by Lorie Lewis Ham &
This week we have a review of the latest Coffeehouse mystery by Cleo Coyle, Brewed Awakening, and a wonderful guest post by Cleo where she discusses writing Brewed Awakening, and there is also a Recipe and an amazing Giveaway! Details on how to enter the giveaway at the end of the post. We also have a link to order Brewed Awakening from Amazon and from an indie bookstore.
Brewed Awakening: A Coffee House Mystery by Cleo Coyle
Review by Lorie Lewis Ham
I am a huge fan of Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse Mystery series so I was very excited to read the new one, Brewed Awakening. Every time I read one of these books, I feel like I’m visiting my favorite coffee shop, and spending time with friends. I can almost smell the coffee!
Brewed Awakening is quite different from the previous books in the series because it finds the main character Clare Cosi waking up on a park bench not knowing how she got there and not remembering the past 15 years! Clare had been missing for several days so her friends and family, and especially her fiancé Detective Mike Quinn, are overjoyed she is back, however that joy is tempered when she doesn’t remember most of them. Her missing memory is tied to a crime she witnessed and if she can’t remember what happened, evidence begins to mount that makes the police suspect she was actually in on it.
At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the memory loss, but it ended providing the chance to learn more about Clare’s past, and seeing who she was 15 years ago before she became owner of the Village Blend. It was very interesting to see how she had changed, and to see that deep down inside she was still the same old Clare where it counted. She is put into the care of a very questionable doctor who wants to lock her away from her family and friends so she can “get better,” but it becomes clear that he may not actually have her best interests at heart. Thankfully, even without her memories. Clare still remembers how to solve a crime, and she has the usual crew at her side to help.
It was fascinating to see not only more about Clare’s past, but to see how those around her reacted to her condition, especially her ex-husband Matt Allegro. Mike was still the sweet and reliable man who would do anything to save her, whether she ever remembered him or not. One of my favorite parts in the whole book was when Madame masterminds the perfect caper to rescue Clare.
While I missed not spending as much time in the Village Blend, every thing I love about this series was still there—the insider coffee tips, the wonderful characters, and a mystery filled with plot twists that kept me guessing all the way to the end! And in the back are wonderful recipes! What more could you ask for?
So grab yourself a copy of Brewed Awakening, brew yourself some great coffee, and get reading! If you have never tried a Coffeehouse mystery, what are you waiting for? Head to your local library or bookstore and start this delightful series ASAP!
Cleo Coyle Discusses Brewed Awakening + Recipe and Giveaway
My husband and I have had plenty of ups and down, and we always try to put the pain, joy, and absurd humor of our daily lives into our novels. It’s one of the reasons readers tell us they’ve formed deep connections with our characters, especially our amateur sleuth, forty-something single mom and coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi.
For Clare’s latest case, Marc and I began our story development with a conversation over (no surprise) coffee. After everything we’ve gone through as a couple, we wondered: What if our years together were suddenly wiped from our memories? Would we be drawn to each other again? If so, how exactly does “like” deepen into something more? When does love happen?
With Clare on a path to be married to her longtime boyfriend, NYPD Detective Mike Quinn, we decided to explore those questions in Brewed Awakening, and we agreed that Clare would suffer from a traumatic memory loss. Her damaged memory wipes away years of experiences, including every single memory of the man she loves. The block is tied to a crime she witnessed, and she must find a way to recover clues to solving that crime, buried somewhere in her brain.
But what Clare loses is much more than clues to a crime. It’s the most precious treasure there is. Though we often take our memories for granted, they may be the most valuable thing we possess. Memories are what keep our loved ones dear to us now—and those we’ve lost alive in our hearts.
The holiday season is a poignant time of year for evoking memories. Sure, not all of them are good ones. But for many of us, the sights, sounds, and tastes of the holidays bring us back to our childhoods—or a time and place where we shared meaningful experiences with friends and family.
Here’s hoping your own holidays are filled with the very best memories, including foodie memories. To help those memories stay sweet, we’re sharing a dessert recipe that celebrates a classic Christmas flavor. May it bring you comfort and joy.
Cleo Coyle’s Candy Cane Frosting
This jolly frosting is easy to make and impressive to serve with its pretty pink color and festive flecks of crushed candy canes. Best of all, when you spread it on a plain old sheet cake, cupcakes, sugar cookies, or pan of brownies, you’ll instantly transform them into holiday treats that will cheer up any party tray.
To see more of our Coffeehouse recipes or learn about our bestselling culinary mysteries, visit us at CoffeehouseMystery.com.
May you eat with holiday joy!
To download this recipe in a free PDF that you can print, save, or share, click here.
Makes 1¾ cups frosting—enough for a thin frosting on a 9×13-inch pan of brownies or sheet cake. For a thicker frosting, simply double the recipe.
4 T. unsalted butter, softened
1–2 T. whole milk
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract or 1 T. peppermint schnapps
1/4 cup finely crushed candy canes*
Directions: Beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add milk, sugar, and peppermint extract. Blend until sugar is fully dissolved. Add crushed candy canes and beat until the frosting is light, fluffy, and pink. If frosting is too stiff, add a bit more milk. Frost your cake, cupcakes, brownies, or cookies. For a pretty finish, rough chop a few more candy canes and sprinkle on top.
*Note: For 1/4 cup of finely crushed candy canes, use 10 small or 3 large candy canes. Seal in a plastic bag and bang away with a rolling pin (a sweet treat and a holiday stress reliever)!
Cleo Coyle’s new culinary mystery, Brewed Awakening, includes an appendix of recipes that will show you how to prepare the delicious foods and drinks mentioned in the story. To see, print, or download the free, illustrated guide to the book’s recipe section, click here or on the image above.
Coffeehouse Mystery Book Trailer
FREE CHECKLIST OF CLEO’S 18 TITLES Coffeehouse Mysteries in Order:
Download a free title checklist, personally written by Cleo, with mini summaries of all 18 Coffeehouse Mysteries as well as her Haunted Bookshop Mysteries. The list includes links to Cleo’s published recipe guides and her bonus web content. To download the list as a PDF document, click here or on the image above.
CLEO’S NEWSLETTER: Fun contests, bonus recipes, and book news. To sign up, simply write a “Sign me up” email and send it to CoffeehouseMystery@gmail.com.
Visit Cleo’s website at www.CoffeehouseMystery.com
You can also follow Cleo on:
* Autographed first edition hardcover of Cleo Coyle’s Brewed Awakening
* Sturdy canvas Coffeehouse Mystery tote bag
* Autographed set of Cleo’s collectible recipe cards
To enter to win this special Brewed Awakening giveaway, simply comment on this article and be sure to include your email address in case you win. A winner will be chosen January 4, 2020. U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories (including more Halloween ones) in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. The last 2 episodes are Christmas mystery short stories! One of the past podcast episodes features the first chapter of the first book in Cleo Coyle’s Haunted Bookshop Mystery series!
You can use this link to purchase the book from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
You can use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.