Book Recommendation ~ Glasgow Grace by Marion Ueckermann

Glasgow Grace

Book Description:

Opera singer, Skye Hunter, returns to the land of her birth as leading lady in Phantom of the Opera. This is her first trip back to bonnie Scotland since her mother whisked her away to Australia after Skye’s father died sixteen years ago. When Skye decides to have dinner at McGuire’s, she’s not going there only for Mary McGuire’s shepherd’s pie. Her first and only love, Callum McGuire, still plays his guitar and sings at the family-owned tavern. Callum has never stopped loving Skye. Desperate to know if she’s changed under her mother’s influence, he keeps his real profession hidden. Would she want him if he was still a singer in a pub? But when Skye’s worst nightmare comes true, Callum reveals his secret to save the woman he loves. Can Skye and Callum rekindle what they lost, or will her mother threaten their future together once again?

Narelle’s Thoughts:

Journey to picturesque Scotland in Marion Ueckermann’s delightful and heartwarming romance novella. I loved the gorgeous white Christmas setting in Glasgow Grace.

Skye is an opera singer who returns to her homeland from Australia to start rehearsals in the New Year. She wants to visit her father’s grave in Skye and she’s staying in a swish hotel, courtesy of her opera company employer.

Callum knows that Skye is back in town and he has bought tickets for an upcoming performance. Skye visits the pub owned by Callum’s family just before Christmas and she reconnects with Callum. It’s like the old days, when they were teens and head over heels in love. But Callum hasn’t forgotten how Skye moved to Australia with her mother and never replied to his letters. Her mother is a pretentious snob who didn’t think Callum was good enough for her daughter.

Callum has his own secrets. He lets Skye believe that he’s a singer and musician who works in the family pub and still drives his old car.

The romance at the start of the story seems to plod along almost too smoothly. A big plot twist (that I didn’t see coming) changes everything and challenges their faith. Skye’s career is threatened and Callum’s secret is exposed. They have to work together to overcome all the obstacles in their path to true love. Glasgow Grace has a tender and emotionally satisfying ending that will charm readers who enjoy sweet Christmas reunion romances.

Learn more about Marion Ueckermann and her books at her website.

Many thanks to Marion for providing a complimentary advanced reader copy of the book.


Read a FREE sample of Glasgow Grace (Passport to Romance) at Amazon.com

#Christmas Book Recommendation ~ Poles Apart by Marion Ueckermann

Poles Apart

Book Description:

Writer’s block and a looming Christmas novel deadline have romance novelist, Sarah Jones, heading for the other side of the world on a whim.

Niklas Toivonen offers cosy Lapland accommodation, but when his aging father falls ill, Niklas is called upon to step into his father’s work clothes to make children happy. Red is quite his color.

Fresh off the airplane, a visit to Santa sets Sarah’s muse into overdrive. The man in red is not only entertaining, he’s young—with gorgeous blue eyes. Much like her new landlord’s, she discovers. Santa and Niklas quickly become objects of research—for her novel, and her curiosity.

Though she’s written countless happily-ever-afters, Sarah doubts she’ll ever enjoy her own. Niklas must find a way to show her how to leave the pain of her past behind, so she can find love and faith once more.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I love Christmas romance stories and Poles Apart didn’t disappoint. Sarah is impulsive, and she books a three week trip to Lapland, Santa’s home town, over Christmas. She’s desperate to overcome writers block and meet her looming deadline. Sarah believes Lapland will provide the inspiration for her Christmas romance novel. A white Christmas is a very different proposition to the summer Christmas weather she’s accustomed to back home in South Africa.

Niklas, the owner of the cabin she rents in Lapland, is surprised and entranced by Sarah when they first meet in rather unusual circumstances. Sarah isn’t familiar with Finnish customs, especially the avanto, which creates humorous moments in the story. We meet reindeer, and Niklas’ golden retriever dogs are adorable.

I loved the way the romance between Sarah and Niklas evolves, and how the faith element intertwines with the mythology and legend of Santa.  The story has a lovely underlying Christian message that keeps the focus of Christmas on Jesus.  I recommend Poles Apart to readers who enjoy fun and light hearted Christmas romance novellas set in exotic locations.

