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(The December People #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  315 ratings  ·  148 reviews
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
Published April 14th 2014 by Curiosity Quills Press
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  315 ratings  ·  148 reviews

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Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
This book took me by surprise - I really didn't think I'd love it as much as I did.

The first chapter read a little awkwardly; I think the writer was finding their footing. It thankfully took off from there - fast. David had an affair and now it's come to haunt him - as he has to take custody of the two kids from that relationship. The children were kept in hiding by the mother and her abusive boyfriend, and they practiced a dark sort of magic.

The story doesn't stop with the surprises. Every few
Katie Hamstead
***Full Disclosure: I was the Acquiring Editor for this book***

Sharon is an awesome storyteller. What I love most about this book is that the characters are so alive and even kind of nuts. They are dark wizards that want to be good, and so struggle with all their might to be good.

Destruction follows David, husband of Amanda, and father of teenagers Jude, Patrick, and Emmy. It's starts when David is called to tell him his long lost children, Xavier and Evangeline, have been found, but their mothe
Emma Adams
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this book – I loved Sharon’s debut novel The Charge, but I was intrigued to read a new spin on dark wizards. This couldn’t be more different from traditional stories about magic, in a good way!

David’s family life might seem to be perfect on the surface, but one day he gets a phone call which changes everything. Bringing home two children from a secret affair he had twelve years ago, he has to drop a bombshell on his unsuspecting wife and three other child
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I got an ARC through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

2.5 stars. Some parts I really enjoyed, but some others were really problematic for me.

All in all, the plot itself is quite a "mundane" one—in that it could be a contemporary novel, without any need for magic in it. For years, David had a mistress, who bore him two children, then vanished from the surface of Earth. Twelve years later, he learns that she's just died, and he takes custody of his children... without his wife and thr
One of the biggest joys of reading is “tasting” the fruits of an author’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 d ...more
Nikola Vukoja
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate enough to get a pre-copy of Destruction on Friday and was looking forward to a quiet weekend read. That didn't happen, because, I couldn't put it down! I finished the entire novel in less than 24 hours. This is a wonderful novel, the chapters are short and sharp and the mix of characters and inter-twining events just keep you turning the page.

Set in the real world with a secret world of Wizards & Witches which, we are told, makes up 0.001% of the world population, the wizard fami
Jen Estes
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
DESTRUCTION is the start of The December People Series, about a family of winter wizards (aka dark wizards) living secretly in present-day Texas. It’s a story of family secrets, family struggles, family magic – all wrapped up in a fantasy that is suspenseful, shocking and surprisingly sympathetic. Some fantasies take you into a completely different world, which can be a fun escape, but what I really liked about DESTRUCTION is that it felt like my world and my family – with a little magic and may ...more
I would like to thank Curiosity Quills Press for granting me the opportunity to read e-book in exchange for an honest review. Though I received this e-book for free that in no way impacts my review.

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 & witchcraft. The concept of seasonal wizards - summer, fall, w
Veronica of V's Reads
I didn't know I'd like this book so much! I mean, it starts out with an adulterous husband, David, learning that his teenage kids have been found. Kids he hadn't known--not since their mother had disappeared. And, I mean that literally. She was a witch. Now dead, their children Evangeline and Xavier were recovered, not completely intact. Part of their wizard stepfather's rituals had included rape...of both of them.

Bringing his lover's kids home is sure to destroy his marriage--and it does. Amand
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A refreshingly new edition to the fantasy genre and gripping page-turner!

Anyone seeking a sensational story with extraordinary world building and breathtaking imaginative vision will find this novel an unexpected delight. Atypically set within a modern-day setting this highly unusual fantasy blends seamlessly together current, contemporary fiction with a sprinkling of otherworldly enchantment. Due to the 21st century setting that hides secrets about magic, it makes the well-crafted storyline ev
Ann M. Noser
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: witchcraft
This book kept me reading, which was a big relief because I DNF the last 3 books I picked up. Sometimes I wonder if the issue is with ME and not the book in my hand. So finding DESTRUCTION right now was perfect timing. Thank goodness!


Potential readers should realize (and will pick up on this right away) that this is not a YA paranormal story. I'm not sure why I thought this. Was it something about the lovely cover? Or did the mere mention of wizards and witchcraft send me straigh
The Bookend Family
I'm going to be honest, when I first started reading this book I was under the impression I was going to be reviewing a new Young Adult Series. I quickly realized my mistake and readjusted my viewpoint. How wonderful that an author chose to write about magic in the adult world (ie., families, kids, work,and so on.) I was enthralled with this world for many reasons. First and foremost it resembled my own. It's always nice to believe there is a little bit of magic in our world every now and then. ...more
3 Stars

I received a copy to review from Curiosity Quills Press and Netgalley

It's really hard for me to write a review for this book because there are so many aspects of the story that I loved. The world Sharon Bayliss built was pretty cool, and the concept of a second family was really interesting. But I think that this book should have been two separate books instead of one. There are two directions that this story could have gone. It could have been an awesome adventure story with witches, or
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
I so completely love this intense, powerful, book that I feel I've consumed it and made it a part of my soul. It's magical (yes, magic and its practice or avoidance is one of the essential theme threads) but "magical" in the sense of inspiring, soaring, life-affirming, love-affirming. It's lyrical, light-bringing, and unforgettable. Please do savor it and make it a part of your life too. ...more
Booksniffer Tours
3.5 Sniffs - We may linger a bit longer to enjoy the fragrance.

