A big welcome to Joe Cosentino as part of his release of Drama Luau in audiobook.
Interview with Nicky Abbondanza, the leading character in Joe Cosentino’s
Drama Luau, fourth Nicky and Noah mystery, audiobook performed by Griswold Addams
Welcome, Nicky Abbondanza. Thank you for chatting with us today about the audiobook release of the fourth novel in your popular Nicky and Noah mystery series.
Thank you for taking me out of Joe’s brain for a bit. It feels good to stretch my legs.
How did you find Griswold Addams, the audiobook narrator for Drama Luau?
He sounds just like me! Actually, I prefer to call him a performer, since he perfectly captured all the characters (and they are characters) in the audiobook. Griswold has the perfect voice, comic timing, versatility, and emotional commitment for this audiobook. I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to bring my story to life!
Listening to the audiobook, it’s clear the Nicky and Noah Mysteries should be a television series. Before Joe became a college professor/department head and novelist, he was an actor working in film, television, and theatre opposite stars like Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Bruce Willis, Charles Keating, Jason Robards, and Holland Taylor. If there is a TV series version of the Nicky and Noah novels, who do you see playing you?
There are so many possibilities! Luke Macfarlane, Andrew Rannells, John Barrowman, to name a few.
Who would play Noah?
Neil Patrick Harris, Gavin Creel, Lance Bass, and many others.
Ah, good choice. Those actors float your banana boat?
I’m a one-man man. And that man is Noah Oliver.
Do you agree that the novels would make a good TV series?
The best! Rather than Logo showing reruns of Golden Girls around the clock, and Bravo airing so called reality shows, I would love to see them do the Nicky and Noah mysteries. Come on, TV producers, make your offers to Joe (who by the way never stops telling me how much he wants to play Martin Anderson my department head)!
Does Joe Cosentino tell you everything to say.
I tell him everything to write. He has a soft spot in his head for me.
For anyone who hasn’t listened to the audiobooks for the first three novels in the series (Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise), tell us about the Nicky and Noah mysteries.
Our mysteries are set in an Edwardian style university founded originally by a gay couple (Tree and Meadow) whose name the university bears: Treemeadow College. The clues and murders (and laughs) come fast and furious, there are enough plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning, and at the center is a touching gay romance between me (Associate Professor of Directing Nicky Abbondanza) and Noah (Assistant Professor of Acting). In the first novel, Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Novel of 2015), college theatre professors are falling like stage curtains (while I direct the college play production), and Noah and I must figure out whodunit and why. In the second book, Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), I am directing the college’s bodybuilding competition, and bodybuilding students and professors are dropping like barbells. In Drama Cruise it is summer on a ten-day cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back (which Joe and his spouse also did). Noah and I must figure out why college theatre professors are dropping like life rafts as I direct a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship starring Noah and other college theatre professors from across the US. Complicating matters are our both sets of parents who want to embark on all the activities on and off the boat with us. In each book Noah and I eavesdrop, seduce, role play, and finally trap the murderer, as pandemonium, hilarity, and true love ensue for a happily ever after ending—until the next book.
Have your mysteries been well received so far?
Of course, they’re about Noah and me. Reviewers called the books hysterically funny farce, Murder She Wrote meets Hart to Hart meets The Hardy Boys, and a captivating whodunit with a surprise ending. One reviewer wrote it was the funniest book she had ever read. Who am I to argue?
Why did you like being in Hawaii for the fourth novel?
They call it paradise for a reason. Maui is the most beautiful place on Earth. The white sandy beaches, tall and majestic waterfalls, multicolored craters on mosaic mountaintops, palm trees waving in the soft breeze, and laid back and friendly Hawaiians were amazing. Noah and I marveled at the hidden beaches, took the white-knuckle drive to the gorgeous Seven Sacred Pools, gasped at the sunrise at Haleakala, swam in the clear turquoise water, and flew through the crystal blue sky while parasailing. Of course we also went to the luau complete with the boat procession, pig roast, huge and sumptuous buffet of Hawaiian foods, and the hula dancer show. The dancers were amazing! Incredibly muscular Hawaiian men wearing grass skirts, leis (no pun intended), flower headdresses, anklets, and bracelets, gestured with their arms, waved their knees, stomped, and grunted on an outdoor stage masked by a dormant volcano. It was a blast directing them in the show and getting to know them. That is until they were murdered one by one.
Tell us about the storyline in Drama Luau. But no spoilers please!
In Drama Luau I’m directing the luau show at the Maui Mist Resort. Noah and I need to figure out why muscular Hawaiian hula dancers are dropping like grass skirts. Our department head and his husband, Martin and Ruben, are along for the bumpy tropical ride. In addition to the sexy hula dancers, we meet a handsome Hawaiian detective, a Bloody Mary type housekeeper, a cigar chomping hotel manager, the hotel owner and his senator wife who give new meaning to the term family values, and a cute young waiter who wants to be a hula dancer more than an anti-gay politician wants a dark backroom in a gay bar. Noah and I have the time of our lives solving this one, and also find our relationship in for quite a change.
