What’s in a name?

Well, for one, it’s MINE!  K’Anne Meinel is totally unique.  Grandma wouldn’t let mom name anyone after her, she was Antonia for life but shortened to Toni which she abhorred her whole life.  Had I been fortunate to birth a girl she would have been given that moniker because I LIKED it!  I suspect one of my sons will use it ‘cause they knew of my love of the name, I’m not ready to be a grandmother yet so that can wait a while.

Mom got around Grandma’s edict that NONE of her grandchildren be named after her.  I was.  The K is not for Kay or any other version of it, it’s for Kleinschmidt as that was Mom’s maiden name.  It’s on my birth certificate like that and the apostrophe has caused me difficulty all my life because apparently people don’t have apostrophes in their name.

The name Meinel is certainly unique.  Not too common here in the United States.  There are a few others but our family came over after World War I on dad’s side and created our own ‘dynasty.’  There are quite a few ‘Meinels’ in Germany where Grandpa and Grandma emigrated from.  Our name is listed on Ellis Island because that’s where they came through after they got off the boat.

I am very proud of my German heritage.  I was the only one of my generation to take the time to learn the language.  Dad could understand it but spoke it horribly.  Mom, not at all.  I took 3.5 years of it in high school (but only because I graduated early) and I was not the best student.  So, Ich spreche eine bisschen Deutsch.  (I speak a little German), aber nicht sehr gute (however not so good).

Recently I came across some information that has me being FROM Germany.  This is false.  My name while German, is for an American gal who was raised in Wisconsin.  That’s the Midwest and you can’t get much more American than the Midwest.  Any information saying I am from Germany or that my books are translated from German, are false.  I’m proud of my name, I’ve made quite a name for myself with my fifty books to date (seventy if you count the different versions), and it’s uniquely mine.  It’s pronounced Kay-Ann My Nell (American Version) or Kay-Ann My Null (German Version).  I also answer to Hey-you occasionally.  I was always Mom never Mommy or Mum or Ma (rolling my eyes at that one, hate it).

Some may ‘fear’ it, some may hate it, some are convinced it’s made up for the sake of my books.  I don’t particularly care.  After all, I have proof (birth certificate), it’s mine, and I’m not about to change it for someone else.  I have had another last name when I was married and I didn’t like it so much (maybe that was why that marriage ended?  I don’t think so, but the idea is funny).  This one is mine, I’ll keep it.

Advertisements

Do you believe in Miracles?

DO YOU BELIEVE IN PRESENT DAY MIRACLES?

I’m not talking about the miracle of a new day or the miracle of new born baby. I’m talking about KNOWING or actually EXPERIENCING one first hand.

A woman goes to the doctor on a Wednesday in April of 2001 experiencing breathing problems. She knows deep down that something is wrong. The nurse practitioner examines her. It is believed that the woman may have lymphoma as her glands in her neck are so swollen that it is cutting off her windpipe. She goes in on Thursday for X-ray’s. Friday she is scheduled for a biopsy. While cutting into her neck for the biopsy the surgeon decides to remove all the lymph nodes on the right side of her neck. This woman even drives herself home from this surgery (without the hospital or doctor’s knowledge of course). Four days later she has an oncologist (a cancer doctor) telling her her options for treatment. They do not know the results of her surgery as yet but the options for treatment are grim thus far. It is decided to send the lymph nodes to Stanford Medical Center one of the leading cancer treatment centers in the WORLD. Remember this has only been one week in this woman’s life.

Another week goes by and the woman is experiencing worry, anxiety, and impatience. This woman is only 34 years old and has two children to raise on her own. Her siblings are far away. She is alone.

Finally the Doctor’s office calls to tell her the results. It is confirmed as non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma type B. That doesn’t mean anything to her. The doctor asks for her to come in for a meeting. During the course of the meeting the doctor explains the extent of the disease. She has a 4 inch tumor over her heart and lung, inoperable. She has another one under her left underarm. Several along the left side of her neck. The ones on the right have been removed. The doctor explains that she has at most 4-5 months to live. Normal Chemotherapy takes 12 months. Remember this woman is only 34, this is only April and they are giving her dire news. The doctor offers an alternative. There is an experimental treatment through Stanford Medical. It is called the Stanford Five Protocol. It will take 9-12 weeks and she will be very very ill. Without hesitation she grasps at this straw and agrees. The doctor is taken aback. He again explains that this is experimental and there are no guarantees. The woman comes back with there is no time for normal procedures so what choice does she really have. Two weeks later the doctor has ordered the experimental medicines to his office and they begin treatment. First they must harvest some of her bone marrow for evaluation. Ever get a huge needle through your hip into your bone? Ever have the doctor miss the site, repeatedly? It is extremely painful.

In the meantime the woman gets her affairs in order and writes her will. She informs her family of the dire news including her siblings and children. She hides nothing from her children as she will need them to be brave. Her youngest cries with her.

Starting treatment isn’t easy. They give her an IV full of the poisons that they must administer to save her. One of these is a mustard treatment that in gas form was used in the World Wars by the German’s to kill their enemies. Ironic that something so terrible can now do good. The IV drip takes about a half an hour or so. Feeling fine the woman leaves the doctor’s office to drive herself back to work. About 2 hours later she begins projectile vomiting, a normal cause and effect of cancer treatment.

During the 12 weeks of this therapy she goes weekly for these treatments. They vary from week to week. Three of the poisons one week, two the other weeks. Four weeks into treatment she begins to lose her waist length hair. After a week of being able to pull out chunks of hair she shaves it all off and begins to wear scarves and a hat. Soon after she becomes anemic. They start her on more medicines. One shot alone she must have almost daily. It costs $500 per shot and must be refrigerated. Have you ever had cold ice literally run into your veins? Her veins have begun to disappear. On her right arm they can no longer find the vein, and then they can no longer use it anyway due to scar tissue developing. They offer to put in a shunt in her chest for the treatments but she refuses. One vein in her right arm twists of its own accord. They mention the possibility of cutting in to remove or realign it. It’s painful but they decide to wait to see if it will twist itself back.

Her days begin to take on a sameness. She wakes at 5am and eats a banana. In a half hour she takes 8 pills that will help to keep her alive to survive the treatments. One is to help her with nausea, one is a tranquilizer, one makes her cold. Within an hour she will most likely vomit all of them up. In an average day she takes 16 pills. Some are the size of horse pills. The doctor tells her to cut that one in half to take it, no way then that seems that she is taking an extra pill! Laughter sustains her. The only things she can eat are fresh fruits. She loses weight.

The doctor is amazed with her mental attitude. Her sense of humor doesn’t waver. In fact he is watching this closely as a good mental attitude helps as much as the medicines. She finds humor in the coldness of the medicines, the colors, the illness itself.

She is expecting only 9 weeks of this treatment. The doctor decides to go with the full 12 weeks. After the 10th she looks back. She has been in the office of this doctor almost daily for some treatments. Now it begins to depress her. The last two weeks are purely hell for her. She finally misses an appointment as she is too nauseous to drive herself. The doctor is concerned and offers to send an ambulance. She refuses but makes the next day’s appointment. She makes it through the full 12 weeks. They are finished with this! No more IV’s. They’ve tortured her for the last time. Or is she through.

They begin to wean her off the pills. She runs out of some and refuses to renew the prescriptions. She goes into severe withdrawal. The doctor informs her that at 34 she is going through menopause. This devastates her as much as the news of the disease. It takes almost two weeks to go through all the symptoms of withdrawal. She continues to shake for over a month.

After a month this woman moves across the country to be nearer her family. The doctor advises her against it but she needs it for her well-being. She drives herself, her children, and their pets across the country. She is exhausted, shaky, and feeble. From some of the pills she is still going through withdrawals. Her hair begins to grow back. A month later she begins radiation therapy.

