Dear Readers, when I first heard about this book, I contacted
and asked her if I could schedule it on my blog. I’m a second generation
American on my father’s side. His mother’s and father’s families emigrated from
Marion Norway and Sweden and settled in . I especially wanted this book,
because it’s set in Minnesota ,
another Scandinavian country. As soon as I received my copy of the ebook, I
read it, and loved it. The characters jumped straight into my heart and stayed
there. I enjoyed the setting and the situations of the story. I’ll be looking
for more books from Finland . Marion
Bio: Marion Ueckermann’s passion for writing was sparked in 2001 when she moved to
her husband and two sons. Since then she has published devotional articles and
stories in Winners, The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter
(Tyndale House Publishers), Chicken Soup
for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven, and her debut novella, Helsinki
Sunrise (White Rose Publishing, a Pelican Book Group imprint, Passport
to Romance series). Her second Passport to Romance, Oslo Overtures, will be published in 2015. Ireland
Permission to use images obtained.
Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters. Marion
Not a lot, but I do think there’s always a tiny trace of my DNA in each of my heroines J
Probably the quirkiest thing I’ve ever done is eaten a mopane worm whilst up in
. I did get a certificate
for the crazy deed. It was quite a feat for me because I grew up in a small
town that was overrun by these large black and blue hairy horned worms. These
worms are actually large caterpillars of the Gonimbrasia belina species,
commonly called the emperor moth, and are known as mopane worms because they
are found chomping the leaves of mopane trees in the South African lowveld
after they hatch in summer. They’re sought after by the local Africans for food
and are apparently highly nutritious. They’ve become a delicacy in many
up-market restaurants in Zimbabwe South Africa
and are even found in African restaurants in . I wish I could say they taste
good—they don’t … not for me anyway. It was kind of like eating a piece of
We will be in
Christmas, and my son has a bucket list of things I need to do. One of the
things on his list is for me to jump into the avanto (or hole in the ice). This
is done by first roasting in a sauna of around 80 degrees celcius, then
hightailing your tush from there across the snow in temperatures of around
minus 37 degrees celcius before finally lowering yourself down a ladder through
a hole in the ice into the freezing Finnish waters. The entire sequence is done
repetitively. I have to admit that it would be a really quirky thing to add to
my quirkiest thing list. However, I’m
not sure if I’ll be brave enough. Finland
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
My desire to write probably started around twenty years ago, but it was only when we moved to
that I began to feed this desire by writing poetry. Two years later, after we
returned to Ireland ,
I penned my first (unpublished) novel, and so began my real passion … writing
stories. South Africa
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
99% of the books I read are Christian fiction, ranging from contemporary romance, to suspense, to historical and whatever comes in between. I’m not a person who’s set on one genre, although I do have some favorite authors whose writing I always seek out.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’m sane? (refer back to question 2).
How do you choose your characters’ names?
With ease J I never stress over characters’ names. Normally a name pops into my head, and I run with it. There are times when I’ll research a name’s meaning and origin on baby name websites, and I’ve had occasions where I’ve searched these sites for a name if one hasn’t just come to me or if the name’s meaning plays an important role. When I do go looking for a name, I’ll do so under the nationality category until I find one that suits the character.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Raising two awesome sons.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A Koala bear. I’ve always loved them. As a little girl I can remember owning a few Koala teddies in different sizes.
Why would I want to be one? They hang about in trees all day getting high on eucalyptus leaves. What could be better than life being as slow as it is for a Koala bear?
What is your favorite food?
All food J Seriously, I do love a good curry, especially lamb, but chicken will do just fine, too. Oh, and chocolate. Chocolate is food, right?
It is for me. I’m a real chocoholic. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Being an author in
and writing Christian fiction, it is really difficult to be published. There
are less than a handful of Christian South African publishers and they aren’t
really interested in unpublished authors. But it’s equally as hard to get an
American publisher or agent interested in a South African author. It’s also
almost impossible to attend writers’ conferences where one would have the
opportunity to present your manuscript to publishers and agents, as it’s just
too far and too expensive with our poor rate of exchange. South Africa
When I heard that Pelican Book Group wanted stories for their Passport to Romance series, stories written in foreign locations with foreign characters (ie. not American), I jumped at the opportunity. Helsinki Sunrise was the first story I wrote for them. I have since signed a contract with them for a second book in the series titled Oslo Overtures, and currently have another two stories written for which I’m hoping to submit the full manuscripts.
