“A gifted storyteller with a distinctive voice, Samantha has the unique abilities to make the personal universal, to make the world and characters she’s created come to life on the page, and to make the reader feel deeply.”

Colleen Sell, Editor, A Cup of Comfort series

Fresh Ink

  • CSS Living with Alzheimer's-& Other Dementias

    “The Power Of What Is,” Chicken Soup For The Soul: Living With Alzheimer’s

    Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, 2014

  • “Sharing the Journey,” Chicken Soup For The Soul: Living With Alzheimer’s

    “Sharing the Journey,” Chicken Soup For The Soul: Living With Alzheimer’s

    Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, 2014

  • “Time for Music,” The Multitasking Mom’s Survival Guide

    “Time for Music,” The Multitasking Mom’s Survival Guide

    Chicken Soup Publishing
    March, 2014

  • The Dating Game, Chicken Soup for the Soul

    “The List,” Chicken Soup For The Soul: The Dating Game

    Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing,  December 2013.

    Buy Now!

  • “Chasing Perfection,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: Parenthood

    “Chasing Perfection,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: Parenthood

    Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, March, 2013.

     

    A torrent of love washed over me the first moment I saw her, astounded by the wonder of her ten tiny fingers and toes, each with a delicate nail, her bright eyes, her rosebud mouth, the softness of her cheek. My first born, she deserved nothing less than a perfect mother and I vowed to be just that.

  • “Biking Haleakala,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels Among Us

    “Biking Haleakala,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels Among Us

    Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, January 1, 2013

    One woman got back in the van, the ride too difficult for her. Although I knew I should be confident, fear built inside me. I prayed again for God’s help. My heart pounded and I gripped the handlebars as though my bike would turn into a bucking bronco.

    Buy Now

     

  • “Samuel’s Promise,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages From Heaven

    “Samuel’s Promise,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages From Heaven

    In bookstores February 28, 2012

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    “I was her chance for a child of her own flesh and blood. But was having a baby worth risking her life?”

  • “Guru Kitty,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can’t Believe My Cat Did That

    “Guru Kitty,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can’t Believe My Cat Did That

    Chicken Soup for the Soul, Publishing, September, 2012

     

    “You’re better motivation than any article I’ve read,” I said, my lips against her tiny damp nose. “Naomi is a nice name, but maybe I should start calling you Guru Kitty.”

     

  • “Young Love, Old Rules,” Heartscapes: True Stories of Remembered Love

    “Young Love, Old Rules,” Heartscapes: True Stories of Remembered Love

    Spruce Mountain Press
    July, 2012
    The warmth of teenage love infused my body as I clasped my hands behind Mel’s neck and we swayed to the music.

  • “Back in the Saddle,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Back Pain!

    “Back in the Saddle,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Back Pain!

    Chicken Soup for the Soul, May, 2012

     

    Was horseback riding really such a demanding sport? Or was there something seriously wrong with my back?

     

  • “Enjoy This Day,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers

    “Enjoy This Day,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers

    In bookstores March 13, 2012

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    “Ray deserved the best caregiving around. But was I up to it?”

  • “Learning to Trust,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters

    “Learning to Trust,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters

    In bookstores March 13, 2012

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    “I sensed that Alicia’s inner beauty matched the outer beauty of her heart-shaped face and exotic blue eyes, and that she would become my fourth child — the one I had longed for since a miscarriage many years before….but it wasn’t that easy.

  • “Choices,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters

    “Choices,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters

    In bookstores March 13, 2012

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    “At the high school  where I taught I was known for creating classrooms where students felt nurtured, yet I couldn’t create the same positive climate at home.”

  • “Time To Write”

    “Time To Write”

    Willamette Writers Newsletter, January, 2012

    I imagine the words “write more” appear on every writer’s list of New Y ear’s resolutions. But how? When?

  • “The Friendliest Folks Around,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada

    “The Friendliest Folks Around,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada

    2011

     Buy Now!

    This town touched my heart. I remembered something I’d read on the Souris website. “We’re the friendliest folks around.” Maybe so.

