Drum Therapist, Mentor and Author Dori Staehle

 Margaret Joyner

Jill Ferrie's book "I Go with God" is a great reminder of the power of prayer! She opens up her bag full of fun ways to share the message of God's faithfulness  in this month's segment of "What's in Your Bag?" 

 I am here with author Jill Ferrie who has written a children's book (recommended for ages 2-10) "I Go with God."  It’s written in Dr. Seuss-like rhyme but the story is very helpful for readers of every age.This month, I asked Jill..."What's in your bag?"

Me: Instantly, I notice your book "I Go with God" and I think the designs are so cute! Why did you decide to write this children's book?

Jill: One of my favorite things to do is talk to God because God is actually the most powerful friend I have. Prayer  brings me a lot of peace, and it makes me feel happy.  One of the reasons I wrote this book was to help children discover the superpower of prayer for themselves. It’s really quite simple and it can be very exciting.

Me: I love it! And what about this cute little cow keychain? Tell me more about that.

Jill: That  little cow  holds my keys to the campground that my husband and I run in rural northeast Iowa called Harvest Farm (wecamp.com). We transformed our dairy farm into a family campground. So the cow is a great reminder to stay open to change and growth.   

Me: And I see this very big plush! I believe you said his name is Buddy?

Jill:  When I visit my sisters and kids and grandkids who all live in different states, I like to schedule a book signing or story time in a school or bookstore nearby. That’s why Buddy’s in my bag. He’s the main character in my book, and he goes wherever I go. 

Me: Of course, I see you have your bookmarks!

Jill: I use the bookmarks as my business card. I thread a ribbon through the top of each one-- for a splash of color. I like bookmarks because they’re useful.  Instead of giving people a card that gets stuffed into the bottom of a purse or wallet , a bookmark helps readers keep track of where they are. I guess it’s a lot like prayer… practical and helpful.

To connect with Author Jill Ferrie :

Website - contains Free Printable Activities



 To purchase "I Go with God"


 Avlon McCreadie

Literary Translator Mayra Bravo

Christian Author Avlon McCreadie pours out her talent in a total of six amazing novels and two children's storybooks!! She joins me in this month's segment of "What's in your Bag?" to share that not only is she a successful author...but a prepared mother! 

I am here with Christian Author Avlon McCreadie who has written several books including Where Darkness Isn't Dark and Here There and Everywhere: The Boy with the Gifted Eyes. She is currently working on her next book Living in the unseen world which is expected to be released soon. I asked this talented author to share with me...Avlon, "What is your bag?"

Me: So I love this big bag!! I'm sure it fits everything you need for the day! 

Avlon: I have quite a big bag because I need space to carry all my bags 🙂 I always have between four and five reusable bags in my one big bag. They are for my groceries. But sometimes they are also for that person who thought that they only needed a few items and ended up in a balancing act. I like to have an extra bag for that person.

Me: That's nice to be prepared! Now, what is that blue packet on the right corner?

Avlon: That blue packet thingy is called a blind bag. There is a toy car inside but you don't know what kind of car it is until you open the bag. My little son always gets a 'Friday Pressie', and that is his present for this week. I also carry extra toys and balloons too. Sometimes parents are standing in queues waiting and their toddlers don't feel like waiting. Who can blame them right? Waiting is no fun. But it can get a little frustrating for the parent so I ask them if they mind if I give their kid a toy to entertain them for a while. It's quite interesting how a toy from a stranger can turn a loud impatient toddler into a quiet and shy angel 🙂

Me: I see the blue toy car on the edge there. What a fun mystery present! I see you are carrying a pocket Bible :)

 You just never know when the Holy Spirit is going to nudge you to pass that on to someone.

Me: Now...I love  seeing your book  Here There and Everywhere: The Boy with the Gifted Eyes which you say is your favorite book even though you wrote it!

Avlon:  Which is a bit of an odd thing to say ... but the truth is I was not the author, I was merely the servant. This book is very special to me.  While in deep prayer, the words for this book came to me.... almost like someone turned the radio on while I was praying! 

Connect with Avlon McCreadie on social media: 



Facebook Group

 And purchase her books here:  Amazon

"I Go with God" is a family treat!

Photographer Charlie Akins with his dachshund, Nick.

Treebok Pets is passionate about her designs!

Author E.M. Dunst

I wanted to feature Author Jason Korsiak in this edition of "What's in Your Bag?" Jason opens up about his books, his passion for superheroes and a Christmas VHS that brought clarity to his faith. 

 I am here with Author Jason Korsiak who has written seven books. Jason has been a professional speaker for thirteen years, talking at churches, graduations, and as a guest lecturer at Pasco-Hernando State College. He proudly serves as Youth Pastor of Joining Hands Mission United Methodist Church in New Port Richey, FL. I asked Jason..."What's in Your Bag?" 

