Character Interview with Nicky and Noah from DRAMA TV – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Joe Cosentino back with an Interview with Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, the leading characters in his Drama TV, the 13th Nicky and Noah mystery/comedy/romance novel. Check out the giveaway at the end of the post.

Nicky and Noah, you have hit it big with your mystery series!

Noah: Nicky definitely has hit it big.

Congratulations on the release of the thirteenth novel in your award-winning and popular Nicky and Noah gay cozy comedy mystery series.

Nicky: Thank you. Thirteen is our new lucky number.

Since the readers can’t see you, tell them what you look like.

Noah: Nicky is a gorgeous hunk.

Nicky: And Noah is always honest.

Noah: He’s tall with dark hair and sexy long sideburns, a cleft chin I love to kiss, Roman nose, emerald eyes, and a muscular body thanks to the gym on campus.

Nicky: I call it the chamber of horrors and self-abuse.

Noah: Best of all, Nicky has a huge heart. And something else that is huge.

Nicky: And Noah likes that.

Noah: It sure doesn’t hurt. Well, not too much anymore. (He blushes.)

Nicky: Noah is tall, with silky golden blond hair, true-blue eyes, milk and honey skin, and a body I love to hug all night long. And Noah always cares about others. Especially me. And I adore him.

Nicky and Noah: And we both love solving mysteries!

Nicky: Talking together is a cute couple thing we do.

Tell us about Drama TV, the thirteenth novel in your popular, award-winning series.

Nicky: Noah and I

Noah: And our best friends Martin and Ruben

Nicky: And our sons Taavi and Ty shoot (no pun intended) the pilot episode for a television series based on our first caper, Drama Queen.

Noah: When Nicky and I first fell in love.

Nicky: Where else would we do the television show but cozy Treemeadow College during winter break? It will come as no surprise to Nicky and Noah fans that cast members disappear like a TV newscaster with a broken teleprompter.

Noah: As usual we use our drama skills to catch the killer

Nicky: Before Noah and I get cancelled.

As usual, calamity ensues in book thirteen. 

Nicky: Of course! I do double duty (Try saying that three times fast while chewing gum) directing and playing myself in the TV pilot.

Noah: And thanks to a bit of nepotism, I play Noah Oliver.

Nicky: Our witty and wild best friend Martin Anderson, Theatre Department Chair, plays himself

Noah: And to his husband’s chagrin, Martin casts Ruben in the multifaceted role of a dead body.

Nicky: Our stagestruck son Taavi tries to steal the show as enterprising film student Kyle Samson

Noah: And Martin and Ruben’s cocky son Ty holds his own as unlucky in love theatre major PJ Myers.

Nicky: Martin’s sassy office assistant, Shayla Johnson, plays Martin’s sassy office assistant Shayla Johnson. And long-suffering detective Manuello is such a bad actor he has difficulty playing himself!

Who are the new characters in book thirteen?

Noah: Incredibly handsome, muscular, and sexy young actor Cam Mark plays incredibly handsome, muscular, and sexy theatre major (and the star of the Jack the Ripperesque college production) David Amour. Though Cam isn’t as sexy as Nicky.

Nicky: Or Noah. Madame Mirembe, a reality TV show talent contest winner, plays theatre major Kayla Calloway. Southern beauty pageant winner Caroline Joy is theatre major Jan Annondale.

Noah: Broadway rap star Tadeo Torres is cast as theatre student Ricky Gonzalez.

Nicky: The professional actors, like the students they play in the Drama Queen TV pilot, are hiding many secrets.

Who was your favorite new character? 

Nicky: Noah.

Noah: New character, Nicky.

Nicky: Oh, I really admire hunky actor Ford Heathcliff who plays hunky junior detective John Dickenson. Ford has risen above his disability to become quite an admirable young man.

Noah: We know all about rising things, don’t we, Nicky? My favorite character is Nicky.

Nicky: New character, Noah.

Noah: Oh, our adorable makeup and hair stylist Stuey Socks wears his rouge on his cheeks and his heart on his sleeves.

Which new character do you like the least? 

Nicky and Noah: Everyone who is murdered. (smile)

Which new character is the sexiest? 

Nicky: Chris Jones, the statuesque actor playing Professor of Movement Jackson Grier, though Noah is sexier.

Noah: Tadeo Torres is sweet and cute as a lollipop, but Nicky is sweeter and cuter.

What makes the Nicky and Noah mystery series so special?

Nicky & Noah: Us!

Nicky: Actually, it’s a gay cozy mystery comedy series, meaning the setting is warm and cozy, the clues and murders (and laughs) come fast and furious, and there are enough plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning faster than an evangelical judge taking away LGBT rights. At the center is the touching relationship between Noah and me. You watch us go from courting to marrying to adopting a child, all the while head over heels in love with each other.

Noah: Reviewers called the series “hysterically funny farce,” “Murder She Wrote meets Hart to Hart meets The Hardy Boys,” and “captivating whodunits.” One reviewer wrote they are the funniest books she’s ever read! Another said Joe is “a master storyteller.” Who am I to argue?

Nicky: Even though Noah and I tell Joe everything to write. 

How are the novels cozy?

Noah: Many of them take place in Vermont, a cozy state with green pastures, white church steeples, glowing lakes, and friendly and accepting people. Fictitious Treemeadow College (named after its gay founders, couple Tree and Meadow) is the perfect setting for a cozy mystery with its white Edwardian buildings, low white stone fences, lake and mountain views, and cherry wood offices with tall leather chairs and fireplaces.

Nicky: It’s even more cozy in winter with snow blanketing the campus and surrounding the village. 

Why do you think there aren’t many other gay cozy mystery series out there? 

Noah: Most MM novels are erotica, young adult, dark thrillers, or supernatural. While that’s fine, I think we’re missing a whole spectrum of fiction. In the case of the Nicky and Noah mysteries, they include romance, humor, mystery, adventure, and quaint and loveable characters in uncanny situations. The settings are warm and cozy with lots of hot cocoa by the fireplace. The clues and red herrings are there for the perfect whodunit.

Nicky: So are the plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning over like an anti-gay politician in the back room of a gay bar. And no matter what is thrown in my path as a sleuth, I always end up on top.

Noah: Which is just fine with me. 

For anyone unfortunate enough not to have read them, tell us the titles of the first twelve novels in the series.

Nicky: Let’s see how fast I can do this. Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Novel of the Year), Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Fraternity. Take it, Noah, while I catch my breath.

Noah: Drama Castle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Dance (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Faerie, Drama Runway, Drama Christmas, Drama Pan. Phew!

Joe is a college theatre professor/department chair like Martin Anderson in your series. Has that influenced the series?

Noah: As a past professional actor and current college theatre professor/department chair, Joe knows first-hand the wild and wacky antics, sweet romance, and captivating mystery in the worlds of theatre and academia. The Nicky and Noah mysteries are full of them! He never seems to run out of wild characters to write about.

Nicky: His faculty colleagues and students kid him that if any of them tick me off, he’ll kill them in his next book. And he probably will. The little guy is fearless!

What do you like about the regular characters in the series? 

Noah: I love Nicky’s never give up attitude and sense of humor in the face of adversity. He’s genuinely concerned for others, and he’ll do anything to solve a murder mystery. He’s also a one-man man, and I’m proud to admit that man is me.

Nicky: Noah makes the perfect Watson to my Holmes. (I always thought Holmes and Watson were a gay couple.) Noah also has a large heart and soft spot (no pun intended) for others. Finally, like me, Noah is gifted at improvisation, and creates wild and wonderful characters for our role plays to catch the murderer.

Noah: I think it’s terrific how Martin and Ruben throw riotous zingers at each other, but they’re so much in love. You don’t see a lot of older gay characters in books nowadays. Of course Martin’s administrative assistant, Shayla, thrives on her one-upmanship with Martin, and he thrives right back.

Nicky: And our kids, Taavi and Ty, fit into our thespian crime-solving group perfectly.

How about your parents? 

Nicky: They’re hilarious. I love Noah’s mother’s fixation with taking pictures of everything, and his father’s fascination with seeing movies and television. I also love how Noah’s father is a ham and an amateur sleuth like me. As they say, men marry their fathers.

Noah: Nicky’s mom’s Mafia ties and addiction to church Bingo are also a riot. Both sets of parents fully embrace their sons and their sons’ family, which is refreshing. 

I’m sure Joe has been told that the books would make a terrific TV series.

Nicky: Many many times. Hence the title Drama TV. Rather than Logo showing reruns of Golden Girls around the clock, and Bravo airing so called reality shows, I would love to see them do The Nicky and Noah Mysteries. Come on, TV producers, make your offers! Joe has written a teleplay of the first novel and treatments for the remaining novels!

How would you cast the TV series?

Noah: Here’s my wish list: Matt Bomer as Nicky, Neil Patrick Harris as me, Rosie O’Donnell and Bruce Willis as my parents, Valerie Bertinelli and Jay Leno as Nicky’s parents, Joe as Martin Anderson (nepotism!), Nathan Lane as Martin’s husband Ruben, Wanda Sykes as Martin’s office assistant Shayla, and Joe Manganiello as Nicky’s brother Tony.

Joe has written other mystery series: the Player Piano mysteries and the Jana Lane mysteries. There are mystery elements in his Cozzi Cove series and Found At Last series. A story in Joe’s Tales from Fairyland Anthology is a mystery. 

