About Our Authors
Meet our authors. Write to them. Join their blogs. Visit their websites. Information for communicating with our authors, as well as a short bio, is provided below. For more information on individual authors and their books, check out their publications in Browse Titles (or click on the link to their book/s), where you will find reviews, interviews, and all sorts of other information about each book and its author(s). Check back with us from time as we will be presenting more authors and additional contact information. Where authors have provided them, photos are included. Where authors have allowed, we have provided their personal email addresses. To contact authors without personal email, send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org; we will forward your communications.
Wally grew up wherever his father was stationed during his U. S. Air Force career. When his father was overseas, Wally stayed with his grandmother who was a great storyteller. Listening to the way she made stories come alive made Wally feel as if he had really been there. As he grew older, he began to write down things that made him either laugh or cry and tried to make them as real as possible. Sometimes, he finds it easier to escape into his own little world and create things he wishes were true but never can be. He knows people need an escape from reality at times so he decided to make his writings public.In his book, The Musings of a Carolina Yankee, there are some true stories and there are some stories he doesn’t know where they came from, but he wrote them in order for readers to have fun and join him on his journey. Like his father, Wally served in the US Air Force; his military service came during the Vietnam conflict. Wally grew up in New Hampshire and moved to South Carolina — the “misplaced” Yankee is a theme in his writing.
It is with regret that we share the sad news that Wally died unexpectedly in July 2015.
Julia Aziz is a licensed clinical social worker and a mother of three children. She is also an accomplished speaker on topics such as “The Soul of Service,” “Holding Intention While Jugging It All,” and “Motherself,” a monthly mother’s group.
In addition to this personal and professional experience in working through motherhood transitions, she has also written for and served as general editor for Dovetail Journal for interfaith families.
She shares her motherhood observations, both professional and personal, in her book, Lessons of Labor: One Woman’s Self-Discovery through Birth and Motherhood.
Dr. Judith Bach
Dr. Bach, seated on the left, is a psychotherapist, writer and artist. She co-founded the Berkshire Center for Psychosynthesis in Massachusetts, and, later, the Psychosynthesis Institute of New York and for many years was a Psychosynthesis trainer, a therapeutic approach that recognizes and works with the creative and spiritual dimension of an individual.
In addition to her long-time private practice and her work as a trainer, Dr. Bach has presented seminars in the United States, Austria, Switzerland and Germany.
She is the co-author, with Nanette Hucknall (seated on the right), of The Rose and the Sword: Balancing Your Feminine and Masculine Energies.
It is with sadness that we note that Judith Bach passed away March 3, 2019.
TL Brink is the author of How to Argue with an Atheist: How to Win the Argument without Losing the Person.
T.L. Brink is a social scientist and author of fifteen books, two dozen encyclopedia articles, and hundreds of journal articles, reviews and conference presentations. His main topics of interest include clinical assessment and treatment of mental disorders in later life, religious phenomena, cancer attitudes, consumer behavior, qualitative research methods, and Big Data Analytics using Bayesian Sequential Statistics. He has degrees from Claremont Men’s College, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University and the University of Chicago. He has been a member of the Association for Psychological Science, American Psychological Association, American Sociological Association, Western Psychological Association, Western Positive Psychology Association, Midwestern Psychological Association, International Council of Psychologists, Sociedad Interamericana de Psicologia, Gerontological Society of America, American Academy of Religion, Religious Research Association, and Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. He has served as editor, editorial board member, or peer reviewer for more than a dozen professional journals. He has been appointed to the faculties of Stanford University School of Medicine, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Universidad Iberoamericana, University of Redlands, University of California Riverside, and University of the People. He is currently Professor of Psychology at Crafton Hills College. On youtube he has over 600 videos which have received 1.7 million hits for HEADLESSPROFESSOR. Dr. Brink resides in Mexico and southern California.
Dave Brown is the author of five previous books. He lives in Downingtown, Pennsylvania with his wife and three children.
He co-authored One Simple Text…The Liz Marks Story with Betty Shaw. The book is a poignant tale of the drama that Liz and her family suffered as a result of her nearly dying from an accident that resulted from texting while driving.
Joanna J. Charnas is a social worker with over thirty years of experience as a licensed mental health provider. She received her master’s degree from Boston University School of Social Work in 1988 and has earned the highest level of social work licensure in California (Licensed Clinical Social Worker, 2001.) She has worked in numerous service sectors, all of which placed fragile people in her care and enhanced her clinical acumen and skills. Since 1995, she has worked specifically with people with mental and physical illnesses. She published on HuffPost Blog for two and a half years, and her writing has appeared in PopSugar, The San Francisco Review of Books, and SteadyHealth.
More about her writing can be found at www.joannacharnas.com
Her first book, Living Well with Chronic Illness, was released August 25, 2015.
Her second book, 100 Tips and Tools for Managing Chronic Illness, was released in April 2018.
Joanna’s third book, A Movie Lover’s Search for Romance, will be released in July 2020 and is currently in available on pre-order.
Bertha was born and raised in Seattle WA long before Microsoft and Amazon. She earned a BSN degree in nursing (University of WA) and entered the profession the same year as Medicare, a coincidence destined to define her career in non-traditional ways. She began her career in public health and was moved into a management position early in her career which proved to be the beginning of a long career in management and administration in an expanding array of health care delivery innovations. She served in public health, home health, long-term care, hospice and acute care. Every one of those positions involved quality, safety and effective health care for the elderly. She became a reasonable voice and passionate advocate for patient-centered services across the continuum of care.
