Meet Our Contributors

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More

Meet Our Contributors

Mary Ables grew up in Europe and South America as the daughter of an itinerant geologist/civil engineer. She homeschooled her four, now adult, children and is the grandmother of ten. She currently helps her husband run his air care business.

Devora Adams is a writer and life coach who lives in New Jersey with her husband and four daughters. She is the author of Amazing Women: Jewish Voices of Inspiration, published by Menucha Publishers, as well as a proud contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. E-mail her at [email protected].

Monica A. Andermann lives and writes on Long Island where she shares a home with her husband Bill and their little tabby, Samson. Her work has been included in such publications as Woman’s World and Guideposts as well as many other Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

Dr. Ruth Anderson is a lifelong student, teacher, and award-winning author. Retired after a satisfying career in education, she embraced her second calling: that of an intuitive reader, spiritual counselor, and author. Ruth’s writings can be found at and

Kerrie R. Barney lives in Albuquerque, NM, with her beautiful new Border Collie, MacKenna. She is a full-time student at Central New Mexico Community College. (Go Suncats!) Kerrie’s book, Life, the Universe, and Houseplants, about her inspiring adventures growing common houseplants, is for sale online.

Nancy Barter-Billard is a journalism graduate who works as a marketing professional in Brantford, ON, Canada. In addition to spending time with her three grown children and volunteering in her community, Nancy enjoys golfing, gardening, playing online Scrabble, and watching MasterChef with her daughter, Olivia.

Michael Bisbano is a loving husband, father, and veteran of the United States Navy. When Michael is not on his radio speaking to other ham operators around the world, you can find him in his garden or helping a neighbor mow his or her lawn. Michael wants to thank his wife, Cherrilynn Bisbano, for writing the story for him.

Michelle Blan is a freelance writer located in South Florida. God has blessed her with a very full life — her spouse (Tina), kids, and fur babies. She enjoys the beach, a good book, and time with family and friends. She is currently working on an inspirational novel. Her favorite Bible verse is James 4:7. E-mail her at [email protected].

W. Bond received her Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degrees from Lewis and Clark College. Wendy is a retired teacher and enjoys volunteering in her community, sewing, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

Barbara Bower is retired from the Financial Services industry. She enjoys traveling and playing cards. She has met many wonderful and very kind people because of cancer, and enjoys helping others who find themselves unexpectedly facing a similar type of journey. E-mail her at [email protected].

L. Bower is a professional graphic designer and writer who resides in Los Angeles, CA. Favorite hobbies include museums, the arts, and caring for two wonderful Greyhounds — one of whom is a new adoption.

Ellie Braun-Haley’s career began as a journalist; she was motivated to write children’s books and a book of miracles. Today she speaks on “miracles that changed my life” and enjoys time with her husband. She feels her greatest accomplishment is parenting her wonderful children. E-mail her at [email protected].

Connie Brown is a professional tourist who enjoys traveling, writing, and spending time with family. E-mail her at [email protected].

John Buentello has published fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in many anthologies, book collections, and magazines. He’s the co-author of the novel Reproduction Rights and the short story collection Binary Tales. He’s completing a new picture book and a mystery novel. Reach him at [email protected] or @JackBuentello1.

Jill Burns lives in the mountains of West Virginia with her wonderful family. She’s a retired piano teacher and performer. She enjoys writing, music, gardening, nature, and spending time with her grandchildren.

Bonnie Campbell received her Bachelor’s degree in Education from SUNY Oswego. She is an avid reader and lover of animals. She enjoys writing, crafts, and serves on the Service Team for Girl Scouts.

Dr. Heather A. Carlson-Jaquez is an educator and Christian who has dedicated her life to teaching others. In January of 2010 Heather lost her first husband, Matt, to a ruptured brain aneurysm. While tragic, this event brought her closer to God and helped her to grow in and share her faith with others.

Danny Carpenter is the pastor of a non-denominational church in Tomball, TX. His hobbies include golf, playing the ukulele, writing and sketching. His passion is family.

Sara Conkle is a wife, mother, grandmother, and nurse. She lives in Ohio and enjoys writing and reflecting about the experiences of her life.

Judy Bonamici Cools received her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Michigan and is a loyal Wolverine fan. She’s had regular columns in several local newspapers, as well as a column in Herald of the South. She and her husband make their home in rural Michigan. E-mail her at [email protected].

Laine Cunningham writes speculative and historical literary fiction. Her novels and stories have received two Hackney awards, the James Jones Fellowship, awards from Writer’s Digest, and honors from art councils worldwide. She has been published by Reed Magazine, Birmingham Arts Journal, and Writer’s Digest.

