Special Guest – JoAnna Carl – Author of The Chocolate Clown Corpse (Giveaways too!)

special guest blueOne of my all time favorite cozy series is the Chocoholic Mysteries so when JoAnna Carl was available to drop by I jumped at the chance!

joanna carl - from her website

(And One I Hope They Do Know)
By JoAnna Carl

1. I know practically nothing about making chocolate and less than that about making fancy luxury chocolates like the ones created by my fictional chocolate company, TenHuis Chocolade.
At the time I was inspired to write a series about a chocolate shop, my younger daughter was business manager for such a firm. She gave me a tour, and I interviewed both the company’s owner and the lady in charge of producing the chocolates. If I had a question, I called and quizzed one of them. So it’s their knowledge of chocolate that’s represented in the books. Not mine. I can only hope I got it right.

9780451240675_large_The_Chocolate_Clown_Corpse2. Today my source of chocolate knowledge is Elizabeth Garber, the proprietor of Best Chocolate in Town, a luxury chocolate company located in Indianapolis.

I was introduced to Elizabeth by Jim Huang, one of the world’s experts on the mystery novel, who at that time owned a mystery bookshop in an Indianapolis suburb. Elizabeth, her husband, and her mother-in-law were all mystery fans who shopped at his store and liked my books. Today, if I need to know about chocolate, I call Elizabeth and ask. Bless her heart, she tells me the answer. Right now we’re planning a big remodeling project for TenHuis Chocolade.

3. I could never have written the Chocoholic series if I hadn’t spent twenty-five years as a newspaper reporter, editor, and columnist. Because, as items 1 and 2 indicate, I still work the same way a reporter does.

A reporter finds a “source,” a person who can explain the information the news story needs. It’s best if the source can give snappy quotes while doing it.

9780451467546_large_The_Chocolate_Book_Bandit4. The columnist part of newspaper work was important to me, too. If I hadn’t written a personal column, I would never have had the confidence to write a novel.

The column showed me I could write something with a lot of myself in it that people liked to read. As a journalist, I had been trained to keep my own opinions and personality out of what I wrote.

When my boss asked me to try a personal column, I had no idea what would entertain readers. My first column began, “My grandmother wrote a recipe in the flyleaf of her Bible.” Basically, the column was about how Gran’s love of cooking was mixed up with her instinct of service and kindness to others. I was amazed when people came up to me at parties and told me stories about their own grandmothers and how they expressed goodness and love. Their stories touched me, and I realized I had touched others.


5. Some critics don’t like “cozy” mysteries, saying they trivialize crime and evil. I think, instead, that cozies make these things manageable. Crime, evil, and general rottenness are so frightening that I have to add coziness or I can’t handle their existence at all.

So in The Chocolate Clown Corpse I dress up my heroine, Lee Woodyard, like a clown and have her chase another clown up and down the stairs of a hospital. I create a mad chase through the snow – on sleds. In The Chocolate Book Bandit I attack a villain using a library book cart as a weapon.

By making the events slightly ridiculous, I cope with them. And aren’t all of life’s events at least slightly ridiculous?


To find out more about JoAnna Carl visit her webpage here.

The Chocolate Clown Corpse:
A Chocoholic Mystery

14th in Series
An Obsidian Mystery
New American Library(November 4, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451240675
E-Book File Size: 643 KB



Revenge is sweet for a killer on the loose—and it all started with the murder of Warner Pier’s most hated clown….

Everyone who knew the bozo wanted him dead. Odd, then, that a complete stranger was accused of bursting Moe Davidson’s balloons. But it’s been a month since the miserable shop owner of Clowning Around was killed, and everybody’s moving on, including Lee Woodyard. Her chocolate shop, TenHuis Chocolade, is next door to Moe’s shuttered tourist trap, and it’s giving her delicious ideas to expand. But over whose dead body?

