From Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul


Christina M. Abt is a newspaper columnist, magazine profiler and radio commentator. Her work has been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul of America and on the Web site as well as in Heartwarmer’s books and Petwarmer’s CD. She is the wife of one awesome husband, Michael, the mother of two terrific kids and will always be her mother’s daughter. She may be contacted at [email protected] or 9411 Sand Rock Rd., Eden, NY 14057.

Dave Barry is a humor columnist for the Miami Herald. His column appears in more than five hundred newspapers in the United States and abroad. In 1988 he won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Many people are still trying to figure out how this happened. Dave lives in Miami, Florida, with his wife, Michelle, a sportswriter. He has a son, Rob, and a daughter, Sophie, neither of whom thinks he’s funny.

Barbara Bartlett finds being a wife and mother a rewarding life. She enjoys music, reading and the outdoors immensely. She is intensely private person who is keenly interested in others, other cultures and current events, and armchair travel. Her motto is to seek simplicity in life.

Marion Benasutti was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has written countless stories and articles for magazines and newspapers throughout the country including Reader’s Digest, McCall’s, Mademoiselle, Redbook, Seventeen, the Literary Review, American Home, The Inquirer Magazine and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her 1966 novel, No Steady Job for Papa, was published in the United States, Germany and Italy.

Katherine Grace Bond is the bestselling author of Legend of the Valentine, Sleepy-time Dance and poetry collections The Sudden Drown of Knowing and Yielding to Calliope. Her work has appeared in Focus on the Family Magazine, Virtue, Today’s Christian Woman and Dark Moon Lilith. “Head to Toe” also appears in Stories for the Family’s Heart. Katherine lives in Washington State with her darling husband, four children, two dogs and two cats. Her house is never clean.

Cindy Braun was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, where she met and married her husband, Dennis. They have been happily married since their “Honeymoon Flight” for twenty-three years. They currently live in Georgia, with their teenage daughter, Ciara, who fills their life with joy, learning and adventure. Cindy is grateful to her parents, Harry and Norma Chestler, and her extended family for always showing her love and support.

Michele Wallace Campanelli is a five-time national bestselling author. She lives in Palm Bay, Florida, with her husband, Louis V. Campanelli III. She is the author of Hero of Her Heart, Margarita, Keeper of the Shroud and more novels published by Americana Books. Her short stories have been included in dozens of anthologies. Her personal editor is Fontaine M. Wallace, instructor of humanities at Florida Institute of Technology. To contact Michele, go to

Valerie Cann returned to school at age forty after raising her son. She is studying computer information systems and technical communications at Austin Community College, Texas, and works as a paralegal in a family law practice. Upon graduation in May 2003, she hopes to live and work in Ireland for a time. She can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or [email protected]

Helen V. Christensen has been writing poetry all her life. Her verse has appeared in various papers and magazines, and she has published two books of poetry with her husband. In her early years she was a reporter and once had an exclusive interview with Eleanor Roosevelt. She is also a musician, having served as church organist and singer for many years. In 1997 she was named Poet Laureate for Life of Harlingen, Texas, by then Mayor Card. Until her husband’s death in 2000 she had been married to him for almost fifty-eight years. She may be contacted at 5626 Ben Hogan Cir., Harlingen, TX 78552.

Suzanne C. Cole, former college English professor, has published books, essays, poetry, plays and fiction in many commercial and literary magazines, newspapers and anthologies including Newsweek, Houston Chronicle, USA Today, Troika, Personal Journaling and Writing Your Life Story. She also wrote To Our Heart’s Content: Meditations for Women Turning 50. A new grandmother, she does not anticipate future “one-sweet-potato Thanksgivings” but will accept them if they come for their different blessings. She may be reached at 4226 University Blvd., Houston, TX 77005.