Elaine D’Alessandro enjoys writing fiction for children and nonfiction for adults. Her stories have appeared in children’s magazines and children’s anthologies. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, and has four children and five grandchildren. She enjoys gardening, snowshoeing, power walking, and mountain climbing.

Maya DeBruyne earned her Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology from St. Joseph’s College of Maine. She works as a hospital chaplain and inspirational writer from her home in Oklahoma City, OK. E-mail her at [email protected].

Sylvia Diodati is a pianist, music teacher, and writer from Canada who loves sharing her passion for creativity, and thrives to inspire others. With many manuscripts and song projects always in the works, she considers her greatest accomplishment her family: a husband and two children who light up her soul!

Rhonda J. Dragomir is a pastor’s wife, writer, and speaker living in Wilmore, KY. This is her third story published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. A research geek, she is currently engrossed in all things Scottish as she writes a historical romance novel. Contact Rhonda at The Dragomir Group:

Jenny Filush-Glaze is a licensed counselor who specializes in grief support and all aspects of death and dying. She writes a weekly column for two newspapers and her book, Grief Talks: Thoughts on Life, Death and Positive Healing, provides ongoing support for those on their grief journey.

Judy Fleming is a retired home health aide. She has been married for thirty years and has four grandchildren. She enjoys her home in the woods of Northwest Wisconsin with her husband, Dan. While the experience was Judy’s, she would like to thank her daughter, Cassandra Kyser, for putting it on paper.

Jen Flick is a #1 bestselling author and inspirational speaker. Her essay, “Seek Heal Grow,” was selected by Elizabeth Gilbert for the commemorative book, Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It. When not writing, Jen enjoys spending free time with her family and being outdoors in nature. Learn more at

Tiffany Flynn enjoys helping others as a Physical Therapist Assistant. She is passionate about her family, which includes three daughters, a granddaughter, a grandson, and one spoiled dog. She loves to read and exercise, as well as write about her experiences. Tiffany is a life-long resident of Parsons, KS.

Lynne Foosaner is a political activist, freelance writer, and grandmother, not necessarily in that order.

Sabrina Forest received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota in 1998. She is a freelance writer who alternates living between her home in Minnesota and her second home in Canada with her husband. Sabrina is an avid baker and a keen lover of all things outdoors. She plans to write young adult novels.

Paula Freeman is founder and former executive director of Hope’s Promise, a Colorado adoption agency and orphan care ministry and author of A Place I Didn’t Belong: Hope for Adoptive Moms. Widowed with seven grown children, she lives in Colorado but gets to the beach as often as she can. Learn more at

K. Drew Fuller has written all kinds of things and has all kinds of stories still to write. He likes short stories because life is made of moments. “Turn Around” is the story of the only moment in his life beyond his explanation.

Cathy C. Hall is a humor writer and children’s author. Her stories, essays, and poems have been published in all kinds of interesting places, and her leveled readers are available in South Korea. So really, Cathy’s like the Where’s Waldo of the writing world, only much better dressed. (Okay, a little better dressed.)

Kathy Lynn Harris is the author of two Amazon bestselling novels: Blue Straggler and A Good Kind of Knowing, one of which earned the 2013 NFPW literary award. She has also written children’s books, essays, short fiction, and poetry. Kathy enjoys Colorado mountain living with her husband, son and two untrainable hoodlum dogs.

For over thirty years Rob Harshman taught secondary school. He currently lives in Mississauga, ON, Canada with his wife, Susan. He loves to spend time with his two daughters, sons-in-law and three grandchildren. Rob enjoys travel, gardening and photography. He also finds time to write stories, both fiction and nonfiction.

A freelance writer from upstate New York, Wendy Hobday Haugh enjoys writing short stories, poems, and articles for children and adults. She recently finished writing a novel for middle grade readers and now begins the challenging search for an agent and publisher.

Linda J. Hawkins taught elementary school, was a volunteer crisis counselor for abused women/children for ten years, taught cooking classes, and is the author of thirteen books. She loves doing anything that helps families be healthier and happier. Life’s pleasures: photography, tea-time, creating/cooking beautiful meals. E-mail her at [email protected].

Carolyn Hill is an avid reader and writer of romance and historical fiction. Recently retired from thirty-five years as a professional interior designer, she enjoys life with her husband of forty-six years, Mical, in New Orleans. E-mail her at [email protected].

