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What a pleasant surprise!
HOLIDAY GRIND'S EXCERPT...
Thanks for the excerpt of Holiday Grind! It was such a lovely treat after sleeping in this morning (waking up naturally at 6:30 a.m. instead of the alarm clicking on 5:20 a.m.!), flipping on my laptop and discovering the special Labor Day e-mail.
After settling down with my mocha latte I dug into the chapters you provided. The excerpt was just enough to whet my appetite for November 3 – I found especially hilarious your description at the very end of Matt’s annual investigation of the holiday lingerie catalogs – it was nice to know that Breanne hasn’t been able to tame him!
I was disappointed that your excerpt did not contain any reference to the Fish Squad. Please tell me they are in the book? Also, I’ve noticed people suggesting actors for Matt.
When I read the books I’ve always pictured Mark Consuelos as Matt. And I’d like to make my suggestion for Mike: William Fichtner. He’s got that cool, tough guy attitude down, the icy blue eyes and I can just picture him comforting Clare through all of their investigations
Pass me a Venti iced something!
Somebody pass me a Venti iced something! After watching that video clip I am convinced that Antonio Banderas is THE man to be Matt! Great choice!
~Annette, the RN (and former barista)
Jack and Penelope
Reply to : Chelle
I can definitely see the resemblance between Tom and the "picture" of Jack but I think there's a fair amount of resemblance between Philip and "Jack" plus he's got the shoulders (sigh, I love great shoulders on a man!). Coming up with a Penelope is harder. Gotta think on it...
Antonio Banderas as Matt!
I "see" an Antonio-type guy as Matteo whenever I read the Coffehouse books!
(your new Pgh-area writer friend)
Cleo's reply: Hey, Homegirl! I found a little Video Clip to illustrate your great suggestion.
*CLICK HERE to see Janet's hot "pick" for my
Coffeehouse Mystery character Matteo Allegro.
*Disclaimer: This is a link for a video posted at YouTube.com. If you have any questions or problems with this YouTube content, please contact YouTube, which posts videos under it's own licenses and legal terms of service. Thank you.
Hmmmm...You know, I just remembered something... At the end of Decaffeinated Corpse, Matt wears a costume to an exclusive Halloween party. The costume depicted the legendary pulp character ZORRO, who was played in the movies by Antonio Banderas. LOL!
Tom Hanks as Jack
Your certainly right about Tom's Shoulders and Age, I was seeing Tom's facial features in the pic Cleo posts as what she pictures Jack as looking like. Btw, my mom's name is Judy and her neighbour kids can't pronounce her name so they call her Julie, they sent her a card one time and it was even addressed to Julie lol.
Hello! I came across the best quote just now and wanted to pass it along.
"Actually, this seems to be the basic need of the human heart in nearly every great crisis—a good hot cup of coffee"
(I say, who needs a crisis?) Isn't a great quote though? Have a great day!
Annette the RN
My pick for Jack
I love Tom Hanks as an actor but I think he's too old to play Jack and he definitely does not have the shoulders! I think that Phillip Winchester (the actor that plays on "Crusoe") would make a good Jack. Great build and great chin! I'll interview him for the role, if you insist.
Tale of a Texas
Re-posted from Cleo's e-mail box at VillageBlend@aol.com...
I'm a big fan of your books and your Web site. My aunt sent me this picture of a rattler! I don't know if you are from Texas, but those rattlers (rattlebugs, that's my grandmother and I call them) get huge!
This picture reminded me...
I once stepped on one by accident! My grandparents had a house out of the city and all of the family was visiting that day! Well, thank goodness my husband told me to wear my boots that day! It was dark and I was loading my son up in the car, I hear something rattle by my foot! Let me tell you it was a rattlesnake!
Luckily, I had stepped on it's head. Then, my little cousin came around the corner, and I was holding her away from it so my uncle could pick it up with a shovel and throw it in the pasture! That whole time I never lifted my foot until my uncle came! I was terrified!
