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Thank you for giving me a wonderful place to grab some sanity and a good cup of joe.
Re-posted from e-mail with permission...
Thank you so much for getting me signed up for your newsletter but even more for your books.
So far I have only read the first 6 coffeehouse mysteries but "The Ghost and Mrs. McClure" is on my bookshelf just waiting to be read. I have also learned so much about coffee that I feel I am being cheated by my coffee maker everyday and am working to change that humdrum coffee life.
My new knowledge has also impressed my mother-in-law enough to convince her to read your series! This woman is a die hard reader of real life crime and serial killers so it was a feat.
I am a military wife and although I am married, I spend most of my life as a single parent as he is away so much. We have 2 children: a daughter 6 and a son 3. Books have helped me escape when I needed a respite from the world.
Great books like yours enable me to do that even when I don't have them in my hands. So thank you for giving me a wonderful place to grab some sanity and a good cup of joe.
Cresta, thank you for allowing me to re-post your beautiful e-mail here. I couldn't be more proud to have you as a reader.
I can't thank YOU enough for doing what you do every single day. As a military wife, you are sacrificing to allow your husband to serve this country and keep us safe. As a New Yorker who all-too vividly remembers the events of 9/11 in this city, I mean that from the heart; from a very real understanding of just how horrific an unsafe world is.
With two young children at home, you undoubtedly have very difficult days at times. If my books can give you a little laugh or take you away to a little mental "vacation" for a short time, then I can feel that my own job is a fraction as worthy as yours.
Finally, I have to tell you: My husband and I were both incredibly touched by the end of your note... "...books like yours enable me to do that even when I don't have them in my hands."
What a beautiful idea, Cresta. No one's ever put it quite like that. Thank you.
Come on back anytime to my virtual coffeehouse. I really hope you'll keep in touch.
Village Blend in Chicago
Where can I go to pretend I am at the Village Blend. I sent you an email, too. I'm a retired high school librarian and I love your books.
Sorry, I'll calm down now. I just love librarians and I'm always so happy to see a post like yours on my board. I wish I could tell you the perfect place to go in Chicago that's like my fictional Village Blend, but I haven't been to that wonderful city in quite a few years.
Perhaps another reader will see this and suggest some coffeehouses. I have never been there myself, but if I were in Chicago I would check out Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea. Why? Because Mike Phillips, a barista at one of the Intelligentsia shops, recently won first place in the US Barista Championships and he even placed 3rd overall in the World Championships.
Scroll back UP the RIGHT column of my site and you'll see the little item that I have on Mike. Click here to see a short video of Mike competing in the World Barista Championships in Atlanta earlier this year.
Last year, another barista from Intelligentsia also won the US barista title. So I'd say they know how to make a cup of joe there!
Can't promise anything else - atmosphere, friendliness, etc. - a GOOD coffee bar should make you feel welcome. I can only hope they do. If they don't, then do not go back!
No matter what, though, I really do think you'll get a cup of coffee that's one of the best in this country.
Click here to go to the page where their flagship location is (3123 North Broadway address - this is where champion Mike Phillips works). You'll notice other locations listed, too. Just click the links listed on the page to find the addresses (there's an Intelligentsia in the "Loop" area and another of their shops in the Millennium Park area.) As I said, I'm not familiar with Chicago, so you have to be the judge.
If you drop by, come on back and tell us what you think of the place. And if you find any other favorites in Chicago, let all of us know here that read the message board.
Warmest java wishes to you, Lois,
and thank you (no kidding) for reading and supporting my work. It means the world to me.
Hi everyone! Just wanted to thank you all again for your wonderful support for me and my daughter. She has been steady as she goes and in fact has shown signs of improvement; her trunk control is better which is a key step toward walking (she is not 100% to walk but we live in hope).
Thank you so much to all of you for your continued good wishes and prayers. No news tends to be good news from my house so we've had over a week of good news. That gives me a little "me" time to catch up on my reading (I really SHOULD catch up on my housework but somehow pushing a vaccuum cleaner doesn't mesh well with coffee drinking, the vice that got me into Cleo's series in the first place).
