Thursday, July 17, 2014

I Now Know the Difference Between a Series and a Serial

I learned something today. I didn’t know the difference between a series and a serial. Yes, I’m a little slow sometimes, but until I got a review from an angry person who felt he had read my newest book under false pretenses, I never gave it a second thought. It was never my intention to mislead anyone.

When I began writing three years ago, I noticed how many series there were on Amazon. I just wanted to write an interesting story that would entertain people and knew nothing about writing as a business, but I learned. A lot. But not once did I hear there was a difference between a series and a serial. I just didn’t ask the right questions.

The Secret of Truelock Manor is a serial. I know that now. There are cliffhanger endings in the first and second book. While I was writing them, I thought of them as a mini-series on television. They always leave someone hanging off a cliff.

In the interest of full disclosure, the three books are a trilogy, a serial that begins with Daughters of the Evening Star, continues in Under Rose’s Spell, and concludes with Mercy in the Moonlight.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Secret of Truelock Manor

Presenting The Secret of Truelock Manor!

The day is here and my books are published. Here are the covers and a blurb about each. 

Daughters of the Evening Star, Book 1

Mercy Pruitt Truelock disappeared in 1796. Three years later, her husband, Stephen, also went missing. In 1823, Felicity Truelock is called to the bedside of a dying servant named Esther. Esther tells her a fantastic tale of witchcraft and time travel, then begs Felicity to write her story down. Esther wants to atone. She wants Mercy and Stephen to know how sorry she is for what happened to them. She tells Felicity to write the story in a book that will be passed down from generation to generation until Mercy and Stephen return.

In 1920, a girl named Mary Ellen Comstock is nine years old. Her great-great Aunt Dee comes to live with Mary Ellen’s family and tells the girl she is a “kindred soul.” Aunt Dee shares a book with Mary Ellen, the diary of Felicity Truelock, and the book enchants the girl. She learns about Mercy Truelock and an incantation that may have sent Mercy into the future. Mary Ellen believes the story, and awaits the day when Mercy and Stephen will return to the spot where they were last seen – the beach near Truelock Manor. 

Under Rose's Spell, Book 2

Under Rose’s Spell begins with the history of the Truelock family. When Jedediah Truelock won a piece of land on Cape Cod in 1703, he never dreamed he was founding a dynasty. By the time his grandson, Lawrence, is born, old Jed is long gone. Lawrence is a dreamer. His dreams lead him to build the mansion that would become Truelock Manor. But Lawrence is also a gambler and a drunkard whose habits threaten to destroy his family.

His son, however, is born a gentleman. Stephen Truelock’s goodness is often overshadowed by his father’s actions, which have left the young man desperately trying to hold onto the mansion. When Stephen is advised to marry for money, he balks at the suggestion, but finally agrees to meet a young woman with a large dowry. When he sees lovely Mercy Pruitt, he instantly falls in love.

They marry, but circumstances bring Mercy’s disturbed sister, Rose, to live with the newlyweds. Rose’s attraction to Stephen soon turns to obsession. She studies witchcraft and schemes to send her sister “away” so she can have Stephen all to herself.

Mercy in the Moonlight, Book 3

In the summer of 1969, a young woman is found on the beach near Truelock Manor. She is naked and unconscious. For thirteen years she has no memory of how she got there. Now, she’s come back to Cape Cod to find out who she is. She rents a cottage near Truelock Manor and finds herself drawn to the mansion. She meets the new owner, Jack Truelock, and tells him of her fascination with the manor. He allows her to explore his home and what she finds there ignites her memories of the past.

Mercy in the Moonlight is the third book in the Truelock Manor Trilogy.

All my books are available on

Friday, May 23, 2014

Character Interview With Stephen Truelock of The Secret of Truelock Manor Series

Hello everyone! Today I’m interviewing Stephen Truelock of The Secret of Truelock Manor series. Mr. Truelock took great pains to join me today as he is a fictional character who lived in the eighteenth century. Please welcome Stephen Truelock.

