Category Archives: FANNY NEWCOMB & THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER

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!

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!

My Favorite Historical ZOOM Backgrounds

on June 28, 2020

We’re all on ZOOM these days, right?

I ZOOM in from my home office, which unlike everyone else’s beautifully-bookshelfed office, is really not that attractive. (No, I’m not going to provide photographic proof!)

So I often use the ZOOM virtual backdrop option and these are my favorite backgrounds so far:

Since I didn’t have a beautifully-bookshelfed background naturally, I went looking for my own bookshelf image. I found it in The Library at Edith Wharton’s The Mount.

 

When I feel like I want to be outside, I choose this Canal Street postcard. It’s not quite FANNY NEWCOMB’s 1889 New Orleans, but it’s close. 


Those are my two favorite virtual backgrounds. What’s yours? 

Just in time for Saint Valentine’s Day…Stinky Vinegar Valentines!

on February 14, 2020

The feast of Saint Valentine of Rome was designated in the year 496.

The date? February 14th, of course.

About 900 years later, Saint Valentine and his feast day (already celebrated with food, drink, jousting, poetry, singing, and dancing) somehow became associated with romance, passion, and love.

And so began the need to send Saint Valentine’s greetings—letters, cards, and books that were chock full of flowers, hearts, rhyming verse, sly suggestions and outright innuendos, and plump cherubs, puppies, and babies!

During the 19th century—when my historical mystery Fanny Newcomb & the Irish Channel Ripper is set—cards and postcards celebrating Saint Valentine’s Day reached a new height of romantic expression.

But in the mid-19th century and continuing into the mid-20th century, many valentines took a darker, meaner, and even stinkier turn for the worse.

What? You haven’t heard of Vinegar Valentines?

Bitter, caustic, and often downright nasty, Vinegar Valentines were created to offend and insult the recipient.

Vinegar Valentines consisted of two elements: first of all, they had graphics that included slimy animals like snakes and slugs or grotesque caricatures of men and women. Secondly, these missives included a rude rhyme or mean quotation.

And although my Fanny Newcomb would never ever, ever-ever-ever send out a Vinegar Valentine, I still thought you’d like to see a few stinkers for yourself.

The Serpent

The Saleslady

The Suffragette

Mr. Bald Head

(and I admit it! I’m glad that there were Vinegar Valentines for men also!)


 

The Surgeon

(A Civil War Vinegar Valentine)

 

Fortunately, Vinegar Valentines went out of style long ago, and today I can wish you a very happy Saint Valentine’s Day with a sweet postcard full of hearts and happy thoughts!

Happy Valentines Day from FANNY NEWCOMB & THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER!

 

 

 

 

It’s Giveaway Time…for 48 hours or so…

on February 5, 2020

The very kind and wonderful storyteller Suzanne Adair has invited me to share how to “hold history in your hands” in this week’s Relevant History blog.

And…here’s Suzanne’s scoop on the FANNY NEWCOMB giveaway:

“A big thanks to Ana Brazil! She’ll give away a packet of four reproduction postcards and one original postcard of Italian Headquarters, plus a paperback copy of Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper, to someone who contributes a comment on my blog this week (available Tuesday 4 February). I’ll choose the winner from among those who comment by Friday at 6 p.m. ET. Delivery is available in the US only.”

For a little preview, here are a few of my postcards that are not in the Relevant History publication:

   

 

and here’s a larger view of the postcard that Kerry wants to know more about.

 

This postcard was printed after 1908, which is the date that the Southern Railroad Depot (the large monumental building with a rounded arch entrance on Canal and Basin Streets) was completed.

What’s cooking for Thanksgiving Dinner in 1889 New Orleans?

on November 28, 2019

Since it’s Thanksgiving week, right now I’m thinking about FOOD—smoked turkey, oyster stuffing, and gravy; sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce; and, one of my very favorites, fluffy ambrosia.

My food thoughts made me wonder what Fanny Newcomb and her friends (and even her enemies, since Fanny is hunting down the Irish Channel Ripper in 1889 New Orleans) ate for Thanksgiving dinner. And then I wondered—since it was President Lincoln who officially proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a National Day of Thanksgiving—did New Orleanians actually celebrate Thanksgiving in the 1880s?

from Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, c1888

Oh, yes they did. With morning church services and an evening family feast, New Orleanians joined the rest of the country in giving thanks.

And what a feast! The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book of 1901 provides a complete menu for Thanksgiving Day Dinner (or as the Creoles called it le Jour d’Action de Graces) for New Orleanians. If you look closely (because there are an amazing twenty-one courses), you’ll see that—just like today—turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce were served.

Interested in recreating some of these late 19th century dishes? Check out the online 1922 version of the The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book.

A Thanksglving Menu.

Menu Pour le Jour d’Action de Graces.

DINNER.

Oysters on Half Shell.

Cream of Asparagus Soup.

Spanish Olives. Celery. Mixed Pickles.

Radishes. Salted Almonds.

Baked Red Snapper a la Creole.

Mashed Potatoes.

Lamb Chops au Petit Pois.

Chicken Saute aux Champignons.

Cauliflower, Sauce Blanche.

Pineapple Fritters au Rhum.

Pates de Foies Gras.

Stuffed Tomatoes.

Turkey Stuffed With Chestnuts, Cranberry Sauce.

Endive Salad, French Dressing.

Pababotte a la Creole.

Plum Pudding, Hard or Brandy Sauce.

Pumpkin Pie.

Lemon Sherbet. Assorted Cakes.

Assorted Fruits. Assorted Nuts. Raisins.

Neufchatel.

Quince Marmalade. Crackers.

Cafe Noir.

 

Fanny Newcomb Book Birthday & KIndle Sale

on November 8, 2019

Yep, “Book Birthdays” are a real thing.


FANNY NEWCOMB & THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER came out on November 1st, 2017 and in Fanny’s honor, my publisher is hosting a $.99 sale on Kindle.

ALL. MONTH. LONG.

If you haven’t read FANNY NEWCOMB, or if you’ve worn out your Kindle copy already, or if you’d like to send a Kindle copy to a friend (or potential friend) of yours, NOW’S THE TIME!