Mary J. Davis has been married to Larry since 1967. The have three children and six grandchildren. Since Mary’s 2001 bout with cancer, Mary and Larry have been closer than ever. Mary has published over five hundred articles, thirty-four Christian education books and five children’s journals. In addition, she has sold numerous greeting cards, calendars and other items. She can be reached at [email protected]

Michele Davis is a sixteen-year-old student from Ontario, Canada. She loves dancing and has always found the time to just sit down and write. She is grateful for her mom, dad and Joel, and wants to thank Lauren for always telling her to just do what makes her happy. She lives by the saying “There is never any traffic along the extra mile!”

Pamela Dowd is the author of “Cookie Jar Greetings,” a line of inspirational cards published by Warner Press. She also writes for DaySpring and Leanin’ Tree. Pamela was featured in a July 2001 Writer’s Digest Special Issue article entitled, “In Their Words—Seven Successful Writers Share the Joys and Challenges of Working in Today’s Inspirational Writing World.” Pamela has written for several magazines and anthologies such as: Christian Parenting, Pray!, Evangelizing Today’s Child, Catholic Parent, On-Mission, The Christian Communicator, Byline, Why Fret That God Stuff?, An Expressive Heart, Season’s of a Woman’s Heart and Heart-Stirring Stories of Romance. She and her husband, Rodney, have three daughters. Contact Pamela at [email protected].

April Felts is a graduate of Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and a retired kindergarten teacher. She spends her time writing stories for her grandchildren and recording tales of her family’s genealogy for the next generation. She may be contacted at 109 Grandview Blvd., Muskogee, OK 74403, or via e-mail [email protected].

Rusty Fischer is a professional freelance writer who works at home with his beautiful wife of nine years, Martha, who is also the main character in most of his stories. Together they enjoy walking, going to the movies and enjoying theme parks in sunny Orlando, Florida. He may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

Katherine Gallagher is a wife, mother of three and an avid reader. Her love for family and for writing has led her to share some experiences through short stories and essays. She is a member of a local writer’s club, participates in writing workshops at the local community college, and writes poetry and letters to the friends and family willing to read them. She may be reached at 1 Vineyard Way, Mt. Sinai, NY 11766, e-mail [email protected].

Nancy B. Gibbs is an author of two books, a weekly religion columnist and freelance writer. She has been published in numerous anthologies, such as Guideposts books, Honor books, Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Grandparent’s Soul. She has also had articles appear in magazines such as Angels on Earth, Family Circle, Decision and Woman’s World. She is a pastor’s wife, mother of three grown children and the grandmother of a precious little girl. She can be contacted at P.O. Box 53, Cordele, GA 31010, e-mail [email protected]

Jenna Glatzer is the editor-in-chief of Absolute Write (, a free online magazine for writers. She is the author/editor of several books, including Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders (Hunter House, fall 2002), an anthology of success stories from people who have overcome anxiety disorders. She and Anthony live in New York with Kira, the greatest cat in the world. She may be contacted at [email protected].

Diane Goldberg is a member of the IAFW&T writers association as well as the Horror Writers Association. She lives in Charlotte with her tolerant husband and demanding garden. You can find out about her fiction writing or contact her at

Lisa Bade Goodwin, forty-two, was born, raised and currently lives in the northern suburbs of Chicago with Pat, her husband of twenty-four years. They have two adult daughters, Kelly and Jenny. At the age of thirty-nine, after many years as a stay-at-home mom, Lisa decided to pursue her love of writing and landed a job as columnist for the Gurnee Sun. She is currently a columnist for a daily newspaper, the News Sun in Waukegan, Illinois. Her columns are about day-to-day life: sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes curious, but always true to life. She may be contacted at 329 W. Maple Ave., Libertyville, IL 60048, by phone at 847-549-8572, or via e-mail [email protected].

