Sunday, October 14, 2018

October 16, 2018
Tuesday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Faith Church
2201  42nd Street, Manitowoc, WI  54220
   Faith Church is located next to Festival Foods
   Not far from the Manitowoc exit off Interstate 43

Three Months or Four: What if You Only Had This Much Time is our topic this month.  Susan Marlene will teach this class on picking your focus and making it happen! ASSIGNMENT: For Fiction and non-fiction writers—bring a few ideas that you would consider to be interesting projects.
We are a safe place to share. We invite you to bring your
WIP (Work in progress!) for a five-minute read.

The prompt for September is…
“If I wouldn’t have been so scared…”. or  “Should I choose __________ or _____________?” Use your imagination and your genre preference to share your thoughts with fellow writers!

We will share a couple of book titles that research writing mystery and integrating emotion for your WIP!

Pens of Praise Christian Writers Group is a fellowship of word-loving communicators who provide encouragement, education, and listening ears to those writing clean and encouraging communication. We support the development of skill, attention to detail, and professionalism necessary to obtain personal and public publication. We are a group not limited by age, so even very young writers are welcome. We support Christian values and therefore do not share sex or overtly violent scenes, which would not be in keeping with Christian values concerning entertainment or enlightenment. 
Bring your favorite coffee or tea with you! J

As always, if you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to contact Becky McLafferty @ or

Monday, September 24, 2018

Broken Vessel
By Susan Marlene

I will give Thee thanks in the great congregation; I will praise Thee among a mighty throng. Psalm 35:18

Oh, the pain of being broken like a vessel shattered against bricks; the scattered pieces too many to count or replace. And suffering rude individuals who behave as though they have forgotten or merely ignore one’s presence is harsh indeed. King David experienced hostilities from friends and enemies alike throughout his lifetime. At times, terror and scheming hounded him—even from close family members. He’d cried out to the Lord against their threats and advances for they were as smiters he’d not known, slanderers who would not cease. Like godless jesters at a feast they gnashed…with their teeth…how long wilt Thou look on…

Even so David purposed in his heart to praise the Lord. No matter how ugly and fearsome the crowd, this king eventually focused on our magnanimous Lord to praise and expound His attributes! His determination to honor God instead of speaking hasty, unfaithful blame and criticism endeared him to our Father. I must admit that I’ve not been quick to praise in the midst of difficulties as David was apt to do. He has become my inspiration and I admire his devoted affection to the Lord. King David proved how he could stray and make huge mistakes, but he’d bounce back and express the loveliest heartfelt praise and trust in the Lord. 

Within the winds of trouble even a king isn’t saved by the might of horses or strong armies. Such advantages are false hope…victory that dissolves into vapor. Try as we may, our strength will fail to overcome, unless we rely upon God who is our ever-present help in times of trouble. We don’t know Him only with intellect for He purposed that the simple things would confound the wise. We can know Him with the intimacy of relationship and heartfelt gratitude. Oh, how slandering lips can ravage the most honorable reputation to ears willing to hear reproach aimed at others. Laughter follows the stumbling of good men or women as critical individuals gnash their teeth and sharpen their mocking attacks. Yet, David shares that when we cry the Lord hears and delivers us out of all our troubles. When the worse comes, may we trust Him.

When we are dashed cruelly to the brickworks of mistreatment and disrespect my hope is that we would arise with undivided hearts to luxuriate and honor His name above all else.

O magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord and He delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:3 and 4

Father, may You fill us with Your love and grace to combat the evil and negativity that can attack us. Accusations may fly easily off the tongue of those who do not guard their lips. May we arise with vigor and strength that only comes from You to be a blessing and bring honor to Your name that is above all other names. 

All Italics - quoted from Psalms. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Yes, Roseanna, how does someone steal a family’s history and their name? What a fun adventure to read! This unique 1914 London, England historical delighted me through and through!

 Rosemary Gresham is the protagonist who stole my heart, and not just like any common thief, but one who captured my full admiration and sympathy! Anyone who knows me would gasp to read this declaration for I don’t condone stealing. So, if you want to know why I highly recommend this novel—I suggest that you purchase a copy or request it at your local library. 😊

Peter Holstein—the romantic interest and family member with the name at risk—has secrets of his own and Rosemary is out to find them. This novel has a personality and freshness that appeals to me. I find the diverse characters amusing and or entertaining and can say they are perfectly fitted for the intrigue that began brewing near the onset of the World War I. I delight to share this wonderful novel and would be thrilled if you came back and told me how you felt about it also!

Questions for Roseanna:

  1. How did you stumble upon the idea of having a thief for the protagonist of this novel? (I’m so glad you did since you did share Miss Rosemary with us!)

    The credit for that goes to my best friend/critique partner, Stephanie. She’d been working on a story about a thief, and it was so much fun to read! I began wondering how the life of a street thief might change during the Great War. Of course, I would want a noble thief. One with a big family she was fighting for. And one who found herself engaged in a task far bigger than merely stealing…from there, the idea just snowballed!

  2. What time period do you like best of all? I adore your Culpur Ring series.

    This is always a tough question for me! Honestly, I just adore history. Each era has its unique characteristics that set it apart and make it come alive. I love learning what those things are and diving into different periods. That said, I’ve also enjoyed really digging deep into one era with my books for Bethany House and not having to completely restart my research on each book, LOL.

  3. I appreciate how you brought out the strengths in the hero that some would pass over and ignore. How did you come up with anonymously written stories! I love this thread of Peter’s story! How perfectly it fit and moved with this story.

    When I got the first inkling of who Peter Holstein would be, I knew only that he would be of German descent and consider changing his last name, as the royal family of England ended up doing. But as I kept reading up on the unexpected effects of the war, I also saw that novelists played a role I’d never realized, and I definitely wanted to feature that! (No spoilers, LOL.) So I decided that Peter needed to be a writer. But that, if his surname caused him problems enough that he was considering changing it, he certainly couldn’t write under it. Hence, the need for a pen name.

  4. What theme would you like your readers to benefit from with this novel and/or with your novels in general?

    A theme that I highlight in A Name Unknown and in many of my stories is that our true identity rests in the Lord. When we feel like we don’t know who we are in the world, the best way to discover it is to find who we are in Him. When we rest secure in our faith and explore the path He’s called us to, then our place in this world around us solidifies too—because we’re going about His business.

  5. What is your favorite scene from the beginning of this novel?

    I enjoyed pitting these two very different characters against each other all through the book, but I had especial fun in the scene where they went to St. Michael’s Mount. My family had the pleasure of visiting this castle in the sea, and as we drove the same roads they would have driven, I could just imagine Rosemary and Peter’s dialogue—and of course, had to make them constantly challenging each other with their oh-so-different views of the world!

  6. What is the next novel on your publisher’s schedule?

    With the final book in the Shadows Over England Series now out in the world (An Hour Unspent), my attention is now on the next series I’m writing for Bethany House, The Codebreakers. I’ve just turned in my revised manuscript for book one, The Number of Love, and am diving into the writing of book 2, currently titles The Wings of Devotion. Readers of the Shadows Over England and Ladies of the Manor Series will recognize the characters and settings, but The Codebreakers focuses on the intelligence wing of the Admiralty in England during the Great War, combining the escapades of the secret agents with the mind-power of the codebreakers. It’s proven to be great fun thus far! The series will begin in June of 2019.

 Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wendy Lutzke - July Speaker For Pens

July’s speaker was Wendy Lutzke. Wendy is an environmental educator, who will shared about her lifelong writing, impromptu writing, and inspired writings. She sprinkled in examples from her life and ask for others to share theirs. Thank you Wendy for a wonderful and inspiring share! We appreciate you! We are also looking forward to listening to Wendy Lutzke on

Thursday, July 12, 2018



This is a romantic suspense tale that binds the past with the currant day in a mesmerizingly gripping intensity! Jamie Jo Wright is a masterful writer who weaves both Ivy Thorpe’s and Kaine Prescott’s stories with skill that I predict most any reader would appreciate. (There will always be someone who doesn’t like the best in fiction. 😉) I personally didn’t want to put the book down!

Jamie Jo is unpredictable and imaginative as she unfolds these two women’s story-lines onto the page. Readers will definitely follow her bread crumbs into the forest—even if they have a sensing that they shouldn’t go there—because there may be danger lurking in the dark or around the corner! Oh my!!! Well done Jamie Jo Wright, for a story well told, characters nicely developed and pacing that kept my heart pounding!

I was unable to have an interview with this author, hopefully she is busy at her keyboard creating a new impressive tale for her beloved readers! I visited her WEB page, which is amazing and I invite you to stop in and check it out. The House on Foster Hill was her debut novel, which placed her dead center of my ‘favorites—will read again and again—list. I invite you to give her a try!

Her second book "The Reckoning of Gossamer Pond" was released on July 3, 2018 - I can't wait to tell my sister about this Wisconsin writer's next book! I believe I may have discovered it before she did this time! 

You can find Jamie Jo Wright at:

Monday, July 9, 2018



How can one begin a to-do list for their heavenly home? We know that Jesus has prepared a place for those who received him on earth and followed Him until their last breath. But, what about how we spend time there? Will we have time? Will we remember what we wanted to ask or accomplish once we’ve arrived safely inside those heavenly gates? I know more about what I don’t know than what I do know concerning all of those questions.

Yet, a longing sprang up inside my mind yesterday and wedged itself deep into my heart. I want to meet and greet Hannah (Biddy) Chambers, who was Oswald Chambers wife! Her humble, positive nature is noted, revealing her to be a strong woman of faith. Though Biddy, as many called her, passed on to her heavenly reward in 1966, she has touched my life during many of my welcome and unwelcome crossroads. Biddy recorded Oswald Chambers speeches with Pittman’s shorthand and had his lectures and devotions published after he’d passed away in his 40s.

As I found myself making this Heavenly To-Do List, I realized that I’d merely added Biddy to my already developing list to meet Puritan preacher, John Bunyan; Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon as well as many of our numerous founding fathers! The list actually doesn’t stop there, so it would appear that I’ve been working on my Heavenly To-Dos for quite some time.

How about you? Besides Father God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit and family members—who do you desire to meet? What skill would you like to become proficient with? In other words, I’m curious to know if you’ve started you’re Heavenly To-Do list?

Thursday, July 5, 2018




Let us know if your attending so we can save a seat just for you!

July 17, 2018

Tuesday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Faith Free Church

2201 42nd St.

Manitowoc, WI  54220

This month’s speaker is Wendy Lutzke. Wendy is an environmental educator, who will share about lifelong writing, impromptu writing, inspired writing...those are true to the kind of writing she does. Those themes will be the heart of her talk and she will sprinkle in examples from her life and ask for others to share theirs. Any genre writer will appreciate hearing about Wendy’s knowledge and experience!

Prompt:  The Bounty of Nature! If you wish to use this as practice for your cozy, or poem or short story – etc. the world is your oyster! Enjoy! Yes, you may write a blurb or scene for this prompt if you like.
Bring your WIP (work in progress) to share a five-minute read. We are a safe place to share and grow. 
Pens Novel Readers: Susan Marlene is putting together a group email for those who want to join in picking novels and discussion meetings. (We want to respect those who are too busy or who are uninterested in a reader’s group.) The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz is our current read.
We invite you to stop at a local coffee shop or bring your own coffee or soda and relax with us a while.
Email Susan Marlene if you can attend:
May the Lord bless your creative endeavors as you write for Him! Any concerns or questions feel free to contact or


GriefShare’s  Loss of a Spouse,  Saturday, August 18th  9am – 11am  Grace Lutheran Church,  2426 N. Rapids Road
People who are widowed haven’t just lost a loved one—they’ve lost an entire lifestyle.  If you, or someone you know, have experienced the death of a spouse, You are warmly invited to attend: To Register or for more information please contact Grace Lutheran Church
 (920-682-7377)  or
This seminar includes a video featuring expert Christian counselors, authors, and pastors, and a supportive discussion   opportunity. Participation booklets include an outline, devotional materials and grief recovery exercises.