Joe Cosentino on Drama Muscle, a Nicky and Noah mystery ~ Excerpt, Guest Blog, Local Giveaway

Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Joe Cosentino for stopping by today.


Title: Drama Muscle, a Nicky and Noah mystery
Author: Joe Cosentino
Publisher: Lethe Press
Cover Artist: Denny Minonne
Genre: Humor/Comedy


It could be lights out for college theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza. With dead bodybuilders popping up on campus, Nicky, and his favorite colleague/life partner Noah Oliver, must use their drama skills to figure out who is taking down pumped up musclemen in the Physical Education building before it is curtain down for Nicky and Noah. Complicating matters is a visit from Noah’s parents from Wisconsin, and Nicky’s suspicion that Noah may be hiding more than a cut, smooth body. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining second novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and weights up!

An Interview with the leading characters of DRAMA MUSCLE by Joe Cosentino

Interview with Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver from DRAMA MUSCLE (the second Nicky and Noah mystery/comedy/romance novel) by Joe Cosentino, published by Lethe Press


It is my pleasure to welcome Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, the central characters in Joe Cosentino’s Nicky and Noah comedy/mystery/romance series published by Lethe Press, talking to us today about their second mystery caper, DRAMA MUSCLE. Hi, Nicky and Noah. Thanks for joining us today.

Nicky and Noah: Glad to be here.

Nicky and Noah: We have to stop doing that.

Doing what?

Nicky and Noah: Talking in unison.

I can see how that could be a problem. How about I ask you each separate questions.

Nicky and Noah: Perfect.

Noah, since our readers can’t see him, what does Nicky look like?

Noah: Nicky is thirty-five, seven years older than me.

Nicky: Thanks, Noah.

Noah: He’s tall, Italian-American—

Nicky: –as my parents never let me forget.

Noah: –with sexy dark hair and eyes, a strong Roman nose, and thanks to the gym on campus, a terrific body. He’s hot, handsome, and hunky.

Nicky: Try saying that three times fast.

Noah: Nicky’s body is bread to my butter. More importantly, Nicky is loyal, loving, and an amazing sleuth.

And, Nicky, how would you describe Noah?

Nicky: Noah is tall with golden blonde hair, crystal blue eyes, a smooth body, and a warm, compassionate heart. I’m a one man man, and that man is Noah Oliver.

Noah: I’ll hold you to that, Nicky.

Nicky: I can’t wait.

Where are you from, Nicky?

Nicky: Kansas. I’m a true friend of Dorothy’s. Noah is from Wisconsin. In this book his parents come to visit us. They’re a total riot.

Noah: They’re a riot all right.

Nicky: And Noah’s dad is a bit of a sleuth.

Noah: They say men marry their fathers.

How did you both come to star in Joe Cosentino’s comedy/mystery/romance series, the Nicky and Noah mysteries?

Nicky: Joe was a professional actor and is currently a college theatre professor and department head. He’s also an incredible mystery novel fanatic, and a really funny guy. He was thinking about all those things one day, and I popped into his head, and Noah followed quickly. Joe realized I’m much more fun with my man at my side. Joe needs all the help from us he can get, so we give it to him.

Noah: Joe thinks we’re funny, sexy, smart, and terrific guys.

Nicky and Noah: That works for us.

Noah, tell me about Treemeadow College?

Noah: Treemeadow was originally founded by a gay couple, Tree and Meadow.

Nicky: Our department head Martin Anderson and his spouse, and now Noah and I are following in their gay footsteps.

Noah: Treemeadow is a quaint, Edwardian style, liberal arts college in New England.

Nicky: Actually, it’s totally made up in Joe’s head, but so are we! As an Associate Professor of Play Directing, the Theatre Department at Treemeadow has been my home for quite a few years.

Noah: I came more recently as an Assistant Professor of Acting.

Nicky, in DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah novel, you directed a murder mystery play on campus and life imitated art as your faculty colleagues began dropping like stage curtains.

Nicky: And I have an ulcer for each murder.

But despite the inept and beefy junior detective who had his eye on your pants, you solved the case a la Sherlock Holmes.

Nicky: As my students say, ‘Totally,’ with help from my very own Watson.

Speaking of Nicky’s pants, Noah is it true Nicky would give Catherine the Great’s horse a run for its race?

Noah: Nicky isn’t big-headed—

Nicky: No pun intended.

Noah: –but I’ll tell you my nickname for him is ‘foot-long wiener.’

Is that a problem in your relationship?

Noah: No, I’ve always had a sense of adventure.

How do you two use your theatre skills to solve the cases?

