A Jane Lane Mystery
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?
About The Author
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, and China Doll and the upcoming Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press); the Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, and the upcoming Drama Cruise (Lethe Press); the Cozzi Cove beach series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (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.
Joe: This is Joe Cosentino, author of the popular Jana Lane mystery romance series, with the leading character Jana Lane from CHINA DOLL, the fourth Jana Lane mystery, published by The Wild Rose Press. Thank you for joining us, Jana.
Jana: It’s nice to be out of the book for a while. It feels good to stretch out.
Joe: Jana, you were America’s most famous child star with movies like Daddy’s Girl, Jungle Girl, School Spy, The Littlest Farmer, The Cowgirl and Bandit, Girl Detective, Pink Ballerina, The Cutest Scientist, and many more. Then at middle age, you made a film comeback in the steamy His Obsession and Madame Senator—for which you won a well-deserved Academy Award!
Jana: You sound like Simon, my agent.
Joe: Good. I want to play him in the TV series!
Jana: Who should play Peter Stevens in China Doll?
Joe: Matt Bomer.
Joe: Back to the interview, Jana, you are still gorgeous at forty-one with your petite figure, layered blonde hair, crystal blue eyes, and porcelain skin. Do you have a beauty regime?
Jana: I work out in my home gym each day in my Hyde Park, New York estate to music like “Maniac,” “What a Feeling,” “Gloria,” and “Cover Me.”
Joe: And your clothes are in perfect 1984 fashion with chic business suits and dresses, shoulder pads, lace gloves, leggings, and scrunchies.
Jana: Joe, how do you know so much about the 1980’s? You’re too young to have been around in the 1980’s.
Joe: This is why I love this woman! Please tell the readers about your mystery series, Jana.
Jana: In PAPER DOLL at thirty-eight I live with my family in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. My flashbacks from the past become murder attempts in my future. So I venture back to Hollywood, which helps me uncover a web of secrets about everyone I love.
Joe: Jana also embarks on a romance with the devilishly handsome son of her old producer, Rocco Cavoto.
Jana: Joe, as you know, Brian and I are happily married.
Joe: So were Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner.
Jana: Who are they?
Joe: Moving on, in PORCELAIN DOLL (The Wild Rose Press), you make a comeback film and uncover who is being murdered on the set and why. And your heart is set aflutter by your co-star, America’s heartthrob Jason Apollo.
Jana: Who is also one of the suspects. The other suspects include my James Dean type young co-star, my older John Wayne type co-star, my 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 pushy agent.
Joe: You go, girl. SATIN DOLL is next.
Jana: In SATIN DOLL (The Wild Rose Press), my family and I head to Washington, DC, where I play a US senator in a new film, and become embroiled in murder and corruption at the senate chamber.
Joe: She also embarks on a romantic flirtation with Chris Bruno, the muscular detective.
Jana: I’m ignoring this. I also rub elbows with senators on both sides of the aisle, a lobbyist, and a Washington reporter. Joe, how have the reviews been for the series so far?
Jana: They like you. They really like you! Here are a few examples:
“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.” Danielle Urban, Universal Creativity Inc.
“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
“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
“Mr. Cosentino has produced a masterpiece of mystery (Paper Doll)” “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
Joe: Tell them about your current release, CHINA DOLL.
Jana: In CHINA DOLL (The Wild Rose Press), I head to New York City to star in a Broadway mystery.
Joe: And Jana becomes enchanted by her co-star Peter Stevens. They say love is better the second time around.
Jana: I admit I am taken in by Peter’s matinee idol good looks, charm, and talent. But when bodies start dropping like stage curtains, and the local detective is more interested in going to musical theatre than solving the crime, it’s up to me to once again use the skills I learned as a child star to solve the case.
Joe: Tell them about the suspects.
Jana: It is old home week and nepotism in action as the play is produced and written by the same producer (Stanley Rothman) and author (Katrina Wright) who produced and wrote my first Broadway play when I was five years old, Sweet Nothings. I co-starred with the aging but still gorgeous and mysterious Savannah Stevens, who is also co-starring in China Doll.
Joe: Rounding out the cast are Rothman’s granddaughter Bella, your nephew Brad, and your youngest son B.J. And the play is directed by Katrina’s new husband, the young studly Tony Cuccioli.
Jana: Also in the cast are Sally Chen a recent Tony Award winning actress, and Tate Moonglow a transplant from Off-Broadway.
Joe: Who is your favorite character in CHINA DOLL? And why?
Jana: Besides Peter, I really enjoyed Gary Royale, B.J.’s over anxious new nanny, and of course the Broadway musical buff Detective Douglas was great fun.
Joe: With her gorgeous violet eyes, do you think Savannah Stevens is based on Elizabeth Taylor?
Jana: Savannah is a smart, strong, talented woman like Elizabeth Taylor, however, she doesn’t have anywhere near as many husbands or such a troubled life. But as is the case with all of the characters in CHINA DOLL, a major secret is revealed about Savannah.
Joe: Do you think Katrina Wright, the highly successful mystery writer, is supposed to be Agatha Christie?
