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you did it again! i read femme fatale in one day. its funny, romantic and suspenceful. love all the characters.
Cleo's reply: Hi, Linda! Thank you for your VERY kind words about my latest Haunted Bookshop mystery. I'm jazzed that you took the time and trouble to stop by my virtual coffeehouse to let me know you liked the book.
I wish I could whip you up a real latte or espresso, but alas, since I am only running a virtual coffeehouse, I can only offer you a virtual treat.
In that spirit, here's a virtual plate of delish chocolate brownies in thanks for stopping by.
Java joy to you & I hope you'll enjoy the next Haunted Bookshop, too. It's titled THE GHOST AND THE HAUNTED MANSION and will be hitting the store shelves in January 2009. Click here if you're interested in seeing an exclusive, early Adobe PDF version of the cover art.
Thank you for posting Jim Kerick's Memorial Day tribute
I have written before about loving your coffeehouse mysteries and requesting information about NYC coffeehouses, which you so graciously provided. I've also started reading your "Haunted Bookshop" series. I have to admit to enjoying the coffee mystery series more, however, that could be due to the fact that I am such a coffee lover! However, I had to write once again to thank you for posting Jim Kerick's beautiful memo. My father, husband, brother-in-law, and father-in-law were all in the Marine Corps. My first husband was in the Army, before being discharged to the Baltimore City Police Department, where he ultimately lost his life in the line of duty as a police officer. All of these brave men served their country in different wars. I want to thank Jim Kerick for his beautiful memo honoring the brave men and women who made it, and are making it, possible for all of us to enjoy our freedom. May God bless the veterans who made it back from those wars alive, and may He also bless those currently striving to keep us safe and free. I hope none of us ever forgets those who are memorialized on the special day set aside every May who gave their lives so that we may be free.
New Freedom, PA
Cleo's reply: Sherry, thank you! Jim Kerick posted the following THANK YOU to you, as well:
A reply to you for you note.
Thank you for the sacrifices you and your family have made to this nation and the freedoms we enjoy.
Also thank you for your comments about my writing. I find if very humbling that others relate to what I wrote. I would like to thank Cleo (and her friend Alice) who edited what I wrote and were gracious enough to post it.
French Pressed Praise
I just finished reading your latest Coffeehouse Mystery, French Pressed. I really enjoyed it. French Pressed was really excellent and took a close look at the gruesome details of the inner workings of a five-star New York kitchen. Clare’s daughter, Joy, becomes the prime suspect after Joy’s best friend, her boss, and arch rival are all murdered. Clare Cosi sets out to clear her daughter's name and make a coffee deal that could make her much richer.
I have read all six of your Coffeehouse Mysteries and French Pressed is the best yet. Clare is a great coffee-brewing-crime-fighting barista. Just when you think Clare found the murderer another character comes in with a solid motive. Matteo Allegro and Clare Cosi make a great team even if they are divorced. But I’m really happy that Clare and Detective Mike Quinn’s relationship is better than the one Clare had with Matteo.
Joy, Clare and Mateo’s daughter, really got herself into some trouble, almost being convicted of murder and all. In the end, Clare and Joy’s mother-daughter dynamic really helped them through it all. I still can’t believe that Matteo and Breanne Summour are getting married.
Madame, Matteo’s mother and Clare’s ex-mother-in-law and current boss, didn’t seem too happy about it though. When you wrote the epilogue of French Pressed, did you plan on having Madame freak out over Matteo’s engagement like she did?
It was so funny to have Madame tell Clare that Breanne was all wrong for Matteo. Do you think Madame will try and break up Matteo and Breanne’s engagement? Do you think that Matteo is going to get in the middle of Clare and Mike’s relationship? I mean Matteo kind of flipped out when he got home to find them in the coffeehouse together.
With the rate that Clare solves murders, the Village Blend should become a private investigating firm instead of a coffeehouse. I absolutely love your books. Clare is such a dynamic character, her personality becomes more complex with every chapter. Joy, Clare, and Matteo are a very dysfunctional, former family, but still keep it together. Mike Quinn adds some comic relief and crime solving expertise. Madame is in the middle of it all trying to keep Matteo and Clare from killing each other. French Pressed was a great book, I can’t wait to read you next installment in the Coffeehouse Mystery series.