Passport to Romance has been a wonderful opportunity to be published with an awesome American publisher. It’s great to be a part of the Pelican family. I’ve plenty of ideas for more stories and quite a few first drafts waiting to be edited for submission to Pelican Book Group.
I want to schedule your next book on my blog. Be sure to contact me as soon as you have a pub date. Tell us about the featured book.
My featured book, Helsinki Sunrise, is one of the novella in the Passport to Romance series published by White Rose Publishing, a Pelican Book Group imprint.
One of my critiquers likened it to How to Lose a Guy in 14 Days (although I think in the movie it was 10 days). In Helsinki Sunrise, readers will find romance, comedy, and tension as two completely opposite characters collide and try to wear each other down. Readers also get to experience the beautiful country of
and some of its unique culture. Finland
I love what a recent reviewer had to say about this story: I have never read a love story where the main character is fasting and praying of all things, and yet Marion Ueckermann skillfully turns what could be dry and boring into a modern day Taming of the Shrew with a Christian twist.
I guess the easiest way to tell readers about Helsinki Sunrise is to let them read the blurb. That way, they’ll know just enough to be interested without me giving away the story J:
He needed the island to himself. So did she.
Three weeks alone at a friend’s summer cottage on a Finnish lake to fast and pray. That was Adam Carter's plan. But sometimes plans go awry.
On an impromptu trip to her family's secluded summer cottage, the last thing Eveliina Mikkola expected to find was a missionary from the other side of the world—in her sauna.
Determined to stay, Eveliina will do whatever it takes—from shortcrust pastry to shorts—to send the man of God packing. This island’s too small for them both.
Adam Carter, however, is not about to leave.
Will he be able to resist her temptations?
Can she withstand his prayers?
Please give us the first page of the book for my blog readers.
“I need to get away for a while.” Eveliina held her breath. If Joel said no, she’d go anyway. She’d resign. She’d break up with him. Whatever it took to bring a little peace and quiet to her harried life.
“But you just got back from
.” Joel crossed his
arms and leaned back in his leather chair. Vaasa
“Exactly why I need to get away.”
His eyes swept over her, and Eveliina hoped she didn’t look as frazzled as she felt.
“You work too hard, Eveliina, and I’m sorry. It’s just the nature of our business. Creating fantasy for the world is not for the fainthearted.” He rose from behind his smoked-glass desk, placed his hands on the edge of the table and leaned forward. “That’s why people like us aren’t married. We’re wed to our computers, and it’s hard to divorce ourselves from the beasts.” Joel straightened up. “But maybe soon we’ll change that. I know you’ll be as dedicated and talented a wife as you are—”
“I doubt I could love doing anything other than visual effects.” One sure thing got Eveliina uncomfortable—talk of marriage. And these days, Joel didn’t miss an opportunity. Eveliina stared him in the eye. “You’re right. I am married to my job. And I don’t believe in divorce.”
She pointed to the framed 3D characters that lined the walls of Joel’s ultra-modern high-rise
family portraits. “You see those funny little creatures?—they’re the only ones
I’m happy to create.” Helsinki
Joel scratched his chin. “So, how was Ostrobothnia and the tall ships exhibition?”
“Bombarded by noisy children and people dressed as Vikings…?”
He pulled a face. “That bad?”
“You try seven days surrounded by,” she shuddered, “little people. If that wasn’t bad enough, those Viking look-alikes are a crude bunch with a weakness for blondes.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can find me at any of the following places, and I look forward to connecting with them.
On my website there are also links to blogs where I’m a regular blogger.
Helsinki Sunrise is available to purchase from Pelican Book Group, Christianbook.com, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
Watch the Helsinki Sunrise book trailer on YouTube.
Watch the Passport to Romance book trailer on YouTube.
Thank you, Marion, for sharing your debut novel with us.
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