Pub. Date:
The Specter (Waxwood Series, #1)

The Specter (Waxwood Series, #1)

by Tam May

NOOK Book(eBook)


Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now
LEND ME® See Details


When Vivian's grandmother dies, she leaves behind a trail of family secrets and half-truths.


San Francisco, 1892: Vivian Alderdice has just made her social debut, but her interests lie more in books than in flirtations and learning the Hesitation Waltz. Then in the midst of the parties and balls that make up a debutante's life, her grandmother Penelope passes away. Vivian replaces her taffeta and silk ballgowns for mourning clothes and puts courtship on hold.


All of San Francisco's elite attend the funeral, including a woman claiming to be an old friend of Penelope's. She's eager to tell Vivian about the woman she knew: Not Penelope Alderdice, the shipping tycoon's wife and Nob Hill socialite, but Grace Carlyle, a spunky artist searching for adventure. Is the intruder a crank? Is she confused? Or is she telling the truth?


Haunted by the specter of Penelope Alderdice, Vivian embarks on a journey to discover who her grandmother really was and mysteries the Alderdice family has kept hidden for over forty years. 


Will Penelope Alderdice's past reveal Vivian's future as well?


Follow Vivian's path to truth and self-discovery in the first book of this family saga set during one of America's most turbulent era.


Get The Specter today and experience the life of a Gilded Age belle who can't let go of a family ghost.


Now revised and updated!


What reviewers are saying:

May's historical fiction picks apart the delicate facade of American gentility in upper-class, well-heeled families on the wild West Coast at the end of the nineteenth century. - Lisa Lickel, author and blogger, Living our Faith Out Loud


Gently told, and forms a good basis for the series to build upon. - Discovering Diamonds: Historical Fiction Reviews


Part gothic fiction, part psychological drama, "The Specter" was a deeply moving & introspective book about one of San Francisco's powerful families set in 1892 - Amazon Vine Voice reader


An intriguing and beguiling story. - Amazon reader


A fantastic story that will definitely intrigue the reader and pull you into to the last page. - Amazon reader



False Fathers (Waxwood Series: Book 2)

Pathfinding Women (Waxwood Series: Book 3)

Dandelions (Waxwood Series: Book 4)

Related collections and offers

Product Details

BN ID: 2940156540167
Publisher: Dreambook Press
Publication date: 06/28/2019
Series: Waxwood Series
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 520 KB

About the Author

As soon as Tam May started writing at the age of fourteen, writing became her voice. She writes historical women’s fiction and historical cozy mysteries. She loves to take readers into the nooks and crannies of the past, and she wants to inspire readers with her resilient and autonomous female characters. Most of her fiction is set in and around the San Francisco Bay Area because she fell in love with the city and found her independence and writing voice when she lived there in the 1990s. 

Her book Lessons From My Mother’s Life debuted at #1 in its category on Amazon. She’s also published a Gilded age family saga set among San Francisco’s Nob Hill elite titled the Waxwood Series which follows the Alderdices as they discover their place amidst revolutionary changes and shifting values in the last decade of the 19th century.

Tam’s current project is a historical cozy mystery series titled The Paper Chase Mysteries. The series takes place in Northern California at the turn of the 20th century and features amateur sleuth and epistolary expert Adele Gossling, a progressive and independent young woman whose talent for solving crimes comes into direct conflict with her new community apt to prefer the previous era's angel in the house to the current century’s New Woman.

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 yummy vegetarian dishes.

For more information about Tam May and her work, check out her website at You can also sign up for her newsletter where you’ll get a free short story, read about the resilient, autonomous women in her fiction, and get fun facts you won’t find in the history books.

Customer Reviews