Date: August 25th, 2019, Posted by mollie
I heard some very distressing news today. Very, very distressing. And it made me very upset. A beautiful young man that had worked on the landscaping on our property took his own life. It’s is horrifying to me to know that suicide is the second leading cause of death in people under 30.
It’s easy to feel hopeless. Helpless.
“I wish we could bring Tom back,” his friend, who broke the news, told me. I nodded silently and agreed.
“I wish I had done more, ” he said. I nodded silently and agreed.
“I wish I had called,” he said. I nodded silently and agreed.
Sometimes the best thing we can do when people share tragic news with us is to listen and hold space and share the sadness and despair—and silently affirm that we care.
I thought of all the people affected – or rather infected – by suicide. I don’t know of anyone that escapes its insidious reach. But I do know that love is the cure—and holding onto hope. As a new book by Callie Shell affirms in its title, “Hope, Never Fear: A Personal Portrait of the Obamas.”
I came straight home and stood beneath the Nikau’s Tom planted and I shed a tear. And the tears come now as I write. But instead of letting sadness prevail, I went and fertilized the trees so that they will flourish.
And then I jumped back into joy. I created a video for my new Mollie Mathew website. At first, I stood before a white wall, but it felt too morbid. So I stood before our new Piera McArthur painting and recorded the video below. The despair that Tom, and people like him, felt and are feeling is fuelled by so much that is ugly in the world.
The truth is sometimes all we need is something beautiful and joyful and distracting to fortify the hope needed to hang on for just one more day. And one more day after that…and one more after that…
Books can, and do, change lives.
Tom many never have read romances, in fact, I seriously doubt he did, but I know many people who do and have shared their story that romance novels saved their lives. Coco Chanel is one of the most famous stories that come to mind.
Which is why I write love stories—now and always will.
Some people feel guilty about being happy or focusing on their joy. They say, “what right do I have to be happy when there is so much suffering in the world.”
Some people are addicted to pain and drama and toxicity without even realizing it, say some psychologists. Imagine being addicted to pain? Who would? But millions do. Drug addiction. alcohol addiction, sex addiction, gaming addiction—so many things that people believe alleviates pain and suffering doesn’t. So many truths we believe are lies.
Want to know what the real fake news is? Negative addictions build fear—never hope; never healing; never anything but pain in the long-term.
Joy, however, offers everlasting love and happiness forever after. This why I am a big fan of positive addictions, which I write about in my self-empowerment books like, Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety—Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life
And, having discovered for myself the healing power of romance, it’s why I write stories which are unashamedly about hope and the power of love to heal.
In, my short story, Forever and Always, I shared the story of family therapist Lily Rose, who following her malicious sacking, is feeling rejected and super-low in spirits. Even worse, she’s broke. The last thing she needs is more money woes. Which is exactly what happens when she collides with billionaire water magnate Leonardo Ermenegildo Bressolini’s mint-condition Lamborghini.
Having found a place to retreat from the madness and greed and malevolence of his ex-wife the last thing Leonardo wants is complications. But he is a man in need of a housekeeper. And Lily Rose owes him. Big time.
What they both don’t know is just what a massive impact the crash will have on their lives. Forever and Always is a short story, clean romance, full of quirky humor and the promise of a happily ever after.
What many people may not know is that the story was penned from my own life. Sharing my trauma and transcending it with a fictional retune helped me heal myself with writing. And so many people have written to me and told me how much that story meant to them and how they identified so strongly with Lily, as they have other characters in my books.
“Did you ever dream that a car crash that wiped out your bank account could turn into one of the best days of your life? Meet Lily Rose, who only wants to help children through emotional trauma and ends up finding herself and her true love in the process. This charming and warm short story is just the start of great things to come.”
~ Elaine Zieroth.
Out of curiosity, I googled, How Romance Saved My Life and retrieved the following excerpt from one of many articles that came up:
“When I was newly divorced and an abruptly single mother of five-year-old twins I needed something to fill the hours between my daughters’ bedtime and my own. I couldn’t get sloppy drunk, though I wanted to, because I had to be a grown-up and take care of my kids.
I probably could have eaten bowls of ice cream but I didn’t seem to have an appetite and, ironically, I did not have the attention span to watch TV. What I wanted was a book. I needed a big juicy read to take me out of my life for a while. A Gone with the Wind or An Unsuitable Boy kind of book that would suck me out of New York to a different place and time. What I found on the shelf in the hallway outside my office was a mass market copy of To Pleasure a Prince by Sabrina Jeffries. I had never read a romance novel but the first page hooked me and I took it home.
That night I was introduced to the wonderful world of clever feisty women whose intelligence and prickly independence are attractive and desirable traits that draw equally intelligent, handsome, sexy men to them. The characters were wonderfully complex and Jeffries wrote a tense compelling story that completely swept me into the world of Regency England and the rambunctious courtship of Viscount Draker, bastard son of the Prince of Wales and Lady Regina Tremaine, who has decided she can never marry. How could you not love the bastard son of a rogue Prince and a woman who believes she is unloveable?”
Read more from this article and discover how romance can save your life, click here>>
If life has got you down and you need a quick uplift or the chance to escape into another world, reading a good romance (or writing one), or diving into another genre, maybe just the remedy you need.
P.S. And the nightmare, narcissistic boss who I took from real life and fictionalized in Forever and Always? I blew my whistle on her unethical practice and alerted the Government Department who funds the organization she leads. They were alarmed and immediately acted. Below is an excerpt from their email to me
At a high level, we discussed:
- Governance and operation structure
- HR concerns regarding the past employment and termination of staff
- individual profit of intellectual property owned by XXX
- safe practise and policies.
We will be following up some matters further with XXX and have issued some actions that need to be rectified.
Thank you for raising these concerns with us.
We have to be the change we want to see in the world. We must take a stand. It’s not easy, but it is rewarding to know you have used your own trauma to try to prevent others from suffering harm.
“I fell in love with Ruby and Oliver, they are so good for each other, but both are so filled with garbage that their families filled them with, that they can’t see what’s in front of them. And when they finally realize that diamonds don’t have a hold to what they had, they are about to lose it. The butterflies remind me of how ethereal life is and it is up to us to not waste it, but live the fullest and best we can.”
~ Review re Flight of Passion
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Date: August 14th, 2019, Posted by mollie
I am so excited about my new release and to share the inspiration behind this new short story.
It’s a lot different in style and tone than my other books, but I do like to experiment. The story was inspired by my own experiences. And, as you’ll read in the final scene, I really did paint a lighthouse in a type of cathartic art therapy.
I’ve always believed in the power of creativity and art to heal and I’ve included this as a theme in this story. You might say The Lightkeeper’s Lover has more of a magical realism tone, and some readers have described it as ‘poetic’ but, I’ll let you decide.
The Lightkeeper’s Lover is a short story, and like all my short stories and full-length romances it contains the theme of heartbreak, family, destiny and the power of love to heal.
I hope you love the story. Here’s a little bit about it.
When their world crashes,
will their love meet the test?
A woman who flees from love and a man who can’t keep it.
These two lonely people couldn’t picture a life where love ever stayed. A legacy of painful secrets and wounds unspoken.
Set in New Zealand, The Lightkeeper’s Lover is a beautifully moving story of love, loss and betrayal, and what we have to do to heal our hearts.
A delightful mystical romance with a dream-like quality that weaves fantasy and myth into everyday life. If you enjoy clean and wholesome romances and love stories with a touch of magic and fantasy and with that so important happy ending, you’ll love this powerful new love story.
To grab your copy on Amazon ➜navigate to here>>getbook.at/LightkeepersLover
Advance Reader Reviews
“This is not my normal genre but you made the lighthouse come alive. The Lightkeeper’s Lover was an enjoyable and quick read that drew me in from the first page to the last. The lighthouse took on human characteristics or personification and was almost poetic in his thoughts. When Lucy was on the cliff near the lighthouse, she was in so much despair and was hurt and angry when not offered shelter. The epilogue was a surprise and was unexpected but welcomed since it fleshed out the story.”