Writing was part of each of Bertha’s professional roles; she wrote to inform, educate and persuade. When she started into her own experience with aging, she realized she had questions about natural aging compared to pathological aging which dominated her professional work. She combined her curiosity about aging and passion for writing in an on and off ten-year quest that resulted in the book, Women, We’re Only Old Once, Keep What You Can, Let Go of What You Can’t, Enjoy What You Have! (Scheduled to be released late summer, 2020) and a relationship with Betty Lou Leaver and MSI Press.
MSI Press gave her another writing opportunity to write a short book on managing during the pandemic. Staying in character, she wrote Old and On Hold, Aging in Place during the Pandemic, which was released June 23, 2020.
Bertha has been a featured columnist for The Sequim Gazette, a local weekly newspaper published by Sound Publishing for over seven years. Her column appears every other week.
Laura Dabbs works at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she is pursuing her MA-TESOL degree. Laura teaches Community English Classes at UAB and formerly taught ESL and GED classes in Georgia at Dalton State College. Working at a diverse university as afforded her the opportunity to see first-hand how personality traits, learning styles and learning strategies play a role in a variety of educational and professional situations. Laura and her family have enjoyed a multi-cultural household by hosting foreign exchange students from various locations around the world.
Her book, co-authored with Betty Lou Leaver, The Invisible Foreign Language Classroom: Bringing Hidden Dynamics to Light for Individual and Group Harmony and Success. explains why some classrooms become dysfunctional and suggests what to do about them.
Richard Gentei Diedrichs
Richard Gentei Diedrichs grew up in Los Angeles. He edited travel and health magazines in Seattle, worked as an editor at the schools of engineering and public health at University of California. Berkeley, and then taught fourth and fifth grades, as well as kindergarten, in public elementary schools around the San Francisco Bay Area.
Richard was ordained a Zen priest in 1984. Currently, he is a Dharma teacher in Hawaii.
He has published short stories in literary journals, a short story collection, Spirit of Tabasco, and two novels, Neither Coming Nor Going and Cherry Blossom. He lives with his wife and dog on the west coast of the Big Island of Hawaii.
His MSI book, Living in Blue Sky Mind: Basic Buddhist Teachings for a Happy Life, is available in paperback, hard cover, and e-book formats and has been recognized by the MidWest Book Watch and other reviewers for its quality. (See the MSI Press book page for this book.)
Renyuan Dong works as a senior healthcare consultant based in Tokyo. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in both philosophy and economics, speaks three languages – English, Chinese and Japanese – and boasts of having traveled to over 30 countries.
Most of the ideas presented in his book Rainstorm of Tomorrow – The Ever-Flowing Banquet of Philosophy matured during the author’s collegiate study of philosophy and economics, as well as his professional tenure in healthcare and biology; the shift wrought a cross-disciplinary mode of thinking, illuminating connections and contradictions that defy the boundaries of each subject. Through his travels, the author found persistent proofs of and supplements to his existing philosophical belief transcendent of the confines of any single culture. At the root of the author’s ideas, however, lie his inherent sense of alienation from the world and his vigilance against any established norms. The multinational identity of the author may help usher in an occasion for West to meet East in the philosophy of science.
Rainstorm of Tomorrow will be released in late summer 2020.
Follow him on Facebook.
J. Bennett Easterling
Bennett earned a journalism degree from University of Southern Mississippi and an MS in Business Administration. He worked as a Management Intern by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (TN), U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (MD), and as a staff advisor to then Congressman Trent Lott (with whom he is shown here), helping develop a national policy for nuclear waste disposal. The last ten years of his career was spent searching for a safe disposal site for high-level radioactive waste—much of this time was spent speaking to State and local governments, American Indian Tribes, and the public. He edited the Jones County Junior College newspaper, wrote for the University of Southern Mississippi Student Printz newspaper, and taught a freshman journalism course at USM. He served as sports copy editor for the Bristol Herald Courier (VA/TN). His professional career included writing speeches for Presidential appointees, congressional testimony, and public relations. He and his wife lead a worship team, teach church classes, and sponsor a home bible study, and visit hospitals and shut-ins.
His book, Of God, Rattlesnakes, and Okra: A Preacher’s Boy Tells His Growing-Up Story, won a 2015 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and has become beloved in his Southern homeland—and is gaining a fan club in the North, too!
Seanne Larson Emerton, L.M.F.T., L.I.M.H.P., is one of our newest authors. She has been in private practice for over twenty years. She loves her work and life in the Heartland,, including practicing yoga, spirituality and health, and enjoying music, travel, and time with her sons and families in Boston and Denver. The power of relationships fuels her desire to help others. She is grateful for her grandparents and parents who were her first teachers. She and her husband, Tom, live on the land her great-great-grandfather homesteaded. Family is her greatest joy.
Her book, co-authored with Dr. Geri Henderson, Healing from Incest: Intimate Conversations with My Therapist, was published in June 2015 and was selected as a Book of the Year Award Finalist.
Jeremy Feig is originally from a small town in slightly upstate New York. After graduating from New Paltz College, he moved to Los Angeles for TV and film production work before stumbling into a career in digital marketing. Jeremy spends much of his time working on creative projects, usually involving comedy. He’s written numerous screenplays and TV scripts, created original cartoons, and directed quirky short films. Jeremy lives in Santa Monica with his wife, young daughter, and large cat.
His book, How My Cat Made Me a Better Man, was published in 2016 and has captivated men and women alike.
Dr. Ekaterina Filatova
Dr. Filatova is a highly respected Russian psychologist, specializing in the area of personality. A senior professor of psychology at St. Petersburg State University, she is the foremost expert in Europe on socionics and published the first-ever book on socionics in Russia (which was the Soviet Union at the time). Since then, she has written many books on the topic and is held in high regard by socionists worldwide.
