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Happy New Year from the Bay of Islands, NZ

Date: June 24th, 2022, Posted by mollie

Happy New Year from the Bay of Islands, NZ. Today were are celebrating Matariki as a public holiday for the first time ever today (Friday 24 June 2022). This is a highly significant event in the world as it is the first time an indigenous cultural event has become a national holiday in any country. Matariki refers to the star cluster also known as Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, which disappears from view at the beginning of the cold months. When the stars reappear in the pre-dawn sky in the middle of winter, it signals the Māori New Year.

The brightest star in the cluster is also called Matariki – it’s said to be the mother of the other stars that surround it. The rising of Matariki is traditionally a time of transition and reflection when families get together to remember the past and prepare for the future.

I’ve been reflecting on the things that name me happy and have been flitting between a few of them:

  • Walking in nature
  • Baking (I made a lovely pear sponge)
  • Narrating my audiobook set here and in Stromboli, Sicily, Love All of Me (I only have two more chapters to narrate!)
  • Meditating
  • Loving my Buddhas ( especially my laughing ones…I changed my screen saver on my iPhone for this one)

and more…

It’s been a gorgeous day.

I hope wherever you are, the stars sparkle fairy dust for you. What are you up to?

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Father’s Day Gift and Thank you

Date: June 19th, 2022, Posted by mollie

Happy Father’s Day. I have a Father’s Day free romance to celebrate all the beautiful father’s out there.

My Dad passed too young some years ago now, but he continues to inspire! As you may know, many of my books have art-related themes. But bees also have a special place in my heart. My father was a beekeeper who researched and applied the healing power of bees to the treatment of severe burns.

To celebrate his legacy, I am giving away the first three chapters of my love story, staring my heroine who survived a fatal volcano disaster and is continuing her dad’s legacy as a beekeeper. Despite the background tragedy, it’s a quick, fun and joyful read, set in the dual locations of The Bay of Islands, New Zealand and the volcanic island of Stromboli, off the coast of Sicily. I shared more of the inspiration behind the story on my blog.

Click here to download your free chapters. I hope you enjoy Love All of Me, as much as I loved writing it






P.S.Exclusive to Amazon in ebook and paperback. Today, I am sitting down to narrate the audio version!

Have you read and enjoyed Love all of Me? I would so appreciate it if you left a review

REVIEW LINKS

Amazon

viewbook.at/LoveAllOfMe
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09NMTYMV4




Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59826298-love-all-of-me

Bookbub:
https://www.bookbub.com/books/love-all-of-me-by-mollie-mathews


Thank you.

xxx

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Perfect for reading in a single sitting on the summer solstice

Date: June 17th, 2022, Posted by mollie

Six heart-warming reads for the longest day of the year

This year, June 21 marks the summer solstice for the northern hemisphere: the date with the longest stretch of daylight all year. What better way to celebrate all that sunlight than reading a wonder-filled book? If you’re looking for a book you can enjoy in a single sitting, check out my list of full-length page-turners for the longest day of 2022 — including heartwarming romance, light-hearted and fun, fast-paced suspense, and more.

Six Full-length reads for the longest day of the year

Claimed by The Sheikh

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

To enjoy your copy from Amazon: getbook.at/ClaimedByTheSheikh
To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores:

https://books2read.com/u/brVjdZ

To enjoy your copy from Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-8


AUDIOBOOK

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-9

AUDIBLE

US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B08ZB1KSM3

UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Claimed-by-the-Sheikh-Audiobook/B08Z9L7D9G

AU: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Claimed-by-the-Sheikh-Audiobook/B08ZB8H17F

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-9

Sex With Strangers

“I absolutely enjoyed this story. I loved the storyline, I loved the characters, I loved the humor. I couldn’t put it down. The descriptions were perfect. I loved everything about this book especially the humor. It was funny, sad at times, and I loved it.”

~ Patricia Quinn

To enjoy on Amazon: getbook.at/SexWithStrangers

Audio

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/sex-with-strangers-14

Audible

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTKHJ61

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTSSB6L

 Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTKDD8R

The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

Would you protect a murderer to save your family? Three women. Three lives. And the lies that bind them. Why is everyone afraid of the truth?

Buy this book through the links below…

To grab your copy from Amazon>> getBook.at/ScandalousMarriage

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores,>>https://books2read.com/u/mVNdn5

To grab your copy from Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-italian-billionaire-s-scandalous-marriage-1

AUDIOBOOK

The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

US: https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B08745WFMS

UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B087485CLB

AU: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B0873ZXX6G


KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-scandalous-marriage-the

The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

Milan fashion house leader and avowed bachelor Massimiliano Balforni has no intention of taking a vacation, despite his sister’s insistence that he subject himself to an art therapy retreat following a minor heart attack. With an important collection due, he intends to fire his therapist and work instead. But the determined and striking Issy gives his heart palpitations of a far more dangerous kind.

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here>> getBook.at/ChristmasBride

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3LpDa7

To enjoy your copy from Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride

AUDIOBOOK

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride-the

Audible:

US: https://www.amazon.com.au/Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Gemstone/dp/B08QW42LJK 

UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Audiobook/B08QW1ZW7L

AU: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Audiobook/B08QW3NL2Y

Flight of Passion

“This book is a carefully crafted, truly original story. Mollie’s wonderfully descriptive narrative paints a picture in which it is easy to lose oneself–I really felt like I had been to Mexico by the time I had finished. Her butterfly theme echoes throughout the book both literally and figuratively. The main characters, Oliver and Ruby, are each conflicted in their own ways. Despite facing challenges, both ultimately find the strength to work through their difficulties to emerge better people, and most importantly, triumph over adversity together. A touching and heart-warming book, well worth a read.”

Cathy Rioran

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>getBook.at/FlightofPassion

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://www.books2read.com/u/bpp0LJ

To grab your copy from kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/flight-of-passion-3

AUDIOBOOK

AUDIBLE>>

US

https://www.audible.com/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874YCXVL

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874X8TGX

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874Y3V2T

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/flight-of-passion-4

Love All of Me

An unexpected lover…

After surviving a horrific accident Kate Miller is plagued by guilt. Hiding both her mental and physical scars, she shuns love and escapes into work—finding meaning and purpose in running her global manuka honey empire.

Beautiful and smart, when Gianni Romano demands she sell the business to him, her passions are inflamed. How dare he think he can buy the only thing that gives her a reason to live?

To enjoy your copy exclusively from Amazon, click here: 

viewbook.at/LoveAllOfMe

Audio coming soon!

There’s nothing like a good romance in the summer. I hope you enjoy a healthy dose of escapism.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

You may also like:

Ways to make a difference

Why I write romance

How trauma can fuel your life purpose

Danielle Steele and the joy of working on many projects at the same time

To enjoy more posts and books like this please follow this blog and BookBub. Subscribe to my newsletter and enjoy a free copy of Twist of Fate

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Love In Venice and the joy of working on many projects

Date: June 17th, 2022, Posted by mollie

LoveVenice_2CVR
 
I’m looking forward to the 2022 release of Love In Venice. It’s a beautiful love story which is very close to my heart. I’ve been to Venice many times and always loved it. The story was sparked by true events. Here’s a little about the hero and heroine of this story:

Maggie Green is a hardworking and driven lawyer and business strategy consultant. She runs a successful international practice and is constantly juggling the demands of generating income to sustain the business and meeting the demanding needs of her staff and clients. She is a workaholic and uses her work to mask her dissatisfaction with her life.

She yearns to have a romantic partner who will accept her for who she is and who will bring out the softer, romantic side of her that has been buried for so long, but the tragic memories of a past love affair with an Italian man means that she has resolved never to fall again for the foreign charms of tall, dark, handsome men, with exotic accents.

Toxic stress levels require dramatic changes in her life, and Maggie is ordered to take a career break to literally save her life. She goes to Venice to rediscover her true self and surround herself with situations that will stir her heart.

She has only just arrived when a pregnant Romanian Gypsy girl cons her and steals her belongings. She is left with only the clothes on her back and breaks down in despair. The hero, Mauro, an Italian Architect, witnesses this happening and unsuccessfully attempts to catch the gypsies. She suffers an anxiety attack and the hero, Mauro, unable to leave her in such a state of distress, reluctantly takes her back to his apartment building. He has a spare suite that is usually let out to tourists but has recently been vacated.

You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens next! Subscribe to my new releases email to be the first to know.

Chat with me on  Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/molliemathewsnz

 

The joy of working on many projects at the same time

 
I can relate to Danielle Steele who says she works on many projects at the same time. You can read one of many articles where she shares how she manages to be so prolific here>>. I love Danielle Steele and the way she choses to write about things that are real in people’s lives.
 
 
Last year, I released a short story about my toxic work experience. It all unravelled around Christmas which in many ways made everything feel so much worse. But life has a funny way of working out and I try my best to focus on looking for the silver-linings when the grey clouds smother. Forever and Always is a love story—so yes, it will have a happy ending.
 

If you’ve read my art-inspired romances you’ll know that it’s so important to use our heart as a compass and follow the invisible trail of what lights us up.

Along with writing love stories. I love to paint. Inspired by my Christmas 2021 released, Love All of Me, and the beekeeping heroine, I’ve returned to creating artworks with beeswax, pure pigment and fused with fire.

Another of my many projects I have loved, was novella “Love Me As I Am” – Book three in the Seven Sister’s series.

This story was sparked by a true event—the tragic murder of a mother and one of her daughters in a small town near where I live. I wondered how would her death affect the children she left behind. How would it affect their lives? What if something good could come from this tragedy?

So I began to write a love story. For love is the only antidote to hate. Forgiveness, the only path to healing. And purpose the gift that can come from tragedy.

As with all of my books, some of the characters and events in the story were also inspired by true events in my own life. Including, when my paternal grandmother was channeled by a psychic. She asked my disbelieving and skeptical self, “Your grandmother says you don’t believe she is here. But she is holding out a flower, and she wants to know, “Do you remember the jasmine flowers growing over the house?”

I didn’t.

But when I drove home I called into to Araby Lodge, where my grandmother used to live and where until her death, she bred and trained her beloved horses. At the time my father lived in her house. I asked him, “What is that vine growing over the house?”

I didn’t want to tell him anything about what the psychic had said because I was still skeptical and I didn’t want to influence the answer. My father said, “Oh, that old jasmine vine? That’s been there forever.”

My heart nearly leaped out of my chest. It was at that point that I began to believe in spiritual and psychic phenomena, and in time, many years later, to awaken my own gifts.

I named the story, Love Me As I Am, for isn’t that the deepest love of all. To love and be loved unconditionally—weirdness, flaws, fears, insecurities, our beautiful uniqueness…and so much more.

 
These introductory novellas are currently published under the series: PASSION DOWN UNDER SASSY SHORT STORIES:

Book One: TWIST OF FATE
viewBook.at/TwistofFate

Twist of Fate Margaret Review Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 5.17.42 PM

Book Two: LOVE ME FOREVER
viewBook.at/LoveMeForever

Love me Forever romance with a dream-like quality Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 4.32.39 PM

And of course, there are my standalone love stories, Love in Venice, and also Claimed By the Shiekh. I adore these stories and really want to do them justice, as I do all my stories.

If you’re new to my love stories and clean romance you may enjoy, Flight of Passion—a rapturous tale of love and obsession. Available in ebook and paperback from all excellent retailers, including Amazon here: getBook.at/FlightofPassion.

 

Flight-of-Passion-ebook-and-print

You’ll also love Claimed by the Sheikh. I adored my heroine, who is an innovative architect and her swoon-worthy match—the commanding Sheikh. Discover how tradgedy turns to love in this commanding love story.

Plus, if you’re still in the mood for Christmas, you’ll love, Love All of Me. Inspired by the true-events of a Christmas volcanic eruption.

Sign up for my mailing list and get a free preview of Love All of Mehttps://dl.bookfunnel.com/18mrmfgktt

ENJOY!

signature

Pure New Zealand Beeswax

P.S. In 2022, I’m looking forward to the release of Love in Venice.

Here’s a little bit about the book:

Maggie Green is a hardworking and driven lawyer and business strategy consultant. She is a workaholic and uses her work to mask her dissatisfaction with her life. Facing burnout her doctor orders her to take a career break. Reluctantly she agrees and opts to go to Venice – a city sure to awaken her artistic senses and soften her hardened heart.

 The hero, Claudio Della Toffola, a handsome Italian architect, reluctantly comes to Maggie’s aid when, just after arriving, she is robbed of all her belongings. He is a man of great tradition and integrity. His mother has arranged for him to marry a woman who he has no feelings for to bring honour and increased social standing to the family.  He feels duty-bound to continue with the marriage his mother has arranged for him. Claudio also still bears the scars of an ill-fated relationship with an American woman. He appears aloof and standoffish. 

Will the beauty of Venice soften their hearts and unite their souls?

You’ll have to read to find out!

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Sex With Strangers? The inside scoop on characters and storylines.

Date: June 4th, 2022, Posted by mollie

BookBrushImage257

Dear readers,

As a friend of mine wrote to me, when times are tough, and you’re feeling depressed, you can’t concentrate on a heavy book. You need to read to take your mind off things.

Which is why I wrote Sex With Strangers, a comic and playful look at the world of dating follow betrayal and divorce As with all my books, it does portray serious themes, but it also shows the power of love, kindness, and compassion to heal the deepest wounds.

sex with strangers a playful and true view of a recently divorced women Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 12.15.00 PM

Recently I came across this unused scene. I thought you’d enjoy an inside scoop on characters and storylines from this book.

BACKING A WINNER

Fergus left Chanel’s apartment feeling confused. For the first time in his life, he cared about someone. Really cared. Only instead of feeling safe and warm, like he thought he would, he felt like an outsider. They’d made wild passionate love all night, sex too, and then she had the nerve, the balls, in fact, to get up and cool as a cucumber tell him to let himself out.

“I’ll call you,” Ruby said as she headed out the door to work.

Hey! That was his line. And had been for seventeen years. Ever since he first started to fool around with girls. First, there was Mabel, who he had his wicked way with behind the bike shed at school. Then Chrissie, once again behind the bike shed. And then…well let’s just say there were a lot of pretty girls who were keen on Fergus at school and none of them minded the bike shed, not one little bit.

When Fergus was old enough to drive he got a car and quickly started having his way in the back seat of his 1964 Ford Anglia, ‘Angie.’ *

superspeed-anglia

It wasn’t a palace but at least it had a roof. None of the girls seemed to mind the split leather seating and the wire springs that popped up unexpectedly when the car jiggled too much. Boy did it jiggle. He gave that car a real run for his money.

Fergus smiled to himself as he remembered some of the innovative positions he’d tried out in Angie. He tried to figure out how many girls had begged and pleaded to go for a spin around the block with him. He soon gave up counting, there were just too many.

Fergus craved affection and the girls wanted to give it to him. So what was a young man just exploring his sexuality supposed to do? Say no? Not likely. Not unless you wanted to be called a faggot and a homo. That was the reality in the small town where he grew up. The first hug he’d ever had was from a prostitute. He revelled in that brief moment of affection. “When I got that hug, I wanted more and you know what can happen if you go looking for hugs,” he’d told his shrink years later.

For the first twelve years of his childhood, he had never spoken to a girl, never visited a shop, never even used a phone. He lived in five orphanages in nine years. He was addressed only as O’Farrell—rarely. More commonly he was known as a number in the system. In one institution, he was boy No. 33. Every time he shifted his number changed.

Then when he was fifteen a new teacher came to his local school. Miss Marples was from London and she was a knockout. She had hair the colour of gold that fell down her back in light waves which bounced up and down when she walked.

Her breasts bounced too. They were the biggest, roundest breasts Fergus had ever seen in his whole life. Much bigger than the young girls at school. Her eyes were green like the rich pasture surrounding the orphanage, and when she smiled they would glitter like diamonds. Fergus couldn’t believe his luck when she started asking him to stay back after school. She was different from all the adults that used to prey on him regularly. She was a woman. A real woman. With bits that fitted his parts perfectly.

It was wrong of course. She was twenty-eight and he was only fifteen. But for three years she was all he could think about. She gave him special tuition after school. Extra special tuition. Just for him. How he wished he could brag about her to all his mates.

“You can’t tell anyone, Fergus. Not a soul,” she said as she unbuttoned her blouse. “We’d get in trouble. Very serious trouble.”

“No Miss. I won’t tell a soul. Not a soul,“ he promised solemnly kicking off his regulation school shoes and peeling off his socks. He could still recall the embarrassment when she pointed to the holes in them. All his clothes were hand-me-downs—even, good lord, his underwear. Kids in orphanages were lucky if they ever got anything that was new.

Miss Marples took him under her wing. She fed him sweets and slipped him new clothes in return for his extracurricular activities. Fergus was an A student when it came to Miss Marples’ out of hours classes. An A+ student. Fergus never got A’s in anything else. She gave him hope.

He should have known that nothing good in his life ever stayed for long. His mother had only lasted five months. She’d died sweating like a pig and coughing up blood. TB they’d called it. He called it ‘TBOE—the beginning of the end’. His father buggered off and left Fergus and his seven siblings to fend for themselves. He was stupid to think Miss Marples would stick around either.

Fergus clenched his fists as he recalled how it all started to go sour. For three years, five months and 18 days no one knew. Until one night at the local, she had one drink too many and blabbed to several of her friends. Then the shit hit the fan. . . and the newspapers.

That was when Fergus first got a taste of the fast and ready world of gossip journalism. Of course, he didn’t much like being on the receiving end…well…no that’s a lie…he liked it plenty. Suddenly he was somebody. Not number 33 or 235 or what other bloody number they hadn’t used yet. He was Fergus O’Farrell, the kid who’d banged the horny teacher for three years. He was famous.

No, make that infamous—the talk of the town. Everyone was talking about him. All the men were super jealous and wanted to know how he managed to bag gorgeous Miss Marples with the hourglass figure and the plump, rosy red lips. Fergus instantly became the local Cassanova. Girls herded to him. But none of them stacked up to Miss Marples. Not one.

You see Fergus had fallen in love with her. He hadn’t meant to. It just crept up on him like the Sting Ray crept up on that Australian crocodile lover, skewering him in the heart and making him delirious. Only not with pain, well not at first, but happiness.

For the first time in his life, he suddenly felt wanted. Miss Marples was the only one who had been kind to him. Really kind. Not just the sex, but the clothes, the food, and the nice words she said about him. Miss Marples told Fergus that he was the smartest kid in the school. So smart that she felt he was wasting his life in a small country like Ireland. She told him he should set his sights higher and branch out into the big world.

Then bang! The only good thing to happen in his life for a very long time was gone! Gone! Just like that. Just because other do-gooders took it upon themselves to decide what was proper and what wasn’t.

Fergus shuddered as he remembered the look of anguish on her face when the police came to the school that fateful summer’s day. The kids sat gobsmacked as the headmistress, a misshapen, damp dishrag of a woman marched primly to the front of the class and instructed them all to go and have an early lunch.

Fergus didn’t feel like eating. He only felt like puking. He sat at the window and watched the police bundle Miss Marples into the back of their car. His body began to tremble, then convulse. His chest felt like a jackhammer was stabbing angrily at his heart trying to wretch it free.

It was for his own good, the social worker had told him, the proper thing to do. What was proper about taking the woman he loved and making her sit out ten to fifteen years in prison?

“It’s not just sex outside of marriage”, they said, “which is a very terrible thing in itself, but it’s sexual assault on a child. Even worse it’s by a person in a position of trust. Things like this can make good kids go rotten by contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”

Lawyers always used big words that didn’t make sense.

The women in the town felt sorry for Fergus. They thought he’d been unfairly taken advantage off. Seduced and maybe even brainwashed.

He didn’t know about that. All he knew was the sex was better than great and he loved Miss Marples and he wanted to make her happy. He knew what she liked the most was Fergus mounting her and rogering her silly.

“You thrill me, Fergus,” she would say afterwards stroking his hair affectionately. Miss Marples was a knockout.

Fergus wanted to marry her.

Miss Marples promised that as soon as he turned eighteen and it was legal they would get married for sure.  She told him that age didn’t matter. She told him that plenty of men hooked up with younger girls, so why did it matter if it went the other way. What she forgot to tell him, Fergus thought angrily, was that she was already married.

Harry Wessel, a two-bit investigative journalist found that out. Apparently, it wasn’t too hard to find skeletons in people’s cupboards. At first, Fergus was angry.

“Rot in hell” he cursed when Harry came to ask him for his comment.

He wished Harry had left the skeletons alone. Now he couldn’t even pretend Miss Marples had loved him. Now he had nothing to wait for. When she got out of prison she’d go straight back into the arms of her husband. Even if she didn’t she had ruined everything now.

Fergus wasn’t going to hang around waiting for her. Besides by the time she got out she’d be old and wrinkly. He tried to picture her at fifty-five. He screwed his face up, saggy breasts, wrinkles, ash-white thinning hair …awww not a pretty picture at all.

Stupid cow, why did she have to go and ruin everything?

“Look, kid, I feel bad about what happened,” Harry has said. “Blowing your hot thing like that. I’d like to make it up to you. There’s plenty of tits and arse in London…” he handed him his card. Look me up if you ever decide to cross the Atlantic. There’s some ready money for those willing to make the work their way up in  the newspaper.”

Starting afresh, sounded good to Fergus, really good. Miss Marples might have stolen his trust, but he sure as hell wasn’t going to let that ruin his life. Hell, he’d endured more pain than her breaking his heart in his life. He shuddered as he recollected the unwanted advances of the older kids. He wouldn’t give her the satisfaction. He’d show her. He’d show them all, he vowed angrily.

“Tits and arse”, Harry told him, “tits and arse, more than you can shake a stick at.” That sounded good to him. Love was for mugs. And older woman? Well, they were just trouble. He fled the orphanage with a brown suitcase containing two pairs of pants, two shirts, a Bible, an identity card and one photograph of himself and headed for London.

Now nineteen years later it looked like history was about to repeat.

“You bloody fool,” Fergus cursed, “Don’t you ever learn?” He clenched his fists angrily. What had started out as a fun way to get intimate with New York had backfired. He had fallen for the funny girl with the crooked teeth and the silly seductive techniques that looked like they’d been learned from a magazine.

She’d fooled him and then again she hadn’t. She’d only managed in confusing him and snuck up on his blindside. But he should have seen it coming, he fumed. After all he knew every trick in the book. He was a  pro. Only this time he’d been outsmarted. His damn stupid emotions had got in the way of his head, and his splintered heart.

He didn’t want to hang around in the apartment one second longer. It felt odd being left on his own. Normally he was the first to shoot the breeze the morning after shagging a girl. He looked grimly around the room.

Used condoms and the remnants of the chocolate flavoured underwear she’d playfully worn lay strewn on the floor. For an experienced pro, though, her room had a real girly feel.

Matching bedside tables were covered in a sheer white fabric which co-ordinated tastefully with her pure white sheets. At least they used to be pure white. Now they were a crumpled tangle stained with the night’s passion and remnants of the pre-sex feast they’d concocted up in the early hours of the morning.

Fergus picked up a champagne flute lying precariously close to the edge of the bed and placed it carefully on the table. Squashed beneath the glass lay a plump strawberry drowned in alcohol. A large red stain bled across the sheets.

She should have got red satin sheets he mused as he tried half-heartedly to remove the stain. From what he’d read on her Sex With Strangers blog he’d figured they would have been more her style. That and a mirrored ceiling and black shagpile carpet. But something about this girl didn’t add up.

Not at all. He looked across the room to the vase of spring flowers which sat on her dresser. A sweet floral fragrance intermingled with the sexual odours that lingered in the crevices of the room.

Beneath the bright yellow, pink and lavender blooms were fifteen or so framed photographs of Ruby and a young girl. They looked alike. He guessed the girl must be a niece. She’d never mentioned a daughter.

He lay back in the sheets and stretched his arms languidly out to the side and ran his fingers across the soft cotton sheets and burrowed them under the soft feather pillows. Ah, so that’s where they got to, he mused as he discovered the underwear she had tantalized him with in the early hours of the evening.

As he traced the delicate fushia-pink lace g-string and surveyed the room the silence engulfed him. Surrounded by the dying memory of a wonderful night he fought back the feelings of longing. But they fought even harder to remain.

He ran his fingers over the lace underwear and wondered if he would ever hear from Ruby again. She seemed so nonchalant. So detached when she left. “Thanks a lot” said with the same lack of feeling as a thanks uttered to a storekeeper that’s just sold you a packet of smokes.

‘Thanks…I’ll be seeing ya’.

You know you won’t, but you say it just the same.

Back in London the girls always called him, chased him until he responded. If he liked them and if they were persistent enough he might shag them again. But only for a quick one. He didn’t want to get attached. But this time he got the distinct impression that she wasn’t going to call.

He was like some sort of social experiment. Some sort of initiation prank into the halls of sexual conquest.

His mind flashed back over the last couple of days with Ruby. The blind date where she dressed like a femme fatale and had come on so strong. With her coy smile, fluttering eyelashes and the way, she played with her necklace, forcing, yes forcing, his eyes to wander to her breasts. Nice pert ones that squeezed their way out into the world.  Push-up bras have an uncanny ability to do that. Especially black satin ones with diamante’s sprinkled on them.

But then she threw him totally by not being able to handle her liquor. But he’d thrown himself more. He should’ve taken advantage of her, had his way and then left. The normal routine. But he hadn’t been able to. He’d taken her back to his place and nursed her all night long as she threw up again and again.

He wasn’t kinky or anything but there was something cute about the way she looked legs splayed out on the cold tile floor, head hovered over the toilet bowl. He had to admit it now though, it was kind of odd how quickly she had come to mean more to him than life itself. How the hell did she manage to sneak his way into his heart and under his skin?

Rule number one, never mix business with red hot pleasure.

The truth was Fergus knew why knew why she’d managed to pierce through all his armour. She was funny, cute, intelligent, caring. Not like the blonde bimbo’s he normally picked up for a quick shag. After a hard day at work, the last thing he felt like doing was talking. Dealing with maggots, and the scourge of society, digging up gossip and writing slanderous copy for the paper really took a toll.

At the end of the day, all he wanted to do was get pissed and get laid. Both of those things helped in their own unique way to get rid of the memories, the horrible taint of what he did for a living day in day out.

It paid well, but it sucked. Being in New York away from all that was like a breath of fresh air. One last job and he could ditch it all. The money sure would come in handy. He yearned to grab himself a patch of land and really make a go of his passion for sculpture. He dabbled a bit in London and people said he had real talent.

“Oh shit. The job.” Fergus glanced at his watch. “Shit. Look at the time. 10am. I’m supposed to have emailed an update by now. Five days and still nothing.,” he cursed. But he was getting closer, he might not have anything hard, but something told him he was really close to cracking it.

“Cripes where’s my underwear.” He looked around the bedroom. It looked like a bomb had gone off. Where the hell were his boxers? Brand new ones too.

He always wore his best boxers when he was seeing a girl. Calvin Kleins—one of the first things he’d brought when he got to  New York. A bargain they were not. But now a short-lived expense, he cursed.

Ahh, then he remembered, they’d started unpeeling their clothes in the lounge. Against his will, he smiled, as his mind flashed back. He walked down the stairs. The bowl of radishes, lettuce, and asparagus and other supposed aphrodisiac lay on the plate largely untouched.

He laughed. He’d never see such a collection of completely undesirable food. He wanted to be sore at her but he couldn’t. The simple fact was she made him laugh like no other girl ever had, and he missed her. She’d only been gone two hours and he missed her like mad.

They’d lain in bed and talked about everything from politics to religion to the credit card debt and New York’s aggressive stance toward policing the way people ate food.

“Did you know that there is even going to be a law to make people chew their food at least seven times?” Ruby had informed him.

“Sometimes you have to help people to help themselves. Make it a law and people start taking sensible things more seriously. Where would we be if everyone could choose whether they wore their seatbelt or not?” He laughed.

“Buckle up, I’m taking you on a ride,” she cried as she mounted him, her hair flying around her face, and her breasts jiggling like two bowls of jelly as he thrust his hips up and down.

“Where are we going?”

“To the moon and back.”

“What say I don’t want to go there?” he teased, placing his hands firmly on her hips and rocking her body back and forth.

“It’s my way or the highway,” she laughed.

Such a change from the woman who had looked so uncomfortable in her slinky outfits and siren red lipstick. He knew a fake when he met one. She was faking it. Up until then, she’d been faking it. Pretending to be some hot sex goddess.

He seen enough phoneys, interviewed enough con’s, to know when someone was the real deal. Ruby may have a name like a prostitute, but that girl sure as hell wasn’t one. So he thought. But the casual way she had got up, showered and left had him wondering. Not so much as a kiss. I’ll be back after to tidy up. Let yourself out… I’ll call you…”

Just like Miss Marples.

“When you’re eighteen we’ll get married.”

Yeah right.

“I’m sick of being someone’s plaything. I’m sick of spying on people, I’m sick of making my living airing people dirty laundry. Just got this one job to do and then that should set me up. Give me the leg up I want to make a go of being a serious reporter. A war correspondent or  …”

Fergus paused for a moment, recollecting his thoughts. When he was younger, before Miss Marples came and ruined everything he’d dreamed of becoming a  sculptor. Or, if that didn’t work out, a scriptwriter. When he felt really confident he thought maybe he could do both.

The last thing he’d created before Miss Marples got locked up was a life-size torso of then together. When she betrayed him he’d destroyed it. He tried to sculpt again. He’d set up his own flat to a be a studio but he just couldn’t do it for some reason he just couldn’t fire up his creative juices in that way. But writing…now that came easily.

And now it looked like he was onto a winner.

 Fergus pulled on his underwear and forced his legs through his jeans. “Damn her,” he cursed, “damn Ruby Evans.”

His legs got tangled in the foot of his jean. He kicked his legs wildly in the air trying to dislodge them. Then when that failed he ripped them angrily off this feet, screwed the jeans into a ball and threw them across the floor. They landed with a thud on a computer table, hidden in the corner of the room.

Fergus glanced at the computer and then at his watch. He was late. Really late. If he didn’t come up with something he really was going to get a bollicking. His dreams of making some money and exiting the seedy world of investigative journalism were disappearing fast. He’d have to come up with something and soon. Damn, why was this woman so elusive?

He went over to the computer desk and sat down, and flicked open the laptop. He logged into ‘sexwithlotsofstrangers’ and waited for the latest posting to come up on the screen.

July 16, 9:12 am Sex between the sheets

I’ve never done it in my house with a stranger but this is the next best thing. No quickies in the toilet, no shagging in the alleys, no quick gropes at the bus stop but full-on, wild, horny passionate sex. All night long, between the sheets in a downtown Manhattan apartment. Am I losing my mind you may ask? Taking a stranger back to my apartment, but I haven’t lost my mind and the apartment wasn’t mine. Let’s just say it was a friends…

Fergus smiled at the similarity between his night of passion and the words that appeared on the screen. He’d had sex between the sheets at some friend’s apartment too. I should start a blog, he thought wryly, I’m sure It would be a best seller too. His throat was dry and he reached over to the bedside table and grabbed a glass of water. Gulped it down and then returned to the screen.

He was horny for me. I could tell. Dressed in a frog suit…

Fergus’s heart began to race. He scrolled quickly down the screen

I peeled off his clothes until he stood naked, only the moonlight illuminating the muscular curves of his body. I ran my finger down the length of the scar on his right arm.

Fergus leaned forward. He held his breath. Adrenaline raced in his body. “My scar. . .my underwear…the way I orgasmed, licking the chocolate from her butt . . .everything!  She’s written about everything!”

He could feel his heart rise in his chest and then sink with a thud. He clenched his fists and unclenched them then clenched them again. Anger welled inside him, then rose to his face, stabbing his eyes like pinpricks!

“That bitch!” he cried, scrolling through the rest of the post. “That bitch had me for dinner.” Just another sexual conquest for her pleasure. No wonder she was so noncommittal. Shag them and run. He knew the drill. He’d practically invented it. He’d done it enough in his time. How could he have been taken for such a fool, he fumed.

He stared briefly at the computer screen. His mind blank and his body numb. Then teh cogs in his brain began to race. He’d show her. This time she would pay big time and Fergus would end up getting the story of his life. No one would have a scoop like his.

He knew the true identity of the blogger and what’s more, he’d got upfront and personal. His mind flashed back to Miss Marples and the media frenzy which had followed their discovery.

Déjà vu. Snap! Karma….how ever he framed it history had repeated. This time, he vowed angrily, this time he’d make it work in his favour.

He snapped the laptop shut and untangled his jeans before putting them on. He walked over to the bed, gathered up his shirt lying creased on the floor, found his socks and shoes and headed for the door.

He walked west toward Central Park. He needed time to think. To cool down. To digest the significance of everything that had just happened. As he sat down on a park bench his phone rang. Fergus took a deep breath. Calm. Stay calm. Ruby Evans’ name flashed up on caller ID. The phone rang several times before switching to voice mail. Fergus didn’t feel like talking with Ruby Evans right now. He still felt sore at her. He’d talk to her when he was good and ready.

He dialled his manager in London. “I’ve cracked it, boss. Really Cracked it. You’ll have a report on your table…er email…tomorrow. Guaranteed. What’s an exclusive worth to you? The inside scoop? $75K? Wow! That much? Yeah, I’m sure…really sure. You’ll be surprised. Really surprised. Wait ’til you hear what this girl does for a living! Gotta go. Talk tomorrow. Don’t worry…sure you can trust me…I learned from a pro…see ya.”

Fergus snapped the phone shut. His eyes wandered momentarily to a couple walking through Central Park hand in hand around the water’s edge, near the boathouse. The man stopped, raised his hand tenderly to the woman’s face and lifted a stray piece of hair that had fallen across her eyes. She smiled, and lifted her head to his, her eyes locked with his. The man lent down his lips slightly parted. Fergus looked away abruptly and stood up from the bench and walked briskly through the park.

Did you enjoy this inside scoop on characters and storylines from Sex With Strangers? I know you’ll love Sex With Strangers.

Buy a Coffee for Mollie and The Passionate Pen>>ko-fi.com/youinspireme

ko-fi.com/youinspireme

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To enjoy on Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/SexWithStrangers

To enjoy on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/4EkM6z

To enjoy on Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/sex-with-strangers-13

Audio

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/sex-with-strangers-14

Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/SexWithStrangers

five-stars

“I love it!”

“We thoroughly enjoyed it”

“A really good, hip, fun book.”

“The chapter heads are just lovely.”

“It was a riot. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great fun!”

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(The Ford Anglia is a rarity among classic cars – it’s immediately recognised all over the world by children and young people, even if it’s as “the Harry Potter car” and not by its given name, writes Adrian Flux on this interesting blog>>https://www.adrianflux.co.uk/cult-classics/ford-anglia-life-before-harry-potter/ I still haven’t read JK Rowling’s books and didn’t know she used this car in her stories. But I do agree, it does have magical powers!).

ENJOY THIS FREE EXCERPT NARRATED BY ME

Posted in: Mollie's Blog, New Excerpt, Rom-Com, Romance, Sex With Strangers

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Love In Venice

Date: June 1st, 2022, Posted by mollie

One summer could change everything. . .

I’m looking forward to the 2022 release of Love In Venice. It’s a beautiful love story which is very close to my heart. I’ve been to Venice many times and always loved it. The story was sparked by true events. Here’s a little about the hero and heroine of this story:

Maggie Green is a hardworking and driven lawyer and business strategy consultant. She runs a successful international practice and is constantly juggling the demands of generating income to sustain the business and meeting the demanding needs of her staff and clients. She is a workaholic and uses her work to mask her dissatisfaction with her life.

She yearns to have a romantic partner who will accept her for who she is and who will bring out the softer, romantic side of her that has been buried for so long, but the tragic memories of a past love affair with an Italian man means that she has resolved never to fall again for the foreign charms of tall, dark, handsome men, with exotic accents.

Toxic stress levels require dramatic changes in her life, and Maggie is ordered to take a career break to literally save her life. She goes to Venice to rediscover her true self and surround herself with situations that will stir her heart.

She has only just arrived when a pregnant Romanian Gypsy girl cons her and steals her belongings. She is left with only the clothes on her back and breaks down in despair. The hero, Mauro, an Italian Architect, witnesses this happening and unsuccessfully attempts to catch the gypsies. She suffers an anxiety attack and the hero, Mauro, unable to leave her in such a state of distress, reluctantly takes her back to palazzo.

Maggie has to stay longer than she intended! And the trouble is, love is everywhere. . .

You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens next! Subscribe to my new releases email to be the first to know.

Chat with me on  Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/molliemathewsnz

P.S. Fans of Sarah Morgan will love this feel-good romance!

Posted in: Books by Mollie Mathews, Full Length Novels, New and Upcoming Titles

the best, cheapest way to live a totally different life 

Date: May 27th, 2022, Posted by mollie

Flight of passion and a change of season…

Hello from New Zealand!

It’s gorgeous Autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere. And we are finally out of all lockdowns. It’s a lovely time of year. I adore these transformational changes of seasons. The old makes way for the new and is always accompanied by a sweeping breath of fresh air. Let’s hope it sweeps the virus, tyranny and fear still polluting the world away!

Writing fiction and reading fiction is the best, cheapest way to live a totally different life 

One of my favourite stories was total escapism. Setting Flight of Passion in Mexico with joy and love was incredible fun.

I’ve been blessed by the incredible feedback too (scroll down to read some of the reviews).


Flight of Passion is a rapturous tale of beauty, obsession and the transformational power of unconditional love. Here’s a little bit more about one of my favourite love stories:

Devastatingly handsome Oliver Hart is used to getting what he wants. Single, thirty-five and a committed bachelor, he plays by his own rules. On a personal quest to catch a rare, elusive and very valuable butterfly, he’s unwittingly distracted by a former flame, Ruby Diaz—a woman who callously abandoned him eight years earlier.

Deciding he wants to reclaim the beauty as his own, in his mind, it’s as good as done.

But Ruby is not his for the taking. Promised to the son of a wealthy landowner, she refuses to succumb to his charms. On a quest to save her family’s land, Ruby knows she must put duty first, and silence the passionate stirrings of her heart. But Oliver doesn’t make things easy for her. He’s not taking no for an answer.

Risking everything to help the woman he loves to gain her freedom, Oliver entangles himself in an emotional net that alters his life forever. Sacrificing his own selfish pursuit to help Ruby, he realizes that you may be able to own something, but you can never own someone—especially the woman you love.

Have you ever wanted to be with someone who sent your heart soaring but threatened your sense of security? Someone who lifts you clear out of the water, but you’re not sure will be around to catch you when you fall head over heels in love? Or do you know what it’s like to sacrifice your own needs to put others first? Then you’ll love this heart-warming romance. 

This is a standalone clean & wholesome romance novel. It’s also Book One in my True Love series. It contains a guaranteed HEA and a tale of romance that will capture your heart. 

Curl up with this beautiful romance and live a different life

Here are some more of the 5-star reviews:

“Fast-paced, heart-wrenching, completely unexpected twists, excellent storyline, and a hell of a good read.”

“This book is a carefully crafted, truly original story. Mollie’s wonderfully descriptive narrative paints a picture in which it is easy to lose oneself. A touching and heart-warming book, well worth a read.”

“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.”

“If you like a romance of the Romeo and Juliet ‘starcrossed’ lovers kind, get this book. Mollie spins a lovely tale set in exotic climes and lifts us out of our own reality while we travel a twisting journey with Oliver and Ruby.”

Look how beautiful the cover for the print edition is. 

When I first saw it, it took my breath away. Learn more about the cover process on my blog—you’ll see a link from www.molliemathews.com

You can purchase your own beautiful ebook or paperback and hardback from Amazon. Navigate to here – getBook.at/FlightofPassion 

It’s also available from all major retailers

AUDIOBOOK

AUDIBLE

US

https://www.audible.com/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874YCXVL

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874X8TGX

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874Y3V2T

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/flight-of-passion-4

Flight of passion is a beautiful heartwarming, clean romance—no swearing, no sex…just love, with all the hurdles you have to overcome.

J.K. Rowling is right when she says, “In the end, love wins, we know it does.” You’ll learn how Ruby and Oliver, my second chance lovers, win their HEA in the end.



BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY QUOTES

“Everyone is like a butterfly, they start out ugly and awkward and then morph into beautiful graceful butterflies that everyone loves.” ~ Drew Barrymore

“Metamorphosis surely isn’t a pleasant experience for the caterpillar, yet it results in the transcendent beauty of the butterfly.” ~ Anon

Do you have any favourite butterfly quotes? Do let me know—I’m collecting them.

Happy reading

Much love





P.S. Please feel free to forward this to any friends who might enjoy my books.

This was an earlier version of the cover—I thought you may like a sneak peek 🙂 I love the final version I chose, don’t you:)

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

I surrendered and this happened…

Date: May 8th, 2022, Posted by mollie


Happy Mother’s Day from New Zealand! I hope you have the best day.

I couldn’t resist sneaking out another painting for my ‘Bloomin’ Mad’ exhibition which opened on Mother’s Day, May 8, 2022. Created in a moment of passion, I decided to name this yummy piece “Sweet Surrender.

Scroll down to see the image later in this post:)




As an intuitive artist following my inner joy, I know the magic in painting (and in life) is to remember that you just have to surrender to it and just go with it. In the end, despite much frenetic energy, (including reworking an earlier painting) there really is a calm in the whole concept.
 
I also love the following: “It’s my choice to be joyful. I’m giving up on sorrow”,  Trevor Hall, Jupiter’s Call
 
This is why I’m creating happy art. You may think,” gosh how does that help anyone?” but it does …believe me I know from the 20 years I have spent as an art, couples and child therapist, that creating art helps with anxiety and despair and depression and I know people who receive my paintings tell me how much joy they bring to their lives so that’s how I show up. I bring the gift of colour.



So far, I’m having the best Mother’s Day this year! LOL. (Every day should be Mother’s Day. We rock!) First I received a lovely call and message from my daughter expressing how proud and happy she is to see me painting again and making so many people happy. And thanking me for encouraging her to follow her passion❤️💕

Then today I met a beautiful new collector on holiday from Sydney visiting her family. They made a special visit to see me in the gallery. People love meeting the artist I have found and learning more about the urge to create.

“My sister fell in love at first sight with your painting ‘When Love First Tasted Your Lips’” her sister, Claire told me when she called.

The painting had only recently been hung at Ake Ake restaurant and winery here in The Bay of Islands.

Clients often love the story behind the painting. Here’s a little blurb, from the inspiration which was the writings of Anais Nin and the reminder that something better can emerge after a painful ending.
My new collector shared with me that she had recently divorced her husband. So perhaps this is why this painting spoke to her.




“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Anais Nin



Layered in sultry glazes and gestural sweeps of colour, the palette embodies vibrant pinks, love-hewn reds, wonderful whites, glorious golds and sunny yellows, When Love First Tasted Your Lips speaks to the heart.

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

Books like:

CRAZY FOR YOU

Sweet Surrender.



Yipee! Crazy For You is now available in audio on Amazon and Kobo… written and narrated by me. Do check with other retailers and libraries just in case it’s now live elsewhere.






Grab your copy today
AUDIO

https://www.amazon.com.au/Crazy-You-Passion-Under-Stories/dp/B09Z5MTKNH

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/crazy-for-you


Ebook and Paperback Links:

AMAZON (Universal link):

getbook.at/CrazyForYou




If you’ve read and enjoyed Crazy For You (or any of my books), would you please leave a review? Reviews are so helpful for independent authors like me.


Reader reviews

“Very Cute”

“Very cute short story. Liberty and Alessandro are immediately attracted to each other. Well written with vivid descriptions. A good epilogue that neatly tied everything together. I enjoyed this quick read. I received a free copy of this book and this is my voluntary, honest review”

“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. I loved the cover. Ms. Mathews is an author whose books I’ve enjoyed. I look forward to reading more of her books.”

Inspired to read this fun and flirty love story?
Grab your copy today!
AMAZON:

getbook.at/CrazyForYou



US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09X3LSSG8




P.s. 




I’VE JUST GOT BACK FROM FIJI!




HAVE YOU READ MY ROMANCE SET IN FIJI YET?

https://www.molliemathews.com/the-italian-billionaires-christmas-bride/


Last Christmas, art therapist Issy Riley was jilted by her fiancé. This Christmas she’s running away. A week with a client on his private Fijian island promises to save her from cheating men and the London festive season. But when the client turns out to be a gorgeous and magnetic Italian billionaire, he threatens her resolve to never again trust her heart to the wrong man.

Milan fashion house leader and avowed bachelor Massimiliano Balforni has no intention of taking a vacation, despite his sister’s insistence that he subject himself to an art therapy retreat following a minor heart attack. With an important collection due, he intends to fire his therapist and work, instead. But the determined and striking Issy gives his heart palpitations of a far more dangerous kind.

PRAISE FOR THE ITALIAN BILLIONAIRE’S CHRISTMAS BRIDE

instantly gripping dynamic

“Mollie Mathews has created an instantly gripping dynamic between Issy and Massimilliano that beautifully blends their animosity and their undeniable attraction, making the tension soar.”

~ Laura, Harlequin Mills and Boon

an excellent read

“I really enjoy Mollie’s style of writing – it’s in the 21st century and relates to every woman who has been trashed by a bloke.  The abandonment issues experienced by Max are also so relevant to our current world, so many have been emotionally stunted or abandoned.  This is a story that resonates with me and I could not put it down.  Mollie is just such a good writer with enormous appeal in her story – an excellent read on a rainy day.”

Buy this book through the links below…

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here>> getBook.at/ChristmasBride

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3LpDa7

To enjoy your copy from Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride

AUDIOBOOK

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride-the

AUDIBLE

US

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Audiobook/B08QW1TWYP

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Audiobook/B08QW1ZW7L

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Audiobook/B08QW3NL2Y

The audio version of this book is also available from all online bookstores and also libraries

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Crazy for You

Date: April 3rd, 2022, Posted by mollie

Crazy For You

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Colour Consultant Liberty Lyons is never getting married. Never. Ever. Ever! On the eve of her wedding, she’s called the whole thing off. But that doesn’t mean she’s not going to enjoy her honeymoon, especially now she’s learnt her fraudster husband-to-be paid for the whole fancy, nothing’s-too-expensive-celebration with her credit card.

Just because Italian billionaire property magnate Alessandro Alessi owns a consortium of honeymoon hotels doesn’t mean that he is in want of a wife. But when Liberty mistakes him for the bartender and orders Sex on The Beach his interest is unavoidably piqued. Liberty speaks to Alex’s rebellious side, his mystery and his modernity. She represents the perfect incarnation of his modern woman-disruptive, unapologetic, almost dangerous—yet vulnerable. Broken by betrayal and committed to singledom like he is, Alessandro discovers that it’s Liberty he really wants…exclusively.

If you enjoy strong heroines, short contemporary love stories and clean romance, Crazy For You is a book you’ll love.

Crazy For You is a short story full of quirky humour and the promise of a very happy ever after. A fun, quick read!

Set in the historic town of Russell, in The Bay of Islands, New Zealand—one of the most beautiful, unspoiled, sensuous places in the world.

Bonus excerpts from Mollie’s full-length book, Love Me As I Am.

PRAISE FOR CRAZY FOR YOU

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. I loved the cover. Ms. Mathews is an author whose books I’ve enjoyed. I look forward to reading more of her books.”

well written with vivid descriptions

Very cute short story. Liberty and Alessandro are immediately attracted to each other. Well written with vivid descriptions. A good epilogue that neatly tied everything together. I enjoyed this quick read.

Buy this book through the links below…

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>getbook.at/CrazyForYou

Available in paperback, eBook and audio

Widely available in audio: Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/crazy-for-you
And other online stores and libraries. Amazon Audible coming soon.

If this is the first time you have read a Passion Down Under short story, you can easily read each book as a standalone.

Enjoy other full-length contemporary romances by Mollie Mathews:

Bride of GoldMarried by Christmas; Flight of Passion; Claimed by The Sheikh, Love All of Me

Posted in: Books by Mollie Mathews, Mollie's Blog, Novellas

Delicious Distractions

Date: March 29th, 2022, Posted by mollie

Hi everyone

I hope last week was kind to you, and that, as we head into a new moon, a new month and a new change of season that the end of March is much improved. All the same SAD problems are still with us: Viruses and their variants, and the heartbreaking war in Ukraine—with no easy solutions to either of those problems. Certainly, nothing I can do to help things improve—other than hope and pray that the war ends really soon. As a mother and peacemaker, it breaks my heart.

Troubling times make delicious distractions a very welcome relief to get our minds off the problems we can do nothing about. My new story Crazy For You will come out next week. It’s a fun short book that I hope you’ll love. It’s about Liberty Lyons, a colour consultant who, on the day of her wedding vows never to get married, and Allessandro Alessi, the billionaire magnate of a global chain of luxury honeymoon hotels! When fates accidentally collide it’s one delicious distraction!

It’s set in the beautiful historical town of Russell, in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, as far away as you can get from all the conflict and chaos going on in the world.

And I was SOOOO LIVING my recent new obsession, Yellowstone, the family saga set on a sprawling range in Montana. I binge-watched the first session and am just tucking into the second!!! I absolutely love it!! Along with writing my own books, it takes my mind off everything. If I wake up during the night I watch it instead of scrolling through the news. I’ve saved the soundtrack too, on Spotify.

So if you haven’t seen it, tune into Yellowstone and take your mind off it all!!!! Take some time out, or an evening off, you’ll be happy you did!!

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

How art inspires my stories…

Date: March 8th, 2022, Posted by mollie

shutterstock_272622125 copy

Dear friends,

If you’ve read many of my novels you’ll know that art inspires my stories. Recently with all the war-mongering and ongoing fear-pandemic I’ve been returning again to the comfort I find in people who create beauty in the world.

I was reflecting the other night about all the conflict in the world and recalled something the great Italian artist Giorgio Morandi, reputed to be one Italy’s finest still-life painters, once said, “there is beauty in opposition”. It struck me as such a powerful and liberating attitude to live and love by. I used these sentiments in one of my romance stories, The Italian Billionaires Christmas Bride.

In 1915, Morandi joined the army but suffered a breakdown and was indefinitely discharged. He retreated from people, the world—their warmongering and their conflict—and sought solace in the beauty of inanimate objects. His paintings are revered for their tonal subtlety in depicting simple subjects, which were limited mainly to vases, bottles, bowls, flowers and landscapes.

morandi

I love the still, silent, metaphysical beauty of his work. I thought I’d share a scene, where my heroine confesses her own love for his work—and introduce the hero and heroine in opposition, but also shared joy:

CHAPTER 11

Her comment was met with stony silence. Not a muscle in his hard, handsome face moved as she strode ahead. Max’s walk was purposeful with a controlled, yet impatient, strength to it as he led her through the villa. Clearly, he was in a hurry to be rid of her.

Issy slowed her pace deliberately, gasping audibly as she walked past walls lined with priceless artworks she’d only ever seen in borrowed books and on the Internet.

‘This place is like a museum. It’s immaculate,’ Issy said, as she followed him past a living room double the size of a luxury hotel lobby, opening out to a massive wrap-around deck with panoramic views of the sea. The vibrant turquoise hues of the ocean spreading below contrasted with the starkness of Max’s mood. ‘You must love coming here,’ she ventured.

‘I don’t have time for holidays,’ he said. ‘I have full-time staff to ensure it is available all year round for friends or family who may want to relax,’ his tone was flat as though the thought of chilling surrounded by so much beauty didn’t excite him one little bit.

His footsteps were silent on the smooth marble floor, contrasting with her sandals clacking noisily as she quickened her pace to keep up with him. Friends with benefits no doubt, Issy thought. She didn’t know a stitch about his love life but she didn’t have to be a NASA scientist to guess that a man as handsome and wealthy as Max would be inundated with beautiful women offering their services.

Suddenly she froze, her heart pounding, as they walked down a glass panelled hallway toward a painting as small as the Mona Lisa.

‘Oh, my gosh,’ Issy’s breathing raced as she stepped closer, her nose almost pressed against the canvas as she traced every ethereal brush stroke. ‘Is that a Morandi?’ she gasped, her voice a high-pitched whisper. To anyone else the painting would just be a collection of ordinary objects—bottles and jars standing stoically against a muted background, but in the hands of a master even the ordinary could be elevated to transcendent beauty—and equally as potent.

Max’s grave mood lifted as his eyes followed the source of her attraction. He touched his mouth, drawing attention to his sensuous lips as he nodded.

She gasped, mentally computing that a painting of this worth was beyond anything she would ever experience up close in her lifetime. Her heart hammered with equal measures of thrill and fear, as though at any moment a security guard would command her to step back beyond the rail, or escort her from the house, except there was no barrier rail. And for the next few days at least, this house of treasure would be her home.

Rummaging in her bag, she whipped out her camera ‘May I take a photo?’

His gaze narrowed as his dark, fierce eyes riveted to her. He nodded. ‘Paintings should be appreciated.’

She took several photos then turned to him. ‘Gosh, this is like being in an art museum. We’ll never see paintings like this in New Zealand, and there’s no way I’ll ever get to Europe, not on my wage.’ Startled by the strange glint in his eye, she threw her attention back to the painting again.

‘It’s true when they say his paintings can transport you. Like you could fold into them and escape reality,’ she said. Nothing she was feeling was even close to reality, she thought achingly aware of her energy pulsing in tiny quivers toward Max as she stood in front of him. Not a muscle in his body moved as he stood like concrete, his broad shoulders rigid, his posture stiff, yet she sensed he felt the magnetic energy pulse between them too.

It was as if Morandi had infused the bottles with an aura-like energy, which seeped from the painting blanketing them both.

Max stood like a sentry, slightly at a distance, behind her like the stoic blue-black bottle and the fine white vase in the painting, touching but not touching.

He turned to her, his normally cool blue eyes now a penetrating black. ‘Is beauty the bringing together of opposites to make one?’ he said.

His unexpected question threw her. Whether he was speaking of the white and black bottles in the painting, or of their own obvious differences she didn’t know, but she found herself wishing recklessly it was the latter.

‘Opposites attract,’ she ventured, her voice catching as she watched the sunlight glance off his waves of dark hair, then move across the surface of his face, tracing the muscular lines of his strong cheekbones, the indentations of his dimples, before settling on the black-silk-like fibre clinging to his powerful chest. ‘There must be a reason for that.’ She forced a laugh, noticing with alarm that it sounded more nervous than confident.

There was a reason why the energy sparked and cracked and hissed between them. A reason she would never, could never, explore. ‘I know Morandi believed finding beauty in opposition would create a happier world,’ she said, steering the conversation to safer ground.

‘You are well informed.’ His eyes glistened with vitality as though he was both surprised and impressed with her level of knowledge.

‘Actually, I studied art history at college, briefly,’ she said, softly. ‘Something my parents reluctantly indulged. I remember being captivated by Morandi’s work. He was one of Italy’s finest still-life painters, but I never in a zillion years thought I’d ever see the real thing.’

‘You said, briefly,’ he paused, inviting her to go on.

Issy hesitated, aware that he was asking all the questions, and once again she was hogging the ear time when really the roles should be reversed. But perhaps in the sharing of what appeared to be a mutual passion she might learn a little about him. It would be the only passion they could share, she thought, willing her throbbing pulse to slow.

‘I was at college, young and dependent on my parents, we needed money. Art wasn’t an indulgence we could afford.’ Issy’s chest felt tight as she relived a part of her childhood she preferred to forget. ‘There’s no money in art”, they told me. “Get a real job. Keep it as a hobby”, blah, blah, blah.’

She forced a smile as she looked at the painting, ‘It’s ironic when you realize how much money these artists earned when they followed their passion. But anyway, it was what it was. And I wanted to please them. So, as you know, I went and trained as a clinical psychologist.’ She shook her head and gave a humourless laugh. ‘I thought it might help me figure out my dysfunctional family.’

Max studied her intensely, the gleam in his eyes acknowledging her disillusionment. ‘Perhaps I should have studied psychology too,’ he said, a weariness in his tone that came not just from tiredness, but from life. ‘But now you’re an art therapist. It is difficult to remain true to yourself and your philosophy. I respect that.’

There he was complimenting her again. His tone was so earnest Issy felt herself blush. Being understood and appreciated felt too good. And too foreign. And that was the problem she thought helplessly. Talking like this was merging the personal and the professional together dangerously. Two forces in opposition like oil and water which a sane person, a professional person, knew would never mix.

Only she wasn’t sane, she acknowledged. Not anymore. Not with him being so kind. Not with those sexy dimples indenting as his lips curved into a kind smile. It was easier to keep her distance when he was aloof and remote.

She looked away, knowing she must dismiss his comment as politeness not interest in her for fear of wanting something that would never be hers.

Him.

Cultured people like Max were raised to be polite and she mustn’t let herself think he was in the slightest bit interested in who she was as a person. But he was a good listener, and as rare as it was for someone to focus on her for a change it felt nice. She could share how art made her feel, find out what moved him and still maintain a professional distance.

‘It’s incredible how a painting can affect you,’ she said. ‘It’s completely out of your control. My heart is racing, the hairs on my arms are tingling like crazy. I feel inspired and breathless, and light-headed,’ she said. It was the painting, not him, definitely not him that was creating all these crazy physical sensations, she thought, surprised by the powerful emotions cascading through her.

‘Can you believe, my eyes are pooling, like at any moment I might cry. You know, it’s almost like the feeling you have when you’re in love. Is that why you purchased this painting?’ she said.

His eyes focused on her with razor-like intensity, sending shivers racing up her spine.

‘Art is not about emotion. Art is about power.’ His head jerked backwards sharply.

‘Oh, yes,’ she said, pleased that on this point they agreed. ‘The power of art, as Picasso once said, to wash from the soul the dust of everyday life.’

His lips twisted in a wry smile. ‘You are a romantic Ms. Riley. It is very sweet. But also naïve. The power of art, Ms Riley, is about money. Possessing what others covet and can never afford.’

Issy felt blood roar through her chest as she looked at the imposing man standing beside her. ‘No! Art is about feeling.’

‘You know, I actually think you believe that nonsense,’ he interjected. Max stepped toward her, encroaching upon her physical space until they were both nearly touching like the bottles in the painting.

Issy stood her ground, lifting her chin toward him as he stood over her. Was he really so emotionally blocked that he could feel nothing? ‘What happened to make you so unfeeling, so hard, so cynical?’

‘Life, Miss Riley. Life.’

‘Don’t you believe in love?’

‘Love,’ he grimaced, staring at the cold blue bottle in the painting, ‘is a business construct manufactured by salesmen and marketers to manipulate people like you.’

‘Have you always been so cynical?’ Issy challenged. ‘Love is a feeling. Like art is a feeling,’ she shrugged. ‘It’s hard to describe in words, but you know it when you sense it. It’s a warm, fantastic, life-giving feeling. Like eating ice-cream in summer, only without the calories.’

‘A feeling,’ Max snorted. ‘Another vague, nebulous, overused concept. I love that dress. I love those shoes. I love that painting.’ He turned toward her, looking directly into her eyes as though laying down a challenge.

‘I love you.’ His words delivered with icy hard detachment splintered through the warm air. His shoulders straightened sharply, ‘See how easy it is to say?’

He sounded cold, far more bitter than she’d expected, but something about the way Max strode stiffly toward the edge of the deck and stood gazing out at the blue sea, a pensive frown on those beautiful dark brows, made her wonder if perhaps even he thought he’d gone too far.

‘Show me a love that lasts,’ he said, turning to her at last.

What could she say? She’d notched up her Guinness Book record of impermanent affairs of the heart, the cancelled wedding her most public failure. But she wouldn’t tell him that. Not yet. Not ever. She could barely bring herself to talk about it with anyone, let alone a client she hoped to impress with her togetherness.

‘So we agree on something,’ Max said, filling the silent vacuum, ‘I’ve never felt it, never found it, never fantasized about it and I never will. Feeling is a distraction I can’t afford.’

‘Who did that to you?’ She said, wondering how a man who seemed to have everything, had so little.

Max flinched, his jaw hardening in steely resolve. ‘I’m a realist.’

‘If you don’t have love,’ Issy pressed, ‘or at least the hope of love, what do you have?’ She stepped toward him, concern widening her eyes. ‘Max?’ she whispered, probing for his reply

‘Work. I have work. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll take you to your private bure. I’m sure you’ll find the peninsular villa to your liking. You won’t be disturbed. I only ask that you show me the same courtesy.’

Adrenaline spiked in her chest. He was banishing her. ‘But what about the session I have planned for today?’

fiji

Did you enjoy this excerpt?  This story was written during a wonderful time in Fiji. I decided to set the story there. It seems like such a lifetime ago, especially now that travel to foreign shores seems so far away now.

But you can travel to paradise in your imagination when you read this beautiful “opposites attract” love story.

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 glamour 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?

I hope you love this story as much as I loved writing it.

Praise for THE ITALIAN BILLIONAIRES CHRISTMAS BRIDE

“A good read that takes you away to a tropical island to experience the steamy heat of two people determined to stay single in case they get hurt again. Max, a sexy, jaded Italian multi-billionaire meets up with Issy, a playful children’s art therapist who has recently found out her fiancé was having an affair. Although I was initially skeptical as I usually go for historical romances, I’m glad I trusted my friend’s recommendation because this book was delightfully compelling. The emotional vulnerabilities and character quirks combined with the sexual tension kept the pages turning. A frisky novel to curl up on the couch with or take away on your next trip.”

~ Pauline Roberts

“This was a fun read I really enjoyed. It’s perfect for a lazy weekend. This is the first book I have read by this author but it won’t be last. I can’t wait to be more.”

~ Poppy

“Beautifully written. The author’s vivid and descriptive writing style pulled me into a world I never wanted to leave. I loved the connection of art between two very different people and the healing it brought them both. A Very beautiful story!”

~ Hugh Harrison

“I joined Max to make the slow journey from betrayed broken-hearted individuals to the trusting and loving couple they become. Molly Mathew’s writing transports you to places she is describing where you can kick back and relax for a while as this endearing story unfolds. Her characters soon become visible through her careful picture-building. Readers will like the Kiwi vernacular Issy invoices every now and then, and I think readers will enjoy getting to know the strong characters and the beautiful islands we’re visiting. The author also tucks in some great life advice for everyone telling in the telling of this charming story. I hope you enjoy this book, too. I did.”

~ Alfie Rues

“I loved, loved, loved this book. An instantly gripping, compelling and fun read. Escapism at its best. I couldn’t put the book down and read it in one night. With exotic backdrops like Italy and Fiji and passionate characters, it made the perfect holiday read. Can kindness thaw a cold heart? That’s the question Mollie Mathews poses in her book about second chances and learning to love again.

Issy is a funny, compassionate art therapist who wants to escape Christmas after her jerk of a fiancé cheated on her. Even though she only works with troubled children she agrees to take on a last-minute client for her friend and business partner. What she doesn’t know is her client is hunky fashion house CEO Massimilliano Balforni. Sparks fly and it’s an attraction Max vows to deny. He doesn’t want Issy and her coloured pencils from bringing the wounds of his childhood to the light.

Mollie Mathews skillfully creates a gripping dynamic between Issy and Max that sensually blends their animosity with undeniable attraction making the tension soar. I definitely recommend this book.”

~ Lauri

p.s. I took the photo below during a Christmas trip to the Warwick Resort in Fiji. You can see how the location inspired my writing. I was also inspired while staying in a beautiful cottage that is for couples only.  The house was called Lomani on an exotic island called Taveuni just off Fiji’s mainland. Lomani” is the Fijian word for love. I fell in love with this idyllic slice of paradise and can’t wait to return someday.

http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/reviews/p274709

img_7538

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The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

To enjoy your copy from Amazon (eBook, Paperback and audio), click here>> getBook.at/ChristmasBride

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3LpDa7

To enjoy your copy from Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride

AUDIOBOOK

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride-the

You may also like:

Ways to make a difference

Why I write romance

Flight of Passion and a change of season

How trauma can fuel your life purpose

How extraordinary love can change our lives

To enjoy more posts and books like this please follow this blog and BookBub. Subscribe to my newsletter and enjoy a free copy of Twist of Fate

Posted in: Married by Christmas, Mollie's Blog, New Excerpt, Romance

Tags: , , ,

Celebrate Valentine’s Day Down Under!

Date: February 11th, 2022, Posted by mollie

Sun, sand & surf – February Down Under is always scorching hot! And so are my most popular romances set in New Zealand and the tropical paradise of Fiji! From sweet to sexy to smoking, these books will transport you into a world of Down Under Happy-ever-afters.

Download some of your new favourites 


I hope you enjoy these calorie free morals of deliciousness 🙂

CAN GIANNI AND KATE GET BEYOND THEIR PASTS TO A LOVING FUTURE?

Thank you to everyone who has so enthusiastically written to me and shared how they devoured Love All of Me in one sitting. And thank you for your glowing reviews.

This story was inspired by the tragic events of December 2019 when the volcano on Whakaari, commonly known as White Island, in New Zealand erupted. At the time of writing, the eruption took the lives of 16 people and injured 30, most critically with life-threatening burns.

I read about a young man (aged only nineteen) who not only was severely burned but awoke from his induced coma to learn that his entire family had died. I wondered, what would it be like to be a survivor? What if you felt you had no right to live, let alone love again? What if you were wracked with survivor’s guilt?  What if your scars weren’t just on the outside but buried deep within? What and who would it take to heal such traumatic scars?

As with all my love stories, there is a happily ever after.

Love All of Me is out now! Despite the background tragedy, it’s a quick, fun and joyful read, set in the dual locations of The Bay of Islands, New Zealand and the volcanic island of Stromboli, off the coast of Sicily. Perfect for a much-needed escape.

I hope you love it.

Exclusive to Amazon in ebook and paperback. Audio coming soon!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09NMTYMV4

 

The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

What if the person who is so, so, so wrong for you is really so, so, so right, but you’re too afraid to give love a chance?

Last Christmas, art therapist Issy Riley was jilted by her fiancé. This Christmas she’s running away. A week with a client on his private Fijian island promises to save her from cheating men and the London festive season. But when the client turns out to be a gorgeous and magnetic Italian billionaire, he threatens her resolve to never again trust her heart to the wrong man.

Milan fashion house leader and avowed bachelor Massimiliano Balforni has no intention of taking a vacation, despite his sister’s insistence that he subject himself to an art therapy retreat following a minor heart attack. With an important collection due, he intends to fire his therapist and work, instead. But the determined and striking Issy gives his heart palpitations of a far more dangerous kind.

The one thing Max and Issy agree on: they are as wrong for each other as wrong gets. He’s a workaholic playboy who believes emotion is a weakness. She’s a romantic who yearns for a happily ever after. 

As the tropical heat soars, they discover that in this battle between work and play, resistance only fuels attraction—and sometimes two wrongs make a very passionate right.

Set in two beautiful paradises—Milano, Italy and the tropical Pacific islands of Fiji.

Praise for Book One in the Gemstone Billionaire’s series—The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

PRAISE FOR THE ITALIAN BILLIONAIRE’S CHRISTMAS BRIDE

instantly gripping dynamic

“Mollie Mathews has created an instantly gripping dynamic between Issy and Massimilliano that beautifully blends their animosity and their undeniable attraction, making the tension soar.”

~ Laura, Harlequin Mills and Boon

an excellent read

“I really enjoy Mollie’s style of writing – it’s in the 21st century and relates to every woman who has been trashed by a bloke.  The abandonment issues experienced by Max are also so relevant to our current world, so many have been emotionally stunted or abandoned.  This is a story that resonates with me and I could not put it down.  Mollie is just such a good writer with enormous appeal in her story – an excellent read on a rainy day.”

~ Rae Waterhouse

perfect holiday reading

“I couldn’t get away for a holiday this year but was lucky enough to stumble across Mollie Mathews book. With inviting backdrops of Italy and Fiji to set the scene and passionate but angst-ridden leading characters, it makes the perfect holiday reading.”

~ Laura Virgo

a gorgeous escapist read

“A gorgeous escapist read. Loved the flirty spark between Max and Issy, and as for the location … sigh … I wanna be there. Will definitely be looking out for other books by this author. Recommended.”

~ Amazon Review

Buy this book through the links below…

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here>> getBook.at/ChristmasBride

To enjoy your copy from Ibooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3LpDa7

To enjoy your copy from Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride

AUDIOBOOK

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride-the

AUDIBLE

US

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Audiobook/B08QW1TWYP

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Audiobook/B08QW1ZW7L

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Audiobook/B08QW3NL2Y

The audio version of this book is also available from all online bookstores and also libraries

The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

Would you protect a murderer to save your family? Three women. Three lives. And the lies that bind them. Why is everyone afraid of the truth?

When a lonely young American woman inherits a painting she discovers her whole life was a lie. Desperate for the truth, she goes in search of her true identity. The painting is her only clue. But everyone is determined to keep its secret past repressed, including Vitaliano Rossi, the Italian gold tycoon, unnaturally suspicious of her motives, who wants the painting vanquished. How can she discover who she really is and convince him that his love means more to her than gold?

Praise for The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

“great conflict”

“I loved the premise that she needs the hero to unlock the secrets to explain her past—it’s great conflict.”

“hunt for a dad”

“The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage,” by Mollie Matthews was an interesting read, to say the least. Ms. Matthews brings two characters to life in this enchanting tale of personalities that clash through much of the book. Determination not to give up shows the strength of these characters. This is a well-written novel. The author has done a wonderful job. I highly recommend this book and I think you will find it a good read.

“a delightful, suspenseful read”

“When Alexandra receives a lawyer’s letter informing her that the father she has no knowledge of, has left her an inheritance, including a very special and priceless painting, her world is thrown into disarray. Alex leaves the comfort of her home in New York to investigate her past in New Zealand where she is confronted by the unusual painting she names Lost Love. The painting stirs up more questions than answers and the simple investigation into the life of her father turns into a multidimensional mystery. It also brings an angry Vitaliano Rossi across her path and before she knows it, her life is intricately bound with his. In a relationship where both Alex and Vitali mistrust one another, theirs is a battle of wits as Vitali wants the painting every bit as much as Alex does, but neither will divulge the reasons as to why they do. The attraction between Vitali and Alex is electric and although the book is relatively clean, there is enough passion between them to boil water. As truths emerge and they come to an understanding of each other’s motives, the love that has been simmering between them comes out in full force. I loved both Vitali and Alex and even though Vitali was arrogant and seemed to be self-serving, he is nevertheless an exciting hero, whilst Alex is the kind of woman we can all identify with. This is an excellent and somewhat suspenseful read.”

Buy this book through the links below…

To grab your copy from Amazon>> getBook.at/ScandalousMarriage

To grab your copy from Ibooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores,>>https://books2read.com/u/mVNdn5

To grab your copy from Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-italian-billionaire-s-scandalous-marriage-1

AUDIOBOOK

The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

US

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B08745WFMS

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B087485CLB

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B0873ZXX6G

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-scandalous-marriage-the

The audio version of this book is also available from all online bookstores and also libraries

Escapism at its best: special two-audiobook bundle: two sweet and sensual New Zealand Romances

 
BookBrushImage-2020-6-21-9-4451

 

To enjoy Passion Down Under Sassy Short Stories 2 Book-Bundle Box Set: Love Me Forever and Twist of Fate from Amazon: getbook.at/2SassyShortStories

To enjoy your copy from Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/passion-down-under-sassy-short-stories-2-book-bundle-box-set-love-me-forever-and-twist-of-fate-1

AUDIOBOOK

KOBO

To enjoy your audiobook from Kobo:

Audiobooks are also available from other online retailers and libraries for your listening pleasure

Praise for this series

Love Me Forever has a lovely mystical feel about it, with deep longings being experienced by the characters. A delightful mystical romance with a dream-like quality, fraught with all the longings of Joey’s heart. When she plants her wish for her sister beneath the walnut tree, she doesn’t realize that the longings of her own heart have been heard.

When a stranger steps up to her in the vineyard it is the beginning of healing for her own heart. Well written with deeply emotive feelings, this book is part of a series and ends on a cliffhanger.”

~ Margaret W.

“Beautifully written. The author’s vivid and descriptive writing style pulled me into a world I never wanted to leave.  Very beautiful stories!”

~ Hugh Harrison

“This was a fun read I really enjoyed. It’s perfect for a lazy weekend. This is the first book I have read by this author but it won’t be last. I can’t wait to be more.”

~ Poppy

“The author also tucks in some great life advice for everyone in the telling of this charming story. I hope you enjoy this book, too. I did.”

~ Alfie Rues

“I loved, loved, loved this book. An instantly gripping, compelling and fun read. Escapism at its best. I couldn’t put the book down and read it in one night.”

~ Lauri

I hope whereever you are and whoever you are with that your Valentine’s Day is a special one filled with love

signature

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Happy Holidays

Date: December 29th, 2021, Posted by mollie



Dear Reader,

My usual holiday email anticipates a whirl of family traditions after a busy year.  This year,  we planned for small, quiet and joyful.

We are in Code Red in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand—the highest alert level for Covid. It all seems so surreal. Everyone is wearing masks and feeling fearful.

I made a leap for freedom and joined my family in Wellington. You may have read one of my shirt love-inspired hometown romances set there, Twist of Fate.

It was so lovely to be back home. New Zealander’s haven’t been able to fly around much—and definitely not overseas (you can’t get back home because all the quarantine spots are booked.)

My daughter, Hannah, gifted me the most precious present—a Giraffe Experience at Wellington Zoo. If you’ve read Claimed by the Sheikh where the hero rescues giraffes and other endangered animals, you’ll know I have a soft spot for giraffes.


Love All of Me—my Bay of Islands Christmas Romance.

While I’ve been locked at home, writing and paintings have given me a lovely escape, a way to dive into alternate worlds of beauty, love and peace. 



An unexpected lover…

After surviving a horrific accident Kate Miller is plagued by guilt. Hiding both her mental and physical scars, she shuns love and escapes into work—finding meaning and purpose in running her global manuka honey empire.

Beautiful and smart, when Gianni Romano demands she sell the business to him, her passions are inflamed. How dare he think he can buy the only thing that gives her a reason to live?

Gianni Romano has ventured to New Zealand by the one thing he’d love to escape: family The Romano fortune and name has followed him wherever he goes. But that only made the headstrong Italian more determined to strike out on his own. Now he’s on the cusp of achieving world acclaim.

Only one woman stands in his way—Kate Miller and her refusal to submit to his demands. The spark they have flames hotter than a Sicilian sunset, but when emotions run deep and lives are on the line, will mixing business with pleasure be the bedrock for a lifelong love? Or will it all explode like an angry volcano?

Love All of Me is a true romance, brimming with the promise of a happily ever after. Set in The Bay of Islands, New Zealand—one of the most beautiful, unspoiled, sensuous places in the world.

Love All of Me is part of Mollie Mathew’s bestselling series, Passion Down Under Stories.

If this is the first time you have read a Passion Down Under love story, you can easily read each book as a standalone.

Enjoy other full-length contemporary romances by Mollie Mathews: Sex With StrangersThe Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous MarriageFlight of Passion and Claimed by The Sheikh


I am so grateful for the wonderful reviews.

Romance along with sorrow and angst

Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2021

Love All of Me was a quick-paced read with a lot of angst and sorrow leading up to the happily ever after. The characters of Kate and Gianni meet and sparks seem to fly. When they are thrown together again unexpectedly – he’s Santa and she’s his elf to give out gifts to poor children – things really ratchet up a notch. The story has a lot of depth to it due to their pasts.

The story had a lot of threads woven together to add layers to the story. There were vivid descriptions of the land, his home, the volcanoes which play a major role in the story, and the bees. I loved the imagery of the bees and Gianni’s thoughts on them were interesting. There were family and friends along with Kate’s dog, romance, loving and love. The story is set in New Zealand and Italy. There is nice closure with a happily ever after. I wished the story had gone on a little longer. I love the details on the cover and how the title was voiced throughout.

Ms. Mathews is an author whose books are filled with love, some heat and great locations. I look forward to reading more of her books.

Captivating Romance!!

Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2021

I absolutely loved this romance book set in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands. Gianni has fled to New Zealand to flee from his family and Kate is in New Zealand running her global Manuka honey empire. Kate and Gianni are realistic, strong, independent, sexy, and confident. Kate is irate when Gianni demands she sell her business to him. Kate and Gianni are struggling with personal issues and just want to escape their lives. They end up having sparks that are hotter than an inferno. Their journey with each other is sensuous and in one of the most tranquil places in the world, their happily ever after came when they were at their most vulnerable. I recommend reading this phenomenal romance that will set you on fire, this author is extraordinary and knows how to captivate her reader’s hearts and attention with passion and hot, steamy romance.

A light Romantic Read

Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2021Love All of Me is a heartwarming story of two of people who both have issues and is hiding behind them.

Kate Miller and her family went on a cruise to tour of Whakaari in the Bay of Islands in northern New Zealand which a volcano erupted and she became the sole survivor of her family. To keep her father’s memory alive, she rebuilt her father’s beekeeping business for Manuka honey. As a favor for a friend, she agrees to be Santa’s helper where she runs into a reclusive Italian-New Zealander named Gianni Romano. There is instant heat, but Kate fears it and tries to run from it but Gianni isn’t giving up.
Take a trip to the Bays of Islands in New Zealand through the eyes of Mollie Mathews to see how these two found love and happiness.

Love Conquers All… Even volcanoes! Romantic and good read.

Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2021

Love All Of Me is a great read. It has its share of angst and joy. Kate and Gianni have a lot of familial events that play into this story. Well-layered and the interaction, even when it comes to their need for a therapist, is really cool. Disaster and betrayal are balanced out with the realization that they have both dealt with the volcanic activity which leads to love. A quick and balanced read.
Received an ARC of this book and happy to voluntarily review it … Look forward to more.

5.0 out of 5 stars Can they get beyond their pasts to a loving future?

Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2021

I love this story from Mollie Matthews which gives another view into living by the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. Kate Miller is the sole survivor from her family of the volcanic eruption on Whakaari in the Bay of Islands in northern New Zealand. She has rebuilt her father’s beekeeping business for Manuka honey. She really runs into a reclusive Italian-New Zealander Gianni Romano. It seems there is instant heat, but the heat is more of distrust by Kate. Really, they both have issues they have been hiding that prevent moving forward. I hope you will enjoy this story of how the bees bring these two together despite serious missteps. Enjoy a break in a warmer setting!

 Another heart wrenching yet heart-healing story from this gifted author…

Reviewed in the United States on December 18, 2021

I won’t detail the story which has essentially been covered in the blurb & prior reviews. What I must mention though is the push & pull between the main protagonists. They both had horrific experiences & whilst she had physical scars & grieved the loss of her family with a heavy dose of self-blame, his were buried much deeper & yet he revealed everything. Loved her almost human mutt & the detailed well-written story that had a lot of angst but underpinning all the drama, the harsh words. they were so sexually connected that they could have put the stars to shame. Highly recommended.

 A nice light read.

Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2021

Kate lost all of her family when there was a volcanic eruption on Whakaari Island. She is left suffering from Survivor Guilt and her only reason to stay alive is growing her father’s honey business. Then she meets Gianni who grew up on the island of Stromboli which has a live volcano. Can Gianni help Kate get over her loss?

 Excellent, you won’t put it down!

Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2021

A fast heartwarming read. You will find yourself longing for Kate and Gianni to heal and love, and heal together. I enjoyed their story and then enjoyed it even more when I learned that the idea derived from an actual natural disaster. I refuse to give spoilers so you’ll have to read it to find out! You won’t set it down…you’ll read straight through to the end!

 Very Emotional

Reviewed in the United States on December 18, 2021

A wonderful story about loss and healing. Both Kate and Gianni have sorrows from the past that prevents them from loving someone. Their emotions are brought to life in their journey towards healing and love and makes a wonderful read. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Really good

Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2021

Gianni And Kate’s romance ran very hot and they had so much chemistry and passion flying between them that even their animosity towards one another told me of their feelings. The question to me really became can they possibly reach a compromise that can enable Kate to keep what’s holding her together?

AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK AND EBOOK FROM AMAZON:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09NMTYMV4

2022 Schedule

A couple of final notes before I head back to work.  I’m pleased to share my 2022 publishing intentions.

NEW
Romance
Flight of Passion: Historical—May
Love in Venice—July

Craft
Word by Word: Some Thoughts on Writing, Love, and Life—February
Love Stories: How to Create, Publish and Market Your Books—September


Posted in: Mollie's Blog

New Christmas Romance: Love All of Me

Date: December 18th, 2021, Posted by mollie

 

CAN GIANNI AND KATE GET BEYOND THEIR PASTS TO A LOVING FUTURE?






Thank you to everyone who has so enthusiastically written to me and shared how they devoured Love All of Me in one sitting. And thank you for your glowing reviews.

This story was inspired by the tragic events of December 2019 when the volcano on Whakaari, commonly known as White Island, in New Zealand erupted. At the time of writing, the eruption took the lives of 16 people and injured 30, most critically with life-threatening burns.

I read about a young man (aged only nineteen) who not only was severely burned but awoke from his induced coma to learn that his entire family had died.

I wondered, what would it be like to be a survivor? What if you felt you had no right to live, let alone love again? What if you were wracked with survivor’s guilt?  What if your scars weren’t just on the outside but buried deep within? What and who would it take to heal such traumatic scars?

As with all my love stories, there is a happily ever after.

Love All of Me is out now! Despite the background tragedy, it’s a quick, fun and joyful read, set in the dual locations of The Bay of Islands, New Zealand and the volcanic island of Stromboli, off the coast of Sicily. Perfect for a much-needed escape.

I hope you love it.

Exclusive to Amazon in ebook and paperback. Audio coming next year!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09NMTYMV4








P.S. Thank you so much to my lovely team of advance readers for your honest and glowing reviews. So far 13 of the 21 reviews have gone live on Amazon. Special thanks to those of you who picked up a few pesky errors. Sometimes I’m so close to the bees I can’t see the honey. 
Thank you.

xxx

READER REVIEWS

Romance along with sorrow and angst

Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2021

Love All of Me was a quick-paced read with a lot of angst and sorrow leading up to the happily ever after. The characters of Kate and Gianni meet and sparks seem to fly. When they are thrown together again unexpectedly – he’s Santa and she’s his elf to give out gifts to poor children – things really ratchet up a notch. The story has a lot of depth to it due to their pasts.

The story had a lot of threads woven together to add layers to the story. There were vivid descriptions of the land, his home, the volcanoes which play a major role in the story, and the bees. I loved the imagery of the bees and Gianni’s thoughts on them were interesting. There were family and friends along with Kate’s dog, romance, loving and love. The story is set in New Zealand and Italy. There is nice closure with a happily ever after. I wished the story had gone on a little longer. I love the details on the cover and how the title was voiced throughout.

Ms. Mathews is an author whose books are filled with love, some heat and great locations. I look forward to reading more of her books.

Captivating Romance!!

Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2021

I absolutely loved this romance book set in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands. Gianni has fled to New Zealand to flee from his family and Kate is in New Zealand running her global Manuka honey empire. Kate and Gianni are realistic, strong, independent, sexy, and confident. Kate is irate when Gianni demands she sell her business to him. Kate and Gianni are struggling with personal issues and just want to escape their lives. They end up having sparks that are hotter than an inferno. Their journey with each other is sensuous and in one of the most tranquil places in the world, their happily ever after came when they were at their most vulnerable. I recommend reading this phenomenal romance that will set you on fire, this author is extraordinary and knows how to captivate her reader’s hearts and attention with passion and hot, steamy romance.

A light Romantic Read

Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2021Love All of Me is a heartwarming story of two of people who both have issues and is hiding behind them.

Kate Miller and her family went on a cruise to tour of Whakaari in the Bay of Islands in northern New Zealand which a volcano erupted and she became the sole survivor of her family. To keep her father’s memory alive, she rebuilt her father’s beekeeping business for Manuka honey. As a favor for a friend, she agrees to be Santa’s helper where she runs into a reclusive Italian-New Zealander named Gianni Romano. There is instant heat, but Kate fears it and tries to run from it but Gianni isn’t giving up.
Take a trip to the Bays of Islands in New Zealand through the eyes of Mollie Mathews to see how these two found love and happiness.

Love Conquers All… Even volcanoes! Romantic and good read.

Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2021

Love All Of Me is a great read. It has its share of angst and joy. Kate and Gianni have a lot of familial events that play into this story. Well-layered and the interaction, even when it comes to their need for a therapist, is really cool. Disaster and betrayal are balanced out with the realization that they have both dealt with the volcanic activity which leads to love. A quick and balanced read.
Received an ARC of this book and happy to voluntarily review it … Look forward to more.

5.0 out of 5 stars Can they get beyond their pasts to a loving future?

Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2021

I love this story from Mollie Matthews which gives another view into living by the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. Kate Miller is the sole survivor from her family of the volcanic eruption on Whakaari in the Bay of Islands in northern New Zealand. She has rebuilt her father’s beekeeping business for Manuka honey. She really runs into a reclusive Italian-New Zealander Gianni Romano. It seems there is instant heat, but the heat is more of distrust by Kate. Really, they both have issues they have been hiding that prevent moving forward. I hope you will enjoy this story of how the bees bring these two together despite serious missteps. Enjoy a break in a warmer setting!

 Another heart wrenching yet heart-healing story from this gifted author…

Reviewed in the United States on December 18, 2021

I won’t detail the story which has essentially been covered in the blurb & prior reviews. What I must mention though is the push & pull between the main protagonists. They both had horrific experiences & whilst she had physical scars & grieved the loss of her family with a heavy dose of self-blame, his were buried much deeper & yet he revealed everything. Loved her almost human mutt & the detailed well-written story that had a lot of angst but underpinning all the drama, the harsh words. they were so sexually connected that they could have put the stars to shame. Highly recommended.

 A nice light read.

Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2021

Kate lost all of her family when there was a volcanic eruption on Whakaari Island. She is left suffering from Survivor Guilt and her only reason to stay alive is growing her father’s honey business. Then she meets Gianni who grew up on the island of Stromboli which has a live volcano. Can Gianni help Kate get over her loss?

 Excellent, you won’t put it down!

Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2021

A fast heartwarming read. You will find yourself longing for Kate and Gianni to heal and love, and heal together. I enjoyed their story and then enjoyed it even more when I learned that the idea derived from an actual natural disaster. I refuse to give spoilers so you’ll have to read it to find out! You won’t set it down…you’ll read straight through to the end!

 Very Emotional

Reviewed in the United States on December 18, 2021

A wonderful story about loss and healing. Both Kate and Gianni have sorrows from the past that prevents them from loving someone. Their emotions are brought to life in their journey towards healing and love and makes a wonderful read. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Really good

Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2021

Gianni And Kate’s romance ran very hot and they had so much chemistry and passion flying between them that even their animosity towards one another told me of their feelings. The question to me really became can they possibly reach a compromise that can enable Kate to keep what’s holding her together?

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Love All of Me Sneakie, Peekie advance read

Date: November 6th, 2021, Posted by mollie

Hello, my lovelies,
I hope you are happy and well and looking forward to spending time with family or loved ones (even if those are your cherished pets) this Christmas.

As I shared in my last email My Christmas romance, Love All of Me, was inspired by events three years ago, a few weeks before Christmas.

On 9 December 2019 White Island, an active stratovolcano island in New Zealand’s northeastern Bay of Plenty region explosively erupted. The island was a popular tourist destination, known for its volcanic activity, and 47 people were on the island at the time.

Twenty-two people died, either in the explosion or from injuries sustained, including two whose bodies were never found and were later declared dead. A further 25 people suffered injuries, with the majority needing intensive care for severe burns.

It was such an awful, awful tragedy. Sometimes I read a story in a newspaper or hear about someone’s experience, and it sparks a story. And that’s how Love All of Me began.

