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A Year Filled with Blessings!

Who would have thought that 2018 would bring about such wonderful growth for Higher Ground Books & Media!  At the beginning of the year, I had a couple of goals for our little publishing company.  One, I wanted to sign two new authors.  Two, I wanted to publish at least five new titles.  These were fairly conservative goals and I wasn't sure we would be able to accomplish either of them.  Things were slow at the beginning of the year.  Lots of starts and stops.  A few sour grapes along the way.  Some unfortunate incidents with less than reputable individuals who were not dealing above board.  And a few months of weary soul-searching about whether or not it even made sense to keep going.  And then, suddenly...a breakthrough.

I prayed and prayed for God to help me figure out the direction I needed to take.  And He delivered the most awesome message to me.  He said, "Trust Me."  And in the midst of conflict and disappointment, I handed it all over to Him once again and…

Higher Ground Books & Media Authors

Meet the authors!

John Baldasare has a Bachelors in Sociology and a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and has worked as a therapist, manager, and executive director in addictions, mental health, and trauma programs for over 40 years. He has directed treatment services in Ohio, Arizona, Virginia, and South Carolina. His website is, with Facebook pages “SLUGSociety” and “Dayton Model of Recovery”. He currently provides consultation and training services, as well as public speaking.

Rebecca Benston is the author of The Rona Shively Stories mystery series as well as a number of inspirational works including Wise Up to Rise Up.  She is also the owner of Higher Ground Books & Media (HGBM); an independent publisher located in Springfield, Ohio.  HGBM publishes works that are inspirational, motivational, and education.  Books available through HGBM include devotionals, memoirs, fiction, children’s books, poetry and assorted non-fiction works.  The company has been in business since 2013 and continues to grow.

Mya Benston is a young author from Springfield, Ohio.  She has written two books in a series; Whobert the Owl and Snowy the Owl.  These books were written when Mya was just 10 years old and she is currently working on some other ideas she has for teen fiction.

Stephen Bowman is a 53 year-old child of God.  He's battled addiction, depression and catastrophic illness.  A counselor and licensed clergyman, he enjoys working with and helping people.  When he's not helping others, he enjoys fishing and an occasional walk.

Steen Burke is the author of A Path to Shalom.  She currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio. (More info on the way).

Chuck David lives in Monongahela, Pennsylvania with his wife and fantastic son along with 3 boxers, and a cat.

Rev. Mark Etter has been a pastor for thirty years and is currently the pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church in Erlanger, KY. Rev. Etter has published several books of Adult Bible studies and numerous devotions and youth studies with Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis. He is a certified pastoral coach for the Ohio District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in Cleveland, OH and has served in several capacities like LWML counselor, evangelism chairman, and circuit counselor for the larger church. He and his wife, Joan, have three grown children and one grandchild (so far).

Nancy Flinchbaugh is a Christian contemplative. Each morning she begins her day with God in the silence. From this expansive space of love, she journals and writes and some days she receives letters from the Earth, what she considers messages from God. Several years ago she answered a call to speak for the Earth. Now the Earth is also speaking to her. She leads contemplative retreats focused on listening for God in nature and walking the labyrinth. She has written two novels, Revelation in the Cave (Spiritual Seedlings, 2012) and Revelation at the Labyrinth (2017, eLectio Publishing). She is a member of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a coaching client of AllWriters’ Workplace and Workshop and maintains websites at and and a Facebook page at Nancy Flinchbaugh, Author. Email her to to invite her speak, lead a retreat or discuss her writing. She lives in Springfield, Ohio with her husband, Steve, and cat, Emily Rose.

Forest Godin lives in Springfield, Ohio with his wife Carol.  He is the author of Miracles: I Love Them, a devotional memoir detailing God's miracles and how they have shaped his life.