They give her three tattoos for this. She draws on her sense of humor for this. The radiation treatments leave her dizzy and slightly nauseous. It also causes her to gain a lot of weight. She drives herself to these weekly appointments. When they are finished the doctor believes that the lymphoma is gone. The x-ray’s show nothing but a bump in her chest. Twice a year for several years then once a year for life are the checkups. That’s it, she can go.

Her 35th birthday comes and she celebrates it with friends and family. She really has something to celebrate. She beat the 4-5 month prognosis.

I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES. This happened to me in 2001.

K’Anne Meinel

LARGE Print ~ To Love A Shooting Star

To Love A Shooting Star (2)

Erin Ingram is an enormously successful Hollywood star.  She has stared, directed, and produced many films over her long career, starting as a child.  She has even won several Academy Awards.  She is also a closeted lesbian.  Will announcing to the world that she is in love with a woman destroy her long and successful career?  Is the world ready to let the ‘girl next door’ come out of the closet?

Meeting Erin Ingram was a delight and a surprise to author Kate McCall.  Better yet, there seemed to be an attraction.  Getting to know her she was thrilled at their relationship as it developed.  Her own career as a successful novelist made her more than equal for the talented Ms. Ingram.  Will announcing their relationship to the public destroy their love, their careers, or their blended families?

LARGE Print

blue_happy_book_N-231x300

E-Book

Pulsing%20site%20logo

‘Normal’ Print

74733_550051868342682_1615060679_n

LARGE Print ~ The Claim

BookCoverPreview

Anna Schmidt is too independent for a woman of the 1800’s.  Worse yet she doesn’t have a man to curb her unwomanly like tendencies.  When she takes a claim of 160 acres and then  another tree claim of another 160 acres has she taken on more than she can handle?  Its work that could cripple a man, a woman alone can’t expect help or understanding when she takes this one on and willingly.  Flooding, blizzards, heat, dust, and an incredible amount of physical labor are all set to do this determined woman in.  She takes it on and
through the years succeeds despite the odds, despite not having a man to depend on, showing herself and the world that this woman not only can but will make a home, a farm, a ranch on the wild prairies.  Follow along in her journal telling of her experiences.

LARGE Print

blue_happy_book_N-231x300

E-Book

Pulsing%20site%20logo

Regular Print

74733_550051868342682_1615060679_n

LARGE PRINT Timed Romance

My latest novel and now in LARGE print!

Cover

Falling in love gives you no time or place, no reason or excuses.  It’s a deliberate act that can leave you breathless from ecstasy or pain.  There is no rhyme, no sense, no time.  There is no precedence, no priority, it befuddles you.  In the right time and place it can cause you to reach the highest highs or the lowest of lows.  Bad timing though for any romance can hurt you more than the love itself.

Reese has worked hard all her life to garner the satisfaction in the jobs and levels she has obtained.  Landing the position of estate manager for the Cavindish family of England is exciting.  A new country, a new challenge, and a new life.  She packs up her life in Connecticut, kisses her daughter good bye and set’s off on what she is sure will be the adventure of a lifetime…in its own time.

Lady Cavindish is shy, retiring, and a bit out of her league when the attractive confident blonde, Reese Paulson arrives on the scene to run their family estates for her brother the lord of the manor.  Her admiration for Reese soon turns to hero worship and at some point to a love that neither expected.  Their love however isn’t what the Cavindish family name or property’s need, it is bad timing for everyone involved. 

The love she feels for Lady Cavindish is totally unexpected and Reese soon realizes that her presence can only hinder the woman she has fallen for.  She makes the excruciating decision for them both to move on, without her. 

Finding a new love in Australia though proves that life has plans for us that we can only hope gives us what we need, can Reese move on from the woman she loves, or can she love the women she has moved on to.  How can she forget Victoria, her first love?

Fate however brings them together time and time again, can it time their romance so they can have their happily ever after or is it determined to rip their hearts raw time and time again?

