Hey guys! Welcome to today's tour stop! Do enjoy:)
At First Touch
First Touch Series, book 1
Number of pages: 267
Word Count: 87,543
Cover Artist: Deirdre Robertson
Liz Hannigan has been on the run since she was twelve years old.
Her mother is dead. Her father has lost his job. And thanks to an experimental procedure, Liz is now able to ‘download’ the contents of every brain around her with a simple touch. Forced to hide from both the federal government and a darkling group of morally deficient scientists known as the Coalition determined to exploit her abilities, she moves with her father to the bucolic coal town of Pound, West Virginia.
But the hunt for Liz and her abilities hasn’t ended, and her hopes for peace are shattered when she inadvertently downloads the enigmatic Carey Drake, whose unusual good looks and charm conceal a secret as shocking as her own. Stunned by the knowledge that she has found someone else who has extraordinary abilities, Liz finds herself drawn to Carey, discovering a deep attraction, and dares to hope for the first time she might find love.
But when an agent of the Coalition begins stalking her, Liz must find a way to work with the government agency she most mistrusts as she strives to build a longed-for normal life and take down the agent who has tracked her down. Caught up in a struggle to save herself and those she loves, the girl who sees all is blind to true danger until it is too late.
I was out on the main road and about twenty minutes into my run when I heard the sound of a motor gunning and the beep of a horn. I slowed my pace and turned around to see Preston’s truck chugging along about two hundred yards behind me. His head was out of the window and he was screaming at me; I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but I felt pretty confident that it wasn’t complimentary.
I came to a stop, wondering if I should do something. I wasn’t really concerned; it wasn’t as though he would run me over or anything, but the blind hatred on his face made me a little nervous. Finally, I decided to ignore him and let him get his fill of throwing abuse my way and then drive on past. Picking up the pace again, I resolutely faced forward, pretending that the continued screeching behind me was a trick of the wind.
Suddenly the engine gave an almighty roar and I heard the unwelcome sound of squealing tires. With only a second to register that I had vastly underestimated Preston’s anger and mental instability, I swirled around in time to see the grille of the truck just a few feet from my face. I made to jump out of the way, but all my knowledge and stolen tricks didn’t make me fly, or move faster, or be any less breakable than any other human being. I knew in that moment how useless my ability really was. In the face of the giant metal monster brimming with torque, my mind was of no matter, it just screamed out with the desire to live, to keep going.
There was a blow like a train hitting me, but strangely there was no pain, and I was moving faster than I could have imagined away from the truck and into the field next to the road. I was sure that the truck had hit me and I was just flying through the air to my death, by some fortunate stroke lucky enough to be spared the pain of impact. In another instant the movement had stopped and I realized I was being held in a pair of strong arms against a rock-hard chest.
Carey looked down at me, his eyes frantic. “Are you alright? He didn’t hit you, did he?”
“N-no,” I stuttered. Having downloaded Carey I was aware of his incredible speed, but there’s something very different about knowing something theoretically and experiencing it firsthand.
He put me down gently in the grass and I just sat there, too dumbfounded to speak. Even as he anxiously surveyed me for damage, we heard the rending scream of out of control tires and the heavy metal sound of Preston’s truck crashing into something.
“I’ll be right back,” Carey said and then I blinked and he was gone.
Mattie Dunman is a lifelong resident of "Wild & Wonderful" West Virginia, and has dreamed of being a writer since she first held a pen in hand.
Mattie has pursued several useless degrees to support this dream, and presently enjoys teaching (or tormenting, as the case may be) college students the dying art of public speaking. She spends most of her free time writing, but also indulges in reading and traveling.
She is the proud owner of an adorably insane American Eskimo named Finn, and a tyrant cat named Bella, who take up more of her attention than they probably should.
Please visit Mattie's website at www.mattiedunman.com
And now, let's welcome Mattie to the blog to talk with us a little about her character, Carey.
Does he always have to be a bad boy?
I’ve been asked a few times about my reason for making Carey, the hero in AT FIRST TOUCH, such a nice guy. Now, I’m as much an alpha-male fan as the next girl, and normally I’m all about the bad boys in books. There’s something so delicious about knowing that the heroine is the one person special enough to change his ways, without losing his edge, of course.
But when I sat down to write Carey’s character, I just didn’t see him that way. I tried to imagine this boy who had exceptional abilities—super-strength, hearing, speed, nearly impenetrable skin—and how they would affect his behavior and attitude. Somehow, instead of picturing him riding a motorcycle and seducing every girl in a twenty-mile radius, I saw Carey assisting little old ladies across the road and helping scared kids climb down out of trees. Having that kind of power would, I think, either make you abusive and manipulative, or incredibly responsible. And Carey seemed like the responsible type.
In the book, his family has packed up and moved to secluded Pound, West Virginia so he could be safe and have a chance at a normal life. As Carey developed as a character, I knew he wouldn’t just dismiss that kind of sacrifice, and so his hero complex was born. And in some ways, it’s just as much of a flaw as being sarcastic or a womanizer. His obsession for always doing the right thing can lead to bad decisions and misunderstandings just as easily, and it does call his motives into question. Is he in love with Liz because of who she is? Or is it just the fact that she represents the ultimate damsel in distress, giving Carey the opportunity to play the white knight?
I think this is why he’s such a good foil for Liz; she’s been hardened by her experiences, her inability to connect with anyone other than her father. Because of always being on the run, knowing how her ability can be used against her will, she is used to only seeing the dark side of humanity. Meeting Carey changes that for her, because she knows right away that his whole focus is on using his gifts to better the lives of those around him, and he would never consider using her talents against her. Even knowing this, Liz has a hard time relaxing around him; but he wears her down by simply being a good guy—supportive and caring. It helps to reaffirm her faith in people, something she sorely needs.
Like I said, I love bad boy heroes, but I think sometimes the sweet guy can be underrated. Just because he’s thoughtful and supportive doesn’t mean he’s not complex, or has a perfect past, or pure motives. Besides, don’t we all still root for the bad boy to turn out to be a sweetheart underneath all the black leather?
So yep! That's about it for today! Thanks for visiting! :)