Norma Grove lives in Tucson, Arizona (where she was born in 1922), with her “new” husband, Bob, and Shih-Tzu, Bonnie. She has four living children (out of eight) and nine grandchildren ranging in age from thirty-five to seven years, none of whom live in the Tucson area. As coeditor of the newsletter for the Tucson Chapter of The Compassionate Friends (an international organization that provides support for the persons who have lost a child or children, grandchild or sibling), she has had the opportunity to be of support to other grieving parents. Her hobby is photography, and she is a member of the Society of Southwestern Authors, currently writing memoirs. She also studies Spanish. She can be reached at 520-885-5860, or e-mail [email protected]

Bruce Hanna is a father who lost his wife to melanoma. He writes and leads groups on feelings and observations of value in everyday experience. His current focus is helping people deal with impending death and terminal disease. He has worked in marketing, communications, software technology and education. He may be contacted at 1211 Plaza del Monte, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, or via e-mail at [email protected].

Joe A. Harding is an enthusiastic motivator of pastors and laity. He is known across the United Methodist Church as the author of GROWTH PLUS: The Vision and coauthor with Ralph Mohney of VISION 2000: Planning for Ministry in the Next Century. As past director of VISION 2000, he is calling the United Methodist Church to move away from negative images of decline and to lean forward into positive biblical images of new vision and hope. VISION 2000 has been adopted by thirty-six annual conferences representing 46.8 percent of the total United Methodist membership. Born in Missouri, Joe is an honors graduate of Emory University. He attended Candler School of Theology and is a cum laude graduate of Boston University School of Theology. He received his doctor of ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. Joe was organizing pastor of a new congregation in Salem, Oregon, which grew to eight hundred members in eight years. He has served as Seattle district superintendent and was senior pastor of one of the largest and most rapidly growing congregations in the Western Jurisdiction.

As a newspaperman (Louisville Courier-Journal and New York Times) Philip Harsham made African affairs a primary interest, but his magazine-article subjects have been limitless. Now retired and living in Florida, he and his wife Diane travel—often adventurously, most recently to Antarctica and Zimbabwe.

Timothy Hudson wears a lot of hats. At the University of Georgia he is the director of both Christian Campus Fellowship and the Institute for the Aberrant Group Studies. He is also a nationally ranked former powerlifter and current powerlifting referee. He has been married to Sheila S. Hudson, a freelance writer, for almost thirty-four years and they have two married daughters and three grandsons. Tim writes an e-mailed daily devotional called “Survival Guide,” which currently has over fifty-one hundred subscribers. Tim invites you to receive a sample “Survival Guide” by sending a blank e-mail to [email protected]. He may be reached at 161 Woodstone Drive, Athens, GA 30605, or via e-mail at [email protected].

Sherry Huxtable, at sixty years of age, has learned many lessons. Therefore, her priorities are now: her husband and children, her eleven grandchildren, her friends, and her job. Of course, her God always comes first in her life. She enjoys painting and writing. She has not always been successful in her writing, but continues to do it because it pleases her. She has been published several times. She enjoys Indy Car racing and attends as many races as possible around the country.

Daniel James lives with his wife in the northwestern United States. He is an observer of nature and human nature and is cursed or blessed with a dictate to wrestle with the wily word, which one day he hopes to do well. His writing appears frequently in and He can be contacted at [email protected]

Barbara Johnson didn’t write a word until she was fifty years old and now has sixteen books in print (over 6 million copies) in twenty-four languages and large print. Most of her books are Erma Bombeck sort of stuff for women . . . about frustrations with kids and husbands. Her newest book, Plant a Geranium in Your Cranium, is about her bout with a brain cancer tumor and handling cancer. She also has diabetes, and dealing with that and a cancerous brain tumor has been a challenge, but she hopes her books will encourage others. She may be reached at 2230 Lake Forest Cir., La Habra, CA 90631, or phone 562-691-7369.

LaVonne Anderson Kincaid is a real estate broker and her husband Tom is an architect, semi-famous for his designs and “one-liners.” The great love of their lives, aside from their four children, is the Ile St. Louis in Paris where they go on wine-and-dining binges as often as time and income permit. She can be reached by phone at: 262-249-8909 or by mail at N1545 Linn Road, Lake Geneva, WI 53147.

