Meet Our Contributors

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love

Meet Our Contributors

Georgia Aker grew up in rural and small-town New Mexico. She has taught in a one-room school. Georgia has had several articles published in devotion magazines. At ninety-six she still does some gardening, in Oregon, where she lives with her daughter and son-in-law Marty and David Magee.

Barbara Blossom Ashmun gardens on an acre in Portland, OR. She’s written six garden books, most recently Married to My Garden, about her love affair with plants. A garden columnist for the Portland Tribune since 2004, she’s also contributed to magazines and anthologies. She blogs at

Suzanne Baginskie lives on the west coast of Florida with her husband, Al. In between volunteering for the local sheriff’s office and her community, she writes and sells short mystery stories, flash fiction and writing articles. She is currently penning a legal thriller novel. Visit her website at

Celeste Barnard received her Practical Theology degree from Christ For The Nations with a third-year advanced study in Youth Ministry. She is currently a contributing author for Destiny in Bloom, an online magazine. She plans on doing more writing and speaking in the future. Learn more at

June Harman Betts is the author of three books in The Echoes in My Mind series: Father Was A Caveman, We Were Vagabonds, and Along Came A Soldier. Her story, “The Christmas Present,” was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Dad. Learn more at

Lil Blosfield is the Chief Financial Officer for Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health in Canton, OH. She loves writing and tries to capture her own photo album in words of many life experiences. Lil enjoys music and laughter or, in other words, karaoke! She adores time spent with friends and family. E-mail her at

Carol A. Boas is a retired teacher and children’s book author. She loves cooking, walking, hiking and traveling. Her four grandchildren love taking her to school for show-and-tell on visits to Chicago and Denver. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, renowned proofreader Rick. E-mail her at

Heather Brand is a graduate of Shorter University in Georgia and is currently pursuing a Master of Education. Her newly acquired cooking skills have been challenged since becoming gluten intolerant. When not experimenting in the kitchen, Heather enjoys traveling with her husband, volunteering, performing in community theater productions, and teaching creative writing.

Sandra D. Bricker is an award-winning author of laugh-out-loud fiction for the inspirational market. She has fifteen novels and devotionals in print with several more slated through 2013. Sandie resides in the Tampa area and would love to hear from her readers through her blog:

Cynthia Briggs embraces her love of cooking and writing through her story-filled cookbooks Pork Chops & Applesauce and Sweet Apple Temptations. She enjoys speaking to women’s groups, critiquing and reviewing books, and writing for various publications. Coaching budding authors is her most recent passion. E-mail Cynthia at

Debra Ayers Brown, a marketing professional, received her B.A. with honors from the University of Georgia and her MBA from The Citadel. She loves traveling with her daughter Meredith, eco tours, Zumba, and living life on the Georgia coast. Link to her blogs at or e-mail her at

Leigh Ann Bryant is a wife and mother of three sons. She received her BSN from the University of Texas at Arlington. She loves the Lord and is very active with the youth at her church. She loves to write, travel, and watch her sons do gymnastics. E-mail her at

Jane Brzozowski comes from a family of writers, including her husband Steve and her daughters Kat and Sally. This is her first published work. Her sister, Lava Mueller, got her hooked on the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and she also has a story in this book!

Barbara Burris lives with her husband Bruce in a log home set in the middle of three acres of informal cottage and woodland gardens. These gardens serve as inspiration for Barbara’s photographs and watercolor paintings. Her future plans include a series of stories about summers at her grandmother’s cottage. E-mail her at

Kristine Byron worked as a trainer for Tupperware and in later years as an interior designer. She loves to cook and entertain. Kristine also loves to travel with her husband and spend quality time with her five grandchildren.

Barbara Canale is a freelance writer and columnist for the Catholic Sun in Syracuse, NY. She has been published in several Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She is the author of Our Labor of Love: A Romanian Adoption Chronicle. She enjoys biking, skiing, and gardening.

Sandy McPherson Carrubba stopped teaching first grade for fulltime motherhood. She’s written for children and adults. Her essays have appeared in Voices of Alzheimer’s, Voices of Lung Cancer and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Her poetry chapbook, Brush Strokes, was published by Finishing Line Press.

