Meet Our Contributors

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel

Meet Our Contributors

Monica A. Andermann lives on Long Island with her husband Bill and their latest addition, a cat named Samson. Her writing has been included in such publications as Guideposts, Sasee, and Woman’s World, as well as many other Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

Lorraine Bruno Arsenault is a yoga teacher and author of The Long Run Home, poetry in The Healing Muse, and “In the Light” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven. Lorraine holds a B.A. in Philosophy. She’s a member of the Downtown Writer’s Center and lives with her family and rescue dog near Syracuse, NY.

Francine L. Baldwin-Billingslea has been published in over twenty-five anthologies, including the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Whispering Angel, Thin Threads and Silver Boomer, as well as The Rambler, Mused and Sasee magazines. She has authored an inspirational memoir titled, Through It All and Out on the Other Side.

Marla Bernard is a passionate victim’s rights advocate, writer and public speaker. She holds a Masters of Arts degree with honors from Baker University and is a professor for a national university where she has written several criminal justice courses. She recently published a true crime novel entitled Through the Rain.

Michele Boom turned in her teacher chalkboard to be an at-home mom. While juggling two toddlers and a traveling husband, she began to write. Her work appears in regional magazines across the U.S. and Canada. She is also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Parenthood. Visit her at

Kitrina Brian is a stay-at-home mom, homeschooling her two young children. She enjoys learning, exploring and finding educational experiences with her kids in everyday life.

Christine Brooks is a freelance writer who lives in western Massachusetts with her very opinionated dog, Clancy. She has published several essays in magazines across the world and one book, Postcards from the Road. Christine received her Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, from Western New England University in 1999.

Susie Brunton is an aspiring writer, currently working as an administration manager. She has a wonderful husband, two beautiful twins and two equally beautiful stepchildren. Susie enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her fabulous friends. She plans to continue writing inspirational content.

Jill Burns lives in the mountains of West Virginia with her wonderful family. She’s a retired piano teacher and performer. She enjoys writing, music, gardening, nature, and spending time with her grandchildren.

May Carlson received her Bachelor of Science degree from Northeastern University. She maintained a successful career in finance and is working on a collection of stories based on her journey as a single mother. She hopes to document her spiritual life to enhance and empower the lives of others. E-mail her at [email protected].

Danny Carpenter is a Texas pastor, author/writer, Vietnam veteran, proud father of two daughters, and grandfather of three great kids. He enjoys golfing, strumming the ukulele, and family trips.

Brenda Cathcart-Kloke is a retired school district administrative assistant in Thornton, CO. She enjoys spending time with her family, oil painting, reading, and writing short inspirational stories.

Christina Ryan Claypool is an Amy Foundation Writing Award-winning journalist and speaker. She’s a graduate of Bluffton University and has a master’s degree in Ministry from Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Her inspirational novel, Secrets of the Pastor’s Wife, will be released soon. She enjoys time with her husband, reading, and chocolate.

Kat Crawford, author of Capsules of Hope: Survival Guide for Caregivers, is known as The Lionhearted Kat. She is one of the Leadership Team for Omaha Wordsowers Christian Writers. Kat shares encouragement on her blog, From the Eyes of a Joyful Widow. Learn more at

Barbara Crick, a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, has been writing since third grade when a teacher told her parents she showed promise. She has won several awards for her poetry through the Poetry Society of Colorado. Barbara lives with her disabled husband, her greatest fan. E-mail her at [email protected].

H.B. Cunningham is a freelance writer and content administrator from a small town in Texas. Aside from writing as a hobby, she has been a news writer for CBS, and has published a memoir.

Lorri Danzig holds a master’s degree in Jewish Studies focused on aging. Her “Let It Shine Journeys” program for elders approaches aging as a journey of deepening wisdom and expanded possibilities. Her works of nonfiction and poetry are published in professional journals and anthologies. E-mail her at [email protected].

Laury L. Davis grew up close to the shores of Lake Erie in Northern Ohio. She currently lives with her husband and three children near Memphis, TN, and enjoys traveling, mission work, and writing. Go to for more info on her book In Pursuit of Happiness: Stewarding Freedom as a Modern Christian Woman.

Linda C. Defew became disabled while working full-time and raising her son and daughter, which led to going back to college, where she discovered her love for writing. Now, living a mile from their nearest neighbor, she and her husband raise dogs and chickens, and grow acres of wildflowers every spring.

