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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.
Espresso Shot..on Berkley Prime Crime !!!!!
Congrats ! I just got my newsletter from Berkley Prime Crime..and there you are ! Great! and there is Espresso Shot too.. and..a great Q and A section. Fun to read!
Cleo's reply: Thanks, Mary! The Q&A was fun to do! For anyone who would like to read the Q&A with Cleo Coyle, click here.
The link will take you to my publisher's HOME PAGE - where the October mysteries are featured.
Look in the left column of the page and you will see the Q&A with Cleo Coyle feature. You can sign up for the Berkley Prime Crime Newsletter, too, if you like.
Thanks again, Mary! You're the best!
Your books should be a television series
I would watch it all the time and set my DVR!!! I LOVE THE BOOKS and I am halfway through Espresso Shot. I am trying to take my time on this one so it will last a bit longer. So when is the series going to be on HBO? That would be fanatastic ;-) Thanks for another great book. I always look forward to the releases!
Cleo's reply: Hi, Jenn H.! Wouldn't it be great to see Clare & Matt & Madame sleuthing on our TV screens? Well, stay tuned...anything's possible! You never know what could be up next for Clare Cosi!
Free Newsletter (note to Cleo)
Dear Cleo, tried to click on the spot for your free newsletter, but I was having a problem with my computer,so decided to go this way. I am presently reading your coffeehouse mystries, and so far I love everyone of them. Please send me your newsletter. My e-mail address is (deleted for privacy)...
Miss Patricia Rynes
Cleo's reply: Hi, Patricia! Your e-mail address has been added to my newsletter subscriber list. Thanks for signing up - and thanks especially for reading my books! I sincerely hope you continue to enjoy them.
Java joy to you,
Books in the Time of Depression (Economic, that is...)
"This data confirms what librarians have seen from experience - that in times of economic difficulties people turn to their libraries...." So says ALA President John W. Berry. So while sales of books may be down (sadly), your readership might just be increasing quietly and when the economy turns around you and Sisyphus will be singing the "money in the bank song."
Best wishes for a personal economic boom,
Cleo's reply: Thanks "geekette" - (IMO) The American Library Association is like the old "E.F. Hutton" commerical - When ALA speaks, I listen!
This publishing biz has so many ups and down, writers just have to keep a sense of humor to keep their sanity. (For those of you who haven't noticed, my first hardcover released the same week as the worst stock market crash since the Great Depression! Oh, joy.)
On the UP side, I do have many loyal fans and the Starred Review for ESPRESSO SHOT from Library Journal should help, too...but, you know, if this economic downturn ends up driving people in greater numbers to our nation's libraries, then it's not all bad. (Let's just hope we can all continue to pay our dang grocery and electric bills!)
Really nice to see you in my virtual coffeehouse again, geekette! Come on back anytime. Here's a plate of virtual chocolate brownies in thanks for stopping by - enjoy them with an espresso or a nice dark pot o' French roast!!
Geekette's earlier post - reposted
Being the ADHD person I have already admitted to being, it probably is no surprise that I go through coffee carafes like they were ->supposed<- to be disposable. Last week, yet again, I went searching for a replacement pot for my fave coffee brewer, my Melitta Mill and Brew. Only available on the web, I couldn't live that long without my "aroma-alarm-clock" and bought a Cuisinart Grind and Brew locally instead of a replacement carafe for which I would have to wait. The difference in my morning wake-up-cup was alarming. Same beans, same twice-filtered water, not the same taste. Gone was the 'edge,' or 'tang.' Maybe the difference is in the paper cone filter rather than the permanent filter? Maybe it is the fact that Cuisinart sends only a portion of the water into the grounds while sending the majority of the heated water in to the pot. . .Either way, next month I am sending twenty bucks over the 'Net to replace my carafe. Maybe I should buy two. The Mill and Brew were as close to my French Press (which I also broke)as I have ever come. Really, I don't always whine.
(Latte Art for Geeks )
e-PS Caffeine is like ritalin, a stimulant, which is why it works to focus an ADHD, or ADD brain. (Thanks for Nessie in my cup o'joe. Oh, look a monkey! snicker. snicker. I had a dog named "Chessie." You do get the idea. It's like having a brain that constantly free-associates. We can be creative. Ask anyone who has ever seen me write code. No spaghetti.)
Ha! (Could write more, but really why? - Ha! says it all!)
No kidding - coffee is SERIOUS stuff. When you're used to a routine of brewing - and it gets mucked up - then it's an ISSUE! For sure, I feel your pain.
So what code do you write? Computer, right? You're not working for the CIA, are you? (That's the Central Intelligence Agency - not to be confused with the Culinary Institute of America. People often make that mistake. They call for a pastry chef and get an undercover operative.) —CC
JOY ALLEGRO: Needs Therapy
1 Dates pigs of men 2 Slept with a man who was 30 years older 3 Found Vinny dead 4 Acts bratty and rude 5 Likes mom when it's convenient 6 Daddy's girl 7 Nice when she wants to be 8 Needs a reality check 9 Picks HORRIBLE boyfriends And the #1 reason is... 10. SHE DID COCAINE IN A BATHROOM STALL!!!
Cleo's reply: Okay, that is hilarious. No kidding. Thanks for making me laugh today!
