Meet Our Contributors

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life

Meet Our Contributors

J.C. Andrew lives in Sedona, AZ and is a professional artist and writer. She produces fiction, short stories, and poetry. Her most recent project is the mystery Painted Death, a book based on her experiences in Alaska. E-mail her at [email protected].

Carol Ayer’s personal essays have been published by The Christian Science Monitor, and in previous editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her other credits include Woman’s World, True Story, and The Washington Pastime. Learn more at

Pam Bailes, having reached the age where such things are possible, divides her time between her two passions. Half is spent banging out stories on the computer, the other half shanking golf balls into the desert. She is abetted in these endeavors by her Jack Russell, four horses, and her daughter who lives nearby.

Garrett Bauman successfully finished his course in physical therapy and now rides a real bicycle on the sandy trails of South Carolina’s islands and wooded trails in rural New York. His work has been in a dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul books and in many other publications. E-mail him at [email protected].

Jay H. Berman is disabled but remains as active as possible. He spends most of his time reading and writing. Occasionally, his political commentary appears on blogs like Jay’s primary interests are politics, literature, history and baseball.

Jan Bono’s specialty is humorous personal experience. She has published five collections, two poetry chapbooks, nine one-act plays, a dinner theater play, and written for magazines ranging from Guideposts to Woman’s World. Jan is currently writing a mystery series set on the southwest Washington coast. Learn more at

Marilyn Boone is a former elementary school teacher, having received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Tulsa. She is an active member of Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. and her local writers’ group. When not writing, Marilyn enjoys traveling, gardening and baking.

Paul Bowling is the father of two children, husband to his wife of fourteen years and a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He is still a member of a motorcycle club and continues to ride and write when he has the opportunity. Paul has never taken any formal writing classes; it’s just simply something he enjoys doing.

Dr. Robert J. Brake is a resident of Ocean Park, WA, and a retired college teacher. He earned his Ph.D. at Michigan State University and has published several hundred essays and three books. Since his Eden Express adventure, Brake has served on numerous nonprofit boards and has dedicated his life to serving others.

Christine Burke is an artist, writer and educator. She studied art under Karl Kuerner, who was mentored by Andrew Wyeth. Look for her upcoming children’s book titled A Dream Inside (Cedar Tree Books). Christine taught in the public schools and now teaches art lessons and workshops to children and adults.

P. Avice Carr calls herself a tumbleweed. She uses the tumbleweed to explain moving and writing stories, gathered along the way. She stayed in Ontario long enough to graduate from Western University. Learn more at

Sharron Carrns’ roles in life, work and writing draw upon her years as a wife, mother, God mom, mentor, small groups director and corporate training specialist. She lives in Spring Lake, MI with her husband and two of her children.

Jennifer Chauhan is the Executive Director of Project Write Now (, an organization dedicated to fostering a love of writing in young people. She has an M.A. degree in English Education from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. She lives on the Jersey Shore with her three children.

Born and raised in England, Christopher Clark moved to Cape Town in 2009 after travelling to more than fifty countries worldwide. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media and Writing from the University of Cape Town, and now writes about travel and international affairs for a number of local and international publications.

Esther Clark lives in Southern California with her husband of forty years. They spend summers with their children and grandchildren in their lakefront home in Michigan, near where Esther grew up. Esther enjoys public speaking, leading Bible studies, entertaining, international travel, bike riding, hiking, and snow skiing.

David Cranmer is the editor and publisher of BEAT to a PULP webzine and books. Under the pen name Edward A. Grainger, he writes the Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles short stories and is a regular contributor to Macmillan’s website Criminal Element. He lives in New York with his wife and daughter.

Lynn Dove is “thriving” by teaching, writing, blogging and cuddling her grandchildren every chance she gets! Lynn loves to connect with readers through her award-winning blog: Journey Thoughts (

MaryLou Driedger is a retired educator who taught in Hong Kong, on the Hopi Indian Reservation in Arizona, and in Manitoba, Canada where she received the Teacher of the Year award. She is currently a newspaper columnist, art gallery tour guide and university faculty advisor. Her favorite role in life is being a grandmother.

Neither blindness at thirty-one, unthinkable tragedy nor painful injustice defeated Janet Perez Eckles. In spite of adversity, she has become an international keynote speaker for Spanish and English-speaking audiences. She is a #1 bestselling author, radio host, life coach, Master Interpreter, columnist and Christian leader.