“The Lightkeeper’s Lover has a lovely mystical, poetic feel about it, with deep longings being experienced by the characters.”
“It was beautifully written and your language and imagery, exquisite! “
BONUS FREE EXTRAS!
Enjoy the first three chapters from my most popular full-length true romance:
Married by Christmas—animosity and undeniable attraction make the tension soar
And a preview of my upcoming release Claimed by The Sheikh—discover the secret the world was never meant to know.
Curl up with romance and savor these delicious clean, sweet and tender love stories. Grab your copy today!
Exclusive to KDP and Amazon.
As I’ve shared, the beginning of The Lightkeeper’s Lover is different in style from my other love stories. Some people loved the beginning best, some loved the end, and other’s the whole thing. There’s something for everyone in this story.
If magical realism and a more literary, poetic style is not your thing, read to the epilogue at the end. You’ll meet art therapist Issy and her billionaire husband Max again (Married by Christmas) and gain a sneak peek into the next book in my upcoming Sheikh series.
As a special bonus, I’ve also included three chapters from my full-length book, Married by Christmas, and advance chapters from my full-length book, Claimed by the Sheikh, due for release in 2019. You’ll meet some of the hero’s friends and learn more about his royal lineage.
DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?
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Date: August 7th, 2019, Posted by mollie
The idea for this story was sparked when I read about a very successful Italian fashion-tycoon who said, ‘My biggest regret is that I gave my life to my job.’ It struck me as very, very sad.
I wondered why he had chosen to live his life this way. Despite all his wealth, all his mansions around the world, and all the ‘fans’ who adored him for the identity he had carefully cultivated, he loved no one and no one loved him back for who he truly was.
Although he never said it outright, he’d thrown himself into his work following the death of his life partner. His work was pure escapism—protecting him from feeling the pain of loss again.
He’d originally trained as a medic but after experiencing the horrors of war, he sought refuge in a fantasy world.
As a child, he’d loved the glitz and glamor Hollywood offered. After a brief stint in the war where he witnessed the deaths of friends, he found an escape from the harshness of reality returning to the fantasy of Hollywood
I wondered what sort of woman would be able to touch this frozen man at the deepest level. Everything in his life was controlled measured, predictably precise. I wondered what if the darkness of the past, his unhealed wounds began to impact his work, stifling his creativity and threatening to destroy everything he had fought so hard to achieve.
I wondered what if, as part of his recovery, he was forced to spend time with a woman so opposite in every way to the order he imposed in his life. And what if this woman was a children’s art therapist. A woman unimpressed by the fame and fortune he’d amassed, but who believed strongly in the power of play, fun, and spontaneity—things he considered reckless
What if this woman had the power to transform his life, and he hers—but they were both afraid. Hearts have been broken, love lost, trust betrayed. What if this woman had her own wounds? Don’t we all?
What would it take to make all the masks fall? To be vulnerable? To risk it all? What would it take, in spite of the fear, to believe you deserve, you want, you need to give love a second chance?
You’ll discover the answers in The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride. I hope you love this story as much as I loved writing it. Here’s a free EXCERPT:
‘Che cavolo! No! No! No! This will not do. Only an anorexic model could wear something that resembles a straw,’ thundered Massimilliano Balforni, CEO of Emporio Balforni, Milan’s most prestigious fashion house. His coal-black brows knitted in a fierce line as he looked with disdain at the scatter of sketches the young designer splayed on Max’s 15th Century walnut desk.
His protégé began to protest but one piercing look from the maestro forced his lips shut. His body stiffened as if frozen to the floor, reminded that his employer’s wrath was more dangerous than black ice
‘Alexandria Gorbetz is a real woman, the world’s richest woman, and someone like me that demands perfection.’
Max’s mouth curved in a controlled smile. Was that fear he detected in the young man’s face as Max pierced him with his dark gaze? He had every reason to be afraid. Enemies and friends alike knew Max had destroyed promising careers for lesser transgressions. Infinitesimal precision, extraordinary control, unrivaled beauty—Max suffered nothing less.
