Mollie Mathews


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Christmas is back!

Date: 30th October 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.


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: Please email me and I’ll be in touch personally—I promise…


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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