Meet Our Contributors

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Hello to a Better Body!

Meet Our Contributors

Gloria Ashby is a writer, speaker, and teacher. She publishes “Glimpses of God,” a church newsletter column, and writes inspirational stories about God encounters. Living in Texas with her husband Jim, Gloria enjoys reading and digging in her butterfly garden. E-mail her at [email protected] or read her blog at

Andrea Atkins is a writer whose work has appeared in many national magazines including Woman’s Day and More. This is her second contribution to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She is married to David Hessekiel and has two daughters.

Carole A. Bell is a licensed professional counselor. Her ministry is helping families become what God wants them to be. She writes, speaks, and consults about parenting issues. Since 1999, she has written a weekly Christian parenting column for the Plainview Daily Herald. Read her blog at

Carol Bryant is a full-time travel agent, part-time nurse, freelance writer and occasional model living in Colorado. She travels the world as often as possible and she is a wife, mother of two grown daughters and a mediocre tennis player.

Terri Elders, LCSW, lives near Colville, WA, with two dogs and three cats. Her stories have been published widely, including in a dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She’s a public member of the Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission. Terri blogs at E-mail her at [email protected].

Beth Fortune is an award-winning freelance writer who strives to encourage and motivate others through writing and speaking. She and her husband are empty nesters living in Simpsonville, SC. She enjoys reading, gardening and, of course, indoor rowing. E-mail her at [email protected].

An honors graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Sally Friedman has been writing personal essays for over four decades. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Family Circle and Brides. She is a mother of three and grandmother of seven. E-mail her at [email protected].

Valerie Frost is an office manager for the Facilities Department at Horizon Christian Fellowship, in San Diego, CA. Valerie and her husband, Terry, are the parents of three grown children. They have nine amazing grandchildren, and two turbo-charged Jack Russell Terriers named Daphne and Rocket. E-mail Valerie at [email protected].

Joan Hetzler has written plays, short stories, poetry chapbooks, and is working on a memoir. For eight years, she hosted and produced The Writers Show, a radio program for writers in Chattanooga, TN. She also freelances as a technical and communications writer.

Ruth Jones lives in Cookeville, TN, with her husband Terry and a very fat cat named Annabel.

Kelley Knepper is a graduate of Huntington University, Huntington, IN, with a degree in Business Administration and Management. She does accounting work for a local insurance firm in Lafayette, IN. Kelley’s hobbies include scrapbooking, painting, crafting, and writing. She especially loves spending time with her family and friends.

April Knight is an author and artist. She loves cats and believes every cat she has owned has enriched her life. She is currently living in soggy, dreary Seattle where the sun never shines. Learn more at

Mary Laufer is a freelance writer, substitute teacher, and new grandmother. She recently moved back to Florida to be near her son and his family. Walking continues to be an important part of her life, but instead of looking out for ice, she now watches for rattlesnakes and alligators!

Denise Marks runs a successful online global soap making business. She designs and creates molds for chocolatier and soap manufacturing companies. is an offshoot of Denise’s many creative venues. She has a business degree and has published articles in soap making magazines and how-to blogs. E-mail her at [email protected].

Kristine McGovern is a former newspaper journalist who now edits books and writes plays at her home in Centennial, CO. She enjoys painting, swimming, and riding her horse, and she has no intention of giving up dessert. E-mail her at [email protected] com.

Monica Morris lives and writes from her big old farmhouse in rural Illinois. She is wife to Joe, mom to Katy and new mother-in-law to Chris. Monica attended the 2008 Guideposts Writers Workshop and her articles have appeared in Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines.

Lois Muehl, retired teacher of English in high school, universities and abroad, began writing prize-winning books for children when her four were small. Now living in Iowa with her husband of sixty-seven years, she continues freelance writing, especially poetry. Her hobbies include reading, crafts, yoga, exercise and gardening.

Amy Newmark is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Chicken Soup for the Soul and co-authors many of the books as well. She and her husband have four grown children. You can reach Amy through [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @amynewmark.

Helen Reeves was a reluctant redhead all her life. A native of New Mexico, she plays piano and is a dedicated tango dancer. She works and lives in Iowa City, but she’ll dance anywhere.

Suzanne Ruff is the author of the recently published book, The Reluctant Donor, described by critics as a “beautifully written, gut-wrenching memoir” and a finalist in the MIPA Book Awards. Suzanne is a freelance writer for the Charlotte Observer Mooresville News. E-mail her at [email protected].

Donna Savage is a pastor’s wife and teacher who helps women embrace their problems with faith and joy. She plunged into freelance writing as an empty nester and has published hundreds of articles and devotionals. Donna and her husband Hoyt live in Nevada. Contact her at [email protected] or

Simone Sheindel Shapiro retired from a career in computers to focus on her husband, children and grandchildren, and her passions in life: travel, running and fitness, Spanish, photography, Jewish history, and writing. She helps Pittsburgh senior citizens stay fit with her personal training business, Buff Bubby. E-mail her at [email protected].

Marilyn Turk has started the next chapter in her life as a writer after a thirty-two-year sales career. Her works have been published in Guideposts, Clubhouse Jr., The Upper Room and other Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She and her husband live in Florida, where they enjoy fishing, golf and tennis.

Lois Wickstrom is a former chemistry teacher who currently acts as Imagenie on YouTube. She writes children’s books, including Nessie and the Living Stone, The Reluctant Spy, and Grippy and Cormo’s Magnet Activities. She is married to the love of her life, has two children and four grandchildren. E-mail her at [email protected].

Elisa Yager is a regular contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When she’s not writing, Elisa can be found doing something involving animals, history, or yard sales. She has a passion for stone houses and hopes to one day own one when her publishing “ship comes in!” E-mail Elisa at [email protected].

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners