The Man Behind the Woman by Joe Cosentino + China Doll Excerpt
Joe Cosentino talks about his heroine Jana Lane with the release of China Doll, the fourth Jana Lane mystery published by The Wild Rose Press
As a child I loved child stars like Shirley Temple, Hayley Mills, and Patty Duke, seeing their movies over and over. Their sense of spirit, goodness, and acceptance of everyone earned them a special place in my heart. So I created a heroine who was the biggest child star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. Jana at thirty-eight lives with her family in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York in 1980. In Paper Doll Jana’s 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 encounters the devilishly handsome son of her old producer, Rocco Cavoto.
The next year Jana makes a comeback film and in a shocking ending uncovers who is being murdered on the set and why in Porcelain Doll. Also, her heart is set aflutter by her incredibly gorgeous co-star, America’s heartthrob Jason Apollo. The other suspects include Jana’s James Dean type young co-star, her older John Wayne type co-star, her 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 agent.
Jana and family head to Washington, DC the following year in Satin Doll, where Jana plays a US senator in a new film, and becomes embroiled in a murder and corruption at the senate chamber. She also embarks on a romantic flirtation with Chris Bruno, the muscular detective. Jana rubs elbows with senators on both sides of the aisle, a lobbyist, and a Washington reporter. As usual, in a white knuckle ending, Jana uncovers and traps the murderer.
The next year, after winning an Academy Award, Jana is offered the leading role in a Broadway mystery. In China Doll (current release from The Wild Rose Press) it is old home week as the play is produced and written by the same producer (Stanley Rothman) and author (Katrina Wright) who produced and wrote Jana’s first Broadway play when she was five years old, Sweet Nothings. Jana’s co-star from Sweet Nothings, the aging but still gorgeous and mysterious Savannah Stevens, is co-starring in China Doll, along with Savannah’s handsome and muscular son, Peter Stevens, in his Broadway debut. Rounding out the cast are Rothman’s granddaughter Bella, Jana’s nephew Brad, Jana’s youngest son B.J., Sally Chen a recent Tony Award winning actress, and Tate Moonglow a transplant from Off-Broadway. Art imitates life as members of the production team of China Doll are murdered, personal secrets are revealed amidst plot twists and turns, and Jana once again solves the crime.
Using what she learned as a child star in movies like Girl Detective, School Spy, The Cowgirl and the Bandit, The Cutest Scientist, Sweet Candy Striper, Jana is able to solve mysteries and save others. Through the course of the books, Jana also reclaims the courage and fortitude she had as a child. I love how she bounces back personally and professionally. I also love how she is a staunch advocate for the downtrodden, including hosting fundraising events for AIDS research and treatment, and standing up for those who are disenfranchised. Most of all I admire Jana’s marriage. Though she becomes enticed by handsome and enchanting men, she always stays true to her loyal husband, Brian. Jana’s relationship with her old world comical agent Simon and her larger than life flamboyantly gay best friend Jackson are also adorable. Since the series takes place in the 1980’s, I also adore Jana’s layered blonde hair, blue mascara, shoulder pads, lace gloves, leggings, and scrunchies, not to mention her favorite music.
And there’s more to come for Jana. In the next Jana Lane mystery, Rag Doll, releasing from The Wild Rose Press in a few months, Jana stars in a television murder mystery show and once again life imitates art!
So curl up with Jana in China Doll, a Jana Lane mystery. I’m sure you’ll love her as much as I do!
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?
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.
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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.” Danielle Urban Universal Creativity Inc.
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.” Universal Creativity Digital Magazine
"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
Amazon Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote Paper Doll the first Jana Lane mystery, Porcelain Doll the second Jana Lane mystery (The Wild Rose Press), Satin Doll the third Jana Lane mystery (The Wild Rose Press), Drama Queen the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), Drama Muscle the second Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), An Infatuation, A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, & The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press), Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back & Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (NineStar 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, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. His upcoming novels are China Doll the fourth Jana Lane mystery (The Wild Rose Press) and Drama Cruise the third Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press). Joe was voted 2nd Place for Best Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015.
Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com