Love Me Forever…a stunning new love story


I’m so excited about my soon-to-be-released “Love Me Forever”….a sassy short story for a quick, fun read. And I’m super pleased with my first 5-star review:)

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


I’ve always believed in magic, so it was natural when, after the still-birth of my sister Sophie and her husband’s first son, and she was struggling to conceive naturally and IVF had failed, 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! As I wrote the final draft of this story (24 Feb, 2018) it was Finnie’s seventh birthday!


Here’s a wee insight into what this story is about.


Sometimes the end is just the beginning…

Viticulturist Joey Harper’s organic vineyard is under siege from neighboring 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 realize 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…

The prequel to the magical new series, The Seven Sisters, from bestselling author Mollie Mathews, Love Me Forever is a spell-binding story of heartbreak, family, destiny and unconditional love.

If you enjoy romance with fantasy elements 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 is available for pre-order now—

This short story is a prequel to the first in a magical new series, The Seven Sisters, from bestselling author Mollie Mathews—seven spell-binding stories of heartbreak, family, destiny and unconditional love.


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Free Excerpt: Married by Christmas…

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Che cavolo! No! No! No! This will not do. Only an anorexic model could wear something that resembles a straw,’ thundered Massimilliano Balforni, CEO of Emporio Balforni, Milan’s most prestigious fashion house. His coal black brows knitted in a fierce line as he looked with disdain at the scatter of sketches the young designer splayed on Max’s 15th Century walnut desk.

His protégé began to protest but one piercing look from the maestro forced his lips shut. His body stiffened as if frozen to the floor, reminded that his employer’s wrath was more dangerous than black ice

‘Alexandria Gorbetz is a real woman, the world’s richest woman, and someone like me that demands perfection.’

Max’s mouth curved in a controlled smile. Was that fear he detected in the young man’s face as Max pierced him with his dark gaze? He had every reason to be afraid. Enemies and friends alike knew Max had destroyed promising careers for lesser transgressions. Infinitesimal precision, extraordinary control, unrivaled beauty—Max suffered nothing less.

Pressing his fingertips to the smooth, cool parchment, he paused momentarily as a childhood memory stirred in his consciousness. He sucked in a breath and swept his hands brusquely across the page. He was no longer the lonely child who furtively sketched movie stars in beautiful clothes and dreamed of a Hollywood life.

What was once an escape was now a thriving commercial enterprise with insatiable demands. Max flourished his gold fountain pen across the page, adding a sweep of curves to the hips and breasts of the bespoke wedding gown his fashion house had been commissioned to design.

Now at the helm of his multi-billion dollar empire, Max was no longer a hands-on designer, but nothing went out the door without his final veto. Some called him a control freak and this he took not as a criticism but as the highest compliment.

He waited to feel the rush of joy he used to feel when drawing as a child. He stopped to await the all-consuming love that arose from knowing that no one possessed his raw talent and genius. He paused to feel the pride that came years later from knowing he designed dresses perfectly, to satisfy only one client on her most important day. There was nothing.

It shouldn’t have surprised him. He had long ago accepted that he was unable to feel the joy that other people did. He’d turned off that part of himself years ago and had vowed never again to succumb to vulnerability. In its place, carefully groomed aloofness and instilling fear in others were traits he prized and relentlessly cultivated.

As his protégé braced for the consequences Max forced his thoughts back to the commission. While he felt nothing in his heart, what he did experience as he looked at the drawing of the wedding dress executed to his design was a coolly detached appreciation that satisfied the perfectionist in him.

The lines and structure now conformed absolutely to his definition of ideal. The controlled steel gray pallet reflected his personality and every detailed aspect had been meticulously executed as he had commanded. No randomness or chaos anywhere.

Having witnessed his parents’ brutal marriage and subsequent divorce, Max had no misguided notions of happily-ever-after, nor any desire to marry.

Perfection in relationships was simply unattainable. But the knowledge that he was at the helm of an empire that created exquisite, extraordinarily elegant gowns admired by the world’s most elite, at the same time preserving a historic tradition, filled him with a degree of pride.

But as for the rest of his life—the personal, emotional side—he felt nothing. And that suited him perfectly.

Max’s long supple fingers drummed an impatient rhythm on the armrest of his chair. ‘Allora?’ Well? People react to fear, not love, he reminded himself as he kept his voice soft, but somehow containing all the might of the towering spires of the Duomo looming beyond his window.

A slither of fear crept into the young designer’s hushed apology. ‘I should have thought more about the woman beneath the dress.’

‘Thinking is not enough,’ Max commanded, his voice a dark, stark thing in the quiet of his office. ‘You must apply.’ Taking the drawings in both hands he tore the pages down the middle. ‘Begin again, and this time bring me excellence.’

Ignoring the tiny pin like tremors piercing his chest Max pushed back from the desk and rose to his feet as the young man retrieved the torn fragments and scuttled quickly toward the door. Striding across the room Max willed his racing heart to cede to his control.




‘Calm yourself, please Maxie,’ Sophia Balforni said, sweeping into his office she cast the young man a sympathetic look as their paths crossed. ‘Have you thought about what I suggested?’ she asked, gesturing to the art therapy brochure peeking from beneath a pile of contracts.

‘I am surrounded by amateurs and now you want me to play like a child, mia sorella. I have never heard something so ridiculous.’

‘You’re my brother. The best brother in the world, but do you know what’s holding you back? You’re afraid of losing control. You’re afraid that without all of this, she said, sweeping her hand around the room, ‘you’re worthless.’

‘But all of this means nothing if you’re dead. And none of this means anything without someone to share your heart and soul. I hope one day you’re able to realize that you’re wonderful for who you are, not just for what you’ve accomplished. But most of all I hope you’re able to experience the unconditional love and support of someone who loves you for you.’

