Friday, January 19, 2018

A DYING NOTE available on NetGalley

Interrupting the slinging of slang to mention that A DYING NOTE is now available on NetGalley for read and review. It's free to sign up for NetGalley, and you can then request a digital copy to peruse. Keep in mind: You'll be seeing the "uncorrected proof" with all the attendant oopses and hiccups.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Wednesday's Random Slang-o-rama: Bet you a million to a bit of dirt

Now here's one that is probably easier to guess at than last week's "I'll give you Jim Smith." --

Bet you a million to a bit of dirt.

Heck, you probably don't need a whole lot of time to ponder such a transparent phrase...
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Time's a-wastin', so here's the definition, courtesy of Passing English of the Victorian Era: A Dictionary of Heterodox English, Slang, and Phrase by J. Redding Ware (1909):

Bet you a million to a bit of dirt (Sporting, 19th cent.). The thing is so sure that there can be no uncertainty. The betting man's Ultima Thule of confidence.

(For those of you, who like me, are thinking Ultima what? I looked it up. Dictionary.com explains ultima Thule is Latin for "the highest degree obtainable." You're welcome!)

If the fellow on the other side of the table says he'll "bet you a million to a bit of dirt," it's time to fold (or maybe he's bluffing...). Image from: Detroit Publishing Company Collection, Photography Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundation



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Wednesday's Random Slang-o-rama: I'll give you Jim Smith


Now here's an interesting bit of long-ago slang that I unearthed from an early 20th century dictionary:

I'll give you Jim Smith.

What do you guess this means??

Go on. Guess!
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Time's up!

Here's the definition, straight from Passing English of the Victorian Era: A Dictionary of Heterodox English, Slang, and Phrase by J. Redding Ware, published 1909:

I'll give you Jim Smith (Street, 1887). Thrashing. Sudden adoption of the name of a prize fighter to designate fighting.

I tried to find any reference to a 19th century boxer or prizefighter named Jim Smith, but had no luck. Poor J.S. apparently faded into obscurity along with the phrase that arose from his fighting prowess.

One manly fellow giving another Jim Smith, for certain. Ouch!  
From Athletics and Manly Sport by John Boyle O'Reilly (1890)



Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Random slang-o-rama term for the week: Live Lumber

Every Wednesday, I'll be posting some intriguing (well, to me!) slang term from the past in a "random slang-o-rama" entry.
Hey, we can all use a little lift mid-week, right? :-)

This is not to say that if I have something else to say I'll use Wednesday to say it. But most likely, it'll be some obscure bit that is just too interesting to let fade away entirely.

This week's term is:

LIVE LUMBER

 So, what does this mean?
I'll give you a moment to ponder...
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Moment's over!
Here's the definition, courtesy of the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Vol. II:

Live lumber (nautical) - shipboard passengers.
From 1785's Vulgar Tongue: Live Lumber. A term used by sailors, to signify all landsmen on board their ships.
... and from 1841, this lovely passage from Man-of-War: We experienced uncommonly rough weather on passage round, and the captain of the barque found that his freight of live lumber was anything but di-agreeable [sic] when the wind began to freshen.

There you go! See if you can't incorporate "live lumber" into your conversation in the coming week. I'll be back next Wednesday with another random slang-o-rama entry...

"Don't let the live lumber fall overboard!" -- The painting showing the steam auxiliary 'Blackwall frigate' East Indiaman 'Vernon', 996 tons, broadside in the centre on her maiden voyage. She passing HM ships 'Edinburgh' and 'Blenheim' as they beat down Channel off Bembridge, Isle of Wight, on 21 September 1839.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Clearing the desk, and a drawing to win short story anthology

With my final proofing corrections winging their way to Poisoned Pen Press, the sixth book in my Silver Rush historical mystery series, A DYING NOTE, is officially off my desk. 

I feel in the mood to celebrate!
To that end, I'm going to have a drawing for three copies of the BOUND BY MYSTERY anthology from Poisoned Pen Press. The anthology includes original short stories from PPP authors, including my never-before-published-anywhere-in-the-universe short story “Telling Tales,” which takes place in Leadville and features a cameo appearance by Inez and Mark Stannert in happier times.

The catch (but it's a small one): Winners will be drawn from subscribers to my random and very occasional newsletter. Sign up by Thursday evening, read my newsletter (which will arrive Friday morning-ish to be eligible for the drawing; I'll pull three names on December 31. (Heck, you can subscribe December 21 and unsubscribe on January 1 if you want, so why not?)

You can sign up here: http://www.annparker.net/contact.php

Wishing everyone a cozy holiday season, with many good books to read and the time to read them...

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Look for posts to start appearing regularly on Wednesdays, starting January 3. I'll be sharing fun, old-time slang and bits of trivia from the 19th century, as well as news as I have it...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Win a copy of the first in the Silver Rush mysteries or the most recent—your choice!

I tried something new with the guest post "A Rude Awakening to a Day in the Life of Inez Stannert," now live at Dru's Book Musings—writing Inez from first-person point of view (I, mine, etc.). My "comfort zone" in writing Inez is to use close third-person point of view (i.e., looking at the world through Inez's eyes, but still in third person (she, her, etc.).
Experimenting is a good thing, right?
If curiosity is not enough to make you click the link, there's also this:
I am giving away a copy of SILVER LIES (the first in the Silver Rush series) or WHAT GOLD BUYS (the newest, just-released fifth book)... All you have to do to enter the drawing is leave a comment with the post at Dru's by September 15.

So, what are you waiting for? Check it out and see what yanked Inez out of a deep slumber... a rude awakening indeed!

... a few minutes later: "What's that noise??"



Monday, August 8, 2016

Reviews come in and an ARC giveaway!

Well, I'm not being nearly as consistent as I had hoped, but I shall keep working on getting better at posting here, on my Silver Rush blog...

First, if you would like to get in the drawing for one of three ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies, otherwise known as "uncorrected proofs") of What Gold Buys... you have a week to enter the giveaway I'm hosting on Goodreads, and I encourage you to go for it! The odds are much better than striking silver in the Leadville mining district in 1879! :-) (Now don't ask me what those odds were, because I'm assuming here...)

So just click on the "Enter Giveaway" link below and good luck! But before you go... (keep reading below the widget)...


Goodreads Book Giveaway

What Gold Buys by Ann  Parker

What Gold Buys

by Ann Parker

Giveaway ends August 15, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

.... Reviews are popping up, ahead of publication. Since I consider them all valid data points (each reviewer approaches a book with different expectations, preferences, and so on, as do readers), I'm providing links to the three I've rounded up so far, along with a short pull-quote from each.
  • Publishers Weekly starred review! (yes, that rates an exclamation point) "Emotionally and historically convincing."
  •  Kirkus Reviews. "Better history than mystery, drawing the reader into the stunning beauty and harsh realities of life in 1880s Colorado."
  • Historical Novel Society. "I haven’t read the first four but was so taken by Parker’s protagonist, Inez Stannert, that I’ll rectify that asap... I can’t wait for the sixth in the series." 
So please enter the Goodreads giveaway, if you are so inclined... and if you want to increase your chances of winning an uncorrected proof (which has hilarious goofs, such as Inez drawing her "Smooth revolver"... yes, a smooth move, but that should be *Smoot* ), sign up for my very occasional newsletter right here. I will be giving away ARCs to a couple lucky folks on this list, once the Goodreads giveaway is over on August 15.

And here, just for fun, is a couple of photos I took last year in the House with the Eye Museum in Leadville, the City in the Clouds...
The original stained glass "eye" from 1879. 

Guns, cards, and chips... note the "woman's purse gun" on the far right.