Thursday, February 8, 2018

Guest Post: Making the Audiobook of COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK by Joe Cosentino

Making the Audiobook of
COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK, the first Cozzi Cove novel
by Joe Cosentino, performed by Chase Johnson, published by NineStar Press

Cozzi Cove is my Bali Hai or Shangri La. Loosely based on childhood memories of my favorite beach town, Cozzi Cove is a gay resort of eight bungalows in a private cove on the New Jersey Shore. Each bungalow is furnished with hand-carved nautical furnishings, and has a stunning view of the bay and lighthouse in the distance. The main beach and boardwalk are only a mile away. The quaint small town is inviting and picturesque. It’s a place I love to visit in each of my four (and upcoming fifth) Cozzi Cove novels.

My leading character is Cal Cozzi. Cal, short for Calvin, is thirty years old, tall, and muscular with striking auburn hair and inner strength. An ex-professional football player, Cal manages his family’s resort in the town named after his great-grandfather who founded it. Cal lives with the love of his life, Cal’s twenty-four-year old husband Lance. Short, stocky, with dark skin and exotic eyes, schoolteacher Lance loves his summers off to be with the man of his dreams, Cal.

Connor, the college student assisting Cal at the resort, is packed with muscles and hormones. He revels in Cozzi Cove, and in checking out each resident for a possible fling on the cove—which he often enjoys.

Tommy, the bald, muscular, tattooed resident of Cozzi Cove who owns the local bar has held a torch for Cal since high school. Carla Mangione who runs Carla’s Seafood Restaurant holds a similar torch for Cal’s sister, Taylor, who drops in from Rome, Paris, Wall Street, or Palm Springs. As a tough as nails top one-percenter, the world revolves around Taylor, which makes her hysterically funny. Her one soft spot is for her brother, Cal.

This summer the vacationers are two brothers/college students who look alike, but couldn’t be more different. Mario is searching for love, and Harold is searching for lust. A wealthy older couple, Josh and Greg, play matchmakers for their gorgeous son Christopher. Opposites attract as multifaceted Tim meets shy Mark, and porn star Chuck Caliber connects with Sean, a virgin romance novelist. Finally computer game designer Arthur has a midnight sea rendezvous with a merman. Cal faces an emotional upheaval himself when a gay bashing turns into something quite unexpected for him. Everyone has a secret at Cozzi Cove, and nothing is what it seems at first in the magical place called Cozzi Cove.

Readers told me they loved the dialogue, settings, characters, and surprises in the novels. They also mentioned that the books would make a terrific television series. I agree! So, I wrote a teleplay pilot for the first book. While I wait for Hollywood to come calling, I did the next best thing: work with NineStar Press on an audiobook. But who would have the perfect masculine, sexy, and captivating voice for Cal? And how could that same person effectively portray all the other characters in the novel? I took to and began listening to samples of numerous audiobook performers. After listening to many narrators, I was about to give up. Then I heard a clip from popular audiobook performer Chase Johnson. Chase had an incredibly sexy, masculine voice, perfect for Cal Cozzi. He was also quite versatile in his character voices, and a very good actor. His diction was flawless, and his audiobooks were produced with fine equipment. Could he portray Cal Cozzi, Cal’s family, and all the residents of Cozzi Cove? I contacted Chase and asked him if he might do an audition. The next day, Chase submitted his audition, and I found my Cal Cozzi. Chase perfectly embodied Cal’s strength, honesty, and determination. When he read the descriptions of Cozzi Cove, I felt as if I were lying on a gorgeous cove at the beach. He connected with each of the other characters as well in terms of their personalities, passions, and secrets. I breathed a sigh of relief when Chase portrayed the many humorous sections of the novel, keying into the timing and wit perfectly. I admit that I laughed out loud at some sections. I was delighted when Chase agreed to do the audiobook. After giving him my insights into the novel, Chase took it from there. I know you’ll agree that he did a terrific job. I hope we have more collaborations in the future.

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 I love hearing from readers. Please let me know all about your trip to the beach at

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

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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