Today, I have invited Sharon Bayliss to my site as part of her blog tour for The December People, Winter Celebration! Don't you just love the covers for this series? I think they look fantastic!
Watch Me Burn, is the second book in this series and has now been released on Amazon. You will find the link at the end of this post. There is also a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter as well to win paperbacks of either Book 1, Destruction or Book 2, Watch Me Burn.
Sharon has treated us with an unpublished scene from Destruction for this post and reveals an sight of what Watch Me Burn is about. I hope you enjoy her post. Carolyn
I'm excited to share an unpublished scene from Destruction that was cut for pacing! In this scene, David is visiting the Colter's home to collect some of his children's things before he picks them up at the shelter.
With his heart beating on overdrive, he opened the door. He saw nothing he couldn't handle. The main area housed the living room, kitchen, and three other doors leading to other rooms. Maybe two bedrooms and a bathroom. A reasonably normal house. Clutter littered the surfaces and the room smelled like dirty laundry, but no Hoarders horror story. Of course the crack that went from floor to ceiling made it stranger. He saw no couch or TV, only a dining chair, a folding chair, and a zebra print beanbag chair. He saw books in little piles, some for children. A good sign. David hoped this meant the kids could read. He couldn't imagine the bookworm Crystal not teaching her children to read.
Nothing offended his regular senses much, but he got a dark feeling from the place all the same. He didn't believe in ghosts, but he did believe places could be haunted. He had spent the night at a haunted hotel with Crystal once a long time ago…her idea of a romantic getaway. He could feel it then. They didn't see ghosts or hear dragging chains but the air felt denser there. This house felt haunted like that. He hated breathing the air. The thought that the same air that had occupied the room when Colter raped his kids, now flowed into his lungs repelled him more than any odor.
He opened one of the doors and flinched like he might find a room full of snakes. No. He found a bedroom. Nothing strange here. A bed. A chest of drawers. He guessed this room had been Crystal's. Or, the room she shared with him. David saw men's shoes on the floor. Well-worn hiking boots. They might as well have been snakes. Some beautiful things also filled the room. Crystal's shoes, purple ballet flats with little rhinestones on the straps. More rocks, some of which did look magic. Someone had lined rocks along the windowsill where they could catch the light. Quartz, translucent and colorful, mostly pink, but a few even had shades of green and purple. Had Crystal collected these herself, or perhaps her children had given them to her? He swept them off the windowsill into his bag.
He went to the dresser next, a goldmine of Crystal artifacts. The Koran. The Bible. He took them. Some well-used make up. A bottle of lotion. He opened the bottle and sniffed. Unscented. Disappointing. He rubbed some on his hands anyway. He opened an engraved wooden box. Jewelry. He examined the pieces inside and his heart sank. He didn't recognize any of them. She must have tossed everything he had given her.
Many years ago, he gave her a platinum ring set with an opal accented by small diamonds. She had said it looked like an engagement ring and wouldn't take it, said she had no interest in polygamy. He told her he just thought she would like it. So, she agreed to wear it.
That happened right after she gave birth to Xavier and David went "across the country selling flooring to contractors for three weeks," his code for driving two hours to Austin to be there when Crystal gave birth to his son. In truth, he did mean it as a wedding ring. He wanted a symbol. Something to mean that even though he couldn't marry her, he loved her…she was his. She probably tossed it over a bridge.
He picked up a wooden brush and pulled out some of her hair and ran it between his fingers. Pain swelled in his chest and settled in a hard knot right under his sternum. He had grieved for her when he found out. He had laid awake, feeling unsettled, wondering if his pillow had always felt so uncomfortable. But, the grief felt distant. The grief you feel for something you already lost.
As he held her hair, a sob burst from him suddenly, like a sneeze. He thought about the little dimples on her lower back. He thought about her hands, slender, and tan, and weighed down with rings. She accessorized like a Wiccan Christmas tree. Bracelets, rings, necklaces, scarves, hats, flowers clipped into her hair, tattoos, henna, belly button ring. She tried to distract everyone with flash and bangles so no one would really look at her. David may have been the only one who saw past it. When they were together, she tried to cover up her smile, like a serious character in an SNL sketch trying to keep from cracking up. She didn't want him to know he made her happy.