Pressing his fingertips to the smooth, cool parchment, he paused momentarily as a childhood memory stirred in his consciousness. He sucked in a breath and swept his hands brusquely across the page. He was no longer the lonely child who furtively sketched movie stars in beautiful clothes and dreamed of a Hollywood life.
What was once an escape was now a thriving commercial enterprise with insatiable demands. Max flourished his gold fountain pen across the page, adding a sweep of curves to the hips and breasts of the bespoke wedding gown his fashion house had been commissioned to design.
Now at the helm of his multi-billion dollar empire, Max was no longer a hands-on designer, but nothing went out the door without his final veto. Some called him a control freak and this he took not as a criticism but as the highest compliment.
He waited to feel the rush of joy he used to feel when drawing as a child. He stopped to await the all-consuming love that arose from knowing that no one possessed his raw talent and genius. He paused to feel the pride that came years later from knowing he designed dresses perfectly, to satisfy only one client on her most important day. There was nothing.
It shouldn’t have surprised him. He had long ago accepted that he was unable to feel the joy that other people did. He’d turned off that part of himself years ago and had vowed never again to succumb to vulnerability. In its place, carefully groomed aloofness and instilling fear in others were traits he prized and relentlessly cultivated.
As his protégé braced for the consequences Max forced his thoughts back to the commission. While he felt nothing in his heart, what he did experience as he looked at the drawing of the wedding dress executed to his design was a coolly detached appreciation that satisfied the perfectionist in him.
The lines and structure now conformed absolutely to his definition of ideal. The controlled steel gray pallet reflected his personality and every detailed aspect had been meticulously executed as he had commanded. No randomness or chaos anywhere.
Having witnessed his parents’ brutal marriage and subsequent divorce, Max had no misguided notions of happily-ever-after, nor any desire to marry.
Perfection in relationships was simply unattainable. But the knowledge that he was at the helm of an empire that created exquisite, extraordinarily elegant gowns admired by the world’s most elite, at the same time preserving a historic tradition, filled him with a degree of pride.
But as for the rest of his life—the personal, emotional side—he felt nothing. And that suited him perfectly.
Max’s long supple fingers drummed an impatient rhythm on the armrest of his chair. ‘Allora?’ Well? People react to fear, not love, he reminded himself as he kept his voice soft, but somehow containing all the might of the towering spires of the Duomo looming beyond his window.
A slither of fear crept into the young designer’s hushed apology. ‘I should have thought more about the woman beneath the dress.’
‘Thinking is not enough,’ Max commanded, his voice a dark, stark thing in the quiet of his office. ‘You must apply.’ Taking the drawings in both hands he tore the pages down the middle. ‘Begin again, and this time bring me excellence.’
Ignoring the tiny pin like tremors piercing his chest Max pushed back from the desk and rose to his feet as the young man retrieved the torn fragments and scuttled quickly toward the door. Striding across the room Max willed his racing heart to cede to his control.
‘Calm yourself, please Maxie,’ Sophia Balforni said, sweeping into his office she cast the young man a sympathetic look as their paths crossed. ‘Have you thought about what I suggested?’ she asked, gesturing to the art therapy brochure peeking from beneath a pile of contracts.
‘I am surrounded by amateurs and now you want me to play like a child, mia sorella. I have never heard something so ridiculous.’
‘You’re my brother. The best brother in the world, but do you know what’s holding you back? You’re afraid of losing control. You’re afraid that without all of this, she said, sweeping her hand around the room, ‘you’re worthless.’
‘But all of this means nothing if you’re dead. And none of this means anything without someone to share your heart and soul. I hope one day you’re able to realize that you’re wonderful for who you are, not just for what you’ve accomplished. But most of all I hope you’re able to experience the unconditional love and support of someone who loves you for you.’
Max was neither given to excessive emotion nor impetuousness but his mood wrestled with his need for control. He threw open the shuttered windows of his office and inhaled the frigid Milano air with shallow, measured breaths.
He ran his hand over his broad chest, fingering momentarily the fine scar snaking across his heart. His mind had the endurance and stamina of one thousand oxen but two months ago his body had betrayed him.