Susan Hunter received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and elementary education from Muhlenberg College in 1970. She is currently a financial advisor with a Fortune 500 company. She enjoys spending time with her two sons, their wives, and four grandchildren. She also enjoys travel, reading and volunteer work.

Jennie Ivey lives and writes in Tennessee. She is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction, including stories in numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Learn more at

Jeanie Jacobson is on the Wordsowers Christian Writers leadership team, and is published in eleven Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Jeanie loves visiting family and friends, reading, hiking, praise dancing, and gardening. Grab her fun book, Fast Fixes for the Christian Pack-Rat, online. Learn more at

Leslee Kahler received both her BS and her BA from Eastern University, and her Master’s from Villanova. She has a son and a daughter and lives on a small farm in rural Pennsylvania with her family and eight rescue cats. She works as the ESL assistant at the local high school and hopes to be a novelist one day.

Elizabeth Anne Kennedy received her Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University. This is her second story published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Elizabeth is also an artist. Her inspiration comes from the simple and intense splendor captured in a moment of time. Learn more at

L.A. Kennedy writes from her studio in Northern California. Her stories have appeared in Guideposts publications and various other magazines. An artist, she has created clay, mâché, floral and fabric projects for magazines, retail stores and private sales. She enjoys theater, gardening, and creative art. E-mail her at [email protected].

Kelly Kowall founded a nonprofit called My Warrior’s Place after her son, SPC Corey Kowall, was killed on a combat mission in 2009 while stationed in Afghanistan. She is a certified grief support provider and life coach. She is also a published author, inspirational speaker, and artist who resides in Apollo Beach, FL.

Joyce Laird is a freelance writer living in Southern California. Her features have been published in a wide range of consumer magazines and she is a regular contributor to both Woman’s World and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Joyce is also a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Charlotte A. Lanham wrote her first “life stories” in a weekly, home-town newspaper near Dallas, TX in 1999. Nearly 100 columns and two years later, she was hooked! Currently living in St. Louis, MO, she continues collecting the stories that have enriched her seventy-three years. She has six beautiful grandchildren!

Mandy Lawrence is a registered nurse who considers writing to be her true calling. She is a Christian speaker and the author of Wisdom From Wilbur: How My Dog Has Brought Me Closer to God and the novel Replay. Mandy loves animals, chocolate, and traveling. She and her husband Shane live in Lexington, NC.

Danielle Lescure is a singer, writer, aspiring voiceover artist, and freelancer in Los Angeles. She loves traveling, tennis, hiking, and exploring the big city. She plans to continue using her voice and personal stories in hopes of creating a compassionate global community offering support and encouragement to others.

Jaye Lewis is an award-winning inspirational writer who lives with her two daughters, five rescue dogs, and one rescue cat. She loves gardening, writing, and especially encouraging people to celebrate the miracles within their own lives. E-mail her at [email protected].

Maureen Longnecker is the author of The Other Side of the Tapestry: Choosing to Trust God When Life Hurts. She speaks at women’s retreats/ events and writes nature articles and puzzles for children’s magazines. She enjoys her family, friends, reading, photography, nature, fishing, and learning. E-mail her at [email protected].

Lisa Loosigian has a BA in English. Her writing background includes greeting card verses, news headlines, ad copy, essays, reviews, interviews, and fiction. She works with her husband and has one handsome son. She enjoys needlepoint, Bonsai, antiquing, time spent at the ocean, and of course… writing.

Dennis McCaslin is a hometown newspaper reporter with over thirty years of writing experience, including award-winning columns and articles recognized by the Arkansas Press Association. He has also worked in television and radio and does play-by-play announcing for local high school games. E-mail him at [email protected].

J.P. McMuff is the pen name of the married writing team, Melissa McCoy and Paul Muff, who live in Lincoln, NE with their dog Desi. Melissa is completing a Ph.D. in English and works at the University of Nebraska. Paul is a full-time general contractor. Their story is about Paul’s father.

Jennifer McMurrain has won numerous awards for her short stories and novels, including hitting #1 on the Amazon Best Seller list with Quail Crossings. She has eleven novels and collaborations published. She lives in Bartlesville, OK with her husband and daughter. Learn more at

Michelle Close Mills’ poetry and short stories have appeared in magazines, anthologies and several Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Michelle resides in Florida with her husband and is owned by two Cockatiels and two rescue kitties. Michelle’s work can be found at

Marsha Warren Mittman is an award-winning writer (U.S./Ireland) of both poetry and prose. She’s had numerous short stories and poems published in journals, magazines and anthologies in the U.S. and England, including six Chicken Soup for the Soul stories. She is the author of three chapbooks, and a humorous memoir has just been accepted for publication.

