Meet Our Contributors

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven

Meet Our Contributors

Lorraine Bruno Arsenault lives among the rolling hills and lakes of New York with her husband Joel, daughters, nephew and rescue dog. She is the author of The Long Run Home, FootHills Publishing; has poetry published in The Healing Muse, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Marymount College.

Joanne Fiestedt Babic has been a freelance writer and photographer for twenty years. She has written newsletters, newspaper articles, a historical perspective and is currently working on two novels. She lives in Tacoma, WA with her son and their cats. E-mail her at babic_

Francine L. Baldwin-Billingslea has been published in over twenty anthologies and magazines, including several in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Whispering Angel books, Thin Threads, BellaOnline Literary Review, and The Rambler, as well as authoring an inspirational memoir titled Through It All and Out On The Other Side.

T.A. Barbella is a writer and artist living in San Jose, CA. After thirty years in education, she currently runs a children’s creativity center at her art studio. She enjoys writing and illustrating children’s books, and she draws inspiration from the magic of children, her loving family and her indomitable terrier, MacGyver.

Kathryn A. Beres resides in rural Wisconsin, and has work appearing in over fifty different publications, including Lifewise (Focus on the Family) and The Miracle of Sons. Two-time recipient of the People’s Choice Award, her inspirations are her husband Mike; four children, Kaytlyn, Andrea, Mitch and Tyler; and brother, Jeff. E-mail her at

In Sylvia Bright-Green’s thirty-five-year writing career she has been published in fourteen anthologies and co-authored two books. She has published hundreds of manuscripts as well as newspapers and magazines. She has been involved for over thirty years with her local and state writers’ clubs and the oldest spiritual/metaphysical group in Wisconsin.

R.W. Bryant is a mother of two, and grandmother of four. She has lived most of her life in northern Indiana, and has worked at a major medical center there for thirty-four years. She enjoys time spent with family, reading, writing, and painting.

A.B. Chesler is a writer and educator living each day to its fullest in sunny Southern California. Her favorite pastimes include reading, writing, learning, seeking new adventures, and spending time with her family, friends, husband, and baby girl. E-mail her at and she will happily respond!

Lisa Shearer Cooper graduated from the University of Colorado with a B.A. degree in English and M.A. degree in Education. After teaching ESL to adults for many years and authoring textbooks, she is currently engaged in memoir writing and teaching preschool. Lisa enjoys travel, hiking, gardening and yoga. E-mail her at lisa@sc3. net.

Michele Ivy Davis lives in southern California where she is a freelance writer and photographer. Her stories and articles have appeared in a variety of magazines, newspapers, and law enforcement publications, and her debut novel, Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel, received national and international awards. Learn more at

S.G. Desrochers is an educational assistant in Kingston, Canada. Her young students love hearing her numerous inspirational tales of her pug, Cuddles. She is in the process of self-publishing Cuddles’ stories, as well as completing a musical of her adorable Pug. E-mail her at

Inga Dore is a retired teacher and freelance writer who enjoys growing organic vegetables, walking, and visiting shut-ins.

Gillian Driscoll has a PhD in communication from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is a wholistic life coach specializing in helping over-fifties visualize and plan their second half of life. Gillian is also a Reiki Master, inspirational speaker and writer. E-mail Gillian at

Ginny Dubose lives out her dreams in Winter Haven, FL with her husband, Ray, and their two sons, Dan and Alex. A graduate of Florida Southern College, Ginny takes great joy in writing snippets of what she knows is a blessed and joyful life!

Judy Ann Eichstedt is the mother of six and grandma to five. She is an activist for the homeless and has co-written three books with her daughter Christina. She lives in Tulsa, OK, and enjoys reading and traveling. E-mail her at

Diana Creel Elarde, BA, MA. Diana consults and also teaches psychology for Maricopa Community College. Her husband Vincent edits and encourages her quest to become a successful writer. Amanda and Zdravko, her children, are her great sources of inspiration. E-mail her at

Melissa Face teaches high school English and devotes her free time to writing. Melissa’s stories and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. She lives in Virginia with her husband and son. E-mail Melissa at

Rick Fernandes has worked in the Internet world for many years, and has recently founded a website dedicated to good news and inspirational stories called He enjoys reading, working out, and spending time with his family. Check out and e-mail him at

Christiana Flanigan lives in Mono, Ontario, Canada. She holds two diplomas from the Institute of Children’s Literature. Several of her stories have been published in Sideroads of Dufferin County. Christiana enjoys reading, gardening, cycling, cross-country skiing and skating. Since childhood, writing has held a special place in her heart.

