One of our favorite blog guests, Joe Cosentino, author of the popular five Jana Lane mystery novels, visits today to talk about the release of PAPER DOLL the audiobook. It's narrated by Charissa Clark Howe.
Hello. I’m ready for my close-up! Okay, I’ll admit it. I want to play Simon Huckby, Jana’s comical old world agent, in a television series of my five Jana Lane mystery novels. I wrote a pitch, treatment, and pilot teleplay. While I wait for producers to beg me to sign with them, I decided to create an audiobook of PAPER DOLL, the first Jana Lane mystery. It was like going home again revisiting the first novel, which I wrote two years ago, using my professional actor insider knowledge of show business.
PAPER DOLL is the fictitious story of Jana Lane, America’s most famous child star until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. Now a thirty-eight-year-old beauty and mother of two living in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York, Jana’s flashbacks from her past turn into murder attempts in her present.
The local suspects include Jana’s down-on-his-luck husband with a dislike for living off the fruits of his wife’s young labor, Jana’s sister and male friend (who both have eyes for Jana’s husband), Jana’s show business father, her deranged loyal fan, and Jana's young Guy Friday who covets her fame and shares an uncanny resemblance to Jana. Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana visits the California movie studio she once called home.
This sends her on a whirlwind of visits with former and current movie studio personnel. It also leads to a romance with the son of her old producer—Rocco Cavoto—the devilishly handsome filmmaker who is planning Jana’s comeback both professionally and personally. With Rocco’s help, Jana uncovers a web of secrets about everyone she loves, including the person who destroyed her past and threatens to snuff out her future.
In PAPER DOLL I share my love of movies and moviemakers with my readers. I have always been fascinated with ex-child stars like Hayley Mills, Shirley Temple, Patty Duke, and Brooke Shields. My heroine, Jana Lane, is an ex-child star who has lost her self-esteem as an adult. Through the course of the book, Jana not only solves the mystery of her past, but also reclaims the courage and fortitude she had as a child. This is an important message for all of us.
In thinking back to all the quirky characters, humor, drama, plot twists and turns, hidden secrets, and shocking ending, I realized I needed a very strong actress as audiobook narrator. Charissa Clark Howe captured the essence of Jana Lane perfectly, and she also did a fine job with all the other characters in the novel: Brian (Jana’s husband), Rocco (Jana’s producer), Jackson (Jana’s best friend), Mark (Jana’s greatest fan), Tamara (Jana’s sister), Scott (Jana’s father), Simon (Jana’s agent) and more. Balancing humor, romance, and mystery perfectly, she hit every beat. I couldn’t wait for the ending, and when it came I was totally surprised!
Since the novel takes place in 1980, Charissa’s delivery evoked that wonderful period. I could see the hairstyles, makeup, jewelry, fashion, as well as hear the music of that era. When listening to the audiobook, make sure you have a good block of free time before beginning. Once you start, you will be listening until you finish this captivating mystery/romance. Charissa’s narration will put you smack in the middle of the action.
Then you’ll want to read the other four Jana Lane mystery novels. Sorry, they aren’t available on audiobook, only in ebook and paperback. In PORCELAIN DOLL (Wild Rose Press), 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.
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. In SATIN DOLL (Wild Rose Press), 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 embarks on a flirtation with Chris Bruno, the muscular detective. Jana rubs elbows with senators on both sides of the aisle, a lobbyist, and a Washington reporter. In CHINA DOLL (Wild Rose Press), 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. In RAG DOLL (Wild Rose Press) Jana stars in a TV murder mystery series and once again life imitates art. She is also reunited with Chris Bruno, the detective who got away. RAG DOLL releases on November 16.
I do have three other books on audiobook. DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), is narrated by Michael Gilboe. It’s a comedy mystery about a college theatre professor (like me) who uses his acting skills to impersonate others and uncover murder mysteries.
It makes me laugh every time I hear it, and I continue to marvel at how well Michael performed all twenty-three characters! The surprise ending shocks me each time too. DRAMA QUEEN was voted Favorite Mystery of 2015 in the Divine Magazine Reader Poll. The second book in the series, DRAMA MUSCLE, received a Rainbow Award Honorable Mention. DRAMA CRUISE, book three, releases on December 1. DRAMA LUAU will follow.
Also, the talented actor Joel Leslie, who has quite a following in the audiobook world, is narrating my THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND (releasing in November, Dreamspinner Press), and A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (releasing in December, Dreamspinner Press) which takes place on the gorgeous island of Capri.
So grab the popcorn, curl up in your movie seat, and enjoy the audiobook of PAPER DOLL, the first Jana Lane mystery. As they say, your first is always special.
PAPER DOLL, the first Jana Lane mystery
by Joe Cosentino
Audiobook by Charissa Clark Howe on Audible: http://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/Paper-Doll-Audiobook/B01M0DENSP/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srImg?qid=1475863028&sr=1-2
Audiobook by Charissa Clark Howe on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Paper-Doll-Jana-Lane-Mystery/dp/B01LZ2JWJI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475863129&sr=8-1&keywords=joe+cosentino+paper+doll
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, Drama Cruise (Lethe Press); the Cozzi Cove beach series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, 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). 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. Upcoming novels are Drama Luau and Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings. http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com