Max was neither given to excessive emotion nor impetuousness but his mood wrestled with his need for control. He threw open the shuttered windows of his office and inhaled the frigid Milano air with shallow, measured breaths.

He ran his hand over his broad chest, fingering momentarily the fine scar snaking across his heart. His mind had the endurance and stamina of one thousand oxen but two months ago his body had betrayed him.

His gaze swept down the Piazza then flew up the spires of the Duomo, dusted with snow and bejeweled in dazzling pre-Christmas lights as the cacophony of Vespas buzzed like irritated wasps through the open window.

Although he had always hated Christmas, he loved tradition and he loved the supreme elegance that the Milanese never failed to deliver, but it pained him to concede that never had his beloved city been so irritating. In fact, everything, and everyone was irritating. Even his designs bored him. He knew better than most that he must continually innovate or die. Grudgingly he accepted his sister was right. He needed to get away.

‘I admit it’s a little unconventional,’ Sophia said, taking an assortment of pills and vitamins from a gold embossed pillbox and, after pouring a glass of mineral water into a crystal tumbler, she passed the pills and water to Max.

‘Unconventional?’ Max tossed the pills into his mouth, took a gulp of water and threw back his head, grimacing as they slid down his throat. ‘What you are suggesting is childish.’ Childish, isn’t that exactly what his father had thrown in his face when, as a young boy, he’d first shown him his sketches. ‘If this got out to my competitors,’ he said, forcing his mind from a memory he vowed never to revisit, ‘can you imagine what it would do to my reputation?’

‘Not nearly as damaging as being paralyzed by a stroke and having to be spoon-fed, Sophia snapped. ‘And since when have you cared what others think? Besides, you have an island on the other side of the world.

‘One which you’ve been too busy to visit. Fiji is remote enough for you to step away from the constant flash of cameras and be virtually anonymous,’ she said, lowering her voice as Max’s new PA cat-walked into his office. ‘Call yourself Mr. Johnstone, or Mr. Smith, or whatever else you want, to protect your privacy.’

Beneath long-fringed lashes the PA gave Max a sultry look, trailing her gaze over his lean and muscled form, as she placed a collection of fashion magazines and media cuttings in a neat pile precisely as she’d been trained.

‘Thank you, that will be all,’ Sophia said, dismissing her.

‘A nudist camp would be vastly more appealing,’ Max’s gaze trailed after his PA as she left his office. While he had no time for relationships, that didn’t stop him from appreciating beauty. How much easier it would be to lie naked amongst a bevy of loveliness than expose his feelings to the spotlight.

Sophia rolled her eyes. ‘I can just imagine what that would do to your blood pressure. Art, unlike making a career of intimately studying the curves of women, my dear brother, is therapeutic.’

‘So you want me to go to kiddy school and make a fool of myself.’ Irritation coursed through his veins as he ran his fingers around the neck of his shirt and loosened the starched white collar.

‘You never had a childhood,’ Sophia said, her voice almost a whisper. ‘You grew up too fast. We both did. And now you’re a thirty-five-year-old man who may not see forty.’

‘I know you are trying to help but I told you I can handle it.’ And he would. He would never abandon his responsibility. Unlike his father who had tried to combine work with marriage and failed at both, Max had gladly sacrificed his personal life for his career.

Abandoned at birth by his biological parents, raised briefly by strangers, then dumped in a boarding school, he had turned what could have been a weakness into his biggest strength.


‘All this stress has engulfed you, Max. Only you can’t see it. And it scares me. You’ve become a shell of yourself—more than you were already. A man so cut off from his feelings that you are devoid of emotion. You’ve become a lighthouse of a man—lonely in a crowd, aloof and detached. Uncaring.’

The words bounced off Max’s chest like the final shards of Milan’s winter sun reflecting off the panoramic glass windows. It was true. He no longer cared.

‘What do you want from me, Sophia?’

She paused, concern pooling in her dark eyes. ‘I want what our mother wants. I want you to be happy.’

His lips curved into a tight mocking smile. When had his real mother ever cared about his happiness? He knew what she really wanted. After suddenly reappearing in his life, she wanted a daughter-in-law and she wanted a grandson. Max shook his head and gave a short exacerbated sigh. She wanted the impossible.

He plunged his hand through his hair, raking it back from his brow. He should have had it cut razor short last week. Instead, he’d thrown himself into the rollout of his retail network of 60 Massimilliano Balforni boutiques and jewelry stores throughout China, and the pending development of his luxury hotel in Dubai, with such single-minded, unrelenting focus there had been no time for indulgences.

‘I’ve done my research,’ he said, adding his signed consent to the final contracts, ‘and from every angle it all seems based on spurious psychology.’ His hand closed around the pen as he looked up sharply.

Sophia sucked her breath as though steeling herself to battle with his formidable will. ‘Unless you make some changes, and I mean massive changes,’ Sophia glanced momentarily in the direction of Cimitero Maggiore, Milan’s largest cemetery, then fixed Max with a penetrating gaze, ‘you’ll end up like our father. Morte.’

‘That will not happen to me,’ he said, balling his fingers into a fist. ‘I am nothing like our father.’

‘No, you’re not. You are loyal, honest and immensely generous to the people you care about—nothing like our father. But you are an unrelenting workaholic like he was. No better than an addict, because despite all your willpower, all your determination, all your talent, all your wealth you can’t stop working. My God, you even live above your office.’

Mia sorella, even if I wanted to go finger painting, which I do not, there is no way I can get away. People need me. I cannot just walk away without everything collapsing.’