Nicky: They’re great stories, but Noah and I aren’t in them. Next question.

What’s next for the Nicky and Noah mysteries?

Nicky: Whatever we whisper in Joe’s ear.

How can your readers get their hands on Drama TV, and how can they contact you? 

Nicky: The purchase links are below, as are Joe’s contact links, including his web site.

Noah: Nicky and I love to hear from readers via Joe! He tells us everything you say about us! 

Thank you, Nicky and Noah, for interviewing today.

Nicky and Noah: Our pleasure.

Noah: So relax on the sofa and reach for the remote. The TV screen is exploding with sexy young heartthrobs, egotistical reality TV show contestants, a soap opera diva, a hot rap singer

Nicky: and murder!

It’s winter break at Treemeadow College, and Theatre professors and spouses Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, their best friends Martin and Ruben, and their sons Taavi and Ty are starring in a television pilot for the Nicky and Noah Mysteries series based on their first caper, Drama Queen. More is shot than footage as cast members drop like giant flat screen TVs mounted by an intoxicated carpenter. Once again, our favorite thespians will need to use their drama skills to catch the killer before they get cancelled. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining thirteenth (yikes!) novel in this delightful series. So relax on the sofa and reach for the remote. The TV screen is exploding with sexy young heartthrobs, egotistical reality TV show contestants, a soap opera diva, a hot rap singer, and murder!

Enjoy an Excerpt

Smoke, streetlamps, beggars, and ladies of the evening permeate the Victorian London street. A dangerously handsome young man in an expensive suit twirls his dark cape around the shoulders of a beautiful young woman. Her hair and gown are blonde and flowing. The man’s crystal blue eyes sparkle as he kisses her ivory neck. She reaches for his broad back. He grasps the broach fastened at her neck by a thick ribbon, and he squeezes tighter and tighter. The elated expression on her youthful face transforms to one of abject horror. After she gasps her last breath, the woman lay motionless on the gray cement next to another young woman whose blood trickles from her dark skin onto her burgundy gown. The murderous Adonis flicks back his long dark velvety hair. After admiring his two victims, he spots his next prey. A smaller and darker man removes his jacket and ruffled white shirt exposing a ripe, muscular chest. As if offering himself as a human sacrifice, he reaches out, resting his hands on the other man’s bulging biceps. After they share a passionate kiss, the taller man retrieves the knife hidden inside his high black boot. He holds it erect and then plunges it into the other man’s side. As the murderer stares down at his third victim, he says, “The Lord is vengeful and strong in wrath. And revenge is oh so sweet.”

The deceased blonde woman sits up and says, “Did my hair and makeup look okay?”

Wiping the blood off her arm, the dark woman asks, “Was Caroline in my light?”

The young male victim rambles to his feet. “Can Cam and I try the kiss again?”

“Cut!” Hello, TV land. It’s Nicky Abbondanza, PhD, Professor of Play Directing and director of theatre, bodybuilding competition, cruise dinner theatre, luau show, film, ballet, modeling runway, and now television. What am I doing directing a television pilot during winter break here at Treemeadow College in picturesque Vermont? A television network made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Literally. My credit card payments were due at the same time as a television network executive saw a play I directed at the college. The plan was hatched for me to direct a television pilot chronicling my first mystery case at the college. As they say, the first is always the most special. Just ask my mother about her oldest boy—me! My first case of twelve so far, Drama Queen, was also unique because it brought me together with my husband, Noah Oliver, Associate Professor of Acting. When five of our professor colleagues dropped faster than the curtain on a David Mamet play for an audience full of nuns, Noah was one of my suspects—which he never lets me forget. (He also never lets me forget my age, forty-five, since he’s a youthful thirty-eight.) After that first case, Noah became the Watson to my Holmes, the love of my life, my spouse for life, and the co-parent to our adopted son, Taavi. Back to the TV pilot. I cast the best actor I know as myself—me. Noah began drafting divorce papers until I cast him in the appropriate role of himself, Noah Oliver. Our son, definitely an Oliver-Abbondanza, craves the theatrical limelight as well as the detective’s flashlight, making us a three armchair detective family. So Taavi, sixteen, threatened to become a Republican terrorist storming the Capitol if I didn’t cast him in the role of suspect Kyle Samson, Treemeadow College film major. My best friend and Theatre Department Chair, Martin Anderson, was happier than a QAnon member spotting a Jewish laser from outer space when I asked him to write the script and play himself in the TV pilot. Martin’s husband Ruben vowed to hide Martin’s diapers and dentures until I cast Ruben as one of the murder victims. Martin and Ruben’s fifteen-year-old adopted son, Ty, began phoning nursing homes for Martin and Ruben until I cast Ty as theatre major and suspect P.J. Myers. Martin’s secretary, adversary, and confidant, Shayla Johnson, hinted at burning our paychecks, so I cast Shayla in the plum role of herself, Shayla Johnson. Finally, my nemesis, Detective Jose Manuello, bitten by the Treemeadow acting bug in my past shows, talked his way into playing himself. Manuello told me he wanted to be close by when shooting (pardon the pun) wraps, and members of the TV cast and crew are murdered. Oh, Manuello, ye of little faith. It’s an Abbondanza production. They’ll be murdered long before that. Speaking of which, the television network cast professional actors from Los Angeles and New York in the remaining roles, and we lodged the actors in the dormitory on campus. So, like a warning before the Great Hurricane of 1780, the slate board was raised, and we shot first exterior and now interior scenes. This current scene in our ruby theatre documents the Jack the Ripper style play I was directing at Treemeadow College a decade ago, “when I was a hunk.”