Her book with MSI Press, Understanding the People around You: An Introduction to Socionics, is the seminal work on socionics in the USA and is gathering a following.
Sad note: Katya died on March 14, 2015 of a heart attack in her home in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her son wrote that her last act, just minutes before her death, was to send off an email, related to her many books on socionics. “So”, he said, “she did work right up until the last minute of life.” Katya was a wonderful person, larger than life. A professor of psychology at St. Petersburg State University, she is revered throughout the eastern world, especially the former Soviet Union, as the psychologist who brought them socionics, much the way that the Myers-Briggs mother-daughter team is looked upon the USA vis-à-vis MBTI, the western realization of Jung’s theories that differs, in a just a few substantial ways, from the eastern/socionics realization. Katya will indeed be missed by many—those she knows she helped and the thousands more she never met whom she did indeed also help with her understanding of human nature. Rest in peace, Katya! Job well done!
Dr. Marsha Franklin
Marsha Franklin is the mother of seven children, several with some serious physical problems that kept her family in the straits of poverty for years. She made it through those years with aplomb, thanks to personal and family resilience, and recounts the trials and tribulations with wit in No Pennies to Pinch.
Dr. Emily Reeves Graves
Dr. Graves (Ph. D., Texas Tech University) is an education expert, well-published in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks. During pregnancy, she suffered complications due to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that resulted in kidney failure. After personally experiencing the traumatic change from career woman to a chronically ill, stay-at-home mom, she has actively cultivated strategies to balance her ongoing health battles with her desire to be a great mother and wife while staying professionally active.
Her book, How to Be a Good Mommy When You’re Sick: A Guide to Motherhood with Chronic Illness, was released in early February. Prior to publication, it gained the attention of Library Journal, which reviewed it positively.
Visit her FB Page on Chronic Illness and Motherhood.
Reverend Steven Greenebaum is the author of The Interfaith Alternative and Practical Interfaith, founder of the Living Interfaith Church, and holds Masters Degrees in Mythology, Music, and Pastoral Studies. He has dedicated his life to the oneness of humanity, working for social and environmental justice through a multitude of forums. Minister, teacher, and both church and temple choir director, he has worked with Common Cause, marched at Standing Rock, and was the Founder/Executive Director of Citizens for Environmental Responsibility.
Follow Steven on Facebook.
Christina Fisanick Greer
Christina Fisanick Greer, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of English at California University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches writing, literature, digital storytelling, and creative non-fiction. She has written dozens of articles about writing, especially as a form of therapy, and is the author of nearly thirty books. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, son, and two cats.
Her book, The Optimistic Food Addict: Recovering from Binge Eating Disorder, has attracted the attention of the Associated Press and of the National Eating Disorders Association.
Visit Christina’s FaceBook page.
Dr. B. L. Ham
B. L. Ham is an acquisitions editor for a small press and has served as a reader and advisor for more than one leading publisher. She wrote the book, Publishing for Smarties: How to Find a Publisher), to answer the dozens of questions she typically gets from first-time authors.
She has a second book in production — help for authors with the legal aspects of publication.
She may be contacted through MSI Press: email@example.com.
Dr. Andrew Harvey
Dr. Andrew Harvey served in law enforcement for 25 years, the last 12 as a captain with a Southern California police agency. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice from California State University at Los Angeles, and an educational doctorate in the field of organizational leadership from Pepperdine University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the California POST Command College, the West Point Leadership Program, and is recognized in California as a master instructor.
Dr. Harvey is an award-winning college educator, with two decades of college teaching experience at five different institutions, ranging from community college all the way through the university doctorate level.
His book, Tucker and Me, is a delightful tale of a boyhood split between the South and the big city of Los Angeles.
Dr. Geri Henderson
Dr. Geri Henderson considers herself, first and foremost, a teacher and mentor but loves her roles as sister, aunt, and friend. Geri has taught in a number of places such as the Caribbean, Jordan, Bahrain, LIthuania, Lebanon, Japan, Korea, and the US. Her interests include a passion for music which she studied and subsequently taught for 30 years before beginning her second professional career in higher education. She is probably teaching literature and writing somewhere in the world right now.
Her first book with MSI Press, Thoughts without a Title, was edited while she was teaching in the Middle East and contains the stories and essays of Middle Eastern college students and their views of the world.
Her second book, co-authored with Seanne Emerton, Healing from Incest: Intimate Conversations with My Therapist, is gathering 5-star reviews and was selected as a 2015 Book of the Year Award Finalist.
Her most recent book was written together with Richard Rice, primary author, and Vincent Rice, illustrator. Called Noah’s New Puppy, it is a delightful children’s book focused on the management of PTSD.
Nanette is a psychotherapist, career therapist, writer, and artist. She is available for lectures and workshops and has designed and facilitated workshops on “Karma, Destiny and Your Career,”and “Living From Your Heart,” which she has presented in the United States and in Canada. Nanette has a BA from Cooper Union and is trained in Psychosynthesis. She is a co-founder of The Center for Peace Through Culture, and is the founder and President of Higher Self Yoga. She has published several books on yoga, karma, and better self-understanding.
She co-authored the MSI book, The Rose and the Sword: How to Balance Your Feminine and Masculine Energies, with Dr. Judith Bach. Her latest MSI Press release is How to Live from Your Heart: Deepen Relationships, Develop Creativity, and Discover Inner Wisdom.
