Spotlight on Maureen Driscoll and ‘The Tycoon Murderer’

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ttm mdThe story behind THE TYCOON MURDERER

My Inspiration

I love history, particularly the 20th Century, and I’ve always been a sci-fi nerd, especially time travel.  So it made sense that I’d eventually end up in this genre.  I loved the 1979 movie Time After Time, which was the story of Jack the Ripper arriving in modern-day America.  I even watched the TV series when it was on briefly last year.  I really loved the TV show Timeless, which was cancelled, but then resurrected.  And, of course, you can’t get any better than the Back to the Futuremovies.


But my most important influence was all the British mysteries I watch on PBS. I love Agatha Christie and wanted to do a throwback story about a house party gone very wrong.  I’ve been reading modern-day cozy mysteries, but mostly they make me hungry, since a lot of them…

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“Where Dreams Merge” by Maureen Driscoll

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“Where Dreams Merge (Jasmine Cottage #2)”

Author: Maureen Driscoll

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian/Gothic

Release Date: July 20, 2017

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The second book in the Jasmine Cottage Victorian Romance series follows Grace Moore as she matches wits with writer Carter Beckett, the Earl of Wainwright.

Grace Moore has avidly followed the career of Carter Beckett, who pens pieces for a London newspaper. Never shy to contradict him, she has sent him several letters about his work. What she didn’t expect was for the man himself to visit the country not far from where she lives, even more handsome in real life than his pen and ink picture in the paper.

Carter Beckett is restless. He is attempting to write a novel, but the words simply will not come. However, once he meets the lady who has been his most outspoken critic, he realizes he has finally found his muse. Once the two begin…

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“Free, a Novella” by Felicia Denise #ReleaseBlitz

Happy Release Day! Please buy this book!

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“Free, a Novella”

Author: Felicia Denise

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: May 30, 2017

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Lenore Porter’s life had not gone as she planned.

The marriage she put her heart and soul into failed.

The man she sacrificed so much for abandoned her.

But Lennie refused to be broken. She pushed on, running a successful business and raising her three sons alone.

Through health scares, severe family dysfunction, and trauma which forever changed their lives, the Porter family clung to each other to keep from sinking into the darkness.

With her marriage over long ago and her adult sons living their own lives, Lenore Porter decides to sell the cold fortress she worked so hard to make a warm, loving home.

A short, final inspection of her former home turns into a confrontation with ghosts from the past, and decisions and events Lennie felt she’d dealt with and moved…

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‘Where Hearts Meet’ by Maureen Driscoll

Thank you to the wonderful Melanie Friedman at Bookworm2bookworm!

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whm mdSTORY: Arabella Warren has been trying to find employment as a governess for several months. But after having to leave numerous households for unsavory reasons, she has found it next to impossible to attain a position in a decent home. Then she sees an advertisement in the newspaper for a widower seeking a wife to help care for his two children. She sets out to convince the man that he needs a governess, not a wife, and that she would be the perfect lady for the job.

Jonathan Graves still grieves the loss of his wife, even as he tries to create a happy home for his five-year-old twins. Knowing he will never love again, he believes the best solution is to enter into a marriage of convenience. His children will have a stepmother and he can go on loving the woman who passed away. But he is not prepared…

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Book Tag

The incredible Melanie Friedman at challenged me to a book tag post.  Before I go on to do that, I want to commend her for being my very patient, very insightful editor.  My  books are much better because of her.  And her blog is terrific.

She heard about book tag from Addicted to Romance, then tagged me.  Here are the questions, which really made me think:

What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Pride and Prejudice.  It’s my favorite book of all time, the one I’ve re-read the most and one I’ll never tire of.  I also love both the Colin Firth and Keira Knightley film versions.

What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?

I’m cheating on this a bit, giving you the answer which was true when I was first tagged Saturday morning.  My last book was re-reading Candace Camp’s A Gentleman Always Remembers.  It’s part of her Willowmere series and sublime.  All three books are truly amazing.  They’re Regency and about four American sisters who come to England in search of their cousins.  I love this series.  If you haven’t read them, please do so immediately.

