Contributing Writers

A special thanks to all our contributing writers! You help to make NW Georgia Living a success!

Jill Becker is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years of publishing experience. As a freelancer, her work has appeared in dozens of magazines and websites, including CNN, Woman’s Day, and HGTV. Her previous staff positions include 9 years as an editor at Texas Monthly magazine, 10 years as an editor at American Airlines’ inflight magazine, 2 years as the editor of a travel trade publication, and, most recently, 2 years as the editor-in-chief of Simply Buckhead magazine. Contact her at [email protected].

Jennifer AlmandJennifer Almand owns Almand Specialty Painting & Design, and has been beautifying homes in Northwest Georgia since 2006. She lives with her husband Rick, and their three dogs, in scenic Kingston, Georgia. In addition to murals and faux finishes, Jennifer paints furniture and custom art, designs tile mosaics, backsplashes and showers, works as a home organizer, and consults with her
clients on fabrics, finishes and fixtures to make their homes unique. Jennifer also enjoys photography, riding her Harley Davidson, playing with her “fur-children”, donating her time and talents to community charities, and pursuing any and all creative endeavors. You can contact Jennifer at (706)346-1590, visit her business page on Facebook, or email her at [email protected]

J. Erickson


J. Erickson owns Erickson Development, a real estate development company. In addition to being a developer, he is also a contractor, real estate investor and adventure seeker. A former jock he now enjoys watching sports more than participating. Jerry is married to Laura and they live in Marietta. His two sons are J.T., who is finishing up his degree at Georgia State University, and his son Jack is a Junior in high school.

Ande Frazier CFP, CLU, ChFC, RICP, BFA, ChSNC, CDFA ( is the ForbesBook author of Fin(anci)ally Free: 11 Conversations To Have With Yourself About Life, Money, and Worth and an expert in behavioral finance. She is not only a recognized thought leader, author and speaker, but also serves as a Partner at Clocktower Wealth Management, LLC.

Patricia MontgomeryPatricia Montgomery is a freelance photographer who offers fine art images for the walls of homes and businesses with sales of her work all over the United States and as far away as Australia.  She also provides photographic services for commercial and marketing use, aerial photography, as well as for engagements, weddings, and individual / family portraits. Patricia lives with her husband, Monty, near Cave Spring, Georgia in a cozy cabin atop a forested mountain they lovingly call Bucks Mountain. Online image galleries  

Kathy Patrick

Kathy Patrick is a personal chef and barre instructor in Rome, GA. She loves cooking and travel, water skiing, stand-up paddling and can be found on her bicycle when the weather is nice alongside her husband, Berry professor Martin Cipollini. She is pictured here “wearing” her favorite mask! Contact Kathy at 706 728-6070 or at [email protected] and visit the website at

Robert SmythRobert Smyth is a native of Rome Georgia and spent over 20 years in radio broadcasting in sales, production, and on air performance.  He was honored with the title of class AA performer of the year for the state of Georgia from the GAB in 2006 as well as several radio production and performance awards. He is a graduate of Auburn University in Communications with an emphasis in broadcasting and has an extensive back ground in media and marketing related fields. Mr. Smyth joined the Marketing and Business Development team at Coosa Valley Credit Union in 2007. He serves on several committees for the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce and works closely with other local organizations and charities. Mr. Smyth is also a member of the Exchange Club of Rome and serves on their Board of Directors. He is married to Becky C. Smyth and they have 4 children. Joseph 12, Ashlee 10, Carolyn 9, and Sarah 16months. Robert Smyth can be contacted at [email protected].

Dana Thompson


Dana Lynn Thompson is a writer, dog mom, and founder of Surviving Everyday Stress, a blog for people suffering with IBS and anxiety. She hopes to make a difference in the lives of people struggling with everyday stress. Dana lives on a small farm with her rock star husband, three rescue dogs, and two horses. She can be reached at

Rachel Turner



Rachel Turner is a freelance writer and humor blogger. She also runs a traveling murder mystery party business called Make it a Mystery. Georgia born and raised she lives in Woodstock with her husband and two sons. Drop by her blog, or email her at [email protected].

Reesa MiltonReesa Milton is owner of Perfect Home on Shorter Ave. which is celebrating ten years  creating classic comfortable homes using their collection of accent furniture, art and accessories, as well as window treatments, bedding and rugs.   In her former retail life, Reesa, a native Roman,  was owner of The Wedding Belle {now Perfect Dress of Rome} and also owns Perfect Prom, a specialty prom boutique.  You can reach Reesa at [email protected], or read her musings on interior design at her blog  “Perfectly at Home”

Ciara N. MealerCiara N. Mealer is a freelance writer and editor. She is also the owner of East of the Moon Tarot, where she offers a range of intuitive services. Currently expecting her first child, Ciara keeps busy creating weird art for charity and hitting the trails of North Georgia. Contact her at [email protected].

Past Contributors

Kat Carter

Kat Carter is a prolific reader who loves to cook and entertain. She lives in Cedartown with her husband of 40 years, Jimmy Carter. Kat is a retired educator who holds a B.A. in English and a M.A. and Ed.S in Leadership. She retired from Georgia State University where she designed and implemented training programs for state agencies. Contact Kat at [email protected].

Susan Hackney
Susan Hackney spent 38 years in adult literacy education, recently retiring as (the first-ever) Division Vice President of Adult Education at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. She holds Bachelor’s, Masters, and Specialist Degrees in education. She says her unfinished educational concern is fostering family literacy. She has written, edited, and worked on editorial boards for several professional publications, Her interests include reading, writing, traveling, gardening, family, and friends. Susan is married to Olin, and they have two children and four grandchildren. Additionally, they have two cats and feed a multitude of birds, squirrels, raccoons, and deer.

Virginia Brewer

Virginia Brewer is the owner/operator of Lavender Mountain Hardware and Garden where the staff offer seminars on miniature gardening and other topics. Visit them at or check them out on Facebook for a schedule of seminars.

Guyeth NashGuyeth Nash is a psychotherapist and organizational consultant in private practice in Rome, Ga. She has over twenty five years of experience in clinical, corporate and academic environments. Guyeth has a Post Graduate Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, an M.Div. in Pastoral Counseling, and an M.Ed in Counseling. Guyeth is a Clinical Member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. Guyeth Nash can be contacted at [email protected].

Paula Laack


Paula Davis-Laack, JD, MAPP is a burnout prevention and resilience expert who helps professionals break their addiction to being busy and overwhelmed. She is the author of Addicted to Busy: Your Blueprint for Burnout Prevention. Please visit Paula’s website at or email her at [email protected].