Holiday Contributors

Mom for the Holidays: Stories of Love, Laughter, and Tantrums at Christmas and Hanukkah

Meet the talented contributors to Mom for the Holidays: Stories of Love, Laughter, and Tantrums at Christmas and Hanukkah. Compiled and edited by Rachel Demas and Lisa Nolan! Available on Amazon. Follow our Holiday Tour and Twitter parties! Begins in early November! Go here!

BUT FIRST: Comments from our visitors!

“What a great list! I’ve always enjoyed Marcia Kester Doyle [of Menopausal Mother], so I’m a fan. It’s awesome for you to put something like this together.” ~Lexie Lane of VoiceBoks Fanpage

“This sounds great… and thank you for introducing me to even more wonderful bloggers! Perfect on a rainy day to go through all of them.” ~Erica Ash of Everything Mom and Baby 

Meet Our Contributing Authors!

Amy Dillon of Hot Breakfast is a writer and the mom of two boys. Her work has appeared in Brain, Child magazine, and in short-form quips in The Bigger Book of Parenting Tweets. Amy tweets as @amydillon, blogs at, and lives in Durham, North Carolina. (

Andrea Bates, Good Girl Gone Redneck: Andrea is a native New Yorker living in NC who has become quite accustomed to wearing flip flops year-round. An LCSW, she spends her free time volunteering and advocating for mental health awareness. At her blog, Good Girl Gone Redneck, Andrea writes from the heart, sharing the ins and outs of parenting, family, and life. Andrea has been featured on Scary Mommy, SITS, Postpartum Progress, and Carolina Parent. She lives in Durham with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and trillions of dust bunnies. She hopes to find a clear surface in her house some day! (

Annmarie B. Tait resides in Conshohocken, PA with her husband, Joe. In addition to writing stories about her large Irish Catholic family and the memories they made, Annmarie also enjoys singing and recording Irish and American Folk Songs. She has over 50 stories published in various anthologies including, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Thin Threads, and Patchwork Path. Contact Annmarie at: irishbloom (at)

Beth Markley, Manic Mumbling, Musings of a Mostly Mediocre Mom: Beth is a forty-something freelance consultant and overcommitted volunteer. She has a wonderful family, which puts up with her use of their exploits as blog fodder. That family (and fodder) includes a husband with a fantastic sense of humor and two sons (teen and preteen) who will one day appreciate it. Beth loves writing, reading, and running long distances very slowly. She consistently overestimates her abilities as a chef. She shouldn’t be allowed to dye her own hair or pick out living room furniture, and she can’t figure out the TV remote, but is otherwise a good person. If she could choose any superpower, it would be the ability to read in a moving vehicle without getting woozy. Her work has been featured online at Scary Mommy, What The Flicka?, and Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. (

Brandi Walerius is the woman behind the keyboard at where she shares motherhood, life truths, dreams, fears, and all things worthy of her obsession. A lover of words, she serves as a content writer for several businesses and organizations. When Brandi’s not translating her ideas and thoughts into printed words, she’s living happily ever after, drowning in testosterone, with her husband and two sons in northwest Ohio.

Cara Sue Achterberg is a writer and blogger who lives in New Freedom, PA with her remarkable children, adoring husband, underutilized horses, disobedient dog, occasional foster dogs, three perfect kitties, and a frequently changing number of chickens. Her first novel, I’m Not Her, explores what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes–literally. It’s the story of two very different women and what happens after a Valentine’s Display topples on Carin’s pretty head and lands her in Leann’s difficult life. Her nonfiction book, Live Intentionally: 65 Challenges for a Healthier Happier Life, is based on her long running blog and offers ideas, recipes, and inspiration for living a more intentional life. Cara’s essays and articles have been published in numerous anthologies, national magazines, websites, and blogs. You can find links to her blogs, news about upcoming publications, and inspiration for teen writers at Ca raWrites. (

