Lessons From My Mother’s Life

Title: Lessons From My Mother's Life
Published by: Dreambook Press
Release Date: 2020
Contributors: Tam May
Genre: , , , ,
Pages: 190
ISBN13: 9780998197982
ASIN: B084Y7GDV9
It was the 1950s. The war was over and women could go back to being happy housewives. But did they really want to?
 
Women should have been contented to live a Leave it to Beaver life in the mid-20th century. They should have been fulfilled. Women’s magazines told them so. Advertisers told them so. Doctors and psychologists told them so. Some were. But some weren’t.
 
In the 1950s, women were sold a bill of goods about who they were and who they should be as women. Some bought it. But some didn’t.
 
These five stories are about the women who didn’t.
 

A teenage bride sees her future mirrored in Circe’s twisted face. A woman’s tragic life serves as a warning about the dangers of too much maternal devotion. And the lives of two women intersect during two birthday parties, changing both of them. These and other moving tales of strength, discovery, and hope are about our mothers and grandmothers and the lessons their lives have to teach us.
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She rose, slipping her hands from his and placing them in the pockets of her dress so he wouldn’t see them shaking. She looked out the window where the sea had disappeared for curvy mountains. “Isn’t it wonderful how you only have to travel on a railroad track to reach a new place, a new world, even?”

“It’s not enough,” he said in an almost brutal voice. “I’ve been on many train tracks to many new places and new worlds. It’s like the living body and the living soul. One without the other kills them both.”

She took a breath. “You mean your body can be in a different place, but if your soul is the same, you’ll always be back where you started?”

“Something like that.”

Her legs felt as fragile as matches as she left the drawing room and made her way down the aisle and into the observation car. She saw that Bea and Carla were both dozing in chairs near the center of the car. She crept past the resting heads and soft snoring people to where the observation section gathered like a cup at the edge of the car. There was one oblong little window that stared right ahead into the vast space of mountainous ranges and gray-blue skies. She watched as the train moved forward, leaving behind her dead soul.

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False Fathers (Waxwood Series: Book 2)

Title: False Fathers (Waxwood Series: Book 2)
Series: Waxwood Series #2
Published by: Dreambook Press
Release Date: 2019
Contributors: Tam May
Genre: , , , ,
Pages: 312
ISBN13: 9780998197968
ASIN: B0821YZVKM
Sometimes no father is better than a false father.
 
In 1898 California, Jake Alderdice comes of age as a shy and contemplative youth who is passionate about art. On vacation in Waxwood, now a fashionable resort town, he meets Harland Stevens, who takes an interest in the young man's artistic ambitions. Stevens seizes upon the fatherless young man to counsel him toward a path to manhood inspired by Teddy Roosevelt and Thoreau. He introduces Jake to The Order of Actaeon, a secret society built upon Roosevelt’s ideals of masculine virility and virtue.
 

But the path to maturity is a complex thing in the Gilded Age. Will his journey free him from the Alderdice family illusions, half-truths, and lies that have kept him a child? Or will it lead him into the world of Actaeon, where the hunter becomes the hunted?
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The afternoon sun had arrived with its vengeance of rising heat. Jake took out his handkerchief and wiped at his forehead. At the same time, he felt something inside him shiver. He couldn’t help but think of what Vivian would have said, if she had heard the tale. He knew she would have found it one more reason to avoid Stevens, as the story would have struck her as another way in which Roger had been right about the way in which Stevens and his father engineered their will against the will of others.

“I suppose your father understood you.” He put the handkerchief away and made a shot through the hoop in front of him. 

As Stevens set down his mallet down, Jake felt the weight of his expectant eyes. “I thought you would change your mind.”

“Change my mind?”

“About needing guidance,” said the redhead. “You needn’t be abashed. Other young men such as yourself have come to me when they needed a father too.”

“I didn’t say I needed a father.” Jake looked at the tussled grass at his feet. “I only meant I would be grateful for any ideas you have for me about my new undertakings.”

“As you wish,” said Stevens, though his eyes sparkled in the sun.

The Specter (Waxwood Series: Book 1)

Title: The Specter (Waxwood Series: Book 1)
Series: Waxwood Series #1
Published by: Dreambook Press
Release Date: 2019
Contributors: Tam May
Genre: , , , ,
Pages: 310
ISBN13: 978-0998197944
ASIN: B07RLVX7NW
To what lengths will one go to exorcise a specter?
 
In 1892, people gather to mourn the death of San Francisco socialite, Penelope Alderdice. Among them is a strange little woman who claims to have known “Grace” as a young woman in the small coastal town of Waxwood. But Vivian, Penelope’s granddaughter, has never heard of Grace or Waxwood.
 
Vivian journeys to Waxwood and eventually discovers a packet of letters her grandmother wrote forty years ago.
 

As Vivian confronts the specter that holds the truth to the secrets and myths buried in the family consciousness for forty years, she is forced to examine her grandmother’s life as a mid-19th century debutante and her own life as a Gilded Age belle.
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Larissa patted her head. “You’ve done all I asked of you thus far, Vivian. But lately, you’ve forgotten your position.”

“My position?”

“You’re the granddaughter of Malcolm Alderdice,” her mother said in a firm voice. “That means something in San Francisco.”

“I was the granddaughter of Penelope Alderdice too,” Vivian said. “Doesn’t that mean something?”

“In so far as she was Mrs. Malcolm Alderdice, dear.” Her mother sighed.

“A door has opened,” Vivian said. “Mrs. Ross opened it, whether we wanted her to or not.”

Her mother gave her a rueful look. “One need not walk through every open door, especially if a madwoman holds the key.”

“Mrs. Ross wasn’t mad,” Jake murmured. “Confused, but not mad.”

His mother gave him a look. Then, in a more congenial voice, she said to her daughter, “Not every door is the door to heaven, dear.”

“Let it be the door to hell, then,” Vivian declared.

During these troubled times, I'm giving the gift of reading! Until the world is back to a somewhat saner place, The Specter will be priced at 99¢.