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How to Clean
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cup of java will
come from a clean
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Al Pacino's coffee
It was shot in New
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the home of
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A CTRR Reward for Holiday Grind – A Coffeehouse Mystery
Per my recommendation, your book has received a CTRR (Coffee Time Reviewer's Recommend Award) from Coffee Time Romance & More. This award recognizes outstanding writing styles in all book types and genres. Your book has received this award because I feel it is above and beyond a 5 Cup Rating. You can see this by clicking here.
We have announced this in our weekly newsletter, on our blog, and put the CTRR Award on your actual review on our site. It will stay there permanently.
Cleo's reply: Hello, Matilda! Thank you so much for telling me about this award. I am always pleased when any reader tells me that he or she enjoys my books, and I'm so very happy to hear that you felt Holiday Grind was worthy of five cups! Woot! The Coffee Time site is lively and fun, and I'm so very honored to have a special place on it with Holiday Grind thanks to your generous recommendation. Thank you!
Drink with joy!
woohooo! Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday from your #1 fan in Texas!
Haaapppyyy BBirrtthhddaaayy to yooooouuuuu!!
Playing on Alice (snicker) in Wonderland's Mad Hatter Tea Party song.. "A very merry Birthday to you, to you! A very merry Birthday to you, to you! 364 days that aren't special to you so a very merry Birthday to you!"
Cleo says: Sweet! Thank you!
The only Good Snow
We tried your recipe for the White Chocolate Latte. I refuse to link it to snow being as we're snowed in at the moment! Crystal followed the recipe precisely. Well, except she kinda subed the vanilla. She used DaVinci Gourmet French Vanilla Syrup for that. We didn't take pictures, but the fourth step looked amazingly the same. Smokie said we have ta make it again soon 'cause she didn't get any! Seems there was none left. Opps.
of Amarillo, TX
Hi Catherine: Thank you for your post! Cleo will respond to you very soon. Check back right here for her reply...
It's Hannah again! I don't know if you remember me, but I certainly remember you. Quite some time ago now, I finished On What Grounds. Fantastic! And it left me craving more.... I am currently reading Through the Grinder. About halfway through (lol! Through *wink*....eh....bad joke...) and I am so pleased to report that it's just as good as the first.
I had a really great idea. You should open up a Village Blend! It would be super cool! Or at least there should be a movie. I mean, I'm almost surprised there isn't one already, aren't you?! There could easily be one. Okay, I'll talk to you soon!
Thank you for your post, Hannah! Cleo will respond to you very soon. Check back right here for her reply...
Haunted Bookshop Series
I would like to know where I can get a hold of your Haunted Bookshop series. I have been everywhere. I just started reading your coffeehouse mystery book series and am getting hooked.
Sanibel Island, FL.
Donna: Thank you for posting. Cleo will respond to your note very soon. Please check back to see her reply...
I'll live through winter but I won't enjoy it!!
Apparently whining and complaining does generate body heat because I survived the deep freeze a couple of weeks ago (large infusions of coffee helped), and I survived the typical January thaw with its large infusions of mud and rain. Now it's snowed again and cold...sigh...can I get some cheese to go with my whine? Anyway, Cleo you wicked person you, I have pre-ordered your new book AND while I was on Amazon, I found a new Earlene Fowler book to pre-order. This means I have to go to work to pay for my horribly addictive habit of reading, which means going out into the snow and cold and IT"S ALL YOUR FAULT! BTW, could you hurry up with the next Haunted Bookshop book? I think I can shake the couch down for enough dough to cover it. Being totally fed up with winter and darn proud of it.
NJM: Thank you for posting. Cleo will respond soon. Please check back to see her reply...
I Love Your Books!
Just wanted to drop a note and say I love your books! They are warm and funny and interesting, and since I no longer live in the NYC area, each one is like a trip home for me. I am a tea drinker, by the way, although I do love coffee ice cream. Do you think there the Village Blend will ever sell tea???
Thanks for all the great books,
Thank you for posting, Florence! Cleo will respond to your note very soon. Please check back to see her reply...
New book club...what would be the best book to read first??
it is my turn to pick the book for our bookclub this month and I'd like to start the coffeehouse mysteries. Do you have a suggestion as to which book would be the best to start with, or should we just start w/ On What Grounds since it was first?
Thanks for answering!!
Thank you so much for your comment! Cleo's reply will be posted here this week. Check back again.
Love Your Books!!
Just finished Holiday Grind. I read all the Coffeehouse Mysteries in order and am truly hooked. I am now going to start the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries.
Two of my three favorite things: coffee and mysteries. The third favorie is wine, maybe you could incorporate it into one of your next mysteries?!? I also love NY, I have been there afew times over the last few years. About five years ago, I visited a bookstore called "Murder Ink", it was filled with great mysteries.
Thanks for the great reads. I will check back soon.
Kathy: Thank you for your comment! Cleo's reply will be posted right here later this week. Be sure to check back again.
Book Club loves a good Mystery! + Coffeemaker Question
I belong to a mystery book club and chose the first book,THE GHOST AND MRS MCCLURE, in the haunted bookshop series when it was my turn to introduce a new book and author. We all loved it!
Everyone wants to now read the series along with the Village Blend books. We meet monthly on the first Monday, mid- morning for coffee and treats which brings me to my question.
I am in the market for a new coffee maker. I just want an everyday drip version. I have plenty of the 'fancy' types--french press, espresso, etc. and don't want to break the bank! Do you or any of your readers have any suggestions? Thanks for 2 great series and the help!
~Pam in Nebraska
Thank you for posting. I am very happy to hear that your book club is enjoying my books. Please wish them a Happy New Year from me!
OK - Here is an answer to your question about drip coffeemakers...
With the understanding that I am not officially endorsing any products and the understanding that no drip maker is perfect, here is what I can tell you...
We buy economical drip coffeemakers in our house--because my husband and I are writers and not investment bankers, LOL :). FYI - this is why Clare's "democratization of luxury" philosophy is a lot like ours. Murder Most Frothy and French Pressed are the books in which she speaks about this the most: When folks can't afford a $5,000 trip to the South of France, they take a $5.00 trip to a cozy coffeehouse to enjoy an excellent coffee drink. And that's what the coffeehouse experience is really all about: an oasis in the middle of a hectic day; a place to relax and rejuvenate for people who cannot afford the time and money for a full body massage at a day spa!
Okay, so the brands we use (at the moment) to make our drip coffee are Cuisinart and DeLonghi. Both coffeemakers sit side by side on our counter. The Cuisinart (12-cup, model DCC-1200 series) is for larger pots. This pot has an automatic turn off, a good and safe feature. It also beeps you when the coffee is ready and when the burner is about to turn itself off. We also use a DeLonghi (Twenty Four Seven model). This is a 4-cup maker for very small pots. This model does NOT have an automatic turn off so you have to remember to turn it off yourself. But it's great for a small pot of joe.
Just like you, we have other methods of making coffee: French press, Moka express pot, but you were asking about drip.
We have also used Braun and Krups brands in the past and were happy with both of them. We don't think the expense of a thermal pot or grind-and-brew combo is worth it for us. We like to grind our coffee separately with a burr grinder. A burr grinder, by the way, (and not a blade grinder) is the very best way to grind whole bean coffee. Whole bean is the only kind we make because after coffee is ground in rapidly loses its flavor and aroma.
Anyway, what concerns us most when we shop for a drip coffeemaker is the SHAPE of the filter. A CONE filter is a more economical way to make premium coffees and that's what we use. Flat-bottomed filters do not concentrate the flavor as well and you end up using more coffee to get the same strength as you'd get with a cone filter. Pot after pot, using more coffee adds up, so a cone filter is more economical. Both our Cuisinart and DeLonghi brand drip makers have cone-shaped filters.
You can also look into "pour-over" methods for economical drip coffee making. This is when you heat the water yourself, then pour it over a cone-shaped filter and the coffee drips down into the carafe. Two popular pour-over brands are Mellita and ChemEx.
You can always check out the Consumer Reports run down of drip coffeemakers. Here is a link for you if you're interested...
Consumer Reports often gives
ratings on coffeemakers.
CLICK HERE to read their
general buying guide,
which will give you an overview
on the brands and types
of features on today's coffeemakers.
NOTE: Consumer Report ratings are for subscribers only, but their very informative general buying guide is freely posted
on the Web. CLICK HERE
Thank you so much for posting, Pam, and especially for reading my books...
Java joy to you and your
Mystery Book Club
in beautiful Nebraska!
Village Blend Website Rocks
Village Blend website rocks! Coffee, Mysteries, Cats - life is great! Love it all - my local Starbucks knows me - I walk in with my Coffeehouse Mystery book, get my coffee, settle in with both, and chill - no pun intended - winter time, 'ya know!
Cleo - Keep on brewin'!!
in Antioch, California
My own remedy to winter
My own remedy to winter...
1.) Thermal underwear- check!
2.) Polar fleece pajamas- check!
3.) Sweat shirt and pants- check!
4.) Down comforter- check!
5.) Leave all of these behind and go to the Bahamas- CHECK!!!
Thanks for the jolt I've been looking for...
I LOVE your books. I so want to spend a day with Clare Cosi. I have found a new interest in coffee again. I've even created some new coffee drinkers!
While I was a 2nd grade writing teacher for six weeks, my lunch consisted of coffee and about two or three chapters of Holiday Grind to get me through the day. I even got some other teachers hooked, and or they bought your first book in the series for Christmas presents. Thanks a-latte!
Addicted to the Village Blend,
I have such respect and admiration for teachers. I grew up as a working class, public school kid. Without the amazing dedication of my teachers, I doubt very much I would have been able to become a professional writer.
I am so happy that you posted. In thanks to you for stopping by my *virtual* coffeehouse, I whipped you up a *virtual* doughnut to enjoy with your next hot cuppa joe!
Cheers! Happy New Year...
and Keep in touch!
Ode to Winter
Sing to the tune of Patsy Cline's "Crazy"
"I'm freezing, freezing 'cause I am so co-old! I'm freezing, my fingers and toes are so blue!"
Okay, all of you who's fingers are still warm enough to type, add your own verses! ~~Desperately seeking global warming...
~Nurse Judy Mac
My solution? Baking. Roasting. All day.(Excuse for oven to be on, thus warming little kitchen and entire second floor of our row house.) And my cheap fireplace DVD on the TV at night. Tricks my brain into thinking (via that primeval DNA strand)...fire, good, warmth, ah...
Warm hugs to you NurseJudy,
from the the Big (chilly) Apple!
I enjoyed Holiday Grind as I have all the other books....
Adicted to Coffee House Mysteries
Your mysteries are (almost) as potent as caffeine! Each book is good to the last drop! I've read every one of them and can't wait to read the next installment. Please keep them coming.
a Holiday Treat!
I saved my copy of Holiday Grind for the holiday. It indeed was a holiday treat. Loved the story, the characters, and the chemistry between Mike and Clare! You have done it...again !!
~ Mary T
I have read all of your books. This is the best one yet! I'm looking forward to Clare's next adventure. She is GUTSY LADY for sure. The Village Blend Staff are interesting characters also. Next to Clare, I admire Madame the most. Now there's a lady who knows how to live.
I live in New England, Massachusetts, to be specific, although I was born in Maine and my heart will always be there. We're having a great winter. Snow and wind; can't beat that combination, especially along with freezing temperatures. Looking forward to hearing from you.
~ Snow Lady
my bday surprise
the keg brought me a piece of mocha ice cream cake with chocolate cookie crumb crust with a candle in it :-) it was yummmm
Cleo's reply: I'm sure that it tasted better than my *virtual* cake (see below)! LOL! Happy Birthday again to my girl up North!
The Big Three OH!!!!
aaaaah! my bro says I'm Now officially an Adult. I turned thirty today (the 30th of dec) and after going to the gym for the first time in years yesterday, I can feel every last second of the last 30 years! lol
hope you had a great christmas, was Java Claus good to you? My mom copied some recipes from HOLIDAY GRIND and she made the apple cider syrup up as a christmas present for someone. Tonight My bf will take me to the Keg for dinner. Do you have that over there? (it's a very nice steakhouse for those of you who don't know)
Happy New Year, Cleo...
P.S. Will Jack pay us a visit again in the coming year?
Chelle - feeling older than the mountains but younger than the sea! lol
HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY TO MY FAVORITE CANADIAN READER! CHELLE!!
I guess I'm too far away to bake you a birthday cake, so I'll have to resort to a virtual one...
Wishing you every good thing for your birthday, for the New Year, and the New Decade!
P.S. Thrilled to hear that your mom made a recipe from HG! Woot! And as to your question about "the ghost" - Never fear, Jack is near, and will be here, later this year!
Here's a good (and funny) coffee facts primer for your fans:
Cleo's reply: Thank you, Sharon, for a fun link to a fantastically clever java Web page (java as in coffee, not software, lol).
Happy New Year!
Merry Christmas, happy holidays, yada yada yada
I'm glad you enjoyed the 12 days of Christmas, java style. My pentameter was off a little on some of them but it's the love of coffee, and your books, that counts, right?
from one of your biggest fans
On the twelfth day of Christmas...
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
12 pounds of Kona!
11 espresso con pannas,
9 mocha muffins,
8 Irish coffees,
7 caramel lattes,
5 CUPS OF JOE!
3 french presses,
and a new
~ Nurse JudyMac
(Thank you, my true love, for the wonderful presents. I'm vibrating like a tuning fork, I haven't slept in 3 days, and I'm living in my bathroom, but I have lots of great reading material! Next year, let's talk diamonds!)
Cleo's Reply: An awesome and witty Christmas gift, Nurse Judy. I have been eagerly anticipating your posts every day for the last twelve!
Merry Christmas & Java New Year
to you, your family, and especially...
that true coffee lover
On the eleventh day of Christmas...
On the eleventh day of
Christmas, my true love gave
to me 11 espresso con pannas,
9 mocha muffins,
8 Irish coffees,
7 caramel lattes, 6 macchiatos,
5 cups OF JOE!
4 cappuccinos, 3 french presses,
2 doppios, and a new