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Happy Thanks Giving Day…

Date: November 27th, 2019, Posted by mollie

What Sparks Joy?

Mollie Mathews

Happy Thanks Giving to my US friends! Sometimes it seems the world has gone mad. During dark and dull days, it’s great to have a reminder to be thankful for what we do have in our lives.

Perhaps you feel like many people and have forgotten what sparks joy. Looking back can be a great way to move forward. For example, in my FB feed, a random ‘memory’ showed up. A memory from six years ago. A moment of tremendous joy.

To complete a photography assignment, I had photographed a coaching client’s firstborn child. It truly was the golden hour! And such a special memory to capture. A once in a lifetime moment for Angela and I to treasure.

If you are lost in the toxic business of this world, if you resonate with a client who told me recently, “My demon is a busy brain,” mindful hobbies like photography, drawing, crochet, or mindful movement like yoga and chi gong can help you access that state of joy inherent in calm.

Photography is my go-to hobby. For my daughter it’s crochet. What’s yours?


Gratitude and appreciation is another fabulous and simple way to spark joy.

What are you thankful for. Today? This week? This month? This year?

I’m so thankful that I write both romance (Mollie Mathews ) and self-empowerment books (as Cassandra Gaisford) and that my daughter and I got to write a book together―How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love. And more importantly, that I could help her recover from a mental health crisis by tapping into the transcendental power of joy.

I’m thankful I’ve raised a resilient, kind and compassionate daughter. A spiritual daughter who seeks to add more love and light and joy to a world in crisis. It took her own crisis to spotlight the things we felt called to change.

Oh, and I’m super thankful to the Mayor of the Far North here in The Bay of Islands and his councilors who are supporting my billboard campaign to help reduce alcohol harm over Christmas (and beyond.)

Like novelist Danielle Steel, I’m passionate about campaigning for great mental health and I know that the demon of drink is the cause of demise for so many. I’m grateful that my sobriety books, like Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety (Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life have resonated with and helped so many.


“This is a refreshing “come from”, as the author is very mindful of the human challenge. Society is full of followers who allow the “status quo” to keep them non-present. This book (so far) is clear to not condemn the drinker, but rather to point out the reality of what alcohol is and how it truly effects/affects us! I love wine and beer and consider myself a moderate drinker. However, my LOVE for euphoria often takes me past the benefits of taking the edge off, enjoying the nuance spectrum of wine & beer characteristics and I end up disappointed with my choice of that second or third glass. I USED TO quote Lonnie the Cat; “I read about the evils of drinking so I quit reading”. I will be sixty soon and have lived a long life of great wine, beer, and company, but it is time for full consciousness and full control of what I consume, both in drink and food. This book is beyond refreshing in how she EDUCATES US in a way THAT WE DESIRE SOBRIETY! I am going to send several people this book because I love them and want them to love themselves more


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I’m thankful for my loving partner who is such an important cheerleader and supporter in my life. I’m thankful for his willingness to face his demons and seek help too.

I’m thankful for my family who supported us through some extremely challenging times.

I’m so thankful for all my clients and people who read my books for the sensational feedback they share on Amazon or with me personally. Like Tina who recently emailed me as she read How to Find Your Joy and Purpose:

“Oh my, oh my, I am so LOVING reading this latest from you and Hannah Joy. There is such wisdom in these pages. I adore the bite-size morsels of advice and especially love the self-reflection questions at the end of each section. I’m sitting here stopped in my tracks going, yes yes yes as my mind ponders the questions deeply. I read your words about finding your skillset and realise that I have spent half a lifetime looking for my sweet spot, finally finding it, but it would have been so much easier with some guidelines!

Who inspires me? YOU do. I see your evolution, and it so aligns with my own inner passions. I admire your grunt, tenacity, focus, authenticity, willingness to dive into new creative pursuits and what you even make a living from it!”

I’m so thankful I get to write beautiful love stories that remind us all of the power of love to heal the most traumatic wounds. I’m so thankful that I write about beautiful love – not bondage and brutality.

I can’t help but wonder how books and movies like Fifty Shades of Grey contribute to domestic violence and deaths such as the young British woman Grace Millane.

“The defence used expert evidence and those who knew Millane to argue it was an accidental death during consensual erotic asphyxiation.

Have young men and women lost the beauty and joy of healthy intimacy?  Has strangulation, chaining, whipping and beating become normal. Gosh, I sincerely hope not. But these are what some authors write about.

I’m so grateful to write books that change peoples’ lives.

I’m so thankful for those of you who write to me and post reviews about my books.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I’m so grateful that our replacement Nikau arrived today! How perfect, on Thanks Giving Day.