Cleo's reply: WOW! What an excellent post, Nicole. Thank you for your thoughts. Thank you also for letting me know what you liked about the book. It made my night!
Cheers to you!
There is a simply amazing stain remover called "Soilove" that I use all the time. It says, "Safely removes blood, grease, ink, beverage stains, food, grass, perspiration and most other stains. For all colorfast fabrics." It's available in stores on the West coast but I order from www.soapsgonebuy.com. It hasn't let me down yet on a variety of stains. Best of luck!
Cleo's reply: Thanks, Karen! I activated your link for all the stain busters out there!
Kona Coffee scented after sun rub
Whole Foods sells an after sun rub that contains and smells like Kona Coffee. ... Can't remember the brand, but it's a green apple color with bits of yellow. It works, and you smell like YUM!
Cleo's reply: COOL! Thanks for posting! BEHOLD the Kona Happy Dance in your honor!
Will look for the KONA sun rub the next time I'm in Whole Foods - a delish place for treats, I must say. I've been to the 2 in New York City - Time Warner Center and Union Square. Our favorite treats for the Coyle house include: three-cheese mac and cheese at the Whole Foods hot foods area; Pre-packaged salads (goat cheese and dried cranberry salad is delish); Peet's coffee; Smoked salmon and fresh bagels. Would eat everything in the place but my Italian ass is taking up enough room in the universe as it is!
Kona joy to you!
Starting a B&N Coffee Chat night
Hi. I will contact the B&N store in Bismarck (It's the North Dakotan again) to see if we can set up a coffee klatch night, sharing our tips on cofee. Wish me luck, all.
Cleo's reply: Hey, there! If you end up having a Coffeehouse Mystery reading group one of those nights, let me know! I'll put the date, time, and location in my next newsletter and post it on the site.
That goes for anyone else reading this! Either post your reading group meeting here (date, time, location) or send info to me under subject heading "NOTE TO CLEO" at my mailbox VillageBlend@aol.com.
I'm happy to post CMreading group meetings in my newsletter and on my sight to help you get the word out.
Java joy to you!
Hi Cleo I was doing my grocery shopping today and found deoderant that smells like Vanilla Chai, wonder if they'll come out with coffee scented deoderant too? lol
Cleo's reply: Good question! See above, someone posted about "Kona" sun rub!
I received a Sony eReader for Valentine's Day and was able to get two of your books from the elibrary. Will you be releasing the rest of your coffeehouse mysteries for the eReader?
Cleo's reply: Hi, there! Here's what my publisher tells me about eBooks on their end: "We automatically convert all titles into formats for sale through e-book retailers. The formats are: Amazon Kindle, Sony, Adobe, MS Reader, and Palm."
Although I don't know about Sony's plans, I can tell you that Amazon has all of my Coffeehouse Mystery series in Kindle form except Decaffeinated Corpse. When I asked, they said it was scheduled for conversion. My guess is that anything not yet converted WILL be converted in the near future. In the meantime, I'm pretty sure my publisher is now making sure that NEW releases (such as FRENCH PRESSED and the upcoming ESPRESSO SHOT) will be available at the same time as the traditional book.
As for your question, you should probably check with Sony for more specific titles. If you only see a few now, just wait. I'm sure there will be more converted in the future (just like I found out with Kindle).
Ebooks are a whole new world for me, but I'm thrilled to know you're reading my books in ANY format! Thank you!
Java joy to you,
RAVEN'S BREW COFFEE
Hi—One of my favourite brands of coffee is Raven's Brew. Wondered if you had tried any of thier selections—there are many . Try some and see what you think—they are avaiable by website only, I believe—love the selection of the month.
Blessings and java joy,
Hi, Melanie! OMG, I LOVE the "Raven's Brew" motto "The last legal high." Now you KNOW Clare Cosi would agree. (That's her motto, too, in my Coffeehouse Mystery series!)
The Raven's Brew website is awsome and the original artwork for its packagin is gorgeous. Their coffees look wonderful! I'm very excited about your suggestion! Thank you! I'll try them out.
Anyone reading this can CLICK HERE to visit the RAVEN'S BREW site. (Click on artwork below to see a larger version.)
FYI: I'm especially impressed with the Alaska connection. My sister worked as a physician with the Native American Health Service on Alaska's remote west coast - Bethel, Alaska, a wild and exciting part of that state. I visited her there, and I'll never forget my experience.
