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Just read your reply to my Aug 19 post. Love those red candied apples....and will try the recipe. Have not had one for ages....used to get them at the state fair in Milwaukee.
Appleton is named after a man of the same name. Will send you more info in an email. and yes Harry Houdini did live here in Appleton at one time. Will send you more info in my email :)
The Brewers are hanging in there...but are still behind the Cubs...who keep finding ways to win. I am hoping the Brewers can get the wild card spot...if nothing else. So looking forward to the new books.
Have a great Labor Day weekend, all.
Go Milwaukee Brewers!
(That's for you, Mary T.)
And, of course, for me: Go Mets! (They're doing better than the Yankees this year. Yay.) Okay, after your mention of the state fair (I LOVE state fairs!!!), I am now obsessed with having a red candied apple. This is bad. I have no time to make them. Maybe next week!!
Cheers to you again,
Note to Cleo
Congratulations on a positive Kirkus review. As a librarian who has used their reviews for years I know they don't give praise lightly!
Cleo's reply: THANK YOU, Marlene! You made my week saying that! Or, as Matteo Allegro says to Detective Mike Quinn in Espresso Shot, "I could kiss you!"
(Yes, I know that sounds like it would NEVER happen, but it does make sense when you read the book! LOL!)
Here's a special cup o' "virtual" latte art in thanks to you for stopping by my virtual coffeehouse!
Java joy to you,
P.S. I (heart) librarians! They are the hippest kids on the block. Click the link below to go to an article I so enjoyed last year in the NY Sun: "Brooklyn, home of the hip librarian..." Click here to go to NY Sun article.
Idido Royal Washed is an AWESOME coffee!!
After reading through the monthly picks, I ordered the Purple Princess and the Idido Royal Washed beans from Counter Culture. I opened the IRW beans and couldn't believe how wonderful they smell!! And the brewed coffee tastes like the beans smell! I can't wait to open the Purple Princess beans. Still waiting (im)patiently for the next books.
Cleo's reply: Hi Judy!! I love your posts! I remember your telling me about you and your daughter both reading the Coffeehouse Mysteries. (That was incredibly gratifying to hear since there are so many mother-daughter issues in these books - not just Joy and Clare but Clare and her former mother-in-law, as well.)
I'm glad to hear you liked the Idido Royal Washed beans at Counter Culture Coffee! The region of Yirgacheffe Ethiopia is seminal when it comes to coffee - the motherland. (For anyone who wants to learn more about what "Yirg" coffee is...click here. It will take you to my article archives where I talk about Yirgacheffe coffees and explain how important they are to the trade.)
Judy: Come back when you can and tell me what you think of the famous "Purple Princess" coffee from Honduras ("purple princess" is the nickname. It's officially known as Finca El Puente - which translates to "the bridge farm" and it is also sold by Counter Culture Coffee under their coffees from the Americas page).
If anyone wants to learn more about the exotic, award-winning Purple Princess coffee, which (amazingly) has notes of lavender, plum, and grape, then just click here. The link will take you to the section in my archived articles where I wrote about Purple Princess for the Web and featured the Marysabel, the woman who owns the farm and grows the coffee with her husband. (This coffee played an important role in my novel FRENCH PRESSED.)
Java joy to you, Judy
(and your daughter, too!),
P.S. I answered your other post below!
Labour Day & Labour Day 2
We also have that holiday here in Canada, we just spell it with a U in there lol. I'll be starting school on Tuesday and will be having to get up at 5 am now, what a change that will be from 1 pm lol. I'll be taking an administration course. Can't wait.
Cleo's reply: 5 AM - Yikes! I like getting up early. But even that's a TAD too early for moi! Still, it certainly sounds worthwhile. It's always fun to take a new class, learn something new, meet new people. Good luck and have a great time of it! (Canada's Labour Day is May 1...it's funny, yours marks the beginning of summer and ours the end...maybe because you all are north of us - tee hee...)
Labour Day 2 - Chelle replies...
What? May 1st??? Where'd you get that crazy idea? lol our Labour day is this Monday, the day before school starts.
Cleo's reply: Oops! Sorry, Chelle!I stand corrected. May 1 is "Labour Day" for much of Europe as well as Mexico, Sweden, Iceland, Chile, Costa Rica, Korea, Syria, Turkey, Albania, Greece, India, Russian Federation, Malaysia, the Philipines, much of Africa, and a lot of the rest of the world! (Click here to read more.) I didn't realize Canada's is the same day as the USA! Apologies and...
Happy Labour Day, Canada!
Is it September 30 yet? I have drank regular coffee, coffee shop coffee, fixed my own brew and even resorted to my Moca Pot to get my Coffee House Mystery fix, but it AIN'T doin the job. I am almost ready to camp out on my book store front walk maybe they will feel sorry for me and provide free expresso's, doubtful. Any way there must be no substitute for an "Espresso Shot" than the book. So I wait shaking like a leaf like a good Coffee House fan. Actually I just wanted to say hi and that I am getting eager for the new book. i won't even mention the Haunted Bookshop new book that's just too long to think about.
Cleo's reply: Hi Rusty! GREAT to hear from you again! Here's a virtual shot of espresso (with a lovely head of crema) to keep you going until the book comes out.
Thanks sincerely for being such an enthusiastic fan of my series (both of them). Be sure to stop back and let me know how you like the new CM book. I always enjoy your posts!
Java joy to you,
How are you doing? just popping by to leave a note and say hi. I just up graded from dial up to cable internet. What a difference!!! BTW who knew that you can feel so much happier by breaking up with a guy and not talking to him anymore!! lol never thought it would be so easy to be single but for now I'm loving it (hmm maybe that's my prozac talking eh?) anyway keep pumping out the good books, I bought 5 new books the other day still waiting for them to get to the store. My next card will go toward getting the books I still don't have in the Coyle and Kimberly series. I get 50 dollar gift cards with my airmiles points every 3 months or so. Looking forward to the next pile.
—Chelle - your north american sister
on the canadian coffee coast.
Cleo's reply: Hi Chelle! (I updated my subscriber list with your new e-mail) REALLY happy to hear time is helping you. (or it could be the prozac - lol) Funny how you started the post - sometimes life can feel like it goes from dial-up to high speed. Wow, I can think of a dozen cheesy analogies to make about love and the Internet - could probably start an e-greeting card company on that concept alone! No kidding, though, it really cheered me to hear from you and know that things are looking up (airmiles and all)...We have a holiday here in the States this weekend (Labor Day on Monday). I hope you have a great weekend - I should finally be getting my newsletter out, too...
—Cleo, your all-american
bean-juice crazy girlfriend
double shot, extra hot
Your new book, The Ghost and the Femme Fatale was great. Loved the jump from present to past and back again. Jack is great. Looking forward to Jan 09 for the new one. Keep writing—you've got my husband and I hooked.
Cleo's reply: Hi, Wendy in NM! The ghost of Jack Shepard has really hit a chord with a lot of readers. For me, he provides a much needed counterpoint to the continuing parade of silliness in our modern world - I can just see Jack turning on the TV and cracking wise over everything from Pimp My Ride to feel-good car commmercials to public therapy on the Dr. Phil Show...in fact,, now that I think about it, these are things he probably WILL be cracking wise about when I sit down to write my next Haunted Bookshop novel!
In the meantime, thank you sincerely for taking the time and trouble to stop by my "virtual" coffeehouse and let me know you enjoyed the book! I'm also thrilled that your husband is liking Jack and Penelope, too.
Java joy to you and your husband too
—Cleo (aka Alice Kimberly)
eager to read.......
yournew books. Was wondering where you were :) Look forward to Sept 30...and Jan 09...two must reads.
Cleo's reply: Hi Mary T! Great to hear from you again! We're heading into appple picking season here in NY state. LOTS of bags of fresh apples always come available in our markets in Sept. and Oct. Looking foward to some apple dishes...(Click here or on the pic for a candy apple recipe I might try this year.)
Is Appleton surrounded by apple orchards? Or is the name of your fair city just a name (Houdini once lived there, right? I think I read that some time ago - because he's buried where I live in Queens!).
Baseball - I've been so busy I've totally lost track of my Mets. (I usually tune in late in the bball season. How's your team doing this year? I know you're a big fan...)
Thanks again for virtually dropping by my virtual coffeehouse!
Caffeinated Strangeness...What if?
Ok, so I'm hyper-caffeinated and waiting for "Espresso Shot" and "The Ghost & the Haunted Mansion", hence this brain child of an idea.
I was wondering if you ever thought of Pen and Clare meeting somehow? Maybe Pen & Clare knew each other when Pen was in NY and then asked Clare to come and help out with coffee for an Author Appearance (bonus- Madame)? I wonder if Mike and Jack would get along? Ever thought of something like that?
Caffeinated Strangeness Part Deux - I hit Save too quickly before I got a chance to mention that I am thoroughly addicted to both of your series. I weighed in on the Matt/Mike debate and I'm very happy with the outcome in the last book :) Now, is there anyway to make a ghost real? -CJ
Hi, CJ! Thanks for posting again and apologies for taking a little while to respond!
You know, I've thought of putting Clare and Pen together somehow myself - I'm really glad to hear you propose it, too. Now I know I'm not crazy! If my readers think this is a good idea, then I must not be too far off the mark! LOL! This may be a strange but interesting novel or collection of short stories in the future.
Part Deux: Thank you for weighing in on the Mike/Matt debate! And thank you for telling me that you're happy with how it's going! It's really great to hear that. As for making Jack real...well, he's as real as he's going to be (unless Hollywood decides to make him into a TV star...I'll keep you posted)!
Keep in touch, CJ, and post again! (In the meantime, here's a virtual latte art pour in thanks for visiting my virtual Village Blend coffeehouse!)
Java joy to you,
Cleo, can you write faster??
Now that I have inhaled all the Coffee House Mysteries AND the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries (and I wouldn't mind having Jack invade a few of my dreams), what am I going to do until your new books com out?? Okay, I know I don't have alot of free reading time, between working 60 hours a week as a CCU nurse and working on my master's, but when I get a break I read as many books that I've stored up as I can and nothing makes my insides jump for joy as reading books from my favorite authors. My next break will be mid-December, will the next one be out then? I'm getting ready to plunge back into teaching theories and advanced pharmacology but I'll be waiting for my next shot of Coffee House Mysteries.
Cleo's reply: Hi Judy - tres cool that you are CCU nurse AND working on your masters, YOU GO, GIRL! And God bless you for your nursing work!
Another nurse posts once in awhile on this board and says she brings my "coffee picks" to work so that the other nurses can try them. Nurses and cops are probably among the top 10 drinkers of coffee in the USA, don't you think? (Truck drivers, EMS workers, doc interns, and reporters are probably up there somewhere in the top 10, too - along with students, and you're a nurse and a masters student so I'm sure you drink more than your share, right?)
By now you probably have seen my updates on the web with my new Haunted Bookstore coming out in early January 09: The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion. (And Espresso Shot, my next Coffeehouse Mystery, coming in just a few weeks 9/30, which you can certainly buy and hold onto to read until your studies let up...but I warn you, Clare's adventures are non-stop in Espresso Shot. It's entirely possible that once you start, you may not want to put it down. (I can only hope!) LOL!
Thank you sincerely for remaining such a fan in the midst of your very busy life!
Cheers and keep in touch!
Just love the books
I am in love with the whole coffeehouse mystery series. I have done reviews of it on Good Reads, and am actually using the first book, On What Grounds to get my attendees at the workshop I am putting on in Oct as the book for them to read to learn how to write a good cozy. Thanks so much for these books~!!
—Kim Smith, author of...
Avenging Angel, a Shannon Wallace Mystery, coming soon....from Enspiren Press.
Cleo's reply: SALUTE to a fellow author! Hi, Kim! Thank you for posting and especially for reading AND reviewing my books. Awesome!
Avenging Angel is a GREAT title! Good luck with your new book!
Another good coffee
Hi Cleo, I was reading through your site and saw how you had bought a Starbucks kona blend. Thought I would tell you about another commerical blend from Caribou Coffee...it's called La Minita Peaberry, it's very pricey at $17. something a pound but I tell you what I'm addicted to it.They say they buy the entire year's harvest of this high-quality, hand-sorted bean from the growers at Hacienda La Minita in the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica. It's a very light roast and I just spent the bucks to and bought 2 lbs so i would have it for awhile.
Cleo's reply: Hi, Carol! I have been wanting to try Caribou Coffee for some time now. Your suggestion sounds delish - and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all peaberry coffees - such flavor!! Yes, it is pricey but I'll check it out in the near future. (Pretty label, too!) Thank you, Carol! Coffee suggestions are always welcome on this board.
CLICK HERE to check out Carol's suggestion. Link will take you to Caribou coffee's online shopping site where you can read about the coffee she recommends.
I just loved French Pressed
Hi Cleo, Joanna Harrison here I LOVED French Pressed and I've just pre-ordered Espresso Shot. I just cannot wait for it to come in September.. Keep up with the writing and I'll keep up the reading.. I just love your books..
Thanks for what you do..
Cleo's reply: Joanna, thank you sincerely for posting. Every single reader means the world to me and posts like yours keep me going. Java joy to you and yours for brightening my day.
I just wanted to say how happy I am that someone finally created a realistic character that is not blonde, not overly quarky or gossipy, no glamour job, not in her 20's or pretending to be and not drooling over everything with testosterone. This woman is a real lady.
I'm completly hooked.
Cleo's reply: Wow. This is a post that I want to blow up into a poster size. Then I want to frame it, gild it, and preserve it for all time.
(for getting it)
Green Coffee, who knew?
Thanks for telling me about Solar Roast Coffee. I'm going to try it. Coffee from the sun.
Ben, from Hamilton, OH
Cleo's reply: You're welcome, Ben! Enjoy!
Vacation = mysteries+coffee+sisters
Recently got back from our yearly family reunion at Nag's Head NC. This has been a wonderful tradition for about 10 years now. Being revolting morning people, most of us voluntarily get up at 5:30 am to enjoy that first glorious mug of coffee and watch the sun come up over the ocean. Most mornings we even toast the dolphins that greet the morning with us out beyond the breakers. But my sister, sister-in-law, and extented family females always take one day to visit the Village of Manteo on Roanoke Island, (famous for Virginia Dare and the Lost Colony--the ORGINAL American mystery!) There on Sir Walter Raliegh street are two of the best part of my vacation, the Manteo Bookstore right across the street from the Coffeehouse on Roanoke. My sisters and I can and do spend hours there enjoying the coffee and their highly addictive amish bread and talk about books. This year while the rest were doing commando shopping at the near by arts and crafts center, I scored "Femme Fatale" at the bookstore and scooted over to Coffeeshop to savor it and a vanilla latte. Now that is the essence of relaxation! IF you find yourself in the Outer Banks do stop in and enjoy the coffee of the Coffeehouse on Roanoke!
—Kimberly (the gad-about Life Coach who told you about Mugsys in Clarksville, and Da Beens in High Point!)
Cleo's reply: Kimberly! How wonderful to hear from the Life Coach who loves Mugsys. What a wonderful post. You should write travel books. Lovely, lovely! (Apolgogies for taking so long to reply - the pressure of writing deadlines sometimes leaves me at a loss for time to reply in a timely manner...) But please do keep in touch and post again!
Java joy always,
I love a good French Press !
My fav. coffeehouse here in Oklahoma City, Ok. was Java Dave's on Rockwell and the other was on May Ave.,, both , sadly , closed , but amazingly 2 Starbucks opened up right down the block from where each was located ! So I am in search of a new "local" In the meantime I will not give-up my french press..or my iced mocha's , Starbucks are at each corner here.... I look forward to next week when I can find a cool cafe in NYC where I will be for 1 week....staying in the Chelsea are...I plan on visiting the west end !
Cleo's reply: Well, by now you have been to NYC and are probably back on OK. Apologies for taking so long to reply, but (as I've said before on this board) my writing deadlines sometimes take me away. I do want to tell you how much I appreciate you stopping by to post!
Post again and let everyone know how your trip to NYC went! Did you find any cafes you liked? I (heart) Joe the Art of Coffee on Waverly in Greenwich Village. CLICK HERE TO SEE THEIR SITE ON LINE. They also have a store just off Union square. I'll be writing more about Joe's in the near future - a real inspiration to my Coffeehouse Mysteries!
Thanks again for posting!
espresso royale and more
I don't live near an Espresso Royale, but on a 1999 trip to Ann Arbor, MI, I frequented it everyday...awesome coffee. There was also a cool used mystery book store nearby. Thanks for reminding me about Espresso Royale; I had forgotten about it! My favorite coffeehouse here is JoeBella in Templeton (all fair-trade, shade grown, organic coffee).
—SG in California
Cleo's reply: Thanks, SG!
Next Coffee House Mystery?
How long must I wait for the next installment? I am on the verge of cleaning out my TBR file! I've ordered the first couple of Haunted Bookstore novels, but am missing Clare!
Cleo's reply: Ha! I know what you mean. I miss Clare, too, between writng the books. But she's comin' at you on 9/30 in my first hardcover Espresso Shot! Thank you SO much for posting to let me know how much you enjoy the books. Very soon I'll be writing the NEXT coffeehouse mystery, due to be published in 2009...I have a title already (it's top secret for now) and I can't wait to begin this brand new Clare Cosi case!
coffee in Madison WI
If ever in Madison WI....be sure to stop at http://www.espressoroyale.com The staff is so friendly..and they serve a great Capp...worth the stop !
Cleo's reply: Thanks, Mary T. (I activated your link) Coffee and coffeehouse recommendations are always welcome!
coffee and sisters
My sister and I don't live quite 3000 miles apart, but we do live a few hundred miles apart. We too have both become hooked on the coffeehouse and haunted bookstore books and love to share about them.
Thanks for helping us stay close, even miles apart.
Cleo's reply: To paraphrase Jerry McGuire... We live in a cynical world. So I can't tell you how much it lifts me up to read your post (and the one below). Okay, I CAN tell you. You help me realize, on bad days, that I should keep soldiering on and keep writing and publishing. I'm filing your comment under "uses for art" - because, frankly, in a world that tears us up and pulls us all so far apart, I can't think of many better uses for a book than helping two sisters bond.
Here is a fresh-baked "virtual" banana-crunch muffin and virtually brewed cuppa joe for you in appreciation for stopping by my "virtual" coffeehouse.
Java joy to you! Thanks to you (and your sister) for reading and come on back anytime to my virtual Village Blend!
Coffee ...sisters... bonding through Books!
My sister and I live 3 Thousand miles apart, one way we have become closer despite distance and not a lot of time to talk on the phone is to send each other books to read back and forth! Her book selections have told me more about her then phone calls ever could, same with my selections for her I am certain, and so we have both expanded our worlds! We also love Fun Mysteries to read! Today I am on my 3rd Coffee House Mystery and am so excited! I went back to the store 3 times in 2 days to get 4 books.
I am Compulsive about reading a series in order, probably some Nancy Drew /Cherry Ames fetish from my youth I wish it would spill over to more useful helpful compulsions! But regardless I can hardly wait to introduce my sister to Clare, Matteo & The Village Blend. I can just see her hanging out in an Oregon Coffehouse reading one of your books!
We both have such fond memories of our precious time in NYC with our brother, as well as a deep love of Coffee, Espresso's, Lattes and all things Coffee House!
Coffee is in my blood and my family (that would take a few posts to explain!) I'm sending her a starter set to share just as soon as I finish the 4th one. Just a delightful series and so well written.
Thank you so much! Hope to post again, What a terrific site!
Cleo's reply: Hi, Tomasina (love your name!) What a wonderful post! Thank you! Here's a "virtual" cappuccino and biscotti for you in appreciation for stopping by my "virtual" coffeehouse.
