Monday, November 28, 2016
Joe Cosentino on Writing RAG DOLL, the fifth Jana Lane mystery,
published by The Wild Rose Press
At 3am I jump out of bed with a terrifically shocking ending in my head, jot it down on the pad on my night table, and go back to sleep. The next evening, I write an outline full of humor, romance, plot twists and turns, clues, red herrings, and of course the amazing ending (if I can read my notes from the prior evening). Next comes a written character biography for each character. Then the fun part. I let the characters talk in my head and channel their words as I type into the computer. The second draft goes to my spouse for notes. And the third draft goes to the publisher’s editor for notes. A mystery novel is born.
The Jana Lane mysteries are especially fun since I am able to use my insider knowledge of film, television, and theatre as a professional actor who has worked opposite stars like Rosie O’Donnell, Jason Robards, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Bruce Willis. Thankfully nobody was murdered on my shows.
Adding to the enjoyment is the fact that the series takes place in the 1980’s. So I revel in researching online that wonderful period’s hairstyles, makeup, clothing, music, films, television shows, historical events, and mores. Finally, my love for humor and romance are evident in the novels with the quirky but endearing characters in Jana Lane’s life.
As a child I loved child stars like Shirley Temple, Hayley Mills, and Patty Duke, seeing their movies over and over. So I created Jana Lane who was the biggest child star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. In PAPER DOLL, Jana at thirty-eight lives with her family in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. Her flashbacks from the past become murder attempts in her future. Jana ventures back to Hollywood, which helps her uncover a web of secrets about everyone she loves. She also embarks on a flirtation with the devilishly handsome son of her old producer, Rocco Cavoto. In PORCELAIN DOLL, Jana makes a comeback film and uncovers who is being murdered on the set and why. Her heart is set aflutter by her incredibly gorgeous co-star, America’s heartthrob Jason Apollo. In SATIN DOLL, Jana and family head to Washington, DC, where Jana plays a US senator in a new film, and becomes embroiled in a murder and corruption at the senate chamber. She also becomes taken with Chris Bruno, the muscular detective. In CHINA DOLL, Jana heads to New York City to star in a Broadway play, enchanted by her gorgeous co-star Peter Stevens, and faced with murder on stage and off.
Now in RAG DOLL, Jana stars in a new television series, The Detective’s Wife, opposite Chris Bove, the hunky detective who got away in SATIN DOLL. Guest starring on the show is young ingénue Christa Bianca, a rags to riches story who has flooded the press. Life imitates television as Christa’s loved ones are murdered, and Christa and Jana could be next. Once again it’s up to Jana to save the day before the lights fade to black.
The suspects include dominatrix Karen, Bove’s ex-wife who covets Christa’s role, and Herm the director who is enticed by Karen. There is also Christa’s pushy agent. And Christa’s uncle who was also guest-starring on the episode. Andrew, Christa’s controlling manager/husband, and two couples playing bit roles who have a personal conflict with Christa and Andrew, are all suspect. Not to mention Jana’s son’s nanny and the girl’s boyfriend, the mysterious prop master with a secret.
In RAG DOLL, I tried to model some of the characters after people I’ve met, without being too obvious. Since Jana is happily married, I walked a fine line in her flirtations with sexy Chris Bove. I loved writing Jana’s banter with Bove. It still makes me laugh. I also get tears in my eyes when reading the story of Christa’s rise from impoverished, mocked child (the other children calling her “Rag Doll”) to upcoming star.
I also didn’t shy away from social issues as Jana opens the Jana Lane AIDS Foundation. Finally, I was honest about our youth-oriented society, showing guest star on the series, Crista’s uncle Nicholas Hartford, hoping to ride on his niece’s coattails back to the top, and the funny, aging gossip television interviewer, Harriet Hologram. I’ve been told the television shooting sequences in RAG DOLL are realistic, exciting, and fun to read. I’m sure that’s because I know my way around a real television set, and I tried hard to incorporate that knowledge into those scenes.
Everyone in RAG DOLL has a secret, which Jana uncovers along with the murderer, in the shocking ending. I don’t like mysteries where characters are introduced and the writer arbitrarily picks the murderer at the end. The readers feel cheated. At the end of a mystery, the readers should say, “Of course! How did I not see that?” The ending of RAG DOLL still makes my heart race when I read it—and I’m still surprised. And I’ve included plenty of fun and romance along the way.