Johanne Fraser is a severely hearing impaired mother of two boys and blessed to be in a loving marriage. She works as an office manager in Surrey, BC. Johanne enjoys photography, reading, writing, gardening, walking, skiing and time with her family. She blogs at E-mail her at

Sharon Fuentes is an award-winning author and special needs parenting expert. She writes a monthly humor column for Westchester Family magazine and her feature articles/essays have been published in numerous regional, national and international publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum. E-mail her at

Marilyn Ellis Futrell lives just outside Orlando, FL. She lost her nineteen-year-old son, John Robert Woodfin, in an accident in 2005. She was published previously in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven and The Compassionate Friends national magazine, We Need Not Walk Alone. Tweet Marilyn at @MEFutrell.

Patricia Ann Gallegos lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She inspires young authors through teaching writing classes at Evergreen School District, and works at Washington State University. She is a freelance writer finishing her first book, In My Shadow: Inspirational Help for Goals, Dreams, and Legacy. Contact her at or

T’Mara Goodsell is an award-winning multi-genre writer who lives near St. Louis, MO. She has written for various anthologies, newspapers and publications and is working on a book for young adults.

Maribeth Graham lives in northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and four children. Maribeth is the author of several picture books, a middle grade novel and YA novel. Her blog, Writing Like Crazy, ( focuses on the craft of writing. She is on a journey, hoping for a good destination.

R’becca Groff is a former administrative assistant turned writer who enjoys writing from the perspective of her small-town Iowa upbringing. She supplies a business column for Cedar Rapids’ The Gazette, and publishes in regional and national anthologies and magazines. She blogs about the writer’s life at

Leslie Gulvas is a high school science teacher, former scientific researcher, and freelance writer. Leslie is an avid traveler, horsewoman, hiker, sailor, and general collector of experiences who enjoys meeting new people and writing about her travels. She lives on a small farm in Ohio.

William Halderson is retired and lives in Tennessee with Monica and Max (wife and dog). He writes a column for his city’s newspaper. He is happy to have several of his stories published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is active in many church organizations. E-mail him at

Linda Texter Hall attended Temple University and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College. Her career includes seventeen years at Winterthur Museum. She is a yoga and meditation instructor, and a founding board member of Cancer Support Community Delaware. Linda enjoys creative writing and exploring “inner space.”

Gloria Jean Hansen is a nurse/bluegrass musician/author from Elliot Lake, and grew up in Kipling, Ontario, Canada. She has written several novels, articles, newspaper columns, and songs. Her spare time is spent camping with her family, writing and music. She will someday retire to a cabin by the river.

Paulette Harris is an author/speaker who has published nonfiction and fiction work. She belongs to several groups, including ACFW and CWG. She and her husband of forty-six years have three cats, two children, and five grandchildren. Paulette’s hobbies are golf, gardening and culinary efforts. E-mail her at

Mariane Holbrook earned her degree from Nyack (NY) College and from High Point (NC) University. She and her husband John are retired teachers living in Kure Beach, NC. Mariane is the author of two books, Prisms of the Heart and Humor Me. She has two sons and six grandchildren.

Laura Hollingshead is a registered nurse, small business owner, and published author. Her current focus is a book for adult children of aging parents on the subject of starting the dialogue regarding health changes and planning for the mid and later stages of life. E-mail her at

Catherine J. Inscore believes everything happens for a reason; everything in life is a blessing. She is grateful to her husband Barry for all his support and encouragement. She thanks her thirteen children, twenty-nine grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and many at Copper Mountain College where she works for their love and support.

Elizabeth Jaeger lives in her home state of Indiana where she works in a substance abuse clinic as Patient Scheduling Coordinator. She loves to read, hike, and travel, especially to Boston where she reunites with Abby once a year! E-mail her at

Jackson Jarvis is fourteen years old, into surfing and classic rock (he thinks he should’ve been born in the 60’s) An aspiring music producer, he’s also written three yet-to-be published books including The Book of Bad Ideas and The Weird Stuff I Do. He lives in New York State with his mom, Joelle, and his dad Eric is his guardian angel.

Janice Jensen, a well-traveled educator, has lived in or visited more than sixty-five countries. Her students have included a Saudi prince and children from a Colombian oil company. She’s written about her adventures in Antarctica and Timbuktu, Mali. She dances ballroom, swing and tango for fun. E-mail Janice at

Louetta Jensen has written four novels and two screenplays and is a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild and Women’s Literary Guild. Her novel, Bittersweet Serenity, was among the winners in the North American Fiction Writer Awards, and received a Certificate of Merit in the Writer’s Digest National Book Awards.