  • “Fourth Place,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for the Young at Heart

    “Fourth Place,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for the Young at Heart

    2011

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    As a freelance writer, I was used to scheduling my own days. Now I’d need to be in partner mode all the time. I wasn’t sure how good I’d be at that.

  • “Double Love,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Dog’s Life

    “Double Love,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Dog’s Life

    2011

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    Rex courted Machiko the way a high school sophomore courts his first big crush….With the awkwardness and exuberance of youth, he knocked flower pots of the Tomitas’ deck, stole sushi off their counter, and splashed water from a proffered water bowl all across their tiled kitchen floor. She forgave him everything.

  • “Weird, Awkward, Romantic Moments,” Redbook

    “Weird, Awkward, Romantic Moments,” Redbook

    February, 2011

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    “Now don’t get me wrong. I have a Costco card and appreciate the prices as much as anyone. But for a third date?”

  • “Supersized Love,” A Cup of Comfort for Couples

    “Supersized Love,” A Cup of Comfort for Couples

    Adams Media: 2011

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    A big cement warehouse with everything in supersize for a third date? Where were the candles? The music? Would he reach across a display of Sonicare toothbrushes to take my hand?

     

  • “The Story Question”

    “The Story Question”

    Willamette Writers’ Newsletter, January, 2010

    “You’re writing a story. The dialogue crackles, a metaphor is working perfectly, the setting satiates the senses. Then the words flooding the page slow to a dribble.”

  • “Christmas Magic,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tales of Christmas

    “Christmas Magic,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tales of Christmas

    Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishers: 2010

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    How could I explain to Tami that Monty would do anything for us but celebrate Christmas? Monty and I had argued about the holiday for eight years and finally agreed to disagree.

     

  • “Christmas Magic,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Gift of Christmas

    “Christmas Magic,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Gift of Christmas

    Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishers:  2010

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    How could I explain to Tami that Monty would do anything for us but celebrate Christmas? Monty and I had argued about the holiday for eight years and finally agreed to disagree.

     

  • “Two Loves,” Why We Ride, San Francisco:

    “Two Loves,” Why We Ride, San Francisco:

    Seal Press,  2010

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    I”ve begged Ray more times than there are hairs in my horse’s forelock to please go riding with me….Miracle of miracles, as a birthday present, today he finally agreed to go.

  • “A Village Built With Ink and Dreams,” A Cup of Comfort For A Better World

    “A Village Built With Ink and Dreams,” A Cup of Comfort For A Better World

    Adams Media: 2010

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    “Look at the glass windows,” Najmeh said when we accepted the invitation for tea and passed through a gate and courtyard into a two-room house. She explained that village homes usually had only openings for windows, and in winter the openings were covered with paper or rags. “I brought these here with money from the books.”

    My Mom’s books bought windows?

  • “The Granddaddy,” Chicken Soup for the Soul

    “The Granddaddy,” Chicken Soup for the Soul

    Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing: 2010

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    I can’t believe I’m in Alaska. I’m running the Campbell Creek Greenbelt, my steps as light as my heart….High with the thrill of it all I round a corner and …

  • “T-Shirt Tales,” Chicken Soup for the Soul

    “T-Shirt Tales,” Chicken Soup for the Soul

    Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing: 2010

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    I ran through the winter, alone, now, because Sherry really had quit. My runs were my meditation, renewing mind and body. I didn’t ask my husband to join me, not wanting more rejection.

  • “A Ray of Dogshine,” Good Dogs Doing Good, New York

    “A Ray of Dogshine,” Good Dogs Doing Good, New York

    LaChance Publishing: 2010

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    By the time I got home, fifty pounds of fur bounced from Tami, to Joel, to Ben in his wheelchair.

  • “My Running Partners,” The Ultimate Runner

    “My Running Partners,” The Ultimate Runner

    Health Communication Inc: 2010

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    The next morning I had to talk firmly with myself as I tied on my running shoes. It wasn’t the rain. I was used to that. I’d even jogged in snow, more dependent on my morning run than a cup of coffee….It was the creepy noises, the yards of near-darkness between the street lamps, the sense of being entirely alone if something should happen to me that unsettled me.