I know how important the Raven is to the Alaska natives, too, so I appreciate the name of Raven's Brew. I look forward to trying their coffee on your recommendation!
Blessings and java joy to you, too, Melanie!
French Pressed is awesome
I gobble your books whenever I can. I loved the latest. I have a one-speed coffee grinder. In order to grind the beans for a French Press, do I cut down on the amount of time grinding?
Cleo's reply: Hey, there! Thanks for reading and the very nice words about my latest CM, FRENCH PRESSED. As for the grinder...You are right! To make coffee in a French press (also known as a coffee press - pictured here), you want a coarser grind to your beans. (Espresso requires a finer grind and drip a medium grind.) So, yes, grind the beans for less time for a coarser result and that should do the trick!
Coffee stains -- how do we get them out
Hello. I purchased some coffee at Trader Joe's in Las Vegas to take to the wilds of North Dakota. The coffee was already ground. The can burst open and the ground coffee is now on my entire wardrobe. I've brushed most of it off, but brown stains remain. ... Who else would know the answer if not Clare? Please help.
Cleo's reply: Dear Coffee Stained...(ACK! I sound like Dear Abby! LOL!) My only experience with coffee stains is the liquid kind, which I've never had a problem removing via regular laundry. I found the following suggestions on the Web that seemed pretty helpful. I haven't tried them, but maybe they will help you! Good luck and next time buy whole bean coffee! (Small grinders are not that expensive and you really do get a better experience if you grind your own beans. Coffee loses flavor the moment its ground. And it also messes up your luggage when it bursts open in transit. Or so I've heard. LOL!). Thanks for posting and for reading. Let me know if any of this works!
If anyone else has a suggestion, post away!
How To Remove Coffee Stains
From Your Clothes
By Mr Breakfast
(Click here for the link to this article):
Method One - Commercial Stain Remover
Saturate the dirty area with pretreatment laundry stain remover. Wait one minute for the product to penetrate the stain. Launder immediately.
Method Two - Vinegar
To remove coffee (and chocolate stains), mix one teaspoon of white vinegar in one quart of cold water. Sponge on stain and wipe clean.
Method Three - Egg Yolk Solution
Mix the yolk of an egg and a few drops of alcohol with a little warm water. Rub mixture on the stain with a sponge.
Method Four - Baking Soda
Sprinkle a little baking soda on a wet dishcloth to quickly remove coffee and tea stains.
Of the four methods, commercial stain removers do the best job. The other three are effective if you don't have access to laundry supplies -- a restaurant, for instance.
One final tip: if posssible never let a coffee stain set. The more dry the stain, the more rotten your chances are of removing it.
Question about Clare's ex-husband
Greetings from Cuba Missouri, home of Java.net. Our first ever book club started by the owner, Mary and her right hand pal, Jane, are enjoying your coffeehouse mystery series.
We have lively discussions about all your characters but I have one question for our next meeting and I hope you can help me with the answer.
Clare's ex-husband Matteo is the Blend's coffee buyer and an astute coffee broker. I am curious to know if all his coffee buying expeditions are just for the Blend or is he a buyer for other coffeehouses? I would think that the Blend could not possibly sell all the coffee that Matteo must buy since he gone a lot of the time. And if he is also enjoying the playboy lifestyle, how could he possibly afford it? Can the Blend afford him?
We all admit that between the Italian clothes and chisled body that he must be pretty hot. If you could expound a little on what he does, I will get to clue in the girls next week at our meeting. Thanks for your time and look forward to hearing from you.
Cleo's reply: Hi, Theresa! I LOVE JAVA.NET! And Mary Miller and Jane Reed are coffee goddesses! Jane recently sent me a copy of questions she composed for ON WHAT GROUNDS, THROUGH THE GRINDER, and even more recently, LATTE TROUBLE.
Inspired, I added to her questions and created downloadable PDF documents so that all of my Coffeehouse Mystery (CM) readers can use them. These documents are on my homepage right now, and you'll see, if you download them, that I thank Jane AND mention Java.net on the documents. You guys absolutely rock!
