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One Christmas, my kids gave me a coffee grinder and my niece gave me On What Grounds. I've been hooked on the Village Blend Mysteries and fresh ground coffee ever since. This summer I discovered the haunted mysteries. (I also discovered the Stephanie Plum books and got a real kick out of Penelope selling a full set for beach reading 'cause that's why I bought them too.) When I'm not writing, I read, and lately I can't get enough of your books. Keep 'em coming! Alison
Cleo here. Hi Alison! Thank you so much for sharing that Christmas story. I love my coffee grinder, too. Okay, I know that sounds weird to some people, but I still remember the first time I figured out that I could grind my own whole beans and then tasted how fantastic and fresh the coffee was just doing that one thing. So, I hear you, girl!
I laughed out loud when you mentioned the Stephanie Plum reference in the Alice Kimberly ghost books. I LOVE Janet Evanovich. She is a fantastic writer and an amazing role model. There's nobody like Stephanie! It's a lot of fun to reference books and writers in the Haunted Bookshop mystery series--since it's a bookshop, I get to have fun with that. And Jack, too. He's A LOT of fun, I can tell you! Thanks again for posting, Alison. I'll keep 'em coming as long as you keep reading 'em!! Come on back to the Blend again, y'hear?!
Love both series
Thanks to the people at Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont, PA, I have enjoyed both series. I live in Lakeland, FL and get their newsletters and visit each summer. Your stories are great fun! In defense of decaf drinkers (who would love to drink the "real thing"), some diseases make caffeine a nightmare for us. Keep those great stories coming! Nancy
Cleo here. Hi, Nancy in super sunny Lakeland, Florida! It's great that you have such loyalty to a bookshop. Sending virtual pots of fresh brewed decaffeinated java to you and to the folks at the Mystery Lover's Bookshop in Oakmont, PA (my home state!) for turning you onto the Coffeehouse Mystery series as well as the Alice Kimberly Haunted Bookshop series. You know, I wrote Decaffeinated Corpse just for you--and your fellow decaf drinkers. Some day Ric's beans really will be a reality. People in the coffee industry are working hard to create a viable decaffeinated coffee plant. And when they finally do it, I'll be sure to trumpet the news on this site, so stay tuned. Thjanks again for your support of the series. It means the world to me. Drop back anytime to visit the virtual Village Blend!
i love these books and i love java
i have all of the books in your series and throughly enjoy the characters, the mix of mystery, reading and driking my coffee, my girlfriends all thrilled that i have become addicted to these wonderful stories. my dear mother bettina azzarello, raised in brooklyn, married and raised our family in california was so unique and so NY, i used to have cafe'au lait and eat wonderful italian cookies from local deli's or when her friend back east would send her a little pretty pink box of the real deal italian biscotte. i miss her very much and love the fact she introduced me into yummy coffee, expresso, and the finer yet simple pleasures in life, write on, we will read,thanks for the great books, valerie ferrari-haag
Cleo here. Hi, Valerie! By now, you kow that I enjoyed your post so much that I spotlighted it in my feature Blend article "Remembrance of Foods Past." If you didn't get a chance to read it, then just take a look at the article archives (click on the titles on the bottom of the Home Page). Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful memory! And thank you especially for supporting my Coffeehouse Mystery series. It's readers like you who make it possible for me to keep writing! My very best to you and yours...and I hope you'll back again to visit my virtual coffeehouse!
Who Is Mason Casey
Hi Cleo Good Luck with the new book. I need your advice on a strange happening in the East Village. Do you remember me writing to you about that guy I met in Tompkins Square Park? Well the strangest thing happened. The other morning Edgrr, (my trusty beagle) and I went out for a quick cappucino and a croissant at Le Gamin. Kerry was at "Comic Con", so I had nowhere that I had to be and could enjoy a leisurly East Village breakfast. Anyway, I was reading the personals in the Village Voice,(always very entertaining) and noticed an ad. "Mason Casey last seen in NYC"S East Village Tompkins Park Area". If you had seen him or have any info about his whereabouts, Please respond VV765. Cleo, that was the guy from Seattle that I met in the park. I knew there was something a bit strange about him .Should I respond? JCM
Cleo here. Hi JCM. I think you have a real mystery on your hands! If I were you, I'd respond to the Village Voice inquiry. But then I'm a writer, always looking for a good story! My bet is it's a jilted lover, looking for the guy that got away. Why do I say that? Because if it were foul play, you'd have read about it in the New York Daily News crime file! I hope Kerry enjoyed himself at Comic Con. That thing appears to get bigger and wilder every year! Thanks for stopping by again, JCM! You are most welcome to post anytime at the virtual Village Blend!
Call Me Madame!
Used to be I imagined myself as the young heroine in a novel...now @ age 66 I aspire to be Madame. Thanks for the new roll model!
Cleo here. God love you, girlfriend! You know, yours is the very best post I've read on this message board since it started. Bless your heart! I'm Clare's age, but I think you can tell that I aspire to be Madame, too. I think we all should!
Thanks very much for posting and for reading the series and admiring my beloved Madame. I hope she never disappoints you.
Come on back now and post again, y'hear?!
I love your books. I have read them all. My friends enjoy them also. I was wondering if you could post the recipies in your books on this web site. My friends keep borowing your coffee house mystery books from me, so I never have access to them. Thanks a lot. Keep writing. Wanda
Cleo here. Hi Wanda! I'm thrilled you enjoy my books and the recipes too. I'll be posting some of the published recipes as well as new ones on this site from time to time. Stay tuned! And tell your friends to check out the Web site. Who knows, maybe they'll even buy copies of their own. (It's a little known fact that when too many readers lend a writer's book, the writer's dip in royalties leaves her electric bills unpaid, and her laptop finally goes black.) *Grin* All kidding aside, Wanda, I'm really thrilled you like the books and recipes that much. Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to post. Come on back anytime (and stay tuned, new recipes will be posted over the coming months).
Cleo Coyle/Alice Kimberly--I've read them all so far!
Hello, Cleo/Alice! Since I am a bookstore haunter and a lover of a cup of good coffee at B&N, your books were a natural attraction for me. There is nothing better than to sip just plain coffee with a bit of half-and-half and begin to read my newest volume at my favorite bookstore. I don't know which series I like better. Your characters are so likable, even lovable. I like Clare, but my real favorite is Jack, the ghost, in your haunted bookstore series. I started reading your coffee house series and then, through the Internet, found out about Alice and the real folks behind the books. Anyway, I keep abreast of your publication dates, and head for B&N as soon as they are available. Thanks for writing such fun characters into such great reads! Ann from Tucson
Cleo here. Hi Ann from beautiful Tucson! I'm so excited that you like both series! I love writing them both, too (in collaboration with my wonderful husband). Jack, the hard-boiled ghost, is especially fun, isn't he? (For readers who are wondering Jack who? He's part of the series I write under the name "Alice Kimberly". Keep reading the posts on this message board and you'll see more info on that series, which is called The Haunted Bookshop mystery series. The first book is "The Ghost and Mrs. McClure." Anyway, Ann, thanks for the vote of confidence. It means a lot to me. I hope you'll drop back again and again to my virtual Village Blend!
I also hope I'll get to do a signing at a B&N in Tucson someday and I can meet you. Wouldn't that be fun? A coffeehouse tour/party at some of the cafes in B&N? If the series continues to grow, maybe it'll actually happen someday!
Coffee Expenditures Increase
Since I started the coffee mystery series, my coffee consumption increased. For Starbucks that is a good thing. I live in Seattle, so Starbucks is convenient and consistant, however, on a recent vacation in Arizona, I stoped by Coffee Plantation and they had some pretty awsome choices. Look forward to trying some of the coffee recipes soon.
Cleo here. Hey, there Seattle Poster! Wow, you live in a real coffee town. New York is just catching up to you guys. I've never heard of Coffee Plantation. I'll have to check them out! (I did find their Web site. So site visitors can click on the link to learn more). Thanks for the heads up, and thanks in the x-treme for reading and supporting the Coffeehouse Mysteries. You made me laugh about the increased coffee consumption. Ain't it the truth! LOL! People tell me it makes them crave a cuppa. No kidding, thanks for posting. Drop back to the virtual Village Blend anytime to tell us about other cool coffeehouses, blends or roasters you like, or anything else on your mind!
Love the books!
I have read all the coffeehouse mystery books and just love them, can't wait till the next one!! I am going to purchase the haunted mystery books as well, didn't know that you wrote them! Thanks for a great website!!
Cleo here. Hey, there! I don't know where you're writing from, but I want to thank you in the X-treme for making my day! Come on back anytime. And let me know how you like the Haunted Bookshop mysteries. For fans who don't know what the heck I'm talking about: my other pen name is "Alice Kimberly" - Under that name, in collaboration with my very talented husband, I write the Haunted Bookshop mysteries featuring the ghost of a hardboiled private eye named Jack Shepard, who was gunned down in the 1940s. He haunts Penelope, the young widowed owner of a Rhode Island bookshop. With all Jack's years of crime-solving experience, he helps Penelope solve murder mysteries. Till next time!
Newsletter Sign Up & Fraps
Hi, Cleo! My brother-in-law used to be a coffee salesman, and I became a bit of a snob about coffee and espresso (wanting only the best). Thanks to your books, I've discovered that there are lots of us out there, and that maybe I'm not a snob, but just have a "refined taste"! Your books are all on display in my kitchen, and inspired me to dig out my espresso machine again after a move (you know how it is with unpacking all those boxes :) The recipes are so much fun, and delicious, too! My favorite coffee "house" is Barnes & Noble, and I just discovered iced Frappuccino's, with shots of espresso for that caffeine kick; YUM! Usually, it's a Breve for me, but in the hot summertime, the iced Frap hits the spot. I'd love to sign up for the newsletter, but I can't get into the "passport" site. Is there any other way for me to sign up? Thanks in advance, LuAnn. P.S. Please say hi to Clare, Matt, Tucker, & Mike for me, give Joy a (gentle) tug on her ponytail, and give Madame a big hug from Northern Minnesota! Thanks again, and I already can't wait for the next book.
Cleo here. LuAnn from Northern Minnesota, you are the sweetest! First of all, thanks for your hugs for Madame and shout-outs to the rest of the Blend staff. Second: I would love for you to sign up for the newsletter! Just send a plain old e-mail that says "Sign me up!" to VillageBlend@aol.com - and I'll add your e-mail to the quickly growing newsletter list. Thank you very much for pointing out that you had trouble singing up, because if you had trouble, it's possible others did, too, so I made sure to put up notices on the Home Page and above for people to send e-mails directly if they have any problem with the newsletter sign-up button in the left column.
Very cool that your brother-in-law was a coffee salesman. This whole "snob" thing in the USA is going away quickly because so many young people are discovering and enjoying the coffeehouse experience (let's face it, Planet Starbucks is the reason why by sheer numbers alone, but they've paved the way for many other coffee shops to open). Since my heritage is Italian, I never thought of the drinks as snobby - just another way to enjoy a beverage. The pricing of the drinks sometimes makes people smirk, but I wouldn't call someone who has a few beers or cocktails after work a "snob" - and that's about the same amount of money anyone would spend hanging out at a coffeehouse. I prefer caffeine (and a delish pastry) to alcohol, so there you go! To each his own. Also, I've discovered a really passionate (if not fanatical) community online. www.CoffeeGeek.com makes me feel right at home with their discussions. I always learn something new in their forums - coffee roasters or coffeehouses are mentioned, etc. We're NOT coffee snobs. We're coffee GEEKS, thank you very much! Glad to have you among us, LuAnn. (We'll teach you the secret handshake at our next meeting.) Until then, no kidding, thanks for reading the series and taking the time to post! Come on back again to visit us at the virtual Village Blend.
Loved the new book!
I really enjoyed the new book. It is being passed around my office right now as I drink a hot cup of Chai Latte. That's right-I am a tea drinker with an open mind.
Cleo here. LOL! Well, you made me laugh today! As you know, Clare has an open mind, too. She welcomes tea drinkers at the Village Blend as warmly as she welcomes coffee drinkers (and now decaf coffee drinkers, too)! And just to prove it, here's a lovely VIRTUAL pot of tea for you!
