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Thursday, December 18, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Once Upon a Grind by Cleo Coyle - Review, Guest Note + CONTESTS!

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're saying a big HELLO to a blog tour via Great Escapes Blog Tours starring the 14th addition to the Coffeehouse Mystery series.  Know of it?  You should and if you don't allow me to introduce you...I insist!  Today's book of choice is...

Cleo Coyle
Berkley Prime Crime

About the book....
When coffeehouse manager turned amateur sleuth Clare Cosi roasts “magic” beans for a Fairy Tale Fall event, she brews up a vision that leads to a sleeping beauty in Central Park; a big, bad wolf of Wall Street; and an East Side enclave with storybook secrets…

Fairy tale fever has descended on New York City. Broadway fans are flocking to Red Riding Hood: The Musical; museums are exhibiting art inspired by the Brothers Grimm; and Clare Cosi and her merry band of baristas give their coffee truck a “Jack and the Beanstalk” makeover for a Central Park festival. Clare’s coffee hunter ex-husband contributes a bag of African beans with alleged magical properties. His octogenarian mother entertains customers with readings of the grinds, but Clare remains skeptical–until she receives a vision that helps her find a young model’s body in the park’s woods.

The police dismiss “sleeping beauty” as the victim of a drug overdose. Then Clare uncovers evidence that points to a list of suspects–from a New York Giant to quite a few wicked witches–and a cold case murder that reaches back to the Cold War. Now Clare is really in the woods with a dangerous predator on her heels and an investigation that leads from a secret Prince Charming Club right back to her own NYPD detective boyfriend. If she doesn’t solve this mystery, those magic beans predict an unhappy ending.


In a word....wonderful!
In many words....much more than that.

This being the 14th installment in the Coffeehouse Mystery series, one would expect a reader to have some familiarity with it before embarking on a journey through the pages.  Well now, THAT would have been the wrong assumption.  Let's just say that I'm a reader that likes to take chances (sometimes) and while this series was on my radar for a while, I'd not picked it up as of yet....until now.  THIS was my inaugral voyage into the writing of author Cleo Coyle.  THIS was my first taste of the coffees and just desserts offered by the Village Blend.  THIS was my first meeting with Claire Cosi, Mike Quinn, Matt, Madame, and so many more.  Did I like what I read?  Why yes, indeed!

Claire is a a great leading lady.  She's both strong and emotional, motherly and formidable, smart and not easily pushed aside.  She takes on more than she can brew, I mean chew, in a heartbeat and if family or friends are threatened, WATCH OUT.  I enjoyed seeing the care she showed for Mike's children, the heart she shared with her staff when faced with personal demons, and her selflessness when trying to help Anya, Red, and even her ex Matt.  A master brewer she may be, but she knows the human condition just as well.  Those that play partner in her adventures are just as memorable as is the story as it unravels layer by layer.  While the draw for some may be all the coffee talk, I loved the fairy tale spell placed on the overall story.  It starts during Fairy Tale Week (which sounds INCREDIBLE by the way), winds its way into the Prince Charming Club, and ends with more than one Sleeping Beauty.  If you manage to figure out what's stewing beneath it all along the way, more power to you my friends because I for one was take by complete surprise.  

In closing, I can only think that as grand as this adventure was, it could only be made better by watching the story unfold from the beginning.  So, guess what I'm adding to my "wish list"?  Yep.  The rest of the series...and you know what?  I can't wait.  And now ladies and gents, it's time for an EXTRA SPECIAL treat for I have the pleasure of not only hosting a spot on this fabulous tour, but featuring a Guest Note from author Cleo Coyle!  


A Note From Cleo....

For over a decade, my partner in crime-writing has also been my partner in marriage. This begs the question: Can a husband and wife really write murder mysteries together without killing each other? 

In a word yes. While the writing process isn’t always a party, Marc and I completely respect each other. When we have creative disagreements—and we do—we check our egos at the door and argue things out rationally. Marc will present his side, and I will present mine. Then comes the alcohol (or a really good meal). In the course of the discussion, one of us can usually persuade the other or we’ll find a middle ground. The truth is, neither of us cares whose idea wins, as long as it leads to a good story well told.

Is Once Upon a Grind a good story? Heck, yeah! It’s a wicked good murder mystery. We had a grand time writing it, and we hope you’ll have as much fun reading it.

Our new release is also a culinary mystery, featuring some unique foods that might make you drool on the page (or screen), especially the Black Forest Brownies, Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Ale-Battered Onion Rings.

To sample some of the book’s wicked good recipes click here.

To read the Prologue and First Chapter, click here.

Holiday Cookie Swap! Today we’re sharing another tasty cookie with you: Eggnog Shortbread with Eggnog Glaze. This is one of the most popular recipes on our blog, and you can get the recipe now by clicking here.

SECRET CODE: The 9th of the 9 words in Cleo’s Secret Code Contest is WILL. (Learn how to enter Cleo’s Secret Code giveaway here.)

Thank you to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers for hosting us today. And thank you for joining us on this delightful Coffeehouse Escape Blog Tour.

May your reading be joyful, and may your holidays be bright!

~ Alice and Marc (Cleo Coyle)

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About the authors.....