Me: Welcome Jason! Wow! You've written quite a few books! Tell me about your book "Marvin Mac's Bad Day." 

Jason:  I am most excited about Marvin Mac's Bad Day, my first book. I released it in April 2017 but just came out with a brand-new Special Edition. It is a macabre storybook for grown-ups about the worst day in the life of the unluckiest man in the world, and it's written as a collection of limericks. I painted the illustrations with my trusty watercolors, along with some acrylic and colored pencil. I wrote it just to tell a funny story, but what amazes me most is how often people tell me they read it when they have a bad day and how it makes them feel better, but what amazes them most is that I first created it when I was only 8 years old! That original version is now included as part of the bonus content of the new Special Edition, which I will be promoting all March with at least six book signings.

Me: Awesome! And have fun on your book signings! I see you have a Spiderman action figure and a book called The Superhero Gospels. Tell me about that book!

Jason:  What I am best-known for is my Gospels series, a collection of devotionals about positive lessons we can learn from movies. As you can see from my Spider-Man action figure, I am a huge fan of superheroes, and The Superhero Gospels is by far my most popular book. It explores spiritual themes we can find in movies like Superman, Batman, the Avengers, and so many more.  My second most-popular book is The Princess Gospels, which explores what we can learn from beloved Princess movies like Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, and Cinderella. I present live shows based on my books and I am working on a stage show based off this book, which will launch late April, early May.

Me: How fun!  I see a lot of Christmas books and The Night Before Christmas VHS. Tell me about all this. You must love Christmas!

Jason: I love Christmas specials, and the VHS in the back holds special meaning to me. That particular tape was given to me by godmother when I was a kid, and I would fall asleep watching it every Christmas Eve. I grew up in Queens, NY, but my family moved to Florida right before I turned 7. I couldn't sleep that Christmas Eve; I was homesick for my friends, for snow, and for my family. Since I couldn't sleep, I did the one thing I'd never done before – watched all the way to the end of the tape. The final short on the video was a recreation of the First Noel, made with puppets. Even though I'd heard the story, it came alive in a way it never had before. I finally “got”  what Christmas – and, by extension, Jesus – was all about. I consider that night to be the night I became a Christian, all because of some Christmas cartoons. Today, Christmas is such a busy time, so I wrote The Christmas Gospels to help us get just a little more out of the holiday specials we often watch anyway, like Rudolph, Frosty, and the Grinch. I love Christmas. In fact, I love it so much that I wrote a second Christmas book, Christmas Addict, about a social experiment I did in which I celebrated Christmas for an entire year! 

To connect with Author Jason Korsiak


To purchase his books: 

Richard Ballo is an Author to several books, writing inspirational content and children's books along with nonfiction pieces. For the month of October, I asked Richard..."What's In Your Bag?"

Me: So right away I see several books in your bag! Do want to explain these amazing book titles?

Richard: What's in my bag is two genres of books. One is for adults who want to read  inspiring stories of people overcoming obstacles in life, books to understand grief and bereavement and journals for those who are grieving. I write about grief because I was a young widower, only 39, and with two kids to raise. Then I started writing kids stories to cheer my kids up, but life happened and now the books are for my grandkids.

Me: Let's talk about these kids stories, the one featuring  the Mouse character!

Richard: The other side of the bag is my children’s picture book series “Martin the Mouse.” Martin is a mischievous mouse who gets chased through well-known houses. This book is for children ages 2-7.

Me: Speaking of Martin the Mouse, I see a little plush toy there in the corner.

Richard: Martin the mouse plush toy is really fun and kids like holding him when they read the stories or have the stories read to them.

Me: And is that a cheese toy I see?

Richard: I also have cheese foam squeeze toys that I give away at book fairs along with stickers and character cards.

To connect with Author Richard Ballo:



To purchase Richard's Books:



Jill Ferrie sharing her book to a group of excited students!

Children's Book Author Wanda Luthman

Amanda Sexton is the Author a Christian Nonfiction book, “From the Needle to the Cross.” This faith-based writer shares what is most important in her life and what pieces of literature really speak to her as I ask Amanda…"What’s in your Bag?”

 Me: Congrats, Amanda, on publishing your book, “From the Needle to the Cross”! This looks like an exceptional read. And from the contents in your bag, you certainly  fill your life with inspirational literature! Where do you want to start?

 Amanda: My Bible! My absolute favorite book which has taught me about the love of a Savior who loved me in spite of me and carried me every step of the way in my journey through recovery and healing from addiction and trauma.

 Me: I love it! And I see you carry a notebook, a pen and a journal, which are always essential for writers!