“You’re still a hunk to me.” Noah sat in the front-row theatre seat next to mine. His strawberry shampoo made me weak in the knees—which were getting weak anyway.

I pointed to the neck brace under my shirt collar. “I don’t feel like a hunk.”

He kissed the cleft in my chin. “You’ll always be my hunk. No matter how old and feeble you become, Nicky.”

“Thanks, Noah.” I think. True, my Italian-American genes had left me with tight olive skin, a Roman nose, and emerald eyes. Yes, the gym at the college had rewarded me with a muscular body. Of course, my wardrobe (copied by Noah, Taavi, and Ty) of a well-appointed dress shirt, dress slacks, and blazer made me look dashing. And then there is that other tidbit. Well, not exactly a tidbit. More like a titan. Why beat around the bush (no pun intended)? Like a new member of AA who is called to speak first, I’ll come right out and say I have a nearly foot-long penis—flaccid—which thanks to Noah isn’t flaccid very much.

Noah’s azure eyes, milk and honey skin, and radiant blond hair made him the picture of youth. Grr. “I’ll always adore you, Nicky.” He giggled. “Even when you’re old—er.”

I kissed his soft, youthful (grr) cheek.

Noah cooed. “Remember when we first met in this theatre, Nicky?”

“Yes, my graduate assistant, Scotty Bruno, was hot for you.”

“But I chose you, the love of my life. Despite you thinking I was a suspect in the Drama Queen murders.”


Noah rested his head on my shoulder.


“Sorry. How’s your neck, Nicky?”

“Ask the compressed nerves.” I sighed. “It’s no fun growing old.”

“Unless you have someone wonderful to grow old with.”

We started to kiss.

“When do we shoot my scene, Pop?” My son took the other seat next to me.

I turned toward him too quickly. “Ow! You can’t always be on camera, Taavi.”

“Then can I be onstage?” Taavi’s dimples resembled the craters of his homeland Hawaii.

Noah leaned toward our son. “My scene comes first.”

“Help, I’m trapped inside an actor sandwich!” I said.

Noah winked. “You can be the meat, Nicky.”

I whispered in his soft ear, “Later my love.”

“I’ll hold you to that,” he whispered back. “Literally.”

“I’m counting on it.”

Taavi’s dark eyes raised to his dark hair. “I can hear that.”

Noah did a doubletake. “How can you hear us whispering, but not shouting for you to go to bed at night?”

“Selective listening,” I explained to Noah.

Taavi cocked his head. “Is that an acting technique like sense memory and emotional recall?”

“For you, yes. And speaking of shouting.” After clearing my throat, I shouted to my cast onstage, “Caroline, Madame, and Tadeo, we can edit out your comments, but for future don’t break character until I call, ‘Cut!’”

About the Author: Joe Cosentino was voted Favorite MM Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of the Year by the readers of Divine Magazine for Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery novel. He is also the author of the remaining Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle, Drama Dance, Drama Faerie, Drama Runway, Drama Christmas, Drama Pan, Drama TV; the Player Piano Mysteries: The Player and The Player’s Encore; the Jana Lane Mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll; the Cozzi Cove series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Moving Forward, Stepping Out, New Beginnings, Happy Endings; the In My Heart Anthology: An Infatuation & A Shooting Star; the Tales from Fairyland Anthology: The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland and Holiday Tales from Fairyland; the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories Anthology: A Home for the Holidays, The Perfect Gift, The First Noel; and the Found At Last Anthology: Finding Giorgio and Finding Armando. His books have won numerous Book of the Month awards and Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions. As an actor, Joe appeared in principal roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Jason Robards, and Holland Taylor. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Goddard College, Master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz, and is currently a happily married college theatre professor/department chair residing in New York State.

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Giveaway: Post a comment on what you love most about a good gay mystery on television. The one that lights up our wide screen the most will win a gift Audible code for their choice of one of the first three Nicky and Noah mystery audiobooks: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, or Drama Cruise.

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