Poles Apart is currently available for 99 cents in the Snowflakes and Mistletoe: A Collection of Christian Christmas Romances box set.

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

Friday Weekend Escape to Zambia

By Marion Ueckermann

I’ve taken a weekend escape to Zambia—twice.

Many years ago, my husband and I were privileged to accompany my bosses on a business / leisure trip to the land of my birth. I got the opportunity to go again the following year with the company’s accountants. As the conference coordinator, it was my job to be there and ensure all went off smoothly. I know, some people have it really tough, don’t they?

On the first visit, the group stayed at the prestigious Royal Livingstone Hotel on the Zambian side of the mighty Zambezi River. On the second trip, we stayed on the Zimbabwean side, though we did cross the river into Zambia for our sunset river cruise and dinner. It was wonderful to have seen the Victoria Falls from both sides—the views and experience remarkably different. The Zambian side is filled with rain forests and numerous walking bridges to cross over gorges. The Zimbabwean side is mostly flat and open, the only bridge to be seen, the railroad bridge—home to bungee jumping daredevils.

Victoria Falls - Zambian side

Victoria Falls - Zimbabwean side

Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwean side

On the first trip, I arranged a water arrival for the delegates. It was exciting. We boarded water taxis berthed beside the African Queen where we’d have dinner and a sunset cruise later that afternoon. The taxis raced down this enormous river and over gentle rapids until in the distance we could see the mist rising from Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders). The Victoria Falls. We were almost at our hotel.

Water arrival - Zambia

The Royal Livingstone was an amazing place to stay—we even had our own butler. On our last night there, the Prince of Oman and his entire entourage of around seventy checked into the hotel. We didn’t get to see him, although we did spot his bodyguards in the gardens while a bunch of Arabian-looking children played close by. And we saw his private Boeing at the airport when we left.

Another exciting guest was the monkey that woke me that first morning. As I opened my eyes, there he was, sitting on the bedside table, helping himself to the nougat that had been left on my pillow the night before. Suffice it to say, a pillow fight ensued. I won!

Only when we stepped onto the balcony of our room, did we see all the havoc this little blighter and his family had caused—below the lawns were littered with papers from the chocolates I’d placed in our delegates’ gift packs. Hubby and I weren’t the only ones to make the fatal mistake of sleeping with the door open.

Later they snuck into my bag at the swimming pool, stealing a pocket pack of tissues, and testing them high in a tree to see if they were edible. They even made a mad dash at the tables of guests taking high tea, pinching the expensive snacks right off their plates.

Not all of the uninvited guests were that wild and unruly. Late that afternoon, Zebra lazily dotted the lawns of the hotel, but we were told not to get too close as they could give a nasty bite.

Monkeys and Zebra - Zambia

Besides visiting the magnificent Victoria Falls, the sunset cruise on the Zambesi River, and riding and feeding the elephants, were the highlights of my visits to Zambia. That’s why I included both these experiences into my newly released novella, Orphaned Hearts.

Sunset Cruise - Zambia

Sunset Cruise

Elephant ride- Zambia

Elephant ride & feeding

If you enjoyed this little weekend escape to Zambia, why not pick up a copy of Orphaned Hearts and spend a few more hours soaking in the beauty of Zambia.

Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iTunes 

Kobo

 Inktera

Will his past, or her future, keep their hearts orphaned?

Orphaned Hearts

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 Africa 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 Africa.

I look forward to interacting with readers at any of the following places:

WEBSITE       http://marionueckermann.com/

FACEBOOK  https://www.facebook.com/Marion.C.Ueckermann

AMAZON      http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KBYLU7C

GOOGLE+     https://plus.google.com/+MarionUeckermannAuthor/

TWITTER       https://twitter.com/ueckie

PINTEREST   https://www.pinterest.com/ueckie/

Marion Ueckermann1 - SMALLER

MARION UECKERMANN’s passion for writing was sparked in 2001 when she moved to Ireland 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 from Heaven.

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.

Book Recommendation: Sweet Serenade and Orphaned Hearts in SPLASH!

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Sweet Serenade by Valerie Comer, author of the Farm Fresh Romance series

Sweet Serenade

Book Description: Canadian river guide and canoe builder Reed Daniels stands by as his lifelong friends pair off. After all, he’s waited this long for the right woman… what’s a little longer? But when newcomer Carly shows up at the gang’s bonfire, he’s mesmerized. Could she be the answer to his prayers?