 Amanda:  My notebook has been used to write the nuggets Holy Spirit releases to me through prayer and study. They keep me and guide me along the way. Also journaling has been a significant tool in my healing process. This is where I pour out my thoughts and feelings to keep myself straight and pure. The pen allows me to release what has been bottled up within.

Me: And I love the Joyce Meyer book...I am also a big fan of hers!

 Amanda: "Battlefield of the Mind" is the most impactful book I have read during my Christian walk other than the Bible. It helped me realize I could think about what I was thinking about. And to conclude, the Anointing Oil is included  because God is raising up and anointing deliverers for such a time as this to see the captives set free through the name and power of Jesus Christ. I am reminded that it is His anointing that has not only broke but destroyed the yoke of bondage off my life and has triumphantly pushed me through every obstacle of life.

 To connect with Author Amanda Sexton:


To purchase  "From the Needle to the Cross"


Author Richard Ballo

Author Brittney Balas

Break Free Mom promotes a healthy lifestyle

Treebok Pets creates Custom Charcoal Portraits from your photos! Artist Reebok Brown shows us her creative side in this month's piece of "What's In Your Bag?" 

I am here with artist Reebok Brown who is the owner of Treebok Pets, a personalized design company that creates customized charcoal portraits! I am highlighting this talented designer in this month's piece: "What's In Your Bag?" 

Me: So,  Reebok. Right away...I notice this is not a bag! 

Reebok: My bag is actually a box because this is the container I use to transport my art supplies when I take my work on-the-go! I attend a lot of local festivals around the Northeast Atlanta area, setting up my easel and letting people watch me work. It’s a lot of fun to hear people’s comments as they pass by!

Me: Very fun! Well, let's get started. Tell me about this cute looking dog potrait!

Reebok: The dog portrait is a small print of the one that started it all! In October of 2017, Hurricane Irma was flying up the East Coast. We didn’t have anywhere near the damage that our coastline sister cities experienced, but it was enough to knock our power out for a few days. On Day 2 of no power, we were sitting in the living room, kind-of bored. My dog Finn was just mesmerized by the swaying of the trees outside the window. I thought to myself, “he would make the cutest little charcoal drawing”. So I grabbed some charcoal pencils and a pad and went to work.  I put my little picture of Finn up on Etsy as an example photo that winter, and my clientele has been growing ever since!

Me: I love that story! And tell me about the utensils you use.

Reebok: The pencils you see there are the charcoal and pastel pencils I use for my drawings. Really, it’s just compressed chalk. I love working in this medium because it’s so workable- you can really work about as much detail into a portrait as you want!

Me: Very neat! And what is this UPS package for?

Reebok: I generally turn my orders around in 1-2 weeks, so that means almost all of them go through the mail! The USPS package you see there is the smallest one I send, holding a 4x6 inch portrait. I currently do work up to 18x24 inches in size!

Me: Wow!! I love the personal delivery! And what is this blue sticker? 

Reebok: The light blue sticker there represents my Etsy shop, “Treebok” which has processed all of my online orders up until this point. I’m super excited to share that I’ve just opened a personal website, where I will also be accepting orders! This has been a long time in the making and I’m most excited that potential clients will be able to browse through my work, organized by dog breed! (Of course, there are other animals too, but dogs comprise the majority of my work by far!)

If you want Treebok Pets to create a custom charcoal design for you, contact Reebok Brown here: 




Instagram: treebokpets

Reebok Brown:



 I wanted to feature Christian Author and Youth Pastor, Brittney Balas on my monthly blog series.  I asked this very talented young lady, Brittney…”What’s in your Bag?”

 Me: So, Brittney, Tell me about yourself.

Brittney: I may have a small bag, but I have big dreams. I've always thought of myself like the tortoise from the story between the tortoise and the hare, because I was born with a learning disability. I appreciate people like my parents who are willing to guide me towards the right path, which is why I made it my life goal to guide others with love and patience. One of the things I have prioritized in my books is to explain things as I have to my church kids, easy and simple to understand in a step by step process.

Me: That is wonderful. And explain to me one of your books.

Brittney: The blue covered book, "The Joseph Gift" is about how God speaks to us through dreams for those interested in the way Joseph from the Bible found his purpose in life   interpreting  dreams.

Me: Sounds great! And what about the other book you wrote?

Brittney: The pink covered book, "First Love" is a book inspired by God in my youthful days-dedicated to my youth group to guide young singles to seek 'God as their first love' and how to be content in their singlehood while waiting for an equally yoked love story. I am a Christian Author and a Youth Pastor, my dream is to be a guide towards love. God is love.

To connect with Author Brittney Balas:



To purchase her books:

Send a Direct Message to Brittney on social media.