Carin Klabbers’s short stories until now have been published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Besides her household duties and volunteer work as a PR person, she is currently working on her own inspirational book. Contact her at: C. Klabbers, Koninginneweg 75, 2982 AH Ridderkerk, The Netherlands, or via e-mail [email protected]. Home page

Jeanne Knape has published over three hundred inspirational, nostalgic, craft and children’s stories and articles in a wide variety of national publications. She is active in both fine arts and crafts, working in many mediums, including watercolors, acrylic paints, collage, handmade paper and pressed flowers. Jeanne has been happily married to her husband, Ralph, for over twenty-five years. She earned her bachelor of fine arts degree and works as a part-time art teacher at an alternative high school. She volunteers over three hundred hours each year at a local library and a botanical center. Her hobbies include gardening, collecting antiques and traveling.

T. Jensen Lacey is a freelance journalist, teacher and author. Her books include two Native American histories, The Blackfeet and The Pawnee (Chelsea House), Amazing Tennessee and Amazing North Carolina (Rutledge Hill Press), and a young adult novel, Growing Season (1st Books Library—order at She enjoys speaking to groups and giving writer’s workshops. Lacey’s Web site is

Mary Dixon Lebeau is a newspaper columnist and freelance writer living in South Jersey. She and her husband, Scott, share their Saturday nights—and the rest of the week—with their four children. She can be reached at [email protected]

Karen H. Lucas is a social worker at Falcon Children’s Home and also serves as music director of her church. She graduated from Emmanuel College with a B.A. in psychology and is currently pursuing a career as a writer of children’s literature. Mrs. Lucas shares her home with her husband, Chip, dog, Mike, and parakeet, Ellie. She enjoys living in the small, close-knit community of Falcon, North Carolina, where friends and family are close at hand. Her hobbies include singing, reading, writing songs and stories, playing musical instruments and making crafts. She also enjoys submitting articles about Falcon happenings to the local newspapers. You may write her at P.O. Box 111, Falcon, NC 28342, or send her an e-mail at [email protected].

Carol MacAllister writes freelance historic-based and commentary pieces for local newspapers. She has received awards for her fiction writing and poetry from the NJ Wordsmiths, Florida State competition and numerous others. Her short stories are included in several trade paperbacks in the dark fantasy/horror genre. Her poem, “Martha’s Jumprope,” has been included in The Year’s Best Horror and Dark Fantasy for 2001. However, she admits that writing children’s stories for her grandchildren under the penname “Blue Grandma” delights her the most.

Meghan Mazour began writing when she was eight, filling tattered notebooks with her “novels.” Currently, she is an AmeriCorps volunteer in New Mexico. During the day, she works at a middle school teaching peace and conflict resolution skills. At night, she fills tattered notebooks with her novels. Her stories and articles have been published in national magazines and literary journals. She may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

Bruce McIver is a native of North Carolina. He was a graduate of Mars Hill College; Baylor University, which honored him with the Doctor of Laws degree and the George W. Truett Distinguished Service Award; and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, which gave him its Distinguished Alumni Award. In 1997, Texas Baptists honored him with the Elder Statesman Award. McIver pastored the Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, for thirty years, and upon his retirement was named Pastor Emeritus. He authored four books, Grinsights (Harty Press), Stories I Couldn’t Tell While I Was a Pastor, and Just as Long as I’m Riding Up Front (Word, Inc.). These last two were combined and published in a hardback edition by Guideposts. His fourth and final book, Riding the Wind of God, was published in March 2002 (Smyth & Helwys), three months following his death. He was a favorite speaker far and wide, telling stories from his books . . . and life. His favorite audience was his five grandchildren, who lovingly called him “Goose.”

