Marilyn Meredith and F.M. Meredith author of mysteries and Christian thrillers

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Wishing Makes It So

Readers' Choice Award Winner

When really, really bad things happen to good people.


-- Winner, horror category, USA Book News Best Books of 2006
-- American Author Association, best thriller '06
-- Finalist in horror in the DIY Book Festival

***** "Thrilling from the first to the last page, Ms. Meredith has created a story that will truly horrify the reader. Stephen King does not create suspense nearly as well. Even when you think the story is over, there is more, and you will see how easily the devil can hide behind the lovely and the unexpected. This is one of the most bone chilling novels I have ever read!"
-- Reviewed by Amanda Killgore for Huntress Reviews

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An Award Winning Suspense Thriller

"Author Marilyn Meredith has written some very good books over the years—many of which I have read prior to reading her latest suspense thriller “Wishing Makes It So”. However, this is not like any of her other creative efforts—and it is certainly her best work to date. She takes a four-year foster child with such an innocent looking persona and gives us a charming and evil little manipulative monster. The storyline involves malicious and dangerous behaviors by poor little Belinda that ruins a wonderful family whose only intentions were to give her a loving family.

Meredith is a master at using a good mix of dialogue and characterizations with her narrative, so that the plot unfolds to give the reader a great psychological horror story. The story is fresh and alive and will grab the readers fullest attention—not allowing them to walk away form the book until they have devoured the last pages to find out what conclusion awaits them. It is a page burner that readers will find un-nerving but very much entertaining. This will become a classic novel of its genre someday, once others in the media discover this hidden gem as I have!

The American Authors Association (AAA) gives this book a FIVE STAR rating and a recommendation to buy and read this book!"

The American Author Association’s 2006 - BEST THRILLER NOVEL

"Put an extra cushion on your reading chair, folks. If you like edge-of-your-seat suspense, that's where you'll be perched until you reach the very last page. Meredith dispenses suspense and horror with equal disregard for your anxiety level as she interrupts the cozy life of the Chrestman family in this superb tale of blood-curdling psychological suspense. "
     --Reviewer Ingrid Taylor

"...Marilyn Meredith has once again delivered compelling reading! For Horror fans, Wishing Makes It So is a Chiller story!"
     -- Reviewed By: Dakota Wind , Rolling Seas Reviews

"...No adult ever wants to believe a child is evil for the sake of evilness, but other children always seem to know well in advance what kind of monster lurks beneath good looks, moderate behavior, and a cherub smile. Read "Wishing Makes It So" with an open mind. Remember, children are just as capable of violent and manipulative acts as adults are. If in doubt, reread 'Lord of the Flies,' 'The Innocent Voyage,' or 'The Dollhouse.' I rate 'Wishing Makes It So' five stars."
      -- Lillian Cauldwell

"WISHING MAKES IT SO, by Marilyn Meredith, is classic suspense. Meredith gets right to the story with her opening line: 'Warmth and love were but a wisp of a memory to the toddler.'

"Belinda enchants everyone and nobody wants to believe she's responsible for events that begin to pile one upon the other. Meredith takes this tale to its terrible conclusion with turn-of-the-screw precision."
     --Pat Browning, author Full Circle

"...It’s a book you can’t put down once you start reading."
      – Lucille P. Robinson,

"...Readers who appreciate a strong tense thriller filled with real people will want to read Marilyn Meredith's superb shocker in which the roads to hell is paved with good intentions while your escort may be a beautiful little girl with a devil of a heart."
      –Harriet Klausner,

"...the book shines as the author carefully builds her characters and events. She thus brings her story to a satisfying climax, utilizing a creative and strange twist."
      -- Katie Hines, Muse Reviews

"Wishing Makes It So is a horrific tale about a mini-monster infiltrating a sympathetic family. Belinda, a beautiful five year old orphan, moves in with The Chrestmans, a loving family willing to share their hearts and home. But being compassionate can prove fatal when the new member of the family isn’t the center of attention.

Marilyn Meredith weaves a skin crawling web of manipulative scheming and diabolical actions that will make you cringe. This book is addictive. Its pages turn as if it has a will of its own. Her story telling is artfully done making the characters seem as real as a person sitting in front of you and the antagonist as threatening as a stranger tailing you in a dark alley. Loved it!"
-- Violette L. Reid, PeachPublishing,


WARMTH AND LOVE were but a wisp of a memory to the toddler. Hunger and hatred consumed her with equal torment as she watched her step-father pull the needle from his emaciated and scarred forearm. His glazed eyes no longer took notice of her or his surroundings as the drug pulsed through his veins.

The child's empty stomach knotted in pain. Last night's supper consisted of less than half a styrofoam cup of nearly sour milk, and a cold slice of pizza she'd scavenged from the trash. Her step-father's return to their filthy room in the dilapidated hotel dashed the faint hope she'd had for some breakfast. All he brought with him was the white powder.

Sometimes she thought he'd forgotten she existed.

But maybe it was better than before when he used to hit and kick her for no reason other than she happened to be nearby. He seemed to blame her for their situation. "If it wasn't for you I could get a job," he said often enough. But that didn't make any sense because he didn't mind leaving her alone for hours, sometimes all night even. When he was gone, she'd lie on the lumpy couch afraid to fall asleep because of the rats that scurried across the floor and tried to creep up beside her.

She stared at her step-father, his shaggy brown hair ruffled by the breeze from the open window behind him. Hate bubbled up from her empty stomach. The bubbles expanded until the hatred filled her entire being.

With her eyes fixed upon his euphoric expression, she wished for a different life.

Though she didn't form the exact words in her mind, she wanted her step-father to disappear. She focused on him, and wished and wished and wished he were gone.

One moment her step-father huddled in the broken armchair, engrossed in a chemically created ecstasy and in the next, he seemed to fly through the window.

His terrified screams brought Belinda nearer the windowsill. She poked her head out and watched as her step-father spun round and round, arms and legs flapping as he dropped past one floor and then another.

Down below, cars screeched to a stop. Horrified faces of the passers-by on the sidewalks lifted as they watched his descent. A chorus of screams joined his.

Belinda knew her wish had been granted. She clapped her hands gleefully.

* * * *

Chapter One

"BEFORE I BRING BELINDA into the room, I want to fill you in on a bit of her history. Of course I can't go into too much detail..." Jocelyn Perigard, a social worker employed by Kenniwick County's Social Services Department, paused, fixing her squinty eyes upon Steven Chrestman.

"Of course," Steven said, nodding his dark head. "Client confidentiality."

From the onset, the middle-aged Perigard had directed all of her remarks to Alyse's husband who was also a social worker, though employed by a private, non-profit agency, all but ignoring her. The tall, angular woman made Alyse feel like one of the population Steven served, the retarded--or developmentally disabled as he preferred to call them.

Perceptive as usual, Steven reached under the table they were seated around and squeezed Alyse's hand reassuringly. She smiled at her handsome husband and thought, as she had at least a million times before, that he was handsome enough to be a movie star.

Despite his careful combing, a curl escaped from his nearly black, wavy hair, falling onto his wide, tanned forehead. Long, thick dark lashes, which made most women envious, fringed his intelligent, startling blue eyes. His nose was just slightly crooked from playing high school football, and he smiled often, displaying healthy straight teeth. Steven's dark coloring contrasted sharply with Alyse's own fair skin and golden hair. She considered herself attractive, and despite having given birth to three children, she could be proud of her trim figure.

Ms. Perigard fiddled with her frizzy perm and adjusted her owl-sized glasses before continuing. "The child has been abused. The abuser is no longer living and since he was the one who provided her with a home, she's become a ward of the state." The woman cleared her throat.

"Usually there's no problem placing a Caucasian, four-year-old. However, Belinda's behavior in foster homes has caused us to realize that the adoptive home chosen for her must have special attributes."

Alyse knew one of the attributes Ms. Perigard referred to was Steven's profession. She doubted that Ms. Perigard had placed much value on the fact Alyse was the mother of three well-behaved, healthy, socially adjusted children, or that she had a B.A. degree in Early Childhood Education and had worked as the director of a preschool until the birth of Andrew, their eldest child.

"I've dealt with many abused children. Security and love will eventually heal all wounds," Alyse said, unable to keep silent any longer.

"I'm glad to hear you say that. Belinda needs a lot of both ingredients." Ms. Perigard shuffled through the two-inch thick pile of papers in the manila folder marked with the name, Belinda Sleigh.

"All of her immunizations are up to date. To our knowledge, she's had none of the usual childhood illnesses yet. And considering her background, she did remarkably well on all the intelligence tests."

The woman paused, and for the first time since the Chrestmans entered the office, she fixed her eyes upon Alyse. "You are aware since this is a pre-adoptive placement and not foster care that you won't be receiving any payment from the county?"

Feeling her face flame with anger, Alyse wasn't sure she could answer without allowing her feelings toward the woman to show. But she didn't have to because Steven jumped in. "Of course we understand, Jocelyn. I'm sure you studied our financial declaration before making any decision about us. You know we'll be able to absorb the costs of adding one little girl to our family without even noticing."

Alyse couldn't help but smile at her husband's understated put-down, or the fact that it hadn't been lost on Ms. Perigard. Beside his salary from the Great Valley Regional Center, after his parents' demise in a private plane crash, Steven had inherited their home in Aspen Springs along with substantial bank accounts and investments.

"Yes ... well..." The woman cleared her throat again and rose from her chair. "Then it's time I brought Belinda in to meet her new parents."

Many hours of family discussions, prayer, and soul searching had brought the Chrestmans to this point. For several months, Kenniwick County Social Services had been printing photographs in the local newspapers of children they termed un-adoptable in an effort to entice married couples who might not have thought of the possibility, to consider adoption. Some of the advertised children had developmental delays, others were multiply handicapped, and several were of mixed ethnic heritages. Alyse had read each article with increasing interest.

When she'd brought up the idea of applying for one of the "un-adoptables", Steven had not been enthusiastic. "Don't you think our own three children are enough for you to cope with? After all, Pammy is only eighteen months old."