A. Darius Husain is the Executive Director of Face to Face Academy, a charter high school in St. Paul, Minnesota whose mission is to graduate students considered most at risk for dropping out of high school. The Minnesota Department of Education named F2F a “High Quality Charter School” for its work in graduating students and closing the achievement gap. Newsweek named F2F as one of American’s Top High Schools 2014 in the category “Beating the Odds 2014 – Top Schools for Low Income Students.” Mr. Husain serves as the Director of Research for the International Medical and Educational Trust in Missouri. He holds a B.A. in psychology with an emphasis on experiential education from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota and has completed Master’s course work in school counseling at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota.
His book, Roadmap to Power, co-authored with Dr. Syed Arshad Husain, was released in Fall 2015 and has been recommended by US Review of Books.
Dr. Syed Arshad Husain
Syed Arshad Husain, M. D., is a child psychiatrist known worldwide for his work with children living in war zones and disaster areas. Dr. Husain founded the International Center for Psychosocial Trauma at the University of Missouri, and counseling centers in Bosnia, Kosovo, and an Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan.
He has published scientific articles in major peer-reviewed journals in the U.S. and Canada, and has written five books including Hope for the Children: Lessons from Bosnia.
He has received numerous awards from major professional societies including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; 2014 awards include the National Council for Behavioral Health Doc of the Year and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Catcher in the Rye award. He was given an Honorary Ph.D. by the University of Tuzla, Bosnia.
Currently, he is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Child Health at the University of Missouri–Columbia and serves as a medical director of a large behavioral health organization in Missouri.
In 2015, he received the coveted Citation of Merit Award from the Missouri University School of Medicine Alumni Association.
His MSI book, co-authored with A. Darius Husain, Roadmap to Power, was released in Fall 2015 and has been recommended by the US Review of Books.
Elaine Rippey Imady
Elaine (shown here at a door of the Abdallah al Azem Madrasa) comes from a small town on the Hudson River which her Dutch ancestors pioneered in the 18th Century, but after converting to Islam, in 1960 she left it all behind and went to live in Damascus with her Syrian husband, Mohammed Imady, whom she met as a student at New York University. There she raised her three children, two of whom are also MSI Press authors, learned Arabic, taught English and music, and traveled the world with her husband, who became a Syrian cabinet minister.
Her first book, Postscripts from Palisades, was published in Syria by Dar Tlas and in the USA by the local historical society of her hometown as well as by iUniverse, Inc.
Now, after more than fifty happy years of marriage, Elaine, tells her story in Road to Damascus.
Her Facebook page on her book includes more information, with pictures, of Syria and the opportunity to interact with the author.
Muna was born in Damascus in 1962 to an American mother and a Syrian father. She has a BA in English Literature and a diploma in English-Arabic Translation from Damascus University as well as a Maitrise from the Sorbonne. She has written several textbooks for teaching English as a second language to children. She has also written and translated many short Arabic stories for children which were published in several Arabic magazines. She also writes for Wild River Review from time to time.
She lives in Damascus with her husband Dr Nizar Zarka and their three children and teaches English as a second language to young children.
Her book, Syrian Folktales, relates stories she has heard from her grandmother and gathered from other local sources and is quickly becoming a beloved source of stories, recipes, and information about Syria for Syrian-Americans, those with Syrian heritages anywhere in the world, and people of Syria. Reviewed many times, her book has gained 87 5-star reviews and received the 2014 MSI Press award of best-reviewed book.
Read the Huffington Post interview with Muna!
On April 22, 2016 MSI Press lost a wonderful author — at too young an age. The talented, kind, angelic Muna Imady (Syrian Folktales) passed away in Damascus. Cause, so far, not given. The world should be grateful for what Muna brought to it in her short life. May we all be able to say as much! RIP, Muna.
Two moving memorial tributes have been written about Muna’s life. To read them, click on the links below.
Recently, we were contacted by Muna’s family. She had left behind war stories and poems. Thanks to the generous editorial assistance of Dr. Geri Henderson, one of our authors and editors, these wonderful contributions will be published posthumously.
Dr. Omar Imady
Omar Imady was born in Damascus to an American mother and a Syrian father. Educated at Macalester College (B.A.) and the University of Pennsylvania (Ph. D. in Middle Eastern Studies), he is a poet of long standing in the Middle East and the author of several books in Arabic and English. For over twenty-two years, Imady was the disciple of Bashir al-Bani (1911-2008), a Damascene Muslim scholar and a renowned Sufi mentor, a relationship that continues to influence Imady’s creative writing.
Magna Villa Publishing has published the second edition of The Gospel of Damascus, . as well as French, Spanish, and Arabic translations of this book, Dr. Imady’s first novel. The first edition of the book was published by MSI Press and earned a Book of the Year Award 2012 (finalist).
A former professor of political science and academic dean at New York Institute of Technology in Amman, Jordan and currently visiting professor elsewhere, he has also authored When You’re Shoved from the Left, Look to Your Right: Metaphors of Islamic Humanism, which has gained a following in the United States and elsewhere, and The Rise and Fall of Muslim Civil Society.
Watch him on Youtube: MBTI Introduction
Dr. Susan Jane
Susan Jane, who prefers to remain anonymous, is a writer and a supporter of falsely accused priests. She is also a Roman Catholic parishioner, a catechist, leader of a prayer & faith formation group, and a member of a lay Franciscan order. She has two books, Accused: How to Help When Your Priest Is in Trouble and Abandoned (for accused priests) that are planned for release in Fall 2015 and another int he works, which keeps her busy splashing ink and crumpling paper. She has some of the most extensive, personal experience in this area, having supported three falsely accused priests: one who was exonerated early in the process, one who was exonerated but not returned to ministry, and one, for whom she testified, who was found not guilty by a jury in a criminal court case. She is well positioned to write these books, but she wishes to remain anonymous because priest support is not popularly accepted and she has experienced some negative repercussions.