Keith Nano is an aspiring writer and poet. He has served for more than thirty years in Law Enforcement and Corrections and is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. In addition to writing, he enjoys fishing and baseball. He lives in Central Massachusetts with his wife, Alethea, and has five children and a grandchild.

Lisa Naubert lives on the Canadian West Coast with her husband and young son. She is involved in many artistic endeavors including writing, painting, pottery, sewing, and dance choreography. She hopes to publish her first children’s book in 2018.

Kaysie Norman lives at the Jersey Shore with her husband, two-year-old son, and dog. She has an MA in creative writing, and her work has been published on many popular motherhood blogs and websites.

Julie Osborne is a contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and former editor and feature writer for Current Publishing. Her blog, Tales of Oz, became Tales of Oz with Julie Osborne (and Toto Too!) after adopting a rescue — his name, of course, was Toto. Follow Oz and Toto’s tales at or e-mail them at [email protected].

Larraine Paquette has a BA degree in English literature from UBC in Vancouver. She is a mother of six and a grandmother of thirteen. She and her husband, Ken, live in a small city in Western Canada where they work from home and enjoy playing acoustic guitars together and going on long walks. She also enjoys playing the piano.

Amy Rovtar Payne lives on a hobby farm with her husband and an assortment of animals. She holds a degree in education, and is a certified horseback riding instructor. Amy enjoys competing in dog agility with her rescue dogs, working with her American mustang horses, and showing Rhinelander rabbits.

Fay Peterson worked in bookselling and publishing most of her career. For the past five years, she has been writing metaphorical stories for therapists and specializes in hypnosis for teenagers. Fay lives in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne with her two Burmese cats. E-mail her at [email protected].

Connie K. Pombo is an inspirational speaker, freelance writer, and frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She enjoys traveling with her husband of forty-two years and writes for International Living magazine about her adventures. Learn more at

Sheila Quarles worked in corporate sales until an accident resulted in a traumatic brain injury. Determined not to use western medicine, she traveled the world for twenty years to study indigenous healing techniques. She became a Reiki Master and partnered with Kathy Morris to establish Inner Journeys, LLC. E-mail her at [email protected].

As the editor of four magazines, Sheri Radford spends her days wrestling with commas, taming adjectives, and banishing adverbs. As the author of five silly books for kids, she spends her evenings playing, imagining, and creating. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and Chairman Meow, the world’s most photogenic feline.

Denise Reich is still a fervent Star Wars fan. Her writing has appeared in many books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Santa Monica Review, Huffington Post, and the Canadian magazine Shameless, among others. May the Force serve you well!

Mark Rickerby is co-creator/head writer of Big Sky, a western TV series in development. He co-authored his father’s memoir, The Other Belfast: An Irish Youth, and wrote/sang fifteen songs on Great Big World, a CD inspired by his daughters Marli and Emma. This is his nineteenth contribution to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Heather Rae Rodin serves as Executive Director for the mission Hope Grows Haiti. An award-winning writer, she has always had a passion for personal stories and often writes from experiences in Haiti. When home in Canada she enjoys time with her husband, her family, and her Great Dane, Bogart.

Sallie A. Rodman got her Certificate in Professional Writing from Cal State University, Long Beach, CA. She truly believes in signs and miracles from the other side. Sallie lives in Los Alamitos, CA with her three cats and Mollie the Beagle. E-mail her at [email protected].

Veronica DeSantos Ryan is a mom, writer, and performer in community theater groups in Austin, TX. She enjoys blogging, running, and life in Central Texas. She taught middle school English for seven years, including two years with Teach For America. She holds a degree in journalism from Ohio University.

Candy Schock is a Registered Nurse, having worked in surgery and the emergency department. She is the former editor of a parenting magazine as well as a writer for a seminar company. She has published over sixty of her poems and many articles. She enjoys her grandchildren and volunteering at the local school twice a week.

Julieann Selden is a blogger, chemist, mom, and nonprofit volunteer. When her husband was diagnosed with sarcoma cancer, she learned to cope through writing. On her blog,, she explores how life can be both beautiful and difficult at the same time.

C. Solomon grew up overseas while her father served in the United States Army. She has a love of travel and foreign culture, which led her to the study of Anthropology. In her spare time she enjoys crafting and writing.

Kimberley Sorrells is a grad student studying Linguistics at the University of North Texas. She is a textbook editor for charter schools in Texas and enjoys every aspect of learning. She plans to change the world someday.