Okay, I'll try to answer your question. Yes, Matteo Allegro is quite the globe-trotting playboy. That's Clare's problem with him, of course, and why she divorced him. He's got plenty of virtues and one BIG vice: not being able to stay faithful in his marriage (not unlike a certain admired president I could name).
Yes, I think Matt is very much a man for our time, given our 8 years with a famously philandering president! Anyway, Clare still loves him. That's something she'll never be able to reconcile within herself. They have a daughter together and he's come through for her in many, many ways. AND they've known each other for decades. When someone knows you really well, becomes your friend and not just your husband, it's a relationship that may last a lifetime, even after the marriage dissolves. Relationships are complicated and fluid, and the older you get the more you understand that fixed roles are sometimes not the best way to continue connecting with someone you love.
Anyway, in ON WHAT GROUNDS (Coffeehouse Mystery #1) Matt is introduced as not only a coffee buyer for the Village Blend, which Clare manages, but also as a coffee broker. Look at page 228 of your mass market edition of ON WHAT GROUNDS and you'll see this. A broker would buy coffee in green form from a grower and sell it to a client. Coffee is a huge world commodity and fortunes are made and lost betting on its futures, too. Click here to read more about the coffee futures market.
Anyway, Matt also has other clients. Not other coffeehouses but other clients. There are plenty of wholesale roasters (in America, Europe, Japan, and other parts of the world) who would want to purchse quality coffeee bean lots. Matt would be able to evaluate and purchase prime lots because of his relationship with growers. When lots are auctioned, he would bid for himself, for the Blend, and for other clients.
Click here and the link will take you to the place where Matt would purchase Kenyan coffee. I discuss this excellent coffee in FRENCH PRESSED, my latest CM book.
The link above takes you to pictures from the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) in Kenya. You can read more about how coffees are auctioned there in my posted article on the HOME PAGE. Just go to my Home Page on this website and scroll ALL THE WAY down the page and look for the article in the CENTER column entitled "Cleo's March Coffee Pick: Kenya."
You'll see that I talk about how Kenya coffee is sold - at auction. Matt would go to this auction and bid on a lot that he'd then sell to the Village Blend as well as his other clients. He would take a commission for his time and expertise.
I haven't yet mentioned Matt's other clients because I'm only on book 6 of the series (actually book 7 is already finished! ESPRESSO SHOT is its title and it will be published in late September 2008).
Anyway, there was PLENTY about the coffee trade to talk on Clare's end of things (brewing, micro-roasting, and serving), so I'm waiting for a future book to further explore Matt's role in the coffee trade. For now, it's enough to say that Matt buys for the Blend but he also buys for wholesale roasters and brokers for coffee futures. That's where his money comes from! (But, you know, he's not rich, by any means. Both he and Clare have to work hard for their living and to put their daughter through culinary school.)
Here's a thought, Theresa... if Java.net wants to do a reading group around ESPRESSO SHOT in the fall (or any of the books in the series), we can set something up for me to respond to questions LIVE for you. I can't do it BEFORE October because of my tight schedule of deadlines. But I'm setting aside time to promote ESPRESSO SHOT and I'd be happy to "appear" at your reading group via the Intenet. (You don't have to discuss Espresso Shot. You can discuss any or all of the books at that time.)
I can be available to Java.net to receive e-mail questions for, say, a 30 minute period. I can answer questions in REAL TIME so everyone there can hear my answers and respond to me or each other. I never tried anything like this but it seems do-able...a kind of digital appearance for you guys at Java.net.
If you or Jane want to set something like this up, just drop me an e-mail that says "Java.net Note to Cleo" at VillageBlend@aol.com.
I hope that answers your question!
Java joy to you and everyone in your reading group at Java.net,
Not a fan of spooky but liked Haunted Bookshop!
Hey Cleo, I Just finished "The Ghost & Mrs McClure" and I loved it! Okay, so I was a bit hesitant to try this series because I generally don't like spooky, paranormal type subjects. As a die hard fan of the Coffee House series I should have known that if you wrote it - I would enjoy it, LOL! It's really wonderful and I can't wait to read the next book. Thanks so much for another great series. You rock!
–Karen from DeLand, FL
Cleo's reply: SO great to hear from you again, Karen. You rock, too! Everyone, Karen is the CM reader who suggested I try Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee. I tried it. Loved it. Featured it in February as my monthly coffee pick.
