Meet Our Contributors

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride

Meet Our Contributors

Monica A. Andermann lives on Long Island with her husband, Bill, and their cat, Charley. In addition to several credits in the Chicken Soup for the Soul collection, her writing has appeared in such publications as Skirt!, Sasee, The Secret Place, and Woman’s World.

Dawn Baird is pursuing a Bachelor of Specialized Studies degree (BSS) in journalism, literature, and creative writing at Ohio University. She is a freelance writer of nonfiction and fiction works, published both in print and online. E-mail her at [email protected].

Francine L. Baldwin-Billingslea is a mother, grandmother, breast cancer survivor, and a newlywed for the second time around, who has recently found a passion for writing. She has written her memoir, Through It All, and has been published in over eighteen anthologies, magazines, and online in the past five years.

Kathleen Basi is a stay-at-home mom, freelance writer, flute and voice teacher, liturgical composer, choir director, natural family planning teacher, scrapbooker, sometime-chef, and budding disability rights activist. She puts her juggling skills on display at

Bari Benjamin, LCSW, BCD, is a former English teacher turned psychotherapist, and she practices in Pittsburgh, PA. Marrying in late mid-life, she has begun writing seriously, and has had several essays published in adoption and step-parenting magazines. She is currently working on a memoir.

Laura L. Bradford enjoys sharing the misadventures that caused her to turn away from her vanity and become a woman of faith. This Cinderella didn’t see the greatness in her handsome prince until she humbled herself and helped him fight a thirty-year, losing battle with multiple sclerosis.

LaTonya Branham graduated from Antioch University McGregor and Wilberforce University in Ohio. She is a college administrator and adjunct professor. LaTonya is the author of CultureSeek and Spirit Seek. She was also a contributing writer in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Women. Learn more at

Caleb Jennings Breakey is self-conscious about writing in the third person. He thinks it’s a little weird. But he should still tell you that he’s a writer, youth mentor, and crazy lover of Jesus. He and his sweetheart, Brittney, passionately teach writing and character at high schools, colleges, and conferences. E-mail him at [email protected]

Sage de Beixedon Breslin, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and intuitive consultant and an accomplished author. Her latest publications have been written to inspire and touch those who have struggled with life’s challenges. Her books, stories, and chapters are available on her website at E-mail her at [email protected].

Sallie Brown is a teacher, traveler, gardener, dog lover, and writer. She lives on Hood Canal in Northwest Washington State where her surroundings make it difficult to concentrate and, at the same time, inspire her writing. E-mail Sallie at [email protected].

Lori Bryant is an author, speaker, and inspirational storyteller. She has spent the past twenty-five years serving and loving people. Her passion is to help others find freedom and live life to the fullest! She recently co-authored Zoe Life Inspired, a Daily Devotional and Conversations of Courage II.

Marty Bucella is a full-time freelance cartoonist and humorous illustrator with over thirty-five years of experience. His work has appeared in most major magazines, as well as on greeting cards, calendars, on the Web, advertisements, textbooks, syndication, etc. To see more of Marty’s work, visit his website at

John P. Buentello is an author who publishes essays, fiction, and poetry. Currently, he is at work on an anthology of his published short stories and completing a new novel. E-mail John at [email protected]

Julie Burns lives in Tennessee. She has published numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including stories in Guideposts magazine and several in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

LeAnn Campbell is a retired special education teacher. She has over 1,500 published works, including a mystery series of books for middle-grade readers available at Visit LeAnn’s website at

Linda S. Clare is the author of three nonfiction books and a novel, The Fence My Father Built (Abingdon Press, 2009). She teaches writing at Lane Community College and is an expert writing consultant for George Fox Evangelical Seminary. She lives with her family in Eugene, OR. Contact her through her blog at

Harriet Cooper is a freelance writer and has published personal essays, humour, and creative nonfiction in newspapers, newsletters, anthologies, and magazines. She is a frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She writes about family, relationships, health, food, cats, writing, and daily life. E-mail her at [email protected]

Tracy Crump publishes The Write Life e-newsletter, moderates an online critique group, and enjoys teaching other writers at conferences and through her Write Life Workshops. Now she not only has a daughter, but a sweet little granddaughter, Nellie. Visit Tracy at and

Annalee Davis is an ordained minister who graduated summa cum laude from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in 1999. She is a speaker, writer, musician, and adjunct professor. She enjoys traveling, reading, sewing, quilting, and spending time with her grandchildren. E-mail her at [email protected].