Ami McKay lives in Nova Scotia, Canada, with her husband and two sons. She is a poet, freelance writer and musician. She is a regular contributor to CBC Radio. Her most recent work includes a radio documentary, “Kitchen Ghosts,” and an accompanying Webumentary, “The Midwife House.” She may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected]. Please visit her Web site at

Mary Mikkelsen grew up on a cattle farm in the Southwest Missouri Ozark region. In 1943 she received a B.S. degree in mathematics from Drury University. She was employed as a statistician by Eastman Kodak and Phillips Petroleum Company during World War II. As a stay-at-home mom she became an accomplished porcelain artist and a member of the Mid-Atlantic Porcelain Art Teachers Association. She has been an active volunteer in a number of community programs. Now in her eighties and living with her husband, Louis, in West Chester, Pennsylvania, she enjoys reading, searching the Internet and e-mailing her five granddaughters. She may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

Susan M. Miller lives in Ocoee, Florida, and has been married to her husband, Jeff, since 1991. They have two children, Amanda and Matthew. She has been a paralegal since December 1987 and is currently employed with the law firm of Terry and Frazier, LLP, in Orlando, Florida.

Margo Molthan and her husband Mike reside just outside of the small East Texas town of Palestine, along with their two black Labs, two cats and various wild ducks. After years of being a furniture sales representative in the Dallas area, Margo now enjoys volunteer work and being with her precious grandchildren. She loves to write poems, and wrote her story about Mike and his transplant one afternoon while reflecting over her life and wanted to get it down on paper. Never did she think it would end up in one of her favorite books! She may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

Wendy Natkong worked for thirty years in emergency medicine as a paramedic and instructor in Texas and Alaska. In 1999 she was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis and now resides in her home state of North Carolina with her husband Don. She may be reached at 21549 NC Hwy. 210 East, Ivanhoe, NC 28447, or via e-mail at [email protected].

Nena O’Neill is an anthropologist and writer always fascinated with relationships, especially contemporary relationships and how they face change. With her late husband she wrote two award-winning bestsellers. She writes articles, essays, poetry, columns and is currently working on a memoir and a novel about the O’Neill clan.

Chin Pak writes as a hobby and enjoys reading as well. She may be reached at 2307 Big Sky Street, Caldwell, ID 83605, or via e-mail at [email protected].

Edmund Phillips served as a psychologist in various capacities throughout his professional career. He recently retired from his position as chief psychologist at the Veteran’s Administration hospitals in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. This is his first nonprofessional publication. The story is true. When people would ask how he and his wife met, his reply was, “I asked her to marry me before we met, and she said yes.” The tale of their correspondence followed. He was encouraged to write the story by many who heard it. He enjoyed writing it as it demonstrates that romance and humor can go hand in hand. He may be reached at 10011 77th Street SW, Lakewood, WA 98498, by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (253) 582-5431.

Dennis Rach is a husband, father, writer and ministry professional living in Orlando, Florida. He authored the book Dear Daddy (Concordia Publishing House). Along with raising their two precious children, he and his wife Nikki (Dear Mommy, Concordia) serve as speakers and trainers for congregations in the areas of staff/volunteer development and ministry program formation. He may be reached at 3230 TCU Blvd., Orlando, FL 32817, or via e-mail at [email protected].

Margaret E. Reed is a home-schooling mom of three teenagers. She has been married nineteen years to her high school sweetheart, Chris. God willing they will have at least another nineteen years together. She enjoys writing and reading, as well as sewing, gardening and singing. She may be reached at 3560 High Bluff Drive, Dallas, TX 75234, or via e-mail at [email protected].

Mary Roach’s essays and features have appeared in Outside, Salon, Health, The New York Times Magazine, Wired and GQ, among others. She writes a monthly humor column called “My Planet” for Reader’s Digest and is a contributing editor at the science magazine Discover. Her first book, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, will be published by W.W. Norton in spring 2003. She lives in San Francisco with her husband Ed.

