Destruction: The December People, Book One

Destruction: The December People, Book One

by Sharon Bayliss

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Overview

Destruction: The December People, Book One by Sharon Bayliss

David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything.

Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn't a choice.

Eleven years ago, David's secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can't imagine living without.

Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David's wife admits a secret of her own-she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children.

Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn't understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620075159
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: 04/14/2014
Pages: 250
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.57(d)

About the Author

Sharon Bayliss lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and children. She hates wearing shoes and loves jogging in the rain. She only practices magic in emergencies.

She is also the author of the young adult science fiction novel, The Charge.

You can connect with her at , and @SharonBayliss on Twitter.

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Destruction: The December People, Book One 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book doesn't follow the same formula that so many other paranormal stories do. It's not quite like any other book I have read, which is refreshing. It took me a while to get into it and warm up to the characters, but I got more invested in the story as it unfolded.
TreestandBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Genre-wise, Destruction was a very back-and-forth novel. There are two types of focal points: David (the dad) and the kids. When we were following David and Amanda, the writing style was very adult / new adult. Especially during the first few chapters, there were a few racy scenes. But in the kids’ points-of-view, the book felt young adult. The author was very successful in showing these different personalities through her characters. But overall, I would put this series in the young adult category. But the reader should be cautious. There is a trigger warning for rape in this book as well. It isn’t touched on in detail, but it is still addressed in a more young adult viewpoint. With that being said, the events fit in with the darkness of the book. This is definitely a dark book. Not only are there tragic events that occur, the characters themselves constantly struggle between darkness and light, evil and good. A lot of secrets are unveiled that lead the characters to develop in ways that they didn’t even know. I will say that the kids annoyed the crap out of me! The original kids won (hands-down) the BRAT award which made me root for the new kids (even though they were dark too). Even though what happened to them led to some crappy events, they spend 90% of the book with me wanting to shake them. And then when the main secret is revealed, they take their actions to the next level with some CRAZY stuff. Dysfunctional is all I can use to describe their family at the very least. But when things start to calm down, they do become a teeny bit better. The ending was not what a typical climax is like. Usually when there is the big fight scene at the end it is an epic battle.. not here. It literally went from being in the middle of the struggle and then it IMMEDIATELY cuts off and its over. That seemed eerie to me, but the last few chapters as a whole felt satisfactory. I liked the idea that there are summer and winter witches and the polar struggles they have to face with themselves. The insertion of magic changed their lives with what seemed to be for the better. After I got passed the affair, rape, and darkness then the overall book is nicely written. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. The characters are interesting to say the least, and they develop DRAMATICALLY from cover to cover. You really feel their emotions through the strong writing. It helps to push yourself through the content. The events are crazy, the magic is unexpected, and the ending is satisfactory. With the first few chapters, I wasn’t sure if I would even finish this book, let alone enjoy it as much as I did. I recommend pushing through if it is a harder novel to read. It is a great, fast read.
bucmjt More than 1 year ago
Wow! I think I am still under a spell. Destruction by Sharon Bayliss is so well written, the characters are so distinctly defined, that the lines between reality and fantasy dimmed just a bit. I loved it!
JMTJTC More than 1 year ago
Destruction is about a man that finds his long lost children from his affair after the death of their mother. The two new children have to move in with his other three children and wife. They soon learn that they are actually all a family of Dark Wizards. I’ll be honest, when I am given a free copy of a book to review, I generally don’t have high hopes. Sometimes I get a good book, but usually the free books are terrible or just okay. This book was incredible. I have been waiting a long time for a fantasy novel to be original and interesting. Lately, all the fantasy novels I have read have either been too close to other fantasy novels, or they are innovative, but boring. Destruction took its time to build the plot and develop the characters, but yet it never got boring. It was the perfect pace to build up for the rest of the series. I am so tired of fantasy books with a clear villain and a clear ending. This book had lots of surprises without seeming forced. So, I am awarding this book with my medal, The Best Book Award! It is amazing to me how a book with so many main characters can develop each character better than some books with only one main character. They each had their own strengths and flaws. I loved and hated them all for different reasons, but I wanted them all to succeed. That is pretty powerful. Read the rest of my review here: http://judgingmorethanjustthecover.blogspot.com/2015/07/destruction-sharon-bayliss.html
