Meet Our Contributors

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings

Meet Our Contributors

Rachel Allord lives and writes in central Wisconsin. Apart from hanging out with her two great kids and one awesome husband, she loves hopping on planes and traveling just about anywhere to take in the culture, sights, and most importantly, the food. She is currently working on a novel.

Linda Apple is enjoying her “second” career as an inspirational writer and motivational speaker. Her first book, Inspire! Writing from the Soul, an instructional guide to inspirational writing, has recently been published. Please visit her website at

Bob Arba was ordained a minister in 1997. He has been involved in Lay Ministry, Music Ministry and Youth Ministry for the past seventeen years. Bob enjoys playing music, reading, writing poetry and Christian fiction. Bob is working on his second fiction book. You may contact Bob at [email protected].

Dan Bain is an award-winning features and humor writer from Raleigh, North Carolina. He’s been writing for others’ entertainment since the “Kick Me” incident of second grade, and hopes one day to prove to his beleaguered ex-teachers that yes, he amounted to something. Please see for more damaging information.

Carol Band is a humor columnist and author whose work appears in publications around the country. E-mail her at [email protected] or read her blog at

Rob L. Berry received his Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Bakersfield and continues to reside in Bakersfield with his wife Keri and son Ethan. Rob is a member of Writers of Kern and enjoys cycling, travelling, and spending time with his family. He can be reached at [email protected].

Laura L. Bradford enjoys encouraging others with stories about faith and family. Her writings have appeared in: Life Savors, A Cup of Comfort, and Chicken Soup for the Soul book compilations, as well as in the Oregon Christian Writers Newsletter.

Linda Breeden, an inspiring writer, lives in Georgia and holds a Masters in Human Resources. Her stories have appeared in magazines such as Simple Joy, Guideposts, and Redbook. She is a popular speaker, which mirrors her writing style, leaving audiences with optimism and the desire to laugh right out loud!

Connie Sturm Cameron has been married to Chuck for thirty years. Together they have two children, Chase (Elizabeth), Chelsea (Matt), a stepdaughter Lori and three grandchildren. Connie is a speaker and the author of God’s Gentle Nudges. Contact her at

Barbara Canale is a freelance writer and columnist for The Catholic Sun. She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Veteran’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul, and is the author of Our Labor of Love; A Romanian Adoption Chronicle. She enjoys biking, skiing, and gardening.

Nancy Canfield is married and has two children, four stepchildren, and five grandchildren. Two of her grandbabies live with her, as their mom is in the Navy. Nancy is the author of Home Kids: The Story of St. Agatha Home for Children. Learn more about Home Kids at or contact her at [email protected].

Leah M. Cano has written for Transitions Abroad, MAMM magazine, Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tough Times, Tough People. She is a Foreign Language teacher living in Laguna Beach, CA. You can e-mail her at [email protected].

Kristen Clark is the founder of His Witness Ministries and contributing author to New Beginnings Marriage Ministry. Kristen has contributed stories to various publications including Out of the Clueless Pit, a compilation of faith stories from the women of Windwood Presbyterian Church. She lives in Texas with her husband, Lawrence.

Carly Collins is currently a high school sophomore. Her favorite subjects are English and Psychology. Carly enjoys reading, horseback riding, running, and color guard. She hopes to attend Georgetown University and to become a journalist.

Harriet Cooper is a freelance writer and instructor. She specializes in writing creative nonfiction and articles. Her work has appeared in several Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, as well as in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and websites. She often writes about health, nutrition, family, cats and the environment.

Stephen R. Covey is the bestselling author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. His latest book is The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time. Join the Stephen Covey Community at

Jennifer Crites is a Honolulu-based photographer and writer whose words and images exploring travel, contemporary lifestyles, food, education and science have been published in magazines and books worldwide. She invites readers to visit her website at

Priscilla Dann-Courtney is a freelance writer, clinical psychologist and married mother of three. Her essays have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines and she frequently reads her stories on local public radio. She is working on a book which is a collection of her essays. She loves running, skiing, yoga and baking and anything else that keeps her sane.

Pat Jeanne Davis is a homemaker and writer living in Philadelphia, PA with her husband and two sons. Her articles and short stories have appeared in regional and national publications. Pat has completed an historical inspirational novel. She can be reached at [email protected] or visit at

Susie Dinsmore’s passion for writing came at a very early age, starting with short animal stories. She’s a student of the Institute of Children’s Literature. Her interests include the camera with a recently self-published venture, A Part Of My Life. She plans to continue writing inspirational stories and books. Please e-mail her at [email protected].

Drema Sizemore Drudge received her Bachelor of Arts from Manchester College in 2008. She works for the Learn More Center. Drema is a graduate student in Spalding University’s MFA program. She is working on her first novel. Drema is married to Barry and is the mother of two, Mia and Zack.

Anne Dunne is an award-winning author whose work appears in many Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, as well as various other anthologies and magazines. She is grateful every day for her countless blessings; marrying her high school sweetheart, her health and many family and friends.

Christina Dymock earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communications from the University of Utah. She has worked as an editor and taught Marketing at the local community college. She is currently learning to cross country ski.

Britteny Elrick attended Regents College in London, where she began her writing career. Since then, she has traveled the world, started her own business, and grown increasingly perplexed about the male gender. Britteny is an aspiring author of nonfiction. You can find her at or read her blog

Maria Victoria Espinosa-Peterson was born in Argentina. In 1999, she graduated from law school and moved to the capital city of Buenos Aires. There she met her husband Jeremy. They and their two children currently live in Arlington, VA, where she works as a yoga teacher. Contact her via e-mail at [email protected].

Andrea Fecik has been living in New York City since 1995 when she began her studies in Interior Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Aside from her job in design she enjoys writing and is working on getting her first novel published. She also blogs at

Joie Fields is author of the online BibleStudyNotes e-mail group at yahoo groups, as well as articles purchased by Faith and Friends and War Cry magazines and Seasoned Cooking e-zine. She and her husband, Bob, have two children and two grandchildren. They reside in Oklahoma.

Angel Ford is a wife and mother of three. She enjoys ministry, missions’ related travel, spending time with her family and friends, and writing. She is currently working on a book and considering a master’s degree. Please e-mail her at [email protected].

Betsy S. Franz is a freelance writer and photographer specializing in the Green movement, nature, wildlife, the environment and both humorous and inspirational human interest topics. She lives in Melbourne, FL with her husband Tom. Visit Betsy on the web at:">

Elaine K. Green is a freelance writer, native New Orleanian and Katrina survivor. Please e-mail her at [email protected].

Peter J. Green was born in Toronto, Canada and now resides in Western New York. He is a musician and songwriter specializing in music of faith. He hopes to continue his career as a writer, providing encouragement and inspiration.

Karen H. Gros is a freelance writer and has been published in national magazines. She contributes to Associated Content, where she is a “Top 1000” writer. Karen is an avid LSU sports fan and enjoys the outdoors and spending time with family. She can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].

Sheoli V. Gunaratne is a thirteen-year-old middle school student. Her family originates from the tropical island of Sri Lanka. She enjoys writing stories, poetry, and playing with her puppy Coco. She plans to continue her free-spirited writing.

Sarah Hamaker is a freelance writer and editor, and author of [email protected] Home, a guide to unlocking women’s work-from-home potential. She has a Master’s degree in Literature and Language from Marymount University. Sarah lives in Virginia with her husband and four children. Visit her online at

The writing journey Debbie Harrell began at age eight continues in Michigan where she enjoys the privilege of helping others tell their stories. Her passion is capturing the positive messages often learned in the midst of life’s negatives. She welcomes your thoughts at [email protected]

Miriam Hill is co-author of Fabulous Florida and a frequent contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She’s been published in The Christian Science Monitor, Grit, St. Petersburg Times, Sacramento Bee and Poynter Online. Miriam’s manuscript received Honorable Mention for Inspirational Writing in a Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.

Rebecca Hill’s father, “Dr. Don” was a teaching missionary in Africa, a mathematics professor at FAMU, a devoted member of Deer Lake UMC and the best father a girl could ask for. Rebecca is reaching out to museums to find a permanent home for Dr. Don’s African Art [email protected].

Cara Holman is thankful that her cancer diagnosis three years ago led her to join a writing group, rekindling her writing aspirations. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and the youngest of their three children. Her writings have appeared online, in an anthology and on her blog:

Mandy Houk lives in Colorado with her husband and two daughters. Her work has been published in national magazines and two previous editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul. She’s the editor for the bimonthly Pikes Peak Writers NewsMag, and is working on selling her first novel and writing the second.

Kelley Hunsicker is a wife, mother, and grandmother, and in her spare time she writes from her home in South Carolina. Visit her at

A lifelong athlete and never a smoker, David Hyman has been battling stage IV lung cancer since 2008. He finds blessing in whatever life sends his way and is strengthened by his wife, Ruth, and children. David is writing a book for couples on building a great, fulfilling marriage.

