Nell Iris

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Guest Post: Drama Cruise (Audiobook) by Joe Cosentino

Today I have a guest on my blog: Joe Cosentino is here to talk about turning his books into audiobooks. Welcome Joe!



THE AUDIOBOOK OF DRAMA CRUISE (the third Nicky and Noah mystery), by Joe Cosentino, performed by Brad Enright

When I went to the Rainbow Book Fair in New York City, guides directed inquiring people my way. When the readers arrived at my table, they asked me how I think up all those hysterically funny lines of dialogue, and crafty cozy Nicky and Noah mysteries. I was in book fair heaven. Finally, they wanted to know why all of the books aren’t yet on audiobook. I was happy to tell them the first three novels have now gone verbal with delightful audiobooks bringing Nicky and Noah to audio life.

For those of who have not yet read the series (and you should!), as a college theatre professor/department head, I created a gay, cozy mystery, comedy series taking place at fictitious Treemeadow College, founded by gay couple Tree and Meadow. Four books are out at present with four more set for release over the next two years. The settings are cozy, the clues and murders (and laughs) come fast and furious, and there are enough plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning quickly. At the center is a touching gay romance between Play Directing professor Nicky Abbondanza and Acting professor Noah Oliver. Reviewers called the series “hysterically funny farce,” “Murder She Wrote meets Hart to Hart meets The Hardy Boys,” “a romantic joyride,” and “a captivating whodunit.” In Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Favorite Mystery of the Year) Nicky directs the college play and college theatre professors drop like stage curtains. Nicky and Noah use their theatre skills, including impersonating other people, to figure out whodunit. In Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention) Nicky and Noah don their gay Holmes and Watson personas again to find out why bodybuilding students and professors in the bodybuilding show on campus are dropping faster than barbells. In Drama Cruise it is summer on a ten-day cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back. Nicky and Noah must figure out why college theatre professors are going overboard like life rafts as Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship starring Noah and other college theatre professors from across the US. Complicating matters are Nicky and Noah’s both sets of wacky parents and Nicky and Noah’s department head and his husband who are all along for the ride. Drama Luau is next, where Nicky directs a hula luau show in a Hawaiian resort and muscle men drop faster than their grass skirts. Once again it’s up to Nicky and Noah to solve the mystery before they end up in the pig roast pit.

The first-person narrative, humor, and theatrical style of the novels make them perfect for the audiobook venue. I was incredibly lucky to find a multi-talented voiceover artist and actor to capture the unique sense of humor, captivating mystery, sexy romance, and over twenty different characters in each of the novels. Michael Gilboe did a fine job with Drama Queen, and Chip Hurley was also terrific in Drama Muscle.

Luck was still with me when I found Brad Enright to perform Drama Cruise. Brad has a masculine, sexy voice that is full of emotion. His sense of humor matches with Nicky’s perfectly. Finally, Brad’s character voices, both male and female, will leave you in awe, as you wonder how one person can play all those roles. After Brad and I discussed the characters, humor, and emotions in the novel, he went to work on his state of the art audio equipment to create the audiobook. He was always open to my feedback and appreciated my comments and advice along the way. Upon hearing the audiobook, I laughed out loud numerous times, and the ending surprised me—and I wrote the book! If you need a good laugh (and who doesn’t nowadays), some sweet gay romance, and a brain-twisting mystery (to keep the little gray cells active), listen to this recently released audiobook and have a ball!

And do it now. The audiobook for Drama Luau, the fourth Nicky and Noah mystery, is in the works, followed by the e-book/paperback release of DRAMA DETECTIVE, the fifth Nicky and Noah mystery, on October 28! The game is afoot!

New release! Drama Cruise, third Nicky and Noah comedy mystery audiobook, by Joe Cosentino, performed by Brad Enright

Buy links: 
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible | B&N | Smashwords

Drama Cruise

Theater professors and couple, Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, are going overboard as usual, but this time on an Alaskan cruise, where dead college theatre professors are popping up everywhere from the swimming pool to the captain’s table. Further complicating matters are Nicky’s and Noah’s parents as surprise cruise passengers, and Nicky’s assignment to direct a murder mystery dinner theater show onboard ship. Nicky and Noah will need to use their drama skills to figure out who is bringing the curtain down on vacationing theatre professors before it is lights out 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 third novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and ship ahoy!