‘Even geniuses need time out to replenish. Super-heroes too,’ she laughed. ‘You, Clark Kent, need a rest from being Superman, a week out of this world. Not eternity. I will take care of things until you’re back.’

The blood vessel in his temple pulsed, whether out of conviction or rebellion he didn’t know, but her suggestion was not without merit. His sister had proven herself capable in so many ways since her appointment to Director of Public Relations.

He leaned back in his chair, steepling his fingers against his lips as he savored a compelling idea. What if he could achieve several goals by leaving Italy? While he did not believe in fate, he did believe in destiny. Was it not destiny after all that had led him to this career, launching him from male model to CEO of a multi-billion dollar empire?

Max began to wonder if his recent conversation with some Fijian silk merchants was also pre-destined. Until that meeting he hadn’t known there was such a large population of Indians in Fiji, and he’d been intrigued by the innovative textile developments they had shared with him.

And he could maximize efficiencies by going undercover and checking out his hotel chain in the Pacific. Yes, he thought, warming to the idea, perhaps a change of scene, getting away from all things European might just revive his flagging spirits.

His creativity was blocked, young designers were licking at his heels. He needed to continually innovate, but nothing inspired him. The plan was worth considering after all. Nothing else had worked. Plus it would get Sophia off his case. And the art therapy gimmick she was so convinced he needed?

What could any dowdy art therapist do to him that he couldn’t control?




‘First time to Fiji?’ the porter asked art therapist Issy Riley as they wove past the rows of poolside loungers. Bronzed men and women wearing barely-there swimsuits tanned their lithe bodies beneath the last rays of the sun.

Issy was by far the most uniquely dressed, she thought euphemistically, gazing beyond the pool to the azure sea, fringed with coconut trees. Some, no doubt, would argue she was, in fact, the worst-dressed person at the resort, but then she’d never cared for fashion.

She pushed up the sleeves of the yellow shaggy pile of her jumper as two women sauntered past, tanned from crown chakra to pink toenails, their double d-cups jiggling like caramel panacottas.

Surrounded by an ocean of virtual nakedness Issy felt prudish dressed head-to-toenails in winter discomfort. Certainly less chic than the five-year-old girl meandering past, resplendent in streaming caftan and matching overly bejeweled sandals, snapping the sunset with her iPhone.

‘Yes. First time anywhere overseas, actually,’ she ran her fingers over the roll of her turtleneck, wishing she’d thought to wear a tee-shirt so she could peel the jumper off.

As always she’d left things too late. She’d been in a mad panic to get to the plane and hadn’t even thought to pack spare clothes to change into once she’d arrived at Nadi airport.

Taking refuge beneath a palm tree Issy momentarily relaxed as a choir of Fijian men and women dressed in flowing white gowns began to sing in the open area just beyond the pool. Their voices soared through the humid air. Then suddenly realizing they were singing Christmas carols tension knotted her shoulders.


When she’d offered to help her business partner Nancy, and take this last minute client, she’d thought she could escape the festive season, dripping with tinsel and baubles, and the promise of happiness.

Her fingers tightened around the note the receptionist had passed her when she’d checked in. At least work meant she wouldn’t have to spend the holiday season at her mother’s with HIM—the traitorous, lying, three-timing control-freak of a fiancé. Make that ex-fiancé, she corrected. She had dumped him immediately, but that didn’t stop her heart from taking a hit.

Issy stared into the distance her attention diverted by a huge Christmas tree blazing with a rainbow of colored lights. She closed her eyes and sighed. Why couldn’t she find a promise-keeper?

Married by Christmas? Nope. Once again the bus of happily-ever-after failed to pull up at her stop, but to find out on Facebook that James was cheating on her weeks before their wedding? No one deserved that humiliation.

Even if her mother still thought James was the best thing since sliced toast, at least Issy had the balls to shut down his lies, the courage to confront the truth, the strength to face life on her own again. She swallowed hard as the sharp edge of betrayal ran a ragged line through her chest. She’d had a lucky escape.

The porter smiled stiffly as though sensing her discomfort. ‘Holiday?’

Issy looked longingly at people relaxing by the pool, her gaze hovering over a loved-up couple entwined on a sun-lounger. She felt a tug of disappointment. Would she ever trust enough to fall in love again? She crushed the note from her client in her hands, pressing her lips together as she turned away. ‘Business.’

All the men in her life, even her father, had let her down terribly. Work was a most welcome distraction. She didn’t need a man in her life, she reminded herself. Not anymore.

A riot of shouts from the beach pulled her attention toward a group of men jabbing at something writhing on the sand at the edge of the lagoon. Whether it was an instinctive sense of brutality etched in the men’s postures or the impact of the powerful figure brushing past her, she didn’t know, but every whisper of her body hair stood erect.

Issy watched mesmerized, adrenaline lapping her body as a 6 foot 3 Adonis with olive toned six-pack abs and a body that could easily grace a billboard strode toward the men on the beach, clad only in tiny trunks.

He looked strangely familiar in an unfamiliar sort of way, like a celebrity in a magazine, the same handsomeness, and aloof assurance, although she knew she’d never met him before. He looked like a movie star, only tougher? Certainly not a man anyone would forget.

His muscles rippled gold fire under the heat of the fading tropical sun as, with powerful, lithe steps like a panther about to lunge, the titan advanced upon the men on the beach. Fear shadowed their faces as they turned to each other, eyes widening, aware this was no normal man approaching but a warrior, a leader of men, a man not to be defied.

Allora! Stop!’ His rich honey-toned voice, edged with a deep sultry Italian accent, sent shivers coursing through her body.

Tearing her eyes away from this perfect specimen of a man Issy perched on her toes, squinting under the bright sun to see what the titan was so vigorously trying to protect.