When we got home I looked at my boots, and sure enough there was an imprint of where it tried to take a bite of me! Thank you to my husband, uncle, and my thick boots! This is not the picture of my rattler! This one is from my aunt!
Cleo's reply: Hi, Tiffney. I love that picture and your story, too. I hope your aunt doesn't let that delicious rattlesnake go to waste. Because... although I'm not from
for Rattlesnake Recipes!
Wishing you java joy,
How about Tom Hanks as Jack
I like that Sandra Bullock Idea for Clare. :-)
I have another one, I keep thinking of Tom Hanks as Jack. the pic Cleo posts of what Jack looks like reminds me of Tom Hanks. Finally!...
September is here I love Autumn, the kaleidoscope of bright coloured leaves, the golden lights shining on the rain soaked pavement to welcome you into homes and shops and best of all, the new books will be getting released including Holiday Grind!
I requested it at the library and I'm number 1 on the list, there's 3 books ordered by them and at last look 3 or 4 people waiting on the list already :-) ty for the anticipation Cleo.
Chelle in Canada
Cleo's reply: Thanks, Chelle! I love your description of the coming fall...so glad to hear you're anticipating HG, too. As always, great to hear from my girlfriend up north.
Loved Espresso Shot - and Sandra Bullock as Clare Cosi!
click to see...
Starbucks meets the FBI
Starring Sandra Bullock
Re-posted from Cleo's
e-mail box VillageBlend@aolcom
I was just enjoying your Web site (again!) and I had to respond to something you posted. I think Sandra Bullock would make a GREAT Clare Cosi! In fact I often think of actors to portray characters in my favorite books, especially ones with recurring (and beloved) characters.
I think it would be awesome if your books made it to the big screen! I also loved the quote about addicts waiting in line. I sincerely believe there should be a line for people who NEED coffee and another line for everyone else (ie: tea drinkers, people who don't know what they want and those odd people who actually order decaf aka "why bother").
I just finished ESPRESSO SHOT and loved it!...I had to laugh when I read Clare talking about macchiatos. At Starbucks I was taught to "mark the foam" the opposite way that the Blend does. Now I know better! Thanks for several weeks of great reading! I SO look forward to HOLIDAY GRIND!
(and former barista) Chicago area
Cleo's reply: "Casting" my books is an awful lot of fun. I guess next we have to figure out who should play "Matt"-- maybe a reader poll on the site in the near future?! Nice to hear from you again and thanks for your nice words about ESPRESSO SHOT!
In Defense of Food...blog review
Re-posted from Cleo's e-mail at VillageBlend@aol.com...
Hi there. This is Cleo Coyle posting today. A woman named Tina signed up for my newsletter with a signature that included a link to her blog (see the link below). I noticed that she had reviewed Michael Pollan's bestselling book In Defense of Food...
Tina's lively, personal review brought back many of my own memories of growing up with Italian immigrant parents and grandparents in Western Pennsyvlania, including my dad bringing in dandelions from the yard for dandelion salad and making homemade wine from the grapes he grew in our suburban back yard.
(The piping of an old swing set served as a makeshift but ingenious framework for his grape arbor.)
I hope you'll enjoy Tina's review as much as I did. You can read it by clicking here...
Love your books!
I love reading your books and learning about coffee at the same time! I'd love to have a Village Blend in my neighborhood (sans the murders, of course!)
Cleo's reply: LOL! Love the "sans the murders" part! Thanks for dropping in and making me smile today. Check out my Java Emoticon...
FYI - The history of emoticons is fascinating. Believe it or don't, the first documented use of smiling and frowning emoticons was at my old alma mater (CMU)...more absolutely useless trivia to toss into your brainpan.
Artemis Cafe - Portland, Oregon
Re-posted from Cleo's e-mail box at VillageBlend@aol.com...
