Thursday, April 18, 2019


“NO MATTER WHERE, GOD IS ALWAYS THERE! What a great theme for a children’s book! I went to a conference and found this treasure of a story for my granddaughter! Aria is five and was very enthused about this story. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to finish this read for we ran out of time. We will get together soon to do so. I must admit that I couldn’t stay away, and took to the pages after she’d left. I learned about owls as the characters interacted in a very pleasing way.

The illustrations by Sydney Hanson were perfect visuals for the characters and setting. This is the first young children’s storybook that I’ve ever reviewed and the reason that I’d decided to do so was because of the timeless message of His being with us always! Children encounter such fear-filled thoughts and television shows. Ugly, gruesome characters bombard their tender imaginations. I found Christie to be a sensitive and intuitive story teller. This is a story that will soothe an anxious child. I will not tell you how this tale plays out and I hope that you are curious enough to purchase this treasure for the children in your life! This would make a fine gift for Easter or birthday or even a summer visit to the beach. This is highly recommended! Excuse me as I go and experience Quinn’s adventure once more!


Christie, how long have you had children’s stories running around your imagination? (I’m so glad you did!)
I used to tell stories all the time as a kid, but didn't write a single story for nearly 20 years as I pursued a science degree, children's ministry, and family. I wanted to write again, but felt stuck, until this little owl character popped into my life.

You and the Sydney have merged your talents together perfectly! How did you find one another?
 I actually don't know Sydney, the publisher found her! She's so incredible.

Did you ever get lost as a child? (I almost did!)
I do remember getting lost on a bike ride once. I had been pokey and gotten left behind, so I rode around and prayed until I found a street I knew. Afterward I actually found it a very empowering experience, because I realized that I'd always eventually find my way, and that I was never truly alone.
How does story come to you?
Stories come to me slowly. I get the seed of an idea in my head, but I have to sit down and start writing in order to actually figure out where the story goes.

I like the child-scriptures listed in the parents notes! Do you have a website where children and their parents can visit you and keep connected?
My website is, where I write to encourage and equip parents to nurture the hope of Christ in the home.

What other books do you have available?
I also have a simple (and fun) Bible study book for preschoolers, as well as another Quinn story coming out in August! 7) 

Where can you be found on social media?
I'm christiethomasauthor on Facebook and christie.thomas.writer on Instagram. I should have tried harder to get them the same, haha!

Monday, April 8, 2019


April 16, 2019
  Tuesday 6:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
                                      Manitowoc Public Library
                                        Franklin St. Room
707 Quay St, Manitowoc, WI 54220
Street parking and parking in rear available. Wheelchair accessible.

Franklin St. Room located on the first floor, to the left of the service desk.       

EARNING YOUR WAY TO DREAM, EXPRESS, & WRITE is our lesson this month.  Susan Marlene will share information gleaned from well published writers on how to earn an income as a writer. Resource books on this important topic will be examined.
PROMPT: Beginning, New Beginnings or The End of That! You choose a prompt.
Let Susan Marlene know if you will attend so that we can provide a printed lesson for you and also save a seat for you! or post a comment on her website in the
An inspired reader given excellent take-away = return readers!
We are a safe place to share.
Pens Meetings Are Free
As always, if you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to contact Becky McLafferty @ or

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Never Kneel to a Knight, Fortune Bride’s Series, Book 5 by Regina Scott

London England 1812

Viscount Worthington has newly married and Charlotte Worthington, his sister, feels that the time for her to find usefulness elsewhere has arrived. She can’t abide being a burden in her brother’s household and feels that she has something to offer. Charlotte approaches Miss Thorn and Fortune the cat to see what employment can be had. Miss Thorn has just the job. To Charlotte’s surprise and the surprise of Matthew Bateman, a man known as the Beast of Birmingham, Fortune Employment Agency offers the assistance of a lady of quality as an etiquette teacher. The Bateman sisters and Matthew lack polish for they’ve never needed such elegance before. Circumstances involving The Beast’s heroic activity have elevated their status making this education necessary. And Fortune approves.

This is a fun and entertaining read and Regina does a wonderful job of varying personalities that are believable and enjoyable. The sisters’ interactions were wonderful. Petunia or Tuny and Daisy, and Ivy made me feel at home! This story drew me along effortlessly and I wish to ask Regina, does your pen or computer keys have instant pizazz on the ready flow setting as your words touch the page? Cause I felt that pizazz as I enjoyed “Never Kneel to a Knight”! There is humor and intrigue, heroic and wise choices that must be made while the characters navigate through the rules of the ton. I enjoy how the names and nick-names fit the characters and how the situations and tension build to a satisfying ending! Yes, I did receive this novel from Regina for a review and this is a true and accurate accounting of my enjoyment and appreciation at experiencing this read.

Questions for Regina:

This story was fresh and sweet. How do you keep your inspiration flowing?
That’s the Lord! Every time a new idea arrives, I just have the thank Him!

Do you have the floor plans to the Bateman house? I could picture it as I read!
I do! For most of my stories, I draw floor plans of the houses and sometimes the grounds around them. And when I’m stuck, I turn to my youngest son, who just finished school to become an architect. He points out where I don’t have enough windows or chimneys and where walls should be. 😊

Have you ever been to a boxing match? Do you like the sport?
Not boxing. I have watched a little on TV, and I must say I can’t watch for long! I admire the power and athletic prowess of the boxers, but I just can’t enjoy watching people strike each other.

What would you like your reader to benefit from because they read “Never Kneel to a Knight”?
I hope they come away with the idea that we can all be our best selves. Where we were born, who raised us, and what we look like isn’t as important as the character we choose to take on. We can all contribute, we can all be a positive force for change.

What do you find most admirable about the “ton”?
The fact that it was a small town in the midst of a very large city. The story goes that only about 10,000 people inhabited the “ton” at any point in time. It’s not hard to make yourself known (or infamous!) in that size group.

What is the least favorite quality about the “ton”?
The gossip and bullying. There seems to have been a real pecking order, and woe to you if you were at the bottom!

Will there be another story in this series and if so, what is it about and when is the publishing date?
There is one more story planned for the Fortune’s Brides series, Never Marry a Marquess, due out the middle of June. The heroine is Ivy Bateman, the sister of Matthew in Never Kneel to Knight. Shy Ivy is happiest caring for her family and baking sweet treats. She never expected the wealthy Marquess of Kendall to propose a marriage of convenience. His baby daughter needs a mother, and Ivy cannot deny the role’s attraction, or the attraction she feels for the handsome marquess. Kendall’s heart went to the grave with his first wife. Now, all he cares about is ensuring his frail daughter survives. Perhaps a grieving lord and a shy lady will discover that love, and a good cinnamon bun, can heal all wounds.

Where do you wish for your readers to contact you?

Readers can find out more about my books, and me, at my website at and connect with me on Facebook at, Pinterest (, and my blog ( If they sign up for my newsletter, they can be alerted when the next book is out or on sale.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Pen’s Announcement—New Location—April 2019 Spring Changes

Greetings All,   
Starting this April, Pens of Praise Writers will meet at the Manitowoc Public Library! The third Tuesday of the month still applies and there is no charge to attend our group. We have a slight adjustment for the time, instead of the 6:30 p.m.—8:30 p.m.  we will now meet from 6:00 p.m.—7:45 p.m. and our reserved room is the Franklin St. Room located on the first floor, to the left of the service desk.

Faith Evangelical Free Church has hosted our writers meetings so kindly for so many years. If you wish to give this church a free will offering as a thank you for their hospitality and generosity, that would be welcomed and appreciated. (This is not expected though.)

Pens of Praise Christian Writers Group – Free Event

Manitowoc Public Library
Franklin St. Room 
707 Quay St, 
Manitowoc, WI 54220

Street parking and parking in rear available. Wheelchair accessible.

Third Tuesday each month
6:00 p.m.—7:45 p.m.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019


Two stories knit this adventure together with the excellence and vigor that Jaime Jo Wright’s debut novel embodied! What can I say about Annalise Forsythe and Libby Sheffield’s struggles, pain, and challenges? Their concerns merged into mine as I turned pages and tried to keep up and solve the long-kept secrets and reasons for dangers in these two main characters’ lives. Jaime Jo kept one or two steps ahead of me throughout both the historical and contemporary time periods. I enjoyed how easily I was drawn into discovering the differing personalities and their reactions to the events that unfolded, while all along the stories complemented one another all the way to the very end. What heroes and what villains! I refuse to say more for I just can't abide spoilers!

I so very much enjoyed the clever way that the mysteries were hidden and yet when the big reveals commenced, they made perfect sense. This read was an absolute delight for how it kept me on the edge of my seat and my mind spinning to figure out who, what, where, when and why! This author and her novel are definitely highly recommended! I’m grateful for Jaime Jo’s imagination and attention to detail. I applaud her mother for allowing her to read and develop her excellence sense of story when otherwise she’d have been slaving over the drudgery of dishes! Goodness, I even enjoyed her ACKNOWLEDGMENTS at the back of the novel!

And just think, Jaime Jo has another story out, which is called “The CURSE of MISTY WAYFAIR”. Guess who is going shopping for that novel soon! You may visit Jaime Jo at and if you do, I think you’ll be glad that you did!

