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Karl Manke was born in Frankfort, Michigan.  He has spent most of his life in the small Mid-Michigan town of Owosso, home to author and conservationist James Oliver Curwood.  He and his wife Carolyn have twin daughters and five grandchildren. 


A graduate of Michigan State University, the author has been a self-employed entrepreneur his entire working career.  After discovering his inclination for telling a good story, he now spends much of his time fine-tuning the writing craft.

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Hope from Heaven- A Story of Forgiveness

It’s been said the memory of things past is much like a worm that doesn’t die. Whether it continues to grow by gnawing away at our hearts are metamorphoses into a brilliant butterfly depends on how successful we are in overcoming our resentments. This is a story of such a happening. 


Peggy and Julia are twins. Their father is in prison and their mother has been absent much of their day today development. As a result the girls have developed a clairvoyant relationship in nurturing the other. Their success is apparent as they enter adulthood as well balanced young women. Without warning this prudence is unexpectedly confronted with the murder and a near death experience and the challenge to forgive.


Although this story attaches to every human emotion in so many different ways, it, nonetheless, ask the question whether humankind is that a shift towards a greater consciousness of love-energy.



Thrown against the gates of hell, America’s youth are rewired to fight a war that wasn’t expected to be won. In many cases, the returning Vietnam veteran found life difficult because many in the media gave readers the impression that it was the soldiers who make war rather than the government. The fallout of this notion resulted in many soldiers bearing the burden of an unpopular war. They became war casualties rather than respected and appreciated veterans. Whether out of frustration or a lack of mercy, the result remains the same: the shame and guilt of an unpopular war were left with the veterans to helplessly agonize through alone. Hopefully, as a nation, we have begun to practice more mercy and cease shooting our wounded.

Larry E. Lelito; Author of True Hard

USMC Vietnam Combat Veteran

“Rewired is a realistic profile of two close friends that join
the Army, experience the war in Vietnam and return home
broken. It is a reminder that war is not just what takes place
on a brutal battlefield but what also takes place coming
back to a civilian life. This is a compelling read for anyone
who wants to understand how deeply the Vietnam war
affected our veterans. An excellent opportunity for opening
the dialogue between clergy, spiritual care providers, mental
health care providers, veterans, and family of veterans.”

Sgt. Thomas Wetzel Special Forces;

The Military Order of the Purple Heart. Commander Chapter 1970

“I admit this story was familiar to me. The polarization of era youth from John Wayne patriotism to peace-nik entities is well established. No ticker tape home coming is an understatement - and for years later hiding the fact one was a Vietnam vet to avoid social discrimination, job discrimination and to re-integrate on some level of “normalcy”

Karl Manke's Harsen's Island Revenge is a great look back at a place I've known my whole life.  Bought this book on the island, and enjoyed finding the places I knew, but didn't REALLY know!

Verified Buyer - 5-Stars

Karl's 8th and most intricate weaving of history, greed, and love.



Diane Carey; New York Times Best-Selling Author
Karl Manke has an uncanny way of cracking open the movie reels of our minds and finding the gems of America at the dawn of the automotive age.  He teases out little places we've never heard of before, but that really exist, like Harsen's Island, a place with secrets and stains - real ones.  He puts a mirror in front of these unheralded closets and makes us look at ourselves as if we're standing there, at that time, feeling the waves of the Great Lakes, living the seamy dangers, bumping into those people, and even smelling the aromas we think we've forgotten.  I wasn't there, but I feel as if I were.”

Anthony Hornus; Award-Winning Author, Journalist, Filmmaker
Sixteen-year-old 'Frankie' Morgansky was born and raised on Harsens Island, a marshy 19-square mile plot at the mouth of the St. Clair River, 50 miles northeast of Detroit.  Being an expert marksman and outdoorsman serves this teenager well as a sniper in World War I France, where he killed the Kaiser's soldiers with precision.  Resourcefulness would also serve the young man well (or would it?)  when Prohibiton, Formally known as the Volstead Act, goes into effect in 1920.  It would plunge America into unfettered violence for more than a decade.  Karl Manke's eighth novel, “Harsens Island Revenge” follows 'Frankie' a first-generation Russian Jew, who after the war, chooses a very dangerous career path in search of his fortune.  Controlling Harsens Island and flooding Detroit, Chicago and much of the country with illegal booze, was the infamous and most lethal mob of the era, The Purple Gang.  Headed by the Burnstein brothers, the Purples were said to be the only mobsters feared by Al Capone.  Meticulously researched and described in vivid detail, Mr. Manke develops a rich, eclectic cast of characters., and he weaves them into a fascinating yarn set against the turbulence of  The Roaring '20s.  “Harsens Island Revenge” is highly recommended!  It very well could be Mr. Manke's best work yet.

