Audiobook Blog Tour: A Home for the the Holidays by Joe Cosentino (Character Interview + Review)
A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, a short novella by JOE COSENTINO
Audiobook performed by Joel Leslie, published by Dreamspinner Press
Bobby McGrath’s Christmas trip to the beautiful Italian Island of Capri to meet his eccentric, extended family offers stunning views—none more stunning than his third cousin, Paolo Mascobello, a real stocking stuffer. As the two young men embark on a relationship, Bobby, a driven law student, learns to relax and bask under the old Italian moon, and Paolo realizes there’s more to life than a frolic on the beach. For the two to find everlasting amore, Paulo must overcome his fear of commitment and learn to follow his dreams, and Bobby must get his wish for happily ever after. Reading this little holiday treat is like taking a romantic trip to gorgeous Capri, Italy!
“The setting was marvelous as well, who wouldn't fall in love in a place like Joe Cosentino described? And the boys' interaction with the rest of the family was quite marvelous as well. A really enjoyable, fast read!” Bayou Book Junkie
Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise Nicky and Noah mysteries (Lethe Press); Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out (NineStar Press); and Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll Jana Lane mysteries (The Wild Rose Press). 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, Charles Keating, 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 1st Place Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of 2015, and 2nd Place Favorite LGBT Romance Author of 2015 by the readers of Divine Magazine. He has also won many Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions including for In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star. Upcoming releases are Drama Luau (fourth Nicky and Noah mystery) and Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (fourth Cozzi Cove beach novel, NineStar Press).
Joe Cosentino interviews his leading character, Paolo Moscolbello, in the short novella A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, now an audiobook performed by Joel Leslie and published by Dreamspinner Press
Joe: Hello, Paolo, it’s nice to be able to talk to you in person.
Paolo: Thank you, Giuseppe. Thank you for letting me out of the book. My clothes were getting wrinkled.
Joe: Speaking of your clothes, you want to be a fashion designer, so you always dress impeccably. Since the readers can’t see you, tell them what you look like.
Paolo: I’m twenty-five, average height, with black hair and eyes. And I’m very muscular from working out in the gym. Oh, I have a long, thick penis.
Joe: Wooh, too much information!
Paolo: You Americans. So prudish.
Joe: True. In this short novella, it’s winter holiday time. You live in a gorgeous villa on the stunning Island of Capri. Do you like living with your grandparents, parents, and sister?
Paolo: Of course. Especially since my father pays the bills.
Joe: Your third cousin from Pennsylvania in America visits you. What did you think of him when you two first meet?
Paolo: I thought Bobby is very cute with red hair and a swimmer’s build. He’s a law student with his head always in the books. I help change all that.
Joe: Right. Your mother pressured you into giving Bobby a tour of Capri.
Paolo: Bobby and I are very different. I crave a life of fun. He likes to study. But Mama didn’t have to pressure me too hard.
Joe: Where did you take him?
Paolo: You should know. I took Bobby on my motorcycle. I noticed he enjoyed pressing his chest against my back. I enjoyed it too. Then from the funiculare (cable car) we watched the stunning views of the island below and Mt. Vesuvius in the distance. We travelled to Via Krupp in the southern part of the island, and we walked through what we in Italy call “the villas of the rich and famous,” underscored by the sparkling turquoise sea below. We swam naked in a white sandy beach surrounded by artistic white stone formations in Marina Piccola. When we arrived at Mt. Solaro, I told Bobby it was the highest point on the Isle of Capri, five hundred and eighty-nine meters above sea level. As we looked out at the fog, the sun came up and the wind blew the vapors of fog upwards, crowning the clouds, and revealing the Bay of Naples, the Amalfi Coast, and the mountains of Calabria in the distance. I am very proud of my home. However, the most magical of all was the Grotta Azzurra (the Blue Grotto). As our boat went through the tiny portal of the expansive cave, the water’s shades of iridescent sapphire and emerald from the sun’s reflection on the water in the cove was beautiful as always. I also took Bobby to the restaurants and shops on the water’s edge.
Joe: I don’t want to give away any more of the story, but we can say it is a sweet little romance that is perfect for the holiday season. Like a mini trip to Capri at a fraction of the cost.
Paolo: How did the readers react to the story when the e-book released last year?
Joe: I thought I was asking the questions.
Paolo: I answered your questions.
Joe: Readers felt as if they had been transported to Capri. They fell in love with the island, and they fell in love with you.
Paolo: I like that very much.
Joe: I thought you would.
Paolo: Nobody knows me better than you.
Joe: True. Many readers commented on the cinematic quality of the short story. So while I waited for movie producers in droves to make me offers I can’t refuse, I asked the staff at Dreamspinner Press if we could make an audiobook version. I was thrilled when they agreed. I did the happy dance when award winning audiobook star Joel Leslie agreed to be the performer/producer. Joel had just finished my THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND audiobook to rave reviews. He is also doing my IN MY HEART/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star audiobook releasing this summer.
Bobby: I am not in those stories.
Joe: No, but you are in A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. Joel is an amazingly talented actor. How do you think he did impersonating you?
Paolo: Nice. I sound very sexy. And his voice for Bobby is sweet and warm just like him. I also laughed at Joel’s renditions of my family members, each one right on the mark.
Joe: Yes, Joel Leslie is incredibly versatile with many voices and emotions in his repertoire. He perfectly captures the Italian landscape, sights, sounds, scents, tastes, characters, moods, humor, romance, and adventure of your story on that magnificent island. Joel plays each member of the Mascobello family so beautifully, listeners won’t believe all those character voices came out of one person! The sound quality of Joel’s audio equipment is also superior, so listeners will feel as if they are really there with you and Paolo. They’ll fall in love, and they won’t want to leave your stunning island. Speaking of leaving, it’s time to end this interview. Thank you for your time, Paolo.
Paolo: My time is your time. Happy holidays, everyone. See you in Capri. I’ll be waiting for you with open arms.
Bobby leaves his family in the States to spend Christmas in Capri Italy with distant family. There he meets his third cousin, Paolo Moscobello, who he is instantly drawn to. Paolo seems to be just as intoxicated with Bobby and the two are soon spending all their time together. Bobby needs to have some fun, get away from the stress of law school and Paolo has ways of helping him let go.
Bobby discovers that Paolo is a very talented fashion designer. He may be hiding it but Bobby can see his passion and longing for a career in the industry. Bobby is determined to find a way for Paolo to accomplish his dream even if it means Paolo will need to go to the states. But Paolo is scared, believing that it's just a pipe dream. Bobby will have to help him overcome the things holding him back.
Instalove Alert! This is like the "poster child" book for Instalove. Bobby pretty much falls in love with Paolo the minute he looks into his eyes and it's a bit crazy to me. These men are very quick to kiss and then to move forward from there. I'm all for the holiday romance but there was just something about how fast these two moved that bothered me.
I listened to the audiobook so it may have clouded my judgment a tad. I really did not like the narrator's voice for Bobby and especially Paolo. Bobby just didn't sound right, almost too old. Paolo, however, sounded old and sleezy. I just about cringed every time he spoke. The mom's though, wow, they were spot on. I loved it.
I honestly don't think this story will go into my favorites. It wasn't horrible but I just didn't care for it. I don't know if it was the audiobook, the instalove or if it was just the story overall. Whatever it was, it just didn't do it for me.
*Audible code provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author for my listening pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*