Terri Elders lives near Colville, WA, with three cats and a dog. A lifelong writer and editor, Terri’s stories have appeared in multiple editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul. She co-edited Not Your Mother’s Book… On Travel. She blogs at and can be contacted at [email protected].

Shawnelle Eliasen and her husband Lonny raise their brood of five boys near the Illinois banks of the Mississippi River. She’s thrilled to have contributed to many Chicken Soup for the Soul titles, and currently contributes to several inspirational publications and blogs twice weekly for

Sara Etgen-Baker’s love for words began when, as a young girl, her mother read the dictionary to her every night. A teacher’s unexpected whisper, “You’ve got writing talent,” ignited her writing desire. Although she ignored that whisper, she never forgot those words. So, after retirement, she began writing memoirs and narratives.

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, son, and daughter. E-mail Melissa at [email protected].

Tanya Feke, MD is a board certified family physician and patient advocate. Her book Medicare Essentials: A Physician Insider Explains the Fine Print is a bestseller on Amazon. She is also a film critic for Record Journal and runs a health and entertainment website at She enjoys time with her family.

Liz Maxwell Forbes is published in a number of anthologies. Recently a story from her “back to the land” days appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada The Wonders of Winter. When not writing, she enjoys time with her life partner, her dog and her garden in seaside Crofton, BC, Canada.

Debra Wallace Forman is an award-winning journalist, motivational speaker and editor, with more than thirty years of writing experience. She achieved her dream of using her writing to improve the world. She is the proud mom of an eight-year-old son, Adam, who has shown her what true love is all about. E-mail her at [email protected].

Dr. Shari Hall, a Yale and Columbia graduate, formerly worked with wounded warriors at Walter Reed in D.C. An international recording artist, she recently released her second album, Faith. She enjoys being a mother of two and inspiring others to live a healthy, passionate life. Email her at [email protected] or visit

Marijo Herndon currently lives in New York with her husband, Dave, and two rescue cats, Lucy and Ethel. Marijo’s stories, ranging from humor to inspiration, appear in several books and publications.

Katherine Higgs-Coulthard writes from her home in Michigan where she lives with her husband, their four children, and one spoiled rotten Border Collie mix named Hershey.

Jennie Ivey lives in Tennessee. She is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including several stories in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Learn more at

Chris Jahrman grew up in sleepy towns in Indiana and Oklahoma that were so small that drivers rarely used turn signals — because everyone knew where everyone else was going. He now lives, works, and writes in the Pacific Northwest where the people are colorful and the skies are gray. You’ll find his books on Amazon.

Val Jones, a professional freelance writer, has taught English for twenty years. A breast cancer survivor, she founded the Facebook community, Victorious Val & the Breast Cancer Crusaders, to encourage survivors, co-survivors and supporters. When she’s not writing, Val volunteers in the breast cancer community.

Angela Joseph is an occupational therapist by day and a writer at all other times. In addition to freelance writing, Angela has authored Women for All Seasons, a Christian nonfiction book, as well as the Egypt series of Christian women’s fiction. Angela also enjoys reading, photography, travel and glass etching.

Shannon Kaiser left her successful career in advertising to follow her heart and be a writer, life coach, inspirational speaker, travel writer and author. She is a six-time contributing author to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Visit her award-winning website

Fallon Kane is a twenty-year-old student currently studying psychology and criminal justice at Adelphi University. This is her fourth Chicken Soup for the Soul story published. Other than writing, Fallon enjoys food, running, and research. She would like to thank the Murwins at Awesome Country for inspiring this story!

Susan Karas is a contributing writer for Guideposts magazine and various anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Soul. Susan is a praise dancer, appearing at many venues to honor the Lord. A dedicated mother of two, Susan resides on Long Island with her teacup Maltese, Bentley. E-mail her at [email protected].

Uber athlete and The New York Times bestselling author, Dean Karnazes was named by TIME magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World.” Among his many accomplishments, he once ran fifty marathons, in all fifty U.S. states, in fifty consecutive days. Dean lives with his wife and family in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Andrew E. Kaufman is an international bestselling author, who lives in Southern California with his Labrador Retrievers, horses, and a very bossy Jack Russell Terrier who thinks she owns the place. He began his career as a writer/producer at the CBS affiliate in San Diego, then moved to the Los Angeles market, where he decided that writing about real life wasn’t nearly as fun as making it up. Learn more at

Lynn Kinnaman is a writer, web designer, marketing coach and techsavvy woman. She’s published books and magazine articles for decades. Owner of Works by Design, she builds websites and also coaches/ advises small businesses and individuals. She continues to write and publish fiction and nonfiction in her spare time.