But she'd persisted. Pastor Piling's sermon entitled, 'Sharing God's Blessings' had helped win Steven over. The Chrestmans regularly attended Aspen Springs Community Church, striving to lead Christian lives in order to be good examples to their children and the community. The minister based his sermon on Matthew 10:8 which ended with the words, "...freely ye have received, freely give." The admonition convinced Steven.

The only stipulation he voiced was, "Don't pick a child with developmental disabilities. I'm afraid it would be overkill for me, since I'm involved with that population in my profession."

When Belinda's picture appeared in the paper, Alyse knew at once she was the one. The children had enthusiastically agreed to share their home and parents with the unfortunate tyke. Even Steven, after reading about the poor little girl, abandoned by her mother, her step-father killed in an accident, abused in a foster home, had become enthusiastic.

The only dissenting voice had come from Alyse's mother, Rosalind Dwyer. Alyse called her mother at her parents' home in an elegant retirement community in Laguna Hills to inform her of the family decision. "But my dear, you'll certainly be spreading yourself thin, with four children to care for," Rosalind said. "And what do you really know about this child's background? What sort of stock she comes from."

"Oh, mother, who cares about her pedigree. I know I have plenty of love for everyone. And that's what it's going to take. And after all, I have Celina to help me."

Celina and Juan Miguel Fortuna had been part of Steven's inheritance. Childless, they lived in a small house on the property. Juan Miguel took care of maintenance, including tending the gardens and animals, while his wife ran the Chrestmans' home.

"I've always had household help, my dear Alyse, but you certainly managed to keep me occupied."

Alyse didn't remind her mother that being a Navy officer's wife and all the social functions that went along with it had always been her first priority.

"Try to understand, mother, it's something the whole family wants. If it works out as we're hoping and praying we'll expect you and dad to accept Belinda as another grandchild."

"That may take some effort," Rosalind said. "After all, it not like she came from the same blood lines as the other children."

Rosalind tolerated her grandchildren because they were related--and it was expected. She was fiercely proud of the fact she and Alyse's father had come from old Maryland families that had settled along the Chesapeake Bay in the late sixteen-hundreds. Rosalind accepted Steven after she learned he was of the fourth generation of a prominent California pioneer family. A child with an unknown genealogy might be difficult for Rosalind to welcome, but Alyse expected nothing less.

"Try to remember Belinda is only four, and she's already suffered more than most people do during a lifetime." Alyse knew it was of no use to explain her altruistic motives for wanting to bring the girl into the family; her mother was far too self-centered to understand.

"Gracious, Alyse, I'm not a wicked witch. I certainly won't do anything to hurt the child."

Not consciously anyway, popped into Alyse's mind.

When the Chrestmans called the number in the newspaper, they learned that over a hundred couples had already applied to adopt Belinda. "Don't be disappointed if we aren't chosen," Steven warned. "We've prayed about this, and if we're really supposed to adopt a child, there'll be another."

But they had been picked, and in a few moments, they would come face to face with their newest daughter for the first time. Ms. Perigard stepped back inside the room. Looking behind her, she said, "Come along, Belinda, don't be shy. Your new parents are anxious to meet you."

Belinda Sleigh stepped timidly into the room, her eyes downcast. A tangle of black curls framed a tiny face.

A faded dress, at least two sizes too large, hung past her knees.

Alyse knelt in front of her and took the tiny hands into her own. They felt cold. Belinda lifted her thick, dark lashes and stared directly at Alyse with huge eyes, the same startling pale blue as Steven's. Except for Belinda's pallor, she looked enough like Steven to be his child.

"Hello, Belinda. I'm so happy to meet you. My name is Alyse, and that's my husband, Steven. If you would like, you may call us Mommy and Daddy."

The girl said nothing. Her expression didn't change as she looked from Alyse to Steven. Alyse glanced toward her husband who seemed mesmerized by the child. He grinned broadly.

"You're coming home with us, Belinda, to be our little girl," he said.

A strange feeling came over Alyse, an uneasiness she couldn't identify. This was the moment she'd been anxiously awaiting, and yet--Quickly dismissing the disturbing sensation; she stood and turned toward Ms. Perigard.

"Be patient," the woman mouthed.

Annoyance touched Alyse, but she ignored it. "Are all of her clothes like the dress she has on?"

"All of her things are packed in a small suitcase, but I'm afraid none of them are very..."

"Never mind, it really doesn't matter. We'll just stop on the way home and buy you a whole new wardrobe, won't we Steven?"

"What was that?" He hadn't taken his eyes off Belinda. "Oh, sure, that's exactly what we'll do." Steven leaned down and swung the child into his arms. "It's all right for us to leave now, I suppose."

"Well ... there are some papers. But I can bring them when I make my first home visit."

"Do that." Steven strode out the door without a word or gesture toward Alyse.

Belinda looked back over his shoulder toward her new mother, and smiled. It was an odd smile. If Alyse had to describe it with one word, she would have used triumphant.