David Chalfin is a native New Yorker living in Los Angeles as a television and film editor. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. in Media Studies from The New School. He lives for a good slice of NY pizza. E-mail him at

Viji K. Chary’s passion for writing stories began in elementary school and has evolved into teaching and coaching children in various activities including gymnastics, classroom activities and creative competitions. Her stories have been published in Highlights for Children, Ladybug magazine and many more. E-mail her at

Emily Parke Chase speaks at conferences and retreats and has authored six books, including Help! My Family’s Messed Up (Kregel 2008) and Standing Tall After Falling Short (WingSpread, 2011). She enjoys reading, cooking and spoiling her grandchildren. Visit her at

Robert Chrisman took early retirement from his thirty-two-year career as a civil servant to spend the rest of his life writing. He has published several short stories, with more in the works. He teaches writing practice at a local writing center. He enjoys reading and eating out.

Madeline Clapps lives in Brooklyn, NY, and is an actor, singer, and editor at Chicken Soup for the Soul. She recently edited Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just for Preteens and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just for Teenagers. She also designs the monthly communiqué for Chicken Soup for the Soul contributors.

Courtney Conover exists in what she calls a mixed marriage: She is a vegetarian, but her husband Scott, a former NFL football player turned professional chef, is a proud meat-eater. This is Courtney’s sixth contribution to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Learn more about her at

Harriet Cooper is a freelance writer who specializes in creative nonfiction, humor and articles. Her topics often include health, exercise, diet, cats, family and the environment. A frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, her work has also appeared in newspapers, magazines, newsletters, anthologies, websites and radio. E-mail her at

D’ette Corona is the Assistant Publisher for Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC. She received her Bachelor of Science in business management. D’ette has been married for nineteen years and has a fourteen-year-old son.

Michael Coscia is a screenwriter and lyricist living in Los Angeles, CA. He believes in the power of words, and chooses to use them wisely. In his spare time he loves to cook, read, travel, and laugh. E-mail him at

Priscilla Dann-Courtney is a freelance writer and clinical psychologist living in Boulder, CO with her husband and three children. Her book, Room to Grow, is a collection of personal essays previously published in national newspapers and magazines. Her passions include family, friends, yoga, running, skiing and baking.

Stephanie Davenport is a wife, mom and currently the pastor of The Vineyard Church in Bloomington, IL. Stephanie was previously a newspaper columnist and correspondent, and her writing has appeared in several national magazines. She also enjoys time in the kitchen with her family. E-mail her at

Judy DeCarlo is employed as a registered nuclear medicine technologist but is at heart a writer. She resides in Northeast Pennsylvania and is a married mother of two adult daughters. Judy enjoys reading, all outdoor activities, and traveling (particularly planning trips). E-mail her at

Lola Di Giulio De Maci contributes regularly to Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her now-grown children and former students inspire her children’s stories, some appearing in the Los Angeles Times. Lola has an M.A. in education and English and writes from her loft overlooking the San Bernardino Mountains. E-mail her at

Jeannie Dotson is a middle school language arts teacher in Powell County, KY. She enjoys writing nonfiction and is currently working on a nonfiction picture book for children.

Shawnelle Eliasen and her husband Lonny raise their five sons in Illinois. She home teaches her youngest children and writes about their adventures. Her stories have been published in Guideposts, MomSense, A Cup of Comfort, Christmas Miracles, Christmas Spirit, Chicken Soup for the Soul books and more. Find her blog at

Melissa Face teaches and writes in Virginia. She lives with her husband, son, and dog and enjoys spending time and traveling with all three of them. E-mail Melissa at

Melissa Ford is the author of the award-winning website Stirrup Queens (, as well as the novel Life from Scratch. Melissa completed her MFA at the University of Massachusetts. She lives in Washington, DC, with her writer husband, Joshua, and their twins.

Sally Friedman has been writing about the sounds of her own family life for four decades. An honors graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Sally’s works have appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, AARP The Magazine and numerous publications around the country. E-mail her at

Beverly Golberg, of St. Paul, MN, began writing after retirement from paralegal work. Her essays have appeared in the literary journals ARS Medica and Willard & Maple, Cottage Life magazine, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and various anthologies. She reads her work at the Wild Yam Cabaret in St. Paul.

Gina Guilford received her master’s degree in Screenwriting at University of Miami in 2003. She has published articles in national magazines and has written an original sitcom based on her blended family. Her screenplay, The Sweet Spot, won various awards, including first place in All She Wrote. Learn more at

Cynthia M. Hamond, S.F.O., is in over 100 publications including magazines, and Bible study aids. She’s received several writing awards. Two stories have been made for TV. Cynthia enjoys speaking and school visits. She is founder of Joyful M.O.M. (Moments of Ministry) and co-founder of Grandmas in Pajamas. E-mail her at

Christie Hansen lives with her husband, three children, two cats and dog on Belly Acre Farm in Northern Utah. She teaches seventh grade English and language arts and delights in finding ways to use squeaky rubber chickens to enhance student learning. E-mail her at

Teresa Anne Hayden is a writer who lives in Cayce, KY, with her husband Mike and their dog Tweeter. They have three children and six grandchildren. Her work has appeared in several publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Book of Miracles. E-mail Teresa at

Karen R. Hessen is an author and speaker. She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery, Guideposts, Vista, Seeds of... and others. She and her husband Douglas live in Forest Grove and Seaside, OR. Karen can be reached at or visit her website at

Miriam Hill is a frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and has been published in Writer’s Digest, 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 and Tom Caufield live in Los Angeles. She and her friend Dominique work at Channel Road Inn and the Inn at Playa del Rey. Rebecca’s stories have appeared in previous Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies and in Redbook magazine. Her novel is entitled Confessions of an Innkeeper.

Sharon T. Hinton, RN, MSN, FCN, is an educator, consultant, national speaker and writer specializing in faith community nursing and spiritual journaling. She is completing a Doctorate in Global Health focusing on how stories can heal. Sharon lives in Texas. E-mail her at

Heather Humrichouse is a freelance writer who starts each day with a cuppa. Her hubby used the same technique to win her over to hot sauce, red wine, and onions. Her palate will never be the same. They celebrate each day with their three children. Join them on

Pauline Hylton is a freelance writer living in Florida. She specializes in humor or anything else you will pay her for. She loves the Lord, her family, and dark chocolate. (Not necessarily in that order.) Feel free to read her blog, send an e-mail, or mail her dark chocolate at

Mary Potter Kenyon cooks up soup and words in the Manchester, Iowa home she shares with her husband David and four of their eight children. Her writing appears in magazines, anthologies and the local newspaper. She is working with her agent on a book about couponing and blogs at

April Knight spends her days riding horses and her nights writing mystery novels. She also writes a newspaper column and novels under her tribal name Crying Wind Hummingbird.

Miranda Koerner is a writer living in Texas with her husband Ben and two Chihuahuas, Bitty and Bear. After getting her B.A. in Journalism, she worked as a children’s magazine editor and reporter. Now, she teaches creative writing classes and writes stories for children and adults. For more, visit

Mitchell Kyd wrapped up a thirty-year career as a Fortune 500 PR professional and is enjoying life as a wordsmith and storyteller. Her stories often reflect the joys and poignant moments of small-town living and she is a frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Visit her at

Patti Lawson is an award-winning author and lawyer. Her first book, The Dog Diet, A Memoir: What My Dog Taught Me About Shedding Pounds, Licking Stress and Getting a New Leash on Life won the Dog Writers Association of America Maxwell Award for Humor. Learn more at

Andrea Lehner is a freelance writer with a master’s degree in Creative Writing and a bachelor’s degree in English Writing. In addition to writing, she has a passion for cooking new and traditional recipes that fill her home with the kind of love that connects generations. E-mail her at

Beth Levine is a veteran health and humor writer. She lives in Stamford, CT, where her family’s new favorite restaurant is The Fez. (Order the Fez Burger — you won’t be sorry.) Learn more at

Nikki Loftin writes in the Texas Hill Country, surrounded by dogs, chickens, and small, loud boys. She studied fiction writing at The University of Texas at Austin (M.A. ’98). Her first novel, The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy, will be published by Razorbill/Penguin in Summer 2012. Learn more at

Barbara LoMonaco has worked for Chicken Soup for the Soul as an editor and webmaster since 1998. She has co-authored two Chicken Soup for the Soul book titles and has had stories published in various other titles. Barbara is a graduate of the University of Southern California and has a teaching credential.

Donna Lowich works as an information specialist, providing information to people affected by paralysis. She enjoys writing about her family and personal experiences. Other hobbies include counted cross stitch and reading. She lives with her husband in New Jersey. E-mail her at

Carrie Malinowski is a first grade teacher and reading tutor. She has a degree in psychology. She wrote her first story at the age of five and has been writing ever since. She loves to write picture books. Ms. Malinowski lives in Arizona with her husband, son, and dog Chester. Please visit her at

David Martin’s humor and political satire have appeared in many publications including The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and Smithsonian Magazine. His latest humor collection, Dare to be Average, was published in 2010 by David lives in Ottawa, Canada, with his wife Cheryl and their daughter Sarah.

Lynn Maddalena Menna is a freelance writer and former educator. She’s a columnist for Main Street Magazine, and writes for NJ Education Now. Lynn lives in Hawthorne, NJ, with her husband, Prospero. Sadly, Toonsie passed on a few months before this book was published. E-mail Lynn at

Esme Mills has two lovely boys and a sweet little girl, all of whom love cookies. Esme loves family, slow food, writing, crafting and, yes, cookies too! Feel free to connect with her on Facebook to find out more.

Lava Mueller is grateful to be a frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She lives in Vermont with her very cute husband Andy and their two children, Sophie and Max. Lava is also a fiction writer and is working on a novel for young adults. E-mail her at

Lauren Murray is a writer and knitting aficionado who lives in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada. She’s older than she looks — really — and younger than she feels — most of the time — and she loves to explore women’s journeys in her stories. Visit her at

Alice Muschany is close to retiring after working forty years for the same company. She hopes to find more time to hike, swim, bike and play. Photography and writing are her passions and her eight grandchildren make wonderful subjects. E-mail her at

Irena Nieslony was born in England, but now lives on the island of Crete, Greece. She studied English and Drama at University of London and graduated in 1982. Irena enjoys reading, traveling and walking her dogs. She plans to write mystery novels. E-mail her at

Marc Tyler Nobleman is the author of more than seventy books including Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman and one due out in 2012 about the “secret” co-creator of Batman. His cartoons have appeared in more than 100 international publications. At noblemania., he reveals the behind-the-scenes stories of his work.

Kimberly Noe studied journalism at Oklahoma State University and currently works as advertising director at a suburban weekly newspaper in central Oklahoma. She and her nine-year-old daughter love to travel and play with friends and family. Kim often writes personal columns and is working on her first novel. E-mail her at

Linda O’Connell teaches in St. Louis, MO. Her humorous and inspirational essays have been published in twelve Chicken Soup for the Soul titles and many other regional and national publications. When Linda is wrist-deep in flour and sugar, she is knee-deep in thought. Linda blogs at

Caitlin Q. Bailey O’Neill has been previously published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Empty Nesters and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Dad. A freelance editor and writer, she can be reached at This story is for Kathy Bailey — who still loves seeing her daughter’s name in print.

Robin O’Steen is sixteen years old and lives in Boulder, CO. She is currently working on her first novel.

Lisa Pawlak is a creative writer of nonfiction who enjoys coffee, traveling, and being married to Geno. She received a B.A. in Communication from the University of California, San Diego, and now works in the non-profit world. This is her second story in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. E-mail her at

Saralee Perel is a national award-winning columnist. Her book, The Dog Who Walked Me, is about her dog, who became her caregiver after her spinal cord injury, the initial devastation of her marriage, and her cat, who kept her sane. E-mail her at or

Novelist, blogger, and award-winning food writer, Perry P. Perkins is a work-from-home dad living in the Pacific Northwest. Perry has written for hundreds of magazines, from Writer’s Digest and Guideposts, to American Hunter and Bassmaster Magazine. He’s the author of two novels, four cookbooks, and numerous short stories.

