The Northwood Lodge

I am pleased to present to you my FIRST non-fiction novella.  A biographical novella about my father and grandparents with plenty of pictures.

The Northwood Lodge Cover 1000

In 1934, John Dillinger engaged in a shoot-out with the Division of Investigation, later called the F.B.I., at Little Bohemia in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin.  Next door to Little Bohemia was the Northwood Lodge owned by Ernst and Agatha Meinel, my paternal grandparents.

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Another NEW year, celebrate WITH me!

I don’t know why this date always sticks out, because I don’t recall the exact day I found out I had cancer.  However, I do remember it was April, I’d just come back from an expo with my sons, my mother had died of brain cancer in January, I was selling my house in Southern California, I was finishing up my lengthy divorce that had taken over six years, and I was very, very sick.  I couldn’t breathe.  It was a Wednesday when I got in to see the doctor.  On Thursday I had x-rays, on Friday I went in for a biopsy…I was awake for the surgery where they removed the lymph nodes in my neck…it was gross because I could see the entire procedure on the shiny light above me, I couldn’t move from the anesthetic paralysis they had put me in, but they wanted me to talk to them, you know, in case they hit my vocal chords?

I’d been sick for a year, I knew it, as a woman, as a mother, and as someone who feels things very intrinsically.   I ignored it.  Why?  I was trying to raise two boys.  They were, when I found out my prognosis, aged twelve and ten.  I was also trying to run two businesses, one of them internationally and it was growing exponentially.  I was also trying to maintain two households.  I had a house in Huntington Beach, CA and another that I was renting in Los Osos, CA.  Then, my mother started behaving oddly.  She was living in our house in Huntington Beach and I was ‘home’ for the weekend.  I remember the first sign vividly in October of 2000 as it still hurts, even though she didn’t mean it, and it was so out of character for her.

We were watching some TV and a commercial came on about abuse.  A woman of about forty was yelling.  You would assume by what she was yelling that she was saying it to kids, abusing them.  Then the camera panned out to show a little old lady, practically cringing away from yelling woman.  I was horrified.  I turned to my mother and told her how much that commercial upset me.  Not that it was okay if it was children she was yelling at, neither was it okay to yell at a defenseless older woman.  My mother looked at me almost blankly for a moment and said, “Well, what do you think you do to me?”  I stared at her in the same horror that I had felt at seeing that commercial.  I gasped.  I also defended myself.  I said, “I would never speak to you in that manner!”  She had raised me correctly and she knew I would NEVER raise my voice to her.  She subsided after that.  I, however, realized something was wrong.  My wonderful, kind, and patient mother was behaving irrationally, that was the ‘first’ incident that I was aware of.

In November of that year, I bought another house, this time in Los Osos, CA, across the bay from Morro Bay, CA, so we could all live under one roof again.  It had to have a fenced in yard since we had two dogs, five cats, two growing boys, and my mother and I, as well as near enough to my warehouse in Morro Bay.  We were all elated as I signed the paperwork.  I had told no one as I didn’t want to jinx it until it was complete, good thing too as a week after I signed the seller changed their mind.  I felt horrible as my mother was so excited about us living together again.  She adored her grandchildren which she had helped me raise once I became a single parent.  I firmly believe that with her help they turned into better human beings than they would have it I had been completely alone for those years.

At Thanksgiving, I arranged to have someone else cook our dinner, I was too busy with work and picked it up.  We really enjoyed the meal and my mother was behaving oddly.  I kept asking her if she was okay the whole weekend before I had to get back to my other home and work up in Morro Bay.  It was a four-hour drive.

My mother knew my 1-800 number (it’s a free number to call businesses to those of you who don’t have that in your country) by heart and called me at least once a day, or I called her to check in.  A week or so before Christmas I couldn’t reach her.  I tried for days.  I had the police go do a ‘wellness’ check where they go pound on the door and ask the occupant if they are ‘okay.’  There was no response.  I finished up my Christmas rush of orders as fast as I could and headed down as soon as the boys were out of school for the day.  No one answered the door, my key worked, but the door was bolted.  I could, however, hear the dogs barking.  I had to lift my boys, one by one, over the back fence.  My biggest worry was that she had died in the house and they would find her, there was nothing I could do.  They went through the dogie door.  I went around to the front of our town home and they let me in.  My mother was sitting on the couch and was like, “Hi there!”  I was not amused, but I was relieved.

