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My new High School Book Club is going to be reading "On What Grounds" after the Christmas Break. It will fun to hear these young peoples take on your stories. I'll keep you posted! P. S. I use to receive your email newsletter but do not get them anymore. Please be sure I am on your send out list. Thanks so much!
Cleo's reply: I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to reply to your post! I hope you see this. Post again so I know you did! I'm THRILLED that your high school book club is going to read my first Coffeehouse Mystery: ON WHAT GROUNDS.
I would really enjoy hearing what your book club says about it, too, and I look forward to your "report"!! LOL!
As for the newsletter, by now you should have received my Fall 2008 newsletter. If you did not, then write to me at VillageBlend@aol.com and tell me that you did not receive it. I will send it again to you and we'll try to figure out why you aren't receiving it. Maybe it goes into a Spam folder or you have a firewall up to prevent it from going to your box.
In the meantime, I want to thank you for dropping by my *virtual* coffeehouse.
I whipped you up a *virtual* cappuccino and baked you a plate of *virtual* Italian biscotti to enjoy. There's even enough for you to *virtually* bring to your book club!
Warmest java wishes to you,
0n page of 15 of French Pressed you indicate that Joy's chef jacket is covered in brown sauce. On page 18 you note that the Sous-chef threw Bearnaise sauce. Bearnaise sauce is yellow. Later on in the book you note that the dried blood looked like the the sauce on Joy's jacket. I believe the sause you wanted to highlight was bordelaise sauce which is a brown sauce that is brown sauce and is generally not served with vegatables so there would not have been a reason for Joy to be using the sauce if she was doing the vegatable service two nights a week as you wrote in your book. I am a professionally trained chef so these little things make me crazy. All this being said I love your books and can't wait to read the next one.
Cleo's reply: Hey, there! Great to hear from you and thanks for the note! Good catch! You are absolutely right. The sauce should have been bordelaise! It was correct in an early draft and through the editing process was changed to Bearnaise in error - but I'm happy to report that this is going to be corrected in the next printing. (Great news, too -- French Pressed is indeed going into a new printing! Wee-haaa!)
The vegetable station thing is not a factor, however. The sauce was thrown on Joy by her enraged boss during a dressing down in the restaurant kitchen. There were many sauces used in the kitchen that night, of course, and it was never stated that the sauce came from Joy's veg station. Still, I'm glad you were able to enjoy the book anyway! Because you are a pro, I'd love to hear from you again with kitchen tips or favorite recipes - feel free to e-mail me at VillageBlend@aol.com. I'd be glad to post them with your name/background, etc...
Java joy to you,
Hello!! I'm Japanese your fan!! I'm going to reading 5th book just now!! (not finished),very exciting, interesting!! Your books are so nice!! I buy it on every sale 1st day!! I'm wating for your 6th book!! Thanks...
Cleo's reply: Thank you for posting, Miho!
I am so happy that you enjoy my books! I love my Japanese editions. I especially love the cover art.
To everyone reading my books in English: The Japanese editions feature Java, the coffeehouse cat. Check out the Japanese cover of LATTE TROUBLE -Coffeehouse Mystery #3). >>>>>>>>
Notice Java holding the bottle of "Latte" and reading a "New Fashion" magazine! Too cute!
Thank you for posting, Miho! I hope you continue to read and enjoy my little books. My publisher in Japan (Random House Kodansha) just picked up the rights to publish my latest Coffeehouse Mystery - ESPRESSO SHOT. Clare goes through a lot in that book, and I think you'll really enjoy it. Look for the Japanese edition to hit print in 2009!
Joy to you,
CLEO WILL REPLY TO MORE POSTS ALL WEEK...