These books are also being sold in "Torches Of Power Ministry" Christian church on Sundays from 9AM to 1PM at:  6782 Stanton Ave suite d, Buena Park, CA 90621 

Author Suzanne Grimaud

Author Jackie Minniti is a teacher and Award-winning Author who has written inspiring yet entertaining books about history and fiction. I asked Jackie, "What's in Your Bag?" 

Me: Hello Jackie! It's a pleasure to look at the items in your bag! Right away I see a book called "Project June Bug." Tell me about your book. 

Jackie: In the bag is my first novel, a women’s fiction titled "Project June Bug." I wrote it shortly after I retired from 25 years of teaching. Writing a novel was something on my Bucket List, so I decided to give it a try.  I wrote about a young, idealistic teacher who puts her career on the line to help a student struggling with ADHD. While "Project June Bug" is primarily an entertaining read, it also gives readers insight into the challenges facing ADHD students and their parents. "Project June Bug" has won several literary awards and has been highly recommended by both teachers and parents.

Me: I love it! And there is a photo I see! Tell me who is in the photo.

Jackie: Next is a photo of my dad on his 99th birthday. He’s holding the first copy of my second novel, "Jacqueline", a middle-grade historical based on an experience my dad had in France shortly after D-day. He was stationed in Rennes as part of the Army‘s 127th General Hospital when he met an 11-year-old girl named Jacqueline who lived near the barracks. She began following him back and forth to work, and a lovely friendship blossomed. It was the only war story he was willing to share. "Jacqueline" has won four literary awards, including a gold medal from the Military Writers Society of America.

Me: Wow! How interesting! And I see another book, "One Small Spark." Tell me about that book. 

Jackie: The next book is my second middle-grade historical novel, "One Small Spark", the story of how the fate of a young boy altered the course of our nation’s history. It is set in Boston shortly before the Revolutionary War and can best be described as a coming-of-age novel. "One Small Spark" has received five literary awards, including the Literary Classics Eloquent Quill Award.

Me: And is this a picture of your grandchildren? 

Jackie:  My grandchildren are the ones I write for and to whom I dedicated "One Small Spark". I am a firm believer that what we don’t learn from history, we are in danger of repeating. As a former teacher, I saw that many children were woefully uninformed about our history or were being taught from textbooks with an agenda I found concerning. I wanted to write stories that would inspire a sense of patriotism and appreciation for the freedoms we in this country enjoy. I hope I’ve accomplished that with "Jacqueline" and "One Small Spark".

To purchase Jackie Minniti's books:


To contact Author Jackie Minniti:  


Parler : @Luvsclrwtrbeach



Wanda Luthman is an Author to 11 books! She writes Children's books with positive messages on the pages. For the month of June,  I asked Wanda...."What's in Your Bag?"

Me: Wow! Look at all your books! Tell me more about your  stories!

Wanda: I have published 11 books so far. All are children’s books with positive social/emotional messages in them. Some of the messages are forgiveness, self-acceptance, and persistence. I write chapter books for ages 7-11 and picture books for ages 0-6. I do have the one small pocket book that’s more for adults. It’s a spiritual fiction book. That’s a new genre for me.

Me: I love your bag! It says "Someday you will be old enough to start reading Fairy Tales again." It's adorable!

Wanda: The bag I chose is one of my favorites. I love what it says! I found it at a bookstore and had to have it. It’s just perfect for my children’s books!

Me: I see two cute little stuffed animals. Why did you include a stuffed unicorn and flamingo?

Wanda: I included two hand-crocheted stuffies (Sir Louie the unicorn; Franky the flamingo) that are made to look exactly like the character in the book. I discovered a woman in the UK who would create whatever you wanted. She does great work! I hope to get stuffies for all my characters.

Me: I see you have your business cards and bookmarks out. You definitely use those for more book exposure! But tell me about this vase of lilacs.

Wanda: My self-publishing company is called Lilacs in Literature because my first book, The Lilac Princess, was about a princess who wanted to go visit the lilacs outside the castle. Anyway, I liked the alliteration and wala the name was formed. And that is why everything is purple-themed too!

To connect with Wanda Luthman:



To purchase her books:  Amazon

Author Ruth Marie Paterson

For the month of December, I wanted to feature Author E.M. Dunst, the writer of the books "Woven" and "Behind the Eyes." Dunst reveals her influences  with Asian dramas, music, and real life experiences as I ask this Author....What's In Your Bag? 

Me: I love this literary collection!  Immediately, I see quite a handful of notebooks in your bag. 

