The Dream Book Blog

My blog on musings of writing, creativity, psychological reality, and dreams.
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a book and pen sitting on top of a wooden table next to an empty pipe
Historical Cozies what?
The first time I told a group of savvy businesswomen I planned on writing historical cozy mysteries, I got a deer-in-the-headlights look. None of them knew what a cozy mystery was and they weren’t sure what a historical cozy mystery was. That prompted me to write a blog post about this genre that I love to read and write so much!
an old black and white drawing of men playing baseball
The dark side of the circus
I was talking to a student of mine a while ago who was living temporarily in the U.S. and was dying to visit Vegas in the summer with her husband and kids. And it occurred to me — the recent history of Las Vegas and the history of the circus have a lot in common. Just what do they have in common? Read more on that in my blog post!
some people are dressed up and standing in front of a fountain with statues behind them
Happy Indigenous Peoples' Day!
Happy Columbus/Indigenous Peoples’ Day! Here’s a blog post I wrote last year about the resilient Ohlone tribe in California to celebrate this day.
an old photo of people playing in the water near some buildings and beachfronts
The end of summer (we hope!)
I don’t know about y’all, but when I found out summer only ends today (shouldn’t that have been August 22 and not September?) I was a little heartbroken. It’s been a long and crazy summer for many of us and inflation hasn’t made it easy for many of us to get away. Vacationing is actually a relatively new thing, emerging in America only in the late 19th century. Read about it in my latest blog post.
an american labor day card with silhouettes of people cooking and drinking at a table
Happy Labor Day!
Happy Labor Day to those of us in the United States! Today we celebrate all those who work hard to earn our daily bread — which is probably 95% of us at least! But there is a darker side to labor, especially when we think about the wage gap that is still the norm between what women get paid compared to men. I wrote all about this in my new blog post.
two men in suits standing next to each other
The Case of the Dead Domestic inspiration!
So I’ve been dropping hints about how the latest book in the Adele Gossling Mysteries was inspired by a true historical crime, right? Well, my book wasn’t the only one! No less than David Lynch and Mark Frost, the creators of Twin Peaks, were also inspired by this crime! Read all about it in my blog post
an old black and white photo of a man wearing glasses
All about guns (in the 19th century)
Ballistics — sounds very 21st-century scientific, right? But forensic ballistics, or, firearm fingerprinting, actually began in the early 19th century. Read about the history of this fascinating aspect of forensic science in this week’s blog post.
a white cat laying on top of a wooden floor next to a poem written in blue
Women still need to fight!
This month is Women’s Equality Day and in post-COVID times, the burning question is: Do we still need feminism? I answer that question in my blog post.
an old black and white photo of people riding horses down a street with houses in the background
Unsolved true crime from 1908!
I’ve been teasing you about the idea that The Case of the Dead Domestic is not only inspired by a true unsolved crime that happened back in 1908 but that a popular TV show used the same true crime as its inspiration. Now you get to find out what I’m talking about!
four people wearing masks holding a sign that says fourth wave london feminist actists on it
Is Feminism going to the dogs?
A recent friend’s article about disassociative feminism really got me thinking. Is Generation Z throwing away feminism in favor of feminine complacency? Read my blog post to see what I think!
an old drawing of a town with mountains in the background
Go West, young man (and woman)
Today is Go West Day! I’m not kidding, y’all. There’s a day that celebrates the push for westward expansion in the United States in the 19th century and the germ “Go West, young man” (though plenty of women went west too!) You can read all about that in my blog post.
an old black and white photo of a woman with short hair wearing a lace dress
Murder at Moose Lake!
The early 20th century seemed a breeding ground for working girl murders like the one that happens in Book 6 of my Adele Gossling Mysteries. One of the most famous cases of a murdered working girl (which inspired the Elizabeth Taylor-Montgomery Clift film A Place in the Sun) was the murder of Grace Brown.
a st patrick's day greeting card with shamrocks and clover leaves on it
Happy Mother's Day!
Happy Mother’s Day! Mother’s Day actually came about when a daughter wanted to honor her mother in a small way. Read about that and more about the history of this day in my blog post!
an old circus poster with a giraffe and its baby
Circus Women and Suffragism
I talk a lot about suffragism and women’s rights in my newsletter and blog posts. Did you know women of the circus were suffragists too? They have an interesting story that you can find out more about on this week’s Dream Book Blog post.
an old black and white photo of two women standing in the back of a car
Circus Gals
Y’all heard that old-fashioned song about “the daring young man on the flying trapeze” (which was about Queen Victoria’s favorite trapeze flyer in the 19th century, BTW)? Well, the early 20th century saw darling young ladies in the circus too, and not just on the flying trapeze. Read all about them in my blog post!
charlie chappin and the circus poster on a blue background with an image of people riding
Chaplin's The Circus
Who doesn’t love the circus? Chaplin loved it enough to make a Little Tramp comedy that takes place at the circus in 1928. While the film has all the Chaplin goodies, it also teaches us a lot about early circus life. Read more about that in my blog post.
a woman standing next to a statue holding a piece of paper in front of her
Marlon Brando's Mouthpiece? NOT!