Kathleen Kohler writes stories about the ups and downs of family life for numerous magazines and anthologies. She and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest, and have three children and seven grandchildren. Visit to read more of her articles or enter her latest drawing.

Nancy Julien Kopp draws from her growing-up years in Chicago and many more in the Flint Hills of Kansas for essays, stories, poems, and articles. She is in fourteen Chicken Soup for the Soul books, other anthologies, magazines, newspapers, and e-zines. A former teacher, she still enjoys teaching through the written word.

Lisa McManus Lange is a writer in Victoria, BC. She is multi-published with many anthologies including Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her first young adult novel, Newbie Nick, has been published by Lycaon Press as an eBook. Find her at, or e-mail her at [email protected].

Lori Lara is a writer, blogger, black belt martial artist, and trauma survivor. She passionately shares the hope and healing of Jesus with people struggling with depression, PTSD, grief, and addiction. She lives in Northern California with her husband Robert and two sons. E-mail her at [email protected].

Erin Latimer is a writer, blogger and tea connoisseur who resides in the city of Vancouver, BC. When she isn’t writing she enjoys blogging and making silly videos about writing for her YouTube channel. E-mail her at [email protected].

Arlene Ledbetter holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dalton College. She has written adult Sunday school curriculum, been published in a number of magazines and has stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Kids and Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Multitasking Mom’s Survival Guide. Learn more at

Jane Lonnqvist is a retired special needs teacher who became a program coordinator and columnist. She has been married to her husband Jeff for forty-two years. They have two married sons and two grandsons, Dylan and Jacob. She plans to continue writing and fundraising with craft projects.

Patricia Lorenz is the author of thirteen books and hundreds of stories in many publications, including over sixty Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She has rebooted her life many times and is currently following her dreams while she’s still awake in Largo, FL. To contact her as a possible speaker, visit

Diana Lynn is a freelance writer and small business owner in Washington State. This is her sixth story in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. Her goal is double digits! E-mail her at [email protected].

Cherie Magnus, a California native, was a dance research librarian in the Los Angeles Public Library and a dance critic for local newspapers before moving to France, Mexico, and finally to Argentina in 2003. She returned to Los Angeles in 2014. E-mail her at [email protected].

James C. Magruder has been published in Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Journal, HomeLife, Christian Communicator and several Chicken Soup for the Soul books. He blogs about the writing life at His son, David, mentioned in his story, is also a professional writer today.

Sue Mannering, an Australian, moved to the Middle East in 2005 with her family of five. She now lives in Southeast Asia with her husband. While moving children into and out of college, she blogs about travel, food and life, writes articles and teaches English. She is always working on her latest novel. E-mail her at [email protected].

Dawn A. Marcus, M.D. of Franklin Park, PA passed away in October of 2013. She was the beloved wife of twenty-eight years to Richard J. Marcus, M.D.; mother of Steven and Brian. Dawn was a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, where she visited patients with two therapy dogs.

Sean Marshall currently lives in Cozumel, Mexico with his wife and three daughters. When he’s not scuba diving, he’s an active proponent of lifestyle design and helping others take the steps necessary to create their ideal lifestyle.

Karen Martin loves traveling, sunshine and good stories. She’ll interview anyone who will let her and writes copy for small businesses, film companies and fundraisers. At print time, she was shopping for plane tickets to Peru to pick up her four kids. You can read her stories or contact her at

Lisa Morris currently teaches fourth grade ELA in Niceville, FL. She has been teaching for twenty-three years and recently added adjunct professor of education to her résumé. Lisa has published five educational books to date and many memoirs and articles. E-mail her at [email protected].

Giulietta Nardone lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two cats. Her stories have been published in books, newspapers and broadcast on the radio. In addition to writing, Giulietta paints, sings, acts, hikes, bikes, travels and saves historic buildings. E-mail her at [email protected].

Sylvia Ney is a freelance writer, publishing newspaper and magazine articles, photography, poetry, and short stories. She serves as President of Texas Gulf Coast Writers, and is a member of Bayou Writers Group in Louisiana. To learn more about her, visit her blog at

Maggi Normile may enjoy sparring, leaping over obstacles, and running in mud, but she also enjoys low-key activities like writing, reading, and watching classic movies. When she isn’t finding new adventures to try, the Pittsburgh, PA native is active in her church and missions. Visit her blog at

Angela M. Ogburn attended Georgia Southern University and is currently an instructor at Elgin Community College in northern Illinois. She has been previously published in academic journals and in fiction anthologies. When not working, she enjoys traveling, writing, and spending time with her husband and their dog, Henry.