He smelled the strands of hair hoping for a whiff of the sandalwood, or maybe clove cigarettes, or chamomile tea, or lavender incense. Nothing. Her smell had faded.
He wrapped the hair back around the bristles of the brush and put it in his bag. He also took her box of jewelry. He had an urge to take everything she might have ever touched, but he suppressed it. He had touched these things too.
David went into the other bedroom. Two single beds on either side. More books. Even more rocks. And something amazing. Sculptures made of stacked rocks. Someone had collected hundreds of rocks of various shapes and colors and used them to build things. A house. A car. Some kind of animal, a fox maybe. A bird. He couldn't tell if any glue had been used. He didn't see any tubes of it anywhere. But, if glue hadn't been used, these sculptures bordered on impossible. Someone had balanced the rocks perfectly to stay together, a feat of engineering far beyond his grasp. He grabbed the bird. The rocks fell into a chaotic pile as soon as he touched it. He hoped he had found Xavier's hobby, perhaps he liked to build things like his father.
The doll Crackers sat on one of the beds. He put her in the bag. And, with a groan of disgust, he pulled a shoebox out from under the bed and peeked inside to make sure it included a lizard skeleton. It did. He moved her pillow and found one magic rock. He put it in the palm of his hand. Evangeline had chosen a fine rock, perfectly smooth and shaped in an even oval. It had an indentation in the middle the size of a small fingerprint. He put his finger on the indentation and wondered if Evangeline had rubbed that spot enough times to make the little dent. A stack of papers sat at the foot of her bed. Apparently, Evangeline inherited her mother's artistic skill. She had hundreds of sketches made with a fountain tip pen. A javelina with wings. A bobcat with wings. A lizard wearing a boa. A barren desert tree with fruit shaped like eyes. He took the stack.
He had what he came for and didn't want to push his luck and find anything he didn't want to see. The sun set in the way it only can in West Texas. The few clouds in the sky burned orange. The whole sky lit up like a grassfire that had jumped the horizon. He stood on the porch and glanced at the western horizon. Then he saw the patch of black.
Not far from the house, a burned spot on the ground hovered in his vision. He knew he should just walk to the car, but once he'd seen it, he couldn't keep his eyes off of it. It sucked him in like a tractor beam. He kneeled next to the black spot. The police had cleared away the area. David saw some partially burned sticks tossed to the side and scattered around the ground. Even most of the ash had blown away.
He ran his hand over the black spot of earth until black ash covered his palms. He didn't know why he did it. He seemed to watch himself from above, not in control of the man below. He closed his eyes. The ground still felt hot. A silly thought. Weeks had passed.
She had no real family and probably would have no funeral. No monument. He wouldn't closer than this to visiting her grave.
His throat became stiff when he said her name. He took a deep breath.
"How could you let this happen to our kids? Why didn't you take them and leave? How could you be so weak? That's not you."
He pressed his hand into the ground so hard that pebbles dug into his skin. If she would never have a better eulogy, he should say something kinder. He didn't know how furious he felt until he spoke the words aloud.
"I'm going to take our kids home with me. I hope that's okay."
He wiped a bead of sweat from his temple and left an ashy smudge across the side of his face. He wiped the rest of her off on his jeans.
About the author:
Sharon Bayliss is the author of the dark wizard family drama, The December People Series. 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.
Semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Review Awards and #1 category bestseller in coming of age fantasy.
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.
About Watch Me Burn:
David Vandergraff lost his home, his job, and contact with his oldest son, but remains determined to be a good husband and father despite being a dark winter wizard.
His resolve is tested when a flyer for a missing girl--who happens to be a summer witch--begins to haunt him. David believes a spell needs to use him to save her, so he follows the magic's command and looks into her disappearance. His teenage daughter Emmy resents him for caring so much about a random stranger. But when she uncovers some disturbing evidence close to home, she begins an investigation of her own.
David and Emmy quickly learn that the mystery is not only about a missing girl they barely know, but a deeply personal story that impacts everyone they care about. As their world crumbles, they fear the warning may be true—never mess with summer wizards, because the good guys always win.
