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Skin Deep,

By Anne Hjelle

‘As I look into my compact mirror hoping to see a familiar reflection, I am stunned when a stranger stares back at me. This is not the face I know so well. I am looking at the handiwork of a mountain lion; he ambushed me while I was biking in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park on January 8th, 2004. My neck sustained more than ten deep bite wounds and my mangled face was pieced together using more than 200 stitches and staples.’ – Anne Hjelle. 

‘Skin Deep’ tells the incredible true story of one woman’s battle for survival following a vicious mountain lion attack and the daunting emotional and physical challenges she faced during her recovery. 

In moving detail, Anne Hjelle’s describes her transformation from a wounded victim to a survivor, a woman who managed to come to terms with her new identity, and learned to live by the words ‘feed your faith, not your fear’. 

From her first surgery, to the day she went back to Cactus Hill Trail- the scene of her near death experience, Anne tells all in this captivating and evocative personal account which will both move and terrify you from the first page to the last. 

‘Skin Deep’ is an inspiring personal story of tragedy and renewal, a book about what is important in life and about the nature of beauty. 

There are more details at 

Anne Hjelle is originally from Apple Valley, Minn., but came to live in California while serving in the United States Marine Corps as a helicopter mechanic. Anne has worked in the fitness industry as a personal trainer for the past 16 years. She is a regular public speaker telling the story of surviving the mountain lion attack, and of her life journey thereafter.

Damien Lewis is an award winning and internationally best-selling British author, published in some thirty-six languages worldwide. He has co-authored several powerful and compelling memoirs with women, including the acclaimed international number one best-seller ‘Slave’ co-written with Mende Nazer

Greg Hardesty is a well-known journalist, trail runner and outdoor enthusiast in Orange County, California. He has been an award-winning reporter for nearly 25 years, covering general news, crime and business for the Orange County Register for the last 13 years. 

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