Water-sport enthusiast Carly Thorbergsen is starting over in Riverbend. Hired as a canoeing and hiking guide, she’s ready to focus on work and leave the personal stuff behind. That is until the competition, Reed Daniels, offers her a ride in his cedar-strip canoe. No resisting that!

But no matter how much they have in common, Carly can’t erase her past, and Reed is bound to discover the truth. When a date finds Carly and Reed running rapids on the outside of the canoe, they come face to face with the real reasons their new relationship might capsize.

Narelle’s thoughts: Sweet Serenade is a fun contemporary Christian romance set in a small fictitious Canadian town. Carly’s cousin warns her about getting involved with Reed, who is the handsome, single guy in their church group. Carly can’t help being drawn to Reed, despite the added complication of being employed by Reed’s competitor.

Carly is struggling with guilt from her past and she’s adjusting to life in a small town community. I loved Reed’s integrity and his desire to live out his faith in all areas of his life. The minor characters added a realism to the story that I really liked. The river scenery is gorgeous and I want to go canoeing in a small town just like Riverbend!

Read an interview with Valerie here.

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Orphaned Hearts by Marion Ueckermann, author of the Heart of Africa series

Orphaned Hearts

Book Description: 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 Africa 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 Africa.

Narelle’s thoughts: Orphaned Hearts is a heartfelt contemporary Christian romance set in exotic Zambia on the banks of the Zambezi River. Despite her father’s disapproval, Abigail travels from England to Africa and teaches in an orphanage. She leaves behind an ex-fiance and her luxurious life as Lady Abigail. Simon is a devoted father to Chloe and spends his time caring for orphaned elephants. He is intrigued by the fiesty and beautiful Abigail when she first arrives in Zambia.

A sweet romance develops between Simon and Abigail, and I loved how Chloe bonds with Abigail. Simon is challenged to let go of his grief and rediscover his faith during the story. Abigail has secrets that threaten to destroy her idyllic new life in the small African village. The orphaned elephants are just adorable, and an elephant ride during an African safari is on my travel bucket list!

Read an interview with Marion here.

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His Perfect Catch by Narelle Atkins, author of the Snowgum Creek series

HPC final

Book Description: Sydney girl Mia Radcliffe borrows her cousin’s beach house in Sapphire Bay, Australia, to escape the scandal surrounding her ex-fiancé. Her new neighbor is her secret crush from years ago… and she’s still captivated by the handsome builder who was a youth group leader at her church.

Living next door to Mia wasn’t part of Pete McCall’s plan when he started renovating his beach house. The blonde beauty inspires thoughts of settling down, despite her high maintenance ways and big-city dreams.

Love kindles during their time together and Mia’s heart is set on returning to Sydney with Pete. When new opportunities arise, Pete and Mia must decide if their love is for keeps.

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Grab a tall glass of lemonade or iced tea and dip your toes into a cool pool of water on a hot summer’s day while you enjoy the never-before-released Christian romance novellas in SPLASH!

NINE Refreshing Romances Filled with Faith!

Available from Amazon Kindle for 99 cents

http://www.amazon.com/Splash-Refreshing-Romances-Filled-Faith-ebook/dp/B00X4UEK0E/

Splash reviews blog hop

Click here to view the list of SPLASH! review posts.

SPLASH! Interview with Marion Ueckermann, author of Orphaned Hearts

Orphaned Hearts

Book Description:

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 Africa 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 Africa.

Me enjoying a Zambezi River sunset cruise

Me enjoying a Zambezi River sunset cruise

Narelle: Welcome, Marion. Can you please tell us more about the setting for Orphaned Hearts.

Marion: Orphaned Hearts is set in a place close to my heart—Zambia—land of my birth. When asked to write a story set in Africa with a water theme for this boxed set, I knew there was no other place for this story than the Victoria Falls and the mighty Zambezi River. Of course, having been there and seen it all helped cement my choice of African location.

Although the Vic Falls is mentioned in the story, focus is on this great river itself.

Narelle: I love your exotic African setting. How does your novella fit with the SPLASH! water theme?