Love all of Me also stars a super cute three-legged rescued pug dog named Zac. Zac was inspired by my cousin Lisa’s dog who only has three legs and gets around remarkably well. And also this super cute dog I saw when visiting my local spa when I lived in Wellington (where some of my other short romances are based)



AVAILABLE NOW! READ A SAMPLE CHAPTER…SCROLL TO END

New Zealand based romances you’ll enjoy

Short and Sassy



Twist of Fate

To enjoy your copy from Amazon: viewBook.at/TwistofFate

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores: https://books2read.com/u/mYrKwo

To enjoy your copy from Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/twist-of-fate-49

To enjoy your copy from Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1463453969?at=1010l9S2

AUDIOBOOK

To enjoy your audiobook from Audible:

US: https://www.amazon.com/Twist-Fate-Passion-Under-Stories/dp/B07YLCJDG8

UK: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YL9ZTLJ


AU: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YLBN32S

KOBO

To enjoy your audiobook from Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/twist-of-fate-50

Forever and Always

To enjoy your copy from Amazon: getbook.at/ForeverandAlways


To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores: https://books2read.com/u/mKEQv9

To enjoy your copy from Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/en/ebook/forever-and-always-27

AUDIOBOOK

AUDIBLE

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SXH56D8

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forever-Always-Passion-Under-Stories/dp/B0868GKJ36

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Forever-Always-Passion-Under-Stories/dp/B086814BF7

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/forever-and-always-29

Love Me As I Am

To enjoy your copy from Amazon: getbook.at/LoveMe


To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores: https://books2read.com/u/mVNMA5

To enjoy your copy from Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/love-me-as-i-am-6

AUDIOBOOK

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/audiobook/love-me-as-i-am-5

AUDIBLE

US: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Me-Am-Passion-Stories/dp/B08MT8JJWR

UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Love-Me-as-I-Am-Audiobook/B08MTKB9VF

AU: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Love-Me-as-I-Am-Audiobook/B08MT8HL83


Love Me Forever


To enjoy your copy from Amazon: viewBook.at/LoveMeForever

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores: https://books2read.com/u/4EkWqE

To enjoy your copy from Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/love-me-forever-25

AUDIOBOOK

To enjoy your audiobook from Audible:

US: https://www.audible.com/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QRGJV8

UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QQVRV4

AU: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QQW4N8

KOBO

To enjoy your audiobook from Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/love-me-forever-22



FULL-LENGTH LOVE STORIES



The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

To grab your copy from Amazon>> getBook.at/ScandalousMarriage

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores,>>https://books2read.com/u/mVNdn5

To grab your copy from Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-italian-billionaire-s-scandalous-marriage-1

AUDIOBOOK

The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

US: https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B08745WFMS

UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B087485CLB

AU: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B0873ZXX6G


KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-scandalous-marriage-the

The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here>> getBook.at/ChristmasBride

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3LpDa7

To enjoy your copy from Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride


AUDIOBOOK

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride-the

AUDIBLE

US: https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Audiobook/B08QW1TWYP

UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Audiobook/B08QW1ZW7L

AU: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Audiobook/B08QW3NL2Y

AUDIOBOOK

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride-the

Audible:

US: https://www.amazon.com.au/Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Gemstone/dp/B08QW42LJK

UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Audiobook/B08QW1ZW7L

AU: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Audiobook/B08QW3NL2Y



The audio version of this book is also available from all online bookstores and also libraries

Love All Of Me…

SHORT DESCRIPTION
 
An unexpected lover…
 
After surviving a horrific accident Kate Miller is plagued by guilt. Hiding both her mental and physical scars, she shuns love and escapes into work—finding meaning and purpose in running her boutique Manuka honey business.
 
Gianni Romano has ventured to New Zealand driven by memories he wants to escape— the crimes of his father. The Romano fortune and name has followed him wherever he goes. But that only makes the headstrong Italian more determined to strike out on his own. Now he’s on the cusp of achieving world acclaim.
 
Only one woman stands in his way—Kate Miller and her refusal to submit to his demands that she sells her business to him. Her passions are inflamed. How dare he think he can flaunt his considerable wealth and buy the only thing that gives her a reason to live?
 
The spark they have is hotter than a Sicilian sunset, but when emotions run deep and hearts are on the line will mixing business with pleasure be the bedrock for a lifelong love? Or will it detonate like an angry volcano?
 
COMING SOON! READ A SAMPLE CHAPTER…SCROLL TO END

SAMPLE CHAPTER: LOVE ALL OF ME

The rest of the day had a lightness and ease that she hadn’t felt for a long time. Zac had given a compact demonstration of the power of fun and play. The children had carried their presents away, filled with excited anticipation of opening their gifts on Christmas day. Maybe everything would be okay, Kate mused as she lifted Zac into the passenger seat and sat beside him.

“What kind of dog is that, anyway?” Gianni said.

“He’s not a dog he’s a person,” Kate said. “He’s Zac. But if you must know he’s part pug, part manic depressive.“ Kate said, frowning as caught Zac’s melancholic gaze. “Zac, could you please stop looking at me like that?”

Zac sighed and leaned closer to Gianni, gazing longingly at his lap.

“He likes to drive,” Kate said to Gianni.

Zac looked up at Gianni with love. Traitor, she thought.

“Could you do me a favour?” Kate thought. “Could you let him sit in your lap? Just for a minute.”

That will tease out what sort of guy you really are she thought. “He likes to stick his head out the car window. He loves the way the wind blows up his nose, only thing is it makes him fart.”

Gianni looked down at Zac. “Whatever he needs, mia cara.”

Kate stared at him was he for real? “I’m not joking. He really farts. Smelly, stinky ones.”

“I grew up on an island which belched sulphurous gas every day. Nothing phases me.”

“You lived on a volcano?” she whispered. Her lips pressed tightly together.

Si, Stromboli. Do you know it?”

Kate shook her head. No, and she didn’t want to either. Her hands curled into fists.

“It’s a volcanic island,” he began, oblivious to the terror drumming through her body.  “It is one of the few volcanoes in the world that is always active. There’s an explosion every few minutes, sometimes it lasts for hours. This has been going on without interruptions for the last 1300 years. It is very dangerous. Sometimes it blows up and lots of stones go firing up and plummeting down. It makes a big hole in the earth and burns everything around.”

Kate grimaced. “It sounds horrid.”

“It was all I knew. It wasn’t without its rewards.”

“Rewards? You’ve got to be joking.”

“People loved to visit my island. When I was young I was very popular with the foreigners who liked to flirt with danger,” his eyes glinted mischievously.

“I bet,” she said.

“I think It was because I was so cute.”

Cute wasn’t the word that sent fire blazing down her spine.

“If it erupts, it kills you,” Gianni said.

Kate bit back a confession. She wanted to tell him she knew all about death by a volcano but she was afraid all the tears she kept bottled inside would explode in boulder-weight grief.

“Why did you stay?”

“I felt safer there than on the mainland. At least I only had to deal with nature. Not the mafia-wars, men and their greed. There was none of it there. It was safe. We were a small tight community.”

Community, she mused. Like her beloved bees.

“We called the volcano, iddu In Italian this means ‘him’. Because he is like a friend, a person, someone loyal who is always there.”

“I would rather eat fire than make friends with a volcano,” Kate said, angrily.

Gianni turned to her, a quizzical line rippling across his brows. Kate knew what he wanted. He wanted to explore what made her so red-hot furious. But she said nothing. How could she trust him with her feelings? Her memories? Her pain?

She couldn’t even trust herself.

“As kids, we used to draw iddu. Some kids drew him with a heart over his crater. Others as a guardian watching over the school and the children playing in the courtyard.”

“Weren’t you terrified?” Her fists softened, she splayed her fingers on her thighs.

“No.  it was like thunder. Beautiful. Like you,” he said, turning to her.

“Flattery doesn’t suit you,” she said, unable to suppress the faint smile that fluttered to her lips. But then she remembered. Keep your distance. If Gianni saw all of you, the you that is hidden beneath your clothes, beauty is not the word that would ooze from his lips. Scarred. Disfigured. Damaged.

“I hate thunder,” she scowled. “And I hate volcanoes.”

“Maybe, mia cara,” he said, softly. “Maybe you would love this volcano.”

“Not a chance.”

He shrugged. “Perhaps,” he said, smiling, “In time you will go there.”

“You’re got no idea.”

“Try me,” he challenged.

She wrapped her arms around her chest and turned to look out the window.

“Everything shakes, but the normal explosions, the ones that happen all the time, we don’t hear them because iddu is so far away. Like you are now. Where have you gone, mia care?”

“I’m trying to picture how living on a volcano shapes a person. The constant dread. The never-ending fear that tomorrow you may never wake. The everlasting pain that loss brings.”

“I didn’t see it that way. In many ways I had an idyllic existence, especially for a child. We were surrounded by water. We would row in our boats. Fish. There were no cars or motorbikes. We had donkeys and skateboards for transport. We lived in simple white plaster houses. We had no iPad, no Internet, no stereos. We just played in nature. My childhood on Stromboli reminds me of New Zealand. It was an isolated and incredibly beautiful existence.”

“Why did you leave? What made you come here?”

He stiffened, his mood briefly darkening.“I came to visit Leonardo. I liked it here. I stayed.”

“Oh,” she said, not wanting to pry.” Everyone had secrets. He could keep his, just like she would keep hers. “I ran away from home when I was four,” Kate said. “I can’t remember why. I regret it now.” She felt a wave of longing wash through her belly. What she would give to turn back time.

“That’s where we are different. I don’t regret anything,” Gianni said. “The past is the past and the future is what one creates.“

“You make it sound easy.“

“It’s a choice,” Gianni said. “So what will yours be?“

“I wasn’t aware I needed to make one,” Kate said.

“About me.”

“You?”

His eyes, that intriguing shade of amber that sometimes looked like gold, glittered as he pulled the Range Rover to the side of the road and stopped the engine. Zac regarded them with smiling eyes, then turned, and padded to the back seat as Gianni leant toward her.

She missed hugs. She missed being held. She missed cuddles. Her soul ached with need. She closed her eyes, holding back tears of longing.

Her heart hammered, then stopped as his arms wrapped around her.  She felt an iron wall of terror slam between them. I can do this, she silently affirmed, willing the wall to yield. I can let myself be hugged.

His hug was honest, caring, real, she registered as she folded into his chest. She sighed with relief. His hug held no demand. His hug was not a grope. His hug asked nothing of her. Just that she allowed herself to be loved.

A wave of guilt surged through her. God, what was she thinking? “I have things to do,” Issy said tearing herself away. She wasn’t ready. Perhaps she never would be, she mused, ignoring the conflicting desire swimming through her body.

“Perhaps I can help?” His tone held no hint of her rejection.

What was it he had said, ‘I’m an acquirer. I always get what I want.’ Was it possible he wanted her? All of her? Despite the fact she was a cot-case. But why?

Well, maybe she should join the acquisition business too.  She had to move the beehives again. The fact was an extra pair of hands, particularly, attached to muscular arms as powerful as Gianni’s would shortcut the effort. She couldn’t allow herself to be loved, but she could allow herself to acquire his help.

“I enjoyed today,” he said. “I’d like to get to know you better.”

“I’d like that,” she said, ignoring the fear that pounded through her.

Spending more time together couldn’t hurt, could it?

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt. Please let me know if you enjoyed what you have read so far. I’d love to know, and I promise to reply.

This beautiful, heart-flaming Christmas romance is available now!

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Christmas is back!

Date: October 30th, 2021, Posted by mollie

Hi everyone,

I hope you are happy and well. It’s been such a long time since I sat down to write. It wasn’t until I read an interview linked from Danielle Steele’s blog that I figured out why. All this Covid news has been really discouraging and distracting and here in New Zealand, we are still isolated from the rest of the world. Our largest city, Auckland is still in lockdown and where I live we have snap lockdowns which happen with very little warning. Most of the population is vaccinated, but it still happens. So many people are super stressed and they can’t travel to be with their loved ones.

Here’s what Danielle Steele shared:

“During the pandemic confinement here in France, I found it infinitely harder to write. It was like dragging a dead rhinoceros around. I sat there some days and produced two pages in 18 hours. It was ghastly. I never realized how much I’m like a bird making a nest when I’m writing. I’ll throw in a little thing that I saw that day on the street or in a restaurant, a sunset emerging, a child being silly. But we weren’t supposed to leave our houses, except to walk a dog. I was alone in my apartment for 77 days. There was no external input for the machine.”

Like Danielle, by nature, I am an anxious person. I’ve found that pouring my soul into painting since the pandemic hit has been helpful, which is why I haven’t been doing much writing. But as Christmas comes closer, I really want to finish Love All of Me, the Christmas themed romance I started two years ago. I really want you to enjoy it. I know you will laugh and cry. And I think you will love my Santa, the Italian billionaire, Gianni Romano. And I love my heroine, Kate Miller. She’s a beekeeper with a beautiful heart, but like so many of us who have lost loved ones through tragedy, she is in a lot of pain. She’s afraid of loving anyone again.

A lot of my inspiration comes from my travels or events that happen. Perhaps I’ll have to do a pandemic romance. But, to be honest, like all of us, I just wish it would end. My Christmas romance, Love All of Me, was inspired by events three years ago, a few weeks before Christmas.

On 9 December 2019 White Island, an active stratovolcano island in New Zealand’s northeastern Bay of Plenty region explosively erupted. The island was a popular tourist destination, known for its volcanic activity, and 47 people were on the island at the time.

Twenty-two people died, either in the explosion or from injuries sustained, including two whose bodies were never found and were later declared dead. A further 25 people suffered injuries, with the majority needing intensive care for severe burns.

It was such an awful, awful tragedy. Sometimes I read a story in a newspaper or hear about someone’s experience, and it sparks a story. And that’s how Love All of Me began.

I read about a young man (aged only nineteen) who not only was severely burned but awoke from his induced coma to learn that his entire family had died.

I wondered, what would it be like to be a survivor? What if you felt you had no right to live, let alone love again? What if you were wracked with survivor’s guilt?  What if your scars weren’t just on the outside but buried deep within?

What and who would it take to heal such traumatic scars?

The story was also inspired by my father, G.W. Gaisford who discovered a miraculous way to help heal deep burns using an emulsion created in part from bees honey. I’m proud to say that my father cured so many people who would otherwise have been left with disfiguring scars.

I wondered, what if my heroine wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and as a result founded a honey empire. 

Where I live, in the Bay of Islands, the Manuka flower attracts many bees and a great many successful companies have been founded here. It astounds me how clever, and vital to life, bees are.

I wrote my first draft in the notes section of my iPhone as news of the fatal volcanic eruption on White Island unfolded.

Love All of Me is a clean romance, brimming with the promise of a happily ever after. Set in The Bay of Islands, New Zealand—one of the most beautiful, unspoiled, sensuous places in the world.

AVAILABLE SOON!

I’m sending the book out to my Beta readers in a few days. Hurray! In the meantime, I thought you might like to see one of the ‘paintings’ I’ve been making. It’s made from beeswax, so perfect for this story:)

Resilience Rising, Beeswax encaustic, SOLD

P.S. I hope you enjoy meeting Issy Riley again, The art therapist you met in Married by Christmas or The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride.

If you’d like to learn more about these characters, gain inside tips into the writing process, and be the first to know when my new book is released, subscribe to my newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/cigEsH. Please email me and I’ll be in touch personally—I promise…mollie@molliemathews.com.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

You may also like:

BEE Inspired…

Danielle Steele and the joy of working on many projects at the same time

The Italian Billionaires Christmas Bride

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Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Happy Mother’s Day: We’re Glad Their Mums Created Our Loveable Heroines

Date: May 7th, 2021, Posted by mollie

Dear friends,

Where ever you are in the world, whether you’re a mum or not, it’s fab to celebrate our mothers. So many of my loveable heroines have been created because of their strong mothers. Women create, nurture and give birth to life. But not all mums know how to love their daughters. Sometimes their daughters don’t meet their mum’s expectations. Or their mums have had a difficult life themselves. That doesn’t make their mums inherently bad. A true heroine knows how to spin gold from straw and sparkle through the darkness. That’s what makes them so loveable.

As I share in my children’s book, Why Doesn’t Mummy Love Me?

As a child therapist, I had the privilege of hearing from boys and girls, young and old, who told me that their mummies didn’t love them as they should. 

“If I was my mother, I wouldn’t drink,” one 8-year-old said. His father was in prison and his mother was at the pub. Luckily he had an excellent GRAND-mummy who was raising him and bringing him to therapy to help with his anger issues.

“My mother wanted custody of my sister, but she didn’t come for me. She doesn’t want me. She doesn’t love me. I’m no good,” a 12-year-old boy referred, also for anger issues, told me.  

“I want to kill myself,” a 10-year-old sobbed. “My mother is always yelling at me. The more I try to do to make her happy, the more she gives me and then she shouts when I can’t do it all. She wouldn’t care if I died.”

Look into their mother’s history, as I helped these children do, and as I have done to heal my own wounds, and they discover that their mothers are walking wounded. Their mummies (and daddies) rather than learn from their childhoods, victimise all, or some of their children.

One woman, now in her mid-fifties, was the daughter of a mother raised by an alcoholic. “I don’t remember my mother ever being sober,” her mother once confided in her. “And my father flew into violent rages.”

A child of divorced parents once said to her mother, “If you don’t love my dad that means you don’t love half of me.”

I can see the logic, but also the mistaken belief – because her mother had raised her on her own and had given her more love than 20 fathers ever could.

Reflecting now I wonder if a mother doesn’t or can’t love her daughter perhaps there is 50 per cent or more about herself that she doesn’t love either. Perhaps because of the damage inflicted by her mummy (or daddy) too.

Only love loves. It’s often a hard lesson to learn. So many unloved children suffer from mental illnesses, which if left unexamined extends into adulthood

“I was four or five I ran away from home. It’s my earliest memory of wanting to find someone to love me,” a client shared with me.

“I think my mother-story started at birth. I was the first-born— a girl. Not the son my parents wanted. But perhaps the daughter upon whom my father doted. They quickly tried again. My brother, my mother’s favourite, arrived with lungs that never stopped yelling, 11 months after I was born.”

“Don’t show off,” her mother scolded my client, then a child, when she would come home from school with A’s. “Don’t do so well, you know your brother finds school hard.” 

She told me that both her siblings later excelled commercially.

“Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Don’t be that. Don’t wear that. Don’t say that. Whack! Don’t be left-handed,” she was told with smack and smack.

“Don’t! Don’t. I soon lost myself. I became a mummy pleaser—or, rather, I tried. Bending over to try to be loved, keeping quiet when I wanted to cry or share something that made me happy. I pursued careers in accounting and banking to make my parents happy—at the cost of my own mental and emotional health.”

I can assure you people-pleasing is not a winner’s strategy. If someone has taken a dislike to you, sometimes, like a person who hates eating fish, their distaste never changes. 

Nor should you.

If you can’t be loved by your mother unconditionally then love yourself unconditionally. Warts, pimples, freckles, flaws and extraordinary talents and all.  Because you are a star. We all are. Some stars live in dark galaxies, and others need to live in the light to shine brightly.

Promise me you won’t play small to make others feel tall. Be greater today than the story of your past. 

Everyone’s mean-mother story is unique. As one of my clients shared, “My issues with my Mum were a bit different.   She definitely had a victim mentality and while she would say she was proud of me and my brother with our achievements, there was always a little dig about how much luckier we were than she was.   She ‘took umbrage’ (her words) to everything and always seemed to turn an innocuous comment into a personal attack on her.   Threatened suicide several times which meant every time I had a fight with her, I had to ring one of her friends afterwards to check in on her to make sure she hadn’t done anything stupid.   I think when Dad left (when I was 15), she defined herself as a divorced woman and never recovered.”    

Of course, it’s not just mums that can be mean, or manipulative. There’s plenty of mean and toxic dads out there.  If you think you were or are lucky to have your mum or dad, I promise you one day you’ll look back and you’ll understand why you had your parents.

Like my book coaching client Heather who channelled her lack of love into teaching and later became a children’s self-empowerment author.

Similarly, author and creator of Hay House books, Louise Hay who was sexually and emotionally abused as a child, transformed her wounds into wisdom. Hay’s success lay in highlighting the power of our words to both heal and harm. 

David Chase, the creator of The Sopranos, based Livia heavily on his own mother, Norma Chase. He described her as being paranoid, sharp-tongued, abusive, and disregarding her son’s career achievements. Many of Livia’s memorable lines, such as “Poor you” (something my mother said whenever I tried to tell her how I felt) are what Norma Chase would say. Rather than be victimised he spent time in psychotherapy and channelled his experiences of growing up with a narcissistic mother into the gangster Tony Sopranos, mother.

Or Kiwi songbird, Kiri Te Kanawa, who said, “I learned early on to be self-reliant.”

Similarly, actress Drew Barrymore divorced both parents when she was fifteen.

In short, it’s easy to imagine who you may have become had your mother been kinder, nicer, sweeter. 

But what if the real tragedy is, who would you not have become had life treated you differently? What if your life unfolded exactly as it should? What if there was a divine plan? There’s magic in that!

“Go laugh in the places you cried. Change the narrative. Everything aligns.

I hope you enjoy this collection of some of my favourite love stories and the heroines their not always so loving mums created.


Flight Of Passion

Devastatingly handsome Oliver Hart is used to getting what he wants. Single, thirty-five, and a committed bachelor he plays by his own rules. On a personal quest to catch a rare, elusive and very valuable butterfly he’s unwillingly distracted by former flame Ruby Diaz — a woman who callously abandoned him eight years earlier. When he decides he wants to reclaim the beauty as his own — in his mind, it’s as good as done.

But Ruby’s not his for the taking. Promised to the son of a wealthy landowner she refuses to succumb to his charms. On a quest to save her family land Ruby knows she must put duty first and silence the passionate stirrings of her heart. But Oliver doesn’t make things easy for her. He’s not taking no for an answer.

Risking everything to help the woman he loves to gain her freedom, Oliver entangles himself in an emotional net that alters his life forever. As he sacrifices his own selfish pursuit to help Ruby he realizes that you may be able to own something but you can never own someone – especially the women you love.

Sharing a wee excerpt and insights behind Flight of Passion on my YouTube channel.

PRAISE FOR FLIGHT OF PASSION

tantalizes your senses

This is a well-written book that tantalizes your senses. Will Oliver be able to convince Ruby that she loves him enough to disobey her family? Can they find each other when all seems lost? An excellent book that I highly recommend. It will have you laughing with joy and crying with sadness.

~ Marie Fraser

a beautifully scripted story

Mollie Mathews has written a beautifully scripted story of two people wildly attracted to each other but too constrained by family expectations to allow themselves to commit. When they meet again after eight years can they move beyond old patterns of behavior or are they doomed to always want, but never have?

~ Jane Whitmeyer

a touching and heart-warming book

“This book is a carefully crafted, truly original story. Mollie’s wonderfully descriptive narrative paints a picture in which it is easy to lose oneself—I really felt like I had been to Mexico by the time I had finished. Her butterfly theme echoes throughout the book both literally and figuratively. The main characters, Oliver and Ruby, are each conflicted in their own ways. Despite facing challenges, both ultimately find the strength to work through their difficulties to emerge better people, and most importantly, triumph over adversity together. A touching and heart-warming book, well worth a read.”

~ Cathy Rioran

Buy this book through the links below…

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>getBook.at/FlightofPassion

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://www.books2read.com/u/bpp0LJ

To grab your copy from kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/flight-of-passion-3

AUDIBLE

US

https://www.audible.com/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874YCXVL

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874X8TGX

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874Y3V2T

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/flight-of-passion-4

Claimed by The Sheikh

Buy this book through the links below…

To enjoy your copy from Amazon: getbook.at/ClaimedByTheSheikh

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores:

https://books2read.com/u/brVjdZ

To enjoy your copy from Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-8


AUDIOBOOK

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-9

AUDIBLE 

US

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B08ZB1KSM3

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Claimed-by-the-Sheikh-Audiobook/B08Z9L7D9G

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Claimed-by-the-Sheikh-Audiobook/B08ZB8H17F

Sex With Strangers

In love, the most dangerous enemy is saucy secrets

44-year-old Ruby Evans doesn’t want to be a ‘leftover girl.’ But finding a ‘forever’ man is proving impossible.

Suddenly single after 20 years of marriage, her husband is the only man she has ever slept with. But the one bit of security she always thought she’d hold onto for the rest of her life is brutally ripped from her.

Humiliatingly and cruelly ex-ed when her husband trades her for a younger model, Chanel Zest, a long-time friend and motivational life coach, comes to her rescue. Together they embark on a quest to reclaim and rebuild Ruby’s shattered life and begin the grueling process of dating again.

Once in a pink moon, Ruby has to play dirty…

If you loved Brigette Jones’s Diary and enjoy romantic comedy, you’ll love Sex With Strangers.

Full of quirky humor and the promise of a happily ever after.

Sex with Strangers is a clean romantic comedy with a few spicy bits.


PRAISE FOR SEX WITH STRANGERS

“I loved the humor”

“I absolutely enjoyed this story. I loved the storyline, I loved the characters, I loved the humor. I couldn’t put it down. The descriptions were perfect. I loved everything about this book especially the humor. It was funny, sad at times, and I loved it.”

~ Patricia Quinn

“Cute and fun to read”

“It was cute and fun to read. I really enjoyed the story because I liked it was charming and cute, a little humorous. I thought this story was a great kept my interest, had to finish the story I would recommend it to friends and family.”

~ Carol G.

“A playful and true view of a recently divorced woman”

“A playful and true view of a recently divorced woman. Every woman who has gone through a divorce after more than one-decade long marriage identifies with this story. The insecurities about going out single again, the difficulties in relating to previous friends as most of them are couples (nobody likes to be the third wheel), the feeling that you are viewed as a competitor (by a previous friend) and the list goes on. Not everyone has a supporting net as Ruby – the main character – does and even though her life coach has quite a few shortcomings about relating to people and finding love she does help Ruby to get on with her life. There are quite a few steamy parts but most of the book is written with a lot of humor and the characters are easy to get fond of. It’s a true picture of modern newly divorced women and it was a fun read!”
 
~ Claudete Takahashi

Buy this book through the links below…

To enjoy on Amazon: getbook.at/SexWithStrangers

To enjoy on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores: https://books2read.com/u/4EkM6z

To enjoy on Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/sex-with-strangers-13

Audio

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/sex-with-strangers-14

Audible

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTKHJ61

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTSSB6L

 Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTKDD8R

The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

Would you protect a murderer to save your family? Three women. Three lives. And the lies that bind them. Why is everyone afraid of the truth?

When a lonely young American woman inherits a painting she discovers her whole life was a lie. Desperate for the truth, she goes in search of her true identity. The painting is her only clue. But everyone is determined to keep its secret past repressed, including Vitaliano Rossi, the Italian gold tycoon, unnaturally suspicious of her motives, who wants the painting vanquished. How can she discover who she really is and convince him that his love means more to her than gold?

Praise for The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

“great conflict”

“I loved the premise that she needs the hero to unlock the secrets to explain her past—it’s great conflict.”

“hunt for a dad”

“The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage,” by Mollie Matthews was an interesting read, to say the least. Ms. Matthews brings two characters to life in this enchanting tale of personalities that clash through much of the book. Determination not to give up shows the strength of these characters. This is a well-written novel. The author has done a wonderful job. I highly recommend this book and I think you will find it a good read.

“a delightful, suspenseful read”

“When Alexandra receives a lawyer’s letter informing her that the father she has no knowledge of, has left her an inheritance, including a very special and priceless painting, her world is thrown into disarray. Alex leaves the comfort of her home in New York to investigate her past in New Zealand where she is confronted by the unusual painting she names Lost Love. The painting stirs up more questions than answers and the simple investigation into the life of her father turns into a multidimensional mystery. It also brings an angry Vitaliano Rossi across her path and before she knows it, her life is intricately bound with his. In a relationship where both Alex and Vitali mistrust one another, theirs is a battle of wits as Vitali wants the painting every bit as much as Alex does, but neither will divulge the reasons as to why they do. The attraction between Vitali and Alex is electric and although the book is relatively clean, there is enough passion between them to boil water. As truths emerge and they come to an understanding of each other’s motives, the love that has been simmering between them comes out in full force. I loved both Vitali and Alex and even though Vitali was arrogant and seemed to be self-serving, he is nevertheless an exciting hero, whilst Alex is the kind of woman we can all identify with. This is an excellent and somewhat suspenseful read.”

Buy this book through the links below…

To grab your copy from Amazon>> getBook.at/ScandalousMarriage

To grab your copy from Ibooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores,>>https://books2read.com/u/mVNdn5

To grab your copy from Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-italian-billionaire-s-scandalous-marriage-1

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AUDIOBOOK

The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

US

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B08745WFMS

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B087485CLB

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B0873ZXX6G

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-scandalous-marriage-the

The audio version of this book is also available from all online bookstores and also libraries

Enjoy other full-length contemporary romances by Mollie Mathews:

The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

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The audio version of these books are also available from all online bookstores and also libraries

Have a happy Mother’s Day

p.s.

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Follow me on Instagram and be in the draw to win a signed copy of Claimed By The Sheikh…yes.. postage included anywhere in the world!

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Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Danielle Steele and the joy of working on many projects at the same time

Date: April 18th, 2021, Posted by mollie

Dear friends,

Hasn’t it been a beastly time? All this bad news and lockins, lockouts and worrying about our health and our loved ones can drive us insane. I can relate to Danielle Steele who says she works on many projects at the same time to stay happy.

You can read one of many articles where she shares how she manages to be so prolific, “Danielle Steel On Raising 9 Kids, Writing 174 Books, “Authoritarian” Ex-Husbands, here>>.  

I especially loved her comments, “I write a lot of books. Sometimes I have an interview and it’s about a book I wrote ten months ago and I think, ‘Oh my god! What’s the story?’”

She is so prolific she is always jumping into the next book even while finishing her previous book. But she does confess being prolific does bring with it the extra work—and the need to sacrifice sleep. But writing and uplifting others via her stories makes her happy.

“It’s a vicious cycle. On the one hand, I work too much now. By the end of the day, I’m always writing. I stay up very late at night. Until three, sometimes four. I sleep about four hours a night, on average. But if I don’t work, then I’m sad. So I work more. I don’t have anything else in my life. It keeps me happy and busy. I’m not bored. I’m not depressed. It’s not such a great thing to work all the time. It’s profitable, but still. The one thing I don’t do well is sitting around relaxing.”

So rather than lose heart about all my loose threads my focus is on completing shorter books and staying busy. I don’t do sitting around and relaxing well either. And sometimes, because I have so many books on the go I wake in the night to write some more. Unlike Danielle, I do have a partner, and I love to spend time with him. So joining my nocturnal friends, the flightless Kiwis, I often wake up around 3am and spend an hour or two writing. I love the sacred silence.

One of my shorter books is my novella “Love Me As I Am” – Book four in the Seven Sister’s series.

This story was sparked by a true event—the tragic murder of a mother and one of her daughters in a small town near where I live. I wondered how would her death affect the children she left behind. How would it affect their lives? What if something good could come from this tragedy?

So I began to write a love story. For love is the only antidote to hate. Forgiveness, the only path to healing. And purpose the gift that can come from tragedy.

As with all of my books, some of the characters and events in the story were also inspired by true events in my own life. Including, when my paternal grandmother was channelled by a psychic. She asked my disbelieving and sceptical self, “Your grandmother says you don’t believe she is here. But she is holding out a flower, and she wants to know, she is present. She is asking, “Do you remember the jasmine flowers growing over the house?”

I didn’t.

But when I drove home I called into Araby Lodge, where my grandmother used to live and where until her death, she bred and trained her beloved horses. At the time my father lived in her house. I asked him, “What is that vine growing over the house?”

I didn’t want to tell him anything about what the psychic had said because I was still skeptical and I didn’t want to influence the answer. My father said, “Oh, that old jasmine vine? That’s been there forever.”

My heart nearly leaped out of my chest. It was at that point that I began to believe in spiritual and psychic phenomena, and in time, many years later, to awaken my own gifts.

I named the story, Love Me As I Am, for isn’t that the deepest love of all. To love and be loved unconditionally—weirdness, flaws, fears, insecurities, our beautiful uniqueness…and so much more.   These introductory novellas are currently published under the series: PASSION DOWN UNDER SASSY SHORT STORIES:

Book One: TWIST OF FATE
viewBook.at/TwistofFate

Twist of Fate Margaret Review Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 5.17.42 PM

Book Two: LOVE ME FOREVER
viewBook.at/LoveMeForever

Love me Forever romance with a dream-like quality Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 4.32.39 PM

Book Three: FOREVER AND ALWAYS

getbook.at/ForeverandAlways

Book 5: The Lightkeeper’s Lover

5

getbook.at/LightkeepersLover

Book 6: Finding A Husband

Finding a Husband (Passion Down Under Sassy Short Stories Book 6) by [Mollie Mathews]

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here>>

Claimed By the Shiekh. To enjoy your copy from Amazon: getbook.at/ClaimedByTheSheikh

I adore these stories and really want to do them justice, as I do all my stories.

If you’re new to my love stories and clean romance you may enjoy, Flight of Passion—a rapturous tale of love and obsession. Available in ebook and paperback from all excellent retailers, including Amazon here: getBook.at/FlightofPassion.

Sign up for my mailing list and get a free preview of Flight of Passion—https://www.instafreebie.com/free/qABqt

Flight-of-Passion-ebook-and-print

ENJOY!

P.S. Would you enjoy a fun and frisky 30 minute read? Download TWIST OF FATE for free here—https://dl.bookfunnel.com/k12p1ul2rn. It’s a short story set in my former hometown, Wellington. New Zealand. 5-star reviews!

If you love it, or any of my stories, would you consider leaving a review on Amazon and Goodreads? 

Thank you!

signature

Did you know you can my most popular and successful books on audio?

Check out the following written and narrated by me.

 I love reading and narrating my own stories. I hope my New Zealand accent is understandable! 


Flight of Passion

US

https://www.audible.com/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874YCXVL

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874X8TGX

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874Y3V2T

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/flight-of-passion-4

Sex With Strangers

Audible

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTKHJ61

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTSSB6L

 Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTKDD8R

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/sex-with-strangers-14

Love Me Forever

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QRGJV8

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QQVRV4

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QQW4N8

Twist of Fate

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YL93YYV

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YLBN32S

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YL9ZTLJ

The Lightkeepers Lover

 

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9PX3NY

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9Q1Q89

 Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9QRWBV

Forever and Always 

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Forever-and-Always-Audiobook/B0868GTBNC

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Forever-and-Always-Audiobook/B0868H5XKV

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Forever-and-Always-Audiobook/B0868GM443

Love Me As I Am

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/love-me-as-i-am-5

AUDIBLE

US

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Me-Am-Passion-Stories/dp/B08MT8JJWR

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Love-Me-as-I-Am-Audiobook/B08MTKB9VF

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Love-Me-as-I-Am-Audiobook/B08MT8HL83

Finding A Husband

Kobo
https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/finding-a-husband-3


AUDIBLE

US: https://www.audible.com/pd/B08H5TTP1S

UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Finding-a-Husband-Audiobook/B08H5ZPLW6

AU: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Finding-a-Husband-Audiobook/B08H5WTY6M?qid=1599866634

Claimed by the Sheikh

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-9

AUDIOBOOK

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-9

AUDIBLE

US

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B08ZB1KSM3

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Claimed-by-the-Sheikh-Audiobook/B08Z9L7D9G

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Claimed-by-the-Sheikh-Audiobook/B08ZB8H17F

The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

AUDIOBOOK

AUDIBLE

US

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Audiobook/B08QW1TWYP

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Audiobook/B08QW1ZW7L

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Christmas-Bride-Audiobook/B08QW3NL2Y

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride-the

In less than 15 minutes you could be listening your way to love!

Audio versions of these books and the following are also available from all online bookstores and also libraries (Audible is experiencing long delays in publishing):

DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

You may also like:

Why I write romance

How Trauma Can Fuel Your Life Purpose

How extraordinary love can change our lives

To enjoy more posts and books like this please follow this blog and BookBub

Here are some other ways to stay in touch:

Chat with me on  Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/molliemathewsnz

Follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Molliemathewsnz

Be inspired on Pinterest – https://nz.pinterest.com/molliemathews and Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/molliemathewsauthor

Watch me on Youtube – MolliemathewsYouTube

Posted in: Audiobooks, Mollie's Blog

Spring Into Spring and Escape to an Exotic Location

Date: March 22nd, 2021, Posted by mollie

Dear friends,

Have you read Claimed by the Sheikh? It’s one of my favourite full-length romances with so many important themes—love, forgiveness, second chances and embracing peoples of differing beliefs. Goodness knows the world needs more tolerance and acceptance—and spades more love.

I am so excited to confirm Claimed by the Sheikh is now (FINALLY) available from Audible—read and narrated by me (complete with Kiwi accent!)

Pop over and listen to an excerpt 🙂 Spring into spring (or autumn for my readers on the other side of the globe) with a beautiful, soulful, love story

US

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B08ZB1KSM3


UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Claimed-by-the-Sheikh-Audiobook/B08Z9L7D9G

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Claimed-by-the-Sheikh-Audiobook/B08ZB8H17F



Thank you so much to those of you who have left reviews. 


To enjoy your copy in audio, ebook, paperback and hardback from Amazon: getbook.at/ClaimedByTheSheikh

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores:

https://books2read.com/u/brVjdZ

To enjoy your copy from Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-8


AUDIOBOOK

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-9

Audible

US

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B08ZB1KSM3


UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Claimed-by-the-Sheikh-Audiobook/B08Z9L7D9G

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Claimed-by-the-Sheikh-Audiobook/B08ZB8H17F

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



Praise for Book One in The Sheikhs Untamed Brides series

“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’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.”
~ Terry

Have you left your review?


If you have read and enjoyed this book, it would help me so much if you would leave a review.


To leave your review on Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/ClaimedByTheSheikh

To leave your review on Goodreads, click here>>https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48403002-claimed-by-the-sheikh

To follow me and leave your review on Bookbub, click here>>https://www.bookbub.com/books/claimed-by-the-sheikh-the-sheikhs-untamed-brides-book-1-by-mollie-mathews



P.S.  Did you know that I am a painter and a writer? Would you love to explore a new hobby or resurrect one you’ve neglected? For those ready to explore the playful freedom of Abstract Art. Play Dates is my 6-week online course that I’ve created just for you! Join here>>

Or you may enjoy my new #1 bestselling release: 
Play Dates: Insights and Inspiration to Spark and Sustain Your Creativity—exclusive to Amazon

Featured reader of the month

Terry! I’m featuring you again because your review still brings joy to my heart. 

“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.


DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

You may also like:

Why I write romance

How Trauma Can Fuel Your Life Purpose

How extraordinary love can change our lives

To enjoy more posts and books like this please follow this blog and BookBub

Here are some other ways to stay in touch:

Chat with me on  Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/molliemathewsnz

Follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Molliemathewsnz

Be inspired on Pinterest – https://nz.pinterest.com/molliemathews

and Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/molliemathewsauthor

Watch me on Youtube – MolliemathewsYouTube

Posted in: Audiobooks, Mollie's Blog

A glimpse into my world…

Date: January 22nd, 2021, Posted by mollie



Hi everyone, I hope you are well. I’m hoping (and praying) all this COVID awfulness will be behind us all soon. It’s such a worrying time.

Perhaps, like me, you feel in need of a feel-good uplift. What better than a New Zealand Romance.


Have you read the newest New Zealand Romance release in my Passion Down Under series, Forever and Always? Here’s the blurb:



Will Lily and Leonardo end up giving their hearts to the wrong person?

Still reeling following her malicious sacking, family therapist Lily Rose is feeling rejected and 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. Sparks heat into a collision of powerful forces that can’t be dampened.

Spontaneous love on the beach sends deep passions and emotional connection—more heartfelt than either has ever known—steaming to the surface.

When Leonardo’s past comes careering into his future—will both Lily and Lorenzo end up giving their hearts to the wrong person?

Forever and Always is a short story, clean romance, full of quirky humour and the promise of a happily ever after. And it’s a New Zealand Romance!


Forever and Always is part of Mollie Mathew’s bestselling series, Passion Down Under Sassy Short Stories It can easily be read as a stand-alone story, but you’ll love reading the other books, too.

Reader Reviews

“Lily’s Day from Hell could not get worse after she loses her job and doesn’t know how she will pay her rent. She is forced to walk away from the children she was counseling as a therapist. But it does get worse when she runs into a Lamborghini driven by a billionaire. How can she possibly pay for the damages now? And yet sometimes your worst day turns into your best day when fate hands you a handsome Italian man and a new job.”

“The worst day of her life becomes even worse. Lily not only loses her job but ends up running into a Lamborghini and she has no hope for paying off the damage. Leonardo, on the other hand, has had his fill of selfish women, but being rear-ended by the therapist that had previously attracted his attention, makes him stop a moment and consider ways in which to bring her into his orbit. This sweet and short romance touches the heart and makes one smile.”

“I enjoyed Forever and Always—a story about two wounded people that come together in a crash. I very much enjoy Mollie Mathews writing. When she writes I feel like I’m right there because of the colorful descriptions that she paints.”

BONUS FREE EXTRAS!

Enjoy the first three chapters from my most popular books:

The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride—animosity and undeniable attraction, make the tension soar

Flight of Passion—a rapturous tale of love and obsession

And Claimed by The Sheikh—discover the secret the world was never meant to know.

To purchase your copy on Amazon ➜click here
To purchase your copy on Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and other online stores click here

Also available, along with many of my other romances as audiobooks.

AUDIOBOOK

AUDIBLE

US

UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forever-Always-Passion-Under-Stories/dp/B0868GKJ36

AU

https://www.amazon.com.au/Forever-Always-Passion-Under-Stories/dp/B086814BF7

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/forever-and-always-29

Stay well, my friends.



P.S.

Forever and Always is set in The Bay of Islands, New Zealand—my home—one of the most beautiful, unspoiled, sensuous places in the world. This month we were lucky enough to be featured in New Zealand House and Garden…click the following link>>https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/nz-house-garden/300186752/sea-views-warmth-nature-and-great-neighbours–what-more-could-you-want

Posted in: Writer's Life

Tags:

Thank you for being you

Date: November 26th, 2020, Posted by mollie


Dear friends,

Happy Thanks Giving. I love that my American readers celebrate all the things they are thankful for. We don’t do this in New Zealand—but we definitely should! There is one regular practice I do every day, though. MAGIC mornings. Meditation. Affirmation. Goals. Inspiration. Co-creation.

Meditation.
A daily meditation practice keeps me sane and connected to Spirit. I first learned Transcendental Meditation over 22 years ago on the 28th of February 1998. I was 33 and my daughter was 7. Following a traumatic relationship bust-up, I credit meditation with saving my life, boosting my resilience and creating joy. I love my times of stillness.


Affirmation. Today, for example, I was affirming all the wonderful experiences I have had over the years. Things like travelling to Puglia and meeting the most wonderful bookseller—a woman in her 80s who told me, “I don’t need a husband. I have a love affair with my books.” She took the photo of me (above left) in her bookstore in Bari.

Goals. I love to set long-term and short-term goals. Some I achieve on time, others I allow for divine timing. Which is why I have pushed back my release of Love All of Me. The timing is just not right for me.

I know I will get to it eventually. My book Sex With Strangers began many moons ago at a romance writer’s retreat, facilitated by Mills and Boon authors Robyn Donald and Daphne Clair. But for years it remained unfinished. The feedback from these wonderful passionate and experienced writers, and others on the writer’s retreat, was so encouraging.

“I love it!” 

“We thoroughly enjoyed it”

“You’ve got the beginnings of a really good, hip, fun book” 

“The chapter heads are just lovely” 

“It was a riot. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great fun!” 

“I can see the movie now.” 

“When are you going to finish it?”


I decided it was time for it to air! It was finally published 10 years later!

Many of the events are inspired by true stories—both mine and others’ experiences. I’ve encountered so many people over the years who are looking for love again, and just don’t know how or where to start. 

I hope you giggle and laugh from deep in your belly as you read this story. Like I did, remembering and rewriting some of these scenes (and flashing back to events that were true.) 

To enjoy on Amazon: getbook.at/SexWithStrangers

To enjoy on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores: https://books2read.com/u/4EkM6z

To enjoy on Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/sex-with-strangers-13

Audio

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/sex-with-strangers-14

Audible

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTKHJ61

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTSSB6L

 Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTKDD8R



Inspiration? I’m inspired (in spirit) with so many things—even tragedies. I like to imagine how something terrible could lead to something good, something magical, something to heal the sadness.The photo on the right is the image I am using on the story about the White Island Volcano disaster that occurred in New Zealand last Christmas, Love All Of Me. Learn more about the inspiration behind the story, including my love of bees, on my blog 

BEE Inspired…

https://wordpress.com/post/molliemathews.wordpress.com/1413







Co-Creation? I have always loved what Mother Theresa once said, “We are all pens in the hands of a writing God sending love letters to the world.” My books are always co-created with God.

As you know, reading (and writing) romance is the ultimate feel-good distraction. My ideas start with a character or an event, either a theme that intrigues me or sometimes a news event that captures me. The idea for The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride 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. Add to this, a childhood of abandonment and never being hugged! What sort of women could possibly thaw his hardened heart? Find out in The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride.

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here>> http://getBook.at/ChristmasBride

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3LpDa7

To enjoy your copy from Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride

AUDIOBOOK

KOBO (and libraries)

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride-the


If you have read and enjoyed this book, it would help me so much if I could have at least another six reviews by the end of the day. Can you help?


HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKS GIVING




P.S. To Celebrate Thanks Giving, please enjoy all these FREE stories

Largest All Genre Clean Giveaway Ever
https://storyoriginapp.com/to/egrXYiy

Looking for a husband? Grab my fun short romance, Finding a Husband, and enjoy other full-length romances by other talented authors in this second FREE GIVE AWAY>>https://storyoriginapp.com/to/qzKkkRg

And yet another, https://storyoriginapp.com/to/6NxpjXI

I am so grateful to all the authors who are sharing their beautiful stories, FOR FREE.



To enjoy more posts and books like this please follow my blog and BookBub

Here are some other ways to stay in touch:

Chat with me on  Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/molliemathewsnz

Follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Molliemathewsnz

Be inspired on Pinterest – https://nz.pinterest.com/molliemathews, and Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/molliemathewsauthor

Watch me on Youtube – MolliemathewsYouTube

Posted in: About Mollie, Married by Christmas, Mollie's Blog, Rom-Com, Romantic comedy, Sex With Strangers, Writer's Life

Tags: , ,

Snuggle up with a cozy romance this year

Date: November 16th, 2020, Posted by mollie

Dear friends

My short love story, Love Me As I Am is finally available on Audible. Amazon is has been sooooooo slow, but hey, there are more pressing issues in the world aren’t there. Truly. Which is why I love a good distraction. Right now, besides writing and reading love stories, I’ve been painting. I received a new commission the other morning. I’m so delighted. The short brief is compelling…”I would love to commission you to conjure up an exquisite piece of art…Love all the vibrant memories my special lady brings. Love, sea, sand, salt and pohutukawas.”

People often ask where do I grab my inspiration from. In this case, it’s the beautiful image of the abstract pattern on the dress of the gentleman’s beloved wife. She passed several years ago from cancer. This will be such a joy to paint as I know the healing power art can bring, a loving hug during times of sadness and a big vibrant reminder of love which endures.



As you know, so many of my romances feature either art-related themes, finding love after loss—or both.

Love Me As I Am is a short, fun and heartwarming read….

I’ve been so heartened by the feedback. Readers have told me they love the characters and the story.

Mary told me she loved it so much she wanted to read more.

“I found this short story to be heartbreaking.  To have your mother murdered is beyond heartbreaking. For Kiri to take her place in her sisters‘ lives shows her character. She has her work cut out for her when she takes Benotti’s job. Would love to read more about Kiri and Benotti.”

And Rob said, “Despite it being a short story, the characters were well developed. Supporting her young siblings at an incredibly stressful time, with her mother’s murder, compounded by the disappointment of not completing her medical degree made Kiri vulnerable. The hard billionaire, Benotti, who was admittedly, likeable, also had his weaknesses and was attracted to Kiri’s strong sense of family and her vulnerability.  I would like the story to develop so we can read of their relationship developing. It was interesting the reference to characters in the author’s other short stories. I’m intrigued and look forward to more.”

It is a super-short read—great for the time-challenged:) Some readers wanted it to be longer, longer, longer….they want to know what happens next!

Will you “Love Me As I Am”? I hope so.

Grab your copy today…

To enjoy your copy from Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/love-me-as-i-am-6

AUDIOBOOK

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/audiobook/love-me-as-i-am-5

AUDIBLE

US

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Me-Am-Passion-Stories/dp/B08MT8JJWR

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Love-Me-as-I-Am-Audiobook/B08MTKB9VF

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Love-Me-as-I-Am-Audiobook/B08MT8HL83



oh, one more thing before I go…I’ve pushed back the release of Love All of Me, the story inspired by one of the survivors of the White Island Volcanic disaster. I don’t have a new release date yet, but I’ll let you know.



p.s. 

Did you know you can my most popular and successful books on audio?

Check out the following written and narrated by me. I love reading and narrating my own stories. I hope my New Zealand accent is understandable! 


Flight of Passion

US

https://www.audible.com/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874YCXVL

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874X8TGX

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874Y3V2T

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/flight-of-passion-4

Sex With Strangers

Audible

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTKHJ61

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTSSB6L

 Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTKDD8R

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/sex-with-strangers-14

Love Me Forever

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QRGJV8

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QQVRV4

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QQW4N8

Twist of Fate

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YL93YYV

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YLBN32S

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YL9ZTLJ

The Lightkeepers Lover

 

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9PX3NY

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9Q1Q89

 Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9QRWBV

Forever and Always 

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Forever-and-Always-Audiobook/B0868GTBNC

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Forever-and-Always-Audiobook/B0868H5XKV

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Forever-and-Always-Audiobook/B0868GM443

Love Me As I Am

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/love-me-as-i-am-5

AUDIBLE

US

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Me-Am-Passion-Stories/dp/B08MT8JJWR

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Love-Me-as-I-Am-Audiobook/B08MTKB9VF

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Love-Me-as-I-Am-Audiobook/B08MT8HL83

Finding A Husband

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/finding-a-husband-3


AUDIBLE

US: https://www.audible.com/pd/B08H5TTP1S

UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Finding-a-Husband-Audiobook/B08H5ZPLW6

AU: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Finding-a-Husband-Audiobook/B08H5WTY6M?qid=1599866634

Audio versions of these books and the following are also available from all online bookstores and also libraries (Audible is experiencing long delays in publishing):

Claimed by the Sheikh

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-9

COMING SOON ON AUDIBLE

The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride-the

In less than 15 minutes you could be listening your way to love!



P.P.S. Special bonus

“Winter Snuggles: All Romance Giveaway” – click here to grab some FREE reads>>https://storyoriginapp.com/to/qzKkkRg

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Thank you!

You may also like:

Ways to make a difference

Why I write romance

How extraordinary love can change our lives

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Chat with me on  Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/molliemathewsnz

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Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Why An Executive Desk Job Was Never Going to Satisfy The Sheikh

Date: October 2nd, 2020, Posted by mollie

“Are you trying to kill her?” Tariq na Hassir, the formidable ruler of the Kingdom of Avana, seized the animal handler’s arm, forcing him to release the rope laced around the baby giraffe’s neck.

“She has suffered enough trauma.” Tariq dismissed the man with a fierce scowl that struck fear into enemies.

A slither of panic crept into the young man’s hushed apology. “I am sorry your Excellency.”

“Release the others from their cages,” Tariq growled.

The man did not have to be asked twice. He knew from experience that the Sheikh’s retribution for disobedience would be swift and merciless.

“You are safe from harm,” Tariq said softly, stroking the baby giraffe’s long neck with a gentleness that belied his strength.

“No one will ever hurt you again, Noor,” he said softly, impulsively naming her as his fingertips swept through the calf’s fur. He let his long supple fingers linger a moment upon her tail. Thankfully they had saved her in time, he thought as he reached for the reins, clenching his powerful hands around the soft leather.

The rage he had first felt on hearing about the ruthless murder of the new born’s mother still roared through him. Had she been executed to pay a tail dowry to the father of some money-mongering bride, he wondered? Or did some heinous person pay thousands of dollars for a wretched fly swatter?

Noor looked up and met Tariq’s dark gaze. In her innocent eyes, he saw her despair, her disillusionment, her disgust with humanity. He recognised her trauma as though it was his own. Because it was.

“Humans,” he said, his voice marinated with contempt. “The people you should be able to trust, the people who say they care, the people whose actions should be driven by love—the majority are driven by nothing but selfishness, deception, and lies.”

Taking a bottle of milk, Tariq placed the teat to Noor’s lips. The calf ’s silky black lashes grazed her cheeks as she gazed down at the foreign object then looked back at Tariq. She stared silently up at him, her eyes moist and bewildered.

Tariq had trained himself to shut down his emotions but that skill suddenly failed him. His chest trembled with suppressed rage knowing the orphaned baby would never again taste her mother’s milk.

“What passes for love among some people is abhorrent,” he said in a low, strained voice. “On behalf of humanity, I apologise.”

The killing of the calf ’s mother and three other rare Kordofan giraffes by trophy hunters seeking their tails further motivated the Sheikh’s commitment to transform his anger into action.

“Do you really think you can save her?”

Tariq looked at Anwar, his younger brother by 11 months. His head was slightly bowed but he could see his eyes were fixed in sadness and longing.

Tension ripped down Tariq’s spine. “Our father’s reign of terror and tyranny have robbed Avana of prosperity and peace. I will make it my personal mission to right the injustices of the past. War and hostility must end. And it starts with how we treat those most vulnerable.”

His fingers shook as he gripped the bottle of milk as Noor, at last, began to suckle. 

An eerie silence swept across the precipitous landscape of Avana’s Tiwa oasis. Tariq lifted his gaze to the horizon. The only movement visible to his naked eye was the wind etching a delicate furrow as it crawled over the golden dunes.

“Not only will I provide a sanctuary for hunted wildlife and orphans like Noor, but I will liberate God’s most precious creatures from the many closing zoos and other inhumane habitats around the world,” he said as he glanced over at the other animals being unloaded from the custom-built crates.

“I will create a world-acclaimed sanctuary, impenetrable by those with impure and malicious hearts. It will be the most magical, marvellous, mesmerisingly unique place, the number one eco-tourism destination in the world. I will create meaningful employment for our people, restoring their dignity, attracting millions of visitors annually and contributing billions to the economy. But more importantly, I will show the world how kindness and compassion can be turned into plutonium and change the world.”

Anwar glanced at the now lush landscape and recalled how barren it had once been. With no sign of life in sight, others had found it impossible to fathom his brother’s vision to transform the punishing and unforgiving conditions into a haven for so many endangered species. Yet, as with everything Tariq turned his formidable will and mind-blowing wealth to, he had succeeded where mere mortals were destined to fail.

Anwar’s heart swelled with pride as he thought of all his brother’s achievements. “It’s an audacious and admirable plan. And if anyone can pull it off it’s you, brother. Your passion, your drive, your unrelenting ambition and pursuit of goals exceeds mere mortals. And you have the endurance and power of 13,000 Arabian horses, but aren’t you setting yourself up for too much hard work? Why don’t you relax? Kick back. Enjoy the fruits of your reign?” Anwar said, tossing his head in the direction of the harem. “Other men would.”

“Women were our father’s weakness,” bitterness bled from Tariq’s words. “I too once made the same mistake. I too paid the price.”

There was a tense silence while Tariq lifted his gaze to the sky and studied the giant falcon circling above.

“Was it not you who once taught that your greatest weakness can also be your greatest strength?” Anwar asked.

Tariq shook his head, biting down a terse retort. “I was misled,” he said. He nodded his command to the animal handler lingering at a respectful distance and petted Noor as she was led away. 

“All kinds of atrocities are committed in the name of love, which is why it is the most dangerous of emotions, and why I am forever turned off to women.”

Claimed by The Sheikh

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here>>http://getbook.at/ClaimedByTheSheikh

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>

https://books2read.com/u/brVjdZ

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-8

AUDIOBOOK

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-9

DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

If you’ve found this post entertaining, please consider making a coffee-donation if you’re able. Donations help me provide the free content and are always greatly appreciated. To make a donation, please click on the button below.
Thank you!

 Buy a Coffee for The Passionate Pen
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You may also like:

Claimed by The Sheikh, The Writer’s Life and Dealing With Interruptions

Can a Life Coach Change Your Love Life Forever?

How Trauma Can Fuel Your Life Purpose

To enjoy more posts and books like this please follow this blog and BookBub

Here are some other ways to stay in touch:

Chat with me on  Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/molliemathewsnz

Follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Molliemathewsnz

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Watch me on Youtube – MolliemathewsYouTube

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Finding A husband

Date: September 13th, 2020, Posted by mollie

Sometimes love finds you…

Amateur matchmaker Cassie Roberts has only one wish—to help her best friend find a husband. What she doesn’t realize is that sometimes love doesn’t come easily and destiny is impossible to predict.

When her efforts don’t bear fruit she considers abandoning her fledgling career. Until she makes one last attempt.

Finding a Husband is a short story full of quirky humour and the promise of a happily ever after. Set in Blenheim, in New Zealand’s sublime South Island—the gateway to the award-winning wineries of the Wairau Valley.

PRAISE FOR FINDING A HUSBAND

loved everything about this book

“I absolutely loved everything about this book! Finding a Husband is a sweet, fun, witty and downright fantastic short read that I thoroughly enjoyed from the first page until the last. It’s full of real characters, it’s page-turning, entertaining, and beautifully written. A definite must-read and I definitely recommend it!”

~ Lynn S.

plenty of warm fuzzy feelings

“So good!! This may be a short quick read but there are plenty of warm fuzzy feelings mixed in amongst the humour and witty banter. Take a break, kick back, relax, and unwind from all the stress of the Holidays and enjoy another delightful story by Mollie Mathews. We deserve this!”

~ Anita F.

Finding a Husband is part of Mollie Mathew’s bestselling series, Passion Down Under Sassy Short Stories.

Bonus Extra: Excerpts from Forever and Always,The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage, Flight of Passion and Claimed by The Sheikh.

Buy this book through the links below…

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>mybook.to/FindingAHusband

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/4XXLBa

To grab your copy from kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/finding-a-husband-2

AUDIOBOOK

AUDIBLE

US: https://www.audible.com/pd/B08H5TTP1S
UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Finding-a-Husband-Audiobook/B08H5ZPLW6

AU: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Finding-a-Husband-Audiobook/B08H5WTY6M?qid=1599866634

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/audiobook/finding-a-husband-1

The audiobook is also available from other online retailers and libraries for your listening pleasure

If this is the first time you have read a Passion Down Under short story, you can easily read each book as a standalone.

Enjoy other full-length contemporary romances by Mollie Mathews: Bride of Gold; Married by Christmas; Flight of Passion and Claimed by The Sheikh

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.

Finding a Husband

Posted in: Books by Mollie Mathews, Novellas

Finding a Husband is finally available from Amazon!

Date: September 11th, 2020, Posted by mollie

Plenty of warm fuzzy feelings…

Dear friends,

I submitted the audio version of this fun and frisky short story back in December 2019 (last year!). It’s September 12 here in New Zealand, and September 11 for my readers in the US (and other parts of the world.) I know for many September 11 is forever etched into our memories as a time when our lives changed forever. So much hatred, so much harm. Too many wars.

If you are in need of a tiny escape, join me in New Zealand for a wee tale of finding love again.

This story is set in Blenheim, in New Zealand’s sublime South Island—gateway to the award-winning wineries of the Wairau Valley.



Sometimes love finds you…

Amateur matchmaker Cassie Roberts has only one wish—to help her best friend find a husband. 

What she doesn’t realize is that sometimes love doesn’t come easily and destiny is impossible to predict. 

When her efforts don’t bear fruit she considers abandoning her fledgeling career. 

Until she makes one last attempt.

Finding a Husband is a short story full of quirky humour and the promise of a happily ever after.



Finding a Husband, book 6 in the Passion Downunder Sassy Short Stories series. 

I’m pleased to say I received confirmation today—here are the links for your listening enjoyment.

AUDIBLE

US: https://www.audible.com/pd/B08H5TTP1S

UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Finding-a-Husband-Audiobook/B08H5ZPLW6

AU: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Finding-a-Husband-Audiobook/B08H5WTY6M?qid=1599866634

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/audiobook/finding-a-husband-1



What delightful reviews! Thank you, Lynn and Anita!

“So good!! This may be a short quick read but there are plenty of warm fuzzy feelings mixed in amongst the humor and witty banter. Take a break, kick back, relax, and unwind from all the stress of the Holidays and enjoy another delightful story by Mollie Mathews. We deserve this!”

~ Anita F.

“I absolutely loved everything about this book! Finding a Husband is a sweet, fun, witty and downright fantastic short read that I thoroughly enjoyed from the first page until the last. It’s full of real characters, it’s page-turning, entertaining, and beautifully written. A definite must read and I definitely recommend it!”

~ Lynn S.

TO ENJOY YOUR AUDIOBOOK TODAY

AUDIBLE

US: https://www.audible.com/pd/B08H5TTP1S

UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Finding-a-Husband-Audiobook/B08H5ZPLW6

AU: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Finding-a-Husband-Audiobook/B08H5WTY6M?qid=1599866634

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/audiobook/finding-a-husband-1


TO ENJOY YOUR eBook copy


Navigate to>>mybook.to/FindingAHusband
TO LISTEN TO YOUR audio copy today

Have a beautiful change of season 

Best wishes 

Mollie


If you love it, would you be kind enough to leave a review on Bookbub here>>https://www.bookbub.com/books/finding-a-husband-by-mollie-mathews (don’t forget to follow me!)

If you enjoyed the ebook would you consider leaving your review on Audible

DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

If you’ve found this post entertaining, please consider making a coffee-donation if you’re able. Donations help me provide the free content and are always greatly appreciated. To make a donation, please click on the button below.
Thank you!

 Buy a Coffee for The Passionate Pen
ko-fi.com/youinspireme

You may also like:

Sex With Strangers

Are you sick of bad news?

Can a life coach change your life forever?

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

What amuses me…and an excerpt from Claimed by The Sheikh

Date: August 20th, 2020, Posted by mollie

Dear friends,

I thought you may enjoy a sneak peek into my writing muse – Gerard. Check out the video to learn more. Plus scroll further for a little excerpt from my current WIP, Claimed By The Sheikh, due for release, November 2019.

[wpvideo d6eTduvu]

“The group of cheetahs and 20 or so giraffes that inhabit Avana definitely raise eyebrows. And a few questions. The Sheikh’s time spent in eastern and southern Africa in his early 20s can account for the abundance of exotic animals that now reside on the island—after all, what do you buy a sheik who has everything? A tower of giraffes, of course,” Matt laughed.

“How on earth did they all arrive?” Melanie arrived.

“Some came to the island by boat or plane, but many of them were given to the Sheikh as gifts, by people who either admired his cause or wanted to cultivate his favor,” explained Matt.  “Tariq decided he wanted to do something to bring more kindness into the world—to show that there are people who care about animals and doing something to protect those most vulnerable. He wanted to dispel the myth that all Sheiks do is buy gold cars and spend a filthy amount of money on themselves. Tariq’s not like that.”

“So he decided to share his vision with the world and open up the island to the public?” Melanie asked, noticing with concern the way her voice trembled as she spoke. She didn’t understand why but hearing about Tariq’s magnificent kindness sent crazy rivulets of joy, fast-moving electric currents of energy, race through her.

“Yes—he doesn’t usually let people into his sanctuary. You’re the first. You must be very special to him.”

Special? Tariq hadn’t given any indication that he thought she was in the least bit special, but the mere suggestion cause her heart to beat erratically.

“Conservation remains a priority for all on the island, and the wildlife has continued to flourish over the years,” Matt said, unaware of the tumultuous feelings his disclosure ignited every time she heard of Tariq’s activism.

“Avana is now home to hundreds of species of native and exotic wildlife, many of which are critically endangered. They range from small Ethiopian hedgehogs to soaring reticulated giraffes; a few predators, including a pack of hyenas, and hundreds of migratory birds that nest on the island throughout the year. The island’s captive breeding program releases a number of animals to roam free in the wild again, giving vulnerable species a chance to rebound in their natural habitat.”

Melanie thoughts drifted to their son. By wanting to prise Salim away from his ancestral environment was she hindering his ability to rebound from the accident? Was she selfishly depriving Salim of his natural habitat, his culture, his people?

Was she going to make a terrible mistake?

Claimed By The Sheikh, Book One in THE SHEIKHS UNTAMED BRIDES series Coming Soon

DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

You may also like:

Claimed by the Sheikh How extraordinary love can change our lives

Why I write romance

How Trauma Can Fuel Your Life Purpose

To enjoy more posts and books like this please follow this blog and BookBub

Posted in: Claimed By The Sheikh, Mollie's Blog

Tags: ,

I’m following my passion. Are you?

Date: August 20th, 2020, Posted by mollie

Funny story! I created this number plate and the wheel banner and thought everyone would feel a good vibe. Then a man broke away from his wife and asked me, “I don’t think it’s what I think it is…but what is passionpod.com?”

It turns out that he thought, or hoped, that I was a porn star!

Then when I created my website Molliemathews.com I was originally going to use my grandmother’s first name. When I typed mollymathews.com (my grandmother spelt her name Molly—not Mollie—I found out, to my horror, that “yes” there was a porn star called. . .

wait. . .

. . . not Stormy Daniels—but Molly Mathews!

Why am I telling you this?

Because sometimes, despite what is happening to us, we gotta laugh!

Which is why I wrote Sex With Strangers…have you read it?

Let me know




In love, the most dangerous enemy is saucy secrets 
 
44-year-old Ruby Evans doesn’t want to be a ‘leftover girl.’ But finding a ‘forever’ man is proving impossible.

Suddenly single after 20 years of marriage, her husband is the only man she has ever slept with. But the one bit of security that she always thought she’d hold onto for the rest of her life is brutally ripped from her. 

Humiliatingly and cruelly ex-ed when her husband trades her for a younger model, Chanel Zest, a long-time friend and motivational life coach, comes to Ruby’s rescue. Together they embark on a quest to reclaim and rebuild Ruby’s shattered life and begin the grueling process of dating again.
 
But, once in a pink moon, Ruby has to play dirty. . .

If you loved Brigette Jones’s Diary and enjoy romantic comedy, you’ll love Sex With Strangers.

Full of quirky humor and the promise of a happily ever after.

Sex with Strangers is a clean romance with a few spicy bits.


Reader Reviews

“A really good, hip, fun book.” 

“Hilarious.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Thank you to everyone who posted their reviews. I am so blessed to have such great, supportive readers.


Sex With Strangers received this lovely feedback recently.

“A playful and true view of a recently divorced woman
Every woman who has gone through a divorce after more than one-decade long marriage identifies with this story. The insecurities about going out single again, the difficulties in relating to previous friends as most of them are couples (nobody likes to be the third wheel), the feeling that you are viewed as a competitor (by a previous friend) and the list goes on. Not everyone has a supporting net as Ruby – the main character – does and even though her life coach has quite a few shortcomings about relating to people and finding love she does help Ruby to get on with her life. There are quite a few steamy parts but most of the book is written with a lot of humor and the characters are easy to get fond of. It’s a true picture of modern newly divorced women and it was fun read!”
 
~ Claudete Takahashi

Enjoy Bonus Excerpts from my other full-length love stories:

Married by Christmas and Claimed by The Sheikh


Available NOW!

To enjoy on Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/SexWithStrangers

To enjoy on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/4EkM6z

To enjoy on Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/sex-with-strangers-13

Audio

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/sex-with-strangers-14

Audible

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTKHJ61

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTSSB6L

 Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTKDD8R

DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

If you’ve found this post entertaining, please consider making a coffee-donation if you’re able. Donations help me provide the free content and are always greatly appreciated. To make a donation, please click on the button below.
Thank you!

Buy a Coffee for The Passionate Pen
ko-fi.com/youinspireme

You may also like:

Presidential Nominees Rarely Speak To Muslim Audiences… guess who did

Would you protect a murderer to save your family?

New Zealand Romance Authors and New Zealand Romance Books

To enjoy more posts and books like this please follow this blog and BookBub

Here are some other ways to stay in touch:

Chat with me on  Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/molliemathewsnz

Follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Molliemathewsnz

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Watch me on Youtube – MolliemathewsYouTube

Posted in: Claimed By The Sheikh, Mollie's Blog

The Resilience of Beauty: Escapism at its best

Date: August 8th, 2020, Posted by mollie

Dear readers,

If you’ve read my art-inspired romances you’ll know that it’s so important to use our heart as a compass and follow the invisible trail of what lights us up.

Along with writing love stories. I love to paint. This a new work I completed yesterday. It is called “Te Ataroa” and named after the beautiful baby born three months ago to a very proud Maori couple. They had lost a little girl earlier who passed before she could be held in their arms. Te Ataroa is an added blessing. Translated her name means “the long morning”. Spring is nearly here in the Bay of Islands and the mornings are getting longer and they are nearly as beautiful as that wee baby

900 mm x 1200mm Acrylic on canvas

My ideas, whether a painting or a story start with a character or an event, either a theme that intrigues me or sometimes a news event that captures me. Claimed by The Sheikh, was inspired by the tragedy 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, and 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.

BookBrushImage-2020-5-8-10-949

To enjoy your copy of Claimed by the Sheikh from Amazon, click here>>http://getbook.at/ClaimedByTheSheikh

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>

https://books2read.com/u/brVjdZ

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-8

AUDIOBOOK

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-9

AUDIBLE COMING SOON

I’ve always believed in magic. So, it seemed natural, after the still-birth of my sister Sophie’s and her husband’s first son, and as Sophie continued the struggle to conceive naturally, IVF having failed, that I wrote a prayer. I buried my wish beneath the ancient walnut tree in the middle of a beautiful vineyard, in Marlborough, New Zealand—tucked inside a walnut.

As I wrote in Love Me Forever, “As she gazed down at the note she thought with satisfaction that the wish looked like twins lying nestled in their crib.”

And that’s virtually what happened. Several years later, Freya, appropriately named after the Norse goddess of love, was born. Quickly followed by her brother Finlay, meaning ‘fair hero.’ A better name couldn’t be had!

To enjoy your copy from Amazon: viewBook.at/LoveMeForever

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores: https://books2read.com/u/4EkWqE

To enjoy your copy from Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/ebook/love-me-forever-25

AUDIOBOOK

To enjoy your audiobook from Audible:

US: https://www.audible.com/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QRGJV8

UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QQVRV4

AU: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QQW4N8

Audiobooks are also available from other online retailers and libraries for your listening pleasure

The other books in this series are part of a special two-book bundle that I have narrated as an audiobook, Passion Down Under Sassy Short Stories 2 Book-Bundle Box Set: Love Me Forever and Twist of Fate

Here’s the blurb

“You’re the one” —honest love in exotic locations.

Grab these sweet and sensual escapist reads today. Lose yourself in these beautiful stories of broken hearts and second chances.

Passion Down Under Sassy Short Stories contains the first two books of AMAZON BEST-SELLING author Mollie Mathew’s romantic series set in the captivatingly beautiful landscape of New Zealand. If you adore beautifully written stories and true heart-warming sweet romances which sparkle with humour you’ll love travelling along the road to love with these changing and evolving men and women as they open their heart’s again and find true love.
The first two Sassy Short Story books (over 500 pages) included in this bundle are: Love Me Forever and Twist of Fate

Love me Forever

What if the end was just the beginning?

Viticulturist Joey Harper’s organic vineyard is under siege from neighbouring landowners with chemical sprays, wanting to turn a fast profit, and someone purchasing large tracts of land under incredible secrecy.

But Joey’s not someone who dwells on her own troubles. She has only one wish—following the still-birth of her sister’s first child, she prays her much loved younger sister may conceive again.

Using her inherited gift for magic, she enlists the aid of the ancient walnut tree which towers majestically over her organic vineyard. What she doesn’t realise is that her one wish, begets another, and her unselfish desire for her sister’s happiness send’s love to her—in the form of a most unsuitable and irresistible admirer.

Venetian winemaking tycoon Tomasso Rivetti has it all: a loving family, good looks, and a considerable fortune. When he ventures Down Under to New Zealand, underneath his apparently perfect world, cracks begin to appear…and no one is more surprised than Tomasso when the billionaire lifestyle he takes for granted is turned upside down by a chance encounter.

But despite Tomasso’s determined pursuit of Joey’s affection, her broken heart remains closed—to protect herself and her vineyard from a terrible threat.

Distance keeps her safe. But as a final battle draws close, Joey and Tomasso are drawn irresistibly together. And while they succumb to the heat between them, they both know there can be no tomorrow…

If you enjoy stories with a touch of magic and fantasy and with that so important happy ending, you’ll love this powerful new love story.

‘Tugs at the heartstrings’

‘I love Mollie Mathews’

‘Heart-warming and beautiful with passion’

‘Love Me Forever has a lovely mystical feel about it, with deep longings being experienced by the characters.’

Twist of Fate

What if a twist of fate could change your life? What if a twist of fate could change your life?

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 humour and the promise of romance. A fun, quick read!

To enjoy the ebook version of Passion Down Under Sassy Short Stories 2 Book-Bundle Box Set: Love Me Forever and Twist of Fate from Amazon: getbook.at/2SassyShortStories

To enjoy your copy from Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/passion-down-under-sassy-short-stories-2-book-bundle-box-set-love-me-forever-and-twist-of-fate-1

AUDIOBOOK

KOBO

To enjoy your audiobook from Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/passion-down-under-sassy-short-stories-2-book-bundle-box-set

AUDIBLE

COMING SOON!

Audiobooks are also available from other online retailers and libraries for your listening pleasure

Posted in: About Mollie, Audiobooks, Love Me Forever, Mollie's Blog, Romance, Short Story, Twist of Fate

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Presidential Nominees Rarely Speak To Muslim Audiences… guess who did

Date: July 21st, 2020, Posted by mollie

A detail of downtown Miami’s One Thousand Museum tower by Zaha Hadid Architects. Photo by Hufton + Crow.jpg

 

Dear readers,

I was thrilled to read that 2020 US presidential candidate Joe Biden shares my commitment to peace and ending crimes of racial hatred. The following is an excerpt from a news article:

“On Monday, Biden focused on Islamophobia, Trump, the need for both Palestinians and Israelis to have a state of their own, and the contributions of Muslims in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. He didn’t mention terrorism or Islamic extremism.

“One of the things that I think is important: I wish, I wish we taught more in our schools about the Islamic faith,” Biden said. “What people don’t realize is … we all come from the same root here, in terms of our fundamental basic beliefs.”‘

You can read the full article here: https://www.npr.org/2020/07/20/893066503/presidential-nominees-rarely-speak-to-muslim-audiences-biden-did-monday

It’s a sentiment I share in Claimed by the Sheikh, inspired by the work and life of the pioneering elegance of Zaha Hadid. The photo above is a detail of downtown Miami’s One Thousand Museum tower by Zaha Hadid Architects. Isn’t the reference to Islamic design beautiful? Photo by Hufton + Crow.

That’s what beautiful is…not wars as Donald Trump claims. Ask anyone who has lost a son, a daughter, a loved one.

As I shared in the Author’s Note:

This book 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 goodand 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 wonderedwhat 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 ocers 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 Zealandand to those around the world who know that only love can bring peace.

Because this story was also born from a desire to understand and draw closer to the true beauty of Islamic faith and belief.

I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5 of Claimed by The Sheikh

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czWwvMJJKZ0&w=560&h=315]

Three hours later Melanie was wheeling her carry-on suitcase through the stark grey, soulless walls of Paris’s Hôpital Necker when she caught sight of Tariq na Hassir. Sheikh Tariq na Hassir, she corrected as she took an abrupt step back, panic shooting through her in a splintering surge of shock.

She froze as he feasted his dark contemptuous gaze on her, too stunned to believe that he was really there. Too overwhelmed to comprehend that in the midst of this tragedy the man she had once loved with all her soul stood before her. Too appalled that the man who had broken her heart, the man she had believed, hoped, and prayed she would never see again was advancing toward her.

It was beyond horrific. The worst of circumstances. She wanted to flee from the tainted memories that united them and stained their past. She wanted to run from the contamination of the choices she had made. She wanted to bolt from the danger he presented but her black ankle boots felt glued to the sanitised linoleum floor.

“What are you doing here?” she hurtled out.

“I am claiming my brother’s son,” he said with righteous arrogance.

“You?” Her voice rose beyond the bounds of what was acceptable in a hospital. “You never wanted a child, isn’t that what you said when you threw me from your bed?”

“You left.”

“You gave me no choice. I wanted marriage, a man who would love me—children. You didn’t. Not with a commoner,” Melanie said without making eye contact, her voice trembling with hurt and regret.

Tariq crossed his arms over his powerful chest. “I never said that.”

“You made that abundantly clear. I wanted to be your wife—not your convenient mistress,” she gritted. “I wasn’t good enough. Just like little Salim. Only he’ll be worse, won’t he? Salim’s a half-caste— your brother’s royal blood tainted by a Western whore. That’s what your father called my sister, didn’t he?” she fired at him. “But he was wrong. Zayed loved my sister. He married her against your father’s wishes. She was his lawful wife, not his shameful wench.”

I feel nothing for you, she lied to herself as she pushed past Tariq and walked toward the glass wall separating her from her son.

“Oh my god,” Melanie bit her lip, blinking back tears, as she looked at the small boy lying bandaged in the paediatric hospital bed. Her fingers trembled with longing, wanting to hold her son for the first time in her arms.

Why does love always cause pain, she thought, looking up at Tariq and then back toward her son? She studied Salim’s closed eyes, his dark lashes resting peacefully against his cheeks, his wild curly hair splayed upon the starched hospital linen, his cupid lips curved into a mercifully comatose dream, she was suddenly struck by how like Tariq he was.

God, we created something beautiful.

“Where are the doctors? Nurses? Why isn’t anyone here….?” She said, spinning around.

“They’re preparing to leave.” He said, exuding authority and a compelling magnetism that sent her pulse soaring.

“Leave? I don’t understand? Why? Where?” She stammered.

“I’m taking my brother’s child back to Avana.”

Salim, his name is Salim. God, can’t you even say his name.”

“You’re upset.”

“Yes, I’m upset,” she flew at him. “My sister is dead, and now you want to take away my…” she swallowed hard, forcing back the truth she yearned to speak, “—my only connection to her.”

Just like you always remove the things most important to me.

“Besides, you can’t just take a three-year-old boy who has just survived a fatal car crash from the hospital.”

“I can and I will.”

“He’ll die.” How could she trust him, when he had deceived her before?

“Salim will die if he stays in France,” he said jabbing at the headlines in a newspaper laying on the waiting room table. “The place is almost prehistoric. Hospital fire kills. Read it for yourself.”

Melanie scanned the paper and read the article out loud, “A fire at a Paris hospital has killed eleven newborn babies. The blaze is believed to have been caused by electrical wiring.”

Her hand flew to her mouth. “How horrible…Oh my God…Those poor babies… Those mothers… ” her voice trailed off. Mother. She was a mother. It still didn’t seem real.

“It is already decided. Only I can ensure the child’s protection.” Not a muscle in Tariq’s hard, handsome face moved, and feeling as though he’d slapped her, as though he too considered her unworthy of the title, Melanie looked away.

“My aids have assembled and flown to my kingdom the most skilled medical staff in the world. Everything has been arranged. We leave in my private jet today.”

“You can’t just take my—” she paused, frantically scrambling for the right words. How could she possibly reveal the truth? His wrath would be merciless. Her deception would only make his resolve to claim her child stronger.

“You can’t just take my sister’s child like that. You have no more claim to him than I do. What about what I want?”

“You?” he almost spat the word. “Your sister murdered my brother.”

islamic mosiac

Here’s another excerpt from Chapter 21, inspired by true events at a school here in New Zealand. My hope, like Joe Biden’s, is that hate crimes cease.

Depositphotos_155445054_xl-2015

Chapter 21

“Not long,” he said.

“I was just leaving.”

“There’s no need.”

“Yes,” she stammered, her voice barely audible. “There is.”

He watched as she hurried from the room, and then walked to the bed and lay the soft, pink, giraffe he had purchased in Paris beneath the three-year-old’s arm. Pink, he affirmed Not blue—or brown or anything even moderately manly or remotely true to the animal’s natural colours.

Melanie had been right. Tariq was so shut down, so closed, so hard-hearted he was incapable of showing emotion. His own upbringing had been so frozen of femininity, so malnourished in favour of warrior-like masculinity, so deliberate in the demarcation and devaluing of the female gender that as a result, he went about his life with no more emotion than a terracotta warrior.

A tide of anger surged through his gut and churned with the pain of his lost childhood. He clenched his fists. He wanted none of that for his brother’s son, he realised with punching clarity.

He leaned over and stroked the child’s hair. Tariq’s heart kicked as Salim’s eyes fluttered. Was it possible that, against all medical wisdom, the boy was aware of his presence?

Impossible. He was lost to everyone, deep in a coma from which the doctors said he may never wake. The irony, the injustice, the torture, Tariq thought, tightening his grip on the metal frame of the paediatric bed. He was powerless.

What did the child dream of, he wondered, as he watched the boy lying lost in his unconscious mind? Tariq envied the peacefulness that enveloped him. He was thankful the child knew nothing of the car crash that had killed his parents. At least he had been spared that unspeakable trauma.

Tariq’s gaze drifted to the pink giraffe. It was the perfect totem to accompany Salim on his sleepy journey. Wide-eyed, the giraffe appeared to agree. Tariq remembered the words of the African shaman he had met on one of his many rescue missions to liberate endangered species. The gentle creatures, with their gracefully long necks, were believed to stretch into heaven. ‘They are a spirit animal who wanted you to hold your head high and rise above trivial earthly desires’, she had said.

‘They have the ability to reach opportunities that are not available to others,’ she had told him. ‘It is also said that they can see the cosmic plans of the gods and inherently the possible future. As a spirit guide, the giraffe provides you the confidence to get through the toughest situations. Their luck will rub off on you as you come across great opportunities. You have to realise that these opportunities don’t come around often so you have to grab them while you can.’

Longing flooded his body as he gazed at the child. More than anything he wanted to clutch the boy and cleave him to his heart and kiss him awake. It wasn’t trivial to want the boy to rouse; it wasn’t trivial to want the boy to gain consciousness. it wasn’t trivial to want the boy to live.

His grandfather’s words floated through the air. Teach your children to love. The very words Hamza had spoken to his own son, Tariq’s father, only to find the wisdom fall on blocked ears. Wasn’t this why there was so much hate in the world? People had stopped listening to their hearts.

Tariq’s mind drifted to a news article he had read recently. A 10-year-old child whose family had escaped persecution for their beliefs under the hateful Taliban regime, hoping to find a safe haven from Islamic State terrorists in New Zealand, had been taunted and bullied at school. Feeling so much pain he had tried to commit suicide. The hate-riddled school children, the article said, had held a knife to his throat as they yelled,  Isis lover.

Rage ripped through his chest. Melanie was right. The child needed love. All children needed love. The world needed love. What right did he have to deprive anyone of that?

Tariq clutched his heart, feeling the pain, the emotions, the trauma he had suppressed for so long, flood to the surface. No, he vowed, clenching his fists, Salim would never know hatred, brutality, nor quiet contempt.

Tariq had vowed never to become his father and yet as Melanie had so bluntly reminded him, he had become a tyrant. He had spent a childhood marinated in trauma. He lifted his hands to the soft toy of Simba which had been rescued from the car-wreck and now lay ever watchful, at the foot of Salim’s bed. He lifted his paw and in a moment of punching clarity, he vowed he would dedicate his life to ensuring the boy’s life roared with love.

He propped the toy back into a protective stance, his paws outstretched toward the child, his long, powerful body splayed toward Salim.  Tariq reached over and gently, tenderly, softly pressed his lips to the child’s cheek. He felt his eyes water and before he could control the flow of raw emotion a tear, shaped like a diamond, plopped upon Salim’s lips. But, unlike a fairytale miracle, his sleeping beauty did not wake.

Tears fell like a floodgate he was unable to stop, as though a valve in his garden had wedged itself open. Tariq watched transfixed as a finger of light from the setting sun anointed the tear in a prism of light.

How could he reach the boy? How could he save him?

He ran his hand across his chin, then leaned down and opened the musical case which lay beneath the child’s bed. What had the doctors said? Sometimes music had the power to heal.

BookBrushImage-2020-5-8-10-949

 

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here>>http://getbook.at/ClaimedByTheSheikh

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/brVjdZ

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-8

AUDIOBOOK

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-9

 

Colarado Cowgirl goes aalong way to islamic beliefs Claimed by the Sheikh reviewScreen Shot 2019-11-12 at 7.32.27 PM

 

 

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

 

Posted in: Audible books, Claimed By The Sheikh, Mollie's Blog, New Excerpt, Writer's Life

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Escapism at its best: special two-audiobook bundle: two sweet and sensual New Zealand Romances

Date: July 20th, 2020, Posted by mollie

BookBrushImage-2020-6-21-9-4451

Dear readers

I was so thrilled to receive an email today telling me that  ‘Love Me As I Am (Passion Down Under Sassy Short Stories Book 4)’ has been selected for a free feature at ItsWriteNow.comtoday.

You can read the blurb below and see the book feature here: https://itswritenow.com/love-me-as-i-am-passion-down-under-sassy-short-stories-book-4/

 

Love Me As I Am

The deepest hurts can herald the deepest love

Kiri Love had no need for friendships. She had no time for distraction. She was in her final year of medical studies by the grace of God to do a job—and she was determined to do a darned good one. There was no way she could fail.

Her mom had scrimped and saved every last dollar she earned and worked three jobs to pay for Kiri’s education and Kiri was determined to make her proud. She would be the first person in her family to receive a degree and achieve her ambition of being a heart surgeon.

But when her mother is murdered, she sacrifices her ambitions and travels back to the tiny Far North town which had created so much pain.

With three sisters under nine to feed, she’ll do whatever it takes to provide them with the security they need—even if it means grovelling to Benotti Zegna, reclusive billionaire jeweller-to-the-stars.

Benotti Zegna has a heart of gold but a failed marriage has left him cold. His hands are full running his global empire, plus being top-dad to his young and motherless daughter.

He can spot a diamond in the rough and while alarm-bells warn him to watch his heart, intuition tells him that Kiri Love will make the perfect nanny.

The role he offers is a far cry from her the life she’d hope to lead, but Kiri quickly discovers the power of family and sacrifice to heal the deepest of wounds.

Love Me As I Am is a short story, clean romance, full of quirky humour and the promise of a happily ever after.

Set in The Bay of Islands, New Zealand—one of the most beautiful, unspoiled, sensuous places in the world.

Love Me As I Am is part of Mollie Mathew’s bestselling series, Passion Down Under Sassy Short Stories. It can easily be read as a stand-alone story, but you’ll love reading the other books, too.

 

special two-audiobook bundle: Two Sweet and Sensual New Zealand Romances

And I have more great news too. The other books in this series are part of a special two-book bundle that I have narrated as an audiobook, Passion Down Under Sassy Short Stories 2 Book-Bundle Box Set: Love Me Forever and Twist of Fate

Here’s the blurb

“You’re the one” —honest love in exotic locations.

To enjoy Passion Down Under Sassy Short Stories 2 Book-Bundle Box Set: Love Me Forever and Twist of Fate from Amazon: getbook.at/2SassyShortStories

To enjoy your copy from Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/passion-down-under-sassy-short-stories-2-book-bundle-box-set-love-me-forever-and-twist-of-fate-1

AUDIOBOOK

KOBO

To enjoy your audiobook from Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/passion-down-under-sassy-short-stories-2-book-bundle-box-set

AUDIBLE

COMING SOON!

Audiobooks are also available from other online retailers and libraries for your listening pleasure

Praise for this series

Love Me Forever has a lovely mystical feel about it, with deep longings being experienced by the characters. A delightful mystical romance with a dream-like quality, fraught with all the longings of Joey’s heart. When she plants her wish for her sister beneath the walnut tree, she doesn’t realize that the longings of her own heart have been heard.

When a stranger steps up to her in the vineyard it is the beginning of healing for her own heart. Well written with deeply emotive feelings, this book is part of a series and ends on a cliffhanger.”

~ Margaret W.

“Beautifully written. The author’s vivid and descriptive writing style pulled me into a world I never wanted to leave.  Very beautiful stories!”

~ Hugh Harrison

“This was a fun read I really enjoyed. It’s perfect for a lazy weekend. This is the first book I have read by this author but it won’t be last. I can’t wait to be more.”

~ Poppy

“The author also tucks in some great life advice for everyone in the telling of this charming story. I hope you enjoy this book, too. I did.”

~ Alfie Rues

“I loved, loved, loved this book. An instantly gripping, compelling and fun read. Escapism at its best. I couldn’t put the book down and read it in one night.”

~ Lauri

Posted in: Audible books, Audiobooks, Forever and Always, Mollie's Blog, New Release, Rom-Com, Short Story, Twist of Fate

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New Zealand Romance Authors and New Zealand Romance Books

Date: July 12th, 2020, Posted by mollie

I hope wherever you are in the world you are happy and safe. I am feeling blessed to be a New Zealand Romance author and to live in the beautiful Bay of Islands where I set many of my New Zealand Romance books.

It’s easier to maintain safe social distancing here than it is in Europe and other populated countries, and we are lucky to have (fingers crossed) COVID-19 somewhat under control.

There are less overseas tourists in our beautiful country now—but lots of people would love to come and live here. By some twist of fate, I was lucky to be born in New Zealand. And my mum told me I was conceived up here in the Bay of Islands. So I am doubly lucky!

