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Hello from Tammy in Northern VA
Cleo, I go to the Malice Domestic convention, and realized how many cozies are out other than Diane Mott Davidson. That's how I found you. I've been drinking coffee for 3 years. Mostly I enjoy frappacinos (I can't make them with my espresso machine) and the occasional macchiato or chocolatey latte. Your books are great. They set the stage of a Starbucks from 100 years ago, that same cozy feel the larger ones have (I don't have a homespun coffeeshop I frequent). Descriptions of your store and accessories are very vivid, a real treat! Showing the coffee making process is a blast. I am attempting my first novel, a cozy mystery. Authors like you and your friend Alice Kimberly have opened my eyes to different ideas of what to write. You inspire me, and I will keep reading your art until you quit! I hope one day to get your book signed. Thank you for the inspiration and enjoyment you give thousands (millions!) of fans.
Cleo here. Hi, Tammy in Northern VA! You made my day. I'm thrilled that I can inspire another writer, even a little. It's great that you're writing a cozy, too. I think Agatha's genre is a wonderful sandbox (that's how I think of it). It's Agatha Christie's house, we're all just visiting! If I could presume to give you one piece of writing advice, it would be this: put yourself in your book as much as possible. Who you are, how you see the world, your "voice," is the most valuable gift you can give your readers. The very best of luck to you, and thanks a million for your wonderful post! Be sure to drop in again and let us know how the book is going!
Hello from MN!
Hi, Cleo. I discovered your Coffeehouse Mysteries in a display at B&N. Bought the first & started to read it, then ran back to buy the rest before I was finished! I also just ordered & received all the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, only to find out that those are you too! Haven't started them yet, but am really looking forward to them. I love books, coffee & tea. I am lucky enough to have a few coffee shops nearby, mostly independents, that are great fun. I never drank coffee until it was all that was available when I did a college internship at a Federal Prison. Started off with lots of creamer & sugar, but lost the sugar bit long ago. However, I blame my Mother for giving me the half and half habit ("the calcium is good for your bones, dear"). She drank two pots of regular coffee a day! If you ever come to Northern MN, we have lots of lovely places to enjoy a great cup of coffee. There is even a couple of local places that roast coffee on site. Keep up the good work! HJ in MN
Cleo here. Hi HJ in MN! You ran back to the store to buy the other books!Wow. How cool is that? I'm grinning from ear to ear--and simultaneously hoping that you don't start reading the rest of the series and go back to the store one more time (to demand a refund)! But I'll keep my fingers crossed that you like all the books. It's very cool that you discovered the Haunted Bookshop series as well. Those are little gems, I can tell you. They're written from some magical place--I swear the ghost of Jack Shepard feels so real it's spooky (pun intended!). Love the mother half-and-half story. I was always a half-and-halfer. When I first met my husband, he was putting milk in his coffee. I turned him onto 1/2 and 1/2 and now he's a fanatic. Don't even TRY to give the man milk in his coffee. I would love to visit your local coffeehouses, and if I'm in your neck of the woods, I'll check them out. You are most welcome to post about any of your faves and post links to their Websites too. I'm hoping that over time, I can create a page with coffeehouses around the country that series readers recommend. Thanks for posting and reading the books, of course! Come on back now, y'hear!
Congrats! But where's my muffin?
I just logged on for the first time, and had to post a congratulatory note, though I'm rushing out the door. Have to make the grueling but requisite 15-minute abs class at NY Health & Racquet Club. Requisite, because this morning, as every morning, I indulged in a savory and fattening muffin from East Village coffee house, CIAO FOR NOW! Where else can you get a mango/strawberry muffin or cherry/banana scone, for under two bucks?! Until the Village Blend enters the physical world, you'll find me there. -Kerry in the East Village
Cleo here. Hey, there, Ab Man in the East Village! I found a Website that talks about your favorite coffeehouse Ciao for Now. (Site visitors can click on the words to see the page and photos.) That mango/strawberry muffin sounds WILD. Definitely something to check out on my next trip to EV!! Thanks for posting, Kerry. Come on back anytime to the virtual Village Blend!
Love the new book!
I just finished your latest and it is GREAT. The web site is one of the best I've seen for authors! I teach high school and try to limit myself to one latte a day (sometimes the need wins out and I have two). I am definitely in favor of a book/coffee house tour! I also donated my copies of the first 3 Coffee House Mysteries to our local library-- they were excited and your series has been added to the "Up and Coming Series" shelf. I can't wait for the next installment of Clare. Candice Phillips
Cleo here. Hi, Candice! Thank you SO much for your kind words. I'm really happy you like the Website, too. It's never easy to get things off the ground--lots of second guessing--and you never really know if people will like something until you get it out there. So it's gratifying to hear your words. Very cool that you teach high school--a challenge if ever there was one. Keeping up with teens is never easy. I can see why you'd need that second latte! I applaud you (and all teachers) who are out there in the trenches, providing guidance to the world's future. It's great that you donated the first three CM books to the library, where more cozy mystery readers can discover them. Thanks for posting and stopping by the virtual Village Blend. Come on back!
Love coffee and anything related to it
Love to drink it, think about it, smell it, so reading about it is a natural. Love this series, also love the Haunted Bookshop series -- not surprised that is you, too. Love New York, too -- wish you really did have a coffee house here. I live in NY, and I even collect clothes with coffee cups and tea cups on them
Cleo here. Hey, there, NY neighbor! I am thrilled that you like the Coffeehouse series--being such a fan of the bean, you would know whether the coffee talk is worthy. Great news also that you're reading my Alice Kimberly Haunted Bookshop series. That one is also a lot of fun to write. Thanks for posting and visiting the site. Come on back now, y'hear!
LOVE Your Books
I'm reading Decaffeinated Corpse right now and have read all your other books. I love them and having the recipes included is awesome! I've been a coffee drinker since High School and reader...what better combination! Since reading your books I have decided I am going to order myself some Jamaica Blue beans for a birthday gift to myself!
Cleo here. Hey, there! Happy birthday! I was a coffee drinker young, too. Started in high school at my mother's suggestion--because I had the hardest time waking up in the mornings. The bean got me through countless all-nighters in college and still fuels many a marathon writing session. You are super sweet to say such nice things about the books. Thanks for stopping by and posting, too. Come on back again, anytime, and have a great birthday!
P.S. Although they're not currently featuring Jamaica Blue Mountain, I can tell you that the Counter Culture Coffee folks have some spectacular coffees for sale that you would probably enjoy just as much as JBM (and you'd be able to afford more beans for the money, too). I myself have ordered from Counter Culture Coffee (BLEND: Magnolia Blend and AFRICAN COFFEE: Ethiopian Yirgacheffe) and have really enjoyed their beans. When they sent the Yirgacheffe, they even included an info sheet about the farm where it came from. Fun!
Just finished Decaffeinated Corpse
Just finished Decaffeinated Corpse and posted a review here: CLICK HERE TO READ COZY LIBRARY'S REVIEW OF DECAFFEINATED CORPSE I didn't start drinking coffee until I was 35. My breakfast drink was Tab, and at business meetings, I was constantly razzed about it. I decided to try coffee (mainly to stop the razzing) and, for me, it was an acquired taste. My usual? McDonald's decaf with one cream (54 cents for a "senior" cup -- can't beat that price!). I also like McDonald's iced coffee with vanilla. I detest sugar in coffee! At a "real" coffeehouse, I always order the decaf house blend and top it off with a muffin, usually chocolate or orange.
Cleo here. Hi, Cozy Library Lady! Your Tab story made me laugh out loud. It reminded me that my boyfriend in college couldn't stand coffee. He drank orange soda to wake up for early lectures. At night he drank cocoa and sometimes tea. Suffice it to say, I am married now but not to him. I was always a coffee freak, and I swore after college (where I drank countless cups of complete crap to pull all-nighters) that I would never, ever drink muddy swill again. And, so far, with the help of excellent coffeehouses I've kept my promise to myself (and since I don't drink much alcohol or smoke ciggys, I figure I can afford to splurge on the java). It all worked out in the end since my love of the bean now has an outlet in fiction (unfortunately the nice man who does our taxes still won't let me deduct my coffee bills. Go figure). Thank you for posting and for reviewing Decaffeinated Corpse. I'm so glad you liked it!
I have all your CoffeeHouse Mysteries and really enjoyed them -- thanks for many hours of enjoyable reading, and please keep them coming! Pat/Bethlehem, PA
Cleo here. Hi, Pat! You made my day! I love Bethlehem, by the way. I grew up in Western, PA, and after moving to NYC, I've driven back across the Keystone state countless times to visit my family. The famous "star" of Bethlehem, PA, was always amazing to see during the holiday months. I appreciate your support of the series and am so happy you posted to tell me about it! Come on back again anytime to visit the virtual coffeehouse.
