WHY?? Why did you have to die? As Sookie said, you were so big and strong. And SO sweet! You deserved a happy ending!
Okay, okay, you’re right. He’s not a real person. And at least we still have the beautiful Joe Manganiello to soothe our mourning souls.
1. In which sitcom did Joe play a guy named Brad Morris? (Hint: It just had its series finale this year)
2. What funny “Baby” movie was Joe in just before Magic Mike?
3. What is the name of the documentary Joe directed about male strippers?
4. In which TV series did Joe have a part with the equally sexy Josh Duhamel? (also an inspiration for a hero in one of my Blazes)
5. Other than True Blood, in what TV series did Joe have a large role? (Hint: he played a pro Slamball player) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29QGAq8dXys
6. Joe is also an author. Last December, he released a fitness book. What was the title? (just the first word will do for the answer)
7. To support himself before he got his first part in Spiderman, Joe worked as a bodyguard and a bouncer. What occupation would you like to see him play if you could write a movie for him?
And now for an excerpt from CABIN FEVER.
“YOU’RE LYING, TEDESCO.”
Joe narrowed his eyes at his accuser, brought the can of root beer to his lips and took a long sip. “You’ll have to play to find out, Wakowski.”
Wakowski snarled and studied his dwindling pile of chips on the table in the fire station’s kitchen.
Joe tapped his fingers on his thigh. With his luck they’d get a call before he could lay down his cards.
“Come on, Wakowski,” Everman urged. “In this century.” Everman had already folded, as had Miller and Stockton. Joe maintained his poker face.
Wakowski narrowed his eyes. “You’re bluffing.” He shoved all his remaining chips into the center of the table.
Joe grinned and revealed his Queen-high heart flush. “Read `em and weep.”
The guys whooped and hollered and thudded Joe on the back. Wakowski cursed and pitched his cards down. “You’re a real scootch, you know dat?”
Joe grinned and began gathering up his winnings. His cell buzzed and he grabbed it off the table. At two on a Saturday afternoon it was probably his mother calling to make sure he was coming to the family dinner tomorrow. He checked the caller ID, but he didn’t recognize the number. He hesitated answering. If one of his sisters had set him up with one of their friends again…
Knowing he’d regret it, he punched the answer button. “Tedesco.”
“Mr. Joe Tedesco, of Brooklyn, New York?”
Great. Were telemarketers allowed to call cell phones now? “Uh…yeah?”
“This is Carly’s Couture calling about your entry in The Sexiest Average Joe contest and I’m thrilled to tell you that you are our winner!”
Joe blinked. Contest? Sexiest what? Wait a minute…he grinned at his fellow firemen sitting around the station house table. “Good one, guys.” He spoke into the phone. “So, I won, huh? What’d I win? A hot and heavy night with you, sweetheart?”
Joe winced. The sleet falling outside was no match for the ice in this woman’s voice. If this was a prank, she was really good. “Uh, hold on a sec.” He held the phone to his chest. “Okay, you guys, you might as well fess up. I’m not falling for it.”
All four of his buddies gave him a confused look. Not good. He put the phone back to his ear. “Who’d you say you were again?”
“Carly Pendleton, with Carly’s Couture. I have a fashion blog for the average man and woman, and Modiste magazine cosponsored the national contest searching for the Sexiest Average Joe.”
Fashion blog? Wait. Modiste? Wasn’t that the fancy magazine his sisters were always reading, with all the makeover contests and quizzes on how to please a guy in bed? Alarm bells clanged and they weren’t coming from the firehouse. Joe stood and paced from the kitchen into the common area.
“Mr. Tedesco? Are you there?”
He barely heard her voice. Her previous words kept echoing in his mind. Contest. Modiste magazine. What had his sisters done now?
He cleared his throat. “Yeah, I’m here.” Maybe he should think positive. Maybe he’d won a big screen TV or a year’s supply of beer.
“—and the cruise leaves on Monday. I’ll have your boarding pass and a car will pick you up at your residence at 7:00 a.m.. The flight to Miami departs at 10:00. The ship sails at 4:00. Now, your entry form said you already have a passport?”
“Wait a minute. I won a cruise?” That could be fun.
“Five days and four nights to the Caribbean. Of course, that’s where we’ll be doing the photo shoot.”
The woman mumbled a request to save her from idiots. “You did read all the details of the contest before entering, didn’t you, Mr. Tedesco?”
He clenched his teeth. “It’s Joe. Mr. Tedesco is my father.”
“Okay. In case you need reminding, Joe. The photo shoot is the reason for the cruise. My blog will feature the Sexiest Average Joe wearing Carly’s Couture clothing choices and posing with a beautiful supermodel in exotic locales. You could end up with a lucrative modeling career, Mr. Tedesco. Maybe even become famous.”
Famous? If he’d wanted money and fame he would’ve signed the contract offer his sophomore year. He sure as hell wasn’t posing for some magazine like one of those pretty boys strutting around in their underwear. No, thanks. “Look, lady, I can’t just take off work at a moment’s notice.”
“Mr. Te—Joe. I promise the shoot won’t take all your time. There’ll be excursions and nightlife and we even provide you fifty dollars’ worth of chips at the ship’s casino.”
“You could offer me a thousand dollars in chips and I still wouldn’t be posing for some women’s magazine, especially not for some sexiest man photos.”
“Oh, ho! Sexiest Man?” called Everman.
Joe swiveled to find his fellow firemen gathered around him.
“Whoa, Mr. Sexy, huh?” Miller mocked.
Wakowski locked his hands behind his head and wiggled his hips. “Oooh, Sexy Joey.”
Joe shut them down with a scowl and an obscene hand gesture.
A split second of silence on the other end of the line suggested that the lady had heard the background commotion. “Look, Mr. Tedesco. When you signed the entry form you agreed to all the terms and conditions of the contest.”
Joe balled his free hand into a fist. “I didn’t sign anything. I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”
“Really? Then, whoever did sign your name on the entry forms could be prosecuted for forgery.”
“Now hold on a minute.” His sisters were going to pay for this. The entry had to be their doing. He couldn’t see any of the guys here at the station risking his wrath. Or ever reading Modiste magazine for that matter. But he couldn’t let Donna-Marie and Rosalie be brought up on charges. He sighed. The chief had been nagging him to take some of his vacation…
“I’ll talk to my boss about the time off. If I’m able, I’ll be ready at 7:00 Monday.”
“Oh, that’s wonderful, Mr.—Joe. I promise you’re going to have a wonderful week in the Caribbean.”
Joe clicked off, ignored his buddies’ questions and stalked toward the chief’s office. A wonderful week? He seriously doubted that.