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I'm still looking for the recipe for the mystery drink in your newsletter.
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It is now on my Facebook Page.
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Happy New Year!
A Coffeehouse Mystery
by Cleo Coyle
Cleo's reply -
Many things inspired us to write our latest Coffeehouse Mystery.
First and foremost what always inspires me and my husband (who is also my partner in crime writing) is our desire to entertain our readers, and we hope we accomplished that for you!
As for more specific inspiration...
We were itching to have a little fun with "smartphone culture," which has become a new way for an entire generation to communicate. It has changed the way many of us live, work, and play.
Many people have concerns about this new technology and the way it is changing life as we know it. We knew we'd have a good time with this idea, and we plunged ahead, developing a plotline around it.
Another major inspiration was our setting...
The Coffeehouse Mysteries are set in a landmark coffeehouse in picturesque Greenwich Village, which is part of New York City.
My husband and I have lived in New York for a very long time, and the city inspires us daily.
For example, we were inspired by the rise of "Silicon Alley" here in New York City. Now most people have heard of "Silicon Valley" in California, a world-famous hub for high-tech innovation and development. Well, many high-tech companies have now opened branches in New York. Not only that, brand new Internet "start-up" companies have launched here, too.
Both of these inspiring ideas (the smartphone culture and the rise of "Silicon Alley" in New York) play out in Billionaire Blend by way of our main character, coffeehouse manger Clare Cosi, when she saves the life of billionaire Eric Thorner, a brilliant, young mathematician who has become one of the world's most successful developers of computer games and smartphone applications.
As the plot thickens, Clare is pulled into a murder mystery surrounding Eric, and we find out more about his world in the Silicon Alley of New York.
As for the culinary subplot, we were inspired by many things, including our research into the world of high-end coffee and the amazing new things happening there. You'll see that research reflected in the world-coffee-tour that Clare goes on with her "coffee hunter" ex-husband, Matt, as they attempt to create the most expensive coffee blend on the planet.
Finally, as mentioned, what inspires us most is creating an entertaining book for our readers, whether they are longtime fans or just discovering our books. Thanks for the question and stopping by our online coffeehouse.
Warmest wishes and
Happy New Year to you!
Positive review on my blog
TO SEE THE REVIEW,
Cleo's reply - Thank you so much for the lovely review of Billionaire Blend. I'm very happy you enjoyed my new Coffeehouse Mystery, and I truly appreciate your taking the time and effort to blog a review *and* drop by here to let me know.
I made your link live so others can visit.
Cheers and Happy New Year!
Waiting for the Next BookJust finished Billionaire Blend.... loved it. Waiting for the next installment. Thank you for you books. Have learned so much about coffee.
Can't WaitHaven't had a chance to read Billionaire Blend yet, but now that I have some time off during the New Year Holiday, reading this is a top priority. Like all the books and recipes I know I will love it. I am forwarding this to several relatives and friends. Happy New Year to Cleo and her family, and many thanks for all the books and great recipes she shares with us!!
Cannele`sI have been making cannele`s successfully for several years using the silicone forms. The texture and visual is exactly like the copper "authentic" (read 'insanely expensive') forms sold. Words cannot describe how delicious these are. In fact, I think tomorrow's breakfast should include these!!!! Proof of my statements may be found here on my blog: http://treadlemusic.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/another-yummy-post/
Character QuestionBack in the beginning of the series to the Coffeehouse Mysteries, I asked about the return of Jim Rand. He's a male character that popped up in book four (Murder Most Frothy). You said that you hoped for his return. Can you dish? Do you have any plans for this character to return? I'd love to see him again. Don't get me wrong... I love Mike. I'd just like to see Rand again.
When will Billionaire Blend be out in paperback?
Cleo's reply - Next year (2014). I'll have more information in a future newsletter, so be sure to sign up if you have not. Simply write an e-mail that says "sign me up" and send it to this address: CoffeehouseMysery(at)gmail(dot)com - Thanks for asking and enjoy the holidays!