‘Sea snake. Very poisonous,’ the porter said.


The warning flashed red in her mind and jackknifed through the air. Was it the snake she was afraid of or the rush of molten emotion the stranger incited?

‘Come and see,’ the porter beckoned.

She hesitated, torn between fear and fascination. Her pulse hammered, pummelled by the unexpected handsomeness of the man and stricken with curiosity. What sort of person would go to a snake’s rescue?

For the first time in forever she felt excited, alive, her body on edge, ablaze. Why, when she was officially off men, and as she walked toward him did every whisper of hair on her body stand alert?

She frowned, trying to remember any man ever having inflamed such a reaction, as his muscular arms took the sticks from the assailants. Arms that could crush an opponent or protect a woman against his powerful lean body.

‘We’re only trying to protect the resort guests from danger,’ the men shouted.

Che cavolo! Can you not see the baby snake?’ he jabbed his finger towards the rocks. ‘Would you deprive it of its mother?’ His eyes were a lethal shade of gunpowder blue, his gaze unyielding, freezing the men in a chilly silence. ‘She will not strike unless provoked.’

Issy’s breath caught in ragged gasps as she glanced at the tiny snake lingering in the distant shadows. Was this guy for real? Someone like her, who cared nothing for the senseless killing of animals.

‘We didn’t see it. We didn’t think,’ they said, stepping back. ‘Sorry, Sir.’

Issy smiled, her body flooding with something that felt uncomfortably like admiration.  She dragged her eyes from him and focused on the snake lying washed ashore, exposed in its vulnerability.

As dangerous as the snake was alleged to be the artist in her was captivated by the beauty of its iridescent pearl and obsidian stripes. But she was wary too of its potent power. Was the snake feigning death or was it spellbound, against its will, offering herself to the giant of a man before her?

Issy’s heart seemed to freeze then pounded like the sea crashing on the distant reef. She could relate to feeling out of her depth. She stole a glance at the knight without armor standing in far too skimpy trunks as with soft, deft movements that belied his powerful physique, he gently nudged the snake toward the sea.

Issy kept her gaze firmly on the snake as it uncoiled slowly, writhing in the wet sand as Issy drew closer to its rescuer. She stood a body’s length away from him, agonizingly aware of the rich luster of his full head of blue-black wavy hair, his impeccably shaven jaw, and the intoxicating aroma of his cologne coiling through the balmy air. Earthy, sensual, exhilarating.

What was up with that, she wondered bamboozled by the commotion clanging through her mind. Her eyes recklessly savored every contoured edge of the Adonis’s body as he stood at the water’s edge watching the snake slither to freedom. She traced his broad, bronzed, well-oiled chest, before sliding down the tantalizingly playful coils of soft dark hair dividing his sculptured six pack and marching a confident line from his navel, before vanishing below the rim of his tiny ‘spray on’ trunks.

Suddenly the Adonis turned toward her and she was immediately captured in the web of his intense blue eyes.

Issy looked away quickly. Too quickly.


Her face flamed carmine red as she studied her feet, wishing the escaping waves of rose pink hair that fell over her face as she did so would hide her indefinitely. After a brief moment she glanced up, hoping he had not read her mind when she’d gawked at him. The smirk on his face and the intensity of his gaze left her in no doubt he’d registered her attraction.

‘Thank you for saving the snake Mr. Johnstone,’ said the porter, offering him a towel as he went to his side.

‘Johnstone?’ her voice eked out. Her eyes ping-ponged between the stranger and the porter. Thrusting her hand in her pocket, she unfurled the note the receptionist had given her. Issy’s stomach dived a nervous somersault that would have done an Olympic swimmer proud as she reread the message, studying the words forged in firm, confident handwriting—no sign of weakness anywhere. “Meet me at the pool. (Signed) Mr. Johnstone.”

Oh, God. Mortification coiled through her body. ‘You can’t be that Mr. Johnstone.’

He stared at her as if she was insane.

She bit her lip, holding back any attempt at an explanation for her earlier behavior that she knew would only dig a deeper hole. ‘There must be some mistake.’


Did you enjoy this excerpt?


Married By Christmas

Book One in the Passion Down Under series—available now from Amazon here:


Praise for Married by Christmas

“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 colored 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


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 glamor 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?

You’ll discover the answers in Married by Christmas. I hope you love this story as much as I loved writing it.

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.


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Can You Judge a Book by its Cover?

Can You Judge a Book by its Cover?

Check out the stunning selection in this free giveaway….I’m so thrilled my book Flight of Passion is amongst the nominees! The cover was designed by the mega-talented Hang Le.

Grab a FREE copy from a range of beautiful books—navigate to here 

Judge a Book By It's Cover Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 3.42.33 PM

What I’m working on now…

I’ve been finishing off a few non-fiction, self-empowerment projects in the last few months and very much looking forward to picking up my romance-writing pen again. I’ve set myself an aspirational goal to release the very first love story I ever attempted, Love in Venice.

I started this over ten years ago and was stalled in my tracks by some stinging feedback. As always, I’m still beset by self-doubt. But I’m determined to push through it and write for the pure joy of telling my story—just for fun. If I love it, then I hope you will too. And if you don’t, perhaps you’ll like my next book. Thinking like this helps cure the inner critic.

Last night I re-read some of the notes in my passion journal—a journal I write every year to provide focus and encouragement throughout the year—and I came across the following comment from feedback I had collated:

“Keep up your love stories Mollie, they are heart-warming and beautiful with passion for the still young at heart like me.” ~ Estella van Rhyn

I am so thankful for the comments and help so many of you have given throughout the year. You have generously given up your precious time to thoroughly proof-read my books. Even though I have had them edited by professionals somehow the pesky errors slip through and I know this ruins the story. So thank you!