Just finished Through the GrinderI just finished the second book to the coffeehouse series (I read the haunted bookshop series first) and it's my favorite so far. I love when Clare invents 'Fuego', I laughed out loud. Mostly because Matteo sounds like my ex-husband (sad for me) and for a moment I pictured him rather than Matteo and couldn't contain myself. I also love how you observe the difficulties of a relationship-especially when Clare recalls meeting Matteo for the first time and realizes that he wanted her most when she was walking away. I had a dysfunctional marriage myself; and Clare's character gives me a little hope that maybe I can start over too. It may be just a mystery series, but Frued said that we internalize what we see, hear and read to make the image of ourselves and heal what ails us. Thanks for the wonderful therapy! ---Amanda W in Tennessee
Working my way up!!!
Congratulations on Espresso Shot. I'm currently reading Decaffinated Corpse and trying to get to the newest as soon as possible. I've recently started classes for my Associates in Paralegal and dumped the job from hell for a low stress one all at the same time. This is still only half of the plans that I have to complete for the year. I just love when the watershed years finally turns into that year when you do the so called "house cleaning" before you go bonkers. But then againg I am 35 and WHOOO. I was worried that "finally" would be my only posting for this sight and I really enjoy this spot. Especially with my early morning coffee from The Little Coffeeshop of Horrors. Its a caramel blend called Shock a Rama. Anyway, thank you for the warm comfort of the books and recipes. They have been a sanity saver.
Your Buttermilk Apple Snack Cake RecipeI am so into instant gratification. So I took your snack cake recipe and nuked it. I used an 8 inch by 1 1/2 inch round pan (microwaving cooks corners into bricks) and microwaved it at 50% power on the rotating turntable checking every 2 minutes until it was done. Since microwave ovens vary so greatly I won't attempt to tell anyone an exact time but it was in the "less than ten minutes" range. I let it rest until I could handle it reasonably safely. Not until it was cool (see first line). Yummy. Not chocolate, but still yummy. Thanks!
I love your books!
I just wanted to say I love both the Coffee Shop and Haunted Bookshop series. I was wondering if you ever considered writing a murder book combining all the characters from both series. I can't wait til January for your next book.
Reading your books in order using the Kindle.I am partway through "Through the Grinder". Just wanted to drop you a note that ALL seven of your books are available for the Kindle on Amazon.com. I don't think your books are lightweight at all. Please put me on your mailing list at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mike, Fairbanks, AK
BLOG BOOK REVIEWHey, I have a web site which includes reviewing food related murder mysteries and I just encountered the first of your series, ON WHAT GROUNDS? So, please stop by and check out the site? The url is http://www.cookingwithideas.typepad.com -- leave a note and/or let me know if you'd be willing to do an interview.
I love your books,as I finish one, I want to read another pronto!YOur books are wonderful mysteries. I like the way the coffee information is interspersed throughout, and Claire's amateur detective pursuits.I so admire her ex mother-in-law, Madame Dubois. She jumps right in to assist whenever a crime needs to be solved. And of course, there's Matteo, her ex, and partner of the Village Blend, and last but not least. Detective Mike Quinn, who really cares for Clair, but is married. For me, each book is better than the last. Thank you for your mystery stories. Marion Philadelphia, Pa
LOVED FRENCH PRESSED
This is the first book I've read by you and couldn't put it down. In fact, I finished in 2 days. I'm a coffee lover and loved it. Can't wait to read your others now.
Thanks so much! : )
I just wanted to thank you for your fabulous and very thoughtful reply to my earlier post (Rallying for Matteo). I can't wait to see where you take the story next, and I'm definitely in for the journey! I think it's awesome that you have this forum and take the time to communicate with your fans. I really appreciate it, and for the record, your stories count as literary works in my book. : )
She's Back--With Another New Coffee MakerWas gone gone gone (volunteer gig) for a while and missed my daily dose of your Coffee House chat. . . . I was really grateful to the coffee goddess when my new coffee pot went toes up after less than a week! And even better, my BFF bought me a new Grind and Brew with a thermal pot. The costly model! Drinking great coffee once again and not at all afraid of breaking the pot. After a month of bad hotel coffee. . .Isn't life grand! But the instructions for the new maker were weird. All about setting the clock, the timer, the brew settings and then??? Huh! What? "To fill reservoir, unplug coffeemaker." Um, uh, well, um, doesn't that just undo all the settings you walked me through? Reading the 'Fine' Manual doesn't always get you to your goal. Thanks again for the virtual brownies, Nessie in my cup and the always delightful newsletter in my Inbox, but most of all for finishing your next book for my next reading fix come January!