For anyone who'd like to learn more or purchase this great coffee, click here. I LOVE the "Rwandan Blend"
Ever since I posted about this roaster, I've been hearing from people who fell in love with the quality of their beans. DELISH. The coffee comes from Rwanda. The artisan farmers really know what they're doing and so does the roaster. Really high quality.
AND when you purchase their coffee, you are automatically contributing to a fund that helps Rwandan widows. That country went through a terrible genocide not long ago and they're still recovering. It's great to DRINK COFFEE AND DO GOOD! (their motto)...
So a big shout-out again to Karen in Deland, Florida, for letting us all know about it!! Thanks again, Karen. Stop back again anytime.
Java joy and blessings to you,
Java is back!!!!!!
I was tickled to read of Miss Java's relationship-boosting role in you latest! Then, to see a posting from me on this site, tooo, woweee! I totally approve of coffee -inspired named pets- just ask my 3-legged sweetie cat-Mr. Mocho!!!(It was Mocha until the vet decided she was a he!!) Thanks for the great reads! Here's to more Java high jenks!!
—Roxy georgetown tn
Cleo's reply: Thanks, Roxy! And thanks for the post about Java. Sending warm fuzzy thoughts to you and your Mr. Mocho! He and my Mr. Felloes sound like a pair!
Java joy to you and come on back now, y'hear?
Hello! It’s me, the java junkie (aka Christie)...
I've been meaning to drop a line or two to congratulate you on your #1 IMBA best seller! It’s so amazing to witness an author’s recognition, especially when your Coffeehouse Mystery series only gets better and better with each new addition. Also, the early cover version of THE GHOST AND THE HAUNTED MANSION looks fabulous. The color scheme really works. It might be my favorite yet! Any chance for information or a cover sketch on your next Coffeehouse Mystery: ESPRESSO SHOT? I’ve got nothing but coffee to keep me company (for the whole summer); I’m dying for anything you can offer. Once again, congrats on your #1 best seller: FRENCH PRESSED!!
Cleo's reply: Hi, Christie!! Great to hear from you again! THANK YOU for your enthusiasm about the #1. Isn't that great? Thanks to YOU and all the readers who are helping the series take off. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you and everyone will continue to enjoy the misadventures of Clare and her barista gang.
Also glad to hear that you're liking the cover for the upcoming Ghost and the Haunted Mansion. I think it's nice, too.
I'll be writing a lot more about Espresso Shot during the summer. I have cover art, too, and I'll be posting it soon. No worries! Thanks for being such a supportive reader, believe me your words are MUCH appreciated!
Java joy to you (and stop back for sure to hear more about the September Coffeehouse. It's a wild ride for Clare! That's for sure!)...
We are the owners of two "Coffee" (Cocker) Spaniels! If I or my hubby walk away from our coffee cup for a second, it's gone! Thought it was because of the half-and-half, but they like it black too—weird! I have a picture on my cell phone of the 14-yr-old Cocker drinking out of my cup. Here it is! Look forward to your next Clare Cosi novel!..I have all of your books and have enjoyed all of them! Pass them on to friends, but I always make sure they are returned to me! Be well.
Meet Maisy Jo, a 14-year-old coffee-drinking cocker spaniel! Owned and loved by Coffeehouse Mystery reader Victoria.
Cleo's reply: Thanks for the adorable story, Victoria! And thanks for the picture, too. Java joy to you and your hilarious coffee-drinking pups!
Love your books
Thought I would drop you a line to let you know how much I have enjoyed your coffeehouse mystery collection. I am in a book club at our new, most wonderful, coffeehouse/bookstore in Cuba, MO - JAVA.NET, and Mary, the owner, started the book club with your series.
We just finished reading the third in the series, Latte Trouble, and am excited about the next one. Our son lives in St. Louis which is about 90 miles from our home and while visiting him I left Latte Trouble at his house before I was finished reading it! Well, I just HAD to go buy another copy because I couldn't stand not being able to finish it!!
Thanks for the series and keep up the good writing. I am anxious to read the Haunted Bookstore mystery series also and will ask Mary to get those in at the JAVA.NET.
Cleo's reply: I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Java. net. What a wonderful group you all are!
You are SO sweet for dropping by my "virtual" coffeehouse (wish I had a real one, of course, but maybe someday!).