Cleo here! I have replies for everyone who posted in the last week, just scroll down and you'll see them. And to the NY grad student, who asked about what local coffeehouses inspired me, I gave you a quick answer now, but your question inspired me to do a bigger future post on the Home Page with photos to give fans some visual aids on Clare's neighborhood. Great question! Stay tuned! I'll post a Village tour in the next month or so.
Keep those comments and questions coming!
I'm addicted to coffee and the books!!!
I love the books and the adventures that occur. To have two of my favorite things together is just heavenly. Thanks for the great reading!!! Keep up the great job and I look forward to the next book/adventure that comes.
Cleo here. Hey, there, thanks for posting, and I love that you used the word "adventures" because that really nails how I think of Clare. She's someone who's life has been ultra responsible for years while she was raising Joy and her husband was off having adventures all over the world. Now, finally, it's Clare's turn to have adventures! And I'm very glad you're enjoying them! --Cleo Coyle
Love your Books! They are the best.
I have all your CoffeeHouse Mysteries that are out now, and I love them. Can't wait for the next one. Keep them coming.
Cleo here. I'll keep writing, if you keep reading! Thanks for posting and stopping by my "virtual" coffeehouse! --Cleo Coyle
Love your books!!
I just received your latest book today. I absolutely love coffee and mysteries. To have them both at one time is wonderful. Keep the books coming! Lisa in Katy TX
Cleo here. Hello Lisa from the great state of Texas! I love your state. My sister once lived in Houston and my husband and I are great fans of Robert E. Howard, a Texas son who wrote all of his amazing fantasy stories in Cross Plains. Thanks for posting and stopping by. It's fans like you who make the hard work worth it. --Cleo Coyle
2008 can't come soon enough!
I just finished "Decaffeinated Corpse" and I am ready for "French Pressed" - I can't get enough of Clare Cosi and the mysteries that surround her.
Cleo here. Well bless you for keeping me and my husband in coffee beans! I'm writing French Pressed now and having a great time of it. Clare is once again in "hot water" (groan)-- sorry but with these titles, coffee puns are par for the course (gee, that's a golf reference, isn't it? And I don't even play golf). Anyway, thanks sincerely for posting and reading the CM books! --Cleo Coyle
Just wanted to say I love the books, and it has actually inspired me to work harder at my own job where I deal with food and beverages(probably cos she is so passionate about coffee and her store). Cant wait for the next outing with Clare and the gang.
Cleo here. I know in today's snarky, cynical culture that "sappy" isn't hip, but let me just say that your post LITERALLY brought tears to my eyes. (As sappy as that sounds, it's nonetheless true.) I know how hard it is to make a living these days, pay bills, keep relationships from blowing up in your face, withstand the onslaught of freakishly bad-mannered bosses. So it means the world to me that Clare and her stories can inspire you even a little bit. And I can tell you that Clare is not a stretch. I've met men and women in the food and bev industry who've inspired me to draw her just the way she is--caring passionately about the job she does because she knows it's her way of connecting to people and the community around her. Making that connection the best it can possibly be (even if it's just pulling a perfect espresso or making sure the cafe tables are clean for the next customer) is what matters most to her. Thanks SO much for posting and reading the books. Stop by the "virtual" coffeehouse here anytime! --Cleo Coyle
Coffee before exercise
I always have a cup or two of coffee before I meet my trainer to lift weights (actually I have coffee every day anyway!). My trainer thinks that is not so good but I see from you post on Exercise and coffee that caffeine decreased muscle soreness. HA. Thanks Cleo for sharing that tidbit. Can't wait to tell my trainer! Gracie
An old boyfriend of mine who was a serious marathon runner (and a high school gym teacher), had NO problem with drinking coffee! So there you go! Java continues to rule. --Cleo Coyle
Loved Decaffeinated Corpse!
Hi Cleo, Although I absolutely hate coffee, I LOVE you books! I'm a book-a-holic and when I found your 1st book I thought it sounded interesting. I loved it and have anxiously awaited every book since then, I read "Decaffeinated Corpse" this afternoon and it was great! Do you do book tours and if you do, will you be coming through North Carolina anytime? I would love to have one of your books autographed. One of my hobbies is collecting autographed mysteries books.
Hi North Carolina! I love your state. It's so beautiful! If the Coffeehouse Mystery books continue to do well, a book tour is not out of the question. My pipe dream is to do a book-signing and coffee tasting with B&N cafes, local independent coffeehouses, and any other bookstores that think it's a bright idea. I'll cross my fingers that enough fans come on board to make that possible. Then we can all get together and have a moveable coffee feast (and for fans who hate coffee, I'll be sure to have pastries and tea on hand, too!). If you subscribe to my newsletter, I'll let you know when and if that takes place. Maybe in 2008 or 2009. Lots to look forward to! Thanks for posting and thanks in the extreme for reading the series. You made my day!
Ms. Coyle...Village Blend Inspiration?
I just wanted to thank you for "blending" two of my favorite things...reading mysteries and drinking coffee! I am currently a grad student in the New York City and spend a lot of time doing work while getting my favorite caffeine fix. I was wondering if you based the idea for the "Village Blend" on any specific coffeehouse in New York City. Thanks and keep up the great work!
Cleo here. Hi New York grad student! You have asked a great question. So great that you have inpsired me to write a longer post for the home page with photos to show fans of the series Clare's village. I'll answer you briefly now but stay tuned for a longer version in the next month or so. When I lived in the East Village, it was in a building on 7th Street between Avenues A and B. Right below me was Bread and Roses, a little bakery that also sold coffee. It was great living above a place like that, very cozy. It's not there any longer but right next door the "horseshoe" bar (or at least that's what we called it) still is - it was used in the movie Rent, even though they called it Life Cafe in the movie and even though Life Cafe is on the other side of Tompkins Square park. Anyway! I've hung out at various Village cafes over the years. The Peacock Cafe at 24 Greenwich Ave. is now a sushi restaurant (sadly), and the Lantern cafe (I believe it was on MacDougal) is now a wine bar. But Cafe Reggio gives you a sense of just how old a cafe can be in the Village. It was started in 1927 and it's full of atmosphere, although I wouldn't say it's what I had in mind for the fictional Village Blend. A cafe that's more in keeping with the Village Blend's atmosphere and philosophy is a newer one. It's called Joe the Art of Coffee and it's located on Waverly (they also have a storefront near Union Square). It's a small place, much smaller than the fictional Blend, but the people who run it are just as passionate as Clare Cosi. There are other coffeehouses in or near the Village that I'll write about in the future. Lots of great places to sit down with a hot Joe (or cup of same). Thanks for posting your great question and thanks in the extreme for reading the books!
Hello from a fan
Just wanted to say that I truly love the series and look forward to more!
You made my day! Thank you!
The paperback question
Okay, although I am more than thrilled that the coffeehouse mystery series isn't going anywhere anytime soon do we really need to make that switch to hardcover. Don't get me wrong, I will reluctantly make that hardcover purchase but the paperback prices are definitely easier on the wallet, especially when your husband has put you on a bookbuying budget...lol -Heather the Jersey girl
Cleo here. Oy. I know what you mean about hardcover prices, but never fear. There will be 2 Coffeehouse Mystery books out in 2008 - a paperback releasing early in the year as Coffeehouse Mystery #6 French Pressed, and a hardcover releasing later in the year as Coffeehouse Mystery #7 (the price on the hardback will be reasonable), but you can always borrow the book from the library or wait for its subsequent PB release a year later. Believe me, I know how tough it is to be on a budget, but...it's very hard to earn a living as a full-time pro writer. Moving into hardcover helps the profit margin. It takes extraordinary numbers to get "rich" as a writer, so I don't expect to be giving Dan Brown or J.K. Rowling anything to worry about anytime soon. I would like to keep earning my living though! So while I feel for your budget, I also feel for mine! Little known fact: paying the electricity bill actually prevents laptop screens from going black. LOL Thanks in the X-treme for reading my books now and in the future (whether paper or hardback, I'll take it!) Thanks also for posting, neighbor. Come on back now y'here!
Hello from Appleton WI
My daughter works at a bookstore...and she knows I LOVE coffee...and mysteries...so.. she gave me for Christmas one year... your first coffee house mystery...which I just enjoyed soooo much. I have purchased each one since..such fun reads. Yesterday..July 3...I bought the new one..and am most eager to read it... especially since seeing something about.. handcuffs. I was hoping more would develop between Clare and Mike !! Recently I discovered a delightful place to visit...the Aspen Coffee and Tea Co.. here in town. A really fun place...to have lunch...read...and enjoy....coffee !
