Author: Stacey Nash
Release Date: February 17, 2014
Publisher: Entranced Publishing, Rush
Genre: YA speculative fiction
Fiction is Fact. Know the Truth.
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. Because when the brooch and the pendant are worn together, they’re no longer pretty pieces of jewelry—they’re part of a highly developed technology capable of cloaking the human form. Triggering the jewelry’s power attracts the attention of a secret society determined to confiscate the device—and deal with 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.
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The Collective. That’s what Al said, too. I glance at Will sideways. His mouth hangs slightly open, his eyes wide. He looks as astonished as I feel. Beau’s gaze shifts beyond me, and his face lights up in a smile. When I look over my shoulder, I see Bertie standing in the doorway, waving. She smiles and continues past the room; obviously she and Al are well known around here.
“When tech is used, an alarm is activated, alerting The Collective,” Beau continues. “If the use is unauthorized, they send a scout to appropriate the tech and contain any knowledge of its existence.”
The man in the East Coast Gas uniform, he must have been a scout.
“What do you mean?” Will asks.
Beau rubs his forehead. “Technology, tools, machines, items which perform a specific function. Some tech is common, like cellphones, computers, and satellite tracking, but other tech is not known or used at all. The Collective works hard to keep its knowledge hidden from the general population.”
I shake my head. “I should have known it wasn’t magic.”
The blue flower on the pendant made me appear invisible. Not magic, but technology. My hand still clutches it protectively. How does it work? It has to be some trick with light. I’ve always hated science; I spend most of class daydreaming of being outside with Will and my camera, soaking up his contagious happiness.
Beau’s voice breaks my thoughts. “We also have an alarm. We use it to intercept Collective agents and stop them from harming innocent people. The radar pinpoints the location of the use of tech.”
The boy, the one in the leather jacket. My gaze darts back to the window and the tree branches reaching over the lawn, but I can’t see him. He must have been sent to intercept the gas man.
“This is a safe house. The Collective can’t reach it. You’ll have to stay here while we secure your safety,” Beau says.
“A safe house?” Will asks.
My mind spins again. It’s doing a lot of that this afternoon. There’s so much to take in. This morning we played a dumb game, and now we’re here in the middle of ‘great danger’.
“There are several of them across the country, and each house has a number of people. We will give you assistance.”
My mind whirls. Scouts, collective, safe houses. It’s too much to take in. I move toward an armchair identical to Beau’s, place my hands on its soft, well-worn arms, and sink into it.
“I can’t stay here. My dad, I need to go home to him,” I say. “After Mom, he won’t cope if I disappear, too. He — he needs me. He doesn’t even have his mother anymore.” I hang my head in my hands, twining my fingers into my hair. He’s balanced so close to the edge of despair, and I won’t push him over.
“They’re relentless. They won’t give up until they find you,” Al says. He’s still here. I’d almost forgotten him. “It’s not safe. You can’t outrun them forever. Don’t worry, I’ll keep an eye on your old man.”
Will’s already rigid stance stiffens further. “What do you mean ‘not safe’?”
“Mae is a threat to the secret knowledge of advanced technology,” Al says, “and The Collective eliminates their threats.”
About the Author:
Stacey grew up in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. It is an area nestled between mountains and vineyards. Full of history and culture, it provides wonderful writing inspiration. After dabbling with poetry during her teen years, Stacey stopped writing until after university when she was married with young children. Now she loves nothing more than spending her days with her children and writing when inspiration strikes.
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