In the United States, instead of Hogwarts houses, wizards are commonly classified by the four seasons, as in The December People. The Gryffindors are called summer wizards, which is apt because they believe they are the sun and the world revolves around them. The Slytherins are called winter wizards.
The winter wizards in The December People constantly struggle against dark wizard prejudices, like those perpetrated in the Harry Potter series. You can see this clearly in one scene in the last book, where students are choosing whether to flee or stay and defend the castle. According to Rowling, lots of Gryffindors stay, a few Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs, and a BIG FAT ZERO Slytherins. I ask you...really? Really? Out of all those Slytherins, not a single one of them thought, "Hey you know, Voldemort is kind of bad guy. Maybe I don't want him to kill me and everyone I love." This is where Rowling really gets it wrong. Although dark wizards are prone to varying degrees of evil, they are definitely not cowards. Opposed to running from battle, they are often the ones at the front lines, the ones least afraid of darkness, pain, and death. And, they would never stand idly by while someone threatened them or people they loved. Like mama bears protecting their cubs, they will maul your face off if you get too close to their babies.
At least, in the last book, she also shows a little more Slytherin complexity than she had in the previous books. Most importantly, we learn the truth about Snape...one of my favorite characters anywhere, ever. We learn that far from a coward, he is probably the bravest character in the series. He is also capable of loving deeply and being fiercely loyal. We also see Narcissa Malfoy betray Voldemort in order to find and protect her son. I still think it was too little, too late, but I'm glad Rowling finally showed another side of darker wizards.
So, if you happen to be of the Slytherin persuasion (and a grown-up...The December People series is not for kids) there is a story for you. Check out my recently released novel, Destruction.
This is a photo of me and my wand. Can you guess which Harry Potter character owned this wand before me?
The December People Series
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Publication: 4/14/14
ISBN 978-1-62007-498-5 ebook
ISBN 978-1-62007-499-2 paperback
ISBN 978-1-62007-500-5 hardcover
ASIN: Not yet assigned
Number of pages: 249
Word Count: 79,444
Cover Artist: Michelle Johnson
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.
Signed copies available at Julie’s Book Spot
Book Trailer: http://animoto.com/play/xvVcJSOr0M8Gt0VKhjI0cA
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.
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.
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