Diana DeAndrea-Kohn is a freelance writer and a small business owner in Washington State. She is married to her husband, Scott, and she has three boys: Kenny, Alex, and Brodie. Diana enjoys reading, writing, and running.

Barbara Diggs is a freelance writer and copywriter living in Paris, France, with her husband and two sons. In addition to writing for magazines and business clients, she blogs about raising multicultural children and things to do in Paris with kids. Learn more at

Lori Dyan worked in the communications industry for eighteen years before pursuing her dream of writing fiction. She now writes women’s fiction and children’s books from her home in Ontario, Canada, where she lives with her husband and two children. Learn more at and

Shawnelle Eliasen and her husband, Lonny, raise their five sons in Illinois. Shawnelle home teaches her youngest boys. Her writing has been published in Guideposts, MomSense magazine, Marriage Partnership, A Cup of Comfort books, numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and other anthologies. Follow her adventures at

Kate Fellowes’ working life has revolved around being a words editor for a student newspaper, reporter for the local press, and cataloger in her hometown library. She’s the author of four novels, and numerous short stories and essays. She and her husband share their home with a variety of companion animals.

Valorie Wells Fenton and her husband live in a bungalow on the state line between Kansas and Missouri. Valorie is a mother of three talented daughters, grandmother of six amazing children, and even a great-grandmother. She enjoys gardening and feeding the birds. Valorie is a certified hypnotherapist in her home office.

April Taylor Fetch lives in Northern California where she works as an elementary school teacher. April enjoys traveling with her husband, and spending time with her friends and family. She also enjoys writing children’s stories and hopes to one day get them published. E-mail her at [email protected].

Jill Fisher is a stay-at-home mom of two little boys and a former elementary teacher. Jill’s cake stand has survived four moves and 1,200 miles without a scratch, and it resides in a place of honor on the highest, dustiest shelf in the basement. E-mail her at [email protected].

Kristi Cocchiarella FitzGerald has degrees in English and theater. She is a freelance writer of poetry, historical fantasy and science fiction, and articles on costumes. She resides in Western Montana where she lives with her husband, Geoff, her two Shih Tzus, Panda and Koala, and her cat, Moose. E-mail her at [email protected].

Barbara Flores received an MFA degree in writing from Bennington College at age sixty-two. She has published three books and recently completed a memoir, Separated, Acting Badly. Barbara lives in Florida with her Westie, Lola, and new husband, George — they’re still celebrating. E-mail her at [email protected] or

After raising three children, Lela Foos received an associate’s degree in English in 2002. She is an elementary school paraprofessional and works with children in Special Education. Lela enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with her family. She has also written several children’s books.

Rosalind Forster received her Master of Social Work degree from McGill University, Montreal. She teaches Critical Thinking and Sociology. She loves to read, hike, and spend time with loved ones. Rosalind plans to write inspirational books using words that travel to the heart of the reader. E-mail her at [email protected].

A longtime essayist, Sally Friedman writes about what interests her most: relationships, family, and life cycle events. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and has been a contributor to local, regional, and national newspapers and magazines for over four decades. E-mail her at [email protected].

Victoria Grantham is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, YourTango, American Lawyer, and Downtown Express. She lives in NYC with her husband, son, and two pound puppies.

