Marion Ueckermann

A Novel Place to Fall in Love


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Frosting and Flurries: Five Delicious Christmas Romances
By Kimberly Rae Jordan, Cecelia Dowdy, Jan Elder, Clare Revell, Marion Ueckermann

Five star reviews about. Here's what readers are saying about Frosting and Flurries...

Five delicious Christmas romances filled with unexpected twists, diverse settings, strong characters, written by unique case of authors (USA, Canada, England, and South Africa).
— Amazon
What a thoroughly delightful collection of stories. You can’t ask for much more than a combination of some of my favorite authors, stories of faith and romance centered around the Christmas season, and wonderful sounding recipes. This collection was a joy to read from beginning to end and one I definitely recommend.
— Amazon
What a sweet way to kick off the holiday season! These short stories will leave you smiling. Loved the settings around the world!
— Amazon
MUST-read. Delightful Christmas stories!
— Amazon
What’s better than a romance? A Christmas romance. What’s better than a Christmas romance? A Christmas romance with a recipe! But is there anything better than that? You betcha. Make that FIVE Christmas romances each with their own recipe.
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A very enjoyable collection. These stories will give you many Christmas memories.
— Amazon
This truly is a delicious collection of Christmas romances. The books are well written with great casts of characters. You will be globetrotting as you read.
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Each of these books come with its own recipe for a delicious cake that appears somewhere in the story.
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All the books are faith and fun filled.
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Well-crafted story lines with believable characters.
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This was a fun compilation of stories that all made me hungry with their mentions of delicious food. Seriously though, fun faith based reads. Well worth the money.
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Christian romances that keep your interest. All involving Christmas, but with different stories. Inspiring, but not too preachy. A recipe is included after each story.
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Well-developed stories. Clean reading. Totally enjoyed them.
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Enjoyed all the stories.
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And then, one of my favorite reviews ... for my book in Frosting and Flurries, Brad & Ginger's House:

I am always excited to read books by this author! There are themes woven throughout this book of being “crushed by the decisions of the past”, of forgiveness, of trust, of having hearts mended and healed, and of rebuilding their ruins. I could NOT put this SWEET story down until I finished it! It will make the reader want to buld their own gingerbread house, or fashion their own Partridge in a Pear Tree. The Christmas Cake recipe is at the end.
— Amazon
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This blog was reposted from with permission of the author, Lesley Ann McDaniel.

A Pebble in My Pocket - 5

“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Matthew 4:19 (NKJ)

September 2010

Kyle had flown up to Pretoria from Cape Town for my fiftieth birthday. My husband, Noel, had planned a surprise party. He and my brother-in-law had pooled their resources and arranged a joint celebration for me and my sister. She was turning sixty four days after my birthday. Family and friends were invited. What a special day.

I was oblivious to the arrangements, and had planned to fly Kyle home purely so that he could be with me on this special day. After all, it’s not every day a mother hits the half-century milestone.

Because the following Friday was a public holiday, Kyle put in for a few days’ leave from the Post Production company he worked for as a Visual Effects Artist. He desperately needed the time off. For months they’d been under intense pressure, at times working twenty-hour days or close to for weeks on end. They had just completed some visual effects work on the Chinese movie, Aftershock (Tangshang Great Earthquake)—the first big commercial film Imax Film created outside the US—and shortly thereafter, they were pitching for a new Warner Brothers animated movie.

Kyle would be home for a total of nine days. We were glad, and so was he. What a blessing.

Whether it was the months of pressure at work, or the calling of God on his life (I strongly believe the latter), Kyle was unsatisfied with what he was doing and where he was at, despite the fact that he loved being creative and loved what he did. Something was missing. He continually felt challenged on two things: How would the work he did change people? And, was the goal of his career to live for God or to live for this earth?

Although Kyle had given his life to Jesus at a tender age, and had grown up in the church, attending Awana as a child and youth as a teen—he could even recite all the books of the Bible at age five—his spiritual walk with Jesus was only ignited when he started attending Commonground Church, Cape Town in September 2009. God was answering my prayer to bring Kyle into an intimate and passionate relationship with Him.

The week after my birthday, our home cell group was on Sunday morning tea, door and collection duty. Noel had scheduled others in our group for the first service, and we were on duty for the second.

Noel’s stepdad, George, had been ill for quite some time, but late that week he took a turn for the worse. He died ten days later.

“Go help your mom,” I told Noel when George landed up in hospital again. “Kyle is here; he can help me with the church duties.”

So, that Sunday morning, Kyle and I found ourselves at the smaller second service. Our Pastor was away that week and Peter Tarantal of Operation Mobilization South Africa was preaching. I don’t remember what the service was about, but what I do remember was randomly leaning over to Kyle and whispering in his ear halfway through the service.