Carolyn Wilhelm has a BS in Elementary Education, an MS in Special Studies of Gifted Children, an MA in Curriculum and Instruction K-12, and was a National Board Certified Teacher 2004-2014. She has taught grades 1-5, Title 1 math, as well as gifted education. She has been a free-lance curriculum writer since 1974. She lives between two cities in Minnesota, one near the twin cities and the other is near her “husband’s cabin” in the north woods. Despite interesting life adventures, her children managed to grow up and have professional careers. Retired, she currently volunteers with preschool children. Her hobby will be being a grandma starting in February of 2016. (

Cordelia Newlin de Rojas, Multilingual Mama: Cordelia is the voice behind the site, Multilingual Mama, where she chronicles her parenting adventures in raising her two global girls abroad. Former hobnobber with the intellectual elite, she formerly resided in Bangkok, Thailand where she home schooled her children, protected her registered dog from stray pythons, and Indiana Jonesed her way through the urban jungle. Cordelia’s eclectic and often regrettable past includes eco-innovation, sailing instruction, and papermaking. She is a regular contributor to In Culture Parent, BLUNTmoms, and has been published on Fast Company. When she isn’t writing, Cordelia is creating multilingual citizens of the world, one child at a time. (

Courtney Henderson: As a stay-at-home mom and military spouse, Courtney wears many hats—all of which look fabulous with yoga pants. Her hobbies include writing, traveling, reading, cooking, and never drinking enough water. She also enjoys starting craft projects and never finishing them. Courtney currently lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and young son and daughter.

Debra Ayers Brown is the creator of My Write Platform, a marketing boutique that helps writers who want a profession, not a hobby. (

Gina Fenton of Extreme Mom: There’s the painfully boring PERFECT mom, and then there’s . . . Extreme Mom. Gina’s blog is the uncut and uncensored thoughts bouncing around in her head, except on speakerphone. Matriarch extraordinaire of four teens including an extra credit bundle called ADHD, OCD, Aspergers, Bipolar and every-other-quirk not yet recognized in the DSM. Proud member of the Parental Special Forces. That’s like a Green Beret, but with more practical skills. She’d like to advise a rating of M for mature, but mature’s not exactly a word she’d use to describe herself. She is more like a fun grown-up. (

Jeanine Lebsack is a stay-at-and-work-from-home Mom, happily married to her high school sweetheart whom she’s known and loved for a lifetime. She’s a special needs parent and an advocate for Sensory Processing Disorder, Global Developmental Delay, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She keeps busy as a Beach Body fitness coach and a transcriptionist. She is an avid reader and writer, which helped her enter the blog world two years ago, and she is currently writing a novel. Her sweet sons, as well as her amazing husband, are her light and loves. They allow her to be inspired, loved, and able to share her journey. Jeanine recently had the honor of being a contributor to the Lose the Cape—Never Will I Ever (then I had kids) anthology. (

Jennifer Shakeel: Jen is a professional writer and former nurse with over 12 years medical experience. Most importantly, an only parent of four amazing children. Her purpose here it so share what she has learned about parenting as well as the challenges and joys of raising two special needs children. Providing inspiration that will make you laugh, cry, and rejoice in the fact that being a parent is one of the greatest jobs on Earth! (more4kids)

Julie Mayerson Brown is an author, editor, and story coach. Her first novel, The Long Dance Home, was published by World Nouveau in 2013. She can usually be found in a quiet corner of her local library working on her next book. When not writing novels or rescuing dogs, Julie is reading, gardening, cooking, or bargain shoe shopping online (not necessarily in that order). (

Kate Coveny Hood of The Big Piece of Cake: Kate Coveny Hood discovered the fast growing community of parenting blogs in 2008 and decided to create her own humor site: The Shortly after leaving her full time job – and realizing that she’s not that funny – Kate began writing more about her life as an exiled city child turned suburban mother of three. Her essays have been featured in anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum, as well as on and The Washington Post On Parenting blog.  (

