cosentino

Hi Cal, since the readers can’t see you, please describe yourself.

I have Scottish and Italian ancestors, leaving me with red hair, green eyes, a Roman nose, and olive-colored skin. Since I was a professional football player, I work out every day at the gym in town, and running Cozzi Cove is pretty strenuous; I’m very muscular. My husband thinks I’m cute. I’m also really devoted to my family, and proud that my great-grandfather built Cozzi Cove. Finally, my guests each summer are really important to me, and I do everything I can to make them feel welcome.

What is Cozzi Cove?

It’s my gay resort of eight bungalows on the New Jersey Shore. I live in the main bungalow, and rent out the other seven on the cove every summer. The cove was formed when softer rocks were worn away by the sun and salty water faster than the harder rocks surrounding them. This created a bay of turquoise water shielded by large rocks in the distance and smaller rocks near the water’s edge. Summer renters at Cozzi Cove enjoy quiet and solitude in their own private Shangri-La with easy access to the nearby waves, surfing, boardwalk, restaurants, miniature golf, and shops. Each of the five novels (one not yet published) tell a story about my family, friends, renters that summer, and of course me. I get inside Joe’s head and tell him what to write.

Tell us about the characters in your popular series that, by the way, should be a television series.

I agree! There’s my husband Lance, who is a school teacher, and the love of my life. Connor, the college student assisting me, is packed with muscles and hormones. He revels in having flings at the cove, which he thinks I don’t know about. Tommy, the bald, muscular, tattooed bartender in town has held a torch for me since high school. Again, he thinks I know nothing about it. Carla Mangione, who runs Carla’s Seafood Restaurant, holds a similar torch for my sister, Taylor, who drops in from Rome, Paris, Wall Street, or Palm Springs. In the first novel, I meet Michael, a troubled young man, leading to a shocking conclusion. Each novel also includes the stories of my guests at Cozzi Cove that summer. For the first novel, that includes two sexy college students, a wealthy older couple, a gay porn star, a gay romance novelist, an out of work actor, and a computer game designer who insists he saw a merman on the cove.

The reviews have been very positive for the series. What do readers like most about their visits to your Cozzi Cove.

Meeting me. Kidding. Readers tell Joe they enjoy the catchy dialogue, lush setting, quirky characters, and lots of surprising plot twists and turns in the novels. Nothing is what it seems at first at Cozzi Cove. Anything is possible, and romance is always in the sea air. I hope everybody comes for a visit. I have a bungalow waiting just for you.

Now there’s an audio book version to add to the e-book and paperback of the first novel. How did it feel hearing your voice on the audio book of Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back?

The audio book is performed by popular audio book performer Chase Johnson. Chase has an incredibly sexy, masculine voice, which is fits me to a T. 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. Chase perfectly embodies my inner strength, honesty, and determination. When he reads the descriptions of Cozzi Cove, you feel as if you are lying on a gorgeous cove at the beach. He connects with each of the other people in my life as well in terms of their personalities, passions, and secrets. He also portrays the many humorous sections of the novel, keying into the timing and wit perfectly. I admit that I laughed out loud hearing some sections. He definitely has my blessing and then some. 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 Joe loves hearing from readers. Please let him know all about your trip to the beach.

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

“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

“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

About the Author: 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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