Fortunately, across the common area of our townhome complex lived my friend Jill.  She had been a nurse for years and I went to see her after we visited for a while at mom’s.  I asked her what I should do and she recommended I take my mother to the E.R. and tell them about her altered state, just as I had told her.  With that course in mind I went home and asked my mother when was the last time she had bathed.  Clearly, she could no longer take care of herself and this altered state of mind worried me.  Was she taking her meds?  Was she feeding the dogs?  I had regular orders of groceries delivered, part of our phone calls so I could just arrange that all the time.  Everything ‘seemed’ fine but I knew something was wrong.  She asked me if she stank, I assured her that she didn’t, but wondered if a bath would make her ‘feel’ better.  It did.  We had a delightful evening together, just like always.  The next morning, I took her to the E.R., she would never return home.

Getting her to the hospital alone was a nightmare.  I had one of those extended vans and she couldn’t get up in it.  I tried to lift her, but as we were about equal in weight and height, that didn’t work.  Then, her colostomy bag broke and we had to clean her up.  It took two HOURS to get her out the door and to the E.R. which was about ten minutes away.  I felt so bad as though I had failed her as a daughter.  I hadn’t, but I felt that way.

They kept her because based on my description of her behavior, they ran a scan and found a brain-tumor.  The doctor was eager to operate.  I could imagine my mother’s horror at the idea.  She was a very conscientious and particular person…about the way things should and shouldn’t be done.  She was very classy, very dignified.  She’d already survived thyroid and colon cancer, she would not want her head shaved and them digging into her brain.  The tumor had metastasized already but not from her other two cancers.  I , have a theory that when she went in for her regular checkup in June, that they found out about the tumor, and she chose not to tell me.  She chose to let it go.  I decided then and there, knowing my mother, that she wouldn’t want the brief amount of time the doctors would have given her with such a surgery.  She would want to go on, she was tired of fighting, she was tired of living, she would want to die with dignity.  We’d talked extensively over the years about her two cancers, her three strokes, and I knew her well enough to know what she would want and the decisions she would make if she could.  I refused to allow the surgery.  I told my mother who was lucid, but had short-term memory loss, my decision.  I wasn’t sure she was nodding because she trusted me or because she agreed with me.  After telling her three times that weekend that she was dying of a brain tumor, I was done, I wouldn’t tell her anymore.  It hurt too much.  This was Saturday when I admitted her, by Monday she was in a coma.  They said she would never awaken again and probably be dead by Thursday.  This was right before Christmas 2000.

My mother not only woke up again, she recognized me, my boys, and my brother when he visited.  Nothing like making a liar out of the doctors.  During the last days, she had a stroke.  She always thought she would die of a stroke since her mother had, so when she tried to ask me what was wrong with her and I couldn’t tell her again that she was dying of a brain tumor, I told her she’d had a stroke.  THAT she could understand and comprehend and it seemed to give her comfort.  She even tried, during the last days, to comfort me when I was crying about her dying.  She told me I would be okay, patting me on the stomach.  She was right, I would be okay.  When she slipped back into her coma a few days later, I told her to go on, don’t hang around for me, I would be fine, she raised a strong woman, and I loved her.  She died the next day on January 4, 2001.

Four months later in April I was dealing with my own prognosis and possible death.  It was terrifying for my two boys.  I tell you, if they didn’t exist, I probably would not have fought so hard.  The doctor told me if I did nothing that I would live maybe 4-5 months…and it wouldn’t be a very pleasant death, choking to death.  I became a human guinea pig.