Happy American Indian Heritage Month! Let’s celebrate with Sacheen Littlefeather, the activist who made headlines by having the guts to do what Marlon Brando didn’t at the 45th Annual Academy Awards.
an old black and white photo of women in nurses'uniforms, with one holding a cane
Honoring WWI Nurses
Today is Veteran's Day where we honor all those who fight to keep us safe. We don't want to forget that it isn't only soldiers who fight but also other personnel. Here's my blog post about nurses who fought in the front lines in World War I.
an open notebook with halloween stickers and pictures on the pages, including a witch's hat
Happy Halloween!!!
Here’s a little bit about the kind of spooks and mischief that went on more than 100 years ago during Halloween (hint: they weren’t pretty). (This is a spread my sister did a few years back for Halloween in her art journal)
some people are dressed up and standing in front of a fountain with feathers on their heads
Happy Indigenous Peoples Day!
Today, we recognize and celebrate the indigenous people who were the first to settle on American soil and acknowledge the hardship and struggle to survive that many of these people endured. Here's a blog post on the Ohlone in California and the story of their survival through the 19th and 20th centuries.
black and white photograph of women holding protest signs
Lizzie Borden 1970's TV Movie
One of the most fascinating true crime cases of history is the Lizzie Borden case. Countless films and TV mini series have been made about Lizzie. I talk about one of them, a TV movie made in the 1970s
a close up of a plant with water droplets on it's leaves and green berries
Poisons can be pretty too.
Mystery writers are always looking for interesting poisons to use in their books. Book 3 of my series, coming out in October, uses one of the deadliest — but it has a pretty name.
a large mural on the side of a building with palm trees in front of it
Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!
Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! We celebrate but we also recognize other sides of the coin, like the struggle of the Latino community in California against eugenics programs in the early 20th century. You can read about that here:
three women standing next to each other in front of a crowd
The Wage Gap and 9 to 5
Let's talk about the wage gap. Now, what does this have to do with Dolly, Lily, and Jane? Read my blog post to find out!
an old fashioned camera on a black surface
The original Kodak
Is Kodak responsible for photography as an art form or for our disregarding photography as art? Read on in my latest blog post!
a white cat laying on top of a wooden floor next to a poem written in blue
Women and Education
Happy Women's Equality Day! To celebrate, I talk about how far women have come with education since the 19th and early 20th centuries (which is quite timely, considering all the buzz lately about student loan forgiveness)
the state capitol building is shown in this old postcard from washington, d c
Old Sacramento
I talk a lot about San Francisco here, but Book 2 of the Adele Gossling Mysteries (coming out later this month) takes place partly in Sacramento. The California state capital's history is more fascinating than you might think!
a painting of a bride and groom standing in front of an old sewing machine with people around it
The Marriage Age in the 19th Century
So, what age should you marry? The Gilded Agers had something to say about that and it might surprise you. "The average age for women to marry was, roughly, 20 to 22, while for men, it was 26. Why were women marrying at such a young age, nearly 15 years younger than they do today? " Find the answer in my blog post! #marriage #men #women #Gilded Age #19thcentury #blog #history
This guy sort of looks like Johnny Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean, right? But the buccaneer in the 19th century wasn't exactly that kind of pirate.  #blog #19thcentury #GildedAge #fiction #historical #business #finance #UShistory Art And Illustration, Illustrators, Art, Rpg, Artist, Resim, Kunst, Illustrations, Fine Art
The Buccaneer in Nineteenth Century America
This guy sort of looks like Johnny Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean, right? But the buccaneer in the 19th century wasn't exactly that kind of pirate. #blog #19thcentury #GildedAge #fiction #historical #business #finance #UShistory
the house of mirth book cover with an image of people standing in front of a building
Classic Corner: Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth (1905)
I'm taking a look back in my blog post this week at Edith Wharton's fabulous 1905 book, The House of Mirth. Worth checking out! #books #amreading #GildedAge #ProgressiveEra #women #EdithWharton #HouseofMirth #highsociety #marriage
Mother's Day is this week in the States, so here's a bit about the history of the day. #history #MothersDay #mothers #women #20thcentury #ProgressiveEra Children, Draw, Drawings, Picture, Vintage Drawing, Prints
A History of Mother’s Day in the United States
Mother's Day is this week in the States, so here's a bit about the history of the day. #history #MothersDay #mothers #women #20thcentury #ProgressiveEra
a woman holding up a sign that reads, women in 1950 america were told they should be happy just being wives
Tam May on Updating Gnarled Bones
Here's what I wrote for Lisa Lickel's blog about why I decided a do-over for my first book was in order. #Blog #guestpost #historicalfiction #womensfiction #postWWII #feminism #shortfiction #secondedition #NewRelease