Thanks again to all of you
and to Cleo for her amazing support.
~Karen in Pennsylvania
Karen, I'm so happy to hear from you. Please continue to check in with us...there are a lot of people who read this board and are thinking of you and your daughter, pulling for you both, praying for you...Come on by anytime to let us know - good news, bad news, blow off steam...When you believe the world needs a wake up call, this can be your megaphone.
Greetings from Germany
It's great to see my favourite daily coffee is the pick of the month. Right now I'm sitting in my living room, enjoying my day-off with a big cup of Dallmayr Prodomo. For me it's best coffee and after reading your Pick of the month I feel privileged that I can buy it everywhere here in Germany.
I'm a big fan of your books and I can't wait for the next coffeeshop mystery. And I still hope that it will be published in German translation some day and you'll get more fans over here. Thanks for the great pick of the month and for your books.
Best wishes from Germany
Thanks again, Andrea (just echoing my good wishes from our e-mail conversation). I'm so happy you found my message board - and my books - across the sea, in that beautiful coffee-loving country of Germany!
Warmest java wishes,
"Hey, I haven't had my coffee yet!"
Re-posted from e-mail with permission...
I love the coffee house mysteries! Always wanted to be a coffee drinker ('cause it smells so darned good), but never really knew anything about it. I was intimidated by the big coffee shops, and couldn't brew my own to save myself. Then I started reading your books, and learned a thing or two, and ventured out into the big, wide world of coffee. Now I'm hooked. As an "older" mom of two teenagers, the common phrase coming out of my mouth whenever I have a "senior moment" is "Hey, I haven't had my coffee yet!" No other explanation is necessary. Thanks for the fun and education!
You had me laughing outloud, Sue! Thanks for the wonderful note!
Java joy to you always,
Murder Most Frothy
I picked up your book at the library, and am enjoying it tremendously. It makes my commute go so much faster, and despite the fact that I am a non-coffee drinker, your excellent descriptions make me want to indulge in an iced coffee very soon!!!
from Vancouver, BC
Cleo's reply: Great to hear from you, Pam! Murder Most Frothy is the best book of the series to read in the summer because Clare goes on vacation in a beautiful seaside area. Very atmospheric (especially when one is having a Stay-cation like me!)...
I hope you enjoy MMF enough to read the rest of the series, too.
Java cheers to you,
I'LL HAVE ANOTHER CUPPA
On Friday, while browsing the Mystery section of my local library, I found LATTE TROUBLE and MURDER MOST FROTHY. After quickly skimming one, I grabbed both and read them this weekend.
I hope there are more on the shelf when I return these, because although they are quick reads, they have some depth to them. I love the historical background about the Hamptons, and of course all the coffee lore. And the characters are great! I LOVE Madame! So...I'll have another cuppa, please. And Thank you.
Cleo's reply: Thank you, Merle! Sorry it took a few days to reply. I'm thrilled that you found "me" - via my books. And I hope you'll continue to read the series. (I love Madame, too. I want to be her when I grow up. LOL.)
Java joy to you always,
Haunted bookshop series
I love the characters in your Haunted Bookshop mysteries.
I am anxiously awaiting #6. I've also read all the coffee shop mysteries and enjoy those.
Hello, Debbie! Thank you for dropping by to let me know you're enjoying my books. Haunted Bookshop #6 has a title (still top secret for now) but it will be published next year and I'll tell you more about it as we get closer to publication. The Coffeehouse Mysteries has a new title this year - HOLIDAY GRIND - coming in November, but you probably know that already because it's announced all over this website - lol!
I hope you'll come back again and post on my board...this little coffeehouse depends on its "customers" to stay in business. And you're now an official member of the Village Blend family.
Warmest java wishes,
Excited in East Harlem
Honestly, I am a murder mystery fanatic and I am so glad I found this site and these books. I am so busy running a cafe I decided to take 45 minutes out of each morning after writing my to do list and read the first book of the series.
