Happy Sunday! Today I'm so happy to be hosting Heather Topham Wood's First Visions, sponsored by Bewitching Book Tours! You will be seeing a Blurb, an Interview (thank you Heather!) an Excerpt, my Review, and the Author's Bio/links. Also...there's a Giveaway! Check down below for more details! Thanks for visiting!
Two years ago, 21-year-old Kate Edwards became deathly ill and slipped into a coma. While unconscious, she crept into the mind of a missing boy and awoke with the knowledge of his location. Friends and family were skeptical and wary of her new ability to see into the minds of others. Their fears prompted Kate to keep her psychic powers a secret. Feeling alienated, she dropped out of college and spent most of her days holed up at her mother's home.
Now another child has been abducted. Police detective Jared Corbett seeks out Kate for her help in solving the case. Reluctantly, Kate agrees and they must work together to bring 8-year-old Cori Preston home to her family. Although attracted to one another, Jared has a girlfriend with ties to the abduction case and Kate is sarcastic and guarded since her coma. With visions she can't control and an uncontrollable attraction to the detective, she wonders if she can leave the past behind and finally stop hiding from the world. Otherwise, Cori may be lost forever.
*Interview W/Heather Topham Wood*
What inspired you to write First Visions?
My grandmother passed away last year and I had a ton of old stories left at her home. As I went through the stories I wrote in middle school and high school, I came across one about a psychic who helped find a missing child. I built upon that concept to create the novel. I had not written fiction in years and my grandmother’s passing made me realize that life is too short to put your dreams on hold.
How long did it take to write?
Writing the novel was super quick since it was all worked out in my head. It probably took me a month of many late nights to finish my first couple of drafts. Editing took much longer.
Did you have to research and if yes, how was that process?
The psychic aspect I didn’t research because I felt like I wanted my own spin on it. Police procedure was the largest part of my research. Lucky for me, I’m married to a police officer and didn’t have to go far for my questions.
What do you want readers to get from your story?
I hope they are able to not only get into the suspense aspect, but also see it as a coming of age story. Although Kate is 21, she acts much younger since she’s closed herself off when she developed this strange power. I also hope readers are able to laugh since I tried to inject plenty of humor into the novel.
Which actors do you see playing the main characters?
It’s so funny you ask that because I just recently did a blog post on this. For Kate, my choices included Anna Kendrick, Leighton Meester and Ellen Page while I see Jake Gyllenhaal and Henry Cavill in the role of Jared.
When did you first decide to become a writer?
I started writing cheesy and melodramatic after school special type stories since middle school, so I guess since then. For the past five years, I’ve done freelance web and magazine writing. This year was when I decided to become a novelist.
Where is your favorite place to write?
A kid free area, haha! I have two boys under the age of five so it’s not always easy to work without distractions.
What are you currently working on?
I’m hard at work to the sequel to First Visions and also outlined a potential new YA series about a witch.
For aspiring writers, do you have any advice for them?
Surround yourself with positive people. If I didn’t have the love and support of my friends and family, I would’ve never been able to write and publish First Visions. They can also be great sounding boards as you attempt to work out parts of your novel you’re stuck on.
These are just some quick random Qs:
What are you currently reading?
I just finished Rape Girl by Alina Klein and I’m about to start Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard.
Film you are looking forward to see in theaters?
The Dark Knight Rises
What TV show do you have to see on a daily basis?
Lastly, Do you prefer Summer or Fall?
Coffee or Tea?
*Excerpt* Read this :)
I get you? What the hell was that supposed to mean? His comments were making her feel unsure and suddenly exposed. Quickly, she decided to change the subject. “Your aunt doesn’t have any abilities?”
“No, she just always felt there was more to the world than we could see. Most of her major life decisions are based on answers she receives during tarot card readings. Some of her ideas are pretty out there. But I learned from a young age how to take things with a grain of salt,” he explained.
“Is she local?”
“Not anymore. Kind of lives off the grid now. She met this guy from Maine and moved up there about five years ago. He makes these amazing homemade brooms and Aunt Lizzie helps him run his business.” He gave a fond smile as he thought about his aunt. “You should meet her one day, you’d love her.”
“She sounds cool. Although introductions might be a little awkward. How would you present me? As your psychic sidekick?”
Before he could reply, the waitress returned for their order. He ordered a grilled chicken sandwich and potato salad. Against her better judgment, she went for the cheese fries with a side of gravy.
Jared gave her an undisguised look of distaste once the waitress had left. “How can you eat that crap? Sounds disgusting.” As he let his gaze run over her body, she felt heat rise to her cheeks. “Why are you so thin? You should be a hundred pounds overweight if you eat that kind of stuff.”
Kate snorted. Jeez, she really needed to stop snorting in his presence, talk about one of the least attractive qualities. “I’m hardly thin, I saw your girlfriend. I look like Cartman from South Park next to her.”
“Ugh, girls with their weight issues,” he said and waved her off. “Want to show me that sketch now?”
She pulled the picture out of her purse and he examined it thoroughly. After a moment of thoughtful consideration, he remarked, “You did a good job, I have a few ideas of what type of car it may be. Looks like an older model Ford or Toyota sedan. You said about ten years old and dark green?”
She nodded and he continued, “I’ll work on getting printouts of models from around that time period. See if we can get an exact match.”
“I wish I could’ve seen the license plate, but it wasn’t visible from the angle he brought Cori out in. The garage was well-lit, but the rest of the house was dark. The layout of the house looked like a Cape Cod style, but honestly he dragged her through so quickly I couldn’t say for sure.” She sighed and then took a sip of her diet soda. She figured ordering the diet soda helped to cancel out the massive amounts of calories in the cheese fries.