And thank you to those readers who have been fabulous BETA and ARC readers—I am improving because of you.

If you are curious about my passion journalling process you may enjoy my new non-fiction book, The Passion-Driven Business Planning Journal: The Effortless Path to Manifesting Your Business and Career Goals. Only $2.99 and full of inspiration and practical tips for anyone wanting to live and work with passion.

The strategies apply not just to career but also life. I manifested my partner using a passion journal. Find out how in my new non-fiction book! Or you may enjoy my new online course, . I know you’ll love the video tutorials where I share stories and examples. 

As many of you know—I am one author with two names and genres Mollie Mathews for romantic fiction and Cassandra Gaisford for non-fiction self-empowerment), but all my works are dedicated to creating more love in the world.

Cover Reveal—Which Do You Prefer?

Version One: With Castle


Version Two: With Lavender




Would you enjoy being a BETA reader for Love In Venice?

Simply email me at and I’ll add you to my Dream Team. I anticipate having a nearly finished draft completed in the next couple of weeks.

DId you enjoy Twist of Fate?

Many of you offered to be ARC readers for my super short story, Twist of Fate. Sadly, only two reviews have been posted. If you forgot, would it be possible to post your review in the next few days?

Here’s a little bit about the story:

What if a twist of fate could change your life?

Still reeling following his unexpected divorce, billionaire Tech guru Jonathan James has returned from London to New Zealand feeling disillusioned and low in spirits. The last thing he needs when he flies home 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.

As Margaret wrote to me, in her early review, ‘”Twist of Fate” is a short story full of quirky humor and the promise of romance.”

Set in Wellington, New Zealand—the coolest little capital in the world (my old hometown).

If you love clean romance short stories with a twist of humor, you’ll enjoy “Twist of Fate”.

Available for instant download from Amazon here:

Twist of Fate - a well-written short story Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 8.04.09 AMTwist of Fate Margaret Review Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 5.17.42 PM

Featured reader of the month: Rita Kunselman

From the very beginning of my romance writing career, Rita has been an outstanding supporter. I truly am indebted to you Rita for all your constructive criticism and cheerleading.

You’ve been firm when you needed to be regarding where improvements need to be made and generous with kind words when you feel they are warranted.

Comments like the below sustain me:

Mollie –
It’s a beautiful book. You should be very proud of being able to write it. I read a lot of books, lately it’s been about one a day, and, you have a different way of writing. When you read it you can feel the passion. You put your all into it. You’re not writing to get done but, to let us know the beautiful story you have in you.

Rita K

I’m still savoring my holiday in Bali with my mother, affectionally known as “Little Joy.” Mom’s name is Joy and she is just over 5ft tall. But she is overflowing with a large love of life—despite the grief she still feels after losing her beloved Ted to cancer several years ago.

I can’t wait to finish the short story I wrote while in Bali—about a man who opens his heart to love again after the tragic loss of his wife on their honeymoon. So many books to write—so little time.

Chat soon!

Much love


P.S.  Please don’t forget to vote in the Can You Judge a Book by its Cover promo . While you’re there pick up some wonderful books to read this holiday season.

Posted in Flight of Passion, New romance novel, short story, Twist of Fate, Writer's Life | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Why I wrote “Twist of Fate”

Copy of Mollie Mathews Twist of Fate

What if a twist of fate could change your life?

If you love clean romance short stories with a twist of humor you’ll enjoy “Twist of Fate”.

It’s a love story close to my heart and 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 how unexpected events can change our lives for the better.

Love comes in many forms and colors and is an exciting, fascinating and rewarding victory if we listen to the whispers of our soul, and are willing to open our hearts and take a chance on finding ever-lasting happiness again.

In part, this story was inspired by a chance encounter with a wonderful and generous man during a very stressful time when I was stuck in an airport queue. I had just flown from New York to LA and it looked like I would miss my flight. Long story short, Jonathan—a wealthy derivatives dealer from New York, was flying to my hometown, Wellington, New Zealand.

He offered to give up his first-class seat so that I could make my flight. We became great friends and I invited him to have dinner with my family. I found out that night, as he played on my mom’s piano and my daughter accompanied him on vocals, that he was an uber-talented Jazz pianist.

He sent me CD’s of his favorite jazz music from New York, including the one I mention in this story. And later he invited my daughter and to stay with him and his new girlfriend, Danni (with an i)—a former Broadway dancer, in New York. I loved learning about their love story. And this sparked the seeds of this short story.

But there is another reason I decided to write this story. “To keep your joy alive sometimes you need to write something just for the fun of it. This keeps your writing chops sharp and your writer’s soul soaring,” says thriller writer, James Scott Bell.

That’s how it was with my short story Twist of Fate. It’s not my usual romance or beat, but it was a story I wanted to write. It makes me happy that it’s out there— and that readers have found it and enjoyed it.

Twist of Fate Margaret Review Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 5.17.42 PMTwist of Fate - a well-written short story Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 8.04.09 AM

Praise for “Twist of Fate”

Twist of Fate is a short story full of quirky humor and the promise of romance. Jonathan has returned home feeling disillusioned and low in spirits. When a baggage mix up leads him to a potential cross-dresser, the story takes off in a hilarious direction.  However, all is not as it seems and Jonathan finds that the future isn’t as dismal as he initially thought. This is a delightful, well-written short story that had me laughing out loud.

~ Margaret

“Fun to read. A suitcase mix-up leads Jonathan to Danny who seems to be just what he needs to forget about his divorce. This is well-written story that’s enjoyable and doesn’t take up much time. It’s one of the rare short stories that despite their short length are really good and don’t lack anything.”