Last weekend my lover took me on the coolest, fastest speed boat ride! There was only two of on the ride—we had all the thrills to ourselves. It was so much fun. And look at the weather… in the photo above…beautiful and sunny and it’s winter!

jet-boating-bay-of-islands-extreme-jet-feature-2-960x540

I know you can’t travel here at the moment, but you can through some of the love stories I have set in New Zealand.

Love All of Me

BookBrushImage500

An unexpected lover…

After surviving a horrific accident Katie Miller is plagued by guilt. Hiding both her mental and physical scars, she shuns love and escapes into work—finding meaning and purpose in running her global manuka honey empire.

Beautiful and smart, when Gianni Romano demands she sell the business to him, her passions are inflamed. How dare he think he can buy the only thing that gives her a reason to live?

Gianni Romano has ventured to New Zealand by the one thing he’d love to escape: family The Romano fortune and name has followed him wherever he goes. But that only made the headstrong Italian more determined to strike out on his own. Now he’s on the cusp of achieving world acclaim.

Only one woman stands in his way—Katie Miller and her refusal to submit to his demands. The spark they have is more than a Sicilian sunset, but when emotions run deep and lives are on the line, will mixing business with pleasure be the bedrock for a lifelong love? Or will it all explode like an angry volcano?

Love Me As I Am is a clean romance, brimming with the promise of a happily ever after. Set in The Bay of Islands, New Zealand—one of the most beautiful, unspoiled, sensuous places in the world.

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here:

getbook.at/LoveAllOfMe

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here: https://books2read.com/u/4N9KnY

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here: https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/love-all-of-me

Pre-order love me as I am BookBrushImage-2020-5-4-14-4756

Love Me As I Am

BookBrushImage1461

The deepest hurts can herald the deepest love

Kiri Love had no need for friendships. She had no time for distraction. She was in her final year of medical studies by the grace of God to do a job—and she was determined to do a darned good one. There was no way she could fail.

Her mom had scrimped and saved every last dollar she earned and worked three jobs to pay for Kiri’s education and Kiri was determined to make her proud. She would be the first person in her family to receive a degree and achieve her ambition of being a heart surgeon.

But when her mother is murdered, she sacrifices her ambitions and travels back to the tiny Far North town which had created so much pain.

With three sisters under nine to feed, she’ll do whatever it takes to provide them with the security they need—even if it means grovelling to Benotti Zegna, reclusive billionaire jeweller-to-the-stars.

Benotti Zegna has a heart of gold but a failed marriage has left him cold. His hands are full running his global empire, plus being top-dad to his young and motherless daughter.

He can spot a diamond in the rough and while alarm-bells warn him to watch his heart, intuition tells him that Kiri Love will make the perfect nanny.

The role he offers is a far cry from her the life she’d hope to lead, but Kiri quickly discovers the power of family and sacrifice to heal the deepest of wounds.

Love Me As I Am is a short story, clean romance, full of quirky humour and the promise of a happily ever after.

Set in The Bay of Islands, New Zealand—one of the most gorgeous, stunning, sensuous escapes on the globe.

Love Me As I Am is part of Mollie Mathew’s bestselling series, Passion Down Under Sassy Short Stories. It can easily be read as a stand-alone story, but you’ll love reading the other books, too.

Praise for this series

Love Me Forever has a lovely mystical feel about it, with deep longings being experienced by the characters. A delightful mystical romance with a dream-like quality, fraught with all the longings of Joey’s heart. When she plants her wish for her sister beneath the walnut tree, she doesn’t realize that the longings of her own heart have been heard.

When a stranger steps up to her in the vineyard it is the beginning of healing for her own heart. Well written with deeply emotive feelings, this book is part of a series and ends on a cliffhanger.”

~ Margaret W.

“Beautifully written. The author’s vivid and descriptive writing style pulled me into a world I never wanted to leave.  Very beautiful stories!”

~ Hugh Harrison

“This was a fun read I really enjoyed. It’s perfect for a lazy weekend. This is the first book I have read by this author but it won’t be last. I can’t wait to be more.”

~ Poppy

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/LoveMe

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/mVNMA5

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/love-me-as-i-am-6

AUDIOBOOK

AUDIBLE

(Coming soon)

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/audiobook/love-me-as-i-am-5

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Will Lily and Leonardo end up giving their hearts to the wrong person?

Still reeling following her malicious sacking, family therapist Lily Rose is feeling rejected and 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. Sparks heat into a collision of powerful forces that can’t be dampened.

Spontaneous love on the beach sends deep passions and emotional connection—more heartfelt than either has ever known—steaming to the surface.

When Leonardo’s past comes careering into his future—will both Lily and Lorenzo end up giving their hearts to the wrong person?

Forever and Always is a short story, clean romance, full of quirky humor and the promise of a happily ever after.

Set in The Bay of Islands, New Zealand—one of the most beautiful, unspoiled, sensuous places in the world.

Forever and Always is part of Mollie Mathew’s bestselling series, Passion Down Under Sassy Short Stories It can easily be read as a stand-alone story, but you’ll love reading the other books, too.

 

Reader Reviews

“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.

“While a quick read, there’s plenty of meat to Forever and Always and a happily ever after in the offering!”

~ JoAnn Weiss

“I enjoyed Forever and Always—a story about two wounded people that come together in a crash. I very much enjoy Mollie Mathews writing. When she writes I feel like I’m right there because of the colourful descriptions that she paints.”

~ Pat

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/ForeverandAlways

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/mKEQv9

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/en/ebook/forever-and-always-27

AUDIOBOOK

AUDIBLE

US

UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forever-Always-Passion-Under-Stories/dp/B0868GKJ36

AU

https://www.amazon.com.au/Forever-Always-Passion-Under-Stories/dp/B086814BF7

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/forever-and-always-24

The two books above are from my popular Passion Down Under Short Stories collection. If you’d enjoy a longer New Zealand Romance, you’ll love

The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

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Would you protect a murderer to save your family? Three women. Three lives. And the lies that bind them. Why is everyone afraid of the truth?

Do you dream of travelling to New Zealand? Now you can—all from the safety of your own home. The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage is set amongst the spectacular scenery of the South Island in New Zealand.

When a lonely young American woman inherits a painting she discovers her whole life was a lie. Desperate for the truth, she goes in search of her true identity. The painting is her only clue. But everyone is determined to keep its secret past repressed, including Vitaliano Rossi, the Italian gold tycoon, unnaturally suspicious of her motives, who wants the painting vanquished. How can she discover who she really is and convince him that his love means more to her than gold?

Praise for Book Two in the Gemstone Billionaire’s series—The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage
“I loved the premise that she needs the hero to unlock the secrets to explain her past—it’s great conflict.”


“I really enjoyed this story, your writing, the characters and the kiss. Thanks!”
“What a blinking good read—more please. I was hooked from page one.”


“I want to know the secret in the painting.”

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>> getBook.at/ScandalousMarriage

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/mVNdn5

To grab your copy from Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-italian-billionaire-s-scandalous-marriage-1

AUDIOBOOK

US

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B08745WFMS

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B087485CLB

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B0873ZXX6G

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-scandalous-marriage-the

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See you soon!!

XXXX

 

Posted in: About Mollie, Audible books, Audiobooks, Forever and Always, Love All Of Me Book, Mollie's Blog, New Release, New Romance Novel, Short Story, The Italian Billionaire's Scandalous Marriage, Twist of Fate, Writer's Life

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In love, the most dangerous enemy is saucy secrets

Date: July 1st, 2020, Posted by mollie

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Dear readers (and listeners!)…finally, after months and months of delay (way before the ‘virus’ my romcom Sex With Strangers is available on Audible! (and Kobo and libraries too!)

If you missed my earlier posts, here the yummy blurb:

44-year-old Ruby Evans doesn’t want to be a ‘leftover girl.’ But finding a ‘forever’ man is proving impossible.

 

Suddenly single after 20 years of marriage, her husband is the only man she has ever slept with. But the one bit of security she always thought she’d hold onto for the rest of her life is brutally ripped from her.

 

Humiliatingly and cruelly ex-ed when her husband trades her for a younger model, Chanel Zest, a long-time friend and motivational life coach, comes to her rescue. Together they embark on a quest to reclaim and rebuild Ruby’s shattered life and begin the gruelling process of dating again.

 

Once in a pink moon, Ruby has to play dirty…

 

If you loved Brigette Jones’s Diary and enjoy romantic comedy, you’ll love Sex With Strangers.

 

Full of quirky humour and the promise of a happily ever after.

 

Sex with Strangers is a clean romantic comedy with a few spicy bits.

 

Posted in: About Mollie, Mollie's Blog, Rom-Com, Romance, Sex With Strangers

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Happy Hobbies

Date: June 25th, 2020, Posted by mollie

IMG_6432 sketch with roses Lilly-Rose Depp

 

How are you all feeling? These are sure crazy up-and-down times. To keep ‘sane’, along with writing love stories, I pick up a paintbrush or a pencil and enter into the quiet contemplative world of art.

As I share in many of my books, creativity in all its guises is so healing. Whether this is learning a new skill, picking up a new hobby, or increasing the talent we already have – creativity is healing on so many levels.

Another hobby that I super enjoy is photography. My cousin Cindy was a great photographer too. She took this photo of my beautiful grandmother Molly (same name but different!)

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I took this photo of this beautiful wee man on a recent trip to Wellywood

 

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I thought he was so super gorgeous that I would feature him in my next love story, Love All of Me—I’ve changed his name to protect his privacy!

CHAPTER TWO

“Thanks for waiting, Zac,” Kate said, as she opened the driver door of the ute. “Now slide over.”

Zac pretended not to hear and kept his nose pressed against the top of the steering wheel.

“Zac, move over. Come on. If you could drive, I’d let you. I hate to break it to you, but you’re a dog. And dog’s can’t drive. It’s the law.”

He regarded her with determined dark eyes, then turned, and padded to the passenger side.

“You know I love you,” she said, sweeping her hand vigorously across his fur. The truth was if it wasn’t for her bees and her dog she wouldn’t be here at all. Both of them needed her. Both of them gave her a reason to live. She loved her rescue dog more than life itself. And her bees gave her something of her father to hang onto. A calling.

She clenched the steering wheel, and eye-balled the roof, willing her tears not to flow. Not here. Not now. Her mum, and her dad, and her sister had left the safety of the cruise-ship and joined a tour to the volcano on White Island—and now they were dead.

What right did she have to cry? 

Kate looked back at Zac. Zac looked back at Kate, just as he had that day she had rescued him, death in his eyes. Only now she knew he was acting to get his way. He was not the dog she thought she would choose when she went to the animal centre a year ago.

She had wanted a happy bouncy puppy, one that would make her feel better. But on his best day with his sad brown eyes, and jet black coat, he looked like a professional mourner. And in the end, that had suited her fine.

Nobody had wanted a three-legged, pug dog with a skin impediment. And she couldn’t have left him in the animal rescue centre not once she found out that the day she had called in was to be his last day.

She patted his soft, sleek fur. The Excema had flared because he had been so poorly treated. And she knew, unlike her own scars, Zac’s would heal with love. Everyone needed to be loved. She needed to be loved. And now she had someone to love too.

She had Zac.

Zac.

He had not been the man she had dreamed she would spend her life with. The man she had dreamed she would have children with. The man she would marry until—’Til death would they part.

Zac had been Prozac with three legs and a short, stump of a tail. He had saved her life.

“We have a lot in common you and me, and you know I couldn’t leave you knowing I could’ve saved you and didn’t.”

Zac rolled his eyes up to stare at her, still not budging from the driver seat.

“I saved your butt, now move your pudgy arse,” she said, nudging him. “Pretty please, Zac. I’ll be late for the beautician.”

Zac grunted and stumbled into the passenger seat. He hobbled round and round as he situated himself on the split tan upholstery.

“Don’t look so depressed, you’re supposed to cheer me up- not make me feel guilty.”

He didn’t get much happier as they drove away from the counselling rooms. Instead, he stared wistfully at her lap.

“Okay come on then,” she said patting her thighs. Zac didn’t wait to be asked twice. He jumped into her lap.

Zac met her eyes, squeeze her shoulders, and plunge toward her, licking her from chin to brow with sweeping slurps.

“Oh, Zac,” Kate burst into tears and wrapped her arms around him. His body was warm and wriggly and welcoming and Kate held him tighter, so thankful to have someone alive in her life. Especially at Christmas when she always felt so sad.

“It’s just me and you, Zac,” she told him, sobbing.

Zac sighed and begin to lick the tears from her face, which made Kate cry even harder.

She wrapped her arms around his pudgy belly. She felt sad and happy at the same time. it was a relief to cry after holding everything in for so long. She gave one final sniff and let go of Zac. She had to get herself together before anyone saw the tears in her eyes.

Balancing on one leg Zac pressed his paws on the window ledge and smeared the glass with his squishy nose.

“Okay, just a little but no leaping out when you see a pretty girl,” Kate said, pressing the button and lowering the window.

“You are family now, Zac,” she told him. “And I’m not losing anyone else again.”

 

 

Did you enjoy this excerpt from Love All of Me?

 

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To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here:

getbook.at/LoveAllOfMe

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To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here: https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/love-all-of-me

 

Screen Shot 2020-06-26 at 2.00.19 PM

 

If you want a daily inspiration, quote or giggle, you should follow me on Instagram>>https://www.instagram.com/molliemathewsauthor/

Check the link in my Instagram bio to access a free love story guaranteed to help you feel better today. (It’s written in my former hometown, Wellington, New Zealand—once voted by Lonely Planet as the Coolest Little City in the World  ????????????

 

xxx

 

signature

 

 

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Posted in: About Mollie, Love All Of Me Book, Mollie's Blog, New Excerpt, New Release, New Romance Novel, Writer's Life

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The Italian Billionaires Christmas Bride

Date: June 18th, 2020, Posted by mollie

The Italian Billionaires Christmas Bride

What if the person who is so, so, so wrong for you is really so, so, so right…

Dear readers,

I was reflecting the other night about all the conflict in the world and recalled something the great Italian artist Giorgio Morandi, reputed to be one Italy’s finest still-life painters, once said that there was beauty in opposition. It struck me as such a powerful and liberating attitude to live and love by. I used these sentiments in one of my romance stories, The Italian Billionaires Christmas Bride.

In 1915, Morandi joined the army but suffered a breakdown and was indefinitely discharged. He retreated from people, the world—their warmongering and their conflict—and sought solace in the beauty of inanimate objects. His paintings are revered for their tonal subtlety in depicting simple subjects, which were limited mainly to vases, bottles, bowls, flowers and landscapes.

morandi

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlOBQSQ49OA&w=560&h=315]

I love the still, silent, metaphysical beauty of his work. I thought I’d share a scene, where my heroine confesses her own love for his work—and introduce the hero and heroine in opposition, but also shared joy:

CHAPTER 11

Her comment was met with stony silence. Not a muscle in his hard, handsome face moved as she strode ahead. Max’s walk was purposeful with a controlled, yet impatient, strength to it as he led her through the villa. Clearly, he was in a hurry to be rid of her.

Issy slowed her pace deliberately, gasping audibly as she walked past walls lined with priceless artworks she’d only ever seen in borrowed books and on the Internet.

‘This place is like a museum. It’s immaculate,’ Issy said, as she followed him past a living room double the size of a luxury hotel lobby, opening out to a massive wrap-around deck with panoramic views of the sea. The vibrant turquoise hues of the ocean spreading below contrasted with the starkness of Max’s mood. ‘You must love coming here,’ she ventured.

‘I don’t have time for holidays,’ he said. ‘I have full-time staff to ensure it is available all year round for friends or family who may want to relax,’ his tone was flat as though the thought of chilling surrounded by so much beauty didn’t excite him one little bit.

His footsteps were silent on the smooth marble floor, contrasting with her sandals clacking noisily as she quickened her pace to keep up with him. Friends with benefits no doubt, Issy thought. She didn’t know a stitch about his love life but she didn’t have to be a NASA scientist to guess that a man as handsome and wealthy as Max would be inundated with beautiful women offering their services.

Suddenly she froze, her heart pounding, as they walked down a glass panelled hallway toward a painting as small as the Mona Lisa.

‘Oh, my gosh,’ Issy’s breathing raced as she stepped closer, her nose almost pressed against the canvas as she traced every ethereal brush stroke. ‘Is that a Morandi?’ she gasped, her voice a high-pitched whisper. To anyone else the painting would just be a collection of ordinary objects—bottles and jars standing stoically against a muted background, but in the hands of a master even the ordinary could be elevated to transcendent beauty—and equally as potent.

Max’s grave mood lifted as his eyes followed the source of her attraction. He touched his mouth, drawing attention to his sensuous lips as he nodded.

She gasped, mentally computing that a painting of this worth was beyond anything she would ever experience up close in her lifetime. Her heart hammered with equal measures of thrill and fear, as though at any moment a security guard would command her to step back beyond the rail, or escort her from the house, except there was no barrier rail. And for the next few days at least, this house of treasure would be her home.

Rummaging in her bag, she whipped out her camera ‘May I take a photo?’

His gaze narrowed as his dark, fierce eyes riveted to her. He nodded. ‘Paintings should be appreciated.’

She took several photos then turned to him. ‘Gosh, this is like being in an art museum. We’ll never see paintings like this in New Zealand, and there’s no way I’ll ever get to Europe, not on my wage.’ Startled by the strange glint in his eye, she threw her attention back to the painting again.

‘It’s true when they say his paintings can transport you. Like you could fold into them and escape reality,’ she said. Nothing she was feeling was even close to reality, she thought achingly aware of her energy pulsing in tiny quivers toward Max as she stood in front of him. Not a muscle in his body moved as he stood like concrete, his broad shoulders rigid, his posture stiff, yet she sensed he felt the magnetic energy pulse between them too.

It was as if Morandi had infused the bottles with an aura-like energy, which seeped from the painting blanketing them both.

Max stood like a sentry, slightly at a distance, behind her like the stoic blue-black bottle and the fine white vase in the painting, touching but not touching.

He turned to her, his normally cool blue eyes now a penetrating black. ‘Is beauty the bringing together of opposites to make one?’ he said.

His unexpected question threw her. Whether he was speaking of the white and black bottles in the painting, or of their own obvious differences she didn’t know, but she found herself wishing recklessly it was the latter.

‘Opposites attract,’ she ventured, her voice catching as she watched the sunlight glance off his waves of dark hair, then move across the surface of his face, tracing the muscular lines of his strong cheekbones, the indentations of his dimples, before settling on the black-silk-like fibre clinging to his powerful chest. ‘There must be a reason for that.’ She forced a laugh, noticing with alarm that it sounded more nervous than confident.

There was a reason why the energy sparked and cracked and hissed between them. A reason she would never, could never, explore. ‘I know Morandi believed finding beauty in opposition would create a happier world,’ she said, steering the conversation to safer ground.

‘You are well informed.’ His eyes glistened with vitality as though he was both surprised and impressed with her level of knowledge.

‘Actually, I studied art history at college, briefly,’ she said, softly. ‘Something my parents reluctantly indulged. I remember being captivated by Morandi’s work. He was one of Italy’s finest still-life painters, but I never in a zillion years thought I’d ever see the real thing.’

‘You said, briefly,’ he paused, inviting her to go on.

Issy hesitated, aware that he was asking all the questions, and once again she was hogging the ear time when really the roles should be reversed. But perhaps in the sharing of what appeared to be a mutual passion she might learn a little about him. It would be the only passion they could share, she thought, willing her throbbing pulse to slow.

‘I was at college, young and dependent on my parents, we needed money. Art wasn’t an indulgence we could afford.’ Issy’s chest felt tight as she relived a part of her childhood she preferred to forget. ‘There’s no money in art”, they told me. “Get a real job. Keep it as a hobby”, blah, blah, blah.’

She forced a smile as she looked at the painting, ‘It’s ironic when you realize how much money these artists earned when they followed their passion. But anyway, it was what it was. And I wanted to please them. So, as you know, I went and trained as a clinical psychologist.’ She shook her head and gave a humourless laugh. ‘I thought it might help me figure out my dysfunctional family.’

Max studied her intensely, the gleam in his eyes acknowledging her disillusionment. ‘Perhaps I should have studied psychology too,’ he said, a weariness in his tone that came not just from tiredness, but from life. ‘But now you’re an art therapist. It is difficult to remain true to yourself and your philosophy. I respect that.’

There he was complimenting her again. His tone was so earnest Issy felt herself blush. Being understood and appreciated felt too good. And too foreign. And that was the problem she thought helplessly. Talking like this was merging the personal and the professional together dangerously. Two forces in opposition like oil and water which a sane person, a professional person, knew would never mix.

Only she wasn’t sane, she acknowledged. Not anymore. Not with him being so kind. Not with those sexy dimples indenting as his lips curved into a kind smile. It was easier to keep her distance when he was aloof and remote.

She looked away, knowing she must dismiss his comment as politeness not interest in her for fear of wanting something that would never be hers.

Him.

Cultured people like Max were raised to be polite and she mustn’t let herself think he was in the slightest bit interested in who she was as a person. But he was a good listener, and as rare as it was for someone to focus on her for a change it felt nice. She could share how art made her feel, find out what moved him and still maintain a professional distance.

‘It’s incredible how a painting can affect you,’ she said. ‘It’s completely out of your control. My heart is racing, the hairs on my arms are tingling like crazy. I feel inspired and breathless, and light-headed,’ she said. It was the painting, not him, definitely not him that was creating all these crazy physical sensations, she thought, surprised by the powerful emotions cascading through her.

‘Can you believe, my eyes are pooling, like at any moment I might cry. You know, it’s almost like the feeling you have when you’re in love. Is that why you purchased this painting?’ she said.

His eyes focused on her with razor-like intensity, sending shivers racing up her spine.

‘Art is not about emotion. Art is about power.’ His head jerked backwards sharply.

‘Oh, yes,’ she said, pleased that on this point they agreed. ‘The power of art, as Picasso once said, to wash from the soul the dust of everyday life.’

His lips twisted in a wry smile. ‘You are a romantic Ms. Riley. It is very sweet. But also naïve. The power of art, Ms Riley, is about money. Possessing what others covet and can never afford.’

Issy felt blood roar through her chest as she looked at the imposing man standing beside her. ‘No! Art is about feeling.’

‘You know, I actually think you believe that nonsense,’ he interjected. Max stepped toward her, encroaching upon her physical space until they were both nearly touching like the bottles in the painting.

Issy stood her ground, lifting her chin toward him as he stood over her. Was he really so emotionally blocked that he could feel nothing? ‘What happened to make you so unfeeling, so hard, so cynical?’

‘Life, Miss Riley. Life.’

‘Don’t you believe in love?’

‘Love,’ he grimaced, staring at the cold blue bottle in the painting, ‘is a business construct manufactured by salesmen and marketers to manipulate people like you.’

‘Have you always been so cynical?’ Issy challenged. ‘Love is a feeling. Like art is a feeling,’ she shrugged. ‘It’s hard to describe in words, but you know it when you sense it. It’s a warm, fantastic, life-giving feeling. Like eating ice-cream in summer, only without the calories.’

‘A feeling,’ Max snorted. ‘Another vague, nebulous, overused concept. I love that dress. I love those shoes. I love that painting.’ He turned toward her, looking directly into her eyes as though laying down a challenge.

‘I love you.’ His words delivered with icy hard detachment splintered through the warm air. His shoulders straightened sharply, ‘See how easy it is to say?’

He sounded cold, far more bitter than she’d expected, but something about the way Max strode stiffly toward the edge of the deck and stood gazing out at the blue sea, a pensive frown on those beautiful dark brows, made her wonder if perhaps even he thought he’d gone too far.

‘Show me a love that lasts,’ he said, turning to her at last.

What could she say? She’d notched up her Guinness Book record of impermanent affairs of the heart, the cancelled wedding her most public failure. But she wouldn’t tell him that. Not yet. Not ever. She could barely bring herself to talk about it with anyone, let alone a client she hoped to impress with her togetherness.

‘So we agree on something,’ Max said, filling the silent vacuum, ‘I’ve never felt it, never found it, never fantasized about it and I never will. Feeling is a distraction I can’t afford.’

‘Who did that to you?’ She said, wondering how a man who seemed to have everything, had so little.

Max flinched, his jaw hardening in steely resolve. ‘I’m a realist.’

‘If you don’t have love,’ Issy pressed, ‘or at least the hope of love, what do you have?’ She stepped toward him, concern widening her eyes. ‘Max?’ she whispered, probing for his reply

‘Work. I have work. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll take you to your private bure. I’m sure you’ll find the peninsular villa to your liking. You won’t be disturbed. I only ask that you show me the same courtesy.’

Adrenaline spiked in her chest. He was banishing her. ‘But what about the session I have planned for today?’

Did you enjoy this excerpt?  This story was written during a wonderful time in Fiji. I decided to set the story there. It seems like such a lifetime ago, especially now that travel to foreign shores seems so far away now.

But you can travel to paradise in your imagination when you read this beautiful “opposites attract” love story.

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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 glamour 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?

I hope you love this story as much as I loved writing it.

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The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here>> getBook.at/ChristmasBride

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3LpDa7

To enjoy your copy from Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride

AUDIOBOOK

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride-the

AUDIBLE

(Coming soon)

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You may also like:

Ways to make a difference

Why I write romance

Flight of Passion and a change of season

How trauma can fuel your life purpose

How extraordinary love can change our lives

To enjoy more posts and books like this please follow this blog and BookBub. Subscribe to my newsletter and enjoy a free copy of Twist of Fate

 

Posted in: Mollie's Blog, The Italian Billionaire's Christmas Bride, Writer's Life

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Ways to make a difference

Date: June 7th, 2020, Posted by mollie

“Pleasure and Pain represent as twins since there never is one without the other; and as if they were united back to back, since they are contrary to each other.”

Leonardo da Vinci

 

 

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Dear readers,

I heard it once said that we need chaos to create a dancing star. I do hope, and believe, that in the wake of the tsunami of the pain so many are experiencing that constructive change will come.

History suggests it does. Without Claudette Colvin’s pain of being arrested at the age of 15 in Montgomery, Alabama, during the segregated 50s the civil rights movement may not have been born.

Nine months before Rosa Parks defied segregation laws by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in March 1955, Claudette Colvin did exactly the same thing.

Colvin was the first person to be arrested for challenging Montgomery’s bus segregation policies, so her story made a few local papers – but nine months later, the same act of defiance by Rosa Parks was reported all over the world.

Like Colvin, Parks was commuting home and was seated in the “coloured section” of the bus. When the ‘white’ seats were filled, the driver, J Fred Black, asked Parks and three others to give up their seats. Like Colvin, Parks refused, and was arrested and fined.

It seems so crazy to realize how people once thought – and how some still do. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the spotlight is shone on the inequalities and abuse of power that still remain.

Today, I was appalled to learn that a statue was once erected to ‘honour’ a man who profited from slavery. This man trafficked over 80,000 men, women and children, ripping from their homes and families in Africa and shipping them to the Americas. I read a BBC report about protesters tearing down Edward Colston’s slave trader statue, posing with a knee on the figure’s neck – reminiscent of the video showing George Floyd, who died while being suffocated by a Minnesota police officer, and rolling it into the river>>https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52954305.

And the world has spoken! This is wrong. This is unjust. The abuse of power must stop.

Closer to home, I am proud to say that New Zealand has a clear history of standing against oppression. New Zealand signed a partnership agreement with Maori to help curtail the law-breaking British. New Zealand was also the first country to give women the right to vote.

In early colonial New Zealand, as in other European societies, women were excluded from any involvement in politics. Most people – men and women – accepted the idea that women were naturally suited for domestic affairs, such as keeping house and raising children! Only men were fitted for public life and the rough-and-tumble world of politics.

It seems to me current politics in many countries have become too rough-and-tumble —even vulgar.

Conflict often heralds change. As current protestors have said, “We’re tired of being afraid.”

Oppressors rule via the active cultivation of fear.

When women in New Zealand first agitated for the vote they were knocked back. A number of New Zealand’s leading male politicians supported women’s suffrage. But three attempts in 1878, 1879 and 1887 bills or amendments extending the vote to women (or at least female ratepayers – another hurdle) failed to pass in Parliament.

Skilfully led by Kate Sheppard, campaigners and others organised a series of huge petitions to Parliament: in 1891 more than 9000 signatures were gathered, in 1892 almost 20,000, and finally, in 1893 nearly 32,000 were obtained – almost a quarter of the adult European female population of New Zealand.

Political manoeuvring stepped up and played dirty to try to stop change. By the early 1890s opponents of women’s suffrage began to mobilise. They warned that any disturbance of the ‘natural’ gender roles of men and women might have terrible consequences. The liquor industry, fearful that women would support growing demands for the prohibition of alcohol, lobbied sympathetic Members of Parliament and organised their own counter-petitions. (today the liquor industry is still a powerful and dangerous force – so much violence and family harm is caused by this highly addictive substance)

“The suffragists’ arch-enemy” writes nzhistory.govt,  was Henry Smith Fish, “a boorish Dunedin politician who hired canvassers to circulate anti-suffrage petitions in pubs. This tactic backfired, however, when it was found that some signatures were false or obtained by trickery. (mmm – does history repeat?).

People who gain from maintaining the status quo will fight hard to retain their position. Which is why we must all play our part in standing against abuses of power. Whether this is teaching, painting, creating art that uplights the world, telling our stories of standing against abuse and regaining our power, promoting and supporting the disadvantaged or joining a protest movement —what matters is we use our power.

For example, Colvin credits her teacher with instilling her with the knowledge that later led her to feel empowered. “They (our teachers) lectured us about Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth and we were taught about an opera singer called Marian Anderson who wasn’t allowed to sing at Constitutional Hall just because she was black, so she sang at Lincoln Memorial instead.”

As a therapist, I remember a Maori client saying to me, “I never thought a person like me would be able to be helped by a person like you.”

I was so shocked. “Why? What’s wrong with you?” I asked. Looking back I realize, quite possibly I was seeing the world through my eyes, not hers.

I wasn’t naive, I had taught students at University about the injustices inflicted upon indigenous peoples following the British occupation of New Zealand, and attempts to partner, not over power. Including the creation and signing of The Treaty of Waitangi. But intentions can be lost in translation. Years later Maori are still fighting for equality and true shared Sovereignty.

An African man we met in the Caribbean told me a similar story of feeling marginalised. As a poor man, he said, they were given access to inferior, less-skilled doctors. As a result of receiving poor medical care, his daughter had died.

Our time starts now

 

‘Our time starts now,” says David Attenborough in an exclusive interview in Mindfood magazine. We need fresh thinking and new ways to discover how to make a difference. It’s up to every one of us to help preserve peace, beauty, and kindness on this planet. There are simple and effective ways to do this.

I try to play a small part in the stories I tell and the books I write. As one reader wrote about Claimed by The Sheikh:

 

so happy re Claimed by The Sheikh

 

“Look after the animals and plants. This is their planet as well as ours,” says Sir David Attenborough, reminding us that the whole world is in peril. Which is why I created a hero, Sheikh Tariq an Hassir, who rescues animals who have been abandoned in zoos or trafficked.

Claimed by The Sheikh, touches on a number of subjects I love and care about with the twists and turns in the plot. I always love celebrating the strength of the human spirit, and what people do when faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges in their lives, and how unexpected events can turn disaster or tragedy into something good.

I love the fact that Melanie follows an unusual path as a pioneering architect—traditionally regarded as a male-only career. I love how hard she works at it. I always enjoy exploring how each of us uses and expresses our particular talents. And I felt a bond with her because I too studied architecture—but I didn’t have the courage and determination that Melanie had to finish.

Watching Melanie struggle with discrimination, knock-backs, and success, and the price you pay for them, was familiar to me too. Each person lives success differently and her adventures along the way help her become the person she is destined to be.

Whatever your path in life, you have a gift. Something nobody else can do as beautifully and skillfully as you. It may be standing up to discrimination, marching against the abuse of power, speaking forcefully to stop people setting fire to their cities, or quietly penning a blog post to encourage others or spotlight abuses.

How you express it, how you live it, and how you share it with others is unique to you. You have your own special way of dealing with life and the talents you’ve been given, whether you hide those gifts or share them openly.

I hope you enjoy reading this post and also enjoy Claimed by The Sheikh. Victory and success come in many forms and guises. Sheikh an Hassir has created a sanctuary for endangered animals who now flourish under his care.

Melanie creates an award-winning building to showcase many of their animals to dedicated the world and unite people of differing faiths. Both overcame significant obstacles. Their path is an exciting, fascinating, and rewarding one, and I’m sure yours will be too!

Remember, be kind and keep hope close to your hearts.

 

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I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Claimed by The Sheikh.

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Chapter one

 

“Are you trying to kill her?” Tariq na Hassir, the formidable ruler of the Kingdom of Avana, seized the animal handler’s arm, forcing him to release the rope laced around the baby giraffe’s neck.

“She has suffered enough trauma.” Tariq dismissed the man with a fierce scowl that struck fear into enemies.

A slither of panic crept into the young man’s hushed apology. “I am sorry your Excellency.”

“Release the others from their cages,” Tariq growled.

The man did not have to be asked twice. He knew from experience that the Sheikh’s retribution for disobedience would be swift and merciless.

“You are safe from harm,” Tariq said softly, stroking the baby giraffe’s long neck with a gentleness that belied his strength.

“No one will ever hurt you again, Noor,” he said softly, impulsively naming her as his fingertips swept through the calf ’s fur. He let his long supple fingers linger a moment upon her tail. Thankfully they had saved her in time, he thought as he reached for the reins, clenching his powerful hands around the soft leather.

The rage he had first felt on hearing about the ruthless murder of the new born’s mother still roared through him. Had she been executed to pay a tail dowry to the father of some money-mongering bride, he wondered? Or did some heinous person pay thousands of dollars for a wretched fly swatter?

Noor looked up and met Tariq’s dark gaze. In her innocent eyes, he saw her despair, her disillusionment, her disgust with humanity. He recognized her trauma as though it was his own. Because it was.

“Humans,” he said, his voice marinated with contempt. “The people you should be able to trust, the people who say they care, the people whose actions should be driven by love—the majority are driven by nothing but selfishness, deception, and lies.”

Taking a bottle of milk, Tariq placed the teat to Noor’s lips. The calf ’s silky black lashes grazed her cheeks as she gazed down at the foreign object then looked back at Tariq. She stared silently up at him, her eyes moist and bewildered.

Tariq had trained himself to shut down his emotions but that skill suddenly failed him. His chest trembled with suppressed rage knowing the orphaned baby would never again taste her mother’s milk.

“What passes for love among some people is abhorrent,” he said in a low, strained voice. “On behalf of humanity, I apologize.”

The killing of the calf ’s mother and three other rare Kordofan giraffes by trophy hunters seeking their tails further motivated the Sheikh’s commitment to transform his anger into action.

“Do you really think you can save her?”

Tariq looked at Anwar, his younger brother by 11 months. His head was slightly bowed but he could see his eyes were fixed in sadness and longing.

Tension ripped down Tariq’s spine. “Our father’s reign of terror and tyranny have robbed Avana of prosperity and peace. I will make it my personal mission to right the injustices of the past. War and hostility must end. And it starts with how we treat those most vulnerable.”

His fingers shook as he gripped the bottle of milk as Noor, at last, began to suckle.

An eerie silence swept across the precipitous landscape of Avana’s Tiwa oasis. Tariq lifted his gaze to the horizon. The only movement visible to his naked eye was the wind etching a delicate furrow as it crawled over the golden dunes.

“Not only will I provide a sanctuary for hunted wildlife and orphans like Noor, but I will liberate God’s most precious creatures from the many closing zoos and other inhumane habitats around the world,” he said as he glanced over at the other animals being unloaded from the custom-built crates.

“I will create a world-acclaimed sanctuary, impenetrable by those with impure and malicious hearts. It will be the most magical, marvelous, mesmerizingly unique place, the number one eco-tourism destination in the world. I will create meaningful employment for our people, restoring their dignity, attracting millions of visitors annually and contributing billions to the economy. But more importantly, I will show the world how kindness and compassion can be turned into plutonium and change the world.”

Anwar glanced at the now lush landscape and recalled how barren it had once been. With no sign of life in sight, others had found it impossible to fathom his brother’s vision to transform the punishing and unforgiving conditions into a haven for so many endangered species. Yet, as with everything Tariq turned his formidable will and mind-blowing wealth to, he had succeeded where mere mortals were destined to fail.

Anwar’s heart swelled with pride as he thought of all his brother’s achievements. “It’s an audacious and admirable plan. And if anyone can pull it off it’s you, brother. Your passion, your drive, your unrelenting ambition and pursuit of goals exceeds mere mortals. And you have the endurance and power of 13,000 Arabian horses, but aren’t you setting yourself up for too much hard work? Why don’t you relax? Kick back. Enjoy the fruits of your reign?” Anwar said, tossing his head in the direction of the harem. “Other men would.”

“Women were our father’s weakness,” bitterness bled from Tariq’s words. “I too once made the same mistake. I too paid the price.”

There was a tense silence while Tariq lifted his gaze to the sky and studied the giant falcon circling above.

“Was it not you who once taught that your greatest weakness can also be your greatest strength?” Anwar asked.

Tariq shook his head, biting down a terse retort. “I was misled,” he said. He nodded his command to the animal handler lingering at a respectful distance and petted Noor as she was led away.

“All kinds of atrocities are committed in the name of love, which is why it is the most dangerous of emotions, and why I am forever turned off to women.”

 

Chapter Two

Shielding his eyes from the blazing sun, Tariq looked skyward, honing in on the falcon’s intense, focused gaze. The power, the force, the courage and the vision of the hunting dog of the sky inspired him. And unlike humans falcons were loyal—a quality Tariq valued above all else.

“The best time for a man is the time he spends with his family,” he said, glancing toward his brother. “My people are my family. My animals are my family. You are my family,” he said, patting his brother’s shoulders.

“The first responsibility of a leader is to make his people happy and then to provide them with the required security, stability, comfort, progress and development to ensure their survival. My loyalty is to you all.”

Tariq’s head jerked backward sharply as he recalled the brutal tyranny of his father. “Besides what sort of man doesn’t want to care for his family? Only an ego-driven tyrant like our father would turn a blind eye to the plight of our people and the cruelty imposed on God’s creatures.”

Tariq gritted his teeth, his jaw locking against the strain of suppressing his emotions. There was no point voicing the hostility he felt toward his father. There was no purpose in reminding his brother that his father was a behemoth, a beast, a toxic mix of oppressiveness and evilness who had wielded monstrous power and made their lives a misery.

“This has to be the most isolated place in the world,” Anwar muttered, gazing out forlornly at the neutrals and as-far-as-the-eye-can-see block tones of the desert. “No wonder mother fled to London.”

While Tariq missed his mother deeply he didn’t share his brother’s despair. He was a thirty-six-year-old ruler who was pouring his power, his infinite wealth, his heart and soul into the land and the animals who he now offered sanctuary. He was a king filled with purpose.

“There is a lot of anti-Islamic sentiment in the world. People believe we are a nation of murderers. Thanks to people who corrupt our ways for their evil agenda. Thanks to our father and his violent, corrupt rule. Thanks to warlords and governments who seek to profit from war and spread their lies. Because of all these things the international community fears us. They have been driven away. I want to bring people back here. I want to restore our nation’s pride. I want to show the world the beauty and kindness of true Islam. Our people have suffered enough shaming and violence,” Tariq said.

“Again, you have set yourself a formidable task. Are you sure you’re not throwing yourself into this audacious cause just to forget about your disobedient wife?” Anwar said.

“My ex-wife,” Tariq corrected. His brief marriage had been a disaster. He should have resisted the arrangement. He should have refused to cement his father’s power-base by marrying the daughter of his pugnacious uncle.

Loyalty. That was Tariq’s weakness. Loyalty, to family, no matter the personal cost.

The marriage was as archaic as it was disastrous. But that didn’t stop Tariq wanting a family—one that didn’t place demands on him he wasn’t equipped to keep.

Duty—that’s what counted.

The irony didn’t escape him. Duty had claimed his marriage. He knew Fatima took other lovers, just like he knew that some people weren’t suited to marriage. But he also knew that if he hadn’t been more married to his people and his quest than he’d ever been to his wife, he might have prevented her from escaping in the night with his bodyguard in a run-down-old jeep. He might have prevented her from being buried in the sandstorm that led to her death.

He gazed out at the stark, undulating desert landscape. If he had to atone for his sins, he’d rather do it out here where there was nothing but the eerie silence and the hot wind surfing over the dunes. Where there was nothing other than his rescued wildlife meandering over what felt like the plains of the Serengeti. Where there was nothing but the blazing desert, the sand beneath his toes, and the endless Arabian sea cutting them off from the world.

Duty required sacrifice.

Tension knotted his gut as his mind drifted to the woman who angered him most. Melanie Jones. It had been her fault his older brother Zayed had abdicated, and Tariq had been catapulted into the role of ruler.

Tariq vowed long ago that while he loved his older brother dearly, his disloyalty had cost too high a price. He had vowed, no matter how painful, he would never speak or think of him again.

Tariq ran his fingers down the dark brown back feathers of the hawk. “He who wants to advance should always look ahead,” he said, turning to his younger brother.

“There are worse things than an eternity spent in this beautiful kingdom of islands, miles away from anything, draped in wind and quiet, sandstorms and hot desert breezes. Anchored between the majestic desert and surrounded by the shimmering Arabian sea. You will understand the preciousness of this gift soon enough, Anwar.”

The Kingdom of Avana had been the crown in the jewel of Tariq’s ancestors since time began. Only this time, under his rule, instead of bloody and catastrophic wars provoked by his father’s oppressive regime, the Kingdom of Avana would enjoy a reign of prosperous peace.

And he’d dedicate himself to his cause—and none other. Because when he looked around Tariq didn’t see the life-sentence his younger brother Anwar imagined, or the chokehold his older brother Zayed had felt.

He saw his home.

Yet, while he wasn’t given to despair he could see his future as well as anyone if he continued alone. Today’s reclusive hermit is tomorrow’s bitter, old relic, Tariq told himself as the falcon left his arm and flew toward the object of his ardent desire.

He watched as the giant bird of prey courted a female falcon with acrobatic displays of daring aerial feats, Tariq was acutely aware that a kingdom wasn’t a kingdom with only a king to rule. To avoid Avana falling into the clutches of his father’s tyrannical offspring he needed an heir.

The possibility was as outrageous as it was urgent. To bear an heir he needed a wife. The whole idea was impossible. Once betrayed, a thousand times wiser, he reminded himself.

His dark brows curved into a frown as he saw his bodyguard gallop on horseback away from the towering walls of the palace toward him.

His body tensed with the stillness of a wild animal whose every sense was alert, suspicious and wary as he approached.

“Your Excellency! Come quickly. There’s been an accident.”

 

Chapter Three

 

“Please, please, please choose me,” Melanie Jones prayed inwardly. She swallowed hard, an ache building in her chest, as she checked her watch, then checked again as she paced the floor outside the Council administrative offices in central London. She heaved a deep breath as her thoughts raced.

Six minutes until her fate would be decided. She checked her watch again. Five minutes, 59 seconds until the officials from The Council, and the other key teams assessing her architectural design for the new community library, would decide her fate.

Had she done a good enough job to convince them to sign off her concept for the project? The newly elected bureaucrats in the state government had challenged her design and costings, and the whole concept was in danger of coming to a crashing end.

Had she conceded too much when she yielded to their demands to rein in her vision?

Just for once she wished she could shrug off the stigma that dogged her when time after time, despite her award-winning designs, none of her buildings were ever constructed.

Just once she wished the vision she saw, the beauty she visualized, the joy she knew would be felt by those who eventually inhabited her buildings, was shared by those with access to the vault of money needed to bring her designs into reality.

If she could just get the dammed bureaucrats to say ‘yes’. Until then she’d be nothing but a paper architect. Her life’s work nothing but drawings and dreams.

Dreams.

Melanie rubbed her temple, erasing the one dream she had promised herself to forsake. She was not going to think of him.

Her ebony-black brows knitted in a fierce line as she forced her mind to the task at hand. She glanced down at the scatter of sketches splayed across the boardroom desk, feeling a mix of awe and pride—and aloneness.

Despite the fact that her design was breath stompingly beautiful, and searingly exquisite, her concept was also daringly innovative. The sweeping feminine curves confronted many people’s sense of what architecture was and what it wasn’t.

While she did everything in her power to minimize her own feminineness, in her designs aggressive masculine lines, straight edges and harsh corners were resolutely banished.

Dispelled were the sharp, angular lines and boxy shapes that so many in her field admired for their cost efficiencies. Eradicated were the shapes and forms that looked more like watchtowers in the worst of the concentration camps. Welcomed were the soaring sweeps and sensuous curves that inspired and nurtured and united people regardless of race, gender, or belief.

Melanie slid her palms over the stiff folds of her shapeless noir-black upside-down jacket. The touch of tarpaulin did an adequate job of disguising her generous breasts, but even this wouldn’t detract from what many considered to be her biggest failing.

She was a woman. A woman competing in a man’s world.

People, she knew only too painfully, didn’t like breaking with tradition. And they didn’t like change. And they most definitely didn’t like a woman telling them what to do.

Everyone had told her that convincing these officials, as with all other decision-makers she had to influence, would take more than skill and strength of purpose. She was the outsider, just as her buildings were. On the edge, confronting other people’s notions of compliance, and predictability, and subservience.

She’d stayed late at her office working through the night as she always did. She was quietly confident, but it was an audacious design. Why couldn’t she do what her mother had always told her to do? Why couldn’t she settle for less?

The community library was the biggest project she and her small team of fledgling architects had ever handled—and the most important. Books changed lives. Books made people better citizens. Books liberated people from their constrained lives.

Liberation. Freedom. Escape. She owed it to people. Her architecture was designed for everyday men and women—not the elite.

She had worked on the concept tirelessly, sacrificing the rest of her life. Architecture was her big love. Her only love. Work kept her guilt, and her anger, and her shame at bay, she told herself, ignoring the emptiness and longing that slopped in her belly, calling her a liar.

xxx

Did you enjoy this excerpt?

 

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To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>http://getbook.at/ClaimedByTheSheikh

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AUDIOBOOK

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AUDIBLE COMING SOON

 

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You may also like:

Why I write romance

How trauma can fuel your life purpose

How extraordinary love can change our lives

 

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p.s.

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Click here>> to enjoy the first chapter from my upcoming new release, Love All of Me.

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

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BEE Inspired…

Date: May 24th, 2020, Posted by mollie

Dear friends,

It’s a change of season and I’ve been painting, creating and reading.

“Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body” ~ Kenn Butler

This painting is called “Love Language”⠀
Mixed media, molten New Zealand beeswax, encaustic, oil crayon, passion
Pro-panel artboard 400mm x12mm

Handcrafted by me in New Zealand

New work created during global ‘rest time’. In honour of the new movement sparked by Dr. Joe Dispenza, called GOLOV-20  So much loving energy! So much healing:) so much joy.

As you may know, many of my books have art-related themes. But bees also have a special place in my heart.

I absolutely loved the honey bees flying all over the studio today when I was doing my beeswax painting. My father was a beekeeper, so this is even more special to me. It is to my father that I owe my love of research and a deep commitment to, and interest in, alternative forms of healing—now commonly known as (and increasingly accepted by those against ‘non-conventional’ medicine and forms of treatment) as holistic health.

My father dedicated his later years to helping others and was an early pioneer in the field of apitherapy. As Wikipedia so excellently sums up, “Apitherapy is a branch of alternative medicine that uses honey bee products, including honeypollenpropolisroyal jelly, and bee venom. Proponents of apitherapy make claims for its health benefits which remain unsupported by evidence-based medicine. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apitherapy.)”

The last line (“health benefits which remain unsupported by evidence-based medicine”) is especially pertinent to my father. He was a tireless campaigner who fought to have alternative approaches to healing accepted by the medical establishment. Many of the treatments that were then regarded as unconventional, ‘woo-woo’ cures —including acupuncture, are now widely accepted, and in many cases have been validated using evidence-based techniques. In large part, it is not that the cures did not work, it is the humankind lacked the technology to evidence or measure the results.

 I am proud to continue my father’s tireless campaign today in my holistic, health and wellness-based approach to my work as a holistic therapist, energy healer, Reiki Master, artist, self-empowerment and romance author who is not afraid to challenge the status quo. I believe, as Picasso does, that “art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life” and is healing for the soul.

Bees and their curative powers feature prominently in my new WIP, Love All of Me.

An unexpected lover…

After surviving a horrific accident Daisy Miller is plagued by guilt. Hiding both her mental and physical scars, she shuns love and escapes into work—finding meaning and purpose in running her global manuka honey empire.

Beautiful and smart, when Gianni Romano demands she sell the business to him, her passions are inflamed. How dare he think he can buy the only thing that gives her a reason to live?

Gianni Romano has ventured to New Zealand by the one thing he’d love to escape: family The Romano fortune and name has followed him wherever he goes. But that only made the headstrong Italian more determined to strike out on his own. Now he’s on the cusp of achieving world acclaim.

Only one woman stands in his way—Daisy Miller and her refusal to submit to his demands. The spark they have is more than a Sicilian sunset, but when emotions run deep and lives are on the line, will mixing business with pleasure be the bedrock for a lifelong love? Or will it all explode like an angry volcano?

Love Me As I Am is a clean romance, brimming with the promise of a happily ever after. Set in The Bay of Islands, New Zealand—one of the most beautiful, unspoiled, sensuous places in the world.

AVAILABLE SOON!

In the meantime, stress less and laugh more with these free romantic comedy stories>>https://storyoriginapp.com/to/XGF2FGu

p.s.

Did you know you can my most popular and successful books on audio?

Check out the following written and narrated by me.

I love reading and narrating my own stories. I hope my New Zealand accent is understandable!

Flight of Passion

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The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

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Love Me Forever

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Twist of Fate

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The Lightkeepers Lover

 

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Forever and Always

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https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Forever-and-Always-Audiobook/B0868H5XKV

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Forever-and-Always-Audiobook/B0868GM443

 

Audio versions of these books and the following are also available from all online bookstores and also libraries (Audible is experiencing long delays in publishing):

Sex With Strangers

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/sex-with-strangers-14 

Claimed by the Sheikh

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-9

Coming soon:


Love Me As I Am

The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride


Finding A Husband

In less than 15 minutes you could be listening your way to love!

 Check out more of my bee-inspired artwork here>>https://www.cassandragaisford.com/gallery/

DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

You may also like:

Why I write romance

Flight of Passion and a change of season

How extraordinary love can change our lives

Danielle Steele and the joy of working on many projects at the same time

My books on audio

To enjoy more posts and books like this please follow this blog and BookBub. Subscribe to my newsletter and enjoy a free copy of Twist of Fate

Posted in: Audible books, Audiobooks, Free Books, Love All Of Me Book, Mollie's Blog, Writer's Life

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Look who moved in next door…

Date: May 7th, 2020, Posted by mollie

IMG_2068

Hi everyone,

How are you doing? Are you still in confinement or coming out of it now? Are you enjoying some peace and quiet or do you have cabin fever? I find that there are ups and downs and some days are better than others, but mostly I am very grateful to be safe and well, and that my family are okay too. The rumours and the fear-mongers make it much harder to stay upbeat but I find there are plenty of positive things to distract myself with.

We are entering week 6 of our lockdown in New Zealand and things are easing up a little. People can move around into ‘new bubbles’ to shelter. Look who moved in next door.

I love alpacas, don’t you! You may remember the important role they played in healing my wounded hero in The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage.

Have you heard of GOLOV-20? It’s a new movement designed to help counteract the damage caused by all the fear created in the wake of COVID-19.

Love as we all know, is such a magical cure. That’s why we love romance, right!

I loved, loved, loved writing The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage. I hope it shows in my book!

Below is the blurb and a wee excerpt featuring ‘relatives’ of my new neighbours. I hope you enjoy it. We all need uplifting stories of healing during these challenging times.

Do you dream of travelling to New Zealand? Now you can—all from the safety of your own home. The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage is set amongst the spectacular scenery of the South Island in New Zealand.

Would you protect a murderer to save your family?

Three women. Three lives. And the lies that bind them. Why is everyone afraid of the truth?

When a lonely young American woman inherits a painting she discovers her whole life was a lie. Desperate for the truth, she goes in search of her true identity. The painting is her only clue. But everyone is determined to keep its secret past repressed, including Vitaliano Rossi, the Italian gold tycoon, unnaturally suspicious of her motives, who wants the painting vanquished. How can she discover who she really is and convince him that his love means more to her than gold?

Chapter 29

Alex took a shower and changed into her lace dress in deference to the fact that this would be their first dinner in their real home. Her suitcase of clothes made little impact in the cupboards in the dressing-room, and she made a mental note to ask her mother to send out the rest of her clothes. Then, she went into Vitali’s room entering through their common bathroom and dressing room.

Her heart hammered against her ribs as she stepped into his sacred space. It was wrong to go against his command, but there would be no sense of togetherness at all if Vitali insisted on keeping separate bedrooms. That had to be settled before anything else and here was a domain in which she may be able to bring some womanly control. Control which she must demonstrate right now.

It was only a few minutes before she heard him striding along the deck. Her pulse instantly quickened. She had made a fair fist of regulating what happened between them so far. She couldn’t afford to let him make all the rules at this critical point. Acting on sheer instinct, she sprawled across the bed in a pose of relaxed nonchalance.

The moment Vitali walked in, his body stiffened at the sight of her. ‘This is my room, Alexi,’ he said curtly. ‘You’ve got your own room and I told you there were some things that are off limits. This is one of them. So, if you’re thinking of changing anything, forget it. You’re wasting your time.’

‘I was just trying out the beds to see which was more comfortable for us to sleep in,’ she said. ‘Or were you thinking of sleeping alone? ‘

She felt the touch of his lips as his dangerously beautiful mouth curved. ‘The bed you can share, whenever you like. Like you, I intend to make what I can of this marriage. Just don’t interfere with anything else,’ he gritted. ‘Is that understood?’

‘Understood. But, there are a couple of things you should understand, Vitali,’ she began purposefully.

‘Don’t push me too far, Alexandra. I’ve given you free rein to do what you want with the rest of the house. With the exception of the North Wing, which houses my private study.’

‘You won’t have to worry about me snooping around in your absence. When you’re not here I don’t intend to be here either. Where ever you go, I’ll be with you.’

‘That mia cara, is your prerogative on any international trips I have to take. But you’re not coming on muster with me. For one thing, I don’t take passengers in the helicopter during the round-up. It’s too dangerous. I need total concentration. There’s always a chance that the engine may stall on some of the close manoeuvres.’

His eyes flashed with derisive determination. ‘And secondly, you’d only be a liability on the ground. Apart from the distraction to the men who need to keep their minds on the job, I doubt you could sit in a saddle day after day without causing everyone concern over your well-being.’

He didn’t wait for a reply. He headed straight to the bathroom and shut another door between them. Alex repressed the impulse to chase after him and argue. She didn’t have a rebuttal for him. She didn’t know they used helicopters for mustering, although she could see now how useful it would be when there was such a vast territory to cover.

A thrill coursed through her. Perhaps she could learn to fly. That would make him sit up and notice her. Surely that would gain his respect. Something to think about, she mused, as she sat on the bed and waited for Vitali to reappear.

As for the riding, she liked horses, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to be stuck to one and she doubted her butt would handle being on a horse for 8-10 hours, day after day. Still, if that was what it took to win Vitali over and show that she could handle country life, she would sacrifice her thighs for the ride. By the time the next muster came around, she would be ready. She reasoned that by then all the men on the station would be more familiar with her. She would be less of a novelty and therefore less of a distraction.

At least she had some possibilities to work on, but instinct told her she needed something meatier. The thing her husband valued most was making money, she mused. What if she could match him in the business stakes, show that she was capable to contributing income to the Gold Ridge coffers and of making a considerable profit.

Then she would win on two accounts. If that didn’t earn his trust and respect nothing would. She needed to familiarize herself with the way the station ran before she would be able to come up with any brilliant ideas about just how she would do that.

‘It didn’t take you long to regret your decision,’ Vitali said, sensing the thoughts that weighed on her mind.

Alex had been so absorbed that the mocking question startled her. He had already washed and was emerging from the dressing-room, buttoning the cuffs of a sky-blue shirt. His eyes moved across her face, intensely watchful, as he waited for her confirmation.

‘On the contrary.’ She smiled and rolled off the bed, deciding to close the physical gap between them if nothing else. ‘I have no regrets at all. I was just thinking about our new life together and all the wonderful challenges to be solved.’

Alex sauntered towards him and slid her hands up the walls of his brawny, powerful chest, her eyes teasing at the guarded reserve in his. ‘Why should I regret anything when I have you, my groom.’ She stood on her tiptoes and kissed his lips with a fervor she hoped would short-circuit his brain.

His mouth momentarily softened, as though he was surrendering to the passion storming through then both, then clamped shut as though regretting his momentary lapse of control.

‘What do you expect from me, Vitali,’ she said softly, masking her hurt with a smile.

His hands grasped her hips, halting any further attempt to draw closer. ‘I have no expectations of you, Alexandra. Expectations only lead to disappointment. I discovered that a long time ago,’ he said bitterly.

‘What are you afraid of Vitali?’

Chapter 30

Something savagely vulnerable flickered in his eyes. ‘I’m not afraid of anything.’

‘It’s me. It’s me you’re afraid of, isn’t it? I would never do anything to hurt you.’

‘Afraid of a woman? Are you mad? Certainly not,’ he bit out scathingly.

‘Then why are you holding me at a distance?’

He dropped his grasp. ‘You cost me dearly,’ he said, and the tone he used reminded her once again of the layers of steel wedged between them.

‘But I will minimize the damages, as far as is in my power. And don’t think I can’t live without you, Alex,’ he growled, his voice heavily accented as he retreated from her.

‘You don’t have to live without me, Vitali. I’m your wife,’ she reminded him.

He bit back a harsh laugh. ‘Now let’s see you put on another Oscar-worthy performance and play your loving role through dinner, mia cara.’

And that’s just what she did. Much to the McKee’s delight. Vitali had invited them to share a meal with them in the elegant dining room with panoramic views across the lake. But she didn’t have to act. It felt so lovely, so honest, so truthful to share with the couple how much she really loved her husband. And there were moments when she was sure than even Vitali was uncertain whether she was acting or not.

He did not argue when Alex suggested they retire early. This was their honeymoon after all. The McKee’s immediately said their farewells and disappeared into the ebony dark night.

Every step toward their bedroom was charged with electricity. There was no way they were going to separate beds. The door to Vitali’s room was the closest. He swept Alex inside and held her in an embrace that throbbed with uncontrollable desire.

‘Medusa!’ The words hissed from his lips as they claimed hers, but they lost any venom in the passion that surged between them.

Alex didn’t care what names he called her. She cared for nothing but the sweet-honeyed taste of his kiss.

‘Say you want me. Say you need me!’ his voice strained in the extremity of his own need.

‘I want you,’ she gasped. ‘I need you,’ she urged. ‘Now!’ she demanded, unable to contain her desire. She was beyond talking, beyond thinking, beyond games. She barely heard his hoarse cry of triumph as he laid her on the bed, and took her in another peak of tantalizing sensation.

‘Say you’ve never had a man like me before in your life.’

‘Never.’ she cried, acknowledging the truth.

He took her again and again, from peak to higher peak still, and then when she thought they could go no further they both climaxed in unison to the summit.

How much time had passed since they fell into a blissful embrace, their bodies quietly entwined, she didn’t know. Nor did she know what had driven Vitali to command her to say the things she had to him.

Ego? Pride? Doubt? How would he respond if she demanded that he do the same, that he swear that he’d never had a woman who pleasured and excited and aroused him like she did. She couldn’t bear to think of any woman making him feel more than she did. Perhaps he felt the same. Maybe that was why he forced her confession. If so, she wasn’t just a convenience any more. She was more special than that.

But the attraction was still largely physical. She had to reach further…make Vitali see that she was capable of matching him in every way.

And as she glanced out at the moon lancing off the mountain peaks the idea came to her! She had to investigate it and see if it was possible. And she needed money. A lot more money. Certainly more than she had in cash reserves. The acquisition of the European travel chain had eaten into that.

Alpacas! Of course, they’d be perfect, she thought as memories came gusting back of a night she’d spent on a summit in the Andes. She had been leading a group of people interested in eco tourism, and after a day digging channels for irrigation for the villages, the beautiful mountain creatures had milled around them.

She remembered the achingly beautiful sound of the children calling out the names of their pet alpacas. The beautiful creatures with their big brown eyes, and soft, fleecy coats of fur, came running like big teddy bears.

Alex pulled the crumpled sheets over her and snuggled contentedly in Vitali’s arms. She didn’t need to do any analysis. She already knew enough from her time amongst the villagers to act. A little more research would confirm what her intuition told her so strongly. If she fell on her face, if it couldn’t be done, so what? Not trying was the real failure. What was the worst that could happen? While there were no guarantees, something deep in her gut told her she was onto a winner.

She turned toward Vitali and watched him for a long moment as he lay sleeping beside her. His long, dark lashes rested peacefully on his smooth cheeks, his cupid lips were curved in a gentle smile as though he was still relishing the intimacy they’d shared. Her heart did cartwheels in her chest.

Tall, dark, and entirely too handsome, what drove her husband was to control the uncontrollable, to achieve the unachievable, to conquer the unconquerable—that’s what he respected. The greater the hurdle, the more she had to prove, the more Vitali would admire and respect her. Well, that was the theory, and tomorrow Alex would put her hunch to the litmus test.

Chapter 31

The blast from the alarm clock shocked Alex from her sleep. She woke to find Vitali fully clothed, tucking the sheets around her. The room was still dark, while outside the slither of the moon was still visible.

‘Go back to sleep, Alexandra.’

‘Vitali? Are you leaving?’ She murmured drowsily.

‘I’m sorry I didn’t mean to wake you. I forgot to turn the blasted thing off.’ He said striding to the bathroom. ‘You wouldn’t have been disturbed if you’d done what I asked and slept in your own room,’ he tossed over his shoulder.

‘You should have insisted.’ she said.

He grunted.

‘Besides, I wanted to be woken up. I have something I need.’

His silhouette in the bathroom door stiffened. ‘Tell me when I return,’ he said autocratically.

She propped herself up on her pillow and tapped the sensor light beside the bed until it dimmed to a soft, gentle light. ‘I’d prefer it if we could discuss it now, Vitali. You did say I had only to ask and you would do all you could to ensure my comfort,’ she said, ensuring her voice sounded firm yet demure.

‘Note to self, you’re not only incredibly strong-willed but you have a memory like an elephant,’ he said, splashing aftershave on his face.

She bit her lips. Dear God, please let me succeed.

Alex decided to come straight out with it. No matter what she said, how creatively she framed it, she needed him to invest in her venture and she doubted he would regard her idea favorably. Far better to set about it under the cloak of secrecy and aim to wow him. He already thought she was a gold-digger, but she would return his investment a hundred times over.

‘I need some money,’ she blurted.

He flashed her a contemptuous look. ‘That didn’t take you long,’ he spat bitterly. ‘At least my perceptions weren’t unfounded.’

His cruel words speared her heart. She took a deep breath and reminded herself that beneath his hardened exterior was a wounded hero. Her wounded hero. And she would do everything in her power to show him she was his heroine, worthy of his trust.

‘I’d like my own bank account,’ she continued. ‘With some money in it’

‘How much money, Alexandra?’

In truth, she had no idea how much her venture would cost. Better to shoot high, she decided. She could always repay any extra, but the last thing she wanted to do was go cap in hand begging for more. It was already demeaning to have to ask him for it in the first place. All her life she had stood independently. But if she was going to make this idea happen then she needed to think big.

‘Three hundred and sixty-three thousand.’ The figure came to her intuitively—her lucky numbers.

He blanched then flashed her an acid look. ‘I’m surprised you are settling for so little. Dollars, I assume?’

‘U.S.,’ she bit. Let him think what he will, but he deserved to suffer for thinking badly of her and her motives. Part of her hated herself for being so childish and feeding his belief. But then they had got off to a bad start and Vitali didn’t look like he was going to change his mind no matter how altruistic her motives.

‘That’s some serious coin. Going somewhere nice?’ he said, mockingly.

‘I’m not leaving with your money, Vitali.’

‘Well, what then?’

‘You said I could do some decorating—add my woman’s touch.’

‘What are you going to do? Repaper the house in 24 karat gold?’

‘Actually I was thinking of exterior improvements rather than interior. I’d also like to learn to fly.’

Vitali thrust his foot into his boot, then looked up at her sharply. ‘What are you up to, Alexandra?’

‘Nothing,’ she said. ‘You can fly a helicopter and I think it would be fun to learn too. How else am I going to fill in my time?’

‘You won’t need money for that. I’ll teach you myself’, he said gruffly.

Alex felt a thrill of triumph. He was offering to spend time with her. Finally she was making progress.

‘That would be fabulous. Thank you,’ she said leaping from the bed and planting a kiss on his lips.

‘Is that it?’ he said fixing her with a wary look as he stood up.

‘That’s it. I hate to appear pushy, but do you think you could put the money in my account straight away. I’d really like to make a start on my project without delay—especially if you’re determined to go away.’

‘You pushy?’ he said, throwing his camel jacket on. ‘What project?’ he added, suspiciously.

‘Nothing to worry about. I promise. In fact, I think you will be pleasantly surprised,’ she said smiling extra brightly at him in the hope of melting the deep ravines of worry creasing his brow.

He sighed an exasperated breath. ‘Whatever makes you happy,’ he said with an ironic twist. ‘Just make sure it doesn’t make me wild. I’ll speak to Bob. He’ll make the necessary arrangements immediately,’ he tossed at her as he headed for the door.

‘Vitali—’

‘What now!’ he said testily.

She raced to him, throwing her arms around his neck before he could stop her. ‘You forgot to kiss me goodbye.’

‘For God’s sake, Alexandra. I’m through with the charade. Stop playing games.’ There was a ragged edge to his vehemence. His hands curved around her soft, warm nakedness as she clung to him. He drew her body even more intimately against his.

‘One kiss,’ she purred, thrusting her fingers persuasively through his thick, coal-black hair. ‘It won’t hurt. I promise. And I was a good wife last night, wasn’t I?’ she purred.

His chest heaved and his mouth possessed hers in angry compliance. His hands splayed over her body, grabbing her with crazed urgency. When he finally wrenched his head up, a raging conflict glittered in his eyes.

‘I am going,’ he pronounced with glacial resolve. He pushed her away from him. ‘You’ve had your proper goodbye, now let me get on with my work, wife. I’ll see you when I return in a week or so—if you’re still here.’

He slammed the door shut after him. His boots boomed along the deck, as though the wolves were snapping at his heels. Alex grinned and leapt back into his side of the bed, drawing the covers up to her face, and inhaling the sultry memory of the passion they’d shared. She writhed in sensuous delight. He was her man. Soon she would convince him that she was his woman.

He wanted her to stay. Hadn’t he said it? Well, not exactly. But he wouldn’t have offered to teach her to fly his beloved helicopter otherwise. And though they’d had a testy exchange he hadn’t balked at giving her the money.

“Whatever makes you happy.” Those were his words. “Just don’t make me wild.” She would show him that she was committed to his happiness. She would prove that together they could achieve their mutual joy.


Did you enjoy this excerpt of The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage?

mollie-The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage

PRINT AND EBOOK

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>> getBook.at/ScandalousMarriage

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/mVNdn5

To grab your copy from Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-italian-billionaire-s-scandalous-marriage-1

AUDIOBOOK

AUDIBLE

US

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B08745WFMS

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B087485CLB

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Italian-Billionaires-Scandalous-Marriage-An-Italian-Billionaire-Romance-Audiobook/B0873ZXX6G

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-scandalous-marriage-the

Praise for Book Two in the Gemstone Billionaire’s series—The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

“I loved the premise that she needs the hero to unlock the secrets to explain her past—it’s great conflict.”


“I really enjoyed this story, your writing, the characters and the kiss. Thanks!”


“What a blinking good read—more please. I was hooked from page one.”


“I want to know the secret in the painting.”


If this is the first time you have read a Gemstone Billionaire story, you can easily read each book as a standalone.

Take good, good care of yourself, stay safe, as we make our way through these unusual and unexpected times. We will get through this, and in the meantime, I’m thinking of you and send you much love, and I hope it’s a peaceful and beautiful week (so many of you are heading toward Spring. Have a great week!

Much Love, Mollie

P.S

Do you enjoy reading literary fiction—especially art-related historical novels set in 15th Century Italy? Would you enjoy being a BETA reader?

Please email me Mollie@molliemathews.com.

As you may know, I am an award-winning artist and I love to include art themes in my books. And for my historical novel, I am enjoying learning from Leonardo. Below is one of my sketches (of Leonardo’s)

Leonardo Sketch instagram template

Posted in: Audible books, Mollie's Blog, The Italian Billionaire's Scandalous Marriage, Writer's Life

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

An x-rated coach & a jilted wife

Date: April 15th, 2020, Posted by mollie

BookBrushImage1269

44-year-old Ruby Evans doesn’t want to be a ‘leftover girl.’ But finding a ‘forever’ man is proving impossible.

In love, the most dangerous enemy is saucy secrets

Suddenly single after 20 years of marriage, her husband is the only man she has ever slept with. But the one bit of security she always thought she’d hold onto for the rest of her life is brutally ripped from her.

Humiliatingly and cruelly ex-ed when her husband trades her for a younger model, Chanel Zest, a long-time friend and motivational life coach, comes to her rescue. Together they embark on a quest to reclaim and rebuild Ruby’s shattered life and begin the grueling process of dating again.

Once in a pink moon, Ruby has to play dirty…

If you enjoy romantic comedy, you’ll love Sex With Strangers.

Full of quirky humor and the promise of a happily ever after.

Sex with Strangers is a clean romantic comedy with a few spicy bits.

Lovely feedback to receive

“A playful and true view of a recently divorced woman
Every woman who has gone through a divorce after more than one-decade long marriage identifies with this story. The insecurities about going out single again, the difficulties in relating to previous friends as most of them are couples (nobody likes to be the third wheel), the feeling that you are viewed as a competitor (by a previous friend) and the list goes on. Not everyone has a supporting net as Ruby – the main character – does and even though her life coach has quite a few shortcomings about relating to people and finding love she does help Ruby to get on with her life. There are quite a few steamy parts but most of the book is written with a lot of humor and the characters are easy to get fond of. It’s a true picture of modern newly divorced women and it was fun read!”

~ Claudete Takahashi

“I absolutely enjoyed this story. I loved the storyline, I loved the characters, I loved the humor. I couldn’t put it down. The descriptions were perfect. I loved everything about this book especially the humor. It was funny, sad at times, and I loved it.”

~ Patricia Quinn

Have you read this fast, fun and frisky read yet?

To purchase on Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/SexWithStrangers

To purchase on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/4EkM6z

To purchase on Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/sex-with-strangers-13

Audio (narrated by me)

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/sex-with-strangers-14 

Audible

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTKHJ61

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTSSB6L

 Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTKDD8R

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS ENJOYED THIS BOOK AND LEFT A REVIEW—I TREASURE YOU. IF YOU HAVEN’T REVIEWED YET…..pretty please, do!

xxxx

Review Links:

To leave your review on Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/SexWithStrangers

To leave your review on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/4EkM6z

To leave your review on Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/sex-with-strangers-13

To leave your review on Goodreads, click here>>https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50311061-sex-with-strangers

To follow me and leave your review on Bookbub, click here>>
https://www.bookbub.com/books/sex-with-strangers-by-mollie-mathews

Listen to the first two chapters for FREE on my YouTube channel

Sex with Strangers Chapters 1 to 2 now on YouTube at https://youtu.be/avGsR5oGRXM


I hope where ever you are that you feel safe, well, and doing what you love. We’ll all be back to normal again soon!

xxx

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Comfort books that will make your soul sing

Date: March 25th, 2020, Posted by mollie

Patience is the power that rewards

Mollie MathewsI’m happy to report that Forever and Always has gone live on Audible. It’s hard to believe that one of the wealthiest companies in the world were too short-staffed to release this audiobook and other books earlier. But patience wins.

If you or someone you love has had their careers upended in the wake of the Coronavirus, my short love story, Forever and Always,  will hold special magic.

As I share in my Author’s Note:
I can relate to Danielle Steele who says to always be on guard against envy. “Envy is a very ugly thing and very dangerous. You have to protect yourself from it every day.”

As with all my stories, Forever and Always, was sparked by a true event, or rather several true events.

I started to write this short story following a toxic work experience. It’s a love story—so of course, it had to have a happy ending.

As the opening quote of this book suggests, sometimes the worst of times can turn out to be blessings in disguise.

The direct link is:

USA
Forever and Always

UK
Forever and Always

Audio, print and ebooks also available from

KOBO
https://www.kobo.com/ebook/forever-and-always-27

BARNES&NOBLE and other great bookstores
https://books2read.com/u/mKEQv9

Publisher’s Summary

Will Lily and Leonardo end up giving their hearts to the wrong person?

Still reeling following her malicious sacking, family therapist Lily Rose is feeling rejected and 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, 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. Sparks heat into a collision of powerful forces that can’t be dampened.

Spontaneous love on the beach sends deep passions and emotional connection – more heartfelt than either has ever known – steaming to the surface.

When Leonardo’s past comes careering into his future, will both Lily and Lorenzo end up giving their hearts to the wrong person?

Forever and Always is a short, clean romance, full of quirky humor and the promise of a happily ever after. Set in The Bay of Islands, New Zealand – one of the most beautiful, unspoiled, and sensuous places in the world. Forever and Always is part of Mollie Mathew’s best-selling series Passion Down Under Sassy Short Stories. It can easily be listened to as a stand-alone story, but you’ll love listening to the other books, too.

Bonus content: Enjoy the first three chapters from Mollie’s most popular books: Married by Christmas – animosity and undeniable attraction that make the tension soar, Flight of Passion – a rapturous tale of love and obsession, and Claimed by the Sheikh – discover the secret the world was never meant to know.

Curl up with romance and savour these delicious, clean, sweet, and tender love stories.

What I’m working on now…

This is the first day of a one-month lock-down in New Zealand. We’ve been asked to stay home, not leave (unless we run out of food or need the pharmacy, and to socially isolate ourselves. I count myself lucky we live where we do, but my thoughts and prayers go out to others not so fortunate.

I’m still reeling from the shock of not even being able to travel to see my daughter. It’s early days to stay what I’m working on now (for myself) but for others,  especially in my other life as a therapist, I try to help, heal, and provide hope.

You may enjoy or find comfort in my blog,  How to be the rock that resists adversity—mind, body and soul food during COVID-19.

You’ll also get a peek at some of my healing art. As you know, many of the heroines in my love stories are art therapists in various guises.

How to be the rock that resists adversity—mind, body and soul food during COVID-19

How to be the rock that resists adversity—mind, body and soul food during COVID…

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

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Five beautiful romances which will stay with you forever

Date: March 18th, 2020, Posted by mollie

BookBrushImage464

 

Dear Readers

 

Since we are all going to spend more time indoors, why not make the best of it?

It’s the perfect time to read or listen to books of heart. So many of us need a positive distraction and something to make us feel good again. Which why I’ve bundled my most popular full-length books and included a whooping price drop…(I know many people are under incredible financial strain)

which means – 5 FULL_LENGTH BOOKS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE

And
Five beautiful romances which will stay with you forever

Five Happily Ever Afters Boxed Set contains the first five full-length books of my romantic novels set in the captivatingly beautiful landscapes of New Zealand, Fiji, Italy, New York and an exotic desert kingdom.

 

If you adore beautifully written stories and true heart-warming (sometimes frisky) romances which sparkle with humour you’ll love travelling along the road to love with these changing and evolving men and women as they escape the wounds of their past, open their heart’s, and find true love.

 

The five romance books included in this bundle are:

 

The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

Sometimes two wrongs make a very passionate right…

 

Last Christmas, art therapist Issy Riley was jilted by her fiancé. This Christmas she’s running away. A week with a client on his private Fijian island promises to save her from cheating men and the London festive season. But when the client turns out to be a gorgeous and magnetic Italian billionaire, he threatens her resolve to never again trust her heart to the wrong man.

 

The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

Why is everyone afraid of the truth?

 

When a lonely young American woman inherits a painting she discovers her whole life was a lie. Desperate for the truth, she goes in search of her true identity. The painting is her only clue. But everyone is determined to keep its secret past repressed, including Vitaliano Rossi, the Italian gold tycoon, unnaturally suspicious of her motives, who wants the painting vanquished. How can she discover who she really is and convince him that his love means more to her than gold?

 

Flight of Passion

Past love and passionate obsessions…

 

Billionaire property investor Oliver Hart is used to getting what he wants. Single, thirty-five and a committed bachelor, he plays by his own rules. On a personal quest to discover a rare, elusive and very valuable butterfly, he’s unwittingly distracted by a former flame, Ruby Diaz—a woman who callously abandoned him eight years earlier. Deciding he wants to reclaim the beauty as his own, in his mind, it’s as good as done. But Ruby is not his for the taking.

 

Claimed by the Sheikh

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. 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.

 

AND MY NEW RELEASE…


Sex With Strangers

Once in a pink moon, Ruby has to play dirty…

 

44-year-old Ruby Evans doesn’t want to be a ‘leftover girl.’ But finding a ‘forever’ man is proving impossible. Humiliatingly and cruelly ex-ed when her husband trades her for a younger model, Chanel Zest, a long-time friend and motivational life coach, comes to her rescue.

 

Escape into romance with this beautiful box set. Five Happily Ever Afters Box Set is a fun read with healthy doses of escapism.

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/FiveHappilyEverAfters

Here’s to more love, less fear, this year.

 

Why do you love audiobooks?

Some people say audiobooks aren’t for them, however, I love being able to listen to books when I’m traveling or block out noise when irritants surround me. I also love being able to listen to people who share their stories and write and narrate their own books.

Recently I listened to Elton John‘s first and only autobiography Me in audiobook. In part, it’s narrated by him and another person. No doubt a good balance for a busy superstar.

I also have audiobooks by Danielle Steel and Nora Roberts—sadly, not narrated by them, but still good books.

I know from experience it takes a lot of time to write and edit and produce an audiobook. I narrate my own books and am steadily working through my catalogue.

Currently, I’m listening to Michelle Obama’s book Becoming Michelle. I love that it’s in her own voice —it’s really lovely to hear her. It’s very soothing  and inspiring for the soul.
I also respect that there are very many people who cannot read.

They might be dyslexic or have never been taught or learned to read. Audiobooks makes a world of wonder., knowledge, and empowerment accessible to others. People like my picture-framer, Peter who told me recently that for the first time he was accessing Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning.

Peter is dyslexic. He is getting so much joy from listening to Frankl’s wise words of hope, happiness, and healing.

I first read this book in paperback when it was gifted to me by a fellow student on my psychology course over a decade ago. in the book Christopher wrote

 

May your search for meaning always be filled with hope, love, and beauty.

And

Thank you for reminding me, that life truly is beautiful [even in Palmerston north!]

Dear readers, it is my wish for you that your life is also filled with hope, love, and beauty. What a wonderful way to be.

Did you know you can enjoy and be inspired by my most popular and successful books on audio? In less than 15 minutes you could be listening to your way to a new life!

Check out the following written and narrated by me.

 

Love Me Forever

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QRGJV8

 

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QQVRV4

 

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QQW4N8

 

 

Twist of Fate

 

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YL93YYV

 

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YLBN32S

 

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YL9ZTLJ

 

 

 

The Lightkeepers Lover


USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9PX3NY

 

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9Q1Q89

 

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9QRWBV

 

 

 

Audio versions of these books and the following are also available from all online bookstores and also libraries (I’m still waiting on Audible to publish the below—apparently they are still catching up on their backlog from the holidays):
Sex With Strangers

Claimed by the Sheikh

Love Me As I Am

Married By Christmas

The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

Flight of Passion

 

 

In less than 15 minutes you could be listening to something uplifting! Whatever you do, keep yourself safe and your immune system nourished.

 

 

P.S. if you’ve read and enjoyed my audiobooks would you be kind enough to leave a review. Thank you:)

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Why do you love audiobooks?

Date: March 15th, 2020, Posted by mollie

More love, less fear

Dear Readers

 

Life is rough right now for so many people. The “global pandemic” has people arm-wrestling over toilet paper at WalMart, events are getting cancelled, the stock market took a hit, and here in New Zealand our government has asked many people to voluntarily self-isolate. Who knows what’s going to happen next.

 

Since we are all going to spend more time indoors, why not make the best of it?

 

It’s the perfect time to read or listen to books of heart.

 

Why do you love audiobooks?

Some people say audiobooks aren’t for them, however, I love being able to listen to books when I’m traveling or block out noise when irritants surround me. I also love being able to listen to people who share their stories and write and narrate their own books.

Recently I listened to Elton John‘s first and only autobiography Me in audiobook. In part, it’s narrated by him and another person. No doubt a good balance for a busy superstar.

I also have audiobooks by Danielle Steel and Nora Roberts—sadly, not narrated by them, but still good books.

I know from experience it takes a lot of time to write and edit and produce an audiobook. I narrate my own books and am steadily working through my catalogue.

Currently, I’m listening to Michelle Obama’s book Becoming Michelle. I love that it’s in her own voice —it’s really lovely to hear her. It’s very soothing  and inspiring for the soul.
I also respect that there are very many people who cannot read.

They might be dyslexic or have never been taught or learned to read. Audiobooks makes a world of wonder., knowledge, and empowerment accessible to others. People like my picture-framer, Peter who told me recently that for the first time he was accessing Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning.

Peter is dyslexic. He is getting so much joy from listening to Frankl’s wise words of hope, happiness, and healing.

I first read this book in paperback when it was gifted to me by a fellow student on my psychology course over a decade ago. in the book Christopher wrote

 

May your search for meaning always be filled with hope, love, and beauty.

And

Thank you for reminding me, that life truly is beautiful [even in Palmerston north!]

Dear readers, it is my wish for you that your life is also filled with hope, love, and beauty. What a wonderful way to be.

Did you know you can enjoy and be inspired by my most popular and successful books on audio? In less than 15 minutes you could be listening to your way to a new life!

Check out the following written and narrated by me:

 

Love Me Forever

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QRGJV8

 

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QQVRV4

 

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QQW4N8

 

 

Twist of Fate

 

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YL93YYV

 

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YLBN32S

 

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YL9ZTLJ

 

 

 

The Lightkeeper’s Lover


USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9PX3NY

 

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9Q1Q89

 

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9QRWBV

 

 

 

Audio versions of these books and the following are also available from all online bookstores and also libraries (I’m still waiting on Audible to publish the below—apparently they are still catching up on their backlog from the holidays):
Sex With Strangers

Claimed by the Sheikh

Love Me As I Am

Married By Christmas

The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

Flight of Passion

 

 

In less than 15 minutes you could be listening to something uplifting! Whatever you do protect yourself from the Coronavirus—keep yourself safe and your immune system nourished.

 

 

P.S. if you’ve read and enjoyed my audiobooks would you be kind enough to leave a review. Thank you:)

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Better than sex…

Date: February 19th, 2020, Posted by mollie

BookBrushImage359
Is reading a great book better than sex?

I’m so thrilled with the early reviews for Sex with Strangers

“I really enjoyed this story. Ruby’s life is turned upside down when her husband of 20 years dumps her for a much younger model. Chanel, her best friend, becomes her life coach and helps her with dating again. This book was humorous, the characters were likable and relatable, and there were a lot twists and turns. Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely and highly recommend it.”

“This is a one-of-a-kind full range of emotion book that if you have ever gone through a divorce and had a wonderfully supportive but definitely zany friend to get you through it all, you will relate to much of what Ms. Mathews has Ruby experience! There were times I laughed, times I cried, and other times I was cheerleader number one for Ruby to get her mojo on and take back her life! I wasn’t a big fan of Chanel initially but even though her advice sometimes came out of left field, you realize it all stemmed from love for her friend and she just wanted Ruby to have a fulfilling relationship and be happy. I absolutely loved all the in-her-head comments that Ruby would have whenever Chanel would throw out one of her wacky life-coach do’s and don’ts! Priceless!! … a very good book.

“I really enjoyed this story. Ruby’s life is turned upside down when her husband of 20 years dumps her for a much younger model. Chanel, her best friend, becomes her life coach and helps her with dating again. This book was humorous, the characters were likable and relatable, and there were a lot twists and turns. Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely and highly recommend it.”

“I absolutely enjoyed this story. I loved the storyline, I loved the characters, I loved the humor. I couldn’t put it down. The descriptions were perfect. I loved everything about this book especially the humor. It was funny, sad at times, and I loved it.”

~ Patricia Quinn

In love, the most dangerous enemy is saucy secrets

44-year-old Ruby Evans doesn’t want to be a ‘leftover girl.’ But finding a ‘forever’ man is proving impossible.

Suddenly single after 20 years of marriage, her husband is the only man she has ever slept with. But the one bit of security she always thought she’d hold onto for the rest of her life is brutally ripped from her.

Humiliatingly and cruelly ex-ed when her husband trades her for a younger model, Chanel Zest, a long-time friend and motivational life coach, comes to her rescue. Together they embark on a quest to reclaim and rebuild Ruby’s shattered life and begin the grueling process of dating again.

Once in a pink moon, Ruby has to play dirty…

If you enjoy romantic comedy, you’ll love Sex With Strangers.

Full of quirky humor and the promise of a happily ever after.

To purchase on Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/SexWithStrangers

To purchase on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/4EkM6z

To purchase on Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/sex-with-strangers-13

To celebrate the release, I’m giving away a signed copy. To enter, email me and tell me Fergus’s astrology sign. The winner will be announced at the end of the month.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoWejnL0wGQ&w=560&h=315]

Posted in: Mollie's Blog, New Release, New Romance Novel, Sex With Strangers

Tags: , , ,

Sex With Strangers (new release)

Date: February 14th, 2020, Posted by mollie

Valentine’s Release: Sex With Strangers.

Happy Valentine’s:) I hope wherever you are in the world you have a beautiful day and are with someone you love.


I’m so thrilled that today is the official release of my new love story. Sex with Strangers is not a ‘traditional romance’, nor targeted at Mills and Boon. It is a mainstream romantic comedy. If this sounds like your cup of coffee, curl up and laugh today:)


To purchase on Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/SexWithStrangers

To purchase on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/4EkM6z

To purchase on Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/sex-with-strangers-13

To celebrate the release, I’m giving away a signed copy. To enter, email me and tell me Fergus’s astrology sign. The winner will be announced at the end of the month.


In love, the most dangerous enemy is saucy secrets

44-year-old Ruby Evans doesn’t want to be a ‘leftover girl.’ But finding a ‘forever’ man is proving impossible.

Suddenly single after 20 years of marriage, her husband is the only man she has ever slept with. But the one bit of security she always thought she’d hold onto for the rest of her life is brutally ripped from her.

Humiliatingly and cruelly ex-ed when her husband trades her for a younger model, Chanel Zest, a long-time friend and motivational life coach, comes to her rescue. Together they embark on a quest to reclaim and rebuild Ruby’s shattered life and begin the grueling process of dating again.

Once in a pink moon, Ruby has to play dirty…

If you enjoy romantic comedy, you’ll love Sex With Strangers.

Full of quirky humor and the promise of a happily ever after.

Sex with Strangers is a clean romantic comedy with a few spicy bits.

“I absolutely enjoyed this story. I loved the storyline, I loved the characters, I loved the humor. I couldn’t put it down. The descriptions were perfect. I loved everything about this book especially the humor. It was funny, sad at times, and I loved it.”

~ Patricia Quinn

Review Links:

To leave your review on Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/SexWithStrangers

To leave your review on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/4EkM6z

To leave your review on Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/sex-with-strangers-13

To leave your review on Goodreads, click here>>https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50311061-sex-with-strangers

To follow me and leave your review on Bookbub, click here>>
https://www.bookbub.com/books/sex-with-strangers-by-mollie-mathews

My Valentine’s Day brought mixed blessings. Drainage issues! But a dozen red roses from Lorenzo and the release of Sex With Strangers made me smile.

Posted in: Mollie's Blog, New Release, New Romance Novel, Sex With Strangers

Tags: , , ,

I’m all about the happily-ever-afters… 

Date: February 12th, 2020, Posted by mollie

Did you know that Princess Diana read Barbara Cartland novels?  It was news to me and inspired a scene in my new release, Sex With Strangers. In fact, the whole story is inspired by women who love to read romance. Because what women want is love, passion, adventure, and happily ever afters. When they love, they love deeply and they want a man who loves deeply too—and loyally.

So when Ruby Evans is dumped by her husband she’s almost given up on happily-truly-after. Finding a ‘forever’ man is proving impossible.