“You should speak to Peter about joining the OM Ship.”

I knew that Kyle, although growing in an amazing way spiritually, still felt that something was missing from the purpose of his life. Perhaps on the Logos Hope he would find that.

“Hmm,” Kyle said, rubbing his chin as if deep in thought. “Maybe I should.”

The seed had been planted, but none of us knew how fast it would grow.

Five days later, Kyle had written to our church, requesting that they be his sending church—one of the requirements for joining OM training.

He had also made online application to OM Ships, hoping that his passion and talent for photography would earn him a spot in their media department. But there was no guarantee of this, or of even being placed on the ship. People from all over the world join the OM Ship and there’s only place for a certain number of people.

Once back home in Cape Town that week, Kyle immediately shared his desire to serve God in missions with his cell group. All were supportive of his decision to go. Through his own quiet time and through friends, God confirmed this calling with scriptures like Joshua 1, Isaiah 43 and Psalm 91.

Casting Crowns’ song, In Me, reflected Kyle’s heart’s desire.


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When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

Revelation 6:9-10

Saturday – 28 May 2011

It started as a swell, rising in my ocean of suppressed fear. By the time the wall was unveiled, the tsunami had struck, dragging in its wake my dignity and reserve.

I read the names, starting from left to right. I recognize the first two: Bonnie Witherall—Lebanon, and Gayle Williams—Afghanistan.

I’d never heard the other four names before, but three hold a special place in the heart of the speaker, Martin de Lange, who had unveiled this wall dedicated to these Operation Mobilization martyrs. Tilmann Geske, Uğur Yüksel and Nejati Aydın were murdered in the same office that Martin had occupied just six months earlier, before he had been forced to leave Turkey. These three men had continued with the mission work Martin began.

My mind goes back to the day Gary Witherall spoke at our church. I was blown away by his story, and after the service I purchased his book, “Total Abandon.” It didn’t take me long to read the story he’d told that morning of his wife, Bonnie, who was gunned down by an unknown assailant at the clinic in Sidon, Lebanon where she worked helping poor, pregnant Palestinian women. The most powerful part of his testimony was how, in that moment of learning about her death, seeing her lifeless body, he chose to forgive her attacker.

I gaze at the plaque with Gayle Williams’s name engraved on the small marble slab and remember reading her story on the internet just weeks before. A UK and South African national, Gayle was gunned down near Kabul University in Afghanistan on the 20th of October 2008 by two men on a motorbike whilst walking to work. This woman’s death affects me the most, because Kyle feels called to go to Afghanistan.

I stare at the wall, unable to stem the flow of tears. How do I lay my Isaac down?

As the trainees walk away from the wall and return to the Cultural Day events they are hosting as part of their Missionary Discipleship Training, I, too, turn my back to the concrete slab, desperately trying to hide my tears.

Mimi, a teen from Nantes, France, whom Noel and I had befriended after visiting her in hospital during the second week of training, wraps her arms around me. I lean my head on her shoulder and sob.

“His name…his name cannot go onto that wall…”

A Pebble in My Pocket - 3

Ripples of Hope


This blog follows on from Train up a Child, and my reflections of 18 September 2011:

When I helped Ryan move to Cape Town at the end of April this year (2011), we managed, between unpacking boxes and buying missing items for his new home, to find some time to spend together on the beach. We walked across the soft white sands of Bloubergstrand, Table Mountain a distant blue backdrop, until we reached the darker wet sand of the ocean’s boundary. As we strolled along the shoreline we searched for shells, kicking and poking at seaweed that had washed ashore. But the ocean didn’t wash up shells on this pristine beach; rather, pebbles dotted the tidemark.

Every now and then I stooped to pick up one that caught my eye. Soon I had a handful of shiny, smooth pebbles. As I slipped them into my pocket, the thought crossed my mind of what a great title Pebbles in my Pocket would make for a book. I determined to use it one day, not knowing then what story would be deserving of this name. Four months later, I knew.

Today I sit on a different beach, in a different part of my homeland, South Africa. My husband, Noel, and I are on holiday for a week in Umhlanga, on the northern coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Here, the course granulated sand in varying shades of tan, are a stark contrast to the castor sugar ones of the Western Cape.

We take a walk on the sun-kissed beach, stepping over shells left by retreating waves, where wet meets dry. Finally, we choose a less inhabited piece of beach to relax, watch the ebb and flow of the tide, and soak up the remaining afternoon sun.

I gaze across the ocean, my thoughts consumed with writing this book, when I realize that the small section of beach we’re sitting on is different. Pebbles, large and small, lie scattered in the sand, revealed with every ebbing wave.

