The Worst Birthday

I have been kind of indifferent about my birthdays the last few years.  No one special to celebrate them with and my friends are scattered far and wide.  This year wasn’t any different except for the anxiety of the elections leading up to it. 

Then, the day before my birthday I got one of those phone calls that no one wants to get.  It was my niece telling me that my favorite sister-in-law had died.  I was in shock.  Julie was the kind of woman everyone needs as a friend.  She was attentive, kind, funny, and a great sounding board.  I hadn’t heard anyone ever say anything bad about her.  She was merely 60 years old.

This year I cried for 3 days about the loss of so wonderful a woman from my life.  I’ll mourn her of course forever to some degree.  Now, I have to get through the funeral which won’t be for another 10 days, and then deal with famdamly that I rarely, if ever, talk to.

Another bad thing was I couldn’t say anything about it except to my closest friends, in inboxes on social media, because I got banned on FB, again, sigh.  I had been talking with another author and said, I’m gonna go kill someone ~ fictionally speaking, of course.  The bots picked up on the first part and never considered the second.  The thing is, I KNOW better and just plain forgot and got a six-day ban, right through my birthday.

So, for all of you who wished me happy birthday, thank you.  Normally, I thank each and every one of those who wish me well like that, not this year.  I just don’t have the heart, even when, or if, FB allows me back on the platform.

I hope others have a better birthday than I did, because I will always remember this one because I’ll always mourn the loss of so great a lady.  RIP Julie, you were one in a million.

25 years ago today

There are times in your life where you know exactly where you were when an anniversary rolls around. JFK getting shot (I wasn’t born yet), men walking on the moon (too young for that), Watergate (I do remember the news reports, I was in grade school), Elvis dying (I remember the news ribbon going across the black/white TV we owned), and many, many more.

25 years ago today, I was in Morro Bay, California looking for a house to buy/rent to move my family up there from Huntington Beach where I owned a townhome with my mother. My boys and the dog were with me as we looked in Morro Bay, Los Osos, and Cayucos. I was listening to the radio and realized something was going on, but it had been a long drive (4 hours), and a long day looking and driving around. We ended up in Atascadero at a no-tell motel for the night, and the boys turned on the television to the news that Princess Diana had been in an accident. At that time they were still stating that she was alive. I called my mother.

My Mom was the kind of admirer of such people, I understood that. She liked class and status, she didn’t go for fame, but she grew up during the depression and I have an appreciation for certain things because of her influence. She watched avidly when Diana Spencer became Princess Diana. She stayed up the night she married to watch it all on the television. She loved the pomp and ceremony and raved over the outfits and the jewels. It was the stuff of old movies for her, and I have an appreciation of those from both my parents. But Diana, she was special, for everyone who ever watched her.

I asked my mother if she had been watching the television that day and she said, “No, why?” and I explained that Princess Diana had been in an accident. It was pretty serious. She was still alive. However, I didn’t know at that time that it wasn’t for long.

That moment, that time is forever frozen for me. We moved up to Los Osos/Morro Bay four months later and started a new chapter in our lives. It amazes me to realize that it is ‘only’ 25 years ago, how young my boys were, how our lives were changing. I miss a ‘simpler’ time and sometimes wish I could go back, with the knowledge I have now, and start again. It wouldn’t be the same, I would have to change some things. And then, of course, they wouldn’t have come out the same. I might not be the same.

Today on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, a person who will forever remind me of my mother and her admiration for such an admirable woman, I mourn the passage of years.

Just a little ghost story, a true one

June 6, 2003

       A week ago Tuesday I went to bed early (for me) at about 11 PM or so.  I was immediately asleep I was so tired.  I began to dream.  I was at a friends house looking at something on the bed.  It was a tiara.  I reached to look at it closer and to my horror it began floating towards me.  I tried to reach for it but something held my hands and pulled me towards it.  I screamed in the dream.  I woke up.  I screamed outside of my dream as well.  Something was holding my wrists down and I was quite awake.  Scared myself half to death.  I could feel my  heart pounding.  Whatever was holding my wrists felt angry and held them for about a count of twenty and then let me up.

       Now you can discount this as a very vivid imagination and dream.  This isn’t the first time the ghost in our house has visited us.

       Last night I saw a shadow out of the corner of my eye.  Not a new occurrence with skylights and cats and long hair.  This one however was six feet in height and against a wall it had no business being against.  You couldn’t write it off to being a shadow from lights or a cat or something I was imagining.  Turning on the overhead light of course made it disappear.  What didn’t disappear though after I turned off the light was the feeling of malice that I could feel in the room.