  • “Connecting,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: True Love

    “Connecting,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: True Love

    Chicken Soup For The Soul Publishing: 2009

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    Just this morning I was grousing to Annie, my golden retriever, that a second marriage isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Too many complications with joint and personal accounts, blended families, and difficult exes…. Ray and I vow to look lovingly at each other more often. How hard can it be?

  • “More Than Red Roses,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: True Love

    “More Than Red Roses,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: True Love

    Chicken Soup For The Soul Publishing: 2009

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    I’d been in an obsessing-about-kitty phase, and Ray was already feeling unloved and unappreciated, when my horse suddenly got so ill I thought I might lose her.

  • “On Probation,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned From the Cat

    “On Probation,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned From the Cat

    Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, 2009

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    “You have to catch a lot of rats if you want to stay,” I whispered into his furry neck when it was my turn to cuddle him.

     

  • “Of Detour and Determination,” Chicken Soup for the Soul:Tough Times, Tough People

    “Of Detour and Determination,” Chicken Soup for the Soul:Tough Times, Tough People

    Health Communications, Inc: 2009

    Buy Now

    Shivering from cold and shock, I hold my son’s hands as he lies on the snow in a spreading crimson pool, both legs jutting at odd angles.

  • “Kenneth,” The Ultimate Teacher

    “Kenneth,” The Ultimate Teacher

    Health Communications, Inc:  2009

    Buy Now

    I tried to sound confident and firm as I again moved toward his desk. “You need to do as I ask.”

    “No.” He replied so softly I almost missed his response.

     

  • “All In The Family,” A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers II

    “All In The Family,” A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers II

    Adams Media:  2009

    Buy Now

    Should Ray and I argue within earshot  of Annie, she promptly comes to sit by one of us, then the other, looking us both in the eye, scolding, “Look you guys, knock it off. This family is about love.”

  • “Special Sisters,” A Cup of Comfort for Adopted Families

    “Special Sisters,” A Cup of Comfort for Adopted Families

    Adams Media: 2009

    Buy Now

    “This is my cousin,” my thirteen-year old sister, Shelly, announced to the bus driver, pointing at me as we boarded the city bus to go to our tap class.”

    “Her cousin?” I stared at my older sister, surprised into silence, unusual for my chatty, ten-year old self.

     

  • “Of Their Own Design,” A Cup of Comfort for New Mothers

    “Of Their Own Design,” A Cup of Comfort for New Mothers

    Adams Media: 2009

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    Benjamin peered from his blue receiving blanket, his two day old face bewitchingly beautiful with bright eyes, tiny nose, and rosebud mouth. “He looks like a monkey,” Tami, my blond, wispy-haired four year old announced as she took her first look at her new brother.

  • “So Much Strong,” Ask Me About My Divorce

    “So Much Strong,” Ask Me About My Divorce

    Seal Press: 2009

    Buy Now

    In my conflict-torn marriage my emotional biceps were like jelly.

     

  • “Team Fix-It,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery

    “Team Fix-It,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery

    Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing: 2008

    Buy Now!

    That night, as the kids inhaled turkey tacos, I did a Steve Martin impersonation. “We’re Team Fix- It….Together we can repair or maintain anything.”

  • “Tell Me Not To Worry,” A Cup of Comfort for Families Touched by Alzheimer’s

    “Tell Me Not To Worry,” A Cup of Comfort for Families Touched by Alzheimer’s

    Adams Media: Fall, 2008

    How could I do that if my brain is still intact? She can tell me not to worry. Probably Alzheimer’s doesn’t run in her family

    Buy Now

  • “Driving Lessons,” A Cup of Comfort for Divorced Women

    “Driving Lessons,” A Cup of Comfort for Divorced Women

    Adams Media: October 2008

    “The road we tried to travel together grew so littered with sharp rocks that I could barely find a way to move forward. Still, I thought if I stayed alert and drove carefully, I could make it.”

    Buy Now

  • “Kitty Bonds,” The Ultimate Cat Lover

    “Kitty Bonds,” The Ultimate Cat Lover

    Health Communications Inc, 2008

    Buy Now

    “Your cat’s fine, honey.” My husband clearly found my daily kitty report less interesting than the biography of Thomas Jefferson he was trying to read.