an old black and white photo of three people
Defending June Cleaver
My blog post this week is all about June Cleaver! #amwriting #housewife #1950s #popculture #JuneCleaver #LeaveItToBeaver
a white marble bust of a woman with her eyes closed
The Order of Actaeon
The figure of Actaeon is important in False Fathers, as there's a male secret society that goes by that name. #blog #Greekmythology #Actaeon #men #male #masculinity #GildedAge #history #identity #fiction
an image of a father and son with the caption's description below it
The Odd Duck: The Character of Jake Alderdice
Want to know a little more about the character of Jake, the protagonist for False Fathers (Waxwood Series: Book 2)? I've got you covered! #blog #character #fiction #amwriting #historicalfiction #familysaga #men #masculinity #comingofage
a family sitting around a table in a room with curtains on the window sill
Fatherhood in the 19th Century
Here's my blog post for this week, which talks about the changes in fatherhood (very important in my upcoming book, False Fathers (Waxwood Series: Book 2)) in the 19th century. #history #fiction #amwriting #fathers #paternity #gender #identity #separatespheres #19thcentury #Victorian #books #series #WaxwoodSeries #family
an image of a group of men in formal dress
The Masculinity Crisis in the Gilded Age
This week's blog post is all about the masculinity crisis that was going on during the Gilded Age in America.
The title for Book 2 of my Waxwood Series has changed. Here's what it's all about. Novels, Author, Old Things
Title Change Reveal!!!
The title for Book 2 of my Waxwood Series has changed. Here's what it's all about.
an image of a group of women dressed in different colors and sizes standing together with their heads down
Knowing Characters from the Inside and Outside
Since my writing is about characters inside and out, here's my blog post this week about... knowing character from the inside out :-D.
an image of a painting with people in it
Excerpt from my upcoming book!
Want a sneak peak at my upcoming book? Read all about it in my blog post this week!
a group of men in suits and ties posing for a photo
Secret Societies in the Gilded Age
My blog post for this week is about secret societies and fraternities in the late 19th century.
Blog post for this week is about the old writing advice "kill your darlings" (thank you, William Faulkner :-) ) and my recent experiences with this. Alexandra Daddario, Queen, Murder, Like A Sir, The Tudor, Mary Queen Of Scots, Ruthven
The real meaning of "killing your darlings" in fiction
Blog post for this week is about the old writing advice "kill your darlings" (thank you, William Faulkner :-) ) and my recent experiences with this.
a black and white drawing of a woman in a long dress sitting on a chair
The New Woman in America in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries
Here's my blog post about a new era of woman brought on by the progressive reforms of the Gilded Age/Progressive Eras and the ratification of the 19th Amendment in America.
In honor of the 99th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment, my blog post this week is about women's suffragism in America. Caricature, Suffragette, Equality, Women, Dogs Of The World, Political Science
Women's Suffrage in America
In honor of the 99th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment, my blog post this week is about women's suffragism in America.
an old photo of a large building on the water
Immigration, Rioting, and Murder in 1892 America.
Here's my latest blog post which is a peek into some of the things that were going on in America in the year 1892 (the year the events of Book 1 of the Waxwood Series, The Specter, take place).
a painting of a man with books on his head
What I read (for Book Lover's Day)
This week's blog post is my confession as to what I read and why (to celebrate Book Lover's Day which is August 9)
a painting of a man standing on a ladder in front of a bookshelf
Historical Research: The Chicken or the Egg?
Here's my blog post about historical research this week and a little bit about how I'm struggling with this for my current WIP, Book 2 of the Waxwood Series.
I took a personal look at the Gilded Age a month or so ago. This week, I take a more objective look at the era. https://tammayauthor.com/uncategorized/an-objective-look-at-the-gilded-age Barcelona, Southampton, Foreign Policy, Government, Political Corruption, Democracy, Political Cartoons, Senate
An Objective Look at The Gilded Age
I took a personal look at the Gilded Age a month or so ago. This week, I take a more objective look at the era. https://tammayauthor.com/uncategorized/an-objective-look-at-the-gilded-age
an advertisement for a jewelry store with the caption'i have come to see this year that is not only what we expect
Ghosts From the Past: Penelope Alderdice in The Specter
Here's a little more about Penelope Alderdice, the other main character in my upcoming book, The Specter. An early San Francisco debutante who went from background character to phantom.
the women's fiction day logo with an open book and butterflies above it, which reads what are you reading this summer?
Women's Fiction Day 2019
Today is Women's Fiction Day and in honor of that awesome genre which I love to read (and write), I wrote a blog post about what it is (in my definition) and why I love to read and write it.