I hope you enjoy RAG DOLL. Please let me know what you think at: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
RAG DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery
by Joe Cosentino
published by The Wild Rose Press
Wild Rose Press
All Romance E Books:
Barnes and Noble:
Murder, romance, and scandal on and off the set of Jana Lane’s new murder mystery television show. America’s most famous ex-child star Jana Lane is starring in The Detective’s Wife, a murder mystery television show in 1985. Guest starring on the show is Christa Bianca, a rags-to-riches ingénue who has flooded the entertainment press. Life imitates television as cast members are murdered, and once again it’s up to Jana, along with sexy ex-detective Chris Bove, to save the day before the lights fade to black.
Praise for CHINA DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery:
“Set on Broadway in 1984, “China Doll”...combines plenty of drama with a mystery complex enough to keep the reader guessing. Every member of the cast has not only some depth but intertwining romance and quirk to spare. The romance surrounding Jana as she struggles between remaining faithful to her husband and the feelings that stir around Peter will leave the reader torn until the end. With a smooth pace, intriguing mystery, and plenty of danger…An excellent read for lovers of mystery and drama!” Ind’Tale Magazine
“Joe Cosentino never disappoints...his novels are superb. I find myself addicted to each story that he writes, and once he writes a new book the characters end up being added to my all-time favorite lists. There's plenty of action, intrigue, and murder to go around. A talented writer whose words constantly draw me in every time. I look forward to the next masterfully woven story in this series. Jana Lane is definitely a new female sleuth that should be on everyone's reading list. I highly recommend China Doll to readers worldwide.” Urban Book Reviews
Praise for SATIN DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery:
“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.” Urban Book Reviews
Praise for PORCELAIN DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery:
“Porcelain Doll is Joe Cosentino at his finest. We are drawn back to the fashions and attitudes of the 1980's in a character-driven story full of intrigue and passion." Kirsty Vizard, Divine Magazine
“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
“Murder, mystery, and suspense are high inside of this brilliant masterpiece by Joe Cosentino.” “Every page fills the readers with intrigue.” “Edge of your seat mystery that lures readers instantly.” “Once you read it, you can't put it down.” Urban Book Reviews
“Porcelain Doll hooks from the start with characters behaving badly, all of whom have life-changing secrets.” “The story includes a nice arc, well-developed characters, and a few unexpected surprises.” InD’tale Magazine
Praises for PAPER DOLL, the first Jana Lane mystery:
“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
“If you like novels that are filled with new and old Hollywood, and a range of sub-plots, you are going to love this!” Saguaro Moon Reviews
“I liked that there was enough evidence for each of the suspects to keep me guessing until the very end.” Molly Lolly Reviews
“Joe Cosentino knows how to keep his readers’ interest with every page.” Urban Book Reviews
"Mr. Cosentino has produced a masterpiece of mystery" "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
Print ISBN 978-1-5092-
Digital ISBN 978-1-5092- 29
Released: November 16, 2016
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor
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, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press); the Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, and the upcoming Drama Cruise and Drama Luau (Lethe Press); the Cozzi Cove beach series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, and the upcoming Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out (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
An excerpt of RAG DOLL by Joe Cosentino, published by The Wild Rose Press:
Jana and Bove did the scene again with a thin piece of gauze over the camera lens aimed at Jana.
Ah, the plight of a middle-aged actress.
Jana felt even better about that take. Their relationship worked, and the energy bounced back and forth between them almost effortlessly. Again Jana wondered what it would be like sharing her days with Bove and kissing Bove in bed before sleep each night.
Herm’s call for action brought Jana back to the scene. Bove’s close-up was even better than the first two takes. It was as if they had been married for years with an easygoing yet emotional rapport.
“Good job, partner.”
Bove smiled at Jana. “Right back at you.”
As she started to rise from the bed, Jana spotted Christa in the distance with a look of horror on her face.
The young woman screamed as a lighting screen headed straight for her. Stu Silverman, standing next to Christa, noticed and pushed Christa out of the way in
the nick of time. The screen crashed to the floor inches away from Christa’s feet. Standing on the other side of her, Andrew Bianca took his wife in his arms, and she
wept on his shoulder.
Bove whispered to Jana, “Here we go again.”
Joe will be giving away a digital copy of China Doll to someone who comments.