MEET THE BELLASTORIA PRESS AUTHORS
JUDITH ARNOLD is the award-winning, bestselling author of more than ninety published novels. A New York native, she currently lives in New England, where she indulges in her passions for jogging, dark chocolate, good music, good wine and good books. She is married and the mother of two sons.
For more information about Judith, or to contact her, please visit her website, www.juditharnold.com. Feel free to check out her other books and sign up for her newsletter
MARY JO BESWICK was a professional artist for twenty years before turning her talent for creating whimsical paintings into writing and illustrating
picture books for children. Lonely Lola Ladybug is her first published book and realizes a lifelong dream. Born and raised in Huntington, Long Island, she has lived in seven different states and in the south of France, where she began painting and writing. Today she lives on the Northern Neck of Virginia near the Chesapeake Bay with her husband, Barry, and their Goldendoodle, Ozzie. For more information, visit www.maryjobeswick.com.
Illustrator PADMA BHATT was born and raised in Austria, far away from the country her parents originally swept in from. Growing up, she sometimes felt like a hippo among tortoises—but was happy to learn that separate origins and different appearances do not matter in real friendships. In fact, sometimes if you’re very lucky, a close friend can end up being just like family to you. To Padma, Mimi Platzer has been one of those special people, so she was thrilled to create the art work to accompany her friend’s touching words and help convey a lovely message in the form of a children’s story.
PARRIS AFTON BONDS is the mother of five sons and the author of forty published novels. She is the co-founder and first vice president of Romance Writers of America as well as the co-founder of Southwest Writers Workshop, all of which nudged her closer to being committed to Bedlam, which she has managed to avoid so far by a pretense at sanity.
Declared by ABC’s Nightline as one of the three-best-selling authors of romantic fiction, the award winning Parris Afton Bonds has been interviewed by such luminaries as Charlie Rose and featured in major newspapers and magazines as well as published in more than a dozen languages. A New York Times best seller, she donates her time to teaching creative writing to both grade school children and female inmates ~ both of which are captive audiences. The Parris Award was established in her name by the Southwest Writers Workshop to honor a published writer who has given outstandingly of time and talent to other writers. Prestigious recipients of the Parris Award include Tony Hillerman and the Pulitzer nominee Norman Zollinger. About herself, Parris says, ” My heart belongs in the Southwest, where I grew up and where my children and grandchildren reside, but my spirit is free.”
LINDA CARDILLO is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed novels Dancing on Sunday Afternoons, Across the Table, The Boat House Café and The Uneven Road in addition to novellas and a children’s book. She writes about the old country and the new, the tangle and embrace of family, and finding courage in the midst of loss. She has recently completed the first book of a trilogy set in 16th century Italy, based on the lives of three extraordinary women. Visit her website at www.lindacardillo.com.
CATHY CANADY COTTRELL AND MICHAEL COTTRELL are retired educators who live in Deltaville, Virginia with their beagle, corgi and two cats. Mike spent his career as a school psychologist and he now spends his time boating and fishing. Cathy was a reading specialist, gifted program teacher and school administrator. She is a watercolor artist and an outdoor enthusiast. Both Mike and Cathy enjoy being with their son, Josh, daughter-in-law, Laura, and granddaughter, Lola May.
ANN DEFEE is an award-winning author of eleven novels and one novella under various Harlequin imprints. Her debut book, A Texas State of Mind (2005) was a double finalist in the national Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA contest and a Romantic Times nominee for Best First Series Book. In addition, Summer After Summer (2007) won the national Book Buyers’ Best Long Contemporary award. Her latest stories are in the Magical Realism genre including— Believe and Lucy’s Got a Lot of ‘Splaining to Do. Please join her online at: www.ann-defee.com
DEB KOFFMAN loves making stuff out of cardboard. She loves animating little things. She loves Buddhist teachings. She loves the practice of mindfulness meditation. She loves home. She’s interested in capturing the essence of something…a feeling, a concept, an experience. She’s interested in the relationship of colors, shapes, design, simplicity. She’s interested in finding just the right words…in art and in life. She’s interested in the congruity of visual, kinesthetic and verbal elements. She’s interested in deeply understanding her feelings so she can use them wisely and creatively. She’s interested in deeply understanding the meaning of words, so she really knows what people are talking about.
BARBARA LEE earned her Bachelor of Science and a Master’s Degree in art education from Central Connecticut State University. She has been an art teacher in Lebanon, CT for the past twenty-five years. Barbara shares her passion for art with her students and inspires them to communicate visually through their own artwork.
In addition to teaching, Barbara has been a working artist in various mediums: drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture and graphic design. Papa is on the Moon is the first book Barbara has illustrated.
Barbara lives in East Hartford, CT with her husband.
MIMI PLATZER was born in Kenya and has lived in the United States and Austria. Growing up in different places has taught her that family and friends are to be found in all corners of the globe. Knowing of her love for animals, her father sent her a news article about Owen and the Mzee shortly after the Tsunami in 2004. This touching story was the inspiration for Owen and the Old Tortoise. As a teacher who loves reading stories with her students, Mimi saw this tale as an opportunity to talk with children about their ideas of family, love and friendship. Together with one of her best friends, who beautifully illustrated her words, she created Owen and the Old Tortoise.
DIANE POHORYLO became an ALS Advocate when her husband of 40 years passed away from the disease in 2013. She has supported multiple fundraising efforts and spoken on Capitol Hill to get funding for ALS research and benefits for patients, veterans and families. Papa is on the Moon is her first children’s book, inspired by her grandson Alex.
Diane loves interior designing, traveling the world, hiking and spending time on Martha’s Vineyard. But, her happiest moments are spent with family, especially her children and four grandsons, Alex, Colin, Adam and Owen. She is proud of her Italian heritage and loves preparing Italian food for family and friends. She lives in Connecticut with her cat, Louie.
SHARON WRIGHT once lived in a town where your dump sticker gave you free parking at the beach, and it was okay to have horses in a subdivision (which she did). She danced through Bates College in Maine and received a degree in psychology. After graduation, when she discovered that the gig managing a dance company in NYC didn’t intend to pay her actual money, she parlayed her way into a career in finance, eventually earning the title, “Bond Queen.” Whether in her fiction or nonfiction, her intention is to inspire hope, discussion, and self-discovery, as well as to entertain. She is currently writing a comfort book for people going through cancer treatment, to serve as a guide and as a reflection or catalyst for one’s own revelation and natural inner wisdom. The book will inspire, comfort, empower, and offer loving fellowship during a tough time.