Dunst: The bag itself is important.  It's sturdy and big enough to carry all the projects I am working on at the time.  I find it important to have it available if another idea pops in my head. I have notebooks that I use to attempt to teach myself other languages. It also represents my love for learning other cultures.  There are several writing journals... each one has a story idea in it waiting to be written and drawing journals where I sketch out ideas of future pictures or other ideas I have.

Me: Very interesting! And I see some artwork and some pens. Is there any signifigance to this green pen?

Dunst:  I only write my stories in pencil. It's easier to fix mistakes. The green pen I use when I am proofreading a typed hard copy of my stories.  Colored pencils are my favorite medium to work with. The pictures are a few examples of the drawings I have created throughout the years. 

Me: And tell me about your book, "Woven"? 

Dunst: "Woven" is the first full book I wrote.  Will the best of friends survive past the jealousy or will revenge rip them apart one thread at a time? When I started it, I thought it would only be a short story. Once I got started on it, I just kept going.  I had a couple of friends who read the book and asked me to continue the story. So, you can guess what I am working on now. 

Me: And I see another blue book called "Behind the Eyes." Tell me about that book.

Dunst: This is the original draft of "Behind the Eyes". This is the second book I completed  and it will be coming out before Spring 2021. Can a police officer and a doctor with entangled past stop a man from terrorizing women from the inside out before he gets into their heads? I am just waiting for the cover to be completed. I write my stories as Asian dramas. If I can't see an idea run in my head smoothly as a scene in a drama, it doesn't make the book. 

 To connect with Author E.M. Dunst: 




For the month of February, I wanted to feature Author Suzanne Grimaud who is celebrating a new book release, “Good Grief I’m Healed: Hurt in the World, Healed by the Word.” I asked Suzanne, What's in Your Bag?

Me: Hello Suzanne! Congratulations on your new book! Tell me all about "Good Grief I'm Healed." 

Suzanne:  My brand new release  launched Jan. 12th. “Good Grief I’m Healed: Hurt in the World, Healed by the Word,” is written to a Christian reader who like me has perhaps suffered trauma and grief that has left scars of anxiety, fear or depression. In this book, I reveal the story and process of inner and mental healing I received from very painful hurts like losing my mother and sister in a fatal car wreck when I was a teenager and the near destruction of a 16-year marriage due to pornography. Our marriage of over 32 years was rescued and I have found the hope and peace of mind many seek. I get real and raw so people will know they are not alone, and I provide biblical and practical tools that anyone can apply to live a healed and free life. It hit #1 new release in several categories and is currently available in eBook and paperback through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and through my website, SuzanneGrimaud.com.

Me: I love it! And what is that book with the butterfly?

Suzanne: The book with the butterfly on it, “Fabulous New Life", is an anthology I co-wrote with 27 other authors a few years ago. It contains my first published work and it gave me the courage to want to publish my own book. I wrote Chapter 3: “Forgiveness...It’s A Choice.”

Me: And what about the CD in the front of the bag?

Suzanne: The CD in the middle is the first audio recording which has been distributed to couples all over the nation through counseling practices and through events we’ve spoken at. I give a current update in “Good Grief I’m Healed,” and I share for the first time details of how stuffed grief erupted in mental collapses when I was dealing with our marriage difficulties. I have since been healed.

Me: I see a Bible with your bag. I can tell your faith is very important to you.

Suzanne:  My Bible is under the picture of my family, the candle and my coffee mug. These are a few of my favorite things! I love my time in the Word, my awesome tribe, beautiful scents and a big coffee mug, full of caffeine, of course!

To connect with Author Suzanne Grimaud: 




 To purchase “Good Grief I’m Healed: Hurt in the World, Healed by the Word”:


Freelance Photographer Charlie opens up about capturing the "magical something we often overlook"

I am here with Freelance Web Designer and Photographer Charlie Akins who invited me  to look into his camera bag in this month's piece : "What's in your bag?" 

Me: So Charlie, the very first thing I notice in your bag is your camera. You said it was a Canon EOS Digital Camera. What are some photos you most enjoy taking?

Charlie: I am well-known for photographing events like reunions, festivals and weddings.  My photography has gathered recognition for a diverse collection of work ranging from landscapes to portraits. I have always enjoyed taking pictures, even before the digital age. Through my lens I strive to capture that magical something we often overlook. It is in these moments that I learn something new about myself, and marvel at the beauty of this extraordinary life

Me: That's really fun! And  I see a journal sticking out of your bag. What is that? 

Charlie: it's a journal I keep of the places I photograph. I will say, my favorite place to photograph is Smith Mountain Lake. I am currently working on a coffee table book of pictures of the lake. I  live near the Smith Mountain Lake and can be found kayaking on the water with my pup while taking pictures. 