       Tonight, AJ was in our living room waiting while Chip put in a DVD.  Between AJ and Chip a ghost appeared.  AJ yelled “what the heck are you doing?” and it disappeared.  Chip of course thought AJ was just being a jerk, yelling at him and saw nothing.

       A few months ago someone turned on my crystal ball light.  AJ was in his bedroom and Chip across the apartment in his own room.  The only way to turn this light on was to flip an actual switch.

       Another time Chip watched as something flipped on and off the light switch in his room without turning on and off the light.

One night the cats, all four of them, were looking down the stairs to my loft growling and unhappy about something.  The dog seems to be clueless to what is going on.  This incident though had the cats walking back and forth as they looked down the steps but ventured no further than the top of the stairs as they looked down at something.

       I’ve heard noises innumerable times that could be explained as cats running through the house.  What about footsteps up the stairs though?  I’ve walked briskly through the barn several times, convinced that someone had come into the house, no one was there, but the noises indicated otherwise.

       Coincidence?  Maybe.  Explainable?  Perhaps.  I want to go on record though, here and now that it’s odd, getting angry, and perhaps scaring me a bit.

Those two skylights on the right were above my bed in the loft

Outback Splendor ~ A Woman Down Under Series

╔═════🐴🐎♡. • ❦♥️❦ • .♡ 🐴🐎═════╗
🌹  R░E░L░E░A░S░E D░A░Y 🌹
ღ A Woman Down Under Series ღ


╚═════🐴🐎♡. • ❦♥️❦ • .♡ 🐴🐎═════╝

Outback Splendor.jpg

Nothing in Mel Lawrence’s life could have prepared her for living in the Australian Outback.  She finds creating her new life and establishing a sheep station far from the elite society she was expected to live in extremely satisfying.  She has a wife, a child, and a dream she never imagined she wanted, and they are all she needs.  Will she be able to hold on to the happiness she’s found after seeking it for so long?

Available now from:

1 Amazon2 Apple3 Kobo4 Barnes & NobleBuy Direct on my website

Coming soon to these retailers:

5 Scribd6 24symbols8 Overdrive

Also, are you aware I have a travel blog?  You have to subscribe separately to this one, here is the link.  If you are reading this one and haven’t subscribed, please do so by clicking down here on the right and putting in your email to stay apprised of all my latest news.Arrow 1.5

So, this happened

I love to hear from my readers, but this one was totally unexpected.  The other night I checked my email before going to bed and found this question in it regarding my non-fiction novella The Northwood Lodge that I released last year:Capture

Dear Ms Meinel,
I am emailing with what may or may not be an unusual question. I saw your book on line ,The Northwood Lodge, and read an excerpt that your Grand Parents owned The Lodge. I own what remains of a resort in XXXXXXXX, WI  on South XXXXXXX. This is located just a few miles from The Northwood Lodge. The original owners were Walter and Clara Meinel and the name was Meinel’s Resort. I am wondering if you are also related to them.
Any information you may have would be greatly appreciated.
Stephanie xxxxxx



Well, Stephanie got an immediate reply.  Because, yes, that was my Great-Great Aunt and Uncle who owned the place that she was talking about.  My grandfathers (who is featured in The Northwood Lodge) Aunt and Uncle.  Uncle Walter sponsored my grandfather to come over from Germany.  He was the first Meinel of our family to come over (as far as we know).  How cool is that, I put out a little novella with my family pictures, even one of Uncle Walter in it, and lo, and behold, the current owner finds it and me to contact!  We’ve had several emails back and forth.  I’m loving sharing family pictures with her of a place from eighty or so years ago.  How wonderful is that?

She has asked permission to put up a picture for their history days in the town up there of my uncle, who was fairly well-known back in the day.  His fishing stories will forever be told…

Well, Uncle Walter, you live on infamy…



27 Years ago TODAY!

How many of you can say you remember what you were doing that many years ago?  I do.  That was a rather rough week.  I was suffering from the flu, in and out of the hospital all week only to go back for more hydration in the form of an I.V. drip.  My doctor was sick of seeing me.