You might wonder why I tell all this, part of it is to remember because I need to, to exorcise it from my psyche.  Part of it is to tell others that no matter how bad things are, you can do it, you can deal with it.  I write about strong women in my books because I am a strong woman, my mother is a strong woman, my grandmother was a strong woman, my great-grandmother was one too…so I come from a long line of strong women and that is what I know and write about.  Here’s a bit of trivia, I am the youngest daughter, of the youngest daughter, of the youngest daughter, of the youngest daughter…how is that for a legacy?  I have no daughters, lol

No matter what you go through, what you may go through, you can do it…I firmly believe that the fates, that a higher power, God if you believe, doesn’t give you ANYthing that you can’t handle.  So, celebrate with me that it’s been SIXTEEN years since that long-ago prognosis.  I’m here, I’m still publishing stories that I hope you all enjoy, AND there is more to come.

If you wish to read more about my cancer story, please click here, here, here, and for the first mention, here.

AND, as always, check out my website to look at all my amazing books!  (Click on the picture to be taken to the site)

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Maniacal Malice, Book 22 by K’Anne Meinel

maniacal-malice-book-22

Alice is just finishing up a few minor details that have kept her from returning to her family—killing a few people that kept her away, blowing up a few things, taking revenge on the heartless…Can Alice FINALLY go home?

Available on the website as a download for PDF, E-pub, and Mobi users!

 

Also available from these fine retailers:

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Also, did you know, that I’ll sign your paperback and send you a copy?  You can order that through the website on this page:

Get a signed copy here!

As always, I want to thank those dedicated followers of Alice and my various books!

 

Where Alice lives

Have you ever wondered where Alice Weaver lives?  About a year ago I put together the pictures I use to imagine her home in Palos Verdes, California.  Amazing how much can change in a year or so, including the covers, the direction of the story, and our heroine(s).  Here it is again so you can enjoy!

And if you get a minute, don’t forget to pop over to my website and check out all the latest releases and Malice books!

Book 1 Mysterious Malice Cover Book 2 Meticulous Malice Cover Book 3 Mistaken Malice Book 4 Malicious Malice Book 5 Masterful Malice Malice Masterpieces I the First Five Books Book 6 Matrimonial Malice Book 7 Mourning Malice Book 8 Murderous Malice Book 9 Mental Malice Book 10 Menacing Malice Malice Masterpieces 2 Book 11 Minor Malice Book 12 Morally Malice Book 13 Morose Malice Book 14 Melancholy Malice Mad Malice Malice Masterpieces 3 - Copy Book 16 Macabre Malice Book 17 Marinating Malice Macerating Malice Book 18 Minacious Malice Book 19 1000 Meddlesome Malice Book 20 1000 bookcoverpreview-2 Meandering Malice Book 21 maniacal-malice-book-22

Re-Releases of Malice! Book 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & Malice Masterpieces 1

Read through to the end, I promise, it will be worth it.  This is all a little LONG, but no cheating by scrolling down!

Back on September 26, 2011, I released the FIRST of what would become the series MALICE with the release of Mysterious Malice.  It was an experiment.  I didn’t think I could write a Murder-Mystery series.  I was inspired by a good friend of mine, Carrie who writes like Stephen King, as well the show Dexter.  I began to research serial killers and found that 90-95% of all serial killers are men.  Is this because the other 5-10% who are women are smarter and never caught?  I began to think about that statistic.  I think, it’s because originally, the majority of people do not think that women are capable of such horrors, and that was how Alice Weaver began to come into MY psyche.  I thought, perhaps, I could write one and see how it goes, that was to be a novella….then, I thought, maybe a series of five.  Having just finished #22, which will be out soon, I think we have something going on here.

When I first started writing, I didn’t and couldn’t afford an editor.  Slowly but surely I built up a following of my writings and slowly and surely we are going through all the old books and sprucing them up.  They are not only being edited, but tweaked, polished, and even a little added here and there.  So, if you want to re-read an old story with a new polish, feel free.  It’s become a favorite series to many who enjoy a kick-ass woman who doesn’t take prisoners and doesn’t suffer fools gladly, who has faults, and who loves ferociously, then Alice is your kinda gal.