Eva Spaulding is a graduate of Merrimack College and resides in Saugus, MA. She is pursuing a career in teaching special education. Eva enjoys hiking with her husband and their two dogs. She is passionate about keeping her mother’s legacy alive through cooking delicious food and telling amazing stories.

Judee Stapp is a speaker for women’s events and retreats and has written for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and other publications. Through speaking and writing, her dream is to inspire people to recognize miracles in their own lives. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. E-mail her at [email protected] or visit

Jan Steele is a wife and mother of three who developed a passion for writing in the midst of raising her kids while living in Asia. She loves to travel, read, write, volunteer, and watch college basketball and sunsets. Above all, she cherishes time with family and friends. Visit her blog at

Clearing out their home with a view to move to a “closet with 1 1/2 baths” in a retirement community, Jean Haynie Stewart and Bill will carry sweet memories of their home with a view with them. Her stories have been published in twenty Chicken Soup for the Soul books as well as magazines and newspapers.

Annmarie B. Tait lives in Conshohocken, PA with her husband Joe Beck. Annmarie has been published in over twenty Chicken Soup for the Soul books as well as various other magazines and anthologies. Annmarie and her husband enjoy singing and recording Irish and American folk music. E-mail her at [email protected].

Anneke Towne splits her time between New York City and coastal Florida where she writes web content for a variety of clients. She enjoys sporting activities, live music, and photography.

Susan Traugh is an award-winning author whose stories have appeared in several Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her young adult novel, The Edge of Brilliance, is about the heroism of a bipolar teen and is available at Susan lives with her family in the San Diego area’s incredible beauty.

Vicki Van Grack received a BA in Theatre from the University of Maryland. She acted and sang her way to New York where she met her husband. They are the proud parents of a son and a wire-haired Dachshund. Vicki has taught children, is a jewelry artist and is waiting for her first Young Adult novel to be published.

Miriam Van Scott is an author and photographer whose credits include children’s books, magazine articles, television productions, website content and reference books. Her latest titles include Song of Old: An Advent Calendar for the Spirit and the Shakespeare Goes Pop series. Learn more at

Patti Wade’s stories have been published in multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books beginning with her story “Real” in Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul. An avid writer, reader, and cat lady, she is an especially proud mother of three wonderful adult children.

Since the death of her husband in 2015, Beverly F. Walker is still writing heartfelt stories and is active with senior citizens in her small community. She and her cat, Maya, love it when the grandchildren come visit!

Dorann Weber is a freelance photographer for a South New Jersey newspaper and a Getty Images contributor. She has a newfound love for writing, especially for Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She lives in the Pinelands of South New Jersey with her family and many critters, which include chickens and ducks.

LJ Weyant is a creative type, through trial and error, with no professional instruction or training in any of the various art mediums she enjoys. She is the mom of a grown daughter and wife to her “Mister” of twenty-plus years. She enjoys traveling, creative writing and laughter… lots and lots of laughter.

After stateside careers as a journalist and cross-cultural sociologist, Lynne Willard now edits academic documents and translations from multiple languages to English from her “miracle house” on the Pacific coast of Mexico. A world traveler, tennis coach, and tango dancer, she also rescues animals in distress.

Glenice Wilson enjoys nature, travel, humour, cross-country skiing, writing, visual art, and music along with the people and surprises they all offer. She grew up on a farm in big-sky prairie Manitoba and ventured out to Alberta, living in Edmonton, Jasper and now in a farming community again in Barrhead, Alberta.

Pat Lay Wilson has three children and six grandchildren. She has been writing since she was eight years old — poetry, memoirs, short stories. She was a puppeteer for forty years, and now enjoys being with her family, reading, travel, and her parrot Eggbert Wertenberger. She’s currently working on a romance (novel, not husband).

Dallas Woodburn is a writer, editor, and teacher living in the San Francisco Bay area. A proud contributor to more than two-dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul books, she blogs about simple, joyful, healthy living at Her new collection of short stories is available through her website at

Following a career in nuclear medicine, Melissa Wootan is joyfully exploring her creative side. She enjoys writing and is a regular guest on San Antonio Living, an hour-long lifestyle show on San Antonio’s NBC affiliate, where she shares all of her best DIY and decorating tips. Contact her at

Cynthia Zayn lives in the Atlanta area, and is the author of Narcissistic Lovers: How to Cope, Recover, and Move On. Before retiring, she taught in public and private schools in the U.S. and Mexico City. She works as a freelance writer/editor, and is a frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

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