Hi Appleton, WI! You sound like one adorable mom--not unlike Clare--and I'm extremely happy that you found the series. A big shout-out to your daughter who works in the bookstore and noticed the books! It's people like your daughter who have helped the series blossom in sales. The series started below the public's radar but booksellers like her started reading them and quietly recommending them to customers. Many thanks to her for that and to you for posting. If I'm ever in your neck of the woods, I'm going to stop by Aspen Coffee and Tea Co to get a cuppa for myself. To steal a phrase from Philip Marlowe "Coffee is my business" -- so it's no surprise that I'm always happy to hear about a cool coffeehouse! --Cleo Coyle
Handcuffs and more, stay tuned!
Hey, Cleo! Just finished your latest book!! can't wait for the next one. I found your coffeehouse series by accident and have loved each one. It will be interesting to see what happens with you and "the handcuffs"
Cleo here. I'm so glad you found the series! It's been below the radar, but building slowly over time, and it's readers like you who are helping it grow and succeed. Thank you for reading the books and also for stopping by my "virtual" coffeehouse. As far as those "handcuffs" of Detective Mike Quinn's...you ain't see nothing yet. Clare and Mike are just getting started. Stay tuned for "French Pressed" in 2008! (P.S. For those of you who are wondering "What handcuffs?", the answer is in the epilogue of Decaffeinated Corpse).
Hi Cleo! I have been reading your coffee house series since the first book. My husband is active duty Air Force (23 years and still serving). Once he retires, we are planning to open our own coffee shop. I love all the great tips in your book and eat them up as I read. We plan on having a couple of book cases in our place so that patrons can come in and relax. Naturally, your books will have priority since they are our main source of OJT at the moment while we are still in the dreaming phase. Please keep the mysteries coming. By the way, any plans to publish them on audio? I love to listen to audibooks while I work. Lora in the UK (for now...lol)
Cleo here. Hi, Lora in the UK! God bless your husband for serving in the Air Force and God bless you for the often thankless work of sticking by and constantly worrying about him. I have the utmost respect for anyone serving in the military, especially at this time. And their families deserve every honor. Please stay safe! As to your coffeehouse aspirations, they sound wonderful. Let me know when and if you open and I'll be sure to announce it on this site and link to your Web address. As to audio books, that's something I would love to see done in the future (my sister's a doctor and has very little time to read so audio is her thing too). After next year's release of the 6th Coffeehouse Mystery (French Pressed), the series is moving into hardcover. Audio may be on the horizon as well. We'll see! Thanks for writing! I hope to hear from you again soon.
Hey Cleo! Just Got Your Latest Book!!!!
I can't wait to start it. I had to come down to my grandparents for the weekend and brought it with me. PS.. What's your fav coffee drink? Lori in MO....
Cleo here. Hi Lori in MO! Thank you for buying my latest book and keeping me and my husband in coffee beans! My favorite coffee changes with the season, time of day, etc. In general, I like a hot vanilla latte at a coffeehouse (lattes are statistically the most popular drink at American coffeehouses, so I guess I'm in the majority!). In the summer I enjoy frozen coffee fappes. I also enjoy drip brews at home and drink a variety of blends and single-origin beans. One blend I'm enamored with lately is the Magnolia Grill blend, which is made for the Magnolia Grill restaurant in NC by Counter Culture Coffee (I've linked to them in the right column). My favorite Starbucks blend over the years has been Yukon. Your question's great. I'll definitely post more in the future about favorite cups! Thanks for posting, Lori! I hope you like the latest book.
Coffeeshop in McLean, Virginia
I live in Arlington, Virginia but often drop by a great coffeeshop, Greenberry's, in a small shopping center in McLean. The coffee is very good! The place decor is mostly brown wood and some green painted details, lots of interesting mugs and teapots on shelves. I think there are quite a few writers (or students maybe), with laptops who stay there for hours. They also serve tea in a pot if you request it and will make the tea extra strong too! A few shops away is The Old Book Company, which sells a fantastic selection of old books on all subjects, in several languages. And you are allowed to take your coffee into this shop with you, sit on the comfy armchairs and read! So if Greenberry's if full, inside or outside on the patio, you can go to the bookshop. Greenberry's always has a display of framed photographs by local photographers, some who have apparently travelled a great deal. By the way, great books, great site, I can't wait for the next book! Mary
Cleo here. Hi Mary! Thank you for telling us about your favorite coffee shop! If I'm ever in McLean, I'll be sure to stop by Greenberry's for a great cuppa J. I LOVE what you said about the Old Book Company letting Greenberry's customers bring their coffee with them to look for a good read. I'm thrilled you like the series, too! Anyone else have a favorite coffeehouse or bookstore they'd like to tell us about? Go for it!
Congrats! I'm so excited that there is a website for one of my all time favorite series.