Plus, my newest book, The Little Princess Can Fly is OUT TODAY! In this book, I share the things that helped me overcome self-doubt, self-limiting beliefs, and self-sabotaging behavior (mine and others)

I’m so thrilled with the reviews for my latest full-length romance, Claimed by The Sheikh

“Wow, just wow, I can’t articulate enough how compellingly page-turning this remarkable story was. If I could give it more than 5 stars this would be it! This author has the gift & the power to make you experience her remarkable craft on a whole other level. I was drawn into the story when she shared a few chapters with me quite a while ago now & I’m beyond thrilled that she managed to finish it. I’m not one to tell the story, the blurb & other reviewers will cover that but I will concede that this magical, mystical, hauntingly beautiful story will stay with me for the longest time. Highly recommended.”

Claimed by the Sheikh was a fast-paced read that held my interest from the first page to the last. The story had a depth to the characters and strong imagery due to the author’s attention to detail. Watching two worlds collide, as well as two strong characters fight for what they each believe is right, just added another layer to the story.”

“There was very strong imagery due to the vivid descriptions of the scenery, the palace and Melanie’s drawings, which made me feel that I was there. Tariq’s rescue of endangered animals and his philanthropy was a nice addition to the story. I liked how the child, Salim, was brought into the story as well as his importance to the storyline. Ms. Mathews is fast becoming a favorite author.”

I’m especially grateful that I am healthy and happy. I hope wherever you are in the world, that you’re happy too.

Posted in: About Mollie, Claimed By The Sheikh, Love, Mollie's Blog, New Release, Writer's Life

How I handle criticism

Date: November 13th, 2019, Posted by mollie




“Firstly, you need to believe in your remarkable gift as a beyond compelling storyteller, you are undermining your talent & some folk will have their opinion which may not sit well but that doesn’t mean you change the story in any way unless they’re in the majority. I accept that I try not to hurt (although I can be stubborn as a mule at times) but I want you to know & understand that you have an incredible gift that you share with people from all over the world. Why would you bow to the opinions of people you do not know, much less respect.

You know this resonated with me from the get-go & I can’t tell you how much I healed from sobbing out loud about their traumatic but eventually healing story.”


Dear readers

Golly gosh. What a ride. If there’s one thing publishing a book has taught me it’s the need to develop a tough hide.

A fantasy. Not worth reading, total rubbish,” wrote a person on my ARC team when she reviewed Claimed by The Sheikh. Harsh. But is it true?

Total rubbish? I’m not sure how I learn from this feedback. It didn’t seem constructive at all.

So, I’m going to take Terry’s advice (also on my beta/arc team) and not take on board negative comments—unless they are constructive. And even then, I have to remind myself that I am expressing the things most important to me. I’m not a perfect writer. There is still a lot to learn. But I think it’s cruel of this reviewer to say it is a childish story.

Religious intolerance, bullying, family abuse, shame, guilt—all these are important topics I cover in my book. That and love—and its ability to heal the deepest wounds.

So how do I bounce back from criticism?

1.) I look for truths that I may learn from

“Thoughts and memories explicitly written,” my non-fan wrote.

Perhaps there is too much introspection and telling not showing.


But then Danielle Steel and other popular authors do this too.


2.) I look deeper into the criticism given

“I don’t like billionaire romances and I don’t read Sheikh books.”

Okay. But why did you download and then review my book – and scathingly too?


3.) Celebrate and treasure the good reviews

Claimed by the Sheikh review JoAnne Screen Shot 2019-11-12 at 7.33.04 PMColarado Cowgirl Claimed by the Sheikh reviewScreen Shot 2019-11-12 at 7.32.27 PMLynn Stifle Claimed by the Sheikh review Screen Shot 2019-11-12 at 7.31.56 PM

Terry I'm a huge fan Claimed by the Sheikh reviewScreen Shot 2019-11-12 at 7.32.23 PM

Anote review Claimed by The Sheikh Screen Shot 2019-11-14 at 10.53.44 AM


4.) Keep writing

I know some authors don’t read reviews. I respect their choices. But I like to know how people have enjoyed (or not) my stories. The lesson will be to realize that not everyone who reviews my books in an authentic reader of the stories I love to write. People review for many, and sometimes complex and unfathomable reasons.

I’d like to ask for more kindness, more constructiveness in any criticism, but I know I’m whispering in the wind.

So, instead, I practice detachment and continue on. Writing the stories I have inside, one loving word at a time.


I always love it when readers review my books (favorably!). I also love how BookBub enables readers to say what they most enjoyed. I was thrilled that ‘unpredictably’ and being ‘informative’ were some of the reasons – along, of course with love.

As I shared in the Author’s Note:

My latest book, Claimed by The Sheikh, was inspired by the sassy brilliance of Dame Zaha Hadid. (DBE RA) She was an Iraqi-British architect and the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004.

Tragically her life, her love, and her brilliance was cut short when she was in the prime of her career, aged 65.

Her beautiful, innovative, pioneering architecture always inspired me, as it has countless other people. Hers was not an easy journey. She once said, “If architecture doesn’t kill you you’re no good.”

She was beyond good—and architecture did kill her.

She never married and she never had children. And she was always battling the architectural paternity for validation and acceptance. Despite her career success, her life struck me as very lonely and sad.

Claimed by the Sheikh was also inspired by the tragedy in 2015 that took the lives of former New Zealand All Black legend Jerry Collins and his Canadian partner Alana Madill in France.

The crash happened at 3:10am along the highway near Béziers on the way to the city of Montpellier. They died instantly, and their baby daughter was taken to Montpellier hospital in a critical condition.

I cried such tears thinking of that baby being left an orphan. It really worried me that she would be left in the world with no parents to love and care for her.

So I wondered—what if her parents weren’t really dead? What if the two people that died were the baby’s adoptive parents? What if her biological parents were very much alive?

And then, as writers are want to do, I thought, what if the biological father was an extraordinarily wealthy sheikh who was unaware that he had fathered a child?

Why a Sheikh? In a previous incarnation as a transformational leadership coach I was on assignment in one the most dangerous prisons in New Zealand.

I very much admired the men and women who worked in these very oppressive environments to keep our world safe.  I especially admired those that were committed to helping prisoners change their lives. One of the female prison officers at Rimutaka Prison knew that I was a romance novelist and asked me if I would write a book with a sheikh as the hero.

So here he is, Cheryl. I dedicate Melanie and Tariq’s love story for you.

And I also dedicate this book to the survivors of the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand—and to those around the world who know that only love can bring peace.



Sometimes, the most effective way I handle criticism is to open a pack of chocolate biscuits and plough in!


If you have enjoyed my stories, could I ask you to leave an honest and constructive review?


To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>

“A magical, mystical, hauntingly beautiful story which will stay with you forever.”

Posted in: About Mollie, Claimed By The Sheikh, Mollie's Blog, New Release, Writer's Life

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New release: Claimed by The Sheikh

Date: November 11th, 2019, Posted by mollie


I’m skipping over the moon because the first book in Sheikhs Untamed Brides, Claimed by The Sheikh is FINISHED!

And I decided to bring the release date forward. Why? Because it’s a full moon, and full moons are always about celebrating the end of a cycle.

I hope you love this story as much as I adored writing it and learning more about the fascinating Arabic culture.

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>


The secret she kept from the Sheikh…..

A grief-stricken Sheikh Tariq na Hassir, the formidable ruler of the kingdom of Avana, arrives in Paris to claim his brother’s child after a car crash killed his parents–unaware that the child isn’t their biological son. Salim is Tariq’s son, with his former lover, a renowned architect.

Three years ago, after being banished by Tariq from his desert kingdom, Melanie Jones secretly gave her baby to Tariq’s childless brother and his wife, in a swap the world was never supposed to discover.

The tragedy pulls her back to the world that rejected her and the man who abandoned her―the only man capable of turning her carefully controlled world upside down.

Tariq will do whatever it takes to protect his legacy, including claiming Melanie as his bride and his son as heir.

But Melanie has other plans for her future―a westernized life where she’s free to operate her own business, control her own life and meet a man who loves her for who she is.

“A magical, mystical, hauntingly beautiful story which will stay with you forever.”

If you love sensuous romance and true love stories, set against a sensuous backdrop of the desert, art, and innovative architecture you’ll love Claimed by The Sheikh.

What I’m working on now….

I’m recording the audiobook version of Claimed by The Sheikh. I’m thrilled to say it’s nearly done. And Claimed by The Sheikh will be in paperback, hardcover, and large print soon. The cover is so beautiful it will look so lovely on your bookshelf – or under the tree for Christmas.



If you’d love to hear audiobooks written and narrated by me, my newest releases are available for free at your local library, and several can be found wherever you purchase audiobooks.


Featured reader of the month


“You know this resonated with me from the get-go & I can’t tell you how much I healed from sobbing out loud about their traumatic but eventually healing story.”

Thank you for your kind words throughout the writing and editing process. Your feedback continues to sustain me. Everything you said helped me, but most importantly knowing that my story offered and brought healing. I can’t tell you how important that is to me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
“A magical, mystical, hauntingly beautiful story which will stay with you forever.”

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>

Posted in: Claimed By The Sheikh, Mollie's Blog, New Release, New Romance Novel

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New Audiobooks from Mollie Mathews

Date: November 5th, 2019, Posted by mollie

Twist of Fate BookBrushImage-2019-10-6-18-2329

I loved, loved, loved narrating this story—it’s so close to my heart as it’s based on a nearly true story (!) and set in my home town Wellington

I’m slowly, but surely, making my way through my backlist. You check out the catalog here>>

Importantly, I want to narrate my own stories, not pass it on to a professional narrator. Why? I feel by not narrating your own stories it’s not dissimilar to hiring a ghost reader—it’s not your own work. I know everyone won’t agree, but personally, I love hearing the author’s voice. I don’t want to listen to anyone else’s voice. I want to feel up close and personal with the author. Is it just me? Let me know what you think.

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

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