Watch Me Burn
The December People
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Publication: 1/5/15
Number of pages: 250
Word Count: 75,000
Cover Artist: Michelle Johnson
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.
David Vandergraff could smell magic in the air, as clearly as he could smell the motor oil and burned coffee. When the news report began, the volume on the television became much louder, and the screen glowed as if demons would claw their way out at any minute. However, none of the other patrons in the waiting room of the mechanic's shop noticed anything different. They continued staring at their phones, looking pale and sick in the fluorescent light and excessive air conditioning. Before David had known he was a wizard, he dismissed such oddities as "just one of those things you can't explain". But now, he knew better.
The image of the missing girl on the screen shined so intensely, he could see her outline burned into the blackness behind his eyelids when he blinked. The girl posed in her volleyball uniform, displaying a radiant white-toothed smile. She looked about fourteen or fifteen. She had blonde hair and golden skin and a strange radiating quality, as if the pixels in the television gave her an extra glow.
David shook his head. Since he had learned he was a wizard, anytime he noticed anything strange, from bad weather to a headache, he feared magic was involved. His daughter Emmy was blonde, around the girl's same age, and played volleyball. So, the missing girl reminded him of Emmy—and of course, that would upset him. Besides, his heart always raced when he saw a missing child. Two of his own children had been missing for a long time. And even though they were now safe at home, he didn't think the fear and grief would ever leave him.
He tried to turn his attention back to scanning job listings on his tablet, but he couldn't focus his eyes on anything except the television report and all the other sounds turned into a whirring buzz.
About the Author:
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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