Check out my review at Booksniffer Book Reviews! http://booksnifferbookreviews.blogspo...
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
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.
Dec 22, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebie
🎁 Books 1 & 2 in the Series are FREE on Amazon today (12/22/2020)! 🎁
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC copy of Destruction from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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 story-line 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
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a book! And what a concept!! This book starts off with David finding out his long-lost children are still alive. His wife knows nothing about his past indiscretions, but she finds out quickly enough when he brings his two teenage children home. Not only have they lost their mother, but they have been abused for years. This makes for a very tense home-life, especially because he also has children with his wife.

The family dynamics, and the way David traverses all these mines is so intriguing.
Jacque Stengel
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hauntingly beautiful yet full of destruction and darkness. This book had me hooked from page one and just like a fish who can't get away from the hook, I couldn't put it down. Actually I did put it down long enough to tell the author that I was already in love with the story and I hadn't even really gotten to the meat of the story yet. So many secrets kept in a normal everyday family that leak out one by one until the truth is that they are far from normal. The story flowed effortlessly from sto ...more
Tara Holman
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-rad
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. It was also on my upcoming list of books to read for the Paranormal Book Club that I am a member of, so I was eager to read this story! Going into the book, my first impression is of the gorgeous cover- just captivating cover art! When a cover draws me in, I usually set myself up for a bit of failure, however I was not disappointed when I began reading. The story is centered on the husband, David Vandergraff, whom appears to ...more
Eye Candy Bookstore
I have got to say when I started reading this book I was a little nervous since it was a completely different genre then what I normally read. Sharon did a fantastic job with this story and got me out of my comfort zone and ready for more books like it.

While reading this book I had a hard time getting myself to put it down. David is a father to three children and has a great marriage to Amanda. He has a secret that he has been keeping from his family for more then ten years. one day he gets the
Kelly Clare
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had a very strong start. The author did well to balance a handful of important characters, giving each individuality and attention. The pace in the first half was excellent, with the fantasy world explained well, and the setting crystal clear in my mind.
While the second half lost a little pace for me, with a bit of a shaky finish, I have to commend the author on facing emotionally difficult storylines head on (you'll see what I mean).
I thought the relationship woes between Amanada and
May 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Look guys - This novel is not a typical paranormal YA - sure there are teen characters in it but there are part of the of picture. picture of family and it's inside dynamics pulse the magical staff. Also This is not about light is good and dark is bad its about consonance of human behavior, choices that make you wonder how would you chose if you had been at the same situations....and I can tell you it isn't yes I didn't got those frustrations that I usually got in a typical YA.

Its spea
Although this is clearly fantasy, it's very different from just about all other fantasy I've read. It has magic, yes, but although it plays a major role, it's like the book doesn't revolve around it. The book is not about magic, it's about a dysfunctional family going through troubled times, that happen to involve magic. This family has magical things going wrong like other families have teen pregnancies and drug abuse.
And there's plenty going wrong. The father of the family, David, had an affa
Rola G.
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Destruction written by Sharon Bayliss is the first book in her series The December People. It also happens to be a very distinctive spin off on dark wizards and is written in third person point of view. The characters are being followed are David, an extremely confused father, and Patrick, the confused father's second eldest son. Considering the fact that it was a spin off on dark wizards, the way the plot was played out was kind of realistic. They had a mostly normal family that did mostly norm ...more
This review was originally posted on my book review blog, The Overstuffed Bookcase.

A Different Kind of Magical Tale...

Honestly, I haven't read that many books about wizards and witches. I mean, I LOVE Harry Potter--it will forever be my favorite series--but other than that, I haven't read too many other books that focus solely on witches and wizards. I've read several fantasy books that deal with magic, and I have read a few other books that deal with wizards and witches, but mostly I gravitate
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Destruction by Sharon Bayliss Synopsis
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
Elena Alvarez Dosil
Disclaimer: Review originally posted at

David Vandergraff tries to be a good man. He lives with his wife and their three children, having the usual family drama, until one night when David receives a call to inform him that the children he had with another woman have finally reappeared. He goes to get them and finds that they seem to think they are wizards, surely a way to cope with all what happened to them: an abusive step-father who ended up killing their mother in fr
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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.

Other books in the series

The December People (4 books)
  • Watch Me Burn (The December People, #2)
  • A Taste of Death and Honey (The December People, #3)
  • Harvest (The December People, #4)

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