Nicky: We eavesdrop, impersonate people, and even flirt with others when necessary to get our clues. Our lives are page-turning whodunits with plot twists and turns, enticing clues, riotously funny encounters—”

Noah: –and a few sexy interludes.

What happens in DRAMA MUSCLE?

Nicky: Noah and I have to find out why bodybuilding students and faculty are dropping like dead weights while I direct the students in the college’s Bodybuilding Competition. The local detective is stumped. The bodybuilding students are at one another’s thick throats for the coveted trophy prize. Each of the bodybuilding professors is pumped vying to be department head, including Van Granite, who has an eye (and a flexed bicep) on my Noah!

Noah: But my relationship with Nicky blossoms, and some of the students form sweet couples as well.

Nicky: And Noah’s parents visit who are real keepers.

Do you solve the mystery in the end?

Nicky: In a white-knuckle, harrowing, shocking conclusion. But don’t worry, I explain everything in the end.

Is there another mystery novel coming after DRAMA MUSCLE?

Nicky: In the third novel, DRAMA CRUISE, I direct college theatre professors in a murder mystery dinner theatre production onboard a cruise to Alaska. Did I mention the professors are dropping overboard like life rafts, and Noah and I have to find out why?

Noah: Nicky’s parents enter the fray for more hysterics.

Nicky: Each of the three novels in the series offers a good brain teaser mystery with lots of fun, frenzy, and frolic. Try staying that three times fast.

Will there be more Nicky and Noah novels after that?

Nicky: Joe also has his Jana Lane mysteries (Whiskey Creek Press and Wild Rose Press), Cozzi Cove beach series (Nine Star Press), and romance novellas (Dreamspinner Press). I’ll put the bug in his ear for another Nicky and Noah novel.

Well thank you both for your time. I wish you a long, happy life together of sleuthing, laughter, and romance, and many successful books.

Nicky and Noah: Joe would like that.

Nicky: Check out DRAMA MUSCLE. Then contact Joe via his web site, Facebook page, Twitter page, or Goodsreads page. He loves hearing from readers. It gives him a break from listening to us.


After a sip of her milk, Bonnie said, “Thank you both for letting us come visit.”

“We’re thrilled to have you, Mom,” Noah replied.

“You two boys have a beautiful home,” she said.

“Thanks, Mom,” said Noah.

“How long have you two guys been living here?” asked Scott with his mouth full.

“Nine months,” I replied.

“Did you buy the baby bassinet yet?” asked Scott with a wink at his son.

We all laughed, though I noticed Noah’s laugh was forced.

“Oh, that reminds me!” Bonnie pulled her iPad out of her purse. “I want to take a picture of all of us to show Judy back in Wisconsin.” After we all posed together, Bonnie aimed and pressed the iPad, then emailed the picture to her friend. “Noah, you know Judy and Jack at the next farm from us.”

“Sure,” Noah replied.

Bonnie looked at her iPad screen and laughed. “Judy said she was worried that since Noah is a big college professor, dinner might be something French, but she says it looks delicious.” Bonnie continued reading. “Judy likes the kitchen curtains too.” After more staring at the screen, she added, “And Judy says that Nicky and Noah make a nice couple.”

I kissed Noah’s cheek, and he squirmed like a kid out on a date with his parents driving.

Bonnie said, “Judy also said you need to go on a diet, Dad.”

Scott laughed and helped himself to another omelet. “Take a picture of this for her,” said Scott, and Bonnie obliged.

Trying to follow the Oliver family logic, I asked, “What does a baby bassinet have to do with Judy and Jack in Wisconsin? Did they just have a baby?”

“Ah!” said Bonnie nearly choking on a green pepper. “At their age! Noah, do you remember their son, Timmy?”

“Sure. We played together as kids,” Noah said.

After a nod and a swallow, Bonnie said, “Timmy went away to college, then to graduate school, then to another graduate school.”

“And now he’s home without a job,” added Scott helping himself to yet another omelet.

Bonnie continued. “Timmy is back, like Dad said, and he brought Tommy with him!”

“Hopefully Tommy has a job,” I interjected to thunderous laughter from Scott.

“You two!” Bonnie said with a scolding look at Scott and me. “Before Dad and I flew here, Judy told me that Timmy and Tommy are getting married next month. They rented that big catering hall on the highway. You know the one, Noah.”

Noah nodded.

“I hope Jack sells a lot more milk,” said Scott with a wink at me.

Stifling a laugh, I said, “That’s terrific. Are you two going to the wedding?”