Laura Johnston is a lucky wife and mom who enjoys writing, reading, running, dancing (around the kitchen when no one is watching) and playing tennis. She graduated from Brigham Young University and aspires to publish young adult novels and children’s picture books. E-mail her at

Louise Tucker Jones is a Gold Medallion Award-winning author and inspirational speaker as well as a respected columnist for Oklahoma’s Outlook magazine. Louise’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines.

Susie Kearley is a British freelance writer, who writes for magazines and newspapers across the world. She has recently signed her first book deal on the topic of how to write for the health, food and gardening markets. Her hobbies include keeping guinea pigs and travel. Visit her at or

Sally Kelly-Engeman is a freelance writer who worked for newspapers in Wisconsin, Montana and California. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading and researching and recently completed a historical novel. She also enjoys ballroom dancing and traveling the world with her husband. E-mail her at

L.A. Kennedy writes from her studio in Northern California. Her stories have appeared in Guideposts and various magazines. Also an artist, she created clay, macho, floral and fabric projects for magazines and holiday items for retail stores. She enjoys deer-proof gardening, working out and creative art. E-mail her at

Gaye Loraine Kiebach is a retired disabled Licensed Practical Nurse who worked at a psychiatric hospital for over twenty-three years. Mother of three wonderful children and now four grandchildren. Hobbies are writing short stories and poems, designing and making quilts for the Veterans Hospital and a pregnancy center.

Melisa Kraft lives in Benton, KY, with her husband Steve and sons, Aaron-Jesy, 18, and Trig, 4. She has two other men in her life who she considers her sons and one grandson. Other than reading and writing, she enjoys relaxation time and worship, as well as being with her two rescued dogs who get treated like kings.

Freelance writer Jeannie Lancaster believes wholeheartedly in the tender mercies and miracles that occur in our lives. She is grateful that even in the midst of incredible adversity, there can be moments of great joy.

Nan Leaptrott is a popular motivational speaker, communication coach and author. She is actively involved in her church, community, and family. Her hobbies include designing floral arrangements, cooking, and listening to the pine trees sing. She is currently writing an inspirational book and a novel. E-mail her at

Joan Leotta has written many books, articles, and poems for adults and children. Her two recent novels, Giulia Goes to War and Letters from Korea, are available as ebooks. Joan also performs shows of storytelling and history. Her motto is “encouraging words through pen and performance.” E-mail her at

Valerie S. Libby is a Personal Coach and Organizational Transformation Consultant with a highly developed intuition. A former lawyer, who has been psychic since childhood, Valerie leverages her intuition to guide clients internationally through roadblocks, accessing their previously untapped wisdom to achieve their personal and professional goals. Learn more at

Linda Lohman, BA, a frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, doesn’t just believe in miracles, she relies on them. Family, friends, and red hatting keep her busy. Living in Sacramento, CA, she is rebooting her life as a writer following two separate careers. E-mail her at

Jenny Mason is an award-winning author. She received a Master’s degree from Trinity College Dublin and an M.F.A. from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She dwells in the side of a gingerbread mountain in Colorado, but previously lived on the breadcrumb shores of Sandycove, Ireland. E-mail her at

Suzanne Grieco Mattaboni is a writer and public relations consultant from Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in Seventeen, Newsday, Child, Long Island Parenting and various trade magazines. She is working on a middle grade novel. Suzanne is inspired by a supportive and hysterically fun extended family. E-mail her at

Karen McBride has lived in the Tampa Bay area for twenty-five years, raising her three children. She enjoys exploring beautiful nature parks, photographing wildlife, and going to craft shows. She has written numerous articles for a local newspaper and has written her first children’s book. E-mail her at

Beverly Stowe McClure, an honor graduate of Midwestern State University and former teacher, lives in the country where she enjoys photographing birds, deer, and clouds. She has nine books for children and teens published. Beverly enjoys genealogy and playing the piano. She also teaches a Sunday school class.

Nina Schatzkamer Miller was Children’s Area Specialist at Borders. Her book, The Storytime Handbook, enables parents, teachers, booksellers and librarians to provide a complete story time that includes music, art, movement, food and literature. Her dad encouraged her to write the book. E-mail her at

Margaret Nava writes from her home in New Mexico where she lives with a rambunctious Chihuahua. In addition to her stories in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, she has authored six books and written numerous articles for inspirational and Christian living publications.