Moe’s widow, Emma, and her two stepchildren list the property for sale, but when Lee tours the building, she finds Emma unconscious. Now Lee wonders whether Moe’s real killer is still at large and is taking care of unfinished business. Unfortunately, since the town is celebrating Clown Week, there are so many potential suspects in grease paint and floppy shoes it’s not even funny.

For Lee, protecting Emma, freeing an innocent man, and rolling out hundreds of her clown-themed chocolates is a pretty tall order. But so is staying alive long enough to find out which one of her neighbors is a killer in disguise.

Includes Tasty Chocolate Trivia!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Aunt Nettie is on vacations and it’s Clown Week in Warner Pier! The staff of TenHuis Chocolade is busy making hundreds of clown-themed chocolates but Lee is dreaming about expanding the shop. The store next door is up for sale after the owner, a clown no less, was killed and his family wants to move on. Lee would love to move in and can’t wait to check the place out, but the last thing she expected to find was the clown’s widow unconscious in one of the rooms.  Maybe the man they have arrested is not the killer and now the town is overflowing with clowns and suspects. Lee knows there is much more going on and  she is not clowning around. She decides to use the festive atmosphere and her own clown costume to track down the real culprit before someone else is found with their big red shoes toes up  and their lights out permanently.

This story was very entertaining and fun to read. Lee gets herself into more than a couple of tight predicaments and she doesn’t back down. She always puts others first and usually leaps before she looks. Her husband Joe, her aunt Nettie and Police Chief Uncle usually do their best to keep Lee from taking things too far but Nettie and Hogan are off on vacation and Joe is on his own and he has his hands full.  As always her  “malapropism” or as I call it twisted tongue syndrome that makes her think of one word but say another had her getting several strange looks and me laughing out loud.  One of these days those slips are really going to get her in trouble.

Joanna Carl never disappoints. These stories are high on humor and have creative plot lines that are a pure joy to read. She also includes chocolate trivia and wonderful descriptions of all the tasty tempting truffles and other chocolates featured at TenHuis Chocolade. I wish they had an online store because I am more than ready to order today. These virtual chocolates just don’t do the trick.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies of The Chocolate Clown Corpse
and 2 copies of The Chocolate Book Bandit to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Miranda for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End November 27, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
  Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

36 thoughts on “Special Guest – JoAnna Carl – Author of The Chocolate Clown Corpse (Giveaways too!)

  1. Hi JoAnna, my partner and I love your books and always make sure to put them on hold as soon as the library announces they’ve purchased copies. I’d love it even more if I won a copy and could place it in my home library.

  2. I have loved all the previous books I’ve read in this series and expect to love this new one

  3. I LOVE this series and eagerly await the next one. I can’t believe you’ve never worked with chocolate–your writing suggests otherwise!

  4. Clown Week, eh? That’s bound to freak out a lot of people, but not me. I’d be very happy to win a copy of the new Joanna Carl book, thanks for the chance.

  5. So glad to know there’s a new addition to the series. Got to have my chocolate fix. 🙂 Thank you.

  6. One of my favorite things about COZIES is when they share all kinds of facts about specific topics. Looking forward to learning lots about chocolate while figuring out the mysteries.

  7. I’ve started this series and really enjoy it, I have a little catching up to do. Thanks for the chance to win.

  8. So many people are actually afraid of clowns — strange I think. But I wonder if that will play into the story. Thanks for the contest.

  9. Sounds like fun. Joanna was a delight when she visited my library years ago. So happy she is continuing the series.

  10. I know it’s crazy but I’m allergic to chocolate. I can only eat a bite or two. But I can read all I want that has chocolate related to it. So, bring it on.

  11. I enjoyed learning more about JoAnna. I didn’t know she’d been a reporter. Thanks for the chance to win!

  12. Whoa! Number 14!!! You’re evidently doing something right! Congratulations on your success! Thank you both for a chance to win.

  13. Hmm.. More books I’ve not read. But I’m fascinated so I will have to put them on my wishlist. I love the cover of the chocolate books. Wonder if hubby can find me some to eat in real life. hehe Thanks for the giveaway.

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