Sylvia Diodati is a writer, composer and pianist in Toronto. She believes in destiny and divine intervention, hoping to inspire and entertain with her stories and creative works. Her greatest pleasure is spending time with family, her husband and young daughter, and cherished friends! E-mail her at [email protected].

Roberta Marie Easley likes adventure and stories that are well told.

Laurie Carnright Edwards is a freelance writer, substitute teacher, and ministry partner with pastor husband Dale Edwards. She is also the proud mom of two adult children. She enjoys living in the wilds of New Hampshire. Laurie holds degrees from Berkshire Christian College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Karen Ekstrom is a frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She and her husband David have five children, two dogs, and four cats. They live in Texas on a working cattle ranch… all of which gives her lots to write about in her hysterical mommy blog, E-mail her at [email protected].

Terri Elders, LCSW, lives near Colville, WA, with her dog Natty and three cats. Her stories have been published in nearly a hundred anthologies. She now has two dozen stories in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She co-edited Not Your Mother’s Book… On Travel. She blogs at

Karen Trotter Elley’s inspirational essays have been published in newspapers across the country. She and her husband Michael live in the Nashville, TN area where Karen is busy writing her memoir and seeking publishers for her inspirational children’s book and a paranormal romance. E-mail her at [email protected].

Kate Fellowes is the author of five romantic suspense novels and numerous short stories and essays. Living near the shore of Lake Michigan, she and her husband share their home with a variety of companion animals. A graduate of Alverno College, she blogs about work and life at

Sheila Ross Felton is a fifty-seven-year-old mother of two sons, ages nineteen and twenty-five. She volunteers with abused women and children and in homeless shelters, homeless veterans who were fighting addictions and has volunteered in rural areas where people were struggling with poverty. In her spare time she takes classes.

Peggy Purser Freeman, the eighth child of a sharecropper, is author of The Coldest Day in Texas (TCU Press), a finalist for The Writers’ League of Texas Teddy Children’s Book Award, presented by First Lady Laura Bush. Her latest work is Crusin’ Thru Life: Dip Street and Other Miracles. Peggy writes for several Texas magazines.

Marilyn Ellis Futrell has always had an interest in writing but began writing in earnest after the loss of her nineteen-year-old son, John Robert Woodfin, in 2005. She has an avid interest in science, consciousness, spirituality and the interplay between the three. She is currently writing a book on after-death communication.

Heidi Gaul lives in Oregon with her husband and four-legged family. She loves travel, be it around the block or the globe. In addition to contributing to Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, she is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and Oregon Christian Writers. She is currently completing her second novel.

Robyn Gerland is the author of All These Long Years Later, a book of short stories, published this year, and a contributor to various magazines and newspapers. She is the past editor of the glossy, Hysteria. As a graphic artist, her work has been shown in several Canadian cities; London, England; and Sydney, Australia.

Marie Gilbert writes paranormal and science fiction. Her blog, Gilbert Curiosities, chronicles her ghost investigations and steampunk events. She is senior writer for Biff Bam Pop!, and her first book in an apocalyptic series, Roof Oasis, can be found on and Amazon Kindle.

Gina Gutzwiller has studied law at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland in both French and German, and is currently training to become a lawyer. She has been telling stories ever since she was a child. Gina’s story, “Always Watching Over Me,” is her first to be published. E-mail her at [email protected].

Dr. Shari Hall, a Yale/Columbia graduate who formerly worked at Walter Reed in D.C., is an international recording artist who recently released her second album, Faith. She is a mother who enjoys sharing her story and inspiring others to live a healthy, passionate life. E-mail her at [email protected] or visit her website

A retired medical secretary, Susan Hawthorne’s true passion is writing, both fiction and nonfiction. She has written numerous short stories — three included in anthologies — and is editing her fantasy novel, Legacy of the Medallion.

Gail Hayden grew up in Florida and now lives in the beautiful Mount Morris Park Historic District in Harlem. She has been a business journalist and now freelances.

Carol Goodman Heizer, M.E.d., resides in Louisville, KY. She is an eight-time published author whose books have sold in the U.S. and overseas. Her work has appeared in several Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her previous works may be purchased through, CreateSpace, and in bookstores. E-mail her at [email protected].

Marijo Herndon’s stories, ranging from humor to inspiration, appear in several books and publications. She enjoys writing at her home in New York, where she lives with her husband Dave and two furry kids, Lucy and Ethel.

Nancy Hill is a Portland, OR writer and photographer. She’s written features for national magazines, fiction for literary journals, and published children’s books illustrated with her photographs. She’s now working on an anti-war novel. She has two sons and a Collie. She has a master’s degree in writing. E-mail her at [email protected].