I grew up reading Agatha Christie books and watching the original Perry Mason episodes, Murder She Wrote, etc. Besides my mom I don't know any of my family or friends who are into murder mysteries (their lost) speak to you after book #1
Michelle! I'm so glad you let me know how "into" mysteries you are. I laughed out loud when I read your post, turned to my husband and said - I think Michelle IS Clare Cosi. I knew I'd find someone just like Clare in New York and I do believe that if you found a dead body in your cafe, you'd know JUST what to do. LOL!
Warmest java wishes to a hard-working New York cafe owner.
Yo! Site visitors and CM readers! If you happen to be in Manhattan, NYC, drop in to visit Michelle at the East Harlem Cafe - tell her Cleo Coyle sent you (and she'll actually know who you mean!)
corner of 104th Street
New York, NY 10029
Looking forward to meeting you, Michelle - in the not-too-distant future (translation - when my writing deadlines finally give me a break),
I share a coffee landmark
Hi again Cleo
I was just on Facebook and did a search that tells you what historical events you share your Bday with. I share the first planing of Coffee in Hawaii, happened in the 1800's on my bday. Must be warm there at Christmas time. Did you check out those song lyrics yet? they're pretty funny. We had a thunder and lightning show here on Saturday night and a huge downpour. unfortunatly it was a warm one so if anything it's hotter now than before!
PS I wonder if the Elvis coverage got as annoying as this Micheal Jackson coverage. ENOUGH ALREADY!
Hi again to my GF up North. I'd say the first planting of coffee in Hawaii is INDEED an important date in Java history. That and your birthday, of course, since you're a reader of my CM books. Lol! Haven't found the song lyrics. Tried a google search but couldn't find them. If you want to send a link, I'll click it...until then, stay cool...(literally - it's hot, isn't it?!)
I LOVE your books!
Everytime I "step" into one of your books I smell the coffee brewing and feel the cozy setting and immediately want to be there.
Books are a passion of mine and cozy mysteries are wonderful. I've read one of the coffeehouse mysteries and one of the haunted bookshop mysteries and am clamoring for more books and more time!
Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to drop by and let me know that. It means a lot to me. I hope you'll continue with both series and drop back again to let me know what you think...
"Spirited" cheers to you from Jack, too,
Just found your site
Just discovered you and your books. Look forward to reading them and checking out all the good stuff on your site.
Cleo's reply: Merci! - which, I'm fairly sure, is French for: Much obliged, amigo!
Happy to Read
With life and the real world some times being a challenge, I so enjoy reading The Coffeehouse Mystery books. I always come away with a smile ane excited for the next read.
Hi Sandy! Thank you so much for that wonderful note. Of course it helps that I put an invisible, odorless, addictive substance on each page of my books - tiny little molecules of a top secret formula to make you come back again and again...(psych!).
Okay, I was going to say "tasteless" along with odorless but then I realized tasteless has another meaning! LOL! No kidding, thank you for reading AND for taking the time and trouble to drop on by my virtual joint.
Enjoy this *virtual* chocolate croissant with your next cuppa joe. (And do you know what the greatest thing is about my virtual coffeehouse treats? They're zero calories!)
Java cheers to you and may my books
always, always cheer you,
Now I REALLY Can't wait for Holiday Grind!
Went to the library the other day and picked up the latest in two series I read and one was TERRIBLE, it was that book in the series that if it was the first I picked up I never would have read it. The descriptions were in list for most of the time, eg: She went to the store, picked up some milk, went home. and the dialogue was script form at times there were pages of all "script" got confusing trying to keep straight who was talking now and who wasn't.
Now I'm looking forward to your next book to get the bitter taste of disappointment out of my mouth lol Hope that was just a one time lemon cause that's an otherwise good author. The other one I figured out who done it while the scene of the crime was being discribed by the way they discribed a boot print. I like to be kept guessing, your books always do that!.
BTW there's an author site I bet you'd find Funny, he wrote a song about what it's like for an author to try coming up with new ideas for their books while the publisher keeps calling asking for another lol. His name is Parnell Hall. Check it out for a laugh, the lyrics are listed under the song heading.