Me: That's so cute! I'm sure the pictures by the water are gorgeous. Now, I see you have your business cards in the front pocket. What kind of services do you offer? 

Charlie: I am all about discovering new designs and approaches by creating professional websites and effective marketing pieces. l help my clients build a strong business by creating a user-friendly website and other quality marketing materials.

Me: That's very impressive. And anyone who wants to hire Charlie to build a professional website can click on his link below. And one last thing... is that a watch in your bag?

Charlie: Yes. because because timing is everything. 🙂

 If you want Charlie to personally create your next website, click below to view his stylish designs: 


Charlie's professional photos and images can be seen at:



What's In Your Bag?

​       Interviewing Authors & Entrepreneurs 

 Author Joan Aubele exclaims, “no matter the obstacle, God will always have my back!” I ask this Christian Author… “What’s In Your Bag?”

 Me: I see your book titles, “Hearts Ablaze: The Ripples We Create” and “The Dance: A Story of Love, Faith and Survival.” Tell me about your personal Memoirs.

Joan:  These simple reads offer hope and quite simply a person’s desire to forge a deeper relationship with our Lord. I share the true miracle that I’ve experienced in my own life, the importance of the power of prayer, and the message that we should in fact live our lives for one another!   I’ve been repeatedly told, it’s as though I’m telling the stories as we sat around the kitchen table, sipping a cup of tea!

 Me: I love the personalized J Bag! How cute!

 Joan: This bag was gifted to me by my dear friend and editor, Edna Roberts. I bring this filled gem to every Author event I participate in. I stuff it with my many book-signing supplies!

 Me: I see a rose on the bottom and a stone placed in-between your books. Is there a significance to these two items?

 Joan: The rose and stone that are pictured are direct representations of each of my books. (I always gift them when I autograph.) The rose that goes with “The Dance” stands for the strength and courage we possess. The stone that is gifted with “Hearts Ablaze” is either used to create a physical ripple or to remind us of the many ripples we create.

Me: I love all of the items in your bag! They are very unique!

Joan: I use the journal to scribble notes, ideas, and the scriptures that move my heart, the motivational magnet is from another dear friend, and the beautiful gold pennant from my daughter all reaffirm my desire to write. The statue of Our Lady, the daily prayer journal, and “Broken Mary” (a Dynamic Catholic Book) keep me focused.

To connect with Author Joan Aubele





To purchase her books:


For autographed copies, email:  jathedance@yahoo.com

Author Jason Korsiak

Author Dori Staehle exclaims, "It's never too late...to rock what you've got!" For the month of April, I asked this Drum Therapist and Christian Mentor..."What's In Your Bag?"

Me: Wow, Dori! There is so much on your table! How wonderful!  Why don't you tell me about some of your books!  

Dori:  My first book  is called "Find Your Divine Rhythm: A Creative's Success Formula." It's a business blueprint for creatives, musicians, and entrepreneurs. My recent book, released in Feb, 2021  is called  "Rise Up and Rock: Activating Your God-Given Purpose." This one is a rallying cry for Christians to finally claim their gifts and use them to further the kingdom. I share loads of great tips and insight, along with several success stories of Christian women who, like me, switched gears and created a business or ministry from scratch.

Me: How fun! I see other books on the table. Have these books influenced you in your journey?

Dori: Some of my influences include "Grace Over Grind: How Grace Will Take You Where Grinding Can't" by Shae Bynes, founder of Kingdom Driven Entrepreneurs,  "The Beat of My Own Drum" by Sheila E. who is the former percussionist for Prince and "God Vibrations" DVD Series by Dan McCollum. This series confirmed that yes, Christians can use music for healing, and yes, certain frequencies can change the cells of your body.

Me: Very interesting! And I see a Bible and a Journal. I love that!  But what are those drums in the back?

Dori: That red drum  is a djembe drum. I use djembes for drum therapy. It's easy to play and the sound waves are very powerful. The round black drum  is my  Buffalo drum. Extremely powerful vibrations. I use this at the end of my sessions and it, along with a djembe, helped me heal after my accident. The injuries and rare disease that the accident triggered were totally gone after only 2 weeks of drumming. And my Drum sticks! I taught myself how to play drums just a few years ago at age 59, proving that you're never too old and it's never too late...to rock what you've got! 

To connect with Dori Staehle: 





Email: dori@nextstagedrumming.com

To purchase her books: Amazon


I wanted to feature Author Nicole Parris in this edition of "What's in your Bag?" This Fantasy Fiction writer opens up about her books,  little "easter eggs" she places in her pages and her personal miracle story!

 I am here with author Nicole Parris who has written two books, "Rula The Heist"  and "The 8th Journal."This writer is a busy mother, teacher and avid writer and as an extra bonus plug... Book #2 of "The Rula Series" will be released very soon! I asked Nicole..."What's in your bag?"

Me: So your books look terrific "Rula The Heist" and "The 8th Journal"! The very first thing I notice is the large skeleton key! Tell me about these keys! 

Nicole:  The skeleton key is symbolic of my writing. My novels contain a skeleton key within the story. No matter the genre, title or reference, a special key is presented.  The challenge of finding a way for a special key to play a major or even a small part in each novel is my silent ‘signature’. It’s fun creating separate plots, therefore each holds a common connection.

Me: I love this elephant egg! You said you purchased this at Disney's Epcot? 

Nicole: My marble egg is  heavy and unique. It’s a special egg, one of six I had purchased at Disney’s Epcot in 2007. At that very moment, I wasn’t sure how the eggs would become a key part in one of my novels, but I felt a muse. Over time, their part became the inspiration for plot lines. 

Me: I see a cute little pair of angel wings on the bottom. Is there a story there? 

Nicole: Yes. As an infant, my daughter Wrenn had a double lung transplant. She is 9 years post transplant, a miracle, and celebrates daily milestones. Her journey, relatable conversations and observations with her personal angel brought me closer to God in more ways than I can explain. My faith, since her birth, made me a better person when viewing life, love, people, forgiveness, and those little occurrences I call mini-miracles. I carry the wings as a reminder that God is always with me, and that every day is a gift. No matter how dark the clouds become, I know there will again be light. 

To connect with Author Nicole Parris:



To purchase "Rula The Heist" and "The 8th Journal":



Author Amanda Sexton

Amanda Sexton is the Author a Christian Nonfiction book, “From the Needle to the Cross.” This faith-based writer shares what is most important in her life and what pieces of literature really speak to her as I ask Amanda…"What’s in your Bag?”

 Me: Congrats, Amanda, on publishing your book, “From the Needle to the Cross”! This looks like an exceptional read. And from the contents in your bag, you certainly  fill your life with inspirational literature! Where do you want to start?

 Amanda: My Bible! My absolute favorite book which has taught me about the love of a Savior who loved me in spite of me and carried me every step of the way in my journey through recovery and healing from addiction and trauma.

 Me: I love it! And I see you carry a notebook, a pen and a journal, which are always essential for writers!

 Amanda:  My notebook has been used to write the nuggets Holy Spirit releases to me through prayer and study. They keep me and guide me along the way. Also journaling has been a significant tool in my healing process. This is where I pour out my thoughts and feelings to keep myself straight and pure. The pen allows me to release what has been bottled up within.

Me: And I love the Joyce Meyer book...I am also a big fan of hers!

 Amanda: "Battlefield of the Mind" is the most impactful book I have read during my Christian walk other than the Bible. It helped me realize I could think about what I was thinking about. And to conclude, the Anointing Oil is included  because God is raising up and anointing deliverers for such a time as this to see the captives set free through the name and power of Jesus Christ. I am reminded that it is His anointing that has not only broke but destroyed the yoke of bondage off my life and has triumphantly pushed me through every obstacle of life.

 To connect with Author Amanda Sexton:


To purchase  "From the Needle to the Cross"


I wanted to feature Literary Translator Mayra Bravo in this edition of "What's in Your Bag?" This English/Spanish teacher, Wife and Mother shares her talent, her translated books and her goals to stay healthy in life! 

I am here with Literary Translator Mayra Bravo who has translated the books: “Mi casa Uptown” and “Este es mi Cielo” into Spanish.  Mayra stays busy, collaborating with Grupo Scribere, a translation ministry based in Ecuador. She spends her time working on different translation projects and  translates Christian books and articles as a freelancer while serving as an interpreter in Victory Church in Atlanta, Georgia. I asked Mayra..."What's in Your Bag?"  

Me: Welcome Mayra! Immediately in your bag I see your two translated books. Let's talk about those! 

Mayra: Those books are two of my favorite projects: “Mi casa Uptown” and “Este es mi Cielo” translated into Spanish. The first one shows a heart for immigrant communities, and how to embrace diversity by sharing the love of Jesus with actions to our neighbors no matter our differences. The second one is one of your books (Author Sunshine Rodgers) which is a great fiction story about how God and His angels work and arrange people and situations in favor of a beloved son. 

Me: That's fantastic! You seem very busy perfecting your craft! Is that why you carry around a laptop in your backpack? 

Mayra: My laptop is  my most important tool when translating. Translation is an art. Translating is the art of getting into the mind of the author and communicating his message without being noticed. 

Me: I see earphones and gloves! Let me guess? You like to stay active?