Dr. Peter Jonas
Peter Jonas was a soccer dad for 18 years and has recently transitioned to the role of soccer granddad. When he isn’t refereeing a match and dealing with outrageous parents, he works as a professor of research and statistics at Cardinal Stritch University.
Soccer is Fun without Parents is his fifth book.
Dr. Chris Kingman
Dr. Kingman is a 30-year veteran of supervisory positions in government, educational, and organizational programs. Holder of a Ph. D. in education, with a minor in curriculum and instruction and coursework from Harvard University in educational leadership, Dr. Kingman has counseled and supported many employees who have found themselves near the breaking point in toxic work situations. Dr. Kingman has also personally survived such environments and lived to write about them.
Dr. Kingman is currently finishing a book, How to Stay Alive When Your Job Is Killing You, with Dr. Danny Wise. Publication is expected in October 2015.
Dr. Betty Lou Leaver
Betty Lou Leaver (Ph.D., Pushkin Institute, Moscow) is Director of The Literary Center of San Juan Bautista and previously served as provost, associate provost, and dean at the Defense Language Institute. She established an international language program at NASA for cosmonauts and astronauts assigned to the International Space Station; served as a language training supervisor at the Foreign Service Institute, curriculum developer for the Federal Foreign Language Training Lab, dean and chief academic officer at the New York Institute of Technology in Jordan, president of the American Global Studies Institute, co-director of the Center for the Advancement of Distinguished Language Proficiency at San Diego State University, and founding director of the Center for the Languages of the Central Asian Region at Indiana University; and provided consultation to educational programs in 24 countries. She has published 21 books, more than 100 articles, and is currently co-editing a book, Transformative Language Learning and Teaching, for Cambridge University Press.
In addition to serving as managing editor at MSI Press, where she also copy-edits upon occasion and makes decisions about book acquisitions, she serves on the advisory board for Georgetown University Press, which published two of her books in past years.
Betty Lou grew up in the snow of New England (Maine and New Hampshire) and has spent many snowy months conducting research, attending graduate school programs, and leading faculty development sessions in some very snowy countries, including in Siberia, where she has many friends and benefited from experiences that have contributed significantly to her life and writings.
She now lives in sunny California (and spent some years in sunny Jordan, as well) and likes the sun as well as the snow. Her household now includes her husband and six cats, but at one time it included four children and three teens who joined them during their teen years. She spends some of her free time with many teenagers, teaching catechism at Old Mission San Juan Bautista — life repeating itself, but in good ways!
Shenan (CB) Leaver
Shenan (CB) Leaver has attended special education classes in Virginia, California, and Ohio and graduated from Hayes High School in Delaware, Ohio, where he was voted “class flirt.” A parishioner at the San Benedict (in the background) parish, he now lives in Hollister in San Benito County, California and works at a sheltered workshop, M&M, where he has many friends who like to listen to his tall tales, most of which are based on true stories, funny things that happen to one relative or another — or to him.
He has written a very special and very funny book about his mother, Mommy Poisoned Our House Guest (yes, true story). Stand by for edition 2, currently in the making.
CB is also working on a similar volume about his father, tentatively titled Daddy Waited.
Shenan loves to receive email from readers!
Dr. Susan Lewis
Susan J. Lewis, Ph.D., J.D., is a multi-credentialed mental health professional with the unique combination of licensed psychologist, forensic psychologist, and attorney. She has 25 years of experience in clinical practice with unique populations who suffer from severe and persistent mental illness. Dr. Lewis is a sought-after consultant, and as a national seminar instructor, she trains hundreds of mental health professionals each year.
Patricia Lorenz is an inspirational art-of-living writer and speaker and the author of 14 books. She’s one of the top contributing writers in the country to the Chicken Soup for the Soul books with over 75 stories in 60 of the Chicken Soup books. She’s had over 400 articles published in numerous magazines and newspapers, is a contributing writer for 26 Daily Guideposts books and 50 anthologies, and is an award-winning newspaper columnist. Patricia raised two daughters and two sons in Wisconsin as a single parent. These days, Patricia and her hunka, hunka burnin’ love husband live in Largo, Florida where she loves her empty nest and the freedom to follow her dreams while she’s still awake.
Her book, 57 Steps to Paradise: Finding Love in Midlife and Beyond, was published in June 2016.
Larry MacDonald has a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology and over 30 years of experience RVing and freelance writing for various magazines, including MotorHome, Trailer Life, and Canadian RVinglds.
His book, RV Oopsies: 101 Dumb Things That RVers Do! is a compilation of ten years of research on RV mishaps, rated from “dumb” to “dumbest,” with helpful hints on how they could have been avoided. A “must-read” for all RVers, new and seasoned, wanting to save some grief and cash by learning what not to do while RVing.
In his latest book, Travels with Elly: Reflections on Canada by an RVer and His Dog, the author travels from coast to coast in a trailer with his wife and pets, including their poodle, Elly, in order to gain a better understanding of his adopted country. An informative read for armchair travelers with a spirit of adventure, for those wanting to learm more about Canada, and for any cross-Canada traveler, especially RVers and dog lovers.