Questions for Jaime Jo:

What keeps your ideas and twists inspiring the ink on your pages?
A lot of imagination. LOL And I read a lot of books just to keep my imagination sharp and learn from other writers. I love watching crime mysteries or historical documentaries. All of those contribute to plots and ideas.

I had to cringe when you mentioned Folgers for that is the coffee I use when I make my sugar and cream drink with a spot of coffee! What is your favorite brand of coffee?
Don’t cringe!! That was Annalise’s snobby opinion. 😊 I actually grew up drinking Folgers with my Gramma and Grampa, so Folgers is a very nostalgic coffee for me. I think it’s a staple for every cupboard. I am a coffee snob, though too. But I’m not particularly loyal to one specific brands. I just tend to like the Fair Trade coffees and locally roasted ones.
Is Gossamer Pond a real place or does it represent a real place?

Gossamer Pond is not a real place. It has small components of little towns in my area but for the most part is a figment of my imagination.
Were the Corbin twins’ real people? I loved how they were interwoven into the story!
They are loosely based off of real brothers. For the most part, they’re completely fictional, but there were twin brother evangelists that came to my town at the turn of the century and really raised havoc in the city. Many of the events in the book, such as the riots were based on actual events.

What message do you want your readers to ‘take away’ from this novel?
Grace! Grace, grace, grace. There’s not enough grace to go around these days. While I believe God does have a firm line of right and wrong, He also shows how He tempers that with an opportunity to receive grace.

I just have to know—are you a seat-of-the-pants writer or are you a plotter?
I’m a skeleton. LOL By the I mean, I plot the skeleton of the story, but as write, that’s when I fill in the muscle and ligaments. I know the high points only when I start out. I am seat of the pants as far as the scenes go.

Who was your favorite character to write in “The RECKONING of GOSSAMER POND”?
Favorite character to write was probably Jacobus. He was just so different. Odd. Blunt. Theological.

Where do you want your readers to connect with you?
Or sign up for my newsletter at

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

March 19, 2019
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

EAGLE EYE OR BOUNDLESS BLOOPERS is our lesson this month.  Susan Marlene will direct this class concerning tools and skills to make professional writings for publication. Resource books on this important topic will be examined. Bring paper and pen or your computer for the writing exercises.
An inspired reader given excellent take-away = return readers!
PROMPT: Use your favorite genre to write a one-page piece on spills or spillage!
Let Susan Marlene know if you will attend so that we can provide a printed lesson for you and also save a seat for you!
We are a safe place to share.

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

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Yet I Will Trust

“This I know and this I don’t know—yet will I trust.” 1  Charles Haddon Spurgeon

A man so well quoted, Charles Spurgeon lived in those uncertain times when the Industrial Revolution took hold of England and changed society forever. He grew up in a rural village not yet caught up with those changes, the son of a Congregationalist father and grandfather—independent preachers both of them. Spurgeon became a Christian at a Primitive Methodist meeting in 1850, then converted into a Baptist and not long afterwards, he began preaching. At the age of nineteen, he drew a crowd that overflowed a twelve-hundred-seat church. His listeners grew and he eventually made his home base at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, which seated six thousand people.

Charles Spurgeon’s message reached people displaced by the great changes and struggles of this time period in England. His life so rich in prayer and Bible knowledge, coupled with his expectation that God still revealed Himself in the everyday, brought life and hope to society.

Questions did not daunt him. He knew this about God, that he could trust His love, provision, and leading, though the path before his feet seemed dim at times.  His delivery of scriptural truth and revelation about God was unique, for he acted out of stories, marched across the stage, used poetry, drama, and free flowing emotion with gestures fitted for large crowds.

Aren’t you grateful for those who’ve refused to obey the restrictions of tradition to follow the freshness of God’s life-giving truth and abundance? Unrest has been a reoccurring theme in the lives of societies and peoples all through the ages. The protection and truth that God’s word brings is often taken for granted, until those privileges are stripped away.

We may not know all of the answers, but we can offer comfort and direction to others by extending grace and truth, which we become acquainted with as we spend time abiding in Him. Love is stronger than hate, but having a cursory knowledge of His love will not hold us in a tsunami of anger and hatred. It is time for me to have an intimate relationship with the Lord of Lords and King of Kings and not a superficial one. How about you?  Are you ready for a life filled with meaning, challenge, and alliance with the Creator of the Universe? If you are, I want to forewarn you that such a life will bring excitement, challenges, and blessings beyond what you could otherwise hope to imagine! Let the adventure begin—if you dare!

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. John 15:4

Cursory—going rapidly over something, without noticing details; hasty; superficial, running

1 Spurgeon’s sermons on The Death and resurrection of Jesus, C.H. Spurgeon, Preface by Patricia S. Klein Pg. iii – v