Happy holidays to all
Sorry I have not checked in for a really long time but it was a really rough year. Incredibly, both of my parents died, 25 days apart. For anyone who reads mysteries and thinks it is improbable that one person could always find the bodies, I am here to tell you it actually happens in real life :( Sold their house, which was really hard to part with but I couldn't keep it, it's not configured for a disabled person and our daughter is in a wheelchair. It's right around the corner from where we live and our daughter still points in that direction and cries. Our daughter has had her ups and downs but has been pretty steady lately, so we have that going for us. She misses my parents and this will be her first Christmas without them. Last year around this time we added an adaptive needs first floor bedroom and bath to the house for her, which has been great. Some of the neighbors objected (there's always one or two) but the township ignored them and let me build. Now all that's left is the massive loan repayment, of course. She turned 8 on Thanksgiving and this year is the first year I think she is really excited about Christmas (she is non-verbal and developmentally delayed, so we're not sure) but she seems very interested in the tree and Santa. She is doing well in her school and we are very proud of her. She is a fighter and a survivor. While I have not written I have thought of you all and what a wonderful group of people you are. Knowing you were here was enough to keep me going and I thank you. Someday I know I WILL have something good to report and you will be the first on my list! Of course I have been keeping up with my reading, since we've still had our share of hospital visits. Clare Cosi and Pen McClure have kept me company in many a waiting room and for that I thank Alice/Cleo. That 'escape time' has kept me going when things were really rough. Hoping you all have wonderful holidays and a fabulous 2014!
Karen in Pennsylvania
Cleo's reply - Karen, it is wonderful to hear from you. Thank you so much for checking in. I'm so sorry for your difficult year. You and your daughter have been in my thoughts and prayers. Love to you, happy holidays, and may God bless you and your loved ones in the New Year!
what inspires you to write your books
Cleo's reply - Many things. Among them--people like you who find joy in reading them.
Why Change - Alice replied
Is there a real Alice Kimberly...?
Hi, I'm Alice Alfonsi, who writes as Alice Kimberly and Cleo Coyle with my husband, Marc Cerasini.
Before I reply to your questions, I would like to let my site visitors know that there is now a Free Title Checklist for the Haunted Bookshop Mystery series.
Free Title Checklist
To print, save, or share
the list, click here.
Okay, back to your questions. I deleted some of your comment because it included wild speculation, and I did not want anyone to be confused, least of all you. I'm sure my answer will set you straight and help you understand...
First, let's take a closer look at the cover of Book #5 in my series: The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion...
As you can see at the bottom of the cover "Alice Kimberly" is also "Cleo Coyle" (that is me, Alice Alfonsi, writing with my husband, Marc Cerasini) and that transition from "Alice Kimberly" to "Cleo Coyle" on the covers has been going on for years.
You were asking about more books in out series and why there have not been any new ones in some time. Well, I had a tragedy in my family. Because of that, Marc and I had time to concentrate on one series only, and because our Coffeehouse Mystery series is so much more popular (by sales, by support in the review community, by support in the library community), we went forward with that series. And it has been a great success.
Now that my family tragedy has resolved, Marc and I are looking forward to focusing our talents on the Haunted Bookshop Mystery series and getting that up and running again while we continue writing The Coffeehouse Mysteries.
We are under contract with our publisher for many more books in The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, and we are happy to deliver them. These books will be published under the name "Cleo Coyle."
You were wondering why we are "switching" names? Simple: because it's the same writing team and more people will recognize the name Cleo Coyle, and if you check the earlier books in our series in any bookstore, you'll see that fact is right on the book covers now. It is very clearly stated. Not only that, Barnes & Noble and other major bookstores are actually shelving the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries with our Coffeehouse Mystery series under the name Cleo Coyle.
We'll have more news in 2014 of the new books. In the meantime, thanks for your questions and thanks especially for your kind support of The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries.
To read a past interview with
Alice Alfonsi/Alice Kimberly/Cleo Coyle
and learn more about how I developed
the creative ideas behind the "ghost" series
with my husband, click here.
I've loved your books on audible...love the narrator and listening while I work out or in the car. Any chance of the last few being on audible anytime soon?
Cleo's reply - Yes! Scroll down the message board where I reply to this question. AudioGo has merged with Blackstone, and they are working out release schedules. I'm happy to see some progress on the new AudioGo web site, where Billionaire Blend's CD format is now listed. I'll have more news in the New Year on the schedule for the digital download release. Thank you for your patience and hang in there...we're as anxious as you are about answers. Coming soon...
Billionaire Blend a great read
Billionaire Blend a great read
Love this series. It just keeps getting better with the continuing characters.
Cleo's reply - Thank you kindly.
I often hear readers say the characters are like "old friends," and that is very gratifying. They're old friends to me, as well, and as long as you wish to keep reading about them, I'll keep writing about them!
Have a very happy holiday
and may your New Year be caffeinated! :)
Loved Billionaire Blend
Loved Billionaire Blend
Finished reading late last night. Off today to buy ingredients to try several of your delicious sounding recipes. Merry Christmas!
