Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review of First Visions: Second Sight

Book Review of First Visions: Second Sight sponsored by Bewitching Book Tours

First Visions:  Second Sight
By Heather Topham Wood
Second Sight Book One

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. 

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.

Author bio
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,, 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.

Book Review:

            Usually in a love triangle there is not a lot of nobility, but what if there was a guy in a relationship with a girl when he met another girl through circumstances and she was his soul mate.  And, here’s the thing, she likes him too.  But he’s a standup guy and tries to convince himself that it’s really just friendship and compassion he feels for girl two. 
Then something happens that causes them to have a “moment” and he stops it just as it’s starting and tells her he can’t be that guy that cheats, especially since her dad cheated on her mom.  So he goes back to his relationship, only it is not good and it hasn’t been for a long time.

            Now the question is:  Do you stay in the initial relationship because you were already in it (not married, just dating) or do you take the chance that your true love is girl two whose heart you broke who may never speak to you again?  What would you do?  And what if she was psychic and randomly saw into you memories, even one’s you may not want her to see… like you and your relationship getting ready to have sex?  Once you decide what you would do, you have to read this book and see what Police Detective Jared did.

            This book is an well written and an easy read:  sweet, romantic, exasperating (honestly you just want to shake him until his teeth rattle for being so dense), annoying (there is this girl that seriously needs to be bitch-slapped into next week), sad, and charming.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story and it renewed my faith in true love.

            I give this story 5 out of 5 clouds.

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Review of Beta Test

Book Review of Beta Test sponsored by Bewitching Book Tours

Title: Beta Test
Author:  Eric Griffith
Hardcover - 278 pages
Publisher: Hadley Rille

Book blurb: 
Sam Terra is having a bad week. He lost Molly, the woman he secretly loves, when she vanished before his eyes at the exact same time that ten percent of the inhabitants of Earth disappeared.

Naturally upset, Sam follows clues about the global vanishing with questionable help from his friends including a misanthropic co-worker and a childhood pal. When Molly reappears in the body of a man during a night of monster-laden devastation, Sam finally learns the truth. Not just about her, but about the planet Earth and the entire cosmos surrounding it.

What we consider mundane reality, others consider a game...and not a very good one. The whole thing is about to be shut down.

Author bio: 

Eric Griffith is the author of the sci-fi novel BETA TEST from Hadley Rille Books, which Publishers Weekly called “an unusually lighthearted apocalyptic tale.”  By day he works as the features editor for By night he sneaks out of the house to write fictions. He currently lives in Ithaca, New York. You can follow his online exploits daily via

Hardcover copy links:

Ebook:  Kindle   Nook


Sam didn’t bother calling her. He sprinted down the stairs, taking some two at a time, occasionally by accident, carefully gripping the inside railing at each landing to spin his large body to the next set of stairs. He concentrated on the steady rhythm of his sneakers slapping each step, preparing for the next spin, knowing one miscalculated stride, or worse, a trip, might prevent him from ever seeing Molly again. He knew that was true, deep in his deep gut.
It was a surprise when he almost ran right into her on the landing between the second and third floor.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Molly stood, arms crossed over her chest.
“I. . .” Sam had to huff a couple of times to catch his breath. “Worried . . . about you.”
She didn’t say anything for a moment, let her arms drop. “I know, big guy. Thanks.”
“Are you . . . quitting? Cuz if you are. . .” He wanted to say, I’ll go with you, but settled for, “Then I quit, too.”
“Oh, Sam.” She reached up and put a hand on his hairy jowl.
“This place wouldn’t be . . . right without you.”
“What’s right about it now?” Molly grinned.
“I mean it.”
“I know you mean it. That’s part of what makes it all so hard.”
“What’s hard? Quitting? Seemed pretty easy when you mushed Melvin’s face.”
“That part was just plain fun.” Her smile dropped and her face darkened. “I’m leaving, Sam.”
“The company?”
“Not only the company.”
“The industry?”
“Stop being dense,” Molly said.
Sam put a hand self-consciously on his abdomen.
“I’m leaving . . . the city. California. The country.”
“Why? How? When?”
“All great questions, Sammer. I’ll answer the last one and say, ‘soon.’” Molly looked again at the vintage Mickey Mouse watch on her wrist.
“You’re leaving for good?”
She didn’t say anything.
“Is someone coming to pick you up?” A boyfriend? She’d never mentioned one before. “Are you moving away with someone?” Sam didn’t even know he’d backed up, staggered really, until his back hit the wall of the grey stairwell, next to a coiled fire hose in a glassed-in cabinet.
“Sam.” She went to him, put her hand on his chest. “It’s nothing like that.”
Sam clasped her hand, his fingers swallowing hers whole. He leaned down and she stood on her tip toes. Their lips met in the middle. It was a kiss Sam wanted to last the rest of his lifetime.
It didn’t. Molly took back her hand and said, “I’m all out of time.”
“What are you talking about? Are you sick? I can help. I mean . . . I can take care of you.”
Molly bit her lip in a way he found utterly adorable. She wiped at her eye with a sleeve. “That, right there, is why I don’t want to go. But it’s out of my hands.” Another glance at the watch. “As it is, I’m breaking the biggest rule there is, letting you see this. But you know what? Fuck it. I don’t care.”
“What are you talking about? See what? You make it sound like you’re being forced out.”
Molly tapped the side of her nose a couple of times, and pointed at him, Charades-speak for, You got it, big guy.
She did something that really scared him—for a moment her eyes rolled into the back of her head. He thought she was having some kind of pre-predicted stroke. A moment later, she was fine. She said, “I left you something.”
“Left me what?”
She took another look at her watch. Perfect woman or not, that was starting to annoy him. But it was contagious. He looked at his own: 9:45am.
“Good-bye, Sam. Take care of yourself.” Molly turned away.
Sam moved to grab her arm, to hold her and not let her go. He touched her shirt for a split second and then—nothing.
She didn’t step. She didn’t jump. She never moved. There was no sound.
Molly flickered like a bad TV screen and ceased to exist.

Author bio: 

Eric Griffith is the author of the sci-fi novel BETA TEST from Hadley Rille Books, which Publishers Weekly called “an unusually lighthearted apocalyptic tale.”  By day he works as the features editor for By night he sneaks out of the house to write fictions. He currently lives in Ithaca, New York. You can follow his online exploits daily via

Book Review:

            When I first started reading this book I thought it was like a “B” movie.  I mean here was this story in third-person limited following this schlep, Sam, a big beefy, man who is secretly in love with a pixyish woman, Molly, at his office.  His office is a Dilbert-ish office, complete with his best friend, office loud mouth Melvin.

            Then the day he finds out that the girl he likes also likes him, she quits.  He follows her down the stair and they share a sweet kiss.  He offers to go with her, take care of her, unable to understand what is going on… when she vanishes.  (GASP, what?!?  Then what?)

            Well that was certainly a sharp twist.  Now I really want to read the story.  This twist definitely moved it up to an A+ grade.  Unfortunately due to computer error, I only received the first chapter… thus the gasp, what?, and a sharp cry because I SO want to know what happens next.

            I give this preview a 4 out of 5, leaning toward 4.5 with the fabulous twist in the end of chapter one (be sure to read the excerpt).

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.