In the books you’re described as tall, handsome with a Roman nose and dark hair, muscular, and having an enormous manhood. Does that help you solve the murders?
It doesn’t hurt. Well, maybe it hurts Noah, but he hasn’t complained so far. I have to flirt my way into some places to get certain information, so my assets come in handy (no pun intended). Even more, however, Noah and I use our theatre skills, including playing other people, to get clues. Most of all, like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, we use the old noggins, always a fine asset in amateur detectives. And in the third and fourth novels we get some help from Martin and Ruben, joining in with hysterically funny role plays to nab the killer.
And your and Noah’s parents make a brief appearance in book four.
They’re absolutely hilarious. My mama and papa are pretty outspoken on just about everything. I love Noah’s mother’s fixation with taking pictures of everything, and his father’s fascination with seeing movies. I also love how Noah’s father is an amateur sleuth like me. As they say, men marry their fathers. Also, both sets of our parents accept their son’s spouse as part of their family. Kudos to them.
Who is your favorite character in Drama Luau?
Noah of course! He’s handsome, sweet, adorable, affection, and my partner for life. I love how he cares so much about everyone, and always helps me see the other side of every issue. My favorite new character in book four is Mark Iona, the Maui Mist Resort waiter who desperately wants to become a hula dancer in the luau show. I also like his secret crush on hunky island detective John Nohea.
Martin and Ruben are an older couple in love. You don’t see that very often in modern literature.
I love Martin’s paternal instincts toward Noah and me, sense of theatricality, and his inquiring mind. I also like how Ruben keeps Martin in line. Finally, it’s wonderful to see how Martin and Ruben can read each other like a book—no pun intended.
Which character do you like the least in book four?
The hotel owner and his state senator wife are quite vocal about their religious freedom, in their case meaning their right to discriminate against gay people. Religious freedom means you are free to practice whatever religion you like, not take away someone else’s civil rights. But as is always the case in the Nicky and Noah series, everything is not always what it seems, and Mano and Joanna Kapena offer lots of humor and surprises.
Which character was the hardest for you to relate to?
Kal, one of the hula dancers, is incredibly in love with his amazing good looks and muscles for days. He is also quite manipulative. That kind of thinking is foreign to me.
What’s next for you and Noah?
The audiobook of Drama Detective, book five in the series.
How can audiobook lovers get their hands on the Drama Luau audiobook and how can they contact you?
The purchase links for the Drama Luau audiobook are below, as are Joe’s contact links, including his web site. Joe loves to hear from readers. You can get to Noah and me through him!
Thank you, Nicky, for sharing with us today.
It is my joy and pleasure to share this audiobook with you. So grab your plate at the buffet table, and take your front row seat for the luau show. The grass curtain is going up on Drama Luau!
Theatre professors and spouses, Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, are on their honeymoon at a Hawaiian resort, where musclemen in grass skirts are keeling over like waterfalls. Things erupt faster than a volcano when Nicky and Noah, along with their best friends Martin and Ruben, try to stage a luau show. Nicky and Noah will need to use their drama skills to figure out who is bringing the grass curtain down on male hula dancers—before things go coconuts for the handsome couple. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining fourth novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and aloha!
Praise for Drama Luau, the 4th Nicky and Noah mystery:
“Joe Cosentino has a unique and fabulous gift. His writing is flawless, and his use of farce, along with his convoluted plot-lines, will have you guessing until the very last page, which makes his books a joy to read. His books are worth their weight in gold, and if you haven’t discovered them yet you are in for a rare treat. Drama Luau joins his other books on my 5-star reread shelf. It may actually be my favourite one yet! Highly recommended.” —Divine Magazine
“a combination of Laurel and Hardy mixed with Hitchcock and Murder She Wrote…Loaded with puns and one-liners…Right to the end, you are kept guessing, and the conclusion still has a surprise in store for you.” –Optimumm Reviews
“adventure, mystery, and romance with every page….Funny, clever, and sweet….I can’t find anything not to love about this series….This read had me laughing and falling in love….Nicky and Noah are my favorite gay couple.” –Urban Book Reviews
Bestselling author Joe Cosentino was voted Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of the Year by the readers of Divine Magazine for Drama Queen. He also wrote the other novels in the Nicky and Noah mystery series: Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle, Drama Dance, Drama Faerie, Drama Runway, Drama Christmas, Drama Pan; the Dreamspinner Press series: In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories: A Home for the Holidays/The Perfect Gift/The First Noel, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland and Holiday Tales from Fairyland, the Found At Last series: Finding Giorgio and Finding Armando, and the Player Piano Mysteries: The Player and The Player’s Encore; the Cozzi Cove series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings, Cozzi Cove: Happy Endings (NineStar Press); and the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (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, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Chair of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and he is happily married. Many of Joe’s books have received Favorite Book of the Month Awards and Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions.
Giveaway: Post a comment on what you love about a good gay mystery audiobook. The one that tickles our inner Sherlock Holmes the most will win a complimentary audiobook of any one of Joe Cosentino’s first three Nicky and Noah mystery audiobooks of your choice: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, or Drama Cruise!
Link to the series on audio