Language: English
Cover Art: Denny Minonne
Cover Design: Inkspiral Design
Time: 6 hours
Release date: August 10, 2017divider bluePraise for DRAMA CRUISE (the third Nicky and Noah mystery):

“Superb fun from start to finish, for me this series gets stronger with every book and that’s saying something because the benchmark was set so very high with book 1.” Three Books Over the Rainbow

“I have been an avid reader of Joe Cosentino’s books for some time and he has yet to let me down. His ability to write highly original, yet somehow realistic, characters is one of his greatest strengths as a writer. Their quirks and personalities fill the pages in a way that makes for a fabulously entertaining and totally engrossing read. I loved this book and highly recommend it to lovers of farce, humour, murder mystery and sweet MM love stories.” Divine Magazine

“Joe Cosentino does it again with Drama Cruise, the third Nicky and Noah mystery. I loved the humor, drama, and theater work inside. Plus, the romance and murder investigation keep readers turning the pages. Absolutely, must read this latest book in the series.” Urban Book Reviews

“If you are looking for a good, funny book to shake the blahs, love mystery, humor and romance, and a story with a twist or two, you’re bound to love this.” Cathy Brockman Romances

“The characters are charming and entertaining….had me in stitches….This is the delightful third episode in the Nicky and Noah Mystery series. It is a fun-filled and entertaining murder mystery for LGBT cozy mystery fans.” Readers’ Favorite

“Each (Nicky and Noah mystery) is a wonderful mixture of sex, comedy, romance and murder, but when Cosentino took it to an Alaska cruise and the high seas, well, it tossed it up into theatrically delicious magic….I loved this story. I love this couple. What on earth is going to happen to them next? I can’t wait to find out.” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

“The Nicky and Noah Mysteries series are perfect for fans of the Cozy Mystery sub-genre. They mix tongue-in-cheek humor, over-the-top characters, a wee bit of political commentary, and suspense into a sweet little mystery solved by Nicky and Noah, theatre professors for whom all the world’s a stage.” Prism Book Alliance

“As this highly entertaining story rolls on, I find myself laughing and getting into the who- done-it craze. This is a great book, it made me feel happy just reading it. The main characters are almost perfect, which just makes things better.” Crystal’s Many Reviewers

“fast-paced, action-packed story….fabulous cast of characters….if you love a murder mystery then this book is for you.” Books Laid Bare Boys

“The humor is laugh-out-loud, he didn’t just say that, funny. The scenes of affection occur mostly off-stage, behind closed doors, yet remain joyfully suggestive and highly sensual. Every character gets his due and the ending will have you sniffling with happiness.” Diane Nelson, Sand in My Shoes Reviewsdivider blueBestselling 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 (Lethe Press), Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle; the Dreamspinner Press novellas: In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, The Perfect Gift, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland, The Perfect Gift; the Cozzi Cove series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (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 is happily married. Joe was voted 2nd Place Favorite LGBT Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards, and his books have received numerous Favorite Book of the Month Awards and Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions.





Review round-up

Today is the last day of the review tour for Cinnamon Eyes. I’m humbled and overwhelmed by all the love given to Cory and Asher. Never in a million years had I expected all the kind words from bloggers, reviewers and ARC-readers.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart ❤️

I want to share some of the wonderful words with you.

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Jenn at The Geekery Book Review gave it 4 out of 5 stars

“Cinnamon Eyes is such a sweet, good for your heart read! I really enjoyed this story and Cory and Asher, such wonderful men. I found this to be a story of love and finding your place in the world.”

 “I really enjoyed the flow of this story and how, for me, the focus was on the good of these two together and finally finding that healthy, happy place. This is definitely a book to pick up for that feel-good read that makes you smile and leaves your heart happy! Sweet and adorable, Cory and Asher are fantastic!”

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Pixie at MM Good Book Reviews gave it 4 out of 5 hearts

“I recommend this story to those who love fantastic characters reconnecting and discovering love, who adore stories of overcoming limitations and moving forward, who love sweet romances with a dash of sexy, and who love men who refuse to turn their backs on a challenge and face it head on.”

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Heather at Padme’s Library gave it 4,5 out of 5

“Cinnamon Eyes is a sweet and fun read that will make you believe in life and love and has definitely put Nell Iris on my authors-to-watch list.”

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Tracy at Bayou Book Junkie gave it 3,75 out of 5 stars

“This was such a sweet story. It’s a quick and easy, feel good read. Cory and Asher are lovable characters who fit together perfectly. They are good for one another and their chemistry was amazing. You could practically feel the love coming off the pages at you.

The story was lovely and I adored watching Cory and Asher give into the love they have secretly harbored for one another for so long. The story is well-written and flows well. It’s filled with love, understanding, acceptance and healing. Recommendable!”

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Jen at Dog-Eared Daydreams gave it 4,5 out of 5 stars

“Cinnamon Eyes is a friends-to-lovers romance sixteen years in the making and I liked it to bits! Nell Iris gave a generous dose of sweetness to this story, what with two best friends who hadn’t seen one another in more than a decade and a half.”

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Cinnamon at Love Bytes gave it 4,5 out of 5 stars

“The writing is flawless with a great flow and the story just blew my mind.”

“This is a true feel good story, so if you are looking for angst and excitement this is not your story. On the other hand if you are looking for a fairytale love story with true love spiced up with some family drama and heartfelt reconciliation, this story is definitely perfect for you. Highly recommended”

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ce w reviews on releasedate

Buy links: 
JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Google Play | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords

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Going on a trip

I’m going to Sweden today. I’m gonna hug my daughter, hug my mother (and father and brother and other family), hang out with friends, and eat Swedish food. And I’m going to my BFF’s wedding. So if I seem absent, you know why 🙂


I love my pastel-y suitcase with the rainbow luggage tag. Easy to spot on the belt in the airport 🙂

While I’m away: buy my book!! You’ll love it. I promise 🙂

ce w reviews on releasedate

Buy links: 
JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Google Play | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords

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Release blitz and #giveaway: Tops Down Bottoms Up by Jay Northcote

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Length: 23,000 words approx 

Will Rowan’s festival fling with sexy dancer Seth lead to something more permanent?

Rowan is stuck at a folk festival helping out a mate, and it really isn’t his scene. The yoga and singing workshops are bad enough, but morris dancing is the final straw. Bearded men with beer guts prancing around wearing bells—who wants to watch that?

All Rowan’s preconceptions are shattered when he meets Seth—a morris dancer, and the stuff Rowan’s fantasies are made of. Seth persuades Rowan to come to a dancing workshop, and Rowan’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to know Seth better. The attraction is mutual, and a lesson filled with innuendo and flirting leads to an incredible night together.

When Rowan arrives home, he’s gutted to find that Seth has given him the wrong phone number. Assuming Seth did it on purpose, Rowan resolves to forget about him. But fate—and friends—conspire to get them back together. Will they manage to stay in step this time around?

A much shorter version of this story was originally published in the Not Quite Shakespeare Anthology by Dreamspinner Press. This version has been revised and extended. Almost half of it is new content.

Author Bio

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story–just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

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Cinnamon Eyes and Damien Rice

Today, I thought I’d give you an excerpt from Cinnamon Eyes. The boys have received a lot of love so far and I’m so very happy about it. Thank you for all your kind words, ARC-reviewers and bloggers ❤️

The excerpt starts after Cory (the narrator) has had a small breakdown after a tough call with his mother, and Asher calms him down by putting on some music.

But first, an image of the record they’re listening to. And yes. That’s my record player and my copy of the album 🙂 (Click the link below if you want to know exactly which song they’re listening to in this moment)


He started the kettle. While he waited for the water to boil, he chose a record from his vast collection and put it on the turntable. The familiar crackle of the needle was comforting, like a childhood teddy bear. Music had always been my coping mechanism in life. No wonder everything had gone straight to hell when I’d been unable to rely on it to keep me sane.

The sounds of an electric-acoustic guitar floated through the room. After a few bars, a vulnerable male voice accompanied it, instantly captivating me. Asher handed me the cover before continuing to the kitchen to fix the tea.

Damien Rice. I’d never heard of the artist before, but just a few words in the lyrics, I was sold. I curled up and let the music carry me away. The song grew in intensity, and I took in every word of the gut-wrenching lyrics.

I stared at Asher with my mouth hanging open when he brought the tea and joined me on the couch.

“I knew you’d like it.” He smiled.

Huddled close together, we drank our tea and let the music wash away the painful conversation with my mother. It was exactly what I needed. That…and Asher.

After he’d turned the record over, I laid my head down in his lap. When exhaustion came, I let it carry me away.

ce w reviews on releasedate

Buy links: 
JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Google Play | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords



Weekends means Rainbow Snippets-time here on the blog, since I’ve joined the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook. According to their description, “it’s a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction—a WIP or a finished work of even 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).”


Cinnamon Eyes was released yesterday. Yay! Celebration time!


(Seriously, though. Whoever invented confetti didn’t think that through properly. It’s sooo hard to clean up! 🙂 )

Anyway. This week’s snippet continues where we left off last week. Cory and Asher, alone, face-to-face for the first time in sixteen years.

And a big thank you to all of you who have commented and said it was emotional. Y’all made me very happy, because that’s what I was going for ❤️


Pale green eyes bored into me, peering all the way into my soul. I drew in a shuddering breath, and the confession spilled out of me. “I’ve missed you.”

The words hardly escaped my lips before I was wrapped up in his strong arms. Our bodies fit perfectly together, with my head right under his chin. I wound my arms around his waist. As I did, his shirt slid up, and my hands came in contact with naked skin.