The Coffeehouse Mysteries are my favorite mystery series because they make my mouth water so much. Every time I read one, I am inspired to try new coffees and find new favorite coffee spots.
My current favorite is the Artemis Cafe. (I live in Portland, Oregon.) They brew single-varietal Stumptown Coffee, and while their espresso is tasty, I can't rave enough about their drip coffee. It is fantastic, and I feel like I've traveled the world through their coffee cups.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that the place makes an amazing double-chocolate chip cookie that is like tender, intense chocolate meringue and truly remarkable pies. The Shaker Lemon is outstanding.
Hi, Wendy. First of all I'm thrilled that you're enjoying my Coffeehouse Mysteries—especially gratified because you are such a lover of the bean. Also happy to hear a good personal review of Stumptown. They are legend in Oregon, of course, and now they're coming to New York City so we're about to experience them on this coast, too.
I clicked over to your blog and read your recent post about writing as a drug. I couldn't agree more. I'm so happy when I'm writing, too. I go into the legendary "bliss" state.
As Joseph Campbell described it: When you are doing something that you enjoy so much you lose track of time (almost entering a trance state), that's pretty much the definition of being involved in a "blissful" activity. (And yeah, it's also the def. of being happily medicated, too -- lol!)
No kidding though...I'm convinced that hard alcohol and most antidepressants would be thrown into the bin if people paid more attention to what endeavor put them in their own bliss state—be it writing, quilting, cooking, ping pong, or rebuilding a car engine—and made time to enjoy it regularly.
That's my take on it, but I'm simply agreeing with you in other words...
In thanks for giving me *virtual* food for thought, I'm serving you a *virtual* big chocolate chip cookie - also in tribute to your favorite cafe's great CC cookie! Eat with joy, Wendy, and keep in touch!
Bill Moyers: "Not in a long time."
Joseph Campbell: "Remember the last line? 'I have never done the thing that I wanted to do in all my life.' That is a man who never followed his bliss."
Love Jack and Penelope
Really, really enjoy your Haunted Bookshop series. Would like to date Jack, if there were two of them.
Looking forward to #6
Cleo's reply: Thank you, that's very nice...hold on a second. What? Jack's in my ear. What's that Jack? He says I should type the following...
What do you mean two of me? I'm right here, doll. In spirit. Give me the address of your crib, and I'm there.
- Jack Shepard, PI
Sorry about that. He gets fresh sometimes. If you feel an unnatural chill, don't panic. It's probably just Jack dropping in, uninvited.
Thanks for stopping by my *virtual* crib--and thanks especially for reading my books.
"Spirited" good wishes,
aka Alice Kimbery
aka Jack's typist.
What a great post, Cleo!
I've always loved the idea of quilting and the pictures of the quilts were amazing. Thanks for sharing this.
Cleo's reply: Thank you, Elizabeth. Joanna is such an inspiration - a breast cancer survivor with a true love of life and enough energy to light up New York City. She and "Madame" (one of the characters in my CM series) would get along just fine.
HOLIDAY GRIND!!!!!!! HOLIDAY GRIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just wanted to know when we would get an excerpt of Holiday Grind posted on your website. I thought I read that an excerpt would be available for viewing somewhere on this site sometime in July. Am I wrong?
Cleo's reply: Hi Andrea - thanks for asking! The new release time for the exclusive excerpt is Labor Day weekend. If you are a subscriber to my e-newsletter (which I suspect you are), then look for the exclusive excerpt from Holiday Grind in my "Labor Day Extra" e-newsletter!
If you or anyone reading this
would like to sign up for my
free e-newsletter, it's very easy.
Just send an e-mail that says
"SIGN ME UP" to my e-mail address: VillageBlend@aol.com
Java cheers to you Andrea! Thank you being such an enthusiastic reader. I'm so happy that you're looking forward to Holiday Grind. I had the greatest time writing it. I hope you have as much fun reading it!
Early holiday greetings,
NOTE TO CLEO
I love the Haunted Bookshop series. Can you tell me when I can expect the next book?
