It’s time for another summer of sun, sand, suntan lotion, sandals, and Speedos on Cozzi Cove at the New Jersey Shore. Cal Cozzi’s seven bungalows are once again open for love. This summer, sexy Cal welcomes back his brother and sister, who are confronted with people from their pasts. Connor, the maid packed with muscle and mayhem, becomes the subject of a handsome young psychologist’s study on human sexuality. Tommy, the strapping, bald and tattooed local bartender, is captivated with guest Cory Magnum, a police officer with a secret. Another guest, Bill, a disbelieving pastor, is inspired by a vision of two sexy male angels on the cove. And Cal and Michael reach a plateau in their relationship. What secrets, humor, tragedies, mysteries, and passions lie waiting to unfold in this magical place called Cozzi Cove?
An Interview with George Valis
Joe: Hi, George. Thank you for joining me in this interview. Since you all can’t see George, he is average height with dark hair, emerald-green eyes, a handsome face, and a muscular build.
George: That’s me on the book cover. It’s great to get off the cover and stretch, Joe.
Joe: As a character in books two and three of my Cozzi Cove beach series, tell the readers about the magical, romantic, and fascinating place called Cozzi Cove on the New Jersey shore.
George: Cal’s great-grandfather built the eight bungalows on the private cove with an amazing view of the bay and lighthouse in the distance. The main beach and boardwalk are only a mile away. Sensing Cal’s sexual orientation as a boy, his father opened Cozzi Cove as a gay resort. After he passed on, Cal was proud to carry on the tradition. Just recently Cal and I found out we have the same father. We couldn’t be happier being brothers. Since I’m an architect, I helped Cal renovate the place by expanding the bungalows, replacing the heavy wood with white pine and wicker, updating the appliances, and bringing in hot tubs.
Joe: Tell the readers, what is a cove.
George: The bungalows on Cozzi Cove are set on a stretch of cove formed when softer rocks were worn away by the sun and salty water faster than the harder rocks surrounding them. This created a gorgeous bay of turquoise water shielded by large rocks in the distance and smaller rocks near the water’s edge. My bungalow is on a private section of the cove at the end.
Joe: After Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (TBR Pile Favorite Book of the Month/Rainbow Award Honorable Mention) and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward released, readers and reviewers praised their romantic, humorous, dramatic, mysterious style, and interwoven captivating stories.
George: They liked us! They really liked us!
Joe: They sure did. So I wrote Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out. As with the first two books, romance is everywhere on Cozzi Cove, and nothing is what it seems. It was like visiting good old friends to further develop the characters in book three. You arrived in book two, and are back again in book three.
George: Thanks for that.
Joe: Tell them the storyline of Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out.
George: My handsome ex-football player brother, Cal Cozzi, is now thirty-one years old, and still enjoying his role as owner and manager of the family’s guest bungalows. His lover of two years, Michael Rodgers, a college photography student, landed at his doorstep and the two of them have never looked back.
Joe: Except when Cal speaks to the ghost of his deceased husband of six years. In this book, Cal and Michael reach a plateau in their relationship.
George: That’s Cozzi Cove, just when you think you’ve figured it out, there’s a game changer. On to the next character. Connor, the college student assisting Cal, is still packed with muscles and hormones. He also still revels in Cozzi Cove, and in checking out each resident for a possible fling on the cove—which he occasionally enjoys and thinks we don’t see. In book three, Connor becomes the subject of a handsome young psychologist’s study on human sexuality with unexpected results. Then there’s Tommy, the bald, muscular, tattooed resident of Cozzi Cove who owns the local bar and has held a torch for Cal since high school. He meets a beautiful female police officer staying at Cozzi Cove, which leads to a shocking revelation.
Joe: And then there’s you, Cal’s younger brother.
George: A man from my past comes to Cozzi Cove, which leads me on a romantic roller coaster ride. And my sister, Taylor, drops in from Rome, Paris, Wall Street, or Palm Springs as usual. As a type A personality and top one-percenter, the world revolves around her, which makes her hysterically funny. She is also incredibly devoted to Cal and me, which we like. We learn something shocking about Taylor’s past in this book, and she goes through some pretty emotional experiences. Lucky for Taylor her best friend, Cozzi restauranteur Carla Mangione, is there for support.
Joe: And Bill, a disbelieving pastor, sees a vision of two sexy male angels on the cove, which leads him to start a new life.
George: What secrets, humor, tragedy, mysteries, and passions lie in the magical place called Cozzi Cove?
Joe: What do you think is the moral of the story?
George: I think the moral is that it’s important to step out. Take a chance on love.
Joe: Nice job.
George: You wrote the books.
Joe: I also like the message about accepting one’s self and others. In particular, that religious freedom means freedom to practice your religion, not to discriminate against others.
George: I have a question for you. Is Cal based on you? Is Michael based on your husband? Taylor on your sister? I know you don’t have a brother, but you have a close male cousin? Am I him?
Joe: A few traits here and there, but we’re very different, though my sister is opinionated like Taylor. Harold (An Infatuation), Jonathan (A Shooting Star), and Bobby (A Home for the Holidays) have many of my traits. Stuart (An Infatuation) and Barry (A Shooting Star) are based on my spouse. My cousin keeps asking me to be in my books.
George: Will there be more Cozzi Cove novels? I really like the humor, mystery, plot twists and turns, and the surprise endings in the stories They really keep us on our toes.
Joe: Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings releases March 27. I’d also like to see Cozzi Cove as a television series. Make me an offer, producers! I want to play Pastor Bill Gayton in this story.
George: Who do you see playing me?
Joe: Chis Evans.
George: Good choice!
Joe: How do you feel regarding people reading about your love life?
George: Lovemaking is a part of life, so it makes sense to include love scenes in novels. The love scenes in our books are sweet, sexy, and touching. How do you feel when you read the books?
Joe: I just reread Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out and laughed, cried, gasped, and felt romantic.
George: Speaking of romance, it’s time for me to get back to Cozzi Cove. Tell the readers how they can reach me.
Joe: Through me at: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
George: So grab your Speedos, suntan lotion, and shades and head back to Cozzi Cove. Cal and I have a bungalow waiting just for you.
Joe: I hope to see you all there!
A soaring golden orb turned the violet, pink, and tangerine sky into a canvas of blue. Early morning was Cal Cozzi’s favorite time. Treading water in the cove that had boasted his family name for generations, Cal felt as if his blood was the bay water, his flesh was the sand, and his soul was the sun. And Michael Rodgers was his heart. Michael swam over to him and wrapped his stocky arms around Cal’s neck. Cal cupped Michael’s firm bottom and squeezed him in closer. As Michael caressed Cal’s muscled back, they shared a salty wet kiss.
Cal looked up at a seagull gliding to the lighthouse in the distance. He pondered having the freedom to fly away from Cozzi Cove, but there was no place he’d rather be than in the confines of his legacy with the man he loved.
Cal’s great-grandfather, Calvin Cozzi I, had built everything in the sleepy town on the New Jersey shore, including the eight bungalows on the cove. This beautiful spot was the result of sun and salt water wearing away softer rocks more quickly than the harder rocks surrounding them.
Cal’s legacy was passed down to him from his great-grandfather through his grandfather, Calvin Cozzi II, and finally by his father, Calvin Cozzi III. Cal’s father, sensing his son’s sexual orientation as a boy, had opened Cozzi Cove as a gay resort.
Though Cal had dabbled briefly as a professional football player, and then as a restaurant owner, neither was a good fit. It wasn’t until after the unfortunate death of his parents in an automobile accident that he found his true calling: managing Cozzi Cove. The previous summer, Cal had been united with his half-brother, George, an architect, and the two of them had recently completed renovations on the bungalows, expanding them to add modern amenities while maintaining their grandfather’s nautical theme.
The tip of his head only reached Cal’s chin, so Michael had to stretch up to kiss his nose. Cal’s Italian and Scottish heritage had given him height, auburn hair, emerald-green eyes, an olive complexion, a strapping build, and a wide nose, which, as noted, Michael liked to kiss. “Should we be skinny-dipping at the start of a new summer season?”
“Probably not.” Cal ran a strong hand through Michael’s chestnut hair and gazed into his exotic eyes.
“What if a guest comes early?”
“He can get his own boyfriend.” Cal pressed his tongue inside Michael’s welcoming mouth. It felt warm, and Cal wanted more. As Michael stroked Cal’s broad shoulders and round pectoral muscles, prominent from working out at Cozzi’s gym, Cal pressed his nose against Michael’s thick neck and enjoyed the scent of vanilla. Michael’s African-American and Swedish heritage awarded him smooth golden skin that Cal loved to caress. Cal thought about the eleven-year difference in their ages, how they had met when Michael, still in the closet, tried to gay bash him in an alley, and the year Michael still had left to finish college. It was illogical and improbable for Cal and Michael to be together, yet it felt incredibly right. At that moment, he couldn’t be more in love with Michael.
George Valis, wearing a violet polo shirt and white shorts that accentuated his muscular legs, stepped out of Bungalow Seven and met them at the cove. “Hey, my ex back in Maine dumped me, remember? Stop rubbing in your happiness, you two.”
“Have breakfast with us.” Michael’s dimples appeared. “Cal is making a feast.”
“And Michael is cleaning up after me.”
“As usual.” George winked at Michael.
They got out of the water and put on the terrycloth robes they’d left on a rock at the water’s edge. Cal smiled at the sight of his brother’s height and eye color, which was exactly the same as his own. Cal and George shared the same father, with George being the result of Cal Cozzi II’s infidelity. They had met for the first time last summer when George looked Cal up, and Cal couldn’t have been happier to have a brother like George. He mussed George’s dark hair affectionately. “After breakfast, I’ll pack a lunch for your ride back to Maine.”
Michael’s shoulders slumped. “Do you have to go?”
Cal put his arm around Michael, recalling the brother Michael had lost two summers ago to suicide. “Bungalow Seven is always here for George.”
“Good.” George grinned like a kid with a secret. “It looks like I’ll be staying for a while longer.”
“Yeah!” Michael gave George a hug. “Cal will make a special celebration dinner tonight.” He kissed Cal’s cheek. “My favorite is surf and turf.”
“How about I leave my turf and throw you in the surf at the main beach instead?” Cal kissed Michael’s neck and then turned to his younger brother. “What’s up, bro?”
George looked at them and giggled. “Clearly you two, just before I arrived.”
Cal moved in and placed George in a playful headlock. “Look, little brother, the guests will be here soon. If you want breakfast, spill it.”
Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, and Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (NineStar Press); Drama Queen (Divine Magazine Readers’ Favorite LGBT Mystery Novel and Humorous Novel), Drama Muscle(Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective Nicky and Noah mysteries (Lethe Press); In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press) Jana Lane mysteries. 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 Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. He was voted 2nd Place for Favorite MM Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards, and his books have received numerous awards.
Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com