“Do you have any idea of a timeframe? How long she was in the car for?”“She was unconscious for part of the ride. She didn’t have a good sense of time, but I would say he was driving for no more than twenty minutes while she was awake. It was very dark in the house which makes me guess it could have been a lot later after he left the Prestons. Not sure if he went anywhere first before heading to his house. Maybe
someone near Cori’s house will remember seeing that type of car. I can’t imagine too many of the Prestons’ neighbors drive a hoopdie like that.”
He leaned back and chewed on his thumb. “With the damage to the front, it would definitely stand out. Of course, I wish we knew more, but this has been extremely helpful, Kate. Thank you.”
Closely, she watched his movements as he patted her hand. It only lasted a second, but Kate felt the touch long after he pulled away. Suffering a loss for words, Kate was grateful for the interruption when his phone rang.
After answering, he put his hand over the receiver and addressed her. “I’m going to step outside and take this. It’s a call from another one of the detectives working on the case.” After her nod, he disappeared out of the diner. While she waited, she fidgeted and tried not to think about how right his hand felt on hers.
A couple of minutes later, he returned with an apologetic look on his face. “Sorry about that. He wanted to let me know that they’re organizing a search party for tonight. The plan is to comb a few wooded areas in town to look for Cori. We have other detectives going door to door with Cori’s picture to see if anyone has any information,” he explained solemnly. It was hard to not get drawn in by his intensity as he spoke about Cori.
As the food arrived at the table, she became convinced greasy food would help get rid of these butterflies she was feeling. She saturated the fries with the gravy. After shoving a forkful in her mouth, she closed her eyes and sighed. “These are heavenly.”
Jared gave her a dubious look while taking a bite of his sandwich. “I can see your arteries clogging right before my eyes.”
She held out her fork to him. “Go ahead and try them. You know you want to.”
He looked on the verge of denial, but eventually caved. “Fine, but I have a feeling I’ll be regretting it.”
She grinned as he took a large bite. He showed no reaction, but she giggled as he reached over and took another large forkful. “I can’t tell if I like it. I better taste some more in order to make a sound judgment.”
“Sounds like a plan,” she said. She grabbed a side dish plate and piled some on it. “Here, stop denying yourself. One serving of disco fries will not kill you.” Her grin could not seem to fade as she pushed the plate to his side of the table.
“So, that’s what these are called? Now that you have me addicted to them, I can blame you when I get too fat to chase anyone down,” he commented between bites. He cut his sandwich in half and held out a piece to her. “Wanna share?”She took the sandwich from him and felt a jolt as their hands brushed. She was in big trouble and she knew it. More of this and she was going to ask him to procreate on the table right then and there. He returned her smile and seemed to also revel in the intimacy of the moment. She wished she could’ve thrown his phone against the wall when it rang again a second later. Kate felt embarrassed that she was weirding him out when she noticed how uncomfortable he suddenly looked.
Where do I start? Well first...I really loved this story! I've been waiting for a book like this to read, and this was just wonderful. The Prologue really makes you interested to see what the rest of the story will unfold. I immediately liked Kate; she just felt so relatable, and in general, I love relating to the characters; it makes me connect to them and to the story even more. She was stubborn, sarcastic, untrusting, but also kind, witty, and funny. Since waking up from her Coma (due to meningitis) two years earlier, and now at age 21, she is sorta unsociable, not because she was almost killed, but what news she presented when she woke up: knowing where a young kidnapped boy was. Everyone, including her close friends and family, thought well she was sorta crazy for her to see these so called visions, and some would say she is psychic. Well, the boy was fortunately found, just where Kate said he would be, but she lost a lot of friends, her parents separated, the public either liked/hated her, but it was attention she did not want. These past two years have not been so kind to Kate. But then, there is a new abduction case, and one skeptical detective/cop knocks at Kate's front door to see if she has seen his girlfriend's little sister, Cori. Kate doesn't want to help at first, but then after having a vision while she sleeps, she agrees to help, and now do they find Cori or not? The answer you will have to find yourself.
As I was reading, I immediately liked the characters: Kate, Jared, Darlene (Kate's Mom), and Julie (Kate's best friend). They were all well developed, and each had personality, as there is humor that lightens the situation (abduction case) that threatens to darken the story. I liked how there was a good amount of back story, to help us understand these characters better. Everything just flowed so nicely. I was also intrigued by the whole psychic abilities/second sight. I'm not saying I do/do not believe in it, but it's just something that I've sorta been interested to read more about. I do admit, that I was a fan of the show Medium, and this story sorta reminded me of the show, which was great! So, the concept of the second sight was just a wonderful and important element to this story, and I simply cannot wait for the second book in this series! This story has so many components that make it so wonderful to read: there are tender moments; a sense of rejection; taking charge of your life; having that one best friend you can confide in; conflict between characters, and...perhaps a romance....
Yes, this was just fantastic. I encourage you to read this; it's just too good, and I definitely Recommend it!
*My Rating: 5/5
*My Audience Rating: PG-13
Heather Topham Wood graduated from the College of New Jersey in 2005 and holds a bachelor's degree in English. Working full-time as a freelance writer for publications such as USA Today, Livestrong.com, Outlook by the Bay and Step in Style magazine, she writes fiction novels in her spare time. She resides in Trenton, New Jersey with her husband and two sons. Besides writing, Heather is a pop culture fanatic and has an obsession with supernatural novels and TV shows.
First Visions is the first book in the Second Sight series.
First Visions is the first book in the Second Sight series.