Linda Jocelyn Rivers is a California native now residing in the state of Minnesota with her twelve-year-old adopted daughter, Kira Corene Rivers. Kira was named after Linda's deceased daughter, Wendy Corene Rivers, who was killed in a tragic and freak horseback riding accident in 1986. Linda's husband, Ernie, who was a career military officer in the United States Army died December 8, 2010, from a subdural hematoma.
Linda began her writing career in 1980 as a weekly correspondant for the Statesman Journal newspaper in Salem, Oregon. In 1981 she became a stringer with the Oregon National Guard newspaper, THE AZUWUR. Over the next twenty years she wrote for various newspapers, to include; The Forest Grove News Times, The Oregonian, Hillsboro Argus, USA TODAY, and had several articles featured in numerous magazines to include; Reader's Digest, Troop Support Digest, National Guard Magazine, and; published her first book: Through Her Eyes, in 1990 with, Beyond Words Publishing Company, the same company that released America's #1 best seller The Secret.
Fifteen years ago she joined the Chicken Soup for the Soul team, i.e., Health Communications, Inc., (www.chickensoup.com) with her story The Most Precious Gift. This was the story that was previously featured in Reader's Digest in 1988, now beiing featured in Chicken Soup for the Father's Soul. She also won "their" 1st Place Award for Chicken Soup for the Everyday American Hero's Soul with her story, The Littlest Hero. Linda was also featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Like Mother, Like Daughter, with another reprint of The Most Precious Gift. Her most recent publication with Chicken Soup is Three Easy Steps, in Shaping The New You and was released in December, 2010.
Linda, along with Ernie's two oldest daughters, Nikki and Barbette, founded the Hide and Seek Foundation, Inc., a national search organization for missing children in 1983. Offices were initially opened in the State of Oregon by Linda, the State of New Jersey by Nikki, and the State of Pennsylvania by Barbette. Collectively they worked with numerous organizations to help in the location of missing loved ones.
In the first three years, Linda, along with her Oregon staff, located and reunited 317 families. The Oregon chapter was instrumental in the Missing Children's Network and was the first agency to put missing children on grocery bags. It created the Video Operators Children Alert Line (VOCAL). The New Jersey chapter was busy with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington DC. with legislative issues and the development of written reference material. In the meantime more Hide and Seek Chapters started forming across the United States. Linda published the first step-by-step search handbook for families of missing loved ones in 1984, titled: The Panic Button.
In 1986 she, founded the Circle "R" Ranch, Inc., a therapeutic horseback-riding ranch for children, teens and adults, faced with physical, mental and/or emotional challenges.
In 1987, the Eye Bank Association of America recognized Linda as one of the nation's leading spokespersons for cornea transplants and sight restoration. Proceeds from Linda's first book, Through Her Eyes, went to sight restoration programs worldwide. Both Wendy and Ernie were cornea donors at the time of their death.
In 1989 Linda became the county Director for Centre County Community Action, a sub-division of Central Pennsylvania Community Action, Inc., where she created and implemented programs and services for low-incomed families. While director, Linda wrote a budget handbook for low-income families titled, MONEY, How to Get What You Want in Life. It was a teaching tool for clients in how to set up a budget for their household and manage their money. From 1989 through 1993 Linda worked with J. Gordon Chamberlin, Greensboro, NC, with a Multi-State coalition addressing the systemic cause of poverty in America. By 1993 she was featured in 2000 Notable American Women.
Today, Linda devotes her spare time to writing inspirational stories for various magazines and has continued as a "souper" author as her articles appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Her next book, A Spirit Never Broken, is to be released late 2012; and one of her future novels,titled, What About Me, is being dedicated to all "siblings" who feel they have been slighted by the attention that is inadvertently given to a child that has unexpectedly died at an early age due to illness or a tragic accident. Too often, these siblings/children feel left walking in the shadow of the departed sister or brother. It is not easy and often brings about feelings of guilt for resenting the special attention that is given to their deceased family member. It is a very tough road to walk and can almost be related to children who have turned to drugs. So much attention is going to the one that needs help and the ones that are trying so hard to do the right thing -- feel tossed aside. What About Me - focuses on the "surviving" children and how to start a new life without their brother or sister.
Linda is fast becoming an advocate and motivational speaker on issues relating to overcoming adversity. To contact Linda Rivers, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach her for speaking engagements at 651-252-8169.