“Of course,” replied Bonnie. “Noah, if you were home, you could have come too.”

Noah’s face reddened. “I haven’t seen Timmy in many years, Mom.”

I asked, “Noah, when you and Timmy…played together, were you—?”

“Isn’t that the sweetest thing?” Bonnie said to her son. “Nicky’s jealous!”

“Answer the question, Noah,” Scott said as if my attorney.

“They were just children for heaven’s sake,” said Bonnie coming to Noah’s defense.

“We fooled around together,” Noah said. Hearing himself, he added, “We played games together.”

After a nudge from Scott, I said, “What kind of games?”

Noah raised his eyes to the orange curtains. “Timmy and I never did anything. I didn’t even know he was gay.”

Bonnie took another omelet. “Noah, you didn’t know?”

“No. Did you, Mom?” asked Noah in astonishment.

“Of course, honey,” said Bonnie.

“How?” asked Noah.

“Mothers always know. It’s our momdar,” said Bonnie proudly.

Scott explained, “Timmy told Judy when he was ten. And of course Judy told your mother.” Scott smiled at his son. “I always say God makes us how he makes us, and God doesn’t make mistakes.”

“Amen!” said Bonnie as if she was at a revival tent meeting. She swallowed a piece of omelet, savoring the delicious taste, then said, “Judy told me that Timmy and Tommy have already made plans to adopt a baby…from Vietnam! Timmy and Tommy have to go all the way over there to get her! I told Judy that since Timmy and Tommy are making such a long trip, they should get a second one while they are there. I mean the cost of airfare and hotels nowadays is outrageous, even in Vietnam. And who would want to go to Vietnam anyway, except for a war, or to get a child? How many people plan their vacations saying, ‘Let’s go to Vietnam this year?’ Besides, a child should grow up with a sibling.”

“I’m an only child, Mom,” interjected Noah.

“We tried for more, but the first one broke the mold,” said Bonnie with a kiss to her son’s cheek.

Scott winked at me. “We tried and tried and tried.”

“It took us a while to have this one,” Bonnie said, pointing at Noah. “He was a breech baby. We were all so worried. I was in agony…for hours!” She kissed Noah’s forehead. “The pain you caused me! It still hurts on a rainy day.”

“My little breech baby,” I said kissing Noah’s scarlet cheek.

“Do you have a brother or sister, Nicky?” asked Bonnie.

“One brother, “I answered.

“How nice,” said Bonnie.

Noah said, “Nicky told me his brother got the good looks in the family, so I’m very anxious to meet him.”

I squeezed Noah’s knee. “Down, boy. My brother and his wife work in my parents’ bakery in Kansas.”

“Do they sell flambéed vanilla-poached pear crêpes?” asked Scott, pinching his son’s nose.

“They’ll probably have that at Timmy and Tommy’s wedding,” said Bonnie. “Unless the whole menu is Vietnamese in honor of the baby.” She took her son’s hand. “When Judy was going on and on, as only Judy can do, about Timmy’s wedding, and now seeing you and Nicky living here so compatibly, I know it isn’t any of my business, but I can’t help but wonder…and I’m certainly not trying to push anything…and I will totally understand and my feelings won’t be hurt one iota if you say to me, ‘Mom just butt out,’ but I was just—”

“Are you going to make an honest man out of my son, Nicky,” said Scott, cutting to the chase.

“Oh, Dad, that’s not what I meant,” Bonnie said pushing her husband’s shoulder.

Noah said, “Thanks for your support, Mom and Dad.” Sounding like an independent politician running for office, he added, “It means a great deal to both of us. The truth is Nicky and I haven’t talked about marriage and children. But when we do, you two will be the first to know.”


Drama Muscle, a Nicky and Noah mystery on Goodreads
Lethe Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA


Post a comment about cozy mysteries. The writer of the one that tickles our whodunit bone the most will receive the code for a gift audiobook of the award-winning DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery, from the author Joe Cosentino, published by Lethe Press, performed by Michael Gilboe.

About the Author

BN3Amazon Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote Drama Queen and Drama Muscle Nicky and Noah mysteries (Lethe Press), An Infatuation, A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press), Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (Nine Star Press), Paper Doll (Whiskey Creek Press) and Porcelain Doll (Wild Rose Press) Jana Lane mysteries, and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). 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. His one-act plays, Infatuation and Neighbor, were performed in New York City. He wrote The Perils of Pauline educational film (Prentice Hall Publishers). Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. His upcoming novels are Drama Cruise Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), Satin Doll and China Doll Jana Lane mysteries (Wild Rose Press), and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (Nine Star Press).

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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