Tammy A. Nischan is a Christian teacher, writer, and speaker. As the mother of six, two of whom are in Heaven, Tammy’s passion is ministering to other grieving moms. She would love to hear from you through Twitter @ilovepennies, Facebook, or her blog “My Heart His Words” (

Christa Holder Ocker, a frequent contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul, wrote Auf Wiedersehen: World War II Through the Eyes of a German Girl, a finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year Award. It is in numerous libraries including the Holocaust Collection at Yeshiva University, the Leo Baeck Institute, and the New York Society Library.

Jeanne Pallos is the author of several published stories for adults and children. She is passionate about writing family stories and preserving the memories of loved ones for future generations. She lives in Laguna Niguel, CA with her husband, one Golden Retriever, and one rabbit. E-mail her at

Chicken Soup for the Soul editor Kristiana Glavin Pastir earned a journalism degree from Syracuse University in 2004. When she’s not reading, writing, or editing for Chicken Soup for the Soul, Kristiana enjoys reading, yoga, and adventures with her husband — especially their scuba diving trips around the world.

Andrea Peebles lives with her husband of thirty-six years in Rockmart, GA. She enjoys cooking, nature, travel, photography and freelance writing. She is an avid reader and frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. E-mail her at

Dale K. Perry, a New Jersey native, took an early retirement to focus on writing, gardening and living life with kindness and purpose. She is an advocate for animals and historic preservation. Dale encourages everyone to find their dream and live it. E-mail her at

Lori Phillips writes about spirituality, dreams, marriage and relationships. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and a Master’s of Education. Her print and ebooks are available from Real Life Help Books. She lives with her family in Orange, CA. E-mail her at

Dr. Barbara Poremba is a Nurse Practitioner and Professor of Nursing at Salem State University, MA. She earned degrees from Harvard University, Boston University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Worcester. Barbara enjoys international humanitarian work, photography, skiing, tap dancing, sea glass collecting and grandchildren. Learn more at

Roberta Carly Redford received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wyoming in 1985. She is writing a mystery novel set in the Black Forest of Colorado.

Ann Elizabeth Robertson’s years teaching secondary English and art (M.A. in writing) continue in her love of combining artistic and written expressions: relevant symbols of our struggles and triumphs in God’s powerful scheme of things. She and her husband have four children and five grandchildren. Learn more at

Laura Robinson, married mother of two, is an actress, author and co-inventor of the classic board game, Balderdash. Laura co-authored Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey. She is currently co-producing a television game show for fall 2014. E-mail her at

Sallie A. Rodman received her Certificate in Professional Writing from CSULB and has appeared in numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies. She loves writing about the mysterious and unexplained events that happen in our lives. She plans to write an inspirational book on life after widowhood. E-mail her at

Amy Rodriguez is a mom of two who writes about parenting with humor, families, and mental health. She has been a physical therapist and teacher, and is now in school to become a school counselor. She loves reading, writing, trying to garden, and doing anything near the ocean.

Amanda Romaniello is a Syracuse University graduate. This is her fourth story published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not writing, Amanda is training for long distance road races, reading, taking photos and spending time with her Dalmatian, Louie. E-mail her at

Robert Rome is a professional musician, writer and audio critic. He currently lives in New York.

Tyann Sheldon Rouw lives in Iowa with her husband and three sons. She is a previous contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Visit her blog, Turn Up the Valium, at or follow her on Twitter @TyannRouw.

Marcia Rudoff, a writer and retired educator, lives on Bainbridge Island, WA, where she teaches memoir writing classes for the senior community center and writes a monthly column for the local newspaper, Bainbridge Island Review. Her personal essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and numerous life story anthologies.

Jane Self is a freelance writer and copywriter. She retired as Features Editor from The Tuscaloosa News in 2007 after eight years and was previously Assistant Features Editor for the Macon Telegraph for twelve years. E-mail her at

Jodi Iachini Severson earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and she now lives in central Wisconsin where she works for the State Public Defender. As a freelance writer, she has been a frequent contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul since 2002. E-mail her at

Shelly Shevlin received a Master’s degree in Human Resources from Lindenwood University in Belleville, IL in 2006. She is the Human Resources Manager for the Illinois Department of Transportation in Collinsville, IL. Shelly enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family. E-mail her at

Lillie Shockney is an oncology nurse and a University Distinguished Service Associate Professor of Breast Cancer at Johns Hopkins. She is the Director of the Johns Hopkins Breast Center and of the Cancer Survivorship Programs. She has received forty-one national awards and is a national speaker and author.