Wonderful ReadsI love everything you write! I hope you keep the series going for a long time because I fully plan to pass these down to my kids, when I have them.
Making the perfect cup.I was just wondering if you have any advice on making the perfect cup of coffee? I have an auto-drip and a french press. I make the coffee just like the instructions but sometimes it seems really weak. Do you think that buying whole beans makes a difference in the final cup? Thank you --Kathy, Cottonwood Hieghts
That Jack is a bad bad ghost. I certainly hope he didn't enjoy any treats last night and got a few tricks for his mischief. Actualy I guess we should thank him since that "Alice Babe" is so stingy with her previews. Now the waiting is all the harder. Could you possibly talk to Alice and have her pass along a request from me to Penelope, the next time Penelope and Jack are in his office, kick his ghostly behind for tampering with Alice's computer and leaving her readers in dyer distress. That was the best Halloween e-mail I got.
Thanks for the preview.
—Rusty in Plainfield
Thank you for posting, Rusty!
Cleo's reply to come soon...
Coincidence? or is it?
I am in the middle of reading The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library and low and behold I get a message from Jack. Spooky! I am just starting the Bookshop series and I've read all but Espreso Shot but I do have it to read soon. I'm hooked and I envy both of their jobs. I'm looking forward to reading them all. I may even read a little Poe again. Thanks for the great reads.
Thank you for posting, KES!
Cleo's reply to come soon...
Thanks for the Halloween treat !!!
Just read the excerpt from the new Ghost book....most intriguing ! Jack and Pen make a great pair! look forward to reading it. Hope you had a "boo-tiful" Halloween ! and got lots of treats!!!
—Mary T Appleton WI
Thank you for posting, Mary T!
Cleo's reply to come soon...
This was a GREAT book. I just love Mike. He and Clare are a great team, of course Clare and Matteo are a great team also. The plot was amazing. I read the book in a few hours. I can't wait for the next one. The haunted bookshop books are just as amazing. What is better than coffee and a good bookshop mystery.
Thank you for posting! Cleo's reply to come soon...
I love you books. Thank you for giving me some enjoyment while dealing with stressful family problems. They take me away. Is Matteo growing up?
Thank you, Sharon C!
Cleo's Reply to Come Soon...
Rallying for Matteo : )
I am a huge fan of all your wonderful books. : ) I was recently laid up with the flu, but the bright side was that I finally had some time to re-read books one through six of your coffeehouse series and to read Espresso Shot for the first time. : )
Espresso Shot was another great book, extremely well-written (as always) and a very compelling mystery. * spoiler deleted *
Clare and Matteo are an unbeatable team, and I'd be so sad if their days of sleuthing, bantering, and (uh, I guess slightly dysfunctional, LOL) romancing were over...humorous [too] - I just about fell over laughing when Clare passed Matt off as air-headed model "Fuego" in book two [Through the Grinder]...
P.S. My husband thinks I'm crazy for being so emotionally invested in a mystery series, but it is a true testament to your writing skills that your fans care so much about these characters. : ) Thank you so much for such a great series and for hearing me out - best wishes to you! : )
Hi, Terri B - thank you for posting!
Okay, first off, OF COURSE we get invested emotionally in story and characters. Darn right!
Story is how
we live our lives...
...from the news stories that we listen to on television and radio and read in the (print and online) newspapers, to the way we talk about and even REMEMBER our lives ("...and then we went here and did this...") to even our religions, which are rich in the tradition of telling stories by which we live. ("The Book of...")
