Traveling through Italy during the winter holidays with author Joe Cosentino
Christmas in my big Italian-American family includes a religious experience (grace at the table by my father: “Bless us, let’s eat.”), my mother displaying her art work (ceramic Santa napkin holders, Mom: “When I die take these out, think of me, and cry buckets.”), a huge feast where my spouse and I dodge food grenades at the kiddy table every year, each of us opening lavish gifts (one year my parents gave my sister a house and me a sweater), and finally my family members opening gifts from me (my sister: “I guess I can wear that for dress down day at work.”).
My extended family raved to me about their wonderful trips to Italy. So one winter holiday, my spouse and I took out the Dramamine and made the eight-hour flight like Kunta Kinte back to my roots. We took one of those no sleep/see everything/come home war fatigued two-week tours of historic Rome, business haven Naples, waterway Venice, mountainous Assisi, picturesque Lake Como, literature alive Milan, artistic Florence (laden with statues of naked musclemen), the dramatic Amalphi Coast, historic Pompeii, hilly Tuscany, and homespun Lake Maggiore. We had the vacation of a lifetime seeing the most gorgeous architecture, natural resources, and views. We also ate delicious food and reveled in the art and history. However, there was no site more gorgeous, magical, and romantic than the Island of Capri.
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.
Whether you read or listen to A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, you’ll laugh at the antics of Bobby’s and Paolo’s extended families, and you’ll fall in love with Bobby and Paolo as they fall in love with each other. I hope you enjoy my holiday gift to you. Happy holidays!
A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS by JOE COSENTINO
a HEA holiday short story published by Dreamspinner Press
AUDIOBOOK PERFORMED BY JOEL LESLIE: https://www.amazon.com/A-Home-for-the-Holidays/dp/B01N0DV3FT/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479506049&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Home+for+the+Holidays+Joe+Cosentino
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!”
Praise for A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS:
“I could see the lovely sites as Joe described them with such beauty and prose. I could feel the growing desire between the two young men and the heat building as well.” Cathy Brockman Romance
“you can see the beauty of Capri, almost taste the incredible food laid out on the page. Paolo and Bobby’s romance is sweet and tender” Divine Magazine
“I adore the character of Bobby” “the heartwarming family moments” “The vivid and almost lyrical descriptions that Joe Cosentino uses when Bobby is arriving on Capri or sightseeing all over the island with Paolo.” “the love the author has for Capri and the people there flows off the page in every word he has written.” “when you finish reading this story, you will want to book your own flight to Italy and boat to Capri.” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
“I was there with Bobby and Paolo, feeling the sun on my face and the warm swell of the sea as I walked barefoot on the sea’s edge, the author’s brilliantly descriptive words took me to that beautiful place where Bobby and Paolo fell in love.” Three Books Over the Rainbow
“Joe Cosentino’s holiday novella, A Home for the Holidays, delivers in every way that a romantic, feel-good story should. Every book I read by this author continuously pulls me in and wraps me up like a warm blanket.” Kathy Mac Reviews
“The one thing you can't escape when reading Cosentino's books is his humour; it's what draws me back time and again to this author. Sometimes the humour is subtle, sometimes it's unashamedly overt - every time it is hilarious.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews
“The setting was marvelous as well, who wouldn't fall in love in a place like Joe Cosentino described? And the boys' interaction with the rest of the family was quite marvelous as well. A really enjoyable, fast read!” Bayou Book Junkie
I’m going to go on record saying that Joe Cosentino pretty much has me at hello. His writing style is incredibly smooth with beautiful details that never feel like too much or too little. Even in this very short story, I felt like I was right there in Capri with Bobby. Both the scenery and Bobby’s emotions are painted with lush, vivid detail.” “exceptional writing and beautifully gift-wrapped love story.” AM Leibowitz
“sweet story of connecting with distant family and perhaps finding the ‘home’ you’ve been searching for.” 3 Chicks After Dark
“If you like beautiful sights, want a virtual tour of Capri, like law students, sexy Italian studs, and sweet romance with little on page sex but is still sensual and hot, this is for you!” MM Good Book Reviews
“If you like stories about opposites that may attract but have a hard time dealing with the reality of being so different, if a beautiful setting and some great Italian food sound like a nice background to a developing romance between two young men, and if you’re looking for a read that is fun, emotional, and all about finding your way in life, then you will probably like this novella.” Rainbow Book Reviews
“I got glimpses of movies like Three Coins in the Fountain and Roman Holiday.” “Very romantic.” Multitasking Momma Reviews
“I really enjoyed the balance Joe Cosentino maintains between the romance of the Italian island and the increasing passion between the two young men.” Kirsty Loves Books
“If you are looking for a sweet tale of love during the holidays, look no further than A Home for the Holidays by Joe Cosentino.” Prism Book Alliance
“A Home for the Holidays a delightful, heartwarming journey of discovering one’s roots and the traditions that bring meaning to family. At the same time, it explores how breaking with tradition and becoming the person you were meant to be is also part of that grounding process, that finding home and making it your own is exactly what this holiday season is about. Filled with gentle humor and the lush backdrop of the isle of Capri, the story takes you on a wonderful guided tour of this landscape of the heart and the mind. The descriptions are a feast for the mind’s eye, the supporting characters quintessentially Italian, and the main characters—Bobby and Paolo—are the kind of yin and yang match that captures the imagination and the heart. For a charming seasonal read, A Home for the Holidays will leave you sighing with happiness.” GGR-Reviews
“I recommend A Home for the Holidays to anyone who loves travel adventures, Christmas themes, and m/m romance. I felt like I was actually there in Capri.” The Novel Approach
Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting 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). http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com