Marion: South African Simon Hartley has lived close to this incredible river for over a decade where he’s doing his part for conservation with his elephant orphanage.

Having ridden on and fed one of these magnificent creatures, plus seen an eleven-week old ellie up close when we visited Zambia many years ago, I had to bring elephants into this story. What do they have to do with water, you ask? Elephants love and need mud, and so there’s a fun scene with the pachyderms and orphans down at the mudhole (that’s water, too…sort of).

This little baby below has such an amazing story about its conception, but I’d have to share that in a separate blog.

This baby loves mud

This baby loves mud

Feeding Danny, the elephant I rode on

Feeding Danny, the elephant I rode on

When his wife dies in childbirth, Simon buries her on his property beneath a giant sycamore tree on the banks of the Zambezi.

Over five years pass. Raising his daughter and orphan elephants consumes Simon’s life. When he offers help to a stranded Abigail Chadwick, fresh off the plane from England and in Africa for a year to teach the orphans of the Good Shepherd Orphanage, he finds himself reluctantly drawn to her. Their feelings for each other grow with a romantic sunset dinner cruise down the Zambezi on Valentine’s Day.

Narelle: The elephants are adorable and I love how they feature in your story. Is your novella connected to a series?

Marion: Initially it wasn’t. I was writing a story set in Africa for this boxed set, that’s all. Valerie Comer, who has championed Splash!, said I should consider turning this into a series. Series? Even though my first two published books, Helsinki Sunrise and Oslo Overtures (coming August 2015) are part of Pelican Book Group’s Passport to Romance series, and my Helsinki Sunrise hero and heroine make a brief appearance in Oslo Overtures, I’d never considered writing books connected to each other in some way, whether by character, location or theme. It didn’t take long to convince myself this was a great idea, and so my Heart of Africa series was born.

I plan to write and Indie publish two Heart of Africa stories a year. Book 2 will continue where Book 1 finished, but the hero will be one of the minor characters in Orphaned Hearts, and the heroine, someone who earned a one-liner in the same story. There’ll definitely be scenes at Mosi-oa-Tunya—the Smoke that Thunders, better known as the Victoria Falls. Maybe I’ll throw in a lunar rainbow or two for good measure.

I’m really excited about setting stories on my continent—who doesn’t love the idea of an African safari. But because Africa has so much more to offer than just its unique wildlife, there’ll also be, amongst other things, exciting desert experiences or time spent relaxing in the beauty of the Cape winelands. I hope readers will be excited to come along with me to the heart of Africa and fall in love.

Narelle: Marion, I can’t wait read more stories in you Heart of Africa series. Thanks for visiting today and sharing more about Orphaned Hearts with our blog readers.

Marion Ueckermann1 - SMALLER

MARION UECKERMANN’s passion for writing was sparked in 2001 when she moved to Ireland 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 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 novella, Oslo Overtures, releases 2015. Marion lives in Pretoria East, South Africa in an empty nest with her husband and their crazy black Scottie, Wally.

You can find her at www.marionueckermann.com or her Amazon author page.

Follow Marion on:

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NINE Refreshing Romances Filled with Faith!

Releasing June 23 and available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents.

Friday Weekend Escape to Hungary – Beautiful Budapest (Winter)

 by Marion Ueckermann

How good it’s been to be in Budapest again these past five days and to show my husband, Noel, the sights of this beautiful city. A city of lights, of statues, of amazing architecture, of incredible interiors, of history, of culture, of tempting aromas, and of fun. Truly a fascinating city offering far more than I had ever imagined. Go right now and put a visit to Budapest on your bucket list—you won’t be sorry.

City of Lights: Christmas lights line the city streets, aging buildings, and trams, while spotlights illuminate amazing architecture, bridges, and statues.

1 City of Lights

City of Statues: Heroes, Heroines, Saints, and Kings are forever entombed in a brazen hue.

2 City of Statues

2b City of Statues

City of Amazing Architecture: Castles, Chapels, Basilicas, Hotels, Houses of Parliament, Synagogues, Museums, Stations … they all feature exquisite craftsmanship.