  • “Royalty,” The Ultimate Horse Lover

    “Royalty,” The Ultimate Horse Lover

    Health Communications, Inc., 2008

    Buy Now

    She looked down her shapely Arabian nose at me and with her huge brown eyes conveyed the message, “I will go home with you on one condition. You must treat me like a princess.”

  • “Fresh Tracks,” Reading Lips and Other Ways to Cope with a Disability

    “Fresh Tracks,” Reading Lips and Other Ways to Cope with a Disability

    Apprentice House Press: August 2008.

    A man approached, the driver of the car that had struck me a glancing blow, then hit another car, crushing Ben’s legs between the vehicles. He nervously assured me of adequate insurance. Insurance? I just wanted my son to live.

    Buy Now

  • “Finding My North Sea,” The Rambler

    “Finding My North Sea,” The Rambler

    July/August 2008

    Buy Now

    My heart thuds in my chest, my thighs burn, my hands shake on the handlebars. Hopefully the men aren’t closing in.

  • “My Mother, My Hero,” My Teacher Is My Hero

    “My Mother, My Hero,” My Teacher Is My Hero

    Adams Media: 2008

    “While most mothers in her day would sweetly ask if you’d like a cookie, my mother would sweetly ask if my story had solid plot structure and reflected character development. She was incredibly and indelibly focused. It was like living in a permanent writing residency.”

    Buy Now

  • “Mirror, Mirror, On the Stall,” A Cup of Comfort for Horse-Lovers

    “Mirror, Mirror, On the Stall,” A Cup of Comfort for Horse-Lovers

    Adams Media: April, 2008

    “Vida’s sedate walk turned into a nervous dance….”Every time she tossed her head she amped up my fear along with hers. I’d heard that horses and owners mirror each other. The theory was certainly holding true for us.”

    Buy Now

  • “The Ties That Heal,” A Cup of Comfort for Single Mothers

    “The Ties That Heal,” A Cup of Comfort for Single Mothers

    Adams Media: April, 2008

    Who would hold me and tell me that I was not a terrible mother? That Tami and Joel didn’t feel neglected? That my son would be all right? I sat on our family room couch, head on my knees, and wondered how I was going to manage. Everyone needed me and I had nothing left to give.

    Buy Now

  • “Taking The Time,” Chicken Soup for the Soul Love Stories

    “Taking The Time,” Chicken Soup for the Soul Love Stories

    Health Communications, Inc., 2007

    He smiled, a terrific, crooked smile, and took a few steps toward me. That evening promised to be memorable.

    Buy Now

  • “Romance,” Chicken Soup for the Soul Love Stories

    “Romance,” Chicken Soup for the Soul Love Stories

    Health Communications, Inc., 2007

    I hit the question, “Describe the most romantic moment you and your husband have shared in the last year.” My brain freezes. Has my marriage included any romantic moments in the past year?

    Buy Now

  • “Northern Tissue Curves,” Chicken Soup for the Soul Love Stories

    “Northern Tissue Curves,” Chicken Soup for the Soul Love Stories

    Health Communications, Inc., 2007

    I walked over to the mirror above the sink covered my mouth with my hands and stared in horror. What could I do? I would far rather die than face David again.

    Buy Now

  • “Tough Decisions,” Chicken Soup for the Soul Love Stories

    “Tough Decisions,” Chicken Soup for the Soul Love Stories

    Health Communications, Inc.,  2007

    I felt as though the ground shifted beneath me as I watched him leave, my husband whom I loved, off to visit my mother-in-law whom I also loved. I didn’t know how to help either one.

    Buy Now

  • “Sharing Chocolate,” Chicken Soup for the Chocolate Lover’s Soul

    “Sharing Chocolate,” Chicken Soup for the Chocolate Lover’s Soul

    Health Communications Inc: November, 2007.

    A thin line of raspberry filling separated two thick layers of dark, moist, daringly rich cake. A bittersweet ganach dripped over the top and sides. The next thing I noticed was one of the women shaking a finger at me.

    Buy Now

  • “Tea’d Off,” Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover’s Soul

    “Tea’d Off,” Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover’s Soul

    Health Communications, Inc: November 2007.