~ E.M.

“A great short story, for anyone, like me, who hopes that one day a twist of fate will end in happily ever after. I do love a good Mollie Mathews book!”

~ Lauri

“An engaging and passionate read. It grabbed my attention and made me wonder what was coming next.”

~ Alli

“I enjoyed this short story.  It was well written with the right amount of humor and just an inkling of the promise of romance. An awesome read. Just love Mollie Mathews style.”

~ Rae

 “Twist of Fate” is a sassy short story for a quick, fun read—all for only $0.99.

Available for instant download from Amazon here:

I hope you enjoy it

With all my love,



Here’s a wee excerpt:


“How are you, mate?’” Mac asked Jonathan James, as he pulled up to the curb outside Wellington’s domestic airport.

“I’ve been better.” Jonathan gave Mac a weary smile, as his best friend hopped out of his Land Rover. “That London flight was grueling.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

“I know. What can I say? Jacinda wanted out of the marriage and nothing I said, nothing I tried, nothing I promised her would change her mind.”

“She always was a selfish cow,” Mac said.

“It’s good to back home,” he glanced up at the gray, broody sky. New Zealand’s capital city, true to nature, had turned out a particularly bleak and desolate day. At least some things never changed.

As Mac reached for the handle of Jonathan’s suitcase, a sudden gust of Wellington’s infamous wind spun the case around, sending it veering off the curb.

“What the hell!’ Jonathan exclaimed as the suitcase flew open, spilling the contents onto the road. Long blonde wigs, corsets, high-heeled stilettos, false eyelashes, makeup, and books spewed out of the case and lay in a tangled heap beside the curb.

A couple of kids rigged out in the latest rapper clothing, bling swinging from their necks and black hoodies shielding their heads, raised their eyebrows and wolf-whistled as they walked past.

“Jeez, Jonny, what’s happened to you since you’ve been in London?'” Mac cried, picking up one of the books, as Jonathan scrambled to pick up the strange belongings.

“There can be no culture without the drag queen,” Mac said, reading out loud. “Is there something you’re not telling me? Is that why the cow threw you out?”

“That’s not my book and that’s not my suitcase. I may be open-minded, but I’m no cross­ dresser.”

Mac ran his hand over his designer stubbled chin and looked dubiously at his best mate. Even though Mac hadn’t seen Jonny for more than nine years, as far as he recalled he didn’t have a penchant for wearing women clothes. “Whose is it then?”

“I must’ve picked up the wrong suitcase,” Jonathan cursed, as he bent down and read the luggage tag.  ‘Danny Zouski.’

“Who the hell’s Danny Zouski?”

“Damn! I bet ya that guy’s got my luggage,” Jonathan said, sweeping his hand through his thick mop of black wavy hair.

“Danny sounds like an interesting character. What sort of dude gets around in this?” Mac held up a pink silk bodice with black frilly lace and white satin ribbon, and in his other hand, he raised a pair of pink fishnets. “Give me a kiss, sugar,” he joked, putting on a blonde Dolly Parton-like wig.

“Idiot,” Jonathan laughed, swiping Mac playfully. “Somewhere this guy Danny’s got my stuff and I want it back,” he said, grabbing his iPhone from his jacket pocket and punching in the number he found on the luggage tag.

“Hello? Is this Danny Zouski?…You’re who? Danny’s tied up?” Jonathan quirked his thick brows. “Kinky,” he whispered as he winked at Mac. ”Look, there’s been a mix-up. I have Danny’s suitcase… sure I’ll wait….yeah, I’m Jonathan. You’ve got my bag?…That’s great…Look, can you tell me how to get to you?  Yeah, yeah, we’ll bring the bags over… sure, no sweat, we can get there in time.”

“What’s going on?”

“The good news is that Danny has my gear. Apparently, he’s in some sort of show in town.”

“What kind of show?” Mac asked suspiciously, holding a pair of crotchless knickers.

“Dunno,” Jonathan said, bunching everything into the suitcase and hauling the case into the back of the Range Rover. “All I know is we’ve got to get this gear to him quick.”

 Did you enjoy this story?

 “Twist of Fate” is a sassy short story for a quick, fun read—all for only $0.99.

Available for instant download from Amazon here:

Posted in short story, Twist of Fate, Writer's Life | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Release: Twist of Fate

Copy of Mollie Mathews Twist of Fate

I’m so excited about my new release “Twist of Fate”….a sassy short story for a quick, fun read. To celebrate the release of my first short story in a long while, I’ve reduced the price to $0.99.

Here’s a little bit about the story:

What if a twist of fate could change your life?

Still reeling following his unexpected divorce, billionaire Tech guru Jonathan James has returned from London to New Zealand feeling disillusioned and low in spirits. The last thing he needs when he flies home 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.

As Margaret wrote to me, in her early review, ‘”Twist of Fate” is a short story full of quirky humor and the promise of romance.”

Set in Wellington, New Zealand—the coolest little capital in the world (my old hometown).

If you love clean romance short stories with a twist of humor, you’ll enjoy “Twist of Fate”.

Available for instant download from Amazon here:


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

Posted in New Release, New romance novel, short story, Twist of Fate | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why your reviews matter…


Everything I’d heard about self-publishing is that it was impossible to make a living, reach readers, or produce a quality product. But last year (2010), I heard about how some other authors like Joe Konrath and Karen McQuestion are doing well with ebooks. So I thought that I had nothing to lose. 

~ Amanda Hocking, author & millionaire

Knockbacks and continual rejection can be a major obstacle to prosperous productivity. We all want our work to be valued, and we want to feel wanted. So, when our work is criticized or rejected, it can be very easy to take things personally.