Kelly Hirt is a teacher, a homeschooling mama, and a special needs parent. She started her site, My Twice Baked Potato, as a way to connect families who are learning about twice-exceptional children. Kelly’s work has been seen in ParentMap, Huffington Post, Mamalode, BonBon Break, and BrainChild’s blog. (

Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee: Kristi is a semi-lapsed career woman with twenty years of marketing experience in a variety of national and global technology companies. While she does work part time, her passion is writing and drawing pictures for her blog, Finding Ninee (pronounced nine-ee for her son’s pronunciation of the word airplane). It began with a memoir about her special-needs son, Tucker, which Kristi abandoned after a publisher said she would rather shave a cat than read another memoir. Kristi has been featured on Autism Speaks, Scary Mommy, Mamapedia, and Families in the Loop, and was published in the popular anthologies The HerStories Project, Mother of All Meltdowns, Awakening Wonder, and Life Well Blogged: Parenting Gag Reel. She received a BlogHer’s Voice of the Year People’s Choice Award (category Exploration) and was a proud cast member of 2014 Washington DC’s Listen to Your Mother Show. Kristi is also a contributing writer to the Huffington Post. She almost always leaves the house in either flip-flops or Uggs, depending on the weather. (

Laura A. Lord is the author of numerous collections of vignettes and poetry and one awesome children’s book about a T-Rex screwing up her entire day. It’s absolutely a true story. Laura lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with her husband and three children. Laura’s collections focus heavily on women’s issues in today’s society. She pulls inspiration from her rural upbringing in an effort to bring back story-telling. Her work has been featured in The Beacon, The Collegian, Precipice, Massacre Magazine, Tipsy Lit, The Reverie Journal, and Whirl with Words. She is one of the founding members of The Reverie Journal and Book Genesis, a book editing and marketing company. (

Lea Grover is a writer and speaker living on Chicago’s south side. Her writing has been featured in numerous anthologies, including Listen To Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now, and on websites ranging from The Huffington Post to AlterNet to The Daily Mail Online, and she speaks about sex positivity in parenting and on behalf of the RAINN Speakers Bureau. She can be found on her blog, Becoming SuperMommy, or preparing her upcoming memoir.

Linda O’Connell is an accomplished writer and seasoned teacher from St. Louis, MO. A positive thinker, she writes from the heart, bares her soul, and finds humor in everyday situations. Her inspirational and humorous stories have been published in regional, national and international publications. Linda enjoys a hearty laugh, dark chocolate and walking the beach with her husband. Their blended family of four adult children, nine grandchildren and six-month-old, great grandson have given her many laugh lines. (

Linda Wolff writes the lifestyle/parenting blog, Carpool Goddess, where she proves that midlife, motherhood, and the empty nest aren’t so scary. Her essays have been published in numerous anthologies, and is a frequent contributor on Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, The Mid, and many more. (

Lori Davis is a lifelong lover of music and books. She currently live in St. Louis, Missouri, where she teaches piano, violin, and voice, dabbles in writing, works as an editor, and enjoys life with her husband and daughter. (

Mandy Reilly is blessed to be from a large Sicilian family, she is trying to use her boisterousness for good by sharing her stories about her magical son to help give special needs families both their voices and hope. She is a proud, Milwaukee Listen to Your Mother 2014 alumna, and has been featured on Mamalode and in Metroparent Magazine.  She could always use a margarita and a nap. (

Marcia Kester Doyle is the author of the humor book, Who Stole My Spandex?, and the voice behind the popular blog, Menopausal Mother. Her work has been featured on numerous sites, including The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Blunt Moms, BlogHer, In The Powder Room, The Mid, Boomeon, Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop, and Midlife Boulevard, among others. Marcia is also a contributing author to nine anthologies, and a Blogher 2014 VOTY winner in humor along with the VoiceBoks Top Humor Blog Award the same year. She lives in sunny Florida, is the mother of four children, and a grandmother to a feisty toddler. Marcia can usually be found with a fan in one hand to ward off hot flashes, and a jar of Nutella in the other, in case of a chocolate emergency.