Melting here in BC
Cleo's reply: Short and sweet reply. You had me laughing because (as you'll see when you finally get your paws on Holiday Grind) - boot prints are involved! And that's all I'll say! You may be melting in BC but we're drowning down here in NYC - too much rain! (And I'll check out Parnell Hall, too - glad to know someone else has discovered the humor in publishing lol)
Java joy to my girlfriend
P.S. Think Cool...winter will be
here before U know it!
Thanks to all
I wrote about my daughter's medical issues on Saturday and since Cleo's response was posted, my daughter has made a remarkably quick recovery from her latest seizure. I am sure all the thoughts and prayers from all of the good people here made a difference; she has never rebounded so quickly and with so little loss of function.
Thanks to you all and thanks especially to Cleo for her amazing response. Your prayers were heard. Looking forward to Espresso Shot!
Cleo's reply: Oh, Karen, I'm so happy that you got in touch with me! (Am answering you privately over e-mail, too.) Also overjoyed to hear that your daughter is doing better! Please keep in touch. Post anytime you like, e-mail me anytime, and I really hope you enjoy Espresso Shot and Holiday Grind (you're getting both! LOL!)
Sending smiles, hugs,
and all-around good
Please, everyone, continue to keep
Karen and her daughter in your good
Cannoli are yum yum in their original form with bits of chocolate, pistachios, and candied cherries, oh my! But do what I do for a special -->me<-- treat:
Stir espresso powder into the ricotta filling add a few gratings of a mocha chocolate bar or chopped chocolate covered coffee beans then drizzle the top with chocolate syrup and I guarantee you will be in mocha cream coffee heaven.
Not suitable for eating while reading unless you are willing to lick the pages. I could eat up your books, but not literally.
in sunny Florida
SHOUT-OUT TO GEEKETTE!!
Where U been, girl?! And . . . are you INSANE????? I gained ten pounds just reading that recipe!
How am I supposed to seduce Wesley Snipes in my dreams with a chocolate drizzled cannoli on my hips? (The espresso powder IS inspired, I grant you that.)
P.S. Post again soon or I'll send Jack down to FLA to bother you. Not that he knows where the heck you are in that state! But, hey, he's a dead PI, and I hear the snowbird spirit world has loose beaks...
East Harlem Cafe
Hello Cleo, I just purchased your series #1 and #2. I own a cafe in East Harlem, NY and was wondering if you would consider a book signing here for your next book. Let me know what you think. www.eastharlem-cafe.com Look forward to hearing from you.
East Harlem Cafe
Click on pic to virtually visit
Hello Michelle! I am thrilled and honored to have you invite me for a book singing at your lovely cafe!
I think this is somthing we can plan for the future. I spoke with my husband (with whom I collaborate on our mysteries) and he's excited, too.
At the moment, we aren't planning any signings or appearances because of our fall deadlines—they're really killer—but we do think a signing next year in your cafe would be awesome!
I also think it would be a lot of fun to step out of our dark, lonely writing cave and meet you well before then. I can bring my digital camera up to East Harlem (along with my husband - lol!) and do a little feature on you and your cafe for my Web site.
In the meantime, if any of my readers want to visit Michelle at her cafe uptown, click the link below to learn more about it...
corner of 104th Street
New York, NY 10029
Re-Reading the Series
I've been having withdrawls from the coffeeshop so I've started re-reading the series. It's that or take up biting my nails. Glad to know that Espresso Shot in paperback comes out in October. Obviously, I can't wait. I like how you portray New York. So much so that I plan to take a short vacation there next year. Of course, the other reason is to check out NYU School of Nursing. Hey, some of us have alterior motives. Thanks for the great books.
—Christie of Florida,
future Nursing Student
Hello (soon to be) Nurse Christie! It's awesome that you're re-reading the CM series! If you take that trip to New York, send me a pic of your smiling face at a New York spot, and post it on my Home page! You can send a digital picture via e-mail to www.VillageBlend@aol.com
(I know I should link into all this social networking stuff to allow people to post pictures, etc., but the rebel in me just likes maintaining my own little piece of the planet right here, my way. For now, anyway! Lol!)
