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Holiday Book Giveaway, Day 4: Cleo Coyle/'Billionaire Blend' (w/ recipe)

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On this, the fourth day of our annual Holiday Book Giveaway Extravaganza, Hartford Books Examiner and the authors known as Cleo Coyle will be giving away a signed copy of their new Coffeehouse Mystery, Billionaire Blend. For your chance to win, simply email HBE at by no later than this evening, Monday, December 23rd, at 11:59 PM EST and include “Giveaway” in the subject line. One recipient will be selected at random.


Today, Hartford Books Examiner gets things percolating with Cleo Coyle.

A pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini, Cleo Coyle has written thirteen bestselling Coffeehouse Mysteries; the most recent, Billionaire Blend (Berkley Prime Crime, $26.95), is newly available this holiday season. This year marks 10 years in-print for the series, with the first entry, On What Grounds, in its 18th printing; the authors have just signed a new 3-book contract to continue the series. They also write the nationally bestselling Haunted Bookshop Mysteries under the name Alice Kimberly. Alfonsi and Cerasini are New York Times bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for NBC. Fox, Disney, Lucasfilm, Imagine, Marvel, Toho, and MGM.

Billionaire Blend was published earlier this month, and has since achieved Top Ten National Bestseller status on the Baker & Taylor list and been selected as Top Pick by RT Book Reviews. Kirkus awarded the book a starred review, noting, “Coyle’s long string of coffeehouse mysteries … are always a good value for the coffee lore and appended recipes. This is one of her best.” Further, Publishers Weekly praised, “Coyle … combines fascinating coffee lore, sumptuous culinary events, extravagant lifestyles, and romantic possibilities for a highly satisfying mystery.”

From the publisher:

Landmark coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi has served her share of New York’s rich and famous, but even she is surprised by her explosive introduction to a mysterious Internet billionaire…

When a car bomb nearly kills tech whiz Eric Thorner, Clare comes to his aid and receives a priceless thank you. Not only does the billionaire buy her a barista’s dream espresso machine, he hires her for an extraordinary project: creating the world’s most expensive coffee blend.

The police quickly arrest Eric’s alleged attacker, yet death continues to surround the unlucky mogul, leading Clare to question whether a fatal fall and another lethal mishap are premeditated murders or merely freak accidents. Clare’s boyfriend, NYPD detective Mike Quinn, has a theory of his own—one Clare refuses to believe.

Meanwhile, Eric jets Clare around the world on a head-spinning search for the very best coffee, and Clare gets to know his world—a mesmerizing circle of money with rivalries that could easily have turned deadly. But is this charming young CEO truly marked for termination? Or is he the one making a killing?

Includes a wealth of delicious recipes!

Now, a personal note from Cleo Coyle – and a recipe to make your holiday extra spirited …

In Billionaire Blend, our coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi faces an array of challenges: dreaming up culinary ideas for a “billionaire’s potluck”; fixing her daughter’s love life; traveling the globe in search of the world’s most exclusive coffee beans; and solving the mystery of who is trying to kill a tech-whiz billionaire, the industry’s most successful creator of smartphone and gaming apps. At one point, our amateur sleuth goes toe-to-toe with the gruff head of the NYPD Bomb Squad. She wins, thanks to a pan of Baileys Irish Cream and Caramel Nut Fudge. While we included that recipe in our culinary mystery, it’s a little long for this format, so instead we’re sharing this very easy one. Slather it on plain old cupcakes or pound cake and you’ve got an instant party—and a deliciously spirited way to ring in the New Year. Happy holidays, everyone, and happy reading! ~ Cleo

Baileys Irish (Butter) Cream Frosting from Billionaire Blend

Makes about 2 cups icing, enough to frost a 2‑layer cake or 24 cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter. Add Irish cream, vanilla extract, and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar. Beat until the sugar is dissolved. Scrape down the bowl, add the second cup of confectioners’ sugar, and beat again. Repeat with the final cup of sugar. If the frosting seems stiff, add a small splash more of Irish Cream, beat until smooth, and eat with holiday joy.

To get Cleo’s recipe for Baileys Irish Cream Poke Cake, which sits beautifully beneath this frosting, visit her new recipe blog at:

To see more of the recipes featured in Billionaire Blend, click here to view the illustrated Recipe Guide.


With thanks to the authors known as Cleo Coyle for their generosity of time and thought.

Don’t forget: For your chance to win a signed copy of Billionaire Blend, simply email HBE at by no later than this evening, December 23rd, at 11:59 PM EST and include “Giveaway” in the subject line.

Like HBE on Facebook to keep up with the latest in book news, reviews, and author interviews.


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