A.L.: Hello, Mr. Truelock. I asked you here today to share your story with my readers.
S.T.: Hello. Thank you for having me here. While I’m here, I want to set the record straight. Never have I been, nor will I ever be, in love with my sister-in-law. There are some nasty rumors circulating through Boston. They are false allegations.
A.L.: Wow. You seem pretty upset.
S.T: I am livid. Fools and blackguards. There isn’t one ounce of truth to these rumors. I have no interest in Rose Pruitt other than as my wife’s sister. I love my wife with all my heart.
A.L.: I heard that Mercy, your wife, is unaware of her sister’s multiple advances toward you. How do you deal with Rose? Have you ever had to physically restrain her?
S.T.: I respond with kindness, but firmness. Rose has…issues. She is suffering from a malady which causes her to do things that are wholly inappropriate. I have forgiven her time and again, but my patience is wearing thin.
A.L.: I heard that Rose is a practicing witch. Is there any truth to that rumor?
S.T.: To the best of my knowledge, no. She does spend an inordinate amount of time on the third floor, though. (Stephen looks pensive.)
A.L.: What’s on the third floor?
S.T.: It’s the servants’ quarters. I can’t imagine what she does up there.
A.L.: Your mother, Sonya, was an interesting woman.
S.T.: She was indeed. She was a businesswoman. She kept us together during the war.
A.L.: Which war was that again?
S.T.: The War for Independence. My father…was in the Massachusetts’ Militia.
A.L.: He was a war hero, wasn’t he?
S.T.: Some would say so, yes. Frankly, I didn’t have the best relationship with him. I’d rather not talk about him.
A.L.: Okay. You and Mercy have a son named Aaron.
S.T.: He’s a wonderful boy. Very intelligent.
A.L.: I read somewhere that you didn’t spend much time with him when he was very young.
S.T.: Something happened that…interfered with our relationship.
A.L.: Something Rose did?
S.T.: Yes.
A.L.: Can you elaborate?
S.T.: No.
A.L.: Um, all right. How did your family come to own the mansion on Truelock Lane?
S.T.: My great-grandfather, Jedediah, won the land in a card game. (Stephen smiles.) He built the house so my great-grandmother’s father would allow her to marry him. My father built the mansion as it is today.
A.L.: Lawrence Truelock? I didn’t know he built the mansion.
S.T.: It was the one good thing he did.
A.L.: You disappeared in 1799. What happened to you?
S.T.: That, too, is a subject I’d rather not talk about.
A.J.: Is there anything you would like to talk about?
S.T.: We could discuss my paintings. I developed a passion for art while I was in college. My wife was my greatest inspiration.
A.J.: I saw the picture of her on the window seat. The one with the moonlight.
S.T.: It was an image I carried with me when…”
A.J.: When what?
S.T.: (Stephen stands.) I see no profit in continuing this interview.
A.J.: Why? What’s wrong?
S.J.: Thank you for seeing me. I…must go.
A.J.: I’m sorry, everyone. Mr. Truelock has left. I guess we’ll have to read The Secret of Truelock Manor, when it’s released this coming July, to find out why Stephen disappeared in 1799.

Thank you all for joining me today. Have a safe and peaceful Memorial Day. See you next time.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mary Queen of Scots and Reign

Like many of you, I have a guilty pleasure. It’s the CW television show called Reign. The plot revolves around Queen Mary of Scotland and her marriage to Dauphin of France, Francis. The show has twisted history to create a show that will appeal to young people, and dressed the attractive cast in quasi modern gowns. It works. It’s fun, and despite actress Adelaide Kane’s dramatic shortcomings, it is high entertainment.

The true story of Mary is not a pretty one. While she was attractive, the political machinations surrounding her were not. In 1542, at the tender age of six days, she became the Queen of the Scots. As alluded to in the show, she did spend most of her childhood in France, where she met her future husband, who was short and stuttered. In 1558, she married Francis, who, unlike Toby Regbo, the 22-year-old hunk who plays him on the show, was fifteen when he married Mary.

Mary Queen of Scots

Friday, March 28, 2014

Character Interview - Mary Ellen Comstock, owner of the Truelock Museum

In 1982, Mary Ellen Comstock gave a rare interview on The Harry Miller Show, a local radio show broadcasting from Brewster, MA. The interview contains tidbits about the Truelock family, and in particular, Mercy and Stephen Truelock. My soon-to-be-released book, Daughters of the Evening Star, is about Mary Ellen Comstock and the club she formed in the 1920's with two other girls, Margaret Davies and Elizabeth Hoyt Greene. The following is the transcript from that show.

A 1982 Interview with Mary Ellen Comstock on the Harry Miller Show

Harry: Hello again friends. This week we have a special treat for all our listeners out there. Mary Ellen Comstock is with us. Ms. Comstock…

Mary Ellen: That’s Miss Comstock.