Mary Widdicks is a 32-year-old mom to two boys and a brand new baby girl. She started Outmanned so she’d have a place to escape the testosterone and share her hilarious life with the rest of the world, but is now drowning in a sea of pink and loving every minute of it. Mary’s writing has been featured on great parenting sites such as Scary Mommy, Mamapedia, Mamalode, In the Powder Room, Pregnant Chicken, and BLUNTmoms, as well as several anthologies.  She has been honored as a Voice of the Year by BlogHer in 2014 and 2015, and 2014 Badass Blogger of the Year by The Indie Chicks.  (

Melinda Mayor is a writer and performer based in Paris, France. Her work has appeared in the online magazine France Revisited, and her Meshugeneh Mama column is a regular feature in Message magazine. Melinda has performed her one-woman show, Jew! (A Musical), at festivals in Canada and the UK, and she recently premiered her latest play, All That Matters: A Modern Mini-Musical about Motherhood, to audiences in Paris. Melinda also enjoys performing burlesque, but please don’t tell her kids that, as she has enough trouble getting them to keep their clothes on as it is. (

Michelle D Smith  is a visionary and spiritual gladiator seeking to share awareness with many. She is a Certified Angel Card Reader with a spiritual blog, She writes a monthly relationship column for Michelle was a cast member of the 2015 Listen To Your Mother Baltimore.The different niches for each site allow her to reach a variety of people to amuse, entertain and inspire. 

Michelle Grewe, Crumpets and Bollocks: Michelle is a former bookkeeper, airman, and office manager who is now a stay-at-home mother of three girls (PMS will be a bi*** someday) who drove her to a point of insanity, a place of no return (and even if there was a return, she wouldn’t return it). She is a mom, monster hit man, bouncer, Twenty Questions master, semi-professional diamond thief, mad scientist, human jungle gym, and a terrible driver. Her addiction to Diet Coke, energy drinks, and random dancing has kept her functioning enough to appear sane to most of the world. She might be psychic, but if she is, she isn’t psychic enough to know for sure. She is fascinated with mom bloggers, TS Eliot poems about cats, math, classical music, and hip-hop. In her spare time from plowing fields, she paints, blogs at Crumpets and Bollocks, plays piano badly dabbles in T-shirt design and “fontography.” She is a walking paradox as she is the most intelligent idiot you will ever encounter. She is a scientific non-judgy Christian who loves love and peace. She knows it all because she admits she knows nothing. And her nonsense actually does make sense if you drink enough vodka and pray.  (

Michelle Poston Combs writes humorous and serious observations on life, menopause, anxiety, and marriage on her site, Rubber Shoes In Hell. She lives in Ohio with her husband and youngest son. She stands at the precipice of empty nest syndrome which she finds both terrifying and exhilarating. Michelle programs computers to pay the bills. She counters this soul sucking endeavor by contributing to Jen Mann’s anthology I Still Just Want To Pee Alone, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy/The Mid, Better After 50, BLUNTmoms, and Listen To Your Mother. (

Nicole L.V. Mullis is the author of A Teacher Named Faith (Cairn Press 2015). Her work has appeared in literary magazines, anthologies, and newspapers. Her plays have been produced in New York, California, and Michigan. She was named the 2013 Robert J. Pickering Award for Playwriting Excellence recipient, and  a 2014 Gertrude Stein Award finalist. She has been a Battle Creek Enquirer columnist since 2006. (

Rachel Demas, The Tao of Poop: Rachel Demas spends her days with her delightful and frustrating three-year-old, Claire, in New York City. She blogs about the shock and amazement of being a first-time mom at The Tao of Poop. She has contributed writing to the anthologies The Mother of All Meltdowns, and Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness, and is a contributing editor at Monkey Star Press. (

Randa Jo Downs: Performance artist and writer. Her solo show In My Father’s Bed toured nationally and was featured at the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. She worked in child welfare 20+ years and is a strong advocate for LGBT youth in foster care. She is currently finishing Comfort, TX: Revelations from a brief childhood, stories about on growing up in TX before it became a red state.