Susan Simmons received her paralegal degree from the Community College of Southern Nevada in 1990. She retired in 2009 after working for the Federal Government for twenty-three years. She lives in North Carolina and enjoys volunteer work, reading and making jewelry.

Loren Slocum, mother of three, International Personal Development Speaker and Elite Lifestyle Coach, “daddy’s girl” and author of Life Tuneups, which appeared in People magazine as one of the Top 3 inspiring books of 2010. Loren has also published No Greater Love and The Greatest Love. E-mail her at

Christine Smith loves to relive memories by putting them on paper and sharing them with others. She is active in her local church, and lives with her husband of forty-five years in Atoka, OK. With three children, fourteen grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, there is never a lack of story material.

David Michael Smith of Georgetown, DE, is blessed by the many true stories of miracles shared with him regularly, including his seventh story, “Martha’s Message,” published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When he’s not writing, David enjoys spending time with his family and serving God’s people. E-mail him at

Tanya Sousa is a prolific freelance writer and has published in magazines, anthologies and literary publications. Three of her children’s picture books have been published with Radiant Hen Publishing, the stories focusing on encouraging the idea of growing your own food and sustainable living. She is currently working on completing a novel.

Gary Stein co-founded an NYSE-member investment banking division. He has been a strategy advisor to dozens of entertainment firms, and was Executive Vice President of a 30-time Emmy-winning kids’ TV company. Formally a Nashville songwriter, Gary recently authored the personal and candid book, Confessions of an Unfiltered Mind. E-mail him at

Reisa Stone is an animal communicator whose practice focuses on pet PTSD and spirit world contact. She is the author of a book of humorous and heart-wrenching stories collected from Ukrainian immigrants, Baba’s Kitchen: Ukrainian Soul Food with Stories from the Village. Contact her at and

Rachel Strickland received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Oregon in 2011. She lives in Oregon where she enjoys cooking, baking, and anything outdoors. She attributes her successes to her husband, Nathan Eckstein, for his unfailing positivity and support. E-mail Rachel at

Jennifer Taylor holds degrees in creative writing and literature. She and her husband live in Wisconsin. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and dancing. Jennifer leads a writing critique group and is on the board of her local writers’ guild. E-mail her at

Donna Teti loves to write inspirational stories and poems that will lift a person’s spirit. She has previously been published in other Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, Guideposts magazine, and many compilation books. Read more of Donna’s stories at and on Facebook at Twinpop Inspirations.

Ellen Tevault received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Marian College and her Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University. She’d like to find a job writing or editing. Ellen has had articles published in Reading in Indianapolis, ISL Connection and The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. E-mail her at

Marla H. Thurman lives in Signal Mountain, TN with her dogs Sophie and Jasper. The three of them try to write something of value every day, but some days really “are” better than others. Still, they strive for the best! E-mail her at

Christine Trollinger is a writer from Kansas City, MO and has had several stories published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and other publications over the past twelve years. She is a widow with three children, two granddaughters, and three great-grandchildren who are the apple of her eye. E-mail her at

Marion Ueckermann’s writing passion was sparked in 2001 when she moved to Ireland. She has published devotional articles in The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter. She blogs for International Christian Fiction Writers. Marion lives in Pretoria East, South Africa with her husband and their crazy black Scottie, Wally.

Megan LeeAnn Waterman-Fouch enjoys sharing her stories with the world. She currently writes a monthly column called Paws and Reflect for a local newspaper, and continues to submit her inspirational children’s book manuscripts to publishing houses for consideration. Her biggest joy is spending time with her family.

Mary Z. Whitney is a regular contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, as well as to Guideposts and Angels on Earth. She now resides in Ohio with her husband John and their dog Max. She has also written an inspirational fiction work entitled Life’s a Symphony available on

Melissa Wootan resides in La Vernia, TX with her husband, Joey, and son, Josh. She provides “Inspiration for the Heart and Home” by the joining of her two passions: writing and transforming old, discarded furniture into one-of-a-kind, “wow” pieces. She’s created a Facebook page to showcase both. Visit

Bill Young lives near Portland, OR with his dog, Jake, where he owns and operates a roofing business. In his spare time he builds doghouses and birdhouses with really good roofs. E-mail him at

More stories from our partners