Tour: Joe Cosentino – Home for the Holidays, Audio Edition


Creating the audiobook of A Home for the Holidays, a short romance novella

by Joe Cosentino, published by Dreamspinner Press, performed by Joel Leslie

Where is the most beautiful, sexy, magical place in the world for you? For me, it is the island of Capri, Italy. I will never forget when, like Kunta Kinte charting his roots, I booked a flight with my spouse to that unique island and had the vacation of a lifetime.

While on the boat ride to the Marina Grande, the sight of the enormous cliffs sitting majestically on the water literally took our breath away. From the funiculare (cable car) we marveled at the stunning views of the island below and Mt. Vesuvius in the distance. At the Piazetta (main plaza) we boarded an island bus that zoomed around harrowing, tight corners like a car in a Fun House. We travelled to Via Krupp in the southern part of the island, and we walked through what Italians call “the villas of the rich and famous,” underscored by the sparkling turquoise sea below. We swam in gorgeous white sand beaches surrounded by artistic white stone formations like Marina Piccola. When we arrived at Mt. Solaro, our guide told us it was highest point on the Isle of Capri, five hundred and eighty-nine meters above sea level. As we looked out at the fog, the sun came up and the wind blew the vapors of fog upwards, crowning the clouds, and revealing stunning views of the Bay of Naples, the Amalfi Coast, and the mountains of Calabria in the distance. As we looked out over the turquoise water, white mountains, and azure sky, I felt like I was in heaven. However, the most magical of all was the Grotta Azzurra (the Blue Grotto). As our boat went through the tiny portal of the expansive cave, my breath was taken away by the water’s brilliant shades of iridescent sapphire and emerald from the sun’s reflection on the water in the cove. Capri also had the most amazing restaurants and shops on the water’s edge. And the people somehow all seemed beautiful and sensuous.

Upon arriving back in the US, I realized I had to write a romantic short story taking place in Capri. I decided my story would be about Bobby, a young, Italian American law student traveling to Capri during the winter holidays to meet his quaint Italian relatives, and falling in love with his handsome, muscular, sexy Italian third cousin, Paolo. Their relationship with highs and lows and some captivating surprises is the core of the short novella. Since I come from a long line of funny Italian Americans, I included a good deal of humor in the story as well with Paolo’s eccentric family.

After the short novella released, readers told me it should be made into a movie. While waiting for movie producers to beat down my door, I asked the staff at Dreamspinner Press if we could make this story come to audio life. I was thrilled when Joel Leslie, an award winning voice performer with a huge resume of successful audiobooks, agreed to be our performer. Joel did research for this outing. He also asked me many questions about the characters. He used his high end technology to create this beautiful audiobook.

The end result was amazing. A gifted, versatile actor of many voices and emotions, Joel perfectly captured the Italian landscape, sights, sounds, scents, tastes, characters, moods, humor, romance, and adventure of Bobby, Paolo, and their families on this magnificent island. Joel played each member of the Mascobello family (male and female, young and old) so beautifully that you won’t believe all those character voices could possibly come out of one person. You’ll fall in love with the characters in this little story, and you won’t want to leave them. When hearing the audiobook, I laughed and cried, and I wrote the story! As so many reviewers have said, I felt as if I had taken a trip to the gorgeous island of Capri for a fraction of the cost.

So enjoy this special holiday vacation. Get onboard for the wonder and magic of A Home for the Holidays now an audiobook.



a HEA holiday short story published by Dreamspinner Press

audiobook performed by Joel Leslie

Bobby McGrath’s Christmas trip to the beautiful Italian Island of Capri to meet his eccentric, extended family offers stunning views—none more stunning than his third cousin, Paolo Mascobello, a real stocking stuffer. As the two young men embark on a relationship, Bobby, a driven law student, learns to relax and bask under the old Italian moon, and Paolo realizes there’s more to life than a frolic on the beach. For the two to find everlasting amore, Paulo must overcome his fear of commitment and learn to follow his dreams, and Bobby must get his wish for happily ever after. “Reading this little holiday treat is like taking a romantic trip to gorgeous Capri, Italy!”



Star, A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise Nicky and Noah mysteries (Lethe Press); Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out (NineStar Press); and Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll Jana Lane mysteries (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, Charles Keating, 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 1st Place Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of 2015, and 2nd Place Favorite LGBT Romance Author of 2015 by the readers of Divine Magazine. He has also won many Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions including for In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star. Upcoming releases are Drama Luau (fourth Nicky and Noah mystery) and Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (fourth Cozzi Cove beach novel, NineStar Press).

Review:  Home for the Holidays is a tropical treat set in Capri. Bobby McGrath is an achiever, sent to spend the holidays with his very large, boisterous and sort of eccentric extended family.  He’s not really thrilled but makes the best of it, particularly when meeting Paolo, his beautiful third cousin.

Paolo is not into relationships and Bobby might be the perfect holiday fling for him, if he can get the man to unwind a little.  Watching Bobby learn to relax and enjoy in the beauty that is Italy was a lovely thing, particularly since the book is narrated by Joel Leslie, who could read a tax return and make it sound evocative and dreamy.

The audio is pretty short, an hour and 45 minutes, so it was perfect for my commute to work.  There isn’t as much emphasis on the holiday aspect as there is Capri itself, which is sort of a character in its own right.  As Paolo introduces Bobby to the wonders of Capri, you can visualize it.

Short and sweet, with likeable characters and some amazing moms.






Bookmark the permalink.

One Comment

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. Joel also did a terrific job performing the audiobook of my THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND, and he is doing my IN MY HEART (An Infatuation & A Shooting Star) to release early summer!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *