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Happy St.Valentine's Day !
Happy St.V Day to the coffee house gang! Hope your day is spent reading mysteries and drinking LOTS of chocolate flavored coffee,or chocolate and coffee.
The "Tarheel" Connection
I picked up my first Coffeehouse Mystery because of your name on the cover. You see, my mother's name was also Cleo; she was my dearest friend and the guiding force in my life. I was delighted to find that the book attached to the name was an engaging, well-written mystery with wonderful characters. I was quickly hooked on Clare, Matt, Madame, and Mike.
I am currently reading "French Pressed" and have "Espresso Shot" standing by! I live in the "Research Triangle" area of North Carolina, so I had a lovely surprise when I read the acknowledgments page of "French Pressed" and found a nod to two of my hometown favorites - Bin Fifty-Four and Counter Culture Coffees! Then I ventured onto this web site and found your wonderful tribute to Magnolia Grill's house blend. I am on Cloud Nine! Any chance you might be visiting our fair state again soon?
A faithful Tarheel reader,
I am not going to make 3 months without coffee!
I have been a good girl for the past 6 weeks. I have only had several small cups of decaf coffee and have been drinking only decaf tea. I go back to work tomorrow night and I will NOT survive without my coffee! I'm serious! I think I'll go to my surgeon's office and lay on his floor and refuse to move until he relents and lets me have my caffeine back.
I love the picture of the Rooster Brother coffee shop! I adore old houses and old buildings and it physically pains me to see a beautiful old building falling apart. I start making lists in my head on what would need to be done to save it. I'm heading to New Orleans in May for a nursing conference (the last one there was the May before Katrina hit. I hope it's not an omen) and I'm seriously thinking about renting a car and driving to Covington for a cup of coffee.
I'll let you know if I get there!
WOW! Just like a chocolate addiction
Just finished "Haunted Mansion" and I'm seriously "jonesing" for the next installment of Penelope and Jack. Thank you for creating such endearing, lively (ha!) characters. Without revealing your inner thoughts too much, will Pen ever go back over Jack's files and find out what happened? Can't wait for your next Bookstore Mystery. Keep up the excellent work!
Cleo's reply: Thanks, Susy. Loved your "lively" post! It's readers like you who make me want to keep writing. Thanks sincerely for letting me know that you're enjoying the adventures of Pen and Jack!
Warmest wishes and keep reading!
Moon Doggie Coffee Review, too
First, thank you so much for writing the Coffeehouse Mysteries and the Haunted Bookshop novels. I've been a fan of both for quite a while, but am embarrassed to say I didn't realize you were the author of both until a few months ago when I checked out your website.
I love getting lost in your mysteries - can't put them down until the end, and then I anxiously await the next. I'm also writing, though, because I was so excited to see the Moon Doggie Coffee Shop mentioned on your website. I am originally from Maywood, NJ and still visit there monthly to see my Mom.
Since she is more of a tea drinker, my husband enjoys making his trip to the Moon Doggie for a great cup of coffee. The people are so friendly and they offer a nice variety of coffee, including frosty/iced drinks (which are my favorite). Thanks again for the great mysteries and for mentioning the nice people (and great coffee) at Moon Doggie!
Cleo's reply: Thank you, Susan! You rock for posting here about Moon Doggie and letting people know it's a great place for quality beans - a good cuppa joe - and they rescue basset hounds, too.
If anyone reading this would like to learn more about Moon Doggie Coffee (in Maywood, New Jersey) or if you'd like to order their coffee online to help save their shop, click here!
Hugs to you and yours,
Thanks Cleo for the post.
Lisa and I would like to say thank you for posting St. John's Coffeehouse on your front page. Yes we were open five days after the great storm and we had something even better then coffee we had air- conditioning. hehe Your site is great, very detail, and a lot of good stories to surf upon. I added a link to your place on my site. I'm sure if people follow the link they will enjoy.
Good luck and peace to all,
—Dickie and Lisa
St. John's Coffeehouse,
Thank YOU for being such an inspiration to the coffeehouse tradition! I'm constantly buried under deadlines these days, but you can be sure if I make it down to Covington, LA, I'll be stopping in to say hi to you both and enjoy a superior cuppa joe!
Warmest wishes & Happy Mardi Gras!!
A Moon Doggie Coffee Review
Hello Cleo, Laundry Goddess and other readers:
Just a heads up that I placed an order from Moon Doggie and received it yesterday. I have been in caffeinated 7th heaven ever since!
The FRESHNESS of this coffee is unbelievable. I've been drinking stale coffee all this time and never knew it. The house blend, Half a World Away, is mellow but flavorful. I've been a flavored coffee drinker and their flavors of Strawberry Shortcake and Almond Joy taste like they should and the coffee used is potent enough to complement the flavor without being overpowered by it, unlike the stuff I was drinking before.
I am really impressed with this coffee and will be ordering from them again.
Thanks for recommending them!
—The Lab Lady
AWESOME, Lab Lady! You are the BEST for trying the Moon Doggie coffee and posting about it. What a wonderful shop and roaster they are - in Maywood, New Jersey - and they rescue basset hounds, too.
If anyone would like to help keep Moon Doggie Coffee in business, click here to try their coffee for yourself.
Or stop by their shop in New Jersey. Their web site will give you directions. Thanks again for stopping by my *virtual* coffeehouse, Lab Lady! Come on back now, y'hear?!
I am "dying" when will the next coffeeshop and the next bookshop books be out? I haven't been on in a while, and I just saw the Moon Doggie site. It is so cool. I too want to help out anybody that is a coffee and animal lover. I think they are the best people around. (we drink lots of coffee and have 5 dogs)
Thank you for posting!
Cleo's reply to come soon!
Hi, I did a review of the The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion and just wanted to send you to a link to it. Thanks -
Cleo's reply: This is wonderful! Thanks!
I'll put the link on my home page right column in the next few days! For now, anyone who wants to read your review of my latest Haunted Bookshop Mystery, can click the link below!
Just checking - on January 6th I posted a question and it was never answered, but all the questions after it were. Is there a reason for the silence?
High Falls, NY
Thanks for stopping by again. I'm happy to answer your question now. This answer takes a bit of time to post, and I don't always have it (the time that is)! But I feel badly about your asking again so here goes...
Last month, you posted the following:
"Is there a real coffeehouse that the books are based on? I love your stories. I was introduced to On What Grounds by a friend/librarian and ended up buying all the other books and turned my mom and sister on to them as well."
Caffe Reggio is a great example of an historic coffeehouse in Greenwich Village, New York (where my Coffeehouse Mystery series is set). At over 80 years old, this cafe is just one example of the landmark businesses that still exist here - The White Horse Tavern and McSorley's pub (in the East Village) are two other century-old establishments that I'd hate to see go the way of so many of the other beloved old businesses.
From my first book on, that's the main mission of my characters (Clare Cosi, her ex-husband Matt Allegro, and his mother Madame): To keep the ficitonal Village Blend alive and kicking!
ON WHAT GROUNDS, book #1
of the Coffeehouse Mysteries
While Reggio was an inspiration for longevity, Clare actually runs the Village Blend like a more modern coffeehouse. If you click over to my Home Page and scroll down, you'll see that I posted a short feature article on Joe, The Art of Coffee, a much newer coffeehouse in Greenwich Village that started with a cozy little flagship store on Waverly Place (the store is MUCH smaller than my fictional Village Blend, but it's a beautiful shop and a great location in the heart of the West Village).
This coffeehouse's dedicaiton to the community as well as the art of coffee-making made Joe, The Art of Coffee an important inspiration to my creation of the Blend. Early on, while I was doing research for the books, I took coffee classes from the owner (Jonathan Rubinstein) and his head barista and coffee director (Amanda Byron). Amanda is one of the top barista's in the city - she even appeared on Martha Stewart's televison show to give a demo on latte art. (Joe was also recently named one of the top 10 espresso bars in the country by Food and Wine mag.)
Cafe Grumpy has been an inspiration, as well. This cafe is where I met the man who re-discovered the Geisha coffee tree in Panama - the rare heirloom tree that grows the "champagne of the coffee world," Esmeralda Especial, which I wrote about in my latest Coffeehouse Mystery ESPRSSO SHOT (cover pictured right >>>>).
Counter Culture Coffee, a highly respected boutique roaster in Durham, North Carolina, is one of the suppliers of Cafe Grumpy's beans and they (along with Joe, the Art of Coffee and so many other wonderful coffeehouses around the country) have inspired me as well. They all represent the recent emergence in the USA of coffee as a culinary/artisanal experience (it's been that way in Italy for decades - here in the US it's a more recent trend).
I hope that answers your questions, Marian! There are A LOT of amazing coffeehouses in New York that continue to inspire me. I try to visit as many as I can (not just for research but for fun)! If you read my short article on the Home Page, you'll see I recommend a book called Cafe Life New York: An insider's guide to the city's neighborhood cafes
CLICK HERE to learn more
about this book, written by Sandy Miller w/photography by Juliana Spear
The book is great for scouting out coffeehouses in New York. (At least for now - as anyone who's lived here for years will tell you, the face of NYC is constantly changing.)
Thanks for stopping by my virtual coffeehouse! Here's a *virtual* cappuccino and biscotti for you! (I wish it could be the real thing - but this is still a *virtual* coffeehouse!)
Warmest java wishes to you and yours,
Ebook versions of books 3 & 4
Dear Cleo (I so nearly wrote Clare!) -
I have just discovered the books just as I have suddenly discovered good coffee after picking up an old but good quality home espresso machine in a charity shop. (I'm British and was always a tea person before this.) I was searching the Ereader.com site for coffee related books and found yours - and have read all the available ones in just over a week! I was wondering why books 3 & 4 are not available in the ereader format - I've ordered them from Amazon but I'd have liked them all on my PDA for holiday re-reading.
Hi BP -
Since I don't see a first name or a nickname at the bottom of your post, I hope you don't mind my calling you BP for "British Person" - LOL! A short time ago, I asked my editor about e-book publishing.
Here is what she said: "We automatically convert all titles into formats for sale through e-book retailers. The formats are: Amazon Kindle, Sony, Adobe, MS Reader and Palm."
I'm afraid that's all I know. I don't know whether that's any help at all, but I'm in the middle of writing my next mystery and that's about the best answer I can give you! My publisher is in charge of handling how and where and what format my books appear -- all I can do is write them.
My publisher, by the way, is Berkley Prime Crime an imprint of the Berkley Publishing Group whish is a division of Penguin USA. If you want to query them directly, you have my blessing!
In the meantime, I want you to know that I'm delighted to hear the story of how you found me and even more thrilled to know you liked my books enough to want to re-read them on a holiday. Awesome. You made my day.
I hope you enjoy the espressos, too. Here's a *virtual* one made especially for you in thanks for dropping by my *virtual* coffeehouse.
Warmest java wishes,
Bathing in coffee?
Cleo, Check out this Japanese Spa...scroll down about 2/3 of the page for the coffee spa. I like coffee but not that much *L*.
Just finished French Pressed
First of all I loved the book, but I was confused for awhile because I read Espresso Shot first and then French Pressed and...
**"!!backwards is line story The" **
I didn't realize that I should have read #1 through Espresso Shot and not the other way around. (What do you expect from a guy??)
Second, being a fellow Pittsburger I must tell you that I am really bummed!! I'm not going to have any Chipped Ham BBQ's or Iron City Beer when watching my Steelers win their 6th Super Bowl!! What a shame!! Keep up the good work Cleo!!
Dear Cleo Coyle, I just had to let you know...
Dear Cleo Coyle, I just had to let you know how much I enjoy your Haunted Bookshop Mysteries. I have read every one you have written (including your latest) and sincerely hope you will continue to write these wonderful books.
I love the characters, especially Jack with his 1940's slang and attitude. Such a nice way to relax after a long day at work…wish it took me longer to read them! I have not read the Coffeehouse Mysteries but intend to give them a try as well. Thanks so much for the pleasure of reading books that take you away!
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Cleo's reply: Thank you, Rosemary! (And Jack the ghost sends this note from beyond...)
You're aces in my book...
Hello from very cold Chicago, IL!
Hello from very cold Chicago, IL!
I just finished reading "The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion" and I loved it. I can't wait until the next book comes out. I have read most of the Coffee House Mystery books and all of the Haunted books.
I think you are going to have to write a little faster as we just love your books. I live in a Senior Suites building with 90 apartments. We recently formed our own reading group/club and we share our books. I have pulled some short stories for us to read, but your books are a real treat! Everyone loves them.
Keep writing and thank you for sharing your talent and imagination with your readers. As we say in Spanish, FELICIDADES! (congratulations)
A happy and productive New Year to you.
Hi Ann Marie! Gracias! What a wonderful note! Please say "hola!" to the girls in the Senior Suites (and the guys, too, of course!) I couldn't be happier that you and your Chicago crew are enjoying my books.
Thank you for letting me know and for the "Felicidades!" Awesome! You have a Happy New Year, too!...
And to help you stay warm in chilly Chicago, here's a nice fresh *virtual* cuppa joe. Come on back anytime to my *virtual* coffeehouse!
just started the series!i just started your coffeehouse series and i must say i loveee "on what grounds" so far.. love it! i already ordered "through the grinder" from the bookstore and it just came in today :) thanks for the amusement!!
fanera cookies are good!!!
I actually knew what line it was before I even looked it up! I remember laughing at it too lol. I write myself, my resolution this year is to write one hour a day no stop even if it turns out to be a list. That's what we were taught in high school creative writing to do to get ideas. I've had massive writers block since I was 19 though for anything other than poetry. I won a literary award while in that teacher's class too. off I go to keep my resolution.
Cleo's reply: Glad you laughed at the "Canada" line on page 112. Dying is easy. Comedy is hard. LOL!
Re: On writing. The cliches are correct - perspiration is 99% more important than inspiration.
Publishing is all about glueing one's butt to a seat for ungodly hours. Hard work, no doubt, and not for everyone.
Writing, on the other hand, is a wonderful art of self-expression. With the Internet allowing everyone to essentially self-publish to the world, this is one amazing time for aspiring writers...whether you're blogging, penning short stories, or poetry. Good luck with the res and happy new year again, Chelle!
help save a coffee company and basset hounds too. (yes, bassets love coffee mysteries too.)
It's LaundryGoddess again. I just found out that a fellow Basset hound rescuer and coffee company may be in dire straights if they can not get more of their product sold.They come on good recommendation. Can we help? Here is her company site.
Cleo's reply: Hi LG, thanks for posting! I checked out Moon Doggie Coffee's online shop. The site is most impressive. Clearly these folks are all about quality coffee!
I'll check out their coffee for sure and put a link up on my home page right column sometime this week. Gotta love coffee lovers who want to rescue animals. (My husband and I have rescued a number of homeless city cats ourselves, so I'll do what I can to help.)
In the meantime, if anyone out there is reading this, check out Moon Doggie Coffee for yourself! And if you live in New Jersey, drive on over - they look like a real friendly shop!
Click below to check out:
Moon Doggie Coffee, a micro-roaster of great coffees in northern New Jersey who also rescues Basset hounds. Scroll down their coffee list and you'll see they have a nice list of DECAF as well as flavored coffees for those of you who enjoy them! And their cafe looks like a lovely, friendly place to have a great cuppa!
HELP SAVE MOON DOGGIE!
Address: 108 W. Pleasant Ave., Maywood, NJ 07607
Where is this coffee shop?
Cleo's reply: By this shop, I'm asuming you mean the virtual Village Blend that you're reading about on these Web pages.
Here's My Answer: THIS coffee shop is located in two places...
#1 Virtual reality (i.e. the Internet and if you're reading this, then you're already in it)! And the second place where my Village Blend coffee shop is located is...
#2 My fiction! You see, I'm an author and I write a series of mystery novels that revolve around a fictional, century-old coffeehouse called the Village Blend, located in New York's Greenwich Village. This site is a *virtual* extension of that fictional world.
If you'd like to "visit" the coffeehouse located (literally) in my imagination, then pick up the first book in my series...
Coffeehouse Mysteries #1: On What Grounds
To find out more about my books, just click on the coffee cup in the left column of this site labeled "About the Coffeehouse Mystery Books." This will take you to a page on my site that explains more about the books - titles, plotlines, order, etc. To meet some of the characters in the books, click on the cup labeled "Meet the Village Blend Staff." Java joy to you and thanks for posting!
We need more haunted bookshop books!!
I love the haunted bookshop mysteries! I truly have trouble putting them down and getting anything else done around the house. As a believer in ghosts, I can almost believe Buy the Book is a real store somewhere, and that Jack is a true haunting spirit. Keep those books coming!! You've got a real fan here!
—Jennifer in Iowa
Cleo's reply: Hi, Jennifer in Iowa! Thanks for lifting me up. You post is wonderful and it really made me smile. May someone do the same for you today!
By the way: Jack the ghost says thanks, too. Actually, what he said was--
"You're aces, baby. Aces."
Warmest wishes and
Happy New Year to
you and yours,
(aka Alice Kimberly)
I jumped for joy (Literally)
Lol I went to the store today to pick up Latte Trouble as it had been delivered finally and asked why my pre ordered book hadn't arrived as it was released over a week ago, (The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion) They weren't sure why but said they already had copies in the store, so off I sent them to the back to get me one and I had them cancel my order and put that money toward a copy now instead of waiting longer. When the lady came to the counter and put the book down, well Cleo you should have seen me! lol my arms went up like a little school girl and flapped out at the sides. and I squealed just loud enough for the clerk to hear me. "weeee! omg! omg! you got it! you got it! yipppeee" hehe lol couldn't help it I was soooooo excited! anyway about to climb into bed and start reading.
(Cleo says: Chelle! Check out page 112 of the new
Haunted Bookshop mystery. There's a line
in there especially for you! See if you can find it!)
(Also) I may be Canadian but here are some (scented) Stamp Ideas.
Hawaii - Pinapple or Coconut of course
Washington DC - Cherries
California - mmmmm California Strawberries
Maine - Blueberries
btw that sweet and sour pork scented one sounds eeew! I bet Canada's would be Maple Syrup Scented. Off to viset a ghost and a Haunted house wooooooo! see ya in your dreams ;-)
—Chelle in Western Canada's
Haunted Coffee Coast.
P.S. Had two ideas for a coffee house titles:
1. Frappicide - (a play on the word Fratricide) at least I think that's the word (the one where someone kills their Bro)
2. Mocha-do about Nothing
Cleo's reply: Shout-out again to my favorite Canadian girl! So glad you were able to get my latest Haunted Bookshop. Love the coffeehouse titles. Thanks! Suggestions are always welcome for these suckers as they aren't as easy to come up with as you'd think!
(Good ideas on the scented stamps, too. Especially like the maple syrup scent for the Canadian stamp!)
O Canada: FYI, Chelle, I wanted to tell you that when I wrote a certain line on page 112 of THE GHOST AND THE HAUTNED MANSION, I thought: "I bet Chelle will like this line!" Hope you do!
Thanks again for stopping by and especially for reading!
You're the best,
New fan of the haunted bookshop!
I'm a new fan. I just stumbled on to the Haunted bookshop series....and I LOVE them! I bought all 5 a few days ago, and I'm already done with 4.
I'm a huge fan of pulps (the Shadow mostly <3 ) and old noir moives. As far as reading goes, my fave type of character is the paranormal PI...I couldn't believe my eyes when I read your novels. So many of my fave things wrapped up in to one series! FANTASTIC!!
I love the way Jack flirts with Pen basically since they first met, but she's killing me here... I want them to just be together. :)
I'm not going to poke you for some future relationship spoiler (though that would be nice!), but I did want to say, in each book their relationship gets closer and closer to something really special... I hope that keeps up in future Jack & Pen stories! Thanks for the great series! :)
Cleo's reply: Hi Shaow Fan! WOW! What a great post! I'm so happy you found my books, as Jack might put it: "Baby, it's a cinch, we were made for each other."
As far as Jack and Pen's relationship, they're one dynamic duo that's not splitting up anytime soon! (Jack wouldn't let it happen, believe me.)
Warmest wishes to you for posting and especially for reading!
Come on back to my *virtual* coffeehouse anytime, y'hear? Here's a *virtual* big cookie to enjoy with your next fresh cuppa joe!
(aka Alice Kimberly)
fun reading ahead !
Purchased my copy of the Ghost and the Haunted Mansion today at the mall. Eagerly looking forward to reading it. Will probably have to wait til tomorrow...with all the Obama celbration today. Quite spectacular.
Cleo's reply: Hi again, Mary T.! Always a pleasure to hear from you. Presidential inaugurations always fill me with pride in our country - change of power without tanks and guns. Civilized transfer at the behest of the people, united behind the belief in the rule of law, justice for all, and a quest for unity.
In other words- Star Trek's bridge in macro! LOL! And, yes, I can't wait for the new movie this year - the prequel that will show us Kirk, Spock and the gang circa Star Fleet Academy days!
Java joy to you!
SARA ROSETT REPLY
The main character in one of her books mentioned reading you. I'll try to find the passage and send it on.
Cleo's reply: AWESOME. How cool is that? I didn't know this and I'm grateful to you for giving me a heads up. If you find the passage, post away and I'll get the cover of her book on your post, as well. And...
If you're out there, Sara Rosett, please know Cleo Coyle sends you a shout-out of thanks for the mention!!
Warmest java wishes,