Rebecca Olker earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at UC Riverside and her Master of Science degree in Taxation at Golden Gate University. She works as an accountant in Santa Cruz. When she is not writing, Rebecca enjoys knitting, going to the beach with her dogs and spending time with family and friends.

Alli Page is a special needs tutor and founder of, an inspirational website designed to help readers lead fulfilled, healthy lives daily. When she is not writing or tutoring, you can find Alli playing her cello or ukulele and dreaming of further travel adventures.

Kristi Paxton lives life in Iowa woods and eastern rivers. Her happiest moments include family, friends, coffee, and the great outdoors. Kristi writes, teaches, walks, reads, and loves to kayak. The Paxtons and pup embark on their Great Loop adventure September 2014. E-mail her at [email protected].

Marsha Porter has reviewed thousands of films, written hundreds of articles and dozens of short stories. She fell in love with writing when the 500-word essay was the punishment du jour at her Catholic grade school.

Heather Ray grew up in Maine and now lives in Daytona Beach, FL with her two children. She attended the University of Maine and has since taken a career in training others. She enjoys long walks, snorkeling, swimming, good friends, and spending quality time with the kids. This is her first publication.

Denise Reich is an Italian-born, New York City-raised freelance writer. She has contributed to numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul books and currently writes for the Canadian magazine Shameless. Denise can usually be found dancing in media events, drawing, reading, or cheering at rock concerts and baseball games.

Connie Rosser Riddle is a middle school nurse and writer who lives in Durham, NC with her husband, David. She continues to take yearly solo journeys and has recently completed a memoir that describes these adventures. E-mail her at [email protected].

Sioux Roslawski is a third grade teacher in St. Louis. She rescues dogs, dotes on her granddaughter, is a teacher consultant for the Gateway Writing Project and is a three-time skydiver. (Someday she’ll solo dive.) In her spare time, Sioux writes. More of her writing can be found at

Nicole Ross is a corporate marketer, freelance copywriter, aspiring novelist, recovering blogger, and chronic hobbyist who is equally at home on the back of a horse, inside the boxing ring, pounding away at her keyboard, or perched in downward dog atop her yoga mat. Learn more at

Stacy Ross has a B.S. degree from Cornell University and an MBA degree from the University of Rochester. She currently writes part-time and teaches yoga in New Jersey. You can read more about Stacy’s family experiences on her blog, Eggshells and Laughter, at

Jeanette Rubin has maintained her sobriety, and continues to speak against drug use. Jeanette plans to study child development and juvenile delinquency. She has dreams of traveling the world and sharing her story.

Tanya Rusheon is a happily married mother of one little boy and two very hairy Himalayans. Her new career as a stay-at-home mom is progressing well. What little free time she manages between caring for the new baby and grooming the cats is devoted to writing. Tanya hopes to finish her first novel later this year.

Theresa Sanders is honored to be a frequent Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor. She lives with her husband near St. Louis, where she is completing her third novel, set (coincidentally!) at the Jersey Shore. Connect with Theresa on Facebook at

Eloise Elaine Schneider is a writer and artist. She often combines her two loves by illustrating her own books. Eloise Elaine’s profile website can be found at

Jaime Schreiner is a freelance writer and speaker from the Canadian Prairies, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Hallmark, and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family magazine. Learn more at or e-mail her at [email protected].

Jennifer Sky, a former model and actress, has written for The New York Times, New York Magazine’s “The Cut,” the New York Observer, and Interview magazine. Her e-book, Queen of the Tokyo Ballroom, published by The Atavist, is part of her memoir-in-progress about the true life of a teenage girl working in the fashion industry. She is a models’ rights advocate and lives in Brooklyn.

Elizabeth Smayda has two stories published in Chicken Soup for the Soul books and one this year in the Alzheimer’s Society of B.C.’s publication. She works in the field of social services and co-authored a study involving eating disorders published in 2005. She is so grateful for her family!

Tyler Stocks is a sophomore history and English major at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. He’s a freelance journalist and has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines. He lives in Greenville with his girlfriend, his dog, and his blind kitten. Learn more at

Amy L. Stout is a wife, mommy, and autism advocate who loves travel, coffee houses, books and especially Jesus! As a child of the King, her tiara is often missing, dusty, bent, or crooked, but she will always and forever be “His Treasured Princess.” Reach her through or [email protected].

Carol Strazer has had several of her essays appear in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She published her first novel, Barbed Wire & Daisies, a historical fiction based on a little known story from WWII. She and her husband help maintain their mountain community church. They enjoy their children and six grandchildren.

L.A. Strucke is a writer, songwriter and producer. She graduated from Rowan University in 2005. Her four children are her inspiration. This is her third contribution to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Contact her at [email protected] or

B.J. Taylor loves how she looks and feels, which helps her to choose wisely. She’s an award-winning author whose work has appeared in Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and numerous magazines/ newspapers. You can reach B.J. through her website Check out her dog blog at

Kamia Taylor has been winning writing contests since sixth grade, and drafted legal documents for real estate companies for twenty years. She is now on disability and living on a small organic farm and wildlife sanctuary with five rescued dogs. She plans to write more and expand her dog rescue efforts. E-mail her at [email protected].

Brian Teason is an attorney. He was the 1997 and 1998 U.S. 50 Mile Road Champion, 1997 50 Mile Trail Champion and has represented the U.S. at two World Championships. Since his comeback, he has set the national age group road record for 100 miles.

Kay Thomann is a newlywed. She and her new husband enjoy summers in Alaska and winters in Iowa, with intermittent trips south. She continues to write stories to entertain and inspire her readers and is grateful to have been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: From Lemons to Lemonade.

Kristin Viola is a Los Angeles-based writer who has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Zagat, Angeleno and other publications. Aside from running, she loves traveling, reading and a good glass of wine. E-mail her at [email protected].

Jessie Wagoner is the laughing lady behind the She is mom to one wonderful son and is a full-time reporter. In her little free time she enjoys traveling, reading and going on adventures with her son.

Pat Wahler is a grant writer by day and award-winning writer of essays and short stories by night. Her work can be found in both national and local publications. A lifelong animal lover, Pat ponders critters, writing, and life’s little mysteries at

Roz Warren writes for The New York Times, Funny Times, The Jewish Daily Forward and The Christian Science Monitor, and has been featured on the Today show twice. Read more of her work at

Dorann Weber is a freelance photographer who lives in New Jersey with her husband and five children. Three dogs, a cat and chickens complete the Weber home. Dorann became interested in writing when she entered greeting card competitions where eight of her verses were published. Her works are also written in a short storybook.

Kathy Whirity is a syndicated newspaper columnist who shares her sentimental musings on family life. Kathy is the author of Life is a Kaleidoscope, a compilation of some of her most popular columns. Learn more at

Ann Michener Winter has been writing creative nonfiction and poetry since age eleven. She is previously published in two Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Ann is from Pasadena, CA, and has lived in Santa Barbara for forty years.

Ferida Wolff is author of seventeen books for children and three essay books for adults. She writes a weekly blog,, which looks at the nature/human connection. She has a passion for traveling and observing the world’s birds, plants, and animals. She can be reached at [email protected].

Deborah K. Wood is a writer, consultant, life coach, and adventurer on the journey of Life. She has been writing (and rewriting) forever, and believes in the healing power of telling one’s story.

Peter Wood is the author of Confessions of a Fighter: Battling Through the Golden Gloves and A Clenched Fist: The Making of a Golden Gloves Champion. He teaches English at White Plains High School in New York. When not writing, he enjoys painting, running and yoga. E-mail him at [email protected].

Dallas Woodburn has written fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including the Nashville Review, Los Angeles Times, and Louisiana Literature. Her short story collection was a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Connect with her at and

Brenda Lazzaro Yoder is a speaker and writer on faith, life and parenting. She has degrees in mental health counseling and education. Brenda won the Powerful Connection award for teachers and is a school counselor with a private practice. Brenda lives on a farm with her husband and four children. E-mail her at [email protected].

Sabrina Zackery now uses a new OS system in her personal and professional life. Her company, MZ3 Productions, focuses on family and children entertainment. Her award-winning screenplay, The Horse of His Dreams, is slated for production. Follow her on Facebook at

Heather Zuber-Harshman is a writer, speaker, and professor. She recently completed a mystery novel, and submits short stories for publication while posting stories about faith, cooking, and traveling on her blog. In between projects she enjoys bicycling, traveling, snowboarding, and camping with her husband Dale and son.

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