Svetlana Grobman is a former Russian engineer and editor, as well as an American librarian. She came to the United States in 1990. Here she found a new life, a new job, a new husband, and a new passion — writing. Currently, she is working on her memoir.

Johanna Hardy is a student at Northern Michigan University working toward a degree in writing. She enjoys riding horses, reading, working with children, playing softball and Ultimate Frisbee, and creating and playing music. After graduation, she plans to continue writing and hopefully work in publishing. E-mail her at [email protected].

Pam Hawley also writes short fiction and is working on her first novel. Her work has appeared in eFiction magazine and The Spirit of Poe anthology. She lives in Baltimore, works in higher education, and enjoys reading, hiking, ferrets, and cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers. E-mail her at [email protected].

Jennifer Heeg enjoys spending time with her husband, Aaron, and two children, Alex and Ava. She firmly believes everything happens for a reason and God only gives you what you can handle. With no prior publication experience, Jenni feels truly honored to share her story in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Carolyn Hiler is an artist living in the mountains outside Los Angeles. When not drawing, painting, or hiking with her two adorable mutts, she works in private practice as a psychotherapist in Claremont, CA. Carolyn posts cartoons almost every day at, and she sells funny things on Etsy at

Former teacher Gina Farella Howley currently lives out her dream Mom career. Her three boys, all under seven years old, consume much of her time. When they are not awake, she is thinking about them, writing about them, and looking to make a name for herself as an author someday.

Carol Hurn lives near Seattle, WA, with her two dogs, Bear and Budha, and zany cat, Mister. She loves getting together with her three grown daughters and two grandchildren. She enjoys playing video/computer games and is working on her fifth romance novel.

Linda Jackson received her degree in math and computer science from The University of Alabama. She left her career in information technology to raise a family and pursue writing. She is the author of two novels, and this is her second story in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Please visit her website at

Cael Jacobs and his wife, Elizabeth, are the ministers of a small church in rural Virginia. They live on the land where they were married among the oaks and beeches, along with an imprudent number of cats. Cael uses his writing as a tool for teaching. E-mail him at [email protected]

Jill Jaracz is a freelance writer who writes features about credit cards, authentication technology, and how things work. Jill also enjoys traveling and being a roller derby official. Please visit her website at

Samantha Keller is a blogger, freelance writer, and mother to three mischievous munchkins. Sam is feisty with her pen and has a knack for finding both God and humor in the smallest details. You can find more of her writing and wit at

Jack Kline lives with his family, dogs, and horses near Louisburg, KS. He began writing following the marriage of his daughter. The bug had bitten. He has numerous published short stories and nonfiction pieces.

April Knight is a freelance writer and artist. She spends winters in Australia with her son where they search for buried treasure with metal detectors. She hasn’t discovered a treasure yet, but it is a great adventure.

Sheila Seiler Lagrand lives in the foothills of Orange County, CA, with her husband, Rich, and three dogs. By day, she works as the operations manager for a registered investment advisory firm. Otherwise, you’ll find her boating, cooking, enjoying her grandchildren, and blogging at E-mail her at [email protected].

A freelance writer, Jennifer Lang has been published in Parenting, Yoga Journal, and Natural Solutions, among others. Her essays have appeared in the South Loop Review, San Francisco Chronicle, and on

Charlotte A. Lanham is a frequent contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. E-mail Charlotte at [email protected]

P.D.R. Lindsay is busy. She wants to write all day, but must tutor writers and teach English to non-English speakers to pay the bills. She farms trees to save the planet, and runs a writers’ retreat to help writers finish novels and a home-stay to give English language students a holiday.

Although Kris Lindsey has a B.A. degree in social work, her chosen career was stay-at-home mom until her daughters forcibly retired her by growing up. She enjoys writing, leading Bible studies, time with her hubby, and scuba diving in Fiji. Kris also writes about God’s help for hurting emotions at

Shelly Bleggi Linton received a Bachelor of Science degree and MBA degree from Brigham Young University. She is a writer and business owner. She lives with her husband and cat, Tiger Lily, in Oakland, CA. She enjoys exploring the world, biking, reading, and renovating their 1920s home. E-mail her at [email protected].