Nancy Hoag graduated with honors from the University of Washington while raising three children. She’s now a grandmother and Habitat for Humanity volunteer with four-plus years on the road in an RV with her husband in order to build HfH homes nationwide. Nancy has seen nearly 1,100 stories published and four nonfiction books.

Alton Housworth was born on his family’s farm in rural Georgia during the Depression. At the age of seventeen, he joined the United States Marine Corps and served during the Korean War era. He later became a successful real estate broker and land developer. He lives with his wife of sixty years in the metro Atlanta area.

Georgia A. Hubley retired after twenty years in financial management to write full-time. Vignettes of her life appear in various anthologies, magazines and newspapers. Once the nest was empty, Georgia and her husband of thirty-six years left Silicon Valley in the rear view and now hang their hats in Henderson, NV. E-mail her at [email protected].

Jennie Ivey lives in Tennessee. She is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction, including stories in many Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Visit her website at

Jeanie Jacobson is on the leadership team of Wordsowers Christian Writers. Her stories share God’s greatness. She’s currently writing a Christian fantasy series. She’s active at her church, including the praise dance team. She loves visiting family and friends, reading, hiking, and gardening.

Diane Jones received her Bachelor of Arts (1974) and Master of Education (1983) degrees from the University of British Columbia. She has raised five children — grown up with their own families — so she now lives with her husband and cat. She enjoys volunteering, traveling, languages, and writing, especially for children.

Teresa Keller has been a Family Services Specialist for the past twenty-five years for a local Department of Social Services. She has served six years in the U.S. Army, which is one of the things she is most proud of. She is married and has two sons and one stepson, five grandchildren and three step-grandchildren.

L.A. Kennedy writes from her studio in Northern California. Her stories have appeared in three previous Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Guideposts publications and various magazines. Also an artist, she created clay, paper mache, floral and fabric projects for magazines and holiday items for retail stores. E-mail her at [email protected].

Vicki Kitchner recently retired after teaching Exceptional Student Education for thirty years. She and her husband divide their time between North Carolina and Florida unless they’re off on an adventure, such as backpacking around Mont Blanc or floating down the Colorado River in a dory. E-mail at her at [email protected]

Author and psychic Gregory A. Kompes is included in more than a dozen anthologies, among them Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned from the Dog. He holds a B.A. degree in English Literature from Columbia University, an M.S. Ed. from California State University, and is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at National University.

Catherine Kopp received her B.S. degree from Framingham State College and Master of Education degree from Lesley University. She has been teaching elementary school since 1973. Catherine teaches fifth grade in Denver, CO, where she lives with her husband Jim. During her free time, she enjoys writing, reading, yoga, and gardening.

This is T. Jensen Lacey’s ninth story to be published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She has published sixteen books, including a young adult adventure series Growing Season and Growing Season 2: Dolphin Summer. She is available for writers’ workshops and speaking engagements. Learn more

Julie Lavender is married to David and they have four children. She is a homeschooling mommy and her favorite thing to do is spend time with family. Julie writes religious news articles for her local newspaper, and this is her second story in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book.

Suzanna Leigh was born in the UK and began acting at twelve. She went on to co-star with Elvis. She is bringing out King Travels with Elvis in 2015 as well as Footsteps in Paradise, in which she chronicles her spiritual experiences throughout her life.

Jaye Lewis is an inspirational author who lives near Whitetop Mountain in Virginia. By her side is her service dog Dixie Mae Doxie, a ten-pound Dachshund, who has changed her life. Visit both of them at or

Jane Lonnqvist is a former special education teacher who went on to be a program coordinator at the local senior center. She loves writing, painting, crocheting and reading. She is a facilitator of a writing group that publishes a yearly book, with proceeds to the Fitchburg Senior Center. Jane plans to continue to write and fundraise.

Sharon Cairns Mann has a B.A. degree in English and M.A. degree in Communication. She is a professional writer and psychotherapist. Sharon lives in Colorado and enjoys family, writing, mosaics, and hiking.

This is Dana Martin’s sixth story in Chicken Soup for the Soul. Martin received her Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Bakersfield and now runs two successful haunted house attractions when she isn’t writing or editing. This story is an account of a truly amazing and life-changing experience. Enjoy!

Annette McDermott is a self-proclaimed displaced country girl, freelance writer and children’s author. Her features and stories have been published online and in magazines for children and adults. She has also been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: It’s Christmas! Visit her website at

Though her career is in music, Cynthia McGarity has an international following for her blog, God’s Daily Message… for the terminally dense. She’s a Master Teaching Artist for The Young Americans and The Walt Disney Company. Her latest project, the Branching Out in Faith app, is available in the Apple Store. God is the greatest!

Kathleen Swartz McQuaig is a writer, speaker, teacher, wife, and mother who loves to encourage others. After earning her master’s degree in Education and living in military communities stateside and abroad, Kathleen and her family settled in south central Pennsylvania. Visit her at

Harriet Michael is a writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including magazines, devotionals, and anthologies. Her e-books on prayer are sold through Born in Africa, the child of missionaries, she and her husband have four children and one grandchild. You can follow her blog at

Randy Joan Mills is a retired special education teacher who was born and raised in Canada, but now lives in Idaho to be near her children and grandchildren. She loved teaching her incredible students, but now divides her time between her other passions: her family, genealogy, and traveling, especially to Ireland.

Jackie Minniti is a former teacher and the award-winning author of Project June Bug, a novel about a student with ADHD. She is a columnist for The Island Reporter in St. Petersburg, FL, and is a previous contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul. Visit her website at

Marya Morin is a freelance writer. Her stories and poems have appeared in publications such as Woman’s World and Hallmark. Marya also penned a weekly humorous column for an online newsletter, and writes custom poetry on request. She lives in the country with her husband. E-mail her at [email protected].

Dena Netherton is a blogger, novelist, a classically trained musician and an educator. She studied at Oberlin College Conservatory, the University of Michigan and the University of Northern Colorado. Dena and her husband live in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Neesha Niaz has a B.A. degree in Communication from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. She is a professional writer/editor and journalist in the Houston area. Neesha is the mom of two boys, an avid reader of science fiction, loves to cook, and writes short stories in her free time. Visit her at

Kimberly Nichelle is a native of Birmingham, AL, who currently resides in Atlanta, GA. She is a freelance writer, aspiring film producer and screenwriter. She published her first book in December 2010, which is used to raise awareness against domestic violence. She plans to continue to inspire others with her screenwriting.

Randi O’Keefe blogs at Her articles have appeared both in print and online publications. She won second place in a short story contest and her reflective piece “Trollin’ for Luv,” was published in the anthology Dolls Remembered in 2009. She is happy to admit that she completed NaNoWriMo in 2010.

Shirley R. Redmond holds an M.A. degree in Literature. She has been married for forty years to her husband Bill. They have two adult children and two grandchildren. Shirley has sold numerous magazine articles to a wide variety of publications, as well as several children’s books and two inspirational romances.

Denise Reich is an Italian-born, New York City-raised writer. She writes regularly for Shameless magazine and has contributed to numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She can usually be found taking photos, painting, dancing in media events, or cheering at concerts and baseball games. Coincidentally, her favorite team is the Angels.

Donna Reames Rich is an RN and freelance writer who has been published in a wide variety of online and print publications, including Brain, Child; Long Story Short; Nursing and Mothering magazines, The Harris County Herald, Harris County Journal, and LaGrange Daily News. She has three daughters and is working on a memoir.

Johanna Richardson, always a lover of the written word, dabbles with writing for her own pleasure and is a voracious reader. Her life has been blessed by a wonderful husband and family. She is an RN, has a master’s degree from the University of San Francisco, and is a Peer Volunteer for the National Alzheimer’s Association.

Mark Rickerby is a writer, screenwriter, singer, voice artist and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor. His proudest achievements are co-authoring his father’s memoir, The Other Belfast, and releasing a CD of songs for his daughters, Marli and Emma. For more info on Mark’s projects, visit

D. Riley is a teacher, freelance writer and editor, and avid reader. She loves to spend time with her family enjoying sports, films, music, and the blessing of everyday conversation.

Liz Rolland currently resides on a small farm with her husband, two daughters, two rescued Akitas, and assorted wildlife. She has written three mystery novels set in her hometown of Nyack, NY, and plans to publish the first titled Blind Angel this year.

Sioux Roslawski is a third grade teacher in St. Louis, a dog rescuer for Love a Golden, a member of the infamous writing critique group the WWWPs, and a freelance writer in her spare time. She wishes she could have said “thank you” to her birth mother. Learn more at

Award-winning author and editor Paula L. Silici firmly believes that angels really do exist, and that they have guided and protected her all her life. She lives with her husband Frank near Denver, CO. E-mail her at [email protected].

Darlene Sneden is a writer and editor who lives in her dream house in Montclair, NJ. Married to her high school sweetheart, Darlene is known as Mom to two wonderful young adults. She blogs about her newly emptied nest at

Rev. Jim Solomon, a former businessman, has helped over 1,000 families and individuals across the nation experience life-change through counsel and care. He lives with his wife and two children in Newtown, CT, serving as Pastor of New Hope Community Church and chaplain to the Newtown Police Department.

Patrick P. Stafford lives in Northridge, CA, and works full-time as a journalist, copywriter, editor and poet. He has written for AccessLife. com, Wheelin’ Sportsmen, Amateur Chef magazine, Healthcare Traveler, and Northern Virginia Magazine, and has sold poems, articles and editorial pieces both online and in print publications.

Diane Stark is a wife and mother of five. She loves to write about the important things in life: her family and her faith. She is a frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. E-mail her at [email protected].

Noelle Sterne’s Trust Your Life: Forgive Yourself and Go After Your Dreams helps readers reach their secret desires. Her new book guides dissertation writers in overcoming vital but often neglected nonacademic issues: Challenges in Writing Your Dissertation: Coping With the Emotional, Interpersonal, and Spiritual Struggles.

Natasha Stoynoff is a New York Times bestselling author. She has been a news reporter/photographer for the Toronto Star, TIME magazine, and columnist/feature writer for the Toronto Sun. She’s covered celebrities for People magazine for nearly two decades. Natasha lives in Manhattan and is working on her second screenplay.

Ashley Thaba lives in Botswana, Africa. Her love for God and desire to be obedient to whatever He calls her to do has taken her on a journey of adventures all over the planet. She wrote an amazing book about the near death of her son and his miraculous recovery. E-mail her at [email protected].

Patti Ann Thompson is an award-winning freelance writer, author and speaker. She has been published in Guideposts, the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and she released her first book, Seeing God Through New Eyes, in 2010. She resides in Shawnee, KS with her husband Larry. You can visit her website at

Denise Valuk lives and writes from San Antonio, TX while homeschooling three boys. Writing experience includes Guideposts and Mysterious Ways magazine. Learn more at

Anne Ullenboom Van Humbeck was born in Germany and immigrated to Canada with her husband and baby daughter in 1956. They farmed in Manitoba. Prodded by her children, she has written and self-published her life story upon retirement. She now enjoys writing short stories.

Robin Veldboom is a photographer, proud mom of three girls, and nana to two adorable grandchildren. She has been married to the love of her life for thirty-four years, and would like to thank her daughter Elizabeth Veldboom for her help writing the story in this book. See more of Lizzie’s writing at

Donna Volkenannt is a writer and creative writing teacher who believes in angels. First-place winner of the 2012 Erma Bombeck Humor Award and top ten finalist for the 2014 Erma Bombeck Human Interest Award, Donna lives with her husband and grandchildren in Missouri, where she’s working on a novel. E-mail her at [email protected].

Jan Walker is a freelance writer, editor, digital artist and photographer based in Florida. She is a passionate advocate for inspiring and promoting creative expression in children and the elderly, and she enjoys teaching others to realize their untapped creative potential. E-mail her at [email protected].

Sharlene Walker has a master’s degree in metaphysics. After living in Europe for several years, she currently resides in Burlington, Ontario, close to her two children and five grandchildren. Her proofreading sister is always on call. As a Reiki Master Sharlene practices on all living creatures.

Terri Webster began writing when she privately wrote in her journals as therapy to ease the pain and hardships of being a single mom. This grew into a passion to write with a purpose. She published Markers for Single Moms in 2013, and has two more in the works. She enjoys the outdoors, traveling and being with family.

Mary Z. Whitney has been featured in over seventeen Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also writes for Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines. Her latest publication is an inspirational children’s book entitled Max’s Morning Watch. She has also published Life’s A Symphony. Both of her books are available at

Dallas Woodburn has written fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including the Nashville Review, the 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

Cynthia Zayn lives in the Atlanta area, and is the author of Narcissistic Lovers: How to Cope, Recover, and Move On. She has taught in public and private schools throughout the United States and Mexico City, and now works as a freelance editor for community magazines while pursuing a full-time career as an author.

Karen Vincent Zizzo, M.A., is an author and inspirational speaker whose passion is to inspire people to overcome obstacles in their lives. She shares very personal messages of faith, hope, love and the power of prayer through her Ask and You Shall Receive series of books, CDs and workbooks and at

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