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Book 1 Mysterious Malice Cover

Meeting a mysterious woman in a bar, Deirdre’s life begins to change.  Alice discovers the abuse that Deirdre has been experiencing at the hands of her handsome and powerful husband.  But what can a petite woman such as Alice do to help her out of this bad situation?  And what will she want in exchange for that help?

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Book 2 Meticulous Malice Cover

Alice has a routine that only she follows and she tries not to be too predictable outside her home, leaving few clues for anyone who might be following her…is someone following her?

Murder requires technique.  It also requires meticulous planning and genuine care to detail if you’re going to do it right, correct?  Random acts of violence are not Alice’s style; however, when forced, she can play along.

Meticulous Malice delves deeper into who Alice really is.  Let’s play the game by HER rules…

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Book 3 Mistaken Malice

Making mistakes is something Alice DOESN’T do.  Can she deal with the fact that someone might have died in error?  How will she deal with it when someone else makes a fatal mistake?

Senators Cecelia and Ken Edwards enter into Alice’s arena, but are they more interested in her money, her power, or her desirable body?  Pursuing this ‘friendship’ will create consequences none of them intended…

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Book 4 Malicious Malice

Alice is angry!  She wants revenge for her sister’s death…and her lesbian lover is her target!

Is it ever safe to anger a psychopathic killer?  Justifiable homicide is a dangerous game, but then Alice is the master.  Watch as Alice strikes back in a unique way that promises to exact precisely the revenge she needs.

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Get a signed copy here!

Regular sized Paperback: amazon-paperback-button

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And coming shortly to these retailers:

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Book 5 Masterful Malice

When Alice receives a plea for help from her sister’s friend, will she be able to free her from the bonds of a sadistic man determined to have her all to himself?  What about the bonds that Kathy begins to place on Alice’s cold, little heart.  How will they affect the killer in Alice?

This is the FIFTH book in the “MALICE” series about Alice, a serial killer with a mission to get justice where none would otherwise be served.

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Pocket Paperback: amazon-paperback-button

Get a signed copy here!

Regular sized Paperback: amazon-paperback-button

Never before available by these fine retailers:

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And coming shortly to these retailers:

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Malice Masterpieces I the First Five Books

Malice Masterpieces The First Five Books including Mysterious Malice (Book 1), Meticulous Malice (Book 2), Mistaken Malice (Book 3), Malicious Malice (Book 4) Masterful Malice (Book 5)

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Never before available by these fine retailers:

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Also available as a LARGE PRINT Novel:1Large Print

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Get a signed copy here!

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Check out my website for all the new deals and announcements:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~maniacal-malice-book-22

Alice is just finishing up a few minor details that have kept her from returning to her family—killing a few people that kept her away, blowing up a few things, taking revenge on the heartless…Can Alice FINALLY go home?

Coming to all the aforementioned next few days, so subscribe to this blog or check out my website!  Psst, if you check it out on my website NOW, it’s already THERE for your download convenience!  PDF, Mobi, and Epub formats!

Sexual Assault vs Boys will be Boys

This story originally appeared in a British publication, showing that sexual assault is universal.  I have rewritten it for my own use in this blog.  While fictionalized, I hope it will make people think, discuss, and perhaps get on their bandwagons against sexual assault and even the nuances of it…it all starts small and can escalate rapidly.  The ‘boys will be boys’ age is well past and what might have been overlooked in the past cannot and should not be anymore.

I am an Emergency Room nurse.  We are not allowed to have our personal phones on us; they are to be kept in our purse, in our lockers, and out of sight.  Today, a call came in through the hospital for me.

“Ms. Jones, this is Mr. Garfield from the Junior High.  There has been an incident regarding Kathy.  We need you to come in.”

“Is she ill?  Is she injured?”  Panic that all parents feel, especially one who works in the ER enveloped my chest immediately.  “Can it wait until I finish my shift in two hours?”  If it can wait, it can’t be that bad.