Jana: They are both very successful, older female writers, but Agatha Christie wrote many novels and a few plays, Katrina has written many many plays and no novels. Also unlike Agatha Christie, Katrina has a young stud husband who just happens to get the job as director of Katrina’s play—to the producer’s (Stanley Rothman’s) chagrin. Now I have a question for you, Joe. Since you were an actor, like us, did you use your acting background to write CHINA DOLL?
Joe: I wrote, directed, and acted in a number of plays including playing opposite some pretty big stars as noted in my biography. I used those experiences many times in CHINA DOLL when writing about the role of the playwright, director, stage manager, producer, actors, designers, and technicians. I know first-hand what it’s like to do a read through, a blocking rehearsal, rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and performances, and I believe the book is better for it. Though thankfully nobody was murdered in any of my plays.
Jana: And I gave you a great deal of information. I am constantly talking in Joe’s head.
Joe: I also love that your youngest son, B.J., takes so well to the stage in the novel.
Jana: Like mother like son—and grandfather and uncle.
Joe: In the novel Katrina and Stanley use their religious beliefs as a weapon to try to fire one of the cast members. I’m so proud of you Jana for defending Tate.
Jana: I’m a Christian who tries to love her neighbor as herself, not judge others, and help victims of discrimination. I stand up to Katrina and Stanley because I believe that the freedom to worship as you choose is far different from the freedom to discriminate against others.
Joe: As in the first three Jana Lane mysteries, Jana, you are tempted by a gorgeous man, this time the heartthrob younger actor, Peter Stevens. Tell us about your relationship with Peter.
Jana: I can’t imagine anyone not being enticed by Peter. He is tall, handsome, muscular, sexy, and a great actor.
Joe: And you go through a major personal event.
Jana: I love that part of the story. It still brings tears to my eyes when I read it.
Joe: And you are reconnected with your nephew.
Jana: Who has changed his name and become a hungry for fame actor.
Joe: Since the book takes place in 1984, it includes a great deal of history, music, fashion, and locations from the era.
Jana: Though China Doll is a fictitious play, I like how you were able to place our theatre between the marquees of real shows playing at the time: Hurlyburly starring William Hurt and Christopher Walken and The Rink starring Chita Rivera and Liza Minelli. And how New York City is prominently featured in the novel with its luxury hotels, Central Park, Washington Square Park, Little Italy, and of course the theatre district. As is the still new AIDS epidemic and the devastation it caused when ignored by our political representatives, as once again I sponsor a benefit for AIDS research.
Joe: Which scene in the novel did you each enjoy the most? And why?
Jana: I loved the only scene I’m not in, the hospital scene. It’s so touching. And I enjoyed our lunch at New York City’s most famous theatre district restaurant, and our carriage ride. I really like how each Jana Lane mystery is its own story. Readers get a complete mystery with each novel, full of revealed secrets. And I like the clues, plot twists and turns, and white knuckle shocking endings.
Joe: Thanks. Will you be jealous if I tell the readers about my other mystery series?
Jana: Go for it.
Joe: They are the Nicky and Noah comedy mysteries published by Lethe Press. Each novel is loaded with wacky humor and romance in a fast-paced whodunit. Since I am a college theatre professor/department head, and theatre departments are havens of mystery, secrets, romance, and high humor; the series takes place at an Edwardian style New England college. In DRAMA QUEEN (Divine Magazine’s Favorite Mystery Novel of 2015) theatre college professors are dropping like stage curtains. With the inept local detectives, it is up to Directing professor, Nicky Abbondanza to use his theatre skills (including playing other people) to solve the murders, while he directs a murder mystery onstage. Complicating matters is Nicky’s intense crush on Assistant Professor of Acting, handsome Noah Oliver, the prime suspect in the murder. In DRAMA MUSCLE Nicky and Noah have to use their theatre skills to find out why musclemen are dropping like weights in the Physical Education department while Nicky directs the Student Bodybuilding Competition. In DRAMA CRUISE (not released yet), Nicky and Noah go on a cruise to Alaska, and discover why college theatre professors are going overboard like lifeboats while Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship.
Jana: And don’t forget your hit MM romance novels and novellas: IN MY HEART (An Infatuation & A Shooting Star), A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, and THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND (Dreamspinner Press); and the Cozzi Cove beach series: COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK and COZZI COVE: MOVING FORWARD (NineStarPress).
Joe: Thanks, Jana. I have a question for you. Who is your ideal reader of your books?
Jana: My ideal reader is a lover of mystery, romance, and Hollywood. Someone who craves being swept away by a story and becoming part of the novel. My reader loves clues, suspects, and plotlines that zigzag with numerous surprises leading to a shocking yet totally justified conclusion. Finally, my reader relishes in beautiful, lush locations and captivating characters as she/he enters the portal of a book. Speaking of which, what’s my next mystery?
Joe: RAG DOLL, where you are offered the leading role in a TV pilot about an amateur sleuth. Again, life imitates art and you have to use the skills you learned as a child star to figure out the secrets and capture the murderer. You are also captivated by a very sexy man from your past.
Jana: That sounds like fun. I can’t wait!
Joe: So, everyone, enjoy the Jana Lane mysteries. And let me know what you think at http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com.
Jana: Please do it. Joe loves hearing from readers. It gives him a break from listening to us.
Joe: Thank you Jana from the Jana Lane mysteries, with your latest release CHINA DOLL by Joe Cosentino, published by The Wild Rose Press. Curtain going up!