Cleo's reply -
Merry Christmas to you, too, and thank you for the nice words on our newest Coffeehouse Mystery.
For anyone who would like a free Recipe Guide, click here, or on the link below and may you. always..
Eat (and read) with joy!
A Coffeehouse Mystery
is also a culinary mystery.
To see its free
Recipe Guide, click here.
May you cook with love
and eat with joy!
What I am looking for are the bonus recipes like the Frito shepherd's pie listed on the page after the Blue Roses poem. It says to come here to find them. I have the book recipes. I want the poke cake one and others.
Cleo's reply - Yes! See my previous reply to your question. The reason I need readers to come to this site is to become familiar with my food blogging and newsletter. Those are the places where I share the bonus recipes. "Where are they?" Some bonus recipes are already up. Others are about to be posted (watch for the poke cake, it's coming in my newsletter and will be on this site shortly). More will be blogged very soon, and I plan to have a great deal of fun sharing them with readers, so I hope you'll stick around! Be sure to drop back to this site and sign up for my newsletter and you won't miss any of them. (I know you want them all and you want them now. In a very short window of time, I assure you they will all be available. :)) Thanks for your patience, thanks again for reading my books and your interest in my food blogging and recipes.
Happy holidays, happy eating, and happy reading!
Your audio books rock!!!
Will billionaire blend be offered on audio? I anxiously wait.
Cleo's reply - I agree, the audio books are fantastic. They're not just read, they're performed by a gifted voice actress. (I love the way she does Madame.) Many readers tell me they enjoy listening to the books *after* they've already read them, and that is very gratifying. The audio rights to Billionaire Blend and Holiday Buzz are bought and paid for, and I am waiting for more info the production schedule from the publisher and new audio company that recently merged with AudioGo. These delays do happen, especially when companies merge, and when I know more (likely in the new year), I'll be sure to post it and include it in my newsletter. Thanks for asking and thanks especially for supporting Marc and I with your enjoyment of our books!
Happy holidays and happy reading...
recipes from Billionaire Blend
One of your best books. Where are the extra recipes listed at the end...
Cleo's reply -
I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed my new culinary mystery Billionaire Blend. Thank you for dropping by to let me know. As for your question, no problem...
First, I don't want people to be confused. The recipes in my Coffeehouse Mystery books, including Billionaire Blend, are not found online. I've created a "recipe guide" will foodie photos to show readers what the recipes look like when made...
The Illustrated Recipe Guide
to Billionaire Blend's
Recipe Section just went live
and you can see it by...
The Recipe Guide to
A Coffeehouse Mystery
As a food blogger, I am also happy to share "bonus" recipes here online, and they are found on this site's main page and its recipe page, and also on my new recipe blog www.CleoCoyleRecipes.com.
I just posted a new bonus recipe that was part of Billionaire Blend's plotline. Clare Cosi's Cloudy Dream and Hazelnut Orgasm
(based on the traditional "Orgasm" drink). Each is a beautiful layered drink (aka a Pousse-Cafe). Clare served these drinks at the "Appland" party to Eric Thorner's staff.
The drinks are surprisingly easy to make and my post includes Video Tips on making these drinks or layering any drink.
To see this "bonus" recipe, with video tips
on layering any drinks, click here.
NOTE: I blog new recipes every week and plan to post more bonus recipes from Billionaire Blend over the next few weeks. Be sure to drop back again for new updates or subscribe to my newsletter so you don't miss any posts. Just send an e-mail that reads "Sign me up" to this address CoffeehouseMystery@gmail(dot)com.
Again, I'm very glad you enjoyed the new
Coffeehouse Mystery, and I hope you enjoy
all the recipes, too, as well as the community of
sharing and generosity of spirit that we have here
among readers at my online coffeehouse...
May you eat (and read) with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries
Pfeffernusse oven temp? - Cleo replied
Hello! I am baking your Pfeffernusse cookies (My favorite Christmas cookies!) and am not sure what temperature to set the oven on? I noticed your recipe doesn't give a temp....Thanks :)
Cleo's reply - Yes. It does! Read the first step in the directions: preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
I hope you enjoy my version of Pfeffernusse (aka gingerbread snowballs) and happy holidays to you!
For anyone who would
like this recipe, click here.
Is coffee that different on the west coast?
I just finished Billionaire Blend and was reading the different coffee types in the back and thought - I've never seen a Gibraltar, but I've ordered a Cortado.
