Award-winning author Mary Elizabeth (Leach) Raines

MARY ELIZABETH (LEACH) RAINES is an award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction who has a home in Sedona, Arizona. She began selling short stories to magazines in 1973.

Her most recent awards were from the 85th Writer's and 86th Writer's Digest Writing Competition, where she was one of the top prize-winners in the category of mainstream literary/fiction stories.[Note: Readers can find this tale - Easter Breakfast at Denny's - in her short story collection, The Man in the GPS and Other Stories, which she also illustrated. Her prize-winning memoir, A Spot of Vanilla in a Sea of Chocolate can be found on the Laughing Cherub blog.]

Her fiction ranges from the serious and symbolic (UNA) to contemporary fiction (The Secret of Eating Raspberries); from her unusual and entertaining collection of whimsical short stories (The Man in the GPS and other stories) to her popular book on past-life regression (The Laughing Cherub Guide to Past-Life Regression: A Handbook for Real People). Several of her plays and film scripts have won awards on both regional and national levels.

Mary Elizabeth's formal education was in piano performance at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and she spent several years in independent film studies at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh. She still plays the piano, and occasionally directs or acts.

The remainder of her nonfiction is related to hypnosis. The founder of the Academy for Professional Hypnosis Training, Ms. Raines has been hypnotizing people for more than half a century, and has been teaching top hypnotherapists and training people from all over the world to become past-life regression counselors for the past eighteen years.

Ms. Raines has been a newspaper reporter and an editor, and is a regular contributor to professional hypnosis magazines and books about hypnosis. She is a columnist for "The Journal of Hypnotism."

Her pastimes are as diverse as her publications. She has an immense respect for the natural world, is an ardent environmentalist, and agrees with Marcus Aurelius Antoninus that "all things are interconnected." Raines loves history, and in particular has a passion for the 19th-century transcendentalists of Boston and Concord. In addition to writing and playing the piano, she paints, enjoys walking, is fond of classical music, jazz and early Broadway songs, gardens, creates professional fractal art on her computer, designs all her own book covers, and is a bee-keeper.

Mary Elizabeth Raines is happy to have Louisa May Alcott in her family tree as a distant cousin, and is also increasingly fond of the Oxford comma.

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