Phyllis A. Robeson, born and raised in San Jose, California, earned a bachelor of fine arts degree (majoring in art history and watercolor) at the University of Nebraska, in Lincoln, where she presently resides. She married a career U.S. Army office/aviator (retired) and has one daughter. Phyllis writes because of the encouragement of family and friends, and in the process she has published a number of articles in national publications. She loves working with color in decorating, painting, in the garden and also as a member of a floral arrangers guild.

Lori Robidoux is a chartered accountant and part-time writer who lives with her husband and two daughters near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She began writing for her children several years ago, and has written a number of mid-grade and young adult novels. The story “Six Red Roses” was written after her children begged her to “tell us the story about you and Daddy again.” She can be contacted at Grp 108, Box 18, RR1, Vermette, Manitoba, Canada, R0G 2W0, or by e-mail at [email protected].

Victoria Robinson lives in a small Texas town with her husband, Asa. She is a homemaker and has written poetry and short stories all of her life to get the events of her life on paper. She has two children and four grandchildren. Now that her children are grown, she has settled down to do what she loves: writing. Having her work published is a dream come true. You may contact Victoria at 235 Port Road, Angleton, TX 77515, by e-mail at [email protected], or by phone at 409-848-3530.

Gwen Romero is a mother, wife, sister and friend who manages to teach English and creative writing in rural Utah high schools. She has had several articles published in local papers. Her real passions are literature and her family. She may be reached via e-mail at [email protected]

Tina Runge lives with her leading man, Ray, and their three sons among cow pies and Amish buggies in a small town in northern Indiana. A published romance author, her debut novel, Treasures of the Heart, was released at the end of 1999 by Berley Jove and was a finalist in the Ohio Valley Notable New Author Contest. She enjoys sharing her publishing experiences and is a frequent speaker at writer’s conferences, club meetings and schools. This romantic at heart loves to travel and swim and can be found most often sitting on bleachers rah-rahing her own young heroes in all of their sporting events. She’s also a true hands-on researcher who likes to visit the places she writes about. Her most current trip was to Astoria, Oregon, the setting for her upcoming romantic suspense novel. Reading, writing and her husband are her passions. And not necessarily in that order! Tina can be reached at: P.O. Box 1468, Middlebury, IN 46540, or via e-mail at [email protected] or at her Web site

Arthur Sánchez has degrees in theater and political science. He is presently residing in Peekskill, New York, with his wife Catherine and is finishing up work on a novel. “I hope Frances remembers me as fondly as I remember her.” He may be reached via e-mail at [email protected].

Susan Sarver is a senior editor for a university, a freelance writer and a former newspaper columnist. Her essays have appeared in Reader’s Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Country Living and Grit. Family is frequently a subject of her writings. Her two daughters, who often serve as editors and gentle critics, continue to inspire her work.

Chris Schroder graduated from the University of Virginia and worked for six Southeastern daily newspapers before starting his own three community newspapers in his hometown of Atlanta in 1994. He currently serves as general manager at Weltner Communications. He’s a writer, a speaker and father to Sally and Thomas. E-mail: [email protected]; Web site:

Michael Seale is a columnist and a reporter for the Daily Home newspaper based in Talladega, Alabama. He writes local sports and news stories, and his column appears every Saturday. In addition to his vast number of writing assignments for the newspaper, he also writes short fiction and has done some freelance sports writing. He is an avid sports fan and has been active in his community’s youth baseball league as an umpire for the last twelve years. He and his wife, Dee, live in Birmingham, Alabama. Michael can be reached at [email protected]

Jean Shanley has been a writer at The Meadville Tribune for forty years. She enjoys writing about people and how God uses their stories to affect the lives of others. She enjoys church, the historical society and helping bereaved parents. Her greatest joys have been her two children and her granddaughter.

Margaret Shauers has been a freelance writer for thirty-five years. She is a contributing editor to Children’s Book Insider, field editor for Taste of Home and an online columnist of She may be reached at [email protected].

Kevin H. Siepel is an environmental scientist who teaches Spanish on the side. He has had essays, poems, and historical and pop-science pieces published in various journals, among them the Christian Science Monitor, Reader’s Digest, Virginia Cavalcade, Civil War, Wild West, and Notre Dame University Magazine. He is the author of Rebel: The Life and Times of John Singleton Mosby (St. Martins Press, 1983; DaCapo Press, 1997), the first complete biography of one of the Confederacy’s best-known military leaders. He may be reached at [email protected].

Susan Siersma recently left a career in special education to help with the care of a family member. In her spare time, she enjoys sharing the out-of-doors with her husband, Rodger. In June, she and her husband will celebrate their thirtieth wedding anniversary. One of her stories, Gone Readin’, appeared in the March/April 2002 issue of Inside Line fishing magazine. She can be reached at [email protected].

Andy Skidmore enjoys writing, photography and baking. She is a member of the Central Church of Christ in Cleveland, Tennessee. She has been published in Woman’s World, Christian Woman’s magazine, Poetry Guild’s newest anthology, Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Parent’s Soul. She won first prize in the North American Open Amateur Photography Contest. This story was written as her anniversary card to her husband on their thirtieth wedding anniversary. She may be reached at 4710 North Cree Lane, Cleveland, TN 37312, or via e-mail at [email protected].

Mary Ann Stafford is a mother of two and grandmother of two. She enjoys working with stained glass. The majority of her stained glass pieces are angels, which adorn many windows of her home and the homes of her family and friends. She also collects angels, which are placed throughout her home. Her other hobbies are reading, writing and giving psychic readings. She has performed many readings for family and friends over the years and finds this extremely enjoyable. She may be contacted at 2384 S. Nolting, Springfield, MO 65807.

When Joyce Stark was very small, her granddad used to offer to read her bedtime stories. She used to lie in bed and tell him her own made-up stories, and he would listen and then fall asleep, leaving her wide-awake, making up more stories! Not much has changed except that she finds people and real life so much more interesting than anything she could make up. She works full time in an office, but writes every spare minute she has.

Ed Stivender has been called “the Robin Williams of storytellers” by the Miami Herald. A Philadelphia native, Ed Stivender was the only son of an Irish Catholic mother and a Protestant father. His mother frequently prayed for him to become a priest but his father warned, “Son, never get a job where you have to wear a dress to work.” He earned a master’s degree in theology and taught religion in a parochial high school in Hartford, Connecticut, for several years. Since leaving his “day job” as a teacher in 1977, he has fabulated his way around the world, performing in schools, churches, theaters and storytelling festivals. Stivender is also a Shakespearean actor, banjo player, teacher, theologian, Mummer, dreamer, juggler and raconteur. He is a featured performer at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, Tennessee, where he has been a perennial favorite since 1980. He has toured North America, Ireland, Indonesia and New Zealand with his one-man shows. In addition to his storytelling, he has written two books of coming-of-age stories as well as several articles that have been featured in Reader’s Digest, Catholic Digest and Hartford Business Journal.

Ken Swarner writes the syndicated humor column “Family Man” for newspapers in the United States and Canada. His first book appears on the Perigee label in spring 2003. He can be seen at or e-mailed at [email protected].

Mary L. TenHaken has been a lifelong resident of Sheyboygan County, Wisconsin. She grew up on a farm and loves the simplicity that goes with country living. She works as an executive assistant nearing retirement age, and she plans to work as long as she can to meet expenses for herself and her husband, who had a severe stroke at an early age. He now lives in an assisted living facility near her workplace, and so her personal boundaries have “moved in” a bit. She has recently begun writing short paragraphs purely for personal pleasure and to become part of a journal she will leave to her two sons. She may be reached at N2357 CTH KW, Oostburg, WI 53070.

Lisa Ferris Terzich lives in Arizona with her husband and soul mate, Ralph, and darling daughter, Alexis. In addition to writing, she enjoys all things creative. Her claim to fame with friends and family is being “an idiot savant of useless information.” Lisa can be reached at [email protected].