No kidding, thanks for stopping by and posting. And thanks for your support of the series. I hope your office mates enjoy Clare, Matt, Madame, and the Village Blend gang as much as I enjoy writing about them.
yes!! to matt and clare
can we say rebound i like Quinn but also lovematt and clare in a world gone crazy with no loyalty no permanence we need strong couples like them look at j.d. robb power couple eve and rourke she keeps them interesting AND together .whether real or not we need more happy endings in our leisure time because we sure do not have them in real life thats why most read to escape REALTY fan from jersey
Cleo here. Fan from Jersey, howya doin' from the great state of Stephanie Plum! I appreciate your feedback on the Clare and Matt issue. It's VERY interesting. Here's the other side of the coin. Some readers have told me that if they were Clare, they would never forgive Matt for all his cheating - and they still don't trust him. They think Mike Quinn would treat her better and she'd be better off with him since he's a snoop at heart, too! BUT, it seems other readers believe that Clare and Matt have the real chemistry. They have the history and there is real love there, not to mention the passion for coffee. Does anyone else want to weigh in with an opinion? This line of discussion "Clare and Matt" versus "Clare and Quinn" is a hoot! Thanks, Jesey Fan, for your support of the series. It means the world to me. Thanks also for taking the time to post. Come on back now, y'hear!
Canadian Mystery Fan
I just wanted to say I saw something on here about another series you write the Haunted bookshop. I picked up the Ghost and Mrs McClure at the library and couldn't put it down I finally had to just because I could no longer see straight. My neighbours were most likely wondering why the heck the lady next door was cackling at 3 in the mornining for. Can't wait to find the rest Rochelle
Cleo here. Hi, Rochelle "Chelle"! You are TOO kind. Glad you like Jack, the friendly P.I. ghost. He's haunted me for years. Now you're stuck. He's going to haunt you up there in Canada, too! But he's actually a very cool ghost to have around. Enjoy him!
--Cleo Coyle (aka Alice Kimberly)
Grw up on Coffee
Back in Northern Minnesota along the Snake River where we lived. Mom would cook coffee on the old cook stove. From the time we were able to sit on dad's knee we drank coffee. Started out with cream in it the way dad liked it. We kids would dunk our sugar lumps in it and suck the coffee out. Rarely drank milk but had to have real cream for the coffee. Still do. But sometimes drink it black. We don't have any close coffee houses where I am at in South Dakota. Nearest one is 150 miles away. But the cafes sometime brew good coffee. I have had some terrible tasting coffee from there also. I just started your series of Coffehouse Mystery books am enjoying them. Can't wait to try your Haunted Bookshop mysteries. Connie from Bison, South Dakota
Cleo here. Awesome coffee tale, Connie from Bison, SD. I can just see you and your sibs sucking on the sugar cubes around the kitchen table, with your dad sipping his after-dinner mug! LOL! Your post made me realize that coffee can be a real memory trigger for some of us--when we first started drinking it, when we shared a pot with friends, the best cup we ever had... One of my own best cups was in Alaska, after a meal of local salmon and the coffee served to me was pure, real Kona from Hawaii. At the time, I'd been passing through Anchorage on the way to visit my sister, who was working as a physician for the Indian Health Service in Bethel--a small community in the western region. So even though I've been living in the big, bad city for years, I know that living in a more remote, rugged region can be a beautiful way of life (my sister loved it--the community was very tight). Thanks for posting, girl. And thanks also for your kind words about the series. I hope you enjoy the Alice Kimberly Haunted Bookshop books, too. Here's the cover of the first one if you're curious: The Ghost and Mrs. McClure, written under my other pen name Alice Kimberly. There are three out thus far, and I recently turned in a new manuscript to my publisher for publication next year. Come on back anytime to tell me what you think. Until then, cheers out there in beautiful South Dakota,where "under God, the people rule."
clare and matt
i really loved your stories but the direction of clare and matt (who i think have all the chemistry) is too sad i like quinn but i love matteo and clare
Cleo here. Well, well, well..we have another Clare-Matt fan! *GRIN* This makes me laugh because I've had many readers tell me that they can't wait for Clare to get together with Mike Quinn and now we have two posts in a row wanting Clare to give her ex another chance. Hmmmm...as I told Hollina (post below), nothing is written in stone. Stay tuned--and thanks in the X-treme for reading the series. Drop by again!