Patricia Lorenz, author of thirteen books, including Life’s Too Short to Fold Your Underwear, has contributed to sixty Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Mother of four and grandmother of eight, Patricia speaks at various venues around the country and follows her dreams while she’s still awake. Learn more at

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 reading and counted cross-stitch. She lives with her husband in New Jersey. E-mail her at [email protected].

Anna Lowther is a wife, mother, and writer living in Ohio. She primarily writes dark fiction as does her husband, Eric. They recently renewed their vows in the same chapel where they wed eighteen years ago. E-mail her at [email protected].

Margaret Luebs is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Michigan. She has taught technical writing and worked for several years as a technical editor in Boulder, CO. She and her family now live in California where she is working on a novel.

Rita Lussier’s column, “For the Moment,” has been a popular weekly feature in The Providence Journal for twelve years. She was awarded First Place in the 2010 Erma Bombeck International Writing Competition, an honor she also won in 2006. Her writing has been featured in The Boston Globe and on NPR.

Judith Marks-White is a Westport News (CT) columnist of “The Light Touch” where her columns have appeared for the past twenty-six years. She is the author of two novels published by Random House/Ballantine: Seducing Harry and Bachelor Degree. Judith teaches humor writing and lectures widely.

Debra Mayhew is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mom to six (usually) sweet and adorable children. She also happens to own the world’s greatest dog. She loves good books, long walks, and empty laundry baskets. Debra blogs about this and that at E-mail her at [email protected].

Ann McArthur has always loved reading and writing stories. In her teens, she entertained at slumber parties by spinning adventure tales featuring her friends as the smart, brave heroines. Now she writes mostly for adults. Look for her first literary inspirational novel, Choking on a Camel.

Stephanie McKellar is a current high school student, scheduled to graduate in 2012. She plans to attend university in Fall 2012. Afterward, she would like to work as an author.

Recently, Lava Mueller’s fourteen-year-old daughter discussed alterations she plans to make on the wedding dress. Her younger brother had a better idea. “Give it to me,” he said. “I’ll sell it and buy video games.” That’s a lot of video games. E-mail Lava at [email protected]

Val Muller is a writer and teacher living in Virginia. She is the author of Corgi Capers, a middle-grade mystery novel. You can keep track of her at

Alice Muschany lives in Flint Hill, MO. She plans to retire soon, leaving more time for her hobbies that include swimming, hiking, writing, and photography. Her grandchildren live nearby and not only make wonderful subjects, but they keep her young at heart.

Dani Nichols is a freelance writer and editor from Southern California. When she’s not writing, she works part-time as a therapeutic horseback-riding instructor. She loves ocean kayaking, good coffee, new places, swimming, cooking, and hanging out with her husband, Adam. You can read her blog at

Marc Tyler Nobleman is the author of more than seventy books, including Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman and Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman. His cartoons have appeared in more than 100 international publications. At noblemania.blogspot. com, he reveals the behind-the-scenes stories of his work.

Caitlin Q. Bailey O’Neill is a freelance writer and editor previously published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Dad, and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Empty Nesters. This story is for her Prince Charming — Christopher O’Neill. E-mail her at [email protected].

Betty Ost-Everley lives in Kansas City, MO. When she’s not working as an administrative assistant, advocating for her neighborhood or directing the church choir, she is an advisory board member for the Heart of America Christian Writers’ Network. Internationally published, she has pieces in several anthologies. Follow her at

Mark Parisi’s “off the mark” cartoon appears in newspapers worldwide. You can also find his cartoons on calendars, cards, books, T-shirts, and more. Mark resides in Massachusetts with his wife and business partner, Lynn, along with their daughter, Jen, three cats, and a dog. Visit to view 7,000 cartoons.

