A new back cover also!

on August 31, 2020

As thrilled as I am with Fanny Newcomb’s new cover, I’m equally thrilled with the back cover–both the art work and the blurbs.

Check this out:

FANNY NEWCOMB & THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER is a ripping good read. Author Ana Brazil brings the dark underbelly of Gilded Age New Orleans vividly to life as her trio of determined female sleuths seek out a Jack the Ripper copycat killer.
Ann Parker, author of the award-winning Silver Rush series


A Jack the Ripper copycat is terrorizing the women of Gilded Age New Orleans.

Desperate to know if her favorite student was a Ripper copycat victim, tenacious and quick-witted Fanny Newcomb turns detective.

Fanny’s hunt launches her into New Orleans’ darkest enclaves, saloons, and houses of prostitution. She questions authority, seeks out clues, and digs into long-protected secrets.

Fanny’s search alienates her friends, alarms the police, and antagonizes her would-be fiancé. Her efforts infuriate the Ripper copycat, who vows to murder another of Fanny’s students by the end of the week.

Fanny persists, and even appears to succeed in her investigation, until the night her curiosity plunges her into a desperate confrontation with the Ripper copycat.

Can amateur detective Fanny Newcomb stop the Irish Channel Ripper before he murders again?

but w-h-y?

on August 30, 2020

Yep, Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper has a new cover.

But W-H-Y?

Here’s what I told fellow crime novelist Vinnie Hansen when she interviewed me for the Sisters in Crime NorCal newsletter earlier this year:

“Last June I was at the Historical Novel Society Conference and saw my book on sale next to all of the other “Gilded Age” novels. My existing cover—which featured turn-of-the-century pornography which ties into my story—really stood out, and not in a good way.

Suddenly, my cover was not at all attractive to me, which meant that it probably wasn’t attractive to other readers either. And if it’s not attractive, it’s not going to sell. I want Fanny to find a home with many readers, and I’m hoping that a new cover will open her to a new market.”

So there you go. I want to share Fanny’s story with more readers and realize now (two years after publication!) how much an attractive front cover helps to, well, attract readers.

What do you think? Doesn’t Fanny’s new cover make you want to read on?

And thanks to cover designer Fiona Jayde for helping me with my dream of an attractive Gilded Age New Orleans cover.


A new look for Fanny Newcomb!

on August 29, 2020

As you can see from my homepage (and from my FB Banner and elsewhere), Fanny Newcomb has changed!

Yep, the cover of FANNY NEWCOMB & THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER has definitely changed.

Gone are the drops of blood and the photographs of Gilded Age prostitutes. Gone is the back cover copy proclaiming “Gilded Age New Orleans is overrun with prostitutes, pornographers, and a malicious Jack the Ripper copycat.” And gone, even is the IBPA Gold Medallion for Historical Fiction (although of course, Fanny is still a winner; only the Medallion has been removed from the cover).

The back cover copy has also changed, and it begins with a wonderful quote from one of my favorite historical mystery authors, Ann Parker:

FANNY NEWCOMB & THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER is a ripping good read. Author Ana Brazil brings the dark underbelly of Gilded Age New Orleans vividly to life as her trio of determined female sleuths seek out a Jack the Ripper copycat killer.
–Ann Parker, author of the award-winning Silver Rush series



That question will be answered tomorrow!

TravelLust ~ Vintage Denmark & Beyond!

on August 25, 2020

As you might know, I’m a big fan of postcards. The older the better!

Since I can’t go on my much-wished-for-first-vacation-to-Copenhagen this year, I took a short, refreshing visual side-trip by browsing through my Danish grandmother’s collection of postcards.

Dating from the early 1900’s, these postcards feature beautiful photographs of Copenhagen (København) and other locales around the world. I love these postcards for the images, but also because they show that Grandmother Anna had many, many friends, which suggests to me that she had a lovely life.

I also love this collection because now I know exactly where my grandmother lived in Copenhagen before she immigrated to Canada. So when I finally get to Denmark, I can visit the building. Score! 

Today on Paper Lantern Writers I’m sharing some of Grandmother Anna’s Copenhagen postcards. And today on this blog I’m sharing some of her beyond-Copenhagen postcards. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do.


We’ll start our trip by train, leaving from the Danish town of Roskilde. This postcard is dated June 21 1908.


Our First Stop is Skodsborg. This postcard date unreadable.


Second Stop is Bornholm. This postcard is dated December 7, 1902.


Third Stop is Korsor. This postcard is dated February 12, 1912.


Our Last Stop in Denmark is Egeskov Castle. This postcard date is October 23, 1906.


Fifth Stop is a forest somewhere in Germany. I just love this fence! This postcard date is September 19, 1909.


Sixth Stop is the Elisseeff Emporium in St. Petersbourg, Russia. This postcard date might be October 29, 1907.


Seventh Stop is way across the Atlantic–The State Fair Grounds in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a town & state that attracted a lot of Danish emigrants. This postcard date is April 27, 1916.


Our Final Stop is the City by the Bay–my own San Francisco, California! This postcard date is May 24, 1910, just four years after the big earthquake.


These are just some of the hundreds of postcards sent to my grandmother. She treasured these postcards her entire life, bringing them across the Atlantic when she immigrated to North America, and I treasure them now.

Although we can text to each other in seconds, sending a friend a meaningful image of our travels might keep us connected even longer. Postcards, anyone?


About Ana:

Ana Brazil has a master’s degree in American History and writes historical crime fiction celebrating bodacious American heroines. She is a founding member of the Paper Lantern Writers Collective of historical fiction writers, winner of the IBPA 2018 GOLD for Historical Fiction, and hangs her hat at www.anabrazil.com.

Regency Romance Spymaster, Author Elizabeth Cole

on July 24, 2020

Now on PaperLanternWriters, it’s Friday Wordsmith: Regency Romance Spymaster, Author Elizabeth Cole.

As Katie Stine (aka Regency Romance author Edie Cay) shares…

“In our first Friday interview for our new Friday Wordsmith series, we’ve thrown some questions at historical romance author Elizabeth Cole. Ms. Cole is the author of the Regency spy series Secrets of the Zodiac, the medieval romance series The Swordcross Knights, and the paranormal romance series The Brothers Salem. Her latest book, Breathless in the Dark was published earlier this year.”

Friday Wordsmith: Regency Romance Spymaster, Author Elizabeth Cole

More great quotes about photography…

on July 11, 2020

Yesterday’s links essay on Paper Lantern Writers featured some great quotes about photography, including this one:

“There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.” – President Abraham Lincoln

There were, in fact, so many great quotes about photography and being photographed that I couldn’t used them all. But I would like to share them with you.

“The two most engaging powers of a photograph are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.”
– William Thackeray

“I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.”
– Diane Arbus

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” 
– Eudora Welty

“When you photograph a face… you photograph the soul behind it.”
– Jean-Luc Godard

“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”
– Imogen Cunningham


vintage cameras

Photo from the Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection, via the Library of Congress.

“May I secure your likeness?”

on July 9, 2020

“May I secure your likeness?” is a quaint, mid-19th century way to ask if you can take someone’s photograph.

It’s also the name of my first Links Essay for Paper Lantern Writers.


GREAT links in this essay for readers, writers, & historians.  I hope you enjoy them.