by Stacey Nash
eBook, 277 pages
Published August 1st 2014 by HarperCollins AUS Impulse
Anamae is drawn into a world which shatters everything she knew to be true. The first in the trilogy of the brilliant YA Collective series. followed by REMEMBER ME and NEVER FORGOTTEN.
Since her mother vanished nine years ago, Anamae and her father have shared a quiet life. But when Anamae discovers a brooch identical to her mother's favorite pendant, she unknowingly invites a slew of trouble into their world.
The jewels she finds are not just jewellery, they're a highly developed technology capable of cloaking the human form. Triggering the jewellery's power attracts the attention of a secret society determined to confiscate the device - and silence everyone who is aware of its existence. Anamae knows too much, and now she's Enemy Number One. She's forced to leave her father behind when she's taken in by a group determined to keep her safe. Here, Anamae searches for answers about this hidden world.
With her father kidnapped and her own life on the line, Anamae must decide if saving her dad is worth risking her new friends' lives. No matter what she does, somebody is going to get hurt.
Al gestures to the brooch still clutched in my hand. “Show her.” I hold it out for her to see.
She snatches it from my hand and cradles it close to her chest, then looks up at me with over-round eyes. “Where did you get this?”
“We got it from Al this afternoon.” I frown. “What’s going on?”
Bertie whirls around and wags her finger at Al. “What the hell are you doing, selling one of those?”
“It was lying on the dusty floor, you stupid old bird.” he says. “Of course I thought it was of no consequence.”
“You’ll have them all after us now, you crazy fool.” She hits Al with the damp tea towel she was clutching.
Al dances out of its reach, bouncing from foot to foot, but his eyes sparkle. “It’s been ten years since we’ve seen a cover-up.”
I pat the pendant under my shirt. Good, it’s safe and sound. I should tell them about it, but I’m not sure. Bertie already has the brooch … maybe. Will gives me a small smile. It wavers. I’m not sure I want to keep it, but I don’t want to bring trouble to Al, either.
I hold out my hand to Bertie. “Please, can I have it back?”
She places the brooch in my hand. I take a deep breath; time to trust Al. “When I used it, the …”
“Yeah, that. A man appeared at my door within minutes. He seemed to know it was there. I think he would have killed me to take it.”
Bertie sucks in a sharp breath.
“A scout from The Collective,” Al says.
A scout? The Collective? What the heck is he talking about? Sweat prickles the back of my neck, and I glance at Will who stares at Al with a blank expression, his skin ashen.
Bertie dashes to the small balcony window and inches a corner of the drapes back, peering into the street. “We can’t stay here, Al.”
“I know, dear, we’ll take them to Beau.” Al grabs her trembling arm with a steady hand and places his other palm-down on her shoulder.
“They’ll track her, know where she is.” Bertie drops the drape, shuffles over, grabs my arm, and pushes me toward the door. “Come on, Al.”
I glance at Will. His eyes are wide and fearful.
With a series of prods, Bertie ushers me down the stairs and out of the shop. We rush straight to their old pickup with a silent urgency that makes the hairs on the nape of my neck rise. What’s this all about? What’s happening, and where do they think they’re taking us?
We come to a stop in front of the rusty dual-cab pickup. Will digs in his heels, grabs my hand, and tugs me back. “We’re not going anywhere.”
Bertie pulls open the back door. “You have to, for your own safety. The scout is just the beginning. You’re in great danger.”
“Danger?” My voice sounds hollow to my own ears.
Al jogs round to the far side of the truck and pulls open the driver’s side door, which cuts the air with a squeal like it’s never been oiled. “There’s a safe house for situations like this. They’ll explain it better than us.”
His words rush out so jumbled I have to concentrate to understand him. I spin from Al to face Will. His mouth is set, and his head shakes. No. But Will doesn’t know Al like I do.
“Get in the truck,” Bertie yells.
Al’s gaze is on me, and although his words are urgent, his face is kind and gentle. He’s the same Crazy Al I’ve always known. “Anamae, you need to trust us. I’ve been friends with your father for years. You’ve known me since you were little. We’re trying to help. I’d never let anything happen to you. We’re like family.”
He’s right. All those trips into the store when I was only just old enough to see over the counter, Al was always so kind, so gentle. At every visit he’d give me something small out of his collection to take home and treasure. Then there were the poker nights. Kids really shouldn’t have been there, but Al, well he always made an exception for me. I’d sit on the couch and watch television. If he says we’re in danger, and he knows where we can get help, then I have to trust him.
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About the author
Writing for the young and new adult market, Stacey's books all hold a lot of adventure, a good dose of danger, a smattering of romance, and plenty of KISSING! Hailing from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, she loves nothing more than immersing herself in the beauty and culture of the local area.
Author of the Collective Series; Forget Me Not, Remember Me, Never Forgotten. And the Oxley College Saga; Shh! and Wait!
Stacey will be awarding an eCopy of Forget Me Not to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and choice of 5 digital books from the Impulse line to a randomly drawn host.