Harry: Sorry, Miss Comstock is the owner of the Truelock Museum here in Brewster. Let’s all give a warm welcome to Mary Ellen Comstock. So, may I call you Mary Ellen?

ME: Yes, you may.

Harry: Now, I wanted to ask you about your museum. Is it true that the museum is in your home?

ME: Yes it is. When I was a girl, I became infatuated with the Truelock family. The museum is my homage to them and their descendants. I converted my living room and dining room so I could display items from Truelock Manor.

Harry: I think I read somewhere that you are a descendent of the Truelock family. Is that true?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mercy Fletcher from The Secret of Truelock Manor - A Character Interview

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing a character from my new book series, The Secret of Truelock Manor, Mercy Fletcher. Hello Ms. Fletcher.

Mercy: Hello.

A.L.:    I’ve been looking forward to this interview because I just finished the second book and you have discovered…

Mercy: Stop – don’t give it away.

A.L.:   Oh, yeah, you’re right. Sorry. I got carried away. So, tell me the truth, isn’t there something going on between you and Jack Truelock?

Mercy: There have been rumors, he is famous after all, but no, we’re just friends.

A.L.:    We’ve heard that before.

Mercy: No, really, but he does look like someone from my past, oh, I said too much.

A.L.:    Someone from your past, eh? Is that the past you don’t remember?

Mercy: Please forgive me, but I can’t talk about that right now.

A.L.:    Is it true you signed a confidentiality agreement?

Mercy: No, but out of respect for the readers, I won’t say anything more about, ah, men.

A.L.::   I wrote that your dreams were more like memories. When did the dreams start?

Mercy: (Wiping a tear from her eye) Shortly after my father died.

A.L.:    This is your adopted father, Ken Fletcher, right?

Mercy: Yes. He was a wonderful man and I miss him very much.

A.L.:    And what were these dreams about?

Mercy: I kept seeing a man.

A.L.:   Anybody we know?

Mercy: I can’t say without spoiling it for others.

A.L.:   (Rolling her eyes) So, you have these dreams and then what?

Mercy: I went to Cape Cod. I wanted to find out…

A.L.:   Where you were found lying on a beach naked?

Mercy: (Wipes her eyes again) Yes. I rented a cottage near Truelock Manor. My neighbor, Gladys, told me about a friend of hers named Mary Ellen Comstock. She had a museum and I when I went there, I saw…

A.L.:    Oh, I’m sorry, but our time is up. Thank you, Mercy, for joining me today. The books are due to be released sometime. This is A.L. Jambor signing off.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Tale of Two Eras

I love writing historical fiction. I draw inspiration from images of houses, clothing, food, and accouterments of each era, but my favorite is Victorian. Right now, I’m writing a time travel series called The Secret of Truelock Manor. Part of it that takes place at the end of the eighteenth century, an era I knew little about, but my muse, Gilda, insisted the story begin around 1790, so what could I do? If I diss her, she’ll oversleep or stay out too late - anything to make my life miserable. So when she says 1790, I write 1790.

Then Gilda says another part of the series will take place in the 1980’s. I wanted to deck her. Perms and workout clothes. Madonna and Flashdance. I seriously thought of firing her, but a good muse is so hard to find, so instead I began researching furiously. 

No, I didn’t find any amazing correlations between the two eras, with the exception of big hair, but I did take a walk down memory lane and I have to say, the only thing I got from the 1980’s is my son, Tom, and a hairdo, which is a piece of cake to care for compared to what the poor ladies of the late eighteenth century had to deal with.  

The book is being edited and I hope to publish soon. In the meantime, enjoy the fruits of my research. More photos are pinned to “Mercy's Board” on my Pinterest page. Feel free to add your own images there.

This dress was worn sometime in the 1790's. 
Look at that embroidery!

Printed Indienne open dress with linen skirt, England,1795. This dress had been altered from a Robe a l'Anglaise circa 1785). Private collection Barreto-Lancaster

A dress and petticoat circa 1791

Embroidered cotton and silk evening dress, probably British, ca. 1795.

One thing both eras had in common was BIG HAIR!

Eighteenth Century Portraits | Marie-Gabrielle Capet 1761 -1818 Self-portrait 

John Smart's miniature of Mrs Russell

Maybe those eighteenth century women wore legwarmers
under all those petticoats

Big Hair! Bigger Shoulders!

Seriously, what were we thinking?