katsindiebookblog More than 1 year ago
I received this book for an honest review from Booksniffer Review tours. I give it 4 stars. The book plot evolves around David Vandergraff and his family, his life is about perfect when a call one day is about to abruptly end his cushy life. The call is from the authorities regarding his son and daughter from an affair he had years ago. Although on the one hand he's happy that he has finally found them, after their mother Crystal upped and disappeared years earlier, he takes the cowards route and omits telling his wife Amanda about the kids, instead going and picking them up from where they have been housed in a care home. The children are traumatized, having been abused by their stepfather and mother, whom the authorities tell David are dead, so he just has to take them home and try to deal with 2 traumatized kids and a very hostile waiting committee at home. Now when he turns up at home to break the news to the wife he loves and his family they have will turn his world turned upside down. the two traumatized children have escaped into a made up reality, where witches and wizards and magic exist... the authorities believe that this is their coping mechanism for having to deal with the situation they lived. But his wife also has a secret.. shes stole memories from him, the memories that confirmed that he is a dark wizard and so is his entire family! This is hard for David to accept, but as his children begin practicing magic, because how could you not want to try magic when you find out this weirdly awesome fact? He has no option than to try and deal with it. Amanda explains that the family are dark wizards, although Samantha is a Light witch, and that Dark magic has a toll on the soul and this is why she stole the memories and kept the fact a secret. Does being a family of Dark Wizards mean that they are destined to be evil, or Destruction magic as it is termed? Or can they try and be good? Along with money problems, a hostile wife and children, David also has a house guest, Samantha, whose parents have upped and left her with them while they go find themselves... Now I don't want to give much more away because I hate reviews that tell you everything - I mean why bother reading the book? I did like how the author has tried to explain how the magic is done, how they had Talismans, and what they were for, she has created a detailed world of magic hiding in the normal world. The more magic used the more chaotic their lives get, and it ends up coming to a head, in some pretty destructive ways. Now one of these I didn't like the way the author dealt with it... the 2 children David had with Crystal were sexually assaulted - Repeatedly by their stepfather, they were physically marked each time, I didn't like how this was quickly brushed under the carpet, but at least she wrote that they went to counselling. But later on during the book another Rape happens and this is really swept under the carpet, as if it really wasn't unusual to happen in a Dark Wizards family? There is obviously a lot going on in this book, betrayal, denial, teenagers trying magic, and you have to really pay attention otherwise you can get lost sometimes. I read this book over the weekend, and although it ends, It is marked as Book 1 so I am assuming there may be a sequel.
April-Hollingworth More than 1 year ago
Review Courtesy of April Hollingworth I found this book unique. The concept of being a dark wizard through no fault, actions of your own is intriguing. I found myself drawn into David’s and his children’s lives. How they learned their wizards, and the fact that David has two other children. I enjoyed the relationships between the five kids, how they dealt with each other and the unraveling secrets. I couldn’t connect with the wife Amanda though. Her double standards annoyed me to be honest. A lie is a lie at the end of the day; the ripple effects of those lies affect everyone. But in saying that, I did enjoy this book, and am curious of where their story will go in the next book in the series.  Opening Scene: David had waited for an important call for eleven years, and even after all this time, his heart raced every time he heard the phone ring. The Review: When a lie finally comes out everything falls apart. But when a further lie comes out holding the final pieces together proves extremely difficult. David has kept secret, his affair and the children he had with the woman. He has searched for his children from the moment they disappeared until finally eleven years later they’re found. The thing is, the uncovering of his secret finally unearths other secrets. Like the fact that everyone in his family is dark wizards. His wife is determined to ban everyone from using magic. To protect everyone. Only thing is secrets have a habit of unraveling. Secrets and magic can be dangerous. Can David and his family come out the other side, or is one hurt too much and two secrets too many? Notable Scene: “I don’t know how to say this,” David said. “So, I’ll just say it. The people in the car are my children. Xavier and Evangeline. Their mother is dead. I am taking custody.” Amanda laughed, but her eyes made it clear she didn’t think it was a joke, perhaps only hoped so. “What?” “I had an affair when we were first married. It ended twelve years ago. These are my kids.” “I don’t think so,” Amanda said. “I’m sorry.” “Your kids?” she asked absently. He had expected fury. This was so much worse. She looked frightened and confused, a child lost in a strange place. “Their mother is dead. She was murdered by her husband, their stepfather. I’m taking custody.” “Custody,” she repeated as if she learned a new word. “I’m sorry.” He hated the way it sounded. So far from good enough. “I don’t want to lose you.” FTC Advisory: Victoria Joy Stolte through Book Ninja Reviews provided me with a copy of Destruction by Sharon Bayliss. Published through Pagan Writers Press. Kindle Edition. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
swtdrmsnluv4u More than 1 year ago
“I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review” at choosy bookworm. I really enjoyed the way that Bayliss wrote this book. In the beginning, I wanted to read to find out what the phone call was all about. Then I wanted to find out what was going to happen next as the main characters (David's) life got destroyed piece by piece. I felt bad for him because of the choices he kept making. I felt like shaking him for some of the outbursts he made. I was upset with Amanda for the things she did, but also felt her strength as she kept making decisions for everyone. She had to be strong with all the destruction that was going on. I REALLY felt for the children as they seemed "stuck" with each other and dealing with things around them. Gradually becoming a family. All in all I would definitely recommend this book to others! That's my honest opinion!
TheGillicristPen More than 1 year ago
Every family, no matter how glossy and perfect it may seem on the outside, has secrets. In any kind of reality, those secrets can make or break relationships. And in David Vandergraff’s mixed-up reality, they threaten to destroy everything he holds dear.   Destruction, an adult paranormal by Sharon Bayliss, is the first book in The December People series. I was initially drawn to the gorgeous cover, and when I found out the plot included wizardry and dark magic, I had to dive in. The meaning of the title became clear right away. Destruction is a gritty tale about a family brought together—and torn apart—by disturbing circumstances. Lies, adultery, and abuse result in a great deal of family drama, intensified by magic that seems to bind and cause clashes at the same time. I found the concept of seasonal witches both fascinating and unique. It’s one thing to choose between good and evil. It’s another to be born into a fate beyond your control…a dilemma that creates excellent tension and is sure to keep a reader turning the pages.   Destruction covers a lot of ground with a smooth, easy writing style and an even pace. I finished this intriguing novel with a few unanswered questions, and I’m hoping the next book will reveal even more magic and suspense! 
sportzmomof5 More than 1 year ago
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. This was written in such a unique voice and has a well-developed storyline. You begin the first page and before you know it you have read the last.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Greisn1 More than 1 year ago
I have major mixed feelings about this book. For the most part, I loved it. However, there was one major, MAJOR flaw with it that nearly ruins the entire thing for me. However, let me talk about the positives first. I’m really happy that this book wasn’t a young adult novel. Don’t get me wrong, I love young adult fiction. But seeing more adult elements to a book dealing with teenagers was a refreshing change. I also loved how in depth Bayliss explained her characters. They were all very complex characters, but not complex enough to throw you off or confuse you. Though they were complex, they were very unique and distinct characters which were developed very well. I also really liked how in-depth Bayliss was about explaining the magic and the use of it. For her, it wasn’t enough to simply say “then this was done.” There was a full explanation of some of the bigger uses of magic, including why, how, and where it was done. I’ve read many paranormal books that leave you guessing about how or why things were done, so it was great to get all of the details. It let me truly understand the characters’ actions. The part that really bothered me was dealing with an assault that happened. I cannot give too many details about it without ruining the story, but let me just say that it was not dealt with in a real-life manner. As a victim of a similar type of assault, I was disgusted with how it was brushed aside and the assailant was not brought to justice. However, I will say that this character had a key role in another aspect of the story. I’m hoping that in the next book of the series, this character will get what they deserve and the victim of the assault will get their justice. Destruction was engaging from the very first page to the very last. I would recommend it to any mature paranormal reader, though some of the more adult scenes may be too heavy for younger readers who may otherwise be interested in this book. I enjoyed this book, but must say that certain things must be addressed in the second book for this reader to continue the series.
ToManyBooksNotEnoughTime More than 1 year ago
Wizards &amp; Secrets, Dark &amp; Light I would like to thank Curiosity Quills Press for granting me the opportunity to read this e-book in exchange for an honest review. Though I received this e-book for free that in no way impacts my review. <blockquote>David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn't a choice.This is a fascinating take on magic &amp; witchcraft. The concept of seasonal wizards - summer, fall, winter, and spring is a new take for me. Add to that the idea that when you are born determines if you are a light wizard or a dark wizard, and all the shades in-between. For example someone born on the winter solstice would be the darkest possible wizard, while someone born on the spring equinox would be more balanced toward light, the summer solstice would be the lightest, and the autumnal equinox would again be more balanced, but leaning more toward the dark than the spring equinox. Eleven years ago, David's secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can&rsquo;t imagine living without.  Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David's wife admits a secret of her own&mdash;she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children.  Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn&rsquo;t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.</blockquote> David and his wife Amanda have three kids, Jude, Patrick, and Emmy. They live in an enormous house, have multiple cars, and are more than well off. David is the CEO of his own construction company, and Amanda is employed as well, bringing home a healthy income. Essentially they appear to lead a charmed life, one that is about to come crashing down around them. We first meet David as he learns his missing children, from a second family no one else knows about, have been located. He had spent the last eleven years trying to locate his two children after he broke things off with their mother. None of the private investigators he'd hired were able to locate them either; they had disappeared so completely it was if they'd never existed. Setting the tone for much of what is to follow, the day David goes to meet and pick up his two missing kids his wife reminds him that their daughter's friend Samantha would be staying with them for three weeks while her parents were skiing in Switzerland. In Amanda's mind this isn't an issue, as they have two unoccupied guest bedrooms. Obviously Amanda doesn't know that David was not only unfaithful, having children with this other woman even while the two of them were expanding their family. And David is about to potentially destroy his marriage when he returns with these two kids. Kids that are visibly his own. Clearly David avoids confrontation whenever possible, subsequently making one poor choice after another, generally making bad situations worse.  Though saddened to hear the kids' mother is dead, he is horrified to learn she was killed by her abusive husband, a man whose abuse included both of David's children. But the reality is he is currently terrified of how he'll handle these two abused kids of his. And to be brutally honest, how he'll be able to keep his marriage together after he drops this bomb in everyone's laps. David's rage over what was done to his children helps insulate him from the shock, but he feels lost when it comes to meeting and raising these kids of his that he doesn't know. Kids who are entering his life at possibly one of the most emotionally challenging point in their lives. Xavier and Evangeline are not what he expected, yet he can see that they are clearly his kids. It is when David meets the social worker that he first learns of wizards and magic, for it seems that Evangeline has created an elaborate world of dark and powerful wizards as her coping mechanism.  As David later discovers, what he thought of as Evangeline's believes coping mechanism is actually his new reality. Angry as she is Amanda admits to him that she too had kept a secret - not only are she and David both dark wizards, all their children are as well. But since dark wizards' power is destructive, many elect not to practice their craft, which could explain why David knows nothing about this new world he's suddenly been thrust into. Suddenly David is falling down the rabbit hole, and in his life one thing after another seems to falls apart. Things are spiraling out of control, for David and everyone around him. The kids are mostly typical teenagers, with their secrets and rebellions. But add illicit magic to the mix and things rapidly get out of hand. The magic learning curve for everyone is different, for example Samantha has always known that that she and her parents are spring witches, Amanda knows enough not to mess with magic, and to differing degrees their three kids want to experience magic. Only Xavier and Evangeline are magical unknowns, claiming to know a fair amount, but refusing to share their knowledge.  For a first book in a series I feel this one does a nice job setting the scene for things to come. The character development and arc of the story blend together quite seamlessly, making the story feel as realistic as possible. This is thanks in large part to the utter believability of the characters and their individual responses to various situations they face during the course of the story. The emotional growth of the characters may feel stunted at times, but that only lasts until you remember the magnitude of what they are learning about themselves and each other. David isn't a terribly sympathetic character, though I did feel more for him toward the end, when he stopped worrying quite so much about how things would impact him and instead put his concern for his family first. The story offers a fascinating take on magic &amp; witchcraft. The concept of seasonal wizards - summer, fall, winter, and spring is a new take for me. Add to that the idea that when you are born determines if you are a light wizard or a dark wizard, and how light or dark depends upon the date you were born. For example someone born on the winter solstice would be the darkest possible wizard, while someone born on the spring equinox would be more balanced toward light, the summer solstice would be the lightest, and the autumnal equinox would again be more balanced, but leaning more toward the dark than the spring equinox. So no matter what the intent of the person, their power comes down to something as simple as their birthday. Since dark wizards power is destructive, very few tend to practice, which means that when they may possibly need the aid of magic very few know what to do.  *Brief note: Throughout this book it seems that the terms wizard and witch are used interchangeably, but there may be some differences I did not pick up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
One of the biggest joys of reading is &ldquo;tasting&rdquo; the fruits of an author&rsquo;s labors. Each novel has a unique flavor, or a unique blend of flavors and Destruction by Sharon Bayliss is no exception. Infidelity, secrets, deceit and dark magic fill this tale of a family of dark wizards, who, for all intents, live and look like any other suburban family. David has kept a secret from his wife, who has, in turn kept a secret from David. Years ago, David had a long standing affair, now his girlfriend has died and he must bring his two children with her into his life. How could he expect his wife to accept these children, especially as they are the same ages as their children? He takes the cowardly way out, lies, picks up the children and drops the bomb on his family. These young children were abused by their stepfather and have escaped into the fantasy that they are dark wizards. Of course, this is nonsense, or is it? Could his wife know more about dark wizardry than he knows? Could he be in some kind of nightmare that he cannot awaken from? Why doesn&rsquo;t he remember parts of his past? How could everyone keep these secrets from him and WHY? Are dark wizards truly evil? Does this make him a monster? How can he keep his family from imploding in on itself when he doesn&rsquo;t know what he is up against? Are there outside threats he needs to protect them from? Talk about a new spin on magic, the paranormal and even infidelity! Where did talented author Sharon Bayliss come up with her tale? She flavors her tale with intrigue, emotion and a wildly incredible plot that walks the line of family drama and magical fantasy. Well-paced and intense, Ms. Bayliss leads her readers down a path of twists, turns and surprises that adjust their pace to create the ultimate in riveting storytelling. The characters grow and are colored in more vividly with each scene while the plot unfolds and questions are answered. Looking for something a little out of the ordinary? Like drama? Like &ldquo;magic&rdquo;? Take a look at Destruction and the journey of one family who has more than their share of "issues" to deal with.
Slpa2005 More than 1 year ago
I will jump right into my review just like this author loves to jump right into the meat of her stories (something I do love about her!) There was a lot to like about this book. The storyline was not your typical wizard/witch tale. This is a believable well-off modern day family struggling with the types of dramas you might actually imagine a family in their social situation dealing with; a cheating husband, a controlling wife, an emotional bunch of teenagers with all their issues in tow, a failing business, etc. So life is difficult enough for this family, then magic happens. No one handles the news well but who would really?  Not I.   Overall I enjoyed the characters. There was a LOT of them though. It was a little difficult to keep up with who was who sometimes. I was kind of thinking I would need to create a diagram to keep track of who was related to whom, who practices and who doesn&rsquo;t, who is a winter/spring/summer/fall, etc.  Not being anywhere near that ambitious, I read through without one. I am thinking that it might get harder to keep the details straight as the series progresses but we&rsquo;ll have to wait and see how the author handles that as it unfolds.  The only real dislike I had was all the unanswered questions at the end. There was really only one major story point that was resolved. And that felt too easily accomplished for me. I would have liked to see more interaction between the villain and David but that&rsquo;s just me I guess. With all the simultaneous storylines going on I think it was difficult to give this one the attention that it needed. But this book was created as a base for something much bigger so brevity was probably necessary. If every character and every scene got the full on attention I wanted, the book would have been hundreds and hundreds of pages long. Again, that&rsquo;s just me; I&rsquo;m a detail kind of gal. I assume the loose ends will all be story points farther along in the series so I may yet get those details I am craving.  Each of the characters had a distinct personality and each handled their newfound capabilities differently. I really look forward to learning more about these characters and how they each choose to move ahead with the knowledge and powers they have been given. I am very confident that this author will keep us guessing and wanting more with every page. Waiting (not so) patiently for book #2. ¿