Warmth rushed through my fingertips and heated up my body. My appetite had vanished as the depression set in, and I’d lost nearly thirty pounds over the last year, leaving me constantly cold. Here, in his embrace, was the first time I wasn’t freezing in a long time.


ce w reviews on releasedate

Cory and Asher’s reception has so far been great, making me a very proud and excited book mama. I set out to write an emotional story with an intense reunion, and I’m happy I succeeded 🙂

Buy links: 
JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Google Play | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords


You can find me on FacebookTwitter, or Goodreads. Feel free to stop by and say Hi! I love new friends!

I’ve also gotten a Facebook profile for my pen name, so if you feel like it, I would love to be your friend 🙂


Release Day: Cinnamon Eyes 🍾

ce w reviews on releasedate

Buy links: 
JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Google Play | B&N | Kobo

A long-awaited reunion.

Cory’s had a rough year struggling with severe depression. He’s desperate to rebuild his shattered life and to break away from his demanding family. When his therapist encourages him to do something for himself, he knows exactly what he needs. I want to see Asher again. The best friend he ever had who, at fifteen, held Cory’s heart in his hands without knowing it.

Asher’s had a troubled relationship with his father since he came out. Now that Pops is sick, he’s fighting for his right to help or even find out about his father’s health. Then there’s the complication of an ex-boyfriend unwilling to let go.

When they meet after sixteen years, Cory’s feelings are as strong as ever. But does Asher feel the same?

Cinnamon Eyes is an emotional story of what happens when two people who never wanted to be separated, finally reunite.



When the song ended, I opened my eyes and clapped with the others. He didn’t look up or say anything, just started strumming another slow song on the strings. Judging by the cheers from the room, it was a popular one.

And then he lifted his head, opened his eyes, and started singing.

I gasped.

It was him. Asher.

Both my hands flew to my face and covered my mouth.

Sixteen years later and I still would have recognized him anywhere. The hair was as unruly as ever, and just as rock ‘n’ roll as his voice. The jawline so sharp he could probably cut glass with it. And the nose was still a little too big for his face.

I couldn’t see his green eyes from here, but I remembered them vividly. The pale color of a leaf newly broken out of its bud in spring, was such a stark contrast to his black eyelashes and olive complexion and had always hypnotized me with their beauty.

When he started singing, his voice pulled me out of my initial shock.

Two best friends
Like no one had ever seen before
Always together
happy and troublesome and wild
Sharing scraped knees
and high flying dreams
Carefree as the clouds in the sky
The boy with laughing cinnamon eyes
And I

The words struck a chord inside me. They reminded me of our friendship, all the way down to the scraped knees. Had he written this song? Had our friendship inspired him?

Then one day
he shimmered with a different light
Just one look at him
made my heart ache, stutter and want
I felt the same
pouring from his soul
A longing for more between us
The boy with loving cinnamon eyes
And I

He sang with such emotion, and the pronouns he used didn’t escape me. Asher was singing to a man, and my stomach made a hopeful jump.

Our story
didn’t have a fairytale ending
He had to leave me
and all I could do was to cry
But with no choice
I had to let go
We hugged and were saying goodbye
The boy with grieving cinnamon eyes
And I

I swallowed. I didn’t understand. That sounded just like … I shut down that thought immediately. It couldn’t be.

It’s been years
and my life has never been the same
I’m often wond’ring
what could have been if he’d stayed
Maybe one day
I’ll see him again
In dreams we were never apart
My boy with the sweet cinnamon eyes
And I
My boy with loving cinnamon eyes
And I

After the last chord rang out, the bar was deadly silent for a heartbeat, and then everyone started cheering and clapping and whistling.

Everyone except me.

I folded my arms on the table in front of me and collapsed with my forehead on top of them and my face hidden in the dark space between.

Had I heard what I thought I’d just heard?

Was that song … about us?

Had he had feelings for me too, back then?

The thought made me shake, and I grabbed my elbows and squeezed to keep myself from flying apart. I took a deep breath and didn’t let it out until my lungs screamed and burned in protest. I repeated the process several times until my teeth had stopped chattering and my heart had slowed its furious pace.

I was still hiding when someone cleared their throat in my vicinity.

“Excuse me? Benji said you wanted to talk to me? Are, uh, are you all right?”

His voice was as deep when he spoke as when he sang, and it sent a shiver down my spine, completely different from the previous desperate shaking. I took a deep breath and raised my head. Forcing myself to face him.

At first, he didn’t seem to recognize me. He searched my face for clues, but it only took a few moments for the spark of realization to light up his eyes.

“Cory?” His voice was gravellier than ever. “Cory, is that you?”