Friday Weekend Escape to South Africa with Marion Ueckermann

I’m delighted to welcome my author friend, Marion Ueckermann, to my blog today. We’re going to escape for the weekend with Marion to her home country, South Africa. Enjoy!

By Marion Ueckermann

Passport to Romance Blog Tour LogoHelsinki Sunrise, a Passport to Romance, blog tour follows on from yesterday’s travel itinerary with International Christian Fiction Writers.

Today we’re going to take a closer look at the country I reside in, beautiful South Africa. Thank you, Narelle, for hosting me on your travel blog.

It was difficult to choose a specific place in South Africa to showcase, so I decided on a quick overview of the places most significant to me—the beautiful and the ugly. When we moved back to South Africa after living in Ireland for eighteen months, some people thought we were going back to our mud huts. Whilst many in the rural areas of Africa live in this kind of housing, where children play in God’s backyard, South Africa is a modern country with bustling cities. I, however, grew up in a small town amongst scenery such as this.

Children playing in Gazankulu, one of the rural areas in the northern parts of South Africa
Children playing in Gazankulu, one of the rural areas in the northern parts of South Africa

Although Pretoria, the city I now live in, is lined in the summer with purple Jacaranda trees, the scenes below are sadly what we face daily. These photos, taken close to where I live, depict a common sight in all our towns and cities, in both upper and lower class suburbs.

2-Pretoria - poverty duo

Despite the poverty, there’s much beauty in our country. Take this Highveld lightning storm, for example, photographed by my son in the middle of the night from the roof of my house. Thankfully I was asleep and had no idea what he was up to. The Highveld region is renowned for its electric storms.

3-Highveld storm

 South Africa has an abundance of malls and restaurants. An interesting restaurant to visit is Moyo, meaning ‘Soul’ in the African language Swahili. You’ll find Moyo in the major cities of Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town. Moyo is not only about cuisine, it’s about the experience, too—African music and entertainers, handcrafted jewelry, and face painting unique to Moyo.

If you read my blog tomorrow at Re-birth where I talk about the cover of my novelette Helsinki Sunrise which releases next Friday, you’ll find out more about my son and daughter-in-law being the cover models for my hero and heroine, Adam and Eveliina. Now, if Adam and Eveliina were back in Adam’s homeland (and mine), South Africa, they’d look exactly like this when enjoying a dinner at Moyo.

4-Kyle and Tiia - Moyo
Celebrating Kyle’s 21st birthday at Moyo

Ninety minutes from Pretoria, is the sleepy town of Magaliesberg. My parents live there on a farm with my sister and her husband. This dirt road leads to their farm and weekends of fun, food and family time. During autumn, white, pink, and burgundy Cosmos line the roads and fields all across South Africa.

5-Magaliesberg Farm and Cosmos

Lastly, I’d like to show you some of my favorite places way down south in the beautiful Western Cape. From left to right:

1.) Table Mountain, as seen from Rondebosch, a southern suburb of Cape Town close to where both my sons lived.

2.) The harbor of Hout Bay where you can buy fish fresh from the boat or watch seals playing in the water.

3.) The most exquisite wine farm I’ve ever visited, Waterford

4.) Waterford’s wine cellar, aptly called ‘The Cathedral’. I love ‘The Cathedral’ so much that I incorporated it into a South African romance novel I’m writing.

6-Cape Town

I trust you’ve enjoyed your armchair journey down to sunny South Africa. On September 5th I’ll share about Finland, the location of my debut novelette, Helsinki Sunrise.

HelsinkiSunrise_w11668_680 (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?


Be sure to follow this blog tour tomorrow to Hungary where we’ll take a look at the story behind the cover of Helsinki Sunrise with Re-birth.

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. Her debut novelette, Helsinki Sunrise, releases August 22, 2014 by 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:

Website / Amazon / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

Blogs: A Pebble in my Pocket / Foreign Affaire


Permission to use images obtained.

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    1. Hi Marion, I’m excited to be a part of your Helsinki Sunrise blog tour 🙂 Congratulations on your debut release!

      Marion will be returning on September 5 when we’ll be escaping to Finland. I can’t wait!

  1. Thanks for sharing some of the beautiful as well as the ugly parts of our country Marion.

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