Tapping into the expertise of over a hundred talented authors from
around the globe, The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond contains
something for every writer. Whether you are starting out and need tips
on the craft of writing, looking for encouragement as an already
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Table of Contents Introduction
Writing Make Room for Writing by Theresa Milstein
Flash Focus by Michelle Wallace
Writing and Recovery by Eva E.
Solar Voice: the Stuff of Life by C.D. Coffelt
How to Write What You Love and Maintain Enthusiasm by Emma L. Adams
Shelving Your Manuscript in Order to Grow by Elise Fallson
First or Third Person? by Sarah Foster
Top Five Rules to Beat Negativity by C.G. Coppola
To the Writer, All of Life is Research by Jen Chandler
Quick Self-Editing Tips by Tia Silverthorne
Bach Get Outta My Way: Pushing Past Amazing by Allison Gammons
Some Lessons from a Ghost by Stuart
Sharp On Writing by Lara Trace Hentz
What’s Good to Your Soul by Angela Brown
Word Sprinting by Lan Chan
Trusting your Gut by Nick Wilford
The Truth of It by Liza Carens
Salerno The Benefits of a Critique Partner by Elsie Amata
Writing Vivid Characters by Michelle Athy
Tell the Story You Want to Tell by Murees Dupé
The Key to Writing by Roland Yeomans
Staying Motivated by Anne Higa
Brainstorming Tips for Our Manuscripts by Rachna Chhabria
Journey Beyond the Detours by Sandra Hoover
The Complete Thought by Anna Simpson
S. M. Pace’s Three Writing Tips by S. M. Pace
Beat Sheets a la Tart by Hart Johnson
Tips on Making Your Dialogue Ring True by Cherie Colyer
Character Depth by Kathy McKendry
When Less is More by V.R. Barkowski
The Value of a Good Critique Group by Elizabeth Hein
Crossing the Finish Line by David Powers
King House Party by Deniz Bevan
Lessons for the Bold by Mina Burrows
Backstory: Write Winners, not Skimmers by Denise
Covey It’s an Uphill Battle by Tanya Miranda
Three Character Relational Styles by Jennifer Lane
Just Write by Elisabeth Kauffman
The Intertwining Nature of Writing, Publishing, and Marketing by Tyrean Martinson
Own Your Writing Journey by Patricia Lynne
Keeping a Dream Journal by Cynthia
So You Want to Write a Novel? by Kristin Smith
Art of Not Writing by Jenni Enzor
Monster Gardening by Andrew Leon
If It’s Not One Thing... by Lara Lacombe
You Have To Ask For Help by Diana Wilder
What to Watch for When Writing and Editing by Carrie-Anne Brownian
Fearless Writing by Marie Andreas Mega
Character Development Tips by Chrys Fey
With a Little Help From My Friends by Benny Hill
When to Hire an Editor or When to Throw in the Towel by Sharon Mayhew
Write Because You’re a Writer by Debra McKellan
When Family and Friends Don’t Support Your Writing Career by Doreen McGettigan
Lessons from a Humbled Writer by Andrea Franco -Cook
Zodiac Characterization with Personality Typing by Juneta Key
Becoming a Writer by Elizabeth Seckman
How to Write an Entire Book by Megan Morgan
My Four Golden Rules of Writing by Nicholas C. Rossis
Believing in Your Writing by Ann V. Friend
Publishing Are You Ready to Submit? by Susan Gourley
Distribution Options for Your Book by L. Diane Wolfe
What to Do While Riding the Submission Train by S.A. Larsen
Seven Things I’d Do Before I Published a Book by C Lee McKenzie
Querying Your Way to Publication by Shannon Lawrence
10 Tips for Formatting Your Ebook by Cherie Riech
Countdown to Launch by Sher A. Hart
How Far Would You Go? by Lexa Cain
Magazine Markets —The Right Way to Study It by SittieCates
How to Find a Literary Agent by S. L. Hennessy
A Newbie’s Guide to Self Publishing by Julie Musil
Publishers vs Agents by Jennifer L. Hawes
Who Will Be My Editor? by Lisa Buie-Collard
Self-Publishing by Diane Burton
Steps to Success by Nancy Gideon
Perseverance and the Small Publisher Route by Medeia Sharif
The Importance of Keeping Accurate Records by Miranda Hardy
