I’m Jolabokaflod PDX-bound!

on November 16, 2020

Yep, you read that right. Jolabokaflod PDX, the annual Holiday Book Fair celebrated in Iceland, Portland (OR), and beyond, is just around the corner.

And I’ll be there (kinda, sorta, be there in Portland), weaving a tale about moonlight, magnolias, and how to make a long-ago historical setting come and stay alive.

Join Paper Lantern Writers Edie Cay, C. V. Lee, and me for Charm City: Historical Settings that Transport the Reader! on Sunday December 20th @ 3:30 pm PST.

Image may contain: 3 people, text that says 'Charm City: Historical Settings that Transport the Reader Sunday, Dec 20, 3:30 PM PST Ana Brazil CUa C.V. Lee Edie Cay Every city has its own charm-Portland knows this better than anyone, as locals can attest-and authors can take you there by words alone. But how? Join discussion on the transportation of place.'

And don’t miss Paper Lantern Writers Linda Ulleseit & Kathryn Pritchett at their Finding Women’s Voices panel.

 

See you there!

Eat, Drink, and enjoy the lagniappe*

on November 15, 2020

I hope you saw Friday’s PLW post where I shared historic holiday menus and recipes.

Not for the first time, I researched and wrote more content than I could include in that post. But in the spirit of holiday giving, today I’m sharing what I couldn’t include. Here goes…

 

Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management (1861)

Although author Isabella Beeton was decidedly British and did not celebrate Thanksgiving (which became an official American holiday in 1863), she and other Brits (like Dickens’s fictious Scrooge) certainly celebrated Christmas with gusto.

“In December, the principal household duty lies in preparing for the creature comforts of those near and dear to us, so as to meet old Christmas with a happy face, a contented mind, and a full larder; and in stoning the plums, washing the currants, cutting the citron, beating the eggs, and MIXING THE PUDDING, a housewife is not unworthily greeting the genial season of all good things.”

Mrs. Beeton also recommends (at paragraph 1005) turkey for Christmas dinner: “A noble dish is a turkey, roast or boiled. A Christmas dinner, with the middle classes of this empire, would scarcely be a Christmas dinner without its turkey; and we can hardly imagine an object of greater envy than is presented by a respected portly pater-familias carving, at the season devoted to good cheer and genial charity, his own fat turkey, and carving it well.“

Perhaps the best part of Mrs. Beeton’s book were her glorious illustrations of 19th century dining, which I couldn’t resist sharing here.

*Hopefully, you know by now that lagniappe is New Orleans-speak for “a little something extra”.

 

Eat, Drink, and be Grateful!

on November 13, 2020

Still looking for the perfect recipe for your Thanksgiving feast?

Today on Paper Lantern Writers, I offer some online recipes and menus of the 19th and early 20th centuries that could give your Holiday Season a little more vintage flair.

 

It’s a 99 cents sale for FANNY NEWCOMB!

on September 27, 2020

To celebrate FANNY NEWCOMB’s new cover, my publisher has lowered the price of FANNY NEWCOMB & THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER on Kindle to 99 cents for the next fortnight (aka “two weeks”).

“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

Independent Book Publishers Association 2018 GOLD for Historical Fiction

Hope you enjoy FANNY NEWCOMB!

I’ve got a new Pinterest board today!

on September 23, 2020

I started a new Pinterest board today, which means that something new is happening in my world.

Because for me, a new board = a new book or short story that I’m writing.

Today’s reason for starting a new board is a little different, and I can’t announce the WHY yet, but I wanted to share the new board with you.

It’s called The Golden Age of Mystery and here’s one of my first pins:

Right now it’s just a baby board, but in the next month it’s gonna be a monster!

Got some Golden Age of Mystery pins to share? Send them my way!

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

 

But WHY did I change the cover of FANNY NEWCOMB & THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER?

That question will be answered tomorrow!