“Kathy struck another student,” he explained, understanding (I thought) my panic.  “We have been trying to reach you for forty-five minutes,” he continued, a touch condescendingly.  “It really is very serious.”

As I drove to the school, thoughts of my sweet and good-natured daughter went through my head.  Why would she strike another student?  What had caused my mild-mannered daughter to do such a thing?  Would they suspend her?  Or, was it bad enough that they would expel her?  Had they hit back?  Was she hurt and they were glossing it over?  Once I arrived and went to the school office, I identified myself as Kathy Jones’ mother.  The school secretary looked at me reproachfully, almost as though she was looking to see what kind of woman was raising such a dangerous daughter.  I was ushered into the principal’s office where I was introduced to the principal and the vice-principle in training (she was new) by Mr. Garfield, my child’s teacher.  Present was also the child she had hit, his face bloody from his nose.  He looked awkward and a bit defiant sitting there flanked by his parents.

“Nice of you to FINALLY join us,” the principal said, I could hear the sarcasm in his voice.  I sat in a chair across the desk from him with the others in a semi-circle.

“Yes, it was busy in the Emergency Room,” I indicated the scrubs I was still wearing when I rushed out of work.  “I’ve spent the last hour stitching up a seven-year-old kid with over forty stitches who was beaten by his mother with a metal ladle.  Then I had to deal with the police regarding it.  Sorry for the inconvenience,” I added with a touch of my own sarcasm.  I looked at Kathy and saw she was looking down at her shoes, a typical ashamed look, but she didn’t look the worse for wear.

The principal seemed a bit embarrassed.  He proceeded to tell me what had happened to necessitate my presence here at the school.  Apparently, the boy had snapping my daughter’s bra.  She had then retaliated by punching him in the face, twice.  I tried not to laugh, it seemed boys never came up with anything new to torment girls, they had done something similar when I was a teen.  This gathering seemed to be a bit of an over-reaction. However, it seemed to me that they were more angry with my daughter’s actions than with the boy.

“Oh,” I said slowly, as I considered what I was going to say.  “And you want to know if I’m going to press charges against him for sexually assaulting my daughter as well as against the school for allowing him to do it?”

The wording ‘sexually assaulting’ seemed to make everyone in the room uptight.  They got all jittery and began to talk all at once.

“I don’t think it was that serious,” Mr. Garfield began.

“Let’s not over-react,” the vice-principal put in her two-cents.

“I think you are missing the point,” the principal stated.

The boy’s mother started to cry.  I turn to Kathy and ask her what happened.  I can’t make a decision without hearing both sides.

“He kept snapping my bra,” she said, embarrassed, not looking up and addressing her shoes.  “I asked him to stop and he wouldn’t.  He laughed at me.  I told Mr. Garfield,” she indicated her teacher, looking up for the first time.  “He told me to ‘ignore it.’  I tried,” she looked at me as she continued, “but he did it again and this time he undid my bra so I hit him.  That stopped him.”

Turning to Mr. Garfield who had nodded, confirming Kathy’s story, I asked, “You let him do this?  Why didn’t you stop him?”  I made a come-here gesture with my hand.  “Come over here and let me touch the front of your pants.”

He made a movement as though he was about to walk towards me before the sense of what I had just said hit him.  “What? No!” he answered aghast.

Innocently I asked, “Does that seem inappropriate to you?  Why don’t you go over and pull on,” I indicated the vice-principal who was staring at me wide-eyed, “on her bra right now?  See how fun it is for her.  Or,” I indicated the boy’s mother, “her bra?”  I held out my arms wide, emphasizing my bosom.  “Or mine?”  I lowered my arms.  “You think because they are kids that it’s fun?”

“Ms. Jones,” the principal interjected, his tone was one of exasperation at my reasoning.  “With all due respect, Kathy did beat another child.”

I stared at him a moment, giving weight to my words and allowing a silence. “No.  She defended herself against a sexual attack by another student.  Look at him, he’s over six feet tall.  He probably weighs around two-hundred pounds.  She’s five feet and probably a bit over a hundred-twenty pounds.  He’s a foot taller than her and nearly twice her weight.  How many times should she have let him touch her?  If the person who was supposed to protect her,” I glanced at Mr. Garfield, including him in this, “couldn’t be bothered, what should she have done?  He pulled her bra so hard that it came undone.”

The boy’s mother was crying.  His father looked angry as well as embarrassed.  Mr. Garfield wouldn’t make eye contact with me.  I look back at the principal.

“I’m taking Kathy home.  I hope he has learned a lesson,” I point at the bloody nosed boy who was fidgeting in his seat.  “And, I hope nothing like this every happens again, not only to Kathy, but to any other girl at this school.  You wouldn’t let him do it to a staff member,” I glance at the vice-principal, “so what makes you think he can do it to a fifteen-year-old girl is beyond me.  I will be reporting this to the school district as well as the school board.”  I turn to the shame-faced boy, “And if you EVER touch my daughter again I WILL have you arrested for sexual assault.  Do you understand me?”

He nodded once, I took that as an agreement.

I gathered Kathy and her things and left the school.  I did report them to the school district as well as the school board.  For good measure I also reported it to our local newspaper so there was a further record of the incident, without names since both of the kids were minors.  Kathy was, at first, moved from any classes with him.  One phone call reversed that and the boy was moved from her classes.  There was no reason to punish her for his behavior.

As I mentioned, this first appeared in a British publication.  I have rewritten it for my purposes.  I use it to illustrate that mentality that allows these small incidents to go unpunished.  That banding together of boys and men who then perpetuate such mentality.  I’m not saying women might not do the same but it isn’t as prevalent, or, perhaps discussed (I welcome such discussion in a different blog).  That type of misogyny must be nipped in the bud at a young age so that our young men and women realize that it isn’t acceptable, it isn’t allowed, and it isn’t going to be tolerated.  The more they see of it, the more accepting of it, the more inured they become to it.  In this climate of narcissistic misogyny, I fear that it will become worse, it will become the norm and I worry for future generations.

I raised two fine young gentlemen.  In a time where kids were latch key kids I took mine to work with me and put them to work with me.  I made them do chores that other kids didn’t ‘have’ to.  I let them know there were consequences for their actions.  My oldest son stated I was very strict and wondered why.  I explained they were always going to be taller than me, bigger than me, and I had to sit on them when I still could.  (My boys are now 6 foot 3 and 6 foot 1 respectively, I am only 5 foot 6).  That wasn’t the whole reason though.  I knew if I didn’t teach them respect, if I didn’t teach them manners, that I would not be able to control their impulsive and rebellious behavior when they became teenagers, and the adults they could have become would have been disastrous.

Those who sneer at good manners have a problem.  Those who degrade men and boys who hold open a door for a woman or girl, are foolish.  It isn’t a matter of losing your womanhood or feminism to allow this small act of chivalry, it’s manners.  I do the same for my girlfriend, holding doors, talking respectfully, and treating her as I would expect to be treated.  Manners and respect aren’t outdated, but they do need to be taught.  If they aren’t, the behaviors escalate.  Personal space, personal preference, and personal choices are all in peril when we allow such behaviors in our society to go unchecked, without consequences.  No, manners alone won’t solve this problem, however, it is a good start.  I hope, man or woman, would stand up and fight when these manners aren’t shown.

I may be a lesbian and some might ‘think’ it is a choice, but I can appreciate a man or a boy with good manners.  I can appreciate a woman or a girl with good manners.  I can appreciate a human being that treats others with the respect and dignity they are due, because they too are human beings.

 

Tee Corrine Award, please vote

The deadline for the first round of voting for the Tee Corrine award for art is rapidly approaching.  If  you haven’t already (even if you have, they will delete duplicates) please go and vote for three covers that I have up for this award.  They are:

Doctored Veil of Silence Cover fast-lane

Please go HERE to cast your vote for these covers that I created!  If you are interested in the books themselves, click on the cover and it will take you to where you can read up on them and perhaps purchase a copy.

Thank you so much in advance for your consideration!

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