The Adventures of

Railcar Rogues

A Murder Mystery!



Review by Award-winning journalist, author and filmmaker Anthony Hornus:

“This latest offering by Karl Manke - circa 1955 - is part 'O, Brother Where Art Thou?' and 'Stand By Me,' crafted around a multiple-murder mystery spanning several states, yet seemingly unrelated, in the vein of Ted Bundy and 'The Deliberate Stranger.'


With its colorful characters - from Whitey, Dace, Cowboy and Sid, to Vaughn, 'Handsome Harry,' Doc and Grace – 'The Adventures of Railcar Rogues' is an engrossing tale, an evolving study if you will, of a band of mostly young vagabonds on a 'road trip' of discovery that turns into a journey of survival.


The characters will draw the reader into their transient, societal underbelly of existence. And when the shenanigans and misdemeanors turn deadly, there is no putting the book down.”

Enjoy the read!   -Tony



Is my latest story for you?  It is a daring view into the underbelly of the sixties and seventies. For all of you who survived these tumultuous times, this account will serve as a recollection. This story is also for all of you who weren't there and may wonder if you could have survived. In either case, this story is a revealing adventure.  The characters in this story come alive in telling ways - their altruistic ideals, their efforts, their misguided expectations, their successes and failures are distinctive in crazy ways and hit a nerve in all of us.
To say this period of American culture is anything less than pivotal is an understatement.  The effect this era's fall-out has had on values, morality, and politics have become no less than worldwide. 

Enjoy the read!   -Karl

Karl Manke's Gone to Pot is a real eye opener for someone like me who was just a small child at this crazy time in our country.  His deeply felt insight is evident as a man who was there.  What is more amazing is that he is able to recall characters and situations that make this great work of fiction a page turner!

Verified Buyer - 5-Stars





This novel is a Michigan story that takes place on the Great Lakes during the beginning of the 1900s. After the AGE OF SHAME, I wanted to write a story that would be a little lighter. I recalled a conversation I had a number of years ago with a grandfather. He lived up on the coast of Lake Michigan in the small village of Elberta. He was around 100 years old at that time. Making small talk with him, I asked him,"Gramps, you've lived here most of your life, do you ever remember anything like pirates on the Great Lakes?" I really expected him to chide me about such a dumb question. Instead his whole demeanor changed. His slumped body suddenly went erect with a voice that was nearly in a shouting mode, "Hell Yes! I was the cabin boy for Captain Dan Seavey." To which I said,"Who in the heck is Captain Dan Seavey?" "He's a pirate on Lake Michigan!!" He said this in such a way that it must have been a common name among his generation. Then he added in an almost apologetic tone, "I had to quit though, I couldn't take the high seas." 


After remembering this conversation, I began an investigation of his claims, It was verified in a four page article in the Michigan History magazine. It was all I needed to write a 300 page novel depicting the life and character of one of Michigan's more colorful personalities. THE SCOURGE OF CAPTAIN SEAVEY has all the ear marks of a good movie. It's full of action along with a beautiful love that brought about redemption in an otherwise drunken, thieving, womanizing, brawling, pillaging, plundering pirate.


This was a very enjoyable book to read!  The author brought this Great Lakes Legend to life.

Verified Buyer - 5-Stars




One of my earliest memories is having a box in our kitchen with food stuffs we were sending to my German father's family in the Baltic region which at that time was part of Germany during WWII. On my mother's side we have a Jewish connection.  As a result of these experiences I decided to celebrate this diversity in a story.  Most of the Holocaust stories coming from this era are dark.  Rather than portray another of these, I wish to portray light in a dark time.  This story takes place in Eastern Europe during WWII involving a young Jewish girl and a young German boy.  She is suffering retributions on the German side of the Polish border because of her ethnicity, and ultimately finds herself in the Warsaw Ghetto waiting for her extermination. The young German boy finds himself suffering a similiar fate on the Russian side of the border having been enslaved in a labor camp.  Their lives finally cross in an underground resistance movement.  Both are suspicious of the other because of their opposing ethnicities, but they soon come to a realization that neither of their traditions had ever allowed them to examine. That they are neither Jew nor German only two young people who only want life.  Able to set their prejudices aside, they conjoin in an unseemly relationship and make their way through this labyrinth of insanity.