Dr. Elizabeth Mahlou
Dr. Elizabeth Mahlou wishes to remain anonymous because she speaks candidly about her childhood abuse while avoiding naming names in order to shield the innocent from more emotional harm. However, using her pseudonym, she is willing to communicate with readers who enjoy her books, A Believer-in-Waiting’s First Encounters with God and Blest Atheist. She is now hard at work on a follow-up book, Raising God’s Rainbow Makers. She maintains a blog, 100th Lamb, and has often used a tiger, a kindred spirit, as an avatar.
Her most recent writing endeavor, a story about a Christmas cat, “Cat with a Divine Mission,” appeared in Guideposts Magazine in December 2015.
Multi-published author and freelance editor, Cynthia MacGregor, has also formerly hosted two TV shows, “Solo Parenting” and “Younger Every Day,” both of which were seen in the South Florida area, where Cyn (as most people call her) has lived since 1984. In addition to the more than 100 books she has published, Cyn also writes plays, both for adults and for kids, and has had all but one of them produced in her community. In addition, one show, for kids, was produced in New York. Cyn works seven days a week at her craft of writing and editing and loves every minute of it. Calling herself “arguably the happiest woman there is,” she says, “There’s no one in the world I’d want to trade lives with.”
Follow her blog!
Colette McNeil aspires to develop confidence in individuals with autism by expanding the perspectives of their parents, families, teachers, and caregivers.
Colette McNeil has worked with children and adults with disabilities for 30 years. She spent 20 of those years teaching students with autism and related disorders ages 3-22. Additionally, Colette has a close relationship with her nephew with autism who is in his 20’s
Ms. McNeil holds a Master of Arts Degree in Psychology. Further, she is a prolific reader of Positive Psychology literature and embeds her learning into her daily interactions and coaching-consultation practices.
Through her business Shared Perspectives Support, Colette McNeil provides private coaching-consultation services to families struggling with Autism and developmental disorders in the Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties of California, USA.
Visit her website for more information at SharedPerspecitvesSupport.com
Anais Mora lives in Hollister, California. She is a member of the Old Mission San Juan Bautista parish and the Old Mission SJB prayer group; she also is an active member of the Spanish-language prayer group, El Rosario. She works as a legal assistant and is currently completing her final year in law school. Her forthcoming book, co-authored with Dr. Elizabeth Mahlou, Angel or Demon?, Is her first venture into professional publication.
Dr. Haim Omer
Author of 12 books and morethan 100 articles translatedinto 12 languages, Haim Omer create d the “New Authority Approach” to parenting. Born in Brazil to survivors of the
Holocaust, he has lived in Israel since 1967. He is a professor at Tel-Aviv University.
He is author of Courageous Parents
Dr. Dennis Ortman
Dennis Ortman, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in private practice in the Detroit Metropolitan area for over twenty years, specializing in treating those with addictions and those who have suffered the trauma of infidelity. Before becoming a psychologist, he was a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Detroit for fourteen years. He received the doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Detroit-Mercy and a graduate degree in theology from the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. With graduate degrees in both psychology and theology, he works with patients on issues at the borderline between psychology and spirituality, employing a mindful approach to therapy. He authored five books on recovery from addictions and infidelity. He also lectures around the country on utilizing the wisdom of Freud and Buddha in treatment. He is married and has three stepchildren and five step-grandchildren.
His book, Anxiety Anonymous, was released in December 2015, and his book, Depression Anonymous, was released in December 2016.
Tony Overbay is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), who has helped more than 1000 clients. He is, as well, a Certified Mindful Habit Coach, host of the award-winning podcast, The Virtual Couch, and a popular motivational speaker. He created The Path Back, a faith-based online pornography recovery program that has helped thousands break free from the destructive influences of pornography addiction and compulsive sexual behavior.
He is co-author of He’s a Porn Addict…Now What?
Gewanda Johnson Parker
Gewanda is the founder and CEO of Hope and Healing Corporation, serving the needs of the marginalized of society locally and abroad to orphanages in Haiti and Africa. In 2003, she started an organization to help young girls and teens suffering with self-esteem and identity issues.
Gewanda is a featured concert soloist, and her natural talent in music and praise and worship has offered her the opportunity to minister and travel singing throughout the US, Canada and Bahamas. Levitical Praise was birthed out of these true authentic worship experiences. Johnson holds a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary.
Gewanda has worked with multiple multicultural and diversity assemblage of both professionals and laity groups in various settings. Most notable, in 2003, she was asked to speak to the highly Militant Religious Divides between the Protestants and Catholics in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Gewanda hosted a weekly radio show called “Message of Hope,” which directed its content to reconciliation and healing of the family, community, spirit, soul, and mind.
Her book, It Only Hurts When I Can’t Run, was released in June 2015. This is the first volume of an intense memoir. Gewanda is working on the second volume.
Get to know Gewanda at her website.
Dr. Patt Pickett
For two decades, Patt Pickett, Ph.D., has listened to and learned from thousands of couples determined to strengthen their marriages. As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, she believes in the power of couples to create great relationships and feels privileged to witness the amazing changes possible.
In The Marriage Whisperer: Tips to Improve Your Relationship Overnight, published in 2013, Dr. Patt offers readers practical tips for relationship enrichment. This book has earned several honors, including winning the IPPY Living Now Awards Gold Medal in 2013 and an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Eric Hoffer Awards competition.
Dr. Patt continues the discussion in more depth in her new book, due out in June 2017, Awesome Couple Communication.
Dr. Patt has appeared on a number of radio and television shows. Links to them are available on her book page.
Catch her on her website for more tips and information about her past and upcoming events.
Julie V. Potter
Author of the forthcoming book, Harnessing the Power of Grief, Julie Potter is a certified social worker with experience in health care including home care, hospice, nursing home and hospital settings. For 20 years, she coordinated a spousal bereavement program and a hospital based wellness program for people 60 and over.
Dr. Kacee Quinelle
Dr. Kacee Quinelle (pseudonym) is a long-time friend of Dr. Ekaterina Filatova, author of the popular Understanding the People around You: An Introduction to Socionics. Katya, proliferate author in Russia, had wanted to bring alive the various aspects of socionics once her first book had been published in the USA, but she unfortunately passed away before she was able to do that. Kacee has undertaken the 16 follow-on small volumes, one on each socion (personality type), envisioned by her friend, Katya.
Her first volume in this series, Understanding the Seeker, was released in November 2015, followed by Understanding the Critic in November 2016. Understanding the Entrepreneur, currently underway, is the next in the series.
Brittany Renz is a successful personal trainer and mother in Hollister, California. A popular trainer with a very large, stable clientele, she trains together with her family, as well as coaching others. After years of people asking her how she does it all, she finally decided to take her experience and share it with the world.
Richard is a veterans, who wrote the book, Noah’s New Puppy, loosely based on his life and the wonderful help he received from his own service dog, Abby. Several years ago, Richard became a licensed service dog trainer, living with his family in Germany. Founder of K9s for Veterans Abroad, he is completing his MA in Social Work and plans to continue to combine his talent for dog training with his skills as a therapist to help veterans deal with their trauma.
Richard’s brother, Vincent Rice, drew the beautiful illustrations for Richard’s book.
Joanna Romer‘s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Mademoiselle, and other publications. With her late husband, Jack Milton, Romer wrote and produced the 1972 feature film, Please Stand By. For the past 14 years, she has taught communications at colleges and universities in Florida and New York.
Currently, Joanna Romer lives in Daytona Beach, Florida, where she has written several books for MSI Press, which have achieved various forms of acclaim. Follow the links to the books to learn about each and how it has been received.
Widow: A Survival Guide for the First Year was published in 2012.
A Widower’s Guide to a New Life, published in August 2014, received starred status in Library Journal, was recommended by US Review of Books, and was selected as Book of the Year Award finalist for 2014.
With Cheryl Vassiliadis, Joanna produced Creative Aging: A Baby Boomer’s Guide to Successful Living, released in December 2014 and favorably reviewed by Library Journal. This book was selected as a 2015 USA Best Books Award finalist and recommended by US Review of Books.
Divorced: Survival Techniques for Singles Over 40 was released in June 2015.
A Woman’s Guide to Self-Nurturing: How to Build Self-Esteem by Being Nice to Yourself was released in November 2015.
How to Get Happy and Stay That Way was released in May 2016.
Passing On: How to Prepare Ourselves for the Afterlife was released in December 2016.
Recovering from Domestic Violence will be released in May 2017.
It is with deep sorrow that we report the passing of Joanna Romer, unexpectedly, in July 2018. Her prolific contribution to the bookshelves of libraries — and MSI Press — has been tremendous. Her books are well-loved. She had two books in various stages of publication when she died; they will be published posthumously: Helping Our Disabled Veterans and with Pat Young, Life after Losing a Child.
Dr. Amir Sabzevary holds two Master’s degrees and a PhD; his dissertation is entitled Choiceless Awareness: Psychological Freedom in the Philosophy of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Dr. Sabzevary has taught religion and philosophy for over 30 years at a variety of colleges and universities in the Bay Area and is currently the Chair of Philosophy and Humanities at Laney College in Oakland, CA.
Dr. Yasir Sakr
A practicing architect since 1983, Yasr (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania; M. S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; B.S., University of Jordan) is an international consultant in architectural design and planning, who has won top awards in several design competitions. He is currently an urban development strategist leading multi-disciplinary teams of international consultants in the urban re-development of the central area of the Holy City of Makka, KSA. Previously, he was assistant professor at the Department of Architecture at the Jordan and Petra Universities and a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and the American Archaeological School in Jerusalem. Professor Sakr has lectured and published widely on architectural education, design theory, and history.
His book, Subversive Utopia: Louis Kahn and the Question of the National Jewish Style in Jerusalem, was released in Fall 2016.
Born in Israel, raised in Canada, and now living in the US, Irit Schaffer works in her physical therapy practice in California, where her “good blood” background and her extensive educational training has allowed her a unique perspective on the mind-body-spirit connection.
Irit is the author of Good Blood.
Betty Shaw and her daughter, Liz, travel throughout the United States to bring awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. She lives in Easton, Maryland with her family and their dog, Quintin.
Her book with Dave Brown, One Simple Text…The Liz Marks Story, is a poignant tale of the drama that Liz and her family suffered as a result of her nearly dying from an accident that resulted from texting while driving.
Joshua Shea is a recovering pornography addict and the author of The Addiction Nobody Will Talk About: How I Let My Pornography Addiction Hurt People and Destroy Relationships. He has appeared on over 50 podcasts, television and radio shows. Prior to admitting his addiction, Joshua was a prominent magazine publisher, award-winning journalist, film festival founder and politician in central Maine
He is co-author of He’s a Porn Addict…Now What?
Janice Hucknall Snyder
Janice was caregiver to her husband for twenty years. He had Parkinson’s Disease, followed by dementia. She wrote about what she was experiencing during that time, as it was therapy for her. What followed is her book, Survival of the Caregiver. Janice loves playing bridge, doing photography, swimming laps, and writing poetry, some of which has been published.
Janice also wrote a weekly column for The Beaches Leader, called “On The Sunny Side,” for two years.
Check out her website for caregivers.