Of course, when you think about it: 1. Dates pigs of men and 9. Picks HORRIBLE boyfriends are pretty close to the same thing. On the OTHER hand, Joy really is so bad at picking boyfriends that maybe that vice SHOULD be on their twice, LOL!
Hey, keep smiling! And keep reading. Clare's daughter behaves a little bit better in the latest Coffeehouse Mystery: Espresso Shot (notice I said "a LITTLE bit")...after the shock of what she went through in FRENCH PRESSED, therapy was not necessary to help straighten the girl out! LOL!
Thanks again for making me laugh.
Hopefully Answered Questions and Notes
Okay so think about it avid coffee readers if Clare meets Mike's kids (Viviana) it will be awesome. Kudos, I didn't even think about that. Their relationship will be brought to a better level. His ex-wife is such a butthead. Matteo is on the rebound and is getting married because of it. They do have pills for that. Does Breanne die? Does Madame go back to McTavish? Do Clare and Mike get married instead? Does Joy get help? Because she needs it
Cleo's reply: Continued amusement. Per "his ex-wife is such a butthead." LOL. And, yes, you will meet Mike's ex and his kids in future books for sure. In the meantime, enjoy a big muffin! A virtual one that is - in thanks for posting in my virtual coffeehouse!
Clare is a wonder woman
I think great people have great balance, and with an overly snooping ex mother in law, managing a business, a daughter with hmm *cough* hmm issues, an overly fornicating ex hubby and her new and improved love life, she has a full plate with steaming side dishes of murder and remembering to feed her cat on time. You go coffee girl!!!
Cleo's reply: Great post. Yes! Clare is a wonder woman, all right. But then, from what I've seen, so many women out there are, too - juggling motherhood, jobs/careers, anxieties about their kids' and grandkids' futures, obligations to their spouses and their own parents. No woman can be perfect trying to deal with all that - and neither is Clare Cosi. But there sure is a lot to admire in the trying...
Thanks again for the post! Here's a "virtual" big cookie just for you to virutally munch on with a nice, warm cup o' Breakfast Blend - in thanks for dropping by my "virtual" Village Blend coffeehouse!
A Book Signing Tour?
Denver is a great city for books and coffee - is there any chance you will be doing a signing tour for Espresso Shot? I love the Coffeehouse Mysteries not only for the coffee tips but they are also very good mysteries! The Haunted Bookshop novels with their great characters are wonderful as well. Thanks for many long nights of reading.
—Donna from Denver
Cleo's reply: Hi Donna from Denver! Thank you so much for posting. I most definitely will include Denver on any author-signing tour/trip. I even have some family there - so a signing in CO would be a real treat! Stay tuned - I'm going to try to plan something in 2009 - best possible event would a coffee-tasting, mystery talk, and book signing so it will be a chance to really spend some time with people who have been reading and enjoying the series. And, again, Denver will be a stop for sure.
Java joy to you, Donna - (Here's a virtual latte art pour in thanks for stopping by my virtual coffeehouse!)
Happy Thanksgiving Cleo
Here in Canada it's Thanksgiving weekend, mmmm I can just taste the Turkey dinner I'll be eating on Monday already. I got all better but guess what? I'm sick AGAIN!!! arrrrrgh why me? lol all those posts are making me want to read your new book...lol.
—Chelle from Canada's Coffee Coast *Cough Cough*
Cleo's reply: Hi again, Chelle from Canada! Apologies for taking a little while to answer. I certainly hope you're feeling better (* Gesundheit - Gesundheit *)!
(a little late!)
so when will the next one arrive?
Cleo's reply: Well...Espresso Shot is available now. That's the latest Coffeehouse Mystery. The next book to release will be a new mystery in the series I write under my other pen name Alice Kimberly....
The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion (by Alice Kimberly - Book #5 in the Haunted Bookshop mystery series) will be coming out January 2009. (Click on the dancing ghost in the left column to learn more about this series and this book...)
Later in 2009, look for a brand NEW Coffeehouse Mystery (#8 in the series). I'm working on the book now and having a great time writing it! I'll tell you more on this site and in a future newsletter. Stay tuned!
New Book Arrives!
I just received my copy of Espresso Shot and can't wait to read this one. A beautiful cover design to it also. I loved French Pressed so much. I have pre-ordered the next Haunted Bookshop Mystery: The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion, those books are so impressive as well. Love your books, Cleo, and I was thrilled to have been a winner of Joe's Vienna Roast Coffee this month! Thanks so much.
—Lorraine from Allentown, PA
Cleo's reply: Congratulations again, Lorraine! I hope you enjoy the book AND the Joe's Vienne Roast coffee, too!!
LOVING THE WARM ENDING
You are my favorite mystery author EVER!!! This was perfect with a plate of PB and Nutella sandwich with milk! I'm so glad Matteo finds his one true love and most of all Clare has the duplex all to herself (oo lala!) Will Clare get to meet Mike's kids? I think it would be interesting.
Clare Cosi/Cleo Coyle's fan
You made my day, Viviana!
* Hugs to you *
I really like your idea on Mike's kids...hmmmm....since I'm working on Coffeehouse Mystery #8 right now - title to come soon - that gives me some interesting food for thought...(I'll let you know more as the new Coffeehouse tale progresses!)
In the meantime, here is a cuppa "virtual" Latte Art (with Heart) in thanks for your very kind words. Again, thanks for lifting me up today. It's readers like you who make me want to keep writing.
Java joy to you always,