Chuck Thompson was raised in Palm Springs, California, and Juneau, Alaska. He’s the author of The 25 Best World War II Travel Sites: Pacific Theater (Greenline, 2002) and the former executive editor of Travelocity magazine. His writing and photography have appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Maxim, National Geographic Adventure, Playboy, Islands, Reader’s Digest, Publisher’s Weekly, MTV and many other outlets. This story originally appeared in the Valentine’s Day issue of American Way magazine, February 1, 1995. He graduated from the University of Oregon with degrees in history and journalism.

Betty Tucker (Bee Tee to her friends and family) is a professor and departmental chairwoman of information systems and technologies at the Goddard School of Business and Economics at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. She delights in the exchange of teaching and learning in education. Betty and her husband, Kent, believe in helping others help themselves, especially her grandchildren: Ashlee, Kyler, Koleby, Cailey, Jayden, Rylie, Trey, Parker and Camden. She can be reached at [email protected].

Trish Vradenburg has written for Designing Women, Family Ties, and Kate and Allie. Her novel, Liberated Lady, was a Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selection. She has written humor pieces for The New York Daily News, The Boston Globe, Ladies Home Journal and Woman’s Day. Her play, Surviving Grace, was produced at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and off-Broadway at Union Square Theater. Since her children refuse to be quoted, she is running out of family members to write about. She may be reached on e-mail at: [email protected].

Catherine Walker with joy has counted it a privilege to share her story in Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul. Some of her most memorable life experiences are wonderful stories of humor, lessons of living and reminiscent modeling of days gone by. She has had no formal literary training but rather writes from her heart and from the many experiences in life that have chiseled and molded her character themost. Her story is just one of those experiences. Encouraging young people, especially her children and grandchildren, to explore the love of writing and art has been a passion and a way of life for her. She may be reached at [email protected]

Sandra Wallace and her husband, Charles, live in Newton, Kansas. They have two grown sons who live in nearby communities. This is Sandy’s first short story. Her life centers on God, family and music, singing at local churches as a soloist or with family members. She enjoys cooking, making handmade crafts for gifts and, for ultimate relaxation, loves to curl up with a good book on the loveseat that sits in front of the home’s sunny afternoon west window. She is a full-time staff member of a local law firm. She can be reached at [email protected].

Evelyn “Wendy” Wander is a retired accountant. She and her husband Bob spend time between homes in Miami, Florida, with granddaughter Brianna, and Welch, West Virginia, where Evelyn is working on her first novel. She has had several short stories published. She can be reached at [email protected].

Thomas Webber was a loving and caring husband to his wife Sandra for almost thirty-nine years before he passed away. He wrote “Three Kisses” for her birthday in 1998, three years before his passing. This story has brought her comfort even in these rough times of dealing with his death. She hopes reading “Three Kisses” will help people to appreciate what they have.

Ernie Witham writes a humor column called “Ernie’s World” for the Montecito Journal in Montecito, California. His humor has also been published in the Los Angeles Times, the Santa Barbara News-Press, and in six Chicken Soup anthologies. His first published collection, Ernie’s World (the book), is available in bookstores and at [email protected]. He is also available to lead humor workshops for any age group and can be reached at [email protected].

Helen Xenakis. Chicken Soup says tell me about yourself, dear. Keep it short, sweet and perfectly clear. Helen, who are you? Woman, educator, friend, wife, mother, grandma, writer with pen. All of the above and hopefully more. So proud to contribute with hope for lots more. Thanks for the chance, glad I am your pick for selection into Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul!

Barbara Zukowski is a retired OB nurse, semiretired piano teacher, part-time musician and romance writer. Besides having published several romantic short stories, she has had writing-related articles appear in Writer’s Digest and Yellow Sticky Notes magazines. When she’s not busy creating at her Colorado home, Barbara loves to travel. And now that her son is college-bound, she hopes to find inspiration during her visits to as many exotic locations as possible! Therefore, the best way to contact her is by e-mail: [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