MARILYN MESSIK Author

RELATIVELY STRANGE

Book 1 of the Strange Series.

“I was five when I discovered I could fly, sixteen when I killed a man. Both events were unsettling in their own way.”

Growing up has its difficulties for everyone, and it’s tricky to know what’s normal if you’re not. Stella certainly has no hesitation filing herself in the unusual drawer. But it’s only when she discovers she’s not unique that, what up until now has merely caused some extraordinary blips in an ordinary life, acquires a whole new dimension.

Forced to haul in resources she didn’t know she possessed, she’s thrust into the violence of a situation for which nothing could have prepared her, face to face with the stark reality of medical experimentation and its horrifying consequences.

In a world of uncertainties though, one thing’s beyond doubt – this hero stuff just isn’t her. Normal, or as near as damn it is what she’s after and if that means smothering her instincts, building her shielding and adjusting her expectations well, so be it. At least she’ll know, should she slip off the wagon occasionally, it’ll be through choice, not chance and to suit herself. However, isn’t it a fact, just when you think you’ve got yourself sorted, life turns round and bites you?

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EVEN STRANGER

Book 2 of the Strange Series.

“I thought I’d knocked him out, but in a flash he’d turned over on to all fours and was crawling swiftly, spider-like, back towards us. He still held the knife and I knew what he wanted to do with it. I set fire to the handle. The wood flamed and he hissed in pain, but didn’t let go. It was all turning rather awkward.” With the swinging sixties staggering, somewhat shamefaced and flustered, into the slightly staider seventies, life for Stella, isn’t always as smooth as she’d like. But she’s clear how things are going to be from now on. It’s not she can’t handle sticky situations, she can, she just doesn’t want to – violence really isn’t her thing. Of course, she’d be better off if she could just ditch the conviction she always knows best. This shortcoming, combined with a chronic inability to keep her mouth shut and her nose out of other people’s business, has led her off the straight and narrow, more than once. Forward planning includes setting herself up in a successful business, sticking like glue to normal, squashing an over-active conscience and steering clear of anything remotely risky or unpleasant. Unfortunately, the best laid plans often lead to the darkest places.

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WITCH DUST

“A red gash of a mouth rimmed with impossibly tiny, razor-sharp teeth yawned wide, then swift as a snake, she bent and struck….”

For Sandra, daughter of illusionists, Adam and Ophelia, life’s never been run of the mill! But when Adam’s wandering eye lights on yet another conquest, it proves a chorus girl too far, and Sandra’s caught in the reverberations of her parents acrimonious parting. Coerced into restoring her depressed Mother to the bosom of a family Sandra never knew existed, she’s sucked into a situation that even for her is unnerving.

From being without a single relative, she suddenly acquires several she’d rather do without, and learns a few home truths she’d prefer not to know. Ophelia, it appears, has not been entirely honest about any number of things. There’s no doubt in Sandra’s mind, the sooner she puts as much distance as possible between herself, her newly discovered nearest and dearest, their peculiar tendencies and their failing hotel business, the happier she’s going to be.

Dire straits call for desperate measures and Sandra reluctantly rises to the occasion. A hanged housemaid, a fly-on-the-wall documentary, The Psychic Society and a quasi co-operative journalist all handled correctly should, she reckons, get the family business up and running, which will allow her to do the same – as fast as she can, and in the opposite direction. Things unfortunately move swiftly from bad to farce and then get a hell of a lot darker. One moment Sandra’s struggling to save the family’s income, the next, she’s battling to save their lives.

Turns out, some darknesses, once buried, are best left undisturbed.

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