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Claimed by The Sheikh, The Writer’s Life and Dealing With Interruptions

Date: 7th December 2019, Posted by mollie

Dear friends,

Surviving the writer’s life requires resilience, a millionaire mindset and the ability to deal with obstacles. I’d planned, scheduled, project managed to the nth degree to finish the audio version of Claimed By The Sheikh – and then along came a water blaster!


Thankfully it’s all done now – the roof is shiny and clean and the audiobook, eBook and print copy of Claimed By The Sheikh is available from all good bookstores and libraries. I always love it when readers review my books (favourably!).

I also love how BookBub enables readers to say what they most enjoyed. I was thrilled that ‘unpredictably’ and being ‘informative’ were some of the reasons – along, of course with love.

As I shared in the Author’s Note: 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 good—and architecture did kill her. She never married and she never had children. And she was always battling the architectural paternity for validation and acceptance. Despite her career success, her life struck me as very lonely and sad.
Claimed by the Sheikh was also inspired by the tragedy in 2015 that took the lives of former New Zealand All Black legend Jerry Collins and his Canadian partner Alana Madill in France.

The crash happened at 3:10am along the highway near Béziers on the way to the city of Montpellier. They died instantly, and their baby daughter was taken to Montpellier hospital in a critical condition.
I cried such tears thinking of that baby being left an orphan. It really worried me that she would be left in the world with no parents to love and care for her.

So I wondered—what if her parents weren’t really dead? What if the two people that died were the baby’s adoptive parents? What if her biological parents were very much alive?
And then, as writers are want to do, I thought, what if the biological father was an extraordinarily wealthy sheikh who was unaware that he had fathered a child?
 Why a Sheikh? In a previous incarnation as a transformational leadership coach I was on assignment in one the most dangerous prisons in New Zealand.

I very much admired the men and women who worked in these very oppressive environments to keep our world safe. I especially admired those that were committed to helping prisoners change their lives.

One of the female prison officers at Rimutaka Prison knew that I was a romance novelist and asked me if I would write a book with a sheikh as the hero.
So here he is, Cheryl. I dedicate Melanie and Tariq’s love story for you. And I also dedicate this book to the survivors of the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand—and to those around the world who know that only love can bring peace.



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

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


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