CLEO COYLE is the pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini.  CLEO COYLE grew up in a small town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After earning scholarships to study writing at Carnegie Mellon and American Universities, she began her career as a cub reporter for The New York Times. Now an author of popular fiction and New York Times bestselling media tie-in writer, Cleo lives and works in New York City, where she collaborates with her husband (also a bestselling author) to pen the Coffeehouse Mysteries for Penguin. Together Cleo and her husband also write the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries under the name Alice Kimberly. When not haunting coffeehouses, hunting ghosts, or rescuing stray cats, Cleo and Marc are bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for NBC, Lucasfilm, Disney, Fox, Imagine, and MGM. In their spare time they cook like crazy and drink a lot of java. You can learn more about Cleo, her husband, and the books they write by visiting



Special thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to bring this tour to you and to author Cleo Coyle for the SIGNED ARC!  (Signed....squee!)  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the series, this tour, and those upcoming, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title reached publication just this month, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.  

Now, for those that have been holding their breath in anticipation...and rightfully's time to unveil the contest portion of our post.  Thanks to the generosity of the author and publisher, I have the honor of giving you a CHANCE TO WIN A HARDCOVER COPY of this very title!  Exciting, right?  Absolutely!  Oh, but gets better.  

The authors were swept away by the spirit of the season and their excitement over this release and decided that one contest per stop wasn't enough; two was a MUCH better number.  Who am I to argue?  ^-^  So, they decided to give EVERYONE a chance to win a Coffeehouse Prize Pack including....

* An autographed copy of Cleo's brand new book, ONCE UPON A GRIND, in its beautiful first-edition hardcover format
* A complete set of all 13 Coffeehouse Mysteries published to date, each one personally inscribed by Cleo to the winner 
* A durable, custom-designed Coffeehouse Mystery Tote Bag 
* A freshly-roasted package of Billionaire’s Blend, a hand-crafted coffee created by One Good Woman Fine Coffees and Teas as a tribute to Cleo's recent bestseller BILLIONAIRE BLEND.
* A Coffeehouse Mystery cup, featuring a favorite saying of Madame's, the octogenarian owner of The Village Blend: “Survive everything. And do it with style.”

(Gosh...can I enter?  *-*)
Now, all that's left to be done is YOU entering to WIN!  Just fill in the Rafflecopter options below and BAM, you're entered.

Until next time...happy holidays and happy reading!


Jeanetta said...

I have not read this series but I am look forward to doing so. Once Upon a Grind has a fairy tale theme to it (I read fairy tales when I was a child and adored them); the book sounds like a wonderful read.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Gina. I could never go back and catch up on all the books in this series but do want to start it. Fourteen books, in a series, means it is very, VERY popular!

Nayuleska said...

I'm new to books like these and it sounds awesome! Is the comp US only?

Nayuleska said...

Oh yay! Some of the series is on Audible! I'll defi itely be collecting them in audio form!

Kaye Killgore said...

I love this series, and of course the recipes.

DarcyO said...

The Coffeehouse Mystery series is one of my favorites. Can't wait to read the latest installment. Love Clare Cosi!

Clickner said...

Look forward to starting this series. Looks like a great read.

Lisa Ks Book Reviews said...

Wonderful giveaways. Thank you!

Unknown said...

I've been reading this series from the beginning. I always look forward to the next book!
Thank you for the many hours of enjoyable reading you've provided me.

Cleo Coyle said...

Cleo here. Dropping by to thank you all for your kind comments. We also want to thank Gina sincerely for her absolutely wonderful review.

Gina, the fact that ONCE UPON A GRIND was your very *first* Coffeehouse Mystery made it all the more special for us. We are so happy that you enjoyed meeting our characters. Your comments on our intrepid amateur sleuth were spot-on and especially delightful to read.

Thanks again, good luck to everyone in the drawing for the autographed book, and may your New Year be caffeinated!

~ Cleo Coyle
“Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
Cleo Coyle on Twitter

Teresa Kander said...

Just finished Holiday Buzz this morning...LOVE this series, and can't wait to get totally caught up.

Unknown said...

i have only read billionaire blend in this series. I too have it on my resolution list to read this entire series.

Kuzlin said...

Love this series!

Grandma Cootie said...

This one sounds like it could be the best yet. Love this series!

Mar said...

I love reading all your books and always look forward to reading the next one. Happy New Year.
Mary Mannella

kiki said...

Happy New Years, thanks for the giveaway

bloggingmom said...

I have read all of these coffeehouse mysteries and I can't wait to read "Once Upon a Grind."

Becky @ Becky's Place said...

Read them all except this last one, which is over half finished as I type this. Would love to win this and share with someone!

Becky @ Becky's Place said...

Read them all except this last one, which is over half finished as I type this. Would love to win this and share with someone!

Judy said...

I always check the library shelves (5 locations) and put apropos bookmarks in your coffeehouse mysteries.

Gossamer Gal said...

This is one of my absolute top favorite series! Totally love Clare Cosi and her crew - they feel like they are "real" people. The suspense level is great because just when you think you know what is going to happen, bam! you're fooled again! I've read them all in order but they can also be read as stand-alones. I think I still have to read two or three more to catch up. Please keep drinking coffee and writing more!!

Robin Driscoll said...

I love coffee and mysteries!!

Unknown said...

I had won Holiday Buzz and loved it so much that I went and started with book one. When I read this series I can picture me at the coffee shop.

Unknown said...

I love this series. Looking forward to reading this one.

kaisquared said...

I love the idea of magic coffee beans, thanks for another great book, Cleo!

Maureen Hayes said...

I have been a fan of this series, and these authors, from the first book in the series, so my question to them is how do they keep the ideas fresh and the characters growing with each new title? So many other authors can't seem to sustain that after the first few books, and that is. It true for this series, it just keeps getting better!

Also, I really enjoyed your review! I found your blog through Cleo's newsletter and am glad I did. You have a very great way of giving information about plot and characters, without giving too much away, but while still making me interested enough to want to read the book you are reviewing. I will be following from now on and look forward to seeing what else you are reading.

Thanks for the chance to win this prize!

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