Bio: Marion Ueckermann’s passion for writing was sparked in 2001 when she moved to
with her husband and two sons. Since then she has published devotional articles
and stories in Winners, The One Year
Devotional of Joy and Laughter, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages
Marion loves writing Contemporary Inspirational Romances set in novel places and has three Passport to Romance novellas published and contracted through White Rose Publishing, a Pelican Book Group imprint: her debut novella, Helsinki Sunrise; Oslo Overtures (August 2015); and Glasgow Grace (2016).
She lives in Pretoria East,
South Africa, in an empty nest with
her husband and their crazy black Scottie, Wally.
. Why do you write
the kind of books you do? Marion
I love writing stories set in unusual or foreign locations, hence my tagline “
A Novel Place
to Fall in Love.”
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Probably the day my husband said yes to my picnic invitation—our first date. I can’t remember when I’ve ever screamed that loud. And, if that first date hadn’t happened, would we have ever gone on to say “I do”?
How has being published changed your life?
Life has become increasingly busy trying to carve out writing, editing, and marketing time amidst a day job, family, and those adorable grandchildren that are so hard to resist. But perhaps it’s hubby’s life that has changed the most, and he’s done it with grace. Oh how I appreciate him taking over the cooking, cleaning, and washing to give me more time to write. One of these days I will have to dedicate a book to him...I’m just waiting for the right one (and I think it might be around the corner) J
In every dedication I write, no matter who else I dedicate the book to, I always include my husband. What are you reading right now?
At the moment, three of my crit partners’ manuscripts, which I’m loving and hope they find publishers soon so that others can enjoy their stories. Last month, however, Orphaned Hearts was published in SPLASH!, a boxed set of nine refreshing summer reads filled with faith done in collaboration with eight other international authors. As we’d all agreed to read and review the book before and after ours in the set, I’ll soon need to have my nose in Narelle Atkins’ His Perfect Catch and Jan Thompson’s Draw You Near. I’m looking forward to that.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m working on my Christmas novella, Poles Apart, which will form part of a Christmas boxed set in conjunction with several of the SPLASH! authors. It’s a fun story about a frustrated author suffering from writer’s block and facing a tight Christmas novel deadline, who travels to Lapland from
South Africa to
find her muse and escape some Christmas unpleasantries at home. She finds more
than that, but all I’ll give away is that there is Christmas magic and Santa’s
kisses under the mistletoe.
What would be your dream vacation?
A tiny, cosy cottage beside a clear blue lake, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Curled up on the sofa, I’d watch hubby through the window out fishing on the lake while I carve out hours of uninterrupted writing on my laptop beside a crackling fire.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
As I said in the first question, I love writing stories set in unusual or foreign locations. My publisher, White Rose Publishing (a Pelican Book Group imprint) has an amazing series titled Passport to Romance. I’ve chosen my settings from the long list of stories they’re looking for, and I have many more up my sleeve. While my first preference has been to choose stories from the various countries I’ve visited, if I haven’t been there then I merely cyber-travel. I’ll be to taking readers to amazing locations in
Africa in my Heart of Africa romances, of which Orphaned
Hearts is book one.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Definitely my son, Kyle. He’s a missionary and lives in
Budapest (that’s when he’s not in Finland, or Sweden, or who knows where next).
Because I only get to see him once a year if I’m lucky, I’d take any given time
to spend with him.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
There’s time for hobbies? I used to love cross stitching, and have a myriad of unfinished pieces because I discovered writing.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Carving out uninterrupted writing time.
Overcome it? Sit down at the desk in my writing room and close the door. And if that doesn’t work, it’s pretty quiet between midnight and 3 AM.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Do not be in a hurry to get published. Understand that you’ll likely write several books before you will be ready for publication. And most important, take time before you start writing to study the art of writing. Finally, find a handful of good critique partners.
Tell us about the featured book.
Orphaned Hearts is set on the banks of the mighty
After losing his wife in childbirth, conservationist Simon Hartley devotes his
life to raising his daughter and orphan elephants. Lady Abigail Chadwick puts
her aristocratic life and an arranged marriage on hold when she travels to Africa to spend a year teaching orphans. Neither the hero
nor heroine is looking for love, but love certainly seeks them out.
And talking about love, there’s plenty for readers to fall in love with—a spectacular location, adorable orphans, and cute baby elephants. Some big ones, too.This story is about finding love, and God, again.
Will his past, or her future, keep their hearts orphaned?
When his wife dies in childbirth, Zambian conservationist Simon Hartley pours his life into raising his daughter and his orphan elephants. He has no time, or desire, to fall in love again. Or so he thinks.
Wanting to escape English society and postpone an arranged marriage, Lady Abigail Chadwick heads to
for a year to teach the children of the Good Shepherd Orphanage. Upon her
arrival she is left stranded at Livingstone airport…until a reluctant Simon
comes to her rescue.
Now only fears born of his loss, and secrets of the life she’s tried to leave behind, can stonewall their romance, budding in the heart of
Please give us the first page of the book.
On the banks of the mighty
that grief-filled morning, Simon Hartley buried not only his wife—he buried his
faith, as well.
As Simon’s workers lowered the wooden box into the earth, ululating rose into the surrounding air from the gathered crowd, louder and louder, like the roar of the great waters of Mosi-oa-Tunya—the Smoke that Thunders.
The tiny form cocooned in a soft pink blanket squirmed in his arms, quickly making her distress known. Either the wailing mourners had woken the sleeping babe, or hunger, for she knew nothing of what went on around her, couldn’t feel the pain of loss for the mother who’d given her own life in exchange for that of her unborn child.
Simon eased the covering open and gazed inside. “Shh,” he whispered as he rocked his daughter in his arms, stilling her cries. An ache filled his heart. His daughter. She was so beautiful, so perfect.
Jaw clenched, Simon fixed his eyes on the gaping earth at his feet as the simple coffin sank deeper into the earth. He hugged the fragile bundle closer to his chest. Could the act ease the pain that clawed like a wounded animal trapped inside him? How was it possible to experience opposite emotions at the same time? Joy. Sorrow. Like oil and water, they didn’t mix. But here they were, thrown together by the unexpected turn of events that changed what was to be the happiest day of his life, to the saddest. And yet...
He pulled his gaze away and focused on the waters ahead. In the distance, mist from the falls turned the sky a lighter shade of blue. This was fitting. Chloe had loved this spot. She’d sit here in the shade beneath the giant sycamore fig for hours reading, pausing between pages to listen to the faint roar of the
Victoria Falls. Often she’d
set her book aside and gaze down the river, marveling at the haze that rose
from where the falls plunged to the ravine below. “Heaven on earth,” she’d
I can hardly wait until my copy arrives. I loved reading Helsinki Sunrise. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I look forward to interacting with readers at any of the following places:
, for sharing this
new book with us. I know my blog readers will love it. Marion
Readers, here are purchase links to the books:
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