3 Amazing Architecture

City of Incredible InteriorsAlmost every building you enter, whether it be a coffee shop, hotel or basilica has a unique interior. Of special fascination are the roofs. You would have seen some of those from the Basilica photos in last week’s blog. The interior below is from a wonderful coffee shop called Lotz Bookcafe where we each had a speciality hot chocolate…which was literally like drinking melted chocolate.

4 Interiors

City of History: Budapest is a city filled with history but what intrigued me most was the amount of Jewish history. Not surprising though as, prior to the holocaust, Hungary had the largest population of Jews outside of Israel. A huge percentage of these were murdered during the holocaust. Many memorials to the victims have been erected. We saw the mass graves at the Great Synagogue. The thing that touched me most though was the Shoe Statues along the Danube River. During the holocaust, Jews were lined up beside the river, told to take their shoes off, and then shot. Their bodies would be swallowed up by the river below.

5 - Statues 1

5 - Statues 2

City of Culture: Opera is huge in Budapest and very affordable (depending where you sit, of course). The Nutcracker was showing this past week but unfortunately tickets were sold out. We were fortunate though when we visited the Basilica to have an orchestra playing live there.

6 Culture

City of Tempting Aromas: Budapest is alive with aromas. Two of my best were the Chimney Cakes sprinkled with your choice of vanilla, chocolate, almond, cinnamon, walnut, and hot mulled wine in a variety of fruity flavors. Another tempting aroma was chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

7 Tempting Aromas

City of Fun: Christmas markets, an ice rink in the park, Ferris wheel, Segway city tours, Horse drawn carriage rides, Danube River cruises…just a few of the fun things to see and do.

8 Fun Christmas markets

8a Fun Ferris Wheel

A Fascinating City: Budapest is simply fascinating. We went to the Invisible Exhibition where we saw…nothing. For one hour we went about blind as we lived the life of a blind person. We felt our way in pitch darkness through a virtual apartment, then out into the “street” to the market to get fruit. After that we walked through a forest to a woodcutter’s cottage, then to a museum and finally a pub where we ate chocolate and drank a coldrink (if we had coins with which to pay). And of course, our guide was…a blind person. It was a real eye-opener into the world of the visually impaired.

Another fascinating concept we were introduced to was the ruin bars. We visited the most famous one, Szimpla. All over the city, ruined buildings have been “renovated” to be used as bars. As you can see, the ruined look is very much part of the theme of this enormous multi-level, multi-roomed city bar where nothing goes to waste. Bicycle tyres are used for tables, and carrots are sold and served by the bunches instead of peanuts.

Ruin Bars 3

Ruin Bars1

Today, as you read this blog, I’ll be making my way from Helsinki to Lapland, home of Santa Claus. There’s still so much Noel and I want to still see and experience in beautiful Budapest. The fascinating sweet shop I wrote of in my blog last week, the chocolate shop, the drinking chocolate bar, the Peanut Bar (which is actually called “For Sale”), the Turkish Baths, Buda Castle, the Great Market … Thankfully we’ll be back shortly after New Year and we can finish what we started last week—discovering as much as we can of this amazing city.

HelsinkiSunrise_w11668_300 (2)

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?

 

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.

Marion Ueckermann1 - SMALLER

Marion Ueckermann’s passion for writing was sparked in 2001 when she moved to Ireland 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 (Tyndale House Publishers), Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven, and her debut novelette, 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.

Marion blogs for International Christian Fiction Writers and Beauty for Ashes. She belongs to Christian Writers of South Africa and American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Pretoria East, South Africa in an empty nest with her husband and their crazy black Scottie, Wally.

 

Connect with Marion Ueckermann:

Website / Amazon / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

Blogs: A Pebble in my Pocket / Foreign Affaire

 

Permission to use images obtained.

Friday Weekend Escape to Hungary – Beautiful Budapest (Summer)

By Marion Ueckermann

1 Budapest -Heroes Square

For weeks I’ve been singing the Budapest song by George Ezra. My heart’s in Budapest…na, na, a doobie doo. The first two lines were all I knew for quite some time (and I’ve discovered incorrectly too). The closer today has come, the more I’ve learnt of the song. Heart is actually house, and doobie doo is actually I’d lose it all.

I’m so excited! Tonight I wing my way up the continent of Africa, and after a brief stop-over in Doha, Qatar, it’ll be only a few more hours until my husband and I land in Budapest. But the Budapest that waits will be very different from the one we visited for a few hours in the summer of 2012. No doubt, the snow covered city (please let there be snow…apparently they’re experiencing a warm winter) will be equally as fascinating, and even more beautiful.

After we had experienced our summer cottage vacation in Finland some thirty months ago, we flew to Budapest where we caught a bus to Romania and spent a week helping to build houses for the Romanian gypsies. But that’s a story for another blog. On the way back to Finland for our long-haul flight home to South Africa, we had a layover of several hours in Budapest. While my hubby stayed at the airport to look after our luggage (he had a sore leg and didn’t want to go sight-seeing), my son, Kyle, his wife, Tiia, and I caught the bus and train into the city center along with two of their missionary friends, Samuel and Sara. I’m so glad we did—not only was it such a beautiful city to see, but it was that visit that drew Kyle and Tiia to set up their office for Re-birth in Budapest.

It is said that Budapest and Prague are two of the most beautiful cities in Europe because they were not damaged by the wars.

Here are some places we saw (unfortunately I don’t know the names of many of the places, but perhaps I’ll get to know some of them on this trip).

The statues on the buildings were fascinating…magnificent works of art.

2 Budapest - Statues

3 Budapest - Statues

I loved the intricate lamp posts, curved streets and paved alleyways.

4 Budapest - Lamps and alleys

This is the beautiful University that my daughter-in-law attended.

5 Budapest - University

A fruit shop, flower shop and pharmacy (yes, that’s what that strange word means).

6 Budapest - Shops

From the moment you spot its spires in the distance, St. Stephen’s Basilica has you spellbound.

7 Budapest - St Stephens Basilica - outside

The artwork of this cathedral is breathtaking—from the large mosaic paved area that greets you outside, to the carvings, sculptures, paintings and pipe organ inside.

8 Budapest - St Stephens Basilica - artwork

One cannot help but stand and stare in awe once inside St. Stephen’s Basilica. The craftsmanship of the architecture and all the trimmings surrounding that is almost inconceivable. It’s simply, beautiful.

9 Budapest - St Stephens Basilica - inside

In one part of the outer area, colorful stained glass windows let light into the room that houses them.

10 Budapest - Stained glass windows

They’re so exquisite that one almost doesn’t notice the strange phenomenon in the room their beauty brightens.

11 Budpaest - Stephen's hand

Inside this glass reliquary lies the right hand of Stephen, the first King of Hungary, in whose honor the basilica is named.

In closing, what would this blog post be if I didn’t post a picture of the famous Danube River. Da-da-da-da-da, la-la la-la… What is it about this city that makes me want to sing all the time?

12 Budapest - Danube River

I trust that you’ve enjoyed taking an escape with me to beautiful Budapest. I am so looking forward to visiting the following places that my son and daughter-in-law have discovered during the time they’ve been living in Budapest: the colorful sweet shop; this death-by-chocolate coffee shop—Noir ChocoBar; the outdoor ice-rink in the city park; and the love lock park at Erzsébet square. Here couples inscribe a lock with their names. The lock is chained alongside a myriad of other locks and then the couples walk hand in hand across the Danube and toss the key into the river.

13 Budapest - Things to do

I plan to visit one of the 80 geothermal springs (medicinal baths) in Budapest this coming week so hopefully I’ll have some photos of those to show in next week’s blog – Winter Budapest.

14 Budapest - Heroes Square K&T

But more than all the awesomeness the beautiful city of Budapest has to offer, I’m looking forward to seeing this beloved sight tomorrow – my son and his wife (who are also my cover models for Helsinki Sunrise).

HelsinkiSunrise_w11668_300 (2)

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?

 

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.

Marion Ueckermann1 - SMALLER

Marion Ueckermann’s passion for writing was sparked in 2001 when she moved to Ireland 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 (Tyndale House Publishers), Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven, and her debut novelette, 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.

Marion blogs for International Christian Fiction Writers and Beauty for Ashes. She belongs to Christian Writers of South Africa and American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Pretoria East, South Africa in an empty nest with her husband and their crazy black Scottie, Wally.

 

Connect with Marion Ueckermann:

Website / Amazon / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

Blogs: A Pebble in my Pocket / Foreign Affaire

 

Permission to use images obtained.