The current book (at the time I got this) is Lisa Kleypas’s book Devil in Spring in her Ravenal series, but it’s also a distant relative of her wonderful Wallflower series since the hero is the son of one of the Wallflowers.  I was a little nervous going into the book, because while Lisa Kleypas has been one of my all-time favorite authors, she, uh, did a few clunkers in recent years.  But this was great, though it kinda went in an odd direction about two-thirds of the way through the book.  But I loved it enough that I’ll be reading the rest of the Ravenels.  And, again, if you’ve never read the Wallflowers, put them on your list.

The next book (which I’m actually reading now) is Stephanie Laurens’s The Lady by his Side.  I was really, REALLY nervous to read this, but since it’s about Devil Cynster’s son and the Earl of Chillingworth’s daughter, I knew I had to read it.  And, while I’m only about halfway through, it’s great.  The reason I was nervous is because even though two of the top five romance novels I’ve ever read have been written by Stephanie Laurens (Devil’s Bride and Captain Jack’s Woman), her novels have become a bit repetitive, not just in repeating plotlines, but in making the love scenes way too long in kind of an over-the-top manner.  But so far, this book is more like the originals.

What book did everyone like but you hated?

The Devil in the White City.  It’s the non-fiction account of two historical events happening at the same time:  the Chicago World’s Fair and the killing spree of America’s first serial killer H.H. Holmes.  I checked it out from the library and returned it when it was due, only halfway through.  This book needed an editor.  WAY too much minutia.

What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read but you probably won’t?

Hillbilly Elegy.  It’s a non-fiction look at the U.S. political landscape of the last election.  I checked it out and back it went.  All my friends say it’s great, but….

What book are you saving for retirement?

I don’t think I’ll put off reading anything, but I know one thing I’ll be re-reading:  The Harry Potter series.  I love those books so much.

Last page:  read it first or save til the end?

Read it first, though that doesn’t happen as much now that I do most of my reading via Kindle.  But I don’t like surprises, which is one reason I can’t get into watching sports.

Acknowledgement:  waste of paper and ink or interesting aside?

As a writer, it’s vital because there are so many people to thank.  As a reader, I only read it if I really liked the book.

Which book character would you switch places with?

I don’t think any, though I’ve certainly read Bridget Jones so often I think I am her.  If I could be one of the heroines in one of my books, I think it’d be either Rosalind, Liam Kellington’s wife or Ava, Colin Emerson’s wife.

Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?

Probably Bridget Jones’s Diary, which I first got while I was still dealing with my divorce.

Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

Nothing really comes to mind, other than I’ve had a couple boyfriends who gave me “deep” books in hopes of making me read more serious material.  It didn’t work either time.

Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

I was a volunteer at a hospice in a nursing home and gave away all the books I’d written to the really lovely lady who was married to one of the patients I got to know.  She gave me the best compliment I’ve ever received when she said she loved escaping into the books for a while.  I think that’s what books can do for all of us.  Who doesn’t want/need that from time to time?

Which has been with you most places?

Pride and Prejudice.

Any required reading that you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

All of Shakespeare, particularly the dramas.  While I almost never listen to books on tape (I just don’t comprehend that way), I listened to King Lear in college while reading along and it brought me to great sobbing tears.

Used or band new?

I am paranoid about picking up bedbugs, so brand new.

Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Yes.  The DaVinci Code.  He’s a great storyteller with terrific pacing.  But every once in a while I would pull back and remind myself I didn’t really care what kind of relationship Jesus and Mary Magdalene had.  But then I’d get sucked in again.

Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

The fifth Harry Potter book, The Order of the Phoenix.  He was so irritating in the book,  but the movie was dark and wonderful.

Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

I am the opposite of a foodie.  So, no.

Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

Melanie Friedman!

Is there a book outside your comfort zone you ended up loving?

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon.  It’s set in World War II America (one of my favorite eras).  It’s wonderful, funny and heartbreaking.  I loved it, but will likely never read it again.  Heartbreaking isn’t something I’m fond of.

Okay, now I get to do the tagging….

Felicia Denise at

Danielle Gorman from Ramblings from this Chick (

John Heldt at

Those are all terrific blogs.  Please check them out!

‘Never and Always’ by Maureen Driscoll — bookworm2bookworm’s Blog

STORY: Return to the world of the Kellington and Emerson families in this Regency romance collection of three novellas. Leticia Emerson, Violet Kellington and Anna Emerson have been friends most of their lives. Little did they know a visit from three Eton school boys would change everyone’s lives for the better. Fifteen-year-old Lord Wesley Addington […]

via ‘Never and Always’ by Maureen Driscoll — bookworm2bookworm’s Blog

The Post Below

Damn, I’m really bad at blogging.  The post below was not written by me, but I thought it was really interesting.  While I didn’t vote for Trump, I want the best for our country and hope he can work with Congress to help solve our problems.

This has been a very trying election.  I hope we can all heal.  A good start would be to remember and thank our Veterans because November 11 is upon us.   To those of you who served, thank you.





I received three emails from WordPress in the past 12 hours saying someone is trying to change my WordPress password.  That was unsettling, since it wasn’t me.  So, if something odd/super offensive gets posted here that’s probably why.  I say probably because I’m rather odd and super offensive, so there’s a possibility it’s me.  Unless it’s one of these categories:  Racist:  not me.  Likes cats:  not me.  Helpful in the kitchen:  definitely not me.

I hope that clears it up.

I was also awakened in the middle of the night a couple weeks ago by someone ringing my doorbell and pounding on the door.  While my first thought was ghosts/demons trying to steal my soul, my second guess was evil in its human form.  I tiptoed out to the door.  A floorboard creaked (old hardwood floors can be a pain in the butt), and the person outside moved.  I called 911 since this is Burbank and not Los Angeles.  I felt silly saying someone was at my door and to please come right away.  I waited with cell phone in hand and took the time to find sturdy slippers (I can never find the right shoes for any occasion in less than 15 minutes so this saved time) and glasses.

The police showed up a few minutes later (again, this is Burbank and not LA).  They checked the yard and said they ran into spiderwebs — I hate that — which means whoever it was hadn’t tried to go in the backyard.  Which is good.  Their best guess was it was a drunk who came to the wrong house, which is not an uncommon experience on the Monday night of a three-day weekend.

Mystery solved, sort of.  I couldn’t go back to bed, of course, so I stayed up watching Peaky Blinders on Netflix, wondering if the doorbell had been rung by a drunk, a bad guy or a ghost/demon.

My point is it’s unsettling to assume everything is fine, then someone wakes you up in the middle of the night or tries to get into your WordPress account.  Or, of much greater urgency, places a few bombs to make us all scared.

I think we need to counter it all with strength and coffee.

Be safe.



On Keeping Promises to Yourself


I recently turned 53 and crossed off my first official Bucket List item by going to Paris.  I had lived in Switzerland as an exchange student after high school and had traveled around Italy and southern France during that year.  But I hadn’t been back to Europe since 1982 and I’d never been to Paris.  I’ve been saying for years that I would go “some day,” but one thing about 53 is you’ve already seen enough people die and others be stricken with life changing illness that a part of you knows that “some day” won’t happen unless you make it happen.

Money has been tight since forever, and even when I started having a little extra, Paris seemed like an extravagance.  And I don’t do extravagance.  But then I found out my host father from Switzerland was dying and I knew it was time to go.  Unfortunately, he passed away before I got there, which was another reminder that you shouldn’t keep putting things off.

I went on the trip alone, other than seeing my host sister during a quick visit to Zurich.  I learned that 19 1/2 years in Los Angeles left me completely unprepared for a March winter. And I also figured out that it’s always good to do things which scare you — because as the trip I’d planned for nine months drew nearer I was absolutely terrified.  But, similar to the cross-country trip from DC to LA I’d undertaken twenty years earlier after my divorce, this journey helped me transition into a new phase in life.  Not one of slowing down and thinking of retirement, but making priorities and figuring out what to tackle next.

Please do yourself a favor and plan to do one thing you’ve always wanted to this year.  It really is good for the soul.