(Cleo Coyle breaking in to your comment with a link for you here, which explains variations on the Cortado and where the Gibraltar name comes from. Here is another interesting article on the drink...)
And no one out here pulls singles anymore (I'm talking 3rd wave shops), everyone has bottomless portafilters and the smallest you get is a double.
(Cleo's reply - My recipes are for the general public, a way for them to have a quick, basic understanding of the drinks they might want to try in a coffeehouse. Of course, as you know, variations on those basic drinks are common, from country to country, city to city, even shop to shop.)
Oh and single origin espresso is the bomb and a wonderful treat if someone roasts it well. It's never dark roasted either. Blends exist for consistency throughout the year, at least that's how I see it.
(Cleo's note - In Billionaire Blend, the blend exists as a metaphor. See Kipling's poem at the end of the tale. :))
I was taught different definitions of latte and cappuccino as well. Here's to coffee either way. My drug of choice, and the last legal high in most of the US.
Cleo's reply -
Caffeinated thanks for reading Billionaire Blend. On caffeine being "the last legal high," we say the same thing in many of our Coffeehouse Mysteries. In Clare Cosi's view, she thinks it's somewhat ironic that she's continually drugging up an anti-drug cop. (Although, you have to admit hard alcohol is really a legal drug, too.)
Interesting comments on the coffee drinks. As you know, variations on coffeehouse drinks are indeed quite common. Thank you for dropping by today. My husband and I send you the best and hope you contiue enjoying our Coffeehouse Mysteries.
There is nothing better than a good mystery and a cup of coffee. Thank you for all these great Coffeehouse Mystery stories. I look forward to reading your latest, Billionaire Blend. I also have a friend who owns a coffee roasting company, "King David Coffee Roasters" in NH. He roasts and packages private label blends. I was thinking you could create a Coffeehouse Mystery private label and blend. www.kingdavidcoffee.com/? check him out!
Cleo's reply --
Your friend looks like a mensch (good guy)! I look forward to trying his coffee--I also love the name of his company. Thanks for dropping by my online coffeehouse and thanks especially for reading my books. I can't thank you enough for that!
Wishing you java joy,
Billionaire Blend on Kindle in UKHi Cleo, I have read all your books and love them. Do you know when Billionaire Blend will be available on kindle in the UK? Thanks xx
The Ghost series
Are these books ebooks or recorded books yet? I've been listening to the Coffeehouse series and would like to listen to The Ghose series too.
Love the books.
First of all thank you sincerely for your reader support. The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries are not yet in audio. You can read them in paperback or E-book form.
For anyone who would like to learn more about this 2nd series I write with my husband, which features the ghost of a hard-boiled PI helping a young widowed mother solve puzzling crimes, click here.
We began the series waaay back in 2004 and there are five books in print and many more under contract and on the way.
Stay subscribed to my newsletter for updates. I'll have news of the next book's pub date in the New Year (promise)!
Thanks again, Debi, for asking! (And Jack the PI ghost thanks you, too.) Friend Jack on facebook at this link:
DRINK IN THE MYSTERIES
Keep them coming.
Caffeinated kisses to you, Karen, for your very kind note, and your reader support. Marc and I truly appreciate it.
Keep reading...and keep in touch, okay!
*Starred Review --Kirkus
Top Pick --RT Book Reviews
"...a highly satisfying mystery." --PW
Winner - Cleo Replied
Hello Cleo! Just wondering who won the Reese's Cup that you were giving away at Halloween? Have'nt seen a post is why I'm asking.
Cleo's reply: The winner was announced at this link (scroll down the post to see the name Wendy W.): http://www.mysteryloverskitchen.com/2013/10/Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Cup-Cake-Cleo-Coyle.html
stove-top espresso maker?
Hey Cleo! Lovin' your Coffeehouse series that I stumbled on this week - I've already finished the first 3! I'm a green bean roaster, so I especially enjoy your bean recommendations. Any thoughts on a great stainless steel stove-top espresso maker? My husband won't do aluminum... Grazie!
Cleo's reply - Hi, Kathryn, thank you so much for your support of my books! (It's wonderful to hear that you're a green bean roaster. I plan to do some blog posts about that in the new year.) In the meantime, here is a suggestion for you on the question of a stainless steel stovetop espresso maker.
Bialetti is the name I trust most for stovetop espresso makers. This model from their company ("Kitty" - see the link below) is completely stainless steel, including interior parts, so you can't go wrong (also, who doesn't love a coffee Kitty)?
You can shop around for this model and see what you find in terms of price, but that should get you started.
Good luck and keep in touch!