Patt Hollinger Pickett, Ph.D., a licensed therapist and certified life coach, writes with humor from a warm, no-nonsense perspective. Dr. Pickett draws from her personal life blended with over twenty years in practice as a relationship expert. She has a book ready for publication. Contact Patt through

Sharon Pipke has spent a lifetime working as a nurse and ranch wife, and raising three children. She is semi-retired, and loves spending time with family and friends or reading. She hopes her story will strengthen someone’s faith in the power of prayer.

Stephanie Piro is a cartoonist, illustrator, and designer. She is one of King Features’ team of women cartoonists, “Six Chix” (she is the Saturday chick). She also does the cartoon panel Fair Game. Her work appears all over, from books to greeting cards. In addition, she designs gift items for her company Strip T’s and her CafePress shop. Learn more at

Jennifer Quist is a writer and researcher based in Western Canada. She’s published poetry, fiction, radio essays, and nonfiction. And seventeen years later, her wedding dress still fits.

Diane M. Radford is originally from Troon on the west coast of Scotland. She currently resides in St. Louis. When not engrossed in surgery or writing, she enjoys golf and spending time with her family. She is working on a memoir. E-mail her at [email protected] com or visit

Sara Rajan earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame. She has kept a written journal since the age of seven, and is the founder and editor of the online literary magazine, Literary Juice. She currently lives in South Bend, IN, with her husband, Dinesh.

Kayleen Reusser has written nine children’s books, and has published articles in books, magazines, and newspapers. She and her husband, John, have three fantastic grown children. She has written several stories for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She speaks to children and adults about writing. Contacted her at

Amelia Rhodes lives in Michigan with her husband and their two children. She enjoys running, gardening, knitting, and volunteering in her children’s classrooms. Amelia is a regular contributor to several online magazines and is completing her first book. She blogs regularly at

Karen Robbins is a columnist for She has been published in regional, national, and online publications, including Karen coauthored A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts and A Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts. Her first e-novel is Murder Among the Orchids. Karen and her family live in Ohio.

Sallie Rodman is an award-winning author whose work has appeared in numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies. She lives in California with her two pets, Mollie and Inky. Mary and her husband live nearby, and they meet often for dinner. E-mail her at [email protected]

Sioux Roslawski is the wife of Michael, the mother of a wonderful daughter and son, the mother-in-law of a wonderful artist named Jason, and the grammy of Riley. In her spare time, she rescues Golden Retrievers for Love a Golden and writes (of course).

Mitali Ruths lives in Montreal, Canada, with her husband and two girls. She received her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and trained at Texas Children’s Hospital. She enjoys traveling, taking pictures, and making sandwiches. E-mail her at [email protected] or visit her blog at

Myra Lipp Sanderman is continually amazed to find material for her writing in everyday life. Her newspaper features, children’s stories, and personal essays have often come from a family experience, an interesting conversation, or a shared emotion. She recently won Highlights for Children’s Fiction Contest. She welcomes comments at [email protected].

Edie Scher’s essays and articles have appeared in several national magazines and newspapers, including Rodale and Hearst publications and The New York Times. Her children, granddaughters, family, and good friend Max are constant sources of inspiration. She currently teaches at the Academy for Allied Health Sciences, Scotch Plains, NJ.

For more than twenty years, award-winning writer Ellen Scolnic’s work has appeared in publications, including The Christian Science Monitor, Parents magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jewish Exponent,,, and parenting newspapers nationwide. She is the co-author of the best-selling Dictionary of Jewish Words. Read more at

Tanya Shearer lives in Alabama with her husband, Clay. Their family includes a wonderful son, daughter, and son-in-law. She enjoys taking her dog, Cornbread, for walks and writing children’s books, devotions, and Christmas stories. She stays busy working with several student mentoring programs and community fundraisers.