Rose M. Jackson, a teacher and speaker, has written books with Dr. Walt Kallestad and Donna Partow. She enjoys camping and hiking, and especially loves sharing from her life and insights at women’s retreats and events. Read more of her devotional messages at or contact Rose at [email protected].

While sipping her favorite mocha latte, Rebecca Jay edits and writes for various publications. She reads and writes every day, always trying to improve her craft. Rebecca is also a Bible teacher and is currently learning Mandarin. She has a grown son and lives with an elderly cat.

Marna Malag Jones raised a family, and retired early from personnel placement work. She has presented career seminars and is researching information for a seminar about caring for aging parents. Her first story, “Finding Lost Love,” is in Chicken Soup for the Father & Daughter Soul. Contact her at [email protected].

Mother of seven, grandmother of nine, “prayer cheerleader” Eva Juliuson shares God’s love through writing, teaching, and working with kids. For seven years, she’s sent out short e-mail prayers to help jump-start others into a deeper personal prayer life with God. To receive them, e-mail her at [email protected].

Tammy L. Justice was born and raised in Columbus/Newark, Ohio. She has been writing poems and stories since age seven. She is currently self-employed in a profession that caters to the elderly. She has two wonderful children: David Phillips III and Samantha Shinn. You can e-mail her at [email protected].

Marilyn Kentz has coauthored three books to both empower women and give them a reason to laugh at life with her. She has been facilitating women’s support groups for the last six years and can’t think of a better way to go through midlife. Contact her at [email protected] or learn more at or

Kay Klebba is happily married to Scott and the mother of four incredible children including one with special needs. Kay’s passion is speaking and writing to women about the hilarity of our blessings. Please visit her blog at or e-mail her at [email protected].

Mimi Greenwood Knight is a freelance writer and frequent Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor living in South Louisiana with her husband, David, and their four children, Haley O’Hara, Holly, Hewson and David Jonah. She’s currently seeking a publisher for her first novel. (Hello out there!) Visit her blog at

Karen Koczwara obtained an English degree from Chico State University in 2000. She taught high school English before staying home to raise her four children. Karen resides in Southern California, and enjoys hitting the beach, watching old movies, and baking (while trying not to burn!) batches of chocolate chip cookies.

Karen Kosman is an inspirational speaker and author of Wounded by Words (New Hope Publishers, 2007). Karen’s joy and zest for life warms hearts. She has authored stories in several compilations and magazine articles. She can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]

Michele H. Lacina received her BA in Communications from Glassboro State in 1973. She has been published in Country Woman, NJ Lifestyles, The Girls’ Book of Success, and Chicken Soup for the Soul in Menopause. She continues to work on publishing a mystery. She can be reached at [email protected].

Glenda Lee is an advertising director for a direct mail magazine. She is a published author of two bulletin board idea books, numerous magazine articles and poems. She enjoys writing, reading, gardening, fishing, spending time with her family and volunteer work. Please e-mail her at [email protected].

Janeen A. Lewis is a freelance writer living in Kentucky with her husband Jesse and son Andrew. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with degrees in Journalism and Elementary Education. Lewis loves writing, caring for children and spending time with her family.

Patricia Lorenz is an art-of-living writer and speaker and the author of eleven books including The 5 Things We Need to Be Happy and Life’s Too Short to Fold Your Underwear. She’s one of the top contributing writers to the Chicken Soup for the Soul books with stories in nearly fifty of them so far. Visit her website at

Susan Lugli is a Christian speaker and author. Her stories have been published in Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman’s Soul, Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul, Today’s Christian Woman magazine and many others. She is an advocate for burn survivors and speaks on their behalf. E-mail her at [email protected].

Natalia K. Lusinski created her first newspaper, “Nat’s Neat News Notes,” at age ten. Since then, she has worked as a writers’ assistant on several TV shows, and recently associate produced a documentary for The History Channel. She also writes film and TV scripts, and short stories. E-mail her at [email protected].

Michelle Mach is a freelance writer in Colorado. Her stories have appeared several anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Shopper’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover’s Soul. Visit her website at

Cheryl Maguire graduated from Boston College with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Counseling Psychology. Prior to becoming a mom, she worked as a counselor. Cheryl runs a website Swap Savers, a social network for frugal folks. On her website she writes a money saving blog. E-mail: [email protected].