Wishing you java joy
& the very best of luck in your studies!
FYI - the ES paperback edition that Christie mentioned will be available in stores October 6 (maybe on some shelves a week earlier?). Anyway, you can pre-order from Amazon by clicking below...
Thanks for the break
My three-year-old daughter is handicapped and has global delays (she had a big seizure this morning, I have spent the whole day glued to the sofa with her) so I really, REALLY need the diversion of a good mystery.
You were there for me when she was in the NICU for 4 months; you were there when she had all of her operations (I lost count after 5). I even like reading the recipes. I collect cookbooks and read them as if they were novels (but I never actually make anything new).
My life took a bad turn I did not expect and many of the people I thought were my friends blew me off because they don't want me to think I can stick my daughter on their normal kids. Authors don't know (or probably mind) they are being read inside a hospital or in the aftermath of a seizure episode and the books don't run inside their house so they don't have to say "hi" to me.
Thank you for providing me with a few R&R moments; without you and your colleagues the stress would probably have killed me and there would be no one to care for my daughter.
First of all, I believe that prayers and good thoughts are an active and powerful force in this universe, and you and your daughter are now in mine. I ask anyone reading this to keep you and your daughter in their own good thoughts and prayers—if only for a few silent moments. It matters. It truly does.
I didn't grow up in a very pretty or easy world. I went to public school in a steel town outside of Pittsburgh, PA. My grandparents were dirt poor immigrants to this country, and I was lucky to grow up with more than them: indoor plumbing, a public education, no fear of going hungry.
My parents were good, hard-working people. But they were not educated. My dad was a steel worker, my late mother, who died of cancer and whom I still bitterly miss, was a telephone order clerk. Suffice it to say I was given no "entrée" into New York City when I came here twenty years ago: no money, no connections, no clue! Lol! One thing I did know. One thing I still know...
When life is not easy, when one is suffering daily, as you are... When one is an over-worked or worried mother... When one needs inspiration, a laugh, a mental escape to a place that doesn't worsen the pain and despair...
Those are the readers for whom I know I'm writing. And when I hear that what I'm doing is working, taking you away, giving you a break or a laugh or another world to escape to...I know I'm on the right track. It helps me to keep going, to keep writing.
So thank YOU, Karen, for your heartfelt words and for the courage and heroism you are displaying in your own life.
"If faith is scarce,
it is because there is too much selfishness in the world, too much egoism. Faith, in order to be authentic, has to be generous and giving. Love and faith go hand in hand."
~Mother Teresa from her book -
In My Own Words
Thank you, Karen, for the example of love and faith and sacrifice that you are showing to your daughter and all of us. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to post that amazing, heartfelt note.
It's not much to offer, but I would really like to give you the gift of my new book. If you privately e-mail me, we can work out the details. Please, please do. It would make ME so happy to give you something back!
My e-mail: VillageBlend@aol.com
May God bless you
and especially your daughter,
Can't wait to read Espresso Shot!!
I have found my local library again, this time with my 12 and 3 yr. old!! While the 12 yr. gets lost in vampires and comics, myself and the 3 yr old get lost in the "tot" section (as big sis calls it!) Since connecting to the most extrodinary building in any town or city I have read 5 authors complete works in 2 months time!
I happened to stumble upon your little collection. I picked up book Latte Trouble thru French Pressed and read them in 3 days!!! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE your style!! You are now on my list of favs!!
I can't wait til our library gets Espresso Shot and HOPE they get Holiday Grind before '10!! I was so excited to see you have another seris and PRAY our library has them as well!! Keep up the GREAt work and keep those coffe recipes coming!! My husbands' the big coffee drinker and we will be trying out the recipes this weekend! Love ya!!!
Hi April & a java shout-out to your husband, too! Thank you for posting. Your wonderful library story brought many memories back to me.
I grew up in a steel town outside of Pittsburgh, PA. There were no bookstores in my town when I was the age of your children, so my only source for reading new books was either my public school's library or the "book mobile."
I just loved that little bus filled with books. I can still remember reaching for the big picture books on the shelf, being so proud of my little library card.
And when I first set foot in the massive Carnegie Library (located in the Oakland area of the city of Pgh.), I thought I'd entered a cathedral - with all the polished marble and quiet rooms.
Thanks for bringing those memories back today, April! I'm so glad you're enjoying my books. Come on back anytime to post your thoughts.
Sending you java joy and a
*virtual* plate of fresh-baked
brownies for your kids!
Enjoying the coffeehouse Mystery series
I am really enjoying this series, so far I have only read the first two, but as I am a librarian in a small rural libray, I am purchasing the books one at a time, so I can read them.
I am redecorating my back porch to look like a coffee house!
I (HEART) Librarians.
You are the keepers of the literary flame, which is why I'm always thrilled and honored to hear when a librarian like you is reading (and liking) my series.
How intriguing that you are redecorating your back porch to look like a coffee house! I would absolutely love to see a picture when it's done. Send it along to my e-mail box (with your first name and state if you feel comfortable sharing), and I'll post it on the main page as inspired CM decor!
VillageBlend@aol.com (Subject line: Note to Cleo)
Java joy to you always,
Back from my summer vacation - Antique Coffee Grinder Mystery
Hi Cleo -
Went to Vancouver Island on summer Vacation and while there went to an antique store, you should have seen the size of this coffee grinder that was in there! I think it was from the 1800's but didn't ask. I took a picture for you to see but can't figure out how to put it on here so I'll send it to your email addy.
Thanks for the pic Chelle! As you can see I received it in my e-mail box and now posted it (above).
This antique looks too large to have been a home coffee grinder - it was most likely used by a shop or restaurant. It also appears to be cast iron and my guess (like yours) is that it was made and used in the late 1800s or early 1900s. I had fun Googling antique grinders to find anything like it - but this looks pretty unique!
I'll post it to my main page - see if anyone has any thoughts about its origin.
I hope you had a great vacation!
In Love With the Cofeehouse Mystery Series!
I just want to say that I am in love with your Coffeehouse Mystery series! I'm a sixteen year old coffee fanatic and I love to read. Every time Clare describes a coffee, I'm put in the mood to go and make a pot! So far I've only read three of the books (On What Grounds, Decaffeinated Corpse, and French Pressed) but I'm already excited for Holiday Grind to come out. Thank you for writing such incredible books.
Cleo's reply: Hi April! I'm so happy that you stopped by to post. I'm especially thrilled to hear that you're sixteen. When I was your age, I first discovered some of my favorite authors, many of whom I'm still reading today. All I can hope for is that you're still reading me when you're my age! And I promise...
If you keep reading, I'll keep writing!
Sending my warmest
java wishes to you,
P.S. In thanks for stopping by my *virtual* Village Blend, I *virtually* baked you a big cookie. Eat and drink with joy, April...but definitely watch that coffee drinking, okay? Moderation is all. Don't go overboard. As Clare and Matteo would no doubt warn you: "Too much of anything is never a good thing!" LOL!
Copycat! - Fan fic from May 26th!
Hey I suggested something similar to the fan fiction post on a May 26th post on this very message board. It wasn't nearly as elaborate, but I deserve an honorable mention. Don't you think?
RE-POSTING THE ACTUAL FIRST FAN FICTION! - SHORT STORY VERSION...originally posted on this board May 26th
I just started reading your Haunted Bookshop Mysteries and I love them. I purchased one and read it within 24 hours and am now on Book 4. I don't know how Book 5 is going to turn out so I may be jumping the gun, but how are Jack and Pen going to get together if he's dead. I love that they can be together in her dreams/his memories, but in many ways this series is sad because it seems like they don't have a future. Can Jack have a son he never knew about and be reincarnated into his grandson so he and Pen can date? Just a thought. I'm not trying to tell you how to do your job I just really want the characters to be happy. And you have (obviously) done a great job about making me care about the characters which is essential to me in just about any book I read. Just wanted to let you know how much I love the books, and was hoping I could get some feedback on the future of the series. Thanks for putting up with my kind of crazy.