Lynne Cooper Sitton (1947-2011) was a writer and illustrator who lived in South Florida. Her poems and artwork have been published in children’s textbooks and greeting cards, and her stories have been published in several books. She was president of the American Christian Writers’ Broward County Chapter for five years.

Laura Smetak lives in Minnesota with her wonderful husband of six years and their twenty-month-old son. Laura received her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern College in St. Paul and is currently working on her master’s degree in teaching at Hamline University. E-mail her at [email protected].

Mary Z. Smith writes regularly for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series as well as Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines. When she isn’t penning praises to her heavenly Father, she enjoys being with family or walking outdoors. Mary has written an inspirational fiction book entitled, Life’s A Symphony, available at

As if being a CPA wasn’t enough of a laugh riot, Jean Sorensen began entering humor contests, where she was introduced to gag writing. Eventually she began drawing her own cartoons and was hooked. Jean’s cartoons have been published in numerous national magazines, including Good Housekeeping, The Saturday Evening Post, and Funny Times.

Tanya Sousa is a guidance counselor and author from Northeastern Vermont. She has written children’s books and magazine articles, and specializes in stories that inspire and encourage kindness to all living things.

Kate Sugg holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Endicott College and a Master of Science degree in mental health counseling from Pace University. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and loves reading and writing short stories with her amazing one-year-old daughter who inspires her to be her very best.

Loni Swensen received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in creative and professional writing from Bemidji State University in 2006. She dreams of writing books, singing for others, and working alongside her husband to help kids regain hope as well as other things thought lost. E-mail her at [email protected].

Ronda Ross Taylor lives in the Seattle area with her husband, Eldon, and a couple of parrots. She has two grown sons, two charming daughters-in-law, and a granddaughter who calls her “Gaga.” When she’s not writing, editing, or volunteering in school libraries, she can be found swimming at the Y.

Wendy Teller writes historical fiction, nonfiction, and humor. She’s the 2010 recipient of the Richard Eastman Founder’s Prize for Prose. Wendy’s current projects involve Eastern Europe in the early twentieth century. She works as a software consultant. Wendy and her husband live in Bloomington, IN. E-mail her at [email protected].

Jayne Thurber-Smith is an award-winning writer for various publications, including Faith & Friends, Floral Business magazine, and The Buffalo News, and is a sports contributor for She and her husband’s favorite activity is being included in whatever their four kids have going on. E-mail her at [email protected].

Wendy Toth’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Weight Watchers, Parents, Spa,,, New York Press, Newsday, and more. She lives in Brooklyn with her boyfriend and two rescue cats, Boris and Zoe, who’ve taught her that pets make everything better. She can be found at wendytoth. com.

Julie Turner is a writer and Web editor living in Boston with her husband.

Beverly F. Walker lives in Tennessee and cares for her husband who is battling cancer. She enjoys writing and scrapbooking pictures she takes of her grandchildren. She has many stories in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Debbie Wong is a wife to Robert, mom of Grace, Olivia, and Joseph, speaker, singer, and author. She recorded “Heart’s Desire,” co-authored Weddings 101, and contributed to Hugs Bible Reflections for Women and An Expressive Heart. Her passion is to encourage women to dream again and discover their full potential in Christ. Learn more at

Dallas Woodburn is the author of two collections of short stories and editor of Dancing With The Pen: a collection of today’s best youth writing. Learn more about her nonprofit youth literacy organization Write On! at and follow her blog at dallaswoodburn.

Jeanne Zornes has written hundreds of articles and seven Christian-living books, including When I Prayed for Patience... (Kregel). She holds a master’s degree from Wheaton. She and her husband, a retired teacher, live in Washington State, and have a young adult son and daughter. She blogs at

Heather Zuber-Harshman is a writer, speaker, and legal writing professor. She is currently working on a mystery novel and short stories while posting stories about faith, cooking, traveling, and humorous experiences on her blog at In between writing projects, she enjoys bicycling, traveling, snowboarding, and camping with her husband, Dale.

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