Ginger Manley received her BSN and MSN from Vanderbilt University She is an Associate in Psychiatry at Vanderbilt Medical Center. She is researching a nonfiction book, entitled Praying for Gloves, the inspiring story of two nurses and the ways they have enabled change in Central Kenya. Her e-mail is [email protected].

Judith Marks-White’s award-winning “The Light Touch” column has appeared in the Westport News (CT) for twenty-five years. She is the author of two novels: Seducing Harry and Bachelor Degree published by Random House/Ballantine. Judith also teaches Humor Writing at Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, CT.

M. Sean Marshall is part of a rising generation in the field of social entrepreneurism. He works with CureDuchenne, a California based non-profit that funds research to cure Muscular Dystrophy. Sean enjoys a “curiously happy” family life with his wife and two girls. Please e-mail him at: [email protected].

Patrick Matthews is the president of Live Oak Games, and designer of the award-winning game StoryTellers. He’s also the author of “DaddyTales,” a newspaper column about his life as a dad.

Phyllis McKinley has four books of poetry published and is the author of the children’s book Do Clouds Have Feet? Her work has received multiple awards and has been published in Canada, the USA and the UK. She lives in southwest Florida with her husband Dr. Hanford Brace. E-mail her at [email protected].

Tasha Mitchell currently resides in Northwest Georgia with her husband and young son. She is a full time student pursing a nursing degree. Tasha enjoys traveling, dancing, reading and creative writing. She plans to finish her first book in the near future. Please e-mail her at [email protected].

Meg Werner Moreta has been a registered dietitian since 1992. Her journey started at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, California, where she learned their “learn by doing” philosophy. After finishing her Masters, Meg followed her passion to work in diabetes at her private practice in Beverly Hills. Meg enjoys life!

Risa Nye is a San Francisco Bay Area writer. She is co-editor of the anthology Writin’ on Empty: Parents Reveal the Upside, Downside, and Everything in Between When Children Leave the Nest. Her essays and articles have been published in several newspapers, magazines, and anthologies, including two Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

Emeri B. O’Brien is a native of Lake Charles, LA. She is a graduate of Grambling State University and the University of Maryland. She has worked as a reporter and a copy editor at various publications. She is now evening editor for Please e-mail her at [email protected].

Author and motivational speaker, Jennifer Oliver, hails from Copperas Cove, Texas, where she and househubby are raising four magnificent creative life forces. Her stories have appeared in several Chicken Soup for the Soul books and other heartwarming publications.

LaVerne Otis loves to write and is presently taking her first writing class at a local community college. She has been published in Country and Birds and Blooms magazines. Other hobbies include photography, bird watching, gardening and spending lots of time with her family. She can be contacted at [email protected].

Chantal Panozzo is a writer and advertising copywriter. Her articles and essays have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic Glimpse, and other publications, and she recently received the Rosalie Fleming Memorial Humor Prize. An American expatriate, Chantal travels extensively in Europe and lives in Zurich, Switzerland. (

Laraine Paquette and her husband, Ken, have a Language School in the Boston area. Besides teaching English, Laraine does children’s entertainment (story-telling, magic, music, balloon-sculpture and face-painting). She is a mother of six children and a grandmother of eleven. She holds a BA in English Literature. E-mail her at [email protected]

Ava Pennington is a writer, speaker, and Bible teacher. She has published magazine articles and contributed to fifteen anthologies, including twelve Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She is also author of A Year Alone with God—a 366-day devotional guide to the names and attributes of God. Learn more at

Susan W. Peters graduated from the University of Kansas and lived and worked in a number of countries before returning to her Midwestern roots in 2006. She writes short stories and poetry, and teaches academic writing at a local community college. She can be contacted at [email protected].

Joe Rector is the community editor for the Karns/Hardin Valley Shopper News. Joe also does freelance writing, and his work has appeared in other Chicken Soup for the Soul books, as well as magazines and books. He hopes to find a publisher for his work. Please e-mail Joe at [email protected].

Theresa Sanders contributes frequently to Chicken Soup for the Soul. Before turning to creative writing, she was an award-winning technical writer and consultant, and has been published in trade journals. A Springfield, Missouri native and a University of Maryland graduate, she has four grown children and lives with her husband in suburban St. Louis.

Leigh Anne Saxe is a Happiness Coach, Inspirational Speaker and Radio Host. Creator and founder of Living In The Moment ( Leigh Anne is committed to helping others find joy in the moment. Leigh Anne has her MA in Counseling Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Toronto.

