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On the fourth day of Christmas...
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
4 cappuccinos, 3 French presses,
2 doppios, and
a new Coffeehouse mystery!
~ Nurse JudyMac
Blizzard warning here in Michigan today, so a perfect time to try one of your Fa-la-la-la latte recipes. I made the Gingersnap Latte with your homemade gingersnap syrup--perfect! It's not too sweet, with just the right amount of spice. I'm not usually a fan of sweetened lattes, but this one is delicious.
Judy! I am THRILLED to hear that you liked my Gingernap Latte recipe...(for anyone who wants to try it, you can find it in the recipe section of Holiday Grind, my latest Coffeehouse Mystery).
I so enjoy baking gingersnap cookies at this time of year and a "Gingersnap Latte" just made sense to me. Developing the syrup was a lot of fun. Thank you for letting me know you tried it and enjoyed it.
Stay warm, now and Happy Holidays to you and your family!
Even the Cats liked it!
My sister sent me a picture via my cellphone so I Can't post it for you unfortunatly, my cell won't do that for me. While she was reading the copy of Holiday Grind I lent her from the library, she left it on her bed to go do something, When she came back her cat (Nike) was cuddling with it, his head in the pages lol. and her other cat (Meowf) was cuddling with Nike.
On the third day of Christmas...
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 3 French presses, 2 doppios, and a new Coffeehouse Mystery!
~ Nurse JudyMac
I enjoyed Holiday Grind. Thanks for a great read. Have a great holiday and enjoy your feast of seven fishes.
In our house, we do the "feast of seven porks" since I dropped a pan of stuffed calamari between my apron and bare skin a few years back. My friends enjoy all the salami, capicola, speck, coppa, proscuitto, sopressata di Calabria, and mortadella with buffala de mozzarella and other traditional cheeses, breads and salads while vegan me eats the veggies.
Hoping that the new year brings you more success and me more of Jack and Pen. (please)
Cleo's reply: LOL! Love the fishy tale. Thank you for sharing. And as to the next Haunted Bookshop mystery...
Jack is near
and will appear
in the New Year!
Can't Wait for Christmas
Hi Cleo, I asked "Santa" (my hubby) for Holiday Grind for Christmas. Glanced through a copy at the book store. Can't wait to settle down with your latest story and a cup of Southern Comfort coffee as well as absorb all of your coffee goodies in the back.
Your loyal Chocolate Orange lady,
P.S. Your cappuccino and biscotti looks wonderful. ~ COL (chocolate orange lady)
Cleo's reply: Shout-out to my Chocolate-Orange Girl! I am honored and flattered to be one of your asked-for Christmas gifts! Thank you! And I hope you enjoy my latest.
Happy Holidays to you and your family,
P.S. I actually thought of you and smiled as I worked on the final recipe in this book. When you get the book, just turn to the last recipe and you'll see what mean! LOL!
On the second day of Christmas...
On the second day of
Christmas, my true love
gave to me 2 doppios
and a new
~ Nurse JudyMac
aka the Midnight Punster
The above gorgeous photo of my Cappuccino Muffin with Sweet Frothy Top is courtesy of and copyright (c) 2009 by Brandi Evans of
who also baked my muffins and posted the following message to my board...
I have a food/healthy living blog and I made your Cappuccino Muffins today out of one of your Coffeehouse Mystery books. They turned out wonderful! ...
Thanks, Brandi! I am so glad that you liked the recipe. For anyone interested in making my Cappuccino Muffins with Sweet Frothy Tops, Brandi used the recipe out of my 5th Coffeehouse Mystery: Decaffeinated Corpse.
BTW: Clare served these muffins to a character just before interrogating him. (Yeah, I'd say these muffins are just about good enough to make anyone talk. :-)
To read Brandi's post about making my Cappuccino Muffins, including some amazing step-by-step photos, CLICK HERE, and you will jump to her recent "mysterious muffins" post at her delightful "Branapetit" blog.
Java joy you, Brandi!
Thank you again not only for
making my muffings but also
for blogging about them! Woot!
On the first day of Christmas...
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a new CoffeeHouse Mystery!
Cleo's reply: (emoticon smile)
Merry Christmas, and a happy new book to me! :-)
I just got Holiday Grind from the library and as soon as I finish typing here, I'll be hunkering down under a blanket by the light of my little christmas tree and the flickering of my fireplace DVD to read it.
Going to visit my sis at work tomorrow to give it to her to read when I'm done, will get two reads for the length of one check out period at the library :-) all that's needed is some snowflakes to complete the mood in here. We're having those cold, nippy, bright blue winter days that start with Jack Frosts art everywhere in the mornings right now. My Presents are Wrapped, My decorations are up, stocking is hung and my cards are all mailed too! Aren't I disgustingly efficient this year?
Merry Early Christmas
Cleo's reply: Chelle! My favorite Canadian reader! Thank you for the lovely post. (I added some snow f/x for you!) I hope you enjoy Holiday Grind and...
Happy (early) Christmas
to you, your sister, and family! Stay warm now,
I got your latest book from our library and finished it in three days . .. I love your books....
Cleo's reply: Helloooo Minnesota!! Thank you for your comment. (I will be happy to reply to the deleted portion of your query via e-mail -- it was not appropriate for this board.) You can e-mail me by sending a "NOTE TO CLEO" at VillageBlend@aol.com Thank you for reading my books and for stopping by my *virtual* coffeehouse.
A german reader
Hey, my names's Kerstin and I love your books their just great!! I saw them the first time on a trip to America, loved it and read every one of them since :-). thanks
Cleo's reply: Danke, Kerstin! I am honored and flattered to hear from a German reader. Your country is so beautiful with such a rich history. I am so happy that you found my books as well as my website. You are very sweet to let me know that you have enjoyed my mysteries. And in thanks for stopping by my *virtual* coffeehouse, I am *virtually* pouring you a latte...with latte art, of course!
Drink with joy and keep in touch!
Cleo's reply: Thank you!
A Mystery in the Morning
I love the early morning with a good mystery and a cup of coffee too! Now my earlier mornings just got better since I discovered your Coffeehouse Mysteries. Also can't wait to read the Haunted Bookshop ones too.
I plan on retiring in the near future so your books are on my life to do list. Thanks for helping me enjoy my favorite things - books, coffee and mysteries.
A japanese reader
I have just started reading the newly published coffeehouse mystery,”Holiday Grind”. Reading a book written in English is not easy for me, for I haven’t read English books long time. But I ordered it at Amazon bookshop.
The heroin Clea is a coffee store manager like me, and I feel sympathy with her and the store workers. The former Japanese translated books are very fun even murders happen so often. In addition, interesting recipes introduced in those are useful to know what are popular in New York. So I decided to purchase the original book, and I try to read it through. I will also try to make Masako’s Fa-la- la-la Latte someday.
I Pose A Challenge
OK Cleo I have a challenge, come up with a better combo than a new book, a bathtub full of hot bubbles, some candles, and a box of chocolates :-)
The only one I can think of that comes close is drop the tub and put in a roaring fireplace. :-) I did the former tonight a candlelit bubble bath and a new book I picked up tonight. all relaxed now and off to bed with me.
Cleo's reply: Sounds good to me!
LOVE THE BOOKS!!
I absolutely love your coffee house mysteries!!! I am a huge mystery fan and a lover of coffee as well. You have not only entertained me but improved my coffee knowledge. How about a published copy of all your recipes, including the alcoholic beverages as well. I stumbled upon your books on Amazon while looking for a new read on my Kindle.
Cleo's reply: I am so happy that you found my books and my Web site. Welcome!
Yes, I do think a cookbook would be a great idea. None in the works for now but if you pick up a copy of HOLIDAY GRIND, I think you'll be happy with the amount of recipes and also the colleciton of coffee info. What info? In the back of the book you will find 80 pages of tips and recipes, including a guide to coffeehouse terms, roasting terms, recipes for espresso drinks and lattes, homemade latte syrups, and plenty of holiday goodie recipes, too.
Click over to my "Get Cleo's Recipes" page HERE, scroll down and you will see what I mean. At 80 pages, the Recipes and Tips section of Holiday Grind is practically a mini cookbook in itself, so be sure to pick up a copy if this interests you.
Finally, I want thank you sincerely for reading my books. And in thanks for stopping by my *virtual* coffeehouse, here's a *virtual* cappuccino and biscotti! Drink with joy! And come on back now, y'hear?!
Cheer and Happy Holiday,
When will the next haunted bookshop mystery come out. I am waiting anxiously.
Cleo's reply: It's coming in 2010. When I have the pub date from my publisher, I'll post it here. Hang in there...and thanks for reading! ~ Cleo
Thank you for the early Christmas gift!
Holiday Grind was a wonderful read! I loved the story and the character development was fantastic. I don’t want to give anything away for those who have not read it yet, but here are some of my favorite parts: Page 52--Mike was in true swoon-worthy form here!
* Chapter 15 - I wish I had someone like Madame in my life. Someone who has impeccable taste, cuts to the chase, and has connections everywhere! It’s also amazing how well she knows her granddaughter!
* Page 189 - was a delightful surprise. From the title of the next book, can we assume that we will get more of New York’s bravest? I hope so!
* Page 252 - was a complete shock, but I still liked it—it explained so much about Mike. Wonderful writing and development here!
And of course, I’ll be trying out some of the coffee tips and recipes from the back of the book. (Your cornbread recipe is still one of my favorites.)
My only complaint was that the Fish Squad were missing! Will we see them in Roast Mortem? Perhaps Bass or Sole (or both?!?! Unbeknownst to each other!) could start dating The General? The whole story was a true holiday treat. I really enjoyed how I was unable to figure out the criminals and connections until everything was revealed. I am looking forward to the next one!
Cleo's reply: Awesome, Nicole! Thank you for your wonderful post. Thank you especially for commenting on the story elements here without giving away any spoilers. An ingenious way of doing it, too, with the page numbers. Brava! As to your specifics...
* Chapter 15 - I could not agree more. I just love Madame and I enjoy writing her. (And I'm never surprised how well someone like Madame would know her granddaughter. She's been around more than a few blocks, ran her own business for years, and has good insight into what makes people tick, especially people she loves like Joy.)
* Page 189 - I am very happy to hear that you enjoyed this sequence in the book! And, yes, you guessed right! Good call!
* Page 252 - Thank you for the nice words on the writing and development. This background about Detective Mike Quinn was in place for his character (in my writer's mind) from Book One of the series (On What Grounds). This revelation was a long time coming, and it should help readers better understand some of Mike's behaviors and attitudes in the earlier books.
The Fish Squad - LOL! Great to know that you enjoyed their previous appearances enough (in French Pressed and Espresso Shot) to want them back again. And Soles and Bass will be back for an encore, I promise you! (BTW: In Holiday Grind, as you probably noticed, it was Sergeant Franco's character who sort of stole the NYPD show!)
Glad to know you enjoyed the "puzzle" aspect of the mystery plotting, too. Thank you again, Nicole! And in thanks for dropping by my *virtual* Village Blend coffeehouse, here is a *virtual* hot, fresh doughnut just for you. Enjoy it with your next, hot, fresh cuppa joe!
Cheers and Happy Holidays to you!
(Your post was a gift to me - thank you!)
Thank you, Jack!
Jack, so sorry I didn't recognize you when you passed through Orlando and me. We had a hot summer and fall, so all cool air was sincerely appreciated.
Got my copy of Holiday Grind packed in my carry-on bag, and so tempted to sneak a peak! Thanks for the idea of hardback copies, it's a topic I was wondering about. Will certainly try to add them to the library in Burg I am visiting for six weeks (and get copies for my bookshelf, too.) C'mon, fans, lets bombard the publisher so Cleo's and Alice's backlist get re-released in hardback and optioned for TV, too.
Okay where's Jack?
Okay I know I asked you before, but now I'm asking again when is 'Haunted Bookshop #6' coming out!!!!!!!!!!! I need it. You have nine Coffeehouse Mysteries and only five Jack and Penn mysteries. What's going on?
Need Hardback books
I am a Branch Manager of a rural Library and would like to get hardback copies of the Coffeehouse series. I can not find them in hard copy only paperback. Any suggestions?
Cleo's reply: Hi there. Well, let's see now...You can certainly purchase HOLIDAY GRIND and ESPRESSO SHOT in hardback and I hope you do! Libraries tend to purchase the rest of my backlist in Large Print trade editions, which are published by Wheeler. Click here to see the large print display page of On What Grounds at Amazon.com (the online bookseller). You would have to buy the edition used. My other books also have Large Print editions. Just check each title's display page and click on the Large Print option to see what's available (new or used). That's about all I can advise you other than this: You can certainly try contacting my publisher's Library Marketing department at Penguin Group USA, click here to visit their Web site contact page. Below is their Library Marketing info, including phone number.
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Library Marketing Department (Adult Division)
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
I just discovered your books. They look really good and I can't wait to read the first one!! I believe someone recommended the Haunted Bookshop mysteries to me, but I've never heard of the Coffeehouse Mysteries...I'm headed out to see what they're about. Hopefully I'll find those too!
P.S. Do you think that these books are interesting/okay for high school age? I'm a senior in high school...I like to think that I have a good variety in what I like to read and this sounds really good : ) Let me know if you would recommend this to me! Thanks!
Hi Hannah! Yes, my books are fine for high school age readers. In fact, a respected review magazine for young adults called Kliatt, recommended my first mystery On What Grounds for readers of high school age and above. I think the Coffeehouse Mysteries may appeal to you more than the Haunted Bookshop mysteries. Or maybe neither will.
Not every book is for every reader. The important thing is to keep searching for the books and authors that "connect" with you, Hannah. There are so many benefits to being a reader: exposure to new vocabulary; exanded awareness of people and places.
Good books can be good friends; they can make us think and stimulate our own imaginations, spurring us to make up our own stories—whether or not we ever write them down!
Good readers also make good students and good students have a much better chance of success in this difficult world. If you do like my work, drop back again sometime and say hey.
The bookstore I frequent had a copy not yet reserved of Holiday Grind, so although I didn't get in queue early on, I am all set for airport reading. I'll be at the door waiting when they open Nov 3. Thanks for making my life richer...
still hoping Jack shows up at my door.
Cleo's reply: Geekette!!!!! I am so happy to hear from you and delighted that you are going to read the new entry. I hope you enjoy the "slay" ride, (ho-ho-ho). Wait a sec, Jack's in my ear again...
What's that, Jack? The ghost says he's already been down to Florida for a visit. If you felt a cool breeze swirling around you in recent weeks, well...probably not the weather...!
Cheers, be well...and come on back now, y'hear!
Note to Cleo - and a Question
I recently discovered your Coffeehouse Mystery series, and I am very impressed with how you mix a good mystery with lots of useful information about the world of coffee. I'm glad I started reading the books in the order in which you wrote them. I enjoy seeing how each book refers back to the ones written previously. I feel like I'm reading a continuing adventure story that's narriated by Claire Cosi.
On my days off from work, I have a hard time forcing myself to put the book down and do my chores! Here's my question: In Chapter 12 of Decaffeinated Corpse, Claire mentions that one way a person can test to see if coffee is fresh is to splash a little cream in it. If the cream instantly "blooms" to the top of the coffee, the coffee is fresh. What did she mean by "bloom?" Is this a real test, or is it something that you created for the story?
I would like to use this information (to impress the customers) in the cafe where I work, but first I need to know if it's really a useful test of the freshness of coffee. Can you tell me what I should be looking for in regards to "bloom"? I am so glad I discovered your book series! Besides being thoroughly entertained by the mystery, I am also absorbing all the interesting coffee related information like a sponge! Usually I give my books away or donate them to the library, but I plan to hold on to your Coffee House Mystery books for a long time to come!
Cleo's reply: Hi Jane! It is so nice to *virtually* meet you. What a wonderful post. I'm delighted that you stopped by to share your thoughts today and I'm very happy that you're enjoying the series, esp. given your job! Thank you!
As to your question: "The Bloom" is absolutely real. Not made up at all. Try it yourself sometime. Using cream or half-and-half, splash some in fresh coffee. Notice how quickly the "bloom" of white appears at the surface of the dark coffee. Now leave a cup of coffee for 30 minutes or more. Try the same splash of cream or half-and-half. You will see a noticeable difference. As coffee gets old in the cup, oils float to the top creating a filmy barrier. That's why there is no quick "bloom" of white in old coffee. Instead, the cream sinks to the bottom of the cup and slowly clouds it. This is a good test of whether coffee is fresh. (My source for that info was the CIA -- no, not the spy guys -- The Culinary Institute of America!
BTW: I do love a good pun (as you, no doubt, already surmised from my punny CM titles, lol). Well, that "bloom" comment in the book was an opportunity to play on a double meaning, too. Clare explains this trick to testing fresh coffee while enjoying a good cuppa in the middle of the blooming flowers of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden cafe...
To anyone visiting NYC, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a lovely, peaceful spot for lunch with tasty food and good coffee, too. Or check out your local botanic garden. It's a beautiful way to slow down, take a breath, and relax for a few hours in the middle of a busy week or weekend.
To locate a botanic garden
in your own state, click here.
Thank you so much for stopping by, Jane! If you'd like to let other Coffeehouse Mystery readers know where you work (so they can drop by and say hi), just send me a picture of your cafe. Feel free to show yourself in the pic, too, if you like! And I'll be happy to post it (and any Web site the cafe may have, as well)! My e-mail is VillageBlend@aol.com
Java joy to you and...
Come on back now, y'hear!