An excited child chattering close-by, draws my attention. I glance across to see a small boy, around three years of age, having fun with his dad as they throw pebbles and stones into shallow rock pools.

“Splash,” he squeals in delight.

“Splash,” his father echoes, relishing this time with his son.

Splash…and I’m reminded of the ripples created by falling pebbles as they make contact with water.

When I first started thinking about writing Pebbles in my Pocket, I found an amazing quote by Robert F. Kennedy, used in the first blog post, The Start of this Blog Journey.  At that time, I was still unsure what kind of story—fiction or non-fiction—I would pen. When Kyle shared Kennedy’s quote with the Re-birth team, they immediately adopted it as part of their vision, including it in their promo video.

I think it’s worthy of repeating.

“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope…and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

Kennedy’s words encompassed what these five young men set out to do with The Re-birth Movement and their first faith outreach on the train system in Europe.

When David slew Goliath, he picked up five smooth stones and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s bag. Five. Yet it took only one small stone to bring down the Philistine giant.

Knowing the plans He has for them, what ripples of hope would emit from the splashes of their lives, what giants would tumble from their impact, the Father chose five pebbles from apron pockets, and used those cut apron strings to catapult these pebbles into the sea of humanity.

I gaze across at the toddler and his father again before closing my eyes, allowing the roar of the ocean to fill my ears, the salty sea breeze my lungs, and I think of the fun the Father has had with His Re-birth pebbles, and they with Him.

The day after my birthday, Noel and I have breakfast on the patio of our third-story holiday apartment, overlooking the ocean. The glistening expanse of water slowly becomes darker as ominous clouds encroach the coastline. White horses ripple the undulating seas, a telltale sign that the ocean’s calm belongs to yesterday.

Life can be like that—one moment calm, the next tumultuous.

I watch the ships on the horizon, seemingly unmoving, firmly anchored to the ocean floor, and I’m reminded that how we get through the stormy moments of life depends entirely on where our anchor lies.

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Start children off on the way they should go

and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6

18 September 2011

It’s my birthday today. Today I turned 51. I have so much in life to be thankful for, but it’s the birthday messages I receive from my two sons—Ryan in Cape Town and Kyle, currently in Italy—that fill my heart with pride and my being with the greatest sense of achievement.

Dear Mom, Happy birthday. Thank you for always being so awesome. Hope your day is full of fun and joy and you have a great year ahead. Wish I could be there to share this special day with you. Lots of love, Ryan.

My Blackberry sounds the familiar ‘incoming G-Mail’ alert. I smile as I read the email from Kyle, laden with exclamation marks as if needing to shout his message from the other side of the world.

Hey Mommy!!! Happy Birthday!!! Missing you tons from this side!! Wish I could come give you a big birthday hug!!! I hope you and Dad have an amazing day! Thanks for always being the most amazing mom I could have ever asked for. Your passion and faith inspire me. Thank you for raising us well; it’s the greatest gift we could ever have asked for—a mother who’s always loving, always forgiving and always shined Jesus to us. Thank you for planting the seed of faith in me so that I can now go and give it to others. I love you so much! Have an incredible day! Love Kyle.

I remember well the day that Kyle came to me, wanting to give his little four-year-old heart to Jesus. I think about the prayers I’ve raised to heaven over the years that God would bring my boys into an intimate, passionate relationship with Him.

Other petitions were for their future wives—whoever they might be—that they would love my sons deeply for who they are…and Jesus even more.

As Ryan makes plans to marry his fiancée, Amy, this time next year—a lovely young lady who’s crazy in love with my oldest son—Kyle’s plans for missions have developed from six months’ missionary training earlier this year, to starting The Re-birth Movement with their first outreach—one-month living by faith in Europe.

God has answered my prayers. He is so faithful!

This story is about a journey into missions, and God’s faithful provision and guidance for five committed young men.


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As I'm not renewing A Pebble in My Pocket's domain, I thought I'd copy the blogs over here so they're not lost forever.

The Start of this Blog Journey



Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope …

and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. 

 ~ Robert F. Kennedy

A Pebble in my Pocket started off as a book idea nearly three years ago. However, over the last year I’ve felt pressed to turn this journey into a blog. The original title, Pebbles in my Pocket, was not available, and so this blog title was born. But it’s far more appropriate because this is my story about one particular pebble that God entrusted into this mother’s pocket.

I pray that you’ll be blessed, encouraged, and entertained as you take this journey with me through over 15 countries and across more than 15,000 kilometers. A journey of Faith, Hope and Love, that started at the end of 2010.