Brandy Hambrick is the author of The Key:  The Adventure Begins.  Hambrick, a writer and teacher from Cincinnati, Ohio, is known to reach children through innovative approaches in the arts and education, primarily focusing on creative methods to promote literacy.  It is her mission to empower children to become positive and confident builders of their futures, and creating stories that will teach kids the beauty of imagination, the importance of leadership, the promise of a good education, and achieving the goals they dream. For more information, visit

Daniel K. Held is both an Ohio Licensed Independent Social Worker and ordained United Methodist Elder (pastor) living with his wife of 51 years, Sue, in retirement.    With degrees from Sterling College, the Ohio State University, and United Theological Seminary, he works intentionally to both improve and express his deeper understanding of God and people.  Such understanding forms the basis for his faith and love of God, neighbor and self.  His work has included individual, marital and family counseling, educational workshops and seminars, pulpit ministry and writing over the span of now 50 years.   The latter includes his blogsite:

Forrest Henslee is the author of Overcomers, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your World.  He is also the director of the Overcomers Ministry in Springfield, Ohio. He currently lives in Springfield, Ohio with his wife, Vicki.

Jen Hernandez is a local artist who creates many different styles of paintings, she finds her groove with a sort of abstract impressionistic street art. She is willing to try new combinations and techniques to convey the feeling that she is striving for in each individual piece of art. Arti St Gallery & Studio is a direct extension of her and her artwork. Using art therapy techniques she designs her teachings to reflect that the emotion is more important that the formal technique of each piece.

Charlotte Hopkins is a freelance writer and reporter whose work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers and websites.  Combining her love of research and her passion for writing, she has developed the 365 Days Book series.  She resides in a small town in Pennsylvania.

Uncle Dave Howard is a Christian and an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator who has written over 18 books.  He currently lives in Murrysville, PA with his wife Ruth.  Howard is the author of A Whale of a Tale and Will We Get Wet among other great children's books.  You can learn more about his books at his website.

Jennifer Marchese-Darrow is a recovering addict and mother to two young men; Jordan and Noah. My book reflects upon watching and enjoying them as they grew. The other part of my little book of poetry is that of my struggles with post-partum depression and anxiety. I try to let people that are going through what I did with depression and anxiety that it does get better. I am definitely living proof.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta has been writing professionally since 1995. She's an author and award-winning journalist.  Her work has appeared in Vitamin Retailer Magazine, Dining Out, The Paterson Press, The Montclair Times, The Jersey City Independent, NJ Health & Fitness, The Aquarian Arts Weekly, The Westsider, Manhattan Spirit,, Tattoo Review, Punk Magazine, gasm, and Exit, to name a few.She has self-published her first two books "On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist" and “Love Cats.” Her third book, “The Gypsy Smiled” was published traditionally by GenZ Publishing.  She resides in Union County, New Jersey, with her husband, Dennis, and their beloved cat, Nicholas. Interests include: music, animals, and living a healthy lifestyle.

Linda Phillipson and her husband live on a farm in central Mississippi with a rat terrier called Shady Lady, a cat, J.K. and a mule called Ruth, who loves pears.  She and her husband had an egg farm for several years, with twenty thousand hens and two thousand roosters, the inspiration for ‘The Magic Egg’.

Derra Nicole Sabo is the author of Dear You.  A Human Anomaly 🖤 Writing started out as an escape for me, then somewhere along the way it became my passion. The pen speaks for me when my lips fail to. My past demons are now my life lessons. Love loudly & hate silently.
Cali girl, born and raised. My family & friends are my everything. Beach baby, foodie, coffee addict, bookworm, writer, blogger, movie buff, music maniac, night owl. 
With a cup of coffee in my hand and a piece of honesty from you, I'll bring my walls down and show you my unguarded soul.

John Salmon, PHD, has worked with children and families since 1986 in settings as varied as church, community, school, and private practice.  John currently sees children and families in an outpatient setting to help them identify the personal strengths and available resources that will enable them to more successfully navigate life's struggles and transitions. He also assists children and families in developing the skills necessary to develop successful relationships and become involved in communities that will support them through life's changes.

Janet Kay Teresa was born and raised in Ohio. She enjoys warmer weather during the winter months and traveling. She is a self employed Gardener, and a free lance writer. Currently she became a Certified Christian Temperament Counselor.