I am delighted and thrilled that you are enjoying my books. You made my night with the Latte Trouble story! LOL! PLEASE stop back again and let me know how the reading group went!
My books seem to spark a lot of conversation! I know they're not everyone's cuppa tea (LOL) but that's a good thing for getting people to talk about what they do and don't like. I enjoy writing popular fiction and hearing what readers have to say. I'm learning A LOT from this website alone. And it's readers like you, who take the time and trouble to drop me a line, that help me develop as a writer. Thank you again!
Java joy to you,
Boy was I wrong (whodunit)
Well kiddo you did it again. What a great book in fact I think it's the best so far in the Haunted Bookshop series. And boy was I wrong. Of course that's what I get for trying to out guess you and I get wacked in the end. But that is why I love your books, you keep us waiting until the final chapter to find out "who done it". Great job, needless to say—but I will anyway—and I look forward to the next installment regarding Penelope and Jack and of course Clare and the crew.
Cleo's reply: Ha-ha! LOL! "Grandma Rusty" of Indy! Wonderful to hear from you again. I'm very happy to hear you enjoyed the latest Haunted Bookshop (The Ghost and the Femme Fatale).
The book was a lot of fun to write - it's the first one in the series that actually links the present-day mystery directly with a case from Jack's private detective past. I thought it worked pretty well and it seems as though the fans thinks so, too (so far, anway!).
Thanks again for reading and for stopping by my "virtual" coffeehouse to share. Come on back anytime!
Here's a delish plate of "virtual" Italian cannoli for you to virtually enjoy from one of my favorite East Village bakeries, Veniero's (established 1894).
Click here to read more about this historic cafe. The Village Blend may be a fictional coffeehouse, but Veniero's is a real cafe in the East Village of NYC that's a very nice place to stop in and have a cappuccino and plate of Italian cookies. (And the pastry case in the front of the store will have you ordering a big box o' YUM to go, too!)
Java joy to you, GR,
Coffee shop to be noted in NC
I adore both the Coffehouse and the Haunted Bookstore mysteries and have snatched them off the shelves as soon as they hit them. Alas, early May found me mid- move to Thomasville, NC (furniture mecca of the world) and so busy with unpacking that when I found a moment to sit and relax with the two newest, I fell promptly asleep before a whole paragraph was read. Clearly I needed coffee! Actually before I had even left the old home I was doing on line research on local coffee shops. Since I have been here I have found a GREAT new coffee home, DeBeen Expresso, 709 Lexington , High Point NC. Great coffee, fun and relaxing atmosphere. I was delighted to see from your acknowelgement in French Pressed Cleo/Kimberly has been to NC. Come on back down to visit (and furniture shop!) and I will buy you a cup! It's the very least I can do for one of my favorite authors!
Cleo's reply: Hi, NC Reader! You had me laughing! Will write more soon on this reply. For sure, I'll check out DeBeen coffee shop and put a link up if I can find it!
I picked up French Pressed the other day. (For some strange reason I have to go to a different store than I usually do to get yours now rather then order it in.) I read the whole thing in one night. It couldn't have come out at a better time as I recieved some devestating news the day before I bought it and it helped to lose myself in the story.
Unfortunatly or maybe fortunately I find I when I read books by my favorite authors I get so lost in them that when I finish the book I get momentarily confused as to where I am when I first close it. Your book now makes 126 books on my book shelf and all but 1 of my fave authors are still writing books, too, 200 here I come lol. I just wish that coffee would taste as good as it smells. The only coffee I like (I'm getting ready to cover my head and hide lol) is that instant international stuff Maxwell House puts out, I wish they hadn't discontinued the Swiss white chocolate kind, that was the best!
Keep up the good work, I can't wait to find "The Ghost and the Femme Fatale"
—Chelle of the Canadian Coffee Coast
Cleo's reply: Chelle, my fave Canadian reader! SOOO great to hear from you again! I was worried when you said the book wasn't releasing in Canada at the same time as the US and you were seeing some discussions on the board about the plot elements. I'm glad you decided to pick up the book anyway and read - and very glad you enjoyed it. NOW I'm worried about your devastating news. I hope you are okay - if it's any help at all, I'll quote one of my New Year's Resolutions (for you and all of us...)
As the saying goes, "Fear is the little death." And there's a lot to be afraid of out there. Loss, illness, failure, ridicule, lonliness, pain. Sometimes it feels like dread is the human condition, but it doesn't have to be.
Surviving is the first step to flourishing. Or as the screenwriter of Finding Nemo put it: just keep swimming. No matter what happens, just keep swimming.
While the fearful remain mired in paralysis, the brave take one step forward. Or to quote the amazing Christy Brown (Irish writer and painter who surffered from cerebral palsy): "Hamlet was a cripple."
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. That kind of bravery can get you through anything.
So, Chelle, I hope you are okay and things work out well for you. Keeping you in my thoughts.
Java joy to my fellow "North American" homegirl,
Java Junkie & Rapid Reader
Not one day goes by that I don't gulp massive amounts of coffee. From Starbucks to my machine at home, I drink it up like its water. Most of my family thinks I've got an addiction, but it's far better than most of the others out there. Of course, my "addiction" tends to extend to anything and everything related to coffee, especially coffee cups. I've got so many coffee cups that I'm running out of room in my cabinets, and I still keep my eye out for more, which is how I spied your Coffeehouse Mystery series. Sure, the coffee mug is small and tiny on the spine of your books, but my eyes picked it up right away. I wasn't disappointed, either.
Your series is great. I just love every book. I love your latest, too. FRENCH PRESSED had me begging for more. Between Clare and Mike's progressive relationship and the cases (including the May-September), I couldn't get enough. Still can't, and I've read the book again. So you can definitely count on me to buy the hardback of ESPRESSO SHOT. There's no way I'd wait for the paperback.
On another note... Since I'm all caught up with your Coffeehouse Mystery books, I went out and bought all of your Haunted Bookshop books (all at the same time). You had me with the other series, so I thought you'd have me with this series, too. And sure enough, you did.
I read all four books nonstop and finished them so quick (just in three days) that I'm left only slurping coffee. Just call me the rapid reader. Though, I think it has more to say about how good you write than it does about my need to read. Can't wait until I can read more. Both ESPRESSO SHOT and THE GHOST AND THE HAUNTED MANSION look promising.
Java Junkie & Rapid Reader,
Cleo's reply: Awesome, Christie! You made my day! I laughed about the coffee cup collection -
My husband I have been through A LOT of coffee cups over the years. We have an entire cupboard full, too. We are now drinking our daily coffee from a small collection of Krispe Kreme cups. They're very retro, like the old diner coffee cups, very thick and heavy ceremic so they hold the heat of the coffee for a long time, which is important when you want to savor (rather than bolt). I know thermal cups will keep coffee warm, and they're good on-the-go, but they have an icky mouth-feel to me, and there's really nothing like the old-fashioned feeling of the thick ceramic diner cup - (David Lynch would understand - "Twin Peaks" fans know what I'm talking about...)!
This Kripy Kreme ceramic coffee mug is actually a new version of the original Krispe Kreme mugs that my husband and I bought and use daily to drink our coffee. Click here to learn more from the Krispe Kreme site or purchase the mug for yourself. (I like their coffee, too, by the way, but unfortunatey this chain really blew it in New York City. They could have owned Manhattan but bad management of the franchise has reduced this excellent baker to barely a burp of a presence amid 13 million possible customers. BOOOOOO to the Krispe Kreme franchisee from NYC who denies us New Yorkers the best donuts in the USA. (Okay, I'm done venting. But if you live in a town where you can get these delish donuts easily, count yourself lucky!)
Anyway, Christie, my point is: You are most definitely in the RIGHT place with your coffee habit. Welcome to the party. And I'm thrilled you found the Haunted Bookshop series to your liking, too. Be careful, Jack Shepard, ghostly PI, has been known to haunt my fans. (They start hearing him in THEIR heads, too, just like Pen!) But he's a pretty good guy to have haunt you, so I wouldn't worry too much.
Come on back anytime and let me know how the world's turning in your part of it. I love hearing from readers...aka my Village Blend's "customers"!
The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion - when will it be available
When will 'The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion" be available? I am so glad that you have continued the series.
Cleo's reply: (And I am so glad you're reading it!) Thank you for your question, Janet. I am very pleased to tell you that the next Alice Kimberly book is due to hit store shelves in January 2009. Here's an exclusive sneak peek at the cover! Just click below and you'll see it in PDF format.
COMING JANUARY 2009
Haunted Bookshop Mystery #5
AND THE HAUNTED MANSION
by Alice Kimberly
Coming January 2009
Click here to see an early, exclusive
sneak peek of the book's cover art
(in PDF format)
Great Great books!!!
I adore these books! They came as a great relief while I was working on my masters thesis. I could pick up one of these books, curl up and let myself relax. I can almost smell the Village Blend and imagine myself sitting at a table reading either one of the these books or reading about my now favorite ghost, Jack, and enjoying a great cup of coffee! I loved all of these books so much that I gave them all to my mother and told her she must read them!! She in turn recommended them to a friend to give to her daughter for her 16th birthday! So for all of us, we look forward to more books!!
—Laura Rhoades-Stovall, my mother Sheryl Rhoades, and all our friends.
Cleo's reply: Thank you, Laura! A shout-out to you, your mom (Sheryl), and all of your friends for your beautiful note.
Through the years, I've read and appreciated the heavier tomes, but I'm on board with what dance instructor Cassandra Canelle says in On What Grounds. In my view, one of the better uses for art is to lift us up when we are pressed down. (Not unlike a nice, hot cuppa joe, eh? LOL!)
Here's a virtual bouquet to your mom for Mother's Day - and for all the mom's out there (like Clare) who love their children so hard it hurts.
Java joy to you,
Addicted to your books!
I absolutely love your books—I'm about as addicted to them as I am to coffee and tea! I even have the September 30 release date of Espresso Shot marked down on my calendar. There are few authors that I will buy in hardcover, but like I said, I absolutely love your books. The recipes are great, too. And I really like the way you work in all sorts of coffee tips and techniques into the story. (Like making Greek coffee in On What Grounds, which I really enjoy on rough mornings!)
I also made the corn bread recipe that you had in French Pressed, which was yummy. I got my mom hooked on your books and she has tried several recipes and loved them all. My mom actually had trouble finding French Pressed in the stores (she lives in the Austin, Texas area). She finally found it in a small book store in Mobile, Alabama, while she was visiting her sister (and now my aunt is intrigued by the books and might start reading them, too!).
I just have to add one more thing—I am so glad that you got Clare and Mike together. But I have to tell you, if you break them up or somehow get rid of Mike, I don't know if I could continue to read the books! So, thanks for creating such a great series of books and keep them coming!
Cleo's reply: Hi, Nicole and welcome to my "virtual" coffeehouse! I'm glad your mom was able to find my book (eventually!). And I want to thank you sincerely for being such a loyal reader.
(Please don't worry about Mike leaving the series. It's taken 6 books for Clare to get her man and he's not going anywhere! That's not to say it will always be smooth sailing for them. Everyone in a relationship knows there are good times and bad, ups and down, and Clare and Mike will have their trials like any couple. LOL!)
Come on back anytime to my virtual Village Blend - here's a fresh baked plate of "virtual" cornbread for you to enjoy with your next cuppa joe, in honor of your trying my cornbread recipe from the recipe sectinn of FRENCH PRESSED!
Java joy to you,
New Penelope and Jack Fan!
Love your coffeehouse mysteries. Remember me? Chocolate Orance coffee fan? Just finished The Ghost and Mrs. McClure and I am now hooked on those. I love a good ghost story! Will definitely be reading those as well as Clare's now. Keep em coming!!!
Cleo's reply: Hi, Chocolate-Orange fan! Yes, I remember you! To show you the power of suggestion, I've actually been thinking about orange-chocolate-and COFFEE flavored recipes ever since you mentioned your favorite flavor combo. Stay tuned - it may take a year or so, but I'm determined to do something with that flavor combination!
Of course, I'm THRILLED to hear you like the "Ghost" mysteries, too. I never know if the Coffeehouse fans will take to that second series. But it seems like it's mostly a hit with Clare's readers, too. Thank you very much for stopping by and letting me know. Every single reader's opinion is meaningful to me!
Here's a delish slice of "virtual" chocolate orange cheesecake in thanks for stopping by my "virtual" coffeehouse. Come on back again, anytime, y'hear?!
Java joy to you,
Chocolate Orange Cheesecake. YUM!
Click here or on the pic
to get the recipe from Ghirardelli.com