Heather Simms Schichtel is a writer, advocate and full time mom to Samantha. She lives in Colorado with her family, enjoying the sun, snow and mountains. You can follow their story at or e-mail Heather at [email protected].

Jacqueline Seewald has taught creative, expository and technical writing at the university level, and also worked as an academic librarian and educational media specialist. Her short stories, poems, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in diverse publications. Eight of her books have been published. Her most recent novel is The Drowning Pool.

Michelle Shocklee lives with her family in Central Texas. She writes historical fiction and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle enjoys movie dates with her husband, laughing with her sons, and reading, especially research material for her novels. Visit her Blog at:

Dayle Allen Shockley is an award-winning writer whose by-line has appeared in dozens of publications. She is the author of three books and a contributor to many other works, including the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. E-mail her at [email protected].

Dena Slater received a Bachelor of Arts with honors and then earned a Master of Science. She taught English for twenty-seven years in Rockland Country, NY before retiring in New Jersey. She loves travel, bridge, and is a prolific reader.

Alaina Smith enjoys composing short stories and is a contributor to multiple volumes of two anthology series, Chocolate for Women and A Cup of Comfort. She also likes working for nonprofit organizations, volunteering for progressive causes, and spending time with her husband, Frank. E-mail her at [email protected].

Sherri A. Stanczak is a freelance writer for several magazines, newsletters and online publications. Sherri writes regularly for a local website She is also the author of two books. She enjoys spending time with family, boating, flying and writing. Please e-mail her at [email protected].

Diane Stark is a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom and freelance writer. She loves to write about the things that are most important to her, her family and her faith. Her first book, a devotional for teachers, was released in the fall of 2009. Diane can be reached at [email protected].

Helen Stein lives with her husband, Ken, in the Great Lakes state of Michigan. They have four children and five energetic grandchildren. For eighteen years she edited and wrote safety articles for a motor carrier. She spends time with family, assists her parents, tends her perennial garden and plays tennis.

Joyce E. Sudbeck retired from Liguori Publications in 2008. She has been previously published in Chicken Soup for the Soul and Liguorian Magazine, and recently won first prize in a poetry contest. She writes short stories, poetry, and plans to start her first novel.

Annmarie B. Tait lives in Conshohocken, PA with her husband Joe and Sammy the “Wonder Yorkie.” Annmarie has contributed several stories to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not writing, Annmarie also enjoys cooking along with singing and recording American and Irish folk songs. E-mail her at [email protected].

B.J. Taylor is an award-winning author whose work has appeared in Guideposts, more than a dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and numerous magazines and newspapers. She has a wonderful husband, four children and two grandsons. You can reach B.J. through her website at

Terri Tiffany counseled adults for seventeen years before owning a Christian bookstore. She resides in Florida with her husband where she writes full time. Her stories have appeared in Sunday school take-home papers, magazines and numerous anthologies. Please visit her at

Paula Maugiri Tindall, RN, writes her stories and finds her inspiration from personal life experiences and through nature while overlooking the lake where she resides in Florida, completing her first book. Her work has been previously published in Chicken Soup for the Grandma’s Soul. She can be reached at [email protected].

Beverly F. Walker enjoys writing, photography, scrapbooking, and being with her grandchildren. She monitors a grief recovery group on line, and her stories appear in many Chicken Soup for the Soul books and in Angel Cats: Divine Messengers of Comfort.

Dr. Timothy Warren has operated a successful family chiropractic office in Warwick, RI since 1987. He is a lifelong athlete and has been mountaineering for the last fifteen years. He has summitted the highest mountain on four continents, most recently Mt. Everest. He lives deep in the woods with RoseMarie.

Bill Wetterman is a retired Search Consultant from Oklahoma. He is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and a graduate of Ohio University. Bill and his wife, Pam, have taught Sunday school at their church for over twenty years. Please e-mail him at [email protected].

Valerie Whisenand, writing as Valerie Hansen, is the author of many Christian novels. When she moved to the Ozarks, she found her calling as well as a beautiful atmosphere filled with loving, caring people. She’s been married to her high school sweetheart for a gazillion years! E-mail her at [email protected].

Woody Woodburn lives and writes in Ventura, California. A former national award-winning sports columnist and the co-author of Raising Your Child to Be a Champion in Athletics, Arts and Academics, he is working on two new books. He can be contacted at [email protected].

Ashley Young is studying writing and hopes to work for a newspaper and write children’s books when she graduates. Ashley was diagnosed with cancer when she was fourteen and has been in remission now for six years. Please e-mail her at [email protected].

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