Raymonda Rice is a freelance writer. She spends her time divided between figuring out this single parenting thing and writing unique and engaging content for different start-ups. Find her being awesome on Twitter.

Sarah Hosseini: Sarah is an introverted urbanite, temporarily hiding out in the suburbs, wondering, with a glass of wine in hand, where is everybody? (But secretly hopes no one comes out of their house to talk to her). She lives in Atlanta-ish with her two girls and husband. Sarah writes profanity laced musings on her blog  (

Shannon Styles is the writer and creator of Mrs. Momblog which focuses on topics from parenting, to teaching, to being a working mom. Shannon is a ninth grade English teacher by day, and   sarcastic mom by night. In addition to her own blog, Shannon’s work has been featured on sites such as The Huffington Post and The Mid. She lives with her husband and three children in the Buffalo, NY area. You can read her daily shenanigans on her Facebook page, and her longer ramblings at mrsmomblog.

Sue Bradford Edwards: Writing helps Sue Bradford Edwards explore the world. She has been to the English Channel with Gertrude Ederle, across the Yucatan peninsula with the Ancient Maya, and even into the fire of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  She has written about earthquakes, sharks, and even horse poop. Although much of Sue’s writing is for teens and children, she also writes how-tos for writers, devotionals, and parenting essays. She and her family live in Florissant, Missouri where she spends much of her non-writing time at swim meets, sewing on Scouting related badges and patches, and doing swim and scout related laundry. You can find out about her and her work by visiting her web site and her blog, Sue Bradford Edwards. (

Susan Lee Maccarelli writes primarily humor, though, occasionally, she’ll reveal a soft underbelly — both in her writing, and by accident when bending over in the car to pick up a stray French fry off of the floor mats. Susan also helps other bloggers get featured on the websites they aspire to, via her blog resource site Features on sites like In the Powder Room, Mamapedia, Mamalode, Scary Mommy, Mom Babble, Bon Bon Break, and HuffPost help feed her attention-seeking  needs. (

Terri Elders, LCSW, recently returned to her native California. She’s happy to be back near her family, old friends, and her beloved Pacific Ocean. Her stories have appeared in over a hundred anthologies. She blogs at A Touch of Tarragon. (

Tina Marie Bietler is mom to two adorable but very active boys, wife, homemaker, fourth grade teacher, and blogger. Her life is full, busy, often crazy, and yet very blessed. She has twenty years of experience raising and teaching kids. She has also learned a few tricks to stay on top of it all and have a little fun along the way. (

Tricia Stream: Corporate writer by day, mommy blogger by night, Tricia is a Silicon Valley tech geek raising twin toddlers–Search and Destroy. Instead of having one baby after nine months, she had two after six; she’s efficient like that. Tricia is a hybrid who runs on coffee and chocolate while writing about life around her–because sometimes finding the humor of the situation is the only way to survive. (

Wendy Schmidt is a native of Wisconsin. She has been writing short stories and poetry for the last ten years.  The Four C’s–cat, chocolate, coffee and computer are her chosen writing tools. Pieces have been published in Verse Wisconsin, Chicago Literati, City Lake Poets, Literary Hatchet, Moon Magazine, and a number of other poetry and fiction anthologies.  (

Yvonne Spence is author of Drawings in Sand, a novel about a mother in recovery. She has an MA in Creative Writing, which she was working towards when her second daughter was born very prematurely. She blogs at, and in 2015 she instigated the blogging initiative, 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion, which unites bloggers worldwide to spread compassion around the globe. Yvonne lives in the UK with her husband and teenage daughters. (

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