I know this feeling intimately. When I submitted my first romance and received feedback that the characters were dysfunctional it was a punch to my gut. Especially as the story had been influenced by events that had happened to me personally. Looking back, I shouldn’t have let the feedback stop me from writing love stories. But I did. For years.

I’ve since learned to look at criticism more dispassionately—even to welcome it as a tool to help me become a better writer. I’ve also learned to back myself and not take to heart the views of others.

My first critique was from the teachers of a course, and since then I had wondered what a ‘real’ rejection from a traditional publisher looked like. It became an obsession and I asked my writing friends to send me their rejections. In the process, I learned to fear rejection less.

Below is an excerpt from a rejection letter I received from Harlequin one year after attending a romance writers conference in New Zealand. Yes, you read it correctly. It took one year to finally receive a response—it’s pretty poor really, given the reason I attend conferences and go through the agony of pitching my book to a stranger is so that I can ‘fast-track’ my likelihood of success by getting in front of a publisher, agent or editor.

I now know that sometimes the fastest way to fast-track your success is to take control and self-publish—something multi-millionaire indie author Amanda Hocking also discovered.

On 30/06/2017, at 6:04 PM, XXX

<> wrote:

(I’ve removed the editor’s name for confidentiality)

Hi Cassandra,

Apologies for taking so much longer to get back to you than I’d initially intended. Unfortunately, after looking the pages and discussing its place in the market with my wider team, we feel that Bride of Gold isn’t quite right for our list at this stage.

While this project isn’t quite right for us this time, please keep in mind considering manuscripts for publication is based on highly subjective reactions and another publisher may feel very differently. Thank you for giving us time to consider the project and best of luck for your future writing.

Best wishes,


While the editor’s ‘feedback’ is scant (read useless in helpful, constructive criticism) she is right—“considering manuscripts for publication is based on highly subjective reactions and another publisher may feel very differently.”

You only have to look to J.K. Rowling or any of the many, many other ‘rejected’ authors for inspiration to persist and persevere.

When Amanda Hocking, an American writer of paranormal romance, first tried to find a publisher for her books in April 2010, she was knocked back—again and again.

“I tried to be traditionally published for about eight years,” Hocking once said.

Undeterred she began self-publishing her stories as e-books. “I’d written about 12 books when I decided to self-publish, and I thought it would be better than them sitting on my computer. Worst case scenario, nobody would read them, and that’s what was happening anyway.”

Sales were slow initially, but by March 2011, she had sold over a million copies of her nine books and earned two million dollars from sales, previously unheard of for self-published authors. In early 2011, Hocking averaged 9,000 book sales each day.

When asked in interviews if she has a daily routine Hocking said, “I don’t really have one, haha. I haven’t exactly figured out how to get into a writing routine yet. I’ve always kind of wrote when I wanted to. Once I get the idea in my head and get it outlined out, I usually just sit and write until it’s done.”

It didn’t take long for traditional publishers, lured by the scent of profit to sniff Hocking out. In March 2011, she signed her first conventional publishing contract for four books, at a price of two million dollars, with St. Martin’s Press.

Hocking’s success strategy? Being prolifically productive (When she was only 26 years old, the Minnesota native she had already written a total of 17 novels), pricing her books low (four of her books are 99 cents each, and the rest are $2.99) and sending her work to bloggers to review.

”I didn’t really have a strategy for marketing and publicising my books,“ says Hocking. “I think one of the advantages I have is that stuff considered marketing is stuff that I do a lot anyway. I’ve been active on social networks and blogs for years.

“I also send ARCs [advance review copies] out to book bloggers. Book bloggers are a really amazing community, and they’ve been tremendously supportive. They’ve definitely been a major force that got my books on the map.

“When I first published, I did do a bit of promoting on the Amazon forums, but they’re not really open to that, so I haven’t really interacted there much at all in months. I hang out Goodreads, Kindleboards, Facebook, Twitter, and I blog. And that’s about it.”


If you are an inspiring author the takeaway productivity hack is don’t let your work languish or die in the vaults of your PC. Take control of your writing empire and send it out again or consider self-publishing your work.

I did just that and here is the wonderfully encouraging feedback I received:

“What a wonderful book Bride of Gold was. I just couldn’t put it down. How wonderful you have written this love story with so much passion and fighting for love and acknowledgment one can give. Full of passion, love, and tenderness. Words can’t describe the real way I found this book. Fantastic.”~Istella

“I loved, loved, loved this book. It had me laughing, crying and gasping following the back and forth between Alexandra and Vitali!! I now want to go to New Zealand even more than I did before.” ~ Glenda.

“What an absolute treat to read a book without skipping over explicit scenes and This foul language. This is a very well-written story that you can use your own imagination at certain scenes. Mollie really hit a winner with this one. I read it in two sittings because I could not put it down. The back and forth between Alexandra and Vitali had me chuckling and intrigued as to what the results were going to be. I will be reading more written my Mollie Mathews!”


If you are an avid reading of romance be assured your feedback and reviews on Amazon and Goodreads encourages and inspires authors to keep writing.

Blank white book w/pathBride of Gold– available from Amazon here—getBook.atBrideofGold or here

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Audaciously Obsessed: How Passionate Obsessions Empower Heroes and Heroines




When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties, and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be

~ Patanjali, Yogi and Mystic

I love passionate people, and there’s no clearer route to passion than tuning into a person’s deepest obsession.

“People pride themselves upon their willpower, their indomitable courage, upon the fact that nothing frightens them,” writes T. Lobsang Rampa, in his classic book You Forever. “They assured bored listeners that with their willpower they can do anything at all.” But the truth is there is no greater power than imagination, passion, and the incredible power of love.