Don't be too hard on your husband though - he is *male*, after all and we women just *get* this so much more powerfully than they do - I'm joking a little, but, frankly, we ARE wired to be different in that way, to care more about social, emotional, and bonding cues. But that's okay! That's why our daughters are doing so well in the world!
Sure, my characters (of Clare and Matt and Madame and Mike) are fictional. These stories are "made up" - but you have a real, actual person writing these stories (me) in collaboration with her own husband (Marc).
Yes, it's "fiction," but we are drawing on our real experiences and emotions. That's why the characters seem real...
We aren't doing our jobs as writers if we don't bring our personal insights to these characters to bring them to life.
Of course, the Coffeehouse Mysteries are just light, comedic mystery tales. They are "popular" fiction not literary works—but believe me, any writer in any genre must create believable, dimensional characters and relationships if that writer wants his or her readers to care about his or her characters.
Craft is craft.
A high-priced gourmet restaurant can serve you a totally crap meal while a little unassuming diner can give you the very best food in the world, you know? It's all in the execution, in how much the chef cares about what he's creating. And we do try to "cook" with care in the Coyle house. Thank you sincerely for believing this of us, Terri. We are certainly trying!
As to Clare and her ongoing relationship with her ex-husband Matteo, if you read Espresso Shot, then you must have read the passage on page 140 that explains something vital to the reader:
"Love is fleeting. But a partnership where two people thoroughly understand each other? Well, that can last forever."
—Page 140, ESPRESSO SHOT,
In other words, Terri: I LOVE Matteo, too! And Matt is an important part of Clare's life and he's not going away.
As to the end of Espresso Shot, here's the thing:
Changing the lives of the characters in any fictional series can be a risk. But writing a series for a long time and NOT letting the characters' lives progress can have drawbacks, too. For one thing, scenes between unchanged main characters can start to read as if they've been done before—and that's never a good thing for the reader or the writer.
But I DO know what you're reallying asking, Terri...
Will Clare and Matt ultimately end up together in years to come?
Maybe. Maybe not...
We'll just have to keep writing and see where the journey of the story takes us!
I sincerely hope that you will stick with us on this "journey" and keep reading. As we said, Matt's not going anywhere and —who knows!—you may find that there are all new ways to be entertained at the Village Blend, and all new characters to meet and love as a result of this story turn.
One reason your post is awesome is because it illustrates why Espresso Shot may end up being the best Coffeehouse Mystery yet to bring to a reading group. There is MUCH to *chew on* in this one!
And that's okay. You know why? Because...
Crime is messy.
And so is Life...
Choices are hard and they can always be debated - and that's the fun of reading and reading groups.
People often react differently to what they read, depending on their outlooks, values, and experiences. Two people may judge a character or situation very differently...
"Why does Nancy like Mike but Tina prefer Matt? What's up with that?! And why does Anna think the murderer was heartless and brutal but Deb thinks the murderer was sadly justified?!"
In talking over our reactions to fictional characters and their actions, we're bound to gain a little insight into ourselvs as human beings - and into other people, too, if they see things differently than we do.
And that's why I hope one day I can sit in on some reading groups and listen to what a variety of readers have to say about Clare and Matt and Mike and Madame and the funny and strange little stories that take place at the Village Blend. Until then, this message board is a great substitute!
Warmest wishes, Terri,
& thanks again for posting!
P.S. Click here if you'd like to read the Q&A our publisher recently posted with me and my husband.
I just finished Espresso Shot
I just finished "Espresso Shot" and wanted to tell you that I enjoyed it tremendously!! I hope I don't have to wait too long for your next coffeehouse mystery--please keep up the good work and thanks again for such wonderful reading enjoyment!
—Pat Bethlehem, PA
Pat, thank you!! What a wonderful note - you made my morning! I am also thrilled that you are from Bethlehem, PA!