Humiliatingly and cruelly ex-ed when her husband trades her for a younger model, Chanel Zest, a long-time friend and motivational life coach, comes to Ruby’s rescue. Together they embark on a quest to reclaim and rebuild Ruby’s shattered life and begin the grueling process of dating again.

But, once in a pink moon, Ruby has to play dirty. . .

If you love romcoms and enjoy reading something uplifting, fun, light, and colorful, then you’ll love my Valentine’s Day new release Sex With Strangers.

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/SexWithStrangers

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/4EkM6z

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/sex-with-strangers-13

“I absolutely enjoyed this story. I loved the storyline, I loved the characters, I loved the humor. I couldn’t put it down. The descriptions were perfect. I loved everything about this book especially the humor. It was funny, sad at times, and I loved it.”

~ Patricia Quinn

Couple

What I’m working on now…

I’m currently narrating the audio version of Sex With Strangers. It’s great fun! I love reading and narrating my own stories. I hope my New Zealand accent is understandable!

You can see a wee video clip of me reading a chapter of Sex With Strangers on my Youtube chanel>>

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoWejnL0wGQ&w=560&h=315]

Check out the following written and narrated by me.

Love Me Forever

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QRGJV8

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QQVRV4

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QQW4N8

Twist of Fate

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YL93YYV

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YLBN32S

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YL9ZTLJ

The Lightkeepers Lover

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9PX3NY

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9Q1Q89

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9QRWBV

Audio versions of these books and the following are also available from all online bookstores and also libraries:

Claimed by the Sheikh

Love Me As I Am

The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage.

Flight of Passion

Finding A Husband

Forever and Always

In less than 15 minutes you could be listening your way to love!

 

Latest freebies and limited-time offers

BookBrushImage-2020-1-13-8-3711

Claimed by the Sheikh is one of my favorite books. I loved writing my first sheikh story and learning more about the things that unite us—rather than divide. I love that in this story, as with all my romance, love wins.

As I shared in the Author’s Note:

This book 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.

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. 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

And I also dedicated 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.


Discover The Secret She Kept From The Sheikh

50 percent off until midnight 16 Feb.

Purchase

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/ClaimedByTheSheikh

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>> https://books2read.com/u/brVjdZ

To grab your copy from  Kobo, click here>> https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-8

Free Love: An All-Romance Short Story, Novella, and Novel Giveaway”
https://storyoriginapp.com/to/TrrNdiF

Much love,

Mollie

xxxx

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

Tags: , , , , ,

Love and Murder Amongst The Butterflies

Date: February 3rd, 2020, Posted by mollie

BookBrushImage-2019-11-27-13-347

Dear friends,

I woke up today to some very upsetting news. Workers at a monarch butterfly sanctuary are being murdered. While it may not seem like a tragedy on a massive human-scale (two workers have been murdered so far) these passionately, purposeful people are protecting our ecological balance. Every time man destroys a forest, burns habitat, pursues profit over protection humanity dies.

The western state of Michoacán has experienced escalating violence in recent years, and the region around the monarch butterfly reserve has been rife with illegal logging, despite a ban imposed to protect the monarchs, which winter in the pine- and fir-covered hills. If you are curious, read the article in The Guardian here>>https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/03/mexico-second-monarch-butterfly-sanctuary-worker-found-murdered

 

Flight of passion - scene with butterflies cropped

Love amongst the butterflies

When I wrote Flight of Passion several years ago I never dreamed that the beautiful monarch butterflies who incircled the lovers in the proposal scene would be under the threat of extinction. The photo above originally inspired this story. I love writing stories that spotlight critical issues—to me, that’s the power of creativity.

Flight of Passion is a rapturous tale of beauty, obsession and the transformational power of unconditional love.

Billionaire property investor Oliver Hart is used to getting what he wants. Single, thirty-five and a committed bachelor, he plays by his own rules. On a personal quest to discover a rare, elusive and very valuable butterfly, he’s unwittingly distracted by a former flame, Ruby Diaz—a woman who callously abandoned him eight years earlier.

Deciding he wants to reclaim the beauty as his own, in his mind, it’s as good as done.

But Ruby is not his for the taking. Due to marry the son of a wealthy landowner, she refuses to succumb to his charms. On a quest to save her family’s land, Ruby knows she must put duty first, and silence the passionate stirrings of her heart.

 

But Oliver’s not taking no for an answer. Risking everything to help the woman he loves to gain her freedom, Oliver entangles himself in an emotional net that alters his life forever.

 

Sacrificing his own selfish pursuit to help Ruby, he realizes that you may be able to own something, but you can never own someone—especially the women you love.

This is a standalone clean & wholesome romance novel. It contains a guaranteed HEA, and a tale of romance that will capture your heart. As an added gift, it also includes the first chapters of Claimed by the Sheikh—this time, saving giraffes and endangered wildlife is the theme. I love a man who cares for the planet, and uses his wealth to make a difference to those most vulnerable, don’t you?

If you love reading contemporary women’s fiction, clean romance, and true love stories you’ll love Flight of Passion.

One of my readers summed up how fleeting life is:

“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.”

Sometimes, humanity doesn’t realize what treasures nature holds until it has been destroyed. I hope and pray Mexico finds a solution before it is too late. 

 

OTHER READER REVIEWS

“This book is a carefully crafted, truly original story. Mollie’s wonderfully descriptive narrative paints a picture in which it is easy to lose oneself—I really felt like I had been to Mexico by the time I had finished. Her butterfly theme echoes throughout the book, both literally and figuratively. The main characters, Oliver and Ruby, are each conflicted in their own ways. Despite facing challenges, both ultimately find the strength to work through their difficulties to emerge better people, and most importantly, triumph over adversity together. A touching and heart-warming book, well worth a read.”

~ Cathy Rioran

“Fast-paced, heart-wrenching completely unexpected twists, excellent storyline, and a hell of a good read. You just gotta love Mollie’s imagination and expertise in her writing.”

~ Rae Waterhouse

Enjoy a wee excerpt by reading the first few chapters or watching a video I made last Christmas—let’s keep our love for butterflies alive.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-4BZicwQvg&w=560&h=315]

 

 

BookBrushImage263

 

PROLOGUE

 

GROWING UP OLIVER WAS LEFT WITH THE impression he wasn’t worthy. First by his parents who at the age of four sent him to the bottom of the world. It was as if they didn’t know what to do with their infinitely curious and energetic child. It was as if sending him to the most prestigious boarding school in New Zealand absolved them of their responsibility, the responsibility which was every parents’—or should be, he thought bitterly—to love their child unconditionally.

After his run-in with a box of matches, they told him he would amount to nothing. He proved them wrong. At sixteen, he left New Zealand and headed for New York. It was true. If he could make it there, he could make it anywhere. With the ruthless determination that he was both admired and feared for, like King Kong on steroids, he quickly climbed to the top of the property acquisition tree.

He was king of the beasts, the man everyone wanted at their dreary New York parties, full of checkbook philanthropists who would never stoop to get close to the people their showy donations benefitted. Parties, like the one where he’d first met Ruby Diaz

Ruby had fluttered into his life like a breath of fresh air. She had lit up the room with her illuminating presence and dazzlingly rare beauty—not just on the outside but the inside too. Her authenticity had the scent of violets—too guileless for pretense.

His darling Ruby. Oliver swallowed hard, refusing to succumb to the wave of angry hurt that swum from his heart to his throat.

For three blissful years, they were inseparable. But no matter how much success Oliver acquired, how extraordinarily wealthy he became, Oliver wasn’t good enough for the Diaz’s darling Ruby. He never knew why she flew from his life, disappearing as quickly as she’d arrived. She had said nothing, given him no explanation, not even the courtesy of a call.

The Diaz family and the way Ruby had callously abandoned him reminded Oliver he would never be worthy—he was unlovable. Perhaps he should thank them for sparing him further hurt. Thanks to them and his hopeless parents, he swore never to love again.

And that suited him just fine.

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CHAPTER ONE

WOULD SELLING BUTTERFLY LOVERS REALLY free him of painful memories he’d rather forget?

Common sense told Oliver Hart that Butterfly Lovers was just a painting. An inanimate object, incapable of controlling him. But that was the trouble—it did control him, seducing him with its beauty, twisting his heart with bittersweet memories.

He’d intended to keep it . . . her . . . forever. His heartbeat seemed to almost stop as he thought of Ruby Diaz, the woman who had inspired the painting’s commission. He rubbed his powerful chest, trying to ease the painful tightness that constricted his lungs as he surveyed the crowd gathered for the charity art auction.

It was time to let them both go. But would Oliver ever be free?

His gaze swept over the minimalist, exquisitely designed interior, lingering over the priceless abstract by Rothko adorning a charcoal-black wall, at Hillcrest, his newly acquired mansion, and New Jersey’s most expensive country estate.

Tonight, though, it was Butterfly Lovers which held in its grip women dripping with diamonds, and men clad in Armani. Locked in shared awe, they clustered around the painting, studying every line, every pulsating color.

Oliver wondered if their eyes ached as his did with a heady mix of pleasure and pain just to stand in its spellbinding presence. Or were they trying to decode the painting’s hidden secrets?

Like a moth to a seductive flame, his eyes drifted to the bottom of the painting. Nobody, but one other person, would ever be able to decipher the graffiti-style line of poetry scrawled in throbbing orange along the bottom of the painting.

Painful memories bled into his consciousness. Why the hell couldn’t he shake her?

Butterfly Lovers. The painting was aptly named, he mused, forcing his mind from the woman who had inspired the purchase. The dancing kaleidoscope of color reminded Oliver of his collection of exotic butterflies—his hobbyhorse and quiet obsession.

Dazzling sapphire blues, glistening watermelon pinks, pulsating canary yellows with shimmering oranges—flew from the canvas, and ricocheted off the marble floor which had been polished to a mirror-like gleam.

He had commissioned the painting in a move of uncharacteristic impulsiveness eight years earlier when he was 22 and madly in lust with Ruby. A 20-year-old exotic beauty, she’d fluttered into his life, bringing with her eternal sunshine, and air so fresh it seeped through the iron fortress he’d built around his heart.

Butterfly Lovers encapsulated the vitality, optimism, and positivity she exuded. It was a rare piece which the serious art connoisseurs who gathered here this evening would die to possess. Oliver’s brow furrowed, aware many were drawn here not by the desire to possess the contemporary art world’s finest paintings, but insatiable voyeurs hungry to glimpse the inner world of one of America’s wealthiest and most elusive bachelors.

Immensely private, he’d never opened any of his palatial homes to the public before. Not homes, houses, he corrected. He congratulated himself as he glanced around the clinical, museum-like surroundings. The dark walls and sophisticated lighting, spotlighting priceless works of art, created a sophisticated, yet austere, facade. If a building was truly a reflection of its owner, as many designers believed, the interior aptly reinforced the stereotypes perpetuated in the media—moody, dark, mysterious and strictly hands-off.

There was some truth to that, but it was not the whole truth.

Oliver’s eyes drifted to the spiraling staircase and the heavy gold braided rope barricading the entrance to the upper level. He never let anyone get beyond the ground floor of his psyche. Some tried, but few persevered. No one, other than Ruby had ever penetrated his fortified armor. And that was a mistake.

He was complicated.

No doubt someone here tonight would go home and tweet that he was something of a social outcast, and arrogant to boot, Oliver thought as he hovered in the background. The fact was that he preferred his own company than engaging with his guests—predominantly wealthy financiers and bankers.

He knew his contempt was hypocritical, given he didn’t care who reached into their pockets. But there was something decidedly unpalatable about bankers and the merciless way they preyed on the vulnerable. Tonight, he would gladly encourage them to part with their millions.

As he glanced at his reflection in the floor-length window it struck him how far he had come from the days when just finding money to support himself and his little sister had been a struggle. Resplendent in an immaculately tailored Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo cut from the finest Italian wool, he looked like he belonged.

Oliver rubbed his hand over his pecs, powerfully aware of the Maori-inspired tattoo coiled over his shoulder that the crisp white linen of his shirt concealed. His hands pulsed with renewed conviction. It was his touchstone—a symbolic reminder that he was fierce and untouchable—a warrior businessman and an impenetrable lover.

On a good day, he even fooled himself.

But no matter how easy it was to make millions, no matter how many things he acquired, he’d never found a sense of contentment.

Except with—

Oliver bit down on his teeth, grinding them together in a futile attempt to crush memories he was determined not to revisit.

He glanced at his Rolex. 7:03:02. Irritability coursed through his veins. What the hell was the auctioneer waiting for? He fixed him with a piercing look, firing his unspoken annoyance through the crowd.

Tardiness was something he abhorred, and doubly-so tonight, he thought as he locked on the important call he had to make. In one hour it would be 8am in New Zealand and his sister, as punctual as he was, would be anxiously waiting.

As though feeling the pointed tip of Oliver’s anger the auctioneer looked up. His relaxed smile quickly shattered as he was forced to confront the aggressive glint in Oliver’s eyes, the rigid set of his shoulders, the brutally hard line of his jaw.

The auctioneer banged his hardwood gavel on the sounding block with short urgent thuds, his florid face ballooning as the chatter continued.

“Ladies and gentlemen, can I have your attention?” More insistent hammering. “Attention! Attention!”

The chatter fell to an orderly whisper, extinguished finally by the auctioneer’s solemn voice.

“As you know, tonight is a unique opportunity to savor the extraordinary passions of Oliver Hart. Renowned as an astute businessman, Oliver Hart is also an obsessive collector,” he said.

“He has one of the most significant collations of contemporary art in the world. Not only a man of significant wealth, Oliver Hart, founder of Hart Luxury Hotel Consortium, is a man of outstanding generosity. All the funds raised by tonight’s art auction will provide relief for those affected by last month’s devastating earthquake in New Zealand, where he spent much of his childhood.”

Oliver studied his feet as a thunder of applause quaked through the room, amplifying as it echoed off the walls.

Childhood.

The word was like a vicious punch to his stomach. Oppressive memories pounded his brain, and this time there was no silencing them.

Suddenly he was four years old again. Four years old and frightened. Lonely. Abandoned. Trapped in a jungle of strangers. Abandoned by bickering parents into a boarding school, neither one willing to let the other have custody. Selfishly caring more about winning against each other than the needs of their own child. And then there was his father.

His jaw locked as he bit down hard, swallowing a toxic cocktail of grief and anger. The brutal beatings hadn’t hurt nearly as much as the verbal abuse and discouragement he’d suffered when he told them he wanted to be like his grandfather and study butterflies. The abuse had only intensified when he turned his back on the legal career his father had wanted. ‘You’ll never achieve anything. I wish you’d never been born. How dare you defy me you worthless piece of shit,’ the pain of these beatings had long healed—but those words still hurt.

Freezing sweat clung to Oliver’s body in a vice-like grip, as he recalled the scorn his father rained upon him during his few personal visits. He paced across to the open window, inhaling deeply as he struggled to rip himself free from the shards of the past. Jesus, what sort of father tries to have his son institutionalized?

To some, it might seem ironic that he should be so generous to a country where he spent such an unhappy childhood, but Oliver didn’t like to think of others suffering.

He forced his mind back to the present.

“Tonight’s opening painting Butterfly Lovers is a significant artwork,” the auctioneer continued, glancing down at his notes.

Oliver didn’t have to read his words to know that what he would reveal was a shallow rendition of the truth. Only two people in the world truly knew just what Butterfly Lovers meant.

He glanced around the room thinking Ruby might have come, hoping with all his willpower she hadn’t.

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

HE FORCED HIMSELF NOT TO BETRAY THE turmoil of emotions jack-knifing through his body as the massive painting was carried to the makeshift podium.

The butterfly theme had held so much promise. He’d never really bought into Ruby’s tales about the transformative power of art to heal. But back then privately he’d hoped her optimism might rub off. With her by his side, and by owning the painting, perhaps he could shed a skin, free himself of his deformed past, re-emerge in a new skin. Undamaged. Someone nearing perfection. A better man. The sort of man Ruby deserved.

He’d been a fool.

Oliver’s spine stiffened. He’d intended to keep it . . .

her . . . forever. But even good intentions couldn’t make up for a lifetime’s inability to commit. He moved towards the terrace, widening the distance between him and the painting. He would no longer succumb to the painting’s potent power to remind him of his failings.

“Created specifically for Oliver over seven years ago by struggling contemporary artist CG Tombly—only Oliver could have foreseen its financial potential.”

Oliver’s brow furrowed. The suggestion he had acquired the painting for commercial gain, rankled him. If he wasn’t such a private man he might have told the crowd the truth. He’d made the mistake of talking candidly once before—a mistake he wouldn’t be making again.

In its place, he’d created a new habit—a habit of keeping his emotional life to himself, one he wasn’t about to break. Soon the painting, and the painful memories of the only woman capable of making him feel, would be shed and he could devote himself to less painful obsessions.

“As always, Oliver’s timing is impeccable. The painting’s value has rocketed in the same soaring capacity as the palatial hotel Oliver’s company has recently constructed in Dubai–so high it almost touches the gods.”

The auctioneer flung his hands into the air to accentuate his point. “Oliver Hart,” he said, nodding in his direction and pointing to his towering 6-foot, 2-inch frame, “never does anything small.”

Oliver thrust his hands in his pockets and glanced out the window refusing to look at the painting as the bidding began.

In a few fist-clenching minutes it would all be over and he could get on with his life.

His gaze drifted to the sculpture garden, lying beyond the pool, alighting on a solitary bronze sculpture by Brancusi. The modernist interpretation of Hercules holding the world on his shoulders, with its roughly hewn egg-shaped sphere symbolizing earth had always appealed to him.

Balanced precariously on a towering sculpted wood base, the odd shape and the large crater severing the middle of the sphere challenged conventional notions of perfection and reminded him of humanity’s rawness.

As his gaze lingered over the sculpture it occurred to him that repairing his scars, so deep that no relationship he started ever endured, required a Herculean effort.

No wonder the painting had failed.

But he still wanted to believe, as the ancient Greeks had, that art had a powerful ability to transform lives. He only hoped that selling the painting finally fulfilled this purpose. Perhaps then the painful memories that still haunted him could be turned to good.

He turned and fixed his gaze upon the audience. Who would be its new owner he wondered as the opening bid of one million was made. Would it go to Don Hermes, the impotent pharmaceutical giant, standing just ahead of him, or some other equally innocuous purchaser? Or would some anonymous bidder calling from China, Europe or the Middle East be the lucky buyer?

“$12 million? Do I have $12 million?” The bags under the auctioneer’s eyes shifted as he tilted his head forward, and peered under his glasses.

“A small price to pay,” he continued, his gaze briefly flickering to Oliver, “for a painting personally commissioned by a man who defies every category and transcends every cliché: a man with tremendous gusto and creative generosity.”

The auctioneer’s eyes flew to a scantily dressed blonde hovering hopefully next to Oliver. “A man who has yet to be pinned down.”

Oliver caste her a dismissive look and moved further toward the back of the room.

“$12 million we have,” cried the auctioneer’s assistant, nodding vigorously as he pressed his iPhone firmly to his ear.

Oliver’s heart lurched as the bidding began.

“$13 million,” the assistant taking telephone bids shouted, raising his hand.

“$13.2 million.” The auctioneer’s eyes darted between the phone bidder and two men determined to claim the painting as their own.

Explosive tension hovered as one of the two remaining bidders turned their attention away.

“$13.5 million! At $13.5 million the painting will be sold,” the auctioneer warned. He suspended the gavel in the air, pausing as he scanned the room.

“$17.4 million,” came a guttural, low growl from the front of the crowd.

A record price!

The room fell silent under the weight of the bid, then buzzed with irritatingly discordant voices, their murmurs of awe and envy a rising tide of white noise.

Oliver’s eyes darted to the front row. Over $14 million? The price was ridiculous. Someone must want it desperately. But who and why?

He was acquainted with the deep pockets of unbridled obsession. He understood intimately the seductive power of the painting.

But this was crazy bidding.

There had to be a compelling reason surpassing the usual appreciation of any art-lover. At that price it could hardly be an investment buy.

So that left . . . what?

Oliver paced the back of the room in agitation unable to see the face of the man who had placed this latest bid. He caught a glimpse of the woman next to the anonymous bidder as she shook a sexy spill of sun-kissed curls down her back. The familiar gesture sent shockwaves to his heart.

It couldn’t be.

Her head turned slightly.

Oliver stood still as if turned to stone.

Ruby Diaz.

His Ruby.

 

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Did you enjoy this excerpt?

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Flight of Passion is also available in audio—narrated by me:)

 

Much love

 

Mollie

Posted in: Flight of Passion, Mollie's Blog, New Excerpt

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Are you sick of bad news?

Date: January 28th, 2020, Posted by mollie

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Dear friends,

Do you feel as I do? Are you tired of toxic, demoralizing, negative news?  Do you want to read something uplifting, fun, light, and colorful? Then you’ll love my Valentine’s Day new release Sex With Strangers. Read to the bottom for the first chapter—yours free:)


“I absolutely enjoyed this story. I loved the storyline, I loved the characters, I loved the humor. I couldn’t put it down. The descriptions were perfect. I loved everything about this book especially the humor. It was funny, sad at times, and I loved it.”

~ Patricia Quinn


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In love, the most dangerous enemy is saucy secrets 

 

44-year-old Ruby Evans doesn’t want to be a ‘leftover girl.’ But finding a ‘forever’ man is proving impossible.

Suddenly single after 20 years of marriage, her husband is the only man she has ever slept with. But the one bit of security that she always thought she’d hold onto for the rest of her life is brutally ripped from her.

Humiliatingly and cruelly ex-ed when her husband trades her for a younger model, Chanel Zest, a long-time friend and motivational life coach, comes to Ruby’s rescue. Together they embark on a quest to reclaim and rebuild Ruby’s shattered life and begin the grueling process of dating again.


But, once in a pink moon, Ruby has to play dirty. . .


If you loved Brigette Jones’s Diary and enjoy romantic comedy, you’ll love Sex With Strangers.

Full of quirky humor and the promise of a happily ever after.

Sex with Strangers is a clean romance with a few spicy bits.

 

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“A really good, hip, fun book. It was a riot. Great fun!”

~ Robyn Donald

“I thoroughly enjoyed it. Just lovely.”

~ Daphne Claire


Couple

CHAPTER ONE

GET A LIFE COACH

 

New York, December 2005

 

People start over all the time. Why can’t I?

My friend Chanel’s a life coach here in New York. She’s one of the best. She even has her own column in The New Yorker. Chanel has generously offered to help me. To be honest I really think I’m beyond help.

11 months ago my husband, Jon, left me for a younger woman. I’m still feeling lost, betrayed and empty. When she turns up at my place unexpectedly, Chanel tells me she thinks I have abandonment issues. No kidding! It’s 3 pm on Sunday and I’m still in my pajamas, sprawled out on the sofa reading romance novels.

“What on earth are you reading, Ruby?” she says, screwing up her nose. She picks up several paperbacks from the stack beside the sofa. “The Virgin Bride? As if! Husband For Hire? Why bother? Why on earth are you feeding your head with this stuff?”

“Princess Diana read Barbara Cartland novels and she married a prince,” I say crossing my arms defensively.

“Yes, and how did that work out for her?” Chanel asks.

With my left foot carefully slip Joan Lust’s recent novella Cuddle Up With A Prince under the sofa. “Besides, they’re not mine,” I lie. “They’re Millie’s. I figured seeing as I’m not getting any romance I may as well read about people who are.”

“These aren’t your daughter’s,” Chanel says tossing the books back on the sofa. “J.K. Rowling is more her bag. You’d be better off reading books about wizards and magic than you would this stuff. People who can—date, and people who can’t—write about it,” she says dismissively. ”Reading these—these fairy tales is not going to help.”

I want to tell her that reading love stories helps hugely. That reading romance makes me feel less lonely. That reading romance lets me escape. That reading romance gives me hope. But I don’t bother.

“The truth is you fear abandonment and this explains your reluctance to start dating again,” Chanel continues. “Think Meghan Markle.”

I stare at her blankly.

“What would her life be like if she clung onto her dead-beat ex?”

“Crap.”

“Exactly. It’s time you went looking for a new husband,” Chanel says when I confess I haven’t been out for months.

Well, that’s not strictly true of course. Every weekday I go to my job in a towering office on Fifth Avenue where I work as a trainee public relations adviser for The Miss America Pageant. Believe me, there’s a lot of work to do as we work to rebrand the organization. But I love that finally women are being appraised on more than big boobs and hairspray. And, after, the mass exodus of lewd members of the leadership team, finally, women are running the show.

I have other non-paid jobs too. Like walking my dog Snoutts in Central Park and running Millie, my fifteen-year-old daughter, around.

“I don’t have time,” I lie. “Besides I’m quite happy sitting here at home. Honestly,” I protest, picking the anchovies off last night’s pizza.

“Nonsense,” she snaps as she brushes the dog hair from her expensive skirt. “Every woman needs a man. Especially you, Ruby.”

I mumble through a mouthful of cold pizza, “But I’m enjoying my spare time—reading books, doing what I want, not having to race to get my make-up on before my husband got up and saw the real me. You don’t care what I look like though do you, Snoutts?” I say, reaching down and patting the Dalmatian-cross I rescued from death-row.

Snoutts looks up at me adoringly.

I’m lying of course. The truth is I’m miserable. I miss my husband. I shouldn’t after what he did, but I do.  I miss being married. I miss having someone make decisions with me and dealing with things I don’t want to, like taking the rubbish out and doing our accounts.

Actually, I miss sex the most. We had great sex, even after 18 years and 13 days. What if I never have sex again! That’s my greatest fear. I don’t know how I would even begin to meet a man, let alone have sex with a stranger.

“It’s easy when you know-how,” Chanel says. “Not only am I the queen of dating but in my professional role I’ve helped masses of women reclaim their sexual freedom.”

I wish I had her self-esteem I think as I look at her. Chanel isn’t the world’s greatest beauty. She’s got a prominent Jewish nose that would give Barbara Streisand a run for her money. But she has charisma like Jeff Bezos has money. She only has to walk into a room and men practically trip over themselves.

I’ve always admired the carefree way she flicks her vibrant orange hair, smiles demurely, and regales men with a mix of witty banter and sexual innuendo.  I don’t think self-consciousness even exists in her vocabulary. She wears clothes that leave little to the imagination, though she’s not exactly Twiggy.

“I’m voluptuous, darling. Voluptuous. Men love women with curves,” she says proudly.

I know her real secret, though, it’s her confidence. I’d do anything just to have a smidgen of it. It’s hard to feel confident when your husband’s done a runner.

Chanel’s also an expert when it comes to breaking up. From what I can remember she’s never dated any man for longer than three weeks, and women pay her hundreds of dollars just for an hour of her time, eagerly drinking the wisdom she dispenses and coming back for seconds.

She’s promised to give me her top get-over-a-break-up-quick tips. I tell her plenty of people have been giving me dating advice. It’s just left me confused.

“A guy at work told me ‘the best way to get over a woman is to get under another,’”  I tell her.

Chanel rolls her eyes and groans. “Men have a different way of working through their grief, darling.”

I tend to agree. For starters, everything I’ve gleaned from scanning men’s magazines suggests they don’t have an issue having sex with strangers.

“I can’t imagine stripping off and being naked with anyone other than my husband,” I confide. “Maybe the reason men are so untroubled is because there’s a worldwide shortage of eligible men.”

“Don’t let statistics scare you,” she says, when I tell her that in New York, women outnumber men three-to-one.

“That’s not what scares me,” I say. “For over 18 years my husband was the only man to see me naked. We always had sex with the light off. What if I meet someone who’s into. . . well, you know, kinky stuff like doing it with the light on, or in car parks in broad daylight? I’ve read about things like that.”

Fear clamps my stomach. “God, I couldn’t bear it. They’d only have to see my stretch marks and my rolled-up tummy and they’ll do a runner, too. My belly still hadn’t bounced back,” I say, pressing my palms firmly on my stomach. “In fact, the only thing it does is bounce.”

Chanel’s finger rests on her lips as though she is savoring diplomacy. “Breaking up is hard to do, Ruby. Everyone knows that but crying over spilled milk isn’t going to bring him back,” she says, her voice thick with intensity.

“I think 18 years of marriage is a bit more than a puddle of  milk, Chanel.”

“It’s a figure of speech, Ruby. Of course, I am sensitive to the fact that you’ve been together a long time, but to be honest, you are rather dragging out the healing process.”

She crosses to the shelf over the fireplace and picks up several framed pictures of Jonathon and me on our wedding day.

“Hanging on to happy-couple photos is definitely not the way to go. Never let yesterday consume today, Ruby.” Chanel strides to the mahogany sideboard at the end of the room and throws the photos in the bottom drawer.

As she closes the drawer I fight back tears. Perhaps Chanel is right, hanging onto memories only pulls me back into a past that is no longer my future.

“If you can help me get over the humiliating fact that my husband abandoned me for another woman and got his PA to send me a text confirming my marriage was over, you’re a miracle worker. I just can’t let go. I just can’t move on. I just—“

“You just want your old life back,” Chanel says, finishing my sentence. “Never gonna happen.”

The truth knifes through me, jolting me to a stop.

“The text thing was pretty low. I know. I feel it. But don’t worry. Have faith. Life is about to get a whole lot better. I am a miracle worker,” she says confidently. I hear that from my clients all the time. Trust me, darling. Before long you’ll be thanking that vixen for taking him off your plate.”

“Somehow I doubt that.” I gaze nostalgically at the mahogany sideboard, then turn to her and force a smile. “Still I’m willing to be convinced.”

“I’m going to share a few of my miracle cures with you. Are you ready for number one of my hot tips? “

I nod enthusiastically. Chanel’s passion for her work and life is infectious. I’ve never, ever seen her down despite the fact that life has dealt her some pretty tough cards. I knew her when she was Zelda Abromovich. She changed her name to Chanel Zest when she was twenty. Chanel after her muse Coco Chanel, she told me, and Zest to better reflect her personality.

It all sounded plausible at the time but I knew the real reason was that she wanted to emancipate herself from her past. I wouldn’t mind being able to liberate myself from my entire family—but we’ll get to that later.

Chanel’s come a long way since those troubled days. I figure if she can reinvent her life after all she’s been through then she can help me too.

“Start keeping a journal. It’s a wonderful way to start your day,” she continues enthusiastically. “Early each morning pour out your feelings onto the page. Empty the horrible stuff out of your head onto paper, then write some positive intentions about how you want to feel. This will free you up and allow you to enjoy the rest of the day. I promise you.”

“Hmm, sounds wonderful,” I say, nibbling my nails. “I’d love to stop going over and over and over all the things that I must have done wrong to make Jon leave, and wondering about all the ways I could’ve have tried to make him stay. Things like if only I’d dressed more sexily, given him blow jobs—”

Chanel thrusts her hands in the air. “Stop! Blow jobs don’t determine a happy marriage.”

“According to Barbara Cartland they do,” I say glumly. “She says that’s why Charles left Diana.”

Camilla is why Charles left his marriage,” Cheryl says firmly. “Cheating spouses are why marriages end.”

“Perhaps if I hadn’t been crabby when I had my period or been more understanding when his favorite team got thrown out of the World Cup. Or if, let’s be really honest, Chanel, I’d be younger.”

“You’ve got to stop with the terrible self-talk Ruby. Do you have any idea what power your words and thoughts have over you? What are you feeling in your body right now?”

“In my body?” I look down at my chest and then my feet. All I can see is Mickey Mouse running up and down my flannel pajamas. “I’ve got no idea. It’s not saying anything to me.  Should it be?”

“Your body is your temple, Ruby. It speaks to you all the time. You just haven’t been tuned into it before now. Notice what your body barometer does when you start going on and on and beating yourself up like that. It makes you feel depressed, doesn’t it? No wonder when you start affirming that kind of rubbish.If only. If only. Start saying some kind, loving thoughts about yourself and see what happens. Getting rid of that processed food would help too.” Screwing up her nose Chanel picks up the remaining pizza and gives it to Snoutts who looks at it with disinterest.

“It’s not even really suitable for the dogs,” she says turning back to face me. “Now, tell me right now five things that are great about you.”

“Um. . .er . . .” I trawl through my memory bank and draw a blank. “Gosh, you’ll probably think I’m a real sad-sack but I can’t even think of one. You don’t think I’m a lost cause, do you?”

“Of course I don’t, darling.  No judgment, Ruby. It’s quite, quite normal. You wouldn’t believe how often people struggle to think of anything nice to say about themselves. You do know there’s a global self-esteem virus. Why else would so many people be popping Prozac?”

I avoid Chanel’s gaze and wonder if I should be canceling my prescription of antidepressants.

“Well, there’s your first bit of homework,” Chanel says. “Keep two journals. One for recording all the sad-sack stuff—things like how you’re feeling, times when you feel blue, angry, etc. Then get yourself a fun, funky journal. We’ll call it the passion journal. Start collecting positive things people say about you, and record things that inspire you or make you feel good.”

Chanel reaches into her bag and pulls out a small spiral-bound notebook. “Here’s your first bit of feedback.”

She rips out a page, and hands it to me, along with her favorite citrus-orange Shaeffer fountain pen. “Write down what I am about to say and then transfer it to your passion journal. You are a kind, generous, loyal, intelligent and resilient woman.”

The pen crawls across the page. I feel like such a fraud. Tears bleed across my eyes as I write each word. But then I start to feel better. I hadn’t realized how much I needed to hear someone say something nice about me.

I stand up and give her a hug. “I don’t think anybody has said anything quite so nice to me in a very long time.”

“I’m sure they have, darling But words are like photos—unless we record positive memories we forget them. It’s amazing how memorable criticism is though. Which leads me to my next top tip for getting over a break-up fast. Learn how to meditate. Meditation is the biggest thing since gluten-free bread.”

“I don’t know, Chanel. I really don’t think I could handle shaving my head and I can’t see myself wearing a yellow robe any time soon either.”

“Don’t be silly, Ruby.  You don’t have to go all weird and new age to meditate. Just saying some simple things over and over is enough.”

“Like what?” I ask her.

“Like baaaa, lamb, sheep. . .”

“Sounds pretty weird to me, Chanel.”

“I’m joking, silly. But the truth isn’t too far away. Any word can be a mantra. Mastering the art of meditation is simply disciplining yourself to repeat the same word over and over again. By concentrating on only one thing you can gradually silence the thousands of random thoughts that are spinning around and around in your head.”

Saying one thing over and over sounds easy enough. I decide to try meditation tomorrow. I’m keen to start feeling better and Chanel must know what she’s doing because she’s the life coach and has qualifications coming out her ears.

“The next tip is fabulous. I know you’re going to love it. Eat loads of chocolate ice-cream,” she suddenly looks serious. “The ice-cream has to be Mövenpick.

I’m starting to wonder about Chanel. Her advice doesn’t sound very normal. But then Chanel is quite possibly the zaniest person I know. I do like ice-cream, and Mövenpick is exquisite.

“The next tip is in the same box as getting rid of photos,” Chanel says.

I brace myself.

“Delete lovey-dovey emails, bin the heart-wrenching texts and burn old love letters.”

I bite my lip pensively. I’m a romantic at heart and asking me to throw away my love letters is like asking Linus or Baby Bop to throw away their comfort blanket.

I’m not sure if I’m ready for this.

“Hanging onto old emails is seriously bad relationship feng shui,” Chanel insists. “Change the energy flow in your home. Change your life.”

“It sure would be great if all I had to do to get over Jonathon was press delete, and whammo he would be gone,” I say.

“Believe me it is,” Chanel says. “. . . that and dating and time. Of which, might I say, I think you’ve had quite enough. Grieve any longer than 11 months and you’ll head down the slippery slopes of depression. Believe me, that’s the last thing you want. It’s a steep climb once you’ve plummeted. Besides, you don’t want Jonathon to think he’s dated you, do you?”

I shake my head.

“Good. I can tell you, both as your friend and life coach, that there is no way I’m going to let that cheat come out of this break-up better than you.”

I suddenly feel self-conscious sitting around in my pajamas. Perhaps I am sliding toward the icy slopes of depression.

“I guess I can store my letters at my parent’s and retrieve the emails back from the trashcan if I don’t feel better,” I whisper tentatively.

Chanel’s brows furrow into a scary frown. “What’s the point of holding onto them?” Chanel says impatiently. “They’re only words. Words from the scum that left you for another woman.”

Ouch, that hurts. But it’s true. I resolve to push delete as soon as I get to work.

“The next tip is a no-brainer but you’d be surprised how frequently people don’t realize how unhelpful some of their friends can be. To really move forward it’s important to surround yourself with friends who make you laugh – and who will introduce you to other single men.”

“Other than you, Chanel, I can’t think of anyone. Most of my friends were Jonathon’s friends and those who have stuck with me don’t laugh anymore. They’re working ninety-hour weeks and are so stressed out that all they do is come home and blob out in front of the telly. Gosh, now that I think of it that’s why so many of my girlfriends are like me—shagless and single. As for my married friends— well, it turns out they weren’t really my friends at all.”

“It’s incredible how invitations to dinner parties dry up when you’re single and dateless,” Chanel says.

“I know. And when I did go to a few I got the distinct impression some of the women thought I was threatening. As if! To be honest,” I say,  “I just end up feeling miserable. They’re married and I’m not.

“Which brings me to the next rule. Stay away from married friends.” Chanel wags a manicured finger at me. “And stay well away from anyone who looks even the teeniest bit like they might get married.”

“Okay,” I mumble.

“Definitely don’t go to any weddings. You’ll only get stuck on the singles table, and believe me,” she says solemnly, “that’s dating suicide.”

“Really? I thought that would be a great way to meet someone.”

Chanel lowers her chin and looks at me over the bridge of her nose, “Are you kidding me? Only the desperate go to weddings on their own. Far better to buy a date rather than go it alone.  Desired people are desirable, “ she says. “Which leads nicely into tip seven: Be glad that you were loved and that you had that person in your life. Some people live their whole lives never being loved.”

I sniffle as tears loom again. “I was glad. Really glad.  I was happy loving my husband. I thought he’d be in my life forever.”

“Don’t be sill, Ruby. That’s irrational,” she says, handing me a tissue. “Nothing lasts forever. But,” she says, her voice softening, “tip eight is relevant here: give it time. Grief does have its own sense of timing.”

This doesn’t sound like Chanel. “Are you sure?” I ask uncertainly, wiping my eyes.

“Just don’t grieve too long. No one likes a sad-sack.”

That sounds more like Chanel.

“On that note, and concluding today’s lesson, is tip nine: find some fun! Book a holiday. Have a makeover. Spoil yourself rotten. Have something to look forward to or do whatever gives you a buzz. Which leads me to the next point,” she says, reaching into her bag. “I’ve got just the cure. Do you remember my cousin Julie?”

“The pretty one who left her husband and ran off with a surf instructor from Malibu?”

“She did? Oh yes. . .that was ages ago. A year at least. She’s been single since then and having a fantastic time. But we’re keen to take our loving offshore and have some European fun. We’re already booked,” she says, passing me a travel brochure, “and the best part is, there’s room for you!”

I take the brochure tentatively and thumb through it before returning to the cover page and reading, Contiki for 18-35s. European Inspiration Tour: 19 days from London to Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Venice, Rome, Florence, Lucerne, Paris and more. “I’ve always wanted to go to Europe. But Contiki? Don’t you think we’re getting a little old for this?”

“Don’t be silly, Ruby. We’re the perfect age.  We’re 35 -“

“We’re over forty, Chanel.”

“Don’t say the “f” word, Ruby, it’s not polite. Besides, we don’t look a day over thirty. With our wisdom, experience and mature outlook on life, we know who we are and what we want. We’re an asset to the young.”

“We are?”

“Yes, we are! Men love confidence, and confidence comes with experience. Which Julie and I have. . . and you will soon. We’ve got it all mapped out, and Contiki is just the company to help us realize our dreams.”

“What dreams, Chanel?” I ask nervously.

“We want sex,” she replies matter of factly, “and lots of it.”

“We do?”

“Absolutely. I read an article in The New York Times the other day that said one of the biggest regrets people had was not having enough sex. That and not marrying the right person. And you know about that already. I for one don’t want to die with regrets. Do you, Ruby?”

“I guess not.”

“You guess not? How many lives are you planning to have, Ruby?”

“Don’t be silly, Chanel. Everyone knows you only get one.”

“Not everybody believes that,” she corrects me. “But for simplicity’s sake let’s assume it’s true. Do you really want to use yours up crying over a disloyal prick of a husband or are you going to join our race?”

“What race?”

“Our race to conquer Europe.  Julie and I have set each other a dare. We’ve got to bonk a guy in every city we go to. The winner gets to have fabulous sex with a bevy of European lovers.

“And the loser?”

“The loser gets to have sex—only with less strangers.”

“I don’t know, Chanel. This sounds a bit desperate and dangerous. I mean, gosh, we’re middle-aged, and you already have a head start when it comes to picking up strange men. To be honest, it’s not really my thing.”

“Come on, it’ll be good for you. A fresh start. A chance to sample some of the stuff you’ve been missing. Maybe have a fling with a younger man. Haven’t you heard that old Chinese proverb about being as old as the last guy you screwed?”

“I can’t say I have, Chanel. I think we must read different books.”

“Yes, darling, we do,” Chanel says, glaring at Roberta Lust’s novel stuffed under the couch. “Think of it as sexual healing, Ruby. The point is to have fun flings, not full-on relationships. Besides, having one night stands has been scientifically proven to boost your chances of finding love again. Not only do they broaden your sexual repertoire, but they also boost your self-esteem. And let’s face it, darling, yours is pretty deflated. So what’s to lose?”

“Scientifically proven?”

“Absolutely! 100 per cent guaranteed. Knowing you may never see your conquest again allows you to practice the one thing that will stand you in good sexual stead forever.”

“Which is?”

“Saying what you want in bed.”

For a moment I’m sure my breathing has stopped

“I know what you’re thinking. You’re mortified right?”

“Have I gone a pale shade of white?” I hope my laugh sounds less self-conscious and more, ‘this is going to be so much fun.’

“Grinding your teeth together kind of gave you away,” she says putting her arm affectionately around me. “Relax! Believe me—I know. Asking for what you want is the key to a happier life. One-night stands are the perfect way to practice. Oh and news flash. Sex outside of marriage is not a cardinal sin. This is the new millennium, the era of female empowerment, freedom, and choice. Don’t waste your life making the wrong ones my sweet. Life’s too short and too precious for that.”

I do like the idea of getting away, and coming from a family of seven sisters has instilled a competitive streak in me. But racing to take European men to bed isn’t exactly the same as grabbing the last potato at dinner. And everyone knows that European men are a lot less uninhibited. They’re bound to want to do it with the light on.

I clench my hands over the cushions on the couch. “It’s a bit of a stretch, Chanel. I mean, it’s all right for the two of you—you’re experienced. I wouldn’t know where to start. Gosh, I think I’d fall over if any man other than Jonathon looked at me in an amorous way.”

I twist my gold wedding band. The divorce isn’t finalized yet and wearing his ring still gave me comfort. It was like a neon sign telling the world someone had picked me. I was wanted.

“Don’t worry, we’ll get you up to speed. I’m a life coach after all. Helping people with relationship issues is my specialty.”

Suddenly I’m more nervous than when Millie tricked me into going on the world’s biggest, oldest, and most rickety rollercoaster. I’m half excited and half out of my mind with fear. Mostly it’s fear I feel as I say, “It all sounds great. When do we start?”

Feel the fear and go dating anyway, right? Although in Chanel’s hands at least I won’t die.

Will I?

DID YOU ENJOY THIS EXCERPT?

 

Sex With Strangers—available for Valentine’s Day pre-order now!

 

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Audio coming soon!

 

 

 

 

DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

Here are a few others you may like:

The inspiration behind Sex With Strangers

Why I write love stories

How Trauma Can Fuel Your Life Purpose

 

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Posted in: Mollie's Blog, New Excerpt, New Release, New Romance Novel, Sex With Strangers

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Sex With Strangers

Date: January 28th, 2020, Posted by mollie

In love, the most dangerous enemy is saucy secrets

44-year-old Ruby Evans doesn’t want to be a ‘leftover girl.’ But finding a ‘forever’ man is proving impossible.

Suddenly single after 20 years of marriage, her husband is the only man she has ever slept with. But the one bit of security she always thought she’d hold onto for the rest of her life is brutally ripped from her.

Humiliatingly and cruelly ex-ed when her husband trades her for a younger model, Chanel Zest, a long-time friend and motivational life coach, comes to her rescue. Together they embark on a quest to reclaim and rebuild Ruby’s shattered life and begin the gruelling process of dating again.