Everyone has at least one story to tell; Alfred Stites has a lifetime’s worth. Candid, humorous, thought provoking and interesting, his writings delight both young and old. Writing is a passion for Alfred… he writes because he loves to tell a story. If you’re fortunate enough to sit in his presence whilst he weaves a tale or two, blue eyes a’ twinkle, you’ll not forget neither the story told nor the storyteller.
His book, Forget the Goal, the Journey Counts…71 jobs Later, relates a lifetime of interesting meetings, unusual endeavors, and tales worth relating and reading.
Update 2016: Alfred passed away on on April 11, 2016 after living a very long and full life. Just read his book, “Forget the Goal, the Journey Counts…71 Jobs Later,” and that will be clear. He worked with some rather famous people, like JFK and others of equal fame. He had quite a zest for life. For 94 years he fully enjoyed every day of it. Indeed, a long, full life. RIP, Alfred. We have enjoyed your stories.
Sula is a very unusual cat. She is the parish cat for Old Mission San Juan Bautista and, beyond being beloved by the people of the parish who see her at Mass every day and have paid for two cancer surgeries through collections, she has garnered some national attention for her miraculous understanding of who needs comfort and joy — and uncannily offering it to them at just the right time.
Her story will appear in Guideposts Magazine in December 2015.
She has also written a book, with the help of some of the parishioners at Old Mission SJB, called Surviving Cancer, Helping People: One Cat’s Story, which was published in June 2016, is recommended by US Review of Books, and was selected as a Reviewers’ Choice book for MidWest Book Review, in which the reviewer “highly recommended” the book.
Sula is now working on telling her story to children, and her friends are planning to help her with a children’s book, Tale of a Mission Cat.
Sula also has plans for a special mission Christmas story book, to be released next December.
Contact Sula on FaceBook.
Michael Vito Tosto
Michael Tosto is a theological and spiritual writer and a former leader in the Christian church. A graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in history, he spent ten years researching the history and evolution of humanity’s theological consciousness. Joshuanism is a culmination of that research; a work of theology and spirituality, his book details an alternative to the current manifestations of Christianity yet still rooted in the same Son of God.
Patti Trombly has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in the Teaching of Reading. Even after 20 years of teaching in elementary school, middle school and college, she still looks for teachable moments in everyday life and for new ways to help children learn. She is a parent of two, a teacher and a business owner — and the co-author of 365 Teacher Secrets for Parents: Fun Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in Elementary School.
Check out the book’s website for more “fun ways” — and workbook.
Shai Tubali is the author of fourteen books in the Hebrew language, among them bestselling and prize-winning fiction and non-fiction. For the last twelve years, he has taught spiritual transformation and spiritual therapy in Israel, Germany, and India. His knowledge of chakras and subtle anatomy derives from the Yogic Nityananda tradition through the American Yogi, Dr. Gabriel Cousens, and from working with thousands of people in hundreds of workshops. He developed the White Light method, which enables people to utilize their subtle anatomy and chakras for psychological and spiritual balance.
His book, A Guide to Bliss, was published March 2015.
Interviews with Shai Tubali:
Shai Tubali and the White Light Method (in Hebrew)
Video presentations by Shai Tubali:
Chakren von Shai Tubali (in German; auf deutsch)
The Five Principles of the White Light (five parts)
Find out more at his website.
Fernando Ustman is a consulting psychologist from Colombia, now living in San Diego. He holds a master’s degree in transpersonal psychology from the South American School of Transpersonal Psychology as well as an MBA from the University of Phoenix. He has studied in Argentina, the United States, and Spain. He specializes in levels of consciousness, holotropic respiration, dynamic meditation, and archetypal psychology – applications that improve the quality of life — and conducts workshops and lectures on these topics. He also has produced videos on Neurolinguistic Programming.
Cheryl lives in an over-55 lifestyle community outside Atlanta that offers a an abundance of life-enriching activities. She dances for herself and teaches dance to others. In the past year she added tai chi instructor to her resume. She started a Flowing Rhythm Dance Class in her community and also teaches dance movement for sit-down classes for those without the ability or balance to dance while standing. In order to give back to others, Cheryl also takes her sit-down Flowing Rhythm class to an adult daycare facility to bring a sense of joy and fun to their lives. All these dancers are an inspiration in what they achieve.
With Joanna Romer, she co-authored Creative Aging: A Baby Boomer’s Guide to Successful Living.
Dr. Danny Wise
Dr. Danny Wise holds a PhD in organizational psychology from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Wise’s doctoral work focused on issues of resiliency of individuals in work environments, especially those undergoing significant change.
Dr. Wise is completing a book, How to Stay Alive When Your Job Is Killing You, with Dr. Chris Kingman.
Pat Young has written for the Daytona Beach News Journal, South Bend Tribune, Flint (MI) Journal, Clarkston (MI) News, Hometown News in Daytona Beach, Florida, New Mexico Magazine, Silver City Life Magazine and other publications.
She also worked in public relations and advertising for several real estate companies in Michigan, New Mexico and Florida.
She earned awards for her writing, including National Newspaper Association and Michigan Press Association awards. She earned two media awards while at the South Bend Tribune. One of her stories in New Mexico Magazine (“Giant Wind Harp in Tune with Nature”) was chosen for inclusion in the SIRS Discoverer data base.
She has an associate degree in liberal arts. She has written stories, articles and poetry since she was a kid, but the book she is co-authoring with Joanna Romer, Life after Losing a Child, is her first book. When she isn’t writing, she volunteers at the Port Orange, Florida YMCA and at the Ponce Inlet, Florida Lighthouse. She lives in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida with her life partner Dean Vanderbleek.