27 years ago today was a Thursday, and I remember it so vividly because of what happened that evening.  Since I’d been so ill, I had to be ‘careful’ about what I ate.  I felt so good that day that I craved lasagna.  A favorite still.  So, we got Stouffers and I got my lasagna.  Well, a few hours later I began to have stomach pains.  Chock it up to too much too soon?  Or should I mention I also happened to be very, very pregnant at the time?  When my husband at the time (Hey, yes I AM a lesbian NOW, but I was young and stupid and trying heterosexuality)….said, how do you tell the difference between flu cramps and being in labor?   Well, I was 23 at the time and I’d already had a baby so of course I knew it all!  That’s what I told him, I would KNOW!  Well, when those flu cramps got five minutes apart, he called the doctor.  I told them, I didn’t mind going into the hospital just as long as I didn’t miss my favorite show which was due on that night.  Those were the days when you had to wait the entire season to see what you missed in one night for a rerun…if you got that!  At the time my favorite show was L.A. Law…hello Susan Dey anyone?2120587  Well, I got my wish.  They got me into a room and I refused to contribute ANYTHING to the delivery of my son until I could watch the entire episode.  How’s that for a devoted fan?

A few hours later I was willing to get that baby out of me and I cooperated.  Not bad!  I think I’ll keep him.  Happy Birthday Andrew!  (He’s given the name I would have been given had I been a boy).  Btw, I’m STILL trying to lose that baby fat!



NEW BOOK! The Journey Home … just in time for Christmas!

The Journey Home Front Cover

In the midst of the Great Depression, Cassandra (Cass) Scheimer is trying to keep the family farm afloat in the Big Woods of Wisconsin…alone.  As a local midwife and struggling backwoods doctor, she certainly doesn’t need more mouths to feed.

Stephanie Evans is a widow enceinte with her third child.  She accepts a kind stranger’s offer of marriage in exchange for keeping house for him…but he never shows up to claim her.  While dealing with unrequited guilt and the desperation of impoverished motherhood, falling in love with Cass is the least of her worries.

For Cass, having been in love with a woman once before, she feels it couldn’t possibly happen twice.  When it does, Cass is convinced the love cannot be returned.  Can she and Stephanie keep it hidden from the prying eyes of children and the meddling neighbors in this small rural community?

Can Cass deal with the guilt she feels over her brother’s injury, an injury that prevents him from doing his duty for their country?  Joining the Nursing Corps may put too much stress on her newfound relationship with Stephanie.  The woman who returns from the war and the woman left behind on the farm are not the same people who once fell in love.  Can they return to being lovers after years spent apart?  Destiny put them in each other’s path, but World War II has tearing them apart.

This is The Journey Home.

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E-Book & Paperback

Who doesn’t LOVE the feel of a good book in their hands and did you know that many times authors include ‘extras’ in the paperback that do not show up in the e-book?  Food for thought….

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.

~LARGE Print~ Children of Another Mother

Children of Another Mother SP Paperback Cover

Dealing with the death of your best friend, the second parent to your children, your mother is hard enough but Kay now also has to deal with the house she had bought for them to all live in.  It’s a ‘fixer upper’ and requires a lot of work for the single mom.  A new home, a new life, new friends leads to a family she hadn’t anticipated or planned for…

Kay is doing the best she can, trying to deal with everything when Jackie enters her life.  They become good friends but how was Kay to know that she would change her life in ways she had never anticipated…





“Regular” Print


Long Distance Romance LARGE PRINT

Long Distance Romance

When you unexpectedly fall in love, don’t you take it for what it’s worth?  Don’t you love the person while you can?  When you can?  What if they live on the other side of the globe though?  Could you handle that long of a distance?  Patience becomes the word when two women of independent character fall unexpectedly in love.  From different lifestyles, to different geographic locations, the problems of maintaining this relationship seem astronomical.  Just when they think they have solved these minor problems, new ones seem to pop up.  Will they survive a Long Distance Romance?

Eliza is from the Midwestern United States, Wisconsin.  Independent, a business woman who has finally achieved her dream.  She is determined to fulfill and continue to live this dream when in walks a woman that knocks the old dreams out of her head for new ones.  Will she someday have the woman of her dreams?  Should she abandon that what she knows for the unknown?  Can she have what she knows she wants?

Krystal is from Austria.  Rich, cultured, and bored; she has seen everything and done everything.  A side trip on another trip to the United States proves to be interesting when she walks into Eliza’s store and is knocked on her back side by the feelings that this woman provokes.  The distance thing is easy to someone who owns a jet but even she has responsibilities back home.  Will she be able to have this woman she has fallen so deeply in love with?  A woman who fascinates her, intrigues her, and challenges everything she is?  Even if all her dreams come true, is it enough to keep them together?








“Regular” sized Paperback