Look for the new book in the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries (also known as "The Ghost" Mysteries) next year - 2010. Here is the series title list in case you missed any of them...
Book 1 - The Ghost and Mrs. McClure
Book 2 - The Ghost and the Dead Deb
Book 3 - The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library
Book 4 - The Ghost and the Femme Fatale
Book 5 - The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion
Book 6 - Coming next year...
Thank you for stopping by the site (mysterious anonymous reader person) and thanks especially for reading my books...
aka Jack Shepard's typist...
(Jack's the ghost. An explanation for anyone
who has not yet read this series! LOL!)
Coffee and Books - I have left the Planet
I volunteer at a large library in Charleston on top of a full time job with the Federal Government. I love working there because I have found so many books by old and new authors and finally found you!!! What a blessing and am I'm having the time of my life.
Coffee and Books, oh! my! oh! my!. I can't stop.
I read the first, The Ghost and Ms. McClure and went back to the library and got the other four. Can't wait, Can't wait.
You are a great writer and the books was funny, enjoyable and I love Pen and Jack. I want to build and buy a bookstore one day. I hope I get a "ghost." Thank You, Thank You A Million Times.
Will be right there for the newest one.
Do not be alarmed. I shout-out things like that so folks who scroll down the page can find other readers from their towns, states, and (in some cases) countries...
Your post is wonderful and how I adore Charleston - the food, the history, the painted ladies, the ghost stories! I had some fun cooking lessons there (from a graduate of Johnson & Wales) and took an amazing Gullah tour, where I met Alphonso Brown who introduced me to the renowned African-American blacksmith Philip Simmons! (A remarkable artisan and American treasure who passed away just this past June.)
Photo of Mr. Philip Simmons by Alice Alfonsi,
who writes as Cleo Coyle, taken with his
permission while Alice was visiting
with him in Charleston, SC.
Mr. Simmons's modest Charleston, SC, home is where he created the amazing wrought iron work that earned him the highest honor that can be bestowed on a traditional artist in the United States: an NEA National Heritage Fellowship. To the left is my own picture of Mr. Simmons, which I took when I met him at his home on Mr. Brown's excellent Gullah Tour. Below (also my photo) is an example of Mr. Simmons's wrought iron work, held up against the background of his Charleston home. (BTW One way that you can tell if wrought iron has been worked by hand is by the extreme curls in the work. Mass produced iron cannot give you this kind of detail.)
"My instrument is an anvil," Mr. Simmons once said.
Back to you "Charleston Reader"...I'll call you that because you did not sign a name...
How wonderful that you are volunteering at a library on top of a full-time job. Sure, you like reading, and that's great, but it's still time out of your day and week and any volunteerism in this country must be applauded. Three java cheers for you and thank you also for saying you will "be right there" when the new book comes out. (I hope that means you will buy it. LOL!) I love libraries and librarians, but we writers do need to sell books to keep writing.
Making a living in the arts is a struggle (we do it for love not money but the bills do come in), and I'm so appreciative when fans say they want to buy and make "keepers" of my books to read again and again. It's more than a compliment to my ego: it's an active financial "vote" with their hard earned money, to keep me in the office, writing more entries in a series they (hopefully) enjoy. And speaking of writing...I'm off to do more of it.
Have a great day and thank you sincerely for taking the time and trouble to drop by and write me that wonderful note.
"Spirited" good wishes from Jack and Pen and...
"My instrument is an anvil. I guess some of you have heard me play a tune on the anvil, the old blacksmith tune…That anvil fed me when I was hungry and that anvil clothed me when I was naked. That anvil put shoes on my feet."
of Charleston, SC
Recipient of the NEA National Heritage Fellowship, the highest honor the United States can bestow upon a traditional artist.
Photo of Mr. Philip Simmons by Alice Alfonsi,
who writes as Cleo Coyle, taken with his
permission while Alice was visiting
with him in Charleston, SC.