His gaze swept down the Piazza then flew up the spires of the Duomo, dusted with snow and bejeweled in dazzling pre-Christmas lights as the cacophony of Vespas buzzed like irritated wasps through the open window.
Although he had always hated Christmas, he loved tradition and he loved the supreme elegance that the Milanese never failed to deliver, but it pained him to concede that never had his beloved city been so irritating. In fact, everything, and everyone was irritating. Even his designs bored him. He knew better than most that he must continually innovate or die. Grudgingly he accepted his sister was right. He needed to get away.
‘I admit it’s a little unconventional,’ Sophia said, taking an assortment of pills and vitamins from a gold embossed pillbox and, after pouring a glass of mineral water into a crystal tumbler, she passed the pills and water to Max.
‘Unconventional?’ Max tossed the pills into his mouth, took a gulp of water and threw back his head, grimacing as they slid down his throat. ‘What you are suggesting is childish.’ Childish, isn’t that exactly what his father had thrown in his face when, as a young boy, he’d first shown him his sketches. ‘If this got out to my competitors,’ he said, forcing his mind from a memory he vowed never to revisit, ‘can you imagine what it would do to my reputation?’
‘Not nearly as damaging as being paralyzed by a stroke and having to be spoon-fed, Sophia snapped. ‘And since when have you cared what others think? Besides, you have an island on the other side of the world.
‘One which you’ve been too busy to visit. Fiji is remote enough for you to step away from the constant flash of cameras and be virtually anonymous,’ she said, lowering her voice as Max’s new PA cat-walked into his office. ‘Call yourself Mr. Johnstone, or Mr. Smith, or whatever else you want, to protect your privacy.’
Beneath long-fringed lashes the PA gave Max a sultry look, trailing her gaze over his lean and muscled form, as she placed a collection of fashion magazines and media cuttings in a neat pile precisely as she’d been trained.
‘Thank you, that will be all,’ Sophia said, dismissing her.
‘A nudist camp would be vastly more appealing,’ Max’s gaze trailed after his PA as she left his office. While he had no time for relationships, that didn’t stop him from appreciating beauty. How much easier it would be to lie naked amongst a bevy of loveliness than expose his feelings to the spotlight.
Sophia rolled her eyes. ‘I can just imagine what that would do to your blood pressure. Art, unlike making a career of intimately studying the curves of women, my dear brother, is therapeutic.’
‘So you want me to go to kiddy school and make a fool of myself.’ Irritation coursed through his veins as he ran his fingers around the neck of his shirt and loosened the starched white collar.
‘You never had a childhood,’ Sophia said, her voice almost a whisper. ‘You grew up too fast. We both did. And now you’re a thirty-five-year-old man who may not see forty.’
‘I know you are trying to help but I told you I can handle it.’ And he would. He would never abandon his responsibility. Unlike his father who had tried to combine work with marriage and failed at both, Max had gladly sacrificed his personal life for his career.
Abandoned at birth by his biological parents, raised briefly by strangers, then dumped in a boarding school, he had turned what could have been a weakness into his biggest strength.
‘All this stress has engulfed you, Max. Only you can’t see it. And it scares me. You’ve become a shell of yourself—more than you were already. A man so cut off from his feelings that you are devoid of emotion. You’ve become a lighthouse of a man—lonely in a crowd, aloof and detached. Uncaring.’
The words bounced off Max’s chest like the final shards of Milan’s winter sun reflecting off the panoramic glass windows. It was true. He no longer cared.
‘What do you want from me, Sophia?’
She paused, concern pooling in her dark eyes. ‘I want what our mother wants. I want you to be happy.’
His lips curved into a tight mocking smile. When had his real mother ever cared about his happiness? He knew what she really wanted. After suddenly reappearing in his life, she wanted a daughter-in-law and she wanted a grandson. Max shook his head and gave a short exacerbated sigh. She wanted the impossible.
He plunged his hand through his hair, raking it back from his brow. He should have had it cut razor short last week. Instead, he’d thrown himself into the rollout of his retail network of 60 Massimilliano Balforni boutiques and jewelry stores throughout China, and the pending development of his luxury hotel in Dubai, with such single-minded, unrelenting focus there had been no time for indulgences.
