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.
~ Bewitching BT
” David pulled the box of Crystal’s ashes out of his jacket. He lay down on the uneven sofa bed mattress in his office. He held Crystal to his chest. If anyone walked in, he would get caught cuddling with a dead woman. Especially abhorrent, since he should be trying to save his marriage with his living one. He closed his eyes and felt her weight on his chest. She moved up and down as he breathed. He felt better.
“You believed in ghosts,” he said. “Couldn’t you be one for a minute? Come back to me. Tell me what to do.”
Like a child, he waited, as if she really might appear there. He watched the ceiling fan spin in a mundane, non-magical way. The clock ticked. The computer whirred.
It did work…sort of. He fell asleep and dreamed about her. For some unknowable reason, his subconscious put her at The Galleria, a place she had never set foot and would never want to. She waited for him in front of the ice rink with the domed glass ceiling. She leaned against the railing and watched him approach her with one of her patented poker faces. But, as she watched him approach, the edges of her lips turned upward ever so slightly and her eyes opened a little wider.
“I’m sorry, Crystal.”
She stared at him.
“I know it doesn’t help, but I still love you. You saved my marriage by cutting me out. I wouldn’t have been able to stay away from you forever.”
She still said nothing, but gave a long, slow blink, like an acknowledgement.
“Our children are really amazing. They’re beautiful. I’m glad I get to know them now.”
Another blink. A longer one.
“Why won’t you speak to me?”
Her eyes gazed downward, then back up. She looked like a statue that could move only her eyes. He moved close to her. He feared touching her, as he feared to touch their children, afraid anything he did could hurt her. He touched his forehead to hers. The contact animated her slightly. He heard her breathe.
“Evangeline drew me a picture of your wings. Can I see them?”
He pulled back from her and waited. At first, he thought nothing would happen, but then she pulled her tank top over her head. She pulled her shoulders back and raised her chin, as if she wanted him to know she had no shame in showing her naked breasts. Then it happened. Two massive black wings spread out behind her, twice her height. Her wingspan rivaled a California condor’s. He reached his hands out to them.
An infinitesimal nod. He ran his fingers across the smooth feathers. They weren’t black. Not really. Each feather had the sheen of a different color. Blue. Red. Orange. Green. Yellow. Violet. The feathers fell around his fingers like water. She was gone. ”
1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
That may be the hardest interview question I’ve ever been asked…How about “love”?
2. What would you say inspired you to write it?
I’m in love with the Harry Potter series. I wanted to see some of the same magical concepts in a darker and more adult story.
3. What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist?
David just sort of popped into my head, along with all of the characters. I’m not sure where they came from.
4. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?
I’m not sure. I think of “writer’s block” as wanting to write but not knowing what to write. Sometimes I don’t write, but more out of stubbornness or fear. I don’t want to finish a book because I know after I finish, it gets “real”. Rejections, reviews, sales. I love the magic of the first draft without all that pressure.
5. Your all time favorite book?
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows
6. What made you pick that one above all others?
The Harry Potter series are my favorite books and I picked The Deathly Hallows because it has some of my favorite lines/scenes such as, “Here lies a free elf,” and “Even after all these years?” “Always.”
7. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
I wrote a very, very early draft of The Charge fifteen years before it was published. So, I’ll say fifteen years.
8. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?
As an author, you have to learn not to sweat the small stuff. If you freak out about every piece of criticism or uncertainty, you’ll never make it. I’ve had to be more laid back so I don’t go mad!
9. Was there ever a time, during your work for the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?
I’ve been discouraged, frustrated, and downright depressed about my work, but I’ve never seriously considered giving up.
10. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing?
I work full time as a telephone counselor and my husband and I tag team taking care of our children without any regular day care. Finding time to write is a major struggle.
11. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
I think it helps to be confident and self-aware–understand your own strengths and weaknesses and don’t publish anything that you’re not willing to stand behind. If you’re self-aware, you won’t be surprised by valid criticism, and you’ll know when people have a good point and when they’re just being mean.
12. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series?
Yep! It’s a four part series, and each book represents one of the seasons.
13. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series?
I barely have time to work on the projects I’ve committed to, so I try not to plan too many projects. I’ve considered writing a second series in the same world as The December People. And, I’ve already written part of sequel to my first book, The Charge, so it would be great to finish that!
1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
To be able to quit my day job! That’s probably a silly way to use my wish, but it’s the first thing that came to mind.
2. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I know I said I liked Deathly Hallows more, but Half Blood is more entertaining.
3. Name your favorite fruit.
4. Coffee or tea?
5. Favorite season?
6. How about fav time of 24 hours?
Midnight (that’s when I get off work and have some time to myself)
7. Were you a boyscout/girlscout?
8. Favorite food for breakfast?
9. Latest book you’ve bought and read?
Last book I bought—Divide by Jessa Russo. Last book I read—Fade by A.K. Morgen.
10. Do you collect things, like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
No. I’m an anti-hoarder. I’m not a fan of useless items and love getting rid of stuff. I often have to suppress the urge to throw away everything I own.
11. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
12. Drama or comedy?
13. Cats or dogs?
14. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
Dinner by candlelight
About the Author & Links:
Sharon Bayliss is the author of The December People Series and The Charge. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living happily-ever-after with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening).
She only practices magic in emergencies.