I love your Haunted Bookshop series!! So much that I don't blame Penelope for falling for a ghost! Sometimes when my friends and I talk, I find myself thinking of how Jack would respond!
I truly enjoy reading your series. You have inspired me to write again! I used to write a few years ago--my own poetry and short stories but I stopped due to a lack of time and inspiration but I think you have brought that back for me. Can't wait for the next book! Keep up the good work! ;)
PS: I might have the chance to take a detective fiction class sometime soon! If I do, I'll let you know!
Hello Holly. Thank you so much for your amazing note. It literally made me tear up. If any of my books have inspired you to put pen to paper again, I'm thrilled. I owe my own debt to so many writers who have inspired me—your note make me feel that I'm beginning (even in the smallest way) to pay them back.
The detective fiction class sounds like a lot of fun. I hope you do take it and report back. I'm sure Jack will have a thing or two to say, as well. If you feel a chill, it's probably just him auditing. No doubt he'll have a few choice things to whisper in your ear about your teacher's opinons on portraying private eyes in fiction.
Thanks again for stopping by, Holly! Keep in touch,
Hi Cleo, Are there any pictures of you on the web site? I noticed that there are not author pictures in your books...Your readers would love to see pictures! I love, love, love your books and am anxiously awaiting the lastest one in November! I am thrilled to find this web site!
Hi Diane. Thank you for stopping by...
I think a writer's words are more important than what she looks like and I want my words to be more important than my image, you know? That's why I'm a writer. But if you'd like to see my picture, then click over to the blog where I post recipes and tips every Friday. Scroll down to my latest post and there I am...
I'm so happy to hear that you're enjoying my mysteries - I'm honestly inspired every single time a reader tells me that. No kidding: It means the world to me.
Wishing you java joy,
P.S. Below is a link that you'll also find on this Web site. It's an interview that I did over a year ago. (You'll notice I talk about Espresso Shot as an upcoming hardcover. By now, of course, it's already been out almost a year and Berkley Prime Crime is going to be releasing it in paperback this October). You'll also see in this interview that I talk about my collaboration with my husband and lots of other things. Cheers and thanks again for stopping by...
A SPOOKY CONVERSATION!
Amanda Killgore, reviewer for Huntress and Eternal Night, interviewed Cleo/Alice about her Ghostly series. Cleo/Alice discusses inspirations for her Haunted Bookshop novels, including her love of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and (don't get spooked now) cemeteries.
Click here to read the interview
Coffee is the lifeblood of nurses...
Reposted from Cleo's e-mail box...
I just had to let you know that I have just recently discovered your wonderful books and have been thoroughly enjoying them! You are seriously into your coffee! I LOVE that!
I am an RN. Because of my "legal addiction" (as Clare would say) I became a part time barista for the love of the bean. Unfortunately the need to earn more money in today's economy forced me to work more at my profession rather than my other passion so I had to hang up my apron.
Reading your books has been so much fun from someone who really enjoyed the work. Thanks so much! And please keep them coming!!!
(Yes, coffee is the lifeblood of nurses--believe it! I am an ICU nurse too and we certainly need it for our intensity!)
Your sister in coffee
~Annette, Chicago area
Hi, "Sister" Annette, LOL! I am grinning. Clearly, RN's and coffee DO go together! I have at least three nurses now who have posted on my Message Board. Watch for posts from "Nurse Judy," who, like you (and Clare and I) has a "legal addiction" to coffee. She even posted about her foodie tour of New Orleans about a month ago, which I made a Home Page feature.
I'm so happy that you found my books--and me. You're doing the work of angels. May Heaven help you daily because of it. Come on back and post again!
Warmest java wishes,
I'm addicted to Coffee House Mysteries
Just wanted to thank you for opening up a whole new genre of reading for me. I always loved Murder She Wrote but never read a mystery until I decided to take a chance at the Library when I saw your book Espresso Shot (my favorite type of coffee totally addicted). I read it in one evening and logged onto your site the next day. I enrolled in your coffee sweepstakes and unbelievable won!
The next Saturday I stopped at Barnes and Noble and bought every book in the series, which I enjoyed reading along with the cofee you sent me. I can't wait for Holiday Grind.
My cat, who is pure white, is totally addicted to coffee (wish I had named her Java). Last night I came downstairs to find suspicious brown spots on her face. She got into the coffee grinds in the garbage. I have to unplug the coffee pot because she learned to turn it on. Well, I got long winded just to say your series is a wonderful escape from everyday!
Hi Jeanne! Thank you so much for posting about your experience with the wonderful world of coffee!!! Love the kitty story and you'll be especially pleased to know that a little white kitten has a very important role in my next CM Holiday Grind. I hope you enjoy that one, too!
Warmest java (& feline loving) wishes,
Hai's YouTube Coffee Pick
I know that you've been telling your fans to tell you when they come across something on Youtube that is coffee related. Or that's just me paraphrasing. But somehow I really like this video, even though it's not music, it is very inspirational somehow to me. Hope you like this as well as I do. Oh, look at my signature! I am truly a fan of yours and coffee's.
Hai's pick for a
YouTube "Coffee Video"
CLICK THE LINK TO SEE...
PS. My regular drink @ Starbucks is a 6- to 8-shot black Americano :). My rationale? Well I like strong coffee but just espresso is too expensive and not much to drink over a period of time.
"I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee."
"Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation."
~Some random person
Thanks, Hai. I'm so happy that you're one of my readers! Love your YouTube Coffee Pick, too.
Espresso wishes and latte joy,
P.S. Wow. You aren't kidding about loving coffee. Your choice of drink is serious!
Suggestion for finding your own
I've noticed that many readers are looking for great coffeehouses near them. One idea is to log onto the coffeegeek site. Then go into the forums until you find the regional ones. They've given me several ideas-I can't wait to check out Comet Coffee in Ann Arbor, Mich, for example!
Hi, Debra! I activated all of your links.
www.CoffeeGeek.com is a wonderful site for people interested in taking their coffee experience to the next level. (Warning: it's pretty wonky when it comes to coffee making--meaning if you aren't really making your own coffee yet, you might be a little put off by all the technical discussions.) But Debra's right: This is a great place to find a new, local coffeehouse in your area. Or ask the folks on the forum pages where to find one.
To get to the forums (aka online discussions), just use the link above in Debra's note that says forums. Now scroll down the page until you get to the very last foum topic titled "World and Regional" --now click on your region and you're ready to search or start a topic and ask about finding a good coffeehouse in your area.
Thanks again, Debra.
It's official...Chelle's making pizza
I now wear an apron for a living. I make pizzas to be exact, but after a few months of pizza and mostly learning how to work the till, I'm hoping that those skills will transfer and I can work at a coffee shop or bakery, it's a little more sophisticated :-) though my fellow staff members and management at this place are awesome.
It's really funny though, I'm only 4 foot 10 so I can't reach alot of stuff, for instance I have to jump to hang my apron back up and wrap the strings around me three times, I have to stand on a milk crate to use the machine that flattens the dough for pizza crust and bread sticks, and someone has to pull the pizzas and breadsticks out of the oven for me because the oven exit is level with my bangs and I'm scared I'll burn my arms if I try reaching up there. Now I know a bit of how the little people must feel....
on the coffee coast of Canada
Cleo's reply: LOL, Chelle! Good luck with the new job! To answer the question you had for me: Real life experience is very helpful. As a writer, I draw from my own experiences all the time (even if those experiences were years ago). Keep a journal of your triumphs and failures in your new job. Write down your feelings when dealing with co-workers, customers, your own challenges and successes—and especially the funny stuff that happens on the job, too. As a writer yourself, you'll realize (possibly even years from now) how valuable those experiences are...