‘I’ve done my research,’ he said, adding his signed consent to the final contracts, ‘and from every angle it all seems based on spurious psychology.’ His hand closed around the pen as he looked up sharply.
Sophia sucked her breath as though steeling herself to battle with his formidable will. ‘Unless you make some changes, and I mean massive changes,’ Sophia glanced momentarily in the direction of Cimitero Maggiore, Milan’s largest cemetery, then fixed Max with a penetrating gaze, ‘you’ll end up like our father. Morte.’
‘That will not happen to me,’ he said, balling his fingers into a fist. ‘I am nothing like our father.’
‘No, you’re not. You are loyal, honest and immensely generous to the people you care about—nothing like our father. But you are an unrelenting workaholic like he was. No better than an addict, because despite all your willpower, all your determination, all your talent, all your wealth you can’t stop working. My God, you even live above your office.’
‘Mia sorella, even if I wanted to go finger painting, which I do not, there is no way I can get away. People need me. I cannot just walk away without everything collapsing.’
‘Even geniuses need time out to replenish. Super-heroes too,’ she laughed. ‘You, Clark Kent, need a rest from being Superman, a week out of this world. Not eternity. I will take care of things until you’re back.’
The blood vessel in his temple pulsed, whether out of conviction or rebellion he didn’t know, but her suggestion was not without merit. His sister had proven herself capable in so many ways since her appointment to Director of Public Relations.
He leaned back in his chair, steepling his fingers against his lips as he savored a compelling idea. What if he could achieve several goals by leaving Italy? While he did not believe in fate, he did believe in destiny. Was it not destiny after all that had led him to this career, launching him from male model to CEO of a multi-billion dollar empire?
Max began to wonder if his recent conversation with some Fijian silk merchants was also pre-destined. Until that meeting he hadn’t known there was such a large population of Indians in Fiji, and he’d been intrigued by the innovative textile developments they had shared with him.
And he could maximize efficiencies by going undercover and checking out his hotel chain in the Pacific. Yes, he thought, warming to the idea, perhaps a change of scene, getting away from all things European might just revive his flagging spirits.
His creativity was blocked, young designers were licking at his heels. He needed to continually innovate, but nothing inspired him. The plan was worth considering after all. Nothing else had worked. Plus it would get Sophia off his case. And the art therapy gimmick she was so convinced he needed?
What could any dowdy art therapist do to him that he couldn’t control?
To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>> getBook.at/ChristmasBride
Tags: Billionaire Romance, romance, harlequin romance, love and romance, Romantic Comedy, Italian Hero, contemporary romance, clean & wholesome, Clean romance book, Excerpt, Passion Down Under, Romance books, Strong female lead, True romance, wedding
Date: August 4th, 2019, Posted by webstudio
Still reeling following his unexpected divorce, billionaire Tech guru Jonathan James has returned home feeling disillusioned and low in spirits. The last thing he needs when he flies home from London to New Zealand is complications.
When a baggage mix up leaves him with nothing but a suitcase full of stilettos, lush lashes, and Dolly Parton-like wigs, he goes in search of the owner. He quickly discovers that all is not as it seems as his life takes off in a hilarious and unexpected direction.
A Twist of Fate is a short story, clean romance, full of quirky humor and the promise of romance.
Set in Wellington, New Zealand—the coolest little capital in the world.
“This is a delightful, well-written short story that had me laughing out loud.”
“An engaging and passionate read. It grabbed my attention and made me wonder what was coming next.”
“I enjoyed this short story. It was well written with the right amount of humor and just an inkling of the promise of romance. An awesome read. Just love Mollie Mathews style.”
The audio version of this book is also available from all online bookstores and also libraries.
If this is the first time you have read a Passion Down Under short story, you can easily read each book as a standalone.
Fall in love with these contemporary heroes and heroines trying to mend their hearts, overcome their fears and find true love—read the other standalone books my Mollie to discover the friends and family who tumble into a once-in-a-lifetime-happily-ever-after affair of the heart themselves. 5-star reviews
Posted in: Books by Mollie Mathews