My husband and I were born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. and I remember many a Christmas season, driving home to Pittsburgh (from New York) to see my parents and looking forward to seeing the "star" of Bethlehem, shining on your town's highest hill as I drove through the winter night.
Wishing you java joy,
The Midnight Presser
I am slowly converting my fellow nurses to the path of Everlasting Taste with judiciously timed cups of GOOD coffee. I have 2 of them come up and ask me (in a whisper)"when are you making coffee?" and "what kind of coffee did you bring tonight?" The one nurse that loved my IRW is making a list of the ones she likes best for her first order. I think she'll be spending some money.
BTW, Cleo, speaking of money, I had to buy a bag of Esmeralda Especiale after reading Espresso Shot. I haven't had the perfect moment to brew a cup yet but I did open the bag and chew a bean. Very nice, mild with a light tea overtone...and since your next (FREE COFFEE) drawing is on my birthday (I'm celebrating the annivesary of my 29th birthday, thank you), maybe I'll be the winner! Who knows!...
P.S. I personally vote for Galadriel. Beautiful, powerful, but with the potential to be a Dark Queen, never to pass into the East.
Cleo's reply: Hi again, Nurse Judy! I laughed reading about your fellow nurses joining the ranks of the "coffee converted" - people who don't think much of a cuppa joe can't be made to understand, but...as I've said before on this site, when I was in college - back when "Starbuck" was just a character in a Melville novel and going to an "espresso bar" wasn't something suggested outside of Rome, Italy - I drank cup after cup of TERRIBLE coffee from the CMU Tartan Grill (think mud left to sludg-ify forever on a Bunn burner poured into a paper cup and made drinkable by a ton of milk and sugar) - after that I SWORE that I would NEVER drink crappy, old coffee again if I could help it. And the rest is history.
I like your take on Galadriel-Breanne - Dark Queen indeed! And let me know what you think of the Esmeralda Especiale (Panama coffee that I wrote about in Espresso Shot - I'll be writing more about it on the site very soon). The flavor profile changes as the coffee cools - I sampled an earlier harvest than the one you have now - went from a lemony, juicy flavor to a slight note of apple.
Per the newsletter - check your e-mails, I sent you replies.
Java joy always,
P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
(I do the 29 again thing, too! The only way to go!)
Here's a virtual champagne toast, just for you...
Hi Cleo, Thanks for the cheesecake. I have just finished Espresso Shot and thought it was great, keep them coming. To answer your question, it's Arcadia, Florida.
A true fan,
Cleo's reply: AHHHH! Arcadia, Florida! Gotcha! Just found your city on Google Maps - I'm guessing about a two hour drive east from Sarasota? Can't imagine you have a problem with snow or ice or cold winters down there!! I'm sure the heat of summer's gone by now, too. I hope you enjoy the fall - and I thank you again for reading my little Coffeehouse books - especially in the middle of what I'm sure is tea-drinking country!
I'm thrilled you enjoyed Espresso Shot! Here's two more slices of "virtual" cheesecake for you, Sandra!
FYI: These slices are from "Juniors' Cheesecake" - a 50 year old New York cheesecake company that makes just about the best authentic NY cheesecake I have ever tasted.
(If any site visitors want to learn more about "Junior's" just click here or on the above photo to visit their retro Website - they have an online store and will ship anywhere. The slices are SO rich that a very thin piece with a fresh cuppa joe is enough to make anyone happy, happy!!)
Java joy to you again,
I absolutly love your work. I am always on the look out for your next piece. Are you planning on releasing your work in audio format anytime soon? It would be a dream come true to be able to listen while on the go. Thanks again for your wonderful stories.
JC - Texas
Hi JC from the great state of Texas!
Thank you in the extreme for reading my books! I think AUDIO books are wonderful. I'm sorry to tell you, however, that my books are not yet adapted into audio format. I certainly would like to see it happen - I think with their snappy dialog and fast-paced plotting the Coffeehouse Mysteries would adapt well to being read aloud.