Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Book Review - Helsinki Sunrise by Marion Ueckermann

by Marion Ueckermann

Helsinki Sunrise, a Passport to Romance, blog tour follows on from yesterday’s stop in Budapest, Hungary, at Go Hungry Go Home where I showed you the sweeter, tempting side of Helsinki Sunrise.
Today I’m posting another book review of Helsinki Sunrise, but one with a difference. It’s been compiled from comments made by my critiquers as they journeyed with me—reading, giving feedback, advice, suggestions and praise—to ensure the Helsinki Sunrise manuscript was publication-worthy. Thank you Nancy Kimball, Diane Tatum, Heidi Blankenship, Sondra Kraak, Mary McCay, Mary Cheatham, Ophelia Sellars, Emily Rogers, Julie Fugate, Janine Islam, Jennifer Rodewald, and Jackie Laytonwithout the help of each one of you, I would not have been published.

Fun, humorous, interesting and highly entertaining!
A well-written story with great tension!
Magnificent! A good book!
Fireworks ahead—readers will turn the page!

Marion Ueckermann is an entertaining story teller with a natural talent for writing. With a limited word count for Helsinki Sunrise, Marion paired down and got to the heart of the story and the characters quickly so there wasn’t anything that wasn’t essential. She did something I don’t think I could ever do unless the fate of the free world depended on it—write a novella.
I really loved reading Helsinki Sunrise. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. This funny, romantic comedy is a delightful and cute story—like ‘How to Lose a Guy in 14 Days’. It’s been a pleasure to see this manuscript in my inbox.
Excellent characterization, Marion has a great way of conveying emotions. Two completely opposite characters about to collide… A heroine you’ll love to hate; an extremely likeable and intriguing, yet not perfect, hero which makes him so human. I couldn’t wait to see what happened when Eveliina encountered Adam. The way the characters try to wear down on each other was so enjoyable. I loved Adam’s character and the voice Marion has given him—he’s intriguing but I’m glad he had God on his side otherwise he wouldn’t stand a chance.
Normally I’m telling authors “too soon, too much,” but this story was well-crafted with great end of chapter hooks. As a reader I loved the conflict which works because often I was tired and needed to go to bed but I had to see the next sub to know what happened.
I love Marion’s writing! She has nailed delivering sexual tension in the subtext without blatantly flaunting it in an inappropriate way, and that’s what great CBA writers do. I could think of nothing that would improve this story. It kept getting better, and I couldn’t stop reading to crit.
The beautiful descriptions of Finland make me want to visit this country. And several times I found myself popping to the grocery store to whip up what Eveliina had cooked.

This wonderful story has a beautiful and fulfilling ending. I hated to see the end…it was hard to let go. My thanks to God for Marion writing this. She’s done a fantastic job and can be proud of her accomplishment with this debut novelette.

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?

Be sure to follow this blog tomorrow at Zoe McCarthy in Southwestern Virginia, USA where we’ll look at Marion’s formula to keep readers turning the pages.

There will be an eBook of Helsinki Sunrise up for grabs today. To be entered into the draw, please leave a comment with your email address before September 19th.

Numerous eBooks of Helsinki Sunrise will be given away on the blog tour, so take a journey to each of the stops and leave a comment. Don’t forget to include your email address.

Helsinki Sunrise will be available to purchase from Pelican Book Group,, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes.

Watch the Helsinki Sunrise book trailer on YouTube.
Watch the Passport to Romance book trailer on YouTube.

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), and 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).
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:

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Permission to use images obtained.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

A fascinating history, the power of love, the gripping reality of all that is good and evil in the human condition. This book has it all.

I intended to skim this novel, just to do a quick review, then go back and read it later, but, as usual with Sigmund Brouwer’s books, I found I couldn’t do that. The characters gripped me and drew me into the story from the first page. I know the beautiful prose and skilful story-telling in this story will stay with me long after I’ve stayed up into the wee hours tonight savouring it. My only complaint – those final two words, The End.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Ambassadors, Volume One, Journey to a Strong Tower

An interview with Prince Eghan Lhin:


      What is your name?
  • My name is Prince Eghan Lhin, son of King Gherin Lhin, ruler of the Lhinian kingdom
  • What one word best describes you? 
  • Prince. And one day King.
  • How did you first become involved in the story? 
  • I was taken from my father’s castle against my will.
  • What worries you? 
  • Is the man who is holding me really my uncle and is he telling me the truth or lying to me about that and other things?
  • What's your favourite food? 
  • Apples and other fruit from the orchards of the Valley of Lhin. The bounty of our land has no equal.
  • What do you think of the other characters in your story?
  • I am suspicious of the people I am now forced to live with, especially Nara, an Alingan Princess and the sworn enemy of my people. I miss my guardian, Khalwyd and sometimes even my father.
  • What do you think should happen? 
  • I should be allowed to return home. Everything should go back to the way it was.
  • Are you happy right now? 
  • No. But I am intrigued by what my supposed uncle is trying to teach me from The Book he says belonged to my mother. And Nara is also intriguing. And I must admit she is beautiful.
  • What do you hope to do with your life? 
  • I am a prince of the House of Lhin. I will one day become king and rule in my father’s place.                                                                                                                               ****                                                                                                                                                                  Will Eghan become King? Or does the One True God have other plans for him? 
  • The Ambassadors is being released in volumes. Volume #4 of the Ambassadors will release tonight on the Helping Hands Press Facebook page. But begin with #1 - just download for only $1.00 on Amazon
  • To read more about Marcia's writing/speaking ministry visit her website.

This post is part of a Summer Reading Blog Tour. Check out the rest of the blogs for some great reads and interesting interviews with characters.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

In Honour of Independence Day

To honour my American friends on their day of Independence - a guest post by Joseph M. Lewis:

Happy Fourth of July!

            Imagine how the signers of The Declaration of Independence feel while looking down from heaven and listening to their critics. The thought never occurred to me until my publisher asked me to write a fictional short story relating how John Hancock experienced the 4th of July. Before starting, I read Herbert S. Allan’s even-handed biography of Hancock. Yes, the Founders were all human - Hancock was vain and a clothes horse, for example. But when you study the founding of America from the perspective of a Founder, the greatness of these men staggers you.

            “But they didn’t free the slaves and women and blacks couldn’t vote!”

            Guess what?  No one could meaningfully vote and everyone, everywhere, was in some form of bondage. The English themselves were “subjects.” Except for royalty and a small number of men in a handful of tiny Greek city states, no one had ever controlled their destiny. 

            Writing in the first person forces you to see things through the eyes of the character or historic figure, to imagine what they felt, wanted and thought. The Founders were operating in uncharted waters, laying the foundation to free all mankind and making things up as they went. They were doing it while at war with the most powerful Empire on the face of the planet. On January 1, 1776, George Washington discovered he had only 8,000 enlistments instead of the 20,000 planned. Georgia and South Carolina announced they would not sign if slavery were denounced, let alone outlawed.

            As I imagine Hancock saying, “The hard truth is we will not free the Negro slaves . . . not because we don’t want to, but because we can’t. The southerners would revolt . . . freeing the black man will require a war and the forces of liberty are barely able to fight one war, let alone two.”

            On July 4, 1776, the Founders were almost to a man well educated, affluent and doing quite well as subjects of Britain. In the 18th century, traitors were hung from a gibbet with their hands tied behind their back. Rather than breaking their necks, the traitor took about ten minutes to strangle to death. Traitors’ property was forfeit, so their families were left impoverished. While the Founders were signing their own death warrant, Benedict Arnold was trying to keep his army from disintegrating as he retreated from the disastrous Canadian campaign. "I have often thought how much happier I would have been," said Washington, "if, instead of accepting a command under such circumstances, I had taken up musket on my shoulder and entered the ranks.”  

            They were great men, yet consider the petulance with which they are treated. While reviewing “The Price they Paid” email about the Founders, the left wing site “Snopes” called it part true, part false. Why? Here’s an example: “Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.” Snopes - “yeah, well . . . she was already sick.” Seriously. I paraphrase, so check it out for yourselves. Part of the disdain appears to be petty racism, sexism and anti-Christianity - the Founders were white male Christians - but there may be something deeper. Writing about an attack on the Framers, Professor Walter Williams wrote, “If I believed in conspiracies, I'd say (Time’s) article is part of a leftist agenda to undermine respect for the founding values of our nation.” 

            Hancock might have said, “No doubt, those who hate liberty and embrace hate amongst the races will use this against us not only now, but far into the future. We can only trust this and future generations will be wise enough to detect the charlatan, understand his aim and reject his deception. That battle is for another time, and will be fought by other men. We must fight the one in front of us now.”

This is a column of opinion and satire. The author knows of no undisclosed facts.  Contact Lewis, the author of John Hancock, in Remington Colt's Revolutionary War Series, visit him at and click on Rimersburg Rules.  © Joseph M.  Lewis

To link to listen in on the blogtalk radio show with Joseph Max Lewis discussing “The Declaration of Independence”:

To stop by Mr. Lewis’ website and connect with him: