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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...
Coffee Cooking & Espresso Stationary link
There's a great little store down the road from me called Applewood (Just Like Grandma's) Tea parlour. They also sell stuff like lavender spray for your bed sheets and old fashioned things too.
While in there last time I came across a whole line of Coffee stationary like a cookbook that holds recipe cards, note pads, one note pad had a frazzled lady with her hair all over the place and it said "I need my Coffee NOW!, there were grocery list pads with Coffee at the top of the list too lol.
Here's the link for the whole Espresso Line of stationary they carry. Click here for the link.
from Canada's Coffee Coast
Cleo's reply: Hi Chelle! Love the line of products. I checked it out and activated your link. Here's a pic of the Espresso cookbook you described. Very cool - or should I say hot coffee?!
The Applewood tea parlor sounds adorable, too. Nice to have a store like that nearby!
Thanks for the tip from way up North (compared to NYC anyway).
Java joy to you,
Coffee Maker Hacked
RE: Jura Coffeemaker
The link below is to an article about Web security for a brand of coffeemaker that can be programmed on the Internet. http://www.securityfocus.com/archive/1/493387
The idea -->was<-- to make your coffee via the 'Net. . .but it's vulnerable to hackers who can do fun-for-them things with your Jura coffee maker like: 1. Change the preset coffee settings (make weak or strong coffee) 2. Change the amount of water per cup (say 300ml for a short black) and make a puddle 3. Break it by engineering settings that are not compatible (and making it require a service.
Cleo's reply: Interesting! You know, you've really got to wonder about the mentality of an individual who wants to mess up someone's coffee maker settings. The world is truly full of looney tunes.
Here's a picture of the automatic coffee/espresso maker you posted about. Love the price tag ($1,798.00) No, I did not make a mistake with the decimal point. This bad boy is nearly two thousand Benjamins. It better make a damn fine cup is all I've got to say!! Actually, after reading about its features, I have to say that I would probably purchase this if I were running a bookshop (say) and wanted to start selling espressos to customers. In other words, it's good for someone who needs no-brainer, good-quality espresso-making technology in a push-button machine (since the thing grinds, tamps, and brews automatically).
Click here to read more about this coffeemaker or (if you've got more bucks than moi!) even purchase it for yourself.
Weighing In on the Mike/Matt Debate
In an ideal world she could have it all but I gotta say, both guys come with a lot of baggage. With that being said, who doesn't! I think Mike is the better choice for Clare, don't get me wrong, Matt is a good guy and kudos to him growing up and changing but there's a lack of trust there that might never be able to be built again. Mike also lets Clare be Clare while Matt is constantly trying to make her back into the woman he married. I'm only up to Murder Most Frothy so I have no idea what actually happens with this weird love triangle. I do have to say, I'm not a fan of Breanne. For a guy who likes to do the controlling, it's so odd to see Matt with a woman like her! I think he should be paired with a more down to earth woman who likes sports and can deal with the harsh climates of Africa....I don't know, I think Matt needs a woman like that. That would be an interesting triangle...someone similiar to Clare but not her...oooo, she would be so mad. Ok. Sorry! In conclusion, I like Mike and Clare together :) They just sort of fit comfortably together..and I'm sure the sparks between them doesn't hurt! OH! One more thing. I love how you write about New York, I'm a New Yorker as well. I live in Queens, work and chill in Manhattan but when I read your stories I find myself learning something new about my city.
Thanks for reading my rambling!
Cleo's reply: Cleo to post a reply this weekend! Excellent post!!
Welcome Back Java!!!
Just wanted to let ya'll know Java was splendid in French Pressed. Really enjoyed the book. As far as who Clare should choose, that is up to her (Java might just have some say in the matter also). Also finished The Ghost and the Femme Fatale; great as well!
—Catherine Lane of Amarillo
Cleo's reply: Cleo to post a reply soon! (She received your wonderful e-mail, also, Catherine! Thank you! She'll answer both soon!)
LOVING the series
Re-posted from e-mail to VillageBlend@aol.com
LOVING the series....and I'm learning so much about coffee!! I always thought I didn't like espresso, but now I'm thinking that I've never had a really good cup! I'm on the hunt this summer in the Long Beach CA area for a real cup of espresso.
Thanks for writing!
Cleo's reply: To come soon...
CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEW ONES
Re-posted from e-mail to VillageBlend@aol.com
I REALLY LIKE YOUR BOOKS. I JUST FINISHED READING THE COFFEEHOUSE MYSTERIES AND NOW I'M READING THE HAUNTED BOOKSTORE MYSTERIES. CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEW ONES TO COME OUT. THANKS FOR WRITING THESE TWO MYSTERY SERIES. THEY ARE RELAXING TO READ AND KEEP ME ENTERTAINED ALSO. THANKS AGAIN.
Cleo's reply: To come soon . . .
Thanks for the writing
Re-posted from e-mail to VillageBlend@aol.com -
I discovered your Haunted Bookshop series quite by serendipity. And, as I had recently spent around six years working in a community library it fit for me on that level as well as being one of the readers who enjoys a good fulsome mystery. Now that I have discovered (or stumbled upon the knowledge) that you also write the Coffeehouse Mystery series, I will be starting on those from the first one. I worked in a small local coffeehouse approximately twenty years ago (here in Sacramento, CA)... back when it was not so "happening" and got to experience being a bar tender and seller of coffee beans. I have been very spoiled for really good coffee ever since too! I make a really "stout" cup of coffee to this day.
Thanks for the writing,
Cleo's reply: To come soon . . .
COFFEE GOOD FOR YOUR HEART
Hi....good news for us coffee lovers !!!!
Click here for the link to the story about coffee and health.
—Mary T, Appleton WI
Cleo's reply: Thanks, Mary! I activated the link so everyone can read the article. This is BIG news and I'll post more about it in my right column soon.
In thanks for stopping by my virtual coffeehouse, here's a virtual latte to warm your heart!
Java joy to you,
Poem Remembered - By Poe?!
Hello!! I just started my visits to the Haunted Bookshop, and I'm on the verge of getting hooked.
Loved The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library especially :-) ...
Quick question: Who wrote the poem at the end of the story?
Cleo's reply: You're the first person to ask that question! And the answer is: I wrote the poem.
THE GHOST AND THE DEAD MAN'S LIBRARY (written under my pen name Alice Kimberly) as well as the "lost" poem attributed to Edgar Allan Poe ("Remembered") were both written by me in absolute tribute to Mr. Poe.
I asked for Mr. Poe's okay to do this, by the way, during a pilgrimage to his gravesite and old home in Baltimore, Maryland. (See photo.)
When I think of Edgar Allan Poe's work and how modern it was, how complex and accurate in presenting psychological pain, I continually marvel at the time he wrote: PRE-Civil War! Astounding. He was a true pioneer with an amazing imagination and the first well-known American writer to attempt to earn a living through selling his writing alone (something I'm struggling to do right now in his tradition - LOL)! Poe's contemporaries, by the way, (James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, etc.) were independently wealthy and did not need the income from their writing.
In my opinion, Poe's work reads as almost one-hundred years ahead of its time, before the establishment of modern psychology in the early 20th century. Yet his stories are as vital, moving, and accurate to the human condition now as they were almost two-hundred years ago.
Edgar Allan Poe was a true genius as well as the father of today's detective story (not to mention a pioneer in the genre of science ficition). My hat continually tips to Mr. Poe, as it will forevermore.
FYI: In college, I wrote a lot of poetry and won an Academy of American Poets award for my work, so I knew I could mimic Mr. Poe's style - in tribute - with some amount of competence.
I did my best and can only hope that wherever Edgar Allan Poe is now, he is happy to see that HE is very well REMEMBERED indeed!
Thanks for asking, M!
oh that Jack!!!!
HI..just finished the Femme Fatale book... a great and fun read...that Jack....what a guy!! You mention several film noir movies I love..incl Laura, Double Indemnity..and Shadow of a Doubt.
One of my favs is Gilda...with Rita Hayworth. I checked out the cover for the Haunted Mansion...and am hooked already...and we have to wait til 09?? I am intrigued by the cover...esp Jack's hat on the post on the staircase.
Hi, Mary T
Sorry it's taken a little while to answer. I've been buried under a deadline. My head is STILL buried (writing that next Haunted Bookshop, actually - The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion, to pub Jan. 09), but I'm surfacing to say THANKS sincerely for the nice words about the latest book and especially Jack, a hard-boiled ghost any babe would find handy to have around. I know I would!
Don't you just love the old classic movies? I can't get enough of them. Gilda is wonderful as is Double Indemnity - but I think LAURA is probably my fave of the group.
For anyone curious, CLICK HEREto learn more about the movie Laura - it's dark but also fast-paced, a great mystery, and even romantic, with hunky Dana Andrews playing a tough homicide detective who falls head over heels for "Laura". It also has an upbeat ending, too, something a lot of cozy fans appreciate (which is why we're cozy fans)!
Java joy to you, Mary, come on back anytime to my virtual coffeehouse . . .