What Not to Do by Lyle S. Tanner
Myths I Believed When I was First Published by Nicki Elson
Ten Tips on E-book Publishing Today by Karen Elizabeth Brown
Waiting it Out by Angeline Trevena
Woes of the English Bachelor by Tony Laplume
Self-Publishing and the Changing Industry by Adrienne Reiter
After You Are Published by Rachel Schieffelbein
The #1 Reason I Published a YA Novel by Jamie Ayres
There are Plenty of Fish in the Sea by Samantha Dunaway Bryant
Quick and Dirty HTML and E-Books by Loni Townsend
The Necessity of Planning in Publishing by Toi Thomas
What I’ve Learned from Publishing by E.E. Giorgi
Writer Beware! by Fundy Blue Advice on Self-Publishing by Amelia Bishop
Indie Publishing and Marketing Tips by C.M. Brown
Marketing Get Involved and Find Your Audience by Alex Cavanaugh
Give Yourself a Chance at Success by J.L. Campbell
How to Market Without Marketing by Lynda R . Young
You Are a Writer by L.G. Keltner
8 Steps to Creating a Flawless Media Kit by Sylvia Ney
Make Your Mark: Cross-Industry Collaborative Marketing by Samantha Redstreake Geary
Marketing and the Blog Tour by Gwen Gardner
Building an Internet Presence by Sia McKye
3 Marketing Tips for Those Who Would Rather Be Writing by Christine Rains
The Importance of Keywords in Your Marketing Toolbox by Donna M. McDine
On Creative Marketing by P.K. Hrezo
Self-Promotion by Bob Milne
If Only I Had Known by Jeff Chapman
How Selling Yourself Short Might Shortchange You by Julie Kemp
Pick 5 Marketing Tips for Book Signing Events by Margo Kelly
How to Run a Powerful Book Blog Tour by Crystal Collier
Writing is (n0) Small Business! by Mary Aalgaard
Create a Promotion Page for Guest Blogging by J.Q. Rose
Creative Marketing Ideas by Jay Noel
The Melee of Marketing for the Modern Writer by Yvette Carol
Express Yourself by Krista McLaughlin
Marketing Your E-book by Dean K. Miller
5 Steps to Find Your Book’s Ideal Audience by Feather Stone
How to Master Marketing through Social Media by Pat Hatt
DIY Creation & Promotion for a Music Album by Trisha Farnan
Making a Difference by Tara Tyler
Advertising– Promoting– Marketing by K. E. Nowinsky
How to Help Readers Discover Your Book by Quanie Miller
An Introvert’s Guide to Book Marketing by Gina Drayer
Don’t Sell Yourself Short by Heather M. Gardner
Launch Day Mnemonics by Roland Clarke
Five Tips on Marketing Your Novel by Beverly Stowe McClure
Hot-Topic Marketing by Kim Van Sickler
Staying Up-to-Date by Michael Abayomi
Is Promotion for the Squeamish? by Jessica Ferguson
Review Copies: Free or Not to Free? by Elizabeth Mueller
Top Ten Marketing Tips for Your Ebook by Jacqui Murray
Easy, Free and Low Cost Book Trailers and Graphics by H.J. Blenkinsop
What Not to do Marketing-Wise by Mark Koopmans
Cavanaugh, Alex J.; Campbell, J. L.; Gourley, Susan; Nowell
Butler, Joylene; Wolfe, L. Diane; Young, Lynda R.; Wallace, Michelle
(2014-11-28). The Insecure Writer's Support Group Guide to Publishing and
Beyond. Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.. Kindle Edition.
Vandergraff lost his home, his job, and contact with his oldest son,
but remains determined to be a good husband and father despite being a
dark winter wizard.
His resolve is tested when a flyer for a
missing girl--who happens to be a summer witch--begins to haunt him.
David believes a spell needs to use him to save her, so he follows the
magic's command and looks into her disappearance. His teenage daughter
Emmy resents him for caring so much about a random stranger. But when
she uncovers some disturbing evidence close to home, she begins an
investigation of her own.
David and Emmy quickly learn that the
mystery is not only about a missing girl they barely know, but a deeply
personal story that impacts everyone they care about. As their world
crumbles, they fear the warning may be true—never mess with summer
wizards, because the good guys always win.