An excellent WWII epic story told from several different view points including both the German and Jewish perspective.

Enjoy the read!   -Karl


This novel presents true events not usually covered in the standard WWII literature. I literally could not put this book down from the first page.  A must read for all historical fiction readers!

Verified Buyer - 5-Stars

Secrets, Lies, and Dreams



My younger school years were spent attending a parochial school.  The only class I looked forward to was the Old Testament Bible history.  That's where the action was!  there were always wars where God's people were defending themselves against warring people with names like Philistines or Canaanites.  I loved the action and the fact that the good guys always won.  This interest prepared me to write my third novel SECRETS, LIES AND DREAMS.  It's a modern day story that parallels the life of one of these Old Testament heroes named Joseph.  This story begins in the wilds of Alaska with one half brother attempting to kill another half brother by throwing him down an abandoned mine shaft.  Instead of dying, the victim finds he has retrograde amnesia, and is forced into the wilderness to begin a survival modality that soon finds him in prison.


How this story progresses is too long for this venue.  But if your the type of reader who believes it's not so much what happens to us as humans, rather how we react to it that determines success in life, then you'll enjoy the depth of this story.  Read with great vigor!

Enjoy the read!   -Karl



I couldn't wait to get back to each reading session with this book! It is so compelling to learn the outcome in the life of the main character.  Also very interesting to watch the plights and evolution of the other characters.

Verified Buyer - 5-Stars


Prodigal Father



This story is fashioned after the parable of The Prodigal Son in the New Testament.  I received a few raised eyebrows among church people who took offense at the title associated with the father.  They wrongly joined the term PRODIGAL with something inherently evil.  It's a Greek word meaning "lavishly wasteful".  As anyone familiar with this story remembers, the son was lavishly wasteful with his inheritance, but the father was also lavishly wasteful with an unconditional love for two sons who didn't deserve it. I remain unapologetic for the title.

This story is set in a modern day setting.  It embraces the human condition in both sons who are hell bent on destroying one another.  Since our strengths as humans vary, they seldom unite us, but in this story my intention is to unite the reader with our common weaknesses in need of varying types of redemption.  For readers who hunger for an action, this love story, with deeper meaning, will fill your appetite! 


Karl Manke has written a very interesting variation on the theme of the Biblical story of the prodigal son.  Don't let the Bible reference steer you away, he is a very creative story teller.  There are some very exciting sections and some cerebral sections, and 'aw schucks', you may see that it is a love story at many levels.  I was able to see people from my own life in the characters.  If you enjoy the authors like Dean Koontz, James Patterson, PJ Parrish and John Sanford you will likely enjoy this book.  I couldn't put the story down, I hope you enjoy it, too.

Verified Buyer - 5-Stars


Unintended Consequences



To write this novel it was my intention to fill a "bucket list" demand. I had spent the first part of my existence attempting to destroy my life and this second part in recovery. My intention was to write a novel that honestly describes the human condition for what it is and the destructive nature it possesses even among those who profess God.


This story is not intended to be churchy or dogmatic. Rather it's thought provoking allowing the reader to come to their own conclusions. The two protagonists in this story are people we all know in various ways. One is a man struggling with an addiction problem, The other is right to life advocate struggling with his convictions. Within the parameters of their individual struggles, they both find themselves on the fringes of the community. The attitude of 7 of their fellow citizens is reflected in their use of the 7 deadly sins to convict these two outsiders. 


The UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES result in a horrendous murder of one of these two who have found themselves on the streets. The story takes many twists and turns in solving the crime. It's a thoughtful thriller!



I was surprised at the intuitiveness of the author. I probably shouldn't have been since he is in a position to hear and see all kinds of people and situations because of being a longtime barber. I also was impressed with his Biblical knowledge. It goes way beyond what most of us enjoy and realize. I did enjoy the book and think it's an excellent effort for the first time out. I also think it takes a certain amount of courage to lay your thoughts out for everyone to observe and judge. I'm interested to see what the next book will be like.

Verified Buyer - 5-Stars