I hope you'll come back again! And feel free to e-mail me more about your experience in the coffee trade. I love to post personal essays and tales of the coffee life on my Home Page. You'll notice I re-posted an e-mail from "Davida" (on the Home Page). She wrote to me about her experience working a coffee kiosk. If you're interested in telling a "coffee life" story to post, just e-mail me at VillageBlend@aol.com
I'm thrilled that you discovered my CM series and are liking the mysteries (so far). Certainly, not everyone likes every book in the series and that's okay - I LOVED writing THROUGH THE GRINDER, for instance (the whole online dating scene was a lot of fun to explore). The book featured plenty of humor and a good mystery puzzle, but it did take a step into some darker territory so it wasn't everyone's cup of "tea" - LOL!
Most fans enjoyed MURDER MOST FROTHY - which gave Clare a much-deserved seaside vacation - but some were upset that I wrote a book that took place outside the Village Blend coffeehouse!
And then there are always those people who simply don't have any patience with reading about coffee and the coffee trade in my Coffeehouse Mysteries (go figure).
But, you know, this isn't rocket science. It's just a little mystery book series to entertain you and make you smile. (As well as a tribute to those people who work so hard to grow, process, import, roast, brew, and serve us our beloved bean juice.)
I'm so glad you're going to share the books with your sister. Thank you for telling me - it really means a lot - and it underlines what I've been hearing from other readers - that the CM books are a lot of fun to share and discuss with others.
I present a lot of relationship issues in the books (mothers and daughters - mothers and sons - husbands and wives - ex-husbands and ex-wives!) and there are always two sides to every broken marriage, you know?
Click here if you want to see the reading guides for the first two books: ON WHAT GROUNDS and THROUGH THE GRINDER. (When you click the link, it will open the reading guide in PDF - adobe format. You can save it for yourself or send it to your sister, too.)
I'm going to post reading guides for CM Book #3 LATTE TROUBLE and CM Book #4 MURDER MOST FROTHY in the Coffeehouse Mystery series, too. So check the site again later this month if you're interested.
Thanks again for writing, Tomasina - my husband went to college in Ohio (Ohio U) and he and I both grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, which is also the "Ohio Valley" - making us longstanding neighbors.
Java joy to you,
coffee yum & Bidwell Perk in Northern CA
I am from Northern Calif. I love coffee Kona is one favorite, coffee house I like is Bidwell Perk in Chico, owned by a young couple, variety of people go, bright decor, relaxed atmosphere. I love the Coffeehouse Mystery books. Thank you for them.
Cleo's reply: Awesome! Thank you for posting! You are so lucky to live in Northern California. What a beautiful place! And I know your area of the country is SERIOUS about coffee drinking - not to mention on the cutting edge of all things culinary.
Shout-out to your fave coffeehouse, too: Bidwell Perk! LOVE what they say on their site -
"We believe that one of life's simpler pleasures is a wonderful cup of coffee."
For anyone who wants to learn more about this CM reader's favorite coffeehouse, click here or on the logo to visit their site.
664 E 1st Ave,
Chico, CA 95926
I believe the Village Blend is real!
Okay, maybe not the actual coffeehouse named the Village Blend is there, but I can close my eyes and see the place, with sunlight streaming through the french doors and smell the incredible aroma of exotic coffees that make you want to roll around on a pile of warm freshly roasted beans. For me, this has always been a common denominator with my favorite authors, the ability to clearly see the what is being described. And Cleo, you have been added to my Top Ten favorite authors list. Thank you for giving me (and my daughter)a delightful new series to curl up with and drink a fresh brewed cup of Kona while entering a new world.
Cleo's reply: Although Cleo is under deadline and can't write more today, she wants you to know that this is an amazingly uplifting post. Thank you! (More to come from Cleo soon)...
Is the Village Blend a real place?
I love the books. I was recently in NY and wanted to find the Village Blend. Since you talked about so many historical places, I thought the Blend might have really been there for 100 years too. Let me know. I did not find it.
I love the books and am excited to find out about the other series, the haunted bookshop. I will find them. I love the coffee series and enjoy the humor and romance as well as the mystery.
Thanks so much!
Cleo's reply: Great question! Cleo will reply soon...