Once in a pink moon, Ruby has to play dirty…

If you loved Brigette Jones’s Diary and enjoy romantic comedy, you’ll love Sex With Strangers.

Full of quirky humour and the promise of a happily ever after.

Sex with Strangers is a clean romantic comedy with a few spicy bits.


PRAISE FOR SEX WITH STRANGERS

loved the humor

“I absolutely enjoyed this story. I loved the storyline, I loved the characters, I loved the humor. I couldn’t put it down. The descriptions were perfect. I loved everything about this book especially the humor. It was funny, sad at times, and I loved it.”

~ Patricia Quinn

cute and fun to read

“It was cute and fun to read. I really enjoyed the story because I liked it was charming and cute, a little humorous. I thought this story was a great kept my interest, had to finish the story I would recommend it to friends and family.”

~ Carol G.

a playful and true view of a recently divorced woman

“A playful and true view of a recently divorced woman. Every woman who has gone through a divorce after more than one-decade long marriage identifies with this story. The insecurities about going out single again, the difficulties in relating to previous friends as most of them are couples (nobody likes to be the third wheel), the feeling that you are viewed as a competitor (by a previous friend) and the list goes on. Not everyone has a supporting net as Ruby – the main character – does and even though her life coach has quite a few shortcomings about relating to people and finding love she does help Ruby to get on with her life. There are quite a few steamy parts but most of the book is written with a lot of humor and the characters are easy to get fond of. It’s a true picture of modern newly divorced women and it was a fun read!”
 
~ Claudete Takahashi

Buy this book through the links below…

Paperback, hardback, large print from all good bookstores

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/SexWithStrangers

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AUDIO

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ENJOY THIS FREE EXCERPT NARRATED BY ME

Enjoy other full-length contemporary romances by Mollie Mathews:

Bride of GoldMarried by Christmas; Flight of Passion; Claimed by The Sheikh; Love All of Me

Posted in: Books by Mollie Mathews, Full Length Novels

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Can a life coach change your love-life forever?

Date: January 24th, 2020, Posted by mollie

dianna Barabara Cartland romance novel

Dear friends,

Did you know that Princess Diana read Barbara Cartland novels?  It was news to me and inspired a scene in my new release, Sex With Strangers.

This story began many moons ago at a romance writer’s retreat, facilitated by Mills and Boon authors Robyn Donald and Daphne Clair. The feedback from these wonderful passionate and experienced writers, and others on the writer’s retreat, was so encouraging:

“I love it!”

“We thoroughly enjoyed it”

“You’ve got the beginnings of a really good, hip, fun book”

“The chapter heads are just lovely”

“It was a riot. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great fun!”

“I can see the movie now.”

“When are you going to finish it?”

I decided it was time for it to air!

Many of the events are inspired by true stories—both my and others’ experiences. I’ve encountered so many people over the years who are looking for love again, and just don’t know how or where to start.

I hope you giggle and laugh from deep in your belly as you read this story. Like I did, remembering and rewriting some of these scenes (and flashing back to events that were true.)

And my hero Fergus O’Farrell? A few people told me that you can’t have an Irish hero that wears green pants and is called Fergus. The Fergus I met once, told me a different story.

He was so hunky, he could wear anything—or nothing at all! Think Jamie Dornan (better known as Christian Grey), Colin Farrell, and Pierce Bronsan (the only ever Irish James Bond), the alpha Irish sexy men who rock our world.

Talented, hot-looking and super sexy.

I hope you enjoy a wee excerpt.

 

C

CHAPTER ONE

GET A LIFE COACH

 

New York, December 2005

 

People start over all the time. Why can’t I?

My friend Chanel’s a life coach here in New York. She’s one of the best. She even has her own column in The New Yorker. Chanel has generously offered to help me. To be honest I really think I’m beyond help.

11 months ago my husband, Jon, left me for a younger woman. I’m still feeling lost, betrayed and empty. When she turns up at my place unexpectedly, Chanel tells me she thinks I have abandonment issues. No kidding! It’s 3 pm on Sunday and I’m still in my pajamas, sprawled out on the sofa reading romance novels.

“What on earth are you reading, Ruby?” she says, screwing up her nose. She picks up several paperbacks from the stack beside the sofa. “The Virgin Bride? As if! Husband For Hire? Why bother? Why on earth are you feeding your head with this stuff?”

“Princess Diana read Barbara Cartland novels and she married a prince,” I say crossing my arms defensively.

“Yes, and how did that work out for her?” Chanel asks.

With my left foot carefully slip Joan Lust’s recent novella Cuddle Up With A Prince under the sofa. “Besides, they’re not mine,” I lie. “They’re Millie’s. I figured seeing as I’m not getting any romance I may as well read about people who are.”

“These aren’t your daughter’s,” Chanel says tossing the books back on the sofa. “J.K. Rowling is more her bag. You’d be better off reading books about wizards and magic than you would this stuff. People who can—date, and people who can’t—write about it,” she says dismissively. ”Reading these—these fairy tales is not going to help.”

I want to tell her that reading love stories helps hugely. That reading romance makes me feel less lonely. That reading romance lets me escape. That reading romance gives me hope. But I don’t bother.

“The truth is you fear abandonment and this explains your reluctance to start dating again,” Chanel continues. “Think Meghan Markle.”

I stare at her blankly.

“What would her life be like if she clung onto her dead-beat ex?”

“Crap.”

“Exactly. It’s time you went looking for a new husband,” Chanel says when I confess I haven’t been out for months.

Well, that’s not strictly true of course. Every weekday I go to my job in a towering office on Fifth Avenue where I work as a trainee public relations adviser for The Miss America Pageant. Believe me, there’s a lot of work to do as we work to rebrand the organization. But I love that finally women are being appraised on more than big boobs and hairspray. And, after, the mass exodus of lewd members of the leadership team, finally, women are running the show.

I have other non-paid jobs too. Like walking my dog Snoutts in Central Park and running Millie, my fifteen-year-old daughter, around.

“I don’t have time,” I lie. “Besides I’m quite happy sitting here at home. Honestly,” I protest, picking the anchovies off last night’s pizza.

“Nonsense,” she snaps as she brushes the dog hair from her expensive skirt. “Every woman needs a man. Especially you, Ruby.”

I mumble through a mouthful of cold pizza, “But I’m enjoying my spare time—reading books, doing what I want, not having to race to get my make-up on before my husband got up and saw the real me. You don’t care what I look like though do you, Snoutts?” I say, reaching down and patting the Dalmatian-cross I rescued from death-row.

Snoutts looks up at me adoringly.

I’m lying of course. The truth is I’m miserable. I miss my husband. I shouldn’t after what he did, but I do.  I miss being married. I miss having someone make decisions with me and dealing with things I don’t want to, like taking the rubbish out and doing our accounts.

Actually, I miss sex the most. We had great sex, even after 18 years and 13 days. What if I never have sex again! That’s my greatest fear. I don’t know how I would even begin to meet a man, let alone have sex with a stranger.

“It’s easy when you know-how,” Chanel says. “Not only am I the queen of dating but in my professional role I’ve helped masses of women reclaim their sexual freedom.”

I wish I had her self-esteem I think as I look at her. Chanel isn’t the world’s greatest beauty. She’s got a prominent Jewish nose that would give Barbara Streisand a run for her money. But she has charisma like Jeff Bezos has money. She only has to walk into a room and men practically trip over themselves.

I’ve always admired the carefree way she flicks her vibrant orange hair, smiles demurely, and regales men with a mix of witty banter and sexual innuendo.  I don’t think self-consciousness even exists in her vocabulary. She wears clothes that leave little to the imagination, though she’s not exactly Twiggy.

“I’m voluptuous, darling. Voluptuous. Men love women with curves,” she says proudly.

I know her real secret, though, it’s her confidence. I’d do anything just to have a smidgen of it. It’s hard to feel confident when your husband’s done a runner.

Chanel’s also an expert when it comes to breaking up. From what I can remember she’s never dated any man for longer than three weeks, and women pay her hundreds of dollars just for an hour of her time, eagerly drinking the wisdom she dispenses and coming back for seconds.

She’s promised to give me her top get-over-a-break-up-quick tips. I tell her plenty of people have been giving me dating advice. It’s just left me confused.

“A guy at work told me ‘the best way to get over a woman is to get under another,’”  I tell her.

Chanel rolls her eyes and groans. “Men have a different way of working through their grief, darling.”

I tend to agree. For starters, everything I’ve gleaned from scanning men’s magazines suggests they don’t have an issue having sex with strangers.

“I can’t imagine stripping off and being naked with anyone other than my husband,” I confide. “Maybe the reason men are so untroubled is because there’s a worldwide shortage of eligible men.”

“Don’t let statistics scare you,” she says, when I tell her that in New York, women outnumber men three-to-one.

“That’s not what scares me,” I say. “For over 18 years my husband was the only man to see me naked. We always had sex with the light off. What if I meet someone who’s into. . . well, you know, kinky stuff like doing it with the light on, or in car parks in broad daylight? I’ve read about things like that.”

Fear clamps my stomach. “God, I couldn’t bear it. They’d only have to see my stretch marks and my rolled-up tummy and they’ll do a runner, too. My belly still hadn’t bounced back,” I say, pressing my palms firmly on my stomach. “In fact, the only thing it does is bounce.”

Chanel’s finger rests on her lips as though she is savoring diplomacy. “Breaking up is hard to do, Ruby. Everyone knows that but crying over spilled milk isn’t going to bring him back,” she says, her voice thick with intensity.

“I think 18 years of marriage is a bit more than a puddle of  milk, Chanel.”

“It’s a figure of speech, Ruby. Of course, I am sensitive to the fact that you’ve been together a long time, but to be honest, you are rather dragging out the healing process.”

She crosses to the shelf over the fireplace and picks up several framed pictures of Jonathon and me on our wedding day.

“Hanging on to happy-couple photos is definitely not the way to go. Never let yesterday consume today, Ruby.” Chanel strides to the mahogany sideboard at the end of the room and throws the photos in the bottom drawer.

As she closes the drawer I fight back tears. Perhaps Chanel is right, hanging onto memories only pulls me back into a past that is no longer my future.

“If you can help me get over the humiliating fact that my husband abandoned me for another woman and got his PA to send me a text confirming my marriage was over, you’re a miracle worker. I just can’t let go. I just can’t move on. I just—“

“You just want your old life back,” Chanel says, finishing my sentence. “Never gonna happen.”

The truth knifes through me, jolting me to a stop.

“The text thing was pretty low. I know. I feel it. But don’t worry. Have faith. Life is about to get a whole lot better. I am a miracle worker,” she says confidently. I hear that from my clients all the time. Trust me, darling. Before long you’ll be thanking that vixen for taking him off your plate.”

“Somehow I doubt that.” I gaze nostalgically at the mahogany sideboard, then turn to her and force a smile. “Still I’m willing to be convinced.”

“I’m going to share a few of my miracle cures with you. Are you ready for number one of my hot tips? “

I nod enthusiastically. Chanel’s passion for her work and life is infectious. I’ve never, ever seen her down despite the fact that life has dealt her some pretty tough cards. I knew her when she was Zelda Abromovich. She changed her name to Chanel Zest when she was twenty. Chanel after her muse Coco Chanel, she told me, and Zest to better reflect her personality.

It all sounded plausible at the time but I knew the real reason was that she wanted to emancipate herself from her past. I wouldn’t mind being able to liberate myself from my entire family—but we’ll get to that later.

Chanel’s come a long way since those troubled days. I figure if she can reinvent her life after all she’s been through then she can help me too.

“Start keeping a journal. It’s a wonderful way to start your day,” she continues enthusiastically. “Early each morning pour out your feelings onto the page. Empty the horrible stuff out of your head onto paper, then write some positive intentions about how you want to feel. This will free you up and allow you to enjoy the rest of the day. I promise you.”

“Hmm, sounds wonderful,” I say, nibbling my nails. “I’d love to stop going over and over and over all the things that I must have done wrong to make Jon leave, and wondering about all the ways I could’ve have tried to make him stay. Things like if only I’d dressed more sexily, given him blow jobs—”

Chanel thrusts her hands in the air. “Stop! Blow jobs don’t determine a happy marriage.”

“According to Barbara Cartland they do,” I say glumly. “She says that’s why Charles left Diana.”

Camilla is why Charles left his marriage,” Cheryl says firmly. “Cheating spouses are why marriages end.”

“Perhaps if I hadn’t been crabby when I had my period or been more understanding when his favorite team got thrown out of the World Cup. Or if, let’s be really honest, Chanel, I’d be younger.”

“You’ve got to stop with the terrible self-talk Ruby. Do you have any idea what power your words and thoughts have over you? What are you feeling in your body right now?”

“In my body?” I look down at my chest and then my feet. All I can see is Mickey Mouse running up and down my flannel pajamas. “I’ve got no idea. It’s not saying anything to me.  Should it be?”

“Your body is your temple, Ruby. It speaks to you all the time. You just haven’t been tuned into it before now. Notice what your body barometer does when you start going on and on and beating yourself up like that. It makes you feel depressed, doesn’t it? No wonder when you start affirming that kind of rubbish.If only. If only. Start saying some kind, loving thoughts about yourself and see what happens. Getting rid of that processed food would help too.” Screwing up her nose Chanel picks up the remaining pizza and gives it to Snoutts who looks at it with disinterest.

“It’s not even really suitable for the dogs,” she says turning back to face me. “Now, tell me right now five things that are great about you.”

“Um. . .er . . .” I trawl through my memory bank and draw a blank. “Gosh, you’ll probably think I’m a real sad-sack but I can’t even think of one. You don’t think I’m a lost cause, do you?”

“Of course I don’t, darling.  No judgment, Ruby. It’s quite, quite normal. You wouldn’t believe how often people struggle to think of anything nice to say about themselves. You do know there’s a global self-esteem virus. Why else would so many people be popping Prozac?”

I avoid Chanel’s gaze and wonder if I should be canceling my prescription of antidepressants.

“Well, there’s your first bit of homework,” Chanel says. “Keep two journals. One for recording all the sad-sack stuff—things like how you’re feeling, times when you feel blue, angry, etc. Then get yourself a fun, funky journal. We’ll call it the passion journal. Start collecting positive things people say about you, and record things that inspire you or make you feel good.”

Chanel reaches into her bag and pulls out a small spiral-bound notebook. “Here’s your first bit of feedback.”

She rips out a page, and hands it to me, along with her favorite citrus-orange Shaeffer fountain pen. “Write down what I am about to say and then transfer it to your passion journal. You are a kind, generous, loyal, intelligent and resilient woman.”

The pen crawls across the page. I feel like such a fraud. Tears bleed across my eyes as I write each word. But then I start to feel better. I hadn’t realized how much I needed to hear someone say something nice about me.

I stand up and give her a hug. “I don’t think anybody has said anything quite so nice to me in a very long time.”

“I’m sure they have, darling But words are like photos—unless we record positive memories we forget them. It’s amazing how memorable criticism is though. Which leads me to my next top tip for getting over a break-up fast. Learn how to meditate. Meditation is the biggest thing since gluten-free bread.”

“I don’t know, Chanel. I really don’t think I could handle shaving my head and I can’t see myself wearing a yellow robe any time soon either.”

“Don’t be silly, Ruby.  You don’t have to go all weird and new age to meditate. Just saying some simple things over and over is enough.”

“Like what?” I ask her.

“Like baaaa, lamb, sheep. . .”

“Sounds pretty weird to me, Chanel.”

“I’m joking, silly. But the truth isn’t too far away. Any word can be a mantra. Mastering the art of meditation is simply disciplining yourself to repeat the same word over and over again. By concentrating on only one thing you can gradually silence the thousands of random thoughts that are spinning around and around in your head.”

Saying one thing over and over sounds easy enough. I decide to try meditation tomorrow. I’m keen to start feeling better and Chanel must know what she’s doing because she’s the life coach and has qualifications coming out her ears.

“The next tip is fabulous. I know you’re going to love it. Eat loads of chocolate ice-cream,” she suddenly looks serious. “The ice-cream has to be Mövenpick.

I’m starting to wonder about Chanel. Her advice doesn’t sound very normal. But then Chanel is quite possibly the zaniest person I know. I do like ice-cream, and Mövenpick is exquisite.

“The next tip is in the same box as getting rid of photos,” Chanel says.

I brace myself.

“Delete lovey-dovey emails, bin the heart-wrenching texts and burn old love letters.”

I bite my lip pensively. I’m a romantic at heart and asking me to throw away my love letters is like asking Linus or Baby Bop to throw away their comfort blanket.

I’m not sure if I’m ready for this.

“Hanging onto old emails is seriously bad relationship feng shui,” Chanel insists. “Change the energy flow in your home. Change your life.”

“It sure would be great if all I had to do to get over Jonathon was press delete, and whammo he would be gone,” I say.

“Believe me it is,” Chanel says. “. . . that and dating and time. Of which, might I say, I think you’ve had quite enough. Grieve any longer than 11 months and you’ll head down the slippery slopes of depression. Believe me, that’s the last thing you want. It’s a steep climb once you’ve plummeted. Besides, you don’t want Jonathon to think he’s dated you, do you?”

I shake my head.

“Good. I can tell you, both as your friend and life coach, that there is no way I’m going to let that cheat come out of this break-up better than you.”

I suddenly feel self-conscious sitting around in my pajamas. Perhaps I am sliding toward the icy slopes of depression.

“I guess I can store my letters at my parent’s and retrieve the emails back from the trashcan if I don’t feel better,” I whisper tentatively.

Chanel’s brows furrow into a scary frown. “What’s the point of holding onto them?” Chanel says impatiently. “They’re only words. Words from the scum that left you for another woman.”

Ouch, that hurts. But it’s true. I resolve to push delete as soon as I get to work.

“The next tip is a no-brainer but you’d be surprised how frequently people don’t realize how unhelpful some of their friends can be. To really move forward it’s important to surround yourself with friends who make you laugh – and who will introduce you to other single men.”

“Other than you, Chanel, I can’t think of anyone. Most of my friends were Jonathon’s friends and those who have stuck with me don’t laugh anymore. They’re working ninety-hour weeks and are so stressed out that all they do is come home and blob out in front of the telly. Gosh, now that I think of it that’s why so many of my girlfriends are like me—shagless and single. As for my married friends— well, it turns out they weren’t really my friends at all.”

“It’s incredible how invitations to dinner parties dry up when you’re single and dateless,” Chanel says.

“I know. And when I did go to a few I got the distinct impression some of the women thought I was threatening. As if! To be honest,” I say,  “I just end up feeling miserable. They’re married and I’m not.

“Which brings me to the next rule. Stay away from married friends.” Chanel wags a manicured finger at me. “And stay well away from anyone who looks even the teeniest bit like they might get married.”

“Okay,” I mumble.

“Definitely don’t go to any weddings. You’ll only get stuck on the singles table, and believe me,” she says solemnly, “that’s dating suicide.”

“Really? I thought that would be a great way to meet someone.”

Chanel lowers her chin and looks at me over the bridge of her nose, “Are you kidding me? Only the desperate go to weddings on their own. Far better to buy a date rather than go it alone.  Desired people are desirable, “ she says. “Which leads nicely into tip seven: Be glad that you were loved and that you had that person in your life. Some people live their whole lives never being loved.”

I sniffle as tears loom again. “I was glad. Really glad.  I was happy loving my husband. I thought he’d be in my life forever.”

“Don’t be sill, Ruby. That’s irrational,” she says, handing me a tissue. “Nothing lasts forever. But,” she says, her voice softening, “tip eight is relevant here: give it time. Grief does have its own sense of timing.”

This doesn’t sound like Chanel. “Are you sure?” I ask uncertainly, wiping my eyes.

“Just don’t grieve too long. No one likes a sad-sack.”

That sounds more like Chanel.

“On that note, and concluding today’s lesson, is tip nine: find some fun! Book a holiday. Have a makeover. Spoil yourself rotten. Have something to look forward to or do whatever gives you a buzz. Which leads me to the next point,” she says, reaching into her bag. “I’ve got just the cure. Do you remember my cousin Julie?”

“The pretty one who left her husband and ran off with a surf instructor from Malibu?”

“She did? Oh yes. . .that was ages ago. A year at least. She’s been single since then and having a fantastic time. But we’re keen to take our loving offshore and have some European fun. We’re already booked,” she says, passing me a travel brochure, “and the best part is, there’s room for you!”

I take the brochure tentatively and thumb through it before returning to the cover page and reading, Contiki for 18-35s. European Inspiration Tour: 19 days from London to Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Venice, Rome, Florence, Lucerne, Paris and more. “I’ve always wanted to go to Europe. But Contiki? Don’t you think we’re getting a little old for this?”

“Don’t be silly, Ruby. We’re the perfect age.  We’re 35 -“

“We’re over forty, Chanel.”

“Don’t say the “f” word, Ruby, it’s not polite. Besides, we don’t look a day over thirty. With our wisdom, experience and mature outlook on life, we know who we are and what we want. We’re an asset to the young.”

“We are?”

“Yes, we are! Men love confidence, and confidence comes with experience. Which Julie and I have. . . and you will soon. We’ve got it all mapped out, and Contiki is just the company to help us realize our dreams.”

“What dreams, Chanel?” I ask nervously.

“We want sex,” she replies matter of factly, “and lots of it.”

“We do?”

“Absolutely. I read an article in The New York Times the other day that said one of the biggest regrets people had was not having enough sex. That and not marrying the right person. And you know about that already. I for one don’t want to die with regrets. Do you, Ruby?”

“I guess not.”

“You guess not? How many lives are you planning to have, Ruby?”

“Don’t be silly, Chanel. Everyone knows you only get one.”

“Not everybody believes that,” she corrects me. “But for simplicity’s sake let’s assume it’s true. Do you really want to use yours up crying over a disloyal prick of a husband or are you going to join our race?”

“What race?”

“Our race to conquer Europe.  Julie and I have set each other a dare. We’ve got to bonk a guy in every city we go to. The winner gets to have fabulous sex with a bevy of European lovers.

“And the loser?”

“The loser gets to have sex—only with less strangers.”

“I don’t know, Chanel. This sounds a bit desperate and dangerous. I mean, gosh, we’re middle-aged, and you already have a head start when it comes to picking up strange men. To be honest, it’s not really my thing.”

“Come on, it’ll be good for you. A fresh start. A chance to sample some of the stuff you’ve been missing. Maybe have a fling with a younger man. Haven’t you heard that old Chinese proverb about being as old as the last guy you screwed?”

“I can’t say I have, Chanel. I think we must read different books.”

“Yes, darling, we do,” Chanel says, glaring at Roberta Lust’s novel stuffed under the couch. “Think of it as sexual healing, Ruby. The point is to have fun flings, not full-on relationships. Besides, having one night stands has been scientifically proven to boost your chances of finding love again. Not only do they broaden your sexual repertoire, but they also boost your self-esteem. And let’s face it, darling, yours is pretty deflated. So what’s to lose?”

“Scientifically proven?”

“Absolutely! 100 per cent guaranteed. Knowing you may never see your conquest again allows you to practice the one thing that will stand you in good sexual stead forever.”

“Which is?”

“Saying what you want in bed.”

For a moment I’m sure my breathing has stopped

“I know what you’re thinking. You’re mortified right?”

“Have I gone a pale shade of white?” I hope my laugh sounds less self-conscious and more, ‘this is going to be so much fun.’

“Grinding your teeth together kind of gave you away,” she says putting her arm affectionately around me. “Relax! Believe me—I know. Asking for what you want is the key to a happier life. One-night stands are the perfect way to practice. Oh and news flash. Sex outside of marriage is not a cardinal sin. This is the new millennium, the era of female empowerment, freedom, and choice. Don’t waste your life making the wrong ones my sweet. Life’s too short and too precious for that.”

I do like the idea of getting away, and coming from a family of seven sisters has instilled a competitive streak in me. But racing to take European men to bed isn’t exactly the same as grabbing the last potato at dinner. And everyone knows that European men are a lot less uninhibited. They’re bound to want to do it with the light on.

I clench my hands over the cushions on the couch. “It’s a bit of a stretch, Chanel. I mean, it’s all right for the two of you—you’re experienced. I wouldn’t know where to start. Gosh, I think I’d fall over if any man other than Jonathon looked at me in an amorous way.”

I twist my gold wedding band. The divorce isn’t finalized yet and wearing his ring still gave me comfort. It was like a neon sign telling the world someone had picked me. I was wanted.

“Don’t worry, we’ll get you up to speed. I’m a life coach after all. Helping people with relationship issues is my specialty.”

Suddenly I’m more nervous than when Millie tricked me into going on the world’s biggest, oldest, and most rickety rollercoaster. I’m half excited and half out of my mind with fear. Mostly it’s fear I feel as I say, “It all sounds great. When do we start?”

Feel the fear and go dating anyway, right? Although in Chanel’s hands at least I won’t die.

Will I?

DID YOU ENJOY THIS EXCERPT?

 

Sex With Strangers—available for Valentine’s Day pre-order now!

 

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/SexWithStrangers

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Audio coming soon!

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Would you protect a murderer to save your family?

Date: January 20th, 2020, Posted by mollie

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Three women. Three lives. And the lies that bind them. Why is everyone afraid of the truth?

When a lonely young American woman inherits a painting she discovers her whole life was a lie. Desperate for the truth, she goes in search of her true identity. The painting is her only clue. But everyone is determined to keep its secret past repressed, including Vitaliano Rossi, the Italian gold tycoon, unnaturally suspicious of her motives, who wants the painting vanquished. How can she discover who she really is and convince him that his love means more to her than gold?

five-stars

Praise for Book Two in the Gemstone Billionaire’s series—The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

Reader Reviews:

“I loved the premise that she needs the hero to unlock the secrets to explain her past—it’s great conflict.”
“I really enjoyed this story, your writing, the characters and the kiss. Thanks!”
“What a blinking good read—more please. I was hooked from page one.”
“I want to know the secret in the painting.”

If this is the first time you have read a Gemstone Billionaire story, you can easily read each book as a standalone.

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>> getBook.at/ScandalousMarriage

getBook.at/ScandalousMarriage

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/mVNdn5

 

EXCERPT

Prologue

‘You should never have responded to that email. I don’t understand you, Alexandra.’ Bitterness bled from her mother’s words.

Alex Spencer pressed her lips together, momentarily fixing her gaze on the desolate New York sky as snow began to fall. ‘Okay, so an email arrives out of the blue telling me the man who I thought was my father isn’t,’ she said, shoveling summer clothes into a well-traveled leopard-print suitcase. ‘And then I find out my real father is dead and he’s left me some valuable paintings—and I’m supposed to ignore that?’

‘Why do you insist on digging up the past? I’ve told you no good will come of it.’

Alex knew they would never agree. She wanted to say, “Mom, why are you making everything so difficult? Why won’t you talk to me about my father? Why didn’t you tell me the truth?” But she’d already tried, and every time her mother evaded answering. Despite what her mother had done, for the sake of their tie of blood, which was the only thing left between them, she had to keep the peace.

‘Why do you have to go back to New Zealand? What more do you hope to achieve that wasn’t settled six months ago? What point is there?’ Elizabeth Spencer pressed, fixing disapproving eyes on her errant daughter.

‘You know why I need to go back, Mother,’ Alex said quietly, careful to stop exasperation creeping into her voice.

Her mother’s brown eyes turned a chilly shade of black. ‘After all Charles and I have done for you,’ she spat. ‘He’s been more of a father to you than that man ever was.’ Although she would never say it, the accusation whistled through her mother’s pursed lips. Why would you want to do something so selfish?

Alex forced herself to count to ten. It was as if her mother thought keeping something so important a secret from her own daughter all these years was no big deal. It was as though she thought that replacing a real dad with a surrogate dad gave her a stable identity.

How could Alex possibly explain without severing their relationship for good? Finally, she knew why she had never felt understood, never felt accepted, never felt she belonged. And while everything was such a mystery she knew that she could never find peace until she understood her past.

‘Mom, I told you when I came back for Christmas that I’d only be here for a few weeks. Please don’t let us spend our last moments arguing.’ Alex forced an uncertain smile hoping it would melt her mother’s iciness.

Her boutique travel business meant she was never home for long. She was like those dandelions; settling for a spell then drifting away. She was no longer a child. Yet in this matter she longed for her mother’s approval.

‘Why can’t you let go of this thing you’ve got about your father?’ Her mother fired. ‘What more do you have to know, for heaven’s sake? He was an artist. He left you a few paintings. End of story.’

It wasn’t the end of the story. Far from it. In fact of the six paintings her biological father had left her in his will she knew with gut-churning clarity that only one would unlock buried secrets. Secrets her mother seemed resolute never to divulge

‘I want to know everything. I want to know about the man whose blood courses through my veins. I want to know who I am. Why can’t you understand that?’

‘There’s nothing more to say. I was young. Impulsive. He was a mistake.’

Alex’s stomach clenched. She was a mistake. Her mother didn’t have to say it but her tone made it clear.

She was the girl nobody wanted.

 

Chapter One

Alex pressed against a pillar beneath the cavernous ceiling of the Auckland art gallery, suppressing a yawn as she fought a wave of jet lag. Clutching the exhibition catalog to her chest she swept her gaze over the crowd gathered for the opening of the dazzling retrospective exhibition of her father’s lifeworks. Only yesterday she had been in icy New York and now here she was in the heat of the New Zealand summer, surrounded by Veuve Clicquot, popping corks and intoxicating works of art.

At the center of the gallery stood Clive Gacos, the art dealer who had discovered the man she now knew was her father, exchanging air kisses and handshakes. Impeccably armored in a steel-grey designer suit that complemented his trademark helmet of silver hair he looked in his element as he enthusiastically greeted a procession of art collectors and socialites.

Alex crossed her arms protectively over her chest as women flashed him far too-enthusiastic smiles, and fluttered acrylic nails in shallow waves. She hated crowds at the best of times and tonight, surrounded by so much pretense, she felt doubly out of her comfort zone. Nausea crawled through her stomach as she wondered if Clive’s insistence that she exhibit the painting had been one giant mistake.

Would tonight flush out someone intimately connected to the powerful, yet haunting image? Someone who would help her unearth the past her mother and step-father were so determined to keep buried?

Her gaze drifted to the vast landscape her father had painted running the length of the far wall. Lost Love. Two words that tore her heart apart. Looking at the painting now she wondered if the name she’d given it still fitted. For some inexplicable reason, unlike all her father’s other artworks, he’d left this one unnamed. Why did he leave so few clues to its meaning?

Barely conscious of the crowd pressing around her Alex’s heart quickened as she scanned the craggy Southern Ranges, their soaring peaks troughed on the canvas with a hurtle of blue and ochre and gold. Her gaze honed in on the hauntingly beautiful face of a woman, infused within the rocks. Why had her father painted a woman’s face into the landscape? And whose was it—so beautiful?

The woman seemed to reach through time and space, lifting agonized eyes, calling Alex’s name, drawing her deeper and deeper into the painting’s mystery. Instinct told her something deeply personal had happened to inspire the painting, something that could shed light on her past? For twenty-five years her life had been a lie. Months of searching for clues to her past had ended in granite walls of silence.

Yet the way her heart pounded, her eyes pooled with tears, and every hair on her body stood on end each time she looked at the painting, told her that there was a deeper reason her father wanted the painting to remain in her possession. Alex was sure her father was enticing her to discover the painting’s secrets. Why else did he leave this particular painting in his will to the daughter he’d never met?

She tore herself away from Lost Love and stood at a distance observing people’s reactions in the hope that she would discover someone who found the painting as meaningful as she did. An older woman stared at it the longest, her eyes pooling as she fingered the elaborate gold locket at her throat.

A young man and woman holding hands stopped in front of it, and the woman slipped her palm from her partner’s as she stepped closer to study the face of the woman. A middle-aged man’s body grew hard and tense as he looked, and he passed quickly by. Another man with a receding hairline flinched as if someone had punched him in the gut. He reached a hand out to the painting, not quite touching the velvet plains of golden tussock and Rātā trees clinging fiercely to craggy rocks.

Dread wormed through her. The strange and enigmatic image evoked powerful reactions in them all, but none of them betrayed the fact they held the missing piece to her painful puzzle. She pressed her lips together, holding her face tight, as tears pricked her eyes. Showing Lost Love was a hair-brained idea, like searching for a needle in a field of grass. What real chance did she have of discovering someone who knew anything truly intimate about her dead father? Yet what else could she do? All her other inquiries had come to nothing.

Alex heaved a sigh of frustration and turned away. From across the gallery, Clive Gacos caught her anxious gaze. His fluttering fingers flourished a greeting across the room as he slithered to her side. ‘Lost Love. I still think the title’s morbid.’

He cocked his head to one side as his gaze darted from the catalog to the painting before resting on Alex. ‘Couldn’t you have come up with something more commercial?’

Alex wanted to cry out, “It’s how I feel.” Instead, she said, ‘You may be right, Mr. Gacos,’ painting a mask of detached aloofness on her face. Instinct told her Clive was only interested in his fame and glory—not her own painful story. She took his outstretched hand and felt a shiver snake through her spine as cold, steely fingers shook hers.

‘It’s a fabulous turnout, my dear.’ Bleached white teeth flashed a self-satisfied smile. “I’m absolutely delighted.’

‘Are you sure that this is the best way to unearth someone who may know something about this painting, Mr. Gacos? You know how firmly my father was against it being exhibited.’

‘Field of Dreams or Secret Passion would have been better. The right title can really boost sales,’ he said glancing at the painting.

‘That’s interesting’, Alex said flatly. ‘But Lost Love is not for sale.’

Eerie, pale eyes looked right through her. ‘My dear, everything is for sale.’

‘No, Mr. Gacos. It’s not. I’m looking for answers. A sale won’t achieve that.’ Had she been wrong to trust him? Was he just another person in a long line of people to deceive her? ’Besides you told me yourself, my father made it quite clear that the painting must never leave my possession.’

‘My dear, 40 years in the industry has taught me one thing, what an artist says and what an artist means are quite different things. If you gave me ten dollars for every time I’ve heard, “This is my favorite work, I’ll never part with it,” or some other nonsense, I’d be a hundred-fold richer.’ His reptilian eyes scanned her face as though searching for a weakness in her resolve. ‘Of course, none of this matters now that your father is dead.’

Dead.

Alex’s eyes misted as the finality of the word hit her. It was ridiculous. Eleven months ago she hadn’t even known geologist, turned painter, Ted Carr, known in art circles as Jimmie Goldie, was her father and since then she’d had plenty of time to accept the fact that he was gone. But she couldn’t help feeling regret.

If only she’d known her father. If only he was by her side now. Although in a strange way he was, she mused, her eyes misting as she gazed at the painting. Infused with his energy, his passion, his spirit, Lost Love was her only link. It was as though the painting was his voice—allowing him to speak through time and space. But only to those with eyes that could see and ears that could hear, and Alex still had no idea what he was saying.

Maybe she was reading too much into it. Maybe it was just a painting. But why did her father demand it never be exhibited in public? And why did he want her to have it?

‘I expect this exhibition to arouse even more interest in Jimmie’s work, and the longer we hold off the more the painting will appreciate in value,’ Clive blabbered on, oblivious of her raw grief.

Alex clenched her teeth, shutting back a retort at his thoughtless remark. This wasn’t the time to be emotional, nor to incite conflict. She hated disharmony and discord. And although she’d been continually teased because she always chose the peaceful route, putting him in his place would only get him offside.

‘Remind me again Mr. Gacos, just how well did you know my father?’ she said gently.

‘I told you—I discovered him. Made him a sell-out success.’

‘Yes, but what was he really like?’

‘I don’t know. We never met.’

‘But you were his dealer?’

‘I deal in works of art, Miss Spencer. Not people. Besides, your father liked his privacy. I respected that.’

‘Didn’t you wonder why he hid his true identity?’

‘My dear, half the celebrities in the world use fake, made-up names. Careers live and die by people’s memorability. It’s all part of the game. Do you really think Andy Warhol’s paintings would sell for astronomical sums if he went by his real name, Andrew Warhola? Your father was smart. Jimmie Goldie, or Ted Carr—ask yourself, who’s the better investment?’

Tension knotted her shoulders. She was getting nowhere.

‘Want some advice?’

No.

‘Take it from me. There’s no mystery—just a finely executed brand strategy. And you are the lucky beneficiary. So what? He left you this painting. Maybe his conscience got the better of him. In my opinion, it’s an exceptional piece of work, one of his finest, and tantalizingly one that the art world has never seen before. If I were you, I’d sell it. Realize the cash. Return to New York. Go live your life.’

Go live your life. She would—but not before she had her answers. Alex’s gaze drifted back to the crowd. Her only hope was that someone would reveal something in their reaction to the painting. Surely if anyone was connected intimately it would hit them with the same power-punch to the gut as it did to her every time she looked at it.

Suddenly she was distracted by a blaze of rustic color as the most ridiculously handsome man Alex had ever seen strode toward her.

 

Chapter Two

His six-foot frame wore an immaculately tailored camel jacket, cut from the finest Merino wool and fashionably faded jeans gracing a powerful physique.

His skin was deeply tanned, his hair rich dark chocolate with golden highlights—wavy and slightly tousled. Not a classically handsome pasty metro-sexual like the American suitors her mother continually threw in her path. But a ruggedly handsome man, who looked as though he would be equally at home in a New York boardroom dressed in a sleek Armani suit as he would be rustling cattle in a tough New Zealand Swandri. The man oozed passion, purpose—and danger.

She watched entranced as his gaze swept the room, standing rigidly in the archway with a presence that emanated command. He had a strong, arresting face, coldly handsome with no lines of weakness. A disturbingly primitive tug of attraction quaked through her body. She could imagine this man commanding a Roman Legion, or leading a charge of Templar Knights.

He oozed the power of a leader who made his own rules, ruthlessly sweeping aside anyone who stood in opposition. A smile fluttered to her lips as she imagined the shock on her mother’s face if she married a man so raw and rugged. To her discomfort, she found the idea thrilling and quickly sanctioned her recklessness.

Whether the Adonis had read her mind Alex had no idea, but as he carved his way through the crowded gallery he slowed his stride. He paused opposite her and looked at her, a flicker of recognition glancing across his face as though he wondered if he had met her before, perhaps even bedded her.

His gaze narrowed with the level unwavering gaze of a ravenous lion. Whatever he was thinking Alex’s heart raced. It was as if he could see right through to the essence of who she really was. It was as thrilling as it was intoxicating and disturbing. Near them people glided around the paintings, the vacuous height of the vaulted gallery ceiling amplifying people’s voices, but she was trapped with him in exploding silence.

Usually, she dismissed such attention. But this was more than a fleeting appraisal of desirability, more than an appreciation of the curvaceous femininity of her figure. It was an arrogant assessment projecting the confident knowledge that he could have her if he wanted. The only question appeared to be could he be bothered?

A frisson of danger scuttled down Alex’s spine. Under his penetrating gaze, she felt like a naked model posing for a ravenous sculptor. She picked at the black sequins of her dress, immediately regretting wearing the figure-hugging cocktail number she’d purchased for the formal opening night.

She never wore dresses ordinarily and hated wearing black, but she had wanted to blend in with the art-gallery-noir that she knew everyone else would be wearing. It was the only suitable dress she’d found at the second-hand store on Queen Street in the few hours she had to spare since arriving in Auckland. As her face flared with humiliating heat Alex tugged the bottom of the clinging dress, cursing the shimmering sequins and the above-knee length for attracting his attention.

His piercing green eyes rested for long, uneasy moments on Alex’s quivering lips. The perfect lushness of his mouth quirked dangerously as his gaze inched with leisurely thoroughness before dropping to where her dress clung to her chest.

Every whisper of hair on her body stood like sentries armed for defense. Yet to her intense humiliation she found her barriers weakened. Was it pleasure? Longing? Or desire she felt flood her body with warmth? She couldn’t be sure. It had been years since she’d been with a man, and never with anyone certainly so virile. For the briefest moment, she found herself wondering what it would be like to be taken by him. Every remnant of her rational mind fought the dangerous feeling, but the more she struggled the more her body betrayed her.

Suddenly, with an air of explosive tension, the weight of the stranger lurched forward. His face spun away from her. Alex followed the direction of his fixed gaze, piqued that his interest in her had been so totally diverted. She couldn’t see his expression but she could sense his undiluted fury.

In the next instant, he propelled himself through the crowd, a dozen lithe strides bringing him within a foot of Lost Love.

Her pulse rate ricocheted as she watched transfixed as the stranger froze as if in shock, then shook his head in disbelief. After several tense moments, he rifled through the catalog he carried. His shoulders tensed as he read the small caption, then scrutinized the painting again. He thrust his arms out as if to wrench it from the wall. His hand tightened into a closed fist crumpling the catalog, then thrust it into his pocket.

Alex’s heart pounded then took a dive. Her mind raced ahead as she struggled to understand the intensity of his reaction. Could he unravel her mysterious past?

He swung around, his face set in determined purpose, his gaze scanning quickly over the people in the room. They passed over Alex without a flicker of recognition, every muscle of his face taunt with savagery.

‘Who is he?’

‘I don’t know, but he looks important—and very wealthy.’ Clive said in a low voice. ‘Let me handle this.’

Clive was off and moving with the silent speed of a cobra toward the stranger before Alex could object. Tension jack-knifed through her chest. What should she do? Run after Clive and risk getting in the way? The stranger had dismissed any interest in her with the aloof detachment of a man who would never cede control. Instinct told Alex where she was concerned he was untamable. Like a wild wolf, the wrong move would send him running. Besides, Clive’s reputation for netting the elusive was legendary.

She reached for a glass of champagne from a passing waitress and took tiny gulps as she hovered anxiously. Would Clive find out what had incited such a powerful reaction? Would the stranger reveal why he had responded so strongly?

Perhaps the painting incited something deep within his soul, she wondered. No that was impossible. The brute didn’t appear to have a soul or he wouldn’t have dismissed her so coolly. Her heart pulsed with the sting of his rejection. He was clearly a collector like many others in the gallery. A numbers man who no doubt prided himself on his many conquests and the number of artworks he possessed.

Alex gripped the stem of the glass as she watched the scene unfold. As Clive tried to beguile him with his charming smile the stranger’s shoulders tensed. Fear rumbled through her as cataclysmic as an earthquake. Was Clive failing? She cursed herself for allowing him to take the lead. A woman with a beehive hairdo, her long neck over-saturated with Opium perfume paused in front of her obstructing her view.

‘Excuse me,’ Alex said, inhaling a heady mix of cinnamon and spice, as she pressed past the woman. The stranger was no longer in front of the painting. Her heart hammered as she stood on her tiptoes and scoured the room. Where had he gone?

A slice of golden caramel moving like a bullet caught her eye as the stranger strode toward the exit. Then, like the sun setting over the ranges in Lost Love in a blink he was gone.

 

Did you enjoy reading this excerpt?

Book One in the Gemstone Billionaires series available now

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>> getBook.at/ScandalousMarriage

getBook.at/ScandalousMarriage

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/mVNdn5

Posted in: Mollie's Blog, New Excerpt, The Italian Billionaire's Scandalous Marriage

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Top Romances on Audio

Date: January 15th, 2020, Posted by mollie

Did you know you can my most popular and successful books on audio?

Check out the following written and narrated by me.

 

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Flight of Passion

US

https://www.audible.com/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874YCXVL

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874X8TGX

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Flight-of-Passion-Audiobook/B0874Y3V2T

 

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/flight-of-passion-4

 

Love Me Forever

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QRGJV8

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QQVRV4

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Love-Me-Forever-Audiobook/B081QQW4N8

 

3D_3

 

Twist of Fate

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YL93YYV

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YLBN32S

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Twist-of-Fate-Audiobook/B07YL9ZTLJ

 

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

 

The Lightkeepers Lover

 

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9PX3NY

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9Q1Q89

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Lightkeepers-Lover-Audiobook/B07Z9QRWBV

 

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Audio versions of these books and the following are also available from all online bookstores and also libraries (I’m still waiting on Audible to publish the below):

 

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Sex With Strangers

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/sex-with-strangers-14 

 

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Claimed by the Sheikh

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/claimed-by-the-sheikh-9

 

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The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-scandalous-marriage-the

 

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Love Me As I Am

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/love-me-as-i-am-5

 

 

I’m currently narrating new stories Great fun!

In less than 15 minutes you could be listening your way to love!

 

 

 

Posted in: Claimed By The Sheikh, Married by Christmas, Mollie's Blog

Mollie Mathews

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