Mayra: It has been 5 years since I started my fitness journey. I’ve changed my eating habits and became more active. I always carry my training gloves and earphones with me in case I can take a break from my busy lifestyle and go out for a walk or enjoy a good workout. I love biking, weightlifting, and hiking. This is not about losing weight, but about being healthy.  Fitness helps people to fight insecurities, stress, depression, sickness, and illness. It also helps you to be more disciplined in all areas of your life.

Me: And finally...what is that yellow note? 

Mayra: Inside my backpack, in a yellow paper, I carry a personal reminder that helps me keep my faith in the middle of the storms of life. I hope these words from my pastor, Dennis Rouse, help you fight your personal battles: “You are a child of the Almighty God. Know who you are! You don’t need to get approval from anybody but Him. Stop depending on the government, the country where you live, your job, or your race because God is you Father… It doesn’t mind what is against you because He is with you, and He will always be there for you!”

To connect with Mayra Bravo: 


Email: mayraceciliabravo@yahoo.com

Her translated books are available to own on Amazon!



Homeschool mom of two kids and the face behind Break Free Mom talks about empowerment and healthy living in this month's segment of "What's In Your Bag?"

I am here with Margaret Joyner, who is promoting Break Free Mom which is all about empowering other moms and women  who feel like they are at a breaking point in their life and are ready to Break Free and live life the way they were meant to. Margaret Joyner hopes to  inspire healthy living through nutrition, fitness, personal development, and encouragement. This month, I asked Margaret Joyner..."What's in your Bag?" 

Me:  Right away I notice you have a very large backpack that contains goodies for the family! I see a lot of drinks. Are they smoothies? 

Margaret:  Smoothies are a staple in my family and I never leave the house without my prepped smoothies for the kids, my husband, and myself for that quick healthy fast food that nourishes us vs slowing us down. When I’m out and about with the family, I typically carry a backpack so that my hands are free and I’m ready at any moment to engage with my family, or catch my run away 3 year old. 

Me: Wow! Sounds very tasty! And What is inside that jar? 

Margaret:  Another one of my healthy fast food go-to’s are my salad in a jar.  I can eat this in the car, at the park, or even when we are at home. Wherever I choose to eat them, they keep me filled and fueled with goodness.

Me: I'm noticing these muffins! They look tasty! 

Margaret: Because my kids aren’t going to eat a salad in a jar (if yours do, i’m totally jealous), I bring my homemade prepared paleo muffins. We try to eat gluten and dairy free as often as possible, so these banana, lemon poppy seed, and chocolate muffins are a hit with my 9 and 3 year old for meal time.

Me: Because you are an active family, I can imagine you stay hydrated! Do I see a blue water container?

Margaret: We can’t leave home without our water. My kiddos have their BPA free water bottles that we purchased at Walmart for $0.98 and I carry my half gallon that I purchased from Whole Foods so I don’t have to worry about refilling all the time and can stay on track with my water intake. 

To learn more about Break Free Mom,  connect with Margaret Joyner: 



Author Nicole Parris

Author Jackie Minniti

I wanted to feature Author Ruth Marie Paterson, a poet who penned the book Gently Planted. She also has a second book of poetry Sharp Edges, coming out this spring/summer!  I asked Ruth…”What’s In Your Bag?”

 Me: So, tell me about Gently Planted, the green book in the middle.

 Ruth:  It’s a collection of poetry  which I wrote during a pivotal year when I was graduating college, moving into my first apartment, and falling in love with my now husband. It was a crazy year full of ups and downs, and it caused me to visit these deep places in myself and in my relationship with God, bringing these poems to life.

Me: Very fun! And you mentioned your husband. Is that a picture of you two?

Ruth:  Before I met Andrew, I had been praying for so long about my future husband. We met each other at just the right time in our lives, and God certainly wrote our love story—we had a whirlwind romance, getting engaged only 5 ½ months after we started dating! Now we have been married for a year and a half, and we are so happy and thankful.

Me: And what is that prayer towards the bottom?

 Ruth:  I have a copy of the Franciscan Blessing. You should look it up and read it if you're not familiar with it, but it’s basically this beautiful prayer that God would use us to seek justice and care for the poor. One of my favorite lines: “May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts.” This prayer has helped me have the courage to go outside of my comfort zone to love and serve others.

 Me: That’s beautiful. And what’s also very pretty is that hand drawn picture.

 Ruth: A picture that one of my best friends gave me. It is a drawing of me, my sister, and my friend. I love the way this picture captures the friendship that we have shared over the years. My sisters and I are very close, and we often share a lot of the same friends. Looking at this picture reminds me of the special bonds of sisterhood, and the bonds of friends that are nearly like sisters. 

To connect with Author Ruth Marie Paterson: 



To purchase Gently Planted here: