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It was like stepping into a portal…

Date: March 24th, 2023, Posted by mollie

Last week I spent three wonderful days of art and magic making and helped three women rediscover their passion, creativity and courage during my fun and fab fearless art retreat .

One of the ladies was visiting New Zealand from Australia. It was her first international trip in three years post Covid. I loved the feedback she gave me after our painting retreat.

“It was like stepping into a portal.”

To be held in a beautiful and safe Post Covid part of the world. The combination was important to me as my first International foray in 3 years.

My intention was also for a meaningful travel experience to learn something new as well as a holiday.

Cassandra offers an invitation to inspiration and then shows you how to make it happen. Informative and value packed workshops. Her tuition and intuition are totally on point.

This retreat furthered my mission to come into alignment with a more soul based life and artistic expression.

The studio itself is a portal to a world of active imagination and creativity.

The magical landscape, view and location are the icing on the cake.

Cannot wait to return and participate again.

I was excited to spend an extra day with Karen sightseeing. I took her over to the historic township of Russell, and we had lunch at the hotel where I set my short romance, Crazy For You (Passion Down Under Sassy Short Stories Book 8) 

Located on the waterfront of Russell in the Bay of Islands, The Duke has an elegant colonial facade and gazes romantically out to sea, harking back to an ancient era where manners ruled and life was simpler. The historical beauty has been lovingly restored from its seedy origins of refreshing rascals, reprobates and whores into one of the finest hotels and event venues in New Zealand.

As you’ll read in my story, the Duke Hotel has a gorgeous pink wall lined with photos of Queen Elizabeth and other historic memorabilia. My heroine, Liberty Lyons is a colour consultant who takes exception to the strange tint of pink, but is instantly smitten in a case of mistaken identity when she meets our billionaire hero. Here’s a wee excerpt

“Hell, fake it, ’til you make it, she mused, reminding herself of her mantra. Hadn’t that been how she’d overcome all the obstacles life had thrown at her?

“Sex On The Beach,” she said, barely registering the bartender as she glanced at her phone. His back was to her so that she only had the impression of a tall, well-built man with black hair curling tidily at the nape of his neck.

“Nothing,” she muttered, looking at the blank screen. “Not even an ‘I’m a sorry I hurt you’, text.”

Scusi?” the bartender said in a sultry Italian accent. 

She looked up and went stone-still as a shock of electricity fizzed through her heart. Heck, when did they start employing centre-folds?”

Many of love-stories contain art-inspired themes. Very often, the heroines have endured a heart-hurting breakup. Have you noticed? 

Books like:


Reader reviews

“I kept turning the pages”

Crazy For You, set in New Zealand, is a very quick read with lots of details and vivid imagery.  It’s a short contemporary romance and the story has a nice pace and flow as I kept turning the pages to see what would happen next.  This is Liberty’s story after she calls her wedding off the day before. We learn about her relationship with her ex and it sounds like she should have been running a long time ago.  The story takes place over a couple of days.  I liked how color played into the story since she’s The Colour Girl and I loved that she called it her superpower!  She and Alessandro, the owner of the boutique hotel she’s staying at, have chemistry when they first meet at the hotel.  They hit it off and it was love at first sight.  There is a happily ever after and I loved the epilogue that gave me the closure I look for. There are excerpts from some of the author’s other books at the end and several of them I haven’t read yet. It definitely left me wanting more.”

Inspired to read this fun and flirty love story?
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I hope you enjoyed a little peek into my world and the setting. Have a fun week!




Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Stolen By The Sheikh Free Chapters

Date: March 15th, 2023, Posted by mollie

Dear friends,

We are heading into Autumn in New Zealand. Lucky you if you live on the other side of the world, heading into spring. I love both seasons. So I’m happy. I’m also happy with my progress on my second Sheikh-inspired romance, Stolen By The Sheikh.

I’ve included a draft excerpt in this blog I hope you’ll enjoy reading the story and meeting some of the characters and images of the beautiful desert settings which inspired this romance. 

Stolen By the Sheikh…

The exhibition was looming, and Lucy hadn’t begun painting. Ideas were swirling around, diffuse and dissipating, but now it was time to actually start the work. She studied the blank canvases looming large along the walls and sucked in a deep breath.

Just do it! Don’t overthink!

She plunged the floppy mop into the bucket of diluted magenta paint she had prepared. Magenta, the colour of universal harmony and emotional balance. Magenta, containing red’s passion, power and energy, restrained by violet’s introspection and quiet energy. Magenta promoted compassion, kindness and cooperation. Magenta was the colour of cheerfulness, happiness, contentment and appreciation.

She wasn’t seeking Anwar’s approval, but she hoped he would love what she created. She was celebrating their love and the winding journey their hearts had travelled.

“Be fearless,“ she encouraged herself. “Be brave. Fortune favours the bold.” Wrenching the mop from the bucket, dripping with shimmering pigment, she lunged at the canvas, exhaling noisily from deep in her belly.

“Love!” she shouted. “Lock onto love!” She swept the mop with vigorous sweeps along the canvas, then repeated similar movements with each of the 12 canvases lined across the walls of her studio. Her arms tingled with pulsing conviction as her confidence grew bolder with each flourish.

“Love rules. Love matters. Love is the real world.”

Love was no longer a dream. No longer an unanswered prayer. No longer an abstract concept but tangible and real. Because of Anwar and their child. Lucy worked quickly, saturating the canvas with her inspired emotions. She felt free. Happy. In her element. The giant canvases confronted all the small fragmented aspects of her past she no longer wished to carry. Her childhood may have been stolen but the precious riches buried deep in her soul lived.

She stepped back and viewed the paintings from a distance. What do they need?


A good painting is a mix of sameness and contrast. Opposites attract in life and in art. Taking a soft-bristled paintbrush, she layered in subtle strokes of inky-navy within the vibrant jolts of magenta pink. Anwar was navy to her magenta. Strong. Reliable. Safe. His love had bought stability to her life. His love had forged her dreams into reality.

Brush in hand, launching between canvases; Lucy was in her body. She was working with her mind rather than against it. She was in her heart rather than detached from it. She was engaged, present and receptive.

She stood back and saw the potential of the idea unfolding in a kaleidoscope of intuitive, divinely guided inspiration. Throwing caution to the sand dunes swirling outside, she worked rapidly, dancing as she painted.

At last, she was done. Trembling and excited, she knew not to overwork the paintings. They pulsated with life. They held gesture, emotion, and meaning. She had begun with a blank canvas and made something exhilarating.

What reception would they, she, receive when they were unveiled? Their reaction was beyond her control. Anwar and his wealthy collector friends would either love them or detest them.

Her hand trembled slightly as she added a bold signature.

“Come what may,” she said, placing her brushes down.


I hope you enjoyed reading this excerpt and meeting some of the characters and images of the beautiful desert settings which inspired this romance. 

If you’ve read Claimed By The Sheikh, you’ll remember Anwar from the first chapters of Claimed by The Sheikh

You’ll also meet Issy Riley, the art therapist who had encouraged Lucy to paint in Stolen By The Sheikh. Read Issy and Massimilliano Balforni’s love story in The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

Claimed by The Sheikh, remains one of my favourite love stories. As I shared in the Author’s Note: Claimed by the Sheikh was partly inspired by the tragedy in 2015 that took the lives of former New Zealand sporting star, 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?

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testimonial Claimed by the Sheikh

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