Jami Perona received her degree in Education from Pittsburg State University. She is currently an elementary teacher. Jami enjoys spending time outside with her family. She plans to keep writing and would like to have a book published. Check out her blog at

Sherry Poff grew up in southern West Virginia and currently lives in Ooltewah, TN. In addition to baking pretty good biscuits, she enjoys gardening, writing, and teaching high school English. E-mail Sherry at

Felice Prager is a freelance writer and an educational therapist from Scottsdale, AZ. Hundreds of her essays have been published locally, nationally, and internationally in print and on the Internet. She is the author of Quiz It: Arizona. Please visit or e-mail her at

Tim Ramsey is a school administrator by day and a college instructor by night in Avondale, AZ. He has been an educator since 1983 and a writer since he could first hold a number two pencil. He lives with his wife, daughter and six cats. E-mail him at

Virginia Redman received her B.A. in English from Loyola Marymount University in 1970. She received her M.A. in English from San Diego State University in 1990. Virginia is a retired English teacher and lives in Southern California. She is writing her first young adult novel.

Carol McAdoo Rehme values food and friendship — and the bonds they forge. An award-winning author, editor, and ghostwriter, she examines life through the lens of a wordsmith, focusing on memory-making moments. Carol writes from her window-banked home office along the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies.

Jacqueline Rivkin lives in New York with her teenage daughter, Natasha, also a writer. Jacqueline has a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and has contributed to publications including Newsday, Self and Jet. Her essay “Bean Soup” appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving and Recovery.

Sallie A. Rodman has contributed to numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, magazines and The Orange County Register. She earned her Certificate in Professional Writing from Cal State University, Long Beach. Sallie enjoys writing about true events in her life that have shaped her character. Catch her at

John Scanlan is a 1983 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Marine Corps. He is currently pursuing a second career as a writer and can be reached using

Deborah Shouse is a speaker, writer, editor and vegetarian. She loves helping people write books and facilitating creativity and storytelling workshops. Deborah donates all proceeds from her book, Love in the Land of Dementia: Finding Hope in the Caregiver’s Journey, to Alzheimer’s programs and research. Visit and read

Diane Stark is a former elementary school teacher turned stay-at-home mom and freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She is the author of Teachers’ Devotions to Go. E-mail her at

Linda St.Cyr is a writer, blogger, activist, and short story author. When she isn’t writing or raising her kids with her life partner, she is busy being vocal about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and bringing attention to human rights violations all over the world.

Annmarie B. Tait lives in Conshohocken, PA, with her husband Joe Beck and Sammy their Yorkie. Annmarie has contributed to several Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Reminisce magazine and the Patchwork Path anthology. Annmarie also enjoys cooking along with singing and recording American and Irish folk songs. E-mail her at

Becky Tidberg is a frequent contributor to Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family magazine and she enjoys speaking to women and parents. Becky is a mom of two and extra mom to over 100 foster children. She and her husband just celebrated fifteen years of marriage. Contact her at or

Lisa Tiffin is a freelance writer from upstate New York, where she lives with her husband and twin sons. She has a weekly column in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and has had a variety of essays, magazine articles and short fiction published. Learn more at

Elaine Togneri has an M.A. in English from Rutgers Graduate School. She and her husband are enjoying early retirement in their home in Central Florida. For more information on her published stories, visit her website at

Stefanie Wass’s stories have been published in the Los Angeles Times, The Seattle Times, Christian Science Monitor, Akron Beacon Journal, Akron Life &Leisure, Cleveland Magazine, The Writer, A Cup of Comfort and Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She is currently seeking representation for her middle grade novel. Visit

Linda C. Wright is an award-winning freelance writer and lives in Viera, FL. She’s had many of her personal stories anthologized. Linda enjoys traveling, reading and photography. She is working on her second novel. E-mail her at

Helen Zanone lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and three children. She is on the board of St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference. Helen is active in her writers’ group and fulfilling her love for writing. She has several stories in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. E-mail her at

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