CHINA DOLL by Joe Cosentino EXCUSIVE Jo&Isalovebooks Blog POST
A New Mystery Romance Series with a Theatrical Flair
the Jana Lane mysteries by Joe Cosentino
published by The Wild Rose Press
After college I was a professional actor playing opposite stars like Bruce Willis (A Midsummer Night’s Dream onstage), Nathan Lane (The Roar of the Greasepaint onstage), Rosie O’Donnell (AT&T Industrial), Holland Taylor (My Mother Was Never a Kid ABC-TV movie), and Jason Robards (Commercial Credit Computer commercial). So it’s not a surprise that my new mystery romance series is set in the world of moviemaking and Broadway.
Like Shirley Temple or Hayley Mills, my heroine Jana Lane was the biggest child star in America. In PAPER DOLL Jana at thirty-eight lives with her family in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. Flashbacks from her attack on the studio lot at eighteen lead to murder attempts in her present. Jana ventures back to Hollywood, which helps her uncover a web of secrets about everyone she loves. She also embarks on a romance with the handsome son of her old producer. In PORCELAIN DOLL, 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. In SATIN DOLL, 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 romance with the ex-football player detective on the case.
Now in CHINA DOLL, after winning an academy award, Jana heads to New York City to star in a Broadway play, enchanted by her gorgeous co-star, and faced with murder on stage and off. Coming next is RAG DOLL, where Jana stars in a television mystery series and once again life imitates art.
In writing the series I was able to draw upon my first-hand knowledge of what occurs on a movie set, television set, and backstage in the world of theatre from the first read through to rehearsals to performances. Many of the characters were inspired by humorous, outrageous, sexy, or dangerous actors, writers, directors, producers, and technicians I worked with over the years. Since the series takes place in the 1980’s, I included a great deal of history, music, and fashion from that wonderfully decadent era. Layered hair, parachute pants, shoulder pads, lace gloves, leggings, and scrunchies are all there along with music like “Flashdance…What a Feeling,” “Material Girl,” and “Cover Me.” Hollywood, New York City, and Washington, DC play prominent roles as well. Each novel is a self-contained story with clues, romance, plot twists and turns, and a white knuckle shocking ending you’ll never guess.
The curtain is going up. So curl up with China Doll, a Jana Lane mystery, and let me know what you think. I love hearing from readers. You can contact me at: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com.
CHINA DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery by Joe Cosentino
published by The Wild Rose Press
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?
Praise for SATIN DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery:
“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.
Praise for PORCELAIN DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery:
“Porcelain Doll is Joe Cosentino at his finest. We are drawn back to the fashions and attitudes of the 1980's in a character-driven story full of intrigue and passion." Kirsty Vizard, Divine Magazine
“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
“Murder, mystery, and suspense are high inside of this brilliant masterpiece by Joe Cosentino.” “Every page fills the readers with intrigue.” “Edge of your seat mystery that lures readers instantly.” “Once you read it, you can't put it down.” Danielle Urban Universal Creativity Inc.
Praises for PAPER DOLL, the first Jana Lane mystery:
“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
“If you like novels that are filled with new and old Hollywood, and a range of sub-plots, you are going to love this!” Saguaro Moon Reviews
“I liked that there was enough evidence for each of the suspects to keep me guessing until the very end.” Molly Lolly Reviews
“Joe Cosentino knows how to keep his readers’ interest with every page.” Universal Creativity Digital Magazine
"Mr. Cosentino has produced a masterpiece of mystery" "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
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. http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Excerpts from China Doll a Jana Lane mystery by Joe Cosentino, published by Wild Rose Press:
Jana Lane, America’s most famous ex-child star, stood in terror in a dark theatre. Hearing footsteps from backstage, Jana attempted to exit the stage, but instead bumped into a sofa. As the footsteps grew louder, Jana’s pulse quickened. With her heart pounding in her chest, Jana gasped at the silhouette of her attacker. Backing away from the menacing gray shadow, Jana screamed and fell.
Gasping for air, Jana Lane Otley sat up in her ruby satin covered canopy bed and rested her back against the gold circular headboard. It’s only a dream.
Her husband joined her, reaching out his muscular arms. “I’m here, babe.”
She squeezed Brian’s thick hand. You’re my rock.
He squeezed back. “Another theatre dream?”
Jana noticed her silver satin nightgown was soaking wet. Rising and walking past the gold settee, floor-length oval mirror, and island fireplace, Jana headed into her large walk-in closet to change. She called out, “The nightmares started after Simon called to tell me about China Doll.”
“Don’t say it.”
“Don’t say what?”
In a new nightgown, Jana sat at her pink crushed velvet trimmed vanity, looked in the mirror, and ran a brush through her famous strawberry-blonde hair. “You’re going to tell me not to do the play.”
Tall, muscular, aristocratic-looking with dark hair and blushed cheeks, Peter shook Jana’s hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Lane.”
Feeling the warmth and smoothness of his strong hand, Jana felt like a shut-in at a blind date with Mr America. “It’s Miss Otley…rather Mrs. Lane…Mrs. Otley, but please call me Peter.” Jana turned the color of her avocado dress.
He seemed to enjoy her attraction to him. Amazing dimples emerged as Peter said, “I thought I was Peter.”
Jana giggled in spite of herself. “You are. I’m Nana. I mean…I’m Jana.”
Peter’s peaches and cream complexion complimented his white pants, coral T-shirt, and marigold blazer. He whispered in her ear, and she smelled fresh mint. “I’m nervous too. Everyone’s thinking I got this role because I’m Savannah Stevens’ son. They’re probably right.”
I have to stop gawking at him. “I’m sure you’ll be fine.”
Peter seemed genuinely touched. “That means a lot to me, coming from such a fine actress. I hope you’ll give me a few tips in rehearsals.”
Jana came face to face with Stanley. “If Tate and Gary go, so do I.”
“Don’t do it for me, Jana,” Tate and Gary said in unison.
Stanley grinned. “Listen to your deviant friends, Jana.”
Tate held Jana’s arm to stifle her from replying to Stanley.
Stanley glared at Sally Chen. “And if anyone doesn’t like the size of her role, I’ll accept your resignation.” Then staring at Savannah and Jana, he said, “And if any of you regrets signing a contract with me for this show, let this be a business lesson for you. Lawyers enforce contracts.” Stanley clapped his hands again. “Tony, Tate, and Gary, you are released. Kat, please take a seat in the house. Jose, back to your stage manager’s console please. Everyone else, please make a circle around me, and I will lead you in some acting exercises.”As everyone moved around Stanley onstage in a state of shocked pandemonium, the bookcase set piece teetered back and forth then crashed down on top of the producer.