Another Great Cup of Coffee
Hi. I stumbled upon your books while purchasing my Caramel Frappacino with 3 floating shots so I can taste the Espresso at my local Barnes And Noble/Starbucks Cafe. I think they are quite wonderful and witty. I do look forward to more, but I can help but say it would be nice to see Clare and Matteo together again since he thinks he can now commit why not to her and not the snob Bree? Just a thought. Thanks. I am looking forward to your next book. Ciao. Hollina Compiano
Cleo here. Hi Hollina! Love the idea of floating 3 shots in a Caramel Frap. I'll have to try that! (And I'm sure more than a few readers of this post will give it a try, too.) Thanks for the very nice words about the books. Clare and Matt have a long history and their future is far from set in stone. As I've heard other writers say, when you create characters that are real to you (and hopefully the readers), they begin to take on lives of their own. They begin to tell YOU what their future is. What will happen with Clare and Matt? I only know what they tell me, so stay tuned and we'll see what happens! LOL! In the meantime, thanks for stopping by the virtual Village Blend. Come on back now, y'hear?!
Loving the website
Just wanted to drop another line(I was the inspired one) and say that I love this website and all the different avenues you can explore. I also love hearing the feed back from YOU, I think that is cool that you are in touch with your readers. And lastly can't wait for the next book the latest one was just as fun as the others.....Sam, a beach bum....
Cleo here. Hey, Sam! THANKS for your vote of confidence on the books and the site. I be tryin'. So I'm assuming you are a coffee-loving, mystery-reading surfer. Awesome, dude. Come on back for a cuppa anytime. In the meantime, here's a virtual cappuccinio and biscotti for your trouble. Stay cool!
Canadian Mystery Lover
hi Cleo I'm an avid mystery lover and you're books are one of 13 series on my shelves at home (maybe I should find another series that's a scary number lol) I don't drink coffee other then Iced in the summer. I didn't grow up with it though My mom while loving coffee gets sick while drinking it and didn't have it around much. I discovered that I like Medium blends dark and extra dark are way to strong for me. I'm thinking of getting myself a coffee machine and maybe some of those flavoured coffee syrups. Any advice for a newbie coffee drinker? I have an authors wall of fame of sorts in my home library with their pics and autographs. If I emailed you my snail mail addy would you be able to send me one of you so I can add it to my wall? thanks for taking time to answer and write these fun books. Rochelle in Vancouver Canada (P.S. my friends call me Chelle)
Cleo here. Hi Chelle in the great country of Canada! (If you're a fan of the series, we're definitely friends, so I hope it's okay to call you Chelle.) LOL on the 13th series. (I've found that 13 can be a lucky number, too!) Per the coffee...I like medium blends as well as dark, so more power to your preferences. As you know, medium blends have more caffeine, so I epsecially enjoy them in the morning. As far as a coffee machine, I don't have a fancy espresso machine in my home for two reasons: I can easily get espressos at nearby coffeehouses in NYC and I can't do them better. And the truth is that very few home espresso machines can produce the heat and pressure necessary to give you an excellent espresso experience in your own kitchen. I mostly enjoy drip or French press brews at home for that reason. If I want something stronger and really want an espresso but don't want to venture out, or I want to prepare a coffee latte or another coffee cocktail, I'll start with an espresso made on my stovetop with a Moka pot. I'm putting a photo here for you to see what I mean. These pots were invented in Italy in the 1930s by a man named Alfonso Bialetti. They're inexpensive and come in small and large sizes. If you want more info on buying an espresso machine CoffeeGeek.com recently posted a good article. here's the link. GUIDE TO BUYING AN ESPRESSO MACHINE. But, frankly, if you don't care for the taste of dark roast coffees, I'd venture to guess that espresso or coffee made in a Moka pot isn't going to float your boat. I'd stick with a good fresh medium roast in a drip machine or French press. I think syrups would be fun to try in your iced coffee. Put some coffee and flavored syrup in your blender and take it for a spin with some ice cubes and milk. To keep the coffee from getting too diluted by the ice, brew it double or triple strength, or make ice cubes out of the coffee itself. Try vanilla or chocolate to start and venture into other flavors if you dare! (I noticed raspberry and chocolate frozen lattes are big in NYC this summer.) Coffee syrups are available at many sites on the Internet. Amazon even sells them, just do a search on coffee syrup to find a flavor you like... Also...I am flattered in the x-treme that you'd want my pic and autograph. At this point in time, I don't have a press kit or photos to send out. For now, this Website is how I'll be keeping in touch with you and other readers--and any other curious visitors who might find the time to stop by for a virtual cuppa. I hope that's okay. If there's an author tour in my future, I'll be sure to let you know via this Website and my newsletter, and perhaps we can meet in person some day. Until then, come on back anytime to the virtual Village Blend! And thanks, Chelle, for your support of the series and the lovely things you said. It means the world to me.