LARGE Print

blue_happy_book_N-231x300

E-Book

Pulsing%20site%20logo

“Regular” Print

74733_550051868342682_1615060679_n

Video

1364368782_youtube-logo201

Why I decided to remove all my books from SMASHWORDS…

About 18 months ago I had some questions for Smashwords and sent them in, it took weeks to get them answered and I could ‘sense’ the annoyance of the person working there in being ‘bothered’ to even have to condescend to answer my questions.

At this time I was selling perhaps 1-3 books a DAY on Smashwords, not a lot but with them being on about 7 or 8 platforms including their own, Barnes & Noble, Kobe, etc I thought the exposure was good.  They had been my FIRST e-book experience when I first started publishing and I was excited the day I sold my first e-book!  I was also very loyal and promoted them AND my books as I should.

After my questions though (November 2011) my sales went down to maybe 1 or 2 books a WEEK.  Now I was heading into what I thought would be my ‘busy’ Christmas season so I was alarmed, concerned, and a bit annoyed.  I contacted Mark Coker, the ‘owner’ of Smashwords and received a nice note back.  Then I got form letters from both him and his employees telling me the party line that sometimes sales are up, sometimes sales are down.  I get that, having been in business myself for over two decades.

It didn’t however explain how I’d go to absolutely NOTHING in sales with them after my questions.  I mean I did have for comparison Amazon sales which were steadily increasing.  I began to have suspicions that perhaps my sales weren’t being reported to me.  Now this is just MY opinion but if you give someone too much power over money they are going to be tempted to skim a little here and there and with millions involved, that adds up.  My questions and concerns however went unheeded and I got the impression I was ‘labeled’ a troublemaker for even asking!

So I began a strategic withdrawal from Smashwords and didn’t post any new releases again.  It didn’t seem to affect my sales on any other platform.

In February of this year I hosted a FREE giveaway for myself and other authors.  It was for Valentine’s day weekend ONLY.  I posted it on Smashwords because their platform was easier to give it away for free than on Amazon.  I removed the FREE from the book I offered for that weekend ONLY after three days.  Then I posted it on Amazon as well.

Two months went by and I realized Amazon was giving my book away for free.  My inquiry that I sent in gave the information that it was free on other platforms and they were price matching as per their policy.  Well, the only other place that it had ever been free was on Smashwords.  I checked, nope it wasn’t free THERE.  It was however FREE on their other platforms which apparently hadn’t gotten the ‘memo’ that it had been CHANGED after only the three days offered for FREE back in February!  I sent in an inquiry at Smashwords, it took them a week to get back to me! (Amazon got back to me within 24 hours).  They said that there were changes necessary in the format of my book (the cover actually) that until those were changed they couldn’t help me.  I ‘unpublished’ this book to halt the whole process.

In the meantime, there have been HUNDREDS, even THOUSANDS of downloads of this book because people found it for free.  To be honest I wouldn’t have minded as the hundreds that I gave away during that promotion made me feel happy that perhaps people who didn’t know me, people who loved my work, and people who might not have read my romance novel might get the chance to read one.  What I did mind is that it was being given away by the hundreds and thousands without my consent.  I had withdrawn said consent after those three days!

As I have almost no sales anymore due to my ‘troublemaking’ on Smashwords I’ve ‘unpublished’ each and every book I had offered on their site, except for one FREE poem I left on there, deliberately.  I know they won’t care as they haven’t been too helpful or polite about offering help when there was a problem.

I’ve also enrolled ALL my books in KDP select, this will let people ‘borrow’ my books for free and get people to enjoy the various offerings and I will benefit.  Now I’m not saying this is the ultimate solution and eventually I will be offering them myself on Barnes and Noble (that too is a problematic site in my opinion), Kobe, Sony, etc.  In the meantime, I thought I’d let people know MY decision and the WHY.  If you are going OH NO, I can’t READ her books now, I can send you a link that will allow you to download my books from Amazon on your computer or phone if you don’t already own a Kindle.