    I know that tea has been elevated to an art form in the gracious, exacting Japanese Tea Ceremony. But a tall, insulated brown cup from Starbucks does not look good on top of our piano alongside the glass box that holds an antique Japanese doll or the arrangement of several deep blue, delicately painted vases.

    Buy Now

  • “Mocha Madness,” Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover’s Soul

    “Mocha Madness,” Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover’s Soul

    Health Communications, Inc: November 2007.

    Will it be a beach romance, or a drink seductive as a warm summer night, smooth as suede, satisfying as a delicious book?

    Buy Now

  • “A Toast to Friendship,” Chicken Soup for the Wine Lover’ Soul

    “A Toast to Friendship,” Chicken Soup for the Wine Lover’ Soul

    Health Communications, Inc: November, 2007.

    Bob hands out wine glasses and begins to pour. “It’s a Pinot,” he says. “A symbol of our friendship. Not that I don’t love both you and a good Pinot,” I say, but a Pinot Noir can’t actually be a symbol of our friendship. Writers quibble about things like this.

    Buy Now

  • “A New Point of View,” A Cup of Comfort for Writers

    “A New Point of View,” A Cup of Comfort for Writers

    Adams Media: 2007.

    Suddenly I have become the channel for a higher creative process. The story is writing itself, the narrative fluid, the language rich. “Can I ask you a question?” My husband’s voice invades the room. Instantly my muse flees.

    Buy Now

  • “Converting Ray,” A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers

    “Converting Ray,” A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers

    Adams Media: 2007.

    That night Annie [our golden retriever] and I had an eye to sad, brown eye — nose to slightly damp nose — talk. “Annie,” I told her, “Ray is a dog person but he doesn’t know it. And he has to find out or we’re both in trouble. Your job is to convert him.”

    Buy Now

  • “Just Call Me Grandma,” A Cup of Comfort for Grandparents

    “Just Call Me Grandma,” A Cup of Comfort for Grandparents

    Adams Media: 2007.

    Ray had six grandchildren when I married him and I loved them all. Just as long as they called me Samantha. Or even Sam, thank you very much. Never Grandma. I didn’t fit the image..And then one day we went to Ryan’s soccer game.

    Buy Now

  • “Birthing A Family,” A Cup of Comfort for Grandparents

    “Birthing A Family,” A Cup of Comfort for Grandparents

    Adams Media: 2007.

    I stand in the doorway of the birthing room with my husband Ray who is Tara’s father and see my beloved stepdaughter struggling so hard to birth little Jacob. I want to rush to her side and smooth her dark hair from her face. But just what is a stepmother’s role in a situation like this?

    Buy Now

  • “Yoga for Two,” The Healing Touch of Horses

    “Yoga for Two,” The Healing Touch of Horses

    Adams Media: 2006.

    I firmly believe that it’s possible to heal every cell of a body and every facet of an emotional life-equine or human. I refused to accept the vet’s-or my own doctor’s-prognosis.

    Buy Now

  • “Slender Threads,” Horse Crazy

    “Slender Threads,” Horse Crazy

    Adams Media: 2005.

    I’m not going. No way. It’s too scary. Vida didn’t say this in English, of course. Arab horses are smart, and they understand a lot of words, but the language they speak is a flare of nostrils, twitch of ears, stamp of hoof.

    Buy Now

  • “The Two-Minute Hug,” A Cup of Comfort for Women In Love

    “The Two-Minute Hug,” A Cup of Comfort for Women In Love

    Adams Media: 2005.

    A two-minute hug, rekindling the spark of romance in a marriage..what could be easier?

    Buy Now

  • “Come What May,” A Cup of Comfort for Sisters

    “Come What May,” A Cup of Comfort for Sisters

    Adams Media: 2004.

    Jackie lived close by and did a thousand things more for Mother than I. She’d been at the hospital for a good twenty hours already. I was the daughter come lately.I felt a mixture of jealousy and shame too. If there’d been a contest for best daughter, she would have won.

    Buy Now

  • “Grieving the F,” A Cup of Comfort for Teachers

    “Grieving the F,” A Cup of Comfort for Teachers

    Adams Media: 2004.

    Feelings are like little children. They can be hushed only so long before they throw a tantrum.

    Buy Now