Decaffers given reprieve
I was happy that decaf drinkers were given a reprieve in "Decaffeinated Corpse". I love coffee. I love mysteries. I've indulged in both since my early teens. Unfortunately due to health reasons I have to limit my caffeine intake significantly. Clare's inclusion of the decaffeinated bean allowed me to again feel welcome at the Village Blend."Why bother?" Because these mysteries and characters are fun and why give up more than I have to? Marie from Pennsylvania
Cleo here. Sending this shout-out to homegirl "Marie" from my home state of Pennsylvania. Decaf drinkers unite! No need to boycott the caffeinated series now. Clare's stocking decaf for all. I love your "why bother" line. LOL. I should hire you to write the series advertising copy! Thanks for your support of the series, Marie. Come on back again anytime to visit the Blend. Cheers!
I had been anxiously awaiting this one, since I read all of the previous coffeehouse books last year. The ending was a suprise. Last year's book, was great as my late husband was a native of the Hamptons, so I could relate. These are great plane books(as I travel each week) They keep your interest, and have some humor. I just adore your Madame character. Thank you for the great read and receipes. Cathe in Birmingham
Cleo here. Hi, Cathe in Birmingham! Wow, sounds like you travel a lot! I'm glad Clare, Matt, Madame and the gang can keep your company during your travels. I'm also happy to hear that you enjoyed the book set in the Hamptons (Murder Most Frothy), especially with your late husband's origins there. It's a beautiful place and inspiring for a writer--full of so much history and story. If you've never seen the movie Pollock, directed by and starring Ed Harris, I think you might enjoy it. Some of it is set in the Hamptons of the 1940s and early 50s when painter Jackson Pollack first went there (Springs, outside of East Hampton) with his wife to work. Far from a glamorous life, Pollack toiled in an unheated studio, stoking a pot-bellied stove in the freezing cold winter. The film shows how difficult a time he had emotionally. He was a tortured alcoholic for years, and if it weren't for his wife Lee Krasner, it's doubtful he would have become the world-famous abstract expressionist painter that he did. I actually met one of the two screenwriters of Pollock. She herself had a father who was an artist, so I'm sure this was a project close to her heart. Thanks for posting, Cathe, stop by the virtual Village Blend anytime! Safe travels now! (And I love Madame, too!)
Just Another Day In Tompkins Square Park, East Village,NYC
Hi Cleo: NYC'S East Village is just the place for a close encounter of the romantic kind. There I was minding my own business, walking through the park, on my way, to buy some Kona Whole Bean at Porto Rico coffee purveyors, which is at the corner of 8th Street & Second Avenue. All of a sudden, this fellow asks me how to get to Rivington Street. I, having lived in the Village for many years, gave him accurate directions. He had been in from Seattle, and of course was enthralled with "The Village". He was tall, blond but seemed a bit strange. Usually my "weird guy radar" goes off immediately and I politely but firmly end the conversation. This time I did not. After answering more questions about where to go and what to do, I realized that he was a bit more interested in continuing the conversation than I was. So after about 15 minutes, I said "Have a great day". He then mustered up his courage and asked me if I would consider a coffee date later that evening. Being 30 years his senior and happily married, I declined. I walked away and thought to myself isn't life in the East Village great. Where else could one have one's coffee and drink it too----only in New York City. Love Saves The Day! JCM/NYC
Cleo here. Replying to JCM in NYC! Listen up, girlfriend, Demi and Madonna both hooked up with younger men. It's tres chic! So being happily married is your ONLY good excuse for not meeting that big, blond Seattle man for a hot cuppa. As for your trip to Porto Rico, site visitors can click on the words to learn more about that wonderful shop, which has been selling coffee for a century (the late culinary fiction writer Laurie Colwin once famously wrote about buying beans there). And here's another link to tell everyone more about the Kona coffee you bought. Cheers, JCM! Loved your post. Thanks for stopping by the virtual Village Blend, come on back now, y'hear!
Can't wait for the next book!
I've read all your book and really loved them. I love coffee....and your books are just fun to read.
Cleo here. You are sweet in the X-treme for taking the time to make me smile. And I'm very glad you find the books fun to read. That's my aim--to entertain. (They're fun to write, too.) Thanks for visiting the virtual Village Blend!
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!