Title: Pathfinding Women
Series: Waxwood Series, Book 3
Author: Tam May
Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction/Family Saga
Release Date: September 13, 2020
There are paths in life we have no choice but to follow.
At the close of the nineteenth century, Vivian Alderdice is twenty-six, unmarried, and has no prospective suitors. Now the heiress of the Alderdice fortune, she has yet to fulfill her duty to her family and to society: to marry well and produce heirs.
Her brother’s tragic plight the year before left her and her mother on shaky ground with the San Francisco blue bloods of Nob Hill, and the only way they can re-establish their social position is to win the heart of Monte Leblanc, a wealthy Canadian in search of a wife and looking to become a member of the exclusive Washington Street society.
But a young man on the train tells Vivian things about her grandmother that shake her to the core. Even as she is pursued by the debonair Monte Leblanc, Vivian can’t avoid ghosts from the past who send her on a journey she is reluctant to take.
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“If the horses are his only vice,” said Mr. Leblanc with a chuckle, “I should say Miss Drysdell is very lucky indeed.”
“But it isn’t.” Cecily’s eyes widened. “Elizabeth Cornwall told me it’s all over England that his grandfather and great-great-grandfather both went mad of the drink. It was like poison to them.”
“Well, my dear, all families have their skeletons,” said Mr. Leblanc.
“Oh, that’s all fine when they are ancient ones,” said Fern. “It’s the skeletons still rattling in the closets that one must be careful of.” Her eyes slid toward Vivian.
Vivian’s hands grew cold, even though the coffee Mrs. Tisher had given her was still warm. “Perhaps there would be no need for the skeletons to rattle if families told the truth from generation to generation.”
“Yes, you are a great believer in the truth, aren’t you, Vivian?” Amber asked. “No matter what the consequences.”
“‘Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.’” Vivian quoted.
“You made that up right now?” Bethel’s voice was sour.
“I didn’t,” said Vivian, smiling. “Henry David Thoreau did.”
About the Author
Tam May started writing when she was fourteen, and writing became her voice. She loves history and wants readers to love it too, so she writes historical fiction that lives and breathes a world of the past. She fell in love with San Francisco and its rich history when she learned about its resilience and rebirth after the 1906 earthquake and fire during a walking tour. She grew up in the United States and earned a B.A. and M.A in English. She worked as an English college instructor (where she managed to interest a class full of wary freshmen in Henry James’ fiction) and EFL teacher (using literature to teach English to business professionals) before she became a full-time writer.
Her book Lessons From My Mother’s Life debuted at #1 on Amazon in the Historical Fiction Short Stories category. She is currently working on a Gilded Age family drama titled the Waxwood Series. The first book of the series, The Specter, came out in June 2019, and the second book, False Fathers, was released in December of that year. Book 3, Pathfinding Women will be out in September 2020, and Book 4 in December 2020.
Tam lives in Texas but calls San Francisco and the Bay Area “home”. When she’s not writing, she’s reading classic literature, watching classic films, cross-stitching, or cooking up awesome vegetarian dishes.
Social Media Links
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Lessons Front Cover Photo Credit:stokkete (Luciano de polo)/Depositphotos.com
Title: Lessons From My Mother’s Life
Author: Tam May
Genres: Historical Fiction/Women’s Fiction/Short Fiction
Release Date: March 29, 2020
It was the 1950s. The war was over and women could go back to being happy housewives. But did they really want to?
Women in the 1950s should have been contented to live a Leave it to Beaver life. They had it all: generous husbands with great jobs, comfortable suburban homes with nice yards, two cars, and communities with like-minded families. Their days were filled with raising well-behaved children, cleaning the house, baking cookies, and attending PTA meetings and church events.
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 stories are about the women who didn’t. They didn’t buy that there wasn’t more to life than making a happy home. Except they didn’t know they weren’t buying until something forced them see the cracks in their seemingly perfect lives.
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.
This book is the second edition of my 2017 short story collection, Gnarled Bones and Other Stories. This edition has been extensively revised, the stories changed and expanded, and the context moved from the present day to the 1950s and 1960s. This edition also includes a Preface and a bonus chapter from The Specter, the first book of my Gilded Age family drama, the Waxwood Series.
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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.
About the Author
Tam May grew up in the United States and earned her B.A. and M.A in English. She worked as an English college instructor and EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher before she became a full-time writer. She started writing when she was 14, and writing became her voice. She writes fiction characters who examine their past in order to move into their future and are influenced by the time in which they live.
Her first book, a collection of contemporary short stories, was nominated for a 2017 Summer Indie Book Award. A revised and expanded second edition of this book is now published under a new title: Lessons From My Mother’s Life. She is currently working on a Gilded Age family saga. The first book, The Specter, came out in June of 2019, and the second book, False Fathers, is also now available. Book 3 (The Claustrophobic Heart) and Book 4 (Dandelion Children) will be out in 2020. She is also working on a historical mystery series featuring a turn-of-the-century New Woman sleuth. Both series take place in Northern California.
She lives in Texas but calls San Francisco and the Bay Area “home”. When she’s not writing, she’s reading classic literature and historical fiction, watching classic films, or cooking up awesome vegetarian dishes.
Social Media Links
Facebook Readers Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/tamsdreamersRG/
Facebook Blog Page: https://www.facebook.com/thedreambookblog/
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16111197.Tam_May
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Tam-May/e/B01N7BQZ9Y/
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