Cleo's reply: Hey there! You certainly DO deserve an honorable mention! I have re-posted your post of May 26th (above). Because your post was unsigned, I wrongly assumed that you and CB were the same person! You need to sign your posts in some way - just a nickname or initial or your state or town so I know who is posting! Either way, you both had great ideas and I sincerely appreciate your affection for Jack and Pen (so does Jack). Now he's kind of frosted at me for screwing that up.
Wake up, baby.
You're sleepin' on the job.
On the contrary, Jack! I'm working all the time, writing characters like YOU! Jack? Jack? JACK!
Sorry. He's gone again!
Spirited best wishes to you,
aka Alice Kimberly
(aka Jack's typist)
The First Official Haunted Bookshop Fan Fiction!
RE-posted with permission from Cleo Coyle's e-mail box: VillageBlend@aol.com
To: Cleo Coyle/Alice Kimberly
From: CB Smith, Renton, Washington
The ONLY way to settle the issue . . . Jack's a ghost, but he was fairly 'active' with the ladies as a P.I., so unless I've missed it, or he doesn't want to talk about it, Jack could be a (grand)father. Imagine if you will, a (grand)son growing up with the secret that the books and movies about Jack (his name, too) were about a man he never knew. He broods, he seeths, he can't hold a relationship.
When a PBS station in New York holds a telethon with all Jack's shows and promotes the books based on his life, he snaps, goes to the station and goes on the air, cutting Jack to ribbons. It causes a sensation, which of course makes it's way up to 'Buy The Book' and our heroine becomes involved in trying to understand why he's so angry and bitter. She contacts him and notes that her store is where Jack died, and however the plot develops, the man shows up. Plot develops, the guy is a seething cauldron (hmmmm, wrong series) of emotions, and Jack himself is having a fit.
Finally near the end of the book there is some type of altercation that leaves the man in a coma, and near death. Our heroine feels pulled in two directions; one that this dude deserved what he got, the second that this is a terrible way to go. Without thinking too much about it, because he's family to Jack, she puts the buffalo nickel in his hand. . . . Yep, he wakes up, and it's Jack in the flesh...Ta dah!!!!! Case closed, hearts, flowers, mysteries to solve - for two - and her son trying to and make sense of things with a guy who is WIERDLY familiar...and our heroine trying to explain the change in the demeanor of 'Jack'.
In case you hadn't noticed, I like the books. Grew up with Spillane and Hammer and my Dad joined the Police Reserves as a second job - for the fun of it... Ended up running the vice squad for a station in the south part of Kansas City. NOBODY messed with 'the man'.... His biorhythms (honestly) were a mixture of John Wayne and Jack Webb. Go figure . . .
Keep up the good work,
P.S. I think, and others probably would agree, that my effort is a reflection of your ability to invest your characters with actions and emotions that readers can identify and relate to. ('Never use a preposition to end a sentence with' . . .right?)
Cleo's reply: LOL, CB! Congrats. You are the very first fan to create what I'd call fan fiction for Jack and Pen!
I have a great deal of respect and affection for fan fiction—even Michael Chabon, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, said: "...all fiction is fan fiction..." And so it goes. Writers can't help but be heavily influenced by stories and authors who've come before; and that's why I take my fedora off to you for thinking through a way for Pen to physically have Jack in her life.
That said, I must make clear: The scenario you've presented will not be happening in the series. I have other storylines in mind for Jack and Pen, but I am truly impressed with how you thought this out. And I want to thank you for taking the time and trouble for letting me know. One thing I believe about the power of storytelling: When readers feel so strongly about the characters that they begin to take on a life of their own (as in the storyline you've created), then the writer must be doing something right. Thanks for the validation, CB, you made my day.
(aka Alice Kimberly)
P.S. Pen would probably brain me for rejecting your Jack-gets-physical scenario. Who knows. If Jack starts haunting me, I may break down and write it your way! Stay tuned...