“The Last Supper soon became my obsession,” writes Spanish author Javier Sierra in his book The Secret Supper, a dazzling historical thriller.

His novels all have a ‘secret’ common purpose: to solve historical musketries based on real documentation and extensive field research. Javier’s passion and his obsession have made him a bestseller author throughout the world.

Similarly, Joe Medeiros, a writer, and producer, known for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, developed an obsession for Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic portrait of the Mona Lisa after reading about its theft from the Louvre.

Medeiros’ obsession had a singular focus—discovering the truth. He first learned that the Mona Lisa was stolen when he was 25 and spent the next 30 years trying to discover the thief’s motivation—a simple Italian immigrant named Vincenzo Peruggia who worked as a house painter in Paris.

When asked why he was so fascinated by the story, and why he devoted over 35-years to his quest Medeiros said, “The fact that that I couldn’t solve the mystery. I wasn’t able to write it as a [fictional] screenplay] but once we started to make the documentary, everything started to fall into place. And I always wanted to know, was he crazy? Did he do it for patriotism, did he do it for money, did someone commission him? I had all these questions and that’s what kept me at it until I found the answers.”

Because of my own obsession with The Mona Lisa, and also with discovering the truth, I came across Medeiros’ wonderful documentary and have since reached out to him to help me with my research for my novel of historical art-related fiction set in Renaissance and modern-day Florence. (formerly known with the working title of Mona Lisa’s Secret).

Learn more about Joe Medeiros’s 35-year obsession here—

Even better, visit his website and follow the links to view his fascinating documentary >> 


Passionate Obsessions Empower an Author’s Writing

A healthy obsession can lead you to many things, including:

• A state of divine flow—enabling you to write with mind-blowing productivity

• Your point of excellence—unleashing dormant talents and natural gifts

• Rocket-fuel tenacity to persevere and succeed

• Mentors, helpful allies and similarly obsessed people who will cheerlead and elevate your success

• A legion of devoted fans who are drawn to your impassioned writing

• Your passion and life purpose—spreading seeds of joy and inspiration and benefiting others

• Your life niche—creating a breath of fresh air and giving you a competitive edge

• True bliss—leading you to your vocation where being paid is the icing on the cake

New Zealand motorcycling legend Burt Munro proved that passionate obsession is the key to success. “All my life I’ve wanted to do something big,” he said. In 1967 Burt achieved something huge.

At the age of 68, against all the odds, he set a world record of 183.586 mph with his highly modified Indian Scout motorcycle. To qualify he made a one-way run of 190.07 mph, the fastest ever officially recorded speed on an Indian.

Like so many inspiring people the road to success was not an easy one—it involved much personal hardship and numerous setbacks, but armed with his passion and a compelling desire to “go out with a bang,” Burt Munro mortgaged his house and set out on the greatest adventure of his life.

His truly awesome achievements were brought to life in an inspiring and uplifting film, The World’s Fastest Indian.

The World’s Fastest Indian not only gives movie-goers an inside look at Munro’s passion, but it also gives them an idea of New Zealand filmmaker Roger Donaldson’s overwhelming desire to tell the story.

“This project has been a passion of mine since I completed a documentary about Burt Munro back in 1972,” Donaldson said. “I have been intrigued by Burt’s story for many, many years; some would say my obsession with this film matches Burt’s obsession with his bike.”

Donaldson’s passion for his subject has won him international acclaim from Academy Award-winning actor Anthony Hopkins. “I thought it was a terrific movie. It is a unique script…it is just so well-written, very well-written, beautifully written, and so refreshing. I’ve worked with a lot of great directors, Steven Spielberg and Oliver Stone, and Roger Donaldson is there with that lot, you know. He really is,” Hopkins said.

I’m passionate about the power of creativity to heal. Which is why so many of my heroes and heroines are passionate about the arts—either to learn more about its mysteries or because they are artists themselves.  

In Bride of Gold, a true-romance set amongst the stunning backdrop of New Zealand’s South Island my heroine is driven by a passionate obsession to discover the truth. When Alex 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, an embittered multimillionaire Italian gold tycoon who is obsessive about accumulating wealth and protecting the shocking secret that could see him ruined. Unnaturally suspicious of her motives, he wants the painting- and Alex- vanquished. This is his new obsession—and one that creates great conflict.

Flight of Passion, on the other hand is a rapturous tale of beauty, obsession and the transformational power of unconditional love. The hero is passionate about exotic butterflies—and recapturing the love of the only woman he has only loved. Except, Ruby is not for this taking.

Issy Riley, the heroine of Married by Christmas is an art therapist with an obsession to thaw the hero’s heart, one crayon at a time! The previous Christmas, she 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, obsessive art collector, 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—these passionate people’s obsessions run in different directions. Until love unites.


What Do Your Characters Collect?

Passionate obsessions, as you have begun to discover, go in all directions, and many times they are revealed in your collections. These could be as tangible as exotic butterflies, books, spoons, antiques, paintings, or as intangible as a dream or an idea.

I collect positivity and articles and stories related to people’s extraordinary passions. My collections have inspired many of my characters and books.

As I mentioned, I also have a passionate obsession with all things related to Leonardo da Vinci, but particularly his portrait of The Mona Lisa, and I have a burning desire to reveal the truth being the mysterious life of the woman in the painting, Lisa del Giocondo. I am sure I own every single book ever written about both Lisa and Leonardo. My partner once laughed, “There are three of us in this relationship—you, me and The Mona Lisa.”

It’s true, I am obsessed and enthralled with my research for my historical novel Mona Lisa’s Secret and with telling her story. 

But then, I’m also obsessive about every story that ever find its way into my heart.




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